Mushnick Vs. Michael Kay : Please Let Them Settle This On The Street

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 10:53 am by

Short of following the recent Milton Bradley / Lt. Dangle spat, I’m not sure there could be a dispute more difficult from which to choose sides than the Phil Mushnick / Michael Kay war of words. From the former’s NY Post column on Friday :

Jorge Posada batted in the fourth inning Monday, Michael Kay, calling the game on YES, grew indignant.

Posada, the previous game, Kay told us, had a ground-rule double, his 1,000th career hit. But ” and get this, folks ” the fan who caught the ball wanted $20,000 for it. Imagine! Kay mocked the greedy creep, told how Posada essentially told the guy to take a hike and made other what has the sports world come to? noises.

Kay even cracked that the “fan” should try his luck on e-Bay.

“Now,” said Kay, as if Aesop, on his deathbed, had beseeched Kay to carry on, “he’s got a baseball worth $8.”

Yeah, what a jerk.

In December, you might recall, Kay, on his ESPN Radio show, advertised and endorsed an autograph session that would star Alex Rodriguez and that paramount of baseball virtue, Barry Bonds. Kay also seemed mighty proud of the fact that he had been selected ” hired ” to host that session. And the cost of admission was only $7,500 per person.

And when Kay took heat in this column for lending (leasing) his name, presence and reputation to such a pig roast, he didn’t take it well. He hollered that he was comfortable with his decision and loudly rationalized that the Rodriguez/Bonds gig would pay him more for one night’s work than sportswriters “make in a week!

We made the point then; we’ll make it again. You can’t hop on the greed train, then make believe it was an accident, that you tripped and fell up a flight of stairs.

When Kay accepted that ugly gig ” and he had enthusiastically voiced commercials for high-priced autographed stuff prior to that ” he painted himself in. For whatever his financial take, it wasn’t worth it; there would be too many times when he’d either have to ignore the tidal wave of greed ” and no credible sports commentator would do that ” or grow inured to his hypocrisy.

Some creep held Jorge Posada’s 1,000th hit baseball ” an $8 ball ” for ransom? The nerve!

Muschnick’s online entries, once the home of Google ads for ticket touts and “nutritional supplements”, now feature banner ads for Stephen A. Smith’s “Quite Frankly”.

Mets Complete Desert Sweep, Hernandez Hangs On

Posted in Baseball at 7:28 am by

Mets 3, Diamondbacks 1

Celebrating their first sweep of a 4 game series in 5 years, the Mets ran their record to a season-high 7 games over .500 with last night’s victory at the Church Of The Subgenius Stadium. Though taking a no-hitter into the sixth, Pedro Martinez walked 4 and was falling behind Arizona hitters from the begining of the night. Martinez’ pitch count hit 100 in his final inning, in which he allowed hard singles to Tony Clark and Luis Gonzalez ; his ability to survive that scare was slighty less improbable than Robert Hernandez’ high wire act in the 7th, in which the D-Backs ran themselves out of the inning after having Royce Clayton (lead off triple) on third and Quinton McCracken on first (HBP) with none out. Though Hernandez allowed a line drive HR to right off Chad Tracey in the 8th, New York made the lead stand up, Braden Looper setting Arizona aside with a rare (for him) 1-2-3 9th inning.

The Mets also continue to get tremendous results from guys that no one would’ve predicted to be factors in a playoff race last spring, Victor Diaz’ solo HR and sacrifice fly in the 2nd and 8th innings respectively, the latter run set up by Mike Jacobs’ opposite field single which moved David Wright to 3rd base. Jacobs appeared halfway human on Thursday (no HR’s, dragons slayed, diseases cured), but still displayed the sort of poise which has been in short supply from Mets first basemen this season.

I would like the local Chamber of Commerce and advertising standards councils to be aware that the “Knife & Fork Footlong Chili Cheese Dog” on offer at the Phoenix home of Arena Baseball, does not in fact, come with a knife or fork.

Ka-Boom(er)! Wells “Losing His Cool” Over ‘Roids

Posted in Baseball at 1:25 am by

From the Associated Press :

Boston Red Sox left-hander David Wells said Thursday that he believes there are major league players probably still using steroids.

œThere™s no question in my mind that there™s a lot of guys out there still that are probably on them, Wells said in an interview on WSKO in Providence. œI mean, they™re just playing Russian Roulette.

Wells said he has been tested for steroids three times this year œand, quite frankly, I™m starting to lose my cool.

He added that the testers should œgo to the guys who have been losing weight dramatically, are not as big as they were last year, listen to their excuses and test them.


Sid Vicious : Pissed Ponson Pinched For DUI

Posted in Baseball at 1:50 pm by

If Dean Wormer (above) were still alive, he’d remind us (again) that “fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.”

Kevin Millar, Human Punching Bag

Posted in Baseball at 1:39 pm by

From the Boston Globe’s Kelsie Smith :

Kevin Millar probably expected some attention. Lots of high fives, some hugs, a couple of slaps on the back.

After all, his drought — 182 at-bats with no home runs — came to an end off Kansas City’s D.J. Carrasco in the second inning last night. Millar laced an 1-and-0 pitch, hitting the left-field foul pole in Kauffman Stadium, and embarked on his first home run trot since June 4 (against the Angels’ Scot Shields).

As Millar jogged the bases, his teammates got ready to greet him. But David Ortiz had another idea, waving at the team to sit down, keep quiet, and ignore Millar upon his return. And so Millar, never one to shy from attention, entered a silent dugout and took the brunt of Ortiz’s joke.

(looks like Dale Sveum didn’t get the memo)

The first baseman known in the clubhouse for his sense of humor did not avoid questions about his hitting throughout his struggles to hit the long ball. After using a fantasy football analogy to compare himself to Tom Brady earlier this month, Millar showed up for the Aug. 8 game against Texas to find the enlarged Globe article containing the quotes taped to his locker, which had inside it, a Brady jersey. Millar suited up in his Brady garb and took the field, where he played catch with a football before the game. Manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein were responsible for the gag, Millar said.

It could be worse. They could show a video of Millar miming to Springsteen on the Jumbotron. One that was filmed last month, I mean.

Great News For International League Hitters Looking To Pad Their Stats

Posted in Baseball at 1:30 pm by

From the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin :

A night of reflection led Danny Graves to downplay talk of retirement. Graves, designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room for Trachsel, indicated he was more receptive to accepting a short-term stint at Triple-A Norfolk if he clears waivers tomorrow at 2 p.m. Graves said he hasn’t ruled out declining the assignment and pursuing a free-agent deal elsewhere. “As opposed to yesterday, I’m trying to think more clearly. It might be in my best interest,” Graves said about being a Tide for 10 days and rejoining the Mets afterward

Dusty Versus The Inter-Web

Posted in Baseball at 1:25 pm by

From the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mike Kiley :

Cubs manager Dusty Baker was asked about a comment he made in Wednesday’s Sun-Times in which he said: “I’ll be back next year and the year after that. And I ain’t being run out of town.”

Does he feel some people are trying to drive him out of Chicago?

“It’s no secret,” he said. “There are some people that don’t want me here.”

But Baker reiterated he wants to stay with the Cubs, and management has said it will address contract extensions for him and general manager Jim Hendry during spring training — meaning the media-generated speculation that Baker could be leaving should quiet down.

How does Baker know he has detractors in Chicago?

“FireDustyBaker.com,” Baker said. “That’s a pretty good indicator, don’t you think? You don’t have other top managers hearing that too much, right?”


There’s a FireJoeTorre.com and a FireTonyLaRussa.com and who knows how many more.

The New York Yankees’ Joe Torre was deluged with questions from New York reporters last weekend in Chicago about his job being in jeopardy. Several managers each year are asked about their job security, and some end up getting fired.

Could Baker finish his career as a Cub?

“Possibly,” he said. “It depends on if we achieve our goal or not. That’s a long time off to me. I still look at six or seven more years. There are things I need and want to accomplish. I’m still here. I plan on being here.’

Let The Widespread Worship Of Mike Jacobs Begin In Earnest

Posted in Baseball at 1:18 pm by

(neither of these men is Mike Piazza or Doug Mientkiewicz. As you might’ve noticed)

Writes Sam Frank,

Re : Mike Jacobs.

Is this guy for real? 4 home runs, plus a near miss, in 13 at-bats, plus 3 walks? The walks are almost as encouraging as the homers–he’s not stressed at the plate and has an eye for the zone, so maybe it’s not just beginner’s luck.Is this guy for real? 4 home runs, plus a near miss, in 13 at-bats, plus 3 walks? The walks are almost as encouraging as the homers–he’s not stressed at the plate and has an eye for the zone, so maybe it’s not just beginner’s luck.

Hard to say. 27 HR’s and 95 RBI’s at Binghamton says he might not be a fluke. On the other hand, the pitching gets tougher the second or third time the league has seen you. Or at least that’s the way I remember it with Kevin Maas or Shane Spencer. Still, I’d rather bask in Jacobs’ glory, however fleeting, than see Jose Offerman getting a start.

On Tuesday night, KTAR’s Greg Schuttle and Ken Phelps were grousing about Ramon Castro swinging at a 2-0 pitch with the Mets leading by 10 runs. On Wednesday, with New York up by 5 runs early in the game, the duo began speculating about the Mets stealing signs. It must be hard to protect the integrity of the game night after night when you have to watch such shitty pitching.

Still, you’ve got to give the Diamondbacks full credit for standing up for themselves. A lot of other teams would’ve waited for the Mets to take a 20 run lead before throwing at Kaz Matsui.

The Bout To Knock The Other Guy Out

Posted in Baseball at 8:38 am by

With all due apologies to Dedrick Tatum, I don’t think Gerald Perry and Dave Duncan were fighting over whether or not Tony La Russa is the greatest manager of the modern age or simply the best of all time.

Washed-Up Pop Star Defends Huggins

Posted in Basketball at 12:46 am by

Dickie V. is hardly alone in making excuses for deposed Cincy hoops coach Bob Huggins. Nick Lachey (above), presumably too shocked by Huggins’ dismissal to write another column about Danny Graves’ raw deal, takes on University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher. Notes Rance Piatt, “Not only did Mr. Simpson decide to hit Sweden to record a new (!) record,but the dude knows about COBRA insurance.”

From the Cincinnati Enquirer :

What is happening at the University of Cincinnati? Is the city so paralyzed that they think they can get away with this?

This is one of the most successful coaches in all of college basketball, right there in our own little town. He has led our Bearcat program back from the dead, to the tune of 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He was just voted Conference USA Coach of the Decade. He just led our entire athletic department to a major national athletic conference.

Do we reward him, extend his contract, give him a bonus for a job well done? No. We kindly, or not so kindly, ask him to leave all he™s accomplished as well as those he™s accomplished it with, and accept our generous parting gift. A buyout with a healthy dose of Cobra health insurance. Are you kidding me? This is an outrage.

The speculation that this could happen was enough to give me ulcers, but this is ridiculous. I counted on the sensibility and rationale of people in power to avoid this end, but I guess I was foolish in my faith. Apparently, Dr. Zimpher has distributed the Kool-Aid to others.

What are the grounds for his dismissal? I™ve seen the University try and blame everything on Huggins™dissatisfaction for his contract situation. Well, of course he was dissatisfied. Have you ever tried to recruit a high school All-American with two years left on your contract?

Who in their right mind would come play for you for four years if they weren™t assured that you were going to be their coach for their junior and senior years?

In addition, what bearing does the basketball program have on the rest of the university™s academics? Does Bob Huggins prevent the physics department from winning the Nobel Prize, or someone in the English Department from winning the Pulitzer? No! He does his job and everyone else at the university should do theirs.

What else can we pin on him? A DUI? This happened over a year ago and has been met by Huggins with shame and humility. If you were going to fire him for this, why not do it a year ago, before he led your university to yet another NCAA Tournament? Why wait for over a year? If it™s about the DUI, I suggest we offer George W. Bush a buyout as well! The Roy Bright thing? Give me a break. Ask any coach if they would recruit a four-year player out of Oak Hill Acadamy and the answer would be yes.

Bright, for those with short memories, was kicked off the team last May for bringing a firearm onto campus. Along with Huggins’ 399-127 record, the coach’s tenure featured two years of NCAA probation. Other notable student-athletes who have prospered Huggins’ recent guidance include Erick Murray (charged with assault) and Tyree Evans (charged with statutory rape).

But I do like the idea of offering W. a buyout.

Marlins Suspend Milk Guzzling Batboy

Posted in Baseball at 12:12 am by

From ESPN.com (thanks to Sam Hunt for the link)

Milk does a body good, but it didn’t do good for one batboy.

On a dare, a Florida Marlins batboy tried to drink a gallon of milk in under an hour without throwing up. But not only did the batboy not succeed in the challenge, his mere attempt cost him his job for six games, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

The Marlins suspended the unidentified batboy for the team’s upcoming six-game homestand against the Cardinals and Mets from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4 for accepting the dare Sunday from Dodgers pitcher (and former Marlin) Brad Penny.

Penny offered the batboy $500 if he could drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour before Sunday’s game without throwing up. Penny told the paper the boy drank the milk and didn’t throw up, but didn’t finish the gallon in the allotted time frame to win the dare.

“It’s kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk,” Penny told the Herald.

”It’s ridiculous that they worry about stuff like that. It shows they [the Marlins organization] don’t know anything about the game. That kind of stuff goes on everywhere. It didn’t affect the way he worked, the way he did his job.”

Unreported by the Herald is the allegation that Penny offered Jack McKeon $500 if he could name every player on the Marlins roster. McKeon, 112, fell asleep before completing the task, and didn’t collect the loot.


Cowlishaw : Rangers Are Fucked With Buck

Posted in Baseball at 6:01 pm by

From the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw :

Is it fair for someone to go from Manager of the Year to the hot seat, a step away from a desk at ESPN?

In Buck Showalter’s case, it is.

It’s not that the guy doesn’t have a track record of winning or that he didn’t do an excellent job with this club last year. It’s that whatever the players think of Tom Hicks’ unwillingness or inability to spend for key players or John Hart’s failure to upgrade the roster through trades, Showalter has tied himself into all of that.

It’s typical that on the off night following a 1-12 road trip, Showalter and Hart had dinner at Hicks’ estate to discuss the team.

These three are joined at the waist, and that’s why players who have lost faith with the top of the organization include Showalter in that mix.

Showalter said he had no problem with being lumped in with Hicks and Hart. “We’re all in this together,” he said. “I’m no different from other managers.”

Oh, he most certainly is. Joe Torre isn’t dining with or playing golf with George Steinbrenner on any kind of regular basis. Yankees players view their manager as an advocate. Rangers players view their manager as someone they can no longer trust.

Take Him Out…To Dinner

Posted in Religion, Total Fucking Terror at 5:57 pm by

Or to the movies.

Sucks when cynical media creeps jump to all kinds of nasty conclusions.

Time Stands Still With Steve Trachsel

Posted in Baseball at 12:27 pm by

David Roth on the New York Mets’ reinstalled no. 6 starter :

I kept trying to come up with some sort of comment about Trachsel’s 20 minute warmup to throw 60 pitches, but nothing seemed quite right. It’s funnier as it is than I could’ve possibly made it. I feel bad for the guy, being shut out of the rotation and all, but there should be at least two starts for him coming up: one for the temporarily dead-armed Benson (put your own smutty Anna Benson joke in these parentheses, if you want) and hopefully one for Pedro if anyone can get him to take a rest. After that… is there really no way they could trade Sluggish Steve to the Red Sox for, say, Varitek-blocked catching prospect Kelly Shoppach? Shoppach would enable the Mets to leave Jacobs at first (and as far as I’m concened, leave him there: he looks aggressive, and hits the ball hard) and he’s apparently a pretty decent prospect with a pretty un-decent chance of ever seeing much behind-the-plate action in Boston. What’s best about all this is that Steve T’s DJ Screw-style pitching pace could put an extra twenty to thirty minutes on to games, thus pushing back the 7th inning last call even further into the sodden Fenway night. Sox fans wouldn’t love that?

Much as I love perpetuating negative stereotypes about the good people of Boston, I must take exception to David’s remark. I’ve attended a good number of Red Sox games over the years and not everyone in attendence was shitfaced. At least half of the children under the age of 10, for instance.

Lakers & Kareem Discussing Coaching Gig

Posted in Basketball at 12:08 pm by

Given the state of the US airline industry, it should come as consolation to co-pilot Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (above) that the Los Angeles Lakers are considering making him a part time member of Phil Jackson’s coaching staff, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise’s Broadrick Turner.

Newcastle Agree To Record Fee For Owen

Posted in Football at 11:32 am by

The BBC is reporting that Newcastle and Real Madrid have agreed upon terms for the transfer of England striker Michael Owen, a move somewhat complicated by Owen’s refusal to commit to more than one season at St. James Park and stated preference to return to Liverpool.

The Guardian’s Sean Ingle weighed in last week about the idiocy of today’s football supporters. Predictably, he got a fair number of responses. Not all of them took exception to his comments, however :

“Football fans are stupid. Consider the army of Newcastle fans who still buy bonds to guarantee themselves a season ticket and/or buy the new range of leisurewear even after their own chairman was recorded saying that all their women were dogs, and that they will pay for anything. What was their answer to this outrage? Buy the new away strip for the wife of course!” – Lee Calvert.

Robby : Erase Raffy’s Records

Posted in Baseball at 11:08 am by

From MLB.com’s Bill Ladson :

Manager Frank Robinson broke his silence about Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who earlier this month received a 10-day suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program with a positive steroid test.

“I would [wipe out his records]. He was found to have used steroids, and he served a 10-day suspension,” said Robinson. “I was surprised and taken aback that he was using steroids, because I never thought about him being a person that might be a steroids user. I always admired him for the way he went about his work, the way he performed on the field and the way he conducted himself off the field.”

Robinson’s feelings for Palmeiro today are a complete turnaround from a few years ago. Robinson was the assistant general manager of the Orioles in 1994, when Palmeiro first signed with the team as a free agent. Before learning of Palmeiro’s suspension, Robinson often called that the best free-agent signing of all time, based on Palmeiro’s first tenure with the Orioles. Palmerio hit .293 and averaged 36 home runs and 111 RBIs from 1994 to 1998.

“I just looked at the years that he had, and I don’t see anyone that could match up with that,” said Robinson. “He had 30-something home runs every year, 100 and something RBIs, and hit about .290 or better. He had five solid years in Baltimore.”

“Where do you go back, stop and say, ‘OK, when did he started using steroids?’ To eliminate all that, and get the players’ attention, you wipe the whole thing out,” he said. “Why put the burden on baseball to try and figure out where to go, and maybe put an asterisk? Just wipe the whole thing out.”

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney pours more kerosene on the Palmeiro effigy, adding:

Does anybody else find it strange that Rafael Palmeiro, who played about 155 games a year for 17 seasons, is suddenly down and out with what was initially termed a mild sprained ankle? He hasn’t played since Aug. 16, which happened to be his first game on the road, when he took all that abuse in Oakland; makes you wonder if he will be semi-dormant or wholly dormant the rest of this season. The number of days we’ve waited for Palmeiro to tell his side of the story: 24.

Crackdown Crazed Turkmenistan Prez Bans Lip-Synching

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 10:54 am by

From Rachel Saltz in Wednesday’s NY Times :

The president of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov ordered a ban on lip-synching in his country yesterday, citing its “negative effect on the development of singing and musical art,” The Associated Press reported. Under the order, lip-synching is to be banned on television, at all cultural events and even at private parties. Mr. Niyazov, who has led Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic, since 1985, also banned opera and ballet in 2000 because, he said, they did not correspond with the national mentality. Last year, he urged a crackdown on men wearing beards or long hair and called for young people to refrain from putting gold caps on their teeth.

In a completely unrelated story, Kelly Clarkson’s autumn tour of Turkmenistan has been cancelled.

Mets Pummel Snakes, Dump Graves

Posted in Baseball at 10:45 am by

Mets 14, Diamondbacks 1

Hard to pick which is the more encouraging sign from the Mets’ demolition of the Diamondbacks Tuesday evening — the continued production manager Willie Randolph is getting from a motley assortment of call-up and back-ups, or the solid, economical performance of the erratic Victor Zambrano.

(catcher-suddenly-turned 1B Mike Jacobs, receiving a punch in the hand from his skipper after taking Claudio Vargas deep in the fifth inning)

On the former point, no one should be surprised that David Wright and Jose Reyes are coming into their own as offensive forces (and if the latter could learn to walk even just 5 more times a week it would make a huge difference — for a guy who can wreck so much havoc on the basepaths to have such a low OBP is inexcuseable). But back in March, any thoughts of the Mets contending did not go hand in hand with projections that Ramon Castro, Victor Diaz or Jae Seo would play starring roles. And, to be fair, I’ve lost track of the number of times Cliff Floyd has made exceptional plays in left field, all coming from a player whose retirement talk in 2004 was greeted with enthusiasm by this writer.

D-Backs fans are pissed that P Claudio Vargas didn’t run out a grounder in the third inning. Perhaps they can swap him for Randy Johnson.

After yesterday’s claims that Steve Trachsel’s role was unclear, it appears the methodical right-hander will be starting Friday’s game against San Francisco, with Kris Benson’s next start pushed back to Sunday afternoon. Newsday’s David Lennon examines the questions posed by what for the moment, is a 6 man rotation.

Benson and Randolph insist that the pitcher is feeling OK, and that nothing more than Benson’s ego suffered from Sunday’s shelling by the Nationals. It is a red flag, however, to suddenly alter a perfectly healthy pitcher’s turn in the rotation, and Benson conceded he could use a break even though he missed the first month with a strained pectoral muscle.

“It will give me a chance to rest my shoulder a little bit,” Benson said. “But everything’s fine from my standpoint.”

Benson alluded to the fact that he was helped by skipping a start at this juncture last season — he eventually surpassed 200 innings for the first time since 2000 — and expected the same benefit this year. The timing is a little suspicious, though, coming after Benson didn’t make it out of the first inning Sunday after giving up eight hits and six earned runs against the Nationals.

The whole scenario begs the question: Why give the breather to Benson and not to Pedro Martinez, who admitted yesterday that he is bothered by both a sore right foot and a lingering stiffness between his shoulder blades.

Martinez had a cortisone shot for the foot problem last season, and his back was wrapped with a heating pad yesterday afternoon as he prepared for tomorrow’s start against the Diamondbacks.

Martinez refuses to use either of his nagging conditions as excuses, but he was curious to know how many innings he has pitched this season.

When told 176, which ranks seventh in the National League, Martinez made a face that appeared to say, “Wow.” After totaling 217 innings during the regular season last year for the Red Sox, and then 27 more during the playoffs, Martinez seems to be gassed. A hard worker by nature, Martinez injured his back during spring training by doubling up his conditioning drills on an off day, and he may need to cut down some if he is to get through the next five weeks.

“The last two years have been pretty hard for me,” Martinez said. “I’m a little more beat up than I was last season.”

Martinez added that the short offseason, as well as the demands on his time, made the past winter more exhausting than others. He also pointed out that his weight was down to 178 pounds from the 190 he showed up with at the start of spring training, and the dramatic loss was a bit unusual for him. He still dismissed any talk of getting the kid-glove treatment down the stretch.

“If I’m not hurt and I’m able to get you out, then forget about everything else,” Martinez said. “I’ll get you out.”

In a move that might signal the end of the former Reds closer’s career, the Mets have designated Danny Graves for asssigment.

SF Owner Defends Bonds Contract

Posted in Baseball at 1:29 am by

From Wednesday’s SF Chronicle :

Last September, the Giants guaranteed the final year of Barry Bonds’ contract, for 2006, rather than make him reach the 400 plate appearances this season that would have guaranteed the $18 million. That day, general manager Brian Sabean famously said, “He could get 400 plate appearances in his sleep.”

Obviously, Bonds won’t come to bat 400 times this year, and the Giants are on the hook for that $18 million even if Bonds never plays another game. On Tuesday, managing general partner Peter Magowan (above, right) was asked if he regretted the decision to ensure Bonds’ 2006 contract more than a year in advance.

Magowan admitted to some regret, but at the same time defended the action and said it was unfair to beat the Giants over the head with 20-20 hindsight.

“If we’d known he wasn’t going to play a game this year, would we have done it? Obviously not,” Magowan said. “How could we know that after he led the team in games played last year? It’s so easy for you guys to write that we should have seen it coming, but you could have written that in 2004 or 2003 or 2002 or 2001. He was an old player by baseball standards, yet he was better than everyone else all those years.

“These things are always so much easier to say in retrospect, that we shouldn’t have done it. He asked for it, and based on what he had done for the Giants I think he deserved it at the time. He played (147) games last year. He was the (National League) MVP again. Possibly by showing that kind of respect for him and what he’s done for the Giants, it might have given him motivation or inspiration to give to us all he possibly could.

“I’d like to think if I had all the accomplishments he had, especially late in life like he’s had them, and I asked my organization for an extension, I might feel pretty let down, if not insulted, that they didn’t consider my request.”

Mound Duel Of The Year

Posted in Baseball at 12:50 am by

White Sox 0, Twins 1

While the rest of us are watching Jacque Jones’ HR sail over the fence, spoiling Freddy Garcia’s no-hit bid, Peter Gammons is grumbling about Jones flipping his bat. That’s not just old-school, that’s super nitpicky old school. The Twins are now just 3 games behind the A’s and Yankees, and if they weren’t playing in a dome I’d say something about Santana, Radke and two days of rain.

Santana, Radke and two days of long, loud tributes to the late Andrea Dworkin, then.

Congratulations to the Braves’ Julio Franco on his 47th birthday, celebrated with a 10-1 loss to the Cubs. To put Franco’s incredible achievment in some perspective, he’s old enough that he could be Alex Reimer’s grandfather.

Bradley : Dangle Can’t Deal With African Americans

Posted in Baseball at 12:35 am by

(Milton says the Bad Lieutenant has a race problem, but Dangle’s a-ok with Jonesy)

From the Associated Press :

Milton Bradley accused Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players.

Bradley’s remarks before Tuesday’s game against Colorado came only a couple of minutes after he said that the feud between the two that became public last weekend in Florida was a “dead issue.”

“The problem is, he doesn’t know how to deal with African-American people,” Bradley said. “I think that’s what’s causing everything. It’s a pattern of things that have been said — things said off the cuff that I don’t interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it’s not funny to Milton Bradley. But I don’t take offense to that because we all joke about race in here. Race is an issue with everything we do in here.

“Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me — more important than baseball,” said the 27-year-old center fielder, whose voice never went beyond his normal speaking level. “White people never want to see race — with anything. But there’s race involved in baseball. That’s why there’s less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game. I’m one of the few African-Americans that starts here.”
“At no time am I going to let somebody question my hustle, my injury or question my motivation for playing,” Bradley said. “I watch him on the field, and I follow in his footsteps and the things he does on the field. As far as off the field, he has no clue about leadership.

“If you’re going to be the leader of the team, then the need to mingle with the team and associate with the team. I mean, you can’t have your locker in the corner, put your headphones in and sit in the corner reading a motocross magazine. He’s in his own world. Everybody else is in this world.”

I’m gonna stand up for Dangle just this once. It might’ve looked like a motocross publication, but I have it on good authority it was really a newsletter for guys who like to wash their own trucks.


Age Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Number

Posted in Blogged Down at 8:49 pm by

12 year sports blogger / media maven Alex Reimer gets a lot of grief around here, which is ironic considering my own history. There really isn’t a big difference between Alex’s youthful exploits and the sort of thing I was doing as a kid. OK, maybe there is some subtle distinction between being a nationally recognized sports commentator (Alex) and a shoplifter with poor grades (me). But who knows, maybe if I’d gotten a bit more encouragement from the adults I was annoying at the time, I might’ve become a shoplifter with good grades.

Anyhow, the point of this isn’t to give Alex more coverage — I hear that he’s trying to decide between the covers of Vanity Fair and Radar — but rather, to suggest that his achievments aren’t that big a deal. So a 12 year old is getting some publicity for his sports musings. Over in Kansas City, the Royals have an 11 year old starting against the Red Sox tonight. Beat that, Reimer!

Vote Early, Vote Often

Posted in politics at 7:11 pm by

Some might consider this candidacy to be a joke, but it’s no more far-fetched than Joe Lieberman running for President.

(thanks to Brian Turner for the link)

Trachsel Unwanted, Games To Finish 45-60 Minutes Sooner

Posted in Baseball at 6:48 pm by

The Mets might’ve activated P Steve Trachsel, but that doesn’t you’ll be seeing him on the mound this week at Bank One Ballpark writes MLB.com’s Marty Noble :

The Mets have no role for Trachsel, no inning or innings for him to pitch, no room for him in the rotation as it is currently constituted, no need for pitching experience in the bullpen as his experience is currently constituted. And accordingly, Trachsel has no idea what he’s supposed to do Tuesday when he shows up at Bank One Ballpark.

“My role is I pitch if Victor [Zambrano, the scheduled starter] can’t. And that’s not a role,” Trachsel said after batting practice Monday.

So Trachsel is as confused as he is ready to pitch. And is he ready to pitch? “Absoluletly,” he said. Then, after a brief pause, he clarified: “Ready to start.”

Trachsel has refused to pitch in relief. He met Monday with Randolph and pitching coach Rick Peterson, and nothing of that nature was said. He just doesn’t think he can — he doesn’t think a situation will arise that will allow him to prepare to pitch as a reliever. He needs to throw 60 pitches in the bullpen and needs about 20 minutes to throw those 60 pitches.

Chances are Randolph won’t be calling on him with a runner on second and two outs in the seventh. Or at all.

“I would think,” Randolph said, “it would have to be an emergency.”

Favorite CSTB pinata Tom Glavine was tremendous against Arizona last night, at several points driving the D-Backs radio crew nuts with his assortment of 85 MPH “fastballs” and off-speed junk they figured anyone with two arms could hit. Speaking with Newsday’s David Lennon, Glavine credits the BOB’s groovy strip between the mound and home, and rejoices at the sound of his personal cash register going off.

As for Glavine, he upped his record to 8-1 at the BOB with a 1.37 ERA in nine career starts, and explained that his dominance at this retractable dome could be traced to his love affair with the field’s throwback design.

“The only thing that I can semi put a finger on is that there’s something about that stripe from the mound to home plate that locks me in,” Glavine said. “It makes me feel good about my target, where I’m trying to go and where I’m trying to step with my pitches. It kind of gives you a little sense of tunnel vision, and for me that’s good.”

On the 18th anniversary of his first career victory, Glavine also moved considerably closer to earning his $8-million option for next year, and stands basically one more start — 6 1/3 innings away – from having it automatically kick in.

The entire package can be worth as much as $10 million if Glavine reaches two more innings-related hurdles, plus incentives, and he seems to be on pace for cashing in. Of course, Glavine, whose season was sideswiped by a freak taxi accident last year, isn’t about to start counting his money just yet.

“A lot of strange things happen,” said Glavine, knocking on the wood paneling of his locker.