(Above: DBacks focus efforts to calculate final pitch count in Jackson’s July 2nd no-hitter.)
In spite of USA Today’s Bob Nightengale throwing a wave of revulsion into the South Side over the momentary prospect of violent moron Brett Myers passing muster with Kenny Williams, ESPN has announced that the Sox have traded Daniel Hudson and prospect LHP David Holmberg for journeyman hurler Edwin Jackson, he of the recent 8-walk 149-pitch no-no against his former Tampa Bay teammates.
What remains to be seen is whether or not the deal is two legs of a table. The rumor mill concerning the Sox and Dunn has been spinning for more than two weeks, such chatter morphing into suggestions of a three-way pact putting EdJax to work for the Nats in exchange for Dunn’s stick. While it’s uncertain at press time if Kenny plans to flip or grip Jackson, maybe USA Today isn’t the place to be watching for the answer.
The SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser usually covers the A’s beat but recently had the distinct pleasure of snooping on the filming of Bennett Miller’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball”. In Friday’s paper, Slusser collects dirt dished by one of the movie’s extras, A’s batboy Jordan Iserson, who in a considerable stretch, is playing the part of an A’s batboy.
Actor Chris Pratt, playing Hatteberg, didn’t exactly have the same result in his at-bat that Hatteberg did when his pinch-hit homer beat the Royals 12-11 in the bottom of the ninth on Sept. 4, 2002. The A’s blew an 11-0 lead but managed to set the record for the longest American League winning streak, which still stands.
‘They said, ‘No matter what, if it’s in fair territory, act like it’s a home run,’ ” Iserson reported.
“His first swing was a weak broken-bat groundball and everyone rushed out there like it went into the fifth row.”
Pratt, who stars in the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” looks a lot like Hatteberg, however, “and he’s got his mannerisms down,” Iserson said. “You have to do a double-take to make sure it’s not Scott.”
Wednesday night also marked the first appearance of actors Brad Pitt (playing Billy Beane) and Jonah Hill (as Paul DePodesta) during the on-field portion of the filming. Iserson said that both wowed the crowd of extras filling the stands, and Hill grabbed a microphone and told a few jokes.
Former Giant Royce Clayton is playing Miguel Tejada, and onetime Oakland pitcher Jason Windsor is playing John Mabry, Iserson said. He said the former minor-leaguers playing Barry Zito and Tim Hudson look especially like the real thing.
These efforts had me thinking ; if a team receives lukewarm fan support — despite impressive achievements between the lines — is there really something totally fucked up about proposing they relocate to a sports mad northeastern city that routinely sells out it’s boutique ballpark? But enough about moving the Braves back to Boston, this A’s business could be a real windfall. Especially if you’re Peter Angelos looking to sell more tickets to visiting fans.
As you’ve probably heard elsewhere, despite leading Argentina to the quarterfinals of last month’s World Cup, Diego Maradona’s short yet eventful tenure as coach of the national team came to a contentious end yesterday. Unsurprisingly, Maradona did not go quietly into the Buenos Aires night, reports the Guardian’s Joel Richards.
As he delivered his own version of the events that lead to his chaotic reign coming to an end, Maradona explained his choice of words. “In front of witnesses and players,” he stressed, “(Argentina FA president Julio) Grondona came into the changing room after the Germany game [the 4-0 defeat at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup in South Africa] and said he wanted me to carry on as coach. Then when I got back to Argentina, things started getting all confused. Now this.”
National team general manager Carlos Bilardo, in the meantime, was singled out for more dramatic prose. “While we were in mourning [after being knocked out of the World Cup], he was working in the shadows to have us thrown out.”
Rarely for him, Maradona spoke in the plural. His entire stewardship had been about nobody else but him “ about the team being his, about him being in charge around here, about things being done his way, about what he needed. But the reasons for his contract not being renewed are, ostensibly, not to do with him, but rather his backroom staff. Grondona asked Diego to continue without seven of his assistants “ inconceivable for Maradona. “I defend my people, from the masseuse to the kit man,” he said. “I have a code that they [Grondona and Bilardo] don’t have.”
But while at home and abroad the consensus is that Maradona simply had no idea what he was doing, and while it is easy to blame the 49-year-old for everything that is wrong with Argentina, he in fact fared no worse than his predecessors at the World Cup. “Not since 1990 has Argentina made it past the quarter-finals,” he pointed out yesterday. “Nobody is talking about that.”
“How much difference could performance-enhancers have made on a slender slugger such as Fred McGriff?” wonders the St. Petersberg Times’ Gary Shelton, arguing the 15 year MLB veteran “is a victim” (“all those crooks with the cartoon biceps and inflated statistics made his numbers look ordinary by comparison…they stole from McGriff like an Internet swindler with your bank account number.”) Fair enough, but you can’t become a TV commercial icon if your skull swells beyond the size of standard mesh cap.
The more the bodies swelled, the more their shadows obscured what McGriff was doing. Erase Bonds and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and Palmeiro ” all of whom have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs ” from the books, and do you know how good McGriff was in those 15 seasons? He was second in home runs, first in RBIs, third in hits and first in extra bases. Even McGriff’s supporters will admit he’s not a slam-dunk Hall of Famer, but the cleaner you can imagine the sport, the better McGriff’s numbers look.
As it was, McGriff received a disappointing 25 percent of the vote in his first year of Hall Of Fam eligibility. That doesn’t mean he won’t get in. Billy Williams received 23.4 percent of the vote his first time out, and he got in six years later. Jim Rice received 29.8 percent, and 15 years later he got in. Don Drysdale received 21 percent, and it took him 10 years. McGriff has a lot of ground to make up, perhaps a lot of years to wait.
To this day, McGriff swears he has never seen a performance-enhancer. He insists he has never been offered one. Could he have obtained one if he wanted? Yeah, probably. He could have gone to a gym and asked around. He could have hired a personal trainer. For goodness sake, he played with Jose Canseco.
“People always talk about how this guy came clean or that guy came clean,” says McGriff. “I ask them, ‘Did he give back the money?’ “
Following a contentious visit to the Comcast TV booth by White Sox legend Bill “Moose” Skowron, wherein one-man death panel Steve Stone helpfully offered to usher the 79 year-old first baseman into the next life Jack Kevorkian-style, the bony finger of death next grazed a considerably more deserving figure. In the 4th inning, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, taking a break from ladling out city pension funds to imbecile relatives narrowly survived Andruw Jones’s assasination attempt by flying bat.
Following a contentious visit to the Comcast TV booth by White Sox legend Bill “Moose” Skowron, wherein one-man death panel Steve Stone helpfully offered to usher the 79 year-old first baseman into the next life Jack Kevorkian-style, the bony finger of death would next graze a considerably more deserving figure.
In the 4th inning, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, taking a break from ladling out city pension funds to imbecile relatives narrowly survived Andruw Jones’s assasination attempt by flying bat. Down 5-3 with a man on, Jones hacked at 1-2 Jason Vargas offering around the letters, loosing his lumber at the calculating coconut of the Mayor, who demonstrated the cat-like reflexes that have already foiled many a US Attorney.
Jones, a Dutch citizen, could not be reached for comment, but is expected to receive special tribute from the city in the form of parking citations bearing the cheerful orange Netherlands national color.
The Sox, whose sweep of the Ms boosts their home winning streak to 10, battled from behind, solo blasts from Alexei Ramirez and Paul Konerko closing the gap with the go-ahead courtesy of an Alex Rios RBI single. Closing duties fell to the enlarged and embattled Bobby Jenks, whose ridiculous 98 MPH heat silenced critics and produced a 1-2-3 outing characteristic of days long past…days like, you know, two weeks ago.
A law enforcement source confirmed the body was that of Wright, 34, though the Memphis Police Department won’t officially comment. Police are referring to their ongoing investigation as a “death investigation.”
According to sources, a 9-1-1 call was made from Wright’s cell phone on July 19. A Germantown fire dispatcher could hear the loud blasts of several gunshots. The cellphone call ended at that point.
The body was found by someone who called police today.
Wright was thought to be carrying some amount of cash when he was last seen leaving his ex-wife™s Collierville home, fueling concerns he may be the victim of foul play, according to a Collierville police report released today.
He recently flew from Atlanta to Memphis to visit friends and his six children, friends said. He was scheduled to drive back to the Atlanta area July 19, with his six children and a friend. He was last seen at about 2 a.m. July 19, leaving his ex-wife™s Whisperwood Drive home. His former wife told police she doesn™t know who he left with or what type of car they were in, according to the missing person™s report.