As Brad Lidge’s ugly season marches on — if last year was “Lights Out,” this year is definitely “Come As You Are” — Phillies fans and writers can’t stop dreaming of alternatives. The Philadelphia Daily News‘ Paul Hagen, for example, nominates CSTB favorite Country Time.
That’d be Billy Wagner — the guy whose loss and blown save in two games against the Astros kept the Phillies from the wild card in 2005. And also the guy who helped the Phillies finish off a four-game sweep of New York back in August of 2007. Is it something about facing former teams? Guess not, since he was brutal in the ’06 NLCS as well.
Wagner also coughed up seven leads during 2008 before requiring surgery; Lidge has now blown eight. It all seems a pointless topic really – should Wagner do well with the Mets these next two weeks, a wild card contending team will waiver-claim him, and/or the Mets will want a real return (at least from Philadelphia). And if he doesn’t, then it’s moot.
Besides, the Phillies already have a former closer poised to come off the DL and play September hero. Because it isn’t just Brad Lidge’s pitching that is lacking — it’s also his personality. I mean, what’s the matter with this guy? He keeps coming out and talking to the press after every blown save or tough outing, including each of the last two nights. Not once has he physically threatened a beat writer, or even blown one off, as reigning World Series MVP Keanu Reeves seems prone to do. They taught him well at Notre Dame I guess.
Whereas Brett Myers, of course, is one of those public figures of whom you you can actually ask, “when did you stop – ok, “allegedly” stop – beating your wife?” and it’s not a “gotcha” question.
Which is why the news he’d miss a scheduled rehab start on Saturday was kind of a big story. It was first reported that he’d injured his left eye while playing catch with his four year-old son Kolt. Scott Boras tried to sign Kolt then and there, but soon the story changed – turns out Myers actually tripped out of the backseat of his wife’s Escalade while they were out for dinner.
More from MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki:
The Phillies said early Saturday that Myers suffered an eye injury while playing catch with his son, Kolt. But the Phillies later said Myers changed his story.
“I know exactly what people are going to think,” Myers said in a telephone interview Saturday evening with MLB.com.
In other words, they will think Myers was intoxicated….
And that’s why he said he initially told Brian Cammarota, who is the team’s Minor League athletics trainers and rehabilitation coordinator, that he got hit in the eye with a baseball. But Myers said soon after the first call to Cammarota, Kim urged him to call Cammarota back with the true story.
“I’m an idiot,” Myers said. “I’ve never felt so frickin’ embarrassed in my life.
First statement, agreed. Second statement, really? This was worse than the arrest?
Because I know my first thought wasn’t, “oh, Brett must have lied because he got a little drunk.” I also didn’t figure that he had a power-washing accident. No, when someone who was once arrested for domestic violence turns up with a shiner and is less than truthful about how he got it, your first thought’s probably gonna be… domestic violence. Especially when Myers’ wife, having refused to testify against him in 2006, said back then she started it (“I became upset with him and I pushed him away from me”).
The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Andy Martino did acknowledge all this history, and even called the local sheriff’s office to make sure there hadn’t been an incident report (they did not return his call). His colleague Jim Salisbury also interviewed Kim Myers:
“No, I did not hit him with a frying pan,” Kim Myers (above) said, with a laugh, while teasing her husband for being a “klutz.”
Well, okay then. I’ll take the whole thing at face value for the sake of making several other points.
First, if you’re described on a 911 tape as “smacking a girl around…he’s a pretty big guy… and he’s hitting her hard,” but you can also hit a home run off C.C. Sabathia, hey, it’s all good, dude! Granted, Myers received legal vindication, while Michael Vick did not, but now that he’s served his time, methinks the Eagles new QB is one long “Wildcat” TD run away from feeling more accepted in his new hometown.
Second, I guess we are supposed to view Brett Myers as a guy with focus problems, anger issues and a boys-will-be-boys penchant to throw back a few too many until Boston gave him the big wake-up call. That probably pisses off domestic violence advocates, but let’s just stick to baseball here. THAT’s the guy who’s gonna stabilize the Phillies bullpen? I know closers can be crazy, and Myers was a decent – if not perfect – closer in 2007, but I’m not sure I feel any better about him facing Manny or Albert Pujols in a playoff game than I do Lidge. Whether he’s getting arrested, threatening a writer, being sent down to the minors or enjoying a night out in Jacksonville, volatility and drama follow #39 around.
(Mudboy and the Neutrons, Dickinson second from left)
From the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Iconic Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson has died.
The 67 year-old Dickinson passed away early Saturday morning in his sleep, according to his wife Mary Lindsay Dickinson. Dickinson had been in ill health for the past few months, and was recuperating from heart surgery at Methodist Extended Care Hospital. œHe went peacefully, said Mary Lindsay.
The Associated Press story says Jim is “perhaps best known” as the father of Luther and Cody, which might be something of a stretch unless you’re under 25. In addition to the obvious (Stones, Big Star, Replacements), I especially treasure Green on Red’s “Here Come the Snakes.”
Tweet of the day:
Ryan Tobler, Bill Vandermeer and Igor Agarunov are just some of the players signing this week -See all trannys at http://tinyurl.com/r6ggqt
Despite the recent suspension of Phillies reliever J.C. Romero and former teammate David Ortiz’s claim of “tainted supplements,” Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who’s available to any team wishing to trade for him, remains a dedicated customer of Orrin Hatch’s favorite industry. From Bob Nightengale of USA Today..
There are different-colored pills, powders, liquids, proteins, caffeine concentrates and ginseng, products such as creatine, Triflex and xelR8 found at local vitamin stores. Most of the products have not been approved by Major League Baseball for use by players, Arroyo says. Some of the items have the potential to trigger a positive test under baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Arroyo takes them anyway.
“I have a lot of guys in (the locker room) who think I’m out of (my) mind because I’m taking a lot of things not on the (MLB-approved) list,” Arroyo says. “I take 10 to 12 different things a day, and on the days I pitch, there’s four more things. There’s a caffeine drink I take from a company that (former teammate) Curt Schilling introduced me to in ’05. I take some Korean ginseng and a few other proteins out there that are not certified. But I haven’t failed any tests, so I figured I’m good.”
In the interest of not writing one of those posts that makes it unnecessary to click over to the actual site where it appeared, you should really click over to the actual site where it appeared. There you can read Arroyo’s further comments about “andro” (sneak preview: ” I felt like a monster”), amphetamines and whether Manny might drop dead at 50.
I just hope this doesn’t diminish Bronson’s Hall of Fame chances. The Rock’n'Roll Hall of Fame, I mean.
(H/T to @FriedmanHNIC)
“If I thought it were newsworthy, I would write a story about it,” blogs the Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz, in a post that’s headlined “McNair’s death not a lesson to one idiot”.
…after a recent game, a Major League Baseball player asked a female intern from another media outlet if she’d like to join him at a club in Houston later that night.
That was the first stupid decision made by the player, who just happens to be a married father. The young lady then accepted his phone number, which was a major no-no in the context of how it was offered.
As if that weren’t silly enough, the young lady, who has nearly 700 “friends” on Facebook, decided to post this message on her Facebook account for over four hours: “Was asked out by (team name and player name) last night and I have his cell phone number to prove it.”
I’ve deleted the team’s name and the player’s name because I’m not going to mention any names.
I have since informed two of this young lady’s mentors how irresponsible this Facebook post is and how it appears as though she is bragging about getting the player’s phone number. Things you post on Facebook can get you in serious trouble. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America has worked hard to gain the generous clubhouse access media get to major league clubhouses. And women have gone through tremendous pain to earn the right to be let in and treated with respect in major sports clubhouses and locker rooms.
All dead on the money as a journalism issue. But I’m afraid the only lesson any extracurricularly inclined pro athlete’s gonna take away from Steve McNair is the one this major leaguer already has down: “don’t cheat in your own town.” With perhaps another, if the stories out of Minnesota have some truth: “don’t cheat on your mistress.”
If not for the fact that he didn’t call him “Cindy,” I might have thought that I was on a message board – the Denver Post‘s Adrian Dater on tonight’s Red Wings-Penguins game:
Absolutely awful performance tonight. I don™t care what the Pens do in Game 6; this series is over. And I suspect the Pens will do what they did last year in a Game 6 at home – play close for a while, then lose to the Wings.
Sidney Crosby is going to turn into John Stockton if he doesn™t watch out. He has definitively proven that he™s not good enough yet to take his team to a championship title. These are his prime years, and this was supposed to be the year he took his team over the top against an older, less-hungry team like the Wings….
I was set to bestow a placement of Crosby into the Pantheon of great players tonight, those who willed their teams to victory in the biggest of games, after a year or two of learning how to win. Instead, Crosby and his teammate – Evgeni Malkin- were terrible. Terrible.
They are excellent, marvelous individual players. But they are losers, in the final analysis. Great players would have found a way to win tonight.
Crosby and Malkin are not great players, therefore.
No, Crosby and Malkin are, respectively, 22 and 23, whereas “old” Red Wings like Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Marion Hossa are, as Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey points out with glee, 28, 30 and 30. John Stockton? 35 before he even made it to the finals.
I agree about the likely outcome of Game 6, but if Dater was set to place Crosby in the Pantheon of great players tonight, maybe that was his mistake, especially since this team was not even playoff-bound until they fired the coach, got Gonchar back and added Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin.
And what’s a veteran hockey writer doing wielding hoops analogies? Why not fall back on the already-tired Penguins/Crosby to Oilers/Gretzky comparison, with its theory that the Penguins’ loss last year was the equivalent of Edmonton’s 1983 fall to the Islanders. Gretzky was 23 when he first won the Cup in 1984, but that was his fifth NHL season (and seventh pro). This is Crosby’s fourth. If that’s who we are using as the measuring stick I think maybe Sid’s ok, and will likely have a few more shots (don’t get me wrong, I hope he never makes the final again, since every year the Penguins do the Flyers won’t, but that’s neither here nor there).
Frankly, with its veteran goaltending, vastly better blue line and overall defensive play, a fully healthy Red Wings team could have easily won this series 4-0, and almost took it 4-1. If in fact they are a little hurt and tired, that may also be because they had to play a real (and young) opponent in the conference finals, whereas the Pens ran into a team – an “aging” team, you might even say of certain Carolina players – that peaked with its two early upsets.
(Both links via Kukla’s Korner… or rather, @kuklaskorner)
The DirecTV show Friday Night Lights has a way of making every high school football player seem so altruistic, soulful and misunderstood, but that’s not how Mumbling Matt Saracen (which is to say, actor Zach Gilford) found the jocks during his own college days in Evanston (which is also his hometown). From the Daily Northwestern (H/T to @JimmyTraina.
Were you a fan of NU football while you were a student here?
Gilford: Growing up, I was a big NU fan. Then I got here, and I met a bunch of the players, and they were jerks. They weren’t good that year, so I was like, “Well, you’re not good and you’re not nice, so I’m not going to root for you.” But now that I don’t know them anymore, I root for them because I pretend they’re nice.
Can’t say that I have anything to add to this, as I don’t recall any Wildcats football players trying to work at WNUR in the late ’80s. I did, however, take freshman Spanish class with Academic All-American PK Ira Adler. He seemed nice (and probably got a better grade than me).
Intriguing analogy from one of John Buccigross’s readers.
I was thinking about why people hate Sidney so much, and it reminded me of why I dislike DMB [Dave Matthews Band].
When I was in college (1995-05), DMB started to get popular, and I, like many, enjoyed his music. After a month of “Ant Marching” playing on the radio every other song, I grew tired of DMB and changed the channel every time it came on. People kept telling me how great DMB was and questioning why I decide to not listen to their music. I just grew tired of hearing them. Everyone tells me the DMB jam sessions are incredible in concert. Someday, I may break down and go.
I think that is how the hockey world feels about Sidney at this point. Everyone (except us Pittsburgh fans) is tired of hearing about him. Sidney vs. Richard, Sidney vs. Ovie, Sidney vs. Staal. People have just burned out and hate for no apparent reason, because I agree with you that he is what hockey is all about. Also, I think that if people watch the live version of Sidney, they would have a newfound respect.
Fort Mill, S.C.
I’ve never grown tired of Dave Mathews Band, Ben Folds, Nicklas Lidstrom or any artist or athlete with originality, talent and commitment. I find these people inspiring. I understand growing tired of Lady Gaga, Cheez Doodles or ham, but not unique greatness.
I don’t know, anyone who lived in South Carolina and spent 10 years in college probably saw their share of Hootie and 7 Mary Three shows – which hockey players are those bands?
Also, if you don’t think ham falls into the category of “unique greatness,” you’re not eating the right ham.
Meanwhile Folds, who is a solid dozen years past his sell-by date in my book, apparently does quite well in the online sportswriter demographic. From Joe Posnanski’s Twitter:
Being old, we showed up at the 7 pm Ben Folds show at 7 pm. Ben, playing to a much younger crowd, goes on at 9:30.
Yeah, but have those youngsters given up old-school baseball ideology for sabermetrics to the extent Posnanski has?
Nicklas Lidstrom, I reckon, is the Belle and Sebastian of hockey: Always understated, sometimes overlooked, occasionally misunderstood, nonpareil.
Spend a night out at, say, an Allman Brothers Band show, and not only do you miss out on an amusing hockey incident, but everybody’s already worked over the only point or joke to make. Neverthless, the story still needs posting, and I do swear on my journalistic ethics that I came up with the headline before seeing older tweets from @cupofchowdah or @puckdaddy. From the Los Angeles Times, via @mirtle:
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray was interviewed by Detroit police Thursday night but was not charged after a woman working as a TV stage manager at Joe Louis Arena said he hit her in the left chest, arm and shoulder with a chair after the Ducks’ 4-3 loss to the Red Wings in Game 7 of the teams’ second-round playoff series, according to an Internet report Friday.
The website, MyFoxDetroit.com, which is affiliated with Detroit TV station WJBK, said Rachel Paris, 55, was hit by the bar stool-like seat thrown by “an upset and angry Murray” in the press box. The cramped facility is shared by writers, broadcasters and TV crews. Those who work there use elevated seats to reach the elevated work table.
The website also said Paris, who wouldn’t disclose which media outlet employed her during the game, believed Murray vented his frustration at her because she had been rooting for the Red Wings.
“I was taken to the boards by Bob Murray and survived the hit. I felt like I was cross-checked and I didn’t even have the puck,” Paris told the website, which said she declined to file a formal complaint.
Murray denied throwing the chair at Paris.
“It was a complete accident,” he told The Times on Friday. “I’ve spoken with her and cleared it all up.”
A TV station person rooting for the team? Shocking, shocking stuff. That said, if you are a team employee and they stash you in the press box rather than a suite, you are also expected to keep your lack of neutrality to yourself, be it verbal or (allegedly) furniture-assaultive.