07.30.06

Sunday’s Hottest Baseball Story..

Posted in Baseball at 8:47 am by

…isn’t the Yankees (supposedly) closing in on Bobby Abreu, nor is it Texas’ interest in Houston’s Brad Lidge. The day’s most overwhelming item has nothing to do with Barry Zito-for-Lastings Milledge, and it certainly has no connection to the fate of Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Tejada or Greg Maddux.

Actually, it isn’t even a story from this weekend. But it provides some documentation, however nebulous, that Junior Spivey is Alive, if not well, in Memphis. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss.

Memphis Redbirds second baseman Junior Spivey reacted harshly to a three-game suspension he served after missing a sign and then having a dugout confrontation with manager Danny Sheaffer last Sunday.

Spivey described the suspension as “absurd” and “a crazy, crazy deal” to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. The suspension and an accompanying $250 fine resulted from Spivey swinging through a third-inning take sign. He and Sheaffer exchanged words after the manager pulled him from the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against Iowa.

Spivey, a former NL All-Star, returned to the club Friday but did not appear in the Redbirds’ win over Salt Lake. He did, however, share his feelings over recent events.

“I can understand fining me or making a point by yanking me,” Spivey told the Commercial-Appeal. “But suspending me? That’s embarrassing. And you know how that looks in the eyes of the fans. It makes it look like I’m the problem. I can’t be blamed for the struggles of this team.”

Spivey, signed to a $1.2 million guaranteed contract last December, is hitting .173 with 12 errors in 67 games.

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff takes note of Carlos Beltran’s dramatically superior road numbers compared to his production in Flushing and suggests “Beltran, the past Shea Stadium boos still ringing in his ears, does press at Shea Stadium. ”

Perhaps, but Beltran’s ’06 isn’t merely the “huge success” that Davidoff describes.  It’s also an MVP caliber campaign from a player who was jeered repeatedly during the Mets’ first homestand.  After witnessing Aaron Heilman and Carlos Delgado receive similar treatment from Queens’ cultured baseball experts last week, I have to wonder if it would take a 25 game lead in the NL East to shut some of these people up.

Todd Jones writes of Trade Deadline Nerves in today’s Detroit Free Press.  To coin a recent phrase from a popular commerical, there’s a future for Todd in the beverage distribution business.

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