The Pujols Awards: Week 7by John Brattain
February 22, 2008
After last week’s feast, this week it is famine. I guess I’m gonna have to break out my mad whining skillz again. Ah well, there was plenty of material out there:
Aaron Rowand (Submitted by Luigi Tollis)
The guy showed up to spring training and was waiting outside the complex on the day pitchers and catchers were supposed to report. This may not sound like much to the old timers, but in the days of visa hang-ups, and not so fond memories of Pedro Martinez making up excuses not to go to Ft. Myers and Red Sox spring training, it is refreshing to know that the guy who plays the hardest, practices the hardest as well. A real lunch-pail kind of player. Kudos.
From the New York Daily News:
Presidential politics could take Roger Clemens off the hook
When Roger Clemens mentioned in his testimony before Congress on Wednesday that a former President had tracked him down in a duck blind to wish him well before this week's congressional hearing on the Mitchell Report, the stage was set for questions about the influence of the White House on any possible prosecution of Clemens.
The former President was George H.W. Bush, the father of the current President and a longtime Clemens friend. A lawyer for Brian McNamee, Clemens' chief accuser, told the Daily News on Thursday he wouldn't be surprised to see President Bush intervene in any criminal investigation of Clemens, possibly by issuing a preemptive pardon.
The prospect of a pardon further alarms observers who see a way out for Clemens while Barry Bonds fights to stay out of jail and Marion Jones has been sentenced.
The Constitution gives the President the authority to grant pardons for any federal crime. President Bush, who may be gone from office by the time any criminal investigation of Clemens could be concluded, could extend a preemptive pardon that would shield Clemens before an indictment would be handed down
Well, back in December eTrueSports.com published the following. When satire becomes possible, you know you’re in a bizarre situation. For its prescience, I’m awarding the site an Albert.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings
Wow, the man was full of it last week during the Clemens hearing. After the implications he threw out during his questioning of Clemens, I thought Andy Pettitte’s deposition really must have hung ol' Roger out to dry. With such damning statements as
“I've got to tell you that of all the testimony and the things that I've read, and if I had to—if I walked in here and it was even Steven between you and Mr. McNamee, I must tell you that the person I believe most is Mr. Pettitte. You admit yourself that he is a good guy. He's a truthful guy.”
"And there have been a number of things that make (Pettitte's) testimony and his deposition and that—and his affidavit swing the balance over to Mr. McNamee. I've got to tell you. And part of it comes from your own words.”
“Now let me go back. This is about a conversation not regarding HGH but steroids. Mr. Pettitte told us about a conversation that took place in Mr. Pettitte's home in 2003-2004. Mr. Pettitte told us that Mr. McNamee said, and I quote, he had gotten steroids for Roger, unquote."
Well, I read Pettitte’s deposition and discovered that:
1. While Pettitte thinks he heard Clemens correctly about his HGH use, he is willing to think he may have misheard him and
2. When MacNamee told Pettitte about Clemens' steroid usage, he was extremely angry at him and
3. There are no witnesses to corroborate Pettitte's conversation with Clemens regarding HGH or MacNamee’s accusation regarding him.
Don’t think I’m implying that this exonerates Clemens (it doesn’t), but it’s pretty clear Mr. Cummings was, metaphorically speaking, cleaning out the ol' stable stalls using a popular digging implement.
Billy Beane and Michael Lewis (Submitted by Ryan Wagman)
Here's a little something more. From today's transactions: "Non-roster invitee C Jeremy Brown announced his retirement." Could that be the same Jeremy Brown who garnered so much ink in Moneyball? Should Michael Lewis or Billy Beane get a Luis for that one? I would have to say they share one. Beane, for failing so completely and publicly in a big effort to eschew the draft norms and pay for college stats. Lewis for making such a big deal out of it and failing to have enough people actually understand what Beane was doing and what Moneyball was all about.
Rusty Hardin and the Hendricks brothers (Submitted by Luigi Tollis)
They are looking down the barrel of litigation, not at MacNamee, but potentially against them from Roger. Roger is probably tainted (ha, wrote taint), but what the agents and Hardin did could conceivably be seen as a breach of a fiduciary duty by those supposed to know and look out for Clemens' best interests. They clearly have not done so before the filing of the Mitchell Report. A reasonably prudent jury may find for Clemens in such an action if he can claim that he did not, in fact, ever obtain knowledge of said letters. By failing to inform Clemens, his agents and legal counsel (presuming he knew of the letter), have acted in opposition to their client's best interest. There may be a case against the MLBPA as well (I’ll have to ask a law professor about that though).
Jim Murray (Agent for Hendricks Sports Management)
Well, I think I found what Oliver North has been up to of late. He got some plastic surgery done and has gone into the agent business. Reading Murray's deposition to the Oversight Committee, all I could think of was ol' Ollie after the Iran-Contra scandal, when he often needed a five-minute consultation with his counsel to decide to say, “I don’t remember.” The deposition didn’t indicate how many times Murray talked with his lawyer when this was done, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened frequently.
I’m guessing Murray was one of these four-year olds who got hold of a pair of scissors and performed a little hair styling on himself:
Jim Murray’s dad: Son, what happened to your hair?
L'il Jimmy: I dunno.
Jim Murray’s dad: Did you cut your own hair?
L'il Jimmy: I don’t wemember.
Jim Murray’s dad: Have you had your head with you all day?
L'il Jimmy: Uh huh.
Jim Murray’s dad: It’s been attached to your body all day?
L'il Jimmy: Uh huh.
Jim Murray’s dad: There hasn’t been a moment when your head and body were separated?
L'il Jimmy: Uh uh.
Jim Murray’s dad: Then, what happened to your hair?
L'il Jimmy: I dunno.
That’s pretty much how his deposition read.
Surely, he cannot be this obtuse. An article on Fox Sports stated “Sheffield fired agent Jim Neader and hired Boras in the spring of 2001, when he created a stir while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers by demanding a contract extension or a trade. He had $30 million and three years left on his deal plus an $11 million club option.”
Later, the column has Sheffield saying: "Can you explain why (Miguel) Tejada gets six years, (Vladimir) Guerrero gets five years and I get three? He cost me two years of a contract because he was trying to tarnish my name ... the whole year in Atlanta, I had to get the players' association to stop him from writing me threatening letters saying, 'Either you let me do your contract or I'll be forced to sue you.' That's a threat and harassment."
On the one hand, when Sheffield signs a long-term contract, he’ll bellyache at some point about why the deal is no longer adequate. On the other hand, he gets offended when teams decline to offer him a long-term contract.
Hello, Gary (knock, knock), anybody home? Hellooooo?
Speaking of guys who ultimately are obligated to brush their teeth with Desenex, you really would think that A-Rod would know better. One day he claims that he was tested nine-10 times last year. When he learned that such frequent testing is usually indicative of someone who has failed a test at some point, he has to backpedal like crazy to clarify what he meant. Adding to the hilarity is that he went through a representative to "set the record straight" to avoid being questioned about it (yeah, that’ll throw 'em off the scent … they’ll have completely forgotten what you said by the time this column gets posted … riiiiiiiight).
For a guy whose words have come back to haunt him pretty much every day of his professional life, you think he’d clue in that silence is golden.
Here’s a suggestion: Arrange a little accident where you get conked on the ol' melon, get up, look like you can’t focus and start babbling in Spanish. Release a statement through an interpreter that the incident has caused you to forget how to speak English. Use early and often when the media approach you. Just tell 'em Sammy and Vladdy sent you.
If you have a nomination for the “The Pujols Award,” let us know! who deserves to be honored this week. If you wish to have your blog credited with the submission, we’ll post the link along with your candidate. Let us know why you feel he deserves an Albert or a Luis.
Our good friend, and THT stalwart, John Brattain passed away on March 24, 2009. John was a prolific writer, whose work can also be read at Sympatico/MSN Sports and Baseball Digest Daily. John's work was also featured at USA Today, MLBtalk, ESPN Insider, Baseball Prospectus, The Baseball Analysts and The Baseball Journals. Never afraid to express himself in any medium, he was also a frequent radio speaker.