May 24, 2013
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The Nationals have fired pitching coach Randy St. Claire. He's being a total pro about it:
"That's life," St. Claire said. "I've been in this game for 31 years. I've been fired before. But it's a tough one... I would have liked to be around when the organization takes off."
When I got laid off from the law firm last year I said much the same thing. The guy who laid me off then intimated that it was exactly that kind of laid back attitude that made it easier for them to lay me off in the first place.
Which is yet another example of why baseball > law firms.
Bill Simmons has a theory on David Ortiz. I think it makes more sense than the PED-withdrawal thing people have been muttering about:
How many Latin players have been exposed for lying about their ages in the past few years? Hell, one of Papi's best friends -- Tejada -- was found to have cut two years off his birth certificate when he was 17, er, 19 … you get the point. Watching Papi flounder now, I'd believe he's really 36 or 37 (not 33) before I'd believe PEDs are responsible. In a recent game in Minnesota, he couldn't catch up to an 89 mph fastball. Repeat: 89 mph!
I still won't rule out some weird injury, and whether he's truly injured or not, I bet he spends a loooong stretch on the DL this year if for no other reason than they need to do something with him.
But it could easily be age. A lot of guys simply fall off a cliff at a certain age, and perhaps Ortiz finally just made it to the cliff.
Tiger Stadium's extended pain and suffering is about to end:
What remains of historic Tiger Stadium will be demolished after the city rejected a US$33.4-million proposal by a non-profit group to preserve and renovate the old ballpark. The Economic Development Corp. board voted 7-1 to authorize the complete demolition of the stadium. Detroit Economic Growth Corp. vice-president Waymon Guillebeaux said the stadium will be levelled as soon as a contract is negotiated with a contractor.
Anyone who has taken a drive through Detroit since, oh, 1967 will find that last quote rich indeed, but really, this is the right decision.
Tiger Stadium was as noble and beautiful as a building can be. Rather then be allowed to rust, rot and decay, it should have been somberly imploded on September 28th 1999, with Ernie Harwell, Al Kaline and Willie Horton pushing the detonator while Aretha Franklin sang "Amazing Grace." It was not imploded, however. It was abused. Billy Crystal was allowed to dump paint on it and pretend it was Yankee Stadium. It was used for Bud Bowl 2006. It was the subject of a photo essay in the Detroit Free Press showing weeds and other non-perfectly-cut, emerald green vegetation growing all over the grounds and even in the stands. Worst of all, it was left there, in plain view of tens of thousands cars passing it each day on I-75, to fall victim to entropy and neglect.
If there is anyone beyond the The Economic Development Corp. who has say in this matter, I implore them to act swiftly, act decisively and act mercifully and allow the wrecking balls to do their work. Because while it's too late to give that noble building the noble death it deserved, we can end its, and our, misery.
Things I wrote this morning as my mind reeled after learning that the new lean-and-mean General Motors will have fewer total workers than GM employed in the town of my birth less than 30 years ago:
I plan on posting all afternoon, but if there is any delay, it's because I'm busy exploring the concept of large-scale urban agriculture in Genesee County, Michigan.
I find this:
California table grapes are joining peanuts and popcorn at AT&T Park as part of an effort to offer healthy food choices at San Francisco Giants baseball games. Jim Howard, vice president of the Table Grape Commission, says pre-washed, de-stemmed Thompson seedless, red flame and other varieties have been at concession stands for about two weeks and sales are "so far, so good."
Less weird than this:
On Aug. 2, the first 20,000 fans at AT&T park will receive a free "Grapes from California" T-shirt designed by Giants player Pablo Sandoval.
How does that sort of thing go down? Do the grape growers and the Giants say "we need a t-shirt; someone call Sandoval up here?" Does Sandoval have a shirt-design business already? Maybe he wields some sort of power with the Table Grape Commission that we can't possibly hope to understand. So many questions.
On a related note, does anyone remember this? I have to think there's some relationship here.
Sorry for the lack of blogging yesterday. It's probably been two or three years since I'd had a day in court as contentious as yesterday. There were something like seven lawyers involved. People arguing back and forth. Objections on top of objections and, to top it off, a judge who isn't the biggest fan of my case. One of the lawyers opposite me was a former boss, so that was fun too. All of that is the sort of thing that makes for a long, long day, so by the time I got back from court the part of my brain that produces wit, snark, and opinion was working off of a backup generator. Punting the rest of the day was probably the best move under such circumstances.
When I got home I pitched a wiffle ball to ShysterBoy, drank wine, and watched a pretty bitchin' Star Trek episode. As of 10:30 or so I was back to full speed, so I was able to get down to business. This kind of business:
Yankees 5, Indians 2: In going so deep into the game, Joba Chamberlain finally becomes the eighth inning pitcher everyone seems to want him to be. If he wants to keep the critics happy after Mariano finally retires, he is going to have to go to complete games. And this one makes eighteen straight games without an error for the Yankees. So who's gonna be the first guy to draw everyone's fire by identifying all of the balls where Jeter didn't get close enough to even risk an error, let alone threaten a competent play? Rob Neyer? Tom Tango? John Dewan? James Click? Mike Emeigh? Onion?
Pirates 8, Mets 5: New York's bullpen flashes back to 2008 and blows a 5-0 lead. Andy LaRoche continues his good hitting -- his line for May was .330/411/.457 -- going 2-4 with a triple and three RBI.
Astros 4, Rockies 1: Why didn't anyone inform me that Miguel Tejada was batting .353? Don't we have a communications protocol around here? I can't be expected to make sound command decisions if my crew is hiding things from me. Look, I trust you all as officers. You're all fine men and women. But if I continue having to find this sort of thing out myself we're just going to go a "report everything" regime in which I take all discretion out of your hands. I hope it doesn't come to that. Now carry on.
Marlins 7, Brewers 4: Jorge Julio came in in the sixth inning with a can of kerosene in one hand and a match in the other, and then Ken Macha sprayed the conflagration with hairspray when he brought Todd Coffey in.
White Sox 6, A's 2: That's four in a row for Chicago, and 10 of 13 overall. Gavin Floyd pitched well enough to win (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 8K) but his teammates scored too late to allow him to claim the W. I imagine that it is exactly that sort of disrespect that is causing all of these pitchers to refuse trades to the White Sox. I could go into brutal detail regarding how bad the A's are playing these days, but commenter APBA Guy does such a better job of it than I do, that I suppose I should leave it to him.
Reds 5, Cardinals 3: A win is nice, but losing Edinson Volquez in the second inning due to numbness in his right hand and/or a reaggravation of his back injury (unclear from early reports) is not good at all.
The Orioles Game: Paul Blair goes 3-4 and both Frank Robinson and Merv Rettemund drive in two as Baltimore wins Game 5 and thus take the 1970 World Series from the Cincinnati Reds. The real hero of this game was probably Mike Cuellar, though, who gutted out a complete game, giving up three runs and atoning for his short, ineffective outing in Game 2. Still, the story of the series had to be Brooks Robinson's play at the hot corner. He's a once in a lifetime talent down there, folks, and this is coming from a guy who watches Clete Boyer play whenever he gets the chance. Wait, what's the problem? In yesterday's comments, you guys said you wanted good stories about the Orioles irrespective of whether anything good happened in the previous night's game. Isn't this what you were talking about?
Orioles 1, Mariners 0: Fine. Rich Hill shut out the Mariners for 7, giving up only two hits and Jim Johnson and George Sherrill handled the other two innings to seal the deal. The Orioles would probably like to play the Mariners all the time, as they have won nine of eleven against them.
Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2: Hiroki Kuroda is back after missing almost two months with an oblique strain. I hate those. I much prefer my strains to be perpendicular nor parallel. Anyway, he gave up two runs and three hits in five innings, but got nothing from his offense by way of support. The L.A. bullpen threw five wild pitches, which is always fun.
Phillies 5, Padres 3: Adrian Gonzalez (hey, I can spell it right!) hit his 21st, but it wasn't enough as Joe Blanton was in rare, effective form. OK, he's won three in a row, and his last start was really impressive, but I'm not prepared to take him out of the liability column just yet.