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Thursday, June 11, 2009
As I wrote this morning, the Jerod Morris/Raul Ibanez incident has made me realize that yes, taking writers to task for making irresponsible, evidence-free steroid allegations is a worthy endeavor. We simply can't tolerate it, and we should do everything we can to put a stop to it. That's why, as a continuing service, I will be highlighting similar egregious examples of writers who have leveled the worst, most damaging kind of innuendo a player can suffer.
Except unlike everyone who got bent out of shape over Morris, I'm going to include Genuine Professional Journalists in the public shaming.
I'm calling this feature the Geoff Baker Rigidity Award, after the Seattle Times intrepid writer who noted this morning that the people who hurl this kind of baseless innuendo wouldn't have passed the "very rigid course" he taught at Concordia University. If you read that piece, you realize that Baker is not a man to be trifled with. People's lives are on the goddamn line when he's out in the field, so anyone who wins this award should (a) consider themselves TOLD; and (b) should thank Geoff Baker for saving them from themselves before they go and get someone killed or something.
First up, courtesy of reader Andy H., comes the man who may very well be the highest paid sports journalist out there, which by definition makes him a professional. It's Rick Reilly who, after retroactively stripping Barry Bonds of his 2004 MVP, goes on to disqualify second place finisher Adrian Beltre from eligibility as well:
We're throwing out Beltre since, while he denies ever using PEDs, he fell off the face of the planet once baseball put in stricter steroid suspensions in 2005. If he wasn't cheating, I'm the Queen Mother.
So come on down Rick Reilly and accept the inaugural Geoff Baker Rigidity Award! Because you'll no doubt be busy getting creamed on national television and raked over the coals in print for the next few days due to your irresponsible allegations, I'll agree not to make you come here in person to accept it, even if that means you won't have to look me in the eye.
Got a nominee for the Geoff Baker Rigidity Awards? By all means, my good friends, send it along.*
*Selena Roberts not eligible, as she will soon be receiving a lifetime achievement award.
Some technical wonkiness cut in to this morning's NBC blogging. Everything looks cool over there now, but if posts start disappearing over there again, I'll just post them over here I guess. For now, though, these posts remain readable:
I also double posted the Adenhart thing because I wasn't sure if the blog was actually working. So you see, it was kind of a lost day for me over there. It may be a lost afternoon here too, as I have a lot of legal work on my plate. But do check back, because I'm sure I'll slide in a post or four anyway, because that's just what I do.
From the O.C. Register:
An autopsy report showed Courtney Frances Stewart had a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit for someone her age when the car she was driving was struck by an alleged drunken driver on April 9, prosecutors said . . . Toxicology tests conducted by the Orange County Coroner showed Stewart had a blood-alcohol content of .06, said Deputy District Attorney Susan Price. The legal limit in California for drivers under 21 is .01, while the limit for drivers 21 or older is .08.
There's a self-serving quote from the defendant's lawyer, in which he says that this new information is "a big revelation." Hardly. The fact that Stewart was over the legal limit for people under 21 only means that she could, if she were still alive, be charged with DUI. Her being under the influence, however, does not mean that she did anything to cause the crash, and for Gallo's lawyer to push that defense would require some evidence, beyond her mere BAC, that Stewart's driving contributed to the collision. The evidence that has been reported so far, however, suggests that the driver of the other car, Andrew Gallo, was driving at a high rate of speed and ran a red light while sporting a blood-alcohol content of at least .19 (his reading two hours after the crash). Jurors will be taking all of that into account. They won't simply look at the BAC levels of the drivers, throw their hands up in the air and say "well, both were drunk, no harm, no foul."
This same type of situation, you may already know, is at play in the Jim Leyritz case. There, the driver who was killed was likewise over the legal limit. Leyritz's lawyer is apparently going to present evidence that her driving, and not Leyritz's, is what led to the accident. The BAC levels will be relevant for that inquiry, but the matter of who ran the red light and how they were otherwise driving is going to be far more relevant.
Pirates 3, Braves 2: Right after I graduated law school I traded in my 1990 Chevy Cavalier for a new Honda. The Cavy still looked good -- clean, no rust, no dings -- but it ran like hacking death. It would just stall the hell out for no reason, but not before convulsing in a violent, noisy rattle. It was so unpredictable, though. It would run fine for days and then -- whammo -- it just died. If you let it sit for ten minutes it would start right back up and run fine again. Totally bizarre. Anyway, as I turned over the keys to the thing at the Honda dealer, I was worried that someone from the used car department would start the thing up and and have it seize on them before I could sign on the dotted line for my new car, but no one bothered to try. I can't tell you how happy I was that, if the Cavy did eventually die on them, I would be nowhere near the place when it did. The Braves were unable to avoid this kind of embarrassment when their trade-in -- Charlie Morton -- had to leave the game in the second inning with a bum hamstring. Caveat emptor, Pirate dudes.
Royals 9, Indians 0: Just when Carlo Pavano was starting to get the kudos for a career revival, the Royals of all teams lay an eleven-hit, nine-run smackdown on him. Alberto Callaspo was the offensive hero for Kansas City, going 4 for 4, including a grand slam. Worth noting that Kyle Farnsworth -- a man who made the first couple weeks of the season so awful for Royals fans -- hasn't allowed a run over seventeen appearances since April 19th, and he's only walked two dudes in that same span. Greinke will fill the bill this season, but the Royals have had way worse players than Farnsworth represent them at the All-Star game in recent years.
Mariners 4, Orioles 1: Two home runs from Jose Lopez and the eighth straight game in which the Mariners have allowed three runs or fewer = win.
Astros 2, Cubs 1: Nice pitchers duel between Wandy Rodriguez and Carlos Zambrano, even if neither of them figured into the decision.
Tigers 2, White Sox 1: Another spiffy pitchers duel, this one Verlander vs. Danks, with the former (CG, 6 H, 1 ER, 9K) dueling just a bit more skillfully than the latter. From the game story, it's noted that the Tigers selected NCAA killer Andy Oliver in the draft. Given his mastery of Ohio courts, he should consider making his home in Toledo even after he makes the big club despite the long commute to Tiger Stadium. Dude could be bulletproof here.
Cardinals 13, Marlins 4: I'm less interested in the fact that Marlins' pitchers gave up 13 runs than I am that they didn't strike out a single Cardinal in the game.
Phillies 5, Mets 4: Yesterday I noted that the Phillies' bullpen is doubling as the cast of a reality show. Given that six members of that pen were pressed into actual pitching duty to get last night's win, there probably wasn't a lot of opportunity for confession cams and the kind of manufactured drama you usually see in these shows. The producers must have been furious.
Red Sox 6, Yankees 5: Chien-Ming Wang still can't find it so Phil Hughes had to come in. If I'm Joe Girardi, I just switch places with these two next Tuesday and see what happens. And while I didn't watch most of this game, I did hear the bit where Sutcliffe was talking about some deal Terry Francona has with J.D. Drew where Francona pays Drew a couple hundred bucks each time he hits a ball off the Monster. At least I think that's how it went. If so, is that even allowed?
Rays 9, Angels 5: John Lackey gets shelled. Jeff Niemann was no great shakes himself, but his bullpen bailed him out with one-hit, shutout relief over the final five and a third innings.
Rockies 4, Brewers 2: Brad Hawpe (2-4, 2B, HR 2 RBI) did the damage, as he has all year.
Reds 4, Nationals 2: Worst-timed rainstorm ever. The Reds get to the bottom of the ninth with a 2-0 lead, only then to have to sit for a two hour and ten minute rain delay, after which the Nats scored two sending it to extras. According to the game story there were only about 100 fans left after the delay. I'm shocked that there were that many.
Padres 3, Dodgers 1: Kevin Correia (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) pitched well on three days' rest. Clayton Kershaw threw 83 pitches in less than three innings, which made it a long night for the bullpen.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 4: Feels like San Francisco has been on the road forever, but at least they're ending it well. Barry Zito struggled, but his offense (and the Dbacks' poor defense) picked him up.
Twins 6, Athletics 3: Bullpen failure. Someone should write a book someday compiling all of the subtly sarcastic or passive-aggressive things starting pitchers say when betrayed by their pen. This, from starter Dallas Braden, who was sick before the game, is one of the better ones: "I think I probably could have put the upset stomach and tired arm aside for one more inning, so I'll wear this one for sure." Translation: dudes, I'm sick, and I just gutted out seven strong innings. You gotta do better than that. Man."
Blue Jays vs. Rangers: Postponed: Mt. Waialeale in Kauai, Hawaii, has up to 350 rainy days every year. This why they do not play baseball on Mt. Waialeale.