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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
It's basically the A-Rod deal:
Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball’s single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year . . .
This is not exactly shocking news. But unlike all that has come before on the subject of Sosa and PEDs, it is actually news, so the anti-Sammy Sosa dogpile finally has some sort of official imprimatur.
This is interesting:
Steve Wilstein, the reporter who broke the story of Mark McGwire’s drug use, might be in the Baseball Hall of Fame before the 12-time All-Star.
Wilstein, you may recall, was roundly criticized for what many people felt was his raining on the dinger parade when he broke the andro story back in 1998. As Mike Bianchi recounted in his notable 2004 column about Wilstein, "Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa tried to get Wilstein banned from the locker room. McGwire accused Wilstein of 'snooping' around his locker. One lapdog baseball writer accused Wilstein of 'inventing a scandal.' Another tried to denigrate Wilstein's story by calling it a 'tabloid-driven controversy.' Many others called him 'unprofessional.'"
It's hard being the first to do anything, but it's good to see that the writers are doing what they can, however belatedly, to recognize Wilstein's contributions to what everyone will agree has been baseball's biggest story in the past decade.
(thanks to Pete Toms for the link)
John Smoltz, to WEEI:
The reason I had surgery was not to just come back for one year. Having surgery certainly quality of life was part of it, but I could have waited to have that. To have surgery at this point, when I did, and not try to milk anymore of the rest of that season, the reason I did that was to pitch well beyond.
Yeah, well Tom Glavine had big plans too.
Look, I'd love nothing more than to see Smoltz (a) get shelled by the Braves on Friday; and then (b) pitch several more wonderful years after that. But how about he throw at least one pitch in a Major League game this year before we start talking about next year, OK?
On the field the 2009 season is shaping up to be a great one for the Texas Rangers. They're winning and looking pretty good in the process. Off the field, however, things aren't as rosy:
Despite being in first place and having increased attendance at the ballpark this year, the Texas Rangers cut several staff members from their front office on Monday.
Just the latest consequence of Tom Hicks' disastrous, debt-heavy business plan for the Rangers, which has been haunting them for several months now.
Reasonable people may disagree as to whether sports are recession-resistant. They're not idiot-proof, however, and the plight of the Rangers is some of the best evidence of that.
From the Boston Globe's Sox notebook this morning:
The Sox have agreed to terms with Wilson and two other picks, director of amateur scouting Jason McLeod said: fifth-round choice Seth Schwindenhammer, a high school outfielder from Illinois, and eighth-round pick William Wilkerson, an outfielder from Augusta State. The players need to pass physicals and drug tests before the deals become official.
From reader Mooseinohio, who sent me the link:
The Red Sox are oft mentioned as potential trade partners with the Rangers to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia . . . Wouldn't it be cool to someday have both him and Schwindenhammer on the same team? Would the folks who put the names the uniforms negotiate a 'per letter' contract to get more money? What team has been fielded with the most letters or syllable in their names? The least? How badly would Harry Caray butcher their names?
I'm not sure that Harry would have even been able to handle "Seth" or "Jarrod" without adding extra syllables, God live him.
I post a lot for a quasi-amateur blogger, but there are people out there who are really busting their tails. The next time you think you're too tired to do something, you think of that woman. Anyway:
Wait. Lunch matters more, both in New York and in Columbus. I'm going to go and get me some, and then I'll be back.
Things a borderline obsessive box score reader does on a night, and following morning, when there are hardly any box scores to read:
2. Wander around the house, open random book, read a page or two, then close book.
3. Eat mint chocolate chip ice cream right out of carton (note: this sometimes happens on busy baseball nights too).
4. Wonder what 14 year-old cat thinks about, now that death is presumably near.
5. Buy four baseball t-shirts online (two Tigers, one Braves, one Giants; don't read too much into that; I just liked the shirt).
6. Try to ignore nine year-old cat who doesn't respect his elders.
7. Click on the Brewers-Indians game, realize how ugly it is, and click it off again because life is too short to watch ugly baseball. Consult the boxscore anyway and wonder if Ben Francisco, Jhonny Peralta and Mike Cameron feel like losers for being the only guys not hitting tonight.
8. Listen to son snore on baby monitor. Wonder why nearly four year-old son still has a baby monitor. Remember that listening to his son snore on baby monitor is one of the most wonderful things in the world. Vow to keep monitor in son's room until he's 12.
9. Look out window and see neighbor -- who used to be law firm co-worker -- get home really late from work. Remember how much I hated law firm.
10. Fantasize about living on west coast so that I could get "And That Happened" completely written before I go to bed each night. Curse myself for having such pathetic fantasies.
11. Wonder whether Annie was right when she said that the world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness. Think about it a bit and realize that this is probably so. Spend many more minutes reading the list of "Bull Durham" quotes I referenced in order to get the Annie quote right.
12. Notice that the Angels-Giants game has started. Wonder how much money I could have won if I had offered to bet someone that Zito would have a lower ERA than Lackey come June 15th.
13. Stalk some junior high school friends on Facebook. Think about the ethics of this, and then realize that with a name as distinctive as "Calcaterra" more people are probably stalking me than me them. Continue stalking. Find no one interesting to stalk. Move on with life.
14. Notice that the Indians-Brewers game ended, with the Brewers winning 14 to 12. Think that Indians should have managed clock better so that there would have been time for an onside kick and a chance for a field goal.
15. Set coffee pot up to grind and brew at 5:20 AM. Brush teeth. Turn out light in dark-fearing daughter's room (dark fear ceases once she falls asleep). Go to bed.
16. Wake up two-minutes before alarm -- which is set for 5:25 -- goes off. Realize that this happens most mornings anymore. Wonder what happened to the night person I used to be. Wonder how late I'd sleep if I didn't have a blog to update each morning. Remember that I like the blog more than I like sleeping late and banish the thought.
17. Notice that the Angels beat the Giants 9-7. Wonder if the four teams playing last night decided that they needed to score enough for all 30. Note that, as of this morning, Lackey's ERA has inched lower and Zito's higher. I will not be taking bets on their relative positions as of July 15th.
18. Begin my morning stroll around the baseball pages and begin forming the day's bloggy thoughts.