May 19, 2013
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Is that it overshadows what -- if true -- would have been one of the most astounding things to ever take place in the history of baseball:
So now here stands Minaya, unofficially at war with one of the main papers that covers his team, which is hardly in the Mets’ interest. His judgment is being questioned and his image is substantially damaged. In the midst of all this nonsense, the team has actually showed signs of life in recent days, clearly bolstered by the presence of Jeff Francoeur in the clubhouse and the lineup.
Note, I did say "if true" . . .
(thanks to Andy for the heads up)
Here's a topic that will interest all the little shysterlings among you:
It’s surprising how often America’s national pastime, baseball, finds itself snugly entrenched with the country’s second-favorite hobby, litigation. Over the years a number of baseball incidents and disputes have found their way into courtrooms. Here are five examples . . .
Wow, the hecklers in Oakland don't mess around, do they?
(link via BTF)
No, the White Sox didn't reconsider. The Red Sox actually traded for him:
The Red Sox today traded for righthanded hitting White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson, sending Mark Kotsay to Chicago in return. Anderson, who is hitting .238 with two homers on the season, was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on July 20. Kotsay was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week.
Wow. Someone took Mark Kotsay.
Debbie Schlussel is of the obnoxious, attention-whoring, race-baiting school of political commentary. And good for her. The First Amendment wasn't made just for reasonable people. And though I find just about everything that she and people like her spout to be cynical at best, deplorable and hateful at worst, a certain part of my psyche is very, very happy that she's out there spouting it, because on some level it shows that the system works.
But don't you dare go hating on Rickey and not expect a response:
So, yesterday, former Major League Baseball star Rickey Henderson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. But it’s very sad. Dude can’t speak English. What’s up with that? And, unlike the many foreigners in Major League Baseball, he was born here . . . You’d think that a guy who excelled on the baseball field and did so many interviews–one who was born in America–could speak English. I mean even the Japanese and Hispanic guys we recruit from other nations to play in Major League Baseball can speak our language better than this guy.
She then proceeds to point out and make fun of his "ebonics" speech at the induction ceremony.
News flash: a black kid of modest means and tremendous athletic talent failed to receive an adequate education in 1960s Oakland, California. Such a news flash that one can't help but think that Schlussel has an ulterior motive in bringing up the subject of "ebonics" as she does here.
Most of you will remember that the phrase came to prominence in the mid 1990s when the Oakland, California school board tried to recognize black vernacular as its own language. It was a stupid move that was roundly shouted down as stupid by everyone from Jessie Jackson and Henry Louis Gates on the left and everyone including your mother on the right, and the proposal was quickly abandoned. Despite the fact that no one, left or right, supported the ebonics resolution, many conservative commentators -- commentators like Schlussel -- invoked the term for months (and in some cases even longer) as a straw man employed in their railings against the allegedly out-of-control, godless, communist, etc. etc. public education system.
Rickey is from Oakland and played there. I wonder if Schlussel knows that and is trying to inspire the kind of people who buy what she's selling to make that connection and gin up another round of culture wars. If so, she ought to get a life and start focusing on things that actually matter to people as opposed to things that are designed simply to anger and inflame. If that's not what she's doing -- if instead, she's simply calling a black man who speaks poorly dumb -- then she's doing something far worse.
And yes, I realize that the very act of my linking to her crap gives her the attention she craves, but I don't really care. Cynical haters like Schlussel thrive in their dark little corners of the world, preaching to their particular choirs. When exposed to the mainstream they may get some temporary popularity out of it, but they and their ideas soon wither under the added scrutiny. I want everyone to read and think about jerks like her every day because the more they do, the less influence she'll ultimately have.
So I'm reading the AP game story from the Phillies-Diamondbacks game last night, and I come across this sentence:
Jamie Moyer allowed seven baserunners before recording an out in the third inning. Somehow, none of them scored.
Upon reading it, I had to go back to the play-by-play to see just how Moyer got out of such an impossible sounding jam. I wasn't the only one.
In case you don't read the comments that often, there's a fantastic Star Wars conversation happening in "And That Happened." I'm preoccupied with the OSHA violations on the Death Star, Lar worries about whether C-3PO was unfair to R2 when he left him after the escape pod crash-landed, and everyone wants to know whether or not the Jawas were required to give Uncle Owen a replacement mech-droid after R5-D4's motivator went kaplooie. We're dealing with a sh*t here.
And yes, I'm well aware of the wrongful death suit that was brought on behalf of the civilian contractors on the unfinished Death Star. I cannot say anything about it substantively at this time, as it has always been my policy not to comment on pending litigation. Suffice it to say, however, that I have pledged to return just compensation on behalf of the families of the victims, and will not rest until the so-called "New Republic" ceases the rather Imperial stance of hiding behind sovereign immunity and makes these families whole.
Maury gets a zillion guys -- myself included -- to weigh in on their use and abuse of social networking stuff like Twitter and Facebook and the like.
I don't use Twitter and don't have any plans to, so I was curious if the assembled brains over there could convince me that I'm making a mistake. There's lots and lots of opinion there about the utility of Twitter for baseball writers, and I'll admit that they make it sound more useful than I imagined it to be. Still, most of that usefulness boils down to "it's faster" and "it promotes conversation" and I just don't think that I've had issues with either speed of interactivity when it comes to the blog. Certainly not to the point where I feel compelled to jump into all of that at the moment.
I do use Facebook, of course, many of the contributors to Maury's pieces are among my Facebook friends, and I see their Tweets via the Facebook application all day long. As a result, I suppose I'm something of a Twitter free-rider, which I imagine is not a great thing to be in this Brave New World.
I'll risk it.
The Giants picked up a new first baseman:
The Giants acquired first baseman Ryan Garko from the Indians on Monday, filling a big need in the infield and adding a key right-handed bat . . . The Giants, who fell out of the wild-card lead with a 3-7 road trip, gave up Class-A left-hander Scott Barnes in the deal.
Garko is no great shakes as far as first basemen go -- his .285/.362/.464 line has a torrid hot streak in July built into it that one can't expect he'll keep up and his defense is non-stellar -- but given how poor the shakes have been at first for San Francisco this year, he's something of an improvement. Barnes is will be 22 in September and so far is tearing it up in A-ball. Nice pickup for the Indians.
The logical move for Cleveland now would be to call up Matt LaPorta, who has lived in Columbus almost as long as I have, and is almost as tired of it as I am too. Unfortunately the Indians aren't logical, so they called up Andy Marte instead. Maybe the 125th time will be the charm for him. Matt: call me! Seeing as you're going to be here forever, I can hook you up with a good Columbus realtor!
Adam Rubin has responded in print to Omar Minaya's mad ramblings. I'm pretty satisfied with it.
My take on it all is up here.
A very grand-slammy day around the Majors . . .
Nationals 14, Brewers 6: Josh Willingham with two grand slams and eight RBI. I think that's more production than his trade counterpart Emilio Bonifacio has had all season.
Mets 7, Rockies 3: An eighth inning pinch hit grand slam by Fernando Tatis puts a happy ending on what was an otherwise horrible day in Metsville. After the game, Omar Minaya raged at a press conference about how he can no longer sit back and allow reporter infiltration, reporter indoctrination, reporter subversion and the international reporter conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
Cubs 5, Astros 1: Tie game, bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth! Lou Piniella calls for the suicide squeeze! Mike Fontenot know what to do: Contact, baby! Do anything, put it anywhere, but JUST DON'T MISS THE BALL! Oops, he missed the ball and the runner was tagged out. On to extra innings, where, thankfully for Fontenot's sake, the Cubbies broke out in the 13th inning, via -- you guessed it -- a game-winning grand slam, this one off the bat of Alfonso Soriano.
Indians 9, Angels 8: A rare bifurcated grand slam won this one, with Victor Martinez hitting a three run home run followed immediately by Jhonny Peralta hitting a solo-shot in the ninth inning. Shut up, it does too count. I'm trying to keep a theme going here.
Yankees 11, Rays 4: It was A-Rod's birthday yesterday, and if he wanted to, he and his lady friend Kate Hudson could have joined the party and gotten a free grand slam. Since it's Rodriguez, though, they probably just tried to go to Chi Chi's to get free nachos and a Polaroid picture wearing that birthday sombrero they give out. Then they probably were crestfallen when they found out that (a) Chi Chi's went out of business five years ago; and (b) that there aren't any Polaroids around anymore either. So instead they just went out to some fabulous restaurant and took turns telling one another how rich and beautiful they are. Wait, where was I going with this?
Reds 6, Padres 4: Given how totally each of these teams have fallen apart recently, this was more like rummage sale than a ballgame. Scouts sat behind home plate like Luke and Uncle Owen pickin' out droids. Based on reports, someone's got their eyes set on this Red one, but they should be warned: he probably has a bad motivator.
Red Sox 8, A's 3: Every Red Sox batter got a hit which, if you're a connoisseur of box scores, is kind of satisfying to see on an aesthetic level. 10Ks for Beckett.
Royals 5, Orioles 3: Billy Butler went 5 for 5 and Bruce Chen wasn't an unmitigated disaster for once. Interesting -- and deceiving -- to see that the Royals are only three games worse than the Orioles are this year. I bet Dayton Moore walks around the office complaining about how unfair it is for those in the know to talk about Baltimore's future and promise while all they do is criticize the Royals.
Twins 4, White Sox 3: Errors were the difference here, as Jayson Nix and Paul Konerko each committed an error in the second which led to Twins runs.
Rangers 5, Tigers 2: Yet another solid start from Tommy Hunter (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). I don't know anything about him and I haven't seen him pitch yet. Royce -- anyone -- is he any good, or is this a fluke?
Cardinals 6, Dodgers 1: Chris Carpenter finishes July 4-0 by beating L.A. in a manner that compels me to use the term "scattered" (7 IP, 9 H, 1 ER). Not to be confused with scattered, smothered, and covered (sorry, that breakfast reference in the Yankees recap has me hungry). Anyway, in his first four games with St. Louis, Matt Holliday is 8-for-14 with four RBIs. In his last seven games, Mark DeRosa has five homers. I'd say at this point that the midseason deals are paying off for St. Louis.
Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 2: Jamie Moyer, who I am contractually obligated to refer to as "crafty" (though "wily" will also be accepted), baffled the Dbacks with his stunning array of dusty junk, allowing bubkis over six innings. The Phillies now have a seven game lead in the East.
Blue Jays 11, Mariners 4: All hits are not created equal. Toronto only has three more of them than the Ms, but they scored seven more runs, knocking King Felix around in what amounts to his worst start in a couple of years, and preventing him from getting what would have been his 12th win.
Giants 4, Pirates 2: Lincecumazing! OK, I'll cut that out now. But he really was, tossing a complete game, giving up no earned runs, and striking out 15 Pirates. His game score of 87 is the ninth best of any starter's performance this season. Though it's worth noting that I don't believe in game scores. I just believe in me. Yoko and me. And that's reality.