News, Notes and Quotes (July 11, 2005)

The “Random Baseball Links” folder in my bookmarks is more out of control than usual for some reason, so let’s do a good, old-fashioned link dump on this fine Monday (so I can start filling the folder up again this week) …

  • This quote about Ottawa from David Newhan (upon being demoted to the Orioles’ Triple-A team there last week) made me laugh:

    That place is a mess and really doesn’t deserve to be a Triple-A city at all. It’s just a terrible place to be at. Terrible stadium, bad weather, bad fans, bad atmosphere, going through customs. Hopefully I can play in front of some other scouts and somebody will make a move and I’ll get a chance to play again.

    Once he arrives at the “terrible place to be at,” Newhan will no doubt receive a lovely ovation from the “bad fans” at the “terrible stadium.”

  • I can’t believe newspapers are actually giving this guy decent press and the team is turning him into a mini-celebrity. Among all the annoying people I’ve discovered thanks to MLB’s Extra Innings package on DirecTV, this guy takes top prize. And of all the things in this world people have been punched in the face over, it shocks me that his “act” isn’t yet one of them.
  • One of my pet peeves is when baseball writers decline to vote for a Japanese player on the Rookie of the Year ballot and then defend their decision by saying something along the lines of: “To say he is a rookie would be an insult to Japanese baseball.” This line of thinking never really made any sense to me, so I was glad to see Shingo Takatsu — a Japanese League veteran who finished second to Bobby Crosby for last season’s AL Rookie of the Year — say this:

    Compared to any other country, the baseball league here is the top, obviously. Therefore, if you have Japanese players, no matter how long they played in Japan, when they come over here, they are starting from zero. Technically, they are rookies. I just wish people would see it that way.

    This year, when you see a columnist explain his non-vote for Tadahito Iguchi by saying he is respecting Japanese baseball, hit the B.S. button and send him that quote.

  • Have you ever heard someone tell what they intend to be a bad story and then, when they’re done with it, thought, “Wait a second, that was a bad thing?” I had one of those moments while reading Darren Rovell‘s ESPN.com column on players using aliases on the road. Here’s how the piece started:

    The phone startled Mike Sweeney in his hotel room the night before a game in Milwaukee. The clock on the nightstand read 3:30 a.m. as Sweeney warily reached for the receiver. He worried what the call might be about.

    “Mr. Sweeney,” a woman said to the Kansas City Royals first baseman. “I want to come up to your room and take care of you.”

    “What?” Sweeney asked, not recognizing the voice on the line.

    “Look out your window,” she replied. “I am in the phone booth looking at you right now.”

    Sweeney immediately hung up the phone and hurried — not to the window but to the door, turning the lock.

    “It’s time to get an alias,” he said to himself.

    A lot of thoughts starting with “it’s time to get …” may have gone through my mind at that point, but I don’t think “… an alias” would have been at the end of any of them.

  • Tony Womack has seemingly been in a bad mood all season. First it was because the Yankees chose not to put him and his .319 career on-base percentage in the leadoff spot, then it was because the team decided to move Womack to the outfield and call up Robinson Cano to play second base, and now it is because they decided to move Womack to the bench and call up Melky Cabrera to play center field.

    Luckily for Womack being an athlete is one of the few professions where a person can perform horribly at their job and yet complain more than anyone else in the company. I’m not quite sure what the equivalent of hitting .243/.276/.266 is in the business world (I’m guessing it involves a class-action law suit or at least looking for a new job), but I’m pretty sure whatever it is keeps the people performing that way from saying much of anything, let alone complaining every few weeks.

  • Quote of the Week, from Dusty Baker talking about Neifi Perez‘s struggles at the plate in the Chicago Sun-Times:

    His slide has been full of line drives. He is probably hitting more line drives at people than anyone on our team. It’s different if a guy is popping up or striking out. But he has been hitting the ball hard two or three times a night with nothing to show for it. To me, that’s more of an unfortunate period than a slide.

    Interestingly, a lot of people would classify Perez’s entire 10-year career as “an unfortunate period.”

  • Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Eric Byrnes.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, naked Torii Hunter. (Don’t worry, it’s “safe for work” unless you have an extraordinarily powerful imagination.)
  • Don’t get your fill of Joe Morgan bashing here? (Really? That’s hard to believe. Anyway …) Check out Tommy Craggs’s voluminous piece on all things Morgan in the San Francisco Weekly.
  • Yet another reason why Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star is one of the few must-read newspaper baseball columnists in the country.
  • Ever wonder what happened to Rob Dibble after he left Baseball Tonight? Me neither, but apparently he’s found a home a Fox Sports, where he now writes unintentionally hilarious articles on baseball like this one.
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