Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trade deadline, Wednesday recap


This has been one of those weeks when I wish I could create news.

There's a Brett Favre update every 10 seconds, but does anybody even care about him any more? I sure don't. Play, don't play, be paid to not show up, get traded... whatever. Just do something with him, already. Anything. Make Favre go away.

The trade deadline is today, though nobody has necessarily thrown in any towels. The Pirates, maybe, by trading Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees, but were they ever really in it to begin with? The Braves might also fit this category, ridding themselves of Mark Teixeira, but it was a move made largely to get something in return for the slugger before he hits the free agent market in the off-season. And today, the White Sox added Ken Griffey Jr. to their collection of outfielders and/or guys without positions.

You tell me where, exactly, Griffey fits in among Nick Swisher, Carlos Quentin, Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, and Paul Konerko.

Manny Ramirez is apparently ready to move on with his life without the Red Sox, but can Boston really find a suitable deal for a guy who becomes flakier and flakier by the year? "Manny being Manny" is getting old and likely won't be tolerated by most other markets. And why would the BoSox, in the middle of a heated AL East race, want to significantly weaken their team?

OK, so maybe there was something to write about. So now let's look at the Bad Baseball action from Wednesday night...

Nice of the Orioles to let the Yankees use their relievers for batting practice in their 13-3 route of Baltimore. Brian Burress allowed four runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of work, while Fernando Cabrera allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in his two-thirds of an inning for the Birds . . . Nationals starter Tim Redding was roughed up by the Phillies; he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in four innings . . . Red Sox starter Josh Beckett struggled against the Angels; he allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work . . . The Tigers and Indians combined for 26 runs and 41 hits, with Detroit coming out on top by a score of 14-12. Least Valuable Players: Detroit starter Nate Robertson (eight runs, nine hits, three innings pitched) and Cleveland reliever Edward Mujica (four runs, four hits, .2 innings).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Around the league on Tuesday night

We're in a sort of "calm before the storm" period in baseball right now, with the trade deadline being less than 48 hours away. Which teams go for broke? Which teams throw in the towel? The Angels have already acquired Mark Teixeira, showing they're serious about winning it all this year. How will your team end up? Stay tuned...

For now, lets recap Tuesday night's Bad Baseball action.

The Cardinals scored five runs in the top of the 9th inning to beat the Braves. It was an odd stat line, though. Only one of the runs was earned. Closer Mike Gonzalez allowed the run on two hits and three walks, recording two outs . . . The Yankees rallied late against the Orioles, scoring three runs in the bottom of the 9th against Baltimore closer George Sherrill, but it was too late. Sherrill allowed three runs on three hits and a walk . . . The Mariners and Rangers combined for 21 runs and 33 hits. The teams exchanged two run rallies in each half of the ninth, but it was the Rangers' half that ended things. J.J. Putz was the losing pitcher, allowing two runs on three hits, recording only one out. Not that C.J. Wilson's win for Texas was impressive; he allowed a run on two hits.

Monday night recap

Let's take a look at all the Bad Baseball action from around the league Monday night...

The Braves staff struggled against the visiting Cardinals; starter Charlie Morton allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks in 3.2 innings of work, only to be relieved by Royce Ring, who allowed three more runs on four hits in one inning.

The Marlins scored five runs in the 8th inning to beat the Mets. Relievers Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis worked together to blow the game, combining for five runs on six hits, all in the same inning. Way to support each other, guys.

Mike Mussina had a rough outing against the Orioles; he allowed six runs on eight hits over five innings of work. Reliever David Roberston wasn't much better; he was knocked around for five runs on four hits, recording just a single out.

Diamondbacks starter Micah Owings struggled against the Padres; he allowed eight runs on six hits and two walks in his three innings of work.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend recap

I'm a little late with the weekend recap, but sometimes busy Monday's force it to happen. Better late than never...

Friday: The Braves scored seven runs in the top of the 9th inning to beat the Phillies. Brad Lidge imploded, allowing five runs on four hits and a walk, all without recording an out. Clay Condrey kicked his own team while they were down, allowing two runs on three hits in relief of Lidge . . . The White Sox had a 9th inning rally of their own against Tigers, theirs coming against Todd Jones. Jones's blown save for Detroit was a result of the two hits and two runs he allowed . . . Not a comeback win for the Rangers, but they scored eight runs in the 9th inning against the A's. Oakland relievers Alan Embree and Andrew Brown combined to allow eight runs on six hits and three walks . . . The Diamondbacks jumped all over Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez, pounding him for six runs on five hits and four walks in 2.2 innings.

Saturday: Mike Hampton made his first appearance in a big league game since 2005 for the Braves. He gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks in the no-decision. Not the worst outing ever, but certainly not where Atlanta thought he'd be when the signed him . . . The Padres offense exploded against the Pirates, jumping on Bucs starter John Van Benschoten for seven runs on six hits and four walks over 1.2 innings . . . Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona was roughed up in his start against the Twins; he lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed nine runs on seven hits and three walks.

Sunday: Staying in Cleveland, Indians reliever Rafael Perez allowed two runs on three hits in the ninth to pick up the loss against Minnesota . . . The Rockies shut out the Reds, 11-0. Cincy pitching took a day off; starter Josh Fogg allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks in 3.2 innings of work, while reliever Jeremy Affeldt allowed three more runs on four hits in the eighth inning.

A look ahead


This week's featured Bad Baseball match up gives us one team who's season already ended (effectively... not literally, of course) going against a pitcher who hasn't been able to get on track in 2008.

Tuesday night, the Phillies will be in the nation's capitol to take on the Nationals. Brett Myers (3-9, 5.82 ERA) has struggled all year but has a nice chance to turn things around in the second half against one of the worst teams in baseball (the Nats have a major league worst 38-67 record to date).

Or perhaps the Nats will take the chance demonstrate any signs of life, giving DC area fans - if there are any left - hope that they'll be a competent team at some point in their future. Not likely, as they're sending Collin Balester (1-2, 5.75 ERA) to the hill, but you never know.

One thing is for sure - it'll be an ugly Tuesday night. Check back later for a full recap of all the Bad Baseball from the weekend.

Friday, July 25, 2008

When good brawls go bad


I enjoy a good, bench clearing brawl as much as anyone does. It's understandable that they happen; sporting events are highly emotional and extremely competitive, especially at the professional level. There's nothing like a brush back pitch - followed by some good pitcher/batter yelling and shoving - to get a crowd riled up.

Except when a player goes too far.

In a Wednesday night game between the Peoria Chiefs and the Dayton Dragons - Class A minor league affiliates of the Cubs and Reds, respectively - a bench clearing brawl led to the arrest of pitcher Julio Castillo for felony assault after he attempted to hurl a baseball in to the Dragons dugout.

The ball missed the dugout and sailed into the crowd, sending a fan to the hospital.

The brawl led to 17 ejections, most of which were temporarily overturned so the game could be finished, and will certainly lead to massive suspensions.

Especially for Castillo, who very well may have thrown his career away along with the baseball. Who does that? The velocity some of these guys generate could legitimately kill another human being. How can anyone justify a hard slide at second base, or a pitch a little too inside, being worth an assault charge? If you want to fight, be a man about it. Drop your gloves, put down your bats, and throw punches. And more than anything else, keep it on the field.

Which is where Castillo can only hope to stay.

The shortened video is posted below, and you can see Castillo's throw between the :11 and :12 second mark. Under the video, you'll find a link to a longer video of the brawl taken by a spectator. Fair warning: it might be a little disturbing to some.



See the longer version here.

Duty, Honor, Country... Football?


Much has been written in the media lately about former Army linebacker Caleb Campbell, the Detroit Lions seventh round pick in the most recent NFL draft.

One question has been the center of the controversy: Should Campbell - or should he not - be eligible to forgo military service requirements to play in the NFL?

Typically, the answer is an easy "no". Military academies just don't make exceptions. It took the Army a while to do it, but just a couple of days ago U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan P. Liba wrote a letter to the Lions, informing them that Campbell was to immediately cease playing football to perform "full time traditional military duties".

The Navy made a similar ruling just a month ago with baseball prospect Mitch Harris, who was drafted in the 13th round by the St. Louis Cardinals, so the move was hardly unprecedented. The decisions are almost always questioned by the media, though the stories typically lose steam fairly quickly.

This morning, however, ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd ranted about how terrible a move this was by the Army. It would only hurt recruiting, he said. They can't expect to compete with "the big boys," he said.

Sometimes life is bigger than football, he should have said.

I strongly disagree with Cowherd's opinions, and that is my entitlement, just as he is entitled to think the way he does. Nobody's right, and nobody's necessarily wrong. But I couldn't help but wonder how a Naval Academy graduate - and someone who has dedicated most of his life to serving his country - would feel about the issue.

I present to you today's guest entry.



Duty, Honor, Country

"The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country……In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.”

- General Douglas MacArthur, West Point Farewell May 12, 1962


There has been a lot of discussion lately as to whether or not U.S. service academy graduates should be allowed to enter professional sports instead of fulfilling their five year service obligation. Service academy graduates have participated in professional sports in the past but only after they had fulfilled all or at least part of their original obligations. In the latter case athletes have served two of their five years followed by extensive (4-6 year) stints in the Reserves.

The current cases though are different. While the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy have upheld the Department of Defense policy regarding service obligations, West Point and Army leadership have attempted to literally ignore the rules. The Army has allowed recent West Point graduates to try out for teams and forgo their obligated service if they make the professional roster.

So why does a young man or woman pursue admittance to a service academy? There are many reasons….patriotism, a sense of responsibility, a sense of honor, etc. Do young Midshipmen and Cadets attend the Academies to compete? You bet. They compete every waking moment of their four years. They compete academically, they compete mentally and emotionally, they compete against themselves, and they compete athletically from the intramural ball fields to the top levels of competition in the NCAA. It is not well known that many of those that do compete at NCAA levels actually attend one year of prep school in addition to the standard four years. Do they do so with an expectation of achieving the professional ranks? No, they do so because it presents a great challenge. Army, Navy and Air Force do not play Ohio State (2010), Boston College, and Notre Dame just to get run in to the ground…they do so because every service academy athlete (and student) knows that on any given day they can outperform their rivals to win in spite of the odds. Once they graduate that next “up against all odds” confrontation may likely occur in Baghdad or the mountainous expanses of Afghanistan, thousands of feet above the land, or hundreds of feet beneath the surface of the ocean in a life or death scenario entrusted with the lives of their comrades in arms.

If, however, there is that special athlete that demonstrates the potential to perform at the professional level, should he or she be allowed to do so regardless of existing policy? The answer is one of the five basic responses ingrained in the minds of Midshipmen and Cadets from day one, No Sir! I ask you to read again the reasons why these young Americans opt to attend these institutions of physical and academic discipline and rigor. In short – to serve their country.

Do athletes at the service academies receive preferential treatment? To a degree, yes. Do they warrant such treatment? To a degree yes. But once the “college experience” is over all bets are off. The professional military playing field is leveled once again as these young officers set out to further enhance their war fighting skills and to lead our sons and daughters in harm’s way. This is a responsibility that transcends all the glitter, hype, and economics of professional sports. It is an absolute, solemn responsibility. An absolute, solemn responsibility. The nation invests heavily in their academic and professional development; the nation should expect no less than total commitment to the values and ideals of “duty, honor, country”.

The “long grey line has never failed us” and it cannot and must not do so in the future.

Contributed by a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and 32 year veteran.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday night quick hit

The only Bad Baseball reporting on from Thursday's light schedule of games comes from the Brewers-Cardinals game in St. Louis.

Eric Gagne lucked into a win as he was the pitcher of record when Milwaukee scored two runs in the top of the 9th inning against Cards reliever Ryan Franklin. Franklin allowed the two runs on three hits; it was his third loss and fifth blown save of the season.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calling Brett Favre...


*hand in the cookie jar alert*

So… Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I predicted that the “rumors” were more than just idle speculation, despite Brett Favre’s weak protestations to the contrary? Well, I am hardly clairvoyant, as Favre’s current predicament was as easy to see coming as the 4:15 from Chicago. But, what was a little tougher to foresee was Favre’s obvious lack of judgment in using a Packers-issued cell phone to call Minnesota Viking’s coaches (including head coach Brad Childress) in the weeks leading up to his “I’ve got the itch” speeches.

Brett? WHAT… WERE YOU… THINKING?! I mean, you can anticipate where your receiver is going to be five seconds into the melee of a swarming Bear Defense, you can read the defensive coordinator’s mind and pick out a blitz two plays in advance, and we have even seen you give the kiss-of-death to Javon Walker’s career before even Drew Rosenhaus knew he was finished in Green Bay… but you couldn’t see how Packers management could POSSIBLY figure out that you had been talking to one of their biggest rivals when they are the ones that pay your phone bill?

*sigh*

With that said, however, I really don’t see what the big deal is about. Knowing Favre like I do (I expect to get the call to Sumrall, MS any day now), this was not a case of tampering by the Vikes or Favre looking to go elsewhere… Favre’s competitiveness just could not be contained any longer and facing the prospect of not playing this season was just too much to handle. He was actually prank-calling members of the Vikings coaching staff, taunting them mercilessly about how good the Pack will be this year. Yeah, yeah, that must be it…

-RP

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...
The Reds scored five runs in the seventh inning to beat the Padres. Friars reliever Joe Thatcher allowed the runs on five hits, recording just two outs . . . The White Sox also scored five runs against the Rangers in their comeback win, though theirs were in the eighth inning. Rangers reliever Eddie Guardado allowed four runs on three hits. He accomplished the rare feat of recording a hold and the loss, providing more evidence that both stats are silly and outdated . . . Apparently a ninth inning, nine run lead was to much for Braves reliever Buddy Carlyle to handle; he allowed four runs to the Marlins on three hits. No harm done in the end, Atlanta still won . . . The Indians and Angels combined for 25 runs and 33 hits. The Angels won, 14-11, and you don't need me to tell you that there was bad pitching all around . . . The Cubs scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Diamondbacks. Arizona reliever Micah Owings allowed five runs on two hits and three walks, though it should be noted that three of the runs were credited to him after Leo Rosales allowed a grand slam to Chicago's Reed Johnson.

Tuesday night recap

Just a couple of ugly outings to get to from Tuesday night's games...

In Philadelphia, the Philles scored six runs in the 9th inning to beat the Mets. Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith (loss) and Pedro Feliciano (blown save) combined for six runs and five hits.

The Brewers rallied for three runs over the final two innings of play to overtake the Cardinals. Cards reliever Kyle McClellan was credited with the blown save.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday night quick hits

Lots of Bad Baseball from Monday night, let's jump right in.

The Brewers scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning to beat the Cardinals. Ryan Franklin was the losing pitcher for the Birds, allowing all four runs on four hits.

The Padres managed to scrape some offense together for three runs in the ninth to hand Reds closer Francisco Cordero his sixth blown save of the season. Cordero allowed the runs on two hits and three walks.

The Pirates rallied for nine runs in the ninth inning in their come-from-behind win against the Astros. Houston's Jose Valverde was the worst of a bad bunch, allowing six runs on five hits. He was credited with his sixth blown save.

The Tigers mauled the Royals, scoring a total 19 runs on 18 hits, including 10 runs in the 8th inning. Royals reliever Jimmy Gobble allowed all 10 of those runs on seven hits and four walks.

And finally, in a good, old-fashioned Coors Field slugfest, the Dodgers and Rockies combined for 26 runs and 38 hits, with the Dodgers winning 16-10. Rockies starter Kip Wells recorded just one out in the first inning, allowing seven runs on seven hits and a walk. Not a good day for him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend recap

OK, here's the weekend recap I promised you all earlier.

Friday: Only one bad game of note from the first full slate of games after the All-Star break, and it was between the Padres and Cardinals. The Cards scored four runs to rally from behind in the 8th inning against Friars reliever Heath Bell. Bell allowed all four runs on four hits and two walks en route to picking up the loss.

Saturday: The Yankees beat the A's in the 12th inning when Jose Molina was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded by Lenny DiNardo . . . The Tigers and Orioles combined for 21 runs over 11 innings of play. Luke Scott put the O's ahead for good when he hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th against Freddy Dolsi . . . The Royals scored six runs in the 8th inning to kick the White Sox while they were down. Sox reliever Nick Masset allowed three runs on two hits and a walk wihtout recording an out in the 8th inning . . . Pirates starter Yoslan Herrera didn't last long in his outing against the Rockies; in just an inning and two-thirds he allowed seven runs on eight hits . . . The Twins scored 14 runs against the Rangers. Apparently the whole Texas staff took a day off.

Sunday: Somehow the Nationals managed to score 15 runs against the Braves. Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes was pounded for six runs on seven hits and four walks in just two and a third innings of work. His relief wasn't much better; Buddy Carlyle allowed six runs on five hits over 1.2 innings . . . The Padres again lost to the Cardinals in the late innings. This time, it was Aaron Miles's walk-off grand slam off of Bryan Corey that did them in. Heath Bell was also hit hard, allowing three runs in his inning of work . . . Pirates starter Zach Duke allowed nine runs on 10 hits to the Rockies in his losing effort . . . The Dodgers scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks to complete their game winning rally. All five runs came on five hits against DBacks closer Brandon Lyon.

A look ahead


Alright, everyone, this week's Bad Baseball featured match up is guaranteed to be epic. It will settle the argument once and for all: does bad pitching beat bad hitting?

Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals - the second worst team in baseball - will be in San Francisco to face the pitcher who's massive contract is in no way whatsoever justified by his on-field performance: Barry Zito.

Zito, 4-12 with a 5.62 ERA, will take on Nats starter Jason Bergman (1-6, 4.03 ERA) in what could easily end up the ugliest game of the year.

I haven't checked the TV listings yet, but I'm praying this game will be available in high definition, just so I can see this mess in all its glory.

A full weekend recap is coming as soon as the Monday morning cobwebs clear from my head.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pre-season predictions revisited


Before the season started I made a bunch of predictions about how the year would play out, at least as far as the worst teams were concerned. Now that we've reached the halfway point of the season, let's check in on how those predictions are looking.

AL EAST: I guessed that the Orioles would find themselves settled comfortably in last place in their division, and I was right. They're currently at 45-49, 10.5 games out of first. Also, in what is an early nominee for understatement of the year, I proclaimed the Rays to be on "the verge of relevance."

AL CENTRAL: I said the White Sox would be the division worst. Oops. The Sox are currently atop the division standings with a record of 54-40 and a 1.5 game lead over the Twins. I'll need a historical collapse for my pre-season guess to prove right. I did say, though, that the Royals wouldn't finish last. That honor currently goes to the Indians, who are 13 games back and have already thrown in the towel with their trade of CC Sabathia.

AL WEST: Another candidate for understatement of the year, "the addition of Josh Hamilton should replace some lost power..." and then some. He's been awesome, and in the process keeping the Rangers out of the cellar. They're currently in third place with a 50-46 record; not exactly stellar. The Mariners will easily finish last in the division, as they're already 20 games out.

NL EAST: The 50-45 Marlins are in 3rd place; I guessed they'd finish last. Not sure what I saw in the Nationals to not think they'd go into the break with a Major League worst 36-60 record.

NL CENTRAL: I predicted the Pirates would be the loss leaders in the Central division, and I was pretty much right. They share the distinction with the Houston Astros and a 44-51 record. When the dust settles, I still believe the Bucs will end up at the bottom.

NL WEST: "Too bad Barry Zito isn't as good as his contract would have you believe." Truer words have never been spoken. Fortunately for the Giants, the rest of their staff has stepped up enough to keep them out of the basement. Although their 40-55 record is pretty pathetic, it's good enough for 3rd place in baseball's weakest division (no team has a winning record). At the bottom are the San Diego Padres with a record of 37-59.

OTHER NOTES: I hit a grand slam when I said the Padres and Mariners, while being teams many thought would contend for division titles, could just as easily disappoint, and disappoint they have. The teams are nearly tied (one loss separates them) for the worst record in baseball.

All in all, not too bad, and I'll certainly revisit these predictions once more at the end of the year. A took a giant swing and miss with my AL Central pick of the White Sox, but hey - you can't win them all.

The Nationals would certainly agree.

In other Bad Baseball news from Thursday night...
Of the few games that were played in baseball's return to action only one ended with a noteworthy performance. The Mets rallied for four runs in the 9th against Reds closer Francisco Cordero, who blew his fifth save of the year after allowing four runs on six hits, and recording just one out. Chalk it up to rust. Hopefully there'll be lots more Bad Baseball action in tonight's first full slate of games after the break.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Your 2008 Bad Baseball All-Stars


Baseball's back... sort of. The three day break was sorely needed for lots of teams, and though only a small handful of them return to action today, it's the start of the second half!

Before the games begin, I'm announcing the selections for the first half Bad Baseball All-Star team. These were guys who've been colossal disappointments, with stats that make you wonder how they're possibly sticking around at the big league level.

Let's begin.

C: I could've gone with Jason Varitek, which would've been ironic since he was on the actual All-Star team. Instead I'll go with Kenji Johjima, who is contributing what he can to the mess in Seattle with his .213 average and 3 HRs.

1B: Richie Sexson. Before his release from the Mariners, Sexson hit just .218 and struck out 76 times. It seems that he'll soon join the New York Yankees, presumably as a righty bat off the bench.

2B: Freddy Sanchez, Pirates. It's hard to believe this guy won the National League batting title in 2006; he entered the break hitting just .226 with a .251 on base percentage.

SS: Kahlil Green, Padres. A .216 batting average and 85 K's made Green the easy choice here. It's not as if he's a great fielder, either; his seven errors are in the top half (or bottom half, however you want to look at it) among shortstops.

3B: Jack Hannahan, A's. I tried to keep this list to guys who were once considered All-Stars themselves, but Hannahan's "contributions" with a .226 average as Eric Chavez's replacement in Oakland had to be recognized.

OF: Jeff Francoeur, Braves. Because he complained that being sent to the minors after hitting .234 was a slap in the face.

OF: Andruw Jones, Dodgers. I remember when $15 million dollars got you more than an overweight, injury-plagued outfielder who hit higher than .217 and slugged more than 2 home runs.

OF: Gary Sheffield, Tigers. Things haven't gone so well for Sheff since being implicated in various performance enhancing drug deals. He's batting just .217 in 2008.

SP: Obviously, the choice to start for this team of misfits would be Barry Zito. Good thing the Giants are only paying nearly $15 million for his 4-12 record and 5.62 ERA. Honorable mentions are Brett Myers, Phillies (3-9, 5.84 ERA; currently in the minors) and Tom Gorzelanny, Pirates (6-7, 6.57 ERA; was a respectable 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA just last year).

RP: Eric Gagne is no stranger to Bad Baseball, and he'd get the nod to close out a game for this squad. With two losses, five blown saves and a 7.33 ERA, there's nobody I'd feel less safe with on the mound.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 Bad Baseball All-Stars!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So that's where I put it!


Good news (potentially, at least) for prosecutors in the Roger Clemens investigation: steroid distributor Kirk Radomski found the missing shipping receipts for the human grown hormone he sent Clemens...

Under his TV.

Said Radomski,
"My TV broke and I said, 'Damn, I got to get it off the dresser, and it was right there."


My only question is, how big of a bubble TV did Radomski have? And why do I feel like he was a fighter in "Punch Out!"?

"I just couldn't find the receipt. And just by [accident] this weekend, I moved my TV and whatnot and I found the package, an envelope, and it had [Clemens'] receipt and about seven or eight other receipts."


He had a whole package under the TV? Packages - plural! - it sounds like. I have a nice sized LCD set and I'd notice a letter-sized envelope sticking out from underneath it, let alone a FedEx package. How does the guy manage to ever find his keys in the morning, or his wallet?

And could this sound any more fabricated? All of a sudden these once-missing receipts turn up? Plus, it still won't prove anything. So he sent a package to Clemens. Big deal. I highly, highly doubt that he listed the package's contents as "illegal performance enhancing drugs" or anything of that nature. Clemens will just claim it was something else, like his dignity that he'd left behind.

The only good that will come out of this is that the convicted steroid distributor now has a valid reason to upgrade the bedroom TV.

Take that, Mrs. Radomski!

All-Star recap

The All-Star game and the circus surrounding it has come and gone, and there was actually quite a bit of good. Mariano Rivera got his chance to enter the game to "Enter Sandman", even though it wasn't a save situation. Lots of good pitching, too, especially from the starters.

But you know I've dug up the bad for you.

First off, the game was looooong. I knew it would be, All-Star games always are, but this bad boy went 15 innings, setting a record at 4 hours, 50 minutes for the longest All-Star game ever. Can't the managers leave the starters in longer and at least pretend this is a real game? When Christian Guzman plays a role in determining home field advantage for the World Series, something's wrong.

Dan Uggla struck out three times and committed three errors.

Jonathan Papelbon
allowed a run in the 8th inning, ruining any save opportunity Mariano Rivera hoped to have.

Edinson Volquez
allowed two runs on two hits, including a home run to eventual MVP J.D. Drew.

Billy Wagner
blew the save for the National League, allowing a run on two hits in the bottom of the 8th.

Brad Lidge picked up the loss, allowing a run on two hits. It was the 12th straight year that the National League failed to win.

But at least it didn't end in a tie.

Now we find ourselves with Black Wednesday, the slowest sports day of the year.

Monday, July 14, 2008

All time worst

I haven't checked the record books yet, but today could be an all time worst for pitchers. Combined, every guy who threw today allowed 105 home runs.

Crazy.

It could've had something to do with the home run derby, in which Josh Hamilton hit 28 first round homers... but still lost.

Blame it on the format, I guess. Either way, Hamilton put on quite a show, even though he would lose to Justin Morneau 5-3 in the final round.

In other "other sports on occasion" news from Monday night...
Brett Favre continues to make headlines over his should I/shouldn't I retire saga. See this site for an idea of what Favre might look like in a different city . . . and that's it. Slow day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend recap; A look ahead


Another weekend has come and gone, so let's take a look back on all of the Bad Baseball left in its wake.

Friday: The Astros and Nationals met in a game that both wished ended the whole season, not just the first half. For Houston, Dave Borkowski was particularly bad; he allowed seven runs on five hits over two innings. It was effectively just mop up work, as Chad Poronto had already secured the loss. He allowed three runs over two and a third innings of work . . . Jon Garland was hit hard by the A's in his losing effort for the Angels. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings of work.

Saturday: The Red Sox jumped all over Orioles starter Radhames Liz; he allowed eight runs on six hits in two and a third innings pitched . . . Phillies starter Adam Eaton struggled against the Diamondbacks. He was pounded for eight runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings pitched . . . I knew Eric Gagne had made an appearance in the Reds - Brewers matchup when I noticed Cincinnati scored four runs in the ninth inning. I was right; he allowed four runs on four hits . . . The Royals scored two runs in the ninth to beat the Mariners. Seattle closer Brandon Morrow allowed two runs on one hit.

Sunday: The Sunday before the All-Star break must be like the Wednesday before a four day Thanksgiving holiday weekend for ball players. Players want a break or to get settled in the All-Star game host city; anything but another long, hot afternoon of baseball. But I digress. Around the league: The Phillies scored four runs in the eighth inning in their comeback win against the Diamondbacks. Chad Qualls was the loser for Arizona; he allowed four runs on four hits in a third of an inning . . . Pittsburgh reliever Franquelis Ororia had a bit of a meltdown against the Cardinals. He allowed four runs on four hits in a third of an inning. Very Chad Qualls-esque, I know . . . In Milwaukee, C.C. Sabathia kept the game out of the bullpen's hands against the Reds - he threw all nine innings . . . The White Sox and Rangers must've given their pitching staffs an early start on their vacations. The two offenses combined for 23 runs and 39 hits . . . A's closer Huston Street was unable to put away the Angels; he was lit up for two runs on three hits in his inning of work, blowing a save in the process . . . The Padres limped into the break, getting pounded Sunday by the Braves for 12 runs. Pretty much every pitcher who appeared contributed to the mess.

We're halfway there! Some teams, like the Rays, have proven to be legit threats. Others, like the previously mentioned Padres, are already looking ahead to next season. But there's still alot of baseball left, so a lot can happen.

As for the week ahead? Instead of a featured matchup, let's recognize Wednesday as the worst day in all of sports, because virtually no action will take place.

Because even bad baseball is better than no baseball.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Manager blow up alert! This one courtesy of Kash Beauchamp, skipper of the independent Wichita Wingnuts.

Said Beauchamp,
"It's weird - it just comes out of nowhere, the ejections and stuff. When I'm gone, (my brain is) gone. All I know is somehow I ended up in my socks. I don't even know how I got into my socks. I was looking for my shoes and I had no idea where they were."

Enjoy the video, and enjoy the weekend even more.

Friday two-fer


A quick two-fer today…

What’s in a (Brand) Name?


First, do you remember last week when I said Golden State had become the new Clippers of the West for letting Baron Davis get away…? Well, scratch that. The actual Clippers have managed to take that distinction back by letting their leading scorer, and the only player to really put butts in seats, get away in free agency. There is a MAJOR spin campaign going on right now between Elton Brand’s agent and Clippers management (which is a whole different column topic all together), but what is clear is this: After showing a willingness to loosen the purse strings in order to win, Clippers owner Donald Sterling dumped close to $65 million on Davis but then clearly had trouble getting together with Brand on a new deal that would most likely have spelled playoffs this year for the much-maligned Clips.

Now, there is plenty of blame to go around, mind you. According to some reports, Brand and his agent stopped returning calls when the Clippers were ready to match the deal from the 76ers (around $81 million), and of course Brand’s agent (David Falk, who reportedly held a grudge against the organization for their previous slight of a different client) is counterclaiming that the Clippers first offer ($75 million) was an insult. However this happened, few teams have been doomed to continued mediocrity quite as dramatically this off-season as the Clippers. It’s not too late to get your condo in Oakland back, Baron.

Hey, It Worked for Michael Irvin

Second, Matt Jones (hopefully, soon to be former Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver) was arrested last night with six (6) grams of cocaine… For those of you uninitiated into the world of illegal narcotics, 6 grams is quite a bit for one person. In fact, the law (in Arkansas, where he was arrested) says that possession of anything over one (1) constitutes intent to deliver.

Jones was a first round pick in the 2005 draft and was hailed as The Great White Hope for aspiring wide receivers everywhere when he went over 1,000 yards and caught 9 TDs in his first two years on a club whose strengths were at RB and on Defense. But, Jones caught a case of Moss-itis last year, complaining about not getting the ball and not giving best-effort in practice or games in which he played, causing the team to inactivate him for three games. He has been pushing publicly to be released for months, but the Jags are worried about him going to a divisional rival and to this point have refused to release Jones. But, whether this is a cry for help or simply a (coke) straw that Jones hopes will break the Jaguar’s back, it seems inevitable now that he will have to be cut.

While this story is sad (and could turn tragic… we’ll wait and see), at least it is a nice departure from the normal alcohol-and-weed arrests that have been so much in the NFL news of late. Way to take it to the next level guys!

-RP

Correction

Funny newspaper correction here.

Gotta credit Paul Lukas over at UniWatch for the find. He does some great work if you're interested in athletics aesthetics, check him out if you have some time... but who are we kidding? It's Friday, I'm sure you'll find time.

Thursday night recap

Lots of Bad Baseball action from around the league to get to, so lets jump right in.

In Detroit, Tigers closer Todd Jones blew a save against the Twins when he allowed two runs on three hits in the 9th inning. The Twins would go on to win in the 11th.

Brandon Morrow blew a save for the Mariners; he allowed two runs on two hits in .2 innings of work against the A's.

The Indians jumped all over Rays reliever Gary Glover in the 8th inning, scoring eight runs and eventually winning. Glover allowed all seven runs, gave up six hits and recorded just two outs.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa struggled against the Brewers; he was pounded for nine runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings of work.

Orioles closer George Sherrill blew his sixth save of the season against the Blue Jays; he allowed two runs on three hits, and recorded just two outs. The Jays scored four runs over the final two innings of play in their come-from-behind win.

Lots of offense for both teams in the Angels-Rangers contest. The teams combined for 21 runs and 32 hits, with the Angels winning 11-10. Both starters struggled; Scott Feldman allowed eight runs on six hits and five walks for Texas while John Lackey allowed six runs for Anaheim, which was actually impressive considering he also gave up 15 hits.

Interleague play is now officially over, as the Pirates and Yankees made up a postponed game from earlier in the season. The Pirates won, for anyone who cares.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

All stars or no stars


The MLB All-Star game may not always be full of the most deserving players, but at least we still get to watch something. Am I excited to watch Jason Varitek struggle against the best pitchers that the National League has to offer? Well, OK, I sort of am. But most people probably aren't.

I wonder how the "snubs" feel. Do you think Jermaine Dye (19 HR, .302 AVG) is bitter about being left off the roster? I wonder how badly - how deeply - his feelings have been hurt?

They should cancel the game. That's what The City of Beachwood, Ohio did.

The city has cancelled their ages 9-12 Little League All-Star game in an effort to prevent bruised self esteem among the city's youngsters. Said the founder of the National Alliance for Youth Sports, Fred Engh:
"There's nothing like sticking a dagger into a youngster's self-esteem the first season he plays the sport by letting him know that he's not good enough or considered worthy to be part of this elite group of teammates. That's not the message we want to send to children who are already less active and more obese than any previous generation in history."

I can't help but wonder why, exactly, parents are now so afraid to teach the value of competition to their children. Doesn't the allure of making an All-Star squad give those first year players motivation to practice and improve? And what message, exactly, do we want to send to these "less active" and "more obese" children? That it's OK? That life will always be fair and equal?

Guess what, kids: It's not.

How far should the hand-holding go? Should teachers give all kids an "A" on every paper and test throughout their schooling? Should every girl say yes to every guy who asks her to prom? Should every college open its doors to every below average student who knows how to fill out the application?

According to The City of Beachwood, the answer is an obvious yes. But you know what I think? Kids aren't stupid, and they do realize - especially by age 12 - that some of their teammates are better than they are. They're aware that when they can't hit a fast ball, a change up, or even a rainbow out of a pitching machine, that they're likely not All-Star material.

And therein lies a perfectly fine lesson to learn in life: part of growing up is learning to deal with failure. Being left off a meaningless - in the grand scheme of things - All-Star team is hardly the last time a kid will experience it.

So I'm sorry, Jermaine Dye, but the fans and players don't consider you worthy to be part of the elite group of All-Stars heading to the Bronx in less than a week.

No hard feelings, though. It's life.

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...
The Red Sox scored 18 runs on 23 hits against the Twins. Tough to place blame on any one pitcher; starter Livan Hernandez allowed six runs in 4.1 innings, Boof Bonser allowed four in 1.2, Craig Breslow gave up two runs while recording just one out, Brian Bass allowed five in 1.1 innings, and Dennys Reyes gave up one, also recording only an out . . . The Indians lost to the Tigers when Jensen Lewis allowed a walk off homer to Miguel Cabrera . . . The Rangers scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Angels. Francisco Rodriguez blew the save . . . and finally, A's starter Joe Blanton lost his 12th game of the year to the Mariners. He allowed six runs on nine hits in his six innings of work.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Twisted!

As a follow up to an earlier entry on hat variations, check out these that should never have happened.

This one and this one seem particularly blasphemous, no?

It's a slow night, if you couldn't tell.

In other Bad Baseball news from Tuesday night...

Boston beat Minnesota when Twins reliever Matt Guerrier choked away an eighth inning lead. He allowed three runs on four hits . . . Same deal, almost exactly, for Doug Brocail in Houston. He also fell apart in the eighth inning, allowing three runs on three hits to help lose the game to the Pirates . . . In San Diego, the anemic Padres offense scored 10 runs against the Marlins. The only notably bad pitcher for Florida was Doug Waechter; he allowed three runs on five hits, and recorded just a single out in the sixth inning.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ok, so they're not all stars...


The All "Star" selections have been announced! I can't wait for the game; I'm obviously a huge fan of baseball, and add the mid-summer classic to the world's most famous stadium (one of them, anyways) and you've got a surefire hit.

Some of the selections were no-brainers that the fans couldn't have gotten wrong: Alex Rodriguez, Chase Utley, Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones, to name a few.

And as always, plenty of guys were left off their league's rosters who were arguably deserving of a trip to The Bronx: Jose Reyes (.299 avg, 9 HR, 32 SB) and John Lackey (6-2, 1.93 ERA) come immediately to mind.

But my favorites are they guys voted in (by either fans or players) who have no business being there. Let's take a look at some of this season's more dubious selections:

The Tampa Bay Rays. This is more a case of lack of any selections. They sit atop the vaunted American League East and have the best record in all of baseball, yet not a single player was elected to start? OK. Pitcher Scott Kazmir and catcher Dioner Navarro will represent the organization, who are both deserving of the trip. The Rays spin on the snub is that they stand out as a team, not as individuals. Sure, whatever. Because you know what? For the first time in the history of their organization they deserve to feel snubbed. Someone from the breakout team of 2008 - perhaps the decade - should be starting. Why not rookie 3B Evan Longoria? I'm not saying he should start at third over the completely deserving A-Rod, but perhaps at DH.

Speaking of DH, what is David Ortiz doing anywhere near the starting lineup? He's been on the freakin' disabled list since May 31st and will likely be out until at least the end of July, if not longer. Come on, fans, give the spot to someone more deserving, or at least someone who'll be able to play.

Jason Varitek. I'll give the fans some credit here; Varitek got in by player selection. However, Varitek is batting a pathetic .218 to date, and probably shouldn't be catching on his own team, let alone for the AL All Stars. At least he's not starting, but the players swung and missed here.

Giants closer Brian Wilson. If only because his 4.37 ERA makes his 24 saves look completely meaningless. And it's not like he's here because someone had to represent the Giants; starter Tim Lincecum (10-1, 2.49 ERA, 122 strike outs in 115.2 innings pitched) is already making the trip.

The last selection I'll pick on is Miguel Tejada. Overall his numbers are fine: 9 homers, .282 average. But the previously mentioned Jose Reyes has far more star power right now, not to mention significantly better numbers.

So the fans got some wrong, nothing new there. And no matter who plays, a ton of people will tune in to watch (some of) baseball's best slug it out against each other.

I'll tune in to watch some of baseball's most overrated.

In other Bad Baseball news from Monday night...
The Royals beat the Rays when they lit up Dan Wheeler in the 10th inning. Wheeler was knocked around for two hits (both home runs) and three runs . . . Phillies starter Adam Eaton struggled against the Mets; he allowed six runs on 10 hits over 2.2 innings. The Mets bullpen nearly gave the game back when they allowed seven runs over the final three innings of play, no doubt just to set up the save for Billy Wagner . . . Rough night for both starters as the Astros took on the Pirates. Runelvys Hernandez allowed 10 runs on 13 hits over four innings for Houston while Phil Dumatrait gave up seven runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work for Pittsburgh . . . The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Southern California of the United States jumped all over the Texas Rangers and starter Luis Mendoza, who allowed eight runs on nine hits in an inning and a third.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A look back, a look ahead


Another three day weekend has passed far too quickly. No more BBQ (for at least another six days or so), pool, beach, or whatever floats your boat on a lazy summer day. For most of us, it's back to work. So while you're there (because what else is there to do during the day besides check out your favorite blogs on the net?), lets look back on a Bad Baseball weekend.

Friday: Bizarre stat line for Osiris Matos of the Giants; a walk and four hits en route to picking up the loss and blown lead to the Dodgers. All five runs that crossed the plate while he was the pitcher of record were unearned. Not sure if that's good or bad . . . Tough outing for Rangers starter Vicente Padilla against the Orioles. He allowed eight runs on nine hits over 2.2 innings of work . . . The best view of the 4th of July fireworks Friday night was in Colorado for the Marlins - Rockies slugfest. The teams combined for 35 runs, with the Rockies coming out on top, 18-17. A total of 14 pitchers were used, and they were pretty much all ugly.

Saturday: The Cardinals scored three runs in the ninth to win on the road against the Cubs. Kerry Wood picked up the loss and blown save after allowing three runs on two hits in just two-thirds of an inning . . . The humidor must be broken in Colorado. A day after combining for 35 runs, the Marlins and Rockies worked together to push 18 runs across the plate. Marlins starter Ryan Tucker allowed eight runs on seven hits over four innings of work.

Sunday: Lets stay in Colorado, shall we? The teams combined for 15 runs to end their series, a total of 68 on the weekend . . . The Rangers and Orioles also threw pitching out the window, combining for 21 runs . . . It was a real snoozer in Seattle; the Mariners and Tigers combined for just 14 hits in 15 innings of ball. Detroit eventually won, 2-1 . . . More extra innings in Atlanta; it took 17 innings for the Braves to overcome the Houston Astros . . . Finally, in New York, Brett Gardner (.143 season batting average) singled in the winning run for the Yankees in the 10th inning against Jonathan Papelbon and the Boston Red Sox.

Wow, lots of action over the weekend, especially for citizens of the mile high city. Want more Bad Baseball this week? Look no further than Wednesday night, when the 35-53 Mariners travel to Oakland to take on 5-11 Joe Blanton and the A's. Somebody has to give.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend. On Monday, I'll look into this year's MLB "All-Star" selections - and yes, those quotation markes are there on purpose, because the lineups are full of anything but baseball's finest. You'll see what I mean.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!


It's America's birthday! MLB's gift to the country? The hideous cap you see pictured.

Don't get me wrong, the "Welcome Back Veterans" campaign behind them is well-meaning. But if MLB wants a portion of the proceeds from sales to go to charity, why make them so damn ugly? People have to actually want to buy them for there to be any proceeds.

I tend to be a sucker for promotional (for lack of a better term) hats. I love the flag patches whenever they're brought out, the World Series caps, and especially this year's All Star game patch.

And being the Virginia Tech alum that I am, there will always be a special place in my heart for this cap.

But these veteran caps are U-G-L-Y. I get the stars and stripes in the team logo: the flag, the symbol of our country, whatever. But why did they choose that shade of blue? I've seen them in person, and they just look off. It seems strangely faded, and doesn't match a single teams' uniform. The Blue Jays are somewhat appropriately wearing a different version; theirs features the Canadian flag, which they wore a couple of days ago on Canada Day.

I was going to give you a 4th of July, Bad Baseball featured ugly match up, but Major League Baseball has made it easy for me: all of them!

So enjoy your extended weekend and be sure to watch plenty of baseball. Just try not to stare at the caps.

In other Bad Baseball news from Thursday night...
Cardinals starter Mitchell Boggs posted a triple-double; 10 runs (11 earned) on 10 hits over six innings of work against the Mets. He walked six in the losing effort, to boot . . . The Diamondbacks score six runs on the bottom of the 9th to beat the Brewers. Though Salomon Torres was the losing pitcher of record, it was really a combined effort between him, Guillermo Mota, and Brian Shouse. The three combined to allow six earned runs on six hits, without recording an out . . . The Orioles watched a lead slip away as they gave up seven runs in the sixth inning to the Royals. Adam Loewen allowed three runs on three hits for the Birds. He was Brewer-esque in his appearance; he also failed to record an out.

Word on the street


“It’s all rumor.” That was the quote from Brett Favre sent in a text message to the Biloxi Sun Herald about a possible return to the Packers this season. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (who incidentally was wondering what to do with career now that he can’t report Favre news everyday; maybe he and John Madden should open a Favre-themed amusement park) reported that Favre approached Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy at some point in the last two weeks and made inquiries about returning to the team this season. Is it true? Before I get to Favre specifically, let’s play rumor potpourri for a second, shall we…

Rumors in the sports world seem to bear fruit as often as not. Consider a few (semi-) recent rumors:

Golden State Warrior Point Guard Baron Davis was rumored to want to move to a Los Angeles team, to play in his hometown. While Davis didn’t deny that he wanted to someday play in LA, he stated he had no intentions of leaving the Bay Area. Even after he opted out of his contract this week (which doesn’t always mean a player wants to leave a team, just that he wants more money), he still made statements that Golden State was where he wanted to be and he expected to be a Warrior at opening tip this year. BUT, less than 24 hours after using that pro-Warrior language, Davis committed to the Los Angeles Clippers. The move essentially makes the Warriors the new Clippers in the West, and has given Clippers fans severe delusions of playoff success in the leagues toughest conference. Rumor Mill - 1, Golden State - 0.

Rumors have been swirling for about two years regarding the fate of the Seattle Supersonics. When the team was purchased by Oklahoma native Clay Bennett (after years of being very poorly run by two previous owners/front offices, I might add) in 2006, the rumors started to fly about the team possibly moving to the OK. But, Bennett and Seattle city officials reassured fans that they would get a deal done and keep the only major sports franchise in the history of the city to win a championship (1979, in case you are curious) on the west coast. Then, when it looked like a deal might not get done and the team would indeed move, Bennett came out and told the City of Seattle that the team would move to Las Vegas not Oklahoma City. One ESPN news story (April 28, 2007) stated, “Bennett has repeatedly said he'd rather keep the teams in the Seattle area, since it's a larger and more affluent market than Oklahoma City.” BUT, just yesterday, as the ink was drying on the deal, Bennett announced that today the team would immediately begin moving to Oklahoma City (starting with the players). The team is leaving its name behind in Seattle, which is all the city will have left after not being without an NBA presence for almost 50 years. However, the city remains hopeful that it can get another NBA franchise… Yeah, because that worked out so well with LA and the NFL. Rumor Mill – 2, Seattle – 0.

And then there are everybody’s favorite rumors, baseball players on steroids. Jose Canseco’s book was just that, one giant rumor. No one had one ounce of proof for any of the allegations made against other major leaguers, and Canseco was decried by ball players and fans alike as a washed-up, money-grubbing crackpot who would say anything to keep himself in the public eye and make a quick buck. But we know differently now, don’t we? I mean, we still know that Canseco is a washed-up, money-grubbing crackpot who would say anything to keep himself in the public eye and make a quick buck, but what we also know is that some of the games biggest stars (e.g., McGwire, Bonds, Clemens) are juicers. America’s favorite pastime, already hurting from low attendance and interest (particularly among America’s youth), was tarnished once again by something that was believed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt by a has-been narcissist. Rumor Mill – 3, Major League Baseball – 0.

So… With all that said, Brett, we know you mean it. We know it is not just a rumor. We know you have “the itch.” The phrase “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” was invented for situations just like this. Brett Favre coming back to the Packers would be bad on so many fronts: 1. Bad for Aaron Rogers, who is trying desperately not to be seen as Favre 2.0; 2. Bad for the Packers, who need to move into the post-Favre era and prove to their fans that they can win without him; and 3. Bad for Favre, as the legend (in my opinion) can do nothing but tarnish his image, ala Michael Jordan in his second return to basketball with the Wizards.

As a fan of both Favre and the Packers, I sincerely hope that things don’t keep moving in this direction, but, hey, it’s only a rumor, right…? Right?

-RP

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hank the tank; Wednesday night quick hits


It had to happen, didn't it. The day after Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner publicly ripped the team's offense, they absolutely unload on the Rangers for 18 runs.

Steinbrenner told the media that the offense needed to "wake up" and deal less with outside distractions (perhaps reports that Alex Rodriguez has been spending time at Madonna's apartment; the New York Daily News is now reporting that ARod and his wife are splitting) and concentrate more on hitting.

I'm sure he feels beyond justified with his comments, and probably thinks they actually worked.

They didn't, Hank. They had nothing to do with Wednesday's offensive explosion. Reporters even asked Jason Giambi if they had anything to do with last night's out burst, to which he answered, "I wish. They could yell at us all they want for all I care."

Please, do us all a favor, and stick to signing the checks.

That being said, let's take a look back on the rest of the Bad Baseball action from Wednesday night...

Rangers fans can point their fingers at the bullpen if they're looking to place blame for Wednesday night's slaughtering. Warner Madrigal and Jamey Wright combined for two innings, 12 runs, and 12 hits. Lost in the mess was a pretty awful start from Sidney Ponson; he allowed seven runs on nine hits in five innings of work. Good enough for the win, bad enough for the site. . .

The Pirates jumped all over Reds starter Daryl Thompson; he surrendered seven runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work . . .

Lastly, in what was billed as the Bad Baseball game of the week, Padres starter Randy Wolf was hit hard by the Rockies. He allowed seven runs on six hits over four innings of work.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Take it or leave it


We can all stop worrying: the baseball Hall of Fame will display Barry Bonds's 756th home run ball.

Did you care less than I did? I'm over the whole Bonds did-he-or-didn't-he juice, steroids era garbage.

The ball, owned by fashion designer (or so I read) Mark Ecko, has quite a history. After successfully bidding for the souvenir, Ecko set up an online poll asking readers to determine the ball's fate, which was to brand it with an asterisk to reflect the steroid allegations surrounding Bonds and his alleged (is it still "alleged"? I've stopped caring) performance enhancing drug use. It was then to be given to the hall for display.

Bonds called Ecko an idiot, and declared that he would boycott the HOF if it displayed the aterisk-branded memento.

I can only hope he'll stay true to his word.

Recent back and forth discussions between the HOF and Ecko seemed to end when the two could not agree on whether the ball would be given as an "unconditional donation" or a loan. I'm not totally sure why the HOF would care, but it's their museum, and their rules: donations not allowed (which was what Ecko was offering), so the ball would not be displayed.

Not wanting to lose out on everlasting publicity, Ecko changed his stance some time Tuesday afternoon and the ball was delivered to the HOF as an official donation. In a few weeks, after documentation is completed, the ball will be on display for all to see in Cooperstown, New York.

Hopefully they leave the asterisk facing out.

In other Bad Baseball news from Tuesday night...
The Phillies demoted struggling starter Brett Myers to their Triple-A squad. Myers was 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA on the season . . . The Rangers squeaked by the Yankees when Yanks closer Mariano Rivera allowed a run on three hits in the ninth . . . White Sox reliever Matt Thornton, who allowed a run on three hits, was bailed out of a loss when the Sox offense rallied for two runs on three hits off Indians closer Joe Borowski, all of which occurred in the 10th inning . . . Alan Embree imploded in relief for the A's; he allowed three runs on three hits in the eighth, recording just two outs against the Angels.