Monday, February 27, 2006
Come And Knock On Our Door
Kenny Williams is angry
The ill will between A's slugger Frank Thomas and Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams escalated Sunday when the GM called Thomas "an idiot."
"He's an idiot," Williams said in a 6 ½-minute, profanity-laced interview. "He's selfish. That's why we don't miss him. And we've held it in for far too long. And if you go out there and look long and hard enough, you'll find particulars. But I've got something to say directly to him. And I'm holding back as much as I can because, unlike him, I'll say it man-to-man, face-to-face."
"Believe me, it's not easy to deal with an idiot. And this man, over the course of the years, has tried my patience and tried it and tried it, and if he were any kind of a man, would quit talking about things in the paper and return a phone call or come knock on somebody's door. If I had the kind of problems he has evidently with me, I'd go knock on his f*cking door."
Williams contended that he left a message with Thomas on his cell phone after the team acquired first baseman Jim Thome this offseason. he added that Thomas did not express his feelings to Williams when he saw him at a boxing match in Las Vegas.
"We don't miss him, by the way," Williams said. "And if you go out there and ask any one of my players or staff members, we don't miss him. We don't miss the attitude; we don't miss the whining. We don't miss it. Good riddance. See you later."
Williams continued, "He'd better stay out of our business. He'd better stay out of White Sox business. As a matter of fact -- I'll say what I have to say to him direct."
"He's an Oakland A's problem," Williams said. "He needs to be concerned about Oakland. I don't even know why I'm talking about (the) guy. Play two or three games in a row first before you start popping off."
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:41 PM
Maybe Jackie Collins Can Play Right Field
Kyle Farnsworth - notorious voracious peruser of lexicons - should take note: the Yankees may have a future author in Columbus righthander Matt DeSalvo:
DeSalvo will start in Columbus and has a chance to pitch in the back of an MLB rotation. But that is not what is most interesting about him. While in the Florida State League two years ago, DeSalvo decided he could better understand a wilting romance and himself if he put his thoughts into a novel and he wrote "Love Travels," which remains on computer disc. He majored in environmental sciences and reads "Ideas of the Great Philosophers" while the clubhouse buzzes around him. I don't know about the Yankees, but those of us who cover baseball need Matt DeSalvo to make it.
Those of us who write blogs about a team we love that's filled with guys who give somewhat boring interviews do too.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:22 AM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
The Tao of Ron Guidry
If this is any indication of things to come, I'm not only frightened, I'm worried that I might long for the return of Mel Stottlemyre (yikes).
More than ever, the Yankees need direction from their pitching coach, which means it's either a blessing or a curse that Ron Guidry has no professional experience fixing pitchers.
I don't see how you can call a guy having no experience a "blessing."
If it's simplicity the Yankees need, Guidry will be the staff's savior. He's not the kind of baseball man who believes in breaking down pitchers' windups and release points in a laboratory like the Mets' Rick Peterson.
Peterson has a laboratory? Fascinating.
Instead, Guidry is a throwback to the '70s and '80s, back when pitchers were counseled by go-get-'em pep talks and not much else. Even though today's pitching coaches can measure torque and hip rotation at 500 frames a second, Guidry has no intention of remaking himself as a computer geek.
How is looking at a guy's throwing technique and mechanics becoming a "computer geek"? Why do sports writers dismiss someone who analyzes someting rationally as a "geek"?
"I don't feel like you have to do a lot of that stuff," Gator said. "I'm from the older generation. We liked to keep it simple, and sometimes the simplest way is the best way.
Considering ex-Yankee pitchers who have done better since leaving the club (notably, Jose Conrtreras, Jeff Weaver and Javier Vazquez) have all mentioned that the problems they had in New York were related to poor mechanics, I'd say you probably should have to do a lot of that stuff, Ron. You were not hired to be a professional ass-slapper.
"It's not my job to change anyone's mechanics."
Sorry for the large print, but I mean, come on, Ron! I am pretty sure analyzing a pitcher's mechanics is one of the top job priorities of a pitching coach. If there was an opening for a MLB pitching coach posted to monster.com, my guess is it would include "Candidate should demonstrate ability to evaluate, analyze and correct flaws in a pitcher's mechanics." I'm fairly certain that "ass-patting" would only be listed under "preferred skills" at best.
"By the time a guy is 35 or even 25, it's too late for that. I'm here to make sure a pitcher is doing the things he's always done. If he gets hit, well, sometimes that happens. You can't always run to a computer and ask how to fix it."
Again with the computers. How about watching film? On a television? Is a VCR a computer? How would looking at a tape of the game and noticing "hey, Wang's release point is too low" make someone a "computer nerd"?
That straight-ahead philosophy could be just what Pavano and Johnson need, although it remains to be seen how Guidry will commune with the cerebral and sometimes cranky Mussina.
What Pavano needs is a sip from the Holy Grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Johnson just needs to be left alone, really. And why the snide Mussina reference? Is is because he's cerebral? Being smart is bad I see, because maybe a smart person knows how to use a computer.
The Yankees are taking no chances, surrounding Guidry with a support staff that includes bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan, who served as pitching guru with the Expos, Red Sox and Phillies (and is computer literate) and former coach Mel Stottlemyre, who's in camp as a special instructor until opening day.
Bob Klapish really should go into details about this computer fetish of his. Kerrigan can check Guidry's email for him and set him up a myspace page. Super. The guy's been fishing on the bayou for the last 16 years. He's probably never even been sent a link to goat.cx and thinks Yahoo! is that austrailian guy from the 80's.
Torre is already as supportive of Guidry as he was of Stottlemyre.
As the manager put it, "He's the one guy the pitchers all respect."
Just wanted to take a moment to point out here that Joe Torre essentially just said that all of the pitchers do not respect him.
Still, for all the organizational love the Yankees have for Gator, the pressure on him will be enormous.
Well according to this article, he believes his job involves pep talks, ass pats, and little else, so where's the pressure, really?
If Johnson loses his slider, or Mussina's fastball never tops 90 mph, or if Wang blows out his arm yet again ... well, it's a scenario too dark for the Yankees to ponder, even with that nuclear offense.
What's really funny here is that a lost slider, fastball or hurt arm can be the result off....... poor mechanics.
Here's my suggestion for the Yankees new.. oh, let's say clubhouse manager:
I'm starting to believe more and more that Joe Kerrigan may just be the key to 2006 for the Yankees. I just wonder how much influence Torre will allow him to have, since he didn't seem to want him in the first place.
Somebody hold me please.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:14 AM
Monday, February 13, 2006
Don't Fit Him for a Coach's Uniform Just Yet...
Tino Martinez appears headed for ESPN:
Tino Martinez is ready to stop playing baseball and start talking about it. Martinez, 38, is expected to soon join ESPN as an in-studio analyst, apparently ending a 16-season major-league career that included four World Series rings with the Yankees and a 2004 season with his hometown Devil Rays. The deal is not final, but ESPN senior publicist Nate Smeltz confirmed Thursday: "We're in discussions with Tino." Martinez went back last year to the Yankees, but they declined his 2006 option and he had only limited interest in playing elsewhere. If done, he'll finish with a .271 average, 339 homers and 1,271 RBIs.
My guess? This is probably just so that they have someone who will go ballistic when Gammons and Ravitch and the rest of the ESPNESN Sox lovers start bashing on the boys from the Bronx.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:25 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Who Wants to Bet There Were Girls From Whom He Did Get a "Good Vibe?"
Maybe he had the 'noids..
James Damon was always the responsible one. He doesn't remember the exact date, but it was an autumn afternoon when he came home to find his eighth-grade brother, Johnny - already a baseball prodigy and fully aware of it - stoned out of his mind. Again.
"I just had enough," James says falling back in his chair. "Johnny was a cocky kid and he was like, 'I'm pretty good at baseball. I'm really good, maybe I can't get better.' He was 13, hanging out with 17-year-olds, smoking pot all the time, drinking a lot. And that's when I stepped in and said 'What the hell are you doing with your life?'"
Johnny Damon once turned down a threesome with two adoring female Red Sox fans and, to some, this revelation may indicate that his reputation as a reckless party guy isn't completely accurate. To others, it may be proof that the man who gleefully called himself an "idiot" really is.
To Damon, it means little at all.
Standing in the driveway of his childhood home on a cloudy afternoon last week, the new Yankee center fielder shrugs and says simply, "It was a wild time then, but I didn't get a good vibe from those girls."
My guess is the truth is a well kept secret between Damon and probably someone from here.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:36 PM
Monday, February 06, 2006
The Return of Mel Stottlemyre
For anyone who just shit his or her pants after reading that title, it's just as a spring training instructor. He will be performing in a similar capacity to what Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage have done in years past.
There is no cause for alarm, sorry to have worried anyone.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:20 AM
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Well to Padres All But Done..
.. and should be announced sometime this week. The Red Sox and Padres just need to finalize a couple of minor details. The deal has been held up for a while because of San Diego's insistance that Boston take Woody Williams amd his bad arm and contract in exchange. According to my MLB source, they've been able to work around that.
No details on who else is involved with the deal yet, but I will post more when I hear it.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:53 PM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Former Yankee Roundup!
Ok kids, it's time for everyone's favorite matching game, "Former Yankee Roundup!" (applause)
Just match the former Yankee on the left with their current situation on the right (careful - this can be tricky!)
(Answers below. Highlight the grey box to see how you did!)
|1. Jeff Nelson|
2. John Wetteland
3. Joe Girardi
4. Denny Neagle
5. Ruben Sierra
6. Mark Bellhorn
7. Andy Fox
8. Mike Stanton
9. Luis Sojo
10. Felix Rodriguez
|a. Signed by Padres|
b. Signed by Nationals
c. Declared a no-facial-hair policy
d. Bullpen coach for Nationals
e. Manager of Clinton LumberKings
f. Signed by Cardinals
g. Signed by Twins
h. Manager of Venezuela (WBC)
i. Pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitute
1-f, 2-d, 3-c, 4-i, 5-g, 6-a, 7-e, 8-b, 9-h, 10-b
Give yourself 1 point for every correct answer:
1-2 Correct: Tony Womack.
3-4 Correct: Danny Tartabull.
5-6 Correct:Claudell Washington.
7-8 Correct: Steve Farr.
9-10 Correct: Paul O'Neill.
11 Correct: Derek Jeter.
Print this page out and show everyone how you did!
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:48 AM
I Guess the Mets have a No-Beard Policy, Too
Every year at the Mets Holiday party, they invite schoolkids to meet "Santa," who is in actuality a Mets player in the jolly man's guise.
To reward these players for their community service, an apparantly enraged and humbugged Omar Minaya has made it his mission to dump them immediately.
Let's look at the three Santas under Minaya's regime:
2003: John Franco. Status: gone before the next Christmas.
2004: Mike Cameron. Status: gone before the next Christmas.
2005: Kris Benson. Status: Gone before the next Christmas.
Actually come to think of it, if I were a Met I might just ask to play Santa in 2006. You know... uh, for the kids.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:21 AM
The Price of Mediocrity
I really wish I worked in an industry where you could essentially fail miserably, and provide much less for your employer than an average employee in the market, and still be rewarded with $600,000/yr guaranteed. (For those of you who were not aware, "Mr. Faded Glory" makes less than $600,000 per year. -ed.)
Rodriguez pitched in 34 games last year with the New York Yankees, compiling a 5.01 ERA with no decisions. He is 37-35 with a 3.51 ERA in 10 major league seasons that also include time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati, Arizona, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
In addition to his salary, the 33-year-old right-hander could make $650,000 in roster bonuses: $200,000 each if he is on the 40-man roster on March 29 and May 1, and $250,000 if he is on it on Aug. 1.Then again, had Joe Torre used him properly (his numbers against lefties are much better than against righties, but since he throws with his right arm Torre never considered that possibility) he might just have succeeded in the Bronx.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:08 AM
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