Thursday, December 28, 2006

Get Well Soon, Bobby

Just heard that Yankee announcer Bobby Murcer will undergo surgery for a brain tumor.
The 60-year-old Murcer, now a Yankees broadcaster, was scheduled to undergo surgery in Houston. He had been having headaches and feeling a loss of energy lately, and the tumor was discovered following an MRI on Christmas Eve, the newspaper reported Thursday.

"I'm feeling OK and we're just going to have to see what this surgery will bring," Murcer told the Daily News by phone Wednesday night. "I'm hopeful that everything will turn out OK and I'm thankful to have so many friends who are rooting for me."

Here's hoping you'll be back making me crazy on YES telecasts soon.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:44 AM   0 comments


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Straw That Stirs the Pot

I'm happy Darryl Strawberry (of all people) had the conviction to come forward and say what needed to be said:
Strawberry: Jeter must embrace A-Rod
By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
December 19, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- Darryl Strawberry thinks the Yankees' clubhouse is beset by bad chemistry that can be cured only one way: Derek Jeter needs to "embrace" Alex Rodriguez.

"They've got to come together," Strawberry said Tuesday. "It's time for them to mend their relationship and get back to, like, OK, let's have some fun. We're here in New York together. We're on the greatest team that we possibly could play on. Let's try to win instead of going separate ways. Because I remember them when they were young and they went to dinner together and they did everything together."

His remarks about the Yankees' chemistry were sparked by questions regarding the return of Andy Pettitte, who played with Strawberry on three of the Yankees' World Series championship teams. Pettitte was in New York for a physical Tuesday, and his contract could be finalized Wednesday.

"Hopefully, it will rub off on the team, guys will get more supportive of each other," Strawberry said. "I think the Yankees' problem is that they just don't support each other enough. I mean, back when I played in those years we were winning, we all supported each other, we all cared for each other. I think they need to get back to that, because the talent is there, but everybody seems like they're going their separate ways."

Rodriguez was booed by fans at times last season, and Strawberry said A-Rod has been treated like "an outsider."

Jeter, the Yankees' captain, has been cool toward A-Rod since a 2001 Esquire article.

At the World Series to accept an award, Jeter was asked whether there was anything he could do to make things easier for Rodriguez.

"What would you like me to do? I'm trying to think," Jeter said. "Well, you're there. You support him. Everyone supports all your teammates at all times. I don't really know if there's anything else I can do. Maybe I'm not that smart."

Strawberry said for Rodriguez to gain acceptance in the Yankees' clubhouse, Jeter must take the lead.

"I hope Jeter would embrace him this year, in spring training, and bring him into the full circle as a part of the Yankee family," Strawberry said. "If Jeter does it, I think everybody else will respond. I hope that works out for him, because once upon a time, they were best of friends and some things happened, which is life. And hopefully they will put those things behind them and hopefully they can come together."

Strawberry said the pair must take it upon themselves to right the Yankees, who despite nine straight AL East titles have not won the World Series since 2000.

"Both of them are leaders and they need to come together as leaders and bring that Yankee team back up to par, because the last few years they've been nowhere in sight," Strawberry said. "It's not about just getting in the first round. When you have talent like that, it's about winning."

While Jeter has won four World Series titles and six AL pennants, Rodriguez has never been to the World Series. Jeter has a .314 average in the postseason, leading in career hits (150) and tying for third in RBIs (48) and fifth in homers (17).

Still, Strawberry said Rodriguez is a two-time AL MVP who has put up impressive regular-season statistics in three seasons with the Yankees.

"OK, so what, he hasn't hit well in the playoffs yet," Strawberry said. "How many years did it take Barry Bonds before he clicked in the playoffs? Think about it. I know he hasn't performed like Jeter has in the playoffs. Jeter's a different breed. There's ice water in his veins. There ain't no pressure on him. He knows he's been there and done that. I just hope they work it out."

Maybe this is finally someone that will wake up Mon Capitán.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:56 PM   0 comments


Friday, December 15, 2006

Funniest Story of the Year?

Let's make sure Carl Pavano doesn't get a Playstation 3:

The Tigers are satisfied they won't see a recurrence of the right wrist and forearm inflammation that sidelined Joel Zumaya for three games of the American League Championship Series.

Why? Club president and general manager Dave Dombrowski told WXYT-AM (1270) on Wednesday the team had concluded Zumaya's injury resulted from playing a video game, not from his powerful throwing motion.

"That was probably what was taking place," Dombrowski later told the Free Press.

Zumaya, 22, was known to play "Guitar Hero," a PlayStation 2 game in which a player uses a guitar-shaped controller to simulate the performance of popular songs.

During the radio interview, Dombrowski said the Tigers' athletic training staff discovered that Zumaya's forearm pain was more consistent with the action of a guitar player than a baseball pitcher. The Tigers asked Zumaya to stop playing the video game, and he did. Zumaya then pitched pain-free during the World Series, and went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three appearances.

"He felt fine in the World Series, to tell you the truth," said Steve Springer, one of Zumaya's representatives. "I didn't even think twice about it."

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:00 PM   2 comments


Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Moron Patrol

Buried deep within a story suggesting the Yankees might be a third team in the Atlanta-Pittsburgh deal (Adam LaRoche and Kyle Davies to the Pirates, Mike Gonzalez to New York, Jose Castillo, Scott Proctor and Melky Cabrera to the Braves) you can see the Moron Patrol in full effect. Just start at comment one and work your way through.

It's fans like these toothless, uneducated cockmonkeys that makes me wonder why some of us even bother to attempt intelligent discourse.

I mean, it's high comedy.
  • Yankee fans comedown cashman is not doing this deal i bet any of you the yankees do not get involved mark my words it doesnt say newhere that cashman is considering this, this is not a good source NY calm down and shutup if u actually think brian wud do this trade you dont know anything about baseball stop crying Boston sucks n braves n pirates aint winning [profane]
  • who have the sucking Skankees ever traded that turned out to be a decent good player? answer -NO ONE they are all overrated, overpaid & useless
  • Are the Yankees crazy? Proctor is a horse with a high 90 mile an hour fastball, who could be a starter. Milky is probably the best hitting young outfielder in the game. I believe he will likely have a 2nd year like Cano if allowed to play.
  • Yankees would never do this trade so dont get a boner brave fans melky n proctor wud bring some winning attitude to your team plus the kid who said the braves should trade hudson n gonzalez to the yankees that would not benefit the yankees at all y wud we need hudson when we have johnson pavano mussina wang pettite n igawa all starting pitchers u really are a retard kid n u seriously dont know anything about baseball get a life [profane]s
  • Melky Cabrera is worth more than all of those players combined.
  • the braves should send gonlalez and hudson to the yankees for robinson cano
Maybe they need someone like PeteAbe to keep the peace.
Assorted semi-literate Red Sox fans: Thanks for the traffic. But I'll do a gardening blog before I let this become a bunch of name-calling. So enough of that. There is a high level of baseball discussion here and we aim to keep it that way.
Good Lord when is the offseason over....

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:37 AM   1 comments


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pettitte Hatchet Jobs Coming Out of Houston

It was only a matter of time before the so-called "unbiased" press of a home baseball town began to fellate the wealthy owners of the local club and place blame on any player who dares leave the hometown environment. It happens (frequently) in Boston. It happens in Seattle, and Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh. Now it's happening in Houston, courtesy of Houston Chronicle writer John P. Lopez.

Team Andy shovels, and it's not snow

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Snappy headline there, seeing as how it is winter and people in some areas are shoveling snow.
It might be the season of searching for a good deal, but if you're buying the stuff Team Andy is shoveling, then you probably shop at the same place as New York's, make that, Deer Park's favorite son.

It's that place where defective merchandise comes cheap.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that when Pettitte was signed after the 2003 season, Lopez didn't consider Pettitte "defective merchandise" although the Yankees certainly had valid concerns about his elbow.
Such as: The book the faithful Andy Pettitte recently must have come across, the one that had a page torn out and one of the deadly sins — greed — conveniently missing.
Wait a second, is he now questioning Pettitte's Christianity? And unless my Catholic school upbringing is failing me, I don't believe the Seven Deadly Sins were in the Bible, so I'm not sure to which book Mr. Lopez refers.
Don't get me wrong, greed can be good in moderation. Nothing wrong with chasing a dollar, or 32 million of them for that matter.
Oh, ok. He's not claiming to be a better Christian than Pettitte, he's claiming to be Gordon Gecko.
But as Team Andy has turned the spin dial to full-tilt in the wake of Pettitte's signing with the New York Yankees, don't get caught up in the angling and logic being spewed.

Saturday, Pettitte told us he was shocked the Astros didn't try hard enough to raise their offer and that his hometown team, "really didn't do much."
Well, they didn't. They offered $12M for one year to a guy with a decent track record. Fear of injury? Ask Adam Eaton or Gil Meche whether or not teams in thie market see that as a concern.
Yeah, all they did was go out and fortify the lineup with a $100 million slugger in Carlos Lee, sign proven veteran Woody Williams, hire a pitching coach, set aside millions for Roger Clemens' possible return and allow Pettitte to take longer than they would have liked to decide whether he wanted $12 million.
Carlos Lee is an awful defender whose presence in the outfield would most likely hurt a pitcher's ERA. He has a career OPS+ of 113, which is great is he were a second baseman, but unimpressive for a corner outfielder who doesn't have a multi-faceted game. Lee has never had an OPS above .900, and while called a "slugger" has never hit 40 homeruns, and usually averages around 30. Oh yes, but he's a "$100 million slugger" now, so salary trumps ability. As for signing "Proven Veteran™" Woody Williams, this is supposed to excite Pettitte or the fan base? The last three seasons, Williams has posted ERA+ of 100, 79, 116, which amounts to average, awful, slightly above average. Yes, I'm sure Pettitee did backflips when he heard about that big aquisition. Good thing also the Astros hired a pitching coach, and McLane didn't go with the unconventional approach of being the only major league team without one.
Earlier, Pettitte's representation, the formidably shrewd team of Alan and Randy Hendricks, tried mightily and with a measure of success to turn Pettitte's signing with the Yankees into an indictment of the Astros.

They implied the tired, no longer valid perception that Astros owner Drayton McLane was too frugal to get it done.
Not too frugal, but willing to spend his money in the wrong areas. Carlos Lee's contract is now a huge weight that hangs over the team's neck for years to come.
They strategically planted stories with New York and national media outlets, one national columnist pointing out that this deal was killed over a measly $2 million and the Astros' misstep damaged a harmonious relationship between McLane and the Hendricks brothers.
Yes, planted. Buster Olney or Peter Gammons couldn't have come up with that on their own, huh?
Huh? Anyone else remember the bizarre, hostile words exchanged between the sides in 1998? That's when Clemens first appeared to be headed home, punctuating the end of the deal by saying of former GM Gerry Hunsicker and current team president Tal Smith, "I can't work alongside those two men."
So you're saying the Houston front office has been inept for a while now?
As for the supposed $2 million impasse here, it was never about just $2 million. That's 99 Cent Store hyperbole.
Yes. At this stage in Pettitte's career it was about two things: a second year option, and winning a World Series.
Still, that's the story you're supposed to believe. Clearly, had McLane bumped his offer to Pettitte, the counterpoint from Team Andy would have been: "OK, now let's talk about the player option in the second year, like the Yankees."
Mmmmhmm. The second year was a big deal. So was the winning. Oh but the Astros got Lee and Williams so I'm sure they're poised to overtake the Cardinals and the Cubs.
It was about an additional $16 million, minimum. Perhaps $18 million. Pettitte's father, Tommy, even got into the act, telling New York Newsday the Astros' offer and trade attempt for White Sox starter Jon Garland was, "another slap in the face" from the Astros.

I don't know about you. But if I'm a pitcher who's had elbow trouble two of the past three years and was offered $12 million to pitch, while still getting to tuck my kids into bed, hanging with my lifelong friends and attending my home church, then slap away.
Again with the church stuff. Is Lopez trying to tug the religious heartstrings of the people of Houston? I say yes.

How about if you're a pitcher who's had elbow problems and your career is coming to a close you'd like to pitch for two more years with a shot at a championship? Huh? How about that, huh? Huh?
The only slap in the face was by Pettitte. He is a good man. Church-going. Sings in the choir. Brings his best.
But now he's a-gonna be goin' to some new-fangled New York church.
But in this case he was at his worst. The advice Pettitte has followed contradicts everything he ever said was most important in his life. It also cast a shadow on all the good feelings he brought his hometown.
The things that were important to a guy earlier in his career are not neccesarily the same things important to a guy in the latter years of his career.
"My heart started pulling me, tugging me to come back down here."

— Andy Pettitte, December 2003, about Houston

Case in point. Lopez also fails to mention that Pettitte turned down more money from New York to play in Houston. But now he's all about the money for some reason.
Sometimes the best spin is none at all. All Pettitte needed to do was be honest.

Tell us it was about the money. Tell us, yeah, it's going to be tough leaving the wife and kids again for maybe eight months, but $32 million is $32 million. We'd understand.
How much is Drayton McLane paying you to write this artcile?
"My family is the most important thing to me. I think everybody realizes that now. I'm sure everyone thought I'd just go after the money. It wasn't about the money. I could have gotten a lot more money other places."

— Andy Pettitte, December 2003

Everyone should realize something else now. Team Andy again is talking about it not being about the money, even saying again that Pettitte could have gone elsewhere for considerably more than the two-year, $32 million paid by the Yanks. They've turned the tables. They've blamed McLane. Don't buy it.
Ok, so Lopez believes it wasn't about the money when Pettitte signed with the Astros three years ago because he turned down more money and other things were important. Because he now signed for more money than the Astros offered, it must be about the money despite Pettitte saying other things were important, because Andy Pettitte has become a lying liar who lies.
Even in opening discussions with the White Sox for Garland, all McLane and the Astros did was explore all options. It wasn't a slap in the face. It was the Astros doing exactly what Team Andy did. They searched for the best deal and had an alternative plan.
Goose, say hello to the gander.
Perhaps you don't understand the goose/gander metaphor. He is calling Pettitte the "goose" and the Astros the "gander." Since the phase is "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" the one who first does the action would be the goose. The Astros pursuing trade discussions came first. Thus they are the goose. Your slam against Pettitte there is not only factually incorrect due to the order of events, but clearly shows the bias written in the article. In fact if anything, it demonstrates how what Pettitte "did to the Astros" is completely justified, since he is in fact, a gander.
The Astros being smart shoppers clearly was something Pettitte and his representation did not expect. They're used to having the Astros over a barrel, making them wait, calling the shots.
Carlos Lee. $100M. That is akin to calling NASA "smart shoppers" for paying $500 for a toilet seat.
The Astros made one offer here and compared it to the one over there. That's not just smart baseball, it's smart business.

Fans are smart, too, and should realize this was about good, old American greed, nothing more and nothing less.
I'm sure Carlos Lee came to Houston because he loves the local food and has been a huge Rockets fan all of his life.
Pettitte has every right to cash in, sure. Good for him. He had his reasons for wanting to stay, but in the end Pettitte was no different than, say, Terrell Owens.
What? Terrell Owens? Compared to Andy Pettitte? One of the biggest assholes in professional sports who alienates his teammates and repeatedly throws them under a bus until teams keep him on the roster but don't play him and then release him is at all comparable to Andy Pettitte choosing a second year and the chance to win a ring? Are you fucking kidding me?
There were 32 million reasons home is where he'll hang his Yankees cap.
No, there are four, and he'd like a fifth.
Listen to John P. Lopez weekdays from noon-3 p.m. on 790 AM.
No fucking thanks.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:06 PM   4 comments


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Red Sox Media Machine in Full Effect

I had thought Manny wasn't going to be traded, but after reading this hatchet job, how could he not be? I'm no conspiracy theorist here, but it's been a poorly kept secret that the Red Sox front office plants stories and has a lot of control over the Boston media, and I don't think this is any different than the Epstein and Garciaparra bashing.
Don’t cry for Manny; he blames you
By Gerry Callahan
Boston Herald General Sports Columnist
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
You! YOU! You who is reading this article now! Manny blames YOU!
Any day now, the Red Sox will grant Manny Ramirez his wish and trade away the future Hall of Famer, and millions of distraught Sox fans will moan and wail and wonder why it had to come to this.
Why couldn’t Manny just stay here and play here and be happy? Why was he so determined to flee our lyrical little baseball town and play somewhere else?
Well, if you really want to know why, I’ll tell you:
Because he hates you, that’s why.
He doesn’t hate the ballpark. He doesn’t hate his teammates or his manager or the owners or the clubhouse attendants or the guy inside The Wall who operates the scoreboard. He doesn’t hate the weather or the racial climate or the politics.

He doesn’t even hate the media, at least not the way, say, Carl Everett or Keith Foulke hated the media. He doesn’t read the papers or listen to the talk shows or even answer questions from the media, so how could their presence drive him out of the city?
No, the reason for his trade demand was, like the man himself, pretty simple. He just hates you, the paying customer and unwavering supporter of the Sox. He hates that you’re always there, always yelling and cheering and fawning all over him. He hates your very nature - your devotion, your intensity, your insatiable appetite for all things Red Sox. Hell, you could say he hates you for loving him so much.
Wow. Seriously, I thought the Nomar bashing was bad but this is insane. Callahan goes so far as to list the things Manny "doesn't hate" (the ballpark, politics (?), teammates, etc.) just to clarify that he hates you, the reader. This is why it's OK for the Red Sox to trade him in a crappy deal, because they are doing it for you.
And you know what’s really kind of pathetic?
This article.
You just keep loving him anyway. You just keep forgiving his sins, laughing off his transgressions, and ignoring his long-standing desire to put you and the Red Sox in his rearview mirror.
The fans didn't invent "Manny being Manny." The Red Sox did. The media did. You clowns in the media forgave him for everything, because that loveable ol' manchild Manny doing what a loveable ol' manchild does! Don't blame the fans for this, Callahan.
Do you remember what Manny supposedly did inside The Wall during a game? Well, that’s what he’s doing on your head, and you act as if it’s a nice warm summer rain. It is a unique dynamic in this town - a guy who can lay down on his team time and again and still not fall out of favor with the supposedly tough sports fans.
Perhaps because assclowns like you have been drilling into Smitty and Sully and Sully for years that that behavior is acceptable from Manny, but another player on another team who wanted to come play for your team but was blocked by the Players' Union so he wound up with your rival is an asshole because he's a "phony" who "always tried to say the right things."
Manny is the highest-paid player in Sox history, and yet he never is asked to show a hint of leadership or character. He can show up late for spring training, he can leave early for the All-Star break. He can dog it down the first base line or into the corner to retrieve a double. None of it matters. Sox fans will stand and cheer next time he comes to the plate. Or maybe they will kneel and worship. When it comes to their quirky cleanup hitter, Fenway Park is like a room full of 14-year-old girls, and Manny is Justin Timberlake.
That would make you whatever jackass is hosting TRL these days for building him up for years.
Yaz got booed. Jim Rice got booed. Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, even Curt Schilling heard boos one night. And those guys never laid down on their team like Manny did on a semi-annual basis. And those guys combined barely made as much from the Red Sox as Manny has during the past six years.
I for one am smocked that players from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's didn't get paid as much as Manny. Yaz didn't? BLASPHEMY. Dollars are different today, chump. Rice didn't make as much as Rocco Baldelli does today. Vaughn was overpaid as it was, and Clemens was booed mainly because the media was all over his case the last year in Boston.
We all know his numbers, and they are enough to put him in Cooperstown. We all know about his ability at the plate, and indeed, it is transcendent. No one will come here next year and do what Manny did offensively. If that is the litmus test for J.D. Drew, the guy has no chance.
Oh yes, JD Drew is the new toy so he's a total sweetheart, right? What an unfair situation for nice-guy Drew, whose three franchises full of former teammates have nothing to say but good things about? He's being set up for failure!
But we’ll say one thing for Drew that we never could say about Manny: At least he wants to be here. Manny does not, and it is time for all the Manny apologists to come to grips with this: The Red Sox would not trade Manny if Manny didn’t want to be traded. This is Manny’s call. If you are upset about his imminent departure, take it up with Manny.
The Sox have tried to grant Manny’s wish in the past, but there was no market for his services. Now there is. So Manny gets his wish, and the Sox get the pitching help they need. It finally works out well for both sides, but it also opens the door to years of second-guessing and revisionist history from the Manny minions in Red Sox nation.
JD Drew didn't want to go to Boston. JD Drew was told by JD Drew's agent that if JD Drew opted out of JD Drew's contract, that JD Drew would be able to cash in on a huge payday for JD Drew. And that's exactly what JD Drew did for JD Drew. JD Drew followed the money and signed with the only team to offer that much money to JD Drew. JD Drew.
If David Ortiz does not duplicate his numbers from the past two seasons, if Drew struggles, if Manny thrives in Los Angeles or San Diego or wherever - all very strong possibilities, let’s face it - we can hear the cries now. How could they have let the great man go? Why did they have to trade our binky, our hero, our Manny?
Already defedning the team in the if something happens category.
Well, let’s set the record straight. Manny made this happen. He didn’t shoot his way out of town. He just kind of held his breath until he got his way. Some of his teammates, including Ortiz, already have said it’s time to move on. Manny wants to go, let him go. They don’t want to deal with a disgruntled Manny next season, nor does Sox management.
They won’t get a player with Manny’s talent in return, but look at the bright side: They will get someone with more heart and more character, guaranteed. Maybe they’ll get a guy who actually wants to be here, too. Someone who will love you back, Boston. That will be a nice change. At least now when you feel a sprinkle on your neck, you’ll know its rain.

JD Drew doesn't love you, Sox fans. JD Drew only loves money, and JD Drew. And probably cheating on his wife Sheigh Drew.

JD Drew.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:18 PM   7 comments


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

West Bank Bias

Some things you just can't make up.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:45 PM   3 comments

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