Results tagged ‘ Roger Clemens ’

Not Tonight, I Want to Watch the WBC…

The WBC is quite interesting after all…

 

I have to admit that I am starting to get caught up with the World Baseball Classic.  At first, I dismissed it as a ploy by the Commissioner and viewed it as something that would prevent certain players from getting quality spring training time with their respective teams.  Granted, a Derek Jeter doesn’t have to worry that someone’s going to steal his job while he is away, but how about someone like Carlos Marmol?  Carlos should be the Cubs’ closer this year since Kerry Wood signed with Cleveland in the off-season.  However, the Cubs did acquire the Florida Marlins closer Kevin Gregg in the off-season.  I have not been following the Cubs that closely, so I don’t know if Marmol has already been given the closer’s role by Manager Lou Piniella or if he is in competition with Gregg.  But regardless, time away from Cubs camp can’t be beneficial. 

 

Jerry Lai/AP

 

On the same token, Kevin Cash is fighting for a Yankees roster spot as the third catcher.  Meanwhile, Francisco Cervelli has been with the WBC’s Team Italy.  Granted, Italy has been eliminated and Cervelli is on his way to Tampa to join up with the Yanks.  But still, the time away most likely was more beneficial for Cash than it was Cervelli.

 

Sorry, I digressed…

 

I am very surprised to see the Netherlands’ victory over the Dominican Republic.  On the bright side, it means that Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte will be on their way back to camp.  But I still have to believe that the DR was the better team.  Well, I guess on “any given Tuesday”, everyone has a chance.  That’s why the play the games, right? 

 

Two things did stand out to me about the Netherlands-DR game.   

 

First, Ubaldo Jimenez is a freak.  Ten strikeouts in four innings.  Two hits, no runs, no walks, and 43 of 65 pitches were for strikes.  It’s a tremendous line score, and is obviously a tournament record.  I’ve known that Jimenez was good, I just didn’t realize that he was this good.  The Rockies are very fortunate to have him.

 

 

Secondly, Pedro Martinez pitched very well and certainly deserves another opportunity.  The Mets are on record saying they have no interest in re-signing Pedro, but you’d think someone would take the chance.  I mean, c’mon, if you have the chance to go with Carl “The American Idle” Pavano or Pedro Martinez (albeit the antique version), you tell me you’re going to go with the guy most likely to hit the DL first?  I’d think a team that is capable of contending, like the Indians, would take a chance on Pedro as their fifth starter.  In the Netherlands-DR game, Pedro pitched very well (three innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, and two strikeouts).

 

The WBC games have been very entertaining, and I am looking forward to the second round.  Plus, Jimmy Curran has my interest piqued about Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish…

 

 

Steroids, the topic that won’t go away

 

Alex Rodriguez should be thankful for the torn labrum.  The injury and the subsequent surgery have caused people to focus on things other than his admitted steroids use.  So, the surgery definitely has had some positive impact despite the negative of keeping A-Rod out of action for 6-9 weeks.

 

Meanwhile, the negative reports for Roger Clemens keep coming in.  Now, Brian McNamee is saying that he injected Clemens with drugs in the Jacuzzi at Yankee Stadium.  At this point, I fully believe that McNamee is telling the truth.  From my perspective, what Clemens has done is far worse than anything A-Rod did.  

 

 

Okay, maybe that’s not Clemens, but it could be!  ;)

 

I used to feel that Clemens would be a shoo-in for first ballot Hall of Fame.  Now, I don’t believe he should ever get in (not even posthumously).  

 

Aside from Barry Bonds, Yankees who have taken steroids seem to get triple the press magnification than players from other teams.  I realize that New York City is THE major market, but I’d have to believe that steroids found their way into other locker rooms and no team was immune.  

 

Examples should be made of the so-called liars like Clemens and Bonds.  I will always have more respect for those who step forward and admit their indiscretions and crimes than I will for those who continue to deny their guilt.  

 

Yankees Happenings

 

CC Sabathia didn’t last long today as he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, and didn’t make it out of the second inning in the Yankees 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.  One of the hits was a home run by former Yankee Gary Sheffield.  Ouch! 

 

Meanwhile, Joba Chamberlain pitched much more effectively than he did his previous outing in Tuesday night’s 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.   He allowed one run on three hits, striking out three and walking none, in two innings of work. 

 

Sounds like GM Brian Cashman is content to start the season with Cody Ransom as the starting third baseman.  “I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” Cashman said.  “I’m not going to be proactive in trying to do something.  If something presents itself that makes sense, which is not realistic, then maybe it will be somebody different.  I think our answer is here in camp.”  Of course, you never know if that is talk to downplay any sense of desperation on the Yankees’ part or if Cashman is truly intending to stand pat.  My guess is that there isn’t anything that makes sense and it’s not worth parting with a blue-chip prospect at this point.  Now, if Ransom gets off to a very slow start…

 

Alex Rodriguez left a voice mail message for Manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday night that said, “I’m doing well.”  I am hopeful that it means the recovery will be closer to six weeks than nine weeks!  

 

It’s not Yankees news, but for everything negative about Manny Ramirez, there is no question that he is in a league of his own when it comes to hitting.  I noticed these comments by Donnie Baseball, the Dodgers hitting coach.  “By 8 [a.m.], he’s in the cage.  He’ll only take 30 to 35 balls, but he’s almost perfect with them.  He does it slow.  He doesn’t rush.  He’s not firing ball after ball.  He takes his time with each swing.  It’s like each swing is a whole at-bat.  He thinks about what he wants to do and then he thinks about what he just did.  Every swing he takes with a purpose.  And he doesn’t talk much when he’s hitting.  But if he doesn’t like one, he’ll ask what you think he did.”  I don’t condone how Manny treated the Boston fans or the organization, or how he quit on his teammates, but I respect his ability to hit.  That was the only reason that I wanted the Yankees to sign him.  

 

The Sharks Win, The Sharks Win, TTTHHEEE SHHHAARRRKKKS WIN!

 

Okay, they blew a three-goal lead but the San Jose Sharks finally won last night, beating the Minnesota Wild, 5-4, in overtime.  Wins have been hard to come by for the Sharks in recent weeks, so I’ll take any victory that I can. 

 

 

“We won finally and that’s a real good thing,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan.  “But I’m disappointed in the way we carry ourselves.  I’d like to see some guys step up and swing the bat.  I want to see guys take the challenge on a little bit more.” 

 

It was the Sharks first victory in five games.

 

I am hopeful that the victory will reignite some momentum for the Sharks as they continue the drive for the post-season.

Random Thoughts for a Tuesday…

A-Rod Surgery – The Day After…

 

By all accounts, the surgery performed on Alex Rodriguez’s hip for the torn labrum by Dr. Marc J. Philippon was successful.  Alex should be able to resume playing in 6-9 weeks.

 

Many people have questioned whether the Yanks really need to seek a replacement since A-Rod can conceivably be back in action after 23 games.  I say yes, because I feel an upgrade is necessary for the long haul…not just the first 23 games of the season.  Cody Ransom is labeled as a good defender, but he can’t hit for average although he does have some power. 

 

Kathy Willens/AP

 

I think the Yankees need someone who can fill in, provide good defense, and hit well enough to keep pitchers honest.  Alex will need more rest than in years past, and more rest for Derek Jeter is probably not a bad idea as he begins the downside of his career physically-speaking.

 

Someone did ask A’s manager Bob Geren if Bobby Crosby was being showcased at third base for the Yankees and he chuckled and replied “no”.  Bobby wants to play, and he probably sees third as his best option given the health of 3B Eric Chavez in recent years.  

 

So, maybe the best deal is no deal, but I sure wish I had more faith and confidence in either Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa…

 

Starting in Centerfield…

 

Granted, Brett Gardner hasn’t won the job yet, but he continues to impress in camp.  On Monday, he hit this third homer of the season (which leads the team). 

 

 

He continues to make things happen, and I’d be surprised to see Melky Cabrera to take the job from Gardner.  It’s definitely exciting to have his presence in the lineup. 

 

Michael Kay mentioned on a recent telecast that the Yankees haven’t had a weapon like this on the base paths since Homer Bush.  I agree…

 

Italy ousts Canada

 

Italy defeated Canada 6-2 on Monday to eliminate the Canadians from WBC play.  Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Italians. 

 

 

I caught Mike Piazza’s comments about Cervelli this morning (no pun intended).  “He’s so talented back there, you can’t say enough,” Piazza said.  “He worked hard back there.  His enthusiasm, you could tell.”

 

“His enthusiasm from the start of the game was just sky-high.  He hustled.  He’s got an amazing arm.” Piazza went on to say. “I’m jealous – in a good way – because I see player with a great future ahead of him.  He’s going to get better with the bat.  He’s going to get a little quicker.”

 

He’s not the prospect that Jesus Montero is, but he’s a few years older (23) and closer to major league action.  I am anxious to see competition between Cervelli and Kevin Cash (and even Jose Molina) when he returns to Yankees camp after the conclusion of the WBC.

 

Just as I am concerned about back up support at third, I have the same concerns at catcher given Jorge Posada’s age and his return from injury last season.  At this point of his career, Jorge is not going to improve and will only continue to deteriorate.  It remains to be seen if he can continue to perform at the level he’s been accustomed to, but the odds are against it.  Jorge needs a solid backup who can spell him on occasion.  Perhaps it is Jose Molina, but I do feel that when you look at the players with greatest odds for getting hurt, Jorge is at or near the top.  Therefore, if Cervelli can continue to take his play to a higher level, he’ll have a say in the Yanks’ backup catching plans.

 

Odds and Ends

 

Mike Mussina was a visitor to Yankees camp today, and true to form, doesn’t regret the decision to retire.  He also turned down Manager Joe Girardi’s offer to wear a uniform for the day.  

 

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

 

Moose was a class act, and he’ll be missed.  He was, at times, misunderstood, but I always thought he was honest and straightforward.  

 

I saw Jake Peavy’s quote earlier in the week, and I am definitely glad that the Red Sox never became his destination.  “Boston was a place that I told the Padres I would certainly be interested in playing,” Peavy said Monday at the Team USA workout.  “I don’t know if there were any talks.  I gave the Padres a list and Boston was on that list.  Boston was a place I told the Padres I would be interested in playing at.  Set that straight for sure.”  Yikes!  To borrow the old adage, sometimes the best deal is the deal never made!  J

 

 

With the plethora of evidence building up against him, when is Roger Clemens going to come clean and admit steroids use?  For a guy I used to consider a hero, I am so disappointed…

 

 

I liked Randy Johnson’s description of Tim Lincecum as the fourth Jonas brother…

 

 

Okay, I find the headline of “U.S. teammate Dustin Pedroia thinks World of Derek Jeter” to be very disturbing!  There’s way too much love going around.  “They go at it constantly,” Chipper Jones said of Jeter and Pedroia.  “It’s fun when Yankees and Red Sox go at each other, because you know they’re going to hate each other in a month.”  Whew!  I needed that perspective.  Thanks Chipper! I was starting to get this visual image of Yankees and Red Sox players hugging each other and trading high 5′s before games… 

 

Remember when Peds were just shoes?…

I liked Dave Letterman’s admission that he took “performance enhancing vodka” during his prior years with NBC on Late Night…

 

OSWALT CALLS OUT STEROID USERS

 

When I first saw Roy Oswalt’s critical comments of Alex Rodriguez this morning on ESPN, I couldn’t help but wonder if Oswalt had said anything about his buddies, former Astros pitchers Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.  To his credit, he did include those guys when he made his critical statements about PED users. 

 

big league chew

MLB

 

However, he is taking the softer “innocent until proven guilty” approach with Clemens, and indicated that he doesn’t have anything against the admitted users.  However, he stated “Only the guys that have been proven guilty, their numbers shouldn’t count…I love Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens just like brothers.  I’ve played with them for three years.  They’re great teammates and I would love to have them on my team this year, but the way I feel I feel like they cheated me out of the game just because of the way they enhanced themselves but I’ve done it by working out”. 

 

Oswalt is a proponent of two record books.  One book for “clean” players and separate book for the admitted and proven steroids users.

 

“Now with the testing we have in place, there’s no way you can get around it,” Oswalt said.  “I think in the last two years or three years the game’s been clean, real clean.  It’s probably one of the cleanest sports out there.  There’s really no way to beat the tests with what’s in place now.”

 

Q&A

 

With a little modification, these old lawyer jokes can become very timely:

 

Q:  What’s the difference between a dead dog and a dead A-Rod in the road?

A:  There are skid marks in front of the dog.

 

Q:  What do you have when A-Rod is buried up to his neck in sand?

A:  Not enough sand.

 

Q:  How can you tell when A-Rod is lying?

A:  His lips are moving.

 

Q:  Why did God make snakes just before making A-Rod?

A:  To practice.

 

Q:   What’s the difference between A-Rod and a bucket of pond scum?

A:  The bucket.

 

These pretty much sum up the gist and tone of the articles I’ve been reading about A-Rod lately…

 

 

A FEW OF YESTERDAY’S MOVES AND SOME ODDS & ENDS

 

Bobby Abreu to the Angels on a one year deal.  Money-wise it was a fair deal for the Angels, but hopefully, they’ll be able to DH him more often than not given his defensive shortcomings at this stage of his career.

 

Kevin Millar continues his circuit of the AL East by signing with the Toronto Blue Jays.  I suppose that this means he will be with Tampa or New York next year…

 

Frank Viola to the Cleveland Indians as spring training pitching instructor.  It’s good to see Frank’s name again.  He was a teammate of Cleveland manager Eric Wedge in 1992 while they were with the Red Sox.  Hey Frank, good luck with the American Idle (i.e., Carl Pavano)…

 

Adam Dunn to the Nationals on a two year deal.  So much for Dunn’s plans to play for a contender.  I do feel bad for Nick Johnson.  He had so much promise when he came up with the Yankees, but injuries have robbed him of a good career and now he has no position to play…

 

I am pulling for a return to Seattle by Ken Griffey, Jr.  It would be nice to see him end it where he started.  By the way, can you take A-Rod with you?  Just kidding!

 

 

Of the Yankee players who have shown up in Tampa early, I was pleased to see that the list included Nick Swisher.  I remain hopeful that the Yankees either trade Xavier Nady, or simply keep both Nady and Swisher.  I keep hearing that the Braves are interested in Swisher, but I’d rather keep him on the roster to see if he can rebound from last year’s White Sox disaster.

 

Yankees pitchers and catchers report to camp TOMORROW!  Bring it on!  J

 

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