"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 5/1/09

Today’s news is powered by a little clip from one of the best “Simpsons” episodes ever:

The Yankees can’t help but be happy with what they’ve squeezed out of Swisher, who left the spring as a bench player but has stepped up in a big way.

“You wonder where our record would be without him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s been extremely productive. He played some great defense [Wednesday], diving all over the place. We talked about wanting to have depth and that’s what he’s provided.”

Swisher heads into Thursday’s game against the Angels leading the Yankees in home runs (seven), RBIs (19) and runs scored (19), playing gritty outfield defense and even winning the fans over earlier in the month by volunteering to pitch an inning.

  • PeteAbe has the recap of Alex Rodriguez’s appearance in an extended spring training intrasquad game.
  • Speaking of Alex, the News has more juicy/gory details from Selena Roberts’ upcoming book on him.
  • And speaking of books (I’m riding a “Segue” here . . . ), author Peter Golenbock Peter Golenbock spoke with Baseball Prospectus Radio about his biography of Boss George.
  • And speaking of Baseball Prospectus (I’m still riding that “Segue”), Kevin Goldstein has some good news on uber-prospect Jesus Montero (originally published Wednesday):

Tuesday’s stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI
It’s rare for a 19-year-old to be able to dominate a High-A league (and a pitcher’s circuit at that), but Montero is doing just that, as last night’s onslaught brought his averages up to .371/.421/.614, which puts him in the league’s top ten in all three categories. The other good news is that reports on his defense are better, which unfortunately upgrades him from complete unacceptable to well below average, and as a 6-foot-4, 230 pound teenager, he’s not going to get any small (sic). First base is his likely destination in the end, but it’s not going to matter, because his bat is downright special.

[My take: Unless they plan on teaching him a corner OF position, it sounds like he's trade bait in a couple of years.]

  • Sticking with Baseball Prospectus, Shawn Hoffman examines the financial bottom line impact of the Yanks’ recently-announced premium seat price reductions:

What’s most important to remember is that the Yankees are still going to make a ton of money this year (far more than last year), and are very well-positioned going forward. Let’s say they only make $1 million per game off of those 1,895 premium seats, well below any reasonable estimates. Based on Forbes’ 2008 estimates, that alone would put them in front of all but six teams in terms of gate receipts—and that’s before they sell a single ticket for any of the other 50,430 seats in Yankee Stadium. So no need to fret, the new ballpark is still a massive ATM machine.

Obviously, the Yankees were caught off guard by the sheer magnitude of this economic slump. The general pricing strategy was probably set years in advance, and it seemed perfectly in line with demand, at least up until this past fall. But looking forward, there’s no reason to think the Yankees won’t be able to at least sustain these new prices. Even with the major banks struggling, New York is still filled with companies that can afford to buy suites or premium packages.

[My take: But what if those businesses decide its still bad public relations to shell out $200,000 or so on a suite?  What about having to pay out the increases to the payroll built into the long-term contracts of Jeter, A-Rod, Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira?  Would the Yanks then lay it at the feet of the "non-premium" fan to make up the difference?]

Even with a cut in some top-priced tickets, the New York Yankees still had large numbers of empty seats in prime areas when they returned home for the second homestand at $1.5 billion new Yankee Stadium.

Just 23 of 50 $2,500 seats in the first row between the dugouts were filled in by the top of the second inning of Thursday night’s 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels. In the third inning, the entire third row was empty in section 20 behind home plate, although it mostly filled by the fifth.

  • Accuweather.com tries to figure out if the winds will be impacting the new Stadium on this upcoming homestand:

It appears that while the speculation will have to wait one more night (till Friday). Weather conditions tonight will not help carry balls hit to right field. Winds are expected to increase to 10 to 20 mph tonight, but they will shift from southeast to more or a southerly direction. A wind from this direction will tend to push lofty fly balls more to the left. Showers will also wander into the region tonight. Any rain will slow fly balls down a bit as well.

A test will come Friday evening, barring any untimely rain showers. Winds for the game are expected to swing around from the southwest to the west averaging 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts. The winds should come more in line with the game on Saturday, April 18. Humidity levels may be somewhat higher than that of a couple of weeks ago.

  • Brandon Claussen turns 30 today.  The one-time top pitching prospect made only one start for the Yanks before being dealt to the Reds for Aaron Boone in 2004.  He last pitched in 2007, for the Nationals’ Triple-A team.
  • Today is also the birthday of one-time Yankee minor leaguers Steven Randolph (1995 amateur draftee) and Phil Hiatt (1998 FA signee).
  • On this date in 1992, one-time Yankee 3B Celerino Sanchez died at the age of 48.
  • On this date in 1920, Babe Ruth hit his 50th career home run, and his first for the New York Yankees.
  • On this date in 1951, Mickey Mantle hit the first home run of his career, off Randy Gumpert in an 8 – 3 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.
  • On this date in 1991, Rickey Henderson surpassed Lou Brock as MLB career stolen base leader with his 939th steal, in the A’s 7 – 4 victory over the Yankees. Henderson broke the record in the fourth inning, when he stole third base against catcher Matt Nokes.

[My take: How many of us remember the image of the "modest" Henderson holding the swiped bag aloft, and later proclaiming to be the greatest basestealer of all time?  In a bit of karmic retribution, Henderson's feat was somewhat upstaged later that day by Nolan Ryan's seventh no-hitter, featuring 16 strikeouts and only two walks.]

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT

51 comments

1 Rich   ~  May 1, 2009 10:32 am

I still think that Montero will at least split time with Romine as a ML catcher, but even if he has to DH, with that bat, he's not getting traded.

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 1, 2009 10:32 am

It may have been immodest, but Rickey was right. He may not have been as charming as Ali, but he was more clearly the greatest of all time.

3 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 10:41 am

A-Rod - only nine more years left, that's what you keep telling yourself AND that's what I keep telling myself.

"Great" job, Hank.

4 MichiganYankee   ~  May 1, 2009 10:48 am

Re-posting from last thread (as it is more relevant here):

I just noticed that Swish has the leading VORP among AL right fielders and is 4th among AL outfielders. Has anyone started up an all-star write-in campaign?

5 williamnyy23   ~  May 1, 2009 10:49 am

If Montero keeps it up, I think the Yankees will find a spot for him. The kid is only 19, so I wouldn't fret about his lack of catching skills. Posada was a 2B until his early-20s, so a decent catcher can be taught.

Each medical report on Arod seems better and better...while others might prefer the distraction of Selena's smut, I am counting down the days until the Yankees add one of the best players in baseball to the lineup. I am sure Teixeira is counting down the days too.

6 MichiganYankee   ~  May 1, 2009 10:52 am

Point of administration:

The commenting system seems to drop the target="new" from tags. Does anyone know of a workaround?

7 williamnyy23   ~  May 1, 2009 10:54 am

[4] Everyone is always quick to bash Cashman for not getting depth, but coming into the season, Swisher was just that. With Nady down, Swisher has stepped right in and solidified RF. The Swisher trade was an absolute steal and Cashman deserves all the credit.

8 Rich   ~  May 1, 2009 11:08 am

[7] You are correct that if Nady was healthy, the Yankees had legitimate depth at corner OFer, but I don't see how Swisher could have been denied being named the starter, perhaps by now. He's better than Nady both offensively and defensively, and he's a grinder, which is what the Yankees were characterized by during the run. That's also what Cash has said he wants the team to be about going forward. It's a major reason why I was surprised that Nady "won" the job.

9 williamnyy23   ~  May 1, 2009 11:13 am

[8] Nady was Girardi's pick. All Cashman can do is give him the options. As it turned out, Girardi's two big decisions were Gardner and Nady, and both were the wrong ones. That's a little discouraging. At least Girardi has proven able to change his mind quickly. I was fearful we would be forcefed Gardner for another 20 games or so.

10 zack   ~  May 1, 2009 11:22 am

[3] Seriously? Yeah, because this team is GREAT without him...

[0] I don't see any reason why Montero would be traded. Whether his future is at C or DH or wherever, this team is going to need offense in the next 2-3 years, and the Jesus certainly can provide that. And as others have said, all you need him to do is man catcher at a Piazza/Mike Stanley level, which is to say, catch the ball throw it back, prevent some passed balls, and throw a runner out on rare occasion. If he can do that, which so far has HAS been able to, despite what everyone says he eventually won't, then keep him at catcher.

SUre, he's big and not the best defender. But neither was Piazza...

11 MichiganYankee   ~  May 1, 2009 11:52 am

Nady was the incumbent and he had the incentive of a contract year, and Swisher did not exactly blow him away in Spring Training. I can't fault Girardi with giving Nady the starting nod as long as he was flexible enough to bench Nady if needed. Girardi's handling of the Melky-Gardner situation suggests that Swish would have been the everyday right fielder by now even if Nady had remained healthy.

On the center field front, Girardi correctly valued Gardner's skill set of speed and patience over Melky's contribution of occasional power and and arm strength -- all else being equal, which it was in Spring Training. And Melky's 2008 performance had certainly left him in the "guilty until proven innocent" category. Girardi gets all of the credit here for giving Melky opportunities to prove himself and giving him the job once he had earned it.

12 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 1, 2009 12:11 pm

I agree completely with MichiganYankee's take on the RF and CF situations.

13 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 12:25 pm

I hope/assume Pena will stay and Berroa will go back to SWB when A-Rod touches down in NY?

14 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 12:26 pm

[10] I dunno, Zack, maybe I'm just using the time since he played his first game in 2004, up until now, and I think I would be happier if he never came to the Yanks and was never re-signed by Hank. He's provided me with many more periods of saying "wtf A-Rod" vs. "I'm so glad he's on my team".

The only reason things look a little bleak in Yankee-land is because of this past weekend series against the Sux, but they still scored a ton of runs during that series. Their pitching was awful, it wasn't the absence of A-Rod. IMHO.

I'm not saying that Roberts is some great person either, I find her despicable and a person with very few redeeming qualities. But I don't blame the messenger in this instance, A-Rod is hardly the victim and I refuse to paint him in a such a light. If I start doing that, then I might as well root for Cheney to become a champion of human rights issues.

15 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 12:30 pm

Agreed, also, on RF. The point of having had depth was that whichever player 'won' the principal RF job, we had a starting-quality ballplayer on the bench. That's what depth IS! In CF, I'm one of those who has just never seen the Gardner Mirage as a reality. I admit this may be me, yielding to the optics (my mirage?) of his uppercut swing which is just SO wrong for a guy who needs to beat out 30-40 ground balls and bunts a year. I do find it interesting that Girardi, when he pulled Swisher defensively last week, put Gardner in CF and moved Melky to right. There's an assessment of who is better defensively, I guess. Even with all the really nice numbers Melky gets from all the D-rating systems.

But my take on CF remains: go with the hot hand. And if Chauncey G gets it going, Melky's depth. I suppose I betray prejudice again by thinking Gardner doesn't feel like much bench depth. (He is, as a pinch runner, I suppose.)

16 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 12:31 pm

[14]

They scored 11 runs in one game (mostly against Josh Beckett, who suddenly seems to be more like Samuel Beckett). The rest of the weekend was an offensive struggle.

17 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 12:35 pm

[13] Agreed. I also hope they can also send Gardner packing too

[16] They were winning Friday and lost because of Mo. They had a big lead on Saturday, I have a hard time seeing where the absence of A-Rod would have made THAT much of a difference. They should have won 2 out of 3.

18 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 12:43 pm

Coming into the Detroit series, I believe the Yanks were last in the AL in BA with RISP, at .223

I think the last 3 days have corrected that a bit.

19 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 1:03 pm

[14] Wow, there's a rhetorical upgrade ... we got to Dick Cheney fast! The sins of A Rod, broken down are, what? That he, along with a significant percentage of his peers, seems to have used PEDs. But he alone of that significant percentage has admitted it in the press (NO one else currently playing has done that directly). He is the ONLY name leaked of - what was it? - 104 names, and that list is only a partial, in itself.

He is now accused, via innuendo, of having used PEDs when even younger (and more naive?). And of tipping some pitches as a stat builder for others and, by implication, for himself. If you read the SI piece on this, they chased down two Texas teammates (including Shane Spencer). The link is here, read it and decide for yourself whether someone might fairly be called a victim of reporting like this, that tries to shape a major attack out of quotes that do not sustain it:

http://tinyurl.com/djptgy

Here's a clip: ""From personal experience, I can tell you I've seen nothing or heard nothing that would support any chapter in that book that says that," said Dickey. "Then again, it's not so far outside the realm of possibility where you could dismiss it because obviously it could happen. It's mind-boggling."

Mind-boggling is right. Like, from my experience, I have never heard or seen Dimelo staggering drunkenly around Yankee Stadium screaming 'Death to Papelbon" but then again it's not so far outside the realm of possibility..."

Out of this, they make a story. In addition, the next paragraph has Spencer saying if it happened, Alex wouldn't be the only one: "I'm sure there are catchers out there that have told guys what's coming. " (Kevin Costner, for one!)

If the main allegation is that Rodriguez is a needy, insecure person, then I find it flat-out boring and trivial. Bonds (by all fair accounts a far more unpleasant human being) is gone, A Rod's the new poster boy. It won't end. There are books to sell and Yankee teams to boo.

20 PJ   ~  May 1, 2009 1:04 pm

[0] "How many of us remember the image of the "modest" Henderson holding the swiped bag aloft, and later proclaiming to be the greatest basestealer of all time?"

What I remember most from that was how he got a face full of dirt after hoisting the bag over his head!

phpphphpphpppppp pitooey...

Doh!

It's like practicing sand bunker shots at the driving range into the wind.

*Bonk*

21 jorgie juiced one   ~  May 1, 2009 1:08 pm

Re Rickey, et tu Diane.

I don't think Rickey intended his statement in the boastful manner in which it has been cast ever since.

22 ChrisS   ~  May 1, 2009 1:09 pm

How many of us remember the image of the "modest" Henderson holding the swiped bag aloft

I also remember watching Matt Nokes throw him out at 2B in the first inning when Ricky tried to break the record.

And Montero's not going anywhere.

They knew what they were getting when they signed him: an offensive monster that could potentially be a catcher. Cashman has been stockpiling catchers.

23 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 1:26 pm

There have been four catchers 6'4" or taller in ML history who amassed 3,000+ PA while playing 80% or more of the time at catcher:

http://www.bb-ref.com/play-index/shareit/swaP

24 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 1:31 pm

[19] When I would tell my mom that other kids were throwing eggs from the roof, too, she would tell me that she didn't give a crap about the other kids because they aren't her son.

I don't care about the unknown. I don't care about the other 103 people. A-Rod admitted to PED usage, he has zero credibility. The process with how the information was obtained is not worth arguing about, if that's the case there are bigger cases that I would worry about before A-Rod when it comes to govt leaks.

You say, "He is now accused, via innuendo", well didn't a bunch of people run to defend A-Rod amid those same allegations back in February? At this point, Roberts has much more credibility than A-Rod, it pains me to say it but it's true.

If all this is made bs, then A-Rod should go after her, but I guarantee you he won't. I have yelled "Death to Papelbon”, but I wasn't drunk.

A-Rod can't hold the jockstrap of Pettite's (an admitted PED user), Jeter's, Mo's, Posada's, Bernie's, etc. He has very few redeeming qualities, plus, it's now time to stop using "the best player in the majors" label. He's anything but THAT anymore.

25 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 1:43 pm

I just read this over at Pete Abe's:
UPDATE, 12:58 p.m.: I stand corrected. A-Rod’s supporters apparently have no trouble whatsoever defending anything he does based on the comments to this post. It’s amazing how everything he did is either somebody else’s fault or simply shouldn’t have been reported in the first place.
------------------------------------
I just don't get Yankee the excuses, it is everyone else's fault. On inauguration day I heard the words, "a new era of accountability". I had no idea that meant to blame others for your transgressions.

26 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 1:46 pm

[24] Worries me if your innuendo that they share a jockstrap is true.

27 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 1:56 pm

[26] They each have a day. I would hate to be the one to have the jockstrap in the latter part of the week - given that it gets a day off on Sunday and gets washed.

28 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 1:57 pm

Dimelo, joking aside, your response doesn't address MY question: what is he accused of doing that makes him uniquely as contemptible as you have - repeatedly - stated you find him. And what does 'contemptible' even have to do with it? Look up Ty Cobb, or Dixie Walker, or a score of truly contemptible 'stars' of the sport.

It is NOT a whitewashing to note that someone might more fairly be evaluated with others, not alone. Nor is it a good thing to take the stance you (and others) have, that since he's the only one who admitted it, he can properly be run out of town (you are wishing he would be!) because of that. All you you is encourage more deny, deny, deny among everyone else in the sport, from commish to owners to union to individual players.

I asked a REAL question, and only got back 'he has very few redeeming qualities' and 'I don't care about the other 103 people. A Rod admitted to PED usage.' That ENDS it for you? For me, that just begins it, or actually, that's the middle chapter in the story that goes back a long way, right to Aaron, Gibson and greenies in their era.

You want a perfect steroid scapegoat or - it seems - a nice person with 'redeeming qualities'. I want a more honest sport and, I suppose, fan awareness of how we contributed to the culture with what we wanted from the game (the McGwire/Sosa story) and a whole lot less being hung up on how pleasant, or virtuous, or tough or needy a player is. Unless it affects their play. Jeez, Zack Greinke could have been a poster boy for gutless wimps awhile back, before we grew up a bit about anxiety issues.

29 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 1:58 pm

Scary thought: Given my love for minutia, stats, analysis and trivia ... when the Yanks posted that 10-spot in the 7th inning against the Tigers on Tuesday, I wondered if that was a record for most runs to break a scoreless tie (after the first inning of course).

Scarier actuality:
"according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees became the first American League team to break a scoreless tie with an inning of 10-or-more runs in the seventh inning or later…only one NL team broke a scoreless tie with a double-digit inning that late in a game – the Cincinnati Reds beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 10-0 in 13 innings on 5/15/19"

30 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 2:18 pm

[28] Are you serious? I have to detail and rehash it all. It is not JUST about the steroids. If you think this is only about steroids, then you are taking a simplistic view here. Simply put, the guy is a phony.

31 Dimelo   ~  May 1, 2009 2:25 pm

[28] Plus, steroids doesn't bug me. A-Rod has zero credibility because he wanted to be on Katie Couric, he tells the world he's never used steroids, he puts himself out there and says that he only used roids during a specified period of time, now it is coming out that he might have lied - AGAIN - so he becomes a hard person to trust as each and everyday passes.

32 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 3:09 pm

But wait, wait ... I keep asking. What does it matter if someone is a phony? Why do we care? And how do we, honestly, KNOW? This is all played out in an intense, hyperfocsed media glare. How is one 'real' in that? And even if one isn't ... Is 'phony' worse than 'flaming redneck racist in HoF'? I sure hope not. Is it worse than thuggish jerk (see Pierzynski, Bonds, Clemens). If phony is what this is all about, then we really do have nothing to debate. I don't care, nor do I really care about Pierzynski or Clemens. It makes it harder for me to cheer for them as happily, but their job, for us, isn't to be sincere and sweet. I think you (and others, this isn't personal) take Rodriguez's star-status and his contract and his media-image and need-to-please so viscerally, that 'phony' has come to mean way, way too much in an athlete.

If we want to debate PED use, and fairness of being singled-out and discuss that in terms of 'he's still responsible, whatever the culture did' we can have a debate that seems (barely?) suited to the Banter. But kick him out of town for being PHONY? Have people noting 'we did just fine without him!' Dump on the ownership for signing him because he's ...phony? Jeez.

33 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 3:15 pm

[32]

I s'pose we get upset because we plunk our hard-earned cash down to watch what we believe to be "real" people .... not a WWE "exhibition"

Its about integrity, not some video-game like quality quasi-reality.

34 The Hawk   ~  May 1, 2009 3:15 pm

The Yankees need A Rod like they need a self-serving, Madonna-humping, mirror-image-kissing, "ha!"-ing, non-clutch-hitting hole in the head. Aren't they fourth or fifth in runs scored as it is? And that's using players they would never have on the field if they weren't waiting for his majesty's return. Imagine if they had someone at third they'd planned to have? They'd have sewn up the division by now.

Instead we wait with baited breath for The Cheater Formerly Known As The Best Player In Baseball to make his return, so we can ooh and ahh at his chemically-enhanced home runs, blasted in late innings of games that don't matter, a quid pro quo statistical steroid for selling his own pitchers' numbers up the river.

... Okay I am having a little fun there, just busting balls. Not that it's not true, mind you ; ) ... Or is it???

35 Start Spreading the News   ~  May 1, 2009 3:26 pm

[31] So don't trust him. And move on. I can't waste my time listening to the press yammer on about Arod. The press makes tons on money pointing out what everyone knows ad nauseum, mainly that Arod is a phony and wants to be liked. I really don't understand how each new story gets this much attention. I guess people never will stop slowing down to gawk at car accidents.

In the end, Arod will be fine if he just performs on the field.

Babe Ruth had similar problems with the press hounding him about his extramarital affairs. He was quoted as saying there was "nothing wrong" with his "friendships" with women other than his wife. Newspapers quoted hotel staff's sightings of Ruth with various women. Never mind the stories of his extravagant drinking and gambling.

36 Start Spreading the News   ~  May 1, 2009 3:30 pm

[33] The difference between the "real" game and a WWE "exhibition" is that the exhibition is a lower quality product. Assuming steriods improve performance, then the players take it for the same reason that they took greenies, drink many cups of coffee, etc... -- to get better. If anything, the complaint should be that the game is too "real" and people are trying too hard.

37 Rich   ~  May 1, 2009 3:42 pm

[25] First, you are accepting Ham's spin on A-Rod defenders as fact.

Given that Ham is a rabid A-Rod hater who will overstate any ambiguous fact in order to place A-Rod in the most unfavorable light possible, to uncritically accept his take on what A-Rod defenders have posted is to embark on the slipperiest of slopes.

But even accepting arguendo Ham's spin as fact, it's easy to understand why people will come to his blog to push back against that unfairness.

38 Rich   ~  May 1, 2009 3:48 pm

[11] The problem with your argument is that even though Nady was "the incumbent," he was the OFer that, according to most reports, Cashman tried to tried during the offseason. That indicates that Cashman recognized that using the exceedingly small sample size of ST, or even last season, was to utilize too little of the available information to determine which player should be the starter. Unfortunately, Girardi was unable or unwilling to do that.

I agree about Gardner/Melky, and I give Girardi credit for his ability to change positions in the face of new facts. Contrary to the craziness that goes on in other realms, changing one's mind is usually a virtue.

39 MichiganYankee   ~  May 1, 2009 4:00 pm

Consider also that, since this is a contract year for Nady, Girardi could have created ill feelings not giving him a reasonable chance to prove himself in a starting role.

40 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 4:04 pm

[33] I s’pose we get upset because we plunk our hard-earned cash down to watch what we believe to be “real” people …. not a WWE “exhibition”

Diane, this lets us at least discuss it. I think you're right, to a large degree. Essentially this is the 'say it ain't so, Joe' angle. We want sport to keep us young (well, some of you ARE young!), innocent, idealistic. In Dimelo's phrasing, we want it to be a world of not-phonies.

But we aren't that innocent. We're complicit. We all (well, everyone I knew, just about) went crazy over McGwire/Sosa, the sport was rescued from the strike, Selig and owners took note, and so did players. It is pretty widely agreed, even by those who hate him, that Bonds started using steroids when he saw the adulation McGwire and Sosa, lesser players, were getting.

But how much of a 'real' Derek Jeter do we think we are getting from very carefully controlled media comments? In hockey right now, as an example, Sid Crosby is seen by some as too controlled, too media-conscious, robotic, while many see Alex Ovechkin as free, wild, cutting-loose (Swisher on Skates, with Talent?) and others see Ovechkin as an 'all about me' hot dog. They play each other starting this weekend - can't wait.

But my point is, there's an element of the controlled, the faked about the 'wildness' too by now. Just as there is to a Jeter, Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, media savviness.

Diane when you say WWF do you mean the drugs? If so, we're back to our fake-innocence as we looked at McGwire's build, or Giambi's, or Clemens's or Pudge's... are we surprised now? I think SOME of the A Rod thing is that we created a belief in him: he was to be the anti-Bonds, retake the home run record, rescue the sport (again) because he was, if needy and awkward and strange, at least clean.

He wasn't, for a couple of years, or for more. But he's no more a phony for denying it, or trying to preserve some limits on self-exposure, than the guys who are STILL hiding their use. Less, for me.

41 PJ   ~  May 1, 2009 4:17 pm

Whenever "credibility" is discussed, I'm always reminded of the following:

“Do you realize that somewhere in the world there exists a person who qualifies as the worst doctor? If you took the time, by the process of elimination, you could actually determine the worst doctor in the world. And the truly scary part is knowing that someone has an appointment to see him tomorrow!” - George Carlin

If it's trust you crave, don't listen to Rodriguez, Roberts, or even Jeter! Get yourself a dog...

: )

42 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 4:27 pm

[40]

I guess the drugs are part of it.

At least when I walk into a WWE event, I KNOW its "staged" ... that the athletes are more than likely on HGH or other PEDs, and that the "results" I see are to be taken with a large grain of salt.

In baseball, in the steroid era, I don't know if what I'm seeing is legit because games that "count" for something are being played by some people who have tried to gain an unfair advantage. Yes you have to have some talent to hit the baseball to begin with, but there isn't any level playing field anymore in terms of who is and who isn't "on something".

43 Rich   ~  May 1, 2009 4:40 pm

[39] Maybe so, but isn't that the worst reason to start anyone?

OT: Buck Showalter was just on with Kay. He said he never heard or saw anything about A-Rod tipping pitches, and that there are very few secrets in baseball.

44 Start Spreading the News   ~  May 1, 2009 4:42 pm

[42] There never was a level playing field. Some people are just more talented than others.

45 Start Spreading the News   ~  May 1, 2009 4:45 pm

[44] To clarify, I meant even in terms of drugs. There is a reason why Jason Giambi hit a ton of homers and Jeremy Giambi didn't.

Or look at the identical twin Cansecos. Both took steroids and only one survived in the Bigs. Maybe it isn't the drugs?

46 Diane Firstman   ~  May 1, 2009 5:01 pm

[45]

But it IS the drugs ...

Barry Bonds should NOT be the all-time and season homerun leader. Yes he had immense talent, but he used a substance that gave him an unfair advantage in allowing him to build more muscle and recover more quickly, and he turned back the hands of time on his body.

And the BEST player in the game today, A-Rod, feels a need to use them .... and that disappoints me and makes me question a lot of what he's accomplished. Sure he's got the "baseline" skills of an all-star, but how much more have the PEDs given him?

What am I paying to see?

47 PJ   ~  May 1, 2009 5:12 pm

[42] Of course by "legit" you are taking into account umpires' "consistent" calls of balls and strikes, the accuracy of their "safe" and "out" calls, as well as "official scoring" judgments, right?

I mean "catcher's indifference" in a one-run game at Fenway between the Yanks and Red Sox as a Yankee steals 2B (Cano IIRC), because Varitek didn't bother to make a throw? Hits versus errors there are even worse! And we're supposed to give "credibility" to any Red Sox player's statistics, really (see also MLB Hall of Fame inductions)???

heh heh

I would dare suggest the only "legit" thing that takes place at The Fens is the "home cookin'" of their record books...

And the only "legit" things in all of MLB are the inaccuracy of what really happens on the field from day to day and that baseball stats contain a rather large inherent margin of error say, 10-20% over the course of a ten year career!

[46] "What am I paying to see?"

The WWE, indeed...

: )

48 PJ   ~  May 1, 2009 6:02 pm

[47] I hope the above post didn't read "too snarky!" I didn't intend that, but I did intend to show there are many other things influencing results other than PED's and they are probably more significant than PED use when examined as a whole...

In other words, I can't really get all worked up with respect to players using PED's or not when everything else in the game is so terribly flawed, when even the most diligently kept and accurate stats, simply aren't accurate as to our understanding of the term...

I guess I trust players doing the right things in their respective lives about as much as I trust umpires and official scorers to make the correct calls all of the time. I'm sorry it took so long for me to type that!

49 Start Spreading the News   ~  May 1, 2009 6:16 pm
50 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 1, 2009 6:24 pm

[49] and [46] News, I remember when that was linked and I looked at it pretty closely, even went to the more detailed pages ... and he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. BUT, if the story on Bonds is true, then the steroids did have a major impact for him, and on Sosa, and on McGwire ... so I end up waffling, and mostly believing they DO have an effect. (Less likely that HGH helps much, if at all.)

But Diane, as I said before, if you are thinking about drugs and 'cheating' what do you do with the VERY widely-known use of greenies and other drugs from the 60s on? I mean, there is no secret to this ... Bouton, Bill Lee, a number of people wrote books about it. The team DOCTORS handed out the amphetamines. So do you want to call into question Gibson's great year (yes, he had a higher mound) or Koufax's five glory years, or Mays, or Hank, because we 'don't know for sure' if and what they used?

I am not arguing 'ignore it' ... I was one of those who was seriously outraged at Roger's obvius (to me, at the time) perjury, his sleazy manipulation of the press and congressmen sucking up to him for a photo, and his attempt to bully the guy nailing him ... but that was, for me, about abuse of process and congress, perjury.

51 PJ   ~  May 1, 2009 6:26 pm

[50] Not to mention Hall of Fame Member Gaylord Perry and his "credibility"...

;)

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver