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Arms Race in the AL East

Posted by athomeatfenway on April 17, 2014

200 Inning & 254 K's ?

200 Inning & 254 K’s ?

If Baseball is 90% pitching and starting pitching represents about 70% of the hurling, then it must be so that the AL East, the best Division in MLB, will be won by the guys who take the mound in the first inning.

But which AL East team has the clear edge after the first 2 weeks of play? And which starters represent the best of the best?

Surely Cobb, Tillman, Tanaka, Kuroda, Pineda, Lester, Lackey and Peavey are presenting their teams with the most quality starts and/or dominating performances.

Those are the contenders for top AL East starter of 2014 so far.

If the season ended today and Boston & New York went to the postseason it is a certainty that Kuroda-Tanaka-Pineda and Lester-Lackey-Peavey would present formidable playoff rotations.

Don’t underestimate Tampa Bay’s 3 best starters, Cobb-Archer-Price,. They are clearly 3rd best but Price and Archer are capable of delivering more and probably will.

The tasty question is who is the top starter in the Division. Tasty, because the answer is Tanaka. He is distancing himself from the pack in a delightful way if you are a Yankee fan, and at an alarming rate if you are everyone else.

Tanaka leads the Division in K’s, IP, and fewest walks. His ERA is a sparkling 2.05. His strikeout rate per 9 innings is 11.45. That works out to 254 K’s if he throws 200 innings. If you have watched him pitch you know that of not for 1 or 2 mistakes he would have allowed no runs at all.

Pretty damn good start to a career, no?

Wait a second. There are 2 A-listers who have an even better ERA than Tanaka. Pineda sits at 1.00 this morning. And Chris Tillman is at a breathtaking 0.84.

What madness. They say that pitchers begin the season more ready than position players but these guys are hotter than hot.

Overall, the eight hurlers mentioned here are racking up innings, limiting hits, registering K’s and providing quality starts. They are definitely the best of the AL East so far.

Unless you consider Toronto’s Mark Buehrle, who is 3 – 0, 0.86 ERA and a WHIP of 0.90.

Wow.

Go Sox.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, NEW YORK YANKEES, RED SOX, yankees | Leave a Comment »

The Yankee Depression of ’13

Posted by athomeatfenway on July 13, 2013

When will Suzyn get her Buffalo leashed?

When will Suzyn get her Buffalo leashed?

In this year when Suzyn Waldman and her trained buffalo are having trouble finding nice things to say about the Yankees I am having no difficulty finding the bad.

Waldman and her loudmouthed Yankee broadcast partner saw Ryan Doumit’s line leave Yankee Stadium.  “IT’S GONE!”, the Buffalo exclaimed.  “No doubt about it, it was a laser.  Two runs on two home runs for the Twins, and they lead the Yankees 2 – 1 here in the 6th.”

“And for this Yankee team, a team that cannot score, that’s bad.”, said Waldman. “ In the past, being down one run in the 6th you would say ‘who cares’, but not with this team.”

“So true”, said the Buffalo.

There was a pregnant silence.

“Well, even with the two homeruns given up by Hughes, he has pitched fantastically today.  I would have him pitch this way every time he makes a start!”, asserted the Buffalo.

“True.”, said Waldman.

Waldman and Buff are in the unusual position of having to dig deep to find something nice to say.

They are subdued and beaten.  They are in a dark mood, sounding like reprimanded adolescents.

There is a lot to be bummed out about.  

Jeter is on the DL again.  The everyday line-up is largely unrecognizable.  The 37-53 (4th place) Twins were out slugging the Yankees in the Bronx.

The Yankees were on a 3 game winning streak as they entered this game.  Good news, right ?  Well….not really.  Those 3 wins were preceded by 3 straight losses.  And those 3 losses were preceded by 6 straight wins – which were preceded by 5 straight losses.

That’s some ugly streaking.

It’s an ugly year in the Evil borough.  I am taking as much relish in these Yankees difficulties as I would in casting a ballot to block Herr Steinbrenner from entering the HOF.

There is so much to enjoy.

CC Sabathia lost his last start by a 3-1 score.  He threw a 113 pitch complete game against the Royals but the Yanks could not score for him.   Nice. 

Yankee fans are sticking a shiv in Joe Girardi’s back again, ignoring the fact that the former Yank catcher has the team 9 games over .500 despite the $90 million of Bomber payroll on the D.L.. 

“I don’t think Girardi is handling the pitchers well.  They should get rid of him.”, says Yankee fan Ray in the Credit Union.

I love it.

 

Even better, the Yankee line-up is a mess.

Cast your eyes around the Yankee infield and say hello to 4 All Stars:  Teixiera, Cano, Jeter and A Rod.  Whoa.  Hang on a second.  It’s Overbay, Cano, Nunez and Cruz.  I feel downright disoriented.

And do we have Ichiro, Granderson and Swisher in the outfield ?  No.  Swisher went to Cleveland and Grandy has a broken pinky.  So the Yankees have Almonte, Gardner and Suzuki chasing fly balls.

The catching is less than tip top.  The Bombers have Austin Romine behind the plate.  He is batting .162.  Russell Martin and Jorge Posada are long gone.

The Yanks can’t score.  They are inconsistent.   They start 5 guys with whom the casual fan is totally unfamiliar. Jeter is back on the DL after missing 90 games with a broken ankle.

And CC loses a gem.

I hope you are enjoying this baseball season as much as I am.

Go Sox.

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10 things to make a Sox fan smile

Posted by athomeatfenway on March 14, 2012

View from inside Green Monster at Jet Blue.

1.  Last year Donald Trump tweeted that A Rod is “an average player now that he is unable to use drugs.”  2 days ago, Trump compared singer Debby Gibson to Derek Jeter and then said, “We love Derek.  That’s not an A Rod statement.  It’s a Derek statement.”  Another slap.

2.  Yankee set up man David Robertson was diagnosed with a sprained foot after slipping on a step while emptying a box in the recycling can outside his home. His Opening Day is in jeopardy. The NY Daily News reports that the Yankees are alarmed.  Love it.

3.  Lawrence McCutchen, Buc centerfielder, wore #25 before veteran A.J. Burnett arrived in the Steel City.  McCutchen told A.J. he could have his old numerals if he agreed to pay a fee of $500,000.  Turns out the financially shrewd Pirate was just starting high so that Burnett could feel good about working him down.  The 2 players settled on a $20,000 payment.  In what major field is McCutchen’s college degree from Oklahoma, you ask ?  Why, a B.S. in Economics, of course.

4.  Felix Doubront has just completed a sterling outing against the Yankees in Tampa as I write this.  The lefty went 4 innings, yielding 2 hits and 0 runs. He faced only 14 batters to secure 12 outs.  This guy is going to contribute.

5.  The Red Sox will be a lot harder to hate in 2012 according to the Wall Street Journal.  The primary reason for this is that “goofy, slow, arrogant”, and yes, “excellent”, Jonathan Papelbon is now a Phillie, and has been replaced by “a pair of genial, vanilla New Yorkers.” i.e.,  Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon.  Perhaps the WSJ is forgetting that Yaz and Rico were both mild mannered New Yorkers that thrived in Boston in an era when the 5 Boroughs lacked no bellicosity for the Sox.

6.  The two jamokes broadcasting tonight’s Yankee – Red Sox game from Tampa on YES just said that Pete Rose had 33 triples for the minor league Tampa Tarpons in 1962 or 1963.  Pretty close.  Charlie Hustle had 30 triples for the Class D Tarpons, batting .330 and leading his team to the best record in the Florida State League in 1961.  The Manager of that team ?  Double no-no man, Johnny Vandermeer.

7.  Clay Buchholz spoke with self-confidence to Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican after pitching 4 scoreless innings on Sunday.  He said he knew early in spring training that he would “…be ready to throw with maximum effort in game situations.”  The lower back stress fracture is a thing of the past.

8.  Tom Caron explained on NESN.com that Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Gonzales are all each capable of winning the 2012 AL MVP.  Moreover, Caron said, “I do expect Adrian Gonzales to have an even bigger year this year.”  Seriously, Tom ?  Better than  2011, when he posted .338, 27, 113, and a league-best 213 hits ?    I’ll have whatever Tom is drinking.

9.  The Globe’s Pete Abraham predicts that these 5 Sox will be on the D.L. on opening day:  Carl Crawford, Rich Hill, Bobby Jenks, John Lackey and Dice K Matsuzaka.  Crawford won’t be out for long.  And MLB.com’s Ian Brown reports that Dice K threw free and easy on Saturday.  The Interminable One may be back earning his pay before Hill, Jenks and definitely before John Shell Lackey.

10.  WEEI’s Gerry Callahan took credit this morning for the installation of 258 seats inside the Green Monster at Jet Blue Park in Fort Meyers.  The self-absorbed Callahan explained how the idea to create those seats was derived by Larry Lucchino from a conversation Callahan had years earlier with the BoSox President.  I guess you have to have a healthy ego to be the unerring airborne voice of authority in Boston.  Crazy Callahan.

Go Sox.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, NEW YORK YANKEES, RED SOX, yankees | Leave a Comment »

Joe Buck can’t hold tongue. Hamels doesn’t have it.

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 1, 2009

Hamels walks 10.31.09

Hamels mildly imploded after 3.1 Hitless.

Happy Halloween.  The night of costumes came to us with Game 3 of the 105th World Series wrapped inside it.

Speaking of costumes, there was a day in 1999 that I eschewed my Red Sox garb and went to Yankee Stadium dressed in UConn paraphernalia.  Standing in the line for the tinkle room, New Yorkers extended congrats  for UConn’s recent National Title. They paired knowing nods with arrogant, conceited sentiments like, “There’s nothing like a championship.  We ought to know.  We’ve got 26 of ‘em.”

Screw you, Yankee Fan.  Bleeping bleepers.

It is nothing in particular and everything in general that makes me root against the Yankees.  Thus, I settled into my couch, notepad in lap, on Oct. 31, 2009, to observe game 3, hoping against hope for my Yankee-hating peeps in Philly.

Top of 1st

With Jeter retired, and a 2-1 count on Damon, the “Yankees Suck !Yankees Suck !” chant breaks out in Citizens Bank Park.  A sign of good things to come, I thought.

Bottom of 1st

With Rollins perched on 2nd and Pettitte facing Victorino, a new chant broke out:  “You Use steroids !  You Use Steroids !”.  Nicely done, Philly Fans.

End of 1: Hamels looks locked in.  Pettitte wriggles out of a jam.  0-0.

Top of 2nd

Fox cheats America, showing a commercial instead of Cole Hamels plunking A-Rod. With Mr. Kate Hudson at first, Fox’s Joe Buck calls a balk on Hamels.  The Umps do not agree.  Shut up, Joe Buck.

Soon, Cano is batting and his batting glove moves take on an OCD-like quality. Pull, pull, pull, snappity, snappity, snap.  Get the hell back in the box, dude.    He strikes out, missing the ball by three feet.

They earn $201 Million, but they were as hapless as the Washington Nationals.

Bottom of 2nd

Jason Werth’s awkward, reaching half-swing on a 3-2 pitch catches the jet stream and lands 10 rows in front of Harry the K’s restaurant, about 20 rows past the left center wall.  A 394 footer.  Liberty 1, Evil 0.

Feliz then shows he too can reach awkwardly across the plate and make contact, doubling to right. And Ruiz walks.  Then Cole Hamels, who batted .148 this season, drops a perfect BUNT in an impossible place for a single to load the bases.  Joy spreads across New England as Jimmy Rollins strides to the plate.  It’s looking bad for Big Andy.  He walks Rollins, gifting him an RBI.  Then, after getting ahead 0-2 to Victorino, Pettitte forgets how to keep it out of the strike zone and the Flyin’ Hawaiian strokes a sac fly to center.

End of 2: Hamel looks solid.  Pettitte melts down.  Phillies 3, NYY 0.

Top of 3rd:

It just can’t be more efficient.  Jeter makes Hamel throw him 6 pitches to get a line out, but Cabrera and Pettitte only require 3 total pitches combined to be retired.

Bottom of 3rd

Ryan Howard K’s for the 8th time in 11 WS at bats.  Werth and Ibanez give it a ride, but Andrew Eugene Pettitte has a 1-2-3 inning.

Somewhere Susan Waldman is saying Andy looks just like Sandy Koufax.

End of 3: Crisp, exciting pitching. Keep it going and we’ll all be in bed at 10:30, dreaming happy Phillie dreams.   Good guys lead, 3-0.

Top of 4th

Damon, batting .125 and looking every bit of 36 now, lifts a weak fly to RF.  They are going down like lambs.  Then, after Tex waves at a 1-1 pitch, Joe Buck announces that Hamel hasn’t allowed a hit.  It’s Top of the Fourth and the Fox play-by-play man strikes the first drum beat for a nationally televised no-hitter, breaking all the rules of Baseball mojo  !!!!  The Baseball Gods react quickly to the Buck boondoggle.  Teixeira walks on a pitch that looks like a strike out on replay.  A-Rod doubles.  No, wait, the ball hit a TV camera on the Right Field wall.  The play is under review as  “Yankees Suck !” begins anew.  Whoops.  The Umps reverse their original call; it’s a 2 run HR.

Screw you, Joe Buck.  Keep your mouth shut next time.

Bottom of 4th

Pettitte comes out sharp, getting ahead of Feliz 1-2, inducing a grounder to 3rd.  But A-Rod then shows why his zone rating is below average, throwing wildly.  E-5.  Runner at first.  Was the Curse of A Rod setting the stage for a Phil’s rally ?  Nope.  A grounder, a sac bunt, and a soft fly to RF later, and no damage is done.

End of 4: Bad things happen to good people.  (Non-Yankees.)   Phils 3, Yankees 2.

Top of 5th

When Hamels can’t get Swisher to swing at two crap pitches on 0-2, the Son of Steve lined a double to left.  Hamels then gets 0-2 on Cabrera, and K’s him on a change in the dirt.  With one out and a man at second, Pettitte steps into the box for an easy out via the Cole Hamel express.  But wait, Hamels declines the heater and tosses a curve that Andy times for a solid single to CF.  Swisher then beats Victorino’s throw to the plate.  On the very next pitch, the first pitch to Jeter, the Yankee captain flairs a safety to almost the exact same spot in CF that Pettitte reached.  Two on, one out, and Damon, now batting .111, neatly lines an 0-1 pitch to the gap in RF for a 2 RBI double.

Suddenly, the Phillies’ clear advantage in pitching evaporates.

Tex walks.  Hamels yields to Happ.  Arod lines out.  Posada pops out.  The damage is done.

Bottom of 5th

As Pettitte gets Victorino to line out to  CF, I realize that with two consecutive World Series appearances Shane Victorino has become as recognizable to me as the mailman.

October is now a Philadelphia thing.

Pettitte retires Utley, 3-1, busting his bulk up the line to nip the fleet Phillie.  Howard pops weakly to Jeter to end it.

End of 5: How quickly things change.  Yankees 5-3.

Top of 6th

After registering one out, Happ allows a moonshot to Swisher.  Yankees, 6 – 3.

I cheerily recalled how in April I had seen the Phils win 13-11 in the only game I ever attended in Philly.  The Phils came from behind four times, over coming 5 homers by the Nats.  No lead is safe in Citizens Bank Park.

Middle of the 6th

And on that happy note, I retired for the evening after 36 outs, in the middle of the 6th, with New York ahead by 3 runs.

I had a lot planned for Sunday morning.

It was 11:24 pm, EST.

I would arise to the bad news.  Yankees win.  Y-A-N-K-E-E-S win.

But I won’t let one win bother me.  They won have 112 games in 2009.

I’m OK if they win one more.

But only one more.

My ultimate prize this year is to see the stuffed shirts in the boroughs denied the right to crow about a 28th Championship like it was their birthright.

Screw ‘em.

Posted in NEW YORK YANKEES, Phillies, World Series, yankees | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

REVIEW: PRIDE AND PINSTRIPES MEL STOTTLEMYRE

Posted by athomeatfenway on January 11, 2009

pride-pins-cover

PRIDE AND PINSTRIPES, The Yankees, Mets, and surviving life’s challenges.  By Mel Stottlemyre with John Harper.   Harper, 2007. 269 pages.

 

 

Mel’s baseball journey broaches three baseball dynasties:  one that was ending (’64 Yankees), one that should have happened but did not (the 1980’s Mets), and one that did come to full fruition (the Jeter era Yankees.).

 

The portrait he paints of what the Mets could have been and should have been alone makes the book worth reading.

 

*************

 

Stottlemyre doesn’t waste anytime painting George Steinbrenner as a meddling, former Assistant Football Coach (Northwestern 1955, Purdue 1956) who secretly believes the Yankees “….should win all 162 games in a season, or at least come close, the way a powerhouse football team might go 11-1 in college, or say 14-2 in the NFL.”

 

Stot dances right up to the cutting edge of brutal, fire-breathing honesty about George.  Then, so as not to totally offend, he backs off, softens his stance, and points out that George has a good side. 

 

Then he points out that the good side only comes out when things are generally going George’s way. 

 

The hatred burns quietly.

 

Mel joins the late Bobby Murcer in having written a recent memoir that reveals Steinbrenner as a Baseball amateur who attracts talent with his millions, and drives talent away with his personality.  

 

It appears that George has no loyalty to his team.  His true loyalty is to burnishing his legacy as the Yankee owner who bought all the booze and then stirred the drink, too.

 

The only thing new about any of this is to hear it directly from a classy guy like Stottlemyre.

 

 *************

 

Mel Stottlemyre’s playing career is well known to 50-something fans.  Hailing from little old Mabton, Washington, he excelled in High School Baseball while avoiding Football, which his disciplinarian Dad simply forbid.

 

Mel threw in the mid-80’s while at Mabton High where his Class of 1959 numbered 24 Seniors.  Yankee Scout Eddie Taylor signed Mel out of Yakima Junior College, signed him right in a Mabton mint field in the midst of crop workers and farm equipment, for no bonus, $400 a month, and a roster spot on the 1961 Harlan (KY) entry in the Appalachian League.

 

God granted Mel a naturally occurring sinker.  He put it together with a little slider and minor league hitters were flummoxed from Day 1.  He went 9-4 in Harlan and Auburn in 1961.  Them he notched a 17-9 record with 8 shutouts in Greensboro (1962).  He spent the 1963 season in AAA Richmond adjusting to the demands of pitching to adults, producing a 7-7 mark.  Then in 1964, emerging from the Richmond Bullpen to which he had been demoted, Mel notched 10 consecutive wins as a starter.  He had learned to set up hitters, getting them to think slider and then throwing sinker.

 

By July, 1964, the Yankees were in a pennant race with the Orioles and White Sox and were in need of pitching.  On Aug. 12, 1964, Stottlemyre walked form the Concourse Plaza Hotel to Yankee Stadium, where he made his MLB debut.  He induced 19 ground ball outs, winning a complete game 7-3 victory over the White Sox.  Mantle, who hit two home runs that day, one a 500 footer, graciously stood with Mel for photos.

 

An untouted rookie in a pennant race, Mel became a sensation.  He finished 9-3. He made 3 World Series starts, all against Bob Gibson

 

1964 was the last good year for the Yankees until 1970.  Aging stars, the first MLB draft, and a lack of young talent all took their toll on Yankee fortunes.

 

Mel was instantly the ace on a bad team.  How do these number sound to you ?  20-9, 2.63 in ’65.  12-20, 3.80 in ’66.  15-15, 2.96 in ’67.  21-12, 2.45 in ’68.  20-14, 2.82 in ’69.  15-13, 3.09 in ’70.  16-12, 2.87 in ’71.  14-18, 3.22 in ’72.  16-16, 3.07 in ’73.

 

Stottlemyre would make $13 million a year today.  Regardless of the W’s and L’s, his ERA and 272 IP average per year would make him a #1 starter almost anywhere.

 

 

 *************

 

 

A torn rotator cuff ended his career 16 games into the 1974 season.

 

The Yankee Doctor caring for Mel’s shoulder was woefully inadequate.  First, they rested him, then they ordered him to pitch through the injury.  Later, in Spring of ’75, the Yankees sent Mel for dangerous X-Ray therapy.

 

Perhaps fostering what would become a full blown grudge against George later in life, the reckless X-Ray therapy became in Mel’s mind the potential cause of his son Jason’s death in 1981 from Leukemia, and his own Multiple Myloema in 2000.

 

 

 *************

 

Stotlemyre’s story also includes 10-years stints with the Mets and Yankees as their pitching coach.

 

He reminds us of what a cocky and powerful team played at Shea in 1986……..

 

“….Davey set the tone….the players took it from there, playing with a swagger that rubbed some people the wrong way, making us a hated club as the wins began to pile up, but we weren’t interested in making friends that year.  In fact, our guys were more than happy to brawl…”

 

Mel brings us back to young Doc Gooden, before the drugs, when he threw a 97 mph heater and a 12-to-6 curveball that froze batters.  At age 21, he simply made men look like boys.  He looked to be a sure fire HOF’er, no doubt.

 

Stot also recalls the improbable Mets comeback in game 6 of the 1986 World Series  — a little too clearly for this Red Sox fan.

 

 

 *************

 

The Yankee Years were glorious.  He was tight with Zim, had a great relationship with Torre, was close to the Pettitte’s and Jeter’s while getting along with the David Wells types.

 

On David Wells:  “Sometimes perfect, sometimes perfectly exasperating.”

 

 

On Andy Pettitte:  Anti-Pettitte ramblings reverberated constantly within the Yankee organization, dating back to the very start of his career and emanating from Tampa.  His soft body must mean that he is lazy.  No matter Andy’s real world results, the whisper campaign persisted:  He could not be counted on to be a consistent winner.  The whisper continued right up until he left in 2003.

 

When Pettitte was at a low point in his Yankee career circa June 1999, meddling George wanted to trade the lefty.  Stottlemyre went to Cashman.  “Brian…look at Andy Pettitte as if he was on another team, not the Yankees.  Look at what he has done during the season and in the post-season, and let’s say you had the opportunity to make a deal for him and have him pitch in Yankee Stadium, where you love having left handers.  You’d give up almost anything to get a guy like him.  Yet, we already have him and there’s this talk about trading him.  I can’t understand it.”

 

Cashman:  “I can’t argue your point.”

 

After lobbying by Mel and Torre, Pettitte survived the trading deadline.  And George’s comment to the press was none too supportive:

 

“He should be very relieved…Certain people put a lot of faith in him.  Now we’ll see what kind of man he is.  This is a very defining moment for him.”

 

That was classic George, trying to motivate people by challenging their manhood.

 

 

*************

 

 

Stottlemyre crosses an entire era of baseball history in this memoir.  There is much more on his sons Todd and Mel, Jr., the Mets, Zimmer, Jeter and Joe.

 

He also shares his personal ordeal of losing his son, Jason to leukemia.  Stottlemyre is a man of character.   He explains how he made it through the loss and then continued on to more challenges and conquests.

 

When facing his own cancer challenge in 2000, he received letters from others with multiple myloema.  They said they watched the Yankee games hoping to catch a glimpse of him in the dugout.  They wanted to see the man who had the disease that they had, who did his cell therapy and chemo, and now was back at work trying to win a championship.

 

At first, Mel wrote letters back to these people.  Then, it occurred to him that a telephone call would have a greater effect.  His call startled them.  Who would think that the Yankee Coach would take the time to reflect on their letter, never mind respond to it ?

 

He chatted with them, exchanging info on how their cancer treatment was going and how they were feeling.

 

He set a great example.  He used his special status as a baseball hero to bring hope.

 

The inclusion of his cancer battle in this book was intentionall.  He wanted to help others with multiple myloema resist giving in to the fear of imminent death.

 

Mel is a character guy.  That come through loud and clear.

 

Always focused.  Always professional.  Loyalty.  Family.  Perseverance. 

 

*********.

 

 

I give the book 4 stars out of five.  Regardless of your team loyalty, you’ll find this book worth reading if you remember watching Joe Pepitone or Thurman Munson play.

 

Younger Yankee devotees will enjoy the insights from the 90’s.

 

Current Mets fans, having suffered unspeakably for the last two years, should wait until the Mets win another Division before reading this book.  The memories of what should have been are only salt in the wound, at present.

 

pride-pins-card

Posted in BASEBALL BOOKS, NEW YORK YANKEES, yankees | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

ROGER CLEMENS GOES DOWN !

Posted by athomeatfenway on February 15, 2008

It wasn’t easy watching the Congressional hearing yesterday. The man was a near lock for the HOF before he went to the needle.  The man struck out 20 in a game  — twice !  The Man won multiple Cy Youngs.  The Man was a hoss.   And now, the hoss is at a loss for a ticket to Cooperstown.  Permanently.

It wasn’t MacNamee who landed the telling blow, though.  It was Andy Pettitte and his wife.

The hearings resonated with prior scandals.  I couldn’t help but think that Brian MacNamee is to Roger Clemens, as Paul Janszen is to Pete Rose, and as Greg Anderson is to Bobby Bonds.  A self-centered star using an enabler to break the rules.   

There’s an ugly societal dymanic that allows the Superstar to bulldoze the rules while getting the benefit of the doubt.  We could be a bit more careful with our adoration, trying to focus it on the Phil Rizzutto’s, Dustin Pedroia’s, Gene Tenace’s, Jorge Posada’s  and Troy Tulowitzki’s of this world.  Give me a skinny player who can play over his head.  Or a slightly chubbed-out Tony Gwynn look-alike.  I’m starting to look sideways at anybody with an acutely mesomorphic build.  And we’ve got a few on my beloved Red Sox.

May Roger, Debbie and the four K’s accept the truth in short order, admit what has happened, and find peace in the support that will flow.  There’s really no point in being vindictive.

That said — I’m afraid that The Rocket has dishonored the game enough to be permanently barred from the HOF.

 I have complete faith that the BBWAA will never elect Roger.  I am somewhat old school in these matters; I want Clemens, Rose, Bonds & McGwire BARRED from the HOF.  But the BBWAA is way, way beyond old school.  The scribes have memories like elephants.  There’s no chance Roger gets in.

 It’s a sad day for Baseball.  But, we fans will move on and flourish.

I trust that Baeball has not been entirely depleted of its Good Guys.  I believe, as you may, that money has not corrupted every Player and Owner – but, surely has corrupted many.  I believe, as you may, that people that have been raised to have Integrity can earn the bucks and play legit and clean for the love of the game, honoring the life lessons, moved by the remarkable way that Baseball connects us, teaches us.   Folks like you who care about the game deeply are the very proof that Baseball will cleanse itself and survive.

Posted in Barry Bonds, BASEBALL, congress, RED SOX, roger clemens, steroids, Uncategorized, yankees | Leave a Comment »