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More (Obsolete) Baseball Chatter

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Late Breaking News: As I was writing this, Alex Rodriguez became the 22nd baseball player in history to hit 500 home runs!

Bud Blatantly Bored By Barry

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The big talk in Major League Baseball these days is Barry Bonds’ onward climb towards Hank Aaron’s home run record—so why should I be any different? Bonds needs just one more run and he’ll be even with Hammerin’ Hank, but he’s taking his own sweet time getting there. Nobody’s cutting him any slack, either, especially the Commissioner of MLB, Bud Selig. What a nasty piece of work he’s turned out to be! For months he kept everyone speculating and on edge with hints that he might not bother to watch the record-breaking. Then he finally showed up when Barry came to Minnesota, which, since he actually lives there, he couldn’t easily avoid. He attended a few more games in SF before announcing that he’s made a “Herculean effort,” implying that he was finished. What a little shit! I know I’m relatively new to baseball, but it seems to me that the Commissioner should be someone who likes going to ball games. He ought to be someone who loves the sport, at least enough to get a little worked up at the prospect of a new statistical milestone.

What’s behind Selig’s bullshit, of course, is his fear that by endorsing Barry Bonds and his climb to the top he’ll be seen as endorsing steroid use—even though Bonds has yet to be indicted or even proven a user. I’m not saying he didn’t use; everyone pretty much accepts that he did. But that shouldn’t have any bearing on whether or not the Commissioner comes to the games. Maybe later, depending on what happens in a court of law, MLB will decide to put a star next to Bonds’ new record, or in some other way indicate it was ill-gained. At this point, though, Selig’s wishy-washy wavering is unwarranted, and shines as much of a bad light on baseball as the steroid scandal itself.

More Number Chasing

ph_114849.jpg Tom Glavine of the NY Mets needs to pitch one more winning game to make 300 career wins. Ya gotta feel some sympathy for Glavine and the plight of starting pitchers: a few nights ago when he left the mound in the 7th inning the Mets were ahead. Then relievers came in, blew the lead, the game was lost, and Glavine went home still sitting on 299. If I were Tom Glavine I’d be mighty pissed off. As with a few other rules of the game, I’m baffled by the method of counting wins and losses for pitchers—but whenever I suggest they invent a new system, some baseball aficionado acts as if I’m a simpleton. (Shrug)

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At only 32 years old, A-Rod’s got another decade of playing in him, as long as he stays healthy (kanehura!). Most likely he’ll break Bonds’ record before too long, creating a new statistic that’s even harder to attain. Bonds already promised A-Rod he’ll be in the stands cheering for him when that happens. Bud Selig still hasn’t committed…he’s waiting to see how loved or loathed Alex happens to be when that day comes.

Johnny Damon a Whiner?

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Johnny Damon 2006…and 2007. One picture worth a thousand words.

In other Yankee dynamics, Johnny Damon’s turning into a pathetic little creature. After being left off the roster, he complained about manager Joe Torre to the press, saying, “Unfortunately, Joe just couldn’t get to me and let me know what his thoughts were. I understand this game of baseball. We’re not going to reinvent it overnight.” (Whatever that means!) Damon followed up by suggesting that the Yankees explore trading him if he no longer fits into their plans. “I wouldn’t say I would like it,” Damon told Newsday. “I signed here to win a World Series, but I’ve always been a guy, if you’re not wanted in a place 100 percent, why stop the team from making something work?” Later, when asked to clarify his comments, Damon apparently realized he’d stuck his foot in his mouth and backtracked, insisting that he does not feel the Yankees should look into trading him. Good thing, too: Shelley Duncan, the rookie standing in for him, hit five–count ’em, 5!–home runs since he made his MLB debut on July 20th. He has a .321 average, the fans love him, and every time he enters the dugout after a successful at-bat the kid’s face is lit up like a big old smiling jack o’ lantern. If Duncan keeps this up, and Damon continues to self-destruct…

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    Shelley Duncan

    Could The Trouble Be…?

I’m trying to figure out how Damon went from being such an upbeat, regular kind of guy and a real team player into this sniveling baby, and I’m wondering if steroids—or lack of same—has anything to do with it. I’ve noticed that players are hitting fewer home runs, and suffering more physical injuries, this year than in the previous few. Could it be a result of giving up the drugs? Steroid use tends to up the ability to hit home runs, as well as maintaining physical capabilities. I’m going to take a closer look at the statistics to see if there’s a big discrepancy, and will report my findings in a future post.

Another Baseball Tradition?

    Last, I’ve just become aware that changing lyrics to songs to suit players is part of a long tradition in baseball. One site I found lists a slew of them. Check it out.
    http://chicoescuela1.tripod.com/Index.htm

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