Double-agent Ramiro Mendoza returns to The Organization, having “signed” a one-year minor league deal. Cash. that brilliant spymaster, is sure to extract all the secrets Ramiro surreptitiously gleaned during his two-year stint with that other Evil Empire. We just hope he managed to escape with the microfilm of Bill James’s files.
Monday, February 21st, 2005
Sunday, February 20th, 2005
We’re glad to see Larry Mahnken, author of the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, is back up and posting after a series of truly harrowing events that left him both homeless and jobless. His was one of the few voices we’d come to enjoy for incisive commentary on our favorite team.
Now, if YFSF could get a little credit for pioneering the format Mr. Mahnken and Ben Jacobs have appropriated for their “Rivals in Exile” column on the Hardball Times website, then we’d really be happy.
Saturday, February 19th, 2005
We didn’t sign you because you’re beautiful. We know you’re a bit sloppy, and you’ve never had much interest in lifting anything over 16 ounces. We don’t even care if you blabber on about your “relationship” with Torre. Knock yourself out. But for the love of God, tomorrow, when you show up for practice, please— please—put on a jersey. Take one from the XXXXL rack. Something with sleeves. Anything but that red thing. We’ve been fielding calls here all day from horrified retirees and the parents of scared children. Less weight shifted in the Asian Tsunami. You make Schilling look like Ashley Olsen.
PS: No one’s seen Nelson de la Rosa all week.
Friday, February 18th, 2005
For some reason RSN can’t seem to get A-Rod off its collective mind. Schilling was still yammering on about him, yesterday: “I’m sure there’s a lot of guys in the big leagues that don’t like each other….I’m pretty sure Alex could care less whether I like him or not.” Why the club is focussed on A-Rod and not its own happy circumstance is beyond me, and a lot of other Yankee fans. Is the media creating the problem? Well, sort of, but the Sox keep fanning the flames. Schilling: “I’m pretty sure that me not liking Alex Rodriguez is not a groundbreaking story.” (Hint: Curt, if you want a story to blow over, take the Jeter path, and don’t comment on it.)
And the meme has expanded beyond the players, and is now dominating discussion boards and fan sites. The commenting on YFSF alone is way up. Bronx Banter has seen a similar flood. (Asks BB, “How many games do the Sox and Yanks have to play against each other this season before there is another fight?”) The SoSH “Trot discusses A-Rod” thread is up over 25,000 views. All this at a time when there is a serious controversy in the game—a controversy that both authors of this site have addressed at length and to practically no response. All anyone wants to talk about, it seems, is A-Rod.
So we ask: What is wrong with RSN? Why the bitter obsession with A-Rod? Why now? Why, in their championship moment, are Sox fans incensed over a rival third baseman? It’s not us, it’s you.
A story to warm our hearts. We can’t imagine a better cultural ambassador than Bernie Williams, who spent last week travelling through Colombia, spreading the gospels of education, music, baseball, and America.
He may be a bit slow afoot these days, the arm not so strong, the slumps a bit more drawn out, but we still love our Bernie. A journey without? No thanks. At least not this season.
Thursday, February 17th, 2005
FORT MYERS – Leery of appearing that they are taking their success and rubbing it in the collective face of the New York Yankees, the Red Sox are leaning against presenting World Series rings to players prior to the home opener at Fenway Park on April 11.
Exhibiting a tad more class than they would have if I was the Owner, the Sox look like they are quite sensitive to all those near-a-nervous-breakdown Yankees fans and players. How come I think the Yankees would have just gone ahead with a ring presentation in front of a visiting Sox team, had the situation been reversed?
Enough already. Everyone please stop picking on A-Rod before we start feeling sorry for the guy. The Sox really have no beef. He didn’t dis’ them. And they won without him. The slap? Get over it. How many other players have interfered in the past? No one’s calling Reggie “Thighman.” Certainly Trot Nixon, who’s off thanking Jesus every time he knocks a grounder through the middle, is no one to talk. Come to think of it, Trot, snide remarks about another player are not very Christian. Go look in your own mirror.
Yes, A-Rod’s a little Stepford. No, he’s not Derek. Yeah, he’s a bit self absorbed. But let’s just appreciate him for what he is: Part of that great travelling carnival that is the New York Yankees. He’s a freak, but he’s our freak. And all he did last year was switch positions, play brilliant defense, and hit .290 with 36 homers and 100 rbi. We’ll take him.
Wednesday, February 16th, 2005
Where Canseco is concerned, Sheffield wasn’t surprised that Canseco’s book is loaded with accusations.
"Not at all," Sheffield said. "Desperate people do desperate things. Money will make you do crazy things."
"I said I didn’t know I took steroids, the bottom line was I thought it was rubbing cream on my legs. I am not like Jason Giambi sitting here crying and say it’s unfair, that the attacks are unfair. I have been attacked my whole career. I have been accused of a lot of things."
Yep, crazy things, Sheff. Crazy as in blindly rubbing magical healing cream on your legs and wondering why you have super-strength! Like not asking your very shady "nutritionist" what’s in that suff you call in oh-so-illicit-drug nicknamey-style the "clear", or the "cream" even though now you can fly!
Please. Spare us the naive victim’s plea.
This invitation for Barry Bonds to retire by Richard Hoffer of Sports Illustrated is so rife with conflict I don’t even know where to begin. Why should Bonds retire, exactly? Because he juiced? If that’s the case, then maybe 200 other ballplayers should quit too. Is it because he’s near a record? If that’s the case, then should any player who juiced quit when they approach a record? Unforunately, there’s no proof (yet), despite all of our reasonable suspicions, that Bonds knowingly took steroids, and there’s no way to punish him for what he’s done, other than to watch him break records and refuse to applaud him. Shame is shame, in the record books or not. But calling for Bonds to retire voluntarily is Hoffer’s silly idea of selective justice. The author himself says it will change nothing, and he’s right. So what’s the point, exactly? Why should Bonds just up and scapegoat himself? To make Richard Hoffer feel better about the record books? If Bonds quits, what big-picture issues are solved? Hoffer argues that Bonds’ place in the record books will be too difficult a reminder to bear, of the con job Bonds has perpetrated on the game and it’s fans. I say let the record stand, should he get there. If anything, we’ll need this reminder of his dishonesty to show us how bad things have gotten, how the MLBPA and Ownership let hucksters get away with sullying the record books. That will be the most powerful reminder of all for us, and a lesson, having a man who cheated on the top of the list. If that’s not enough inspiration to rid the game of steroids then it’s a lost cause.
So here’s a remarkable proposal: how about holding MLB ownership and the MLBPA leadership accountable, Mr. Hoffer, as opposed to one of their more accomplished foot soldiers? You are picking on baseball’s Lynndie England, guilty without a doubt, but forgiving the game’s Rumsfelds, who gave this player inspiration for his duplicity. How will that fix anything?
Tuesday, February 15th, 2005
Every year there are a few books that change our perspective on the game of baseball; it’s a shame that, this year, Juiced is going to be one of them. Though the number of people who actually read it will be, one suspects, a lot lower than those who are going to be talking about it. Let’s face it, for many of us—YF included—the thought of putting $24.95 (or whatever cut he’s getting from Judith Regan) directly into Jose Canseco’s pocket is simply not something we can bear.
We did finger through the book at the local B&N however, and what we found was strangely compelling: deluded, but fascinating in its own way. Yankee fans will be interested in a section on managers, in which Joe Torre gets high marks for honesty. This based on Jose’s experience as a Yankee in 2000, when the Bombers picked him up as a waiver acquisition in order to block the Sox or A’s from doing so. Yankee fans will recall that this was not an acquisition the Yanks actually wanted to make—it was assumed that the D-Rays would pull him back—and that when Jose landed on the team’s proverbial doorstep, they were anything but pleased. Jose, however, can’t seem to come to grips with that reality—it’s actually kind of sad—instead suggesting the Yanks intentionally "traded" for him so Andy Pettitte wouldn’t have to face him in an opposing line up ("He just melts when he sees me"). Not exactly. He is, however, honest about his contribution to the team that season—basically, nada. Anyway, he liked the championship ring.
But of course the key topics of discussion will be his finger pointing in regard to other users. We’ll steer clear of that mess. A more fruitful area for discussion: his assertion that recreational drug use and also the use of amphetamines (those famous "little greenies") dropped as players began taking steroids. And Canseco’s argument that athletes should be allowed to dope does in fact have many legitimate promoters. It’s too bad that the source here is so utterly lacking in credibility.
Okay, now we need a nice long shower.
Boston’s outfielder praised Rodriguez’s playing ability but said New York’s third baseman wasn’t the "Yankee type." "I don’t look at him as that. He might be in a lot of people’s eyes," Nixon said. "He’s done some great things on the field. He’s one of the best baseball players in the game and probably will be when it’s all said and done.
"But when people ask me about the Yankees, I tell them about (Derek) Jeter and Bernie Williams and (Jorge) Posada. I don’t tell them about Rodriguez. … He can’t stand up to Jeter in my book or Bernie Williams or Posada."
Trot Nixon goes off. Not sure he’d get too much argument on this one, even from most Yankees fans. Click through for all the snippy snappy goodness. As for some of Trot’s other comments, I don’t know if A-Rod is a deadbeat dad or not, but Soxbaby Isaac sure didn’t get a limo ride to school at the age of 6 weeks – he was too busy running stairs.
Monday, February 14th, 2005
Because we know they’re reading, and love is in the air, let us just take a moment to pass on our warmest to those handsome Yankee couples on this day of chocolate and roses. Best wishes to:
Derek & Stacey, Gary & Deleon, Jason & Kristian, Alex & Cynthia, Jorge & Laura, Mo & Clara, Bernie & Patrice, Mike & Jana, Randy & Lisa, Tino & Maria, and, of course, Joe & Ali.