Monday, February 13, 2006

My How The Sammy Hath Fallen

The Washington Nationals have offered Sammy Sosa a non-guaranteed, incentive-laden contract worth $500,000. Sammy is mulling it over, but sources close to Sammy say he feels disrespected by the offer, and thinks he's worth a cool million because of all he's done for the game of baseball. Is he kidding? Does he honestly think that the Washington Nationals care if he was "berry berry" good for the game of baseball? That's a matter of opinion anyway and it's one I don't share.
I'm not now, nor even have i been, a fan of Sammy Sosa. The guy is a cheater. He was busted using a corked bat, which of course he said was his batting practice bat. On he used to hit home runs for the fans who show up for BP? Does he honestly think anyone bought that? What does one of the so-called "greatest home-run hitters" need a corked bat for? He can't muscle the ball out on his own? Even if it was his practice bat, how do you let that get anywhere near your game bats? He couldn't tell by its feel? Come on. If you bought his excuse, send me an e-mail. I have something magic beans you might be interested in.
Now even if Sammy was a little bit good for the game, how does that warrant more money than what your worth? Look at his stats since 2001. Every major statistical category has declined from one year to the next. AVG, OBP,SLG, HRs, hits, games played, at-bats, and runs scored...all down. Last year, he hit a ******** .221. If it weren't for 1998-2002, Sammy would be an average major leaguer at best. Take out those years and his OBP cracks the .340 mark twice. 1994 was the only year his AVG was higher than .280. Now for a guy with a 17 year career, that's nothing special. The fact of the matter is, Sammy Sosa isn't that good. I can't help but wonder how many of his HRs can be attributed to a corked bat, or "the juice." Come on, you know he was using.
Sammy Sosa is lucky to have gotten an offer from anybody. If the Washington Nationals throw him any more money, their whole front office needs to be fired. Sammy Sosa isn't even worth the $500,000 he was offered. I'd say $250k at best.
For years, he duped fans into thinking he was a good baseball player, when in fact, he's just another chump. It's like he tricked you into buying a really hot taco and he told you it wasn't hot. Sammy needs to do everyone a favor and retire. It would be "berry berry" good for everyone. Maybe he and Palmeiro can go around the world putting on HR hitting shows with their corked bats and chemically enhanced muscles?
Have a good hair day-

Friday, February 10, 2006

My Radio Debut

If anyone was listening to MLB Live w/ Ronnie "Night Train" Lane on XM Radio tonight, you may have heard my national radio debut. It was Flashback Friday. Flashback Friday is when listeners call in and request their favorite highlight from the 2005 season. So I thought it'd be a good time to remind Sox fans that we still rule the East. My request was the AL East clincher, when Johnny Damon grounded out to Rivera to give the Yankees their 8th straight division title. Now that didn't play the John Sterling clip which is what I was hoping for, but I imagine it went something like this: "Ballgame over!! American League Eastern Division over!! Yankees Win!! Thhhhhhhhhhe Yankees Win!!"
Here's the funny part. Prior to getting on the air, the call screener of course wants to know your highlight so they can cue it up. After explaining that I wanted to hear Damon ground out to Rivera, the guy said "That's impossible. Damon and Rivera were on the same team." I'm like "Huh?" Now after about 15 seconds of us going back and forth trying to convince each other who was right, he put me on hold, came back and said "Sorry man. It's been a long day. We'll have it coming up. Please hold." Now how can you work at a baseball only station and not know that Rivera and Damon were on opposite teams?? Especially when one plays for the Yankees and one for the Red Sox. Mind boggling.
For those of you baseball fans without an XM Radio subscription, I really suggest you get one. 24-7 baseball coverage that you can take with you wherever you go. I've had my radio for about 6 months and I listen to it daily. I play it all day when I'm at work and the tuner never leaves XM Home Plate 175. It comes in handy for those of you who can't access the Internet at work and listen to It's portable and it goes with me wherever I go. It's probably one of the best purchases I've ever made. XM and MLB are married for the next 11 years so I'll be an avid listener all year long. The best feature: I can turn off Tim McCarver and Joe Buck and listen to the play-by-play through the XM. That's quiet nice. So go out and pick one up. If you're a fan of MLB, you can't go wrong.
Stay Hot!

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Here's Johnny

For those of you that haven't seen it or haven't heard about it, Johnny Damon took out a full page ad in today's Boston Globe thanking the city of Boston and the great fans of New England. You have to give my man some props for that.
Classy move Johnny, classy move. Was it a little late in coming, probably, but it was done nonetheless. I really like it because it sends a reminder to Sox fans that he decided to leave the team for greener pastures. Kind of like a little parting shot. It'll get Sox fans riled up I'm sure. The boo birds will be out in full force whenever Johnny steps up to the plate. Remember Sox fans, they guy was a very integral part in helping you win your first World Series in 86 years. You should at least applaud him in his first at bat, and then boo him all you want like you do every other Yankee. So what if you feel bitter about him leaving? It's not like the Red Sox front office made much of an effort to keep him in Boston. They could have matched the Yankee's offer, but chose not to. They targeted Coco Crisp for over a year and a half. That would make me feel wanted. Everybody always brings up a player's loyalty, or I should say lack of loyalty, when he leaves for another team. No one ever questions the organization's loyalty to the players. If the team is loyal to the player, they'd work it out. It's a two way street. Year after year, Red Sox players come and go, very few stay and most are extremely productive. Pedro, Damon, Mueller, Cabrera, Millar, Clemens, Boggs, Nomar, even Manny and Wells want out. Maybe it's the organization and not the player?
Those in the Sox front office are really the ones to blame for Johnny leaving for New York. They knew that the Yankees were his likely destination if he left, and they let him go there. Thankfully, for Yankee fans, they did. We've now got a bonafide leadoff man, Jeter's back in the 2-hole where he belongs, and the Yankees have 5 of the top 12, and 3 of the top 4, leaders in runs scored in 2005. We're poised to win number 27. That journey begins in 1 week. I live for this.
Stay hot.

Monday, February 6, 2006

What The Mel?

Ex-Yankee pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre is reportedly going to be at spring training, helping the Yankees and new pitching coach Ron Guidry with the pitchers. I hope this doesn't happen but it likely will. I've never been a fan of Mel's. I think he does more harm than good. I can't think of any pitchers that he has done a tremendous job with. Usually when the Yankees acquire an established pitcher, the guy never does as well as he did in seasons past. Pavano, Wright, Mussina, Brown, Vazquez, Contreras, even Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens to an extent. Johnson had said in the mid-part of last season that there he noticed a problem with his mechanics and he corrected it, and that he should soon be his old self, which he almost was. I wonder how much of his problems had to do with Stottlemyre tinkering with his delivery? When Contreras and El Duque reconnected in Chicago, El Duque reportedly told Contreras to forget everything he learned in New York. Not only is that funny but it says a lot. When guys make comments like that, it doesn't reflect well on your ability to better the pitcher. Contreras is having a pretty good stint with the White Sox, so I'm inclined to think there may be some truth in El Duque's comments.
I've never thought of Stottlemyre as a good pitching coach. I was relieved when he decided to step down, citing differences with the Tampa faction of the front office. He was tired of being second guessed. Maybe if he was a decent coach, there'd be no second guessing. I, for one, wish Mel would stay away from Tampa this spring, and let Gid take control of the staff. We don't need Mel to make the pitching staff any worse. His leaving was a good thing!

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Super Bowl & The WBC

Today's the big game for football fans. Since I have no personal allegiance to either team, I'm pulling for the Seahawks! I have a friend who lives in that area with season tickets to Hawks games so I'm pulling for them to win the big one.
The Super Bowl also means new commercials and clever advertising. According to, there will be a commercial for the WBC. I'm looking forward to seeing that. MLB might need all the promotions they can get with the recent dropouts. I expect more players to withdraw as the event draws closer, especially the American born player. My impression is the WBC is not as important to them, or the fans for that matter, as it is to players and fans from other countries. Foreign countries seem to take more pride in the countries doing well in international sporting events. You see it in soccer, you see it in the Olympics. I don't think "most" Americans care, especially if you're not a baseball fan. It'll be interesting to see what kind of turnout there will be at the WBC finals if the US isn't playing. If I weren't into baseball, I probably wouldn't give the WBC any thought.
I fully understand why someone would not want to participate. It isn't exactly timed well. With spring training underway, it's understandable why a guy would want to devote all of his efforts into preparing for the season and skipping out on the WBC. There's no perfect time to have this event. After the season wouldn't work as some players may be tired and not participate as they need the rest. The winter months obviously don't work because of the weather and all of the off-the-field business that goes on. I don't think it makes any sense to do it in the middle of the season, like they do with the NHL and the Olympics. I'd rather focus on the second half of the season and getting my team into the postseason as opposed to playing in an exhibition. So, that leaves right before the season which happens in spring training. Not ideal, but probably the best choice.
I expect to see a few more big names withdraw from the WBC in the coming weeks. Quite frankly, I'll be surprised if that doesn't happen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Cano Says "No"

Robinson Cano has decided not to play for the Dominican Republic in this year's World Baseball Classic. I am happy with that decision. It's not like he would have played much with Alfonso Soriano and Luis Castillo on the Dominican roster. Robinson can now dedicate himself 100% to the Yankees' spring training. I think it's safe to say he should spend most of his time on infield practice, fielding ground balls and making the throw to first. Cano committed 17 errors in 131 games last year, with a fielding percentage of .975. Like I did with Chuck Knoblauch, I remember cringing anytime a ball was hit to second. Hopefully, he can shake off any freshman jitters and avoid any kind of sophomore slump. A full spring training should help.
I'm looking forward to Cano being the Yankee 2B of the future. He's got a nice bat and with Donnie Baseball's help, I'm sure we'll see his .OBP and power numbers against LH pitchers increase. Hopefully, the Tampa faction of the Yankee front office doesn't pressure Brian Cashman to trading the youngster to acquire an aging all-star, and the Yanks can keep him in the fold for many, many years to come.