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Archive for the ‘Roger Clemens’ Category

8/21/12: Roger Clemens Is Going To Pitch!!! For The Skeeters, That Is

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Hey ever body, have you heard the news? Roger Clemens is gonna pitch for the indy league Sgar Land Skeeters this coming Saturday. He’s 50 years old, yes, older than Jamie Moyer even, and he’s feeling good enough to pitch. Why not? Satchel Paige pitched into his 50s. I bet the Skeeters draw more than the Astros. That Skeeters team has ex-Stros Tim Redding and Jason Lane, as well as the remnants of Scott Kazmir. The Chron had more stories about Roger pitching in some indy league game than stories about the new Astros manager and about Luhnow’s plans to Fix Things Up and his new manager hunt in the confines of current/ex Cardinals personnel.

Seems like yesterday that Andy Pettitte signed, to come back home (Yankees didn’t kiss his butt thoroughly enough) and all the talk was RogerRogerRoger and would/could Andy get his BFF to sign, just for one last year. There are so few real STARS!!!! in baseball – I mean, yeah, Biggio and Bagwell and Berkman were great players, but they were just character actors next to the STAR!!!

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were the last of the STARS!!!! somehow almost larger than life, and really, no one has replaced them. Josh Hamilton’s rule at the top was too brief. Albert Pujols has no more charisma than a table, and every other top player has vanished into a corporate PR world of careful to not offend anyone with anything ever – not saying anything, being boring, blah, bland.

You might could suggest that Derek Jeter is a STAR!! but fact is he has no personality and even though he is supposed to be the first guy to ever get unanimously elected to the Hall, no one goes to Yankee games, or even went to see Yankee games to see Da Jetah, like they used to go to see Da Mick – now HE was a total STAR!!!!!!! Maybe Bryce Harper or Mike Trout or Strasburg could grow into a STAR!!! but that is very hard to do in a button down, censored, corporate world that is modern MLB.

sigh

Roger hasn’t pitched in 5 years now, and I seriously doubt he could get actual major league hitters out any better than detritis like Armando Galaragga, but I would bet that he’d draw a bigger gate than Fireworks Night. Astros are, by the way, last in the NL in attendence, no surprise.

We’ll get some of our gate next year because our designated NL rival is the Cards (yeah, I’m surprised they were torn from the Royals) and it is gonna be painful to watch my mama root for the Cards to beat the Astros.

Right now, watching the Stros is like watching a wrestling match between a 180 lb and a 105 lb wrestler. There isn’t any contest and the lil guy’s only real hope of winning is that the big guy trips over his own feet, falls flat on his face and the little guy can jump on his back fast enough to pretend it was all him.

And speaking of Cards, Saint Looey tonight.

6/18/12: In Which Roger Clemens Is Found Not Guilty But Is Still Guilty

Monday, June 18th, 2012

You know how it is – IF you are accused, you MUST be guilty.

And that’s Roger Clemens. After 4 years and millions of dollars spent, Roger gets his day in court, but it doesn’t matter because reporters have long since decided that no matter what ANYONE says, he’s guilty. One idiot guy, whose name I refuse to repeat, actually compared Clemens to a large market baseball team and the US government to some poor small market team, unable to compete.

Really?

Check this from Lester Munson, ESPN:

“Agents from the FBI, the IRS and the DEA have devoted countless hours to the pursuit of Clemens, digging into every aspect of his life. They gathered thousands of pages of documents, and they went all over the United States interviewing anyone who knew anything about Clemens.

Here is a list of the documents they examined:

• 15,732 pages of Clemens family bank records from J.P. Morgan Chase.
• 1,139 pages of records from American Express credit cards.
• More than 300 pages of medical records from MLB teams for which Clemens played.
• Hundreds of pages of phone records from nine companies.

In addition to reviewing the documents, a group of 93 agents interviewed 179 individuals in 68 locations and produced 235 reports of their interviews. The Clemens legal team prepared a map that shows the extent of the agents’ work. In many of the interviews, the agents were accompanied either in person or on the phone by assistant U.S. attorneys Steven Durham and Daniel Butler, who led the government trial team.”

Small market team, my ass.

And after ALL of those countless hours and all that search, they couldn’t find even ONE piece of evidence, even ONE witness to corroborate anything McNamee claimed? Not ONE? Even McNamee’s own WIFE contradicted McNamee’s account.

The reporters, who can’t be bothered to, you know, like actually READ the original court transcripts, insist that Andy Pettitte (who, by the way, is not only an admitted HGH user – I refuse to call it a PED, because it isn’t – but a guy who lied THREE times about using) changed his story about Clemens, when he repeated his original testimony to Congress verbatim.

Why on earth they have ignored/excused Pettitte’s illegal drug use AS WELL AS his repeated lying about it, but yet insist that Clemens MUST be guilty of drug use based upon ONLY the word of a man who is a drug dealer, rapist and general dirtball, I absolutely do NOT get.

I think that Roger Clemens has earned their undying hatred because he absolutely refused to confess and cry – and that is what the media was hoping for, something sensational. They just love all the boo hooing. See Andy Pettitte – you see, they want to “forgive” players for doing whatever they could to play. They just LOVE Pete Rose for saying that he’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball, but they HATE guys who actually mean it and do it.

They want to be able to insist that Clemens only succeeded because he “cheated” by using HGH, which has not been proved to do one single thing that could by any definition be considered performance enhancing in healthy young men. They want to believe that Dan Duquette was right and that Clemens succeeded after Boston waved byebye only because he was a drug user, and won’t look at any statistic except win/loss record. WHY they want to believe this, I do NOT get, but they do.

Maybe it’s because they see Clemens as an UN-humble mercenary (unlike almost every other baseball player there is) instead of a umble “team player” guy like Pettitte. No idea why on earth Pettitte has been labeled as umble, but it’s what the media has decided and there you go.

But really, how IS any accused person supposed to respond if he is not guilty? After the Mitchell report came out, Clemens, like a few others, proclaimed his innocence. He said it himself, not in some fake sounding statement issued by some PR guy. Media demanded he say it to a group of reporters, live, not Mike Wallace and fawning groupies on a canned TV show. He did. They demanded he prove his innocence by suing MacNamee. He did. They demanded he say it under oath before Congress. He did. It didn’t change anyone’s opinion.

Mitchell and his little Congressmoron friends demanded that the Department of Justice investigate and indict Clemens for perjury for daring to stand up to bullying. They obliged their old buddies and Clemens STILL insisted he was innocent and spent a HUGE amount of his hard earned money, refused to cop a plea, went to trial, demanded a jury, and earned his verdict of not guilty.

It’s still not enough. Nothing will ever be enough. If Brain McNamee confessed on his death bed that he made the whole thing up because the government people insisted he do so in order to stay out of jail, the media STILL wouldn’t believe it. Absolutely NOTHING whatsoever would do it.

This makes me understand why Perry Mason was always so intent on making the guilty person confess in court – because even when a person is found not guilty, they really aren’t considered not guilty, just not convicted. I’ve seen videos of prosecutors and law enforcement persons making statements about a person who had been convicted, who was protesting his/her innocence, saying how terrible it was that convicted person wouldn’t confess, take responsibility, apologise. Yet, I don’t see videos of those self same prosecutors admitting fault or apologising when those convicted persons are absolved by DNA evidence and found to be innocent.

When I hear people insist that Clemens HAD to have used drugs, I ask then why did he HAVE to? Because he was good. And besides, him throwing the bat at Mike Piazza could only have been roid rage. I asked if this meant that when Ty Cobb jumped into the stands and beat up some heckler that he must have also been guilty of steroid use. (No, that’s different.) Or when Juan Marichal attacked Johnny Roseboro with a bat, that it was proof positive that Juan was shooting up steroids (which most certainly DID exist back then) right? Oh noooooooo, guys wouldn’t NEVAH have used no illegal drugs back in the Golden Age and besides, amphetamines don’t improve performance unless you are drunk or hung over or tired or sore or hurting or unfocused or something.

Who was that politician of 30-40 years back who was accused of some heinous felony who was actually proved innocent, who said – now where do I go to get my reputation back? He never found out where and he was exiled from his former pals and existence. Accused = guilty, no matter what.

You might could shrug and say – well, if Clemens had just confessed, false or not, and not stared down George Mitchell, Bud Selig and their little political friends, he might be enjoying the good life like Pettitte. Sometimes, you have to lie in order to protect what you have. Like Pettitte did. And look how things turned out for him. He’s back pitching for his Yankees and the BBWAA has declared him to be a Good Guy, drug use, lies and all, and he’s going into the Hall of Fame, in spite of the fact that he’s grossly inferior to Clemens, and in fact, wouldn’t belong in the HOF even if he never touched drugs or lied about his use, THREE times, yet.

For Clemens, his baseball life is certainly over. He didn’t change the opinions of those whose eyes are shut and the baseball owners aren’t going to buck Selig and hire him in any baseball capacity. That 10 year personal services contract with the Astros which has been, um, postponed? You think Crane is going to touch it? You think anyone is going to employ him as a pitching coach? He’s finished.

And the Hall of Fame, currently occupied only by saintly choir boys who never sinned in any way, never cheated, never cut corners, never put themselves and their own interests before the team , that Hall is closed to Clemens and pretty much everyone who has played during my own lifetime, except for the inexplicably declared pure, such as Thome, Maddux, Glavine and Junior Griffey. And the undeserving such as Jack Morris.

Ah well.

If the Hall wishes to cut off its nose to spite its face, that is its affair.

But Clemens will be a guilty man for the rest of his life in the eyes of the public because the media has declared it so.

Whatever Happened To The 2005 Ex-Stros?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

These past few weeks, I’ve been editing (had to because of the move) the entries I wrote in 04 and 05 – FINALLY done – those fun years we pulled it together after the ASB enough to make it to the playoffs. Amazing to re-read that stuff – 2004, the year we were supposed to be absolutely an AWESOME team, but lacked 1 starter and 2 relievers, and the team stayed at .500 even after The Lousy Jimy Williams was replaced by Phil “Rah-Rah” Gardner, until Roy-O stirred up a hornets nest by throwing at Michael Barrett on yet ANOTHER losing day when his gloves and bats had let him down yet AGAIN and the team suddenly started winning like crazy, but lost to St. Louis because of Dan F Miceli and also because of the failure of Drayton McLane to allow Gerry Hunsicker to get a starting pitcher to replace Andy Pettitte after he was lost for the year.

2005, the year in which we started off with Luke Scott in left – a guy the Organization HATED and couldn’t wait until he had a cold streak so that they could send him down; the year in which we lost every away game but 3 for the first 2 months; the year in which only Morgan Ensberg managed to hit before Lance Berkman came back in May and found his stroke; the year in which Jason Lane had his only full good year (you talk about a wasted career); the year in which Brad Lidge went from infallible to Dan F Miceli territory, giving up homers to the likes of Scott Podsednick in the World Series – which, by the way, I am REALLY grateful I got to go to, as I am pretty sure I won’t see the Astros in another WS in my lifetime…

But I digress…

I thought, just for fun, that we’d take a look at all the guys who used to be on the Astros, see who they were traded for (if they were traded) and how they’ve done since leaving. I’m also going to include a few minor leaguers who are now major leaguers. Please note that I haven’t made any comments about the guys who are “still here” – that’s for my first half review entry.

2005:

 C Brad Ausmus – played until 2008, left as a FA, then signed with the Dodgers for 09: hit .295 over 107 PA/36 games as Russell Martin’s backup. Still smoking hot, too… 
1B Lance Berkman – still here 
2B Craig Biggio - retired after wrecking the 07 season, beatified in 08
SS Adam Everett – was let go as a FA after the 07 season, spent 08 with the Twins (didn’t play much – had an injured shoulder), 09 with the Tigers, will play with Tigers in 2010 
3B Morgan Ensberg – traded to the Padres for chewing gum 8/07. Signed with the Yankees AAA team in 08, had a few crappy ABs when A-Rod was injured - now OOB - never was able to recover his stroke after injuring his shoulder in May 06
LF Chris Burke – traded to the DBax with Juan Gutierrez and Chad Qualls for Jose Valverde. Never recovered his stroke after HIS shoulder injury, neither. Was a utility guy for the DBax in 08, drifted between SanDiego, and AAA for the Braves and mariners last year. 
CF Willy Taveras – traded to the Rox with Jason Hirsh And Taylor Buchholz for Jason Jennings  after the 06 season. He posted a career high 89 OPS+ (.748 OPS) in 07, then went back to his usual suckage in spite of stealing a NL high 68 bases in 08. The Rox preferred Ryan Spilborghs, and let Willy go after 08, and he signed a 2 year deal with Dusty Baker and the Reds – he’s Dusty’s kind of leadoff guy. In 102 games (437 PA) he had a .275 OBP, a 48 OPS+ and 25 SB/6 CS.
RF Jason Lane – traded to the Padres 9/07  (from the minors) for nothing – still in the minors.

1B Mike Lamb – let go after the 07 season, signed with the Twins, got hurt, sucked, spent last year at AAA Buffalo, sucked
OF Orlando Palmeiro – retired after the 06 season
 
IF Jose Vizcaino – let go as FA after the season, signed with Giants, released, signed with WS champion Cardinals, then retired after the 06 series.
1B Jeff Bagwell - anointed as Saint after he retired after the 06 season. Which he shouldn’t have been, seeing as how he cost the Astros 17 mill by insisting on playing in ST that year (McLane shoulda just said NO, but I digress…)
UT Eric Bruntlett - traded to Phillies with Brad Lidge after the 07 season for Michael Bourn – won a Ring. Still can’t hit for spit, but he can play almost every position
C Raul Chavez – not re-signed after 05, bounced around, now with the Jays – still can’t hit 
LF Luke Scott – one of 5 traded to the Orioles for Tejada after 07 – has done well, a 111 and a 118 OPS+ over the past 2 years. Has more RCAA than Miguel Tejada over the same 2 years for 25 mill fewer dollars.
C Humberto Quintero – still here. Unfortunately. Can’t hit and is a lousy receiver.
UT Todd Self – now playing in the indys – last year in OB was at AA in 07 – had .947 OPS
OF Charles Gipson – retired after 05

RH SP Roy Oswalt – still here
LH SP Andy Pettitte –  wasn’t re-signed after 06, returned as FA to Yankees after Drayton refused to let him play Prima Donna and wouldn’t re-sign him. Still with MFY.
RH SP Roger Clemens – wasn’t resigned after 06, returned to Yankees with his former best bud. Now OOB – hasn’t started 10 year service contract with Astros because Roger chose to deny steroid/HGH use allegations by his former trainer instead of getting all teary-eyed and begging for forgiveness as his former best bud did.
RH SP Brandon Backe – DFA’d  last year after 13 innings – brought back after starting the year hurt, severely screwed by Cecil Cooper, who, in 07, left him in 3 games when he CLEARLY had nothing to “take one for the team” as Coop had exhausted his relievers.
LH SP Wandy Rodriguez – still here
RH SP Ezequiel Astacio - went to Rangers AAA club after 06 season, sucked there too, now OOB 
RH SP Brandon Duckworth – signed with Royals as FA after 05 season, spent 06, 07 and 08 bouncing back and forth between ML and AAA, naturally beat the Astros in his game facing us. Sucked at AAA last year

RH RP Chad Qualls – traded to Dbax after the 07 season for Valverde - used as both setup man and closer in 08, closer in 09. Has done well, will be their closer this year, too.
RH RP Chad Harville – put on waivers 8/05 picked up by Boston, in AAA in 06, now OOB
RH RP Dan Wheeler – great setup/closer in 06, had bad year in 07, traded to the Rays for Ty Wigginton 7/07, did great as setup/backup closer in 08 and 09
RH RP Russ Springer – not resigned after 06 season – Tim Purpura’s STUPIDEST move (I don’t blame him for Jennings, Carlos Lee or Woody Williams because those weren’t his decisions, they were Drayton’s) deciding he didn’t want a great 1 inning guy, replacing him with Rick White, who had 10 scoreless games, blew up, then was gone. Springer had ERA+ of 201 for the Cardinals in 07 and 183 in 08. Was league average for the A’s and Rays last year
RH SP/RP Mike Burns – very successful closer for Astros at AA in 04 and AAA in 05 – had 30 relief innings for Astros with 1.19 ERA, but they didn’t want to keep him, not sure why. AAA for Cincy in 06 did well, had a couple lousy innings in the ML, released, picked up by Boston, who converted him to a swing man/long relief. Spent 07 at AAA Boston, spent 08 at AAA Cubs, spent 09  with Milwaukee, spent the first half at AAA, called up after the ASB, won his start against the Astros 8/15/09. Naturally.
LH RP John Franco – the black hole of massive suckage who cost starters runs and wins, who was almost always bailed out by some other reliever, was mercifully released at the end of June. I STILL don’t understand Phil Garner’s massive infatuation for this guy.
LOOGY Mike Gallo – went from good in 05 to horrible in 06, was sent down at the end of May. Spent 07 at AAA Colorado and 08 at AAA Toronto. Now OOB.
RH RP Scott Strickland – Threw 4 ghastly innings. He never did recover from his injuries in the 03 season. Has spent the last 3 years at AAA for the Padres, Yankees and Dodgers.
RH RP Travis Driskill – threw 1 inning in 05, spent 06 at AAA Round Rock, spent 07 at AAA Round Rock, and threw 6 innings for the Astros which I can’t remember. Now OOB.

————————————

1/21/09: Roger Clemens And The Mitchell Report

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

The NY Times recently had a little article about Kirk Radomski’s book.

Yall remember Radomski – the guy who was nabbed for being a big time steroids dealer/distributor who was given NO prison time in exchange for helping George Mitchell get info to send Roger Clemens and (hopefully) Barry Bonds to prison for a long LONG time for USING drugs. And yeh, that IS a new thing – giving big time drug dealers/manufacturers/distributors no prison time in return for getting prison time for USERS.

Well, Mr. Rat Drug Dealer done just wrote himself a new book, he surely did. All about the drug dealin he done and his “experience” with the Mitchell Report people.

Get this (from the Times:)

“In a portion of the book that is likely to attract attention, Radomski states that he was asked by Mitchell about a handful of major leaguers who were not among his dozens of customers and who did not end up being named in the Mitchell report.

Radomski names this group of players in his book — several of them have been previously linked to performance-enhancing drugs in other books — and says that he told Mitchell that he had no firsthand knowledge about their possible use of drugs.

Mitchell, through a spokesman, disputed Radomski’s claim that he was asked about specific players who were not named in the report. “At no time did we raise the names of specific players who had not previously been identified to us by Mr. Radomski,” John Clarke, a spokesman for Mitchell, said in an e-mail message.”

Well, well, well.

Mr. Mitchell done just called his star witness a laaaar. Ain’t that sumpin!!!

Oh

And Radomski accused David Justice yet AGAIN of doing HGH because he heard tell from some former teammate. (How interestin that the media is not all down Justice’s neck DEMANDING that he confess and apologise because IF he been accused, THEN he must be guilty. Like Clemens.)

Here we got a big time drug dealer who is Mitchell’s star witness, who got out of what should have been hellacious prison time for ratting out USERS, who is being called a liar ON THE RECORD by that self same Mr. Mitchell.

(And let me also add that Chad Curtis, grilled by that self same Mr. Mitchell, agrees with Mr. Radomski – click here to check out Ken Davidoff’s article. As Ken puts it,

“So here, essentially, is what Mitchell’s office is saying now: “Please believe Kirk Radomski when he says something that makes us look good. But please don’t believe him when he says something that makes us look bad.”)

And we got us Brian McNamee, unconvicted rapist and big time drug dealer who got his little self out of prison time by ratting out USERS, insisting that for no reason at all, he kept the syringes he used to give the man he admired more than any other, steroid shots 10 years ago. Anyone just think it might could be possible that Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Nowitsky kind of, um, SUGGESTED to McNamee that Clemens just might could have been one of his user clients and cmon, McNamee doesn’t WANNA serve time, now, does he? Because who cares about Andy Pettitte/Chuck Knoblauch?

Yeh, I know we’ve ALL got Roger convicted of using drugs and measured for the federal pen, but personally, I think his lawyers gonna have themselves a good ol time with Radomski, Nowitsky and McNamee.

Sad thing is, even if Hardin goes all Perry Mason on McNamee’s ass and McNamee confesses he made the whole thing up to get in good with the govmint, won’t none of the public believe it anyhow. If Roger had confessed/false confessed and “apologised” for trying to heal his broken down muscle, it would have gone away. It’s STILL about Mr. Mitchell being a politician who has to be “right” in front of the media.

And last, but not least, we should ask ourselves why on earth we are so quick to IMMEDIATELY believe the unsubstantiated reports of a POLITICIAN whose main goal as an OWNER (yes, Mr. Mitchell is part owner of the Red Sox) is to throw bones to the media and protect the owners from any hint of responsibility in La Affair De Steroids. And we should also remember that we should have GOOD evidence before convicting someone, whether in a court of law or a court of public opinion.

5/5/08: About Cheating And Cheering Suspected Drug Users Clemens And Tejada

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Before I get started talking about tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals, I want to mention a little conversation I had with my niece the other day.

She asked me why everyone was so angry with Roger Clemens. I told her that it was because people believe that he did illegal drugs when he was playing baseball before it was against the rules of baseball to use them and he won’t confess. She asked me if they were mad because he did the drugs or because he won’t confess. What would you have told her?

She then asked me wasn’t it true that Andy Pettitte also did the same thing, but he confessed? I told her, yes, she was right. She asked me if it was true that people aren’t mad at Andy because he confessed and that they don’t care that he cheated because he confessed? What would you have told her?

She asked me wasn’t it true that Miguel Tejada also used illegal drugs before they were against baseball rules? I told her yes. She asked me if he had confessed. I told her no. She then asked me why people aren’t mad at him like they are at Roger and why it is OK to cheer for Tejada since he is the same kind of cheater. What would you have told her?

If YOU were her parent, how would you begin to try to explain to her why it isn’t OK to cheat, when it is more than obvious that people don’t care about cheating as long as you confess (and aren’t historically great) and you aren’t punished in any real way? (She has, by the way, long since understood, even at her young age, that poor people go to prison for the exact same drug offenses that are ignored in rich athletes and that the same crime isn’t punished with the same punishment in every citizen.)

Now it is one thing if you don’t believe that using illegal drugs before they were banned by the CBA in 2004 was cheating in any way, but you merely want the juicy details for whatever reason. But if you DO believe it is cheating, how can you justify cheering for a cheater? And please, no “we all make mistakes” because it is a justification to excuse people we want to cheer for, not an honest answer. And most of all, how can

I explain damning and/or banning the Rafael Palmeiros and Barry Bonds but not the Ryan Franklins and Paul LoDucas?

OK
On to the Nationals…

The Nats are even more of a Psychobilly Cadillac than the Astros. Discombobulated, playing without any stars except for Ryan Zimmerman, and missing both Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young, they have begun to rebound from a lousy beginning and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games and are now 14-18, 4.5 games out of first place.

Shawn Hill, RHP, age 27, is an original Expo, drafted in the 6th round of the 2000 draft. He was called up for a couple of spot starts in 04, won one and was smeared all over the park in the other 2. He spent 05 in the minors, but was again called up for 6 spot starts on 06, and threw 36.2 innings with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. This earned him 16 starts last year – pitched 97.1 IP – 86 H, 42R/37ER, 9HR, 25 BB, 65 K: 3.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a .234 BAA.

So far this year, he is 0-0 in 3 GS – 18 IP – 18 H, 0 HR, 5 BB, 12 K – 3.50 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a .257 BAA

He has never faced the Astros, but Mark Loretta is 3/4, Kaz is 2/3 and Bourn is 0/1.
Shawn Chacon still has no decisions after 6 GS, 5 QS – 38 IP – 32 H, 3 HR, 18 BB, 24 K: 3.32 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and a .233 BAA (and yes, there actually is another ML pitcher who has no decisions after 6 GS)

He has faced the Nats before, but as the lineup has changed so dramatically from year to year over the past 5 years, I’ll just post his record against individual hitters:
Paul LoDuca: 9/21 with 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB
Aaron Boone: 4/12 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB
Ronnie Belliard: 2/7
Felipe Lopez: 1/7
Ryan Zimmerman: 1/7 with 1 double
Austin Kearns: 0/4
Lastings Milledge: 1/4
Cristian Guzman: 1/3 with a double
Johnny Estrada: 1/3 with a double
Rob Mackowiak: 0/2
Wil Nieves: 0/2
Wily Mo Pena: 1/1 with a double
Willie Harris: 1/1

2/20/08: Astros Defeat Loretta In Arbitration

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I wasn’t surprised. The owners are usually defeating the players these days and Loretta would have been more successful, in my opinion, if he had asked for 3.5 mill, which is the amount he made last year after adding in bonuses.

No other real news. Players are trickling in to spring training camp. Tejada says he’s fine and not worried. Which doesn’t surprise me one bit – no one cares that he used roids or lied about it. People only care about the super-duper stars who use. Tal Smith was dead right about that, not that he’d have the stones to come out and say so. You notice that the local and national media aren’t bothering to waste air/ink on Tejada because he isn’t that good and has no chance of reaching the Hall and won’t even come close to breaking The Sacred Home Run Record.

Let’s see, what else? Hunter Pence wasn’t watching where he was going and ran through a plate glass window, cutting himself in a few places. Detectives say alcohol wasn’t involved. I guess this is his admission to the “hard-nosed” school of Aaron Rowand-ism. I guess it is a good thing if you are a ball player to not watch where the heck you are going.

What else?

Oh yeah – Jon Heyman, a good friend of Brian McNamee says that Clemens caused Pettitte all this trouble by just not shutting up and agreeing with everything that McNamee accused him of and now it is all Roger’s fault that The NY Daily News had to go and find out that Andy got his HGH from his father in 2004 and so Andy’s father got his own self in the paper.

I’m getting tired of hearing how using a chemical BEFORE it was banned is “cheating” and I’m getting especially tired of hearing how HGH is a performance enhancer. I would like to see even ONE piece of scientific evidence that in normal healthy young men that HGH strengthens ANYTHING except for the bony growth of the chin, hands and feet.

Me, I would like to see the remainder of the media give the exact same amount of hellfire to every single steroid user that they have given to McGwire, Bonds and Clemens. Of course, it will never happen. I know better.

1/22/08: Astros Re-sign Borkowski For Long Relief

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

The Astros just signed Dave Borkowski to a 1 year 800K contract which avoids arbitration. Dave is not, um, what all yall might could call an elite pitcher (ahem) but he can throw multiple innings and I would guess he will be used as the mopup guy. Dave is 13-18 over parts of 6 ML seasons and sports a 5.68 ERA (80 ERA+) and a 1.52 WHIP over 310 innings.

With Houston, he has thrown 71 innings each year; he had a 4.69 ERA in 06 (95 ERA+) and a 5.15 ERA (85 ERA+) last year. he gives up 1 HR/9 IP (8 homers each year), has 6.5 – 8 K/9 IP and last year, unfortunately increased his walk rate from 2.9 – 4.3 BB/9 IP. Last year, he was 5-3 with 8 holds, 3 blown saves and 1 save (the last game of the year.)

Ah well, SOMEbody has to mopup.

This now leaves two open pitching spots. We KNOW that one of them HAS to be a lefty and the other will be the 5th starter, who I HOPE is Chris Sampson, with a healthy arm. But with this team, youneverknow…

And last – ahem – the Astros would be more than happy to welcome Roger the roid Dodger to their elite pitching camp. The HUGE crush of media would get the Astros name on national media constantly. I mean, they feel Roger coaching/teaching would be good for the young pitchers in spite of the media.

Yeah.

Yeah, that’s the story.

1/7/08: Roger Clemens Proclaims His Innocence, But It Doesn’t Matter

Monday, January 7th, 2008

WHY doesn’t it matter?
Because, unfortunately, to waaaaayyy too many people IF you are accused, no matter who by, you are guilty. Case closed.

Richard Justice, judging by this morning’s blog, is unconvinced because Roger didn’t do and say what Richard thought he should have said and done when Richard thought he should have said and done it. And, unfortunately, seems like most everyone agrees with Richard.

You see, Roger has failed to explain the motives of his accuser. He knows the motives HOW?
Personally, I thought he handled himself very well in his interview with Mike Wallace. Roger’s critics all think he should have thrown himself in front of a pack of vicious attack dogs like Skip Bayless/Mike Lupica who ALREADY have decided that Clemens is guilty of the crimes of which he has been accused and PROVED to them that he couldn’t be guilty.

Oh, yes, crimes. He is accused of committing CRIMES. Purchasing controlled substances is a CRIME. Of course, he could have obtained them by a legal prescription, but then, of course, McNamee would have just conveniently omitted having seen the prescription label. And, of course, it just so happens that the dates given by McNamee just happen to fall outside the statute of limitations for prosecution.

Then again, Mitchell, Selig, Congress and a whole lot of members of the media are interested in PERsecution, not PROSecution.

As for me, I think it is telling that Roger’s attorney waited until his investigators had some facts before he filed a libel suit – to me, it indicates that he has some FACTS, and as I have said, libel suits by or against public figures in this country are pretty rare, as the probability of winning one is almost zero. And as for McNamee filing a libel suit against Roger for claiming that McNamee did not tell the truth, well, that ain’t a-goin nowheres, as it is pretty near impossible to ruin the reputation of a drug dealer/rapist.

As for the claim that McNamee would NEVAH lie, especially in front of the feds/under oath because he would be facing prosecution if he did – well, seems it sure didn’t stop Rafe Palmeiro or Barry Lamar, now, did it? As for the really idiotic question – well, why would McNamee tell the truth about one thing and lie about another – well, that is the best, the VERY best way to get a lie believed, is it not? It is simply preposterous to insist that a person proves he is always telling the truth if he relates ONE true fact.

So, let me ask all yall this -
suppose you child/wife/gf/friend/boss comes up to you and correctly and truthfully tells you the time and date and his/her weight. Does this mean you will now believe every single word out of his/her mouth in the future unquestioningly?

hmmmmmmmm indeed…

Oh yeah. before I forget – if the idea behind persecuting Clemens/Bonds is because of their heinous influence on poor unsuspecting high school and college kids and we simply MUST get roids out of the skoolz THINK of the children their parents had NO idea that no normal kid puts on 40 pounds of muscle in a few months – well, if you REALLY want roids gone, then TEST THE KIDS!!! It’s like duh. Surprise test the high skool kids, surprise test the college kids. Kick them out permanently if they test positive. That will put a heck of a lot better dent in steroid use than harassing Clemens et.al.

Kids don’t look at how Clemens is getting poked at now. They look at the examples of Clemens/Bonds, then look at their millions and think – whoa, if I use roids, I can be as good as those guys. Which, of course, is plain stupid. It’s talent, and you can’t roid-up talent, as Barry Lamar Himself could have said. But then again, teen age boys are not exactly reservoirs of good common sense.

1/5/08: Back In The Good Old Days Ballplayers Didn’t NEVAH Cheat

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Why are people so intent on changing or glamorizing the past?
I was thinking about this in view of all the hysteria about Roger Clemens and who did or did not use steroids over the past 30 something years and why that is horrible but Mickey, Willie and the Duke (and almost everyone else) using amphetamines is no biggie.

The answer, given by way too many baseball writers and talkers on sports radio, ex-baseball players and old guys, is that baseball was “pure” back in The Good Old Days. What on earth is PURE? How could any contest, played by young, aggressive males be PURE? And what on EARTH are “The Good Old Days?”

Answer -
well, personally, I think it is every person’s idea of the Garden of Eden. Yeah, regardless of religious beliefs, I think that people have this vision of the Real, the Ideal, how Things Were before the Debbil come along and messed things up. It certainly is not based on any sort of reality.

For example, take us females – well, not THAT way. Mennnnnnn. I keep hearing how females today work SOOOOOO much harder and are under SOOOOOO much more stress. Say WHAT????? They gotta be smoking something to say that – comparing myself to both of my grandmothers: I actually had a high school to go to, I had access to medical care and medicines, I didn’t have to get married when I was 14 or 15, I didn’t have to spend my adult life pregnant because I can choose whether or not to get pregnant because my husband doesn’t have the right to rape and impregnate me against my wishes, I don’t have to watch my children die from the terrible diseases that go around every winter, I don’t spend sunup to sundown with not so much as a day off for my entire life washing clothes by hand, making all the clothes by hand, cooking 3 meals a day for at least a dozen people, I don’t worry that we are going to starve if there is bad weather and the crops die – and I could go on. We’re fairly poor, but I live like a queen compared to my female ancestors of all colors and races.

As for baseball – I’m not sure exactly where people got the idea that Back Then, ballplayers were just sweet little innocent boys who played For The Love Of The Game and who Played The Game As The Game Should Be Played and it certainly wasn’t for money. Sure there were your Lou Gehrig goody 2 shoes mama’s boys. But most of the guys were a heck of a lot more like Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth – not in talent, but in appetite for alcohol, fornicating and winning by whatever means they could. Somehow, the hidden ball trick, or holding a runner by his belt or throwing illegal spitballs, or Ellie Howard cutting the ball on his shin buckle before throwing it back to Whitey Ford, or all the boys popping illegal drugs before the game because hordes of wicked females had kidnapped them from their monks’ cells, forced alcohol down their unwilling throats then raped them all night making them too sick and tired to play, are all pushed aside.

(Note – as for me, I never bought into the picture of pure, unwilling, righteous, aggressive, vigorous, healthy, competitive young males being dragged off kicking and fighting, totally against their will by gangs of evil, vicious females intent on the destruction of the will, morals and sperm stores of these poor dear boys. Of course, I never bought into the picture of idyllic femalehood, in which females are pure, innocent, untouched by icky things like puberty or males, until they are 18 or 20 years old, then living the carefree life of ease while children magically appeared out of nowheres and took care of themselves while the household chores all did themselves and no one died or got sick or had troubles. So I’m a skeptic/realist and believe that people are people and always were…)

I’m not sure why so many sportswriters have these absurd fantasies about baseball players (as opposed to, say, football players or basketball players or golfers) but their obsession with unreality borders on not quite sane. I would say that any competitive person in any competitive event looks for whatever edge he/she can find. Or as Jim Bouton once explained – pitchers would use something that took ten years off their life if it gave them another 5 MPH on their fastball. Which sounds honest, and accurate, to me. Of course I know that some people go to the ridiculous extemes, like Rosie Ruiz, who didn’t even bother to run the marathon she (briefly) won, but those people quickly remove themselves from competition.

Anyway, I guess this is why I simply can’t seem to get myself all hot and bothered about baseball players (or maybe I should say ONLY baseball players named Barry Lamar Bonds and Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire) using steroids over the past 30 or so years, just as I can’t seem to get myself all hot and bothered by Mickey Mantle and his contemporaries using amphetamines, just as I can’t get myself all hot and bothered by Ty Cobb sliding in with spikes high, just as I can’t get hot and bothered by the 19th century players hiding another ball in the outfield grass or grabbing a runner by his belt. If you don’t like the way people do things, then change the rules and enforce them, don’t obsess that non-existant halcyon times were destroyed by men who want money (as if they didn’t want money and power Back Then) to play a child’s game.

But I’m not picking on sportswriters and old men and their faulty memories – really I’m not. Us females are just as bad. For some bizarre reason, most females really REALLY think that there really REALLY is this perfectly perfect in every way Prince Charming who will ride in and make their lives perfect too. Then of course, when they finally realize there is no such entity, they get angry, resentful and even bitter because they conveniently pretend that the phrase “for better or worse” in the marriage vows refers only to OTHER people. There never was any such perfect person and there is no such thing as a perfect life and there never was, ever.

But, I think baseball is foolishly idealized the way it is because it really is the game of life. And people seem to harbor this hope that life could be perfect, as it used to be, before the

12/07: The Story Of Roger Clemens And The Astros Fans

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Romance, my mother said, is when you have the illusion that you will have all of the good and it won’t take any work.

Marriage, my mother said, is when you have the reality that sometimes there will be some good and it will take a lot of work from both of you.

Here is my story about the romance, marriage and divorce of Roger Clemens and Houston, Texas.