Archive for the ‘Jeff Bagwell’ Category

1/13/13: The Astros And Drugs

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I was gonna write a little blurb bout Jonathan Singleton getting caught using that Performance Detracting Drug, Mary J Wanna, or should I say, Mary J Ida-Wanna, but I done wrote that all before last year when maroon Jordan Schafer got caught. Honestly, how swear word STUPID can you get? The Astros were almost certainly inviting him to ST and I would bet were considering calling his sorry ass up if Brett Wallace failed and now he has to not play for 2 months.

Either he has an addiction problem or is is too stupid to be believed – Mary stays in your system for MONTHS and you can have a positive piss test.

The Astros best prospect.

They don’t care about it or test for it in the MAJORS but for whatever reason, the minors cares about it even in the offseason and screwing up your entry into the MONEY is beyond stupid. Made a mistake. The usual blubbering apology – prolly look like one of my Dogz after getting caught pullin over the trash can.

NOW

to me, the big news, fortunately ignored because after all this IS Houston, bereft by the media, is that BOTH Biggio and Bagwell said that Bonds and Clemens belong in the Hall and that Bonds was the best player they’d ever seen. The Jeff Pearlmans of the world and all those gutless unnamed BBWAA voters who don’t have the guts to show their ballots to the world, well, you KNOW they are gonna use this as a tacit admission by the Killah Bs – and not vote for them again.

This stuff has simply GOT to stop. Not only is there like ZERO reason to state that either one of them was without question one of the many roid users from 88 – 04, but there is like ZERO reason to insist that they either took steroids from the beginning of their careers or to insist that neither of them could play baseball above the AA/AAA level without it, which is what I’m reading. In his rookie year he had a 139 OPS+ fer chrissakes. We all know that a guy being skinny as a pole doesn’t mean he’s not shooting up, unless he puts on muscle and then it is positive proof unless he is Junior Griffey. Baggy did indeed hit 39 homers in 110 games in 94, but then again, in 94, EVERYONE was killing the ball. Either all hitters and no pitchers were shooting up, or the BALL itself was juiced.

But let’s be real – the ONLY reason that steroids suddenly became Teh Evull/Cheating is because the Home Run Record fell. Nobody cares that the previous Amphetamine Era players broke record after record because they did not put on weight. Too many people/writers like to pretend that amphetamines do not enhance performance, which is why even freaking cold medication is banned from the Olympics. Pete Rose broke the hits record, Hank Aaron broke the (gasp) Sacred Home Run Record, Nolan Ryan blew through the K record. (Anyone else ever wonder why on earth Nolie-poo is never on the suspect list? I mean, because throwing a baseball in the mid 90s while pitching no hitters is something ordinary pitchers can do at age 46…)

The insistence that steroids cause a nobody to turn into a great home run hitter is beyond absurd. And let’s be real here – NOBODY cares about guys who used steroids unless they hit a LOT of home runs or were named Roger Clemens). It’s why you get people shrugging off the players who have actually been CAUGHT using steroids.

It’s why people would condemn any sort of steroid use in any player even if he was given them BY A SPORTS PHYSICIAN under strict supervision to heal seriously damaged muscle. I would bet just about any amount of money that no one except Jeff Pearlman would have a problem if any ballplayer toook ANY substance that permanently improved his performance as a baseball player AS LONG AS it did not increase the size of his muscles.

For example, let’s suppose that player X uses, say, saline nose spray and finds out that spraying it in his nose improves his ability to focus on the spin of the ball and that after using the spray for a year, the ability is permanent.

Did he cheat?

Let’s suppose that player Y decides to fix Vitamin C and does weekly butt injections because he found that it strengthened his wrist tendons and back tendons, allowing him to have significantly increased butt, I mean BAT speed. Besides him being an obvious homosex (I mean seriously, isn’t that why everyone is so UPSET that androgen injections are, for whatever reason, taken in the BUTT???!!!!! seeing as how you know how Those Peeple are) has he cheated?

Let’s suppose that player Z lines his jock strap with aluminum foil after giving himself an enema with capsascin powder because he finds that this significantly enhances his alertness and focus and enables him to run faster, field better and singles those balls where the fielders ain’t.

Should any of these guys have to announce his new discovery that gave him this great advantage to either other players or to the media? All of those things used are available over the counter to anyone who wants them, including toddlers. Has anyone “cheated?”

Now youse guys might could laugh and say something like IGGNERINT WIMMEN!!!!! but the point is that each one of these guys was specifically TRYING to find something to make himself a better player, some little edge, NONE of the substances he used were illegal (like androstenedione, the Clear, vit B-12). is trying to find any sort of edge not prohibited – is that a bad thing?

Should we punish/suspend all the guys who wear those metal necklace thingys because they REALLY believe that they ENHANCE PERFORMANCE by using cosmic rays/magnetic fields/radioactive spider juice? You can’t prove that metal necklaces have anything whatsoever to do with performance enhancing than you can with Human Growth Hormone, but it doesn’t stop everyone from screaming about it and demanding blood tests.

The difference between the two is that people (wrongly) think that HGH has anything whatsoever to do with increasing muscle SIZE and strength in healthy young males and that metal necklaces can’t.

1/9/13: No Baggy, No Biggio, No Body

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Twenty five to none, baby,
None in twenty five
No one gets IN alive

May take a year, no
It may take longer
They got the votes 
Though you got the numbers

Gonna sit, yeah,
Your ballgames are over, boys
Night is drawing near
Shadows of the evening
Crawl across the years

apologies Jim Morrison

Husband told me – go write this entry, get it out of your system. I’ll grill something. Sorry your boys didn’t make it in
(translation: we don’t hafta go to that stupid little town in the middle of nowheresville Yankeeland with nothin to do except for stand there with thumbs up butt while Wife gets all googoo eyed over Bagwell and Biggio and some stupid museum with mostly dead guys don’t even know their NAMES in it- and we get to go back to Galveston and go swimming YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!)

Well, all those smug, self important BBWAA and all those smug, self-important HOFers who wouldn’t NEVAH have done NOTHING immoral or TOUCHED any substance or thing that might could give them any sort of improvement or edge – you think they are gonna do anything to help the museum, which has lost money the last 8 of 10 years, and will get this crowd of dozens for the induction of some guys who have been dead a hundred years that nobody but SABRites have heard of?

HAIL no.

They are too busy crowing about The Sanctity Of The Halls. Not crowing about The Poverty Of The Local Businesspeople who they just deprived of their main business week of the year.

I can’t understand voting a good but not great pitcher like Morris over Bagwell or Biggio. They are not going in, if ever, for a long LONG time, seeing as how the BBWAA’s Declared Perfect Players who could not POSSIBLY have been associated with steroids in any way, shape or form, have managed to stagger themselves every year so they can put in only the perfect. Starting with Maddux next year. I would say Frank Thomas too, but he was very large, hit a LOT of home runs, and therefore MUST be one of those damm dirty roiders. Right?

Next year comes Randy Johnson, who didn’t get to be any good until he was 30 and lasted WELL into his 40s, throwing 90+ MPH sliders – and you know it’s impossible for that to have been due to roids, right?

And so on.

Bagwell, Biggio, Lofton (who fell off the ballot – and that is because he didn’t hit enough homers for a CF, unlike The Sainted Kirby Puckett, who couldn’t possibly have used roids to suddenly increase his HR totals from 4/year to 31/year, the year BEFORE the Juiced Ball in 87) Larry Walker (often mistaken for Dante Bichette), Schilling and his bloody mouth – I mean Sock. Rock Raines, Mike Piazza (acne is like betting on baseball – right?) and Alan Trammell. And Rafe Palmeiro – don’t ask me why people believe Miguel Tejada who was on the Mitchell Report because they had RECEIPTS for his purchase of steroids.

Let alone the 2 best players of the past 50 years who are being kept out for being, uh, jerks. Or as Ken Burns and his hazy shade of Remebrance of Golden Years Past put it – teach those mother, uh, lovers – ahem – a lesson.

IT’s too stupid. it’s really TOO stupid. In the not so distant future, we’re gonna look back at the Salem Steroid Trials and honestly wonder what all the fuss was about. Just like we wonder why, now, that so many folks were so hysterical about not allowing Those Icky Negroes to play on the Nice White Ballpark Grounds For the Regular Season.
The veterans committee gonna put most of them in 20 years from now and unlike Frankie Frisch’s gang, THESE guys will be genuinely great.

You know what? I think that this IS the right year to go to the Cooperstown inductions. No problem finding a hotel room, no crowds, no bloviating Hall of Famers going on about what little choir boys they were Back In The Good Old Days.

heh

Yeh, gonna sockitto Husby-doo. No crowds this time boy, no excuse for YOU.

1/10/12: Once Again, Bagwell Can’t Get Into The HOF Without A Ticket

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

I’m not surprised. I’m trying not to be disappointed. But I can’t help but be disgusted. He’s not being kept out because of his numbers, or his play. He was a genuine 5 tool player until his shoulder finally disintegrated.

No

It’s that some writers have decided that anyone who lifted weights or worked out during the steroid era could only have done so by using anabolic steroids. And we all know that males can’t put on muscle mass by lifting weights unless they also shoot steroids.

sigh

Remember a few days ago, I posted that Biz of Baseball writer Maury Brown posted on facebook that he felt sorry for Astros fans and Astros employees, and refused to elaborate?

Well, today, it was announced that Keith Law, who used to do stat work for the Blue Jays before he converted to scoutism and went to work for ESPN, turned down a job in the Astros Organization. Maury says – Keith is a smart man. And once more, he said he wasn’t gonna say any more about it.

I’ve tried to find out more about what is going on, but I can’t. Jim Crane has sealed up leaks and Luhnow’s conferences sound like Tim Purpura’s old ones. I have heard from pals who are involved with other teams that Wandy is very much for sale. I have absolutely NO idea how Crane could possibly improve this team without spending money, seeing as how it can’t be done by spending in the draft any more.

I also haven’t been able to get any info about the new Astros/Rockets RSN which is supposed to start next year, whether or not it will be carried on all cable channels, let alone DISH or Direct TV. I can’t see how on earth they are gonna make more money per year from this than they would from FOX, and Crane is so overloaded with debt, I can’t see how he’s going to spend any of that money on good players.

sigh

Trouble is that we Houstonians and Astros fans were plain unlucky. Bud is focused on getting the Dodgers sold, then, obviously, the Mets, and the fact that the Astros have been shoved to the bottom of a cesspool is no concern of his.

Oh yeah – he’s NOT retiring at the end of his term, he’s going to stay on for 2 more years, no surprise.

I know how they felt in Montreal. You know they were pulling in 3 million people a year the year of the strike and 7 years later they were dead. 6 years ago, the Astros were pulling in 3 mill fans a year, won the pennant, and are now Terry Schiavo on life support, and the plug ain’t getting pulled for at least 18 years.

It’s going to be weird going to Opening Day without Mama. Yes, I’m going – it’s my last one. She’s returned to the team of her childhood, St. Louis. She told me – child, when your face gets punched in and urinated on, it’s time to leave the abuser and get a divorce, you don’t wait around to see if he will change because he loves you, because he doesn’t.

Maybe it’s for the best that I wasn’t able to, in spite of my best efforts, to get my kids interested in baseball. They like playing it (or I should say, a baseball-like game played with ball, bat, fake bases, fake runners and fake fielders) in the yard with me and Dog Pappas, who is a good fielder, but has Mackey Sasser Syndrome in which he has a tough time returning the ball to the pitcher once he catches it.

Ah well, you always hear it is a kids’ game – maybe I should remember that…

1/4/11: Jeff Bagwell Won’t Be Elected, But At Least He’ll Still Have A Chance

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

In which Chris Jaffe discusses the 2011 HOF ballot and explains why Bagwell should be elected, but won’t be. Check it out.

Meanwhile, there isn’t much news – Fast Eddie is still working on trying to trade Keppinger (and Clank – FAT chance – hahaha) and Pam Gardner is trying to figure out how in the name of GAWD to market Clint eff Barmes…

12/30/10: Sportswriters Talk About Bagwell’s HOF Chance; Bagwell Talks About Steroids

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I knew I said that I wasn’t going to post until after the new year, but my Mama told me to go and read Jerry Crasnick’s interview with Baggy, who didn’t exactly speak in any sort of cliches. I’m proud of the guy – he’s talked more openly about his opinions about steroids and weightlifting and roiding baseball players than any other real Hall of Fame candidate who is busy either decrying the McGwires of the world as EVIL or puffing himself up with innocence (Saint Dale Murphy). I think it took some serious, uh, guts (ahem) to dare to say what he says about players and performance enhancers.

My favorite excerpt?

“People can say anything they want about Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, but it was fun to watch. Barry Bonds is the best player I’ve ever seen. He would stand on first base and say, ‘If they throw that pitch again, I’m taking them deep.’ Then guess what? The next at-bat, he would take them deep. He could steal a base anytime he wanted to steal a base, and he was always safe. I’ve only seen three or four people who could ever do that. No matter what anybody says about Barry or Mark, who I love to death, they were great players and they were fun to watch.”

And you KNOW that LOTS of people will use that statement as proof positive that Bagwell used roids and is too cowardly to admit it and then do the right thing and commit suicide, or something, because of the enormity of the depravity of this heinous crime of using (shudder) some chemical to either heal injuries, get better, or continue playing.

Check out the rest of the interview.

I know there are the Jeff Pearlmans of the world who absolutely INSIST that Bagwell is positively guilty of using steroids because he lifted weights, played first base and hit home runs (and as we all know, no male is capable of adding any muscle weight merely by lifting weights) and because he wasn’t an outspoken critic of roids who demanded that testing be implemented (like his “twin” Frank Thomas) or declared innocent for some unknown reason, like Jim Thome. Fortunately, Pearlman doesn’t have a HOF vote.

(UPDATE 45 minutes later): I swear to GOD that I wrote what I wrote about Pearlman BEFORE I read what he said about Bagwell on his blog. And dammed if he didn’t say almost word for word exactly what I thought he’d say. If you hit home runs, if you did not look when you finished your career exactly as skinny as you looked when you were 21, if, in fact, you lifted weights, if you did not loudly demand steroid testing – and best I know, Frank Thomas was the only active player who did – then you MUST be presumed guilty of steroid use. I wonder if Pearlman knows that not all steroid users put on muscle weight that is obvious – see Manny Alexander/Alex Sanchez. I wonder if Pearlman is going to just come out with a blanket condemnation of every single player during 93-05 who didn’t loudly demand steroid testing – and if so, why not. And I also wonder when he is going to start accusing Carlton Fisk and Mickey Tettleton of being steroid users seeing as how they claim that they only put on all that muscle weight later in their careers from lifting weights. And I sure nuff would like to know who all these known steroid users on the Astros were from 95 to 04 (remembering that Caminiti was gone in 95 and was no longer friends with Bagwell/Biggio due to his alcoholism)…

I know that some HOF voters are refusing to vote for ANY player who played during the steroid ERA and will only consider candidates whose career ended before 1993/1994 because they have decided that since they can’t positively KNOW for absolute certain who did and did not use, they are all being presumed guilty.

And here’s what Joe Posnanski, the best baseball writer on the planet (sorry Richard, but not all ballplayers can be Babe Ruth) has to say about Bagwell in his most recent piece:

“…It looks like Bagwell will fall well short. And I can only come up with two somewhat related reasons:

1. The crazy offensive Selig Era has made us jaded about spectacular offensive numbers. That’s understandable, I guess. Bagwell’s six seasons of 39-plus home runs would have seemed otherworldly twenty years ago. After all, that’s as many as Willie Mays had, more than Mickey Mantle had, as many as Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt COMBINED. But the Selig Era has taken the jolt out of those numbers, in part because of steroids but also in part because we simply have grown numb after seeing home run after home run after home run after home run.

2. Jeff Bagwell — though he never tested positive for steroids, never was implicated in any public way, was not named in the Mitchell Report or by anyone on the record as a suspected user, and is not even on this rather comprehensive list of players linked to steroids or HGH — seems to have become in some voter’s minds a player who used performance enhancing drugs.

I can’t even begin to describe my disgust at No. 2 … it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach….

Check out the rest of his article. Pos is so good that I even read his non-baseball blog entries just for the pleasure of reading his writing.

12/6/10: Jeff Bagwell, Steroids And The Hall Of Fame

Monday, December 6th, 2010

As we all know, Jeff is up for election to the Hall of Fame this year, for the first time. For reasons unclear to me, he is on the Steroid Suspect List – not Sammy Sosa high (and there is absolutely zero evidence to put Sammy on there except that he hit home runs) – but there just the same.

The previous post I wrote about this subject (Bryant Gumbel demanding that Bagwell just admit he used roids) is THE most clicked on entry since I started writing this blog over 6 years ago. Yes, including every entry written during the playoffs and World Series. I got LOTS of comments, most of which I had to delete for libel and/or bad language – most of which said something like, cmon you idiot female, why deny it, your HEEEEro used and you KNOW it and you won’t admit it because you are an Astros fan.

sigh

I don’t have ANY trouble admitting that someone used if I have even the slightest shred of PROOF. For example, I freely admit that Miguel Tejada lied about using. Miguel Tejada used steroids. There. I said it.

Lemme guess – that is not good enough because he is “an Astros Icon” – like that is something that makes me completely unable to say he used steroids if he did.

sigh

What is the evidence that Bagwell used?

1 – he got bigger

You’re kidding me, right? That is too stupid. In the mid 90s after the strike, EVERYONE started lifing weights like crazy because, let’s be honest here, everyone thought that bigger = better, roids or no roids. Bagwell was known to be an avid weightlifter – that does NOT make him a roider. I turst that no one is going to insist that no adult male who lfts weights for several hours a day for months is capable of adding muscle weight without using roids. Even FEMALES can add muscle weight by lifting without using roids. And Bagwell did not exactly change from scrawny to Ahnold overnight (see Lenny Dykstra)

2 – he had big forearms

Please. He wasn’t exactly Ted Kluzewski. Or even Steve Garvey.

3 – He was on the same team as Luis Gonzalez and Ken Caminiti.

Good grief. Caminiti started using in 96, 2 YEARS after he left the team. Luis Gonzalez left in 95. Are people insisting that Luis was using in 95? He didn’t hang with Baggy and they weren’t workout pals. So even IF Gonzalez started using after he went to the Cubs, that has like WHAT to do with Bagwell?

4 – He was a first baseman and he hit home runs and Mark McGwire was a first baseman who hit home runs and HE used so if McGwire hit home runs and used, then Bagwell must have.

Uh hunh.

Then exactly WHY is Frank Thomas not being tarred with that brush? He was a first baseman, hit home runs, and gained weight after he hit the majors at age 22. Oh, because he was outspoken against using? I see. That must be significant because no one who has ever loudly spoken out against something has been found to be guilty of doing exactly what he/she was speaking out against, right? (See whatshisname the minister who loudly opposed gay rights/gay marriage and was discovered to have hired male prostitutes.) Anyway, Baggy isn’t the speaking up kind of guy. Check what he said to the media – all stuff like – we gotta play em one day at a time. Well, I was just up there lookin for a pitch to hit.

5 – he stated that he took the LEGAL, over the counter in any store supplements creatine and androstenedione. Mark McGwire took andro AND he took roids so therefore Bagwell MUST have done roids if he took andro.

Yes, because shooting up with dangerous illegal drugs is the same as taking stuff you buy in a GNC. Neither of which were against any rules. Or considered “cheating” by anyone. And there is exactly ZERO proof that the use of oral androstenedoine by young healthy adult male athletes does absolutely ANYTHING to grow muscles, increase endurance, sharpen focus, or improve athletic performance in ANY way.

6 – He hit home runs in the Astrodome but he didn’t hit any at AA, therefore he must have been shooting up.

In 1991? Back when he was “skinny”? You’re kidding me, right?

7 – Cmon you dumb female. He played during the steroid era. He was good AND he hit home runs. AND he had to retire early because of arthritis. Therefore, he MUST have done roids.

Retiring early because of arthritis means you did drugs? You mean like Sandy Koufax? Oh, no, NOT like Sandy Koufax because Sandy didn’t hit home runs. Ah, I see. Anyone who is not been designated as “clean” for absolutely NO reason, who hit home runs, who lifted weights LIKE EVERY OTHER PLAYER, must be guilty of shooting up.

Sorry, this is all too stupid. There is no more reason to believe that Bagwell did roids than anyone else and tarring everyone with the same brush, regardless or evidence, is mere petulance, frippery (nice big words, eh?) and sour grapes. Bagwell is not associated with any known steroid distributor, he didn’t pay for steroids with a check like our old friend Miggy Tejada, he didn’t work out with known roiders, he never had a positive test (including the infamous supposed secret 2003 list – then again, Barry Bonds wasn’t on that list either and we all KNOW he shot up.)

Fact is that Bagwell, “short” career and all is most certainly a Hall of Famer. To say that he can’t be because he was never the “best” at his position is like complaining that Duke Snider has no business in the Hall because Willie Mays was better.

Jeff Bagwell Is Named Astros Hitting Coach

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Like that is gonna do any good.

Which reminds me – I have more than a little problem with all the people who claim that “tougher steroid testing” has caused all the hitting slumps.

Because testing for drugs in 05 and then having tougher and more frequent tests in 06 causes batting slumps 4 years later.

sigh

Wandy pitched great today – 5 of 6 1,2,3 innings, but unfortunately, he made 1 bad pitch, a hi inside FB to Matt Holiday with 2 on which went 330′ into the second row of the Crawford Boxes, about 6 seats from the foul pole and that was all she wrote.

Pedro Feliz started in place of CJ again and left 2 on in the 3rd, 1 on in the 5th and 2 on in the 7th. And except for a 6 pitch K, did his usual getting out on the first or second pitch.

Not that Berkman, Pence or Clank exactly were Mr. Slugger Persons out there neither.

sigh

Good thing there’s a break now because I need it as much as the rest of the team does. Bourn has been slumping lately and I hope that he steals home with the winning run in the ASG.

To change topics briefly, Richard Justice has a bolg post up asking if people would want Nolan Ryan to buy the Astros if the Rangers deal fell through.

Of course everyone sez YESSSSSSSS

but me, I ask, yeah, I know he’s a “franchise icon” but exactly WHAT does that have to do with owning/running a baseball team? Why do people really think there is no difference between owning a minor league franchise and a major league franchise? Why on earth do people think he would be any more hands off than McLane? What exactly is it he is supposed to have done with the Rangers since he got there to make them a winning team? Besides slag Kevin Millwood and Matt Harrison’s arms, I mean?

It sure sounds like the Prince Charming fantasy to me.

And speaking of fantasies, anyone taken a look at how our supposedly great prospects have done this year? It isn’t pretty…

And I think I’m gonna go and look at our minor leaguers

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.

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Bryant Gumbel Accuses Jeff Bagwell Of Using Steroids

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I didn’t watch Gumbel’s show, just heard about it. Apparently, he was just vomiting his feelings about Mark McGwire, who is now being treated as if he is a worse human being than the Oklahoma bomber who murdered 200 something children. At the end of his ramblings, he apparently said that Jeff Bagwell, Pudge Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra should now come forward and admit they are steroid users.

Seeing as how the media must be tired of having only McGwire to vilify – not only did that man, more evil than Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler COMBINED, USE steroids, he refuses to admit that he only hit home runs because he did, like Alex Sanchez.

Gumbel’s idea of “proof” is to say that Bagwell’s numbers “fell off the table.” I see. No baseball player can ever improve, or they used roids. No baseball player can ever have a decline, or they stopped USING roids. Same with losing weight – which is the proof that Ivan Rodriguez used roids. (So I guess that Matt Stairs, who says he lost 30 lbs this year, and Geovany Soto, who says he lost 30-40 lbs this year, must have stopped using roids. Gotcha.)

I guess that only men who shoot up can develop arthritis of the shoulder – it couldn’t possibly be due to overuse/returning too soon after having legal steroids (cortisone/prednisone) shots in the shoulder joint, given by the team doctor. Only steroid users are open to joint injuries, I guess.

Actually, Bagwell had significant shoulder trouble, and I mean SO significant that he couldn’t throw from first base to second, let alone third, by 2002, which was the first year that he EVER had significantly negative fielding ratings. As for his HITTING stats, I don’t see anything whatsoever that is even remotely odd or suspiscious about his decline – he didn’t have any odd peaks at age 36, he had an OPS+ of at least 130 from 1991 to 2002, had one peak in the 110 game season of 2004, age 26 and his next best season at age 28.

In fact, his OPS+ didn’t drop under 100 until 2005 – and he could hardly even swing the bat and he went on the DL after 39 games. Starting one’s decline at age 35 after years of excellence is not exactly a marker for steroid use.

Check for yourselves. Am I missing something? Does anyone else besides Gumbel see any evidence in the numbers which would support his contention that Bagwell is a felon? (Oh yes, and a “cheat”.)

Best I know, he’s not on “The List” and no one has ever connected him in any way to any dealer or other user. He wasn’t a “friend” or teammate of the notorious Canseco, who never ever lies or makes mistakes. He has repeatedly, firmly denied ever using any illegal steroids (but said he used Andro, which was legally for purchase in any GNC by any person. Andro, by the way, has never proven to be any sort of performance enhancer if used by a male athlete in his 20s/30s.) So he is accused because – his throwing shoulder developed severe arthritis???

sigh

I’ve never understood why there are really no laws against libel in this country. Media people can say absolutely ANYTHING they want to without the slightest fear of repercussion. Bagwell, should accuse Gumbel of some heinous crime, then say – well, he COULD have, you know.

Yes, I know I have said many times that I really don’t care who did or did not use steroids. That it wouldn’t matter to me if Kevin Bass or Brad Ausmus or even Wandy used. That is, before it was against MLB rules. It wouldn’t matter. And I honestly don’t care if Baggy used and paid the price of a permanently bad, arthritic, painful and essentially useless shoulder.

But I do care that so many media people, who flat out ignored steroid use in baseball for years, still don’t care one little bitty bit about steroid use in baseball unless the use is done by a mega star or a home run hitter, REALLY don’t care about the continued massive steroid use in football – all feel at liberty to slander or libel whomever they wish. I do care that the vast majority of Americans firmly believe that anyone who is accused of essentially ANYTHING must be guilty, or they wouldn’t have been accused.

sigh

People don’t want “confessions” – they want to hear people they believe “guilty” to say exactly what they want to hear, to affirm their own pre-conceived ideas. And after the pounding that McGwire has taken and will continue to take until he agrees to admit that he couldn’t have hit – maybe even played MLB at all – without steroids (because it is what people want to hear), any major leaguer whose name is even known to most Americans would be an absolute IDIOT to even think of admitting that he used steroids. EVER. All the Alex Sanchezes and FP Santangelos and Paxton Crawfords can feel free to come forward because people will just wish they would shut up about it already – they want to hear HOME RUN HITTERS get it.

sigh

What about we just accept that most ballplayers used steroids, that almost every ballplayer used amphetamines (which is a MUCH more useful performance enhancer than steroids, only no one cares because it does not make a person physically larger), that drug testing is in place, that baseball in 2010 is different than baseball was in 1910 – heck, baseball in 1961 was vastly different than in 1910, that you can’t exactly compare numbers of events that aren’t exactly done under the exact same conditions, and let’s just PLAY BASEBALL, OK???!!!!

Albert Pujols Gets Bagwelled Out Of The 2008 Gold Glove

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Unbelieveable.

The Gold Gloves are voted on by the coaches and managers in the NL. Seems impossible to me that they didn’t seem to notice how unbelieveably good Uncle is. Not another 1B can begin to approach his range, footwork or glovework.

It’s not just my opinion – David Pinto (PMR), Chris Dial, Mitchel Lichtman (UZR), Bill James and John Dewan all agree on Uncle’s excellence.

I figured Adam Everett didn’t get no respect because his BA was too low and he was so good he almost never made Web Gem plays.

But Uncle has one of the highest BA in the league.

What’s the excuse?

You can’t say he doesn’t LOOK smooth or fluid or graceful, because he does.

Adrian Gonzalez, the winner, is built much more like Uncle than he is like Mark Grace or J.T. Snow, so it can’t be that.

Actually, I just don’t understand why Uncle gets so little props from the baseball reporters outside of St. Louis. I continuously hear about how Alex Rodriguez is one of the 5 best RH hitters of all times.

Fascinating.

Arod played his first full season at age 20 and the average of his OPS+ over his first 8 full seasons is 147.

Manny Ramirez played his first full season at age 22 and the average of his OPS+ over his first 8 full seasons is 155

Uncle played his first full season his first year, age 21, and the average of his OPS+ over his first full 8 seasons is 170.

And before I hear any stuff about Arod playing SS, as if that hinders his ability to hit, I want to remind everyone that Uncle spent his first 4 years playing different positions and having to learn 3rd, LF and first (he was originally a SS, in case anyone has forgtten that, and he was an excellent fielding 3B who was ONLY moved because Scott Rolen was acquired.)

Of course I think that reporters forgetting about Albert Pujols’ hitting abilities is East Coast Bias, but it certainly doesn’t explain the yearly lack of respect shown his hitting by MVP voters. Or the Gold Glove voters.

I know that in many years, there are, uh, ODD (ahem) votes for the GG – say, Bobby Abreu, Derek Jeter, Rafe Palmeiro (the year he played only 28 games), Nate McLouth, Steve Finley – but how on earth Uncle can be disregarded year after year is a mystery to me.

Unless he is deliberately being ignored because he isn’t “exciting” or screwing slutty starlets or something. Or perhaps he is (unknown to the rest of us) really disliked by the media ala Ted Williams. But hey, they HATED Barry Lamar and they didn’t refuse to vote for him for either the GG or for MVP. (Well, Barry did get screwed out of 2 MVPs. But hey, he got himself plenty more…)

Albert Pujols is THE best all around player in baseball and it isn’t close (trust me on this – I see the SOB 18 times a year at least and my eyes work just fine. Like Supreme Court Justice whatshisname said – greatness: I know it when I see it.)

Oh. And why Bagwelled?

Because Bagwell didn’t never get no respect neither – only 1 GG and he should have been winning them every year in the 90s. I would think maybe it is a righty/lefty thing, but Derrek Lee won 3 GG this decade and he is a righty. And I would think maybe it is the bulky slugger thingy, but hey, Todd Helton won 3 this decade and he’s a bulky slugger – or at least he was when he was winning them.