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Moneyball Star Jeremy Brown Retiring

Jeremy Brown Oakland A’sThis touches me, and pretty much anyone who read the outstanding book by Michael Lewis, Moneyball, deeply. Jeremy Brown was “the Badger” — the prototypical Moneyball player, one of the focuses of the book. He wasn’t pretty, didn’t look good with his shirt off, and he wasn’t heavily scouted coming out of college. But Billy Beane’s scouting system saw something — they saw a catcher who mixed an outstanding on-base percentage with some good power. They took Brown in the first round of the draft at a discounted rate when most people thought he was an extremely late round pick, if that. Beane reminded his scouts that they weren’t “selling blue jeans,” and looks didn’t matter. Well, after a career that’s lasted six years in the minors, and one 10-game stint in the majors, it appears as if Brown is calling it quits:

Brown … called Oakland assistant general manager David Forst on Tuesday and said that, for personal reasons the A’s chose not to disclose, he would not arrive in spring training camp.

The A’s announced Brown’s decision as a retirement, but general manager Billy Beane said it could be viewed more as a sabbatical, based on the fact that the A’s told Brown he would be welcomed back if he decided to change his mind.

I really don’t know what his reason for not reporting is, but I do know that at 28, he could have felt old for a minor leaguer. Maybe he thought his future wasn’t as a professional ballplayer. Sad news. The bright side is that Brown was 3-for-10 in the majors, and could retire as a .300 hitter for his career if he is hanging it up.

Willie Gary Suing NFL Over Rams Losing Super Bowl to Patriots

Adam-Vinatieri-Field-Goal-RamsThis actually is a legitimate lawsuit. Not like the crazy ass character Jonathan Lee Riches from the South Carolina prison who’s been known to sue Michael Vick, President Bush, Martha Stewart, and the lot, these guys have actually put together a suit. Former NFL player Willie Gary, who was on the Rams Super Bowl team, wants compensation for losing the Super Bowl amidst the allegations that the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough the day before the game. A ticket broker is also suing too. Their cases:

Willie Gary … wants each member of the Rams Super Bowl roster to receive $25,000 – the difference between the bonuses paid to the losing team and the winning team.

Gary, who now lives in Atlanta and plays arena football, also wants compensation for not receiving a Super Bowl XXXVI ring, which now sell for $125,000 on the Internet auction site eBay, according to the suit.

Through the lawsuit, the broker Kevin Hacker who also attended the Super Bowl, asked the federal court to grant 72,922 people who attended the game a full refund. At a face value of $400 per ticket, that would mean the NFL would have to return $29,168,800.

Imagine what all the people who attended Tim Donaghy officiated games would have to say in response to this suit. Good luck with it gentlemen. I don’t expect anything to happen, but it’s interesting to note the reaction from one of the Rams. Kurt Warner and Mike Martz were disturbed by the news and wanted the NFL to look into it. Dick Vermeil doubted the impact of the taping on the actual game. And Willie Gary, well, Willie Gary just wants some money out of this.

Andy Pettitte Knew from McNamee That Clemens Was Using Steroids

It wasn’t referred to at all in the affidavit. Nor was it mentioned in written or spoken reports throughout the coverage of this McNamee/Clemens mess. But like I told you before, I braved through Pettitte’s entire deposition so you don’t have to (because after all, I’m really looking out for you). And upon reading through the deposition, I came to find out for the first time that in addition to knowing Clemens used HGH, Andy Pettitte also knew that Roger Clemens allegedly used steroids. From the deposition:

Q: I’ll ask it again. Did you ever discuss Clemens’ steroids use with Brian McNamee?

A: Yes. … We were training in my gym. And I can just remember, you know, Mac telling me that Roger, you know, that he had gotten steroids for Roger.

Now I can understand why this was left out of the affidavit — this only is Pettitte finding out through a secondary source — McNamee. So once again this puts it into McNamee’s word and credibility. But still, I can’t believe that out of all the reports and investigating going on, that nobody has mentioned that Pettitte knew of Clemens’ alleged steroids use, in addition to his alleged HGH use. It really should have been in the affidavit that McNamee told Pettitte of Clemens’ alleged steroids use as well, now that I think about it. So there you go, as you’re probably hearing for the first time right here, Pettitte also knew of Roger’s alleged steroids use.

Andy Pettitte Makes You Forgive Him for Using HGH

OK, so much ado has been made over Andy Pettitte’s role in this whole Roger Clemens/Brian McNamee fiasco. Congressman Elijah Cummings said Pettitte seemed to be the most believable character of those who spoke to Congress. People seem to think he did something great. Matt Watson nailed it calling Andy Pettitte a liar for saying he only used HGH once in 2002, when in fact he also knowingly used it in 2004. While I don’t condone cheating the game and your competitors, I found Pettitte’s reasoning for why he used HGH particularly intriguing. Here is the reasoning from Pettitte’s deposition, which I spent the hour braving through (so you don’t have to, because after all, I’m really looking out for you):

On his use in 2002 …

I was making an awful lot of money. I wanted to give back to the team. I had been on the DL before. But I knew I had hurt my elbow pretty bad this time. I was on there for an extended period of time, where before with my elbow I’d only missed a coupleof weeks. But I knew that I was missing some extended period of time there. And I just felt like that it was the honorable thing to do, if I could do whatever I could to try to get back on the field and try to earn my money.

And then on using later in 2004 (where he actually says he injected himself, ewwww), this is a must-read:

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Larry Brown ‘Doesn’t Do Anything’ as Sixers VP, Wants Back into Coaching

Yeah, I realize I’m phasing out my own google-ability with such a post, but I really can’t help but not pass on the monster tip sent over by The Wiz. There have been lots of rumors floating lately that my namesake could end up going back to coaching, most notably the Chicago Bulls. Turns out the guy is interested in coaching because, well, he’s bored:

“I desperately miss the teaching.”

The previous night in Philadelphia, where he now lives while serving as executive vice-president of the NBA’s 76ers (“That means I don’t do anything,” he said)

“Yeah, I want to badly,” said the man who has spent 33 years coaching at the pro or college level. “I know I’m 67, but I don’t feel old until I look in the mirror. Every place I go, people ask how I am. Maybe they thought I’d broken down. I feel great.”

“I still have a passion to coach,” Brown added. “I feel I still have something to offer. I don’t want it to end the way my last year went.”

Just as many of the “Bobby Knight back to Indiana” rumors have resurfaced, could Larry Brown return to coaching? Would anyone want him? How many years could he give you? Wouldn’t he just leave you high and dry? And wouldn’t it have to be the ideal situation? Could he really deal with a clown like Joakim Noah? I guess these are all worries for another time. Bottom line: LB’s back on the market, baby. And that mofo don’t do jack ish in his current job! At least many of us can relate to the basketball coach — that’s a good sign.

Government Says Barry Bonds Failed Steroids Test in 2001, Correction

Big news in the world of baseball since this is the first time I’ve seen a report that … Barry Bonds failed a steroids test in 2001, the year he broke the homerun record. We knew he admitted to using steroids just never knowingly, but this is the first I’ve seen him failing one right after he broke the freaking record, if that doesn’t say enough for you.

“At trial, the government’s evidence will show that Bonds received steroids from Anderson in the period before the November 2001 positive drug test, and that evidence raises the inference that Anderson gave Bonds the steroids that caused him to test positive in November 2001,” U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello wrote.

I guess we know why the feds extended their pursuit of the case over the summer. This sort of evidence definitely helps when you’re pursuing a perjury charge.

UPDATE: Now I know why I hadn’t seen the report of the 2001 failed test, it’s because this Reuters report was based on a typo, and really the failed test was from November 2000, as previously reported.

Congressman Elijah Cummings Crushed Roger Clemens, Made Sense

Out of the four hours and around forty minutes of testimony heard Wednesday morning in Congress by Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, all but one minute is superfluous. The exchange between Congressman Elijah Cummings and Roger Clemens was the paramount moment of the hearing and the apotheosis of cutting out b.s. and getting to the bottom line. The comments were noted by Jayson Stark in his blog:

“If I walked in here,” Cummings told Clemens, “and it was even Steven, you and Mr. McNamee, I must admit that the person I believe most & is Mr. Pettitte. When Mr. McNamee gave histestimony about Knoblauch and Pettitte, those allegations turned out to be true,” Cummings went on. “But for some reason, … when it comes to you, it’s a whole ‘nother thing. … How do you explain this?”

Clemens then insisted one more time that Pettitte had “misheard” him. Cummings wasn’t buying it.

“I’ve listened to you very carefully,” Cummings said. “And I take you at your word. And you’re telling me that Andy Pettitte is an honest man, and his credibility is pretty much impeccable. … You said you were misunderstood. But all I’m saying is, it’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe your story.

“I hate to say that. You’re one of my heroes. But it’s hard to believe you.”

EXACTLY. How is it possible that McNamee was right about Knoblauch’s, Pettitte’s, and even Debbie’s HGH use, but not Roger’s? And if Pettitte’s word is the one to believe, then doesn’t that implicate Roger? Sure as heck does in my opinion. As forceful as Clemens is, and as persuasive as he legal team is, I still can’t get around that McNamee was right about everyone else (for as many inconsistencies as he’s had). While McNamee’s words aren’t 100% accurate, I think he’s telling the truth about the most important item — that Roger Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs. Bottom line. And why were four hours of bullcrap needed when it took Cummings only one minute to lay out what really mattered?

By the way, I have another really trippy Roger Clemens story that places this whole ordeal in good context if you continue reading.

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