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Roger Clemens’ Attorney Now Hedging, Maybe He Was at Canseco’s Party

Ahah! Maybe a serious breakthrough in the Roger Clemens/Brian McNamee he-said/she-said ordeal. Friday it came out in the NY Daily News that some kid had photo evidence that Roger Clemens was indeed at a Jose Canseco party in 1998. That would be significant because McNamee testified that Clemens first became interested in steroids in 1998 when he talked with Canseco about ‘em at a party. Additionally, Clemens swore under oath that he was not at the Jose Canseco party. Now the latest report from the NY Daily News is that Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin is hedging on his original stance because of the photo. Hardin’s backtracking represents a major turning point in the case.

If you remember a few weeks ago, I pointed out that Rusty Hardin said in a news conference that this was the “second coming of the Duke Lacrosse case,” and that many of us who said Roger was a user would have to eat our words. That was the first time I was worried about jumping to the conclusion that Clemens was lying. Hardin was so forceful and persuasive in his speech that I really had no choice but to reconsider my stance. Well now after reading Hardin say “Roger was playing golf at the time of the party, and has stated that he may have stopped by the Canseco house after playing golf before heading to the ballpark for the game,” I have no choice but to think these guys are full of it. How could Clemens say he wasn’t at that party, but Hardin is now reading statements saying “hey, there’s always the possibility the guy was there.” What the heck is that? Either Roger is lying to his legal staff, or the legal staff knew Roger was lying the whole time. Point McNamee.

Pedro Martinez 1999: Best Season Ever

I’ve been meaning to write something about this for quite a while, and thankfully all the Mitchell Report madness has given impetus to this very post. Just last week, Pedro Martinez proclaimed he dominated the Steroids Era cleanly, and added that he’s damn proud of it. I’ll gladly note that he’s the second Hall of Famer to recently say he dominated the Steroid Era cleanly. While I haven’t gone through every outstanding individual season of all-time, I have a pretty solid foundation for the history of the game. That being said, given the context of the era in which Pedro peaked, his 1999 season could very well be the most dominant season in the history of the game. Allow me to make my argument.

In 1999, names like Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Jason Giambi, and Ivan Rodriguez dominated the offensive categories, just to give you some context. In 1999, Pedro Martinez went 23-4 in 29 starts. He threw five complete games over 213.3 innings, walking a measly 37 batters the entire season. Oh yeah, he also set a career high with 313 strikeouts — a nice 8:1 ratio for those of you keeping score at home. In those 213.3 innings, a year in which 2,635 home runs were belted (the 2nd most in AL history according to my calculations), Pedro gave up just nine of them. His ERA was only 2.07, almost three full runs lower than the league average of 5.02 (also the 2nd highest in AL history according to my calculations).

The second closest pitcher to Pedro in ERA was David Cone at 3.44, almost a run and a half lower. Pedro had a 2.07. Three players with ERAs in the 4’s made it in the Top 10 of the league that year. Get that? An ERA in the 4’s meant you were having a really good season. Pedro’s WHIP was 0.92 — the next closest wasn’t even sub 1.2 — it was Eric Milton at 1.22. Pedro struck out over 13 batters per nine innings pitched. The next closest was Chuck Finley at not quite eight and a half.

I remember watching Pedro pitch that year and knowing it was special. It was news only when he lost; you always expected him to win that year. Pedro’s pitching prowess was unrivaled during his prime. Some people may say other pitchers had more dominant seasons, or that certain batters had more impressive years. Rather than fawn over the way Barry Bonds cartoonishly made a mockery of the record books in his super-human (steroids-aided) form of 2001 and 2002, I’d rather marvel at the 5’11” 170lb specimen of a man who made all those hulking roiders look foolish like nobody else did.

If you have a suggestion as to what the best individual season was in history, please feel free to add it and defend it in the comments. I’m going with Pedro Martinez in 1999.

Other baseball posts you might enjoy:
The End of the 300 Game Winners
Johan Santana Doesn’t Make the Mets a World Series Winner

Vesa Toskala’s Third Leg Stops Five Hole

Ohhh boy. Sometimes these headlines just write themselves. I was absolutely busting up like you couldn’t believe after seeing this video. It will only take about 10 seconds of your time, and make sure you have the volume down slightly if you’re at work — the language is mildly NSFW. Enjoy the enjoyment:

Maybe it’s the imagery of the whole event that gets me laughing. I dunno. I have the sense of humor of a 3rd grader, what can I say.

Video courtesy of Awful Announcing, like usual. I just hope I never make it on there for the wrong reasons, unlike some of the guys below.

Inside Dwight Howard’s Superman Dunk

Dwight Howard explains his superman dunk in postgame comments [Hoops World]

Aussie Rules Football has a great Wonderlic exam [You Been Blinded]

Prince Fielder is becoming a vegetarian. Yikes. [Signal to Noise]

Police didn’t let Miami students storm the court against Duke [The Sporting Blog]

Billy Gillispie doesn’t like his players enjoying losses [We Are the Postmen]

First ever streaker … at a horse race. Just looks way too weird [Deadspin]

An Arizona pitcher actually enjoyed getting lit up [Obscure Sports Quarterly]

Everyone thinks they’re the team to beat in MLB [Baseball Mastermind]

Darius Miles loves making it rain at strip clubs [SPORTSbyBROOKS]

An interview with our buddy from 100% Injury Rate [Juiced Sports Blog]

Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel explain UCLA’s new offense [Gutty Little Bruins]

Omar Minaya Acquired Johan Santana for Prada Shoes

There’s an expression that exists to describe one-sided trades saying a player was traded for “a bucket of balls.” I’ve never really seen that happen, but I do know that Mets GM Omar Minaya got Prada shoes in the Johan Santana trade. Allow me to explain. Johan Santana is this edition of Sports Illustrated’s cover boy, and inside the magazine, Lee Jenkins writes the story of how Johan was acquired. As the tale goes, Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon doubted Omar Minaya’s ability to trade for Santana, so he bet Minaya and promised him a pair of Prada shoes if Omar could pull off the deal. Now far be it for me to challenge Minaya’s taste in footwear, but seriously, Prada shoes? The last time I remember those being relevant was in Legally Blonde, when they were used as a key piece of information to tip Elle off that the pool man was gay. Anywhoo, as soon as the trade was completed …

[Omar] drove to Richards, a clothing store near [Minaya's home] in Greenwich, Conn. He ordered a pair of black Prada lace tips and had them shipped to Port St. Lucie. When Minaya arrived at spring training, the shoes were waiting for him.

All I have to say … if the Mets get off to a shaky start, will Omar be tapping his feet at Johan in his “last season Prada chews.” Wow, just wow.

Drunken Skeeball “Brewskee Ball” Leagues Sweeping the Nation

I was alerted by a friend and site reader about the recent fad sweeping the nation. It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s easy, and best of all, anyone can do it. It’s drunken skeeball, also known as Brewskee Ball. Founded by a few dudes in the summer of ’05, Brewskee ball is the hottest new thing around. They keep stats, have invented a lexicon of terms to describe the action, and preface nearly all words with a “skee.” The sport(?) has gained so much popularity recently that leagues have sprung up around the country, in various metropolises such as New York, San Francisco, Charlotte, and Wilmington. And much like fantasy sports, Brewskee Ball is as much about cleverly named team nicknames as it is about actual team production. Check out some of the team/roller names:

    Skee-Baggers
    Hepatitis Skee
    Skee-Brews
    The Holy Rollers
    Balls of Glory
    Skee6Mafia
    Kelly Kapowskees
    Skeechiro

My personal favorite name of course is a nod to NBA player, Rafer Alston. There’s a top roller in the league who goes by the name of Skeep to My Lou, and he happens to be quite the prospect, excelling in both skee ball and dance celebration moves. See for yourself:

[Read more...]

Police Trim Berkeley Tree-Hugger Homes

You may have thought you were reading some important stuff here over the past seven weeks. You were wrong. The year wasn’t officially christened until we had our first Berkeley tree-hugger update of 2008. If you remember, at last check, one of the tree-huggers had fallen out of his humble domain humpty-dumpty style, broken limbs everywhere. Well be happy that all has been set right in this world. Police hired some arborists to roll up in there Nino Brown style and cut down the tree-hugger homes:

The arborist climbed into the grove about 6 a.m. and cut most of the ropes connecting the half-dozen platforms the tree-sitters have built in the foliage. The arborist also took down one of the platforms, which was uninhabited.

“They cut a s- bucket and it fell to the ground and exploded,” said Erik Eisenberg, 39, a leader of the tree-sitters’ ground crew who goes by the name Ayr. “They’ve made things less safe and less sanitary. All they’re trying to do is harass and intimidate us.”

Dude, honestly, Erik, you live in an effing tree. You have no say in the matter. That’s like losing your right to vote. And maybe someone should welcome these cats to the 21st century. You know, an era in which we have plumbing and take advantage of this new invention called … wait for it … toilets. Now there’s a heck of a thought.