Yes, that is Phillies pitcher Brett Myers and his son. Yes, the shirt the young kid is wearing has a confederate flag on it and reads, “Redneck and proud of it.” What else would you expect from a guy who (allegedly) beat his wife, and gets into fights with reporters. Great example there, Brett.
You probably already know my thoughts on this since I’ve opined on the World Baseball Classic before. Still, let’s present the facts of the case first. Over the weekend around 11,000 fans showed up to watch the U.S. play Netherlands at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida (still about 10,000 more than show up for Marlins games). For the game against Puerto Rico, the attendance was around 30,000, about half of whom were fans of the island team (you can see how many people were there on Tuesday in the picture at right). Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis who’s been carrying the U.S. offensively in the WBC isn’t too happy about all this:
“I don’t think we have enough pride in this. It’s kind of a sad day – and I know it’s a tough time (economically) to buy tickets – when you see that. I don’t think there’s as much pride in the USA as there is for these other countries. There was a whole section of Dominican fans (Sunday) night just here to watch baseball. I think we’re losing a little bit of pride for, quote, ‘America’s national pastime.’ ”
“It definitely hurts a little bit to know that you’re always the away team in your own country,” he said. “There are some good people out there, but it would be nice to have a lot more of those people chanting ‘USA,’ holding up American flags. That’s the one thing we didn’t see much of the other night – there were more Puerto Rican flags than American (flags).”
You want to know why, Mr. Youkilis? It’s because this isn’t a real event. Just be happy that your Red Sox games always sell out and that you have a packed house with rabid fans who live and die by each at-bat you take. What do you really expect from the fans, to go head-over-heels for a fake, made-for-TV event? Fans are already committed to their teams, isn’t that enough? You’ll also notice that the U.S. isn’t getting too patriotic because the whole world already acknowledges the best baseball is already played here. What is there for us to prove, that we shared a popular game with the rest of the world? Fantastic, let’s all celebrate! The day this event goes away wouldn’t be soon enough for me.
(via Ben Maller)
I guess Alex Rodriguez is lacking the filter most players have that keeps them from doing stupid things you know will result in merciless mocking. How else you can explain the following picture that appear in Details Magazine? Cue the Zoolander “I can’t help that I’m ridiculously good-looking” music:
I wonder what his teammates are going to about his cute red bracelet. In case that wasn’t enough for you, the yoga pose and mattress sitting pictures were pretty cute, too. By the way, I know we’ve already been down the “How dumb can Alex Rodriguez be?” road before, but why the eff would he have a photo shoot to show off his muscles when we all know they were steroid-induced? Is this guy really paying people lots of money to advise him to do these things?
The man on the right (in case you couldn’t tell since the sunglasses on his face covered up the jelly donuts under his eyes), is Yankees GM Brian Cashman. The gentleman on the left is … well nobody cares. But his shirt is hilarious, he’s got a shite-eating grin on, and it makes this picture a classic. I started busting up uncontrollably when I saw it. Big ups to Deadspin (of course) for the picture. I mean, who else would get something that great?
When you’re Julian Tavarez and your physical appearance is about as attractive as your 6 ERA, you’re probably used to hooking up with the bottom of the barrel chicks at the club. That’s probably why he readily made this comparison to signing with the Nationals, a team that has been one of the worst in baseball since their inception:
“Why did I sign with the Nationals?” Tavarez said told a group of reporters. “When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.”
“I would like to be a starter, but it’s like my father said: ‘You want Jennifer Lopez, but does she want you? No.’ You just take whatever she is giving to you. So I just take whatever they give to me,” Tavarez said. “They give to me as a long man, I take it as a long man. Set up man, I take it. Starter, I take it. I can do whatever.”
Clearly it was last call for Tavarez and he couldn’t afford to be picky. Big League Stew has the actual audio Julian gave in case you want to hear it, too. I wonder how pleased the Nats will be to hear him clown on their organization. I guess the good news is what Tavarez said at the end of his comments — this is his only opportunity so he’s going to work hard to make the most of it. And actually, I think the Nationals are going to be a lot better than most people think. They have no bullpen but they did swing a trade for Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen from the Marlins, and they signed Adam Dunn. Those are three good additions right there. They’re nowhere near a playoff team, but they’ll be much better than they have been in the past.
I know Jason Giambi and Brian Cashman won’t ever mention the word, so I will — steroids. Jeff Pearlman has written a book about Roger Clemens called “The Rocket that Fell to Earth,” and in that book there was a good anecdote about Yankees GM Brian Cashman and his thoughts on Jason Giambi, a free agent he signed to a 7-year $120 million deal prior to the ’02 season. According to the NY Times:
The book said that when Giambi went through a slump in the 2002 season, his first with the Yankees, Cashman was heard yelling at a television in the Yankees’ clubhouse during a game. Citing “one New York player,” the book said that Cashman screamed, “Jason, whatever you were taking in Oakland,” get back on it.
The book said that Cashman then added, “Please!”
Cashman denies ever making that statement while Pearlman says he has 100% confidence in the source that told him the story. I might have a question or two about this story because ’02 was Giambi’s only true excellent season with the Yanks. But I feel bad for Cashman in the sense that he paid for a guy whose productivity was achieved through false means. I think that GMs were in a tough spot to judge talent all throughout the era and that they got screwed over by players. If guys got their contracts because they were juicing and then later went off, they were selling teams a bum product. I can’t blame a GM for wanting to see the player produce like he had before and therefore understand Cashman’s predicament if this is a true story. Would it even be possible for teams to sue players who tested positive? I’d love to see the Angels recoup some of that Gary Matthews Jr. money without a doubt.
This is probably something a lot of people thought, and something the press and fans said, but it’s another thing when a player says it. Then again, if any Boston player were to speak up about an issue, odds are it would be Jonathan Papelbon. Check out his description of Manny Ramirez and how Man-Ram single-handedly brought the Red Sox down:
Papelbon described Ramirez as a “cancer.”
“It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening,” Papelbon told Esquire. “Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It (stunk), but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us.”
The high-energy Sox closer said that he has no issue with anyone on the team being called out once they’ve crossed the line.
If there are any wonders as to why Manny was lingering on the free agent market for so long, I think Papelbon just answered the question. I hope Papelbon doesn’t catch any flack for this comment considering it seems more than fair and appropriate. I also appreciate that Papelbon is unafraid to open his mouth and act like a fool sometimes, even if it makes him look bad. That is something that needed to be said.