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Delusional Andruw Jones Blames Frank McCourt for His L.A. Departure

During a weekend where the Lakers won the NBA Championship, it was easy to let other stories slip through the cracks. Luckily my boy Anders(on) Varejao came through by sharing the comments Andruw Jones made this weekend when the Dodgers were in Arlington to play the Rangers. The LA Times says Jones is still bitter about being booted from LA and blames owner Frank McCourt for his fate:

Jones said he started to get the sense that he was on his way out of Los Angeles when he met with McCourt before undergoing knee surgery last May.

“It was disrespect,” Jones said of the way McCourt spoke to him. Jones said he was upset when his agent, Scott Boras, told him in the off-season that McCourt was looking into ways to void his contract. While acknowledging that McCourt paid him a hefty salary, Jones said the owner had no right to complain about a deal that was mutually agreed upon.

“I got paid that money because that was my value,” Jones said, pointing to the numbers he posted in 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

Umm, hold on a second, correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it Andruw Jones who hit a buck fifty and not Frank McCourt? If Jones had shown up in shape and ready to play then he’d be in LA, cashing McCourt’s checks. I’m not a McCourt fan but there’s no way not to stick up for him here. What U Jones did last year was totally and utterly disrespectful to the organization. If he had any sort of decency he’d give the money back because he didn’t earn it. I can’t believe how idiotically Jones views the situation. Maybe all the Golden Sombreros are cutting off the circulation to his brain.

Brian Bruney’s Career 4.28 ERA Criticize Frankie Rodriguez’s Showboating

Chalk this up as a first for Brian Bruney being mentioned here at LBS. The former Diamondback and current Yankee reliever (on the DL because the umpires stiffed him, by the way), had some biting remarks towards Frankie Rodriguez following Friday night’s Luis Castillo dropped popup debacle at Yankee Stadium. Likely thinking he was in the friendly confines of Trenton’s minor league system (he was there on rehab), Bruney had this to say:

“Couldn’t have happened to a better guy on the mound, either. He’s got a tired act. I think that’s bad, but two years ago, when he lost the game…I don’t know if anybody saw it, I did. He was in Oakland and he was pitching for Anaheim, didn’t get a call, and so he was like complaining. The catcher threw it back and he just kind of did one of these (Bruney half-heartedly holds his arm out) and hit off his glove and bounced behind and the guy from third scored and they won the game. He gets what he deserves, man. I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarassing.”

As an Angels fan who watches most of their games, I know the exact moment to which Bruney was referring. I loved Frankie with the Angels and I’m a big fan of his, but I have to side with Bruney regarding the overall message. Frankie does celebrate too much and his antics do show up the batter. I don’t like it when guys loaf on fly balls either catching them or running them out, when pitchers celebrate after strikeouts or saves, or when batters pimp home runs. Frankie’s one of the worst when it comes to closers. I’m glad finally someone pointed it out and I don’t care if Bruney’s weaker accomplishments make him appear less credible. I think it’s pathetic that K-Rod says you have to perform well for your opinion to mean anything and that he wound up approaching Bruney during batting practice. Frankie’s an excellent pitcher but his excess celebration is just that — overboard.

Video: Milton Bradley Loses Track of Outs, Throws Ball into Stands

We’re only at mid-June and Milton Bradley is already checking some items off his “things to accomplish” list in his first year with the Cubs. He’s already had a confrontation with an umpire resulting in a suspension, missed a third of the games because of a nagging injury, and now he’s lost count of the outs and thrown the ball into the stands Larry Walker-style. Check out his screwup in this highlight reel:

Bradley says he could tell something wasn’t right and even justified things by saying at least his heart was in the right place (he was giving a souvenir). Bright side is at least he got two hits and drove in a run. The downside, Cubs fans have another two and a half years of these antics.

Video: Ball Hits Bird, Screws Up Coco Crisp and Gives Indians Win

The Indians and Royals were tied up at three and in the 10th inning Thursday night when there was a rare and crazy occurrence. The Indians had men on second and third without nobody out and Shin-Soo Choo at the plate. Choo connected and sent a ball into center field and that’s when something kind of crazy happened, making it tough for Coco Crisp:

Dude, how coincidence is it that this happened in Cleveland with the Indians, the same exact scenario as what happened with Pedro Cerrano in Major League 2. Luckily Choo didn’t round first and head towards center to administer CPR to the fowl. First it was bugs attacking Joba Chamberlain at Progressive Field, now it’s seagulls screwing up Coco Crisp. Gotta feel for the Royals on this one. At least Crisp will have the Big Unit and Dave Winfield with whom he’ll be able to commiserate.

Citi Field’s Large Dimensions Are in David Wright’s Head

The first problems we discussed about the new Mets Citi Field related to the lack of hot water in the visiting clubhouse. Now about 55 games into the season, you figure the problem’s been worked out. While that issue was an easy fix, there’s one that seems likely to be here for good: the large dimensions. The pitcher-friendly confines seem to be an issue for Mets players, specifically David Wright, as told by Chipper Jones:

“It is the biggest park that I have ever played in in my life,” Jones told the show “Ripken Baseball” on Sirius XM Radio. “It is a huge ballpark to center and right center and right field. You know, I actually feel sort of sorry for some of the guys out there because their power numbers are really going to take a hit; guys like David Wright, [Carlos] Beltran, [Carlos] Delgado. The days of them hitting 35, 40 homers — they’re over.”

“I juiced the ball just right of center field as hard as the good Lord can let me hit a ball, and it hit midways up the center-field wall for a double,” he said. “And every time there was a long fly out or a double that hit off the wall or something, David Wright would run by me and go, ‘Nice park.’

While Wright (and Chipper) may be bitching about the dimensions, the numbers would actually tell a story that makes you think they have a home field advantage. The Mets are 18-9 at home which is one of the best marks in the league. They’ve also hit 21 home runs in only 27 home games compared to 16 homers in 30 road games. The team’s slugging percentage is also higher at home (.435) than it is on the road (.390). As far as Reyes and Delgado’s numbers go, newsflash for Chipper but their stats are down because they’ve both been injured this year. Thing about it is just like I said in the headline, the dimensions are in Wright’s head: he’s hitting .413 with an OPS of 1.090 on the road while he’s just hitting .280 and .833 at home. Also, his 3:1 strikeouts to walk ratio at home makes me think the park is messing with his approach considering he walks more than he strikes out on the road. He’s definitely suffering from the Petco Park effect.

58 Games in and Ozzie Guillen’s Finally Warmed Up to Mid-Season Form

Ozzie Guillen was like a dormant volcano the first two months of the season. You always knew he was capable of unloading one of his Hall of Fame rants but he held back for the most part. Meanwhile typical hot heads like Carlos Zambrano and Milton Bradley already had their moments, but Ozzie remained patient. He decided to wait for the season to develop more before injecting one of his inspiring speeches. And boy, did he get off a beaut after the Sox lost the first game of a doubleheader to the Tigers:

“If this was the 1980s, (none) of these guys would be in the big leagues right now because if you hit .210-.230 and you can’t execute, I don’t think you should be out here,” Guillen said shortly after third baseman Josh Fields went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and committed an error in the top of the ninth inning that set up the Tigers’ winning rally.

“When you can’t bunt, hit-and-run, squeeze and move the guy over, you better hit 40 home runs and drive in 140. The only positive about this game was (reliever) D.J. Carrasco and a couple home runs here and there. A little excitement, fans got a little excited, and that’s it.”

“Is the clubhouse closed?” Guillen said. “We should open it and let them (answer) why they’re so horse (bleep).”

OK Ozzie, tell me how you really feel. Sometimes he’s just like a toy — wind him up and let him go. Maybe it’s when the calendar turned to June that Ozzie officially started to panic, realizing it was time to identify the team as either a contender or a rebuilder. Clearly you know where he stands. Any wonder why he was so critical of the Gordon Beckham promotion?

Carlos Zambrano Planning Retirement, Giving Gatorade Machines a Break

Question: When you’re 28-years-old, in the second year of a $91.5 million contract, and you just won your 100th game in the majors, how do you celebrate? If you’re Carlos Zambrano, you do it by announcing your retirement plans. In his first game back from a six-game suspension for throwing an on-field fit that included busting up a gatorade machine, Carlos Zambrano held the Reds to two hits and homered in a 2-1 win on Friday night. The horse is a third of the way to Randy Johnson who just reached the 300-win mark but says he’s not going to try to make it into that club:

“Three hundred? Me?” Zambrano said. “No, I’ll be out of here in five years.”

“After this contract, I’m done. I’m serious. I don’t want to play. I want to help this team, I want to do everything possible to win with this team, but after five years or four years, or whatever I have left on my contract, I just don’t want to play. I want to stay home and see my daughters grow up and hang out with my family more. Do you know how many Mother’s Days I spend with my mother? Do you know how many things I’ve lost in my life? It’s good to be here, it’s good to play baseball — don’t get me wrong, but five years, four years, whatever I have left in my contract, I will retire. That’s it.”

Zambrano only has three more seasons left on his current deal, and there is a vesting option for a fourth year depending on how well Carlos pitches in his final two seasons of the contract. If he does indeed walk away from the game after this contract, he’ll be in his young 30s with plenty of money saved up (hopefully) and lots of years in front of him. His retirement would inspire more comeback offers than Roger Clemens received. I’m not sure if this is some sort of negotiating ploy (I think that would be too smart for Big Z) but this is a brilliant scheme to gain some leverage for his next deal.

(via Fark)