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Ozzie Guillen: Dustin Pedroia Is a Jockey, Just Came Off Big Brown

There’s a reason Ozzie Guillen’s a two-time Hall of Famer here at LBS, and comments like this one are helping his case for a bronze statue as well. Keep in mind that Ozzie Guillen was complimenting Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia who had gone 8-for-8 against his team at the time of his comment:

”I never thought I was going to walk a goddamn jockey. ‘Walking a guy who just came from being on top of Big Brown. Right now, he’s on a roll. This guy right now is on fire. No matter what you throw up there, he’s going to get it. I can’t believe you can change professions in one year, go from the Kentucky Derby to the Boston Red Sox ballpark.

I think Pedroia is the heart of [Boston's] ballclub right now. A lot of people talk about Manny [Ramirez] leaving, I wish Pedroia was the one who was leaving because this kid can beat you so many different ways.

Honestly, how can you read a comment like that and not like Ozzie Guillen, or at least appreciate him for his comedic value. I can’t believe you can go from the Kentucky Derby to Fenway, go from Big Brown to the batter’s box? Does it get better than that? This guy is freaking hilarious. And if I’m Mr. Laser Beam Pedroia, I would assuredly take those words as nothing but a compliment.

Thanks to Jerry Bailey err Will Brinson at FanHouse for the story.

Brian Cashman Takes the Blame for Failure, Preparing for a New Job?

Nobody ever accused Yankees GM Brian Cashman of deflecting blame; he’s always been a stand up guy. There was the time in Buster Olney’s book where it’s said Cashman wanted to sign Vlad but Steinbrenner insisted upon Sheffield, but aside from that, Cashman takes responsibility for everything. So much so, that he straight up took all the blame for the Yankees’ failures this season and protected manager Joe Girardi.

Asked how much of this is on his shoulders, Cashman said: “All of it. I’m the general manager. So if you want, we can clear this out of the way. This is not a Joe Girardi issue.”

“I think Girardi’s done a tremendous job given what has occurred,” Cashman said. “And he continues to try to remain upbeat with this coaching staff to try to keep these players up and to try to perform up to their abilities.

“That’s frustrating for all of us, but the buck stops right here with me. My job is to put it together. My job is to fix what’s broken. … I just believe we’re better than this.”

[Read more...]

Scott Kazmir Calls Out Rays Fans

I was watching Jim Rome Is Burning Thursday and noticed a familiar guest on the program — Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir — a guy who has been on Jim’s show the last few years. Thing is, every time in the past that Kazmir’s been on, it was early in the year before the Rays were a non-factor in the standings. This time around, it’s a different story; Kazmir’s just as good as he’s always been, but the Rays are one of the best teams in baseball. That’s why when asked about the lack of attendance at home games, Kazmir did not stop himself from calling out Rays fans who should be supporting the team. Kazmir said:

It’s kind of disappointing I guess you could say, coming back home from a road trip and you see maybe 9, 10 thousand fans at the games when we’re in first place and at one time the best record in baseball. It seemed like every home stand there was some type of excuse of why we didn’t get our fans here. If we really had a good fan base that cared about baseball and was a good baseball town, I think they would come out and support us. From what we’re doing right now I think it’s pretty special and I think it would be nice to have that 10th man out there to support us when we get home.

That quote is actually a condensed version of what Kazmir actually told Rome (I didn’t have my DVR to pause and transcribe at work, so I snagged the version SportsCenter played at night). Kazmir went into more detail about the excuses fans had for not showing up. Point is, Kazmir’s right — they should have more fans showing up at their games considering how well they’re playing. If it were May or June, I could understand fans still questioning the legitimacy of the run and being hesitant to show up. But now it’s almost September and there’s no doubt that the Rays are for real. By now the fans should have awakened. At the same time, I jumped on Rockies fans for becoming bandwagoners last year when the Rox got hot. In the end, I suppose it’s much better to have bandwagon fans who at least show up late to the party than to have nobody there at all.

Thing is, if those fans need some baseball tickets, all they have to do is go to Ticket Solutions. They can easily hook up Tampa Bay Rays tickets for anyone interested in jumping on the bandwagon, which I would highly encourage.

Lima Time for the Camden Riversharks

Last we had heard about Jose Lima, he couldn’t cut it in the Korean league. Either that, or he was too busy scouting the talent in the stands instead. Well somehow Mr. Lima has made it back to the States and he’s now playing independent ball in the Atlantic League. No surprise that the Camden Riversharks of New Jersey wasted no time in pimping Lima Time shirts.

Yes, I found this out when T.J. Simers went on a completely tangential rant about Lima being the last exciting Dodger playoff performer. I don’t get his rants some of the time, but he is a funny dude. And pretty much anytime you can get Jose Lima in the news works for me. For the record, Lima’s not completely slumming it — Ben Davis and Felix Rodriguez are two other former big leaguers also on the team. Though I’m not sure how the Ravens feel about Joe Flacco doubling as Camden’s bullpen catcher in his spare time.

Obama Takes a Jab at Cubs Fans

Presidential candidate Barack Obama recently sat down with ESPN’s Stuart Scott for an interview that will air next week, I’m led to believe. There was one particular clip from the interview that can be construed as controversial. Eamonn Brennan at the brand new blog over at MOUTHPIECE SPORTS (we’re on strict order to capitalize the name, and make sure to bookmark the page), shares Obama’s remark:

Scott: “Who would you root for?

Obama: “Oh, that’s easy. White Sox. I’m not one of these fair weather fans. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren’t watching the game. It’s not serious. White Sox, that’s baseball. Southside.”

I like people who speak their minds, especially when the remark has truth to it. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the demographics of Cubs and Sox fans, but his description fits in with the common stereotype. While I appreciate the honesty, Obama’s not exactly doing himself any favors in terms of gaining the popular vote — everyone knows there are many more Cubs fans than Sox fans. Not sure if the remark was worth the street cred he gained.

(via Chicago Sun-Times)

Joe Torre Has a Blog

I was going pretty crazy when I saw Joe Torre’s State Farm Commercial. It’s a humorous spot that features Torre surfing, doing yoga, walking with a lap dog in Beverly Hills, and pretty much everything else that’s considered trendy in LA. Seeing how Torre’s already embracing the LA culture, why not go the max and join the technological revolution too, right? That’s exactly what he’s done — starting a blog that’s hosted by MLB.com. Even if it’s not penned by Torre, his words and subject matter are pretty humorous.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about LA culture. It’s not just a TV cliché: People really DO carry pocket dogs around with them wherever they go. I have no idea where you’d put these little yip-yaps when you go to the restroom, or even why they’re such a hot accessory; then again, I just moved from a town where people buy color-coordinated pepper spray cans. But I do know it’s a real phenomenon; I learned about it first-hand when I found myself walking down Rodeo Drive with this little white Maltese or Pomeranian named Butch under my arm.

I really don’t care if Torre’s not punching in the keys on his blog — that’s some funny stuff right there. Where do you put those yip-yaps when you go to the restroom? A town where people buy color-coordinated pepper spray cans? Attention Gilbert Arenas: there’s a new sports blogger out there who could be giving you a run for your money.

Roger Clemens Appearing at a Minor League Park Near You

We haven’t heard much from Mr. Mis-Remember since his fated day in front of the investigation committee. Now it looks like Roger Clemens is slowly coming out of his cage, showing up at a minor league game over the weekend between Worcester and Ottawa (Worcester’s manager was a teammate of Clemens on the Red Sox).

Followed by an entourage of police officers, Clemens walked from the dugout to the Tornadoes’ bullpen midway through the fourth inning. Before leaving the field, he signed autographs for team employees but not fans. He was also introduced by the public address announcer and waved to the crowd of 3,153, who responded with a chorus of cheers and boos.

A chorus of cheers and boos? That’s a strange mix. Obviously there are still many people in the public that think Clemens is nothing but a cheat. But Clemens was also in the New England area — a place where he first made his name and became a Red Sox legend. And what’s up with being picky over the autographs, Roger? Maybe he has to be conservative with them since he’s apparently hard up for cash these days.