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Hank Steinbrenner: NL ‘Needs to Grow Up and Join 21st Century’

George who? For anyone that was worried the sauciness erupting from the Yankees front office would disappear when George stepped out of the picture, they sure have had their share of relief in the form of Hank who has stepped right in without missing a beat. The guy’s not afraid to bash anyone or rip anything, and funny enough, he’s got a take on damn near every subject. In essence, he’s Curt Schilling without the fastball. And check out the bomb he dropped on over half of MLB in response to Chien-Ming Wang getting injured running the bases in Houston:

“My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century,” Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. “They need to grow up and join the 21st century.

“Am I (mad) about it? Yes,” Steinbrenner added. “I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.”

As an American League guy, I can’t agree with Steiny more. I’m all about the offense. Who the heck wants to watch pitchers bat anyway? If they’re that good, the team won’t have to use a D.H. anyway. Surely Steinbrenner’s outburst is a wholly irrational response to the situation, but it certainly has merit. Gotta love that guy. Is there any wonder why Sporting News has decided to make him a featured writer? Tell us how you really feel next time, Hank.

(via FanHouse)

Rangers Make Good Use of Rain Delay

As much as I can’t stand the Rangers — and they’re easily one of the teams I dislike the most in baseball — they’re actually becoming somewhat likable. They’re playing well, they have Hamilton who’s mashing, and Milton’s on fire, too. Plus, they have Ron Washington’s old, drunk ass managing them in between drags off his cigs and shots of Crown Royal (note: this is only what goes on in my head, not reality). What’s not to like about them? OK, they’re still an amateur ballclub always inciting crap with the Angels, so I can’t like them too much. But what they did during a rain delay at Shea Stadium on Saturday was awesome. Check out their slip and slide:

Video via FanIQ. Let’s see, I saw Milton, Hamilton, Kinsler, Michael Young, and it looked like Saltalamacchia in there, too. Not quite sure who else I missed. I like to see guys like that having fun, not taking themselves too seriously. Maybe that’s why they’re playing well — they’re actually enjoying themselves like they’re the Oakland A’s or something. And why is it that we keep getting fun moments that involve baseball tarps?

Washburn: Mariners Deserve Boos

First it was Ichiro saying that the Mariners were playing so poorly that he’d be drinking beer and booing the team if he were at the games. Ichiro generally keeps comments to himself, so hearing that carried even more weight. Well, after getting swept by the Nationals — truly an amazing feat — Jarrod Washburn stepped up and admitted what we all know:

Mariners fans have had almost nothing to cheer about this season, and they’ve had plenty to boo. For the most part, the booing has been muted, but Sunday it could be heard in a volume approximating that of a 737 landing at SeaTac.

“When we’ve played like this,” pitcher Jarrod Washburn said, “we should be booed.”

With a .348 winning percentage, the Mariners are currently the worst team in baseball — by a wide margin. Even the worst teams have at least 28 wins and a .400 winning percentage. The Mariners are 24-45, 21 games under .500. I never imagined things could possibly get this bad for them. Last month I was doing a radio interview and was asked which manager would probably be first to go, the obvious choice being Willie Randolph. I didn’t take the bait, instead going with McLaren because the Mariners were underachieving by a ridiculous amount. This team is far too talented to be this pathetic. Maybe they do need a change at the top. And Washburn is right — the fans should be booing a team this bad.

Giants Go With Retro 80s Night

Guess when you’re towards the bottom of the division and lacking when it comes to offensive production, you have to come up with new ways to entertain your fans. I’ve always liked the retro nights they come up with at the ballpark — they’re always good for a laugh. Most usually do 70s nights and stick the players in afros and give em sideburns. The Giants decided to switch it up and stick their players in 80s movie posters. Not too bad, check em out:

Thanks to Giantsboard.com as always, the same people that provided us with the Barry Bonds All-Star voting scheme last year. And to think, I was only looking for pictures of the wives’ softball game. Check out Bengie Molina, Brian Horwitz, Rich Aurilia, and Omar Vizquel in 80s movies below …

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Chipper Jones Can’t Catch a Break

Just a bruise, instead. I’ve heard of some pretty weird and freak injuries occurring in baseball, but this has to be up there. How many guys get injured during batting practice? I know Nomar did — he was hit on the heel with a batted ball (though that never made any sense). But everything happens to him, so why should that surprise us? Well, because what Chipper did was, well, unprecedented.

Chipper pulled a Brickma, doing only what Daniel Stern could do. He injured himself by fouling a ball off in BP that hit the top of the cage and came back down and hit him in the face. The ball hit him just under the eye, no doubt leaving a bruise of some sort. He was taken to the hospital for a CT scan that came out fine. The good thing is that the injury couldn’t have been too serious because Chipper’s set to play in Saturday’s game. Honestly, some dudes are just like that. Chipper’s one of em. He’s not quite a Nomar, but he hasn’t played a full season in five years. I guess that means he has a DL stint in him for some point this summer. Until that day comes, he’s still mashing. Here’s to hitting .400 as part of a Hall of Fame career.

Does Paul Janish Deserve Induction?

In case you’re wondering how this works, yes, I scan MLB boxscores each night. I’m not looking at standings, I’m not looking at pitching lines, I’m not looking at who went deep. There is only one thing on my mind when on Sombrero alert: the K column. And as soon as I see a “4,” my eyes light up. I saw that tonight, unfortunately it was next to the name Paul Janish (pronounced Yawn-ish, no surprise). Yawnish put the home crowd to sleep in Cincy taking the collar against the Red Sox. He punched out three times against Justin Masterson, twice swinging and once looking, and K’d the final time swinging against reliever David Aardsma. Luckily for Yawnish, Jay Bruce and Adam Dunn picked up the offensive slack, and Aaron Harang was on top of his game to make up for the 0fer. The Reds beat the Red Sox 3-1.

But onto more important items, I’m not so sure Yawnish even deserves induction into the LBS Golden Sombrero Club. When a rookie is batting just .204 with only one extra base hit, it’s hard to really consider him a legit inductee. I need guys who will have some sort of longevity so one day in the future we can reminisce and say “remember back when he took the Golden Sombrero?” I’m not sure we have much more than a guy just filling a hole here who we won’t ever hear from in two years. For now, I’ll be lenient, but let it be known: this is a reluctant induction of Paul Janish into the LBS Golden Sombrero Club. Consider yourself honored, Mr. Janish. The pleasure’s all yours. Just take a look at the company.

Milton Bradley Charges the TV Booth

When the term “anger management” was coined, I’m sure the person had Milton Bradley in mind. This is a guy who was one of the nicest dudes I’ve ever been around in an MLB clubhouse. But for some reason, he has a short fuse, and when it gets lit, man, does he blow like nobody else. He had yet another uncontrollable blowup following Wednesday night’s game when he burst out of the clubhouse to track down Royals TV announcer, Ryan Lefebvre. Bradley had to be chased down and restrained by GM Jon Daniels, as well as manager Ron Washington (presumably in between sips of his postgame Crown Royal victory elixir).

Bradley, who was Texas’ designated hitter, apparently heard some comments from Lefebvre while he was in the clubhouse between at-bats. Lefebvre insisted he wasn’t singling out Bradley.

“From what I remember, we were complimenting Josh Hamilton and how he’s turned his life around and been accountable for his mistakes,” Lefebvre said. “Frank [White] and I were just having a conversation that it’s a shame it doesn’t appear Milton Bradley is doing the same in his life.”

“He was upset,” Daniels said. “Somebody that doesn’t know him was effectively passing judgment on TV. The guy’s been a tremendous teammate and a good guy for us and it’s obvious he was hurt by those comments.”

Just like a ticking time bomb. So predictable. I don’t know what this dude’s problem is, but he’s another one who should just be living in a bubble. Don’t read newspapers or magazines, don’t listen to the radio, and don’t watch TV. Don’t go out anywhere. Just stay at home, go to and from the park and do your thing on the field. That’s the best thing for you, Milton. That is, if you want to actually play a complete season in the Major Leagues. As for Lefebvre, he’s someone who has gone through some serious psychological issues (link is to PDF) in the past. I would guess he’d be pretty empathetic towards both Hamilton and Bradley.

UPDATE: Here’s what Lefebvre said that set Milty off.