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Barry Bonds Gets His First Job Offer

We know the man is still trying to patch things up with the Giants who say the sides have parted ways. In the meantime, Bonds told MSNBC that he’s been training and is ready to get back out there and play. With free agency looming and the Winter Meetings approaching, Bonds is likely to have offers on the table. But if nobody from MLB steps forward, at least Bonds will have a fallback option:

Barry Bonds has a public offer on the free-agent market – from the independent Washington Wild Things, who play not far from where Bonds began his major league career in Pittsburgh.

Bonds, who made about $16 million last season for the Giants, would have to settle for the independent Frontier League’s maximum salary of $1,200 per month.

There are extras, though: The Wild Things are offering a 50-50 share on merchandise sales and a pledge to find a host family for Bonds so he doesn’t have to rent an apartment in this southwestern Pennsylvania city.

Wooweee! With incentives like that, I have to imagine that Barry’s clamoring to sign on the dotted line. Could you just fathom hosting Barry Bonds for a season of baseball as your guest? Good to know the independents are breaking out all the stops to bring in the big guns. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even spring for a free mini-bar on the road!

The Prodigal Chan Ho Park Son Returns to LA

As I posted at FanHouse, former Dodger laughingstock, Chan Ho Park, has received a non-roster invitation to Dodgers spring training. What a joke. While in LA, Park was known for four things: wimping out of big games, allowing two grand slams to Fernando Tatis in the same inning, bicycle kicking Tim Belcher in interleague play, and seeking a $100 million free agent contract. Luckily for LA, Texas bit and paid $65 mil over five years for 22 wins from Park. Quite a bargain.

So now, for the first time since 2001, Chan Ho Park will appear in a Dodger uniform. What could possibly be a better way to pump up your fans who were excited about the Joe Torre hiring than by introducing Chan Ho Park as your first move of the winter? I don’t think it gets any better than that. Personally, I’m hoping he makes the roster so we can see some fireworks come April. Dodger fans: please keep your hands and arms inside your cubicle, and your regurgitation to yourself.

FYI, I’m giving myself bonus points for mixing in a picture that works in Chan Ho gone samurai, Tim Belcher, Mo Vaughn, and the old, hideous Angel jerseys all in one. Thanks to Scott Nelson of AFP for the magical moment.

(via Ballhype)

Gold Gloves Improving, Still Flawed


Still the best, Omar Vizquel got robbed

It was nice to see that MLB voters finally awarded Gold Gloves to first-time winners rather than just lazily passing the honor onto incumbents as is the annual trend. What bugs me most about the Gold Glove is that it often goes to a player who is well-known because of his hitting (see Jeter, Derek), though it’s supposed to be strictly a defensive honor. In all, there were 10 first-time winners this year. While mainstays like Greg Maddux, Pudge Rodriguez, Torii Hunter, and Andruw Jones all snagged awards, there were several new faces to the list.

Orlando Cabrera, Placido Polanco, Adrian Beltre, and Grady Sizemore were nice additions. Kevin Youkilis also sneaked in as the first baseman, but I can’t imagine any first baseman being better defensively than Casey Kotchman was for the Angels. Again, it’s a popularity and reputation contest — can’t expect too much. Another perfect example: Vernon Wells has a sub-par year with the bat and gets dropped from the list though his fielding was fine.

I still have a few complaints about the NL list. Orlando Hudson missed the last month of the season but still gets the award, even though defensive ratings say Chase Utley was the best in the NL at 2B. Moreover, Jimmy Rollins and David Wright seemed to snag their awards because of their offensive contributions, not defensive. I just don’t understand how you strip Omar Vizquel of a Gold Glove (unless you just didn’t watch the Giants all year) for anyone not named Troy Tulowitzki. That was bullcrap. At third, Ryan Zimmerman played all year and balled it up defensively. That should have been his award — but he’s not as popular as Wright.

In all, there were many improvements, but the voting is still somewhat fraudulent. I guess the bottom line is it’s tough to expect people to vote on awards when they didn’t get to watch half the players in the league play defense for more than three or four games all year. That probably explains the whole incumbency trend.

Aha! Jose Guillen Was Roid-Raging!

As long time readers of the site well know, Jose Guillen is only second to Barry Bonds when it comes to baseball players I dislike. Matter of fact, I’m not even sure that he is second, and if so, he’s not far behind. Especially given light of this news from Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Game of Shadows authors are saying that Angel a-hole Jose Guillen, former Giant Matt Williams, and former Dodger stiff, Ismael Valdez, all bought steroids and/or HGH from a Florida anti-aging clinic. Check out what kind of slime balls we’re dealing with:

In February, [Jose Guillen] was quoted by ESPN The Magazine as saying he had been approached about using steroids earlier in his career but had declined.

“That is something I never considered in my life,” Guillen is quoted as saying. “You’re ruining your whole career. You’re ruining your reputation. This really is hurting baseball right now, the image of the game.”

Well, dick weed, you made your own bed, so now sleep in it. As for Matt Williams, here’s why I always warn people to get wary of anyone defending Barry Bonds:

[Read more...]

Mike Cameron Says He’s Played Drunk

Yesterday I posted the news at FanHouse that Mike Cameron had been suspended 25 games for testing positive for a banned stimulant. In an interview with Double X Sports Radio in San Diego, Cameron insisted he wasn’t taking steroids. According to Todd Gallagher, author of the book, Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan, Cameron might have tested positive for a different sort of substance. From pp 101-102 of the book:

Almost every current major leaguer I spoke to knew of players who had stepped on the field under the influence. When asked what the signs were, the players typically responded the way Giant Ryan Klesko and Padre Jake Peavy did: ‘I just knew.’ Interestingly, another Padre, center fielder Mike Cameron, had a more intimate experience with game-day tipsiness:

“ ‘Shit, I’ve played drunk.’

“When?

“ ‘New York City.’

“What were the circumstances?

“ ‘I went four for four with two jacks and eight ribbies. I’m not saying that’s the only day I played drunk, but that was the best one.’

Wow, and that’s apparently Mike Cameron talking. One small little tiny detail here: I think Cameron is getting “drunk” confused with a hangover. Follow me? I could go around bragging that I aced midterms at UCLA while drunk but that would be a lie; I aced them hungover! Sure the story sounds great, but I think Cam is just embellishing. Sad thing is, when you go 4-for-4 with 8 ribbies, the accomplishment should be able to stand alone. Oh well.

(Also see Matt Watson at FanHouse)

At Least Schilling Won’t Pull a Damon

The very day that his team held its World Series celebration parade in Boston, Curt Schilling decided to celebrate in the best way possible — by saying adios. The man dropped a phone call to the players union filing for free agency, and left a list of 12 teams on his blog he says he’s interested in joining:

The list of teams that our family has talked over, that we think would be a fit for next year, should we not come back, are pretty much teams in cities we agree would be ok for our last year, and teams I think have a legitimate shot at being in the post season and/or World Series.

Cleveland, Detroit, Anaheim, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A., S.D., Arizona, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Milwaukee

While every time he lists was a prominent contender in ’07, he leaves one notable team out. You guessed it — the Yankees. Is it because they’re a team that’s in a complete state of disarray? Or is it because Curt Schilling, seeker of the spotlight, actually has a morsel of respect for Red Sox fans enough to stay away from their hated rivals? Sure seems that way — and I give Curt some credit for staying away from the Bronx. Maybe that’s just because I’d love to see him with the Halos next year. So sue me.

Manny Being More Friendly than Ever

I’m a big fan of Manny Ramirez. Something about a guy who averages about an RBI per game and stares at moonshot home runs he clubs while his team is trailing by like eighteen runs makes me laugh. But at times, as we all know, Manny can get somewhat ornery; he’ll shy away from the media, and he’ll asks for privacy from fans. Something weird must have happened with Manny, because all of a sudden, he got way friendly with the same fans he’s complained about in the past during Boston’s World Series parade Tuesday:

Manny Ramirez did his part by inviting an entire sidewalk of fans over to his house for a party before pointing to the retired numbers on the side of Fenway Park and saying he wanted his digits to be up next to them.

Say what? Did they all grill up a carne asada or something? They gotta be jerking my chain! No way I believe that Manny invited fans over to his place for a party. And for the record, last I heard, Manny was living in a hotel. He must’ve treated them to a complimentary mini-bar. Manny being Manny. Gotta love it.