Brad Penny injures hand punching wall on Thursday, released by Royals on Friday

brad-penny-sf-giantsNearing the end of his playing days, Brad Penny has carved out a decent career for himself over 13 seasons.

Since making his big league debut in 2000, Penny has spent time with the Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and Detroit Tigers. After not pitching in the major leagues in 2013, the veteran starting pitcher was hoping to add the Kansas City Royals to that list this season. Penny signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals in January which included an invitation to spring training.

The Royals have already seen enough of Brad Penny to make a decision on his future with the team. Kansas City released the 35-year-old on Friday. Penny didn’t help his case on the mound, surrendering 13 hits and seven earned runs over four innings so far this month. Punching a wall and subsequently injuring his non-throwing hand was apparently another strike against him.

From the outset, Brad Penny was facing an uphill battle in making the Royals’ roster. He was going to need quite bit to go his way for that to happen. Then, Penny went out and served up batting practice to the Padres and White Sox and threw his hand into a wall. That’s not going to get it done.

Jack McKeon Locked Josh Beckett, Brad Penny Out of Clubhouse During ’03 Marlins Games, Gave Pee-Pee Cards

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday morning that a handful of Red Sox pitchers regularly drank beers and hung out in the clubhouse during games. Apparently that is nothing new for veteran pitcher Josh Beckett.

Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon told The Palm Beach Post that he had to lock the clubhouse during games for his 2003 World Series team because players such as Josh Beckett and Brad Penny would go in there to drink and hang out. He also created bathroom passes for players to use during games.

You can’t make this stuff up.

McKeon created poo-poo and pee-pee cards for players to take if they needed to use the bathroom. He says that was effective in curbing the fun.

McKeon says he considered implementing a similar system while managing the Marlins this season, but he never had to go that far. His story shows us that players screwing around during games is nothing new. It also makes us wonder if someone like Josh Beckett could avoid stupid injuries like this if he trained harder.

And if all the funny baseball pranks we’ve shared over the years didn’t already show you how immature some players can be, McKeon’s treatment of the ’03 Marlins confirms it. A story like this is funny, but actually kind of sad.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

Kevin Towers Toyed with Radar Gun to Mess with Brad Penny, Other Pitchers

Now we know why Brad Penny has been hampered by shoulder injuries for a good portion of his career. After hearing former San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers’ recent comments, it all makes perfect sense. Using a clever little trick, Towers may have contributed to Penny eventually throwing his arm out.

Hardball Talk shared a story with us from the Arizona Republic on Friday in which Towers lends some inside information about how he used to toy with Penny’s and other pitcher’s heads when they were on the mound at Petco Park.

“We used to dial it down,” Towers said in response to questions about whether or not ballpark radar readings are accurate. “I know for a fact that every time Brad Penny pitched for the Dodgers in San Diego it was probably the lowest velocities he ever had. He liked velocity. He’d stare at the board. He was throwing 95-96 (mph), but we’d have it at 91 and he’d get pissed off and throw harder and harder and start elevating.”

Although Major League Baseball sends a memo to teams every year reminding them they are not allowed to manipulate radar readings, Towers went on to explain that the Padres would also bump the reading up a few MPH for their own pitchers, feeling it gave them a psychological advantage.

The Towers mind games are probably over now that a lot of fields are using computer technology to post radar readings on the scoreboard.  However, Hardball Talk checked Penny’s career numbers in San Diego while he pitched for the Dodgers — 1-5 with a 6.47 ERA in 10 appearances.  Coincidence? I think not. Maybe it’s that sort of bravado that’s needed to land a hot fiance like Penny did.

Brad Penny Dips His Pen Into the Celebrity Ink Again

Brad Penny and Karina SmirnoffThe more I read and see news about Brad Penny the more I’m convinced he cares more about maintaining his off-field profile than his on-field production. Case in point: after breaking up with actress Eliza Dushku, Penny was seen by TMZ necking with Dancing with the Stars’ dancer Karina Smirnoff last night. They apparently were at the Key Club on Sunset in Los Angeles for a Steel Panther show.

Smirnoff actually has a history here at LBS, having done an interview talking about her experience working with then dance partner Floyd Mayweather Jr. Smirnoff is also well known to be friends with Mario Lopez though we have no idea if anything’s ever materialized between her and A.C. Slater. Back to Penny, he’s been a steady mainstay on the Vegas and L.A. party scene, having been captured on film by TMZ several times recently. His worst move may have been being spotted in Las Vegas while the Dodgers were playing in the playoffs last year (he wasn’t on the postseason roster). We all knew he would be opting out of his contract but that still shows what kind of guy he is. I guess this proves once and for all what most women are after — money.

Video: Carl Crawford’s Six Stolen Bases, Brad Penny Thinks it Was Bush League

It’s hard to know where exactly you should point the finger when a guy ties a record by stealing six bases in a game. Do you point it at Carl Crawford, saying he was just feeling it and on fire? Do you point it at the pitchers for being too slow in their delivery to home plate? Do you blame it on Jason Varitek because Crawford stole bases on three different pitchers but only one catcher? Terry Francona says you need to give credit to Crawford: “We had (Brad) Penny at 1.28 (seconds to the plate), and Jason at 1.9 (seconds on his release and throw). We can’t go faster than that. (Crawford) outran it. At the moment, to throw him out, you about have to be perfect.” Varitek had a shot to throw out Crawford in the first but made an errant throw. He’s now 3 of 29 on the season. Yikes. So what did captain bitter, Brad Penny, have to say after the game? Just what you’d expect (talking specifically about Crawford’s steal of third in the 5th):

Who cares you know, they’re two outs — why even steal there? We’re not holding him on — we’re giving him the bag. If you steal second like that it’s not considered a stolen base.

Penny sort of does have a point there and maybe Crawford should have only been given credit for five instead of six stolen bases. Still, by focusing on that instead of simply complimenting Crawford for the good game, Penny proved himself to be a jerk like usual. Can’t imagine that 7.61 ERA has anything to do with his attitude. In case you haven’t seen the Crawford steals, here they are:

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