A TALE OF TWO DENIALS Jeff Bagwell is telling Jerry Crasnick that he never used steroids and Rafael Palmeiro is making similar denials to Sports Illustrated. The difference is Palmeiro's positive test, which of course he still maintains is some sort of wacky mix-up. In light of their concurrent denials and Bagwell's clean slate, I expect Bagwell to be much closer to enshrinement. David Pinto correctly points out that "Denials, for some reason, have a way of making you guilty." Which is why Bagwell's confessed ambivalence regarding enshrinement also helps. Palmeiro hopes that the voters will look beyond his positive result and instead look at his record, a record that to their minds is tainted by the test result. He wants in. The fresh denial colors him delightfully desperate. But this is Bagwell's take:
"Here's my whole thing when people ask me about the Hall of Fame: Would I be honored to death to be in the Hall of Fame? Of course I would. But it doesn't consume me at all. I loved every single part of what I did as a baseball player. But I've got my kids, I've got my family, and getting in the Hall of Fame isn't going to affect my life one way or the other. And it won't make me feel any better about my career.
"So much has gone on in the last eight or nine years, it's kind of taken some of the valor off it for me. If I ever do get to the Hall of Fame and there are 40 guys sitting behind me thinking, 'He took steroids,' then it's not even worth it to me. I don't know if that sounds stupid. But it's how I feel in a nutshell."
Bagwell would rather be known for being clean than being in. Palmeiro would rather be in, even though all assume he's guilty.no comments
WHAT'S THE HURRY? Jim Leyland is telling WDFN that Jacob Turner will get a good long look in spring training. That's not news. The Tigers firmly cling to the TINSTAAPP (TANSTAAPP!) concept. They did the same with Justin Verlander (great result), Jair Jurrjens (good result), Rick Porcello (jury's still out) and Andrew Miller (whoops). If a player has the talent to get out big league hitters, wasting his bullets in the minors is a mistake. Imagine the benefit Washington would have reaped with another ten Stephen Strasburg starts, instead of starting him in the minors.no comments
GIVE IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY NOW If you're feeling unhappy that the government kicked the can on the sunset of the current tax rates and that you'll be able to take home more of what you earn in 2011 than in 2010, then this deal, sponsored by Yale and Cornell professors is for you.no comments
MAURY PREVIEWS WHAT SUNDAY MEANS. All the playoff scenarios. From the simple drama of next Sunday night's winner take all Seattle-St. Louis matchup that will close the 2010 NFL regular season to the many ways the Packers, Giants and Buccaneers will battle for the last spot in the NFC. Makes me very happy that the Patriots have locked up the catbird seat in the AFC.no comments
UNION LEADER TO AP: DROP DEAD. Another chink in the armor of the AP. Plus this: "We were providing more of AP's New Hampshire report than we were receiving,'' [Union Leader Corp. President and Publisher Joseph McQuaid] said. "We would prefer that New Hampshire news consumers get that information directly from us.''
H/T - Don Surberno comments
PROGRESS OF SEASONS. Neyer on TINSTAAPP. Being a traditionalist I favor TANSTAAPP, of course. Eether, Eyether, let's call the whole thing off. Sample the goodness:
[Y]ou might want to make at least some small attempt to avoid getting too excited about young pitchers. Frankly, this is what leaves me most skeptical about the Royals and their (now) Mission 2013 (or '14). Especially considering the departure of Zack Greinke, the Royals' youth movement simply won't work unless at least three of their very talented, but very young, starting pitchers pan out. And history suggests that they will not.no comments
More than likely, the Air Force Academy's mascot, a gyrfalcon, found the weather in Shreveport less too its liking, considering they are native to the Arctic! A point no doubt not lost on the Czar, whose knowledge of falconry is second solely to his understanding of the proper process of peasant impaling. Not coincidentally, falconry is his second favorite, as well.
And in case you wonder what a gyrfalcon looks like, they resemble this pretty bird, who I saw at a Rhode Island Audubon Society event September of 2009. This bird is a gyrfalcon mix, and has been trained for falconry. Much like the Air Force mascot, who was found. Smart bird, to fly the coup like that.
WHY I OPPOSE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY. Per the court, "the purpose of the sex offender registry is ... 'protecting the public and assisting law enforcement.' That pretty much covers everything in the world..." Government never shrinks. It expands, and with its expansion is a reduction of our individual freedoms. The protections afforded are not worth the sacrifice paid.no comments
SHOESTRING BUDGET MAGIC. With the season still in play, the Rays signed Brad Hawpe who had been released by the Rockies. Tampa Bay made the playoffs, but Colorado didn't. In addition, the Rays collect the compensatory draft pick for Hawpe's departure. That's finding every edge to maintain one's position in the standings. The Rays may slip in 2011, I don't think they'll slip much, but shrewd personnel decisions like this one will reward them handsomely and ensure that whatever regression they suffer will not last long at all. Meanwhile, Dan O'Dowd earns another black mark.no comments
'TIS THE SEASON FOR HALL OF FAME VOTING COLUMNS. Poz rocks the HoF column like no other, and he's spending a week on the topic. Read early and often. But ponder this:
The stunning takeaway is that half of the sturdy everyday players who retired sometime in the 1930s are in the Hall of Fame. This, of course, is absolutely ridiculous. If you raise the bar to 8,000 plate appearances, an almost unbelievable 17 out of 20 are in the Hall of Fame. In the 1980s, only 10 out of the 40 players who retired with 8,000 or more plate appearances are in the Hall, and this leaves out some very good players who will likely never get any more consideration for the Hall of Fame, players like Ted Simmons, Dave Concepcion, Graig Nettles, Bobby Grich and, of course, Pete Rose.
Next time someone says the Hall of Fame is diluted thanks to the presence of player X or that longevity is hardly HoF worthy, remind them it once was, and ask if we are better for it.no comments
PPD IS NOT JUST FOR BASEBALL ANYMORE. So tonight Bob Costas has promised us that we'll get Faith Hill advising us that we've been waiting all day for Tuesday night. The postponement of the Eagles-Vikings game is one that makes sense from a safety standpoint, and since lawyers rule us all (check the fine print) liability concerns trump all. PA Governor Ed Rendell doesn't like that one bit. OTB's Doug Mataconis rightly take issue with Rendell's foolishness. But Craig Calcaterra wins by noting that the Vikings have more delays and reschedulings due to weather this season than the Twins did in 2010 in their new outdoor stadium. Baseball traditionally reschedules due to inclement weather affecting competition. Football sends players out in everything, and is even electing to schedule Super Bowls in undomed outdoor arenas in the Northeast (Hello New Jersey!). What will Commissioner Goodell do if a massive blizzard strikes NYC a few days before the Super Bowl in 2014. With this precedent in place, and the many complaints about snow removal in NYC after this weekend's snow event we can be pretty sure Super Bowl XLVIII will be played after Opening Day in Yankee Stadium. Play ball.no comments
CHRISTMAS MOURNING: An acquaintance of mine lost her battle this holiday season. I knew her from high school. Knew her may be an exaggeration. I knew her the way you know someone with whom you go to school, when that school has some 1,000 or so students, which is to say hardly at all. But friends know someone and friends of friends know that person, and one comes to know more of them. When notices appeared on Facebook Christmas Day, I took notice.
The battle she fought, and make no mistake, she fought, with every ounce of her breath was not merely a battle to live when her life was deprived her by the father of her twin daughters, but a battle against a system that says people with violent tendencies will listen when a court orders them to follow a path marked by common sense, a quality they lack.
Staria Silva was just 35, a newly-minted 35, her birthday falling less than two weeks prior to her death. She was found by her mother Christmas morning. Her infant daughters had been left with their mother's body in the family's home. Police apprehended the twins' father. A man against whom Staria had taken a no contact order after he assaulted her in October. But no contact orders are merely scraps of paper and not barriers from harm. They bear different names depending on the jurisdiction, EPOs, TROs, NCOs and each carries some declaration from a magistrate, whose command can be easily flouted. Yet, we the law-abiding among us trust their soothing incantations. We see the punishment violation brings as a deterrent. Sometimes the price we pay for our trust that these orders will protect our loved ones is minimal. In too many cases, like this one, the price could not be higher.
This matters to me, because Staria's life was cut short, and her children will know less of her than they should. Robbed as they were by uncaring faith, the mother who lovd them dearly. But it strikes closer to home as well, because someone I love has an EPO (Emergency Protective Order) and a full-blown Protective Order that offers her nominal protection from the man who tried two months ago to kill her. And for me, that trust in a system that is run by the overworked and underappreciated, feels all too misplaced.
Requiescat in pace, Staria.no comments