Blind Accusations…

On Yahoo! Sports today Steve Henson has a column up about what might have been in Nomar Garciaparra’s career. The piece does a good job explaining the quick rise of Nomar, his love for Boston and other highlights (and lowlights) of his career in baseball.

The disturbing part of the piece is Henson’s seemingly blind accusation about the reasons behind Nomar’s physical breakdown– he did steroid’s.
I think the column is not only way off base, lacking any real evidence, but also 10 years too late. For over a decade hitter after hitter was apparently juicing up. Few reporters and columnist ever asked question about the massive jump in home runs for people like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. The supposed guardians of integrity for baseball just sat there watching the bombers pummel the ball in a manner akin to a sixteen year old girl watching the hunky Quarterback in high school.
Now, in a seeming attempt to make up for their failure, reporters are much more likely to blindly accuse players for using steroids. The problem here is the accusation is being leveled against a man known for being a prodigious student and lover of the game (pointed out in the column). The basis, Nomar’s physical breakdown at a seemingly you age– a breakdown easily rationalized by a genetic disorder (again, pointed out in the column).
America, especially baseball writers, seems to becoming more and more cynical each day when anyone is placed on a pedastool for their accomplishments. Instead of raising questions about the integrity of a great player (especially when that claim runs counter to any evidence presented in the writers own column) we should be celebrating a great ball player whose time in the game was cut short.
Here’s to you Nomar– thanks for the good times!

Signings Begin…

Word is coming out of Dodger world that some of our arbitration eligible kids are being signed in order to avoid what could be a nasty process.  Bills gets a one-year deal just shy of $4 million and Kemp is getting a two-year deal, but the dollar amount is unknown at this point.

These signings make sense for the Dodgers.  You want to avoid arbitration if you can, nothing like standing in a room in front of a future star and telling a panel why he stinks and should not get paid.  Plus the longer term for Kemp should provide some discount for the Dodgers if his 2010 growth mirrors 2009.
Now we need to get Loney, Martin and Ethier done.  I hope they give Ethier a few years.  Loney and Martin should both be one-year.
Now, can we go find a pitcher somewhere please???

I Hate Brad Penny…

NOTE: Posted at ecdodger.blogspot.com
So this weekend Brad Penny is going to pitch for the Giants against the Dodgers for the first time since we kicked him to the curb last off season.  Mike Sciosia’s Tragic Illness has a good run down of the drama Penny has brought to the table for the past year, needless to say it will have an impact come Saturday.

I was initially a big Penny fan.  Though I was a big Lo Duca fan (before we knew about theRoids) I though the move would make the team better overall.  Penny pitched well for us, especially during the 2006 and 2007 campaigns.  But the wheels seemed to have come off when Torre, Bowa and company came into town.  Management wouldn’t put up with his attitude and laziness anymore, pushing him to be a team leader.  Well, instead of growing into the role of an Ace Penny decided to take his ball and go home to cry on his ranch during the playoffs.  Notice how the Dodgers did not seem to miss him.
The whole “asking” for his release from Boston cemented for me the impression that Penny is apremadonna whose work ethic never seemed to match his ego or complement his talent.  So, lets raise our glass and hope the Dodgers can help Penny maintain that beautiful 5+ ERA on the season!

What’s Your Name Again???

Ok seriously, if our bench keeps producing like this I don’t see how anyone can catch us.  Joe Torre has the ability to look at anyone on that roster, put them in the game and expect production.  That is an amazing asset to have!

I especially like the work Mark Loretta has been doing this season.  To have your utility guy batting over .300 is great.  I’ve always liked Loretta and think he is one of the “good guys” in MLB.  Good signing by Ned.

On another note– I just discovered the blog Dodgers Trends.  Lots of good information and aducker is obviously much smarter than I am!  He is also a fellow East Coaster stuck worshipping a team on the other side of the country.  Link tossed up on the right.

 

I Just Want to Shake It Off…

“The teams that are able to shake off bad things are the ones who are going to be playing in October,” Torre said.

That quote by Torre sums up yesterdays win over the Phillies.  Good series overall taking two of three against a team we couldn’t beat at home last season.  James Loney came out of home run slump, which didn’t bother me much since he had 20+ RBI’s in his first 30 games played without a homerun.  That is productivity folks!

Next up is the Marlins with a possible visit by Manny.  I think it will be good for the team to chat with him and give him some support.  This is especially true now since his HCG story appear to be unraveling before him.  I think after the initial shock I do not care anymore.  This era of baseball has been tainted and nothign suprises me.  I just hope the new generation of ball players that started since this whole fiasco began a few years back can bring the game out of all of this.  For the Dodgers we have a good crop of guys to do that in Martin, Kemp, Loney, Billingsley, Kershaw and Broxton.

Mean while back at the ranch…

The most exciting thing to happen to the Nationals this year was the Ryan Zimmerman hit streak.  Now that it is over attention has turned to the upcoming draft.  Everyone is expecting the Nats to use the first pick in the draft to select Stephen Strasburg from San Diego State.  One problem, how can the Nats even afford to sign him?  I do know this… NO ONE is going to Nats games this year– I can’t even seem to give my company’s seats away.  Perhaps Strasburg can put some butts in the seats, but I doubt it.

One again the Devils Agent has struck.  The draft should be about teams being able to improve themselves.  If the contract bar is set so high that the best propsect can’t be picked using the first pick than the system is broken.  And the Nats should be mindful, we Dodger fans know that Boras will keep his guy out for a year so he can get paid.

 

When Does Manny Talk?

Steve Henon of Yahoo! Sports has good piece up today about Manny getting serious and the need to start explaining himself– good read.

At some point and time Manny is going to need to step up and talk to both the Dodgers themselves and the public.  His biggest problem will be the latter.  Fact is he can not be the normal Manny at a press conference, he can not come off scripted like A-Rod did, nor can he try the Sosa route of “my english suddenly went bad”.  He needs to sit behind the microphone and just be honest.  If it was a fertility issue, fine, but be open and honest about it and say you’re sorry a million times.
Manny’s biggest issue is going to be a media that has heard it all before.  They are going to attack and unfortunately with the Devil as his agent Manny will probably come off fake, scripted and way over prepared.
My thought on timing… Do this while the team isn’t in LA for the next week.  Make the media fous on you and leave the rest of the guys out of this.  Unfortunately, it will probably not happen that way.
As for addressing the team– do it and do it soon.
On a good note, Stults-y pitched a gem last night and put us back on the right track against the Gnats.  But, we draw Timmy! today, which is never good for anyone even with a guy like Manny in the line up.

Way to Ruin Two Days of My Life…

So it isn’t bad enough the Manny got busted with PED’s and suspended yesterday.  No, my Dodgers had to go blow a six run lead to the Nationals… THE NATIONALS!

So not only do I have to hear about Manny on drugs all morning, but my co-workers get to give me crap since their team, that could probably be beaten by the Isotopes on a normal day, beat my Dodgers after being down by six. 

Good day…. GREAT DAY!

Ouch…

Plaschke sounds off.   And I have to say I may not disagree with him.  Despite the 50-games not getting paid the McCourts & Co. have built the marketing of this team around Manny– now what?

How will the young guys react to the player they thought made the mebetter ball players being labeled a cheater and no longer in the line up?

One saving grace– we’ve got Joe Torre.  If anyone can make sure this ship stays on course it is him.

And some Giants fans are a little delusional if they think they’re going to catch us.

WHAT?!?!?!

710 ESPN in Los Angeles just reported that Manny was suing a female fertility drug that is common for steroid users to take to return their body to normal testosterone production. HCG is the drug.  Apparently it was found out he was using this substance because he had elevated testosterone in his blood that MLB believed was procuded external from the body.

Apparently the excuse is Manny needed some sexual enhancement.  Too bad no doctor has come forward saying this would be a legitimate use for the drug.  There are some weight loss claims for the drug, but not for male infertility issues.

Yahoo! Sports is reporting the same general story.

Really, female fertility drug?  I get more skeptical by the moment.  Manny apparently thinks we are all idiots.   

“I’m Back”….

Well its been a while since I posted.  Life has been busy with the new job and Little League kicking into high gear.  My son is playing in his first regular season of “kid pitch” and its been exciting.  Last week he took the mound for the first time ever and put down the first hitter on three straight strikes.

So today I was busy doing the fun things that Lobbyist do “Inside the Beltway”, as we DC-ers like to call the city.  While pitching some piece of legislation my good friend Lerchie sends me a text… Manny failed a drug test!  I immediately hung up the phone and went apoplectic in my office.

How dumb can he be?!  I’ll give him and the Devil Agent (Scott Boras) the benefit of the doubt and believe him that it was a prescribed drug.  Sure, fine, I bet it was!  Well, if it was, why the hell did you put it in your mouth without first checking that the substance wasn’t banned?  And I’m sorry, why are one of the Dodgers players ingesting any medication without Stan Conte and Dr. Landis confirming they are ok to take?

This whole thing really stinks.  Either Manny is cheating and thinks we are all idiots, he is an idiot for taking a prescribed drug thats banned or Conte and Landis gave him a banned substance.  All choices on the table show that one of the “professionals” in this situation isn’t doing a very good job.

At least the Dodgers will save some money off that $25 million contract.  Maybe it will allow us to grab a front line pithcer in July.