PLAYERS UNION GOING POLITICAL?

          I was truly going to stay away from the blogs as it was painfully obvious that my Dodgers were going to stink up the league and the pending McCourts’ divorce was going to stink up my Dodgers.  I truly had nothing to write about that inspired me so.

 

That was until I read this little tidbit about the MLB players union opposing the Arizona Illegal Immigration Law SB-1020.

 

The following is an open letter to Michael Weiner and everyone on the MLBPU board.

 

Dear Mr. Weiner,

 

Your office issued a statement on Friday opposing the SB-1020 law written in Arizona regarding illegal immigrants.  In your statement, you’ve expressed concern that MLB players (as well as their families) from foreign countries “must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status.”

Please understand that the state of Arizona acted in the best interest of its citizens given the increase of violent activity originating from Mexico and the lack of activity from the federal government to resolve these matters.  It is in the best interest of the state of Arizona to ensure that those roaming the streets and taking residence in Arizona are doing so lawfully.

That said, I fail to see, providing that the players and their families are abiding by the laws of our country, where the inconvenience is of carrying the proper identification as mandated by US law.  In addition, the Arizona statute is clear mirror of federal law regarding those who are legal alien residents.

Curiously, you also add that “If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members“.  It would be most responsible of you to remind your foreign born players (and their families) that playing professional baseball in the US is a privilege and not a right.  An excellent “additional step” would be to also remind them to abide by ALL US laws and to maintain all appropriate paperwork readily available to any and all US law enforcement officers upon demand.  Lastly, remind them act as responsible and mature adults at all times.  These “additional steps” would suffice given the generous salaries these players draw.

Lastly, Mr. Weiner, I would respectfully ask that you reconsider your opposition to this law.  This is truly a just law and a law that is to be respected.   It is only those who have no respect for US law or our sovereignty who vehemently protest.

 

 

Sincerely,

Albert Moreno

 

  

 

 

VERY GUARDED OPTIMISM

Like most other good Dodger fans who were unable (for whatever reason) to attend Thursday night’s game vs. St. Louis, I was glued to the television set for 90% of the game (the other 10% was spent either picking up my daughter from school or making dinner).  And like most all of the good Dodger fans, I reveled in the moment matt Holliday dropped James Loney’s sinking liner.

Unlike most Dodger fans, I’ve acquired a terrible habit from my father of laughing hysterically whenever the opposition makes an error.  Does it make me a bad man?  I’ll let you be the judge (so long as you’re not a Cards fan!)

I’ve written in a previous blog that the Dodgers only chance of success against St. Louis was/is an insane amount of luck.  I still stand by that prediction and I reinforce it with the Matt Holliday debacle.

Holliday is a lifetime .980 fielding % player.  As one of the TBS commentators duly noted, under normal circumstances, Holliday catches that ball and the game is over.  Yes, you could say that what the following hitters did boiled down to skill and not just insane luck and that would be a legitimate argument.  I contend that the error Holliday committed rattled Ryan Franklin’s cage and put Franklin in a position I don’t think he’s been in before.  Again, I think under normal circumstances, Franklin re-groups and gets the 3rd out.  That said, I don’t entirely pin the loss on Holliday ( and I certainly wouldn’t want him put with the likes of Bill Buckner, Herb Washington, and so on as depicted in an MLB column).  Franklin shares as much of the blame.

Blame aside, you absolutely have to tip your cap to Casey Blake, Ronnie Belliard, Russell Martin, and of course Mark Loretta for making the guttiest of at bats! 

This was a post season game to remember and worthy of Dodgers lore alongside Kirk Gibson’s famous 1988 blast.  Even with a 2-0 lead, I still question if the Dodgers can suck it up one more time, just once.

For what little it’s worth, folks, I think we’re going to be in for a very wild ride!

 

I AM NOT CONVINCED…

Living up here in the North State (coupled with the fact that MLB’s Prime Ticket on DirectTV is obscenely priced) I was not able to watch Saturday night’s division clincher against the Rockies.  That night, I was not able to watch MLB’s (far more affordable=free) gameday applet for fear that I would be watching another train-wreck extending the Dodgers’ losing streak and concession of first place in the NL West.  I don’t think I could have pulled myself to the tube even if I had the means with which to watch the game.

Finally at around 10:00 PDT, I could no longer stand the anticipation.  I raced over to my handy computer.  And there it was, Jonathon Broxton in the top of the 9th with two outs inducing Garrett Atkins to fly out to right.  The Dodgers had won 5-0.  They had; ended their 5 game losing streak, clinched the NL West, and secured home field advantage all in one nice neat little package.

I needed to investigate; what happened in the Dodgers half of the 7th?  The first thing that grabbed my attention was that Franklin Morales was pitching in relief of Jose Contreras.  Knowing that Jorge De La Rosa started that game, I had to dig deeper to find out why he was taken out in the 4th.

It was an injury.

This makes me wonder had not De La Rosa been injured, would we have had a different outcome?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a very big “what if” kind of guy.  In this case, I can’t help but wonder if the Dodgers needed just this tidbit of luck to get things rolling?

How much luck are they going to need against St. Louis?

You say St. Louis has lost 14 of their last 21.  It doesn’t matter!  They’ve had the Dodgers’ number the last 6 years running and this isn’t even including the 2004 NLDS and the 1985 NLCS.

The Dodgers’ have beaten St. Louis twice this year while the Redbirds have taken the other 5 games quite handily (one of those victories was a 10-0 dogslapping).  In the 2 victories the Dodgers took, Kyle Lohse and Mitchell Boggs were on the mound and I somehow think the Cards’ are sending young messers out to Arizona, Chinese Taipei, or someplace other than an NLDS start!

Aside from all that, the point here is that the Dodgers will have to rely on more than just a little bit of luck.  Against this St. Louis team, they will need LOTS OF IT!!!

That said, I will go out on a huge limb with my prediction; the Dodgers will not get past St. Louis without an insane amount of luck by their sideIf they do find that insane amount of luck and manage to get past St. Louis, no one from this or the American League will stop them from the World Series trophy–NO ONE!!

What say you?

THE PERFECT (UGLY) STORM

On April 30. the Dodgers were trucking right along with a 15-8 record, Manny was ripping the hide off the ball with a .372 average, and all was well.  The Dodgers were off to an excellent start with a very promising 2009 on the horizon.

Things in Colorado were not so rosy.  Jim Tracy was sitting alongside Clint Hurdle watching the Rockies stumble along to finish April with an 8-12 record (5 of those losses were at the hands of the Dodgers who would take 5 of 6 games with Colorado in April).  The Dodgers would go on to take a commanding 12-3 edge (up to this point) over Colorado.

Folks, this isn’t April anymore.

Colorado is now a scant 2 games behind the Dodgers with a very real chance of overtaking the Dodgers in capturing the NL West pennant.  Colorado is coming in with a 4 game winning streak while Los Angeles is going the opposite direction in the last 4 games.

Colorado is playing with fire, conviction, and determination.  Los Angeles, on the other hand, has still not recovered from Sept. 27 in Pittsburgh where the Dodgers blew a 3 run lead in the bottom half of the ninth to lose 6-5.  They are anemic, apathetic, and have seemingly lost the determination that Colorado now has. 

Only 2 weeks ago, nobody would have predicted that these last 3 games would have had the significance they have now.

To make matters worse, somebody in the Dodger front office decided that it would be a good idea to designate tonight Tommy Lasorda night at Dodger Stadium.  How horrid would it be to choke on a night tabbed for celebration?

My advice; Somebody needs to lock up Lasorda in his office keeping him from his lunchtime and throw the blame at Manny!

Sheesh, even the grizzled Larry Bowa would run looking for his woobie!!

Seriously, even though we all know it’s Torre’s team, Lasorda needs to get in that clubhouse and stir up some good old fashioned you-know-what.  He needs to light a serious torch underneath several backsides and motivate like he has never motivated before.

Los Angeles has shown the ability to dog-slap Colorado this year.  Tonight, they need to show the resolve to dog-slap Colorado.

I’m challenging the Blue to step up!

Will they answer or will they fold like the cheap lawn furniture they’ve been these last 4 games?

 

IF THIS TEAM GOES TO THE PLAYOFFS…….

Folks, there is this thing called life.

The simple reality is that with a wife, 2 kids, one dog, the everyday duties involved with keeping up a household, and (sadly for me) the search for new employment, there are simply not enough hours in a day to faithfully tend to this blog in a timely fashion.

Given the recent turn of events of my beloved Dodgers, I am thankful I had no opportunity to open my (once arrogant) mouth.  I now return channeling “Blazing Saddles” Slim Pickens.

“What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is going on here?  You guys are all playing like a bunch of Kansas City ******* (please rent the movie for the continuation of the censored comment)!” 

So let me get this straight, the Dodgers finished out their last homestand embarassing (Larry The Cable Guy’s not-so-smart-twin) Brad Penny and NL CY Young’er Tim (80 degrees is too hot for ANYTHING!!)  Lincecum in back to back games.  Their magic number was 4 with a 9 game stretch against Washington, Pittsburgh, and San Diego.  These teams definitely strike fear in the hearts of most high school (and some single and double A) teams.  If someone had told me that they would return from this trip with a 6-3 record, I would be totally content. 

If someone had said the “6″ would be in the loss column, I would have fallen over laughing!

I am not laughing.

The Dodgers took 2 of three from Washington.  These three games were not without a struggle.  Still 2 out of 3 is still 2 out of 3.  What happened in Pittsburgh and San Diego left questioning the resolve of the Dodgers as a whole.

You could make the feeble argument that the Dodgers have been without Casey Blake and Ronnie Belliard.  My response would be “so?!”. 

In every game on this road trip, Manny has been challenged by pitchers going to the Hall of Fame…only with a paid ticket!  He has been challenged and effectively put down at least once in this road trip.  This is not the Manny of September 2008.

Okay, so I am unfairly targeting Manny.  I could take Manny’s name out and effectively put in Russell Martin’s name, Matt Kemp’s name, Andre Ethier’s name…..  

I am willing to spread blame evenly!!

It sickens me that, at least for today, I have to cheer for Milwaukee for the Dodgers to clinch the NL West.

As of September 27, the Dodgers magic number was one.  Here we are October 1, and the magic number stands at one.

One lousy victory for the Dodgers; one measly little loss for Colorado.

It hasn’t happened.

At this point, I will complete the headline:

If this team goes to the playoffs, it will go no further than the playoffs.  In fact, this team has no business being in the playoffs.  If the team that once fielded the best record in baseball goes to the playoffs, the great city of Los Angeles will have to host another World Championship parade!

To the Los Angeles Dodgers;

This is an open challenge.

All of you need to think about those losses and how you played.  Take a good hard look!  You had Pittsburgh’s Lastings Milledge (of all people) verbally dog-slapping you after a come-from-behind victory and you responded by folding like cheap lawn furniture the next morning.

You toted your champagne (leaving the beer for Pirates!) to San Diego.  For all intents, it should have been shipped straight to Los Angeles.

I am hoping it does not go to waste.  Worse, I am hoping it does not go to the visitor’s dugout if they (shudder) win the division.

Enjoy your day off.  But think about what you need to do and how important you think these next three games are!

Lastly, St. Louis is watching you and they smell blood!

MY GUESS ON WHO CANSECO’S “HOF USER”

I’ve had my suspicions on this for the last 7 years.  But I’ve never had any conclusive proof.  With Jose Canseco hinting that someone already enshrined in the Hall has used, I just have to put my 2 cents in on a guess.

My guess would be a “stretch”.  He would be another “Giant” among men with a significant amount of home runs even though he doesn’t have the same spike in home runs as say Steroid Boy had.

I truly don’t think he ever said “Say Hey”.  But I know he was “on first”.

I would like to invite everyone to comment as to who they suspect is Canseco’s user!

 

OKAY. ENOUGH ALREADY—COUGH UP THE LIST!!

As everybody who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last 48 hours already knows, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have now joined the “Shame Parade” known as the List of 100+ MLB players who’ve tested positive for PEDs back in 2003.

I would like to know what the point is of having a (supposedly) sealed and confidential list of players when bit by bit names are being leaked (by rat attorneys who have access to this list) to the press.  Would someone explain this to me?

Would someone also explain why the need to leak these names in the first place?

It seems to me that this promise made by MLB to keep this list confidential was a joke.  On a more serious note, it’s illegal as all get-out on all fronts!

There used to be something called integrity that existed in baseball.  Yes, I know and you don’t have to remind me;  Mickey Mantle drank like a fish out of water, Ty Cobb never met a black man he liked,  and Babe Ruth’s reputation with the ladies was something A-Rod could only aspire to!  I know that baseball had it’s scum and sleaze in it’s infancy.  But when it came time to play the game, it was done cleanly.

Speaking of playing the game cleanly, who decided that gambling (and associating with known gamblers) was punishable with a lifetime banishment and PEDs were something that required some 10 years + of thought as to how to punish?

Kenesaw Mountain Landis had it right.  I don’t necessarily agree with the harshness, but I understand and respect his viewpoint.  It was his contention that players associating with gamblers was bad for baseball, period.  Anyone caught gambling on baseball was immediately banished without arguement.

And check your history books, the players involved in the 1919 Black Sox scandal were tried and acquitted in a court of law!  So the precedent has already been laid down for MLB with respect for a lifetime banishment for infractions not equated to any criminal activity.

If lifetime banishments for felonious criminal activity were in place for the NFL….

We all know how steroids cheapen the game.  Sammy Sosa proved that by continually passing Roger Maris’ 61 single season home runs as if he were driving the General Lee while Maris was on a scooter.  Yet, there is still all this talk about “integrity of the game”.

Cutting to the chase here; I really do thing a concentrated effort should begin to legally unseal that list of cheating 100+ players and it should begin immediately!  Truth, I don’t care about the reputations of those implicated on the list.  If they were brazen enough to shoot stuff in their systems that would allow them to do things on the field normally unattainable, then they could turn to their swagger to find solace. 

Enough is enough already!  Show us all the list.  Make the punishment for using PEDs so incredibly obscene that players would think twice before using and be done with it!

Now that’s what I call integrity!

EVERY ROSE HAS IT’S THORN

Once again the debate has opened up; should the banishment of Pete Rose be lifted to allow him into the Hall of Fame.

I sometimes wish that Bud Selig (or the Powers That Be in MLB) would just come out and say decisively that Rose is or is not banned from baseball and put an end to all lobbying, appealing, and the sometimes downright complaining of some in how this case is (not) being handled.

Foks, the bottom line is that Rose knew the rules when he broke them.  Rose broke the rules and he didn’t even have the guts to admit it (at first).  There are some that say that had he not published his confessional book in 2004, MLB might have lifted that ban.  Again, lifetime banishment is a lifetime banishment.

However, this leads into something that I would like to see changed.  Back in 1991, the Hall of Fame  declared that anyone on the ineligible list could not be considered for HOF entry (comveniently, Rose is the only living member on that list).  And then in 2008, in a blatant attempt to close any loopholes, the Veterans Committee voted that anyone on the ineligible list could not be considered for HOF induction. 

I would like to see the Veterans Committee reverse their decision or at the very least, give Rose a one time exemption.

 

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LET HIM IN

 

Rose broke the rules and deserves to be punished like anyone else.  However, his crimes were committed after his playing days were over.  Absolutely nothing occured during his playing days.  Unless anything comes to light that any such thing occured, then it would be a whole different story.

I want to bring up the steroids issue for this point; if Rose’s banishment is lifted, it would set a potentially scary precedent allowing for any current day cheater who may be banished to then appeal a la Pete Rose.  If Rose were to remain banished and then permitted into the Hall, the appropriate committees would then have the ammunition that Rose’s crimes were as a retired player and had nothing to do with performance enhancers.

I realize that future generations would perhaps look at things in a different light and perhaps show more leniency towards both situations.  We have no way of knowing at this point.  The one thing I do know is that (with a few exceptions), the living members of the Hall would love nothing more than to see Rose enshrined alongside them.  We also know that this same crowd would love nothing more than to never see the current batch of players suspected of PED use enshrined.  Again, future generations may see things differently and we would never know.

Rose deserves his day in the sun.  He played the game hard, with integrity, and  without Daddy’s Little Helper.

THE JASON SCHMIDT PROJECT

Do you think that because the recording industry puts out a CD for commercial release it’s because they know for a fact that you (Joe/Jane Consumer) will like what they have to offer? The sad and wicked little truth is that when a major record label puts out a slick-polished album with all the nice little promo stuff and tons of airplay (in some cases) it is all in hopes of a successful sell.

They are basically throwing stuff (..erm) at the wall in hopes that some of it will stick.

For every Rolling Stones, there is an Electric Prunes.

For every Elton John, there is a Mungo Jerry

For every U2, there is a Midnight Oil

On Monday night, the Dodgers threw out Jason Schmidt

And the sad and wicked truth is that the Dodgers are just throwing him out there.  They know full well that this isn’t Schmidt circa 1999.  They just threw him out there hoping there would be some magic

Mind you, I am only going off a few written accounts and whatever highlights the Dodgers will post on their website.  Just based off of that pittance, my take is that the Dodgers are doing themselves no favor in trying to recoup whatever they threw (dollarwise) at Schmidt as a starter.

I’ve seen the name “Maddux” thrown in a few articles to describe Schmidt’s velocity.  Jason Schmidt is no Greg Maddux!  If he were, he would be able to get inside a batter’s mind, saw off that outside part of the plate, and basically leave the opposition looking foolish.

This is not Jason Schmidt.  It never has been and it never will be.

If Schmidt is going to help this club, it will have to be from the ‘pen.  Trotting him out every five days is only going to be a roll of the dice to see how many relievers it will take to finish one of his games.  Remember, Joe Torre goes through relievers like a teenage girl goes through cell phone minutes!  Schmidt would be much better suited for games where he can let it all hang out for 15 pitches every couple/three games rather than 5 innings every 5 days.

As far as I am concerned, 2 things need to happen here; we first need to tip our caps to Schmidt for making one gutsy comeback.  The second thing (and this is the one I lament) is that we have to continue the hunt for another #5 starter.

Tommy John had his Don Stanhouse.  Which one will Jason Schmidt be?

 

 

 

“EXCUSE ME, YOU DON’T “JUDGE”?!”

It’s coming up upon 10PM PDT and I was just about to lock up, tuck in my 5 year old, and call it a night.  But NOOOOOOOO (channeling the late John Belushi), I had to look at Yahoo sports MLB before shutting down the ‘puter.  What did I find?

This load of intestinal workings!

For those of you not familiar, this is Jamie McCourt.  She is the wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and the CEO of the Dodgers…

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THE FACE OF A HYPOCRITE!

I truly wish I could have heard the timbre in her voice when she proclaimed that Manny had “paid the penalty” (some penalty..heehee) and that it was “not for her to judge his actions”.

Note to Mrs. McCourt; it is for you to judge.  It’s your team!

Okay, so let me get this straight.  It’s not for you to judge what anyone on your team does in their personal lives?

Let’s examine that:

In 2005, a married Derek Lowe was found to be dipping his pen in the Fox Sports’ ink (her name was Carolyn Hughes and also married).  Hughes was suspended, and then both Lowe and Hughes filed for divorce from their respective spouses.  The Dodgers kept the story hush hush, but it still got out.  Once 2008 hit, the Dodgers had pretty much made it clear that Lowe was being shown the door after his contract ran out.

…Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

Also in 2005, Milton Bradley was engaged in a couple of run-ins with then 2nd baseman Jeff Kent (he knows a thing or two about run-ins with hothead teammates) culminating in Bradley proclaiming that “Jeff Kent does not know how to deal with black* teammates”.  This incident was just one of several mis-steps during Bradley’s stay in The Great City (the Readers’ Digest version would throwing Coca Cola bottles in the stands and hitting his wife).  In December of that year, Bradley was shipped off to Oakland for a kid named Andre Ethier.

*Bradley used the term “African-American”.  I personally don’t believe in “hyphenated Americans”.  You either are an American or you aren’t!

And just a few weeks ago, we had little Mr Ronald Belisario get pulled over by CHP in Pasadena for yipping on the cell phone while driving drunk.  Are you still going to reserve judgement?  Yep, you just let Joe Torre handle it.

Cutting to the chase, I do not know why she said what she said.  All I know is that it was a bunch of bull!

If Manny only had a one year deal in place with an option for 2010, he would not be back next year.  THE ONLY REASON he’s coming back next year (where he could ordinarily opt out as a free agent) is because he got caught and nobody is going to give a known cheat anything ANYWHERE NEAR $25M/YEAR!!

If Manny were Manny Nonamer, he would have been released.

Please don’t tell us you don’t judge, Jamie.  You are either way too PC, or you think we are WAY too stupid!!

 

 

 

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