Friday, March 29, 2002  
boneheads of spring 2002 strangely, i did not really think of starting this baseball blog until i realized how few blogs there were about our national pasttime. and although i did like the ones that i had read, most of them focused on just one team or they didnt have pictures, or they didnt have humor, or they didnt want to talk about fantasy baseball, or they were ashamed to say swear words, or some of them just plain sucked.

sucky is how i would have to deem our two boneheads of 2002: Pittsburgh outfielder Derek Bell and former Yankee outfielder Rueben Rivera.

Everyone is familiar with Rivera, who jacked Derek Jeter's glove and bat and sold it to a collector for $2,500, which seems a little insane since Rivera was scheduled to rake in a cool million while competing for the starting centerfield spot. What's a millionaire need with $2,500 from stolen goods? The truth is, Rivera is mighty good with the gloves but not so sharp at the plate or in making decisions and got his skinny ass released from the Bronx Bombers, incredibly unceremonially.

But Derek Bell is the meltdown of the spring. Unlike Rivera, who has no hope, Bell, actually put up some good numbers a few years back and is only 33 years old - which is probably what the Pirates thought when they gave him a two year $9 million guaranteed contract.

Unfortunately for the Bucs, they just may eat most of that as the Associated Press is reporting that Bell will probably not be a Pirate this year, and it would be hard for this blogger to think of any team desparate enough to pick up such an overpriced headcase who hasnt hit .300 in 3 years.

But I guess that's why they play the game.

4:20PM update, the Post-Gazzette is reporting that the Pirates have released Bell.

   posted by tony pierce at 2:54 PM

   Thursday, March 28, 2002  
mo wants to talk smack, so i say let's let mo talk smack.

"Let me say this: Who the fuck is Troy Percival?" Vaughn asked the New York Post Monday morning when interviewed by the fine rag. "What has he done in this game?"

Apparently the Angel closer struck a nerve with Vaughn when he dismissed the slugger with the LA Times on Sunday.

"We may miss Mo's bat, but we won't miss his leadership," Percival told the Times, adding, "Darin Erstad is our leader."

"Has he led his team to a pennant?" Mo countered, "Has he ever fucking pitched in a big game that meant something?"

Mo knows something about "big" things. But it's easy to make cracks about a guy's big fat ass, so let's let Mo go some mo'.

"This guy talks so much shit and he hasn't even done shit," Mo the Met said of his former teammate. "He has the right to evaluate and analyze people, but what the hell has he done to deserve that right?"

Mo went off on Percy to the tune of 35 expletives in 10 minutes, but who's counting.

I suppose if Percival was counting, he would have perhaps counted the 181 strikeouts that Mo had in 2000 and the zero strikeouts that Mo had in 2001 because he was hurt the whole season.

Meanwhile, Troy has done nothing but be an incredibly reliable stopper over the last 6 years. His worst year he saved 27 games in 31 save opportunities ('97) and his best year ('98) saved 42 games in 48 opportunities. Last year, no thanks to Vaughn's bicep injury, the Angels sucked and only pulled 39 saves from 42 opportunities, and striking out 71 batters in 57.2 innings with a mighty nice ERA of 2.65.

So what's got Mo's undies in a bunch? Let's see if we can discover:

"He hasn't done shit to lead them anywhere," huffs Vaughn, "I got hardware, I got playoff appearances, I got an MVP. I've been to the playoffs twice. What the hell has he done? Who the hell is he?"

A stud reliever on a injury stricken franchise owned by a mouse?

"I tried to be cool here," Vaughn revealed. "I tried to be nice of this whole situation concerning the Angels all the way around. Ain't none of them done a damn thing in this damn game, bottom line."

Hear that Benji Molina, got that David Eckstein? That's Mo's bottom line, you are on a bad team and he was on a good team, but when he was on your team you didnt do shit while he was hurt so #$%^& you.

"They ain't got no flags hanging at friggin' Edison Field, so the hell with them," Mo moaned.

I guess we know why Mo didnt get signed to the Cubs.

But now that I think of it, the Cubs have tons of flags friggin hanging - sure they're the flags of every team in the National League, but why bother with details like that.

"Fucking Troy Percival. He ain't done shit to be talking about anybody," Vaughn said. "And he's a fucking pitcher, too."

Oh shit. Is Mo gonna go there?

"You don't even fucking play every fucking day and you're sitting there talking about position players who play every day."

I guess he did wanna go there.

Perhaps Percival can tell Mo where Mo should go. Stay tuned.

   posted by tony pierce at 8:29 PM

   Wednesday, March 27, 2002  
My beloved Cubs closed a deal today by reeling in Marlin stopper Antonio Alfonseca in a six-player trade.

Alfonseca led the majors with 45 saves in 2000, exactly what the Cubbies needed after their closer Tom Gordon tore a muscle near his right shoulder.

In an impressive move to remain competetive, the Cubs traded away 5th starter Julian Tavarez and three minor leaguers pitchers Jose Cueto and Dontrelle Willis and catcher Ryan Jorgensen to the Marlins. In return, the Cubs received Alfonseca and possible fifth starter pitcher Matt Clement who seemed upset at being traded off the floundering Floridians.

"You wouldn't think a team that's 29th in salary would be trimming payroll, but obviously that's their motive," said Clement, who will make $2.5 million this season. "I don't have too much to say, but as a whole I'm not very impressed with the Marlins organization. I'm very impressed with the new staff, but I can't say anything good about the organization from the top other than I got to play with a lot of good teammates and friends.

"It doesn't take me to spell it out. It looks to me like it's a matter of time before the rest of the boys start going right along with me."

The Cubs are suddenly deep in the pen with Alfonseca as their go-to closer, flamethrower Kyle Farnsworth, and veteran Jeff Fassero as their proven set-up men.

With a murderer's row of Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou and Fred McGriff, and a solid starting rotation led by Jon Leiber and Kerry Wood, some might think this could be the year for the Cubs who haven't won a world series since 1908.

   posted by tony pierce at 4:53 PM  
in his quest to be fired from every club in the majors, the Montreal Expos bid Jose Canseco adieu today.

The former Bash Brother hit 3 homers this spring but only had a .200 average which did not impress Hall of Fame Expos manager Frank Robinson who told the 37-year-old former MVP that he would not be an everyday player for the Canadian club. When Canseco refused a minor league contract, the Expos released him.

A six-time All-Star, Canseco is an unbelieveably poor fielder who once missed a fly ball that bounced off his head and and then over the fence for a home run. This would have been his first National League team.

Canseco is the first player to ever hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season. He has played previously with Oakland, Texas, Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees, and last year as a designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox where he hit .258 with 16 round-trippers and 49 RBIs in 256 at-bats.

He is only 38 homers shy of reaching 500.

   posted by tony pierce at 2:35 PM

   Monday, March 25, 2002  
he's bigger than you, he's bigger than me, he's even bigger than the Big Unit and now that he has made the Chicago White Sox, Jon Rauch is officially the tallest pitcher to ever play in the Major Leagues.

Just shy of 7' tall, Rauch was signed by the Sox yesterday after spending most of last year nursing a bum shoulder.

The native Kentuckian helped the US win a gold medal in the Olympic games in Sydney in 2000, a year that he also won minor league player of the year honors as he blazed through the single- and double-A ranks.

Despite giving up two homers to J.T. Snow in a game this spring, Rauch has made the Sox rotation thanks in part to the slower-than-expected recovery of Jim Parque who also had shoulder issues last season.

Before bringing home the gold, Rauch was 16-4 with 187 strikeouts and a 2.66 ERA during his stint in the minors.

A graduate of Morehead State, the rookie is an inch taller than the Big Unit, and ladies, he's a Libra.

   posted by tony pierce at 9:55 PM