Friday, May 10, 2002  
baseball blog 2002 will contract with tony's busblog starting next week.
its been a fun month and a half, but obviously the attention paid to this fine topic is not what it should be.
baseball blog 2002 was originally intended to fill a nitch.
that nitch has been nicely filled by many many baseball blogs that do a much better job of covering our national pasttime on a daily basis than i.
my apologies to anyone who feels slighted by this change, but i would never want to give anyone a less than quality product.
Cubs all the way,
   posted by tony pierce at 1:33 PM

   Tuesday, May 07, 2002  
sometimes i just can't get it together. today is one of those days. so let's talk about Ken Griffey.

there was a great feature about the slugger through AP today, i'm going to put it in here and if AP wants me to pull it i will, but its a great story about a hometown hero being given one last chance in his hometown.

sometimes cash money millionaires dont like to be put on the spot when theyre still hurt.

im not sure which side im on on this one. on one hand i can understand Cincy's impatience. on the other hand, if a guy's hurt, he's hurt.

nobody wants to be healthy and hit homers more than Junior.

By Joe Kay
AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI -- Ken Griffey Jr. didn't want to talk about his injured knee -- or much of anything else. The terse answers suggested he was seething about something.

Frustration over his latest injury, perhaps?

"No," he said Monday. "There's a few more issues than that. I'd rather not say."

Moments later, it gushed out. The Cincinnati Reds' outfielder said he's tired of how he's been treated by fans and the media in his hometown the last three years.

"I came here to play and it's like I've been fighting an uphill battle every day," said Griffey, the words spilling out with an angry edge. "Am I frustrated about my injury? No, because I know it's going to get better and I'll go out and play. Am I frustrated about people taking shots at me? Yeah.

"I'm tired of it. It's been three years now -- not one, not a half year, not a year and a half. It's been three."

That's how long he's been home.

The city embraced Griffey when he accepted a below-market contract -- $116.5 million for nine years -- to come home in a February 2000 trade with the Seattle Mariners.

Now, many of those fans are wondering whether the trade was worthwhile, and Griffey is wondering a few things as well.

"I get consistently beat up for no reason," he said, sitting in his locker after batting practice. "It's been happening since the very first day I got here, and I'm tired of it. You try to bend over backward to do the right thing, and it just seems to get thrown in my face.

"I came here to play baseball. I took less money. I didn't whine or anything, and this is the thanks I get? I don't need that."

It hasn't been a heartwarming homecoming for Griffey, who bristled at all the attention he got in 2000 and spent much of last season recovering from a torn hamstring.

He was upbeat this spring, even after former teammates said the club's chemistry was damaged when he showed up in Cincinnati. The Reds won 96 games in 1999, the year before he arrived, but went into a slide and lost 96 last season.

He tore the patella tendon in his right knee April 7. While he got therapy, the club went on a winning streak that pushed the Reds into first place in the NL Central.

A local TV station conducted a poll asking which player should sit when Griffey is able to return. Griffey was one of the choices, and was picked by 74 percent of the fans.

That's what set him off.

"I don't think anybody has even given me a chance to know who I am and my personality," Griffey said. "I'm the person that gets beat up the most -- for what? For no reason."

Griffey said he's been treated worse in Cincinnati than he was in Seattle.

"It's not even close," he said. "You talking about little New York here?"

He said it's gotten so bad that his wife and children don't come to Cinergy Field because of comments they hear.

Asked for an example, Griffey said a fan told his wife, '"You can go back to Seattle and take your husband with you.' And that was in the family section, so you can imagine how I felt about that.

"I've got to sit here and try to get my family to come see me because they don't like it here because of some of the stuff that's been said to them. That gets old real quick."

Asked whether it's bad enough that he wants to leave his hometown, Griffey said, "I just want to play. I just want to get back on the field."

It's still unclear when that might happen. Griffey started jogging last week, but has problems with the knee when he comes to a stop.

Dr. Timothy Kremchek said Griffey will run, jump and work on quick starts this week, providing a better idea of when he might be back.

"We'll see how he does over the next seven to 10 days," Kremchek said Monday. "He's doing great, but we don't want to rush him."

Manager Bob Boone said he's "coveting" the day Griffey can play again, and he doesn't understand all the talk about the Reds being better off without him.

"It's laughable to me," Boone said. "When you go through a stretch like we have, when you're not hitting, having Junior in there makes a huge difference. It's gigantic."
   posted by tony pierce at 3:28 PM

   Monday, May 06, 2002  

thanks to john, we now know
that today is willie mays's birthday.
thanks john.
and thanks, willie.
   posted by tony pierce at 7:03 PM  
the seattle mariners are immune to Baseball Blog 2002's curse. But we all know that they're monsters during the regular season.

So let's talk about the comeback player of the year nominee Rueben Sierra who has 36 hits in 27 games which is a league-leading .371 batting average.

Sierra is taking advantage of Edgar Martinez's trip to the DL, and doing a fine job filling the #5 spot at DH clearing the bases after mike cameron and john olerud do their damage. Only Ichiro has more hits (39), which shouldnt be surprising since the last time Sierra hit .300 was when the last George Bush was in office.

The 36 year old switch-hitter pounded 23 homers with the Rangers last season in 94 games in his abbreviated comeback after being bounced around 6 AL and 1 NL clubs from '94-'98, missing the entire '99 season due to injury.

Although Sierra has only hit 3 homers this season so far, don't expect him to lose his spot in the line-up once Martinez returns in early June. Sierra will probably play left field and replace the struggling Desi Relaford.

The Mariners havent seemed to miss Martinez, completing a sweep of the Yankees this weekend, and living off their bats as their starting pitching has floundered.
   posted by tony pierce at 2:13 PM

   Friday, May 03, 2002  
mike cameron hit four home runs yesterday tying a major league record with 16 other players.

what you might not know if you werent as lucky as me and got to see the second half of the game, was that Cameron had two chances to break the super-rare record since his Mariners were creaming the White Sox and they kept batting around.

the first chance he had was in the top of the 7th inning off of Sox reliever Mike Porzio. But Porzio hit Cameron for some inexplainable reason in one of the cheapest punk moves i've seen all season.

The Mariners needed to get one man on base in the 9th so that Cameron could hit, and when Jeff Cirillo homered to lead off the 9th and Porzio walked Desi and Boone, Cameron came up for a little payback.

The remaining fans stood and cheered for the visiting Mariner and commenced to boo when Porzio looked as if he was going to walk Cameron.

The count reached 3-0 and it looked like Porzio was going to single-handedly stop Cameron from breaking a record that no one ever thought would be broken.

On 3-0 Cameron took the pitch and it was a called strike.

On 3-1 the outfielder sent one flying about 370 feet, unfortunately it was in a 385 foot gap, but it was the most exciting fly out i've seen in a long long time.

Baseball Blog 2002 tips its cap to Mike Cameron and his accomplishment and sends out the worst vibes imaginable to the Sox southpaw who showed zero class by only giving the man one pitch to hit.

I know the teams were in a competitive game, but in the 9th the game was 15-4, who was he fooling, he should have been a real man and given the brotha a chance at a little glory. Lord knows the pitchers let McGwire have his cuts.
   posted by tony pierce at 1:32 PM

   Thursday, May 02, 2002  
i went to my first game of the season last night. i know, i know, you'd think the editor and publisher of Baseball Blog 2002 would have seen at least one or two games in person last month, especially since i live about 20 minutes away from Dodger Stadium, but no, im a slacker, i perfer the comfort of my own home and the satelite dish that conveniently delivers me 75% of all games that are played.

But who doesn't want a hot dog and some peanuts and a cold beer with friends at a game after work?

Good thing I'm filthy rich, cuz if i wasn't i'd have gotten mighty pissed off at Billionaire Rupert Murdoch who seems okay with the fact that a Dodger dog, nachos and a beer will set you back $14.75 in Dodger Stadium. So if you're planning on coming, bring your Visa and your American Express.

I took a bunch of pictures pretending that Adam Dunn was the narrator, which shows you that I had more than one beer - and more than one Dodger Dog.

Little known fact about Dodger Dogs ($3.50), they're pretty damn good. Nice long hot dogs that stick out of the bun. But a normal person needs more than just one of those puppies. The Super Dodger Dog ($4) is the same size, but it's all-beef.

Want sushi to honor Nomo - who was pitching last night - or Ishii - who pitches tomorrow when I return? It's available right next to the hot dog stand and they even have Kirin beer ($6) in cute little 12 ounce plastic cups.

I bitch because I love.

I also love the fact that only 24,000 people were at the game. Actually that was the paid attendence, only about 18,500 were probably there to see the decently-playing Dodgers get shut out by the Reds.

I was surprised to see that they didnt do the minute of silence for the victims of 9/11, i guess MLB only did that the first week or two of the season.

All in all it was an enjoyable night with good friends at a ball park, and I can't wait to do it again.
   posted by tony pierce at 1:27 PM

   Wednesday, May 01, 2002  
cleveland rocked. the scoreboard doesnt tell the whole story, it doesnt even tell half of the story. last night the cleveland indians got beaten like a rented mule as the Anaheim Angels pounded them 21-2.

this loss couldnt have come at a better time, however, for the Tribe who have lost the last 12 of 14 games, because it would defy logic that it could get any worse.

cleveland, if you remember, started the season 11-1 and had a 10-game winning streak before the slide began. now they have evened out to 13-13.

roberto alomar, who was traded to the mets by cleveland this winter, had a decent game last night going 3-4 with a triple, which raised his average to .267, but i dont think there are too many fans at Jacob's Field who wouldnt love his bat and glove back.

meanwhile in Colorado, Mike Hampton won his first game, pitching 7 shutout innings and earning his 100th career win.

Hampton, of course was much maligned in Baseball Blog 2002. but if you go back in the archives, most people whose bandwagons i jump on immediately fall apart (Bong, Pudge, the Twins, etc.), whereas the players I knock (Rocker, Mo, Bud Selig) tend to go on with business as usual and in some cases prosper.

So this one is for the Indians fans: OMG this team sucks. First they get that hateful, insensitive, politically incorrect name, and then they get rid of their superstar second baseman. They never should have treated Albert Belle so poorly. I say they lose another 12 outta 14 games.

now watch them explode.
   posted by tony pierce at 1:23 PM

   Tuesday, April 30, 2002  
the hottest hitter in baseball is not Vlad Guerrero who has batted .540 in the last 6 games scoring 6 runs off 3 HRs and driving in 7 and stealing 4 bases.

it's rookie catcher Geronimo Gil of the Baltimore Orioles who hit .500 in 6 games and clubbed 4 home runs and drove in 11, including two yesterday which was the difference as the O's knocked off the red hot Red Sox.

Gil has at least one hit in 8 of his last 9 games, so you'd think he'd be able to get out of the 8th slot in the lineup, but what do i know?

Baltimore has another rookie batting cleanup, left fielder Jay Gibbons, who has cooled off a tad from his scorching start. He hasnt hit a homer in a week, but that might be because pitchers have been walking him lately keeping his homer tally frozen at 7.

Lurking behind Gibbons is Tony Batista, who had hits in 16 of his last 19 games. Tony's week is nothing to scoff at. In 7 games he has 3 homers, 12 RBIs and 8 runs while batting a deceptive .407 over the week.

If the O's had some other arms other than Scott Erickson, they might be a team to watch.

Mike Mussina is definately missed in Maryland.
   posted by tony pierce at 1:38 PM