Friday, April 12, 2002  
Fan of the Week: David Cone was always an anomaly. That's French for freak. He jumped around from team to team, whoever needed him down the stretch, and he always pitched well, especially when it counted.

This year, at 39 years old, he hasnt officially called it quits but if you think he's lost any love for the game, you're crazy. You can find him in the Yankee Stadium bleachers with the other anomalies, the Bleacher Creatures, leading the cheers of Ber-nie and "box seats suck."

Yes, he could be sitting in the luxury boxes, or even in the bullpen if he wanted to, but he's doing what you or I would be doing if we were taking a haitus from work and we were in the Big Apple, he's taking in a game and booing the ump.

Look for David Cone to be sitting in the bleachers in Fenway on Saturday as his drinking buddy David Wells squares off against Pedro Martinez and your Boston Red Sox.

Ed says that the new chant in Beantown to humilate the Yanks will be, "AR-ah ZO-nah," i like it, however i will never tire of "Yankees Suck," especially when the kids and the nuns join in.

My man Eric thinks that the Tribe and their spectacular record deserve a tad of attention, but to be honest I couldnt give a crap about the AL, and the only reason I mention it half the time is because I'm trying to give equal time in this blog, which is silly, I know, but I do it for the kids like Coney who deserve their teams to get a little spotlight here on Baseball Blog 2002, since he is this week's Fan of the Week.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:44 PM

   Thursday, April 11, 2002  
the sticky situation in arizona regarding D'Back slugger Luis Gonzalez's chewing gum is about to end. Thank God.

The chew-ha ha started when a Minnesota man, Jason Gabbert, put a chomped piece of bubble gum on the virtual auction block recently claiming it was once the property of the Arizona left fielder. Naturally the bidding shot up to over $3,000, but when word started to spread that Gabbert had a history of fraud and when a security guard said that the gum was not Gonzo's, the auction bubble burst.

The former sportswriter was arrested in Fargo, N.D. in August 1993 for forgery for trying to open a bank account using the name of Anaheim pitcher Alan Sele (who at the time was playing for Boston). He pleaded guilty to attempted theft by deception and was sentenced to two years probation.

In 1997, he pleaded guilty to charges in the Arizona suburb of Chandler for posessing credit cards that weren't in his name and for making counterfeit drivers liscenses. This helped him win a trip to the pokey after he violated terms of his probation by leaving the state to return to Minnesota.

When his credibility was put into doubt Gabbert said that he wanted the winning bidder's check to be made out directly to Lakeview High School in Minnesota, Gabbert's beneficiary of the auction. The school, however, claims that they knew nothing of the auction until informed by reporters.

Yesterday the high bid was that of David Pierce (no relation) a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who promised $3,275. That topped the $3,200 bid by The Topps Co., which manufactured the gum Gonzalez allegedly spit out. Currently, the bidding has reached $3,401 - close to ten times the price of an autographed Gonzalez World Series baseball.

Hoping to quell the controversy, Gonzalez will put the matter into his own hands and will chew a fresh stick of Bazooka brand gum before tonight's 6:00 pm game when the World Champs square off against Colorado. The All-Star will then place the chewed gum in an envelope and ship it either to the collector of the original gum, Gabbert, or to Lakeview High, Johnjay, a Phoenix morning talk show host said.

Gonzo is a regular caller into the "Johnjay and Rich" show on station KRQ.

   posted by tony pierce at 2:12 PM

   Wednesday, April 10, 2002  
i can't believe that i get to have a tv on my desk and this morning i get to pretend that im working while keeping an eye on my Cubs and the totally impressive Mets on ESPN.

with that said let's go over some of the injuries that are plaguing the American League early this season.

Troy Percival is in the 15 day DL. The Angel closer has a pulled oblique muscle and Al Levine will be the go-to stopper for the Halos.

John Burkett is about 10 days away from his debut with the Bosox, who hopes that the 37-year-old has something left in the arm that doled out a career high 187 K's last season for the Bravos.

Jolbert Cabrera is about two weeks away from returning to Cleveland. Cabrera is recovering from taking a bullet to the bumbum during a carjacking.

Detroit named Louis Pujols their manager today, but they should have called in Hawkeye Pierce, the lowly Tigers have 7 players on the DL including Damion Easley, Damian Jackson, Brian Moehler and Craig Paquette. The grossest being Jackson's who had a finger nail ripped off while making a relay throw.

Roberto Hernandez, the closer for the Royals, was on the DL, got activated, and is now back on the DL for probably another month with elbow problems. Bad Bad news for the Royals who dont have a reliable reliever as a stopper. They should make a trade to the Cubs for Jeff Fassero.

Minnesota will be without their speedy second baseman, Luis Rivas, until 4/19 who is out due to a bruise to the forearm.

Oakland has Jermaine Dye out for a few more weeks and Randy Velarde wont see action until May, but what must have them concerned is their 22 year old power hitting thirdbaseman Eric Chavez who is having back troubles and is day-to-day, Chavez just had a two homerun game.

Juan Gonzalez and Chan Ho Park were two big buck aquisitions for the Rangers, and have not seen any action yet at Arlington, but expect them both back before the end of the month. Juan Gone might be back by the weekend.

Shannon Stewart has missed a couple of games after being hit in the elbow by a pitch and is day-to-day for the Blue Jays who need that bat in their lineup desperately.

   posted by tony pierce at 11:05 AM

   Tuesday, April 09, 2002  
Phil Garner was relieved of his managerial duties yesterday from the Detroit Tigers after going 0-6 with the doomed team.

Scrap Iron's pissed off, but the Tigers blow in a way that's beyond shitty and Phil should consider this termination - the quickest for a manager since 1900 - an early Christmas gift... or a belated one.

I don't know if Kid Rock, Eminem, Bob Seger, and Ted Nugent combined could attract enough people to fill their three-year old stadium with a line-up that starts with Bobby Higginson, Shane Halter, and Dmitri Young and segues into Dean Palmer, Robert Fick, and Randall Simon.

Their brightest spot is their unstoppable closer Matt Anderson who will be lucky to see many save opportunities with a rotation of [sheild the eyes of any children who may be looking at this]: Steve Sparks, Jeff Weaver, Nate Cornejo, Juan Acevedo, and fan favorite Jose Lima.

Yes, Comerica is spacious, but with a pitching staff like that, they'd have troubles keeping the ball in Central Park.

The Tigers suck so bad that I'd rather show you a picture of Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins popping up than expose you to the ugliness in the motor city.

In lieu of flowers, the Tigers also fired GM Randy Smith - the genius behind signing and then releasing Juan Gonzalez into the cavernous Comerica. The very same Smith who also traded away Luis Gonzalez to the D'Backs for Karim Garcia after Gonzo hit 23 homers for the Tigers. Luis followed that up with seasons of 26, 31, and then 57 homers for the world champs. True, Smith only had $57 million to work with, and he wasnt allowed to sign any free agents this winter, but in the 7 years that he has been the GM of the Tigers, the team was 150 games under .500.

No matter how shitty I ever feel about my performance at work, I will always keep my framed 8 x 10 glossy of Randy Smith on my desk to brighten my spirits.

Even though former Expos manager Felipe Alou is the prime candidate for the job, since he and interim manager Louis Pujols coached together in Montreal, there's no way that Alou should accept the job, especially with Tiger president Dave Dombrowski claiming that their payroll (20th in the league) isn't a hindrence.

"Our payroll is sufficient to be competitive," Dombrowski said. "I don't buy the argument that it's not. And in my heart, I believe if we're there and playing well, Mr. Ilitch will step up."

In my heart I know that if Pam Anderson comes over to do me, that I will wear protection, but that glorious condom, just like (Tiger owner) Ilitch's money, will remain in our respective wallets. And I don't buy the arguement that they won't.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:37 PM

   Monday, April 08, 2002  
on the top of my list of pet peeves are guys who get a paycheck writing about things that they dont know anything about.

Eric points us in the direction of an ESPN Page 2 columnist who somehow wants to blame baseball for his inability to know that Richie Sexson had a monster year last season. Even casual fantasy players of last year, or this season, know that Sexson took advantage of Miller Park in Milwaukee once he got used to it, but real fans knows that he whiffs alot too: 179 k's last year.

The Bostonian columnist probably has a rich uncle working for ESPN's parent company, Disney, because when he isnt talking about the most common topics in New England sports: The Pats stealing a playoff game, and Pedro Martinez; he's doing fluf peices about mountain climbers, trips to Las Vegas, and interviews with the Hogs of the Washington Redskins. You know, stories a kid could write.

So it's no surprise that once he's done getting paid for a half dozen columns where he answers his mail, and gives out stupid awards, that he would stop writing about movies and start yawning and realize that he really knows nothing about today's game of baseball.

Today Bill, you should know, since you've obviously been spoon-fed your entire life, that the Minnesota Twins are the story of the week.

Yes Pedro had a decent outing this weekend, but the Twins went 5-1 over the week going into this afternoon's game, led by their stellar defense and pesky hitting. If you don't know Richie Sexson, you probably think Jacque Jones is a Frenchman, but he's not, he's already belted 3 homers while their closer "Everyday" Eddie has quietly chalked up a quick 4 saves.

In a season where every Minnesota win is a royal F-You to Commish Selig, who did his best to exterminate the franchise, thus providing more revenue for his - i mean his daughter's - Brewers, the low-salaried Twins are the epitome of an underdog team worthy of our respect.

Keep reading this page Bill and you'll learn tons more.

   posted by tony pierce at 12:10 PM