Friday, April 19, 2002  
it's friday, let's answer an email:


i got pudge for catcher, but he's off to a slow start.

eli marrero is blowing up this year, but will it continue and will the cards give him enough playing time, or i should keep pudge?


Great question, Jaime.

First off you have the best catcher in the AL. Even when he was hurt last year Pudge was a dominant force when he was in the lineup. But bad backs - especially at backstop - always freak me out. But your best bet is to always carry two catchers anyhow since even the most durable ones only play about 130-140 games (and because a good catcher can always be used as dynomite trade bait.)

Yes, I think Eli is for real. I don't know what they have in the water in StL but they're producing the best young talent recently and because they want to make room for Eli, they're putting him in the outfield and first base, which will make him extremely valuable if you nab him and he continues to hit well.

If you can't get him, I recommend trying to trade for Jason Kendall or Javy Lopez who are both having horrible starts and would make great back-ups for Pudge. You might also see if Robert Fick is on the free agent wire as he looks to be the real deal too.

But whatever you do, don't get rid of Ivan, unless you're in one of my leagues, in which case I'll gladly trade you.

Have a fantasy baseball question? I'm here to help.

   posted by tony pierce at 2:15 PM

   Thursday, April 18, 2002  
never did i expect that there would be even the slightest modicum of controversy here on Baseball Blog 2002, but apparently you cant get away with calling John Rocker a racist these days without getting called out, and you know what, that's fine with me.

i have the most intelligent, insightful readers here on this page and for that im grateful, but bro...

i dont care how drunk the reporter got Rocker, or how many drugs he fed him, or whatever the Rocker apologists are saying that has convinced some that the lefty was hoodwinked by the "big city 'Sports Illustrated'" reporter back in December of '99, but unless youre a brain-dead cocky redneck, naive as all hell, you do not, under any circumstance say these sorts of things to any reporter:

"The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?"

And you certainly dont call your African-American teammate, Randall Simon, "a fat monkey," and not expect a few people, including yours truly, to assume that you're a piece of shit racist.

I don't care too much about what the mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young, had to say about Rocker and his family, I don't take too many things that politicians, even accomplished ones like Young, say in public, because, unlike Rocker, Young's job is to say the right things.

I care about what guys like Simon had to say.

"I swear to you if he said that to my face I'd tear him up, and one of us would be suspended right now," Simon responded in 2000.

Here's something that might surprise you, though-- as a proud African-American male, I couldnt give a shit if John Rocker was a racist, homophobe, redneck, 6'4" bully, who'd been pampered and excused his whole worthless life because he was born left-handed.

If I had a baseball team and he could throw strikes and get people out, I would hire him to play on my team. It is not my job to tell people how to think or act or what to believe in, if I was a GM or a team president, I would say, "yep, I got the racist in the bullpen and I hope he strikes out the stoners that he'll face."

I am proud to be an American and live in a country where guys like Rocker can spout their ignorant mouths off and where millions of fans can give it right back to him. I thought it was wrong that Rocker was fined and suspended for his statements. The public wrath was plenty.

No, I dont think he was a victim of the journalist who drove with him through Atlanta as he reeled off a series of slurs that you'd expect from any number of southern-bred frat boys. I also dont think he was a victim of the surroundings where he grew up in. I think he was a victim of having the inability to listen to the best pitching coach in modern history and the victim of having the inability to learn from some of the finest pitchers to ever climb the mound.

Do I care that many - mostly white - fans came to his defense when he came under constant fire for speaking his mind about "queers" and "foreigners"? Not at all. I fail to see where a pitcher who had two decent seasons could inspire someone who was not already a racist, sexist, ignoramous, to aquire those beliefs.

Am I happy that he has struggled mightilly over the last few seasons? Fuck yeah.

Why should I want to see someone so hateful, predictable, and juvenile prosper and become a rich and famous in the very country that was made stronger by its diversity?

Be they Asians or Koreans, Vietnamese or Indians, Russians, Spanish people, or thick-necked goons, this country has become the best place in the world because of (not inspite of) the melding of cultures and differences in thought - but that doesn't mean that I have to root for assholes.

The nature of competitve professional sports doesnt always reward or breed the gentleman, but there is no reason why we should champion the intentional imbecile.

And despite my learned reader who might think otherwise, the only person who fucked John Rocker was himself.

Which, ironically, was the advice I yelled to the reliever from the stands not too long ago.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:50 PM

   Wednesday, April 17, 2002  
whoever the guy was who signed Jose Lima to the Tigers deserves a raise.

Tigers Win! Tigers Win!

Oh, that's right the guy who signed Lima to the Tigers got fired half way through their 11 game losing streak. Oh well. But seriously, when the hopes of your franchise rests on the shoulders of a man who could never win at musical chairs (he would never sit down), then you're in deep do-do.

But it is good to see Lima Time, and I'm glad that the 13,000 faithful in the Motor City enjoyed their celebration, because I doubt there will be much more chance to rejoice with Lima and three days of no-rain-a.

It was a stretch people, what more do you want from a Blog anyway?

In Atlanta, Greg Maddux had to leave the game today in the first inning due to his chronic back troubles. See, the problem with Fantasy Baseball is, because I dont have the Professor, I read this news as a good thing. I know that's terrible and slightly morbid, but such is the life of modern baseball via Rotiserrie. The reason I didnt draft him on any of my 12 teams is for the exact same reason that he's got a small woman doing laps on his spine: he's old and backs dont get much better.

Maddux has become the master of the junkball and his control couldnt be more precise. When the umps the other year decided that they were going to call the strike zone in the book the strike zone on the field, so many pitchers were affected, Maddux included, but with a little time he was able to fine tune his pitches and remained one of the most dominate starters out there.

But I have had back pain and you can barely stand up when it's bad. There is nothing worse than seeing guys like Larry Bird stretched out on the side of the court in utter agony, and Greg Maddux was not the type of guy that I wanted on my team with a bad back, so sorry bud, but i hope you understand.

Braves are so deep they just took Millwood out of the bullpen and he finished the game winning 2-1. What a sick team.

Former Braves closer John Rocker got sent down to the minors today after the Rangers got sick watching him blow saves. In 6 appearances this season, the left-handed racist has blown 2 saves and converted one. He has only struck out 2 of the last 16 batters that he's faced, which isn't very impressive for a team that plays in the telephone booth in Arlington.

Here's hoping that he makes it back to the majors so that we in the big cities have someone recognizeable to boo and point at.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:33 PM

   Tuesday, April 16, 2002  
four new reasons to impeach selig In the first two weeks of the season, eight ballparks have drawn their smallest crowds for a regularly scheduled game, including seven that were part of the new-ballpark boom.

Overall, the average attendance for a major league game was down 3.5 percent in the first two weeks of the season, to 29,403.

Florida, which hopes to get a new ballpark some day, drew a record-low 4,466 to Pro Player Stadium on April 11. Other lows include Detroit's Comerica Park (11,833), Pittsburgh's PNC Park (12,795), Milwaukee's Miller Park (14,090), Houston's Astros Field (21,528), Baltimore's Camden Yards (22,781), Cleveland's Jacobs Field (23,760) and Denver's Coors Field (29,522).

Friday will be the first smoke-free day at Arizona's Bank One Ballpark.

2002 Baseball season is still in Jeopardy.

The most exciting thing that happened this season so far has been a chewed peice of gum.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:37 PM

   Monday, April 15, 2002  
the cleveland indians are so hot that they are now officially the cause for the unseasonably warm weather being enjoyed by most of America. However the forecast in Detroit is mostly cloudy, which interests me a little bit more.

the fact that Detroit had 7-5 lead going into the 8th inning and 100 mph flame thrower Matt Anderson in the bullpen with his first save opportunity chomping on the bit, makes their meltdown of giving up 8 runs in the 8th far more entertaining than the Indians or the Mariners' quick starts.

Detroit lost their first 13 games in 1920 which means their magic number is 2, but with their next series facing off against Tampa Bay tomorrow, Anderson looks like he might have a chance soon to redeem himself.

The Devil Rays did sweep the Tigers in the opening series of the season.

In other news, the home run leader of last season pulled a hamstring. Ha.

The Cubs took Moises Alou off the DL.

And Reuben Sierra went 5 for 5 against his old team yesterday as he filled in for the injured Edgar Martinez. Who doesn't love when that happens?

Seattle local, Ron Wright made a dubious major league debut by accounting for 6 outs in three at-bats, he struck out, hit into a double play, and then a triple play. If he was smart he'd start hanging out with Sierra and John Olerud who was also perfect by going 4 for 4 and reached safely with a walk.

   posted by tony pierce at 9:49 AM