Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Biggio Sets A New Record! Sheffield To Pitch Gerber Products? Red Sox Avoid Sweep.
Biggio Moves Past Baylor
The Biggio Watch is now officially over. Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros was hit by a pitch from the Colorado Rockies Byun-Hyung Kim in the fourth inning of the Astros 7-1 victory to move past Don Baylor as the all-time major league career record holder for having been hit by a pitch. Yesterday, Jason Jennings did the honors by hitting Biggio to tie the record, now, it is all Biggio's with 268 HBPs and counting. Congratulations Craig. Is there an Advil endorsement on the horizon?
Sheffield: Respect My Authoritah!
New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield let It be known, in no uncertain terms, that he does not want to be traded the cross-town Mets, as has been rumored lately. ESPN excerpt:
I'm not going anywhere," Sheffield told The New York Times on Wednesday. The Yankees and Mets reportedly were in discussions about a possible Sheffield-for-Mike Cameron swap.
"If I have to go somewhere, I won't go," the Yankees' slugger told The Times. "If they said 'wouldn't you want to get paid', I'd say 'I've got plenty of money.' I'm not playing nowhere else, I can promise you that."
Sheffield is signed through 2006 and does not have a no-trade clause in his contract. He signed a three-year, $39 million contract in December 2003.
The Yankees reportedly are interested in upgrading their defense by placing Cameron in center. The Mets would add another powerful bat to the middle of their order with Sheffield, who plays right field for the Yankees.
Sheffield seemed to hedge in another interview with MLB.com, saying he would want concessions for signing off on any trade. "If I have to go somewhere else, a lot of things are going to have to be changed or you're going to have an unhappy player," Sheffield told MLB.com. "I'll ask for everything. Period. You want to inconvenience me, I'm going to inconvenience every situation there is," he added. "The only reason I'm playing is that I wanted to play for the Yankees. If I don't get that opportunity, things change."
Sheffield, who negotiated his current contract personally with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, did say that he wouldn't hold out if he were to be traded. "I would never sit out," Sheffield told MLB.com. "I'd go play, but that doesn't mean I'll be happy playing. If I'm not happy, you don't want me on your team. It's that simple. I'll make that known to anybody."
Christ, when the rumors hit that the Red Sox were trying to trade Manny Ramirez to Texas for A-Rod, and then trade Nomar to the White Sox for half that team, every media hack in New England turned on Nomar as if he was a non-Catholic Church sponsored child molester. Shitheads like Dan Shaugnessy began to pretend that Nomar was not the hustling, two-time batting crown winning shortstop we had come to love since he broke in in 1996, but was in fact a clubhouse cancer of the worst kind. Now, it will be interesting to see the media reaction now that a legitimate clubhouse cancer has shown his true nature.
Let's review: Sheffield came to the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1988 and immediately became known as a head case. He forced a trade with his bad play, apparently due to "unhappiness", to the San Diego Padres where he led the NL in hitting (.330) and total bases (323) in 1992. But he quickly wore out his welcome there and forced another trade in mid-1993 to the Florida Marlins (around the same time the Padres traded Fred McGriff to the Atlanta Braves), where he played pretty well, being a part of the first Marlins World Series Championship team in 1997, until another mid-season trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998. After three monster years in LA, he moved on to the Braves and put up two more monster seasons before Steinbrenner's millions pried him loose.
By the time he had moved to the Dodgers, it appeared that Sheffield had calmed down. No longer was he compared to legendary troubled talents like Richie Allen, but instead was likened to players like George Hendrick who went through his own growing pains as a Cleveland Indian in the mid-1970s before joining the St. Louis Cardinals in time to be a key component of their 1982 World Series Championship.
Unfortunately, Sheffield seems to have backslid into the type of behavior that made him a manager's nightmare. You've got to feel for Joe Torre. The poor guy not only has to deal with Steinbrenner's ego and unrealistic demands, but now he has a player who will use this situation to retrieve the chip that we thought had finally fallen from his shoulder in 1999. Maybe there is a Gerber Baby Food endorsement on the horizon...
Red Sox Avoid Sweep
The Red Sox avoided a sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians witha 5-2 victory this afternoon at Fenway Park. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield pitched seven strong innings to earn his seventh win of the season. Back-to back home runs from catcher Doug Mirabelli (his fourth) and second baseman Mark Bellhorn (his sixth) helped pace the Sox offense. Matt Mantei pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Mike Timlin pitched a scoreless ninth the earn his first save of the season in place of closer Keith Foulke who threw 287 pitches in the ninth inning of last night's meltdown.
Part of that meltdown occurred when, having entered the game in the eighth inning with an 8-5 lead, Foulke let two inherited runners score. In the ninth, with one out, Jody Gerut lined a shot off the Monster that Manny Ramirez played perfectly by barehanding the carom and throwing a strike to second base. Gerut should have been out by five feet, but Mark Bellhorn dropped the throw (as well as a throw from third baseman Bill Mueller on a potential double play ball in Monday night's loss). Suddenly, instead of two out and nobody on base, there was one out and a runner at second. Things got worse from there when, after Foulke got Aaron Boone to fly out, he gave up a game-tying single to Jhonny "Yes That's Really How I Spell It" Peralta before loading the bases with walks and surrendering a grand slam to Travis Hafner. Foulke has been shaky all season, and the Sox need him to come around if they hope to repeat as WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.
The win today moves the Sox two games ahead of the second place Baltimore Orioles, who are in a rain delay with the Yankees at Camden Yards.