[MLB] Riding the Pine

“That’s just ignorant, man. The thing that made me mad is to talk about a guy [Alou] who worked very hard to be where he is, and then some idiot makes some comment and don’t know what he’s talking about.”
–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the controversial comments made by Larry Krueger about the Felipe Alou (Newsday).

There are rumors circulating that the next 2 banned substance busts are coming, but both are being appealed. Two of the names to have come up are Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon. There is also a third player, who was said to be a young superstar. None of this is certain yet, and the names won’t be released until the appeals are finished, but this could be devastating to baseball if Clemens is true. Major League Baseball and the Players Association have issued a statement regarding speculation since Palmeiro’s name was released:

“Reports of large numbers of positive tests currently unreported are totally false,” the statement said. “Reports of ‘big name’ players having the reporting of their test results delayed are totally false. All drug-testing results are processed in precisely the same manner and without regard to the identity of any player or to the volume of positives at any given time. These media reports and rumors are totally and completely inaccurate, and do not deserve further comment.”

Clemens hasn’t said anything yet, but Damon and the Red Sox have both denied the claims.

The Rumors
Bronson Arroyo was placed on waivers, but was quickly pulled back after several teams made a claim…The White Sox have shifted focus from Ken Griffey Jr to Eddie Guardado…The Astros have almost given up on making a deal for Moises Alou…The Yankees and the Angels are interested in Kirk Rueter, who was recently designated for assignment by the Giants…Contract talks between Jeff Weaver and the Dodgers are about to breakdown…The Milwaukee Brewers placed their whole team on waivers; they pullback Lyle Overbay, Brady Clark, Russell Branyan, Carlos Lee, Ben Sheets, Doug Davis, and Matt Wise…JC Romero of the Twins would like to be traded…The Yankees are close to signing Ruben Rivera to a minor league deal to help the outfield; Rivera was released from the team a few years ago after he was caught stealing stuff from Derek Jeter to sell on E-Bay…

Manager Hot Seats:

The Week that Was:
The Good
The Cincinnati Reds – I’m not saying this for their play or how the team is being ran. Last week Antonio Perez, 6, came to a game with his grandfather to get a Tony Perez bobblehead. During the game, his grandfather had a heart attack. A security guard grabbed the kid and took him away form the situation. The Reds were told what was happening and let the kid sit in the bullpen for the game. After the game, Griffey took Antonio into the club house to wait for his mother. Many players gave the kid some of their stuff, like Felipe Lopez’s batting helmet from the All Star game, but they didn’t give him an explanation. They left that for the family, since they didn’t feel he should hear it from them. This week, the team invited his family to the games, mainly so the family could thank the players. Antonio got to take batting practice from Griffey, and the players chipped in to get the family gifts, like a motorize scooter and a Playstation 2. This is a real class act by a questionable organization (baseballwise). I told my wife about this and she was about to cry.

Josh Beckett pitched a gem on Thrusday night; he will need to keep it up, without blisters, for the Marlins to compete for the Wild Card…Carlos Beltran is back after his nasty collision last week…Hank Blalock (20 for 66), Mark Teixeira (16 for 52), and Michael Young (10 for 31) have been hot for Texas…The Cardinals are 10 for 12 in using the squeeze play…

The Bad
Jason Marquis – Marquis could be a great pitcher, which he has shown in his first seasons with Atlanta and St. Louis. He has one flaw: he doesn’t like to listen to coaches. Marquis was moved out of Atlanta after his second full season in the Majors when he stopped listening to Leo Mazzone and didn’t pitch as well as the previous season (when he did listen to Mazzone). That season he was moved to the bullpen and threw a fit. He was moved to the Cardinals in the off season and thrived his first season with the team. He was listening to Walt Jocketty. This year, he has gone back to no listening. The main complaint is Marquis believes he can strike anyone out with his fastball, rather than working the counts. As a result he has a 9-13 record and 5 straight losses. He has even said he isn’t fooling anyone this season, but he keeps doing it. Marquis will most like be moved this off season.

Al Leiter is about to lose his spot in the Yankees rotation…Hideo Nomo isn’t expected to be called up by the Yankees, since his Triple A starts have been disappointing…The Royals are in an 18 game losing streak…

The Ugly
Jake Westbrook has won 4 out of 5 starts; he is 10-6 since May 24th…After all the problems Yhency Brazoban has had this year, the staff at Turner Field added insult to injury by spelling his name Yhancy…Luis Gonzalez had 2 home runs on Thurday…Lance Berkman is in a slump (6 for 31)…

The Rookies
Jhonny Peralta, shortstop for the Indians, is having a huge week (3 homers in 3 days); he has the highest slugging percentage for an Indians shortstop since 1948…Zach Duke won hias 6th straight decision; the Pirates are going to keep him on a tight leash for the rest of the season since he has hit his career high in innings…Jon Papelbon is taking Wade Miller’s spot in the rotation; Papelbon has been great in the Minors this year…

The Injuries
Scott Rolen is still out for the Cardinals; in an interview Thursday, he said he was contemplating surgery now that will end his season, and that the Cards don’t need him to win…Mike Piazza broke the same bone that Ivan Rodriguez did; he is not expected to miss much time, like Pudge didn’t…Barry Bonds is now saying he could be back this season…Ryan Wagner will be back with the Reds soon, but don’t expect him to take over the closer role, yet…Every time Chris Snelling gets his break, he breaks…Kevin Brown will be coming back to the Yankees soon, but he will be pitching out of the bullen, a la Kerry Wood…Clint Barmes will be starting a rehab assignment in the next few weeks…Jeff Bagwell could be back September 1…Oliver Perez will have rehab starts next week…Mike Cameron was released from a San Diego hospital this week; his season is most likely over after a collision with teammate Carlos Beltran…Wade Miller has put his throwing on hold; the Red Sox are going to hold off on him until rosters expand September 1st…Keith Foulke is expected to throw a simulated game this weekend…

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