Baseball history, analysis, and commentary from John J Perricone; born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Oh, and Barry Bonds. Lots of Barry Bonds.

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First visit? Drop me an email @ John J Perricone, or pin my Guest Map.

.... Complaint Department

I am on the look for a new website interface/server. It needs to be fairly simple, as anyone who is familiar with OBM should know, all I care about is a good look, and the words. Send em an email and let me know if you have something to talk about.

For all of you who are now using Blogger as a result of my referral, I apologize in advance should you suffer as I have these last two weeks.

To anyone at Blogger who might read this, your customer service is abysmal, all of you should be ashamed of yourselves. I am as premium a customer as you could have, I pay to remove your ads, I pay for Blogger Pro, I have two pages that I am running through your service, and I have referred literally dozens of clients to you. My page has been fucked up for almost two weeks, and I can't even get a fucking email reply. Shame on you. As soon as possible, I will be ending my relationship with your organization.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 30, 2003


.... Let see if I can talk

So, anyway. Livan has no regrets, as he heads to Montreal. In Henry Schulman's article today, we hear a few revealing comments by members of the Giants organization, especially Righetti:

Here's what Hernandez had to say;



"It's difficult, I played three and a half years, and two years we made the playoffs. It's not bad. I never missed a start. Every five days I was on the mound. That's it. I always do the best I can."



And read between the lines in Righetti's reply;


"He took the ball. This guy, one thing he wanted to do was pitch. We know that. He was never afraid. The guy pitched a lot of big games for us." But, when asked if he thought he always got through to Hernandez, Righetti said, "I'm not sure. We tried different things. He's a different personality, and you know what? He's not boring and I like that."



Yeah, he's not boring. Or, he's a stubborn, lazy slob, who essentially rode the wave of a three week span of effective pitching for five years without doing a single thing to better himself or realize his potential. I can't decide....





Comment on this   [0]  »  March 26, 2003


.... Is there anybody out there?

Anybody have html trouble using a new Mac G4? I am dying over here, and Blogger seems completely unable to help me out. Anysuggestions are welcome.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 26, 2003


.... Odds and ends

Two things....

First, all of you who notice that your links are missing or in the wrong place, keep in mind that I am still unable to make any changes to my template. In fact, I can hardly get Blogger to allow me to post. As soon as I can get the problem solved, I will put everyone back. If you notice that your lionk is missing, send me a reminder email with the proper hyperlink, and I'll be sure to fix ity as soon as I can.

And second,

.... Hallelujah

Livan Hernandez, in a deal that Giants fans like me have dreamed of for months, was dealt to the Montreal Expos for Pitcher Jim Brower and a player to be named later.

No matter how you look at it, this was a salary/poor performance/dump, no doubt. Sabean and the rest of the Gainst brass have just let us know in no uncertain terms that Livan had gotten all he was gonna get from them for his NLCS MVP in 1997. Good for the Giants, and good for us Giants fans. Everyone who frequents OBM knows how I feel about him, he's not good for a team that hopes to contend for a championship. Maybe he once was, for about three weeks, but he ain't now. Good good good.

Now the team can put the ball in the hands of their terrific young pitchers, and see what happens. Happy happy, joy joy.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 25, 2003


.... Something to do

While I await communication from Blogger as to why my site won't allow me to update my template, I spent a little time over at Baseball Prospectus Premium and found myself really impressed with the new format, and the new content. Up til now, I'd been popping in and out, but I haven't had the time to really sit there and bang away. Today, I did some banging.

Worth every dime, no doubt. The BP team is really going the extra mile when it comes to information, accuracy, research, and in particular, fact checking. Not content to spout the same old company line you can read in your local newspaper or even in major media outlets; you can bet that Derek Zumsteg, Gary Huckabay, Jo Sheehan, Will Carrol and the rest of these guys are checking and asking and pressing everyone around them to insure that you, the subscriber, is getting the real story. As they say in that Mastercard ad, priceless.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 22, 2003


.... I'm all right Jack, keep your hands off of my stack

Darren Rovell has an excellent article on the revenue sharing/salary restraint issue at ESPN.com this morning. He looks closely at what different owners are saying versus what they are doing, and he does a great job of detailing the difficulties of determining whether there is an issue or not. Here's a taste:

One team that has finally skirted criticism this season is the Minnesota Twins. Owner Carl Pohlad was torched by fans and media alike for skimping on payroll while taking in money from the larger revenue teams. The Twins' payroll for the 2003 season will be approximately $55 million, up from the $16 million he spent on the team in 2000. The Twins had a $27 million payroll in 2001, and last year spent $41 million on its players.

"The raising of the payroll is a result of our commitment to keep a core group of players intact for as long as possible," team president Dave St. Peter said. "Despite our low revenues, our ownership is committed to winning in order to ensure the future viability of this team." St. Peter said the team will lose more than $10 million this season. But team executives believe spending $88 million to re-sign Joe Mays, Brad Radke and Torii Hunter could pay off when they launch their own sports network, Victory Sports, which will telecast Twins games next season. "It's too early to tell if this new system is going to work," St. Peter said. "We know we're not going to get to keep everybody."


Pohlad has long been on my Most Wanted list, but I always defer to John Bonnes, the TwinsGeek, who argues convincingly that the Twins have followed the proper course in their efforts to weather their own particular financial storm. Rovell's article seems to support that view, as you can see.

The difficulty in knowing where the money goes isn't particular to baseball, obviously. Many businesses can show a loss or a profit, depending on what is most beneficial for the owners or shareholders. This is common, and not particularly problematic. Where baseball runs into difficulty is when the various owners attempt to portray themselves as ready to go on welfare in an effort to either sway public opinion during a collective bargaining agreement negotiation, or when allowing a player like Miguel Tejada to leave town. I don't know if honesty from Steve Schott would really make a difference, but it would at least alter the discourse a bit, so that we could focus on the real question of whether Tejada is worth $10 million per season for eight years or so.

Instead, we are arguing whether Schott is being disingenuous, or we read a re-hash of the competitive balance lie, or we read how the A's might have to move if they are to ever be competitive (As though winning 300 games over the last three seasons wasn't competitive enough). It's this sort of misdirection that irritates the informed fans, and confuses the casual one. The A's are, in fact, a model franchise, and they should be lauded as such by Selig and his cronies. Instead, their accomplishmenst are ignored by baseball's braintrust, and they are mis-represented as somehow struggling to figure out how to compete.

The real problem regards the finances of baseball lies in the realm of leadership, or lack thereof. Selig and his cronies have no real vision, no real leadership abilities. They focus on the short-term balance sheet, which is written exactly as they desire, and they bludgeon us in their efforts to somehow squeeze blood from a stone that has already fed these vampires far too many times to count.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 22, 2003


.... Just trying to survive

Here's a Glenn Dickey column on the Giants young starters. He talks with Mike Krukow, who suggests that it would be a mistake for the Giants to give up on Livan Hernandez too soon. Mike, I understand your loyalty, but too soon? Please. Livan has been a bust for most of the last four seasons. Giving him another chance to derail a season is the real mistake.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 22, 2003


.... Trouble in paradise

I have spent the last two days trying to figure out some way to republish my template, since my Blogger Pro interface seems to be rejecting all of my efforts to correct the unbelievable issue I am having with my blog; namely, when I try to edit my template, it is erasing all of my hyperlink and assorted formatting information as soon as I open the template.

So far, all I've been able to do is copy the source of an old archive that I found on David Pinto's Musings from December, and copy and paste everything. So, some of you may notice some changes in my links, particularly where some are, and even some are missing. If that is the case with your blog, please send me an email with the address of your site, and as soon as I can get this problem handled, I will make all neccessary corrections. Thanks for your patience.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 22, 2003


.... I'm mad as hell, and somebody's gonna pay

Actually, I'm not mad as hell, but the boys over at Elephants in Oakland are. They are pissed off that Sports Illustrated is misrepresenting the Miguel Tejada/Free Agent situation, as well as being irritated at the prospect of losing the reigning AL MVP. I would be too.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 21, 2003


.... Read and learn

OBM's good friend Alex Belth has a phenomenal interview with Marvin Miller in today's Bronx Banter. What makes ALex's work so good is that he is simultaneously committed to being honest and interesting, not an easy task. Really good stuff.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 21, 2003


.... Quick hits

In this NY Daily News piece, we learn that one of OBM's favorite players is that much closer to making an Opening Day roster. After a strong four-inning outing, David Cone is well on his way to nailing down that fifth spot in the Mets rotation.

Also included in the article was a mention of the possibility that the Mets are interested in possibly trading for SF Giants Livan Hernandez in their efforts to replace the injured Pedro Astacio. The dream lives.

And here is a Henry Schulman article focusing on the bunny rabbit-esque, new-look Giants. With Ray Durham running at will, and the re-loaded Giants having speed at several spots in the lineup, the team is shaping up to at least be exciting, although David Pinto, Bill James, and countless others have debated the effects of the stolen base. There can be no doubt that constant movement on the bases can be disconcertng to an opponent, it is less clear whether the end result is more scoring. Sculman also mentions the Livan-on-the-trading-block rumors... OBM watches with baited breath.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 21, 2003


.... Odds and ends

After showing up and producing as well as any hitter the Yankees have this spring, Rondell White found himself wearing a different uniform this morning, as he was the key component in a multi-player trade between the NY Yankees and the San Diego Padres. Brian Cashman has characterized the deal as both a salary dump and a prospect re-load:

Fiscally, the Bombers will save approximately $2.5 million on this season's payroll; White's 2003 salary is $5 million while Trammell's is $2.5 million. The Yanks also reduce their luxury tax by approximately $350,000. In the long term, however, there are financial drawbacks. Trammell's 2004 salary is approximately $4.75 million; the buyout on his $5 million option for 2005 is $250,000 and will be paid by the Padres.

"The pitching prospect is the key for us," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. "He is a power lefthanded arm. We're excited about having him shore up a part of our system we're improving upon. We look for him to develop sometime into a future starter in the major league rotation."
This is a win-win deal for both teams. San Diego was looking at a season without Phil Nevin, and the Yankees have about sixty outfielders. The $2.5 million or whatever the Yanks end up saving is hardly worth writing about, but I guess when you're staring at a $150 million dollar payroll, every little bit helps. Of course, the youngster Juan Rivera will end up in Triple A for another season, but these are the Yankees.

And the ever-popular Andres Galarraga says he'd like to hit his 500th home run and win the World Series as Giant this season. He's 14 home runs away, and if the pitching can hold up, the Giants have as good a chance as anybody right now. We'll see if he makes the roster, for my money, I don't see how he doesn't, especially since Damon Minor has shown so little when given a chance.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 20, 2003


.... I'm back

Well, I am sitting here on my brand-spanking-new, absolutely gorgeous, I mean gorgeous, Macintosh G4 15" screen laptop computer, courtesy of my beyond-belief, awesome wife, who takes nickels and makes dollars. That means I am back online, back to work on baseball, the SF Giants, and Barry Bonds.

Did I mention how great my new computer is? Or how amazing my wife is? I have a few things to catch up on, some downloads to take care of, and sometime before dawn, I will post all of the things I have been stewing about for the last week.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 20, 2003


.... Something wicked this way comes

For those of you who have faithfully been showing up here at OBM for the last week while I posted absolutely nothing for a week, thanks for your faith, you will be rewarded in the next life. My apologies for the disappearing act. The computer that had been generously given to me in this transitional phase I am in, died unexpectedly a week ago, and I was in no position to either replace it or repair it.

I am once again on a borrowed laptop, and for but a minute, but keep the faith everyone, all these computer issues will be resolved soon, and I will be back to my normal, bile-spewing, angry young man routine posthaste.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 19, 2003


.... Seligula ad infinitum

Bud Selig, erstwhile commissioner of baseball, amended his commments from last month regarding the SF Giants chances for an All Star game anytime soon, in todays San Jose Mercury:

Selig said Sunday that the park is a contender for a game in 2005-08 and perhaps '09. "There was a little bit of a misunderstanding, maybe because of me," Selig said during the Giants' 4-1 split-squad victory over Anaheim at Scottsdale Stadium. "They are certainly a prime candidate for an All-Star Game in one of those years."

Selig said the Giants' chances of getting a game "are better than good" and that he hopes to announce sites for 2005-07 -- and possibly '08 -- in the next few weeks. The Giants last hosted the All-Star Game in 1984, which could work in their favor. Selig said he would take a number of things into account, including the fact that Barry Bonds, 38, might retire after his contract expires. Bonds is signed through 2005, with a player option for 2006.

"Everybody has a story with a lot of different factors," Selig said. "I'm trying to keep them all in mind. This is another one of those situations where you won't be able to keep everybody happy."

Giants principal owner Peter Magowan said he believes his team will be awarded the game in 2005, '06 or '07. "All I want is to be included in this next group of teams that will be announced," he said. "I think we will be."

The Chicago White Sox will host the game this season. The event moves to Houston in 2004.

Yeah, everybody in the Selig family was pretty happy when they got to host last seasons' All Star game in their shitty, publicly financed, craptacular disappointment of a ballpark less than two full years after it opened. And how do the Houston Astros get an All Star game less than four years after they open their publicly-financed joke of a ballpark?

Sleigula doesn't want to showcase a privately financed, model of success, World Series contending home of a team with the best player of the last fifty years playing in front of his hometown, where-he-grew-up fans because he knows that PacBell makes every single thing he says a lie. He knows that his whole life's work, destroying the Players Association and lining the pockets of every owner too stupid or cheap or lazy to field a winner fairly; is shown to be little more than posturing and propaganda whenever Peter Magowan and his wildly succesful owners group have the national stage.

This is just one more example of Seligula being too narrow-minded and short-sighted to see the forest for the trees. Every time you read some shill of a newspaper publishing some story about what a good, old-fashioned, baseball-loving regular Joe Selig is, remember how quick he was to insure that the immortal All Star, Jose Hernandez, got to strike out in front of his home town fans while he is stiffing the Giants and ignoring the fans' right to see the best player of his generation play even one of his twenty All Star games at home. How smart men like Magowan allow this clown to run their show boggles my mind.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 11, 2003


.... Jeff and Jeffer

Apparently, Jeff Kent has decided that it is really important to clear his name, or to make sure everyboody knows what he really did or didn't do, or maybe he just can't shut the hell up; but man, he's talking to a lot of reporters and journalists. Murray Chass is the latest to have his ear bent by the ex-Giant, and once again, Kent is trying to make everyone believe that somehow he and Bonds are equals. They're not, not by a longshot.



"Barry and I are competitive ballplayers," he said. "We're World Series teammates and thrived off each other. I think we motivated each other. We elevated each other's game. We elevated our team's game. That'll be a time in my life that I'll never forget. I don't worry about the relationship that Barry and I have. You worry about being a better player and Barry made me one."



Please. Here's the two sluggers side by side, over the last three seasons:



ABRH2BHRRBIBBOutsAVGOBPSLGOPS
Barry Bonds135937545291168353492907.333.512.7821.294

Jeff Kent1817300572132923392071245.315.387.556.943



That's almost 40% more outs, almost half as many home runs, fewer than half the walks, and a slugging percentage just a bit higher than Bonds' on-base percentage. Is Jeff Kent a terrific ballplayer? Absolutely. Is he, or anyone else even playing the same game as Bonds? Absolutely not. And every time he says he is, he sounds like an idiot.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 10, 2003


.... Scary

Aaron Gleeman, (who is still in his teens, people!), is fast approaching star status. His writing is absolutely tremendous, and he nails it yet again, with this brilliant indictment of the Baltimore Orioles intention to acquire Ken Griffey Jr.

He's as right as rain, the Orioles are the absolute worst run franchise in baseball, (out-ranking the Brewers and the Devil Rays because they spend more than those two clubs combined)and they appear to be completely clueless.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 9, 2003


.... Odds and ends



Tim Kurkjian says that Jeff Kent is approaching immortality, placing him among the top 20 second baseman of all time, and suggests that with three more years at his current level of production, he's likely to rank in the top ten of all time, and will be a sure fire Hall of Famer.

Me, I have a hard time with it, even though he's probably right. Baseball-Reference.com shows that Kent's career is pretty damn good, but he's no shoo-in, that's for sure:

Gray Ink: Batting - 59 (Average HOFer ~ 144)

HOF Standards: Batting - 32.9 (Average HOFer ~ 50)

HOF Monitor: Batting - 64.0 (Likely HOFer > 100)

I don't particularly like Jeff Kent, I've always felt that his little "I'm as good as Barry" crap has been particularly irritable; now we'll see how he does trying to drive in a hundred runs with normal human beings on his team.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 9, 2003


.... Spring Reports

OBM's good friend, Larry Krueger has a Spring Training report in the SF Examiner that looks at the tough road faced by five players in camp this spring. The important player he focuses on is fan favorite Joe Nathan, who appears to have the inside track on Jay Witasik's spot in the bullpen.

John Shea filed his Giants Notebook today, and in it he mentions that Damian Moss looked much better in his second spring outing. He also had the following on JT Snow:

Fifty-one days into the season, first baseman J.T. Snow will become a 10-and-5 man -- 10 full years in the majors, five with one team - - thus earning him a no-trade clause. After May 20, he could veto any trade. He can be a free agent after the season.

"I'm just going to play and see what happens," he said. "I've never talked about money or contracts since I've been here. If I were coming off a couple of better years, I'd have more leverage. I'm going to keep my mouth shut and play." During the winter meetings, Snow heard from his agent that the Dodgers and Mets looked into acquiring him. So far this spring, Snow is hitless in 11 at-bats after going 0-for-3 Friday.

"Spring training is spring training," he said. "It would be nice to get some hits. But one year, 1998, I had the best spring of my life and couldn't buy a hit when the season opened."

"I don't worry about J.T.," manager Felipe Alou said. "He's a professional major-leaguer."

Yeah, a professional major-leaguer with a proven record of decline the likes of which would have him on Baseball Tonight if it weren't for his albatross contract. First of all, I guess new hitting coach Jim Lefbrve's adjustments aren't making a difference, (big surprise), and second, unlike last year, Snow actually sounds smart, because he does have no leverage at all. Were I the Giants, I'd offer him two years, $4 million, with maybe some incentives, like, if he hits ten home runs, they buy him some dungeness crab.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 8, 2003


.... What's going on?

I've been in the mountains, and now I'm back, so let's talk amongst outselves, no?

In the NY Times, I found this Buster Olney piece about the Players Association sending its' members a memo warning them about the possible risks involved with using the over-the-counter supplement ephedra.



The union, which has long maintained that players should not be prohibited from using over-the-counter supplements that are available to the general public, stopped short of calling for an outright ban of ephedra. The union's leader, Donald Fehr, indicated the union might await further government action on the supplement.

"It may be that Congress is going to take another look at it," Fehr said after meeting with players from the Orioles yesterday. "If they decide that it's unreasonably dangerous and should be banned, then that would eliminate any need to have discussion on the issue."



I believe that this is the correct move for Donald Fehr, as it is neither his responsibility nor his position to decide whether this product needs to be banned. It is his responsibility, however, to protect the players interests; and until it is clear exactly what the risks involved with this product actually are, he needed to take a strong position that the players need to exercise caution. Whether they do or not is up to them, but at least the man who they see as being in charge has taken a stand on the side of caution. If only one player is swayed by this it's a positive, and more than likely, his influence will be larger than that, although the Olney article seems to lean the other way:



.... For some players, the memo did not seem to have an immediate impact. "It's not like it's a drug," Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter said. "It's not like you go to buy it on the street, by the ounce. It's sold in stores, so it's kind of hard to get rid of that. Guys think that it's helping them play, and then it's legal, sold in stores. No. The best thing they can do is make it illegal. Don't legalize it. Then you'd have an argument. But as long as you can still go into GNC and buy it, don't even think about telling guys to stop."

Another Twins outfielder, Dustan Mohr, agreed. When asked if he would stop using it because of the memo, Mohr said: "I don't use it that much, not even a handful of times a year. I don't know that I'll stop. Some days you don't feel good and you take a little supplement. I don't know that I'll stop, but I'll certainly be more aware of it, and the possible consequences."



I can see the point these two players are making, but I still would think that some players would respond to the memo; for instance, the players representatives, who see him fairly often, and with whom he maintains a pretty steady dialogue, these players will more than likely take his stand seriously. Anyway, it's a start, and at least it's a well thought out approach, unlike the chronically stupid Milwaukee Brewers, who this week announced that they would ban all supplements from the clubhouse. The club, of course, cannot enforce such a ban without the approval of the Players Association, so really, all this amounts to is a dumb public relations plot from the perennial doormats of the National League. I got an idea, let's send a memo to the Brewers:

Dear Wendy,

Stop worrying about things that are not yours to control, like, whether your best player strikes out a lot, or your players are making a personal decision to use legal supplements, or where they live, or how funny your teams' slogan is; and start paying attention to things that actually matter, that are important, like, oh, I don't know, winning games, acquiring solid baseball talent, rebuilding your farm system, investing in the team, you know, things like that; and start repaying the poor fans in Milwaukee who have made your family wealthy far beyond what you deserve.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 8, 2003


.... Odds and ends

Constant reader and infrequent emailer, Josh, has started a blog with his friend Matt. They have called it the New Giant Thrill, so check him out. I did, and they have all the ingredients to make a splash. They're funny, smart, and absolutely love the SF Giants and baseball. They have a home leading off More Baseball, there on the left. Let's see if they can crack my Eeveryday Links lineup....

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 8, 2003


.... Hello Federal

I'm here at my friend's house using his Starband internet connection, which absolutely flies. Just thought I'd drop a quick line and see how it worked.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 7, 2003


.... Friends

Our good friend Christian Ruzich, the erstwhile Cub Reporter, has posted a nice Spring Training report. Take a minute and say hello.

Meanwhile, I want to extend a hearty thanks to all of you who continue to make my GuestMap the best out there. With friends in Brazil, Germany, Australia, Canada, and all over Europe, OBM has quite the eclectic mix of visitors. I am proud and honored.

I have received an interesting email from reader Josh Silva. He asks whether I have written about the Barry Bonds steroids question. Here's his email:



.... John, almost everyone who comments on whether or not Bonds uses steroids seems to be making comparisons to an average person. When they say that someone his age (soon to be 38) can't get that big without steroids, is that absolutely true? Is it possible that one person out of 6 billion could? One who uses creatine, an amazing product, has a personal trainer and nutritionist, and a legendary training regimen? Maybe most people Barry's age can't get that big without steroids, but that says nothing about whether or not *someone* can get that big. After all, there's not one other person his age on the planet that can hit like that either.

And then there's the Willie Mays factor. I have a hard time imagining that Willie Mays would condone his Godson Barry Bonds using steroids, and we've seen over the years how much Bonds respects Mays. I also have trouble imagining Mays is naive enough to not know that Bonds juices if in fact he does do so.

Do I know for a fact Bonds doesn't juice? No. But, comparing Bonds' weight and strength gains to an average person proves nothing, and if there is one athlete that can do what he is doing without steroids, it is Bonds.



Josh, thanks for the email. First, I would like to mention that the reason there is an OBM has a lot to do with the so-called "steroid craze" in baseball. Back when Ken Caminiti started all this BS, I was mortified that so many reputable news agencies and their reporters and columnists would make such absurd claims regarding steroid use in baseball. They seemed willing to accept the word of a few malcontents and knuckleheads verbatim, and they trashed any number of "bulky" players in the process. After being rebuffed, (with little or no explanation) by several of them, I decided that I would start my own site to write what I thought, and the rest is history. Back to the steroid question....

I was a serious bodybuilder for several years back in the 1980's, and I was able to see first-hand some of the justifications and stories that people tell themselves in order to make it OK to choose to do steroids. Many of the guys I worked out with were hard-core 'roiders' and they were monsters. They were huge and strong and ripped, and they took inhuman amounts of steroids, and pretty much any other drug they thought would make a difference, just about anything to gain a competitive edge. It was obvious that they were a different breed. The only thing that mattered to them was winning a competition, that day, that week. They were extremely unbalanced personally; lifting and posing and their body fat percentage and their cuts were their whole lives. I hope I am making myself clear. These people were completely one dimensional, to the point where their health, their well-being, never entered the equation.

When the Caminiti piece came out, it seemed that there were dozens of articles written insinuating that Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa were singled out as simply being too strong or big or whatever, with no evidence whatsoever. This was the most egregious example of irresponsible journalism I have ever seen. These two players were subject to nationally published rumors for weeks and weeks. Many sportswriters and publications have a lot to be ashamed of.

Without a shred of evidence, all anyone can do is speculate. For me, I have little doubt that Bonds is using every competitive edge he can find, both to maximize his current abilities, and to extend his career as long as possible. At the same time, I find the idea of Bonds using steroids to be laughable. There is a distinct difference between someone dedicated to being as fit and strong as possible, and someone who is willing to risk their lives to win.

Barry Bonds has done nothing in his career or his life, ever, to make me think that he would risk his health, risk his life, for a competitive edge. On the contrary, he has made it amply clear that his family and his personal life weigh very heavily in all his decisions. There is simply no way he would put that at risk, for a home run title, for baseball. He has his priorities as straight as can be, like him or not.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 5, 2003


.... So there I was

I am sitting here in the mountains, again, only now I am working on a computer that was purchased when Clinton was President. A friend has loaned it to me while I figure out what kind I am going to get to replace the one I no longer have use of, (long story, tell you later). Anyway, I am now working with a machine that is as slow as a chisel on a stone tablet, but, as they say, beggars can't be choosers.

Anway, reader (and I mean, reader) Steven Shelby has sent me a couple of emails pertaining to the Giants. He's done such a good job, that I am spared the agony of opening dozens of pages to get this info. Great for me, great for you....



The Giants lost their Cactus League game 3-1 to the White Sox today. Jensen allowed just 1 R in 3 IP. Felix allowed 2 R in the loss. The Giants played mostly reserve position players, and they had no extra base hits. 3B Pedro Feliz finally made it to training camp, 3 years older than last year. Marvin Benard had a cake to celebrate each of Feliz's last three birthdays.

Rich Draper implies that OF Ruben Rivera is the favorite for the 5th outfielder job (not Tony Torcato). However, Rivera remains in Panama. Felipe Alou noted that CF prospect Jason Ellison has been impressive with his hits, defense and speed.

Jonathan Okanes notes in a column about Santiago the following: "Santiago has caught 1,756 games in his career and would like to try to catch Carlton Fisk's all-time record of 2,226 games caught." (Sorry, I lost the link) There is also continued news about Santiago wanting a contract extension.

After his poor performance yesterday, LHP Damian Moss was "not worried" about his future performance. He was disappointed that he did not perform better for his new team. He also does not think he is a lock to be in the starting rotation either, although Felipe Alou said he was.

From Lee Sinins ATM Reports: The Giants re-signed INFs Cody Random and Deivis Santos, C Edwards Guzman and Ps Ryan Jensen, Kurt Ainsworth and Joe Nathan to 1 year contracts. Jensen, who also had a 4.25 ERA/-1 RSAA in 10 games in 2001, had a 4.51 ERA/-13 RSAA in 32 games (30 starts) in 2002.

Peter Gammons has a lengthy article on the Giants in 2003, focusing on Bonds and his relationship to the rest of the team. Highly recommended reading. Later, Gammons adds "The Giants are talking about trading Felix Rodriguez and Ryan Jensen, although Rodriguez would be difficult to move as long as Robb Nen isn't ready to throw coming off shoulder surgery." Here's an extra little interview between Bonds and Gammons, who also mentions that Cruz is likely to hit 2nd and Snow hit 6th. That means Santiago would bat 7th, with Grissom batting 8th.

Meanwhile, the Giants lost their 3rd Cactus League game today to the Oakland A's. Moss allowed 6 runs, retiring just 3 of 11 hitters. Bonds had another HR. OF prospect Jason Ellison was 2 for 3. Henry Schulman reports that Livan will use a side-arm delivery more often this year. He had good results with it on Saturday.

It is also being reported that someone in the Department of Justice, not someone in the Giants organization, was the source of the leak about Dusty Baker's tax problems.



Again, terrific work, Stephen. A million thanks. Soon, Opening Day.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 4, 2003


.... Here I am

OK. Plans have changed, and I will be online, connected, and as crazy as a loon. So, stick around as we get ready for Opening Day.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 2, 2003


.... Really

Actually, I haven't left yet, so I thought I'd just mention that Barry started right where he left off, with a first pitch he saw home run off of Mark Prior. Bonds = Immortal. I was at Opening Day last season at PacBell when he won the game in the bottom of the last inning with a home run.

Other good news came when Cruz threw one yard as well, a two-run jack. Great way to start the Cactus League off.

Comment on this   [0]  »  March 1, 2003


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