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Baseball Musings And Random Thoughts - June 2006

Thoughts, random ideas, and off-the-cuff reactions to the goings-on in baseball over the past month…

Have we really gotten past the big market/small market dichotomy that defined baseball for the past 15 - 20 years? The new revenue sharing/luxury tax model seems to say that we have, but if you look at different media outlets this week, you see that among those being rumored to be available for trades include Carlos Lee of the Brewers and Barry Zito of the A’s, among others. It’s generally known that the Brewers would like to keep Lee and the A’s Zito, but neither team can afford to do so after their contracts expire after this season. Would these names be floating around if Lee and Zito played for the Yankees or Red Sox? Not a chance.

Have the mighty Braves really fallen this far in such a short time? One of the main reasons the Braves were able to maintain their unbelievable level of consistency was that they always seemed to have a stable of young and transcendent talent ready to replace the veterans they lost for varying reasons. What happened? The Braves currently sit in last place, suddenly look old and broken down, and it’s looking like the bottom has completely fallen out in Atlanta.

Am I the only one, besides the man himself, of course, who giggles a bit at the thought of Ozzie Guillen sitting in a classroom for sensitivity training? Does anyone really expect Guillen to emerge from this training and give a statement along the lines of:

“Due to the eye-opening experience that this high-quality sensitivity training has provided for me, I would like to apologize for any and all disrespectful and insulting language I have ever used towards anyone of any particular race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. I have seen the error of my ways and will never thoughtlessly insult anyone again.”

No? Me either. This is a classic “CYA” move by baseball, and will have no effect on who Guillen always has been and always will be - a great manager who knows baseball and not much else.

Speaking of the leader of the White Sox, why was there a disparity between the suspensions handed down by baseball this past week in relation to the latest bean ball incident? Guillen was given a one-game suspension this week and pitcher David Riske three games for an intentional bean ball on the Cardinals’ Chris Duncan. Guillen ordered Riske to hit Duncan. What was Riske supposed to do? Refuse to bean Duncan? We all remember what happened to Sean Tracey when he failed to plunk the Rangers’ Hank Blalock just a couple of weeks ago. Guillen humiliated Tracey on national television in the dugout after yanking him from the game. What was MLB thinking here?

Oh, meanwhile, the White Sox have won nine straight.

How bad have the Pirates been? They’re currently working on a nine-game losing streak. If they keep this up, they could sneak up on the Royals for the unofficial title of “Absolute Worst Team in Baseball.” They were recently swept by Kansas City in a riveting interleague series.

I’ll keep my odds on the Royals, though. The Royals could wind up being historically bad.

Now that it’s beginning to appear that pitchers may have been juicing right along with hitters, does that change your perspective on what Barry Bonds has done?

Is anything going to keep the Mets from the postseason? Barring a complete collapse or a string of freak injuries, no - the Mets are going to the playoffs.

Can the Reds hang on to the NL Wildcard spot, or will the Dodgers catch them? I’d say this is a toss-up.

Is there any more apt a metaphor for an “unexpected torpedo” being dropped on a team than what happened in Arizona with Jason Grimsley? The Diamondbacks have lost 9 of 10, and they may be just a bit distracted these days.

Submitted by:

Jay Nault

By Jay Nault sponsored by http://www.stubhub.com/ StubHub sells sports tickets: http://www.stubhub.com/ , concert tickets, theater tickets and more to just about any event in the world. Please link to this site when using article.




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