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Tag:Ozzie Guillen
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 7:52 pm
 

Pepper: McLouth close; who moves to left?


Derek Jeter's injured right calf may keep him out of action for some time. CBSSports.com's C. Trent Rosecrans joins Scott Braun on Baseball Today.

By Evan Brunell

Read about Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt being unable to meet payroll on June by clicking this link.

BRAVE RETURNS
: Before Monday, Jordan Schafer had four stolen bases in three games. That's more than any Brave has for the entire season. While Nate McLouth may be a better hitter, Schafer is the better runner and defender. That's given skipper Fredi Gonzalez a quandary in who to move to left once McLouth is activated off the DL.

“I don’t know which one [would move to left],” Gonzalez said. “I know Schafer’s done it. In spring training he played all three. We made sure he played all three in spring training. I don’t know that Nate’s ever played another position other than center field.”

McLouth has 39 career games in left, so there's that. Compounding issues is that McLouth would likely stay the every-day guy once left-fielder Martin Prado returns from a staph infection that should keep him out the rest of the month. Do you put Schafer, the better defender, in center only to shift McLouth back when Prado returns? Or do you opt for continuity?

In additional Braves news, outfielder Jason Heyward could be activated from the DL as soon as Wednesday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

CHEER CRAWFORD
:
Carl Crawford returns to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving the Rays. Will he be cheered or booed? Crawford hopes not to be booed, especially given the Rays didn't even bother to offer him a contract. It's likely a moot point as Red Sox fans will invade the stadium as usual, while Tampa struggles to draw attendance from its fans. (TBO.com)

HARSH WORDS
: Peter Gammons recently called Wrigley Field a "dump," much to the delight and agreement of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Now, Rick Morrissey brings out the big guns when he says, "Wrigley is a crumbling mausoleum where baseball dreams go to die." Ouch. (Chicago Sun-Times)

BOWLING PIN: Back in September 2009, Prince Fielder and the Brewers engineered a unique celebration of a home-run when he acted like a bowling ball and the rest of the players standing at home plate fell over as if they were bowled over. That came against San Francisco, and new Giants infielder Bill Hall admits he was one of the people to come up with the idea. (San Francisco Chronicle)

MAGGLIO TRADED? Could the Tigers deal outfielder Magglio Ordonez, who was activated from the disabled list Monday? The Tigers have played well in Ordonez's absence, and it will be tough to find the slugger playing room given DH belongs to Victor Martinez and Ordonez's defense is tough to deal with in the outfielder. That could put Ordonez on track to be dealt to a team that needs a DH. (Fox Sports)

Phillies NEED RIGHT-HANDED BAT: It's difficult to consider Philadelphia a destination for Ordonez because of his defense and salary, but that's one route the Phillies could go. Another is Ryan Spilborghs, whom the Phillies have coveted in the past. (Denver Post on Twitter)

TRAGEDY: Back in March, Georgia outfielders Zach Cone and Jonathan Taylor collided while fielding a fly ball. Taylor may never walk again while Cone was picked with the No. 35 overall pick. Although his numbers suffered this season, the Rangers think they got a good player. The club also drafted Taylor in the 33rd round as a gesture of goodwill. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

LOVING KIDS: "I like the kids more than I like their [fathers]," Ozzie Guillen said in a story profiling how the White Sox skipper opens the clubhouse to children of players after games -- win or lose. (Chicago Tribune)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




Posted on: June 13, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Pepper: Morrison wants Superman cape for Stanton



What does a sweep of the Cardinals mean for Milwaukee and the rest of the NL Central? MLB.com's Tom Boorstein joins Scott Braun to talk about the Brewers and to look ahead to some of Monday night's action.

By Evan Brunell

BATMAN AND ROBIN: As the All-Star Break edges closer and closer, Marlins left-fielder Logan Morrison has a pretty good idea of who should be part of the Home Run Derby, which is popular with players and fans.

That would be Mike Stanton, who has admitted that several of his 16 home runs this season went out of the park only because he made contact, not because he hit the ball on the sweet spot. That's some serious power from the youngster, and Morrison wants to see what he can do on the national stage -- plus ride his coattails.

“I told him if he goes, I get to be on the field to be the towel-and-Gatorade boy. I get the on-field mic," Morrison said. "‘So, Mike, tell me, how does it feel to hit 16 home runs and only square up one?’”

Then there was this classic exchange when Stanton was asked if he would participate in the Home Run Derby, a nice peek into the personalities of Morrison and Stanton as transcribed by Matt Porter:

MS: “I don’t know, I’d have to see … once they --”
LM: “Yes. You would, because I’d have to be on the field.”
MS: [Disapproving look]
LM: “Hey man, coattails. Don’t leave 'em long if you don’t like it.”
LM: “We need a cape.”

Reporter, filling in Stanton on a prior conversation: “He wants you to wear a cape.”

MS: “OK, if he buys it. What kind of cape?”
LM: “Like a Superman cape.”
LM: “And I’ll have the Wonder Woman outfit.”
MS: “You gotta wear the short-shorts then.”
LM: “Heck yeah!
LM: “Or Batman, and I’ll be Robin.”
MS: “You kinda look like Robin. An oversize Robin.”
LM: “You know Mike, what we should do is get you an extra jersey, and cut the sleeves off and go like Jose Canseco in batting practice or something. Tear-away sleeves.” 

The Derby these days tends to be an over-inflated reality show that drags on with all manner of distractions, but it's really cool to see two young stars of baseball banter back and forth like this. Plus, the more Logan Morrison, the better.

DRUG RING: Livan Hernandez is linked to drug kingpin Angel Ayala-Vazquez from Puerto Rico, the leader of the top drug trafficking organization. The right-hander is currently being investigated as a "straw buyer," where a person purchases products for another in his own name, which allows proceeds from drug trafficking to be hidden. U.S. attorneys have said charges are likely coming against Hernandez. (Washington Times)

WRIGLEY IS A DUMP
: After Peter Gammons referred to Wrigley Field as "a dump" that requires a $200 million renovation, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen couldn't agree fast enough. "He did? Good for you, Peter," Guillen said with a laugh. "Finally, somebody else out-tagged me. Why do you say that, Peter? You have only been to Wrigley Field for a few days. You're not at Wrigley Field all of the time. That's why Peter is one of the brightest men in baseball." (Chicago Tribune)

MARQUIS WANTS TO STAY
: Starting pitcher Jason Marquis wants to stay in Washington as he sees good things coming with the up-and-coming team. One of the worst pitchers in the game last season, Marquis is now somehow 7-2 with a 3.67 ERA, so he's making a case for the Nats to extend him. (MLB.com)

RIZZO TURNING HEADS
: Anthony Rizzo blasted his first career home run by sending a ball over the right-field fence. How rare is that? The Padres calculated that only 28 percent of all home runs at Petco (which are already a difficult place to hit) have headed to the right-field seats. That's the potential Rizzo has, who also appears to be well-adjusted off the field. (MLB.com)

CHIPPED WOOD
: Kerry Wood appears headed to the disabled list as his blister problems have increased. Wood missed three weeks in 2008 because of a finger blister and could be in line for a similar amount of missed time. (page/CHC">Cubs%29">Chicago Tribune)

LYLES STAYING: Twenty-year-old rookie Jordan Lyles is now a permanent member of the Astros' rotation. When Wandy Rodriguez returns to start Monday, reliever Jeff Fulchino will be optioned with Aneury Rodriguez making room in the rotation by moving to the bullpen. That leaves Lyles in the rotation after making the first three starts of his career. (Houston Chronicle)

8,000 MILES: The Angels are about to embark on a "Four Corners" trip in which they will go from Los Angeles to Seattle, New York, Florida and back to L.A. which will span more than 8,000 miles with 12 games in 14 days. (Orange County Register)

MANAGER ERSTAD: Darin Erstad is the new manager at the University of Nebraska, and he plans to bring his style of game to the team. That means outright hustle, starting with the run to first base. (Orange County Register)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: June 9, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: June 9, 2011 11:32 am
 

Pepper: Reyes a fit for BoSox; Guillen draft saga


What is the reason behind so many near no-hitters recently? Will the Red Sox improve to 6-0 this season at Yankee Stadium? Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi with the answers.

By Evan Brunell


REYES TO RED SOX? Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron calls Jed Lowrie "solid" and Marco Scutaro "pretty good" -- "but the talent [Reyes] possesses is very intriguing," he says.

Cameron, who was teammates with Reyes a few seasons ago and still keeps in touch, believes the shortstop could be a major part of a Boston squad looking to win the World Series.

"It's a different animal here [with the Red Sox]," Cameron said. "In Boston, there's one team there and the primary focus is nothing else but [a freaking] title. [But] I think they would love him because of the way he plays. Just the energy, man."

Reyes is an impending free agent, and with Lowrie, Scutaro and top prospect Jose Iglesias in the fold, it's difficult to imagine the Red Sox striking for Reyes. However, if the money and inclination is there, it's tough to deny that Reyes would provide an immediate boon to Boston. (New York Post)

One question, though: is investing in Reyes really a good idea? Vince Gennaro, a baseball economics author, says it would be foolhardy for the Mets -- or any other team for that matter -- to invest big dollars in a player having a career year.

"The odds that this is the new Jose Reyes and that he's going to have a five-year run that even remotely resembles this are minuscule," Gennaro said. "But that's not where the [New York] fan base is going to come from. They're going to look at this as one more sign, if he gets dealt, of a lack of commitment by ownership." (Wall Street Journal)

DRAFT RESULTS: Which teams had the best drafts of the just-concluded MLB draft? Those in the know tap the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Rays, Padres and Red Sox. (MLB.com)

PAY UP: Dodgers team owner Frank McCourt continues to scratch and claw to keep his team, and will be able to make June 15 payroll. That will allow him to still have the team during a court hearing on June 22 wto determine if ex-wife Jamie McCourt has a legal right to block the TV deal that would solve McCourt's financial problems. (USA Today)

OZZIE'S BEEF
: Ozzie Guillen doesn't have much patience for actor Sean Penn, who is fighting against U.S. perceptions that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is a dictator. The incredulous Guillen responded to an editorial Penn wrote recently and invited him to live in Venezuela for a year and see if his mind changes as to whether Chavez is good for the country or not. (Big League Stew)

ONEY'S BEEF: Ozzie's son, Oney, takes after his father in not being afraid to pop off. The ex-White Sox employee sarcastically tweeted that it was no surprise the White Sox drafted a black player with their first-round pick -- hinting at racial undertones of GM Kenny Williams. He later denied the claims, but it's tough to believe him especially when fellow brother Ozney went undrafted. (Chicago Sun-Times)

OZNEY'S PLIGHT: So Ozney probably won't ever play in the White Sox system if he ever enters professional baseball. Williams skated through the minefield of addressing the issue by saying he will not sign Ozney as an undrafted free agent because of the potential for distractions. In addition, Williams adds, there were no personal motivations not to draft Ozney because the White Sox can't afford to let personal issues get in the way of drafting players. (Chicago Tribune)

LOVE THE GLOVE: Remember how attached you were to your baseball glove as a kid? Well, baseball players haven't really changed. Torii Hunter inidcates he is especially fond of his gloves in a wide-ranging article dedicated to the love players show for their gloves. Hunter currently calls his glove Coco and formerly called his glove Sheila, Vanity, Susan and Delicious. He rarely lets his gloves out of sight.  "Every once in a while during batting practice, while I'm hitting, I'll turn around and look at my glove and say, 'Are you OK?' " Hunter says. "It's very personal. That glove was something that got me to the big leagues. I make a living with it." (Los Angeles Times)

NO BLOCKBUSTER: Don't expect the Phillies to make a major move at the trade deadline, GM Ruben Amaro says. Part of that is because of the quality of the club, but a bigger part has to do with the minimal dollars the Phillies have before they hit the luxury tax threshold. Skipper Charlie Manuel wants a bat, but if he gets one, it will be a complementary one. (CSN Philly)

IMPENDING PROMOTION? Lots of players are receiving the call to the majors now that the Super 2 deadline is firmly done with. But don't bet on Cubs' center fielder Brett Jackson arriving anytime soon, who is slumping after suffering a finger injury. (MLB.com)

TWO-FACED: Ohh, A-Rod... you just don't stop giving everyone ammunition, do you? Rodriguez signed on to be spokesperson for coconut water company Vita Coco despite investing copious amounts of money with rival Zico. "It's a hell of a lot more money than I ever invested in the company," confused Zico CEO Mark Rampolla said. (CNBC)

EASING IN: Brandon Lyon is returning to the Astros, but it will take him some time to reclaim the closer's role. (Houston Chronicle)

PAJAMA PARTY: The Rays had a pajama party Wednesday night as they prepared to leave Los Angeles. Click through for great pictures of the team. (St. Petersburg Times -- link 1, link 2, link 3)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:24 am
 

Pepper: Papi bat flip angers Girardi


By Evan Brunell


BASEBALL TODAY: What is the latest with the knee of Mark Teixeira? Is Jered Weaver back on track for the Angels? Lauren Shehadi and C. Trent Rosecrans answer those questions and more. Click the video to play.

BOSOX-YANKS SPICE: While the Red Sox and Yankees remain appointment viewing, there hasn't been much of a rivalry in recent years, especially with Boston winning most of the games in 2010 and so far in 2011. The rivalry got spiced up a bit Monday night when David Ortiz crushed a two-run home run off of Hector Noesi to finish off the scoring in a 6-3 victory. Noesi, a rookie pitcher, had tossed a pitch at Big Papi just before the home run, causing some to wonder if it was an attempted hit-by-pitch to make up for Mark Teixeira's plunking earlier in the game.

Big Papi says no, but that didn't stop him from flipping his bat with a flourish after his home run in the fifth, drawing the ire of manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees, who said he didn't care for it.

"I never had a problem with David," Girardi said. "David has always played the game hard. I’m just protecting my young kid."

For Ortiz's part, he played it off lightly, which should kill any possible controversy.

“That’s Papi style,’’ kidded Ortiz. “It’s not the first time and it’s not my last one. I’m a home run hitter. It’s not like I do it all the time. What can I tell you? Just another homer for Papi.’’ (Boston Globe)

MARQUIS UPSET: Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis, who claims he has never thrown at a batter in his 12-year career, is fuming over his five-game suspension for hitting Justin Upton with a pitch Sunday. It was Upton's fourth beanball of the series and came after Jayson Werth's plunking in the game -- his third of the series.

"Never been ejected, never been fined, never been suspended," Marquis said. "I don’t understand why I would start now. I’ve been in games where there have been games getting hit back and forth. It’s a 1-0 game. We’re trying to put something together here. The game is 1-0. You don’t want it to get away from you just because you’re trying to show your manhood. I’m out there trying to win as many games as possible.”

Marquis added that the heat in Arizona is difficult, as the dryness of it doesn't produce enough sweat for the hand to grip the baseball properly. Plus, Marquis claims the pitch was supposed to be outside and moved inside.

“If you actually watch where that pitch started, it started on the outer third and moved three feet,” Marquis said. “I mean, can I control, ‘I’m going to throw a three-foot sinker, and hopefully it hits him?’ Most guys take a four-seamer and usually drill a guy. The catcher set up away. My ball moved three feet if you watch the film.” (Washington Post)

WERTH SCRATCHED: Jayson Werth did not play in Tuesday's game after being scratched from the lineup with a sore ankle. Laynce Nix replaced Werth in right field, and the new Nats star is day-to-day with the injury. (Washington Post)

GOOD ADVICE: With the No. 5 pick of the draft, the Royals snagged perhaps the best high-school bat in the draft with Bubba Starling. A local product, Starling needs to decide whether or not to play baseball or football in college and probably won't sign -- if at all -- until the Aug. 15 deadline. But Royals great Frank White has some words of advice for Starling, including signing as soon as possible. (Kansas City Star)

UNCLE JOE: One of Joe Girardi's good friends is Dante Bichette, a teammate way back in 1993 for the expansion Rockies. Now, Girardi has a chance to skipper Bichette's son, as the Yankees took Dante Bichette, Jr., with the No. 51 pick of the draft. The son calls Girardi "Uncle Joe," a practice he admitted he might have to stop. Meanwhile, Girardi marveles at how far Bichette, Jr. has come since Girardi and Bichette were taking Bichette Jr. on car rides as a baby to help him fall asleep. (New York Times)

BRUISED THUMB: There's been a lot of coverage of Anthony Rizzo's bruised thumb in San Diego. The 21-year-old is tearing Triple-A apart and was on the verge of a callup before bruising his left thumb and hand. He's on his way to San Diego to be evaluated by team physicians after a MRI came back negative. If everything checks out, the team could tell Rizzo to stay in San Diego and promote him immediately. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

SHARPEN THE SLIDER: The Cubs' Carlos Marmol has undergone a recent stretch of futility, blowing two games Sunday and last Tuesday. The culprit might be his slider, which has flattened out and removed perhaps his biggest weapon. (Chicago Tribune)

SCHERZER TOO: Max Scherzer is struggling with his slider as well, and skipper Jim Leyland says he'll turn to video along with Scherzer and pitching coach Rick Knapp to figure out the problem. Scherzer won his seventh game on Monday but was displeased with the amount of fastballs he left in the zone. (MLB.com)

RADIATION: Gary Carter underwent his first radiation treatment for his inoperable malignant brain tumors and came away "feeling good," his daughter said. (ESPN New York)

OZZIE'S MAD: Uh-oh. Better stay away from Ozzie Guillen for a week. "Iam in very very bad mood stay away from me the most you can," he tweeted after the White Sox's victory Tuesday night. "A lees for a week better tha way," he added. What's going on? No one quite knows, but he's likely unhappy that son Ozney Guillen has yet to be drafted with 30 rounds gone by. His son was picked in the 22nd round last year by the White Sox but did not sign.

SOCCER IN CITI: There was a soccer match at Citi Field Tuesday, with Ecuador taking Greece on. Check out the nice picture of the event. Seeing how baseball fields can convert and support a soccer game is always fascinating. (ESPN New York)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 10:35 am
 

Pepper: No baseball in November



Can Zack Greinke continue to lead the Brewers? What is going on with Cliff Lee? How important is Josh Hamilton to the Rangers? Scott Miller joins Lauren Shehadi with the answers.

By Evan Brunell


NO BASEBALL IN NOVEMBER
: As baseball tries to expand the postseason to one additional Wild Card series, the question has always been how that can be pulled off without pushing the postseason into November, which both fans and players dislike. Angels manager Mike Scioscia feels the postseason can be limited to just October and accommodate an expansion without eating into the 162-game season.

Scioscia, who is part of a special committee for on-field matters and has input into the expansion of the playoffs, feels that by tightening up travel time and playing the occasional doubleheader, an extra series can be fitted in easily. In regards to travel, Scioscia points to his own team's upcoming trip from L.A. to Seattle, New York, Florida and back to Los Angeles as inefficient because of two off days during the trip.

"I don't know what kindergartner figured that one out, but I think maybe we can move to first grade and get that a little better organized," Scioscia said. "The bottom line is we need to be more efficient with travel."

Scioscia believes teams should play in the division for the bulk of April, July and September, which will cut down on travel, as well as schedule the occasional double-header. If baseball can trim the postseason by a few days as well, the World Series would be complete by the time Halloween rolls around.

"We can't have baseball played in November," Scioscia said. "I don't think the Pilgrims set it up that way." (Los Angeles Times)

SLEEPLESS IN CHICAGO
: Cubs manager Mike Quade admitted after Albert Pujols' 12th inning walk-off home run on Saturday that he needs to do a better job communicating with his pitcher and catcher on what to do in these type of situations. Clearly, he's got some more work to do as Pujols repeated his walk-off home run heroics in the 10th inning Sunday. (MLB.com)

DEAD BALL
: The Phillies won Sunday's game 7-3, but that doesn't mask what was a missed opportunity to score an extra run for Philadelphia. Through no fault of the team, Domonic Brown's single hit the umpire at second base and was immediately ruled a dead ball. There were runners on first and third, but Ryan Howard, on third, was not allowed to advance. The bases were loaded for Wilson Valdez, who grounded into an inning-ending double play. Just overall a weird play and a weird result -- you'd think Howard would be able to score on that play. (MLB.com)

EJECTED
: Jason Marquis was ejected from the game Sunday after plunking Justin Upton for the fourth time in the four-game series. Both Marquis and manager Jim Riggleman were adamant that the HBP was not intentional after two Nationals got hit in the inning previous. You can believe that, as the game was currently 1-0 and Upton represented the go-ahead run on base. (MLB.com)

HARPER DOWN
: Touted Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch on the left knee in the first inning, and had to leave the game after needing to hobble to the dugout. Good news, though: It appears to be just a bone bruise, so he should be back in the lineup before long. (Washington Post)

ZIMMERMAN REHABBING: In that same game in which Harper was struck by a pitch, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman began his comeback trail by going 2-for-2 with a walk. Zim had an ab tear way back on April 9 and is only just getting back into the fold. It's unclear when Zimmerman will return to Washington, but mid-June looks like a good bet. (MLB.com)

VERLANDER THE BEST? Jim Leyland's been around, so he's got plenty of first-hand experience on which pitcher has been the best to ever pitch for Leyland. The long-time skipper says Verlander has the best stuff of any pitcher he's seen without question, although he still calls Doug Drabek the best pitcher, as Verlander is still learning how to pitch. (MLB.com)

PERFECT IN TRIPLE-A
: Mike Minor has made two spot starts for the Braves due to Brandon Beachy's injury, but was shipped back to Triple-A as the club did not need a fifth starter for a while. Minor showed Atlanta he should be considered for the next spot start after taking a perfect game into the seventh and finishing up with a one-hitter through eight. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

TIME TO WAIT: Many in the game seemed to feel as if Brett Lawrie would be called up to Toronto last Friday. That changed when he was hit by a pitch, and that bruise has landed him on the seven-day DL although it was backdated to the point where he will only miss two games. Once Lawrie's pain subsides, he's expected to make his major-league debut. (MLB.com)

HITTING HINDERED: Luke Scott's torn labrum is affecting his hitting, he finally admitted on Sunday. Scott is hitting just .224 this year with six home runs and received a cortisone shot in the hopes that clears up the pain. For now, he's still avoiding any talk about surgery. (MASN)

BELTRAN BRUISED: Carlos Beltran has had a strong season so far, crushing a league-leading 19 doubles and playing in 57 of a possible 59 games. On Sunday, he had to leave the game with a bruise after fouling a ball off his right leg, but is considered day-to-day. (New York Times)

BACKSTOP HEALING: Nick Hundley bashed a home run in his rehab start on Sunday, proving his strained oblique has healed nicely. If he comes through his rehab assignment with no setbacks, he could be back in San Diego by Wednesday. (MLB.com)

MENTAL BREAKS: Jason Bay (New York Times) and Alex Rios (MLB.com) are both receiving mental breaks as both players are scuffling. Rios has been letting his frustrating seep out, so manager Ozzie Guillen feels as if Rios could benefit from a few days off. Bay, who has struggled mightily, will be back in the lineup when the team plays again Tuesday.

BATTING AROUND: Curious how many teams have batted around in the order during the first inning without recording an out? Well, the last time that happened was in 2006 when the Indians terrorized K.C. for seven runs before registering their first out, needing 10 hitters to do so. (Baseball Reference)

NEW JOB? Ozzie Guillen's on the hot seat in Chicago, so his job mixing drinks for a charity event could prove a harbinger of his future job. OK, not really. (White Sox Twitter)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 1, 2011 10:14 am
 

Pepper: Harper staying in Hagerstown?


By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Will Ubaldo Jimenez get his first win and help bring the Rockies out of their most recent slide? NESN.com's Tony Lee joins CBSSports.com's Lauren Shehadi to talk about that and much more. Click on the video above to watch.

STAYING PUT: This season's MLB draft is less than a week away, and last year's No. 1 overall selection is terrorizing Class-A pitching. Bryce Harper -- who is still only 18 -- is hitting .331 with 11 homers, 36 RBI, 14 doubles, 34 runs and a 1.009 OPS through 50 games. He's even stolen 10 bases. Obviously, with this in mind, there's been lots of talk about when Harper will be promoted to Double-A. Davey Johnson, Nationals senior advisor to the general manager, isn't ready for Harper to make that jump just yet, however. "I see him being there probably, for sure, through the half season," Johnson said. "I am not a big believer in moving guys during the season. Let them put the numbers up so they have an idea of what they are probably required to do every year. Sometimes, when you divide up the season, especially a younger guy, then you try too much to try impress the next group of guys and sometimes that can lead to problems." Kudos to the Nats for staying patient with the youngster, even if it might be tempting to move him along quickly. Still, you have to wonder if Harper gets really hot again -- he has cooled in the past few weeks -- will he just get bored? It feels like you need to challenge a guy without rushing him. (MASNsports.com)

UNFAIR HOT SEAT: Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times defends Ozzie Guillen, who is coming under fire more and more in Chicago for team underperfomance and also for some of his "tirades." Cowley actually compares Guillen to Mike Scioscia of the Angels, saying:
What does a World Series ring won more than five years ago and a career .500-plus record as a manager get you these days?

Well, it gets you a contract extension that runs through 2018 — basically a lifetime scholarship. It earns you the right to be in charge of player-personnel and coaching decisions. And it affords you a payroll that has been over $100 million seven of the last eight years.

At least it does outside of Chicago.

Right, Mike Scioscia?
That's a pretty good point. I don't believe Guillen should be on the hot seat one bit. If management wanted him to shut up, it would have fired him long ago. Plus, a lot of what he says is twisted and misconstrued. Between the lines, I have no idea how you can blame Guillen for the underperfomances of the bullpen (in the early season) and people like Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.

'OVERRATED?' SO WHAT: When Alex Rodriguez and Joba Chamberlain were told they were voted the two most overrated players in baseball by their peers, they weren't exactly bothered. A-Rod: "So the Yankees are popular? That's good. I've been on this list many, many times and I'm sure I'll be there again next summer." Chamberlain: "I don't care. My bills are paid and I still have a job." Another interesting note is Derek Jeter, who checked in at third. He said he wasn't asked to fill out one of those anonymous surverys, but would decline to fill one out if asked. Kind of makes you wonder the sample of players chosen. (NY Times Bats blog)

VELOCITY DOWN FOR MARMOL: Maybe it was tougher to notice when Cubs closer Carlos Marmol entered Tuesday night with a 1.17 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings, but after his terrifying outing against the Astros -- probably the worst of his career, actually -- Harry Pavlidis of The Hardball Times points out that Marmol's velocity has been in decline for quite some time. That's probably why he's fallen in love with throwing his wicked slider. Check out this chart. I'll cop to noticing this earlier in the season and discounting it to myself that the weather was still cold --  meaning maybe he couldn't get as loose. I'll also cop to being a Cubs fan and probably trying really hard to convince myself the dip in velocity was meaningless. So the question: Is Marmol injured, overworked or just losing strength? Oh, while we're here ...

CALM CARLOS: Sure, Carlos Zambrano broke a bat over his leg after striking out at the plate Tuesday night, but after Marmol blew the save and wasted a stellar effort from Zambrano on the hill, the once-fiery hurler consoled his teammate: "It happens to Mariano Rivera. It happens to Joe Nathan. It happens to the best of the best. I told him, just keep your head up, tomorrow's another day." (Chicago Sun-Times)

MUST-SEE GIF: Check out -- via Fangraphs.com -- Adrian Gonzalez saving his teammates and coaches from possibly getting struck with a line drive. The man can certainly handle the stick.

TOUGH LUCK LOSER? Look at the line for Jeremy Guthrie and you'll see a complete game with zero earned runs in which he took the loss. He even tweeted that very line, saying, "Accomplished something difficult tonight. Pitched a complete game allowing 0 ER & lost." Of course, if you watched the game or look at the play-by-play, you'll see the loss was actually Guthrie's fault. He made an error that allowed the eighth inning to continue before giving up a single and then a three-run home run by Justin Smoak. I will defend Guthrie a bit here, though. He's got a 3.24 ERA this season, yet sports a 2-7 record now. On his career, he's actually been a quality starting pitcher but had awful luck with wins and losses (40-55, 4.08). He's probably just sick of the stat, as well he should be. There are much better ways to measure pitching performance.

A CALL TO THE Mets: Gary Carter should have his number retired with the Mets, says Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. I'd be fine with the move, especially in light of Carter's health woes, but I think the call-out of the Wilpon family and all of Mets management for not "doing the right thing" for the past 22 years is a bit much. Maybe it's just a convenient time to pile on Mets' management and curry favor with fans, but Carter only had two really good seasons for the Mets. Both were top-10 MVP finishes and one was the 1986 World Series championship season, but the bulk of his Hall of Fame resume was built in Montreal. That said, again, I'm completely fine with the movement. Really, anything that helps Carter and his family find some happiness right now is a bonus.

AWESOME PROPOSAL: Most of the time, ballpark proposals are a bit lame. Not this time, not even close. Check it out and make sure to watch the whole thing. (Hat-tip to Big League Stew)



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Posted on: May 30, 2011 8:04 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:32 pm
 

Jenks could face former teammates on Tuesday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bobby JenksBobby Jenks may face his old team tomorrow, as the former White Sox closer is expected to be activated from the disabled list by the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Jenks was at Fenway Park on Monday, but declined to speak to reporters from Boston or Chicago, according to the Providence Journal.

Jenks made a rehab appearance Sunday in Pawtucket, pitching one inning and allowing a hit and a run. He hit as high as 96 on the radar gun in his second rehab appearance at Triple-A Pawtucket.

"All indications are that it's a good thing he went because he shook a little rust off, even by his own opinion," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

The two Sox teams are meeting for the first time this season, and Jenks is playing against the team he helped to a World Series title in 2005 for the first time in his career. Jenks served as the team's closer from the end of 2005 until last season, when he lost the job midseason. The team then non-tendered him instead of offering him arbitration, so he signed with the Red Sox as a free agent to set up Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Jenks was a long-time problem child with the White Sox, but once he left he went out burning bridges, criticizing White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, saying Guillen was a problem for the franchise. 

Guillen fired back, saying he lied for Jenks, protected him and gave him days off to babysit his kids. He also added the White Sox wouldn't miss Jenks and none of his former teammates would miss him either.

Guillen's son, Oney, also ripped Jenks on Twitter, which of course had Jenks firing back.

This week, though, things are much quieter. Francona called Guillen last week to suggest neither side talk about the incident leading up to this week.

"I appreciated that," Guillen said Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "It was getting to the point where we weren't being nice guys. I don't think we should have the Boston organization, their players, fans and manager dealing with that.

"It will be a little different when [Jenks] comes to Chicago, but I don't think it's a big deal."

The Red Sox don't go to Chicago until July 29 for a three-game series, their only trip to U.S. Cellular Field this season.

Jenks has appeared in just 11 games for the Red Sox this season, allowing 13 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in 8 2/3 innings. He's struck out 10 and walked nine. He's been on the disabled list  with biceps tendinitis since May 5.

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Guillen goes off on critics, again

Ozzie Guillen

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Oh, Ozzie Guillen... First he goes off on the fans and then he goes off on reporters because he went off on fans. I actually didn't see too much wrong in what he said before Sunday's game against the Blue Jays -- other than, you know, general Ozzie hyperbole, but then he apparently didn't appreciate the subheadline on the Chicago Tribune that read: "Sox manager says they're ungrateful for 2005 championship."
And so Ozzie took to Twitter. And here's that rant:

Ozzie Guillen tweet

Before the game, here's a bit of what Guillen said about criticism of him and his coaching staff following his harsh comments about the White Sox hitters.

From Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune:

"They'll only remember the 2005 team in 2020 when we come here in a wheelchair," Guillen said. "Oh yeah, thank you. As soon as you leave the ballpark, they don’t care about you any more. They don’t. The monuments, the statues they have for you, they [urinate] on it when they are drunk. That’s what they do. Thank you for coming for 30 minutes for all the suffering you did all your life, day in and day out.

"I wish I don’t feel any thing for this game. I wish I didn’t care about the White Sox. what the general manager, fans, media thinks. I wish I could say, '[bleep], I don’t give a [bleep]. I can’t. I try to put it in my mind that I don’t but I can't because I love baseball, I love this organization and this is a job I want to do. I’d be lying to myself. I do care about this [stuff]. I have a contract for next year. I can get dressed, go home, have dinner with my wife.

" ... I was upset because we had a chance to win, and we’re not in position to give games away. And we did."

There's more -- much more -- including Guillen saying "nobly has more passion for this game than me." He also explained some of his moves in Saturday's 14-inning loss to the Blue Jays, saying "you're dragging and your stomach is squeezing and you're sick to your stomach and [thinking] hopefully this thing works."

As always, it's worth reading Guillen's entire rant. I think it's hard to argue that Guillen has passion -- and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who expresses it in a more entertaining fashion.

Do I agree with all of Guillen's moves and statements? No, but it's hard to argue that he has passion and wants to win.

And, if you wish to decide for yourself, here's the video of his Sunday meeting with the media.


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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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