Posted on: May 13, 2008 12:57 pm

Those Hambricks ... scary folk

Troy Hambrick is going to prison? Consider me not surprised.

My first job out of college was writing for The Tampa Tribune's Pasco County bureau, where I covered the Pasco High football team led by brothers Darren and Troy Hambrick. Darren was clearly the better all-around athlete -- future NFL linebacker, 20 ppg in basketball, one-man contender for the state track team title -- but Troy was the better football player. One of the great things about covering high school football is when you run across a larger than life player like Troy Hambrick. He literally felt he should score every time he touched the ball, and he damn near did. He was bigger, stronger and faster than everyone else on the field. Watching him was a privilege.

But you knew major trouble was waiting. I just thought it would find Darren Hambrick first. He was such a bad guy that at one of his track meets he literally punched a girl right in front of me. I was interviewing him, this girl came up and said something silly, and he smashed her. Then he turns to me and says, "Sorry, she's on crack."

I've never known if he was serious or kidding about the crack, but I've never forgotten the incident -- would you? -- and I've always wondered how long before Darren Hambrick found trouble. Turns out, it didn't take long.

And now Troy has found prison. What a waste of talent those brothers turned out to be.



Category: MLB
Posted on: April 23, 2008 12:24 pm

And this is why I hate Cincinnati

Well, not Cincinnati, per se. Nobody can hate Cincinnati as a city. How do you hate something so harmless, so boring? Do you hate khakis? No you do not. You better not ever choose to wear them, but khakis aren't hateable. Just boring.

But I do hate the Reds, at this very moment anyway. I hate owner Bob Castellini at the moment for being a jock-sniffer extraordinaire who bought his way into several clubs before finally buying this one outright, and then brought along his old friend from St. Louis, Walt Jocketty, as an adviser -- and then waited all of 24 days into the 2008 season to fire general manager Wayne Krivsky and replace him with ... Jocketty.

I hate Jocketty at the moment for coming here to so clearly steal another man's job, without having the decency, or the guts, to simply take it outright on his first day in town. Jocketty let Krivsky squirm for a while -- as his "adviser" -- before gutting him on Wednesday.

I hate the fact that I'm speaking the truth but the Reds will complain about me and probably try, again, to keep me out of their clubhouse because they're not used to a media member with fangs.

Done venting.

But not done hating.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 23, 2008 7:35 am

This is why I love Detroit

Well, not Detroit, per se. Nobody can love Detroit. The traffic stinks, I-75 has been ruined, and Kid Rock is unforgivably bad, other than "Cowboy."

But the Detroit Tigers? They've lovable, and I love them. Mainly I love general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland, the best GM-manager combo in baseball. The move they just made, switching Carlos Guillen to third and Miguel Cabrera to first, was so simple, it was genius.

It seems obvious in hindsight -- Cabrera might have been the worst-fielding third baseman in history, Guillen is a former shortstop -- but until it happened last night, who knew it was even a possibility? I love it. I hate myself for not predicting it ahead of time, but that's why Dombrowski and Leyland are who they are ... and I am who I am. Sigh.

On the bright side, I can smell a pig from a mile away. As long as it has enough BBQ sauce.

And Detroit is going to win the 2008 World Series.


Posted on: February 21, 2008 5:40 pm

Scott Boras is a bad guy

Everyone seems to think so, even Gary Sheffield and presumably Alex Rodriguez.

If you will recall, A-Rod maneuvered around Boras this offseason to get his deal done with the Yankees after Boras botched the process so badly that A-Rod was villified for opting out of his contract.

Now this. Now Sheffield, who has a big mouth and a wild side of his own, is coming out and calling Boras a bad person. He says he will have lots more to add after his grievance with Boras is settled.

Neither Boras nor Sheffield cuts a particularly sympathetic figure, but I'll take Sheffield every time. Sheffield's biggest problem is he's too honest, whereas Boras' biggest problem is he's ... not.

More bad pub for Boras. I love it. That's OK, right?

Posted on: February 20, 2008 3:37 pm

Shame on whoever is keeping Nuxhall out

Congratulations to Dave Niehaus, the Mariners broadcaster who won this year's Ford C. Frick award and the spot in Cooperstown that goes with it.

But Niehaus could have waited a year. Lord knows Joe Nuxhall waited a year. And another year. And maybe forever, it appears.

Nuxhall, the longtime Reds broadcaster, died late last year without his rightful spot in the Hall of Fame, and while a spot now would have been bittersweet in its timing, it would have been better than this: Nuxhall left out, again. And probably forever.

Nuxhall not only has all the stature a broadcaster needs to win the fricking Frick award, but he also holds a record that will never be broken: the youngest player to play in the major leagues. Considering he was 15 when he broke in, and considering MLB rules now prevent teams from signing anyone younger than 16, Nuxhall's record is safe.

Add it up, and he should be in the Hall of Fame. Fans spoke loudly during fan voting for the Frick ballot, giving Nuxhall more votes than the rest of the field combined. Nuxhall should have gotten in before this year, but he definitely should have made it now. My guess is this year was a now-or-never time for Nuxie.

Whoever didn't vote for him can piss off.

Category: MLB
Tags: Joe Nuxhall
Posted on: February 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2008 3:32 pm

The love-child of Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi

... would look like Eric Gagne.

Channeling McGwire's refusal to talk about the past and Giambi's vague apology for ... something, Gagne finally addressed his inclusion in the Mitchell Report.

You ask me, Gagne is one of the worst cheaters (allegedly) involved in baseball's performance-enhancing scandal, because he (allegedly) used steroids to reinvent himself from a bullcrap starter with so-so stuff into a lights-out closer with filthy material. From 1999-2001 he was 11-14 with a 4.80 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 283 innings. He then moved to the bullpen, mysteriously added about 5 mph to his fastball, and from 2002-2004 saved 152 games with a 1.79 ERA and 368 strikeouts in 247 innings.

Boo to you, Eric Gagne. At least Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were superstars without the juice.

Category: MLB
Tags: Eric Gagne
Posted on: February 13, 2008 12:53 pm

For the love of God call it off

I'm watching Roger Clemens get eviscerated on television, and I have to tell you, this is hard to watch. It's like watching a boxer get his teeth knocked out and his eyes puffed beyond recognition and his nose smashed ... yet he refuses to go down, and nobody will throw in the towel.

Clemens looks so guilty. He looks so bad. This is like watching a car crash. I can't stop looking, but it's making me nauseous.


Category: MLB
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