Tag:Billy Joel
Posted on: April 5, 2011 10:05 pm
 

Giants to activate closer Wilson on Wednesday

SAN DIEGO -- Closer Brian Wilson is expected to be activated before Wednesday afternoon's game with the Padres. Now all the Giants have to do is get a lead so he can pitch.

The reeling Giants took another loss Tuesday, this one 3-1 to the Padres to fall to 1-4, and right now Wilson's absence seems the least of their problems: They've had exactly zero save opportunities in their first five games.

So if a closer is activated in the forest and nobody notices, is he really active? Or something like that.

"After throwing to hitters in LA and playing catch today, he feels great," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Tuesday's game.

Wilson has made no secret of his eagerness to return, but the Giants are confident that he's ready.

"Just watching him throw to hitters in LA, he wasn't hesitating," Bochy said. "He was letting it go.

"If your oblique is bothering you, you can't hide that."

***************

You can't hide some of the Giants' fielders, either. They've committed five errors in their first five games (none on Tuesday in San Diego, though pitcher Madison Bumgarner didn't distinguish himself on Chris Denorfia's bunt in a three-run third).

Bochy already is going into overdrive protecting Aubrey Huff -- rightly so -- for his uneven play in right field. Huff was supposed to be the San Francisco first baseman this year, but when Cody Ross suffered a strained calf, Huff went out to right to replace him and rookie Brandon Belt was installed at first.

"Huff played pretty good outfield last year," Bochy said. "In fairness to him, he didn't get a lot of time out there because Ross was there. Give him time."

That's fair. But it doesn't help matters short-term (Ross is expected to miss at least the first three weeks of the season).

"Andres Torres is going to weight 138 pounds by the end of the season with all that ground he has to cover," one scout quipped Tuesday of the Giants center fielder. "He's got from foul line to foul line."

Likes: If you're a fan of San Diego sports, check out Jane Mitchell's book One on One: My Journey With Hall of Famers, Fan Favorites and Rising Stars. All sorts of people -- and stuff -- in there from the popular Mitchell, who has been doing magazine-style, in-depth pieces on San Diego television for years. ... The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Netflix'd it the other night and what a gem. Julianne Moore is terrific, and Woody Harrelson, as usual, is pitch-perfect.

Dislikes: The Padres changing uniforms again. Now their road unis are gray, not the "sand" color of the past few years. ... Butler-Connecticut, what a letdown. Ugh. ... Made of Honor. Brutal. Patrick Dempsey may be fine for Grey's Anatomy, but keep him on the small screen.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Now Paul is a real estate novelist
"Who never had time for a wife
"And he's talking with Davy who's still in the navy
"And probably will be for life
"And the waitress is practicing politics
"As the businessmen slowly get stoned
"Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
"But it's better than drinking alone
"It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,
"And the manager gives me a smile
"'Cause he knows that it's me they've been coming to see
"To forget about life for awhile"

-- Billy Joel, Piano Man

Posted on: October 30, 2009 5:58 pm
 

Steinbrenner's health worsening

PHILADELPHIA -- The failing health of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, 79, is no secret.

But the depth of how rapidly Steinbrenner is deteriorating was dramatically on display following Game 2 of the World Series in Yankee Stadium. You just couldn't physically see it.

That's because the Blue Curtain dropped quickly and sharply following Game 2, with the Yankees -- or, to be more precise, a coterie of New York policemen and security guards working at their behest -- essentially placed on lockdown a main tunnel running outside of the clubhouses as the club moved Steinbrenner out of Yankee Stadium.

Not only do the Yankees not want anybody to speak with Steinbrenner, they're protecting his privacy so fiercely that they won't allow most people to even get a glimpse of him anymore.

Mechanized gates dropped suddenly from the ceiling to confine some officials to certain areas of the corridor -- including some surprised major league baseball officials who were not told beforehand and were suddenly trapped -- and keep them away from the vehicles transporting Steinbrenner. Temporary curtains were quickly set up as well to block views.

Security guards not only shut down the press elevator carrying media members downstairs to the interview areas until after Steinbrenner had departed, they also locked the doors downstairs, trapping several dozen media members in the stairwell.

One security guard shooing people out of the area, according to one official who was there at the time, said that they were "cleansing the hallway."

The Yankees also have gone so far as to tell major league baseball officials that they do not want Steinbrenner shown on television, according to one industry source.

As of now, Steinbrenner is not expected to return to Yankee Stadium if the World Series moves back there for Games 6 and, possibly, 7. Before attending Games 1 and 2, he had not been to the new Yankee Stadium since the home opener.

Likes: Derek Jeter saying before Friday's workout at Citizens Bank Park that he once dressed up as the singer Prince for Halloween back in Kalamazoo, Mich. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, working for the World Series for Fox television, promising to keep his potty mouth clean during his appearances on the tube: "I only curse when the Chicago media is around me," Guillen quipped. ... The Woody Allen sandwich at Carnegie Deli. Corned beef and pastrami, and thoroughly delicious. The giant pickles are delicious, too. ... Long walk in Central Park on Thursday. Gorgeous day, beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves and as an added bonus, they were setting up the finish line for Sunday's New York Marathon. ... The fall foliage along the Amtrak line Friday morning while going old-school and riding the train from New York to Philadelphia. ... The No. 4 train to Yankee Stadium. You really feel like you're in New York when you're on the subway. ... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night sure looked terrific, and I can't wait to watch it on HBO Thanksgiving weekend. But it will be edited, not shown in its entirety, and I can only hope the network doesn't chop it up too much. ... Just because the World Series had an off day Friday doesn't mean there wasn't a big game: Best of luck to the Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central High football team, which hosts its opening playoff game Friday night against Harper Woods High.

Dislikes: Baseball on Halloween. Baseball should be finished by Halloween. Especially for those of us who really would like to take our children trick or treating.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"It was so easy living day by day
"Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
"But now I need a little give and take
"The New York Times, The Daily News"

-- Billy Joel, New York State of Mind

Posted on: August 21, 2009 12:24 am
 

Greene, Padres settle dispute

Khalil Greene arrived in San Diego on Thursday with his St. Louis Cardinals teammates -- but without union representation.

Which was a very good thing for him.

Greene and the Padres settled a grievance in which the club was attempting to recover up to $1.47 million in salary from last August and September when the shortstop was sidelined after a suffering a self-inflicted injury. The grievance hearing had been scheduled for this month.

"It was resolved a couple of weeks ago in a mutually satisfactory way," Padres chairman Jeff Moorad said.

Moorad declined to reveal terms because the parties signed a confidentiality clause. David Prouty, chief labor counsel for the major league baseball players association, confirmed the settlement Thursday.

"It certainly was something, as far as it being over and done, I'm glad it's over," Greene said. "It was something that was on my mind for a long time up until the point when it was finally finished.

"I'm glad to be done with it."

Greene suffered a broken hand last July 30 when, in a fit of anger, he punched a storage locker in Petco Park during a game. The Padres, angry to have lost their shortstop for the season and in a financial pinch, wanted to dock his salary for the time he missed.

It is believed that Greene wound up receiving most of, if not all of, the $1.47 million due him. One precedent the players' union was citing in its case involved former pitcher Doyle Alexander, who won a similar grievance in 1982 when the Yankees attempted to recover salary paid while he was sidelined for two months because of a similar self-inflicted injury. Then, Alexander fractured a knuckle when he punched the dugout wall.

Greene has been on the disabled list twice this summer with anxiety disorder issues and is hitting only .211 with five homers and 23 RBI in 57 games for St. Louis. He also has eight errors.

Likes: When people talk about Albert Pujols' greatness as a complete player, this is what they're talking about: Pujols swiping second on a 3-and-0 count to Matt Holliday in the ninth inning of a tied game in Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. It caught the Dodgers so flat-footed that shortstop Rafael Furcal didn't even back up the play, so nobody was there when the ball skipped away from Orlando Hudson. So Pujols took third, then scored the winning run on Holliday's fly ball. It even got a smile from normally stone-faced manager Tony La Russa when I asked him about it. ... College football getting close. ... Don Middlebrook's new CD Beach Bar Serenade. Check out Don's stuff here. ... Bob Dylan's latest Together Through Life. Really good. ... Dark Star's Sports Tonight radio program in Minnesota. ... The latest leg of Bruce Springsteen's tour opening in the United States -- in Hartford, Conn. -- on Wednesday. ... The Farrah Fawcett photo on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair. And I'm particularly glad that, of the two covers of this month's magazine -- Fawcett and Michael Jackson -- the issue featuring Fawcett was the one that landed in my mailbox. ... John Mellencamp's new song Save Some Time to Dream, that apparently will appear on a CD to be issued this fall. He's playing it in concert this summer. ... The free Friday concerts in the park near my house in the summertime. Just one more to go this weekend. Quick, somebody slow summer down. It's disappearing too quickly.

Dislikes: Who says the education system in this country doesn't need fixing? And I'm not talking math, science or even diagramming sentences. I'm talking about the young police officers in New Jersey who didn't even know who Bob Dylan was last month. Very amusing story here.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
"He gets me my drinks for free
"And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
"But there's someplace that he'd rather be
"He says Bill, I believe this is killing me
"As the smile ran away from his face
"Well Im sure that I could be a movie star
"If I could get out of this place"

-- Billy Joel, Piano Man

 
 
 
 
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