Tag:Green Day
Posted on: February 9, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Woodjock on hold while Peavy focuses on pitching

While White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy concentrates on regaining his health this spring, Woodjock will be placed on ice.

Dreamed up by Peavy last spring, Woodjock 2010 was a fundraiser that allowed major league players to play out their rock and roll fantasies. Peavy, Bronson Arroyo, Bernie Williams, Barry Zito, Aubrey Huff, Gordon Beckham, Tim Flannery and others all participated in the Scottsdale, Ariz., concert last March that raised money for Team Focus, Strikeouts for Troops, Autism Speaks and White Sox Charities through the Jake Peavy Foundation.

There was supposed to be a Woodjock 2011, too.

"As cool as it was, as much as I love it, I didn't want any distractions," Peavy told me this week. "I didn't want any distractions for the team or for my teammates.

"I want them to know I'm sold out to the cause. I'll bypass Woodjock this year and it will return bigger and better next year."

About 1,200 people attended last spring's fundraiser. The way Peavy figured it, all sorts of athletes put on charity golf tournaments. But you don't often see a ballplayer hosting a charity concert.

But, alas, with Peavy returning from major arm surgery, he intends to direct all of his energy to the field this spring and low-key everything else.

"We'll have some troops out, still, and we'll have a nice dinner," says Peavy, whose charity work with the military started when he played in San Diego.

As for Woodjock, Peavy says, "Stay tuned for 2012. We're going to bring the house down."

Likes: Pitchers and catchers reporting means spring is right around the corner, doesn't it? Check back here beginning next week to join me for the annual Camp Tours. We'll move from clubhouses to batting cages to restaurants and roadside Dairy Queens with the greatest of ease. ... What a fun story San Diego State basketball has been this winter. Can't wait for the SDSU-Brigham Young game on Feb. 26 on CBS.

Dislikes: Contract stories. I know it's an essential part of today's game. But when the Cardinals and Albert Pujols are bickering over what will wind up being a contract in the neighborhood of $300 million ... and when the overwhelming odds are that he will stay in St. Louis ... well, let's just cut to the end story, sign the contract and move on.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Don't want to be an American idiot
"One nation controlled by the media
"Information age of hysteria
"It's calling out to idiot America"

-- Green Day, American Idiot

Posted on: September 14, 2010 1:28 am
 

Tejada wins battle, Padres win the war

DENVER – Losers of 13 of their past 17 games and having watched a large first-place lead melt to nothing, the Padres to a man were on the top step of their dugout, hanging on the railing, when Miguel Tejada stepped up in the first inning with one out and one on.

The white-hot Rockies had won 10 in a row in what has evolved into a riveting NL West race.

With Tejada at the plate, the Padres' case of suspended animation was about to continue.

He battled Colorado starter Jeff Francis for nine pitches before ripping a two-run homer well over the left-field wall to kick-start San Diego's 6-4 win and break Colorado's 10-game winning streak.

For a badly slumping team that had scored only 38 runs over its past 17 games, Tejada produced exactly what was needed.

"He fought," manager Bud Black said. "Francis threw him everything. Miggy had some reactionary swings to some pitches, and he fought some balls off."

Tejada was behind in the count 0-1 and 1-2 before fouling off one pitch, taking a ball, fouling off another pitch, taking ball three and then fouling off two more. Then, bam. He crushed a full-count, 89 m.p.h. fastball.

"That was a great at-bat," Black said. "Those at-bats in a game, over the course of the game and after, you look back and say, 'That was a hell of an at-bat.'"

It was a veritable offensive boon for the Padres. Tejada wound up with four RBIs, and San Diego's Nos. 2-5 hitters -- Aaron Cunningham, Tejada, Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Ludwick -- went 9-for-15.

The Padres led 5-0 but, as is typical in Coors Field, the Rockies charged back to within 5-4 -- Troy Tulowitzski's three-run homer in the fifth aided that -- before San Diego's six-man relief effort over 4 1/3 innings halted them.

"You talk about this park, a four- or five-run lead is really a one- or two-run lead," Black said. "You never really know how a game is going to play out here. You really don't."

Likes: Great drama in the ninth when, with the Padres ahead 6-4, closer Heath Bell walked leadoff man Seth Smith to ensure he would have to face smoking hot Carlos Gonzalez. Sure enough, CarGo, leading the NL in batting average, stepped to the plate with two out and one on. Bell induced a bouncer to shortstop. "Tonight, I broke his bat and I won," Bell said. "Hopefully, I don't have to face him tomorrow." ... Great game in Tampa, er, St. Petersburg on Monday. Tampa Bay moves into first place in the AL East with the 1-0 win. David Price and CC Sabathia lived up to the billing, one day after Tim Lincecum-Mat Latos didn't (well, Latos didn't) in the Giants-Padres battle in San Diego. ... Fontano's Chicago Subs in Denver. Had never been there before until lunch Monday, but will be back. ... Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central drilling Riverview on the high school football field Friday night. Excellent win in moving to 2-1. Next victim for the Falcons: Flat Rock.

Dislikes: Hate to see Florida shut down ace Josh Johnson with back issues, but it's the smart thing to do. So many people don't realize how good that guy is. ... The Video Music Awards the other night. Watched the first 30 minutes, and I never realized what a classless pig Chelsea Handler is. I've seen her books, but wow, her act was tiresome quick.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Born into Nixon I was raised in hell
"A welfare child where the teamsters dwelled
"The last one born, and the first one to run
"My town was blind from refinery sun
"My generation is zero
"I never made it as a working class hero
"21st century breakdown
"I once was lost but never was found
"I think I am losing what's left of my mind
"To the 20th century deadline"

-- Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown

Posted on: October 27, 2009 9:32 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2009 9:35 pm
 

Phillies add Brett Myers to World Series roster

NEW YORK -- Looking for any edge in what figures to be a classic and closely contested World Series, the Phillies on Tuesday made one roster change, activating pitcher Brett Myers and dropping infielder Miguel Cairo.

Myers, a hard-throwing righty, made one appearance against Colorado in the NL Division Series, but the Phillies did not include him on their NL Championship Series roster against the Dodgers. During his stint against the Rockies, two-third of an inning, he walked two batters.

"We felt like we needed another pitcher because the moves that we've been making in situations, we ran through five pitchers in one inning against the Dodgers," manager Charlie Manuel said. "And I feel like if those things happen again, we always need pitching."

Not to mention the fact that the Yankees scored the most runs in the majors this year.

"I feel like with Myers' stuff and the fact that he's in better shape and he's well and ready to pitch," Manuel said. "I feel like his talent actually belongs on our staff."

Myers went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies during an injury-plagued season. He worked in only 18 games, starting 10. He began the season in the rotation but suffered a torn labrum in his hip and had surgery on June 4. He worked out of the bullpen when he returned in September.

Likes:
Much of the western part of the country might not care, but this Yankees-Phillies World Series comes with terrific passion in the host cities. ... Yankees owner George Steinbrenner scheduled to attend Game 1. ... Jorge Posada on Jimmy Rollins' prediction that the Phillies will win in five games: "He's been Nostradamus, that's what I've heard." ... Great tabloid headlines today. New York Post: Gotham Trembles: The Frillies are coming to town! Complete with a weird cover photo mash-up of Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino from the waist up, with a woman's lower half, wearing a skirt. And the Daily News writes: Pity Silly-delphia for thinking they can beat N.Y. ... Il Vagabondo on East 62nd in New York.

Dislikes: The Yankees can't actually allow Chad Gaudin anywhere near a World Series start, can they? ... Game 1 on Oct. 28. What a joke. ... The hoopla surrounding Michael Jackson's This Is It. I really hope it is.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Born into Nixon, I was raised in hell
"A welfare child where the teamsters dwelled
"The last one born and the first one to run
"My town was blind from the refinery sun
"My generation is zero
"I never made it as a working class hero"

-- Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown

 

Posted on: May 23, 2009 11:46 pm
 

Zito shows signs of life

Is Barry Zito back?

One glance at his record (1-4), and you might assume it's business as usual for San Francisco's giant of a disappointment.

But if the Giants could, um, actually, maybe, score a few runs once in awhile, you might be surprised at what Zito's numbers would look like.

Heading into Sunday's start in Seattle against Felix Hernandez, Zito since April 22 has posted a 2.21 ERA, eighth-lowest in the National League. He's thrown quality starts (six innings or more, three runs or less) in five of his past six outings.

But he's backed by the worst run support in the NL -- the Giants are averaging just 1.94 runs a game when he's on the mound -- so the air essentially has been let out from the drama of any Zito comeback.

"I'm encouraged that I've gotten back to where I need to be," Zito told me the other day. "I'm pitching better than I have at this point in the season than I have since I've been a Giant."

The key, he says, is he's finally reached the point where he's not "babying" his pitches. He's zeroed in on being aggressive with each of his pitches -- including being intelligently aggressive with his changeup -- and "if you do that, somehow, hitters can't pick stuff up as well. If you have aggressive arm speed and you're loose and not babying stuff."

The former American League All-Star, who signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with San Francisco before the 2007 season, Zito says that he thinks part of his problem during his first two seasons with the Giants has been that he's spent more time attempting to "trick" hitters than simply pitching, and that's tempered his aggressiveness.

He seemed to bottom out last year when he went 10-17 with a career-worst 5.15 ERA. The bounce-back this year has included Zito lowering his ERA to 3.62 (from 10.00 following his first two starts).

His slider and curve again are breaking late, and his changeup looks like a fastball. It comes, he says, from a narrow focus on making sure he stays aggressive.

Following all the talk after he signed for all that dough that the monster contract wouldn't affect him, Zito now sounds a lot like a man who indeed has been affected by the pressure and was pitching not to lose instead of pitching to win.

"You start to try to protect things," Zito says. "A guy on second base with two outs, you start being careful. No one can succeed trying to be careful. You start thinking, 'Don't do this' instead of, 'Do that.'"

Likes: The Seattle Mariners, in a class move, hosting sports staffers in one of their suites Friday night from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, which closed this spring. The P-I has maintained a very small staff for its Web operation. ... The San Diego Padres, in a class move, hosting a get together in the press box late Friday night celebrating Tom Krasovic, the long time beat man for the San Diego Union-Tribune who was laid off in another of these despicable corporate bloodlettings. ... Running along the waterfront in Seattle, cruising by Pike Place Market, the P-I building, along Puget Sound. Every time I go back I marvel at what a beautiful city Seattle is. ... Green Day on The Today Show on Friday morning. ... The fish tacos at Taco Del Mar in Seattle. ... The shredded chicken enchiladas at San Diego's El Indio.

Dislikes: You can imagine my disappointment this trip into Seattle when I learned that the George Benson Waterfront Streetcar Line is not named after the pop/scat/R&B singer but after a local Seattle guy who was instrumental in getting the streetcar line started. Benson the musician is from Pittsburgh.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"The insurgency will rise
"When the blood's been sacrificed
"Don't be blinded by the lies in your eyes"

-- Green Day, Know Your Enemy

Posted on: May 14, 2009 6:34 pm
 

Ramirez nails for Red Sox

While an overhwhelming majority of clubs are negotiating unsteady bullpens, the Boston Red Sox remain rock solid in part because of an under-the-radar trade they completed last November.

Right-hander Ramon Ramirez, acquired from the Royals for outfielder Coco Crisp, was not exactly a household name. Few middle relievers are, especially those in Kansas City. But Ramirez has been lights-out for Boston this season, going 4-0 so far with an 0.52 ERA (tied for third among AL relievers). He also ranks tied for third in the AL with five holds.

He's certainly not the only reason Boston's bullpen is fourth in the majors with a 3.20 ERA. There's still this closer named Jonathan Papelbon (a perfect nine-for-nine in save opportunities) and, as manager Terry Francona quickly reminds when you ask about Ramirez, "It's our whole bullpen. Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen. ... some things about our club are going to be later -- David (Ortiz, coming out of his power slump, and John Smoltz, who isn't expected to join the rotation for a few more weeks). But our whole bullpen has been good every night."

It has, and Ramirez has helped make a unit that ranked seventh in the majors last season with a 4.00 ERA even better. He's surrendered just one run over 16 1/3 innings this season, and opponents are hitting only .127 against him (right-handers .118, lefties .143).

"His physical ability, his demeanor and his ability to pitch late in games have really been weapons for us," Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell says. "You look at his track record, his numbers outside of Colorado for his career ... his ERA is below 2.00.

"What he's doing this year is not bursting out (of the norm). He's got quite a bit of sample size."

Ramirez came highly recommended to the Sox by David Howard, a special assistant to general manager Theo Epstein. Howard, a former big leaguer with the Royals and Cardinals, still lives in the Kansas City area and, among other things, thought that Ramirez had a demeanor that would serve him well in a high-pressure market like Boston.

The Sox especially like that he has the stuff to regularly obtain swings-and-misses in the late innings, thus increasing the odds of obtaining outs and limiting the potential for damage.

"You can't say enough about his work ethic and preparation," Farrell says. "He's prepared to pitch every day. He takes care of himself as well as anyone we have."

Boston's biggest issue with Ramirez from here on out is going to be to monitor his workload and not overuse him.

Likes: Boston's Daniel Bard, who impressed legions of scouts this spring, looked really good in his major-league debut Wednesday night in Anaheim. He was sensational against Mike Napoli, the first batter he faced and one of the Angels' hottest hitters. Bard got three swings and missed on fastballs of 94, 95 and 97 miles an hour. Napoli never had a chance. This kid is going to be a key pitcher for Boston, probably sooner rather than later. ... The new Green Day song, Know Your Enemy. Good reviews on the new disc, 21st Century Breakdown, so far. I've still got American Idiot heavy in my iPod gym rotation. Great workout music.

Dislikes: Umpire Paul Schrieber did apologize for placing his hand on Detroit's Magglio Ordonez in Wednesday's Tigers-Twins game in Minnesota. But I don't see how he cannot be suspended. If a manager or player touches an umpire, it's an automatic suspension. Don't ever touch the umpire -- it's one of the game's cardinal rules. Rightfully so. Conversely, an umpire can't touch a player. That could cause holy hell if the situation got heated enough. Gotta be a suspension then, right? ... Fleetwood Mac touring under the name Fleetwood Mac. Christine McVie has retired. I'm sorry, but if she's not around and not singing Don't Stop, Say You Love Me and Over My Head, it's not Fleetwood Mac.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"You've been telling everybody
"You're just plain in luck
"My wife cooked me neck bones and beans
"And she cooked you chicken and duck
"That's why I don't want you hanging 'round my wife no more
"That's why I'm telling you somebody sure has gotta go."

-- Big Bill Broonzy, Somebody's Gotta Go

Posted on: March 12, 2008 10:45 pm
 

Sir Sidney, the scales and the Airborne Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- So what, exactly, was Sidney Ponson doing throwing two scoreless innings deep in Texas' 5-4 Cactus League victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and behaving as, dare we say it, a real, live major league pitcher?

First, let's get the automatic chuckle out of the way with Sir Sidney (hey, he was knighted in his native Aruba).

"You look like you're in pretty good shape," I told the notoriously hefty Ponson -- in all seriousness -- when I saw him before Wednesday's game.

His replay was classic: "I thought so, too, until I weighed in today. That was a little disappointing."

Last week, Ponson said, he was at 250 pounds and happy.

Upon stepping on the scale here Wednesday morning, he said he was "255, 256."

"I don't know why. Altitude?" he joked. "I'm just worried about throwing today, getting people out."

He did that, too. Faced the minimum six batters over two innings, walking one and fanning another.

He's not exactly a lock to make this team -- he just signed a few days ago, and arrived here on Sunday -- but he's certainly in the right place. Last time Texas had any pitching, they were defending The Alamo down in San Antonio. Or something like that.

Ponson hasn't pitched in the majors since Minnesota released him last May 15. He was 2-5 with a 6.93 ERA. Year before that, he struck out with both the Cardinals and Yankees.

He went home to Florida last May, took a couple of months off and then started working out again. He pitched a bit in the Dominican winter league, making three starts.

Though it seems as if he's been around forever, he's just 31. "I'm still pretty young," he says. "I'm a young veteran."

If this latest comeback road takes him back to Triple-A for awhile, he says, "I'm fine with that. I just want to get back to the big leagues."

Rangers starters last season combined to pitch the fewest innings of any rotation in the majors. There is a definite need here. And, conversely, if Sir Sidney can't hang on here -- whatever his weight -- then, well, maybe it will be time to remove the "Sir" from his title.

Likes: Nice complex in Surprise that the Rangers and Royals share, but how anybody ever thought to build anything out there in that part of the desert, I'd love to hear the explanation. ... I could do without his tattoos, but Josh Hamilton's is the kind of story you can't help rooting for. ... Tampa Bay at Yankees April 4-5-6-7, the first weekend of the regular season. Boxing gloves, anyone? ... Gov. Eliot Spitzer jokes. ... Make that former Governor. ... New Texas president Nolan Ryan's reply when general manager Jon Daniels asked how he dealt with the heat when he pitched for the Rangers: Ryan told Daniels that, on any given night, his goal was to last longer in the game than the opposing starting pitcher. ... This dry bit of humor from Bob Dylan on XM's Theme Time Radio Hour on Wednesday's program, with birds as the theme: "The average wingspan of a duck is 27 inches. Though if you own one and its wingspan is a little less, don't be concerned." ... Dairy Queen drive-thrus.

Dislikes: Cell phone batteries that don't last as long as they should.

Sunblock day? Yep. Perfect. Not too hot, but a warm upper-70s with a bright sun.

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

"My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
"My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
"Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
"'Til then I'll walk alone"

-- Green Day, Boulevard of Broken Dreams

 
 
 
 
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