Tag:Albert Pujols
Posted on: February 16, 2011 12:11 am
Edited on: February 16, 2011 10:30 am
 

Cards, Pujols not expected to agree by Wednesday

JUPITER, Fla. -- With just hours remaining before Albert Pujols' self-imposed deadline to reach a contractual agreement with the Cardinals, sources with knowledge of the talks say there is zero momentum toward a deal and that Pujols is expected to report to camp on Thursday ready to focus on the season and then, likely, free agency.

At the conclusion of a wild day Tuesday on which St. Louis manager Tony La Russa ripped the Major League Players Assn. for pressuring Pujols to push for a record-setting contract and an apparently erroneous report surfaced on SI.com that said the Cardinals made an eight-year offer to their star first baseman, Pujols and the Cardinals were said to be no closer to a deal than they were at the beginning of the week ... or last week ... or the week before.

Despite pushing the deadline back 24 hours out of respect to Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who was in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to receive the presidential Medal of Freedom, the two sides continue to move in different universes.

Union boss Michael Wiener earlier in the day strongly denied to multiple news outlets that the players assn. had anything to do with the Pujols talks. This after La Russa said before the Cardinals pitchers and catchers worked out Tuesday that "I know what he's going through with the union and, to some extent, his representatives. His representatives are getting beat up by the union. 'Set the bar. Set the bar.' That's bull----."

Later came the report that the Cardinals had ponied up an eight-year offer to Pujols.

Late Tuesday night, however, a source familiar with the negotiations told CBSSports.com that no such offer had been made.

"That's completely inaccurate and false," the source said.

Failing some sort of last-ditch effort that suddenly kicks these talks into overdrive Wednesday morning, the Cardinals will enter 2011 with a major, major distraction on their hands by failing to lock up a franchise icon, and Pujols will sail into the summer charged with blocking out an uncertain future.

It is not the optimal condition for either side, to say the least. And there will be plenty of opinions as to who's at fault.

Pujols, for insisting on a deal that compares with or surpasses Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million contract despite the fact that the Cardinals don't have Yankee money?

The Cardinals, for failing to move earlier to sign Pujols long-term and thus avoid the very kind of feeding frenzy that is taking place at their spring camp?

You can argue that Pujols, who has never made more than $14.545 million, has been one of baseball's biggest values over the past decade and that the Cardinals now owe him.

You can also argue that if Pujols indeed is seeking something like a 10-year, $300 million deal, then, despite his iconic status in St. Louis, it would be a financial disaster that could cripple the Cardinals from being competitive in future years.

Despite Wednesday's deadline, the Cardinals, of course, will retain exclusive rights to Pujols until the 2011-2012 free agency period begins five days after the conclusion of next fall's World Series.

Little is certain at this point on how this epic staredown will play out.

But at the moment, the overwhelming indications are that Wednesday's deadline will come and go, with a major gap remaining between the Cardinals and Pujols.

Posted on: February 13, 2011 10:56 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 10:57 pm
 

Pujols, La Russa and "spectacular" distractions

So, is the Cardinals season about to be torpedoed before it even begins?

There was manager Tony La Russa on Sunday, before the first Cardinal of the spring even officially took the field, getting out in front of the issue that right now appears poised to overtake St. Louis' summer.

La Russa admitted Sunday that the Pujols contract situation potentially is a "spectacular distraction" that could turn into a "spectacular excuse" is the Cardinals play poorly.

Understand a couple of things about this.

One, La Russa is a master manipulator who plays mind games as well as anybody in the league. He is adept at spinning situations to create the ultimate "us against them" mentality in the clubhouse.

Two, La Russa thrives in this arena, and he's yet to meet a challenge he doesn't think he can whip. So you bet the Cardinals will be well schooled in the first team meeting of the spring on the volatility of the Pujols talks, what it will mean if any of them starts yapping out of school and of the age-old clubhouse adage, "What you see here, what you hear here, what you discuss here, stays here."

It's hard to remember a La Russa-managed club that hasn't had its share of distractions, some of them even spectacular, many of them orchestrated by La Russa himself. Mark McGwire's return to the game last spring -- sponsored by La Russa -- eventually gave way to peace and quiet. Later in the summer, La Russa's tiff with outfielder Cody Rasmus went public after the manager spelled out his displeasure with Rasmus.

It was La Russa himself who was arrested near the Cardinals' spring facility in Florida in 2007 and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Later that summer, in the aftermath of pitcher Josh Hancock's traffic death, La Russa caused quite a stir when he threatened to take his fungo bat to any reporter who crossed the line with questions about the tragedy.

He has famously feuded with Scott Rolen (hastening Rolen's departure from the Cardinals) as well as Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (a rift that remains). And remember his Cold War with the umpires in 2003? Among other things, La Russa said that Jerry Crawford has "made it a point to get us."

While none of this relates directly to Pujols, the point is, with the Cardinals, it's always something. Always, there is some controversy or slight, real or perceived, up around the next corner. And it doesn't always mean disaster. Sometimes, the Cardinals thrive in this atmosphere.

Unquestionably, if Pujols and the club cannot resolve the contract differences by midweek and the three-time MVP cuts off talks for the year on Wednesday, this likely will wind up the mother of all spectacular Cardinals distractions. And things could go off the rails, quickly.

But a ticked off Pujols playing with a chip on his shoulder might not be the worst thing in the world. As La Russa said Sunday, the man is "as strong between the ears as anybody I've ever met."

As for the Cardinals, if there is any team -- and any manager -- qualified to head straight out into this sort of storm, it is St. Louis and La Russa.

Doesn't mean it will be a pleasant summer.

But it doesn't mean the Cardinals can't win, either.

Posted on: August 27, 2010 3:15 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 3:15 pm
 

3 to watch: The dwindling off days edition

Off days are precious in late August, and not just for players headed for the September fires of the stretch run.

The Giants moved into the lead in the NL wild-card chase this week before taking a break Thursday, which surely made the coaches as happy as the players at this point. Not long ago, a couple of their coaches calculated how many ground balls they hit to infielders in need of work each season.

I don't know the exact formula used, but the number they came up with was 44,000 ground balls a year.

"Then you go, 'How many years?'" third-base coach Tim Flannery says.

He's been coaching 15 years, so, multiply that by 44,000, and by this baseball math, Flannery figures he's slapped 660,000 or so fungoes during his career. He's had six or so cortisone injections in each elbow. Thanks to ulnar nerve issues, his right pinky and ring fingers currently are numb.

"Some might argue that my head is, too," Flannery jokes.

Giants bench coach Ron Wotus has hit so many fungoes he's had surgery to re-attach a tendon to his elbow.

"Thought it was tendinitis at first," Wotus says.

Flannery was wearing an elastic compression brace on each elbow after first smearing them with Tiger Balm.

"A lot of Advil, a lot of ice," he says.

Which pretty much is the prescription for everybody at this point in the season. There aren't many off days left. The Yankees have just three (Sept. 9, 16 and 30). Trying to catch the Twins, the White Sox have just three as well (Sept. 2, 13 and 23). The Twins have four -- one on Monday, then identical dates with the Sox.

First-place San Diego has the biggest grind, with only two remaining the rest of the season -- Sept. 2 and 20. The Giants have four (Sept. 2, 13, 20 and 27). In the NL Central, Cincinnati has three (Sept. 2, 13 and 27) and the Cardinals, having slipped to four games behind the Reds in the NL Central, have only two (Sept. 2 and 20).

On to 3 to watch:

1. In a place they never thought they'd be after having swept three in Cincinnati Aug. 9-11, the Cardinals enter the weekend looking to make up some serious ground before getting one last shot at the Reds head-to-head in St. Louis next weekend. Trailing the Reds by four games, right-hander Jaime Garcia takes the ball first in Cardinals at Nationals, Friday night (7:05 p.m. ET) in Nationals Park and, when he does, maybe it'll hearten Washington fans blue over Stephen Strasburg's impending elbow surgery. Garcia is a Poster Boy survivor of Tommy John ligament transfer surgery, to the point where he's a leading contender for the NL Rookie of the Year award. It's a weirdly busy weekend in D.C. -- not only will this series be played under the Strasburg pall, but Cards manager Tony La Russa and slugger Albert Pujols are scheduled to appear Saturday at  Glenn Beck's highly controversial rally in Washington.

2. Last time out, Tampa Bay's Matt Garza hooked up with Oakland's Dallas Braden in a battle of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters this summer (a perfect game, in Braden's case). Now, in Red Sox at Rays, Saturday night (7:10 ET) in Tropicana Field, Garza faces another pitcher with a no-hitter on his resume, Boston's Clay Buchholz, who did it in September, 2007. Being that Buchholz's 2.26 ERA leads the AL, the middle game of this series should sizzle as the Rays work toward holding Boston off in the playoff race. Tampa Bay enters the weekend tied with the Yankees for the AL East lead, and the Red Sox, clinging to playoff hopes despite missing Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis (among others), are 5 1/2 back. Boston has six games left against Tampa Bay heading into the weekend and three remaining against the Yankees.

3. The Giants offense bludgeoned its way back to life against the Reds this week (38 runs, 53 hits over three games), but if Bruce Bochy's club is going to hang on to the NL wild-card lead, Tim Lincecum is going to have to become The Man again. Loser of four consecutive starts for the first time in his big-league career, the two-time Cy Young winner pitches the opener of Diamondbacks at Giants, Friday night (10:15 ET) at AT&T Park. Lincecum hasn't won in a month, since July 30. Now is a good time to start.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 3:07 pm
 

Hey Gregg: Go back to the football fields

So my good buddy Gregg Doyel wants steroids back in baseball?

He wants artificially inflated behemoths flexing their muscles? He wants brawny Jolly Green Giants feeding us red meat and cheap thrills?

Hey, Gregg, we've already got that.

It's called the NFL.

I know, I know. They've got a steroids policy over there, too, and they had it long before baseball and yada, yada, yada.

What are we supposed to be, stupid? It's normal for guys to grow to 6-7 and run the 40 in two seconds flat?

You want juice, go watch Cowboys-Raiders. Or tour a Tropicana plant.

Leave baseball alone.

Go ahead, take your shots at the "purists". Compare the low-scoring games this summer to a Spain-
Netherlands World Cup match. Me? I think the sound of too many vuvuzelas have damaged your thinking.

Steroids and greenies? Really?

I mean, I know you've always lived just one area code away from the cuckoo's nest, Gregg, but I thought you were more responsible than this. What are you doing tomorrow, teaching the neighborhood kids how to make moonshine?

What I get tired of is, there is little appreciation for subtlety anymore. Anywhere. You can't go to a movie without things blowing up onscreen every two minutes. Everybody's yelling at everybody on radio and cable TV, from the ESPN shout-fests to CNN's Nancy Grace.

Must we be smashed over the head with a sledgehammer each way we turn in life anymore?

Must everything devolve into Short Attention Span Theater?

If you want to zing Tuesday night's All-Star Game, here's where you go: Joe Girardi's managing. To be given a 34-man roster and still be exposed by failing to have a pinch runner at the ready for David Ortiz in the ninth inning was flat-out embarrassing. If Girardi's Yankees play in the World Series this October, all he has to do to learn why they don't have home-field advantage is look straight into the mirror.

Baseball made several tweaks to this year's game and still couldn't get it right: What's needed is smaller rosters, not larger ones, and stars like Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki and Joe Mauer actually still being in the game when it's on the line in the late innings.

Even commissioner Bud Selig was rhapsodizing earlier Tuesday about the days when Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente played the entire All-Star Game. Well, duh. That's how you juice this thing back to the level it once was.

Still, Tuesday night's game had some terrific moments. The best of which was Scott Rolen's intuitive read of a single to center and busting it all the way to third to spark the NL's winning rally. It was the kind of key play that too often was rendered meaningless during the Steroid Era as everyone sat around and waited for three-run homers.

No, other than Girardi's death-wish managing, the only folks who couldn't enjoy this, I'm sure, are the ones who complained that there still weren't enough things blowing up in Iron Man 2. Which, no, I didn't see. The first one was lousy enough.

Anyway, Gregg, I could go on from here, but my guess is I've lost you already, my friend. You're probably already salivating over Cowboys-Raiders.

It's OK, though. I still look forward to covering the World Series with you in October. And being the generous guy I am, I'll make you a deal: If a pitching duel breaks out, the Red Bull and No-Doz is on me. OK?

Oh, one other thing: I don't completely disagree with everything you wrote in this whack-job of a piece. The Tiger Woods line? Excellent.

Posted on: May 26, 2010 1:26 am
 

Big Mac, small fries on St. Louis scoreboard

If you're wondering whether there might be a correlation between St. Louis ranking 11th in the NL in runs scored and controversial new batting coach Mark McGwire ... don't even go there around the Cardinals.

At least, not when Big Mac is just seven regular-season weeks into the job.

"I've been really impressed by him," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa says. "He's got a relationship with everybody. He's done a good job of making things clear that he's here for them.

"He's everything that we thought he'd be, except I think he's got an even better feel for coaching as far as communicating. He's got a good message, he cares a lot."

Aside from Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina, the Cardinals are fielding a fairly young lineup in rookie third baseman David Freese, center fielder Colby Rasmus, second baseman Skip Schumaker and even right fielder Ryan Ludwick.

So there is a learning curve that at times has gone along with the early struggles of Holliday and, in the month of May, Pujols.

Case in point: First inning of St. Louis' 1-0 loss in San Diego on Tuesday night, with one out and the bases loaded, Rasmus whiffed.

"He's got to put that ball in play there," La Russa said afterward. "He'll learn."

Among what Rasmus is learning, from McGwire and through experience: Two-strike technique. How to cut down on his swing and better defend the plate, which will leave him -- and, by extension, the Cardinals -- less vulnerable.

Led by La Russa and McGwire, the Cardinals continue to work through it. Heading into this trip, they ranked ninth in the NL in on-base percentage and 10th in slugging percentage.

"He's a great person," says Holliday, who has worked with McGwire in past winters in Orange County, Calif. "He's real easy to work with, real positive. I think he's doing a real good job.

"He's a real cool guy. Somebody you enjoy being around, and somebody you enjoy talking hitting with."

Likes: Fabulous pitching duel between St. Louis' Adam Wainwright and San Diego's Jon Garland in the Padres' 1-0 win Tuesday night at -- where else? -- Petco Park. Wainwright equaled a career-high 12 strikeouts and had his killer curveball going wherever he wanted it to. Garland now is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA over his past eight starts and is 3-0 with an 0.84 ERA in five Petco Park starts in 2010. ... The squirrel that ran onto Target Field on Tuesday night in the rain at the Yankees-Twins game and frantically looked for cover running the warning track while the crowd chanted, "Let's go squirrel! Let's go squirrel!" ... St. Louis rookie third baseman David Freese. Good-looking player. ... Who said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was done? Sure am glad I never ventured anywhere near THAT prediction. ... Toronto manager Cito Gaston. ...  ... Really enjoying Hampton Sides' gripping book Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin. If you like history or have any interest in the subject matter, I highly recommend it. ... Bob Dylan's 69th birthday this week.

Dislikes: Somebody stole the Drive-By Truckers' backdrop for their shows earlier this month from the House of Blues in San Diego. You've got to be kidding me. That's so weak.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I was so much older then
"I'm younger than that now"

-- Bob Dylan, My Back Pages

Posted on: April 5, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Significant home runs miles apart

St. Louis MVP Albert Pujols and Mets third baseman David Wright each said hello to 2010 with a first at-bat home run, each dramatic for its own reason.

It took Pujols, who battled a bad back for part of the spring, about 10 minutes to become the clubhouse leader for another NL MVP award. (OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

As for Wright, his power diminished noticeably last year -- from 33 homers in 2008 to 10 last year.

Worse for Wright and the Mets, of those 10 homers in '09, only five came at Citi Field.

You can't judge a season on one at-bat, but for Wright to smash an opposite-field homer in Citi Field to greet 2010 ... if he can regain his power game, you can't underestimate how important that will be for both Wright and the Mets.

Posted on: March 22, 2010 7:31 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2010 8:57 pm
 

Reds hold breath with Chapman's stiff back

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A breezy and optimistic spring training for the Reds paused hard Monday when Cuban sensation Aroldis Chapman was removed from his Cactus League outing against Colorado early because of a stiff lower back.

Chapman, a favorite to win the Reds' fifth slot in the starting rotation, said his back has been bothering him much of the past week -- though later he amended that and indicated that the issue just came up. He also said he has never before had back problems.

"We don't think it's anything serious," Reds manager Dusty Baker said following the Reds' 9-1 loss to the Rockies. "We took him out before it got any worse."

The Reds issued a statement later Monday that Chapman left Monday's game because of back spasms. He will be treated and re-evaluated later this week.

Chapman, through translator Tony Fossas, the pitching coach at Class A Dayton, said he is "not really hurt" and described it as "a little problem with my back I've had all week."

As long as it is a "little" problem, the Reds will breathe easy. Chapman, in competition with Mike Leake, Travis Wood and Justin Lehr for the final rotation spot behind Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey, had allowed only one run in seven spring innings before Monday, striking out 10 and walking only two.

Coming in after Bronson Arroyo to start the sixth, Chapman mowed down Troy Tulowitzki (swinging strikeout), Miguel Olivo (pop to shortstop) and Melvin Mora (grounder to third) on just eight pitches -- six strikes.

But during a 31-pitch seventh, he suddenly changed gears and started throwing more sliders and change-ups than fastballs. And where his fastball ranged from 93 to 97 miles an hour in the sixth, it was mostly in the 91-93 m.p.h. range in the seventh. In his previous outing, he had touched 102.

"The warning signs were I didn't think he was attacking the hitters," said Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, who visited Chapman on the mound a couple of batters before he returned with Baker and Reds trainer Paul Lessard. "He was trying to get guys out with his change-up and slider.

"I wanted to remind him, 'You've got a good fastball. Use it.'"

Not long after that mound visit, Price and the Reds' staff noticed Chapman stretching on the mound. When Price, Baker and Lessard went to the mound at that point, Chapman at first wasn't too forthcoming.

"I guess guys in Cuba are taught not to say much or complain," Baker said of Chapman, who signed a six-year, $30.25 million contract with the Reds on Jan. 11. "He really didn't have the same stuff. He really didn't have the same fastball, anything. We went out, and it was hard to pull it out of him."

Chapman, who wound up allowing four unearned runs, two walks, a wild pitch, a single and a double in 1 2/3 innings, was to be further examined by doctors later Thursday -- again, more precautionary than anything, the Reds hope.

As for how it may affect the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation if Chapman has to be shut down for a few days, well, let's say that's not first on the list of things Baker would like to think about right now.

"I don't know, man," Baker said. "Let's not speculate until we find out [if he has to miss time]."

Sunblock Day? Lovely day in the 80s in Arizona. Dare we declare that the cold stuff is past us and it's baseball weather from here on out.

Likes: Joe Mauer in Minnesota, long-term. ... Albert Pujols in St. Louis short-term, for now, and long-term later (it's gotta come eventually, right?). ... Vin Scully back at work. And his tremendous description of doctor's orders for him reducing his activity: "I'm supposed to cut back on dangling participles and I'm not allowed to split an infinitive for at least another week, but otherwise, no." ... How's this for percentages: There were 13 people on the writers' side of the press box for the Reds-Rockies Cactus League game in Goodyear on Monday, and two of them are in the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame: Hal McCoy, now blogging on the Reds for his old paper, the Dayton Daily News, and Tracy Ringolsby, who's got a regular gig on the Rockies' pre- and post-game telecasts for Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. ... Reds media relations director Rob Butcher, one of the very best in the business, training for the Boston Marathon on April 19. ... Fine, fine production of The Beauty and the Beast at Calavera Hills Middle School over the weekend in Carlsbad, Calif. The kids weren't simply acting, they became the characters. The sets were terrific. The sound was exceptionally clean. The production was top-shelf. The costumes were Academy Award-caliber. Phenomenal enough that I'm going to have to get to know some of these folks. Oh wait ... was the costume director really my wife? And one of the crack backstage crew members really my daughter? Man, I need to get home more. ... Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band on Crossroads, currently running on CMT. Fabulous pairing.

Dislikes: The guy in front of me in the airport security line Monday morning who was so clueless that, as he was removing the change out of his pockets, his belt and other metal objects actually had to remove suspenders from underneath his shirt as well. He had absolutely no idea. Airport security basically had to guide him through everything as he held up the line for at least five minutes. It was Airport Security for Dummies, to be sure. ... Sure do hate to see Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas sidelined the rest of the way.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"When I left I wasn't thinking
"That I wasn't coming home
"But first Al Green
"And then Barry White
"Convinced me not to go
"And I didn't come home for fighting
"I came to bandage up my hand
"And if you're gonna talk to me like that
"Then I'll just go back out again
"Wipe that chip right off your shoulder
"We ain't getting any younger
"Some things are getting bigger
"Some things are falling off
"Some things they seem much harder
"Some other things stay soft"

-- The Hold Steady, Cheyenne Sunrise

Posted on: March 13, 2010 1:16 am
Edited on: March 13, 2010 1:20 am
 

Walking and patience with Adrian Gonzalez

PEORIA, Ariz. -- You've gotta have a whole lot of patience not to go crazy when the trade rumors have you surrounded.

But then, we already knew Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez has patience.

Quick, name the hitter who led the National League in walks last year. Hint: It ain't Albert Pujols.

"I walked all year, but mainly because pitchers were walking me as opposed to pitch selection," says Gonzalez, who wants to establish an even better eye this summer. "It's something you can work on. The more pitches you see, the better."

Gonzalez walked 119 times last season, including a crazy 24 times over an 11-game span immediately after the Padres shipped Scott Hairston, Gonzalez's main protector in the lineup, to Oakland.

It was right around then that the slugging first baseman (40 homers, 99 RBIs) lost a little of his patience and began taking a whack here and there at pitches he couldn't reach very well.

He still had a sensational season -- All-Star, Gold Glove, career-high .407 on-base percentage -- but his midseason funk still bothers him. Surrounded by upheaval in the organization at midseason, Gonzalez knocked in only eight runs and hit just .235 during the month of June, then batted just .198 during the month of July.

Gonzalez says this "personal funk" helped reiterate to him that he must take his walks.

"[Patience] is one of the parts of the game you have to learn," he says. "Sometimes the best thing you can do for the team is to take the walk rather than expand your strike zone."

The great ones have done it. Barry Bonds. Pujols. Alex Rodriguez.

Gonzalez, already a superstar, is looking to get better.

Sunblock Day? Ah, maybe it's time to open that bottle of SPF. Predicted highs in the 70s all weekend in Phoenix.

Likes: Former Padres general manager Kevin Towers to the Yankees as an assistant to New York GM Brian Cashman. But the best part is, after the Padres tried to extract $250,000 from the Yanks while attempting to recoup some of the fired Towers' 2010 salary, the Yankees stiff-armed them and the Padres settled for only $50,000 in compensation, according to a source. ... Can't wait to see Reds' lefty Aroldis Chapman sometime in the next few days. He may be the most exciting thing to hit Cincinnati since Skyline Chili. ... It is amazing how much Tony Gwynn Jr. sounds like his Hall of Fame father. If you haven't heard him speak yet, check out our video interview. ... Did you see Evan Turner's game-winning 37-foot buzzer beater as Ohio State avoided getting upset by Michigan on Friday? Unbelievable. Let the March Madness begin. ... And on a smaller madness note, a huge congratulations to the Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons, who stunned 20-2 Dundee for a Class C District title Friday in the boys' high school basketball tournament. Great win for first-year coach Randy Windham, who replaced the legendary Ray Lauwers this year. ... Pretty good sour cream chicken enchiladas the other night at Los Olivos in Scottsdale. But alas, no spotting this year of actor Timothy Busfield. ... First John Hiatt (Thursday) then the Drive-By Truckers (Friday) on the Late Show with David Letterman. The man is on a roll.

Dislikes: Nomar Garciaparra's tenure in Boston ended unceremoniously with a trade, and after he bounces around the game like a foul ball for several years, he and the Red Sox get together so he can "sign" a minor-league contract and "retire" as a Red Sock? And he hated dealing with the media, and now he's headed to become a talking head on ESPN? Look, I have no personal ax to grind here -- I've always gotten along just fine with Nomar -- but count me out of this entire dog and pony show. The Red Sox, of all organizations, should be above a publicity stunt like this. And Nomar on television after avoiding the media as often as possible? Whatever.


Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"There ought to be a law with no bail
"Smash a guitar and you go to jail
"With no chance for early parole
"You don't get out until you get some soul"

-- John Hiatt, Perfectly Good Guitar

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com