Posted on: August 20, 2008 3:51 pm

Mistakes, mistakes

We rip others for their mistakes, so we'd better be willing to take the blame for ours. And as two readers noticed, I had at least a couple in the last couple of weeks.

Here goes:

From Steve, who noticed that I typed "no-nothings" when I meant to type "know-nothings": "It really bothers me as a former journalist and a current teacher that they're seems two be know copy editing being done anymore. Unless of course you're no-nothing comment was tongue-in-cheek, as was this e-mail?"

You know, I'd love to blame the copy editors. And I'd love to say that I was being clever. On this one, I have to admit I was just being careless. We'll try to do better next time.

From Dave: "You said that (Orioles 2007 first-round pick) Matt Wieters is at Double-A Erie. The Orioles' Double-A affiliate is in Bowie, not Erie. Same last two letters, same league, but not the same team."

And no chance this was tongue-in-cheek, either. Just another careless mistake. Can't blame the copy desk here, either, but I will blame my fingers. I covered the Tigers so long that when I type "Double-A," my fingers then type "Erie" without even asking me. You laugh, but it took me years before I stopped typing "Sparky Anderson" after "manager."

From Jay: "You leave the D and get a national blog and all you have been doing is ripping the Tigers apart. Coward!"

How did this one get in here? Not my mistake at all. Not only that, but if you ask the Tigers, I ripped them pretty good in 2002. And in 2003. And in 2004. And in a whole bunch of other years. Not that they didn't deserve it.

From Amy: "Why was Gary Sheffield not allowed to say in spring training that his shoulder was still weak and he needed more rehab time?"

Not my mistake, either. I'll blame this one on Sheffield, because he's allowed to say anything he wants. And what he said in spring training was that his shoulder felt fine, which may or may not have been true. But anyway, this wasn't a mistake. At least not by me.

From Mark: "Any scout who says the following is either plain ignorant or fooling himself, given the quality of the Cubs: 'This league is awful. Toronto would win the National League. The Yankees would win the National League.' "

Not a mistake at all. The Cubs have a fine team, but the National League is awful. Besides, the Cubs were 6-9 in their 15 interleague games. Six and nine! That's a .400 winning percentage. That's worse than any AL team besides Kansas City. So it was a mistake. What the scout should have said was that the Royals would win the National League.


Posted on: July 23, 2008 4:02 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2008 7:26 pm

Phillies focus on Grabow, Sherrill

The Phillies, who had been among the more aggressive teams pursuing Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, have shifted their attention to Pittsburgh left-hander John Grabow and Baltimore lefty George Sherrill, according to sources.

Phillies special assistant Charley Kerfeld has been in Houston watching the Pirates, and the Phillies had three different scouts in to watch the Orioles during their current homestand. While the Phillies have also shown interest in Pittsburgh outfielder Xavier Nady, a deal for Grabow is considered a much stronger possibility.

As for Fuentes, there's still some question about whether the Rockies will trade him. Even if they do, the Phillies now consider him too expensive in terms of the players they would have to give up.

The Orioles seem increasingly likely to trade Sherrill. The Baltimore Sun reported that both St. Louis and Milwaukee have shown interest, but the Angels might have a better chance to get him by offering shortstop Erick Aybar. As one scout who has followed the Orioles said: "Baltimore is dying for a shortstop, and Aybar could be a regular for them."

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has told people that his phone has been ringing off the hook since Sherrill pitched so well in the All-Star Game last week.


One scout who has watched Seattle regularly this season said that while he doesn't really like left-hander Jarrod Washburn, he still thinks Washburn would be a decent fit with the Yankees.

"That's who he needs to pitch with, because he needs runs," the scout said. "He's another Bill Bavasi mistake. If the Mariners can get rid of Washburn, they should. If they get rid of him, that would help whoever gets that (Seattle GM) job next year."


The Mets know they have little chance of winning without closer Billy Wagner, and they also know there's no way they have enough chips to trade for someone who could successfully replace Wagner if he can't pitch. That's why they still list a corner outfielder, preferably one who bats right-handed, as their primary need, with relief help and even another starting pitcher behind that.

The Mets have talked about Nady and also Jason Bay, but it's doubtful they have enough to get either one from the Pirates. It might be more realistic to think that they could get Casey Blake from Cleveland, or Austin Kearns from Washington. Seattle's Raul Ibanez has also been discussed, even though he bats left-handed.


Posted on: July 15, 2008 3:48 pm

Earl does the Bronx -- twice

My CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller wrote yesterday about some of the wilder moments in Yankee Stadium history. Here's another, courtesy of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver.

"I got thrown out of both games of a doubleheader," said Weaver, the ex-Orioles skipper who is attending this All-Star Game along with a huge group of Hall of Famers. "I argued a call in the first game, and it finally got to the point that they threw me out. Well, normally once you get thrown out, it's forgotten and over with. You don't mention it anymore.

"Well, it was still bothering me when it got time to play the second game, and when I took the lineup card out, I said one more thing. And they got me again. The guys on the bench had been saying, 'Earl, don't go out there,' but I did."

For the record, Weaver's memory is perfect. The doubleheader was on Sept. 29, 1985. The Orioles got swept by the Yankees that day, and Weaver was tossed in the third inning of the first game and again during the exchange of lineups before the second game. He was mad because he believed that Yankee catcher Butch Wynegar had dropped a third strike and then never tagged Floyd Rayford.

Hearing the story, Orioles Hall of Famer Jim Palmer said it had to have happened in 1985, and not with Weaver's earlier Orioles teams.

"As good as those (other) teams were, you didn't want to miss both games," Palmer said. "But our team was going to win whether he was there or not. I remember one time, Mike Flanagan told (umpire) Steve Palermo to throw Weaver out so we could enjoy the game. He just said what all of us were thinking."


One more Hall of Fame memory from this morning:

Hank Aaron said he felt a need to be at Yankee Stadium for the final All-Star Game here. Asked then how he had felt about the closing of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, where he starred with the Braves, Aaron told a story.

"You know where I was when they blew up that ballpark? I was in Alaska fishing," he said. "When it was blown up, I saw it on TV."

Posted on: July 6, 2008 2:05 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2008 3:35 pm

C.C. could go today, maybe to Brewers

The Indians were telling teams today that it's "highly improbable" that C.C. Sabathia will make his next scheduled start for them. While Sabathia is still listed as the Indians' starting pitcher for their Tuesday night game in Detroit, it appears almost certain that he'll be traded before then.

The destination could well be Milwaukee. The Dodgers had been involved as recently as Sunday morning, but as of Sunday afternoon a baseball source familiar with the talks said that the Dodgers are out of it. While there was talk in the baseball world that the Phillies could make a late push, it seems likely that their offer will fall short.

The Brewers' offer is centered around Matt LaPorta, a 23-year-old outfielder who was Milwaukee's first-round draft pick a year ago. LaPorta has 20 home runs and 66 RBIs in 84 games at Double-A Huntsville. The Brewers reportedly told the Indians that they could have only two of their top five prospects, and that they couldn't have both LaPorta and Huntsville shortstop Alcides Escobar.

The Dodgers had been interested in Sabathia, but they have instead focused their efforts on a shortstop to replace the injured Rafael Furcal.

Even after they trade Sabathia, the Indians won't be done dealing. The Tribe plans to shop other players this month, with struggling reliever Rafael Betancourt's name mentioned.


There are more teams in search of shortstops than there are available shortstops, which is why the Dodgers asked the Astros about Miguel Tejada (who Houston isn't interested in trading).

"There's a dearth of shortstops," one baseball official said.

The Dodgers, Blue Jays and Orioles have been the teams most active in looking. The Jays have been offering starter A.J. Burnett, and a source said they had talked to the Brewers about Burnett, hoping to get either Escobar or J.J. Hardy.


Posted on: June 16, 2008 7:51 pm

Avila could give M's overhaul they need

The Mariners chose Bill Bavasi over Al Avila in 2003, and less than five years later, they're again looking for a new general manager.

Maybe this time they should hire Avila, who as Dave Dombrowski's assistant has helped revive the Tigers.

Dombrowski and Avila overhauled the Tigers when they took over, and the same type of overhaul is needed now in Seattle. There isn't a quick fix. Listen to what M's pitcher Jarrod Washburn told reporters Sunday: "There's no sign of turning it around. We're not good."

The thing is, the Mariners were in need of an overhaul in 2003, too, and they didn't get one. They were an aging team, and yet they kept trying to convince themselves they were a move away. That's how you end up with a $117 million payroll and the worst record in baseball.

It's strange to look back at the Mariners-Orioles trade from the winter, the one that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle. Now the M's are a mess, and could well trade Bedard. Meanwhile, the Orioles -- who finally themselves realized an overhaul was in order -- are respectable at 34-34.

I'm in Philadelphia tonight, and the Phillies honored Orioles third-base coach Juan Samuel by inducting him into their Wall of Fame. Samuel said the thing about the young Orioles is that "they think they can win, and they talk about winning." He also said that they've turned things around because there's been a focus on playing the game right, starting with manager Dave Trembley, and the players have bought into it.

Why have they bought into it?

"Because they see the results," Samuel said.

They see results in Seattle, too -- negative results.

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