Another week of baseball in the books! WOO HOO! Milestones were set, scandals were uncovered faster than Demi Moore’s Vanity Fair cover and a pair of teams known for losing took their place in the spotlight.
Some of the highlights from last week in Major League Baseball (apologies to Warner Fussell!)
Cooper called on MLB Carpet - Cecil Cooper has been called to the principals’ office of Major League Baseball (Bob Watson) for comments he made about umpiring in their 3-2 loss to Colorado last Saturday in Houston. The Disastros skipper and former Milwaukee Brewer made the post game comments to media after second base umpire Mark Wegner blew a call in which Rockies center field Ryan Spilbourghs “trapped” a fly ball in which it was ruled a catch. Right now, Coop is not a happy camper and who can blame him?
Smoltz reaches 3000k - John Smoltz reached a milestone in a career that will all but assure him a spot in the Hall of Fame. The 40-year old right-hander got his 3,000 th strikeout in a 6-0 loss to the Washington Nationals Tuesday night at the Ted (Turner Field). The victim? Nationals second sacker Felix Lopez, who swing and missed for the record setter. While it was nice that the deed was done at home, it would have been nicer if the Braves had won.
Te jada lies about age - Usually, women lie about their ages, not professional ballplayers. Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada, who is under the Mitchell Report microscope like a butterfly, was caught in a lie in an interview with ESPN 360 last week. It appears that Tejada is older, not younger, than what his birth certificate says. Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Ump gets nailed - OW! Good thing Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher didn’t take the term “kill the umpire” literally. Home plate umpire Kerwin Danley got nailed with a Penny fastball Saturday night at Chaves Ravine (Dodger Stadium) in the fourth inning of their game with the Colorado Rockies. Danley, who has been an Major League umpire since 1998, was hit when catcher Russell Martin was crossed up. He was knocked out for all of two seconds and then regained consciousness and was taken off the field on a stretcher. Danley, whose hometown is Los Angeles, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for observation but sustained no further injures, according to Dodgers and hospital officials. No word on when Danley will return as of yet. Mitch Muchlinski, a fourth year vacation replacement ump with about 75-80 games of regular season experience under his belt, was summoned from Las Vegas, where he was working a minor league series, to replace Danley in the Sunday finale.
Cox extends ejection record - Bobby Cox extended a record he would just as soon forget. For the 136 th time, the Atlanta Braves skipper was ejected from a ball game. This time, it was plate umpire Tim McClelland that did the deed, in the third inning of a game with the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Cox was tossed for arguing balls and strikes after starter Jair Jurrens threw what he thought was a strike. The Braves rallied after falling behind in the contest and won the game over New York.
Cubs win! Cubs win! Residents of Waveland Avenue reach 10,000 mark - The Chicago Cubs, long known for losing more than winning, broke the 10,000 win mark and did it without Bartman. The Cubs took the win that put them over the top last week in Colorado with a 7-6 extra inning win over the Rockies in Denver. Chicago hasn’t won a World Series in a century, and truly significant wins in that time have been rare, but the current Cubs had fun being a part of this one. This may be the one that gets them not just to the World Series but actually win it.
(Devil) Rays for real? - The doormats of the American League East are showing some muscle. A six-game win streak, including sweeps of Toronto at Disney World and the defending World Champions Red Sox in St. Pete are sending a message that you can’t kick sand in their faces and expect to walk away. The Rays take the night off at 14-11, good for a tie for first place in the AL East with Baltimore and they all but guarantee their first winning month in their history even if they drop the first two games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rocket and Mindy, sitting in a tree, k-i-ss-ing? - It seems that Roger Clemens is back in the news again. As if the Rocket doesn’t have enough problems with the Mitchell Report, he’s now been linked with country singer Mindy McCready, as in affair. The alleged relationship between the Rocket and Ms. McCready lasted about a decade when she was 15 and he was 28 and married to current spouse Debra.
McCready is not exactly an angel herself. The story gets better and the plot, like a good bowl of Texas chili, gets thicker.
The 32-year-old country star was sentenced last September for violating probation from a 2004 drug arrest and was released from jail last December 30. The violation occurred in July when she was accused of scuffling with her mother and resisting arrest at her mother’s home in Fort Myers, Florida and she still must serve two years’ probation. McCready had a Number 1 country single in 1996 with “Guys Do It All the Time.”