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Article:LWIB for May 5th

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Happy Cinco de Mayo, gringos and gringas! (apologies to Bruce Willis) Another week of baseball has come and gone. For most teams, like Cincinnati and Detroit, the week could not have ended sooner. Here's a look at some of the doings this week.

Lou Melts Down (Again!) - Lou Piniella is known for his passion and his meltdowns. Thursday after the Cubs blew a lead against Central Division for Milwaukee, the postgame news conference Thursday lasted all of one minute -- depending on whether you count the string of profanities uttered marching down the dreary hallway to the Cubs' clubhouse. This meltdown was calm, compared to the one he had last year at Wrigley against the Atlanta Braves.

A 4-3 loss to the division-rival Milwaukee Brewers -- a game that featured three runs off closer Kerry Wood during a ninth inning that included two questionable plays in the outfield -- set the stage for Piniella's first official meltdown of 2008.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, a question focusing on whether Piniella thought about shifting slick-fielding center fielder Reed Johnson to left -- in place of fresh-off-the-disabled-list Alfonso Soriano -- when he inserted defensive sub Felix Pie in center during the eighth inning lit Piniella's short fuse. You're damn right I thought about it, Piniella said, his voice rising. You think I'm stupid or something? God ... darn it. Thought. All right. Thanks. End of news conference. Maybe it was Jay Mariotti that was asking the question. One can only wish to be a fly on the wall for that.

Former Dodgers, Padres executive passes away - Buzzi Bavasi passed away last week in San Diego at age 92. He spent 44 years working in baseball, including 34 in the major leagues. He began as a traveling secretary and publicity director for the Dodgers in Brooklyn in 1939. After serving in various posts for the team, he was promoted to GM — replacing the famed Branch Rickey — before the start of the 1951 season.

After his remarkable run with the Dodgers, including the move west to Los Angeles, Bavasi became the first president of the San Diego Padres in 1969 for owner C. Arnholt Smith. Granted, the expansion Padres were no Dodgers, finishing in last place in their first three seasons. Despite the slow start, Bavasi stayed with the NL West club until 1977 before moving on to head the California Angels, where he was hired as GM in 1978 and sent a pair of teams to the playoffs before retiring in 1984.

I Want Candy (Unless you’re a New York Yankee) - New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi has banned all candy and ice cream from the clubhouse at the House that Ruth built. Not only can the Pinstripers not have sweets at home, the Yankees skipper has requested that the items be banned when they are away. What next, no post game beer in the locker room?

Rocket and Daly’s Ex “Putting” Around? - The Roger Clemens “Cheating Heart Tour” took another stop this week. The New York Daily News reported that the former Yankee/Blue Jay/Astro/Red Sox pitcher had a relationship with PGA pro John Daly’s ex-wife Paulette Dean Daly. While Mindy McCready did admit some ties, the former Mrs. Daly didn’t elaborate as much. At the same time, she did not deny any allegations.

When asked her if she was romantically involved with the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Daly said, "You know what? I'm really uncomfortable talking about this. I'm just going to have to say 'no comment.'" Wonder if Mindy’s jealous.

Minor League Baseball coming to the Friendly Confines - Tickets for the official Midwest League game went on sale last Friday morning and it will count as one of the 30 night games on the Cubs' 2008 schedule if more than 10,000 fans attend. It’s a chance for the players to live a dream for at least one day and play in a Major League park and for Cubs fans to see what the future looks like.

Tigers sweep Yankees at the House that Ruth Built - The last time the Detroit Tigers left Yankee Stadium with a three-game sweep, Al Kaline was playing the outfield and Denny McLain was on the mound. The Detroit Tigers did something they haven’t done in a long time. They swept the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. After going on a seven-game losing streak to start the season, the Tigers have gotten healthy and at the right time. Now if they can play that way, they could give the White Sox, Cleveland and Minnesota fits in the AL Central.

Mercer returning to the mike - Longtime Yankees announcer and former outfielder Bobby Murcer was at the ballpark last week and resumed his regular broadcasting schedule last Friday night. Murcer said it’s taken him a while to recover from the brain biopsy he had in early March. Murcer had surgery in December 2006, four days after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Let’s hope for the best for him.

Wrigley to get ESL (Equity Seat Licenses)? - It could happen. Wrigley Field, the friendly confines on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland, is in need of renovations and according to former Illinois governor Jim Thompson, that may come to see the light of day. Thompson, who chairs the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, told the Chicago Sun Times last week that the deal would involve no public funds and no taxes. Stay tuned for this one. Personally, I think it’ll work.

FOX World Series Announcers getting special treatment? - According to the May 2nd Boston Globe, federal authorities are investigating whether the head of the US Marshals Service in Boston assigned deputy marshals, normally charged with tracking fugitives and protecting judges, to ferry Fox Sports broadcasters Tim McCarver and Joe Buck between their hotel and Fenway Park during last year's World Series. During both home games, on October 24 and Oct. 25, two deputy marshals allegedly watched the Red Sox defeat the Colorado Rockies from the broadcast booth with McCarver and Buck, as well as Joseph Band, a lawyer who works for the US Marshals Service in Washington and occasionally does work for the Fox network, the officials said. The investigation is still ongoing and no further comments were made.

Bash Brother Loses House -As if Jose Canseco doesn’t have enough on his plate. His book “Juiced” came out a few weeks ago but that didn’t help his bottom line enough. The former Oakland Athletic and Texas Ranger has had his home foreclosed. The first part of the “Bash Brothers” duo told the syndicated TV show "Inside Edition" that he walked away from his $2.5 million, 7,300-square foot home in suburban Encino because it didn't make sense to continue making payments. He owes Uncle Sam 41 percent as well as payments to ex-wives totaling some $7-8 million. No word if Mark McGwire has offered him a place to stay.

Tulowitzki injures himself (AGAIN!) - No, it wasn’t deer meat that did him in. This time, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is on the DL for up to six weeks. The injury this time is a tear of the tendon in his left quadriceps and could be out until the All-Star break, if not longer. Clint Barmes, who Tulowitzki replaced last season, will take his spot as a fill-in until Tulowitzki returns.

Smoltz to the DL, then bullpen - John Smoltz says that when he comes off the disabled list, he wants to go back to the bullpen. The veteran right hander says that this is what he wants to do to help the team get back to the playoffs. What you want to do for the team is noble, John. God bless you for it. Now at the same time, you need to get healthy and then make that decision. Yes, you were at your best as a reliever but I would much rather think of you as a starter. Just something to think about, Smoltzie.

Maddux denied 350th win - San Diego’s Greg Maddux had not a chance to win game number 350 in his long career. Unfortunately, the 42-year old right-hander did non get the chance to reach that milestone Sunday in Miami as his team fell to Florida Sunday. Maddux went 5 2/3 innings in the contest with the Fish and lost 10-3. While Maddux will travel with the team to Atlanta to be reunited with former Braves mound mates Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, he will not take the hill against his former club. His next start is May 10th against Colorado at Petco Park.

Brewers release Turnbow - Derrick Turnbow is no longer a Milwaukee Brewer. The former All-Star closer was waived by the National League Central club for the purpose of giving him his release last Friday. Turnbow was 0-1 with a 15.63 ERA in eight games this season and gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning at Chicago on Wednesday.

“His production had fallen to the point where it was hard to find spots to use him,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said to the Milwaukee Sentinel. Yost, who was Bobby Cox’s third base coach with the Braves before taking the Brewer helm, said he’d rarely seen a career marked with such highs and lows.

“It’s pretty unique,” he said.

Turnbow had 39 saves in 2005 and 24 the following year, when he was picked for the NL All-Star team. But he suddenly lost his form midseason in 2006. After converting 51 of 55 save chances at the start of his career, he went 0-6 with a 13.06 To take Turnbow’s place, Milwaukee recalled outfielder Joe Dillon from Triple-A Nashville.

Roger, lawyer to chat - Rusty Hardin, the attorney for former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith and former New York Yankee and Houston Astro Roger Clemens says he will talk with his client about whether to press ahead with a defamation suit following a wave of unpleasant publicity in the wake of reports linking the pitcher to numerous women.

According to the The Daily News, it was reported that Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and the pitcher was with the Boston Red Sox.

McCready was quoted by the News as saying: “I cannot refute anything in the story.”

Now there’s another woman on the scene. It sort of sounds like the opening lyrics of the Eagles song, “ Take It Easy “ and no one’s sure if these two women want to stone him.

The Daily News has linked Clemens, a married father of four, to former Manhattan bartender Angela Moyer and Paulette Dean Daly, a former wife of champion golfer John Daly.

Paulette Daly told the newspaper she and Clemens are friends but would not say if she had been romantically involved with the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

“You know what, I’m really uncomfortable talking about this. I’m just going to have to say ‘no comment,”’ Daly said in Thursday’s editions. “I know Roger. I consider him a good friend. That’s all I’m comfortable saying.”

Franco calls it a career - "I understand that my time has passed and the great men and athletes know when to say enough."

With that statement to the Mexican sports daily Record, former Major League first baseman Julio Franco retired from pro ball this past weekend. Franco’s career spanned 23 years in the major leagues and stints in his native Dominican Republic, South Korea, Japan and Mexico. In 2007, he became the oldest player to hit a home run in the majors with the Atlanta Braves.

He finishes with a .298 average, 2,586 hits and 173 home runs in 23 seasons in the majors with eight teams, including stints with Cleveland, Atlanta and the New York Mets.

Footnote: Lest I forget - this is the 10th anniversary of the Milwaukee Brewers moving over from the American League to the National League. Their very first NL opposition were the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. They lost that game and the score escapes me but I still have the ticket stub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- "I understand that my time has passed and the great men and athletes know when to say enough." - Rusty Hardin, the attorney for former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith and former New York Yankee and Houston Astro Roger Clemens says he will talk with his client about whether to press ahead with a defamation suit following a wave of unpleasant publicity in the wake of reports linking the pitcher to numerous women. - Derrick Turnbow is no longer a Milwaukee Brewer. The former All-Star closer was waived by the National League Central club for the purpose of giving him his release last Friday. Turnbow was 0-1 with a 15.63 ERA in eight games this season and gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning at Chicago on Wednesday. - San Diego’s Greg Maddux had not a chance to win game number 350 in his long career. Unfortunately, the 42-year old right-hander did non get the chance to reach that milestone Sunday in Miami as his team fell to Florida Sunday. Maddux went 5 2/3 innings in the contest with the Fish and lost 10-3. While Maddux will travel with the team to Atlanta to be reunited with former Braves mound mates Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, he will not take the hill against his former club. His next start is May 10 th against Colorado at Petco Park. - John Smoltz says that when he comes off the disabled list, he wants to go back to the bullpen. The veteran right hander says that this is what he wants to do to help the team get back to the playoffs. What you want to do for the team is noble, John. God bless you for it. Now at the same time, you need to get healthy and then make that decision. Yes, you were at your best as a reliever but I would much rather think of you as a starter. Just something to think about, Smoltzie. - No, it wasn’t deer meat that did him in. This time, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is on the DL for up to six weeks. The injury this time is a tear of the tendon in his left quadriceps and could be out until the All-Star break, if not longer. Clint Barmes, who Tulowitzki replaced last season, will take his spot as a fill-in until Tulowitzki returns. - As if Jose Canseco doesn’t have enough on his plate. His book “Juiced” came out a few weeks ago but that didn’t help his bottom line enough. - According to the May 2 nd Boston Globe, federal authorities are investigating whether the head of the US Marshals Service in Boston assigned deputy marshals, normally charged with tracking fugitives and protecting judges, to ferry Fox Sports broadcasters Tim McCarver and Joe Buck between their hotel and Fenway Park during last year's World Series. During both home games, on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, two deputy marshals allegedly watched the Red Sox defeat the Colorado Rockies from the broadcast booth with McCarver and Buck, as well as Joseph Band, a lawyer who works for the US Marshals Service in Washington and occasionally does work for the Fox network, the officials said. The investigation is still ongoing and no further comments were made. - It could happen. Wrigley Field, the friendly confines on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland, is in need of renovations and according to former Illinois governor Jim Thompson, that may come to see the light of day. Thompson, who chairs the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, told the Chicago Sun Times last week that the deal would involve no public funds and no taxes. Stay tuned for this one. Personally, I think it’ll work. - Longtime Yankees announcer and former outfielder Bobby Murcer was at the ballpark last week and resumed his regular broadcasting schedule Friday night. Murcer said it’s taken him a while to recover from the brain biopsy he had in early March. Murcer had surgery in December 2006, four days after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Let’s hope for the best for him. - The last time the Detroit Tigers left Yankee Stadium with a three-game sweep, Al Kaline was playing the outfield and Denny McLain was on the mound. The Detroit Tigers did something they haven’t done in a long time. They swept the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. After going on a seven-game losing streak to start the season, the Tigers have gotten healthy and at the right time. Now if they can play that way, they could give the White Sox, Cleveland and Minnesota fits in the AL Central. - According to the Chicago Cubs, minor league baseball will come to the corner of Sheffield and Waveland when the Class A Peoria Chiefs will play host to what is believed to be the first minor-league game in the 94-year history of Wrigley Field when the Kane County Cougars visit July 29. The Chiefs are managed by Hall of Famer and former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg. - The Roger Clemens “Cheating Heart Tour” took another stop this week. The New York Daily News reported that the former Yankee/Blue Jay/Astro/Red Sox pitcher had a relationship with PGA pro John Daly’s ex-wife Paulette Dean Daly. While Mindy McCready did admit some ties, the former Mrs. Daly didn’t elaborate as much. At the same time, she did not deny any allegations. - New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi has banned all candy and ice cream from the clubhouse at the House that Ruth built. Not only can the Pinstripers not have sweets at home, the Yankees skipper has requested that the items be banned when they are away. What next, no post game beer in the locker room? - Buzzie Bavasi’s prime years as a general manager were before free agency, before most players had agents, before virtually every fan and talk show host was a mock executive. Bavasi died last Thursday at age 92 in the La Jolla area of San Diego, used that power like few others, building Dodger teams that won four World Series titles in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. - Lou Piniella is known for his passion and his meltdowns. Thursday after the Cubs blew a lead against Central Division for Milwaukee, the postgame news conference Thursday lasted all of one minute -- depending on whether you count the string of profanities uttered marching down the dreary hallway to the Cubs' clubhouse. This meltdown was calm, compared to the one he had last year at Wrigley against the Atlanta Braves.


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