It's the halfway point for some teams in baseball. The All Star Break hits in a couple of weeks. What a strange week it was for baseball this week. It's gotten hot in most places, some teams have gotten hotter and some have gone colder than a ex in bed. But enough about that. Here's some of the past week in baseball.
Griffey Homer Ball up for auction - The debate over who caught the ball that Ken Griffey Jr. hit for career home run No. 600 is now over. In fact, the ball is going up for auction. Joe Scherer, the Marlins fan who was identified as the one who caught the milestone baseball in the right field seats at Dolphin Stadium on June 9, made the announcement last Thursday according to the Associated Press. The auction is slated for August 1 in Chicago.
Reds officials met with Scherer moments after Griffey became the sixth player in Major League history to hit 600 home runs. Club efforts to negotiate for the ball were immediately rebuffed since Scherer told the Reds he was selling the ball and not returning it to Griffey.
Doug Allen, president of Mastro Auctions in suburban Chicago, told the AP he believed the ball would sell for at least $50,000. “I wouldn‘t be surprised if the bidding reached the $100,000 mark,” he told reporters.
Alas, with every great story, there is a counter story. Scherer's path to auction could be blocked by a lawsuit from Justin Kimball, a fan who claimed he caught the ball first before it was ripped from his hands. Kimball filed suit to block the ball's sale in Miami-Dade County court.
Allen concluded that the Griffey ball will be part of a live auction in Chicago that also includes items from early 20th-century stars Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Honus Wagner.
Chacon released by Astros, Players Union file grievance against team - Last week, former Houston Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon tried to strangle Astros general manager Ed Lynch last week at Minute Maid Park after the player was ordered to see manager Cecil Cooper. That same week, the team said enough and gave Chacon his walking papers. Monday, Chacon cleared waivers and was released Monday by the Houston Astros. Michael Weiner, general counsel of the MLB Players Association said that they filed a grievance on his behalf, stating that the team owes $983,607 or 49 percent of his $2 million salary this season.
Let’s hope that both side make this thing go away. Granted, Chacon had not been pitching that well but even his agent said that his actions were wrong.
The Astros said Chacon violated a provision in the uniform player contract that states the player may be terminated if he shall “fail, refuse, or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey to
the club’s training rules.” In other words, Chacon violated a rule and got busted for it. Chacon was 2-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 15 starts this season. He set a major league record for a starting pitcher with nine straight no-decisions to open the season.
Crisp suspension reduction not setting well with Tampa Bay - Coco Crisp, the Boston Red Sox outfielder, got a chance to tell his side of the story to principal Bob Watson last week. Crisp missed the last two games of their series with Houston and all three games with first place Tampa Bay. He got his suspension reduced from seven games to five. This move is not setting well with the first place Rays. They’re not happy campers in St. Petersburg.
Crisp was hit on the leg by a James Shields offering on June 5 when the two teams met in Boston. He then proceeded to charge the mound. Punches were thrown on both sides. Things got sticky between Crisp and the Rays one night earlier on ESPN, when the outfielder took exception to shortstop Jason Bartlett sticking his knee out while trying to tag Crisp on a stolen base attempt. Later in that game, Crisp again tried to steal, and aggressively took out second baseman Akinori Iwamura in the process, leaving Rays manager Joe Maddon miffed.
The Red Sox say that the matter is closed. The Rays are not happy about this, claiming that MLB is protecting larger market teams like the Red Sox and Yankees and letting other teams flap in the breeze.
Don’t expect this soap opera to end anytime soon.