Friday, March 11, 2005

Friday check swings

Third base ump says no swing

---Dave Sheinin is still bloggin' away in Viera. Amazingly, he hijacks breaking the news of Hector Carrasco's one-car accident into a mistful vignette of Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 3000th career safety:

(Hector Carrasco, incidentally, is unlikely to make this team, but you might recall him as the pitcher who, in 2001 as a member of the Minnesota Twins, gave up Cal Ripken's 3,000th hit. I remember it well. Cal was three hits away from 3,000 going into that game at the Metrodome, so none of us
were prepared for the possibility that this particular night would be the night. But then Cal got hits in his first two at-bats, and we began to scramble into action, alerting the folks in charge of the A1 page that this was a possibility. The 3,000th hit itself was a skanky little fist-job up the middle. As I recall, my story was equally skanky.)

Just more fuel to the fire, baby.

Oh, and Carrasco's pretty much okay, too.

---To paraphrase the Don Cheadle/Luis Guzman double-team in "Traffic," Francis Beltran is effed. No, no---he's EFFED! (See the sub-blurbs of both stories for all the grisly, James Andrews-related details.)

---Only a team owned by the incompetent boobs collectively known as Major League Baseball would find itself in the position of trying to lock up its general manager, . . . for this season.

---The big Sports Illustrated story on the Nats is in this week's issue, I guess; no cover, although I suppose it was the "cover story." (That's an exceedingly hard determination to make these days, because SI's gone from just "Letters" and "Faces in the Crowd" at the beginning to an entire sub-magazine for the first 40 pages.) I can't find the article on SI's website---no longer called "," apparently---but I'll try to summarize:

1. Frank Robinson is the manager.
2. Robinson was a really good player.
3. Robinson was a victim of racism when he played; so was his late friend and teammate, Vada Pinson.
4. Because of point (3) above, Robinson harbors a lot of resentment toward the late Bill DeWitt, former owner/GM of the Reds, who traded Robinson in the prime of his career.
5. But Robinson doesn't resent Bill DeWitt, Jr., current Cardinals' owner.
6. DeWitt Jr. is a good friend of President Bush 43.
7. Robinson had dinner with President Bush 43.
8. President Bush 43 likes baseball, and so does George Will.
9. Robinson also knows George Will.
10. When not managing the Nats, Robinson plans on playing lots of golf and visiting DC inner-city schools.

Yeah, the article meanders quite a bit. It's a nice tribute to Robinson, but it was positively all-conference in name dropping. It spends more time exploring racism than it does looking at the team, or even Robinson's contribution to it. (There is a sidebar story on Jose Guillen.)

The article also includes a strangely phrased sentence beginning "If the Nationals make money this year . . ." Yo, unless the Nats are televised on local access in Aurora, Ill. (admittedly, a distinct possibility at this point), they'll turn a profit. Look at the payroll; then consider "20,000+ season tickets." (Well, I guess they might not be credited with making a profit by MLB, who is to accounting as that guy with the moustache from "Sleeping With The Enemy" was to husbanding.)

---Jeff, the District of Baseball guy, is down in Viera. Expect some good pictures.

---Ryan has the scoop on Will Carroll's big break. Suffice it to say, the Tri-Counties will never be the same again.

---Congratulations to William World News on hitting the one-year mark.

Dave Sheinin is killing me over at the Post blog ... the whole self-referential, golly it's fun to be blogging, "I'm writing about steroids not really taking them, ha-ha" shtick got old about 24 hours after he took the helm. [He reminds me of the little kids who get a hold of the mic at a wedding reception and spend the next 10 minutes babbling because it's fun to hear themselves amplified.] With apologies to Barry Svrluga's loved ones, when the heck is he headed back to Florida????
Definitely, Anonymous. I can't believe he not only tried that crap out, but did it twice . . . in consecutive posts!

Anyway, IIRC Barry is only gone for a week.
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