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Off Base
You Knew The Job Was Dangerous When You Took It

May 18, 2006

So you thought, with Jim Tracy’s banishment to Pittsburgh, we wouldn’t have the old skipper to kick around anymore. Well, you are wrong, Allegheny breath.

Or, as they say in The Steel City, “oh contraire.”

Inconceivable as it may seem, the reuniting of ex-Dodgers Jeromy Burnitz and Mike Edwards with Tracy and John Shelby hasn’t lifted the Pirates to the top of the National League Central. And Trace is feeling the heat.

The Altoona Mirror, which covers the Bucs for, I guess, Altoona, PA, reported Tracy to have been “snapping at a question about slumping Jeromy Burnitz’s continued presence in the lineup,” quoting him as saying:

”I’m not going to answer that. I’m just not. I’m not going to say that, by May 14, if so-and-so doesn’t have two hits in a game, his butt is out of there. I ain’t doing that. If you played the game, then you know that you go through [slumps]."

"Right now, I have a bench with two guys with bad legs, a backup catcher, an infielder and an outfielder. So don’t ask me any more questions about how much longer we’re going with this guy or that guy and make it seem like I have a plethora of choices. I don’t. You think those guys are enjoying this? You think it’s fun for them to be going through it?”

Meanwhile, Grady Little rolls with the punches in the relative small town calm of Los Angeles. The use of the sacrifice has returned to normal, pre-Tracy levels, and is only employed with guys who can actually bunt the baseball.

Moreover, Little matches a day off for a player with a scheduled off day for the team, and get this, before the player descends into a prolonged slump, and without his even asking for it! The manager actually makes the decision himself. What a concept.

And with Danys Baez about to implode Wednesday in Denver, Little went to the mound himself to talk to his pitcher. Wonders never cease. Result? Game over. Reminded me of Tommy Lasorda getting in Jesse Orosco’s face during a pivotal moment of the 1988 NLCS, with “what’s the matter, Jesse?!!”

Tracy's deal extended through 2009. Yep, that was the exact headline, word for word. I was surprised too, until I looked closer and saw that it was an article from the Arizona Republic I’d stumbled onto, and it was Chad Tracy, whose contract had been extended, not Jim…

Oh btw, here are the complete lyrics to the “Theme from Superchicken:”

When you find yourself in danger,

When you're threatened by a stranger,

When it looks like you will take a lickin',

(puk, puk, puk, puk)

There is someone waiting,

Who will hurry up and rescue you,

just Call for Super Chicken!

(puk, ack!)

Fred, if you're afraid you'll have to overlook it

Besides you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

(puk, ack!)

He will drink his super sauce

And throw the bad guys for a loss

And he will bring them in alive and kickin'

(puk, puk, puk, puk)

There is one thing you should learn

When there is no one else to turn to

Call for Super Chicken!

(puk, puk, puk, puk)

Call for Super Chicken!

(puk, ack!)...

Both the baby-face and the missassigned number "10" Danys Baez is toting around have got to go. Closers need to be either mean looking or just plain ugly, and preferably both. Jeff Kent or somebody ought to see to the permanent removal of all grooming equipment from Baez’s locker. Emery board excluded, of course. Add a hideous face tattoo and the man will be good to go…

Whatever way they’re cooking the baseballs in the Coors Field kitchen; whether by baste, blanch, flambé or julienne; it’s great stuff. And however they’re mowing or not mowing the lawn out there, major kudos to the grounds crew. Those guys are studs. Colorado is finally the site of real baseball games, with normal scores and everything.

Even so, the Colorado Rockies are the early 2006 version of the San Diego Padres of early 2005. Come to think of it, the San Diego Padres are the early 2006 version of the San Diego Padres of early 2005…

Investors Wanted: Invest a thimble full of venture capital today, make major league minimum tomorrow…

Hunt Auctions is presenting some cool Joe DiMaggio stuff this weekend at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, with bidding via the Internet as well.

Featured are ten World Series rings, including for some reason, one each for 1977 and 1978, a “rare Joe DiMaggio ‘Babe Ruth Sultan of Swat Award’ for outstanding batting achievement in 1939,” DiMaggio’s 1932 San Francisco Boys Club championship ring, and his 1935 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player trophy.

And dig this. Joe D's U.S. Army WWII dog tag, “intact with impressed ‘JOSEPH P. DI MAGGIO’ lettering,” and Marilyn Monroe’s 1954 United States Passport are available, the latter of which has an estimated value of $30,000 to $40,000…

Jackass of the Week: Current Toronto Blue Jay and former Dodger pitcher Ted Lilly, for saying he’d like to sign with the Giants when he becomes a free agent after this season…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged.

The post office clerk is getting awfully nosey lately, don’t you think? It’s like, you can walk your package to its destination faster. So now, when I make my daily drop of our hot selling “No Angels No Where” t-shirts, which are awesome for the Freeway Series, I open with this: “No insurance, no tracking, no stamps, no liquid, nothing fragile, no furniture, no pets and no, I don’t want fries with that…”

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What If? What if Barry Bonds just can’t nudge another of his balls over the fence? What if he’s just not strong enough, or healthy enough, or game enough to hit 714. And what if the baseball gods extend the thing just long enough for Bonds to go on the DL, or for George Mitchell to find the smoking gun. Just what if?

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….




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