June 22, 2009, 6:52 p.m. One of the witches, anyway.
Donald Fehr is out as queso grande of the Major League Baseball Players Association. And a wonderful thing it is.
We'll leave the obligatory "Fehr strikes out" line to someone (nay, everyone) else. One down, and one to go.
This is monumental, absolutely huge news. Major. While it would've been nice to see the man tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail, in the long run it doesn't matter that Fehr is leaving of his own volition. As long as he's going.
Be-bye, pal. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Come to think of it, do; do let the door hit you on the way out.
Look, it's not that Donald Fehr is an evil guy or anything, and if you're truly objective, you might be able to put your finger on some positive things he did during his 25 years on the job, but trim down the bio to the bare minimum of characters required to tell the tale, and Fehr's story inevitably comes down to four words, and only four words: "steroids" and "cancelled World Series."
Parse those, and since "steroids" can be used as a medical term, with neither a positive nor negative connotation, you're left with "cancelled World Series," one of the ugliest phrases known to sports-man. Or sports-woman. Or sports.
It was 1994, to be precise, and lest we forget. Yes, Bud Selig's bio will come down to the same four words, and the commissioner is more responsible for everything strike-related than is Fehr, but this is Donald's job performance review we're writing now.
I've long dreamt of the two men walking the plank together, and how fitting that would be, but there'll be plenty of ocean left for Selig later. In fact, factoring global warming into the equation, there will be more ocean for Selig later. An added bonus.
Anyway, if you love baseball, you ought to be stoked today. Don Fehr is back, back, back, back, almost gone. It's the beginning of the end to a sad bad chapter in the sport's history. And only good can come of it.
I'm not going to pretend to know a thing about Fehr's prospective successor, Michael Weiner, but only good can come of it. Drink responsibly, but go right ahead and celebrate…
Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…
Freeway Series: First of all, thank you Jon Miller, of ESPN, for referring to this past weekend's Dodgers-Angels series as the "battle of Southern California." Which it was. As opposed to "the battle of Los Angeles," which it wasn't and has never been. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
It's quite a run of luck we're having here. First the Lakers win a championship, and as if on cue, June Gloom simply disappears before its due. Then, the Dodgers beat the Anaheimers two of three to split the season series, and do so impressively. Then Fehr splits, and all is right with the world. What next, Roy Halliday for Tony Abreu?
OK, that's a bit much, but I'm filled with optimism as the week begins. The boys in blue really did look good over the weekend, doing everything we've come to expect from them. And things we couldn't have expected from them, like losing with their ace Chad Billingsley on Friday, and responding with Jeff Weaver beating the superior Jered Weaver on Saturday.
Continued fine bullpen and glove work, a stirring performance by Clayton Kershaw, and the late-to-arrive offensive spark from Russell Martin.
There's no question in my mind that the Dodgers will go to Chicago and bring back their ninth consecutive series win, and wrap up the mathematical first half of the season safely 20-plus games over .500 next week in San Diego. With some guy named Manny in attendance.
We'll go over our team and league suggestions for Cy Young, MVP, etc at that time, so stay tuned for that…
BTW: A little known fact, as told to me by my friend Buzzie Bavasi, in 2005. According to Buzzie, the Angels paid the Dodgers six figures for the use of the words "Los Angeles" in their name, upon expansion in 1961. There was no discussion of the club keeping it while operating in another city and county, nor the use of a prepositional phrase like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but who could have possibly foreseen that?
Milken This: I haven't seen Michael Milken's name associated with MLB's Home Run Challenge yet this time around, and it's not my intention to minimize his contributions to the prostate cancer awareness community, but I think baseball could do better without Milken as spokesman.
Yes, Milken paid his penance, but it just seems like he's trying too hard to make good. And it turns out that he had an ulterior if not all along, then certainly in the back of his mind.
Read this article by Los Angeles Times business writers Stuart Pfeifer and Tom Petruno for specifics on Milken's presidential pardon request, which was appropriately turned down by President George Bush, and as a refresher about the junk bonds and racketeering crimes of a generation ago. It's a fitting read for the news of 2009…
Question of the Day: Two questions, actually. Are the Colorado Rockies for real and should the National League worry? Short answer, no and no. The Rocks have been a streaky team since their 1993 inception, and in literally every case except one, a long stretch of wins has led to nothing of any great distinction.
That's not to say that a rerun of Colorado's 2007 drive to the World Series is impossible. It's possible in theory, just not in actuality. Not with this particular club. Forget about the Rockies. Don't fret one bit, NL fans…
Media Savvy: Neat piece by about the prospect of Joe Mauer hitting .400, by Andy Behrens of YahooSports.
From Rotoworld. "According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Shawn Estes has retired. Estes actually pitched well in Triple-A, with a 3.07 ERA in hitter-friendly Alberqueque [sic]. Estes should be remembered for winning 19 games in a season, one of four seasons he had double figures in victories. Instead, he'll probably go down as the guy who tried and failed to drill Roger Clemens. If your fantasy team was depending on Shawn Estes, something went horribly wrong for you on draft day."
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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