Off Base
Odds and Ends

February 27, 2008

So here I am, basking in the glow of our nuptials, celebrating since Valentine's Day, which just happened to be the day pitchers and catchers reported, finding it difficult, if not damn-near impossible to maintain my usual cynicism about the world of baseball.

Difficult, yes. Damn-near impossible, yes, Actually impossible? No.

What, like I'm going to pass at even a glimmer of hope that Barry Bonds will sign with Tampa Bay? Please. Tell me that wouldn't be just perfect. Classic.

Then, if the baseball gods choose to exhibit that fine sense of humor and irony they sometimes do, Roger Clemens can follow Barry to Tampa, and with Jose Canseco coming back in search of 500 homers, they can all go into Cooperstown together, as Devil Rays. Even better if the club is contracted by 2014.

BTW, this idea that there's a double-standard being applied to Bonds and Clemens regarding steroids is worthy of consideration. The notion that race has something to do with it is too. A scholarly explanation is beyond my pay grade, but anyone with half-a-buttocks can see something there. I'm not sure what, exactly, but something.

For my money, they've both total jackasses, both drug abusers, both at the very least borderline-perjurers. With the soft sentences in play here, and with time off for good behavior, if that's possible for either fellow, they'll probably still make that 2014 appointment with the Hall of Fame, no matter which way it works out.

Speaking of steroids, props to Gary Sheffield for calling Scott Boras "a bad person." Better still, props to the baseball gods for encouraging Gary Sheffield the way they must have.

Double-props to the baseball gods for a February Gary Sheffield event of some kind. Any kind. Spring is near. Gary Sheffield, whose name is preceded by the words, "mercurial outfielder," in every publication except this one. Gary Sheffield, a regular Mother Teresa, if ever there was one…

Meanwhile, in the District of Columbia, character-guy g.m. Jim Bowden is giving Bret Boone a shot at a job with the Nationals in Spring Training. Apparently, Bowden thinks Paul Lo Duca needs assistance with the camp dispensary…

Media Savvy: For a thoughtful discussion of Bonds and Clemens, please read Gwen Knapp's San Francisco Chronicle piece of February 17.

And check out Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall's new comedy video site, and this bit on steroids,

Looks like Lance Berkman gets the distinction of being the year's first prominent casualty of the obligatory strained oblique. We wish him a speedy recovery, of course, but more importantly, the injury gives us a chance to plug our EBay store, "strainedoblique"

Dodgers Doings: The Dodgers are being careful with Jason Schmidt, which is a good thing, obviously. Whether it'll work is anyone's guess. But why not exercise the same caution with the chronically-operated-on wings of Hong-Chih Kuo and Yhency Brazoban?

Is it because the club hopes to move them if at all possible, and wants them on display through March?

While I don't think Brazoban would bring much in return, Kuo just might, and the next time Hong-Chih is healthy for any length of time, and particularly after he's pitched well for a couple of weeks or so, Colletti should initiate a trade. But counting on even the smallest of contributions from Schmidt, Kuo or Brazoban is a mistake.

No double-standards here. I'm still upset about Ned Colletti's signing of Gary Bennett, Jr. as backup catcher. The nod to a player named in the Mitchell Report, and a mediocre player at that, when the Dodgers had no current players so-named, was just a no-brainer. There were no brains involved in the decision. Zero.

And I still say Juan Pierre opens the 2008 season elsewhere. I've been harping on Shannon Stewart as the absolute perfect fourth outfielder for the team, but now that's he's chosen a return to Toronto, I'll let it go. An opportunity missed, however.

Investors Wanted: Yep, we’re still looking. Invest a thimble full of venture capital today, major league minimum tomorrow. Inquire

Poli-Sigh: While I readily admit to lying in wait for Dodgers to autograph my scorecard after Sunday afternoon games in the early 1970s, and actually walking away pleased with prizes like Von Joshua, Duke Sims and Bill Sudakis, I can't fathom the attraction an adult might have to collecting a politician's autograph after a television debate…

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

Nuptials, continued: The prospect of a Chavez Ravine wedding appears bleak. Let's say the chances are about as good as Tommy Lasorda not burning out a rehabbing pitcher in Vero while Joe Torre is in China with the b-team.

Exchanging vows at home plate? Out. Stadium club? Out. Luxury box? Out. It's been two weeks and I'm already horrified by the affair affair. But hey, if my primary purpose is to make the beautiful bride happy, and all I really have to do is show up with a ring and a clean tux, I can handle that.

Besides, with quotes like these from the Main Squeeze, how can I possibly resist: "But honey, you don't understand. For a girl, a wedding is like the World Series!" Ah, out of the mouths of babes. This is Los Angeles, after all, so I guess we're looking at a 20-year engagement. At least.

Remember, glove conquers all….






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