Thursday, March 15, 2007

Notes from a Backlog of Newspapers

* I missed his appearance tonight, but Kei Igawa's walkitudinous ways are a bit scary. More interesting was watching Tyler Clippard throw a few innings after ol' Dr. Kei exhausted his pitch count with four walks and five strikeouts in three scoreless innings. Clippard allowed one run in two and a third pitched, the run coming on a solo shot Chipper Jones absolutely nuked over the rightfield fence. The homer aside, Clippard looked impressive, throwing his 91 MPH heat up and over the plate as if he were Roger Clemens, and featuring a nice changeup (well, nice changeups aside from the one Chipper hit halfway to Miami).

* Clippard was demoted after the game, which is less a reflection of his performance than a reflection that there are only two weeks of Grapefruit action left, and the Yanks have a ton of righthanded pitchers vying for only a couple of slots. With Jeff Karstens tossing zeroes, there was simply no room for Clippard in the inn.

* A-Rod talks to the New York media so much, I actually worry about his health and safety. Alex should heed the Errol Morris axiom, "Let someone talk for long enough, and eventually they'll hang themselves." He's said he sucked. He's talked about his relationship with Jeter, or lack thereof. Now he's saying that it's "Do or die." Whatever. It's all so much noise.

I mean, we all get the points that Rodriguez is trying to make: 1) he's not forswearing his right to opt out of his contract after this season (he'd be an absolute and total sucker to do so) and 2) just because he's keeping his option(s) open, doesn't mean he doesn't want to stay in New York, with the Yankees. Everything else he says is a reiteration, repetition, or rephrasing of those two points, with a few variations. Enough, already!

* Sadly, Richard Jeni made his own health and safety a moot issue, committing suicide last week. Jeni was one of my favorite standups of the late 80s and 90s, I'll miss him for that. Another one of my favorites from that era, Elayne Boosler, remembers him as a friend in the Huffington Post; Scott Long, whose act I've never seen, but whose blog I read regularly, has a much less sentimental take (at some point in the comments section, it kinda becomes Please Explain: Suicide).

* So far, the biggest non-A-Rod stirs at Yankee Camp happened because Roger Clemens decided to attend a game--as a spectator, mind you--and because Carl Pavano's girlfriend had an unspecified health situation. I think that can speak for itself.

* Best at bat of the spring: Jose Tabata's opposite field dinger on Sunday. Just a really nice flash of strength, to give us something to think about while we wait for him to be ready for the Show.

* Pete Rose used to say he never bet on baseball. Then he admitted he bet on baseball. Now he claims he bet on the Reds, every day. I suppose it's a form of justice that by now Rose has told so many lies (and the truth is so underwhelming) that no one really gives a damn anymore. Used to be that every year, around HoF election time, a dedicated and noisy group would gnash their teeth about the big injustice being done to the Hit King. Haven't really heard a peep from that crowd since Rose's book came out a couple of years ago (and as an added bonus, they seem to have taken the "Free Shoeless Joe!" lobby down with them).

Over the next few years, I think what we'll get from Rose is a series of increasingly desperate confessions in the hope that one of them will finally trigger the American public's forgiveness, until eventually he's confessing to stuff like the Kennedy assassination, the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown, and fixing Ali-Liston II. Not that anyone will care about that, either.

* The wonderful, synergistic relationship between MLB and Viagra appears to be over, which I think is just the kind of victory over artificial performance enhancers that the league needs. This relationship was doomed from the beginning, given that MLB's first Viagra pitchman was Raffy Palmeiro.

No comments: