A League of Her Own

Friday Morning Headlines



See ya later, Manny

Let's start with some fun, Friday Manny headlines. ESPN, finally having recovered from the shock of a former member of the Red Sox being caughing in a cheating scandal, has begun to ponder what Manny being Manny might actually mean:

We'd all love to believe that Manny's intent, in taking this drug, was pure and well-intentioned. We'd all love to believe that his "personal health issue" was serious enough to require unorthodox treatment that isn't even approved by the FDA.

But face it, friends, if all the reporting is accurate, that would take the sort of leap of faith only Robbie Knievel ought to attempt.

Oh, but I know Red Sox Nation will some how find a way to justify winning two WS with a proven steroid user on their team.

Bill Simmons' bizarre conversation with an imaginary, super-intelligent 6-year old (who apparently has mastered the art of deductive reasoning as well as statistical analysis) is a must read:

"Nothing was ever really proved," I tell my son, trying to keep up the good fight.

He ignores me and starts rattling through our 2004 lineup with creepy precision. He points out Nomar Garciaparra's remarkable 1999 and 2000 seasons, his subsequent tendon injuries and how his career played out so blandly afterward for reasons that remain unclear. My dad points out the Sox traded Nomar midway through the 2004 season. Technically, that debate shouldn't even matter. Score one for Dad.

"But what about Trot Nixon and Bill Mueller?" my son says. "They missed a bunch of games every year with injuries, put on weight when they were skinny guys, peaked quickly and were never seen again. Same for Mark Bellhorn, right? That's suspicious."

"Well," I say, "their names never came up in anything, so that's not really fair ..."

"And Kevin Millar, he had a few big homer years, then his power numbers went way down once the testing started."

"That's true, but it doesn't prove anything ..."

"And Johnny Damon, he got bigger and started hitting for more power even though he was a singles hitter, right?"

"Well ..."

My 6-year old is currently trying to balance a glass of milk on the back of our dog.

Note: Peter Gammons' article today is entitled "Reaping the Rewards of Improved Defensive Efficiency."

Indeed.

Turning to Cubs headlines:

Hey--we won for the 6th time in 7th games. Right on.

The Houston Astros appear similarly awful but are prepared to take their lumps under Cecil Cooper. They picked up his contract option for 2010 on April 18, when they were 3-7.

General manager Ed Wade understood he couldn't hold Cooper accountable for the performance of a pitching staff counting largely on the efforts of Russ Ortiz and Mike Hampton, the comeback kids.

2009 Chicago Cubs results, schedule After beating the 36-year-old Hampton in the series opener, the Cubs made the 34-year-old Ortiz disappear in the third inning Thursday night en route to an 8-5 victory before a crowd of 28,625 at Minute Maid Park.

The loss dropped Ortiz to 4-19 since the start of 2006. Hampton is 4-7 during the same stretch.

And somehow they're in the starting rotation on a team that has a $102 million payroll.


To be honest, I don't think anyone thinks of Russ Ortiz and Mike Hampton as "the comeback kids." I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to find out that both were still in baseball.

Someone besides us notices that Harden nearly threw a complete game:

HOUSTON -- For the last six seasons, Rich Harden has been baseball's china doll. He is on his way toward changing that perception, making it through his first six starts this season without needing extra rest or kid-glove handling.

Manager Lou Piniella often has talked about the need for a sixth starter to step in when Harden's arm needs a break. But the 27-year-old has held his own thus far, going 3-1 with a 4.83 ERA while working 31 2/3 innings and being injury free.

Harden worked into the eighth inning Wednesday night against the Houston Astros.

"I felt like I could have finished the game," Harden said.

In other quick news: The great Randy Wells experiment begins today (seriously, is anyone else wondering why we couldn't use Heilman as a starter?). Derrek Lee is expected to be available for the weekend series in Milwaukee (yay) after missing a few games with a bulging being bad at baseball. The result of Milton Bradley's suspension appeal is expected to be announced today.

And hey, the Hawks won in OT last night. Woot!

Tonight we head to Milwaukee to take on Dave Bush and the Northern Beer/Sausage Team. We, as always, will be there.

Mil

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2 Comments

gravedigger said:

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well, the login thing worked

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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Me too.

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