Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Papi Goes the Weasel

Seems like just yesterday when David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez were sharing a drink and a cigar on the golf course at Ortiz's charity golf touney. Through all of the allegations and scandal that ARod was dealing with, all was well in the cozy seat of a golf cart in the sun drenched beauty of the Dominican Republic.All was right with the world.....ahhhhhhh.

Well, A funny thing happened today on ESPN radio. The ever so boisterous talk show host Colin Cowherd had a chat with Joe Tacopina and within a blink of an eye, buried one of ARods few remaining friends in baseball. That bridge was burned when this comment was made by Tacopina...

“No one else was compelled to say anything and no one else did say anything,” Tacopina said about the time period when a Selena Roberts book was released detailing Rodriguez’s alleged PED use and the Times story broke. “People were denying stuff. And I’m not gonna start naming all the other players, but some of them are God-like in Boston right now, and people seem to forget that … Alex came clean and admitted something when he didn’t have to.” 

Let's get real, no one is really surprised by this comment. Ortiz has dealt with allegations of steroid use for years now and for good reason, as Cowherd stated...

When it’s too good to be true, it is … Here was a guy in May of 2009, batting .222 with a slugging percentage of .300, no injuries and he couldn’t hit … He’s significantly better today than several years ago. Interesting story. The story of David Ortiz hitting .733 is about as believable as Big Foot.” 

Although, with it coming from the mouth of Tacopina, this will certainly have an immediate backlash. Let it be known though, it certainly won't be coming from Yankee fans! 

The steroid accusation is so freely used by Sox fans (2nd only to "buying our team") as the reason for the Yankee's championship success. Even after Manny Ramirez and his suspensions for anything from steroids to his...female fertility pills..heh, heh...Manny being Mary? Anyway, it still seems that it just disappears within the gates of Red Sox nation. 

I figure, if ARod is going to keep shooting off cannons while the ship sinks, why not aim it at the Red Sox?

Despite "Victory" over A-Rod, Bud Selig's Hands are Still Dirty With PEDs

This is what separates reality from the movies: Sometimes there are no good guys; everyone is the bad guy. That is evident in the saga of Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball. The BioGenesis War took a step towards conclusion, as the arbitrator held up Rodriguez’s suspension throughout the entire 2014 season on Saturday. The ban could very well end A-Rod’s career.

For some reason, the mainstream media is labeling the decision as a “victory for baseball, and a victory for commissioner Bud Selig”. This idea that Major League Baseball is somehow heroic in defeating Rodriguez is very misguided. If anything, baseball comes off even worse than A-Rod now.

On Sunday, 60 Minutes did a piece on the entire case, interviewing BioGenesis founder Anthony Bosch, Rodriguez’s lawyer Joe Tacopina, MLB COO Rob Manfred, and briefly Bud Selig. Bosch claims he injected A-Rod with several illegal substances, but also injected him with substances that helped Rodriguez pass several league mandated drug tests.

Rodriguez’s lawyers have claimed that MLB bought off stolen evidence with cash, which is a crime in the state of Florida. They threatened lawsuits against Bosch and everyone else. In fact, Bosch is now on baseball’s payroll, despite the fact he sold drugs to its own players.

How are Selig and MLB allowed to get away with this? They are not the FBI. The government should not allow them to deal with criminals just to pursue vigilante justice. Witch hunt or no, it is completely unethical the way they have dealt with the situation and I am shocked that absolutely nobody is questioning MLB’s tactics (well, other than Mike Francesa). Instead, like the article I linked above, they’re doing total P.R. spins for the commissioner.

Why didn’t Selig testify in the Rodriguez hearing? He lead the entire investigation with Manfred. The arbitrator should have forced him to make an appearance. Rodriguez is in the wrong, but he had all the odds stacked against him and the house is corrupt.

But do you know why baseball did all this? To save face, of course. Only explanation. With Selig retiring after the 2014 season, he’s even considering doing a farewell tour around a’ la Mariano Rivera. He’s going to walk away with the appearance of a hero, when he just got away with total corruption.

But the fact is this: Selig has done more to catalyze the spread of performance enhancement drugs throughout baseball.

The game was saved by Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire’s juiced home run race three years after the end of the strike, but they ignored and blackballed the reporter who found andro in Mark McGwire’s locker. They profited from Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds breaking records in what should have been their career twilights. The players union ignored the warnings of Rick Helling of the steroid culture.

Selig never did a thing about steroids until he was finally pressed by Congress to take action. That wonderful drug testing system that was claimed to be the toughest out of any sports league in North America is apparently a total joke, if Bosch’s claims are true. They are likely even more players still juicing, and that’s been clear as day right when this scandal first broke.

You know what? Baseball had it out for Alex Rodriguez, even if he is a liar and a fraud. They made an example out of him to save face. Now they’re doing their victory laps with the 60 Minutes appearance and soon with Selig’s inevitable farewall.

Selig celebrated Sosa and McGwire and Bonds, but is now damning Alex Rodriguez just two and a half months after hugging fellow cheat and World Series MVP David Ortiz.

 In a league of phonies and liars, Bud Selig is baseball’s biggest fraud.

Tacopina Says "God Like" PED Users Are In Boston

In case you missed it and have been living under two rocks in the past week or so Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 162 games and essentially lost his appeal with Frederic Horowitz and Major League Baseball. Now he is taking it to court suing both the MLB and the MLB Players Association trying to get the ruling overturned or reduced. While he is waiting for that to play out we may have the makings of another Jose Canseco on our hands...

Alex's lawyer Joe Tacopina was on Colin Cowherd's ESPN show today and foreshadowed a possible outing of other PED users. Tacopina subtly suggested that some of the current PED users are "god like" players playing in Boston. Immediately David Ortiz comes to mind as well as Dustin Pedroia, more likely the former than the latter obviously, with a few other possibilities. This is about to get really REALLY fun I have a feeling.

Here is the quote from Tacopina:

Joe Tacopina told @ESPN_Colin he did not want to name other players accused of PED use, “but some of them are God-like in Boston right now.”

Scranton RailRiders Coaching Staff Announced

Sojo Added to SWB Field Staff
Replaces Menechino, Remainder of Staff Returns

Moosic, Pa. - A slew of familiar faces and a blast from pinstripe past will make up the 2014 field staff for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees). Manager Dave Miley, hitting coach Butch Wynergar, pitching coach Scott Aldred, athletic trainer Darren London and strength & conditioning coach Lee Tressel will again mentor, mend and develop the players that call NEPA home. The addition comes in the form of a former player and coach for the parent club, playoff legend Luis Sojo, who joins the team as a coach after managing Advanced-A Tampa for seven seasons. Sojo replaces Frank Menechino, who was named hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in November.
Miley, who was named Manager of the Year for all of minor league baseball in 2012 byBaseball America, enters his eighth season as the skipper in SWB and ninth with the Bombers' Triple-A squad. He also called the shots during the Yankees' final campaign in Columbus (2006). Wynegar, a two-time All-Star during his Major League playing days, enters his eighth season with the franchise as well. 2014 marks year six with the team for Aldred, who pitched in the bigs for 11 seasons. London, the International League's Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2006 and 2012, has spent more than two decades as the Yankees' Triple-A athletic trainer with this season marking his 22nd at the level and 26thin a row with the organization. Tressel enters his 11th year in pinstripes and his sixth with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Sojo may be the new man in Moosic, but is a well-known name to fans of the parent club. His résumé includes two seasons coaching for the big league Yankees (2004-05). The versatile infielder played parts of seven seasons with the Yankees (1996-2001, 2003) while helping the club claim four World Series titles (1996, 1998-2000). That included delivering what proved to be the World Series-clinching hit for a Game 5 defeat of the New York Mets in 2000. While managing Tampa, he led the team to the Florida State League title in 2009 and set the league's all-time wins record. He also skippered the Yankees' then-Double-A satellite, the Norwich Navigators, to the Eastern League crown in 2002.
"We think the world of our staff," said RailRiders president and general manager, Rob Crain. "Our fans get a true treat each night when they watch a team prepared by this bunch. It is one of the most talented and experienced staffs in professional baseball."
The RailRiders' 2014 season begins on Thursday, April 3 when the club kicks off a seven-game road trip at Syracuse against the Chiefs (Washington Nationals).The home slate commences a week later on Thursday, April 10 when the Chiefs visit PNC Field for a four-game series and homestand. For season ticket information or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

Being posted with permission from the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders organization. The original post can be seen HERE

Five Yankees File For Salary Arbitration

Five members of the New York Yankees have filed for salary arbitration as the arbitration process begins today including Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, Shawn Kelley, and Francisco Cervelli. Gardner and Robertson are in their last years of arbitration and expect big time raises, specifically Gardner who may see a doubled salary or more in 2014. Nova and Cervelli are in their first years of arbitration and are only expected to get marginal raises at or around the $1 million - $2 million range in my opinion. Kelley on the other hand is a Super Two and in his third year of arbitration, with 2015 being his final season before becoming a free agent.

MLB Trade Rumors are usually the closest of anyone to predict arbitration numbers so we will look at their predictions from back in November:

Gardner - $4 million
Robertson - $5.5 million
Nova - $2.8 million
Cervelli - $1 million
Kelley - $1.5 million

Very rarely do you see the Yankees ever go to court with their players, save the A Rod jokes, so I do not expect any of their players to see an arbitrator. The Yankees will very likely reach an agreement with their players before the deadline in my opinion.

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #77 Joe Torre (Again)

Joe Torre did not need much time to organize his troops in New York after coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996. He immediately guided the Yankees to a World Series title in his first year in New York and two seasons later he led the Yankees to a 114 win season in the regular season and the first of three consecutive World Series titles and four out of five years.

77 Days until Yankees Opening Day

Thomas Neal Signs With The Cincinnati Reds

Thomas Neal tweeted yesterday to let us all know that the former Yankees outfielder has signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Neal is 26 years old and split time between the Yankees and the Cubs organizations posting a combined .325/.391/.411 in AAA.

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/14

On this day in 1970 former Yankees top relief pitcher, now known loosely as a closer, and New York Mets general manager Johnny Murphy dies of a heart attack.

On this day in 1987 Yankees and Athletics ace Catfish Hunter and outfielder Billy Williams were elected to the Hall of Fame. Hunter was one of the game's first big money free agents when he signed his very lucrative deal with New York.

On this day in 2012 the Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero along with Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for  pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. This deal has been a bit of a disaster for both teams but Pineda is only 24 years old and Montero is being worked as a first basemen and a DH in the minor leagues.