No easy way out (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday April 25, 2007 11:38AM; Updated: Wednesday April 25, 2007 1:03PM
Bonds an A-Rod aficionado
Regarding his pursuit of Aaron, Bonds acted about as interested as Selig. "I don't want to talk about that," he said about the impending countdown. "You guys count it down."
Meanwhile, Bonds was quite a bit more effusive talking about Alex Rodriguez's recent and unreal hitting exploits. "I'm so happy for him. It's phenomenal to watch," Bonds said. "I hope he hits a thousand. Yeah, that's what it's about. It's exciting. Go A-Rod, do your damn thing."
Bonds said he'd be happy to see A-Rod break his record of 73 homers in a season. "I would be ecstatic. It wouldn't bother me a bit," Bonds said. And about A-Rod eventually setting the all-time home-run record. "I hope he does that, too,' Bonds said.
So does a certain fellow in Milwaukee, of that you can count.
Hunter won't be put on ice
Torii Hunter's in a little hot water for sending champagne to the Royals to thank them for beating the Tigers the final weekend of last season to give the Twins the division crown. But while Hunter apparently violated a baseball rule that calls for a rather stiff three-year banishment, it is believed he will not suffer any suspension.
Though Hunter's gesture appears to have violated a little-known baseball rule, No. 21-b, baseball is expected to weigh his intent The rule states, "Any player or person connected with a Club who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Club for services rendered ... in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Club ... shall be declared ineligible for not less than three years."
The rule violation first came to light when it was written about on The Cheater's Guide to Baseball Blog. It is intended to prevent players from bribing opposing players. It is Hunter's positive spirit that will decide the day.
It didn't hurt that Twins GM Terry Ryan wisely took the hit, blaming himself for Hunter's unintentional faux pas, and that the Twins quickly retrieved the still-unopened champagne. If Hunter is punished harshly, he'll have reason to have a fine whine. But indications are he will escape serious penalty.
Around the Majors
While the Indians aren't addressing Eric Wedge's contractual situation until after the season, people familiar with the situation say Indians GM Mark Shapiro's intention is to team with Wedge for the long haul. The reasons for the wait are that Wedge's two-year option doesn't have to be decided on until year's end, and that it's for "good money," meaning seven figures a year. So presumably, Shapiro just wants to be sure.
When Travis Hafner hit a two-run home run off baseball's best pitcher, Johan Santana on Tuesday, that gave Hafner 17 hits in his past 24 at-bats. If not for A-Rod, someone surely would have noticed by now.
Vladimir Guerrero has to be the worst baserunner of any superstar in the game. He has a knack for getting thrown out at the wrong time, like Monday night when Curtis Granderson gunned him down at third with the Angels down by five.
The debut of highly-touted rookie Phil Hughes is a meshing of old and new Yankees values. It's new in that they kept their top prospect long enough to use him, but old in that they rushed him to the bigs after promising not to. The excuse is that they had little choice, what with all the pitching injuries, and prospects Tyler Clippard (5.14 ERA) and Ross Ohlendorf (14 walks in 20 IP) struggling at Class AAA.
Well done to Angels pitcher Joe Saunders, who wore his Virginia Tech cap to honor the fallen students, then winning his start in their honor.
As far as I can tell, Coco Crisp is still more name than game.
The Cubs are doing the right thing by giving the center field job to Felix Pie, which improves them defensively and takes the burden off Alfonso Soriano, who has yet to homer.
Baseball's attendance is up and its TV ratings are through the roof so far.
Dodger Stadium is much like the very inhabitants of Los Angeles. It looks younger than its years.