What's wrong with C.C.? (cont.)
Tejada, we have a problem
The Houston Astros have had a rough go of it with Miguel Tejada. First they find out he was accused of being involved in steroids. Now they've learned he is actually middle aged.
Tejada finally came clean saying he was born in 1974, not 1976, when he was confronted with the evidence in the form of a birth certificate. So that makes him 33, not 31.
As usual, the Astros are the last to know. Just like they were last when Tejada showed up in the Mitchell Report (shocker!).
Regarding the age change, Astros GM Ed Wade said, "Fact of matter is that he plays like he's 25, so I don't think it really matters a whole lot.''
That's Wade's story, and he's sticking to it. Unlike Tejada, who told the true story after all these years.
Scout's Take On...
Yunel Escobar, Atlanta Braves: "He's solid in all phases of the game - hitting, fielding, everything. He can do everything. He doesn't have the blazing speed like Jose Reyes. He's not flashy. But he can do everything well. He doesn't try to do too much. He makes good contact, and he shows a lot of discipline at the plate. He's impressed me. He's a good all-around player.''
Book buyers to Jose: No way
Jose Canseco's new book, Vindicated, sold a paltry 8,000 of the 175,000 copies shipped to stores in the first 10 days according to people in the publishing industry. Canseco, of course, will claim he is being blackballed by the American public.
Jennifer Robinson, a spokesperson for Simon Spotlight (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), cited company policy while declining to confirm the figures. Robinson did say, however, that the book will be opening at No. 5 on the New York Times bestseller list and "we're pretty happy about it.''
She probably won't be happy to hear that word in the publishing business is that the book is actually bombing. Being one of the 8,000 early purchasers (for $22.21 at Barnes & Noble), I can tell you the problem with the book is that there's very little of substance in it beyond Canseco congratulating himself for his first book, which actually did sell well.
Around the Majors
It's hard to imagine now, but Manny Ramirez, who's closing in on 500 home runs (he's at 495), will wind up having an even better career than Ken Griffey Jr. (596). Most don't realize it, but Ramirez has worked extremely hard at his hitting. Ramirez said he wants to play another six years after and wants to wind up with 600 home runs, but he's shortchanging himself. If he plays another six years (plus this one), at 30 a year, he'd reach 700 home runs, not 600.
Daily David Ortiz update: he went 0-for-5 to bring him to 7-for-63 (.111). Sabathia may rank 103rd out of 103 starting pitchers, but Ortiz is 203rd out of 203 hitters, which is just about as bad, I'd say.
Chone Figgins has been hot for almost a year now. Figgins, who's leading the AL with a .385 batting average, hit .378 from June 1 of last year -- after being at .160 on that date. He finished at .330 and would have won the batting title with a decent first couple months.
Catch 22: Joseph Heller would be proud. Both Josh Bard and Yorvit Torrealba caught all 22 innings of the Rockies' 2-1 victory over the Padres. It was the longest game in 15 years, and it must have felt like a week to Bard and Torrealba.
It's hard to imagine a better third baseman than the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman.
Conditioning coaches are under the gun lately. But I am wondering whether the Nats even have one. Maybe they should be as aggressive on the field as they are with the postgame spread.
Quiet Carlos Beltran is developing into a pretty good leader with the Mets. It was Beltran who urged Reyes to "just be you,'' and become his animated self again. "A happy Jose makes us happy and better,'' Beltran said. Reyes broke out of his slump the next game, giving him reason to be more animated.