Category Archives: MLB

Jim Joyce deserves credit for admitting mistake

By now, everybody’s seen Jim Joyce’s blown call preventing Armando Galarraga from notching what would have been one of the most unlikely perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball. Here are Joyce’s incredible comments following Wednesday’s game:

Now that was something. Joyce took remorse took a whole new level with the profanity filled tirade aimed at himself. He sounded like a man who desperately needed a strong, strong drink.

He stood that and took it from reporters after the game, even though they were essentially asking him the same question over and over.  He got it wrong, but at the time, he genuinely thought Jason Donald beat Galarraga to the bag.  He made a mistake.

In an era when officials often seek to put themselves on a pedestal and refuse to admit missed calls, Joyce stepped up to the plate and admitted he screwed up.

Prior to Thursday’s series finale between the Indians and Tigers, Jim Leyland dispatched Galarraga to deliver the lineup card to Joyce, who was the home plate umpire.  A tearful Joyce jabbed Galarraga and received much-needed encouragement from his fellow umpires.

Joyce was not acting or embellishing his feelings.  He was simply showing how he felt about his mistake, drawing attention to himself for all the right reasons.

Take note, Cowboy Joe West.

Rays designate DH Burrell for assignment

Burrell struck out 28 times in just 84 at-bats this season with the Rays. (Pic via cbc.ca)

Pat the Bat is looking for a new home after being designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays late Friday.

Burrell, who signed a two-year, $16 million dollar deal with the Rays before the start of last season, hit a woefully pathetic .204 with two homers and 13 RBIs in limited playing time this season.

The Rays re-called Hank Blalock from Triple-A and could look to trade the former Texas Rangers star, who had a good spring and was hitting the ball well in the minors.

Blalock would be a good fit in Seattle as a replacement for one Ken Griffey Jr.

Burrell isn’t likely to find work, at least not right away. After a banner season in 2008, he hit just .221 with 14 homers and 64 RBIs in 2009. His inability to play the outfield makes him a designated hitter who can’t hit–not exactly an attractive commodity.

If a Major League team does sign Burrell, the Rays will be saddled with paying all but $400,000 of the remaining $9 million he is owed.

Meanwhile, Jermaine Dye remains on the market. Dye has reportedly drawn some interest, including from the Chicago White Sox, but apparently wants at least $3 million dollars to come out of semi-retirement.

Not gonna happen, J.D.

Caught in the act: Phillies coach steals signs from bullpen

Manuel has denied the Phillies were stealing the Rockies' signs Monday. (Pic via Deadspin.com)

Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer was spotted using binoculars during Monday night’s game against the Rockies at Coors Field.

No, he wasn’t looking at the Rocky Mountains in the distance or looking for hot chicks in the stands. He was stealing signs.

This isn’t anything new. Stealing signs has always been, and will presumably continue to be, a part of the game. Managers are often paranoid that signs are being stolen and go to great lengths to prevent it from happening. Consequently, attempts to steal signs has become a covert operation–usually at least.

The Rockies flagship station captured Billmeyer’s actions live during the second inning, after the Rockies players noticed him using the binoculars early in the game. Shane Victorino was seen talking on the phone to the bullpen during the inning, and just like that the secret was out. Billmeyer was seen focusing on Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo while the Phillies were at bat.

Talk about plumb dumb.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel agreed, “We were not trying to steal signs. Would we try to steal somebody’s signs? Yeah, if we can. But we don’t do that. We’re not going to let a guy stand up there in the bullpen with binoculars looking in. We’re smarter than that.”

Evidently not.

Major League Baseball is review the comical actions and should rule on the matter soon.

In an act of a poetic justice, the victim of the creeping had the best game of his career Wednesday against the Phillies. Miguel Olivo collected three hits off Roy Halladay, and added another hit before belting a walk-off homer in the 10th inning.

Manuel contends that Billmeyer was watching Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz set up defensively. We all know what was really going on.

And you can bet it will happen again.

Sleeping in Seattle: Griffey Reportedly Slept in Clubhouse During Game

Ineffective and apparently disinterested, Griffey's days in Seattle could be numbered. (Pic via Zimbio.com)

The Seattle Mariners were expected to be one of baseball’s most-improved teams heading into the 2010 season. A month into the season, things just keep getting worse and worse.

The latest negative nugget involves the best player in the history of the Mariners franchise.

According to a Tacoma Tribune News report, Ken Griffey Jr. retreated to the clubhouse to sleep during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays last week, preventing embattled manager Don Wakamatsu from using him as a pinch hitter for the light-hitting Rob Johnson.

Citing sources within the team, the report also states that Junior spends parts of games in the clubhouse texting and watching television.

The Mariners have already parted ways with Eric Byrnes and his beachcomber and continue to deal with Milton Bradley’s psychological issues. Getting rid of the scuffling Griffey probably wasn’t high on the M’s to-do list, but the team now faces what amounts to a substantial PR embarrassment.

Griffey hasn’t commented on this report but will certainly be asked to do so Tuesday when the M’s visit the Orioles.

Despite his poor performance and physical problems, the Mariners will most give Griffey a few more ABs before casting him adrift.

If nothing else, inserting him in a struggling lineup should at least keep him awake.

Milton Bradley pulls a Sammy Sosa, leaves ballpark after striking out

Bradley walked out of Safeco Field after telling his manager he wasn't helping the team. (Pic via KOMO News)

Milton Bradley arrived in Seattle this spring with one thing on his mind: proving his ever-increasing collection of haters wrong.

A little more than a month into the MLB season, it appears he has added more fuel to the fire.

With the Mariners mired in a dreadful offensive slump, manager Don Wakamatsu batted Bradley in the No. 4 spot in the order during Monday night’s game against Tampa Bay. The sulky slugger hasn’t exactly been tearing it up lately, but remains the M’s best offensive option not named Ichiro.

After striking out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Bradley spoke with Wakamatsu briefly and was removed from the game. At the time, it appeared he was either benched or injured–both realistic possibilities given his track record.

That wasn’t the case.

Seattle Times beat writer Geoff Baker broke the news that Bradley had in fact asked to be removed from the lineup. After being replaced by Ryan Langerhans in left field, Bradley walked to the clubhouse, grabbed his stuff, and left the park.

This is certainly a new twist to the growing list of unstable behavior the journeyman has exhibited during his career.

Bradley has always defended his actions, but more importantly, he has always had faith in himself to succeed. If he was struggling, it was never his fault. He has blamed the umpires, blamed the fans, pointed to racism and came up with every excuse in the book.

But this was different.

Bradley apparently told Wakamatsu, “I’m done. I’m not helping the team.” He had finally stepped up to shoulder the blame, taken responsibility for what happened, and admitted his shortcomings–finally.

It’s clear he has grown tired of being viewed as a failure by others–especially by the fans in Chicago enjoying the success of Marlon Byrd and Carlos Silva. Now it seems Bradley is starting to view himself in that same light, as a waste of talent and a failure, even though he hasn’t been that bad and the season is still very young.

Bradley’s actions don’t make much sense and certainly deserve some sort of punishment.

The Mariners have deemed the situation as an “internal matter.” His status for tonight’s game and for the remainder of the season is unknown.

One thing is certain: Milton Bradley needs help.

Legendary Tigers’ broadcaster Harwell dead at 92

Harwell, pictured here calling a game at old Tigers Stadium, will be remembered for his smooth delivery and silky southern drawl. (Pic via morethananelectrician.wordpress.com)

Ernie Harwell, the voice of the Detroit Tigers for nearly half a century, died Tuesday evening after a battle with cancer. He was 92.

Harwell spent 42 years as a broadcaster with the Tigers after beginning his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. While working for the Dodgers, he called the famous “Shot Heard Round the World” at the Polo Grounds in what marked the first nationally televised broadcast of a major sporting event in the United States.

In all, he called over 8,000 games at the Major League level.

Harwell’s trademark calls–“looooooooooooong gone” and “two for the price of one” will always be remembered.

The Tigers honored Harwell, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, last September shortly after his illness was made public. He spent his last few months in a assisted living facility near Detroit, and was accompanied by his wife of 68 years and four children when he passed away.

The public will be allowed to pay their respects to Harwell Thursday at Comerica Park.

He is survived by his wife Lulu, four children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

It’s safe to say Ernie Harwell lived a very rewarding life.

Mariners cut OF Byrnes days after he leaves clubhouse on bicycle

Byrnes is a weird dude--a weird dude without a job. (Pic via yahoosports.com)

The Seattle Mariners have had enough of Eric Byrnes–both on and off the field.

Monday the Mariners made several moves in an apparent attempt to spark a woefully pathetic offense that scored just three runs in 32 innings against the Rangers over the weekend.

The lowlight came on Friday, when Byrnes inexplicably pulled his bat back with Ichiro barreling down the line as the potential winning-run. The failed suicide squeeze baffled everyone, including Rangers manager Ron Washington aka Tyrone Biggums, who was ejected after arguing that Byrnes should have been called for a strike on the play. In reality, Byrnes didn’t actually offer at the pitch–even though it appeared he could have made contact with the ball.

Things got even more puzzling after the game ended.

Byrnes, who apparently lives nearby Safeco Field in downtown Seattle, hopped on his Huffy and biked out of the Mariners clubhouse moments after the game ended, without speaking to his teammates. He passed General Manager Jack Zduriencik in the hallway and kept right on riding.

He was back in the lineup on Sunday, going hitless and striking out looking with the bases loaded. He finished his career with the M’s a dismal 3 for 32.

Byrnes is due $11 million dollars this season, most of which will be paid by his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It will be interesting if any team offers Byrnes a roster spot again this season. Plenty of teams need outfield help, but a overpaid underachieving player like Byrnes probably isn’t the answer.