Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-6-14

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Top of the 1st
What could be more delicious than to NOT see Barry B*nds, the arrogant steroid bloated blowhard, being chosen to appear in the All-Star Game in his own home park? Baseball fans it’s time to make a statement, I urge you to make a symbolic gesture and this All-Star ballot vote ABB – Anybody But B*nds.

Now is time to show B*nds the same disrespect that he has shown the game, the fans, the law and the media. If George Mitchell and Bud Selig are feeling too impotent to do anything about B*nds, maybe the fans can provide a dose of Viagra by voting ABB. We must remind baseball that this is our game and even though the All-Star Game is merely an exhibition what could be more nauseating than to see him introduced and cheered mind you, by the only fans he has left, his home town fans.

You, the fans elect the starters for the game on July 10 in San Francisco’s AT&T Park, then, the players will elect eight more position players and eight pitchers. Finally, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, in conjunction with the commissioner’s office, will select four pitchers and three non-pitchers. The good news is that La Russa is open to rejecting B*nds, ”I’m not going to get into whether Barry B*nds is in,” he said Tuesday. ”He might get voted in. I’m not going to get into that.”

There are numerous alternatives that can make you feel good about voting ABB. Here are some outfielders who are at least as worthy as B*nds and will not make you feel slimy by voting for them – Aaron Rowand, Adam Dunn, Andruw Jones, Brad Hawpe, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Lee, Eric Byrnes, Hunter Pence, Jason Bay, Jeff Francoeur, Juan Pierre, Ken Griffey Jr., Matt Holliday, Randy Winn, Ryan Church, Shane Victorino, Shawn Green, Willy Taveras, or Xavier Nady. If your favorite is not listed, vote for your favorite, vote for the one you find cute, vote for your team’s entire outfield, just make sure your vote is ABB.

Let’s make sure that LaRussa and the Commissioner understand that we don’t want B*nds to have the national showcase that the great stars like Musial, Mays and Williams have had. Let’s make a statement that says we have a voice.

I urge you share this with your friends, share this with the press, share this with anyone who will give voice to our message – Anybody But B*nds in the 2007 All-Star Game.

Top of the 2nd
How’s that for a creative headline to show the opposite directions to the two New York teams are heading? Last night it was Mike Mussina’s turn to shine for the Yankees who have been surging ever since Jason Giambi hit the DL. Mussina allowed six hits and no walks and struck out seven over seven and two-thirds, leading the Yankees to a 7-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui and Alex Rodriguez homered.A-Rod now has 25 homers and 66 RBI. The $200 million Yankees are now 32-31, and have won eight in a row. The Yankees trail Boston by eight and a half games in the American League East, and Detroit by four and a half for the wild card.

On the other hand, the Mets, after losing last night to the Dodgers 9-1, have lost five in a row and 9 out of 10 games. The Dodgers outscored them, 18-5, in sweeping the three-game series and it really wasn’t even that close. The Mets first place lead is down to two games ahead of Atlanta and the Phillies, who just swept the Chicago White Sox.

Top of the 3rd
Aaron Hill hit a two-run single in the Blue Jays’ five-run 4th inning and Toronto handed Tim Lincecum his first major-league loss defeating the Giants, 7-4. Lincecum (2-1), the Giants’ top draft pick in 2006 at 10th overall and nicknamed “Franchise” by his teammates, went 3 2-3 innings giving up seven runs and seven hits, striking out six and walking four. He lasted 4 1-3 innings in his last outing and also in his first start, May 6 against Philadelphia. On the plus side, he got his first major league hit when he lined a double to left.

Dustin McGowan (3-2) won his third straight decision and also added a single, and Adam Lind walked twice in the same inning. The Blue Jays concluded a six-day, six-game road trip with a 3-3 record.

Top of the 4th
I wonder if Tampa Bay’s Elijah Dukes can play basketball or football, because his lifestyle is way more suited for the NBA or the NFL than MLB. The St. Petersburg Times reported yesterday that a teen told police Dukes got her pregnant during consensual sex while she was a foster child at the home of Dukes’ step-grandmother. There were no charges because state criminal statutes do not apply to consensual sex between a 17-year-old and a 22-year-old.

Dukes has a long history and it reads more like a police blotter. He went through four Hillsborough County high schools in four years, was repeatedly suspended in the minors and eventually told by management at Triple-A Durham that he should never return and has a restraining order that will keep him away from his wife for the next year. In the last year alone, Dukes has been charged with marijuana possession, threatened his wife and children, and now has been accused of having consensual sex with a 17-year-old in the foster care of a Dukes relative.

Dukes has been the Rays’ starting centerfielder despite a .193 average, and seems likely to stay in the lineup since the other centerfielder, B.J. Upton, was placed on the disabled list, but yesterday he asked for a “personal day” to deal with his issues. The Rays lost to Jake Peavy and the Padres, 9-0.

Top of the 5th
Tim Wakefield is one of just four pitchers in the majors who have been on the same team continuously since 1995. Name the other three. (Answer in the Top of the 9th).

Top of the 6th
Former Montreal Expos outfielder Warren Cromartie who became a fan favorite in Japan, will be part of a tag-team wrestling match step Sunday in an event called Hustle Aid. He will face Tiger Jeet Singh, who walks around with a sword in his mouth. “I’m going to take him out just like on a double play,” Cromartie said. “I’m going to go from first to third and take him out with a home run chop.” Cromartie will team with Japan’s Ryoji Sai to take on Singh and An Joenosuke.

Cromartie played in the big leagues for 10 seasons, including nine with the Montreal Expos before going to Japan where he played for the Yomiuri Giants from 1984 to 1990. He led Japan’s Central League in batting in 1989 with a .378 average and was named the most valuable player. He often led the Yomiuri faithful with cheers of “Banzai!” from the outfield. He returned to the States in 1991 and batted .313 in 69 games for the Kansas City Royals. In 2005, Cromartie managed the Japan Samurai Bears, a team of Japanese players that played in the Golden Baseball League, an independent minor league in the western United States.

Top of the 7th
San Diego Padres at Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 12:10 pm
(R) Justin Germano (4-0) vs. (L) JP Howell (1-0)
LA Angels of Anaheim at Cincinnati Reds, 12:35 pm
(R) Bartolo Colon (5-2) vs. (R) Homer Bailey (1-0)
Milwaukee Brewers at Detroit Tigers, 1:05 pm
(R) Ben Sheets (6-3) vs. (R) Chad Durbin (5-2)
Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees, 1:05 pm
(L) Doug Davis (4-7) vs. (L) Andy Pettitte (3-4)
Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros, 2:05 pm
(R) Chad Gaudin (6-1) vs. (R) Jason Jennings (0-1)
Seattle Mariners at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 pm
(R) Jeff Weaver (0-6) vs. (R) Jason Marquis (5-3)
Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 pm
(R) Jason Simontacchi (3-4) vs. (R) Jeremy Guthrie (3-1)
Colorado Rockies at Boston Red Sox, 7:05 pm
(L) Jeff Francis (5-5) vs. (R) Josh Beckett (9-0)
Cleveland Indians at Florida Marlins, 7:05 pm
Undecided vs. (L) Dontrelle Willis (7-5)
Texas Rangers at Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:05 pm
(R) Brandon McCarthy (4-4) vs. (L) Tom Gorzelanny (6-3)
Atlanta Braves at Minnesota Twins, 8:10 pm
(R) Tim Hudson (6-4) vs. (L) Johan Santana (6-6)
St. Louis Cardinals at Kansas City Royals, 8:10 pm
(R) Kip Wells (2-10) vs. (R) Scott Elarton (2-2)

Top of the 8th
In the persistence pays off story of the day, Guillermo Rodriguez drove in two runs in his major-league debut, starting at catcher for the Giants after 11 1/2 years in the minor leagues. He hit an RBI single in the fourth for his first big-league hit and added an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.

With Tim Lincecum, Rodriguez and Jonathan Sanchez getting hits, it gave the Giants four players in two days with their first major league hits. Rookie Nate Schierholtz did it Tuesday night, then got two more hits. The last time three players on the same team collected their first career hits on the same day was Sept. 20, 1998, by Atlanta’s Mark DeRosa, Wes Helms and Bruce Chen at Arizona, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Top of the 9th
USA Today reports that commissioner Bud Selig is “heading toward” suspending Jason Giambi by next Tuesday if he doesn’t cooperate with the steroids investigation by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. Selig announced a week ago that Giambi could be spared disciplinary action for his comments about steroids to USA Today if he cooperated with Mitchell’s investigation within two weeks. Giambi, who is on the disabled list, and his agent Arn Tellem have not said publicly whether he will meet with Mitchell.

TRIVIA ANSWER – Wakefield is the only one of the four who will have buy a ticket to the Hall of Fame. The other three are John Smoltz (1988 with Braves); Trevor Hoffman (1993 with Padres) and Mariano Rivera (1995 with Yankees).

Bottom of the 9th
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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports,,, and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.