Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-9-16

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

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By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top of the 1st
Like so many of my readers, I have been curious as to how Milwaukee’s Miller Park had been once again chosen as the Designated Stadium for baseball in the times of inclement weather. You might recall that in April, 2007 when snow hit Cleveland, the Indians and the Mariners moved their game to the domed park in Milwaukee as well.

Well, your intrepid reporter did a little research and I was able to piece together a transcript of the conference call between Commissioner Bud Selig, Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, and Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane that took place on Saturday.

Selig: Drayton, this is Bud, how’s the weather down there?
McLane: Well, how the hell do you think the weather is? It’s awful. What a mess!
Selig: Well actually Drayton, that’s why we’ve called you.
McLane: Who’s we?
Selig: I’ve got Jim Hendry from Chicago and actually I also have Doug Melvin of the Brewers speaking from the extension upstairs here in the house.
Hendry: Hi, Drayton
Melvin: Hi, Drayton
McLane: Jim, sorry for this inconvenience. Dougie, what are you doing at Bud’s?
Melvin: Uh, Bud’s having a little party. He’s got about 150 to 200 relatives and friends here and a lot of the vendors from Miller Park are serving as the wait staff.
McLane: Nice, we’re drowning and you guys are having a party.

Selig: Drayton, we need to get to the business of playing some baseball games. Now we warned you, everybody warned you that Hurricane Ike was on its way and urged you to cancel the games in advance, so we could choose a neutral site to play these games.
McLane: Now you listen to me! I told you last week and I’ll tell you again today, having the Cubs play the Astros at Minute Maid Park would be worth $3 million to me and I simply did not believe that Ike would hit here.
Selig: Bush and Cheney, right?
Hendry: What are you talking about?
Selig: Oh, Bush and Cheney told Drayton that as long as they were in charge he wouldn’t have to worry about hurricanes bothering Texas.
McLane: They got it right with Katrina, didn’t they?
Selig: Well they got it wrong this time and we need to play some games starting tomorrow.
McLane: Tomorrow!?! I can’t get people to come to the game tomorrow, we don’t even have electricity.
Selig: That’s why we need a neutral site. Jim, you wouldn’t object to that would you?
Hendry: I’m good to go. We’ll play wherever you suggest.
McLane: Well, I have three million objections, Bud.
Selig: That’s too bad and too late, Drayton. We’re going to make this an Astros home game, so you’ll make some money, so let’s decide on a site.

Hendry: How about St. Louis?
Selig: I’ve been tracking the weather forecast and it looks like they are going to have some rain caused by a front moving in because of Ike. The last thing we need is to move the game to another location and then have it rained out or played in the rain.
McLane: How about Arlington?
Selig: I looked at the map; it’s raining in Arlington, Kansas City, St Louis, and Chicago. McLane: Jeez, you love your Weather Channel, don’t you Bud?
Selig: Look Drayton, I know you’re unhappy, but those no reason to diss the Weather Channel. And let me remind you, this mess is your fault.
McLane: Yours too, Buddy. How about Phoenix, Tampa Bay, or Atlanta?
Hendry: I really think we’re going to get caught in a mess with the NFL. Plus Drayton don’t you want to make some money on this? Tampa draws 15,000 fans for a team in the pennant race, neutral game should pull in under 20, and I don’t mean twenty thousand.
McLane: Okay, good point.

Selig: Here’s what I suggest, we need someplace that has good drawing potential and a dome so that weather is not an issue.
McLane: Minnesota.
Selig: And without football on Sunday so we don’t have to play a doubleheader on Monday and you can get two dates. Anybody else have a suggestion? Anybody?

Selig: Doug are you there!?! I asked does anybody have a suggestion?
McLane: Oh, no!!
Melvin: Uh, how about Milwaukee?
Hendry: I’m ready.
McLane: Well, of course you’re ready. Don’t you guys call it “Wrigley North?” This stinks.
Selig: So it’s settled.
McLane: Wait a second, this seems awfully fast, this will be a home game with virtually all of the fans cheering for the other team. Plus, you don’t even know if you can staff the place.
Melvin (heard off the phone): Hey everybody! It’s a done deal. All you have to do is yell “YES!” when I give the signal.
Selig: That’s a good concern Drayton. I have a thought…
McLane: I’ll bet you do.
Selig: Maybe, all the folks here would be willing to spend an off-day working, (off the phone) would you folks do that for major league baseball?
Crowd: YES!
Selig: There you have it.
McLane: But…

Selig: Butt this, Drayton. I want you to make a nice statement telling everyone that with all the devastation of the hurricane and because most people have been without power, we just felt that it was improper to be playing baseball Sunday or Monday in Houston.
McLane: Fine, but I’m telling you Selig, Bush better be the next commissioner or…
Selig: Or what, Drayton?
Hendry: Or what, Drayton?
Melvin: Yeah, or what, Drayton?
McLane: I don’t need to hear anything from you Dougie boy, you just keep choking away. In fact, Melvin, while the Astros and Cubs are in town, why don’t you keep an eye on how two big league managers guide their teams under pressure. See you all in Milwaukee. (click)

And that’s the story of how the Cubs and the Astros ended up playing in Milwaukee and how Ned Yost ended up being fired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Top of the 2nd
THE WRAP for September 16, 2008
Hiroki Kuroda allowed three hits over seven shutout innings for his first road win in more than two months and Manny Ramirez had three more hits, leading the Dodgers past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-2. Manny Being MVP Candidate went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and is now batting .395 with 43 RBIs in 42 games with the Dodgers. Kuroda (9-10) permitted one runner to reach third and yielded only one hit after the 1st. The Dodgers’ pitching staff has a 2.18 ERA in its last 15 games. Juan Pierre’s first home run of the season snapped his 281-game homerless streak. His solo homer was his first in 1,070 at-bats, or since his drive off the Phillies’ Jon Lieber on Sept. 18, 2006.

LA has a 4