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My Take On ‘Lance The Liar’ & Time Wasting Interviews

By bullpenbrian - January 18, 2013 - 2:00 am Leave a comment.

Livestrong? More like Liestrong.

What a worthless coward. Lance’s doping isn’t even the worse part. The despicable treatment of his sport and the shameful behavior towards his teammates, specifically those dismissed from the team who failed to adopt the doping program, his fans and his foundation are unforgivable.

Lance tells Oprah “he’s now paying the price.” What ‘price’ I’d like to know? Besides relinquishing his cycling awards and repaying a pittance of money he unfairly earned, nothing has changed. A half-truthful interview does little, if anything, to repair the damage.

It’s not that I’m against second chances, lord knows I’ve needed a few, but I doubt this scumbag could do anything to re-earn the trust of anyone. If Sir Lies-A-Lot wants to do any favors he can crawl into a hole and disappear. What a slime ball disgrace.
***
It was nearly four years ago we watched Alex Rodriguez sit down with Peter Gammons on national television to come clean on his his use of illegal performance enhancers.

The most troubling part of that interview, however, was Gammons resistance to push A-Fraud with follow-up questions. But as Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News points out:

Make no mistake, once Gammons landed the interview with Rodriguez, his job was done. This was a huge coup for the Worldwide Leader. The rating, compared to a normal SportsCenter broadcast, had to be monster. That’s the important thing to remember here. Ratings and buzz rule. So what if you gain access by kicking your own credibility to the curb.”

Thankfully, Oprah pressed harder and dug deeper on Lance than Gammons did on A-Roid, but neither interviewer did justice for demanding a straight answer.

If I could hand pick the interviewer for both these clowns I’d go with Bob Costas, who remains one of the best in the business. His strong opinions have obviously made him a lightning rod for many viewers, but more importantly, there’s no denying Costas shows zero hesitation in relentlessly asking the tough questions, as he did grilling Jerry Sandusky in November of 2011.

As an aspiring broadcaster in college I often respected the bulldog interview approach of Jim Gray, who David Halberstam, an American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, named as one of the 50 greatest sports broadcasters of all time.

Gray’s interview techniques, at times, became so confrontational it even made the viewers at home squirm. But Gray’s lines of questioning were also fact based and spot on…that is until ‘The Decision’ aired by ESPN on July 8, 2010 when Gray fed LeBron James softball questions about joining the Miami Heat vs. remaining with his home town Cleveland Cavaliers. Much like Gammons, unfortunately, Gray sold out to the ratings.

My hope is the art of skillful and proper interviewing will return now that sports fans have grown more accustom to ‘tell-all’ sit downs with athletes who have disgraced themselves and their sport (Pete Rose, A-Rod, Lance etc.). Perhaps just landing the exclusive interview the next time around (which we shouldn’t have to wait long for) won’t be enough to simple juke the ratings any longer…after all, what haven’t we seen or heard before during these time wasting publicity stunts?

For starters, hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is a refreshing idea.

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Joe Girardi Wrong For Sticking With Raul Ibanez?

By bullpenbrian - October 17, 2012 - 2:15 am Leave a comment.

I don’t blame Joe Girardi for sticking with Raul Ibanez against Phil Coke in the top of the ninth in Game 3 of the ALCS.

The numbers game suggest Girardi should’ve opted for a right-hander batter, say A-Rod, given righties torched Coke to the tune of .396/.446/.604 during the regular season.

Ibanez, however, has been the best clutch hitter on the Yankees this postseason, and arguably the only hitter on the Yankees in October. Seriously, who else would New York want at the plate with the game-tying run on second base?

If it’s Aroldis Chapman on the mound, it’s a different story. But Coke is far from a ‘lights-out’ closer or unhittable ‘loogy.’

After all, Teixeira and Cano (another left-handed hitter) both singled in front of Ibanez leaving no reason to believe the hot-hitting 40-year-old couldn’t drive in the tying run.

Girardi’s decision to stay with the lefty-lefty matchup is no worse than him choosing to leave Rodriguez, hitting an ice-cold 2-for-23, on the bench.

Ibanez, of course, struck out to end the game. But it was ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ for the Yankees’ skipper.

Let’s not forget, either, how right Joe was turning the table earlier this postseason when he pinch-hit Ibanez for A-Rod. A hero when it worked, the goat when it doesn’t.

Yet, regardless of whether you believe Girardi made the right move or the wrong one, it’s no fault of Girardi’s his team is hitting a ghastly .182 in October.

What’s a manager to do–pinch-hit the entire lineup?

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The Z-Bomb For An A-Bomb?

By bullpenbrian - November 14, 2011 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.

The Cubs need a third baseman. The Yankees need a starting pitcher.

Carlos Zambrano for Alex Rodriguez? Hmmm…

Chicago desperately needs to rid itself of Zambrano. Although trade options are limited, the Big Apple makes sense for a couple of reasons.

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Bautista Hits 50 HR, Big Deal?

By bullpenbrian - September 24, 2010 - 12:01 am 2 comments.

Jose Bautista hits 50 home runs and baseball fans talk about 50 dingers like it means something again. Really?

Albert Pujols hit 47 last year. Ryan Howard hit 48. Just three years ago A-Rod (54) and Prince (50) hit the 50-mark. Heck, in 2006 Howard hit 58, David Ortiz 54!

Bautista’s achievement, albeit a terrific one, isn’t exactly remarkable.
The guy’s hit 50 home runs, which is very respectable, but it’s not 60, and it’s not 70. To speak as though is silly.

It seems baseball fans want Bautista’s mark to mean more than is really does.
No question it’s our way of moving forward from the Steroids Era.

We want our sacred records back, and of course, more 50 homer seasons to cheer for. But this time around we want them clean, we want them real.
We want Jose Bautista, not A-Fraud.

Sure, 50 is worth celebrating, but to think we’ll never see 50 again, c’mon!

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Face 2 Face At Wrigley

By bullpenbrian - February 14, 2009 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

One sunny July afternoon during 2007 I was sitting at Murphy’s Bleachers’ beer garden with a good friend of mine rehashing old memories and pouring down cold Old Styles.

My buddy was visiting from out of town for the Sting concert to be held that evening at Wrigley Field.

While taking in the sun we noticed a white van pull up and stop just past Murphy’s on Sheffield Avenue.

To our surprise, out stepped Sting himself, who politely posed long enough for my pal to snap a picture.

From there Sting meandered into the park and we stumbled back to the beer garden.

And the next thing we know we’re listening to the band practice on stage in center field! Cool memory for both of us.

Although, the Sting moment made me realized I was missing out by not having purchased a ticket to the show…thus, I’d make sure to be at the next Wrigley Field concert.

Of course, last year came and went with no concert held at Wrigley.

This year, however, Elton John’s and Billy Joel’s Face 2 Face Tour plays the Friendly Confines July 21st: yesterday I bought my tickets.

Section 240, seats 101 & 102 (third base side, middle deck)…it wasn’t cheap, but it had to be done.

Seats are again for sale today on-line at Ticket Master.com.

  • Lou Piniella says he’s “saddened” with the news of A-Rod’s PED use.

I’d like to ask Lou if he ever suspected Rodriguez was using while playing in Seattle.

  • Speaking of PEDs, Jim Hendry offers up an interesting angle about the actual number of MLB players on steroids (courtesy MLB.com).

There was some speculation that as many as 50 to 70 percent of the players were “cheating,” Hendry said. However, if you have 40-man rosters on 30 teams, that’s 1,200 players. Half of that is 600. The report was that 104 tested positive in 2003 [It doesn't add up].

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Revised MLB HR List (*)

By bullpenbrian - February 13, 2009 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

Everyone understands Hank is still No. 1

Everyone understands Hank is still No. 1

There’s no sense in rewriting baseball’s record book because of the Steroids Era.

What happened during this period was real, some of it artificially enhanced for sure, but it was all real.

Begin changing box scores for the steroids era and you’re climbing a slippery slope with the rest of baseball’s unique and imperfect history.

Bud Selig has made it public he’ll consider tweaking the record books: convicted PED users being removed from lists as if they never existed.

It’s a bad idea, it won’t work and it doesn’t change in any way what actually happened on the field.

If Selig wanted to protect baseball’s most cherished records he should have done so a decade ago by taking swift action against PED use and not waiting until A-Rod’s admission to steroid use Monday.

Besides, Selig doesn’t need to remove Bonds from the all-time HR list for baseball fans to know Aaron is still king.

All we can do moving forward is keep working to further understand exactly what happened during the late 1990s.

Then, take what’s learned and put it into perspective for that period of time.

In the meantime, here’s the all-time HR list with guilty steroid users removed…in parenthesis is where the player actually stands on the current list.

1. Aaron (2) 755

2. Ruth (3) 714

3. Mays (4) 660

4. Griffey (5) 611

5. Robinson (7) 586

6. Killebrew (9) 573

7. R. Jackson (11) 563

8. Schmidt (13) 548

9. Thome (14) 541

10. Mantle (15) 536

11. Foxx (16) 534

12. M. Ramirez (17) 527

13. McCovey, Thomas, Williams (18) 521

14. Banks, Mathews (19) 512

15. Ott (20) 511

16. Murray (21) 504

17. Gehrig, McGriff (23) 493

18. Musial, Stargell (24) 475

19. C. Delgado (25) 469

20. D. Winfield (26) 465

  • Removed

1. Bonds 762

6. Sosa 609

8. McGwire 583

10. Palmeiro 569

12. Rodriguez 553

25. Sheffield 499

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Roidriguez

By bullpenbrian - February 9, 2009 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

Photo: NYP

Here’s what’s laughable about the recent A-Roid news.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines ran an interview Sunday with a former Rangers trainer who says during Spring Training 2003 he warned then Rangers GM John Hart that Roidriguez was showing signs of PED use.

Hart says he has no recollection of this conversation. Remarkable isn’t it!

So, let’s get this straight: team trainer tells GM that his star player – and one of the game’s brightest stars – is using PEDS…and the GM can’t remember such a conversation.

For me it’s beyond comprehension just how stupid some of baseball’s players and front office personnel believe the fans are.

There’s no better example of this than Roger Clemens continuous denial of using HGH and steroids.

Apparently we’re all jock-sniffing clowns with no grasp of the outside world.

Seriously, who do these guys think they’re fooling!!!

And what is it the guilty parties believe they gain from hiding the truth?

Plus, I have to believe the A-Rod news put a smile on Joe Torre’s face wider than the Brooklyn bridge.

New York ran Torre over the coals after his book release saying the former Yankee skipper broke the locker room code of keeping personal matters in house.

The thing is, Torre won’t lose any respect for telling the truth in his book, which, was only strengthened with the discovery of A-Roid.

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