What a difference a day makes.
Have you heard?
The Cubs Michael Barrett has gone Missing!
Not only did the Cubs unload Barrett to the San Diego Padres, but they also threw in $1.5 Million!
The Padres must REALLY have wanted Barrett to have agreed to that!
What the trade really meant depended on who was doin’ the answering.
Here’s Sweet Lou:
”This is not a move for the future,” manager Lou Piniella said. ”This is a move for now and the future.”
That clears things up!
For the Die-Hards, Barrett was holding the team back (of course he was) and for others, notably Mike North of WSCR 670, the trade was tantamount to the Cubs surrendering their season.
LIsten Here. as Mike North talks to Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper (Die-Hard uber-apologist.)
You do the math.
And it all comes down to this my Friends,
"The Cubs chose Zambrano."
So sayeth the Rock.
Payback is a B*tch.
Just sayin’, again.
Michael Barrett reportedly was sent out of town on a rail as reported this morning on WSCR 670 by Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune beat reporter, because Barrett was the "clubhouse mole."
The players were reportedly upset with Barrett as Sullivan alleged Barrett spoke to the press after a "players only" meeting and revealed that there the Cubs players were upset with Pinella the news of which made ESPN that night.
Your pal Yogi, on the case!
Yesterday I listened to Mike Murphy on WSCR 670 talk about the latest brouhaha involving the Cubs and the San Diego Padres.
As you may or may not know this all began on Friday, June 15, in Chicago after Alfonso Soriano "showboated" after hitting a home run by taking a few steps backwards before running the bases. The Cubs went on to win the game but Fonzi’s antics did not go unnoticed.
Here’s what the Padres’ pitcher Jake Peavy had to say on Friday night:
"I didn’t appreciate that. Just play the game," Peavy said after the Padres were defeated 4-1 at Wrigley Field. "They pay him $136 million to hit home runs. They don’t pay him to be a circus act on the field. If I think a player shows me up like that, I like the next guy to take one in the stinkin’ ribs."
So what happened next?
In the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, Padres pitcher Chris Young came in high and tight to Derrek Lee, brushing Lee back and reportedly (although this is disputed) hitting him on the wrist or arm.
As Lee was awarded first base, the Padres catcher Rob Bowen argued the call of Hit-by-Pitch with the home plate umpire Mike Everett. Inexplicably D.Lee took it upon himself to call out Young which led to words and as far as I can tell, Young made no movement or took no posture to threaten Lee.
Everett did not immediately eject Young even though the umpires reportedly were aware of Peavy’s remarks as there did not appear to be any clear or convincing sign to suggest that Young’s ball was meant to "bean" [hit in the head] Lee.
Then, in a shocking and totally inexcusable fashion, Lee put his left hand on Young’s jersey (showing full intent to punch Young) and took a hard swing at Young with his surgically repaired right hand!
Lee’s swing missed and Young responded in kind, but also missed.
The benches cleared and a melee ensued.
Back to Murph.
Mike Murphy claimed that Lee was in the right for defending himself and swinging at Young as given the League’s practice of throwing out the pitcher who retaliates. In this case the Cubs Carlos Zambrano was in the midst of a No-No and thereby precluded any chance for the Cubs to retaliate.
Q: What else was Lee to do?
A: Murph’s error is that he failed to do the math.
It’s Important You Show Your Work.
The Padres were shown-up by Soriano and Peavy felt that in order for the Padres to save-face, a ball to the ribs was due.
In other words, the Cubs were in the debit column, put there by Soriano.
Presume that Young was throwing at Lee to retaliate and thereby was evening the score once he hit Lee, the score would have been settled and the teams would have been All-Square.
Lee, like Murph, failed to correctly calculate the score and when Lee deliberately called out Young and deliberately swung at Young, the Cubs were then back in the debit column, even if Lee felt that Young threw at his head. [I think the pitch was a brushback, not a bean ball.]
So by starting the fight, Lee made the same mistake that Edgar Renteria made last week by punching Mike Fontenot in the nose after being hit by a Ted Lilly pitch, both took an All-Square score and put their team back in the debit column.
In Renteria’s case, he and the Bravos have gotten away with it for now. Payback for that will come next year.
Lee may have made his point in telling Young he didn’t appreciate a pitch close to his head, but the Padres are owed some payback and I have no doubt that they will get even, even if it takes a whole year.
What makes Lee’s actions so inexcusable is that he swung at Young with his surgically repaired right hand, threatening his entire career if he actually made contact with Young, as well as risking getting maimed or killed by Young who is 6′ 10" and over 250 lbs.
And if Lee had any sense as to his role as the captain of this team he wouldn’t have taken himself out of the line-up for 5 games, while his team is 7 games behind the Brewers and with three games with the Brewers coming up next week.
If Lee wanted to swing at someone, it should have been Soriano.
And Sweet Lou has no control over his team.
Sorry Murph, I love you like a brother, but in this case you missed the call.
Loyal Readers and Brewers Fans!
Welcome Back to Your Favorite Brewers Blog!
These next few days your pal Yogi will be on the Road, visiting again the good people in and around Sacramento, CA as well working back in my home that is not my home, Monterey, California.
One of the many events of the weekend reflected upon at length and that requires additional exposition is the matter of Edgar Renteria and the rookie shortstop Mike Fontenot.
Some background is required.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
The Cubs went on to win Friday night’s game 9-1 and on Saturday, the Braves thanked and congratulated Soriano for his outstanding performance by having starter Tim Hudson throw at and hit him on the first pitch of the game.
As these things go the natural course of events to follow would be:
A) The pitcher, Tim Hudson to be ejected
B) The Cubs throw at the Braves best home run hitter, Andruw Jones
But this did not happen.
In fact, Hudson was not thrown out and no Cubs pitcher threw at any of the Braves on Saturday.
No, it was on Sunday when the Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly threw high and tight at Edgar Renteria, almost hitting him in the head that the business of payback began.
It being a nationally televised game, the umpire Jim Wolf was “miked” and could be heard saying that he anticipated Lilly throwing at Renteria [Why Renteria and not Jones is a mystery] and was prepared to eject Lilly, which he did.
Now recall Dear Friends how Lou Pinella, he of monumental fits and explosive arguments with umpires, only recently put on a show that cost him four games suspension.
In Fact, Sweet Lou went silent.
And so not-so-quietly did Lilly leave the game, being seen throwing things and shouting in the dugout tunnel.
Still, that should have been that.
The Debt repaid.
What happened next is strange and certainly inexplicable.
On the next play while running to steal second Renteria slid spikes-up (hard-but-clean) and then proceeded to smash the barely one week old Mike
Everybody saw it.
There was no doubt as to what was Renteria’s intent.
And yet, silence.
There was no eruption from the Cubs bench.
The fiery Pinella did not rush out to the field and demand justice and Renteria’s ejection.
The Cubs veterans let their rookie take a cheap and dangerous shot to the head and face with nary a peep.
And not one of the four umpires who again, like everyone else who clearly saw the play, did anything.
Joe Morgan, incorrectly I believe, stated that it should have been expected for Renteria to “take it out” on the Cubs middle infielders after he was hit.
But surely that can’t be correct as the account was already settled. Lilly settled Soriano’s beaning and now the teams were even.
Renteria somehow miscalculated and in this case got away with it Big Time.
What kind of message were the Cubs sending their Rookie that they would not “get his back” and let him get the snot knocked out of him and potentially seriously injured without rushing to defend him?
What kind of message was Pinella sending to his team after having put on a poorly-choreographed show two weeks ago over a close, but correct call (that led to an unnecessary suspension) while at this time he sat quietly on the bench doing nothing when his real leadership was needed?
What kind of message were the umpires sending to the Cubs and to all of Baseball by ejecting Lilly and not Renteria, by allowing Renteria to flagrantly strike at another player, with the intent to cause injury, with impunity?
I ask you.
As I said, inexplicable.
Now some may say that all of this “payback” stuff is just a lot of nonsense.
A brief Digression:
I have an acquaintance who was an NHL player.
I asked him once about why fighting is allowed in professional hockey.
His answer, “It’s part of the Game.”
“Only the players can truly police the game and without it someone is going to get hurt.”
There You Have It.
On Monday, this was talked about all day on Chicago Sports Radio.
WSCR 670’s Mike Murphy was his usual superb best.
So too, Steve Stone who said the real problem was that Lilly threw at Renteria’s head. Instead, argued Stone, Lilly should have waited until the fifth or sixth inning to throw at a Braves’ player so that if ejected, he wouldn’t put the pressure on the bullpen to get 25 outs as he did by being ejected in the first inning.
Also, per Stone, Lilly should have thrown at Jones not Renteria, as Jones is the Braves best home run hitter as Soriano is the Cubs best home run hitter.
And lastly but perhaps most important is that Lilly made the cardinal mistake of throwing at Renteria’s head. Rather, the appropriate bean would have been a fastball to his ribs and that would have been that.
A fascinating aside made by Stone was that as Renteria walked to first after getting hit, it was up to Barrett to tell Renteria that the beaning was for Soriano.
And who says baseball is boring?
I mention all this because I did not want you, my Loyal Readers, to think that your pal Yogi approved of, or in any way condoned what Renteria did.
No, what Renteria did was gutless, dangerous, and stupid.
Renteria would never have even thought about doing such a thing to anyone, except a green rookie.
The fact that the Cubs other 24 roster members let him get away with it make me think they are gutless, too.
Let me close with one more thing Stone said, that he proposed to Bowie Kuhn in 1980 that if baseball wanted to eliminate the bench-clearing brawls they had only invoke hockey’s third-man rule.
If a player leaves the dugout, bullpen, or his position to join in or surround a fight they will be immediately and irrevocably suspended for two weeks or more without pay, no exceptions.
That oughta’ fix it.
The Commissioner’s Office hasn’t gotten back to him yet.
One last thing.
I don’t recall seeing this, but one caller said that when Andruw Jones left the dugout when the benches cleared he was holding a bat.
If true he should be suspended.
Plain and simple.
Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen.