Have You Come to Talk About the Past?
At this point, you have to wonder if Roger Clemens would prefer to be hibernating with the bears this winter. A day did not go by this past week without some sort of development regarding Clemens’ possible use of steroids back in the late 1990s. There was the 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace, in which Clemens claims he was shot up by former trainer Roger McNameebut with legal substances B-12 and lidocaine, not human growth hormone, as McNamee claimed to George Mitchell. Then there was the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which have asked Clemens and McNamee to testify under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them Godand one of them will need help from the Almighty, because as of right now, one’s lying. Then there was the Newsday report on Sunday saying that Clemens and McNamee actually spoke on the phone this past Friday for an hour that was described only as “emotional.” Now why would two guys on opposite ends of a legally sensitive boxing ring be allowed to chat with one another?
et tu, Pettitte?
Clemens has a bigger problem than McNamee; his pal Andy Pettitte has also admitted being shot in the buttocks by McNameenot with B-12 or lidocaine, but with HGH. Pettitte may also be testifying under oath before Congress on January 16.
Revenge of the Clean Players
As if Commissioner Bud Selig doesn’t have enough of a headache dealing with the fallout of the Steroid Era, he may have to deal with this curve ball out of left field: The New York Daily News reported this past Sunday that Rich Hartmann, who pitched for two years in Class A during the mid-1990s, is considering a class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball for ignoring the steroid problem and, as thus, creating an environment that made it tougher for “clean” players like Hartmann to reach the majors. Hartmann claims his 89-MPH fastball might have reached 95 with steroids, but decided against it because he didn’t want to risk his lifeand because he hated needles. MLB declined comment on Hartmann, who says he has numerous ex-teammates ready to join him in the lawsuit should it go forward.
The Subway’s Sounding Awfully Nice
Remember back in the good ol’ days of ballpark constructionlike, say, a few years agowhen places like PNC Park and Coors Field cost roughly $350 million? That’s the price tag for the new parking complex at the new Yankee Stadium, to open in 2009. The facility, a combination of indoor garages and surface lots, will house 9,000 parking spaces. For those who plan to drive to the new Stadium, hit up the ATM before you go; the New York Daily News is reporting that by 2010, parking at the new facility will cost $29, as opposed to the $14 fans will be paying this year to park their car next to the old Stadium.
The Comebacker’s Greatest Hits
Click here to look at the TGG Comebacker archive going back to the start of the 2007 season.
The "All" of Fame
Our opinion section this week highlights This Great Game’s “All of Fame,” our tongue-in-cheek look at the history of baseball, with many of the exhibits within featured in detail throughout TGG. The “All” is, as our headline for the piece describes, a primer of sorts for the site, especially for those who’ve never visited. Check out the "All" right here.
Pollyanna Without Santana?
Amid all the buzz on whether All-Star pitcher Johan Santana will be dealt to Boston or either New York team, the incumbent Minnesota Twins seem to have made the best move so far: Nothing. It might just be that the Twins will hold onto Santana, hope he has a fantastic enough 2008 that will (a) lift the Twins into the postseason and/or (b) encourage him to stay in the Twin Cities. If neither (a) or (b) work out, then they can trade him late in the summer to a team that is desperate to use him in the home stretch and likely willing to part with more talent than the Yankees, Mets or Red Sox are currently offering. Yes, there is risk: Santana might be coupled in the same sentence with Tommy John if his arm suddenly implodes, but the positives certainly outweigh the chances of that negative.
There’s No "A" in "Contend"
At least not in 2008. Oakland general manager Billy Beane looks to have already thrown in the towel on the upcoming season, trading his best pitcher (Dan Haren) and most productive hitter (Nick Swisher) in separate deals for a sackful of minor leaguers. Question: If you’ve been complaining about your team being decimated by injuries (to, among many others, Rich Harden, Eric Chavez and Huston Street), why trade all your healthy players away?
The Colorado Rockies this past week signed former Toronto pitcher Josh Towers, and that could be a recipe for disaster. Back in 2005, Towers looked ready to turn it on after a solid 13-12 record and 3.71 earned run average in 200+ innings. A year later, he absolutely collapsedhis record plummeting to 2-10, his ERA skyrocketing to 8.42. The Blue Jays were cautious to bring him back into the fold this past season, and although he improved, he still struggled at 5-10 and 5.38. Yes, the humidor looks to have started to kick in for Colorado pitchers, but a mile high is still a mile high. You want to give Towers an incentive clause? How about one for just surviving the entire 2008 campaign in a Rockie uniform.
In honor of the Chicago Cubs’ 100th anniversary of their last World Series triumph, the Comebacker will begin a new feature on January 28 called "Wait 'til Next Century: Close Calls in a Chicago Cub Century Without Championships." Every week, we’ll count down the 40 years between 1909-2007 in which the Cubs came nearest to actually winning a World Series, with our number one pick for the absolute closest they came being listed in our October 26 installment. So get in line and jump on board soon for our Tragical History Tour of Wrigleyville.