Not to be Confused With Ozzie Nelson
The sensitivity training just doesn’t seem to be getting through to Ozzie Guillen. The Vice Expletive of the Chicago White Sox was at it again on several different fronts this past week, starting with his profane rant against Chicago baseball fans and the mediacalling both biased towards the Cubs. Guillen also lashed out at White Sox fans, who have vented their anger at the team’s recent lack of offense (nine runs over six straight losses from April 29-May 5). Finally, Guillen defended a stunt that took place in the White Sox clubhouse, which involved two blow-up female dolls and a bat placed on each in a sexually provocative position; he claimed the dolls were used to perk up the team’s offense. Apparently it didn’t help the Sox on the field, but whether it’s helped them at the nightclub remains inconclusive.
Oh So Close Again
Maybe the inflatable dolls are helping White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd. The 25-year old right-hander came within two outs of the year’s first no-hitter in Chicago on Tuesday, only to have the Twins’ Joe Mauer break it up with a double. Floyd even got support from the White Sox’ offense, which piled up a 7-1 win over Minnesota. Earlier on April 12, Floyd took a no-hitter into the eighth inning when Detroit’s Edgar Renteria broke it up with a one-out single.
Boon Over Miami
Apparently, the promise of a new ballpark in Miami is allowing Jeffrey Loria to spend. It’s reported that the Florida Marlin owner who’s been saving big money while spending little of it will actually pay one of his players a contract worthy of the 21st Century, with a six-year, $70 million dealthe richest in franchise historyfor Hanley Ramirez ready to be approved. Loria just needs to be sure to spray WD40 on the hinges of the checkbook to make sure it doesn’t creak; that’s how long it’s been since he’s made anything close to that big a payout to a player.
Where Did All the Steroid Users Go?
Not one American League hitter is on pace to collect 40 or more home runs for the season. The last time anyone failed to reach 40 in the AL was 1989, when Toronto’s Fred McGriff led the junior circuit with 36.
Wounded of the Week
It was more about healing than reeling this past week, as many players came off the disabled list and back into action including Jimmy Rollins, Omar Vizquel, Cliff Floyd, Rich Harden and Elijah Dukes. Texas pitcher Kason Gabbard was another who came off the shelf, but on his first day back threw the high hard one near Seattle’s Richie Sexson, igniting a brawl that left him with a sore leg after ending up on the bottom of the scrum pile. As for others getting beat up, one team that felt the painand felt it badlywas the Toronto Blue Jays, who sent both four players, including star outfielder Vernon Wells (broken wrist, out up to eight weeks), to inactive duty.
Nothing Between the Sheets
Jeff Suppan earned the credit for the Brewers’ 5-3 win over St. Louis on Sunday, ending a 36-day drought in which not one Milwaukee starter outside of Ben Sheets had been able to chalk up a victory.
I Never Met a Met I Didn't Like
Hong-Chih Kuo of the Los Angeles Dodgers is has a career 3-0 record and 0.46 ERA against the New York Mets. Against everyone else, he is 1-11 with an ERA of 5.63.
Andruw Jones and the Temple of Doom
The vultures are beginning to circle around center field at Dodger Stadium, where Andruw Jones is currently trying to call home. The Dodgers knew they were taking a moderate risk on Jones, signing him to a two-year, $36 million contract despite a dreadful 2007 campaign in Atlanta where he hit just .222. At least the power (26 homers, 94 RBIs) was there then; but right now, nothing’s therenot the average (.170 through Sunday), the slugging (one homer and just five RBIs through his first 36 games), or the clutch game (1-for-27 with runners in scoring position). The reviews are in for Jones, and they’re not good. T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times: “(Jones is) a Tubbo (248 pounds) and clueless, which really isn’t a good combination for the player with the highest annual salary in Dodger history.” Seth Livingston of USA Today: “Is it possible Jones has lost it? Temporarily? Maybe forever?” The fans at Dodger Stadium: “BOO!” And what does Jones have to say about the catcalls? “I don’t care,” he repeatedly told Simers after Friday’s game in Los Angeles, “that’s (the fans’) problem.”
The 350th is Sometimes the Hardest
It took Greg Maddux four tries, but he finally became the ninth pitcher in major league history to reach 350 career wins with a 3-2 win over Colorado at San Diego on Saturday night. The Padres had lost each of their previous four games in which the 42-year old right-hander had startedincluding a 3-2 loss to San Francisco on April 23 in which he threw seven shutout innings. No one, even Maddux, was probably happier of the milestone than Padre catcher Luke Carlin, who made his major league debut behind the plate and helped call Maddux to the win. Carlin was also thrilled to be the catcher when another future Hall of Famer, Trevor Hoffman, took the mound in the ninth and extended his record total of career saves to 530.
Get a Clue, Fehr-Orza
Once again, the players’ union publicly intimated that major league owners might be working in concert to keep Barry Bonds from getting signed. And once again, we throw this comeback at the union: Would you want to have this guy, with all of his baggage, narcissism and stooges, hanging around your office day in and day out? Neither would we.
Big Papi, Little Papi
In his first 17 games of the season, Boston slugger David Ortiz was batting .111 with a homer and four RBIs. He was slumping so badly that he was asked to sit out the 18th game, a nationally-televised Sunday night affair at New York against the archrival Yankees. In the 20 games Ortiz has played in since, he’s batting .348 with five homers and 24 RBIs.
The Geritol Daily Double
Tim Wakefield, 41, started and Mike Timlin, 42, finished a 5-0 Red Sox victory over the Tigers at Detroit on Tuesdaythe first time in modern major league history that two hurlers each over the age of 40 combined on a shutout.
This Week's Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
Ichiro Suzuki and Albert Pujols share the majors' longest active hitting streak at the end of this past week with hits in 11 straight contests.
Now Playing on TGG: Gus Zernial
Check out Ed Attanasio's chat with Gus Zernial, one of baseball's premier power hitters during the early 1950s, in our new installment of "They Were There."
The Comebacker’s Greatest Hits
Click here to look at the TGG Comebacker archive going back to the start of the 2007 season.