by Dennis Rizzo

Hall of Fame Honors for The Hawk: Where Do I Sign?

Andre Dawson was recently voted into the MLB Hall of Fame.  Good for him.  A really good ballplayer who appeared -andre-dawsonnot to be on steroids (note: Mark McGwire garnered a whopping total of 23.7% of eligible votes…..see more on Big Mac below). When I think about Dawson, what comes to mind was his free agency year in 1987.  The Expos did not want to pay up and apparently, due to the owner’s collusion, no other team was interested.  He meets with the Cubs and tells them to hand him (Dawson) a blank contract!  He signs it and tells the Cubs to fill in the amount later. I seriously doubt Scott Boras would let that happen today.   Dawson went on to bash 49 HR’s and take the MVP that year.

This Just In- Belly Full of  Steroids?

Mark McGwire admits to steroid use “on and off for 10 years.”  Don’t know about you, but when his neck got to be the size of Buddha’s stomach, I didn’t need a Congressional panel to figure out that he was juicing.

David Segui’s Family Hands Him a Hall of Fame Vote

Kevin Appier, Pat Hentgen and David Segui each secured one vote this year.  Appier was a solid starter and Pat Hentgen won the 1996 Cy Young Award but why the hell is Segui’s name there?!  He must have a sportswriter relative somewhere in this great country.

Red Sox Road to Nowhere

Mike Cameron and John Lackey signed with the Red Slobs.   Lackey should get hurt as a fly ball pitcher in that park and Cameron is very capable of striking out with abandon in all parks.

Straight Out of Left Field

Many people consider drugs a large sports issue and it should be.  But the main issue about drugs is that the pain is arenasself-inflicted.   Guns on the other hand, generally hurt, mutilate and kill others.  Gilbert Arenas and his friendly teammate, Javaris Crittenten brought their firearms to the workplace recently to settle a sports debt.  Nice guys, huh?  Let’s hope they get several decades in a state penitentiary.  Twenty years ago, they’d be part of a team called the Baltimore Bullets (whose name changed due to the negative connotation it put on the city).   They’re joined on the list by several noted gun-toting folks:  Scotty Pippen, Plaxico Burress, Ben Johnson, the former Net Jayson Williams, Willie Mays Aikens, Cesar Cedeno, Ruben “Hurricane” Carter and many other Emmy Award winners who committed crimes without the use of a gun.

by Dennis Rizzo

New York Mets Moving in Wrong Direction. Again!

It can’t be too hard to be a GM, can it? Assuming Omar Minaya is not being omardirected (like George used to do with the Yanks), and realizing that the new Citi Field is a cavernous, pitcher’s park, why would the first free agent signing be Jason Bay? Typical Mets blunder. Get a pitcher!! John Lackey would’ve been perfect, since he comes from that real league (the AL) and would basically be pitching against minor leaguers in the NL. Oh, sorry, Minaya did sign Kelvim Escobar, who may have to pitch left-handed this year.

John, Paul, George, Ringo and The Bachelor. The Bachelor?

Don’t you wish you were “The Bachelor” (right), even for just a month or so? What kind of women cry within an hour of meeting a man? Yes, the women bachthat attended the Beatles concerts started crying as soon as the Fab Four stepped on stage. But, c’mon; they were The Beatles. These “Bachelor” ladies, however, were saying things like, “I was picturing our lives together.” What?!  I’d toss any girl that a)said the word “like” more than once per sentence; b) was from California (they’re all nuts) or c) had made “poor male choices” for 8 years in a row.

What A Difference A Decade Makes

Tiger Woods is so 2009!  Randy Johnson retired. He is so 1999.

Naturally Unnatural

Speaking of Johnsons, I read today that Casey Johnson, the 30 year-old heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, died of natural causes. Natural causes? Sorry, it’s not natural to die at 30 years-old. Please!

New York Knicks Achieve Addition By Subtraction

Is Stephon Marbury still playing basketball? After a quick check on nba.com, he’s nowhere to be found. I guess the Knicks made more good moves than we initially thought. They’ve won a few games and play exciting ball; they kicked Marbury and his nasty attitude to Beantown and they have all this salary cap room. Break out the Knicks jersey from the closet, I’m buying back in.

Broadway Blues Land A Top Dog

The NY Rangers’ Marion Gaborik is really, really good. Reminds me of a mixed-breed dog. Sort of a Jaromir Jagr/Pavel Bure/Mike Gartner combo, except, you won’t find him in a shelter.

While injuries have certainly been a prevailing theme for many MLB teams, two managers have been pulling rabbits out of hats all year long. In Los Angeles, both fieldwithballmoon_copy_2zyhJoe Torre and Mike Scioscia have their squads atop the division despite depleted rosters that would have sent lesser teams to the bottom of the standings. Torre has been without Manny Ramirez since April and has seen a complete power outage from C Russell Martin. Scioscia has had to deal with the death of Nick Adenhart, injuries to starters Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Ervin Santana while also struggling along without Vladimir Guerrero… It’s absolutely ridiculous that steroid cheat Manny Ramirez gets to do a Minor League rehab before his 50 game suspension is complete. If suspended farmhands have to sit out the whole sentence, why not the big boys?.. Joey Votto returned to the Reds’ lineup last week and picked up right where he left off. After sitting out more than a month, Votto revealed that his emotional problems stemmed from the difficulty he’s had in coping with his dad’s death. Funny how, sometimes, we forget that many of these big leaguers are still just kids. Good luck, Joey… The Marlins got a glimpse of why Andrew Miller was the focal point of the Miguel Cabrera trade with the Tigers. In his last start, Miller gave up a leadoff double vs. the Orioles and then not another knock through 7 IP… Though having hit just 1 HR, Andrew McCutchen has surprised in Pittsburgh with 14 RBI in his first 18 G… When you sit down for your Fantasy Baseball Draft next year, remember that Heath Bell, likely a very, very late pick in mixed drafts, is leading the NL in S while Brad Lidge has blown 7 S already. Never, ever, reach for relievers or chase saves. They always come into the league… Mark Teixeira’s offensive prowess was unquestioned when he signed with the Yankees. What many (me) didn’t know was how smooth he is in the field. He is the very definition of an all- around player… Hope you heeded some Moonlight wisdom about Gil Meche. Since throwing 132 pitches in a complete game, Meche has allowed 13 ER in just 8 IP over 2 starts. Another victim of the pitch count police as he isn’t used to the extra work… Don’t look now, but the Tampa Bay Rays have the AL’s best record since April 30th… Jimmy Rollins returns to the Phillies’ lineup on Tuesday, hoping that his four game vacation will help pull him off the Mendoza line… David Aardsma is turning into a dominant closer for the Mariners… Quick, who is currently the best pitcher in the AL? My vote goes to Josh Beckett. Healthy now, he looks very much like the 2007 version that won 20 G…

Buy Low- Not surprising to find a Colorado Rockie leading this list, as they are the hottest team in the game. Troy Tulowitzki leads the charge, raising his BA more than 40 points over the last two weeks while rediscovering the power he displayed during his stellar rookie year… John Danks has put two dominating performances back to back as the White Sox rotation has started to turn things around… Been waiting all year to add Francisco Liriano to this list. The projected Twins’ ace has looked like his old self in his last two outings…

Sell High- Jesse Palmer currently sports a 7-1 record for the Angels. Make a point of that and deal him before your trade partner notices that he doesn’t strike anyone out and has a 5.16 ERA… Despite vying for the NL batting lead, Pablo Sandoval hasn’t logged any time behind the plate; significantly lowering his value heading into next season’s Fantasy Baseball Draft. If yours is not a keeper league, you might consider moving him for a lot of help in return…

Grab Bag- Mike MacDougal has been a nice surprise for the Nationals since taking over as closer… I know it was only the Mets, baseball’s version of a AAAA team, but Chien Ming Wang turned in his second straight solid performance vs. the Amazins on Sunday. If you’re looking for pitching, you could take a flier on much worse… Oakland turns to Gio Gonzalez after losing Josh Outman to Tommy John surgery. Gonzalez, long a top prospect, was 4-1 2.50 at AAA Sacramento… Chad Gaudin shut out the Rangers in Arlington on Sunday; his third straight dominant outing for Seattle. His K total has spiked over that time as well…

Drop Zone- Bill Hall may have seen his last day as the Brewers staring 3B. With his BA at .197 and Mat Gamel playing well, Hall doesn’t figure to see the field anytime soon… It pains me to write the name Vladimir Guerrero in this spot but that’s just where Vladdy’s power outage has landed him. Take him out of your lineup until he starts driving the ball… Getting close to the time to give up the ghost on the struggling Elijah Dukes…

Sick Bay- It’s starting to become more likely that Brandon Webb won’t be returning to the D’Back’s anytime soon. He’ll seek the opinions of three specialists this week as to what might be wrong with his shoulder and could be out for the season… Braves’ SS Yunel Escobar is trying to play through a hip problem that has forced him to the bench on occasion… Jose Reyes took ground balls and BP over the weekend but still appears to be out until after the break… Carlos Quentin is in the midst of a running program but is no closer to returning from a foot injury…

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