Monday, March 14, 2005
Can you feel the joy inherent in that image? The sheer, unabated terror of Matt Clement as he flees the gleeful recklessness of David Wells in a scenario that, as of right now, we can only hopefully imagine? The natural comedic splendor of the small, baseball-shaped vehicle, caroming along at an absurd pace? This, my friends, is the bullpen car. Once upon an idyllic time it was a presence in the major leagues, transforming the ordinary journey from bullpen to mound and back again into something more exciting and entertaining than watching A-Rod get called out for his girly slap again.
I am not alone in my wish to see the reinstatement of the noble bullpen car, and it is this universal desire that, on a slow and snowy afternoon, spawned the birth of a website for this wonderous revolution: BRING BACK THE BULLPEN CAR!
As of right now it features myself, Hoo of Hoo's on First, Kristen of Basegirl, Amy of Platooned, and Emma of The Professional, the Idiot, and the Tailback. We are the front line offensive in the grand battle to restore the bullpen car to the national baseball consciousness. We are tireless. We will not rest until this lofty goal has been reached.
We are, by and large, insane. Check it out, kids. Join the revolution.
I'm not going to address it in great depth, because I'm pretty heartily sick of it all by now and figure I may as well wait until the circus that will be the hearings on Thursday, but there are a of couple interesting things about this latest steroids controversy that I'd like to bring up. First off, Idiots Write About Sports has a good post about why the players named by Canseco probably won't sue for libel. It's a point I've been trying to make to people in conversations out here, and since I'm not a lawyer I lacked the right way to word it convincingly-- he explains it pretty well. The Sports Law blog (which is absolutely fucking addictive, by the way) also has some good things to say on the matter, and presumably will address it more as more happens.
The other interesting little tidbit thus far is the fact that this sordid tale has an Ann Arbor connection. Yup. I was combing through the original New York Daily News story, and the first thing that hit me was the location at the start of it: Ann Arbor, Mich. Hello, what?
The article goes on to detail a meeting between the guy who allegedly supplied Canseco and McGwire, Curtis Wenzlaff, and the FBI agent who originally collared him: "A man in an overcoat and a sharp charcoal gray suit enters the Old Town tavern in Ann Arbor last week, and Wenzlaff recognizes the face instantly... Schmidt's [the FBI agent] real name is Bill Randall, and for 33 years he was an FBI agent, based mostly in Ann Arbor."
Sweet! Free publicity for the Old Town tavern! Apparently Wenzlaff is from Flint, but I guess they couldn't find a setting convivial enough out there, so A-squared it is. Gosh, nothing like a little local color to spark your interest in a national steroids scandal, huh?
RantBlog update: As I said before, there has been quite a bit of movement in the sports blogosphere lately, in any event, on the group blog front. It all began when All Baseball suffered a mass exodus, with the Mariners writers jumping ship early and heading over to USS Mariner, only to be followed by Bronx Banter, Dodger Thoughts, Will Carroll, and (one of the writers for?) Cub Reporter as they departed for the greener.... er, more tan pastures of Baseball Toaster. Update your bookmarks accordingly.
That's not all, though. After All Baseball was decimated, it began picking up new writers-- a couple of new guys taking over the old Cub Reporter, a new Dodgers writer, and a White Sox writer. It also seems to have merged, or been acquired by, the Most Valuable Network, which if you recall was the other large baseball blog group out there. I'm not sure exactly how the two are going to integrate, but presumably this will be an ongoing process and may involve writers moving from one to the other. I guess congratulations are in order to Evan, the guy who owns (moderates? maintains? presides magisterially over?) the entire MVN. If he has plans of world domination, he's already well on his way.
Got all that? The only group sportsblogging affiliation that hasn't seen upheaval is the SportsBlogs group... except that they have. Since I last brought them up they've expanded to include still more teams. The new additions are Amazin' Avenue (Mets), Let's Go Tribe! (Indians), Camden Chat (Orioles), and Gaslamp Ball (Padres).
Check 'em out, they're mostly good reads, although the Indians writer seems to be still getting his feet wet, and the Padres guy (confusingly named Brewer) seems slightly confused about the concept of 'updating regularly'. I've seen the Padres blogosphere, though-- it would be hard to do much worse than they've already done. The Mets and Orioles guys are already proving themselves to be worthwhile reads even this early into their blogosphereship (bite me, dictionary). I guess you could expect that from the larger-market teams-- remember back to the numbers in the first installment. It keeps coming back to those bloody numbers, doesn't it? I'm starting to feel like I'm inside the Moneyball of blogging here.
Anyways, I'm still patiently (OK, impatiently) waiting for them to pick up a Tigers writer, but I guess it could be a while. I think they're mostly trying to find people who already have blogs and are willing to move to a new domain and affiliation, and there just aren't that many established Detroit Tigers blogs out there. This is in defiance of the blogging numbers, by the by, but the problem is that most of the 'Detroit' bloggers are actually from Ann Arbor, and are far more interested in blogging about the multitude of coffee houses in town and the drama of the University interacting with the city than about baseball. Sigh. Such is life.
That's about it, unless there's some other new group baseball blog system that's sprung up somewhere without my noticing it (in which case, please let me know about 'em).
Oh, and be sure to check out the little movie that A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory whipped up the other day. I quiver in jealousy of his parade footage, I do. Go see.
I know the Lions have been making offseason moves left and right, picking up Kennoy Kennedy (yay!), Marcus Pollard (yay!), and Jeff Garcia (uurgh). This is sort of the opposite of what the Pats are doing (dumping players like mad, seemingly), but then again the two teams had very different needs going into this offseason-- I wouldn't be too concerned about either one yet. There are a few coaches I always am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to, in the assumption that they have a workable plan behind their moves, and Belichick is one of them. Mooch, eh, not so much, but at least the Lions have shown a logic this winter-- they had holes that they knew they needed to fill in free agency, so they went out and filled them, so I can make a case for being optimistic going into the draft.
I just really hope that Garcia only is present to inspire Joey to greater quarterbacking heights, not as a replacement. I still believe that Harrington has the stuff to be a good quarterback, he just hasn't been able to maximize it yet, what with the injuries to our receivers and the bewildering insistence on the West Coast offense, which doesn't play to his strengths and only serves to lay out our receivers for yet more injuries.
But hey, I no longer need it for the Red Sox, so maybe I can move the sentiments over to the Lions: Wait 'till next year.
edit: Oh, my god. OK. You need to go see today's post over at RallyCuff, like, right at this very moment: If I were a star Major League baseball player... Seriously. Go read right now. Unless you're in class or some place where you'll get in trouble for laughing out loud in a raucous fashion.