View From The Bleachers

February 24, 2012

Morning News: Children, Delusional “Ace”, and a Drunk Pirate

Filed under: Featured,General — Jedi Johnson @ 12:30 am


Cubs For Your Kids If you envy Raker, Seymour, Cap’n and the rest of their fantasy camping pals – just know that the Cubs are providing the a similar opportunity during the coming summer, in Chicago. FOR KIDS.

Ryan Braun “Exonerated” We’ll almost certainly never know all the facts in the Ryan Braun failed drug test saga. This much is clear, he will NOT be serving a suspension for whatever happened (or didn’t happen). Braun did not dispute (directly) the test results, rather his gripe had to do with the custodial procedure of his sample.  Sadly, we’re all left wondering if herpes was the culprit here – and if medication to treat that affliction was the source of his synthetic testosterone.

Not a conspiracy theorist, but this is terrible PR for Selig. Former owner of the Brewers, often accused of favoring anything that benefits them and the first time a guy has a suspension overturned it just happens to be the reigning NL MVP from his former team. (This is the type of situation where Jim Gray’s pompous and self-important demeanor can be used for “good” – no way Gray let’s Braun off the hook easy.  Don’t like Jim Gray, don’t like Ryan Braun; I’d clear my schedule to watch that interview.)

Delusional Roy Oswalt Preface: Roy Oswalt is a really good pitcher, some might even call him great. Please don’t forget I said this. Main Point: Roy Oswalt is a delusional crazy person who clearly doesn’t have anyone willing to tell him the unvarnished truth. His career is (and has been) in decline. The days of multi-year mega-deals for Oswalt has passed. It seems as though his ability to dictate his own terms have passed as well.  Yet almost as soon as 2011 ended, Oswalt maneuvered himself into a corner. Eventually it became obvious that he preferred Texas or St. Louis. Unfortunately, neither team had the money and the motivation for such a move. Now he’s saying that he’ll sit out the first part of the season and “stay ready.”  What he means is, “check the standings on July 1st, I’ll be interested in teams with a real shot at winning, especially if they have deep pockets.”

Conclusion: My sense is that Oswalt thinks he’s a Roger Clemens type of guy who can dictate the terms of his employment even at an advanced age and in obvious decline. Maybe 4 years ago he was, but he’s not anymore. I pity the GM that swoops in to snag him in July and gets hung with a multi-year deal on a 34-year-old pitcher.  Apparently he wants to play for a winner; but the rest of his thought process is horribly flawed.  Neither team had extra rotation spots to fill, or piles of money to pass out.  (And no, I don’t want Oswalt as a Cub – his career numbers at Wrigley are atrocious.  If he’s bad when he’s FACING the Cubs, imagine what’ll happen when players from other teams step into the batter’s box).

Drunk Pirate This story is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Turn to page 72 if you understand why being the Pirates team president would require a drunken stupor most of the time. Turn to page 85 if you sympathize with a man who earns his living with no real hope of being told “you’ve transformed things around here in a positive way.” Turn to page 107 if you think the Pirates can lose that many games this year. Or Turn to page 142 if you think “…driving the wrong way…” is a metaphor for the Pirates’ last 20 years.

All Hail Keith Law It wouldn’t be the Friday Morning News if I didn’t link to an ESPN Insider article. You’re Welcome! HRH Keith Law runs down the Top 50 draft picks for 2012. We’re just a bit more than 3 months away from the draft and the Cubs have 4 of the Top 64 picks. If nothing else, it’s a good list of names – I’m partial to Stryker Trahan and Rio Ruiz. And just to be clear, Law’s ranking is perfect; I haven’t a single disagreement with his ranking at all.

Peyton Manning to Miami? Here’s the “story” and it’s not much of a story. But Peyton, Brandon Marshall and perhaps Reggie Wayne (who did time at Miami in college) would be a rather formidable passing attack. Andrew Luck is rubbing his neck beard in delight.

Best Buy Hacked Just beware if you’re in a Best Buy and near the TVs with your kids. Pervs are everywhere.

Lawn Dart Exposé Apparently lawn darts are alive and well. Easily obtainable on Amazon. You’re welcome, Seymour.

Join VFTB March Madness Lizzie, Joe, and CAPS are in…who else is ready? We’re about 2 weeks away from Selection Sunday where 58 teams are invited to join the 10 teams that have a realistic shot at winning it all. Go to Lizzie’s post from yesterday for instructions!

P.M. Post I don’t want to completely spoil Jeremiah’s post, but if you haven’t already figured out what you’re doing tonight after work get ready to carve out some time for a baseball movie that can be streamed on Netflix. I can 1) almost guarantee you’ve never heard of it, and 2) almost guarantee you’ll like it. I said almost! Check back in around 2pm EST/11am PST.

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  • CubbieDude

    By “Lawn Darts”, I assumed that Seymour was referring to:
    a. The B-1 (aka the B-one or “Bone”), or
    b. The F-16
    I guess I was misinformed.

  •!/tmilesmarker Tommy

    My views on steroids were established long ago ( He scored megapoints for my fantasy team last year. But I won’t be drafting him this spring.merized-by-macabre.html) and I have been consistent. Zero Tolerance.

    My feelings toward Ryan Braun were actually positive until the test results were made public. He scored megapoints for me in my fantasy league last season. I won’t be drafting him this year, even if he’s still around in the last round with a host of mediocre set-up men and platooned shortstops.  His suspension was overturned but he was not exonerated. To me, he is no better than Bonds, Clemens or Sosa. If that was somebody else’s urine, let him prove it.  Til then, there is a cloud over his head everywhere he goes.

  • Eddie Von White

    Ryan Braun will be heckled mercilessly in every ball park, including his home field. The first 30 or 40 rows of seats at Miller Park are right on the field. The players hear everything. There will be plenty of opposing fans at every game.  I pity the man when he comes to Wrigley. The whole episode smells badly.

    Roy Oswalt is like most other coddled professional althletes. He’s probably never been told no until now. I wish him the best but his best is now in the rear view mirror and I suspect he will get shelled if a team signs him later on in the season.

    In real numbers, what are the statistics on the top 50 draft picks over the last…let’s say…10 years? What percentage of the prospects actally end up living up to expectations? 

    IMHO – In light of the direction of the conversation here the last few days, the Best Buy story could have been left off your Morning News, Jedi.

  • Norm

     “In real numbers, what are the statistics on the top 50 draft picks over
    the last…let’s say…10 years? What percentage of the prospects
    actally end up living up to expectations?”
    Don’t know but found this:

    But it’s also true that a significant percentage of top picks never
    make it at all. Analyzing the 25 drafts from 1981 to 2005 detailed on, one finds some startling details. Of the 917
    first-round picks, including sandwich-round selections (still considered
    first-rounders, but slotted in before the second round to compensate
    teams for the loss of elite free agents), exactly 300 (32.7 percent)
    never played in the bigs. Fourteen of the Red Sox’ 38 first-rounders
    (36.8 percent) never made it.

    In 22 of those 25 drafts, at least one top-10
    pick in the nation didn’t make it. In nine of those years, at least
    three top-10 picks failed to get the treasured call.
    48 of 250 top-10 picks (19.2 percent) and 17 of 125 top-five picks
    (13.6 percent) fell short of the dream. Two of the overall No. 1
    selections (Brien Taylor by the Yankees in 1991 and Matt Bush by the
    Padres in 2004) never breathed the rarefied air of the major leagues.
    Asadoorian’s draft year of 1999 was by far the worst one for top picks. The draft started out with two high school players: Josh Hamilton
    (with whom Asadoorian played in high school showcases) and Josh
    Beckett. After that, things went downhill in a hurry. Twenty-eight of
    the 51 players selected in the first round (a whopping 54.9 percent)
    never made it to the big leagues.
    And this:

    has a small chart at the bottom.

  • Chuck

    Braun: I know that I will be in the minority here, but if he had a legitimate reason for the test result to be thrown out it should be honored.  As a person who has done countless amounts of testing in the field (not medical, but environmental) you occasionally come across test results that are just off-the-wall crazy.  It happens.  You deal with it by, preferably, having the same sample retested or drawing another sample for analysis.  Sometimes the lab tech botches the test.  Sometimes there was a contamination issue.  Sometimes you just never know.  With the thousands of test that have been done it was a matter of when not if a test will be screwed up.  There is also the legitimate medical reasons for taking medications that would cause a positive result.  The tricky part is determining what is legit and what is from Dr. Nick Riviera.
    Oswalt: Good luck to him.  Nothing wrong with a guy controlling his own destiny and choosing the terms of his employment.  We all try to do this all the time.  I give him props for honoring his contract without whining and forcing a trade.
    KLaw: I don’t have too much knowledge of prep and college baseball players (or any other sport for that matter) because I have neither the time nor the inclination to dive that deep into the prospect pool unless someone was willing to pay me for it.  Maybe after the kids move out and I have nothing else to do.
    NFL: Manning will not have another meaningful moment on a football field.  He is done and for his own sake he should walk away while he can still walk.

  • Eddie Von White

    Thank you, Norm. You’ve answered my question exactly – and then some. Actually, the success numbers are higher than I anticipated.

  • Chuck

    I imagine the sucess rate drops dramatically after the first couple of rounds.  Also, the exerpt only deals with players making it to the MLB.  I wonder what the numbers would look like if you made the cutoff “Players with a career WAR over 10”.

  •!/tmilesmarker Tommy

    Hate to see Peyton hang it up. Hate it more, tho,  if he goes out like Montana.

  • Seymour Butts

    Testosterone creams or injections can decrease the itching of a herpetic lesion. That said, it still does not excuse a ball player taking what he can’t help but know is a banned substance.  this “legitimate” use should also not give astronomical levels.
    Braun’s case was overturned, apparently, due to a chain of custody issue. The worker keep the sample over the weekend instead of shipping it on a Friday night, violating the letter of the agreement, if not the spirit. The test was still positive.
    What we can garner from all the new info… He cheated. He got caught, and got off by some fancy slime-ball lawyering. He should be mocked loudly and often in a Ball park near you.
    Lawn Darts. Thanks for the link, but those are a pussified version of the real thing. Real lawn darts have metal spikes about 8″ long on the end so they stick in the lawn…. or a body part when inebriated teens get their hands on them. 


    Dr. Hibbert is a quack too.


    That wasn’t such a bad post, now was it Jedi?
    Braun and Oswalt are 2 players I don’t like very much. You can guarentee there are going to be congressional hearings on his suspension being overturned. It is an election year after all.


    As for Manning, Arizona should make a move for him to gear up for a final Super Bowl run

  • Jedi
  • Jeremiah Johnson

    To borrow an illustration from my youth, Braun Johnny Cochraned his way out of trouble.  If you can’t dispute the evidence, find some flaw in the way it was handled and exploit that.  From what I’ve read and heard, holding onto the sample over the weekend is not out of the ordinary.  But because it’s not in keeping with the letter of the law, he’s off the hook.  Although I’m not surprised they did, I really wish the MLB hadn’t caved on this one.

  • Norm

    How did MLB cave? It was out of their hands and in the hands of a third party to make the decision.

  • Seymour Butts

    That’s the real Mc Coy!.
    Notice the price of $160, and the ad copy of “no blood stains”.
    I was Netflixing MadMen the other day and LMAO at a scene where a 6 year old came into the room completely covered by a plastic laundry bag. The Mom scolded her that the dry cleaning better not be on the floor, and let her keep playing spaceman. The 60’s were more laid back about product safety than we are now. That part of the times is something to be missed.

  • Seymour Butts

    OJ had the distinction of being both guilty AND framed….and still got off.

  • Flyslinger2

    God made one of the most amazing and highly complex laboratories ever-the human body.  If you take the very few basic building blocks, atoms like carbon, oxygen, hydrogen a few trace minerals, throw them in a petri dish and hit them with a blow torch, electricity, mix in a few other items such as a paper clip or two, time and a rain dance you still couldn’t arrive at the complexities that are swirling in your veins every day.  Two people from the same genetic lineage can sit at a table and enjoy the same exact meal-one can have no reaction to the meal and the other could fall over dead because the calories all came from the cake and ice cream that they ate at a birthday party.  Our country was founded on one principal of innocent until proven guilty.  Is it possible that Braun is innocent due to the fact that his body has an adverse reaction to a normal substance that the guy sitting beside him on the bench has no reaction at all?

    Lawyers will do what lawyers do (based on my 2 axioms that rules are made for those who need them and rules are made to be broken)-they will find the easiest out for their client.   Since they can’t go back and restest because time has passed the only option is to find a weakness somewhere else and exploit it.  This will then cause MLB to review the process and tighten up that weakness. 

    And where in those last two paragraphs did I mention anything about the game? 

  • Jedi

    You’re really paying for the lack of blood stains along with the soiled box.  It’s hard to find both anymore.  Here’s a more economically friendly option. 

  • Jedi

    How can Carlos Pena both clear waivers and be traded, while also being claimed off of waivers and traded?  The world is full of mysteries.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    In fairness, I should probably wait to see if the MLB does try to overturn the ruling in federal court, further tarnishing their own reputation and Braun’s, making sure he doesn’t skate on a technicality just to prove they’re really taking PEDs seriously.  But since I don’t think they’ll do any of that, and that in fact they might be breathing a sigh of relief because they didn’t want another high profile black eye, I jumped the gun on the past tense.

  • jswanson

    You lost me at paperclip.  

  • cap’n obvious

    shocking that a member of the Brewers was able to game Bud Selig’s system…

    Like Seymour, I miss the days of bike riding without helmets…lawn darts, or jarts as we referred to them, and smokeless tobacco.  Those days had a certain social dawinistic charm to them.  Now the government protects people that would have otherwise been killed or maimed from themselves.  It’s boring.

  • Chuck

    If I was Braun I would say “Bring it on.”  If a lab tech screwed up the procedure for handling “evidence” (it is evidence at this point) then it should be thrown out.  The procedures are in place to minimize things like degradation, tampering, etc…  From personal experiance, I have taken many water samples where you had to add a reagent to the water then put it on ice to keep the temperature low.  If the sample temp got oo high, the test was invalid.  I don’t know exactly what types of procedures need to happen to this sample, but if it was not cooled properly it could invalidate the test.

  • Seymour Butts

    Uh, No, it is not possible for a body to produce SYNTHETIC testosterone regardless of an abnormal reaction to a substance.
    And if you do place all that stuff PLUS some light mayo in a petri dish for a few billion years, you do get all that stuff running thru your veins. It’s already happened once… 

  • Allan Bendert

    I agree Braun has never had a hint of scandal, I think he is innocent and the proper decision.

  •!/tmilesmarker Tommy

    I change my mind. Braun is innocent. First time for everything. Baseball have themselves one royal snafu. He sold me. And that ain’t ez cuz I am pretty hardass when it comes to being juiced.

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