Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Rogers Is Deserving Despite Assaulting Cameraman

Washington Nationals Are Due To Fall

Granted, Kenny Rogers is quite a boor, but when did All-Star representation ever include citizenship? Sure, baseball writers--the people who vote for the MVP--routinely talk about their choices all-around performance, including whether their behavior is beneficial to the game, but the All-Star Game? I've never heard such a thing,

The Mid-Summer Classic is all about the fan's favorite players and those who have excelled in the first half. All would agree, that Rogers' half-season numbers clearly merit inclusion. Columnists can complain, but the fact of the matter is that the true problem is not with including an excellent, but bad boy pitcher in the All-Star Game, but why can a suspended player manipulate the appeal process? It happens all the time and not for its intended reason--to give a second look at the ruling. Instead, teams and the players choose whether or not to appeal based on who's next on your schedule.

There have been many reports about poor past behavior from The Gambler including one when he played for the A's. Back in the early days of interleague baseball the A's traveled to Candlestick Park to meet the Giants. Kenny Rogers, who proved nearly unbeatable when pitching at the Coliseum, had a rough outing during a game the A's would eventually win.

Then A's manager, Art Howe, pulled Rogers out of the game and the volatile lefty responding angrily and stomped off the field. Reports later told that while walking from the dugout to the clubhouse Rogers tore out a payphone from the wall. Apparently, the Giants weren't very happy about this and wanted Rogers to pay to fix the phone.

The Montreal Expos used to be the little engine that could, the deaf-mute with the heart of the lion. Now they're the Washington Nationals, I've gotten to disliking their rise to the top of the National League East standings. Suddenly, they're the best team in the National League. With their cute, little uniforms, retro caps and ill-conceived logo, the Nationals are now everything you hate about baseball. The Yankees without World Series championships.

News Flash!: the Nationals are not the best in the N.L. The San Diego Padres could take them and definitely the defending N.L. Champs--the Cardinals have plenty more power than Washington, despite equal pitching.

Fortunately, the Nationals' run will end soon. They're basically one of those half-season wonders. Washington is led by a Kenny Rogers-like lunatic, Jose Guillen and a second-year closer due to fall back to earth.

Aside from the field, the once downtrodden Expos are now the fancy-eating, yacht club members of the Majors. After averaging barely 8,000 a game they now average nearly 32,000 tickets paid. But here the problem: nearly a quarter of the paid tickets go unused. Many attributed this to Washington's elite and lobbyists gobbling up high price seats and not using them. The novelty of a new team in the nation's capital will subside but the Nationals are due to be sold for around $350 million and are being courted by high-profile statesman such as Secretary of State Colin Powell and billionaire philantrophist, George Soros. They also have a new municipally-funded stadium due to be built on the riverfront

I hate them.

Ryan Langerhans. I like Philly's Chase Utley and the Cubs Sergio Mitre, but this week my new favorite player is the Braves' leftfielder. While he's only hitting .250 with six homers; this guy is quick and fearless in the field. I've seen him steal homeruns, but more importantly, he's the type of outfielder who uses the dive correctly. Others like Oakland's Eric Byrnes who the dive to either correct a poor route to the flyball or for show. Langerhans reads the ball well and uses dives in the correct way--to get to a ball when you have no businesss getting a glove on it.