July 13, 2004

Now hear this: The animated baseball known as "Scooter", which explains things like the slider ("it's like a fastball except it slides!") to children, which Fox has thrust upon an unsuspecting public, is the dumbest thing I've seen in a sports broadcast in a long time. And someone needs to slap Tim McCarver every time he mentions the accursed thing.

That is all.

UPDATE: Jeff Cooper has a diabolical thought.

UPDATE: Gadzooks. An actual professional sportswriter thought the same thing as Jeff and wrote it all down in detail.

Maybe Piazza, still smarting from the bat-tossing incident at the 2000 Subway Series, was purposely calling the wrong pitches. That was, after all, a hanging slider on an 0-2 count that Manny Ramirez deposited in the Crawford Boxes in left field.

Or, more deliciously, maybe Piazza, still not over the 2000 beaning that sent him to the hospital, was tipping the pitches to enemy hitters. Alfonso Soriano, Clemens' former Yankees teammate, sure looked ready for that first-pitch split he ripped for a three-run homer.

It would be easy enough to do. Piazza wouldn't even have to say a word, lest home-plate umpire Ed Montague blow his cover.

Instead, with former Mets teammates Matt Lawton and Kenny Rogers on the AL side, all Piazza needed to do was send word how things would be done. Maybe he'd pound his mitt once for a fastball and twice for something off speed.

Maybe he'd set his foot down a little harder when shifting either out or in, to give away location.

Dude. This was a joke, you know? And let's not forget, there's another group of people who could blow Piazza's cover, namely every batter in the American League lineup, all of whom would have to know about this scheme in order to take advantage of it. You think all of them can keep a secret? Cause I don't, especially with three former Yankee teammates of Clemens batting against him. I can't help but think that one of them might object to having him so blatantly shown up.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 13, 2004 to Baseball | TrackBack

I didn't see the All-Star Game, but I can imagine how annoying that thing was.

I can't see, however, how it could be dumber than Rush Limbaugh or Jillian Barberie. :-)

Posted by: William Hughes on July 14, 2004 4:59 AM

Is it worse than the glowing puck Fox used in the NHL playoffs?

At least that didn't talk. Or have a name.

Posted by: Pete on July 14, 2004 7:52 AM

The idea that Piazza might purposefully call bad pitches or pitches he knew could get crushed occurred to me, too. Tim and I joked about it, even making a reference to that scene in "Bull Durham" where Crash tells the batter the next pitch will be a fastball.

Do I think he'd really do it? No. Do I think he was tempted to? Maybe. Do I think he enjoyed watching Clemens get roughed up in a meaningless game? Perhaps.

Posted by: Sue on July 14, 2004 8:54 AM

As a long time Red Sox fan let me just say "man that was fun". I didn't need to see the rest of the game. As far as a conspiracy, Piazza is probably too much of a professional. However, Roger doesn't leave many friends behind when he leaves a team (and in this case he followed his best friend to Houston). I really am sorry your stuck with Jimmy Williams by the way, I don't think he's a bad manager necessarily. Game after game tho' you end up shaking your head with a "what was he doing" thought.

Posted by: Mick on July 14, 2004 9:08 AM

Watching Roger get hammered was fun. OTOH, this was one of the worst produced (as in Fox) pieces of dreck I've suffered thru. I enjoyed the game but hated Fox.

Almost every half inning, you would lose the first pitch because the commercials ran long. Constant cutaways to some "Bank of America Higher Standards moment" instead of the game. At one point, commercials, cut back to the game, three seconds of the reliever taking his warmup pitches, cut back to more commercials, cut back to 0-1 count. When Barry Bonds was on deck, the producer was focusing on him and cutting to the pitches.

Should have TiVo'ed the silly thing.

Posted by: Charles M on July 14, 2004 10:32 AM

As Sue wrote above, the thought did cross my mind. That was not a bad pitch to Soriano -- down and a little away -- and he whacked it as if he totally knew it was coming, both pitch type and location.

Now I don't think we need to replace the blimp with black helicopters, but recalling that obviously intentional fat pitch Chan Ho Park served up for Ripken a few years back...who knows for sure?

Posted by: Tim on July 14, 2004 10:50 AM

Off topic a bit. ESPN is reporting that Jimy Williams has been fired and Phil Garner will replace him.

It's about freaking time.

Posted by: patrick on July 14, 2004 12:04 PM

CNN/SI is reporting it, too, citing the Chron and KRIV.

I thought it was pretty shameful of the fans to boo him last night, but then, I don't think you should boo anybody at an exhibition game like that. I'd have even tried to restrain myself from booing Jason Giambi, and I boo him any chance I get. (I'm an A's fan and I'm still pretty bitter about his departure from Oakland.)

Posted by: Sue on July 14, 2004 12:43 PM

No. You'd still boo Judas Giambi.

Posted by: Tim on July 14, 2004 3:21 PM

It ain't that big of a joke. I thought the same thing about Crash, and I think there's something in there, however tee-tiny. He sucked to high holy hell last night, and the Rocket has always stood tall when it counted. And a home-town All-Star Game is "when it counted."

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on July 14, 2004 10:22 PM

Anyone got a snapshot of him? or anything?

Posted by: nikita on October 26, 2004 1:30 AM