Sunday, August 28, 2005

Morning Notes

I forgot to mention yesterday that the Royals' JP Howell was the same pitcher who pitched at University of Texas last year. This kid can pitch. Not overpowering, but he kept the Yankees off balance with changeups and breaking balls. I wonder what he'd do if he faces them again. But he pitched well Saturday.

If you're not paying attention to what happening in Infidel Nation right now, then you should be. They're having some serious pitching problems right now. Their bullpen is in shambles and the starting rotation is a mess. Take a look at Dan Shaughnessy's column today in the Boston Globe. One and a half games back, and a showdown at the Stadium Sept. 9-11...the Yankees are in excellent position to take back the East if they continue to play well. The rotation has seemed to stabilize somewhat and with the possibility of Chien-Ming-Wang's return in September, we could have some arms in stock for September.

Our bench is also helped out with the acqusition of Matt Lawton and the return of Ruben Sierra. Lawton will probably start in left, but having options on the bench such as Womack, Williams and Sierra can definitely help.

As we've discovered this season, nothing is a lock in baseball. That's what's so great about this game. But you've to like where we are all things considered. We control our own fate and can put ourselves in the driver's seat if we cotinue to play well.

Bill Madden is one of my favorite columnists. But it's irresponsible journalism for him to insinuate that Giambi's recent slide has something to with Palmiero's steroid bust. Here's what wrote in Sunday's Daily News. Here he responds to Royals manager Buddy Bell answer to the possibility of walking A-Rod yesterday to get to Giambi.

"Walk A-Rod?" Bell said indignantly when asked about it afterward. "And pitch to Giambi? How about that one?"

Perhaps he might not have thought it was quite so ridiculous a question had he known that Giambi has been in a horrible funk (12-for-62, .194 with four RBI) since Aug.1, coincidentally the day Rafael Palmeiro was busted by Bud Selig's steroids police.

Now I know a lot of folks who think that Giambi is back on the juice. If he tested positive tomorrow, I wouldn't be shocked. But unless you have proof, it's irresponsible to put that out there. Last time I checked, Bill Madden isn't a chemist and probably doesn't know how long the stuff stays in your system. Even if he got off the juice around that time, I'd hazzard a guess that it would still be in his system. Plus, Palmiero tested positive months ago and after the appeals process ran its course, he was outed. If Giambi is back on the juice, he would probably still test positive right now, even if he went cold turkey a month ago.

Chances are, if Giambi is still on the juice, he's probably on something that not tested right now. But whether he is or not, it's irresponsible to insinuate that he is, just because of a coincidence. As one of my mentors once said, "We're not in the thinking business, we're in the knowing business." So unless you know and can prove it, don't put it in print. If he doesn't want to vote on alleged cheaters into the Hall of Fame, that's his right as a voter. But until you get proof, don't put it in print.


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