I had to work and go to class this morning, so I missed the Clemens-McNamee showdown. Instead of watching this, I got to sleep through 2 hours of meetings, sleep through a class and waste an hour driving home. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like Clemens made an ass of himself, but McNamee didn’t make things all shiny and clear either. It sounds like this is going to get really ugly; we’re going to see an investigation, and someone’s getting tried for perjury. My money says it’s Clemens; he has a lot to lose by telling the truth and he’s showing a lot of the same signs of shadiness that we saw from Bonds years ago.
It’s really a shame, what with spring training starting tomorrow and everything; it’s a shame that the eyes of this sport are focused on a guy who seemingly did things the wrong way and is now getting burned for it. One of the greatest right-handers in the history of the game should have been lauded on his way out the door, but he got selfish. He couldn’t be satisfied with being great; he needed to be immortal. Now, in all likelihood, his legacy is gone, and many of the other things he holds dear (namely, his family and money) could be soon to follow. I really hope people take a lesson from this, but I doubt it; people will always look for a way to get ahead, regardless of the ethical repercussions. It’s a sad fact of human nature, and it’s why we see people like Clemens go down in a fiery tailspin.
Filed under: News, Random Crap | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Headley, Eagles Rugby, Petco Park, San Diego Padres, Tony Clark, USA Sevens
A friend of mine scored some tickets to day 2 of the USA Sevens rugby tournament down at Petco last Sunday. I was all excited to go, except for one problem: I woke up at 7 AM Sunday with the most raging hangover of my life. A ballpark with 20,000 people flying around probably isn’t the best place to recover from that, but I sucked it up and went anyway…it was actually really cool. Watching the games, it’s abundantly clear that the game was the precursor of American football, but there are some major differences: continuous clock, 7 players, no pads, scores are worth 5 points & conversions are worth 2, etc. The game moves really fast as long as they are actually playing; there are weird pauses in the action sometimes for setting up kicks and throw-ins which break up the action and mainly serve to confuse those of us who don’t understand the sport well.
The USA even played a couple of matches, and both ended in dramatic fashion; they beat France on a try and conversion as time expired, and they lost to Wales in the consolation final when a player shanked the conversion kick after scoring a try with no time left to pull the team within 2. The crowd was pretty docile all day unless the US was playing; they actually got pretty loud for the local boys, which was cool to see. All in all, it was a cool event, and we’ll definitely make a point to get back down for it next year.
You know what the best part of the tournament was, though? Being able to spend a day at the ballpark! It was my first time in the park since the 4th-to-last home game last year, and it got me all pumped up to get back down there and watch the Pads. I can’t even express how ready I am for baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report Thursday (I think), and the first spring games can’t get here soon enough.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the Pads’ latest acquisition: 1B/DH/pinch hitter extraordinaire Tony Clark. On the surface, he doesn’t really look like he’ll get a lot of playing time, since Adrian is so entrenched at first base; I really don’t see Clark getting more than 10 starts at first this year. So, this means he’s going to pinch hit. A lot. Clark is a .232/.308/.442 pinch hitter for his career. Though not impressive on the surface, one must remember that pinch-hitters usually succeed far less than the average hitter simply due to the inherent difficulty in coming in cold to face major league pitching. For reference, Padres pinch hitters last year hit .188/.293/.284. Assuming that Clark will get most of his work off the bench, I’d expect his line to end up closer to his career PH numbers than his .249/.310/.511 performance in Arizona last year. Still, a .450 SLG from your primary pinch hitter can’t be a bad thing; having a threat like that off the bench will be a valuable weapon in the Padres always important bench arsenal. My only concern is that this could take away a roster spot for a guy like Headley if it comes down to it, although I think Headley will do well enough in March to force the Pads to make room. Especially given the cost, this seems like a pretty decent move for the Friars.
Finally, that’s all done and over with. Surprising finish, but the first 45 minutes put me to sleep. I’m bitter that Eli basically was right about not being able to win in San Diego, but that’s all of little consequence now.
Why is that? Well, it lets us focus on the most important stuff. Like the fact that pitchers and catchers report in 11 days.