Posted at 8:14 AM on May 7, 2005
by Bob Collins
History can do wonderful things to reality. A few weeks ago, I was fascinated by the look back at FDR, and how he campaigned for peace while secretly planning for war. History is now taking another look at the Boston Red Sox of 2004 and finding a new reality too.
The New York Daily News quotes former Yankee Jon Lieber as saying that several Red Sox congratulated the Yankees on their ALCS sweep last year before game four. The Sox, of course, came back to win the next four games. Now the fun part, looking at the people the Sox jettisoned in the off-season trying to figure ut if they were the culprits.
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LaTroy Hawkins -- in my house dubbed "Latoya Hawkins" coughed it up in a unique way last night. The closer by default. Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun Times, however, describes LaToya as "the baseball gods' way of pleading with the Cubs to deliver a new closer."
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The pugilistic Don Zimmer, Joe Torre's bench coach for 8 years, unleashed a broadside on nemesis George Steinbrennerin the New York Times. "He makes all the decisions, and don't let anybody tell you he doesn't. They might all be discussed - some aren't - but there ain't nothing that goes on that he doesn't O.K. Nothing that he doesn't say yes or no to."
Once the Kentucky Derby is over, think George will turn his attention to Joe Torre? Yeah, me too.
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Let the conspiracy begin! A poster on Sons of Sam Horn suggests that Bud Selig has suspended Barry Bonds for steroid use and the injury/DL time is a ruse. Yeah.
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Most teams give away bobbleheads. The Cleveland Indians employ one as manager. Herewith our Eric Wedge bobblehead-move-of-the-day (B-MOD). Aaron Boone has been sending scribes to the thesaurus to find new ways of saying putrid (that is to say, he was in a 1-21 slump, batting .117, walked 5 times and struck out 25 on the season, with a .184 OBP (.184!!).
Many have not only been calling for Boone to be benched, they've suggested he be set ablaze in a ritual sacrifice to the lineup gods (the virgin thing saved the lad on a technicality).
Wedge's solution. Last night he moved Boone up to the #2 spot in the order. Boone promptly whiffed in his first AB in the first inning (an inning in which the Indians scored 7 runs) and almost came to the plate again to make the first and last outs in an inning. He flied out to lead off the second, doubled in the 4th when Joaquin Benoit hit his bat with a pitch, grounded out in the 5th, and grounded out in the 8th. That's a 1-5 night in the 2 hole. And his average went up.
Your note regarding a conspiracy involving Barry Bonds brings to mind another conspiracy that seemed completely plausible: Michael Jordan's "retirement" to play baseball while his connection to gamblers-- specifically his high-stakes wagering with gamblers on the golf course-- was being investigated.
The late Chet Forte, the legendary director of Monday Night Football, whose own addiction to gambling all but destroyed his television career, used to work as a cohost of a local sports talk radio show, and he would speak of this with great certainty since he had many connections in the gambling world. According to Forte, Jordan, the Bulls and NBA commissioner David Stern worked out a deal wherein Jordan would walk away from the league for a time in order to let the furor about his gambling die down. Since Jerry Reinsdorf also owned the White Sox, what better way to let Jordan remain in the public eye, and thus keep alive the possibility of his return to the NBA.
I am not doing Forte any justice here. To hear him explain it made the whole scenario seem extremely possible. So why wouldn't Bud Selig look to save the image, damaged though it may be, of his game's biggest headliner?
The one thing that works against this theory is Bud himself. He seems like too much of a bungler to be a part of this and pull it off.
Then again, he did somehow become commissioner of baseball.
Think Boone might have been on steroids? What's a URL