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The Bleacher Bums: July 1, 2005 Archive

What was he thinking?

Posted at 12:43 PM on July 1, 2005 by David Zingler (1 Comments)

Top 10 reasons Kenny Rogers attacked the cameramen.

10. He’s heard one-to-many “gambler” jokes.

9. Frustration over the president’s lack of an Iraq exit strategy boiled over.

8. He got one of those “interest only” mortgages from Ameriquest and just figured out what a rip off it was.

7. Somebody slapped a “Don’t mess with Texas” bumper sticker on his Italian sports car.

6. He mistook the camera for a Questec machine.

5. He had to make a stand against the “liberal” media.

4. It was part of an elaborate plan to get Bob Collins to call himself a jerk.

3. He was just informed that the All Star Game is in Detroit and wanted to make sure he didn’t have to go.

2. He didn’t think the camera man should be paid for just standing around.

1. He wanted to lead off Sports Center for once.

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Curt Smith starts blogging

Posted at 2:21 PM on July 1, 2005 by Ben Tesch

Curt Smith, the former presidential speechwriter, current radio/TV host, and the author of several noted books on baseball, has started blogging on MLBlogs. In his first post, Smith takes a look at the White Sox (and Ken "Hawk" Harrelson in particular).

Is this hell? No, it's Iowa

Posted at 2:44 PM on July 1, 2005 by Bob Collins (5 Comments)

It started innocently enough. Norman Chad hosting an ESPN Classic showing of Field of Dreams offered that he didn't so much care for the movie. And that, apparently, unleashed years of pent-up hostility toward the movie, to the point that it is now chic to observe that Field of Dreams wasn't that good.

OK, I'll buy that it wasn't that good, even though we don't really have a definition of what that is. But to me, it was good. And it still is.

I don't think that movie was about baseball. I think it was about fathers and sons and if you can't relate -- and be moved by -- that part of the movie, then one of the following probably applies:

  1. You don't know who your father is.
  2. You never had that "breaking away" period with your father.
  3. Your father is still alive.

Now I'll give you that Kevin Costner is a lousy actor. I'll even give you that his wife was wayyyyyyyy too accomodating to the eccentric nature of the old man.

But all of that should be ignored the minute the younger Kinsella says, "Hey Dad? You want to play catch."

Man, c'mon! Turn on the tears and turn off the testosterone drip.

By the way, the Strib had an outstanding story of Moonlight Graham in Wednesday's paper. How many people are as terrific in real life as they were in the movies?

Oh, one last thing. Brando overacted in Streetcar Named Desire.
Hey Stellllllaaaaaaaaaa. Go watch a ballgame.

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Don't blame the Canadian

Posted at 8:46 PM on July 1, 2005 by David Zingler (5 Comments)

morneau-05.jpg

Because the Twins have fallen out of the AL Central race so quickly and dramatically, frustrated fans and media types have predictably begun to seek out scapegoats. First it was Michael Cuddyer, who struggled at third base before being phased out due injuries and lack of production, and now the vultures have inexplicably begun to circle Justin Morneau.

The season began with Morneau and Joe Mauer drawing absurd comparisons to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Morneau bluntly stated he "didn't really like (the comparison)," and described the talk as "hype that wasn't deserved...for two guys that hadn?t spent a full year in the big leagues."

While he's hardly been Maris or Mantle-like, the 24-year-old has been solid, ?10 homeruns in 200 at bats isn't bad," he pointed out before explaining that he is far from satisfied.

A glance at the stat sheet shows the British Columbia native has been one of the top offensive forces on the Wild Card contending Twins. As of July 1, Morneau was tied for second on the team with 10 homeruns and trailed only Torii Hunter in RBI (with 39) despite an April stint on the Disabled List. Hardly eye-popping numbers, but they clearly show he's not culprit behind the teams' offensive woes.

Much of anti-Morneau sentiment can be traced back to early June when the first baseman sat out much of the Yankees series with a hyper-extended elbow that lingered through an off day and into the following series in Arizona.

With several Twins on the mend, centerfielder and team leader Torii Hunter felt compelled to question some of his teammates through the media, implying that they should suck it up and play through the pain. Much of the press took it as a direct challenge to Morneau, who, after a cortisone shot, appeared in the line-up the following night.

Things seemed to die down until this week when a member of a local talk radio duo who also doubles as the "voice of the Vikings", claimed that he had learned through a "source close to the team" that a feud had been festering between Morneau and Hunter. Morneau's "immaturity" was touted as the main cause of the flap.

Morneau however, claimed the incident "was in the past" and that "there were five guys hurt that day and (for some reason) I was singled out...(the media) even said that Gardy had said something about it, but he didn't."

Basically, he claimed, it was much to do about nothing.

Major leaguers are a tight-lipped bunch when it comes to internal disputes, so we will probably never know the whole story -- if there is one -- but even if Hunter was singling out Morneau, he had clearly over-stepped his boundaries in doing so.

One of driving forces behind the M&M hype machine is the stunted development of some of the teams' veterans, most notably Hunter and Jacque Jones, who have not developed as hitters like most observers had hoped. Command of the strike zone, in particular, comes to mind.

A self-confessed streaky homerun hitter, Morneau's biggest big league challenge is staying consistent, which of course, isn't unusual for a young power hitter. Given time and patience he will deliver, possibly even this year, the 30+ homerun power Twins fans have been craving.

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