This is a bonus Sunday random notes edition of TCR.
When Rob G. posted that he thought it would be spooky if Kerry Wood homers in tonight's ALCS final game, it got me thinking. The reality is that if manager Terry Francona brings in Josh Beckett to pitch 4 innings
and shut down any Indian rally it will have haunting parallels to one of the more painful days of my life. My son, Ken, was in Boston's Fenway last night and since he's been in Cleveland for college, I've given him permission to root for the Tribe. He also attended the 2003 NLCS games 6 and 7 with me, therefore, he had explicit instructions not to reach for any catchable foul balls near the wall (unless he was sure it would reverse the timeline distortion Bartman had caused).
The SF Chronicle
is breaking the news that Indians 4th starter, Paul Byrd is now involved in the steroid investigation. He's accused of multiple, large ($25,000) purchases of HGH from the same Florida lab that was recently uncovered and shut down.
The article has this inspiring quote, reminiscent of Raffy Palmeiro in front of congress:
In a May 2006 interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Byrd denied using steroids.
"I strongly disagree with the use of steroids and cheating in the game," he said. "I have a huge problem with that. I work as hard as I can to compete within the rules."
Byrd was with KC in 2002, getting his career high of 17 wins. He's also played with the Angels and Braves, getting postseason apperances with both teams before signing with Cleveland as a free agent after the 2005 season. For a soft tossing, crafty righty he sure has been valuable to playoff contenders. Interesting timing to release the news before game 7. If they were really on top of their game the news could have come before Byrd's start in game 4. Still, it makes me want to ask lead steroid investigator, George Mitchell, "are you a part of Red Sox nation?"
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting
that former Cubs manager Jim Riggleman, who was the Cards minor league field coordinator last year has resigned to take on the position of Bench Coach for the Mariners under John McLaren, who ironically was Lou Piniella's long time bench coach. Apparently Riggs had some interest in becoming the Cardinals manager if LaRussa left. They also now believe Tony LaRussa is coming back to manage the Cardinals even though the Cards chairman, Bill DeWitt Jr. fired LaRussa's long time friend and GM Walt Jocketty. Speculation that LaRussa would be interviewed for the vacant Yankee manager job seemed illogical as LaRussa has a history of being combative with the press in St. Louis, a one newspaper town. The NY mega-press and LaRussa would be an odd mix indeed.
Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers
weekly sunday baseball column where he gets to "Ramble On"
has two Cubs mentions. Our own Arizona Phil has given us better ongoing details of the Cub youngsters in Arizona, but Rogers gives brief AFL kudos to Sam Fuld and Tyler Colvin (Colvin isn't in the AFL but possibly is on Rogers radar screen from his Arizona Instructional League play and upcoming Team USA participation).
… Sam Fuld, the outfielder who caught Cubs manager Lou Piniella’s eye in September, is off to a fast start in the Arizona Fall League (.323, two homers, five stolen bases, 10 runs scored in nine games). He and Tyler Colvin could play themselves into spots as big-league contributors as early as the second half of next season
Finally, Arizona Phil
has also written on the Andy "McFail" efforts to accumulate the largest quantity of ex-Cubs in his odd little corner of the universe. Can roles in the Oriole organization for Kevin Tapani, Ron Coomer, Rick Aguilera and Gary Gaetti be far behind? Previous posts here have mentioned McPhail going after recently promoted Oneri Fleita and Bill Hartford so the Rogers mention is definitely a rumor making the rounds.
… Andy MacPhail’s restructuring of the Orioles’ front office has led him to consider guys on both sides of Chicago for jobs. There are rumors of him pursuing Oneri Fleita, the Cubs’ farm director; Alan Regier, the White Sox’s farm director, and Bill Harford, a longtime scout for the Cubs who previously has served as farm director.
Where there's smoke there's fire? Now that Fleita has been promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel, he'd only take their job if they throw in an Oriole "Big Bird"
costume and a 3/44 contract.