By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, watching Korean baseball while the Boston Red Sox organist plays music. Disclaimer: I don’t like organ music at baseball games.
It has reached a point that when MLB or the players make an offer I just give them a cursory glance because I know it will be rejected.
Both parties must carry reject buttons in their pockets.
MLB’s latest offer barely echoed down the halls before the players not only rejected it, they called it laughable and Philadelphia’s Andrew McCutcheon posted three letters: lol.
After agreeing back in March to pay the players pro-rated salaries based on numbers of games played the owners keep coming back wanted more salary cuts.
When it comes to asking players to take pay cuts, they’d be better off asking them to cut their veins.
That doesn’t absolve the players. The owners are guilty, too. Both sides are entangled in three words: greed, greed and greed.
Will there be a season? As Willie Nelson sang it, ‘Ain’t It Funny How Times Slips Away.” No, not funny at all.
—Maybe Joey Votto should retire from the playing field and become baseball commissioner. The Cincinnati Reds first baseman is proposing a six-point plan: ‘How MLB can ‘fix’ baseball:
(1)Stop local streaming blackouts.
(2)lFree entry for kids on weekends.
(3)Mic’d up players.
(4)Financial support for grass roots minor league baseball.
(5)All concession items served in plastic helmets.
(6)LEAVE THE ACTUAL GAME ALONE.
The shouting for No. 6 is mine. And shout it from the roof tops of all major league parks.
—QUOTE: From Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto: “I’ll do anything but catch.” (Strangely, Votto signed with the Reds as a catcher and they converted him into a first baseman, where he drives me crazy with the way he stands in front of the bag to ‘hold’ runners on.)
—Umpire Angel Hernandez seems to always be in more trouble than Willie Sutton. Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez called him the worst umpire, “Ever.”
The New York Post revealed this week that Hernandez was fined for obtaining 11 signed baseballs from Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey the night Bailey threw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh.
Hernandez worked third base that night. MLB’s Joe Torre, who was MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer at the time, fined Hernandez and ordered him to return the baseballs.
“Threats to the integrity of the game will not be tolerated,” Torre told Hernandez. The umpire says Torre has had it in for him after a call he made against him when Torre managed the New York Yankees in 2001. And if that were the case, every manager in baseball ‘would have it in’ for Hernandez.
—QUOTE: From New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia after umpire Angel Hernandez had three calls at first base reversed during a playoff game against the Red Sox: “He is absolutely terrible behind the plate and he was terrible at first base. It’s amazing how he’s getting jobs umpiring in these playoff games.” (Now tell us how you really feel, C.C.)
—This was relayed to me by long-time friend and former Columbus Dispatch sports writer Brad Schmaltz, who taught me how to play blackjack, costing me a few thousand dollars:
It comes from C.J. Nitkowski, a No. 1 draft pick by the Cincinnati Reds. “My wife had an odd way of comforting my son after a rough pitching outing yesterday. She said, ‘Well, at least you still get to live in our house. When dad pitched bad we usually had to move.’”
Nitkowski was drafted No. 1 in 1994 and pitched for the Reds, Detroit, Houston,Detroit again, the New York Mets, Atlanta, Texas, New York Yankees and Washington. He also pitched in Japan and Korea. How did he miss Cleveland?
—There is a petition circulating to remove Marge Schott’s name from the University of Cincinnati baseball field (Marge Schott Field).
The old UC field was Johnny Bench Field, but when the school built a new facility petitioners are saying the school sold out to a racist, bigot and anti-semite.
Schott’s contribution to the fans was the $1 hot dog, which is no longer available. Schott was known for her penny-pinching ways.
A media person interviewed her in 1995 in her office and in appreciation she handed him at Cincinnati Reds calendar. It was for 1991.
—QUOTE: From former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, who never had children: “One of my sisters had 11 kids. She was part rabbit.” (Schott’s love was for St. Bernard’s, named Schottzie and Schottzie 02. She permitted the pooches to run all over the field during batting practice. Said former manager Lou Piniella, “Schottzie lives here, I just visit.”)
—Baseball’s all-time worst uniforms:
(1)The Houston Astros rainbows in the 1970s (I always looked for a pot of gold behind Jeff Bagwell)
(2)Chicago White Sox short pants and collared shirts in 1976 (They looked as if they should be playing in a sandbox)
(3)Cleveland Indians all red, jerseys and pants in 1975 (They resembled the word’s tallest thermometers)
(4)Pittsburgh Pirates all yellow, jersey and pants (How many Big Birds can you get on one field?)
(5)San Diego’s chocolate brown and mustard yellow jerseys and pants in the 1970s (They looked like something my great grandson left in his diaper)
(6)Seattle Pilots baby blues with yellow lettering and yellow stripes on the sleeves (Fortunately, the Pilots last only one year and the uniforms were donated to an usher company.)
(7)Kansas City A’s in 1969, yellow uniforms with cutoff sleeves and green undershirts with green socks and yellow sanitary hose (Polly want a cracker?)
(8)Colorado Rockies road black jerseys with a pleat in the shoulders (You can buy one on-line for $134.99, , ,oh, now reduced to $98.54. I’ll wait until they pay me to take one).