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Well, at least Caple admits he smells a rat.

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Well, at least Caple admits he smells a rat.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 06:54 pm:

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:58 pm:

My favorite line: "They did not, however, take the blame for giving President Bush inaccurate information on Iraq's nuclear arms program."

None of this makes any sense.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:40 pm:

This is from the NY Times. Implies that it was a set-up by MLB, but with the cooperation of the A's.

July 15, 2003
To Zito's Surprise, He's Out and Clemens Is In

HICAGO, July 14 - Roger Clemens of the Yankees took a circuitous route to the American League All-Star team when he was named as a replacement for Barry Zito of the Oakland Athletics today. Zito did not know he had been replaced by Clemens until he was asked about it in an interview session here with reporters.

After Zito tossed 106 pitches in a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, Billy Beane, the Athletics' general manager, contacted Major League Baseball to report that Zito would not be available for Tuesday's All-Star Game. Sandy Alderson, the executive vice president for baseball operations, said Beane told him that the A's informed Zito he would be replaced.

But Zito said he was not told of the change, and he traveled here from Oakland thinking he would pitch on one day of rest, as he did last year.

Zito was answering questions in a hotel ballroom when the discussion turned to Clemens having replaced him. At first, Zito seemed befuddled and said he had not heard anything from Major League Baseball and could only speculate that someone in the A's organization had told M.L.B. he could not pitch. As the questions continued, Zito grew more flustered.

"It's like you're with a girl and, all of a sudden, her friend comes up and tells you that she doesn't want to date you anymore," Zito said. "You're like, "Why didn't you just tell me yourself?' "

As baseball prepared for its first All-Star Game in which the winning team would get the home-field advantage for the World Series, the awkward scene involving Zito was a strange development, and the ascension of Clemens was the culmination of a behind-the-scenes effort to honor a future Hall of Famer as an All-Star in his final season. After last year's game ended in a tie, Commissioner Bud Selig wanted to have as much star power and as many fresh arms as possible in this game.

Alderson discussed Zito's status with Beane on Sunday and, once Beane disclosed that Zito would not be able to pitch, M.L.B. contacted Clemens, hoping to add him to the roster. When Clemens, who was more enthused about watching his sons practice for their high school football team than playing in the All-Star Game, finally agreed, Alderson figured the matter had been resolved. Then Zito came to town and declared he was ready to pitch.

"This was a surprise to me when this arose as an issue this morning," Alderson said. But Alderson added that baseball did not mislead Zito, who will still be introduced as an All-Star even though he will not play.

"This is an issue that is between Barry and the A's, not Barry and us," Alderson said.

Beane told The Associated Press that the best interests of Zito and the A's were "best served by having Barry not throw in the game after his performance" on Sunday. There was no explanation from Beane about the lack of communication with Zito.

Despite the circumstances of Clemens's addition, baseball officials were relieved to have Clemens on the team. When the teams were announced last week, Selig was disappointed that Clemens, who won his 300th game last month, and Dontrelle Willis, a dynamic rookie from the Florida Marlins, were excluded. But with Kevin Brown's injury and the A's belief that Zito should not pitch, Willis and Clemens are here and Selig is happy.

"I'm sorry we had to take these little twists and turns,'' Selig said. "We're glad we got our young star Dontrelle Willis in there and we got Roger Clemens in. I'd be less than candid if I said I wasn't happy. It was on my mind.''

Willis said: "It's just one of those things. I'm treating this like I was picked right off the bat."

It was unclear how Clemens is treating it. A woman who answered the phone at Clemens's home in Texas said Clemens was on vacation with his family until Wednesday. Baseball officials said Clemens would not be available to speak until he arrived here on Tuesday. Clemens's agent, Alan Hendricks, also did not respond to a telephone message.

Clemens, who has said he will retire after this season, has been adamant about saying he is not interested in a farewell tour. One of Clemens's friends said last week that Clemens, 40, would not be interested in being a late addition to the team. But Clemens will now be making his ninth All-Star Game appearance.

The game might have a different feel this season because the outcome has serious implications. Mike Scioscia, the A.L. manager, said he would have to apologize to some players in advance because he does not envision being able to use everyone in the game, because his priority will be winning. Dusty Baker, the National League manager, recalled how Pete Rose met him at the clubhouse door before his first All-Star Game and told him how the N.L. "hadn't lost to these guys in nine years and we're not going to lose to them now."

Although Baker planned to address his players before the game, it is unlikely he will be as animated as Rose was with him. Baker said he always played to win, but he added that he disliked the notion of players traveling thousands of miles and not getting to play.

"Anybody who knows me knows I'm going to try and win," Baker said.

There were a variety of reactions from players about the game having an effect on the World Series schedule, with most saying it would have no impact on how they played. Bret Boone of the Mariners said "players are laughing at" the new concept. Nomar Garciaparra of the Red Sox questioned how the game can be deemed anything more than an exhibition when there is a home run derby. Alex Rodriguez of the Rangers agreed with the idea of at least adding more meaning to the game.

"I remember Pete Rose running over Ray Fosse," said Rodriguez, referring to the collision from the 1970 All-Star Game. "That kind of intensity hasn't been there. You see people carrying each other. With what's at stake, you might see people kicking each other instead."

During last year's game, Barry Bonds lifted up Torii Hunter after Hunter robbed him of a homer. Still, while Jason Giambi admitted he might say, "Darn, we should have won the All-Star Game," if the Yankees are motoring through October, he did not think he would play the game the way Rose did 33 years ago.

"I don't think Mr. Steinbrenner is going to be real happy if I jam up a knee going to take someone out at second base," Giambi said, referring the principal owner of the Yankees.

So, according to the marketing slogan, this All-Star Game is the one that matters. Whether or not that changes the game much will be discovered on Tuesday. But, for Zito, this game does not matter since he was turned into an unwitting spectator.

"I'll hang around, dude," Zito said. "I'm just happy to be here. I'm not the type to pull any kind of egotistical moves that if you don't want me to pitch, I'm going home. I'm just along for the ride, man."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:43 pm:

Another take from the NY Times:

July 15, 2003
Zito Yanked From Game Before Even Knowing It


SO here's Barry Zito, sitting in a hotel ballroom, talking with reporters about how it's great to be on the American League All-Star team and saying, yes, he pitched Sunday for the Oakland Athletics, but he could certainly throw to one batter in this game, even on one day's rest. He threw to one batter in last year's All-Star Game, and that also came on one day's rest. Besides, this is the dream game, this maybe-never-again-in-a-lifetime opportunity (you never know when a sore arm or a flat fastball will terminate one's career). He said he was honored to be on the team, and was excited when a week ago Sunday he heard that he had been selected for this Midsummer Classic, as the publicists term it.

And then someone says, uh, Barry, not so fast. Haven't you heard? You're not on the All-Star team anymore.

Say what?

You've been replaced by Roger Clemens, big guy.

And so Major League Baseball, which, while not inventing the term "dumb and dumber," may legitimately seek a patent on it. Or, try "dumb and dumbest."

It's the All-Star Game, the greatest event for baseball this side of the World Series, and the town is jumping with hype and news media for the game tonight at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox' poetically named ballyard. Last year's game was one of the most delicious debacles in the game's history, when both teams ran out of pitchers in an 11-inning game, and it ended in the crudely unsatisfying tie. And the commissioner, Bud Selig, bungled the explanation with the eloquence of Professor Backward.

The officials of the game, not content to add luster to their spectacle, find wildly creative ways to sully it. You cannot make this up. Fact pummels fiction.

To begin with, two of the most exciting players this season, Dontrelle Willis and Clemens, were not originally chosen for this year's game. All the rookie Willis has done is light up the National League with a 9-1 record and a windup that only a pretzel could love.

Clemens, a 20-year veteran, captured big, black headlines last month when he won his 300th game and notched his 4,000th strikeout in, this, his final season of one of the great pitching careers in history. So Willis had gone off, perhaps, to wonder what you have to do to earn All-Star credentials in this league, and Clemens departed Gotham saying he was pleased to have the opportunity to spend three off days at home in Texas. But what a lovely hello from All-Star baseball this would have been for Willis, and what a fond farewell for Clemens.

The players, managers and coaches in each league picked the bulk of the alternate All-Stars this year (the fans, again, voted for the position starters), with the manager of each team then using some extra picks of his own to round out the roster and, presumably, address any glaring omissions. Before this season, the two managers picked all the substitutes and the pitchers.

This time around, Dusty Baker, the Cubs' manager, with one of his eight picks, selected his own Kerry Wood over Willis. Wood has had a fine season, but Willis has had a sensational one.

And there is no debating Clemens's stature, but Mike Scioscia, the manager of the Angels and the American League team, unaccountably did not pick him in his five selections.

Now, should Major League Baseball have attempted to influence either Baker or Scioscia in their choices? If ratings and a capitalizing on the sweep of the moment to entice more fans to your product are significant, certainly a word to the wise would have done no harm. It is, after all, an exhibition, even if now the managers are charged with trying harder than ever to win the game.

Then suddenly, both Willis and Clemens are All-Stars.

Kevin Brown conveniently, for baseball, came down with an injury. So Major League Baseball swiftly added Willis to the National League team. Then Zito, conveniently for everyone, it seems, but Zito, threw 106 pitches on Sunday against Baltimore.

What has been reported is this: Billy Beane, the A's brilliant general manager (according to many, including Michael Lewis, the author of the best-selling "Moneyball," based on Beane's canny dealings), phoned Sandy Alderson, the executive vice president of Major League Baseball. He suggested that since Zito had pitched so long on Sunday, and since the A's have two other pitchers, Mark Mulder and Keith Foulke, represented in the game, how about canceling Zito?

Apparently, Alderson, knowing that Selig was shaken by criticism of the initial exclusion of Willis and Clemens, and seeking ways to fix what's broke, thought eliminating Zito from the team was another brilliant idea.

But for Zito to learn of it in this clumsy fashion, for him not to have a say in it, after having been named to the team, is another embarrassment for bumbling baseball.

It's a given that baseball feels it is losing some support, particularly from its television audience, which means that the next contract with the networks might be worth less than the previous one. It's true that ratings in all areas are declining as more and more channels appear, but still last year's All-Star Nielsen rating of 9.5 was the lowest in history. It has gone down virtually every year since 1970 when it reached 28.5. And this latest fiasco could make viewers turn to reruns of "The Flintstones.''

Baseball is such a great game, Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the players association, once said, that try as they might, the officials who run the game can't ruin it.

And yet those officials test that theory time and again. Yesterday was yet another in a series of just such flummoxing attempts.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dorrit on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:50 pm:

I think I'm ready for football already...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 11:32 pm:

I think I'm ready for football already...

After this B.S., I am too.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 07:37 am:

Well, I just saw Zito on Ch. 2 - Mornings on Two-

He sounded pretty upset...
said that he had told them he could pitch an inning and that it would be his bullpen day anyway...he said that there was probably another information about their decision that he had not been informed about and that he really didn't understand this decision.

Another great demonstration of the fiasco the A's organization can be when dealing with their fans and their best players.

I always say that an ownership ends up with the fans they deserve...

I really think that the same applies to players when it comes time to keep them when they become free agents. I can just imagine how Zito is feeling right now.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:30 am:

The saying, "there's no crying in baseball", is a flat lie. But it is true ... "there's no integrity in baseball".

Did anyone mention that Dontrelle Willis threw 102 pitches in his game, Sunday?

And those ridiculous uniforms. The one All-Star game where the reps wore their team's shirt (as should be). But we all know that Shit Selig and his minions saw a way to make an extra buck. A new shirt fans can buy from

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:40 am:

And Halladay had been declared unavailable by Toronto and Scoscia said, "sorry but if I need him he has to pitch"...why didn't Selig substitute Clemens then instead of waiting to make backdoor little agreements with Alderson's minion, boy genius Billy Beane.

I received an email from the stating that the AS MVP will be taking place online during the third inning.

I don't know who receives the response from their email list, but I answered that I will NOT be watching that joke of an AS game and could care less who would be the MVP. Then I added my protest to the way the A's organization handled the Zito situation, showing a total disregard for their player and how he must have felt there in Chicago with all those reporters baiting him.

It's a good thing Zito is a very intelligent guy and stuck to his guns but covered his ass by not naming any names and was eventually very politically correct by saying, "I only work here and I will abide by their decisions...right now I'm just along for the ride, enjoying the festivities" (paraphrased)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:47 am:

Lil, I got the same message on the All-Star MVP voting starting in the 3rd inning. What a joke. By the way, I didn't think you could respond to those. If so, I will also be sending my response.

I also emailed Slusser this a.m., with my opinion on the whole farce.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 09:03 am:

dj, my response to their email didn't bounce...yet.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 09:06 am:

deajay those uniforms are the practice jerseys. Selig had floated the idea of having a universal uniform for the actual game several weeks ago but the idea was squashed as the players hated the idea and not to mention fans as well.

Oh speaking more of the farce of the game...what is with Dusty Baker being allowed to DH Bonds? He was voted a starting outfielder! But Baker is allowed to DH the fragile Bonds so he can play the whole game, you know instead of getting dressed and leaving early like he normally does. Baker gets to improve his defense by having Edmonds start in center even though he was voted the starter so the N.L. ends up with a huge advantage in the game but of course Selig won't say a word on that because its all about letting Bonds play the whole game and RATINGS!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 09:13 am:

yc, thanks for the info on the jerseys. Makes me feel only a tad better. But better.

I was also thinking the very same thing you are about Bonds DHing. Yup, undoubtedly he will play the whole game. Hmmm, don't suppose it is a dig against his arm and aging defense, either, do you? Anyway, I'm sure I'll hear all about the game I'm not going to watch in tomorrow's news.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 11:29 am:

Another view on the situation.

Zito Experience Is Another Black Eye

CHICAGO So, Roger Clemens is in, Barry Zito is out, and Bret Boone says that what baseball needs most is a truly unbiased commissioner, prompting Bud Selig's top lieutenant to call the remarks ignorant.

Ho hum.

Just when you thought the concept of having home-field advantage in the World Series determined by the outcome of an exhibition game is about as crazy, controversial and convoluted as it can get, Major League Baseball was left to sort out another embarrassing development on the very eve of tonight's 74th All-Star game.

Or how loony is it when Zito, the Oakland Athletics' left-hander and the American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner, learns from a reporter that he is no longer an active member of the AL team?

"It's like you're with a girl and one of her friends comes up and says she doesn't want to date you anymore," a stunned and perturbed Zito said.

Reacting to this unorthodox kiss off, an MLB official sighed and said: "It doesn't look good, does it?"

It looked as if baseball had hired Oliver Stone as an advisor.

It looked as if this were one large 11th-hour conspiracy to get Clemens on the AL team, a late and awkward concession to the critics who felt he should have been there to start with considering he is ending his spectacular career at the end of the season.

AL Manager Mike Scioscia didn't exactly dilute this theory when he said: "The league strongly wanted to give a guy with Roger's accomplishments a last chance in the All-Star game. I didn't know about it until I got here [Sunday night] and was told Barry was out and Roger was in."

The apparent alternative was Angel closer Troy Percival, but while there had been a general discussion about possible candidates if a late change had to be made for some reason, Percival's manager didn't get the last word.

MLB executive Sandy Alderson, involved in the selection process from start to this confusing finish, made the decision for him and dismissed the idea of a conspiracy or that baseball should be embarrassed.

"I don't know if it's necessary to reach that conclusion," Alderson said.

"It's unfortunate if there was some ambiguous communication [between the A's and Zito and MLB and Zito], but the process worked the way it should and wasn't manipulated.

"It's important to start with the end result, which is that Roger Clemens is both a deserving and important addition to the team. It came down to which of the available candidates fit a criteria of an outstanding first half or an outstanding first half with fan appeal beyond the statistics.

"Roger fit the criteria on all counts."

Although the notion of a conspiracy may fit the cynical view that it's impossible to put anything beyond the people who gave us collusion and contraction, this was probably nothing more than one large failure to communicate.

Alderson said he had no choice but to make a change in the AL's 12-man staff when the A's called him Sunday night, after Zito had made 106 pitches in an eight-inning stint against Baltimore, and said they didn't want him used in the All-Star game.

The word, however, never reached Zito until a reporter informed him he was off the team during Monday's media session.

"I just want to know the reason," a mystified Zito said.

"Is it because I don't deserve to be here or they don't have confidence in me pitching on one day's rest?"

Amid the ensuing confusion, A's Manager Ken Macha, speaking from Oakland, said the club didn't deem it prudent for Zito, scheduled to pitch in Minnesota on Friday, to risk pitching so soon.

Macha noted that two Oakland pitchers, Mark Mulder and Keith Foulke, remain on the AL staff and said, "My feeling was that if Mulder pitches two innings and Foulke one, three innings [by Oakland pitchers] is adequate."

In acting on the A's wishes, MLB undoubtedly thought about the embarrassment of last year's 11-inning tie in which both teams ran out of players and Zito's one-batter stint after again pitching on the Sunday before the game was the shortest of any All-Star pitcher and played into the outcome, not to mention the expansion of this year's rosters.

Well, by the time that the AL team worked out late Monday afternoon, Zito had cooled down enough to participate. He will be introduced with the rest of the team tonight.

"Physically I'm fine," he said. "I could pitch to more than one batter. Ken Macha and [pitching coach] Rick Peterson had talked to me after Sunday's start and said they were reluctant to have me pitch in the All-Star game, but I didn't realize it was the final word.

"I mean, I didn't want to just come here and freeload. I want to help the American League get home-field advantage, but I have to answer to my manager, and I know my primary responsibility is with the A's. I also think it's a beautiful thing for Roger to be part of this in his final year.

"I'm honored to be here and excited to meet him. I've only pitched against him before."

So, Cy Young yielded to Cy Old amid the kind of confusion that baseball produces so well and often.
Underscoring the mixed feelings about the new All-Star concept was the opinionated Boone saying that the home-field advantage in the World Series should be based on the best record in the regular season, that Selig has made a lot of bad decisions ("including this new format") and that baseball needs a truly unbiased commissioner who isn't a club owner (or has been one) and doesn't favor either the owners or players.

"Someone like my grandmother," Boone said, "because I know she'd do a good job."

Robert DuPuy, of course, may not know Boone's grandmother, but baseball's chief operating officer said the comments about Selig could only be categorized as ignorant, which prompted Boone to say that he didn't know how to respond to a man "who doesn't know me" and that he wasn't being personal about Selig, simply expressing the view that the Milwaukee Brewer owner OK, it's being held in trust is perpetuating a conflict of interest.

It was all a swell addition to baseball's image on the eve of a game designed to help enhance it.,1,4299994.story?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 09:14 pm:

From the above:

"It's important to start with the end result, which is that Roger Clemens is both a deserving and important addition to the team."

Sounds like Alderson is saying the end justifies the means.

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