The Sports Daily > Firebrand AL

Some things, Red Sox and non-Red Sox I’d like to say:
– Barry Bonds is just unbelievable. The bat speed he has, the uncanny batting eye, the power … it’s all overwhelming. This steroids scandal is really hurting him, but I’d like you to keep two things in mind. One) Innocent until proven guilty. That is what makes this country great. Two) I didn’t see steroids helping Randy Velarde much … right? Heck, he wasn’t even a starter and he still took steroids (allegedly). Barry Bonds is going down as the (I hate to say it) best outfielder ever. Barry Bonds, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron. (I find it really neat that three of the five players I just listed are black – there are many great black outfielders, even today.)
– If you are a Sons of Sam Horn member, head over here to see what Schilling had to say about his fiasco v. Toronto and defending Francona quite ably. I personally feel that Francona did the right thing – Schilling was still rather strong, and was not exactly facing the heart of the order in the 8th. This was Schilling’s game, and he lost it, as he has said repeatedly. If Schilling had breezed through the 8th, this would all be moot. Then again, if Pedro had … we won’t go there.
– The NL Central is (finally) shaping up to be something. I’m thrilled to see the Brewers at .500 (9-9), they’re a team and city that did not deserve what they got. Thanks, Bud. I’m less than thrilled that the Reds are 10-6 because I despise their ownership, but it’s certainly encouraging to see them that high up considering their pitching. Pittsburgh is predictably in last, but is 7-8, 2.5 games out. So wait – the Pirates have the same record as the Yankees? Nice. And the Yankees are three games out, so you know. (Note: As of press time, the Yankees just tied the score in the 7th, it’s now 2-2. Great.)
– A-Rod is really flashing the leather at third, it looks like he’s well on his way to his goal of becoming a Gold Glove third baseman. How long do you think it will take for Stienbrenner to move A-Rod to short?
– Not as long as it will take Jose Vidro to put on pinstripes. Vidro has rejected the Expos’ contract overtures, and rumor has it he would like to be acknowledged more (as does everyone else in the Expos clubhouse) and could conceivably bolt for the money and the limelight in New York. He won’t get a chance to bolt, as he will be traded by a flagging Montreal (4-13) franchise in June for Miguel Cairo and Dioner Navarro.
– I got a slap in the face today, reminding me that sports is a business, not a game. Eli Manning forced a trade to the Giants in today’s draft, when he was drafted by the Chargers. Remember John Elway forcing a trade to the Broncos? Heck, even Drew Henson forced a trade to the Yankees when he was drafted by the Reds … Hideki Irabu did the same thing when taken by the Padres. What happened to just being happy you made it?
– Cleveland is really going to be something, especially when Grady Sizemore, Michael Aubrey, and Franklin Gutierrez (acquired for Milton Bradley) hit the majors. Don’t forget their pitching, too. They look really smart now, having loaded up on pitchers. I remember, last fall, telling my father (who is an Indians fan) that I thought all those pitchers were ridiculous – they had so many. Good thing they did, because injuries are knocking some pitchers out of the game.
Manny Ramirez is being a lot more amenable to the media. Can commercials be too far behind? It looks like with the absence of A-Rod, New England is turning to Curt Schilling. If Manny can step up to the plate and provide another image for the Red Sox, perhaps it will have been good that we never got A-Rod at all.
– Now it’s 2-2 entering the top 12th. Sheer agony. How nice it would be to wrest a win away in extra innings in their home stadium, demoralizing them for the rest of the pathetic existence of pinstripes?