Kris Liakos: August 2009 Archives

Weekend Questions

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Hey kids, no surrender.

  • WILL the Red Sox success at home be enough to keep them from getting embarrassed by the Yankees again this weekend? Sabathia/Beckett on Sunday.

  • DO you miss the halcyon days of 2007-2008 when a late August Phils/Mets series had high drama and high stakes? Seems like only yesterday.

  • WHAT will the NL Wild Card standings look like after the Rockies/Giants series?

  • ARE you going to watch any of that televised Little League ball this weekend?

  • ANY quibbles with Pfork's Top 500 Songs of the Decade?

  • ANY chance Scott Spezio makes it back to the bigs? Stranger things have happened I suppose, and baseball IS looking for a new redemption story since Josh Hamilton did those Jaegerbombs.

Birthday shoutout to John Wetteland, pictured above with his wife. Oh, ZING.

End of the week. Waning weeks of summer (though you can't tell from the heat). Grab your honey and go fool around at the beach. Drew will be here all weekend to help you get the sand out of your crevices. Same WoW Channel.

TJ Simers Breaks The Ice With A Jackhammer

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We've had plenty of fun at the expense of oft-tarded LA Times writer TJ Simers. He likes to quote stir the pot unquote which usually just makes him look like a hacky antagonist. Well today, I'm tipping my cap to Simers. He's still being a hacky antagonist, but in today's column about Vicente Padilla, our boy Teej turned it to 11 and flat our harassed the new Dodger hurler. It bordered on self parody and I lollercoastered. To wit:

As introductions go, it was just like meeting Gary Sheffield again -- telling Padilla, "Word is you are a head case."

Better to say it to his face than behind his back, while also giving him a chance to set the record straight from his point of view.

But he just glared, visions of Milton Bradley dancing in my head, while Dodgers interpreter Kenji Nimura repeated the question to Padilla in Spanish -- also adding, "This is the man I told you about."

The problem child, finally speaking in response through Nimura, said, "If I caused so much trouble, I wouldn't be here."

"If that wasn't the case," I explained, "you wouldn't be here."

Another glare and Padilla said, "If you say so. What can I say?"

I thought he might explain why a baseball team wanting to win as badly as any other baseball team would just dump him, but every time I asked, he danced. Obviously, accountability is not one of his strengths.

"You asked me five times already," Padilla said through the interpreter, while making it clear he didn't like "the aggressive questions."

"This is the man I told you about." Classic. With LA's division lead now a mere 3.5 games, it's comforting to know that the most important thing for Simers is still getting out of his cushy office chair to go down and badger the new guy. The rest of the column takes potshots at Kenny Lofton, Randy Wolf and of course, Manny. Vintage crotchety vitriol from TJ.

Fittingly it's capped by Ramirez saying the most thoughtful thing in the whole piece. "Give the guy a break. We need pitching."

Way to stick it to the crazy old man.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, bang yr heads.

  • ANY chance we'll talk about Pedro's first start here tomorrow? Former Boston hero, pitched for New York now lands in Philly. Nah, that doesn't sound like something we'd be interested in.

  • WILL Josh Beckett and the Youki-less Sox keep it crucial against the Tigers?

  • ANYONE staying up for the White Sox/M's? Buehrle/Hernandez would have been a marquis match up a couple weeks back but Mark has been pissing the sheets since his perfect game.

  • HOW come John Walsh never thought of murdering people to boost ratings of America's Most Wanted? The Brazillians are truly innovators.

  • WHAT will the impact be like if it is revealed that Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera and Ichiro all used st....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • IS anyone else thinking that the NL Wild Card race may be the most exciting thing to follow next month? The Rockies lead it by 1 game at the moment and look to bounce back against the Bucs tonight.

  • WHY is this taxi parked in front of Rob Iracane's townhouse?

You all have wonderful hair. See you tomorrow. Same WoW Channel.

Willie Harris Exists Outside Of Your Concern; Friend List

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It's more than cliche that athletes/artists/politicians and anyone else whose primary life function exists in the public eye say they "don't pay attention" to public reaction to said life function. In some instances it's a survival instinct, in others it's a PR move and in others it's a flat out lie.

The one thing that doesn't change from rote quote to rote quote is that you never hear someone pull the "I don't pay attention" card when times are good. Mostly because journalists don't ask the question then. But, Willie Harris of the uberlousy Nats went out of his way this week to tell Dan Steinberg not only does he not care about the bad things fans say, but he also doesn't care about the good stuff.

"We love their support, don't care what they think," he said. "You've got to be like that. If you care about what someone thinks about you, you ain't gonna last long. If every time somebody's talking about you bad, and you care, that'll eat you alive. Right or wrong?"

Snoozy stuff. But Steinberg seems to be quite taken with what Harris says next. It's not even that he lacks the want to engage in public opinion but he lacks the means. Horror of horrors... Willie doesn't use a computer!

(Harris) was saying he doesn't go on the computer, period, full stop. He said he uses the clubhouse computer to leave tickets for friends, but that's it. What about e-mail, I asked.

"I don't have e-mail," he said. "For what? I've got a cell phone. If somebody wants to talk to me, they call."

Uh, Facebook?

"Hell no man," he said. "None of that stuff interests me."

See, this isn't some locker room cliche about not reading the newspapers, this is a full-on modern media blackout. Just the same, I tried to tell him some of the good stuff that's out there; that last year, for example, Webby Nats fans were fond of playing Chuck Norris type games with his name, the whole "Superman wears Willie Harris underwear" kind of thing.

"That was last year, though," he said. "Last year was good. Last year's gone. I'm hitting .230. It's ridiculous.

He doesn't get to read Nats based Chuck Norris humor? Why even get up in the morning? I bet he hasn't even seen the flying toaster screensaver where the toasters have a little "W" on side. Natroll'd!

So few athletes have engaged in the internet in any meaningful way that it strikes me as a wonderful move for a guy not to even own one. I see no upside. What jock has done anything good with technology? Shaq? He's an exception. Dude has been digital for 15 years.

No computer, Willie Harris? Bravo. I'm gonna head back to the woods with you.

You Can't Spell Robert Pollard Without Ro(g)er (C)l(emens)

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Yesterday while easing myself back into blogging like an old man into a warm bath, I decided to plop down in front of the MLB Network. Have you heard of this? It's awesome. It's a channel about baseball. They were showing Roger Clemens 20K performance against the Tigers. Highlights were the imposing Greenwell/Vaughn/Canseco troika in the middle of the lineup, Nomar in his first full month in the bigs(!), realizing that Ernie Harwell was overrated and the reminder that The Rocket was born in Dayton, Ohio.

I'm sure there was a time in my life that I knew that. I loved Rog growing up, although I can't say he was ever more than my 3rd or 4th favorite Red Sock. Still that was the kind of stuff you knew about your team's ace as a 10 year old. In any case, I'd forgotten it and now when I hear Dayton, Ohio I think Robert Pollard. The Fading Captain is one of my all time favorite dudes and his long and prolific career holds some similarities to the long and prolific career of Mr. Clemens. Both are distinguished and prolific. Both have detractors that say they hung on too long.

Robert Pollard

Over 1,000 songs registered as author on BMI.

Prematurely grey.

Plays for the Boston Spaceships.

Blimps Go 90.

Roger Clemens

4,672 strikeouts

Prematurely blonde.

Played for the Boston Red Sox.

Could probably still hit 90.

The one major difference is that I still give a damn what Robert Pollard does.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled.

Walkoff Walk Beach Week continues tomorrow with DMac, Drew and myself. Fly like Christ. Same WoW channel.

I'm Back. And So Is Jon Lester.

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What better way to celebrate my return to Walkoff Walk than by revisiting this year's wager? I mean, really. When I went on hiatus back at the beginning of June, who would have ever thought I'd return two months later with all my clothes on and Jon Lester having a better ERA+ than CC Sabathia? Well believe the second half of it, cause I'm winning the bet.

Lester be rocking a 124 and CC has a 112. And if he doesn't turn things around the gap could widen. Sabathia has surrendered 13 runs over 19 innings in his last 3 starts.

Ignoring the soul crushing end result, Lester threw a gem last night in Tampa. He was scoreless through six before being pulled after hitting the first batter of the 7th, a victim of a high pitch count. Up to that point Lester's pitch location was pretty flawless. He appears to be finding a quote unquote groove.

So in summation: It's good to be back and Rob should start warming up his voice.