Friday, August 24, 2007

Strapped For Cash, The Yanks Are Selling Products To Gangs

The tat up top signifies membership to the Latin Kings. The hat below signifies that you are a douchebag.

It's not easy to piss off Fox 5's Ernie Anastos, but last night he was PISSED. Fox 5 reported (and it was further mentioned today in Newsday that Yankees paraphernalia was being sold with traditional gang symbols featured intertwined with the traditional interlocking N & Y. It was fine when the team and hat company were getting some cash for it, but now kids are getting the shit kicked out of them becaue of it. And that's not so fine:
The hats, festooned with a crown above the "NY" or with a red or blue bandanna stitched in, are well-known signs for street gangs such as the Latin Kings, the Crips and the Bloods, according to the Johnny Rivera, president of the Coalition to Protect Our Children, which is leading the fight.

"These corporations are capitalizing on known friction within communities of color," Rivera said. "Any 11-year-old could buy one of these and get jumped if they walk in the wrong neighborhood because they don't know the signs."

The coalition also is calling on area retailers to pull the hats from their shelves, but so far only one, Tom Dick and Harry's, a sneaker store on Third Avenue, has done so.

The manager of the store, Isaiah Hill, said a friend of his was jumped after wearing one of the bandanna hats in the wrong neighborhood in East New York.

"I don't think kids should get beat up because of a hat," he said.

Gang prevention experts said the caps could trigger a dangerous reaction.

"A lot of times a young person not in a gang will wear one of these items because they like the way they look and people who are gang members respond and react as if the kid is, in fact, in a gang," said Lisa Taylor-Austin, an area counselor.

Alex Alonso, the creator of Web resource, questioned why manufactures would make the caps.

"They are not being responsible," he said. "They know the audience and they know who is going to buy it. They are making far too much money to do something like that."
That's nice. Before, wearing Yankees gear was only dangerous in Fenway. Now it's dangerous anywhere and it could even get you killed by a fellow Yanks fan. That's no good at all.

Triple OT WNBA Game Overlaps LA Galaxy Coverage....And One Person Is Not Pleased

When the last night's blockbuster ESPN2 lineup of WNBA and MLS events was thrown into flux when the WNBA game went into triple OT (and still neither team scored over 100 points) forcing the delayed coverage of the Galaxy v. Chivas Regal (or whatever the fuck there name is) match, you figured it was the proverbial tree in the forest scenario. The second least popular sport in America overlapping the start of a game in the least popular sport in America (featuring the worst team in the least popular sport in America). Well it seems that at least one person was upset, and he wants YOU to band together with him and take action:

I hate ESPN right now. They showed a WNBA games on 2 channels instead of becks game back from england.
If you support football please fill out this complaint to espn
Needless to say, I don't think the rash of complaints that followed disrupted the ESPN complaint department. Now maybe it's just me but if your night is disrupted because the WNBA game has gone long and now you can't watch the worst team in the MLS play, maybe you should splash a little water in your face and do a little mirror-looking. Maybe take a walk around the block and figure out what went wrong. Because something is clearly wrong.

Tiki, No One's Buying Your New Edgy Persona

Tiki acting irreverent is about as natural as what's going on in this photograph.

When Tiki Barber took the job with NBC's new Super Sunday Night Extravaganza where the best football is played and everyone knows that Sunday Night is for football (or so I've been told), it was probably under the condition that he bring something (ANYTHING) to the table wholly distinct from his cleverly crafted NFL player persona. So I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when Tiki immediately tried to break out of his "good guy" mold and stir up the audience. It's just that the whole thing seems so fake. And that's probably because it is.

You see, Tiki is vanilla. He is Penn St. football or Princeton Basketball. There is no flash to his personality, no edge, no trash talk. His entire persona is exquisitely manicured in the vein of a Tom Brady or Matt Lauer. You trust Tiki and you're willing to let him guide you through a football game maybe a color analyst or halftime show personality like a James Brown or Howie Long, but you're not listening to Tiki in order to have your eyebrows raised. That's Irvin, Deion or Steve Young's role. You expect those guys to make outlandish statements and then try to back them up. You expect those guys to call out players. But with Tiki, I just don't see it. That's why I found Tiki's slam of Eli Manning so pathetically contrived.

Tiki is one of the more self-aware athletes on the planet. He has a almost a compulsive desire to control how he is perceived. He didn't like his on-field reputation as a fumbler, so he changed is running style. He didn't like being a soft-spoken go-with-the-flow team player, so he spoke out against his coach. Tiki didn't want to pigeonhole himself into a purely "sports broadcast guy" so he showed he could branch out with a political show. And when he became a face of the NBC Sunday Night Football in America program, he didn't want people to see him as the "good guy" Tiki Barber who's gonna give it to you with his usual bland slant, so he called out an easy target from his old team. He said it not because he normally shoots off at the mouth or because he thinks the idea that Eli Manning may not be a vocal leader on the Giants is particularly relevant, pressing or newsworthy (the Giants have made the playoffs the last two years. So the idea that Eli's personality has somehow affected the team's on-field performance seems a little odd.). He said it because if it came from him, THAT would be newsworthy. Not the content of his comments, but the fact that they were coming from him would be noticed. The controversy would be interesting and HE (Tiki) would be interviewed about his comments and his desire to voice them. It would bring the attention to himself.

The whole act was wholly calculated (as Eli himself suggested) and completely contrived in an effort to give Tiki's television personality more grit and edge. And that's what separates him from the Irvin's, Deion's and Barkley's of the broadcasting world. When those guys say something controversial--at the moment they say it at least--they believe it. They aren't creating controversy to bolster themselves (for the most part, those guys aren't that savvy). Sadly, that's exactly what Tiki is doing. He doesn't care that Eli wasn't vocal or seemed to shrink in the lockerroom (hopefully not in that respect), he just knew that if he said something about it, it'd be newsworthy and maybe people would look at him differently because he's willing to stir up controversy. He's like the radio host who takes a contrary view on an issue just to get people to call in. It's pathetic and disingenuous, and eventually people will see right through it and he'll get publicly called out for it. For now, this is about as public a call out as he's gonna get. So now at least 18 people will know what a fucking phony he is. It's a start.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Finally, The Real Reason Why JD Drew Sucks

With the flick of his wrists, JD Drew can send a ball to any field 400+ feet. I saw him hit a ball that appeard low and away to dead center at Fenway that landed about 8 rows back over a 20 foot wall. He's got amazing ability. Yet strangely, he sucks. He's batting .264, he's hit 6 home runs and his slugging percentage is a mere 100 points lower than his career average. He sucks. People have been trying to explain it for a longtime. I could have been that he got dinged early or perhaps it was a lingering shoulder issue or maybe it was a family issue (his son did have a serious medical situation earlier in the season that forced him to wear a full body cast for awhile). We just didn't know. Well, now we do. It's Domes. When JD Drew steps inside a dome, he gets all sorts of fucked up:

"I came here and felt a little bit out of whack with the dome situation, things like that."
The dome situation? What situation would that be? That the game was played in a dome? Or is it the Trop in particular that gives him so much trouble? JD, you have been in this game for 10 years, shouldn't you have figured out how to play in Domes by now? And if not, could you figure it out? The reason I'm asking is because you suck; and watching you strike out in big spots time and time again is really frustrating. Thanks buddy.

The Fedex Cup's Bizarre Grassroots Advertising Scheme

The PGA is resorting to pantomime to get people excited about the Fedex Cup.

While enjoying a casual stroll through City Hall Park in downtown NYC during my lunch break yesterday, I heard a commotion on one side of the park and being the curious fellow that I am I went over to see what the fuss was all about. When I arrived at the disturbance I observed a group of "spectators" who had made two rows about two people deep and 10-12 people long with a 10 foot space between them. They were clapping, hollering and generally making a bunch of noise about something.

The two rows were facing eachother but their attention was directed towards one end of the row. What they were staring at was a golfer (I believe it was the PGA's Jeff Quinney), a caddy and some people holding "Quiet Please" signs. The golfer stood as if he were pondering his next shot and took a few warmup swings. Finally, he took a swing, the crowd (amongst whom were clearly a dozen or so actors who must've been associated with the event) went nuts and the golfer put his club back in his bag and walked forward between the two rows towards his next shot. But here's the thing: there was no ball. The golfer took a swing at a fake ball off of the stone in the park and the crowd launched fake applause as if it was a hole-in-one or something. There were also no cameras other than the phone cameras held by the passers by. This went on for some time. The golfer took several fake shots (including a few fake putts) off sidewalks, curbs and whatever other surfaces they could find in lower manhattan and the fake gallery followed him around while he did it. And they walked around as if this were completely normal. No one broke character.

During this whole bizarre scene, there was no one handing out information about the Fedex Cup or the Barclays in Westchester this weekend, there was no one promoting the PGA or telling everyone what was going on, in fact no one in the group said ANYTHING except for "Quiet Please!" I thought for a second that this was some kind of activist group protesting golf or symbollically trying to make some statement about America's wealth disparity or something that those weird hippies do in that park all the time. Only after I noticed the small "Fedex Cup" symbol on the bottom of the "Quient Please" signs did I put together that this was some bizarre advertisement for the Barclay's and the Fedex cup. It was kind of amusing for the dozens of Eurotourists who crowd the area during that time of day, but for anyone who regularly frequents the area or anyone who might be interested in watching golf, it was fucking weird as hell.

Now, I'm no advertising whiz, but I think the idea that pantomime is an effective way to get people amped up about the coming golf playoff seems like an incredible waste of everyone's time. When I see mime's pulling on fake ropes or escaping fake boxes it doesn't make me want to watch "The Illusionist" or read about Harry Houdini (or Marcel Marseau for that matter), it makes me want to punch that mime in the face. And that's exactly how I felt yesterday. And that's kinda how I feel about the Fedex Cup right now as a result. I'm not sure that's the result they were looking for but that's the risk you run when you starting miming through the streets of NYC.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: David Beckham Loses Foot Race With T-Rex

Jeff Goldblum is fast, and even he couldn't outrun the T-Rex.

Mark this under stupid things you never needed to know or care about. Apparently scientists have determined that the T-Rex ran at a top speed of 18mph. And for some reason in order to put this speed in perspective (because we have no way of understanding just how fast 18mph is), they said that the large lizard could run down and eat David Beckham:
Scientists using computer models calculated the top speeds for five meat-eating dinosaurs in a study they say can also illustrate how animals cope with climate change and extinction.

The velociraptor, whose speed and ferocity was highlighted in the film "Jurassic Park", reached 24 miles per hour while the T-rex could muster speeds of up to 18 miles per hour, the study published in the Royal Society's Biological Sciences showed.

"Our research, which used the minimum leg-muscle mass T-rex required for movement, suggests that while not incredibly fast, this carnivore was certainly capable of running and would have little difficulty in chasing down footballer David Beckham, for instance," said Phil Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester, who worked on the study.
It seems to me that about once every two years or so some yahoo Paleontologist who wants to see his name on the marquee (hyperbole alert) comes out and tells us just how fast the dinosaurs were. Well, zoologist William Sellers is aware of my skepticism and he has a response:
"People have estimated speeds before but they have always been indirect estimates and hard to verify," Sellers said. "What we found is they were all perfectly capable of running."
Yes, before this study it was impossible to verifty the speeds. But now that they are using radar guns on actual dinosaurs, there is verification (sarcasm alert). Can't we all just agree that the dinosaurs ambulated at a speed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5mph and 45mph? I would be satisfied with that, and so would David Beckham.

Lastly, through this whole thing I can't help but think of the tale of Deadspin commenter Jen P. and the running dinosaur mascot. Good stuff.

Papelbon's "New" Pitch

Baseball has always had its sluts, but Papelbon has upped the ante with his "Slutter."

Pitchers like to be known for their pitches. Sutter's splitter, Fernando's screwball, Mussina's late 90's knuckle-curve, Mariano's cutter, and Michael Kay's pet name for Clemens signature pitch: Mr. Splitty, just to name a few. Jonathan Papelbon is known as a good pitcher, but other than simply having pinpoint control of his two and four seam fastballs, he doesn't really have a signature pitch. He throws a splitter and will now and again lead with a mediocre slider to a batter he thinks is sitting fastball, but his strikeout pitch is his fastball. So I guess in an attempt to further cement he and his pitches into the popular vernacular, Papelbon created a "new pitch" last night, or at least a new name for a pitch: The Slutter:
He threw Jonny Gomes a "slutter." That's what Jonathan Papelbon calls his new pitch -- a combination cut fastball and slider.

Kyle Snyder stood behind him, mouthing the words, "Don't print that . . ." But Papelbon was serious. He spoke about how he throws it with his palm out and how he doesn't "pronate through the ball" when he throws it. He was very serious. He said it wasn't a true slider or a cutter because of the angle at which the ball travels.
Well, ok then. It has to do with lack of pronation. That makes sense. It was my understanding that a cutter and slider were pretty much the same thing except a cutter has less downward movement. Though I guess to be fair there is not a whole lot of difference between a changeup and a split finger in that both are choked so as to appear like a fastball but lack the velocity. So it would seem that even the most minute of grip changes can lead to a new pitch if one so desires to advertise their grip/pitch as novel. It would also seem that giving your pitches names will come back to bite you if ever that pitch is hit 450ft in a big game. So don't say I didn't warn you, J-O-N, when the Post headline reads: "A-Roid Hits Paplebon's Slutter Into A South Bronx Gutter!"

Bill Murray Is The Best

The life of Bill Murray is pretty sweet. It seems he just golfs, drinks and then golfs some more, with a weird movie thrown in here and there. Well while I'm Sweden, he combined the golfing with the drinking and may have just gotten himself cited for carting whilst intoxicated:

Police officers spotted the 56-year-old actor-comedian early Monday in the slow-moving vehicle and noticed he smelled of alcohol when they pulled him over, said Detective-Inspector Christer Holmlund of Stockholm police.

"He refused to blow in the (breathalyzer) instrument, citing American legislation," Holmlund told The Associated Press. "So we applied the old method: a blood test. It will take 14 days before the results are in."
And where did he get this golf cart? Well, he stole it:
The golf cart had been on display for a week outside the downtown hotel where Murray, and other VIPs attending the Scandinavian Masters golf tournament, were staying, tournament head Fredrik Nilsmark said.

Murray apparently "borrowed" it to go to the trendy Cafe Opera nightclub, about 1 kilometer (less than a mile) away, and was pulled over on his way back to the hotel.
The best part is that the Swedes running the hotel didn't give a shit, saying "I don't hold any grudge against Bill Murray for borrowing our cart for a while." I guess when you're Bill Murray you can get away with that kind of shit. Good thing Goodell isn't the governing body for SAG. Murray would be doing skin flicks in Tijuana for the rest of his life.

Maybe We Shouldn't Have Laughed At Sprewell's "I got my family to feed" Comments

I tripped over Latrell Spreewell on my way to work today.

I guess the old saying that good things happen to good folks may not be true afterall. It seems that the NBA's 10 ten time "Good Guy" award winner, Latrell Spreewell has fallen on hard times and now his house / yacht has been repossessed:
Former basketball star Latrell Sprewell, who famously rejected a $21-million contract offer three years ago, calling it insulting and saying he had a family to feed, had his 70-foot yacht repossessed Tuesday.

Armed with an order from U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Callahan Jr., a federal marshal seized the $1.5-million, Italian-built vessel in Manitowoc, Wisc., where it sat in storage, Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reported. A New York bank is claiming the yacht's owner, a company run by Sprewell, 36, has defaulted on a mortgage loan.
The firm, LSF Marine Holdings, hasn't made monthly payments of $10,322 on time and hasn't maintained the necessary insurance on the 6-year-old vessel, North Fork Bank alleges. It wants the yacht, "Milwaukee's Best," sold to pay off the $1.3 million it says is remaining on the loan. Sprewell has guaranteed the loan personally, a contract filed with the court shows. He could not be reached for comment on the repossession, the newspaper reported.
First, I need to give Spree his due. "Milwaukee's Best" is the best Yacht name I've ever heard. It is hilarious on so many levels, not the least of which being that Latrell came up with this name because he believed it to be true (of both himself and his yacht), and that he thought this accolade was something to be proud of. Maybe we should start a "Save Spree" fund and we can pass around a hat or something at all NBA games. I guess $92 million doesn't go as far as it used to.

Hey Mighty Casey, Nice Crank!

Is it me, or are Mighty Casey's balls kinda "in your face" here?

So yesterday while watching the little league world series, ESPN's cameraman panned to a statue of Mighty Casey that is somewhere on the Williamsport facility. The angle was similar to the one shown above and I couldn't help but notice how prominent Mighty Casey's sack seemed to be. I know that sculptures are meant to offer life-like interpretations of not only what the person looked like but also best reflect the personality of the immortalized persona, so some liberties are taken in an effort to best capture the spirit of the person. I guess the problem I have with the statue is that while I remember Casey being a "larger than life" personality, I don't remember hearing anything about Might Casey's prominent scrotum. Maybe that tale requires a re-reading on my part.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Finally Know What School "The Program" Was Based On: Hawaii

Beautfiul weather, groupies, weed, roids and people doing your homework for you, ummmm, why didn't I go to U of Hawaii again?

If you thought playing football at the University of Hawaii was basically a four year vacation for fringe Division I athletes, you were correct. Only picture this vacation complete with Vegas' hookers, Jamaica's weed, Mexico's steroids all while carrying a get out of jail free card in case anything else should go wrong. Now that sounds pretty sweet. And according to ex-Rainbow Ian Sample, that's pretty much what it's like to play at U of H:
Ian Sample, who recently published a book chronicling the 2006 season entitled, "Once A Warrior," released unpublished material on his blog about excessive drinking, widespread use of marijuana, sex with groupies and rigged drug tests.

Sample, who now plays professional football in Japan, wrote that he's "convinced the 'random' tests are not random at all."

"The higher ups definitely know what they are doing when they decide who will be tested," he wrote. "However, getting tested doesn't necessarily mean getting caught, every once in a while a player will side-step a positive test result by flushing out their system [the real smokers know where to go to get a cleansing elixir]."

"The players that are selected to go [urinate] in a cup are the ones less valuable and the ones that have become a nuisance to coaches or the team," he wrote.

Sample wrote that marijuana was the drug of choice for the Warriors, but said he believed some players used steroids.

"Have people on the team taken steroids? Yes, they have," he wrote. "Sometimes it's obvious, you see someone improve over a couple months by leaps and bounds -- we all know it's naturally impossible. I think it's known but not really talked about."

Sample said he has never known anyone caught taking steroids, but has known several players caught with marijuana in their system.

Sample also claimed that people on and off the team would do schoolwork for money.

"If the money is right, and it always is, they will 'help' us write papers; anything from simple response papers to 20-page research papers," Sample wrote. "Their 'help' is unlimited and completely unassisted."

He said the entire team knows about the services.

"The best part is that some of the coaches know all about it," he wrote. "I've even heard coaches openly applaud their work."

As for the boozing, Sample acknowledged times when he attended practices feeling drunk, along with other players who would drink on a regular basis.
I hear that noise, Ian. But you played for Hawaii, so who the fuck gives a shit. You guys would probably be better served playing drunk because you're such a suckshit program. But here is my favorite part. Sample next writes about these "wild groupies" on campus. But the craziest story he could think of sounds like the lamest thing I've ever heard:
Sample wrote about wild groupies, including one female who wanted him to wear his uniform during sex. He said groupies were readily available, including on campus.
GET OUT OF HERE DUDE! She wanted to do WHAT? Wear your jersey? That girl has problems. That's so fucked up I'm not sure the Urban Dictionary would be willing to list such an act. If that is the craziest groupie sex act you've been a part of, then you are a pussy. Plain and simple. In fact, don't go calling something "wild groupie" sex unless you ended up tied to something, videotaped, involved with multiple parties or animals, or the sex you had somehow involved feces. You had regular sex, not wild groupie sex, asshole.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Uh Oh Michael Kay. Somebody Called The Hyperbole Police On You

After watching Joba Chamberlain pitch for about a week, Michael Kay can be forgiven for being a little over the top with his comparisons to Fernandomania. He should not be forgiven for wearing this sweater, however.*

It was great to get back yesterday afternoon from a terrific vacation and just kind of sit back and unwind while I watched a few baseball games on the MLB package. Being that I was out of range for a little while, I missed the Sox continue to play .600 baseball and still lose ground to the Yanks, I missed the return of Sheff and all the other nonsense with playoff races in other divisions that I don't really care about. So it was nice to catch up on all of that. But what I was most surprised to learn I had missed was the advent of "Joba-mania" that apparently swept the nation in my one week absence from the sports world. Yeah, I know. I must've been living under a rock for the past week because Michael Kay told me yesterday that Joba Chamberlain had come in and not only swept NYC off its proverbial feet but the nation as well. He went on to say that Joba's appeal was similar to that of 1981's Fernandomania. Kay asserted that because the Yanks sell out every stadium they go to anyway (the Blue Jays, D-Rays and O's must be ecstatic about this information considering the September matchups with the Yanks aren't even halfway to sellout status at this juncture), Joba won't have the same effect on visiting stadium attendance that Fernando had but otherwise the buzz around their appearances are almost identical. What? You say you don't know of this "Joba Chamberlain"? Well how can that be? I mean, Michael Kay didn't exaggerate because he has fallen in love with this guy, has he? Well let's see.

In a cursory examination of all the articles written about "Joba Chamberlain" in the last 30 days (courtesy of Google News), only two were written about him outside of the NY metro area (one in Nebraska, where Joba spent his short college career and the other was for some reason in the Winnipeg Sun). Now granted, in the greater NY area, there is a significant buzz about Chamberlain. Just today he got the full page treatment on the back of the Post. But to say a young middle reliever is somehow capturing the nation's attention in a unique manner and is on the same level as Fernando Valenzuela who basically led a latin baseball revolution in the 1980's is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. A guy like Joba Chamberlain who comes in an throws mid 90's with a cartoonish slider, while a very good thing for the Yanks, is not unique. This happens EVERY FUCKING YEAR, Michael. Some young guy comes up throwing gas, is usually thrown in middle relief somewhere and that town loses their collective minds over him: Zumaya, Papelbon, Frankie Fucking Rodriguez, Frankie Liriano, before Liriano there was Johan Santana, Brandon McCarthy, Bobby Jenks, Huston Street, Felix Hernandez, Aaron Heilman, Edwin Jackson, Derrick Turnbow, Rich Harden, and let's not forget your own Kyle Farnsworth, who with the Cubs was the f'n second coming when he came out throwing 100mph cheese that no one could catch up with if you gave them a 3 second head start. And those are all in the last 5 years. Now don't get me wrong, Chamberlain has been unreal in his first 7 innings (yes, he's only pitched 7 innings so far). He's faced 22 batters so far and only 9 of those guys put the ball in play (he's only given up 2 hits). That's remarkable and if he keeps it up he'll be the most dominant player in the history of any sport. If Michael Kay believes that's what the future holds for Chamberlain, then more power to him. But if he thinks that Joba has garnered more attention on the national stage as a middle reliever who has not factored into any game as the winner or closer than Papelbon, K-Rod or Zumaya at the same points in their careers, he has lost his frickin mind.

*Above picture may not actually be Michael Kay

When Confronted, Julian Tavarez Just Can't Help Himself But Act Crazy

Of course Tavarez didn't mean to hit Orlando Cabrera. It's a contract year, dummy.

Oh Julian, will you ever win? During Tavarez's very solid outing yesterday (2 hits, 2 runs over 6 innings) against the supremely average Anaheim Angels of Anaheim, he managed to get into a verbal dust-up with one of the more congenial players in the league (and Red Sox 2004 WS Champ SS), Orlando Cabrera. Cabrera is probably the second most liked opponent that the Sox face (behind Millar and perhaps Trot) and a couple times during the series this weekend he was roundly applauded by fans and greeted warmly on the base paths by Ortiz, Youk and the the other remnants of the 2004 team. Julian Tavarez chose to greet him in a different manner.

With one out in the thrid and down 2-0, Tavarez threw an tailing inside fastball (in Tavarez's defense, his non-sinking fastball has some of the most movement in the league) that clipped Cabrera's jersey. Cabrera went a little bonkers and started to approach the mound on his way up the first base line. The benches cleared, order was restored and nothing more came of it the rest of the game as Country Joe Saunders silenced the Sox and the Angels won the game. Cabrera's reaction seemed a little absurd considering the game was 2-0 in the third inning and he happens to hit in front of Vlad Guerrero. Even the feisty Tavarez wouldn't be hotheaded enough to intentionally hit the player in front of one of the most dangerous players in the game during a close game in the midst of a playoff race. But, of course, with Tavarez things may be a little more complicated than they initially appear:
"It was more personal than anything," Cabrera told the Los Angeles Times. "When we were at home, after I hit a double against him in the first game, he told me at the first base line that I was getting signs from second base. I said, 'No, I don't do that.' He told me, 'You're like Julio Lugo, you like to give signs. If Lugo played for another team I would have hit him.' So it didn't take much to know he was going to hit me. I thought it was intentional. I said, 'Are you satisfied now?' "

Tavarez acknowledged the pair had spoken out West, with Tavarez accusing Cabrera of trying to sneak a look at the catcher's signs while at the plate. Cabrera doubled off Tavarez in the seventh inning Aug. 6. In yesterday's case, in a game that would eventually go to the Angels, 3-1, Cabrera was batting with one out and no one on base when he was hit.

"I pay bills, too," Tavarez said. "I want to pitch inside and I've got a game plan . . . I don't know what he said to me. I know he made a step. He didn't walk to first base. I don't even hit him, I hit the jersey. He is trying to say things to me, I don't know what he said. I said, 'Instead of walking to first base, why don't you just come out here so we can finish this?'

"I said to him in Anaheim when we faced him, I said, 'Listen I think you're looking [at the catcher's signs]. Every time you're hitting, you turn your face and look at the location. If you're doing that, stop doing that because I will hit you if you're doing that. Let's play the game the right way.' He said, 'No, no, I'm not doing that.'

"I ain't going to go out there and try to put guys on base for Vladi Guerrero. I ain't going to go out there and hit guys, walking guys, cause it's not good for me. Because I'm a free agent guy. I'm looking to do my job out there. I'm not looking to give up runs out there. Why does he think I'm trying to hit him on purpose?"
Well, Julian, allow me to posit an answer to that final query: You told Cabrera you were going to hit him the next time you saw him trying to steal signs and then you hit him. When you tell someone you're going to hit them, and then you do it, they may interpret your actions as not being an accident. Call me crazy...

But that little episode was far less interesting than the manner in which he chose to explain to Cabrera why he was going to hit him. Essentially, Julian called out his own guy (Julio Lugo) in an effort to give Cabrera an example of the type of shitty play he doesn't like to see. So in typical Tavarez style, acting like a crazy nut is never enough. He has to buttress this craziness with a player-toss under the bus. Say what you will about JT, but he is never EVER dull.