Has Dusty Baker gone insane?

Before Wednesday night's 6-0 victory, manager Dusty Baker didn't dismiss the idea that Randall Simon could be competing next spring with Hee Seop Choi to see which of the left-handed-hitting first basemen better fits the Cubs' plans for 2004.

"Simon can hit, and he's a pretty good first baseman,'' Baker said. "I don't know what's going to happen. Do you want to win or do you want to lose while you're developing? If you need to win, what do you do?''

Dusty is a fantastic manager, but he has his shortcomings. He apparently believes that all pitchers have the rotator cuffs made of pur iron, as he feels no remorse in throwing pitchers to the wolves. He loves speed over power in a game more and more focused on power. and he adores veteran leadership over talented youngsters.

Of course, he gets the very best out of every hitter who plays for him. And he wins. So I normally give Baker some latitude on his more outdated ideas. Tony Womack? Doug Glanville? Whatever. If it wan't Dusty, I'd think it would have no chance, but I know better than to criticize Baker. He'll make it work.

But this...

Choi is hitting 223/354/431. He's shown power and discipline and it's really only Dusty's handling of him that's limited him to 197 at bats. He's 24 years old and will only improve.

Simon is hitting 280/310/431. Which means Simon is one of the least disciplined hitters in all of baseball. And he's 28, what you see is what you get. all for a mere $1 million more than Choi.

To put Choi on the bench and further stunt his development to make way for Randall Simon is a mistake of collasal size. There's just no way to justify it.

Yeah, I want similar power numbrs, but could you take away all of the walks, add some years, and oh yeah, add another million to our payroll. Dusty, enjoy ressurecting proven mediocrities like Tony Womack, don't get involved with Randall Simon.

posted by Poseur 8/22/2003 11:26:00 PM


"No, it seems like it's taken forever," free safety Jesse Tetuan said. "Two-a-days are so long; it seemed like we'd never get to a game. That game couldn't come fast enough."

K-State, like teams across the nation, had to follow new guidelines for practice this year. Teams cannot have two-a-day workouts on consecutive days anymore, a system designed to avoid overworking the athletes.

The first game is tommorrow: Kansas St vs. California. Our long wait is over. Football is back.

posted by Poseur 8/22/2003 12:33:00 PM

Someone else hates Dave Bliss!

A whole lot of coaches have run afoul of either NCAA rules, or rules of common sense and decency in the last two years. It seemed to begin with George O'Leary lying on his résumé and having to resign days after accepting the Notre Dame job. And it continued with Jim Harrick's scandalous behavior at the University of Georgia, Jan Van Breda Kolff's problems at St. Bonaventure, Larry Eustachy's party boy ways out at Iowa State and Mike Price's almost comical indiscretions down at the University of Coach Bear Bryant.

Most, if not all of them, are employable. But let me tell you who isn't: Dave Bliss.

I'd like to take this moment to remind you that I'm not a knee-jerk Fire-The-Coach guy. I defended Eustachy and Price, and I still think both were victims of ridiculous moralist witch hunts.

But I'm not so lenient when it comes to beaking NCAA rules. Harrick and Neuheisel both desrved to get canned, but if someone wants to hire them down the road, I'm cool with that. They deserved to have their names run through the mud, but then get back into the profession.

But not Bliss. Bliss deserves to go to jail. He deserves every bit of shame and mockery that comes his way. I wish him nothing but the worst. And yes, this is going to be a theme here at BartCopSports, so expect to see lots of I-Hate-Bliss pieces in the future.
posted by Poseur 8/22/2003 12:15:00 PM

Bonds is real good

Without Bonds, the Giants went 0-6. With Bonds, they just swept the Braves, twice on walk-off homers hit by Superman himself. We'll get into the Pujols for MVP argument later, but I'll give you a preview: Bonds is better. No one can come close to the guy, but if they want to give the award to the best mere mortal playing baseball, Pujols is a good choice.

There's not many more years left where you can catch one of the best players ever. If he comes to your town, go see him. And 30 years later, tell your kids that you saw Barry Bonds play.
posted by Poseur 8/22/2003 12:07:00 PM


More previews! The NFL page is up!

Actually, it's a dirty trick. There are no team previews yet, just an incredibly dorky look at football statistics. But click here anyway.
posted by Poseur 8/19/2003 04:54:00 PM

I was listening to the radio this morning, and they were discussing Frank Thomas' Hall of Fame chances. And the host started saying if Thomas gets in, there's a lot of other similar guys who would get in as well. He said the Thomas wasn't that good of a hitter to warant induction based on his batting alone, since he is now a DH and formerly a brutal fielder.

To which I say, Are you freaking high?

Of course Thomas is a Hall of Famer. He wasn't just a really good hitter, he was (and is) and absolutely fantastic hitter. Maybe we're getting spoiled by Bonds, but Thomas has put up mind-boggling numbers.

His career slugging is 148 points better than the league average. His OBP is 94 points better. His batting average is 47 points better than the league average. That's not just good, that's Hall of Fame good. He won two MVP awards, and finished top ten in the balloting EIGHT times.

The case against him is that if you let him in, you have to let Jeff Bagwell in. Damn.
posted by Poseur 8/19/2003 12:58:00 PM

Forgiveness, Baptists, and Dave Bliss

The Rev. Mike Dean, from the Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, believes forgiveness is a necessity for "any Bible-believing Baptist or Christian" if Bliss is willing to show remorse and admit his mistake. But the Rev. Dean also added, "It has to be remembered that forgiveness and consequences are two different things. No matter what, [Bliss] still must deal with the consequences of what he has done."

And Dean's advice to his congregation? "Individually, we each take responsibility for our attitude. But I would hope that everyone would pray for Dave Bliss and his family. We need to show that grace and compassion. This man's life is ruined."

As Rev. Dean said, preaching forgiveness is the church's way. But Bliss has stepped so far across the line, that even faithful followers of the Good Book are now being seriously tested. This is a hard one for Baptists, who put the scripture first, and their university right behind it.

Dave Bliss has done the impossible. On the issue of forgiveness, he's actually made me have compassion for Texas Baptists who must make this decision.

Luckily, they have an out. Dave Bliss shows no remorse. He's only sorry that he got caught. And that is not genuine attrition for sin. He's not sorry he sinned (and boy, did he sin), he's sorry he got caught. He's not going to get anybody's forgiveness until he shows genuine remorse.

What disgusts me is that Bliss will get another job somewhere. Not next year, but eventually. This guy defamed a dead player and then stood by the family at the funeral. And eventually, people will forget and he'll get another job.

Well, let's not forget this one. This isn't a second chance for a guy caught cheating like Tarkanian or Sutton. What they did was wrong, but it wasn't morally repugnant. Bliss' actions went beyond mere cheating. They were offensive to any decent human being.

I do not forgive. I'll leave it to the Baptists to make up their own mind.

posted by Poseur 8/19/2003 12:35:00 PM


It gets worse in Baylor

Evidence surfaced Friday that Bliss, who resigned his position Aug. 8, attempted to have players lie to investigators by presenting information that would lead them to believe murdered teammate Patrick Dennehy had paid his tuition by dealing drugs. There is evidence that one player may have gone through with the deception.

Dennehy's stepfather, Brian Brabazon, was furious to find out Bliss had attended his slain son's funeral one day before his resignation, shaking family members' hands to offer condolences, despite knowing he had tried to tarnish Dennehy's reputation.

"Had I had even an inkling of this, I would have grabbed his hand and his throat and thrown him against the wall and beat him," Brabazon told the Associated Press.

It's official. This is now the most sick, twisted, and disgusting sports story of the year. The head coach, David Bliss, in order to save his own skin, told an assistant coach:

"I think the thing we want to do -- and you think about this -- if there's any way that we can create the perception of the fact that Pat may have been a dealer," Bliss reportedly said on the tape. "Even if we had to make some things look a little better than they are, that can save us."

Oh. My. God.

First off, Bliss is now on the express elevator to hell. A coach has a certain responsibility to his players, he's like a surrogate father to these kids when they are on campus, and he's betraying that trust in the most vile way possible.

Bliss has already lost his job. Good. I hope he goes to prison as well.

posted by Poseur 8/18/2003 03:27:00 PM

Holcomb named the starter

Tim Couch has yet to put together an average season. not good. Not above average. Just simply, average. He's never pulled it off. Last year was about as close as he got, and he progressed from bad to merely below average.

How much money Couch makes should not be a factor in Davis' decision-making. Holcomb has looked better in the preseason, and he looked better last season. He deserves to start.
posted by Poseur 8/18/2003 01:09:00 PM

Vick and his ankle

The three-year veteran was not available to the media, but Bishop visited with reporters Sunday afternoon. He said minor ligament damage also is expected in Vick's right ankle, and the quarterback is virtually certain to be out at least six weeks, which would include the first four games of the regular season.

"Typically, it takes six weeks for a bone to heal," Bishop said. "That just means the bone is healed, it doesn't necessarily mean everything else is as it's supposed to be. It could be as little as six weeks. It could be eight, 10. We just have to wait and see."

Simply put, when Vick was tackled by Ravens defensive end Adalius Thomas with 4:20 remaining in the first quarter, the quarterback's right leg bones continued to face forward as his foot rotated outward. That caused a break in the fibula, about 1 1/2 to two inches above the hard bony knot on the outside of the ankle.

No team relies more on one player than the Falcons and Vick. They simply cannot afford to have vick sitting in a cast for very long. No offense to Doug Johnson, who has all of the marks of a competent NFL QB, but he can't carry the Falcons. Why not? Because the Falcons aren't that good. But Vick is spectacular, and he turns an 8-8 team into a Super Bowl contender.

Without Vick, the Falcons are an ordinary team. Don't expect 0-4, but probably 2-2. If things break right, they might be 3-1, if they go poorly, 1-3. Such is life for an average NFL team, which is what Atlanta is without Vick.
posted by Poseur 8/18/2003 12:28:00 PM

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