Gaston Calls Clemens A Self-Centered “A-Hole”

One thing I never understood is why Cito Gaston couldn’t find another managing gig after leaving the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997. After all, he lead the team to four AL East pennants and back-to-back World Series wins. So it seemed strange that as teams recycled mediocre manager after mediocre manager, he had to wait until the Blue Jays rehired him during last season to get another shot.

Roger Clemens and Cito Gaston

But while I might have a lot of respect for Gaston, apparently Roger Clemens didn’t. The new book “The Rocket That Fell To Earth” details how Clemens basically threw Gaston under the bus and convinced the Blue Jays to hire Tim Johnson to replace him (and we all know how well that went). And the feeling is apparently mutual, as Gaston used some choice words to describe to the TORONTO STAR exactly how he felt about Clemens:

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Speed Read: Is Available?

Maybe Pete Carroll was right when he called the Pac-10 schedule “ridiculously difficult” - or the Trojans just had another epic meltdown against a far lesser opponent. Either way, the end result was a shocking 27-21 loss to Oregon State.  Yes, those Beavers. The same Beavers who lost to Penn State and Stanford by a combined 39 points.

Oregon State fans

You could look for goats in the game: defensive back Kevin Thomas, who let an interception in the end zone slip through his hands at the end of the first half and into the hands of James Rodgers. Or quarterback Mark Sanchez, who despite three touchdowns also threw a fourth-quarter interception that set up the eventually winning touchdown for the Beavers.

Mark Sanchez

But ultimately, blame has to go to one person: Pete Carroll. Yet again, the Trojans fell flat on their face against teams with far less talent. It’s the second time Oregon State has done it to USC, along with Stanford, UCLA…basically, any team that’s beaten USC since 2002 other than Texas.

The team came out flat and uninspired - a content, cocky team expecting to win because they were USC. (and as the LA TIMES’ FABULOUS FORUM points out, maybe celebrating a touchdown to close to 21-7 isn’t such a great idea, Ronald Johnson.) And the coaching staff was incapable of adjusting until halftime, when they had dug themselves too deep of a hole. But really, who could have seen this being anything but a Trojans blowout. Except maybe for Brooks right before the game:

I like the Beavers and the points tonight, which means I’ll be laughing in about two hours, or waist-deep into my sixth Boilermaker* at Coach & Horses around 12 bells.

…or our own Jason K. in the USC/Ohio State Live Brog two weeks ago:

“And Mark will have plenty of time to recuperate, as USC doesn’t take the field again until Thursday, September 25, when they travel to Oregon State. But remember what happened the last time the Trojans took a trip to Corvallis - a 33-31 shocker.”

Far less of a shock is that the Los Angeles Dodgers finally clinched the NL West title, thanks to the Diamondbacks’ 12-3 thumping by the Cardinals. Now Los Angeles’ notoriously fickle sports fans can forget about USC’s collapse and focus on the Dodgers in the playoffs - until they lose in four games to some team like the Cubs. But by that point, hey, isn’t the Lakers’ season starting?

The Dodgers’ clinching the NL West leaves three playoff spots to be decided: the AL Central race between the Twins and the White Sox, and the Phillies/Mets/Brewers mess for the NL East and/or Wild Card.

The Mets and the Brewers remained tied for the Wild Card, both winning in dramatic fashion: New York using a ninth-inning single by Carlos Beltran for a 6-5 victory over the Cubs, while Milwaukee knocked off the Pirates 5-1 on Ryan Braun’s two-out grand slam in the tenth. The Phillies could only sit home idle and watch their lead in the NL East shrink to one game.

Minnesota Twins celebrate

Meanwhile, the Twins and the White Sox also went ten innings. In this case, Minnesota put together a five-run rally of their own to win 7-6 to complete a series sweep of Chicago and take the AL Central lead for the first time in a month. Even worse, the White Sox seem to be imploded, as the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES reports that Orlando Cabrera seems intent on destroying team chemistry as he heads out of town.

Other late-breaking news last night, straight from the sports desk of Tank McNamara:

Eva Longoria

What was the biggest upset so far in 2008?

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Jays Fail To Fly High In Gaston’s Dugout Return

If the Toronto Blue Jays were expecting quick dividends for ditching John Gibbons and starting up their own personal episode of “I Love The 90’s” with Cito Gaston returning to fill out the line-up card, well, the old face in the dugout was treated to the same old result for the Jays this year.

Cito Gaston

The TORONTO STAR picks up the news of an extra-inning loss to kick off Gaston’s second go-round, a snoozer loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park that’s emphasized the hard-luck bumbling that helped get Gibbons fired in the first place: a defensive miscue with the sacks juiced.

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Schilling’s Season Stopped, Career Kaput As Well?

If Cora is what the SbB public wants, Cora is what the SbB public gets.

Curt Schilling finally has time enough at last to eat as many Baconators as he can - But he might have a little trouble lifting them up.

Curt Schilling big guy

• A woman involved in the Pacman Jones Vegas club fight has reportedly fallen to her death in New York.

• A minor league pitcher & batter both pull the ol’ switcheroo.

David Beckham gets burned by his own SUV seat warmer.

• Lacrosse can be dangerous, especially for the cheerleaders. In other news, lacrosse has cheerleaders.

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Jays Bring Back Cito; Damaso Garcia Unavailable?

The Blue Jays blew out manager John Gibbons and his coaching staff today, and brought back Cito Gaston to manage (and some of his coaches from the Jays’ early-’90s glory years).

Cito Gaston

Details from TSN:

After being swept in Milwaukee by the Brewers and losing five straight game, the Toronto Blue Jays have fired manager John Gibbons, coaches Marty Pevey, Ernie Whitt and Gary Denbo.

On a personal note, Gary Denbo is a very good friend, and deserved better. He was scapegoated by George Steinbrenner in 2001 after the Yankees lost to the Diamondbacks in the W.S., and now this. Good coach, even better family man. He’ll have a job in about three seconds.