Speed Read: Manny’s Bobblehead Saves The Day

Sure Manny Ramirez most likely took steroids, and has been lying about it ever since. Most of his numbers are tainted. And he can also be a bit of a lout, as Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick will be the first to tell you. But you know, there’s something about having your own likeness made into a miniature, bobbling doll that takes the edge off of your otherwise unsavory personality. One minute you’re taking a female fertility drug to come down from a steroid cycle, and the next you’re in a kid’s toy box with Buzz Lightyear and Talking Elmo. How bad can you be, really?

Manny Ramirez bobblehead

On Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine, it was as if Walt Disney had reached down from the heavens and penned the next big animated children’s feature, “Manny Being Manny.” Our hero, scratched from the lineup on his own Bobblehead Night by manager Joe Torre (voiced by Robin Williams) due to a sore hand, appeared as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and hit a dramatic grand slam, breaking a 2-2 tie and sending LA to a 6-2 victory over the Reds.

Manny hit the first delivery from reliever Nick Masset, a low line drive into, wait for it, the Mannywood section in left field. How perfect is that? Greg Brady and the rest of LA’s young Dodger fans sent home deliriously happy. Manny himself prancing about the clubhouse, admiring and playing with his bobblehead likeness.

“I’m going to send my bobblehead to left field,” he said to the LOS ANGELES TIMES. “It’s going to be in left field with Juan Pierre.”

That would probably result in six or seven fewer errors at that position over the course of the season. But I’m just thankful that the Dodgers went with the Manny bobblehead giveaway instead of one of their other ideas for Wednesday: A free home pregnancy test for the first 15,000 men in attendance.

It’s one of life’s cruel ironies that an (alleged) cheater and liar like Ramirez comes up smelling like a Rose Parade float, while on the same day, one of baseball’s truly good guys, Don Mattingly, is mired in crap. Mattingly, the Dodgers’ hitting coach, was distressed to learn that his 24-year-old son, Taylor, was arrested Tuesday night for pushing and spitting on his mother after she turned off his cable.

According to a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office probable cause affidavit, Mattingly admitted jumping the brick fence of his mother’s residence on Darmstadt Road and confronting her. Mattingly told investigators his mother, Kim Mattingly, had sent him a text message insulting his girlfriend and his father, authorities said.

Don Mattingly, Taylor Mattingly

“Taylor advised he and Kim began to argue, and that Kim was being confrontational,” sheriff’s deputy Nathan Espenlaub wrote in the affidavit. “Taylor advised he snapped, pushed Kim down and spit on her.”

Taylor Mattingly also admitted flipping a patio table over and shattering another, breaking a patio door and window and throwing furniture into the walls of the pool house, according to the affidavit.

Kim Mattingly told detectives Taylor Mattingly had been upset with her over problems he encountered trying to trade in his car and a recent decision she made to cancel the cable service at the ranch where he was staying, according to the affidavit.

Of course as we may recall, Kim Mattingly is somewhat of a piece of work herself. Stay strong, Donny Ballgame. Your bobblehead day cannot be far off.

Meanwhile, those who exclusively depend on ESPN for their sports news were surprised on Wednesday to discover that the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger was involved in some sort of sexual assault lawsuit in Nevada. (ESPN reader: “I am shocked to learn this!”). Well dear ESPN reader, if the truth be known, the World Wide Leader in Sports is only now getting around to this news, two days after every other sports news outlet — including SI For Kids — first reported it.

ESPN: “Guilty your honor, with an explanation.” From PRO FOOTBALL TALK:

Now the network wants to explain their decision. ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer sent PFT a statement Wednesday night detailing the network’s position.

“Based on the sensitive nature of the story and other factors we mentioned, we initially exercised caution and did not report it,” the statement reads.

“Since then, we’ve been observing how the story has progressed, monitoring other news outlets, and doing our own reporting. We decided to report the story tonight.”

Look, I’m not going to make a big deal about this; ESPN can report what they like, and leave out the bits they find unsavory or not in tune with their corporate interests. It makes no nevermind to me. It’s just a little comical to see a headline like the one circled above suddenly appear, after the story had been totally ignored for two days. It’s like The Pope suddenly declaring in 2007 that the ruling against Galileo was an error.

It’s also a bit ironic that the alleged sexual assault occurred at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, which has played host to some of the world’s finest magicians. Watch me pull a Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault story out of this hat! (Polite applause). And now, more poker!

OK, I’m just bitter that the one year I decide not to attend the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament, all hell breaks loose. First Roethlisberger, then this, and then this. Next year I’m camping out on No. 17. Come by and say hello (will not sign giant inflatable body parts).

And speaking of righteous indignation and inflatable body parts, here’s CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel, who would like you to know that you’re a loathsome degenerate for looking at pictures of ESPN’s Erin Andrews on the internet. Seriously, why don’t you just haul yourself to your local police precinct and turn yourself in? You disgusting, malodorous pervert!

Doyel’s column begins like this. It does not get kinder as it progresses.

You’re out there. I just know it. You’re reading this right now, aren’t you, you stupid little boy? And you are a little boy. I don’t care how old you are — you’re not a man. Not if you’re one of the thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of American males slobbering over the Internet for images of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

You’re not a man.

What are these Erin Andrews images he speaks of? (Clumsily changes Erin Andrews’ butt wallpaper to photo of kittens).

And now, links to peruse as you slowly realize that Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Turtle is happening in real life. Noooo!

  • We told you the other day of Bolivian pro soccer coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso, who thought it a good idea to put his 12-year-old son, Mauricio, into a game for his team Aurora. Predictably, it wasn’t long before the young lad was taken out by a kick from behind. But until I saw the video below, I hadn’t realized just what a cheap shot it was. Smear the Queer! Message sent: This isn’t a daycare center, Julio. A 12-year-old being driven off the pitch in a cart while screaming for his mother is not a good way to promote your league. Forget about it, Jake. It’s Bolivia.

  • Another celebrity death, and this one is very hard to take, seeing that he has been a central character in all of my Super Bowl parties. The Taco Bell chihuahua, dead at age 15. May you rest in peace, folded into the warm, flour tortilla of the heavens.
  • Sure, you may think that the recent theft of 58 curling rocks in Australia is a victimless crime. But that’s before you find out that the rocks are valued at $400 each, making the thieves’ haul about $23,200. The rocks were stolen from a truck in a parking lot next to an ice rink in downtown Melbourne. Police in jumpsuits are using brooms to rapidly sweep the parking lot for clues.
  • In stage 17 of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador is still in the overall lead, and is also still acting like somewhat of a dick. Lance Armstrong in fourth. Then there is Inspector Clouseau here below, whom I believe is in second place.

  • Is Jens Voigt’s crash during Stage 16 more horrific in German, or in French? You be the judge. Ack … YouTube pulled the French version. Well, Voigt was knocked unconscious after sliding about 20 feet on his face, but regained consciousness in the ambulance and should be OK.
  • ESPN acquires the rights to all five BCS games, plus the Texas Bowl, giving them 30 bowl games this year. Le schedule.
  • He should have got the Verizon Network. Former cruiserweight champion David Haye is officially snubbing Vitali Klitschko, and will instead get his heavyweight title shot against Nikolai Valuev on Nov. 7 in Germany. This after Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, “couldn’t reach” Haye’s manager by phone to finalize a deal they thought they had agreed to for Klitschko and Haye to meet Sept. 12. I love boxing.

Did ESPN blow it by not reporting the Ben Roethlisberger story earlier?

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Mattingly to be Dodgers’ Hitting Coach Once Again

When Joe Torre accepted the Dodgers’ managerial job last November, Don Mattingly was expected to follow his former Yankees boss to Chavez Ravine as the team’s new hitting coach. However, Don backed out of the role in January, choosing to spend his time dealing with family matters and an impending divorce from a law-breaking wife.

Don Mattingly Hitman

But now it appears that Donnie Baseball is finally ready to retake the job.

Read more…

Mattingly: Passover Prayers Answered By Yankees

When Joe Torre decided not to return as the manager of the New York Yankees, former Yankee great Don Mattingly seemed to be next in line to be skipper. But in the end, Mattingly was passed over in favor of former Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi.

Joe Girardi Don Mattingly

According to Mattingly, the decision that the Yankees brass made was like “one of those unanswered prayers.” I’m pretty sure he twisted his words a bit there because Mattingly couldn’t be happier to NOT be managing the Yankees. Read more…

Mrs. Don Mattingly Is Having Trouble Letting Go

WALK OFF BALK (via THE BIG LEAD), has the news of Don Mattingly’s ex-wife getting drunk and going nuts at Donny Ballgame’s abode last week.

Kim Mattingly Mugshot Not Jay Johnstone On Crack

No, we didn’t get that shot mixed up with the Jay-Johnstone-on-crack one*.

* He isn’t on crack.

Blog-O-Rama: Clemens Back With Astros - Sort Of

• The ASSOCIATED PRESS tosses news that Roger Clemens has been invited to join the Astros - at one of their pitching camps.

Roger Clemens Houston Astros banner

• Speaking of comebacks, Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett is coming out with book in February.

• 100% INJURY RATE studies the evolution of football video games.

• For your viewing pleasure, here’s another enjoyable episode of ‘Blog Show‘, with your hosts, Jamie Mottran and Dan Steinberg.

• INSIDE USC knows there won’t be many pleasantries exchanged when Pete Carroll & Norm Chow meet next season. Read more…

MLB Minority Hiring Policy Could Be Delaying Dodgers Torre Hire

MLB HIRING POLICY DELAYING DODGERS DEAL W/TORRE: Many Dodgers fans are wondering why Joe Torre hasn’t been officially announced as their new skipper yet. But a couple of employment matters are putting things on hold.

Joe Torre SbB Girls Hot Dogs

Long-time Dodgers radio reporter A. Martinez was talking about the situation with John Ireland & Steve Mason on KSPN-AM’s “Big Show” on Wednesday.Martinez said that a possible snag in finishing the deal was Major League Baseball’s hiring policy, which requires teams to interview at least 1 minority candidate for any openings.

Mason joked to Martinez, “Then why don’t you apply?

Matt Millen

The Dodgers might be wanting to avoid the fate of Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen, who was fined by the NFL for his 2003 hire.That season, Millen had selected Steve Mariucci as his primary head coach target. He was so gung-ho about the Mooch that no other candidates were interviewed.

However, Matt’s quick choice went against league policy, which required a least one minority candidate to get the chance at the job. Millen was fined $200,000 for being so direct in his desires.

Steve Mariucci Lions

The Lions said they tried to interview minority applicants, but the five men they had in mind all turned them down. They declined because it seemed Mariucci was already a lock for the job.The Dodgers may now be facing a similar problem in their situation. It’ll be hard to look for prospects who already know there’s a slim-to-none chance of joining the team.

And it’s not just league formalities that are stifling the Torre deal. There’s also hiring concerns with the support staff:

The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Torre wants a voice in coaching staff decisions - namely, who the Blue Crew hire & how much they’ll get paid. Don Mattingly is expected to join Joe in the dugout if Torre agrees to a deal.Dodgers GM Ned Coletti has been mum about any progress or potholes. He’s only said that the team “has interest” in Torre, and refused to elaborate on the negotiations:

I don’t ever classify anything as close or far. It’s either done or not done, and it’s not done.”

Maybe they can come to a “mutual decision”, like they did with Grady Little.

Joe Torre Closing In On 3-Year $15 Million Deal To Manage The Los Angeles Dodgers

TORRE TO JOIN DODGERS WITH 3-YEAR, $15 MILLION DEAL: The WESTCHESTER (NY) JOURNAL NEWS reports that Joe Torre is close to signing a 3-year deal to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers:

George Steinbrenner Joe Torre

The contract is expected to be worth $15 million, and an official announcement could come as soon as Wednesday.Events in motion were sped up when Grady Little bolted from the Blue Crew on Tuesday, stating his resignation was a “mutual decision” between himself and the front office.

Dodger Stadium sign

If the deal goes through, Torre will likely bring along Don Mattingly as his bench coach. And the ex-Yankees manager is also eyeing current New York 3rd-base coach Larry Bowa to Go West, Old Man.With Torre’s employment saga splashed across the sports pages, METSBLOG takes a nostalgic look back when the skipper was peeled off of the Big Apple’s other major league team:

Joe Torre ex-manager

The Torre story doesn’t get into full gear until two minutes into the clip. But the 1981 TV commercials are amusement enough, such as ads for Sasson jeans, and Leonard Nimoy doing voice-overs for Bell Telephone. Fascinating.

Reports Say Joe Torre Will Become New Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers

TORRE BUSTING OUT OF THE BRONX ZOO FOR LA-LA-LAND? Does Joe Torre love L.A., or is it all just California dreamin’?

Joe Torre Dodgers girl fan

The WESTCHESTER (NY) JOURNAL NEWS reports that the ex-Yankees skipper is expected to become the Dodgers’ new manager. And the NEW YORK TIMES is also spreading the news that Torre is Tinseltown-bound.Recently, the Dodgers were trying to persuade Joe Girardi to take on their managerial duties, but the ex-Marlins leader decided to return to the Bronx.

The team’s decision irked job hopeful Don Mattingly, who ended up leaving his position as Yankees bench coach. And further reports say that Donny Baseball would be joining Torre in Chavez Ravine.

SbB Girls Dodgers Stadium entrance

This is all news to Grady Little, who’s still technically under the employ of Frank & Jamie McCourt. However, the Blue Crew apparently is unhappy with the Little effort done in the clubhouse.However, no official announcements have been made. Torre paid a visit to David Letterman on Monday, and talked about the rumor worms wriggling out of the Big Apple about his possible move out west:

Joe Torre SbB Girls Hot Dogs

There has been a time or two that something that’s been in the newspaper that hasn’t been true…There’s nothing to any of it.”Of course, those shows are usually taped around 5-6 p.m., so a lot could have happened right after Joe bid Paul Shafer farewell. Stay tuned.

Yankees Choosing Girardi As Manager Could Cause Mattingly To Leave Team

YANKS CHOOSE GIRARDI, MATTINGLY CHOOSES TO LEAVE: The Yankees have decided on Joe Girardi. But in gaining a manager, the Bronx Bombers could be losing a legend:

Joe Girardi Don Mattingly

The NEW YORK TIMES reports that the Yanks have offered the position to the former Marlins manager, nabbing him as the heir apparent to the dearly-departed Joe Torre.But another candidate didn’t feel it was just an honor to be nominated. Don Mattingly was said to be “extremely disappointed” that he didn’t get the job. And as a result, the Yankees now need to look for a new bench coach.

According to his agent, Donny Baseball “did inform the Yankees that given the circumstances, he won’t accept a coaching position within the organization during 2008.”

First, Torre tells them off, then A-Rod goes a-way, and now this. Looks like its back to the want ads for the Steinbrenner boys.