Audio: Jack Clark Says Cards Have ‘Poopy Pants’

Former St. Louis Cardinals star Jack Clark ripped into Tony LaRussa’s charges on ESPN Radio in St. Louis this week.

Clark complimented the effort of the San Diego Padres while calling the Redbirds “quitters” who are playing like they have “poopy in their pants.

“I’m really tired of watching the effort, that’s for sure. I’m not seeing a lack of [effort] I’m seeing a pathetic effort. These Cards fans deserve much better. That’s just awful. They won’t admit it, that they’re quitters. If you can’t put a better effort out there on the field, take ‘em all out, back up the truck, ship ‘em all out and get somebody in here that wants to play baseball. We’ve got one team here (San Diego) going for the title and we’ve got our team going for the toilet. They’ve got poopy in their pants. They got skidmarks in their britches. It’s just the way it is.

“When George Steinbrenner was alive, may he rest in peace, he would never let this (happen). As an owner he would be down in that clubhouse telling them to get their head out of you know where, start playing baseball, and it better start right away, or some heads are going to roll. And they won’t have to worry about putting those heads where the grass doesn’t grow.” 

After Clark’s incendiary (and delightful I might say) remarks, LaRussa responded on Friday:

“I just don’t feel like Jack has had the kind of spotless career where he can be making judgments like that. Whether it’s our team, pitchers, players, whatever,” La Russa said. “I think it’s a real personal (criticism).

“That’s why I’m saying something about it. It’s a very offensive quote to make. … I respect Jack a lot because he did a good job of pulling his career together. But he had times where there were evaluations from his peers — and I wasn’t his peer — but his peers and his bosses were less than the best. I’m disappointed that he doesn’t take some of that past experience.”

I’m no fan of LaRussa, but Clark’s criticism was at the very least, revisionist. At worst, he was flat wrong. Read more…

‘Stifled Sneeze’ Lands Padres Pitching Star On DL

Bill Center of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE reports today that San Diego Padres pitcher Mat Latos has been placed on the disabled list because of “an aborted sneeze that led to pain in Latos’ side.

Mat Latos In Violent Sneezer Tee Shirt

(Should be hanging in his locker in less than 24 hours)


While walking down some steps at Coors Field in Denver last Friday, Mat Latos stifled a sneeze.

How convenient, since the Padres wanted to push back Latos’ next start. Because his time on the disabled list officially started last Friday, Latos will be eligible to pitch July 24 in Pittsburgh.

“If it had to happen at any time, this was a good time,” Latos said. “They wanted to put me on a break here.”

Latos didn’t know exactly what his injury is, although he said it was “against my ribs.”

Now for the real reason Latos is on the DL. Read more…

Padres: Big Cut In Beer Price, World Series Hopes

If you were an underfunded MLB owner with no fans and no future talent on the way because of a sub-par amateur scouting dept., what would you do to draw a crowd?

Padres Announcer Rick Sutcliffe Was Drunk On The Air

(Way ahead of ya)

If you’re the Padres, first thing would be to hire a broadcaster who last did an MLB game during Earth’s most recent episode of glaciation. Then you’d slash ballpark beer prices from an obscene to merely outrageous level.

Michael Stetz of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE has details on the desperate measure.

Read more…

Padres TV Guy’s Gig Hijacked By Team, Enberg

I spent nine years as a major and minor league baseball play-by-play announcer, so I have a unique perspective on what went down with San Diego Padres’ recent Dick Enberg TV hire.

Padres, Dick Enberg Jacked Mark Neely's Gig

(Padres, Enberg jacked Neely’s gig for no good reason)

Jay Posner of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE reports that despite the fact that the Padres already had a TV announcer under contract for this season, Mark Neely, the club still went out and hired Enberg for the job - kicking Neely to the curb.

The 74-year-old Enberg was well aware of Neely’s situation yet told Posner that, “I don’t feel that I betrayed anyone.”

As you know, Enberg’s been to the top of the sports broadcasting mountain. As you may not know, Mark Neely spent a decade riding buses in the low minor leagues, finally working his way into a full-time major league opportunity.

I knew Mark when I was the Yankees’ AAA announcer in Columbus and he was doing Louisville games. Talented guy who was well-liked by his peers. And someone who worked his way up from the very bottom of the business into his dream job. Amazing accomplishment.

So why on earth would the Padres do such a thing? And Enberg would go along with it?

I’ve got a pretty good idea. Read more…

A Fine Cartoon On Dock Ellis’ LSD-Fueled No-No

If you haven’t seen this yet, buckle up, kiddies; it’s time to look back at a different time, a different era, back when men were men, women were burning bras, and pitchers were on acid on the mound. The legend of Dock Ellis‘ no-hitter while he was high is relatively well-known, but most people just know the basics: that he was a pitcher, on acid, throwing a no-no.

Dock Ellis on LSD
(The guy’s name was “Ellis, D.” How could we not see this coming?)

But why not hear the story from Ellis himself? And if we’re going to do that, why not have his testimony accompanied by some truly sensational animation and killer funk? The entire short - too short, really, at just over four and a half minutes - is after the break.

Read more…

Oh God, Not More Home Run Celebration Shows

For the record, the Milwaukee Brewers don’t play the San Francisco Giants again until next season, probably sometime in May. That’s when we’ll find out if Matt Cain offers a gentle high-and-tight message to Prince Fielder for the little show we see in the photo below.

Prince Fielder

Also for the record, the San Diego Padres are feverishly working on their own choreographed home run celebration performance art. This is all hypothetical of course, because in order to do it, your team actually has to hit a home run. But the Padres have a couple of routines in the can just in case. You’re not going to believe what they are. Read more…

Victor Martinez Bobblehead Night … Awk-ward

And so we learn the folly of scheduling a bobblehead night featuring one of your star players on the day after the MLB trading deadline. The Cleveland Indians have some ’splainin’ to do on Saturday during Victor Martinez Bobblehead Night. I hear that anyone who’s anyone in Cleveland will be there, except of course Victor Martinez, who was traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone a few hours ago.

Victor Martinez

So does this become an instant collector’s item, or a handy object to throw onto Progressive Field in disgust? We’ll find out tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Padres are breathing a sigh of relief that they decided to cancel Saturday’s Jake Peavy Kissing Booth. Read more…

MLB Bust Matt Bush Arrest Video a Crying Shame

You might remember Matt Bush as the San Diego Padres’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 draft. More likely, you remember him from later roles, including “Padres Top Draft Pick in Drunken Brawl (Parts I and II),” “Padres Cut Top Draft Pick After He Drunkenly Hurls Lacrosse Player” and “Blue Jays Cut Former Padres Top Draft  After He Drunkenly Chucks Baseball At Woman’s Head.

Matt Bush baseball card

(Probably about as valuable as a Vince Coleman rookie card.)

What he lacks in versatility he seems to make up for in commitment to character: the guy was born to play a drunken idiot. So it comes as little surprise the THE SPORTING BLOG has news of his latest part: “Former Draft Pick Bawling His Eyes Out After DUI Arrest.” And judging by the video of the performance after the jump, this could be his finest performance to date:

Read more…

Dropped Starter Jonathan Sanchez Gets No-Hitter

Having an overshadowed young pitcher throw a no-hitter is always a good story. After all, it very well may be the best story they author up as a professional. That case was even more pronounced on Friday night for Jonathan Sanchez, who only got to start because Randy Johnson was on the disabled list … and whose Dad Sigfrido Sanchez flew in from Puerto Rico to get a glimpse of his son when he got the ball to start a game, watching him pitch for the first time.

Giants Jonathan Sanchez

Sanchez the younger finished with a season-high 11 strikeouts in his no-no against the Padres, and finished one runner away from a perfect game when Juan Uribe’s error allowed a runner to reach base. So much for the control problems and rampant walks, huh?

Read more…

Speed Read: Artest Shuns Cavs, Chooses Lakers

The Lakers are already the defending champs, and while the Cavs are adding an over-the-hill Shaq and Boston is making overtures to the shell that once housed Rasheed Wallace, the champs may have made the biggest splash of all — adding the insane, yet extremely talented, Ron Artest.

Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant

(Odds Ron’s going to forget he’s Kobe’s teammate and gets a flagrant 2 on him? About 2-to-1.)

The news came somewhat out of nowhere last night, as ESPN was still reporting during the early evening hours on the east coast that LeBron James had been reaching out to Artest in an effort to get him to Cleveland. ESPN expert Chris Broussard went on Sportscenter downplaying that situation, and within a couple of hours Artest was in ESPN’s L.A. studio announcing his intention to sign with the Lakers for the mid-level exception.

This is all fine and dandy, but does nobody remember about this?

Although, to be honest, Artest is just about the only guy in the league who could do this and then ask Kobe to go out to Applebee’s afterward. This guy doesn’t exactly go about things the normal way. I mean, we are talking about a guy who once tried to work at Circuit City in the offseason to get the employee discount.

Here’s what Ron-Ron had to say about coming to L.A., according to CBS SPORTSLINE:

“L.A. is what it is,” Artest said. “I’ve been here for the whole summer, and it’s pretty good. It’s good for me. I know Lamar Odom, so that’s pretty cool.”

Awesome, they can totally ride bikes together and eat toooooons of gummy bears.

All the clamoring for the Lakers to pony up the cash to keep Trevor Ariza sure went away quickly, considering that Artest is accepting the mid-level (which will be under $6 million next year) while Ariza was looking for something in the $7 million+ range. And now word is out that Ariza will be taking Artest’s place in Houston, and will in fact accept the mid-level (though over the full term of five years).

Trevor Ariza

(”Here’s how many titles I’m going to win in Houston.”)

I’ve seen baseball games delayed for a wide variety of reasons (I was at Shea Stadium once when the sprinklers came on unannounced, or there’s that one time a plane crashed beyond the left-field wall), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game get derailed by bees. In the ninth inning of yesterday’s Padres-Astros game at Petco Park, a swarm overtook a jacket that was draped over a chair down the left-field line (the coat belonged to a ball girl).

bumblebee man

Apparently, the swarm’s queen bee took up residence inside the coat, which led to thousands of workers, or drones, or whatever they are, descending on the area around the jacket. It was nearly an hour before a beekeeper arrived on the scene to take care of the bees. He dove right into the jacket, sprayed the bees (which were in a mass about the size of a soccer ball) with some sort of agent, then shoveled the presumably dead bees into the jacket (PETA is already preparing to complain about this I’m sure), which was put into a plastic bag and carried away. Eyewitnesses report that the beekeeper received the biggest ovation of the day, as the Astros cruised to a 7-2 win.

bee warning

Bee swarm

Now, while you watch two guys named Andy battle it out on Center Court, here’s some links to get you through your Friday:

• The Phoenix Lifelock Mercury’s Diana Taurasi got a DUI early on Thursday morning. It’s about time WNBA players start acting like real athletes.

• A suspected rapist who was attempting to assault a woman yesterday in San Diego was fought off successfully by the woman, then he tried to run away from her. Which might have worked…if the woman wasn’t a marathon runner. Let’s just say the future’s not looking too bright for this guy right now.

I’m a big 1964 Topps baseball card guy, partly because of the multiple laughable errors made throughout the set by Topps’ editorial staff, which seemed to exist of a five-year-old with a learning disability. And Keith Olbermann delivers us the most ridiculous error in the set (if you’re not getting it, just read Dave Bennett’s bio again):

19-year-old Dave Bennett is 18 years old

• The World Series of Poker’s main event starts today at the Rio in Las Vegas, and among the thousands registered to play over the next few days is none other than Barack Obama. No, the Prez didn’t buy in himself — a poker pro named Richard Sklar (who also happens to be an ex-con) put up the $10,000 to enter him into the event. Sklar then made a number of bets with other pros that Obama would show up to play at least one hand. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Phil Gordon are among the pros who said they’d pony up big cash for charity if he does show. GAMBLING ONLINE has details, as does this thread at poker site TWO PLUS TWO.

•  The CFL has indeed fined Toronto WR Arland Bruce, who posed as Michael Jackson’s corpse in the end zone after scoring a touchdown on Wednesday.

•  In 1990, Family Feud had an entire episode pitting five Major League players against five umpires. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Rick Sutcliffe rocking the Cubs jersey tucked into jeans and the late, great Eric Gregg saying “what’s your name, baby?” Here’s Part 1 of 3 (thank you UNI WATCH for the tip):

• GAME ON says the rumors that the Texas Rangers had to borrow $15 million to meet payroll are not true, though there is a framework in place if they do need to borrow money. That’s comforting.

• New Grouch Chairman of the BCS Overlord Oversight Committee Harvey Perlman on the idea of a college football playoff (courtesy of the WIZ OF ODDS):

“If you look at college football now, it’s the greatest sporting event spread over September, October, November, December and a little bit of January that the country has. A playoff would seriously diminish the regular season, as it has in college basketball… This isn’t basketball. This isn’t March Madness. Football’s a different game, different environment. We have different traditions. It’s hard to see why a playoff is a good idea.”

I’m with you, Harvey. I don’t even know why any of these silly sports with their useless playoffs even have a regular season. An arbitrary, invitation-based system guided by a perplexing computer formula is obviously the way to go for any sport that wants to be taken seriously.

• Mariners prospect James McOwen (who honestly wasn’t much of a prospect prior to this year) extended his California League-record hitting streak to 39 games with a 3-for-4 night in the High Desert Mavericks’ 6-2 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at the most awesomely-named park in all of baseball — The Epicenter.

Danica Patrick might want to stick to the GoDaddy stuff, and steer clear of the Elton John glasses:

Danica Patrick glasses

Who’s been the the most important acquisition by an NBA contender so far this offseason?

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