KC Star Writer, MU Grad: Nebraska Fans “Inbred”

Mike DeArmond is the longtime Missouri football and basketball beat reporter for the KANSAS CITY STAR. He’s also an alumnus of Mizzou, class of ‘72.

(Coffee much?)

Saturday DeArmond appeared on a Kansas City TV pregame show for the Missouri-Nebraska football game to give his opinion on something that can be a sore subject for more Kansas Citians than you know.

That is, dealing with local Nebraska football fans, Kansas Jayhawks hoops fans and St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans. During his TV appearance, DeArmond originally was asked what he thought of Nebraska football fans, whom he proceeded to lump together with KU and Cardinal fans:

“There are Cardinal baseball fans, there are Kansas basketball fans and there are Nebraska football fans. They were all born of the same parents. They’re all inbred, separated a birth because they’re all just impossible to handle.
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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…

Phillips On STL: ‘They’re Little Bitches, All Of ‘Em’

Hal McCoy of the DAYTON DAILY NEWS has Brandon Phillips of the Reds saying this about the St. Louis Cardinals before the first game of Cincy’s three-game set against the Redbirds last night:

Tony LaRussa

I’d play against these guys with one leg. We have to beat these guys. I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them, they’re little bitches, all of ‘em. I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear - I hate the Cardinals.”

Seeing as he “knows how to f—ing manage,” Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa took the high road and declined to dignify Phillips’ absurd comments with a response.

Oh, wait. Read more…

ESPN’s Miller: Investigate Rockies For Cheating

Last Thursday ESPN and San Francisco Giants announcer Jon Miller appeared on KNBR-AM in San Francisco and said the Colorado Rockies may be manipulating the supply of humidor-stored baseballs at Coors Field to suit their needs in certain game situations.

Colorado Rockies Humidor

More specifically, Miller inferred that the Rockies may be providing umpires with harder, humidor-free baseballs when behind, to give the home team a better chance of scoring runs.

It wasn’t a coincidence that Miller’s accusation came the morning after the Rockies scored nine runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cardinals 12-9. Miller used that game as one example of his theory.

Excerpts of Miller’s comments:

“There’s a feeling that the Rockies are doing something with the humidor-stored baseballs, and sometimes late in games when the Rockies need help, that some non-humidor baseballs slip into the mix. Nobody has been able to prove it. Read more…

Tony To Pujols: “I Know How To F—ing Manage”

This weekend anonymous sources from inside the Cardinals dugout told Joe Strauss of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH about a blowup between Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols Ryan Ludwick Tony LaRussa

First baseman Albert Pujols and manager Tony La Russa on Saturday played down a heated exchange between the two after Pujols was left standing at the plate Friday on right fielder Ryan Ludwick’s unsuccessful steal attempt.

The three-time NL Most Valuable Player became visibly irritated when, with the Cardinals leading the Los Angeles Angels by four runs, Ludwick became the eighth inning’s final out. Pujols flipped his bat and helmet as he returned to the dugout then smacked two trays of gum from a bench against the Cardinals dugout wall.

La Russa reprimanded Pujols, saying, “That’s enough.”

Pujols responded and, according to eyewitnesses, the exchange escalated with La Russa telling Pujols at one point, “I (expletive) know how to manage.”

Friday’s display suggested impatience with a manager willing to open first base with him at the plate.

La Russa and Pujols predictably downplayed the incident to Strauss, which had La Russa steamed when meeting with the press on Friday night.

More interesting than the incident itself is who sold out La Russa from inside the Cardinals dugout. Strauss was able to glean from anon sources exactly what the manager said but provided no details on what Pujols “responded” with.

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Carbo Ordered Keith Hernandez’s ‘Arms Broken’

In a recent ESPN Outside The Lines interview, 1975 Boston Red Sox World Series hero Bernie Carbo claimed that he tried to have Keith Hernandez’s “arms broken” a decade after his W.S. heroics.

Bernie Carbo and Keith Hernandez

On Sept. 6, 1985, Hernandez said under oath in a Pittsburgh courtroom that Carbo had first introduced him to cocaine.

Carbo’s response to Hernandez’s testimony:

I knew some people, and I had $2,000, and I asked them to break his arms. He said, ‘We’ll do it in two or three years if you want it done, but we’re not going to do it today, Bernie. If we went and broke his legs today, or broke his arms, you don’t think they would understand that you are the one that had it done?

There’s no follow on why those “people” never carried out Carbo’s order. Though from Carbo’s description of his atonishing level of drug use, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Read more…

Announcer: Urinal Cake Unfrosted After 20 Innings!

Bob Raissman of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, via Jimmy Traina of SI.com’s Hot Clicks, points a considerable tract of his most recent piece on New York media to the urinary dilemma that faced Mets announcers Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver during the Mets-Cardinals 20-inning game last Saturday.

Kenny Albert Cake Boss

In the 17th inning, Kenny Albert, Fox’s play-by-play voice, informed viewers that his partner, Tim McCarver, had left the booth in the seventh inning. Albert did not specify if T-Mac took a pause for the cause, but those familiar with the situation say he did. Albert also reported: “I have not left the booth in 17 innings.”

At that very moment, all chances of Albert landing that big-bucks Flomax endorsement deal went down the tubes. What was not known at the time is that Albert is practiced in the “art” of retention. In July 1998, he worked a 17-inning Indians-Mariners game and did not once visit a Kingdome bathroom.

“And I did not go during the entire game (Saturday),” Albert said yesterday.

How is he able to do (or not do) this?

“It’s all mental,” he proclaimed. Read more…

McGwire: ESPN Ignores Steroids, Brother’s Claim

In a story dated Feb. 22 and today, the excellent baseball writer Tim Kurkjian did an ESPN video and print piece on Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols. Remarkably, Kurkjian did not ask McGwire or Pujols about steroids or PEDs in print or on video.

Jay McGwire interviewed by Mike Fish on ESPN

Today ESPN.com posted a video and print piece by Mike Fish for Outside the Lines about McGwire’s brother Jay. Jay McGwire, who will release a book on Monday about his brother’s steroid use, states in the print story that Mark misled the public. Jay claimed to ESPN that his brother used the juice to not only heal injuries, but to aid on-field performance.

“[Mark] knows that he [was] getting stronger and bigger, come on,” Jay McGwire said during a series of interviews with ESPN. “He is coming across that it is only for health reasons [that he used the drugs], but he put on 30 pounds of lean muscle mass. That is why a lot of people don’t understand why he is not really coming out clean like that. Why not just admit it all? It is OK, everyone knows how powerful these drugs are.”

Mark has previously claimed he only used steroids to treat injuries as it pertained to getting back on the field.

Mark McGwire Tim Kurkjian Albert Pujols

So in pieces two days apart, ESPN produced a serious allegation from Mark McGwire’s brother about the former Cardinals slugger and an extensive piece on the same former player that included zero inquiries about that allegation or anything involving steroids.

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Gammo: Fans ‘Don’t Care To Know’ About ‘Roids?

Peter Gammons is a treasure. Love watching and listening to him. No one knows or cares more about baseball.

Peter Gammons Interviews Alex Rodriguez

(ARod gave steroid confession to Gammons last February)

But something he wrote today @ MLB.com about the ongoing media and fan treatment of Mark McGwire disturbed me a little.

Clearly the baseball public is different than the public that adores other sports, most of whom don’t care to know (about steroids). The baseball public still hasn’t let go of The Steroid Era, and won’t until it comes to grip with it.

With all due respect, and I mean that sincerely, Gammo went way down the wrong road with that statement.

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McGwire Drug Dealer: Steroids Weren’t For Injuries

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn has comments today from a drug dealer who the FBI has long claimed provided steroids to Mark McGwire.

Curtis Wenzlaff

On Thursday, Curtis Wenzlaff confirmed what had been reported and confirmed by FBI sources and documents nearly five years earlier — that he supplied the drugs to (Jose) Canseco and (Mark) McGwire and he added that the drugs were to help McGwire become a better baseball player, not to recover from an injury.

Wenzlaff, speaking to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, said he feels there is no doubt that the array of drugs he provided McGwire helped him become a more-accomplished home-run hitter. “Will it help you hit a baseball?” Wenzlaff said. “Let me put it to you this way. If Paris Hilton was to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus.”

In 2005 the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reported Wenzlaff gave McGwire the following: “½ cc of testosterone cypionate every three days; one cc of testosterone enanthate per week; ¾ cc of equipoise and Winstrol V, every three days — all to be injected into the buttocks.

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