soft hands.

i still believe sturtze is more bum than not (i mean bum in thee most affectionate sense of the word, natch), but i'd heard here and there of him being under mo's tutelage. picturing the brash, skittish tanyon being guided by the doe-eyed closer with more serenity than the dalai lama (guest starring periodic wry interjection by mr crankypants mussina) warms the cockles of my cold spinster heart. i'm glad tanyon's found a place, if only for a little while.

It started with Rivera becoming Tanyon Sturtze's catch partner just four days after Sturtze himself had been obtained by the Yankees. Rivera had seen enough of Sturtze in the division with Tampa and Toronto to divine live arm, no clue. Now simply playing catch, Rivera had his impressions reasserted.

It commenced soon after that first day of catch when Rivera surprised Sturtze by telling him just how much of a better arm he had than the greatest closer in baseball history. Having grabbed Sturtze's attention, Rivera went into full preacher mode, sermonizing on aggressiveness with that 92-95 mph fastball. Challenge hitters. Throw strike one, but throw it where you want.

And that is how the game of catch returns to this story. As opposed to hitters being able to swing, pitchers can throw the ball just so much, and the idea of wasting even one bullet was anathema to Rivera. Every day the strike-throwing machine uses his game of catch to hone his accuracy and release point, and he converted Sturtze to his ways. Every day Rivera would move his glove from body part to body part and make Sturtze hit the target.

...Here at age 34 and with his eighth organization, Sturtze appears to have been enlightened.

Why? Why is it different to hear important messages from a player of accomplishment such as Rivera rather than a coach? Who knows? But it has mattered to Sturtze. Mike Mussina, for example, has altered Sturtze's mindset about throwing his fine splitter whenever ahead in the count. It is often better that the hitters know he just might throw it than fall into hittable patterns.

This all melds into what feels, to Sturtze, like perfect time, perfect place, perfect role. [joel sherman]


7:43 AM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

"How come you guys didn't ask me about my double? I had a speech prepared and everything." - Carl Pavano, after hitting a double down the left field line in yesterday's game against the Reds
7:20 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink


from sportspickle:

Nation Eagerly Waits to Hear Curt Schilling’s Opinion on Terri Schiavo

As time runs out for Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged Florida woman whose case has fueled furious debate throughout the country on the right-to-die issue, America turns to Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, eagerly awaiting his opinion on the issue so it knows how to act.

“From politics to steroids, Curt Schilling has everything figured out,” said President George W. Bush. “For some reason though, he has been silent on the Terri Schiavo case so far. If only he would tell us what he thinks, then we would all know the best course to take.”
5:52 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

"I'm ready. I feel good. I feel good. I'm ready. I'm ready, my friend. I'm ready."

me too, mo. me too.
7:34 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

it's nice to get it in writing

from a klapisch interview at metsgeek:

MetsGeek.com: Following in the same vein of the original question, have you yourself ever been asked how the Mets fan base might react to certain moves prior to them happening by people associated with the Mets front office?

Bob Klapisch: No, they’ve never polled me. They’re not quite as open about it as that, but I know that they read every single word that’s written, not to say that other teams don’t. But the Yankees, by comparison, are aware of who criticizes them and who’s on their side but they certainly don’t criticize writers the next day or go after writers asking “How could you write that?” and I can’t say there are any real grudges there, with the exception of Mike Lupica . The Yankees hierarchy hates Mike Lupica because he’s so anti-Yankee, but I’d say that’s a singular case. But Met ownership seems to be very aware the next day when you’ve written something critical of them, you just get the sense that they know exactly what’s been in the newspapers and what hasn’t been. But I would not go as far to say as they ask for writer’s opinions before they make a move, I wouldn’t say that. But they are very hypersensitive to how those moves play the next day.
7:22 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink


any semblance of a crush i ever had on barry zito.

a moment of silence, please.
11:01 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink


another gem from my referrer list:

9:32 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

barry zito, quote machine

"i like the moist sensation."


7:16 PM :: 8 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

caught lewis black's funny steroids spiel on the daily show earlier:

Growing up, my baseball heroes were guys like Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, even Babe Ruth... They were DRUNKS! They had to overcome their drug! Baseball has to go back to its roots -- forget about the performance enhancing substances, bring back the performance HINDERING substances. If not for me.... do it for the children.

see the whole thing here.
8:11 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

i wish i could help you

whoever came across my blog whilst googling:


9:29 PM :: 3 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

i don't believe what i just saw

For once, a group of reporters weren't crowding around Jason Giambi with steroid questions. Giambi slugged a triple in the fifth inning last night, a rare event considering he has one career triple as a Yankee (in 2002) and eight overall. "I'm reinvented, reinvented," Giambi said with a grin after coming out of the game. "Still tired, though."

Giambi joked that he was mad at ex-teammate Aaron Boone , the Indians' third baseman, because Boone hit Giambi with a snap tag in a close play. "I was like, let me in there," Giambi said.

Giambi played five innings at first and said his legs, which had been tired, "felt good, like they were up under me." [the daily news]

i couldn't believe it either. he chugged around second, tongue all a-waggle, realized blake wasn't going to get the ball and started picking up a little bit of steam... i thought oh god no he's going for third! and watched through my fingers. but sweet baby jesus, he made it.

and brown did well, some infielders faux pas notwithstanding. not that he'll ever let anyone know he had a good outing.
7:39 AM :: 5 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

dirty-minded out-of-context quote of the year:

"But if I’m inside the guy, you find reasons why you shouldn’t be that good." - barry zito


11:22 PM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

mets go back to being dumb, all is right with the world

dodgers pitching coach jim colburn on kaz ishii:

"You know, [Ishii's] style, one needs a lot of patience to allow him to win his games because the way he does it can be nerve-wracking - that's the best word.

[cut out colburn attempting to accentuate the positive, throwing around the dreaded "W" word and stopping just short of using the "I" word]

...Asked what pitch Ishii had the most trouble with, he said jokingly, "Strikes."

jokingly, my ass. just when i thought that staff couldn't be any more unwatchable, ishii combines the torturous slowness of trachsel with zambrano's inability to get the ball over the plate. annoyed as i get with things in the bronx, thank you, baby jesus, for not making me a fan of the metsies.
8:59 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

i just like typing lupicass

the wee gremlin's sanctimonious bullshit overfloweth beyond the sports pages. gawker took note:

Today On Today: Mike Lupica Demonstrates Shame
Filed under Media : TV News

The Daily News’ Mike Lupica is stridently quaking to Matt Lauer about Mark McGwire’s dodgy senate testimonial. “What did McGwire think he was there for?!” “Tremendous consequences!” “Ridiculous!” “Shame!”

Shame? Like, if you’re screaming about baseball just before a segment about dead soldiers?
9:56 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

happy [belated] st patty's day!

brought to you by probably the only sane thing dusty's ever said or done:

"I’ll watch [the congressional hearings] if I’m [home], but I’m not going to just run home and make sure I’ll watch it. I’ll hear about it some other way anyway. It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Erin Go Bragh, bro. I have to go pick up my corned beef and cabbage." [chicagosports.com]
9:29 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

son of a bitch


to: tino martinez
cc: alex rodriguez, derek jeter

and youall think YOU'RE dedicated to winning? get on this, stat.

It started May 25, 2003, in Cincinnati near the end of a long and losing road trip. The Marlins had just fired their manager, had a 21-29 record and appeared headed for another nowhere season.

After a team meeting, in a somber, sleepy clubhouse the morning of an early afternoon game, Redmond headed for the indoor batting cages with his bat, wearing nothing but turf shoes, socks and batting gloves.

Twins infielder Andy Fox, a Marlins teammate then, looked up in disbelief as Redmond headed for the clubhouse door that opened into the cages.

"Are you serious?" Fox asked.


And the door shut behind him.

Redmond proceeded to hit soft tosses against a screen as teammates took notice, one by one, until laughter could be heard from one end of the clubhouse to the other.

"No one could really hit after that," Fox said.

Until the game. The Marlins scored early and beat the Reds 6-2, with Redmond collecting two hits.

"And the next thing I knew, I was doing it seven or eight straight days," Redmond said.

"That's a long time to be hitting naked," Fox said.

But the Marlins kept winning, so Redmond kept the clothes off his body and his eye on the ball. They won six in a row. Then during another cold streak in August, he did it again in Pittsburgh, and the Marlins went 20-8 the rest of the season to clinch the National League wild-card playoff spot.

And the rest is World Series, New York Yankees-beating history. [st. paul pioneer press]

7:40 AM :: 2 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

separated at birth?




12:40 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

alright loves, i'm off to the dominican republic on a search and destroy mission for pedro's mango tree. try not to miss me too awfully!
3:23 PM :: 6 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

"Trot Nixon," Jackson huffed. "What's that? I thought it was a racehorse."

It might be nice to see Rodriguez fire back, as he did when Bronson Arroyo plunked him last July 24. But that's not him.

To a degree, Jackson understands. "He's beyond those attacks," Jackson said. "He's in the argument of who's the best in the game. He had a bad year for him, 36 [homers] and 106 [RBIs] ... You don't let lightweights into your ring." [newsday]

but it's cool for the reggie to criticize, dig?


9:56 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

shades of rickey

"As long as I'm playing," [womack] said, "Tony is happy."

as long as you're batting ninth and don't boot too many balls, lupe is happy.
9:37 AM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

a brian roberts gem from a short SI interview:

If I were commissioner for a day, I would ...

... go back to a balanced schedule. It's not fun to face the Red Sox and the Yankees 18 times a year. We're not exactly on a level playing field. They can go over the salary cap and pay the tax. We should play more teams outside our division. It would mean more travel, but it would be worth it for a better chance at the playoffs.

excuse me, brian? i can see not liking playing the yankees, since the yankees whomp youall every time out (unless i happen to be in the hizzouse, in which case the yankees forget how to play baseball), but you mean you weren't having fun beating on the red sox 10 out of 19 times, which is a lot better than most other teams fared?

and excuse me again, brian, but are you crying small market? oh, poor orioles. it must be terrible, playing in a gorgeous new ballpark that's always packed, and having to play alongside nobodies like javy lopez, sammy sosa, miguel tejada, and rafael palmeiro. please. you ain't in kansas city, sugar.

but seriously, it must be miserable playing for a thieving douchebag like peter angelos. shame he hasn't spent some of that flow on pitching, or rather, shame he didn't spend it on mussina when he had the chance:

...Mussina only landed an $88.5 million deal because the O's let him become a free agent, after spending two years botching his contract negotiations. This was not Reggie Jackson, announcing that he intended to ditch Mobtown at the first chance. Mussina declared over and over that he hoped to spend his career in one uniform. He swore off bright lights and big cities and told everyone he wanted to play near his Montoursville, Pa., home. The Orioles had as much leverage as a team could hope to get on an All-Star pitcher.

But nobody has enough leverage to make an All-Star pitcher beg, and that's what Angelos wants to see in contract negotiations. Mussina got the same treatment as Rafael Palmeiro: a lowball offer with millions deferred , asking the player to ignore both his real market value and his common sense. Orioles spokesperson Bill Stetka now refers to this as a "fair and generous offer"; Mussina, like Palmeiro before him, seems to have taken it as an insult. Rather than smoothing things over, Angelos promptly went to the papers, declaring that he would not overspend for his ace pitcher's services.

Compare this with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who ardently courted Mussina as soon as he got the chance. Yankees officials and players besieged Mussina with phone calls, going out of their way to show the pitcher he could be happy in the Bronx. Legendary tyrant though he is, Steinbrenner understands that his players are what matters. Every time Clemens flares his nostrils and pads his stats or Derek Jeter sashays to the plate with the game on the line, their glory is their owner's glory too. Angelos was asking Mussina to be a dutiful lackey; Steinbrenner was inviting him to be part of a glorious show.

...The Warehouse, of course, says it was all about the money. This is both stupid and untrue. The deal-breaking obstacle, the deferred money, was completely unnecessary. The theory is that the O's need to hold back some payroll money now, then give it out later when they've stripped down to a younger, cheaper team. But they already are a younger, cheaper team. They dumped their overpaid veterans at the end of July and replaced them with minor-league promotees. There was no financial reason to hold back Mussina's money.

But Angelos insisted on saving the money anyway, and in so doing he lost his team. Two or three years ago, the question was whether the O's would chase one last pennant before Cal Ripken Jr. retires. Now the question is whether they'll chase a pennant before Ripken is in the Hall of Fame. And the answer is, almost certainly not.

There is a certain despairing giddiness about the whole thing: This, this, is rock bottom. It's over. There isn't anyone left for Angelos to drive away. Oh, Eddie Murray, maybe, and someday Jerry Hairston. But beyond that, what? Chuck McElroy? Jeff Conine? Jim Hunter? No, the owner has fulfilled his dream. He is surrounded--on the field, on the airwaves, in the Warehouse--by nothing but youths, mediocrities, and yes-men. In all of Birdland, no one outshines Mr. Angelos. Even if that means no one shines at all.

maybe you ought to be crying shitty ownership, instead. better yet, pipe down and do what you're paid to do: be scrappy, steal some bases and make that hideous uniform look pretty.
10:19 AM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

Reggie Jackson would not respond to questions about steroids, citing a Major League Baseball gag order. [bergen record]

gag order? i thought those didn't apply to The Reggie.
8:08 AM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

the more things change...

The score was tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning when the Nationals scored the game-winning run off Mets reliever Felix Heredia.
7:29 AM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink