Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bad Decisions and Rampant Hypocrisy

The latest head-scratching news out of Jupiter (that's Florida, not the planet, although sometimes it's hard to tell) is that would-be Cardinals pitcher Nuke LaLoosh--sorry, that's Rick Ankiel--has finally given up on actually being a pitcher. He's gonna move to the outfield.

Well, it's about time, but two years two late.

Look, I'll go out on what I think is a short and stable limb and say that Rick's got a good chance of making the club as an outfielder. Larry Walker and Reggie Sanders have a combined age of what, about 87 years old, and our current backups are John Mabry and So (What?) Taguchi, so Ankiel as another option isn't as crazy as it might seem. He hit well as a DH in the minors, and setting himself free of pitching expectations that probably only Sandy Koufax could have lived up to might cause him to catch fire. So, as a Cardinals fan, I'm certainly hoping he'll succeed.

As you'll probably read and/or hear from a variety of sources over the next few days in response to this story, the Cardinals had another failed pitcher who moved to the outfield a few decades back, a guy named Stan Musial. I seem to remember reading something about him having an okay career, although certainly nothing to attract the attention of baseball experts such as Ken Burns or George Will.

Now, before your blood pressure gets too high, I'm not even close to comparing Ankiel with Musial, even in terms of potential. I'm just saying it's not an unprecedented idea. What bothers me is that LaRussa and Duncan didn't recognize the signs that Ankiel might not have the right stuff to pitch in time to unload him to Oakland instead of Dan Haren in the Mark Mulder trade. And who knows, maybe Walt Jocketty tried to trade Ankiel instead of Haren with no luck. I doubt we'll ever hear that. But I'd feel a lot better with Haren in the 5th starting slot instead of Ankiel maybe riding the pine as a reserve outfielder, pinch hitter/runner, or emergency extra-extra-extra inning pitcher.

Now, about the hypocrisy...I'll keep it short and simple: Having a congressional hearing about steroids in baseball without calling Barry Bonds to testify is like having a hearing about illegal bootlegging in prohibition-era Chicago without calling Al Capone to testify. Come to think of it, that would have happened; Capone would have had something on every member of that committee. So that leads us to the question: What does Barry have that makes him immune?


Big Pappa Pump said...

How about the single season home run record? Besides, what judge wants to hear a bunch of crap about some guy feeding him a clear liquid tube. Of course, he didn't know what was in it! Let me ask you, "If I brought you a clear liquid tube and told you to drink it, would you?"

Sandman said...

How is the home run record relevant to why he shouldn't be asked about steroids? Bonds is implicated in the BALCO case, and they have grand jury testimony that says he took steroids. Why would any of this make him immune from testifying, especially if they've subpoena'd McGwire.

drevelle said...

Bonds doesn't have anything that make him immune to testifying. Back in the 80's Hulk Hogan had to testify in McMahon's Steroids trial. So if a World Champion has to Testify... Why Can't Bonds

Big Pappa Pump said...

I figured I would add something else to this! What I don't understand is why these (so-called) sportswriters are saying that they wouldn't vote McGwire in now but they still would Bonds. Seriously though, McGwire hasn't admitted to nothing, yet! Bonds said he drank a clear liquid substance and didn't know what it was! Hmmm... Right! I guess if I urinated in a glass and handed it to him and said, "Drink this!" Does anyone believe he would without asking what was in it! I believe McGwire hit 49 home runs in his rookie year. This was not a guy that looked like he was on roids then. Lets get one thing straight, if the role was reversed what card do you think friends of Bonds would be playing?