The Fielder-Byrdak Incident

All Star Game, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, Players, Playoffs, Prospects, Trade Rumors, Umpires

Prince Fielder has a short fuse. I won’t go so far as to say he has anger issues, but he’s temperamental with teammates, opponents, umpires and himself. The brief confrontation he had with Mets pitcher Tim Byrdak after grounding out last night stemmed from a misunderstanding; Fielder’s aforementioned temper; that the Brewers were being overt in their on-base celebrations while they were building their lead; and that Byrdak took exception to Fielder screaming at himself while running to first base on a ground out.

You can see it here.

Fielder is the type who won’t walk away. I understand that. But the Brewers—steamrolling toward the playoffs and with Fielder their key player—can’t be getting into a fight with the Mets in August over a “misunderstanding”. All the Brewers need to do is get someone hurt or suspended in a brawl with a team playing out the string.

And that’s before getting to the fact that Fielder is about to make $150-180 million in free agency this winter. Does he want to risk tearing a shoulder in a fight over nothing?

The Mets aren’t in a position to say anything about another club celebrating on the basepaths with the idiotic “claw” they’re constantly doing. Teams like the Mets, barely over .500 and in need of the Hubble Telescope to see the division and Wild Card leaders, shouldn’t be acting up on the bases to begin with and then have the audacity to get annoyed when other teams do it.

For his part, Byrdak had no business walking off the field after the whole thing started and the benches were emptying with the bullpens running in.

Naturally, most of these “bench clearing incidents” aren’t incidents at all; usually it’s team solidarity and finding a dance partner to appear as if a player is involved when he’s putting forth a pretense of being involved. But one sacrosanct rule is this: if you started the thing, don’t be the guy crawling out of the pile and heading for the exit when the fight gets going.

On another note, when I first watched the video clip on ESPN.com, I was first greeted with a commercial for Levi’s with Kenny Mayne.

Mayne is about as funny as the late WPIX sportscaster Jerry Girard. If you remember Jerry Girard, you know that he was funny until people started telling him he was funny; then he wasn’t funny. Same thing with Mayne.

Smarmy and funny are two separate entities that have been blurred and must be clarified for the greater good of humanity.

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Precision Strikes 5.30.2011

Books, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players

Let’s address some stuff. In brief.

The true test with big name trades.

Jose Reyes on a hot streak begets endless stories of how the Mets “have” to sign him.

The Mets don’t “have” to do anything other than what’s best for the franchise. If that means trading Reyes, then they should trade Reyes. If that means keeping Reyes, then they should make every effort to keep Reyes.

With the new minority owner David Einhorn about to infuse the club with much-needed cash, it leaves the Reyes decision in the hands of GM Sandy Alderson; presumably, Alderson will make his call based purely on baseball-related matters.

Reyes has been great all season long but that can only enhance his trade value and perhaps give the Mets more incentive to trade him.

Hypothetically, if a team hungry for offense like the Angels comes calling in desperation and offers a package that includes say Mike Trout (unlikely) and/or Jean Segura (nod to Peter at Capitol Avenue; I had no idea who Segura was and kinda still don’t; his numbers look “young Reyes-like” though), then that would be another mistake on the Mets docket, this one made by the new management team stemming from failing to act.

It’s hard to do, but one of the reasons the Rays, Marlins and to a certain extent, the Red Sox have been so successful within certain parameters of belief on how to run their franchises is that they either don’t have a fan base that is so frantic at the prospect of trading anyone and everyone as is the case with the Rays and Marlins; or do what they feel is right based on current circumstances, like the Red Sox.

This is the tack the Mets need to take with Reyes, Carlos Beltran and any other player in whom opposing clubs are interested—keep and open mind in every conceivable aspect.

Business is business; annoying is annoying.

I understand ESPN’s need for cross-promotion, but it’s gone from necessary to ego-driven to over-the-top and has entered into the airless vacuum of content which you can’t even pay attention to anymore.

Never mind the impropriety of sports reporters cozying up to athletes about whom they’re supposed to provide objective analysis (if such a thing even exists anymore, anywhere other than here); forget the coverage of convenience that occurs when lust-target Brett Favre emerges from his lair.

Ignore all of that.

When you log onto ESPN.com or watch, listen or read any of their demographically dominated entities, you have to know what you’re walking into; but is it necessary for me to have to endure the rollover ads with the unfunny Kenny Mayne talking about Van Heusen shirts in his canned deadpan? Do I have to see Chris Berman’s smug countenance hawking Nesquik?

I log onto ESPN.com because I have to; I’m not a reporter nor do I want to be one; the sad part is, it’s getting so ESPN’s reporters—many of whom are or were of high-quality—are sucked into editorial edicts or goofy commercials because they have no other option either.

It took nearly 7 years, but…

I saw this on Twitter:

Scott Kazmir 2 1/3 innings 10 earned runs tonight. In two starts for Salt Lake, 4 innings 16 earned runs.

When the Mets traded Kazmir to the Devil Rays for a package led by Victor Zambrano, it was called one of the worst trades in baseball history.

Maybe it was.

But now, nearly 7 years after the fact, it’s a safe bet that Zambrano is now better than Kazmir.

As far as I know, Zambrano is retired.

Maybe the Mets “College of Cardinals” front office who pushed the deal through knew something?

Okay, we won’t go that far.

The only thing remaining for Kazmir is some Ben Sheets-style surgical procedure whether he needs it or not. Apart from that, I dunno what else can be done with him after the Angels release him—an unavoidable occurrence is assuredly on the horizon.

Sometimes there is justice.

Am I the only one who finds it funny that Jonny Gomes is batting under .200 for the struggling Reds and is losing playing time to the underrated Fred Lewis?

That the Reds are considering an offensive upgrade because of Gomes’s struggles?

That the Cardinals are rolling along in first place after a spring training incident in which Gomes sang and celebrated the season-ending injury to Cards ace Adam Wainwright?

Wainwright’s out for the year because of injury; Gomes may soon be sitting because he’s been awful.

I call that street justice.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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