After the New York Times levied pitch tipping allegations against Miguel Tejada, Tejada saw fit to respond yesterday:
"I've never tipped pitches," Tejada told MLB.com before he was given a rare off-day from the starting lineup on Sunday as the Astros closed their three-game series at Chase Field. "I love this game and that's not the way I play it. I'm a proud player. I would never do such a thing. It's tough to get a hit. And for me to tip pitches to anybody, that's crazy. I play for my team."
From what I can tell, it seems questionable that he was knowingly tipping other team's hitters as to what pitch was about to be thrown, despite former teammate Johnny Damon's assertions that "it seemed like all the Dominican guys were killing us." Sorry, but I don't really trust Damon's reflections on a particular nationalities' success against his team 8 years ago.
JJO raises the same point that clack did weeks ago- have Bud Norris's IP total caught up to him? Dewey Robinson seems to think that Norris is doing fine, and that skipping him in his next start will do him good. As far as September call ups are concerned, Round Rock pitcher Billy Sadler will get a call up once the RR season is through. Anyone with information on him is welcome to chime in. Wes Wright will also join the Astros in Chicago....also,
Time to welcome some vets, folks. Doug Brocail and Aaron Boone will be added to the major league roster on Tuesday. Chris Sampson, Tommy Manzella and JR Towles are other possibilities to be added to the club in September. Chris Johnson, for those who were wondering, isn't on the 40 man roster and therefore isn't eligible to be called up.
First Jeff Bagwell gets in the news after RJ touts him as next Astros' manager, then Beyond the Boxscore does a post on the top 14 first basemen of all time in terms of WAR, and Bags is #6 on the list:
He had excellent power (perhaps not completely appreciated due to his home park) and an exceptionally good batting eye (149 walks in 1999), which helped him post a career OBP of 0.408. He also had excellent speed for a second baseman, topping 30 steals twice, and was a fine defender throughout most of his career. He led the league in runs scored three times, and won the MVP in the strike-shorted 1994 season with a crazy 0.368/0.451/0.750 season (that's 39 home runs and 9 WAR in 110 games, folks)...He becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2010. I have a hard time reading the rest of the mainstream media, but I suspect that his teammate Craig Biggio will have an easier time than Bagwell despite having the weaker, albeit longer career. Lack of association with steriods may help both of them given the current backlash against suspected users.
The group of players ahead of Bagwell, Gehrig, Cap Anson, Jimmie Foxx, Roger Connor and Dan Brouthers, all had careers that were finished before WWII. Is Jeff the greatest 1B of the post WWII generation? At least by one measure, yes. (At least until Albert finishes up, that is). Frank Thomas was not a part of the list, as he was considered to be a DH. Before Bags had to exit the game, their stats were remarkably similar...as were their birthdays!
Elias released its most recent classifications of players. Astros' free agents that are either classified as A or B:
Miguel Tejada, B
Jose Valverde, A
LaTroy Hawkins, A
Doug Brocail, B
Tim Byrdak, B