Truth is, we hold these guys to naively high standards, then expect not to be let down. The same guys ripping Ortiz, A-Rod, Clemens etc, etc. are the ones gulping the Cialis and getting Lasik. Personally, I don’t care anymore if David Ortiz has Dianabol in his Pez dispenser. I just want him to Man Up.
By now, the Five Stages of Denial are familiar: (1) Shock; (2) Denial (3) Indignance; (4) Slandering The Accuser and (5) Silence: “You must be joking. I didn’t do it. I can’t believe anyone would accuse me, after all I’ve done for the game. My accuser beats his wife and puts ketchup on his eggs. Under the advice of my attorney, I will have no further comment.”
Chronic sports liars, if they stay focused and follow the game plan, can find themselves in a weird parallel universe, in which the truth is whatever they’ve claimed it to be.
— Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty, not buying what Papi was selling.
Like I said on Friday, I’m not sure why Papi even bothered with the statement he gave. Part of that is because, like Daugherty notes, we can’t really expect anything genuine from such an exercise. Another part of that, however, is that no matter what these guys say, they’re never going to satisfy the Paul Daughertys of the world.
Daugherty said that he would have been satisfied if Ortiz had said “Damn right I did it” or words to that effect. I have no doubt that he would have been happy to hear such a thing — having a truly unapologetic steroid user would be great for columnists’ “juicers are evil” pieces — but I am quite dubious that he would be satisfied.
Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.
Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”
“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”
Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.
Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.
The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.
The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.
The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.
The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.
Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.