McGwire, A-Rod and the double standards

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You don’t have to search hard in my archives to find effusive praise of Joe Posnanski. I tend to agree with him on most things, he’s the best sports writer going in my view, and someone would have to write an awful lot of gold to even begin to get into the conversation as his rival.

But, as Jay at Fack Youk points out, nobody’s perfect. Jay went back and checked, and it seems that, while Posnanski now writes that judging apologies seems unfair, he was perfectly willing to judge A-Rod’s apology last year, and did so in pretty sharp terms.

Posnanski responds via Twitter that the apologies were two different beasts — McGwire’s was voluntary while A-Rod’s was a forced p.r. exercise — but Jay anticipates this, noting that, McGwire’s wouldn’t have come had he not taken the job as the Cardinals hitting coach and that his was no less an exercise in p.r. in practice, even if it seemed more genuine in substance.

Posnanski obviously has a metric crap-ton more goodwill in the bank than do the Jon Heymans and other double-standard bearers of the world, and when you write as much as Poz does you’re bound to cross your streams once in a while.  But fair is fair, and like a lot of other writers (and Bud Selig)  Posnanski seems to be treating McGwire quite differently than he treated A-Rod.

UPDATEPosnanski responds.  In this I think we see the biggest difference between Pos and others who contradict themselves on occasion.  Pos owns up, explains his thought process and is generally transparent about it all — though I think he’s still being a bit willfully naive on the Selena Roberts stuff; her story may have been legit, but A-Rod’s outrage at her in general was more than justified given their shared history and the book she wrote.

Anyway, would any of you hold your breath for Jon Heyman to explain himself? Or Dan Shaughnessy? I wouldn’t. So, the Roberts thing notwithstanding, good for Joe.

Pete Mackanin on Phillies’ bullpen: “Somebody else has to [bleeping] step up.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 15: Manager Pete Mackanin #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a pitching change in the eighth inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on June 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Blue Jays won 7-2. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.

The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.

Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:

Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.

The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97.  Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.

In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.

Report: White Sox will offer Robin Ventura a new contract if he wants to return

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 04: Manager Robin Ventura #23 of the Chicago White Sox in the dugout before the game against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on October 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.

The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.