Not even Chad Kreuter can hide from TMZ

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Thumbnail image for chan ho park.jpgAthletes have already received advance notice that TMZ plans to start a site devoted solely to sports.

If today’s story is any indication, the new site will neither step lightly nor stick to chasing only names in Tiger Woods’ area code. Case in point: Chan Ho Park is suing Chad Kreuter, claiming his former Dodgers battery mate still owes him $226,358.76 (including interest) of a $460,000 loan he floated him back in 2005.

In the lawsuit, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Park says he made the loan because Kreuter “had been a highly compensated Major League Baseball player” and he assured Park that he “would have no difficulty paying [Park] back.”

This is interesting, because according to baseball-reference.com, the “highly compensated” Kreuter made $750,000 in 2003, his final season in the majors, and just more than $8 million over the course of his 16-year career. Park, on the other hand, made $15 million in 2005 alone.

But while Park may come across as a little naive and perhaps cheap, that doesn’t excuse the welching schemes of Kreuter. As Teddy KGB would say, “pay dat man hees money.”

Thankfully, TMZ is on the clock to keep an eye on such dirty dealings. From Tiger Woods to Chad Kreuter, you’re all on watch now.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.