Gregg Zaun to Yordano Ventura: “stop writing checks with your mouth that your skinny ass can’t cash”

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In the wake of that Jose Bautista-Yordano Ventura Twitter beef, former catcher and Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun — who, last we heard from him was arguing in favor of hazing and abusing young players — delivered a verbal open letter to Yordano Ventura before yesterday’s Blue Jays-Twins game. The transcript:

“Dear Yordano Venutra. Are you seriously running your mouth? You don’t even have 3 years of uninterrupted service time. The only reason you’re even in the show right now is because Jason Vargas blew out.

“They sent you back to the semi-pros because you were stinking up the place. You weigh about a buck twenty five and should probably be watching your back.

“Jose Bautista is a 6 time all-star with 269 lifetime homers and 12 years of service time. Hardly a nobody. Show some respect and stop writing checks with your mouth that your skinny ass can’t cash. Especially from the safety of your team bus as you exit town with your tail between your legs? Don’t puff your chest out and challenge a grown man via Twitter, and then erase the tweets. Go knock on the Jays clubhouse door and do it like a man if you feel that strongly.

“Stop acting like Tommy-Tough Guy while hiding behind the internet and a dozen teammates. Stop running your mouth kid. We all know what you’re about, there’s no confusion there. You’re the guy who throws 100 mile an hour fastballs at guys when you know you don’t have to hit, or face the Jays again in the regular season. Grab a bat and man up. Otherwise shut up.

“Sincerley yours, The Manalyist. Section 134, at the Rogers Center in case you’re wondering where I’ll be.”

Apparently no one told Zaun that Ventura apologized. Otherwise, nice rant.

In other Zaun news, he was on “The Drive with Danny & CDot” on 610 AM in Kansas City today. Towards the end of the interview, the hosts asked him if the Blue Jays stole signs, which was the gist of Ventura’s complaints. His response: the Blue Jays stole signs when he played for them, that if you’re a pitcher and you’re  too dumb to not hide your signs you deserve to get them stolen, and that A-Rod was the best sign-stealer he’s ever seen.

So I guess he was more angry with Ventura over tone than content. Fun times.

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on it as precedent. Finally, it should be noted that in issuing this statement, the Astros have given at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech, which seems less-than-ideal at best.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?