Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    The Source

    Carissa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Long Island, NY

    Crasnick, ESPN.com: Cowboy up, or just shut up?

    Cowboy up, or just shut up?
    By Jerry Crasnick
    ESPN Insider

    The Boston Red Sox have brought hope to a baseball-crazed region with their shaved heads, aggressive style of play and the ever-popular slogan "Cowboy Up!"

    But what resonates with Sid from Saugus doesn't always fly with the competition. Some people in the business would prefer the Red Sox stow the cowboy hats and, rather than Cowboy-ing up, just shut up and play.

    The Red Sox' exuberance, irrational or otherwise, is lending a strange twist to the American League Championship Series: They're prompting some baseball executives to actually contemplate rooting for the Yankees.

    Baseball Insider interviewed two American League general managers, an assistant GM and a National League scout, and they placed the bulk of the blame for Saturday's ALCS brawl with Boston. In the estimation of one observer, that was no surprise.

    "The Red Sox haven't handled themselves well as a group," said one American League GM. "When they clinched the wild card, they acted like they won the World Series. Then they beat Oakland and you've got (Derek) Lowe throwing his arm in the air and gesturing at his Johnson. I'm tired of the hugging and tired of their act, to be honest with you. It's like they don't know how to win, and they don't know how to lose."

    As with most urban legends, some of the animosity is rooted in fact and some in hearsay. Lowe, replays show, smacked his thigh in celebration after recording the final out of the Division Series against Oakland. It was hardly excessive and a far cry from obscene, regardless of what Oakland shortstop Miguel Tejada thought he saw.

    After the Red Sox won the wild card, they partied like crazy on the field. Then Kevin Millar, Todd Walker, Gabe Kapler, Lou Merloni and Lowe showed up at a tavern down the street from Fenway, pouring cold drafts and mingling with Norm Petersons and Cliff Clavins by the score.

    Over the top? Perhaps. But the fans sure loved it. And if we're going to rip today's players for being aloof, should we criticize them for excessive interaction with the people who pay their salaries?

    Spraying champagne and dispensing high-fives in abundance is one thing. But anti-Red Sox sentiment was ratcheted up a notch on Saturday thanks to the hijinks of Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez.

    Martinez was barely getting by and looking to establish his fastball when he threw a pitch at Karim Garcia's head in the fourth inning. Nasty? For sure. But of all the people in the world to be moralizing about it, the Yankees, who employ Roger Clemens, rank near the back of the pack.

    It's also tough to fault Martinez for acting instinctively and pulling Don Zimmer to the ground during the bench-clearing brawl. It's not often you look up and see a 72-year-old man charging at you with fists-a-flying. "I saw that and had flashbacks of Curly on the Three Stooges," said the same A.L. GM.

    Martinez's worst transgression, baseball insiders agree, came between those two incidents, when he pointed his finger at his head and gestured threateningly at Yankees catcher Jorge Posada that he was next on the hit list. Martinez's intent was clear, no matter how he's spinning it now.

    "What Pedro did there, I lost a lot of respect for him," said a second A.L. general manager. "It's one thing to be thinking something. When he went beyond the verbal and used body language that was dangerous, he opened it up for everything that took place after that."

    Martinez is an intriguing character. He's funny, thoughtful and engaging, and simultaneously thin-skinned, petulant and a born provocateur. When he was breaking in as Ramon Martinez's 160-pound little brother, he cultivated a reputation as a headhunter to make hitters step lightly in the box.

    Now that Martinez has lost 4-5 miles an hour off his fastball, it's almost as if he's regressed to his youth. Maybe he's frustrated that he's nearing the end of a huge contract and, with every mile-per-hour lost, the prospect of another long-term deal is dwindling. You can only imagine how testy things will get next year, when the innings pile up and Martinez approaches free agency with no new deal. They're calling him "Diva Pedro" in Boston right now. Lord knows what they'll be saying in 2004.

    Ramirez is another story. Bring up his childish antics in a press box, dugout or clubhouse, and they typically elicit a shrug and the comment "That's just Manny being Manny." Manny was certainly being Manny when he stood and watched his Game 5 homer off Barry Zito in the Division Series and pointed to his teammates in the dugout.

    But even Ramirez's fellow Red Sox seemed embarrassed that he precipitated a brawl Saturday on a pitch that missed him by at least a foot. "If that were a regular season game instead of the playoffs, Clemens would have smoked him," said our second A.L GM.

    "He showed fear," said the N.L. scout. "You have to wonder if teams won't start pitching him like that more often now."

    Some of the anti-Red Sox sentiment is directed toward Theo Epstein, baseball's youngest GM. There's an element of jealousy among older front-office officials who believe Epstein rose too far, too fast, to achieve a position of such prominence. That's their problem, not his.

    But Epstein got off to a rough start last winter when he claimed Millar on release waivers and interfered with a Florida Marlins deal to send Millar to Japan. "There's a tacit message that you don't claim players in that situation," said the assistant GM to whom we spoke. "Theo burned some bridges with the Millar thing."

    The Red Sox aren't popular with the scouting fraternity because they're in the Billy Beane "Moneyball" camp. The difference is the Red Sox, unlike the Athletics, actually have money. While the John Henry-Tom Werner-Larry Lucchino ownership group has won points locally for its efforts to reach out to fans, the Sox owners are viewed as smug, know-it-all types in some quarters.

    That's in contrast to George Steinbrenner, who has spent decades and worked extremely hard to establish himself as baseball's premier blowhard.

    Perception, of course, is largely a product of the images the media helps create. The Yankees, with the exception of David Wells, don't have any free spirits on the roster. They're professional, businesslike and boring.

    Nomar Garciaparra, who's professional, businesslike and boring, would make a great Yankee. Conversely, if you put Jason Giambi in a Red Sox uniform and gave him the freedom to grow his hair and wear a beard, he'd cowboy up with the best of them.

    In Saturday's fiasco at Fenway, five people wearing uniforms had cause to be embarrassed. Our assistant GM pointed out that the three Yankees were an aging setup man (Jeff Nelson), a spare outfielder (Garcia) and a septuagenarian coach who couldn't remember if he was on the set of "Raging Bull" or "On Golden Pond." Support players, all.

    The Boston players who overreacted made a combined $33 million this year and have been to 13 All-Star Games. Some example. "I didn't see Bernie Williams or Derek Jeter getting in any trouble," said the assistant GM. "They know how to carry themselves."

    The Dwight Evans-Jim Rice Red Sox were never accused of over-the-top behavior. Then again, the Red Sox of old were always accused of lacking camaraderie.

    These new Red Sox are passionate and colorful enough to make their fans embrace them. But they're playing to mixed reviews in the baseball world.

    "The Yankees have this quiet class and professionalism," said the second GM. "The Red Sox are different. They're a bunch of grinders. They have beards, baggy pants and a mystique that puts them in a different category. In my mind, it's sort of judgmental to say, 'You can't.' "

    Jerry Crasnick has covered baseball for the Cincinnati Post, the Denver Post and Bloomberg News Service. He has joined ESPN Insider as a regular contributor and can be reached via e-mail.

  2. #2
    Perception, of course, is largely a product of the images the media helps create. The Yankees, with the exception of David Wells, don't have any free spirits on the roster. They're professional, businesslike and boring.
    yup.. sure is boring winning all the time... :rolleyes:
    "Have faith in the Yankees my son. Think of the great DiMaggio."
    --Santiago, from "The Old Man and the Sea"

  3. #3
    Thanks for posting Carissa...you are simply the best!


    "A good cigar is like a beautiful chick with a great body who also knows the American League box scores." -Klinger, M*A*S*H

  4. #4
    I have a low ceiling.Trade me. maldon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Queens

    Re: Crasnick, ESPN.com: Cowboy up, or just shut up?

    Originally posted by Carissa
    Cowboy up, or just shut up?
    By Jerry Crasnick
    ESPN Insider

    "The Red Sox haven't handled themselves well as a group," said one American League GM. "When they clinched the wild card, they acted like they won the World Series. Then they beat Oakland and you've got (Derek) Lowe throwing his arm in the air and gesturing at his Johnson. I'm tired of the hugging and tired of their act, to be honest with you. It's like they don't know how to win, and they don't know how to lose."

    .[/i]
    Ahahahahah. They capitalized Johnson.
    [SIZE=6][FONT=Arial Black]REMEMBER 38![/FONT][/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Released Outright ACPS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    I don't know about my fellow forumers, but the whole concept is getting on my nerves. I have this apocolyptic photo in my head of a giant Wild West float in downtown Boston with Grady Little, Manny, Millar, Pedro and Co. in hats and flannel firing cap guns and cheering "Yankees suck!". I think I need to go back to bed.

  6. #6
    Originally posted by ACPS
    I don't know about my fellow forumers, but the whole concept is getting on my nerves. I have this apocolyptic photo in my head of a giant Wild West float in downtown Boston with Grady Little, Manny, Millar, Pedro and Co. in hats and flannel firing cap guns and cheering "Yankees suck!". I think I need to go back to bed.
    SILENCE!!!!!
    now go knock on some wood
    "Have faith in the Yankees my son. Think of the great DiMaggio."
    --Santiago, from "The Old Man and the Sea"

  7. #7

    Re: Crasnick, ESPN.com: Cowboy up, or just shut up?

    Originally posted by Carissa
    Cowboy up, or just shut up?
    By Jerry Crasnick
    ESPN Insider

    I don't normally agree with known Yankee-hater Jim Caple, but he makes some good points here.

    Battle of the ages?

    Saturday, October 11, 2003
    Battle of the ages? Try aged

    By Jim Caple
    ESPN.com



    BOSTON -- And don't be getting any crazy ideas, Phil Rizzuto, or you're next, old man.

    With Pedro Martinez pitching against Roger Clemens, we all anticipated a great afternoon in the storied Yankees-Red Sox rivalry Saturday but no one -- absolutely no one -- expected the Jerry Springer Show to break out. As Clemens said after he and the Yankees beat Boston 4-3 Saturday in his final start at Fenway Park, "Gosh, when I told y'all it was going to be festive, I didn't know it was going to be this festive.''

    Festive? The only thing missing was Clemens biting someone's ear off. But you never know. The series isn't over yet. Who knows what will happen Sunday in Game 4?

    Will Manny Ramirez charge the mound when the ceremonial first pitch is thrown? Will Don Zimmer challenge Game 4 starter John Burkett to a Texas Cage Match? Will the Yankees bullpen teach those insolent batboys a lesson they'll never forget?

    And then there's the biggest question of all: Will 84-year-old Johnny Pesky "Cowboy Up'' and whack Derek Jeter with a fungo bat?

    I don't know, but nothing will top Game 3.

    Stories from Saturday's game are going to be passed down (and exaggerated) from generation to generation but the best way to sum up the day is to say that the 72-year-old Zimmer left Fenway Park in an ambulance (somewhere Bill Lee is smiling) and the Boston police issued a dragnet for two Yankees players who allegedly fought a Red Sox groundskeeper in the bullpen.

    All this transpired just because Pedro threw a pitch behind right fielder Karim Garcia's head and hit him in the back in the top of the fourth inning. And because Pedro faced the Yankees dugout and pointed to his head. And because Clemens had to be held back from storming the field. And because Garcia took out second baseman Todd Walker with a vicious late slide. And because Manny stepped menacingly toward Clemens after a pitch that was nowhere near him in the bottom of the fourth.

    Oh, and because these two teams have hated each other for decades. The staggering moment from the game we will long remember however was in that amazing fourth inning, when the two great rivals were angrily storming the field, shouting obscenities and issuing threats -- and a seething Zimmer came racing around the bend, violently charging Pedro with such passion and energy that the Notre Dame Victory March should have been playing.

    Now, imagine if you're Pedro in this situation. You're standing by the dugout and an enraged senior citizen is charging you and raising his arm to smack you in the head. If you fight back, you're going to get ripped for attacking a senior citizen. If you don't, the old man might clobber you and knock you out of a game your team needs to win. I don't know what you would do but Pedro coolly grabbed Zimmer by the head - it's hard to avoid, really -- and pushed him to the ground.

    Given the situation, the reaction didn't seem out of line. As Boston reliever Scott Sauerbeck put it, "I don't care if the guy is in a wheelchair, you have to defend yourself.''

    "Andy Pettitte and I went over there and I saw a bald head on the ground,'' Clemens said, delivering what may be the most bizarre quote in postseason history. "We weren't sure if it was Zim or (David Wells). I was like, Oh, my gosh, and he wasn't getting up. We went over and Andy and I were talking to Zim and we were just glad he was healthy, a man of his age. But that's Zim, he's got more fire than half those guys in the dugout and that's why I love him.''

    Zimmer stayed on the bench the rest of the game and told reporters afterward that he was healthy enough to put on his clothes and eat dinner. He went to a local hospital in an ambulance for observation.

    "That guy has a pair on him,'' Sauerbeck said admiringly of Zimmer. "Was what (Zimmer) did idiotic? Yes. Could he have hurt Petey? No.

    "I think Petey handled himself pretty well. Petey could have hurt him. But he didn't. He tried to hold him up and he just sort of pushed him away and Zimmer fell down.

    "It was kind of funny. It reminded me of when Tommy Lasorda fell down during the All-Star Game (in 2001). Zim hit the ground and he just kept rolling. It looked like he was rolling downhill. We thought he was going to roll into the dugout.''

    People will excuse Zimmer because he's old and supposedly a lovable character (he isn't) but his behavior was disgraceful and inexcusable. Not that the Yankees agree. That's because they never think they're at fault whenever anything happens.

    "Zim was probably out of line, too, but you have to consider his age,'' reliever Jeff Nelson said. "What, Pedro couldn't dodge him? The guy is 75 years old, how is he going to hurt you? You have to have more respect than that for someone like, an elderly man. You have to get out of the way.''

    Nelson is one to talk. He was involved in such an ugly incident in the bullpen during the ninth inning that he may face arrest.

    Depending on whom you believe, a Boston groundskeeper either got out of control and tried to punch Nelson (that's the Yankees version) or the Yankees tried beating up a groundskeeper who was just rooting hard for his employer (the Red Sox version). The truth, no doubt, lies in between.

    All anyone knows for sure is that while closer Mariano Rivera was warming up on the mound for the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees and Paul Williams -- a special ed schoolteacher by day -- were going at it in the bullpen. It got so wild that Garcia left his position in right field to join the fray.

    "The guy was waving a rally flag in our face most of the game,'' said Nelson, who denied he hit Williams. "I asked him nice to stop and then he got in my face. ... And all of a sudden crap broke loose.''

    "I thought it was a fan, so I went, "All right, I want to watch them beat up the fan,' " Sauerbeck said. "Then I saw it was our grounds crew guy and we all felt kind of bad.

    "Whoever started it, it was classless. If their guys started it, it was classless and if our guy started it, it was classless.''

    Eventually, order was restored and Rivera retired the Red Sox in order to seal the win and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in a series that is now so intense that not even talk radio could exaggerate it.

    "There's more anger now than there was before,'' center fielder Johnny Damon said. "Before, it was mostly the media and the fans. It's a little too close for comfort now.''

    So, the stage is set and everyone who can get into Fenway will be there to see what happens (as long as they can raise bail). Can Game 4 possibly top Game 3? We'll just have to wait and see.

    But if the Red Sox win one of the next two games, they'll send this series back to New York. And if so, they better watch out. Bob Sheppard is waiting for them.

    Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Originally posted by Carissa
    It's been posted here: http://forums.nyyfans.com/showthread...threadid=50444
    Shocking it died an early death.

  10. #10
    The Source

    Carissa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Originally posted by Pride
    Shocking it died an early death.
    After over 245 views? It's just on the second page. It's not like it's 12 pages back. A lot of people saw the article.

    If you haven't noticed, there has been a lot of discussion and threads being started here on a lot more important issues than what a Caple said.

  11. #11
    Originally posted by Carissa
    After over 245 views? It's just on the second page. It's not like it's 12 pages back. A lot of people saw the article.

    If you haven't noticed, there has been a lot of discussion and threads being started here on a lot more important issues than what a Caple said.
    Yes, it's recent, but I was referring to the replies.

  12. #12
    Yankee Stadium: 1923-2008 DiMaggio5CF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    E. 161 St. & Rivera Ave.

    Re: Crasnick, ESPN.com: Cowboy up, or just shut up?

    Originally posted by Carissa

    As with most urban legends, some of the animosity is rooted in fact and some in hearsay. Lowe, replays show, smacked his thigh in celebration after recording the final out of the Division Series against Oakland. It was hardly excessive and a far cry from obscene, regardless of what Oakland shortstop Miguel Tejada thought he saw.
    Using a gesture that means "suck my ****" is not obscene? Well then, **** you!

    I don't know if Lowe did it towards the A's dugout, but he clearly gestured to his groin, and I know what that means.

    And this wasn't a case of believing media hype.

    I heard them talking about it on ESPN and I thought to myself, "I didn't see Lowe make any obscene gestures."

    And then, without pointing anything out or using any circles or bright spots, they showed the whole replay.

    I saw the fist-pumping and thought, "no big deal."

    And then I saw the other gesture and I went (I think out loud too), "Oh, no, he did not. I can't believe he did that."

    It was absolutely a very obscene gesture.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts