Thursday, July 17, 2003

Jab and Move

Tonight is the Harvard Law School Mock Trial of Pete Rose. ESPN gets full credit for carrying this event. From the setup of it, it appears that this is all Harvard's idea, and ESPN was just smart enough to know a good thing when they saw one.

Everybody knows about the famous lawyers involved, but there's also a lot of baseball people. Jim Palmer is a witness for the prosecution, as is often miserable Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, and Lester Munson, who writes for SI and is considered an expert on the Dowd Report. If your Pete Rose, the fact that the expert on the document most important to your case is on the other side is a bad omen.

But it's the defense witnesses that are most interesting. Check out this roster: Hank Aaron, Bill James, Bill Lee, and Dave Parker. I'm really surprised to see James in there. I remember him teeing off on Joe Jackson in one of his abstracts, so I thought he understood the seriousness of any kind of sniff of gambling within a sport.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am going in to the trial totally against Rose being reinstated. I know gamblers, and with the kind of money Rose was throwing around, I believe he bet on baseball, and probably allowed it to influence some of his decisions on the field. And he signed off accepting that lifetime ban. But I'm willing to try to be objective, and I'm very curious about tonight. I'll give a more detailed opinion of the whole thing tomorrow.

Did anyone see that Bud commercial during the All-Star game about the moat for a warning track? I swear, I've been joking about that with friends for twenty years! Has everyone thought of that, or is it just a wild coincidence, or is the ad executive someone I used to hang out with? Now I'm waiting to see if there's another commercial with my other idea - a bottomless pit in centerfield.

Final All-Star game comment, I swear: Everyone knows it's easier to be a starter than a reliever, and that a lot of great relievers are just failed starters, like LaTroy Hawkins. It's a small piece of evidence, but check out these numbers from the All-Star game:

Relievers - 5 innings, 9 runs
Starters - 12 innings, 4 runs

Lots of great matchups this weekend with playoff implications for both teams, including Toronto at Boston, Oakland at Minnesota, Seattle at KC, Montreal at Philly, St. Louis at Atlanta, and Colorado at San Francisco.

If you want to read a story of true baseball heartbreak, check out Aaron Gleeman's Bobby Kielty story at Aaron's Baseball Blog

I think that Aaron's blog has become so popular now that he probably tipped off Toronto GM JP Ricciardi to Kielty's talents. The price of fame.

Comments? Counseling?


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