Have you heard about the pitcher the Cincinnati Reds called up from their farm system? His fastball has been clocked at 105 miles per hour. That’s fast, people. The Reds are hoping Cuban-born Aroldis Chapman can bring that heat onto a Cincinnati team that is running away with the Central Division. In seven appearances so far, Chapman has yet to allow an earned run. And all along we thought Stephen Strasburg would be the hottest young arm in baseball.
Speaking of Strasburg, his season is officially over, having undergone successful Tommy John surgery earlier this month. When Strasburg came up in early June, Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said Strasburg gave him the opportunity to look like a genius every fifth day. Not so much any more. The Reds might want to keep McCatty as far away from Aroldis Chapman as possible.
I don’t know if or where they’ll ultimately assess blame for Strasburg’s season ending prematurely. But rest assured his innings pitched, and those monitoring them, will be watched very closely next season.
Hair care extraordinaire
Pittsburgh Steelers safety and Head & Shoulders spokesperson Troy Polamalu recently insured his hair for $1 million. I should have done that years ago before I started losing mine. On a less surprising note, Head and Shoulders has not signed his teammate, accused rapist and former mullet-rocking Ben Roethlisberger to a similar deal.
American League Beast
Is anyone outside of Boston, New York or Tampa following the American League East race? It’s been neck-and-neck to date with not even the injury-plagued Red Sox refusing to fold.
As is stands right now, the Yankees and Rays are both thirty games over .500 and have been jockeying back and forth all season for the best record in baseball. The Yanks and Rays just finished a grueling three-game series, with those three games being determined by a single run, leaving Tampa Bay atop the American League East standing… for the time being.
With less than twenty games left in the season, the Rays have four road games remaining against the Yankees which may likely determine the division winner, and very possibly your American League champion.
If the playoff series between these two turns out to be nearly as exciting as this last series, the playoffs might actually draw some television ratings.
Stay tuned. It should be a wild ride.
Major League Hypocrisy
Does anyone else think Roger Clemens will not go to prison? So he lied to Congress… allegedly. Major League Baseball lied to its fans for years and they built a statue in the commissioner’s honor.
Let’s take a step back and think about what we’re about to do here. If Clemens is sent to jail, he’d be the most wrongfully imprisoned man since Andy Dufresne. We don’t penalize actors for undergoing plastic surgery to elongate their careers, so why lock up Clemens for having HGH stuck into his rear? Oh wait, it’s because he lied about it. I almost forgot.
Look, I don’t condone lying, or drug use, but I do think we have bigger fish to fry. Making Clemens the lone fall guy for the steroid scandal doesn’t bring baseball fans any closer to closure. It’s a pinky-sized band-aid over a gaping wound that refuses to heal. If there’s anyone out there vehemently calling for Roger Clemens to be locked up, you need to either get a life or take some anger management classes. Either way, reassess your priorities.
Bonds, Rose and Clemens, the greatest baseball players of our generation, might never be enshrined in Cooperstown. Imagine Canton without Walter Payton’s bust or Springfield without Michael Jordan’s. Seems asinine, huh? Well in my mind, so does putting Clemens behind bars. Let’s just leave this guy to his permanently stained reputation and cross our fingers that he doesn’t show up on Dancing with the Stars any time soon.