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Griffey Makes ANOTHER Demand -- Keep Pokey!

Baseball Free Press
July 31st, 2001
Cincinnati, OH.

Ken Griffey has pretty much spent his entire Cincinnati Reds career whining about something: injuries, lack of players around him, all the racists in Ohio, but his latest demand may have infuriated Reds General Manager Jim Bowden beyond all reason. Today, Griffey single-handedly 'vetoed' a deal that would have sent Reds middle infielder Pokey Reese and pitcher Elmer Dessens to the Yankees for shortstop Derek Jeter and starter Andy Pettite.Living legend Pokey Reese

"Am I allowed to trade Griffey at this point?" questioned an angry Bowden. "When is enough enough? Frankly, look how much better Seattle is doing without his whiny butt."

The seemingly impromptu and shocking deal would have sent two American League All Stars and World Series heroes to Cincinnati for an overrated middle infielder and an average pitcher. The deal made absolutely no sense for the Yankees but Brian Cashman's explanation made him sound as crazy as Griffey.

"Not enough people understand just how great Pokey is," Cashman said. "Even the Boss was behind this one--  he had to have Pokey and we almost would have have had it not been for Griffey and his big mouth."

"The Reds and Jim Bowden don't realize this, but I am a hero now," said a cocky Griffey. "I mean, I just kept Pokey Reese, a national treasure, in a Reds uniform. I mean, Jeter? Come on, he's no Pokey!"

Pokey Reese was surprisingly not stunned by this as he added, "GM's have been recognizing that I got game for years. If Jimmy Bowden doesn't appreciate me, well, he can kiss me where the sun don't shine!"

Pokey received an outpouring of support around Baseball.

"I am declaring it Pokey Reese day in Cincinnati this weekend," said Commissioner Bud Selling. "The fact that Bowden could even think of trading the great Pokey Reese, well, we are gonna take a hard look at Bowden's job status this winter in our office. We can't stand for star players to be insulted like Pokey was. Thank God an intelligent young man like Ken Griffey, Jr. stood up for Pokey!"

Selig's opinions were further enforced in unanimous fashion by the entire "Baseball Tonight" crew including Harold Reynolds, Karl Ravech, Jon Miller, Dave Campbell, Peter Gammons and Joe Morgan.

"I think I speak for everyone here at ESPN when I say that I am very happy to see Pokey carrying on my traditions in a Reds uniform," said a smiling and slightly deranged Joe Morgan.

Bowden could only shake his head in disbelief.  Had the world gone Pokey crazy?

Howe returns to Yankees

Baseball Free Press
June 30th, 2001
New York, NY

Despite his being permanently suspended from Baseball and being 48 years old, the desperate Yankees have received special permission from the Commissioner's Office to bring Steve Howe back to help their under achieving bullpen.

"This is a bold move that has become necessary," says Yankees GM, Brian Cashman. "We needed help and Steve can certainly do that, despite his age."

Cashman was recently at a seedy bar in Los Angeles known as "The Viper Room" upon a recent Yankees road trip against the Angels when he discovered the former Yankee and Dodger pitcher mixing drinks for some questionable patrons. Cashman immediately called his boss, George Steinbrenner on his cell phone and told him the good news. He had found the next Yankee reliever!

"This better work or your done," said an angry and very sleepy boss. "you already failed me on getting Urbina and Wohlers isn't very good so Howe better throw."

After Steinbrenner reluctantly OK'd it, Cashman immediately contacted Bud Selig, commissioner of Baseball and asked for Howe to be reinstated. At first, Selig said 'no way in hell' and 'over my dead lifeless body' but then Cashman reminded Selig that this is the Yankees and that rules that apply to everyone else do not necessarily apply to the Bronx Bombers. After all, this team once had Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Roger Maris, and Mickey Mantle. Selig relented and said, "Only because you're the Yankees."

"This is absolute garbage," said Indians GM, John Hart. "I am tired of the special treatment the Yankees get but this time it's going to backfire because Howe is so old he will need a walker to even get out to the mound."

Howe had a different reaction, albeit a strange one.

"Look at all the pretty colors in ths sky, and all the pretty rainbows," Howe said, clearly in a cocaine induced daze. "Have you ever tried pesto sauce on mint chocolate chip ice cream? Man is that far out. And I also like peanut butter on spaghetti...hmmm, good."

There were some people who seemed to be happy for Steve and hoping to get their shot again.

"If Steve can come back, so can I" said Darryl Strawberry from his padded room at the New York State Hospital. "Hey, the Yankees still don't have a left fielder, right?"

Brian Cashman immediately pulled out his cell phone again to wake up the boss.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.
 
 

Knights of Cleveland Planning 'Rocker Day'

June 26th, 2001
Baseball Free Press
Cleveland, OH

With the Rocker train recently heading out of Atlanta to Cleveland, reaction has been mixed in many places but not by a certain faction of the Cleveland population: the Klu Klux Klan affiliated "Knights of Cleveland" and their founder, Bobby Earl Danzig.

"We, the Knights of Cleveland, would like to welcome our favorite Baseball player, John Rocker, to the city of Cleveland," Danzig said. "We are proud that he is an Indian and we now have someone else besides Russell Branyan and Jim Thome to really root for."

Not all Clevelanders feel the same way.

"John Rocker is a blight on our community and his welcoming by the leader of the KKK only makes things worse," said NAACP-Cleveland President Lewis Johnston. "The only other thing I can say is we don't have a train system here and this isn't Cinncinati."

Rocker was not pleased with all the fuss being made.

"Would all you media people just shut the hell up already?" Rocker blurted.  "I am not aligned with the KKK or anything. Like I said, I just don't like gays and foreigners in New York. There are less in Cleveland so this shouldn't be a problem."

Rocker's comments didn't sit so well with some of his new teammates.

"Frankly, I don't give a damn what Rocker thinks, we are challenging for a division right now," said Indians outfielder Ellis Burks. "And by the way, John, there are gays and foreigners here and they all want to kick your butt."

Indians General Manager John Hart tried to play peacekeeper.

"We aquired Rocker to get the Yankees lefthanders out," said Hart. "I don't really need a race war to cause clubhouse issues."

Rocker will just have to avoid the 7 train to Yankee Stadium instead of Shea Stadium from now on.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.
 
 

Case of Bad Sushi puts Rangers in a Bad Light

Baseball Free Press
June 23, 2001
Seattle, WA

With the ailing and last place Texas Rangers in Seattle to take on Baseball's best team, the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro and Kensuke Sazaki's agent, Torio Konimoto came down with a severe case of food poisoning as he accidentally intercepted sushi that was being sent to the two Mariners Sushistars, as part of their pre-game ritual meal.

To make matters worse, former Mariner Alex Rodriguez and his teammate, Rangers outfielder Rusty Greer were spotted minutes before the sushi was delivered into the Mariner locker room by safeco peanut vendor, Linda Jackson, 45.

"I saw some funny stuff going on when those two Texans were walking away from the Mariners locker," Jackson said. "And I know A-Rod was carrying some bottle of something under his arm. I know he did!"

Normally, the sushi is placed in front of the Mariners locker room on a wheeled tray about two hours before game time. With Ichiro and Sazaki still on the field stretching, their agent Konimoto decided t help himself to some eel and avacado rolls. It was one mistake he won't soon be making again.

Konimoto's doctor, former Chicago pediatrician Doug Ross had this to say.  "It's clear that someone spiked this sushi," Ross said. "I have never seen anyone turn this green, even from raw fish. It's clear that Mr. Konimoto ate sabatoged cuisine."

Bud Selig was en route to Seattle and could not be reached for comment but his office issued this statement:

"If we find that Mr. Greer and Mr. Rodriguez had anything to do with the bad sushi delivered to the Mariners locker room, the two individuals will face a severe penalty from Major League Baseball."

Both Rodriguez and Greer refused to comment on the situation but both sent their well wishes to Konimoto. Rodriguez's agent, Mr. Scott Boras did issue this statement:

"I assure you, my client, the esteemed Alex Rodriguez had absolutely positively nothing to do with this dastardly incident. I of course can't speak for Mr. Greer, who let's face it, wasn't anywhere to be found, but as for Alex, my clients are above reproach as I have always said."

Major Leaguers all over the place had comments on this incident.

"Clearly, Baseball is coming after a last place team and something smells really fishy about it, no pun intended," said Devil Rays outfielder Ben Grieve. "Us last place teams have to stick together...go Rangers!"

Other players were just relieved they weren't anywhere near Seattle that day.

"Look, I just had Martha Stewart move into my apartment and now my girlfriend has left me so I could care less who poisoned who in Seattle," said a bemoaned Padres catcher, Ben Davis.

To that comment, Diamondbacks Manager Bob Brenly only could mumble..."will that boy ever learn some manners?"

Right now, Konimoto remains in stable condition but the Mariners will continue to press Commissioner Selig for answers.

"Bud, get to the bottom of this," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "In the meantime, we will just continue to own the overpriced Rangers."

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

Stewart Named Special Baseball 'Etiquette' Liaison


June 15th, 2001
Baseball Free Press
San Diego, CA

Move over Hideo Nomo's English tutor. Step aside Shaq's free throw coach. Make room for Ben Davis' special Baseball etiquette coach, Martha Stewart.

"It's time we teach Ben some manners," Stewart said in a released statement.Martha Stewart "He obviously knows nothing about Baseball etiquette and I am doing my civic duty to help out Mr. Davis and Baseball in general."

The crime? Ben Davis decided to bunt in the 8th inning of a 2-0 perfect game for the San Diego Padres against the Arizona Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling whole he was throwing a perfect game. Both Schilling and his Manager Bob Brenly cried foul and Major League Baseball has stepped in.

"We feel that Ms. Stewart can provide an excellent source of leadership for young Ben Davis," said busy commissioner, Bud Selig. "Ben will be taking a leave of absence for a week of training with Ms. Stewart and then she will continue to provide the young man leadership when he returns to the field."

In her press conference, Stewart talked about the routine she plans on setting with Davis. First there will be table manners, then ballet lessons followed by proper walking techniques and even a re-test for his driver's license. Stewart has already vacated her spacious New England home and intends on moving into Davis' tiny San Diego apartment along with his 21 year old girlfriend, Jennifer Baxter, a Junior from San Diego State University and an Aztec cheerleader. Davis and Baxter will move to the couch while Stewart will sleep in the bedroom.

When reached for comment, Davis was in utter shock.

"To say Major League Baseball is overreacting is an understatement," said a bewildered Davis. "This is a total invasion of our privacy and I think Bob Brenly and Curt Schilling are the ones in need of etiquette here."

Part of the agreement Selig had to make with Stewart to get her participation for Davis is that her show, "Living with Martha Stewart" will now be filmed from Davis' apartment on Pacific Beach in San Diego. The other part of the agreement is that Stewart will take over as the Padres first base coach when Davis come to bat.

"My lessons for Ben will need to extend to the ball field because that's where his troubles all began," Stewart said.

When Ben's parents were contacted in Omaha, Nebraska, his father had no comment. His mother had this to say:

"I am heartbroken that my little Benny has such bad etiquette," said Barbara Davis, 51, or Omaha. "Between his father's late nights at the army-navy store and my long hours at the hospital, we did the best we could with Ben but I guess our best wasn't good enough from stopping him at being a national embarrassment."

When the Diamondback clubhouse was reached, Brenly was thrilled with the news that Martha Stewart was heading to San Diego.

"If I did what I could from preventing further perfect games from being ruined, then I am glad I did my part," said Brenly.

"The kid clearly got what he deserved," said hurler Schilling. "Clearly the brat has no class and no manners," said Schilling as he spit out his tobacco, grabbed his crotch and smacked the female interviewer on the rear end.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

Costanza returning to Baseball...in Kansas City!

June 5th, 2001
Baseball Free Press
Kansas City, Mo.

After recently gaining headlines for petitioning Major League Baseball to move to the National League in a political move bent on eliminating the designated hitter, the Royals splashed more headlines when General Manager Allen Baird hired former Yankee assistant George Costanza as his traveling assistant.

Costanza gained fame for his crazy stunts that cost the Yankees and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner millions of dollars in lost revenue. Following Costanza's flop with the Yankees, he was sent to prison for a year along with three of his associates for failing to act while a citizen in Massachussetts was being mugged. Costanza also cost himself a tv writing deal in the process for NBC which was about to make him a mega star along with best friend, Jerry Seinfeld, a comedian.Costanza

"A few years back I went through a lot but this opportunity with the Royals is big, baby!" exclaimed an excited Costanza. "I'm back and I am going to help bring the Royals back to the top!"

The controversial hiring maybe seen as a possible publicity stunt by Baird and Royals managing partner, George Brett who also happens to have a mutual friend of Costanza's, a Cosmo Kramer of New York.

"Kramer and I go way back," Brett said in the news conference announcing the addition of Costanza. "When I suffered through hemorroids back in the 1980's, it was a special concoction that Mr. Kramer sent me that relieved my pain and excessive itching."

That certainly was a surprising but of information on Brett's part but may in fact explain the shocking hiring of ex-con, Costanza.

But the jail time and the Yankee problems are not all the controversy surrounding this well known grouchy New Yorker. Though he was never charged, questions around his ex-fiance Susan, who died mysteriously while licking wedding invitations, still remain.

"I explained that already!" yelled an increasingly agitated Costanza.

But George's friends have vehemently jumped to his defense.

"Oh yes, George is a great man, someone I love dearly," said Costanza's friend, New York postal worker Newman. "And George ALWAYS takes care of his friends...right George?"

"I think he gets a bum rap sometimes," said J. Pederman Catalog Manager, Elaine Benes. "He can be incredibly annoying but I think the Royals made a good hire."

Elaine also is not without her Major League connections, including cousin and Cardinals starting pitcher, Andy Benes.

"Through Laney, I have known Mr. Costanza for a while and he is the utmost professional," Benes said. "Frankly, I think he's like a good luck charm and we could use him down the interstate in St. Louis!"

Always the upbeat guy, George had this to say about the rest of the Major League season for his new employers, the Royals.

"We are going all the way baby! and you can take that to the bank!"

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.  Idea blatantly stolen from Rob Neyer.

Royals follow Senator Jeffords' Lead

June 4th, 2001
Kansas City, MO
Baseball Free Press

On the heels of the announcement by Republican Senator Jim Jeffords that he was leaving the party and becoming an independent this week, giving the Democrats full control in the Senate, the Kansas City Royals announced they plan to move to the National League West to take away further voting power of the American League and more specifically, the designated hitter rule.

"This is absurd," said Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement he released to the press early this morning. "Don't the Royals realize that this will do nothing about the rule? And besides, they'll stink whichever division they enter."

Royals General Manager Allard Baird had other ideas.

"Mr. (George) Brett and I have sat down and thought this through carefully," Baird bellowed. "And besides, we damn tired of George Steinbrenner 'shunning' us at ownership meetings. Let's see how much playing time David Justice gets now, George."

Baird then passed the microphone over to George Brett as they could only afford one in Kansas City.

"We are tired of being referred to as the 'have nots' in Baseball," Brett said angrily. "All this malarkey of cutting teams like us or forcing us to be a contestant on 'The Weakest Link' is crazy talk."

What the Royals propose is that they move to the National League for a few reasons, but more specifically because their thin pitching staff simply cannot handle having to face nine good hitters as opposed to eight. The Royals feel it's extremely unfair and feel with their added vote to abolishing the designated hitter, that it may very well be removed.

"I have been around Baseball long enough and I have enough connections that i will make sure the Royals fail and the designated hitter lives forever," said 59 year old slugger, Harold Baines who now requires a wheel chair to successfully leg out a double.

Other old timers agree.

"I am planning a comeback simply because there still is the DH in Baseball," said 67 year old former Oakland slugger, Dave Kingman. "Screw the Royals. And by the way, Steve Balboni is with me on this one, K.C."

Others around Baseball could only laugh.

"No one takes the Royals seriously anyway," said Diamondbacks First Baseman Mark Grace. "And even if they come to our division, Unit (randy Johnson, starting pitcher) will simply take target practice on them anyway. I am personally am just waiting for Jermaine Dye to lose on 'The Weakest Link' myself," Grace added with a laugh.

Grace's Manager, Bob Brenly added this when interviewed.

"There's a certain etiquette in Baseball and the Royals have to suffer wherever anyone tells them to suffer. Don't they know anything?"

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

Lockhart Now Heading to Supreme Court












May 30th, 2001
Atlanta, GA
From the Free Press Wire

Pull over Casey Martin. Keith Lockhart is now heading to the Supreme Court to help his cause in Baseball just as Casey Martin was successful yesterday in his case in Golf.

And what is Lockhart's ailment you ask?

"I have a learning disability," Lockhart says. "I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and now that Martin has been successful in his case to ride a cart on the tour, I plan on getting the court to force starting pitchers to only throw me fastballs down the middle at under 90 MPH."

Certainly the timing of Lockhart's quest is obvious, going on the heels of Martin's victory but Lockhart does not have the 'widespread' support that Martin enjoyed.

"If Schuerholz doesn't cut Keith after this, then he never will," said Lockhart's teammate and Braves Third Baseman, Chipper Jones. "Keith contributes nothing to this team except outs. And now he's embarrassing us worse then Rocker ever did."

Jones' sentiments seemed to be echoed around Baseball.

"I can't believe Lockhart, what a moron," said Mariners starter, Aaron Sele. "The poor Braves don't need this right now when they are busy chasing the Phillies. I am am just glad we don't have any guys like that here in Seattle."

The Lockhart case maybe the first in a long line of similar silly cases that any athlete now thinks they can throw at the highest court in the land all thanks to Martin's victory. Casey Martin being able to ride a golf cart was supposed to be about fair play, and not having every tom, dick and harry go to court.

"I am dismayed at the decision of Mr. Lockhart to attempt at making a mockery of what I worked so hard for," said Casey Martin. "Mr. Lockhart should think twice but I guess with his problems, he probably can't think at all."

Keith's parents backed up their sons claims, however.

"Frankly, we always wondered what was wrong with that boy," said Jim Lockhart, Keith's dad. "There was always something slightly off about the kid and if he can get the Supreme Court to have Major League pitchers throw him a steady diet of slower fastballs, Keith's mother and I fully support it."

Now the question remains whether the Court will even look at this case but Don Fehr, the Director of the Major League Players Association will go ahead with the case against his better judgement.

"I only wish Keith was better because frankly, he sucks," Fehr said.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

Boras' Day of 'Giving Back' to Community

May 25, 2001
Los Angeles, CA
From the Free Press Wire

Tired of all the accusations by the Baseball community that he is a selfish, egomaniacal, money grubbing jerk, Baseball super agent Scott Boras and some his star players have decided to spend a day 'giving back' to the community at large.

Along with four of his clients -- J.D. Drew of St. Louis, Kevin Brown of Los Angeles, Greg Maddux of Atlanta and Alex Rodriguez of Texas -- Boras and his guys headed down to Beverly Hills on a recent off day to do things for a community ripped apart by plastic surgery, competing Donna Karan outfits and gadgets that are SO five minutes ago. For Brown, it was simply wonderful hanging out in his own neighborhood.

"Any time I can leave Brentwood and come down to Beverly Hills to help out, I feel so good. It means a lot!"

Among some of the less fortunate in Beverly Hills who took advantage of spending time with Boras and his guys were actors Todd Bridges, Erik Estrada, Mr. T, comedian Pauly Shore, and former "Facts of Life" star Mindy Cohn.

"Seeing these players come down to our brand new, triple decker YMCA, where I have a private condo set up, makes me so happy," Cohn exclaimed. "I especially love A-Rod... he's my favorite!"

Among the activities planned for the five Baseball millionaires was to stop by the local YMCA where the stars are making soup for the less fortunate past stars like Cohn and Shore and teaching Yoga to middle class High School kids who can't afford the private country clubs.

"Mr. Maddux was so relaxed during our Yoga lesson," said 17 year old Micah Schwartz from West Beverly Hills High School. "Our family only owns one BMW and we lease the other. My father had this financial scandal so we had to cut somewhere and that' why I am at this community center."

Scott Boras decided to lend his time at the YMCA with rock climbing lessons. Among his eager students was former Olympic great, Kerri Strug.

"I can't believe how limber Mr. Boras was!" Strug exclaimed. "He was so strong and really showed how dedicated he is to helping those less fortunate.

The next stop for the five was at Elgin Baylor's house, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Clippers. Drew in particular started to cry at Baylor's moving story about how he was forced to play in the NBA in short shorts and was pressured in to keeping his afro big. The tears really fell when Baylor started talking about his duties as GM of the Clippers.

"People always thought I was such a hard heart but hearing Mr. Baylor's story, well, I had a hard time with it," Drew said.

The final stop of the day was maybe the hardest for them all. The five men visited the soundstage for the United Paramount Network, otherwise known as UPN. The last place network was a particular source of pain for Mr. Rodriguez.

"Being on a last place team myself, like the Rangers, I could feel their story," Rodriguez said. "I do feel with their addition of 'Buffy, the Vampire Slayer' they have a chance to pull out of 5th... I am pulling for them."

And A-Rod, we sure are as well. But the real kudos belong to Mr. Scott Boras who took time out of his busy schedule, as well as his superstar players, to see the darker side of Beverly Hills. They even had time for a last minute lunch at Spago's during the day, which is closing down soon.

"This is a real loss for the city of Beverly Hills and I for one will miss their pesto trout with sprinkles of zucchini with a side of herbal water," said a somber Boras.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.
 
 

Surprise Borg Attack disrupts Cubs game

May 20, 2001
Chicago, IL
From the Free Press Wire

The first place Cubs always knew the bottom might drop out one day from their hold on first place of the National League's Central Division, but they did not expect an attack from the Borg.

"Please stop playing, you will be assimilated," was the announcement from the Borg cube hovering above Wrigley Field.

The umpires called time and it was at that point that Cubs announcer Chip Caray got over the P.A. system and told everyone to remain calm and not to leave their seats. Cubs fans all sat and just started to boo.

"What the hell is this?" yelled Joe Plutowski, 48, from Moline. "I payed ten freakin' bucks to sit here in the Outfield and watch Sammy belt one and I got the friggin' Borg here. C'mon!"

It didn't take long for the Borg to open fire on the helpless Cub fans. They sent short bursts into the luxury boxes and lower level seats, instantaneously killing 1,255 fans. Rather than run screaming, the Cubs fans continued to boo at the interruption. It was also at that point that the Cubs, and their opponents the Los Angeles Dodgers started hurling baseballs at the Borg Cube, hoping to force the cube to leave.

"Please stop throwing balls so you can be assimilated," said the cube.

At that point, the cube detached several drones onto the playing field and a brawl immediately broke out between the drones and the players. Sammy Sosa and Matt Stairs were able to derail one drone with Sosa's bat, but the drones adjusted their personal defense systems and immediately assimilated several people on the field including Cubs starter Jon Leiber, Dodgers Manager Jim Tracy, Umpire Al Clark and Cubs catcher Todd Hundley who were all beamed aboard the cube.

"This is the wildest Cubbies game I have covered in years," gasped longtime Chicago Tribune write, Bill Antonelli. "The Cubs really are cursed. A Borg attack? You gotta be kidding me."

Despite the obvious immediate danger everyone was in, Cubs fans refuse to leave their seats and continue to boo. After Sammy Sosa was assimilated, angry Cubs fans wanted their money and chanted, "We Want Sammy! We Want Sammy!" This angered the Borg who now aimed their weapons to discharge at the famed Bleacher Bum section. They also detached several more drones into the outfield, which led to one drone being drenched by Plutarski with his 99 cent beer.

"Take that you mechanical moron. We are trying to watch a friggin game," yelled Plutarski. "And Jesus Christ, give us Sammy and Hundley back, jerk."

The angered drone immediately killed Plutarski who is survived by his wife Joan and their three children.

The day got more interesting when the Starship Enterprise arrived after traveling back in time several hundred years. The Enterprise immediately fired photon torpedos at the Borg cube, drawing big cheers from the much smaller Cubs crowd.

"Go Enterprise!" yelled Bob Jankowski, 55, of Dearborn, Michigan who had witnessed his son Brad be assimilated only five minutes earlier.

The Enterprise and the cube battled for a good ten minutes before the cube finally left. Many of the Cubs and Dodgers had been killed or assimilated, but umpire Charlie Williams, the only one left, had only one thing to say: "Let's play ball!"

Despite the heave stadium damage and the fact that there was now only about 3,000 Cubs fans left, Manager Don Baylor replaced the starters that were lost as did Tommy Lasorda for the Dodgers, who amazingly appaeared out of nowhere. A moment of silence was held for all that were lost on this rather bizarre day of Cub baseball.
 
 

NBA Clippers Petition to move to Baseball

May 17, 2001
Los Angeles, CA
From the Free Press Wire

Desperate to change his losing ways and tired of comparisons to Staples neighbors the Lakers, Clippers owner Donald Sterling has petitioned Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to bring his Clippers over to Baseball.

This comes on the heels of Selig's announcement of six major league teams appearing on NBC's, "The Weakest Link."

"Today has been a busy day for our office and this phone call I received from Donald Sterling was big surprise," Selig said at his New York press conference. "The Clippers are big market but we have to consider that with the Angels and Dodgers, we don't want to over saturate the southern California market."

Dodgers president Tommy Lasorda immediately issued a statement saying that any attempt of the Clippers to move to Baseball would be blocked by the Dodgers.

"I will give up my mother's lasagna before I let the Clippers into Baseball," Lasorda said. "They are an embarrasment to the NBA and I will not share this town or Dodger stadium with them."

Others in Baseball seemed to agree.

"Do they even know how to hit, field, or throw?" asked the Mets Mike Piazza.

Other players agreed.

"This is just ridiculous. Lamar Odom is going to try and hit MY fastball?" asked Diamondback starter, Randy Johnson. "I mean, if I can get 20 strikeouts against the Reds, how many do you think I can get against the Clippers?"

The Clippers seemed to take things in stride, however.

"I wish I had tried out for the Baseball team," said Clippers guard, Darius Miles. "I mean, I wasn't in High School that long ago, maybe I should go back and take lessons...how hard can it be?"

One former NBA player seemed to think it was a bad idea.

"I hope Darius understands it's much harder then dunking or shooting the J," said former MVP and current Wizards owner, Michael Jordan. "God knows the Clippers have never amounted to anything in Basketball so they might as well try Baseball...how much worse can they be?"

Mike Lupica, still reeling from the shocking announcement of the involvement of Major League Baseball on NBC's, "The Weakest Link," stayed over at the Press conference to offer his comments on the possible move of the Clippers.

"This franchise has hit an all time low," Lupica said. "If Sterling and Baylor (Clippers GM, Elgin) think they can avoid scraping the bottom by taking their guys to a new sport, they have another thing coming."

Lamar Odom shot back, however.

"This team has come together so much over the past year, I know these guys can handle it," Odom said. "I can pitch, Darius could hit a little and Kenyon Dooling owns a catcher's glove."

Right now, there is a lot on Bud Selig's plate and the decision on whether to let the Clippers in or not is a big one. But whatever happens, the Clippers have certainly made their attempt at grabbing a little spotlight away from the Lakers.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

"Weakest Link" host to aid commissioner's office

May 16, 2001
New York, NY
From the Free Press Wire

Bud Selig never dreamed when he took the job of full time commissioner that a middle aged British woman would help in deciding the fate of the weakest Baseball franchises.

Britain's most recent import, 56 year old Anne Robinson who hosts NBC's "The Weakest Link," will host a special sports edition following the World Series this fall. Except the stakes are huge and a potential ratings bonanza: six of baseball's smallest market teams will battle to avoid having their franchises folded by not being...the weakest link. Anne Robinson

"We feel that with the popularity of the game show and the current state of our lower market franchises, this is the fairest way to cut back," issued Selig in a press conference this morning in New York. "We cannot continue with teams that simply cannot keep up financially. This is a deal between Major League Baseball and NBC."

"Link" host Anne Robinson was also present at the big press conference.

"These franchises cannot keep up and I am an expert in elminating people who cannot keep up," Robinson snapped. "This press conference is over...goodbye!"

The six teams involved in the very special edition of "Link" are the Montreal Expos, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Minnesota Twins, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the Florida Marlins.  Representative players will take part in the competition: Milton Bradley for Montreal, Brian Giles for Pittsburgh, Jermaine Dye for Kansas City, Brad Radke for Minnesota, Gerald Williams for Tampa Bay, and Brad Penny for Florida.

"That woman scares me more then a high one from Randy Johnson," said Giles.

"But this is for the city of Pittsburgh. Kendall said he would quiz me and  help me with trivia before the big night."

According to veteran sports reporter Mike Lupica, the problem with this is that only one team will be lost and for parity, a second team will have to go.

"I also find it highly un-American that a British woman gets to cancel off a team from Major League Baseball," Lupica added.

Selig addressed this problem and said that he has also cut a deal with CBS that the five Major Leaguers who last the longest on 'Link' will then head to Africa as five of the 16 "Survivor" participants in "Survivor 3."

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst seemed genuinely excited about the possibility of having five Major Leaguers trying to survive an Island adventure.

"Radke better realize that his fastball would do him no good out here," said an arrogant Probst. Probst continued to deny rumors linking him sexually to a former contestant from "Survivor 2."

"What's next, are you going to link me to Carmen Electra?" Probst added.  "By the way, Carmen, if you read this, call me."

Reality television has certainly become a staple in our television viewing habits and now Baseball will use the reality format to help trim down financial losses in Baseball. Is this the right move for Baseball? Only time will tell, but if you are the weakest link, well, then, goodbye!

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

Flutie Hired as 'Special' Yankee coach for embattled Knoblauch

Mar. 29, 2001
Tampa, FL
From the Free Press Wire

In what many people consider a dream marriage, former Buffalo Bills Quarterback Doug Flutie has been hired by the New York Yankees to work on second baseman Chuck Knoblauch's throwing problems.

"Shaquille O'neal and Tim Duncan both work with free throw coaches in the NBA, so why not get a throwing expert for Chuck?" said Yankee Manager, Joe Torre.

Flutie was happy to stay in New York after the Bills bypassed him for Quarterback Rob Johnson.

"This was an amazing opportunity for me to crossover to Baseball," said Flutie. "I am always looking for new challenges and there maybe no great one then teaching Chuck to throw in a straight line again."

The hiring of Flutie has made many people feel better about Knoblauch's chances.

"Maybe the moron won't hit me this year," said Keith Olbermann's mother. "He hurt me bad and if this Flutie guy can help him, I may yet get a few extra years on this earth."

Others expressed surprise around the sports world.

"Doug's still got a great arm and treaching is a 'natural' for him," said ESPN NFL analyst, Mel Kiper, Jr. "The Yankees have won four out of the last five World Series so they must know what they are doing. Still, I think Doug should concentrate on helping his football team [the San Diego Chargers], not on baseball."

Baseball players seemed less optimistic.

"Why doesn't he just work with Mel (Stottlemyre, Yankee pitching coach) if he has problems out there?" asked Atlanta hurler, Greg Maddux.

Maddux's feelings echoed with others.

"I don't think Flutie knows what he's getting into," said Rockies starter Mike Hampton. "This isn't Football and a Baseball has a completely different feel."

So, how did Chuck Knoblauch take the news?

"I just hope Doug can teach me how not to kill Keith Olbermann's mom or Derek (Jeter). I really really want to throw the ball somewhere correctly. I hope Mr. Flutie can be my guide. Please help me, Mr. Flutie."

That says it all.

Falcone and Camp set for 'Red' Comeback

Mar. 19, 2001
Dunedin FL
From the Free Press Wire

With all the excitement of former Major Leaguers Mike Greenwell and Deion Sanders showing up in the Cincinnati Reds' Spring Training camp, former Atlanta Braves hurlers Pete Falcone and Rick Camp have decided to join them.

"Why not?" said Falcone who was with the Braves for a brief period during the 1980's. He also pitched for the Mets. "This just feels right...I have been resting for so long and my wife is tired of my face I figured what the hell," said the 46 year old.

Rick Camp thought Falcone had a great idea and Camp quit his job at the Burger Boy in Evanston, Indiana to join Pete in Reds camp. Rick was also a Brave during the downtrodden 80's.

"It sure beats flipping burgers," said the gleeful Camp. "The Reds basically said they were holding open tryouts since the team had so little talent, so I figured if Pete can do it, anyone can.

Falcone didn't appreciate that last remark.

The Press' main target in all this was Reds General Manager, Jim Bowden. Someone from the New York media called him 'insane.'

"Hey, why don't you pick on your beloved Yankees for having Sid Fernandez in camp, Lupica!" shouted an angry Bowden. "I am just trying to see who fits on this team. If Rick Camp or Pete Falcone can become a starter, or Mike Greenwell can play left...why not?"

Mike Lupica did not seem to buy Bowden's explanation.

"Lupica, that's why I get paid the big bucks...this press conference is over," added Bowden.

Pete Falcone and Rick Camp immediately boarded a cargo plane bound for South America asking for the pilot to simply "drop them off" when they got close to Florida. It's all they could afford.

Additional reporting by Alex Ramati.

Lasorda Time-Travel Plot Foiled

Mar. 14, 2001/Mar. 28, 1935/Jan. 30, 2178
Brooklyn, NY
From the Free Press Wire

A plot by former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda to travel back in time and prevent the birth of Dodger legend Sandy Koufax was thwarted by celebrity Dodger fan Kurt Russell and the late Casey Stengel, authorities report.

Lasorda, 73, has always been jealous of Koufax, according to friends of both men.  "But this just goes way too far," said longtime Dodger Duke Snider.  "If Tommy had succeeded, it's possible that the entire space-time continuum could have been destroyed -- or rather have never come into existence at all.  Worse, the Yankees could have won even more World Series." Kurt Russell

Lasorda blames Koufax, a Hall of Fame lefthander who went 165-87 for the Dodgers from 1955-1966, for ruining his pitching career, and also for being much better looking.  "Tommy has always thought that he was a better pitcher than Koufax in the mid-fifties," said Snider.  "But the Dodgers gave Sandy more chances, and Tommy spent most of his career in the minors."

Details of the plot are sketchy, and where Lasorda acquired the time machine is as unknown.  Early reports indicate that the machine was possibly stolen from an inventor from the far future investigating how the 1988 Dodgers could have possibly beaten the Oakland Athletics in the World Series remain unconfirmed. A time machine

Russell, an actor and former minor league baseball player, accidentally overheard Lasorda and longtime henchman Joey Amalfitano discussing the plot at Spago.  Russell followed the two to their hideout, where he overpowered Amalfitano, but was too late to prevent Lasorda from traveling back to 1935.

Seemingly instantaneously, Lasorda returned, triumphant.  Russell rendered Lasorda unconscious and as reality began to collapse around him, returned to 1935 to undo the damage.  Physicists were unable to explain how there could be duration when time itself had ceased to exist.

Russell enlisted the aid of the 1935 version of Stengel (1890-1975), most famous as the manager of the New York Yankees and Mets in the fifties and sixties but then managing the Dodgers.  Russell and Stengel tracked down Lasorda, who was attempting to prevent Koufax�s conception by �making a lot of noise�.  Lasorda paralyzed Russell with �some sort of raygun� but Stengel was able to subdue and gag him.

Tommy Lasorda.Russell thanked Stengel and took possession of Lasorda.  However, he was ambushed by Amalfitano, who unbeknownst to Russell had stowed away on the time machine.  Amalfitano was easily overcome, but Lasorda took the chance to escape in his time machine to the year 2178. Russell quickly followed.

There, near the blasted remains of Dodger Stadium, Russell and Lasorda undertook an apocalyptic battle.  Lasorda, armed with futuristic technology, seemed on the verge of winning when Russell managed to push him to his death in one of the fiery cracks which opened in the Earth after the earthquake of 2103.

The remaining Lasorda is being held on suspicion of attempted violation of the space-time continuum. Koufax is well, though Russell is sure that the pitcher used to be righthanded.  A film of the events is in the planning stages. It will be made in 2004, �with Brian Dennehy as Lasorda, Billy Crystal as Casey, and either Jeff Bridges or Jeff Daniels -� I can never tell those two apart -- as me,� said Russell.

Additional reporting by Mac Thomason.
 

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