- Only when it's convenient...
There's a bit of a cause running through the interwebs about big league journeyman/lovable lug Sal Fasano and his desire to make a brief appearance in the big leagues this season not for glory; not for ego; and not even for money----but for health insurance.
Jeff Pearlman writes of Fasano's plight on SI.com. Fasano's 2-year-old son has a heart condition that has required numerous surgeries almost since the child's birth and Fasano, never a big earner, needs the health insurance big league players receive automatically upon spending one second on a big league roster to pay for the massive costs of the procedures. All Fasano needs is to be on a big league roster for a second. That's it. And what makes this situation even more egregious is that Fasano plays for the Colorado Rockies, a team whose GM, Dan O'Dowd, has gone to great lengths to permeate his organization with players who adhere to a "Christian moral code"----NY Times Story.
Did O'Dowd miss the part of the Christianity stuff in which he's supposed to help his fellow man?
Or is he just using it out of convenience to ingratiate himself with his bosses and his community in an attempt to save his job? Obviously, considering the amount of luck O'Dowd's had as his job was on the line numerous times as he's made desperation managerial changes and his club has gone on ridiculous hot streaks, it's working for him on some level, but how about putting the "code" into practice to help someone who needs the help?
No one's saying that O'Dowd is consciously keeping Fasano out of the big leagues and I do believe him when he says in the article that any promise of a promotion for Fasano was misconstrued. The Rockies are in a pennant race and can't be letting off-field issues affect what they do with their roster; but I can't believe they couldn't have: A) fiddled with the roster to bring Fasano up to the big leagues as a September call-up; and B) couldn't find a team to trade Fasano for a bag of balls to get him to the big leagues elsewhere.
It's not unusual for clubs to do "favors" for people in promoting or using individuals who shouldn't be anywhere near a big league field. The Mets brought minor league roster filler Mike Glavine up late in the 2003 season so he could get a couple of games with his brother Tom. In the real world, Mike Glavine had about as much business being in the big leagues as I do, but the season was lost for the Mets and what was the difference? It was a nice thing to do.
In spring training, teams do things that could be referred to as outright absurd as "favors" to people. Garth Brooks played with the Mets in spring training for charity; and the Yankees put the 60-some-year-old comedian (who hasn't been funny for about 25 years and is now known more for his arrogance than his comedy) Billy Crystal into a game as a birthday present. Are you telling me that one of Fasano's former teams wouldn't take him just to help out?
The Indians are going nowhere; the Mets are too kind-hearted for their own good sometimes and might want to help; for all the criticism he receives as an owner, Peter Angelos with the Orioles is known for being a nice, generous man. No one can help? Trades can still be made. Why wouldn't there be a spot somewhere for Fasano to get that briefest of time on a roster so he and his family are covered?
It's not as if Fasano is just some guy who has no place whatsoever in the big leagues; he does have certain things he can contribute. He's likable; and he can catch.
One would also think that former teammates like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and Grady Sizemore----for whom the money that the surgeries to the child are going to cost is, let's be honest, chump change----would want to help a former teammate in need. It wouldn't take much for a group of them to toss something into the pot to help out.
All the forced benevolence and insincere piety is great when players are trying to get themselves out of jams, place themselves in a favorable public light or are trying to hold onto their jobs, but when it's really necessary to live by that code, where are they? What happened to the "core beliefs" that are so ingrained in their lives?
Sadly, if anything is done, it'll only be because there's such righteous indignation at the hypocrisy and self-serving nature of such a public airing of their so-called "beliefs" that Fasano might get what he needs. It'll be the same result, but it won't be as selfless an act as it could've been had his big league call up happened because it was a nice thing to do and not due to a public outcry and self-preservation.
- Cito Gaston's talking a lot for a guy who probably won't be back:
With GM J.P. Ricciardi's firing almost (I say "almost" since it's Ricciardi and he's like a cockroach in a nuclear holocaust----he just survives, somehow) inevitable, why is manager Cito Gaston suddenly so verbose in his analysis of former players (B.J.Ryan----Gaston wasn't impressed); and the future of the club's starting rotation (he's not sure if Roy Halladay will be a Blue Jay----no kidding!)?
As popular as Gaston is in Toronto, is Paul Beeston going to force whoever replaces Ricciardi to keep Gaston as his manager? The fans have lost interest in the club as it is; they're going to trade Halladay; and new regimes always have their share of growing pains. Is it smart to keep Gaston? And if they know that he might not be back, why isn't someone telling him to keep his mouth shut?
- Speaking of the Blue Jays:
Former Blue Jays GM Pat Gillick's name was being floated to oversee the rebuilding of the organization after (if) Ricciardi's gone, but Gillick squashed those rumors saying that he's not ruling anything out, but it would have to be the right situation near his home on the West Coast.
Mark this down. Gillick is going to return to baseball, but it will be with the Chicago Cubs in some capacity to rejuvenate another organization as he did the Phillies and Mariners and to help his friend Lou Piniella. Watch.
- The Mets coaches will learn their fate Monday; what about the manager?
It's being widely reported that the Mets will decide on their coaches right after the season. The truth is that the decision has been made and they're going to wait until the season's over to announce it to both the coaches and the media.
But what about the manager?
It's going to do a lot to dictate the future of the Mets if they keep Jerry Manuel. Objectively, no one can look at this club and be angry about them losing; but there have been so many fundamental gaffes and a bare-minimum effort offered by a chunk of the roster that it reflects on the manager. Poorly.
The dark cloud over the club needs to be aggressively dealt with. The coaches are learning their fate on Monday; so should the manager. And he needs to go.
- Viewer Mail 9.29.2009:
The zombies are a popular subject today.
Jeff at Red State Blue State writes:
Brains! Must... have... EAT... BRAINS... Pygmalion... Theorem... Win Theorem... *SLURP, CRUNCH, CHOMP*... BRAINS... Rob Neyer... YUM... Likey like... Murphy... Beane... GREEK GOD OF WALKS... CHAD BRADFORD... MMM... ME LIKEY...
Jeff, I knew there were innate reasons deeper than a Fulbright scholarship and unending loyalty that I named you Mid-West Capo and my faith has been rewarded.
Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes:
Could you never write about the zombies again? My eyes kept crossing and now they won't go back to normal, which makes blogging very difficult.
Jane, you know I would do anything for you, but this favor I cannot grant. I need the zombies. I could neither function nor live without them. They...they....complete me.
No mention of Murphy's UZR? I'm highly disappointed. You just lost a valuable reader.
You've been infected with a zombie microbe. There's a cure. You must follow me. I'll do anything for my readers----especially my female readers. I can save you, but you have to trust me.
Good one on gratitude and it helps a lot.