What a strange week. New York over Boston in the Super Bowl. The Mets get Johan Santana. Chuck Knoblauch clamps up in front of congressional attorneys, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens maintained their respective stories for the same panel, and Kim Mattingly is in jail.
* * *
The Giants’ win has a similar feel to when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. Not as great of an underdog story, to be sure, but the Big, Evil, Untouchable Team was toppled, and in dramatic fashion. I’m not even a Giants fan, but I’m gloating, sort of.
It was also a strange week in baseball, when there was baseball news. The Cute Franchise in Queens pulled a major coup with the Santana acquisition. It was odd to read stories, like Ken Davidoff’s giving the Yankees an assist to the Mets. It was even odder to read reactions in both the mainstream and the non-traditional outlets providing an effective, “Well at least he didn’t go to the Red Sox,” vibe. RealGM graded the trade an A for the Mets and a C for the Twins.
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR B-12 TODAY?
Roger Clemens gave a five-hour, 15 minutes deposition Tuesday in Washington Tuesday, and maintained his innocence regarding his alleged steroid and HGH use in the Mitchell Report. Coverage, so far, has been pretty dry, with all the mainstreamers highlighting the denial and the length of the deposition.
I especially loved how the Daily News made it a point to mention the color combination of Clemens’ wardrobe, how he held a “hot beverage cup” and threw a curveball for photographers before heading into the Rayburn Building.
Exhibitions like that are exactly why news people should not deal with sports stories. Cue the circus calliope music.
We’ll see if any curveballs are thrown next Wednesday, when both Pettitte and Clemens give their testimony in front of Congress.
The saddest part of the recent proceedings may be Chuck Knoblauch. When asked about his alleged use of HGH, he said, “It is what it is.” As Emma Span beautifully encapsulated in this space, Bad Luck Chuck’s statement was not as convincing as DeNiro’s “This is this” mantra from “The Deer Hunter.”
LEGENDS OF THE FALL, AND BY FALL, I MEAN PERSONAL DECLINE
Based on the Kim Mattingly story, or the way it’s been presented, it’s easy to draw conclusions why a) Donnie Baseball went to LA; b) why he left his post beside Joe Torre. The mugshot shown on Deadspin typifies the “Picture’s worth 1,000 words” cliché.
IN OTHER NEWS…
Brian Bruney and his outstanding K/BB ratio (yes, that was sarcastic), are back for 2008. A trend to watch this year – and this is a slam-dunk Spring Training feature – is the effect Dave Eiland could have on this pitching staff, as so many of the young arms worked with him either at Trenton or in Columbus/Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
Next week … recap of the fun times at our nation’s capital, and insight of what it’s like for a beat reporter at Spring Training.