This spring, Tigers first baseman Miggy Cabrera earned a DUI and got belligerent with officers at the scene. A few weeks ago, Cincinnati’s Mike Leake shoplifted $60 worth of T-shirts from a local Macy’s. Now Atlanta’s Derek Lowe is the one making headlines.
The 37 year old sinkerball pitcher was pulled over around 10pm Thursday night in Atlanta. According to rotoworld.com, “after Lowe was stopped, the trooper ‘detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage’ and gave him a field sobriety test. Lowe then refused to take a state-administered alcohol test and was also charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain lane.”
Lowe was released this morning on a bail amount just under $3,000.
When “regular” people get DUIs, it’s bad enough. When these athletes get caught, it’s even more reprehensible. Lowe couldn’t afford a taxi or a private driver? He couldn’t find anyone to drive him home? He’s Derek Lowe! I know these guys bristle at being called role models and I’m not going to argue that they need to be paragons of virtue 24/7, but come on. This is a pointless and idiotic offense.
It would be nice to see Major League Baseball actually do something about these slip-ups. Perhaps a short suspension? One start for pitchers, two games for position players? A fine? Both?
Meanwhile, after the Roger McDowell thing, the Braves’ P.R. staff must be shaking their heads…
With the NFL Draft happening as I write, it makes me wonder if there’s anything Major League Baseball can do to improve the draft in terms of popularity and excitement.
Sadly, there’s not much the league can do. The biggest issue with the baseball draft is the fact that the majority of those players drafted are years away from making “The Show”, so fans feel zero connection to them and thus, zero desire to care.
However, there are a couple of things the league can do to simply improve the draft. Whether it leads to improved popularity or excitement is anyone’s guess.
My first idea is to allow draft picks to be traded. There are two ways to do this. One is to only allow picks to be traded for other picks in a package deal where one team gives another team multiple picks from multiple years to move up higher in one draft. Imagine if say the Yankees really wanted Bryce Harper. They would have offered the Nationals most of their picks for the next five years to get him. This would have allowed the Nationals to really improve their minor leagues by sheer numbers. The more players you have in your system, the better the chance of you having a future Hall of Famer.
Al Bello/Getty Images
The second way is to allow picks to be included in player trades. Imagine how many picks a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Florida Marlins could get when they trade away a young star player. Instead of making a team accept whichever bench warmer or sub-AAA player they can convince the other team to part with, they can instead demand draft picks as well. How many draft picks would the Marlins have gotten from the Tigers for Miguel Cabrera? Getting minor league players is all well and good, but the majority of the players in the minors aren’t going to see any MLB level time. Each draft comes with the chance of finding a player like Ken Griffey Jr. or Alex Rodriguez; one that will spend little to no time in the minors and instead be an instant sensation both on the field and in the ticket booth.
MLB has the toughest playoff format in major sports, and now Bud Selig wants to soften it by adding more teams. I say it’s an obvious money-grab. With such a long season, it’s unwise to add more games. Plus having that long season means that getting to the playoffs actually means something; it’s a difficult achievement. I’m against making it easier.
Atlanta's McDowell is sure to face reprisals for his outburst (Ehrmann/ Getty)
In case you missed it, Atlanta Braves’ pitching coach Roger McDowell insulted and threatened San Francisco Giants fans at a game back on April 23rd. I would say “allegedly”, but McDowell has since apologized, which puts to bed the notion that he might have been falsely accused. And frankly (as my buddy John put it) you can’t make this stuff up.
Some reported highlights of McDowell’s hate-filled shenanigans:
“Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?”
“Are you three giving it to each other up the ass?”
“How much are your teeth worth?”
and my personal favorite, “Kids don’t f—ing belong at a baseball park.”
Classy. During the exchange, McDowell brandished a bat and used it to threaten spectators. He also used it to simulate a sex act, manifesting his words in a spectacularly distasteful display of stupidity. Read the rest of this entry »