LONGSHOTS: Lying from baseball’s Pinocchio prompts questions
by Dave Long
First there was a flat out “no” to Katie Couric on 60 Minutes. Then he told ESPN’s Peter Gammons this in an interview he had to do after disclosures in Selena Robert’s upcoming book had him dead to rights: “This lady is coming out with all these allegations, all these lies because she’s writing an article for Sports Illustrated and she’s coming out with a book in May.” After Alex Rodriguez recanted that because it was all true, he said he only took steroids while a member of the Texas Rangers.
That happened in a press conference that the Yankees brass was so confident he couldn’t get through without a Ralph Kramden like “huminaaa, huminaaaa” moment, they allowed NO follow-up questions. And last week came the assertion in Selena Roberts’ new book about him that Pinocchio Rodriguez may have been taking the drugs since high school.
That got me to thinking — who the heck is asking the questions out there? And more importantly, why did the reporters follow that absurd Yankees no follow-up questions dictate? And finally, I wish I was there to ask a few — ’cause I have a bunch for myself. So here’s a couple I’d ask, along with a host of others that I’ve been storing up that range from the tough to some from the more friendly variety that I’ve been wondering about from people I don’t run across on a day-to-day basis.
So to A-fraud, let’s ask — When are you going to stop all the lying? I don’t know who your mom is, but if you were my kid, no matter how old, I’d have washed your mouth out with soap a long time ago.
To the people who pay to see him — When are you going to say enough is enough and not give the Yankees and MLB any more of your money until he passes a lie detector test?
For just suspended for 50 games Manny Ramirez — What excuse are you going to use? I didn’t know what I was taking or the dog ate my homework. Each is about as original as the other.
To my friend the battling barrister — Not Liberal Lou DeMato: Why can’t the Dodgers not only withhold the 50 games worth of his $25 million, but since their entire marketing efforts are based around him and he did this to himself — why can’t they sue him for financially messing up their season?
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig — Hey Bud, do you want to put the steroids mess behind you once and for all? Then find a way to release the names of the 103 who tested positive in 2004 and take the heat for a while. Then there will be no bombshells left to drop. And a second one — how much are you paying your PR staff? — ’cause that’s PR 101.
To actor Robert Redford, who’s working on a film on Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier — Hey, Bob, are you going to address the question I’ve always wondered about? How much did opening an avenue to the incredibly deep talent pool of the Negro Leagues and building a new customer base in black Americans who’d pay to see Jackie play have to do with it? Or was that just a byproduct of righting the terrible injustice?
And here’s one for Branch himself: What do you think of Redford getting the part to play you in the as yet untiled upcoming movie?
To Theo Epstein: If you got the offer — would you trade Dustin Pedroia for Evan Longoria?
For David Ortiz — Is it a second straight horrendous slump to start the season, is it Manny’s not hitting behind you, is the power’s gone or is it something else?
To my friend Pete Tarrier: With the way guys get suspended these days for a love tap, what do you think the sentence would be from David Stern after the famous Kevin McHale’s below-the-Tarrier-Line body slam take-down of Kurt Rambis in the ’84 playoffs — life or the chair?
To Paul Pierce — Hey, Paul, what’s with all the slow starts?
For Rajon Rondo — Are you waiting for a fifth or a sixth time for the ball to get stolen before you knock off that letting the ball roll up the court so the clock would start trick?
To UConn alum and afternoon host of the Home Team on (plug, plug) WGAM Mike Mutnansky — who wins the your alum MVP for the fantastic Bulls-Celtics, Ben Gordon or Ray Allen?
To Doc Rivers — Hey, Doc, what ever happened to that Tony Allen guy? It’s not like Stephon Marbury is giving you anything and I do recall Tony doing a lot more than that last year in the playoffs.
And speaking of Starbury this one’s for you — who’s your agent? Anyone who could get you $20 million a year should go right to the Agents Hall of Fame without having to pass go or wait the five years mere mortal like Scott Boras will have to. That’s even better than Boras snookering Theo into giving JD Drew $15 million per for five years.
Speaking of good agents, to Pedro Martinez — who’s yours? Think your strategy of waiting out a big injury on a contender to get your $5 million asking price will work after going 5-6 and posting a 5.61 ERA in 2008?
I know the great John Wooden has weighed in on this for his two biggest stars from back in the day in taking Lew Alcindor over Bill Walton. But I want to hear what the legend has to say about three more great rivals. So, Coach — who you taking in these three, Larry or Magic? Wilt or Russell? And with the drum beat about to really get started on this if they wind up in the finals — Kobe or LeBron?
And while we’re at it, since you are one of the most astute judges of talent in the NBA — who you taking in that last match-up Danny Ainge? And also — are you going to give Big Baby Davis the $3 to $5 million he’ll get offered when he hits the free agent market this summer?
And speaking of Big Baby — let’s ask him — did you know that baby was going in at the end of Game Four?
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts Dave Long and Company from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.