Brownie Points: Baseball tantrums out of control - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Brownie Points: Baseball tantrums out of control

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Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2007 12:58 am | Updated: 6:21 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

I love video of a good Earl Weaver or Billy Martin hissy fit as much as anyone. But when did we decide it was OK for baseball managers to turn an argument into a Shakespearian tragedy with poor costuming?

I’m sure it has something to do with allowing them to dress like a player — Lou Piniella wouldn’t send dirt flying in one of Pat Riley’s Armani suits — but things have gone over the top. Each routine must top the other.

We’ve seen the hat toss, seen home plate disappear under dirt and seen the bases get uprooted and hurled into the outfield. Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman added his twist this weekend with the rosin bag/hand grenade pantomime, but the playing field is running out of props.

Wellman got a three-game suspension and instant national recognition. Sounds like a fair trade to me.

I’m waiting for the manager who flies out of the dugout with a trunk of handmade bits, sort of like Carrot Top or Gallagher. He’ll have all the staples — glasses, an eye chart, three blind mice, a drug test vile — and then sledgehammer a watermelon on the pitching rubber before leaving to a standing ovation.

Tanks a lot

It sure seems like local boy Chicago Bear Tank Johnson, who has been arrested three times in the last 18 months and served time in jail, got off easy with an eight-game suspension by the NFL (with the possibility of having it shortened to six).

If I’m Pacman Jones, who has been a busy boy but hasn’t been arrested or convicted of anything, I’m wondering why Johnson isn’t sitting next to me on the sidelines for the whole year.

Roger that

After consultation with noted trainers and psychologists, here’s our best guess on New York pitcher Roger Clemens’ “fatigued groin” injury: He would rather make his 2007 debut in Yankee Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates than in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.

Can’t say I blame the guy, but let’s come up with a better alibi.

Quick hitters

 • Worst Shawn Marion rumor so far: An article in Monday’s Detroit News suggested the Pistons might be able to lure Marion away from the Suns for a package headed by Rasheed Wallace. What no Ron Artest or Bonzi Wells offers?

Denver’s Marcus Camby is available. He offers more defense and less trouble. But is he worth breaking up the core?

 • You have to wonder how much harder the Orlando Magic would have pursued former Suns assistant coach Marc Iavaroni if they’d known Billy Donovan would get homesick for Gainesville. The Magic would take Donovan over Iavaroni, but Iavaroni over Stan Van Gundy? Maybe not.

 • Gary Sheffield doesn’t speak for his race any more than Don Imus speaks for his. But while Sheffield’s recent misguided comments about Latinos smacks of ignorance, he won’t lose his job — because he can hit the ball a long way.

 • Warning: While the NBA Finals are still on hold, the Stanley Cup finals could end tonight. If you’ve been meaning to watch a hockey game this season, what better time.

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