Orlando Hernandez and other Cuban baseball defectors were on the air in Cuba for the first time since feeling the country. In a sign of loosening policies, officials allowed a baseball documentary on the air in Cuba. The 68-minute documentary, made in 2004, looks at how players who left the island nation view their Cuban heritage. · (8) ·
When it comes to sports, baseball is my game. Now and then, I’ll watch the Knicks give a pretty pitiful 48-minute attempt at playing basketball, and on Sundays, I’ll usually kick back with a Giants game on. But nothing tops my love and knowledge of baseball.
I can’t sit here and analyze tonight’s Giants game like I could for any Yankee game. I can’t reel off Giants trivia like I can for the Yankees. And I don’t feel a particular love-and-death sort of relationship with Big Blue as I do with the Yankee. I can stomach a Giants loss and move on with my Sunday. But when the Yankees lose, well, the world ends. Clearly.
But tonight’s game was one for the ages. Playing with in Dallas with a beat-up defense and a depleted secondary, the Giants managed to stop the Cowboys and return to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 2000. The only thing standing between the Giants and a coveted trip to the Super Bowl are the Green Bay Packers.
It certainly won’t be easy for the Giants to stop the Packers, but they could do it. The Giants have reeled off nine straight road wins right now, and as John Mara said, no one even expected them to make the playoffs this year, let alone win their first two games.
The Giants have already lost the Packers once this year, but then again, they had already lost to the Cowboys twice. Maybe Eli, the only Manning left in the playoffs, can step further out of his brother’s shadow and delivery the Giants to the Super Bowl. But win or lose, it’s been a great run, and I was genuinely nervous and excited as the clock wound down on that last-gasp fourth-quarter Cowboys drive. And in the end, it is comforting to see a New York sports team make and win in the playoffs this year. Here’s to hoping the Yanks pick up that mantle in October.
“This is a textbook case of slander: If steroids had not injected themselves—maliciously and with premeditation—into Mr. Clemens’ bloodstream on multiple occasions, people would not be accusing my client of taking steroids,” Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a statement released Tuesday.
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Via the Winston-Salem Journal, the AP is reporting that 2007 first round pick Andrew Brackman is scheduled to begin throwing from 90 feet next week. Brackman is right on target with the rehab schedule I explained in his Prospect Profile. It sucks having to wait a year to see your first rounder take part in game action, but trust me, it’s better than not having a first round pick all together. The AP piece also notes that Humberto Sanchez will start throwing off a mound next month, putting him on target for game action in May. · (14) ·
With Congressional grandstanding comes legal games.
Right now, Roger Clemens does not have to testify in front of Congress or agree to a deposition in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Henry Waxman and Co. have asked Clemens to cooperate, but Clemens would simply be granting Congress a favor in doing so. He has yet to be legally compelled to testify.
And guess what? It doesn’t sound like he’s too keen to come forward on his own. T.J. Quinn has the story:
After saying repeatedly that Roger Clemens will answer any questions Congress wants to ask him, a source familiar with the inquiry said Saturday night that attorney Rusty Hardin is hedging over the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s request to depose Clemens under oath next week because it might interfere with his defamation lawsuit against personal trainer Brian McNamee.
The source said Hardin is also making “noises” about not turning over a taped conversation between McNamee and two investigators for Hardin’s office recorded Dec. 12, the day before the Mitchell report was released.
Raise if your hand if you’re surprised. Exactly.
While tales of reported abscesses on Clemens’ buttocks may end up throwing McNamee’s credibility into doubt, I’m not at all surprised that Hardin would opt not to have Clemens testify in front of Congress. Our esteemed legislative body isn’t the tightest lipped organization, and Hardin wouldn’t want his legal strategy plastered all over the pages of the nation’s newspapers. On the surface, this does represent an about-face for Hardin who said that Clemens would definitely testify at a hearing, but a deposition may hold more legal weight.
Meanwhile, Quinn’s sources say that nothing has been decided yet. Clemens may yet agree to be deposed or Congress could resort to a subpoena. No one knows. For a change.
From the Canadian Press. Why they’re writing about the Yankees in January, I don’t know.
“I try to avoid the rumours best I can, but you eventually here it from friends, family and the whole deal,” Hughes said after working out Friday at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “You never want to hear your name out there, but on the other side, at least it’s good to know that other teams think highly of you. I wouldn’t say tough winter, but definitely an interesting one.”
That’s right; Phil Hughes is already in Florida working out at the Yankees’ minor league complex. That’s devotion, dedication and drive any Yankee fan has to love. The Press notes that Hughes wants to work off a mound before Feb. 14 and wants to get in “four or five bullpens.” And that is just one of the reasons why we love Phil Hughes.
Via Ken Rosenthal:
Another source, however, says the Yankees no longer are talking to the Twins about Santana and simply chose to keep their outfield intact rather than sign Cameron. Hank Steinbrenner has been the Yankees’ executive most adamant about landing Santana, but he seemingly has backed off in his most recent public comments.
That’s the clearest indication we’ve gotten so far that the Yanks are truly finished with the Twins and Johan Santana. But who knows what anonymous sources know? As nothing has happened lately and, by all accounts, the Yankee package — which the Twins don’t like — is of the table, I’m inclined to believe this. Maybe the Big Three will be saved after all. · (20) ·
Here’s an interesting story on an otherwise quiet Friday: Robin Ventura talks about his recovery from ankle transplant surgery. I didn’t know this at the time, but when Ventura was on the Yanks, he was playing on a severely damaged ankle. To repair the damage, doctors grafted a piece of bone into his ankle. It’s quite the tale of medical advances. · (5) ·