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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pickoff Moves

Just One Inning: Angels 5, Orioles 1

Random bullet points about a game I listened to in passing to a friend's birthday party yesterday: Yahoo boxAngels recap

Enervation: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3 (10 Innings)

What didn't go wrong with this game? Hiroki Kuroda got nailed in the head with a line drive off the bat of pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal, recalling the September 8, 2002 game against the Astros in which Kaz Ishii got clocked for a double by Brian Hunter. (Is there some special rule for this? Why didn't Ryal take second on that play?) The limited good news there is that Kuroda escaped major injury; Rotoworld says it's not clear whether he will need a DL stint, one the Dodgers can scarcely afford. (Incidentally, it was Ryal's sixth game in the majors since being called up from AAA. He sent Kuroda a letter expressing his sincere good wishes for a speedy recovery, which is all you can hope for. I've yet to hear of anyone who really wants an opposition player to be injured, especially in that way.)

Adding insult to that particular injury, the Dodgers went into the ninth with a 3-1 lead, and Jonathan Broxton's toe once again blew the save, giving up solo homers to Mark Reynolds (his 37th of the year and thus somewhat excusable) and Miguel Montero (which was not, this being his 12th). And then came Ramon Troncoso's tenth inning implosion that ended with a bases-loaded "single" to drive in Augie Ojeda. It was really a showcase of every one of the Dodgers' recent flaws in the bullpen, with only a Rockies rainout keeping the day from being a total wash.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

Roster Notes

OT: Michael Vick Is An Eagle, And How Depraved Is That?

My Facebook friends have already seen my mini-rant about Michael Vick's reinstatement in the NFL after landing a job with the Eagles. To me, there are three relevant facts that override any concerns about him being allowed to find work in the NFL:
  1. The depraved nature of what he did to the animals. Via Heather Houlihan's excellent blog, Raised By Wolves, a comment in Bad Rap Blog:
    The details that got to me then and stay with me today involve the swimming pool that was used to kill some of the dogs. Jumper cables were clipped onto the ears of underperforming dogs, then, just like with a car, the cables were connected to the terminals of car batteries before lifting and tossing the shamed dogs into the water. Most of Vick's dogs were small - 40lbs or so - so tossing them in would've been fast and easy work for thick athlete arms. We don't know how many suffered this premeditated murder, but the damage to the pool walls tells a story. It seems that while they were scrambling to escape, they scratched and clawed at the pool liner and bit at the dented aluminum sides like a hungry dog on a tin can.
    I really don't care what he does with the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that actually recommended the euthanasia of the surviving dogs on his property; it's not really transformative, for reasons we shall see presently...
  2. He spent no time on actual animal cruelty charges. He pled not guilty, but animal cruelty charges were ultimately dropped by the state in a plea bargain; his time served was on federal RICO statutes, some of the easiest in the U.S. Code to prosecute.
  3. His allocution evinced no remorse. From his Wikipedia page:
    A significant portion of the plea agreement involved Vick cooperating with federal authorities pursuing other dog fighting cases as well as a complete allocution on his role in the Bad Newz Kennels, including detailing his role in the killing of dogs after the fights. The allocution proved to be a "sticking point," as both federal prosecutors and FBI agents reported that Vick was giving contradictory statements about how dogs were killed, what his role in the killings were, how many dogs were killed, and other details. According to reporters who spoke to Judge Hudson after the sentencing hearing, Vick's pre-sentencing behavior, especially during an FBI polygraph administered in October 2007 which showed that Vick was being deceptive when asked direct questions about killing dogs, was a factor in selecting the length of the sentence.
This is a man who wants fame and fortune restored to him, not a man who has any genuine remorse. The blood-curdling horror of his actions is lost on him; as Houlihan put it,
Torturing helpless animals to death and laughing while you do so is the outward expression of a depraved consciousness and a dead psyche. Some souls go to Hell long before the body follows them. It's a choice.
The Eagles should hear about this, as should their corporate sponsors.

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