January 22, 2005

Stop Sniveling ... After Alex Rodriguez slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove late in ALCS Game 6, costing the Yankees a run and possibly the AL pennant, Curt Schilling called the chop "freakin' junior high baseball at its best," then twisted the knife. "Let me ask you something: Does Jeter do that? You know for a fact he doesn't because Derek Jeter is a class act and a professional, that's why."

Yesterday, "still clearly seething" from Schilling's comments (according to Michael Morrissey of the New York Post), Slappy McBluelips answered back: "To me it was just odd, because I mean we beat him a couple of times during the year and he was crying on the bench. And then he lost Game 1 and he wouldn't talk or anything. And obviously, he wins Game 6 and then he's still talking 'till today. ... I just hope he continues to talk about me and my teammates. It's going to give us great motivation to beat him up in the future."

Schilling: "It's not true, I talked after Game 1. I don't care what Alex says. When someone says that, you consider the source. ...[I] was upset, but I wasn't crying on the bench. ... If that's what he needs (for motivation), cool."

Slappy also took the blame for his pitiful performance (2-for-17) in Games 4-5-6-7 of the ALCS: "At the end of the day, I feel like my job was a failure because I was basically taken there to be the final part of a world championship team. So if you have to blame someone or point a finger at someone, you have to look in my direction, and I take 100 percent of the blame." ... He said his team's unprecedented choke job has been "the driving force of my winter."

Read the Globe, Daily News, Post, Times, Hartford Courant and Newark Star-Ledger.

Dirt Dog improves on the classic picture of Slap-Rod. He also links to a story in the Las Vegas Sun, wherein Doug Mirabelli talks about Doug Mientkiewicz after the final out was recorded in St. Louis. "I could read his mind. He was in that dog pile and squeezing his glove as hard as possible." I figured from the snip that Belly knew Snook was planning to hoard the ball, but Mirabelli actually supports Malphabet. Right after the story broke, he called Mientkiewicz and told him: "You are the dumbest guy in America if you give the ball back."

Also: Mark Bellhorn and Bronson Arroyo agreed to one-year contracts on Tuesday. The team will likely move either Doug Mientkiewicz or Kevin Millar once Carlos Delgado decides where he wants to play. The Globe's Chris Snow looks at the Sox's two first basemen; he also wrote a nice feature on Theo Epstein's four assistants.

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