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Jake Peavy grooved one to Barry Bonds

Jan 29, 2010, 9:58 AM EDT

Before we get to that, some followup from Mike Bacsik, who was accused by former teammate Tim Redding yesterday of grooving home run 756 to Barry Bonds. Bacsik tweets:


For everyone on my page that needs a denial; I didn’t try to give up the homerun. I was crappy enough to do it without trying . . . If somebody would
have asked me, what teammate will say you tried to give up a homerun?
After laughing my answer would have been Tim Redding.

I still don’t know or frankly really care of Bacsik served up a fat one to Bonds, but (a) I like his sense of humor; and (b) he’s not the first guy to slam Tim Redding for being something of a horse’s ass.

In other news — old news, anyway — Jake Peavy doesn’t need anyone to accuse him of grooving one to Barry Bonds. He admitted it freely a couple of years ago:

“Obviously,
everyone in the ballpark knew that was going to be Barry’s last
at-bat,” Peavy recalled. “Me and Barry being buddies, I wanted to take
care of him in his old ballpark. I wanted to give him as good a
send-off as he could have. That being said, I couldn’t throw cookies up
there all night because we had to win. But we were able to get a 9-2
lead, and I’m facing Barry knowing this was going to be his last at-bat.

“At that point, I knew we were going to win that game and he knew I
was going to give him a good pitch to hit. He didn’t have to guess what
was coming: a fastball. He took a good shot at it and just missed it.
We had a good little exchange there. We would’ve done that whether it
had been on the field or not. But he wanted the fans to be a part of us
paying our respect to each other.”

Mickey Mantle was grooved one near the end too.  And I’m not sure I have any problem with that kind of stuff. One of the things that
separates baseball from the lesser sports is that there is more room for
friendship and camaraderie, even on the actual field of play. The way I see it, if it’s only a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, and if it’s not affecting the outcome of a game, no harm, no
foul.  I appreciate that I may be in the minority on that, but that’s nothing new.

(thanks to lar for the Peavy link)

  1. DiamondDuq - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    I totally agree Craig. I have no problem what-so-ever with the all-time greats being shown this level of respect. Cal Ripken Jr. was served up several homeruns, notably in his 2131st straight game and his final all-star game (in addition to A-Rod moving to 3rd allowing Cal to play SS), it’s a classy thing to do.

  2. rotisserie meat - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Hell, check the Sam Crawford section of Glory of Their Times. He talks about how he an Walter Johnson were pals. How Walter liked his model of bats and used to come over to their locker room and borrow them from time to time. How every once in a while Walter would groove him a fat one when the game was not in question. How that got the goat of his teammate Ty Cobb, who couldn’t hit a lick off Johnson. Long tradition.

  3. Matt - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Pete Rose agrees, and wonders if he could trouble you to forward your post to Gene Garber.

  4. Anon - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    OK, now I’m confused. What’s the difference between Peavy grooving a pitch to Bonds and A-Rod (or any other player) tipping pitches to opposing hitters. I thought the latter was the most damning charge against A-Rod in the Roberts book, and the NYTimes ran a story about the phenomena stating that some player (I can’t remember who right now – Tejada maybe?) nearly got his ass kicked by teammates when they suspected he was tipping.
    So what’s the difference? Is there one? Personally, I don’t think so – they’re both really, really bad, because they take a true competitive sport and reduce it to professional wrestling.

  5. Old Gator - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Well, since the Mick rarely gets mentioned these days – A-Rod was the last tail chaser to come in for a blagging here (Tiger plays golf so he doesn’t count), and who knows how long it’ll be before the next one, here’s a great true and I will bet hitherto undisclosed Mickey Mantle story that was told to me by Eric Blau, author of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” among other plays and novels. Way back when Eric was a struggling young writer, he got a job for Topps writing little booklets to be inserted in their bubblegum and baseball card packs – booklets with titles like “How I Pitch” by Whitey Ford, “How I Catch” by Yogi Berra, and “How I Hit” by Mickey Mantle. He got to interview each one of those guys briefly in gathering his information for these booklets. During his interview with Mantle at a bar in Manhattan, they both had one too many drinks, but Eric was able to make some sense of what Mantle told him from his notes and wrote the booklet.
    .
    Some months later, Mantle was mired in one of the worst slumps of his life. He tried just about everything to break out of it. Then one night, around three A.M., Eric’s phone rings. He answers it, and it’s Mantle, stewed to the gills. “Hey Ewric,” Mantle slurs, “I wed your brook.” “Uh, yeah?” Eric mutters. “You’re full of shit,” Mantle exclaims and hangs up.

  6. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Gator, I hope to God that story is true. And even if it isn’t, I’m going to assume it is.

  7. (Not That) Tom - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Jake Peavy has ruined the integrity of the game. He has disgraced the Aaron family and, as such, should be excluded from any HoF discussion and kicked out of baseball immediately.
    That’s how it works, right?

  8. Charles Gates - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    I think that’s kind of the point. The media/fan outcry is, for the most part, arbitrary. There’s no consistent basis for the criticism…except that a number of those in the media will write anything based upon whatever the flavor of the week is, regardless of whether the current statement contradicts something they soap boxed about in the past.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Cross my two-chambered herpetological heart, every word of it. Eric Blau grew up with my father on the lower east side of Manhattan (back when Alphabet City was primarily eastern European Jewish – we’re talking about the 1920s-40s) and they remained friends all their lives. Eric told me this story at least twenty years ago over dinner with his wife Ellie, my wife (who is British and had no idea who Mickey Mantle was until that night), and my father and mother – at Bruce Ho’s Four Seas Restaurant (one of the great Chinese restaurants in New York, long gone and still dearly missed) on East 57th Street in Manhattan, next to The Irish Pavilion. You cherish stories like that, of course, and though over the years you may be tempted to embellish them, you never forget the tiniest detail.

  10. Alan - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    No harm no foul. In Babe Ruth’s last game, he hit three home runs. The pitchers tossed BP fastballs. Fantastic end to the Babe’s career. Grooving a pitch to Bonds was good theater and nobody was harmed.

  11. TF in Tampa - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Craig, if you have any doubts about Gator, the struggling short story novelist from way back when, and his story about the Mick, all you have to do is put on your Lawyer hat, get in contact with his source Eric Blau and get his sworn testimony, and the world will be alright again.
    Remember Gator’s age, his proximity to NYC, and his ‘Rock Star’ status, lends me to believe he’s adhearing to the cliche “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil’.
    Gator wouldn’t have it any other way. Right, OG???

  12. Old Gator - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    It’s every word as true as the day I was born. ‘Course as Keyser Soze once noted, the biggest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t really exist.

  13. Booner - Jan 29, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Gator, the Devil exists – he’s sitting right next to my office with “President” on the door!

  14. eaglealan64 - Jan 29, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    In cricket it used to be the gentlemanly thing to do to give batsman an easy delivery to hit the very first ball he faced, he was supposed to only take a single and it was called “one for the mark”. Doesn’t happen in today’s professional, hyper-competitive world!

  15. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 29, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Blau died last year.

  16. TF in Tampa - Jan 29, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Good to know your following protocol and doing your Due Diligence. I expected nothing less, considering you stepped away from the lawyering [I hope thats a word] profession.
    Gators 2nd and 3rd testimonials above should be good enough for us to put this issue to bed. I hope you agree.

  17. Ron - Jan 29, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    That wasn’t his last game. Those were his last homeruns. He had more AB’s after that, in other games.

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