Saturday Morning Breakfast & Baseball: Ozzie Drama, New Rays Ballpark, Ichiro & His Bats, and More

New York Times/Getty Images

In today's B&B, we look at (more) Ozzie Guillen drama in Miami, a potential new Rays ballpark that won't happen, Ichiro's obsession with his bat care, biased announcers, Glen Perkins going pitch-by-pitch through a save with Joe Posnanski, and the result of Citi Field moving in their fences.

Welcome to Saturday, everyone! With the changes to Twinkie Town and the whole SB Nation, I was going to try to create a new account for myself. You see, I've been logging in through Facebook this whole time, which is why my whole name always appears whenever I author an article or game thread. This morning, I decided to fix that with a new account, and so I came to Twinkie Town with that mission in mind. However, I quickly found that my desired username "Bryz" has already been taken... and then I remembered why. Long ago, I created an account with that username, except I immediately forgot the password. Thus, the username is already in use by myself, ugh. So, it looks like I'll be stuck with most of my full name for now, meaning that I'll remain just as famous as Ryan Rowland-Smith when it comes to baseball and hyphenated last names.

  • Just like in Boston with Bobby Valentine, it's becoming messy down in Miami with Ozzie Guillen. We all know him quite well from his White Sox days, and it looks like his actions just aren't as fun when the team isn't winning. First, let's backtrack a bit. Closer Heath Bell, who was a big Marlins free agent signing last offseason, has been pitching awfully this year. He was stripped of the closer role and despite pitching better of late, hadn't received it back from Ozzie. Bell went on a Miami radio show to complain about Ozzie, saying "It's hard to respect a guy that doesn't tell you the truth." Bell would later say that he was taken out of context, but if this wasn't a big deal, he wouldn't have had to backtrack and say that his words were twisted. Anyway, Ozzie then went on a radio show himself to complain about Bell, and to make it really awkward, the media walked into the clubhouse right as the Marlins team was listening to Ozzie trash Bell on the air. To make it even worse, Ozzie was asked if he respected Bell and his response was, "As a player, yes. As a guy, I don't know." Showtime must be kicking themselves for ending "The Franchise" early with this team, and I bet either Ozzie or Bell will leave the team sometime before next season.
  • Darryl LeClair is a developer in St. Petersburg, FL, and he has an idea on getting a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays. That's not a bad idea, considering that Tropicana Field is essentially Metrodome South, except instead of having a roof that interfered with an outfielder's ability to catch fly balls, it has catwalks that interfere with an outfielder's ability to catch fly balls. However, there are some issues. First, no one knows how the stadium will be funded. Second, the Rays and MLB haven't announced if they even want LeClair working on the ballpark. Third, LeClair's proposed land for the park is only 12 acres (Target Field is built on only 12 acres, but that doesn't mean it's recommended for all parks). Finally, which surprisingly wasn't mentioned in the article, the Rays are contracted to play in Tropicana Field for the rest of eternity until 2027. But hey, good luck to ya, LeClair.
  • Alright, saying he's obsessed was probably the wrong word. It's more like he's meticulous. Ichiro Suzuki recapped how he takes care of his bats, which involves a black case that dehumidifies the bats. Ichiro believes that a bat with too much moisture becomes spongy and "sweaty," which will soften the impact of the bat meeting a baseball. It's a pretty interesting read, especially when we learn that he actually once broke a bat in a fit of anger back in 1999. Even more interesting is that he later called the bat manufacturer to apologize.
  • We have another story on bias and baseball announcers, but last time dealt with race. This time, we're looking at an announcer's bias towards his team he's covering, and you will be absolutely shocked to hear who came out with an easy victory in this department. None other than the man that touts the White Sox, Hawk Harrelson. Yes, it wasn't even close, as Hawk and his partner Steve Stone combined to say 103 biased comments (saying "we," calling the Sox "good guys," his annoying phrases) in a single game, while the 2nd place team was the Cleveland Indians with 23. The link above is the Wall Street Journal article about the study, while this is the tallies for every team in the league. Two things: The Twins ranked rather high (tied for 7th), but Dick 'n' Bert had only 9 biased comments during the game that was analyzed, and I'm shocked the Marlins guys didn't have more during the game (5th, 15 comments). You should watch MLB Network to catch my drift.
  • Our once hated, now beloved reliever Glen Perkins walked Joe Posnanski through his recent save against the Yankees from Wednesday night. The reason Posnanski approached him was to focus on how an athlete bounces back from a significant mistake. In Perk's case, he allowed a solo home run with 2 outs to Andruw Jones that cut the lead to 1, but he bounced back to strike out Jayson Nix to end the game. You get some pretty cool insight on what Perkins does to get ready before an appearance, how he approaches each batter (he doesn't want to know who he's facing until he gets to the mound), and how a player's cleats helped him relax on the mound.
  • Finally, here's another #CrankyBryz rant, but it's tame compared to my last one. After repeated complaints, the New York Mets finally moved in their fences to appease the hitters. Well, it certainly worked, as 47 more home runs were hit this year compared to last. However, the new fences ended up benefiting the opposition slightly more than the Mets, as the road teams hit 25 HR that would not have cleared the old fences, while the Mets hit 21 of those cheap dingers. The reason moving in the fences annoys me is because it's seemingly always done with the home hitters in mind, but it completely ignores the pitchers and the fact that moving the fences will benefit the opponents as well. In this case, while it was a small difference, it helped the Mets' opponents more than the Mets themselves. Target Field is becoming more hitter-friendly this year, but this is still something you should remember the next time the spacious confines of the Twins' home ballpark is mentioned.

The Twins and #SpoilerTour2K12 continues this afternoon against the Tigers. It's my final game for this season, and perhaps I'll see you there!

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