Jonathan Papelbon isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last professional athlete to go lewd and rude in the heat of a moment’s frustration when fans crawl all over him following a moment’s failure. But it doesn’t put him squarely in the right to suggest that Joe West, an umpire who is not allergic to the limelight, the grudge, or the self-appointment of being a law unto himself, was squarely in the wrong for escalating a simple misbehaviour into an unnecessary toxin.
Ryne Sandberg laboured long and hard to earn a shot at major league managing. He’d wanted it with the Chicago Cubs, for whom he’d been a Hall of Fame second baseman, and he’d gone deep into the Cubs’ system for his chance only to be snubbed—despite several seasons’ success, a reputation as a teaching manager, and a parallel reputation as a no-nonsense competitor—for a guy who didn’t last much more than a full season.
Cliff Lee did indeed hit the waiver wire and the Los Angeles Dodgers put a claim on the Philadelphia lefthander Friday, giving both sides 72 hours to work out a deal before the Phillies can pull him back from the wire.
The Phillies insist Lee “isn’t going anywhere,” according to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., but Lee’s salary in a year when he’s in demand but has had his struggles would be a too-attractive salary for the Phillies to shed with other big but untradeable contracts still on the team.