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Everett's tirade was a scary thing
By Peter Gammons
Special to ESPN.com
When Carl Everett's agent, Larry Reynolds, slowed down the video and proved that, contrary to the reports submitted by the umpires, that Everett didn't in fact head-butt umpire Ron Kulpa, he won a reduction in the sentence that was handed down. Reynolds showed that Everett's nose and lips struck the umpire, not his forehead.
Fine. But for Everett to then take off and blame the media made him look foolish, because the media didn't throw down Tommy Harper or fire a bat past Bret Saberhagen's head.
Everett is entirely correct when he says that he felt that the media obsessed on his case. Was it that big a national story? Was it necessary to lead the news with a decision not handed down? Is this just too much tabloid TV? Probably, but Everett's tirade was scary and abusive. The Red Sox' complaint that he was baited doesn't hold water, because after baiting Dennis Cook the night before, getting him ejected for hitting Everett (with a pitch that was close to a strike) and having Everett and Trot Nixon yell at him, it could be expected that Mike Piazza would pull the technicality on Everett, whose temper is well-known to his former teammates.
Frank Robinson would have preferred 15 games, but lawyers talked him down. It should also be pointed out that Kulpa was essentially exonerated by the commissioner's office, which under the watchful eye of Sandy Alderson has come down hard on umpires.
The commissioner's office knows that because of the prolonged negotiations that the training of the young umpires was put off until this coming offseason. (One tool that will be used to train umpires is a device that is currently installed at Fenway Park, which videotapes the pitches and shows where the strike zone should be. This device will also be used in the Arizona Fall League.)
But the commissioner's office is looking to crack down on managers who constantly clash with umpires, notably Bobby Cox, Larry Rothschild and Jimy Williams. In the past, managers haven't paid much of a price for ejections; for instance, one league source estimates Cox paid only $500 in fines for 13 ejections last season.News and notes
The latest came in Montreal, where assistant GM Mike Berger convinced owner Jeff Loria to dump pitching coach Bobby Cuellar, who is close to GM Jim Beattie, and Luis Pujols, who is manager Felipe Alou's closest aide on the staff. What does this say about the future of Beattie and Alou with that team, especially if the Expos leave Montreal? Jeff Torborg is the manager-in-waiting for Loria.
There are some nervous GMs around, from Terry Ryan in Minnesota to Cam Bonifay in Pittsburgh. Mets assistant GM Jim Duquette's name continues to crop up in several cities as a possible new GM.
Next up for the A's? A 22-year-old second baseman named Jose Ortiz, who's on a 20-homer, 40-double, 30-steal pace in Triple-A. "He's a 30-homer middle infielder," says Oakland GM Billy Beane, who already has one of those players in shortstop Miguel Tejada.
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