Tuesday June 5 7:45 PM
Daniel Alfredsson has quickly gone from a choking dog to a leader on par with Mark Messier (John Muckler's words) who was on the verge of becoming the first European captain to win the stanley cup to a guy who must have had the worst flashback of anybody who's gone through Stockholm syndrome. How else can you explain his decsion to fire the puck at Scott Niedermayer at the end of the second period last night in Ottawa? I'm not sure who once abducted Alfredsson but I am certain that unless he leads the way to one of the greatest comebacks in Stanley Cup history his brain-dead moment will not merely be a footnote. This will hound him like Steve Smith putting the puck into his own net in 1986(at least that really was an accident) or Marty McSorley's decsion to use-and get caught with- an illegal stick against the Canadiens in 1993.
I have yet to see a clip of Alfredsson trying to explain himself. Only this post-game quote:
"I looked up at the clock. There were five, six seconds left. I wind up (to shoot the puck into the Anaheim end) and the puck kinda stops. I'm just getting rid of it. Didn't really mean to hit him … I saw him, yeah, but I just wanted to shoot the puck away."
And Chris Pronger only meant to give Dean McCammond a chance to catch up on some sleep.
Eventually, Alfredsson should be fine. (But judging by the way Ottawa hockey fans normally react in the spring, he might want to re-think his decision to raise his family in Ottawa.)
Can't say the same for Phillip Wellman. The Mississippi Braves manager should be in a straitjacket by now:
Prior to Wellman the worst on field meltdown I ever saw was, believe it or not, Andre Dawson. The normally mild mannered Hawk was with the Cubs by then. Home plate umpire Joe West (I could stop right here...) called Dawson out on strikes. Moments later, after barking at West all the way into the Chicago dugout, Dawson flung every bat from the bat rack onto the field at Wrigley, followed by baseballs, gloves, helmets,pine tar rags, even a coach's wig (or so it seemed) while Cubs fans treated him to a standing ovation.
On the subject of umpires, but good ones, condolences and deepest sympathy to our friend Jim Mckean who's wife Ann passed away last month in Florida. She was 55.
Which MLB milestone happens first-Barry Bonds career home run #756 or Tom Glavine career win #300?...Who gets fired first-Joe Torre, Ozzie Guillen or Nationals GM Jim Bowden?...Who do the Yankees get next to play first base-Julio Franco?...And in the I-thought-he-was-done department: Matt Stairs, age 39, is hitting .298 with a slugging percentage of .553 and an on base percentage of .383 after 39 games and 94 at bats with the Blue Jays. That's an OPS of .936....and how about Orlando Cabrera with the Angels, trying to sneak into the top 10 in AL batting average at .329 following his second career four hit game monday night. He's now 7th in the AL in runs scored with 40. Wonder what Orlando thinks of Gary Sheffield suggesting that latinos are "more easily controlled' than blacks?
Right about now I'd love to see Sheffield dig in against Pedro Martinez.
Favorite Latin Pitchers
1. Pedro Martinez
2. Dennis Martinez
3. Juan Marichal
4. Orlando Hernandez (El Duque)
5. Luis Tiant
6. Livan Hernandez
7. Johan Santana
8. Pascual Perez
9. Teddy Higuera