Monday, March 01, 2004

Paging Danny Tartabull | Billy Wagner's return to throwing was pushed back a few days earlier today. Everyone is saying it's probably nothing -- well, not quite everyone -- yet I still get this uneasy feeling about it. An MRI turned up no ligament, tendon, or joint damage in the middle finger of Wagner's left hand, but it still hurts. Geez -- the guy hasn't even thrown a pitch that matters, and already he's causing Phils fans the same kind of agita that Jose Mesa did.

And speaking of our old buddy Joe Table, he had this to say about the Phillies in a profile in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week:

"They didn't give me the opportunity. They were playing with my mind too much and lost confidence in me. When the manager loses confidence in you, there's nothing you can do," Mesa said. "It was tough. I don't blame them. Today you're here. Tomorrow you don't know where you're going to be."

Well, way to be a stand-up guy, Jose. If he's at all honest with himself, a trait that most professional athletes find difficult at best, Mesa must realize that he pitched himself out of the closer's role in Philadelphia. If anything, Larry Bowa probably hung on a little too long. "Playing with my mind"? Come on. Closers aren't supposed to have ERAs over 6, comprende, amigo? And to top it off, Mesa even plays the athlete's favorite game, Blame the Media:

The word also was that Mesa didn't talk to the media and that he got into a shouting and shoving match with a Philadelphia reporter last year. But when asked to do an interview yesterday, Mesa was approachable and pleasant. Is Mesa turning over a new leaf?

"I've always talked to the press. The thing is, some places I've been they ripped me off. I decided not to talk to the people who are doing it," Mesa said. "Sometimes you get mad and don't want to talk, so you tell them that we can talk tomorrow and then they get mad. If you blow a save, I'm the kind of guy who takes that personally. I don't like to talk after I blow a save. The next day, when your mind's fresh, we can talk about it."

Ay, caramba!


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