Initially, I wrote how Gene Mauch, Jim Konstanty and Darren Daulton were my choices for the Wall of Fame, but voting in Vuke and just Vuke was the right way to go.
The Phillies said Vukovich's wife Bonnie, daughter Nicole and son Vince will accept Vuke’s induction.
“I started crying when David [Montgomery] called me,” Bonnie said in a statement issued by the team. “I called John’s brothers right away and they started crying. I’m so thrilled for John that he’ll be on that wall forever. When the granddaughters are grown, I can take them there and show them their grandfather. That will be so special.”
At the very least, Vuke deserves the stage all to himself. It’s just too bad he couldn’t be here to grumble about it.
Speaking of grumbling, Jason Giambi has reached an agreement to talk to the former Senator George Mitchell for his investigation of baseball’s doping problem. According to reports, Giambi was ordered by Commissioner Bud Selig to talk to Mitchell or face suspension, which seems kind of odd.
It’s odd because Giambi was being threatened by the commissioner for apologizing to the fans for the so-called “Steroid Era” of baseball. Apparently, being the commissioner of baseball or one of its owners, players or managers means you never have to apologize.
In that regard Giambi should have known better.
Nevertheless, there are people far smarter than me writing more in-depth and correct-thinking analyses of the Giambi issue, so we’ll just leave it at this:
If Giambi is truly sorry and baseball is really serious about wiping doping out of the sport, then they should hope that Giambi sings. They should hope he sings like a hyperactive canary or mafia stool pigeon with immunity and nothing to lose.
He should sing like Luciano Pavarotti.
Why? Simple… like cycling, baseball needs to destroy itself in order to safe itself. Actually, that’s only if MLB is truly serious about doping and, sadly, I suspect they are not.
Why should they be? The game has never been healthier financially. More people go to the park than ever and there are several games on TV every night. Exposure, revenues and interest is at an all-time high so why would the commissioner do anything stupid like make sure the players aren’t doping?
In a column written for ESPN the Magazine, former professional cyclist Jonathan Vaughters -- a former domestique for Lance Armstrong on the USPS teams and now director of the Slipstream/Chipotle cycling team -- writes admissions are a good thing. Citing Bjarne Riis’ revelation that he took EPO during his Tour de France victory in 1996, Vaughters wrote that he thought it would be the confession that not only cleaned up cycling, but also all sports. He then noted that professional cycling conducts 12,000 drug tests a year and even suspected dopers are suspended. In fact two of the most talented riders – Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso (the equivalent to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in terms of notability in cycling) – were banned despite neither testing positive. Actually, Basso admitted to “attempted doping and that while he had not actually undergone doping, he was “fully aware that an attempt at doping is tantamount to doping” and that “[he would] serve [his] suspension…”
If baseball followed our rules, Bonds’ chase for No. 756 would have been over long ago. On the other hand, if cycling tested athletes the way the NFL and MLB do, no rider would ever turn up positive. Sure, cycling has had its own yellow wall of silence: Any rider who spoke out about drug use was forced from the peloton. But the wall is crumbling, and the sport will be better for it.
Vaughters is absolutely correct.
Warm up those pipes, Jason. Sing away.
Speaking of singing, the copy of Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France, that arrived last night direct from the good folks at Simon & Schuster, was hijacked by my wife this morning. As a girl from Manheim Township, my wife appears riveted by a fellow Lancaster Countian’s story and is already more than three-quarters through the book.
I’m going to venture that it will be the first time that she has ever finished reading a book before its actual release date.
Nevertheless, look for my review by Monday or Tuesday. Maybe I can coax one out of her, too.
The Phillies move on to St. Louis after three days in Cleveland. Better yet, the three pitchers they are expected to face this weekend have a combined record of 7-25…
As far as the city of St. Louis goes, I can’t say I’ve ever really been there except for the airport. However, in talking to a bunch of the scribes, St. Louis and Cincinnati are the least favorite stops on the circuit, though the saving grace for the Gateway City seems to be the riverboat casinos.
My least favorite stop on the circuit? Philadelphia…
Come on – I kid, I kid.
Actually, I don’t have a least favorite stop. Even Shea and RFK have a certain charm.