Just as he did an hour earlier, New York Mets pitcher Dave Mlicki walked from the team’s dugout to the pitchers mound at Yankee Stadium. It was the same understated stroll he made to and from the dugout during the game only now the Stadium was quiet, empty and dark. It was eerily cool for a mid-June night. The heat — along with the cheering, jeering and chanting — left in the shadow of 56,188 New Yorkers.

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My mouth gets me in hot water every day. That’s the way I am. No one’s going to change me. And I never regretted anything I said. Never. A lot of people say that I don’t think when I speak. Of course I do. But I’ll say stuff in a different way with different people … If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t. I don’t care. The people I care about are my boss and my players. The fans and the media don’t win games for me. — Ozzie Guillen, Men’s Health, 2006

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This is what the New York Mets were expecting: a middle-of-the-lineup right-handed power hitter who’d hit 30+ home runs and drive in 100+ runs; an above-average defensive left fielder with a strong throwing arm; a clubhouse leader and team player.

That’s who Jason Bay was — in 2009. In 151 games as a Boston Red Sox, Bay hit 36 home runs and knocked in 119 runs in his only as a starting left fielder in the American League. The Mets expected more of the same when they plucked Bay out of the free agent market and signed him to a four-year, $66 million deal.

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Aaron Skirboll is the author of The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball.

The book is scandalous and breath-taking; shocking and revealing; sad and disappointing. The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven is the story of the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials and the steroid era. In this episode of Voices, Skirboll takes us behind-the-scenes of one of baseball’s biggest and most embarrassing scandals.

 

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