We bitch and moan about East Coast sports bias, so we should recognize national sites that get it right. Today, it's Sports Illustrated. Earlier this week, Cigarcow nemesis Tom Verducci talked up the Giants, and now Jon Heyman offers up several choice nuggets about the NL West, including one on Matt Kemp (thanks to SoSG reader Bryan for the tip). Writes Heyman:
As hard as it is to fathom, I am starting to feel sorry for [Barry] Bonds.
Bonds didn't drag his wife into it like [Roger] Clemens did. Bonds didn't drag his buddy's father (Andy Pettitte's dad) into it like Clemens did. Bonds didn't lie about anyone else like Clemens did. Bonds didn't falsely sue anyone like Clemens did. Right now, Bonds looks like the better guy. And more important, he looks like the guy with the better case, too. [...]
There are some pretty good all-around center fielders playing now. Here's my list of the best: [...]
7. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: Incredible talent could rise to top spot. [...]
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt was severely disappointed by [Manny] Ramirez's 50-game suspension, but he was said to have accepted the news better than anyone expected. McCourt didn't try to challenge baseball's findings. By all accounts, he handled it with grace. No kidding. [...]
Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin showed what kind of class act he is by managing two days with the news that he was about to be fired, and GM Josh Byrnes has credited Melvin for his grace under fire. The reason Melvin knew ahead of time is that Byrnes felt the need to be honest once news reports started to leak. Just a couple honest, classy guys. Too bad it wasn't working. [...]
Who slipped more quickly in power and production, Marcus Giles or brother Brian? Marcus has disappeared. Brian hit 149 home runs from 1999-2002, and has hit 98 in the six-plus seasons since. This year he is hitting .158 with one home run in 120 at-bats. I've seen speculation he could be traded this summer. But he's going to have to do a lot better for anyone to take his $9 million salary.