Jesus Breaks the Story...Four Years Later

I’ve really been trying to ignore the Chronicle’s Jesus Ortiz – blood pressure issues and all of that. But the guy’s “Baseball Notebook” column this weekend had some good information.

For instance, Billy Wagner was traded after the 2003 season because he dared to call out Drayton McLane. Apparently, Drayton doesn’t like ballplayers who stand up to him. Particularly one who’s a clubhouse leader – don’t want none of them damn agitators around after all.

Then there’s the whole Carlos Beltran saga. Apparently, instead of listening to his baseball people, Drayton took the advice of Bud Selig.

Many of the Astros, still upset over the whole Wagner situation, are even more pissed now because of the whole Andy Pettitte thing. It seems that Drayton ain’t quite telling the truth about the whole Pettitte thing, or about the whole Rocket thing.

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I bring this column up for one simple reason: why are we just reading this now? Why wasn’t Ortiz writing about Bud Selig’s involvement in the Beltran matter back at the time? And why wasn’t he writing about the clubhouse turmoil regarding the player support of Pettitte when Pettitte signed with the Yankees?

Isn’t the guy supposed to be a journalist? How hard would it have been to call up Lance Berkman and get some quotes at the time? Why mention the Wagner thing now? Why not go in-depth on this at the time?

And that’s my main problem with Houston sports reporting. Instead of informing us of things that we need to know about the team, or about how the team is operating, they feed us trash.

Unless you used to hang out at Rick’s – like a law school friend of mine – you didn’t know anything bad about Warren Moon’s reputation until after he was with another team and on trial for beating his wife. It’s not that the reporters didn’t know about it, it’s just that they chose not to tell us. Sure, Moon’s private life is his private life, but when he’s playing a noon game, and he’s out in the Rick’s VIP area until closing time the night of the game, maybe then that’s something that needs to be known.

If Andy Pettitte’s signing with New York because Drayton McLane wouldn’t make an offer, why not tell us that, instead of repeating what Ortiz himself calls “part of the Astros’ spin.” If he knows that it’s spin, why doesn’t he report this at the time? That’s what he’s supposed to do, isn’t it? Instead, all that the Houston press does is to write the spin, only giving us the truth month, and years later.

Then again, with the way that the Houston sports guys are, I predict that within a year we’re going to be finding out all about Roger Clemens shooting up the ‘roids in the middle of the locker room right before Game One of the 2005 Series. -- John Royal

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