(AP) - "What do you expect me to say? We just gave up
a perfect game!"
were the first words spoken by Sydney
Rebels Owner Ad
Costa after sitting through what had to be the most agonizing
game of his tenure with the team. He had just sat through
ten innings of watching his team get manhandled by Berlin
Brewmasters ace Dontrelle Willis, who throughout the game
made them look like a squad of out of place minor leaguers.
Dontrelle was masterful over the course of the game, keeping
the entire Sydney offense looking completely lost from first
pitch to last. As he did this Mr. Costa sat in the visiting
teams skybox and just continually shook his head in
open disgust. At one point in the seventh inning it got so
frustrating to the Sydney owner that he threw up his hands
in disgust and walked out of the skybox for a period of five
minutes. When asked about it later his answer was not his
typical diplomatic and friendly type of answer.
I proud about that reaction? What kind of stupid question
is that? No Im not proud of it, but you tell me what
you would have done in my place. I had sat through six and
third innings of just embarrassing baseball by my offense
and I was frankly disgusted beyond my ability to control it
anymore. Lambaste me about it that all that you want to, it
makes no difference. If you can sit there with a straight
face and tell me that you wouldnt have been as visibly
upset as I was if that had been you sitting in that chair
watching your team get made to look like total chumps then
you know what
youre a saint and a far better man
than I am. Congratulations."
fielding a few more questions which were all sensible to ask
but at the same time questions that were more than observations
of the obvious Mr. Costa lost his temper a little bit again.
It came after a question about whether or not he felt that
Manager Jim Edmonds made a mistake in leaving Starter Horace
Scherbarth in the game going into the tenth inning. Although
the question probably didnt come out as it was meant
to sound the team owner took noticeable offense to it. Its
not entirely fair to say that the reaction was completely
irrational after hearing his Manager and his Starter, who
had pitched a fantastic game, get blasted by a reporter who
was known to criticize the team even when it played well.
Mr. Costas reaction was less than friendly when the
question was posed to him by Sydney Sentinel sports writer
you sit up and night and think up the most obnoxious question
that you could possibly ask me Neil? It seems that every time
that I hear from you at a post game interview or I read one
of your columns that youre ripping my team and raking
my people over the coals. I expect you to ask hard questions
and be critical Neil, but youre just plain nasty most
of the time. How can you sit there and say that Jim or Horace
is somehow completely responsible for this games outcome?
Could Jim have made a few changes during the game? Sure he
could have, but he didnt and Im not going to second
guess him like that. If Jim did it he had a reason. Dont
sit there and lump it all on them because thats nonsense
and you damned well know it. How about calling some of our
hitters to a little accountability in this mess? Im
not taking a damned thing away from Dontrelle, because he
was absolutely brilliant but come on
watching guys who
have been playing this game for twelve or thirteen years at
the professional level hack like overly excited Little Leaguers
was just disgusting. There are big changes on the way for
four minutes of questioning went on where various questions
were asked about the players and how they felt after the game
and about what he meant about changes. He answered all of
the questions, speaking openly about the many holes that the
offense had and what he planned on doing about them. He spoke
about how some of the young talent in the system was coming
along well and would likely be seeing action in the next few
seasons if the team was patient enough to wait for it. Again
it was Neil Beck who asked the powder keg question. He asked
if it would have been better to have started someone else
for the game or brought in the bullpen earlier. Mr. Costa
dismissed both questions as being ludicrous and said that
hed give no further response on them. Beck pressed the
point, standing up even though hed been asked to sit
down and again placing the blame squarely on the shoulders
of Starting Pitcher Horace Scherbarth after stating that he
knew that Mr. Costa would never blame his "Golden Boy"
Jim Edmonds or, as Beck put it his "Beloved Hitting Coach"Derek
Jeter. Mr. Costa stood silently for about forty five seconds
trying to fight his rapidly deteriorating control over his
temper. Beck pressed the question, phrasing it the same way
again in spite of being told again to take his seat. Finally
he leapt up and asked; "Whats the matter 'AD'?
Are you just afraid to face the truth that youve constructed
a perpetual loser? A lemon of a team? A dud? Perhaps you should
be fired along with your entire crappy staff and someone who
knows a little about Baseball should take this poor team over!"
statement proved to be too much for the already very angry
owner, who wheeled on the reporter and shot him the kind of
look that spoke volumes to the insistent reporter. Beck saw
the look and immediately backed off, putting his hands up
defensively. Mr. Costa was not about to let him off of the
hook that easily though.
the matter Neil? You asked the question like an incessantly
yapping poodle and now when the bigger dog is about to respond
you back off and hide? Youre a real tough guy. Let me
tell you something about this team. Right now we stink. Right
now were coming off the worst loss weve suffered
since I took this team over but you know what
are tested by this kind of loss. They prove their character
by being embarrassed like this and Im sure that this
team will show itself as better for this experience as time
passes. The simple truth is that this team has a lot of holes
in it right now and I honestly believe that we have kids in
the minors who will fill those holes nicely in a couple of
seasons. In the meantime this team has a solid starting rotation
and we have one of the most talented young pitchers in the
game in Roy Rock. We have kids like Paul Rowen and Philip
Mars in the minors who I can see as giving us one of the most
imposing starting rotations in the league in a few seasons.
If you want to sit here and tell our guys that theyre
all losers then go ahead and do it, Ill use it as a
means of motivating them. I'll print out those statements
and hang them in our locker room so that they can look at
them every day and get fired up to it. If you want to bury
me go right ahead and do it. Ive made some bad decisions
since I got here, but dont you dare bury my Manager,
my Batting Coach or ANY of my players. If thats all
you want to do then stay the hell out of my post game conferences.
conference lasted for about another ten minutes and ended
with the owner fully endorsing his entire managerial staff
and praising Horace Scherbarth for his gutsy performance.
"Horace deserved a better result than the one he got.
He pitched an inspiring game and Im proud of him for
the fight that he showed. To say that he in any way disappointed
this team is just stupid. If not for him it could have been
a lot worse. Ive already spoken to Horace and he knows
how I and the rest of the team feels about how he played that
game. He was excellent and he knows that we all know it."
post game conference wrapped up soon afterward as the team
prepared to head back to Sydney for a three game homestand
against Chernobyl before
heading out on the road for a three game set in Amity.