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Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks, fined an undisclosed amount and will have to undergo sensitivity training as a result of his alleged disgraceful conduct last weekend before a game in San Francisco, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

For those who were curious about how the alleged incident started, Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle offers some details provided by another fan who made a lower-profile complaint to the Giants, Braves and Major League Baseball.

McDowell seems to have gotten off very lightly compared to some. For example, Ozzie Guillen was suspended for two games last week because he posted something through Twitter during a game after he had been ejected. On the other hand, Derek Lowe made his start today for the Braves just days after being arrested on a DUI charge. I won’t say that McDowell should have been fired, but I don’t think I can figure out Major League Baseball’s disciplinary policy.

Speaking of controversial figures, Patrick Flood offers some thoughts on Francisco Rodriguez and how we, as fans, should react to him. When K-Rod was introduced before the home opener and the two times I’ve seen him pitch, I’ve been silent. I don’t believe in booing players on my own team except for clear lack of effort, but I can’t bring myself to cheer for Rodriguez after last August.

Here’s another entry for the “R.A. Dickey is amazing” file: Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes about Dickey’s baseball bats, which are named after swords from “Beowulf” and “The Hobbit”.

ESPN’s David Bearman offers hope to fans of teams that were not in first place today – May leaders don’t always finish on top. Granted, that doesn’t do much to convince me that the Mets can come back and win the NL East…

At Mets Police, Shannon Shark is having fun searching YouTube for old Mets commercials.

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker wrote about baseball’s return to Sendai this weekend. Friday, the Rakuten Golden Eagles played their first home game in Sendai, the major city nearest to where the March 11th earthquake was centered. Former Mets Kazuo Matsui, Mike Hessman and Chan Ho Park played in the game; Matsui for the Eagles and Hessman and Park for the Orix Buffaloes. Rakuten beat Orix 3-1

Emilio ‘Millito’ Navarro, who had been the oldest living former baseball player, died this weekend at age 105 according to Nick Diunte of Examiner.com

Andrew Chrisman of Sports Card Info offers some details about the nicest baseball cards of 2011 that most of us will never see in person. Topps included some one-of-a-kind sketch cards with embedded patch relics in this year’s Gypsy Queen set at a rate of 1 per 22 cases. Here’s a list of all the players featured. Seeing this Nolan Ryan card does make me a bit sad, though. I don’t think that the few surviving vintage baseball jerseys should be destroyed to make baseball cards.

Joe of The Sandlot recently reached a milestone, adding the 500th card to his Mike Piazza baseball card collection. I can’t imagine being a player collector today. When I was younger, I collected Gary Carter baseball cards. Except for a few oddball items that I’ve only seen on checklists, I have all of the cards that were produced during his playing career. Fortunately, Carter retired before the serial numbered card craze took hold, making it impossible for anyone to ever complete their player collections.

Not baseball-related, but very cool: If you grew up in the late 70s or early 80s, there’s a good chance that you collected some of the trading cards produced for the summer blockbuster movies of the day. Big Shiny Robot shares some of the nostalgic creations of artist Blain Hefner that were used in the Salt Lake Tribune’s annual summer movie preview. (Hat tip to Ryan Cracknell, @tradercracks on Twitter)

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About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper and current contributor to Hot Stove Baseball. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

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