Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cy Lopez

Rodrigo Lopez, on paper, looks like a reasonably average pitcher. Lifetime ERA of 4.36, WHIP of 1.36, BAA .267, 6.2 K/9IP, 2.9 BB/9IP, for a 40-33 record (not bad considering his team). His numbers are a bit better if you remove his 6 games pitched for the Padres in 2000 and only look at his career with the Orioles (2002 and since): ERA of 4.18, etc.

Against the Red Sox, at first he only looks marginally different. His ERA is quite a bit better -- 3.73, but most of the other numbers are about the same: 1.36 WHIP, .259 BAA, 6.1K/9IP, 3.2 BB/9IP. Record vs. the Sox of 9-4 (though it feels like 12-1 or so). But a couple things stand out...

- On April 26 of this year he got shelled by Boston, 8ER in 3.1 IP. Take out that one start (out of 15), and his ERA against the Sox is 3.12.

- In his MLB career, he's started 94 games, and pitched 610.1 innings. Against the Red Sox, he's started 15 games, and pitched 101.1 innings. So as a major leaguer, nearly one-sixth of his pitching has been against the Red Sox.

- Over the course of his career, he's given up 1.17 HR/9IP. Against the Sox, that number is more than halved: 0.53HR/9IP. Since 2002, the Sox have hit 1.3HR/9innings.

- Looking just at his pitching in Fenway: in 9 starts (58.2 IP, or 10% of his career IP) his WHIP is 1.24, BAA is .230, and ERA is 2.91. He's 6-1 there, meaning at Camden Yards he's 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA against the Sox. He's only given up two home runs at Fenway, or 0.31HR/9IP.

Okay, so maybe 58.2 IP is too small a sample size. But so far he seems to be utterly dominant in Fenway, against Red Sox teams that were built for hitting there.

His contract with the Orioles ends after the 2005 season.

Monday, May 30, 2005

When Earl's away...

I turned off my TV in disgust after the top of the 6th on Friday, knowing they lost, and headed to the airport for a wedding. Got no Sox info the next 48 hours...it seemed to work out okay. Saturday's thrashing looked pretty severe, Renteria and Manny are back, Foulke pitched a perfect inning, Pavano reverted to 2003 form, Murray "Angry Old Man" Chass ripped the Yankees apart in an article (with statistics!!!), and Trot Nixon announced that Tanyon Sturtze is going to hell for hitting him with a pitch.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Good Stuff

Two things:

We finally have made the search results at Google.

A follow up to an earlier post (I can't find, though and too lazy to really look) - As we discussed earlier, Francona gets to pick the All Stars this year. Sox players that should be voted in are Varitek and Ortiz, definitely. And there is a decent chance that Manny gets voted (he was voted last year and all he did was win a WS MVP since - stats notwithstanding). Assume those 3 players make the team, that leaves Damon as a near lock to be selected and possibly Nixon. Clement would appear to be lock and probably Arroyo and/or Timlin. It would be nice for Arroyo to have a few more decent starts to solidfy his selection. Don't be so quick to say no on Timlin. The last two AL teams had Gordon and Brendan Donnelly. And in 2002 Remlinger was picked from the Braves.

Friday, May 27, 2005

ESPN announcers

...4 minutes into the game and already I want to shoot myself. Really, why is it apparently so difficult to be a decent announcer?

Who Would Have Thought?

May 27th, 2005...

AL East

AL Central

AL West
Texas (ok, they are tied with the Angels)

NL East

NL Central
St Louis (ok, maybe these guys)

NL West
San Diego

This is crazy!

Clear Away the Negativity...

Ok, yes, we're in 4th place, but is it that big a deal? Ok, yes it is...

Seriously, though. Are we ever going to have an extended homestand? It is getting crazy. It doesn't look like we get a serious 9-game homestand until August in to September. With that said, we crush at home and we have lots of games at Fenway in September...That will be big. We will have 30 road games against 19 home by the time we play Baltimore on Monday.

Predictions for the weekend? Sox take 2 of 3...Why? Randy Johnson is going on 4-days rest and looked very bad against the Mets. I give the Sox game 1 with Wakefield going. Pavano versus Clement. Pavano has looked good, but against bad teams lately. I think the Sox will put up some runs and win this one, too. It's the Wells start that has me thinking the Yankees get that one (although Wells is generally good in Yankees Stadium).

Overall, however, I don't see the Sox lighting it up over the next 2 weeks or so. They face the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, and finally the Cardinals in their next 4 series. We must, as fans, be patient and hold on to the fact that they have a ton of home games down the stretch and will, more than likely, make a big run like last year...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Take a deep breath...

....Close your eyes. Now try to relax...think happy thoughts. Think about Johnny Damon crushing Javier Vazquez's first pitch for a grand slam. Feel all the neagtivity just flow out of you...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

One thing to be thankful for

Sure Ted Lily turns into Tom Seaver when he pitches against the Sox, but at least we should be glad that the Yankees paniced in 2002 and traded Lily (and cash) for Jeff Weaver. Not only did Weaver suck for them, but that led to Weaver being dealt for Brown. Game 7, thank you very much, Mr. Brown.

Sure glad Lily is still not wearing pinstripes....

Four words

Jeff Gordon. Wrigley Stadium.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Its that time again

Book review!!!

A while back the NY times had the feature on Michael Lewis and money ball and mentioned his new book "Coach." Well, I was looking forward to it even though I knew nothing about it.

Turns out is a story about the inspirations provided by his high school baseball coach. He was a real tough coach and forced the kids to get the best of them, etc., etc. Michael Lewis had not seen or talked to him for over 20 years but was drawn (back) to him after he read an article in his exclusive prep school's newsletter.

It is about the size of the don't sweat the small things book and I read the entire thing in 38 minutes while the wife got her nails done next door. Not only disappointing but I felt a little dirty after. sure there were some funny quotes and there were some that were even relevant to baseball, but I just could not keep thinking it a little odd that "a best selling writer got in touch with and developed a (weak) bond later in life with his former mentor/teacher/coach." It was a really touching and inspiring idea. In 1997. When it was called Tuesdays with Morrie.

This is sad!

Whatever he needs to help him sleep better. Murray Chass' latest article is pretty funny. Its like the pathetic guy that used to have a hot girlfriend. She recently told him that she wanted to see other people. It wasn't him, but her. she's just going through a tough time. And he thinks they will get back together real soon and everything will be the way it used to be.

Doug Mientiewzasqwiuyez

In last night's Mets-Braves game, there was a very questionable call against David Wright -- he slid into second to break up a double play ball hit by Dougie M, and succeeded, allowing two runs to score, and tying the game in the 8th. But the 2nd base umpire (probably incorrectly) called him out for leaving the base line, ending the inning and erasing the runs, and the Mets lost. Wright and Randolph both ripped apart the umpire (named Jeff Nelson -- he must be a prick), but Doug M blamed only himself. This from the NYT:
...Doug Mientkiewicz blamed himself for grounding into the double play in the first place. Batting .197, Mientkiewicz beckoned a group of reporters to his locker and pleaded with them to blast him in print. "Lay it on me," Mientkiewicz said. "Call me out. Put me on the front page."

He added: "It's tough to look at my teammates anymore. I'm embarrassing everybody. I apologize to every Met fan in America. There's no excuse for this."

Mientkiewicz said that he had not slept in a week, had not eaten in two days, and he offered to refund the price of admission to one fan who had jeered him during the game. When he finished lambasting himself, he said, "This was therapeutic."

Wow -- not the kind of words you expect to hear from a professional athlete these days. I still like the guy.

On the topic of the Mets, I have to say I'm impressed with Willie Randolph. I was sure he was in over his head -- we discussed this a lot -- and it sure seemed that way with his early handling of Pedro. But he seems to be doing really well.

Monday, May 23, 2005


In his most recent article, I think Gammons misses the point a bit with his comment:

"And for those who whined in Boston -- would you rather see a team that once played a mile away from Fenway and has 13 consecutive first-place finishes or three games with the Royals."

While I agree with him on the excitement created by playing a good team, I think what was being "whined" about was that our natural rival was Braves (of the 13 consecutive first-place finishes) while the Yankees beat up the last place Mets.

And while I believe Gammons when he says he accidently lifted his Bradley story, I am a bit suspicious of his quote in this article:

Hansen has closer stuff, no doubt about it," says one scouting director, "and you can be almost certain the Mets will take him with the ninth pick. Is he Huston Street? No one's Huston Street, but Hansen's really good."

That sounds exactly like Gammons speaks. "No doubt about it" is a classic Gammons phrase. As well as asking a question in a sentance and replying like that. At this point in his career and with his univeral acceptance as THE baseball guru, would anyone put it past him to make up a quote and attribute it to a Scouting Director?

And So It Begins...

Ok, to follow up some earlier posts, I commented that sooner or later the White Sox will not be able to rely on El Dookie and Contreras...So far I have been wrong...or have I?

" White Sox pitcher Orlando Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right shoulder yesterday. The righthander was 5-1 with a 3.91 ERA but was hit hard in his start last Monday against Texas, giving up 6 runs, 7 hits, and 4 walks in 2 2/3 innings ."

The White Sox are still on fire...or are they? Yes, they took two of three from the almighty Cubs...that's sarcasm...they had to battle to win one of those games...and they are 6-4 over their last 10.

I think that they are going to start coming back down to earth a little and that division will settle in as planned...Just my opinion.

In the East, the Os are showing signs that they are also coming back down. They are lucky that the Sox seem on fire in one game and asleep in the next. If the Sox can wake up and put together a run, the Os are in trouble (*of course, this is coming from a huge Sox fan)...

And speaking of the East...The Sox need to sweep the Yankees. Ok, I know what you are thinking...This is early in the season and in the end this series is not that big of a deal. And you might be right. However, one must think that the Yankees huge run came against the Mariners and A's, that Randy Johnson is struggling (probably hurt), and that they were lucky to come out of Shea winners of 2 of 3.

And now random Sox thoughts...
One way or another Youk should be in the lineup everyday until pitchers start to figure him out (if there is a way to figure him out). The guy just doesn't swing at bad pitches, he makes contact, and he looks fairly savvy on the base paths (although one wouldn't call him fast). He looks pretty comfortable out their at first and can play third to spell Mueller. I wouldn't doubt he could play a corner outfield position and DH every once in a while.

Clement is fantastic. I knew Tek would bring this kid around.
Miller...if his arm holds up the Sox are in great shape.
Arroyo? They should hold him until the Yankees series...but they won't.
Wells? Really bad in his last outing, but I expect much more from him next time out.
Wakefield? As solid as he's ever been.
Schilling? Haven't heard anything about him, from him, etc...Anyone know of anything?

Our bench last year was better. Flat out...Roberts was better than Payton (and Payton is getting playing time)...Vazquez has been useless...my guess is that he goes when Olerud is promoted.

Theo will probably be looking for another role player with speed (rumblings from Japan are that Kapler wants back to the U.S.), and a relief pitcher.

Let's discuss...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Natural Rivals Recap: Game Three (5/22)

I can sum up my feelings about this Epic Finale Between the Rivals in one single word: Holy Fucking Shit. Okay, that's three words, but I am so in awe after reading the play-by-play of the Detroit-Arizona game that I have lost the ability to count. Pitcher's duel of the year: Vazquez-Johnson, the same Vazquez from the Vazquez-Johnson trade of January 2005, and the same Johnson of...well, the Vazquez-Johnson pitcher's duel of May 2005. Johnson gave up a leadoff hit to hot-or-cold Craig Counsell, who stole second, and advanced to third on a lineout by Luis Gonzalez, but a strikeout by Shawn Green ended the inning. Vazquez came in, and while he started out quickly down in the count 3-0 to Nook Logan (the greatest new name in baseball, who sadly hasn't gotten a mention until now), he didn't allow a baserunner. The next six innings were marked by pure dominance by the starters (or incompetence by the hitters?) -- Rondell White got a single in the 2nd and a double in the 4th, Green a single in the 4th, Snyder a single in the 5th, and Inge a triple in the 6th. None were able to advance. Going into the eighth, Johnson had thrown 84 pitches, having given up 3 hits; Vazquez also had given up 3, after 88 pitches. The only appreciable offense of the evening came in the eight, in which Royce Clayton led off with a single and was advanced to second by a Snyder sac fly. Then Johnson made a crucial mistake -- a wild pitch -- advancing Clayton to third; a single by Counsell drove him home, giving the D-Backs the 1-0 lead, with a man on and only one out. Counsell was erased in a failed steal attempt, but JJ wasn't out of the woods yet, as Cruz drew a walk, and the pinchrunner (Terrero!) stole second. Luis Gonzalez then walked -- two on. But Johnson got Glaus to ground into a fielder's choice, escaping the jam after giving up just 1 run. Vazquez, not having to face Johnny Damon, had far less trouble in his half of the inning, giving up a single to I-Rod (pinch hitting for Vance Wilson) but otherwise escaping unharmed. Jason Johnson was done after 8, with Jamie Wilson taking the mound in the 9th. He got quick outs in Green and Clark, but hit Tracy with a pitch. Farnsworth came out to stop the bleeding, and got Royce Clayton to pop out. Bottom of the 9th: the Tigers had one last chance -- all they needed was one run to extend The Series. The dominant Javier Vazquez was back out there, and Inge was no match for him, grounding out on a 2-0 pitch. Guillen thesmashed a double -- Detroit with the tying run in scoring position, 1 out. But Rondell White struck out, and it was all up to Dmitri Young. The crowd was (presumably) on their feet, ready for the amazing comeback. But with the count at 3-1, Young hit a grounder to second baseman Craig Counsell, who flipped it to 1B Chad Tracy, and the game -- and the I94-to-I80-to-I76-to-I25-to-I40-to-I17 Series -- was over. Arizona Diamondbacks prevailed, 2-1. The Series is over, but it will live on in the annals (heh heh) of baseball lore, and of course in the innumerable ESPN Classic reruns. The Detroit Tigers will not forget this painful loss, and you can bet that thenwhole state of Michigan will be counting the days until these two Great Rivals face each other once again in the next Tigers-Diamondbacks interleague matchup. Which should be in 2012 or so.

They saved the best for last

Jesse, where is your post on the finale between one of baseball's biggest rivalry?

A 1-0 gem, with both pitchers making the list. Beautiful. A nice little coincidence with Javy Vazquez outpitching the Johnson with the lowest ERA in AL. No not the one he was traded for - Randy (3.94). But Jason (3.55).

The beauty of the Sox offense

They can change the game in a hurry. Two pitches. Double by Ortiz 3-2 lead. Very next pitch. 2 Run bomb by Manny. 5-2.


I'm finding it hard to root for Pedro. Maybe he'll get shelled (tough 1st inning) and the Mets will still win?

Runners on 2nd and 3rd, two out, Pedro at bat...Pedro reaches on an error by E-Rod! Mets up 1-0!

Update: Reyes with an RBI single -- Pedro on third...

Natural Rivals Recap: Game Two (5/21)

Another amazing game, this one going into extra innings. A recent joint survey by the Arizona Republic and the Detroit Free Press found that 72% of all Michigan and Arizona sports fans were not even aware of either of their NBA teams making into the Semifinals, on account of the Rumble in Comerica that is currently unfolding before our very eyes. Once again, an intense pitchers' duel, this time by aces Nate Robertson and Shawn Estes. Both were strong in the first two innings, allowing three baserunners total, though none were able to advance past first base. I-Rod was picked off in the first, and baserunners Green (walk) and Guillen (single) were each erased in double plays (hit by Royce Clayton and Rondell White, respectively). In the third Robertson walked Counsell, but fielded Cintron's grounder to end the inning. In the following half-inning Estes allowed a runner (Marcus Thames, who singled) as far as second base, but that was it. Both Robertson and Estes pitched a perfect fourth, with the score still tied at zero...though Robertson had yet to give up a hit. He started out the 5th by striking out Shawn Green on four pitches, but then Royce Clayton smashed his second pitch for a double, ending the no-hit bid. (I should mention that I specifically predicted the Robertson-Clayton matchup to be a crucial one. I rock.) Luis Terrero and Koyie Hill (who the hell are Luis Terrero and Koyie Hill?) made two quick outs to end the half-inning. Estes then made quick work of White, Young, and Monroe, and we're into the 6th. Robertson walked Cintron, but a double play ball hit by Cruz made the walk a moot point; Estes then gave up a single to Infante but got out of the inning easily. In the top of the 7th, Robertson struck out Troy Glaus but gave up a single to Tony-no-longer-the-Tiger Clark, followed by another by Green; the first time all game two bases were occupied. A single by Clayton (I must be psychic!) loaded the bases, and Luis Terrero (!) hit a sac fly, driving in Matt Kata (pinch running for Tony) for the first run of the game. Robertson then walked Koyie Hill (of "Luis Terrero and Koyie Hill" fame), and that was it. With the bases loaded, and 4 of the last 5 batters reaching base, including Luis Terrero and Koyie Hill, Robertson's night was over, and Trammel brought in Doug Creek to face Craig Counsell, who popped out after just two pitches. Is anyone actually reading this? If so, let me know in the comments and I'll by you a beer. Offer expires midnight Sunday. Estes took the mound, now with a 1-0 lead, but on his second pitch to I-Rod gave up a triple; a single by Guillen tied the game. Estes got White to line out, but a single by Young and a walk by Monroe spelled the end of the night for him as well. Lance Cormier (no relation) came in with 1 out, two on, and in 8 pitches struck out both Thames and Infante to preserve the 1-1 tie. Kyle Farnsworth then pitched a perfect 8th for the Tigers; in the bottom of the 8th, Not-Rheal gave up a double to Inge but otherwise pitched well. U.U. Urbina came out for Detroit in the ninth, but was shaky: Green got another single, and Luis Gonzalez, hitting for Luis Terrero (boooo!!!!) drew a walk, as did Koyie Hill (yay!!!!). Once again, bases loaded for Craig Counsell, and once again, he popped out to end the threat. Oogie gave his disco-fist-pump (I'm assuming -- I didn't actually watch any of this, mind you) and the Tigers came up in the bottom of ninth, with a chance to break the 1-1 tie and win the game. But RheaLance Cormier was perfect (just 9 pitches!) and we're into extra innings! The 10th was marked by more dominance by the stellar bullpens (or is it more crappiness by the crapass hitters?) with perfection by both Franklyn German and Jose Valverde. The eleventh, however, was another story. Chad Tracy (hitting for Matt Kata, who ran for Tony-the-once-and-future-Tiger) led off with a triple off German, and while Green and Clayton (who's apparently only good when facing Nate Robertson) were unable to drive him home, Luis "Terrero" Gonzalez drew a walk, and -- you guessed it! -- Koyie Hill singled Tracy home, giving the D-Backs the lead for the first time all night. Craig Counsell, with an opportunity to break the game open a bit, didn't pop out this time. Instead, he struck out. So here we are, do-or-die for the Tigers, down by one, with only one chance to score or they lose the Series. Kinda reminds you of Games 4 or 5 of the ALCS, huh? Things looked grim, with Valverde still on the mound, but I-Rod once again led off with an extra-base hit, this time a double. A groundout by Guillen advanced him -- tying run on third, one out. Melvin calls in Brian Bruney (who got the save the previous night), to face Rondell White, but Rondell hit a double (bow badow badow dow dow dow) to tie the Young is walked intentionally, and Monroe unintentionally, and all of a sudden the bases are loaded, wiining run is on third, still one out. Marcus Thames comes to the plate -- quickly falls behind 1-2, but stays alive with a foul ball, followed by a ball, and then -- hits it to center! No chance for a play! White scampers home, game over. Detroit wins it 3-2, with an amazing come-from-behind victory. The Series is now tied, 1-1. tomorrow is the Rubber Match.

I told you it wasn't over.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


From the AP recap of the Mets-Yankees game:
At the plate, [Mets reliever Dae-Sung] Koo led off the seventh and drove a long double to center off Johnson...He moved to third on Reyes' sacrifice, and took off for home when he noticed that nobody was covering the plate. Second baseman Robinson Cano threw to catcher Jorge Posada, who tried to get back in time. Koo, wearing a jacket to keep his arm warm, scored with a headfirst dive just under the tag. Reyes was credited with an RBI.
People get RBI's for that? Shouldn't Posada just get a error?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Natural Rivals Recap: Game One (5/20)

Holy cow, that was quite a game. A great pitching matchup, with one utterly dominant pitching performance; one team led throughout most of it, but a late-inning surge made it extremely interesting, as it looked like the great starting pitching was almost wasted. In the top of the 1st Arizona got out to an early lead, with a single by Cruz, a double by Luis Gonzalez, an RBI groundout by Glaus, and and RBI double by Green. Thanks to these two former Angelenos, the D-Backs led 2-0, a cushion which, while seemingly small, would be more than adequate given Brandon Webb's stellar pitching. He quickly dispatched with the top of the Tigers lineup (Logan-Inge-IRod) in 7 pitches, putting the bats back into the hands of his teammates. In the second Craig Counsell would hit the first of his three doubles of the night, though his teammates were unable to drive him home, as Gonzalez struck out with two on. Webb took the mound in the bottom of the 2nd, facing the heart of Detroit's order; he induced Guillen to foul-out, then struck out White and Young. Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman, Billy Beane's least favorite player of all time, pitched a perfect 3rd. Unfortunately Webb was not so lucky, walking Omar Infante, his first baserunner in 2.2 IP; Infante was unable to score. The top of the 4th inning was marked by Counsell's second double, and the bottom by a deep fly ball by I-Rod, though an impressive catch by Cruz preserved Webb's no-hitter--for the time being. The pitchers' duel continued through the 5th and the 6th, marked only by Counsell's 3rd double of the evening, tying him with six others for the most doubles in game by a Diamondback. After 6 innings, the score remained 2-0, and Brandon Webb had yet to give up a hit. Jamie Walker came in for Bonderman in the 7th, walking Glaus but emerging unscathed. Webb took the mound in the 7th, with everyone in both dugouts -- and in the crowd of 30,119 -- knowing that so far he had a no-hitter going. Inge grounded out to third -- only 8 more outs! -- and I-Rod came up to the plate. With the count 0-2, I-Rod hit a slow roller up the 3rd base line -- Glaus charged, barehanded it, and fired to first...too late. Brandon Webb had lost his no-hit bid, and with it, his confidence. A couple pickoff attempts, 3 consecutive balls, and Guillen hit a single up the middle. Runners on the corners for Rondell White, still just one out. After another pickoff attempt, Webb threw a pitch which White smashed for a two-run double. Not five minutes after his no bid for a no-hitter ended, Webb stood to get the loss. Three pitches later, he go two more outs and was out of the inning, but the damage had been done. Game tied after 7 innings, 2-2. However, in the 8th, Webb's teammates stepped up to the plate for him: consecutive singles by Tracy and Clayton, with an error by Carlos Pena leading to the bases loaded for double-king Craig Counsell. Counsell managed only a single this time (4 hits in 5 AB), but it was enough to drive in a run. A sacrifice fly by Gonzalez later in the inning increased the D-Backs lead back to two. Webb calmed down in the 8th, giving up another double, but otherwise escaping unharmed. In the top of the 9th Tigers reliever Chirs Spurling gave up another pair of runs, driven in by Clayton (single) and Counsell (sac fly). Webb came out to pitch the 9th, but started out with back-to-back singles to I-Rod and Guillen, and so as pulled by Bob Melvin in favor of Brian Bruney. Bruney made quick work of White, Young, and Monroe, and the Diamondbacks won, 6-2. Arizona leads the I94-to-I80-to-I76-to-I25-to-I40-to-I17 Series, 1-0. But trust me folks, this ain't over. Not with a rivalry as intense as that shared by uber-enemies Phoenix and Detroit. It ain't over, not by a long shot.

Ah, Interleague...

So here we go, the yearly ritual of the "Natural Rivals" weekend. Man, there's nothing like watching those mortal-enemy cities Phoenix and Detroit go at it on the baseball field. I hear both cities practically shut down because everyone's at home watching baseball, to see which team wins the world-famous I94-to-I80-to-I76-to-I25-to-I40-to-I17 Series. Man, just the mere thought of Nate Robertson staring down Royce Clayton makes my armhairs stand on end...

I generally like Interleague, but of course being a Red Sox fan, the imbalance drives me nuts. Ever since the Natural Rivals Weekend has begun, the Sox have gotten the short end of the stick, facing the perennial NL East Champion Atlanta Braves, while the Yanks get to face the lowly Mutts, who are generally bottom-dwellers (though they won the Wild Card 5 seasons ago). With the Braves at 23-17, and the Mets just 1.5 games back at at 22-19, I think this is the least imbalanced it's ever been. Of course, neither the Yanks nor the Sox are currently leading the division. Instead, both teams are looking up at the Orioles...who get to play the last-place Phillies (19-23). Ugh.

Someday, this natural imbalance will tilt in the Red Sox's favor, and it will all come out in the wash. It can be a long time to wait: with the way baseball's economics has been shaping up -- with an long-term owner either willing or unwilling to spend big bucks on the team -- such a process tends to be slooooow. Luckily, with the new Mets leadership, there are indications that such changes in the NL East may be occurring. Now all we need is for the Phillies to start meeting expectations, and...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Yikes!! Redux

Tough one today. Wells gave up a ton of hits, but it was not as bad as it looks. The HR to Chavez was a bomb and hatteberg hit the ball hard in the first, but other than that there were a lot of really weak hits.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Non baseball post

If any of us had been as big a jackass as this guy, we would be fired. This guy gets to spend $50 million of other people's money to make it look like he is addressing a problem. Which is kind of ironic because isn't spending all this money on these new programs, simply reinforcing his original comments? Maybe I am a bit naive, but I would love to hear the take on of our academic representatives to GYS.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A couple of Surprises so far this season (AL only) Part I

All right we're about 6 weeks in so all of the "flukes" should have been worked out of the system. Or have they? I think any one that is watching the AL closely is counting the ABs until the likes or Brian Roberts and Shea Hillenbrand hit the wall. That being said, Orioles and Toronto fans (and maybe just a little bit of Team X) are holding their collective breath that they won't. Below is a list of a couple surprises (good and bad). I'd like to hear people's thoughts on which will last and which won't.

Not too many positive surprises here (players playing above their previous years), unless you count Inge who hasn't logged a single game as a catcher yet still qualifies for cathcer in yahoo. As for the slow starts, one might suggest Irod is off to a slower start than predicted, but I don't see him struggling. The real surpise is Victor Martinez who was the first catcher drafted (in the second round) and isn't even close to the top 10. It's worth a brief note (or should I say dig) that Posada is mediocre at best - but this isn't a suprise, right?

There are actually a couple of players to talk about here. First off there are two guys returning from injuries or injury affected seasons, Sexson and Sweeney. Should we dust of the crutches or will they last? Then there is the Toronto surprise, Hinske and Hillenbrand tearing it up north of the border. These guys actually should qualify for their own category (corner IF) because I think they are sharing time at both positions with Koskie. Hillenbrand still doesn't get any walks so is it just a matter of time before his stratospheric average starts to drop? Finally, there is the Tino-bambino, whom we've already discussed.

As for the slow starts, Huff and Hafner are the most notable. That being said, Huff is really a right-fielder and I guess Hafner is suffering from can-not-hit-lefty-itis.

Some one grab the hose because Brian Roberts is on fire! I'd just like to point out that X convinced me last year to take a risk on Jerry Hairston Jr. because he was going to be the next big second baseman. How ironic that his ankles exploded (or was it a foot) and Brian Roberts got a chance to show his stuff. His stuff was SO good that Hairston was shipped off to the Cubs in the Sosa deal. Is this kid for real? As for the other end, it looks like Boone might be starting to fade with age, but that's not a surprise.

Just a brief chance to get on my soap-box, don't you love how Arod has become the poster boy for "Stats first"? (He's damn good, but until he shows that he's better for the Yankees then someone's Fantasy team he should be called "Stat boy"). The biggest suprise besides the H-boyz from Toronto is Mora. I think it was widely thought that last year was a total blip and he wouldn't be able to match it (he is 33 after all). So far so good. He is hitting in the hottest offense in the league, so that helps (as predicted). Is it time to start looking at Mora more seriously? Can he be "finding his groove" after 30? On the other side of things, I think it's fair to say that predictably Blalock and Beltre are coming back to earth. Any thoughts on these two?

It doesn't look like there are any major surprise here. Tejada is the man and has been for a couple of years. Jeter is being consistent as always. Michael Young is coming back to earth a bit as is Guillen. The only under performer is Edgar, but he is switching leagues so that could change after the all-star break. (It is worth pointing out that "Orlando-who" isn't fairing much better with the Angels of Everywhere.

It doesn't look like there are any major surprises, besides Carl Everett! Although, I can hear the bones in his knees grinding. Or is that my teeth. Dellucci qualifies for LF (but has more ABs at DH). Will he last? He is currently hitting the ball very well.

I think the big surprise goes to Podsednik. A single for him is basically the same as a double (22 steals)! (And he's not doing a terrible job getting on base). As for guys who are struggling, I think the most notable is Wells. SI did a feature on the Blue Jays before the season and they were commenting that Wells was going to have a 30 HR 30 Steal year. Well, he's got a long way to go to hit those numbers and it's not like his team isn't hitting well. Finally, it is worth mentioning that Torii seems to be back.

No big surprises here. If you aren't familiar with the Sox, I could see someone bringing up Nixon, but I would wager that no one reading this honestly thought that Nixon was going to be at the bottom of the league for RFs.

So I guess the offensive suprises go to Brian Roberts and the H-boyz from North of the border. Pitching will have to wait for another day (although we've done a great job tracking the outstanding performances - thanks Earl).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Unconventional thinking required?

Okay, so out here in Seattle, I was successful in delivering some inspiration to Renteria - he came through with an RBI and hit the ball hard a couple of times. I think he will be okay,

On another note, I have some serious questions about Tito's strategy last night. Bottom of the 4th, the Sox had just taken the lead in the top (6-5) and Meredith was clearly struggling. Men of 1st and 3rd one out. Clearly Gonazalez is toast. The Sox need some innings out of the pen, so Francona goes to the long man, Halama.

Problem is, Halama is lefty and due up are Beltre then Sexson. Their best power hitters coming up. Team has fought back from deficit twice. I know it is a bit unconventional, but why not bring in Mantei right then. Have him get us out of the 4th. Bring Halama in to start the 5th and hope to get 2+ innings out of him, then you have Timlin, Embree and Foulke. Frustrated the hell out of me. Oh well, they need to bounce back tonight.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Follow up

Not very long ago, Matt commented on Sean McAdam and his unwillingness to do his homework for his article. Funny thing today, Lupica was praising Tino. His quote that annoyed me:

It doesn't mean that Tino, trying to have as great a second act with a New York sports team as any fired athlete ever has, is going to hit 40 home runs the way he used to."

Makes it seem like Tino was the Bambino. Don't get me wrong, I agree with much of what he wrote, but that line bugged me, making it seem like Tino used to be this mammoth HR hitter. He hit 40 (44 actually) one time - in 97, when the Yanks did not win the WS (or the division). In all the Yank championship years, he never had more than 28 and, in fact, only hit more than 28 in two Yankee seasons (34 in 2001).

I guess guys like Lupica can get by w/out doing the homework.

Important followup

So in regards to our earlier discussion about the Whizzinator, it turns out Congress has subpoenaed* the makers of the Whizzinator and other items desgined to help people circumvent drug-tests:

"Lawmakers object to fake penis"**

Did you know...that actor Tom Sizemore***, from great movies such as "Heat" and "Saving Private Ryan"****, once got caught using the Whizzinator?


* I said "subpoenaed".
**But then again, Reuters said "penis", multiple times, so maybe "subpoenaed" isn't so funny.
***On the other hand, "Sizemore" is a pretty good name for someone who uses a fake penis.
****And as if those movie titles weren't good enough, he was also in the movie "Play it to the Bone".

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Bam-Tino

The player formerly known as the Giambi-no must hate him. [Actually, if I were the Yankees, I'd hire all the players out there with good "Bambino" puns. Like Brandon Backe-bino. And Larry Bigbie-no. And Mike Lamb-ino. And of course they need a new General Manager. Perhaps Billy Bam-Beane-o.] Five consecutive games with HR. I didn't see them all, and I don't know the distances they were hit, but the ones I saw looked like they didn't get terribly deep into Yankee Stadium's generous right field seats. It'll be interesting to see if he gets any on this upcoming roadtrip: Oakland, Seattle, Shea. I say no more homers for Tino until they return to the Bronx.

AL Playoff Thoughts As of Today...

Ok, let's take a look at things 35 games or so through the season...

The Angels of Everywhere seem to be the favorite in the West, as predicted. Looking at their immediate competition (do they truly have any?) one could almost call them a lock...

The Central? The White Sox are off to a heck of a start with the Twins following closely. There has been a lot of talk about the Wild Card coming out of the Central this year. Let's break it down. The White Sox have been solid thanks to their starting pitching. Right now, record-wise, they are the best team in MLB with a 25-9 mark. But...if you think that Contreras and El Duque will last all year like this...I believe you have another thing coming. A few games in NY and Boston and the White Sox could turn...When the middle of the season rolls around (where teams will lean a bit more on their pitching staffs) this team could have troubles. Prediction for the Sox? 92 wins...That's right...A little better than .500 for them the rest of the season...To me the best pitching staff in that division goes to the Twins. When push comes to shove, they will take the division. 93-95 wins...

And now to the East...Again, I firmly believe that the Os will need more pitching. They can't go the distance with what they have. Best pitching in the division? The Red Sox, hands down...and that is without Wells or Schilling. Add those two guys to the mix, send one of the starters to the pen (This is going to be Francona's toughest decision...who goes?) and this team is primed to defend its championship. The Sox will win the division. The Yankees? Let's look at the numbers. Yes, right now they are riding a 5-game winning streak, but they are 16-19. Say they go 4-1 over the next 5 (on the road, on the West Coast) to even out at 20-20. That leaves 122 games. If they go 72-50 the rest of the way (a .600 winning percentage--that's a good clip, and 22 games over .500!) they win 92 games. Even getting to that point would be amazing, and they would deserve credit for never giving up. Looking at the above Central predictions this ties them with the White Sox for a Wild Card birth...To win 95 games, they have to go (after the 20-20 mark...if they reach that) 75-47 a .625 clip...Impossible? No, but very difficult especially now that the O's and Jays are not pushovers. And if the White Sox keep it up, the Yankees will have to win the division...I just don't think they have the pitching to do it, and it doesn't look like any aces will be available this year with the possible exception of Clemens, and I don't think they can afford him...

Wrap up???
West- Angels
Central- Twins
East- Red Sox
Wild Card- White Sox

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

World Baseball Classic

So MLB and the MLBPA jointly announced that baseball would have a World Cup-style tournament in less than a year from now, March 2006. It would be called the World Baseball Classic. It seems basically motivated by $$$, but could be entertaining nonetheless. ESPN's Page 2 lists some possible lineups, which could be debated if we were into that. But what's stunning is the quality of the Venezuelan team -- US and DR are obviously great, but it's really not a 2-team tournament.

I have a bunch of questions:

- how does this affect spring training? There are rules to limit pitch counts and use of the pitchers, which may make for some annoying baseball (imagine someone being taken out of the game after 8 2/3 innings of no-hit ball)...but doesn't really solve the problem of spring training being a time to get into a rhythm.
- who manages each team?
- since the MLBPA is involved, if a player is selected, can he opt out, or is he obligated to play?
- do players get to choose the country they play for? (Manny was born in the DR but is a US citizen.)
- who came up with the stupid name "World Baseball Classic"? Why not "World Cup of Baseball"?
- since the World Anti-Doping ("WAD") Agency is in charge of drug testing, will MLB line up their standards to WAD's?

And, most importantly:

- if it had been played this year (which is almost was), would the Red Sox still be called World Champions?

If not, I hate this new tournament. Otherwise, play ball! Here's hoping there's a game here in LA.

Gi-AAA-mbi to AAA???

From Earl's email:

Interesting about the Giambi thing becoming an issue about 24 hours after
Olney mentioned it. I guess he knew something was up.


Yeah, I find it intriguing - I can't imagine he will agree to go. If he felt it could help him get back on track, great. But the last thing he would want (I assume) is to get buried in Columbus. My guess is that if he agrees to go, it would be limited to say 30 days.

One of the articles I read noted that since he walks so much, he still has his eye. He just can't hit for shit.

Maybe he will agree to go once he gets booed like crazy. This worries me a little - they've won 4 in a row (albeit against some bad teams). This little Giambi distraction might be just what the rest of the team needs - focus on Jason, not how poorly the team has been playing overall.

Give Me a P!!!!

Test that is...Here's a little tidbit about Onterrio Smith from the Vikings (and how some players may be getting around drug testing)...

"Vikings running back Onterrio Smith was detained last month at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport after police found paraphernalia later identified as a kit used to circumvent drug tests.

Smith was neither arrested nor charged, but as of Tuesday it was unclear whether the incident will affect his status in the NFL's confidential substance-abuse program.

Smith acknowledged to airport police that he was carrying dried urine, along with a device called "The Original Whizzinator" and a bottle of pills labeled "Cleansing Formula." He told police the kit was "for making a clean urine test," according to the police report, and said he was taking the materials to his cousin.

Smith was suspended four games last season after testing positive for marijuana, his second "strike" in the league's program. A third "strike" would result in a yearlong suspension. An attempt to substitute a urine specimen qualifies as a positive test, but NFL spokesman Greg Aiello did not immediately know Tuesday whether possession of a masking device fits that criteria."

--Dried Urine??? Never heard of that one...Here's a question. Why not find out who gave this to Smith and bust him? Also, why not send a couple of pro athlete's to jail for illegal substance abuse? Anyone else would go, why not the famous??? It would send a serious message to not only athletes but maybe the entire U.S.


My favorite highlights from Tuesday:

1. Millar blasting the walk off bomb.

2. My wife astutely noting that it was the second game in a row Millar had homered AND commenting that he also was robbed in the first inning of Sunday's game because of the wind. For anyone who would question why I married this woman - well actually no one has questioned it, but just felt compelled to point it out.

3. Tom Gordon, once again, sucking.

4. Wally moving in for high five/hug of Millar after the HR. I kid you not.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

Couple articles

1) Josh Levin on why Bud Selig is a great baseball commissioner. Typical slate article -- take the accepted wisdom of the day and argue the opposite, just to be contrarian. Still, he is fair, conceding Selig's big gaffes. He makes one good point I'd missed: a few years back Selig took a lot of flack from the media and fans for intervening in the Red Sox sale on behalf of Henry and Werner. Yes, it sound shady, but...well, I'm not complaining. In my opinion, though Levin does gloss over the the fact that all of mlb's recent positions on steroids have been a direct result of pressure from media and Congress; as someone said on ESPN today, he's a "counterpuncher".

2) Peter Gammons in a typical Peter Gammons article about how the media (which somehow he's not part of) and the owners and mlb are all evil and/or stupid and the players are awesome and innocent and are really just the victims in the whole steroid issue. Best quote:
"If they ban greenies," says one superstar player, "there'll be a lot of boring 2-1, 3-2 games from about Memorial Day on through the end of the season."
Boo fucking hoo. The dominant pitching performances (I'm still updating the list, by the way) have made this early part of the season one of the most interesting in a long time. If low scoring games are what'll happen, then by all means, ban greenies. Maybe some of the bandwagon fans will disappear and stop buying all the tickets. One interesting point though: "'
you'll be seeing players all over baseball trying to find doctors who will diagnose them (with having) ADD or narcolepsy. Heck, the players with ADD will have a big advantage because they can get Ritalin to focus.'" Yikes.

3) Not an article, but on Mike and Mike this morning (sorry, I was held captive on a JetBlue flight) Buster Olney mentioned what the Yankees could end up doing, if they want to get rid of him once and for all while getting some money back: sit down with Giambi and Tellem and offer to buy out his contract for "50, 60 cents on the dollar". If they refuse, tell them he will be permanntly benched, never playing another inning of baseball for the remainder of his contract. Damn.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


While I am not very happy about the outcome of game 2 (Clay Meredith - with the game on the line? are you kidding me?)

I don't see how NY can very excited about beating the anemic A's. The same A's with exactly 1 player over .300 (Kotsay at about .301) and the third lowest runs scored in all of baseball. Big whoop. You'r supposed to win 2 of 3 against the patsies like them.

The Pen

Could be a busy day for the bullpen. good thing they are all rested. Day off yesterday. Clement 7 IP friday and Arroyo 8 on thursday.

With Gonzalez and Miller going they may not get that deep in the games.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Thaaaaa Yankees win...

Moose with a complete game shutout. The interesting thing is: he threw 131 pitches. Man, they're treating this like a Game 7. Wonder if there'll be any repercussions for overusing him? I imagine the thinking was that he was ON, and they were scoring (A-Rod even got a 2-rbi hit...with 2 outs!!!), so leave him in and stop the bleeding...a loss in the 9th, while improbable, would've felt like the end of the season.

So the Yanks are now 12-19. Their 11-19 start ties (with 1912 and 1966) as their second-worst start of all time (with 1913 being the worst). Those years their final records were
1912: 50-102 (.329); 1913: 57-94 (.377); 1925: 69-85 (.448); 1966: 70-89 (.440).

No Sox game tonight. Damn. Man, I really wish John Henry had a horse in the Derby.

The internets

So it turns out Bronson Arroyo (the Bootlyemurs' soon-to-be ace) has his own blog.

Okay, it's fake, but it's pretty funny. And apparently there are tons of other fake blogs for other players out there. Damn, people have a lot of time on their hands. (And this is coming from a guy who's surfing the net while waiting to sober up so he can pick his girlfriend up from the hospital at 2 am...)

Friday, May 06, 2005

New Career?

Giambi said he was looking for a slider from Miller and barely had time to react to the fastball, which nicked his shoulder and then knocked off his helmet. He has not seen a replay and has no plans to.

"I don't think I will," Giambi said. "I've got to get back on that horse and ride it."

Horse riding? Maybe Giambi figures he has a better chance of riding a winner if he becomes a jockey for Bellamy Road.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sean McAdam

What a hack...Anyone read his article on ESPN about how the Sox can't get healthy and how the wild card might come out of the Central? Every word of the article is tired. Really. It is obvious at this point in the season to make these statements, but how about making real predictions based on team personnel performance?

He says there are major concerns over Keith Foulke...Why? Granted he hasn't pitched well to start the year, but are there really people out there that doubt his ability?

He brings up the concerns over letting Pedro and Lowe walk...First off, neither of those guys chose to resign with Boston. Lowe's 9MM/year was "an insult" and Pedro got "no respect". What about the fact that Clement and Arroyo are a combined 7-0. Throw in Wake at 3-1 with a 2.97...That's there 3, 4, and 5...Find a group of 1, 2, 3 with a combined 10-1 right now...Plus, Schill and Miller will be back and Wells will be, too.

In another place he says the Jays are driving in tons of runs and without much help from Vernon Wells...Look out is the tone...What about the fact that we've scored more runs than the Jays? AND you could make the argument that there are guys in the Sox lineup under-producing.

If he wanted to make a case about the entire bullpen, I'd listen but I guess he didn't want to do the analysis. Laziness. But let's talk about it a bit...Timlin is solid and his numbers back that up. Dinardo and Myers a combined 9 appearances (4 innings)/Zero runs, Mantei has a 3.81 ERA with 11 Ks in 10 2/3 innings, Embree's ERA is inflated because of one bad outing but he's been very good (was our best until said outing) and Foulke seems to have found himself (3 straight saves for the first time since last April '04).

The Sox are 16-12 and heading home to play Seattle. They are 1/2 game behind Minnesota for the wild card and in second place in the East. Oh, and they are 2 and 2 against the invincible Orioles...

I can't stand inflammatory writing based on garbage. I understand that it is cool to try to create stories these days, but this is why there are so many undereducated, whiny yahoos...He's terrible and I used to sort of look forward to his articles...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

An actual Yahoo game log.

C. Crawford singled to center
- C. Crawford stole second
- J. Lugo walked
- A. Huff reached on fielder's choice, C. Crawford and J. Lugo scored on R. Cano's throwing error
- E. Perez flied out to deep center, A. Huff to third
- J. Phelps doubled to deep left center, A. Huff scored
- A. Gonzalez doubled to deep left, J. Phelps scored
- P. Quantrill relieved P. Quantrill

That last part is really hard to do. Did they mean to say Paul quantrill relieved himself?

Did he do it right there on the mound?

Steroid loophole.

Well, not really a loophole, but this is very interesting.

From the AP news on the Rincon story:

"For right-hander Scott Baker, brought up from Triple-A Rochester to fill Rincon's roster spot, this wasn't the way he envisioned making his major league debut."

A team gets to replace on their roster (active not 40 man) any player suspended for illegal susbstances (I have confirmed this as 100% true). Fight related and other suspensions - the team plays short. So the union gets another job (and MLB salary - albeit short term).

I wonder what the thinking was in making that exception - possibly that a team is going to have multpile participants tested all at once. And if you have 5 positives and suspensions that would be too severe? And how would you decide who to stagger?

I guess it is a minor point considering where we are coming from. Still an interesting observation.

Kentuck Derby

I'm torn - do I want Steinbrenner's horse to win or to lose?

Normally I would say let him lose, but the story lines are too tempting.

If he wins they will have tons of stories about it being his only winner. Blah, blah, blah. I think we already must have stories about wanting to take Brown out back and put him down (haven't checked the papers today).

Hey, Jeremy - can you put your proposed lineup post up one more time with all the stats supporting everything. I think we are all still digesting it.

Hindsight, 20/20, etc etc etc

Not to be too Yankee-centric, but here's a fun what-if: what if George had decided Beltran was the number one priority this offseason? Their offense would be a lot better; no issues about Womack in LF; Bernie and Giambi could split DH/1B (that's an expensive platoon); and they wouldn't have had to sign both Tino AND Sierra so could get a little more bench depth.

Money of course was an issue. But I think it could've been done with some smart decisions. Beltran would've cost $17M, plus luxury tax -- could their 2005 salary be reduced by $17M, given previous contracts? Let's see...use Andy Phillips at 2B rather than sign Woe-mack (saving $4M); say yes to Wells when he called, rather than sign Wright (saving, oh, $3.5M)...hmmm...And then cancel the dental plans of everyone in the Yankees organization, leading to a total savings of $17M.

Ha ha. Seriously, how about this: if they had been content with Beltran, and not gone after The Unit, they'd have saved $5M (in salary) and $8.5M (cash to the D-Backs), plus they'd have kept two prospects, Dioner "Dave" Navarro and Brad Halsey -- who's doing quite well in Arizona so far (2-0, 3.09 ERA, 1.14 WHIP), while making league minimum. And despite a couple shaky outings to start the season, Javier Vazquez is starting to settle in. So there you have it: Beltran in CF, with a rotation of Vazquez/Mussina/Brown/Wells/Halsey, for slightly less money than they're paying now. Of course, Brown would still suck, and Wells could still get hurt, but Wang and Henn would be available. I would argue this rotation is no worse than their real one. Only this Yankees team includes Carlos Beltran in center field.

Not that I'm complaining.

Bad and...

11-16. That's where they stand. They have 24 games left this month including series against the Sox and the A's. They are 7-10 in the "House That Ruth Built". Give them a massive turnaround and, say, they win 16 of their next 24. That only puts them 3 games above .500 by the end of May AND their pitching staff is in shambles...They are scoring their runs, but they have (behind Tampa Bay) the worst pitching in baseball. Randy Johnson is not the RJ from National League Year's Past, Kevin Brown is flat-out awful, Wright is out with a shoulder injury and was far from impressive with his 9.15 ERA, Mussina at 2-2 with a 4.5 ERA is starting to, perhaps, show his age. They are in to the AA and AAA leagues looking for guys who can get outs.

It's great to look at those facts about the Yankees and feel good.

But...the Sox aren't exactly lighting it up this year. With injuries to Schilling and Wells you could say, "Wait until they come back." However, they are leaving too many men on base and their bullpen has not looked good.

The good news? The Sox have 3 starters with ERAs of 4 or under. You have to guess that Schilling will eventually come back and pitch well. Miller (a previous ace) is more than likely pitching Sunday after two good rehab outings. You have to guess that Ramirez will end up around .300+ for batting average which only means he will get better.

But these are mere projections...You could say Brown will turn it around for the Yankees. That Jaret Wright will come back lights out from his injury. That Mussina will become effective again.

You could say all these things...But right now the facts are that Baltimore and Toronto look very good. Halladay is back for the Jays and their lineup is scoring some runs. If Baltimore lands a legitimate ace in a trade, they could be the team to chase.

Again, more projections...But isn't this what makes baseball so much fun?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


...Longo's clever name for the D-Rays, a couple weeks ago. But he may have picked the wrong team. The Rays were riding an 8-game losing streak going into tonight's game against the Yankees. Rays won, 11-4.

Sox Pitching and other

Last night was painful. Gonzales was solid, I thought, for his first big league start in a while. I'd rather have that guy in our bullpen the rest of the way instead of Blaine Neal.

Seriously, Neal needs some work. He throws basically a fast ball and a changeup and misses his spots badly with both. His fast ball is flat and he needs location otherwise the ball flies out of the yard (kind of like last night).

By the time that game got to Embree, it was over.

And Millar. He's great. I love the guy. but...let's move him down to 7 or so in the lineup.

I'd like to move Renteria up to the 2 hole and hit-and-run with Damon. Renteria might not get a ton of hits, but he makes contact. Move Varitek (a switch-hitter with good power this year) in to the 5-spot behind Ortiz so that David sees more good pitches. People are pitching around Ortiz now.

Millar will start to hit, and he should remain in the lineup, just not in the 5 hole.

Tonight Halama goes maybe 5 innings. Not that he will get knocked out, he just hasn't thrown that much this year, yet. Then we are on to the wackey adventures of the Sox pen (with no long relief. Mantei, Timlin, Embree, Foulke (6,7,8,9)...

Pedro count

I think we're up to 3? with another gem last night and the ox dropping one to Detroit....

Randy Johnson, the "Big Unit", has a stiff groin.

That is all.

Monday, May 02, 2005


...just wrote an epilogue to "The Last Night...", and it's on ESPN.com. Worth a read -- I still haven't read the book, though want to now (making this a brilliant PR move on Olney's part). This brings us to a semi-argument we've been having for a while -- how good a GM Brian Cashman is. The stats show he's bad -- all the good stuff from the late 90's he can't take credit for, and all the bad stuff since then was done under his watch. But my question is this: is it Cashman's fault? Steinbrenner has made every major decision for the team since fall of 2001 -- get Sheff over Vlad, get Mondesi, pay anything for Giambi/Contreras/etc., trade away all the talent. (For example, Cashman didn't go after the Unit in 1999 or whatever because that would mean giving up Nick Johnson...who was traded in 2004 for Vazquez...who was traded in 2005 for...the Unit, who was 5 years older.) And the pitching woes may be traceable to Stottlemyre (or Torre in the case of the bullpen)...so what exactly has Cashman done (good or bad)?

The Biggest Name to Date

His performance this year was outstanding... I guess it was tainted.


Ok, as predicted Arroyo has been outstanding. 3-0 and solid. One might say he's the most consistent pitcher on the Sox right now.

Enough gloating...

I love the fact that the Yankees could go 15-10 (.667 winning percentage) over their next 25 and only climb to .500.

The Os look real. But...can their pitching last an entire season? I think beyond their lineup being so strong, they seem to play with tenacity...They are Tampa Bay with better talent.

The scuttlebutt around here is that Clemens may be pursued by the Sox. I don't know, it would be great to see him in Boston because he would give the Sox a huge push toward another championship. But, it would feel like a NY World Series...bought and not as special. I'd rather see Schilling, Wells, and Miller come off the DL and get us there. That is a heck of a trio.

By the way, with all these tenuous arms, would it be soooo bad to pitch Miller and/or Wells every two times around the rotation? Stick with a 5-man, but the fifth man is different every time around with Wells and Miller rotating. It gives you a great rotation and ensures that guys are healthy toward the end of the season and in the playoffs...That will never happen. Baseball has become too mired in its ways, no more risk takers. Everyone has the 5-man rotation, every one has setup guys and closers. I still contend that the "Closer By Committee" would have worked with the right bullpen.

What can one say about the White Sox? Their pitching looks great with Buerhle and Garland and El Dookie and Contreras...It is just really difficult to believe that the two latter will be great all year (and, if they are, they will more than likely have to pitch in Fenway and we know how that works out)...