Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baseball: State of the Nation

It's been a while since I've sat down and talked baseball. Well, that's not entirely true—I've talked plenty on the road, but the home park's overdue. Some of these are current, some have been collecting dust...

First off, when the only thing preventing you from completing a home sweep of Tampa Bay is a 1-8 starter who doesn't even have a face, it's time to take care of business. The Yankees are facing a Cy Young candidate today. Get this back to a six-game lead. Get some crooked numbers going, boys, I'm sick of this shit.

Jesus. In the time it took me to write that, Tampa's gone up 5-0. Thanks alot, Dice K. I don't want to hear any more crap about this guy being a co-ace. I'm happy he's on my staff, but "ace" means I know what to expect. And it means putting the hammer down in a game like this. This guy hands out four-run innings like candy. Luckily he seems to only do it once a start, but at home, against Tampa? He starts next week in the Bronx, and I am not exactly brimming with confidence.

I'm not worried. Seriously. I thought it was a good move at the time, and I still do. We will see a lot more outing like last night than what we saw in Baltimore. Still should have gotten Jermaine Dye however. Getting two-hit by a faceless Devil Ray only reinforces that.

Congratulations to Rick Ankiel, who finally made it back to the majors last week—in a big way. A one-time pitching phenom for the Cards, Ankiel completely lost it one post-season game walking guys and uncorking wild pitches, losing the game, and he never recovered mentally. Then he needed Tommy John surgery...

Ankiel went back to rookie ball and learned to play outfield. He's actually been tearing it up in AAA all year, but because of his previous service, the Cards had to hold off bringing him up until now. He's hitting .345 with 3 HRs and 6 ribs in less than a week. And he replaces the atrocious Scott Spezio, to boot!

One of my all-time least-favorite Sox still refuses to call it a career. Mo Vaughn "replacement" Jose Offerman is toiling away in a league so obscure that there's not even video of his latest accomplishment. That is, being arrested during a game for assault after charging the mound with his bat and tagging the catcher and the pitcher. Luckily for those two, Awfulman can barely make contact, and when he does, it's weak...

Yeah, he's a Hall of Famer, but I cannot stand Craig Biggio. Poster boy for artificial hustle and grittiness. You got your 3,000 and HBP record, now just go away. Oh, and Don Baylor earned that record by being a hulking brick wall at the plate, not being a little pussy leaning into curveballs with an XXL jersey and a garbage can strapped to his arm.

Evan Longoria, Corey Hart, Grant Balfour (he's a pitcher)

Looks like the interns running the onlince scoreboards were into Berman's stash last week. This is a real screenshot. How many things wrong can you find? Click to zoom in.


Toast said...

"Artifician Hustle"?

I need to know what this means. No, wait: I believe this demands an essay from you, complete with examples.

Toast said...

Ack. Artificial.

Mike said...

I need to know what this means.

Someone from Artificia. Jeez, didn't you study geography as a kid? Americans are so ignorant of other parts of the world these days . . .

* * *

So you hate Biggio, huh Furious? Why? Just because he leans into pitches?

Mr Furious said...

You know, Biggio was a guy I set out to like. Obviously I'm a Bagwell fan. Biggio was a Big East guy (Seton Hall), and it was easy to get sucked into the whole Killer B's thing.

There's no questioning his talent, stats, or work ethic. The guy came up as a catcher, moved to 2B, then to CF, then back to 2B. He actually does hustle (so does Eckstein), but I just grew tired of the schtick and the hype.

It's almost like guys like that dive or slide just to get dirty... and the damn helmet... Plus the broadcasters just heap it on guys like that.

A HBP is as good as a walk, which is as good as a hit, and apparently his 280 HBPs led directly to over a hundred runs—that's pretty valuable—but stop acting like it's some kind of anomoly because he's a little middle infielder. He chooses to get hit, and tailors his game, gear and uniform to it.

A curveball that brushes your size 56 jersey but never lays leather on you is a "HBP," which is as good as a hit...

Rickey Henderson said...

Woo boy is Rickey ever glad that Jose Offerman is no longer on the Mets. (Or maybe we need that kind of moxy, take your pick).

And by the way, the next week is definitely going to test the Yanks bullpen.