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Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Non-Braves fans often ask me why Jeff Francoeur drives me so crazy. He's young and powerful and exciting, they say!
Well, it's because of this kind of stuff:
For Atlanta outfielder Jeff Francoeur, the search for a more disciplined approach is elusive and the source of occasional torment. Francoeur began this season with loose goals of 80 strikeouts and 50 to 60 walks. But he's always been an aggressive player, and he's wary of becoming too passive in the quest for a higher OBP.
Except OBP is on the Turner Field scoreboard, with Turner Field being the place Francoeur plays half his damn games.
I'm reminded today that there was a rumor floating around last winter about the Braves and Royals doing a straightup swap of Greinke for Francoeur. Everyone denied it at the time, but please, if there was even a scintilla of truth to it, DO NOT TELL ME. I don't think I could bear it.
(thanks to J.C. Bradbury's Facebook status update -- a first for me, tip-wise -- for the link)
The Mets have removed the New York Post and Daily News from the clubhouse. Here's one interpretation:
The Mets consider their players' psyches so fragile that they no longer provide copies of The Post or the other New York tabloid in their Citi Field clubhouse. The newspapers were a staple of the Mets' clubhouse for decades at Shea Stadium, but a source said team management didn't want the players exposed to the "bad vibes" from the tabloids after back-to-back September collapses.
Here's another: there's only, like, four guys over the age of 35 on that team. One of them is Gary Sheffield, and I don't feature him as a big reader. Another is Ken Takahashi, who probably isn't a big English reader (not that the Post counts as English). The rest of the team probably does what the rest of us in the ballplayer demographic do: get our information from the web on the day the news breaks rather than wait until the next day to see it in print.
You're not under attack, tabloids. You're becoming irrelevant, at least in hard copy form.
I apologize for the lack of posts today. Some work stuff has me sidetracked for a bit, but that should clear soon and there will be posting this afternoon.
Can we get a ruling on whether Bob Costas is still an NBC guy, or if he's now more properly an MLB Network personality? If it's the latter I may say I'm far more angry at him for not bringing up the Duke thing when he interviewed Selena Roberts the other day than I will if it's the former. See, we're all compromised to some degree . . .
I have another somewhat lengthy piece about the Roberts/A-Rod book up over at CTB.
Royals 3, White Sox 0: Zack Greinke can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. CG, SHO, 10 K, 0 BB.
Nationals 9, Astros 4: Not a ton has gone right for Washington this year, but that Ryan Zimmerman extension seems to agree with him (4-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI; .333/.393/.588, 22 game hitting streak). Elijah Dukes is coming around too (3-5, 3 RBI; .299/.365/.506). Between them and iron man Nick Johnson (on pace for 600 AB) and .300 hitter Adam Dunn, they might just make themselves respectable before the year is out.
Twins 7, Tigers 2: Liriano puts up his second straight strong start, this time getting the win (7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 9K). This should be a relief to him as he's playing to stay on my Diamondmind keeper team next season, and this will really help him keep his job.
Mets 6, Braves 4: I was following the game via three different Braves message boards, and I can tell you, consensus among those watching the game said that Vazquez looked tired when he gave up the first home run to Beltran and that he should have been sent to the showers. He looked even more tired when he gave up the single to Delgado and the homer to Wright. OK, Bobby, it's really time to take Javier out. But no! Out he goes for the 7th and gives up yet another homer to Beltran. By the time he was yanked it was 6-3 and this Braves team is not one that comes back from anything. This loss is on Cox.
Brewers 7, Pirates 4: Matt Capps was beat up on Saturday night by the Reds but managed to hang in there and close out the win. This beating was more costly, as it meant the game. For the Brewers, Gallardo was not super human this time, but he was plenty effective (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER), and Ryan Braun's two-run double in the eighth was a nice surprise considering he began his day in an MRI tube in Wisconsin.
Orioles 8, Rays 4: I know everyone is saying not to worry about the Rays yet, but they are four games off of last year's pace and are farther back in the standings too. A more specific subject of worry: Scott Kazmir, who was whupped last night (6.1 IP, 7 H. 6 ER) and now has a 6.00 ERA on the season.
Phillies 6, Cardinals 1: Classic Tony La Russa game. All of the scoring was over by the fifth inning, yet he still used seven pitchers in the game. Scary moment: Rick Ankiel crashed headfirst into the outfield fence after chasing down a line drive to the gap. X-Rays negative, but he's still in the hospital as of this morning.
Cubs 4, Giants 2: Jonathan Sanchez caught a case of the walksies and the rest of the Giants continue to suffer from an acute offense deficit disorder.
Indians 9, Blue Jays 7: Cleveland scores three times in the seventh to take the lead . . . and couldn't hold it. Then they scored three times in the ninth to take the lead . . . and they couldn't hold it. Then they scored three times in the twelfth to take the lead . . . and the third time was the charm.
Marlins 3, Reds 2: Going 14 innings only to lose on a throwing error is like being sent off to war only to die of an infected ingrown toenail or something. Wasted efforts by both starters, Aaron Harang and Josh Johnson. Well, not wasted, really. You know what I mean.
Red Sox 6, Yankees 4: I had planned on watching this, but after a nearly two and a half hour rain delay, it wasn't going to happen. Good call on my part too, as the game, in typical Yankees-Sox fashion, then went 3:48. Making things even more miserable were the injuries to Jorge Posada and Kevin Youkilis.
Dodgers 7, Dbacks 2: Either and Ramirez hit back to back homers in the first, basically ending this one before it began. The Dodgers are now 11-0 at home.
Rockies 9, Padres 6: The Padres' skid/restoration of the natural order of things continues. That's six in a row they dropped, this time in front of the smallest crowd in Petco Park history.
Rangers 6, Mariners 5: King Felix proves mortal against the Rangers' potent attack (6 IP, 10 H, 6 ER). Texas has now hit 46 homers as a team.
Angels 5, Athletics 2: LAA of A have now won five of six. Mike Napoli remains hot (4-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and Torii Hunter continues his season long impersonation of a team-carrying slugger (2-4, 3 RBI).