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Thursday, May 28, 2009
As of 4:15pm today, it will cost you $441 to get in on this action:
If you think you've got an eye for baseball, then this package is for you! Accompany ESPN.com's Keith Law to a minor league baseball game and learn how scouts watch and analyze players. Learn how to detect flaws and strengths in a pitcher's mechanics or a batter's swing. Test out your new knowledge with Keith at your side as you try to distinguish the real prospects, the five tool guys, from the rest of the pack . . . Keith Law and the winner of this experience will work out the details of where and when this experience will take place. Please keep in mind this experience will take place at a minor league park in New England.
I'm glad I lingered on the site long enough to discover that the auction was to benefit a public television station, because for a minute there I worried that it was the worst personal ad ever.
(Thanks to Taylor Archambault for the heads up)
Click this link to look at the little graphic MLB.com uses to represent interleague play. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Battling eagles. It looks like something you'd expect to see on the Daily Show or at the Onion or something.
Terry Francona on the Metrodome in which, barring a Boston-Minnesota playoff series, the Red Sox will never play again:
"I have a lot of respect for the Twins -- I always have -- because I love the way they play the game, I really do. [But] I think this place stinks. This ballpark stinks. Balls are hitting the [stinking] roof, the speakers -- it's awful. For me, I feel like we are in an office building and all of a sudden you walk downstairs and there is a game to be played. The Kingdome, it was kind of ugly, but it didn't feel like you were in an office building to me."
I have a couple of ideas about what the word "stinking" replaced.
Last week I suggested that someone who know something about Pitchf/x to analyze Milton Bradley's claims that he's being squeezed. Dave Allen stepped up and knocked it out of the park. Thanks, Dave. You rock.
I'm a Pitchf/x moron, but it strikes me that while its highest and best use is probably inside a baseball's front office to analyze players and stuff, this kind of snooping is its best use for fans. Maybe it's me, but I tend to glaze over when I read a general "Let's look at Player X's outing via Pitchf/x" article. When there's a very specific question directing things, however, even my feeble mind closely follows and greatly appreciates the analysis.
My NBC colleague Bob Harkins has a long piece up about folks who do the 30 ballparks in one season thing. Lots of good anecdotes in there, a great interactive map, and a good overview of the logistical hurdles such a trip presents. The biggest hurdles for the ultimate road trip, however, could be personal ones:
Foster, however, offers words of warning for those who don’t have a family to take with them, yet may be leaving important people behind.
Hmmm . . . in the ATH thread this morning, people talked of chipping in to get me the Extra Innings package, which I said could lead to my divorce. At the same time, I'd give just about anything in order to be able to do the 30-parks road trip.
Hey, you two birds: prepare to meet a stone . . .
I'm shocked I had time to write these posts, what with putting together my "Vote for Jerry Hairston, Jr." website. What, we're only outraged at certain PED users? Pfft.
I have a couple of meetings this afternoon, so it may be a bit slow today. Check back, though, because I've been known to blow off meetings.
Box scores! Get your fresh hot box scores!
Cubs 5, Pirates 2: If Trey Hillman got suspended for spraying it instead of saying it, Carlos Zambrano is probably going to be tied up and sent out into the desert on the back of a donkey Thunderdome-style after his outburst yesterday. By the way, I love it when the guy who just got ejected pretends to throw the ump out of the game. Maybe someday it will work. In other news, Zambrano is probably my favorite player in the game right now.
Mariners 6, Athletics 1: Erik Bedard won his first game in five starts and Russell Branyan hit the homer that gave the Ms some breathing room. And you may want to be sitting down for this: Nomar Garciaparra went back on the DL. I know. I'm just as shocked as you are.
Marlins 6, Phillies 2: Brett Myers has allowed 17 homers so far this year. Which, in case you were wondering, is a lot.
Tigers 8, Royals 3: Remember all that talk early in the season about how Kyle Davies had figured it all out? Yeah, maybe not completely, as he gives up eight runs on ten hits and didn't make it out of the sixth. With things out of hand, acting-manager John Gibbons allowed the Royals pupu platter of Horacio Ramirez and Kyle Farnsworth to pitch. Amazingly, they didn't give up any runs.
Dodgers 8, Rockies 6: Everyone keeps saying that Juan Pierre is going to crater, but he continues not to. Here he went 3-5 with 2 RBI. He's 32 for 78 (.410) with eight doubles and three triples since Manny got suspended.
Orioles 12, Blue Jays 10: Blowing an 8-3 lead after seven innings and a 10-8 lead in the eleventh is not the sort of thing that makes for a nice flight back to Toronto. Also, I'm going to go on record as saying that I wrote two (2) pieces complimentary to Cito Gaston just as this nightmare of a losing streak began for the Jays, so I'm going to take credit for instituting the ShysterBall Jinx.
Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: Last year the Cubs-Brewers race was pretty damn exciting, and this year's Cardinals-Brewers race is shaping up to be the same. St. Louis has won seven of nine, and is getting great pitching lately. And it seems that Albert Pujols is starting to really be given the Barry Bonds treatment, as he has been walked 12 times in his last six games.
Mets 7, Nationals 4: Not the best of nights for Johan Santana -- he threw 120 pitches in six innings -- but he did strike 11 Nats out and got the win, so it's all good. Daniel Murphy had a big night (3-5, 5 RBI). F-Mart effed up when he failed to run out an infield popup that was dropped. Hopefully he turns it around soon, though, because Matthew Cerrone has a great idea for what we can call his home runs.
Yankees 9, Rangers 2: I was truly going to watch this game all the way through but then, two pitches into the game, Rick Sutcliffe said that Derek Holland facing leadoff hitter Derek Jeter "could be the key at bat of the game." Then, in the bottom of the first, he said that he hoped Josh Hamilton could get an opportunity to run first to third "so that our listeners could see just how fast he is." My wife and I have a deal: I can't get the Extra Innings package unless and until I get a full time baseball writing gig. Since I'm not there yet, I decided that the best course of action was to turn the game off and drink scotch, alone, in a quiet room for the rest of the evening.
Twins 4, Red Sox 2: Good to see Dice-K back in mid-season form (100+ pitches in five painfully slow innings). Joe Mauer got on base two out of four plate appearances and had an RBI. I wonder if he's hurt?
Reds 6, Astros 1: Bronson Arroyo is like a box of chocolates (CG, 5 H, 1 ER).
Giants 6, Braves 3: Win number 299 for The Big Unit. A big assist to Bobby Cox too, as he trotted out what may have been his weakest lineup since the Jim Presley era.
Padres 8, Diamondbacks 5: Adrian Gonzales hits a homer and Jake Peavy gets the win. The Padres should probably deal both of them. The Dbacks are now farther out of first place than they've been at any time since 2004.
Angels 3, White Sox 1: Jered Weaver struck out eight and gave up four hits and one run in eight innings. He's been outstanding over his last five starts and looks to finally be developing into the ace he's long been expected to be.
Indians 12, Rays 7: After coming back huge on Memorial Day, the Indians once again make up a big deficit -- this one a five run hole after the first inning -- to beat the reeling Rays. This game ended after midnight, and they have a noon start today, so they probably should do what I used to do when I went out drinking the night before finals: just stay up, dude. It'll be way easier.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Jason from IIATMS hits the big time:
Jason Rosenberg was heading home and listening to satellite radio when he heard that Manny Ramirez was fourth among National League outfielders in initial All-Star voting. By the end of the night, a new Web site was born: Vote for Manny.
Remember us little guys when you're rich and famous, Jason.
UPDATE: Jason is going to be interviewed on Westwood One radio tonight too. All hail your omnipresent IIATMS overlord.
Eric Gagne is making a comeback:
The Quebec Capitales baseball club got a surprise from the major leagues Tuesday in the form of a contract with Eric Gagne, the former star relief pitcher of LA Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers fame.
He hasn't been able to pitch since 2004, so if I were the Capitales, I wouldn't hold my breath.
This sounds like a dubious suspension:
Kansas City manager Trey Hillman was suspended one game by Major League Baseball for spitting in an umpire's eye, something Hillman said was entirely accidental if it happened at all . . . "Suspended because while I was arguing spit reportedly came out of my mouth and hit him in the eye," Hillman said. "I didn't see it come out. There were raindrops falling. It takes a pretty talented person to be able to spit and yell at the same time. I was yelling. There was obviously no intent . . .
If a little spittle flying form a guy's mouth is going to lead to a suspension, then they may as well ban arguing with umpires altogther. My view: anything short of a genuine loogie should be a fine at most.
It's probably also a good time for the ump to review the Ten Commandments of Umpiring. Number 4 and number 6 seem perfectly apt here.