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Thursday, June 04, 2009
Serious drama for Yorvit Torrealba and his family:
The 11-year-old son of Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba was rescued by police after he was kidnapped according to a newspaper in his home country of Venezuela.
It's gotta be hard enough to be working in one country while your family lives in another in normal circumstances, but I can't imagine how Venezuelan players can even function given what has been happening there.
Reader Jason D. has a request:
Please write about how damn stupid Stark's ESPN.com piece on draft bonuses is. I'm bored at work.
Stark's piece is about Stephen Strasburg and draft bonuses. Take it away Jayson:
Fifty million bucks.
What kills me about this article are not the prescriptions it offers -- trading draft pics, hard bonus caps, etc. are all worth discussing -- it's that it launches into all of this based on a demand made by an agent that everyone already understands to have a somewhat delusional view of the world. I would not at all be surprised to see Scott Boras demand that his next client be given access to "three score and nine comely lasses" and "fiddlers three" as a condition of signing. Does that mean we need to ban chattels from being given as bonuses? There probably do need to be made some changes to the draft, but let's not let Scott Boras dictate what they are. Hell, let Boras ask for the moon. If someone gives it to him they've got more problems than he does.
Not that Stark is the only one off point here:
"You should get paid for what you do, for what you've done," said Howard's teammate Jayson Werth, a onetime No. 1 pick himself, by the Orioles in 1997. "That's what free agency's for -- to get paid for what you could do, for what you might possibly do. It's not what the draft is for."
That sound you hear is Werth being dragged to a union-run reeducation camp somewhere.
BTF poster and Braves fan, Sam Hutcheson, responding to John Smoltz's critical comments about the Braves' release of Tom Glavine:
John Smoltz is a sanctimonious prick. I hope his shoulder falls off.
The fact that I can (a) see Smoltz's side of things; (b) see Sam's side of things; and (c) still laugh my butt off at this comment means that I'll probably get past this Glavine business sometime after lunch today.
Two blogs? Why not? If you can't ride two horses at once, you shouldn't be in the circus . . .
After a night's sleep -- and upon learning that Tommy Hanson has been called up and will pitch on Saturday -- I have moderated my views about the whole Glavine affair. Upshot: While I concede that from a purely baseball perspective the Braves are better off with Tommy Hanson than Tom Glavine on the mound, I'm still disappointed in the way things were handled. I will allow, however, for the possibility that the Braves were placed in an untenable position by Glavine in all of this, and whether that actually occurred depends on whether the Braves actually communicated their intention to release him before or after Glavine made his "I'm ready" announcement Tuesday night. If they did -- and if they truly believed that Glavine couldn't get anyone out in the bigs -- and Glavine was playing politics, then well, bad on Glavine. If they did not -- if they played their cards close to the vest, encouraging him along in rehab, allowing him to declare himself ready, and then and only then told him he had the choice of retiring or to be released -- then bad on the Braves.
More thoughts on it here.
UPDATE: One other deep thought. The Red Sox face a similar situation with John Smoltz that the Braves did with Glavine (i.e. a rehabbing legend with no apparent place to put him). There are differences here -- Smoltz likely has more in the tank than Glavine, and the Sox don't have the connection to him that the Braves do to Glavine -- but it will nonetheless be interesting to see how they handle him when he's ready to go (or not).
With apologies to Jayson Stark's research staff, I must say that I usually don't care for those "look at these weird stats!" pieces. But this one did do what those things are intended to do, which is to make read it and go "Hmm. Neat":
A third of the way through the season, James Loney is on pace to drive in 123 runs. The last Dodger with that many RBIs was Shawn Green in 2001.
Cubs 3, Braves 2: It's understandable that the Braves lost given all of yesterday's activity. Half the team was probably pissed that Glavine was released and the other half was wondering if they were going to be traded. As it was, Jeff Francouer struck out with the bases loaded in the sixth, killing the Braves' chances to break things open. Francoeur, however, was not released. Later, in the eleventh inning, Derek Lee tagged up at first and made it to second on a routine fly to left field to set up the winning run. Left fielder Matt Diaz, however, was not released. Finally, despite the loss, Bobby Cox was not fired.
Brewers 9, Marlins 6: Marlins' reliever Hayden Penn issued three straight bases loaded walks in the fifth inning, which is something you don't see every day. Walked a guy when he came in too. It's the kind of thing that makes me wish there was a 12 hour cooling off period before post game interviews, because I've always wanted to ask pitchers who have those kinds of outings whether they simply refused to groove a few pitches just to get one over or if they tried but simply couldn't. You know Penn won't talk about it in the locker room a half hour later, but he might the next morning. Except by the next morning, no one really cares that much.
Rays 9, Royals 0: Jeff Niemann shut the Royals down with authority (CG, SHO, 2 H, 9K). Brian Bannister was shelled (3.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Such balance appeals to me for some strange reason.
Rangers 4, Yankees 2: Mark Teixeira missed the game with a bruised right ankle following that hard slide into Andrus I mentioned yesterday. Minor correction: "grit" and "fire" is completely canceled out by "ice pack" and "disabled list." Don't get yourself injured. It can only hurt the ballclub.
Red Sox 10, Tigers 5: Not as close as the score indicates, as the Beckett no-hit the Tigers into the seventh and all five of the Tigers runs (a) came after they were trailing 10-0; and (b) were unearned due to three errors. Curtis Granderson hit a bases-loaded triple, which some people think is the most exciting play in baseball. Great moments in enforcing unwritten rules: Gerald Laird tried to break up the then-in-progress no-hitter by laying down a bunt in the sixth. The next time he was up, Beckett hit him. The Sox were up 4-0 then so I suppose it's not inconceivable that Laird could hide behind the "I was just trying to get something going" argument, but it was probably a close enough call to where Laird had to expect he'd get plunked.
Indians 10, Twins 1: Cliff Lee in 2008 form, goes eight innings, giving up a single run and jawing hard at Carlos Gomez after Gomez flied out in the fifth which almost started a fight. Lee has a 2.96 ERA on the season but his record stands at 3-6. Jhonny Peralta, back at short following Asdrubal Cabrera's injury, hit a three-run homer.
Athletics 5, White Sox 3: Bobby Crosby and Landon Powell hit back-to-back homers in the fourth and Josh Outman scattered seven hits over six and two thirds on a cold night in Chicago.
Angels 8, Blue Jays 1: Jered Weaver (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 10K) is hot of late, having given up a single earned run each of five of his last six starts.
Reds 9, Cardinals 3: Johnny Cueto was strong over six innings and Laynce Nix homered twice with four RBIs. Bad news for the Cardinals, as Kyle Lohse left after pitching only two innings due to tightness in his forearm. Alabama here we come?
Astros 6, Rockies 4: Hunter Pence had a solo homer and two RBI singles, and the Astros have won five of six.
Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Four Dodgers pitchers, led by Chad Billingsley, shut out the Dbacks. Their lead in the West is now a season-high nine and a half games.
Mariners 3, Orioles 2: Ichiro's hitting streak is now at 27 games. Luke Scott hit another homer for Baltimore, and is currently putting up the quietest .323/.399/.661 season we've seen in a long time.
Phillies 5, Padres 1: J.A. Happ shut the Padres down over seven and then handed it off to J.C. Romero. They should probably trade for R.A Dickey or CC Sabathia so they can go all initials on the opposition. Romero was making his first appearance since his Hall of Fame-destroying PED suspension.
Mets-Pirates: Postponed. I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow. I never meant 2 cause u any pain.
Giants-Nats: Postponed. I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing. I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain.