June 19, 2013
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Monday, July 06, 2009
This article -- which is so full of win that the rest of us will be on win-rationing for the next three days -- explores this issue in detail:
One possibility is to alternate the colors, creating a vast checkerboard effect that in long camera shots would create the illusion of occupancy. Another plan -- painstaking, but bold -- would be to paint on each seatback the likeness of a chubby youngster.
I'd probably go with a lighter, seafoamy green. At least if they couldn't make the chubby youngster option work.
He's bounced around so much since 2004 that I just sort of assumed that this had already happened, but apparently tonight is Nomar Garciaparra's first trip back to Fenway since the 2004 trade.
One of the commenters to that story reminds us that Nomar turned down a four-year, $60 million contract that spring. I only vaguely remember that, but if that's even close to being accurate, talk about a dodged bullet for the Sox.
Last week I suggested that the Indians should probably shut Grady Sizemore down, though I did offer the caveat that "I'll defer to Will Carroll or a doctor or something on this." I haven't heard from a doctor, but today Will Carroll weighs in (subscription only):
"There's no value in shutting Grady Sizemore down. The minor surgery he needs on the elbow has a short recovery period, and he can't do further damage by playing, though the symptoms could bother him in the interim. That's what Cleveland will focus on—function"
With one further caveat/question -- that being whether he's at increased risk of suffering some other injury due to compensating for discomfort in his elbow -- I stand corrected.
(thanks to Arun Gupta for the heads up)
Laugh if you want, but Sadowski's mom did better for him than Tommy Tanzer and Scott Boras did for Matt Harrington:
You think Scott Boras is a determined agent? Boras couldn't carry Elaine Sadowski's cell phone. Mrs. Sadowski is the mother of Ryan Sadowski, the Giants' only undefeated starting pitcher. He's 2-0 since being called up eight days ago, and he goes again Wednesday afternoon against the Marlins . . .
I wonder if Mrs. Sadowski took her 10% . . .
I've been beating the Eric Wedge and Mark Shapiro drum quite a bit lately, including this morning, when I wondered why in the heck one or both of them haven't been fired yet.
Cleveland Frowns, however, says that the problems lie elsewhere:
But before becoming too shaken up by the prospect of either of these men hanging on to their jobs here in Cleveland, we recommend considering just how much we should expect from them and our baseball team that plays on the low end of what is unquestionably an uneven playing field . . .
There's more to it than that -- some numbers talking about market size, mostly -- but the gist is that it's market size rather than Wedge and Shapiro that lies at the root of the Indians' losing ways.
I guess I'd be more willing to buy that if (a) the Indians' biggest problem was losing its superstars as opposed to not even having their less-than-star-studded club play up to its potential; and (b) if the Indians' didn't field multiple enormously successful clubs since 1994 or so, with all of those teams playing under the same basic business dynamic as today's club.
More generally, the Frowns' article makes a big effort to explain away much of the success of smaller market teams in the past couple of decades, discounting the Rays because they had so many high picks, discounting the Cardinals because they play in "the best baseball town in America" (never mind that it's a smaller town than Cleveland), both the Cardinals and Blue Jays because of new stadiums just prior to winning their titles and removing the Marlins and their two titles from consideration altogether because they were "unquestionably weird." Frowns doesn't explain how those titles were "weird" apart from the fact that their example cuts against their argument.
I think the final nail in the coffin of that argument is the resort to football and basketball:
Or, you might also protect yourself from such bad feelings the way we do here at Frowns, that is with a growing sense of apathy toward Major League Baseball as a whole, and especially in comparison to the NFL and NBA, leagues that understand that meaningful competition requires a level playing field.
Number of teams who have won the World Series since 1990: 12
Number of teams who have won the Super Bowl since 1990: 12
Number of teams who have won the NBA Finals since 1990: 7
Level playing field, indeed.
The Cubs deal is finally done. Apparently it's "close to" the $900 million originally offered.
Good job guys. Took you long enough. Now rehab the ballpark.
Great Moments in my day job: This morning I was sued (in my official capacity) by a violent inmate currently serving life in a New York prison. He's trying to get transferred to an Ohio prison, and keeps suing public officials in order to accomplish his goal. I represent public officials in Ohio, so I defend these lawsuits. Mr. Murderer, who shockingly acts as his own attorney, doesn't like the way I'm defending one, so I have now become the latest public official in the lawsuit. The best part: the cover letter which accompanied the complaint ended with the sentence "Get you a lawyer."
I know I risk a Cape Fear situation if I do this, but right now I have an overwhelming urge to mark up the letter's grammatical errors with a red pen and send it back to him along with an 8x10" photo of me enjoying a beer in the sunshine somewhere. Would that be wrong? Should I not do that?
"Counselor . . . .couuuuunselooooor . . . ."
Phillies 2, Mets 0: Blanton beats Santana, yadda, yadda, yadda. I want to use this entry to make my first observation of the All-Star season. Fact: Charlie Manuel manages the NL team this year. Fact: he has an All-Star roster with too many first basemen and nary a legitimate centerfielder to be found, among other issues that may very well prevent the NL from winning. Fact: the league which loses the All-Star game costs its World Series representative home field advantage. Fact: the Phillies stand a decent enough chance to go back to the World Series this year. Fact: the Phillies have been a much better road team than home team this year. Theory: Charlie Manuel is deliberately tanking the All-Star game in the hopes that the Phillies lose home field "advantage." Clever, Charlie. Very clever.
Marlins 5, Pirates 0: Ricky Nolasco continues his post-call-up tear, this time shutting out and striking out 12 Pirates and giving up only three hits over eight innings. Hanley Ramirez was scratched from the lineup because his hip is sore. When asked if he'd play in the upcoming series in San Francisco, he said "I'll see how it feels after a 7-hour plane ride." That's funny. I checked Expedia, and there are no direct commercial flights between Miami and San Francisco that take more than six hours, and many take a little less. A chartered team plane shouldn't do any worse. If Ramirez is right, though, I can only assume that Jeff Loria is so cheap that he has his team flying Southwest or something. If you're at the Oklahoma City airport later today and see a guy that looks kinda like Dan Uggla getting a TCBY while waiting for his connection, it probably is Dan Uggla.
Athletics 5, Indians 2: OK, we've got a situation here. Last week I said I'd go with "Major League" quotes until either (a) Eric Wedge was fired; or (b) the Indians won three in a row. In reality, when I said that I assumed that Wedge was a dead man walking and that the bit would end soon. Then, prior to yesterday's game, Shapiro goes and announces that Wedge will keep his job for the rest of the season. So here's the problem: there's no way in hell this team is gonna win three games in a row any time soon. Just look at yesterday: they had two in the bag, their ace on the mound, and Gio-freakin'-7.27 ERA-Gonzales facing them. At home. What happens? Of course they lose. So what do I do? I mean, I beat some bits into the ground, but I had no intention of running "Major League" quotes every day. If I did, I'd start to run out of good ones by, say, September. I'm going to give some thought to how long I stick with this, but I'm leaning towards giving it up and simply trying to find new ways to describe how depressing this team is. I'll leave that decision for tomorrow or the next day. In the meantime: "Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls."
Cubs 8, Brewers 2: The AP game story quotes Ryan Braun talking about how the Milwaukee pitchers aren't getting the job done. That's interesting enough, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quotes him getting into the GM's business as well. He then spent the whole bus ride back to Milwaukee complaining about how the driver changed lanes too much and yelling at Corey Hart for taking up too much armrest space.
Nationals 5, Braves 3: Atlanta sweeps the first place Phillies and then drops two of three to the worst team in Major League Baseball. Anyone who couldn't have predicted that hasn't watched much Braves baseball for the past three or four years.
Cardinals 10, Reds 1: I've sorta not been paying that much attention to the Reds lately, so I had just been assuming that Bronson Arroyo was continuing his patteren of getting shelled, then pitching well, then getting shelled, etc. Looking at it now, the "getting shelled" option has been a lot more prevalent, and it happened again yesterday (5 IP, 11 H, 8 R). Arroyo now has the worst ERA among regular NL starters.
Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8: Joba Chamberlain gets his ineffective butt saved by Derek Jeter and the rest of the Yankees' offense. In Chamberlain's defense, neither of the homers he gave up would have reached the seats in old Yankee Stadium. Such a defense only goes so far, of course, given that Alfredo Aceves pitched against the same Blue Jays and in front of the same outfield walls yesterday, and he only gave up one hit in four innings of relief work.
Red Sox 8, Mariners 4: The Mariners would have liked to take this one, but the fact is that they finished nine road games against the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox 5-4, and that's pretty damn impressive.
Royals 6, White Sox 3: Some interesting thoughts about the whole Rany-Royals dustup here. I wish someone would have thought to ask Ozzie Guillen about this over the weekend. Even in the very likely event that he knows none of the actors and cares not a bit about this drama, the way in which he would have put it would have been pretty entertaining.
Twins 6, Tigers 2: A bunch of those "The Tigers are in the driver's seat" stories popped up last week. Everyone who wrote them forgot the fact that the Twins just never, ever seem to go away, no matter how hard you try and make them. They take two of three from the kitty cats and stand ready to be a total pain in Detroit's butt for the next three months.
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3: Dan Haren pitched six innings and stood to be the winner after the Dbacks took the lead in the top of the seventh. I probably would have bet the balance of my 401K that the Arizona bullpen wasn't going to hold that lead for him, but I'll be damned if they didn't.
Angels 9, Orioles 6: Baltimore held 4-0 leads on Saturday and Sunday and blew them both. But it's not like there isn't hope.
Dodgers 7, Padres 6: Broxton blows a four-run lead in the ninth (I'm sure it was Manny's fault somehow), but James Loney hits a solo homer in the 13th to give the Dodgers the win.
Astros 7, Giants 1: Roy Oswalt is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over his last three starts. Randy Johnson bailed early with a strained shoulder. He probably did it while batting earlier in the game. Some joker somewhere will use that as an argument for the DH, ignoring that Johnson has had nearly 700 career plate appearances without incident before yesterday.
Rangers 5, Rays 2: The Rangers sweep the Rays -- allowing only seven runs in the three game set -- and now start a big series against Anaheim. Tasty.