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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Chris Duncan: hated one day, demoted the next, and then traded:
Confirmed on the STL end:
If merely criticizing Duncan made La Russa want to vomit, riding him out of town on a rail probably has him looking like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist."
Another story I'm probably late on -- stupid day job -- concerned Ron Gardenhire's comments in the wake of Monday night's botched call at the plate:
Ron Gardenhire has what he considers the perfect plan for reviewing close calls in baseball: red flags that managers throw like in the NFL . . .
I've cited this rule so often that it probably needs some official name -- maybe "The Carlin Rule" -- but in the meantime: if you have an idea to improve baseball, and your reasoning in support of it requires you to cite football's adoption of said idea, it is ipso facto a bad idea.
UPDATE: Oops, I hadn't realized until after I posted this that Neyer had already hit in it earlier today, complete with Carlin reference. He's a smart guy, that Neyer. Gonna have a future in this business if he plays his cards right.
No, not that one. Probably not the second or third most famous Bill Simmons either:
Jose Canseco is hungry for another shot at winning a celebrity boxing bout. Yet he may not be as famished as his next opponent in this bizarre form of sports entertainment, a man who also knows how to dig in at the plate.
I suppose it's possible this had been in the news earlier than today. Apologies if I'm late to the party. I'll do my best to stay on top of vital news as it breaks in the future.
Tony La Russa yesterday, responding to the considerable criticism of leftfielder Chris Duncan by everyone who isn't Tony La Russa:
“I get so tired of the unfair treatment of Chris Duncan. It makes me want to vomit. And you can quote me on that. This guy is treated unfairly. These fans have a reputation of being knowledgeable that they deserve but they have a couple quirks. And he is one of them.”
The St. Louis Cardinals, a couple hours ago:
Chris Duncan, the Cards slumping outfielder, has been optioned to Class AAA Memphis.
So does the Cardinals brass make La Russa want to vomit too?
Man, the Pirates trade another veteran. Adam LaRoche is really gonna bitch about this. Oh wait . . .
12:12 p.m.: LaRoche has been traded to the Boston Red Sox. No word on return yet. Still no official word of any kind from the team.
Take the hint, Adam! Leave the dugout.
UPDATE: Thanks to reader Randy for the heads up on the return for La Roche:
According to multiple baseball sources, the Pirates will receive shortstop Argenis Diaz and pitcher Hunter Strickland when the deal is finalized. Diaz is known as a gifted defensive player, but there are questions about his bat. The 22-year-old Diaz is hitting .253/.309/.310 with Double-A Portland this year. Strickland, an 18th round pick in 2007, is 5-4 with a 3.35 ERA for the Greenville Drive of the Single-A South Atlantic League this year. The 6-foot-5 20-year-old has shown excellent command for the Drive, with a 51-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 83.1 innings this year.
I guess Strickland sounds interesting, but when you're unloading a slow-of-foot, intermittently disgruntled soon-to-be free agent making $7 million, you take whatever is offered.
Slightly abbreviated morning, as I was called unexpectedly to court at 10AM. I'm just getting back now, though if you are called to court with zero notice and aren't thrown in jail for something, you have to call it a victory. I did get some quick hits up, however:
I have some annoying lawyer things to do as a result of my impromptu hearing this morning, so it may be a tad slow today. But never fear: I will be checking in with some posts as my boredom waxes and will to work wanes throughout the afternoon.
Nationals 4, Mets 0: Not to take too much away from John Lannan (CG, SHO, 7 H, 1K 0 BB), but David Wright was the only player in the Mets' lineup who has any business starting for a Major League team, let alone one that still pretends that it's contending.
Indians 2, Blue Jays 1: Cliff Lee's starts are beginning to take on the air of street sale rather than a baseball game:
Live from 47th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue-you can't miss it!-it's SABRA PRICE IS RIGHT! Alright so let's go with the game then. Here is the host, URI SHURINSON!
Brewers 2, Pirates 0: Milwaukee blanks the Pirates. And Braden Looper beaned five guys because Kevin Young hit a homer off of Doug Jones back in May of 1998. Maybe you think that's extreme, but that's just how the Brew Crew rolls.
Angels 8, Royals 5: You're not going to believe this, but Sidney Ponson got rocked (5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER). Jose Guillen drove in two. It's amazing what you can do when you take ownership over your problems.
Yankees 6, Orioles 4: Neyer yesterday:
The Yankees are probably good enough to get into the playoffs with Sergio Mitre in their rotation ... but is it really worth the risk? And I'm sorry, but I just don't believe it must take a month to get Hughes conditioned for 100 pitches. Anyway, why is that the threshold for acceptability? How many times do the Yankees think that Mitre's going to last for 100 pitches?
Last night's results: 91 pitches, even when pitching with a four-run lead. It's great that he won and everything, but is there any doubt that Phil Hughes could do at least that and maybe save the bullpen some innings?
Braves 8, Giants 1: It's amazing what ridding your lineup of automatic outs can do. With Jordan Schafer, Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur gone, the Braves have been on an offensive tear. In this one, Martin Prado had three hits and scored three runs and Brian McCann hit a three-run homer and drove in four. Now if only the Phillies would lose a game . . .
Phillies 4, Cubs 1: Damn. Jayson Werth with a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the 13th.
Tigers 9, Mariners 7: Not a lot of pitching in this one, as seven homers were hit, two by Jack Hannahan of the Ms and one grand slam by Magglio Ordonez. Franklin Gutierrez slammed into the wall and had to leave the game, but x-rays were negative. Which, strangely enough, is a positive thing.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 2: Losing four of five out the gate in the second half is probably not what the Sox had in mind, but that's what happens when you can't figure out rookies with names like Tommy Hunter. They should trade him to the Braves to team up with Hanson. Both "Hunter & Hanson" and "Tommy and Tommy" sound like 1980s action/adventure shows that I totally would have watched back then. It would air right before "Riptide" and right after "The A-Team."
Rays 3, White Sox 2: Bobby Jenks loaded the bases in the ninth but got out of it on Monday night, but last night he wasn't so lucky. Coming in with a one run lead, Jenks allowed single-HBP-single-walk-sacrifice-hit-walk before getting out of it. Spoiled a nice Clayton Richard start too (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K).
Astros 11, Cardinals 6: This has to have been Todd Wellemeyer's last start for the Cardinals, no? That one nice start against the Giants back on July 2nd didn't buy him a mile of rope, did it? Wandy Rodriguez (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER), Carlos Lee (grand slam) and Miguel Tejada (2-3, 3 RBI) lead the charge for the Astros.
Angels 10, Royals 2: Erik Aybar was a beast in this doubleheader, smacking seven hits between the two games. He's also 24 for his last 43. Kansas City used nine pitchers in yesterday's games.
Dodgers 12, Reds 3: I think the Homer Bailey experiment is nearing its end as he has a 14.53 ERA over his past two starts and isn't fooling anyone. And I'd like to think that this Dusty Baker quote was meant as a dig at Joe Torre, though it probably wasn't: "You know you've got a good lineup when your eighth hitter's hitting .320-something. I don't know If I've seen that ever." He's referring to Matt Kemp, of course, who has no business hitting eighth. Not that it's hurting the Dodgers at the moment or anything.
Twins 3, A's 2: Runs were a bit more scarce in this one. And, unlike yesterday, Mike Muchlinski called Michael Cuddyer safe when it mattered, this time on his 10th inning RBI triple.
Marlins 3, Padres 2: I have absolutely nothing interesting to say about this game, so I'll just note that "Stripes" was on AMC last night. It's been years since I've seen it, and yes, it holds up. Lee Harvey, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it.
Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 5: Same here, really. Sorry, I guess last nights west coast games just aren't speaking to me like Monday night's did. C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.