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Friday, August 07, 2009
Jason from IIATMS just told me that he heard on XM radio that John Smoltz is en route to Atlanta today "for personal reasons." One wonders if we're going to have a retirement announcement or something like that shortly.
Insta-take on zero information: if he retires rather than allows the Sox to DFA him, he leaves on as high a note as he can under the circumstances. Sure, the on-the-field end will have been an ignominious one, but the overall message will be "Smoltz knew it was time to go." A Mike Schmidt ending as opposed to a Steve Carlton ending.
Can't say I'd blame him.
UPDATE: Smoltz was DFA'd. I'll need more time to process this, but I'll write something about it in the near future.
It's sometimes helpful to remember, as we apply our very adult judgments and our very adult values to the game of baseball, that it's essentially being played by people who are about as mature as my four year-old son:
Mike Sweeney screamed from the Seattle Mariners training room Thursday, issuing what amounted to an all-points-bulletin.
I love him with all of my heart, but because of where he is from a developmental perspective, I give Carlo a lot of latitude when he's acting like a fool. I feel preceisely the same way when it comes to baseball players.
You kinda saw this one coming.
I can only assume that Giambi still wants to play somewhere. If not, don't you think that the A's and him would have tried to work out some sort of retirement announcement? I dunno. Maybe contract stuff complicated it. As it is, I think there's zero chance that he latches on anywhere at this point.
How do you lose something this big? Twice?
Picking up Carl Pavano is defensible, but this was not:
To make room for Pavano, knuckleballing reliever R.A. Dickey was optioned to Triple-A.
This is a dark, dark day.
A couple of people pinged me about that "I don't believe in God" comment in the previous post. Look, I'm not going to go into all of my reasons in this space because it's simply not appropriate, but let me say this much: no all-loving, all-powerful being creates a world in which John Hughes drops dead at 59 and Joe Eszterhas is still kicking at 64.
Love of John Hughes movies notwithstanding, does anyone else agree with me that the whole Jake-Samantha relationship was bound to end up in sorrow? Get this, which was one of Jake's first lines in the movie: "I do independent study with her. I catch her lo at me a lot. It's kinda cool, the way she's always looks at me . . . I'm being serious, ok. She looks at me like she's in love with me."
So the whole basis for his attraction to Samantha is that she's into him? That's clear evidence of a narcissistic personality. Even if we assume they dated the rest of the year, there's no way he doesn't cheat over the summer and then dump her the second he goes off to college. I give the whole Geek-Caroline relationship a way better shot at working out. True, she's rich and beautiful and he's young and dorky, but their thing began with trust. They probably got married.
I'm pretty sure I spent an hour arguing with this guy in a forum last month.
(thanks to Mark Armour for the heads up)
This will be fun to watch:
News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all its websites.
While I occasionally get a check for a book review from them, I gotta tell ya, I ain't gonna be paying to read Joel Sherman bleat about the Yankees in the New York Post. That's why God creadted Mike Lupica and the Daily News.
Which explains why I don't believe in God anymore, but that's another conversation.
Yankees 13, Red Sox 6: Lord, deliver us from Red Sox-Yankees baseball, because this game was positively interminable. And while we're petitioning the Lord here, let us ask Him to prevail upon one John Smoltz (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER) to hang up his spikes, because this is just way too painful for a fan of 22 years to witness. And what's with you, Joba? What happened to that fast-working, strike-throwing ace we saw four or five days ago? Seven walks? 108 pitches in five innings? Is there some NESN/YES deal in place none of us are aware of that pays everyone by the hour?
Phillies 3, Rockies 1: I can't tell you how thrilled we NL East fans are that the Phillies got Cliff Lee. Truly, we're so, so happy for Philadelphia. The figurative cherry on top of our giant ice cream sundae of misery went seven innings, giving up one run and striking out nine.
Angels 9, White Sox 5: Jon Danks gave up seven runs on nine hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings. "I got my butt kicked, that's all you can say." Well in that case, let's move on.
Rangers 6, Athletics 4: I gotta start reading more prospect books and stuff in the spring. Even though I've noted Tommy Hunter's existence this season -- even wrote about him once -- I see "T. Hunter" in the box score and my first thought is "When did Torii Hunter get traded to Texas and why is he pitching?" My second thought is "I wonder if Tab Hunter is still alive?" He was in "Damn Yankees," you know, so there's a baseball connection. So I went and checked Wikipedia. Yep, still kickin' at 78. And though I knew Tab Hunter and Tony Perkins were both gay, I had no idea that they were a thing for a while. Too bad it didn't work out for those two. Tony Perkins played Jimmy Piersall once, you know. Basically everything's about baseball. Oh, Tommy/Torii/Tab pitched well (7 P, 3 H, 2 ER).
Nationals 12, Marlins 8: The Fish blow a 6-0 lead and wind up getting slaughtered -- and swept -- by Washington. Ryan Zimmerman walked, hit two singles, a triple, a homer and had three RBIs. Elijah Dukes was 3-4 with four RBI.
Tigers 7, Orioles 3: Alex Avila -- the son of the Tigers' assistant GM -- made his major league debut and hit a two-out RBI double in the third inning. The only thing worse than working with the boss' kid is when the boss' kid actually knows what he's doing so you can't claim to have been given the shaft. Game story: "Porcello (10-7) became just the second pitcher in franchise history with double digits in wins at the age of 20 or younger, joining Dave Rozema, who had 11 victories before his 21st birthday." Of course Rozema never won double digits again after his 15-win, 16-CG, age-20 season in 1977. Thanks, Ralph Houk!
Indians 2, Twins 1: That's three earned runs in 11 innings pitched since returning to the bigs for Fausto Carmona. That's deceiving, though, because he's only struck out three guys, walked seven and has given up ten hits in those innings. Oh, and his season ERA is now at 6.66, so like that whole Satan/Goethe/Faust/Fausto thing that everyone always talks about is just underscored now. Wait, you mean I'm the only one who brings that up? Moving right along . . . If I were a betting man, I'd bet that 2007 was just one of those magical one-off years for Carmona, and that he'll never touch that level again. How many personnel decisions did Mark Shapiro make based on the opposite assumption?
Dodgers 5, Braves 4: Three-run walkoff homer for Andre Ethier. I didn't see it, so let's hear from tHeMARksMiTh, who did:
It was signed, sealed, and delivered with Soriano coming in for the ninth, and though it was only a two-run lead, it felt like it was five. But he just didn't have his command, and two pitches before Ethier hit that home run I said, "I don't know what's wrong with Soriano tonight, but I don't have a good feeling about this."
Royals 8, Mariners 2: Bruce Chen wins the "scattered" award for the night, by allowing ten hits in 6.2 innings yet only giving up two runs.
Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 6: Wow, when the Pirates lose in extra innings, they lose big. Even Dan Haren had an RBI in the 12th., and he thought he had the night off. Pirate reliever Steven Jackson gave up five runs on four hits in 12th, and was demoted to Triple-A Indianapolis right after the game.
Padres 8, Mets 3: New York has lost six in a row in Petco Park. Strange place to be having trouble. The Padres extended Bud Black's contract through 2010 after the game.