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Monday, August 24, 2009
I was not a happy camper last week due to work and little blogging and all of that. Today still kind of sucks, but I'm basically out of the woods now. Some legal work and a corned beef sandwich is in my immediate future this afternoon, but in the meantime, have a nosh of this:
OK, screw the legal work. I'm getting the corned beef first.
So sayeth Mr. Wilpon:
Mets owner Fred Wilpon broke his extended silence yesterday, just long enough to take one question from The Post, and indicated he already has his general manager in place for 2010.
You can take that at face value if you want. Or you could compare it to previous votes of confidence given by the Mets. You can also try to figure out how the injuries play into all of this. On the one hand, you probably have a hard time blaming your manager and GM for the bad year when virtually every single good player you have is on the DL for long stretches. On the other, if you were to fire, say, your manager after losing a bunch of games due to injuries, his replacement is almost certainly to have better luck and a better record, thereby making you look pretty smart for making the change. At least to people who don't pay too close attention to such things.
My view is that anything can happen when the Wilpons and Omar Minaya are involved, so it wouldn't shock me to see at least Jerry Manuel gone before next spring, vote of confidence or not.
That's not me saying it, though. It's the WaPo's Gene Weingarten:
Here I am at the annual convention of the Society for American Baseball Research, or SABR, an acronym the group wisely chose over SWORD, for Statistics-Worshiping White Old Retired Dudes. This room is definitely pale and male and pretty long in the tooth, but I have to admit that what it lacks in youth, hipness and diversity, it more than makes up for in potbellies.
It kind of goes on like that for a while. You'd think with a two-week lead time between the reporting and publication that he'd have figured out that it's mostly the younger nerdy types and not the older potbellied types who are the stats people there, but that's old media for you.
He spends the last chunk of the article trying to figure out why there aren't any left handed catchers anymore. Instead of writing 700 snark-filled words about it, he should have asked Miguel Tejada. Or at least read his words in this New York Times article from a couple of weeks ago:
“I guess all the lefties end up as pitchers,” Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada said.
Neyer agrees with Tejada. And wouldn't you know it? Neither Rob nor Miquel are old, retired, or potbellied.
Phillies 9, Mets 7: Unassisted triple plays are cool and all, but they're really more about luck than anything else, aren't they? You hit the ball to just the wrong place at just the wrong time and bam-bam-bam it's over. Oftentimes the middle infielder who turns the thing isn't even 100% sure he's done it until he looks around a bit, tags a guy he forced out just to be sure, etc., because it's really more a matter of reflex than anything else. It's sort of like most inside the park home runs (like the one Angel Pagan hit earlier in this game): happenstance or maybe a bad play on the part of the opposition makes it possible. So, even though I'd love to rag on Jeff Francoeur for hitting into one of these things or praise Eric Bruntlett for turning it, blame and credit has to go to chance more than anyone.
Cardinals 5, Padres 2: Before people start talking about how wrong the Sox were to release Smoltz, or how much worse the NL is than the AL, or how the release motivates Smoltz or any of that, let us just remember that yesterday's strong performance (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 9K) came against the worst offense in baseball, playing in the friendliest pitchers' park in baseball.
Cubs 3, Dodgers 1: The Cubs salvage one, as Jake Fox goes 4 for 4 with a homer and two RBI. Game story: "[Ryan Dempster] credited his breakfast of 'pancakes and a little bowl of whip-your-butt cereal' for his solid outing." I can only assume he got the cereal from this chick. UPDATE: Sadly, the nice lady in Los Angeles who advertised her butt-whipping services has taken her ad down. Still, it's L.A., so if you're interested in getting "the Ryan Demptser treatment," I'm sure there are still many places you can find such a service.
Yankees 8, Red Sox 4: Three game series between the Sox and Yanks: 58 runs scored, game times of 3:57, 3:17, 3:13, and not one single extra inning. Watching the Yankees play the Red Sox is like watching WAC football from the 1980s. If the AL East is the best baseball has to offer, baseball can friggin' keep it.
Athletics 9, Tigers 4: Jack Cust hit two homers, Landon Powell hit one, and Brett Tomko of all people continues to pitch like an ace. The win brings him to 98-101 for his career. For purely subjective reasons -- including the fact that Tomko is my age and the fact that I have a soft spot for journeyman swingmen, I'd like to see him even up that record before the end of the season.
Orioles 5, White Sox 4: Mark Buehrle has had one decent start since his perfect game (which the Sox lost, but that's neither here nor there). Beat up again yesterday for five runs on eleven hits in five and a third, one wonders what the heck has happened to the guy. He's not walking a ton of guys. He's just getting pounded. As for the Sox, they just played six against the Royals and Orioles at home, and they split those. You'd think that a playoff team wins four or five against those teams. If they finish one or two behind the Tigers, that little stretch may look pretty big in hindsight.
Rangers 4, Rays 0: Scott Feldman was on (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 11K). Chip Caray and Buck Martinez weren't, however, so instead of this game, I watched . . .
Indians 6, Mariners 1: The Tribe beat up on Felix Hernandez, chasing him in the four-run sixth inning and Fausto Carmona (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K) looked better than than I've seen him since 2007. Jhonny Peralta iht an RBI single, ohmered, and reahced on error and came ohme to score.
Rockies 4, Giants 2: Jiminez beats Lincecum, and the Rockies have extended their wild card lead over the Giants by taking two of three thus far in the series. This is a wraparound, though, so the Giants have a shot to get back where they were on Friday morning with a win tonight.
Twins 10, Royals 3: Mike Cuddyer homered twice. Kyle Farnsworth, the man whose presence in the pen required that Alex Gordon be sent down to Omaha -- gave up five runs on five hits in one inning of work.
Reds 4, Pirates 1: With this won the Reds are now .005 points ahead of the Pirates in the Central! This one is going down to the wire, folks! Pirates starter Kevin Hart: "I don't think you're going to win a lot of games at this level throwing the ball like I did today." He's right. And just imagine how bad a day it would have been for him at the Major League level.
Nationals 8, Brewers 3: I mock the Reds and Pirates, but the Brewers are closer to them in the standings than they are to the Cardinals. As for the Nats, a win tomorrow in the finale of this series and they'll be at .500 since the break. Not bad for a team that has rarely looked as bad this season as their record indicates.
Blue Jays 8, Angels 3: I think the Jays, at least when Halladay doesn't start, are like the AL's version of the Astros for me in that I can rarely find anything on interest in their box scores. Something fun from the AP story, though, was the fact that Vladimir Guerrero fouled off a pitch that bounced in the dirt in the ninth. He's Vlad, though, and that's just what he does.
Braves 7, Marlins 5: Brian McCann provided the bookends to the scoring in this one with a three run homer in the first and a two-run single in the eighth which proved to be the game winner.
Diamondbacks 7, Astros 5: Arizona halts a seven game losing streak. The Dbacks drew five walks, which was a big deal, because before those, not a single player on the team had walked since last Monday.