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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
From Rick Morrissey:
And while we're asking questions, since when did Trader Kenny become Traitor Kenny?
Oy vey. I love Jim Thome and Jose Contreras just as much as the next guy, but Thome is going to, maybe, pretend to be Mickey Stanley for a month in Los Angeles. Contreras has one good start in the entire second half and that came against the Royals. To hear Morrissey (and others) tell it, you'd think that the Sox gave up the cornerstones of the franchise.
I often accuse ballplayers of being kinda dumb. It's not meant as a slam, really. At least not a harsh one. Ballplayers are what they are, and what they usually are are guys who didn't go to college and spend a lot more time thinking about where they're going to build the tree stand this November than how the world works. Hell, the dude who is often referred to as the smartest guy in the game -- and my favorite player of all time -- likes to pee on other guys' feet in the shower and giggle when he passes gas and stuff. And I'm cool with that. Football players spend at least three years in college and look at all the really dumb things they do. Really, don't change my ballplayers. I don't want them to be any different than they are.
Still, it's interesting to hear about the outliers:
[Ross Ohlendorf] wrote his senior thesis on the investment in and rate of return of baseball draft picks and will spend part of this offseason as an intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, doing research on Longhorn cattle.
Lots of interesting stuff about smart dudes in the game in that article, and of course, the usual Doug Glanville anecdotes ("You become the locker room problem-solver. It becomes who you are, just like Randy Myers was the guy with live grenades in his locker").
I had no idea:
Why all the baseball? Don't blame me. Blame the Vikings, who introduced the concept of a "pitch count" for their expensive and risky new quarterback addition after his Minnesota preseason debut Aug. 21 vs. Kansas City.
I love that in football it's the old guys like Favre and McNabb who are placed on a count instead of the young dudes.
Jason, did one of your kids step on Blanks' foot or somethin'?
Reds 4, Pirates 3; Reds 6, Pirates 3: Darnell McDonald scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Chavez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win the first game of the doubleheader. There was no one there. Like, 2000 people. Which is a crime considering how nice a day it was in Ohio yesterday. Sure, it was just a makeup game and sure it was the Pirates, but if there aren't at least a couple thousand more office drones, college students, and other assorted knuckleheads that can make it to a walkable ballpark on a glorious afternoon then our civilization is circling the damn drain.
Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3: It had to be kind of hard to play this game while this is looming beyond left field. Arizona managed, however, getting two runs off of James McDonald in the 10th. The Dodgers finish August with a record of 14-15, but hey, they've got reinforcements now. You excited Jim Thome? "I just want to be honest with you. I'd love to come. I want to help you guys any way I can. But playing first base is not something I'm going to be able to do -- maybe in an emergency situation, perhaps." Fear the Dodgers.
Braves 5, Marlins 2: Life comes at you fast. Josh Johnson didn't give up a hit until Matt Diaz singled in the 6th, but he wouldn't survive the seventh inning following a couple of hits from Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar followed by an Omar Infante triple and a David Ross RBI single.
Blue Jays 18, Rangers 10: Toronto led this game 11-0 at one point but thought it wasn't sporting to embarrass their host in their very home and thus allowed them to make a go of it, watching the lead shrink down to a single run before scoring seven in the ninth. Adam Lind had eight (8) (VIII) RBI in this game. I'm assuming Nolan Ryan had people killed after it was over.
Yankees 5, Orioles 1: Without looking, I'm going to assume that this was Andy Pettitte's best start of the year (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8K) [time passes] OK, I looked, and yes it was his best start of the year. In fact, if you go by game score, it was Pettitte's best start since June 30, 2002, when he threw a three-hit shutout against the Mets.
Rays 11, Tigers 7: If the best trade deadline pickup was Cliff Lee or Adam LaRoche, then the worst is no doubt Jarrod Washburn (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Harkins says it best: "Tigers fans must feel like they got hoodwinked."
Twins 4, White Sox 1: The White Sox: sinking like whale fall. Not only did Joe Mauer hit a homer, but he stole a base. What's more, as he slid into second, he caught the errant throw after it deflected off of Jayson Nix's glove. Mauer doesn't always drink beer, when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.
Astros 5, Cubs 3: Carlos Lee was 2-4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Rich Harden, who had a busy day of not being traded and everything, gave up five runs on five hits and walked six in five innings.
Angels 10, Mariners 0: Two homers for Vlad, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. Joe Saunders and Trevor Bell allow only three hits which, after what happened to against Zack Greinke on Sunday, was a veritable breakout performance by the M's bats.
Padres 3, Nationals 1: Livan Hernandez does what he was hired to do: pitch a bunch of innings, save the bullpen, and still lose so as not to mess up the whole Bryce Harper thing. OK, maybe that's not the real intention -- Hernandez actually pitched well last night -- but it's a nice little byproduct of his Livanness, no?
Athletics 8, Royals 5: Oakland trailed 4-0 after two innings, but scored five runs in the third and then added three more in the sixth. One of those runs came after when Luke Hochevar allowed Rajai Davis to advance to third while Hochevar was wiping his brow, mistakenly believing that play was dead. Oops.