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Friday, May 29, 2009
And That HappenedRed Sox 3, Twins 1: Varitek homers twice and gets run for getting up in the ump's face arguing balls and strikes. I can't criticize him; I like to go home early on days on which I get a lot done too. Mike Redmond, Terry Francona and Ron Gardenhire were also ejected, and I picture all four of them pounding the Budweiser together while watching the rest of the game on a plasma TV in one of the clubhouses. Oh, and the Captain is now at .248/.320/.541, which is more than respectable for a guy who was basically in a coffin this time last year.
Indians 2, Rays 1: The Rays were just swept 4-0 by one of the five or six worst teams in baseball, which I think relieves us all of the obligation of pretending they are one of the five or six best, as we have been since last year. And it could have been worse: thanks to a nearly three-hour rain delay, the Rays were spared from further embarrassment at the hands of a rookie starting pitcher who had an ERA of 17.55 entering the game. As it was, young David Huff shut Tampa Bay down for four innings, with a random assemblage of Cleveland's bullpen fodder coming in to finish off the job.
Orioles 5, Tigers 1: Let the record reflect that on this night, Greg Zaun joined (1) Chuck Diering; (2) Mark Belanger; and (3) the Earth, without form and void and darkness upon the face of the deep, as the last things which preceded an appearance of God in Baltimore.
Dodgers 2, Cubs 1: Another day, another multi-hit game for Juan Pierre. Randy Wolf was the real story, though, as he goes seven strong innings giving up a single run. The bullpen got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to preserve the win. Bobby Scales was sent down to Iowa on Wednesday and called back up yesterday because Ryan Freel went on the DL. Despite being jerked around, dude hit a homer, so the fairy tale continues.
Diamondbacks 5, Braves 2: Danny Haren allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings, striking out eight and now has a K/BB ratio of 71/9 on the season. He's pretty good.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:31am
I was watching the Twins/Red Sox games, and all the ejections were warrented.
Redmond can’t turn around and scream at the umpire that way after the play. It was a close call and ‘replays were inconclusive’. That’s why the rule book states it’s a ‘judgement call’.
Gardenhire should have let it go, but was looking to get tossed because he had been on the umpire all day about balls/strikes.
Beckett should have been the one to go. I could hear what he said on television, and it wouldn’t get him in the church newsletter. Varitek did the right thing by protecting him, but one of them has to go. Should have been Beckett. Francona got tossed for the same reason Gardenhire did. Arguing balls/strikes.
It’s insane for managers or players to say anythign about them at all, or come out of the dugout. As we tell every coach in the pre-game meeting, it’s a judgement call, you can’t argue about it, we’re not going to change it no matter how much you do, so don’t let me hear you.
It’s the simplest rule to understand, but people are always outraged when the manager gets tossed for arguing balls/strikes. Umpires give them a lot of leeway before they toss them, so when they go, it’s always deserved.
Posted 05/29 at 06:46 AM
Happy Wieters day!
Posted 05/29 at 07:59 AM
Craig - I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and a half now. I absolutely love it. It is one of the first sites that I hit each morning and you give me an insightful and informative look at all the games and goings-on in the major leagues. You are an awesome human being and I absolutely adore your writing style. Keep up the awesome work.
What the hell do you have against the Baltimore Orioles? Every day I read ATH the write-up of the Baltimore game either only makes mention of the mistakes that the O’s made in the game before, or no mention of the O’s at all. Go back and look for yourself - no matter whether they win or lose, I simply cannot remember the last time you had anything positive to say about the Orioles.
I will grant you that they have been worthy of a great deal of ridicule for some time now, and I understand that they make good jokes on the field so that you can make good jokes on the blog-o-net, but maybe - just maybe - you can grant me this request:
If Baltimore wins tonight, it will give them five in a row. Good wins. They actually have the chance to pass Tampa Bay in the standings! So if they win, can you endeavor to write something, if not nice, at least not not nice, about the Orioles next Monday? Something not Wieters-related, preferably. But I’ll take what I can get.
wtf I’ll keep reading anyway, so do what you want, I guess.
Posted 05/29 at 08:13 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Johnny—you’re right, I tend to give the O’s short shrift. I don’t know why. I have no animus against them and it’s certainly not part of my game plan to be mean to them. It just seems like most nights I can’t think of anything particularly interesting to say about them. Maybe it’s because, beyond Adam Jones and Nick M., I just don’t find their roster terribly interesting. Not the best excuse in the world, I know, but when I put these things together I basically take a five minute look at the box score and scan the game story, and write about whatever speaks to me.
Tell you what: though I’m not going to institute some sort of fairness doctrine for ATH, I’ll make a point to try harder with the O’s, simply because I realize how I tend to treat them.
Posted 05/29 at 08:24 AM
Fair enough, Craig. I can understand thinking that the O’s are pretty blah, but Baltimore is filled with a crazy cast of characters! In fact, Nicky is probably the most boring one! Here are some phun phacts:
Gregg Zaun: http://www.greggzaun.com. ‘Nuff said!
Aubrey Huff: I met him a year ago at a bar. His wife is extremely hot and absolutely out of her mind, and he is as much of a jerk as he looks.
Luke Scott: Uber-Christian who carries a gun. (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Baltimore-s-Luke-Scott-is-a-weapon-carries-one-?urn=mlb,76515)
Jeremy Guthrie: A Mormon! How crazy!
Melvin Mora: He seriously has like 9 kids and actually drives a bright red Dodge minivan to the ballpark.
Adam Eaton: nm
George Sherrill: At the beginning of the year the O’s scoreboard operators tried to give him the nickname “The Brim Reaper” (because of his hat, dontcha know). Unbelieveably, it didn’t stick.
Cesar Izturis: Okay, he’s pretty boring.
Ty Wigginton: Looks exactly like this guy I went to college with.
Omar Little: Carries shotgun, smokes Newports
Okay, I’m running out of gas, but hopefully this will get you started. Thanks again, Craig.
Posted 05/29 at 08:44 AM
Alex K said...
On Omar you forgot “Doesn’t curse, and robs drug dealers”. But I can’t really complain, I love me some references to “The Wire”
Posted 05/29 at 09:06 AM
It must suck to finally be called up from the minors (Andres Blanco) and stand in the box in a tight situation thinking, “Hey! Randy Wolf doesn’t know anything about me!”
And then you proceed to see three of the exact same sweeping curveball which you swing at in the exact same manner, coming no closer than 5 inches to actually hitting the thing.
Advanced scouts. They work sometimes.
Posted 05/29 at 09:10 AM
It’s worth noting that on May 31, 2008, Jason Varitek went 3-4 with a double and an RBI. His seasonal splits at that point were as follows:
.272/.353/.470 (12 2B, 6 HR)
By July 1, those splits had fallen to:
Posted 05/29 at 09:21 AM
Posted 05/29 at 09:22 AM
kranky kritter said...
The only quibble I have with the ejections is that I think an ump should be prepared to let one quick emotional outburst on a big play late in a close game go.
Bailey really looked out, so Redmonds initial reaction was understandable. Give the guy a short chance to dial it back, tell him it was a very close play and you made the call. Then eject them if them persist.
Granted, if a first-game green rookie ump decides not to exercise forebearance, I totally get that. I bet it was already pre-decided that the first guy to get in his face would be summarily dismissed.
Craig, not that you lack for topics, and maybe I missed this. But I noticed that Russell Branyan and Mark Reynolds both came off the board in my fantasy league, which led me to think about how much fun it is to ponder high-whiff guys.
Branyan in particular is an interesting topic. Never had more than 315 ABs in one season, he’s 34, finally playing every day. Whiffing at his usual alarming rate, but producing too.
Posted 05/29 at 09:37 AM
Andrew @ TLC said...
As far as the Orioles go, it’s interesting to see a team with by my count now 6 rookies (Wieters, Reimold, Hernandez, Bergesen, Berken, and Uehara) plus Roberts, Jones, and Markakis try to “grow up” as a team together.
They aren’t exciting (those rookie pitchers are in for a rude awakening), but they are interesting - so long as they aren’t playing the Yankees or the Red Sox.
Posted 05/29 at 09:37 AM
I was going to weigh in on how Mike Redmond has no business going crazy on that play; it was as close as could be, and even with my VERY strong anti-Red Sox bias, I thought he was safe. But then I was distracted by the “wO’s is me” discussion. Here’s a team in a great ballpark that routinely draws 12,000 people a night, except when their opponent is from within a 500 mile radius. Then they moan when the park is 75% full of said opposing fans. Walk around the Harbor when the Red Sox are in town and it’s like you landed in the middle of Yawkey Way (ugh.) And when the Yanks are in town, fuggetaboutit. Hell, if the Norfolk Tides came in for a three game set, I’m quite sure you’d hear “Roll Tides” chants from the upper deck. And they’d probably take 2 of 3. I do feel bad about the fact that Os fans are saddled with the worst owner in baseball, and yeah, the Jeffrey Meier thing was a bummer, but please don’t think we should stop making fun of this team because it hurts the feelings of the 47 people left who care. I’m supposed to get excited because they won 5 in a row in May? Ask Lee Mazzilli how that turned out the last time.
Posted 05/29 at 09:50 AM
Jeff V. said...
“George Sherrill: At the beginning of the year the O’s scoreboard operators tried to give him the nickname “The Brim Reaper” (because of his hat, dontcha know). Unbelieveably, it didn’t stick.”
Actually that was Sherrill’s doing with a logo and everything.
The Judge hitting homers in three games in a row isn’t noteworthy? The O’s tying a record from flippin 1890 isn’t interesting?
Keep in mind that Hernandez, Bergesen and Berken are not the Big Three, the ones with real potentional are still on the farm.
Posted 05/29 at 10:03 AM
For anybody who didn’t click on the Greg Zaun link above: it’s totally worth it
Posted 05/29 at 10:20 AM
On two games:
Twins/Sox: The home plate umpire was a “vacation ump,” a minor-leaguer w/80+ games of MLB service who, quite clearly, was looking to make a name for himself. I have no idea why Redmond was tossed. Unless he bumped the ump, and no one has claimed that he did, it appears he was tossed only for arguing the call at home. The ump has to be bigger than that - it was an extremely close play and, even if the call was correct (and I’m not sure it was), the ump has to expect and be able to deal with some arguing. This wasn’t Zambrano the other day, this was just a guy arguing the play. Gardy’s ejection, sure, Gardy had to go to protect the rest of his team.
It looked to me like Veritek essentially took one for the team, forcing the ump to eject him instead of Beckett. And then Francona did what Gardy did.
All in all, the ump was terrible, thin-skinned, and ego-centric. He should never ump another major-league game.
Cubs/Dodgers - 9th inning, right-handed pitcher (not Broxton) on the mound for the Dodgers, tying run at 3rd, winning run at 2nd. Pinella lets minor-leaguers Scales and Fox hit while keeping Hoffpauir on the bench. Pretty much all you need to know.
Posted 05/29 at 10:25 AM
Sherrill really came up with that on his own? Maybe he should have used that time to learn how to pitch to righties…
wO is me! However, I don’t really think anyone can still say that Angelos is the worst owner in baseball, at least with Brian Sabean, Jeffrey Loria, and the CF in DC around. He’s been staying out of the way now that MacPhail is here, and it’s starting to show.
Posted 05/29 at 10:31 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
re: the Zaun site: Holy Crap. If aliens came from outer space and saw that site first they’d think he was a demigod or something. At least until the Rush song kicked in.
I’m putting up a link to that at NBC.
Posted 05/29 at 10:32 AM
...and yes, I do know that Brian Sabean is the GM of the Giants, not the owner.
Posted 05/29 at 10:35 AM
Hollywood Joe said...
re: Zaun site
every time I am feeling a little overwhelmed by life, I just go to gregzaun.com and next thing I know I am bringing my Z-Game to everything I do
Posted 05/29 at 10:54 AM
Andrew @ TLC said...
Happy Matt Wieters Day!
Posted 05/29 at 11:42 AM