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Friday, July 24, 2009
And That HappenedWhite Sox 5, Rays 0: Nice game for Josh Fields (1-4, grand slam). Scott Kazmir's nightmare season continues. Rumors have him on the trading block to free up some salary for the Rays to get Lee or someone. What a difference a year makes. Wait, why are you looking at me like that? Did something else happen in this game worthy of comment?
Mariners 2, Tigers 1: And with that, the AL Central is tied. Perfect game juju gives the Sox the momentum, though (that's how that works, right?). And how about Jarrod Washburn? Walk a few less guys, strike a few more guys out, and bammo -- you're ending July at 8-6 with a 2.71 ERA.
Giants 5, Braves 1: It makes total sense that the Braves hit Tim Lincecum like he's Derek Lilliquist and then get shut down by Barry Zito (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER). You're not going to believe this, but Bobby Cox was ejected. Strange, though. It was only about 80 degrees and the game was tied. He usually saves that sort of thing for the really hot days when the game's outcome is no longer in doubt. Unlike almost all of his other ejections it's possible that he was really upset here.
Indians 5, Blue Jays 4: You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a Huff (7.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER). If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
Phillies 9, Padres 4: It strikes me that a lot of that "but the Phillies need Roy Halladay" talk implicitly assumes that Cole Hamels is going to continue to be a 4.80ish kind of pitcher all year, and I can't say I'm sure why people think that. No, the Padres aren't exactly a formidable test, but I have this feeling that this fall's Cole Hamels is going to look an awful lot like last fall's Cole Hamels.
Cardinals 4, Nationals 1: Rain put an end to this one early, as the field became an unplayable mess. Tony La Russa on the conditions and the grounds crew's efforts: "You can't try harder than that -- whether it's the grounds crew or the umpire. Mother Nature is always stronger than anybody." I'd call that profound if I thought he believed it. Let's be honest: if there's a manager in baseball who spends his offseason building weather-controlling satellites and wishes to one day destroy the sun itself, it's Tony La Russa. The man is not exactly the type to simply defer to nature or anything else. Pfun Pfact: Cards GM John Mozeliak was on NPR yesterday afternoon being interviewed about the fact that the team plans on taking the train from D.C. to Philly in advance of tonight's game, which is kind of cool. To get in the era-of-train-travel mood they should all wear suits and smoke too.
Yankees 6, A's 3: ESPN's little "Fast facts" box said "The Yankees came back from four runs down to win their seventh straight game . . . New York trailed 4-0 before scoring four runs in the fourth inning." What happened? Did New York have to begin the game with -1 runs for some reason, or was Oakland docked one?
Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 4: In a rare events, the Dbacks scored a lot in a Dan Haren start. Unfortunately for Dan, most of the runs came after he left the game, so he got a no-decision. Chad Tracy hit a pinch-hit three-run homer that broke the game open. I have this feeling that it will not, however, inspire the kind of ruckus Manny Ramirez's did the day before.
Angels 6, Twins 5: Howie Kendrick hit one up the middle in the ninth that ricocheted off of Joe Nathan's glove and then hit the second base bag, preventing anyone from making what would have been a game-ending play and allowing the tying run to score. Not a hell of a lot you can do about that if you're the Twins except to hope you don't miss the playoffs by one game this year and spend all winter thinking about stupid bounces.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:49am
My Phils-Halladay question goes more: will Blanton/Happ turn to pumpkins this season or next?
Posted 07/24 at 07:24 AM
There’s a piece up over at ESPN about Buehrle (it’s from something called ESPNChicago—first of all, I didn’t know there were local ESPN affiliates, and secondly, the piece sure does read like it was written for and by a local affiliate, full of hyperbole and gushing praise) that contains a wonderful paragraph. After noting how “normal” of a guy Buehrle is, the author writes the following:
“Look at him. He’s a monster-truck-driving, deer-hunting, self-proclaimed country boy who strains to hit 90 on the radar gun and was picked in the 38th round of the 1998 amateur baseball draft.
Did you even know there were that many rounds in a draft? Heck, Ron Schueler, the former White Sox general manager who selected the left-handed Buehrle, took his own daughter in the 43rd round in 1993.”
Two thoughts strike me: 1) How many “normal” people drive monster trucks? 2) If that bit about Schueler’s daughter is true and not a bit of writerly flourish, well then that’s just downright wonderful. If I were a GM and I had already drafted every player I intended to draft, I’d use the remainder of my picks drafting my family, neighbors, pets, Barack Obama, David Beckham, the cast of Seinfeld, and Abraham Lincoln.
Oh and also, yeah I did know there were that many rounds in the draft and I’m pretty darn sure everyone else around here did too. You know, cause they’re actually baseball fans. And I’m crazy about Buehrle, but this idea that the definition of “normal” is a monster truck driving, country boy hunter is so played out and so far from the truth. What’s really “normal” about Buehrle is that he’s displayed professionalism, class, humility, and good sense. But really those traits don’t quite make him normal. Given their rarity, I’d say they make him exceptional.
Posted 07/24 at 08:49 AM
Bill @ the daily something said...
If the Twins miss the playoffs by one game, I’ll spend more time thinking about blowing 10 run leads to the A’s and blown calls at home plate than I will about the bad bounces last night, though both sucked mightily. If they miss the playoffs by TWO games…
Posted 07/24 at 09:09 AM
I think you used the Duck Soup joke one time last year, but it’s still hilarious. I always like a little Marx Brothers to start my day.
Posted 07/24 at 09:14 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
I did, but it was for Aubrey, not David. Great quote, though, so it can hold up. Also, the Indians-Jays series is so depressing on so many levels, I couldn’t think of anything else to say that wasn’t all hate and gloom.
Posted 07/24 at 09:16 AM
I didn’t *know* that was a Duck Soup quote, but I would’ve put good money down that it was a Groucho Marx joke. It just seemed too obvious. The pacing at the end of it was just begging to be read in a Groucho-with-his-cigar voice.
The ESPN-Chicago thing is new (like maybe a month old). I haven’t had much reason to look at it, though, because, really, I get enough of the Cubs already…
Posted 07/24 at 09:45 AM
I think someone simply told Buehrle that the game will go even FASTER if he simply pitches to only 27 batters.
He thought that was brilliant so he tried it.
Posted 07/24 at 10:02 AM
There was a piece in the NY Times business section about ESPN’s roll out of local sites around the country to work in conjunction with their radio stations:
It’s sportswriting (do we even call it that anymore) like J.W. references that makes me hope this is all a big fail. The snarky, hipster Sports Center recaps have worn a bit thin by now, don’t we think?
On the other side of technology, had my MLB Game Day tuner on the White Sox game at work yesterday; suddenly looked up and he had the perfecto in the 8th. So was able to listen to the last inning and see the Wise catch on that little video box they provide. Gotta love those internets.
Posted 07/24 at 10:07 AM
I’ll expect some “A Night At The Opera” quotes Monday (Sat8PM ET, TCM).
Posted 07/24 at 10:24 AM
As for Bobby Cox, he was tossed because of balls and strikes. The ump was pissing off both sides. With Prado on first and a 3-2 count, Zito threw one of his lollipop curveballs that the catcher caught at Escobar’s chest. Prado was stealing and was thrown out. Escobar started to argue, Diaz held him back, and Cox came waddlng out with his hands in the air and cuss words and tobacco juice coming out of his mouth.
Worst part of the game that the box score probably didn’t mention—the big inning started because of two sacrifice bunts that were not executed defensively. On the first, Kotchman lobbed the ball for some reason and Ishikawa beat it to first, and on the second, Moylan caught the ball after it bounced off the plate and, for whatever reason, he looked at third before throwing flat-footed to first. They started blaming Moylan, but I can’t help but think it was Ross’ fault for not yelling “One!” all the way. Of course, 4 runs scored with two outs after Moylan struck out the next two. Karma sucks.
Posted 07/24 at 10:52 AM
mike in brooklyn said...
Everytime they mention a Huff in the highlights, I go through that same Groucho routine. Then my girlfriend rolls her eyes. She keeps taking me for granted like that, I’m gonna go nucular and pull out some Stooges routines!
(Mets Triple A is near Niagara Falls, aren’t they?)
Posted 07/24 at 10:54 AM
Jim in DE said...
Craig, as a Phillies fan, the one correction I’d make is that the “Phillies need Roy Halladay” talk usually assumes that Cole Hamels is still Cole Hamels. If Halladay and Hamels can be a dominant one-two punch, then the Phils need to make the deal and put all their chips in for 2009 and 2010. If Hamels continues to be a 4.80 ERA guy, I don’t think Halladay improves their chances enough to be worth the minor league booty.
Posted 07/24 at 11:13 AM
Brandon Isleib said...
J.W., it’s true. Carey Schueler (who has a Wikipedia entry) was taken in the 43rd round of the ‘93 draft, as per thebaseballcube.com.
That draft went to 91 rounds (the Sox stopped after 49 and the majority stopped after 58), so it wasn’t the biggest throwaway pick either. Oddly enough, the Sox selected Frank Menechino (who signed) and Placido Polanco (who didn’t) below Miss Schueler.
So yeah, it was a legitimate pick and everything. Fun times.
Posted 07/24 at 11:43 AM
Sara K said...
The Cardinals’ GM was on NPR and I missed it? Damn that Crackbook!
Posted 07/24 at 12:13 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
There wasn’t much to it. Robert Seigel did all the talking and JM basically just said uh-huh a lot.
Posted 07/24 at 12:21 PM
This was the same type of win the Angels had over the Royals the day before, except I didn’t feel any remorse about beating up (or getting lucky bounces from) Joe Nathan.
This Angels team is playing some good baseball. They’re a lot of fun to watch.
Posted 07/24 at 12:38 PM
Jason B said...
“Cox came waddlng out with his hands in the air and cuss words and tobacco juice coming out of his mouth.”
A truer portrait of the man could not have been painted.
That said, I caught some BobbySpeak on the radio before their game last Saturday, and I could listen to him talk and talk and talk some more.
And I straight *hate* the Braves….but goddammit, do I respect them. *Helps them out of the bear pit*
Posted 07/24 at 01:11 PM
APBA Guy said...
As predicted the A’s traded Holliday for yet more prospects, none of whom are major league ready. Next on the block will probably be one of the veteran relievers, because I think Orlando Cabrera has already played for every team in the majors, and pissed all of them off.
As for yesterday’s game, it was the typical A’s young starter effort. For every nice 2 or less run game, we get 5 of these disasters.
The young starter gets through the lineup once.
The second time, the veteran opposition doesn’t swing at the stuff out of the zone. Now Mazzaro (or Cahill, or Gonzalez, et al) has to actually throw a strike.
Ball four or a little scratch hit, fall behind to Mark Texeira, ball up and over the plate, ball way up the second deck…
Maybe these guys will improve in 2 years. By then I expect about 500 people in the stands at the Mausoleum.
At least the A’s are stealing some bases for a change. It breaks up the monotony of being hopelessly behind after 3 innings.
Posted 07/24 at 03:26 PM
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