News, Notes and Quotes (June 10, 2005)

For some reason my bookmarks this week are piling up to the point that I fear they are secretly banding together for some sort of revolt against my laptop and me. So in an effort to save myself and my HP Pavilion zx5000, I present to you a whole bunch of random notes …

  • Athletics Nation added to their already impressive list of interviews by sitting down with A’s prospects Kurt Suzuki and Daric Barton this week. AN’s interviews are always enjoyable, because Tyler Bleszinski asks good questions and gets people to give non-cliched answers most of the time. When you get to the end of these interviews, don’t be surprised if you are shocked by how young both Suzuki and Barton look. I mean, I’m only 22 and even I was surprised.

    Incidentally, the A’s first baseman and catcher of the future are each having solid years at Single-A Stockton. Barton, who was acquired from St. Louis this offseason in the Mark Mulder trade and ranked as the #14 prospect in baseball here at THT, is hitting .278/.416/.405 with a 36-to-46 strikeout-to-walk ratio after a slow start. Suzuki, who was taken by the A’s with the 67th overall pick in last year’s draft after a great career at Cal State Fullerton, is hitting .280/.403/.462 with a 31-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

  • Quote of the Week, from Tim Kurkjian at ESPN.com:

    Jeter has a nice face, a rugged face, a handsome face, equal parts black and white, the son of a black father and white mother who had simple rules for him in high school, including being home by 10 p.m. every night and eating his lunch every day. He was taught well, and he has never forgotten his lessons. That’s why he is such a good player and team captain. That’s why he is the face of baseball.

    To quote Kurkjian’s ESPN.com colleague, Bill Simmons, “I think I just threw up in my mouth.”

  • Quote of the Weak, from Nick Lachey (yes, Nick Lachey) in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

    As I stand in the recording studio in Los Angeles trying to finish my next album, I find myself distracted lately; not by bad notes, inadequate lyrics or even the excessive spending of my wife, Jessica, but by the respective fates of my friends Bob Huggins and Danny Graves.

    Trying to convince people of something being bad by telling them it is distracting a former member of 98 Degrees from completing a new album is not very effective. In fact, it may be the least effective attempt at getting people onboard with a cause in the history of causes. If I were a Danny Graves fan before — and really, I am ambivalent about him — the above paragraph would probably have been enough for me to stop rooting for him and maybe even start up an anti-Graves club.

    Graves went 4-15 with a 5.33 ERA as a starter in 2003, led the NL in blown saves last season, had a 7.36 ERA for a last-place team this year, and flipped the bird as he was being booed off the field last month. On the master list of things Lachey should be upset about, I’m thinking Graves’ treatment at the hands of the Reds has to be at least #2. Behind, you know, the fact that his wife keeps showing up in stories linked to guys like Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera.

    Oh, and Nick? We already knew you don’t let “inadequate lyrics” stop you from recording albums.

  • I’ve been trying to put a finger on what exactly is wrong with Baseball Tonight for a while now, and I think we finally have an answer: It is KUBAR.
  • I’m not sure why, but this picture just struck me as funny. For those of you wondering, that would be this year’s #1 overall pick, Justin Upton, on the right, and the woman whose womb has produced both a #1 and #2 overall draft pick in the past three years on the left. Why is she so much more excited than him? Why is he wearing his uniform? Who’s the fat guy with the cheesy mustache in the background? I have so many questions from just one little picture.
  • This is exactly why I don’t do any chores around the house. I mean, if I broke my collarbone while carrying groceries (or deer meat, if you want to get technical) like Clint Barmes did, who would type sentences like this one for you to read? I also now have another reason for taking the elevator at all times. You know, along with laziness.

    Barmes said he was returning home with a bag of groceries cradled in his left arm and a sweat shirt in his right hand. He got tired of waiting for the elevator and decided to take the stairs to his fourth-floor apartment.

    “I figured, I’m an athlete, I can walk up the stairs, it’s not that big a deal,” Barmes said in an interview Monday, his left arm hanging in a sling. “Obviously, if I had to go back, I would have waited, or at least been a bit more careful going up.”

    Barmes underwent what the Associated Press called “successful surgery” Tuesday and will be out for at least three months. The obvious question, of course, is whether or not an athlete has ever had surgery that wasn’t deemed “successful” immediately afterward. “Barmes had completely unsuccessful surgery to repair his collarbone last week. Yeah, that’s right, it was a real hatchet job.”

  • Playing by NL rules Wednesday for the first time in a year, Johan Santana threw a complete game, four-hit shutout against the Diamondbacks. Not exactly huge news considering Santana’s dominance over the past few years, but the interesting part is that Santana personally outscored Arizona after coming around to score following a leadoff single in the third inning. The win brought Santana to 7-2 on the year and also gave him the highest winning percentage in baseball history among pitchers with at least 500 career innings. As for the leadoff single, it made Santana a career .300 hitter.
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