There are many times when I go onto my website visitor stat page, and look at the pages you guys are viewing. I can do that. Anyway, I’m often quite entertained. You guys tend to dig up the oldest, funniest, stuff on the site. And it cracks me up. Because I have to say, I am probably one of my favorite writers. I don’t want to sound cocky or anything, but I really like to read what I have to say. So I’m looking around, and I find this. But I would be remiss for giving myself all the credit on this one, not when teams like the Padres and Dodgers provide me with material like this. Here’s a short excerpt.
Bottom of the 9th, the Padres are down 5-0… heading into the 10th, with the score tied 5-5… The Padres win!… for the first time since last Sunday! [7 days prior]
I’ll let you guys read the rest. But lets just say, this was one of the saddest games ever.
"I don’t like the Padres or the Dodgers, but I can’t pass this up" – April 30th, 2006
I worked most of the night, and I have company in from out of town. Nonetheless, I was able to catch a little bit of the A’s v. Devil Rays game. Not the most interesting of all matchups, and I couldn’t find much to tell you about it. Other than the fact that, if one wants to make baseball games more interesting, perhaps they can take after the Oakland Athletics fans, and create their own percussion section at each game. I’m not kidding about this – if done right, you could almost pull off that whole major College Sporting event feel. Anyway, because I told you I’d see you again tonight, I’m here, and we’re going to talk about something that is all to familiar to most of us.
Recall last year, when the Padres finished 82-80, after a hot streak to end the year, and won the NL West. The fact that the division is terrible is certainly not something new. But here is what’s scary – the Dodgers, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, are now in the lead in the NL West. By 10 games? 5, at least? You’d like to think that would be the case, but sadly, it’s not. In fact, quite the opposite is true. After Arizona’s loss tonight, and pending the outcome of their own game, the Dodgers are in the division lead by exactly one game. However, the Diamondbacks aren’t the only thing chasing the Dodgers; so is number .500. Right now, the Dodgers are exactly three games above .500, despite winning – again – 12 of their last 13 games. I don’t need to tell you what will happen if a team with any fewer than 85 wins takes the NL West. Well, first, no one besides me will care. At least, not as much as I do.
We’ll have more thoughts tomorrow – in fact, it’s quite possible that I will just be watching baseball games all day tomorrow; now that I’m done with work, there aren’t a huge amount of things to do for the next week.
First off, I’ve noticed a lot of visitors from military IP’s visiting recently. Obviously, the men and women in uniform are out there protecting our way of life so we don’t have to. If you disagree with what they’re doing, that’s great – because they’re fighting to preserve your power to do just that, and you should exercise it every chance you get. But appreciate your soldiers as well. I was at the mall once and I ran into a soldier who was, he said, about to be shipped out. I didn’t know the man, and I’d never seen him before in my life. But I shook his hand and thanked him for everything he’s done and will do for our country. I think this is the least we can do for those who are willing to give their lives to keep us and our values safe.
That said, on with the baseball. This is Part II of our previous post. Today we’ll be covering Dusty Baker, Yankee Baseball, the Dodger Fan Code of Conduct, The Pirates, Lew Ford, and
the Knicks. It’s mostly going to be the Cubs, because I have to get off to work soon. Late shifts, sweet.
Dusty Baker and the Cubs
Turns out, Dusty isn’t the manager everyone thought he was. Now, I’m a happy man. I was ragging on Dusty Baker two years ago. When BHGM went up over a year ago, he was one of the first things I talked about. It’s no secret that I don’t think highly of his managerial skills. But does that mean I want him fired, as the rest of the world is finally talking about? Heck no. Do you think I want the Royals to win 100 games? No. If Dusty Baker gets fired, the Cubs go from a circus of a franchise helmed by one of the most antiquated baseball minds in the world to a circus of a franchise. In other words, they go from being bad but having a darned good excuse to just being bad. I don’t know what I would do without Dusty Baker telling me walks are "worthless" and that they just "clog the bases." But that’s not the point. The point is, should Dusty be fired? In all seriousness, the answer to that question is no. On the Chicago Cubs, just like every other baseball team, the coach is not responsible for the players on his roster. He is responsible for making those players perform. The Cubs’ GM, Jim Hendry, is at fault for the current slide. After last season, the Cubs needs were clear – they needed to strengthen their starting pitching and add a bat to the lineup to protect Derrek Lee. They did neither. And now Lee is out, and you have no bats. I can’t stress this enough. Right now, there are three Cub regulars with OBP’s above .350. Matt Murton (.366), Tyler Walker (.356), and Michael Barret (.352). Next up is Jerry Hairston’s .313 On Base Percentage. The rest of the team falls below that number. Listen, .313 is a decent batting average. The leadoff man, Juan Pierre, has an OBP of .269. If your leadoff man has a batting average – a batting average! – of .269, he better be drawing a lot of walks or he’s in trouble. Obviously, Baker’s "hit to get on base, do not walk" philosophy is partially at fault. But, if the Cubs had a decent lineup, it wouldn’t be nearly as pronounced. For example, Dusty Baker could never convince Brian Giles to not walk. Guess who was a free agent last year, but was resigned by the Padres? The Brother Brian.
Jim, it’s not like you can’t mix up the roster a little bit. You – and, apparently, the Tribune – simply don’t want to. If the Cubs want to make a decent attempt at salvaging the franchise, they need to call it quits on the season right now. Bring in a new GM – one without the first name Jim (Bowden, Hendry) – and decide if you want to fire up the team with a new manager or keep Baker. Personally, I would get rid of Dusty because he’s not what the team needs now – not because I don’t like him or blame him. They need someone to ride them and get after them when they play sloppy, as they do almost every day. Dusty Baker is perfect if you’ve got a strong veteran team with positive leadership, and a fantastic bench coach for those times you need an in-game manager. Without that, he’s not your guy. It’s time to rebuild. There’s simply no other solution for the Cubs, who are apparently "sick of talking" about losing. Of course, if they were sick about the actual losing, they would step up their game and play through it. But the Dusty Baker-led Cubs are nothing if not notoriously soft-skinned.
How about the Yankees?
I wasn’t sure if I was reading a suicide note or a blog at BPS
this morning. Are you alright Geoff? If I don’t see a post up by 2am
this morning, I’m going to start worrying. Anyway, Geoff thinks that the
Yankees are about to tank. And he’s so far gone that he doesn’t even
know what he’s doing to himself. None of the usual, "but the Yankees
are a better team, so they’ll come out ahead." Just dry claims of how Bubba/Melky are going to set us back "five games." My man, don’t worry.
Sheffield is coming off that DL soon. Then the only man out is Matsui.
Sure, he’s more than "a man," but he’s still only one spot in the
lineup. Don’t worry. And if you’re going to worry, worry about the
Unit. He’s not coming back this time. He’s 42. This is the exact reason
I didn’t want to sign him before the 2005 season, because I knew he
wasn’t invincible. Sure, he was great in 2004. He was alright in 2005.
But now he’s not ok. And the front office knows something’s wrong,
because on May 10th they had an MRI done on the Unit’s arm. That’s
called searching for a reason, and if you’re going to do that you need
to look at a calendar – not an MRI. In his last seven games – all but
two of his starts this season – Randy has allowed nearly two runners to
reach base per inning, while batters hit .300 off him. Those career
numbers are more like 1.16 and .216, respectively. So, he’s acting very
un-Unit like, and that’s because he’s 42 years old. He’s wearing down.
And most of all, he knows he’s 42 – and that’s not helping him get
The Dodger Fan Code of Conduct
Turns out that a group of "four reasonable, sober, professional adults" is not the fan base that the Dodgers are seeking to acquire. When the above group entered the Stadium last week, they were accused of giving the check-in table a "hard time" and then thrown out. The situation was so ridiculous that one of the fans wrote a lengthy dissertation to Dodger owner Frank McCourt in which he used the phrase "young, poorly trained, overzealous, and rude security staff" about 17 times. This is about the fourth time in a row that the poor Dodger management skills have been brought up on BHGM. Last time it was because they let Hideo Nomo (V2004, he of a solid 8.25 ERA,) start 18 games before DL-ing him, a la Tanyon Sturtze. Before that, it was their ignorant treatment of Brad Penny when his arm flew off. Of course, the Dodgers reside in the NL West, which explains all of those terrible decisions fairly quickly.
The Pittsburg Pirates are struggling
Pittsburg is 11-27. And on top of that, liar Chris Duffy got sent down to the Minors. Anyway, the point is not why the Pirates are this bad, but rather, exactly how bad they are. Sadly enough, the Pirates are still three-thousandths of a percentage point better than the Royals, (.289 to .286,) so they’re only the worst team in the NL, not the whole league. But it’s not like the Pirates are good enough to call the Royals bad, because, well, it’s apples and oranges there. The pot is calling the kettle black. There’s no need to fight for who’s the worst, because they’re both bad enough that it doesn’t matter. Anyway, the point is that even Pittsburg reporter Ron Cook is telling the city that the team’s "tragic number" is 112. They should be mathematically eliminated before the Steelers report to camp, he says. Well, since the Steelers still haven’t reported to camp, he’s right.
Lew Ford spells his name funny?
I was talking to Brad – one of my coworkers at ACE Hardware – yesterday. He had attended a Tigers-Twins game at Comerica Park earlier this year and reported that the guys in his section (left or right field, I forget,) were so hard on Lew that he moved to a different outfield position for the last inning. I told him I didn’t believe him, that there was no way that happened. He claimed that the fans were chanting things like, "Lew $ucks!" while calling him hurtful names, like an ‘F-bomb’ (use your imagination,) and even making fun of how he spelled his name. He claimed that Lew was so upset that he, on multiple occasions, flicked off the crowd. According to Brad, he would remove his cap as if to adjust it, and subtly give the crowd the finger while he did so. I don’t think any party won that fight. Listen, just because he spells it Lew instead of Lou, that doesn’t make him a bad guy. However, the fact that he is batting .229 with 5 RBI’s in 83 at bats – that’s something you can make fun of him for.
On a similar note, I was at a Tigers game last year when Craig Monroe shifted to left field to relieve Rondell White. For those of you who don’t know, Craig was caught shoplifting a $20 belt before the 2005 season began. First off, I’ve paid – actually paid – more than $20 for a belt, and I don’t make $2.5 million a year. Anyway, the stadium was pretty quiet that night; it was early in the year. Then, all of the sudden, a nearby fan shouts, in a calm voice devoid of emotion, "Nice belt, Craig."
We know you want to work for us, but if we give you $40 Million, will you leave?
Say you get hired to coach a Basketball team. They’re willing to pay you a record-breaking $10 million a year for five years. The team isn’t very good, and they struggle through the first year. In fact, they win only 23 games. You’re thinking, "wow, I need to get my act together fast." Unless, of course, Isiah Thomas is your boss. Then you’re thinking, "wow, I could be in line to receive $40 million to not coach this team anymore." Basically, Larry Brown has found himself in this exact situation and is looking at making about $50 million dollars for winning 23 games. That’s upwards of $2 million a win. And you thought Rocket’s rumored contract was nuts? I don’t even follow basketball anymore because I stopped after the Pistons won the Championship – and the Bandwagon loaded up with millions of clueless high school girls and other pseudo-fans. It wasn’t a conscious decision I made or anything. Basketball season came, and I just didn’t care anymore because everyone else did. Anyway, I still know that Isiah Thomas is the worst GM in the world. Thomas, Hendry, and Bowden should buy a sports team. It would be the worst team since the Cleveland Spiders. I want to see this happen.
Thanks for reading. It’s time for me to go to work. Additionally, I need to see some comments, people. Step it up!
Quick note: you can now access the site at http://www.bihgm.com, (starting later on Saturday.) When you type in this address, you will automatically be directed here. Still waiting for all you regular readers, (and any others,) to leave your comment. So far, the reader inventory has racked up one new reader, Devovsky. Appreciate the kind words, man. Keep reading and keep leaving comments. Jason, you didn’t miss a whole lot the other night. And Kellia, thanks for being our alert reader of the day. You’re right. Ben Sheets does, indeed, pitch for the Brewers, not the Pirates. For some reason, I can’t get that into my head. Geoff – I was going to do a comparative analysis of Ferocious Lion replacements, but I’m going to save that for a few days. But, I will say I’m hearing that the Phillies GM is "expecting a call" from Brian Cashman. Anyway, we continue the call to all readers – leave a comment on this post if you’ve never done so, or, if you’re that against an MLB account, (and I can’t see why,) use the new chat box on the left sidebar. Tonight we’re going to talk about the National League. I don’t like the National League at all. It is, overall, boring. I mean, it certainly has it’s advantages. What would baseball be without Albert Pujols? You’ve also got more of a thinking game when you enter in the hitting pitcher. But in the end, the teams are worse, and the league is obviously worse for it.
Phillies v. Reds
Ever hear of Cole Hamels? Supposed to be the savior of the Phillies, and he made his MLB Debut tonight. He’s invincible, they say. Basically, the first five innings are empty, with the exception of a 2-run home run by the Phillies’ Ryan Howard. And Hamels has a no hitter right until 2 outs in the 5th, when the Reds’ Felipe Lopez breaks it up with a hit into right center. Interestingly, that new centerfielder (in for Rowand) tried to pass it off as a trap at first, but then realized that as he was doing so, Lopez was still running. Another fun time was had when the Phillies’ David Bell was up to the plate and the broadcasters noted that Royals Manager Buddy Bell was his father. They talked about how David is probably pretty proud of the Royals recent success, (three straight wins, prior to tonight’s loss to the Orioles,) but that he probably tells his Dad, "Look, I love you Dad, but please don’t trade for me." After sharing a good laugh, one of them says, "Aww, we’re just kidding, all you Royals fans out there." Seriously? First, you’re assuming that there are Royals fans out there, and that they really do exist. Next, you’re thinking that of all those Royals fans – figure there are a couple thousand in the whole country – are tuning in to the Reds v. Phillies game on Friday night. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you’re assuming that they don’t already know how terrible their team is. Judging by the Chad Carroll loyalty sale, I’m thinking they already know. So remember, assumptions are dangerous. In the bottom of the 6th, after the Phillies yanked Cole Hamels for a pinch hitter (who struck out) in the top of the 6th, Ryan Madsen is pitching to Austin Kearns. First, know that Hamels left his MLB Debut with a 2-0 lead, after allowing only one hit in five innings. Knowing that, Kearns absolutely rips Madsen out of the yard. Remember the Aaron Boone 2003 ALCS Game 7 Home Run off Tim Wakefield? Of course you do. It was exactly like that home run, right down the left field line, except that it went about 150 feet further. So now it’s 2-1, Phillies. Adam Dunn comes up, strikes out, and sits down. Next up, Edwin Encarnacion, who takes Madsen deep for another homer. Just like that, poof. Hamels, who left on top of his game, ends up losing his first win. By the way, the Hamels guy has nasty stuff. Check him out. Phillies beat Reds, 8-4.
Brewers v. Mets
When I saw that Lima Time was holding the Brewers to zero runs, (while my man Dave Bush had given up three,) I was surprised. The Phillies v. Reds game was getting boring, so I switched. Anyway, it’s 3-1 Mets in the bottom of the 5th, with the Brewers up. Here’s how it goes down. First, Damian Miller grounds out. Then Brady Clark gets hit by a pitch. Dave Bush sacrifices Clark to 2nd, then Rickie Weeks walks. So now it’s men on 1st and 2nd with two outs, not a huge jam for Lima. But you know the story of Lima, so you know it’s going to get bad, you just have no idea how bad. Bill Hall singles to left field. Now the bases are juiced, two outs, and it’s all on Lima’s shoulders. The game could go three ways now; either Lima reaches back and gets Geoff Jenkins out, he gets lucky and Jenkins gets himself out, or Lima buckles and the Brewers bust the game wide open. We’re going to go with option number three, and so did Lima. First he pitched Geoff three straight balls. And then Geoff hits a double all the way back to the center field wall – a base clearing double. Now it’s 4-3 Brewers, and Chad Bradford is in for Lima. The broadcasters provide a helpful, "And this call to the bullpen provided by Goodyear, who reminds you that it’s no longer Lima Time." Then Carlos Lee – All-Time Great – singles to center, scoring Jenkins. 5-3, Bradford replaced by Darren Oliver, Prince Fielder up. Fielder homers, knocking in Lee. Brewers up, 7-3. Then Corey "I’m… not so good" Koskie pops out. By the way, in 2004 Koskie was with the Twins. In 2005 it was the Blue Jays. Go Brewers, 6 runs in one inning.
Rickie Weeks made another simple defensive error later in the game. Trying to get a Web Gem, with a runner on 1st and a ground ball straight to him, he grabs the ball, jumps up and tucks his legs, (???) and makes a terrible throw to 2nd. There was really no play at 2nd, but who cares? Rickie – next time I’m going to have to direct you to 1st base on that kind of play. And don’t try to earn a Web Gem when you’ve made 11 errors already – more than anyone else in the league. Later in the inning, Carlos Lee (in left field) tried to make one of those sliding catches in foul territory, but collided with the tarp and missed the catch. He was ok, thankfully. But think. The game is at Miller Park, and Lee hit the tarp. You know that tarp is there to stop the rain, right? Apparently the fact that Miller Park has a roof doesn’t really matter. As a matter of fact, MLB rules dictate that all parks must have a tarp, just in case. Brewers beat Mets, 9-6.
Dodgers v. Giants
Boring. I mean, what can I say, I tried to watch some NL ball, but around the bottom of the sixth I was so bored that I decided I’d rather… do something else while I attempt to unpack from school. Anyway, here are my thoughts on this game – Brad Penny is a wimp. As the announcers said, this guy is a 100-pitch guy, and when he’s done his 100 pitches, he’s gone. He was even accused of "needing to have that wounded warrior attitude," by one of the broadcasters. In other words, "everything’s against me, I guess I’m just going to have to show them." Anyway, after every pitch, Penny picked one of the following motions: 1) Flailing off the mound, 2) Stretching shoulders and back out, 3) Limping around the mound, 4) Putting his hands on his knees and resting, 5) Rolling eyes, poor body language-type move. And, as the broadcasters also pointed out, no one on his team seemed to care. And the charade didn’t end when Penny reached the dugout. When he arrived, he grimaced as he sat down and reached for a hot cushion, then with a real monster of a grimace. Back to the broadcasters, who said, "that’s not a happy boy face there." Yet people continued to ignore him, while the broadcasters continued to accuse him of "trying to find ways out of the ballgame before the seventh." Listen, I’ll tell you when I know Brad Penny is hurt. In the 2004 season, just a few games after Penny was acquired from the Marlins, he threw a pitch and just went down. He was screaming, grabbing his elbow, running around the mound, the whole deal. The Dodger trainer runs out, but the Dodgers have never been known for their superior managing skills, certainly not at BHGM. So the trainer tells Penny, "hey, try throwing another pitch." And of course, Penny gets about halfway through his delivery before he’s felled. Did this guy work with NASA before the Dodgers hired him? "That rocket looks a little off… let’s shoot it up again, see if it’s still works…" No, bad idea. So after seeing the Giants roll around the field, I turned that off.
The New Chat Box
The observant among you will have noticed that yet another feature has been added to the BHGM sidebar. This has got to be among my favorites, along with the BHGM Search. I encourage you to try out both. The search is a valuable tool if you’re reading along, and you don’t know what I’m talking about. Just type in, "Dusty Baker clogging bases," and you’ll find out what I mean when I talk about that. Of course, I hope to have the "What you missed in BHGM" post up sometime soon, and that’s going to be detailing all of those obscure references we have here. It should be great. Anyway, the chat – the idea is that, for those of you who still don’t want to leave a comment, you can talk amongst yourselves in that little chat box. All you have to do is enter your name, (no email or URL is necessary, although it’s always welcome,) and a message. For example, "You’re wrong about the Royals, they’re not that bad." That’s the kind of thing that will earn you a full-post ripping here, for being wrong. Anyway, try it out. If no one uses it, I’ll just take it down.
Did someone whisper into the Padres’ ear?
Alright, it’s time to put an end to this. The Padres have won 12 of their last 13. This is just weird. I mean, they’re on fire. Remember last year when the Pirates won 10 straight? Maybe it was in 2004. Either way, no one panicked because hey, they’re still the Pirates. But I’m freaking out right now. In the NL West, winning 12 of 13 can put you up for a long time. Like, the rest of the year. Arizona and Colorado both lost tonight, and now the Padres are suddenly tied for first with the Rockies. They could then continue at a .500 clip for the next 125 games or so, and easily win the division. Again, I refer you to my NL West Solutions, which, according to Geoff, don’t take 15 minutes.
Pirates v. Marlins
In another Battle of the Titans, the Pirates beat the Marlins. By a score of 12-9. Those 12 runs are big for that team, which is second to last in runs scored with 144 – which, for all you math whizzes our there, means that exactly 1/12 of their season run total came tonight. ‘First place’ in that category goes to, you guessed it, the Royals, with 126. Right now, the Royals are on pace to lose 112 games and score 619 runs. Can’t think about it.
Thanks, as always, for reading. And leave comments, and check out the chat box.
Well, this post marks the beginning of our regular time back here at BHGM. Now we’ll be slipping back into the routine of nightly posts. And of course, first things first. In the previous post, (around 4pm,) I told all you regular readers out there to make a comment, especially those that have never done so before. I got one, from Tiffany. Therefore, I expect the comments to come on this post, because I have noticed that none of the regulars have visited since 4pm – creatures of habit, no doubt. That said, let’s get to the business at hand.
Former world-beater Ben Sheets landed on the DL today with strained shoulder. Recall that Sheets started the year with the same shoulder injury, and when he returned, proceeded to go 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA. Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Sheets confuses the heck out of me, because I always think he pitches for the Pirates, but it’s actually the Brewers. Hence, I made the mistake of detailing how his three losses might be the Pirates fault, not his own. Thanks to Kellia for being an alert reader! I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the 2am authoring time of this post. Anyway, Sheets will always be remembered for striking out three straight batters on nine pitches, and for "nailing the world to a cross" in the 2000 Olympics. For some reason, I came up with that phrase when I described Sheet’s one run allowed in 22 innings. Anyway, Sheets was a Fantasy stud for me last year, but I stayed away this year. Then again, did anyone even know this guy still played baseball? But then, dude did record 28 K’s in those 20.1 IP so far this year, and only walked one guy. How often do you see a guy trot out a 1:28 BB/K ratio with his 6.64 ERA? Just doesn’t add up. Maybe it’s the 27 hits. So, you’re not walking guys, but you’re letting them get a ton of hits. That 1.377 WHIP (Walks and Hits per IP, for the not-so-statistically inclined, and for ESPN, who refuses to acknowledge it,) will kill you every time.
And it’s raining everywhere, literally. Did baseball misbehave or something? Is there a reason the entire country is being drenched? We had what, three postponed games and one cut short today. And that’s out of 11 games. In other words, Baseball 7, Rain 4.
And for your favorite players that you forgot about a long time ago
Remember Jeff Kent? Remember Nomar Garciaparra? Apparently, they’re back. Well, Kent never really left. He’s been a lock for 100 RBI’s for about 10 years now. But again, completely forgotten about. Maybe because he spent all but two of the past ten years in the NL West? Maybe because he has a reputation as one of the more selfish players in the game? Who knows. Anyway, Kent had been doing rather… poorly as of late. And of course, everyone was pointing out that his numbers were down last year – which they weren’t – and that he was 38. But then he comes back, and so far this week is 5-12, with 3 HR and 8 RBI. Turns out, he’s still pretty good. Just as long as he doesn’t break his wrist popping wheelies on his motorcycle – I mean, "falling off his truck while washing it." That was a real scandal. As far as Nomar, recall that the Nation traded him away in 2004. New uniform, same injury pattern. In 2005, while playing for the Cubs, Nomar nearly castrated himself coming out of the box. And so he didn’t play for most of 2005, which is understandable, really. Freak injury. Then he ended up in a… Dodgers uniform, with Jeff Kent. And he now plays 1st base, as Furcal is at Short. Check out the Dodgers Depth Chart, they’ve only got 8 players out with injuries, and Nomar isn’t one of them! Anyway, Nomar is 6-12 with 2 HR, 3 2B, and 4 RBI this week. Go Nomar.
My Dotrelle Willis dreams come true
I’ve never been a fan of Dontrelle Willis. When I was in High School, I had to make a chemistry project about Hydrogen. I detailed that Hydrogen had an atomic number of one, which was one greater than the number of earned runs Dontrelle had given up so far that year. I think it had been about 3 or 4 games, not exactly sure. Then, of course, Dontrelle gave up an ER that night, turning me into a liar. Never liked him since then. And of course, the near-suicidal leg kick bugs the heck out of me. And now, Dontrelle has a 6.22 ERA, having allowed 57 hits in 46.1 IP, with a 1-4 record. In fact, today he managed to get tagged for 7 runs in 2.2 innings. In his previous start, he was hit up for 6 ER in 4.2 IP. Before that, it was 8 ER in 7.1 IP. If you’re on the Marlins – the worst team in the league – then you can’t expect to pull many wins out of those performances. Then again, in his first four games of the season, Dontrelle allowed a total of 8 ER and came away with one win. So basically, if you’re on the Marlins, you’re not gonna win a ton of ballgames period.
Yankees v. Red Sox (Thursday Night)
I knew we were off to an ominous start when I heard that "Shawn Chacon isn’t afraid to put guys on base." See, that’s not always a good thing. In fact, 100% of the time, that’s not going to work out for you. Contrary to what Dusty Baker will tell you, walks are a good thing for the team that’s up to bat. Anyway, whenever the announcer (who’s being paid by the same guy who is paying the players, no less,) is telling you that this pitcher isn’t afraid to walk guys, you’re in for a long night. I caught the first couple innings on MLB.TV until one of the boys (Evan, who has not yet been introduced on this site – Evan’s the little kid in the crew, at the spry young age of 18, and he likes to come over when I’m home and eat all the food in my house,) stopped by to catch the game. And, because it was Evan, he was "hungry." Caught the next hour of the game on ESPN HD. Of course, this is a real ho-hum way to watch a baseball game. On the one hand, you’ve got the HD Video, which is unbeatable. On the other, you’re listening to Joe Morgan and Chris Berman, which is slightly better than mute. Scratch that, about the same as mute. I just keep them on so I don’t get weirded out by the silence. Anyway, then a miracle occurred. The YES Network feed appeared on my TV. Turns out it was just two channels further up, on the inHD channel. I had largely written this channel off as the Comcast Promo channel, but it turns out they broadcast a ballgame every five days or so. Tonight was my night. I got quality YES Network coverage and HD Video. But then the Yankees started losing. Let me run this down.
First, that woman who nearly grabbed Bubba Crosby’s triple could’ve been killed had Bubba’s hit been about 3 inches to the right. No joke, they would’ve jumped on her. But of course, the main story of the night is the Ferocious Lion, out with a broken wrist. No kidding. Word is three months or the season. Great. And Sheffield is still out. Taking two of your best hitters out of the lineup is not a good thing, ever. Hopefully, Sheffield comes back sooner than Michael Kay thinks. Anyway, next up is the Robinson Cano catch and throw. When that ball went up and Cano started running out, I’m thinking that we need Jeter at 2nd to make this catch. But Cano came through and was already setting up for the throw home as he caught it. Good move, Robinson. I’ll never call you Robbie. As for Jeter’s play, it was a great stop. He should’ve taken a little while longer to set up the throw there, however. Now, it was a tough play and it was close, and of course, in 20/20 hindsight it’s easier said then done. But nonetheless, he had bad footing, which resulted in a sailing throw with men on 3rd and 2nd, a no-error situation. Had Cairo been taller, he wouldn’t have snow-coned it, and it would’ve been a solid out. Oh well. Those things happen, every game. Right alone the lines of Bernie’s non-catch. Michael Kay was quicker than all heck to exonerate the guy, telling us how that happens in right field with the wind swirling around and such. And he’s right. I’ve never hung out in right on a windy day, but I’m sure that Bernie didn’t just forget how to catch a fly ball for that instant. Now, in the box score (despite what we heard on TV,) Jeter was given an error; Bernie was not. On the offense side, it was just a bad day for us, good day for Wakefield. Not much else to say, really. We didn’t get a lot of good pitches to hit and didn’t make the most of it when we did.
As for the pitching, Chacon was obviously suspect. Somehow, he managed to allow 10 base runners in 4.2 IP and only give up one run. That’s a Herculean feat, really. If you thought Sheet’s 1.377 WHIP was high, Chacon’s was above 2, so he really got out of some jams. And another reason to get rid of this new ‘Hold’ stat. Ron Villone, who came up in a big spot and got a couple huge outs, earned a Hold tonight. He also earned the Loss. Now I know this had something to do with Farnsworth giving up some inherited runs of Villone’s and stuff, but that’s still a messed up stat. The Hold? Get it out. And Farnsworth was pretty much great, right? Love that guy. Did you know that the Kyle Farnsworth post accounted for 37 of the last 100 pageloads here, most the result of Google hits? I think that whenever Kyle pitches, people remember that he laid out Paul Wilson a few years back. See above-linked post.
Anyway, that wasn’t a good game to watch. The excitement wasn’t there. Most importantly, the win wasn’t there, and neither was the effort or the energy. I’m going to spare us all a detailed rundown because, quite frankly, we lost. And we probably deserved it. If you give up 13 hits, along with 6 walks, and only get 8 of your own, and just 4 walks, you’ll need some fancy hitting to bring in a win.
Thanks for reading. Again, to all of you readers, (regular or otherwise, anyway,) leave a comment here. We’re doing a bit of a reader inventory. So look, I know there are about 30 of you regulars out there, and I expect comments from at least, say, 8 or 9 of you. So far, thanks to Tiffany for answering the call. I wish we could do better, but I know how you roll. We’re busy people, eh? See you again tomorrow night.
We all know the Nationals have a new owner now. What we didn’t know is that this makes them a better baseball team. Well, at least ESPN’s Tim Kurkijan thinks so. Actually, don’t read that article. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m serious. I’ve never read anything so BS in my life. Here are some quality excerpts:
Our long Nationals nightmare is over…now the team can start moving forward… The Nationals can begin to operate like a realmajor league team… The team has struggled this year, and attendance is down slightly, mainly because it was a rudderless team that
hasn’t gotten the support it needs from MLB, or the city… The first year and one month of existence for the Nationals was just practice. Now, the franchise officially begins… All the Nats needed was an owner. And now, finally, they have one.
No. The Nationals nightmare is not ever, and the team still isn’t going anywhere. The reason they’ve been so bad this season is not because they didn’t have an owner, it’s because they’re a flat-out bad team. The players don’t put up good enough numbers to win games. Don’t try to tell me that they went out there last year under the impression that they were playing 162 exhibition games. This team stinks, no two ways about it. If having an owner makes you a championship-caliber team, there would be (theoretically) 30 teams with .500 records at the end of the year. Tim also cites RFK stadium as being a "significant disadvantage" for the Nationals. Why is that? When the Nationals come up to bat, do they push the fences back 20 feet, only to move them back in when the opposing team steps up to the plate? Do you really think the Nationals are gonna go and set the world on fire now that they’ve got an owner? Heck no. Sure, firing Jim Bowden will make your team better, no doubt. But again, too little too late. Remember, call your shot in the Jim Bowden firing pool – so far, Jason has dibs on June 19th.
The Royals are still bad, and now they’re "your team"
The Nationals still have a shot at saving this season, but the Royals do not. By the way, they lost again last night. They’re now 5-20. As I said before, but how can you be that bad? Imagine taking the field five times and walking away with one win. The Royals also have a new slogan – "Your team. Your town." Of all the bad baseball slogans, that’s probably the worst. First off, that doesn’t tell me anything. Second – if I lived in Kansas City, that’s exactly the kind of thing that would make me want to move to, say, St. Louis. I’m guessing the average K.C. citizen had these thoughts upon seeing that slogan:
Just because I live in K.C., I have to be associated with the Royals? What will my friends think of me? Will I still be able to get a job? Will I be able to take out a loan? Rent a car? Vote?
Hearing that the Kansas City Royals are "your team" has got to feel a lot like getting hit in the forehead with a ton of bricks; pain so severe and hideous that you just black out. And of course, whenever I mention the Royals I need to mention PFC Mark Grudzielanek. Whatever General is heading up Mark’s War needs to develop a new battle plan. The current strategy isn’t working. Reports from the front indicate that the army is retreating, blowing up every bridge behind them, and that soldiers are deserting en masse. Doesn’t look good. If you don’t know why I continue to refer to the Royal’s season as a military campaign, wait until the "What you missed" post, coming up tonight or tomorrow. Or hunt the reference down here.
Everyday Eddie out of the closing role; Mariners still bad
Well, you didn’t need a crystal ball to see this coming. The Mariners have finally put Eddie out his misery, removing him from the closer role. Who’s the new closer? The best arm in the game, closer-by-committee. If you don’t know what this is, see Dusty Baker’s explanation. I’ll say the same thing here as I did when someone drafted Eddie as the #86 pick in my pay league draft this year – two picks in front of Thome, no less: "You can’t go wrong with Everyday Eddie. Wait… that was 2002." His career stats are misleading as well. For example, in 2004 he had just a 2.78 ERA. However, he blew 7 saves out of 25 total opportunities. If you’re the Mariners and you’re struggling to stay one step ahead of the Royals, you really can’t afford those kinds of losses. Then again, if you’re going to run an organization based on sound logic like that, you wouldn’t give a guy like Adrian Beltre $64 million for 5 years. Beltre’s 2004 fluke with the Dodgers was probably the most standout anomaly in the world. Of course, 2004 was Adrian’s contract year, so after he went wild he jumped ship and signed with Seattle. For the following statistical analysis, we’re going to look at Beltre’s stats for 2004 compared to his average stats from 1999-2003 and 2005, when he played full-time. I present the following visual aid:
Note that the difference between the slugging and batting averages is diluted because of the scale; they are .443/.629 and .265/.334. As shown, Seattle is probably very angry with Adrian. Now, Adrian didn’t just fall from the sky in 2004. LA had been waiting for him to develop for some time. But after he went wild in 2004, did they try to re-sign him? I’ll give you a hint – the Dodgers are in the NL West. Remember the old 7-man batting order trick? Anyway, you’re probably asking – how can I jump on Seattle for signing him, yet jump on LA for not trying to sign him? Well, that’s a good point. But if you’re the Dodgers and you think you’ve got the sell-high candidate of the century and you’re convinced that he had a fluke of a year, so you don’t want to give him the money that you know he doesn’t deserve, you don’t just let him walk away. You test out the market and see if you can move him. If you think you can, you resign him and flip him away. If you didn’t think he had a fluke of a year, you shell out the cash to better your team. Beltre is currently hitting .202 in Seattle, with 1 HR and 6 RBI in 104 AB’s.
Tigers lose; Leyland’s clothing at fault
Remember when I talked about superstitions? I said that although Steve Finley’s magic bag doesn’t make him a better hitter, he thinks it does, so it does. Looks like Jim Leyland just developed a real good superstition. One that’s gonna make him a really popular guy whenever the Tigers are winning. Leyland had been wearing the same clothes since the Tigers began their 6-game winning streak. However, when the Tigers played the Angels today at home, Leyland had to change because he "looked like a hobo," and the team is about to go on a road trip. Well, the Tigers lost this afternoon, 7-2. Good job, skip. The team is now 19-10. So we’re still above .500, which is Detroit’s benchmark for success. If the Tigers had won today, it would have been their first 7-game winning streak since 1993. I was in elementary school then.
Jose Contreras has won 13 straight… I have nothing. San Diego is currently on a four-game win streak, dating back to last Sunday’s miracle win over the Dodgers. I suggest you read that, because it’s unbelievable. Let’s just say the World’s Worst Offense came back from being down 5-0 in the bottom of the 9th. On a related note, of the six division leaders, the two worst records belong to – guess – the AL and NL West. No way. Texas and Colorado both have 16 wins and 12 losses. If another 82-80 team goes to the playoffs, it’s Game Over. BPS agrees, as we’ll see soon. Check out the solution to this problem that I wrote a few days ago. By the way, that’s probably the 80th time I’ve made a post saying that the Padres and NL West are bad.
Comments and Notes
BHGM got some serious run on BPS today. Thanks Geoff.
I sauntered over to our boy Reid’s blog a few days back
and read one of his many posts bashing the Padres and the NL West [found here]. The BPS had consistently come down
pretty hard on the Pads and their whole miserable, rotting, wasteland
division. And you have to understand, Reid is the type of dude who asks
for his readers to throw him some questions, and then he proceeds to
hammer out an elaborate discourse on whatever it is they come back
with. Why? Because, as I commented on his blog a few days ago, he is
the Original Dedicated Baseball Monster. The ODBM. My question to him
(just to see what he would do with it) was what MLB can do about
wretched, barely-.500 teams like the Pads from ever making the playoffs again. Take a look
at what the kid wrote.
Great stuff. I have no idea how long it took him, but I know these
things don’t take fifteen minutes. The ODBM, a dedicated monster.
I would have paraphrased that (and I did take out a few words), but then you wouldn’t be getting the full effect. It took me about an hour and a half. But that’s really not that bad, because I spent the rest of the day – no joke – in class, from 8a-3.30p. Made that post at 5.45p. See how it goes? As for the next 5 days at BHGM, leading up to May 10th, when I go home – we’ll either be seeing a lot of posts or a little. I’m not sure how hard I’ll be studying for finals, (one on Saturday, Monday, and two on Wednesday.) However, the "What you missed" post is on it’s way. BHGM has picked up a lot of new readers in the past couple weeks, and they’re probably pretty confused when they read things like the account of Mark’s War found above. I’ve already made the list and I’m currently writing it out. It might even get out tonight. It should be good for a lot of laughs. As for the comments – your June 19th bid has been recorded, Jason. Thanks for the submission. If anyone else wants to enter the BHGM "Call Jim Bowden’s Shot in the Unemployment Line" Contest, drop me an email or leave a comment anywhere. There will be a prize. I haven’t decided what yet. See you guys later tonight.
Alright, here’s the setup. Bottom of the 9th, the Padres are down 5-0. I’m tuned in because I wanted to see Trevor Hoffman pitch in the top of 9th, (which he did – when else is he gonna get any work in?) And here’s how the Bottom of the 9th goes:
- Dodgers send Lance Carter to the mound to pitch.
- Mike Cameron singles.
- Brian Giles rips a liner to right field. Mike Cameron advances to third.
- Mike Piazza walks. Bases are now "clogged," Cameron on 3rd, Giles on 2nd, Piazza on 1st.
- Danys Baez replaces Lance Carter on the mound for LA. Carter’s Line: 2H, 1BB. And it’ll get worse.
- Mark Bellhorn singles on a grounder to right. Cameron scores; Giles to 3rd, Piazza at 2nd.
- Khalil Green walks. Giles scores, Piazza at 3rd, Bellhorn at 2nd, Green on 1st.
- Eric Young pinch hits for Trevor Hoffman. Eric Young walks. Piazza scores, Bellhorn to 3rd, Green to 2nd, Young on 1st.
- Josh Barfield hits a sac fly to center. Bellhorn scores, Green to 3rd, Young remains on 1st.
- Eric Young steals 2nd.
- Geoff Blum hits a sac fly to right. Green scores.
- Pitcher Change: Tim Hamulack replaces Danys Baez.
Baez’s line: 0.2IP, 1H, 2BB, 2ER.
Carter’s new line: 0IP, 2H, 1BB, 3ER. 1 Blown Save.
New Score: 5-5.
- Doug Mirabelli pinch hits for Dave Roberts and strikes out, end of inning.
So, to recap. In one half inning, the Dodgers went from sending out former All-Star (but only because you need to send at least one player from every team, in his case, the D-Rays,) to close out a 5-0 lead to heading into the 10th, with the score tied 5-5. Now, here’s something interesting. We all know the Padres are probably my least favorite team. #29, actually. I’ll let you guess at #30. Anyway, in the 6 days and 5 games prior to today’s game, (and including today’s game, with the exception of the 9th inning,) do you know how many runs the Padres had scored? Five. In other words, their run total in the bottom of the 9th today was the same amount of runs that they had scored all week. In other words, you give up five runs to the Yankees in the bottom of the 9th, that’s bad news. But it isn’t too hard to do. You give it up to the Padres, you have serious issues. And that’s where this Dodger’s team is. If this isn’t solid evidence that the NL West is the biggest joke in all of sports, I’m not sure what else you need. Oh yeah, this right here.
I’ll update live-blogging style when the game ends, but I’m going to predict a Dodgers win, even though we’re in the bottom of the 10th now with the Padres up. Because, as previously mentioned, at the current pace the Padres won’t score another run for 9 more innings.
Update: Bottom of the 10th, 5-5.
Oh man. If you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. Let me explain.
- Dodgers send Tim Hamulack back to the mound.
- Mike Cameron strikes out.
- Brian Giles walks on five pitches.
- Mike Piazza walks on six pitches.
- Mark Bellhorn comes to the plate, ready to do his usual strikeout. And we’re off to a good start with a called strike in the lower inside part of the plate. But wait! Tim Hamulack has other plans! He feeds Bellhorn 3 straight balls, each at least one foot off the plate. Just when it looks like the Dodgers might walk 9 guys in one game, Bellhorn singles to left! Giles comes around to score! The Padres win!… for the first time since last Sunday! Yay!
Hamulack’s Line: .2IP, 1ER, 2BB. 1 Loss.
Big day if you’re a Padres fan. That is, if those kind of people really do exist; I’ve only heard rumors, never actually seen one. Finally, thanks to Deadspin for the link to the Washington Nationals story. In case you’re looking for a follow-up on that… still no word on an owner yet.