Saturday, July 09, 2005
We've probably all heard by now that Gabe Kapler is supposed to clear waivers on July 15 with the Yomiuri Giants and be eligible for negotiations with all Major League clubs, and that, with the irritated departure of Jay Payton, the Red Sox are looking to bring the World's Sexiest Jew back. Sorry, Youks.
What I haven't seen reported anywhere else is what the Japan Times is saying:
"Last month, Kapler was taken off the roster and was treated for lower back problems that began in May. He asked the club to terminate his contract citing a failure to fully recover and dim prospects of a return to the first team."
Hmm. Is this the 'convenient injury to make roster moves easier' sort of thing, or an actual injury? Because so far as I can tell, no American papers (online or otherwise) have mentioned this. Interesting.
Blez of Athletics Nation got himself another interview with Billy Beane, and at this point I've given up on wondering how he does it and have just decided to declare him some sort of blogging god and have done with it. Part I, Part II, Part III. Interesting bits:
Beane: Power is the great separator. You can manufacture your butt to one run, but after a while, luck is going to hurt you.
Blez: Moving forward then, you'd say power is one area where you'd like to upgrade?
Beane: Yeah, but it's not easy to find and it's expensive. That's why we no longer have it. Because when we develop it, we lose it through free agency. We lost Jason (Giambi), a 35-40 home run guy and Miguel (Tejada), the same thing. Now, there's going to be power developed from some of the guys within, like from Crosby. But he's a second-year player. You don't expect him to go out and hit 30 homers. It's going to come over time, but in the short term, waiting for it is going to be difficult. You go to the team stats of every team and the teams that hit home runs are going to score runs. The one consistent thing for scoring a lot of runs is getting on base and slugging. You can have 1,000 stolen bases, but if you don't have power to go along with it you're not going to be bringing those guys home. And that's why Boston is so deadly. You look at those two games there. Home run. Boom, boom, game over, see you later. You're never out of a game if you have the ability to hit one over the fence.
Blez: Speaking of durability, does the Harden oblique concern you at all?
Beane: No, no. You know, oblique has kind of become a synonymous word around here with the A's because it was something that Timmy [Hudson] battled. Tim and Rich are such powerful athletes, and they're both not very big and they're strong, wiry, explosive athletes. Something gives at some point.... What we're concerned with Rich is that he's such an intense guy we needed to make sure that he was completely healthy. He's such a competitor and to be completely honest, the night he pulled it, he wanted to keep going. He said he'd just throw sidearm. That's the type of mentality of this kid. He's a little like Huddy in that sense. I mean Huddy is not unlike the black knight in the forest in Monty Python. He will stay out there kicking and screaming. Rich is kind of the same way.
Beane: I've said this many times, economically, we're in a position that sometimes keeps us from making bad baseball decisions. If we signed everyone's favorite player here, every year they came up, we'd be in big trouble right now.
Smart dude, that Billy Beane. He also talks about how now that the market is starting to put high values on OBP, the A's are looking for some new undervalued thing to start picking up. They really are a market-based team, and as always it's terribly fascinating to hear what Beane has to say about it. Now, if only Theo would sit down for a nice long chat with some Boston bloggers...
Have we all seen the All Star game ads that FOX has been running? You know, the ones with all the ballplayers in the pinball machine. It's kind of cool, good on the advertising agency, etc. But the original ad was obviously made before the rosters were out, or even before voting began, and one bit had a salmon-clad Roger Clemens throwing a giant silver pinball (and grinning maniacally-- watch it next time, his smile is quite scary) at a placidly smiling Derek Jeter, who smashed it out of the pinball machine.
I just saw a new, slightly shorter version. The green-screened Clemens is still chucking that silver sphere, but the slugging Jeter has been replaced by Pudge Rodriguez.
Also around the internet in recent days, some stuff you should be checking out:
Idiots Write about Sports discovers that the Angels show commercials on the Jumbotron between innings. As a Fenway creature, I can't even begin to really describe the deeply-rooted disgust this inspires in my soul. Jesus Johnny Damon, I am never going to California.
Bat Girl notes that Torii Hunter tried to take naked batting practice, but was thwarted by the coaches. Amateurs. No one does naked like the Boston Red Sox clubhouse.
Tribe Report weighs in on the Alex Cora deal. By the way, does the Cleveland blogosphere (minus these guys) really suck ass, or am I just not finding the sites?
Mike's Baseball Rants has constructed the worst lineups, by league. As he says, it's unscientific, but it warms my heart to see Keith Foulke properly represented there at the bottom, along with three (yes, three) Tigers... although to be fair, Ledezma is no longer on the major league squad, Infante is recovering from a serious case of deadbat, and Nook's got Curtis Granderson creeping up behind him even as we speak.
Cubs fans-- they're pretty upset. Niiiice. Yeah, upon further perusal... pretty damn pissed. Thankfully for the blogosphere, Chicagoans, like Bostonians, are inclined to be horrifically sarcastic when faced with a tanking team, although in the end I doubt they could find it in their midwestern hearts to summon up quite the rancor that WEEI can deal out on a daily basis.
Gaslamp Ball has written something that is absolutely, completely retarded, yet also awesome beyond compare. Pure, undiluted genius. And I don't even care about the Padres beyond Dave Roberts, Xavier Nady, Jake Peavy, and Ryan Klesko's bulldog, Butter.
It's a bit old, as you'll obviously see in the last paragraph, but it's still worthwhile to see what McSweeney's has to say about adding a zombie to your fantasy baseball team.
I'm not sure why I haven't linked to the GYS Network before, but it's probably because I'm a lazy person who is slow about these things. Red Sox blogger #800,567,021. Go check him (them?) out, kids, you can never have too many quality Red Sox blogs.
And, finally, hooray. Can we all stop whining now?