Monday, July 31, 2006
Game 1: Rally Monkey invades Boston, spreads ebola among populace, laughs evilly.
Game 2: David Ortiz miraculously cures ebola using nothing but his mango salsa recipe and the advanced enzymes in his own saliva.
Game 3: Rally Monkey has radioactive Boston Harbor water dripped onto it, mutates into horrible hairy behemoth, terrorizes city anew.
No need to say more, I reckon.
Strange things are afoot. We picked up Bryan Corey for Luis Mendoza, and Corey is intriguing in the sense that he stands a reasonable-to-good chance of being less exciting than Julian Tavarez and/or Rudy Seanez, where 'exciting' means 'likely to induce cardiac events'. Mendoza had been riding a low level of suck with the SeaDogs, so whatever. To put Corey on the 40-man they had to move Clement to the 60-day DL, a move we can all live with, since half of you have no memory of who Matt Clement is anymore beyond the lingering salty tang of his nervous tears.
Trot somehow managed to hurt his arm by swinging too hard at a baseball. He missed too, just to add to the indignity of the whole thing. Suddenly Wily Mo is looking like less of a trade chip and more of a huge guy with pointy facial hair who'll be seeing some quality plate time in the near future, unless of course he's a trade chip to get us someone who can fill that niche even better. I mostly hate this injury because it's so freaking stupid and so typically Trot; instead of landing funny on his shoulder and popping it out of the joint or getting hit in the nuts with a pitch, he has to go and pull a muscle by swinging like some kind of uncontrolled greenie-addled nut. Awesome.
The Yankees picked up Bobby Abreu for what is basically the baseball equivalent of a frozen bag of snow peas. The Phillies, because apparently salary-dumping Abreu was just a gateway drug to further insanity, threw in Cory Lidle too. I don't understand how this happened. The last rumor I had seen was that the Yanks were going to send Melky Cabrera or something to Philly for Abreu, not the variety pack of minor league wastewater.
Strange things, like I said. Let us not dwell upon them. Let us instead dwell upon that joker up there at the top. His name is Bryan Morse and he's a left-handed starting pitcher with a tendency towards sidearming. Or, at least, he's a starter now, for the North Shore Spirit. When he was drafted by the Marlins, he pretty much only relieved in their minors. He pitches with his mouth open and his tongue lolling out. He's 27 years old now so this is probably about as good as it gets, but he's had flashes of brilliance; today, for instance, or the time in high school that he pitched a no-hitter. And he's a lefty, so you never know when someone might decide he's worth taking a flyer on and bringing him up.
He threw 7.2 innings of perfect ball on Sunday, retiring the first 23 batters in a row before Québec Capitales catcher Olivier Lepine singled in the 8th inning. Morse went on to complete the game for a 3-hit shutout of les Capitales. For a while there I thought I was going to get to see my first perfect game in person, although my dad, ever helpful, kept saying things like, "That's 12 in a row now!" and "Wow, he's 6 innings through it now!"
Yes, I finally, after rainouts and vacations and much rescheduling, hauled myself down to Fraser Field to take in a Spirit game. I had not been there since it was the Mad Dogs' park, and it is indeed much improved. We sat in the first row ($12 tickets! Thank you independent league baseball) just to the right of directly behind homeplate. Great view, especially for a game that's all about the pitching, as this one was. I was initially concerned about the net being so close to our faces, but it turns out I could pretty much shoot straight through the netting with the teleconversion lens on, and it wasn't much of an issue.
Photos from the game can be found here. It's a pretty good photoset for the same reason a lot of the college ones came out well... you can get right up close to the action and the players. Plus it was a day game, so the light was good.
David Wells starts tomorrow (today). I expect him to get rocked, because it's his first game back in a Galapagos tortoise's age, and he'll probably be rusty as all get out. The Indians may be stuck behind some serious winning percentage in the AL Central, but they can hit if they get it in their minds to do so. Who knows, maybe if everyone in New England eats a cupcake at work in solidarity, he'll somehow pitch beautifully.
Labels: Angels, baseball, Bryan Morse, in attendance, independent league, MLB, North Shore Spirit, random, Red Sox
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I'll admit it. I fell asleep during the game yesterday.
Not because it was boring (it wasn't, at least not the bits I remember) and not because of the lateness of the hour (most of you are well aware of my nocturnal habits), but because I was feeling the lateness of the hour much more keenly than usual, having just returned from Toronto, and having failed to consume my usual amount of delicious and life-giving coffee.
Yes, I, the blogger who routinely is typing merrily away at 4:30 in the morning, was tired. It happens. Usually when I don't have enough coffee. And when I'm faced with Travel, which I do not take to particularly well.
Tired like Curt Schilling, when he's pitched a solid game on the road, and they got in really late because the plane was delayed the night before, and he's stayed up playing some Everquest over the hotel internet connection, and he just really wants to go to sleep because it's awfully late, and he's got the chain on the door (of course he's got the chain on the door), but he hasn't closed it all the way, so just when he's about to go to sleep Manny Ramirez wedges his arm through the door holding a bunny that he made out of complimentary shampoo bottles and jelly beans that he has to show Curt RIGHT NOW, and Curt has to go open the door to tell Manny how great his bunny is, and he doesn't get to sleep for four more hours because SOMEHOW Manny slipped away from his babysitters for the night, and Curt just wants to sleep so badly, he's so tired, and that is how tired I was last night.
Not that that exact scenario has ever happened, of course, but it could.
In any event, Toronto was good, if somewhat tiring, and if you ignore the fact that we got rained on twice, once by hysterically awful downpours. Very much a walking city, and while the architecture leaned much more towards brutalism and wasn't nearly as nice as that of, say, Chicago, it was still sufficiently interesting to make wandering around fun.
The Jays/Yanks game was OK. Of course the only game of the series that the Jays lose was the one I ended up at. It was my first time in a dome, too... very odd. Our seats were in the second deck, and the whole concourse up there was CARPETED. And the seats were PADDED like movie theater seats. It didn't feel very much like a baseball park, more like, I dunno, a football stadium or something else. Of course the Argos do play there, so it is a football stadium, but it was still odd.
There were a TON of Yankees fans there. In the second deck, I would venture to say that 90% of the crowd was rooting for New York. In our section there was me and my family (rooting for the Jays), and maybe two or three other Blue Jays fans. Everyone else was rooting for the Yankees. It was probably not entirely unlike being stuck in Yankee Stadium itself, except these fans, while extremely drunk and loud, were not actually dangerous, and were generally inoffensive aside from a few anti-Boston remarks and shirts.
I must give them their due: we had no problems with Yankee fans in our section, and we actually sort of held a conversation at one point with the large and communally trashed family behind us. I think they were from Syracuse. They were all staying at a Holiday Inn with, inexplicably, a Red Sox fan, who was drunker than all of them put together and left the game early after the stadium security started trailing him to make sure he wouldn't buy more beer. Evidently he and one of the Yankee fans had split an entire bottle of vodka between the two of them in the (short) ride over to the ballpark. Where they then proceeded to add to their alcohol tally by buying a bunch of beer. Jolly good times.
The highlights of the game itself were Kyle Farnsworth hitting 101 mph (on the stadium gun, anyhow), and ARod striking out swinging in each of his four at-bats in the game. That was a beautiful line in my scorecard, let me assure you. There are few things in baseball more satisfying than writing K after K next to ARod's name.
Top of the 7th in tonight's game and I'm still awake. Good sign. Manny and Trot going back to back was fun, but Curt then sucking it up on the mound was not. Oh well. Still ahead for now. Oh, and if someone can tell me why Manny and Lowell have taken to greeting each other during celebrations by touching the tips of their forefingers together, I'd enjoy hearing the explanation.
ETA: Man, that 8th inning about killed me. I do have to wake up for work tomorrow, guys. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a huge lead as much as anyone, but Oakland could've at least had some consideration and not sucked quite so badly. Yeesh.
Mad props to whoever runs the video stuff out in Texas at Ameriquest, by the by. They have a Kiss Cam that they run between innings, and tonight they put ARod, in the dugout, up on it. Too perfect. Ameriquest Field video dudes, you are awesome. ARod, when he realized he was on Kiss Cam, pulled Andy Phillips (who was nearest) to him and kissed him on the top of the head.
Also, I swear that Hazel Mae, in the postgame highlights, just called Ian Kinsler 'Michael Young'. Of course it's probably the prompt card writer's fault, not hers, as I wouldn't expect her to know Kinsler from Young if they were standing in front of her with their jerseys on.
Labels: baseball, Blue Jays, in attendance, MLB, Yankees
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Behold, a trio of Becketts for a trio more of Beckettful years.
On the face of it this is a deal that's good to everyone. The Red Sox get a relatively young yet experienced pitcher ('tho he's no Jeremy Bonderman) locked up and avoid the arbitration he would've gone to in a year, and then the type of contract he would have commanded on the open market, which had the potential to be more along the lines of five or six years, not just three. Beckett gets three guaranteed years when his still-patchy health record might just as easily prevent him from getting much more elsewhere, and he also gets the security of knowing where he'll be for a while, and the sense of trust that his team has shown in him and his implied future pitching.
The injury thing is the snag. I almost hate to say it (because watch, next time he goes out he'll break something vital) but Beckett has been remarkably healthy so far this season. Remarkably for him, anyhow. Pretty lucky. Because let's face it, our rotation is a mess right now, with Wells slooooooowly coming along, Clement off nursing his mental wounds or whatever the dickens it is he's doing right now, Wakefield with a broken rib (how did that even happen?). The fact that Lester has done as well as he has is also pretty lucky. So our pitching has relied on a recovered Schilling and a guy who, while chock ful of talenty goodness, has yet to pitch a full season.
Who knows what they've done to keep the blisters at bay so far this season. Be it wax or seaweed wrap or urine, so long as it works, I guess we'll just keep going with it, and hope nothing crops up.
Anyways. Good win today against Texas. There's nothing quite like dragging a team all the way out here for one measely game, and then beating them. I was there (photos to come, uh, eventually) and the weather was GREAT. Cool the whole time, but not cold at all. Just a good day for a ballgame overall.
Although I still do not know how on earth Rod Barajas got 3 RBI. Three! Rod Barajas! Absurdity.
I'm off to Toronto for the weekend, and I'll be at the Blue Jays/Yankees game on Saturday, which should be an interesting time... I've never been the Rogers Centre before, and I guess I'll be wearing my Red Sox hat to show my sidelong support for the Jays in this one. Hopefully the Cyanocitta cristata will administer a beatdown.
Labels: baseball, contract, Josh Beckett, MLB, Red Sox
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
At the game on Saturday, I was keeping an eye on the out-of-town scoreboard to see how the Tigers were doing, of course. This happened to be the night where Verlander did his awesome Verlander thing and the Royals were shut out, but just the night before the Tigs had had to resort to a walkoff homerun in order to win, so I kept saying things like, "Yeah, Tigers still ahead! Woo! Look at that score! Woo!" over the course of our game.
SOME of the people I was with (not gonna name names or anything...) responded to these sentiments with mirth. "That's nice," they would say, "but it's the Royals." "Yeah, I saw that Guillen walkoff on Sportscenter... they were calling it [insert overexcited praising ESPN-used adjective here]. You can't have a [insert overexcited praising ESPN-used adjective here] hit against the Royals." Chuckle chuckle, giggle giggle, what good fun.
Of course the Royals went on to win the last game of the Tigers series and took a close one into the 8th inning against us today.
Point is, no one goes 0-for-162. Everyone's got to win sometimes, even the Royals and the Pirates of the world. So on the other side of the coin, someone's gotta get taken to task by the Royals on occasion. It's never fun and it's always a deeply shaming experience but, over such a long season, it happens.
The lineup we fielded yesterday had 5 guys hitting over .300 in it. The Royals had one. DeJesus. Dougie hitting a bomb is always cause for celebration and hilarity in Red Sox Nation, but when you get right down to it Dougie shouldn't ever have to hit a bomb to save the game for us. I'm sure he enjoys it, because then he gets to trot sedately around the bases instead of struggling to race his ponderous, square-shaped self onto the basepaths for a hit. But if it's his hitting that stands between us and a loss, we probably didn't play a very good game.
Wake's injury, or whatever the heck it is, is pretty troubling. He is up there in age, although no one thinks he's anywhere near retiring yet, not with the knuckleball. But if he's got a tweaked muscle in his back, well, he's not at an age where that sort of thing is going to heal quickly and elastically. I hope it turns out to be nothing much; he is after all signed to a contract with us for the rest of his natural life, and I'd like to get as much out of him as we can in that time.
Thursday's game against the A's was the one we lost in extra innings. Photos here, 'tho here are some highlights for the terminally lazy among you.
Zito looks back into the crowd.
Lester and Al Nipper looks like they're about to make out. They aren't, of course, but it looks that way.
Huston Street kisses his hand and looks up to the sky before taking the mound.
Go see the rest and enjoy.
Saturday's game, as luck would have it, was Schill's dominant outing and the only win of the series for us. Photos can be seen here.
Definitely a highlight. You can see Papi going in for his patented 'down low hug' on Craig Hansen near the middle there.
Labels: baseball, in attendance, loss, MLB, Red Sox, Royals
Friday, July 14, 2006
What a surprising All Star Game that turned out to be. Most everyone, analysts included, seemed to expect it to be a slugfest, especially on the AL side. That horrifying little "heads, shoulders, knees, and toes" musical montage they had worked up for Vlad Guerrero was proof enough, if nothing else. But the darn thing turned into a pitching duel.
Now, lemme just say, before the game, I did not think Brad Penny was all too exciting a starter for the NL. And I get the general impression that a lot of other fans felt more or less the same. Brad Penny, however, knowing he only had two innings to pitch, came out throwing 98 mph heat up and inside. I was sitting there watching it with my mouth hanging open. I can't remember the last time I saw Ichiro's timing look so incredibly off on his swings. Usually even if he misses he's somewhere in the vicinity, but with Penny pitching he was taking some awful swings.
Oh, all you who make fun of me for my love of Ichiro? Say what you will, I am not nearly as bad as Tim McCarver, who had this to say about the poor guy (they were talking about his 'incredible balance' or something): "We saw Ichiro in the tunnel today, and he walks like a ballet dancer." I mean... what? He... walks... like... a ballet dancer. I don't know. I just don't know.
Of course one of the best plays was ARod bobbling the ball at third and desperately chucking a bouncer into first, where it was expertly picked by Ortiz to save America's Greatest Baseball Player a nationally-televised E5. It was as tidy an embodiment of the absurdity of the old "a DH can't win the MVP because they're only playing half the game" as one could wish for. Just because Ortiz doesn't play first base very often, that doesn't mean that he can't. Granted, I don't think he has the ability to play there every day, but by now that could be because we've conditioned him into a DH. If he had had to play first every day for much of his career, I'm sure he could, because the base skills are manifestly there. He wouldn't be winning Gold Gloves, but still.
The fact that the NL lost, after all that... hilarious. Poor bastards. It looked for so long like they had it in hand, and then they had Trevor Hoffman coming up... Trevor Hoffman! He's an unstoppable force of Padretasticness. He's no Jon(athan) Papelbon, of course, but then again who is? In any event, I thought that the NL was going to take this and we would have to suffer the indignity of losing to their soft squidgy league.
Blown save. With a Michael Young two-run triple. I kind of couldn't stop laughing. I thought Phil Garner might cry.
Anyways, on to the second half. And thank cats we had that break, because between the game before it (19 innings) and tonight (11 innings), well, if there hadn't been a break, we would be looking at the bloody remains of Julian Tavarez right now, instead of the ravaged but still live Julian Tavarez that plagues us at the moment.
I was actually at this game, and will have photos from it up soon, but not tonight, as I've got work tomorrow and should be in bed oh, say, now-ish. Many photos later. Especially of Huston Street. I must've taken 800 photos of Huston Street alone.
Labels: All Star Game, ARod, baseball, error, MLB
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
As soon as Papi got knocked out of the race, I started rooting for Ryan Howard to win. Not because I have any particular attachment to Ryan Howard, or because I have some burning hidden dislike for David Wright or Miguel Cabrera, but instead because I actually have photos of Ryan Howard and I've never seen the other guys in person. And c'mon, when else am I gonna have a chance to use any of these damn Ryan Howard photos?
Yeah. I love viewing baseball through a teleconversion lens. This is because I am wholly insane.
And in any event, there's no shame in Papi not winning the whole thing, despite the fact that I think Joe Morgan might have urinated in his own pants if such an event had occurred. I honestly don't know how, after that 19 freakin' inning game we just had, Ortiz was still standing upright, let alone launching a single ball into the river. The fact that he hit as many homeruns as he did is a testament to his stamina, his greatness, his general Papiness, and all that is good with the world. Most things pertaining to David Ortiz come around to that in the end.
My favorite part of the Home Run Derby isn't the home run hitting part anyhow, although it was fun this year to see the kayakers hurl themselves into the Allegheny in search of a ball. I do hope that water was clean. I mean, I probably wouldn't hurl myself headlong into the Charles these days, and they've done a lot to improve the Charles*.
No, the best part of the Derby by far is getting to watch all the ballplayers sit around on the sidelines and goof around with their kids and with each other. You get to see the old hands at this sort of thing kicking back and relaxing (Pudge schmoozing with everyone), and you get to see the guys who are clearly painfully excited to be there, usually with video cameras in tow (Brian McCann was adorably filming everything he possibly could, and Mark Loretta broke his camera out for Ortiz's at-bats).
The best bit is watching Ryan Howard offer his bat to his son for a kiss on the wooden barrel before going up to the plate, and watching David Ortiz let his littlest curly-haired offspring play with one of his batting gloves to keep it busy. You wonder how much of this the baby Pierzynski (wearing, I might add, an entirely hideous headband thing) is going to remember when she's older, and you can clearly see how much the kids who are old enough to appreciate it, do.
It was funny watching Paul LoDuca pitch to David Wright, especially because the dynamic between them, as pitcher and batter, was hilarious. And every time Wright (or anyone else) swore after making an "out", the entire sound feed would go dead for a second. That's what you get for miking up players when they're batting, ESPN. I suppose they must've had the whole thing on a delay of a second or two, or else the whole country would've been hearing David Wright yell, "Shit!" as he hit a big arching flyball out.
Jon(athan) Papelbon telling the TV guys that he had $100,000 on Ortiz to win it all was priceless, especially because you had no idea if he was joking, a little bit joking, or entirely serious. And he had some deranged giant-lensed video camera that he was shooting with at points too, which, combined with his backwards hat, made him look like an immensely loveable dork.
All in all I think that turned out to be a pretty painless Home Run Derby. Nobody blew out their oblique swinging for the fences, the Bermanisms were diluted by the fact that there were so many other people announcing this year. Miguel Tejada seemed to have a snotload of fun, as he does every year. The only Yankee in evidence was Robison Cano, snuggling up to Papi and his brood (where were ARod and Jeter? tsk tsk).
I won't talk about the aesthetic nightmare that is the jerseys until after the actual All Star Game.
*I remember when I was in elementary school, I think 5th grade, we had a poster-making contest where we designed these childish little posters intended to tug at the heartstrings of some lawmaker or other, begging them to clean up the Charles/Boston Harbor. This was back when one whiff of the water from the shore would be enough to mutate small amphibians. I mean it was really bad, back then. Sometimes the surface of the water would be all sorts of interesting colors, and I don't mean shades of blue or green. And the stuff you would see floating in there... urgh.
In 1988, Boston Harbor was the dirtiest harbor in America. And the Charles was just as bad.
There was a massive cleaning campaign, I think in 1995, which would just about jibe with my memory of us doing our pathetic little elementary school part in 5th grade. Things are a lot better now. The Harbor especially is thriving (a few nights ago I was down on the HarborWalk with Amy, and we saw tons and tons of jellyfish floating around in the night-darkened water. It was wicked pretty. So was the view.), and if you dip a foot into the Charles from the back of your MIT sailboat or something, you probably won't get cancer anymore.
But I still wouldn't go diving in it.
This pointless footnote brought to you by: environmentalism!
Labels: All Star Game, baseball, David Ortiz, Home Run Derby, MLB, Ryan Howard
Friday, July 07, 2006
A couple of exciting events over here at BCRS! Not nearly as exciting as David Ortiz suddenly looking up and saying to himself, "Wait, this is the effin' Trop, what the mango salsa are we doin' losin' in here?" and hitting a grand slam, but pretty exciting.
The first one is for you Massachusetts residents or, more specifically, people who are not afraid to venture into Malden. ART SHOW ALERT. Yes, vast excitement, I know. Thus far all but one of the art shows I've had stuff in have been in Michigan (the other one was up at Joppa Flats last summer... er, yeah, I didn't really tell people about that, I don't think. Sorry), so if you are in Massachusetts and you like ART and BLOGGERS THAT ARE ART STUDENTS and the fact that Malden has a BURGEONING ARTIST COMMUNITY, this is your big chance to see ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CULTURE!
The official invitation is that image you can clicky at the start of the entry. The show is called PRESENT TENSE, and it's a juried drawing show at the artSPACE@16 gallery in Malden. The opening reception (which I will not be at, sadly) is this Saturday, July 8, starting at noon. Potluck 2-5pm, gallery talk at 3. If you can't make it to the opening the gallery is also open 12 noon-5pm on Saturdays (the 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th). I'll probably be there having a look some time near the noon end of the 15th, if you want to try to catch me there.
BUT EVERYONE SHOULD GO TO THIS. I saw it when it was getting hung up, and there's some great stuff in the show. Plus some of my stuff (it's 8 drawings, it's called The Encyclopedia of Gnawing, it's got animals skulls in it. You know you wanna see), and a few drawings/paintings from my friend Corey Corcoran, who is like some sort of mad artistic genius. If you go, keep an eye out for his stuff as well.
Plus the gallery itself has to be seen to be believed. It's a... well, it's a converted garage. You're driving there and you're saying to yourself, "Nah, there's no way, this can't be right," because you're just going through this completely normal residential neighborhood, and then you're looking at two completely normal residential houses, and in between them is a little detached garage with a 16 in the windows, and this is the gallery. And inside, it's all official-like and simply amazing.
Directions, details, and so on can be found on the artSPACE@16 website. Seriously, if you're anywhere at all near Malden, or willing to haul yourself out there, give this a look. It's a good one.
The other news is exciting for everyone, regardless of location!
As some of you may know, I've been designing tshirts for my own amusement for a while now. Just random stuff I wanted on a shirt, and didn't see out there. Or excuses to fire up Adobe Illustrator and futz around with it. And I told a couple people about them, and some of those people said they wanted this or that shirt.
Well, one thing led to another and now YOU, the FASHIONABLE BLOG READER, can purchase for your very own a BCRS tshirt design. Click on the image to go to the store.
Designs up right now are
--Fangirls dig the long ball; Smart chicks dig the high on-base percentage
--Eck-tastic! Baseball knowledge made groovy
--Fangirls dig the K; Give me a good groundball pitcher with a solid infield defense
--I Score at Baseball Games
--Shift This (with a 34 in the background, natch)
With more to come as I bother to make them. I currently own the long ball and groundball tshirts (with a few of the others winging their cotton way towards me as we speak), and Cafepress does a pretty darn good job printing them.
So check out the art show! Get yourself a tshirt and show the world that you are a clever person with good taste and/or an overwhelming desire to chip into my art supplies fund for next semester. And let us hope that this last game propels us to an embarassment of riches in Chicago. Oh, and that AJ Pierzynski gets scurvy.
Labels: art, blognews, offtopic
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Who isn't proud that Loretta got into the All Star game?
Papi, sure, that was inevitable. Yankee fans were probably the only people not voting for him, and even the less irrationally vengeful among them could've been throwing a vote or two his way. Manny, much the same, except he won't be playing anyways in all likelihood. Papelbon, again, how could you say he doesn't belong there? A sub-1.00 ERA, it's absurd.
But Loretta! Ah, here is the power of Red Sox Nation (the amorphous entity, not the officially marketed one) at its best. Sure, there weren't any real clear leaders at this spot. You could make just as valid an argument for, say, Ronnie Belliard or Placido Polanco. But a combination of the fact that Robinson Cano is
dead injured and the fact that Red Sox fans realized the voting was close enough that if they put their considerable collective power together they could get him in-- this was enough to tip Loretta over the top.
Which is not to say that he doesn't deserve it, because he does. I wouldn't have been unhappy to see Belliard or Polanco or Jose Lopez or even Grudzielanek (who is busy having a tolerable season for a pisspoor team, and who SHOULD be the Royals rep a thousand times before Mark Redman) at second. But he just wouldn't have made it in if we hadn't put our fingers to the keyboards in his name.
Woo. Go Loretta. Go us.
Of course, it should be Mike Lowell or Joe Crede starting at third base over ARod, but I guess we can only do so much.
And let us not speak of how Ozzie Guillen is clearly smoking crack out of a crack pipe made from carved crystallized crack, because, um, Ozzie? Did you look at numbers? Did you really? You know what, let's play a fun game. Look at the following players.
PLAYER A: 9-5 record, 3.86 ERA
PLAYER B: 10-3 record, 3.63 ERA
PLAYER C: 9-3 record, 3.17 ERA
PLAYER D: 5-4 record, 5.59 ERA
PLAYER E: 10-4 record, 3.01 ERA
PLAYER F: 9-1 record, 1.99 ERA
Now, you've got 6 pitchers on your All Star starters roster already. So you need two more. Of the 6 listed above, which two would you take?
If you're me, you'd probably take players E and F. Maybe C because of ERA and the fact that he's got that good a record despite the fact that his team tries to lose it for him almost every single time he goes out this season, or B because he's got a bloody lot of strikeouts to his name.
If you're Ozzie Guillen, you take players A and D. Because of those 6, those two are probably the LEAST DESERVING. That makes all kinds of sense.
PLAYER A: Mark Buerhle. PLAYER B: Curt Schilling. PLAYER C: Mike Mussina. PLAYER D: Mark Redman. PLAYER E: Justin Verlander (who might yet get in... vote, you lazy sods. Justice can in some small measure be ours). PLAYER F: Francisco Liriano.
I dunno. I just don't know. I understand that Ozzie is kind "crazy" and "fiery" and "more crazy", but I just don't understand the kind of mind that puts Mark Redman on an All Star team over Liriano or Verlander or Mussina, especially when the Royals would be better and more accurately represented by Grudzielanek.
But what the hell do I know, I'm just a blogger, Ozzie Guillen is the guy getting paid to manage a baseball team. Naturally his choices are going to be more intelligent and better-informed than anything I could come up with. Right? That's how it works, right?
Oh, and for the record? I'm happy 'Tek didn't make it in. Sorry to all the Varitek fans with blinders on, but, no. Let's play the game again.
PLAYER A: .244/.328/.395, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 1 SB
PLAYER B: .301/.328/.443, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB
PLAYER C: .294/.346/.473, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 0 SB
PLAYER D: .391/.458/.546, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 7 SB
PLAYER E: .289/.402/.487, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 0 SB
Which catcher do you take? Probably D, right? D's kinda got it all: insane average, good power, unexpected speed on the basepaths, which is neat. Maybe C, because that power is intriguing and he'd make a good story. Maybe B, because he's a vet who's always a safe choice for this kinda thing, and he's having a damn good year for someone his age. Maybe even E, for much the same reason as B, but with slightly less average and slightly more power (and worse defensive numbers). A's probably the last catcher there you would pick.
We all agree?
PLAYER A: Jason Varitek. PLAYER B: Pudge Rodriguez. PLAYER C: Kenji Johjima. PLAYER D: Joe Mauer. PLAYER E: Jorge Posada.
So, in a just world run by BCRS, Joe Mauer would've been voted into the starter's spot and Kenji Johjima would've been picked as a reserve. Instead, Pudge was voted in and Mauer got the reserve. You can't really argue against Pudge, since where he lags behind Johjima in offensive numbers he probably more than makes up defensively behind the plate. But in any event, that's at least 4 catchers, just off the top of my head, who deserved an All Star slot more than Varitek does.
Oh, and yeah, I'm well aware that Pierzynski is batting .327/.372/.449. I still don't think he deserves it more than Mauer, Johjima, or Pudge. In fact, I think he deserves it less than everyone, up to and including John Buck, just because I freaking hate AJ Pierzynski so much.
Labels: All Star Game, baseball, Mark Loretta, MLB, numbercrunch