Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/29/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Kevin Sefcik.

Phillies 5, Red Sox 0.
The matchup of the night between Cliff Lee and Josh Beckett was one sided as the Red Sox fell victim to another Cliff Lee special. Lee threw a 2-hitter for his 3rd consecutive complete game shutout. He's now allowed 1 earned run over his last 42 innings. It's nearly impossible to score on Lee right now. I can sympathize with opposing teams as I too am currently having trouble scoring. Shane Victorino and Domonic Brown each homered off Beckett who saw his ERA balloon all the way to 2.20.

Giants 13, Cubs 7.
Giants 6, Cubs 3.

The Cubs fulfilled their win quota on Monday so it was back to business as usual on Tuesday.

Rays 4, Reds 3.
Jay Bruce briefly awoke from his June slumber to hit a home run but it wasn't enough. David Price struck out 12 over 7.2 innings and Evan Longoria hit the walk-off homer in front of the dozens of Rays fans brave enough to cross that bridge.

Mets 14, Tigers 3.
Rick Porcello had a rough 3.2 innings giving up 11 of the Mets 18 hits and 7 of the 14 runs. Daniel Schlereth didn't fare much better as both Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran hit grand slams off of him. The Mets are over .500 and somehow not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet. I guess I'll have to make fun of how the Dodgers are being run nowadays.

Pirates 7, Blue Jays 6.
Speaking of oddly over .500, the Pirates ran their record to 40-38 thanks to home runs by Andrew McCutchen and Alex Presley. Jose Bautista hit his 24th of the season but his .328/.469/.664 line just doesn't get me as giddy as it did when he was OBPing over .500. I miss Barry Bonds.

Angels 11, Nationals 5.
My Halos took the lead back in the bottom of the 6th and broke it open in the 8th thanks to home runs by Vernon Wells and Hank Conger. Since returning from the DL on June 7, Wells has only been disappointing instead of tear-inducingly awful. So, bully for you, Tony Reagins.

Other games, but down here...
Cardinals 6, Orioles 2.
Yankees 12, Brewers 2.
Twins 6, Dodgers 4.
A's 1, Marlins 0.
Braves 5, Mariners 4.
Rangers 7, Astros 3.
Rockies 3, White Sox 2 (13).
Diamondbacks 6, Indians 4.
Padres 4, Royals 2.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/28/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Tarick Brock.

Cubs 7, Rockies 3.
I gave the Cubs the top spot because, let's face it, it's going to be quite some time before the Cubs sit atop a list of other teams. They just aren't good. But on Monday, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena both hit a pair of home runs to get back to 14 games under .500 and 11.5 games out of first. Matt Garza pitched pretty well but he gave up a pair of home runs to Carlos Gonzalez. Actually, it was a good day to be a Carlos in Chicago.

Dodgers 15, Twins 0.
If there's one thing I don't like about Twitter, it's the ability to run a joke into the ground within minutes. So when the Dodgers were up 11-0, the Chapter 11 jokes went from clever to stab-me-in-the-eye annoying within half an inning. In yesterday's Jobu, I mentioned Trent Oeltjen is a real thing. Well, he sure is and went 4-4 with a walk, a triple and a home run.

Angels 4, Nationals 3 (10).
Jordan Walden blew his 2nd save in as many days and 3rd in a row. Danny Espinosa crushed a fastball for his 15th homer of the season to tie the game in the 9th. But Maicer Izturis came through with the walk-off single in the 10th after the Nats intentionally walked Bobby Wilson to load the bases. It was probably the right move since the Angels lead the planet with 437* GIDPs this year. *Actual stats may vary as I've lost the rest of my staff and don't look things up on my own.

Indians 5, Diamondbacks 4.
The Lonnie Chisenhall era began for Cleveland and the 3rd base prospect went 2-4 with a double. Unfortunately for their other star prospect, Orlando Cabrera hit the go ahead home run in the top of the 9th to keep Jason Kipnis in the minor leagues for another week.

Other games, but down here...
Tigers 4, Blue Jays 2.
Reds 5, Rays 0.
Braves 3, Mariners 1.
Padres 4, Royals 3.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/27/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Len Matuszek.

Dodgers 3, Angels 2.
Vernon Wells hit a home run to give the Angels the lead in the 9th but then Jordan Walden happened. Walden walked the first two batters he faced, gave up a run on a sac fly and the go ahead on a Tony Gwynn Jr walk-off single. Clayton Kershaw got the win after going the distance and striking out 11. Jered Weaver surrendered one run in 7 innings but ended up on the no decision end of the ace duel. Leave it Tony Gwynn Jr to avoid the sweep. Trent Oeltjen is a real thing.

Phillies 3, A's 1.
Roy Halladay gave up 8 hits and 1 run on the way to his 5th complete game of the season. Of course, it was against the A's so Doc's numbers are rather disappointing. You'd think Halladay could strike out more than 4 minor leaguers. Chase Utley: DNP.

Rays 14, Astros 10.
Pitching took the day off in Houston and Evan Longoria filled up a stat sheet. The Rays third baseman went 4-6 with a double and 2 home runs for 5 RBI and 3 runs scored. Carlos Lee hit a triple which I assume got lodged in a wall or Tampa only deployed one outfielder that inning.

Giants 3, Indians 1.
Madison Bumgarner rebounded nicely and struck out 11 over 7 innings. He infamously surrendered 8 runs in a third of an inning in his last outing. It's good to see it didn't shatter his confidence and leave him with the mental capacity of a 3-year-old. I almost didn't recover from watching that start.

Mariners 2, Marlins 1.
The Marlins, bored with losing the conventional way, found an exciting way to throw away Sunday's game. Dustin Ackley scored the game winner after Florida reliever Steve Cishek managed to throw a wild pitch during an intentional walk. I can't wait to see what the Marlins do next.

Other games, but down here...
Padres 4, Braves 1.
Tigers 8, Diamondbacks 3.
Orioles 7, Reds 5.
Nationals 2, White Sox 1.
Royals 6, Cubs 3.
Yankees 6, Rockies 4.
Mets 8, Rangers 5.
Red Sox 4, Pirates 2.
Brewers 6, Twins 2.
Blue Jays 5, Cardinals 0.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Off Base 2011 AL All Stars

For some reason, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance granted me membership and occasionally asks me to vote on things. This time it's for the All Star Game.

Disclaimer: I may tend to overemphasize WAR (Wins Above Replacement) but at least I'm not some homer voting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Catcher: Alex Avila, Detroit
9 HR, .300 AVG, .373 OBP, .532 SLG, .390 wOBA, 2.5 WAR
Avila is having a pretty good season which is more than you can say about the majority of catchers in the AL. Plus, his presence keeps the Tigers from having to stick Victor Martinez behind the dish.
Next In Line: Pass
If forced to choose, I suppose it's Carlos Santana.
10 HR, .232 AVG, .360 OBP, .414 SLG, .341 wOBA, 1.8 WAR
Santana has been a disappointment this year and I was tempted to put Matt Wieters here until I looked up his on base percentage. Woof.
Fans Pick (6/21): Russell Martin, New York
Yeah, yeah. He's not having a bad season but Avila is better. I'm actually a little surprised that Avila is second in voting.

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
15 HR, .359 AVG, .410 OBP, .609 SLG, .437 wOBA, 7.4 UZR, 4.4 WAR
Gonzalez is having the monster season everybody expected out of him and might be the first half AL MVP. It's really hard to find a flaw in his game. I hate Boston and their tremendously run front office.
Next In Line: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
15 HR, .327 AVG, .449 OBP, .580 SLG, .434 wOBA, -2.3 UZR, 3.2 WAR
Miggy is the model of consistency. He might have some off the field issues but once the season starts all he does is rake. Paul Konerko has been fantastic this season but Cabrera has 50 points of on base on him.
Fans Pick (6/21): Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
And, of course, Mark Teixeira is second in voting.

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia, Boston
6 HR, .274 AVG, .390 OBP, .397 SLG, .360 wOBA, 8.6 UZR, 3.5 WAR
I really struggled between three players here but ultimately chose Pedroia because of his on base percentage and fielding. But it could have gone in another direction...
Next In Line: Howie Kendrick, Orange County
7 HR, .305 AVG, .364 OBP, .481 SLG, .374 wOBA, 7.8 UZR, 3.2 WAR
I might be cheating a little bit here because only 4.2 of Kendrick's UZR has come at second base since he's also played some first and outfield. Ben Zobrist was the other guy I liked but he's outclassed in OBP by both Pedroia and Kendrick even though Howie hates walking.
Fans Pick (6/21): Robinson Cano, New York
Not surprising at all. He certainly hits for power and the Yankees clearly don't care about middle infield defense.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez, New York
13 HR, .296 AVG, .375 OBP, .510 SLG, 6.9 UZR, 3.6 WAR
What can I say? A-Rod is having a really nice season.
Next In Line: Kevin Youklis, Boston
11 HR, .279 AVG, .395 OBP, .506 SLG, .395 wOBA, -3.1 UZR, 2.8 WAR
He has a great OBP as usual and is the best of the rest. Evan Longoria has struggled since returning from his injury, Adrian Beltre has a .306 OBP and Alberto Callaspo is Alberto Callaspo.
Fans Pick (6/21): Alex Rodriguez, New York

Short Stop: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland
12 HR, .296 AVG, .345 OBP, .498 SLG, .378 wOBA, -5.0 UZR, 2.8 WAR
Cabrera is having somewhat of a breakout season. He's already doubled his previous season high in home runs. I am surprised UZR doesn't much care for his defense.
Next In Line: Alexei Ramirez, Chicago
6 HR, .289 AVG, .348 OBP, .423 SLG, .341 wOBA, 5.9 UZR, 3.0 WAR
Ramirez has similar stats to Cabrera but might be the best fielding short stop in the AL. A flip flop of the two for the top spot wouldn't bother me. What bothers me is...
Fans Pick (6/21): Derek Jeter, New York
If Jeter is the starting short stop, I might skip the ASG. Jeter's 0.5 WAR is tied with Elliot Johnson. This is why you can't have fan voting and make the ASG count for something. Side note: somebody sent me a Jeter biography to review and I lost it.

Right Field: Jose Bautista, Toronto
22 HR, .325 AVG, .470 OBP, .654 SLG, .474 wOBA, -4.7 UZR, 4.5 WAR
Joey Bats has cooled off some since I was school girl giddy over his .500+ OBP but he's still a beast. The Blue Jays are talking about moving him back to third.
Next In Line: Carlos Quentin, Chicago
17 HR, .256 AVG, .358 OBP, .535 SLG, .389 wOBA, 0.4 UZR, 2.2 WAR
Matt Joyce with his higher average and on base is also an acceptable answer.
Fans Pick (6/21): Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton
They got Joey Bats right.

Center Field: Curtis Granderson, New York
21 HR, .278 AVG, .356 OBP, .584 SLG, .401 wOBA, 1.3 UZR, 3.9 WAR
Granderson, all of a sudden, learned how to hit lefties and hit them hard. That was always the major flaw in his game and now he looks like a star. I mean, he does still strikeout at a 27% clip. But he hits lefties now!
Next In Line: Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
8 HR, 24 SB, .310 AVG, .372 OBP, .374 wOBA, 1.5 UZR, 3.1 WAR
As much as I wanted to put Denard Span and his silly 10.2 UZR in this spot, I couldn't put him past an Ellsbury who gets on base 37% of the time. That's a dangerous guy.
Fans Pick (6/21): Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton
The fans have two right.

Left Field: Brett Gardner, New York
4 HR, .286 AVG, .363 OBP, .432 SLG, .347 wOBA, 13.2 UZR, 2.8 WAR
Gardner won't make the All Star team and Yankees fans are always looking for ways to upgrade left field but Gardner might be a star in another market. He's a natural center fielder and is spectacular in left. He is in the top ten in voting but I doubt he finishes there. Those might be some of the kindest words I've ever written about a Yankee.
Next In Line: Brennan Boesch, Detroit
10 HR, .300 AVG, .359 OBP, .485 SLG, .364 wOBA, 0.3 UZR, 1.8 WAR
Boesch won't make the team either but he's having a nice season. I'm not sure if anyone outside of Detroit or fantasy circles realizes it though.
Fans Pick (6/21): Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton
Sure, this would probably be Hamilton's spot if he hadn't missed a month with an injury. He's still going to make the team and is having a really good season. He just missed a lot of time.

DH: David Ortiz, Boston
17 HR, .313 AVG, .391 OBP, .586 SLG, .421 wOBA, 2.6 WAR
Big Papi has looked like he was finished on a few occasions over the past couple of seasons. But in 2011, Ortiz is raking again. He's hitting so well that he's driving Terry Francona to the brink of insanity in considering playing Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield during interleague so Ortiz can play first base.
Next In Line: Victor Martinez, Detroit
6 HR, .332 AVG, .383 OBP, .498 SLG, .381 wOBA, 1.6 WAR
After Ortiz, it's not a great year for the designated hitter. There aren't even that many full time DH's. Martinez has played 20 games behind the plate but I'm counting him so I dont have to plug in Billy Butler or Bobby Abreu.
Fans Pick (6/21): David Ortiz, Boston
No way to argue with that.

Starting Pitcher: Jered Weaver, Orange County
2.01 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 3.41 xFIP, 3.7 WAR
I can make a case for four or five other guys but, let's face it, I love Weaver. And with the lowest FIP and second lowest ERA, he deserves it too.
Next In Line: Justin Verlander, Detroit
2.54 ERA, 3.04 FIP, 3.09 xFIP, 3.0 WAR
Verlander has one no-hitter this year and fell just short of picking up a second. Verlander and Weaver were both first round picks in 2004 along with number one overall pick Matt Bush.

Relief Pitcher: Jordan Walden, Orange County
2.45 ERA, 2.01 FIP, 3.08 xFIP, 1.3 WAR
Sure, he walks too many hitters but he throws 100 MPH on the reg and is fun to watch.
Next In Line: Al Alburquerque, Detroit
2.05 ERA, 1.78 FIP, 2.38 xFIP, 0.9 WAR
His name is Al Alburquerque. I rest my case.

Off Base 2011 NL All Stars

For some reason, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance granted me membership and occasionally asks me to vote on things. This time it's for the All Star Game. Next time I hope it's about dogs wearing hats.

Disclaimer: I may tend to overemphasize WAR (Wins Above Replacement) but at least I'm not some homer still voting for Buster Posey.

Catcher: Brian McCann, Atlanta
13 HR, .305 AVG, .380 OBP, .532 SLG, .386 wOBA, 2.8 WAR
McCann has been the best catcher in baseball but has an easier path to the ASG with Buster Posey out for the season. There shouldn't even be a question about this selection.
Next In Line: Miguel Montero, Arizona
9 HR, .278 AVG, .354 OBP, .483 SLG, .364 wOBA, 2.4 WAR
Montero appears pretty close to McCann in WAR but evaluating catcher defense is a tricky thing. Even though Dave Cameron explained it to me in 140 characters or less, I'm still not sure how they calculate defense for catchers into WAR. McCann is clearly the superior hitter. Montero is underrated though.
Fans Pick (6/20): Brian McCann, Atlanta
Too easy to screw up.

First Base: Prince Fielder, Milwaukee
20 HR, .306 AVG, .426 OBP, .608 SLG, .439 wOBA, 0.6 UZR, 3.7 WAR
Fielder might not be the prettiest site at first base but he's absolutely mashing at the plate. I think he's eating cheeseburgers again.
Next In Line: Joey Votto, Cincinnati
9 HR, .318 AVG, .440 OBP, .489 SLG, .406 wOBA, 2.7 UZR, 3.2 WAR
Votto is probably the best first baseman in the NL. It was hard for me to pick Fielder over him but the 100+ points of slugging won me over even though Votto is the better OBPer. It's also worth noting that Votto's .377 BABIP looks sustainable compared to his MLB track record.
Fans Pick (6/20): Albert Pujols, St. Louis
This should come down a bit after the injury. Votto is second in voting.

Second Base: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee
14 HR, .287 AVG, .356 OBP, .498 SLG, .375 wOBA, 1.9 UZR, 3.3 WAR
A healthy Weeks is great player. He's not Chase Utley in the field but he's not terrible either.
Next In Line: Danny Espinosa, Washington
13 HR, .242 AVG, .321 OBP, .464 SLG, .348 wWOBA, 4.9 UZR, 2.8 WAR
He doesn't walk much and strikes out a lot but he has some serious pop for a second baseman. It seems like he's being overlooked outside of fantasy circles.
Fans Pick (6/20): Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati
Weeks is second and, because it's fan voting, Utley is third. I'd like to see Espinosa get some more love.

Third Base: Chase Headley, San Diego
2 HR, .295 AVG, .389 OBP, .402 SLG, .357 wOBA, -2.7 UZR, 2.0 WAR
It is a wasteland for National League third baggers. Headley hasn't shown the usual power for the hot corner spot this season but he's a solid OBPer even if the BABIP comes down a little. It's hard to imagine Headley is a below average fielder after posting an incredible 16.5 UZR last year.
Next In Line: Ryan Roberts, Arizona
10 HR, .258 AVG, .345 OBP, .458 SLG, .354 wOBA, 0.7 UZR, 2.1 WAR
Talk about criminally overlooked...
Fans Pick: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia
Well, he does play for a team people have heard of.

Short Stop: Jose Reyes, New York
3 HR, 26 SB, .338 AVG, .382 OBP, .511 SLG, .395 wOBA, 0.7 UZR, 4.3 WAR
He's arguably your first half NL MVP. And if he keeps this up, some team is going to significantly over pay for a career slugging percentage and one year of good health.
Next In Line: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado
13 HR, .274 AVG, .338 OBP, .488 SLG, .357 wOBA, 7.2 UZR, 3.0 WAR
Tulo has cooled off after his ridiculous start and fallen well behind Reyes as the top NL short stop even though he's much slicker fielder.
Fans Pick (6/20): Troy Tulowitzki
I fully expect Reyes to have passed Tulo when the next update comes out. Yuniesky Betancourt is in 5th. Hahahahaha.

Right Field: Justin Upton, Arizona
12 HR, .301 AVG, .382 OBP, .521 SLG, .397 wOBA, 2.9 UZR, 3.3 WAR
Still just 23-years-old, Upton is on the verge of super stardom. Is what my keeper league team is hoping for.
Next In Line: Carlos Beltran, New York
10 HR, .276 AVG, .370 OBP, .479 SLG, .372 wOBA, -0.3 UZR, 2.3 WAR
I don't love this pick and could easily be talked into three or four other guys here. Lance Berkman has the best season stats but I can't, in good conscience, stick a traffic cone in right field for the ASG.
Fans Pick (6/20): Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday
They really need to designate outfield spots.

Center Field: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles
20 HR, 21 SB, .328 AVG, .420 OBP, .620 SLG, .452 wOBA, -8.3 UZR, 4.2 WAR
He's flat out raking. I haven't watched enough of him to know if Kemp is the disaster in center that the metrics make him out to be.
Next In Line: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
1o HR, .289 AVG, .393 OBP, .474 SLG, .388 wOBA, 6.5 UZR, 4.0 WAR
He's really, really good. Kemp just has him blocked.
Fans Pick (6/20): Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday
Oddly, not a center fielder among them.

Left Field: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
15 HR, .309 AVG, .395 OBP, .550 SLG, .417 wOBA, -4.2 UZR, 3.4 WAR
The Brewers don't run the best defensive club out there but they sure can hit.
Next In Line: Michael Morse, Washington
13 HR, .306 AVG, .352 OBP, .546 SLG, .383 wOBA, -3.0 UZR, 1.5 WAR
Okay, Matt Holliday is probably more deserving and will get voted in anyway but Morse has been fun this season. Sue me.
Fans Pick (6/20): Ryan Braun, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday
Braun and Holliday are getting in for sure.

Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
2.51 ERA, 2.17 FIP, 2.35 xFIP, 4.2 WAR
He's still the best but...
Next In Line: Cole Hamels, Philadelphia
2.51 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 2.48 xFIP, 3.6 WAR
Eerily similar.

Relief Pitcher: Jonny Venters, Atlanta
0.57 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 2.23 xFIP, 1.5 WAR
Venters has been the Braves workhorse, pitching 47.1 innings so far. He's been lights out just like his bullpen counterpart...
Next In Line: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2.84 ERA, 1.75 FIP, 2.34 xFIP, 1.4 WAR
Kimbrel also has an insane 13.74 K/9.

Curveballs for Jobu 6/24/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Greg Pirkl.

Nationals 1, Mariners 0.
Seattle's rookie phenom pitcher, Michael Pineda, was on the no decision end of a 7 inning, 4 hit, 9 strikeout performance. The 22-year-old lowered his ERA to 2.45 and his FIP to 2.92 but is now on pace to throw over 200 innings. The kid is quickly becoming must see TV which is the exact opposite of what Chone Figgins has melted down into. Figgins pinch ran and, frankly, I'm amazed he didn't find a way to cost his batting average 10 points doing so. Oh, and the Nationals won. Speaking of the Nats, the Futures Game participants were announced and the United States will have Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in the same outfield.

Giants 2, Twins 1.
Topping the list of must see TV pitchers is still Tim Lincecum. He might not be throwing as well as he did in 2008 and 2009 but he is still a lot of fun to watch. He struck out 12 in 7 innings Thursday night. Check this out, I can spell Nate Schierholtz. Okay, I copy and pasted it.

Mets 4, A's 1.
Chris Capuano threw 6 innings of 5-hit, shutout ball while striking out 7. He also grounded into a double play. Lucas Duda. That is all.

Diamondbacks 5, Royals 3.
It's good to have Wily Mo Pena back in the big leagues. He possesses two of my favorite abilities in hitters. He has light tower power and, if a game goes into extra innings, there's a chance he could strike out 6 times. The latter was closer Thursday as Pena went 1-4 with 3 strikeouts. He also manned the position for which he is best suited for the Diamondbacks, DH.

Other game, but down here...
Cardinals 12, Phillies 2.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/23/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Gookie Dawkins.

Yankees 4, Reds 2.
Reds 10, Yankees 2.

I'm just going to skip over the Freddy Garcia and Mike Leake duel from game one to get to the good stuff. In the second match, my good friend Mevs from Diamond Hoggers enjoyed watching his boy Chris Heisey go crazy. Heisey hit 3 home runs including one to lead off the bottom of the first. Jay Bruce, perhaps the streakiest player in baseball, was a combined 1-7 as he continues to take the month of June off after his torrid May. If history has taught us anything, Bruce is in for a big July. Or not, what am I, a scientist?

Mets 3, A's 2 (13).
I love zany baseball and we got a small dose of it Wednesday night. Justin Turner produced the walk-off win in the 13th by a good old fashioned, bases loaded hit by pitch. Not quite as exciting as the walk-off balk but it will do. Brad Ziegler had trouble locating the strike zone and grazed Turner after giving up 3 hits and walking 3 in 1.2 innings. In 13 innings, the 2 teams only managed to use 12 pitchers which is roughly how many Tony La Russa uses in a normal 9 inning game.

Giants 5, Twins 1.
I don't what kind of smoke and mirrors are being deployed by Ryan Vogelsong but he tossed another 7 inning, 4 hit, 1 run gem to lower his ERA to 1.86 on the year. Coming into the game, Vogelsong was sporting a 1.92 ERA but his FIP said he was more of a 2.93 pitcher which is still quite impressive. His xFIP suggests he will be more of a 3.37 guy which is also still pretty good. I can't explain it but I am pretty lazy and didn't take more than a cursory look at his numbers.

Padres 5, Red Sox 1.
Clearly the Padres just have the Red Sox number. That or the 15 rain delays lulled the Red Sox to sleep.

Astros 5, Rangers 3.
Matt Downs hit a pinch hit home run in the 9th off of Neftali Feliz because baseball is a weird, weird game. The Astros scored 4 in the 9th to win Wednesday's battle of Texas. The Astros remain frighteningly terrible though.

Angels 6, Marlins 5 (10).
Hanley Ramirez is 4-9 after being benched by Jack McKeon and then plugged into the cleanup spot. I'd like to think McKeon has used his century of baseball experience to light a fire under Hanley but I suspect Ramirez is just high off of that old man smell. Either way, a single by Mark Trumbo in the 10th took a bad hop over Ramirez, who made a few nice defensive plays earlier, to score Bobby Abreu for the go ahead run. Torii Hunter is day-to-day after getting crushed by the outfield wall following a running catch. I'm almost positive that Mike Trout is, right now, the best outfielder the Angels have at any level.

Other games, but down here...
Phillies 4, Cardinals 0.
Indians 4, Rockies 3.
White Sox 4, Cubs 3.
Diamondbacks 3, Royals 2.
Pirates 5, Orioles 4.
Braves 5, Blue Jays 1.
Rays 6, Brewers 3.
Tigers 7, Dodgers 5.
Nationals 2, Mariners 1.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/22/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Nelson Santovenia.

Nationals 6, Mariners 5.
Wilson Ramos hit the walk-off home run to finish off the 5-run comeback in the 9th inning against the Mariners. My immediate thought was why would the Mariners let Chone Figgins pitch the 9th but it was actually Brandon League and David Pauley with an assist from a Justin Smoak error combining to spoil a solid outing from Doug Fister.

Marlins 5, Angels 2.
The Angels get the dubious honor of halting the Marlins 11 game losing streak and handed Jack McKeon his first managerial win as an octogenarian. The Marlins celebrated by giving McKeon an Ensure shower. Javier Vasquez got the win by managing to allow zero runs on 10 hits over 5+ innings. The Angels continue to find new ways to make me sad during the 2011 campaign.

Rangers 5, Astros 4 (11).
Mitch Moreland hit his second bomb in as many days. Tuesday's was the walk-off variety in the bottom of the 11th. The Astros remained competitive against C.J. Wilson by knocking him around for 4 runs on 11 hits in 6+ innings. I think the Astros could turn things around by following in the Marlins footsteps. Perhaps they could hire a cardboard cutout of Casey Stengel to manage the team.

A's 7, Mets 3.
The Athletics have won 7 in a row thanks to Bob Melvin or, more likely, interleague play. Jemile Weeks went 1-3 with 2 walks, 2 stolen bases and 3 runs scored. Jason Bay went 3-3 with a triple and a home run. With that offensive outburst, Bay was able to keep his slugging (.322) above his on base (.320) but at least he's only making $18M.

Padres 5, Red Sox 4.
That's gotta be a typo.

Brewers 5, Rays 1.
Zack Greinke struck out 10 over 7 innings and Yuniesky Betancourt even accidentally hit a home run. The Royals made the Brewers take on Betancourt as part of the Greinke trade and Yuni has been every bit as bad as everyone knew he'd be. His .229/.251/.339 line gets the Brandon Wood nod of approval. Which might get renamed the Hanley Ramirez nod of approval.

Other games, but down here...
Phillies 10, Cardinals 2.
Rockies 4, Indians 3.
White Sox 3, Cubs 2.
Diamondbacks 7, Royals 2.
Pirates 9, Orioles 3.
Braves 5, Blue Jays 1.
Yankees, Reds PPD.
Dodgers 6, Tigers 1.
Twins 9, Giants 2.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Believing In Brandon Belt

Friend of Off Base and talented writer, Julian Levine of Splashing Pumpkins, and I shared a pre-season prediction about Brandon Belt winning the National League Rookie of the Year. But after some early hiccups, Julian had to swing by to remind me not to give up on Belt. Here's the guest post.

Coming into 2011, Brandon Belt hype was at an all-time high. And, well, why wouldn't it be? The 2009 fifth-round pick had rocketed himself into top prospect status, hitting .352/.455/.620 across three levels of the minors in his first professional season. Belt was the real deal. A guy who combined astounding plate discipline with solid power, gold glove potential at first, a strong arm, and acute baserunning skills.

I myself had immediately fallen in love with Belt for one particular reason: his on-base abilities. Over the last three seasons, the San Francisco Giants had ranked 21st, 30th, and 28th in the majors in BB%, so it was refreshing to see a guy who could draw walks.

Anyway, everything with respect to Belt looked good entering the season. He had ranked 23rd in Baseball America's top 100 prospects list, and Keith Law had him at 17th overall. Dan Szymborski had released his 2011 Giants ZiPS projections on January 4, and Belt was forecasted to hit .266/.357/.440 as a rookie. Not too shabby. And of course, in Spring Training, Belt began where he'd left off -- posting a .282/.338/.479 slash line over 72 at-bats.

He looked ready for the majors, but few expected him to start the year there. Service time issues and a crowded roster would most likely leave him starting the year in Triple-A Fresno. That was, until Cody Ross suffered a calf injury that put him on the Disabled List to start the season. Belt would enter 2011 as the Giants' starting first baseman. I was excited.

But things didn't go so well. In 52 at-bats, he struck out 13 times, and he seemed to be hitting the ball on the ground too much (22 GB/13 FB). The plate discipline was there (eight walks in 60 PAs), but Belt just seemed too passive at the plate, and the consensus among scouts was that he needed more seasoning:

He needs more time in the minor leagues. Pitchers are disrupting his timing. He isn’t confident up there. He still has terrific plate discipline, but we all know rookies cannot always count on getting the borderline calls from umpires.

So when Cody Ross was activated from the DL on April 20, Belt was optioned to Triple-A. Where he promptly returned to raking. In his second Triple-A stint, Belt OPS'd .994 over 132 PAs; and in the wake of the notorious Buster Posey collision, Belt received a call-up.

Of course, as luck would have it, Belt landed on the Disabled List just two games into his second run at the majors, as a hit-by-pitch left a small fracture in his left wrist.

The latest update has Belt returning within two weeks. From what I've seen, he's not an adequate defensive left-fielder, and with Aubrey Huff heating up (OPSing over .900 in the month of June), Belt will have to fight for playing time at first. But I still can't wait to see what he does.

At the beginning of the year, I had Brandon Belt winning the 2011 Rookie of the Year. In retrospect, that prediction looks rather ridiculous -- as we all know ROY awards are built for RBI machines, not on-base machines (just ask Jason Heyward). Nevertheless, my expectations remain high. Belt will get on base. He won't be a slugger, but he should be able to hit as many as 20 home runs over the course of a full season. And he's still got that plus glove at first base.

Over the past few years, the Giants have developed some pretty nice homegrown talent -- Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and Pablo Sandoval to name a few. And though things haven't gone well so far this year for Belt, the Giants seem to have developed yet another gem to add to their collection.

Thanks Julian. You can read more of his work at Splashing Pumpkins, Beyond the Boxscore and MLB Daily Dish. He's busy. You can also follow him on Twitter @SPGiantsBlog.

Curveballs for Jobu 6/21/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Tripp Cromer.

Dodgers 4, Tigers 0.
Clayton Kershaw is really good at throwing a baseball. The 23-year-old lefty tossed a 2-hitter against the Tigers walking 1 and striking out 11. Get ready for some nerdy numbers. Kershaw lowered his ERA to 3.01 but his FIP (2.52) and xFIP (2.83) actually suggest that he is pitching better than his ERA reflects. He's already to 3.1 WAR and should easily pass his career high of 4.8 from last season. His K/9 and BABIP are inline with his career averages but he's cut his walk rate by almost a full walk per 9 from last year which was his previous best. So, um, he's pretty good.

Braves 2, Blue Jays 0.
More accurately, this should read Tim Hudson 2, Blue Jays 1. Hudson took matters into his own hands throwing 8 shutout innings, surrendering just 2 hits and striking out 8. He also hit a 2-run home run in the 7th to account for all of the scoring. Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Corey Patterson combined for an 0-12 day. Hmm, one of those doesn't belong.

Angels 2, Marlins 1.
Jered Weaver only made it through 7 innings, allowed a run and struck out just 6 Marlins. He lowered his ERA to 2.01 on the season but, frankly, anything less than a complete game shutout of the Fish is a disappointment. The Marlins are 1-19 in June and 0-1 under the corpse of 80-year-old Jack McKeon.

Red Sox 14, Padres 5.
In their quest to catch the Yankees in run differential (+98 to +92), the Red Sox dumped double digit runs on an opponent for the 6th time in June. Chase Headley went 4-5 for the Padres and is sporting a .297/.389/.407 line this year. If you split the difference between his terrific defensive year at third base last season (16.5 UZR) with his below average 2011 (-2.7 UZR), you have a pretty valuable player. In a wasteland for NL hot corner men, Headley might make a surprise appearance in my All Star voting for the BBA later this week.

Other games, but down here...
Rockies 8, Indians 7.
Rangers 8, Astros 3.
Cubs 6, White Sox 3.
Yankees 5, Reds 3.
Orioles 8, Pirates 3.
Rays 8, Brewers 4.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/18/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Luis Ugueto.

Mariners 4, Phillies 2.
Seattle had its future on display Friday night and it looks pretty good. Dustin Ackley made his major league debut and recorded his first hit. He even turned a nice double play. Justin Smoak was 1-1 with a pair of walks and Michael Pineda gave up 1 run in 6 innings. Chone Figgins went 0-4 confirming he has no future, or present either. Figgins is the Scott Kazmir of position players.

Red Sox 10, Brewers 4.
Boston has scored double digit runs in 4 games in June and look more or less unstoppable. John Lackey pitched 8 innings and allowed all 4 Brewer runs but the outing still looks like a masterpiece for this current version of the Angels former ace.

Blue Jays 3, Reds 2.
The Jays will keep getting mentioned here as long as Adam Lind continues his consecutive game home run streak which is at 4 now. If history has taught us anything, it's that I'm a huge jinx. Sorry Pittsburgh Pirates, although a 2 game win streak isn't something you should have been bragging about in the first place.

Angels 4, Mets 3.
After some of my finer analysis, I've come to the conclusion that the Angels number 3 hitter Torii Hunter (.232/.309/.365) and 4 hitter Vernon Wells (.194/.235/.326) stink. I'm expecting my offer from any day now. Jordan Walden walked 2 but struck out the side for his 16th save. He has some nasty stuff.

Rays 5, Marlins 1.
Things could get worse for the Marlins but it involves the cast of Jersey Shore being added to the roster. Hanley Ramirez put up another goose egg and his .201/.295/.299 line isn't what you typically look for from your leadoff hitter let alone franchise player. The Marlins even made Wade Davis look like a good pitcher.

Twins 6, Padres 5.
Interleague at its finest. Two last place teams battling it out for pride or oil change coupons or something. Exciting.

Other games, but down here...
Astros 7, Dodgers 3.
Indians 5, Pirates 1.
Cubs 3, Yankees 1.
Nationals 8, Orioles 4.
Rangers 6, Braves 2.
Royals 5, Cardinals 4.
Rockies 13, Tigers 6.
Diamondbacks 4, White Sox 1.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chris Snyder Watches As Wife Gets Attacked

I'm not a complete monster so rest assured this story has a happy-ish ending. But any time I can connect a story about a key-wielding maniac on a scooter to baseball, well you know I have to jump at the opportunity. Pirates catcher Chris Snyder was riding in a car with his wife when she encountered the Vespa version reject from Sons of Anarchy...
Carla Snyder and the scooter-riding man, Subhash Arjanbhi Modhwadia, nearly collided Wednesday. The 44-year-old Modhwadia followed her to a gas station, kicked the vehicle and swung at Carla Snyder, police said. He also ripped a mirror off the car.

A passer-by and an off-duty police officer subdued him. Modhwadia bit the bystander and threw punches with keys between his fingers, police said. Snyders' two children also were in the car.
I realize it's unfortunate the children had to witness the spectacle but the chance to see crazy personified up close only comes around so often. He bit a bystander! I hope he was wearing a leather vest and chaps and had flame decals on his scooter. I'm glad nobody got hurt, proving the bystander is current on his shots, but a low speed chase would have made this my favorite story of the season.

Snyder was unable to come to his wife's defense due to back surgery. What a helpless feeling that must have been. Although with his .396 slugging percentage, it's unclear how much damage he could have done.

Jeff Francoeur's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Jeff Francoeur is on his way to the best season of his career since 2007 when he seemed to be a pretty good player. But he never figured out how to walk more than 6% of the time while striking out every 5 plate appearances. Despite that though, this is Frenchy's first golden sombrero with the Royals which shouldn't be a surprise if you knew the Royals routinely finish in the bottom 5 of team strike outs.

But last night, Francoeur couldn't help swinging and missing and for that, I thank him...

Top 1st: Francoeur struck out swinging against Gio Gonzalez. 3 pitches, all swinging. That's how I imagine I would strike out against a major league pitcher. Except my eyes would be closed and I'd be standing 8 feet or so away from the plate.

Top 3rd: Francoeur struck out swinging against Gonzalez. He worked a full count but dude just loves to swing.

Top 7th: Francoeur struck out swinging against Joey Devine. Hey look, former Braves teammates.

Top 9th: Francoeur struck out swinging against Grant Balfour. Yep, he wasn't even close to striking out looking.

Curveballs for Jobu 6/17/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Todd Frohwirth.

Phillies 3, Marlins 0.
Cliff Lee was not to be left out of all the recent shutout fun and got to face the Marlins on Thursday. Florida is derailing at a record pace losing 16 of 18 in June with no real end in sight. Lee threw a 2-hit, 2-walk shutout against the Fish who might as well be battered because they're fried. I can't begin to explain how unproud of that sentence I am.

Braves 9, Mets 8 (10).
Jason Heyward, using only his mind, won the game for the Braves in the bottom of the 10th. His mere presence at the plate caused Mets reliever D.J. Carrasco to balk in the winning run from third. The Force is strong with this one. Also, the walk off balk is wildly unpopular.

Pirates 5, Astros 4.
The Pirates have won 4 straight and are 2 games over .500 so they get mentioned until this madness stops. Andrew McCutchen is quietly hitting .294/.397/.492 after a slow start.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3.
The world is collapsing on Jose Bautista. After a 1-4 night, Joey Bats is hitting just .332/.486/.678 on the season and has only 1 home run in June. Adam Lind has stepped up though and, after belting his 14th homer of the year, has a .341/.384/.629 line for 2011. All of which would be career bests. Baltimore also participated.

Yankees 3, Rangers 2 (12).
After winning back to back games 12-4, the Yankees got boring and went to extra innings. Brian Gordon got the start for New York and Cory Wade got the win. It's unclear what kind of raise they received from their usual concessionaire gigs.

Other games, but down here...
Diamondbacks 3, Giants 2 (10). J-Up walk-off homer.
Cubs 12, Brewers 7.
Nationals 7, Cardinals 4 (10).
Tigers 6, Indians 2.
Twins 1, White Sox 0.
A's 8, Royals 4.
Red Sox 4, Rays 2.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Xavier Nady's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Your laptop dies for a week and you miss 15 golden sombreros. The golden sombrero used to be special but in this new era of terrible hitting and Charlie Morton, there's just a ton more guys swinging and missing. For full coverage, my good friend Mike does a great job of tracking these at The Golden Sombrero but I'll still try to make fun of as many as possible.

Xavier Nady was Wednesday night's lone giant hat wearer. It would have taken me at least 5 guesses before I got to Diamondbacks as Nady's 2011 team. Nady had a 3.2 WAR in 2008 but has otherwise been basically a replacement level guy. Slight tick above replacement level because his name is awesome. I like him because he strikes out a quarter of the time. Which eventual leads to this...

Bottom 2nd: Nady struck out looking against Madison Bumgarner. He took 3 straight balls before the 3 straight strikes. This might be my new favorite type of plate appearance.

Bottom 4th: Nady struck out swinging against Bumgarner. Nothing fancy about this one.

Bottom 6th: Nady struck out swinging against Bumgarner again. He fouled a pair off just to see what contact was like. He didn't much care for it.

Bottom 9th: Nady struck out swinging against Brian Wilson. 3 pitches. Fear of the beard is a real thing.

Curveballs for Jobu 6/16/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Melvin Dorta.

Nationals 10, Cardinals 0.
The Cardinals have some legitimate firepower in their lineup. But that means nothing when you go up against Livan Hernandez and his 73 mph fastball. Hernandez threw a 3-hit shutout and even struck out 6. Matt Morse hit his 11th and 12th homers of the season in the rout. Games like this is why Tony La Russa drinks.

Phillies 8, Marlins 1.
Phillies 5, Marlins 4 (10).

The Phils keep rolling in the East and opened up a 5 games lead over the Braves. The Marlins are headed in the other direction and actually were passed in the division by the Mets. The Mets? Shame on you Florida. Chase Utley went 2-10.

Pirates 7, Astros 3.
Charlie Morton only lasted 5 innings and gave up 8 hits and 3 runs but he got a win! And that win pushed the Pirates over .500 for the season. Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

Red Sox 3, Rays 0.
Josh Beckett did his best LIvan Hernandez impression and threw a one-hitter. Kevin Youklis hit the 3-run home run to beat the Rays. Jacoby Ellsbury was thrown out for the 9th time this year. I was thrown out of a casino Saturday night after my language was deemed unfit for public consumption.

Indians 6, Tigers 4.
Indians managed to move back into a tie with Detroit. I bet Cleveland finishes below .500 at season's end. The lineup should get better and the pitching should get worse. Brad Penny pitched a reverse Justin Verlander giving up 8 hits and 2 walks in just 3.2 innings.

Mariners 3, Angels 1.
The post Kazmir era Angels got off to a rough start.

Other games, but down here...
Reds 7, Dodgers 2.
Rockies 6, Padres 3.
Mets 4, Braves 0.
Brewers 9, Cubs 5.
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 2.
Yankees 12, Rangers 4.
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 1.
Twins 4, White Sox 1.
A's 2, Royals 1.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Curveballs for Jobu 6/15/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Kimera Bartee.

Hey kids, sorry for the long break between recaps. I've been struggling with what we in the industry call a busted up laptop and your Uncle Derwood hasn't been seen since he went on an expedition to look for a shoe he lost in 10th grade. Hopefully my laptop screen will stay lit until Fox Sports buys me a new one (so, forever). Look, baseball!

Tigers 4, Indians 0.
Justin Verlander lost the bid for his second no-hitter of the season in the 8th inning but finished with a complete game, 12 strikeout shutout. As brilliant as Verlander has been, he's still just 4th in the AL in WAR (2.9) and 6th in FIP (2.99), with two Angels and CC Sabathia ahead of him in both categories. The Indians are 2-8 in their last 10 and are a game behind Detroit in the Central now. Pull the rip cord, you're in free fall.

Angels 4, Mariners 0.
Jered Weaver wasn't as nasty as Verlander but he still threw his own shutout allowing 5 hits and striking out 6. Weaver actually got run support early and, luckily, it didn't throw him off his game. Weaver still leads the AL in WAR (3.4) and ERA (2.06) and is second in FIP (2.54) behind teammate Dan Haren. Russell Branyan got another start because Mike Scioscia wants to see if he can get me to light myself on fire.

Rays 4, Red Sox 0.
James Shields is the third pitcher who threw a shutout and won 4-0 yesterday. Coincidence or.. Yeah, probably just a coincidence. Shields also gave up 5 hits but struck out just 5. Still an impressive feat against the red hot Red Sox. The loss ended the Sox 9 game win streak and leaves them just 1.5 games up on New York and 3.5 up on Tampa. Kevin Youklis went 0-4 and remained ugly.

Phillies 9, Marlins 1.
Four different Phillies hit home runs off of Chris Volstad who was kind enough to throw 5 innings of batting practice. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown were the recipients of Volstad's charity and Brown added a second homer against Edward Mujica for good measure.

Nationals 8, Cardinals 6.
The Nats welcomed Ryan Zimmerman back to the lineup with a win. Zimmerman doubled for his only hit in 5 at bats. Lance Berkman hit his 17th home run of the season. Remember when I made fun of that signing? Whoops. Albert Pujols is up to 15 homers after his slow start.

Mets 4, Braves 3.
The Mets scored all 4 runs against Jair Jurrjens who saw his ERA balloon from 1.82 to 2.13 for the season. Jose Reyes continued his big cash money year going 3-5 (.346/.389/.525) with 2 stolen bases. On the other hand, Dan Uggla hit his 9th homer and is sitting at a sad .181/.252.333 line. But hey, he's only been as terrible defensively as he was last year.

Other games, but down here...
Yankees 12, Rangers 4.
Blue Jays 6, Orioles 5 (11).
White Sox, Twins PPD.
Royals 7, A's 4.
Cubs 5, Brewers 4 (10).
Pirates 1, Astros 0.
Rockies 6, Padres 3.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 5.
Reds 3, Dodgers 2.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sleep Patterns And Batting Average

Before I outright dismiss this as a complete waste of time (don't worry, that part is coming), let's poke around this little study while I'm between naps. It appears that baseball players are made of actual humans (just like us!) and their natural sleep cycle may have a correlation to performance. Dr. W. Christopher Winter of Sealy Mattress University Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center had 16 players fill out a Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire and compared stats...
Not surprisingly, the morning players did better (as measured by combined batting average) than their night owl counterparts in day games, outbatting them by a margin of .267 to .259, Winter found. The opposite was true for night games – the night owls outbatted the morning types, .306 to .252. For the midday games, the night owls had the edge, with a combined batting average of .261 versus .252 for the morning players.
I'm all for new studies but couldn't this guy have used a better metric than batting average or a bigger sample size? And, I'm just throwing this out there, couldn't the age of the player and the stage of their career come into play here? I guess not since Winter takes his findings a little too seriously...
“Currently, selecting a player for a game situation usually involves factors such as handedness, rest and possibly previous success against a certain team,” he said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Now the time of day in which the game is occurring and a player’s chronotype might be a wise factor to take into account.”
Easy there, turbo. Let's get managers to stop sac bunting in the first inning before we have them analyzing sleep cycles. Obviously, this means nothing to baseball. I doubt Joe Giradi is going to hold Robinson Cano out of a day game because he had to party in New York City with a bunch of insanely hot Latin women the previous night. But I hope Winter wins a nice duvet cover or whatever the top honor is in his field.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Night Liveblog: Jay Bruce Edition

Monday, June 6, 2011

MLB Draft Live Chat

I always say, if there are two things I love, it's drafts and pretending like I know what I'm talking about. Need proof? Come join me for a live chat during the MLB draft at 6:45 EST. Derwood will be here along with our friends from Diamond Hoggers and The Golden Sombrero.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brian Sabean Is An Idiot

Nobody is happy about Scott Cousins' collision at home plate with Buster Posey which, unfortunately, ended the Giants superstar catcher's season. I'm not happy about it, Buster isn't happy about it, Cousins isn't happy about it but Giants GM Brian Sabean is being a jerk about it...
Giants general manager Brian Sabean on Thursday tore into Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins for his devastating hit on Buster Posey, saying the Giants will have a "long memory" of the play and everyone in the organization will be happy if Cousins is through as a major-league player.


The GM's harshest statements in the lengthy interview came when co-host Ralph Barbieri noted that Posey had no desire to hear from Cousins.

"I don't blame the kid," Sabean said of Posey. "Why not be hard-nosed? If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."
Cousins wasn't much of a major leaguer to begin with but he is built like a linebacker and crushed Posey at the plate. The ensuing injury led to varying opinions ranging from it was an intention hit to rules should be changed/enforced to Posey could have had better technique. However you view the incident, the result is the same. It's a crushing blow to the Giants and one of baseball's rising stars.

But Sabean's radio rant bothered me and I'm sure some front office folk will be calling for a public apology. Cousins, by all means, seemed upset about the outcome of the play and tried reaching out to Posey. If Posey didn't/doesn't want to hear an apology, I can't fault him, he did lose his season after all, but I tend to think cooler heads will prevail. Sabean, on the other hand, flat out wished ill on a professional baseball player.

While I realize this was largely an emotional reaction, Sabean is representing a Major League franchise and should have some professional tact. That was, and will continue to be, a legal play in the eyes of Major League Baseball. Blocking the plate and charging the catcher are baseball fixtures that will take years to overcome if a change in philosophy is, and might be, warranted. It's unjust for Sabean to so harshly criticize Cousins for a play baseball taught him his whole career.