Monday, August 30, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
First, Tavarez put his arm around home plate umpire Ron Kulpa and suggested the two get a beer after the game. Then he flipped his cap to a fan in the stands behind the dugout on his way off the field.You better watch your back, Freddy Garcia.
It looks like a dirty hat shakedown is on.
If I were running a baseball team, here's something I'd seriously consider. You get some really big, fast dude who really knows how to fight. Like a failed linebacker or boxer or something. And you make him your "eradicator." He doesn't really play, but anytime the pitcher hits somebody, he instantly comes charging out of the dugout, and he just beats the living crap out of the pitcher before his teammates have a chance to stop him. Any time the pitcher comes a little too close with something, the eradicator is up on the steps screaming murderous expletives at him. I bet that'd get under your skin!
Then, if every team had an eradicator, those lame bench clearing brawls (which usually consist of a bunch of shirt-grabbing and falling over) could be replaced with a no-holds-barred freestyle fight between the eradicators! It could become a serious part of the game. You'd have to be pretty careful about when you used your eradicator, because he'd only be able to attack once a week at the most (they'd really rack up the suspensions).
This may be Ray Lewis's only chance to be a two sport superstar.
This is very good news for Ichiro's hits record hopes, for two reasons. First and most obviously, he'll get to make up a game that he would have missed due to his concussion suffered Wednesday night, so he'll get a few extra at bats. Second, that the league has rescheduled a rained out game between two teams this far out of contention, at the other team's home park, may indicate that the league is willing to do whatever it takes to give Ichiro every opportunity to get the record. Hopefully the umpires start giving pitchers the squeeze and warning every pitcher that comes an inch off the plate inside against Ichiro.
Tonight at 4:00 against Detroit: Villone vs. Nate Robertson. Robertson shut the M's out for seven innings on May 21 in a 5-0 Tigers win. Ichiro is three for four lifetime against Robertson with three singles.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
A brushback pitch? Brushback!? Ichiro took a fastball to the head, and the best that the "Pride of Spiro, Oklahoma" could muster was chin music? I know the ordinary decorum of the game calls for avoiding the head in retaliation pitches, but Ryan wasn't protecting Willie Bloomquist or Justin Leone here. A lesson needed to be taught yesterday and it wasn't. Just like the entire NHL knew to never, never take a shot at Wayne Gretzky for fear of the consequences, the American League needs to know that if they take out Ichiro, one of their guys is going down, and it will hurt. And not a rookie like Andres Blanco. A veteran like Joe Randa or Ken Harvey needs to be the target. And a brawl might ensue. But it has to happen.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Does this change your Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame vote?
(photo courtesy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, taken by Dan DeLong)
It looks like, barring a miracle, another one of my "In The Big Leagues For As Long As I Was Old Enough To Remember" Players will be gone for good.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Ichiro currently has 843 hits in 3 seasons and 114 games, so he needs 70 hits in the Mariners' next 48 games, an average of 1.46 per game. So far this year, Ichiro is averaging 1.59 hits per game, so he's on pace to do it. Oh, and if he keeps that 1.59 pace, he'll end up with 257 hits, tying Sisler's single-season record. Why aren't the national media talking about this more?
** Warren Moon was in attendance, sitting about twenty-eight rows in front of me (I was in Row 29, he was in Row 1). When he walked past us, the former UW quarterback was greeted with a heartfelt "Huskies suck!," a comment that received an equal mix of moderate chuckling and scornful looks from those fans seated in my vicinity. True to the purple and gold, Moon arrived fashionably late and left fashionably early.
** Gil Meche was dealing that night. When he wasn't blowing his fastball by hitters, his off-speed stuff had them flailing weakly. He gave up only two hits, solo homers to one of the Coreys (this time it was Koskie, not Haim or Feldman) and a pinch-hitting Lew Ford.
** Koskie looked pretty shaky at third base. He made about four plays over the course of the game, and in each one it looked like he was just barely managing to get a glove on the ball, rather than smoothly scooping it up and easily firing the ball to first base. It almost looked like he was having trouble seeing the ball or something. Very Spiezio-like.
** To the girl seated in section 120, row 29, seat 3: My email address is listed to the right.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Monday, August 09, 2004
BTW -- I'm writing this while on hold with the Washington State University Office of Financial Aid. Maybe I'll tidy up the kitchen next.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Oakland Athletics 3, Seattle Mariners 2
SEA 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 - 2 5 1
OAK 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 x - 3 6 1
Seattle Mariners AB R H RBI BB K PO A
Reynolds 2b 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 2
Griffey cf 3 1 1 0 1 0 5 0
Davis 1b 4 0 0 0 0 1 13 0
Coles rf 4 0 1 1 0 2 1 0
Leonard dh 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 0
Briley lf 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
Valle c 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 1
Martinez 3b 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 5
Vizquel ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Langston p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 32 2 5 2 2 6 24 13
E: Vizquel (1).
2B: Griffey (1,off Stewart).
Oakland Athletics AB R H RBI BB K PO A
Phillips lf 4 1 1 0 0 0 3 0
D. Henderson cf 3 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Lansford 3b 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 1
McGwire 1b 3 1 2 3 0 0 3 0
Steinbach c 2 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
Parker dh 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hubbard 2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Javier rf 3 0 1 0 0 2 6 0
Weiss ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Stewart p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nelson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Honeycutt p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eckersley p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 28 3 6 3 1 2 27 5
E: Hubbard (1).
2B: Phillips (1,off Langston).
HR: McGwire (1,3rd inning off Langston 1 on, 1 out).
SF: McGwire (1,off Langston).
HBP: D. Henderson (1,by Langston).
SB: Javier (1,2nd base off Langston/Valle).
Seattle Mariners IP H HR R ER BB K
Langston L(0-1) 8 6 1 3 3 1 2
Oakland Athletics IP H HR R ER BB K
Stewart W(1-0) 5.1 4 0 2 1 2 2
Nelson 1.2 1 0 0 0 0 2
Honeycutt 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 1
Eckersley SV(1) 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Totals 9.0 5 0 2 1 2 6
HBP: Langston (1,D. Henderson).
Umpires: Al Clark, Rick Reed, Mark Johnson, Dale Scott
Time of Game: 2:19 Attendance: 46163
If you think you know the significance of the above game, please leave a comment below. The winner shall receive public praise.
Kreuger could be heard muttering, live, "Uhh, that's gotta be a misprint."
I hope they keep him around for a while.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Friday, August 06, 2004
Lopez's ploy was not exactly in good sportsmanship, but was it against the rules? According to the Official Rules of Major League Baseball, rule 2.00, obstruction is defined as follows:
OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered "in the act of fielding a ball." It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the "act of fielding" the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.The first sentence is the key here: OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. According to the rules, no significance is placed on the obstructing player's intent, but just on his effect on the baserunner's progress.
Since Crawford, in the end, could evidently see Ibanez catch the ball, and since he didn't attempt to score on his own (he took a couple of steps toward home plate, then retreated back to third after seeing Ibanez's throw), I don't believe that he was obstructed by Lopez. What Jose Lopez tried tonight in the bottom of the tenth inning was certainly bush league, but I disagree that he was guilty of obstruction, I don't think he should have been charges with an error on the play (he was), and I don't think the winning run should have been awarded as a result of his actions.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
I was right about the second part.
I was at the game on Saturday. It was a typical Cubs loss--the pitching did it's job, and the defense and offense didn't, and we sputtered to another unnecessary 4-3 defeat. I, and probably everybody else at Wrigley, spent most of the game telling myself that I needed to stop thinking about Nomar--that we really shouldn't need him anyway, with the game's best pitching and one of the most power-packed lineups in the NL. My buddy was checking the MLB headlines on his blackberry every ten minutes, and every time it was, "Anything?" "No, nothing." Not even Cabrera.
The deadline passed, the Cubs lost, and I started thinking about who might make it through wavers--which didn't improve my mood.
I, like so many Cubs fans, was enjoying an oat soda at a neaby bar when the news started to spread. At first, I refused to believe it. Then, as the rumors intensified, I found myself arguing with the incompetant boob flipping though the channels behind the bar (ESPN Classic... VHI... ESPN Classic... Fishing... VHI... ESPN Classic...
When we finally saw it (Cubs acquire SS Nomar Garciaparra--bar explodes into cheers...For SS Alex Gonzalez and prospects--bar explodes again), I felt like I was having one of those dreams you'd have in Junior High, where you're all of a sudden dating the most popular girl in school for no particular reason. It was that kind of happiness. It hasn't gone away. I don't know what else to say about it.
As the details emerged, it kept getting less believable. At first, the rumor was that Angel Guzman was going to the Expos--nobody cared. Too bad for him, but nobody really cared. We've got other guys waiting for Greg Maddux to retire. Then it comes out that it's Beltran and Harris. Beltran and Harris? And they're paying Gonzo? And we get cash??? What the fuck is going on here? But it was all true. I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it.
Now, being a bit more objective, I think both prospects will be good major leaguers. I liked both of them, and I sort of hoped Harris would be the Cubs second baseman next year (They have to save money somewhere, right?). But Beltran is looking more like a solid middle-reliever than the future closer the Cubs hoped he'd be, and Harris has never really excelled at any aspect of the game.
I felt genuinely sad for Gonzo. What a shitty day that must have been for him... I'm sure it doesn't make him feel any better that he (not the notorious Bartman) totally blew it for us last year. Oh well! See you in Cooperstown, Alex! Oh, wait, I'm thinking of the new guy...bye.
Perhaps the most wonderful thing about the trade is that it stands as proof that the ownership is really serious this time. They've got faith in Hendry, and they haven't misplaced that faith.
Go Cubs go.