Biggest Surprises at 20 Games

by JohnBowen

With most Major League Baseball teams playing their 20th games tonight, I thought I would take a look at some of the biggest surprises so far in the big leagues.

Pleasant Shockers

C – Josh Thole (NYM):  .362/.464/.447

1B – Bryan LaHair (CHC): .364/.463/.727

2B – Omar Infante (MIA): .314/.327/.745

3B – Chase Headley (SDP): .275/.407/.536

SS – Derek Jeter (NYY): .420/.442/.642 (Obviously an all-time great, but how many of you had him doing this after a rough 2010-2011?).

LF –  Nolan Reimold (BAL): .353/.365/.725

CF – Yoenis Cespedes (OAK): .269/.367/.537

RF – Ryan Sweeney (BOS): .383/.406/.583 (no home runs, but a league-best 10 doubles)

P – Lance Lynn (STL): 4-0, 1.33 ERA, .524 OPS-against


C – Geovany Soto (CHC) : .140/.204/.260

1B – Albert Pujols (LAA): .224/.280/.316 (240 Million)

2B – Robinson Cano (NYY): .267/.337/.413 (Ok, no so bad. But you expect more from Robby)

3B – Aramis Ramirez (MIL): .191/.253/.338

SS – Jimmy Rollins (PHI): .229/.267/.257

LF – Matt Holliday (STL): .205/.250/.286 (With the rest of his team raking)

CF – Marlon Byrd (CHC/BOS): .133/.188/.133 (gee, thanks Theo)

RF – Jose Bautista (TOR): .194/.349/.343 (did the man in white disappear?)

SP – Tim Lincecum (SFG): 1-2, 8.20 ERA, .921 OPS-against

Surprise Teams

AL  Pleasant Surprise- Baltimore Orioles: 12-7, First Place

This isn’t 1997, and they won’t keep it up. But starting play today, the Orioles were tied for first with the Tampa Bay Rays. Led by all-star catcher Matt Wieters (apparently out of the absolutely putrid town of Goose Creek, SC), the new (old)-look O’s feature the third-best ERA in the AL.

AL Disappointment – LA Angels (6-13, Last Place)

After signing the great Albert Pujols, hopes were high for the Angels, but they just haven’t capitalized. And by “they,” I mean “he.” The former Cardinal great has hit just .220 this year, and has fewer home runs than Prince Fielder has stolen bases. At least the Angels have gotten a good performance out of their other free agent pick-up, CJ Wilson, who has 26 strikeouts in 26 innings and just 7 earned runs.

NL Pleasant Surprise – Washington Nationals (14-5, First Place)

A surprise by virtue of their seller-dwelling status for most of their existence, the Nationals bulked up their rotation for this season, acquiring Gio Gonzalez via trade and signing Edwin Jackson as a free agent. That Nats have the league’s best ERA at 2.20. The Nats will be tested, however, as Ryan Zimmerman is hurt and likely heading to the DL. In a surprise announcement, the Nationals have said they are promoting mega-prospect Bryce Harper, hitting just .250 in AAA.

NL Disappointment - Miami Marlins (7-11, Last Place)

This shouldn’t shock us too much, but you naturally expect more for the cash they invested this off-season. After three straight 40-save seasons, Heath Bell has already blown three saves. The offense as a whole is reaching base at a pathetic .290 rate and star youngster Giancarlo Stanton has yet to homer – though he might just be doing Miami fans a favor by sparing them from this monstrosity.

Who’s regressing? Who’s gonna play like this all year?

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224 Responses to “Biggest Surprises at 20 Games”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Thole and Bautista..SLG less than OBP.

  2. Chuck Says:

    So, the Angels counter the Harper call-up by bringing up Mike Trout.

    Angels play a day game today, Trout is in the lineup, leading off and playing LF.

    Nationals play a night game, Harper’s hitting sixth and playing LF.

    Harper and Trout were teammates in the AFL last year.

    Trout made his ML debut last year on July 8th, at 19 years, 11 months.

    Harper’s debut is today, at 19 years 6 months.

    I don’t think Harper will/should be compared to Griffey or ARod or any other player.

    Just Trout.

  3. Brautigan Says:

    Lance Lynn has the build and the pitching style to go deep in games. Let’s see how Matheny handles him the rest of the way. So far, his pitch counts have been 100, 88, 88 and his last start, 110. Let’s see if Lynn starts pitching more frequently than every 6 days.

  4. Brautigan Says:

    Arte Moreno must be ready to spontaneous combust. He bought Pujols with the intention of winning NOW. The Angels aren’t winning anything this year.

  5. Bob Says:

    Actually Chuck, I agree. Just remember, they were in different drafts.

  6. Bob Says:

    Bobby Abreu or Brandon Inge? Who is gobbled up more quickly?

  7. JohnBowen Says:

    Actually, I think Inge. He sucks, obviously, but he can play pretty much anywhere including catcher, so he makes sense as a roll player.

    Abreu is 38, and he can really only DH at this point.

  8. JohnBowen Says:

    I wonder if Miguel Cabrera was sick of Delmon Young being a horrifically bad baseball player and just got him tanked to incite the present situation.

  9. Bob Says:

    I wonder if Detroit waived the wrong player.

  10. JohnBowen Says:

    I would hands-down rather have Inge on my team than Young, and that was assuming Young was a model citizen.

    Since the Tigers don’t appear to care about fielding, maybe they should bring in Abreu.

  11. JohnBowen Says:

    So there I am, clicking on the app for my beloved Brewers game, when I realized that the service I pay 120$ a year for doesn’t actually do Saturday afternoon games.

    Which is lame.

    But, this 2011 NLCS rematch is on FOX, and I can probably watch a few innings before going into work later.


  12. JohnBowen Says:

    Walked the pitcher. Perfect.

  13. JohnBowen Says:

    Error on Gamel over at first…already 3 on the year.

    He was a shit 3B, but I thought it was mostly throwing errors.

  14. JohnBowen Says:

    The reason the Brewers watched the World Series from their couches last season was they consistently gave the Cards 4 outs per inning, and they’re doing the same thing today. Impossibly bad fielding.

  15. Chuck Says:


    Saturday contract with Fox is “exclusive” which means no other game can be showed…anywhere.


    They were.

    I thought he looked pretty good in ST, especially for a guy changing positions.

    Gamel will never be a better offensive player than Fielder, but it won’t take much for him to be bettr defensively, so it’s kinda a wash.

  16. JohnBowen Says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s a wash, but I’d rather pay 400k for .280/.350/.440 and okay defense than 25 million for Fielder’s production.

  17. JohnBowen Says:

    Today’s 3B’s (Freese and Ramirez) homered on identically shitty pitches to the exact same spot of the ballpark…slightly right-center, just over the wall. Wind’s blowing out, ballpark would generally have contained both those hits.

    Bob Gibson’s in the booth, so that’s pretty awesome.

  18. Chuck Says:

    Brewers game on in Phoenix market, too.

    Not’s 11 am here and too much to do on a Saturday morning.

    Will watch the Nats/Dodgers game later, and would have even without Harper…Strasburg v. Billingsley is a good matchup.

  19. JohnBowen Says:

    I think pretty much every game is a rain delay right now, except for this one.

  20. Chuck Says:

    There’s only one other game.

  21. JohnBowen Says:

    So…the Brewers had the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the 6th, had just scored a run on a walk, and Roenicke lets the pitcher Marco Estrada bat…probably because the bullpen was depleted after yesterday’s debacle.

    Bottom of the inning, and Estrada is getting shelled.

    Tim McCarver: no one in the game plays CF better than Carlos Gomez.

    Quite an endorsement.

  22. JohnBowen Says:

    Bryce Harper had hit first hit tonight, a double straight-away CF.

    I thought it was kinda weird that he physically threw off his helmet on his way to second…maybe it doesn’t fit right?

    Anyway, the funniest part is that, as he took his swing, the Dodger fans behind home plate mooned the camera. Awesome.

  23. JohnBowen Says:

    It’s like Matt Kemp isn’t even playing the same sport as everyone else.

  24. Chuck Says:

    Enjoy it while it lasts, John.

  25. Cameron Says:

    Looks like I found a pretty good chance at a job at a local gas station. Fingers crossed.

    Also, Ohio’s a pretty good state to be broke in. Sales tax is a percent lower than Missouri and food isn’t taxed at all.

  26. Chuck Says:

    Good luck Cam.

  27. Cameron Says:

    Also, baseball’s highlighted the downturn my life took in a pretty odd way. I moved from the home of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game… To the home of the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game. Sums my feelings up pretty nicely.

  28. Chuck Says:

    I’m going to try and see if I can get to KC for the Futures Game. Never been there and looking forward to finally crossing Kaufman Stadium off my bucket list.

  29. Cameron Says:

    Kauffman is a beautiful stadium. Not too shabby on the inside either. I’vre visited about ever part of it when I worked production. Grounds crew are dicks.

  30. John Says:

    You’ll love Kauffman, Chuck – beautiful place, I can’t believe they used ugly-ass astro-turf for 25 years.

  31. Cameron Says:

    We won the series on that turf. It’s history to us. My buddy Scott has a cube foot of it in plexiglass from when they finally tore it out. Pretty awesome souvenier.

  32. Chuck Says:

    If I can’t get credentialed I’m not going..pretty expensive weekend, need to cut costs wherever I can.

    I’ll fly up Saturday and home after the game on Sunday.

  33. Cameron Says:

    I’m pretty sure I can give you tips on how to go cheap in KC everywhere except the tickets to the game. You’re on your own there.

  34. Chuck Says:

    No-hitter alert…Gavin Floyd thru six against Boston.

  35. Bob Says:

    Pedroia breaks it up.

  36. Bob Says:

    Matt Barnes gave up his first earned run of the YEAR.

  37. Bob Says:

    The A’s signed Inge.

  38. Bob Says:

    Matt Barnes got promoted to High-A

  39. JohnBowen Says:

    In the spirit of microsplits, Bryce Harper is hitting .333.


  40. Raul Says:

    The 1st month of the season is just about over.

    Using 50 Plate Appearances as a minimum, there are 8 qualifying Designated Hitters (understandable, as some teams rotate players in that position).

    Sorting by OPS:
    1. David Ortiz (1.099)
    2. Edwin Encarnacion (1.005)
    3. Billy Butler (.943)
    4. Travis Hafner (.909)
    5. Michael Young (.795)
    6. Kendrys Morales (.688)
    7. Seth Smith (.677)
    8. Jesus Montero (.670)

  41. Chuck Says:

    Did I tell you guys my spring training Tim McClelland story?

  42. Bob Says:

    @41. No

  43. Chuck Says:

    I had a chance encounter with umpire Tim McClelland while working the VIP gate. He came over with a friend who he had left tickets for and they weren’t at the pass gate, so we had to call over and have them delivered.

    McClelland was the plate umpire during the George Brett pine tar game and was the guy who measured the bat against the plate and eventually ejected Brett.

    I asked him if there was a PG version to what Brett said, and he said no.

    He said the part they thought was the best was Gaylord Perry, who hated Billy Martin from their Texas days, getting the bat and going to the Royals clubhouse and calling the Yankee dugout and asking for Martin.

    Don Zimmer answered the phone and said Martin “was a little busy”, Perry told him to tell Martin he had the bat, good luck winning his appeal without the evidence.

    Zimmer went on the field and told Martin, who then went postal and actually had to be restrained from going into the Royals dugout and up the runway to the clubhouse.

  44. Bob Says:

    LOl. Martin mat have been the most colorful/insane dude the sport has ever known.

  45. Bob Says:

    Sorry. Martin MAY have been the most colorful/insane dude the sport has ever known.

  46. Brautigan Says:

    ….until you meet Jimmy Piersal. Then all bets are off.

  47. Bob Says:


  48. Raul Says:

    The Rays signed Hideki Matsui. Why? I don’t know. They already have Matt Joyce.

    Born today: Jeff Reboulet (great name) and Phil Garner.
    Also: Willie Nelson, Isiah Thomas and Burt Young (Paulie from Rocky)

  49. Cameron Says:

    Jimmy Piersall sounds like a lot of folks I know. The crazy man’s hero.

  50. Chuck Says:

    Piersall went to high school with my father

  51. Cameron Says:

    Just came back from Family Dollar to do follow-up on an application I left and they need help to. There’s an open house on Wednesday. Two openings in the same week. Hot damn, my luck is turning around.

  52. Chuck Says:

    Good luck Cam…but get the job first before you celebrate.

  53. Cameron Says:

    I know better than to get my hopes up, but I haven’t had this kinda luck in my hometown, which was five times the size of where I live now. I feel a little happy.

  54. Brautigan Says:

    Kemp hit his 12th today.

  55. John Says:

    That dude is ridiculous.

  56. John Says:

    Texas @ Toronto is on ESPN if anyone’s interested…Darvish is through 7, 1 earned.

    Kyle Drabek also pitched pretty well.

  57. John Says:

    Yu Darvish was named a bust by someone on this site (ok, it was Raul) after giving up 4 earned runs in his first start.

    In 30ish innings since then, he has given up a total of 4 runs.

  58. Chuck Says:

  59. John Says:

    2 home runs on the night for Ryan Braun.

    On pace for 42, or 10 more than last year.

  60. John Says:

    After hitting his third HR of the night, Brauny hit a 410ish foot triple.

    He must be slipping.

  61. Raul Says:

    It’s staggering what players did in the steroid era.

    Matt Kemp hit his 12th homer and he’s on a tear.

    By comparison, in 1998 Sammy Sosa hit 20 in June.

    I was in HS in ‘98 and only vaguely remember Sosa having an insane month. But that’s because when you’re young, working out and playing sports, there’s only so much time you spend indoors watching tv. That summer I played football and two-a-days pretty much eliminated all of my baseball watching in August/September. I really had no idea how great the Yankees were doing.

  62. Raul Says:

    I didn’t say Darvish is a bust.
    I said Darvish (like Matsuzaka before him) spends too much goddamn time with breaking ball shit when he can rear back and throw 95 mph fastballs.

    And I still stand by it. Darvish pitched great against the Yankees, but if that curveball wasn’t going for strikes (and it was), the Yankees load the bases on him all day.

    Still, the Matsuzaka deal was a bust. And the Sox won a WS with him.
    This Texas deal will likely be a bust, because 100 million dollar investments usually are — especially with pitchers.

    Dice K’s 1st 5 starts in MLB:
    33 IP
    30 Hits
    16 ER
    10 BB
    38 K

    Yu Darvish 1st 5 starts in MLB:
    33 IP
    30 Hits
    8 ER
    17 BB
    33 K

    Let’s no go sucking Yu Darvish’s dick just yet.

  63. Jim Says:

    We’ll let you go first Raul :)

  64. Raul Says:

    Well played, Jim.

    But you know what’s on my mind right now? It’s not that subtle joke, it’s the dead…you know, I’ll just stop right there.

  65. Raul Says:

    Amare Stoudamire just pulled a Kevin Brown.

    And like Kevin Brown and the Yankees in 2004, Amare Stoudamire and the Knicks won’t be advancing in the playoffs either.

  66. Raul Says:

    I thought Carl Crawford’s performance last year was the worst start for a guy with a contract that large, but this is getting crazy with Pujols.

    A month in the season and his OPS is (.570), 19th in MLB — behind Justin Smoak, and 100 points below Yonder Alonso.

  67. Chuck Says:

    “Still, the Matsuzaka deal was a bust. And the Sox won a WS with him.”

    Well said.


  68. Chuck Says:

    I wonder who it was wearing Ryan Braun’s uniform in spring training?

  69. Chuck Says:

    When I saw the “Amare came out of the shower with a towel wrapped around his hand”,
    I thought he had finally taken out ‘Melo.

  70. Raul Says:

    Nice job by Ryan Braun last night.
    3 HR is impressive no matter what.

    But it’s worth noting he hit them off a bunch of Spring Training pitchers.

  71. Cameron Says:

    @65 Dude, Miami was gonna kick your ass with or without Amar’e.

  72. Bob Says:

    While it is “premature” to speculate, Evan Longoria could be out for a while. Could be a huge blow to the Rays.

  73. Raul Says:

    After Miami invested truckloads of money into the team, the Marlins are 8-14 and in last place in the NL East.

    1 month in,

    Jose Reyes is batting .220
    Hanley Ramirez is batting .207
    Giancarlo Stanton has just 1 HR (he should go back to Mike)
    Gaby Sanchez is batting .205
    Josh Johnson has a 5.34 ERA
    And closer Heath Bell is 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA and 3 Blown Saves (he had 5 all last year)

  74. Cameron Says:

    Overpriced, disappointing, and the guy in charge of the operation is probably coked out of his skull?

    …Yeah, sounds like Miami to me.

  75. Raul Says:

    I like Ozzie.

  76. Cameron Says:

    I love Ozzie, but c’mon, would you be that surprised if the press caught him face-down in a Tony Montana mountain of powder?

  77. Brautigan Says:

    Cameron, I think you’ve mistaken Ozzie for Ron Washington.

  78. Raul Says:

    I would be. Maybe I’m naive.

    Ozzie doesn’t seem like the drug type. Ozzie is like your local neighborhood mechanic who’s got a good heart but it’s a little out of touch with modern times and modern political correctness.

    You know, the body shop owner who makes circumcision jokes to his jewish secretary who’s been working for him for 17 years.

  79. Raul Says:

    So Bryce Harper took a few swings at a softball game near the Washington Monument yesterday.

    Honestly, I think that’s pretty cool. Though he should have taken those kids out for dinner or something. He can afford it.

    He wasn’t running the bases or anything that would get him injured, although I’m sure some people will use that possibility as an excuse to blast the kid.

    I’m not the biggest Harper fan, but again, I thought it was cool.

  80. Raul Says:

    I have to say, it’s really disappointing when I come back after an hour or a few hours and see the same comment.

    This site is dead.

  81. Bob Says:

    There was some uncertainity in boston today, so I was hesitant to write anything that was wrong. But at the very least:

    Iglesias is on the big league team, while Tazawa has been sent down.

  82. John Says:

    Did any baseball happen in those intervening hours?

    I mean, I love chatting about the game, but Harper playing softball on the mall is only vaguely related to the game.

    It would be silly to bestow a crown on Darvish after five starts. The league will start figuring him out a bit. But he has looked phenomenal both times I saw him pitch.

    Also, Darvish is an international sensation….when evaluating what the Rangers spent on him, you have to remember that they’re trying to tap into another market.

  83. Raul Says:

    I’m pretty sure Iglesias has the batting prowess of a gerbil.

  84. Bob Says:

    He is not up there to replace 1999 Nomar.

  85. Raul Says:

    Fair point @ John.

    Though it takes a lot of asians to make up 50 million dollars’ worth of Darvish jerseys and baseball caps.

  86. Raul Says:

    Understood, Bob.

    But maybe they can get 1999 Nomar to play 1B.
    Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t given all that money to slug .400.

    And while I’m at it, Mark Teixeira is proving to be a major bust, given the money the Yankees gave HIM. I don’t know if he’s suddenly forgotten how to spray the ball across the field, or if the Yankees have ruined him, but he’s sucking some major ass lately.

  87. Chuck Says:

    The 1999 Nomar was created by syringes.

    Speaking of,Tim Beckham just got himself a fifty game vacation.

  88. Bob Says:

    Along thos lines, Pettitte took the stand in the Clemens trial.

  89. Chuck Says:

    Good news on the Longoria front..the injury is not to his knee.

    He’ll still be out around six weeks with a torn hamstring, but at least it’s not an ACL.

  90. Chuck Says:

    made a little adjustment to the new site…tell me what you think.

  91. Brautigan Says:

    The site looks good Chuck.

    So what is the “scouting report” going to be? Scout evaluations? (that would be simply devine……..and unique).

  92. John Says:

    That hurts w.r.t Longoria and the Rays, but I think they can stay afloat for 6-weeks without him. Not unreasonable for them to play .500 ball or even a bit better and still be in good shape when he returns.

  93. John Says:

    @86, the Red Sox the AL in scoring at the moment. Offense has not been their issue.

    Turns out you can’t just seemlessly convert 3 relievers into starters. Who woulda thunk it.

  94. Chuck Says:

    #91…that’s the plan..have any ideas?

  95. Mike Felber Says:

    Very nicely done Chuck. Now you can drive traffic there. Time to raid the coffers of others fan sites!

  96. Chuck Says:

    Thanks for the offer, Mike!

  97. Bob Says:

    The Red Sox sent Lars Anderson back to Pawtucket.

  98. Cameron Says:

    And in much more breaking news, I finally got a job. Load-in to help build a Family Dollar in Warren and then I’m gonna be working inside when it’s built. Go me.

  99. Bob Says:

    Cam, congrats.

  100. Cameron Says:

    Thanks. Admittedly, it’s been a couple of years since I unloaded trucks. Need to get back in shape.

  101. Chuck Says:

    “The Red Sox sent Lars Anderson back to Pawtucket.”

    I didn’t even know they called him up.

    Did he get to unpack?

  102. Chuck Says:

    Right on, Cam.

  103. Bob Says:

    @ 101. I hope so.

  104. Jim Says:

    Lars was up just long enough to strike out a couple of times and become figure in another curious Bobby V move.

    Buzzing in Boston as why bring Inglesias up and not Middlebrooks. My thought is that the Sox believe that Julio will never hit and that their minor league scouts feel that Middlebrooks has holes in his swing that will be exploited in the majors and needs close those holes before coming up.

  105. Bob Says:

    The Sox just promoted Aaron Cook. Middlebrooks had a minor thumb injury 2 days ago.

  106. Bob Says:

    Actually, hearing heavy rumors that Middlebrroks could be on the varsity today.

  107. Jim Says:

    Are we in for a Wally Pipp moment?

    Youk? Who’s Youk?

  108. Chuck Says:

    Iglesias is the positional replacement for Youkilis, if they need to DL him then Middlebrooks will come up, if not, then Aviles will play third for a few days.

  109. Brautigan Says:

    @94. I usually show up early (before games) and always run into scouts. Those guys love to chat. And they are well known to tell great tales, including dishing dirt. They also will tell you what they think of player X, often without edit.

    That’s the kind of inside stuff I was thinking of.

  110. Cameron Says:

    Mikey’s used to third more than Iglesias, why bring him up at all?

  111. Chuck Says:

    The problem with the internet Braud (among several thousand, at least), is the people who think the local beat reporter is one step below Christ won’t accept “anonymous scout said…” stories.

    And you know me, I won’t name names, so, rock and hard place.

    But, yeah, if I can get some juicy stuff, I’ll share it.

  112. Chuck Says:

    #110..who’s going to play short?

  113. Cameron Says:

    If you need to play them both, have Mikey at third and Jose at short. Mikey isn’t a bad shortstop, but Iglesias has the better glove.

  114. Chuck Says:

    In case you’ve forgotten, Aviles IS a third baseman. He’s OOP at either short or second, although he’s pretty decent at both.

  115. Cameron Says:

    Games At Short – 174
    Games At Second – 142
    Games At Third – 60

    But what do I know about one of my favorite players in the league?

  116. Cameron Says:

    Good news for Knicks fans, Tyson Chandler won Defensive Player of the Year.

    Personally, I thought it should’ve been Serge Ibaka, but hey.

  117. Bob Says:

    Shit news for Saints fans. Their team is going to suck.

  118. Cameron Says:

    They lost Vilma and Smith, they may be two of the best guys on that defense, but that defense still fucking sucks either way. They’ll compete. There’s too much talent not to.

    In more depressing football news, Junior Seau was found dead at his home today. Apparent suicide. He was 43.

  119. Bob Says:

    Holy shit

  120. Bob Says:

    In less important news, the Sox signed Mark Prior.

  121. Chuck Says:

    He’ll be in the Sox rotation in a week.

    Didn’t Seau attempt suicide a couple of times before? I remember him driving his car off a cliff, and I think the other one was into a tree or stone wall or something.

  122. Bob Says:

    At least once. The car off the cliff. Not sure about any other attempts

  123. Cameron Says:

    He didn’t fuck around this time. Gunshot to the heart.

  124. Bob Says:

    Saving the brain. Just like Dave Duerson

  125. Brautigan Says:

    Jeff Suppan.

    Seriously? Jeff Suppan?

  126. Chuck Says:

    Before spring training started, Suppan was deciding on whether to re-sign with Milwaukee or take the Padres offer.

    There was a running joke in the press box that someone would watch Doug Melvin in the GM box, and when he got up to take a leak they would text Suppan and tall him the Brewers pulled the offer. It was pretty funny.

  127. John Says:

    Mat Gamel out for the year. That sucks. I’m thinking Hart to first, Aoki in right? Maybe?

  128. Chuck Says:

    How the hell is Gamel out for the year, what he do, trip over a brat?

    Kottaras can play first, they can bring up Mike Rivera, what happened to Travis Ishikawa..they release him?

  129. JohnBowen Says:

    Ishikawa is still there. I’m trying to think of the best way around this situation.

  130. JohnBowen Says:

    I mean, it’s not like anyone thought Aoki was going to be Ichiro when the Brewers bid on him. I think they committed like 3 million bucks total to him.

    But he was a 3-time batting champ. That’s gotta count for *something* … I mean, it’s Japan, but we’re talking about an emergency substitution (which was the whole reason we got him in the first place, with Braun).

  131. JohnBowen Says:

    You’ll love this, Chuck.

  132. Chuck Says:

    Aoki is the Japanese Tony Plush.

    He won’t catch anything more than six feet off the ground.

    They were talking about that on the DBacks pre-game show on the radio today, listening on the way home from work.

    As mentally incompetent as Hinch was, he made the right move.

    Might have been the only thing he did right in a year and a half.

  133. JohnBowen Says:

    The only thing is, Edwin Jackson was gonna be Ozzie Guillen’s problem in like 3 weeks’ time.

    So, it’s not like there was anything to save him for, and the Dbacks were out of it.

    Hell, Ken Williams probably overpaid based on that game…remember, that trade made Daniel Hudson a Diamondback.

  134. Chuck Says:

    Red Sox officially called up Will Middlebrooks..which means we won’t see Bob for a couple of weeks, or until his boner goes down, whichever comes first.

    Does Viagra really cost $15 per pill?!

    If you’re standing in front of a naked hottie and you need to spend $15 to take care of business, I’m thinking cyanide is a better investment.

    Holy shit

  135. JohnBowen Says:

    “Does Viagra really cost $15 per pill?!”

    Lol, what compelled you to wonder that, old man?

    Nah, I’m kidding. I don’t think Viagra is concerned about men who have a shot with “hotties,” but rather the 70 year old women that they married 40 years ago. Just a hunch.

  136. JohnBowen Says:

    So, Roy Halladay just had maybe the worst start of his career, surrendering 8 runs on 12 hits in 5.1 IP.

    The Phillies rallied back and got him off the hook. 13-13 now.

  137. JohnBowen Says:

    So, I wanna watch this game (Braves have 2 aboard with 1 out in the bottom of the ninth).

    But, naturally, I’m in the Atlanta Braves “viewing area,” so it’s blacked out.

    I live 300 miles from Atlanta.

  138. Chuck Says:

    Radio informercial, dude.

    Retirement communities or illegal immigrants.

    Dbacks have to market to their target audience.

    They’re selling either Viagra or Tacos.

  139. JohnBowen Says:

    Hahahahaha, fair enough.

  140. JohnBowen Says:

    Yikes, rough ending for the Dbacks.

    Ian Desmond?

  141. Chuck Says:

    What do you expect, he hit it off a putz.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Chipper bleepin’ Jones.

  143. JohnBowen Says:

    That’s awesome.

  144. JohnBowen Says:

    Edwin Encarnacion is now leading the AL in home runs.

    It’s too bad the archives got erased, cuz I actually predicted this.

    Just kidding.

  145. JohnBowen Says:

    Pujols up now…let’s see what’s wrong with him…

  146. Cameron Says:

    E5 Encarnacion managed to not suck?

  147. JohnBowen Says:

    Can’t make an error at DH !

  148. Chuck Says:

    If you get a chance, watch the video of Desmond’s walkoff yesterday, and keep an eye on Harper.

  149. Chuck Says:

    For you East Coasters who couldn’t stay up for the 2 am SportsCenter, Jered Weaver no-hit the Twins last night.

  150. Chuck Says:

  151. Bob Says:

    Congrats to Jered Weaver.I remember when his brother Jeff was awesome for the Tigers.

  152. Bob Says:

    Two hits and a stolen base for Middlebrooks. That box score was more appealing than my collection of centerfold posters. $15 bucks a pill? Heading to CVS. See you in two weeks.

  153. Chuck Says:

    LOL @ Bob.

    How many worms did you drown over the weekend?

  154. Bob Says:

    2 dozen.

  155. Chuck Says:

    What was your “fishing” average.

  156. Bob Says:

    Have yet to catch anything in the Farmington River. However, Peoples State Forest is close to Lake McDonough ( both in New Hartford) where anyone can land a perch or two, which is what I did. 2 small perch Rivers are always more difficult. But trout and salmon are my favorite fish, with flounder as #3

  157. Brautigan Says:

    I do love to put on the ratty old sneakers and hike up a river fishing for trout. Great breakfast food when you’re camping.

    Say what you want about Harper, but there hasn’t been a player with his caliber in some time. Washington ought to just give him the RF position and let him settle into playing everyday there. I’m not sure I like his swinging mechanics, but he does put a charge into the ball.

  158. Brautigan Says:

    Washington starting pitchers line:

    IP: 138 2/3
    H: 106
    HRA: 5
    BB: 35
    K’s: 138
    ERA: 2.21

    Outstanding early on.

  159. Bob Says:

    Wonder if they trade/find any takers for John Lannan

  160. Chuck Says:

    I thought they did find a place for Lannan?


  161. Bob Says:

    I wondered about a trade, not a place in the minors. Although I guess that means you think not.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Lannan’s insurance for Detwiler.

  163. Brautigan Says:

    San Diego could offer Jeff Suppan for Lannan.

    Suppan for Lannan. There is some symmetry to it…

  164. Brautigan Says:

    In addition to Lannan, Washington has Zach Duke. Insurance in the event you want to add kerosene to the fire.

  165. Jim Says:

    Be honest Bob, you weren’t fishing for perch, but for bottle bass. How many of those did you snare?

  166. Brautigan Says:

    Mariano Rivera carted off the field before the game.

  167. JohnBowen Says:


    Bryce Harper came up with another big hit.

  168. JohnBowen Says:

    The Royals are 4th in the AL in batting average and tied for last in walks.
    The Indians are 11th in the AL in batting average, and easily first in walks.

    Guess which team has scored more runs so far?

  169. Chuck Says:

    They have 41 more walks and have 12 more runs.


  170. Bob Says:

    Jim, when I fished Lake St. Claire used to drink. But when I go fishing now, I start with a Dunkin Donuts, and then just water. Afterwards, yes I usually have rum in my cabinet and coke in my fridge, or a six-pack.

  171. Cameron Says:

    @168 The We Get It Alreadys?

  172. Jim Says:

    Tough luck on Mo and too bad. It would have been nice to see him a last time.

    Bob, water is better for you, particularly when you’re out in the sun. But it is nice to savor a cold one later.

  173. Raul Says:

    Cool that Weaver got the No Hitter.
    Sucks about Rivera.
    Harper is holding his own thus far so that’s good.
    NY Rangers are a tough team. Great win against the Caps in 3 OT the other night.

  174. Bob Says:

    That is too bad for Mo.

  175. Bob Says:

    Jackie Bradley Jr. is off to a great start in High-A.

  176. Cameron Says:

    @173 Isn’t the main reason the Rangers are so good is that it’s near-impossible to score on Lundqvist?

  177. Raul Says:

    Lundy is great but the Rangers play aggressive and sacrifice their bodies to block shots. Lots of ice packs in the clubhouse after their games.

  178. Bob Says:

    Magic Johson and his bank account are paying off. Bobby Abreu signs with the Dodgers.

  179. Cameron Says:

    And yet he still won’t be able to beat Juan Rivera for an everyday job.

  180. John Says:

    @169, the Royals have played more games and they have 25 more hits.

    Shockingly* they have fewer runs.

    Not shocking.*

  181. Chuck Says:

    In the immortal words of Keith Law;

    “small sample size”

  182. Brautigan Says:

    Ok, John, explain the Orioles. 52 less walks than the Indians, and they have scored 3 more runs (albeit, in two more games).

    The Red Sox have 43 less walks than the Indians and 27 more runs.

    See, not everything fits in your photograph.

  183. John Says:

    Two words, Braut.

    Isolated Power.

  184. Chuck Says:

    The “Fan Elo-Rater” on Baseball Reference has Mariano Rivera as the 182nd best PITCHER of all time, between Tom Candiotti and Brad Radke.

    Brian Kenny on MLBNetwork last night called Rivera the best pitcher in ML history.

    They’re both wrong..with the Elo-Rater being closer to being right.

  185. Chuck Says:

    It was hilarious listening to Harold Reynolds yelling at Kenny who was gushing all over the place about Bryce Harper, talking about walk rates and such.

    “He’s played five games, small sample size, he’s not a Hall of Famer yet!”

    “But it’s a proven fact walk rate is the best statistic for predicting major league success.”


  186. Cameron Says:

    When Harold Reynolds is the sane man in a conversation, you know you’ve stumbled onto some weapons-grade bullshit.

  187. Bob Says:

    Mo 1219.2 innings pitched.

    Steve Carlton 5217.2 IP.

    Tom Seaver 4783.0 IP

    Sandy Koufax, of the short career Sandy Koufax: 2324.1 IP.
    All of these guys are modern-day, pre-Ped era pitchers.

    And yet a host on the MLB network has the gall/lack of intellect to spew that about Mariano?

  188. Cameron Says:

    I will admit, for a guy who pitches one inning a game, he’s pitched a lot of one-innings.

  189. Bob Says:

    In 1995 he started 10 games.

  190. Brautigan Says:

    “Two words.

    Isolated Power.”

    What has that to do with “out avoidance”? You didn’t mention anything about isolated slugging, you just discussed “walks”.

  191. Brautigan Says:

    Bob Gibson: “I’d love to pitch today, because you hear a lot of these guys talk about getting deep into the count. I think I would eat ‘em alive”.

    Reggie Jackson: “Because it’s going to be oh-and-two”.


  192. JohnBowen Says:

    If Bob Gibson pitched today, he’d find himself with a lot less batters who hacked on the first pitch…sure, he’d still be awesome, but it’s a lot easier to crank out a complete game when 15 batters make outs on 2 pitches or less.

  193. Brautigan Says:

    June and July of 1968, Bob Gibson had 12 starts. In those 12 starts, he allowed 12 runs. He won 12 games. He allowed one homerun.

    I truly believe if 32 year old vintage Bob Gibson were pitching today, he would be the most dominating pitcher in baseball. And if he were joined by vintage Juan Marichal, he would be second best pitcher in baseball.

  194. Cameron Says:

    Marichal, pitcher with the worst timing ever. All his good seasons, someone just happened to be better.

  195. JohnBowen Says:

    @190, whenever you do any kind of study, you have to do something to isolate, or mitigate other variables.

    If I did a study on how alcohol affects reading comprehension, and tested a sober person and a drunk person for the study, I couldn’t administer two completely different tests.

    So sure, the Rangers have walked a lot less than the Indians and have scored more runs. But, (1) they have a higher OBP, due to the team hitting a crazy-good .288 and (2), their isolated power, as a team, is .182. Better OBP + Way Better SLG = More Runs.

    KC actually has a better isolated slugging than CLE by about 25 points…but that works in my favor.

    Because, despite 4 more singles, 17 more doubles, and 2 more triples (both teams have 21 HR), and putting the ball in play over 60 more times, the Royals are averaging 0.8 runs a game less than the Indians.

    Since every other factor is working against them, how could they possibly be scoring more prolifically?

    By reaching base about 40 more times, that’s how.

  196. JohnBowen Says:

    “I truly believe if 32 year old vintage Bob Gibson were pitching today, he would be the most dominating pitcher in baseball. And if he were joined by vintage Juan Marichal, he would be second best pitcher in baseball.”

    I completely agree, for the record.

  197. Brautigan Says:

    I forgot to mention that of those 12 June and July (1968) games, Gibson had 8 shutouts and 12 complete games. That’s right, 12 for 12. Shades of 1904 (Jack Taylor).

    In 1968, Gibson had 5 games where he pitched on 3 days rest and his ERA was 0.41. You read that right.

    Well, John, if we’re in agreement, what would have Justin Verlander done in 1968?

    Also, I wanted to ask you your opinion on Alberto Callaspo’s 2011 season. Not only offense, but also his defense. I’m just curious if we’re in agreement…….

  198. Chuck Says:

    “1) they have a higher OBP, due to the team hitting a crazy-good .288 and (2), their isolated power, as a team, is .182. Better OBP + Way Better SLG = More Runs.”


    Hits are better than walks.

  199. Chuck Says:

    Article coming out maybe tonight about the Yankees best option to replace Rivera.

    If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you should know right away.

  200. JohnBowen Says:

    “Hits are better than walks.”

    Yes, they are.

    But a team with 50 more walks will crush a team with 30 more hits.

  201. JohnBowen Says:

    “Well, John, if we’re in agreement, what would have Justin Verlander done in 1968?”

    No way to know for sure, but, according to baseball reference’s neutralized conversions:

    20-8, 1.84 ERA, 0.803 WHIP, and 253 K’s to 50 walks if he were pitching for the Cardinals in 1968.

    “Also, I wanted to ask you your opinion on Alberto Callaspo’s 2011 season.”


  202. Chuck Says:


  203. JohnBowen Says:

    It would be one thing if this didn’t happen like, almost every year.


  204. Brautigan Says:

    No, I am serious. It is not a trick question. I’m just curious is all. It’s not like the guy is Nick Punto or Willie Bloomquist.

  205. JohnBowen Says:

    I thought he played pretty well? Above-average? Didn’t see him play enough to really comment on his defense, but it looks like he graded out pretty well.

    Why Alberto Callapso, out of curiosity?

  206. Bob Says:

    ” What would Justin Verlander have done in 1968.

    Be the Tigers #2 behind McLain and ahead of Lolich.

  207. Chuck Says:

    LOL Bob.

  208. Bob Says:



  209. Chuck Says:

    White Sox have a new closer.

    Chris Sale.

  210. Cameron Says:

    Good move. The less inning that TJ waiting to happen pitches, the better.

  211. Brautigan Says:

    Because Alberto Callaspo always brings a back and forth between me and my stratomatic buddies. Some undervalue him, others overvalue, and no one can agree what his value is. So I guess in some ways, it was a trick question. But he is SO in the middle……..

  212. Bob Says:

    Matt Barnes makes his high-A debut.

  213. John Says:

    Ah ok. I would say Callapso is a top-10 3B in the game. Not a big deal, but probably better than some people would expect.

  214. Brautigan Says:

    I’m not sure he is a top 10, but his 2011 season was certainly better than what most people would have imagined. Funny, we are in agreement yet again.

  215. Jim Says:

    For all the pink hats who wanted Aaron Cook up and in the rotation, this is why he needed to sign a minor league deal.

    IP 2.2 H 8 R 7 ER 6

  216. Bob Says:

    Thankfully, I never typed a word about his opt-out.

  217. Jim Says:

    Dodged a bullet huh :)

  218. Jim Says:

    AGon looks putrid.

  219. Bob Says:

    Possibly. I was wondering about a trade for Cook. But what is he worth??? Been wraping mt brain around a possible Tampa trade for a 3rd baseman, but I cannot pull the trigger on an article.
    If I honestly knew the status of Longoria, ( out for 6-8 weeks back at 3rd, out 6-8 weeks but insert him at dh, out for a log while) I might be more decisive on a couple of ideas.

  220. Bob Says:

    @ 218. Yes he does.

  221. Jim Says:

    @219 Can’t trade him till mid June. What you would get back one of the following options: a bad contract, another washed up player or a minor leaguer who has a AAAA upside.

  222. Bob Says:

    Precisely, although with his permission ( slip him a couple bucks) they would have found a taker or two, but the return would have been paltry.

  223. Cameron Says:

    “or a minor leaguer who has a AAAA upside.”

    Dan Johnson?

  224. Chuck Says:

    For those who follow him, (especially the ex-New Yorker, Raul), Mike Silva is shutting down NYBD effective tomorrow.

    He’s signed a contract to merge with a larger media group that will give him some exposure and the chance to “monetize” his brand. I know the radio show will continue, not sure if he’ll be writing for them, though.

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