Apparently I have no sway with anyone. Yesterday I gave my thoughts on who the fans should vote for the final spot for the AL and NL All-Star team’s in The Last Man, but I guess no one ha any faith in my analytical abilities. Of course, there were nearly 69 million votes cast, and I’m willing to bet that at least 7.3 million of those votes came from people who have never read my work which must be the reason my choices weren’t the winner. In case you were wondering, the winners were Shane Victorino, who I had fourth, and Brandon Inge who I had third.
Chad Ocho Cinco made some comments about how he was going to revolutionize the “Twitter” craze from the sidelines this season, that is before the NFL stepped up and squashed that one before it got started. “We already have a rule that prohibits the use of cell phones or other hand held devices in the bench area during games,” spokesman Greg Aiello said. Too bad. I was really looking forward to the pearls of wisdom this buffoon was likely to share from the sidelines. I could just see a string of things like “I shook that guy out of his jock with that move” or “I look pretty when I score.” If only the NFL would have let him go forward with it.
Reports have the Reds heavily interested in adding Garret Atkins to their club. Two things. (1) That wouldn’t be bad news at all for Atkins as Cincinnati is still a great hitter’s park as his current home in Colorado also is. (2) With Joey Votto locked in at first, does that mean that Edwin Encarnacion would be the part of any potential deal, and if not, where would they both play if they were on the Reds? There isn’t a rover in baseball like softball – unless Mr. Selig decided to add it for the good of the game.
Pedro Martinez is one step closer to returning to the big leagues as he apparently is nearing an agreement with the Phillies. Good. Baseball needs Pedro. Let’s just hope he is healthy.
Manny Parra, banished to the minors after posting a 7.52 ERA and a 7.65 BB/9 mark in 13 starts, returned triumphantly on Thursday as he held the Cardinals scoreless for seven innings to lower his ERA to 6.78. Parra struck out seven, allowed only three hits, and most importantly walked only a single batter. I’m not ready to give up on the lefty, but even with today’s performance it’s not like you should be running to the waiver-wire to pick him up. Make the kid earn it.
Joel Pineiro continues to dazzle with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP after a complete game three hitter against the Brewers in which he allowed only one run while needing just 100 pitches. The man has 48 strikeouts in 115.1 innings or the same total as David Aardsma in his 38.1 innings. Still, he is proving to the world that he should have been selected as a starter for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic over Jonathan Sanchez who has 68 Ks but a 2-8 record along with a 5.30 ERA.
Chris Shelton has been recalled to the Mariners. It’s about time isn’t it? I mean he hit .460 in Spring Training and then has blasted Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .319 mark with a .906 OPS through 76 games. I know Mike Sweeney is a great clubhouse guy, but come on, the man is hitting .250 with three home runs and a .678 OPS in 120 at-bats with the Mariners this season (he is on the DL now). That doesn’t seem like that type of performance should have kept Shelton down does it? Oh, in other Mariners news, Ichiro is still hitting .356 with a .388 OBP yet he is on pace for 80 runs, and Russell Branyan is on pace to push 40 home runs, he has 21, though his average has dipped to .287 thanks to a mere .237 average over his last 114 at-bats.
With a home run on Thursday, Mark Teixeira ended a 96 at-bat stretch without a home run. How in the world can a guy who has hit at least 30 home runs in each of the last five seasons go a sixth of the year without hitting one? Even crazier, how can he have gone that long and still be on pace to reach the upper 30′s (he has 21)?
By Ray Flowers
Tags: Brandon Inge, Chad Ochocinco, Chris Shelton, Garrett Atkins, Ichiro Suzuki, Joel Piniero, Joey Votto, Jonathan Sanchez, Manny Parra, Mike Sweeney, Pedro Martinez, Russell Branyan, Shane Victorino