Today I’m going to pause long enough from my sniffles, yes, I seem to have picked up another case of the cooties, to give my thoughts on a few of the pertinent issues in the game. I’ll also post a link at the end to a video I made for one of the expert baseball leagues I’m in this season.
Things are so spotty with the health of Lance Berkman (knee) that running 50-yard sprints at 75 percent is newsworthy. He still hopes to be back next week, though I really have no idea if that is a reasonable goal or not.
Want to know how fickle managers are when it comes to the ninth inning? Frank Francisco and Mike Gonzalez have already lost their closers jobs – though both teams have said they will regain them once they are back to throwing the ball as they can. It appears there might also be a changing of the guard in Toronto as well where manager Cito Gaston came out on Tuesday and said that he was no longer going to go with Jason Frasor as the exclusive closer. Gaston has changed his tune after going into the year saying he would pick just one guy, and now he will go with a different option in consecutive games. Certainly it hasn’t helped that Frasor has a loss and two blown saves, but come on now Cito. Don’t give us that B.S. that you don’t want to use the same guy in back-to-back games, just be honest with us and say that Frasor has been awful and Kevin Gregg deserves a shot. No one is stupid enough to buy your explanation.
Conor Jackson is one of the odder leadoff men in the history of baseball from a physical standpoint. He’s obviously only there because the D’backs don’t have a better option, but I gotta say that his stroke basically looks like the mirror image of Joe Mauer. Seriously, it’s that pretty.
Nick Johnson crushed a homer today, way out of New Yankee Stadium. Gotta tell you though, everything that guy does makes me nervous. It’s kinda like the beautiful woman with the evening gown who looks like someone you’d like to take back to the hotel room until you see her walk in her heels which makes her look like a reject from gymnastics class who couldn’t balance on the balance beam. In the batters box the swing looks pretty, but when Johnson is doing anything other than swinging the lumber I just want to close my eyes.
Clayton Kershaw will never reach his potential if he keeps throwing so many pitches. For the record, Kershaw needed 110 pitches to record just 16 outs (5.1 innings) against the D’backs on Tuesday. You just can’t win too many ball games, or be a big game pitcher, if you can never make it out of the sixth inning. The talent is immense, but the lack of control with his pitches is certainly holding him back.
Manny Ramirez crushed a homer 435 feet on Tuesday with one of his effortless swings. Those people who predicted failure from him in 2010 just don’t get it. This guy is one of the top-10 right-handed hitters in the history of the game. Yeah, I said it.
It looks like the Mets will follow through on their plan to bat leadoff man Jose Reyes third in the lineup. Reyes will likely move back into the leadoff spot when Carlos Beltran returns from his knee injury, but that still might be a month or more away given that Beltran still hasn’t been allowed to run yet as the doctors continue to hold him back. Reyes is capable of handling the role, but he might be less inclined top run wild with the middle of the order right behind him.
And finally, for those of you who weren’t aware, I’m in JED WARS this season. What is Jed Wars? It’s an offshoot of Tout Wars, the preeminent fantasy baseball experts league in the country, and is named after Jed Latkin (for more on Jed you can given the movie Fantasyland a view at the link). Back to me, and let’s face it that’s what I’m always all about, you can click on my brief little intro at BaseballGuys Introduction if you want to get some insight into who I am complete with happy faced sweats, gnomes and a Nerd Herd hat from the television show Chuck.
By Ray Flowers