Today I’ll touch on a couple of baseball injuries in the Lone Star state, and then delve into two NFL stories that really got my ire over the weekend. Oh yeah, the one bright spot will be a certain right-handed pitcher who you wouldn’t think would be an ace, but in fact he’s almost pitched like one in the early going.
Brandon McCarthy is DL bound yet again, this time due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder (a very similar injury to the one that sidelined him two years ago). Doug Mathis figures to take his roster spot. McCarthy, one of the more dominating starters in the minors in recent times, has just never been able to stay healthy, and even when he has, his performance has merely been average. Through 81 minor league appearance he owns a 3.35 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 10.1 K/9 and a superb 5.69 K/BB mark. Alas, those numbers did not translate to the bigs as he has posted a 4.61 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 6.10 K/9 and 1.74 K/BB rate. Think about that – McCarthy’s strikeout to walk ratio is literally less than one third of what is was in the minor leagues thanks to the fact that he has lost four Ks per nine innings off his dominating minor league number. Oh well. Guess that’s what happens when you share a pitching staff with Kris Benson – guilt by association or something?
Josh Hamilton will undergo surgery for his strained abdomen and miss something like 4-6 weeks. “Given what it could have been, I think it’s probably better than what some of the alternatives are,” general manager Jon Daniels said. Hamilton had no shot to duplicate his numbers from last season (.304-32-130) in my mind, but that doesn’t mean I expected him to be this awful (.240-6-24 in 125 at-bats). As you might guess, this leaves the Rangers in a bit of a pickle on offense, even with the depth they have as they can hardly hope that Andruw Jones suddenly reverts to 2006 form when he hit .262 with 41 home runs and 129 RBI. Still, Jones has had a nice comeback season batting .272/.400/.533 a year after he hit about .100 points below his weight at .158, and he figures to see a few more at-bats along with David Murphy.
Don’t look and just answer me this question – who leads the NL in victories? If you said Johan Santana you would be wrong. If you said Jason Marquis, remarkably, you would be right as he is 8-4 on the year. Only twice in his eight wins have the Rockies scored as many as five runs so it’s not just like he has thrown his glove out there and picked up victories because of massive run support.
Manny Ramirez is still sitting in fifth place amongst NL vote getters for a starting spot in the All-Star game. He is a good deal back of Carlos Beltran some 250,000 votes behind the Mets’ star (Alfonso Soriano is fourth). If you didn’t catch my thoughts on the whole all-star matter, read The All-Star Fallacy.
Now, two football notes…
In case you were tempted to draft Chad Ochocinco, formerly Chad Johnson (and yes, that is his real name), don’t. Listen to the words of that joker in a recent interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m not even going to lie to you, I’m going to say it. Last year, the off-season, I didn’t lift one weight, I didn’t run one route, I didn’t exercise,” Chad said. “I didn’t do nothing because my focus was on getting out of a situation I didn’t want to be in. I’m not going to lie.” Gotta give him an “A” for his honesty, but he gets and “F” for life, so I want him nowhere near my fantasy team given the air of negativity that follows around that buffoon. If he had just played football he could have had a glorious career. Now he will have to beg the league to let him in the Hall of Fame.
And lastly, from the IT’s FLAT OUT IMPOSSIBLE file there is this little diddy to mention. Kenny Phillips, a second year safety, is noticeably bigger this year. Here are his own words. “Sixteen pounds since the season ended,” he said. “I don’t know where it came from,” Phillips added, “but I’m proud if it.” I’ll tell you where you got it Kenny, you bought it from some drug dealer in Tijuana. OK, that’s harsh, and of course what I just wrote is mere supposition on my part, I have not one iota of proof that Phillips has done anything illegal to gain size, so let me be clear on that point. But I will tell you flat out that it is IMPOSSIBLE for a professional athlete, already in amazingly physical shape, to gain 16 lbs in a mere five months. Again, let me be clear – it is impossible. Which leads me to my last point. If Phillips was a baseball player he would be the lead story on ESPN as a certain PED user, but he’s a football player so no one, no one, cares. Gotta love the way we castigate baseball players and try to strip them of their dignity for potential PED use while paying absolutely zero attention to the seedy side of football where that stuff certainly goes on. Just keep laying hat on people Kenny, no one will care what you do away from the field as long as you perform on it.
By Ray Flowers