Want to learn how to ingratiate yourself to your fan base? If you do, then I suggest you follow the lead of the Cubs’ Milton Bradley who, amazingly, offered this little diddy to the press. “All I’m saying is I just pray the game is nine innings, so I can be out there the least amount of time as possible and go home,” he said. Apparently, he isn’t feeling the love from the Cubs faithful. “I’m talking about when I go to eat at a restaurant, I have to listen to the waiters bad-mouthing me at another table, sitting in a restaurant…” Well Milton, try keeping your mouth shut and hit better than .255 while you are making $10 million a year and people might cut you a break. Memo to Cubs’ fans – don’t boo Bradley, boo your idiotic front office that gave him $30 million.
Carlos Gonzalez returned from his losing battle with a steak knife to play on Thursday. Unfortunately he then went out and suffered a bruised thumb in the game and is now being called day-to-day like the rest of us. Honestly, I injured my left pinkie while typing this piece so I’m hour-to-hour.
Adam Jones continues to be sidelined with a back injury. He is supposed to return by the weekend, though with his recent struggles (.222 in his last 21 games) the team should give him all the time he needs to make sure he is healthy.
Jake Peavy will make another minor league start for Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday. If his ankle, and elbow, are fine after that appearance, he will likely be activated with his next start being for the Pale Sox next week.
Mike Sheets offered his take on his top-10 catchers for 2010 in his most recent posting. I can’t disagree with his top-3, those guys are money, but his list got me to thinking about just how thin the catchers’ pool has gotten of late. Just look at the names that Sheets listed 4-10.
Mike Napoli – A 30 percent strikeout rate is awful, limiting his AVG upside (his current .289 mark is a mirage).
Jorge Posada – Thirty-eight years old, he is hitting .277 with 17 homers but he has been limited to just 478 ABs the past two years.
Ryan Doumit – Hitting .225 this season, Doumit does have 23 homer sand 95 RBI his last 613 ABs while his average in that time is .290. If he could just stay healthy.
Bengie Molina – Figures to stay in SF and hold off Buster Posey for at least one more year and he has hit at least 15 homers with 57 RBI in each of the past five seasons.
Geovany Soto – Continues to worsen, if that is possible. After hitting .278 in May that number has slide each of the past three months: .257, .222 and .150.
Russell Martin – Is hitting just .257 with four home runs after hitting at least .280 with 10 in each of his first three seasons.
Matt Wieters – Jesus, I mean Wieters, is hitting .263 with a .677 OPS in his first 224 ABs. The upside is undeniable, but at the same time Wieters has been out-produced this season by Omir Santos who has hit .264-6-32 with a .693 OPS in 235 ABs. Ruminate on that for a while.
If you miss out on the top-3 you might as well wait a long while before taking the plunge as there will likely be a whole lot of mediocrity out there.
Michael Vick returns to NFL action later tonight. Count me as someone who could care less. I don’t wish people ill, but at the same time I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if Vick were to struggle monumentally for the rest of his career.
By Ray Flowers