Thursday, April 27, 2006

How is Delmon Doing? Not Good

Spurious favourite Delmon Young was a bit disappointed when he didn’t get his call up last September (wild understatement) and he might have to wait a while longer for his trip to Tampa and he’s only got himself to blame.

In a game in Pawtucket, Delmon was rung up on a called third strike which he wasn’t happy with and glared at the blue refusing to leave the batters box. After taking a couple of backward steps back to the dugout he was tossed from the game but took it in his stride and flipped the bat at the ump catching him in the chest.

Unsurprisingly the uber-prospect has been suspended indefinitely and after bumping another ump (pretty sure it was a different guy) last May you have to wonder how hard the league will come down on him?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Kendrick Gets a Shot

With Maicier Izturis on the DL, Howie Kendrick has been given a shot at the Bigs.

Not one for a walk but he knows how to hit and has been a big part of a strong start to the season for the Salt Lake Bees. Kendrick is hitting .386 after a truly torrid start that had him comfortably above .400 for much of the season so far so he might be moving up whilst on a slight downward turn.

It's unlikely he'll get many starts at second and as soon as Izturis returns a return to the PCL is likely but anyone who has had his approach to hitting compared to Tony Gwynn (I don't think anyone would actually say he's actually the next Gwynn) certainly warrants some attention and you just never know what might happen.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

NEW! Spurious Forums

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Is This The Beginning of Something?

Well, we're a week or so in and what can we read into this young season?

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that so far there have been no real surprises. The Yanks, BoSox, ChiSox and Cards have all started solidly and the Marlins and Royals have started badly. Anyone could have seen that coming.

Detroit got off to a hot start behind the work of Chris Shelton but of course that seems to be cooling off now the champs have come to town. Similarly Milwaukee have lost the three after winning the first five but what was most surprising about that was how they seem to be doing ok without staff ace Ben Sheets.

Colorado have done well against their division rivals with a lot of input coming from Garrett Atkins who won the player of the week honours and is obviously feeling the pressure of Ian Stewart being on his coat tails. Stewart was simply inhuman during ST and is merely polishing off the rough edges down in Tulsa right now. He has cooled off considerably and is merely batting .308 with a .419 OBP and .692 slugging.

The thing I always look for at the beginning are the rookies and especially with so many vaunted prospects busting through this year.

My picks for rookie of the year in both leagues have had mixed results with Ryan Zimmerman getting his first career homerun off Billy Wagner to tie the game in the clutch but has yet to really find a rhythm and Justin Verlander pitched a stellar seven innings in the first start and then gave up seven against Chicago. I still hold high hopes for both.

Conor Jackson has continued where he left off in the minors posting a less than impressive slugging percentage for a first baseman but a freaky high OBP. Kenji Johjima has looked more Ichiro than Kaz Matsui thus far but so far the pick of the rookies has been Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has been dynamic at the top of the young Marlins line-up and it's always impressive when a guy can post a .697 slugging percentage without hitting any homeruns. With the way the Marlins are set up this season there will be plenty of opportunity for guys like Ramirez, Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida to show what they can do.

Of course all this statistical analysis (if this even qualifies as that) is a bit redundant so early in the year but it is always fun to see how silly some peoples numbers are. Right now I'm getting a lot of laughs at how Howie Kendrick seems to go 2/5 every night but his average is going down (.452 at present)!! I still find it amusing that a AAA club can have an infield sporting guys of the claibre of Kendrick, Kendry Morales, Dallas McPherson and Erick Aybar but then thats life at Salt Lake. They might have to make room for Brandon Wood soon (by the way his OPS is a mere 1.319 at the moment).

Of course the one thing we can say about the season so far is that it can all change very quickly (come on, how long do you think Pujols' average will be below .320?) but I leave you for now with my pick for the top performance of the young season. On Wednesday the Frederick Keys had four guys combine on a no-no down in Salem against the Avalanche with Russell Petrick, Jeff Montani and Casey Cahill sharing four innings in relief of Radhames Liz who went five innings striking out 13. Not a bad way to start your season, eh?

Alternate Punishments to Drug Use

I'm sick of this whole 'drugs in baseball' topic, its annoying the hell out of me.

Every time I sit down to watch a game I have reporters screaming how Barry Bonds ALLEGEDLY took a cocktail of drugs to beef him up even though he did so WHEN THERE WERE NO RULES AGAINST IT.

Mr Selig and his cronies are determined to have a thorough investigation into drugs in baseball and want the punishment to fit the crime.
With that in mind I've taken to suggesting a few alternative punishments that would make players think twice before popping pills and get the topic off my television screen.

1. Players who use drugs should not have an asterisk next to his records. Instead the records should be printed in hieroglyphics so no-one can understand them.

2. All players who have been proven to have taken drugs should have to wear the number 666 on their Jersey.

3. Cheering, sound effects, fireworks and any other such celebrations are banned whenever a drug using player hits a homerun. Instead complete silence from the crowd and tumbleweed should be employed.

4. Once a player has been proven to have been taking drugs they should not be allowed to stop. Instead make the taking of more drugs mandatory so the player becomes a dribbling mess.

5. One strike for a strike-out against any batter who has taken drugs - they have an unfair advantage so why shouldn't the pitcher? It would also make them unemployable.

6. Drug user's bats should be designed to replicate a giant syringe.

7. Pitchers who take drugs have to throw underarm. Their gloves should also be removed so everybody knows what pitch they are going to throw.

8. Drug users should have to work as bat boys and serve refreshments to both the home and away team.

9. Catchers who abuse steroids should be shoulder tackled every time a runner comes home.

10. Extremely over weight players should be used to run for every drug using player that gets on base.

Let's see some action Selig!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

10 Spurious Rumours

In the spirit of the McCarthy-esque witch hunt that is pervading baseball at the moment I thought I’d enter some other totally spurious and unproven accusations into the world. I wonder if any will be picked up and carried forth like the Bonds one or if people will just keep flogging the dead horse?

10 Roger Clemens is a devil worshipper and made a Faustian pact in 1997 to resurrect his career and on those days when he can’t be bothered to go to the game its nothing to do with spending time with the family but about affording himself the opportunity to gorge on human flesh.

9 Robinson Cano is the resurrection of Charlie Chaplin and his antics in the field are just his way of proving to everyone that he can still kick his hat away in the same comedic fashion as he did in the early days of cinema.

8 Tony Womack’s eyebrows aren’t real eyebrows but prosthetics designed to hide the scars from when aliens abducted him and removed his hitting gene. The only reason he hasn’t mentioned it before is because the aliens said they would return John Rocker if he did.

7 The real reason Billy Beane doesn’t want his A’s to steal bases is because he fears that too much running will wear down their shoes and he doesn’t want to have to be burdened with additional expenses for new footwear as its tough enough for mid-market teams to survive in the present fiscal make-up of the modern game.

6 Bud Selig wishes he was an Oscar Meyer Weiner. That is what he’d truly love to be.

5 The reason Cincinnati went from turf to grass is because they needed something to wrap Marge Schott in when they dumped her in the river (that might be in poor taste but she was a racist bigot).

4 Alex Rodriguez is a robot and if you open up his head you will find that he is powered by two hamsters working in tandem on a wheel. Scientists are working round the clock to find a more efficient power source in hopes that they can find the energy to power the personality sub-routines but as of yet no progress has been made as of yet.

3 The reason Hank Blalock is so slow is because he is weighed down with rubble that he must gradually disperse in the field. The rubble is from a tunnel that he is digging to Kansas City in a hope that he can rescue some of those poor guys from that horrible asylum. Other members of this movement include Sean Casey, Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza.

2 Pedro Martinez runs an underground network of male only clubs where men bond through the act of bare knuckle fighting and antiestablishment vigilantism but the first rule is he can’t talk about it.

1 Pete Rose didn’t do anything wrong …actually that last one is just too silly. I mean, who will believe that?

If you've got any rumours you'd like to start let us know. We'll always find space for them here.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The post says it all ...

Well folks ..... winter is gone, spring training is nearly complete, and Pete finished his Previews in record time.

Come tomorrow it will be time to sit down, flick over the tv to Channel Five, and sit back and watch the action unfold once more.

What more can be said, than ....

Bring it on!!!