Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Get Well Soon Mr Gammons

Peter Gammons has undergone surgery after suffering from a brain aneurysm and is listed as being in good condition (all things are relative I guess).

Gammons is one of the few truly great baseball writers of the modern era and really hearkens back to the glorious writers of years past like Shirley Povich and Hugh Fullerton. The warmth of his words might not be so apparent in his tv appearances for ESPN but few writers seem to truly 'get it' like he does. He treats it like a game rather than a business, a friend instead of just a simple subject matter.

Unsurprisingly there is has been an overwhelming wave of support from all corners of baseball wishing him a speedy recovery and we at Spurious Baseball certainly would like to add our voices to that cause. There has been so much lore written about this great sport and that lore has turned into poetry in the hands of the great sports writers and in this turbulent time we need more poetry from Peter Gammons.

Get well soon.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Royals Getting Brave?

Its draft time everyone and with the #1 pick the Kansas City Royals showed us all what the plan is for the new regime. By selecting pitcher Luke Hochevar they have gone for someone who is almost the finished product with a variety of power stuff that could have seen him go #1 last year but of course that was curtailed by the infamous Scott Boras.

The Dodgers drafted Hochevar last year with the 40th overall pick and threw a lot in his direction but they never quite managed to get him to ink the contract and you have to think KC will have a similar battle on their hands.

If KC are willing to break the bank then its not too hard to think that they intend to go into a three to five year plan as they hope to build a rotation around Greinke and Hochevar and seak to complement Alex Gordon in the line-up. It might not be much but it's a start.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rocket Sets Record For Un-Retiring

In perhaps the least surprising surprise of the season, Roger Clemens has re-signed with the Astros for a whole lotta semolians.

Some foolhardy folks seemed to think he might end up in New York or Boston but this really was the only move he was likely to make. With his ‘arrangement’ that he doesn’t have to turn up to the ballpark every day like any other player and the advantage of being close to home and family, it was unlikely to really work anywhere else.

The Rocket will continue his Hall of Fame career at first in A ball where he will briefly be united on the field with his son and then is scheduled to move up a level each start, assuming everything goes well. In fact the only concern in bringing back Clemens this far into the season is how quickly he regains his sharpness because we all know how vigilant he is with regards to his conditioning. I don’t know what he’s been up to since pitching in the WBC but it will be hard to really come in and be the pitcher Clemens is expected to be (and the pitcher he’s being paid substantially to be) without having that Spring Training-esque opportunity to get back in sync with his team mates and dust off the cobwebs.

Of course the ultimate litmus test down the line will be if Houston manage to get to the playoffs (why else would you make such an investment?) and even if Clemens pitches well (a repeat of last year is a bit much to ask) and, as predicted, Pettitte and other players up their game, I still find it hard to see them going back but, as much as I dislike Clemens, having him on board certainly won’t hurt their chances.

Bye Bye Bairdy

Well, the architect of futility has finally been replaced as Allan Baird is to be usurped by Dayton Moore and if anyone is in a position to finally get something started with The Royals, it’s the former assistant to The Braves GM John Schuerholtz who might be the best there is today.
Moore won’t take over the full time job until after the upcoming draft but many will be looking very closely at what The Royals do with the #1 overall pick. That will give everyone an indication as to whether he will emulate what The Braves have done in recent years and build from the bottom up, or will they look to try and pick someone who can make an impact within the next three years?

He certainly doesn’t have a lot to work with as the farm system lacks more than maybe a couple of guys who could eventually make an impact and the big league roster has the recent acquisitions of overpaid guys who are way passed their prime (Baird’s final legacy) and the most promising pitcher in terms of ability and up side is out indefinitely with what can only be described as psychological problems he might never come back from.

Basically, the club is a mess and a long, long, long, long, long way from where they were maybe fifteen to twenty years ago and they really need to look at practically every other team in their division and how they’ve developed their talent from within if they are to scrape themselves off the very bottom of the MLB ladder. Dayton Moore has a reputation as being a very savvy character and he’ll need to be to meet this ‘challenge’.