Saturday, August 18, 2012


On the pre-game show last night, one of the reporters mentioned that the Red Sox have been greatly hindered by player injuries. There does seem to be a lot of injuries this year, more than we've seen in the past. Are players getting hurt more often or are teams more aware of the injuries?
 I recall back in the '60's, the same 8 position players took the field, game after game after game. If astarting pitcher was ahead in a game, he pitched all nine innings unless the other team started to hit him. Now, we have platoon positions, players who start only against lefties, others who start only against righties. Teams have 7th inning specialists, 8th inning specialists and "closers." Teams even have what they call "the situational lefty." In the National League, the absence of the Designated Hitter produces the "double switch," which means a team uses most of it's bench every game. Because of these situations, you would think players would last longer. They don't.
I started to think that somehow, someway, money had to be involved. Maybe it's not the whole cause, but it's a definite factor.
The Washington National's Stephen Strasburg is about to be shut down because sound medical advice says the Nats should limit the stress on his surgically repaired elbow, and their owner GM and manager all agree. Well, guess who else is involved? Strasburg's agent, the inimitable Scott Boras. His attitude is -Don't ruin my pitcher or I won't let other players sign with your team. You think this is my opinion? Read this quote: "
“I went to the owner and said ‘You better start Edwin Jackson, you better do this because you are going to need these innings because we have this plan for Stephen Strasburg,’” Boras said. “And you know what? Ted did it.”  (Note: Edwin Jackson is another Boras client)
"Rizzo (the General Manager) and I put this team together. I got eight or nine guys on the team.”
I guess we know who the real "Baseball Czar" is.

...or as I like to say, "Nick Johnson and others."  I looked up the lists to see which team had the most players on it. A high number of players disabled does not automatically mean a team can't compete.
For example:
Toronto has the most - 13
San Diego has 12
The Dodgers have 11
Baltimore has 10 (including Nick Johnson)
Boston has 9
The Yankees, with the best record in the AL, has 11
So it's not how many are disabled, but how well their replacements play. The Yanks have been blessed because they seem to have the best bench in baseball. Jones, Chavez, Nix, Ibanez and McGehee have all performed way above expectations. You can thank Brian Cashman for that. On the other hand, in acquiring that powerhouse Boston lineup last year, Theo Epstein effectively gave away the farm and now there's nothing left. Including Theo, who got out before the other shoe dropped.

Nobody thinks it's good when better than 50% of your runs come via the home run, but it does wear on the opposing teams when one swing destroys the one or two runs they scraped and clawed for. Last night, the Yanks sent five balls into orbit along with the psyche of another starting pitcher and a Red Sox manager. As Annie-O commented last night, "I'll bet Valentine can't wait for the end of the season." I'll bet he can't wait for the end of the weekend.

"Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis imposed a ban on his players using Twitter. Good luck with that. It's probably the only Bengal behaviour that can't be arrested."  -- RJ Currie
"So how soon before Balco rolls out its first Melky Way power bar?"  -- Dwight Perry
"The U.S. topped the London Games with 104 medals. So congratulations to all the Olympic medal winners/future 'Dancing With the Stars' contestants."  -- Jimmy Kimmel
"A giant sculpture known as “Touchdown Jesus” near Cincinnati that burned to the ground in 2010 is being replaced by a new “Hug Me, Jesus.”. The new figure has arms outstretched rather than raised high. Guess they figured touchdowns in Bengals country were unrealistic."  -- Janice Hough
"Congrats to Mariner’s Felix Hernandez for his perfect game vs the Tampa Bay Rays this week! Rays’ manager Joe Madden’s note to self. “We need to get Felix before the Yanks sign him and we see him more than once or twice a year”.  -- Tony Chong
"The U. S. is lead China in both number of gold medals and number of total medals. In response, China said that's nice but we still have all your money."  -- Craig Ferguson 
"A 70-year-old Nebraska football tradition — releasing 5,000 red balloons when the Cornhuskers score their first touchdown — might be in jeopardy because of a national helium shortage.
If they have to switch to hot air, there's always Lee Corso"  -- Dwight Perry.


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