Don’t think of Daily Links as just a repository of links to articles across the internet, think of us as that old guy who smells like cat urine and sits on the end of the bench waiting for a bus that will never come while drooling. And tells you about articles on the internet.
Despite grounding into the game ending double play with two men on base in the ninth inning, Carl Crawford had a pretty good game on Tuesday. A homer, a single and some pretty solid contact. That has to be a good sign, right? Hopefully so, but even with that in his pocket, according to Beyond the Boxscore, Crawford is still one of the five worst players in baseball this season. Crawford’s name is probably the most surprising on the list, but he is bested, if I can be permitted to use that term in this context, by some other guys with name power. Directly ‘above’ him are World Series hero Aubrey Huff, Phillies big money free agent Raul Ibanez, and Juan Pierre. Combined the Four Outfielders of the Apocalypse make $44 million and really, there has to be a better way to waste $44 million. Here now, five better ways to waste $44 million:
1. Convince a pilot to announce to his passengers that while taxiing the control tower is requiring him to take off backwards. Then start backing down the runway.
2. Buy a big grocery store and hire someone to make fart noises over the intercom. All. Day. Long.
3. Nine words: Bring the National Zoo to Work Day at the office!
4. Pay the tolls of everyone driving on the Mass Pike for a year.
5. In the middle of winter get a whole warehouse full of snow. Freeze the warehouse. Wait till July. Take said snow out and place it all over one residential street. On the houses, on the cars, on the road. Take many photographs.
Are David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez the next Manny and Big Papi? Production-wise maybe, but probably not. That era seems over. Still Ortiz and Gonzalez are becoming best buds, with Ortiz even going so far as to start hitting more like Gonzalez. Alex Speier of WEEI.com has that story. On the whole I guess that’s not a bad thing. It’s never too late to improve as a hitter. Maybe it will help forestall Ortiz’s aging. One way or the other, it’s certainly better than if Ortiz decided he was BFFs with Scott Podsednik.
You may recall the horrific beaning that Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd suffered at the hands of Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves. Byrd suffered multiple facial fractures and will be on the DL for the foreseeable future. Former pitcher now ESPN baseball analyst Orel Hershiser was on WEEI recently to talk baseball and discussed the situation. Here’s what he had to say:
While he said “I just hate that stuff,” Hershiser complimented the teams for handling it properly. “I’m glad the Red Sox, after the retaliation from the Cubs, I’m glad [Jonathan] Papelbon didn’t go out there and start a war,” he said. “It was good, it was professional. If it has to be done, it was done properly by the Cubs. And if it has to be forgotten after it’s done, it was done properly by [Terry Francona] and the Red Sox.”
Having played baseball badly for many years, I’ve been on the unfortunate end of many a beaning. I’ve been hit in the back, in the head, in the [deleted by network] and just about everywhere else. I’ve never sustained an injury like Byrd’s but each time you’re hit, it hurts. A lot. And I’d guess that I’ve never been hit by anything over 80 mph and maybe not even 75. The short of it: throwing at a player intentionally should be immediate grounds for suspension. If an umpire determines a pitcher threw at a hitter on purpose that pitcher should be kicked out of the game and their actions should be reviewed by MLB. It isn’t going too far to say it endangers people’s lives and certainly has the potential to cost some unlucky player their career. What does all this have to do with Orel Hershiser? Not much, he’s just the most recent to put voice to the old sports adage of an eye for an eye. If Aceves hit Byrd on purpose he should be kicked out and suspended. If he didn’t then that’s an unfortunate part of the game, but it does not give the other team license to endanger the health and earning power of another player. There’s no “right way” to throw at someone.
David Pinto at Baseball Analytics has an interesting finding concerning Tim Wakefield‘s knuckle ball. It seems maybe Ol’ Wake has more control over the pitch than just throw it and hope for the best. I kid, because of course, Wake isn’t just throwing the ball, closing his eyes and hoping it goes near the plate. He’s been pitching in the big leagues for the better part of two decades. Still, Pinto’s findings are worthwhile at least from a splits standpoint.
Finally, if you’re not listening to Michael Schur’s repeated appearances on Joe Posnanski’s Poscast then you’re missing out. If you’re not familiar, Michael Schur has been many things including a writer on the office and one of the great bloggers on the late lamented Fire Joe Morgan. He’s currently the head writer on Parks and Recreation. He’s been on the Poscast with Joe Posnanski three times, and oh, he’s a big Red Sox fan. They just did a ‘draft’ where they drafted baseball players for a dinner party. Schur picked Luke Scott with his third round pick. I’m shocked he never drafted Joe Morgan.