Monday, January 30, 2006

Random Notes To Start The Week

Before I get into today's lesson, a number of my friends and family have recently discovered that I do a blog and have wondered why I don't put more personal anecdotes unrelated to sports. I've been so horrible keeping in touch with some family and friends, that they wondered if I would keep sort of a online diary so they can keep tabs on my goings on.

Will never happen for several reasons.

First off, the company I work for wants to keep tabs on any employee blogs that might pop up. While I don't agree with the decision, I understand why they're concerned about all these personal blogs popping out of the woodwork. Common sense isn't all that common these days and all these idiots who are dogging their places of business or giving away trade secrets on their blogs have messed it up for everyone. As it stands now, several of my supervisors who are huge baseball fans read my blog. And we'll debate various points that are brought up during the season. Cool with me. Better to have it in the open as opposed to hiding in the weeds hoping noone gets wind of what I'm doing.

But the last thing I want is for my bosses or random strangers knowing anything about my personal life other than the fact that I work hard, play hard and love sports.

Phil Simms was once described as being "Open without being revealing" with the media. That's what I strive for in my blog entries. To give folks a little piece of me without revealing too much. Enough that you're comfortable with me but not too much that you think you know me.

Now onto to some baseball.

I thought the Red Sox were giving up a lot to get Coco Crisp. I've seen a lot of Crisp and I think he's a good ballplayer. But Mota has nasty stuff and the Sox desperately need some help in the pen...especially if Foulke can't come back. Timlin will be 40 this year and they can't expect him to shoulder the load he did last year. Fortunately for them, they were able to finetune the deal and get their man after Mota failed his physical and put the kibbosh on the deal.

But what the infidels are going to find out about Crisp is that while he's a good ballplayer, he's no Johnny Damon. He lacks the patience to be an elite leadoff
hitter and while he has good speed, he's not as good a basestealer as you might think. Crisp is a switch-hitter but he has no almost power righthanded. He's a good fielder but he's not going make anyone forget Andruw Jones.

He's probably going to get some good pitches to hit in that lineup. But a great leadoff hitter doesn't just do his job by getting on-base. They set the table by taking pitches and letting his teammates see what the opposing pitcher is throwing and what count he throws it. Jumping on the first pitch is nice, but games are often won by what hitters do to set up a pitcher in the first inning. They often bear fruit in the later innings by what displaying patience early in the game.

That's why I think the Yanks did the right thing acquiring Damon and moving Jeter out of the leadoff spot. Jeter has come a long way, but he's a natural number two hitter. With his natural agressiveness in the two hole and Damon playing table-setter...a lethal lineup becomes a virtual criminal enterprise. The new Murder Inc.

Speaking of the infidels, it looks as if the prodigal son returns as Theo Epstein returns to the fold. I wonder how long will it take for this new lovefest to explode. Epstein is very capable baseball mind and Lucchino is as responsible for changing the perception and culture of the franchise from perennial also-ran to perennial contender as anyone.

But I doubt that those two egos can co-exist in the same atmosphere for long. You would need a oxygen mask to breathe with those two in the room. The sad thing is that the two are much better together than they'll ever be apart. Together, they conquered the Empire and the baseball world. Apart, the infidels were probably looking at third place in the division.

As a member of the Empire, I was giggling my ass off when Epstein left. I was hoping he would end up in the National League, preferably out West somewhere. But cooler heads prevailed and Rebel alliance is back together. Bully for them.

Now they can die together instead of apart. Makes no difference to me. Despite the aberration of 2004. We all know how this drama ends.

Mike Piazza couldn't have gone to a worst team than the Padres. Not to say that they're a bad team. If they're healthy, they have a chance of competing for the division again this year. It's just that the Pods are a horrible fit for Piazza. Mike is no longer an everyday catcher. His body just can't stand the abuse. He's at best a platoon player. And he's playing one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors. Petco Park makes Shea look like Fenway.

He would have been better off going to an American League team and DHing. But because he thinks he can still catch everyday, he's going to So-Cal. They better hope Doug Mirabelli can catch everyday because Piazza is spending at least a month on the DL. Bet on it.


Blogger Metstradamus said...

I gotta say, Mota AND Marte AND Shoppach are a bit much for Coco Crisp, David Riske, and Josh Bard. People forget that Shoppach was the Sox top catching prospect. Granted Varitek blocks his ascension, but I'm not sure Crisp is the player everyone makes him out to be...and certainly not worth TWO top prospects and a closer in his prime (crazy though he may be).

6:14 PM  

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