Friday, August 29, 2008

Cincy Reds vs. Tampa Rays...Just Out of Curiosity.

Busting Dusty Baker's balls is a hobby of mine, and a bit of a passion. And one of the greatest ways of going about that, is by referencing pitch counts, specifically with young pitchers.

Baker's in Cincy with Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto... and when I checked earlier this year, he was running up their pitch counts much the way he did with Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in Chicago.

For a point of comparison, I'm going to use the Tampa Bay Rays. Why? Because by my own perception, they seem to be relatively well-managed, and frankly, they don't get enough press.

I'm literally researching this as I write the article, so your guess is as good as mine regarding what this will show, if anything.

Cincy Reds

Edinson Volquez: 26 Starts, 157 2/3 IP, 15-5 W/L, 2.80 ERA, 1.313 WHIP
100+ pitches - 17 times.
110+ pitches - 9 times.
Season High - 118 on May 7th

Johnny Cueto: 27 Starts, 155 IP, 8-12 W/L, 4.65 ERA, 1.361 WHIP
100+ pitches - 12 times.
110+ pitches - 7 times.
Season High(s) - 120 on July 22nd, 119 on May 27th

Tampa Bay Rays

Scott Kazmir: 21 Starts, 121 IP, 9-6 W/L, 3.27 ERA, 1.231 WHIP
100+ pitches - 13 times.
110+ pitches - 5 times. Season High - 117 on June 11th.

Andy Sonnanstine: 26 Starts, 158 2/3 IP, 13-6 W/L, 4.42 ERA, 1.317 WHIP
100+ pitches - 7 times.
110+ pitches - 0 times.
Season High - 106 on April 19th.

James Shields: 27 Starts, 177 2/3 IP, 11-8 W/L, 3.75 ERA, 1.171 WHIP
100+ pitches - 14 times.
110+ pitches - 1 time.
Season High - 111 on August 3rd.

I could keep going with Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza, but I won't, so here are my findings.

What we can see is that Shields, Sonnanstine and Jackson (trust me here) have been held very tightly to pitch counts, very rarely getting very far over 100. Matt Garza and Scott Kazmir have been given slightly longer leashes, which means that despite their ages, and Kazmir's history of injury, there must be some trust and communication going on here.

On the other side, we have the Reds, with Dusty at the helm. He's got the future of that franchise routinely going over 100 pitches, and often pushing well into the 110-120 range. Both pitchers are in the process of setting career highs for innings pitched by what must be a pretty massive increase, and it appears that Dusty's taking very few precautions... despite the fact that his team is completely and utterly out of contention.

Oddly enough, the Rays appear to be taking every precaution, despite the fact that they're in first place, and have been battling the Red Sox for most of the season.

So yeah, props to Joe Maddon (didn't he just have a kid with Nicole Ritchie? Shit, now I'm confused) for proving that it is possible to win, and protect the future of your ball club by not destroying the arms of pitchers in their early 20's. Props to Andrew Friedman for the great job he's done assembling the team, and no-doubt, playing a role in this.

And to Reds fans, feel free to flame this post, but don't blame me when Volquez and Cueto are taking the plane trip down to Birmingham, AL to see Dr. James Andrews.

Maybe Johnny and Edinson will get smart and file restraining orders against Dusty while there's still time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just a Quick Note...

More like a quick ass-kiss, actually.

The guys at actually linked one of my posts yesterday. They were in the process of systematically destroying Bruce Jenkins, because yes, there are still morons that think pitch-counts are bad for the game.

So yeah, I just wanted to say thanks to the guys at FJM for noticing the post and using my stuff. Especially now that I have a reason to believe that they're aware of my existence. Those dudes are my sports-journalism fucking heroes.

Tags are possible ways that I'll be celebrating. Thanks again to Buzz Bissinger for the "Interactive Gangbang" tag. It's a gift that really does keep on giving.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The 100th Post!! Not a Placemarker Any More... I'm Just Stupid.

Grats to Me!!! My 100th post is now up and complete!!!! Hooray!! Or something.

So here's what we're checking out. It was covered by Sports By Brooks and says that, apparently, people are buying the sperm of former athletes from sperm banks, in the hope that their kids will have athletic prowess. This is fucked up on so many levels that I don't know where to start... so I'm not even going to get into that aspect of it.

My big question is... what kind of athlete is selling his love sauce to sperm banks? I came up with a few names, and I'm going to try to fill out a list here.

1) Rickey Henderson - "You're the best Rickey!! Just think about it Rickey!! Now there can be 10 Rickeys!!! ONE HUNDRED RICKEYS!! Rickey can be his own team!!! Rickey will never have to lose because who could possibly beat a whole team of Rickey?"

2) Jose Canseco - Come on, like you weren't thinking the same thing? The better question is... after all the roid's he's done, how much sperm could he possibly get out of those shriveled up little balls? Sammy Davis, Jr.'s got a bigger payload, and he's been dead for almost 20 years.

3) Adam "Not Pacman" Jones - Although in this case, he's not the one selling it to the Spooj House. The strippers are actually sapping it up with bar towels and squeezing it out into shot glasses shortly after he makes it rain.

4) Shaq - He'd actually be doing the NBA a service here. Seriously. If he's not doing this, he should. It's the only way the Knicks are ever going to get a decent center.

5) Kobe Bryant - Because once he hears that Shaq's doing it, he'll feel compelled to try to do it better.

6) Elijah Dukes - Dude's 24. Dude's got 5 kids already. Dude's first two kids were born 8 days apart. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bullshittin', dawg. Oops... sorry, that's part of the voicemail Dukes left for one of his baby mommas.

7) Latrell Sprewell - The best way for Spree to feed his kids, is by selling the genetic material to create about 700 more kids.

8) Shawn Kemp - When wikipedia says that you've fathered "at least seven children" but apparently can't be sure... you make this list. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. N*gga, all I know is, n*gga, when I see your muthafuckin' ass riding, dawg, it's on. God dammit, somebody hit stop on the Dukes tape!!!

9) Alex Rodriguez - From what I've heard, he used to charge Cynthia for the stuff. He really doesn't believe in giving away ANYTHING that somebody will pay for. I'm actually pretty sure you can buy baracks of his Casper Army at his Merch Tent at Spring Training. Yeah, Casper looks like jizz, doesn't he?

10) Anthony Merino - A quarterback for the semi-pro Empire State Titans, Merino was arrested after security guards found him having sex with the corpse of a 92-year-old woman in the New Jersey hospital at which he was a lab technician. I have no joke here. No joke at all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not a Glitch?

So I just heard about the "glitch" in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008, that allows ol'Tiger to walk on water.

And then I saw proof that this is no glitch...

Yup, there you have it. Tiger Woods is the reincarnation of Christ.

Sort of makes you wonder why he doesn't heal his knee, huh?

Also, speaking of miracles, when's the last time we had two posts in one day? Tell your friends!

This Is Why I'm Here...

Some blogs exist exclusively to tear up poor sports journalism. Some offer analysis or opinions. I try to do a little bit of these things... but when it all comes down to it, the real reason I'm here is to help spread the news when a former Japanese Import pitcher gets loaded up and actually managed to embarrass himself worse than when he pitched!

Yup, you guessed it. Hideki Irabu got arrested for mugging a bartender.

Irabu, 39, became angered after his credit card was rejected. He allegedly pushed the bartender against the wall, pulled his hair and smashed at least nine liquor bottles. The bartender sustained no injuries.

Apparently Irabu threw the bottles, thus explaining how none of them hit the bartender.

For what it's worth saying, if Irabu showed this much initiative in New York, Steinbrenner would never have called him a fat toad.

There's no word on whether the 20 mugs of beer Irabu chugged down are part of a comeback attempt on "The David Wells Diet."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Really Jayson Stark? REALLY?!

Manny Ramirez is fucking Benedict Arnold.

And whoever gives him a new contract is setting a bad precedent for the game... because of how Manny got out of Boston.

For a man who decided his personal net worth was more important than an entire franchise and all the people who played with him, covered for him, depended on him?

For a man who's watched as other "Boston Heroes" have been ushered out the door like pieces of shit. Where did 'Boston Loyalty' get Bill Mueller, Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez, Keith Foulke, Mark Bellhorn, Todd Walker, Kevin Millar, Trot Nixon, Orlando Cabrera, Derek Lowe and Bronson Arroyo?

And these are guys who won the first World Series in 10,000 Bostonian years!!! They got tossed! They low-balled half of these guys, and either dealt or flat-out CUT the rest of them!!!

"It really bothers me," one GM said this week of the Manny-mania lovefest that has unfolded in L.A. "What he did in Boston was criminal. Now he goes there, and everything's OK? No, sir. It doesn't change the fact that how he got there was criminal."

Really, unnamed GM? You really feel that way? It was criminal for Manny to look out for number one? He's spent the better half of his career in Boston, getting bitched out by the media every time he wipes his bum the wrong way... and what defense has ANYBODY on the team ever given for it? "Well, that's Manny being Manny!!"

Let me explain something. That whole "Manny being Manny" thing... was a nice way of saying, "Yeah, the guy's an asshole, but it's okay because we win games." It's not a defense of him. If you wanted to defend him, you'd saying, "Who cares if he takes a week off in September!! He's getting ready for the playoffs... and we all know what he does in the playoffs!!!"

Boston treated Manny like shit. He wanted out about 100 times before this... and he agreed to stay for the good of the team. Now he had a chance to get out and go somewhere good, and he jumped all over it. And if it lands him a $100 Million contract, then good for him!!

Yeah, we know what every Dodgers fan on earth is thinking: "What he did in Boston isn't our problem. He didn't blow up our franchise. So who cares?"

Yeah, he really blew up that team down in Boston!! Boy, those Red Sox are struggling!!! They're what? 30 games back now? Oh wait.. only 3? And they were that many back when they dealt him? Oh, my bad. And that slob Jason Bay, he's terrible, isn't he? Oh wait... he's .327/.393/.473 with 12 RBIs in 13 Boston games... so how, exactly, did Manny KILL THE FRANCHISE? They got 10 years younger, and 100 times better on defense at the position. And about $10 Million cheaper moving forward.

It would, in effect, be an open invitation to every selfish superstar in baseball to pull a Manny. Act up. Stop hustling. Stop trying. Refuse to play. Make up an injury. Whatever you have to do to get back out there on the free-agent market. It's all worth it.

Lets take this step by step. Act up? Check, Manny did that.

Stop hustling? Umm... Manny NEVER hustled. He had his moments, but his effort is more in the preparation than the execution. Everybody knows that.

Stop trying? .299/.398/.529 with 20 homers and 22 doubles in 100 Boston games. Sure looks like he was trying.

Refuse to play? He played in 100 of 109 games in Boston. That's about 91%. Over the course of a full season, he was on pace to appear in 147 games. That would be the MOST he's played since 2005. Not really "refusing to play" if you ask me. Maybe at 36 his body needs rest once in a while... maybe? You think?

Make up an injury? Yeah, he asked out of a game against the Yankees because his knee hurt. One game. Had tests, they showed nothing, and then he played. Again... 36 years old. Maybe just routine soreness? Find ONE 36 year old ballplayer who never takes a day off with aches and pains... I dare you. Find one.

So these angles are mostly bullshit. Thank you Jayson Stark.

"He wouldn't play for me," the exec said. "I'll tell you that. I might cost my team a chance to go to the World Series. But we work too hard to put a team together to take on a guy like that. As soon as you open the vaults for him, you'll wind up with the same problems Boston had."

Lets examine that, Mr. Unnamed Exec. It might cost your team the World Series? Yeah, I think it might... because Manny's pretty good at carrying teams to the World Series, despite his asshole attitude.

And yeah, you don't want to wind up with the problems that Boston had. I mean... how would you face your fans if you won 2 World fucking Championship in 4 years? You'd have to be nucking futs to deal with that!!!!

From that point on it gets worse. Jayson Stark, I understand that you're a card-carrying employee of Red Sox Nation, through it's subsidiary, ESPN... but can we pretend, just for a minute, to be an un-bias news outlet, and offer some realistic analysis?

Maybe Manny saw the shithouse treatment that other so-called Boston Heroes got at contract time? Pedro? Clemens? Greenwell? Mo Vaughn? Pedro? Do I need to keep going? Really? Do I? Boston shits all over their guys when they get old... they've done it habitually for a long time!

You all know that I'm a Yankees fan. And guess what!! The Yankees do the SAME THING!! They did it to Bernie Williams in a MAJOR WAY! Tino got shit-heeled for Giambi. A lot of guys have gotten run out of the Bronx for getting old. It's how you build a winner, by staying young, staying competitive, and re-loading at your key positions...

But don't blame Manny because he didn't want to leave his neck on the fucking chopping block.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Somehow, This Must Be Dusty's Fault...

What am i talking about?  This.

Yup, the Cincinnati Reds just gave away Adam Dunn for a single-A pitcher and two players to be named later.

Dumping Griffey's salary for some guys who might be able to contribute?  Sure, no problem.  Handing off a 28-year old guy who's hit 46, 40, 40 and 40 homers the last 4 years, and has 32 already this season for nobody specific?  That's absolutely inexcusable, especially when there were at least 4 GMs who would have severed a testicle to get this guy less than a month ago.

The Mets and Yankees, the Red Sox, the D-Backs, the Dodgers, the Marlins and probably a few more that I'm entirely too lazy to think of... oh... the Astros too, were in the market for a power-hitting outfielder.

The Yanks came away with Nady.  The Sox and Dodgers pulled the Manny/Bay deal.  The D-Backs robbed Dunn today.  The Marlins and Astros still have nobody.  You're honestly going to try to tell me that the Reds couldn't get something majors-ready for this guy?  That the Mets wouldn't have given up Mike Pelfrey and a minor leaguer for Dunn and signed him to an extension?

In the long run, Adam Dunn isn't a "Dusty Baker" kind of guy.  He's not going to bunt down runners.  He's not going to hit-and-run or swipe bags.  And despite being dirty, he's not gritty or gutty.  There's nothing Ecksteinian about him.

Here's what Adam Dunn does.

1)  He gets on base more than about 80% of major league baseball players.
2)  He hits 40 home runs every year.
3)  He's OPS'd .900 for his career.
4)  He's pretty durable, having played in 747 of his teams last 767 games since 2004.

And all the Reds get for dealing that away is... a guy in the low minors... and two dudes who's moms didn't even like them enough to give them names.  Yeah.  I'm not happy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

People Live in Hawaii?!

I know the updates have gotten a little sporadic of late, and I apologize for that. As I mentioned previously, I'm sorting out some details of my living situation and that's making times a bit turbulent of late, but we'll be back on track soon.

For now, I found out something today that really upset me, so I thought I'd share it with whoever's still reading.

People are actually allowed to live in Hawaii? Like... full-time? Year round?! What the hell, okay!? That's not fair.

Hawaii should be a place that you can visit for a short time, make a wish, have it come true... and then you go home!! Like Fantasy Island!!!

Complete with David Eckstein, dressed as Tattoo!! And if you didn't leave after your little episode was over, Eckstein would punch you in the nads until you got on a plane!! I'm sure that with his grit and hustle, he'd keep things very well maintained.

Moreso, has anybody considered paying David Eckstein to monitor the borders of this great country? Seriously! Just him!! And maybe Darin Erstad (see in this picture assaulting a potentially illegal immigrant.) You know that Erstad was a punter in college, right? The two of them in a black van with a red stripe on the side. They could ride up and down the border like the A-Team and keep us safe from invasion with their calm eyes and wiry prowess!! This would be SO much cheaper than border patrol or fencing or digging a trench and filling it with crocodiles and electric eels.

There are no schematics involved. There's nothing to maintain. Just Eckstein and Erstad.

For a better America. Wow... I think I might have just made the case for a very strong write-in campaign on election day. McCain and Obama, look out!! The Albino Midget Party has just entered their candidates for the 2008 election!!!