Pepper: Pirates best at something
Posted on: May 31, 2011 11:34 am
By Matt Snyder
BASEBALL TODAY: Eye on Baseball's C. Trent Rosecrans joins Adam Aizer to talk about the impressive month of May that Jay Bruce has put together and much more. Check out the video above.
TOP STADIUM? PNC PARK: In a blog over at NYTimes.com, the writer compiled data on every major league ballpark from yelp.com, which gathers fan reviews. The attempt was to get a mass audience instead of simply having one person give an opinion about the best parks. Pittsburgh's PNC Park was first place and it was rather strong. This isn't entirely surprising, as most everyone raves about the yard. The problem is the Pirates have been a futile franchise for so long you rarely so it more than about 1/3 full. Fenway Park (Boston), AT&T Park (San Fran), Target Field (Minnesota) and Camden Yards (Baltimore) round out the top five. The bottom three are Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay), Overstock.com Coliseum (Oakland) and Rogers Centre (Toronto). You have to figure places with polarizing fan bases (Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium) are a bit hurt here by fan rankings and places with overly happy fans (St. Louis) get a bit of a bump. Overall these are pretty good, though.
SORIANO GOES DOWN: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano had to leave with an strain to his left quad after his first at-bat Monday afternoon. He was trying to beat out a ground ball down the third base line and pulled up lame about three steps from first base. He left the game immediately and was replaced in left field by Blake DeWitt, who proceeded to go 3-4 the rest of the way. If Soriano hits the DL, expect Tyler Colvin to get recalled, though Cubs manager Mike Quade said DeWitt's going to be the first option in left. (Chicago Tribune)
MORE ON POSEY INJURY: Because it's been a few days since we mentioned the most important injury in the history of the world (yes, that is sarcasm), former catcher Mike Matheny believes the Scott Cousins hit to Buster Posey was unnecessary, but not dirty and there's no reason for a rule change. “It’s not a dirty play,” he said. “He didn’t come high spikes or elbow. But it wasn’t a necessary play. I loved the play at the plate as a catcher. But when a guy goes out of his way to get you, I’m not a big fan of that. It was avoidable.” So, basically, Matheny agrees with the majority of the sports world. Cool. I like Buster Posey and wish him a quick recovery, but it's utterly amazing how much fallout there's been from this injury. (Mercurynews.com)
SCORE ONE FOR STATHEADS: One of the things the old-school crowd likes to say about sabermetrics, in a pound-my-chest sort of way, is that none of them played the game. People who played the game know baseball isn't about all these numbers, right? Five time All-Star and one-time Cy Young winner David Cone actually loves advanced metrics, specifically naming WAR (wins above replacement). "Crying the blues over run support drew me into the data a little more,” Cone said last week. “Just my yearning to quantify exactly what I did in my career, trying to compare year-to-year.” Hmmm, sounds like he isn't a fan of judging pitchers on the archaic wins and losses stats. (Baseball Prospectus)
BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL: Miguel Cabrera has had his driver's license suspended every since he was arrested on DUI charges on February 16 and his case is still pending. Cabrera has, however, gotten his license back. It was determined that there wasn't enough evidence Cabrera was actually driving while intoxicated on the night of the arrest, as he was drinking a bottle of scotch in his broken-down vehicle. Let's hope this doesn't mean he gets behind the wheel while intoxicated any time soon, but he'd have to drink first. The focus seems to be on him not drinking at all, so that's more important. (Detroit Free Press)
GOOD GENES: Diamondbacks' manager Kirk Gibson very much appreciates the U.S. military, as he pointed out on Memorial Day. Things hit a bit closer to home for Gibby, as his father was actually on the USS Missouri in 1945 when the United States and Japan signed a peace treaty that ended World War II. (MLB.com)
GREAT STORY: Without re-writing the entire thing, there's no way to do justice to the story of Pawtucket strength coach Mike Roose (just click here to read on MLBlogs). Thousands of Americans have served in the military -- Roose served in the Air Force -- so it's not like he's incredibly unique, but it's cool to read about his experiences. Here's a quick quote as a preview, about when he U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein (he was there): “It was surreal,” Roose said. “It’s one of those things that you think is mythical. It’s like the Pyramids of Egypt – until you see them they don’t seem real. But Hussein is just a man. He’s flesh and blood and I saw emotions like fear and cowardice. It’s something that I’ll never forget and I’m glad we took care of him, but there’s a lot more stuff over there that needs to be done.”
TRADE TALK: When the calendar turns to June this week, it's going to be time to fire up the ol' rumor machine, as teams will begin to move into buying or selling mode. As a head start, Foxsports.com offers up the Padres, Mets, Twins, Blue Jays and Rays as bullpen sellers. Fangraphs.com gives us some first base/DH trade targets. I'm not sure the Royals would cough up Billy Butler unless they were bowled over, but I'm sure he isn't untouchable. Everything else on both lists is very realistic. If the Rays seem out of place due to being a contender, Foxsports.com made sure to point out the Scott Kazmir trade. If the Rays feel like they can get better in the long term, they'll gladly move someone.
CHAPMAN ELIGIBLE TO RETURN, BUT NOT READY: Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday, but what he did on his rehab stint wasn't very good. In 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A Louisville, Chapman allowed seven runs (13.50 ERA), nine hits, two walks and two wild pitches. He did strike out eight. The Reds do have injury issues to their pitching staff, so a healthy Chapman would at least fill a vacancy, it's just that if he's as bad as he was before leaving injured, that doesn't help the team. "We want him sharp. That's the second part of this rehab stint. One was to get healthy and two was to throw the ball the way he's capable of throwing," said Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. (MLB.com)
AND PEOPLE MAKE FUN OF FANTASY BASEBALL: A 58-year-old man is playing out the 2008 baseball season with a tabletop game called APBA, in which you use dice and player cards. He has finished the regular season and it's time for the playoffs -- only he uses the format from the pre-Wild Card days. His playoff teams: Cubs, Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox. All four of those teams did make the postseason, but neither of the real World Series teams (Phillies, Rays) made it. The man is doing it because he says it relaxes him. Hey, to each his own, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around this when there are still so many who think it's cool to make fun of fantasy baseball. At least fantasy players actually watch games and use real data. (Ohio.com)
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