Tag:Brandon Phillips
Posted on: June 18, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Was Lewis' flip baseball's best play of the year?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Did Rangers starter Colby Lewis make the play of the year last night?

Here's the GIF (from Jeff Sullivan) of the play where Lewis scoops the ball to Michael Young to get the Braves' Jason Heyward:



We've all seen second basemen make the scoop when there wasn't time to do anything else, but Lewis scooped it at least 40 feet from just inside the runner's lane that starts half-way to first base.

What usually makes a play of the year is not only degree of difficulty, but also originality. There are daily diving catches and weekly home-run robbing catches, that's what makes plays like this unique. 

Here's the official MLB.com video, which doesn't allow for embedding until a few days after the play, that shows multiple angles of the play. 

Add to the fact that Lewis struck out 10 Braves in 6 2/3 to earn the win, it was a heck of a day for the right-hander.

Let's look at some of the other contenders, shall we?

I'd have to go with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips' between-the-legs barehanded-flip to get the speedy Jason Bourgeois of the Astros. Here's that play:


But I don't know if any play has the degree of difficulty of Indians shortstop's Asdrubal Cabrera's double play on May 20 against the White Sox, changing directions to field the ball after it tips off the pitcher's glove and then go behind the back to start the double play.


What play am I forgetting? What's your play of the year so far?

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
 

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Big-league day off? Roller coasters and waffles



(photo from @Robbyweller)

By C. Trent Rosecrans

So, say you're a typical baseball player and you've got your first day off in nearly three weeks. What do you do? Well, thanks to the beauty of Twitter, we know what one All-Star does: He goes to the amusement park, Wal-Mart and Waffle House. And who says there's not culture in Cincinnati?

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips tweeted his off day: Going to King's Island, cutting in line to get in the front seat at the Vortex, posing for photos with fans, watching the NBA Finals, playing some old-school Tecmo Super Bowl, picking up some Nutty Bars at Wal-Mart (those things are damn good) and then washing it all down with a hash brown, scattered, smothered, covered and diced (well, I don't know that, but that's what I dig at that great bastion of Georgia cuisine).

So, here you go, from @DatDudeBP, the (off) day in the life of a big-leaguer:




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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 3:49 pm
 

NL All-Star balloting update: Cards lead way



By Matt Snyder


Major League Baseball has issued a press release with the first All-Star balloting update of the season, and the NL starting lineup would include three Cardinals if the voting ended right now. The leaders by position (including three outfielders, of course): Albert Pujols, Brandon Phillips, Placido Polanco, Troy Tulowitzki, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman. (Full ballot update at MLB.com)

A few things immediately jump out:

- Jose Reyes is the most qualified candidate at shortstop, despite Tulowitzki's hot start. Reyes leads the NL in hits, doubles, triples and stolen bases and is hitting .335 with an .876 OPS. He doesn't even have half the votes Tulo does. Oh, and Jimmy Rollins (.265 with a .698 OPS) is second. At least Reyes is in third, but it's odd to see a player in New York so under-represented in the voting.

- The starter at first base has gotta be Joey Votto over Pujols. It's not even close this season. Votto is second, trailing by about 182,000 votes. Prince Fielder (third) and Ryan Howard (fourth) should also be ahead of Pujols. Remember, it's for the 2011 season.

- Speaking of which, Chase Utley is third in voting at second base.

- Dodgers outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have very strong cases in the outfield, and they check in at spots four and five in the voting, respectively. Still, who are you going to bump between Braun, Holliday and Berkman? Maybe we can petition to move Braun to third base in order to maximize the offense?

- The biggest snub appears to be Jay Bruce. The young Reds' slugger was been an absolute man-child in May and leads the NL in home runs, RBI and total bases. He's 12th place in votes for outfielders. Looks like Reds fans need to get over to MLB.com and support their team. Phillips leads at second because there aren't many good candidates, but Votto and Bruce should be starting and aren't yet in that position.

- Obviously, Posey can't start because of his season-ending injury and NL manager Bruce Bochy will name a replacement if Posey wins the voting. So the catcher voting -- at least as long as he's at the top -- is irrelevant.

Voting continues on MLB.com through June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will be an update on AL voting Wednesday.

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Posted on: May 24, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 11:02 am
 

Pepper: Brian Fuentes criticizes manager Geren



By Evan Brunell

FUENTES BLOWS UP: Brian Fuentes, the Athletics closer, had some strong words for manager Bob Geren after losing his seventh game of the year. He's now blown five of seven tie games and Fuentes isn't happy about the skipper's communication skills, saying Geren has handled his communication with the reliever poorly.

"There’s just no communication," Fuentes says. "Two games, on the road, bring the closer in a tied game, with no previous discussions of doing so. And then, tonight, in the seventh inning, I get up. I haven’t stretched, I haven’t prepared myself. If there was some communication beforehand I would be ready to come into the game  -- which I was, when I came into the game, I was ready. Just lack of communication. I don’t think anybody really knows which direction he’s headed."

Fuentes really shouldn't be complaining about being brought in during a tie game on the road. The general rule of thumb is that you deploy your closer with a tie at home or lead on the road, but that doesn't mean everyone has to follow that tenet -- not to mention that rule of thumb is a pretty weak one. You bring in your best reliever for the situation that demands it most, end of story.

That aside, it appears as if Geren doesn't have the right pulse on Fuentes -- or maybe even the bullpen as a whole. Fuentes says it's difficult to adhere to what appears to be a random schedule, instead of being afforded time to stretch and prepare for coming into the game in the eighth or ninth. Again, we're seeing "established" rules for closers with no reason for being established causing problems. In Fuentes' defense, however, he didn't trailblaze these established rules -- he's just following them and it's easy to see how he thinks they're a valuable part of his preparation. From the manager's perspective, though, Fuentes may have very well been the best choice to come into the seventh inning. The problem is when you don't communicate effectively.

"I thought he misspoke," Fuentes said of when he first learned Geren wanted him in the game in the seventh. "I thought it was some sort of miscommunication, but he said, ‘No, you’re up,’ so I got up and cranked it up. You can’t try to guess along with them. Very unpredictable."

Fuentes adds that this hasn't been a situation that's been slowly getting worse; rather, it's fairly recent and Fuentes first became displeased when Oakland traveled to San Francisco this past weekend. Or maybe it's because Fuentes has a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 May innings.

"I think the games in San Francisco were some unorthodox managing," he noted. "I thought it was maybe the National league thing, that maybe that had something to do with it, but [Monday] was pretty unbelievable."

Just don't expect Fuentes to be the one to initiate communication. He's going to leave that up to Geren.

"I can’t predict the future. If he decides to take that step, then there will be communication. If not, I’ll make sure I’m ready from the first." (MLB.com)

LOSING CONFIDENCE: Wins and losses don't matter from an evaluation perspective, that much is clear. But for a pitcher, it can be pretty demoralizing to see an 0-7 mark next to his name, like John Danks is dealing with despite a 4.34 ERA that is plenty good enough to keep him in the rotation, as manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It’s getting harder and harder," Danks said. "That's the blunt truth. But like I said, it doesn’t do me any good to sit and dwell on it or feel sorry for myself. I got to come in ready to work and have myself ready for my next strart. That’s how I’ll go about it." (Chicago Tribune)

RANDY POFFO, BASEBALL PLAYER: Before "Macho Man" Randy Savage became a sensation in the wrestling world, he was an aspiring baseball player with a tremendous work ethic who just didn't have the talent to go beyond Class A. But that didn't stop Savage, whose real name was Randy Poffo, from trying. (Sports Illustrated)

SAVAGE HOMER: When Brewers GM Doug Melvin heard that Savage had died, it took him a while to figure out that Savage was the same Poffo who played in the minor leagues. "I think he hit a homer off me," Melvin said, hearkening back to 1972 when the two would have been on opposing rookie-ball teams. Unfortunately, Melvin was unable to verify this, as he could not find boxscores. (MLB.com)

MOVING ON: It's hard to, but Francisco Rodriguez is trying to move on from the much-publicized altercation with his ex-girlfriend's father last season. Rodriguez is off to a fantastic start as closer and appears to have made major strides mentally. (New York Daily News)

MANAGING FOR THE FANS: In case it's not clear for you just yet, Jim Leyland manages for the fans, not with fans. Leyland didn't take too kindly to being second-guessed for taking Rick Porcello out of a game in which he was one-hitting the Pirates after eight innings with 84 pitches. Closer Jose Valverde finished off the win, and Leyland went on a rant Monday about being second-guessed. (Detroit Free-Press)

START 'ER UP: The Cardinals will put Mitchell Boggs into the rotation at Triple-A after the reliever was demoted in a bit of a surprising move on Monday. The transition to the rotation isn't permanent, but it will afford St. Louis some security in rotation depth as well as allow Boggs to fine-tune his secondary offerings. (FoxSportsMidwest.com)

GOING OPPOSITE: David Ortiz seems to be taking a page out of Adrian Gonzalez's book, as Big Papi is going to the opposite field more than he ever has before, banging balls off the Green Monster. Of Ortiz's 27 hits at home so far, 14 have gone the opposite way. Compare that to a full-season total of 16 in 2008. (WEEI)

MOVE THE WALLS: Padres manager Bud Black might be getting sick of the decrepit Padres offense. Black has avoided all comment about possibly moving the walls of Petco Park in, but admitted Monday he thought there was "room for discussion." (MLB.com)

GLOVE MAN: What can't Eric Hosmer do? All the focus has been on Hosmer's offense, but he sports a pretty good glove too. Alcides Escobar thinks so, smiling enthusiastically when asked about Hosmer's defense. (Kansas City Star)

SLOW AND STEADY: Adam Lind still hasn't played in a game since May 7 thanks to a sore back, but that could finally be coming Wednesday. Once Lind returns from his minor-league rehab assignment, he'll return to first base but will see starts at DH mixed in to ease him back physically. (MLB.com)

DAT DUDE: Brandon Phillips' Twitter account is among the best in sports and has turned him into a marketing machine who fans adore. That's quite a ways from the kind of person he was in Cleveland. This is a nice profile of Phillips and how Twitter has impacted him. (MLB.com)

SELLING OUT: The Double-A Dayton Dragons are at 799 consecutive sellouts and if all goes according to plan, July 9 is when the Dragons will take out the Portland Trail Blazers for most consecutive sellouts in sports history. However, 40-60 tickets a game for the 7,230-seat stadium remain, although the team does not appear concerned about that posing an issue. (Dayton Daily News)

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 5:16 pm
 

On Deck: Interleague's best


By C. Trent Rosecrans


A little something different today for on-deck, with interleague play starting, here are the top three interleague matchups on tap this weekend. But what's really different is this ranking of the top three is done not by hype or television market or geography, nope, it's done by good ol' fashion numbers -- combined winning percentage.

BATTLE FOR OHIO -- The two teams play for the Ohio Cup -- and for the last couple of years, that's all that was at stake. Not this season. The Reds' resurgence started last season when they won the National League Central and this season they enter this series just a half-game out of first, while the surprising Indians lead the American League Central by five games, the biggest lead of any of baseball's division leaders. Indians starter Alex White, the team's first-round pick in 2009, hasn't pitched an official game in nearly two weeks and had his outing last Saturday cut short after an inning because of rain. Former Indian Brandon Phillips has absolutely punished the team that gave up on him in 2006, hitting .354/.390/.540 with five homers in 29 games against Cleveland. Combined winning percentage: .600. Reds at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

SUNSHINE STATE SHOWDOWN -- Usually you think of old folks when it comes to Florida, but between the Rays and the Marlins, you have two of the best young teams in baseball. The Rays have rebounded from their slow start to take the lead in the American League East, while the Marlins are just a game and a half behind the Phillies. There's never really been a rivalry between these two teams as neither have really been playoff contenders in the same year. That could change this season. Andy Sonnanstine goes to the hill for Tampa tonight for his second start of the season, while Anibal Sanchez is off to a hot start, going 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA. Combined winning percentage: .570. Rays at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

DIVISION LEADERS -- Considering the Rangers made the World Series last season and are currently leading the American League West and the Phillies have the game's best rotation, this could be an October preview. As it stands, it's the only matchup (today at least) of first place teams. Oh yeah, and C.J. Wilson against Roy Halladay, that's not too bad either. Too bad there's no Josh Hamilton, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino or Nelson Cruz, but there's still plenty of star power to go around. Combined winning percentage: .563. Rangers at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

And, just to note, the three worst matchups by terms of combined winning percentage are: Twins-Diamondbacks (.412), Astros-Blue Jays (.425) and Dodgers-White Sox (.444).

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 10:23 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 6:24 pm
 

Pepper: Duel in Fenway


By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: There's no more tasty matchup than Josh Beckett and Justin Verlander squaring off in Fenway Park as the Tigers take on the red hot Red Sox. Also, how will CC Sabathia, Jair Jurrjens and Madison Bumgarner fare? I discuss all of these items in CBSSports.com's Baseball Today. See above.

MOST MARKETABLE: Three baseball players check in as members of the top 50 most marketable athletes in the world. Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt is at the top with LeBron James second. The MLB guys are Albert Pujols (25), Joe Mauer (31) and Brian Wilson (34). (SportsMedia.com) Great, so now everyone is going to grow out a beard like that?

MORE ON PHILLIPS' VISIT: Remember the story about Brandon Phillips going to watch a 14-and-under All-Star game being played by one of his Twitter followers? Well, the Dayton Daily News has the full story. Not only did Phillips show up, but he stayed for six innings. Here's what the parents of the young Twitter follower, named Connor, had to say about Phillips: "[He was] bombarded by people. He must have signed a hundred autographs. Connor kind of wanted to invite him into the dugout to give him some relief, but it seemed like Brandon was enjoying himself. And whenever Connor got up to hit, he’d always stop and watch him." Connor ended up gathering two singles and a double in front of Phillips, as his team won 12-4. As for Phillips' comments? “I had a good time. The parents were really into the game. Everybody had a lot of fun, and it reminded me again of why I play and why I do what I do on the field ... and off. It’s about love. I just love the game.”

ACKLEY KID: Michael Pineda's done a decent job (understatement alert) in his rookie campaign, so what about the Mariners promoting their top hitting prospect, Dustin Ackley? Once Stephen Strasburg was off the board, you may have quit paying attention, but Ackley was the second overall pick in that draft. Ackley plays second base and is swinging a good bat in Triple-A -- .280 average with six home runs, 21 RBI, 27 runs, nine doubles, six stolen bases and an .844 OPS in 40 games. Thus, it's rather obvious why Mariners fans would be pining for the 23 year old. The always-thoughtful Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times discusses why Ackley hasn't gotten the call yet and when he might get it (hint: sometime in June).

NEW RIVALRY: A good discussion with the writers on StLtoday.com: Has the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry been surpassed by the Cardinals-Reds? I'll weigh in as our resident Cubs fan. I think there's a difference between historic fan rivalries and present on-field rivalries. I don't think the rivalry between Cubs and Cardinals fans would ever be surpassed by that of the Reds vs. Cardinals in terms of historic stature, but in 2011 as a stand-alone season, it's Reds-Cardinals and it's not even close. This is because those are the two best teams in the division and they seem to genuinely dislike each other. To use another midwest example, Indiana and Purdue are always top rivals in basketball, but with Indiana down the past few years, Purdue had much bigger games on the slate.

MORE ON THE CARDS-REDS: Meanwhile, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan calls remarks made by Reds announcer Marty Brennaman "classless." (StLtoday.com)

THE UNKNOWN: The first round of the MLB draft is June 6, and the Pirates are narrowing down the field for their first selection. It's interesting to say that because for the first time since 2008, it's not a foregone conclusion who the top pick is going to be. Both Strasburg and Bryce Harper were the obvious No. 1 picks in the past two drafts. On the flip-side, the Pirates are considering around five different players. Reportedly, the three favorites are UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen. (MLB.com)

POSTING CHANGE: NPB (that's Japan's professional league to those unaware) may change it's posting system for players looking to sign with Major League Baseball. The most famous posting issue is when the Red Sox ponied up just over $50 million just for the rights to exclusively negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. By the time the Red Sox signed him to a contract, they'd paid over $100 million. There are lots of other cases, obviously, that's just the most notorious. Anyway, the proposed change would be to award negotiating rights to the top three bidders. This would probably help the players make more money and be more fair to the bidding MLB teams. (NPB Tracker)

DEROSA DOWN: Giants third baseman Mark DeRosa is out "for a long time" after re-injuring his surgically repaired wrist. This may speed up a move of Aubrey Huff across the diamond with Brandon Belt taking over at first base -- at least until Pablo Sandoval is ready to come back. (SFgate.com) While we're here, I'm going to stand up for DeRosa as a man to the Giants fans (it's a minority, so let's not paint the entire fan base with one brush) celebrating his injury just because he's underperformed on the field. DeRosa is a great guy and great teammate. It takes a special kind of (bad) person to wish chronic injuries on someone else, especially when those bad wishes are upon a good person. Oh, while we're here ...

WHY THOLE QUIT TWITTER: Mets catcher Josh Thole joined Twitter to interact with fans, and instead had to close his account because he was tired of everyone taking shots at him -- including one loser who said he didn't care if Thole died. (NYDailyNews.com) It's amazing how "tough" people get under the cloak of anonymity. Actually, amazing is the wrong word. It's pathetic. There are few places where I'll ever break out the sanctimony, but this is one of them. If you use the Internet to tell people you want them dead because of how they play baseball -- or anything comparable such as political views, religious views, favorite musicians or taste in TV shows -- you are dregs of society and seriously need to get a life.

RECOVERED RINGS: Kyle Kendrick had his 2008 World Series championship ring stolen from his home on March 30, but it has been recovered by police in an unrelated investigation. There were several other items recovered by police, including Kendrick's 2009 NLCS ring. (CSNPhilly.com)

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 9:59 am
 

Pepper: Peavy, Posada, Pudge and More



BASEBALL TODAY: What should White Sox fans expect from Jake Peavy tonight? Will Jered Weaver get back on track in Seattle? Tony Lee of NESN.com joins Lauren Shehadi with the latest edition of CBSSports.com's Baseball Today.

By Matt Snyder


MORE POSADA-GIRARDI FEUD: Evidently, the Jorge Posada-Joe Girardi issue Saturday night had been brewing for some time -- at least according to the New York Daily News. Reportedly, Posada and Girardi began to butt heads back in 2005 when Girardi was the Yankees' bench coach and Posada was the everyday catcher. Girardi was "heavily involved" in the game-planning in terms of how to work opposing hitters, but reportedly Posada would routinely deviate from the plans during games. So then Girardi would call Posada out, which made Posada angry.

"Jorge felt everything he did behind the plate was being second-guessed by Girardi on the bench," the Daily News' anonymous source said. "The way Jorge called a game was a big issue for Girardi."

The source went on: "Girardi couldn't wait to get him out from behind the plate," the source said. "He hated the way he called a game."

Whether or not this is true, I'm just ready for it to all be in the past. Permanently.

ON THE FLIP SIDE: With the whole Posada drama in New York, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post takes the time to point out that Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez could have very well done something similar considering his role has been severely downgraded this season as Wilson Ramos has taken over as the starter. It hasn't been lost on Rodriguez's teammates, either. “He comes in here, they hit him eighth, he doesn’t say a thing,” one Nationals player said, motioning toward Rodriguez. I believe the difference is that Rodriguez has had to bounce around from team to team, so he's had the chance to be humbled and avoid a sense of entitlement. But that doesn't make Posada right. He could learn a thing or two from one of the best catchers to ever play the game. (Nationals Journal)

SHAKEUP COMING: The Giants' offense is getting to be more and more of an issue with each passing day, as they've now scored the least amount of runs in the National League. There's talk of a shakeup coming with the starting lineup, specifically the infield, in an attempt to get more offense. In fact, the Giants might recall Brandon Belt, play him at first, and then move Aubrey Huff to third base until Pablo Sandoval is healthy again. That's a drastic move defensively, since Huff hasn't played third in a few years and wasn't good there to begin with. It's just how desperate they're getting for more punch. (Mercurynews.com)

MORE JOHNSON, LESS BRIGNAC: Rays manager Joe Maddon said that Elliot Johnson is likely to see the majority of the playing time moving forward at shortstop while Reid Brignac will play less. Considering Johnson is a switch-hitter and Brignac swings lefty (with the majority of opposing starters being right-handed), it won't be a straight platoon in the least. "I don't want to be committed to that. You're going to see more of Elliot. Let's put it that way," Maddon said. "I think he's done a nice job." (TampaBay.com) Johnson is 3-7 with two home runs and a stolen base in his past two starts. Brignac is hitting just .179 with a dreadful .402 OPS this season.

GUT FEELING: The Mariners are about to receive a shot in the arm -- both offensively and defensively -- Wednesday, as Gold Glove center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will finally be activated from the disabled list. He'd been sidelined since the middle of spring training with a stomach ailment that had bothered him a good portion of 2010 as well. Expect Gutierrez to immediately take over in center for Mike Saunders, who has been fine in center but brutal offensively (.171/.222/.265). Gutierrez is superb in the outfield and a capable hitter. He hit .245 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI last season, but remember, he was plagued by the stomach issue. In 2009, he hit .283 with 18 homers, 70 RBI and a .764 OPS. (MLB.com)

REMEMBER ME? Dallas McPherson was once a top-20 prospect in all of baseball. He was the Brandon Wood of the early-to-mid 2000s -- expected to be a big power source for the Angels, only to flop several times before the Angels finally gave up on him. The difference was McPherson could blame some of his woes on injuries and he wasn't near as bad, sporting a .755 OPS in 117 games for the Angels in parts of three seasons. Still he hadn't been in the majors since 2008 ... until Tuesday night. McPherson is now a member of the White Sox and got a hit in his big-league at-bat in three seasons. It has been a long road back through a back surgery and lingering problems. "I've got to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd hear those words again," he said in discussing his promotion back to the majors. (Chicago Sun-Times)

FLASHBACK CAPS FOR SALE: The Angels are going to wear four different throwback jerseys this season on Friday home games, in what they're calling "Flashback Fridays." Well, the lids will be available for sale, which is sweet. I'd love to get the one with the lower-case "a" with a halo over it. Awesome. (The Ballcap Blog)

HIGH PRAISE: It's become pretty common knowledge at this point that Brandon Phillips is the best defensive second baseman in baseball, but that doesn't mean it hurts for him to hear the words from a former Reds second baseman -- one who is in the Hall of Fame. "He's unbelievable to me, with his range and everything," said Joe Morgan. "I think he's the best defensive second baseman in the game. He's athletic and he's willing to take chances, which I think is what separates him." (Cincinnati.com)

DREAM COME TRUE: Tony Campana grew up in the Cincinnati area and was able to make his major-league debut Tuesday night in Cincinnati -- only it was for the Cubs. He didn't disappoint his reported 50-plus friends and family in attendance, either, as Campana picked up an RBI double in his first big-league at-bat. He scored the go-ahead run an inning earlier when he had entered as a pinch-runner. "It's pretty much a dream come true, other than the outcome of the game," Campana said. "I couldn't be happier to come out, get a hit, score a run and get an RBI." Oh, yeah, that outcome. The Cubs blew the game again. This time in the eighth. (MLB.com)

RAIN DELAY FUN: All kinds of stuff happens when baseball players are waiting out rain delays. Here's a great video of some jousting with bats, courtesy of college teams Radford and High Point.



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