Tag:Jose Bautista
Posted on: July 7, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Love Letters: The All-Star voting edition

Hot fun in the summertime. ...

FROM: Michael S.
Re: Weekend Buzz: Nice work on All-Star Voting

Are you out of your mind, Mr. Miller? Lance Berkman as a starting outfielder for the NL? He's a first baseman for ... sake! How about Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates? What are you smoking with your agreement with the Berkman selection?

Hmm, let's find out if I can see through all of the smoke from whatever it is I'm not inhaling: Berkman has started 62 games in the outfield for St. Louis this season, 19 at first base and two as a DH. So apparently, Mr. Michael, Berkman IS an outfielder. And I'm just high on life.

FROM: Frank D

Great job on your All-Star picks. I agree 100! You are by far the best writer on the site.

Don't tell that to Doyel. He just won a fancy award as the second-best columnist in the country and he might get his feelings hurt.

FROM: Thomas H.

So a team's position in the standings should factor into a player's inclusion in the All-Star starting lineup? These are INDIVIDUAL selections, not team awards. And how do you know that Rickie Weeks has made a better contribution to the Brewers than Brandon Phillips to the Reds? If you are going that route, then also include the contribution in the clubhouse, where Phillips is outstanding.

Your points are well taken. I'm a huge Phillips fan. Both he and Weeks are having great years. But on this one, I'm right.

FROM: John D.

Yankees at all positions -- second, shortstop and third. Shortstop, no Yankee should be selected. J.J. Hardy from the Orioles is better than Derek Jeter. How did you even become a sports writer?

First part of your argument is correct: A Yankee shouldn't be starting at shortstop. However, good as Hardy has been, you lose me with your second part. The correct answer is, Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera should be starting.

FROM: Adam S.

Adrian Gonzalez is the runaway MVP in the AL so far? You may want to take another look at Jose Bautista's numbers. Bautista's OBP is 63 points higher, his SLG is 85 points higher, he has more HR's, over 40 more BB's, more Runs, and fewer K's. Don't get me wrong, Gonzalez is having a great year, but I think Bautista has the edge right now, and I'm not sure it is even close. Other than that one argument, I enjoyed the article quite a bit.

I was overzealous (and careless) with my use of the word "runaway." You, sir, are correct. But given what Gonzalez has brought to the Red Sox, and given how he's propped them up into second place in the division, I'm still gonzo over Gonzo.

FROM: Capt. Hook
Re.: Padres resurgence could put trades on hold

Scott,

I'm not sure about your GM skills, much less your math skills, if you think San Diego's current resurgence will stop them from thinking trade. With 80 games left, if they go 56-24 (.700) and San Francisco creeps along at their current .586 over their remaining schedule, the Padres would win by one game. Well, playing .700 may be just a little far-fetched, ya think? Hmmm. Sell the farm, Padres, as the Fantasy of Mr. Miller is just that: A fantasy.

Come on now, read the entire column, not just the headline. I pinpointed the exact time the Padres will start to deal, about a week after the All-Star Game. All I said by pointing toward the Padres' current "resurgence" is that it will delay their plans to trade until later in July. I never suggested they would get back into the race. That would be silly now, wouldn't it?

FROM: Jason
Re. With Nationals, Davey Johnson ready to win again

I'm excited to see the Nationals hire Davey Johnson and think he's perfect for this team. I'm still in shock over the way Jim Riggleman left, but happy we got Johnson here!

How about the suicide squeeze bunt he masterfully called on Wednesday night? Guy is 68 years old and called it for the first time in his managerial career. He's a keeper.

FROM: Josh M.
Re.: Oft-injured Twins have limited options with Cuddyer

I can't see the Twins trading their highest-producing player. Michael Cuddyer has been the one guy who has been stable over the last few seasons. He is the most underrated player in the show. I don't know who they could trade for that would be better. I don't think they could get the power starting pitcher that they need. It would be a waste of a star player to trade him for some long-shot nobody.

Not only is he the most underrated player in The Show, he's the Twins most INVALUABLE player. Some really smart guy called that one way back during spring training in this column.

FROM: Jeff P.
Re.: Payroll deadline likely last straw for McCourts' regime

Scott,

I've been a Dodgers fan since 1960. Every cheap shot you threw at McCourt is well-deserved and earned. However, the parking lot beating had no place in this story. It doesn't hurt me as a Dodgers fan, but, as a compassionate human being, I hurt for the Giants fan and his family. I urge you to post a sincere apology and then refrain from such distasteful attempts of Andrew Dice humor.

Look, it was not a cheap attempt at humor, and yes, I'm sorry to those who were offended by that line. But the tragic parking lot beating this year is part of the overall body of McCourt's shoddy and irresponsible work as "caretaker" of the Dodgers. And I'm offended at being compared to a class-less, trailer-trash comic like Andrew Dice Clay.

FROM: Richard

MARK CUBAN, all that's right. Baseball don't like his type. Get rid of the CAR SALESMAN BUD SELIG. He did nothing about steroids.

Not sure that Mark Cuban is all that's right. But compared to Frank McCourt, a common house rat is all that's right, so I guess your point is well taken.

Likes: Mid-season, and the All-Star Game. Still, by far, the coolest All-Star Game in all of sports. Not even close.

Dislikes: Super 8. Just because today's technology can produce cool special effects, it doesn't always mean the more, the better. Just sayin'.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"The moon beams we can dream on, when the working day is done
"And the stars we can wish upon, at the setting of the sun
"The sunsets we could cry over, put our troubles on the run
"But more than these miracles above, good people, we need love"

-- Eddie Hinton, Everybody Needs Love




Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:56 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 10:48 pm
 

Love Letter: The Jose Bautista edition

KANSAS CITY -- So in my season predictions coming out of spring training, I picked Toronto fourth and included this line: "Jose Bautista hits 54 home runs again, I'll key in 'Oh Canada' and wake to it each morning next winter on my iPod alarm clock." As if anybody is supposed to take these things to heart. Well, ahem. That was back in March. Two months later, this is what I get from my man Chris. ...

From: Chris

Hi Scott,

Re. your comment on Bautista just before the season started, I live in Canada and have some great renditions of 'Oh Canada' I could send you so you don't have to listen to the same one every morning this coming winter. Peace.

What if I pick Vancouver to win the Stanley Cup. Could we call it even then, Chris?

Likes: Buck Martinez, former catcher and Toronto's outstanding television man. ... Another former catcher, Gregg Zaun, broadcasting for the Blue Jays. Zaunie is one of the good ones. ... Another helping of Arthur Bryant's burnt ends today. ... The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, as I wrote about the other day. Make it a priority if you get to Kansas City. ... Planet Sub downtown here. Cool vibe, great sandwiches. The tuna fish with bacon was a winner the other day. ... The Zac Brown Band's Knee Deep, with special guest Jimmy Buffett. ... The Kansas City Star. Excellent newspaper. ... Fountains everywhere you look in downtown KC. It really is very cool. ... The fans in Kauffman Stadium singing along loudly to Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places in the middle of the sixth inning each night. Excellent.

Dislikes:
Aw, ran out of time in Kansas City and didn't get to tour the American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th and Vine District. Next time. And the All-Star Game is here next July. ...

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"No more pencils
"No more books
"No more teacher's
"Dirty looks
"Well, we got no class
"And we got no principals
"We ain't got no innocence
"We can't even think of a word that rhymes"

-- Alice Cooper, School's Out


Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:20 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 9:49 pm
 

Jose Bautista, catcher?

KANSAS CITY -- Baseball works in strange ways sometimes, as anyone knows who remembers that the game's all-time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, started as a shortstop in Cincinnati's system.

Sometimes an astute coach suggests something early on in a player's development, and it works.

Back when Bautista spent barely more than a month with Kansas City in 2004, then-bench coach Bob Schaefer thought that just maybe ...

"I really liked him a lot," Schaeffer, who served under then-manager Tony Pena, says. "He was a third baseman-outfielder. He could run, but he didn't have great speed. He really didn't have a position.

"I told him one day that if I was manager, I'd talk to you about catching."

Schaefer grinned at the memory.

"He told me, 'I'm glad you're not the manager.' But his hands were good. I could see some bat quickness. He didn't know how to hit yet, but I liked his athletic ability."

Bautista, who was acquired by the Royals on June 28 that summer and then shipped to the Mets on July 30, remembers that conversation.

"I was in the cage one day," he says. "But there's no way. I know I was a rookie and a young guy and I probably shouldn't be saying where I should or shouldn't play, but I don't think a move to the backstop is something I would have agreed with or ever done.

"Especially as a Rule V guy, no way. I don't have the defensive ability or the game-calling ability that a catcher [should] have."

Bautista is very intelligent and athletic, so maybe he could have learned.

We'll never know. It was just one of those fleeting ideas during a very unsettled season for him.

And he's done OK for himself since.

"I saw him in spring training," says Schaefer, now a scout for the Nationals after a stint on Joe Torre's coaching staff with the Dodgers the past few seasons. "He gets tremendous backspin on the ball. It's not surprising, these home runs, because when he hits the ball, it keeps carrying.

"He just didn't know how to hit back then. He's learned how to hit."


Posted on: April 10, 2011 8:25 pm
 

Dominant Weaver fans 15 Blue Jays

ANAHEIM -- With just two left-handers in their lineup Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays were helpless against Angels right-hander and serious Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver.

And they're not alone.

Now 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA, the Angels' ace is racking up impressive starts like he racked up a career-high 15 strikeouts against the Jays in Sunday's 3-1 win.

"I'm just trying to keep my team in the game," Weaver said. "And if it takes a couple of strikeouts every now and then, then that's what it's going to take."

It's usually more than just a couple. Weaver led the AL with 233 punchouts last season and is off to a roaring start in 2011. The Blue Jays were overmatched from the start Sunday, unable to even get a hit against Weaver until Travis Snider's infield single in the fifth.

Weaver fanned seven Toronto hitters in the first three innings, 11 in the first five and wound up striking out Jayson Nix three times and Jose Bautista, Rajai Davis, Aaron Hill twice each.

Most importantly, after manager Mike Scioscia stuck with Weaver into the eighth, he issued two one-out walks with the Angels leading 3-1 before striking out Bautista to finish his afternoon.

Bautista took two balls to start the at-bat, then took called strike one and then ball three before a foul tip ran the count to full.

"The one pitch I tipped with my bat, that would have been ball four," Bautista said. "I couldn't hold on."

Bautista quickly made sure to say he was making no excuses and taking nothing away from Weaver. He was just beaten in the at-bat.

"You look at his numbers the last couple of years, he ranks with anybody," Bautista said. "Righty on righty, he's as good as anybody. He's very deceptive with that weird delivery that comes across his body.

"He's on top of everything, and he can locate all of his pitches. That's a good recipe for success right there."

Weaver's effort was especially welcomed by the Angels because it came after a 14-inning win Saturday night in which Scioscia emptied his bullpen and wound up using starter Dan Haren to work the 14th. Furthermore, it was the second time in four games the Angels' skipper had used every single one of his relievers in a game.

"Part of what you do [Saturday night] is because you know you have a guy like Weav coming up," Scioscia said. "Same with Haren. You know the guy is routinely going to get you to a point in the game."

Weaver became the first Angels pitcher to record 15 or more strikeouts in 16 years, since Chuck Finley did it against the Yankees on May 23, 1995. He was the first right-hander to do it for the Angels since Mike Witt on July 23, 1984, against Seattle.

"My command of the fastball was good, and the slider was better than it's been in awhile," Weaver said. "And matching up with a bunch of right-handers is going to play good."

"He pretty much did what he's good at, throwing strikes and mixing it up," Nix, the Jays' third baseman, said. "There are a number of things about him. He's deceptive, he's able to throw four pitches for strikes to both sides of the plate ... that's what he's usually able to do."

 
 
 
 
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