Tag:Pink Floyd
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Don't tell Homer Bailey pitchers shouldn't hit

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Let the debate begin anew over whether it's time for the National League to adopt the designated hitter.

Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett is out two to three months with a broken orbital bone suffered while bunting in the batting cage. And while he waits for the healing to begin, plenty of folks are chiming in, using him as Exhibit A for those who think it's time pitchers stopped batting altogether.

That's all well and good. But don't tell that to Reds pitcher Homer Bailey. The Cincinnati right-hander batted .282 with a .300 on-base percentage in 45 plate appearances last summer. He knocked home two runners.

"I think pitchers should hit in both leagues," Bailey says.

As for Burnett's injury ... hogwash, says Bailey.

"You have position players that foul balls off their feet and get hurt," Bailey says. "It's just a freak deal. You could have a position player do the same thing.

"Typically, pitchers are better bunters."

He's right. As ever, there remains no reason why pitchers should be such non-athletes that they're hopeless cases at the plate. Pitchers who can handle a bat, even to get a bunt down, help themselves. That's an advantage. Why take that advantage away?

"If it's that much of a problem," Bailey said of Burnett and the idea of pitchers injuring themselves batting, "then how come position players get hurt fouling balls off of their legs? They suffer torn hamstrings running to first, or torn knees.

"Look at what happened to Ryan Howard last year."

Howard this spring continues rehabbing the Achilles he tore during the last play of the Phillies' NLCS against St. Louis.

Sunblock Day? Nah. Jackets needed Friday morning as the temperature continues to struggle to get past 60 and a stiff wind blows.

Likes: Copies of USA Today's daily crossword puzzle and Sudoku puzzle stacked on a table in the middle of the Cincinnati clubhouse and several Reds stopping by to pick one up to work it. Those Reds, they're thinkers. ... Eric Davis in Reds camp, as usual, as an alumni coach. He loves everything about it, but don't tell him that the players keep him young. "I look younger than most of these guys in here," Davis says, and he's right. ... The jerk salmon at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant in Glendale. Surprisingly tasty. ... Heard a tune by The Hollies in a restaurant the other day, which reminded me of how unappreciated The Hollies are today. So much good stuff -- Bus Stop, Carrie Anne, Just One Look, (Long Cool Woman) In a Black Dress, On a Carousel, Under My Umbrella, The Air That I Breathe. They're celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, too, just like the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. ... The burgers at Five Guys. ... Learning that the Monkees actually have a direct link to David Bowie. Turns out, the latter's real name was Davy Jones. Yep, same as the Monkees' legend who passed away this week. So as an aspiring musician in the 1960s, knowing he couldn't be known as Davy Jones, he became David Bowie.

Dislikes: The photo cameras at red lights and, especially, the ones designed to catch speeders. They had a bunch of those on the freeways in Arizona a couple of years ago, but they're gone now. Someone told me one of the problems was the gun-toters here periodically would shoot the cameras on the freeways to put them out of operation. No idea whether that's true. But I sure like to think it is.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"If you don't eat your meat
"You can't have any pudding
"How can you have any pudding
"If you don't eat your meat?"

-- Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Back to Busch: Squirrel, fun ... and rain?

ST. LOUIS -- Back at Busch Stadium for Game 3 on Wednesday night, and you know what that means. ...

Cue theme from The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. ...

Yes, it's time for the Busch Squirrel to come speeding out across the field at any moment, isn't it?

"The squirrel is the squirrel," an unusually relaxed Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said during Tuesday's off day, before continuing: "I think it's good. The fans are having fun. And I really believe that this is not old school, and I know I am in many ways, but I think there's so much attention and pressure on the players that sometimes they show their unhappiness. ..."

Wait. La Russa thinks something is fun?

Hold your breath, that's not all.

"It's been fun, our fans are having fun, Milwaukee, it's fun for them," he said, referring to the whole Brewers' 'Beast Mode' act. "Let everybody enjoy it. Just don't cross the line."

La Russa smiled after he said let's "just don't cross the line", and the dilemma there, of course, is, where is that line? Because La Russa, in the heat of competition, sets those lines where he feels fit.

But it was all fun and games as the clubs worked out in St. Louis on Tuesday, to the point where the Cardinals announced a guest star who will appear on the 40,000 rally towels they will pass out to fans attending Game 3: The Rally Squirrel.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Both clubs only hope that the fans won't need to use the towels to wipe away raindrops. The run of gorgeous autumn weather in the Midwest is predicted to continue through much of this week, though there is a chance of rain in St. Louis around game time Wednesday night.

Most interesting thing about that is, despite Chris Carpenter's brief three-inning outing in Game 2 of the Division Series in Philadelphia on his first-ever start on three days' rest, La Russa said he will not hesitate to use Carpenter again on short rest if rain shuffles this NLCS.

"I know that Milwaukee and St. Louis do not want to get rained out [Wednesday] and pitch any one of our guys on three days' rest," La Russa said. "That being said, I wouldn't hesitate if he comes out of it and is healthy.

"After watching him in Philadelphia, it was all about his delivery being off. He warmed up right, he had good command and he went out there and ... [was] out of whack.

"We want to play this game [Wednesday] if we have to be here all night, and I'm sure Milwaukee does, too. If Mother Nature takes over, I have no hesitation pitching him on three days' rest."

Likes: Great cheeseburgers at Elsa's on the Park in Milwaukee. The aged Wisconsin cheddar was delightful (hmmm, you would expect that in Wisconsin, wouldn't you?). ... Stephen Colbert's line about ESPN dropping Hank Williams Jr. from Monday Night Football: "Not hearing that song left me dangerously unprepared for some football." Funny stuff. ... Netflix comes to its senses.

Dislikes: Lucinda Williams playing St. Louis on Wednesday night instead of Tuesday. Meaning, opposite Game 3 instead of on the off night before the series. Darn.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day

"How can you have any pudding
"If you don't eat your meat?"

-- Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall


Posted on: April 8, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Giants look to keep pitching sharp year later

The season following their 2005 World Series triumph, the pitching-strong White Sox were flat.

The season following his World Series MVP appearance, Philadelphia's Cole Hamels was flat.

There's no question that an extra month's pitching in October, with intense pressure riding on every pitch, sometimes grinds down even the best rotations.

And as the world champion Giants head toward their home opener Friday following a tough (2-3) opening trip, they're determined that their most precious asset -- their starting pitching -- will remain their strength.

Tim Lincecum, with a second consecutive impressive start in Wednesday's 8-4 pummeling of the Padres (13 strikeouts and no walks over seven innings), already is strong out of the gate. As for the overall rotation, while the Giants aren't taking any drastic measures, they've been subtly watching things all spring.

"We didn't push [the starters] once the games started in terms of pitch count," Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "We kept it to a minimum."

Specifically, Righetti said, the Giants monitored their pitchers when runners were on base this spring and throwing from a stretch was required. They also kept Lincecum to 22 2/3 spring innings and Jonathan Sanchez to 20. Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito each worked 27 1/3, while Matt Cain, who was slowed by a sore elbow early in camp, worked just 13 1/3 Cactus League innings.

"We're all in the business. We've been in it our whole life," Righetti said. "We understand that pitching that extra month is a grind. The effects, when the effects are going to happen, we'll see. You can't avoid it."

One thing the Giants are doing now is to stay on a five-man rotation in the early part of the season even with five days off within the season's first 31 days. Instead of skipping the No. 5 starter -- Bumgarner in this case -- San Francisco is opting for an extra day's rest for Lincecum, Sanchez, Cain and Zito.

Plus, there might be another benefit to that later, too.

"If there are any effects, you'll see it toward the end of the year, not now," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We'll keep a watchful eye.

"That's one reason we put Bumgarner in the fifth spot. We felt if we needed to give him a break, it would be easier to do from there.

"We'll monitor where we're at during the season, and who may need a break."

Though they are heading into the unknown this season in that they've never defended a World Series title since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the one thing the Giants hope they are certain of is how to handle pitching.

"Arms are precious," Righetti said. "You've got to watch every practice, every day. That doesn't change."

Likes: The Pirates donating leftover food from concession stands to local shelters and soup kitchens to feed the hungry. Best idea of the season, and I hope other teams follow. ... Day baseball in April. ... Home openers. ... If you're not checking out our Eye on Baseball blog several times a day, you're missing out. ... The Lincoln Lawyer. Very enjoyable flick.

Dislikes: Tough break for the Twins, losing second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioki to a fractured left fibula.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"You can't have any pudding
"If you don't eat your meat
"How can you have any pudding
"If you don't eat your meat?"

-- Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

Posted on: May 22, 2008 11:51 pm
 

Let's go to the replay

The manager who had probably the most to gain last October if there had been instant replay likes the idea that baseball is considering ways to implement it -- but only if it's limited in scope.

San Diego's Bud Black, whose Padres lost a crushing one-game playoff in Colorado last Oct. 1 -- they still swear in San Diego that Matt Holliday never touched the plate on that slide home -- gives the idea a cautious yes.

"I think there is some merit to it," Black says. "There's some merit to reviewing boundary plays, absolutely. Balls on the wall, at the foul pole, possibly even balls over the bag.

"I don't know about on the bases quite yet. I think umpiring is a big part of the game. I think the human element is still attractive to this game."

I'm inclined to agree with Black. I've never been in favor of instant replay -- partly because I don't want to see the games slowed down anymore than they already are, and partly because I think the umpires hit on a far higher percentage of calls than they miss.

But the way some of these new ballparks are designed, with outfield walls breaking and jutting at funky angles, it's become extremely difficult to tell a home run from ball off of the wall. And while some umpires maybe don't hustle to get out there for a good look, it's an impossible task: Even the ones who do hustle don't possibly have enough time to get back to the wall for an up-close look.

No way, though, can there be full instant replay, or games will never finish. Can you imagine if every called strike is reviewed?

"Do you argue every play?" Black asks. "Do you throw a flag if you want a review? Do you lose an out if you ask for a review and you're wrong?

"There would have to be some strict structure."

No question.

Likes: Ken Griffey Jr. now at 598 home runs, closing in on becoming only the sixth big leaguer ever to reach the 600 mark. And almost certainly the first since Willie Mays to do it clean. ... Arizona's Doug Davis set to rejoin the Diamondbacks' rotation Friday night following thyroid cancer surgery earlier this season. ... The current GQ article on Journey looking to come back strong with a new lead singer. Leads me to wonder if Steven Perry's final public appearances will have been with the White Sox as they were winning the 2005 World Series to the theme song Don't Stop Believin'. ...

Dislikes: American Airlines now charging $15 for the first bag you check. Every time you step near an airport now, the airlines nickel and dime you. Two bucks for checking a bag curbside. Twenty-five or more bucks if you want to change from a middle seat to an aisle seat on Northwest. Gouge, gouge, gouge. Just like at the gas pump. Every time you wake up anymore, there's more bad economic news.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"There is no pain, you are receding
"A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
"You are only coming through in waves
"Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're sayin'"

-- Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com