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Tag:The Monkees
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: February 29, 2012 7:10 pm
 

Arizona's Drew comes back one grounder at a time

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- He works slowly, methodically. One ground ball at a time.

The Diamondbacks remain steadfastly non-committal about whether shortstop Stephen Drew, returning from a devastating ankle injury, will be ready in time for their April 6 opener against the Giants. Odds are against it.

They are insistent that no timetable is set because, well, once a timetable is there, then the player can start to rush, maybe push things a little too hard and that's the last thing anybody wants.

"He's probably ahead of where we thought he'd be," Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said Wednesday. "His range looks good. His arm looks good.

"With him, it will be recovery time. It will take some time to break up the scar tissue."

Drew broke his right ankle and severely damaged several ligaments sliding into home plate in a game last July 20.

How ugly was it? Giants catcher Buster Posey, who broke his own ankle during a play at the plate last May, said this spring that he'll watch replays of his own collision before he'll watch a replay of the Drew play.

"I cringe," Posey said.

It's been a long, tough rehabilitation since then for Drew. Add surgery for a sports hernia over the winter to his list of obstacles, and you can see why the Diamondbacks are determined to let Drew go at his own pace and not screw this one up.

"From what I've seen, he looks great," starter Daniel Hudson said. "We don't want to rush anything.

"Hopefully, when he comes back, he'll be the old Stephen Drew and he can help us with a playoff push."

In 86 games last season, Drew hit .252 with five homers, 45 RBIs and four steals. In three of the four years before 2011, he played in at least 150 games.

"There's a long way to go until he's ready, but it will be great to have him back," Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton said. "He's a big part of our team. Everybody knows, he's so big on defense."

Certainly, Drew's return is as important as anything for Arizona this spring. Towers helped keep the Diamondbacks in first place after the shortstop's injury last summer with his savvy acquisition of Aaron Hill and John McDonald from Toronto.

McDonald and veteran Willie Bloomquist will share time at shortstop until Drew returns.

A big test will be his first Cactus League game action, and that's an unknown, too. He will not be ready when Arizona opens exhibition play Saturday. The next big thing, then, will be to see how he responds playing in back-to-back games, and when he plays three or four days in a row.

"We're pleased with the way he's fielding balls, his body control when he makes plays, his range," Towers said. "I think he feels good where he's at."

Sunblock Day? The wind moved out of the Valley and the temperature crept back up to the mid-60s. The sun returned and all was good. But it will be better Thursday and Friday, with the temps expected back in the 70s.

Likes: What a difference in Diamondbacks camp this spring compared to last. Now, they're defending NL West champs and the talent level and depth is impressive. Then, they were coming off of a 97-loss season, Kirk Gibson was running his first camp as manager and they had no idea what was ahead. ... Frank's enchilada plate at Frank and Lupe's Mexican Restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. Great food, great off-the-beaten-track atmosphere. Delicious hand-made tortillas. ... Steve Azar's Slide On Over Here. ... Listening to Diamondbacks coach Alan Trammell work with some of the kids on a back field the other day during work on cutoffs and relays, and hearing him explain to them that they had better learn it now to the point where they can do it instinctually. Because when you get to the major leagues, the crowds are so loud you often don't hear the other player hollering instructions.

Dislikes: Awww, sleep well, Davy Jones.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Oh, I could hide 'neath the wings of the bluebird as she sings
"The six o'clock alarm would never ring
"But it rings and I rise wipe the sleep out of my eyes
"The shavin' razor's cold, and it stings
"Cheer up, sleepy Jean, oh what can it mean
"To a daydream believer and a homecoming queen?"

-- The Monkees, Daydream Believer

 
 
 
 
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