Being entrenched as Cincinnati's shortstop means something else for Paul Janish: Perhaps his pitching days are finally finished.
"Ideally," he says, chuckling.
In two big-league mop-up appearances, Janish has fashioned a not-so-stellar 49.50 ERA.
Two innings pitched (both in 2009), nine hits, 11 earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts.
He says he's been informed by my friend and curator of "Useless Information", Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, that he owns the record for most runs given up by a position player in the last 50 years.
"So that made it pretty good," Janish says.
He says college recruiters projected him as a pitcher out of Houston's Cypress Creek High School. But at Rice University, the pitching staff was loaded, including Jeff Niemann (first-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2004), Philip Humber (first-round pick by the Mets in 2004), Wade Townsend (first-round pick of the Orioles in 2004, then first-round by Tampa Bay in 2005) and David Aardsma (first-round by the Giants in 2003).
So he remained an infielder at Rice, and helped the Owls win the College World Series in 2003.
Now, as the Reds starting shortstop, and two years after his last appearance on the mound, Janish no longer is being recruited as a pitcher -- by universities, or by Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker.
"No," he says. "And I don't think I'm going to be able to take [the 49.50 career ERA] to arbitration."
Likes: Friday Night Lights back for season five beginning on Friday (for those of us who don't have DirecTV). Can't wait. Mixed emotions, though: I hate that it's the final season for one of the best television shows ever. ... Win Win, the new film featuring Paul Giamatti as a dispirited attorney who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach. Really good. ... The Joe Mauer/Troy Polamalu commercial for Head & Shoulders. Well played, Mauer ... and Palamalu.
Dislikes: Ken Griffey Jr. in the commercials. Junior, I love ya, but that Dick's Sporting Goods ad is just awful. ... Speaking of which, MLB's newest ad campaign, Always Epic, has a clunker of a television ad taking us "inside" Brian Wilson's beard. Creepy.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
"And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
"I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
"I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shores"
-- Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine