Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baseball Tidbits 5/9/2010

So far in this young season a few things of mention have happened. So here are a few impressions from yours truly

Milton Bradley
Bradley has shown that most of baseball was accurate about his effect on the Mariners. Now the reason that they are in last can not be attributed to Bradley. Cliff Lee missed the first month of the season to an abdominal injury and the offense has been abysmal. As I said in an earlier post, Bradley would be a distraction to the team. Which he has by not being in the lineup.

I'm not the kind of person to kick someone when he's down. I give Bradley credit for being able to ask for help in trying to solve his stress related issues. To be honest, I have no clue as to what these stress issues are and what causes them, but I wish him well in trying to resolve them and returning to help his team.

The Mariners on the other hand might be regretting trading Carlos Silva (who is having a decent season with the Cubs) to get Bradley. To their credit, the Mariners are sticking with Bradley with their support. Hopefully things can work out for both sides.

Dallas Braden
After saying this past week that he wanted to go mano-a-mano bare knuckles with A-Rod, he goes out and becomes the 19th player to throw a perfect game. Congratulations to him. Maybe more players should get pissed off at A-Rod. Its done wonders for Braden's career. LOL.

All kidding aside, if Braden still has a beef with A-Rod don't say you want to knuckle up, especially if A-Rod hasn't continued talking trash back through the media. All that does is makes Braden look foolish and thuggish. As I'm going to allude in the next section, do as pitchers throughout the decades have done when they had a beef with a particular player and/or team. A-Rod or any other Yankees batter for that matter might not like the form of retaliation it but it would be something they'd expect.

Back to the perfect game. Not to take anything away from Braden's performance and achievement; a little humility goes a long way. I had the opportunity to watch the last inning on (Thanks Pete, LOL) and in the post game, the announcers ask Braden if there's anything that he wants to say about the game and Braden answers "There's nothing to say, its perfect". Now its not what he said but how he said it. With this tone of arrogance and hubris that seems to be seen more and more within young athletes across the major sports. Sure he was the 19th pitcher to do it but damn, be humble about it.

Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety and not very understanding these younger players, who they are and what motivates them. I'll address how one person is trying to instill good old fashioned sportsmanship with his son's little league team next week.

Josh Beckett and the decline of the Bosox
Leading in perfectly into this commentary, what is wrong with Josh Beckett and the Red Sox. Beckett is currently 1-1 with a 7.46 ERA and after his 10-3 loss to the Yankees on Friday, it seems that his control is lost.

Having plunked a number of Yankees (especially Jeter with the bases loaded) fans and some Yankees players alike felt as if he was doing it purposely. I think that's ridiculous. Why would a pitcher of Beckett's caliber give up earned runs in that manner (In total he have up 9 earned runs). The Yankees took issue with it, and CC Sabathia hit one of the Red Sox hitters the next day (as would be expected within baseball's etiquette for retaliation as Braden should do if he pitches for the A's from July 5-7 against the Yankees) and the situation was squashed.

I think there might be something wrong with Beckett. Maybe he's hiding an injury. If that's the case, say something, take care of it and stop hurting your team. And talking about the team, I know I picked the Red Sox to struggle and end up in 3rd place but they are struggling due to lack of pitching and irratic offense. As of Saturday, the Red Sox were leading the Major Leagues in hits (289) and ranking second in total bases (485) and extra-base hits (114). This shows they are hitting the ball but it is either at the wrong time, when the game is already lost or when the bases are empty. Regardless of when the hits come, the Red Sox are off to their worst start since 1997.

What can solve their ills? Consistent production throughout the lineup and rotation. Granted, they've lost a few pivotal players such as Jacoby Ellsbury to injury but players like David Ortiz, Victor Martinez and Daisuke Matzusaka need to step up before they fall too far behind the Yankees and the Rays.

Any questions and/or comments? Let me hear them. Later.

1 comment:

  1. After re-watching Braden's post game interview and noticing how he was emotional on how he spoke about his grandmother and after reading up on his difficult upbringing (losing his mother to skin cancer in high school and being raised in a difficult environment), I will change my tone a bit in respect to Braden. I didn't have it so hard growing up compared to him and since I have yet to walk in his shoes, it is not up to me to judge him on whether or not he is arrogant or full of hubris. I still disagree with his extension of the A-Rod scenario by challenging him to a fight but one funny thing came out of the perfect game.

    Braden's grandmother told A-Rod to stick it while she was watching her grandson pitch yesterday. To which A-Rod after congratulating Braden on his achievement, took the high road and just answered "Uncle" to the grandmother's comment. Grandmothers transcend Baseball.

    Baseball never ceases to amaze me.