Thursday, August 26, 2010

SweetSpot Roundup 8/26

By The Common Man and Bill

Capital Avenue Club (Braves): Wednesday Post
Some unwelcome reason about the shocking Omar Infante: "Really, I’m not convinced this is anything other than a severely exaggerated BABIP spike (BABIP: .393*, xBABIP: .328).  He’s striking out slightly less than he has in his career, but he’s walking less and not hitting as many extra-base hits.  I expect his production going forward to resemble the career line more than his current line."

The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Five Questions...Among Many
With nothing left in 2010 but 120 or so hours of terrible baseball, Chet starts to scratch the surface of the many, many questions facing the club for 2011 and beyond.

Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Ryan Howard goes all Prince Fielder
You know, I happened to be listening to the Philles' radio broadcast the other night when Ryan Howard was ejected with nobody left on the bench, and the announcers immediately laid into the umpire for not showing more restraint and thinking about the situation before he tossed him. My immediate thought: how can you say that? How on earth do you know he didn't totally deserve to be kicked out? And if Austin's recounting of the incident is accurate, it sounds like it was worse than that; if he threw his bat, of course he should've been ejected, and the announcers should've recognized that. If Howard wants to screw over his own team, it's certainly not the ump's job to stop him. I have to admit, though, I don't get the reference in the title.

Dodger Thoughts: Classic 1965 Sandy Koufax Interview
Snippets from an interview Koufax did on being named the SI Sportsman of the Year. Good stuff. Also Dodgers-related news and notes; the first one made me laugh.

Mets Today: Mets Game 125: Win Over Marlins
"They're not dead yet!" [Editor's note: they're not?] News and notes from a walk-off win.

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Umpires Are to be Seen and Not Heard
Bill Baer with a very, very different take on the Howard incident from Austin's above: "It doesn’t matter what Howard says and does short of physical violence, he stays in the game. The umpire sucks it up and doesn’t put his ego ahead of the credibility of Major League Baseball games. Scott Barry didn’t do that. As Meech described, Barry had the gall to mock Howard before ejecting him with the shortest fuse known to man."

Ducksnorts (Padres): Me Elsewhere: There but for the Grace of Steve Finley...
Geoff wrote an excellent piece for Hardball Times, reassigning players from the 1987 draft based on what we know now. He only got through the first 8 picks in the first part, and the Padres picked tenth, but one of those first eight picks has kind of an interesting butterfly effect on the alternate-universe Padres.

Fungoes (Cardinals): Pedro Feliz Reality Check
In the weekend roundup, you saw what Fungoes thinks of Pedro Feliz. Based on that, you could guess what they think about his batting .381 through his first five Cardinals games (hint: they're not...overly optimistic).

The B-List (Indians): B-List Lite 8/24
What does Gio Gonzalez have on the Indians?

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Stuff That Makes You Wonder
Are the Rangers really looking at trying to build a new ballpark? And how do the recently released financial documents play into that possibility?

Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): The Arquimedez Pozo Awards
Who has the best name in Major League Baseball. Fire Brand digs deep and finds the answer is actually close to home.

Royals Authority: Yuniesky The Magnificent
I refuse to believe this is true: “Starting on August 3, Betancourt began his assault on American League pitching. Since then, he’s had 61 plate appearances, crushed six home runs and hit .373/.383/.712. Just an extraordinary and unforeseen turn of events. It’s because he’s improved his plate discipline.”

The Daily Fungo: Tigers Today
In which we remember that Mark McGwire hit his first homer off Walt Terrell in 1986. Surely only goodness and love would follow this All-American kid for the rest of his days.

Nick’s Twins Blog: Bottom Flores
“Unfortunately, at this stage of the season, the cupboard tends to be a bit bare, so all the Twins could come up with [to fill in for injured lefties Ron Mahay and Jose Mijares] was Randy Flores, a 35-year-old left-hander who had been pitching out of the Rockies bullpen up to this point.”

Sox Machine (White Sox): The Manny Ramirez Debate, Why is there one?
“Thank God. Claiming Ramirez, if he makes it to the Sox through the waivers, whenever he’s placed on them, is the only option. There’s no argument against. I don’t know how much Ramirez has left, but even with his injury issues, he’s still hitting .312/.404/.508.”

It’s About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Is Joe Girardi the next Cubs manager?
With his contract up this offseason, and his historical ties to the Cubs, would Joe Girardi jump ship?

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