Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Comparison In The Wrong Context

  • This probably isn't how Joe Girardi wants to be compared to John McGraw:
It was well-known that legendary Giants manager from the early part of the 20th century, John McGraw (nicknamed Muggsy and Little Napoleon, which should open a few windows into the man's personality), was always ready, willing and able to get into a fistfight. It's also relatively well-known that he routinely got his ass kicked in the majority of those fights. I couldn't help but think of McGraw when I saw Yankees manager Joe Girardi emerge from the pile in last night's Yankees-Blue Jays moderately energetic fight (by baseball standards anyway) with a swollen eye and bloodied ear.
Guys who are willing to drop the gloves and get in the middle of the action should be admired because many baseball players are more than happy to find a friendly face among the opposition and play a 'rasslin, dancin' game to make it look like they're doing something in team solidarity, but don't want to get hurt; there comes a time though when reality has to set in and they have to accept that fact that they don't have the aptitude to be doing it.
The main incident in which Girardi had a central role should be a memorable one to Yankee fans. It was in Seattle against the Mariners in 1999 when the teams exchanged beanballs. Jason Grimsley threw at Edgar Martinez; Mariners reliever Frankie (Not K-Rod) Rodriguez retaliated by hitting Chuck Knoblauch and the screaming back-and-forth turned into a legitimate fistfight.*

*Frankie Rodriguez is from Brooklyn and was an acquaintance of mine from the sandlots. Good guy.

Girardi was the first one out of the dugout to physically challenge Rodriguez and, to be blunt, took a pretty good beating. What also came out of that fight was acting manager Don Zimmer getting so upset that his knees went weak and he staggered to the ground; and that Chad Curtis had the sheer audacity (and happened to be right) to question why Derek Jeter was chit-chatting and laughing with then-Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez while guys were brawling in the middle of the field. It sealed Curtis's fate with the Yankees after the season, but quietly most, if not all, observers knew he had a point.*

*Curtis was an interesting guy and was fearless. He was a bit of a religious nut, but in addition to challenging Jeter's actions during that brawl, it was Curtis who objected to the "Thong Song" being played in the Rangers clubhouse by Royce Clayton with children present. He was right then too.

Regardless, Girardi might want to stick to doing the "manager" thing and not getting directly in the middle of the fisticuffs because if one isn't able to fight when their in their prime, they're unlikely to be able to fight when they're approaching middle age.
  • Speaking of the fight:
Jorge Posada was so far out of line it's ridiculous. Jesse Carlson threw behind him in retaliation for the two Blue Jays who'd gotten hit. Posada would've wanted his own pitchers to protect him and his teammates in the exact same fashion, so behaving like a baby, screaming at Carlson and then taking a cheap shot by elbowing the Blue Jays pitcher as he crossed home plate was a bush league move.
If anything, the Yankees can blame their continued use of Mark Melancon for initiating these hard feelings when he hits someone; the guy clearly hasn't the faintest idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand. He's going to hurt someone or get one of his teammates hurt. He shouldn't be in the big leagues if his control is that off the charts. Period.
  • How do you explain the Braves?
It's a sign for a mediocre team to be so maddeningly inconsistent that they get swept at home by the Cincinnati Reds, look to be dead in the water because of poor play and managerial missteps and then right the ship to sweep the Cardinals and crawl back into contention, and that's what the Braves have done.
After Tommy Hanson dismantled the Mets last night, the Braves have won 5 in a row and are back to within striking distance of a playoff spot. Judging from the way they've played all season, I'd be stunned if they kept this up; in fact, another six game losing streak is a very realistic expectation.
  • More admiration:
Mike Hampton is set to undergo surgery on his left rotator cuff and the 37-year-old will have to rehab from yet another catastrophic injury. This is a guy who's had nothing but injuries to just about every part of his body over the past eight years, but keeps coming back. On the one hand, you have to admire him for not quitting, on the other hand you have to question when enough's going to be enough.
  • I'm open to interpretation about this:
Someone googled the following, verbatim, and wound up on (still under repair; everyone should be patient; including me):

let look at the picture of photos and blog stat and some of those careers home run do you got there now by Joel home run no home run in his careen battle average a no stoled bases in his career a consider in

Uh, okay?
I'm willing to help, but I got limits man. My control of the dark side is still in its middle stages. Be a little more specific. Or at least coherent.
  • Viewer Mail 9.16.2009:
Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE the possibility that J.P. Ricciardi rejected the Red Sox offer of six pitchers for Roy Halladay:

I wouldn't be surprised if Glenn Beck had something to do with that OCR article. And if that J.P. rumor is true he would have some serious explaining to do. He reminds me of my 7 year old nephew who only does/wants things HIS way, all the time, with no regard for reality. That's okay for a 7 year old, as my nephew will eventually grow out of it, but an adult at the helm of a Major League franchise... well, that's just inexcusable.

I'd be fascinated (and probably terrified) at some of the stuff that's likely on Glenn Beck's hard drive. It would be one of those situations where I couldn't bear to look, yet could not look away.

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Joba Chamberlain's performance two nights ago:

I thought Joba got a confidence boost last night and pitched a lot better, more quickly, more efficiently. That's progress. So he'll be in the pen for the postseason. I can think of worse things.

I'd be worried about his command out of the bullpen with the sketchy amount of work he's been getting; but the one positive about a return to the bullpen is that he'll be so pumped, I guarantee his fastball will be at or near 100. With the newest pitching issue----Andy Pettitte's tired shoulder----they'd better hope that the games get into a battle of the bullpens if they do indeed face the Tigers.


She-Fan said...

I agree about Posada and, especially Melancon. He has control problems. He has no clue where the ball is going. He's not hitting anybody on purpose, but the result is a lot of hit batsmen. He won't be on any postseason rosters, that's for sure.

John Seal said...

Is it EVER appropriate to play The Thong Song? Won't someone think of the adults!!