Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Way to go, Brandon Lyon... Grady Little says that if the weather isn't good in Boston tonight, Lyon will join the rotation and start in place of Pedro Martinez in the Red Sox home opener.

Another great Larry Bowa moment... asked why he held David Bell out of yesterday's game, Bowa said that it was "frozen" underneath the Veterans Stadium turf and "there's no give at all". Larry, it's concrete underneath the Vets turf... I don't think it has a lot of "give" when it's warm out.

Sticking with the Phillies, Bobby Abreu is struggling early on, hitting .147 this year without power. Abreu put on 25 pounds in the offseason, and while he plans to drop 15 through the year, I would be concerned that he's not taking things seriously.

John Rocker signed with the Devil Rays and is headed to the AAA Durham Bulls. I'm sure that he and Annie Savoy will hit it off *great*.

On another note, if you want to grab cheap laughs without any semblance of effort, any allusion to John Rocker's flaming wreckage of a career usually goes over well.

Rich Harden got the call yesterday to AAA. Now that's what I call "nothing more to prove at that level".

How bad are the Tigers? Six consecutive strikeouts yesterday against Royals Rule 5 pick D.J. Carrasco.

The Royals had about half their team out with some sort of virus, and still won 4-2. Mendy Lopez, for crissakes, had to play first base. He has to be the worst-hitting KC first baseman since... um, never mind. Since last year, when David McCarty and Chan Perry saw time there.

To their credit, the Tigers are sticking with Jeremy Bonderman despite his struggles. The Tigers are showing that they will stick with their decisions, even their tough ones, and that bodes well for down the road.
Notes: Flaming wreckage, frozen concrete, and the Detroit Tigers. | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Coach - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#90854) #
Harden, the Victoria, B.C. native, is quite a story. No wonder the Jays fired a lot of Canadian scouts -- how did they miss this guy? Oh, I know -- he's just 6'1", 180, and any scout will tell you that's not big enough. 17 K's in 13 perfect AA innings looks huge to me. Last year, still just 20 years old when he got promoted, he was actually better in the hitter-friendly Texas league than he had been in A-ball, and he continues to improve.

The Tigers aren't even finished tearing down the old mess (see Higginson, Bobby) so it will take a long time to start building something new. Makes what J.P. has accomplished in record time ("cheaper, younger, better") all the more impressive by comparison.

Annie Savoy in two BB threads. Oh, my.
_Scott Lucas - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#90855) #
Yes, I'm channeling Jason Stark again, but I love teams like Detroit:

Every other team in baseball has more hits than Detroit has total bases on hits.

Thirteen teams have a higher slugging percentage than Detroit's OPS.

Nine teams have more triples than Detroit has home runs.

Three teams have more triples than Detroit has doubles.

Three teams have more home runs than Detroit has runs.

Three teams have more hits with runners in scoring position than Detroit has at-bats with runners in scoring position.

And by the way...

Relative to the league average of runs scored, Detroit's 2002 squad had the worst-ever DH-using offense, scoring 3.57 runs per game compared to a league average of 4.81.
_Jordan - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#90856) #
"Honey, we all deserve to wear white." Annie Savoy rocks.

Abreu disappointed a lot of fantasy owners last year (not to mention the guys who pay him real money) with a power outage, and this season's start doesn't give a lot of cause for jubilation either. I wonder if there's any Larry Bowa connection? Abreu had his best season in '01, Bowa's first year as manager, but Bowa has a reputation of starting fast and then wearing out his welcome in a big hurry.

First base has never been a terrific position for the Royals, has it? John Mayberry had three great seasons in the early '70s, but not much more. Willie Aikens had Willie Mays' name and Willie Upshaw's production. Steve Balboni was a joke and Wally Joyner's best years were in California.

Really, the best first baseman ever to play for the Royals is manning the position right now. Then again, both Toronto (Carlos Delgado) and Houston (Jeff Bagwell) can say that as well. Can anyone else?
robertdudek - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#90857) #

Slight correction: Boston's home opener is a day game. I think Lyon will probably start and go 3-4 innings.
_Scott Lucas - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#90858) #
Really, the best first baseman ever to play for the Royals is manning the position right now. Then again, both Toronto (Carlos Delgado) and Houston (Jeff Bagwell) can say that as well. Can anyone else?

Texas can (unless you're a Pat Putnam fanatic). Arguably Seattle, though Martinez and Davis put up a good fight.

Not as meaningful given their short histories, but probably Colorado and Florida also.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#90859) #
Jordan, teams with their best first baseman ever right now (besides the new teams, and only Colorado and Florida of those can claim even that):

The White Sox
Seattle (I think Olerud's better than Davis)
Texas (Howard and Palmeiro are close, but Howard only played about 300 games at first, he was mostly an outfielder)
Arguably, the Brewers (I'd take Cooper)
Philly's first baseman might be the best player they've ever had there; I don't think so though and at any rate he's new

and Toronto, KC, and Houston who you mentioned.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#90860) #
Of course, one might not accept that Frank Thomas is the White Sox first baseman, since Konerko seems to play there now.
_Jurgen Maas - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#90861) #
6'1"? Harden's a giant!

I am also surprised that in the Pedro era (5'11, 180lbs), this prejudice against small starters hasn't died. Tommy Lasorda gets credit for drafting his godson in the 68th round or whatever, but he blew it on taking advantage of the best arm in a lifetime. (Do they equal out?...) Even today I got into an argument with someone that Juan Cruz (6'2" 165lbs) isn't suited to starting because he's too small. That's crazy talk. The Cubs might have a lot of good arms ahead of Cruz (on taller, bigger bodies, no less), but his build shouldn't be the reason he isn't out there every fifth day. Personally, I'd take my chances with Cruz over Estes.

Similarly, Santana is clearly the best pitcher the Twins have, but he's smaller than Mays, Radke, Milton, Reed, Lohse, and the newly acquired Rogers. That means he spot starts at best. And don't tell Aaron that he isn't suited to more than five innings at a time.

It seems that until recently, only a few clubs were systematically taking advantage of everyone elses' blind spot on draft day. Obviously I understand the attraction to the hulking Carlton, Clemens, Schilling (and now Prior) builds, but my mother always told me that looks ain't everything.

Some lean 6' and under starters you'd probably want on your team...

Roy Oswalt 6' 170lbs
Tim Hudson 6' 160lbs
Carlos Hernandez 5'10" 145lbs
Odalis Perez 6' 150lbs
Brian Lawrence 6' 195lbs

Alright, so they can pitch a little, you say to yourself. But are they really less durable than the big guys? I'd like to see a study on that (I imagine the A's have one, and it's why they're still drafting guys like Hudson and Harden).
Gitz - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#90862) #
To their credit, the Tigers are sticking with Jeremy Bonderman despite his struggles. The Tigers are showing that they will stick with their decisions, even their tough ones, and that bodes well for down the road.


Your logic is right on about the decisions the Tigers are making, but this is still one of the worst decisions any team has made in recent years. This kid hasn't pitched above A-ball; he needs to be sent down immediately. I have yet to see one good reason why Bonderman is in the majors.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#90863) #
Gitz, I agree. It looks from my vantage point like an awful decision, totally unconscionable. The idea that Bonderman will learn better when over his head, and with an awful defense behind him to boot, is ludicrous when he hasn't even shown dominance in A-ball. Having him in the majors now is going to result in Bonderman trying to make perfect pitches to every hitter, and that's going to wreck his development - hopefully not permanently.

The Tigers, though, must see something, and it's to their credit that they've weathered the storm and are sticking to their guns. When you start flopping around out of control like the Devil Rays, is when the worst decisions get made.
_jason - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#90864) #
I've actually heard Pedro is closer to 5'9 even though he lists himself as slightly taller.
_Mick - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#90865) #
Ah, but do you really want to send Bonderman to AAA? The Tigers' top minor league farm club is in nearby Toledo, Ohio, less than an hour down I-75 from the old Tiger Stadium, and home to the irascible Jamie Farr's Mud Hens.

I went to high school in Toledo, then later lived there for another four years just after college. And as the old John Denver song goes, "You ask how I know of Toledo, Ohio? Well, I spent a week there one day. They've got entertainment to dazzle your eyes -- just go to the park and watch the grass die."

New stadium is beautiful and last year they made the playoffs for the first time since, oh, before Woodstock, but a summer in Toledo ... you want to crush a prospect's future, in fact, his very will to live ... that will do it.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#90866) #
Gawd, you're right. And their AA affiliate is in Erie, PA. It's on a pretty little bay, but otherwise kind of a dump.

Best AAA cities? I think Vegas and New Orleans have to qualify. In fact, throw Memphis and Nashville into the deal and the PCL has as many cool destinations as the American League... for which I count New York, Boston, KC, and Seattle.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#90867) #
Actually, the NL does seem to be where it's at for cool cities. San Francisco, LA (i.e. not Orange County), Montreal, New York, Philly, Houston (hey, it's better than Dallas), Miami... heck, even Atlanta is cooler (by reputation) than the whole of the AL Central outside of KC. The entire NL East is cool.

(Y'all can infer from this, I guess, that Chicago is IMO not "a hell of a town")
Mike D - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#90868) #
Craig, you're so wrong about Chicago! Great food, great blues, outstanding architecture. It's a real city with real things to do. I made two (non-business) trips there last year alone.

Chicago has suffered under the malign neglect of city fathers and authorities, both present and (especially) past, which turned a somewhat segregated city into a rigidly segregated city.

But if you want a real city with legitimately friendly people...take it from me as I type from my Park Avenue desk: New York lacks requirement (2). But for the longer periods of truly atrocious weather, I'd confidently put Chicago ahead of San Francisco.

Frankly, I most strenuously object to Philadelphia ahead of Chicago: more problems of past city neglect, less things to do.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#90869) #
I won't deny what you said. I find where a city isn't bursting with coolness and interesting stuff (like Montreal) or quaintly perfect (like Halifax) or just plain otherworldly (hello, Miami) then the quality of the people you know and visit in a city, or the people you go see it with, determine a lot.

I had some good times in Philly... which is probably why I think highly of it. I don't know anyone in Chicago and only made a quick trip there, which was generally thumbs-down. I also went in the winter, yuck.

Detroit, though, is a dump no matter how you slice it. Buffalo would be a godforsaken hole even if it were, as someone put it yesterday, full of naked women.
Mike D - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#90870) #
Give Chicago another chance. With all due respect to Detroit and Buffalo, however...I can't help but agree completely with those points.
_Scott Lucas - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#90871) #
Speaking of Chicago, those who made the Cubs their trendy pick for 2003 might want to look at today's lineup.
_Mick - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#90872) #
As the former Online Media Editor for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, I can only say of this ...

Houston (hey, it's better than Dallas)

... have you ever been to Houston?

Honestly, Dallas itself doesn't have much in the way of visitor attractions (it's more a convention city for businesses) outside of the Kennedy memorial and museum. But if you're talking "baseball towns," you have to take the whole Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex into consideration, since the Rangers play in Arlington, midway between. Then you get into Southfork, the Fort Worth Stockyards and cattle drives, and the fact that Dallas has more upscale shops and restaurants than any other major city in the world ...

I can't sell Dallas over New York or San Francisco or even Toronto -- I love the city of Toronto -- but over Houston? No-brainer, that.
Gitz - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#90873) #
If I was a prospect in Toledo, I would be EXTREMELY motivated to do my best and get the hell out as quickly as I could. Not even the lure of loose women could keep me there. I'm sure I would tire of it after, say ... well, does anyone ever tire of loose women?

OK. That is my last sexist remark on this board. My wife would kill me, and rightfully so, since I claim to be a feminist alongside her.
_Jordan - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#90874) #
Alex Gonzalez batting third. Oh, my goodness....

Q: Bobby Hill? Hee Seop Choi? Corey Patterson?
A: Dusty Baker.
Craig B - Friday, April 11 2003 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#90875) #
Nope, Houston-over-Dallas is entirely by reputation... in my line of work, I've heard too many "spent-a-year-in-Dallas-one-weekend" stories. And "upscale" anything makes me vomit.
Notes: Flaming wreckage, frozen concrete, and the Detroit Tigers. | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.