You Don’t know Me. I Can do what I Want

Seeing as this is my blog and there is no higher power over me and I am not restricted by any laws of man. I am going to go back to the old days of when I wrote a link post for another baseball blog. The Nationals are currently trying to tempt teams that need a catcher with Pudge Rodriguez. Now Pudge isn’t anywhere close to the player he once was, but he is useful for the Nationals. People can watch Wilson Ramos playing and see the influence of Pudge on him. Pudge has a value to the Nationals. The idea that the Nationals should trade Pudge just to trade him is dumb. It is actually infuriating. Plus if they trade him they would miss out on his wild celebrations.

Pudge has value to the Nationals in two ways. He is a lot better as a back-up catcher than anyone else they could use would be, and he is an excellent mentor for Wilson Ramos. I have no idea if this is factually true or not, but I credit Ramos’ high caught stealing percent partially to the influence of Pudge. The Nats might be delusional to think they could get something of value for Pudge, but then why fucking trade him?

I once went to Gamestop to trade in some video games and when they told me one of them was $2.00 I said I would rather keep it. Fuck them if they don’t want to give me even enough money to buy a sandwhich. I never played that game again, and it sits on my shelf to this day, but I would rather have it taking up space than $2.00 which is basically a useless amount of money. So, there should be no rush to trade Pudge unless something of value is coming back, and it doesn’t even have to be a real prospect. Just someone that has a chance to be a productive major leaguer. If the goal of a trade is to trade someone just to trade them then why do it? It just doesn’t make sense. Something of value has to come back. 

Or maybe I am just tired of the idea that if a bad team has something a good team needs they should give it to them out of the kindness of their hearts.

You Shall be Known as Little Jimmy

I had a conversation with my friend last week about how we started to like pro-wrestling again. The day that WCW ended and competition ended for the WWE wasn’t a good one. For awhile it felt like the WWE was lazy with bad storylines and the misuse of young talent. If the misuse of young talent sounds familiar it should. It isn’t just the main complaint of internet wrestling fans it is also the main complaint of internet baseball fans. The idea that my friend had was that we started to enjoy wrestling again when we stopped paying attention to the internet.

If other’s complaints are unknown then there is no chance for them to influence thoughts. That is one of the things that is great about Twitter and an advantage it has over the old style message boards or chat rooms. I get the chance to decide who I pay attention to. I don’t have to completely stop following baseball on the internet I just ignore the voices that have a chance to ruin it for me.

Last evening’s Raw broadcast started with a wrestler known as R-Truth coming out and railing against the man holding him down, or something like that. The best part of it though was when he went to a family all decked out in Cena gear. John Cena is to wrestling fans as the Yankees and Red Sox are to baseball fans. They are the teams most likely for a casual fan to latch onto, but for the most part are disliked by the hardcore crowd. R-Truth decided that the kid wearing a Cena shirt was named little Jimmy.

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The obvious double-standard to the Scott Cousins/Buster Posey situation

The bottom line is plain and simple: If this had happened to Miguel Olivo, Gerald Laird, Kurt Suzuki, Brian Schneider, or Nick Hundley, would anyone have cared this much?  Probably not.

By no fault of his own, Buster Posey is becoming the unfortunate pariah to one of 2011’s biggest controversies that really shouldn’t be a controversy, when the Marlins’ little-known Scott Cousins ran him over at home plate, ending his season with torn ankle ligaments.  His behavior and remarks aren’t really helping the cause either, by being inaccessible to the obviously remorseful Cousins, and insinuating that baseball should change the rules that have been around for decades, because he was the latest one of the latest, in the list of catchers who have incurred injury from a home plate collision.

Buster Posey is a good baseball player.  He’s young, handsome, conducts himself maturely and professionally, calls good games for a fearsome pitching staff, handles the bat magnificently, and recently contributed to a World Series Championship for the Giants, en route to winning Rookie of the Year.  But as much as the media treats him like he’s genuinely special, demands to the world that he is special, Buster Posey is not special.  He is just another baseball player, and absolutely nothing at all should be changed because of this occurrence.

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A different kind of blown save

Grant Balfour kicks the dirt in disgust after blowing a save against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 26, 2011.  The Athletics won, 4-3.

The box score may not credit Grant Balfour with a blown save, but here at BSW, we have no choice but to tag him with a different kind of blown save – a blog blown save.

You see, on this particular date, May 26, 2011, Major League Baseball went an entire day’s worth of action without a single pitcher blowing a save.  Never mind that on this date only eight games were played in Major League Baseball at all, thus leaving a lesser margin for error.  Grant Balfour gets tagged with the blog blown save, because he was the only relief pitcher to actually face any duress on this particular date, but instead of being a good blogmate, he had to go out and finish his outing to the success of his team, but not ours.  Staked to a 4-0 lead going into the 9th inning against the Angels, he almost did his job, after giving up a three-run home run to Mark Trumbo, to cut the lead to 4-3, but then he had to finish his job and retire the last out.  At least he didn’t get a save for his abysmal performance.  Selfish jerk.

So, for the debut season of Blown Save, Win, we are staked to a DiMaggio-like 56-day consecutive streak, where at least one save was blown in Major League Baseball.  Whether or not this will become the benchmark of (un)excellence, we will not know until seeing if and when, the next string of consecutive days without a blown save occurs.

But until then, Grant Balfour stands to sit firm and wait another third of the season to see if anyone else is going to join him on the master list of blowing saves for the blog, at the benefit to his stats and team’s fortunes.

A Streak Begins

A couple quick things. I don’t feel like writing a game story about yesterday’s Nats vs. Padres game. Lannan had a very un-Lannan like start. During 7 2/3 innings of work he allowed only four base runners. Drew Storen came in for the four out save and proceeded to have the most dominating blown save I have seen in person, which happened to lead to the second straight BS, W I have seen at Nats Park. Aside from a Bartlett wall-scraper he dominated every hitter he faced. The Nationals rewarded him with the win when Michael Morse took the first pitch he saw deep to end the game without much suspense. The Nationals have been in love with suspense and disappointment during their recent slide. Perhaps they are over all that and will play some good baseball. It doesn’t take a lot of skill to blow a save, but in order to get a blown save, win a pitcher has to pitch well enough to finish the inning.  

I am of the belief that the Nationals have played decent enough during the losing streak, but with their poor offense if the pitching falters even a little there isn’t much room for error. Speaking of errors the Nationals defense continued to play well as they have for most of the season. Ian Desmond might have no idea what to do at the plate right now, but he is playing very solid defense and that should allow him to remain in the line-up to work his way out of his slump, and if Michael Morse has shown anything it is that players do work their way out of slumps and the end results can be very rewarding.

One of my favorite parts of Storen’s blown save was how after fans threw the ball back in and it somehow rolled all the way to the infield Storen picked up the ball and tossed it aside like a most unwanted piece of trash. He looked utterly disgusted with himself and it is perfectly understandable. He didn’t think Bartlett had the power to hit one out, challenged him, and lost. It doesn’t mean Storen should start treating light hitting middle infielders with more respect, but it is good to see that type of fire from this team. Lesser closers would have rolled over and not just have given up the lead but the game as well.  

I have also decided that the awards we give out at the end of the season should have names and the reliever with the most blown saves at the end of the year will get the Toby Award. A reference to1980’s minseries Roots might not be the best idea but when a man gets beat that bad his name is Toby.

Frosty Mug and defending Jayson Werth

I like baseball. I like it a lot. Probably too much, but sometimes just baseball isn’t enough. The $1 ticket special the Nationals had worked wonders to get me to the ballpark, but there are other ways as well, swag. Tonight the Nationals have the greatest swag they have ever had, a frosty mug. Just look at how sharp it is with that beautiful curly W amidst a nice contrasting dark blue background. I cannot wait to take my first sip of beer from it tonight. I don’t know if I am going to take the time to wash it out in the bathroom beforehand or risk my beer tasting like newly molded plastic. I will probably just take the risk.

It is unnatural how excited I am for a frosty mug, and my excitement and ignoring of the fact there is a baseball game tonight will likely lead to a Nationals lose, but i am happy as long as I get my frosty mug. It was like that time in my freshman year of high school when a girl I liked sat next to me and let me touch her leg. After that nothing could ruin my day, and if you remember high school a lot can ruin those days.

That is enough about me and my love of a frosty mug. On to more important baseball related matters. Jayson Werth has a .801 OPS. I know it surprised me too. Don’t worry though he has a .254 batting average so that columns like this can be written. That’s right Jayson Werth if you are going to call out your teammates throw them under the bus in front of the media. Don’t you dare try and give the media vague comments alluding to the fact that you are going to address a situation in the media. A few of my favorite quotes from this column by the Washington Post’s Jason Reid.

Speaking with reporters following the team’s 6-4 loss to Milwaukee, Werth undoubtedly was trying out a new comedy bit, because he couldn’t have been serious about other deficiencies while he’s batting .254 in the first season of a seven-year, $126 million contract.

If the highest-paid player in franchise history wants to address a rapidly deteriorating situation other than to apologize for hitting .205 with runners in scoring position, he should do so directly. If Werth has a problem with the way Manager Jim Riggleman is running the team, he should say so. But cryptically intimating in postgame quotes that others aren’t doing their jobs is unacceptable — or at least it should be to Nationals management.

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Wilson Valdez: The Ultimate Vulture

Last night the Reds and Phillies played 19 innings of baseball, 33 runners were left on base, 15 pitchers and 1 position player took the mound, and 26 position players appeared in the field or at the plate. In total 41 out of 50 possible players were used and eight of those are the other starting pitchers. Only one player that could have been used wasn’t used. The real question that stems from all of this is whether or not Wilson Valdez gets credited with a vulture win.

He has to. It is a short sweet and simple answer, but it is also much more complex. Wilson Valdez is not a pitcher. The Phillies had the lead in the 7th inning and Roy Halladay blew it himself. The only blown save in the game was courtesy of Francisco Cordero, putting the Reds pitchers in line for a vulture win, and if Wilson Valdez was a pitcher it might not count as a vulture win, and a vulture win is typically credited to an undeserving pitcher. Valdez not being a pitcher wasn’t simply doing his job. He was doing someone elses job.

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