In divisional rival news, by watching the A’s-Angels game today I managed to see the entire AL West in one day. Sweet game, too:
Zito: 8.3 IP, 2H, 2BB, 6K
Shields: 8 IP, 4H, 6K
Shields really looked good — so far this year he’s been badly roughed up as he gets deep into games after converting from relief. And Zito’s got that huge-breaking curve ball that looks like something out of a cartoon.
And then I watched a bit of the Braves v. Expos game, and saw something extraordinary. The team was getting pounded by the Braves, and in the 7th if I remember, Alou pulls Vlad Guerrero from the field. The crowd loudly applauds Vlad at length — it may be the last time he plays in an Expo uniform, and 17,000 people showed up for the last game of the season. Then they start booing and chanting “Guerrero” and they’re loud. Later in the inning Frank Robinson comes out to pull the pitcher and the crowd just gives it to him. I called Jonah Keri (“Official U.S. Mascot of the Montreal Expos”) and he said they’ve got the loudest small crowds in the league, and I have to believe him. Those fans were nutty. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, MLB should be ashamed for so utterly failing to support baseball in Montreal.
Also, for all the talk about what a great job Frank Robinson does, the one thing he has not been able to drill into that team is baserunning acumen. They make more mistakes running around the diamond than a high school team should.
Thanks for the win guys. I appreciate it. M’s win, I had nice dinner out* with the wife… all in all, a good birthday.
By the way, Dave, as long as we’re talking about guys Gillick wanted, don’t forget Gookie Dawkins.
(*) If you haven’t already, check out the Library Bistro. It’s at the Alexis Hotel on 1st and Madison; used to be the Painted Table. Good food, good atmosphere, great desserts. I also know they’re baseball fans (or at least someone there is), because they advertise in the Grand Salami.
And they come through for Jason on his birthday. Nice job, Jamie.
Can anyone else believe we’re only 1 1/2 games out of the wild card? Does anyone really think this team could win a playoff game right now? Would Justin Leone be on the roster if he was born in Port Orchard? These are the things that keep me up at night.
In other news, a pretty weird “Bob Melvin may be fired” rumor is apparently circulating. Besides the fact that he deserves to come back next year (as shocking as you may think that is, I actually kind of like The Box), there is no way ownership is going to pay him to not manage. If they won’t cut bait on Jeff Cirillo’s contract, they certainly won’t pay someone to take Melvin’s job next year. Lest we forget, Melvin is a rookie manager, and despite his warts, I think he’s done a decent job. He has some flaws, but he improved as the season went along, and I don’t think anyone could have managed to make the playoffs with Ichiro turning into Roger Cedeno in the second half.
Speaking of Roger Cedeno, I find it amusing how people forget that he was a guy Gillick wanted. How many moves has Gillick been saved from by someone else? Cedeno, Juan Gonzalez, Jose Contreras, Aaron Boone. Even the guys that Gillick doesn’t get suck. But, he’ll be leaving shortly, so we can finally bury that hatchet. Hooray.
And, to answer the most commonly asked question I hear, no, I don’t think there’s even the slightest chance that the M’s hire Paul DePodesta. Personally, he wouldn’t be my top choice anyways. Give me Chris Antonetti (Cleveland’s Asst. GM), Tim Purpura (Houston’s Asst. GM), or Derek Zumsteg (USS Mariner’s President, CEO, and Hall of Fame writer).
Alright, lets all chime in:
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birhtday to You
Happy Birthday to Jason
Happy Birthday to You
I don’t do this very often, but here goes — I’d like a win today for my birthday. Is that too much to ask?