Thursday, August 9, 2007

All Baseball, All The Time -- by J.O.B.

1) Big time congrats to Barry Bonds on number 756 (and 757 tonight,) and as you know I mean it sincerely. As one of the 6 Barry Bonds fans without a California driver's license, I'm happy he broke the record and think it sucks he's getting the level of personal heat he's endured. Look, if you're not going to test for something you list as illegal (as baseball did for a number of years,) how serious are you about it? If we're going to claim the record is tainted because he used supplements (legal or not) that Aaron did not, then we have to say any record set by any athlete that uses any supplement is tainted simply because it wasn't available back in the day. You used creatine? Any record you set is tainted. You use a fat burner? Tainted. L-Arginine supplements? Tainted. Aaron didn't use them, right? It's ridiculous.

If you want to say he cheated, show me the drug test. That's all - don't give me some other guys book, don't give me some other guys testimony on a stand about what he claims you did, or some scorned chick who's mad because she didn't get paid - show me the piss test that the player took that year. Oh wait, they can't because whether they listed substances as legal or not in their rulebook, they never tested for them. Not once. Even the WWE can produce test results for supplements they've supposedly banned. Think about this: Sportscenter just claimed that the next big number in sports is Tiger chasing down Nicklaus 19 Majors wins. I gaurantee Tiger has used supplements and workouts that were not available to Nicklaus. If Tiger catches him, will that be tainted? Eff off, I hope Bonds hits 800.

2) BB, I couldn't disagree with you more on the Cubs and they're working very hard to prove me right. They've averaged 2 runs per during the 4 game losing streak and Houston is not a team they can really afford to lose 3 games to. What's the role of a leadoff hitter? To see pitches, and put themselves in a position to score runs. Soriano miscast? You're reading too much hype and (surprisingly) not looking at what this guy has produced from the leadoff position. He second highest hits for leadoff guys in the NL, more doubles than any other leadoff hitter, third in triples, second in homers, average and OPS, and fourth in OBP. The only fault I see is his strikeout to walk ratio, which sucks. He's even third in runs scored. Could he drive in more runs in the fifth or sixth spot? Not if he's uncomfortable there. They've won 9 of the 12 games he's homered in and all that tells me is that he provies a spark at the top of the lineup. He sets the offensive tone and without him, they're screwed.

3) In regards to Glavine winning his 300th: what the hell happened to the complete gamer? I really don't understand it. As recently as the mid-80's, pitchers threw on 3 day's rest and threw a number of complete games, with pitchers often ending in the 20+ range. Today, starters go 5 and 6 innings, get credit for a "quality start" and get an extra day of rest. They aren't nearly as durable and odds are, unless Mussina steps it up, Glavine is it for the 300 game winners. What is the deal?

4) If he doesn't get injured, is there any reason to believe that the home run record doesn't end up belonging to A-Rod?

bonus goal: Alright fine, you want to know what probably helped Bonds out as much as anything else? Look here.


Brown Buddy said...

Dead on about the elbow armor...I've been barking up that tree for years now.

And regarding Soriano- I agree, a leadoff man's job is to get on base, see pitches, set the tone, etc. Sadly, Soriano is among the league's worst at seeing pitches from the leadoff spot! 13th out of 16 (min. 200 AB's)! (I tried to post the link, but it wouldn't let me, so just take my word for it)

The guy is a phenomenal and dynamic offensive player, don't get me wrong. And the Cubs will definitely miss him. I just have always thought he was miscast as a leadoff hitter. If there is backstory there about him being "uncomfortable" hitting anywhere else...I'm not familiar with it...I guess I can understand why, seeing as guys at the top of the order see more fastballs, and are pitched around less. But I think that speaks to his inability to make adjustments- a weakness that, while not exclusive to just him, certainly doesn't warrant 125 million.

J.ust O.ver B.roke said...

So I point out stat after stat as to why Soriano is right as a leadoff hitter and "he doesn't take enough pitches" is the best response you have?!?! C'mon dude...

The money is warranted because no one else provides the positives from the leadoff spot that he does on this team. He gets hurt and suddenly they can't score runs, early, late or otherwise. The Cubs have lost the most games in a row since the Piniella tirade.

Everyone has a spot they're comfortable in. Manny, Griffey, Bonds - they all are more comfortable hitting where they do - why does Soriano have to take gruff for not wanting to hit somewhere besides first, when the numbers say he does the job?

Brown Buddy said...

Stat after stat? You gave two...that in 4 games they've averaged 2 runs, and they've lost all 4 games. Not exactly a huge sample size. Speaking of sample size, Soriano has 407 of his 444 AB's this year from the leadoff spot, so whatever he's producing elsewhere, 37 AB's isn't exactly a strong indicator of his ability in that role. As immensely talented and dynamic of a player as Soriano is, are we really expected to believe his numbers would suffer that much of a drop-off if he were moved to, say, the two spot? Hitting right in front of Lee and Ramirez?

And why should Soriano dictate his spot in the lineup anyway? Isn't that the type of primadona (sp?) behavior that you hate as much as anyone?

I'm not saying he's a bad leadoff hitter. In fact, his .336 OBP, while not stellar for the leadoff role, is passable. But why not put Theriot up there? His line drive swing will see more fastballs, and he could easily turn into a .300 hitter (he's already close, isn't he?).

The Cubs will be fine at the end of the day whether Soriano hits leadoff or 2nd or 9th or wherever. They'll score enough runs regardless. I just think they can score more. And last time I checked...they're in a bit of a tight race...

J.ust O.ver B.roke said...

Two stats? Really? What is this in the midst of my post?

"He second highest hits for leadoff guys in the NL(1,) more doubles than any other leadoff hitter(2,) third in triples(3,) second in homers(4,) average (5) and OPS (6,) and fourth in OBP(7.) The only fault I see is his strikeout to walk ratio (8,) which sucks. He's even third in runs scored (9.) Could he drive in more runs in the fifth or sixth spot? Not if he's uncomfortable there. They've won 9 of the 12 games he's homered in (10) and all that tells me is that he provies a spark at the top of the lineup."

Maybe math isn't an important subject at "Thee" Miami of Ohio, but I count reference to 10 stats there.

The fact that he has lived in this leadoff role for the teams he's played for, as well as his success in the top spot this year, his sample size enough to know that he doesn't need to move down the lineup, especially not to #2. The #2 hitter's role is to usually move the leadoff guy into either scoring position or from second to third. Your #2 guy is the one who is bunting and doing things like executing the hit and run. You don't pay a guy $136 million to move runners over.

His wanting (I don't think any player "dictates" to Piniella) to leadoff is backed by the fact that it works, even though he's not the "shifty, slap-hitting type" who hits 10 homeruns and walks 100 times a year to "create runs." The dude creates runs by putting the ball in the bleachers.

Besides, as you said, this is a tight penant race - you don't start tinkering with your lineup now. I hope they figure out a way keep it tight - but I'd count more on the Brewers continuing to slide than the Cubs to play the ball they played out of the All-Star break.

AngryWhiteMan said...