Since today has once again been a really horrible news day (Holy hell, Harry Kalas and Mark Fidrych in the same day? Let’s hope death fans on the hat trick), I figure we could all use a little comic relief:
- Manny Ramirez wants to retire with the Indians
Last year, Ramirez wanted to retire in Los Angeles. Now, after
bilking signing a 2-year, $45 million contract with the Dodgers, Man-Ram has announced that he would like to play his final seasons in Cleveland. And he wants former teammate Jim Thome to join him. Now, if Thome follows Man-Ram to Los Angeles, this is a proposition I would whole-heartedly support.
- Sunday night is alright for fighting
The Red Sox and Angels engaged in the first bench-clearing brawl of the season last night, after an errant Josh Beckett pitch sailed over Bobby Abreu’s head. There was some pushing and shoving but there weren’t any actual punches thrown, and I don’t think this was an intent ball (Beckett was in the middle of his windup when the home plate umpire called time). When all was said and done, Torii Hunter, relief pitcher Justin Speier, and Angels’ hitting coach Mickey Hatcher were sent to the showers. Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia was ejected for barking at Beckett (or somebody, he shouted something from the dugout) in the very next inning.
This brawl was actually kind of lame. The batter wasn’t actually hit, and the pitcher wasn’t actually throwing at him. And like most baseball fights, there wasn’t any actual fighting, either. Hockey fights, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. Sometimes even the fans get involved:
- Reds OF day-to-day after incident with revolving door
Reds OF Chris Dickerson has apparently hurt himself while fighting with a revolving door as he was leaving his hotel on Saturday morning. Somehow he struck himself in the head with the door as it swung around. While this might not be a fail as epic as Joel Zumaya injuring his hand while playing Guitar Hero, or Clint Barmes breaking his collarbone while carrying deer meat, this is probably not the smartest move for someone who is battling with Jerry Hairston, Jr. for playing time.
And you know who else is an idiot? Me. For somehow accidentally publishing this post before I was done writing it. I fail at the internets. But then again, you probably already knew that.
It’s true. As Howard Sinker noted last Sunday (by the way, look who’s now on his blog roll), the Twins considered taking Manny in the third round of the 1991 amateur draft. Scout Herb Stein (who pushed the organization to draft the likes of Rod Carew and Frank Viola) was heavily urging them to draft him, but the organization ultimately decided to pass, taking first-base prospect David McCarty instead. Ramirez was drafted in the 13th round by the Indians and went on to be the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation (and arguably in baseball history), while McCarty went on to enjoy a career as a utility infielder, batting .242./.305/.351 in his eleven seasons with the Twins and Red Sox.
One has to wonder what the Twins’ lineup would have looked like with Manny Ramirez, though. Especially since that lineup would also have had David Ortiz. I doubt the Twins would have won any more World Series championships (Manny is not a starting pitcher, after all), but perhaps they could have been spared so many losing seasons. I’m not sure if that is such a good thing, however. The Twins would never have been able to keep either Ramirez or Ortiz if they became the offensive powerhouses we know and love. They would probably have been outbid by larger-market teams, and would have been forced to either trade each one for whatever prospects they could get (as they did Johan Santana) or simply lose them to free agency (like Torii Hunter). Worse yet, those losing seasons have helped shaped the current roster. Justin Morneau was a first-round pick in the 1999 draft (3rd overall) as was Joe Mauer (1st overall, 2001 draft). Imagine the current lineup without either one.
- Speaking of David Ortiz…
Big Papi was 2-for-3 with a two run homer against his former team in today’s 9-5 loss to the BoSox. The pitching wasn’t great on either side, though the Twins were much worse. Scott Baker was once again burned by his tendency to give up the long ball, surrendering the two-run blast to Ortiz and a solo shot to Jason Varitek. Baker gave up four runs on seven hits overall, and walked one while striking out two in three innings. Matt Guerrier wasn’t very sharp either, surrendering two two-run homers in one inning of relief. This is not good news for someone who struggled mightily down the stretch last season, and is going to have to be a key part of the bullpen this year. Jose Mijares pitched better than he has in his past couple of appearances, but he still wasn’t terribly effective. He surrendered one run on two hits and walked one in his one inning of work, though he did strike out two. Brian Duensing and Bobby Keppel were probably the most effective pitchers for the Twins, as they were the only ones who didn’t give up any runs.
At least the offense has started showing some life, though. Other than Justin Morneau, that is. Johnny Canuck has been struggling a bit at the plate and he was hitless in today’s game, striking out twice. Denard Span seems to have found his swing, and went 2-for-3 with a solo homer off of Jonathan Papelbon. Alexi Casilla has been getting hot lately, too, and went 4-for-4 with two stolen bases. While I doubt the two of them will be able to maintain this torrid pace during the regular season, they should at least be good enough to keep their one-and-two slots in the lineup.
- At least Pudge can go play for the Astros now
Team USA rallied from a two-run deficit to defeat the Puerto Ricans and advance to the semifinals in the WBC. This was quite a game, with the Americans down two runs in the bottom of the ninth. David Wright drove in the winning runs on a single, capping off one of the most dramatic rallies in the WBC (second only to the Netherlands/Dominican Republic) thus far. Okay, to be honest I didn’t actually watch this game, as I was watching the Wild pull off an impressive rally of their own, but it sounds like it was good. And now I’m officially cheering for Team USA, which means they’ll probably get eliminated right away in the next round (I was previously cheering for the Canadians and the Dutch, after all).