Congratulations to the MLBlogosphere on our one year anniversary. For this blogger, it has been and continues to be a great experience. And now onto some random thoughts about the going ons in major league baseball.
Where Have All The Pitchers Gone?
Boy, with the type of offensive outbursts that have been taking place this April you’d think everyone was on steroids or something. Pitchers are always behind the hitters this early in the season, but it seems that they are a little more behind than normal. I mean it’s one thing to see guys like Albert Pujols, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko going deep- I’ll even tip my cap to the sensational numbers Chris Shelton is putting up, but Ty Wigginton with 5 home runs already, and how about pitcher Bronson Arroyo going yard twice in two starts. Elias Sports Bureau has reported that there haven’t been this many home runs hit in the first two weeks of the baseball season since 2001, and haven’t been this many runs scored since 1962.
Could it be that the pitchers are missing their little green pep pills? Maybe the Padres weren’t the only ones to move their fences in this season? (Teams are always pretty low key when reporting any dimensional changes). Maybe we’re in a time capsule and have returned to 1987 when the Rawlings folks in Costa Rica were confusing golf balls for baseballs? Or maybe the simple truth is that pitching in general is just getting worse.
While a few teams around the league have two dominant starters, many don’t even have one. And I can’t think of a team that has three. The days of the A’s with Hudson, Zito and Mulder or the Braves with Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz could return though in Chicago if Mark Prior or Kerry Wood can ever get back on the mound to join Greg Maddux and Carlos Zambrano. Wherever the Rocket, Roger Clemens, decides to drive his hummer to this summer should also provide a team with a stellar trio. But, for now we will just have to watch some very mediocre three, four, and five guys try to stem the flood of the seemingly endless procession of home run happy hitters.
Jim Edmonds, one of the best center fielders in the game, has already surpassed his error total (two)
from last season with three crucial misplays in back to back games. Now, his shoulder is ailing again. While many in St. Louis are fretting about Scott Rolen’s health holding up, Cards’ fans might just have to accept that Edmonds days as a great hitter and glovesman are slipping away and fast.
Three On Three
While I was working the other night inputting some St. Lucie data into my computer, I was peripherally watching the Rangers/A’s game. ‘Crack’, I turned and Eric Chavez was rounding the bases after a laser shot off Vincent "launching" Pad-illa. Hmm, wish I had Mr. Chavez on my fantasy team. As I turned back to my computer, ‘Crack’, I thought they were showing an instant
replay, but there was Frank Thomas lumbering around the bases after launching another laser out into the stratosphere. I wasn’t sure if the game was live at this point or if they were just showing highlights. Anyway, I turned back to finish putting Alay Soler’s top of the fifth stats into my program, when I heard ‘Crack’ again. The crowd, which was less than sparse, was making more noise than a sellout at Yankee Stadium. This time Milton Bradley was pumping his fist as he watched a skyrocket leave the park— Back-to-Back-to-Back home runs, seemed too quick to be live. But, then I see Padilla with a dismayed look on his face and I hear the announcer say, "three home runs on three pitches and the A’s have come all the way back to take the lead". Now, I’m not sure about this, but I have never seen three guys hit dingers on three consecutive pitches in my life. Maybe some Elias loving data-head can confirm this for me.
Cabbie Blue Light Special
Ryan Madson– After two very solid seasons as a top set-up man, Madson at 26 is just entering his prime. Madson is a towering presence (6’6") who throws a low to mid-90’s fastball which he offsets with a bedeviling change-up. Madson’s tight curve gives him three legitimate pitches that will help him to get through lineups more than once or twice. He’s off to a good start and has a lineup behind him that can really pack a punch.
Carl the Cabbie