Random thoughts are fun. Baseball is fun. Put the two together and you get 25 Random Thoughts on Baseball!
1) I get that Red Sox management is upset that only four players on the current roster attended Johnny Pesky’s funeral, but from what I’ve read, many of the other players were attending a charity bowling function sponsored by Josh Beckett. It’s not like they were playing golf or at the shooting range. Only in Boston does this become such hysteria.
2) In any event, I continue to enjoy the hell out of this hideous season Boston is experiencing. All we need now is for Toronto to move up and dump the Dead Sox into last place. Hurry back, Joey Bats.
3) As terrible as the Astros are now – and make no mistake, they’re a traveling Keystone Kops routine some nights – with Jeff Luhnow as the GM, they’re in good hands. The Cardinals’ farm system was never considered one of the best while he was in charge of it, but look at all the homegrown players contributing to the Cards this season:
• Allen Craig
• Barret Browning
• Daniel Descalso
• David Freese
• Fernando Salas
• Jaime Garcia
• Jason Motte
• Joe Kelly
• Jon Jay
• Lance Lynn
• Maikel Cleto
• Matt Adams (injured)
• Matt Carpenter
• Ryan Jackson
• Shane Robinson
• Tony Cruz
• Trevor Rosenthal
• Tyler Greene (since traded to Houston)
Players like Lynn, Kelly, Carpenter, Descalso and Browning have filled crucial roles for St. Louis this season. I don’t recall seeing their names listed as blue-chip prospects, but they are solid major-league players who have met or exceeded expectations this season, and they are a big reason why the Cardinals have been able to weather the loss of Albert Pujols as well as they have. Astros fans can hope Luhnow is able to replicate that success in Houston. It just might take a while.
4) Speaking of the Disastros, they are 6-33 since the All-Star Break and 7-43 in their past 50 games. Oy.
5) Good luck in the AL West next year.
6) The Tampa Bay Rays still have the worst attendance in MLB, despite being on track to make the playoffs again. The franchise deserves to be in a better city.
7) I may get accused of blasphemy by my Cardinal-fan friends, but I’m not really a big Mike Shannon fan. That said, this one-liner from Thursday’s game vs. the Astros is a beauty: “This 5th inning is longer than an orphanage’s grocery list.”
10) Jon Jay is doing a great job making Cardinal fans forget about Colby Rasmussen, er, Rasta…what was that other guy’s name again?
12) Not a baseball-related item, but the “Skip Kardashian” headline and article Thursday on Fox Sports was awesome on multiple levels.
13) Good to know that folks with the Phillies have kept their sense of humor in the midst of a disappointing season:
14) News: Colorado Rockies complete 4-game sweep of New York Mets at Citi Field. Views: Not getting sucked in by all the media or players proclaiming, “Watch out for the Rockies next year!” Nope, not again. Sorry.
15) The Stephen Strasburg Shutdown has been debated ad nauseum, but what I can’t understand is why the Nationals did not do a better job of managing his starts up to this point so he would have plenty of innings left in September-October. Seems to be that skipping a start here and there, plus a couple extra weeks around the All-Star break so they could have their ace available for the most critical time of the season would be simple common sense. Did GM Mike Rizzo and the rest of the Nats’ front office not believe the team would be so good this year?
16) After I listed the Dodgers in my list of teams with the hottest starting rotations, San Francisco invaded Los Angeles and swept the Dodgers right out of first place. You’re welcome, Giants fans.
17) Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners have won 8 games in a row and inch closer to the .500 mark. Don’t seem to be missing Ichiro much, do they?
18) Three guesses who the leaders are in quality starts for the NL so far this year – Strasburg? Nope. R.A. Dickey? Guess again. Matt Cain? Bzzzz, thanks for playing. Yovani Gallardo is first with 21, followed by Kyle Lohse and Jordan Zimmermann with 20 each.
19) Where would the Yankees be without Hiroki Kuroda? I’m guessing third place in the AL East.
21) Remind me again why the Royals don’t DFA Frenchy and call up Wil Myers. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
22) Here’s a good addition to the list of current player nicknames: Andrew Brown of the Rockies, coined “UPS” while in Triple-A Colorado Springs. Now he just needs to stick in the majors long enough so we can see what Brown can do for Colorado.
23) I’m now referring to Indians closer Chris Perez as “Barfy.” Seems apropos after his actions earlier in the season at St. Louis and a few days ago in Oakland.
24) So Roger Clemens wants to pitch again. Perfect example of an athlete with no other practical skills, so he continues to come back time and again to embarrass himself. In other words, baseball’s version of Brett Favre.
25) Naturally, ESPN will televise his start, because that’s what the Worldwide Leader in Shoveling Crap does.