Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cat Scratch Fever - Thursday edition

I'm tired, and so are the Metropolitans. But even at his advanced age, Tom "The Old Goat" Glavine apparently isn't. Glavine, a reluctant warrior in the quiet manner of George Marshall, got his run support as Xavier Nady, a sports hero to all like Raja Bell, made sure Solomon Torres knows how deep centerfield is at Shea. "We got plenty of room right here, meng!"

With the X-Man, the biggest bust in the history of the San Diego Padres minor league affiliates, on board, the Sterling Superstars are ten games over .500 with the dastardly Bravos coming to town tommorrow night. Or, in the words of the immortal glam rock outfit The Killers, "We bring the bump to the grind, oh oh oh, I don't mind, we're on top."

And this isn't a bad joke about Italian-Americans, it's real. Check out Paul LoDuca's betting tips for the Kentucky Derby while you have a second.

Happy Recap

Hell, even Jorge Julio had a good inning! Wow, folks. Ten games over .500. Feels good, doesn't it? Breathe that rarefied air deeply, my fellow fans.

X had 4 RBIs, three in his three-run bomb to dead center in the 7th that broke the game open. And that feat must have been appreciated by the Metropolitans bullpen, who spared the big guns for a night to give Julio the ball in the 9th.

But the starting performance of our beloved Old Goat cannot be overlooked. Tom Terrific went 7 shutout innings, scattering three hits and striking out 10. And where are all these Ks coming from? So far this season he's averaging just over 7 per 9 IP. I never thought I'd ever use the phrase "Resurgent Tom Glavine", but I am, and I'm glad I am.

BBPOTS Player of the Game: Tom Glavine

Your 2006 AL All Star ballot

What follows are this humble fan's picks for the Midsummer Classic after a month of play.

First base
Is there any doubt about this position? With no DH, this spot has to go to David Ortiz, the leading vote-getter last year. While Travis Hafner is close, name recognition will ensure that Big Papi gets the nod.

Second base
In the land of the blind, the cyclops is king. In the AL second-base landscape, the man with a slugging percent lower than his on-base percentage is king. That's really hard to do, but Luis Castillo has done it and proven himself the long bright spot on an abysmal Twins team.

Shortstop

Miguel Tejada and Derek Jeter have been flat-out dominant so far this season. A month into the season, Jeter's OBP is bordering near .500 and he's got 9 doubles, with a slugging percentage just below Tejada's. While both are bound to cool down, Jeter may finally be the class of the AL at shortstop in actuality, in addition to name, for once.

Third base

The $25 million man, Alex Rodriguez, isn't even a top five third baseman right now (give me Lowell, Chavez, Blalock, Figgins or even Wigginton at the moment). While I realize you shouldn't choose people due to just a hot start, the fact of the matter is that the All Star Game is the "first half players' ball." A-Rod may have the best stats at the end of the year, but I'll stick Eric Chavez at the hot corner for this game.

Catcher
Can Victor Martinez finally put it together for a whole year and become the guy we've been waiting to see? Who cares, he's off to a great start and should get the pick at the All Star Game. It's hard to argue with a 1.091 OPS from a backstop who plays just about every day.

Outfield
Can a player getting platooned on his own team start an All Star Game? It looks like Toronto's Alex Rios is begging to get that question answered. He leads all outfielders in batting average, has more than 20 RBI and seems to be getting better all the time, he's the pick in right field. The centerfielder should be familiar to him, it's his teammate Vernon Wells. It seems that the Jays centerfielder is finally living up to his potential, thanks to the backup in his lineup. Left field goes to the perennial hit machine, Boston's own Manny Ramirez. After a slow start, he's hitting close to .400 over the last 16 games, with power.

Mid-game update

Bases jacked, no outs, already a run in, let's put this guy away. Oh, alright. Let's leave another three men on.

Selig joined Don Orsillo and "Rem Dawg" in the booth on NESN during the Sox-Blue Jays game tonight.

Asked about MLB ignoring Bonds, the Commish said "You only celebrate new records"; "Hank Aaron has already broken Babe Ruth's record. If and when Barry get by Aaron, that's a whole different story."

I wish Michael Chiklis were in charge of baseball.

Thursday's Talking Points Memo: Grant Roberts Edition

So what exactly ever happened to George Thomas "Tom Terrific" Seaver in the off-season? I know there was a glowing story in the Sunday NY Times about his vineyards. But what Hot Stove moves did the Metropolitans execute vis-a-vis their game broadcasts?

The Flushers replaced one former pitching ace with another, albeit one of much more mercurial stature, Ronald Maurice Darling, who the Oakland Athletics in 1995 paid $3 million to go 4-7 in barely 100 innings.

Ronnie is great, don't get me wrong, but I'm just more amused when Seaver goes on inning-spanning tirades about the minutia of his bizarre daily life.

It should be distressing when such a revered hero is revealed to have feet of clay, but with Seaver, it's like you never took the guy seriously in the first place, despite the fact that he is statistically the greatest player in the history of the game.

So, from me and all the fans of Flushing, Astoria, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Long Island City, Bayside, Breezy Point, Corona, Rockaway Beach, and Ozone Park, we miss you, Tom. And we pour out 40s to your memory every day.

Player of the Year Race


Still pretty tight, but the surprise player is Jose Reyes, who despite having a sub-300 batting average is scoring runs like it's his job. Which, of course, it is.

Delgado keeps coming through in the clutch, and the players we need to play well are playing well. Let's hope Clifford moves up on the list, though...

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