Monday June 23, 2003
Weekend Ramblings -
Welcome back to the work week! I know, I’m excited about it too!
First, let me remind you of your assignment. OK, don’t think of it as an assignment. Just think of it as a fun little e-mail. Here’s what was on this site on Friday:
I got the below e-mail from someone who preferred to be called Zeus (Actually, he gave me about 6 options, and I went with the one that was the shortest to type!). It’s in regard to my posting 2 weeks ago on The Greatest Hitters of All-Time. It takes it to the next logical step:
Yeah, I'd agree with you that Mays was awesome, but I still believe that Williams had the purest swing ever. Man, I wish I could have seen some of those ballplayers with my own eyes. How do you feel they'd fare in today's game? Do you think Mays would have been better for the weight training he could have done? For the personal trainers, personal doctors, personal diet people (dietitions?)? Interesting concept...maybe your next debate on your site? Would Mantle have been persecuted by the media in todays society for his womanizing and boozing? Would the Babe have just been a Cecil Fielder - some fat guy who can hit, or would he still dominate the game like never before? (Including his early years as a dominating picther) Would he be hitting 100 homers today, instead of 30 and 40 in the dead ball era?
Are these interesting questions, or am I just talking out of my a%$???
I guess I don’t know how you’d pull a Jim Carrey and still be able to type it too. BUT, I definitely think that this is a VERY interesting question, one that I’m sure could be debated over and over and there still wouldn’t be a definite answer, and I don’t think there really ever could be.
Here’s your assignment for the weekend and through next Wednesday: Think about the above questions. PLEASE, send me an e-mail with your thoughts on the subject. I will have an “interactive” article next Wednesday where I will include the best thoughts on the question - Would the greats of the game be as great now, in today’s game, as they were then? If so, why? If not, why not? I know that I have my opinion already, one that I will document for next Thursday’s post. But, before I give that, I want your thoughts. It can be a sentence, a paragraph, a couple paragraphs.
So send me your thoughts, maybe I’ll include them in Thursday’s article!
Twins Rambling -
Anyway, the Twins won one of three games at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Not good! Watching and listening to them play this weekend created plenty of random thoughts. Here are some of them.
Brad Radke pitched well on the road again. He gave up just 2 runs in 7 innings. However, what I believe to be a very poor decision, or lack of a decision, by someone really cost him 2 runs, and possible the game. In the 6th inning, the Brewers had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs and slugger Geoff Jenkins up to bat. The Twins chose to pitch to Jenkins, which I have no problem with. However, once the count got to 2-0, and especially once it got to 3-0, there was absolutely no reason for Ron Gardenhire not to choose to walk Jenkins. Think about it. Why give a proven major league hitter not only a chance to drive in 2 runs, but especially when he’s already ahead in the count? That was a no-win situation. And, of course hindsight is 20/20, so the next batter, John Vanderwall hit a check swing.
Moving past the decision to pitch to Jenkins… I have to bring up a couple of thoughts on AJ Pierzynski. The first is pitch calling, because I assume that the catcher calls the pitches and the pitcher can shake them off. In the Jenkins at bat, once the count got to 3-0, Radke threw 4 straight fastballs, the fourth just got too much of the plate and Jenkins hit it into right field to score the 2 runs.
Moving to the last inning, with the winning run, Royce Clayton, on 3rd base and Juan Rincon on the mound, AJ called two straight curveballs. The first hit in the dirt and AJ made a nice block. The second one, nothing could be done to stop in, the ball got by Pierzynski, Clayton scored and the Twins lost.
The third thing about AJ that we noticed while watching was just thought he always sets up right down the middle of the plate. I can understand this when Joe Mays is on the mound and they’re telling him to just throw it down the middle and let its natural movement happen. But with pitchers like Radke, Lohse and Reed, the catcher needs to move inside and outside.
That said, I believe AJ is an All-Star and should be again. Check back later in the week, when I pick my All-Star teams.
Saturday night, Kyle Lohse had his second consecutive sub-par start. The home run ball got him again. Wes Helms hit 2 of them, including the 3 run shot that put the game out of reach.
I happened to listen to part of the post-game interview with Al Newman. He did not sound at all happy. I’m thinking that there was some screaming and yelling in the Twins locker room after the game. Normally, I don’t agree with that, it may actually even make the team more tight. But, the Twins losing bad to the Brewers is absolutely ridiculous. It just shouldn’t happen!
Sunday’s game, well, Corey Koskie again set the tone with his 2-run home run in the top of the 1st inning. The Brewers got one in the bottom of the 1st, but the Twins never trailed en route to an 8-3 win. Denny Hocking and Torii Hunter hit solo homers.
This just in - Justin Morneau’s home run last week against Albie Lopez landed 4 days later in North Carolina. In the top of the 9th yesterday, Morneau hit another home run. Luckily, it drilled the top of the centerfield scoreboard, otherwise, it may have taken a week to land! It was measured at 460 feet. What power this kid has!
And, for the 3rd time at this site, wasn’t Justin Morneau brought up to play? And, not just pinch hit. I realize that the DH position isn’t open. I realize he’s not Doug Mientkiewicz defensively. But, he shouldn’t be out of the starting lineup 3 straight games, ever. I thought a lineup where Morneau played 1B, and Mientkiewicz played either 2B or RF would have made sense. Dustan Mohr and Bobby Kielty aren’t doing anything lately. Mientkiewicz is hitting very well and should be in the lineup too. Some creative lineup adjustment is occasionally a good thing.
How frustrating is Jacque Jones to watch in important hitting situations? Swing, Swing, Swing, strikeout! That’s what happened Friday night. His impatience, especially as a leadoff hitter is tough to watch. But, how much can we as fans really condemn it? He’s hitting over .300 with 9 homers. Today, he came up with a big double by being aggressive. I just wish in important, late-game situations, he would realize that no smart pitcher will throw him a strike because he’ll swing anyway!
Note - Same thing can be said for Torii Hunter.
Final Twins Thought - Anything that can be done about losing John Gordon as the Twins play-by-play guy. It is excruciatingly painful to listen to him. The way he over-EM-PHA-SIZES everything is so terrible. Not much could be worse about hearing about how someone “HITS A DRIVE… just out of the shortstops reach.” What’s that?!
OK, all that negativity, and the Twins are still in first place in the division, 1 game ahead of Kansas City and 5 ½ ahead of the White Sox. The Twins start a 3 games series with those White Sox starting on Tuesday night.
I’ll be at the Twins game for sure Friday night! Haven’t been down there since opening weekend.
OK, the Jay Williams motorcycle is sad on so many levels! Those that don’t know, Chicago Bulls and former Duke star Jay Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident last Thursday night. The Bulls and the hospital were very quiet about what was happening with him. They stressed that his injuries were “non-life-threatening”, however, it leaked that he had leg and pelvic injuries. Now today, I’m hearing that his career is in jeopardy, although, nothing official has really been announced yet.
First, I wish Jay (formerly Jason) Williams the best. He was always a great roll model for staying in school. Even though he only played three years at Duke, he took summer classes and graduated from Duke in just three years. He was always great with the media and played with a smile. Even after missing most big game free throws.
That said, he was completely the opposite last year in Chicago. Playing for the Chicago Bulls, Williams became frustrated with losing and began to spout out to the media about his playing time and coach Bill Cartwright’s decisions. Williams was the #2 pick in last year’s draft and was given the starting point guard job to start the season. But, Jamal Crawford and Fred Hoiberg (who I might even be offended if he was taking my playing time) started playing more and more time. The Bulls have already been talking about how they’re going to play a lot this coming season with Crawford and Williams at the same time. They had also been talking about packaging him with the #7 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to the Nuggets for this year’s #3 pick (Carmelo Anthony). That’s all changed.
The thing that bothered me most was that so much of the media was ready to bash Williams for riding a motorcycle. For the record, I completely agree that Williams was an idiot for doing this. Knowing that riding a motorcycle is specifically not allowed in his (and most NBA players) contract, it just wasn’t worth the risk. However, before even knowing the seriousness of the accident, or whether or not he was even alive, the media (specifically sports radio) was bashing his actions.
To me, it simply wasn’t the time. It could have waited for the weekend. It could have waited for more information on Williams’ injuries and future. The fact the the Bulls could have the right to void Williams contract shouldn’t be brought up now! The fact this could then affect his future earnings apparently didn’t cross his mind isn’t important right now! The fact that an NBA playing career is short enough as it is, and opportunity to maximize earnings is short, is not the most important thing right now. Let him heal. Let him talk. Let the Bulls talk. Then, let the bashing begin. It’ll have been warranted. Just wait until we know he’ll live!
What we know - At the point, anonymous sources are saying he’s had pelvic surgery already, and will probably need multiple knee surgeries. Along with the injuries to his pelvis and the torn ACL, Williams also has a broken left leg and severe nerve damage. Also, Williams didn’t have a license to drive a motorcycle in Illinois, and he’s had three traffic violations in the last 2+ years. In other words, this can only get worse before it gets better!
And people wonder why Barry Bonds was upset with Jeff Kent for being reckless away from the field! Kent was lucky his motorcycle accident injuries only cost him some time!
This weekend, both Jose Canseco and Mike Tyson were arrested. That’s just funny!! Canseco was arrested for taking steroids in the house he was in, under house arrest. Tyson got in a street fight (surprise) with 2 guys. First, why does anything Jose Canseco says have any credibility? Hasn’t he lost that? And the funny thing is, I already really want to read his book, especially if it names names! But, with all going on with Canseco, can we even believe what’s in the book? And Tyson, what’s the end of his story? I mean, at some point, you have to figure he’s going to kill someone. I mean, the guy is in the midst of a very dangerous cycle. I always want to give guys a chance to make up for an error in judgment. I’m over Roberto Alomar spitting on an ump over 10 years ago! He served his time, and he’s done nothing before or since then! Latrell Sprewell’s infamous choking of PJ Carlesimo has made him a bad guy. I’m certainly not condoning those actions, but ask his teammates before then if he was a good teammate, ask those since then. He’s done nothing more. He served his time, so now I’m over it. There are plenty of one-time offenders that deserve a second chance. But, how many “second” chances can people get. Canseco and Tyson are past that lie!
Check the counter! I’m very near 1,000 hits!! (maybe even over by the time you see this) Woo hoo! Keep checking back. Hopefully as I go along here, I’ll get better, and the site will get better!
OK, I was a month late, but I finally got to watch the series finale of Dawson’s Creek (http://www.dawsonscreek.com/). What a perfect show? The whole concept of the show that appealed to me was that these high school students used such intellectual language to convey every day life situations of kids. But, the finale was amazing. Looking 5 years into the future, the gang all came back to Capeside for Dawson’s mom’s wedding. They had all “grown up” and developed lives of their own. We also knew that one of the main characters would die. Through the first few segments of the show, it was hard to tell what would happen. I’ll be honest - My eyes were sweating a bunch each segment of the show. And, the way it ended, was so perfect to the whole show!
Snoop Dogg’s Doggy Fizzle Televisal! I’m a big fan of Snoop’s music! And now he’s got his own MTV show!
After all that drama in the LBC,
Snoop’s got his very own comedy!
Will I watch the Doggy Fizzle
I’ve gotta say Fo’ Shizzle, My Dizzle!
On MTV, there’s a reality basketball show with Magic Johnson. It’s called “Who’s Got Game”. Ten male street ball players and two women compete for the title of the best street baller! Looks pretty good.
Thanks for stopping by, if you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me!
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