Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Carpenter: An expert pain
NEW YORK — Not sure how I missed it.
But sometime in the last year, there was a baseball-related Maury Povich Show. Remember, it was the one where a DNA test confirmed that Abner Doubleday is the father of Chris Carpenter.
How else to explain Carpenter's vast knowledge of the game. He's not only the smartest player ever, but I am pretty sure you have to know a secret handshake just to say hello to him.
Let's get this straight: Carpenter is a brilliant pitcher. He could have won the Cy Young Award last season. Probably would have, had teammate Adam Wainwright not split the vote. Carpenter, at 13-4 with a 2.95 ERA, could just as easily win this year, though Wainwright is the current favorite. His intensity ranks somewhere between the Ravens' Ray Lewis and the CIA's Jason Bourne.
That is admirable. Who wouldn't want a teammate that takes his craft that seriously? The problem isn't the ERA, it's the IQ.
He knows everything about everything. Dare I say it — he's become the next Curt Schilling.
Last September, he accused the Rockies of having a different slope on the visitor's bullpen mound, creating an issue when the pitcher entered the game. The Rockies measured it the next day with the umpires watching, and that still didn't satisfy Carpenter and the Cardinals. As if Rockies groundskeeper Mark Razum threw on a miner's hat and broke out the shovel and the laser level the night before.
Then, Carpenter went nuts at Houston's Carlos Lee this season. Not because Lee hit a home run. That would be logical. No, he got hot with Lee because the Astros' slugger had the audacity to scream in disgust when he popped up. Carpenter was insulted that Lee reacted in anger. He barked at Lee. Lee stared back incredulously. This is quite possibly the lamest incident of the season — telling a hitter how to act when he makes an out. Not when he gets a hit. When he gets an out.
Which brings us to last week. The Cardinals make a big deal about never showing opponents up. Apparently that doesn't apply to teammates. Carpenter lectured shortstop Brendan Ryan for showing up late on the field and with the wrong glove. He provided a lecture in the dugout that was more fitting for a police officer than a pitcher. With a six-run lead, Carpenter then glared a hole through Ryan when a single slipped through into left field as the shortstop was shaded up the middle.
Carpenter called it a misunderstanding. Labeling it inappropriate would have been more accurate. Then, he finished by weighing in on basebrawl etiquette. You know the back story by now. The Reds' Brandon Phillips popped off, calling the Cardinals "little (bleeps)." He tried to make nice, by tapping catcher Yadier Molina's shin guard in his first at-bat the next day. Molina, not surprisingly, called Phillips out, making it clear that they weren't friends and everything wasn't cool. A fight ensued.
During the melee, as tempers began to cool, Carpenter screamed at Reds manager Dusty Baker. Former Cardinal Scott Rolen pushed Carpenter toward the fence to defuse the situation. As the moshpit moved that way, Johnny Cueto was pinned. He began kicking, striking catcher Jason LaRue on the head. Was it cowardly or self defense? He didn't have to kick, but he had the right to save himself from broken ribs.
He was suspended for seven games. Probably should have been 10. Carpenter — who else? — weighed in afterward, explaining that Cueto was never told how to fight correctly. Thank you, Dana White. Appreciate it. Can you get me a sparring match with Brock Lesnar?
It just never ends with Carpenter. I am rooting for him to make next year's All-Star Game so he can explain the immigration law and its psychoanalytic impact on the minds of future generations.
Chris, if it's all the same to you, could you just pitch and button your lip? Thanks in advance.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Having said that, the Cardinals handled it very poorly. The way it should have played out was for Garcia to fire a fastball into Brandon's back to start Tuesday's game. Message sent: Message received. Move on. Apparently, that isn't the Cardinal way. They would rather start a fight.
Brandon tapped the shin guard of Molina and the umpire just like he did the night before and every other game this year. It is his way of saying have a good game. It isn't a buddy-buddy thing because he tapped the guard Monday, an hour after he made the comments. Molina didn't like it. He should have given the sign to hit Brandon in the back but he didn't want that. He wanted a fight so he got in Brandon's face. Let's fight. There was pushing and the benches cleared but nothing serious. Dusty and Tony argued to protect their teams and increase a crazy feud they have between them. Everything was calming down until Asshat Carpenter got involved. According to John Fay, he dropped the big two words which set off Rolen and the rest of the Reds. The fight moved to the wall and netting behind home. Cueto, who had just finished pitching the top of the first got caught up against it. His body went parallel. He didn't have time to think and went into survival mode. He couldn't punch back because he was horizontal so he did the only thing he could do and kicked like hell. He caught Jason LaRue and Jonny Gomes. Maybe a few others. Then it stopped and the game continued after both managers were ejected. Fine. No big deal.
Then the Cardinals started bitching again because when you are called complainers, the best way to shed that label is pick a fight, escalate the fight, then whine when the other team fights back. Mr. Sportsmanship, Tony DUI La Russa, complained about the way Cueto fought back. I guess he was supposed to stay there and risk serious injury. That is what a Cardinal would have done. The Reds fought back and someone got hurt. Guess what? It was a fight Molina started. Don't whine when we fight back. God I hate the Cardinals.
So to sum up, Brandon shouldn't have opened his mouth, Molina shouldn't have gotten in his face, and the Cardinals need to quit whining.
Now on to the Marlins. Need to win 2 of 3 and get some momentum before the west coast road trip that will define the season. Josh Johnson goes tonight. I recommend everyone watch because he is amazing. Probably the best in the NL right now.
Monday, August 09, 2010
-After an amazing weekend in Chicago, I will refrain from Dusty bashing. He did pull Cordero Saturday instead of letting him blow it. I nearly ran on the field to take out Cordero myself after he hit Castro. Thank you Nick Masset. I will post some pictures tomorrow but suffice it to say it was very satisfying to go up there and be obnoxious after all the times I have had to put up with those assholes at GAB. Winning all 3 certainly helped. Now to whip up on the other obnoxious fans of the NL Central.
-The Reds traded Chris Dickerson for Jim Edmonds. Not too upset with this move. Dickerson could never stay healthy and had no place in the Reds future. Edmonds is a rental who will be gone next year so as to not block any of the young hitters in the minors. He also brings leadership and playoff experience and if he gets hurt, so what. We got him for practically nothing. At the very least he can give us some tips and steal some signs from his former club the next few days. He crushes RH pitchers and could be a great platoon with Stubbs and/or Gomes.
More tomorrow after the game. Go Reds!
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Now that I've covered the Donkey coming to Cincinnati. I ran across this article written by a Donkey, A look at the current Reds vs. the last World Series team in Cincinnati. Interesting question so I gave it my time. Lets go fjm style and break it down:
With the Cincinnati Reds being contenders with a lot of young talent, talk around Reds Country has been how the current Reds measure up to some of the great Reds teams of the past. I have seen the Reds win the World Series three times in my lifetime and I won't insult your intelligence by comparing the 2010 Reds with the Big Red Machine of 1975 and 1976 other than to say no current Reds' every day player would crack that lineup at the same position.
You could argue that, but I would give Votto's current MVP year slightly ahead of Perez in 1975(15th in MVP voting),1976(no votes). Also OPS 1.012 vs. .816/.776. But agree this team all around isn't nearly as good.
However, it is not uncommon to see the current Reds compared to the 1990 team that went 91-71 but won the World Series. Breaking the teams down position-by-position, I agree.
The first sentance makes little sense: they had a good record, but (which means contrary to what the first thought would convey) they won the post season tournament of the teams with good records.
Catcher: Joe Oliver/Jeff Reed vs. Ramon Hernandez/Ryan Hanigan. None of these guys will be mistaken for Johnny Bench, but they are adequate. The current team is better offensively, 1990 was better defensively. EVEN.
Given he decided that statistics are irrelevant here. So will I. Looking stuff up is hard with all the internets and since neither of us are professional writers it doesn't make sense... Wait this guy gets paid to write about baseball and can just give us "Four catchers aren't as good as one of the best catchers of all time". Well done indeed. Without looking it up I'll agree that we are even at catcher.
First base: Todd Benzinger/Hal Morris vs. Joey Votto. Good journeymen vs. an MVP candidate. EDGE: 2010.
Worth noting that Hal Morris was on steroids as well. That is embarrassing that he still sucked.
Second base: Mariano Duncan/Ron Oester vs. Brandon Phillips. Duncan had a career year and Oester was solid in his final year, but Phillips might be the best second baseman in the National League this year. EDGE: 2010.
Love a shout out to Ronny O, my favorite player of all time. Phillips might be the best second baseman in the NL this year, but to figure that out I'd have to look up how he compares with others this year and that seem like a lot of work
Shortstop: Barry Larkin vs. Orlando Cabrera. As good as Cabrera has been this year, Larkin should be in Cooperstown. Next question? BIG EDGE: 1990
Here is where he started to lose me "As good as Cabrera has been." How good has that been really? Is it the fact he gets more outs than anyone on the team or the fact he isn't that great defensively? It should read, guy who should be in the hall of fame vs guy who should be backup on my softball team
Third base: Chris Sabo vs. Scott Rolen. Different type players. Sabo's was perfect for the vast alleys at Riverfront Stadium, Rolen is great for Great American, is a bit better defensively but is often hurt. EVEN.
One was good at one ball park the other was good at another ball park. Dynamite stuff here. I wish someone would invest a stat that normalized for stadiums... wait... they do... Crazy, OPS+ Sabo 119 vs Rolen 139... Loved the goggles on Sabo, but Rolen is much better despite the injuries
Left field: Eric Davis vs. Jonny Gomes/Laynce Nix. Gomes, especially, and Nix have been solid. At times, Davis was incredible. EDGE: 1990.
"At times," does he mean various years or at times throughout 1990. 1990 wasn't Davis best year statistically, but agree he was better throughout the year than our guys. Aren't we comparing 1990 with 2010 or the careers of the players in 1990 vs the careers of the players in 2010 (the later makes no sense, but would make the Rolen vs Sabo discussion fairly easy)
Center field: Billy Hatcher vs. Drew Stubbs. This one is closer than you might think. EDGE: 1990.
(Note: Hatcher and Davis both played center and left in 1990. I used the World Series lineup.)
So it is closer than I might think. Why is that? I guess you did some research to prove these guys are statistically closer so please elaborate. Does he mean Stubbs OPS of .706 vs Hatcher at .708 which is very close. In fact so close that you would need to look deeper to prove Hatcher is better or just give it a push.
Right field: Paul O'Neill vs. Jay Bruce. In 1990, O'Neill hit .270 with 16 home runs. Through Saturday, Bruce was hitting .262 with 10 long balls. EVEN.
The first sign of statistics here and we go with bating average and home runs to call it even. I guess this is a start. Ironically Hatcher had 5HRs with BA of .276 vs. Stubbs 13HRs and .235 (so not sure what any of this means).
Starting pitching: Then, the staff had a bit more experience and a legitimate hammer in Jose Rijo. Currently, the staff has more depth and a couple of potential hammers in Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. SLIGHT EDGE: 2010.
I'm not going to bother to look at the entire list from 1990 because it is pretty long. I'll say Rijo was good and compare him to two of our other guys. Based on that I'll give it to 2010 because they have two guys with potential to be as good as one guy was during the time period in question (remember this isn't a question of which players will have the longest careers, but which team is better in a specific year. The fact Voltron or Cueto may be as good as Rijo one day is irrelevant to if the 2010 team has a better pitching staff than the 1990 team.).
Bullpen: Are you kidding? The current Reds' pen is getting better statistically but it has too many blown saves for me. The Nasty Boys might have been the greatest pen ever put together. HUGE EDGE: 1990.
Are you kidding ME? Explain "getting better statistically". I bet he is thinking that because Coco has more saves than he did in the beginning of the year he is getting better. Also too many blown saves for you, so it is really just the closer you have a problem with then. I mean Masset doesn't have any blown saves, but he isn't good. This is the reason we won't win the World Series, but hopefully they continue to get better statistically.
Bench: Very similar, from Luis Quinones to Glenn Braggs vs. Miguel Cairo to Chris Heisey. EVEN.
Don't care, as the next one will really put this over the top.
Managing and intangibles: Everything Lou Piniella touched 20 years ago turned to gold. Dusty Baker sure seems to be proving his skeptics wrong this year. But where the teams are most alike is they both seem to have that swagger, that cockiness that great teams have.
Dusty has not proven anything to this skeptic (see all previous posts). Both teams have swagger, which is leads to winning and is not a result of winning. When I was a freshman in high school at 5'2'' 98lbs, I got my butt kicked because I lacked swagger. My lack of cockiness had nothing to do with getting my butt kicked. The rest of this discussion isn't worth the response
Overall: The current Reds are good, not great, but have some pieces in place to be good for several years. Still, I give the 1990 team the advantage in four areas, the current team in three. Given the huge gap between The Nasty Boys and the current pen, the I believe the Reds' last world champion is just a bit better than this team.
Prediction: The Reds have what it takes to win the National League Central, which I think they will. But unlike 1990, the big trophy will go elsewhere.
So we aren't great yet, but might be someday (which isn't relevant to the current discussion). Based on the every one of his categories is equal the 1990 team barely gets passed this one coupled with the huge disparity in the area that will cost us the championship. Unlike 1990 the trophy will go elsewhere because we don't have Terry Hatcher and Rolen isn't better than Sabo. Great analysis here. Also if we make the post season in what round do we play the 1990 Reds. I would be much more worried about the Yankees or Red Sox, but hopefully we can take down those guys from 20 years ago.
Thank you John. I'm glad espn.com linked to your article. It was very insightful