Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random Rants Loosely Based Around Padres-Rockies Game

Alright......the blacked out you can only see 1 game portion of the Saturday MLB schedule and off to 5 PM Pacific Time on Saturday when you can watch several games at once. A few games tonight with fantasy implications for myself that will get primary focus (Padres-Rockies, Pirate-D-Backs, Angels-A's).

Still sorta waking up a bit as I took a lovely 2-hour nap that took me to about 15 minutes before first pitch.

Just realized Doumit is up right now....he's worked the count against Haren to a full 3-2. Showed lots of promise in to a solid its a matter of maintaining said start and staying healthy....and not striking out very often like he just did to end his teams half of the first.

Padres-Rockies game playing on the laptop right now. Gonzales is up right now, Blanks is on deck and Tony Gwynn Jr. is trying to argue his way out of a call that got him picked off from second. Gonzales strikes out to end Top of the first....looks like I have to wait a bit longer for Blanks to come up.

Blanks...sees ball....hits short for a harmless groundout...the early season slump continues.

In other stuff going on in the bigs........Milton Bradley is in mid-season form as he flipped off some Rangers fans (c'mon Miton we aren't even a week into the season). Bradley has all the talent in the world but c'mon you can't be doing that stuff especially in your first week on a new team when you are 1 for 17. Even with this, he's still better for this team than Carlos Silva.

Speaking of Milton Bradley & The Rangers this reminds me of an incident back in September of 2008. I ended up taking in a Rangers-A's game towards the tail end of what has been Bradley's best season to date. Anyways, somewhere in the middle of the game (4th ish inning) Milton Bradley has one of his standard temper tantrums and gets himself ejected.

At this game, I happened to be sitting in the left field bleachers which gave me a straight view of the Rangers dugout which was on the first-base side and thus a clear view of the tunnel Bradley would be walking towards to get back to wherever ejected players go. The one thing that stuck out ion Bradley's walk was he knew exactly where he was going. This obviously wasn't the first time he got kicked out of a game and from the way he was walking it was obvious this was a walk he's taken mid-game many times was almost like he went on auto-pilot when he got kicked out.

The Rockies-Padres game flashed back to a home run Ian Stewart launched off of Yovani Gallardo on opening day. If his series against the Crew is any indication, my prediction of him struggling this year could turn out to be horribly least the Brewers took 2 out of 3 in the series.

In the I guess it serves me right having a Yankee on my fantasy team department: In the random CBS League, I had been getting pretty good production from my starting pitchers.....then Vasquez made his start Friday....pitched bad enough to get negative points and was one of the catalysts from going from a 30 point cushion I had going into Friday to being down 20 points to my opponent for the week in one day...Seriously I got outscored by something along the lines of 60-8. Obviously it takes a whole team to fail epically like that but giving up 8 runs in 5 innings doesn't help that early indication to not expect the crazy production he gave during 2009.

Just noticed Doumit is up and that he's behind 0-2 in the count. Again, Doumit strikes out to end the inning. A bit creepy how that sequence parallels the sequence from about half an hour ago in the first inning.

It took till the 3rd inning but Chris Ianetta ends Mat Latos' no-hit bid by taking him yard. Just stumbled across a Forbes special report about The Business of Baseball. My take on this, is time for me to give some input on the Randy Levine controversy going on right now. Mark Levine pretty much told Brewers owner Mark Attanasio to stop complaining about the salary mis-balance in baseball.

Needless to say, Randy Levine is not my favorite person right now. Taking a look at the Forbes make it even clearer that Levine is acting like a grown bully. The current value of the Yankees is almost twice as high as the next closest team (Red Sox) and about 5 times higher than the Brewers which obviously makes it a bigger deal for the Brewers to dish out an A-Rod/Jeter type salary than it would be for a team like the Brewers. It's also easier for the Yankees to do this when their revenue runs circles around teams like the Brewers (441 million to 171 million) and runs circles around the next closest team (Mets-268 million) ....To recap, teams from massive markets like New York are easily able to generate revenue and pay players to more lucrative contracts and Levine is ready to taunt anyone who calls out the mis-balances of this system.

Whew, that was a long rant. Time to watch Blanks go to the plate and hit. Blanks finally manages to get on base as he just got hit by a pitch. Will Venable: Clutch Hitter....first Padres at-bat with the bases juiced (according to their announcers) Venable turns a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead within seconds......also Angels-A's are underway as well....despite no fantasy implications, i'm anxious to see how Ben Sheets does in his start tonight.

I guess the Angels had seen enough out of Wood for now to not put him in tonight's line-up as Izturis gets the start tonight. The Ben Sheets era starts out good enough for Oakland as he has induced a harmless line out to second.

What in the name of Billy Beane is going on? The Fox Sports West broadcast just showed a brief capsule of the A's of Low Payroll (What else is new) Young deep pitching rotation (Hudson, Zito, Mulder: The Next Generation) and Small Ball (Small Ball ???!!!!!! your talking about small ball....dude your Billy Beane...the same Billy Beane that tought us about how small ball was a waste out of outs....i don't care how many bases Ricky Henderson thinks Rajai Davis can steal......Jack Cust is still a more valuable offensively player because hey hitting home runs leads to more runs than stealing bases (oh wait--that's right Jack Cust just got DFA'd right before opening day).

It looks like we have a potential Coors Field slugfest on our hands as Hawpe just went deep to pull the Rockies within 4-3. Your classic Coors Field home run as the Hawpe home run has initiated a discussion about how they thought it was just another fly ball that the ball park was going to contain.

Going to the 5th in the Padres-Rockies game...Gwynn, Eckstein, Gonzales due up......another chance for Blanks if one of the above gets on base. Get to see Ben Sheets try to pitch his way out of some trouble as the Angels have runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 gone and and Kendrick coming up the answer to far so good as he induces a fielders choice....good to see Sheets off to a good start.

Tulowitzki is doing his part to postpone Blanks' next plate appearance to the 6th as he makes a nice catch. That's followed by David Eckstein getting the ball out of the infield (good) which led to a running catch by Gonzales (bad).....Padres go down in order......we play the waiting game for the next Kyle Blanks at bat.

Just looked at the interface for my CBS league team and saw Ryan Doumit struck out a 3rd time for the night. This week, my team has struck out 45 times in 171 At-Bats.

A sign that your team isn't contending this year: The broadcast team speculates about your team's chance of being respectable....not good...not contenders....but respectability.

Latos has a nice 1-2-3 fifth....induces a couple of strikeouts leaving us a commercial break away from Kyle Blanks next at-bat.......the cold stretch continues as he strikes out.

Off to the Pirates-D-Backs game as Doumit is on deck......Pirates looking in position to win as they have a comfy 6-0 lead aided by a Kelly Johnson falling asleep on defense....Hideki Matsui welcomes Ben Sheets to the American League by driving in a run to put the Angels up 1-0

Doumit.....racks up his 4th strikeout of the game....back to the Padres-Rockies game which has proven to be much more entertaining......wasn't on the Pirates-D-Backs game very long but long enough to get the quote of the night from one of the announcers "you can train a chimpanzee for 2 weeks to do this job" may have been said as a joke but sometimes it seems there is a kernel of truth considering the following situation has gone down several teams.....Cheddarhead is watching random baseball game on TV and the conversation turns to some observation about the game going on......only to hear the announcers say the EXACT SAME THING pretty much verbatim about an inning or two later

Hawpe just hit another homer to tie it at 4-all during the middle of the previous paragraph.

Sorta spacing in and out of these games Padres-Rockies go into the 7th inning stretch tied.....Angels just broke a tie with the A's---wandering around aimlessly through ballhype looking through what else is going on. Luke Gregerson coming into pitch for the Padres......appearantly the dude was awesome at Petco.....terrible outside of Petco (according to the graphic they just showed).

Tony Gwynn Jr. is doing his part to help Gregerson improve on the road as he just made a really good catch. Looks like Ben Sheets first A's start isn't looking as good as a couple innings ago as he has fallen behind 3-1 and has runners in scoring position.......but he manages to get out without digging into a deeper hole.

The Rockies end the 7th without going deep or scoring a run......bad news which means no free Whoppers for people in the Denver area.

Betancourt comes in for the Rockies. According to the graphic shown on TV, he's pretty good against the Padres. If anyone gets on base for the Padres, we'll get another Kyle Blanks plate appearance. David Eckstein just "grounded out" on a pitch that hit the bottom knob of his bat (below his choked up hands). So let me get this straight, in addition to not being very good at hitting he somehow manages to botch a routine

Gonzales rips a single to right.....can Blanks improve on his .062 average now.....stay tuned to find out.....while Blanks attempt to go yard was unsuccessful...he did rip a double to get runners in scoring position for Headley......i'll take it as progress. Headley strikes out.....on a pitch that goes in the dirt......the Padres have a 4th out to play with...bases loaded....Venable gets a chance to make a further dent in the game.....Venable drops to a .500 average with the bases juiced as he strikes out to end the inning......

Even though there are fantasy implications with the Pirates game and the Ben Sheets storyline in the A's this point i've gotten heavily engaged in the Padres-Rockies game and the A's-Angels game has taken a background role.........Mike Adams now in the game for the Padres with Ben Sheets already pitching, Adams is the second injury-prone ex-Brewers player to pitch in a game in the last couple of hours.

Starts off strong as he strikes out Fowler. This shouldn't be shocking as the dude has struck out 9.1 batters per 9 innings in his career. According to the broadcasters, the Rockies are 0 for 16 against Adams so the fact that he's put down the first two hitters should not be a surprise. For a moment, it sounded like Tulowitzki changed that to a 1 for 17 with a homer......however, the ball harmlessly lands in Kyle Blanks' glove instead.

The Rockies are handing things over to Franklin Morales. The in my best interest scenario involves the Padres scoring 1-3 runs in the top of the 9th and Heath Bell coming in to get a save.....will this happen....we'll know for sure fairly soon. The Padres pinch-hit one junior (Tony Gwynn) for another (Jerry Hairston)......I wonder what the single season record for one junior pinch-hitting for another is........regardless the Rockies get out of the 9th and get an opportunity to win in their last At-Bat.

Cesar Ramos' turn to keep this game a 4-all affair. A tall order considering he is making his 8th career appearance. Appearantly Ramos is the Padres LOOGY as he strikes out a couple of lefties and is promptly pulled from the game. It may be the 1st week of the season but this game has a semi-epic intense feeling to it. With this change, it's up to Mujica to force some extra frames. He may not have the best body of work (career 83 ERA+) but he gets the job done.

EXTRA INNINGS!!!!!! Extra Innings De-neh-nuh-nuh-neh. Also, Blanks is due up 3rd....could he be the one to get a game winning hit here.....stay tuned to find out. It also looks like the 4K game by Doumit is official as the Pirates game ended with the Pirates winning 6-3

Matt Daley takes the hill to start the 10th. A couple quick ground outs bring us to another Kyle Blanks plate appearance..with my fantasy team down 22.5 points....a home run would help a lot. Gets a basehit.....that brings him to 2 for the game.....more encouraging in the long term that possibly the slump he's in is relatively short lived.....also has a chance to score the winning run as he moved to 3rd on a Headley single......only down by 21.5 points now.....speaking of right now.....another pitching change.....the Rockies counter with their LOOGY Randy Flores.....again Venable is up with a chance to do some serious damage.....for the second time in 3 innings....Venable is unable to replicate his 4th inning appearance as the Padres squander another opportunity for Blanks to score a run and Bell to come in and get a save.

Jason Giambi is up pinch-hitting.....just realized that he looks pretty old.......old enough to not bite on any pitches not even close to the strike zone.....and promptly gets pulled for a pinch runner.........Giambi getting some pretty intense high fives for standing there and drawing the walk...almost as if he had gotten a game winning hit.....the pinch-runner strategy turned out to be a pretty big fail/non-factor as an inning-ending double play was induced.......11th INNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt Belisle gets handed the task of keepin it at 4-all. I can't tell if the Padres are looking to score runs or if they're trying to engage Brad Hawpe in a game of pepper. Matt Stairs pinch-hitting....let me re-state that; Professional Hitter Matt Stairs.....Stairs penchant for going for the home run swing gets the best of him as he strikes out chasing a pitch out of the zone.........speaking of Matt Stairs....the Padres are team #12 he has played take is that he should just go all in and try to play for all 30 teams before he retires....sure age isn't on his side (he's 42)....but c'mon for that shot of immortality it's worth the shot.

Tim Stauffer's turn to extend the game. Ouch, dude just got slammed by the broadcast team for not having the career of a 4th overall draft pick. File that under signs that things have not gone as planned. His career may not have gone well but he did his part to force a 12th inning.

For what seems like the umpteenth time tonight, Blanks is due up fourth in this inning. In all this focus on the Padres-Rockies game has completely obscured the fact that the Angels and A's are tied in the 9th. Gonzales is getting the intentional pass......Blanks gets a chance to hit with two runners on.....Yes!!!!!!

Kyle Blanks swung at 2 pitches outside the zone and racked up another K........No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not a fan of leaving things hanging like a Lost episode but the reality it's pushing 9 pm on a Saturday Night.....I got places to be................

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