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Gotta go with Omar on this one. Julio WAS pitching better, but he was still the mop-up man for the most part. With Zambrano gone and Bannister still a question mark, the Mets needed starters. Soler pitched very well after the first three batters, if Woodward had caught the ball, probably would have allowed only one run. So he, Duque and Bannister can fight it out for the last two positions -- and ElD is bound to help Soler as well. That will stop talk of moving Heilman, or promoting the far-from-ready Pelfrey. There's a slight drop-off from Julio to Gonzalez as the 7th reliever, but other teams should have this problem. If Bannister -- when he's back --and Soler both pitch well, Duque's shown he can do long relief, which moves Oliver to the Julio/Gonzalez spot. I like it.
posted by Jim Benton at 09:08 AM on May 25
wingnut4life: No, the tie breaker was the fewest earned runs ALLOWED. To all, that there were players that didn't participate -- not just for the US, for other teams, (Pedro, Posada, etc.) The fact is that the US fielded a line-up of 4 certain hall of famers (Roger, ARod, Jeter, Griffey) two borderline HoF (Pudge and Varitek) and other all-stars. The fact is that the teams WITHOUT major leaguers made it into the Semis.
posted by Jim Benton at 12:10 PM on March 17
BullpenPro: The key thing is that it showed the best players are NOT in MLB. The US went 3-3, with one arguable victory against Japan (Bob Davidson should NEVER ump again) and one cheap win against South Africa. Meanwhile, of the four teams that MADE the Semis, only the DR has a substantial number of MLB players. Korea has 6 pitchers and Hee Sop Choi, Japan has Ichiro. And of course Cuba has none. The attitude of the American players is what killed them. They weren't just in Spring Training, they played like it, and the way Martinez managed -- another person to be replaced -- in the first round only made it worse. Oh well, see you in 3 years, and next time the US better take this seriously. (And by that time, maybe SY Lee will have to choose between America and Korea.)
posted by Jim Benton at 06:47 AM on March 17
Of course Sammy, and McGwire, and probably Bonds will get in. They shouldn't, but they will. There are still reporters who are clamoring for Rose and even Shoeless Joe to be admitted, despite the fact they did something much worse against the integrity of the game. Five years from now you'll hear 'it doesn't matter, nothing was proven, look at the records." That's why I don't care about the HoF anymore.
posted by Jim Benton at 09:19 AM on February 16
Both Nowandagain and Daddisamm make the key points. What Jackie did was unique, he was given a unique honor, and it should remain unique -- and I wish they hadn't 'grandfathered' it so Mariano still wears the number. Roberto was a great man and a hero, and a great ballplayer, who happened to be Hispanic as well. But he was not the first Hispanic, he was not the only great Hispanic ball player, and in fact, because of the 'darkness of his skin' Jackie opened the door for him as well. Nor was he the only hero who also played baseball. Ted Williams was a hero, maybe a greater one, and probably a better ballplayer than either of them, but he WASN'T JACKIE ROBINSON. There was only one who did what Jackie did. (And, btw, I happen to be white, if it matters.)
posted by Jim Benton at 04:07 PM on January 25
I entirely agree with Sharon Robinson. Clremente was a great player, a hero, and an important symbol for baseball, but there is NO comparison to Jackie Robinson, whose importance was not to baseball, but to the entire nation. (It's hard to remember how pervasive racism was for younger fans. I'm 59, and remember how the first baseball special issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED showed the manager, the star, and the manager's wife of the World Champions, with her arm around the other two's waists. Because the star was Willie Mays, the next two issues posted pages of coments of Southerners (and other racists) cancelling their subscriptions because of the 'disgusting,' 'pornographic' cover.) Jackie's courage, and the effect he had on fans and on the country was so great that mentioning Clemente is the same context is absurd. (Had he been successful as a player, the only person who potentially had the same effect might have been Glenn Burke, the first openly gay baseball player, but, sadly, he was never more than a fourth outfielder and never had the same impact. Jim
posted by Jim Benton at 08:50 AM on January 24
The question for the Sox is whether Mike Lowell's last year was just a speed bump, or if his physical problems are finally catching up to him. If he can still be a near All-Star at third base, the deal is great, because Crisp has a major up-side that Damon doesn't. But if Lowell is declining, the loss of Marte will REALLY hurt. This guy has been a major prospect right along, and seems likely to live up to his potential. On the other hand, since the Indians have Sizemore and a lot of outfielders, they can afford to give up Crisp for Marte, so this could be a win-win trade. Jim
posted by Jim Benton at 09:40 AM on January 22
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