Archive May 2007

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Diamond Notes

Charlie Manuel should be fired immediately. Not tomorrow, or the next day, but now. Taking away 130 innings from your second best pitcher was ludicrous in the first place, but the inherent injury risk of switching a pitcherís role mid-season had to be considered at the time as well. Brett Myers had never spent time on the disabled list during his career before his recent shoulder troubles, and the cause here is quite obvious. Manuel asked Myers to throw 21 innings in the 36 games since he became a reliever - a 95-inning, 90 appearance pace for an entire season in the bullpen. Oh, and the game he left injured, Myers was pitching when the Phillies had a four-run lead.

Itís time to start considering Oliver Perez as an elite pitcher again. While heís walked multiple batters in each of his past five starts, he has improved in that area, and heís striking out 8.49 batters per nine innings. Rick Peterson deserves a lot of credit here, as Perezís stuff still isnít what it was in 2004. While heís likely to throw in a couple of combustible outings from time to time, pitching for the powerful Metsí team should lead to 17-20 wins. His last three starts have come against the Brewers, Yankees and Braves, so heís getting it done against tough competition as well. Perez is back.

Iím going to be forced to hurt someone the next time Bruce Bochy pencils Rich Aurilia in front of Barry Bonds in the batting order. With a .280 on-base percentage, the best spot to hit in baseball is getting completely wasted. Imagine if he didnít constantly see fastballs Ė Auriliaís average would definitely be on the Interstate. I wonder why Bonds had zero RBI over the last 14 games before Sunday.

Jack Cust is the absolute king of baseballís three true outcomes. Entering Sunday, Cust had eight homers, 22 walks and 28 strikeouts in 83 plate appearances Ė heís leaving nothing up to chance a remarkable 70 percent of the time.

Rumors of a Carlos Zambrano shoulder injury continue to persist, and if the readings on the radar gun are any indication, they are valid as well. While he insists heís healthy, thereís no denying his arm angle is lower than last year, and the results so far certainly wonít quiet suspicion. Regardless, Lou Piniella keeps leaving him out there for 125-pitch outings, which can probably be viewed as both a positive and a negative.

With 2 outs and runners in scoring position, Barry Bonds is 1-for-2 with a home run and 12 walks this season - good for a .929 OBP and 2.929 OPS.

Jason Kendall has two extra-base hits this season. One since Opening Day, and that was because the right fielder was basically playing a deep second base. At his current pace, he would take home the title of the weakest post-dead-ball-era hitter in the history of the game.

Ervin Santanaís home/road splits are truly amazing. For this season Ė 3-1, 2.33 ERA, 1.15 WHIP at home vs. 0-5, 9.30 ERA, 2.07 WHIP on the road. For his career Ė 22-6, 3.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP at home vs. 9-16, 6.98 ERA, 1.63 WHIP on the road. In a way, this makes him even more valuable for fantasy purposes, at least for those in daily leagues. You know exactly what you are getting. Sure, heís only going to provide about 120 innings opposed to 220, but those 120 are going to be top-10 starter type numbers. Of course, thatís assuming he doesnít get demoted to the minors.

Stoudemire and Diaw to Be Suspended

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen done in the history of professional sports.

For David Stern to risk destroying the playoffs - let's face it, PHO-SAN could well be the battle for the title - because Amare Stoudemire (one of the softest players in the NBA) and Boris Diaw (he's French for God's sake) simply left the bench after their superstar player was body-checked into the scorer's table by a much larger player after the game was largely in hand, is beyond stupid.

San Antonio made the thug play - flagrantly fouling Nash. For them to lose Horry, an insignificant player, and the Suns to lose two key front court players in a 2-2 series of this magnitude is beyond stupid. The Suns showed enormous restraint under the circumstance. Raja Bell got in Horry's face, Nash got in his face, and a couple players stood up from the bench. This was far from the chaos in the Knicks-Heat series several years ago, or anything close to an all-out brawl.

David Stern has made a lot of good decisions during his tenure, but if the Suns lose this series because of this total bullshit. I hope no one watches the rest of the playoffs.

It cheats the Spurs out of earning their win, it cheats the eventual NBA champion (if the Suns lose) out of legitimacy, and it cheats the fans out of the most exciting team to watch since the Lakers and Celtics squared off in the 80s.

What a moronic move not to sidestep the letter of the law and reward Horry for his move. Horry looks like a genius now. I don't have words to express what a piece of shit this turns the league into.

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