Rounding the Bases

Just not right, and it’s a shame it takes the death of a professional athlete to bring attention to a serious problem. Even worse, we probably won’t really do anything about it anyway.

You might have noticed that I didn’t post much over the past four or five days, and I’m sorry about that. It was just one of those weeks, probably the most up-and-down in my life (that’s probably an exaggeration). The story behind it is simply ridiculous and unbelievable, and I would laugh about it if it wasn’t so painful. Anyway, it was a fairly chaotic week that didn’t leave me with enough time or motivation to write, but we’re back with a new Sunday lineup. You’ve seen the traditional, daily “This Day in Baseball” and the new “Sunday Frivolities” post that should be a lot of fun. The last new addition is this “Rounding the Bases” post, which is a dedication to my prior blog about modern baseball. I like writing about baseball history, but I’ve decided to take a post each week to run through some thoughts on what’s happening in today’s game.

– How ridiculous is Zach Greinke? Through three starts, he’s gone 20 IP with 26 K and 5 BB with a whopping 0.00 ERA. Going back and including his last two starts of 2008, he’s gone 34 IP with 37 K, 8 BB, and no runs. Too bad he pitches in Kansas City where people forget about him. Damn.

– You know it’s a different year for Jeff Francoeur when … he gets two triples in a game and doesn’t deserve either one. For the first one, Kearns misplayed a ball around the fence, and on the second, he lost it in the sun with the ball plopping down right behind him. Frenchy got to third both times. Then today, he hits one off the end of his bat, breaks the bat, and the ball falls in for a 2-run single. He’s looked a lot better this season, but he looked good to start last season as well. We’ll see.

– Jason Barlett has a 1.121 OPS with 2 HR and 3 2B. Luis Castillo has been solid. What?!?

– The top 10 teams in ERA are (in order): Pittsburgh, Seattle, Kansas City, Florida, LA Dodgers, NY Mets, San Diego Padres, Oakland, St. Louis, and CHI Sox. Tampa Bay is 16th, Boston is 18th, San Francisco is 22nd, NY Yankees are 28th, and Philadelphia is last. I love baseball.

– The leading position player Rookie of the Year candidates are Elvis Andrus and Jordan Schafer. Andrus has a .973 OPS even though he’s a defense-first shortstop. Either Arlington is that good of a park or this is just 30 at-bats. Let’s go with both. The only semi-legitimate contenders in the NL are Schafer and Colby Rasmus, but both have been lacking at best so far.

– The leading pitchers for Rookie of the Year are Ricky Romero and Kenshin Kawakami. The legitimate guys are in the AL with Romero, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson. Romero gets the edge because of his ERA (2.57) and control (2 BB) against Cahill who has a nice ERA (2.60) but is terrible with his control (13 BB). I imagine Cahill might regress just a bit once those walks come back to haunt him. Kawakami is one of few guys in the NL, but his 5.25 ERA isn’t something to be too happy about.

– Armando Galarraga (my big pick to seriously regress) is, well, not regressing (13.1 IP, 0.68 ERA, 13 K, and 3 BB). Otherwise, the Tigers are 4-7 and not so respectable.

Josh pointed this out the other day, but the Diamondbacks have been seriously unkind to Dan Haren. That’s just not fair.

– I’m not sure how much more can go wrong for the Angels. Geez.

– The Braves went from top of the world (5-1) to not so much (losing 5 straight). Not sure what to make of this, but if the relievers don’t throw strikes, I’m going to break something or have a heart attack or have a heart attack after slamming my laptop against the pavement and using my new signed Chipper Jones bat to crush it into pieces before realizing that was a bad idea and I might have been overreacting. Jordan Schafer could also use a lesson in two-strike hitting. Hey kid, quit swinging for the fences with two strikes. Singles, buddy, singles. Then, steal second, third, and home. At least, you play great defense. Gosh, can you run.

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