Monday, December 27, 2004

Gag Order

Today’s entry is a list of sentences that should be banished from the language for evermore:

1) “Hey, the Mets should get Doug Mientkiewicz to play first base.”
No, they shouldn’t. Not unless the rest of the lineup improves dramatically. Mientkiewicz is not the answer. Well, I guess he’s the answer to some questions, such as “What’s the name of that banjo hitting, slick fielding first baseman who didn’t start for two different teams last year?”, or “Who is that guy who plays a power position and hits about 8 home runs per year?”. Yes, Doug M. can pick ‘em with the best of them, guys like David Segui and JT Snow. Guess what? I don’t want them either. A first baseman basically has three jobs. In no particular order they are hit, hit, and hit. The Red Sox won the World Championship with Kevin Millar at first. He’s not exactly a Gold Glover, and, he’s really not a big time thumper either. And Mientkiewicz couldn’t beat him out. The Twinkies moved Mientkiewicz to make room for a rookie. He’s a luxury in a great lineup. The Mets can’t, as currently constituted, afford this luxury.

2) “Wow, that Chad Pennington is a brilliant guy.”
I do not root for the Jets. I do not root against the Jets. When it comes to Gang Green, I’m basically objective and neutral. Pennington seems like a nice guy. After this week, he also seems like a dumb guy. His press conference last Monday was embarrassing. For him, that is. He came across as inarticulate and immature. OK, you’re all thinking that I’m way off base because he was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. By the way, he was not a Rhodes Scholar, although he is sometimes referred to as one. He was nominated. And do you know what it takes to be nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship? An application. There is no other requirement – no minimum grade point average, no qualifying exam, nothing. I’m sure Chad was a good student at Marshall. He probably had a good GPA, after all he majored in journalism (how ironic) - not quantum mechanics, not microbiology, not even physical education. One of the qualities looked for by the Rhodes committee is involvement in “sport”. It doesn’t take a forensic detective to figure out what happened here. Someone in the Athletic Department at Marshall nominated Chad for a Rhodes Scholarship. Good for them. The Rhodes Scholarship Committee didn’t award one to Chad. Good for them.

3) “Pedro Martinez is basically a 100 pitch pitcher at this point in his career.”
This is the whole line of thinking – or non-thinking – that says that Pedro is a broken down, labrum frayed, disaster waiting to happen. Three pitchers in the American League averaged more pitches per start than Pedro last year. Five threw more innings. Pedro started 33 games and the league leader started 35. Wouldn’t you say that this paints a picture of a durable pitcher? In terms of innings pitched, batters faced, and starts he was most similar to Brad Radke last year. I don’t recall the great concern over Radke’s health. He started 6 more games than Tim Hudson. He threw 29 more innings than Hudson. Yet, Hudson is a young workhorse and Pedro is a pitch away from his arm blowing up. Go figure.


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October 22, 2005 at 12:29 PM  

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