Saturday, September 04, 2004

Sidney Ponson - Worthless or not?

Sidney Ponson and the 3rd place Baltimore Orioles embarrassed the $190,000,000 Yankees for the second time in a week. Ponson, a very unreliable ace-pitcher, threw a 2-hi, complete game, shut-out in Yankee Stadium today. The Yankees lost 7-0. Sidney Ponson has been very streaky and shaky this year. He has had marginally success but when he has had success it has been big time. His numbers as a winning pitcher are completely different than those of his season numbers. Most pitchers' season numbers will not be too drastically different than their winning numbers, but Ponson is an exception. I've taken the time to pull out his numbers when he wins and compared them to his season numbers.
(10-13) 5.37ERA 5CG 2SHO 182.2IP 223H 116R 109ER 19HR 6HBP 59BB 102SO
(10-0) 1.80 ERA 4CG 2 SHO 75.1IP 55H 15R 15ER 3HR 19BB 40SO

Pretty staggering, huh? My point is that Ponson has the talent and the stuff to be an outstanding pitcher. He just has to put the pieces together and he will be. Send him to the famed Leo Mazzone for a month and you may have next year's CY Young winner.

The Poor Expos

You have to feel a twinge of sympathy for the poor Montreal Expos. The last couple of years they have been choked by Bud Selig and the Commissioner's office. The Expos have the fewest fans per game, they have the worst travel schedule (because of Puerto Rico), and the have one of the worst payrolls in the game. Finally Selig says he is going to make a decision by the end of the regular season but he was saying similar things in the middle of last season. The Expos need a good home and there are cities that want them, Las Vegas; Monterrey, Mexico; Norfolk, Va.; and Portland, Ore. The commissioner just needs to make up his mind, sell the team to an actual owner, and move the team to a suitable home. Hopefully the Expos will be straightened out for the 2005 baseball season.

Mother Nature Creates Scheduling Woes

Hurricane Frances is lumbering towards the Florida coastline and is expected to make land fall sometime Saturday. The Chicago Cubs are supposed to be visiting the Florida Marlins for a three game series that was scheduled to begin Sept. 3rd. Because of the hurricane the first two games of the series have been postponed and it is likelt the third game will come to the same fate. The only problem is that there are only 29 games left in the regular season and no obvious room for make-up games. Why didn't MLB just move the whole series to Wrigley and let the Marlins be the home team? I don't know, although there may be difficulties doing so that are not shared with the public. The biggest problem is that the Marlins are 2.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Wild Card race. This series may have to move the post season back a week for the two teams to settle the Wild Card out. We'll have to wait and see.

As of Saturday, Sept. 4, the entire series has been canceled. As of now the games are not rescheduled. Here is the ESPN report:
"The series was not rescheduled, but Marlins officials assured fans the games will be played at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. Likely makeup dates are Sept. 20, the only common off day between the clubs, and Oct. 4, the day before the playoffs begin."

Frustration in New York

On September 3, 2004 the Yankees lost twice. They lost to the third place Baltimore Orioles 3-1 in nine innings. They lost a second time when Kevin Brown broke his hand when he punched the clubhouse wall (cement and cinderblock). At least it was his non-pitching hand so he may be able to pitch through it, but how short-sighted can you be? Afterwards Kevin Brown was apologetic: "Stupidity, I reacted to frustration I'd swallowed all year. There are no excuses. I let it boil over and I did something stupid. I owe my teammates an apology for letting my emotions take over like that."

The Atlanta Braves - 13 Straight Division Titles

The Atlanta Braves continue to impress me. Last year I was sure they were the team to beat in the playoffs...I was wrong. This year I was sure the Braves would end up in second place at the very best...I was wrong. This year's team is half as talented as last year's team but they have good team chemistry. The core players of the Braves are playing hard and are playing aggressively. Andruw Jones is the most surprising, just the other day he grounded out with runners in scoring position and he slammed his helmet down in frustration. That didn't happen last year. Last year they were cocky, they were the king of the crop, the best team in baseball. This year they are running scared, they lack the excessive arrogance that held them back last year, they aren't as talented but they make up for it by hustling. Marcus Giles slides safely into home past Expos Catcher Brian Schneider Kudos to John Schurholtz for acquiring J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. Marrero has exceeded everybody's expectations. J.D. Drew has been revitalized in Atlanta and is finally healthy and becoming the player he has always been slated to become. There are still problems in the bullpen but Chris Reitsma has been able to pitch well despite a very poor start. Gyrbowski still continues to be one of the best at allowing inherited runners to score and Tom Martin has been close to atrocious since joining the Braves (if only we still had Hammond and Remlinger...). This year's ball club is reminiscent of the Anaheim Angels when they won the World Series in 2002. It is a collection of a few outstanding players but mostly it is a team of good/decent players who play a hard, scrappy baseball game.

Friday, September 03, 2004

22-0: The Box Score of the Year

Box Score: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H  E
Cleveland 3 3 3 0 6 1 0 0 6 22 22 1
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5    0

I couldn't believe that I would be so fortunate to see the greatest margin of victory, in a shutout, since 1900. Even better, the Yankees were the losing team. The $190,000,000 lost to the lowly Cleveland Indians. I couldn't believe it. The Yankees have no pitching at all. Mussina, an aging star, has an ERA over 5.00. Brown, the Yankee's best starter, is hurt. Vasquez, an excellent pitcher in Montreal, is only pitching decently. I couldn't even talk about the last half of the rotation, it really is that bad. The atmosphere in New York is too unforgiving for young pitchers so the Yankees must rely on older pitchers who sometimes are waning. The lack of pitching should be unsettling for the New York fans and front office. This is the achilles heal of the $190,000,000 team. The Yankees will not win the World Series because their pitching will falter. They have an offense of an all-star team but no depth, defensively or in pitching to back it up.