Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Big Ben's Bad Day 

Ben Davis did not help his cause by having lefty fireballer Matt Thornton throw his third-best pitch, the changeup, to Vladamir Guerrero and Jose Guillen who sent both flying for home runs on back to back pitches in the fifth. Thornton was cruising until then and had made Vlad look silly with his fastball. Davis also had a throwing error in the sixth inning on a stolen base attempt that allowed Jeff DeVanon to go to third where he eventually scored.

Bob Melvin was not pleased. "Thornton was throwing the fastball by hitters, they weren't catching up to it. Those two home runs were on back to back changeups, and the guy behind the plate has to do a little better job. We need Ben to lead some of these kids a little more. They've never faced these hitters, they're trusting a big-league catcher. I talked to Ben during the game. I'll talk to him again. I wanted to get his thinking on the call. He'll get mine."

This was not what we want to see Big Ben doing in Spring if he is to take the full time catcher position away from incumbent Dan Wilson.

Little Ball
The Tribnet had a writeup in their game recap that will raise the ire of the statarazzi, if they notice it...

Several times during the game Monday, Melvin or his coaches reminded hitters on the way to the plate that their role was to move hitters over - or get them in, even with outs. More than a few times, they failed to do so. "That costs you games in the regular season, too," Melvin said. "It will be addressed." ...

I agree with my statistically inclined brethren that most sacrifice bunts are a waste of outs, but becomes necessary when playing for the tying or winning run late in the ballgame. I also believe it is a valuable skill to practice during Spring Training.

Yankees Falling Apart
A week after Bernie Williams is lost for Spring Training with an emergency appendectomy, the Yankees have lost their "other" big signing this offseason as Gary Sheffield may be out up to three months with a torn ligament in his thumb. There will be more, my friends. You can't tweak the baseball gods by throwing money around without purchasing a little bad karma as well. Mark my words, either the Yankees or the Red Sox will be at home watching the ALDS this October, and I'm sure hoping its the Yankees.
Edited 9:26 PST: Nevermind. It appears that Sheffield will be able to play with the injury and will not require surgery. Put those Magglio Ordonez to the Yankee rumors away, for now.

Seahawks keeping up momentum
Seahawks were able to re-sign defensive tackle Cedric Woodward to a 5-year contract, linebacker Ike Kacyvenski to a 3-year contract, are spending two days with Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby Taylor, have Pro Bowl safety Brock Marion in town, and are close to bringing receiver Darrell Jackson back with what will be a multi-year contract. If the M's had an offseason like the Seahawks are having, your Mariner Optimist would have found himself on a crowded bandwagon.

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