A conversation about MLB, on the field, off the field.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

From the basement March 25 07

Tuned in to the Jays broadcast of game vs. Reds. midway through.

Bottom 6 - Jamie Campbell calls Reds 1B and Canuck Joey Votto, the "Reds #1 prospect." I've written here before about Votto and yes he is a very good prospect, in fact I think the next everyday Canuck in the bigs, but he is definitely not #1 in the Reds system. Homer Bailey, RH starter is rated #5 in the Baseball America Top 100 prospects list. Get out to Lynx Stadium when Louisville comes to town and catch both these guys ( if they're not already Reds ). Votto k'd lookin in the bottom of the sixth vs. Downs. He k'd again, this time swingin, vs. Accardo in the 9th.

Also bottom of 6, just before commercial, Mr. Campbell tells us that it was reported on ESPN last year that Vernon Wells would not resign with the Jays. Mr. Campbell did not name names, but he must be referring to former Jays in house "stat geek" Keith Law who got this wrong in his ESPN blog on August 18 last season. Mr. Law had resigned / been dismissed earlier last season from the Jays. See my posting from January 30 on Mr. Law's very pointed remarks about the Jays, Wells & African American players. Did Law quit or did J.P. can him and what did they disagree on? I've never seen an explanation from either party. Mr. Law seems to have become an enemy of Blue Jay fans, not only is Mr. Campbell indirectly slagging him but I've seen Jays fans doing the same on a few boards.

This game was my first glimpse at few players who I am interested in. Votto for purely nationalistic motives and Josh Hamilton because he has been one of the biggest soap operas in baseball the last handful of years. If you don't know who Hamilton is then you probably have no interest in my blog but anyway...from one of the best prospects supposedly EVER ( he got the bonus money to prove it from Tampa Bay ) to crack addict and back to playing baseball. I've known who he is since he was drafted #1 in 1999, and that last summer he played in his first minor league game in 4 years due to his crack addiciton. But Hamilton's story is quickly becoming more and more high profile. You no longer have to read Baseball America to find out what's up with Hamilton, he has been all over ESPN ( and I assume all the major sports media ) this spring. Peter Gammons is musing along with Barry Levinson that perhaps Hamilton is the real life ROY HOBBS!! How's that for hype, comparison to a movie myth! Jayson Stark ( I admit I only glanced at it ) wrote some lengthy tug at the heart strings, overcoming addiciton, sentimental thing about it and I see other writers complimenting him on the piece's brilliance. GAG ME! Good for Josh Hamilton, I'm happy for him that he is not doing crack although in honesty I never cared beyond the fact that the D Rays wasted the #1 overall pick in 99 on a crackhead. I don't like this type of sports "reporting", the emotional, personal "story" side of it. I don't care one bit about the players personal lives ( beyond some of the unintentionally funny / dumb things they do that get them in trouble ). How is it that veteran reporters like Stark & Gammons can still get dewey eyed about this sort of "overcoming adversity / survival" story? They know, better than me, that a lot of these pro players are obnoxious, spoiled and arrogant. How can they still be sentimental? But, I am, as Mr. Gammons has described us, one who writes from between walls. ( Mine are covered with that fake wood grain particle board popular in the 70's, I adore it ). In fairness to Mr.'s Gammons and Stark, guys like Josh Hamilton don't visit my basement, they play baseball and you don't know them if you're in your basement. Maybe if I met the man I wouldn't be so smug and dismissive. Also, as someone in his basement wouldn't know, maybe the editors at ESPN know that a lot of fans do enjoy these stories and request that writers provide them. If Hamilton has a good year and I think he can, ( Griffey always gets hurt plus Great American Ball Park is a great hitters park ) he's gonna be a big story. Bigger than the sports media alone. Oprah, PEOPLE, Leno, come to the White House big.

Bottom of 8. Mr. Campbell tells us that he doesn't think the Jays are concerned that they don't have a "situational" LH in the pen because LH hitters batted only .214 against Jason Frasor last season. Mr. Campbell often quotes stats but a lot of them are irrelevant. Frasor pitched 18.2 innings against LH hitters last season. What the stat geeks call "the sample" is too small to be of any worth.

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