Archive for category MLB

The A’s Were Just Studly

fbfThere’s a big difference between the A’s trio and other talented young pitchers, such as Ryan Dempster, A.J. Burnett and Brad Penny of the Marlins. Oakland’s triumvirate was put through some daunting challenges as the A’s won the A.L. West last season. Sometimes they were successful; sometimes they failed. But the heat of those battles has forged a set of pitchers as mentally tough as it is talented.

“You go through things and you just kind of go through them,” Mulder says. “You don’t even realize as it happens that it is important or that you are growing up a little. You realize it later, that there were all kinds of moments like that, and you’re like, `Hey, what’d I just do?'”

Take a closer look at those moments from last season, and you can see a nucleus of pitchers that has grown into the foundation for what could be the A.L.’s best starting rotation outside the Bronx. The three, …

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Taking The Guess Out Of Guesswork

ttgoug“In Boston, I would like (Nomar) Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez,” he says. “I think they both have a damn good idea. Our team, I would talk about Edgar (Martinez). He’s a very intelligent hitter. In Cleveland, (Jim) Thome looks (for a particular pitch), and so does Frank Thomas at Chicago. I’m talking about the good ones. (Garret) Anderson over in Anaheim. Troy Glaus is another one.

“I’ll tell you another one–over in Texas, our young shortstop, Alex Rodriguez. Alex has a pretty good idea going up there. (The Dodgers’ Eric) Karros would be classified there, I think, and (Larry) Walker at Colorado certainly has to be. I think (Ken Griffey Jr.) looks, too. Just about every power hitter (does), but some of them are better than others.

“I’m going to tell you another guy that might be the best in the league,” Piniella adds. “Jason Giambi. I think he adjusts really, really well and has a really good thinking …

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Bud The Spud Was A Dud

btswdOnly a Pollyanna would say baseball isn’t lurching toward another impasse. These foolish, stubborn men are more interested in battling each other than preserving the grand old game, which explains why it’s now the national past-its-time. “I can’t say that I’m optimistic.” says Fay Vincent, the last independent commissioner, ousted back when the sport was much better. And if a tense off-season follows previous form–a lockout that leads to a work stoppage next season, the ninth in three decades–you know what that spells.

Doom.

Simply, baseball’s role in America would slow to a crawl. Any remaining smidgen of consumer trust would vanish. There’s an adage that the game’s recovery powers are almighty, that the scab always heals no matter the wound.

Not this time, not after so much bleeding and heartache. The public has come to view the owners, players and negotiators with zero tolerance and considerable disdain. Either the parties figure out how to divide a caviar pie, or

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Notes On This Season

notsBobby Cox, going for his 10th straight division title as Braves manager, was nearly as distraught as Bowa as he tried to fix his team’s woeful offense. After putting 43-year-old Julio Franco at first, Cox stuck Chipper Jones in left so that Ken Caminiti’s bat could be in the lineup. This was the same Caminiti who had one hit over a recent nine-game stretch and was batting .225 as a Brave. Moving its best player to a new position in September does not seem like a move a team thinking about the World Series would want to make. But Jones told Cox he was willing to try and with Golden Glove winner Andruw Jones in center, Chipper promised “to man that hundred-foot area from the foul line to straightaway medium left field. I’ll let him have the rest.”

The Diamondbacks have the edge

The way Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson have pitched, the Diamondbacks are not likely to suffer any

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