Don’t look now, but the Cardinals are reeling. They’ve dropped four straight, losing Sunday against Milwaukee, then were swept right out of Chavez Ravine 3-0 by the Dodgers. The skid puts St. Louis 1.5 games back of Cincinnati, who’s also come back to earth in the last week.
Meanwhile, our Cubs, 7.5 games out, have lost 7 of 10 as part of its 3-6 road trip through the division’s cellar, which, was a measuring-stick trip for Chicago. Beat the bottom feeders and you’re back in the hunt. Lose, as they did, and well, just be thankful the Reds and Cards haven’t shut the door completely.
Despite the recent setbacks, however, Cincinnati and St. Louis are roughly on pace to win 90 games….the Cubs just 75. This means Chicago must conquer the unlikely task of going 63-39 in the season’s final 102 games to compete. That’s a .617 winning percentage for a club currently playing below .500, and mighty rough water to navigate through the final 3 1/2 months.
The stress signal has gone out…is it time to abandon ship?
We talk about it all the time–great players hanging on too long. Ken Griffey Jr. is no exception.
He should’ve retired last year when his teammates carried him off the field. But at last, Griffey is leaving the game of baseball, and on his own terms, nonetheless.
It’s just the kind of exit you expect from Junior, which is why he’s one my all time favorites.
No silly press conference, no poor-pitiful-me attitude and zero fanfare. Just a simple ‘goodbye.’
We may have forgotten about Griffey the past five years, but as time drags on, bringing the Steroids Era into better focus, one of the game’s greatest players will be sorely missed.
Griffey’s Better Than Milton Bradley
Seattle Right Move For Griffey Jr.
Griffey’s Swan Song
So much for the ghost of Milton Bradley. Carlos Silva was outstanding Friday.
He’s already exceeded my expectations…seriously, I thought the guy would get canned in Mesa.
Instead, he finished the spring 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA…then pitched well enough for the win against the Reds.
But Esmailin Caridad blows it in the eighth…shocking, I know.
Felipe Lopez fired agent Scott Boras in what appears to be a move to sign quickly with a club before Spring Training.
I flushed out the pros and cons for the Cubs to sign Lopez, and as it turns out, it’s a good move on paper, but my gut says the Cubs shouldn’t do it.
There’s just something fishy about a former All Star being unsigned in February, and especially one in his prime as a 29-year-old.
The hype surrounding the Cubs’ sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect, Starlin Castro, reminds me much of Brandon Larson.
Larson was ‘the talk‘ of minor league baseball in 2001–a sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect for the Cincinnati Reds.
In 1997 he won MVP honors during the College World Series for the LSU Tigers, then later became the Reds’ first-round draft pick (14th overall).
He climbed quickly through the minors, reaching Triple-A by 2001. The following two seasons he became an All Star of the International League batting .340 in 2002 and .323 in 2003, a season in which the Reds tabbed Larson as their Minor League Player of the Year.
All this proved little, however, at the big league level with Cincinnati. In parts of four seasons Larson never lived up to the hype. Playing in just 109 games he collectively batted .179 with 8 HR and 37 RBI.
Glad the Cubs are giving Jonny Gomes a strong look.
He’s in his peak years as a 29-year-old, and a strong right-handed bat off the bench. Last season Gomes batted .267 overall –.307 against left-handers– hit 20 HR and drove in 51 RBI for the Reds…all in just 98 games played and less than 300 at-bats.
When Bob Castellini purchased the Cincinnati Reds in January of 2006 he promised the city a return to championship baseball.
Since then, however, the Reds have turned in exactly zero winning seasons.
It’s not that Castellini isn’t trying. He broke frugal traditions by signing Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo to major extensions, signed a high-priced manager in Dusty Baker, parted ways with over-valued stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn, and sought the services of general managing guru Walk Jocketty.
But until Sunday, when the Reds surprisingly signed the highly regarded 22-year-old pitching phenom, Aroldis Chapman, to a five-year $30.25 million deal –money that would make even the Yankees blush– Castellini had failed to put his money where it counts–with super-talented players.
I’m glad to see Junior back with the M’s for another season.
His return is a bit of a surprise to me, and unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s the right move either.
Consider that in 117 games last season his average dipped to .214, well below his career average of .285. His defense in center field wasn’t much better, limiting him to strictly a DH role. So it’s interesting Seattle is willing to give the 40-year-old’s tattered wheels another go-round.
At the very least, enough home run power was present to justify Junior being in the lineup, 19 to be exact, and his 57 RBI were serviceable, as well. But when Griffey singled up-the-middle in his last at-bat at Safeco, I figured that was a perfect, and fitting, ending to a most memorable career.
The Mets are way over-thinking its uniform changes. There’s no reason to add black to an already beautiful Giants orange and Dodgers blue.
In fact, it’s time to retired that awful looking black jersey all together. Seriously, you’re a New York team. Have some fashion sense.
Riding the style trend is what got the Mets in this Gothic mess in the first place. The Reds were another victim of the black trap until new owner Bob Castellini abandoned the black and gave a modern twist to a simple red and white uniform. Cincy’s digs couldn’t look any better.
A little addition by subtraction, that’s all the Mets need to do.
I’m spending the weekend at the Old Town Wine Crush.
Good weather, good food and apparently some good wine, too.
I do enjoy the occasional glass of grape, but don’t mistake me for a vino snob; I’m a beer drinker first.