Friday, April 14, 2006

Runelvys Hernandez

Ah, Fatso. Yes, it was only a matter of time before Runelvys occupied this space. And why not? He already occupies more space than most people.

Seriously, one would expect that any baseball player to stay in reasonable shape. There are few miracles out there like Bartolo Colon and David Wells, who seemingly can pitch well no matter how many doughnuts or beers they down before the game. Most players, most regular people too for that matter, simply function better physically when they are in fighting trim, so to speak. It's not hyper-critical for most of us to be in tip-top shape (and I am admittedly among those who have battled the bulge), because we don't generally make our living playing sports. But, those whose bodies are literally their means of support generally try a little harder than the average slob.

In the case of Hernandez, there may be no other player in the big leagues with better reason to report to camp in shape, for a variety of reasons. First, he's already had to have Tommy John surgery once to repair his elbow, and you'd think he would do everything in his power to be in otherwise top condition to help take as much stress off that elbow as possible. Next, he's well aware of the fact that he's prone to gain weight. Hell, this guy gained weight during the season last year, a rare feat indeed given the grind of playing 162 games and the constant attention lathered on these guys by fitness and training staff while the season is ongoing. Being cautious with his diet in the off-season was surely mentioned to him a few times.

Finally, he's simply not that good. We're talking about a guy with a career ERA of exactly 5.00 entering this year. He plays for the worst team in the sport, and there really isn't all that much to separate him from a long list of guys who would love to replace him in the Royals' rotation. And since the Royals stink, they're in a position to experiment a little by slapping a Triple A assignment of their fat phenom and putting some other stiff in the rotation.

With that kind of history, not to mention millions of future dollars at stake, you'd think he'd put in a little extra effort to keep from reporting to Spring Training at 280 pounds. But that's exactly what he did, prompting the Royals to first attempt to put him on the DL with the stated reason being "stamina", and finally just outrighting him to Omaha when they were told blubber wasn't an acceptable disabler.

So, did Runelvys take this demotion to heart? Yes and no. By all accounts, he has lost a lot of weight, up to seventeen pounds since the beginning of Spring Training. That's good. Unfortunately, he still can't pitch, surrendering eight runs in three innings in his first start in the minors. That's bad, and now the Royals have announced that he still isn't ready to be called up even though they now need to expand their rotation to five men.

Damn Fools don't come much bigger, any way you want to take that.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Barry Bonds

Allow me to offer you some friendly advice, Barry. The next time you face a situation where your reputation has been smeared, either shut your mouth if the allegations are true, or sue for libel if the allegations are false.

Please don't try another half-way approach like your lawyers pulled this week against the authors of the recent book that claims you took truckloads of steroids. Your crack legal team somehow convinced you that it would make sense to sue those guys on the grounds that much of their evidence came from sealed grand jury testimony, making it a crime for them to possess it. They didn't dispute that the evidence was correct, just how the authors obtained it.

Bad, bad move. Now, everyone is convinced that you didn't sue for libel because the truth is an absolute defense for those authors. And they're now also saying that you tried to kill the book on a technicality, smearing your reputation even further. And, oh by the way, your lawyers' motion was turned down anyway.

Get some new lawyers, Barry. And this time make sure they understand public relations.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bud Selig

I don't believe I have honored Bud to date with this award, and that's pretty surprising given his track record. But he finally cracked the Damn Fool list this week, by virtue of a couple of his pet projects.

First, we had the revelations about Barry Bonds, including the little tidbit that Bud met with Barry in 2004 to get his assurances that no embarrassing steroid information would pop up. Um, I'm going to guess that Barry didn't exactly give Bud the straight poop. I'd say I was surprised that Bud bought it, but we are talking about Bud Selig here.

Then, courtesy of the World Baseball Classic, we had a pair of snafus. First came the decision not to televise live what is quickly becoming a set of really interesting, exciting games due to conflicts with college basketball. We told you March was a bad time to play this, Bud.

Next came the embarrassing blown call in the USA-Japan game yesterday, leading some to speculate that the sub-par umpiring crews were chosen in order to fix the games.

All in all, a pretty crappy week for Allan H. "Bud" Selig, though it did net him the Damn Fool award. It was long overdue.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hall of Fame Voters

I am enraged that Buck O'Neil was not elected to the Hall of Fame. Joe Posnanski has already expressed the outrage of Kansas City much more eloquently than I can, so I will simply echo his sentiments here. Keith Olbermann has also written a couple of nice blog entries that hit home.

Look, there was no enormous outcry demanding that the Hall of Fame double the representation of the Negro Leagues. The committee in question was assembled essentially for the sole purpose of legitimizing a reason to put Buck O'Neil into the Hall. No one could even name the 17 additional inductees until this committee was put together, so there was hardly any groundswell of popular demand for Effa Manley or Andy Cooper. This was an election cobbled together to put Buck O'Neil into the Hall of Fame and they screwed it up.

It's that simple. And it's that sad.

(And I would be saying this even if Buck hadn't called my son "Home Run" when he signed a ball for him last summer.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Omar Minaya

Minaya is apparently so fixated on assembling an all-Hispanic version of the Metropolitans that he has sunk to signing Jose Lima to a minor league contract.

Yes folks, THAT Jose Lima, the one the Royals continued to throw out there in 2005 despite the fact that Lima was historically bad and each additional start cost the team incentive money.

To put some perspective on how bad Lima was, keep in mind this stat: No pitcher in the history of major league baseball has had a season in which he started as many games as Lima did last year (32) and posted a higher ERA (6.99).

But he's good enough for Omar. It must be nice to literally burn money. I'll try it if I ever win the lottery.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Bruce Sutter Supporters

Look folks, this one isn't even all that hard. Just do a quick compare and contrast between Sutter and Dan Quisenberry:

Years: 12 each
Games: 674 Quiz, 661 Bruce
Innings: 1043 Quiz, 1042 Bruce
ERA: 2.76 Quiz, 2.83 Bruce
Win%: .549 Quiz, .489 Bruce
Save Titles: 5 each
World Series Titles: 1 each

They were the same pitcher people. T-H-E S-A-M-E. So please explain this last stat for me:

Highest HOF Vote Total: Quisenberry - 18, Sutter - 301

A little consistency is all I ask.