We haven't had any linkaliciousness in a while...
Evan Grant had a chat session today worth checking out. Lots of good stuff, but two things in particular I wanted to comment on...
First, this comment about Chris Davis:
At the plate, he looks to me to be a little behind. He has an opportunity Monday against the Angels to drive home a run from third base with one out, but got behind in the count with a couple of bad swings and ended up grounding to short. He HAS to get that ball in the air and to the outfield. I don't care if he hits .250 or .260. I don't care if he strikes out 125-140 times. But when he has an RBI opportunity that doesn't require getting a hit, he has to make those count.
This sentiment is expressed in every game day thread when there's a runner on third and less than two out. And yet...it isn't realistic to expect a batter to get the ball in the air and to the outfield every time in that situation. Players are human. They can't automatically get a given result every time. Even Michael Young, in 2009, either struck out or hit into a GIDP in 10 out of 35 plate appearances with a runner on third and less than two outs. And if Chris Davis strikes out 140 times this year, he's going to do so quite a few times with a runner on third base. So let this be a request that, in the GDTs, there be no "you have to get the runner home" posts this year.
Secondly, I think it is reflective of how we tend to focus on single episodes or at bats in spring training, or early in the season. This at bat would be a non-issue if Davis had performed last year...but because he struggled, and is a big question mark this season, and because we have so little data to work off of so far this year, it gets more attention and becomes emblematic of a bigger problem.
Secondly, when asked who has been better than expected and worse than expected, Grant mentions quite a few Rangers as being better than expected, but mentions Elvis Andrus, Taylor Teagarden, and Joaquin Arias as being disappointing. Arias's problem Grant refers to as "same old same old" -- his apparent tendency not show no urgency about his situation and not seem to care or put in extra effort, resulting in what seems to be the likelihood of him losing the utility infielder job that was his to lose.
And the talk about Arias and his issues reminded me of something Bill James wrote about disappointing Royal shortstop Angel Salazar 24 years ago, which is reprinted here. Check it out, and see if it doesn't strike a chord.
Brian Giles is retiring. I really wanted him to be a Ranger about 5 years ago, when we were screwing around with the likes of Brian Jordan and Richard Hidalgo in right field.
Keith Law was impressed by Alexi Ogando.
Tim Tebow is dumb. Or at least, isn't smart enough to score well on the Wonderlic. Not Vince Young-level terrible, but not good, either.
Nomar Garciaparra signed with Boston this week so he could retire as a Red Sox (Red Sock?), with Nomar and the organization saying nice things about each other. A happy story. Except, of course, the Boston media being the Boston media, folks had to crap all over it. Like Dan Shaugnessy, who led off his story of the event with "Total fraud" and called the "lovefest" "nauseating."
Meanwhile,Yahoo's Steve Henson suggests Nomar's decline was because he was a steroid user.
Rick Reilly has gone from great sportswriter to treacly hack over the past 20 years, and this column -- his last for ESPN, he announces -- is classic hackiness, as he takes hackneyed shots at the Houston Yates basketball coach for running up the score. Typical Reilly:
[Coach Wise has] said that all 15 of his players -- 11 of them seniors -- play. "The [third string] deserves the chance to play hard and compete too," Wise has said.
Yes, those kids deserve to play hard and compete -- every day in scrimmages against the best team in Texas. In games against schools with no chance, they need to back off.
Spoken like someone who has never played a sport, and who has lost touch with reality.