Siberian Baseball

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Interleague Mania

Interleague time again, which depending on which side of the fence you come down on is either wildly entertaining and a great treat for fans of all teams or further dilution of the already weak intra-division showdowns in the majors these days.

Starting in Milwaukee, can anyone shed a little light on exactly what Daron & Bill's Buckethead Brigade is all about? The Brewers just had the distinction of allowing a hit to rookie pitcher Zach Miner.

From what I can gather, this is becoming a bit of a trend for Brewers pitchers.

* For the record, I figured out why the name Rickie Weeks sounds so familiar. Stevie Weeks was the young stud in Mystery, Alaska. I'd be lying if I said that hasn't been bothering me since last season.

* Steve Trachsel homered in the fifth for the Mets as they go up 4-1 on the Reds. I am always shocked to hear he's come back for another year. Him and Jamie Moyer. I keep expecting a Steve Trout start when I hear their names.

While less of a "where the hell did they come from?" than Detroit, the Mets rocketing out to an 8.5 game lead in the NL East has been pretty surprising. Detroit leads the AL Central and the Dodgers are ahead in the NL West.

Sure, it's only June, but worth noting.

And if you think I don't regret posting my picks on the right side of this blog every time I log in, well, you don't know my talent for making stupid mistakes. I'll check in mid-season to assess how wrong I've been and hope ESPN keeps their picks live, because I have that bookmarked somewhere, too.

For the record, no one at ESPN had Detroit to win the Central, 7 of 19 had the Mets and 10 of 19 had Los Angeles. I may be an idiot, but at least no one's paying for me to be wrong.

* Allow me to brush off the soapbox for a minute here. All-Star balloting is fun in much the same way that Oscar pools are fun: The winner is sometimes the best, it can be the most-hyped on many occasions and in any event, it's not like it matters much in the end.

Remember last year when Nomar was leading the NL voting despite injuries and sub-par seasons for three years? That pretty much soured me on the whole All-Star thing for good.

It used to be that there was a year's lag time on the ballots, where if someone had a good year, they started the following year. Now it's a free-for-all. The Internet means multiple votes for regional favorites (Frank the Tank likes to cite this when Yankees and Red Sox pepper the starting line-up and the White Sox players watch from home. Given Ozzie's threats on the subject, this could get interesting.)

Here's how things stand as of Monday:

National League:

First Base
1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals - 1,777,968
2. Carlos Delgado, Mets - 700,771
3. Nomar Garciaparra, Dodgers - 497,585

Second Base
1. Chase Utley, Phillies -984,648
2. Craig Biggio, Astros - 825,856

Third Base
1. David Wright, Mets - 1,018,804
2. Scott Rolen, Cardinals - 819,390

1. Jose Reyes, Mets - 769,919
2. David Eckstein, Cardinals - 689,054
3. Edgar Renteria, Braves - 620,836

1. Paul Lo Duca, Mets - 960,111
2. Mike Piazza, Padres - 680,773
3. Yadier Molina, Cardinals - 559,305

1. Carlos Beltran, Mets - 1,129,865
2. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals - 1,084,936
3. Jason Bay, Pirates - 1,069,986
4. Ken Griffey Jr., Reds - 1,032,102
5. Andruw Jones, Braves - 1,017,023
9. Barry Bonds, Giants - 504,870

American League:

First Base
1. David Ortiz, Red Sox - 1,257,595
2. Jason Giambi, Yankees - 796,146
3. Paul Konerko, White Sox - 579,666
4. Travis Hafner, Indians - 520,853
5. Chris Shelton, Tigers - 350,707

Second Base
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees - 796,204
2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox - 722,099
3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox - 670,547

Third Base
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees - 1,374,155
2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox -650,861

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees - 1,457,637
2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles - 1,073,827
3. Michael Young, Rangers - 407,261

1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox - 831,154
2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers - 803,964
3. Jorge Posada, Yankees - 608,670
4. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox - 493,385
5. Joe Mauer, Twins - 464,161

1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels - 1,518,276
2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox - 1,477,626
3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners - 996,148
4. Johnny Damon, Yankees - 956,595
5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays - 752,422
6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox - 598,441
7. Gary Sheffield, Yankees - 535,564
8. Torii Hunter, Twins - 509,722 (Frank's head is currently beginning to get hot a bleed a little from the ears.)

I'm going to refrain from comment for right now, but just look at some of those numbers. Vlad Guerrero is the top overall vote-getter? Jorge Posada is the third-best catcher in the AL? Where's Sammy Sosa? Can I vote for him? What about Cal Ripken? Muscle memory dictates I punch his ticket to the game.

This was all just fine until they gave the game real weight with the winner league getting the extra home game in the World Series, as well as opening the series in town. We're really going to let people with nothing better to do at ballgames decide who starts and World Series seedings?

Bad idea.

Side note: I've bought tickets from multiple teams' ticket offices in the past 2 1/2 years. Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Minnesota and Philly are the ones I can remember. Almost all of these teams have sent urgent e-mails about "Vote for Player X! He needs your help!" in the past two weeks.

If I can't trust the Orioles ticket office, I don't know who to believe anymore.

* Want to know the best part of the Cardinals/White Sox game tonight? Some group of little kids is seeing their first game tonight. They've waited and waited for this moment - their first big league game. And regardless of who wins or loses, a little Cards or Sox fan will go home crying. This will be the worst thing that has ever happened to them.

Serves the little fuckers right.

* Albert Pujols has been hurt for what seems like an eternity for those who have him in our fantasy leagues... why is he still leading the league in homers? Pujols is not human.

Speaking of not human, have you seen this fucking guy?

* Finally, look at these caps. Knowing the Cubs fan base like I do (because I'm part of that unholy petting zoo) I think it's pretty safe to say that by slapping any font of the letter "C" on a cap and selling it outside of Wrigley you'd make a crapload of cash.

I dare you to think of a problem with this business plan.

(Images from: / /


  • The NL returns are a whole lot more reasonable than the AL picks. Believe me, Ozzie is going to rectify the lack of Sox. Thome, Konerko, Dye, and Contreras are deservedly locks, and I can easily see Buerhle and Jenks added on for good measure. Joe Torre did this all of the time back when the Yankees were winning pennants, so I don't see any problem with this. Besides, the last time the Sox had won the World Series was two decades before the first All Star Game was even played. You've got to take advantage of the perks of winning while you can.

    By Anonymous Frank the Tank, At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 3:39:00 PM  

  • I can see your point, but Jenks doesn't really belong there. I'm pretty surprised that Thome isn't there, but I'm not sure if he's on the ballot (honestly) because there's no spot for a DH - that's why Ortiz is the top 1B in votes right now.

    By Blogger Minneapolis Red Sox, At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 10:47:00 PM  

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