Friday, July 21, 2006

Cody Ross: Pirate Killer

Well, it's a better title than, say, "Walker: Texas Ranger."

Cody who?

Just a guy who's played for the Dodgers, Reds and Marlins. THIS YEAR. Cuz he's a ROOKIE. Batting in the .250-.260 range, and, vs. the Buccos this year, is 8 for 14 with 3 HRs, a triple, a double, and 11 RBIs. Those home runs are a 2-run, 3-run, and a Granny.

If he hits a solo HR against the Pirates in their next two games vs. the Marlins...or perhaps if he ends up on another team after the trade deadline (I mean, why not? Four Major League teams in a year for a rookie would have to be some kind of record), then he'll have hit for the cycle in terms of home runs, in addition to already owning a cycle against the Pirates in a handful of at bats.

Just looking at him, he reminds me of what Ty Wigginton was supposed to be for the Pirates in the much-maligned Kris Benson trade.


There's a thought I had a long time ago (during an Astros/Pirates game at PNC on May 26). Maybe someone out there can bless me with my first comment and explain why this is such a bad thing.

During the 4th inning of this game, Willie Tavares swings at a pitch and misses, and the bad goes flying between the mound and first base line. It comes to rest, pretty much between the rubber and the bag (there's a double entendre in there somewhere, I'm sure).

The bat boy does not enter the field to retrieve it, likely because he's, like 13, and isn't sure whether or not to go get it. So, Ian Snell picks it up himself and meets Tavares halfway between the mound and the plate and hands it off personally.

Bob Walk, I believe, in the radio broadcast, instantly criticises Snell for this display of sportsmanship. It's not like Snell ran for it immediately. He's supposed to stand there and hold his johnson while nothing happens? Or is this some baseball superstition where sportsmanship should not be displayed during the actual game? Tavares ended up singling shortly afterward and Walky was kinda like, "See?"

I don't know.

Sportsmanship should be encouraged rather than disdained, especially with so many youngers idolizing these players. When the Dodgers and Cardinals in the 2004 playoffs ended their series in Dodger stadium with the Redbirds advancing to the NLCS, both teams did the little league-style, pass-through, hand-slap ritual. I loved this. Even in football, all those religious-types gather together on the field after the game and do a prayer circle. Sometimes, they even help opposing players up. In a non-rivalry game, I love this kind of stuff. It takes the focus off the obscene amounts of money these guys make and makes them human beings instead of demi-gods.

Anyway, the pre-soapbox question was: Why was it wrong of Ian Snell to hand the bat back to his opponent when it was obvious the batboy wasn't going to do it?


I'm starting to miss Spin Williams. Paul Maholm has given up 13 homeruns and has an ERA over 5. Of course, he usually doesn't get much run support, but in 6 of his 9 losses, he pitched his team into an early hole (by the 3rd inning...4 of those holes in the first). I don't know if the change of pitching coach from Spin Williams to Jim Colborn was akin to backing up a car at 25MPH, then suddenly shifting into second gear and flooring it, or if Colborn was overrated coming in.

The Pirate team ERA is only slightly better then the D-Ray ERA, but the D-Rays play in the DH-laden American League.

I shake my head. Could Mel Stottlemyre or Lee Mazzone do anything with this staff? I'll be continually forced to wonder.


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