|So long, Javier Lopez. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission..
One thing, among many, that I hate about a player being designated for assignment is that, when it happens, he suddenly becomes persona non grata. He’s dfa’d, has to leave the team and you hear nothing else about him. Like he never existed as a member of the team. Nothing usually gets written about you again, once you’re dfa’d, unless you accept the assignment (or are part of a trade). I remember this vividly with Kyle Snyder. I’ve been told by one of Kyle’s teammates, one of his former managers, a handful of sports writers and other folks who know him what a great guy he is. Yet, when he was dfa’d we heard next to nothing about him immediately after. Does it not occur to the writers that fans might like some closure? That just because the team feels that they have to designate a player for assignment, that doesn’t mean the fans stop being interested in how that player is doing?
How about just a “We talked to Javi about being dfa’d and what he thinks is in store for him and he said….” piece in one of the “notebooks”? I so hate this aspect of the game. “Well, we’re done with you. See ya!’ It’s way too cold and uncaring for me.
That’s not to say I’m not excited about Daniel Bard being called up. I’m plenty excited about that. Got to see his first appearance in Pawtucket this year and the idea of watching him blow pitches by major league batters is very appealing. I was glad he didn’t get thrown into last night’s game, though. The idea of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller calling his first major league appearance is depressing. (I’m sure Carlos Pena would like to thank them both for the ongoing praise yesterday. After nine innings of “How can you not have this guy in the lineup? He leads the league in home runs! He’d really be helping this offense tonight”, he was put in the game in the ninth and promptly struck out against Papelbon. I’d have punched the television if something similar happened to Bard in his debut and we had to listen to Morgan and Miller describe it.
Jonathan Papelbon has 8 saves in 8 save opportunities. He’s perfect in that manner. He also has given up 12 hits in the 14 innings he’s pitched (including a home run), given up 2 earned runs and walked 8 while striking out 18. Okay, he isn’t your stereotypical closer and he gives me stomach pains and a sore mouth from grinding my teeth when he’s in…but he’s damn effective isn’t he? (This is something I need to keep reminding myself.)
Jason Bay continues to amaze everyone but Boston fans who figured out last year that this guy was a talented player who fit right in. Jay Bay is one of my pride projects. Every time he does something great I remind someone about how I had to talk so many of my friends (and some readers) down when the Sox traded for him. I don’t make all that many great calls in this regard, so I cling to Jason as one of my finest. It’s a lot of fun to watch him play, isn’t it?
I have a ticket for the next time the Sox are back in Boston. It’s Tuesday, May 19th. Also a day that I have a ticket for a Bisons/PawSox game at McCoy Stadium. That’ll be my first park to park double header. Given that the Bisons have put Kyle in the rotation (for now) and also given his last start (which was a damn fine one – he pitched four innings and gave up one hit, one unearned run and struck out six!), there’s a relatively good possibility of seeing him pitch that day. Which would be a sweet way to start the day (the PawSox game begins at noon). Seeing Kevin Millar again (at the Blue Jays/Red Sox game) would be a great way to end the night. But, man, I’m tired just thinking about it!
Here’s where I feel the need to give Aubrey Huff a shout-out. Sure, the Orioles lost to the Yankees yesterday and Joba Chamberlain got the win, but he also seemed to get a taste of humble pie. After Huff hit a three-run home run off of him, Aubrey made a point of turning to him as he rounded first and pumping his fist and yelling. He did the same when he crossed home plate. Although, Joba claims he didn’t see it and that he isn’t going to ‘curb’ his celebrations. Funny, though, no fistpumps were to be seen yesterday from Joba. Maybe he only does it now when the Yankees are losing? (My issue with Joba’s celebrating is this: I understand why pitchers do it when they get themselves out of tight situations and I certainly understand why closers would do it. But doing it because you just got the side out in the middle of a game that your team is losing mostly because your pitching stunk in the first inning is bush. And just really stupid. (I’m not a fan of showing up the other team. “SEE WHAT A FABULOUS PITCHER I AM???” So I’m all for the rest of the league catching on to his antics and giving him what-for about in in any way they see fit.)
I ended up watching pieces of both the Celtics and Bruins games. Saw the final minutes of both games and saw the wins…and saw the best and worst of what sports can offer. The best being a player like Glen “Big Baby” Davis making the final shot, in the final second of the game, for the win. Although he almost took out some kid on the sideline who was stupid enough to get in his way after the shot, watching him celebrate such a feat gave me genuine joy. The worst? How about Carolina’s Scott Walker sucker punch Aaron Ward with less than 3 minutes to go in the Hurricanes/Bruins game? It’s feared that Ward has a broken orbital bone because of Walker’s cowardice. Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice thought the whole thing funny, saying:
Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice laughed off the possible repercussions.
“Scott probably has sore knuckles,” he said.
Asked whether there will be a fine, he added: “I may have to sell my truck.”
I’ll never get why hockey fans enjoy the violent side of the sport. Was it worth losing Ward to get a few minutes of excitement? And Paul Maurice is an ass.
the orbital “bone” is actually seven strong bones that make up the encasing of the open socket of the eye;
I have two words: Freaking ow!
I’m going to stick to watching baseball, I think. I can live without the blood and gore and broken orbital bones.
Off day today, folks. Although Michael Bowden is on the mound for Pawtucket tonight at 6:35 so you can still get your baseball fix if you’re really looking!
God speed, Javier Lopez. Thanks for being part of 2007 and I hope you land on your feet!