Tea and Sympathy

A for Effort, Crabcakes. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

I am not one who usually throws praise in the direction of Jon Lester, but he gets props today for not only pitching a great game but, in not yet picking up a win, for not throwing his team under the bus. * One would not have blamed him had he busted out with “Good GOD why can’t these guys score some freaking RUNS?!?” in last night’s post-game press conference.  I have no doubt Crabby’s good pitching will be rewarded this season but it has to be frustrating to watch good outings go for naught.

Goodness knows we’re all frustrated.

I had an conversation with someone last night who told me that I was lying to myself and those around me when I say that I’m not worried about this team.  I’m not lying…I’m not worried.  But as I posted online earlier, this team is wearing me out.  Although, that’s probably not entirely accurate.  The reaction to this team are what is wearing me out.  While I completely understand frustration I don’t understand blaming one or two people for the failings of an entire team.  (The next “get rid of so and so” message I read will be my millionth.)

If you believe the team is going to go 2-160, I suggest you find another team to root for or another sport to enjoy.  There are rough patches in every season for every team.  It really is difficult watching the team struggle so early and for so long but the team is not going to lose every game for the rest of the season so, no, I’m not lying when I say I’m not worried. (But man, a couple of wins in a row…wouldn’t that be nice?)

As I often do when I need to ignore what is going on with my own team, I look to the rest of the league.  Last night, Josh Hamilton broke his arm while sliding into home.  Here’s what he said about it:

“It was a stupid play,” Hamilton told The Associated Press. “The whole time the ball was in the air, [third base coach Dave Anderson] was yelling, ‘Go, there’s no one at home,’ and I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this, something is going to happen.’ But I listened to my coach.”

Much like I had to admit sympathy for Lester, I feel some for Hamilton. While not my favorite player, breaking your arm in April and putting yourself out of commission for a couple of months is a lousy way to being the season and I wish him a speedy recovery.  What I don’t like is how quickly he took to placing the blame somewhere else.  I wasn’t watching the game but I know third base coaches will make as many bad decisions as good when it comes to sending a runner.  So if people want to criticize Dave Anderson for his decision to send Hamilton, I take no issue with that.  My problem comes when you, as a member of the same team as your coach, decide it’s okay to go public with your displeasure in his decision and, essentially, blame him for the fact that you got injured.  Dave Anderson didn’t make a head-first slide into home, Josh Hamilton did.  The only one responsible for that decision is Hamilton.  Quotes like this one, when given a chance to say something like  “I blurted that out in the heat of my frustration” do nothing to endear Hamilton to me:

I threw him under the bus by telling the truth about what happened.

What? Does Hamilton remember how many people had his back not only when he was trying to come back from his addiction trouble but when he relapsed?  “Telling the truth” is no excuse for being an ass, Josh. You weren’t telling the truth, you were placing blame on someone else because YOU made a dumb decision.

Ron Washington, someone I have criticized in the past as well and who happens to be the manager of the Rangers, isn’t blaming his third base coach and had some words for his outfielder:

“He’s got a right to feel what he feels, but I’m certainly not going to blame David,” Washington said. “I think Josh has to live with what he said.”

Well said, Ron.

And, finally, another installment of “WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME? ~ The Johnny Damon Story:

This comes from the Sporting News (prepare for many blockquotes):

Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Johnny Damon admitted his only chance to reach the Hall of Fame is to reach the 3,000-hit plateau. And if that happens, he told the Boston Herald that he won’t don a Boston Red Sox hat on his Cooperstown plaque

“(Ending the curse) was big,” Damon told the Boston Herald. “I loved every minute of my time in Boston, but how things went down at the end definitely left sour feelings, and that’s why I can’t really embrace that.”

In reality, a player doesn’t choose his Hall of Fame cap. If called to the Hall, Damon almost certainly would go in as a Royal because he played there longer (six seasons) than with any other team.

So Johnny wants to make it clear that he doesn’t choo, choo, choose us even though he doesn’t have the option. If you don’t stop texting us, Johnny, we’re going to change our phone number.


Random stat that doesn’t mean anything but sounds great:  in 1991, the Minnesota Twins won the World Series after a 2-9 start to their season.

Blog suggestion for the day:  The above stat comes courtesy of Ted’s Army who gives us hope today when all things seem hopeless.

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