by Gregory Pratt, BaseballEvolution.com
July 7, 2008
Other Weekly Peppers:
Gregory Pratt is having a
blast on the west coast of the United States. He is
currently stationed in Portland. He will share specific
details of his trip next week, and he apologizes for the
relative brevity of this entry but wants you to understand
that he has had precious little time to prepare it.
Redemption? -- The
Philadelphia Phillies have extended
Brad Lidge. The contract is for three years and 35 million dollars. I do not know whether or not Lidge is worth the investment or
whether he really is the man he
has been this season, but Pat Gillick can certainly say that
he got the better of his trade with Ed Wade. Michael Bourn
for Brad Lidge? Hundred miles per hour versus a hundred yard
Teknically Unsound / Unsafe at
Any Speed -- On our flight to Los Angeles Tuesday, we met
a woman who is related to Jason Varitek through her daughter's
marriage, and she talked to us about how hard Varitek works on
defense, how down-to-Earth and kind he is. It was pleasant, and
I definitely admire "the Captain's" work ethic, but let's not
kid ourselves; he does not belong in the All-Star Game by any
standard this season. I wish I knew how to decide whether or not
a player belonged in the game or not, so as to reasonably avoid
poor choices, but I do know that the big-market teams should not
represent the league because of their fan base, and players like
Joe Crede don't belong in the game, either, no matter what the
players might say with their votes. And don't get me started on
Brian Wilson who has saves but not much else. Kosuke Fukudome is
not a good choice, either, but the people have voted, eh?
Revere Rides to Milwaukee -- CC Sabathia has, as of this
writing, been traded to the
Milwaukee Brewers, except it is not yet official, and I've
got to say that I like the deal for Milwaukee. They're in a very
weak division and league, and could use an extra ace for the
stretch run, so they are giving up a defensively-challenged
ballplayer who might flame out, hit a lot of homeruns, or wind
up providing a Sexson mix of both (and not much else) and a
couple of other prospects (who are not impact prospects) for one
of the very best pitchers in baseball. I just hope the sausage
racers are given fair warning, as Sabathia cometh with an
appetite, and not just for a championship.
Breakey Heart -- Roy Oswalt's out "indefinitely" with a
strained hip. I can not stress unto you how distressed I am by
Borowski a Smoke --
Joe Borowski has been designated for assignment by the
Cleveland Indians. So, listen, he wasn't a great or a
good closer, but he got the job done for a while, and that counts
for something, even if the deck is stacked in every closer's
You know, I have long believed that Major League Baseball does
not work in Florida, but I am thoroughly enjoying this year's
Tampa Bay team. I just wish more people would turn out to watch
them, because I would live in Tropicana Field if I lived in that
city, largely because it is so cheap and the team is so fun.
Chase is On -- The most interesting "chase" for a
"record" this season might be Roy Halladay's attempt to throw
double-digit complete games, which is something that has not
been done since 1999.
the Dream Will Never Die -- Chipper Jones fell below
.400 a small while ago, but he's still right around there. The
only consistent baseball "watching" I have done on this trip is
in the boxscore for Jones' games, and I still hope that he can
make it to .400, although I do not believe he will. That's the
point of watching and reading, though.
Flukeillis -- There's no other way to describe
nifty video. Except for "nifty."
Theory of the Week -- In baseball lore, there is no
male-female relationship more important than Joe DiMaggio's
with Marilyn Monroe.
Alex Rodriguez is adding his own love affair to the
Yankees' history books with his alleged relationship with
hundred-year-old Madonna. This is why Rodriguez will be
remembered by baseball history with less reverence than that
which Reggie Jackson or the Yankee Clipper are afforded, and
this story reminded me of the following song parody:
Harry Walker is the one who manages the crew.
He doesn't like it when we drink and fight and smoke and screw.
But when we win our games each day.
What the hell can Harry say!
It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro (too)!
guess that's a tangent.
There is little doubt here that Rodriguez is a more valuable
ballplayer to have on your team than Derek Jeter, but are there
really all that many children dreaming of being Alex Rodriguez
instead of Jeter? In this sense, Roberto Clemente is more
important to this game's history and legacy than almost every
other ballplayer who has ever played the game, Andy Van Slyke is
more important in Pittsburgh than Barry Bonds is, and so on and so
forth. I have always believed in the game's continuity and the
importance of establishing links between the past and the
present and the future in this game, as it is most definitely in
a state of constant transition and generational care. So, with
that in mind, I firmly believe that men who played the game and
have inflated or deflated reputations as a result of their whole
body of work are to be praised and criticized for it, in a
responsible manner of course (Sandy Koufax is not the greatest pitcher of all-time). Every
ballplayer is a retainer of the game of baseball, and there is
something to be said for ballplayers who take their
responsibilities seriously and provide a strong narrative for
the books. The game is a significant part of our culture, and it
should be understood accordingly.
Gregory Pratt is a political science and history double-major at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His political commentary can be found at the Office of the Independent Blogger, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.