Saturday, 19 April 2008

The Roundup

Finally, some drama. We appear to be at Defcon two when it comes to relations between the Big Sleep and Gibby...

It's hard to fault the manager for seeking to do something about the giant, non-performing hole in the heart of his order, but calling Thomas into his office and telling him he's now a BENCH player "indefinitely"? Thomas, no dullard, is not taking the news well as you might expect.

Unless this move came on JP's directive, and there's no reason to believe that it did, it's solely a baseball move, not an economic one. The Big Sleep doesn't see it that way, though:

"You know what's going on and I know what's going on. We'll see how it plays out. I'm just a little frustrated right now. There are some things going on around here this year that I haven't been happy about."

Yeah, we know what's going on, and it is kind of greasy.

Since Gibby's contract runs out at the end of this season, I see no reason why he'd try to limit Thomas' plate appearences to > 376 to prevent his '09 option from vesting of his own accord. I wouldn't put the cloak and dagger stuff past JP, but both men are in win now mode and have little to gain by making this a running sore during a season that is far from being lost.

The worst of the past three listless losses was the 7-5 defeat in 14 to the Rangers on Wednesday. The lack of urgency was absolutely pathetic and the tempo wasn't much higher on Thursday or last night even.

Something had to be done, and it was decided that that something would be lighting a fire under the ass of a very highly paid and underperforming veteran. After a day or two of riding the pines, Thomas should be reinserted into the lineup, point made. Frankly (no pun intended), I'd love to see him come into pinch hit today or tomorrow if there's a high-pressure late inning situation of the sort where we'd normally use Matt Stairs, who is presumably replacing him as DH.

Incidentally, the "slow starter" talk is kind of bollocks. April indeed has been the coolest month over his career (.283/.407/.513), but it's not like he typically put up sub .200 performances year in year out. And his April BAbip is abnormally low at .286 (almost .20 points lower than any other month), which indicates that he's long been making bad contact in the early going. Cold weather is a plausible excuse seeing as he played all those years in Chicago, but that shouldn't fly in a domed stadium.

If expectations for this club weren't so high, then the whole issue could just be ignored and Thomas allowed to hit his way out of this slump, which he will inevitablly do. Sorry pal, this ain't Bal'mer.

Blair says that JP will not sit by and let the offence "rot" as we wait for Scott Rolen's return, speculating that Adam Lind will get recalled from Syracuse in the near future. (Just about game time here and I see Stewart is taking the day off again because of a sore groin, so it's only a matter of time before Lind joins the club).

Griffin (!?!) sees the club's early road success as reason for optimism. He shits on nothing and noone in today's Star. Mark this date on your calander.

John Lott
at the Post checks in on Big Dave Purcey after his debut, reporting:

“I think the anxiety and jitters and nervousness, whatever you want to call it, got to me a little bit,” he said with a shy smile when it was over.

“The walks [were not] what I really wanted but I did make pitches when I needed to, and just tried to keep our team in the game and ended up doing that,” he said. “I’m happy about that.”

Skip gave him a pat on the back and he's still at the top of list the next time we need a starter. Oh, and we DFA'd Josh Banks and called Shawn Camp up. Meh.

Wilner thinks something must be done to shake up the offense, but all roads seem to lead to certain death. Predictably, he preachs patience.


* Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is a nifty little ballplayer and an outwardly "good guy" type, hence the surprise and dismay when he was named in the Mitchell Report during the offseason. He talked to the Baltimore Sun about the pressures that led to his steriod use.

* Were the rest of you as unshocked as I was to learn that Shea Hillenbrand's child was attacked by a marmut?

-- Johnny Was

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