Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Opening Day Card Table Discussion

Back at our old site, Jim and I engaged in several Card Table Discussions via instant messaging. We just didn’t have the budget for a proper Round Table, you see…

Anyway, it had been a while since we had gotten together on line, so we thought we’d enjoy Opening Day while sitting in front of the computer and TV. Here’s a slightly edited transcript (for grammar and spelling) of our gab during the exciting Orioles-Twins match up from Monday night:

Bob: Anything interesting happen today? Besides both our teams getting smoked?

Jim: A few good games...Jays/Tigers. Phillies/Braves…Yankees/Rays was good for a while.

Bob: How about that Carl Pavano?

Jim: Still a bum. Not that a lot of guys looked better. Hell, the best pitching performance of the day was Gil Meche

Bob: 7.1 IP, 6 K, 1 earned...that doesn't stink. Makes me even more annoyed your girlfriend grabbed her in the fantasy draft...

Jim: Contreras, Kazmir, Webb, Zambrano, Patterson...some not-so-pretty starts. Bonderman pitched well, after the 1st inning, so did Halladay, and Harang. And Ben Sheets

Bob: I'm sure I'll hear it from Brewers Fan tomorrow morning.

Jim: Is that how you slide in Canada? (watching Justin Morneau)

Bob: It's a metric slide.

Jim: last year, baseball prospectus used the World Baseball Championship as a whipping boy for slow starts by Johan and other pitchers...so, with so many guys not sharp today, where will the blame go?

Bob: There was also the newly-implemented greenie ban, which many predicted would result in runners falling asleep on the bases. I don't suppose they can use that again. Sane people will chalk it up to just a random bad outing, as everyone is entitled to every once in a while. Unfortunately, the baseball punditocracy is anything but sane, and they'll need something to rag about.

Jim: Did you see that catch? What I love about it is that White looked like he was moving in slow motion the whole way. Including the dive.

Bob: Nice catch by Rondell. Good to see the old legs still have some life in 'em. I think we can add Felix Hernandez to the list of guys who had good starts today.

Jim: Yeah, I would say that was pretty good, for a 20-year old. Scott Williamson is warming up in the O's bullpen? Scott Williamson? Who's next, Eddie Watt?

Bob: Any port in a storm, I guess. Better hope that Mazzone magic rubs off quick. Perhaps Tippy Martinez is next?

Jim: Tim Stoddard.

Bob: Hoyt Wilhelm. Speaking of knuckleballs, I broke a few off today pitching BP to my sons and their friends. Nothing like fooling a couple nine-year-olds to boost my middle-aged confidence.

Jim: You were probably more effective than Jose Contreras.

Bob: It helped that we were using an older ball that the boys had scuffed up pretty good. I learned a lot from Rick Honeycutt...

Jim: ok, Whitey Ford.

Bob: Note to Paul Bako: let the umpire call the foul balls.

Jim: Exactly...don't just assume the call, finish the play. I thought that veteran catchers were supposed to know that.

Bob: Nice shot by Morneau. Looks like he's telling the second base ump, "I was safe, eh?!"

Jim: "I beg your pardon, eh? Would you consider that I was safe, if it's not too much trouble?"

Bob: Here comes Sam to bring in Williamson. Guess we can add Bedard to the list of guys who didn't have good days.

Jim: Done.

Bob: Great llamas of the Bahamas -- what's gotten into Hargrove? I see on Game Channel that he brought Putz to pitch the ninth. But the M's are up 4-0! It's not a save situation! You can't use your closer in a non-save situation! It's an unwritten rule!

Jim: That's right! That's why John Gibbons used Casey Jannsen, Scott Downs, and Justin Fraser in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game in Detroit today.

Bob: And he had B.J. Ryan all lined up for the tenth to nail down the victory. He knew what he was doing...

Jim: Because why use your best reliever to hold a tie, when by using your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best you can eliminate the need for a save situation.

Bob: Why else have 12 pitchers if you can't use your fourth best reliever in a game situation?

Jim: You need that 12th pitcher so that you can carry a guy to pitch 60 games, 38 innings.

Bob: I think it's great the way ESPN uses a little graphic underneath the line score graphic to tell us which guy hit the home run we just saw leave the yard. Thanks, guys.

Jim: Well, in case you weren't paying attention

Bob: It's the end of an era -- I see on the transaction wire that both Ben Davis and Ron Villone were canned by the Yankees today. Hard to believe they still had jobs...

Jim: I thought that they were in camp as coaches. Or doing the catering.

Bob: There was a bit on Baseball Tonight last night about guys who had good years getting sent out to AAA. One thing the panel didn't mention was that these guys haven't been all that good recently. Cantu, Prior, Ordonez, Davies, McClung...

Jim: McClung has never had a good year. Davies? like he's exactly Tom Glavine?

Bob: But McClung was the Closer(TM). That means something, don't it? Davies was a Braves pitching prospect, which automatically meant that he was a hot property. You know, like Steve Avery and Horacio Ramirez.

Jim: And so many others...Bruce Chen...

Bob: Odalis Perez...John Rocker...Micah Bowie...

Jim: The list goes on. Kind of like it used to be with the Dodgers.

Bob: The ESPN guys are talking about Jackie Robinson's legacy. I'll leave to your imagination the mind-numbing inanity of Sutcliffe and Baker discussing the sociological implications of Robinson's career.

Jim: Did Mark Grace play any part in it?

Bob: No. But I'm sure Grace would have some hollow platitudes to mouth if he were in the booth. The play-by-play guy on ESPN just said that while John Parrish is 29, he's really 27 in "baseball terms" because he's missed most of the last two years with injuries. Does life really work like that?

Jim: Is he counting in dog years or something?

Bob: Maybe his arm has a little less wear and tear...but still...

Jim: But he's still 29!

Bob: Does that mean Kerry Wood is only 25?

Jim: Hell, at his rate, pretty soon he'll be 17.

Bob: Hey, it's Dennys "Sampler" Reyes. Good to see he's still got a gig. It's 2-2 in Houston, thanks to Lidge.

Jim: When I saw that the Pirates had tied the game, I knew without looking that Lidge was pitching. Oswalt is waiting for him in the clubhouse, with a bat

Bob: Closers are a superstitious and cowardly lot...And now I see Jason Bay has hit the go-ahead dinger in the top of the tenth. Oops.

Jim: Lidge must still be pitching.

Bob: No, it was Qualls. But it's a good thing Lidge doesn't pitch in New York, Boston, or Chicago. Fans and the media would be fixing to tar and feather him...

Jim: My mistake...I just automatically assume that any time the Astro bullpen screws up, it was Lidge.

Bob: Here's the kind of insight that you can only get from a former player...Sutcliffe just told a wacky story of how all the guys on Canada's WBC team last year enjoyed hockey. Who'd've thought it?

Jim: Canadians enjoying hockey? What's next, Brazilians enjoying soccer?

Bob: That led to a discussion of all the Canadians who had good careers in the Show. Fergie, Larry Walker...uhhhh....

Jim: Jeff Heath. Jason Bay is working on one

Bob: He's added to his legend tonight.

Jim: Matt Stairs!

Bob: Good ol' Matt Stairs. Former second baseman, you know.

Jim: Can you imagine Stairs playing second base today? I can imagine Stairs BEING second base, but not playing it.

Bob: I don't think I can imagine that much. Astros wrapped up their first loss of the year. I guess it's down to the Reds, Brewhas, and Pirates in the Central this year. Everyone else is on pace to lose 162 games.

Jim: oh, here's another surprise. The Twins broadcast crew is talking about how the plate ump is calling the outside corner strike some times, and not other times. The plate ump? Country Joe West

Bob: Why haven't they fired him yet? So what was your biggest surprise today? For me, I think it was all those good pitchers getting lit up.

Jim: It was a surprise to see so many of them struggle...cripes, it took Brandon Webb 40 pitches to get out of the first inning today. The Blue Jays stole two bases in the first today, against Pudge Rodriguez, no less...that's not usually their style. Otherwise, not really too much surprising...it's just a one day sample, so I can't draw any conclusions. Not that this will stop Dr. Phil, Sully, etc

Bob: I agree. There's no need to push the panic button yet, although there will be fans and media ready to start dumping players today.

Jim: 161 left, you know.

Bob: I think the important take-away from today is that baseball is back, and all is right with the world. No matter how lousy our teams looked this afternoon.

Jim: And on that note, we should bring this to an end.

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