Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Lame Duck Award

Now that I don't have Endy Chavez to beat around, I'll need to find some new shtick. Enter, the Lame Duck Award. (Besides, Distinguished Senators is getting all positive, and who needs that?)

The Lame Duck Award goes to the player who does the least -- the one who merely seems to be sputtering along, contributing nothing positive towards the progress of this Nation-als. Win enough of them (And I'm looking in your direction, Guzman) and we, too, will hope you get voted out of DC!

The first winner of the Lame Duck Award?

Vinny Castilla!

But wait, you say! He went 2 for 3 with an RBI! Well, on the first hit, he was thrown out at second base, trying to turn it into a double. He wasn't even close. In his second AB, he popped up, hitting a towering fly ball to the SS. There's nothing I hate more than a first-pitch popup. Well, other than fireworks-hating commies

But his pièce de résistance was the play pictured above on Burrell's liner. That 'hit' *coughhometownscorercough* is a play a major league third baseman needs to make. If he makes that play, the Phillies do not score in the second inning. (Assuming you believe in the fallacy of the predetermined outcome -- that any subsequent events would happen regardless of what came before them.)

And just to be petty, yeah, you walked with the bases loaded, but I wanted a Grand Slam, damnit. I'm hungry and I want some cake too!


  • The sarcasm of the part about the walk obviously didn't translate as well as I had hoped, I guess!

    But, I'll also say that calling Sledge hot at that point is a bit silly. He grounded out in the first. (If Castilla hasn't been an idiot, Sledge would've hit into a double-play there) And he popped up in the 4th inning. He hit a home run, which was great! And I cheered like hell for him. But one AB does not make someone hot. (As evidence by the result of that play!)

    It's really the defense that bugged me about him more than anything. That was a brutal play that didn't make Livan's job any easier.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/05/2005 11:54 AM  

  • For what it's worth, I thought it was a hit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/05/2005 1:23 PM  

  • Geez. My sarcasm about the walk comment is so bad, even when I point out that it's facetious, I get hammered for it. I need a new hobby, I guess! :)

    Yeah, NJ scored on a Sledge groundout. Good productive baseball, but a hit would've been better. I'll take the run though! (And Castilla didn't push NJ to third. His hit moved him to second, the bobble and error by Burrell moved him to third.)

    Regardless, Castilla getting thrown out there, on a play that wasn't close, is inexcusable.

    And on the defense... Castilla didn't get an error, but I'm guessing you weren't watching too closely. He should have been charged with one. These kind of rulings don't come from some Pope of baseball. It's a hometown scorer giving an assist to a hometown player who had a brutal season the year before. If this game were in RFK, it would've been an error.

    What I was saying about the predetermined outcome is that, assuming things had stayed the same, no runs would've scored. Burrell would've made an out. Lofton walks. Bell singles, Lofton stopped at second. Lieberthal grounded out to first, the runners move up, and then Lieber flew out to end the inning. No runs would have scored.

    I don't believe that that's what would've happened, because things change pitch to pitch depending on other things. (Pretend he had been given an error -- all those runs would've been unearned)

    Good catch on Wilkerson throwing to the wrong base. We noticed that in the stands -- but, that's a case where Wilkerson hasn't played one inning of center in a year. I'm not going to fault him for that. As long as it doesn't keep happening. (And incidentally, it didn't cost them a run in that situation)

    The relievers were brutal, but what specifically would you have done differently? I think he put them in the right spots. They just didn't execute. (The only thing I might've done was bring in someone quicker when Osuna struggled, but the game was mostly over by then anyway)

    Frank DOES need to get Guzman out of the number 2 slot. That's for sure.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/05/2005 1:26 PM  

  • If you're seriously advocating batting Guzman leadoff, there's not a whole lot I can do to argue with you. You clearly have your ways. I clearly have mine.
    I'm pretty confident that Wilkerson won't be making the same mistake too often. But, I also don't think the other player's could've done that much to help him. That's really a reaction and anticipation play. At the very least, the cutoff man should've been in a better position. (Would that have been Guzman?)
    As far as the fifth inning, Yeah, I suppose Tucker could've come in to face Burrell. Livan clearly wasn't himself out there, but Frank trust him and trusted him to get the out. Most of the time I'd rather have a tired Livan than a healthy Tucker. It didn't work out. But, that's what happens sometimes.

    (As far as the 7th, I'm assuming you meant Osuna. After he loaded the bases on two walks, I wanted Ayala in there, especially with the off day)

    In baseball, you can make the right decision and still lose. And sometimes you can make the wrong decision and still win.

    The key is identifying what are the optimal strategies to give yourself the greatest chance of winning.

    If you're playing blackjack and you hit with a 19, sometimes you'll get that 2. That doesn't mean it was the right call.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/05/2005 3:51 PM  

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