Notes on the Game and the Rotation
1.) I broke into a smile today when I saw the box score. It was completely involuntary -- and quite unexpected. The reason? Good ole' Matty LeCroy made his season debut -- and went 1-for-2 with a run scored. As much as I've been ragging on him since his callup, this modest day made me really happy for him. If nothing else, he got to put on the big league uniform again and came up with a base knock.
2.) Far more important to the long-term interests of the Twins was the news today that Boof Bonser has, indeed, lost his spot in the starting rotation. Honestly, this does not bode well for him going into next season. Just take another look at the list of people who will be fighting for a spot in the rotation: Johan Santana (unless he's traded), Francisco Liriano (unless he's still rehabbing), Scott Baker, Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Nick Blackburn, maybe even Brian Duensing. Bonser has to somehow convince the Twins that he belongs in the mix -- and while he has an edge on Blackburn and Duensing at this point, I doubt that he'd beat out any of the others head-to-head in Spring Training. Another thing to consider -- if it were to come down to Bonser or Baker, Boof has one more option remaing while Baker will be out of options. That almost certainly means that Baker would get the nod while Bonser would head back to AAA for . . . what? More seasoning? I guess he'd have to work on lowering his pitch counts -- a problem that has plagued him all season.
Now, if I were running the Twins, I don't think I would have made this move right now. If you want to get Kevin Slowey a few starts (and that should, in fact, be a priority) there is a better option available -- send Carlos Silva to the bullpen. This has nothing to do with Silva's performance; the simple fact is that, barring an incredibly bizarre decision by Terry Ryan (insert comment about Punto, Ramon Ortiz, or Sidney Ponson here if you feel you must), Silva will leave the Twins as a free agent when the season is over. Why, then, would you waste starts on a guy whose not going to be with the team anymore when there are young guys fighting to take that spot for next season? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me -- but maybe the Twins will make this move before Silva's next start.
3.) Ozzie Guillen was hired by the White Sox before the start of the 2004 season, and guided his team to an 83-79 record in his first year -- three wins fewer than his predecessor, Jerry Manuel, guided the team to in 2003. Nonetheless, all was forgiven in 2005 when his ballclub went 99-63 on the way to winning an unexpected World Series title. After regressing to a still respectable 90 wins in 2006, the team has fallen apart this season, going 62-84 thus far in the season, putting them in last place. Despite this, the White Sox signed their controversial manager to a contract extension that will pay him to manage through the 2012 season. That's either a sign of extreme loyalty or extreme idiocy. Next year will go a long way towards deciding which. My best guess -- Guillen makes it less than half the life of the contract (I guess that means I'm predicting that he's fired sometime at or before the All-Star break in 2010).
4.) This article covers the new "twists" in the AL playoff format. As if spreading a 5 game series out over 8 days wasn't silly and foolish enough, how about this tweak: "The AL team with the best record will have one hour after its final regular season game to choose whether it wants to begin its series Oct. 3 or Oct. 4. If the Division Series were to start today, the Boston Red Sox would have that choice." That decision will determine whether the Red Sox have the long, drawn out series (starting on the 3rd, and picking up on the 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th) or the more compact series (starting on the 4th, and picking up on the 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th). Whatever happened to the Game-Game-Off-Game-Game-Game format? Either way, the thought of giving a team the option of which to go with just seems weird to me -- but no weirder than the suggestion of ESPN's John Seibel that the team with the best record in a given league should have not three, but four home games in a five game series. That's a little too much for me to wrap my head around -- let's just say that I hate the idea.
Labels: Nightly Notes