A Walk in the Park with the Hill People
Juan Pierre has statistically climbed up to almost above water! His WARP is back to 1.0! He’s been doin it to the baseball world, wackin em in the nuts and tellin em to “say hello to your mom for me.” Just two weeks ago I sat here and made the case that he’s the worst player in baseball and he has responded tenfold.
*EATING A GORDITA FULL OF CROW RIGHT NOW*
Unlike Roy Halladay, who turned into a melty pile of goo in this Chicago heat, JP has been full tilt boogie-smackin the ball around and willed the Sox back into contention. The White Sox can turn it around. I BELIEVE THIS. Jeff has missed JP’s musk but it’s back. Until further notice the Cubs are off Jo Jo’s radar so its south side excitement for me here on out. When I’m at Wrigley these days I turn into Hedley Lamarr and scream out “drive me off this picture!!”
Meanwhile, Mike Quade is weird and is currently writing his farewell memoir on how to effectively lose your first managerial job after just one season. He’s driving the already sucky Cubs off into the grand canyon of craptitude. The last time I saw him he was rolling down a hill, muttering something to himself.
In my scary hypothetical world, I have always been unjust in the notion that going to a White Sox game feels a lot like hanging out with the children of the corn. That’s not fair. It’s a great park and the food blows away anything you’ll find at Wrigley.
AND… it’s a much more pleasurable place to “drop the kids off”.
THIS IS IMPORTANT.
So get yer Diesox Blackhard fan on and enjoy this gem.
Just like a Cub fan’s hopes for a victorious 2011 season, this is gonna be quick, probably ugly and will require more alcohol consumption than a weekend with Lindsay Lohan:
Those Damn Pirates!
By now, everyone on the planet with the barest inkling of baseball acumen is amazed, flabbergasted and floored that, going into the weekend before the All Star Game, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a winning record. While a lot of folks find that to be pretty swell, I find it to be a major pain in the @$$, because now half of my jokes aren’t even relevant. Thanks a lot, Clint Hurdle. At least, there’s always Bachmann… and Palin… and Beck… and, okay, nevermind, everything’s cool.
The RSBS interns recently handed me a report that suggests White Sox outfielder, Juan Pierre, could very well be an RSBS dear reader galore. In fact, after our very own schlumbach, Johanna Mahmud, went off on a Charlie Sheenian rant slamming the aging speedster, all Pierre did was go 11 for 31 with 2 doubles, 7 RBIs and act as the game winning hero THREE GAMES IN A ROW. To even hint that J.P. is in the same class of awful as Chone Figgins and Raul Ibanez should be a crime. So, next time I see Mr. Mahmud, I’m gonna shoot his eyes with Sriracha and cut off his supply of Goldfish crackers.
Ernie Has Lost His Mind!
Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks, was recently quoted as saying the following about current Cubs shortstop, Starlin Castro:
“He’s a great player. He can hit, he can throw. He’s a good young player. He’s better than me.”
*HEAD TWISTS AROUND ITSELF, EYES POP OUT, TONGUE RENDERED USELESS*
Look, the kid is good. But he’s like 10 years old and is baseball stupid. He makes mistakes… all the time! I hope this isn’t a sign that Banks isn’t all there. For a team that doesn’t have much to feel good about, at least they can always feel good about Mr. Cub — that is, until he loses his mind, which may have already happened…
Happy Friday! Call a cab! It’s easy!
The Battle of Juan Pierre and How the Marlins Won the War
It’s obvious what has to happen, but too many heads, egos, and wangs are involved.
Everyone has a soft spot for J.P. , but the rift between Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams has us watching a veteran limp to the end of his career like Ol Yeller. You have a GM and manager pillow fighting when they could be on the same page about the players they have.
Our memories of Juan Pierre are warm and fuzzy, but, statistically speaking in weighted OBP and WAR, he’s the third worst player in baseball (after Chone Figgins and Raul Ibanez) and should be cut. He makes outs, gets picked off, drops fly balls, kills his team every day, but he’s a sweetheart and everyone loves Juan.
I feel sorry for Dayan.
I’m starting the Dayan Viciedo camp right now. We’ll have stables, a petting zoo and a FUN MIRROR.
Kenny is insisting that Ozzie isn’t ready to bring up Viciedo because he can’t handle the rookie. Huh? How much worse can he be than Juan Pierre? The issue is what do you do with the finality of the career of Pierre? Guillen’s loyalty to J.P. is getting out of hand. (This happens every season with Williams and Guillen.)
Viciedo is killing it in the minors and the blizzard of Oz and Kenny are screwing the Sox out of being better because of a sophomoric squabble that seems to have no end.
The locker room is getting torn apart because you have two players that should be benched, but only one of them can be cut because of the contract situation. If Adam Dunn was hitting, the Pierre issue would be muted.
This mess won’t be settled until the Oz man is managing the Marlins next year.
Some days, when I leave my office dead to the world in the evening, I have a baseball itch that the television and computer just can’t fix. Yesterday was one of those days. So, following the drill, I raced home, changed into more comfortable gear and headed straight for Sox Park.
My friend, Pie — a semi-regular on the RSBS Podcasts and an all around Tiger lovin’ fiend — came with me.
And boy were we in for some treats.
Not only was the weather perfect, but so was Brent Morel’s glove skills and Carlos Quentin’s stroke. The game moved along at a nice, brisk pace… except when young Tiger hurler Andy Oliver was busy walking the bases loaded and giving up cheap runs. But perhaps the most satisfying part of this early summer contest is that it bore three firsts, something baseball is apt to do.
For example, last night Adam Dunn got his very FIRST hit off a lefty this season! And it was of the slow dribbler infield variety, proof that the baseball gods love extended metaphors even for big
burly worthless(?) free agent signings!
Also, this game featured a homerun by none other than Juan Pierre! Only his 15th career homerun in 11+ seasons, I had to ask Pie if I was dreaming when he pulled the ball up and out of deep right center as it was the very FIRST homerun I’ve ever seen Juan hit with my own eyes.
And, with the White Sox ultimately winning the game, last night presented to me the very FIRST time I’ve ever seen a disgruntled fan (my friend, Pie) take his scorecard — the same scorecard he meticulously filled out in detail during the entire game — and throw it away.
He threw it away!!!
I cried. A little. I hate to see a good scorecard die the same death as chewed gum, empty water bottles and hot dog boxes. But in this case, I am just filing this one away with the rest of the extended metaphors. May they extend until they can extend no more…
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
See, the thing is… I know a lot about baseball. And that knowledge doesn’t come from some miraculous form of osmosis. No. Ya see, I am happiest when watching multiple games, all at once, as often as possible. So I do that. I do that a lot. Not only that, but I also read a lot about baseball… magazines, columns, websites… I pour over numbers… listen to the experts. I do all of this because I find it to be enjoyable. Some people can do long division in their heads, some can kick a football from 50 yards out… Me? I know a s**tload about baseball.
And that’s just the way it is.
So when someone says something insane and tries to pull it off as empirical fact without any legwork or base acumen from which to draw upon, then I have a real hard time controlling my temper. Think of it this way: if I walked into an operating room and said, “hey, that guy doesn’t need a kidney transplant, just tie that thing to that thing and it’s all good”, somebody would deck me, or at least, get him me the hell out of there.
That’s what happened when dude started talking crazy about Juan Pierre: “Juan Pierre sucks. He can’t get on base. I could find 29 other leadoff men better than him right now.”
Juan Pierre may not be a flashy fella. He may not demand the sexy headlines. But g0ddammit, Juan Pierre is pretty damn good. He’s consistent as hell. He never gets hurt. He led the National League in hits… twice. He led the National League in stolen bases TWICE and led the American League in stolen bases JUST LAST YEAR. He has a lifetime batting average of .298 (which PROVES that the dude gets on base plenty) and he RARELY strikes out!!!
If there were 29 other leadoff men better than him right now I’d paint myself pink and change my name to Suzie.
And don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010