Sunday, July 02, 2006

John Kruk: All-Star Nut Job

The All-Star Selection show was roughly 44 seconds old when John Kruk made an asshole out of himself...Karl Ravech asked the panel of knuckledraggers (John Kruk, Harold Reynolds, and Steve Phillips) who they would place in their American League Starting outfield and John Kruk was the first to open his mouth.

Manny Ramirez. Okay.

Johnny Damon. Meh.

Raul Ibanez.

Kruk proceeded to go on about how Ibanez is a "Gamer" and has "put his time in" and is having "a wonderful season" and a whole bunch of other jibber jabber that just did not make any sense.

It did not end there. Earlier in the week I predicted that someone in the National Media would gripe about the selection of Pirates outfielder Jason Bay to the starting initial concern was ESPN's panel of experts on Around The Horn, or even worse...Cold Pizza...sadly, I forgot about the dream team that is Baseball Tonight and the head fool John Kruk himself. I figured someone like Jay Marriotti or Bill Plaschke would talk down on Bay because he plays for the Pitiful Pittsburgh Pirates and doesn't have enough "star power" for the All-Star game and how someone like Andruw Jones or Jim Edmonds should be there instead...and they still fact, I still predict someone brings up his O-for in last years homerun derby as a reason why he does not belong. Just give it time my friends. Just give it time. But in the end it was Kruk that started the flinging:

"I can see the selection of Carlos Beltran, but how can you take Jason Bay over someone like Andruw Jones?"

At the All-Star break Bay ranks in the top 5 among NL outfielders in On-Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, and OPS....And it's no fluke: Last season Bay finished in the top 3 in the same categories (first in OPS) and the year before that was the National League Rookie Of The Year...all of this while playing half of his games in a park that can be murder on Right Handed hitters due to it's spacious left field...which Bay plays quite well as a fielder.

Andruw Jones be damned.

The only thing more insane than John Kruk is the fact that I actually give two craps about the All-Star Game.

And while we're on the subject of ESPN personalities that need fired, here are some NBA fans having a laugh with Stephen A. Smith at the NBA Draft

- Aside from Jason Bay being voted into the All-Star game (and rightfully so) the Pirates will also be represented by Freddy Sanchez which will also draw criticism around the league. After all, how could the worst team in the League have not one, but TWO All-Stars....I don't know...maybe because they're good and the rest of the team is swag?

Keith Law from Scouts Inc. already offered his rage into the selection:

"Yes, Sanchez is hitting .363, but even if you want to argue that this half season isn't a fluke -- which it is -- he has no business on the roster ahead of Wright or Cabrera or Rolen, all better players having better years. Sanchez' selection is one of those where a few years from now, he'll be hitting .280/.325/.410 and in five years from now, he'll enter the "This guy was an All-Star?" pantheon."

- Keith Law

Aside from the fact that Wright and Cabrera made the team anyway, I'm not sure why the stick up his ass has a stick up it's ass on this pick. Sanchez may not be a .363 hitter for his career but he still has a career .300 average right now, an OPS currently over.910, and is leading the NL batting race at the halfway point. I think thats what the All-Star game is supposed to be about.

If you haven't had the chance to watch Freddy Sanchez play this season (and judging by the times the Pirates have been on ESPN this year and the Attendance at PNC haven't) you're missing out. He never strikes out and sprays line drives all over the field...many of which fly into the gaps for wall banger doubles, honestly...he looks like Jason Kendall used to look in his prime. Which is excellent. And he can play every position on the infield....some better than others mind you...but he can still hold his own anywhere on the diamond.

- I'm not sure why, but when I see this clip all I can picture is Greg, Ken Macha, an A's game, and instant laughter. My only regret is I don't speak a lick of German.

- Couple weeks ago I was sitting in one of my co-workers offices when the following scene played out:

His office wall is on the other side of Mens room (which is right next door to the ladies room - it's a bad location for an office)...when you're in his office you can hear all the discussion that takes place in the Mens room and vice versa. We were sitting there chewing the fat when all of a sudden we hear a sound coming from the mens room that resembes someone pouring a bucket of water into a tub of water.

Him: "Great, someones pissing in the shitter again."

Me: "Sure sounds like it."

Him: "I hate that."

Me: "Yeah."

Him: "Because they always miss and end up peeing all over the seat, then when I have to shit, I have to sit in a puddle of pee."

I then got up, walked over to the wall, banged on it with both fists and yelled: "HEY, QUIT PISSING IN THE SHITTER!"

I sat back down and we shared a good laugh.

About five minutes later an intern comes walking over and goes, "I wasn't pissing, but I am regretting that 3rd refried bean burrito that I had last night."


- Jim Tracy is worse than Ken Macha and I say that with a straight face.

- Being a Pirates fan is the most frustrating thing in the world. It's bad enough we had a 12 game losing streak, but the way we lost those 12 games was just infuriating. We lost three games to the Twins where we had the lead or a tie in the 8th inning. We lost a game to Arizona where in the bottom of the 9th we had the bases loaded with no one out, didn't score, had the winning on third with 1 out in the next inning...didn't score, and give up a leadoff homerun in the top of the next inning. We lost two games to the White Sox by one run.

Jim Tracy insists on hitting Jack Wilson 2nd, even though he can't get on base...he has a scary love affair with guys like Mike Edwards and Jose Hernandez, and he uses Solomon Torres out of the bullpen every night. Literally Every night. The guy is durable (and very good) but at this pace he is going to have his career ended before the season ends.

He also loves to bunt with guys that can hit. Take the bottom of the 9th inning on Friday Night, which sadly enough, I had to witness from three rows behind the Pirates dugout. The Pirates battled back from a 7-1 hole to make it a one run game in the bottom of the 9th...Jeromy Burnitz led off the inning by reaching first base with an Error....winning run at the plate in the form of Jose Bautista...a really good young hitter for the Bucs. On this night Bautista had a triple, a homerun, a walk, and was hit by a pitch.

Tracy's call?

A sac bunt.

The first bunt attempt hit Bautista squarely on the hand...probably could have broken it, and since this is the Pirates with Pirate luck, i'm surprised it didn't. It went down as a foul ball and Bautista stayed in...Tracy kept the bunt on, which as can be expected..failed...and the Pirates lost another one run game. The very next night Bautista had another three hit game (and followed that up with another two hit game today). I sure am glad he was bunting in the 9th inning of a one run game.

Still not as crazy as the game in Cleveland a month and a half ago where Tracy called 5 Sac Bunts in an American League Ballpark (with the Pitcher hitting) only to watch the Pirates lose by one...glad we wasted 5 outs in THAT one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

he uses Solomon Torres out of the bullpen every night. Literally Every night. The guy is durable (and very good) but at this pace he is going to have his career ended before the season ends.

I thought his career was over 3 seasons ago. hfg

Monday, July 03, 2006 9:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God someone else sees what I see. Let's watch. "Altoona Jack" Wilson in a "slump" or as anyone else would call it, his normal career BA of under .260. To break him out of it, you put him at the top of the order?!? I was so hoping in the Detroit game, when they batted around, that he'd get back up and make two outs in the same inning. But no, they bailed him out of that.

In fact, I almost got into a brawl with a guy a few seats away, by screaming "Altoona Jack". Apparently, I didn't REALIZE that he's one of two guys who hustle. When the ball was lined off Sanchez's glove, he nearly creamed himself as Wilson ran to chase the ball, screaming, "Look at him chase the ball into right field." I, in the humblest (and loudest voice I could muster without laughing in his face), pointed out that Jack cut Bay off, who had the better tract to retrieve the ball, thus allowing the runner to advance to third base. But, more importantly, that that is LEFT field. Repeat after me, (while pointing) LEFT field, (pointing)RIGHT field, (pointing) LEFT field, (pointing) RIGHT field.

His wife put her hands in her face, while shaking her head. The guy behind me bought me a beer.

Who says you can't have fun at a Bucco game.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 2:47:00 PM  

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