Thursday, August 11, 2016

Baseball and Olympic Musings on August 11, 2016

Question: Do you think the families of retired baseball players can get the Olympic appeals committee to look at the cases of Pete Rose, Joe Jackson and Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame?  If they let a Russian swimmer who has been caught using PEDs two times to compete in an Olympics where a lot of Russian athletes have been banned for doping, maybe they can rationalize the above three players being in the HOF.

Here I was really thinking the Indians caught a break when they sent Frazier to the Yankees and then Zimmer got real hot at Columbus.   Until yesterday when Zimmer got hit on the hand trying to bunt.

Sent this question into Paul Hoynes but I don't think he has answered it yet:  Last year Lindor, as a rookie, reached double figures in sacrifices, home runs and stolen bases.   I wonder when the last time that a rookie has reached double figures on these three incongruous statistical categories (i.e., people who hit HRs usually don't sacrifice much).  Also, since Lindor reached those levels in about half a season, when was the last time that people had this high a level of HRs, stolen bases and sacrifices per AB as a rookie?

This has been an incredibly quiet August in terms of waiver trades.   For the Indians, I just don't think there are players out there that they will trade for that (a) will help them win and (b) will be cheap enough (in prospects) to trade for.  Clearly, though, we need some more offense as it now looks like we won't get Brantley back the entire season.  I was holding out hope that he would be back by Sept. 1st and then we could coast to a division win as he got back in shape just in time for the playoffs.   Now it doesn't look like that will happen.

Does it bother anyone else that Francisco Mejia is really playing sparingly during this hit streak?   I know he is battling an injury but his infrequent play looks like the Indians are just playing him at times they KNOW he has a great likelihood of getting a hit and sitting him other games.   Last weekend he didn't play either Saturday or Sunday when they had an off-day on Monday.  If he is truly injured just DL him.  The hit streak stays intact.  If he is healthy enough to play MOST days, then play him most days.   The hitting streak is a novelty.  His development as a player, which comes from PLAYING, is more important.   BTW, I know I have said this before but look at the guys with the longest hitting streaks in the history of the minor leagues.   Most times they don't end up having any impact on the ML team at all. 

We have seen that we can score 4-5 runs a game which is good when our starting pitching is good.  However, when the starting pitching or the bullpen blows up, we don't seem to have the horses to do anything more than get close.   So, we need to get the starting pitching back on track.   We have everything else we need to compete.

Does it bother anyone else that Andrew Miller has been just mediocre since he has come to the Indians?  It is interesting how the Yankees turned on a dime and traded someone who wasn't supposed to be tradeable.  Now I know we overwhelmed the Yankees with our offer but if Miller is really hurt or burned, will that ever stink!

Finally, in the category of don't EVER do that again, I was watching the end of the women's time trial cycling.   The organizers had set up a covered area with three chairs marked "1", "2" and "3".  From what I saw the current 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers got to sit in those chairs.   Unfortunately, as riders came in with better times the riders in these chairs were bumped to either lower numbers or out of the chairs entirely if they were currently in the "3" chair.    So the American women, the last rider, won the race.   In this tented area the woman who had been sitting in chair "1" and was so excited she might win a gold medal looked deflated as she had to vacate that top chair.   What is worse is that the women in 3rd place put a towel over her face and dejectedly walked away as she lost her bronze medal and had been bumped down to the dreaded 4th place finish.   The cameras caught all of this for the world to see.   I have an idea for the IOC.   Ban this type of thing.   Everyone knows who is in what place in a race like this, the scenario being played in other summer Olympic sports and a lot of winter Olympic sports.  People don't need to be sitting in chairs signifying the medal they may or may not get.   Everyone knows this, the TV monitors show the current standings.    Let's not embarrass people who just had their dreams smashed, dreams that came out of years of sweat.

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