Talking Baseball

Your weekday baseball fix. Some days.

Posted by Ben K. on Monday, July 26, 2004

A Little Bit of Everything

I was wrapped up in the emotions of this weekend's Yankees-Red Sox series (and a nice weekend-long visit from my girlfriend) that I did not have time to come up with a long post on one topic. So I figured that I would take a quick look at a few short topics and end with a few thoughts on tonight's ESPN telecast of the game between the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Where the Wild Things Roam

Apparently, there were other baseball games besides the three in Fenway Park. I was mighty suprised to hear that. I was even more surprised to hear that Kevin Gregg tied a record for wildness today. Gregg threw four wild pitches in one inning, tying a regular season record. Before I even read that article, my thoughts wandered to the lost Boy Wonder: Rick Ankiel. You remember Rick; he threw five wild pitches in one inning during the 2000 NLDS back when Bill Clinton was still the president. Ankiel, who turned 25 just a week ago, lost his mind and the strike zone after that performance and has not pitched in the big leagues since 2001.

So where is Rick Ankiel? He's not old enough to give up on the game yet and he still has the opportunity to be a huge impact player for some team down the road. So I did a Google News search for Ankiel and found out that the return of Rick Ankiel may be on the horizon. Ankiel had Tommy John surgery a year ago. And now it looks like he's going to begin a rehab assignment on August 1. For more information on Ankiel, check out this story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (Don't fear the TinyURL. The original URL was way too long.) Anyway, the Cardinals are hoping that maybe Ankiel could come back as soon as September if he has regained control of the strike zone and his imagination. Interestingly enough, the Cardinals feel that Ankiel is actually in demand. They could have him start a medical rehab assignment now, and he would pitch in the minors for 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, they would have to add him to the roster or send him to the minors. Since he is out of options, he would have to pass through waivers, and the Cards don't feel that he would do so. So instead, they can begin his rehab on August 1st and add him to the expanded rosters on September 1st without having to worry about his going through waivers.

Personally, I'm rooting for Ankiel. It's pretty sad when baseball infests someone's mind like that. After reading Moneyball, it sounds like it happened to Billy Beane and it may or may not have happened to Derek Lowe. I certainly think it's happened to Jose Contreras when he faces the Red Sox, and tonight was exhibit A. So good luck to Rick. I'm rooting for him.

Carlos Lee Is Really Tall

As I was surfing the net this week from work, I came across a rather amusing picture of Carlos Lee rounding the bases in a game against Texas.

Now, I know how that works. He's closer to the camera than Micheal Young. Carlos Lee is not really 10 feet tall. Of course that's the case, but this picture still looks pretty funny, and I just wanted to share it with you.

I'll Vote For Him Anyway

In case anyone was wondering, I think there was a baseball game being played in Boston last night. But in between interviews with Ben Affleck and George Stephanopolous as well as 1 gazillion (yes, that's a real number) shots of Senator John Kerry sitting in the front row applauded the Sox, you would never know that ESPN was broadcasting a baseball game. Do they really think that the fans will be more drawn to the game if they have washed up celebrities being interviewed at the game? It's the Yankees vs. Red Sox in the third game of an emotionally intense series in the middle of July. That should be enough in and of itself. Just give us the baseball. And not having Joe Morgan on that telecast tonight was a godsend. Rick Sutcliffe sounded like he knew what he was talking about, and unlike Affleck, he never once referred to the umpires as "refs."

And for my New Yorker peers out there, this is the only time I'm ever bringing politics into baseball. Although John Kerry was rooting for the Red Sox, I'm still going to vote for him in November. I think I'll put aside those differences for a little while.

Here's What A-Rod Said

As Ben Affleck was, for some inexplicable reason, being interviewed tonight during the ESPN telecast of the Boston-New York show down, he explained that he and Alex Rodriguez exchanged some heated words that couldn't be repeated on TV. I hope that A-Rod went up to Ben and just started railing on him for his last four movies. Those would be Jersey Girl, Paycheck, Gigli, and Daredevil. A-Rod should have extended his congratulations to Ben Affleck for flaming out so soon in his career while Matt Damon goes and stars in the weekend's number one movie. Seriously, Ben lost all credibility from Hollywood stars and Red Sox fans when he dated Jenny from the block. I think it's time to find another celebrity to be the face of Red Sox Nation.

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