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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pickoff Moves

Today's Birthdays

Mike Epstein CAL b. 1943, played 1973-1974

Jim Fregosi CAL,LAA b. 1942, played 1961-1971, All-Star: 1964, 1966-1970. A Top 100 Angel who represented the Angels during a particularly down time in their history, he was originally signed by the Red Sox but yanked out from under them in the 1961 expansion draft. While the maelstrom of general managers and players churned around the early Angels, Fregosi was the AL's best-hitting shortstop for years, and a consistent All-Star. Famous as the man who ended up on the other side of the Nolan Ryan trade, after retirement from playing he later managed the Angels to their first division title; the next year, the Angels and Ryan were unable to come to a contract agreement, and minus his pitching, the team fell to a sixth-place finish. He was fired in 1981; eventually he made his way to the Phillies and took them to a World Series appearance in 1993, only to lose to the Blue Jays. Let go after the 1996 season, he managed Toronto for two seasons starting in 1999.

Gil Hodges BRO,LAN b. 1924, played 1943, 1947-1961, All-Star: 1949-1955, 1957, d. 1972-04-02. A perennial All-Star during the Boys of Summer era, Brooklyn flirted with Hodges behind the dish, but later settled on him at first, where he played the vast majority of his career. Born with huge hands, teammates joked that he didn't need a glove. Sometimes called "the Dodgers' Lou Gehrig" for his quiet, gentlemanly demeanor while embodying excellence on the field, he was frequently in the league top ten for at-bats per home run. Hodges is also famous for having received the most votes and never having made the Hall of Fame. His managerial career included guiding the expansion "Miracle" 1969 Mets to their first title.

John Hummel BRO b. 1883, played 1905-1915, d. 1959-05-18

Pete Kilduff BRO b. 1893, played 1919-1921, d. 1930-02-14

Mickey Owen BRO b. 1916, played 1941-1945, All-Star: 1941-1944, d. 2005-07-13

Willie Ramsdell BRO b. 1916, played 1947-1948, 1950, d. 1969-10-08

Joe Vosmik BRO b. 1910, played 1940-1941, All-Star: 1935, d. 1962-01-27

Wolf, Packed: Brewers 4, Dodgers 3

I only heard a couple innings of the game thanks to the fact that I forgot when it was on (and I was on my way to the Angels game), but it seemed to me that the result was about right. The Dodgers have packed their rotation with number three guys, something Matt Welch recently alluded to when he wrote "The Dodgers have the most overrated starting rotation in the majors & cannot possibly continue to survive Coletti's near-historic squandering of young talent". I'm not sure I agree with him — yet — on the subject of that near-historic squandering; the guys he traded still need to prove there was something to squander. But as for the rotation being overrated, oh, my, yes. Combine that with Speedy The Penguin-Armed Boy in center, and you've got yourself a season years of hilarity to look forward to.

RecapESPN Box.

Words That Rhyme With Vlad

Like, egad, if you're the Rangers.
Guerrero, who hit safely in each of his first 44 games against the Rangers, is on a ridiculous pace against Rangers pitching. If he were to play a typical 550 at-bat season against Texas pitching, he'd be on track for 53 homers and 124 RBIs.

"If you looked at my books and where the pitches are that we've thrown him, you'd see he's literally hit everything we've thrown him," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "He hits good pitches; he hits mistakes. Against us, it really doesn't seem to matter what kind of pitches they are."

Vlad is hitting .440 career against the Rangers, with 21 homers and 49 RBIs.

Esteban Loaiza Has A Bulging Disk In His Neck

... in addition to the back spasms he already had. The date of his first rehab start is unknown.

Bill Plaschke, Panicking Already

Oh, my! The clubhouse is too quiet! Aaaaargh!

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Any rotation would appear over-rated with that outfield. It would be fun to tally up the number of extra bases taken off of Gonzo. Yeesh.. It's ugly out there.
It still doesn't change the fact that, with the possible exception of Schmidt, the Dodgers' rotation consists of a bunch of #3 starters. Not bad at all (i.e., it's nice to have a #3 in your #3, #4 and #5 spots), but there's no true ace.

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