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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

Weaver's Big Adjustment

There was some talk about yesterday's game that WTY's velocity had come back, and according to an interview in today's Register, it's true:
The lanky right-hander came into Tuesday's start with a 2-5 record that included losses in four of his past six starts during which he had been touched for 44 hits and 12 walks in 33 1/3 innings. After his most recent start (a loss in Kansas City last Wednesday), Weaver questioned whether hitters had “figured me out” and he might need to change his game.

That was just frustration speaking, Scioscia said.

“His challenge is bringing his game to the mound and not getting so caught up in what other team's hitters might or might not be doing,” Scioscia said.

Weaver said the only change he made between starts was working with pitching coach Mike Butcher to iron out some parts of his delivery. The adjustments certainly worked. Weaver struck out the second batter of the night, Carlos Quentin, with a fastball that registered 95 mph on the radar gun.

“Really? It's coming back then,” Weaver joked. “That's a slow gun, too.”

I doubt the Weav really has that kind of heat, but even a return to 92-93 would be a big deal for him, because he's been scuffling despite a strong spring.

The Angels' Best Players

Inspired by Jon, the Angels' best pitcher is ... Joe Saunders. Their best offensive player is Torii Hunter, though hot on his heels are Casey Kotchman and, injury-time-loss and all, Howie Kendrick.

But you knew that, right?

Yes, Daddy, But Why Are The Mariners So Bad?

So many reasons not listed here: But don't take my word for it... take John Perrotto's:
If the Mariners are going to win a lot of games, they had better get going. In an effort to jump-start an offense that now ranks ninth in the AL with an average of 4.1 runs a game, the Mariners decided to overhaul their lineup on the final day of April by calling up catcher Jeff Clement and outfielder Wladimir Balentein from Triple-A Tacoma. Clement has taken over the bulk of the designated hitter duties, starting against right-handed pitchers, while Jose Vidro now plays primarily against lefties. Balentien became the starting right fielder, replacing Brad Wilkerson, who was released after posting a .242 EqA following his signing of a one-year, $3 million contract as a free agent in the offseason. The results have been mixed for the top two prospects, as Balentien has an adequate .257 EqA, while Clement has been overmatched.

Jay Jaffe On The Buzzie Bavasi Dodgers

Behind the BPro pay wall, and probably more interesting to Dodger fans for the light it sheds on Bavasi's time with the Padres:
Unfortunately for Bavasi, it's no small hyperbole to say that [Padres owner C. Arnholt] Smith was as crooked as any owner in baseball history. Even his fashion tastes were criminally awful; his penchant for brown suits provided the Padres with their initial garish color scheme. Smith overpaid for the expansion franchise, then ran it on a budget that made shoestrings seem like a luxury; the team payroll was less than $1 million. The Padres couldn't even afford waiver-price pickups, and often sold players to meet their minimal payroll obligations. Smith funneled money into and out of his various ventures while trying to remain one step ahead of the IRS, the FBI, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1973, the the United States National Bank collapsed; at $400 million it was the largest bank failure in US history. Smith was eventually convicted of income tax fraud, grand theft, and the embezzlement of $8.9 million, but he only served seven months in an honor camp when he was able to find a doctor who said that the 84-year-old Smith had less than five years to live. He cheated death too, living to the ripe old age of 97.

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