Things I Promised Not To Tell

Batting clean-up last night, Micah Hoffpauir of the Cubs
homered to erase Cincinnati’s only lead (off his rival Micah, Owings, no
less), walked, then lifted a sacrifice fly to put his team back in front.
“He’s going to get 350 at bats this year,” Lou Piniella told me as Hoffpauir’s
dominant spring training ended. “A little first, a little left, a little
right.” Lou being Lou, of course, after Hoffpauir showed what he could do with
those 350 at bats, he was due up with the bases loaded and a lefty reliever on
the mound. So Lou pinch-hit Reed Johnson for him, and Johnson promptly struck
out. Sigh.

Pitching Coach Joe Kerrigan never counts chickens in
advance, certainly not in Pittsburgh, but even in the middle of the spring he was
insistent he had been able to help Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf -
especially Karstens – with arm slots and release points. Are the last two
nights against Florida indicators that he was right, or just the odds breaking
against the Marlins?

The latest Pedro Martinez story – about some vague interest
by the Angels – is probably overblown, to say the least. A National League
General Manager who was incorrectly rumored to be interested, said a month ago
that people sure were getting hopped up over him handcuffing the Dutch team -
during the first week of spring training – and not hitting 90 on the radar gun
as he did so.

So far this year Daniel Murphy has dropped a fly in left to
cost Johan Santana a game, and, last night, after getting picked off by Yadier
Molina, and then deciding that the only way to get past Molina at the plate was
not to slide but rather enact a dance move, managed to slide out from under a
crucial fly ball in St. Louis. The Mets are in awe of the youngster’s plate
discipline but after Murphy’s tight night, manager Jerry Manuel suggested he
needed to relax and admitted “I guess I’m a little concerned.”

Another Cubs note. If you’re wondering how they hope to keep
Rich Harden
intact into the second half of the season, yes, they will occasionally
skip his starts or give him extra days off. Kind of like the Chien-Ming Wang
plan. Only without the euphemistic “tune-up in Florida.” And replacing him in
the rotation at some point, more likely with Phil Hughes than Ian Kennedy. But
Wang is just fine – there’s nothing to see here.

A last question. Does it seem to you like the Angels treat
Brandon Wood as if he owed them money? Like they let him up every once in
awhile so he can breathe, before they stick him back under the water?

By the way, the title of this post is facetious – it comes from an obscure reference in the movie “All About Eve.” No actual confidences were violated in the writing of this blog.

FAN OF THE DAY:

Hats off to Ben Erdel. As part of his big night at Yankee Stadium last night, Brett Gardner let one of his Louisville Sluggers fly into the stands. Mr. Erdel and a much younger gentleman both had their hands on the rare souvenir – although only the younger gentleman had just managed to avoid getting hit with the helicoptering bat. Mr. Erdel took the bat, took a few steps, and then thought better of it, and generously did the right thing.

The younger gentleman now has a singular thrill from his first Yankee homestand, exceeding his previous one – being my nephew.

Here is Nephew, Jacob Smith, far left, and his bat, which was not stolen by either Katy Tur or Maegen Carberry.

IMG_1698.JPG

And here is Mr. Erdel, whose second prize is a blog posting (and a clear conscience, and one happy kid left in his wake). Thank you, Sir.

IMG_1696.jpg

33 Comments

Jacob,
Congratulations! I’ve never caught a bat. I nabbed a towering pop fly, and before giving it to my little brother, had the stitches imprinted in my palms.

As I read about your nephew’s “foul bat,” I literally said to my girlfriend, “That had to be a Cardinals fan.” I scroll down and sure enough, Mr. Erdel is a Cardinals fan. We’re classy no matter what ballpark we’re in.

I guess you’ll be in Baseball Heaven this July for the All-Star Game, so you’ll find out (or be reminded) firsthand.

And congratulations to Jacob!

Four quality starts in a row for the Giants (and three QS for Matt Cain; I think this will be a big year for him).
And Keith, when will you be back on Countdown? It ain’t Countdown with David Shuster.

Micah Hoffpauir being lifted for Reed Johnson does constitute a sigh, but it reflects the Cub’s lefty-batters-for-righty-pitchers ideology this season. Plus, HoffPauir can credibly be lifted in later innings for a defensive dynamo like R. Johnson. Thanks for noticing Keith, These seem like two players who will be catching some attention this year.

Just another Tuesday night in baseball – in April, for Pete’s sake! Thanks for capturing the essence of baseball’s ever changing detail and congratulations to your nephew. You are a baseball nerd in the finest sense of the word. Thanks for this blog.

Me, I was parked on a street just a Dave Kingman homer away from Wrigley Field, waiting for my daughter who has an internship with the Cubs this season. It’s amazing how the ball park breathes when a game is underway. You can hear it, almost see it when you watch from a block away.

You never know what will happen at the ball park when the umpire says, “play ball”. Last night, my daughter says a white cat ran on the field, evoking memories of that Shea Stadium black cat some forty years ago. Also, a fan in the Bartman seats reached over the wall and caught a ball that Soriano gave up as foul. You just never know.

How cool is that for Jacob?! Good for him, and I’m glad he didn’t get hurt. BTW Keith, if you’re ever in “fly over” country & want to go to the Louisville Slugger Museum, look me up! I live just under a couple hours away from Louisville & actually want to take the tour; Hubby & I were there last summer, but he didn’t want to do the tour. Remember, Hubby’s a Commie UnAmerican baseball hater. ;D So, I want to take the tour with someone who will enjoy it!

So Keith were you really sick or “sick” last night and couldn’t be on your show? Must admit, I am jealous of you playing hookie and going to baseball games. Please come back to Countdown. I like Shuster but it does not even come close.

Your nephew was definitely the luckiest person in the park last night! Way cool! Also, way to go Ben Erdel for being a stand-up guy for doing that. Baseball does bring out the good in people. :)

And yes Daniel Murphy is total train wreck in left field. It is a problem that is costing the Mets wins. I wish they put Tatis in left…at least he is an outfielder!
~Kathleen

According to the graphics on WGN, it was the first time in MLB history that a Micah homered off another Micah. Sweet!

Nice story about Jacob getting that bat. I’ve seen some adult fans practically knock youngsters over to grab a foul ball. How refreshing to know that there are people like Ben Erdel, who do the right thing. A big congratulations to Jacob, and to Ben as well!
Shelley
http://diamonddiva.mlblogs.com/

I expect nothing less (re: Erdel) from a St. Louis Cardinal fan. They are the best fans. Also, it was not Murphy who failed to slide at home.

Hats off to the classy gentleman who was kind enough to do the right thing!

-Marco

Of course he did the right thing. He’s a Cardinals fan.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

First your mom (God rest her soul) gets beaned by Chuck Knoblauch, and now your nephew nearly gets his head taken off by a bat. What is with you Olbermann’s? LOL

Keth welcome to MLB.com as one of the writers. I have allways liked your work at NBC and ESPN. I think you will do a fine job for MLB.com. Name:Kenny Hometown: Ohio

Kudos and good karma to Mr. Erdel. Not enough of that going around in today’s world.
Tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

Funniest part of both pictures is that everybody behind the picture(s) is texting or checking email on their blackberry or Iphone.

http://baseballintheattic.mlblogs.com/

I feel that major league baseball may well be onto something; extra fielding percentage points for jumping over bat shards while making a play…kind of like an old atari game. *Pong*
Extra points for any 3rd baseman, as they often times make plays to first in the kneeling position. Officially licensed MLB knee pads will soon be available. The Short stop will need to, at the very least, make a 10″ vertical. Not much to ask. Exempt from the short stop category and bumped to 3rd: Jimmy Rollins.

p.s. keep an eye on Bill Hall. If David Wright doesn’t take the NL Gold Glove, Hall should. Tough, though, when the Mets’ 3rd Baseman is a ninja.

Rockymountainway – get off the blog, then.

Joe Kerrigan is the man! He might be the best pitching coach the Pirates have had in the last several years, he sure has those guys going out doing great work. The Pirates now lead the NL in ERA and the whole league in RA, as long as being the league leaders (by far) in quality start percentage. That’s what I’m talking about! Who doesn’t like to see a young, degraded, and hopeless franchise have a hot start and show signs of greatness??

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

I’m sorry, Jacob, but you have been misled by a cruel uncle desperate for blog filler. You see, THAT is Brett Gardner’s bat. Unfortunately, this means you may not claim to have been nearly maimed by an authentic big-league bat. I’m sorry but the truth is that Gardner bats most commonly strike objects other than Major League baseballs. A boy in the stands is just one of a common variety.

leave ur political musings at the door, please. all these comments bout KO are moronic. why r u sullying a true fan’s musings about a game we all love or we wouldn’t be here?
i read this stuff to learn and share, not get ur political grousing. so if u don’t like KO don’t read his blog or watch his shows or share ur stupidity. thx now play ball

Mr. Erdel is a class act. Much good karma to him. Btw, here’s a nice coincidence, Keith: Brett Gardner wears no.11, Chuck Knoblauch’s old number.

Nice move by Mr. Erdel, but chew on this. For the sake of argument, suppose Mr. Erdel has a 7-year old nephew who is a huge Yankees fan. He decides to grab the bat and plans to give it to his nephew, rather than relinquishing it to the youngster at the ballpark. What is the protocol? Does he make it out of Yankee Stadium alive?Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

Keith, congrats on the new position at MLB.com. While you and I share little common ground on politics, I have always admired your passion (while shouting at you on the TV…) and I look forward to your baseball expertise and to seeing your passion come through on your blog….
Mr. Erdel would appear to be a Cardinals fan, a gentleman and a representative of the the BEST fans in baseball!!
Along those lines, could we please have more coverage of so-called “small-market” clubs?? MLB is more than Mets/Yankees, Cubs/Sox, Angels/Dodgers and Red Sox. Please keep us in mind, and BTW, my 2009 Redbirds have been showing some potent offense… definitely worth a story!! GO CARDINALS!!
LondonCardsFan, London UK

Jacob did not want to give you the bat last night

Attention Single Ladies…Ben Erdel would be a great person to date! His generosity was shown the other night when he passed on the bat to the young fan! Message from his Aunt Kathy

After Countdown went to break, Jacob accidentally hit his famous uncle with a baseball bat knocking him to La-La Land.

#!My apologies go out to Rockymountainway!# When I first came to this discussion board, I did not realize the post names appeared *below* the entry. I’m really sorry I said that stuff about leaving! I don’t know where that other entry went. Maybe the person’s comment was removed.
Once again, my apologies – This must have been 2 days ago.

That was Beltran that lost the tango contest with Y.Molina,
not Murphy. Murphy did enough. Thanks. GO CARDS!

Hello? Anybody here? Any Red Sox or NYY fans? Entertaining game tonite. 1 down, 17 to go. It’s only April so we can’t get too up or too down. Long long way to go. And if we haven’t figured that out yet, we never will.
**************************
Boston.com: Arthur Giddon, a former bat boy for the Boston Braves, will be the honorary bat boy for the Red Sox on Saturday — his 100th birthday . . .

Isn’t that something?

Hey Keith, maybe Gardner watches FNC.

Yes, phoenix, Red Sox fan here. Now it is 3 down, 15 to go. Yay sox!
But that is about 12 too many, let’s go back to a balanced schedule and forget the inter-leauge crap. At least 7 or 8 too many.
Thanks Mr. Erdel -Cards cap…finding a guy with a Yanks cap doing this might be a bit tougher ;)
Keith keep up the good work here and MSNBC, LOVE IT!
Wondering though when you & Rachel will square off, wearing Yanks / Sox hats, respectively!!!!
(a la Dan Akyroad and Jane Curtain???!!!)
Love you both….so don’t try the “Rachel you ignorant sl…. ” line, ok!!!!!!!!

Good point, msignore – even Sox/Yankees can get overdone.
And that’d be Aykroyd and Curtin, btw (but still a great idea!).

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