David Huff of the Indians lifted up his cap and pointed to a spot above his left ear. “I never saw the ball, but I saw everything else. An inch this way, an inch down – I wouldn’t be talking to you guys. But I’m fine. I hope to make my next start.”
Huff looked bright-eyed and (figuratively) bushy-tailed on the Cleveland bench an hour before today’s matinee in the Bronx. He remains unconvinced that any additional safety measures need be taken by pitchers, especially not a helmet, even though the ball that hit him would clearly have been deflected by a helmet or even a plastic liner for his soft cap, the kind batters used to wear. “A helmet is heavy. It would just rattle around on your head, probably come off. Hey, this stuff just happens. The key is just trying to keep it from happening to you.” Huff did not say, other than trusting to luck, how exactly he’ll do that….
There have been 20 official Perfect Games (sorry, Harvey Haddix; sorry, Pedro Martinez) in baseball history, and thanks to Dallas Braden and now Roy Halladay, there have been two of them in just twenty days.
If you have a fantasy league team – or just like to play Closer Roulette – there is nothing more perversely fascinating than to watch an actual big league club suddenly go to Bullpen Plan B, or even Plans C and D, seven weeks into the season.
My buddy and ex-colleague Rich Eisen of NFL Network asks a fascinating question. Apart from his meltdowns against Minnesota and Boston this week, Mariano Rivera has another startling skein in progress.
This is not unique to the Bronx. I’ve heard it in Boston, I’ve heard it in Philly, I’ve heard it in all the places where the smart fans dwell and even the ones where they don’t.
1. Alex Rodriguez ties up the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon.
2. Papelbon retires Robinson Cano for the second out to keep alive his chances of getting out of the game alive.
3. Papelbon hits Francisco Cervelli on the elbow putting the winning run on base and bringing home run threat Marcus Thames to the plate.
4. The Yankee crowd boos.
You’re aware of what Thames did next. I’d just like to stop at the booing part. Nobody’s suggesting a Bronx crowd should be applauding Papelbon for plunking a Yankee, but, honestly, if Cervelli can get up and walk to first, that’s a good thing, why on earth are you booing the gift of the winning run sent to first on a hit batsman?
ATLANTA: Maybe Chico Cadahia or Eddie Perez, but I think the best bets are two former Cox lieutenants, Fredi Gonzalez of the Marlins, and ex-Brewers boss Ned Yost. If the latter were the obvious choice, he’d probably be back on the staff, not an advisor in KC.
KANSAS CITY: John Gibbons. Hiring a recently dismissed, no-nonsense ex-manager as your bench coach, is the standard process for anointing an heir apparent.
Low 50s, swirling winds, and 90 minutes before the game and the hot dog wrappers and other debris is already dancing on the warning track here at CitiField. The bad news for the home team – Giants coach Tim Flannery advises that Tim Lincecum prefers this kind of day to all others. San Francisco is so into the Sunday lineup thing that Juan Uribe is batting cleanup and only three other every day guys are in there – Aaron Rowand, Nate Schierholtz, and Sandoval (and hes at first) so Lincecum will have to carry them. Against Oliver Perez that, of course, is entirely possible.
Several sources, including this Seattle radio station, are reporting – gasp! – that Milton Bradley left the Mariners mid-game last night after manager Don Wakamatsu tried to remind him that a manager runs a team and not an outfielder who keeps getting traded because he believes that the breeze he feels is actually the universe revolving around him.