Thursday, 16 August 2012

Farrellpologist


There has been too much of Ricky Romero looking like that this season.  This feels like the fourth or fifth picture of him looking like this in pictures of his starts from this season. I want to shake him and hug him and  kick his ass and tell him to listen to Tupac.

I don't know why, but I feel the urge to defend John Farrell.  It's not easy to manage with a decimated line up, and injuries mean that line ups need to be juggled and things can get stupid.

Take playing Edwin EncarnaciĆ³n in LF. When the lineups were released, people on Twitter (as they are wont to do) freaked the hell out. Some suggested that EE should be playing third, if they needed DH to be Rasmus and wanted to retain the services of Cooper and Sierra.  Cooper shouldn't play anywhere but first, Sierra could play left but EE shouldn't play right. 

I had a few theories as to why that wasn't going to happen. I will title this series of theories "E5". And no, I don't think it's because the coaching staff was afraid that Encarnacion couldn't handle third base. What I think it amounted to was a decision based on respect for EE. Often forgotten in the EE at third experiment was that he was originally slated to be the every day DH out of spring training. He hadn't played third all that much that year before being pressed into service because of injury (if I recall correctly, without looking it up. I might have just made that up.)  

He might just have an aversion or a perceived aversion to playing third.  EE actually had played left this season in some inter league games, so maybe they just wanted him there because he was at least a little comfortable. EE is also nursing a sore heel might play into the decision to make him as comfy as possible.

I don't know for sure, but there is likely some truth to that. A kernel.  Or John Farrell lost a bet.

Ricky Romero battled last night, and should go forward positively into his next start. Yes, the numbers are ugly because some of the RBI on Dunn's homer are on Romero. And he wasn't as good as his very best, but he wasn't as bad as his very worst.

Farrell made a pretty dumb decision to lift Romero to put Lincoln in to face Dunn. Romero wasn't particularly shy in voicing his frustration over Mr. John's decision.

“I would like to finish. Obviously, you get in that mess, you want to get out of it on your own. Nothing against the bullpen or anyone, but as a starting pitcher, you get in a mess like that, you want to get out of it. Like I said, he makes the decisions and you’ve just got to live with them.”

Farrell, to his credit, took responsibility for the result.

“Obviously that move didn’t work out,” Farrell said. “That one’s clearly on me for running [Lincoln] into Adam Dunn in that situation.”

Romero was at 98 pitches and lefties were hitting .294 against him. So, I dunno. It's a crapshoot. I'm having trouble getting worked up.  Also, "running Lincoln into Adam Dunn" sounds like Lincoln is a pick up truck and Dunn is a freight train.

It's a fitting image. Chicago is so odious.

But I can't get worked up over Farrell right now.  I'll leave that to others.

Elsewhere around the league, baseball demonstrated it's high and lows with the news that Melky Cabrera, in the midst of his break out year, has tested positive for high testosterone levels and will be suspended 50 games and with Felix Hernandez pitching the Mariner's first perfect game.

The Melky suspension is just disappointing. Over at Getting Blanked, Parkes makes the argument that we shouldn't lay shame on Cabrera's head and smear his name.  But here is where Parkes loses me:

There is no concrete evidence to suggest the levels at which taking substances will improve your performance. Yes, the use of so-called performance enhancing drugs allow your body to do things physically that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do, but how that transfers to skills on the baseball field, we cannot say. The list of what we would consider poorly skilled baseball players who have been caught using banned substances is just as long as the list of what we would consider to be highly skilled players.

If there is no concrete proof of an edge provided by steroids, why the hell are they taking them?  They don't pep you up like uppers or mellow you out like marijuana.  Injecting yourself on a regular basis with needles carries it's own set of risks of infection and disease.  They mess with your system, mess with your sex drive, give you acne. There has to be some benefit, at least perceived benefit. The act is pointless otherwise.

Cabrera was always a borderline player. A guy with a lot of talent but who was rumoured to have been drummed out of New York because of his negative influence on Robinson Cano.  Cabrera bounced around a few teams before ending up with the Giants this year and was having a breakout year.

I'm not going hold this against Cabrera mostly because I just find it too sad.

I'm for cleaning up the game, but my major reason is not because of the cheating aspect but rather to help preserve the health of the athletes. If it becomes, as it did in the Olympics, a race to who has the best drugs and the biggest desire to win, the consequences on the lives on people just becomes too much.

On a more positive (though not in the drug sense) note, Felix Hernandez, the one called King Felix, pitched the 23rd perfect game in MLB history. Hernandez has long been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball and has toiled away on losing Mariner teams who fail, more often than not, to score him runs.  And Hernandez was completely filthy yesterday.

Hernandez won 1-0 vs Tampa. This was the third time in four seasons they had a perfect game pitched against them, following efforts Dallas Braden for the Atheletics in 2010 and Mark Buehrle with the White Sox in 2009. They've been no-hit four times over the past four seasons.

It's the second perfect game Safeco field has witnessed this season, after Phil Humber of the White Sox pitched his there in April.

3 comments:

  1. E5 was playing third base when they acquired him and he was brutal defensively there, thus the nickname.

    He's not a good defensive third baseman, but it's not because he has some sort of aversion to playing there, he's just not good there. Too many rushed throws, too many booted balls, at times, a bad glove, and really bad accuracy with his throws.

    I know you have some sort of creepy weird internet love for the guy, but DH or a bit of first base is the only positions this guy should be taking up on this team.

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  2. It's not creepy, weird Internet love.

    It's called being a fan of someone's work ethic and talent. I never said he should be playing third base. I was responding to all the people who were wondering why he was starting in left.

    The stupid nickname is from the Reds media. The only thing Toronto needs to steal from the Reds is Joey Votto.

    You are not clever or cool or interesting using that name for him, so I don't know why anyone persists in using it.

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  3. E5 is a funny name, but has become tired. Only lames think it still works.

    EE has terrible footwork and that was what killed him at 3B. We still see it at 1B. But his ability to mash is very rare. And he's welcome to play 1B for me any day.

    I am curious if he said anything to the Jays about wanting to play 1B more often than DH when he resigned. We often hear players feeling more comfortable being on the field, and not only hitting. Hard to imagine AA would tie his hands with any promises, but I am curious what EE thinks. We never hear anything from him.

    Steve

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