What a kick in the teeth

Just as he pronounced himself, “ready to pitch in the majors again”, the Braves released Tom Glavine. Now, I understand that this is their right, and the guy is 43 years old. But he won 20 games for the Braves five times. For the vast majority of baseball fans today, it doesn’t get much more “Braves” than Tom Glavine. I don’t know if there was a good reason for doing it this way – waiting until he worked his way back into shape doing rehab in the minors – but it sure comes across to the fans as a terrible way to treat a guy who has been really important to your franchise since 1987, save the few years he spent as a Met. I’d love to see him come to Baltimore. Or Washington – I’d definitely find a babysitter for an evening if I could go see Glavine pitch. As an aside, some awesomeness from the article:

Glavine described himself as “very surprised” in a text message to The Associated Press.

The idea of a 43 year old man texting the AP is almost surreal. I hope he used an emoticon or two.

Adam Dunn owes me big

I’ve been to three Nationals games this year. I went to the home opener against the Phillies, I went to see the Cardinals in my second failed attempt to watch Albert Pujols, and I went to the Orioles game because I’m actually a fan of the Orioles, despite Peter Angelos’ attempts to the contrary. I just realized that Adam Dunn might wish I came around more often. Not only are the Nats 2-1 in those three games, but Dunn is hitting .455 with four home runs and 11 RBIs. His OPS is 2.175. Small sample size, sure, but I have yet to see him play a game in which he does not hit a home run, and he hit two against the Orioles, one a game-winning grand slam. If only I were a Nationals fan.

It annoys the you-know-what out of me, too, Bud

Bud Selig is a dirty, dirty liar.

“I don’t want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig told Newsday in a Monday phone interview. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism. “The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible,” he said, adding, “I honestly don’t know how anyone could have done more than we’ve already done.”

“It’s like this morning,” he continued. “I pushed this old lady down some stairs. I suppose you’re going to blame me for that, too? How was I supposed to know about gravity?” It’s too bad that every statistic for every player between about 1990 and whenever they manage to institute a real drug policy will always have a cloud over it.

Finally someone on the home team to cheer for

The Nationals signed Adam Dunn! I’m so excited that there will actually be a player on the home team that I want to see. Usually I go to games to see the visiting team, but this year will be different. I mean, I’m still mostly looking forward to finally seeing Albert Pujols and maybe getting tickets when the Orioles come to town. But watching Dunn will be pretty cool.

And fire him they did

The Orioles finally let Daniel Cabrera go. I have posted at length about his ups and downs. And now he’s a National, so I can hop on the Metro go see him on occasion when we get a babysitter. He’ll probably pull a Schilling and turn into an All-Star. It’s funny how Schilling pitched 44 of his 569 career games as an Oriole, yet I still always considered him an Oriole who happened to pitch for someone else. It is more likely, however, that his control will continue to ruin his gobs of talent, and he’ll always be a 5.00 ERA guy who every once in while throws a two hit shutout and strikes out 10. I hope the Nationals enjoy him.

The worst inning in the history of the Universe

Thankfully I didn’t actually watch this, because there would be a giant hole in my TV right now. The Orioles started the eighth inning down 3-2 to the Athletics. No big deal, right? The O’s hit like crazy. One run is nothing. According to ESPN’s play-by-play, it went a little downhill from there. We start the inning with a walk, then a hit batter. That won’t do, so Brian Burres comes on in relief. Stolen base, walk, walk, and it’s 4-2. Burress is gone. Some guy I’ve never heard of comes in to pitch. Walk, walk, strikeout, walk, and it’s 7-2. The next pitcher gets a fly out and they’re almost out of the inning . . . Except for the grand slam. That is eight runs, ONE HIT, and no errors. Six walks and a hit batter. This is actually worse than the Redskins’ performance last night. This is, in fact, worse than any performance in the history of sport. And this on the same day that ESPN announces our worthless manager will be back next year. Does anyone know the record for walks allowed in a year? Are we going to break it this year? If not, I’m sure we’ll get it next year. That’s something to shoot for. If you’ll excuse me now, I think I’m going to go curl up in the corner and cry until I’m an Angels fan.

The walk is unforgivable

I hate walks. I’d rather a pitcher give up a home run than a walk. If a batter hits a home run, he beat the pitcher. It happens. I understand that. But if a batter walks, the pitcher just blew it. There is no excuse for walking a batter. I knew the Orioles were playing above their heads for most of the season. They were expected to be bad, and they were in it for quite a while. But there was always something bothering me about the team. It turns out it’s the walks. They lead the American league with 582 walks allowed coming into this game, an average of 4.2 per game. 4.2! Some highlights from that:

  • “Closer” George Sherrill has 30 walks in 50 1/3 innings (5.4 walks per nine innings)
  • Fernando Cabrera – 16 in 27 innings (5.3 BB/9)
  • Jeremy Guthrie and Jamie Walker are the only players on the team who are below the league average of 3.3 BB/9
  • Dennis Sarfate has walked 60 in 74.3 innings – 7.3 BB/9!
    I mean, seriously. How is a team supposed to win like that? The offense has been pretty good. But none of the starters except Guthrie can make it through the fifth innings with any sort of regularity. As I type this, walk machine Radhames Liz (6 BB/9) has just exited the game in Boston after 3 and two thirds, the Orioles down 7-1. It’s pretty frustrating for the fans. Oh, look, home run by Dustin Pedroia and it’s 10-1, Sweet.

Not a meaningful distinction

The [Devil] Rays played the Angels last night. The Rays came into the game 75-48, tied with the Cubs for the second best record in the Majors. They were behind only the Angels at 76-46. This is a 1.5 game differential. So why on earth is the headline on the front page of ESPN.com for this article Rays top MLB-best Angels? If the Rays were their normal selves, sitting 25 games out, then sure, this is significant. But do you know what they call it when the second best team in the league beats the best team in the league? They call that baseball. Or normal. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, but I’m already annoyed with ESPN for their full page splash screen ads that have been popping up recently. Of course, now I’m possibly sending a little bit of traffic their way, so this is probably a pretty stupid response to my annoyance. But never mind.

Where’s the media love for this guy?

I was just reminded of Brad Ziegler by a post at It Is About the Money, which is a Yankees blog but not obnoxiously so. Anyway, Ziegler still hasn’t ever given up a run in the major leagues. 29 games, 38 innings, zero runs. He broke a 100 year old record for scoreless innings to start a career 13 innings ago. But you barely hear anything about him. I haven’t seen him on the front page of ESPN at all. I know Oakland isn’t New York or Boston, but if this guy played for the Yankees or Red Sox, he would be on SportsCenter every 34 seconds. I wonder how many innings he has to pitch without giving up a run to get some attention? Maybe after the Olympics are over. Edit to add: It was less than three hours from the time this post went up until his streak ended. I feel like I jinxed it. That sucks.