On Saturday, Roger Clemens missed again in his third try for career win
No. 300. Clemens pitched well for 6 2/3 innings, but was forced out of the game
by an upper respiratory infection having thrown just 84 pitches. In his wake,
Juan Acevedo surrendered a monster three-run home run to Eric
Karros–not easy for a right-handed pitcher–that was the crushing blow in
a 5-2 loss.
Clemens, of course, is going to get No. 300. He’s still a very good pitcher, and there’s no reason to expect that this will turn into a chase like Early
Wynn’s. Wynn notched career win No. 297 in July of 1962, then had just two
wins in his final 11 starts that season. He returned in 1963 to win No. 300–and only No. 300, in 20 appearances–before hanging them up for good.
The interesting thing about this mini-chase is that by struggling to reach his
landmark number, Clemens is illustrating the problem with pitcher wins as a
Sammy Sosa explains why his bat was a little lighter than usual; Professor Robert Adair explains why it doesn’t matter; George Steinbrenner thinks the world is out to get him; Bobby Kielty reads from the gospel according to Earl Weaver; and Scott Elarton reminds us why Colorado is such a unique environment. All this and much more in the newest edition of The Week In Quotes.
Brad Ausmus has been a huge drag on the Astros’ season. The Brewers’ Richie Sexson is the best first baseman in the NL right now. The A’s are thrilled that Brad Sullivan fell into their laps. Plus other Prospectus Triple Play news and notes out of Houston, Milwaukee, and Oakland.
The good news is that Hee Seop Choi will be OK and shouldn’t have any lasting effects from his concussion Saturday. It’s a scary sight for people to see someone unconscious and “locked” as Choi was after his head whipped into the hard Wrigley dirt. After being unconscious for more than two minutes, being taken off with all precautions, and following each step the situation called for, including a night in the hospital, Choi should return in about two weeks, no worse for the wear. Concussions are an interesting beast and everyone will react differently, but it is not a football-type situation where Choi is a recurrence risk. He has as much chance of falling and hitting his head like that as you or I do–probably less. Several sources are pointing to insurance as the reason for the DL posting and this is quite likely the case. The treatment of Choi was textbook concussion management and there’s no reason that should stop when Choi left the field of play and entered the field of lawyers and actuaries. If nothing else, this is a great showcase for David Kelton…and one that could finally lead to a trade for the Cubs.
Joe Sheehan’s analysis of Joe Garagiola Jr.’s trade history included a challenge to keep an open mind. I’m trying to, especially in the case of the acquisition of Shea Hillenbrand. No trade should be analyzed by any one measure. By my favorite measure, MLVr, the Diamondbacks made out like bandits. By injury analysis, Hillenbrand’s oblique injury would cloud things, but Kim’s earlier DL stint would be ignored since it was a freak, traumatic occurrence. Trades probably can’t even be analyzed properly for three years or more, but their very nature demands that they be dissected in every column, blog, and toilet stall from Roxbury to Mesa. All we can tell in this moment is that the severity of Hillenbrand’s injury won’t decide the fate of the 2003 season for the Diamondbacks. That fate was probably sealed long ago.