I wouldn't say I'm going through the motions on this one, but I know that half the country is already gone for the weekend, and the other half is just waiting for the boss to give the signal. I'm headed to Fresno myself, in part to see my friends and their new baby, in part to catch the Grizzlies in their new park on Saturday. I'm writing this as packing activity goes on around me.
So to everyone reading this, have a great Memorial Day weekend. Get outside, get some sunshine, do something with a ball and some friends. Laugh. Get stains–grass, barbecue, sweat–on your shirt. Have fun, and we'll see you again on Tuesday.
For today, here's some vaguely coherent thoughts about baseball:
I don't know if Shawn Green had the best game ever–I'm partial to Rick Wise and Don Larsen–but you have to like the way it happened for him. He needed two guys to reach in the ninth inning, and with two outs, Adrian Beltre hit a home run to get Green his last at-bat.
By the way, this game wasn't televised in either Los Angeles or Milwaukee. You don't realize how spoiled you are until something like this happens, and you feel cheated that you didn't get a chance to see it. Sometimes, 30-odd games a week isn't enough.
The Astros are just getting killed by their bullpen. They blew late leads each of the last two days in St. Louis, conributing to a series sweep by the Cardinals. Granted, their offense has slipped to eighth in the league (by Equivalent Average) but it's the lousy performance of their bullpen, ranked 13th in the league by Adjusted Runs Prevented, that has them at 21-25.
Art Howe Watch? The A's have fallen into last place in the AL West, having lost two of three games to the Orioles this week. The roster has been put through the blender already, so if the team continues to play poorly, the natural next step would be to fire the manager.
Even in good times, Howe hasn't been a popular guy in Oakland. Letting him go would create an opportunity for Ken Macha, who the A's like so much that they refused to let him be considered for the Red Sox job in March. I would be surprised to see Howe make it much past the All-Star break.
I had some questions from fantasy players about Jeremy Giambi… given the uncertainty surrounding his trade, and the presence of emerging superstar Travis Lee in Philadelphia, I think you should be very cautious about picking him up.
If you're in, say, a 13-team NL-only non-perpetual league, using traditional categories and a FAAB budget, you shouldn't bother bidding on him this weekend. Any FAAB money you spend on him will be wasted. Better to look hard at Darren Bragg or Mark Sweeney. Yup. Don't buy Jeremy Giambi, that's my advice.
I'm going to be on the East Coast for about six weeks this summer, starting with the SABR convention in Boston and continuing with a trip to the Catskills with my family. Are there any East Coast readers interested in a New York Pizza Feed in the second half of July?
I'll also be looking for someone to scout, select, and reserve a location for the event, so if you want to volunteer for this, please let me know.