Today, if a short UTK isn’t enough for you, I would like to point you to the interview that Nate Silver and I did with Rickey Henderson last week. I only wish that I had my radio gear with me for that one, but I’ll be sure to target Rickey for BPR soon. He was insightful, intelligent, open, polite (once leaving us to say something to a couple teammates, but stating loud enough for us to hear that “I have to finish this interview; I’ll be back”), and he never once referred to himself in the third person. This summer, I spoke to Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson–two of the best players I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing play. I’m grateful and humbled by the experience and opportunity.
And if that’s not enough, there’s a new edition of Baseball Prospectus Radio up. The lead guests are myself and Derek Zumsteg, getting grilled by Scott McCauley on what our weeks were like in the wake of the Pete Rose revelations. If you’re not sick of hearing about it–as Jayson Stark calls it, “The story that never ends”–then it’s a pretty good show and the first I ever recorded with no coffee in me.
- Lots of questions about Roy Oswalt lately, and I’m afraid I don’t have many answers. Oswalt is undergoing extensive treatment in order to keep him in some state of readiness. And while it’s likely that he’ll pitch at some point in the next week or so, it’s equally unlikely that he’ll be able to stay healthy and effective. One possible “solution” being bandied about in Houston is using Oswalt as a reliever, much as the Royals are doing with Jeremy Affeldt. With questions about Brad Lidge and the bullpen’s fatigue level, this makes sense on some levels, but Oswalt’s groin is not a blister–it is as likely to be reinjured on pitch one as it is on pitch 50. Worse, the Astros need the help in the rotation, not the pen.
- Edgar Martinez has enough leg problems without adding in a broken toe. Luckily, X-rays show he does not have a broken toe. Fouling a ball off your toe, if you’ve never done it, hurts a lot, whether the bone fractures or not. Edgar is probably hobbling, but he hobbles about as fast as he normally runs, so he should miss only a couple games at most. The M’s don’t look like they can afford to miss him at all.
- Billy Koch is ready to head down to Charlotte for a rehab assignment, but he’ll be back quickly, mostly because Charlotte ends their season this weekend. Don’t expect Koch to be activated before rosters expand, and don’t expect that Jerry Manuel will put him in save situations just because he’s healthy.
- At some point, we have to listen to John Lennon and just say that instant karma’s got you. A Reds center fielder dove for a ball, extended, and dislocated his shoulder. Heard this one before? This time it was Reggie Taylor, not Ken Griffey Jr., but it puts the shorthanded Reds down another hand…or glove, in this case. Taylor faces much the same prognosis as Griffey–possible surgery, should be fine for next year–but since it’s Taylor, not Griffey, no one besides Taylor and his agent are quite as concerned.
- It was Aramis Ramirez, not Ramon Martinez, who whacked Brandon Webb with a batted ball. All those new faces on the Cubs confuse me, so excuse the error. Webb doesn’t appear too much worse for the wear. He’ll make his next start and the tattoo of Bud’s signature on his forearm should wear off by then.
- Some of the best parts of my days are reading great e-mail from subscribers. Even better, BP’s readers are so spread out and devoted that almost all games have a BP-fan at them. I was happy to find out that reader Don Pratola got to see Trevor Hoffman‘s rehab start recently, and sent in this report: “Hoffman’s Lake Elsinore rehab–the Casey Kotchman hit was a flare that dropped between SS & LF. Ryan Budde smashed the ball to the RF wall (310′) for the third out. Fastball: mid-80’s. Changeup took a couple guys out of their socks.”
- Kazuhisa Ishii was able to throw in the bullpen this weekend, but it’s the scheduled session on Wednesday that will decide his fate. The current plan is for him to come back on September 2, but the Dodgers are also considering shutting him down if they fall out of contention. Surgery is still a possibility, but Ishii has indicated that if that’s going to happen, the surgery would happen in Japan.
- I’m not sure how a sprained elbow affects stolen bases, but RotoWire pointed out that Carlos Beltran hasn’t stolen a base since he hyperextended his elbow in late July. I do know that–like his cross-state compadre, Albert Pujols–the elbow injury is affecting his throws, and smart third-base coaches are testing him. As long as he hits, I think the Royals will be able to make due with his weakened arm.
- What’s wrong with Randy Wolf? Simple fatigue. He’s a poster child for the short-term ineffectiveness that our Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP) system predicts. Someone give Keith Woolner’s e-mail address to Larry Bowa. (OK, now imagine Larry Bowa with e-mail…)
For those of you waiting on details for the Cleveland Feed–who’s in, where to go, etc.–let me fill you in. The Feed will start at 4 p.m., so we’ll be at the grassy area outside of Gate A, between Jacobs Field and Gund Arena (near the two large
ill-conceived statue/artwork/chess-piece dealies) at 3:45 p.m. Please, don’t be late. We’ll eat and chat for a while, then get into the program around 4:30, talk until around 6 p.m., when we’ll separate and let everyone get a good look at the Jake. We’ll convene back in our group seats and watch the Indians and Jays do battle.
Who’s in? Here’s a list: Robert Herzog, Joe Kutlowski (2), Thomas Love, Rick Skarbez, Gary Richmond, Matt Zielinski, Darryl Rose, Tom Luecke, Bill Sanders, Matt Kempton, Duane Grassbaugh (2), Brian Marquardt (2), John Drake (2), Jason Seifert, Pete Wilberscheid, Dana Vosburgh, Chris Alvarado (2), and Mike Towarnicky. If anyone can’t make it, let me know ASAP–we do have a waiting list. (And if you’re counting, seven tickets go to authors and special guests, bringing the total to 30.) If possible, please bring $18 exactly…I don’t carry lots of singles with me unless, well, never mind.