Monday, April 09, 2007

Somebody please put LaTroy Hawkins out of his misery

Thoughts from the Opening Week that was in baseball:

1) San Francisco started the season with a whimper, at least offensively. Not that it's time to panic, ahem, Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle, ahem. After the opening homestand (1-5) the Giants offense looks to be as explosive as a bag of corn. Through the first week, SF is last in the NL in runs, last in extra-base hits, last in homers and last in generating any sort of excitement sans Barry Bonds. OH MY GOD, THE SEASON IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!

Not really. As BH alluded to in his post yesterday, the starting rotation looks very strong and at this point is more promising than any in the last 15 years. It has more potential than any rotation since the Livan Hernandez, Woody Rueter, ShawnEstes, Russ Ortiz, Joe Nathan starting five earlier this decade. If the Giants can manage 4 runs a game, they can compete in the NL West.

2) Hey, have you heard about this Dice-K guy in Boston? Did you know he throws 41 different pitches? Did you see ESPN get down on its proverbial knees and salivate over his first start?

Funny thing is, the most dominating start of opening week didn't come from Dice-K. It came from King Felix Hernandez up in that little town called Seattle. Seattle is a city that rests about five billion miles away from the heart of the baseball universe -- New York, Boston, New York, Boston, New York, Boston, New York, Boston, New York, Boston -- so I understand if East Coast fans are surprised that there is a team up there.

The 21-year-old's opening day line against Oakland: 8 innings, 12 K's, 3 hits, 2 walks. He became only the third pitcher in baseball history to record as many as 12 strikeouts on opening day, and he was only 20 at the time (Hernandez turned 21 last Friday). Yes, that was a meaningless statistic.

Best. Young. Pitcher. In. Baseball.

King Felix: Nastiness, personified

3) Rich Harden of Oakland looked sharp too. No truth to the rumor that he tore his labrum making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after the game though. The oft-injured A's righthander had the following line in his debut: 7 innings, 7 K's, 3 hits, 2 walks.

Best. Injury-prone. Young. Pitcher. In. Baseball.

4) The Rockies rewarded manager Clint Hurdle with a two-year contract extension right before the first pitch on opening day. Hurdle was in such a state of shock during the game, considering the Rockies have been one of the shitiest teams in baseball during his tenure as manager, that he actually called on LaTroy Hawkins to protect a one-run lead over the Diamondbacks in the eighth inning.

As any baseball fan knows, the words "LaTroy Hawkins" and "eighth inning lead" go together like a match and a can of gasoline. Yes, LaTroy Hawkins literally translates in Japanese to Texaco Conoco Exxon Phillips 66.

The result? Hawkins blew the game, naturally. Hawkins lost another game yesterday, this time in San Diego, by allowing a run in the tenth.

Please refrain from smoking while this guy is on the mound. Do the Rockies even watch baseball?

5) The Giants AAA team, the Fresno Tim Lincicums, got off to a great start. The guy they picked up in the Jason Ellison trade (Travis Blackley) had a great start as well. For the first time in what seems like ever, the crop of talent at Fresno actually excites me.

6) After watching Joe Buck and Tim McCarver talk for 30 seconds on the FOX game of the week, I had an epileptic seizure and my son shit himself. Horrible combination.

7) Is Roger Clemens going to pitch this year? Why isn't the baseball world talking about this? Wait...

8) Something I actually heard Keith Hernandez (a New York mets broadcaster) say during the Phillies/Mets broadcast this morning: In discussing Jimmy Rollins' proclamation in Spring Training that the Phills were the team to beat in the NL East, Hernandez said (and I paraphrase), "You know, it's just best if you shut your mouth. Do your talking on the field."

Um, Keith? Heed your own advice. As we all know, New Yorkers, especially Hernandez, ALWAYS know when to shut their mouth. The irony, which ran freely on so many levels, was clearly lost on Hernandez's colleague.

1 comment:

the butler said...

I thought LaTroy Hawkins was a strong safety for the Titans?