Gregg and I had a brief discussion today about doing a regular (hopefully a few times a week… if not more, eventually, as we get into the swing of the season) column on the day in baseball. We are temporarily calling it the TODAY IN GEEK (or TIG) report. Here is my first attempt. TIG REPORT NUMERO UNO.
***MADDOG IS A BADASS***
I predicted this morning at Baseballgeeks that Greg Maddux was going to go 6 innings and give up 4 runs in a 7-3 loss to the Brew Crew. While I was lucky enough to look like the prognosticator of all prognosticators in our last two podcasts (last week, predicting Barry’s first HR, and the week before touting Ryan Church, who then smacked three HRs in three days following that podcast), this one leaves me with egg — scratch that — MadDog saliva on my face.
Maddux strikes out 6 in 6, and looks every bit the part of the Greg Maddux we knew in the 90’s. This guy has stud written all over his face, but make no mistake. I still do not think this is for real, to the extent that I would want to go after this guy in fantasy.
My conclusion: sell high. You will not be able to get as much for Maddux as you would now. Facing Milwaukee has been a pitcher’s paradise for strikeouts this year thus far. Maddux’s strikeout numbers are not normal. They WILL come back down to earth.
***TEJADA ON A TERROR***
He continues his torrid hitting by setting a Baltimore record for hits in April, continues on a 13 game hit streak, but then hyperextends his knee. It doesn’t look too serious at this point, but isn’t this what the Mets were saying about Bannister and the Blue Jays about Burnett?
Keep an eye out, but Tejada has been a fantasy player’s dream… and more.
Tejada expects to play tomorrow, and the fact that he hit his 6th HR of the year following the hyperextension probably means he is right.
***FANTASY LINE OF THE DAY***
J Weaver (L, 1-3) 2.1 8 8 8 2 4 1 66-41 7.48
Let’s face it, folks. Jeff Weaver has looked downright BAD, and I suspect this will continue for the remainder of the year, being as he no longer will face a pitcher in the lineup, unless he is pitching in interleague play.
Consider Weaver the Anti-Arroyo for this year because of the reverse league switches. Too bad Weaver does not have an opportunity in the AL to hit some HRs.
***NO LOVE FOR BAY-BOH, NO DISRESPECT FOR HAMMERIN’ HANK***
One has to wonder the motivation of Bud Selig in not recognizing Babe Ruth when Bonds passes him with his 715th HR (which I predict will occur by May 10th).
My instinct was to think “Nice job, Selig! We didn’t make a big deal when Bonds passed Maris’ 61 in 2001. We shouldn’t make a big deal here.”
But, after thinking on it for awhile, I changed my tune a bit.
The career HR record is something of a Holy Grail in baseball lore. 714 is one of those rare numbers that we baseball geeks remember… like Dimaggio’s 56… like Hank Aaron’s jersey number 44… like 9, the number of innings in a ballgame.
If a new (read: well-liked player in the media) were to match Lou Gehrig’s 2130, don’t you think there would be a big deal made? I do. And, I would expect it.
The fact of the matter, for me, is that like it or not, Babe Ruth is the measure by which all baseball players AS PLAYERS should be judged. When someone passes his 714 (and Bonds would only be the second guy to do it), we should all honor Ruth (and baseball, for that matter) with some kind of recognition for the player who does it.
It is not disrespectful to Hank Aaron in any sense. Babe Ruth is baseball’s version of Messiah… A man among boys when he played… A man who should appear right next to the word baseball in Webster’s Dictionary.
Barry deserves the recognition, but more than that — we owe it to the Babe.
***MENCH IS A MENCH***
In Yiddish, a Mench is a gentleman, a nice person. Add: a power hitting madman with a seven game HR streak. I suspect that if I put cream cheese on Mench, it would melt faster than when I put it on my hot-out-of-the-toaster-oven sesame bagel this morning, before we record Podcast #17.