For today, I thought i would take a look at a few things going on around baseball. It will be pretty random, to say the least, but this way I can cover a lot of different subjects. With that said, here we go with some random thoughts.
- Terry Francona was named Manager of the Cleveland Indians earlier today. Great grab by Cleveland, and with the shape of the American League Central being very weak, it is conceivable that Francona could get this team back into contention in 2013. The sad thing for us Royals fans is that Terry could have been at least considered for the manager’s position, but instead we are stuck with Neddaniel Yost. I’ve made it pretty well known of my dislike for Mr. Yost(Yosty, if you are close to him)and would like nothing else than to see him get the ol’ heave ho out the door. Unfortunately, Dayton Moore either has been hypnotized by Yosty’s charm, or Neddy has black mail on him and Frenchy in a lover’s embrace. I really don’t want to wrap my head around the thought that Dayton thinks he is a good manager. I mean, it can’t be that, right? Anyway, Francona sounds like he wanted to go to a team that would have been a challenge(if the Royals aren’t a challenge, I don’t know what is) and he will get that with Cleveland. With the move, it makes the central a lot more interesting and might even bump KC down a level. Great move by the Indians and I can only hope this will wake the Royals up to what could happen if they actually went out and hired a good manager.
- It became official this weekend: Mitch Maier is no longer in the Royals organization. To be honest, I’m shocked that he was even still with Kansas City, as the Royals had designated him for assignment over the summer and he had the chance to escape then. Instead, he took his assignment to Omaha and finished out the year playing for the Storm Chasers. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Maier would be a perfect fit for a National League team. Maier can play any position in the outfield, and fill in at Third Base or Catcher if needed. Hell, if you need a mop up guy in the bullpen, Mitch is your man. He can pinch hit off the bench, as he is solid with the bat, and has good enough speed that using him as a pinch runner isn’t a bad idea either. Just thinking about this makes me think Yost dropped the ball with Maier. Sure, he wasn’t ever going to be a starter with the Royals, but Neddy could have used him a whole lot more than he did. In fact, there were times I wondered if Mitch was even still on the team the last two years. If you are on Ned Yost’s bench, you probably won’t see much playing time, unless you are a Getzy or a Frenchy. Hopefully Maier latches on with a team that will use him and appreciate the value of a true fourth outfielder.
- If you caught any of the Giants/Reds game last night, one of the highlights(for me at least) was seeing Tim Lincecum go out and pitch…well, like Tim Lincecum used to pitch. Lincecum came in out of the bullpen and looked like the Tim of old, pitching like a man pissed off that he was left out of the rotation in the NLDS. Lincecum has had a rough season in 2012, as his velocity dipped and he became a normal pitcher for once. It was nice to see him rediscover some of his velocity, and even when he was struggling, Tim gave a damn about his performance. I remember watching a rough outing of his earlier in the season, and you could tell it angered him that he wasn’t pitching well. He showed that he was ready to try and get his team get back into the game last night, even pumping his fist after a strikeout. Lincecum has too much talent to not come back and show everyone what he can do. Hopefully last night was the beginning of that.
- Alright, everyone has had their say on the ‘Infield Fly Heard Round the World’. So here is mine. At first, I hated the call and thought it was horrible. I had a change of heart though after seeing the exact rulebook wording of the infield fly rule. What the umpire did was correct in holding up how the wording goes. Harold Reynolds of MLB Network did a great job of explaining it. Check out the link: Harold Reynolds explains Infield Fly Rule . Alright, now that you are back, here is the problem I have, and it’s with the wording. First, how you can have an infield fly rule in Left Field just seems preposterous. I mean, a little bit on the grass is fine. But halfway in the outfield?? That just takes away from what the rule is supposed to stop from happening, which is the infielder drop the ball and then try to get a sneaky double play. Also, the Umpire called it really late. Yes, I get that he waited for Kozma to get planted, but that should have been a sign that it shouldn’t be an infield fly. Either way, maybe there should be some talk about restructuring the rule to where something like this could never happen again. Sam Holbrook followed the play correctly, and followed the rulebook. It’s too bad that with the way the rule is stated that it makes it so controversial.
So there you go, some random thoughts. I have a feeling there will be more of these with the playoffs going on. Oh, and since I haven’t yet, here are my playoff predictions. Orioles and Tigers win their division series, while in the NL I’m thinking Cardinals and Reds. After that, expect a Baltimore/Cincinnati World Series with the Reds being World Champs. Or I could be wrong and way off. Actually, I’m probably way off. But if I’m right, expect me to brag. Maybe more than I should. Go O’s!