Let’s snap that throw down to third and take it, fellas, around the horn!
* Ever wish you could magically know how a player’s minor league stats would translate to the MLB? Meet the Minor League Equivalency Calculator (on blogroll, too). It may not make total sense, but it is fun and perhaps mildly indicative of . . . something. When I input Matt Den Dekker’s 2012 AAA stats, it spit out an MLB slash line of .190/.223/.309. Incidentally, across half a AAA season Den Dekker earned 14 walks and struck out 90 times. Yikes!
* I liked Ted Berg’s tweet after hearing reports that Lucas Duda injured his wrist while moving furniture: “Wait, Lucas Duda’s clumsy?”
* Welcome to the 2012 Fielding Bible Awards, voted by an actual panel of experts. As an East Coast fan, I didn’t catch many of Brendan Ryan’s games for Seattle. He may not have won the American League Gold Glove — snubbed! — but the Fielding Bible folks boldly claimed, “Brendan Ryan is the best defender in baseball. Period.”
* I actually saw Brien Taylor pitch in Albany for the AA Yankees during the 1993 season. Now his sad story just got sadder.
* Sandy Alderson can be cold, according to The Eddie Kranepool Society, and sometimes that’s a good thing.
* Speaking of which, Greg at Faith and Fear cleverly rewrote the song lyrics of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” in recognition of Jason Bay’s release. Because somebody had to do it. A sampling:
J. Bay, they did say,
Would always come to play
When they had nothin’ kind to describe him
With an average that dropped
Extra-base power stopped
His production was barer than empty . . .
* This blogger has a well-organized, clean, well-written site that focuses largely on baseball cards. He’s generous with tips on how to collect autographs through the mail . . . and also boasts a pretty crazy collection of Mets autographs. Which reminds me of a story. I was a very shy kid and Mom brought me to Sizzler to meet Ron Swoboda. I panicked, cried, couldn’t move, so Mom got his autograph for me. Today I realize that Mom was the one who really wanted to meet him in the first place.
* John Delcos has been going through his 2012 player reviews, and believes David Wright’s poor second half “stemmed from trying to put the team on his shoulders and carry it when everybody else hit the skids.” If true (and it sounds somewhat reasonable, if generous), it again underscores the importance of surrounding Wright with strong complementary players. Otherwise, what’s the point of signing him?
* Lastly, after reading reports that Josh Hamilton wants 7 years and $175 million via free agency, Mike sent me this note:
Mike: I’m not an expert on heroin addiction but I figure the phrase “one day at a time” exists for a reason. Any team that goes beyond a year for Hamilton should have THEIR Triple A team in Vegas, not us.
Jimmy: There’s some really sad relapse photos of Josh out there, but I couldn’t bring myself to post them. I’m rooting for the guy. I think he needs to stay in Texas with the support system that’s got him this far. Good luck, Josh; don’t put money ahead of your continued, daily recovery.