Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
I don't have a link for this yet, but it was announced on CNBC this morning. Despite the fears that the Yankees would jack up postseason ticket prices, they've apparently done the opposite. At least some tickets will actually be cheaper for the playoffs than during the regular season. A reflection of the economy, no doubt.
CNBC is downright giddy these days. They're sure we've avoided the "Greater Depression" scenario, that the rebound in stocks portends a broader economic rebound, that this Christmas will be much better for retailers than last.
I'm not so sure. The fundamental problems have not been fixed; they've just been swept under the rug. I still think it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. This will likely become evident before spring training, if not before Christmas.
Labels: The Greater Depression
Would you believe...Nick Green?
The Red Sox put Nick Green on the mound tonight. Yes, that's Nick Green, the backup infielder, who used to be a Yankee. Green had been playing shortstop, but lost the job when the Sox traded for Alex Gonzalez.
I'm not sure why they put Green in. It was 9-2 in the beginning of the 8th - not the kind of blowout that usually results in an infielder taking the mound. And Green actually pitched pretty well. The Sox scored two runs in the bottom of the 8th, but Green was sent out again to pitch the ninth. He ended up pitching two innings, giving up no hits, no runs, three walks and no strikeouts. That's a lot better than Paul Janish did. (Janish, BTW, is the starting SS in Cincinnati now that Gonzalez is a Red Sock, and he's doing pretty well. Flashing the leather, and starting to hit. He was 2 for 4 with two doubles, a walk, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored tonight.)
The Sox scored another run in the bottom of the 9th, and ended up losing 9-5. Using Green as a pitcher didn't hurt them - quite the opposite. Still, it seems rather odd, to use a position player on the mound when the game is not out of reach.
Hal McCoy had this to say about Paul Janish:
NOW EVERYBODY is up in the air over Paul Janish batting second. Who else? And who cares at this point where anybody bats when the Reds can’t find first place with mount Palomar? What the Reds need to find out is if Janish can play every day and produce. He is a magician with the glove but a sorcerer with the bat. If he can hit .265 and maintain his magical glove he can play every day.
So maybe batting second and getting a lot of at-bats will give Janish an opportunity to show what he can (or can’t) do with the bat.
Holy geez. Right after I post about Janish not getting any playing time...the Reds traded their starting SS, Alex Gonzalez, to the Red Sox. I guess Nick Green has not been very good with the glove. A-Gon is remembered fondly for his slick fielding the year he was in Boston. (I think they may be disappointed now. Shortstops don't age well. And he's had serious knee injuries that seem to have crippled his range.)
Regardless, that leaves Paul Janish the only real shortstop left on the Reds' roster. A lot of fans want to see Brandon Phillips moved from 2B to SS, but I really don't see the Reds doing that, at least not now. Drew Sutton has played mostly 2B and 3B in the minors. Adam Rosales started out as a SS, but they moved him to 3B in recent years. Barker and Votto are strictly first basemen.
I suppose it's possible Dusty will start Adam Rosales (after Rolen gets back) or the switch-hitting Sutton at SS, but I think he's reluctant to play people out of position. Janish may finally get his chance.
So far, so good. Janish is starting at SS and batting in the two-hole tonight.
Labels: Paul Janish
According to Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Paul Janish is getting married.
JANISH TO WED: Chatting with Paul Janish today in the clubhouse about winter ball (he might play in Mexico), and Janish revealed that he will be married Nov. 21 to Maria Fadool.
"She's a lucky girl," Janish quipped.
Janish, 26, is an outstanding defensive shortstop who does not play much. He has made 22 starts this year, most recently Aug. 3. He is hitting .216 with no homers and three RBI, in 88 at-bats.
Of winter ball, Janish said: "I'll try to get some playing time, so I can come into camp sharp."
Labels: Paul Janish
The other day, "Yanksfan" signed the Bubba-Crosby.com guestbook, saying:
Just got done watching the 7/1/04 13 inning game between the Yanks and Red Sox. What a game to have been a part of! Hope you can make it back to the majors cuz you have the talent!
Deadspin posted a bunch of photos of Josh Hamilton carrying on with the waitresses in a bar in Arizona. The bartender was apparently a casual fan of baseball; when Hamilton said he was a ball player, the bartender recognized him as the home run derby slugger. However, he wasn't aware of Hamilton's history, and offered him a drink. Hamilton accepted, and well, it all went downhill from there. Hamilton ended by asking the bartender where he could score some blow, then left for a strip club. Hamilton admits the incident happened, and says he doesn't remember much of what happened that night. He says he told his support system the next morning, and took and passed a drug test two days later. Still, it's kind of embarrassing, after he wrote that book and all.
Perhaps the weirdest thing is that Hamilton's babysitter, Johnny Narron, said he would be shocked if the photos were real. This was before Hamilton publicly admitted that they were, of course. If Hamilton told his support system, surely Narron knew? Was he lying to protect Josh, or what?
Jonah Keri of SI revisited the Hamilton-Volquez trade last week. Both Hamilton and Volquez have been disappointing this season. Hamilton has struggled with injury and has not hit well. Volquez is out for at least a year after having Tommy John surgery. All in all, though, I think the Reds came out ahead. Tommy John surgery is pretty routine these days; Volquez will be back. Hamilton, I fear, is a much bigger risk. Plus, the Reds got Danny Ray Herrera as well, and he's been very productive out of the pen for them this year.
Anyways, this incident reminded of this interesting article:
Temptation Harder to Resist Than You Think, Study Suggests
It's about a series of studies that tested how well people resist temptation, and had some fascinating results. People who are confident that they can resist temptation are the ones who are worst at it. This is because they put themselves into situations where they will be tempted, while those who are less confident know better.
The new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, builds on past research showing that when not in the "heat of the moment," individuals have a hard time understanding the depths of their cravings.
"If you aren't feeling a cigarette craving or hunger or sexual arousal at this moment, I believe you have a real difficult time appreciating the transformative force of those experiences," Nordgren said.
The study has implications for all corners of our personal lives, Nordgren figures. For instance, can a recovering alcoholic attend booze-saturated parties and stay sober? Can a dieter frequent his favorite dessert buffets and refrain from binging? Can a committed husband have drinks with a past fling without fear of infidelity?
"The answer is probably 'no,'" Nordgren said. "People have less self-restraint than they think, a false belief that often leads people to expose themselves to more temptation than they can handle."
In addition, he added, the study results suggest people often can’t predict how they will react in a given situation.
"It's not just about eating and addiction, but the 'cold self' has a really hard time understanding what you're capable of in a moment of despair, in a moment of rage," Nordgren said.
It's after the waiver deadline, but deals can still be made. The Twins traded for Carl Pavano. They gave the Indians the ever-popular "player to be named later" in return.
And Oakland released Jason Giambi. The A's said they wanted to give more playing time to young players. Giambi is expected to try and find employment elsewhere, rather than retire. Even though he's 38, he's not ready to hang them up yet.
Cody Ransom was DFA'd today, to make room for pitcher Anthony Claggett. I guess the Yanks had no faith in Mitre. Claggett is expected to get just a cup of coffee, then be swapped for Ramiro Pena.
Former Yankee Jose Veras has been DFA'd by the Indians.
And Brett Tomko, released last week by the Yanks, has signed with Oakland.
The upcoming Red Sox series looms very large over the Yankees. First place in the AL East is at stake. And the Yanks have not beat the Sox once this year.
The Bronx Bombers are on a roll right now, but I can't help thinking they're going to have to make a move to get another starting pitcher. Not only is Mitre not cutting it, Joba will soon reach his innings limit, and either be shelved or moved to the pen. Maybe Hughes will take his place as a starter (though I'm not sure stretching him out during the season is a good idea). But that still leaves the team needing a fifth starter. Kei Igawa? The newly signed Russ Ortiz?
I still think the Yanks might trade for someone like Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo is way overpaid, but he's the kind of player who will clear waivers, and thus be tradeable at this point in the season. Big stars and bargain players won't clear waivers. Bronson Arroyo likely will.
Mike Vento, last seen dressed up as a cheerleader on rookie hazing day four years ago, is still around. He came up through the Yankees system, but got just a cup of coffee with the Yanks and then was released. He's been playing mostly in the minors, mostly for the Nationals.
I went to some Syracuse Chiefs (the new Nats AAA affiliate) last week, and saw Mike Vento. He didn't play, alas; he was on the DL. But he did come out of the dugout to celebrate a walkoff victory with his teammates.
I must say...back in 2005, I never dreamed that Mike Vento would still be in baseball after Bubba Crosby, Kevin Thompson, and Kevin Reese had hung up their spikes.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has an article about how Latin players adjust to baseball life. Pretty interesting stuff. It mentions that Paul Janish can speak Spanish.
Shortstop Paul Janish, like Bruce a Caucasian who grew up in Texas, has more background with Latinos than the average player. Janish grew up in Houston, where the Hispanic population is more than 2.1 million, about the same as the population for the entire Cincinnati metro area (2,155,137 as of 2008).
"I took Spanish in high school, and my mom is fluent in Spanish," Janish said. "I try to talk to them (Latin teammates) as much as I can because it helps me out, too. I'm better at understanding it than I am speaking it."
Janish sometimes falls behind when trying to speak with Latino teammates in Spanish.
"I can usually pick up what they're saying, unless they're speaking amongst themselves and going real fast and there's a lot of slang," Janish said. "That's tough. But I think I get as much out of it as maybe they do. It goes both ways."
Labels: Paul Janish