Breakfast Baseball

wow what a game last night! Decided not to watch it as want to watch livan hernandez start tonight, but got up at 4am and computer was on so checked it out, 1-1 top of the 9th, ok i think to myself i’ll leave this on in bed. promptly fell asleep. alarm woke me up for work this morning and i hear baseball. astonishment reigns the game is still 1-1 three hours later in the 17th! I ate my breakfast watching Gonzalez dribble one to center, a most agreeable breakfast indeed.

Think Cruz was the right guy to go to the pen, he is the better pitcher but he can help out of the pen, I just can’t see Vargas helping anyone out of the pen.

Anyone know what / who we’re potentially asking the mets for in return for Green?

Livan on a Prayer

Livan Hernandez. Probably the best trade available – wasn’t too expensive (although giving away pitching prospects when we’re light in major league pitching and over-heavy in minor league hitting should probably raise the odd question – they weren’t top tier pitching prospects from what I understand, I’ve got a funny gut feeling that Chico will be a good major leaguer in the future though). Hernandez does nicely fill the Webb – Rest gap and having him next year as well is a good thing. He can hopefully shepherd some youngsters for the year and a bit that he’s here. Failing that if he finished strong he could be traded at highish value in the off-season.

If Owings makes it to the majors next year and Webb continues to knock those runners in we could have the best hitting pitchers in baseball next year.  You have to work towards something!

Would Byrnes and Hernandez be enough to trade for a top pitcher? Surely it would…

a nice victory on sunday evening.

did anyone else notice how many 3-1 counts Webb got himself into on monday? he seemed to be in them every batter. good to win without your best stuff though.

I’m going to be really interested in who we go after in the off-season. It goes without saying that we need at least one, probably two starting pitchers before we can challenge for the World Series. OK, so Green may get traded for one in August, but the off-season worries me. There’s such a hot market for quality starters prices go up and up and up and Russ Ortiz gets signed for $8m a year. I feel that trading Shawn Green for a starter makes more sense if a good deal can be found

Glad I decided not to get up for Vargas start last night. Think I’ll watch Enrique tonight, 1.05am is quite good, a little sleep before, a little sleep after, perfect!

I’m Happy To Be Here Tonight

I’m quietly impressed with myself I’ve got to admit. A week of six 2.40am starts in a row and this is the fifth I’m watching live. Got into a nice routine, bed at 10.30, up at 2.30 bed after the game between 5 and 6am then up at 7.15am and go to work. Watching winning baseball helps as well. I like Green at first and Quentin in right tonight (As much as I like Jackson, I also like Quentin so far – a good way to give him a game). Green’s rediscovered first-baseman skills being utilised well.

Wait A Second…

It’s pet peeve time. I’m getting a little miffed by these put outs at second where the second baseman / shortstop don’t even get within a yard or two of the bag. I’ve seen counsell do it a few times on double plays where they’re concentrating on getting out of the way of the slide and getting in a good position to throw to first that their foot doesn’t touch the bag. Or anywhere near it. Bottom of the eighth at Yankee Stadium today and Betencourt tosses it to Lopez who, while leaping out of the way of Melky Cabrera’s slide was nowhere near the bag, he didn’t get the throw off to second and yet Cabrera’s given out. You’d have thought the second base umpire wouldn’t have too much else to do in that situation that actually look to make sure he touched the bag. If they can get bangbang plays at first and tags on slides into bases right then surely they should be able to see if a fielders foot touches the bag.

In other news Drew is looking good, Enrique looked good, and Green filling in at first is very good and a nice piece of managing by Melvin. Altho I guess with Jackson and Clark hurt there weren’t a whole lot more options, altho you half expected to see Andy Green there or something.

Shawn Green to Yankees for Philip Hughes and Farnsworth? probably not but you’ve got to figure we’ll want pitching for him.

Joe Joe left his home in Tucson Arizona

Last Wednesday I started a new job at the council so my nocternal baseball habits will take something of a hit until I work out how awake I need to be to do the job. Nice job by Webby in the all-star game. I played my first game of cricket since rather comprehensively breaking my ankle last June, we lost but it was good fun all the same, took a couple of wickets and third top scorer with the bat.

On the calling up of Stephen Drew – let’s hope his defense doesn’t prove a liability, from what I can see he has a team leading 15 errors (I can’t find his overall fielding stats, and since Shortstops get most plays a game (apart from 1B) it’s logical he might have most errors without being any worse than most guys. Who leads off now? I guess it’ll be DaVanon (great) and Byrnesie (not ideal at leadoff). Can’t see who else could go there, I don’t think Conner Jackson is a serious contender. I guess Easly might when Drew’s not in the line up.

A Ninth To Remember

Wow what a game. There’s only two things that can make me squeel at 3.10am and one of them isn’t a grand slam. Thank god we tacked on those extra runs. I think the first play of the game where DaVanon decided to do what all good European footballers do and argue with the umpire rather than get on with the game and run to first showed why Andy Green should be the guy to give Gonzo and Green off days. I remember the last game I watched in which he started (maybe a month ago – possibly in Atlanta) and he didn’t go 4-4 or anything, but he broke up two double plays by sliding hard at second base, one of which at least kept the inning alive and we scored a run or two. Andy Green plays it with his heart on his sleeve (much in the manner of Byrnes or Eckstein) and is that much more valuable to the club than DaVanon. Obviously I guess Melvin wanted the left hand bat in there but I’d still go with Green and use DaVanon just to give Byrnes days off and as a lefty pinch hitter.

You’ve got to admire our bullpen, when they go to pieces they do it in style (thinking also of the Mariners game I saw when Lyon gave up 4 runs in the top of the ninth in a tied game). Here’s hoping Valverde sorts his problems out and can come up for Aquino (preferably as a set up man – I’m not sure his fastball isn’t a little straight and hittable to be a long term closer). I was thinking bullpens last night and remembering the Astro’s a couple of years back had Dotel and Lidge setting up for Wagner. Ouch.

A Film For The Future

Would I trade for some pitching help? Yes I would trade veterans (Gonzo, Counsell, Clarke) but no I wouldn’t trade anyone from the system. I say this because I would trade a .500 season this year for a winning (potentially championship winning) team for many years to come. Gonzo, Green, Clarke etc will not be a part of anything like that, Quentin, Young, Drew, Callaspo, Hairston etc will, and more likely than not next year they will all be ready to perform. It seems to me that our two most tradeable players (who I wouldn’t mind if they got traded) are Hudson and Green. They are two players who could help a contender right now, and could get a good pitcher back in return.

My 2007 opening day line up (players, not necessarily the order)

Callaspo
Hairston
Tracy
Jackson
Quentin
Young
Estrada
Drew

Snyder
A Green
Byrnes / DaVanon to provide veteran cover in outfield
Clarke (or another 1b back up)
other assorted backups.

I’m sure it’s not so prudent to entrust it all to the youngsters but what have we got to lose! With the money saved from not having Gonzo’s contract we can bring in a good free agent pitcher – maybe one who doesn’t have a proven track record of walking people left right and center – to complement Webb, Cruz, Batista (the latter two would make the perfect 3/4 starters) which leaves Edgar, Enrique, and maybe Owings and Greg Smith fighting it out for No 5.

Dodge This

3.30pm 5th July 2006

I went to bed after the third, thank heavens. And it started out so well, 2-0 up, Enrique not looking too bad. Alas I get up two hours later to 11-3 Dodgers. And then my five hour airport trip turned into eight with muppets driving their lorries onto the verge.

A tactical decision has been made to miss tonights 3.05am start (despite the prospect of some sort of exciting benches clearing dust up when someone is ‘accidentally’ plonked) and try and catch the entire Rockies Set, with more friendly 2.05am, 1.05am and then the wonderful Sunday game at 8.05pm. I love sunday games, the dbacks are never espn’s game of the week so they always start early evenings. I can go 40 yards down the street and get and Indian, sit back with a beer and a curry and watch the game. Truly the highlite of the week for any discerning fan.

I might be tempted to take a punt on Jeff Weaver. Over here we get one baseball game a week (ESPN’s sunday night game) shown on TV, and it’s covered very well – the only problem really is that you always see the same teams play thanks to ESPN’s AL (east) focus. Anyhow, the other season (2004 I think) they started a Weaver Watch. I think we’d seen a couple of his Yankee starts and the presenters were impressed by his stuff and wanted to try and understand why he got hit so hard. Thus every week before first pitch or during an inning break (not so many ads here) we’d get the update on Weaver’s start(s) of the week, and how he was shaping up. Anyway, I guess the point is I have a soft spot for him, the poor shaggy old golden retreiver.

A Short Introduction

2.30am 5th July 2006

A Blog about the Arizona Diamondbacks from across the pond in Cambridge UK. Watching West Coast baseball in the UK is a mostly nocturnal activity – tonights game against the Dodgers is a 2.10am start for instance. My first baseball game was Game 1 of the 2001 World Series, I caught channel hopping and saw Arizona, thought to myself "my Uncle lives in Arizona, I’ve visited him and love it their, I’ll watch this and see what it is". Well, I fell in love with the game, tried to stay up and watch every game of that world series (although mostly woke up during breakfast TV thinking ********** not again!").

Since then I’ve discovered MLB.TV and my sleep patterns have been well and truly destroyed. I work temp jobs as you don’t need to be too coherent to work them, and I don’t have to explain the bags under my eyes. I’m watching as much of tonights game as I can but I have to leave in 4 hours to pick my family up from the airport – a nice five hour round trip. Bottoms Up.

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