Thursday, February 09, 2006


Beethoven's 5th...Starter (God, What an Awful Pun)

After a month of terrifying rumors that the Giants might be looking at Josh Fogg as a 5th starter candidate, the scare is over, as Fogg has signed a one-year deal with the Rockies today, thus preventing many enraged Giants fans from turning into this guy...

The deal shows us two things: 1) Fogg is apparently retarded and 2) the Rockies still have no idea what in holy hell they're doing, but is that any surprise? It's really hard to figure what Fogg is thinking. The Giants offered him a minor-league deal, which isn't as secure as the deal the Rockies gave him, but when you're a fly ball pitcher moving into the worst place on the planet for pitchers, maybe taking a risk trying to make it as a spring training invitee isn't such a bad idea. I think Fogg would be horrible pretty much anywhere, but he'll be lucky to toss up an ERA under 6 pitching in Coors Field this year, which makes his prospects for getting a major league deal in 2007 very shaky. If he'd accepted a spring training invite with the Giants he'd have had a very good chance of making the club. If he got lucky and threw up a 4-something ERA thanks to Mays Field (or whatever dumbfuck corporate name they're giving it now), he'd stand a good chance of getting a multi-year deal from some stupid organization that can't see the forest from the trees (think, Cincinnati Reds).

With "The Fogg" now ceasing to be a threat to the Giants, the team looks like it'll go with Brad Hennessey as their fifth starter in 2006. Hennessey was a remarkably schizophrenic pitcher last year. In one start he'd looked like Greg Maddux, in the next he'd look like Rich DeLucia. Just looking at his game log tells a story of night and day. He'd have a few starts that were brilliant, and then suddenly a few where he was battered out of the second inning. Overall, Hennessey went 5-8 with a 4.64 ERA in 118 innings.

He was horrendous at home (5.77 ERA), which is something that usually portends improvement for next year, because most pitchers pitch better in their home ballparks. However, his poor K/BB rate (64/52) doesn't exactly scream future success. If you aren't striking too many guys out and you can't find the strike zone, that's a lot of runners on base. From the looks of his 1.51 WHIP, Hennessey was probably bailed out by his defense quite a bit last season. Taking this into account, next year's prospects for an ERA under 5 don't look too good. If a few of those grounders find holes next season, the ERA balloons like Al Gore's waistline. In fact, he's flat out lucky his ERA wasn't 5.64 last season instead of 4.64.

Unfortunately, the Giants don't have too many other options. I like Kevin Correia, who has much better stuff than Hennessey, but he seemingly can't throw a slider within ten feet of home plate, so he's likely not an option. Merkin Valdez seems too green to vie for a spot in the rotation, and he's likely to land in the bullpen anyway. Non-roster invitee Jamey Wright is just a horror show, any way you look at it. So it looks like the fifth starter job is Hennessey's to lose.

Seriously, if Hennessey can toss up around 150 innings of 4.50-quality work, I don't think anybody'll complain. Some teams, like the A's, have five quality guys to trot out who can put up an ERA under 3.80, but these days most major league clubs struggle to even find a respectable fourth starter. I'm not optimistic about Hennessey repeating even his modest success last season, but as fifth starters go, he shouldn't be too bad. And at the very least, he's a secret weapon against the hard-hitting Cardinals, having not allowed even a single run against them in 14 innings last season.

-Random Stankeye stuff:

-It was nice to see U2 mop up at the Grammys last night. I know the Grammys are a worthless joke, but at least the best band in the world got proper recognition. U2's music has sort of turned into a bunch of treacly mush in recent years, but they still beat most of the garbage that was up for awards last night. "City of Blinding Lights", which won the Best Rock Song award, is a legitimately great song, but the rest of their How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album is fairly mediocre and pales in comparison to their fiery, politically-driven works of yore. Anybody who wants to see U2 at their absolute best should check out their "Live at Slane Castle" DVD, released last year. It's just an amazing concert, with Bono at his flamboyant best.

-OK, for those who liked those Jessica Alba pics yesterday, here are some more clips of another ridiculously hot lady, Uma Thurman, romping around on the beach in a rather ill-fitting swim suit. Whoever said papparazzi were bad?

Okay, was with you on the Jessica Alba, NOT with you on Uma. She's cool, admittedly, and there are times where she doesn't look bad, but...

...Crikey, man, if you're gonna put up links, repay me the effort it takes to left click on my mouse! Put up some universally hot women!

Or, you could just do whatever you want because it's your blog. That is, admittedly, another option.
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