Friday, March 03, 2006
Stankeye Quote of the Week 3/3 (and Spring Training Stuff, as Promised)
-Russ Davis in Spring Training 2001, taking offense to Julian Tavarez's histrionics after Tavarez struck him out. In the clubhouse following this incident, Tavarez proceeded to go on a bizarre rant to the media about queers and San Francisco and whatnot. Oh, Julian.
With that squared away, here are the early positives I took away from the Giants' 10-5 win over the Brewers yesterday. It's hard to get too excited about meaningless exhibition games, but just hearing Jon Miller and Dave Flemming kibitzing over the dulcit drones of the afternoon crowd was enough of a delight for me. Most of the Giants regulars sat in the game due to the WBC or injury concerns, so we got to see snowball's-chance-in-hell types of guys like Abraham Nunez and Angel Chavez in the starting lineup. Jose Vizcaino batting in the #2 slot was a horrifying sight, but then I reminded myself it was just a Spring game. Just...a...Spring...game.
-Randy Winn apparently forgot to shed his Superman cape in the offseason, as he slammed a home run off of Chris Capuano in his first Cactus League at bat. Unfortunately, that was probably Winn's last hurrah for the spring, as he leaves to play in the World Baseball Classic today. Justin Knoedler also threw his hat into the backup catcher contest with a home run late in the game.
-Two huge positives from a couple of big question marks. Todd Linden went 4 for 4 with a walk. I had pretty much given up on him after last year's disaster in the majors, but he's still young enough and has enough pop in his bat to become a quality major leaguer. His outfield play was dreadful, but we won't dock him too many points for that.
Also, Lance Neikro drew three walks, and two of them were of the grind-it-out variety in long at bats. This is a great sign for a guy who wailed at everything within shouting distance of home plate last season.
-On the negative side, Noah Lowry was tagged for three runs in an inning and a third, but two of the runs scored as a result of Linden's fielding shenanigans, so no big worries.
And Yamid Haad got into the game, which is never good for anybody.
Funny story about Abraham Nunez, the guy who started in right field yesterday for the Giants. Nunez, a non-roster invitee who is trying desperately to catch on with the big club as a fifth outfielder, has had a less-than-inspiring major league career, hitting just .209/.288/.308 in 302 big league at bats, but he just so happened to royally screw my fantasy team over in his one major league highlight.
It was August of 2004, and the A's were facing the hapless Royals in Oakland with Mark Mulder, who happened to be one of the top starting pitchers on my fantasy squad, on the mound. Seeing the band of ne'er-do-wells the Royals were trotting out to the field on that night, I just assumed that Mulder was in for an easy victory, possibly a quick complete game. Through five innings, Mulder was dealing shutout ball, and even though the A's hadn't scored any runs either, I had smug grin on my face. It was only a matter of time before the A's would break through and Mulder would coast to his easy victory.
Well, things didn't go quite the way I expected. Mulder got the first two Royals in the sixth inning, but then proceeded to walk the bases loaded. Up comes Abraham Nunez, a Quadruple-A scrub who couldn't hit a white whale against a black background. No problem, I thought.
Mulder ran the count to 3 and 2, then gassed a payoff pitch fastball right down the middle. Nunez swung and clubbed a high fly ball to center field that I thought might be tracked down by Mark Kotsay. To my utter horror, the ball sailed over the wall for a grand slam. 4-0 Royals. My day: ruined. Chances of my fantasy team making a run into first place: fucked.
Mulder gave up three more runs to an absolutely awful offense and the A's went on to lose the game 10-3. It was the beginning of the end of Mulder's run as one of the best pitchers in the league. After that start, he just wasn't the same, and he totally fell apart that September, and really hasn't been very good since. My fantasy team, standing at a strong third place that night, would eventually plummet to seventh thanks to a complete collapse of my starting pitching, helped in no small part by Mr. Mulder.
And Nunez? He sucked the day before, he sucked the day after, and he's sucked, sucked, sucked ever since. His one shining moment in a major league uniform served only to screw me over. And now he's a Giant, trying to make the club against incredible odds. Good luck, jackass.