Mike Zunino hit a home run, impossibly, over the beer garden in center field. They gave him credit for 445 feet, of which ripoff stunned Jay Buhner into silence. That should give you a feel for how chintzy the measurement was. Then again, Stanton's ball was off the legal premises at Dodger and that got only 475 feet, so okay. But here's the vid if you want to savor id.
His other homer jussssst missed the second deck in left, and he had a frozen rope into left field for another single. Time for some splits:
|Apr 6-29||.121||.212||.241||Pitchers: .122/.153/.153|
|Since then||.294||.333||.588||Nice to count it after a 2 HR gm|
We don't say that Zuumball is all systems go. But that April 6-29 stretch ... we've always preached that when you change from doing it wrong to doing it right, you're going to get worse before you get better.
If you associate "extremely long home runs" with "high power potential in the long term," you're in good company. Earl Weaver used to use "extreme distance" to identify his favorite hitting prospects in spring training. And it ain't like this is Zuumball's first moon shot.
Nelson Cruz has 15 homers in the first 20% of the season. Last year, Robinson Cano had 14. That's "Cano", and that's "year."
As Earl once said about his left field platoon and their homers, "once every fourteen at-bats those boys were doing a whale of a lot to win me a ball game." Earl thought that home runs were badly underestimated by baseball people in the eighties. Imagine what he would think about Fangraphs writers ;- )
I dunno. Personally I probably overrate homers. But spot me the premise of "2 Mariner homers" in J.A. Happ's next start and I'll bet Seattle.
32 games is right at 20% of a season. Multiply any Mariner player's stat by 5 and you got an easy pace mark for the season. Besides Nellie's 75 dongs, a few other kewl pace numbers:
- Felix = 30 wins
- Rodney = 45/50 saves
- LoMo = 30 homers
- Carson Smith = 10 losses, 1.23 ERA
- Mariners = 210 homers
- Tyler Olson = 50 walks
- Kyle Seager = 20 errors
- Robinson Cano = 55 doubles
- Put your own in the comments thread pleezy
Chris Taylor had two doubles robbed in the same spot in the RF corner. And another line-shot single hit too hard, so it held up for the center fielder. ... since he came up, he's only 4-for-22 and they're all singles. But I just flat believe in him as a hitter. End of story.
Dustin Ackley, we're sure, will make some All-Star teams. For other teams, naturally. Tonight I hit the point, as I did with Justin Smoak, to where I stopped caring what he does after the M's shed him. Am not yet at that point with Jesus Montero, which should tell you something. But am there with Ackley.
And I'm about two parsecs behind the curve on that one.
On Robinson Cano, this Shout was awesome:
MtGrizzly: What would be analogous to the way the strike zone is called in MLB when it comes to the NFL? Something akin to saying that it takes 10 yards to get a first down but having no yard markers and no measurements and leaving it up to the head ref to decide if a team has the first down or not. Ridiculous.
That'll do for us too. Do you guys think they'll ever "automate" the strike zone, even if it's only by assisting the home plate ump? What's the over/under on years?
If anybody cares, we will give a little push forward on deciphering the title reference:
Justin Ruggiano ... it was a logical move when they made it. So eminently logical that we were sure it would work out like Chris Denorfia, or Ben Broussard, or Percy Harvin, or make your own list.
So far so good, though. His stats are only okay, but from the 3rd deck and the CF camera, he looks just fine in the American League. The NL* platoon is working out fine and dandy, even though Smith and Ruggiano never seem to platoon.
Logan Morrison had a homer graze the fence as it went over. That reminded us of Greg Norman's quote ... a reporter asked him once if fate owed him a major championship. "Fate owes me five majors," said the Shark. I dunno if Moe agrees on Norman :- ) but Dr. D will go with that on LoMo.
They asked Buhner what he thought about the new heavy bat. Bone's reaction was, It will force you to use your hands more.
What does that mean? Maybe LoMo was too hips-conscious, I dunno. Here is where baseball does vary from golf: as you use your lower body more, you get more power, but --- > your quickness and agility suffers. You can't move your butt as fast as you can move your hands. In golf, quick-reaction is not quite so important as it is when trying to hit 95 MPH.
LoMo has actually been getting the bat "out in front" (to pull the ball) much better since he went to the Boomstick. So it sounds like Bone is exactly right. But Dr. D would be very interested to hear RockiesJeff give the bottom line here.
A Denny's waitress told Steven Wright that she "served breakfast anytime." So he ordered French Toast during the renaissance.
On April 29th, Lloyd McClendon ordered the renaissances of both Mike Zunino and Logan Morrison:
|Apr 6-28||.194||.237||.250||He got ripped off a fair bit|
|Since then||.356||.442 !||.800||and a 7:5 EYE ratio|
Easy peasy Doc!! Old guys like Daddy and I knew that one right away. Or is it now GrandDaddy....I forget the nuance of this aging stuff.
Zunino: "How do you think he does it? I don't know."
Cruz: "What make him so good?"
Morrison: "From LoMo down to Brighton he must have played them all"
OK...I got creative on that one. But it was a pretty good tweak I think.
Fate owed Norman a major or two I will give him that. But he blew two or three as well. Nothing owed there.
I'm WAY with you on Taylor. They guy can hit a bit. Ackley's a mess.....well mostly he's just not the player everybody thought he was. Stuff like that happens. He's a better player (or more valuable) than Austin Jackson however. I am not eager to see Jackson back at the top of the lineup.
When did Jackson go down? I forget. But what is our record since then?
OK a low blow probably. But he certainly wasn't bringing a lot of WAR (a stat I hate) to the ballpark.
Wasn't it Earl who said something like "A dose of Dr. 3-Run Homer will cure what ails you!"
Well he should have said it anyway. Can we give back three of those homers from last night and bank them for today?
BTW you all need to watch the video of Stanton's homer. The response of the Dodger LF is priceless! He never moves.....not an inch....but just leans back and looks ove his left shoulder as that ball lands somewhere near Vegas (which is where a ball hit in to the LF parking lot in LA should be heading if I've got my southpaw direction correlated). Give that LF'er an award for the most understated /classic response of the year. That's how you would watch a Saturn V leave the park.
Jackson at least works the pitcher for deep counts - and plays a better defensive CF - Ackley is a negative WAR disaster...Jackson is a RLP
As for Stanton's homer...I think the reaction of the fans in the back row of the seats is even better...one guy shrugs and holds out his arms as if to say "are you kidding me??" as it sails out of his reach and into the night...the guy next to that guy laughs hysterically.
Was in 1970 in the back seat of a souped up Camaro Z-28 owned and driven by the "bad boy" of our church youth group Tom. The car was stuffed with other older teenagers. I would have been 15 a couple of years younger than most and decidedly out of my normal environment. Tom would race madly and dangerously around town in his muscle car filling the interior with cigarette smoke (which was decidedly frowned upon in our Baptist church) and playing rebellious raucous rock music at ear-splitting levels while everybody else carried on. It was my first time (and probably my last) in Tom's car and I was scared to death. But I remember the opening acoustic guitar chord riff of "Pinball Wizard" coming off the 8-track tape system and immediately being fascinated and loving it as The Who belted out that song. Then when "See Me Feel Me" played I was hooked by those two songs from The Who's rock opera album. To this day they are in my music library and I still enjoy them immensely.
Postscript. Tom outgrew his rebellious teenage years and went on to become a sincere pastor. He still pastors a church in a town near Visalia California. God fitted him to endure unbelievable hardship and sorrow in recent years as his unusually beautiful brilliant and successful daughter's life was turned topsy-turvy by a car accident that left her wheelchair bound and handicapped in other ways. Not long afterwards his son a trained Navy Nuclear Machinists Mate 3rd Class became despondent and committed suicide in New York. I'm not sure why I'm including this postscript except that it illustrates that sometimes "bad boys" develop into quality men.
We're soooo thin at CF that I think we have to keep him around no matter what. Even if he's not great at defensive CF and not hitting much.
OTOH if this daytime hitting splits thing is real (only showing up over the last year or so) maybe as the days grow longer his eye will improve and his bat will heat up. I guess that could explain why he tents to get stronger in the 2nd half every year. Seems like a stretch but I think we're stuck with him anyway.
Instead of a R/L platoon do a first half/second half platoon! What a novel concept. Starting next year trade for a somewhat productive veteran with a reputation for fast starts then offload him in a mid-season trade. Meanwhile keep Ackley mostly in reserve for the first two months then in June start him enough that come July he's raring to go. Not sure that it's practical but worth noodling over.
I love that guy.
Cop stopped him and asked whether he realized he was going 60 miles per hour.
He replied 'Yeah but I wasn't planning on being out that long.'
Made me wonder: Is Austin Jackson the only MLB player whose first and last name are both major U.S. cities?
I haven't been impressed at all with Jackson. I'd rather just hand CF to Ackley at this point. He'll learn the position make the plays (Ackley almost always makes the plays even if he looks bad doing it) and we at least have a hot-hand month in the summer to look forward to. I don't expect anything from Austin Jackson: no power no hot hand no good consistent play nothing but average joe production. He is the most average everyday player out there.
Based on everything I've seen of the two Ackley will somehow cobble together a 1.5-2.0 WAR by the end of the season. Jackson? He'll be lucky to give you 1.0 and more likely closer to .1 than 1.0.
And Ackley can also play LF 2B 1B. That's not adding much to this team I know - so can Ricky Weeks.
You're essentially saying "I'll take the guy who is terrible except when he's hot over the guy who is average". That's...bizarre to me.
Jackson isn't any great shakes but Ackley absolutely destroys the line-up when he isn't hitting...it isn't worth it to me to catch his hot month if I have to sit through 5/6 of a season where he's a worse hitter than Brendan Ryan.
My original point was to keep Ackley seated as much as possible until he begins a hot streak....OK I know you can't quite predict that but you can get a sense by playing him a game or two a week. Day games are fine. Miller and Ruggiano can man CF the rest of the time.
I'm ashamed to say that I much prefer Elton's. He was a force of nature back when he was a rock 'n roller.
But why the reference to pinball in the first place? :- ) Or was that part trivially obvious ...
:: claps hands together in delight ::
GREATEST comment EVER Moe! If you split that comment into thirds you'd have three Hall of Famers...
:- ) for the description of the fans' reaction first but then also the RLP >>> Ackley argument ...
And who here remembers his first appearance on Johnny? Who soberly warned the audience "Don't give up on this. Just relax and watch him a while." But nicer.
Didn't take you and me more'n about 3 lines I bet Diderot...
"They spent 16 years and $3 million dollars researching who built the pyramids." [grave voice audience goes silent] "They're pretty sure ... it was a guy named EDDIE."
What if we avoided the suggestions that fellow think tankers were irrational and bizarre? Just a thought.
Which teams have weak spots at 2B?
My introduction to the song was the 1969 album not the 1975 movie which to be honest I never saw until a few years ago.
And because I reserve my right to hold defensive metrics wholly unreliable I'm able to apply my eye test.
And to my eye Jackson is light years ahead of Ackley in center: speed route reading arm etc.
Remember that Ichiro was all-world in his corner in right...but often helpless in center. It's a different world. And if Ichiro couldn't make the transition I don' t hold much hope for Ackley.
Dustin will make some all star teams on some other team. A lot of us kinda feel there's a spec of truth in this but we are tired of holding on til it happens. Let it happen someplace else certainly. In the meantime while we make plans to pull the plug I don't see any upside in Austin Jackson and as bad as Ackley hits he'll hit better than James Jones. So in the meantime I'll take the guy with upside over the guy without it. Ackley can job share with Ruggiano move around some hit a ton in the daytime. Meanwhile Jackson apparently has to be in the lineup every day because he's an "everyday player". He's probably a worse hitter than Ruggiano or maybe the equal of Ruggiano vs. left handers. But Ruggiano doesn't have to play everyday. Ruggiano isn't going to mope around the clubhouse if and when he's sitting. Maybe Jackson wouldn't either but we're in a job share environment until better talent comes along. In that case give me Ackley.
I'm with Doc.
Probably the first time I heard Pinball Wizard was in the high school student center where we used to gather playing cards for nickle and dime antes. Guts and Blood and Guts were the games of choice. The student center had logging wire spools for tables vending machines and a juke box for your listening enjoyment.
I don't remember which version likely The Who's....but Elton John was pretty big about then. I liked Jim Croce if you remember him.
Meaner than a Junkyard Dog....That's Cruz right now.
As in...the dictionary definition. One guy is worth zero wins. The other guys is worth -1 win...but we'll take the -1 win guy because he gets hot for a month at some point? I don't mean irrational all the time...just in this case. I don't think it's possible to bench a guy until he gets hot and then play him...you can't sit your way to a hot streak.
Funny - Jackson's OPS is a paltry 620 while Ackley's is a pathetic 567. Are we really arguing between the two? For that you might as well just call up Jones. At least he does something well. Unlike the other two.
I've preached patience with Ackley but I'm over him now.
Sure I remember Croce. You Don't Mess Around With Jim Operator Leroy Brown. Time In A Bottle I Got A Name I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song. Like 'em all especially the latter two.
And I have ton of Elton John in my library starting with his first hit "Your Song" which came out in 1970 when I was a sophomore in high school.
I have a pretty extensive collection of popular rock and country music starting with a few from the 1940's (mostly Glenn Miller) some from the 1950's (about 40 songs) then I hit my stride in the 60's (nearly 1000) and 70's (nearly 500) before tapering off in the 80's (200) and then about 60 songs since. A lot of variety.
This does not include a pretty decent library of both classical music and Movie Musicals and Soundtracks. I began assembling my digital music library in the late '1990's. For a long time iTunes gift cards were my standard birthday and Christmas wish list.
Croce is still on my To Be Added Some Day list but he is on the radar.
"if worse comes to worst we're screwed."
We are all tired of Ackley but we know he'll hit better than he has so far. We know the routine. Slow start heat up in the summer. Full season of work? It'll be "Meh". But horrid Ackley is due to end and good Ackley is on the way. And he hit .751 OPS vs. right handers last season. He'll probably do that again. Don't get me wrong he should be much better We have lots of right handed hitters who hit better than Jackson or just as well. Weeks Ruggiano probably Romero. But we're a tad short on left handers. We can use a left handed outfielder like Ackley for the time being.
In CF yeah he makes you cringe a bit. But he'll make the plays and he'll get better. And an Ackley who can play CF and second base is an Ackley you can trade for something useful.
Matt good managers do it all the time: A bench guy gets hot and they ride him like a thoroughbred! That's the Ackley ticket....
If he keeps blowing up your rallies looking blind just to get to the Tootsie Pop center then there's no point.
He doesn't go from below replacement to Barry Bonds.
He goes below replacement to kinda okay.
The question becomes how many games can you blow before you need something to click.
I don't like 20% of the season let alone the 40% it took last year.
That Stanton bomb pulled to right or the dead center blast by Zunino?
They call it pull for a reason right?
...one out of every fifty times they might catch a hot streak. The thing is...he still has to play regularly enough while he's benched to even get hot.
...and change the car to a Plymouth Valiant. Another "bad boy" named Tom from a different Baptist youth group and change the song to "Funkytown" on a cassette... and your story sounds eerily familiar DaddyO. I have no idea if this Tom ever became a pastor. *grins* Thanks for the memory!
Gotta wonder why Hardball Times hasn't come up with a "Davenport Translation" that pairs a 445-foot HR to 100 degrees as equal to a (say) 483-foot homer to 125 degrees. The below "degree lines" are Cruz' at ESPN HR tracker by the way ...
Of course Stanton's homer was actually more like 714 feet.
Any time I can be of memory-triggering service (GOOD memories that is) it is gratifying. Having turned 60 in March I find that such memories increasingly become like fine wines worthy of special savoring. (Of course in the Baptist church of my youth drinking wine was frowned upon just as much as cigarette-smoking. The human penchant for turning prudence ("Do not get drunk with wine.") into precept ("You shall not drink wine") is amazing.
Funny though I remember "Funkytown." A little late disco anyone?
Just yesterday for some odd reason I thought of a song from that same period "Chuck E.'s In Love."
On so many levels.
And I hadn't heard it :- )