Sunday, July 06, 2008

Joba, Seeing Stars, and Throwing Like Girlie Men

You know, I was coming around to like Joba Chamberlain. Heartwarming story. No Mom. Raised by a baseball-loving Dad with polio or some such disease who's in a wheelchair. I remember when they showed the Dad watching the son pitch in the big leagues for the first time. If the tears of pride running down the old man's face didn't thaw the hatred for all things Yankee nothing will. I was even okay with Joba's late-inning histrionics, whenever he punched out a batter in a crucial situation. I've always liked that stuff. We can't look the other way when Jonathan Papelbon does it, then give Chamberlain grief for the same thing.

But tonight - in the last game of the Sox' series in the Bronx (Sox are up 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 5th) - he's irritating me. Since the first inning, he's done nothing but bitch, moan and make all sorts of gestures toward home plate umpire Laz Diaz if he doesn't care for the ump's calls. One or two? Fine. But he's been at it all game, almost as though there's some sense of entitlement because he's the Great Joba and he's pitching in Yankee Stadium and dammit, those balls that are clearly inside or outside or low or high are strikes. Pipe down and pitch, rookie.

That's my lecture for the night. A busy day in baseball - here's a few noteworthy notes:

- Looks like the Brewers are going to grab free-agent-to-be C.C. Sabathia, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner. This puts the Brewers in great position to make the postseason, and it's a smart move by C.C. because he's always been a pretty good hitter and he can now take a few more swings in the NL.

- A-Rod + Madonna + Lenny Kravitz = New York tabloid nirvana

- The All-Star game is a week from this Tuesday and the starters from both squads were unveiled today. Both the Sox and the Cubs placed 7 players each on the AL and NL teams. The rosters, as voted in by a blend of fans, players and the team managers:

C: Joe Mauer; 1B: Kevin Youkilis; 2B: Dustin Pedroia; SS: Derek Jeter; 3B: Alex Rodriguez; LF: Manny Ramirez; CF: Ichiro Suzuki; RF: Josh Hamilton

C: Jason Varitek, Dioner Navarro; 1B: Justin Morneau, Carlos Guillen; 2B: Ian Kinsler; SS: Michael Young; 3B: Joe Crede; OF: Carlos Quentin, J.D. Drew, Grady Sizemore, Milton Bradley

Starters: Cliff Lee, Justin Duscherer, Roy Halladay, Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana; Relievers: Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, George Sherrill, Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria

C: Geovany Soto; 1B: Lance Berkman; 2B: Chase Utley; SS: Hanley Ramirez; 3B: Chipper Jones; LF: Ryan Braun; CF: Alfonso Soriano; RF: Kosuke Fukudome

C: Russell Martin, Brian McCann; 1B: Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols; 2B: Dan Uggla; SS: Miguel Tejada, Cristian Guzman; 3B: Aramis Ramirez; OF: Matt Holliday, Nate McLouth, Ryan Ludwick

Starters: Carlos Zambrano, Dan Haren, Edinson Volquez, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Dempster, Brandon Webb, Ben Sheets; Relievers: Brad Lidge, Brian Wilson, Kerry Wood, Billy Wagner

Finally, five players from each league are vying for the final spot on each squad. In the AL, fans can vote in Jason Giambi, Evan Longoria (my vote), Brian Roberts, Jose Guillen or Jermaine Dye. In the NL, it's David Wright, Pat Burrell, Corey Hart (my vote), Carlos Lee, and Aaron Rowand.

Couple of quick observations: Kinsler should be starting at 2B for the AL... I respect everything Jason Varitek means to my favorite ballclub, but no way in hell he's an all-star if Victor Martinez is healthy... interesting how the AL loaded up on relievers and the NL loaded up on starters. Guess it makes sense when you see how ridiculously stacked the AL is with stud closers... Interesting dilemmas for both Francona and Clint Hurdle on who gets the rock to start the game. My choices would be Halladay and Lincecum, but I wouldn't be disappointed with Lee/Volquez... Word came out today that the plan is to have Mariano Rivera pitch the last inning of the last-ever All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. Wonder if that was an MLB directive or a Tito thing... probably MLB. What are your thoughts on the All-Star selections?

Sox-Yanks update: Joe Girardi was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes. Game is tied at 4 in the bottom of the 7th inning. The Yanks tied it on a triple to the right-center gap by Robinson Cano, a play on which Coco Crisp made one of the most pathetic throws you'll ever see. How about a throw-off between Johnny Damon, Coco, and my grandmother?

dustin desrves the start, true on tek, yes on longo and I think burell -he's had a career year for a .250 adam dunn bout rays best mlb record and 2 guys make it???? and dioner isnt the guy .it should be kaz,longo & shields at least...yanks eyes seam glazed...sox still workn sarasota deal..nice stars & strips cap detail....still waiting for monster/babyruth /century 21 & statefarm to knock on my door ms
i actually think it says a lot about the rays that they only have two guys - no superstars on that team (yet) -- no way francona was going to put shields on the team after the fracas. payback will come in sept to jonny the punk. can't decide who to root for in rays-yanks series! against my blood to root for pinstripes - any thoughts on central air people up here? how's davie?
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