Dare You?! What are you doing--trying to win? I remain completely
tickled by Arizona manager Bob Brenly's open criticism of San Diego's
Ben Davis for breaking up Curt Schilling's perfect game last week.
Schilling had a perfect game going into the eighth inning when Davis
bunted for an infield hit. Schilling eventually finished with a
three-hitter. Brenly and others have lambasted Davis for
"intentionally breaking up Schilling's perfect game." Like
he did it on purpose.
a minute. Isn't the idea to win? I'm all for sportsmanship and
professional courtesy. Sure, that means sometimes walking the fine
line between not running up the score and padding your stats, but
common sense and competition usually are good guidelines that drive
that walk. But, as my dad used to say, "The problem with common
sense is that not everyone has it." How can you fault Davis for
TRYING to win--especially when the Padres were only down by 2 at the
time. To make matters worse, San Diego had already been humiliated
two weeks prior when the Marlins A.J. Burnett no-hit the Padres
despite giving 9 free passes (walks). Thankfully, most folks with
SOME sort of reason agree that Davis did nothing wrong. Dodgers great
Tommy Lasorda put it best, telling an AP reporter, "I wouldn't
want a perfect game thrown against me," when asked about the
it points out, though, is the need by some in sports to
"create" records and so-called historic moments--such as
changing errors to hits to artificially keep streaks alive. It
happens all the time, it's just not done out in the open. A good
example was during the 1998 "magical" chase for 70 home
runs by Mark McGwire (a.k.a. Paul Bunion) and Sammy Sosa, which some
pitchers reportedly gave each "fat" BP-like pitches to
smack. Some questioned Sosa hitting his 60th homer off of fellow
Dominican Valerio Lorenzo De Los Santos like he knew what was coming.
While everyone wants to see something special happen, no one--at
least not me--wants to see disingenuous play. C'mon folks, this isn't
the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Generals. Or is it?
guy SP Charles Nagy (Cle), with 124 career wins, scattered 4 hits
and 1 run in 7 strong innings to get his first major league win since
his last victory on May 16, 2000. Three days after that last win,
Nagy went under the knife to repair bone chips in his pitching elbow.
He attempted a comeback in late 2000 but was shutdown after 3 starts
and more elbow pain. This year, after extended spring training, Nagy
was 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA at Class AAA Buffalo while rehabbing to build
arm strength. Nagy's return could not have come a better time, after
SP Chuck Finley went on the DL and the Tribe was finishing a series
with the Yankees.
good guy SP John Smoltz (Atl) earned his first win since Oct. 1,
1999, against the Expos on May 28. Smoltz missed the entire 2000
campaign after tearing medial collateral ligament in his right elbow
in spring training, leading to the infamous "Tommy John"
surgery. He returned to the Braves lineup May 17 but went 0-2 with an
8.89 ERA in his first 2 starts. He followed up the May 28 win with a
solid win on June 3 against the Pirates, going 7 innings and giving
up just 2 earned runs. He compiled a 2.63 ERA in the two outings.
week I highlighted some of the last 30 days' trends to show HOT
players. Well, there's always a downside. Here are some pitchers to avoid:
Willis Roberts (Bal) 1-5 with a 7.79 ERA (overall 5-5, 5.10 ERA)
Britt Reames (Mon) 0-6 with a 6.90 ERA (overall 2-8, 6.33 ERA)
Bartolo Colon (Cle) 0-6 with a 6.06 ERA (overall 4-6, 4.43 ERA)
Albie Lopez (TB) 0-3 with a 8.72 ERA (overall 3-6, 5.15 ERA)
Room is written by Michael Skordeles