Drew Fairservice: July 2009 Archives

nerdshirt.jpgWelcome to this week's edition of Kicking and Screaming, a Walkoff Walk introduction to Pitch F/x. Last week we looked at the system and its ability to determine balls and strikes. This week, we'll look at movement and Zack Greinke's superlative slider.

As anyone that who's favorite team features a right handed slugger not named "Albert Pujols" knows, the slider is a most bedeviling pitch. Countless times we watch our big right handed bats waving at pitches bouncing in the other batters box. "Just lay off!" we scream at the TV in unison. The combination of speed and movement make the slider a most effective pitch, and as we'll learn, most effective when thrown outside the strike zone.

Zack Greinke's slider rates as the best in baseball this season, according to Fangraphs pitch type linear weights. Friday night, he put that slider to good use in beating the Rangers. The Royals ace scattered 3 hits over 7 innings while striking out 10. Zack's slider was in fine form, registering but a single hit against his mean slide piece.

The next step in our Pitch F/x journey is movement; charting how much Zack's slider moved down and away. Comparing Friday's start to Zack's worst of the year (7 runs and two tots allowed in June against the not-yet-worsening Blue Jays) we see that more movement isn't always better. Hit the jump to get into the graphy goodness!

sflove.PNGI'm a pretty simple guy with rather simple tastes. When it came to the seemingly uncomplicated task of selecting a baseball team to root for, I'm sure I wasn't alone in simply choosing the team who's stadium was in greatest proximity to my house. Beyond the team I support implicitly, my interest bounces around from team to team, following compelling players and personalities.

In spite of never passing up an opportunity to debase and deride the National League West, I can't help but be drawn to it. Though the standard of play is relatively low, the teams themselves are an interesting lot. The Dodgers; with their history, quality, and gleaming white uniforms. A family connection keeps one nostalgic eye on the Padres, but I can't help but love the 2009 San Francisco Giants. How did this happen? One sure reason is their surprising participation in the Wild Card race. Beyond that; this team has many hooks, which I will spell out listicle style:

  • Their pitching staff is unmatched. Watching Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain pitch 40% of your ball games is good for everyone one involved. Throw in the occasional Randy Johnson appearance/occasional Jonthan Sanchez brilliance , the tragicomedy of Barry Zito and an excellent bullpen and you've the third best staff in baseball (by FIP.) Did I mention Lincecum? Yeah, he's good.

  • They play in a sexy ballpark. There isn't much to add here. You know you'd give your first born for the opportunity to sit here multiple times this summer. It's full of humans on a regular basis which makes for a good time every time.

  • The Multi-Positional Greatness of the Kung Fu Panda Go ahead, tell me Pablo Sandoval isn't fun to watch. You can't. A big dude playing the corner infield spots, smacking the ball around to the tune of a .928 OPS, swinging at everything and anything? Consider me amused, and rooting for continued amusement.

  • Their tragic flaw. Despite the Panda's heroics, the Giants are a truly terrible offensive team. Brutal. Second last in baseball bad. They have a bright future with stud catcher Buster Posey waiting in the wings, but for now their offensive cupboard is bare. Randy Winn plays everyday and is counted on for significant offense. Aaron Rowand makes serious bank to do what, exactly? Fred Lewis, Nate Scheirholz, and Travis Ishikawa are nice pieces, but hardly knocking down the elegant red brick walls of AT&T Park.

  • They play good defense in their spacious ballpark. They rank third in baseball in UZR, tied for first in UZR/150 games, fifth in defensive efficiency. They make the most of their excellent pitching by supporting it with brilliant defense (except when the pressure's one, whoops). Defense is fun to watch, not to mention a sound investment in ballpark that won't let you score.

Add in their excellent blogosphere, their sweet, nameless home uniforms, and the irresistible appeal of sailboats and you've got yourself one converted fan. With rumours of the Giants making a big acquisition at the trade deadline swirling, you have to think they'll continue to factor into the wild card race well into September. Consider me pumped.

creampuffshirt.jpgHeading into the dog days we can expect a full MASH unit of Creampuffs looking for rest and relaxation before the pennant drives. Barry Zito calls dibs on the cross-dresser hoping for a dishonorable discharge!

  • Jason Marquis, Rockies: The shock league leader in wins will miss his scheduled start on Friday due to a blister on his throwing hand. Rockies manager Jim Tracy doesn't want the blister to burst; lest a single drop of the divine lifeforce which commandeered Marquis's body to guide him through a inexplicable season spill.

  • Jose Guillen, Royals: Guillen sprained his right knee putting on his shinguard in the on deck circle Wednesday. That's a trip to the DLOL, Jose. I'm going to assume that sucks too.

  • Franklin Gutierrez, Mariners: Let this be a lesson to you, kids: if you're planning to chase halfway across Michigan to catch a fly ball, don't. The surprise WAR king of centerfield is day-to-day with what was first described as "contusions to the knee and elbow" but soon revised to "face and shoulder injury." Hopefully Gutierrez will heed the Ancient Warnings of Ankiel.

  • Manny Ramirez, Dodgers: Day-to-day with a bruised left hand suffered after being hit by a pitch. I think he'll be okay.

  • Vicente Padilla, Eddie Guardado, Omar Vizquel, Rangers: Three of a growing army of Rangers players felled by disease within days. Looks like the team trip to Dengue City over the all star break wasn't such a hot idea. The spirit animal that visits Rangers casualties during fever dreams finally accumulated enough Marriot points to earn a free portable DVD player!

  • Rich Aurilia, Giants: Getting old sucks. Plucking nose hairs, trimming ear hairs, digging out your ingrown toe nailWHOOPS, looks like old man Aurillia is behind in his manscaping. More accurately, Rich has fallen behind in his baseball offense-creation hygene. Aurilia is non-plussed over being Creampuffed, refusing to sign a waiver allowing medical personal to discuss the injury. When Creampuff status is forced on you &mdash we all lose.

  • Jason Giambi, A's: The A's aging DH is out with a strained quad, the same injury that knocked their 2008 aging DH out for most of last season. It's either something in the East Bay or something about signing 40 year olds that is really catching up with Billy Beane.

  • Dustin McGowan, Blue Jays: Double Stuffed Creampuff! McGowan, already out for the year with a torn labrum, suffered damage to the meniscus in his left knee during rehabilitation workouts after his shoulder surgery! The tragic yin to Rocco Baldelli's Tommy-John-required-while-rehabbing-a-blown-knee yang.

nerdshirt.jpgThere comes a time in every baseball nerds life where he says to himself:

Am I quite nerdy enough? Perhaps there is a new level of geekdom to which I can ascend to ensure my endless reserves of vitriol and self-loathing are properly directed.

Enter Pitch f/x, the laser guided pitch tracking system installed in every big league park. We here at Walkoff Walk are dipping our collective lily-white hand in the pitch f/x bag and seeing if we can't pull out something interesting or at least informative.

If you recall the first entry in the Walkoff Walk Book Club was As They See 'Em, a popular and informative umpiring tome. The takeaway from this study was a great deal of umpire sympathy for the scrutiny they face. Luckily for us (and the umps) Pitch F/x tracks each and every pitch, providing its speed, location, break, spin, and all manner of quasi-interesting tidbit.

With keeping everyone awake in mind, we'll forgo most of the dizzying glut of information provided and just hone in on the stuff everyone thinks they know: balls and strikes. After the jump is a graph of some select pitches from a Saturday afternoon game between the Blue Jays and Red Sox. The Sox came to bat in the top of the eighth inning trailing 6-2. Jays set up guy/emergency closer Jason Frasor entered to face Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Jason Bay. Youkilis watched ball one high, took two strikes at the knees (that he absolutely HATED) and struck out swinging on pitch inside. Ortzi quickly flew out, bringing Bay up with two out.

In the middle of Bay's at bat, home plate umpire Laz Diaz called time and proceeded to dress Youkilis down from behind the plate. Youkilis took obvious exception to the strikes called down in the zone and let Diaz know it from the dugout. Diaz warned Youkilis "that's the last time" or something to that effect, essentially telling him to shut his trap and move the hell on. Bay took a few balls and fouled a few off before Diaz wrung him up on a fastball down in the zone. Bay stood at home plate and stared off dejectedly as only a vanilla white BC boy can. The question is this: did the Sox have a case? Find out after the jump!

old man and sea.jpgJosh Johnson's good y'all. The Lord of the Fish didn't play in his first All Star game, but the skills he's put on display this season indicate he'll have plenty of opportunities in the future. Johnson is very reminiscent of a former Marlin of much regard: AJ Burnett but with slightly more...everything. Johnson is bigger (6'7), throws a little harder, and is just a little saner. In fact they compare quite nicely, even baring an more than passing resemblance. Johnson is putting together an excellent season on the back of his solid three pitch mix and imposing stature.

The Marlins are somewhat concerned with Johnson's work load this season as noted in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He's "on pace" to throw more innings this season than his entire big league career up to this point. The Verducci Rule of limiting a pitcher to 30 more innings than the previous season may not apply to a big dude like Johnson, though he's complained of shoulder weakness already this year.

The biggest concern with any (all) Marlins studs is if not when they will trade him. The penny-pinching fish already have Hanley committed to big bucks they need to make a decision on Johnson soon. He's under team control until 2011 meaning the trade talk won't begin for a another full year. He successfully auditioned for the Yankees in June, throwing 7 innings of 3 hit ball, notching 5 strikeouts and 14 groundballs! His agent sees a big deal on the horizon, throwing out numbers comparable to his spiritual mentor Burnett.

Johnson starts tonight against the division rivals in Philadelphia, whom he's been dominant against in his career. He's young, big, and already has his Tommy John surgery behind him. The world is his oyster, mostly because of his giant hands.

thomehugs.JPGLast night Jim Thome notched 7 RBI on the back of a king dong and a tri-tot. 7 ribbies is a career high and the dingers were the 556th & 557th of his long career. About the career: is Jim Thome's superlative career going to be lost in the PED shuffle?

Tom Verducci wrote a highly enjoyable piece for Sports Illustrated in February claiming Carlos Delgado was the "lost slugger of the Steroid Era. While Delgado is indeed overlooked, the very same statement could hold true for Jim Thome. He matches up very well with a player like Delgado as well as a player much more (in)famous than those two combined.

Thome continue putting up excellent Three True Outcome numbers, which could be reason for Thome's relative obscurity. No matter how many times people are told that strike outs are just another out, they still hate the big K numbers. Thome's done it nearly 2300 times in his career. Nevermind his career walk total (1600) exceeds his RBI (1500), his average is low! Using a more "complete" stat like weighted on base average, Thome comes out smelling like a rose with career wOBA of .408.

Thome isn't immune to the stink of PEDs though he's continued to put up excellent numbers and high walk totals. Perhaps Thome's bearlike build and notable charity work combine with his hometown reunion to get him off the drug hook. A strict DH since he returned to the American League; Thome never really resonated as a fielder (did you know he spent the early years of his career as a third baseman? I surely did not.) Thome will tell anyone who'll listen that his career goal is 600 home runs. He'd have to be a Hall of Fame lock at that point, right? Better yet, don't answer that.

AP image courtesy of Daylife.

newstretcher.JPGBaseball players are often accused of being soft, of complaining about phantom injuries, and of being whiny little girls. I, for one, don't agree with those assessments but it takes a certain kind of man to get hurt over the All Star break. Lucily we have a few such Creampuffs.

  • Jay Bruce, Reds: Remember when Jay Bruce started his big league career in the most storybook way imaginable? When Jay Bruce and Joey Votto were going to terrorize the NL Central atop their dark steeds and ride into the playoffs? First Joey went down with a 1000 yard gaze and now the other Red stud is out with a fractured wrist. Bruce hasn't put up the same caliber of offensive numbers in 2009; though his defense is among the best. Sadly it was a feat of defensive derring-do that landed Bruce on the DL for 6 to 8 weeks.

  • Alan Embree, Rockies: The ageless LOOGY took a frightening line drive to the leg last Friday, fracturing his tibia and possibly ending his season. Manager Jim Tracy is optimistic Embree could return by September, as Tracy possesses intimate knowledge of Embree's deal with the devil. It keeps him in the big leagues in perpetuity and saves him 40% on moving van rentals.

  • Scott Olsen, Nationals: The former Marlin delinquent and ne'er-do-well will not make his next start due to tightness in his left lat muscle. Don't insult my intelligence Nats training staff, I know an oblique when I read a vague description of one on the internet. "Lat" is short for "latissimus dorsi" in the medical community but known as "the rape handle" in the wallaby community.

  • Jonathon Broxton/Cory Wade, Dodgers: Wade will actually head to the deel with a shoulder strain while Broxton's big toe kept him out of the All Star game. No word if Broxton's toe will keep him from closing out any more hollow victories during the Dodgers joylessly inevitable march to the NL West crown. Is there an outside chance that Broxton's injured toe is similar to the "injured toes" Shaq used to get when HE was horribly out of shape?

  • Pedro Martinez, Phillies: Pedro signed and was quickly sent to the disabled list with a case of "old man ass." Petey will spend a few weeks annoying minor leaguers with his bizarre antics before moving up to the big club where he will likely spot start and further tarnish his reputation as one of the best of his generation. Just kidding, get well soon Pedro!

heist!.jpgWhen I composed my irrational plea for shrimp yesterday, I didn't really think there was a chance. 2.23%? No shot, even that low percentage chance was too high. When the lowly Pirates raced out to a 3 and later 5 run lead, I had given up hope.

The drunken power of 40 people who share a great love of Jenny Lewis, gourmet food, and Guy Clark took over. The baseball gods heeded our collective plea, and intervened. Canadian saint Matt Stairs set the wheels into motion, hitting a key home run. Moments later Ryan Howard cleared the bases to tie the game. But that had to be it, right?

A ground rule double, an intentional walk and infield single loaded the bases. HOLY SHIT, THERE IS GOING TO BE A DAMN WALKOFF WALK!! But no, Paul Bako couldn't wait. He had to line the game-winning single to send 45 170 people home happy and 40 people home to the bar content but not quite delirious, all too keenly aware of how close they came.

I'm not one for hyperbole, but had last night's game ended in a walkoff walk it would have been the greatest thing in the history of the internet, possibly of all time. Instead lots of beer was imbibed and a night was unforgettable rather than the stuff of legend. I can't wait until next year. Search "#heist" on Twitter for a recap of the goodness.

Other Stuff Happened Too

Not really. The Yankees hit 5 home runs and lost. Tim Stauffer of Last Best League fame made his first start in two years. Sadly he's employed by the Padres so he lost.

Today!

Expect many quick games. Umpires like vacations also. Look for Josh Johnson and Clayton Kershaw to continue their awesomeness. No night game so go see The Hurt Locker.

600_HEIST.jpg

Hey baseball Gods, Drew here from Walkoff Walk. I know I don't ask for much (I'm a damn Jays fan!), but I have a special request for today and today only: I need you to rig tonight's Phillies - Pirates game to end in a walkoff walk.

Here look! I've done my best to lay out my argument for your intervention. You see, a walkoff walk is a rare thing. Many, many bizarre occurrences must all come together to provide us with the glorious shrimpy outcome. I've tried (and failed) to crunch some numbers to show how unlikely this is:

  • There have only been 6 walkoff walks this year. In about 1200 games (2400 total, we've played half the season.) 6 events out of 1200 is 0.5%. One half of one percent of all games (approx.) end in walkoff walks! Those odds are long, I don't like them.

  • The Phllies are the home team. This bodes well. The Pirates pitching staff issues walks around the league average pace though their relief core surrenders nearly 5 walks per 9 innings. That helps, a little. The Phillies are the most patient team, with most of their bench bats being free swingers. On the whole, I don't think this helps our cause much.

  • The pitching matchup is unbalanced. Cole Hamels is good. He was great in his last outing versus the Reds. He makes only his second career start verus the Pirates, one more than Pirates starter Russ Ohlendorf. Perhaps the lack of familiarity will keep both offenses in check.

  • The teams aren't well matched either. The Phillies are a first place club with strong run differential. They score 5.3 runs per game will surrendering 4.8. The Pirates are mired in last place with a poor offense (only 4.2 runs per game) but with solid run prevention (4.3 runs per game.) My real question remains: how likely are these two to play a tight game?

  • The Pirates are unlucky. This helps our case. The Pirates are a little better than their record suggests, meaning they get a raw deal on the regular. They've played 18 one run games this season (below average) and have won only 5. The Phillies are right where they should be at 11-11. The Phillies have 3 walkoff wins, the Pirates have 3 walkoff losses. The Pirates have entered the 9th tied six times, the Phillies 8.

I could go on and on, creating graphs and manufacturing relationships. Anything short of doing actual probability work. The facts remain: a walkoff walk at The Heist tonight is highly improbable but IT ISN"T IMPOSSIBLE. If I compiled all the numbers I just presented, threw them out and made up a number in my head, I'd say there was a 2.23% chance of live shrimp tonight. So we're going to need some help from you baseball Gods. Hopefully you find it in your benevolent wisdom to gift our loyal readers, commenters and crack editorial team a shrimpy send off. Please see to it they are all conscious and not incarcerated as to enjoy it.

Awesome CBP image courtesy of unofficial host Meech of The Fightins!

heisttag.jpgTo coincide with the good times/awkwardness of internet friends meeting in real life, the baseball world decided to lose its damn mind yesterday. The full scores are here, the nitty gritty of actual heists involving actual loot is below.

Firstly, the Royals completed their exhaustive search for another replacement level infielder that hates getting on base. Royals Review nicely compiles the oodles of scorn heaped upon this trade. Much of the hatred focuses on the simple fact that the Royals acquired Yuniesky Betancourt &mdash that the price tag was greater than a bag of balls seems secondary.

Mets Gm Omar Minaya clearly prescribes to the "change of scenary will do him some good" scenario as it relates to his latest acquisition Jeff Francouer. You never know, right? Perhaps the lighting at Citifield is such that it will finally allow Frenchy to discern between a ball and a strike. Ryan Church going the other way could help the Braves for a little while. Church's history of concussion problems could haunt the Braves if Chipper gets his way and the team enacts "Friday Clubhouse Compound Bow Day."

The biggest story from Friday was of course Jonathon Sanchez and his near perfect game/full-on no hitter. Luckily for Sanchez, history won't recall the overwhelming ineptitude of the Padres offense. That they were no hit for 6 innings the day before will fade from memory &mdash just as ironic replacement Juan Uribe's error that stole the perfection from under Sanchez's nose. That his father was in attendance made for excellent TV but the real story is how poorly the Giants lefty has pitched in 2009. Recently bounced from the starting rotation, Sanchez came in with a 1.50 WHIP and a walks per 9 rate over 5. He put it all together for a wonderful night, aided of course by Aaron Rowand's wallbanging ability. Congrats Jonathon, hopefully you've bought yourself at least two more starts.

Heist tag courtesy of Dan Cumming Dot Uk.

creampuffshirt.jpgMany creampuffs are eying the All-Star break as an opportunity to extend their creampuffery. Planning your injuries around holidays will throw off the algorithms but it's pretty much the basis of work as we all know it.

  • Chipper Jones/Kelly Johnson Braves: Ole Chip is day-to-day with a strained groin. He's only going to take a knee for a day or two and should be available for pinch hitting duties if need be. Whatever Skip needs! Kelly Johnson isn't so lucky and will require a trip to DL with an injured wrist. That's okay, he's been terrible.

  • Randy Johnson, Giants: Randy hurt his 43 year old arm swinging the bat and booting the ball around in the field in a lame, 43 year old attempt to field his position. More time for Johnson to reflect on his own greatness.

  • Torii Hunter/Vlad Guerrero, Angels: The official injury reports list "strained abductor" and "ouchy knee" but the "Old Man-itis" is tearing through the Angels like a pneumonia through a retirement community. Vlady took a wrong step before falling to his hands and needs, furiously pressing his Lifecall medallion until the trainer arrived on scene. Both men await results from MRIs and urine samples. Always with the urine samples.

  • Ronny Belisario, Dodgers: Surprisingly excellent set up man Belisario heads to the DL with a right elbow strain. Wait a minute, an effective right handed bullpen arm leads the team in appearances right up until his elbow explodes? Dr James Andrews should give Joe Torre a sailboat. Losing Belisario from the bullpen throws off the key "skinny guy leading to fat guy" dynamic that' gives the Dodgers to the best pen in the league.

  • Lil Davey Eckstein, Hank White, Padres: Two very old, very average dudes hit the DL with strained right hamstrings. The only other thing hamstrung in San Diego is their ability to evaluate talent. Pulling two good Navymen off the streets of San Diego and inserting them into the Pods lineup won't change the Friars lot in life. Noted nerd Paul DePodesta is currently petitioning the National League to allow Blanco & Eckstein to hit in tandem behind Adrian Gonzalez. He'll still walk three times a night.

  • Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees: Raped by the most popular wallaby in New York.

  • Geovany Soto/Ryan Dempster, Cubs: Paired Creampuff Craziness! Soto's come down with the dreaded oblique strain and his status for the weekend is a deep, dark secret. That's never a good sign Cubs fans, believe you me. Ryan Dempster broke his toe doing something idiotic, much to the delight of a goony kid with expensive seats. Dempster moves to the 15 day DL, forcing his brutal Harry Caray impression to the 60 day DL to make room on the 40 man roster of hilarity.

obamalitheleftlimb.jpgThere are many excellent pitchers plying their trade on this Fourth of July. Studs like Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum go today while upstarts like Tommy Hanson and Edwin Jackson pitch tonight amidst much praise and attention. But one match up in particular grabbed my attention: David Price versus Derek Holland.

Despite the mountain of hype that followed Price into the 2009 season, he started the year in the minor leagues. Since his recall and insertion into the rotation, his performance could be charitably defined as "mixed." Astronomical pitch counts resulting from poor control, Price has pitched 7 complete innings just once. Over 9 strikeouts per nine innings is good, but more than 6 walks per 9 is terrible. Add in too many line drives, too many home runs and simply a lack of strikes are causing Price to underperform. Only the Rays superlative defense keeps his ERA far below his FIP.

Derek Holland eluded my roving eye in the preseason, but after making a few relief appearances he's stepped into the vastly improved Texas rotation. His 1-5 record and his FIP near 5 may not get your attention, but Holland has all the markings of a future stud. His strong walk to K rate and good mix of pitches both point to positive results down the road, while his high BABIP and home run rate are sure to come down.

Both these young dudes (Price 23, Holland 22) are just getting their feet wet at the major league level and getting a feel for their secondary pitches (people are doing terrible things to each man's slider)but they're sure to feature prominently in the future. Better yet, they're only small parts of two franchises with very, very bright futures. Organizations that stockpiled prospects, focussed on internal improvement keying on defense, power, and pitching. Tonight could be the first of many showdowns between these two stud pitchers on an increasingly big stage. Consider me excited.

Lithe Lefty in Chief photo courtesy of Hand Research Dot Com. Naturally.

albert.jpg

Albert Pujols, this season, with the bases loaded:

8 PA, 6 Hits, 4 HOME RUNS, 20 RBI (of a possible 32), 1 sac fly. .857/.750/2.571 slash line for a 3.321 OPS.

Only three non-Cardinals teams have more than four grand slams in 2009. His 18 total bases are 1 behind the Royals & Reds, 2 shy of the Astros team mark.

He's not of this world. I'm dizzy. Fireworks indeed.

Image courtesy of AP Photo via Daylife

newstretcher.JPGLong weekend Creampuffs! Spending the holiday weekend in crutches is no fun at all, we should all pity these poor, poor wusses. It takes a real man to run a BBQ.

  • Adrian Beltre, Mariners: Beltre finally decided to have surgery on his ouchie shoulder and will miss the next 6 to 8 weeks as a result. Hurry back Adrian, you're a free agent next year!

  • MIke Lowell, Red Sox: Rob broke down the repeated hip break downs earlier this week. Lowell's trip to the DL is only for some R & R, including the All Star break in his time off is by design. He should do what I do on vacation and drink Thai whiskey while provoking in international incidents.

  • Khalil Greene, Cardinals: Deep, troubled sigh.

  • Antonio Bastardo, Phillies: El Wed-lockless came out of his last start in Tampa complaining of shoulder tightness and clearly diminished velocity. Bastardo's first few starts were excellent but things quickly turned for the young lefty. There is no timetable for his return nor the return of his father. CUZ HE'S A BASTARD.

  • Aaron Miles, Cubs: Hyperextended his elbow fighting off a wallaby. Teammates are quite disappointed as the wallaby was the only way to get Miles out of the lineup.

  • Jorge Posada, Yankees: Posada took a foul tipped-fastball to the left thumb and is currently day-to-day. Posada's pretty old, he should really live each day moment-to-moment.

  • Mark DeRosa, Cardinals: Oh no! The Cards offensive lynchpin is down with a strained tendon! Whomever will save Albert Pujols from himself? While not headed to the Differently Abled List, DeRosa missing any time at all will cause much tongue clucking among Cardinals fans. Cluck all you want, DeRosa isn't that good when he's healthy.

  • Oppression and Tyranny, Freedom Haters: Out with a case of the USAs! USAs! Have a good Fourth peoples.