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Friday, May 26, 2006

You'd Expect Me to Be Heartless, Wouldn't You?

So the Astros's disastrous 8-5 loss that dropped them to 6-1/2 games behind the Cards (and only 1/2 game out of fourth place) was sort of highlighted by the Good Guys' having stolen seven bases yesterday, the most against any one catcher since somebody stole seven against Mike Piazza a few years ago. The victim yesterday was Matthew Hanks LeCroy, who is listed by ESPN as a first baseman.

That sort of brings me to the point of this entry. Although Smell the Glove is intended to be a slap-in-the-face baseball blog, we'd like to occasionally balance out our harsh and sarcastic criticism with a few grains of truth here and there. And I mean a few; we don't need to get all journalistically responsible. One of my favorite quotes of all time, for example, is from another trial lawyer who said:

Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story.

So there are times when I'll probably make an off-the-wall statement with probably not one percent of truth in it, such as:
  • David Wells's opinion that Craig Biggio used steroids is no doubt one that was obtained through a careful, thoughtful examination of all of the evidence by a man who has always been known to think and act wisely.
Then there are those statements that may have a bit of truth in them, such as:
  • Had a reliable source uttered the same allegations against Jeff Bagwell--who, by the way, I consider to be one of the greatest Astros ever (and my favorite player)--I might be more inclined to pay attention to such claims.
And then there will be those statements where I will expect the reader to draw his own conclusions as to their truth (or lack thereof), such as:
  • Alex Rodriguez thoroughly enjoys all-night bouts of sex with goats.
In any event, you'd expect that I'd have had a lot of fun out of Matthew LeCroy's troubles yesterday. Well, no, for two reasons:
  1. The Astros, led by Andy Pettitte's incompetence, still managed to find a way to lose yesterday.

  2. Matthew LeCroy, by all accounts, is a good and decent man who was pressed into service as a catcher--despite not having played the position much in the past few years--because Special K decided to knock the gNats' backup catcher out of the game by bonking him in the head during one of his wild strikeout swings (of which there have been many this year--WATCH OUT, NL CATCHERS!!).
True, LeCroy is also described as playing catcher, as well, but the vast majority of his playing time over the past few years has been as the Twins' designated hitter:

Games at C

Games at DH
Games at 1B












So, it's pretty clear that Matty hasn't been catching much over the past few years. I can't make fun of him about the stolen bases, then, given that--with the exception of Morgan Ensberg, who runs pretty well--6 of the 7 stolen bases were by guys with exceptional speed: Willy Taveras, Preston Wilson, Chris Burke, and Eric Bruntlett. Taveras should have many more stolen bases this year, except that Gar[d]ner came up with this foolish notion of batting him second, then keeping Willy on a tight leash for fear that pitchers would then give Berkman a free pass. This idea is ridiculous for at least two reasons:
  1. This proposal effectively deprives the Astros of the benefits of having the fastest guy in the major leagues. (His home-plate-to-first time was measured not too long ago as being faster than anybody else's, including several left-handers--who have a shorter distance to run.)

  2. What's necessarily wrong with having two men on--one in scoring position--with Ensberg batting? Gar[d]ner's idea shows very little respect for his cleanup hitter.
Bruntlett's also a bit of a speedster. Remember that last year, down the stretch, Bruntlett keyed a major rally against the Phillies by stealing second and third off of Billy Wagner in late innings.

So Smell the Glove has opted not to join in on the teasing of LeCroy. If we were talking about rotten catcher and reported sheep-lover Mike Piazza, that would be different.



Blogger Phat-C said...

Well played, Shafty! LeCroy is to be admired for hanging in there despite the hardship, while Piazza is to be... well... BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa'ed.

11:48 AM  

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