"FLIP-FLOP: Baker said he has thought about instances in which he might have Tony Womack lead off and drop Juan Pierre to No. 2 in the lineup. "There will come a situation,” he said. "I have to sit down and talk to both of them. Womack can do more now in the second spot bunting and the hit-and-run than Juan can. "As far as stealing, Juan might have the nod for speed. I’ve got to see how good Tony is running before I can make the decision.”
Bad enough to have Womack in the lineup everyday … but to bat him LEADOFF???
Here are Womack’s stats by batting order position since the beginning of the 2000 season:
OK, so he DOES have a higher OBP as a leadoff man than as a #2 hitter, but that OBP is basically the same as when he is hitting in the 8 slot. Heck, Jose Reyes has a higher OBP in the leadoff slot.
Fortunately for us "Sabermetric" types, the Cubs traded for Phil Nevin yesterday, so Walker will probably move back to his natural 2B position, and Womack can (hopefully) ride the pine.
"Former Tigers left-hander Justin Thompson, pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A team, announced his retirement.
Despite pitching nine innings and striking out a season-best nine Saturday, Thompson, 33, allowed four runs and took his third straight loss.
"I could tell things weren’t working," Thompson said. "I’d been getting my butt beat in my last couple of outings. I kind of knew it was time."
Thompson, an All-Star for the Tigers in 1997, signed a minor league contract and was attempting to revive his career after four shoulder surgeries."
In 1996, the Tigers started off 8-7, and then proceeded to lose an amazing 39 out of their next 44 games (to fall to 13-46). They "recovered" to finish 53-109, 21 games behind the 4th place finishing Toronto Blue Jays. Along the way, they allowed 1103 runs (2nd worst in history to the 1930 Phillies) and sported a team ERA of 6.38.
Justin Thompson made his major league debut for the Tigers that year, and compiled a 1-6 record in 11 starts with a 4.58 ERA and 62 hits allowed in 59 innings (along with 44 Ks and 31 BBs). Not too shabby for a former 1st round pick (#32 overall in the 1991 draft).
Thompson blossomed in 1997 at the tender age of 24, making the All-Star Team and ending up 15-11 with a sparkling 3.02 ERA in 223 innings (only 188 hits and 66 BBs, and 151 Ks in 32 starts). The Tigers improved by 26 games to 79-83. Things were looking up.
In 1998, at age 25, Thompson again pitched over 220 innings (34 starts), but his hits and walks increased noticeably (1.38 WHIP vs. 1.14 in 1997). His K rate remained steady. He finished 11-15 with a 4.05 ERA.
In 1999, his arm started to fail him … perhaps pitching 440+ innings over 2 years before the age of 26 was to blame, but he was the prize of the Tigers rotation, and they rode him hard. He made only 24 starts (143 IP), with a 9-11 record and a 5.11 ERA (along with a 1.48 WHIP).
That off-season, he was shipped off to the Rangers as part of a package for Juan Gonzalez. He never pitched for the Rangers during the following season, and in fact was granted free agency twice (in 2001 and 2003, each time re-signing with the Rangers). Amidst all of this, he underwent 4 arm surgeries.
He finally re-appeared in the majors in 2005 at the age of 32, pitching in relief for the Rangers for all of 2 games (1.7 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 HRA, 0 BB, 1 K, 21.60 ERA).
And still, he had to give it one more try, in the Brewers’ farm system in ’06.
Here’s to you Justin Thompson, for perseverance, and going out on your own terms.
"The broadcast went dead at the worst of all moments, and thousands of Bay Area fans listening on radio missed Barry Bonds’ 715th homer.
They could not hear the radio account Sunday because the microphone of play-by-play announcer Dave Flemming stopped working at precisely the wrong time.
Flemming had begun the call at the beginning of Bonds’ fourth-inning at-bat before his hand-held mike quit during the broadcast on the Giants’ flagship station, KNBR.
"Three-and-two. Finley runs. The payoff pitch, a swing and a drive to deep cen …" — that’s all Northern California listeners got when Bonds passed Babe Ruth to move into second place on the career homers list.
The station, which certainly had been planning for this moment for months, was left to replay the television call — and that’s what KNBR will have to rely on for years to recap the moment.
"The mike just cut out," program director Lee Hammer said, noting he couldn’t pinpoint what went wrong."
Let the conspiracy theories begin!!! I say the spirit of Rosemary Woods was responsible!
"Steve Trachsel said the small bone that popped out in his upper back on Tuesday was put back in place the same night and he has had no trouble with it."
Small bones aren’t supposed to just "pop out" in your back, unless of course we’re talking about one of those toy dinosaur model kits!
I think I’m gonna start calling him "Trachselsaurus".
"The Marlins thought they were honoring their Jewish first baseman when they decided to give away Mike Jacobs T-shirts as part of Jewish Heritage Day at Dolphin Stadium this afternoon.
One small problem — Jacobs isn’t Jewish, a fact the Marlins would have learned if they’d asked Jacobs himself."
"HAVE FAITH: The Marlins will distribute Mike Jacobs T-shirts to children tomorrow, on "Jewish Heritage Day." The problem? Jacobs isn’t Jewish. When the ex-Met inquired about what seemed like an error, club officials insisted they were separate promotions. "They said it wasn’t done intentionally, but I don’t know about that," Jacobs said. "It’s a big joke around here.""
Their press release for their current homestand doesn’t establish a link between Jacobs and "Jewish Heritage Day". And none of their other "heritage" days are tied to any other player …
At least they didn’t offer the "Jewish Heritage" promo for their Friday night or Saturday afternoon games.
" The Cubs called up veteran infielder Tony Womack from Triple-A Iowa on Friday and optioned Ryan Theriot to the minors. Womack began the season with Cincinnati, which designated him for assignment April 24. He signed a minor league deal with Chicago on May 17 and batted .467 for Iowa. The 35-year-old Womack has made five postseason appearances in his 12 major league seasons and helped Arizona win the 2001 World Series. Womack has a .273 career average with 362 stolen bases. He played briefly for the Cubs in 2003."
OK … I can understand that playing Hairston and Neifi while Walker holds down first base is gonna put a strain on your run-scoring potential, but ….
TONY WOMACK ???
A man who has NEVER compiled an OBP higher than .350 in a season, even in 2004 when he somehow hit .307 for the pennant-winning Cardinals?
A man who, outside of 2004, hasn’t hit over .280 since 1998?
A man who has been the property of 5 different teams since July of 2003?
A man who has compiled a career line of .273/.316/.356?
Here is the list of lowest OPS for players with 5,000+ PA since 1993 (Womack’s first call-up):
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