Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Few Things That Pleased Me This Morning

posted by Jon Williams
My niece woke me up at 7am this morning by screaming into my ear. She's visiting us up in Cambridge, Massachusetts from North Carolina. I'd been unable to get any work done on Friday due to entertaining her so I stayed up all night doing the little things I do to make this site a success. You may have noticed I did not post anything but I still worked on the site quite a bit. I encouraged her as nicely as I could to go play somewhere else. An hour later she did it again. So let's just say I did not begin the day in the greatest of moods. I was in the middle of a profile on Marlins prospect Michael Stanton, but I'm putting that off for now. Instead I'm going to share a few stories I found this morning that helped to calm me down and even put a smile on my face.

1. I stumbled across a story written by Black Jack McDowell, one of my favorite players. He notes that Ozzie Guillen has done nothing but complain about the presence of Gordon Beckham and suggests that he get over it and allow Beckham to adjust and get comfortable in the major leagues. This is pretty much exactly what I've been saying as well. Well, except that I usually add the Guillen is a moron who should have lost his job ages ago. I know I shouldn't say such things (someone from a major newspaper might tell him...I'm quaking in my boots).
I've been watching the handling of Gordon Beckham since his recent call-up while shaking my head. First off, it seems manager Ozzie Guillen is not a big fan of Beckham's. Every time the kid's name has been mentioned throughout the year, Ozzie has never uttered a positive word publicly about him.

His only observation seems to be that everyone else in the baseball world had him overrated and if he is called up, the White Sox will be in trouble. Hate to break the news, but the White Sox ARE in trouble.

I'll admit that Gordon Beckham hasn't exactly set the world on fire since being inserted into the lineup, but that's just the way it goes. I understand that Guillen wants production, and he NEEDS production now. But the fact of the matter is that Beckham should be left in the lineup for an extended period of time so that the comfort level can sink in.
2. I knew Luke Hochevar pitched well last night but it wasn't until this morning that I realized just how well. A complete game in just 80 pitches. Something that according to Joe P has happened just a few times in the last 20 years. I've been a supporter of Hochevar even through the rough times last season and this one. I probably encouraged quite a few owners to endure his earlier spell of awfulness. But he now represents a prospect that has gotten past the hype and should be able to just perform. I think he could have a Cy Young type season as soon as the 2010 season. Wouldn't it blow your mind if in 2011 the Royals had two former Cy Young winners in their rotation?
And maybe Luke Hochevar grew up a bit on Friday night. It’s hard to tell, but for the first time in his big league career Hochevar did something really spectacular. He shut down a big league club in 80 pitches. He tied up Cincinnati Reds hitters into pretzels. And in the final inning, the big fireworks-ready crowd of 32,959 shouted “LUUUUUKE!”
3. Hochevar was not the only young starter who was dominate last night. Tim Lincecum has been a bit of a disappointment to me this season. It isn't that he has not been a very good pitcher, because he has. What bothers me is that I expected him to be clearly the best starter in baseball and he has not been. But perhaps he'll impress more in the second half.
Tim Lincecum has been spectacular, he's been dominant, but rarely has he been efficient. He was tonight. A complete game shut-out, eight strikeouts, and 110 pitches against a team that has had its offensive struggles, but the A's are no, uh, Giants. I'd also say Lincecum had his best change-up of the year. Absolutely devastating. Remember Jason Schmidt's heyday with the killer fastball/change-up combination? Lincecum's change might be better.
That's all I've got right now. Hopefully, I'll get some sleep and post more tonight.

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