As you know, our commander-in-chief took the mound last night and did an excellent impression of a man trying to throw a party balloon. I asked some experts to evaluate Obama’s mechanics and explain just what needed to be fixed. …
July 15, 2009
The current rotation is John Danks, Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras, Gavin Floyd and then Clayton Richard.
Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan got an autographed ball from the president, who told fellow AL All-Star Curtis Granderson that he’s a big Ichiro fan.
“My idea, when I saw him, was to say, ‘What’s up?’ to him,” Ichiro said through interpreter Ken Barron. “But I got nervous. You know, he has that kind of aura about him. So I got nervous and I didn’t say that to him. I was a little disappointed about that.
“But I realized after seeing him today that presidents wear jeans, too. So my hope is that our skipper, [Don] Wakamatsu, was watching that and we can wear jeans on our flights as well.”
Beckham required only a 59-game stopover in the minor leagues on his flight from Athens, Ga., to Chicago. All he did while on his apprenticeship this season was lead the minors in doubles while playing every infield position but first base. The White Sox expect the natural shortstop’s maturity and energy to translate into immediate results. And so should you
UPDATE: Ben Bradler:
A little more than a year ago, Beckham was swinging a metal bat for Georgia. Now he’s hitting .271/.336/.415 with wood in 34 major league games as a 22-year-old. With his offensive tools, athleticism, youth and feel for the strike zone, Beckham has the potential to be a star in the big leagues.
9:00 pm CT on ESPN2. Carlos Torres and Cole Armstrong will be representing Charlotte.
Quentin could return to the Sox’s lineup as soon as Friday night against Baltimore. In his last rehab appearance Tuesday night for Class-A Kannapolis, he went 0-for-1 with two walks and played six innings in left field.
Given the fact that he has a foot injury and that Jermaine Dye has stabilized the third spot he once occupied, Quentin could hit somewhere lower in the order to prevent clogging the base paths.
Detroit holds a slim lead in the American League Central entering the 2009 intermission, and the White Sox have a brutal second-half schedule that includes 10 games with Detroit, eight games against Boston, seven against the Yankees, six against the Angels and just six apiece against Cleveland and Kansas City. For this competitive but less-than-stellar division, there’s little doubt that the White Sox, Tigers and Twins will be battling down to the season’s last week.
Seems we already have written off the games against the Twinkies.
Inside scoop: Podsednik isn’t struggling against inside pitches like he did last season. He’s gone from one of the worst against inside pitches to ranked in the top 30 in the majors.
Patience pays off: Podsednik has a top-20 first pitch seen percentage. That means he tries to get ahead of pitchers (batters hit almost 150 points higher on average when ahead in the count).
Whiff-less ball: Swinging strikes are a waste for hitters. They show a pitcher’s dominance and a hitter’s foolishness more than foul balls, which often prolong at-bats and called strikes. Podsednik is excellent at not whiffing. Of the 22 leadoff hitters in the majors with at least 200 at-bats this season, only two (Juan Pierre and Jacoby Ellsbury) have struck out less than Podsednik (29 K at leadoff). …
He looks at Jim Thome’s fastball problems and Jose Contreras’ magical forkball too.
According to Nationals president Stan Kasten, they plan to hire a permanent GM soon. Acting man Rizzo appears to be a candidate, though some outside rumblings regarding Rays executive Gerry Hunsicker, White Sox exec Rick Hahn, Marlins scout Dan Jennings and Red Sox exec Jed Hoyer can’t make Rizzo feel completely secure. Kasten, who was being virtually ignored for a while, gets to make the call, as he should.
Isn’t Rick Kenny’s successor? I hope he stays. Give the man a raise Jerry!