Hump Day Mondo Index for the mid-week of May 16, 2011:
13-7 Reds' record this season in games Scott Rolen starts
14-8 Record in games Rolen merely appears (on the field, in his physical form)
April 27 Date of Joey Votto's last HR
100% Proportion of unearned runs scored by the Reds in last nights' 7-5 victory
62% Proportion of 1st inning home runs surrendered by Volquez (5) this season, to total in all innings
67% Proportion of 1st inning stolen bases surrendered by Volquez (6) this season, to total in all innings
1.841 Volquez's OPS-against vs. game's leadoff batter (9 PAs)
DFA Status of Armando Galarraga, who held the Reds to 4 hits, with 6 Ks, on April 19
Mark Sheldon calls last night's game like it was - "messy" and "nutty"
Which also describes my crack-up at the Planter's factory. Despite the Twitter panic after Volquez's 1st inning China Syndrome, it turned out to be a mere Three Mile Island. Sheldon reminds us that Volquez threw 5 scoreless innings after that, for a line of: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. That's a quality start even for those that hate the QS stat. Baker stuck with Volquez, even through a bases-loaded at bat, due in part to the fact that the Reds are in the middle of a 20-games-no-off-day stretch. Unfortunately, Edinson has yet to crack the 7th inning.
Hall o' Famer Hall returns from collecting his 89th consecutive
Ohio Sportswriter of the Year award to reflect on the Reds' recent hot streak. Reminding us why his trophy room has a live-in archivist, Hal extracts a couple of choice quotes:
Clubhouse manager Rick Stowe:
"I hope when we play the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow that it’s 40 degrees and it’s raining and muddy because we play like a champ in this crap."
Joey Votto, in jest:
On the day Scott Rolen came off the DL, several members of the media had Rolen surrounded at his dressing cubicle, which is right next to Votto’s. Seeing the media mob encircling Rolen, Votto said with a huge grin as he walked away, "I guess you all forgot who is the reigning National League MVP."
Baseball Prospectus looks at The Evolution of Dusty Baker
...'s not letting his pitchers throw as many pitches. After the tiresome canard about Wood and Prior, there's some interesting graphical evidence on how Dusty has eased off his starters on a pitches-per-outing basis. I'm skeptical on how much pitch-counts explain arm stress for any individual pitcher (vs. anatomy and mechanics), but the presence of 7-man bullpens certainly should encourage managers to err on the side of caution, which Dusty has done increasingly in recent years.
La Russa responds to Brennaman's remarks in pitch-perfect sanctimony, passive-aggression
If you hadn't heard, Marty ran a little rampant during the Cardinals' series, calling Carpenter a "whiner and excuse-maker" and Dave Duncan "infantile." La Russa's terse response to Marty's comments follows the Cardinal rules of engagement - appeal to a vague notion of "class," cling to false baseball virtues that no one actually believes in and patronize if possible: "I think the safest thing to say is he [Brennaman] is a Hall of Famer, and he should get the respect that inclusion in that place deserves," La Russa said. "And then he ought to earn it every day from his Hall of Fame induction forward. He ought to earn it and not abuse it."
Did you know St. Louis was the birthplace of noted jazz pianist Sanctimonious Monk? I know the high-road strategy is well-proven, and tends to make your opponents look petulant, but it's no fun when you don't push back. I guess you can give La Russa points for invoking Saving Private Ryan and telling someone to earn something, but he seems to have a completely backward understanding of how the Hall of Fame works. I think you earn it every day until you get inducted. Then you bask in the respect you deserve. And you get to act like a dick for the rest of your life.
Calling Duncan, one of the great pitching coaches of our era, "infantile" was a bit much. But LaRussa's response is pretty rich. The Hall of Fame is chock-full of criminals, grifters and fiercely competitive men who had very little interest in civility, on-field or off. Many probably would have found a way to use firework smoke as a competitive advantage, if it seemed even remotely like a good idea. Positioning yourself as the defender of the Hall of Fame's honor is both condescending and inaccurate.
Adrenaline levels low?
Here's some more Cardinals-related fodder to disgust: "I have grown so weary of the Cincinnati Reds and their extracurricular shenanigans that it has caused a major shift in my baseball-following policies." I am much obliged and appreciative of your respect to keep me apprised of this shift in policy. It must indeed and henceforth take such a toll on your nerves to endure such shenanigans, antics and/or goof-em-ups. Complaining is our only refuge.
CBS Pittsburgh - "How Are The Reds In 1st Place?"
This could be an incredulous, embittered look at the Reds from the Steel City. But it's not. And I thank you.
Baseball Prospectus dissects the Chapman DL-ing
in "Heroes Take a Fall."