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6.16.2004

Tales of Ordinary Madness 

Commenting last night on the umpire's warning after he threw a pitch at Michael Tucker's ankles, Toronto pitcher and man of letters Miguel Batista said, "It was stupid. I'm not trying to hit a guy with a changeup in the ankle. If I wanted to hit a guy I would hit him in the head."

Charles Bukowski would be proud.

By the way, I was taught in high school that if you really want to hit a guy, you aim not for the head but for the middle of the body. The ass is the perfect target. It's much harder for the batter to get out of the way, and impact is less likely to cause serious injury. In my first year in the local men's league, a batter got on base against me and announced that he was going to steal. With a ten-run lead. (This was the same guy who decided during a pitching change to drop trou and piss against the center field wall.) I proceeded to pick him off first, but our inept first baseman threw the ball in the dirt. Safe at second. On the next pitch, the runner took off for third. On the next pitch, the batter got a fastball in the behind, from which there was no escape. He wasn't happy about paying for his teammate's sins, but it didn't hurt that much, and he still reminds me of it with a laugh whenever we face each other.

Other notes:

* Jason Schmidt said something last night that gives me a bit of pause: "I felt really good starting out, the best I've felt all year, but I slowly ran out of gas," he said. "I just haven't felt quite as strong. It'll come back."

Jason's choice of verb tense is disconcerting; "I just haven't felt quite as strong." He didn't say, "I just didn't feel quite as strong," making me think that this is a condition that's been bothering him for more than just last night. We can only hope that it's a matter of bad grammar, not bad elbow.

* After pummeling low-A ball pitching, Giants' prospect Nate Schierholtz has been promoted to high-A San Jose. Schierholtz hit 15 home runs and 22 doubles in 233 at bats at Hagerstown for a SLG% of .584. He didn't walk much -- only 18 times -- and struck out 52 times, so better pitchers might be able to make him expand the strike zone. In his San Jose debut he went 0 for 3 with two Ks and a sac fly. (Thanks to Kevin Goldstein's Baseball America Prospect Report.) That makes three top prospects at San Jose: Schierholtz, Matt Cain, who continues to roll, and Merkin Valdez, who has made three starts, struck out 19 and only walked one. UPDATE: Make that two prospects. Cain has just been promoted to double-A.

* Marty at Across the Seams has a nice analysis of a recent, rather fluffy Merc piece on attendance at Pac Bell Park. His blog, if I may say so, is one of the rare few on any topic with daily commentary that isn't just links, game rehash, or brain-dead reaction. Marty always adds thought, analysis, humor, or all three, to the subject at hand without getting mind-numbingly Gleeman-length.

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