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7.14.2006

Blue is the Color of Stupid 

The Giants' second half of the season has gotten off to a great start, and they don't even play until tonight.

Last night in the Dodgers-Cardinals game, Grady Little let Odalis Perez pitch to Albert Pujols in the bottom of the 14th inning with one out and no one on base. Perhaps Grady thought it was Luis Pujols at the plate. It was late, and perhaps Grady had flown all day from Patagonia, where he was fishing during the All-Star break. I don't know if that's true, but how else to explain his decision not to give Pujols the four-finger salute, a.k.a. The Royal Barry? Sure, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds were next and would get to hit with a man on first, but, ahem, Grady, did you check the Internet before the game started? I'm not even a major-league manager, and with a few simple clicks I found this:

Albert Pujols lifetime vs. Odalis Perez

Before last night: 9 for 14, 4 home runs.
After last night: 10 for 15, 5 home runs.

From the game report:

Perez said he was trying to walk Pujols on a 3-2 count. "He went out and got it," Perez said. "It was a changeup away."

Manager Grady Little said he preferred to challenge Pujols, no matter who was pitching to him.

"Sooner or later, you've got to do something," Little said. "There's not enough bases out there to intentionally walk everybody you want to."


Whenever you, dear Giant fan, despair over the opacity of Felipe's bullpen moves or lineup construction, just ponder that Grady Little quote. Heat-transfer it to a T-shirt and wear it to the game in September -- you know, the victory with which the Giants clinch the pennant by a game over the Dodgers.

There's not enough bases out there to intentionally walk everybody you want to.

Which begs the question, How many people do you want to intentionally walk, Grady? If more than three, then yes, there's [sic] not enough bases. But last night, there's was [sic] plenty of bases out there to intentionally walk Albert Pujols. Sure, you hate to put the winning run on base for free. Unless the best hitter in the major leagues is at the plate and even in the best of times he abuses the pitcher you currently have on the mound worse than, say, Barry Bonds abuses his friendship with Gary Sheffield.

Maybe Grady was giving Perez a vote of confidence in this rough patch the sensitive Odalis is suffering through...then again, Perez, banished to the bullpen in May, pitched three times in the span of a month before last night. He's so deep in the Dodger doghouse, even the fleas go elsewhere to frolic.

Or, in Odalis's own words: "If I've done something wrong, let me know, tell me. I want to know. I've been treated like trash."

Little told the press Perez pitched last night because he was "pretty much" out of options. Apparently Danys Baez isn't an option, because he hadn't pitched yet.

Somewhere, someone in Boston is having a good chuckle. We can only hope The Curse of Grady has moved West.

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