Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday

The only safe trampoline.

For many, Friday represents the end of a long work week that was filled with heavy doses of sludging and drudging. It’s my hope that at the end of every week during the baseball season, during that point of the day on a Friday afternoon when it’s too far away from closing time to leave work early, but too late in the day to start anything new, you’ll join us here to check out some random observations and contribute your own opinions to my ten stray thoughts on a Friday.

So, without further ado:

Trampolines Create Topsy Turvy Safety Experts

After word broke earlier today of Joba Chamberlain suffering an open dislocation of his right ankle whilst trampolining, it became de rigueur to use the phrase “he should’ve known better.”

I’m not being facetious when I ask, “Am I missing something here?” When did trampolines become synonymous with death traps? We’re not talking about playing Russian roulette here, or even climbing a mountain in the off season. Chamberlain was jumping on a trampoline with his kid.

In my mind there’s absolutely nothing to tsk tsk here. It’s not like he swallowed a half bottle of muscle relaxants, drank a case of Schlitz and decided to go joyriding. He was playing bouncy bounce with his son.


I thought one of the most confusing moves of the off season for the Toronto Blue Jays was the acquisition of Ben Francisco. It seemed incredibly pointless given the position battles that were already supposed to commence this Spring.

Making it even more ridiculous is this career comparison:

  • Ben Francisco vs. LHP: 480 PA, 10.6 BB%, 15.4 K%, .343 OBP, .425 SLG, .338 wOBA.
  • Rajai Davis vs. LHP: 589 PA, 8.0 BB%, 13.8 K%, .350 OBP, .411 SLG, .336 wOBA.

Sure, Francisco might have a bit more power, assuming he’s placed in a platoon role, but personally I much prefer a player getting on base 35% of the time with Davis’ speed to anything that the former Philadelphia Phillies player might offer.

Bobby Valentine The Deflective Antagonist

Last night, Joe Girardi, as is his prerogative, decided not to play into extra innings after the Boston Red Sox tied the New York Yankees in the bottom of the ninth. It was a justifiable move considering that the manager was out of pitchers from his 40 man roster and he had two split squad games today.

However, Bobby Valentine was none too pleased with the lack of courtesy Girardi exhibited by not even bothering to talk it over with his opposition’s manager or tell the umpires he was without pitchers, which is what custom would dictate.

The umpire came over and said we couldn’t play. I don’t care about not playing. Why do I have to warm up my pitcher who is trying to make the team, coming in a tie game against the Yankees and maybe help him make the team? Instead, he has to walk off the mound and take a shower.

Not very courteous.

Joe knows better than I. I guess you just walk off the mound. I’m sure he didn’t do anything deliberate.

How very Socratic of him.

At least now, none of the many beat reporters that follow the Red Sox around are talking about Daniel Bard’s struggles to make the rotation.

Aaron Crow Is A Reliever With Or Without Joakim Soria

Now that Joakim Soria’s season ending Tommy John surgery is official, we can all make fun of the Kansas City Royals for naming John Broxton the team’s closer over Greg Holland. Lost in most of our scornful mockery is that Soria’s departure from the bullpen means the addition of Aaron Crow who will leave what would have been his spot in the starting rotation.

Normally, the idea of a rotation quality starter being thought of as more useful to the bullpen would be maddening. The thing is: Aaron Crow probably isn’t a starting rotation caliber pitcher.

Put simply, Crow can’t throw a change up or curve. However, he has a pretty good fastball and slider that he can use one inning at a time to get batters out. As Orel Hershiser might say, “He doesn’t have the repetwah.”

Post Idea: 101 Hilarious Things That The Baltimore Orioles Have Done

So, I think I came up with a great idea for a post. It would be a list of 101 hilarious things that the Baltimore Orioles have done. From recent memory alone, we have signing Kevin Gregg to a multiple year contract and getting their scouting staff banned from baseball in Korea. If anything comes to mind from the past series of OriLOLes posts, or otherwise, feel free to mention it to me.

Photo courtesy of the wonderful Big League Stew.

The Battle For Regional Fans

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports published a column today on the need for the Oakland A’s to make the move to San Jose.

Commissioner Bud Selig needs to get the A’s to San Jose. He needed to do it yesterday, last month, any time during the period since he appointed a special committee to study the team’s situation three years ago.

The situation is the very definition of easier said than done, with the San Francisco Giants claiming the territory around San Jose as their own.

As I wrote earlier this week, in Toronto, we don’t really have an idea about the battles for regional fan bases between teams in similar areas. A one week trip through California, looking at billboards alone reveals that there very much exists a competition.

In his piece, Rosenthal wisely comes to the conclusion that a deal needs to be brokered between the A’s and Giants, in a similar fashion to what MLB negotiated between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles.

Getting further into specifics, in January, Wendy Thurm of Baseball Nation addressed this very issue, and advised the following four actions to make things agreeable for both sides:

  • Grant the A’s territorial rights to Santa Clara county; grant the A’s and the Giants shared rights to San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties; grant the Giants territorial rights to Alameda and Contra Costa counties; and affirm the Giants’ territorial rights to San Francisco and Marin counties;
  • Appoint an independent third-party to determine (a) the Giants’ current revenue streams derived directly from corporations and fans located in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties; (b) any decrease in the Giants’ Santa Clara and San Mateo-based revenue streams in the years leading up to the opening of the A’s new ballpark in San Jose; and (c) any (further) decrease in those revenue streams in the time period following the opening of the A’s new ballpark up through and including the end of 2017;
  • Direct the A’s to pay the Giants 50 percent of Santa Clara and San Mateo-based revenue lost between the date of the owners’ vote and the opening of the new ballpark;
  • Direct the A’s to pay the Giants 10 percent of the Santa Clara and San Mateo-based revenue lost between the opening of the new ballpark and the end of 2017.

I find this sort of stuff fascinating. As fans of baseball become better and better informed, the satisfaction we can take from the game doesn’t have to end at what happens on the field. I’m not suggesting that brokering deals for the income from regional fan bases should outweigh your favourite team winning a game in the ninth inning, but it’s an additional aspect of a subject that I’m happy to embrace.

Follow Friday

Five new people to follow on Twitter:

  1. Matthew Kory: One of my favourite writers over at Baseball Prospectus, if not for any other reason than his ability to anger the humourless ghouls who inhabit the site’s comment section.
  2. Bradley Ankrom: The latest addition to the wonderful cast of authors at Crashburn Alley is exactly what I what I want to bring to the table in my writing: equal parts insight and irreverence.
  3. Scott Lewis: Our new daily show producer, GIF maestro and resident Pittsburgh Pirates fan is going to be a big part of Getting Blanked this season. He’s the make us or break us player on our roster.
  4. Jon Bernhardt: A Baltimore Orioles fan who is worth following for more than just pity.
  5. Dead BJ Hopes: My own personal troll. This guy puts a ton of effort into misconstruing my writing and reading too much into throw away comments.

Riffin’ ‘n GIFin’

As previously mentioned, this is the type of stuff you’ll be able to see a whole lot of this coming season thanks to Scott Lewis hopping on the Getting Blanked train.

Yes, he’s pretty much a genius.

Shameless Self Promotion

As always, you can check out our Facebook page by clicking here, and if you’re into it, try “liking” us to get updates on new videos and funny pictures in your own Facebook news feed, as well as the occasional link back to the blog. Staying on the social media train, you can also follow Getting Blanked on Twitter to get regular links to all of our content and fresh bits of sarcasm.

While we’re on the subject, feel free to subscribe to our iTunes feed as well, which will bring all the audio goodness of our podcasts and live streams and other things featuring our ugly mugs to your computer free of charge, including our new daily show which is set to begin at the start of the season.

I’d also like to advise all Getting Blankards everywhere to save the date and get a doctor’s note ready for April 5th. We’re finalizing the details on a special event that will likely require your attendance, and therefore an afternoon off of work.

Popular Players

Yesterday’s five most popular player profiles at Baseball Reference were:

  1. Andy Pettitte
  2. Chipper Jones
  3. Alex Rodriguez
  4. Derek Jeter
  5. Albert Pujols

Over at FanGraphs, the last 24 hours has seen these player profiles visited the most:

  1. Chipper Jones
  2. Madison Bumgarner :-)
  3. Matt Cain
  4. Roy Halladay
  5. Lorenzo Cain