Potent quotables: End of the road for Dice-K?

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If I keep going like this, I have no right to be a part of this rotation.”

– Daisuke Matsuzaka states the obvious after another poor outing
against the Braves on Friday night. Dice-K has an 8.23 ERA and 2.20
WHIP through his first eight starts. A decision on his future in the
rotation is expected on Monday.

“I’m probably going to lay low for the rest of this year.”

– The tech-savvy Tom Glavine, who informed MLB.com via text message that he isn’t quite ready to say he’s retired, but will likely not pitch this season. The 43-year old left-hander was released by the Braves earlier this month.

“This guy has been battling for a
long time to get back on the field. So it’s a pretty emotional time for
him to have pain in his shoulder again.”

– Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch on the news that Brandon Webb required an MRI on his ailing right shoulder
on Friday. Word on the 2006 Cy Young award winner’s status is not
expected until next week. He could seek a second opinion, as well,
before opting for surgery.

“It’s a step that we had to take. We needed to do something like this.”

– Manny Acta, still the manager of the Nationals,
after a 2-1 victory in 11 innings over the Blue Jays on Friday night.
The win extended their winning streak to three games, matching a
season-high.

“We have a responsibility to do our due diligence. I think a lot more is being made of it publicly than really exists.”

– Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman comments on the club’s interest, or lack thereof,
in free-agent Pedro Martinez. The Rays were among several teams in
attendance when the 37-year-old pitcher threw in the Dominican Republic
on Friday.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.

Hey kids: don’t swing a weighted bat in the on deck circle

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Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.

There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.

Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.