This isn’t exactly news, but it’s a slow day and slow days are made for Bill Lee rambling about stuff. Here’s Lee comparing and contrasting Andre Dawson and Jim Rice:
“Hawk’s a leader. He led by example through pain and suffering, going
out there every day and laying it on the line. Character! I’d take him
over Rice any day of the week. Rice had one of the greatest years in
’78, but over the course of a career? Hawk could play the outfield.
Rice was a good outfielder there for a while, but then he got heavy. He
got sedentary. He really didn’t work as hard as Hawk had to work every
day. He was a pain in the [butt].”
And actually, I’m less interested in Lee’s opinion of Rice as I am in using this an excuse to talk about the show I saw on ESPN Classic this morning. It was some sports quiz show from the mid 70s that pitted Fred Lynn, Bill Lee and Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson against Bobby Bonds, Frank Tanana and Angels manager Dick Williams. Great stuff. Lynn carried the Red Sox to victory. The Angels team was mostly Bonds and a bit of Williams, though Dick was way too quick on the buzzer. Tanana and Lee were close to non-entities, though it’s worth noting that Lee did appear to be completely lucid, which is frankly surprising.
OK, we probably need some real news to happen now.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.