After over a year of working on this blog I thought I have pretty much figured out what to expect when it comes to certain subjects. Yankees-Red Sox stuff? Oh, so predictable. Steroids threads? I can chart out how the comments are going to go with those like I was Hari Seldon with a TI-84 calculator. The Phillies fan insecurity-fests are a much newer phenomenon, but I’m even starting to grok those pretty well too.
But I gotta tell ya, I’ve been rather surprised at how the comments in the Ken Griffey Jr. thread are going so far today. If you would have asked me how I thought it would have gone before I posted it, I would have figured that about 95% of the comments would be of the “he needs to hang it up and give his job to someone who cares” variety, with a smattering of “he was so good once, sad to see him go” offerings.
Imagine my surprise when I was met with a great number of comments wondering if he had a thyroid problem or some other medical condition or otherwise trying to rationalize or explain away the fact that he was snoozing during a ballgame. What happened to all of the “he’s paid top play a kids game!” comments? Where is all the outrage we typically see when A-Rod does something less than godly? Man, if A-Rod had fallen asleep in the clubhouse he’d probably need to be under police protection right now.
All of which brings us to our comment of the day. It was really the most baffling — and hilarious — comment I’ve seen in some time. Does it attack Griffey? No. Does it defend him? Not really. Instead, it goes after the anonymous players who told the reporter about the incident itself:
The entire generation born after 1980 are just a bunch of rat fink
ba—–s. I work kids that age….so i know…snitches.
Look, on some level I understand that being a generally likable guy for the past 20 years has bought Junior a lot more leeway than your average ballplayer, but I figured that at some point — and that point being simply unprepared to play the game of baseball on a given day — likability wouldn’t matter and people would at least go through the motions of tut-tutting Griffey over this. Guess not.
And with that I’m getting out of the comment thread prediction business. Because you guys are way more unpredictable than I had given you credit for.
If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.
Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.
The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.
At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.
Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.
Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.
Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.
Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.