Another day, another pair of new heroes for the Diamondbacks.
Utilityman Geoff Blum knocked in three runs and rookie Wade Miley notched the win as the Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 10-7 on Monday.
One of GM Kevin Towers’ most baffling decisions last winter was to sign Blum to a two-year, $2.7 million contract and set up a third-base platoon of he and Melvin Mora. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, both veterans got hurt early and Ryan Roberts shined as the replacement at third base, sending both Blum and Mora into obsolescence. But while Mora was released long ago, Blum was allowed to spend most of the year chilling on the disabled list. Activated on Sept. 1, he made his first start since returning today and drove in his third, fourth and fifth runs of the season.
Miley overcame a leadoff homer from Dexter Fowler and another solo shot from Mark Ellis to hold the Rockies to two runs in seven innings. This year’s Barry Enright, he’s now 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA, even though he’s sporting an ugly 1.61 WHIP after four starts.
The Rockies made this one interesting late, as both Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki homered off Micah Owings in the ninth. Tulo’s was a three-run shot that gave him his first career 100-RBI season. However, Bryan Shaw took over after that and got the final out to end the game.
The brightside for the Rockies was undoubtedly Fowler, who also had a double to go along with his two homers. Since returning from the minors on July 15, he’s hitting a remarkable .316/.406/.565 with three homers, 10 triples and 16 doubles in 193 at-bats.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!
Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”
Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.
You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.
Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.
The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”
Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.
This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.