The Anti-All Stars

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Every year Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com puts out his version of the Razzies to Major League Baseball’s Oscars. It’s his Anti-All Stars team, collecting the worst and dimmest the league had to offer at each position. His new one is out now.

Mariners fans and Yankees-haters will take note that despite all the early season crowing about Michael Pineda’s injury and the M’s winning the trade, Jesus Montero is the team’s starting DH:

Montero is one of only 10 DHs with more than 130 at-bats and, as a DH, he’s hitting .192 with two homers and 13 RBI. Throw in his ABs while catching, and this stat is more difficult to choke down than a mouthful of cauliflower: Montero collected exactly one (1) RBI in the entire month of June, in 23 games.

But at times like these I do remember something my old boss at the law firm used to say: anyone can lose a small case. It takes a great lawyer to lose a huge one.  You laugh, but the core of truth to that little quip is that you have to be pretty good to begin with to be put in a position to fail so spectacularly. That applies to face-planting major leaguers too.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.