This morning I wrote a 157-word post about Michael Young reaching 2,000 career hits, saying the milestone “might be just a bit overrated” because he’s the 234th player to reach it and “no one really makes a big deal about” the 202 hitters with 250 homers or the 203 pitchers with 150 wins.
While writing the post it didn’t strike me as particularly inflammatory, as I focused on the 2,000-hit milestone rather than Young specifically. Just a little historical context about a round number being reached and no real criticisms to speak of.
Or so I thought.
Turns out, Rangers fans are very angry at me now. Here’s a sampling of some comments on Lone Star Ball, which is the Rangers blog on SBNation:
* Somebody’s gotta be the douchebag.
* Yep…going to go out of his way to hate
* What a completely worthless article.
* What a f***tard.
* Aaron who? Never heard of the guy.
* Stupid article.
* What a poorly conceived swipe.
* Tell Aaron to grab a bat and get busy since its no big deal.
* Don’t tell Aaron Gleeman, but this article is completely worthless and irrelevant.
* He and Calcaterra derive too much pleasure out of being contrarians and raining on parades. It’s like that’s the only joy they have in their lives.
There’s a lot more where those come from, but you get the idea. I’d hate to see how mad Rangers fans get when someone writes something that actually criticizes Young and/or is more than four paragraphs.
I will say that the “Gleemans gonna gleem” comment cracked me up and most of their name-calling is right on the money. But only by coincidence. Also, I’m banning myself from any further meta-posts, unless someone else calls me a bad name. Which probably won’t ever happen again anyway.
Cartoon via xkcd.com.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.