Each week we will go around the league and recap all of the significant happenings, in an effort to keep you, the reader, abreast of such time sensitive news. And of course, by 'each week', I mean 'probably not each week'.
La Semana Tres
Wet Fart of the Week: Frank Thomas, Blue Jays - The Blue Jays hastily parted ways with the Big Hurt after he got off to his traditionally slow start, batting just .167, albeit with 11 RBI thus far. Gotta open up playing time for that Matt Stairs kid. Frank still seems to have a little left in the tank, and unlike Barry Bonds, isn't a team cancer, so he'll likely end up somewhere else shortly. I would expect Tampa Bay would be a good fit, as that seems to be the place where past-their-prime sluggers go to fade off into oblivion, but not before padding their stats a little.
Fantasy Sleeper Makes Good: Joe Crede, White Sox - A month ago, if we were discussing the sleeper 3B candidate for the South Siders, we would have been referring to Josh Fields. Who knew that Joltin' Joe Crede was actually the real sleeper in the equation? Early Spring rumors had his bags all but packed for baseball purgatory (San Francisco), but with 5 HR, 18 RBI and a .305 AVG he may want to rethink taking up Omar Vizquel on his offer to 'show you all of San Francisco's sordid bath houses, brothels and underground hippie communes.'
Fantasy Sleeper Gone to Pot: Yankees young hurlers - Ian Kennedy is pitching more like Ian Ziering. Joba Chamberlain went to be with his sick dad and missed the whole week. Phil Hughes won't bend the bill of his hat, and has thus suffered the same slow start as another reputed straight-billed starter, CC Sabathia. Maybe they should have traded a couple of these guys for that Santana guy after all. Where's Hideki Irabu when you need him?
Yep, I Gave Em AIDS: Ben Sheets and Rich Harden, Brewers and A's - No sooner do I laud them for their fast starts in Week 1's recap, does Harden go on the DL with shoulder woes and Sheets get a start pushed back to due to triceps trouble. Better that than 'chronic fatigue' I suppose.
You're a Shame to Your Family, Your Team and More Importantly, Jesse Orosco: The Pirates lefthanded starters - Tom Gorzelanny, Paul Maholm and Zach Duke gave new meaning (and not a good one) to the phrase 'soft tossing lefties'. Duke failed to strike out one batter in 10IP this week, Gorzelanny hasn't made it out of the 3rd inning in his two starts against the Cubs and Maholm has been more hittable than Bret Myers' wife. Apparently there's some Pirate disease where their lefties show tremendous potential as rookies and then suck horribly from there on out. The only cure? Trade them for Roberto Hernandez. See Perez, Oliver.
Derek Jeter, You and Your Weird Fade Haircut are No Longer The Apple Of NY's Eye: David Wright, Mets - This guy is amazing. He hits, he runs, he plays defense, his grooming habits are impeccable and I'm told he makes sweet love like a young Frankie Sinatra. Is there anything this guy can't do? (Wait...we're being told that he's merely average at Pictionary. So there you have it.)
Shhh...We've Secretly Replaced Their Wooden Bats With Big, Red Wiffle Bats: LA Dodgers - I haven't seen this kind of ineptitude at the plate since the Deadball era. I suppose when you lock up Nomar, Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones, you reap what you sow. Their leading hitter this year? Yep, Alyssa Milano.
Triumphant Return of the Week: Matt Murton, Cubs - Who else but the prodigal son? He's a bit rusty (staub), as evidenced by his 1-6 showing on Sunday, but that's to be expected from this ginger batsmith. He did get a swinging bunt and drove in two runs on RBI groundouts, which were admittedly, the most exciting RBI groundouts ever. A few more games and Thunder should be back to his usual Ruthian ways, hitting dongs onto Waveland and autographing the unformed heads of babies.
Ok, So Maybe It Was a Good Signing: Reed Johnson, Cubs - We were the first to criticize the Pride of Riverside, Reed Johnson, but admittedly most of that was merely bitterness stemming from the mistreatment of Red Jesus, Thunder Matt. But given Felix Pie's level of unforeseen sucktitude, this Reed Johnson kid has proved to be a breath of fresh air. So far, he hasn't looked merely 'passable until we make a trade', but instead, legitimately 'good'. I'm still not sold on that landing strip he's got on his chin, but with each passing day he's winning me over with his wiles and charm. Reed, will you continue to stay in this house and rock my world?
Give These Guys a Greasy Taco
David Wright, Mets: 12/23, 9RBI, 1SB
Nate McLouth, Pirates: 2 HR, 5 RBI, 18 gm hitting streak (season)
Mark DeRosa, Cubs: .421 AVG, 8RBI, 1SB
Manny Ramirez, Red Sox: 10/24, 4HR, 8RBI
Ervin Santana, Angels: 2-0, 14K, 1BB
Cliff Lee, Indians: 1-0, 8K, 0.40 ERA (season)
Give These Guys a Taco Filled With Cilantro:
Ryan Howard, Phillies: .174 AVG, 10K, 0SB
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: Hurt doing the 'hop'. Idiot.
Jason Giambi, Yankees: 2/18, 0HR, 2RBI
CC "Don't Call Me DeVille" Sabathia, Indians: 4IP, 9ER, 1K, 200LDL
Jose Valverde, Astros: BS, 6ER, 19.29ERA, ADD
Matt Cain, Giants: 3.2 IP, 9ER, 2HR
Justin Verlander, Tigers: 0-1, 2.20 WHIP, 1K