Baseball Toaster Humbug Journal
Monthly archives: May 2003


The Score Bard Joe Morgan Chat Wrap #2
2003-05-30 19:03
by Score Bard

Saul (New York, NY): What is up with the Marlins getting fined? it's not like they went out and interviewed 7 or 8 guys and none of them were minorities. they had ONE guy they wanted and they got him. should have marched in a few minority "candidates" when they already knew who was getting the job? i'd find that insulting if i were those "candidates."

Without any credible threat
You won't break the "good old boy" net.
You'll only get hired
If you're previously fired;
I'm fine with the fine, not upset.

Joe (Brick, NJ): Good morning Mr. Bard. Do you think that Jose Contreras' start tonight means Jeff Weaver gets sent to the bullpen if he has a good outing? Also, in all your years as a ballplayer, did you ever see an instance where the owner of the ballclub had a major say in who was on the field?

I don't think they should make Jeff Weaver
Go back to the role of reliever.
Just beating the Cats
And their soft, fluffy bats
Won't make me a Jose believer.

Jeff Moody (Annapolis, Maryland): Score Bard, do the Dodgers have enough offense in their lineup to play in October. They are winning a lot of games with outstanding defense and pitching, but are at the bottom of the league in scoring. How far do you think they can make it playing this old school style ball?

Their lineup sure feels incomplete.
Despite that, I think they'll compete.
But if they could trade
For at least one upgrade
They might be the West team to beat.

Jeffrey; Richmond,VA: Score Bard: It is an honor to chat with you. I grew up imitating your batting style and saw the Reds EVERY game they came to Houston. I am bothered by this Red Sox trade w/ the D Backs. Isn't someone who has been spotty as a starter and a proven problem closing against the Yankees exactly not the way for the Sox to go? It seems over the winter they had far better offers for Hillenbrand. Is this the best they could do?

I'm sure that you just meant to flatter;
Don't copy this terrible batter.
Kim's Yankee losses
Were just two bad tosses
Don't freak out--they don't really matter.

David, CT: A lot of people have criticized Michael Lewis' book moneyball. As a former superstar player (who drew more than his fair share of walks), how do you feel about the points brought up by Lewis about Billy Beane's A's, and about the statistical side of baseball in general?

This kindness is going too far!
I'm nothing resembling a star.
Now, as for Beane
It remains to be seen
If statistics are all that there are.

Chris Rochester NY: I think walking the bases full to force a out at any base in the ninth or extra innings fails about 95% of the time and is the stupidest move made by managers what is your opinion

Whatever you do in that spot
Is going to fail quite a lot.
How a manager acts
Should be based on the facts;
Opinions should matter not.

Steven ( Bronx,NY ): Hey Score Bard, I'm a huge Yankee fan. With all the attention being given to Don Zimmer's remarks about George Steinbrenner, Do you think it can hurt the way the Yankees play on the field.

I really enjoyed it when Zimm
Chose to go out on a limb
After hearing the Boss
Blaming Joe for a loss.
The effect, though, I think will be slim.

Randy, Ottawa, ON Canada: What type of pitcher did you find the hardest to hit, 1 - a guy who pitched both sides of the plate (moved the ball inside and out, with a cutter/slider), or 2 - a pitcher who changes a batters sightline (sinkers/12-6 curve) or 3 - a guy who relied on changing speeds (change up/splitter)?

I think for a batter like me
It's hard to hit 1, 2, or 3.
But if I must decide
I'd say pitch me inside:
I'm instantly ready to flee.

JB (Danville, CA): Score Bard - Did you enjoy Diana Krall last night? I thought she sounded great! The A's offense is scuffling, Dye comes back this weekend and Tejada is starting to hit a little. If you're Billy Beane where do you look to add some pop? I'd love to see them go after a corner outfielder or even a move for Roberto Alomar (the Mets have to be looking to dump salary). Thoughts?

The A's aren't in much a position
To make a big payroll addition.
They'll take Long out of action
And thus add by subtraction.
Yes, Krall is a gifted musician.

Craig, Alpharetta, GA: Why do you think so few baseball fans score the baseball games they attend? When you look at photographs from the '30s, you have whole rows of people scoring. Once, while scoring a Braves game, I was asked if I was running a betting pool! Its a shame, you learn so much about the game when you score it.

To calculate cosine and sine
With slide rules was once very fine.
But why should I work
Like a '30s court clerk
When everything now is online?

Ricky C in Sacramento: Hi Score Bard As a Bay Area fan, I love your work with John Miller on Sunday Nights. My question pertains to the "home field advantage" of Coors Field. The Rockies recently dismantled the Giants, and just yesterday finished sweeping the hottest team in baseball--Dodgers. So, is the Coors' field advantage (pitcher's breaking balls don't break as much that effective still, or are the Rockies for real? Also how do you rate the Giants new pitchers Kurt Ainsworth and rookie Jesse Foppert? Thanks, Score Bard!

The Rockies effect gets repealed
As soon as they leave from Coors Field.
And so in the end,
Coors is not much their friend.
Those Giants? They keep my eyes peeled.

Utek (LA): Hey Score Bard, Frank Robinson has done an amazing job with the 'Spos this year (reminds me of the job Gil Hodges did with the Amazin' Mets in 1969). What can he do to keep his team focused on its grueling road trip, with its San Juan to Seattle plane flights?

The Expos could not be that cruel.
Robinson isn't a fool.
It just isn't right
To take flight after flight
With nothing to eat but some gruel.

Ernie D. Edmonds WA: Do you think John Miller will make it to the hall of fame as a broadcaster? I think he's fantastic but he is working for a TV network now and not a team anymore. That could have an effect on perceptions. Would it be a positive or negative effect? p.s. I met you on the field at Jack Murphy Stadium in '89 while I was a security guard. Thanks for treating me well and not big timing me. That year is when I started to love baseball and is proof that if someone watches baseball regularily they can be converted to a fan of the sport.

Yeah, someday Jon might join the Shrine.
But back in the year '89
I really could swear
I was not even there
Are you sure that the meeting was mine?

Matt, Santa Rosa,CA: Hey Score Bard,Why is Bonds strikeout total up so high this early in the season?

Look at the numbers; it's not.
I think that you might have been caught
Making a guess.
His K rate is less
Than the years when he's been really hot.

Carl (Chicago): Good morning. I was just wondering whether or not you thought Greg Maddux could go into the HOF as a Cub? He had many great years here before going to Alanta. Thanks

As I once said about this: who cares
What hat on a plaque someone wears?
Still, he'll go to his grave
As an Atlanta Brave
Not linked with his old Bad News Bears.

Richard, Birmingham, AL: Hi Score Bard. I read a column of yours earlier this week. In it you said that batting average is the most overrated stat in baseball. Do you think Chipper Jones is an overrated player. His batting average has been consistently good. But, his power numbers have dropped over the last few years.

From the view of my fantasy team,
His value is losing some steam
Since he stopped playing third,
But I think it's absurd
To say that he's lost all his gleam.

Rockville, MD: With Melvin Mora, Jorge Julio, and Jay Gibbons leading the way for the future, how close do you think the Orioles are to contending?

How close to the championship smiles?
As close as your state of denials.
The popping of cork
Takes place in New York:
It's one hundred seventy miles.

Mike (Anderson, California): Good morning Mr Bard. I have noticed that some ML ballparks have this new electronic device motoring balls and strikes. The umpires are very uneasy about it. Do you think this should be continued? Case in point the Boston game last night. Second to the last pitch would have been called a strike anywhere. I just don't think machines or computers belong in the game. You might as well replace the umps and while you are at it the players too!!

We might as well go have some fun
Since this slippery slope has begun
Let fans watch them play
In a virtual way
Til somebody finds us "The One".

Bruce, Bronx, NY: What's going on with Giambi? Last year, I understand it had to do with getting comfortable as a Yankee, but a batting average of .219 at the end of May?

What papers you reading there, Bruce?
Haven't you heard his excuse?
His eyes are infected.
His hitting's connected:
Without eyes he cannot produce.

Mike, Kansas City, Mo: Should the Royals try and pick up another hitter in an attempt to catch the Twins? Or is it time to trade Beltran and focus on next season?

I don't think the Twins will be caught.
But you might as well try. Hey, why not?
For KC, what matters
Is getting young batters
Without giving up a whole lot.

Greg louisville, ky: Hey Score Bard, I'm a big red's fan, I'm hoping for big things this season, but starting pitching is killing us. Do you see any hope in the near future wheather it be in a trade or something in the farm system?

I don't think you'll see Cincy's farmers
Providing the Reds with great armers.
What kind of aid
Could they get in a trade?
The decently priced John Halamers.

Paul (Washington, DC): Hey Score Bard, now that the Red Sox have sacrificed a solid player in Hillenbrand for pitching help, where would they be better off putting Kim, in the bullpen, or in the rotation?

According to ESPN,
Kim will be starting again.
He'll take his turns
Until Pedro returns,
And then he'll be back in the pen.

Edward (Metairie, La): Good Morning Mr Bard. I was just wondering can Ken Griffey Jr. revive his career like Mark McGwire did after a long stretch of injuries.

You may see his output revert,
If Ken can avoid getting hurt...
If not, that big "If"
Means his game is a stiff,
And we'll sprinkle our flowers in the dirt.

The End. (Compare to: Joe Morgan's answers)

A Prayer for My Daughter
2003-05-28 21:12
by Score Bard

in our youth, your mom and i
would stay up till dawn
seducing the seasons
to make beautiful and live

then anyone ever a 3-2 count
pregnant with springtime
shorten stroke


the dawns become days
and days days eating plain vanilla ice cream
and another day
and another ice cream
& day
& ice cream

a popup in the sun
somewhere headed--

where am i
going was stand should
when fail must

see, fall, and you--
born of beautiful grown of days
scarred of cannot--

turning to
me as anymore
i forget, lost, but

enjoy your ice cream.

and may come spring you
make beautiful
and live

The Score Bard Joe Morgan Chat Wrap #1
2003-05-27 20:40
by Score Bard

Travis Cammilleri (Candia, NH): Score Bard, how long do you think it will be before the Mets begin their fire sale? Boston sure could use Stanton, Weathers or Benitez!!!

A fire sale must start with a fire
So fire Phillips first, and then hire
A GM who's smart
To tear them apart
And find some young studs to acquire.

Adam (Ottawa, Canada): Hi Score Bard, What is going on with the A's in 1 run ball games? Last year they seemed to win the majority of them, and this year can't seem to win any. Is their bullpen just not that good? Or is it lack of offensive production from their star players when it counts? Who's your pick to win it all this season?

I don't really think it's the pen.
I think they leave too many men
Out in scoring position;
They need Miggi Magician
To do that clutch hit trick again.

Nick (Greensboro, NC): HEY Score Bard. Enjoy your work. In your opinion do you see batters in the future still trying to hug the plate? Or do you see them backing off a little? Thanks.

I'm sure it would cause a debate
And players would get quite irate
If like Fidrych the Bird
Someone mad or absurd
Bent down to embrace the home plate.

Matt (Bradenton, FL): For some reason, Lou Piniella started batting Rocco Baldelli fourth behind Aubrey Huff this week. This is a reversal of their usual positions. Why would you ever want to bat your best hitter for average behind your best home run hitter? I don't understand why he made this swap -- and it doesn't seem to be working, as the Rays lost all three games against Texas.

Lou must have seen quite enough
Of pitching around Aubrey Huff.
You can't pitch around Rocco
Because he won't walk, so
If you don't like it--well, tough.

Nick (San Diego): Hey Score Bard, is there anything better than broadcasting a Red Sox-Yankees game with Curt Goudy? That was terrific! Where does it rank on your list of most memorable achievements?

I once ate some curt gouda cheese
Which I wouldn't much care to reprise.
As for Curt Gowdy
I'm glad he said howdy
I like to hear old retirees.

Scott (Toledo): Bud Selig did lees than well with Bob Costes this week on HBO. How important is it for the next Commissioner to do well in the media and Public appearances? What are the chances of anyone outside baseball ever serving in this position?

I think that perhaps you forgot
The commish doesn't do diddly squat.
Old Bowie Kuhn
Was just a buffoon
Baseball still grew. It matters not.

Jeff (Los Altos): Score Bard, what is the most over rated statistic in baseball?

wayne (new yawk): Score Bard, I understand that players sometimes pick which team they want to go into the HoF for greedy reasons, but I think players should really be able to at least speak to a committee or something about the reasons they want the team they want to be picked. On that note, I think Roger has earned the right to choose whichever team he wants to go into the HoF. It doesn't hurt for me that he wants to go in as a New York Yankee! What are your thoughts?

By far, the most dumb, useless stat
Is what Wayne feels is worthy of chat.
I think it's quite pitiful
That we need a committeeful
Of people to pick a darn hat.

Josh (US Army in Korea): Hey Score Bard, Given the Japanese position players that are starting to jump to the Majors, what kind of numbers do you think a Japanese player will need to put up to be considered for the Hall of Fame, given the length of their contracts with the Japanese teams? And do you think that the voters will consider their combined accomplishments in both the majors and Japan (ie, what they might have accomplish if all of the time was in MLB) when voting?

I think that they will have to play
Their best years in the USA.
If their peaks span
Their years in Japan
The votes will not come their way.

Don (Mtn. View, CA): Score Bard, Now that Bernie Williams is out 4-6 weeks, Nick Johnson is out, Karsay will not return this year, do the Yankees need to make some moves?

If they do not want George's grief,
They will acquire some relief.

CBeatty (Denver): Score Bard, when your commentating a game, are you watching the field or the t.v, or both? Did the pitch calls look as "off" to you Wed. night (Sox-Yanks) as they did from my livingroom? Thanks, chief.

When I'm at the park
My TV is dark,
And please, sir, do not call me chief.

Al Morgan: Little Rock, AR: Good morning Score Bard! I really appreciate your keen insight and the wisdom that you possess in the game of Baseball. Are the Braves really as good as their record indicates, or are they just playing over their heads right now? They have really rebounded from the horrible start this season. Will they be the team to beat in the NL East?

I can't give enough of my raves
To the play of the Atlanta Braves.
I thought that the Phils
Would be leading in thrills
But Mesa's no Smoltz with the saves.

Mark Hageman, Cincinnati, Ohio: Hi Score Bard. You're probably aware that the Reds' Joe Nuxhall is nearing retirement. I would like to go on the record as stating that my first pick for his replacement would be... the Score Bard!

That's nice of you, Mark, to declare,
But I doubt that I'll be on the air.
For you see, I can't rhyme
All of the time,
I need some lead time to prepare.

Joey, Nj: Do you think the Expos are going to be playing elsewhere next year, where do you think they could be playing, could it be Oregon possibly?

I think Portland's efforts will fail;
They won't go the Oregon Trail.
For Selig, you see,
Wants a team in DC,
The other talk's just a tall tale.

Jim (Bayfield, WI): Score Bard - Is there anything good to say about the Brewers? Tell me there's something! Thanks.

I'm sorry that you are so glum.
It's sad what that team has become.
There's just one thing to say
That could brighten your day:
Someday, your Prince, Jim, will come.

Maria (Wimberley, TX): Score Bard, enjoy your work. Have you read the new book "Moneyball" about Billy Beane? What do "insiders" such as yourself think about what the book says?

The best thing about Moneyball
Was being a fly on the wall.
But their statistical view
I already knew
I didn't learn much there at all.

Utek (LA): Hey Score Bard, given the success of Annika Sorenson, and the number of women playing softball in America, do you think there's the possibility that a woman would ever play in pro baseball? As an aside, did you ever take any swings against a topflight female softball pitcher? I know that Alex Rodriguez has stood in the batter's box against one, but he was too chicken to take any hacks.

Her last name should be "Sörenstam".
As for women and baseball I am
Sure that someday
A woman will play.
As for me, I can't hit worth a damn.

Jack, Moncton, Canada: Score Bard. Do you think Tim Raines has a shot at the hall of fame?

A writer who has any brains
Would vote to include Mr. Raines.
But he's not so respected,
So he won't get elected
Unless he goes out and campaigns.

Alan (Louisville, KY): Score Bard, You're style of announcing comes from being such an intelligent player. Do you think that being a former player gives you access to players who are usually reluctant to talk to reporters who never played?

The years that I played sandlot ball
Has not really helped me at all
Gain credibility
Or accessibility
I'm just one more brick in the wall.

Joey, Nj: Do you think Jesse Orosco is going to be playing until he is 50 years old?

Fifty? Now, that might be tricky.
With old players, teams can get picky.
Although they can play,
Teams might shy away.
If you think that's not true, just ask Rickey.

Tony (Arlington Heights, IL): Hey Score Bard, do you think Cory Patterson is for real this year or is going to tail off like he did last year. He seems to have gotten much better at hitting pitches up in the strike zone which has to be a good sign. Right?

I think the emergence of Cory
Is surely a pleasant Cub story.
As for hitting up high
Other teams will reply
By forcing him low for his glory.

Nathaniel (Weare): Can the Dodgers pitching staff carry them to the playoffs?

I think it will cause too much strain
And the pitchers will start to feel pain
To shoulder the load
On the long playoff road.
I recommend using a plane.

John, Snellville: what was a more devastasting playoff series loss and why. Losing to the Phillies in 1980 or the Mets in 1973?

The great games since I've been alive
Include the '80 game five
To tie it and then
To lose it in ten
Must hurt, but I think I'll survive.

Mike Rapier (Cincinnati, OH): It seems like Bob Boone likes to change the lineup every single day. Does this hurt the Reds, not keeping a consistent lineup in everyday?

I see nothing wrong with Bob Boone
Using a lineup platoon.
But if Kearns and Dunn
End up sitting a ton,
Then Boone should be called a buffoon.

Ryan (Fargo): Which is more important in baseball today....good starting pitching or good relief pitching?

If you're committed to winning
You need to make every inning
Thrown by your best.
So each team should invest
In starters right from the beginning.

And now, my dear friend,
We have come to The End.

Compare to Joe Morgan's answers.

On Steve Avery getting a victory
2003-05-15 06:48
by Score Bard

Though Avery's outing was brief,
His win ended years full of grief.
When he used to start,
Wins were five days apart.
Four years? It's quite a relief.

On Mike Piazza changing positions
2003-05-09 20:09
by Score Bard

Moving Piazza to first,
Which he has never rehearsed,
Helps the catching improve,
But there's risk in the move
For the infield, now bad, may get worst.

On Robb Nen's Successful Surgery
2003-05-08 09:27
by Score Bard

The Giants first feared that Robb Nen
Might never be pitching again.
But the surgeon's sharp knife
Has saved his arm's life.
His return isn't if now, it's when.

Burnett blames management
2003-05-01 21:33
by Score Bard

I think that young A.J. Burnett
Has said something he might regret.
The feeding hand
If bit, gets you canned,
Just go ask Peter Arnett.

Score Bard's blog: now verse than ever!
Frozen Toast
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