John Smoltz (left) with Boston (30 innings): 8.33 ERA
John Smoltz with St. Louis (22 innings): 3.27 ERA
Brad Penny with Boston (131 2/3 innings): 5.61 ERA
Brad Penny with San Francisco (15 innings): 1.20 ERA
Jose Contreras with Chicago AL (114 2/3 innings): 5.42 ERA
Jose Contreras with Colorado (9 2/3 innings): 1.86 ERA
OK, so there are sample size issues. Fact remains that all three veteran right-handers consistently stunk in the American League this year; two of them were flat out released; none has had a lousy outing since landing in Quadruple A — I mean, the National League.
I wrote the previous entry before reading the LaVelle Neal III gamer for the Star Tribune. He too focused on the bunts. The wrong end of the bunts, the execution of them, not the dubiousness of the decision to sac bunt when behind.
The point is: Even if Span and Punto had moved their runners up, the bunts were bad percentage baseball.
Check out the final entry in Craig Calcaterra's daily roundup of the baseball action: Probably worth noting that this west coast game ended before the eastern time Steelers-Titans game did. Even better, it didn't end with the losing team not having a chance to play offense. I'd list all the other reasons why it was superior to football, but I'm going on a trip next week and therefore won't have the time to get to them all.