Thursday, July 12, 2012

Notes, quotes and comment

The regular season is a grind, and players welcome the respite offered by the All-Star break. Certain obsessive bloggers might benefit from taking a break also, but what's the point of taking a vacation from an obsession? There are always things that have fallen through the cracks:

Oswald Arcia's Futures
Game double was a
bullet pulled off a
97-mph heater.
* Twins outfield prospect Oswald Arcia doubled in two at-bats during the Futures Game last Sunday.

In a lot of ways, I'm more interested in the Futures Game than in the All-Star Game, but by scheduling it on the last day of the first half MLB has guaranteed it a smaller audience.

Arcia is a 21-year-old out of Venezuela who is already on the 40-man roster and has pushed his way to midseason promotions this year and last. He has less than 100 at bats in Double A at this point and isn't dominating the small sample size, so I don't expect to see him in Target Field this season even if one of the outfielders is traded this month. But his day is coming.

He was the sole Twins prospect selected for the Futures Game. Noteworthy by omission was Miguel Sano; missing for obvious injury reason (broken bone in face) was Eddie Rosario.

Baseball America consults with MLB in setting up the rosters, and one of its writers said in a chat that there were players they wanted but whose teams didn't agree. He didn't name Sano specifically, but his name came to mind immediately. The Twins are known to use such honors as a reward, and they may not wish to reward Sano while his defensive struggles are so glaring.

* Reggie Jackson was effectively suspended from his front office job with the Yankees for telling Sports Illustrated that Alex Rodriguez' admitted PED use raises questions about his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Reggie's title with the Yankees is "special advisor to the managing general partner," which is vague enough to encompass almost anything. My guess is that he is essentially vice-president in charge of being Reggie Jackson, which is probably more lucrative than anything I do without being much of a strain on his capabilities.

Criticizing A-Rod is an unpaid hobby for a lot of people, and nothing Reggie said about the Yankee third baseman broke any ground, but publicly badmouthing one's fellow employees is generally frowned upon. And put in the context of Jackson's listing of guys he doesn't think belong in Cooperstown -- including Kirby Puckett, Bert Blyleven, Jim Rice and Phil Niekro -- Jackson simply comes off to me as one of those guys who wanted the door shut behind him.

I happen to agree with Jackson on Rice's qualifications. I don't on Puckett, Blyleven and, especially, Niekro. While I don't find anything objectionable about being a "small Hall" guy, I believe that a Hall of Fame too small for Niekro is also too small for Jackson.

Among the players depicted: Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson.
*I was fascinated by the story out of Ohio of the 700 rare, high-quality, century-old baseball cards found in an attic.

I happen to own five cards from that era -- no big names or money involved: John Titus, Dots Miller, Billy Sullivan, Larry McLean, Charley O'Leary. The pasteboards connect me to the deadball era, to generations past. Miller played second base next to Honus Wagner; O'Leary cut off Ty Cobb's throws; McLean took orders from John McGraw; Sullivan was part of the founding of the American League.

They may not have made history, but they were part of it.


  1. I appreciate the comment on the timing of the Futures Game. I'd love to have seen that game played last night or tonight ... I think it would get a decent audience.

  2. Offer Span to the Marlins for Jose Fernandez.