Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-5-31

5/31/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Top of the 1st
DON’T VOTE, NOW!
The first American League balloting update was released yesterday by Major League Baseball, and it reflects more than a month of premature, ill-advised, poorly informed decision-making by fans through the Monster All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and at the ballparks.

Who are the foolish people who are voting now for All-Stars? Honestly, unless you are terminally ill, there is simply no excuse for casting a ballot at this time. The 78th All-Star Game on July 10 in San Francisco and fans have the opportunity to vote a maximum of 25 times. Since voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, June 28, there is simply no reason to show your ignorance by casting any votes until June 25th at the earliest and, as far as I’m concerned, All-Star Election Day should be, June 28th.

The AL leaders, at this point, are totally predictable – the very familiar, Vlad Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Ichiro are the outfield, and New Yorkers – Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez in the infield.

On the other hand, the NL leaders, at this point, are totally predictable – the very familiar, Albert Pujols, Chase Utley and Barry B*nds, and New Yorkers – Carlos Beltran, Paul LoDuca, Jose Reyes and David Wright.

Now while I have tremendous respect for many of the people at MLB.com, this is the type of event where they force the reader to try and discern between journalistic articles and public relation releases, infomercials, or simply advertising vehicles for their sponsors. They hump this like a dog in heat.

Take the April 18 article that suggests voting options to ponder in which they lead with this, “There’s no such thing as a wrong way to eat an Oreo cookie, there’s no such thing as having too much John Legend on your iPod, and there’s no such thing as a poorly filled-out MLB All-Star ballot.”

The article continues to suggest how to fill out your ballot:
* “The most traditional route, of course, is to vote for your hometown heroes.”
* “But feel free to go thematic if you please. An All-International team might be kind of fun.”
* “All-Shop-Without-Distractions. You know, guys who, though terrific young talents, still are so relatively unsung they could walk through the Great Mall of America wearing a purple thong and get attention from nobody outside the local authorities.”
* “Or, if you just want to go all auto-pilot, here’s a No-Brainer Team.”

There is another way to consider, “vote for the most deserving” as deep into the season as possible. But that option doesn’t serve sponsors needs and would force many people working for MLB to post their resumes on Monster.com (see I got the plug in and you didn’t have to waste your vote).

Of course, if you must vote at this time, perhaps you should follow the lead of Votefortheworst.com which was started in 2004 to support voting for the entertaining contestants who the producers would hate to see win on American Idol. Show your love for an AL infield of Ryan Shealy, Erick Aybar, Marco Scutaro, and Joe Crede. Or, how about an NL outfield of Ryan Langerhans, Terrmel Sledge, and Steve Finley?

Despite what the Commissioner (Selig, not Gammons) says, the All-Star Game, does not count. It is nothing more than an exhibition game, but it should be a showcase of the best that baseball has to offer in 2007.

And, for those of you who insist that at this premature stage you can determine, who is the best and who will be the victors, I leave you with these two words:

“Mission Accomplished.”

Top of the 2nd
SICK AND TIRED
Remember that bad start Daisuke Matsuzaka had last week in Texas? In comments that appeared in the Boston Herald, Matsuzaka thinks the beds on the road, the ones in the upscale hotels the Red Sox stay at, are too soft. So he put a portable mattress on the floor and went to sleep. But by being close to the floor he thinks he got sick from germs on the carpet that came off someone’s shoes.

Last night, Dice-K allowed six runs on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings. It turns out that Cleveland Indians make him sick.

Top of the 3rd
The winds are blowing
Torii Hunter’s four-pitch, bases-loaded walk walk-off forced in the winning run with two outs in the 9th and enabled the Twins to rebound from a 6-1 deficit and top the White Sox 7-6 for a three-game sweep. Ozzie Guillen was so frustrated he almost sounded resigned to losing his job.

“I’m going to get fired? Good. Is this team going to get better having me out of there? I’d be too happy with it. But as long as I’m here, we’ve got to play better. As long as I’m here, we have to play better,” Guillen said after the fourth straight loss by the White Sox (24-24).

Of Minnesota’s 26 runs in this series, 18 came with two outs, which speaks volumes about both clubs.

Top of the 4th
A TELLING STAT
The Yankees defeated Toronto last night, 10-5, which is a headline all by itself, but the most interesting stat wasn’t Robinson Can