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The Bleacher Bums: May 16, 2005 Archive

The White Sox are not this good

Posted at 9:58 AM on May 16, 2005 by Ben Tesch (2 Comments)

Twinsgeek dissects the White Sox to figure out if they are for real, and whether they can sustain their winning ways.

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Down on the farm

Posted at 11:20 AM on May 16, 2005 by David Zingler (1 Comments)

Smith suffers another setback
One of the more interesting stories in the Twins minor league system is that of reliever Bud Smith. As a rookie phenom with St. Louis back in 2001, Smith hurled a no-hitter against the Padres in September. Since then however, nothing has gone right for the left-hander. After beginning the 2002 season in Triple A, Smith was dealt to Philadelphia in the Scott Rolen trade. A series of shoulder problems however, prevented him from ever pitching for the Phillies.

Now 25, Smith is attempting to resurrect his once promising career in the Twins organization. After going 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in three appearances with Triple A Rochester, he was sent back to extended spring training in Ft. Myers, FL.

ďHe'll be able to rehab a lot better down there,Ē Redwings interim manager Rich Miller told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. ďHe's facing quality hitters here, and he's not ready for that."

Random updates....
Speedy outfielder Denard Span, the Twins top pick in 2002, is currently hitting .348 with a .422 on-base-percentage and 7 steals at Single A Fort Myers. Teammate Matt Moses, a first rounder in 2003, is manning third base and batting .339 with 6 homeruns in 33 games. Last yearsí top pick, shortstop Trevor Plouffe, meanwhile is struggling at Single A Beliot, hitting just .151 in 33 games.

Had Justin Morneau not come back so strong after his beaning, Garrett Jones may have been breathing down his neck. The Rochester first baseman recently had an eleven game hitting streak and is currently batting .328 and slugging .569.

Reliever Francisco Liriano, acquired in the A.J. Pierzynski trade, wowed many during spring training with his high 90s fastball, but so far heís been inconsistent at Double A New Britian, posting a 1-4 record and 3.78 ERA.

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You are manager

Posted at 12:22 PM on May 16, 2005 by Bob Collins (3 Comments)

Not since Gene Tenace has anyone parlayed a lucky homer into a Major League career the way Aaron Boone has. Boone, you may recall, was traded to the Yankees a few years ago, stunk the joint up, and then some Red Sox pitcher hit his bat and propelled the Yankees to the World Series. The Yankees gave Boone a fat contract, whereupon he played basketball in the off-season and tore up his knee and the Yanks tore up the contract.

Boone then signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians last year, even though he couldn't play. In the offseason, the Indians moved former Twin Casey Blake, who had two really fine years at the corner, to rightfield, and what's happening now is among the most outrageous stories in a season of few interesting stories. Aaron Boone, is -- and this isn't hyperbole, you can look it up -- the worst hitter in baseball.

And his starting job has never been in jeopardy.

That has led fans in Cleveland to action.

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Editing the record book

Posted at 4:18 PM on May 16, 2005 by David Zingler (3 Comments)

By now we all know about the now tainted steroid era of major league baseball. During the late 1980s through the early 2000s, some of the gamesí most cherished records fell under a cloud of suspicion. We decided to restore some those records to their rightful owners.

Career Base on Balls
Book says: Barry Bonds, (1986-Present): 2,302
In reality: Rickey Henderson, (1979-2003): 2,190

Bonds has been proficient at drawing walks throughout his career, but since 2001 itís been gotten ridiculous (177, 198, 148, 232). Pitchers have been so scared to pitch to the hulk, that they often simply hand him first base. Henderson meanwhile, was the ultimate pest once on base. No pitcher in his right mind wanted to put Rickey on the base paths. Bonds is also drawing close to Hendersonís all time runs scored record, but in our mind, it will still belong to Rickey.

Single Season Slugging %
Book says: Barry Bonds, SF: .863, 2001
In reality: Babe Ruth, NYY: .847, 1920

Unless you count hot dogs and all night benders, the Bambino didnít use performance enhancers.

40/40 seasons
Book says:
Jose Canseco, Oakland: 42 HRs/40 SB, 1988
Barry Bonds, SF: 42 HRs/40 SB, 1996
Alex Rodriguez, Seattle: 42 HRs/46 SB, 1998

In reality: Alex Rodriguez, Seattle: 42 HRs/46 SB, 1998

Canseco made this easy for us by shamelessly admitting to injecting himself and others with steroids in his book. Bondsí case is a little trickier because he didnít really start to bulk up until around 2000. Right now however, we just canít give him the benefit of the doubt. That leaves A-Rod as the only real 40/40 man. His pursuit of the milestone in 1998 went largely unnoticed because we naively thought it had been done (legitimately) before.

And finally, the grand daddy of them all...

Single Season Homeruns
Book says: Barry Bonds, SF: 73, 2001
In reality: Roger Maris, NYY: 61, 1961

The ironic thing about this is that many people argued that Maris should have an asterisk next to his name back in 1961 because he played a 162 game season, while Babe Ruth had a 154 game season when he hit 60 in 1927. Of course, the Babe didnít have to face the top African-American pitchers like Satchel Paige because the so-called ďgentlemanís agreementĒ between owners kept blacks out the big leagues for 20 more years. We also donít count McGwire and Sosaís tainted 1998 and 1999 seasons or Sammyís 2001 campaign.

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