I have two “Crawford” thoughts for you:
1. Early last Wednesday, I took off on a last minute trip to spend a bit of time with my youngest daughter, Blair, who is a nursing student here in Havre, Montana. Havre is hard up against Canada on the Hi-Line and home th the U of M-Northern. I drove 860 miles on the first day, from the Oregon coast to Helena in just over 14 hours. Helena greeted me with 2-3 inches of snow. I am still paying for that drive as my neck and left leg keep bitterly complaining. On Thursday it was the 3 hours or so through Great Falls to Havre. Just across the street from her little apartment is Crawford Distillery, a little craft place that produces moonshine, rum and whiskey. Their whiskey was still being barreled but I sampled two of their Strawberry-Jalapeño Lemonades, laced with the perfect amount of Crawford moonshine. I have the recipe, if you want it. Dang near a perfect summer afternoon libation. I was so impressed that I bought a Crawford Distillery ball cap. So if you see some dude at a M’s game in such, know it is me and that the cap has nothing to do with our own J.P. Crawford.
2. At this rate, there is no way in Havre that Beckham becomes a utility dude, as I had imagined he would become once his placeholder status for Crawford at SS ended with the kid’s call-up. And so with Gordon’s struggles at the plate (Remember all those ST BB’s? Dust in the wind that served to obscure a .185 ST BA), perhaps it is worth considering that DG is the M who gets kicked to the curb when Crawford escapes his Tacoma “service time” purgatory. Dee Gordon seems to be an effervescent teammate, well loved in the dugout. Great. The problem is that he can’t get on base at all. In three seasons with the M’s, Brendan Ryan (who wielded a World-Class SS glove) had an OBP of .290 and an OPS+ just under 70. That’s almost exactly the territory Gordon has sunk to. Sigh. Speaking of sunk, Gordon is almost certainly a sunk cost for two season, at this point. We let him go in ‘21 as an interesting experiment that appears to be a failure. Last season he had a smoking April/March (.309 BA) and July (.323), but his combined OPS over those two months was still only about .723. In his hottest two months he was basically just above a league average hitter, a Ben Gamel with less pop. Over the rest of the season, he hit below .600. So I suppose an interesting decision for DiPoto, should Beckham continue to look like a Blue-Chipper, is whether to keep Crawford (a guy he REALLY wanted) in AAA (for no real good reason), cut bait on Gordon, or swap out a resurgent Beckham for somebody else’s pretty youngster. There will be offers.
3. If we don’t see Vogs in the lineup tonight (OK, or tomorrow) it has to be seen as proof that he sleeps with the fishes, as far as Servais is concerned. There is a Luca Brasi look to Vogs, now that I think about it.