There has been a whole lotta shakin' goin' over the week or two. Here's hoping for a few more.
M's analytical department shores up the sandbag bunker. It was fascinating to hear Lloyd McClendon admit, a bit nervously, that "my analytical department tells me every day" that the hits are going to start falling in. (We read that after we wrote it. You knew that, right? ... Right?)
ROBBIE CANO starts swinging the bat better. It was almost the day after we argued it. Forget the game... about a week ago. First time up, the pitcher tried an inside curve ball. Robby lunged, ready to sockkkkk a fastball into the power alley, but then ---- > did that famous "drag bat" move where he switches batspeed from 95 MPH to 75 MPH and squares the ball perfectly down the 1B line. First time I personally saw that, this year. Oookkkkkayyyyyyyy.
Only two AB's later (check me on that), Cano rocked one to the left-center power alley. Thing here was that he had a perfect Ken Griffey Jr. finish.
True, since then, he's hit some hot shots that found leather. As he'd put it, "all year, baby." Well, over his career he is a noticeably better hitter in June-September.
And it's not just a swing here and there. The Tuesday opening against Kluber, here is the first pitch of the game. Screaming 93 MPH into a teacup, low and away. Robbie hit it off the left-center wall, with a Ken Griffey (sylish, havin' fun) swing:
well, that's not gonna do it, so try this link
. Nice low pitch, well away from him; he dipped the back knee and lofted it 4-iron up off the fense.
Also on the 5th inning of that game, Kluber threw a tear-inducing "up the ladder" pitch, 95 MPH, one-half ball up over the zone. Hisashi Iwakuma plus four feet. Robby got way on top of it, hit it over Mickey Brantley's head in center. This was on an 0-2 pitch.
Lotta times, you get seismo's before you get earthquakes. Says here Robbie is getting seismo's.
VLAD GUERRERO SINGLE-STADIUM AWARD: Kyle Seager is hitting .433/.485/.767 lifetime in Cleveland. First imagine that, through their eyes, for about a twelve-second road scan. Next, recognize that 3B is a blank for them. Think they'd cough up Kluber and Lindor for him. You could throw in Rickie Weeks.
Since May 21, when he went off for three hits on Alex Colome, Seager is batting .304/.381/.554.
DOUG FISTER BEST PLAYER IN THE DEAL AWARD: We had an interesting little debate with Bill James a month or two ago. Dr. D believes, philophically, that in any given trade you should try -- at least -- to get the best player in the deal. Pyrite washes away, diamonds are forever. Or something.
Dr. D fell out of his chair when Dr. James informed him that this is always what ML franchises try to do, everytime. (He didn't say it but) the idea is that if you give up Fister for Furbush and Casper Wells, you do it because you think Furbush (or Wells) is better than Doug Fister. (Whose ERA, since we shed him, is superior to James Shields', Hisashi Iwakuma's, Steven Strasburg's, and Corey Kluber's. Is that a segue to the last section or what? :- )
We tried again, carefully outlining the idea of three 70c players for a single $1 player in view of the roster crunch. Bill wasn't having any of it. "See above," he sez. Okay, fair enough.
But 97% of analysts agree that Mark Trumbo was obviously the best player in the deal for Gabe Geurerro. (One day let's do a segue joke post). The 3% are the hardcore anti-RBI set.
If you take the last paragraph as a hotel service cart, and you run it down the hall of the first two paragraphs' service cart, you send a lot of BLT's flying. James can't seem to believe that any shot-caller would be so blunt as to willingly SUBMIT to a deal like this. He's always, charitably, willing to put it down to a difference in opinion in player projection.
I ain't. We got the best player in the deal. And since we did, let's savor the moment:
Gratutitous hobby horse moment: Jack Z says the M's internal metrics have Trumbo as a decent LF. Here's where that 9-to-5 really comes into its own, boys.