Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baseball in the Daytime: The Michael Jordan of July 2009

Recent polls show that "Baseball in the Daytime" is still, in fact, the most favorite feature on all of the Internets. If you've been skipping it, it's time to embrace the truth. If you're just not that into it, well perhaps you'll enjoy the Top 100 Baseball Players post at Sports, penned by one Joe Posnanski. No? How about the Houston Astros' walk-off win last night, the one that brought them within a game of first place in the N.L. Central? Nothin' doin'? I know. You want the details on Manny Ramirez's 21st career grand slam that gave Humberto's Dodgers a sweep over the Reds, and saved another stab victim. Oh. I get it. You're the torturous type, that wants to read about how the Kansas City Royals coughed up the lead in the seventh-consecutive eighth inning last night. Well, there's only one thing that the people are saying about that: It's Trey Hillman's fault. All of it. By "people," I of course mean complete morons.

Perhaps, if that's your poison, you should peep Dayton Moore's latest words, where he thankfully "turns a deaf ear to growing demands that change is required," asks how much success the Royals have had in recent years vs. how many changes they've made, and answers with "None and a lot." He points to the successes, such as the rotation he assembled in Gil Meche, Luke Hochevar, Brian Bannister, and (re-signing) Zack Greinke. He admits to constantly "re-evaluating decisions that we make," and acknowledges that the club doesn't "hit on everything we do, but we've hit on a lot of things." Recent signings have drawn countless statements such as "Dayton Moore doesn't have the slightest idea what he's doing," to which he might suggest the OPS's of Yuniesky Betancourt and Ryan Freel since donning a Royals jersey, .436 and .590, respectively.

Enough about all that, though. Let's, post-jump, look at today's slate, which has enough chest in it for everyone to get a piece.

Cleveland @ Toronto, 11:37 Central: It's Jesus' favorite baseball team in Canada for our first day game this fine Thursday. Two lefties will square off: David Huff (4-4, 6.60) for the Tribe; Marc Rzepczynski (1-1, 2.50) for the Jays. This could be a pivotal game for the visitors as the Kansas City Royals have finally caught up to them in games played, and managed to lose nine straight. A Cleveland victory could loft them out of the A.L. Central basement. As for Toronto, they've dipped below the .500 mark and now sit 10 and-a-half back of the first-place Yankees in the East. DirecTV wants you to watch on 721. XM hopes you'll listen on the 176.

Seattle @ Detroit, 12:05: Two more lefties continue the trend at Comerica Park as the 7-6 Jarrod Washburn battles Lucas French for bragging rights. Washburn, as recently noted, is part of an impressive Mariner rotation through one half of the season, while French looks to continue his streak of good outings which include some AAA starts and two relief outings of late. Seven twenty-two and 723 are your DTV settings, while XM finds 177 a decent number for this tilt.

San Francisco @ Atlanta, 12:10: Kenshin Kawakami is the day's first right-hander. He and his 5-7, 4.15 take the mound for the Braves, while the Giants stick with the lefty theme in Barry Zito. Zito has five wins to 10 losses and hopes to keep his E.R.A. under five. Losers of three straight, the Giants have seen the SethfuckingSmiths leap them in the N.L. West standings, while Atlanta has strung together four straight, keeping Florida at bay and continuing to chase Philly. This heated battle promises DirecTV sizzle on channels 724 and 725. Satellite TV's audio-only counterpart has the crackle on pop on XM 183.

Tampa Bay @ Chicago, 1:05: In our final tilt, we're back to dueling lefties as Scott Kazmir taps the rubber for the visiting club. It'll be Mark Buehrle for the OzzieGuillens. Kazmir comes in at 4-5 with a 6.62, while All-Star Mark brings a 10-3 mark with a 3.48 E.R.A. to the hill. Tampa's still in the playoff mix, and Chicago has crept to within one of first-place Detroit in the A.L. Central. Good times all around on the DirecTVs. Peep it on 726 or 727, or listen in on the XMs, 178-style.

That's your day baseball for today, party people. If your park sells Cracker Jack, you best be buyin'.