A few quick thoughts
Just wanted to weigh in on a few things — some I’ve been getting email about, and some that nobody but me is likely to care about.
* Mark Redman: To put it bluntly, no thanks. I know Redman was an All-Star, and I know he has the sheen of some decent win totals now and then. But he’s been headed in the wrong direction lately. His strikeout rate, never that great, has just gone off a cliff since his very nice 2003 season. Last year it was a career-worst 4.10, and that’s a very bad indicator. Then there’s ERA+, which is a quick-and-dirty measure of a pitcher’s performance relative to league average. Basically, 100 is dead-on average. Higher is better. Since that very good 2003 season, it’s gone down down down. Redman’s ERA+ in ’03 was a solid 112. Then it dropped to 99 in ’04, 87 in ’05 and 85 in ’06.
* The outfield: Chris Duncan should be the guy in left. I don’t care if he hasn’t improved a single bit defensively. Until and unless he proves last year was a fluke, you need that bat in the lineup. The gap in value between Duncan’s bat and Taguchi’s bat is so much greater than the difference between the value of those two guys’ defense, it’s pretty much automatic in my book. Would I give Wilson the occasional look against lefties? Sure. But 290/360/590 bats don’t come along every day. If you have one, you take advantage of it.
* The NASCAR points system tweaks: bleah. Bad move. They made the "regular season" mean even less. That was the biggest problem, was that you could dominate for 26 races and have virtually no edge going into the Chase. Now that’s even more true. You could have a 300 point lead at the end of race 26, and not even have the lead once the chase starts. Bad. Increasing the value of a win is good, but the rest of it is just silly.
* National Signing Day: C’mon, Marvin Austin. You know you want to go to FSU. Yes, I’m a sick, sick man. National Signing Day is what separates the merely fanatical from the truly sick. I am in the latter category.
Currently playing: Material Issue, Freak City Soundtrack. The Ish were a great, great band and it still saddens me that Jim Ellison took his own life. Wonderful songwriter.