Tuesday tidbits: Duncan, Rolen, LaRue
Hello from Houston, where it’s a nice, cool 73 degrees under the roof.
* TLR took serious issue with the singling out of Chris Duncan today. It was in response to a question about pinch-hitting with Duncan in place of Brendan Ryan last night — an understandable move given that Jose Valverde has an enormous platoon split and that Ryan was not having a good game at the plate.
Here’s the entirety of his comments, with a couple of edits to make sure it is acceptable on a family blog and to make sure it makes sense:
“Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Valverde, [lefties are] hitting .300 versus .140 [for righties]. And did Ryan have a particularly good day? How can people ask? What’s the question there? A guy who could hit a two-run homer versus Brendan doing what? Looking futile again?
“Did anybody watch Brendan’s at-bats?
“Chris is a … whipping boy. I’m so tired of the unfairness with Chris Duncan, it makes me want to vomit. You can tell anybody … that he’s getting treated unfairly. It makes me want to vomit. That’s why I get upset as soon as he gets mentioned.
“They’ve got a great reputation in our town, but it’s not a perfect reputation.
“It’s a pretty clear difference [for Valverde between right- and left-handed hitters]. Plus Chris, even when he struggles, he’s one of our better pinch-hitters.
“This guy is treated unfairly. For fans that have the reputation that they have, that they deserve, they do have a couple quirks that are not fair. And he’s one of them.
“What’s so ridiculous is, if you watch Brendan, Brendan had no chance yesterday for some reason. So he’s going to do better in that at-bat? That’s ridiculous if you think about it. I think it’s ridiculous. And it has to do with the guy that pinch-hit. It’s really a black eye for some of our fans that are not objective about him for whatever reason. I’m not sure what it is. I can’t figure it out.”
My take, personally, not that you asked, is that he has SOMETHING of a point. Not that Duncan or anyone should be immune from criticism. He and Ankiel are both struggling badly. But it has always seemed to me that all things being equal, Duncan gets singled out more than pretty much any other Cardinal, and the tone does get really nasty at times.
* TLR also pretty swiftly shot down any notion of re-acquiring Scott Rolen. Here’s the entry I wrote about it over at the MLB.com Trade Talk blog.
* Jason LaRue got the start over Molina tonight for a lot of reasons, including the string of days without a day off, and the fact that they prefer Molina to catch Carpenter and Wainwright the next two days. When the LaRue-Wellemeyer thing was brought up, TLR quickly pointed out that Molina caught Wellemeyer’s last good start, on July 2.
Pearl Jam, “The Fixer”
Matt and Kim, “Daylight”
Living Colour, “DecaDance”
Beastie Boys, “Pass the Mic” (get well, Yauch!)