Friday tidbits: TLR is not amused, plus Holliday, Furcal and more
Greetings from a gray, mild evening at Busch Stadium. Could actually be a very nice night for a ballgame.
* Matt Holliday took BP on the field today, came through it feeling fine, and said he expects to be in the lineup tomorrow. He is likely available to pinch-hit tonight. More on this, including video of Holliday speaking to reporters, coming on the site later this evening.
* Rafael Furcal sits down, following a defensive funk and considering his rough numbers against Ryan Dempster. TLR said that he likely would have sat Furcal even if he had good numbers against Dempster, because he wants to give Furcal a break after the rough several days he’s had here.
* As for the choice of Nick Punto, well, I’d like to tell you what the manager’s reasoning was. But he was in a pretty sour mood this afternoon, essentially arguing that we were second-guessing yesterday about the bullpen, that if the double play is made, then none of those questions get asked, etc. So he offered no illumination as to what made Punto the choice. Same goes for having Schumaker in LF rather than Craig.
Here’s his comment when asked about Motte’s availability, and it sort of set the tone for the rest of the pregame session:
“You just watch the game. I’ve got really… I don’t know how to say it, but that was a joke I thought after the game yesterday. You know, if we get the double-play ball and a popup, then where is our ‘tired bullpen?’ Everybody’s getting pushed. It’s such a ridiculous storyline and it’s aggravating. It’s not accurate and it’s guys picking and choosing things and it’s just a pain to deal with and I’m not going to deal with it. Just watch the game and see who pitches.”
* Some educated guesses on those decisions, though: A lot of people have asked me why not Tyler Greene in place of Punto, and I think the answer is fairly straightforward: even if Greene’s defensive potential is enormous, Punto is the more reliable defender. He’s the guy they trust to make all of the routine plays, and maybe some more than that. He’s also a switch-hitter, and Dempster has a pretty significant right-left split this year.
* As for Craig, here’s the answer we got when I asked whether it was a close call to leave him out:
“Well, he’s gotten a lot of playing time. Here again, you put it together and to the extent that you have to explain it, what usually happens is you guys take pieces of what explains and ignore the other pieces. I get tired of it. I just tell you everybody got consideration and this is the lineup I came up with and that’s the way it is. There ain’t no free lunch.”
And, finally, the playlist is a belated (and expanded) R.E.M. tribute. Thanks to one of my favorite bands for a lot of great songs and memories:
“So. Central Rain”
“Man On the Moon”
“The Great Beyond”