Friday, April 26, 2002  
oh, canada! the montrael expos are in first place. last night they won their sixth straight game and swept the three-game series from the Mil-selig Brewers. they have one of the most exciting all-around players in baseball in Vlad Guerrero, and a hall of fame superstar as their victorious manager.

Still, the good people of Montrael couldnt give deux shits.

A laughable 3,501 attended the Expos game last night, choosing instead to watch "Survivor" to see who would be kicked off next.

How ridiculus is that? Six of the 13 Triple-A minor league games held last night had attendence larger than Empty Seat Night at the Olympic Stadium.

Stranger still, are the businessmen who think that they'd like to buy the hapless franchise and move it to another city in the great white north, like Vancouver.

I say move the team to the Dominican Republic and you could build a stadium as big as you like and that place would be packed.

Canada might be the home of many wonderful people, but none of them are interested in baseball in Montreal, not even winning baseball, and for that I wish their souls bon chance, because everyone knows theres much baseball in Heaven.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:35 PM

   Thursday, April 25, 2002  
even though Mike Hampton received a "no decision" last night he should have gotten a Loss.

The Rockies lost 4-3 in a walk-off single by Juan Encarnacion in the bottom of the ninth.

Hampton, the ace of the Colorado staff, gave up three earned runs on six hits in 2 and 2/3rds innings when the sky opened up and graciously relieved the floundering star of his duties for the night.

If he had lost he would have woken up this morning with a record of 0-4, not what the Rockies had in mind when they signed him to an 8 year, $121 million contract in December of 2000.

Any pitcher that plays half of his games in the Denver launching pad deserves a little break, but in the 25.1 innings that he's pitched this year, he's given up 25 earned runs, and only 10 in Coors. Quite a trick when you realize he's only given up one homer, meaning he's getting tagged by everyone.

His 8.88 ERA is not one to be proud of - no matter how many dingers he hits himself.

After further review, one might conclude that Mike Hampton is a man who had only one terrific year, 1999, when he nabbed 22 wins for the Astros and stuck out 177 batters.

The following year he was traded to the Mets where he went 15-10, and then he was signed by the Rockies and posted a 14-13 record last year, his first with Colorado.

No doubt the man can pitch. In the last 5 years, he has 7 shutouts and 16 complete games, but inconsistancy seems to be the norm. Mix that with the thin air of Denver and that spells danger.

If I was the Rockies, I might be tempted to convert him to an outfielder, cuz homie can hit, and at more than $10 million a year, he's not earning his keep on the mound.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:34 PM

   Wednesday, April 24, 2002  
John Rocker was called back up from the minors yesterday as the pitching-deprived Rangers moved the controversial closer to more of a set-up role.

Rocker threw one pitch on his return which led to an inning-ending double play at the Ballpark in Arlington, to the rousing cheers of the home crowd, who welcomed him back warmly even before he took the mound.

According to Star-Telegram columnist Gil LeBreton, Rocker was here in Southern California and not in Oklahoma where the Rangers' AAA team resides.

LeBreton says that Rocker was visiting Dr. Tom House, the metaphysical former pitching coach.

Despite their $80 million lineup, the Rangers could only put together one run and lost to the unspectacular Brandon Lyon and the Toronto Blue Jays.

While Rocker was making his return to the bigs, his former teammate Randall Simon was the difference in Detroit where he accounted for all the runs in the game, a three run blast that won it for the Tigers 3-0.

   posted by tony pierce at 6:43 PM

   Tuesday, April 23, 2002  
blow-out, i mean match-up of the week.

in a few hours Jung Bong from Korea will make his major league debut at Turner Field.

The 6' 3" lefty is filling in for the injured Jason Marquis who went on the DL this week with tendinitius.

Bong was given a $1.7 million signing bonus from the Braves when he was 17 and has been spending much of the last 5 years in the south playing for Macon, Myrtle Beach, and Greenville. Last year at Myrtle Beach he struck out 145 batters and walked only 47 in 160 innings.

He has a tough opponent this evening as he faces the world champs and Curt Schilling.

Baseball Blog 2002 wishes the Atlanta hurler much luck, as does Starter who would make a fortune selling his jerseys.

For more info regarding the influx of Korean talent invading the majors, you might want to check out Street & Smith's feature, "Seoul Train," which I highly recommend.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:28 PM

   Monday, April 22, 2002  
in leiu of a Who's Hot, Who's Not segment let's just all bask in the glow of the Boston Red Sox.

At third base, you have your AL Rookie of the Year MVP front-running candidate Shea Hillenbrand (pictured) who has cooled off to a mere .349 with 5 HRs and 20 RBIs.

In center field they have Johnny Damon who is red hot. In the last 6 games Damon is batting .480 with 11 runs, 2 HRs 7 RBIs and 3 SBs as the leadoff man (when Rickey (.292) Henderson isnt playing)!

Manny Ramirez's week wasnt decent, he batted .500 and hit 4 HRs, knocking in 10 and scoring 9 times which pushed his average to .364.

Derek Lowe is 3-1 which isnt bad for a guy who was in the bullpen last year. Yeah he gave up 5 ERs in his last start, but he only gave up 3 total in his first three starts and he has still yet to give up a dinger.

John Burkett came off the DL this weekend and threw 5 innings, 88 pitches and got a win, which adds to the fear AL East teams must have felt after Pedro gave up one hit on Friday, striking out 6 and walking none on 92 pitches.

The Bosox have a Jose Mesa of sorts in the bullpen with Uggie, but if they can solve that problem, Grady Little might not have to do much but sit on the bench and do a lot of clapping.

Why? Well, they have this guy named Nomar who still hasn't fully recovered, he's still batting under .300.

And Tony Clark, nicely sandwiched between Manny and Shea, is still limboing beneath .200.

Both of these vets will warm up to the season and when they do, they might not need any fancy-dancy relief pitcher to close the games.

This week's prediction: The Minnesota Twins, who are already unconscious, will rout Tampa Bay and Detroit this week and post numbers similar to these.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:33 PM