I haven’t done any sort of link roundup for a while, so here goes nothing…
First, a bit from the Everett AquaSox:
EVERETT, Wash. – AquaSox pitcher Forrest Snow and infielder Hawkins Gebbers have been selected as candidates for the best name in all of Minor League Baseball, as part of MiLB.com’s 4th Annual Minors Moniker Madness bracket tournament.
The tournament, beginning July 19, includes 64 minor league players with unique or potentially interesting names. Fans are encouraged to vote online at http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/madness for their favorite player in each round of the bracket-style tournament.
The Sox are unique in the tournament in that they are the only team with two players selected. Gebbers was chosen as a candidate while playing for the Clinton LumberKings earlier this season, but now joins Snow in representing the AquaSox. To see Gebbers & Snow make their case, check out the link here.
Secondly, Jon at ProBallNW has a bit on Erik Bedard via Geoff Baker. First of all, I feel the need to reiterate that I absolutely love Bedard’s monosyllabic responses, and that is not sarcasm in any way, shape or form. The questions he responded to were nothing that could not be achieved by asking a team representative, or using a few ounces of common sense. Granted, we’ve been given a bit of the faux optimism by the team in the past year, but anyone with a tiny bit of knowledge about Bedard’s history over the past two-plus years could figure out that the news would not be good. Jon himself even comments about how past PBNW posts on Bedard came with a disclaimer. A lot of fans love Erik Bedard, but thinking he’d be back in any short amount of time -or even this year- was just unrealistic. Sure, the concept was fun to mull over, but I don’t think there was ever a time when I was holding my breath.
Dave Cameron of USS Mariner has a post over at Brock and Salk’s blog on MyNorthwest.com about Rob Johnson. For anyone paying attention to Rob Johnson and his butter-covered glove, there is little news here, but if there is still anyone out there who disagrees with the general dislike of Rob Johnson as a major league catcher, you really need to go read that article. It’s not laced with numbers, it’s not stathead talk; it’s simple fact laid out in print that is easy to understand. Facts. Actual facts about Rob Johnson’s lack of performance and continued use in major league ball games. As much as I dislike Gerald Laird or AJ Pierzynski, I can fully acknowledge that they can do their jobs; they are major league baseball catchers. RJ, not so much. I was afraid he would pull a Jeff Clement on us, and he has succeeded. I don’t want to make Felix Hernandez cry or anything by letting Johnson go, but enough is enough already. Johnson has a likable personality, but likable personalities don’t catch baseballs behind the plate. Neither does Johnson. It’s time to go.
I don’t like the photo associated with this article by Jeff Sullivan. The article itself I have no problems with, but the photo…as a baseball fan very little upsets me more than seeing the players hanging their heads. Even when the World Series happened in 2008, and the Rays lost to the Phillies and I had no true stake in the games at all, it was a killer to see the Rays walk off the field as the Phillies celebrated their victory. This has nothing to do with the fact that I had thrown myself on the Rays’ bandwagon early in the playoffs – I had no emotional connection with the Rays, it was just a small-timers-make-good sort of thing – but it was a killer to see the proverbial agony of defeat on the faces of a team that had worked so hard. I like Josh Bard; I don’t like seeing him alone in the dugout with his head in his hands.
The rest of the article I agree with, as well. I don’t think our guys are giving up. I’ve been thinking for a while now that what we are seeing is a team-wide slump, and even though it is comparable to 2008, it is far far worse because unlike 2008, I don’t hate this team. I may make a lot of jokes about it, but I’d compare that to the same way EMTs make jokes when they arrive at an accident scene to take the sting away of the things they have to witness every time they get called out. Yes, the 2010 Mariners are awful. But like the barberry outside in my front yard that I so despise having anywhere near my house, they are mine, and I have to deal with them. The great thing about baseball, in the end, is that there is always next year.