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Three Thoughts On Tuesday


  • Roughly three weeks after doing my informal interview to work for the Springfield Cardinals, I finally got to do my second interview yesterday. That is, of course, after I circled Hammons Field twice trying to find some way in to any parking lot. Every single street that leads to the stadium is totally blocked off and under heavy construction for some reason, and although my last ditch "Maybe THIS will work" effort led to a HF lot, it ended up being the one for the area I wasn’t supposed to be in. As a result, I had to go off-road on a dirt path in order to get to the opposite side of Hammons. (My car isn't a happy car right now.) Thankfully, my "interview" was nothing more than a guy talking at me for ten minutes about a possible day for training, what to wear while on the job, and how to prepare for the hot weather that’s sure to come in July, August, and September. Basically, what I gathered was from it was once I fill out their paperwork and make copies of a couple of documents, I’ll officially be a member of the St. Louis Cardinals family, albeit a small member. Hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

  • Those of you who’ve looked at my sidebar have probably seen the "Official Stuff of KRB," otherwise known as things and people I really like. My favorite thing on that list is flip-flops (seriously – I can’t stand to wear actual shoes for an extended period of time), but my favorite person on it is, surprisingly, NOT Ashlee Simpson. The mantra of "Official Person of KRB" would probably go to the "Official Surprisingly Smart Guy of KRB," or The Rock.

    While I know that WWE is nothing more than rehearsed storylines played out by a bunch of really big dudes who don’t really hit each other, I still stop whatever I’m doing to see The Rock when he’s on The Late Show with David Letterman or something similar. The guy just fascinates me. For years, his act had me under the impression that he was just some low-IQ jerk who’d never expand his career past the wrestling ring. So much for first impressions, because Rock (a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson) is actually very well spoken, extremely funny, not that bad of an actor, and a person I’d love to meet someday. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy watching wrestling, but I’ll never be quick to make a judgment on a wrestler again.

  • Obviously, I’ve been on the FREE CALVIN PICKERING! campaign trail in my past couple of entries, and yet another aspect of the Ken Harvey/Pickering battle has popped into my head. The Royals have promoted their spring training games as being open competitions for jobs, mainly in the bullpen, starting rotation, and bench. They definitely won’t be the only team using such an incentive for players, which has me wondering just how smart it is for a team to give away a roster spot based on spring training performance.

    Seasons are comprised of streaks, both good and bad. For example, if Vladimir Guerrero hits .400 over a two-week stretch (most likely 48-50 at-bats), that doesn’t make him a .400 hitter. Similarly, if he falls into a slump after his hot streak ends and hits only .200 for a week, that doesn’t make him a .200 hitter. Understanding that is key to understanding why I think that allowing guys to "earn" jobs by their play in camp is a stupid, stupid strategy that could have harmful effects. Unless they’re young guys who haven’t reached their potential yet, baseball players are who they are, and 75 at-bats in some spring training games shouldn’t change the way their organization thinks of them.

    Take Tony Graffanino for example. He’s pretty much got a deadlock on the everyday job at second base, but if Ruben Gotay lights up the scoreboard with a barrage of hits, walks, and doubles in camp, the Royals will undoubtedly start thinking about giving him the job. My opinion is if that happens, the Royals need to stick to their guns and ship Ruben right back to Triple-A because he still needs some fine-tuning before he’s ready. A hot streak shouldn’t change that. An even better example is Pickering and Harvey. If Harvey out-hits Pickering in pre-season, the Royals will send Calvin to Omaha not because they view Harvey as the better player, but because he had the better spring. That’s wrong, because Pickering’s still the more valuable commodity and is more likely to get on base and hit for power. Again, a month’s worth of at-bats doesn’t weigh evenly with a career’s worth of statistics. Teams need to have their minds made up about their rosters before the games start, and eliminate this silly notion of performance over a one-month period winning somebody a job.

    With that said, I’m opening this up to you for discussion. Should teams set their rosters before spring training starts and not let a 75 at-bat performance get in the way of their decision, or should they use it as a motivating factor to get their guys ready for the season? Comment away.

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