Just a few quick items...
John Russell has used five different hitters -- Nate McLouth (.375 OPB), Nyjer Morgan (.323), Freddy Sanchez (.262), Jack Wilson (.327) and Luis Rivas (.269) -- at the top of the lineup this season.
I understand, to an extent, the desire to have a stereotypical, by-the-book, scrappy, quick-footed leadoff guy, but how grossly can you ignore on-base percentage before it comes back to bite you? McLouth and Sanchez are the only ones from that group whose career OBP is anywhere near the acceptable .340, and Sanchez, apart from having an awful year to date, isn't a particularly patient hitter.
I fail to see the logic in Russell's strategies, and I'm starting to think that the offense is scoring runs despite him. Why does he insist on constructing the top of his lineup in this manner?
It would make more sense to have McLouth (4.00 pitches per plate appearance) and Bay (team-leading 4.18) hitting in the top two spots of the order, given their proven ability to get on base. How about...
Nate McLouth (L)
Jason Bay (R)
Ryan Doumit (S)
Xavier Nady (R)
Adam LaRoche (L)
Jack Wilson (R)
Doug Mientkiewicz (L)/Jose Bautista (R)
Freddy Sanchez (R)
There. What's wrong with that? How would that lineup not score 14 runs a game?
The Penguins are screwed, part one.
The Penguins are screwed, part two.
Here's what Ray Shero has to work with:
The NHL's salary-cap ceiling for the 2008-09 season will be $56.7 million.
Under terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement, teams will be compelled to have a payroll of at least $40.7 million.
The cap ceiling will come into play over the next few days, as teams make decisions about attempting to re-sign some of their own free agents before they go on the open market July 1, and prepare to pursue players from other clubs on that day.----------
Bob Smizik filled in for Jerry Micco in the PG sports chat this week. It's pretty bad, but here's a highlight:
Dwight_Schrute: Did you see Wannstedt behind the plate last night? I think the custodians at PNC Park are still cleaning up the peanut shells he left there..
Bob Smizik: Nothing wrong with enjoying peanuts.I do not know why I think this is as hilarious as I do.
Finally, the P-G has a fitting tribute to one of the great Oakland characters.