Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Blood clots, blowouts and Bryce Harper’s gold shoes…

Tuesday morning, Tony LaRussa‘s All-Star Game snub of R.A. Dickey still seemed like the biggest story around the Mets’ pitching staff…. at least until word broke that Dillon Gee was hospitalized after having surgery for a blood clot in his right shoulder.

Dillon Gee’s 2011 Allen & Ginter baseball card

Mets manager Terry Collins told the NY Post that he was “very, very worried about” Gee, and thanks to Toby Hyde’s research on other pitchers with blood clots, it’s easy to see why. Adam Rubin spoke to a medical expert who attempted to explain the medical issues involved, and I’m also worried for Gee. I’m glad the doctors were able to catch it before it became a more severe problem, and I hope that Gee is able to make a full recovery.

Gee’s trip to the disabled list offers Collins a chance to give Miguel Batista more innings, and that’s exactly what he plans to do. Better to run the 41-year-old poet out there for a spot start or two than to force Matt Harvey to the majors before he’s ready, I suppose.

There was an actual game Tuesday night amid all the hoopla in Kansas City. (To hear some columnists, not to mention Bud Selig and player’s union head Michael Weiner, you’d think it was a “let’s gang up on Robinson Cano” festival. While I don’t support the people who made nasty comments to Cano’s family, I hardly think anyone needs a reason to boo a Yankee – and leaving the home team player out of the home run derby can’t have seemed like a good idea to anyone other than Cano.)

As much as I don’t like it, the ballot box stuffing on behalf of Pablo Sandoval paid off for the National League – he hit a first inning triple to plate three runs, then scored on Dan Uggla’s infield hit to cap a five-run first inning. When David Wright finally came in the game, he went o-for-2: he grounded into a fielder’s choice and he struck out.

R.A. Dickey (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Dickey got into the game an inning later than we were expecting, but LaRussa did keep his word about letting him pitch in the game. And again, maybe it was for the best that Cain started. Dickey wasn’t sharp, allowing a leadoff single to Mike Trout and hitting Paul Konerko with a pitch. Fortunately, he was able to strike out Mike Trumbo and get Miguel Cabrera to hit into a double play.

LaRussa was LaRussa to the very end, using three pitchers to get three outs in the final inning of an 8-0 game. Surprisingly, he sent Collins and Ron Roenicke to do the honors – I would have expected him to do it himself, or perhaps send his longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan to the mound one last time. Mostly, I just wanted the game to be over.

I think if I remember one thing about the 2012 All-Star Game, it will be Bryce Harper. The Nationals uber-rookie stepped onto the field wearing gaudy gold cleats that made Wright’s neon orange ones seem tame. Harper walked in his first plate appearance, only to get caught off-guard when Wright hit a grounder back to the pitcher. In the bottom half of the fifth, Harper let Mike Napoli‘s fly ball drop for a hit without making a move towards it. And to cap things off, in his second plate appearance, Harper struck out. For all of his amazing talent, Harper put on the wrong kind of show on the big stage.

One pleasant thought: If the Mets somehow do make it to the World Series, they’ll have the home field advantage… and they’ll be able to thank Tony LaRussa, Kung-Fu Panda and Matt Cain for helping to make it happen.

3 thoughts on “Blood clots, blowouts and Bryce Harper’s gold shoes…

  1. No sympathy for Cano. Don’t say that you’re going to pick the hometown guy and then pick someone else. He probably would’ve been fine if he hadn’t said anything in the first place. Look at the positive reaction that Melky Cabrera got, and he only played one season in KC. The city is desperate for a winner, any kind of winner, and to dangle it in front of the fans and then take it away was… let’s just say it was ill-advised.


  2. Cano said he would take Butler? I didn’t realize that. But from a Derby standpoint, I’m not sure Butler’s a true slugger in that sense, and I’m not sure he’d be a great choice for the competition, just like I don’t think Wright’s a good fit for it anymore, so I’ll have no problem if he’s not in it next year. (Though I expect Ike Davis — and perhaps longshot Lucas Duda — to make the team and have a shot at the Derby.)

    I’m going to remember that first inning, and Mike Trout. Jersey boy did good!


    1. I think I’d be happier if Wright sat out next year’s home run derby, too. He’s doing so much better this year now that he doesn’t seem to be focusing so much on home runs.

      Another thing that confuses me: I don’t really get the whole “team” concept for the home run derby. Isn’t it an individual competition? Who picks the “team captains?” And why as Matt Kemp competing even though he was too hurt to play in the actual game?

      If Bud Selig wants to tweak the home run derby selection process, maybe he should let fans of the host team vote for one player to go to the home run derby. (I’d prefer to keep it ballpark-only, but I doubt MLB wants to lose the page views and marketing opportunities they get from online voting.)


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