Baseball Notes: He's Baaaaaack, Asdrubal's Astounding Play & Peek at the Picks

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to the middle of the week! 3 days to the Preakness (more on that tomorrow). And the weather prospects, at least here in Minnesota, are actually looking good for the weekend! What more could you ask for?!

So today I have an unfortunate follow-up to Monday's rant about Brewers P Eric Gagne. Then I'll talk about some baseball history that was made Monday night. And finally, it' s this week's "Peek at the Picks" segment.

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What time is it? Game time!

I should've known on Monday when I went on my rant about the completion of Phase 1 of "Operation: Release Gags" that it wouldn't be that simple. Sure enough, two days after requesting a "mental break" from the pressure of closing, Gags begged back in to the closers role and earned his 10th save of the season as the Brewers defeated the Dodgers 5-3 last night.

So now what Crew fans? Another month of nail-biting late innings? More weeks of wondering whether your closer's going to mentally burn out yet again? Seriously, I don't know how you people are handling this. If I had to deal with this circus, I'd be tempted to abandon ship completely!

I tried to gauge the feelings of Brewer Nation by reading a Q&A session with one of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's beat writers. And after reading said session, I was left with the impression that Ned Yost might not want to let the family dog out into the front yard anytime soon. (For you non-Midwest folks, Google: "Dan Devine Dog" and you'll get the reference.) I don't get the impression that there's a lot of pressure coming from inside the organization for his ouster. At least not yet. But if the natives are getting restless, that can't be a good sign.

Last night's win got the Brewers back above .500. So maybe I'm wrong and the Crew's on the way back to contending in the NL Central (they're currently 4th). But I've got to tell you folks, I don't feel good about this. Not even one bit. Phase 1 is back to the drawing board I guess.

Next up, for those of you that missed the Indians/Blue Jays double header Monday, there was a small slice of MLB history involved. In the 5th inning of Game 2 of the twin bill, Indians 2B Asdrubal Cabrera (definitely in the starting line-up for my "best baseball names" team) turned only the 14th unassisted Triple Play in MLB history.

With runners attempting a double steal, Cabrera made a diving stab of a Lyle Overbay line-drive for one out, stepped on second to double-off the runner there, and then tagged Marco Scutaro who was on the move from first. Now, I'd love to embed the video for your viewing pleasure, the hip and happening folks at MLB's front offices haven't quite grasped the concept that making your video highlights free and easily usable by the public actually promotes your product! What a concept!

That said, here's a link to that shows the play:

14 times. That's all. There have been more perfect games than there have been unassisted triple-plays. There have been more 4-Home Run games than there have been unassisted triple plays. And at the risk of a reader backlash, I'll point out that 6 separate teams have had at least 14 players bat for the cycle. So you get a sense of how rare unassisted triple plays actually are.

So enjoy the historical goodness of it all. After all, that's what makes baseball so special!

Finally, it's time for this week's Peek at the Picks segment!

NL East: Florida Marlins (Dan's Pick: NY Mets, 2 Games Back)

Yes, the Florida Freaking Marlins are still atop the NL East. They've slipped off the top of the baseball mountain with the Arizona Diamondbacks reclaiming the title of "Best team in Baseball", but the Marlins are still right there. The Mets are in 3rd, but still well within striking distance.

NL Central: Chicago Cubs (DP: Cubs)

It's still a dogfight in the Central. The Cubs and the Cards have been trading the division lead for the last couple of weeks. And now the Astros have gotten into the act, passing the Brewers and moving into 3rd place, a game and a half behind the Cubs.

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks (DP: D'backs)

The Dodgers winning ways came to an abrupt halt as of late. Dropping 5 in a row has put them 4.5 games behind Arizona. No one else in the division has shown any signs of coming back from the dead, so the Snakes are still in a really good spot.

AL East: Tampa Bay Rays (DP: Boston Red Sox (whom I hate), 1/2 GB)

The Tampa Bay Rays?! You want to know how surprising this is? This is the first time in team history that the Rays have been 7 games above .500. And it has to be the first time they've been alone in 1st place this late in the season. The wackiness in Florida continues.

AL Central: Minnesota Twins (DP: Detroit Tigers, 4.5 GB)

The Twins' lead in the Central has slimmed as of late as the Indians have finally started coming on. The Tigers? I don't know. I keep waiting for them to get on a hot streak. Maybe as the weather gets better in June, they'll get it going. But it's looked bloody awful so far.

AL West: L.A. Angels (DP: Seattle Mariners, 9 GB)

Good gawd. The Mariners are behind the Texas Rangers for heaven's sake! Has the John McLaren watch begun? I'd have to think so. It's one thing to not be as good as the Angels, but to be in the basement out West after making the trade for Eric Bedard and positioning yourself as a legitimate contender? That's just flat out unacceptable.

So right now I'm 2 of 6, but I'm within 5 games in 5 of 6, so I still feel pretty good about the picks. Memorial Day's the first major signpost along the road that is the MLB season, so we'll see where I'm at in a couple of weeks!

That's all for today. Back at you tomorrow with the Post Positions and Picks for the 133rd Preakness Stakes and then more Baseball wonder on Friday!


  1. I like how the one announcer said "Triple Play." as soon as Asdrubal made the diving catch.

    I also thought it was kinda funny how the guy when he got to second, kinda stood around, looking like, "What am I supposed to do now? Coach, gimme a sign..."

  2. Poor Marco... He did sorta get hung out to dry on that one.

    Asdrubal... I just can't stop saying that. If I ever own a horse or something, I'm calling it Asdrubal!