Let's try something a little different this week. 'Kudos & Wet Willies,' where we honor the best performers and thumb our noses at the worst is one of my favorite things to do, and I haven't really found the right way to do it yet here at PA. Let's try reviewing the week that was in baseball 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style, and see how that works out.
Kudos to ...
Derek Jeter: Yeah, the Yankee Captain sure is getting old. Can't hit a lick anymore (.312), can't run (11 stolen bases already after just 11 last season), can't drive the ball (19 extra-base hits already and a .465 slugging percentage that is above his career average). Oh, and he can't play shortstop worth a darn, either. That's why he has just two errors and the only American League shortstop with a better zone rating is flashy Texas rookie Elvis Andrus. I could only find defensive stats back to 2002, but those numbers show Jeter this season playing better defense than at any point in that time period. Yep, old man.
- Randy Johnson: Not a likeable guy, and a flop as a Yankee, but the guy does now have 300 career victories. Gotta give it up to him for that, even if he did have to turn himself into a baseball vagabond to get there.
Carl Pavano: Another guy who, obviously, isn't very likeable. You have to gridgingly admit, though, that Pavano is pitching well for the Indians. The Rajah of Rehab pitched a three-hit shutout Friday against the White Sox and is now 6-4 with a 4.62 ERA. If he could have done this in New York the last four seasons may have been much different.
- The Atlanta Braves: Great trade to get outfielder Nate McLouth. They obviously learned from Milwaukee last year that, if you need to make a move, striking early gives you greater value. Oh, and good for them for moving on without the aging Tom Glavine, even if that upset the future Hall of Famer. Maybe they could have handled it better, but there's no room for sentimentality when you are trying to win.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers: Who needs Manny? Even without the suspended Ramirez, the Dodgers are continuing to roll merrily along. They have the best record in baseball, and right now only the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies look like a threat to them in the National League.
Wet Willies to ...
- The City of Cleveland: The Yankees couldn't wait to get out of there, and neither could the reporters judging from the slew of nasty comments I read. Can't the Yankees ever go there and not face attacks from the stupid Midges?
- The Washington Nationals: The Nats are 15-39. How can a team that isn't in its first year of existence be that bad? At this rate, not only will the Nationals struggle to win 50 games, they might not even win 40.
- Vicente Padilla: Drilling Mark Teixeira twice, just because he hit some homers off you a few years ago? Oh, and earning yourself a rep for hitting guys so you don't waste pitches walking them? Grow up! You're going to get one of your own teammates hurt someday.
Brad Lidge: The Phillies closer was perfect last season as the Phillies won the World Series. You had to know he wasn't that good, though. Lidge is proving it this season, having blown six saves now in 19 chances, including each of the last two days.
- Alex Rios: The Toronto outfielder struck out seven straight times in two games this week, including a record five times in one game on Thursday. Geez, even National League pitchers do better than that.
- Fans booing A-Rod: C'mon people! The Yankees are playing great baseball, and Alex Rodriguez has been a huge part of that. He has gotten a bunch of huge hits since coming back from the DL. Booing him every time he misses an opportunity is nonsense. No one succeeds every time. Give it a rest!
- The Kansas City Royals: Despite having Zack Grienke, the Royals are fading back into obscurity. On May 7 they were leading the Al Central at 18-11. Since then they are 6-20 since.
Video of the Week ...
Umm, let's just say this hurts to look at.