Tuesday, February 08, 2005

For Your Amusement

I wouldn't normally post something like this, but since there isn't much Pirate-related news today, I'll mention it. There's a ton of bad baseball writing out there, but this is some of the worst I've seen in a long time, and it's in USA Today. It's written in a Rosenthal/Gammons bullet-point style, even though Rod Beaton has few juicy rumors to report. Beaton does, to his credit, have one of the better names of all time. To his discredit, he apparently does not have a copy editor.

-Beaton mentions that "Now you get utilitymen who bash while on the lineup card as first baseman, left fielder, DH and catcher." After mentioning only Ryan Garko and former Pirate prospect Chris Shelton, Beaton adds, "Get used to it. There will be more of these guys." This is, of course, hardly breaking news: Matt LeCroy and Craig Wilson have been cast in exactly this sort of power-utilityman-catcher role for years.

-Beaton then says that Eric Munson has been a flop, and that (therefore?) teams should be wary of drafting another USC catcher, Jeff Clement. Why? Is there some problem with USC? It follows from Beaton's logic that teams should eagerly draft all of USC's pitchers at the first available opportunity, since Mark Prior came from there.

-Then there's a paragraph on the Pirates: "The Pirates have had some starters suffer serious setbacks. Their No. 1 pitching propect was left-hander Sean Burnett, KO'd for the season. Another was/is, right-hander Bobby Bradley, back from a similar setback and lefty Paul Maholm. One starter, left-hander Zach Duke (5-1, 1.58 in AA), remains standing, and should eventually stand out."

In addition to at least two grammar errors and one spelling error in that series of sentences, there's awkward writing. To what does "another" refer? "Another" what? And why do we have to guess what Paul Maholm's name is doing there?

-Check this one out:

Arizona's Luis Gonzalez has really helped his arm strength and accuracy in workouts, "I feel like Tom Brady out there," he told The Los Angeles Times. And while we're into football lingo, Padres general manager Kevin Towers, 42, says ageless center fielder Steve Finley "is the Dick Clark of baseball. He never seems to age." Towers is too young to recall Clark's American Bandstand, but there is a re-creation of the hit on the Sunday soap, American Dreams.

What? 'And while we're into football lingo, here's an utterly irrelevant reference to a TV drama'?

-The Seattle Mariners worked for more than a year to get shortstop/second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt out of Cuba and signed. That detemination [sic], plus his age (22), suggest he is worth it all. The same goes for his good swing. That's another sign of the athleticism he has exploited as a position player at times.

-Just when it seems Japan's arms corps is not as strong as it has been, and the ones who arrive come over most often as middle relievers. An Ichiro or Hideki Matsui is rare indeed. The latest ordinary import is Denny Tomori, 37, who just left Japan and took his 8.50 ERA with him (stats from Jim Albright, the Japanese Insider, with BaseballGuru.com).

You might think I'm taking these out of context, but I'm not. Hilarious stuff.

Another:

"Nakamura could win spot in the post-Beltre world."

Did Beltre die? And who, or what, is spot?

* * *

Anyway, go back to your regular reading. You'll need something cogent to clear your head after the Beaton article. There's been some inspired Pirate blogging in the last week. It's just that I haven't been doing any of it. Check out WTM's argument about what the Pirates should do in the first round of the draft. Then head over to Let's Go Bucs, where Jeff has posted a table containing Pirate salary information.

Thanks to Ryan.

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