Image via Fourthgradenothing.com.
Image via Fourthgradenothing.com.
David Roth: So I went to a Mets game on Saturday and saw Miguel Batista's last major league start.
David Raposa: Was it in the air? That combination of jock mildew and middle-aged regret that comes with a player's impending release?
David Roth: Aaron Miles: The Vibe.
David Roth: It did feel really DFA in the ballpark that day. And not just because The Juan MacLean performed the national anthem. It was weird, it took 11 minutes and while I suppose it was danceable I think it really could have been more patriotic.
David Raposa: David Roth, always doing it clean.
David Roth: But yeah, it took Batista 86 pitches and five and a half hours to get through three innings. Lots of back-to-back walks. Lots of Juan Uribe, who really just has the most extraordinary neck these days, getting around on pitches.
David Raposa: That wasn’t Juan Uribe; that was an actual anklyosaurus.
David Roth: I feel for him, though. During the game, I wanted nothing more than for him to be DFA'ed. Immediately, decisively, permanently, and to the Tierra Del Fuego or the Orkney Islands or someplace similarly remote if possible. But because I am a weepy Mets dork who feels sentimental about every player ever to wear the uniform except for Mike Hampton and Vince Coleman, I felt bad when he was actually DFA'ed. Miguel Batista seems like a nice man and all that. I would be happy to have him pitch meaningless innings in lopsided games, as long as I don't have to watch.
David Raposa: So, for the Astros. The PR campaign writes itself – “Mig-Bats: the mop-up man's mop-up man to the end. Even when he's the starter.”
David Roth: The Astros are making moves, though! Swapping all of their players for non-prospects and the ghost of Francisco Cordero, who moves and pitches with all the easy grace of Vincent D'Onofrio in Men In Black these days.
David Raposa: They also dumped the wife-beating closer.
David Roth: There was talk that the Mets were scouting Brett Myers, and that was about as close as I've ever come to turning in my badge and gun, getting myself a custom Vin Mazzaro shirsey and joining the Royals Revolution.
David Raposa: I think I need to re-examine my fantasy scruples. I have no problem with a relentlessly awful piece of shit like Myers on my team, but I'll break out into hives if a Yankee gets anywhere near my roster.
David Roth: That 10-player deal was great, though. Riot in the common-card box. I was way more excited by that than I am about the Marlins dusting off the fire-sale signs after two-thirds of a season.
David Raposa: It seemed like the wonk version of a sports-talk-radio fan trade.
David Roth: But from one FanGraphs commenter to another FanGraphs commenter's radio show.
David Roth: "Moneyball6969, long-time first-time. I want to talk about J.A. Happ's platoon splits."
David Raposa: "Look, when you watch Happ out there, you know he's thinking about his BABIP and his FIP. It's all right there on his face."
David Roth: I don't appreciate the way he says his first name. R.A. Dickey doesn't ask that people call him "Ray." He has, through his attorney, insisted that I stop calling him "RAAAA." I guess the phone calls were irritating to his kids, which waah waah I'm a baby and can't handle fame, I guess.
David Raposa: Given the impact I think we should also discuss the Royals/Rockies SP challenge trade.
David Roth: Oh, that was a good one. Basically the baseball transaction equivalent of a chicken pox party.
David Raposa: Never has there been a more obvious case of Mutually Assured Disillusionment. Though I did think the Melky/Sanchez swap would turn out the same way, before the Melk Man got into Rod Carew's stem cell stash.
David Roth: Jonathan Sanchez is like an Oliver Perez I don't have nightmares about. I wish him very well.
David Raposa: Based on his first start for Colorado, you need to wish harder.
David Roth: Did he stink, too? I know Guthrie put up his standard 5 ER in 5 IP. The new quality start.
David Raposa: There's value in a guy going deep enough to qualify for the win and only giving up a run per inning. It's like pitching to the score before there's a score to pitch to. That's efficient, in it's own way.
David Roth: Not baseball as we are used to it. Or might hope to see it. But it is a type of baseball.
David Raposa: It's not the baseball we need right now, but the baseball we deserve. See also: Yankee-chiro.
David Roth: I really enjoyed Jay Buhner's diplomacy on The Ichiro Question; I always appreciate a straight answer on the "would this particular baseball thing make you vomit or not" question. Does Ichiro being a Yankee make you sad?
David Raposa: The tact is lacking, but I second those emotions. Ichiro will never not be cool, and this obviously isn't his fault, but that certain corners of baseball overvalued his ability to be fast and single a lot did tarnish him some in my eyes.
David Roth: He may have been overvalued in some ways, but Ichiro...I don't know, I'm not objective in this. But I just think he seems like the most next-level, Buddha-nature ballplayer I can think of.
David Raposa: True. Not many players deserve their own Bartlett's book, never mind actually have one.
David Roth: He speaks very good English, but only uses it to give incredibly profane psych-up speeches to the AL team during the All-Star Game. He used to out-homer Ken Griffey Jr. in batting practice, but just wasn't that interested in doing it during games. He wrote 50 Shades of Grey as a joke and only pretends he can't breathe underwater because he doesn't want to embarrass everyone else.
David Raposa: Ehh—Wade Boggs was doing that stuff when Ichiro was knee-high to a bucket of KFC. The intentionally awful housewife erotica game, though, I cannot front on.
David Roth: Also every interview Ichiro gives is just a parade of winking awesome koans of ironic half-significance. So mostly what I'm saying is I'm just sad that Nick Swisher is going to try to get him to shotgun a Four Loko before a game or something.
David Raposa: Would the Four Loko come before or after the six-pack of Miller Lite with those new Hi-C can vents?
David Roth: The idea of him having to talk to Nick Swisher—or really just listen to Swisher talk about what ATVs are "for pussies" and which aren't—somehow sullies his legacy for me. If a photo surfaces of the two of them shitfaced at a Dave and Buster's with Joba, I will quit everything. Or actually follow through on that Royals fan thing from earlier.
David Raposa: But that's how Swisher do. Brostains be stainin' and so on. However, I'm more afraid of what Jeter will do to him. The last thing Ichiro needs in the twilight of his career is to be blanded out. Swisher's greasy neo-Situationist mien isn't the type of thing you want to be exposed to on a daily basis, but at least it's an actual thing.
David Roth: I don't know if you've watched his outtakes at the Jeter's Ford Challenge website, but I think you'd really be surprised by the force of the Captain's personality. Also surprising in those outtakes is that it's revealed that Jeter is hugely racist against gypsies and "pogs", which I gather is some sort of slur that I hadn't previously heard of. They should take those outtakes down.
David Raposa: And yet somehow, still, Derek Jeter remains the SUV of baseball personalities.
David Roth: I don't want Jeter taking him shopping for henley shirts and crappy uncle-jeans. "They're really comfortable. Jorge Posada's favorites. I like to pull them up kind of high and not wear a belt with them."
David Raposa: "Ice Williams swears by these boxer briefs. You should really check them out."
David Roth: How can Jeter, who is Derek Jeter, dress more or less the way that Jerry Seinfeld did in Seinfeld. I guess he doesn't rock the big puffy Avia high-tops, but—spiritually, metaphorically—he is wearing those things.
David Raposa: I’m thinking he spends his money on items of clothing (or accessories) that he saves for the gift-basket brigade, and that frightens me.
David Roth: Because I have been so caught up in my secretly but now not-so-secretly flawed Mets, I have not noticed how hilarious and wonderful the AL pennant race is. Or not pennant race.
David Raposa: Hey now, the Central's still up for grabs? It's a slap-fight for the ages! Will John Danks pitch worse than Rick Porcello? Will Alex Avila and Carlos Santana end up with batting averages above .230?
David Roth: I guess I mean the Wild Card, where the objectively meh-to-sub-meh Orioles and Athletics are leading every other team by one-and-a-half games.
David Raposa: Gotta love those Orioles, still above .500 despite being outscored on the season by 44 runs. Buck Showalter's still got it! You'll forgive me if I don't believe in the A's, despite winning 14 of 16 (and sweeping the Yankees).
David Roth: Tonight you will be visited by three ghosts. The ghost of Josh Reddick's haircut. The ghost of Coco Crisp's sweatsuit collection.
David Raposa: And Olmedo Saenz?
David Roth: No you will be visited by the actual Olmedo Saenz, who is not dead or a ghost, but who is coming over with Erubiel Durazo to have a few beers, order some pizzas and tell some Jeremy Giambi stories. That's the cool one.
David Raposa: An actual free Erubiel Durazo! If he re-enacts Giambi's table dance from Moneyball, I'm buying every A's season ticket holder a frozen turkey. If he's got any Magic Mike moves, I might propose.
David Roth: I am so perplexed by the A's as to somehow believe in them. Just in the sense that Oakland's success is so inexplicable and confounding to me as to sort of seem legitimate in that way.
David Raposa: Ex-Red Sox farmhands and Cuban imports are the new inefficiency.
David Roth: They're the baseball Higgs Boson, in that regard: the essential, existentially significant mystery that proves itself in its very mysteriousness. Or something. I don't really understand the Higgs Boson, either. I know it's a big deal. I will never understand exactly how it works. It somehow involves Cliff Pennington.
David Raposa: Nothing that has anything to do with baseball should involve Cliff Pennington.
David Roth: Certainly nothing having to do with quantum physics. Everyone's close to cracking some sort of ineffable cosmic mystery and there Cliff comes, spikes high, breaking things up. I mean, I respect the hustle. But that is not how we use the large hadron collider.
David Raposa: Andrew McCutchen is the true God Particle. Dude is channeling "classic" Barry Bonds in every way, except that he doesn't give the team's PR department ulcers.
David Roth: Yeah, he's great. He hit .480 over a 100 at-bat stretch. Which is more or less my favorite thing that happens in baseball. Just a dude who cannot be gotten out for a month.
David Raposa: That would carry a team or two. Perhaps an entire division.
David Roth: It's amazing to watch. I remember Will Clark always seeming to be on one of those streaks against the Mets. Also, oddly, Spike Owen. It was more annoying from Spike.
David Raposa: Neifi Perez had one of those stretches once, too. Even broken clocks hit seeing-eye singles twice a day.
David Roth: Neifi. The name that is also an adjective. A pejorative one. "He'd been Neifi for months," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "We had to let him go."
David Raposa: Neifi is a state of inertia.
David Roth: A Neif is neifi, and behaves neifily. But I kind of believe in the Pirates.
David Raposa: Now with more Wandy!
David Roth: I like the Wandy deal. I like the name Wandy, which I like to think is short for either Wandall or Wandolph, and I like the pitcher Wandy fairly well, too.
David Raposa: Usually, when I'd say something concerning the Pirates like, "They have the pitching," I'd just throw a question mark on at the end, and not think twice. But now it's actually kind of true? Which is odd.
David Raposa: And speaking of odd, have a look at this photo tribute to the aforementioned Wandy. If you get something in your eye, it's because you don't dust enough, you disgusting unhygenic pig. This tribute does include the caption "2007: Wandy posted his first sub-5.00 ERA."
David Roth: NSFW, by the way. So here is a major story that the LAMESTREAM MEDIA has ignored. Last week, the Royals signed Jason Kendall and assigned him to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. On Tuesday, he retired. What happened during those five days? Does it involve the Clintons smuggling drugs out of Mena, Arkansas? One really bitchy bus trip to West Texas? I think there is a great novel to be written about this.
David Raposa: My answer was going to be, "A whole lot of unyielding red-assery, and a fair share of infield pop-ups." But I like yours better.
David Raposa: I read somewhere that Kendall, when he was a Brewer, verbally abused youngster Manny Parra to the point that he'd totally lose confidence in his stuff.
David Roth: That's called leadership, where I come from. (I come from a factory that makes jerks with stupid tattoos and UFC facial hair) (It's non-union)
David Raposa: The Jason Kendall Story, so far, does seem like the first half of a Breaking Bad kind of deal. I can see him going on a crime spree, terrorizing convenience stores all across the plains. Something like John Dillinger in Raising Arizona.
David Roth: Or going on some sort of Falling Down style destruction-mission in Midland, Texas after a tough loss to the RockHounds. Too much Conner Crumbliss, I guess.
David Roth: I endorse everything about that dude, by the way. His name sounds like a proprietary type of crumb-free space age biscuit.
David Raposa: Everything including the OBP that's higher than his SLG?
David Roth: I'll treasure that particular statistical oddity. You never know when the government might take it away.