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Monday, May 16, 2011

Comments

I don't know if needs to play everyday, but he does need to get more then 1 start every 7 or 8 days (which is about what he is averaging in 2011).

I am sure he will play a lot this week. Probably starts tonight in CF. Definitly plays tomorrow against the LHP Garcia. With CJ Wilson looming this weekend, he'll play against him.

Both RFD and Gload need more AB's and need some starts in the OF. Time to get them in there more. Both can help and hit, with semi-regular work.

RIP Braves RT @si_mlb: Chipper: Knee surgery possible http://t.co/N7QKQsL

Mayberry has always looked like he could hit and be decent in other parts of his game.
He should get time with Shane out, which I hope is a breif period.
But should split time with Raul and BenFran after that.
You really don't offend the baseball gods by not fielding the same lineup every day - not that injuries have let that happen much this year anyway.

Is Ben Fran slumping, or has he simply been exposed?

both....

Chipper with an age-related injury... oh wait... maybe this one actually is age-related!

let's dream a little dream, shall we?

guys can come out of nowhere to become starts. it's happened recently in our own backyard in Jayson Werth. 3 years ago when he had that 3 HR game my buddy called me from the road and asked me to pick him up for him in our FBB league. i obliged, and lauged while i did it, thinking that was a wasted roster spot. $127 million later...

last year, a relatively unknown Jose Bautista came out of May with big power numbers. no one anywhere thought he could keep it up. he was 29 years old, had limited success in previous years. nothing about him forshadowed that he had big power in him. 54 HR's later...

enter Mayberry Jr. at 6'6 and 234 lbs, he's a freak athlete who can run, has natural power, and seems to be able to field his position better than the other 2 corner OF's. his problems are:

little track record of success, even in the minors.

can't hit righties.

can't hit breaking pitches.

yesterday, vs. a tough righty, he homered and drew 2 BB's. i think the pitch he hit out was a fastball, albeit one w/ nice movement.

sometimes, guys figure it out late. it's rare, for sure, but as long as we're just dreaming here what if Mayberry becomes our regular RF, hits .285 with 20 HR's from here on out. likely? no. but sometimes dreams come true.

Will the starting OF down the stretch be Brown, Vic and Mayberry Jr.?

I doubt it, in that I think Raul will continue to get the bulk of the starts barring injury. I suppose we might more likely have a Raul/Mayberry Jr. platoon than Raul getting benched.

Either way, Mini Mart doens't deserve any starts over our other 3 OF options.

The fascinaton with the Rule 5 picks recently is baffling. I mean, I can totally understand it if you see a guy with a lot of potential and a high ceiling. But Herndon's ceiling is probably good long man and MAYBE #5 starter, and Martinez's ceiling is Scott Hairston.

Why the Phillies would waste a roster spot on these two guys for the last 2 years is inexplicable.

The bad thing about this offense right now is that I don't think it's slumping. I think this *is* the offense, more or less. Short of Utley coming back and being the Utley of 07 or so, switching around the pieces of this offense is akin to switching deck chairs on the Titanic.

Everyone got on Tommy's case when he advocated for Mayberry, but he's shown promise at the major league level so far...the only OF prospect I can say that about at this time.

Mayberry for Greg Golson has turned out to be a helluva deal.

I've been sick of Michael Martinez since the day the Phils drafted him in the Rule 5. The dude isn't young- 28. He's never been very good in the minors. He's versatile, but so is a Swiss Army Knife...don't see the Phils keeping one of them on the 25-man roster.

Too bad Frandsen is suspended, because he could've made Martinez completely expendable without using a spot on the roster. I still can't see any reason to keep Martinez after Utley comes back.

Mayberry will get exposed if he plays everyday though at this point Cholly probably does have to throw him into the mix since Francisco is slumping so much.

Cholly is just going to have to mix & match which is something he clearly prefers not to do. He doesn't like to use his bench that much or platoon players. Also going to have to tinker with his lineup a fair amount.

Just hope that Cholly is a bit more creative than hitting Mini Mart 2nd. That was just a poor strategic move. Can't afford to do that with this lineup right now.

The offense isn't this bad though. They have missed Ruiz most of May and now Vic is hurt. Additionally, they have faced a bunch of quality pitching this month (9 games vs. Fish/Braves and even 3 games against a better than expected Nats' staff).

Defense:

Yeah this defense still leads the NL in errors and fielding percentage but they have been a subpar defensive team this month from the games I have watched.

Ibanez probably ends up as one of the worst LFs in MLB. Francisco has played better than expected but is still a downgrade from Werth last year. JRoll hasn't played as well at SS in the early going. More I see of Valdez at 2B & more I am convinced he is average at best there. Miscast as a 2B. Schneider/Sardinha have also been a defensive downgrade from Ruiz too.

If everybody is healthy and Utley is back, this is probably an above average team, but with the injuries and subpar defense so far from JRoll it hasn't been a good defensive team the past few weeks.

Ya I think this is the offense as well, except for Utley being out, and Ibanez way off his expected marks, Francisco below what is expected, Ruiz below what is expected.

Vic and Polanco have some regression to do, but I think we will be seeing improvement as the season goes on from this offense.

guys it not even hitting season yet....

What is "exposed?" Other teams will recognize weaknesses and exploit them? Isn't that true for everyone in this lineup (and every team's lineup)?

Offense in May has stunk:

May (13 games) - 3.54 R/G
April (26 games) - 4.62 R/G

Truth lies somewhere in between with an offense that is close to 4 R/G if guys like Vic and Ruiz are healthy & in the lineup.

I like Martinez. It seems like I'm the only one...
If Ibanez hadn't picked it up a bit recently, I'd be for playing Mini-Mart full-time in LF, bat him lead off moving JRoll down to the lower third.
Martinez reminds me somewhat of Michael Bourn. Slap hitter with excellent speed and can run down balls in the outfield. All he needs is a shot.
I wish Cholly would bat Polanco #2 and Vic #3. Vic has more pop from the right side.

Starting guys like Orr, Valdez, Sardinha, Schneider and Martinez is a big drain on this offense. If they ever get healthy, I fully expect them to be a decent offense. It may be with a couple platoons in teh outfield but, they won't average 3.5 runs a game for the rest of the season.

Truth lies somewhere in between with an offense that is close to 4 R/G if guys like Vic and Ruiz are healthy & in the lineup.

That's still pathetic.

Heather: Scott Hairston has way more power than Mini-Mart can ever hope to have. To me, it looks like his upside is Eric Bruntlett (pre-Phillies version). Of course, it's worth noting that Mini-Mart is already 28 -- the same age as Bruntlett was when he had his best major league season.

Unless there's another injury or Vic ends up on the DL, I feel fairly confident in predicting that Martinez will be gone once Utley returns.

We all understand how big of an improvement Utley is over Orr/Valdez right? lol 76/56 OPS+ or something?

We'll be fine.

Everybody is concerned about the offense. I am still more concerned about the health of Oswalt & Blanton.

Blanton has had almost nothing in his 2 starts getting by largely on guile & a bevy of offspeed stuff. Maybe he is being worked back slowly but a guy who only can give you 5 IP (maybe 6 IP) with mediocre results is a real drag on the bullpen.

This team really needs a healthy Oswalt. They can make do with 1 starter out of the rotation at a time. Not 2. Rest of the team including the bullpen isn't good enough to compensate over the longer term. Really curious to see how he looks on Tues. I think he struggles against a Cards' lineup that has some real power although he had good career numbers vs. most of their hitters against Pujols who has torched him.

Unless there's another injury or Vic ends up on the DL, I feel fairly confident in predicting that Martinez will be gone once Utley returns.

I didn't think David Herndon could possibly ride out the entirety of last season on the Phillies roster. He not only managed that, but somehow made the team over clearly superior options to begin this season. The Phillies have a difficult time coming to grips w/ the fact that some of their moves flat suck. I expect to be stuck w/ Martinez.

Good morning.

Disappointing game yesterday.

Lots of hullaballoo on the TBS broadcast about the "Civil Rights Game". I wish they had said something about the decline of African-Amercans in MLB; down from 27% of players in 1975 to about 10% now. There are only 13 African-American pitchers in the major leagues. What is up with that? Why did they not talk about it or even mention it?

It also seemed like Brent Musberger and Ron Darling really could not think of a single thing to say to Morgan Freeman, who passed half an inning in the booth with them. That was awkward. Perhaps they could have asked Mr. Freeman about his personal intiative to support young African-Americans by dating his 20-something step-granddaughter.

Anyhoo, things seem pretty good to me; the Phillies are winning more than any other team in their division, right? Around here most folks are Twins fans. Now THAT is a tough thing to be.

Have a great day.

If Utley comes back, Orr is sent down. He is a left-handed bat who can't play OF/SS potentially like Martinez can nor switch-hit.

phargo: So how long before Ron Gardenhire gets the axe? I've got him & Ozzie Guillén at the top of my "short-timer" list.

mg-its a good thing pujols as a sore wrist,this series....

"Maybe [Blanton] is being worked back slowly but a guy who only can give you 5 IP (maybe 6 IP) with mediocre results is a real drag on the bullpen."

This is pretty much the norm for fifth starters so, I'm fine with them trying to get Blanton back on track at the major league level. Hopefully, he overcomes the arm pain and can step up his contribution. I'm holding my breath waiting to see how Oswalt looks tomorrow. I would not be surprised to see him scratched and either of the young guys start in his place.

I don't think it's panic mode yet for the offense. With Utley back this offense is not a far cry from the offensively powered teams of 08 and 09. In fact, it may be better than 09 considering the massive upgrade of Polanco for Feliz at third. The biggest problem of the past few weeks has been the black hole that the 5-9 hitters have been. Ibanez, Francisco, Orr/Valdez, and Schneider/Sardinha were almost always rally stoppers. With a healthy Utley and Ruiz back in the lineup, that takes care of half of that abyss.

I do agree with starting Mayberry more, doesn't he have about twice as much upside as Francisco? What do we have to lose by at least letting him split time with Ibanez and Francisco?

Jimmie: You do realize that Martinez is actually several months older than Bourn, & that Bourn is already in his 4th full major league season? You do realize that Martinez's .683 career OPS in the minors is exactly .01 better than Bourn's .682 career OPS in the majors? You do realize that Bourn is probably the single fastest player in the major leagues, and the single best defensive outfielder, whereas Martinez is only the 4th fastest player on his own team, gets thrown out on one-third of his steal attempts, & has barely even played any CF? You do realize that the leadoff spot is where you put your best on-base player, and Mini-Mart's career OBP in the minors is a paltry .315?

Your comparison is crazy -- and that's putting in kindly. Wait 'til clout gets hold of you.

"So how long before Ron Gardenhire gets the axe?"

I'd take him in a minute over Charlie.

Dave, from what I can tell, it does not seem to be The Way of the Upper Midwest to call for the head of the manager. I'd bet Gardenhire is still around on Labor Day.

Gardenhhire has won 6 division titles in 10 years -- and with a low payroll team, no less. The Twins have a bad lineup (especially without Mauer) and a bad starting rotation with a couple of average pitchers passing as staff aces. None of that is the manager's fault. I can't see his getting fired.

I don't know if anyone else is interested, but if you are, this is an interesting article about the demise of the black baseball player, from SI. It even has some quotes from Jimmy Rollins.

Since when do managers only get fired for reasons w/in their control? A few Twins fans I know were downright angry after their annual whipping at the hands of the Yankees last season. After awhile merely getting to the playoffs is no longer enough, even in Minnesota. I can't imagine anyone is happy that a team w/ high expectations & a new ballpark is doing this poorly. Again, that's not to say Gardenhire is definitely gonna get fired, but I wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand, either.

In response to Phargo:

Why the focus on declining African-American players when, to my eyes, there are more blacks than ever in MLB? Does it matter if they're black and their first language is English vs. Spanish? Why the big distinction? I don't get it.

Managers get fired fall kinds of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with their performance. Justified or not, they are often the scapegoats, and will get treated accordingly. (As an aside, the Twins really are hurting without Mauer)
Hey, there are some geniuses that even blame Cholly for, well, I have no idea, but they would still like to see him go, and all he does is win.

phargo - Darling and Stockton (?) talked a good bit with Hank Aaron about the dwindling number of blacks in baseball. My take - baseball is less and less an urban game and the majority of kids, black and white, are playing other sports. I saw a couple kids playing catch yesterday but, I never see any semblance of a game of baseball, stick ball, whiffle ball or any of the multiple variations of baseball we played whereever we could find a flat piece of grass or pavement.

Funny, though, when I looked at the Phillies lineup yesterday it wasn't exactly a caucasion farmboy team. Ignoring hte pitcher (and politically correct labels), yesterday's starters were 3 black guys, 4 hispanics and a white guy. Saturday was 2 black guys, 2 pacific islanders, 4 hispanics and no white guys.

"Why the focus on declining African-American players when, to my eyes, there are more blacks than ever in MLB"

Because whatever the perception is, I think the actual numbers are down.

thats crazy phargo.....

"Because whatever the perception is, I think the actual numbers are down."

I THINK the numbers have rebounded slightly, but were definitely in decline in the early 2000's. Phillies a notable exception.

"Because whatever the perception is, I think the actual numbers are down."

Well, are people like Vladimir Guerrero counted as black or Hispanic? Because if they're counted as Hispanic, that would definitely skew my perceptions.

phillies actually have the most African players in baseball....

African-american sry.....

I will say this: whenever Ozzie Guillén finally gets sent packing, I will be greatly saddened. Not so much because I think he's a such a wonderful manager, but because he is endlessly entertaining. Talk about a guy who skipped the Crash Davis Cliché course ...

This dearth of African American's in baseball thing gets ginned up about once a year. Is it baseball's fault there aren't more African Americans in baseball because "they" are a bunch of racissts? No. Does it behoove them to expand their available talent pool with projects like the RBI academies? Yes. Don't know why this is so controversial.

@ Heather: Because Gary Sheffield thinks it's a conspiracy to replace "uppity" blacks with easily controlled hispanics?

G-Town. I also see a lot of his players say of Ozzie that they love him and his blunt manner is a refreshing contrast to a lot of the PC-type managers.

Besides, maybe I don't follow the Sox that well, but I really don't know that Ozzie has made any really bad decisions this year. He might get the axe just because the team is losing, but it's not like he made Thorton blow all his saves, gave Dunn appendicitis or made Alex Rios suck.

@Jbird: I lol'd. I never heard that one from Gary Sheffield before.

Just got a call from Bud Selig. He says (& I quote),

"All Beerleaguers should buy Philadelphia Phillies 2011 Civil Rights Game Chase Utley Road Cool Base Jerseys -- only $279.99 at MLB.com!!! -- for doing so will make up for any & all racial oppression & tension this great nation has ever witnessed. Hey, look! It's Morgan Freeman! And a black guy playing a soulful rendition of "God Bless America" on the sax! Jackie Robinson!"

Thanks, Bud.

Hard to believe that yesterday set so many people off about Mini Mart. Sure, he shouldn't have been hitting second. But he had at least two outstanding at bats. One ended in a single up the middle and the other in a line drive out to left center. And he handled his only two chances in center, though they were not difficult.

He was by no means the worst player on that field yesterday. Rollins jumps immediately to mind as having awful, non productive at bats and being just a bit less than outstanding in the field. And Howard did his usual grounding to deep second more than once and hit a lazy fly ball 3-0 in the count. And couldn't throw to second, though it didn't haunt them this time. And I don't recall Polanco being incredibly productive at the plate. Maybe I'm forgetting all the great at bats and fielding plays everyone else besides MiniMart made. And lest I forget, Ibanez should have sent a cardboard cutout to the plate instead of standing there. It would have been less embarrassing.

I'd say Mayberry was outstanding. Four solid at bats and one great play in the outfield. And Mini Mart played like a major league player against a very tough pitcher.

Of course, when Utley comes back, Mini Mart is likely gone. As it should be. But I don't understand the wrath of BL after that particular game.

to bring both thread topics together, Ozzie Guillen's response to Gary Sheffield and the Hispanic vs. African American debate was remarkably thoughtful,

"I guarantee that Latin American people play more baseball than any people, because that's all we have," he said. "You have more people playing baseball in Venezuela or the Dominican than anywhere, so there are going to be more players from there." He also pointed out that American players must be drafted, while players in Latin America can sign as free agents. "You can sign one African-American player for the price of 30 Latin players, [$500,000 or $1 million]" Guillen said.

BL does wrath well.

@aksmith: Mini Mart didn't do anything particularly egregious yesterday. Speaking only for myself, however, his mere presence in the lineup provokes a Pavlovian reaction against the folly of keeping low ceiling Rule 5 picks on a playoff contender's roster that I cannot control.

"... his mere presence in the lineup provokes a Pavlovian reaction against the folly of keeping low ceiling Rule 5 picks on a playoff contender's roster that I cannot control."

Exactly.

aksmith, poor/good results should NEVER be used to justify if a decision was good at the time it was made.

Charlie could bat Cliff Lee cleanup tonight. If Cliff Lee then goes out and hits a bases clearing double in the 4th inning, does that make the decision to bat him 4 a good one?

EF: I presume Fredi took Uggla over the 2B currently available to the Phillies, as opposed to taking Uggle over Utley. Assuming that's the case, I agree w/ every pick he made save 3B. There, I'd stick w/ Polanco.

I didn't see a pick for C, though. That's tough. My heart says Chooch, but my head says McCann. Knowing how well he works w/ the Phillies staff, I'd probably stick w/ Chooch. McCann wins by Secretariat lengths over any of the backup C stiff the Phils regularly unearth, though.

Everyone got on Tommy's case when he advocated for Mayberry, but he's shown promise at the major league level so far...the only OF prospect I can say that about at this time.

Posted by: Will Schweitzer | Monday, May 16, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Will cannot help himself from bashing Dom Brown. Dude give it a rest.

ReBurb, good catch. I didn't even catch the backhanded Dom Brown dig there.

I like Mayberry, I hope he does really well. That's all I really have to add to the conversation.

Mayberry bandwagon:

He still has faced more LHP than RHP (23 vs. 21 ABs) and has better splits as you would expect (.950 vs .873 OPS).

As he faces more RHP, I expect his overall numbers to dip. He also has some crazy day/night splits. I would love to know if his numbers in the minors had any kind of notable day/night split difference.

Mini Mart wasn't bad yesterday. He had one of the few hard hit balls all day. Didn't make a miscue either in the field.

Just don't like seeing him at the top of the order.

In a game filled with egregiously bad offense, Mini Mart was certainly not the most egregious. But one not-quite-egregious game doesn't remotely justify either the decision to start him or the decision to bat him 2nd. Or, for that matter, the decision to have him on the roster.

Just to divert some attn from yesterday's atrocity. Why does the Phillies network feel compelled to show a split screen of "three morons" talking along with the game. Do they really think I want to see them and not a full screen of the game? Is the Director that STUPID? Is is just me or do any of my fellow fans feel the same way?

"Is Ben Fran slumping, or has he simply been exposed?

Posted by: timr | Monday, May 16, 2011 at 10:24 AM

both....

Posted by: Jay | Monday, May 16, 2011 at 10:25 AM "

The above is the type of analysis(or lack thereof) on this board that is the gift that keeps on giving.

Exposed?

BenFran had 1,221 MLB PA coming into the 2011 season, and career averages of .263/.329/.446.

He's had 150 PA so far in 2011. His first 103 PA this season he was hitting .272/.340/.457.

So, are you saying that the socuting reports on his first 1,221 PA coming into the season were wrong? Were the scouting reports his first 103 PA this season wrong?

What magic exposure has occured the last 47 PA this season where Ben has gone .088/.326/.088?

Do you think in the last 47 PA they have a different book on him?

Sheesh.

Phillies are #1 in ESPN's power rankings for the 4th week in a row

Jbird, and they probably are still one of the top 3 teams in MLB - despite thier recent struggles.

You won't get that feeling around here if you read the comment section.

Hey, they're struggling and have s few holes.

Every team has holes, every team struggles from time to time, and it's a long season.

"Will cannot help himself from bashing Dom Brown. Dude give it a rest."

No bashing here. One prospect has demonstrated the ability to perform at the major league level before he is "exposed". His name is John Mayberry, not Domonic Brown.

Small sample size to be sure, but with how highly touted one man is and how disregarded the other had been up until this month, it's worth noting.

jbird - MLB network had the Phils #5 going into Sunday's action. i found that odd.

Heather: There is zero chance than Mini-Mart could ever be as good as Scott Hairston.

None.

As for the number of black ballplayers in the USA, note this line:

"As the 2003 season neared its midpoint on Sunday, there were only 90 blacks in the major leagues, or 10% of the players on 25-man rosters and disabled lists."

I'd say that 10% representation more or less mirrors the African American percentage in our population, no?

If anything, African Americans were over-represented in the 70s, 80s and 90s and it's now reverting to statistical norms.

Perhaps it was a myth, but I think the number of inner city african americans playing little league/HS basebball declined greatly, as the numbers playing football and basketball increased greatly.

"One prospect has demonstrated the ability to perform at the major league level before he is "exposed". His name is John Mayberry, not Domonic Brown.

Small sample size to be sure, but with how highly touted one man is and how disregarded the other had been up until this month, it's worth noting."

So, was Mayberry "exposed" in his 60 plate appearances, in 2009, when he hit .211? I assume he must have been, since this is your asinine conclusion from Brown's 70 PA from last year, in which he hit .210, largely as a bench player after Vic came back. BTW, 7.7 BB% for Mayberry in his brief shot, 7.1 BB% for Brown. Meanwhile, Brown remains 23, while Mayberry is now 28.

correction: I was looking at the wrong year for Mayberry's BB%; it was actually 3.3% in 2009.

I was one of those clamoring for the Phils to go get a veteran RF with power this past off-season, but despite the sharp drop in production, I'm now glad they didn't. The pitching is so good they can afford to mix and match and pray for Dom.

Mayberry should play every day until he cools off. He's fast, got a good glove and some pop.

Francisco should not be more than a 4th outfielder.

"Will cannot help himself from bashing Dom Brown. Dude give it a rest."

No bashing here. One prospect has demonstrated the ability to perform at the major league level before he is "exposed". His name is John Mayberry, not Domonic Brown.

Small sample size to be sure, but with how highly touted one man is and how disregarded the other had been up until this month, it's worth noting.

Posted by: Will Schweitzer | Monday, May 16, 2011 at 01:39 PM

The fact that Dom Brown is 23 and Mayberry is 27 means nothing to you, huh?

Taking a shot at Brown because he didn't "prove" himself to be a star over 60 some odd PAs, and contrasting against what Mayberry has done over a small sample size, as if to say, we bet on the wrong prospect; that just takes guts.

It's important to note that the NHL and NBA playoffs are still going on, and likely will be until next Christmas. What is the deal with this?

And Bud Selig wants to do the same for MLB. I used to be a basketball fan and a hockey fan. I haven't watched a game of major league basketball or hockey in a decade now. Why? Because the regular season means nothing and at this point, the playoffs go on for ever.

I await the day that I no longer watch baseball for the same reason.

And if Cliff Lee hit cleanup, and won the game with his bat, then OF COURSE that would have been the right decision. Unless we're in upside down beerleaguer world.

aksmith, agreed about playoffs. I was surprised to hear Bud Selig talking that way, though I don't guess I should have been.

Didn't mind the wildcard and adding a round of playoffs. However, adding another round of playoffs that push the season into November automatically is just a bad idea. It is pure greed. Nothing more.

"As the 2003 season neared its midpoint on Sunday, there were only 90 blacks in the major leagues, or 10% of the players on 25-man rosters and disabled lists."

See, I don't believe the percentage of blacks is that low if we're counting blacks as all people who are of some African descent. I think all that figure is counting is English-speaking persons of African descent which seems bizarre.

Surely in the context of people not being discriminated against based upon the color of their skin, Hispanic persons of African descent should count as well.

"And if Cliff Lee hit cleanup, and won the game with his bat, then OF COURSE that would have been the right decision. Unless we're in upside down beerleaguer world. "

In a world I like to call the rational world, a logical thought process based upon the available evidence makes something a good or bad decision, not the outcome.

So, in the rational world, if I sunk my entire 401k into lottery tickets, that would be a bad decision, regardless of the outcome.

But apparently in the world you live in, it would be a bad decision if you lost and a great decision if you won. That's...interesting.

Heather,

Are you trying to sound ignorant as a joke or something?

The question of African American representation in MLB is not about discrimination anymore. I don't think anyone's saying that baseball is discriminating against blacks these days. That's not the point. It's really a reflection of baseball's declining relative popularity, and poor outreach in cities.

Galt: Of course it's a joke. Batting Cliff Lee cleanup is a great decision if it works, and a terrible one if it doesn't.

Did I ever tell you that I know a Nigerian government official who needs your help to get some money tranferred?

"The question of African American representation in MLB is not about discrimination anymore. I don't think anyone's saying that baseball is discriminating against blacks these days. That's not the point. It's really a reflection of baseball's declining relative popularity, and poor outreach in cities."

I agree, but then at that point just focusing on African-Americans is wrong. How many inner-city American white/Asian/Hispanic youth are baseball stars?

If baseball wants to, it should focus on providing the means and opportunity for these kids to play, but it's not exclusively a black issue as some make it out to be.

While I'm far from putting him in the Hall of Fame, I couldn't help but notice yesterday how polished Mayberry looked at the plate. The book on him when he was first with the team was he could rake lefties but forget it against righties. He seemed to have no patience at the plate at all. Now here we are in 2011 and his at bats are very impressive and there is no better example at how far he's matured than his at bats against Hudson. Unfortunately it didn't make up for how pathetic everyone else looked.

Heather--
You are missing the point. The point of separating African Americans from Hispanics of African decent is not about discrimination. MLB is curious as to why there are less African Americans playing baseball. MLB is not suggesting there is some form of discrimination going on, they are just concerned that the next Ken Griffey Jr., Jimmy Rollins or David Price is not even playing baseball as a youth and will never get a chance to realize his potential and become a star.

MLB is targeting an under-represented demographic and wants to maximize the potential of that demographic.

Hispanics of African decent are playing baseball in huge numbers, which is why they are not lumped into the total of black players. They are well represented in MLB.

It is not about skin color, which you are hung up on. It is about demographics and maximizing the potential talent pool.

Basically MLB is seeing talented African American athletes choosing basketball and football over baseball. MLB wants to get in on that talent pool.

Wes,

I am hung up on skin color and race because MLB and others talk about this issue in reference to race. If the real problem is "blacks in baseball" than the fact that there are Hispanic blacks would seem to negate that problem.

However, I think that the real problem is a socio-economic one, specifically that less poor and urban youth are playing baseball, and that African Americans are overrepresented in said group...HOWEVER, I don't agree it is a "black" issue when it is really one of poverty, which affects people of all races, and I don't agree with labelling it a "black" issue as some seem to have done.

If it is a black/race issue, then we should talk about all players of African descent. If it is a poverty/socio-economic issue, then we should talk about it in those terms and leave race aside.

Can we all just agree that the real problem with MLB is that there are not enough Samoans playing baseball. Football seems to have cornered the market on athletic and/or fat Samoans.

Scotch: Agree with you about Mayberry's approach looking a lot better early this year. Sample size error? Very likely, yes. But he has earned the right to prove otherwise.

Mayberry's potential has never been questioned and, if he did have a breakout season at 28, he wouldn't be the first guy to ever do so.

I agree with Heather

Fatalotti - Remember in Will's world since Brown hasn't proven that he is worth the hype, there's no reason to be excited for his potential at all. I guess since Mayberry was written off by some and had a nice game yesterday, he is worth the hype and is already more valuable than Brown will ever be, according to Will.

Wes: Exactly right.

Wes, yes.

interesting factoid that may only interest me:

Jose Bautista’s WAR is higher than the entire offense of the Philadelphia Phillies.

(full disclosure, i have not double checked this stat for accuracy)

It all comes down to money,baseball is not a cheap sport......glove,batting gloves,cleats,bat,baseballs cost a lot more then a basketball....

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EST. 2005

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