The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Mike's Weekend Extravaganza

Marlins – Phillies Series concludes
The Marlins beat the Phillies again yesterday.  This is not news anymore though.  Somehow, the Marlins have managed to beat the Phillies fourteen times in a row in Miami (dating back to last season).  So far this year the Fish have won 11 of 12 against the Phils.  Including last year’s games, the Marlins have taken 23 of the past 26. 

Runs like this are unusual and unlikely in baseball, but for whatever reason the Marlins seem to have the Phillies number.  These two teams will meet seven more times before the end of the regular season, and it’s likely that the outcome of those seven games could decide a playoff berth.  Some Phillies fans disagree, by asserting that there are more games left to play not against the Marlins than against them, but last year’s Wild Card race could have been decided if the Phillies had played only .500 ball against the Marlins.  If they were able to pull that off, we could just as easily be talking about the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies now, but we’re not.

Former Canes part of Miami Struggles
I wonder if former Hurricanes’ sluggers Pat Burrell and Jason Michaels have suggested that the Phils face off against the Marlins at Miami’s Mark Light Stadium.  That’s where Burrell and Michaels used to play when they were Canes.  As I recall, they were actually able to hit there.

What you talkin’ about Willis
Speaking of last year, the trendy thing to say at the end of the season was that Diamondbacks’ rookie Brandon Webb deserved to win the National League’s Rookie of the Year award more than the Marlins’ Dontrelle Willis.  Many pundits said that even if Willis walked away with the Rookie of the year award, over the course of their careers, Brandon Webb would prove out to be the better pitcher.  For those of you who have lost track, here’s an update (2004 Stats):

Willis (8 – 6) 3.86 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, .274 BAA, -1 RSAA
Webb (4 – 11) 3.68 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, .246 BAA, -5 RSAA

Granted Webb is pitching on a horrible team and that’s certainly not helping his won – loss record.  Willis, though, is holding his own here in year two.  I think he’s proved that he wasn’t a one year (or first half of one year wonder).  Sure, he might not be a future Hall of Famer (Webb either), but he’s a quality major leaguer.

Democratic National Convention Highlights
Did P Diddy make out with Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention?  You be the judge.

Think Twice Before You Eat Another Candy Bar
A woman in Washington (D.C.) was arrested earlier this week for eating a candy bar in the subway station.  Apparently she was warned about this ahead of time.  In the article, it’s noted that because of terrorist threats and the like, it’s necessary to take things like this seriously.  While that may be true in part, isn’t it also true that by taking up valuable police time to handle something like this also makes it slightly easier for a terrorist to do something?

Also, there’s no truth to the rumor that Orioles owner Peter Angelos owns a controlling stake in the vending machines in DC subway stations and that he has encouraged police to prevent anyone from bringing outside food or drink near his machines.

Movie Pick of the Week
If you haven’t seen it already, I strongly encourage you to see Napoleon Dynamite.  It’s simply funny, and if nothing else – at least a little bit different from the standard summer fare.

This movie deserves more of a review, because I doubt you’re just going to go out and see it on your own, so check this out

Well, don’t be a flippin idiot, go read the review and then go see the movie already.
While I despise Sports Illustrated the magazine and refuse to read it, I’ve made a convenient exception for myself with  I particularly enjoy college sports writer Stewart Mandel, and lately, I’ve really come to enjoy the Daily Scorecard, particularly The 10 Spot.  Here’s one of the highlights from Thursday’s 10 Spot:

It's comforting to see Ryan Leaf hasn't lost his people skills. According to newspaper amNew York, UTEP coach Mike Price said earlier this week that he'd be "honored" to add famous bust Leaf to his coaching staff. (It makes a little more sense if one recalls that Price coached Leaf at Washington State.) So a reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune called Leaf to gauge his interest in the job. Leaf's response: "Man, what the [expletive]? How'd you get my number? If the San Diego Union-Tribune calls me again ... Man, you fools are stupid." Leaf then hung up.

Return of Ankiel

Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel is set to begin a rehab assignment with the Cards Single-A Palm Beach club on Sunday.  I’m thinking of heading up to Jupiter to watch Ankiel.  His story is a sad one (so far) but hopefully he can make it back.

Weekend Highlights
Best Series
:  Lots of repeats from last weekend (just in the opposite parks this week), but the nod here goes to the Phillies – Cubs series in Chicago.  While it’s only one of many series this weekend where both teams are still in the playoff hunt, this series includes two of the teams that are the most likely to make a move (or two or three) this weekend.  If you watch Friday or Saturday’s game, you might get breaking news when a deal goes down (or infer it from who’s playing and who isn’t).  If you catch the game on Sunday, you might get to see so-and-so in his new uniform for the first time.
Best Pitching Matchup:  On Sunday afternoon, Pedro Martinez (Red Sox) faces Johan Santana (Red Sox) in the Metrodome.  We could look back at this years from now as a passing of the baton from the best pitcher of the time (Martinez) to his successor (Santana).  That’s putting a lot of expectations on Santana, but over his last ten starts or so, he’s deserved it (holding hitters to less than a .150 batting average and striking out more than ten men per game).

And of course, the trade deadline on Saturday night – with wire-to-wire coverage by ESPN all night.


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