‘A-Rod’s Big, Round Girl Nipples’ Present: Poop Sundae Nominees: April 2009
I have received a few reader e-mails from the old tmofmlb.com days, imploring me to bring back the Poop Sundae blog.
I’m pretty excited, as it has historically been one of my favorite running blogs to write.
For those who aren’t familiar with the parameters of the Poop Sundaes, I’ll quickly fill you in on the fun.
1) Obviously receiving a Poop is an abhorrent honor, which one tries to avoid like the swine flu.
(Was it just me or did that Mexican pig sound Italian?)
(The winking just slays me. And his ha-CHHH, at the end… priceless.)
2) The Poops originated as a fantasy baseball award, so stats will be used as the primary measuring stick. While not confined to this, more often than not I will lean towards nominating a player more likely to be owned in a fantasy league.
For example, I’m willing to bet you won’t see Juan Pierre cracking a list, but Matt Holliday is open game.
Also, everything is in play here. Anything that hurts a team counts. A trip to the DL, a suspension, missing time because you ran through a glass door, a Selena Roberts’ accusation; anything and everything goes. But stats will be the trump card.
3) Due to the quantity of work, starting pitching generally outweighs relief pitching. Like in Cy Young voting, it won’t be impossible for a reliever to take home a Poop over a starter, but realistically it should be much more difficult.
4)At the season’s end we will crown a NIHD MVP: Most Valuable Pooper.
5)The Poop Sundaes are feedback based blogs. You will vote (in the comment section) to determine the winners. Except to break ties, I will by and large stay out of the voting process.
If only ten readers vote, those ten will choose that month’s king pooper. If 500 vote, the same. Feel free to include your argument for the winner of your choice with your vote, so as to help induce others to choose your guy.
Now that you have a bit of background information at your fingertips, let’s dive headfirst into April’s pile of excrement.
SCOTT BAKER: SP – Minnesota Twins: 0-3; 9.82-ERA; 1.70-WHIP; 7.36-K/9
Baker beat out Twins teammate and fellow starting pitcher, Francisco Lirano, for this nomination. The young righty has three outings under his belt in ’09 with each of them being rough. His best line came from his April 27 start against Tampa Bay, when he lasted six innings and gave up four earned runs.
RUSSELL MARTIN: C – Los Angeles Dodgers: .205-AVG; .559-OPS; 0-HR; 10-R; 11-RBI; 0-SB; 21-K
Russ-Mart is a top-three catcher for three reasons: batting average, home runs and stolen bases. He has a goose egg in the latter two categories to go along with his near Mendoza-line average.
LA has hit well in spite of Martin’s struggles with the stick, with Manny Ramirez, Orlando Hudson, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp all playing well, but there is no doubt they want, and you (the fantasy owner) need, Martin’s bat to start heating up.
Russ is the first of three catchers to crack this list. If you own one of the others, you know your guy is another of the three.
MARK TEIXEIRA: 1B – New York Yankees: .200-AVG; .738-OPS; 3-HR; 11-R; 10-RBI; 12-K
Were there worse players last month? Heck, were there worse first basemen?
Yes. But considering where fantasy owners drafted Teixeira, and what the Yankees paid him, to leave him off this list would be an injustice. The Yanks expect five or six homers a month from him and at least .100 additional batting average points.
Needless to say these guyswon’t be writing Teixeira another song.
But these guys might.
(That Orioles song was a prime example of something being hilarious because of how awful it is. Seriously… just a terrible song, and yet here I am listening to it again. I imagine this is what it would sound like if a bunch of rats at the dump picked up a guitar, tried to clean themselves up a bit and sing us a song. You know, if rats could play the guitar and sing… whoops… listening to it again… LET’S GO O’s!)
CHIEN-MING WANG: SP – New York Yankees: 0-3; 34.50-ERA; 4.83-WHIP; 3.00-K/9
I can’t even begin to describe the joy I experienced while watching Wang get shelled by Cleveland on Fox’s Saturday Game of the Week on April 18.
It was such a satisfying experience.
In all seriousness though, Wang had such an awful month, if it were up to me, I’d throw in the towel on this blog right now and stop the fight. Wang would be the winner by TKO.
But it’s not up to me… it’s up to you.
So on we press.
JIMMY ROLLINS: SS – Philadelphia Phillies: .207-AVG; .534-OPS; 1-HR; 9-R; 6-RBI; 1-SB
Call me crazy, but for whatever reason prior to the season, I felt it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume a 30-year-old Rollins would see his production begin to dwindle.
The power had already dropped, as his ’08 home run total (11) was the second lowest of his career, but his average (.277) was still somewhat respectable and he stole 47 bases, a career high.
But that was 2008. The first month of his ’09 season hasn’t gone well, at all. Stolen bases didn’t even salvage his horrible month, he swiped only one bag.
Rollins historically talks a lot of preseason trash, and all things considered, he was fairly quiet this off-season. Maybe if he starts talking he will start playing.
B.J. UPTON: CF – Tampa Bay Rays: .177-AVG; .546-OPS; 0-HR; 1-RBI; 21-K
The ‘innuendo’ Upton brother wanted Rays fans (and fantasy owners) to believe his ’08 power outage was primarily due to a since healed, troublesome shoulder. Which makes total sense seeing how he hit three bombs against the White Sox and four more against the Red Sox in the postseason, on that same shoulder.
Either way, the elder Upton’s ’09 April was worse than any of his ’08 months. Only his five swipes save him from total fantasy irrelevance.
His brother in the desert hasn’t fared much better.
Did they even train this off-season or just make forts and have nerf wars?
(As dorky as that was, tell me you wouldn’t kill to do something like that at your work. I would honestly give up an entire week’s worth of lunch breaks… maybe even a month’s worth.)
(By the by, my favorite running subplot is the guy with the coffee mug just casually walking around, as though all Hell isn’t breaking loose around him. Just another day at the office.)
COLE HAMELS: SP – Philadephia Phillies: 0-2; 7.27-ERA; 1.79-WHIP; 7.79-K/9
If you are well versed in your Hamels history (I outlined it here), it comes as no surprise the – enter descriptive synonym for “brittle” of choice here – lefty’s bout with a clean bill of health has once again proved to be as tough as any opponent he has faced.
Hamels was the World Series MVP and a trendy pick to win this year’s Cy Young (or more aptly, finish second behind Tim Lincecum).
Here in lies the problem: To win a Cy you must play in more than two-thirds of a season.
Oh, and you have to pitch well too.
BRIAN MCCANN: C – Atlanta Braves: .195-AVG; .748-OPS; 2-HR; 6-R; 7-RBI; 1-SB
You could argue the likes of Derrek Lee and David Ortiz (among others) have fared worse. I would counter that with McCann, more often than not, coming off the board as the first catcher drafted, owners are depending on his production much more than the likes of Lee or Ortiz, who were fantasy afterthoughts.
In their respective MLB contexts, Lee and Ortiz, while substantial to the success of their teams, have been mired in the “twilight slump” (the one that generally foretells the nightcap of a storied career). McCann should just now be getting to the thick of his career’s plot.
This blurred vision twist is not one fans and people associated with the Braves, wanted to see.
For his sake, let’s hope glasses do the trick.
Two catchers down, one to go…
GEOVANY SOTO: C – Chicago Cubs: .109-AVG; .398-OPS; 0-HR; 3-R; 2-RBI; 11-K
A special note to all those who liquidized their assets and exclusively bought Soto stock this season (or in keeper leagues, last year before your trade deadline): You seemed to overlook the fact that he was a first-year player, who had two good months the entire season.
You should have sold him when you had the chance, because he’s looking less like Victor Martinez and more like J.R. Towles these days.
Perhaps the most telling statistic of all from Soto’s ’09 season is his 46 at-bats though he never was deactivated for any reason, such as the DL.
I have read every excuse in the book for reasons Soto hasn’t hit, ranging from a sore shoulder to a possible hand injury. Whatever the source of his problem, the second-year catcher isn’t hitting when he plays, and he isn’t playing all that often.
Piniella has let Cubs fans in on the little secret he ever-so-gently already broke to Soto; he isn’t the full-time starter anymore.
Not a good month for the third catcher off the average board.
Anyone else’s fingers hurt? Hmm… I didn’t think so.
BRANDON WEBB: SP – Arizona Diamondbacks: 0-0; 13.50-ERA; 2.00-WHIP; 4.50-K/9
Aren’t sinkerballers supposed to be durable?
Four innings into Webb’s ’09 campaign and we found him broken down on the DL.
Maybe you should have just waited ten rounds and drafted Derek Lowe.
Like I did.
-Oliver Perez: Wild as always
-Brandon Phillips: Wishing he was as good as Votto.
-Alex Gordon: Taking career notes from Bobby Crosby.
-Derrek Lee: Old and boring.
-David Ortiz: Just plain sad. On the plus side, a call to Canseco looming?
-J.J. Hardy: We can’t even look at you. Turn around before you get smacked.
-Francisco Liriano: “Are you my slider?” (Spin off on the popular children’s book.)