The “Turns Out Ken Griffey Jr. Kinda Stinks” Presents: Poop Sundae Nominees: May 2009
It’s the beginning of June, meaning the MLB regular season is just starting to shake off the cobwebs, with teams and players settling into the type of production fans should realistically expect from them. Gone are the days of mid-April where the Nick Swishers of the world bat .450 with home runs in half of his team’s first eight games, or teams like the Seattle Mariners sprint out of the gates to a 6-4 record leading their division with hopes flying high.
It’s the beginning of June, meaning the Nick Swishers of the world are back to playing to their realistic capabilities, batting .236 with nearly as many strikeouts as games played, and teams like the Seattle Mariners are falling further and further behind in the West with each passing day. Their hitters look almost allergic to baseballs while at the dish.
It’s the beginning of June and parks nationwide are filled with the wonderful aromas of grilled hot dogs (Some teams still grill their wieners right?), tasty garlic fries, buttered popcorn, pulled-pork sandwiches along with many other scrumptious items that are unbelievably appetizing, that is up until the point you reach the concession stand and puke a little out your nose when you read the crotch-kicking prices.
There are other smells too, of course. Rotten ones. An odor so potent and acidic you can smell Jason Giambi velcro-ing his batting gloves all the way from your crappy outfield plaza level seat. Your gag reflexes are immediately triggered when Adrian Beltre rises off the pine and heads toward the bat rack, and it’s not the pine tar.
(I think I’m going to be sick.)
The stench Arizona Diamondbacks’ part-time outfielder, Chris Young, emits is so familiar it can be simplified into a single letter; K.
It’s June and I smell something strange and eerie, a sick sensation my nostrils have grown accustomed to.
I smell poop. And lots of it.
If you are not familiar with the Poop Sundae blog, I outlined the blog’s concept along with voting rules here.
April 2009 Poop Sundae Winner:
CHIEN-MING WANG: SP – New York Yankees – 0-3; 34.50-ERA; 4.83-WHIP; 3.00-K/9
Well you did it. You left the voting tied and forced me to get involved. Lucky for me voting for Wang was an easy decision. Lucky for you, I’m chalking this one up to you not understanding how crucial the role you the reader, play in the creation of this blog. Basically you dictate what I write about. The ball is in your court ladies.
I mentioned in the April nomination blog that I got almost a child-like sense of glee watching Wang get roughed up by Grady Sizemore and the rest of the Cleveland Indians on his final Fox Saturday Game of the Week start before his trip to the DL. Ironically it was just about the last Grady Sizemore game I enjoyed. Might he have played his way into a May nomination?
Let’s find out…
May 2009 Poop Sundae Nominations:
JORDAN SCHAFER: CF – Atlanta Braves – .158-AVG; .427-OPS; 0-HR; 8-R; 5-RBI; 1-SB; 40-K
“Hey rookie, you played your way to washing the team jocks.”
Too bad the Majors don’t work like low Class-A league teams. Otherwise, Schafer may find his punishment to be something in the neighborhood of jock-washing, or shower shoe-scrubbing.
He has been awful. He’s been worse than Michael Strahan’s acting in Fox’s new sitcom, “Brothers.”
Didn’t one of the NotinHD.com writers pick Schafer to win the NL Rookie of the Year award?
(Frantically trying to delete that last sentence before Britton points out the fact that I picked Oakland A’s flame-out Brett Anderson to win the AL ROY.)
(Crap I didn’t type fast enough, the zinger stays – so I must hide. I’ll duck down under the San Diego Padres talent level. He will never think to look that low.)
RAFAEL FURCAL: SS – Los Angeles Dodgers – .240-AVG; .566-OPS; 0-HR; 9-R; 5-RBI; 0-SB; 15-K
Did Furcal’s inclusion on this list exclude a player or two who may have played a bit worse last month? Probably. But Furcal merits a nomination based on the fact that fantasy owners look to him for help in three categories: batting average, runs and stolen bases and he provided virtually nothing in all three areas.
He did not steal a single base in the month of May. Sheesh, even Yadier Molina (catcher, St. Louis Cardinals) even swiped two.
If Albert Pujols, all 230 (or so) pounds of him, could take second three times this past month, is it t0o much to expect Raffy to do the same?
Shoot, even Braves catcher, Brian McCann, found time to steal one bag while wiping his new glasses off on his jersey at first.
The Dodgers have played fairly well without much production from their shortstop but they need him to man-up. Let’s see some fireworks this June, Furcal.
(Or at least place a call to Manny’s doctor.)
FAUSTO CARMONA: SP – Cleveland Indians: 1-2-W/L; 30-IP; 6.90-ERA; 1.83-WHIP; 5.10-K/9
2007 seems so long ago. I can vaguely recall Carmona teaming up with C.C. Sabathia, terrorizing hitters in the AL Central. Now, Sabathia is in New York and Carmona is all but invisible.
It’s hard not to feel bad for the kid. He had to live in Sabathia’s double-XL shadow his stellar rookie season, only to begin his demise last year as the husky southpaw was shopped around, before eventually landing in Milwaukee.
He was supposed to be a great starter for years to come, but now appears destined to wither away in middle relief.
Lucky for Carmona he doesn’t have to stray from the division to find another case like his.
FRANCISCO LIRIANO: SP – Minnesota Twins: 2-3-W/L; 30.1-IP; 7.12-ERA; 1.85-WHIP; 8.90-K/9
It’s like Liriano is looking into a mirror when he gazes at Carmona. A lefty whose future appeared as bright as anyone in baseball, hasn’t been able to stay on the field and when he has, it hasn’t been a pretty sight.
Tentative to throw the slider (Which hasn’t been as sharp post-elbow surgery), trouble locating the fastball, you name it, Liriano has probably struggled with it.
The only thing Twins fans cling to as a glimmer of hope is something I’ll call the Justin Verlander Phenomenon – terrible numbers across the board but a spectacular K/9 ratio.
As long as Liriano continues to generate swings and misses, fans and fantasy owners can keep the faith that eventually he will work out his control problems and resume the path set for him towards his former dominant future.
Still, has any young lefty’s star faded faster than his?
SCOTT KAZMIR: SP – Tampa Bay Rays – 1-2-W/L; 19-IP; 10.89-ERA; 2.42-WHIP; 6.63-K/9; DL-Right Quad Strain
Whoops, I spoke too soon. What in the world happened to this guy? He was incredible at times last year. He led the AL in strikeouts the year before.
What happened to “Ladies, ladies… not a problem”?
I demand an explanation. I picked the Rays to win the World Series based on Kaz returning to form and the addition of David Price to the rotation. At least through two months, it would appear I had an error in judgement. Five players into the Poop Sundae nominations, I have to believe Kaz is our front runner.
Please promise me one thing: Promise you will remember the cautionary tales of Fausto Carmona, Francisco Liriano and Scott Kazmir before you go nuts over San Diego State stand-out, Stephen Strasburg this summer.
Anything can happen, and it often does.
DAVID ORTIZ: DH/1B – Boston Red Sox – .143-AVG; .520-OPS; 1-HR; 6-R; 6-RBI; 0-SB; 26-K
Big Papi narrowly missed out on an April Poop nomination, but he isn’t so fortunate this time. I can’t even describe him as a slugger at this point. I have to say something lame and flow disrupting as, “The ‘at one point in time, big bopping DH for the Red Sox, hasn’t been able to buy power at the drug store this season, and trust Manny Ramirez’s credit card receipts, he’s tried.'”
What a lame descriptive phrase to have to use. But hey, Ortiz has earned it.
Even Chicago Cubs Gatorade cooler prizefighter, Carlos Zambrano, hit as many May home runs as Ortiz.
One more, if you count the cooler.
ANDRE ETHIER: RF – Los Angeles Dodgers – .211-AVG; .601-OPS; 1-HR; 11-R; 8-RBI; 2-SB; 19-K
As a secondary Dodgers fan this one cuts me deep. I admit I was already warming to Ethier before the Manny Ramirez fiasco, but once all that went down I plunged my fan hood headfirst behind the young right fielder.
(Wait… that didn’t come out right.)
But Andre grabbed hold of my heart and and took batting practice with it. Lucky for me, as with baseballs last month, he didn’t have much success hitting it.
Ethier is just lucky I already wasted the, “Even Carlos Zambrano hit a homer” joke on Ortiz.
C’mon Ethier, I still believe, prove me right.
CARLOS QUENTIN: LF – Chicago White Sox – .196-AVG; .536-OPS; 0-HR; 5-R; 4-RBI; 1-SB; 7-K; DL-Plantar Fasciitis
Ironically in a month where Quentin landed on the DL with a bum foot, he did manage to steal a bag, but the runner-up in the 2008 AL MVP voting didn’t get much else going in May.
Unlike several other players on this list, Quentin’s stock isn’t plummeting. He is a very good player who should see much better months ahead.
But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be presented with a Poop. Lord knows he handed plenty of his own out to fantasy owners world wide.
ARMANDO GALARRAGA: SP – Detroit Tigers – 0-5-W/L; 29.2-IP; 8.49-ERA; 1.82-WHIP; 4.55-K/9
Those numbers are incredibly atrocious. Lucky for him, similar to the Dodgers with Furcal and Ethier, the Tigers have been able to win in spite of him.
He is currently owned in 26-percent of Yahoo! leagues, and quite frankly, I’m wondering why the number is even that high. In six May starts Galarraga gave up less than four runs only once (Three against Baltimore on May 28.) and his performance reached a new low when he didn’t even get out of the first inning against the Oakland A’s on May 17, while surrendering five runs to a team with the lowest rated offense in MLB.
No thank you. Not for my fantasy team. But perhaps, this is just the kind of player for you.
Hey, 26-percent of you must feel that way.
NICK SWISHER: OF/1B – New York Yankees – .150-AVG; .586-OPS; 3-HR; 9-R; 10-RBI; 0-SB; 29-K
Remember when Swisher was the talk of the town way back when, on April 15?
Neither do I. The guy hits a handful of jacks out of a Little League field and people began to sing his praises. But they forgot one minor detail…
He’s Nick Swisher. I’d say that’s a fairly telling detail.
How that guy is still an everyday player, well, you’ve got me. I’m not saying he’s a terrible (though he did have a terrible month) player, but look at the majority of MLB starting outfielders and first baseman and try telling me the Yankees can’t do a bit better.
There you have it, off to the polls with you!
(Remember to vote in the comment section, do not e-mail me your vote.)
-B.J. Upton: Struck out 39 times last month in 29 games. That is not a typo. Only his ten stolen bases saved him from a nomination.
-Derek Holland: The Texas rookie posted a 6.87 ERA for his first full month in the bigs.
-Chris Young (Arizona): I wonder if his remaining fans can file some sort of lawsuit against him. His play has been insulting.
-Grady Sizemore: Strangely, a potential elbow surgery certainly couldn’t hurt his play.
-Howie Kendrick: Hitting like Howie Mandel would be an upgrade at this point.
-Ken Griffey Jr.: Seattle fans have been holding out for one last swan song from the Kid. It’s not happening. Let it go.