Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Goodnight, Sweet Woody
2006-03-06 12:03
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Longtime Giants pitcher Kirk Rueter is calling it a career at 35. You have to tip your hat to the guy for finishing with a .586 career winning percentage despite sub-Jamie Moyer stuff. And for not dragging out the bitter end when he had clearly lost whatever it was he had last year. If the Rockies wanted to get him into camp for a few days to explain to Jeff Francis whatever voodoo Rueter used to stay in the league for so long, that wouldn't be the worst of ideas.

Also, the Cactus League schedule is underway, although I haven't been paying much attention. The Rockies are 2-2 so far for what it's worth. This time of year, you just cross your fingers and hope not to hear that any of your starters have been injured. I did tune it to many of the Far Eastern World Baseball "Classic" games and I've been surprised by how engaging I found them. Byung-Hyun Kim looks good on the mound for Korea so far. As for China, well, they definitely had the snappiest uniforms in Pool A. Better luck next time.

More Rockies tidbits: Charlie Monfort puts his foot in his mouth, again. Baseball Prospectus readers voted overwhelmingly to name a stat "reflecting big leads squandered" a "Mesa." Neither Josh Fogg, Sunny Kim, nor Zach Day has done much to distinguish themself for the fifth starter's spot so far. From Dave Krieger, a spirited defense of Dan O'Dowd.

Zack Greinke update: ESPN's Buster Olney writes in his blog, "Greinke's discontent was felt last year, as well, when he repeatedly indicated to others that he was fed up with the way his baseball career was going. He told others he was ready to walk away." Would he feel this way if he was playing for Atlanta or Oakland?

More HAPs soon.

2006-03-06 12:37:15
1.   Cliff Corcoran
Kim probably hasn't done much because he's been pitching for Korea, who, if you ask me, have by far the snapiest uniforms in Pool A. Not even close (though I do like the dull finish on the Japanese batting helmets, I'd like to see that catch on in MLB as a throwback to the cloth covered helmets of the '60s).
2006-03-06 13:13:50
2.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I probably should have clarified that Kim failed to make his case by pitching pretty badly in his only appearance for the Korean team so far (3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 HR against Japan). Early reports that participation in the WBC would hurt the chances of players competing for jobs in big league camps seem tempered by the well-publicized fact that every team in MLB has packed the seats at the Classic games so far with scouts.
2006-03-06 13:22:57
3.   Bob Timmermann
The Japanese have a dull finish on their batting helmets most likely because the Yomiuri Giants helmets look like that.
2006-03-06 14:05:57
4.   Voxter
Wow, that headline is dirty.
2006-03-06 21:54:42
5.   sanchez101
Didnt Carlos Beltran have the same motivational issues back in his early years with KC?
2006-03-07 14:04:19
6.   Voxter
I also found the Far East WBC games more engaging that I was expecting. There was something cool about the fact that Sadahuru Oh is managing Japan. And China was kind of comically pathetic -- they had several players younger than my youngest brother. Who hasn't yet graduated high school.

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