HENCH’S HARDBALL: Opinions expressed in HARDBALL are not necessarily those of Boston Dirt Dogs, Big Dog, or our sponsors:
Date: Thursday, August 23, 2001
Anyone else growing weary of the Derek Lowe and Rod Beck show?
Is there no funk a lineup can't snap out of when one of these two Guys
Tschida also squeezed Lowe on a couple of pitches, particularly the 1-1 pitch
As for Beck, add Ben Molina to the ever-expanding list of guys who have
taken him deep this year. Unlike Edgar Martinez who turned around an 0-2
fastball, Molina swatted a 1-2 hanging curve. Mirabelli had set up outside and
the hanger lolled over the inside half before being schwacked. It's one
thing to get taken out on a 3-1 and 2-0 pitches, but when you're giving up
tall jacks on 0-2 and 1-2 pitches - when the hitter is presumably thinking
defensively - it might be time to pull a Pichardo and just walk away before anyone
else gets hurt.
In the Indians stirring comeback victory over the A's, Robbie Alomar hit a
routine grounder to second with one out and a man on first in the eighth.
Menechino got the ball to Tejada quickly but Alomar beat the relay to
first, bringing up Juan Gonzalez in a 4-2 game. Gonzalez tied it with a
two-run home run. We also trailed 4-2 with a man on first and one out
tonight. Jose Offerman hit a grounder to second. Not only did he not beat the
relay, he hadn't entered the frame when the Angels began celebrating their
victory. Has there ever been a slower leadoff man in baseball? And by the way,
Mr. Kerrigan, as happy as I am that you actually know what certain guys
have done against certain pitchers, none of that is relevant in Jose Offerman's
case. He is not the player he was before last year's knee injury. Not even close.
I would like to poll older fans and ask them if they ever remember any of their
heroes missing 10 games in a pennant race with a pulled hamstring. Willie Mays?
Duke Snider? Mickey Mantle? A guy tears up his knee, that's one thing. But the
annual trip that seemingly half these guys take to the D with a pulled hammy is a
real puzzler. You hit the ball, you run to first...and, oooh, there it went. What?
How did that happen? A buddy of mine on my softball team says it's the weights.
That all these guys build up their lower bodies with weight work and they're just
too taut, like piano wire, and they snap easily. But I thought Griffey was not a big
And Manny can't DH? What exactly is a mild strain? This season has just been
too cruel. All year when I'd complain long and loud about all our guys being hurt,
my girlfriend would say, "Manny's not hurt." Well now he is.Well, not hurt necessarily, just unable to play. In a pennant race. With his team three games back.