Lou says one solution to Monday's impending roster crunch is to get to to 11 pitchers instead of 12. That would mean just one position player would have to be sent out when Aramis Ramirez, Reed Johnson and pitcher Angel Guzman come off the DL Monday. Jeff Baker and Andres Blanco are going to stay, meaning Mike Fontenot, Jake Fox, Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld will be watching things nervously here the next couple days as will pitchers Kevin Hart and Jeff Samardzija.
I'm all for that. My solution: send Hoffpauir, Hart and Samardzija back to Des Moines. Sam Fuld can handle the outfield positions that Hoffpauir wasn't all that good at (not to mention that since May 25, Hoffpauir is hitting .189/.204/.377 in 53 AB with one -- yes one -- walk and 17 strikeouts), and Fox can back up first base.
Baseball note: golf great Tiger Woods weighs in on Yankee Stadium ticket prices:
Tiger Woods can afford to buy tickets to a game at Yankee Stadium. Heck, he can probably afford to buy Yankee Stadium. But he's still aware of how costly attending sports events can be for, you know, us mere mortals.
Asked about price-setting policy at this week's AT&T National tournament, for which he serves as host, Woods chose Yankee Stadium as Exhibit A in "What NOT to do" when putting on a family-friendly sports event.
"We don't want to have what happened at Yankee Stadium," Woods said Friday. "Tickets are so overpriced that you can't bring the family. We want to have everyone come out and enjoy being in a family atmosphere, walk around, have a good time and not have it cost an arm and a leg."
This upcoming offseason is going to be a time of major recessionary adjustment for major league teams and players. You already saw some of this late last offseason with some of the free-agent signings; this winter, I think you are going to see many teams tighten their belts and all teams will have to think long and hard about ticket price increases -- case in point: the Tigers. Detroit averaged 39,539 last year, raised prices significantly in the city perhaps hardest-hit by the economy, and despite having a first-place team this year, attendance in Detroit so far is down almost 25%. Same in Toronto, where the Blue Jays have played well and are still in contention -- down about 23%.
Cautionary tale for owners, including the soon-to-be new owners of the Cubs. The Cubs may appear recession-proof, but there is a point at which even Cub attendance may start to tail off.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Ted Lilly||7-6||16||16||0||0||0||0||104.2||95||42||39||16||23||88||3.35||1.13|
|2009 - Mike Burns||1-1||3||2||0||0||0||0||16.1||15||6||6||2||6||9||3.31||1.29|
Mike Burns, in case you haven't heard of him before, is no kid prospect -- he'll be 31 in nine days. In fact, the Cubs should have a pretty good book on him, since he spent 2008 in the Cub organization at Iowa. He's been around so much that the only photo available of him is in a Red Sox cap, and he only made seven appearances for them in 2006. The Brewers are his fourth ML team; he made two relief appearances vs. the Cubs in September 2005 when he was with Houston and two more in April 2006 as a Cincinnati Red. He never started a ML game until eleven days ago. He has allowed a fair number of walks (six) given his number of innings (16.1). Derrek Lee is 2-for-2 (both doubles) against him. In short, who knows what to expect?
Ted Lilly is 4-1, 1.85 in seven starts at home this year, and has not faced the Brewers in 2009. Watch out for Ryan Braun (6-for-13, 2 doubles, 2 HR) and Prince Fielder (6-for-15, a double).
Today's game will be available nationally on TBS -- except in the blackout areas, as pointed out by Allie in last night's recap. It's also on CSN Chicago and FSN Wisconsin. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.