The Republic today reminded me of something I'd forgotten, that Cory Lidle was - at least, briefly - a Diamondback. He was our seventh-round pick in the 1997 expansion draft, but never appeared in an Arizona jersey, and only threw 7.1 innings, albeit shutout ones, between High Desert and Tucson in the franchise's inaugural year. He was waived by the club at the end of 1998: Tampa then picked him up, from where he went through Oakland, Toronto, Cincinnati and Philadelphia on his way to the Yankees.
It was a shock, particularly the manner of his death, but let's be honest: I never cared much about him when he was alive, so it would seem kinda hypocritical to pretend I care about him now. Obviously, I have sympathy for his wife and family, but equally for the relatives of the other person killed in the crash. Which, again being brutally blunt, is really not all that much. And suggestions that the playoffs be postponed? Get real. If he was actually on a playoff team, I could see a decent case for this, but let's face it - if Lidle played for Kansas City, would we even be having this discussion?
Detroit looking pretty unstoppable in the ALCS so far: two wins on the road, now leaves Oakland in a perilous position, needing to win four of five, the majority of them in Detroit. Fox will be breathing a little easier, since I imagine their nightmare scenario for ratings was A's vs. Cards: the World Series That Nobody Bothered to Watch. Is it just me, or did anyone else's real interest in the playoffs leave along with the Yankees? When they still were about, I had someone to root for - whoever was playing them, natch - but I look at the four remaining teams and am forced to think, "What's on the other channel?"
Arizona Fall League has got under way, so that will be a chance to keep an eye on some of our up-and-coming prospects, as the following play for the Scottsdale Scorpions: pitchers Matt Elliot, Stephen Jackson, Chris Kinsey, Mike Schultz, and position players Danny Richar, James D'Antona and Mark Reynolds. Two games in, the Scorpions are 1-1; they won their opening game on Tuesday 7-4, with Schultz getting the win, striking out the Peoria Saguaros in the seventh. Richar went 2-for-5 and scored twice in the lead-off spot. However, Elliott allowed three hits and a walk in a two-run fourth.
Yesterday, Scottsdale went down in a slugfest, again up against the Peoria Scorpions, 15-9. Mark Reynolds was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, but D'Antona went 0-for-3. They play Phoenix today and tomorrow, first at Scottsdale Stadium, and then at Phoenix Muni. I'll have to see if Mrs. SnakePit is up for the latter, as Steven Jackson is slated to start that one for Scottsdale, and he's reported to have an excellent sinker. I remember when we went last year, it was pretty chilly after the sun went down, but the weather looks pretty perfect at the moment. After a long period when it was hell on earth, it's once again the time of year when it's a joy to be in Arizona.
Ken Rosenthal reports the Padres might want our "rejects", Messrs. Counsell and Gonzalez: "Counsell, 36, could platoon with Geoff Blum at third and bat leadoff if outfielder Dave Roberts departs as a free agent." As for Gonzo, "his preference might be to stay in the NL West, where he would get frequent opportunities to show the Diamondbacks that they made a mistake by declining to exercise his option. The Padres probably would be the best fit among the NL West teams." Yeah, that'll work. Go from the 4th best-hitting park in the majors to the Sucking Black Hole of Doom which is Petco, dead-last in park factor this year (and worse yet for Luis, allowed 23% less doubles than the average stadium). Expect to see Josh Byrnes in a "Told You So" shirt, the first time San Diego visits Phoenix.
Oh, and check out this brutal slagging of Thom Brennaman from the New York Times. It describes Brennaman as "mediocre, distinguished mainly by an unmodulated megaphone-like voice that is like a parody of what a sportscaster should sound like." This was triggered by an incident in Thom and Steve Lyons' coverage during the NLDS at Shea, where they mocked, at length, a guy wearing strange headgear. Turns out the guy is almost blind, yet the device still allows him to follow the game. Oops: you'd think someone who refuses to say the word "Damn" would be a little more sensitive to others, but it appears not. Have fun in Cincinnatti, Thom...