The Common Man has listened to a lot of podcasts since he got a big kid phone a few months back. He's not quite at Gleeman-level yet, but he's trying out a few new ones in his regular rotation. So as The Common Man drove in today, he listened to Greg Behrend and Pete Holmes make wicker furniture seem hilarious on You Made It Weird, and a thought occured to him.
At some point, with all the podcasts, and all the blogs, and all the websites, and all the Twitter feeds, are we eventually going to run out of things to say to one another? Probably not, but (and this is something that TCM has been thinking about a lot lately given the dust-up over The Hall of Nearly Great/Hall of Very Good ebook name) we're going to be stepping on each other's toes a lot more.
So how possessive can you actually be of your thoughts and your ideas when 17 other people may be thinking (and writing) the exact same thing you are while you're doing it (TCM isn't talking about actual plagiarism, which remains uncool)? How much credit and ownership do you get, should you get, over the ideas and concepts you come up with? Given the limits we all have on our time, we can't read every site every day anyway. We have our own circles that we move in, and only occasionally do we find ourselves in the same space.
The Common Man can't even really understand how you can charge anymore for the similar information that's likely to show up on a free site the same day. People don't need or want to pay for information anymore (even Jon Heyman is demanding uncompensated access to Kevin Goldstein's opinion) but enough seem willing to pay for personalities who come with that information (Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, Joe Sheehan, the annual BP books, the combined braintrust that created The Hall of Nearly Great) to make it profitable for at least a few. But for how long?
How much can any of us really lay claim to what we do? How are we unique? What makes us different? What's ours that nobody else can have? TCM doesn't really have any answers to these questions, and he doesn't know if he's right or not. But these seem like debates worth having.
Hey, speaking of paying for things, why don't you buy a copy of the The Hall of Nearly Great through TPA, since it will throw a little money our way on the back end. Consider it an early birthday present for The Common Man. TCM wrote about Frank Viola, Bill on Brad Radke, and Cee wrote about Kenny Lofton. There’s also Rob Neyer, Joe Posnanski, Jonah Keri, Will Leitch, Old Hoss Radbourn, Craig Calcaterra, Jon Bois, Jay Jaffe, Jeff Passan, Grant Brisbee, Jason Parks, Josh Wilker, Emma Span, Dave Brown, Steven Goldman, Jon Weisman, Wendy Thurm, and more.
Pitcher of the Night: Hiroki Kuroda, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 R
Rain gives Kiroda just 3rd complete game of his career and his first shutout since his rookie season in 2008.He continues to roll along having a completely Hiroki Kuroda kind of year.
Hitter of the Night: Cody Ross, 3-6, 2 HR, 2B, 3 R, 6 RBI
Ross is proving to be one of the cannier acquisitions from the 2011-2012 offseason, and is in line for the best offensive season of his career, as long as he can stay healthy the rest of the way. It's hard to imagine where the Sox would be without him this year.
Defensive Play of the Night: Coco Crisp
Crisp's full speed, sliding catch followed by a somersault (not embeddable, click here to watch) only barely beats our two honorable mentions from the Orioles: Mark Reynolds and Tommy Hunter. Hunter's was a legitimately terrific play and tremendously athletic. Reynolds' was good, and this is probably his only chance ever to appear in this space, so TCM will toss him a bone.
Big Hit of the Night: Matt Kemp
There were a bunch of big hits last night, but coming in extra innings off the bat of one of the most talented players in the game pushes this to the forefront.
Injuries of Note:
Brett Lawrie, leg
Trade Bait of the Night: Francisco Liriano, 6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 2 R
Since getting back into the starting rotation, Liriano has a 2.84 ERA in 10 starts and 63.1 innings. He's struck out 77 batters against 28 walks, and has allowed just 3 homers. He's effectively rebuilt his trade value to the point where the Twins might actually get more than a marginal prospect for him.
Yankees: Jayson Nix, 2-3, 2B, 2 R, CS, Picked off
Astros: Matt Downs, 3-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, CS, Picked off
Here's a weird thing that The Common Man doesn't get. So a guy gets picked off as he tries to steal second base, and he's charged with both getting picked off and a caught stealing. Why does he get banged twice for the same mistake? Seems like getting picked off should take precedence, especially to distinguish it from a catcher throwing out a runner.
Brewers: John Axford, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, Win
Brewers: Francisco Rodriguez, 1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 R, Sv
Quick! Change back!
Phillies: Cliff Lee, 8 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 R
He sucks. He doesn't know how to win.
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 R
Dodgers: Jose Uribe, 0-3, K, Error
We're going to just go ahead and start calling these games (no hits and an error) "Uribes".
Rockies: Jeremy Guthrie, 2.2 IP, 6 H, BB, K, 6 R
Well, we're one month in and The Common Man has found the Rockies' shift to a 4-man rotation amusing, but a quick look shows the Rockies allowed 5.75 runs/game with their 5-man staff, and have allowed just 5.32 runs/game since the shift. It's all terribly inconclusive, given TCM hasn't had time to really dig into the starters' results, and there was certainly bound to be some regression to the mean. But still, this hasn't been nearly the disaster TCM would have expected, and perhaps TCM's opinion of it has been unduly influenced by ugly lines like Guthrie's.
A's: Brandon Hicks, 1-1, HR, 2 R
Who is this guy? Doesn't matter who he was, as he's a hero in Oakland this morning. Heck of a first homer for your career.
Tigers: Doug Fister, 8 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 R
Fister got incredibly lucky with his walks and strikeouts last year after the Tigers acquired him, but he's slid back to his career norms this year (although his strikeout numbers remain strong). He's also suffering from a vastly worse defense behind him, so his ability to post decent numbers are actually somewhat encouraging.
Nationals: Adam LaRoche, 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
You know, it was tempting to start thinking LaRoche was done after two straight down and injury filled seasons. But nope, he's bounced right back to his previous plateau and has been solidly above-average at 1B, hitting .257/.337/.492 (123 OPS+) with 16 homers. Suddenly, that money Mike Rizzo invested in him in 2011 isn't looking quite so badly allocated.
Diamondbacks: Jason Kubel, 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB
Kubel signed a perfectly reasonable two year (plus an option) deal this offseason, and has delivered mightily when he's been healthy, hitting .295/.369/.549 with 17 homers. Michael Cuddyer, who signed a ridiculous three-year deal is hitting .258/.316/.474 in Colorado. But, you know, he's providing a lot of leadership to that 35-56 team.
White Sox: Pedro Hernandez, 4 IP, 12 H, BB, 2 K, 8 R
An exceptionally rough MLB debut for this kid, who was acquired for Carlos Quentin this offseason. The Red Sox hit three homers off of him.
Indians: Michael Brantley, 2-5, 3B, R, RBI
Somebody said to The Common Man the other day that Michael Brantley was having a heck of a season. TCM had to look it up, but they were right on. .300/.356/.433 for an offensively challenged Indians team, and he's batting 4th. Very weird.
Orioles: Tommy Hunter, 7.1 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 R
Ah, this is a Twins specialty. No walks, one strikeout. You'd like to give Tommy Hunter a little credit, but his ERA 5.71 this season, so it's pretty impossible not to put all the blame on his opponent.
Royals: Billy Butler, 3-3, HR, 3 R, 2 BB
Probably the best part about Billy Butler isn't his awesome nickname ("Country Breakfast"). And it isn't that he's essentially become a better hitter than Mike Sweeney when we account for the era in which he plays. And it isn't even his game winning homer last night. It's that his given name really is Billy Ray Butler. God, it's impossible not to love the South sometimes.
Cubs: Bryan LaHair, 0-3, 2 K
Look, in our heart of hearts, we all knew not to make a huge deal about Bryan LaHair. And yet, we went and did it anyway. Since May 7, he's hitting .223/.287/.349 with 6 homers, 15 BB, and 60 strikeouts in 181 plate appearances, and Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein are burning up the phone lines to move him before everybody else realizes that.
Giants: Melky Cabrera, 2-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
How anticlimactic. You keep it tied into the 11th, the visiting team puts up a 6 spot, and then you still have to play the bottom half. The worst part about Melky Cabrera's behavior last night was just that he was so uncreative. Think how much more fun, creative, and cordial it would've been if Jeff Francoeur was the one returning to Turner Field last night.