By Dalton Del Don
David Wright is having quite an interesting season. He leads the National League with a .382 batting average with a ridiculous .484 OBP and is on pace to finish the season with 108 runs scored, 95 RBI and 17 steals. However, the terrific production has come with just five home runs, giving him the same pace to finish the year as his steals. To put this in perspective, Wright entered Sunday slugging .604 – only one player in all of baseball had a SLG higher than .600 last season (Jose Bautista). Among the 10 players who slugged .550 or better last year, only David Ortiz hit fewer than 30 homers (he had 29). The average among that group hit 34.8 home runs. Wright is on pace to finish with fewer than half that amount. In fact, among the batters who finished in the top-20 in slugging percentage in 2011, not one hit fewer than 25 long balls (Josh Hamilton hit 25, and he missed 41 games).
I don’t totally buy how real this is, but I love the concept.
Speaking of being skeptical, I definitely was about this crazy video of an 80-year-old shown being forced out of a plane during a skydiving venture that later resulted in her nearly dying, but further research/interviews have proven it’s totally legit. Insane!
Speaking of crazy skydiving, this person set a world record for free falling without a parachute.
It gets even more bizarre when you consider Wright’s HR/FB ratio is a healthy 14.3%. His MLB-leading .451 BABIP has obviously been lucky, but he also sports a 29.1 LD%, and his career hit rate is .344. After seeing a massive spike in K% over the last few years, Wright has actually walked more than he’s struck out so far this year (29:32). In fact, his current walk rate is a career best, while his K rate is his lowest since his rookie season. It’s also worth noting even after moving the fences in during the offseason, Citi Field has continued to play as an extreme pitchers’ park. Wright will remain plenty productive moving forward, trading BA for homers, but his current combination of such a high slugging percentage resulting in so few bombs is pretty rare.
There are too many memorable one-liners to even list when it comes to Rob Ryan describing his van.
This is 100% NSFW but equally as humorous. The final line kills me.
Asked last week whether I was worried about Roy Halladay on the XM/Sirius show, I said not at all. His BAA remained normal for him, he still had a 4.3 K/BB ratio, and although Halladay had already allowed half of last year’s home run total of 10, he gave up 24 long balls in 2010, when he finished with a 2.44 ERA and 21 wins. The drop in velocity was worth discussing, but it’s become increasingly difficult to label whether he’s throwing his four seamer or cutter. In 2010 during his first year in Philly, Halladay threw his fastball 37.4% of the time, according to Fangraphs. This year, he’s thrown it just 14.7% of the time, increasing his use of the cutter greatly (this might not be a Pitch fx glitch either, as Halladay confirmed he was using his cutter at a far greater frequency when we interviewed him on the aforementioned XM show last year. That wasn’t a “humble brag” either, because there was nothing humble about it. It bothers me when people use that phrase when they are just plain bragging, but I digress). Nevertheless, the two pitches are tough to distinguish, usually within two mph of each other. But after Halladay left Sunday’s start with a sore shoulder, it looks like my assessment of not worrying was wrong. There’s obviously legitimate cause for concern now.
These headlines really tell the story: Evil Clown Hired For Stalking, Threats And A Pie In The Face…Girlfriend Of (Female Genitalia) Boy Nabbed In Stuart…Briton Arrested With Roasted Human Foetuses For Use In Black Magic Ritual…Texas Honor Student Jailed For Missing Too Much School.
Long read: If you haven’t caught this Grantland article about Greg Oden, you need to do so now.
What’s going on with Adrian Gonzalez? His homer Sunday was just his fourth of the year, which is especially perplexing considering he talked this offseason about how his shoulder is finally fully healthy, stating he wasn’t 100 percent last year. Fenway Park is a great place to hit, but its one negative is suppressing home runs for left-handed batters, but we are talking about a player who once hit 40 home runs while playing half his games in Petco Park. Gonzalez has been unlucky when it comes to power, with a HR/FB rate of 5.6% (career mark is 16.5%), but his current BABIP (.324) is right in line with his career level (.322), making his .269 batting average all the more disappointing. Gonzalez’s walk rate (7.8%) is his worst since his rookie season, continuing a downward trend in each of the past three years. He just turned 30 years old and hits in the middle of a lineup that’s among the best in baseball, but the lack of homers is alarming. Being pushed into playing right field also increases his risk of injury. I’m still plenty optimistic and would buy low if such a thing exists, but I predicted Gonzalez would win the AL batting crown before the season and would have drafted him ahead of Miguel Cabrera, so there’s definitely egg on my face so far.
Harrowing footage of a big rig getting demolished by a train.
Here’s a driver nearly hit by a semi while carrying multiple kids in his trunk.
Rickie Weeks’ .152 batting average is the lowest among qualified hitters in all of baseball by a wide margin. He’s at least contributed five homers and two steals to fantasy owners, but it’s tough to call his start anything but an utter disaster. It’s possible last year’s ankle injury has lingered, and just out of principle I’d recommend trying to buy him low right now. However, problem is, when he inevitably starts hitting, there’s always the risk of injury shortly to follow, as he’s played in 130 games just once during his career. Entering Sunday, an astronomical 42.2% of Weeks’ at-bats have ended with either a strikeout or popout – that isn’t ideal.
This one is aptly labeled “drunk chick fail.”
Another fail, as this Lamborghini Crashes in the Chicago Suburbs.
Quick hits: Mat Latos pitched into the eighth inning Sunday, gave up five runs and had a BABIP of zero (Colby Lewis accomplished a similar feat May 10). Latos never pitched out of the stretch…Adam Dunn is on pace to finish with 253 strikeouts. The MLB record is 223…Take away his one start in Coors Field (this might be a problem moving forward, since that’s his home park and all), and Christian Friedrich has a 23:3 K:BB ratio over 18.0 innings. The intriguing former first round pick should at least be stashed right now…It’s been a really small sample (you typically want about three years worth of data before drawing conclusions), but it’s still surprising the new Marlins’ park has been the best hitters’ park in baseball this year…Aroldis Chapman’s 15.23 K rate would go down as the second highest in MLB history (minimum 70 innings). He’s also yet to allow a run over 26.0 innings…Melky Cabrera is on pace to finish with 246 hits, which would be the most by an NL player since 1930.
Police Blotter: Teenager tried to rob officer at police station…The Zodiac killer may (or may not) have finally been identified…Man arrested for drunken driving, with Zebra and Parrot as passengers…Naked man who was eating face off victim killed by police.
“The Dictator,” which was based on a romance novel by Saddam Hussein (I refuse to believe the ugly rumors it was ghost written), was absolutely brilliant. Sacha Baron Cohen is a true genius.
When it comes to speeches, “I Have a Dream” now has a serious rival. And by that I mean the opposite. I haven’t meticulously checked her facts, but I’m going to go ahead and assume they are accurate. Also, this isn’t safe for work (or for sane people). Seriously, listen to the whole thing. It may change your life.
Quick hits, part deux: Before he was touched up for a whole two runs Saturday, 19-year-old Dylan Bundy had allowed zero earned runs over 30.0 innings this season, with a 0.23 WHIP and 40:2 K:BB ratio. Pedro Martinez in his prime couldn’t possibly be expected to match that performance, regardless of level. There isn’t a minor leaguer I’d rather own in keeper leagues…Stephen Strasburg is hitting .389/.421/.722. He’s holding opposing batters to a .223/.290/.278 line…Before the play in which he suffered the thumb injury that will sideline him 4-to-6 weeks, Emilio Bonifacio set an MLB record by stealing 18 consecutive bases without being caught…I have no idea what to make of it, but 26 of Tim Lincecum’s 38 earned runs this season (h/t Henry Schulman) have occurred in one bad inning during his 10 starts…If you prorate Mike Trout’s production over 162 games, you get this: .302-108-24-72-48. He strikes out too much, but he’s 20 years old and might already be baseball’s fastest player and one of the game’s best defensive players. Trout is quite the catch (see what I did there?).