Punching (and Padding) Doors

Ryan Sweeney broke his pinky finger

Update: Here’s Sweeney talking about the injury before today’s Sox game: “I’ve talked to a lot of guys. Everybody’s thrown their helmet or thrown their bat or hit something.” As I said, players hit things out of frustration. It’s a human reaction. Let’s protect them.

As Sox fans now by now, Red Sox backup outfielder Ryan Sweeney is likely out for the year after fracturing a knuckle in his pinky finger. Sweeney was frustrated after going 0 for four Monday night and took out his rage against a door. The door won.

Now without a doubt, it was a dumb move by Sweeney. But it was also unlucky. Players punch things all the time. That door has punched many times this year. Just look at what Valentine said after the game:

“The door he had actually hit was dented, so it wasn’t the first time. He must have went at it in the wrong direction, because there’s been multiple whacks at it.”

First off, if players are punching the door enough to dent it, it’s time to pad the thing already. Baseball can be extremely frustrating and players need a place to take their frustration out. Anybody who has played the sport can attest to that. There are plenty of times when you come back to the dugout and just want to punch something. In a little league season with a game every few days, that frustration dissipates in between games. In a 162 game season where that frustration has the chance to build game after game, often it can explode.

So here’s an idea: knowing this, why not protect players? We can call them dumb all we want, but frustration boiling over is a human trait and we see it happen all the time. Think how many times you see SportsCenter show players throwing a water cooler or smashing a bat or something like that. I’m sure it happens frequently down the tunnel and in the locker room too, as Valentine indicated by saying the door has been punched before. How about we pad these things then? Or even better, put a punching bag there, put a punching bag in the dugout. Give the players something to take their frustration out, not something int he weight room, but something immediately as they come off the field. It’s not going to stop all the dumb injuries, but it can certainly help. (Image Via)

Why Are The Yankees So Much Better in Day Games

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have a bunch of stuff up on the Washington Monthly‘s site and if you click the page to the right, all the links to my articles are there. I’ll also be guest blogging a bit this week at Ryan Cooper’s site (ryanlouiscooper.com) so check that out as well.

But this is just a quick one on a theme I’ve begun to notice more and more: the Yankees win an unusually high percentage of their day games. It’s not just that they win say 60 percent of them, which wouldn’t be that abnormal given how many games they win in a season. But they win a huge percentage every year. Check it out:

If you continue back a few years, the trend generally continues though it is not quite as clear cut. Except for in 2009, the Yankees have won a much higher percent of their day games each year than their overall record (which is skewed upwards by those day games as well). In fact, the Yankees have won 65.5% of their day games since 2008. That’s a huge percent.

My question is, why? I don’t understand why the Yankees play so much better in day games. Anyone have an explanation? Have their pitchers just happened to line up well for the past half-decade? Do they play more home day games each year? It’s a large enough sample that I doubt that’s the case, but it’s worth checking in to. Either that, or the Yankees have figured out something about day games that other teams haven’t

Red Sox Acquire Andrew Bailey

New Red Sox general manager Ben Cherrington has made his first big move today in acquiring Oakland Athletics closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney for outfielder Josh Reddick and prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. The Sox needed a closer. Now they have one. I’ve been hoping the Sox would go after Bailey for a while and am very excited with this deal.

Admittedly, I don’t know too much about Head and Alcantara. Both seem to be top-level prospects, though neither is near major league ready. Head hit 22 home runs and drove in 82 runs for Class-A Greenville and Salem last year. Alcantara started the year with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, posting a 0.75 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in 48 innings. He was promoted to Lowell where he struggled in his 17 1/3 innings there, giving up 25 hits and 12 earned runs, but still striking out 14. The upper-level of the Sox farm system was depleted by the trade for Adrian Gonzalez last year and the Sox organization has been looking to rebuild it since. This trade certainly doesn’t help that, but neither Head nor Alcantara will be ready for the majors (if they continue improving) for a few years and the Red Sox have greater depth in lower-level prospects.

Josh Reddick is a solid outfielder who started extremely hot for Boston last Summer, but faded badly down the stretch. While many analysts love Reddick’s swing, I’ve always had my doubts and have seen him as great trade bait. He has terrible plate discipline and I’ve always expected him to be a step faster. Nevertheless, he’s young and has potential but I’m still extremely happy with this trade.  Continue reading “Red Sox Acquire Andrew Bailey”