Friday Night Raps
Stop whatcha doin'
'cause I'm about to ruin
the image and the style that ya used to.
I look funny
but yo I'm makin' money see
so yo world I hope you're ready for me.
Not really the kind of wraps I'm talking about, but fun nonetheless. What I'm talking about is how I haven't had time to put together a proper post in about a week, so this Friday night seems like a good time to talk about some of the stuff that I've missed. It probably isn't news to you by now, but you don't really come here for news anyway, do you?
Newly Free Agents
D'Angelo Jimenez, Ben Weber, and Chris Booker elected free agency this week rather than accept assignment to the minors, presumably with hopes of catching on with some other organization at the major league level.
D'Angelo does have some talent. Hell, this time last year the Reds thought he was worth $2 million to play 2B. But after a disappointing performance to begin the year plus being a real pain in everyone's ass, soon the Reds thought he was worth $2 million to occupy space in Chattanooga. Only the shadow knows what the hell is going on in D'Angelo's head, but it's clear that it's not screwed on straight because he was just as unremarkable in Tennessee as he was in Cincinnati.
What would it take to get D'Angelo playing major league ball somewhere next year? A team would have to have a need for a second baseman, a few extra bucks, and a plan to deal with that attitude of his.
The plan might be as simple as ignoring him, though I imagine that would lead to a further decline in the quality of his game over the long-term. Maybe he just needs a hug. But probably the most likely plan to work would be getting some fiery character to get in his face on a daily basis; somebody who thinks they're even more of a bad-ass than he does.
You think Jose Guillen is available for personal training?
On to much more pleasant topics: Ben Weber. Why do I love Ben Weber so? Can somebody out there tell me, because I sure as hell can't figure it out. I see him and I smile. I hear him talk and I feel like I'm listening to the voice of a life-long friend. Maybe we were conjoined twins in a previous life or something.
In any event, I hope he catches on somewhere. He's not going to be highly sought after or anything, but there's not any reason that some team couldn't give him a do-over of this year: invest in him minimally and not be that upset if he doesn't work out. That could happen, right? It just has to. Otherwise, I might lose track of my other half forever.
Which brings us, inexorably, to young Chris Booker. Not-so-young Chris Booker. What's his deal? Great numbers at Louisville but mysteriously deemed “not major league ready,” an assessment that he promptly backed up as soon as he made an appearance with Cincy.
The situation was made further mysterious when Narron gave him only, what, two appearances, right? This is the same Narron who intentionally didn't play Machado, so I'm thinking that he had to have some good reason for not playing Booker, too. I cannot believe that he was just taking someone else's word for it or blindly “trying to win” at the end of a lost season. It just doesn't jibe with the other behavior we've seen out of Narron.
I have seen Chris Booker up close, and he struck me as a man who was just not comfortable with himself. Like he was constantly looking over his shoulder, and not just because there was a Red Hot Mama sitting behind him.
Do you remember when Booker first came up and there was a story, I think on the official site about how he talked to his sister in Iraq on the phone and she told him to do a good job? That struck me; she didn't tell him to try his best or to enjoy his first taste, but to perform well. Made me wonder whether they didn't grow up with a strong emphasis on results. Putting that kind of pressure on yourself could sure make it difficult to perform in the big leagues. You've got to be prepared for failure when you're major-league ready, after all.
Perhaps we'll see some more of not-so-young Booker next year, assuming the other organizations also agree that he is not big-league ready, and maybe he'll let up on himself a little. I'll be happy to sit in front of him, if it'll help.
The Big Coaching Staff To-Do
When the Reds were negotiating with Jerry Narron to take over the role of manager “permanently,” he made it clear that he wasn't going to accept just whatever they offered him: he was going to have control of his coaching staff, goshdarnit.
So, being in control, Narron promptly invited every single person on the current coaching staff back, except for first base coach and infield instructor Randy Whisler. Narron says he wants this Bucky Dent fellow for his infield instructor instead. But dude, he asked everyone back except one. You just have to wonder if Whisler took his parking spot or something.
Griffey on the Comeback
To no one's great surprise, Ken Griffey, Jr. was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Griffey is remarkable. He's amazing. He's so awesome that it overwhelms and deadens your senses, like smelling too much perfume. Eventually, you want to sniff someone else for a while, even though that someone else probably smells a whole lot less impressive, in an absolute sense.
So here's what I suggest: at the end of any sentence in which anyone compliments any Red, any player, any human being other than Griffey, appears an asterisk. That asterisk will be understood by all of us to mean “that is to say, he's pretty good and all, but all men are but mere specks of dust compared to the might that is Griffey.” That way we can continue to give Griffey the attention he deserves, without becoming numb to his greatness. Let's try it:
- That Aaron Harang is turning into quite the pitcher.*
- Babe Ruth hit a lot of home runs, back in his day.*
- Abraham Lincoln is a proud figure in the history of the United States.*
See, didn't that feel good?
That's all I've got for this week, so until next week, do like the immortal Humpty* and keep on gettin' busy in a Burger King bathroom.