Pittsburgh Pirates | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/13/11

-  How bout those Rays?  Can they really pull the rabbit out of the hat and clench a playoff berth?  I mentioned this earlier as a joke, but the Tampa Bay Rays are about to pull a Houdini.

-  But which is more impressive- The Rays surge, or the Boston Red Sox collapse?

-  Good old Manny being Manny again…or is it Manny being Kirby now?  Either way, at least Manny Ramirez’s legacy was already tarnished, right?  Makes this episode just a bit less shocking.

-  I am not sure what all the hullaballo was about MLB not allowing the Mets to wear hats that did not meet the “uniform” requirements as written in the rulebook.  It is a rule people.  And it is not like there were not other ways that the Mets, and every other NFL and MLB team used to show support for all of 9/11.  Sure, they could have shown a little leeway, but then they might be setting a precedent that could cause problems somewhere down the unforeseen road.

-  Someone asked me to describe teaching 6th graders in a single sentence the other day…and this is what I came up with- “Teaching 6th grade is the equivalent of herding cats.”

-  Watching a player begin his decline as a ball player is always difficult.  It is even more difficult when said player has never given anyone a reason to hate.  That said, it will be interesting to see how Ichiro Suzuki‘s 2012 campaign goes.  Is him not reaching 200 hits that big a deal this year?  Does it mark the start of his decline?  Only time will tell.

-  Good luck to Andrew McCutchen while negotiating what hopefully turns out to be a favorable deal with the Pirates.  It’s really exciting to see a team like Pittsburgh rising from their grave.  It gives Astros fans hope.

-  Speaking of the Houston Astros, we currently host 16 rookies on our roster, with 10 of them being pitchers.  Yikes.  Talk about rebuilding.

Golden Sombrero: Lyle Overbay

Top 2: Lyle Overbay struck out swinging against Derek Lowe

Top 4: Overbay struck out swinging against Lowe

Top 6: Overbay struck out swinging against Arodys Vizcaino

Top 8: Overbay struck out swinging against Jonny Venters

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K

Notes: Overbay’s golden sombrero against the Braves on Friday was just another day for the aging first baseman. Owner of a career 18.5% K%, Overbay’s ISO currently sits at a career-low .122.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 93

Golden Sombrero: Michael McKendry

Top 2: Michael McKenry struck out swinging against Cliff Lee

Top 4: McKenry struck out swinging against Lee

Top 7: McKenry called out on strikes against Lee

Top 9: McKenry struck out swinging against Ryan Madson

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K

Notes: Thanks to a decent month of July, McKenry has hit his way into the Pirates’ starting catcher role, and since then has hit just enough to not lose it.  He seems to be good for a bomb or double here and there, kind of like most of the Pittsburgh offense – see: Alvarez, Jones, Overbay, Pearce and Wood. And much like the aforementioned players, McKenry also strikes out a ton; he’s fanned 28 times in 117 at-bats and worked only five walks.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 82

Golden Sombrero: Julio Lugo

Bottom 2: Julio Lugo struck out swinging against Paul Maholm

Bottom 4: Lugo struck out swinging against Maholm

Bottom 6: Lugo called out on strikes against Maholm

Bottom 9: Lugo called out on strikes against Jose Veras

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K, 5 LOB

Notes: Yeah, I don’t really care about this one either.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 80

Golden Sombrero: Pedro Alvarez

Top 1: Pedro Alvarez hit an RBI single to right against Tommy Hanson

Top 3: Alvarez grounded out against Hanson

Top 5: Alvarez struck out swinging against Hanson

Top 8: Alvarez struck out swinging against Jonny Venters

Top 10: Alvarez called out on strikes against George Sherill

Top 13: Alvarez out on sacrifice bunt against Christian Martinez

Top 15: Alvarez struck out swinging against Martinez

Top 17: Alvarez flew out to center against Scott Proctor

Final Line: 1-for-7, RBI, 4 K, 7 LOB

Notes: First off, I can’t believe there was only one sombrero is a 19-inning game.  I’d still take a 1-for-7 golden sombrero performance over Martin Prado’s 0-for-9 night.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 77