Baseball Beat/WTNYApril 20, 2005
One on One: Quick Takes
By Rich Lederer & Bryan Smith

This week's One on One will be taking on a different face than last week, as Rich and Bryan get less long-winded and more quick-witted. Enjoy as the two make analogies, comparisons and surprising observations from what baseball has given us so far this season.

Rich: Take a bow if you thought Brett Myers would be the Phillies best pitcher and Gavin Floyd their worst pitcher this year.

  • Speaking of the Phillies, you know Citizens Bank Park is a bandbox when Jose Reyes hits two home runs and neither of them are of the inside-the-park variety.

  • If they ever bring back Home Run Derby (circa 1959-1961), I would nominate Citizens Park as the replacement for Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.

  • Quiz: Who was the host of the original Home Run Derby show?

    Bryan: Ahh, classic Home Run Derby. If you ask me, I'm having some issues imagining the modern day version of the show featuring Brian Roberts against Clint Barmes.

  • Personally, I'd be a lot more apt to watch Strikeout Derby. We've seen the pilot for the show twice already this season, on Monday with Hudson v. Clemens (17 Ks), and Smoltz v. Pedro (24 Ks) on April 10.

  • You have to wonder whether a black cat, a ladder or a mirror has given Smoltz his luck so far this season. Atlanta has scored all of two runs in his three starts, making John's job harder than Custer's soldiers.

    Rich: I ran into Rob Bell at Bally's Fitness working off his ERA after the Yankees nailed him for 10 runs in 1 1/3 innings Monday night. For those of you who put a lot of meaning on groundball/flyball ratios, please note that Bell's was 6:1 that game.

  • I also saw Mark Buehrle driving through In-N-Out Burger after his last outing.

  • Ran into Paul DePodesta at Family Dollar looking to find another bargain basement reliever for his bullpen.

    Bryan: Well, I sure hope we can see a lot more extended visits from Tony Saunders and Bill Pulsipher at "Play It Again Sports," as Major League careers begin to be re-established.

  • The best those of us waiting for action at the Board of Trade have been forced to take excitement in Tim Wakefield's extension and Sandy Alderson's new position. That's code for "slow week on the transaction front."

  • Anyone else wondering if Steinbrenner or Jacko will be appearing more often on the AP wire in 2005?

    Rich: Did anybody else take Justin Morneau in their fantasy draft before Paul Konerko? Man, somebody must have hit me on the side of the head that night.

  • Does anyone else see a little bit of Brad Wilkerson in Nick Swisher? Height, weight, lefthanded, position. What am I missing? Oh yeah, they both have struck out 17 times this year, too. The only difference between the two is that Wilkerson has walked six times and Swisher once. Yes, 1 BB thus far vs. 17 SO.

    Bryan: After watching Swisher hit an opposite field double this week, I maintain he's like Mo Vaughn on the Subway diet. That crouched stance, big inside-out power, and college pedigree make their resumes look like carbon copies. Not quite sure they could pass as twins, though.

  • While Swisher offers some Major League pedigree, does anybody notice there should be quite a few sets of brothers in the big leagues if things pan out soon? Delmon and Dmitri representing the Youngs, Corey and Eric from the Pattersons, J.D. and Stephen from the Drews (sorry Tim), and even Adam and Andy from the LaRoches. This could put an interesting little spin on ESPN's new show "Teammates."

    Rich: There were four Golden Spike Award winners in uniform at the Dodgers-Padres game last weekend. Can you name them? (Hint: Robin Ventura is retired and Darren Dreifort was not in uniform.)

  • Speaking of Golden Spike Award winners, am I the only one who thinks Bill Stoneman made a mistake in giving Kendry Morales the big bucks rather than Jered Weaver?

    Bryan: We'll see whether Weaver regrets making the move as much as the Angels. One player who won't regret turning down seven figures is Andrew Miller at UNC, who despite a breakdown against Miami last week, has a 2.11 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. It looks like Miller will be a solace to one lucky fan base from either Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Colorado.

  • Also on the college front, no one is impressing more than Alex Gordon, who would be my top choice this June. A .411 average, 41 walks, and 25 extra-base hits in 38 games. Throw in seventeen steals, good play at third, and beating out every mark Darin Erstad set, and I say Justin who?

    Rich: Brian Lawrence reminds me of a poor man's Rick Reuschel in terms of his delivery, stuff, and control. If Reuschel doesn't get your attention, maybe this will: The Whale is one of just 30 pitchers in the history of baseball with 200 wins, 2000 Ks, and a 2:1 K/BB ratio (3000 or more IP). Of those eligible for the Hall of Fame, only six have yet to make it -- Bert Blyleven, Jim Kaat, Frank Tanana, Jerry Koosman, Mickey Lolich, and Reuschel.

  • With back-to-back outstanding pitching performances from Mark Mulder and Matt Morris, the Cardinals pitching staff is looking Mmm Mmm Good in the early going. Add in Jason Marquis and 3M no longer belongs exclusively to Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing.

  • Is Jim Edmonds any good?

    Bryan: While much ado has been made of the great Florida rotation, and they have been fabulous, I might take the Red Sox pitching prospects if chosen. Boston's three best -- Jon Papelbon, Jon Lester, Anibal Sanchez -- entered Tuesday with a combined 59/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Those are the kind of peripherals that make Maddux and Spahn in their hey-days jealous, much less Dontrelle or Beckett.

  • And with as much sadness as there was that met the ending of the Willis scoreless-innings streak, why no love for King Felix? The teenage sensation allowed his first runs in AAA in his third start as well, and should be in Seattle soon.

    So, in conclusion, do we have any guesses for the weight spread between Reuschel-Swisher and Vaughn-Lawrence? Please feel free to answer that question, any other asked today, and make an observation of your own in the comments.

  • Comments

    Mark Scott was the original host of Home Run Derby

    Scott was the last play by play man for the PCL Hollywood Stars and a local LA sportscaster, but died of a heart attack at an early age, shortly after Home Run Derby was filmed.

    Who knows, but had he lived, he probably would have hooked up with the expansion Angels, who hired a lot of former Stars/Angels PCL veterans when they formed their organization.

    The 4 Golden Spikes winners: Phil Nevin, J.D. Drew, Khalil Greene, Tim Wallach. (And maybe Bob Horner in a vintage Ted Turner Braves jersey.)

    Vincente Padilla may have something to say about your first point.

    Jerry and Scott Hairston may have something to say about your eleventh point.

    I think Matt Morris' fortunes are tied to that nifty beard he's sporting.

    Craziest numbers from last night's box scores: Minnesota (at Chicago) -- 14 hits, 1 run.

    Congrats to JC and Brian, respectively, on naming the host of the original Home Run Derby show (Mark Scott) and the Golden Spike Award winners (Phil Nevin, J.D. Drew, Khalil Greene, Tim Wallach).

    They win...absolutely nothing.

    Mark Scott, the Host of HRD was my father. Thanks for remembering him!

    You're welcome, Doug. I enjoyed watching Home Run Derby very much and wish they would re-run the series on ESPN Classic or some such show.