Here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:
- Jeff Sullivan of SB Nation reviews the article by John Dewan, author of The Fielding Bible, on the defensive-shift craze led by the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Via USA Today’s Matt Jones, Indians closer Chris Perez discussed this season’s dismal attendance numbers at Progressive Field:
“I know that. It’s just a slap in the face when you’re last in attendance,” Perez said Sunday morning. “Last. It’s not like we’re 25th or 26th. We’re last. Oakland is out-drawing us. That’s embarrassing.”
Sunday, Perez used his Twitter account as an olive branch of sorts, promising to give away three pairs of tickets to every home game the rest of the season.
The Indians could use a bump, even from freebies. They trail Oakland by more than 4,000 fans in average attendance this season, despite being in first place in the AL Central, off to a strong start similar to 2011.
The team’s success so far this season has not translated to fan support.
“But we’ve been building up for this season and we’re good,” Perez said. “We have a good team. We haven’t even played our best ball and we’re in first place. It’s been years building up, and Thursday was the last straw for me.” . . .
Indians team President Mark Shapiro responded to Perez’s comments Sunday morning, speaking out in disagreement of Perez.
“We as an organization clearly disagree with him. We appreciate our fans, we respect our fans,” Shapiro said. “We certainly want more to come and we’re working extremely hard to make that happen, but it’s our underlying belief that if the team continues to play the way it plays and we continue to win, then more fans will come out.”
- Beyond the Boxscore’s Justin Bopp looks at another Indians pitcher, veteran Derek Lowe, and his extreme pitch-to-contact rates.
- Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk wants to know why on this play David DeJesus was called out.
- Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times opines that the recent firing of longtime Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher indicates that the teflon long encasing Mike Scioscia may be eroding:
The Angels hired Mike Scioscia the next year, the start of the most successful run in franchise history. However, after Tuesday’s firing of his close friend and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, you wonder if that run might be coming to an end.
Angels owner Arte Moreno cleaned house in the front office last winter. Scioscia remained, but the big chill between him and new General Manager Jerry Dipoto might make coexistence a tenuous proposition.
When Scioscia met with the media before Wednesday’s game, he held a red fungo bat so tightly he almost squeezed it into sawdust. He spoke tersely, letting everyone know that firing Hatcher was not his idea.
“We respect the job the general manager has to do,” Scioscia said.
He scoffed at the idea that a change in the identity of the hitting coach would solve the Angels’ offensive woes.
“We were not in an offensive funk because of Mickey,” Scioscia said.
After four questions about the coaching change, he had heard enough.
- Speaking of Hatcher’s departure, Jason Wojciechowski of the Platoon Advantage suggests that big-league hitting coaches have a modicum of value.
- Via Christina Boyle and Rocco Parascandola of the New York Daily News, even an off-duty cop attending a game at Citi Field will get into big trouble if he seeks out a better seat and then refuses a stadium security official’s order to move.
- Sweet Spot’s David Schoenfield looks back at the most awesome game now-retired Kerry Wood pitched.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!