LADY AT THE BAT: Casual Friday: Pitching Tidbits

Friday, April 24, 2009

Casual Friday: Pitching Tidbits

The Yankees are all about the pinstripes, in every sense of the word. The rest of MLB is more casual. This is the latest post in a Friday series called Casual Friday, in which I take a quick look around the rest of Major League Baseball.

* Good pitching stops good hitting. That saying couldn't have been more true this week in Florida where Pirates pitching cooled off a red-hot Marlins team. Thanks to pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens and Paul Maholm seem to have their arms pointed in the right direction, in the early goings, at least. I don't think they're this year's Tampa Bay Rays, but if they keep it up, the Pirates will have a pretty decent season.

* Right pitcher, wrong jersey. Darren O'Day was claimed off waivers this week by the Texas Rangers. He had to fly up to Toronto the same day he was claimed to appear in a game against the Blue Jays. Nothing out of the ordinary about that. That does happen to players. But investigate the story further and you find out that O'Day's new Rangers jersey wasn't ready. He had to wear Kason Gabbard's jersey! One final twist to the story: Gabbard was traded to the Red Sox yesterday. Let's hope they didn't really mean to trade O'Day.

* Paul Byrd is ready to start pitching again, after spending Spring Training and the beginning of the season off the radar. Now he's being criticized by some who say he just didn't want to bother with Spring Training. Knowing that Byrd's wife Kym is a certified life coach who helps athletes with their marriages, I'm guessing that the Byrds just wanted to make sure they're practicing what Kym preaches. He probably just wanted to spend some quantifiable quality time with his family.

* Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, signed a 2-year $8 million deal with the team back in November. Soon after that he joined the fight to help stop human trafficking. He has donated $5,000 to the Not For Sale campaign in Thailand and will donate $100 for every strikeout he notches this season. Affeldt told the media: "I wanted to be able to help someway, somehow, and I could just give the money, but I'd really like to start something. I don't think it's something people are really keyed in on. They think of slavery as something that didn't happen after the 1800s. There are 17,000 people, I think, who are brought into the United States as slaves every year." Kudos to Jeremy Affeldt.

Until next week, ladies and gentlemen.


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