Jesus, Willie Taveras Just Isn't That Good

I know I shouldn’t do it, but I was bored yesterday, so I just kind of migrated over to the Chron to check out the latest sports. I clicked on the link to my buddy Jose de Jesus Ortiz’s blog and it was there I discovered something very important.

Do you know why the Astros sucked this past season? The answer’s simple: Willy Taveras wasn’t around. Apparently, Willy T.’s absence in CF is what caused Woody Williams and Jason Jennings and Matt Albers and Wandy Rodriguez to give up all of those home runs.

Ortiz then goes on to tell me about how Willy T. is the key to the Rockies beating up on the D-Backs. And that without Willy T., the Rockies would not be the team they are today.

Which is kind of funny since he’s batting less than .200. And seeing how he wasn’t even on the roster for the first round of the playoffs against Philadelphia. Or how when the Rockies went on that incredible streak at the end of the season, winning 14 of 15 to get to the playoffs, Willy T. didn’t play because of injury.

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I know. I should leave Ortiz alone. I should just stop reading him. But I’m addict. And I can’t stop. The guy just writes so much stupid stuff that I’ve just got to go see his latest stupidity.

And speaking of stupidity, how does Chip Caray have a job? Caray’s the TBS play-by-play guy, and while Willy T. was batting just a little under .140 coming into his second at bat last night, Caray was raving about what a great series Taveras was having. I wonder if he’s been reading Ortiz’s work, and I wonder if Chip’s dad Skip ever wonders how he could have given birth to a son who knows so little about baseball. (Chip’s dad is Skip Caray, the play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Braves. Chip’s grandfather was Harry Caray.)

And I know that I’ve been blasting the Astros a lot this past season, but I’ve got to give them credit for actually getting something right. While I’m not thrilled about Cecil Cooper as manager of the Astros, I’ve got to be thankful that the Drayton didn’t hire Dusty Baker. Baker, the previous manager of the Giants and Cubs (and best known by some people as the guy who destroyed the careers of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior), was just hired to manage the Cincinnati Reds. Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are already known as inning-eating pitchers, but they should probably just stop tossing the baseball until February, because they’re going to need to save their strength for next season.

Dusty’s also not known for his strategic abilities – think Phil Garner without Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds having career years – so, Astros, thank you for not hiring Dusty.

On the plus side, at least Dusty will no longer be on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Now, if we could just do something about some John Kruk and Eric Young. Does anyone else remember when Baseball Tonight was the best show on ESPN? They actually used to provide analysis. And some in-depth reporting.

Gee, what happened? It’s like ESPN tried to turn the thing into a baseball version of College Gameday, but the ESPN brass just forgot to add the talent, humor and chemistry. Of course, you’ve kind of got to wonder what Gameday would be like if ESPN changed the talent every year.

And before I go, it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who thinks Dane Cook is a horrible spokesman for MLB. Trust me, if you’ve been lucky haven’t seen Mr. Cook’s awfulness, Jason Sudeikis nails it. And for what it’s worth, Sudeikis’s “spots” as Cook are far superior to anything done by Cook. -- John Royal

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