Clearing the Virtual Desk

The Chargers aren’t really my team. I was pretty hardcore during the Air Coryell and Boss Ross years, but ever since Ross left I haven’t had a great deal of enthusiasm (or even sympathy) for the Bolts. I don’t want to be a bandwagoner, but I’m happy (and shocked) that they’re doing so well right now, especially behind Drew Brees, who has been unfairly scapegoated pretty much since coming into the league. The guy was a solid quarterback in college; he just needed some time to get his game together at the next level. He’s been a heckuva lot better than Dan Fouts was when he first came into the league.

To baseball. A few bits and pieces:

  • Regarding last Friday’s bit on Jason Kendall, a reader points out that MLB probably wouldn’t allow the Pirates to send $15M to the Padres as part of a trade even if they wanted to do so, which is okay with me because I’m not keen on seeing the Pads move Sean Burroughs unless it results in a significant upgrade elsewhere. No disrespect to Jason Kendall, who is a fine catcher, but I don’t think he’s likely to be much better than Ramon Hernandez over the next few seasons.
  • How were the Diamondbacks not aware of Wally Backman’s history? He managed their Class A club at Lancaster in 2004. Or maybe big-league players are more impressionable than kids still working their way up the ranks. So much for Easter tirades in Phoenix. Random Fandom has an amusing piece on the situation, for those who are interested in what’s going on around the division.
  • NLBM announces Legacy winners ( Khalil Greene wins the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s Larry Doby Award given to rookies of the year. Greene finishes second to Jason Bay in the Players Choice NL Outstanding Rookie. Players Choice awards are selected by the players themselves.
  • Longtime reader Howard Lynch points us to Clay Davenport’s take on the NL Gold Glove Awards over at Baseball Prospectus. Davenport cites Mark Loretta as the best defensive second baseman in the NL, and you’ll get no argument from me. He also notes Jay Payton’s high marks in two defensive metrics, runs above replacement and runs above average. I remain skeptical of Payton’s prowess because the stats don’t mesh with my own observations. Still, nice to see Loretta getting some love.

That’s all for now. We’ll get back to our look ahead toward 2005 tomorrow or Wednesday.

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