What's Making Me Talk: Melvin Firing Makes Sense, Replacement Doesn't

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IMay 12, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 12:  Manager Bob Melvin of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on April 10, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 9-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Welcome to a special Tuesday edition of this very popular (maybe not) weekly column. I had a busy Sunday night and Monday, so this was on the backburner.

Not only that, I wanted to take things to a new level. I still have a few main topics that I'll expand on, but I've now started keeping a notebook of my thoughts on a daily basis. Why? Well to be honest, I was starting to forget what happened in the past week, and I just started jotting stuff down as it came to me.

So, now that I have a bevy of random and useless stuff and also a few interesting things, I can now present to you, the new and improved version of my ridiculous ramblings.


Defending Manny...for now

Well, of course, this has to be one of the main topics of contention right now.

I want to make it real quick though, because I've made this point throughout the site and the Internet in general, that and it's becoming older news.

But I think Manny deserves the benefit of the doubt to have more information come out before he can be fairly judged. There is no harm in waiting before we condemn him; that's my main point.

Look at it this way. If Ramirez is lying about this "doctor's consent" ordeal, then you can pile on him even harder when the truth comes out.

For now, I don't know the cold hard truth. We may never know the truth, so I can understand the mentality that we'll probably never know, so let's just make our judgment now.

Me, I'd rather wait though. I think Manny is one of the most pure hitters to ever grace the diamond in my generation. His plate discipline and quick hands are just something to marvel at.

We can't say either way, oh he's guilty because or oh he's innocent because...Why? Because we simply don't know. Maybe he really did take it on advice from his doctor due to some issue he'd rather not have made public. That's his right, for the record.

But of course, most people want to condemn him and rip him for something they don't know his intent on.

To me, Manny's intent doesn't look like it's in the wrong place. But again, we don't know and we can't judge until we have more hard evidence.


Right Man for the Job?

Not sure I see the benefit for the move Arizona made in firing Bob Melvin and hiring Josh Byrnes' right-hand man A.J. Hinch to replace him.

I can understand the Melvin firing. Things were getting rocky between Melvin, the team, and Byrnes and a change had to be made somewhere, it was probably for the better.

That isn't to say Melvin is a bad manager though. I wouldn't mind having him for my team. But the change needed to be made.

However, was Hinch really the man for the job? I don't mind the "no managing experience at any level" aspect, to me that isn't the big deal. In fact, he's a former catcher, so I'd think this could be right down his alley.

My problem comes from his relationship with head-man Josh Byrnes. Are they too close? There was rumors that the lineup card was coming from Byrnes to begin with, not Melvin, maybe a part of the rocky relationship.

Closeness with a manager and a general manager of sorts are fine and all, but is this really a way for Byrnes to essentially manage the team by hiring a guy who he knows will not only use his input, but make it his basic plan?

I don't know, it doesn't seem right to me. I think the Diamondbacks could have gone in a different direction, but if it turns their team around, more power to them.

You can say what you want, but...

This is one of my new things I'm doing. I often find myself using the phrase, "You can say what you want, but..." and follow that up by exposing something good about something bad.

Like, "You can say what you want about Carl Pavano, but he's done nothing but keep his team in the game after his horrendous start."

This week, my nice little phrase finds Washington and their newly acquired slugger Adam Dunn.

You can say what you want about Adam Dunn, but he's actually carrying a .311 average right now.

That's pretty damn good for a guy who has career averages in April and May of .273 and .238 respectively.


Notebook Scribbles

This is my second new thing a part of this weekly deal. Remember that notebook I talked about? Well these make up about three-fourths of my total weekly notes.

Here are my thoughts that aren't long-enough to drag out or just too stupid for someone to even think of.

— How do you pronounce Adam Lind's name? I've heard it like it's spelled, for the longest time until...this week. Matt Underwood and Rick Manning, the Indians' Television duo both pronounced it LEANED and so did a few other anchors on SportsCenter.

— The Reds versus Marlins had the first Vol versus Vol pitching pairing with Edinson Volquez and Chris Volstad.

— There has been a lot of rain so far this year. Please stop.

— There has just as been many Grand Slams this year as there has been rain delays it seems like. Can we get an official number of Grannies hit this year?

— The Yankees-Rays game last Thursday say eight home runs hit in the game and just about all of them went to right field. They need to like, push that wall to Canada or something.

— Chris Davis might just challenge Mark Reynolds strikeout number. I think he's on pace to break it by like 10.

— More Ranger talk. How about Michael Young? He willingly moved over to third base to accommodate a young stud who would improve their infield defense all around, and he's made his team better.

— A few streaks worth to note. Johnny Cueto with 15 scoreless, Shane Victorino and Victor Martinez lost their hitting streaks, while Justin Upton extended his to 17 and Ryan Zimmerman is up to 28 now.

— Wandy Rodriguez is really off to a nice start. He's just 3-2, but he's carrying a 1.80 ERA so far.

— The week before this last one that I'm talking about, Zach Miner and Aaron Laffey started against each other on Saturday. Friday when the teams met again in Cleveland, both were in the bullpen. Not for lack of performance though.

— Adam Rosales is my new favorite player. He's the Reds' Rookie that pretty much sprinted around the diamond after he hit his first career home run. I hope he makes a habit of that. I love high energy guys. It's the reason I like Kelly Shoppach, and his eagerness to actually run to first when he gets walked.

— Ken Griffey Jr. leads all active players in Mother's Day home runs with seven. I'd like to believe he's pretty high on the Father's Day list as well.

— David Ortiz still doesn't have a home run. I'd really start worrying about whatever injury concern that is there.

— Micah Owings is the guy that sets all the pitchers as hitters’ anomalies. His latest adventure: a pinch-hit home run to tie the game in the ninth inning. Has that ever happened before? I don't know, but if it has, it hasn't happened much.

— Finally, Jonathan Papelbon likes playing with fire, I guess. He puts runners on second and third with nobody out and just a one-run lead. Yet he comes back to strike out the side against the Rays. You think he just wants to get fired up and do some fired up fist pump at the end?

These Are My Links, You Shall Click Them

I will talk about the start for Elvis Andrus in a bit, but did you see the incredible throw he made from one knee last Monday? No? Watch it now!

What did the Seibu Lions do with that money they got for Daisuke Matsuzaka? Uh, the only thing you should do, buy toilets.

What does Kenny Macha do when his closer Trevor Hoffman comes to the mound? Hide in the bathroom. I don't think he hides in the Matsuzaka stall. This will be the last time I have two bathroom related links, ever.

This is more of a fantasy tool, but it's still pretty cool and I just noticed it now. It's ESPN's Player Rater.


Round About of Randomness

Aubrey Huff mocked Joba Chamberlain after he hit a three-run home run in the first inning on Sunday. Why? Well a year ago Joba did a dramatic fist pump after he struck out Huff.

So in return Huff fist-pumped when he rounded first and did it again at home. I say good for him. Chamberlain needs to tone it done; it's not the first time he did that. While I like the emotion, it just isn't needed in some of the situations that he's done it in.

Fantasy Baseball people amuse me. Some are just so impatient. It's like I'm facing Cleveland fans. I've seen the likes of Jhonny Peralta, Troy Tulowitzki, and Stephen Drew all get dropped this past week in leagues. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence that they are all shortstops.

But anyway, I picked up Tulowitzki in one league and he's starting to catch fire just as I did that. Peralta had three hits on Sunday and might be turning it around and I picked him up one league.

Some people who play fantasy baseball are just too eager to drop people when they don't get off to great starts if their names aren't big enough. It's a month and a half into the year.

Am I missing something with Jim Leyland? He had Clete Thomas in the three-hole for the Tigers in all three games against Cleveland. When the series started, Thomas had eight at-bats. I can see putting a guy like Thomas in there; I've seen Wedge do it with Ben Francisco last year.

But Francisco was hitting a hot bat and both Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez were on the DL. What am I not getting with a lineup that has Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco, Miguel Cabrera, and Curtis Granderson?

Worst 4-0 start for a starting pitcher? Mike Pelfrey who is 4-0 with a 5.46 ERA. Not to be outdone by the 3-1 start for Brad Penny, who has a 6.90 ERA.

Most unknown 4-0 start belongs to Sharon Martis of Washington, with a 4.67 ERA. Okay so it isn't that awesome, but it's for the Nationals so we'll take it.

The two pitchers that are most jealous, Cliff Lee and Doug Davis. Lee is 1-5 with a 3.45 ERA and just awful run-support his past two outings, while Davis is 2-3 with a 3.24 ERA.

Runner-up: Jorge de La Rosa who is 0-3 with a 3.53 ERA. Teammate Jason Marquis (4-2, 3.92 ERA) doesn't want to share.

Speaking of pitching, how about Toronto's? What is going on with them? They've had so many different starters, yet they find people that work. Injuries or demotions, whatever the reason, they've had guys like Brian Tallet, who was a relief pitcher (used to be a starter with Cleveland) for the most part slide in and do well.

This young Brett Cecil has come up; Ricky Romero was good before getting injured. I mean they are just finding pieces to plug in and go. Their offense should be around all year, but if this wonderful pitching keeps up from at least a few of them other than Roy Halladay, they will make some teams in the East very nervous.

What did I say about the Yankees being old and frail? Jorge Posada to the disabled list and practically days later, Jose Molina follows him. Enjoy Francisco Cervelli and Kevin Cash.

The Red Sox put together an inning to remember on Thursday. They scored 12 runs against the Indians before recording an out. They one-upped Toronto by only doing it against three pitchers, not four and of course not recording an out. Toronto scored seven off four Indians relief pitchers on Tuesday.

Mariano Rivera gave up back-to-back home runs for the first time in his illustrious career on Thursday to Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena. In more sad news for the Yankees, that lost the game.

Transactions of note: The Joey Gathright and Ryan Freel straight up trade should help the Chicago Cubs. Freel is an everything guy that the Cubs could use since they traded away theirs in the offseason. Adam Kennedy going from Tampa Bay to the Bay Area should help the Athletics. With all their injuries, they need bodies.

Chad Billingsley and Zach Greinke lost this past week. Greinke lost a game you usually don't lose unless the other pitcher is lights up, and yeah Joe Saunders was lights out. Billingsley lost to the immortal Barry Zito.

Two benches shortstops: Jhonny Peralta and Alexei Ramirez. Both have struggled mightily out of the gate, with a combined two home runs and 21 RBI. Ozzie Guillen used the benching of Ramirez as sort of a message to everyone. Wedge benched Peralta because it's worked in the past. He returned on Sunday to collect three hits.

Ramirez hasn't gotten a hit since he's returned to the lineup. I'm convinced he's either a really slow starter because of the weather or he's a full-blown fluke, one of the two.

Elvis Andrus is off to a fantastic start. I said anything he did with the bat will be a bonus because the Rangers probably wouldn't expect his bat to be this advanced. But man is he making strides.

How about that Mark Teixeira trade now? Matt Harrison, Andrus, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are all contributing and Neftali Perez could contribute by the end of the year.

Nino Colla is Talking every Monday of the baseball season, or whenever time needs to be wasted, provided objects don't get thrown.


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