Friday, April 6, 2007
Greinke turns in solid start, Gordon records first hit
Before things get out of hand and people start howling SLUMP and, "Too much pressure, too soon," I think the best thing Alex Gordon can do is forget anyone wrote anything about him in the past six months. Forget the SI feature and that I designated him His Holiness the Savior or Mr. God. Forget he's the next George Brett or whatever. Because baseball is a game that doesn't let those who try to be great great. And right now, I think Alex is too worried about disappointing people, or too preoccupied with "soaking in the moment." You can tell not so much by his slow start at the plate but the way he's playing in the field; yesterday, for instance, when he knocked down a sharply hit ball, instead of picking it up and slinging it to first, he acted as if embarrassed by the fact that the ball didn't lodge in his glove. So he then lunges at the ball with all the rigidity of a self-conscious man who feels he's being watched and judged by the unworthy, and ultimately he doesn't make any throw at all.
Alex, just set your mind free, let instincts take over and play.
Zack Greinke, on the other hand, clearly hasn't forgotten how to use his mind on the mound. He scattered eight hits in seven innings, allowing one earned run, striking out seven and only walking one. In the first inning, he struck out David Ortiz by throwing three straight pitches past him on the lower outside corner, each at a different speed. This was David "Big Papi" Ortiz, not Julio Lugo. It was very heartening to see.
Oh, he struck him out three times.
As speculated earlier, the media contingent yesterday was indeed the largest in Kansas City since the 1985 World Series. Some of the 200-plus in attendance are seen above.
Oh, and this guy pitched -->
One last note: Bill Simmons penned a running diary that provided a couple chuckles but proved, in the end, trifling and vapid, filled with poor taste, juvenile MTV references and infuriating coastal bias (he had the gall to make fun of Bob Davis and Paul Splittorff... imagine that, he joked about announcers). Search for it on ESPN if you like.
(The pictures in this post were taken by IDWT special correspondent Sylvia Maria Gross, KCUR reporter and KC Currents producer/co-host. She was at the K working on a radio feature about the effect MLB has had on Japanese baseball. Allow me to pose this question: Who was the most popular when he defected for the States, Ichiro, Hideki Matsui or Dice-K? Who's the most popular now? I don't think the answer is as self-evident as it appears... whatever the answer you think it is. You know I would never solicit comments, but I'm genuinely curious about this.)