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Tomorrow's Boz ... Today

Boz -- Thomas Boswell -- has written a column for tomorrow's paper on the World Baseball Classic.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 10, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
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Brad Eldred = Slider bat speed.


Posted by: db423 | March 10, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Got newposted, and also trumped by #4.

Nevertheless, for what it's worth:

Eldred was a well-regarded power hitting first base prospect for the Pirates a few years back, but he turns 29 in July and has far outgrown prospect status at this point.

Back in 2004, when he was 23, he hit .301/.356/.606 across high-A and AA, with 38 dingers. He also struck out at a .307 clip, which is a lot, but with that power and OBP, it's tolerable (basically Adam Dunn territory).

He followed that up with a .297/.352/.674 line at AA and AAA in 2005, while slugging 28 homers in just 279 ABs.

I guess he was hurt for most of 2006 since he only appeared in 18 games, but I don't know exactly what was ailing him.

By 2007 he was suddenly 26 and still stuck in AAA, batting a forgettable .209/.275/.399 in 311 ABs (he still managed 15 dingers). Maybe he was hurt for part of that season as well.

In any case, last year he went from the Pirates organization to the ChiSox, still in AAA, and hit .244/.305/.546, with 35 dingers in 427 ABs. And he struck out more than a third of the time (144).

Still, with that kind of power it's somewhat surprising that no MLB team has ever found a home for him, or at least, given him an extended major league tryout. His hands and feet are supposed to be decent for a big guy, so I don't think it's defense that's been holding him back. Suffice it to say that it would have been nice to have him last year when we were playing Belly and LoDuca at first. This year, we're probably too crowded at the corners for him to get a real shot. Unless he mashes all through Spring Training and leads us to make a trade or something.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 3:17 PM

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

A Boz baseball classic.

I'd like to see the WBC moved to around the all star break, and have the qualifying stretched over 2 seasons, like the World Cup. Maybe take a week at the All Star break. 1st year, in lieu of the AS game, 4 double elim 4 teams pods. 2d year, 2 pods, each to a winner, then the winners face off. No pitch counts.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 10, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

When are the AS breaks for the other leagues - like in Japan?

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I haven't made up my own mind as to what baseball needs to do with the WBC. I've been to almost every soccer World Cup since 1986, I know how much fun international competition is -- how intense. The greatest competition I ever was was the first World Cup of Hockey -- beat any Stanley Cup, in quality of play and emotion. There will come a time, when baseball figures this out, that winning the WBC becomes the highlight of any player's career, not the World Series.

I'm a wee bit surprised that Boz is so surprised at how cool the tournament can be. However, if Boz thinks most baseball fans haven't even heard of Randall Simon, that would explain a lot.

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Biffson has a post up about Belliard in which Acta refers to him as his "security blanket." The Nats should shoot "Belly-blankets" around the stadium this year instead of more of those identical white t-shirts.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The rest of the World does not matter. Those that are with us will be known as the coalition of the willing to play baseball during our AS break, and those that aren't can play in Gitmo. We've got to find a new use for it, and there are already fences.

Actually, Japan is on about the same schedule. The Carribean and Centram teams play year round and their stars for the most part are in MLB, except Cuba. Cuba I think has an earlier start to their season. I don't know about the length.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 10, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Hehe, jca.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 10, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Jesus Colome, fka Everyday Colome, fka the human rain delay.

Now known as; The Opener.

Posted by: estuartj | March 10, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

... and simultaneous forehead smacking was heard in offices around the Washington region.

(Okay, maybe like 7 offices, but still.)

Posted by: JennX_ | March 10, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Is he still here?

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 10, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The opener would be Mike Hinckley, IMO. He left Colome with a very slim margin.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd like the WBC to go the way of the Edsall.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 10, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

in re nunof1:
He’s sort of the little boy, bratty, playground ‘bully’ that we all well remember; intellectually barren, yet embracing the concept of ad hominem fully. This approach makes him feel better about himself. Push another down, in order to raise yourself up. It’s therapy, self-medication, for the feeling-inadequate wuns. Funny, yes, but also sad? One of his targets opined, not long ago: “I never argue with an idiot. They bring me down to their level, and then they win with their experience.” Sigh. So true.

But let’s not forget that he’s our own little pundit. The wannabee we know, rather than the wannabee we don’t know. He’ll surely keep bratting. But we all know that he is simply (ha!) irrelevant, no?

@GoingGoingGone (teaching his need to correct others)
" ‘Unexceptable.’ Yeah, that would be my assessment of your spelling as well.”
@CoverageisLacking (teaching the difference between strategy and tactics)
“That's okay, surely this is not the first time you've been confused.”
@ Dizzy_Dean (teaching the odds of a Strasburg signing)
“Wanna bet, sucker?”
@ dclifer (teaching the solution to a ‘tense typo’)
“(Should you repeat third grade English class? Yes.)”
@Chico Harlan (teaching vocabulary to a professional writer)
“Chico, that's a ‘discrete thing’ in that quote from Kasten, not a ‘discreet thing.’ ”
@Chico Harlan (teaching the vagaries of software features to that same professional writer)
“And get yourself a dictionary, too, dude. The spell-checker in MS Word is not a cure-all, you know.”

Posted by: nova_g_man | March 10, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Good point natsfan1a1, maybe we should reserve the "Opener" for the reliever who comes in for a non-save opportunity and manages to blow the lead, or at least pitch the game back into a save for the next guy.

IE Nats up 5 in the 7th and Hanrahan is drinking a cool one in on the Red Porch when (INSERT AAAA BUM HERE) gives up 4 runs and Joel has to run back down to the bullpen.

Posted by: estuartj | March 10, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I've really been enjoying the WBC games that I've watched (both of the USA games in full and parts of other games).

I also enjoyed the Caribbean World Series and watched just about all of the games.

Baseball rocks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Nice 7th inning scenario, estuartj.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

It was funny (and I hit submit too soon).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Right, the opener has to be the guy that opens the door that leads to the negative result, not necessarily the guy that is on the mound when the result occurs. Hinckley gets the opener label for today because he opened the door to the comeback (and in fact was on the mound himself for most of it).

Posted by: BobLHead | March 10, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I think that Hinckley walked into the door, BobL.

Today's new post. Today.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd like the WBC to go the way of the Edsall.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 10, 2009 4:27 PM

I'm guessing you mean the Edsel. Thanks for your massive, erudite contribution to the discussion.

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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