Yesterday, the great Duke Snider passed and that’s where we start. When Duke Snider retired from baseball, I wasn’t even a glimmer in my father’s eye. My generation grew up hearing about all-time centerfielders like Dimaggio, Mantle, and Mays. I always heard Snider’s name, but never realized how great he was until I studied the history of baseball. This is hardly news to old-school Dodger fans, but the Duke was fairly underrated. He was loved by the hometown crowd, but his career was overshadowed by Mantle and Mays. Ultimately it took eleven tries before Snider was elected into the Hall of Fame.
Duke had some trouble with the IRS later on in life and was reportedly shamed by the events. But, overall, he was a solid guy. He was one of the last links to the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field. He will be missed. I’m talkin’ Willie, Mickey and the Duke (Say hey, say hey, say hey)
Lately, there has been a bunch of talk about which player will protect Tulo in the lineup. Honestly, there will be very little the Rox can do to protect Tulo. The other team will almost always prefer pitching to Helton or Stewart or whoever else is the five hole. Ultimately, Troy’s protection will fall on his own shoulders. He must be patient and not get frustrated if he isn’t getting much to hit. If draws 100 walks next year, that would be a very good thing for the Rox. Inevitably, trying to pitch around ANY player will backfire.
Prospect Tim Wheeler had a good day yesterday. However, for the second time in a week, one of the team’s beat writers mentioned Wheeler as a switch-hitter — the first was the Post’s Jim Armstrong. Unless I am missing something, this is incorrect, and, quite frankly, inexcusable. Wheeler collected a home run and a double off Christian Friedrich, which is significant because he has struggled so much against lefties in the past.
Sounds like Ian Stewart and CarGo suffered some slight injuries in their collision on Saturday. Stewart will miss a week with a sprained knee.
The Rox will try to give Ty Wigginton a bunch of starts in right. I’m skeptical. Wiggy is not a very good outfielder.
Finally, we head over to Fangraphs for a little piece about career pinch-runner, Herb Washington. You gotta love Charlie Finley.