What part of “shut up and play” doesn’t he understand?

As should be well-known by now (because this is one of those water cooler topics), Alex discussed opting out of his contract with Mike and the Mad Dog yesterday at Legends Field. Per Pete Abraham, Alex was the one who brought up the subject.

I’ve always tried to defend him, mainly because I thought the fans were being way too unreasonable. At this point, though, I’m ready to give up. If he’s going to say the things he said, he’d better put up the numbers to back it up. And until he does, there’s nothing else to talk about.

Can we put a gag on this guy?

Update: Ken Rosenthal has the same idea.

Trimming the fat

Via Pete Abraham, the following prospects were cut and sent across the street to minor league camp:

Eric Duncan: 1 for 10, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Brett Gardner: 1 for 9, 2 R, 0 XBH (surprised?), 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
Alberto Gonzalez: 5 for 15, 1 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Juan Miranda: 2 for 5, 0 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K – all or nothing baby, every out he made was a K…
Jose Tabata: 6 for 13, 4 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
Steven Jackson: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
Jeff Kennard: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Kevin Whelan: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Gotta love the numbers Tabata put up, but you do have to take them with a grain of salt: most of the games he played in were as a late inning replacement with young minor leaguers like himself on the mound. He wasn’t out there mashing against the Brad Lidges and Joe Nathans, heck even the Craig Hansens and Ryan Wagners of the world most of the time. Glad to see the hand isn’t an issue.

Phil Hughes will be hittin’ the bricks later today after throwing a bullpen session. I’m guessin the same is true of Mr. Clippard.

Bronson Sardinha (10 for 24, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 2K) and Mighty Matt DeSalvo (6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) are the biggest prospects still with the big league club, not counting Hughes and Clippard.

Update: I overlooked Darrell Rasner (7.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and Jeff Karstens (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) as prospects still with the big boys. I forgot about them because of their ML experience, plus the fact that I just can’t see either in the minors for very long in 2007.

Review of MLB 07: The Show for PS2

Once EA lost it’s license to produce MLB games, my interest in them basically disappeared. MLB 2005 (predecessor to The Show) was good, but it tended to freeze. And freeze. And freeze. And freeze some more. MVP 05 was great in every possible way, especially since it included the..ahem…likenesses of Phil Hughes, Eric Duncan and Marcos Vechionacci. However, that franchise went kaput once MLB sold out for exclusive licensing.

EA came out with MVP 06 NCAA baseball about a year ago, and I was instantly hooked. The gameplay was phenomenal as always, and the excitement of the college atmosphere was as good as it gets. I started a Dynasty with my Nittany Lions, and played over 4 seasons without so much as getting bored. However, do to a freak PS3 accident, my saved data was corrupted, and my team was lost forever (I was on pace for my first trip to Omaha, go figure).

But last weekend I was home watching my fiancee’s younger brother, who just so happened to have a copy of The Show 07. I checked it out, played a game or two, and was sold. I stole his copy bought a copy of my own and started a Franchise with the Pirates (I hate the DH, and I love that ballpark). Instead of sticking with the default rosters, I went for a good ol’ fantasy draft, where I picked exactly 1 player over 26 years of age (Oswalt).

The Franchise mode is very deep, but to a fault: I’m not really interested in changing ticket prices or managing my advertisements, I just want to play baseball. The controls are good, though the push button batting is…how do you say…outdated. The pitching is the same old meter, which leaves something to be desired. The fielding is decent, though sometimes flyballs can be an adventure. There’s tons of custom animations, if you want to see the Broxton pirouette, it’s there. The Matt Morris bobblehead, it’s there. The Joe Morgan chickenwing, it’s there. Heck, Jeter even holds out his right arm before taking his stance, basically telling the ump “slow down bitch, I ain’t ready yet.”

Some of the player ratings are straight up wrong. Kei Igawa is not better than Dice-K, David Ross is not the best player on the Reds, nor is Anibal Sanchez the Marlins’ best player. Little things like that take away for the game. Oh, and none of the player contracts are correct, they’re basically pulled out of mid air. The minor league stuff is okay, the biggest drawback is the lack of a Single-A level (there’s only AA and AAA).

I’d give it a solid B, there’s a lot of little things that take away from what should be a great game overall. I say wait until you can pick up a used copy for $15.