He's Got A Bad Case Of The Gout

- Wade

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I don't think today's really my day, but that's a moo point lately.

Whilst getting ready this morning, I flipped on Sportscenter and saw Washington Nats manager Frank Robinson bawling to reports. Robinson is normally stoic (and exceedingly professional) so I started to wonder what could have happened. Did Barry Bonds get stabbed with a giant syringe? Did Bud Selig choke on one of his daily hot dogs? Was MLB requiring the Nats to bring back Youppi as their mascot?

Something even funner.

Read this, then come back. (Natch.)

Awww, foot. Fatt Matt LeCroy gets pulled intra-inning because-- shocking-- he isn't a good defensive catcher. After seven stolen bases (and two errors), Robinson pulled LeCroy for Rob Fick. According to Robinson, "It's not LeCroy's fault. We know his shortcoming..." That's gotta feel good. Hey, we know that LeCroy isn't in the game because of his defensive ability. It's not like you need to be good with the baseball as a catcher-- you don't get many touches during the game. Besides, we're willing to look past the fact that he couldn't throw out Big Momma swiping second; it's worth if for his offense.

(Um. Well, he's batting .245. But it's a strong .245.)

I'm giving Matt a hard time, but I feel bad for him. After six years with the team, he had become a fan favorite. He's jolly (listed at 230 but there's no way that's legit), has some pop (ranked third on the team with 17 HRs last year), and frequently battled the gout. Oh, and says "aw foot" instead of swearing. What's not to love?

Maybe it's because I'm a young punk and don't understand how baseball was played when Robinson started over fifty (!) years ago. But I don't have a problem with pulling your catcher, or any fielder, in the middle of the inning if he isn't getting the job done. If Jose Vidro booted three balls, you should take him out. Why isn't it the same notion as pulling a pitcher when he doesn't have his stuff and is getting shellacked? I suppose one could argue-- especially based on Robinson's comments above-- that being removed because you're having a bad day is different than being removed because you're not skilled enough to handle the position. But that's not true; while LeCroy was never Benito Santiago in his prime, but he caught over 100 games while wearing a Twins uniform and never got lit up like this. He had a bad day, he got pulled, he's not upset, life goes on.

Frank took it a little hard, though. And I think I know why:

Have a good long weekend, everybody.

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