Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Will He (Wily) Become the Next (Mo) Vaughn?

Now that this thing is done, and I have no control over the trade, and for various reasons I still need convincing (re: the necessity of the trade), I have no choice but to begin the rooting process.

Firstly, the title of this post was really more about being able to use "Wily" and "Mo" together and less about whether or not I think that he will, in fact, become the next Mo Vaughn. Would be great if he did, though.

What I think Theo sees in Pena is exactly what he saw in Ortiz. I haven't done the comparisons yet (Ortiz's numbers before he came on board with the Red Sox), but I would guess that he had more consistent contact. I think that Theo really, REALLY feels that Pena can be coached to be more patient at the plate. And he's hoping that the Red Sox will be the fortunate recipients of Pena's best, healthiest, and most powerful years. I hope that this is the case. One thing that would really be great, insurance-wise, is having another Papi threat in the line up. Papi-light, but an offensive terror none-the-less.

I do worry about the strike outs, though. He's really going to have to work hard to bring that number way, way down. Or balance that out with serious muscle upon making contact. And when I say serious, I mean base-clearing serious. Otherwise, you might as well just suit me up. My 133-pound frame won't give you lots of power, but I can strike out like nobody's business. And I'd be a total bargain. 50 grand/year. Oh, that's right, women aren't allowed to play.

Speaking of female baseball players, here's name worth celebrating - Toni Stone. She played in the Negro League from 1949-1954. She appeared in 50 games in 1953, and hit .243. Remember, this was on an all male team, playing against all male teams in the Negro League.

From www.exploratorium.edu:

Photo courtesy The Buck O'Neil Collection, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

(Marcenia Lyle Alberga)
Second Base

San Francisco Sea Lions, 1949
New Orleans Creoles, 1949-1952
Indianapolis Clowns, 1953
Kansas City Monarchs, 1954

(Excerpt 1) Toni Stone may be one of the best ballplayers that you've never heard of.

(Excerpt 2) Toni Stone's most memorable baseball moment came when she played against the legendary Satchel Paige in 1953. "He was so good," she remembered, "That he'd ask batters where they wanted it, just so they'd have a chance. He'd ask, 'You want it high? You want it low? You want it right in the middle? Just say.' People still couldn't get a hit against him. So I get up there and he says, 'Hey, T, how do you like it?' And I said, 'It doesn't matter, just don't hurt me.' When he wound up--he had these big old feet--all you could see was his shoe. I stood there shaking, but I got a hit. Right out over second base. Happiest moment in my life."

I think I'm going to do a little ode to an exceptional woman baseball player from time to time.


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