I'm basically saying Chris Heisey is getting the Denorfia treatment (built up to be some sort of demigod when he's actually an average Major Leaguer at best). I apologize if I'm beating a dead horse, but I think a lot of people are wearing big, rose-colored glasses when it comes to Heisey. He deserves all the credit he gets for his numbers, but I still don't see much to indicate he will ever be anything near an All-Star.
And based on what I've read, he seems like a great guy with excellent character, but I don't think it's fair to judge him so quickly, even if it's for the positive. I'll concede that getting ejected can occasionally be a positive for the team, but if a person has a history of it, he's probably costing his team, and I don't think Heisey should be lauded for it just based on who he appears to be. And for all we know, Heisey's reasons for arguing could be just as selfish as Bradley's. That's something we may never know, but I don't think it's fair to presume Heisey's motivations are selfless just because of the book he claims to read and follow.
I think of it this way, you play 130-162 games a year. I expect you to get thrown out at some point.
Heisey is a future All-Star
There's one. So at least it is not a complete strawman. I like Heisey and his potential. I think to place him in the same sentence with Denorfia is unwarranted based on production and age.
But I don't think there are any guarantees with him, no more than with any prospect.
OK, so here's what went down at last night's game. Carolina blew into town an offensive juggernaut but hadn't been scoring runs. They took 1-0 lead in top of first when Frazier grounds single up the middle.
Bottom of first: Jordan Smith is pitching. First time I saw him since he got all the pub as hot prospect. He has that "everything is slow motion" way about him. He walks to the mound slowly, he's slow between pitches etc. In the first, two grounders thru the right side, coupled with a walk and a slicing liner down the third base line produce 2 runs.
We then stay that way until the 6th. They are doing nothing with Smith, and you figure if the Mudcats can just put some runs on the board, the game will be in hand. It probably won't be a complete game because Smith has not been as pitch efficient as Wood was.
Finally in the 6th the Mudcats break thru. Yonder lines single to right, and then later Francisco homers to RF. (His 2 homers this series have both been towering homers just over wall).
But then between half innings, it starts raining. I'm not sure of rules, but I think Mudcats have to get Suns out in case it gets called and reverts to inning before. But whatever...... you want to pitch fast, and throw strikes. That sense of urgency doesn't get through to Smith who continues to be Mr Slow motion on the mound. The first batter hits first pitch for ground out. But Smith doesn't like the ever increasing rain, and he gives up a hit eventually to LF.
It's now pouring. Smith walks the next guy. He can't control the ball. Mudcats manager David Bell is imploring the ump to delay the game. He takes a trip to the mound and confronts ump to call a delay.
After every pitch Smith requests a new ball. After every pitch Bell yells for a delay. It's a frickin monsoon at this point.
Two on, 1 out and the next guy eventually hits a hard one hopper to Castro at 2nd base, and when it hits his glove (head high) it skips off his glove into RF, and the tieing runs scores, instead of ending the inning with a DP. The ball essentially hydroplaned off Castro's glove. Now Bell is really steamed, and as the hurricane pours down, Smith is still pitching slow and can't throw strikes. This is what Bell keeps yelling to the ump. "He can't control the ball".
Now we have guys at 2nd and 3rd with one out and game tied. Smith eventually gets one in the hitting zone and the batter absolutely crushes it to dead center. It's 420 to center and it looks like this ball will hit the 420 sign on the fence. Heisey take off after it. This monster crush continues it's trek to the fence and extra bases, and Heisey is blazing after it. Incredibly, Heisey somehow catches this ball. Now the runners tag, and Heisey throws the ball to Cozart in short CF. Because the ball has been hit 419 feet and it's raining like Katrina is in in town, the runner from second decides to try for home also. But Cozart throws a ball that will have him by 20 feet.........
.....except that ball also hydroplanes and never bounces when it hits ground 15 feet in front of catcher. It goes to backstop and Mudcats are down 2. Bell and everyone in Mudcats dugout is pissed because umpires decision to keep playing in unplayable conditions has cost them 3 runs and the lead.
We play on......... animals are lining up 2 x 2 and getting on some big boat in the outfield, Smith throws a couple more balls outside the strike zone. He then throws one that comes moderately close to the hitters head, and the batter decides that of all the balls that have been bouncing to the plate, or thrown wide, or thrown so high the catcher has to jump up to catch them......... this is the one ball the pitcher COULD control, and by golly........ he was throwing at my head !!!!!
The batter charges the mound !! He never gets there... First of all it's hard to run thru puddles, and Kroski the catcher grabs him before he gets too far. Now both benches clear and everyone converges in the middle. Lot's of yelling and pushing, but I don't think any actual punches were thrown.
It takes 3 or 4 minutes for order to be restored and the field cleared. The umpire issues a warning to both sides, with Bell and the Jax manager still out talking to him, and signals to start playing again. At this point Bell starts jawing with him, and you know Bell is going to get the heave-ho. He does shortly, but continues to rant after ump for 3 or 4 more minutes. Hitting Coach Ryan Jackson eventually has to separate them and keep separating them.
And then the rain starts slowing down, just as Bell heads into clubhouse. The ump looks around, and says "wow, this field is wet and unplayable, get the grounds crew out here and put those piles of dirt everywhere to dry things out." The player that's been the most vocally upset during this has been Heisey. And as the grounds crew comes out for their yard work, the umps coverge around 1b and the Mudcats dugout.
Then a ballglove mysteriously flies out of the Mudcats dugout and lands next to umps.... (okay it wasn't a mystery to me I saw Heisey do it, but umps didn't). So ump says "whose glove is this"? Heisey owns up to it, and Heisey is tossed. He does his best George Brett imitation (I really thought he was going to make serious contact with ump but he help up) but he got his money's worth before he left.
And that was essentially the ballgame. Vazquez came in and was not that effective, Mudcats made minor rally that fell short. Lower round draft choice Logan Parker was called out on a close play at first and begged anyone in the Mudcats who had a big contract to offer to pay his fine, so he could go crazy. Yonder avoided eye contact with Logan and Logan stayed sane.......
Last edited by JaxRed; 06-09-2009 at 02:17 PM.
Great report Jax!
Sounds like the Carolina squad has some spunk.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini
Wow good recap... thanks.
Heisey sounds like a complete headcase.
(I'm kidding... I love the guy.)
Great stuff Jax.
I miss Adam Dunn.
Thanks, Jax. That was great.