You know how fans always argue that players should play through the pain, even when the injury affects something VERY critical to that person's success? You know, how people were angry that Joe Mauer couldn't play through his "bilateral leg weakness," even though your legs are collectively one of the most important things you need to hit and especially crouch as a catcher? Well, I got a taste of attempting to "play through the pain" while teaching. If I had a head cold, it wouldn't be pleasant, but I'd survive.
However, I lost one of the most valuable things a teacher needs: My voice. I tried to tough it out on Wednesday, and I couldn't raise my voice at all. Thursday, I made it through one and a half classes before going home. Friday was identical to Wednesday. If I was a hitter, I would have just gone 1 for 18 in a week, along with riding the pine for 2-3 games. Thankfully, the kids showed some mercy on me and were slightly easier to quiet down these past few days.
Enough about me. Here's your baseball news.
- Well, the first thing is Josh Hamilton's inhuman game on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles. 5 for 5, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI. Even though I think he's a bit overrated due to his comeback from drug and alcohol abuse (which is certainly noteworthy but I think gets more air time than it deserves), this was one of those performances where you just had to tip your cap. In fact, the Orioles crowd even gave Hamilton a standing ovation after his final homer. To make the feat even more impressive, all of his home runs were hit to center field or to the opposite field.
- Not wanting to be left out with odd stat lines, Hamilton's teammate Colby Lewis had a pretty interesting game himself on Thursday. 7 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 HR, 12 K. You know how Vikings running back Adrian Peterson describes his rushing attempts as "Famine, famine, feast"? Well, Lewis had a whole bunch of famines and feasts that day. The 12 strikeouts were a career high, and he became only the 5th pitcher in major league history to allow 5 home runs in a start with no other type of hit. Oh, and for you sabermetric folk like myself, that's 6 ER with a .000 BABIP for the game.
- Someone from Twinkie Town needs to start doing posts like this one. If you're one of those people that doesn't like clicking foreign links*, fellow SB Nation blog DRaysBay does a weekly recap of the Tampa Bay Rays' broadcasts, and it's a shame you're not clicking on that link, because the post is pure genius. My favorite is the picture of B.J. Upton throwing seeds into his mouth. It seems like something that Jon Marthaler and/or RandBall's Stu would enjoy doing.
* Which makes me question why you're reading this Breakfast & Baseball post in the first place.
- Watch out if you get a phone call or email from a young baseball player touting himself as "Montaous Walton," because there's no real baseball athlete by that name. There is, however, someone using the name and fake baseball statistics, to successfully sucker agents into giving him plane tickets and making his cell phone payments, as well as getting sportswriters to pump out feel-good stories about him. There's even a Twins tie in this, as the fictitious Walton claims that he was first signed Minnesota sometime prior to 2010. I must admit, though, that this guy is pulling off the Lorenzo Von Matterhorn very well
- It sounds like MLB is considering a ban of the fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff play. Honestly, we could file this under something that MLB considers to be a problem but really isn't, though isn't that Bud Selig's forte? While this play does little in the game other than annoy us, it appears as though it is indeed a legal play. Er, perhaps shortly I should say that it was a legal play.
- Finally, let's check in on how former Twin Joe Nathan is doing.
Come back later for the game thread. I'll try not to forget it this week.