In the great Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I” – there is a point where the King of Siam (played to perfection by the late Yul Brynner) sings a song called “A Puzzlement”. The song covers his own inner conflict over bridging from the ancient traditons of Siam to living in the modern world. At one point the lyrics state the following:
“And it puzzle me to learn
That tho’ a man may be in doubt of what he know
Very quickly he will fight
He’ll fight to prove that what he does not know is so”
Yes, it sounds like the basis for many an argument between Bopert and many others on this blog, but in truth it covers the inner conflict we all have when trying to making any logical sense out of a streaky sport that spins from despair to joy and back 162 times a year. So here are some puzzlement points for me this season, based on how I felt coming into the season vs. more recent thoughts. (All stats thru July 9)
- What I would fight to prove. 2013 All Star Jason Castro is the best catching option for the Astros.
- Where I get hung up on what I don’t know is so. Carlos Corporan has done a better job as the starting catcher for the Astros. They are 15-15 in games he has started – his BA is better (.259 to .228) his OPS is much better (.750 to .669) – they are throwing out about the same % of runners – and straight out – Corporan seems to be having a lot of fun and shows a lot more emotion and caring than Castro.
- What I would fight to prove. Bo Porter is not ready for prime time – he needs to go.
- Where I get hung up on what I don’t know is so. He seems to have done a better job of managing this season, which may be tied to having more experience and may also be tied to having a few better players. If his bullpen was not a bleeding, oozing sore – he might be managing a club right at the .500 mark.
- What I would fight to prove. Jeff Luhnow is a sharp GM who makes good decisions based on the long term improvement of the whole organization.
- Where I get hung up on what I don’t know is so. Most of the improvement of the mlb team is based on players brought in by Ed Wade. Dallas Keuchel? 7th round 2009. George Springer? 1st round 2011. Jarred Cosart/ Jonathan Singleton? 2011 trade with Philadelphia for Hunter Pence. Most of the problem areas with the mlb team are on Luhnow’s head. Bullpen? Focusing on this in the off-season has resulted in the worst area on the team and the worst bullpen in baseball. SS? Crummy. DH? Terrible. LF? Putrid. (Yes, this does not even touch on 1-1 draft choice problems, tandem pitching problems, lowballing draft choices and questionable promotion timing and decisions).
- What I would fight to prove. John Mallee is not a very good hitting coach.
- Where I get hung up on what I don’t know is so. Guys who are good hitters like Altuve and Dexter Fowler are good hitters. Guys who are bad hitters like Chris Carter and Jonathan Villar are bad hitters. Should we expect him to make lemonade out of lemon seeds?
Anyways – these are just some areas where pesky facts make me struggle with my personal prejudices. How about you?