Blogfellow DGF is rightly excited about a strong Zito performance last night (vs. Peavy!). I like the innings blow-by-blow account. My skeptical side says "even Brett Tomko won a game now and then." The league was hitting .299 vs. our Billion Dollar Boy, good thing he was working the Offensive Dead Zone that is San Diego. (Can we still hope/imagine/pray for a Return of Mr. QS? Why not just let him wear retro 2002 A's jerseys? Would that help?) The Padres have only one hitter (hello, Special Agent Jack, can you name him?), which is one more than us. But we have YOUTH! And MOXIE! And who better to take over the Youthful Moxie Award from FreddieLoo but our very own Emmanuel Burriss!
Yes, Manny was the Human Highlight Film last night, despite another great game by Freddie. Ho-hum, Fred. You have to like this kid--DC boy, after all. And a Kent State Golden Flash as well (q.v. my 3 June post). He just turned 23, and has only 204 games in the minors, doing his best work .324/.374/.381 at Class A last year. If that .381 SLG scares you, that's good. Mr. B hit ONE homer in the minors and only 25 doubles (922 PA). Don't ask about his career OPS, OK?
So . . . where does that leave us? If Burriss expects to make it in the bigs he'll have to learn to get on base. He'll have to become a patient, selective, all-fields hitter. We know he has speed, but he'll have to show range and good glove work to stick as a middle infielder. I'm glad he's getting a look, and I really really really want to see him do well. Maybe he can conjure up the ghost of his fine senior year (.923 OPS) in 2006.