couple of notable performances in the minors last night. one came from chris narveson, who was traded for larry walker in 2004 and rejoined the organization last year. he pitched at memphis last night, his first appearance there after three rehab starts at palm beach, and threw 6.2 shutout innings. weird pitching line --- only 3 hits and 1 walk, but no strikeouts and a 4-15 groundball/flyball ratio. longtimer VEBber Brock20 attended the game and sent word that quite a number of line drives off narveson found fielders' gloves, especially early on. in any case, he is another arm to watch down on the farm.
similar results, but a much better line, down at double a, where mike parisi tossed seven innings of 2-hit ball. he struck out 10 men in his stint, vs 3 walks. nice step forward for this prospect, who got off to a fast start but struggled in may.
i exchanged e-mails with mike lindskog, the springfield cardinals' announcer, to get the scoop on cody haerther, whose batting average is back down in the .220s. anything wrong physically? i asked; mike wrote back no, cody is not injured; he just isn't hitting.
couple articles for you: david gassko at hardball times on what pujols means to baseball, and some brief remarks from whitey herzog about drug abuse in the clubhouse. say what you want about the white rat, he staked out a very strong position on this back in the '80s --- got rid of his best player over a cocaine habit, which established very clearly what would happen to the next guy on whitey's team who filled his nose with white powder.
jocketty is going out of his way to quash the craig wilson trade speculation. interesting to note, though, that the pittsburgh gm will neither confirm nor deny that trade conversations occurred, which suggests to me that either a) the conversations did take place and jocketty is just spinning, or b) the rumor was all spin to begin with, originating from within the pirates' front office. maybe dave littlefield thought he could drum up a market for wilson by making it look like the cards were pressing a suit . . . .
but do we really believe that the cardinals haven't at least lodged an inquiry about wilson? if they haven't, why the hell not?