Day 27: Chris v Carp, and other off-day thoughts

There is competition all over Spring Training. Some of it real — for seats in the Bucs’ bullpen, for example. Some of it hypothetical — between Mike Carp and Chris McGuiness, for example.

What? They aren’t even on the same team, in the same camp. Sure; McGuiness is vying to be the Pirates’ left-handed hitting first baseman, and if neither he nor one of the other candidates steps up, Boston’s Carp is on the radar as a possible “get.”

So you’ve got to love how the two of them have performed in their only two head-to-head opportunities, the March 3, 9 exhibitions between the teams.

  • McGuiness is batting 1.000 (2-for-2) against the Red Sox and .250 (4-for-16) against everyone else, with two of his three RBIs off Boston pitching.
  • Carp is batting .429 (3-for-7) against the Pirates and .083 (1-for-12) against everyone else, with his only two homers and three RBIs off Pittsburgh pitching.

The “tie-breaker” will be March 19, in Ft. Myers. 

* * *

Catching up on the Barry-Bonds-is-back-in-the-Giants-camp media conference, why am I reminded all over again of the classic line, “He finally said hello when it was time to say good-bye?”

* * *

You know that corny sketch where a string is attached with a piece of gum to a dollar bill on the ground — and yanked away when someone bends down to pick it up?

Yeah, baseball rumors sometimes remind me of  that. Gotcha!

For example, reports that the Pirates are scouting Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs right-hander known to be on the block long as talks on a long-term deal are going nowhere. Jeff does have a 2014 pact for $5,345,000, positioning him out of the Bucs’ budget for a long deal and I don’t think the Bucs would be willing to swap a high-upside prospect for a one-year rental.

So the Pirates couldn’t be scouting him because he’s still scheduled to face them on Opening Day in PNC Park, could they? Nah. Makes a much better story the other way.

* * *

Observation: Gregory Polanco will have the most “glove hits” — hits on balls fielded by infielders — in whatever league he plays. His quickness in getting out of the box and speed down the line are both impressive. Any ball that takes more than one hop — he’s got a chance.

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