In 2008, Henry Blanco's season went a long way towards restoring the pride of the Hank White Fanclub. Last year was rough for the boys over at Desipio, as Blanco was only able to manage a .167 batting average during an injury shortened season. This past season, however, Blanco rebounded to post an impressive .292 batting average and showed solid second half power. Woo hoo Hank White.
Not a very indepth statistical analysis, you say? Missing the numbers? Well, here they are. Take a look and come back. Go ahead, I'll be here.
You see, I'm not particularily interested in Blanco's numbers. As long as he's not killing the Cubs with his bat, he's alright in my book. I say this because Blanco is about more than just the numbers. He's a teammate. He's the guy Al Yellon was looking for when he somehow landed on Kevin Millar. How do I know this? Well, technically I don't, but would you disagree with any of these statements:
- Blanco has been diligent in taking Soto under his metaphorical wing, helping him adjust to the majors. Although Blanco eschews the Soto guyliner for a Hell's Angel tatoo, they seem to go together like wine and drinking alone at night.
- Henry Blanco seems like the kind of guy who would share half his Pizzone with a hungry teammate.
- Blanco gives excellent interviews. He's great with the press.
So, with all these factors, we see that Blanco is much more than a hitter or a fielder: he's a teammate. I haven't worked through Kurt's formula, but it just feels right.
I could really go for a Pizzone from about now.
As was reported here in the shout box and elsewhere, Venezuelan legend Henry Blanco saw his option declined by the Cubs yesterday. This doesn't mean that he's done as a Cub or a Major Leaguer, it just means that the Cubs want to bring him back for less than the 3 million he would have made had his option been exercised.
Blanco has earned the reputation of being a good teammate and coach material. The Cubs would probably like to keep him around one way or the other, although with Geovany Soto growing into the role of a great catcher, Blanco isn't as needed as he was back in the days of Michael Barrett.
In other news, Rich Hill is pitching in Venezuela and has done well there in his first 2 starts, allowing 4 walks in 9 innings. You never know, Hill very well might "figure out" what he was doing wrong, and he could have the best winter ball season ever, but we won't know if he's got even the slightest chance of making it back until he's pitching in front of scrutinous crowds and questioning media. The pressure in that case would be all mental, but that's just the point - the inability to locate the strike zone is very much a mental deal.
Anyway, I'm off to eat at the best Jewish Deli in Toronto. Have a good Saturday.