Saturday Cup of Mojo – Vol. 3

By Editorial Staff

It’s Saturday. It’s Larry Bernandez Bobblehead Night day. It’s Pineda day. Whoa! I better start this day off right.

Son of… that’s some hot Mojo. Bunned the woof of my mouf.

In this issue:

  •     Where Are They Now: Phil Bradley

Bradley played eight seasons for the Mariners and was an All-Star in 1985 when he hit a career high 26 dingers. He’s also remembered as the 20th Mariner to strike out against Roger Clemens in that infamous record-setting 1986 game.

He left the M’s after the 1987 season and went on to play for the Phillies, Orioles, White Sox and finally Japan’s Yomiuri Giants in 1991 before hanging up the cleats.

What’s he doing now? He’s a volunteer assistant coach on the diamond for his Alma mater Missouri. Although, not in baseball. No, he’s a women’s softball coach.

According to his bio, Bradley serves as the hitting coach and works with the outfielders.

Not completely out of hardball, though, Bradley also serves as a special assistant to Michael Weiner, executive director for the MLB Players Association.

As Mariners fans, we know how special it is to see a franchise superstar leave. We also, thanks to Ken Griffey, Jr. know what’s it’s like to see a superstar come home when their most productive days are behind them. For Indians fans, a franchise that’s on their seventh name and third century of play, they see one of their heroes come home.

Thome posted a combined 47.5 WAR over 12 seasons with the Tribe (sixth all-time in franchise history). Had he spent his entire career in Cleveland and had the same numbers he put up in Philly, Chicago and Minnesota, only Tris Speaker and Nap Lajoie would be ahead of him on the franchise list in value.

Thome recently entered the 600 homer club and has the most in Indians history with 334. He’s second in RBI, fourth in OBP, fourth in slugging and fifth in runs. He was Manny Ramirez bad with the glove, but his offense more than made his presence on the field acceptable.

As a part time player now, Thome gives the Indians a grizzled veteran down the stretch. Managers love those guys. He’s only hitting .243 this season, but is still getting on bat a respectable level in limited time, running a .353 clip. His 12 homer show he can still get the bat around and provide the club an impact pinch-hit and platoon bat.

Sometimes, it takes something bad for us to remember that prospects aren’t just stat lines that offer hope for the future of our favorite baseball team. That happened when Nick Franklin after he was hit in the face by a teammate’s bat during BP and then had a food poisoning bout.

How did the layoff derail his development? Well, he’s 10 for 29 (.345) with a homer, double and triple in seven games since rejoining Class AA Jackson (he had only played four games at AA before the injury).

Yeah, he’s running an astronomical .516 BABIP in his 11 total AA games, but forget about all that. He’s come back from an injury and illness that shelved him for an extended period during one of his more important developmental years, only to return and place good wood on the ball.

Speaking of wood; knock on some. Let’s hope this means Franklin is fine and on track to reach Seattle by September 2012.

  •     Bobblehead Fun

Today, there will be 5,000 Fred Couples bobblers given away at the Boeing Classic and 20,000 in the likeness of Larry Bernandez (one for me!) will be handed out at Safeco Field.

What other bobblehead giveaways have there been this year, outside the Emerald City?

Cleveland did a Mike Hargrove “Human Rain Delay” bobble. The White Sox handed some out of their head groundskeeper. The Rays had one for Manny Ramirez (which then got cancelled – oops). The Reds had one of Dusty Baker that also serves as a toothpick holder. The Althetics did one for M.C. Hammer.

26 major league teams are giving away 74 different types, which is a grand total of 905,000 total bobbleheads.

That’s it for this Cup of Mojo. Go enjoy the sunshine and a ballgame this weekend.