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Daily Box Score 6/29: Failed Teams, Failed Players, and Bill Plaschke

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Today's Daily Box Score is all about the forgotten teams, players and, yes, sportswriters in baseball.  

It might be time to start caring again, Pirates fans, at least about Snell and Gorzo.  After asking for a demotion to Indianapolis (citing the negativity in Pittsburgh--we all know what he's talking about), Snell had his first Triple-A start yesterday evening, and it appears Indianapolis is a positive place.  Snapping off yakker breaking balls and pinpoint fastballs, Snell K'd 17 Mudhens in 7 IP, including a ridiculous (and record) 13 in a row.  Not to be forgotten, fellow former Pirates ace Tom Gorzelanny also had a nice rehab start the day before, striking out 12 in just 5 IP.  WHYGAVS has some smart notes on both starts.  

Darren Dreifort has become a sort of sabermetric cautionary tale about the perils of signing free agent pitchers to long-term deals.  Infamously signed to a 5-year, $55 million deal by the Dodgers in the spending frenzy of 2001, Dreifort has now had 22 surgeries (including eight since his retirement), and this week will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.  Jerry Crowe of the LA Times sat down with Dreifort to talk about life after baseball:

Nevertheless, he regularly fantasizes about a comeback.  "But then I wake up the next day," he says, "and feel like I've been run over by a train -- and I'm glad I'm retired."

Well, at least Dreifort kept the Dodgers from re-signing Chan Ho Park the following year.

When you think about the Twins, you probably think of fast players, small ball, Astroturf, and bunt hits.  In fact, last season's total of 68 tied the single-season record for most bunt hits by a team.  However, notes Aaron Gleeman, this year the Twins slap-and-go offense hasn't been quite so prolific.  Gleeman cites lack of playing time for Carlos Gomez and Alexi Casilla as the primary cause of the decline.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise?  Still, it is remarkable that nearly 5% of Twins hits last season came via the bunt.

The tragedy of Vernon Wells: perpetual promise sometimes means perpetual disappointment.  But The Southpaw argues that signing Vernon Wells back in December 2006 was a good decision based on the information at the time. The $18 million AAV ($16.5 million if you count the year that was still outstanding on Wells' contract) is a lot of money, but the Blue Jays thought they were getting premium years of an all-around complete player.  The Southpaw's conclusion is:

So, why is it such a bad deal now? Because the future is unpredictable.

I'm not sure it's fair to blame it all on unpredictability (isn't that what they always say), but in this case he means the economy and therefore he might have a point.  Teams with contracts signed in the prelapsarian era are in many cases now regretting them.

Finally, Bill Plaschke + Twitter = 140 characters of pure victory.  Now that the internet is around, it's not just the crazies with the old newspapers who will call your editor and demand a correction.  Wait, unless...am I one of the crazies with the old newspapers...?!  Good lord, where is Ken Tremendous when you need him?  Oh, what's that you say?  Also on Twitter?  Huh, whaddya know.