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Bearcats Breakfast 5.17.12

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Wanted to open today with an update on the UC baseball players in MLB. It's been a big year for the three Bearcats for myriad of reasons.

You have Tony Campana (Chicago Cubs) who won't receive a better chance to prove himself in the Bigs than this season. With the Cubs in a rebuilding year and starting OF Marlon Byrd jettisoned to Boston, he's been given the opportunity to play about 80 percent of the time and show he belongs.

To this point, he's answered that question with a resounding yes in the form of a .324 batting average. He's played in 23 games with 23 hits, four doubles and nine stolen bases.

Tony-Campana2.jpgTony contends that if he was allowed to play every day he could obliterate the team's stolen base mark. The Chicago record is 67, set in 1903 by Frank Chance. Stealing bases has become more difficult in recent years. In fact, only three players have stolen at least 70 bases since 2000.

If Campana played 162 games at his current pace, he would finish the season at 63 swipes. In this note from the Chicago Tribune, Campana had this to say:

"I've told people before that if I played every day and did what I hope I could do at the plate, I could give myself a chance to get close to 100," he said. "Once you get past a certain number, people are going to really pay more attention to you. But I'd like to think I could come close."

If you look at the numbers across baseball, while Campana is tied for 10th in stolen bases across the league, if you take into account the number of at-bats he used to get to that point his efficiency is as good as it gets.

His nine stolen bases in 71 at-bats gives him a rate of one stolen base for every 7.9 plate appearances.

MLB stolen basers leader Emilio Bonafacio, 20 stolen bases (without being caught once, BTW!), is the only player with a higher efficiency at 7.2. As for third place on that list -- the next closest is Jordan Schafer (Houston) at 10.8. At this point, as far as pure threat to steal in baseball, there is only Bonaficio, Campana and then everybody else.

More pieces on Campana:

The Chicago Sun-Times says he's not so dismissible anymore.

ESPNChicago talks to Tony in this piece on not being shut out this season.

Apparently, Campana has also learned how to play CF and fend off seagulls simultaneously, according to CSNChicago.com.

A postgame interview from earlier this year when he keyed a win in Philadelphia.

--- Moving on to Josh Harrison, who sparked this idea with his big game last night for Pittsburgh. Harrison's season has been a mixed bag as he played primarily off the bench and in a utility role for the Buccos. He's hitting .222 in his 36 at-bats.

harrisonwalkoff.jpgLast night he went 2 for 4 with his first home run of the season and three RBI.

Here was his bomb, which came off of Nats stud starter Gio Gonzalez.

Four days ago, he hit a walk-off single in the 12th for Pittsburgh in a 3-2 win over Houston.

Granted, Harrison is dealing in a small sample size, but if you look at his RBI production per at-bat, he leads the team by a wide margin.

He contributed eight RBI in 36 plate appearances. Returning to the Campana efficiency theory, he's averaging an RBI every 4.5 at-bats.

Next best on the team with at least 20 at-bats? Pedro Alvarehttp://cstv.collegesports.com/mt/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&blog_id=19z at 6.3.

--- Finally, Kevin Youkilis
currently sits on the disabled list (lower back strain) and has returned to the radar of many in this town as rumors circulated the Reds could make a deal for the veteran third baseman.

The emergence of prospect Will Middlebrooks at third base has many teams popping up in destinations for Youk as this piece points out.

For now, Walt Jocketty doesn't appear interested in his services.

In the 18 games he's played before the injury he was hitting just .219 with two bombs. Drastically declined statistics from his career averages.

His rehab assignment with former Dan Hoard stomping grounds with the Pawtucket Red Sox began last night with a walk and a double. His storyline will be an interesting one to watch as he returns to health. And who know, maybe he'll even return to playing baseball in Cincinnati, a place he's openly admitted when be one of the few he would want to be traded to.

--- Randomness...

--- I'm a big fan of Whale Wars
on Animal Planet. It appears captain Paul Watson did one too many Crazy Ivan's and has been arrested in Germany. Even odder, Brigitte Bardot is willing to go to jail for him.

--- Season finale of Community tonight. Here are some photos from their video game episode.

--- What could possibly be wrong with an all-you-can-eat buffet? Well, this obese man was testing the limits and found out.

--- If you see an alligator on the side of the road, I'd go ahead and say placing a towel over its yes and attempting to corral it would not be on the advisable action list.

--- Considering today's blog topic, couldn't help but have this song from The Simpson's running through my head.





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