There is this phenomenon in House Gerberry1 that we call “Drunk Joe brain”. These occurrences do not happen due to alcohol-induced blackouts, more like years of beer-aided laziness that ends up being helpful. Find a piece of gum or a $20 bill in the pocket of a jacket you can’t remember when you wore last? “Thanks, Drunk Joe brain!” Looking through a hamper of clean clothes left in the living room because your daughter spat up on herself, even though the hamper should have been taken upstairs days ago? “You did it again, Drunk Joe brain.” Half-full water bottle in the cupholder of the car? “Oh hey look, Drunk Joe brain left me this.” Of course, that one pays it forward because you left another half-full water bottle in the house so later on in the day you’ll get to thank him again. Obviously, not all of these are products of drinking, most are caused by my inherent ability to forget what I’m doing in the middle of accomplishing said task like a golden retriever who is suddenly tracking a squirrel in the middle of play time. But the fun never ends when you nearly continually keep finding things you didn’t know you lost.
I can’t help shake the feeling of “Drunk Joe Brain” after Wednesday’s walk-off win on the back of a Ramirez home run. Count me as one who thought Jose Ramirez was lost, I said so in this space a few weeks ago. However, we may all be thanking “Drunk Joe brain”2 for finding something and someone we thought was lost but never really was. Over the last two weeks, Ramirez is in the midst of a 17 game on-base streak, and in that span here is Ramirez’s stat line: .270/.394/.413 with two home runs, four stolen bases, a 15.8% walk rate, a 14.5% strikeout rate, and a wRC+ of 113. He’s completely left all soft contact go in that stretch of time, down to 9.6% and his Pull% is back to 2018 heights. Look at his spray chart for those 17 games and you can see this is a hitter taking what’s being given to him and demolishing it.
So what changed? Why was Jose not able to do these things for the first few weeks of the season? You’d have to ask him. For those not in the clubhouse like myself, we are left to guess. Undoubtedly it is a mix of things. Possibly the return of Francisco Lindor that pushed Ramirez back to the third spot in the order had a hand in it but Lindor has yet to get it going in entirety either, so it’s hardly a safe yes. I would imagine the pressure to be the only offense kept Ramirez from waiting for his pitch and being as patient as he was in years previous. What’s funny is that Ramirez is now often the only offense the team is able to produce, but carrying the load himself seems to be something he can handle for stretches and makes the beginning of the year so odd. Ramirez has been known to get these hot streaks before, and when he does, the league needs to be on alert. We can all agree to this, however: whatever flipped the switch to “on” for the Goat, let’s hope it is stuck in the on position. These over the last three weeks are in line with what he did last year, but he will have to get even hotter if he wants to have a full season like last years.
What a mess in Boston
Schadenfreude at the city of Boston’s sports team expense is the best kind of schadenfreude. Kyrie Irving is inevitably on his way out, his time in Boston highlighted by squandered potential and an inability to help develop and elevate young talents like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Where he plays his next basketball remains a mystery. Will he spurn the Celts and play for their rival New York alongside a lottery pick and possibly Kevin Durant? Could he go west young man and team up again with LeBron in LA?3 Or will the Clippers or another darkhorse rise and pull the mercurial point guard to their grasp? Time will tell. Cleveland fans will always feel some sort of way about Kyrie, a mixture of love and scorn. I will always enjoy what Kyrie did for Cleveland but his comments about the city and the way he left will always leave a small spot in the back of mind where I enjoy seeing him fall.
Rant of the week
Who cares if Odell Beckham Jr is saying he wants to be the New Patriots? As Ken Carmen said on Twitter, he wants the Browns to *become* the new Patriots, not that they *are* the new Patriots. I am on record as being as all in as I can be on the Baker Mayfield era and that includes everything OBJ has said. When he starts ripping teammates for loafing, I’ll still be here for it, because that’s the slip side of the $50 bill that is OBJ. If you want him at his best on the field, you have to take him for his worst off. There is no separating the two, as much as we might like to think there is.