south·paw (southpô) n. Slang A left-handed person, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
More "Moneyball" Madness
Clearly, it is too early to judge the success of the A's new draft philosophy. This is not meant to condemn the drafting of college players, or even the specific players that the A's selected. However, Lewis' writing suggests that Beane has found the Holy Grail of player development. At this point in time, its just as likely that he's simply found a wooden cup.
And on the same topic, David Pinto linked another review of Moneyball, written by Dr. Manhattan over at Blissful Knowledge. He starts out by calling the book "a combination of a business case study, an intellectual history and a morality play". It is very well written, and goes into the pitching development aspect deeper then Lewis.
Specifically, he talks about the development system in place at ALL STAGES of the A's farm system, which also helps to explain Oakland's favoritism of college pitchers over their high school counterparts.
[The A's] have an extensive program at every level of the organization regarding pitching mechanics and pitch counts, and they have a fascinating program in the lower minor leagues regarding pitcher usage. As Lewis describes in the book, the A’s do not believe in drafting high school pitchers (pitchers aged 18-22 are the worst injury risks in baseball, by several orders of magnitude). The A’s are loaded with pitching prospects in their minor leagues, and they apparently did not have a single major arm or elbow surgery all of last year (the Yankees, by contrast, should have qualified for group discounts on such surgeries).
Two good reads that have add depth to Lewis' story.
To expect someone to write a book with an absolute answer to the question of success in baseball (by anyone, including the Yankees - hint: it's not just the money) is crazy . . . so the more input we get from other sources, the more complete answer we can conclude.
Look for my review in the near future (hopefully I can add something good to the collection). 4:41 PM
Practice What You Preach
"My understanding is that he will need surgery just to walk normally, never mind play baseball. He's in rough shape."
Rough shape indeed. Here's hoping that he can live a normal life after baseball, or at least as normal as an ex-athelete can. 8:39 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Down on the Farm
Before the game, my friend and I stood above the Fresno bullpen to watch Jerome Williams warm up. His control in the pen looked pretty good, but he struggled with his control once the game started, allowing two walks and a hit in the first inning before escaping the jam.
Jerome Williams' line for Friday:
(L,3-2) 4IP 7H 3R 2ER 3BB 2SO 0HR 2.52YTD ERA
Since I'm going to the game today, hopefully I can have something equally interesting to say about the A's-Giants AAA matchup (if not I'll just have Stephen write something for me, since we'll be meeting up at the game). Unfortunately, I already missed Williams, and Rich Harden is pitching Monday. Today's pitching matchup is scheduled to be Aaron Harang (Sacramento) vs. Kevin Pickford (Fresno).
Editor's Note: Aaron Harang was called up to Oakland on Saturday, so he was unavailable for Sacramento to start. 10:22 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2003
That's not how I would've said it
In the long run it's not my decision, but they would be an attractive alternative. They're attractive because I could live at home and stay here. But at the same time, I like it here (San Francisco). My No. 1 choice would be to rejoin the Giants.
Aurilia lives in Scottsdale, AZ. He also currently plays with Superman. My quote would have looked something like this:
"I'd love to re-sign with the Giants. If I had it my way I'd spend the rest of my career hitting in front of the best batter of my lifetime. Hopefully money doesn't tie things up."
... and at least Neifi keeps me laughing
Also in the above mentioned article, Neifi Perez recalls his days in Colorado, and talks about how Dan O'Dowd was so terrible to him. My favorite quote:
He offered a B.S. contract -- $7.8 million for four years. I said no to that. ... I told him I wanted a contract similar to (fellow shortstops) Edgar Renteria and Rey Ordonez. That's the only part that made me upset.
First of all $7.8 million for 4 years is still high for Perez (that's almost $2 million per!). Second of all, basing your salary on other overpaid players isn't the best stategy.
I wonder if there's a player out there who says, "I want to get paid. I'm talking Marvin Bernard-type dollars." 2:44 PM
Monday, May 19, 2003
Other People's E-mail
OPS is a crude tool, a blunt object that shouldn't be used when precision is critical. But you know, most of the time precision isn't critical. We don't need to modify OPS to know that J.T. Snow and Doug Mientkiewicz probably don't deserve to play every day, and we don't need to modify OPS to know that Alex Rodriguez should. Nor do we need modified OPS to know that Chris Singleton doesn't seem to fit into the Oakland lineup.
I always wondered about the equality of those two stats, but never could put my finger on it. This helps to put into words what I have wondered for a while now.
Editor's Note: What I failed to include is the discussion in which Billy Beane considers OBP 3X as important as Slugging, and Rob Neyer uses the formula of OBP*1.4 + Slugging for a more accurate Adjusted OPS. 11:47 AM
Early Trade Info
The Giants will wait, as they always do until the right fit, at the right price, comes along.
There might be some big names on the trading block this year, depending on the number of teams that stay in their respective playoff races.
While Kansas City is expected to test Carlos Beltran's market, they, the White Sox, Expos, Rockies and Diamondbacks are in the races. For now. But if the ships start sinking, the names Bartolo Colon, Curt Schilling, Byung-Hyun Kim and Javier Vazquez could all change the October landscape.
Jason Stark disagrees with Schilling's name being on that list. He does, however, understand the rumors . . . and so does Schilling.
Privately, Schilling has done that math himself. He knows Johnson is signed now through 2005. He'll have a year left on his contract, at $12 million, next winter. And he has a full no-trade clause. So to some degree, he can control whether he goes, stays, signs an extension or becomes a free agent.
Trading Schilling would be devastating to Arizona . . . as a Giants fan I hope it happens (I knew it was terrible news for the G-men when Schilling was traded to the D-backs), but as a baseball fan it would be terrible. 11:47 AM
Pac Bell (Pitcher's) Park
Last season, only 114 home runs were hit at Pac Bell, the fewest of any ballpark in a full season since 1992 -- the season before the beginning of this offensive extravaganza in baseball. Opponents hit only 42 homers. ... By comparison, 245 home runs were hit last year at The Ballpark In Arlington, more than twice as many as Pac Bell. This year, 67 home runs have been hit in 22 games at Cincinnati's new Great American Ballpark. Reds' opponents have already hit 31 home runs.
As teams with pitchers parks succeed, I have to wonder if the trend to build hitter's parks will turn towards pitcher's parks.
If your team's not great (Detroit, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay), wouldn't you want the games as low scoring as possible? This would give you a better chance to win games . . . at least in my uneducated opinion. 11:46 AM
San Francisco's Other Closer
Beck said three teams have called his agent with major league offers. But he's waiting for the right fit and won't pitch for the major league minimum of $300,000. He's 34 saves away from 300 and is convinced, "if you tell me that I'm your guy and you give me the ball everyday, I can get you 35 to 50 saves a year. Guaranteed. I just need the opportunity."
The article mentions the Cubs (who would be his perfect fit), and the BoSox (who need some bullpen help) . . . but no mention of the San Francisco Giants (who lost their all time saves leader Rob Nen). The article says that he played for the Giants (who is second in all time saves for the G-men), but doesn't even mention the fact that they are sans their primary closer, and may be looking for bullpen help.
Although he won't pitch for the makor league minimum, I'd imagine that he would still be fairly cheap . . . which is good since the Giants are tied in with Nen's contract, even though he's done for the year.
And besides, save 300 would be great in the same uniform that he became a closer in. 8:53 AM
Friday, May 16, 2003
Thursday, May 15, 2003
The Brewers' Doug Melvin suggests one of the major splits between the ways small-market teams do business is in whether they privilege defense at the expense of offense, or vice versa. If you're the Yankees, maybe you get both. If you're the A's or the Brewers, you most likely have to compromise.
The extreme end of this argument, however, ends up with your team signing Neifi Perez . . . so I don't know where the line needs to be drawn.
The best argument I've heard against turning your franchise upside down to match that of Oakland is simple. Oakland's Cy Young contending trio of Zito, Mulder, & Hudson allows them to concentrate on hitting because their pitching alone makes them a contender.
At the end of the day, though -- numbers and philosophies aside -- Melvin said the real key to what the A's have accomplished recently isn't at the plate, it isn't in the draft room, and it isn't in Billy Beane's head. It's in the lightning in a bottle sitting on the Network Associates Coliseum pitcher's mound. "If you take Mulder, Zito and Hudson," Melvin said, "those three are for me the main reasons for the success of the Oakland A's."
While I agree completely that pitching wins championships, how does that affect the scouting of the other 8 positions?
The only valid point that I can see is that Billy Beane's style is working because of the pitching. By this I mean that with the trio that Oakland has, they are winning . . . and winning is all that really matters. Which brings me back to Alex Belth's "Moneyball" Book Review post.
All the A's marketing studies showed that the main things fans cared about was winning. Win with nobodies and the fans showed up, and the nobodies became stars; lose with stars and the fans stayed home, and the stars became nobodies. Assembling nobodies into a ruthlessly efficient machine for winning baseball games, and watching them become stars, was one of the pleasures of running a poor team.
So now the question is, how well does Beane's philosophy really work? If a team is competitive because of its pitching, then wouldn't the traditional style of management keep them competative just as well as this new style? It's a chicken-or-the-egg type of question, really; did Beane's philosophy get them winning or did the winning validate Beane's philosophy?
The answer is simple. Pitching may have gotten the A's competitive, but Beane's philosophy has kept them competitive. The A's have lost player after player (Giambi, Damon, Isringhousen, Koch, etc.) because of their budget, and yet they routinely trade for low-priced high-talent players (Damon, Dye, Lilly, Durazo, etc.) without hurting the team. It's Beane's philosophy that allows them to draft marketable players that they can then turn into major leaguers via intellegent trades (trades using this same philosophy).
I think it's only a matter of time before this philosophy catches on everywhere, but I don't think that it will be used verbatum. There will always be a need for scouting of some sort, because you can only learn so much from statistics. Some teams will use more then others, but the time will come when the A's won't have the competative advantage that they now enjoy . . . and Paul DePodesta knows it.
"I hope they continue to believe that our way doesn't work. It buys us a few more years."
They'll get their few years, but eventually teams will start turning around, and we'll start to see more teams balancing out . . . Seligula be damned. 2:10 PM
A Must Read
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Plan B Options (Guerrero Talk part 5)
From what I had been told (by someone who watches more of the AL), Cruz is a definitely below average CF. That is one reason I have been so pleasantly surprised by his defense in RF. To go a little further with your idea, the Giants could try either Torcato or Linden at 1B next year. Those are definitely inexpensive options.
If they sign Guerrero, they can put whomever they want at 1B. And at Pac Bell, I think Guerrero's arm would make him a good choice for CF there, so it's the road games that it becomes a problem.
He also thinks that Giles will make a great fit in his native CA, but his contract makes him hard - for Pittsburg - to trade him.
A fan at Pac Bell last year told me that Brian Giles was his dream player. I can't see a trade, though. Giles' contract is way too modest, so the Pirates do not need to dump his salary. Giles is a California native. I was also told that his contract includes a no-trade clause, except for about six teams, most of whom are California teams.
Giles is in year 2 of a 5 year $45 million deal (averaging $9 million per). If the Pirates get really bad, really fast, they could look to offload that cash (especially since it probaby starts low and ends high), so a trade isn't out of the question . . . just unlikely.
Jurgen has his own idea for Plan B.
I was scanning MLB Contracts, and I realised that Sheffield is a free agent at the end of the year. Two things: 1) if he doesn't resign, then the Braves'
Due to the fact that MLB Contracts is not up to date, I'd like to know (a) if anyone knows about Sheffield's Free Agent status (has he signed an extension, is he giving the Braves "first right of refusal", etc.); and (b) if anyone knows where I can find detailed contract information (with yearly breakdowns, deferrments, signing bonuses, etc.).
I would be willing to put something together if the information is only available as a spreadsheet or database . . . and I would probably even find a way to host it. Please let me know.
But if he is available this summer, remember that the Bonds and Sheffield are good buddies, so they might pull an Eric Davis/Darryl Strawberry move to play together . . . and we know Bonds isn't going anywhere.
The question then becomes, "Who plays CF?" If you sign Sheffield, you probably don't sign Cruz, because niether can really play CF. And that means another hole that needs filling . . . with practically the same amount of money.
With the status of the Braves pitching, I don't think they'll let Sheffield go without a fight, and I don't see the Giants putting up that kind of fight.
Jurgen also agrees that Guerrero will most likely stay
For the record, I think MLB would be INSANE to let the Expos trade/lose Guerrero and Vazquez before the club's been sold. If I'm buying the Expos, I want the bill of sale to include the best young outfielder in the game. The fact that MLB is dragging its feet despite several interested parties is an embarassment to the game.
I agree in part, but my gut says that Vazquez is already as good as gone.
And MLB is insane for dragging its feet, but not as insane as it was when it bought the team (and burdoned every other team) in the first place. 5:00 PM
Best Ever? (Guerrero Talk part 4)
Assuming Superman regresses to mere .950-1.000 OPS levels, an outfield of Bonds (LF), Cruz (CF), and Guerrero (RF) would likely still edge Atlanta (Chipper, Andruw, Sheffield), Cincinnati (Dunn, Griffey, Kearns), and St. Louis (Pujols, Edmonds, Drew) as the best in the game--unless the Cubs pull off the Big Trade for Beltran that Joe Sheehan has been talking about (Alou, Beltran, Sosa).
First of all, I need to get out, because I haven't heard about the Beltran rumors . . . but second of all, I think that a Bonds-Guerrero combo would instantly put them into any conversation about best OF in baseball . . . even if the other guy was Marvin Bernard. Going forward I would watch Cincy's OF trio, because I think that Griffey has the possiblity to play well with age (similar to Bonds, but nobody is Bonds), Dunn can blast, and I think that Kearns is even better then Dunn (and he was drafted higher too!).
But if Bonds continues to defy biology and Cruz is really and truly finally living up to his .850-.900 OPS potential, might the '04 Giants have the best offensive outfield of all time?
If Cruz is the real deal and Guerrero signs on, these guys could have a strong argument in their favor for Top 5, and possibly even best ever. I'd love to hear from some people who know a lot more about past teams then myself to form a for/against (well, both actually) argument about this, because I find it increadibly interesting.
If any playoff team could afford to waste at bats with Neifi at SS, it might be this one: Durham, Alfonzo, Bonds, Guerrero, Cruz, plus three scrubs sounds good enough to me.
Torreabla is a decent player so it would be 2 scrubs at most, and 1B could be filled with a servicable player . . . so we're only really looking at Neifi (unless we can find someone better).
But again, the key is signing Guerrero . . . which is a longshot at best. 9:04 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Keep The Streak Going
To whom it may concern:
I have already posted a message, as has Alex Belth (Bronx Banter), the gang from Baseball Perspectus, Alan Schwarz (ESPN), and even teams such as the Stockton Ports (Texas Class A team) and the Modesto A's.
Plus, the Modesto A's have even offered him to throw out a ceremonial first pitch when he recovers. I'd go to see that.
The Southpaw is happy to know that Carl's Undefeated Streak continues. He simply can't be beat. 4:55 PM
Contracts and Signings (Guerrero Talk part 3)
I wanted to add a couple of points to your discussion about contracts. While it is true that there is a lot of money coming off the books at the end of this year, it is also true that there will be a fair amount of salary added to the books in the form of raises. The Giants front office knew they would have greater flexibility after Snow's contract and Benard's albatross expire at the end of 2003. The Giants have already used some of this flexibility to backload the contracts of some of the players they signed the last two offseasons.
He goes on to point out some big jumps in salary, which are all true. All numbers are from Doug, and I verified Bonds and Schmidt through MLB Contracts, which I use primarily. If you know of a better source for contract info (html, db, spreadsheet, etc.), please e-mail me. (I know about the salary info on Doug Pappas' data downloads, but he only lists the current year's salary, and I'm looking for info on entire contracts).
Bonds goes from $16.5 million in '03 to $20 million in '04 (but stays at $20 million in '05). Schmidt jumps from $5.75 million in '03 to $8.5 million in '04 (but only $8.75 million in '05). Edgardo Alfonso goes from $4 million in '03 to $6.5 million in '04 (including signing bonus). Jose Cruz Jr. has a $4 million mutual option in '04, but he'll get paid regardless. Durham gets $5.2 million in '03 to $7.2 million in '04 (if his bonus is equally distributed over 3 years). I also know that some of Woody's money was deferred into his extension, but I'm not sure what the amounts are.
As you can see, there are some big jumps in 2004 contracts, but these are the kinds of jumps that happen in pretty much every contract, and in most cases the change from '04 to '05 is minimal. There will be room for another player, unless all current players are brought back, in which case the Giants will return the same team that's playing this year (which may or may not be a good thing).
Doug's realistic about the Giants' offseason moves, but he's still crossing his fingers.
I believe the Giants priority this offseason will be to lock up Cruz to a long term deal. So I think an outfield of Bonds, Cruz, and Vlad is just to good to be true. But it's fun to dream.
Yes it is. And with that OF, they could pretty much sign anyone to play 1B, as long as they were good with the glove.
And finally, Stephen Shelby checked in again. He thinks that Brian Giles would be a better (or at least more realistic) option for the Giants, since he'll become a free agent in 2006 ($45 million over 5-years - '02-'06), which pretty much coincides with Bonds coming off the books for 2007. And he agrees with me that Aurilia will probably re-sign with the G-men, but had another possibility as well.
I don't know where else [Aurilia] would go, but I don't necessarily sense that he wants to stay. I think he'll be open-minded. Maybe Dusty tries to get him to come to the Cubs. I was a bit surprised to seriously suggest Guerrero. I wonder if the Giants might try to make a run at Brian Giles when he becomes a free agent in a few years.
Good point (and besides, by then we'll know if Guerrero will sign or not!).
Keep those e-mails coming! 10:15 AM
Monday, May 12, 2003
A Life's Work
Corrections (Guerrero Talk part 2)
I tend to agree that there is not nearly as much payroll as John Shea suggested. I would be in favor of Torrealba and Trey Lunsford (now hitting over .300 at Fresno) handling the catching duties next year. Also, why does everyone keep saying it is so likely that Aurilia will resign with the Giants? I see no reason to assume that, particularly from a team that saw fit to spend $4+ million on Neifi Perez and another $2+ million on Grissom. I also think that Cruz may have a player option, not a team option, for next year. The way he is playing, I would not expect Cruz to exercise the option.
I'm not sure about Cruz's contract, but I think that you're right. I used MLB Contracts for my information, and they're still a little behind on some of the newer contracts (for players not names Thome). According to Doug Pappas' 2003 Opening Day Salaries, Jose Cruz Jr. is getting $2.5 million this season, so we could theoretically add that to the pool (assuming he won't take his option and will test the market), and our numbers come out close to what they were with Woody's $4.75 million ($2.25 million isn't a substantial difference in the big picture).
I think that the fact that the Giants gave Neifi Perez $4 million is more reason to believe that Aurilia will be re-signed then not. And besides, I think that Aurilia would sign for significatly less then top teir guys like Nomar and Miguel to stay in SF, and that could sway the Giants into signing him earlier rather then later.
The Perez signing, btw, is too similar to the Bernard signing, which leads me to believe that there are still a few bad deals in the Giants' future, I guess to balance out all the great ones. Now if the Perez signing was a precurser to a Guerroro signing . . . I think I could live with that.
Editor's Note: I think I fixed all of my errors in the Guerrero post . . . let me know if I didn't. 4:16 PM
Guerrero can be a free agent after this season, and the Giants will be off the hook with several big contracts, allowing for the possibility that they can add perhaps the game's best all-around player while not dramatically increasing their payroll.
He also talks about how that Giants may have the inside track with Vlad's connection with Alou, and that it pretty much mirrors the signing of Bonds back in '92.
The first problem I see is that he gives no explaination of this non-dramatically increased payroll. In fact, he does quite the opposite:
Guerrero, 27, can do it all, like a modern day Roberto Clemente, and would be the most prized free agent since Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year contract with Texas for $252 million before the 2001 season. He won't get A-Rod money, but his agents will seek more than last winter's top free agent, Jim Thome, who received $87.5 million over six years from the Phillies.
Let's look at what the Giants have available for next year.
Marvin Bernard's $4.0 million comes off the books. JT Snow's $6.85 million comes off the books (unless the $6.5 million Team Option is exercised). Rich Aurilia's $5.25 million comes off the books next year, but odds are that he'll be re-signed, and probably for more then $5.25 mil.
Bonds & Schmidt are locked up until 2006 for $81.25 million (unless Schmidt's 2006 Option isn't picked up, in which case just subtrack his $10 million contract and add a $3 million buyout), which averages out to about $27 million just for the two of them.
So let's look at what we've got, starting with the blank slate (before any re-signs).
Bernard, Snow, Aurilia,
If you give Vlad about $14 million per (similar to the Thome deal), then that still leaves you with
First we'll fill some holes internally. Torreabla can start behind the dish, with another prospect coming up to fill the hole in the rotation (Williams, Bosner, or even Jensen) as well as the relief spot. I'm not sure who we've got that's ready to fill in at 1B (Travis Ishikawa?) or SS (Neifi is NOT the answer (or is he?), nor is Cody Ransom from what I hear), so I'll look elsewhere for now.
Here is the list of available SS this winter (assuming they aren't re-signed before the off-season). * inducates arbitration eligible players that may be too expensive for their current team
Kaz Matsui (Japan)
That's a lot of talent available at SS, not to mention the 2B's coming into Free Agency (Castillo, Alomar, Vina, Reese, *Polanco, & *Vidro).
It's a bad off-season to be a middle infielder, but it's a great off-season to be shopping for one.
Free Agents available in 2004 (same assumption as above).
Not as deep, but in general it's easier to fill a hole at 1B then at SS, so that's good to know.
But then reality sinks in, and the odds are: (1) new ownership (D.C.?) of the Expos make signing Vlad priorities 1, 2, & 3; (2) the Giants re-sign Aurilia,
But then again, if we knew what was going to happen, it wouldn't be fun to speculate!
Editor's Note: Thanks to Stephen Shelby for correcting me on Woody's contract extension and that possibility of Cruz Jr. not being back in '04 if his option is a Player Option, as opposed to a Team Option. 12:24 PM
2 Tough Losses
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Ewing Theory Watch
I Hope I'm the First to Say It
Friday, May 09, 2003
How do you say that in French?
I went to college in Michigan, about two hours from Detroit. I never made it to Tiger Stadium. I remember once remarking to a friend when we were on the streets of Detroit near Greektown that we should go see a Tigers game sometime. Some street bum started laughing at me. "Who goes to see the Tigers? No one," he said.
I wonder if the same thing happens in Montreal . . . and what language would it be in.
Editor's Note: I don't understand the lack of fans at sporting events . . . even when the team sucks (Tigers/Lions/Nuggets) or routinely screws up (Expos/Bengals/Clippers). When the Kings moved to Sacramento, they were practically selling out every game . . . while almost NEVER winning. I understand that since the team was new that the decades of losing or screw-ups weren't really a concern, but even when they sucked for years the fans were always there. I always loved how Sacramento Kings fans were considered to be some of the best fans in the nation when they had probably the worst team. Teams can turn it around with a little support, and a lot of competance. Chicken or Egg, you decide. 3:26 PM
Another Stadium I'll Never See
There was no majestic skyline view, no Rocky Mountains, no San Francisco Bay. In Tiger Stadium you had baseball, and that's all that anyone wanted. ..... Why not make Tiger Stadium a ruin of baseball's mighty past, an American Coliseum? No other sport is as indebted to its past as baseball, and wouldn't a ruin give us that connection to a supposedly simpler time? Someday, Fenway Park will vanish, and probably even Yankee Stadium, and the American League will have not a single monument to its heyday (Wrigley Field probably won't go anywhere). It was the Detroit Tigers and Tiger Stadium that helped to make baseball great.
One day I plan on travelling the country to hit as many stadiums as I can . . . it's just sad that I probably won't get to see baseball played in the great Tiger Stadium (and I think that lots of people would watch minor league baseball games there, if only to see them at Tiget Stadium). 11:06 AM
Couldn't You Hook Him Up With A Link?
It's undeniable that Burnett's pitch counts were higher than any young starter in the big leagues. As Will Carroll, of Baseball Prospectus, and Aaron Gleeman, of Aaron's Baseball Blog, have meticulously documented, Burnett threw 110 pitches or more in nearly two-thirds of his starts last year (63 percent) and 120 or more in over a third of them (37 percent).
Way to go Aaron, you've got some famous readers. 9:48 AM
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Please Stay Tuned
Sleeping with the Enemy
More Hits Then (insert Ike Turner joke here)
Just Go Away
I have no idea. I haven't really thought about it.
At this point Jose Canseco's credibility is almost non-existant . . . so his "tell-all" book (which he hopes to have released around the Playoffs/World Series) will still make headlines, but won't be taken seriously.
Editor's Note: I know someone who was blacklisted from baseball for punching his minor league coach (knocking him out cold) and from what I understand, it's not really a secret when it happens. 11:33 AM
Fuel for the Fire?
Not Done Yet
He didn't feel that it was as serious as we may have thought. It came out better than we expected. He won't be throwing for four months, but Dr. Morgan is very optimistic. He should be ready to go by spring training next year.
Good news from the guy who repeatedly referred to this as "career-threatening".
Conte also said that Nen is upbeat and that "[h]is mental outlook is the best I've seen in six months".
123 (or so) To Go
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
No-Hit THIS . . . Tracker
Baseball By The Bay
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Not Good Times, Bad Times
"This is serious,'' team trainer Stan Conte said before Tuesday night's game against the Florida Marlins. "Is it career-threatening? Yes, it is. Robb knows that.''
The Mets haven't called yet . . . have they? 5:40 PM
Slow Day = Lots of Posts
Runners on first and second, starting pitcher gets pulled. The 2 runners are now obviously inherited runners to the relief pitcher. The next batter hits a slow roller to short, the runner is out at second and the runner is safe at first on a fielders choice. Is the runner on first now an inherited runner? Or does he belong to the relief pitcher?
The answer, courtesy of "Carey C":
According to the MLB rule book, section 10.18 (g): When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher shall not be charged with any run (earned or unearned) scored by a runner who was on base at the time he entered the game, nor for runs scored by any runner who reaches base on a fielder's choice which puts out a runner left on base by the preceding pitcher. -- so...the run would go to the starting pitcher....
My first impression was that inherited runners were literal, but this rule makes sense. I'll have to keep an eye out for stuff like this during the next game I watch.
There are two groups of people who follow the Giants' minor leaguers: those who prefer Aaron Sobieraj, and those who prefer Aaron Hornostaj. There is no in-between. The sooner you decide, the sooner you can get on with your life.
The title says it all. Let's move on. 5:15 PM
Gettin' My Proppers (that's "Props" for my Gen Y readers)
No Yankee is indispensable, and I find the notion that Jeter's indispensable pretty silly, considering how well the Yanks have played without him. If there's an indispensable player in the majors, it's Barry Bonds, as he's the only player who turns a good team into a great team.
I couldn't have said it better myself. The idea that a single Yankee is indispensable is crazy to me, because they are LOADED with weapons. I may even go so far as to say that Mike Sweeney is more indispensable to his team then Derek Jeter, if for no other reason then the fact that the Royals don't have a lot of weapons in their lineup.
A-Rod is the second best player in baseball, but he doesn't affect his team the way that Bonds affects his. Like him or not, he's the best player of most of our lifetimes. 5:03 PM
Bronx Banter . . . at it again
It's very frustrating, as on paper they have an excellent team.
So does my Fantasy Team, but when you're only playing against 11 others, it's not too hard. It's teams like the Mets (as well as the Toronto Raptors, New York Rangers, and Oakland Raiders) that make video game fans giddy . . . because they'll domonate a Franchise on the small screen without all those "real life" problems that end up bogging them down on and off the field.
He also has a funny little post about the Mets on his site (perma-link broken). He helps out the Mets PR guys with some slogans for the 2003 season:
Come for the Overpriced Players,
There's more, so check it out!
Editor's Note: Liam McEneaney is a comedian who you may have seen on Comedy Central's Premium Blend (although it looks like they jacked him off their list). I haven't, but you might have. I'll definitely keep an eye out now that I know he's a reader! 3:49 PM
Speculation Time: Where Everyone's A GM!
The Orioles have been trying to pry Beltran from the Royals for months, particularly after Beltran rejected Kansas City's three-year, $25 million offer of a contract extension in December. The trouble is, the teams may not be compatible trading partners, meaning a third club may have to be introduced to the deal if it's going to work.
The dollars would break down like this...
2003 - $7,689,684.00
2004 - Free Agent
2003 - $17,166,667.00
2004 - $15.0M
2005 - Team Option $14.0M or $2.0M Buyout
$30-35 million for Vaughn's salary & possibly the difference in Alomar's salary (to Beltran's)
2003 - $6,000,000.00
2004 - Free Agent
KC plugs Alomar in at 2B and Vaughn at DH, while paying about the same about as they would have otherwise, and now they've got a chance to audition and possibly re-sign a productive Roberto Alomar, where they would not be able to re-sign Beltran.
Obviously there would be some prospects included to seal the deal, but I don't think that there should be a reason for a prospect to become a deal-breaker if the Metropolitans plan on sending that much currency to KC.
Flame me now . . . I know 99% of people will think that this is crazy, but isn't that the point of armchair GM-ing?
(2) Trade Armando Benitez to SF for Pitching Prospects
Let me preface this by saying that as a Giants fan I wouldn't like this deal, but it would make sense for the Mets and is a feasible possibility.
Again, the Mets would need to absorb most of Benitez's contract, but if they did, they could get some live arms out of the San Fran organization. And with Rob Nen looking to be out for the season, I could see the Giants sending out a few prospects for a one-year run with Benitez until Nen is ready next season (which would also allow them to not have to rush him if the playoff race gets tight).
If NY could grab one "name" prospect like Boof Bosner, Jerome Williams, or even jump on Clay Hensley after his perfect game in Class-A Hagerstown, then they could throw in a couple of mid-level prospects to round out the deal.
2003 - $6.75M
$5-6 million of Benitez' salary
Salary = "Much, Much Less"
Again, I wouldn't like this as a Giants fan, but if they didn't give up too much, I could at least live with it.
(3) Trade Roger Cedeno & Jeremy Bernitz to ANYONE
Bernitz's salary goes from $11.5M to $12M if he's traded, so the Mets would have to eat a lot of that to dump it, unless he got hot and a team wanted him for a championship run (he's a Free Agent after this season). Mid-level prospects or another bad contract at best.
Roger Cedeno's contract is a little more manageable ($4.5M in 2003, $5M in 2004 and again in 2005), but he'd need to get hot to be worth much, and again, I don't think he'd bring back a lot of value. One option would be to include him in a deal to KC, but it's a contract that a small market team doesn't need in a non-superstar. Maybe some mid level prospects for the privilege of taking him off the payroll.
(4) What to do with Mike Piazza?
Keep him on for PR reasons, unless he starts to lose his PR value. If he needs to be traded, then ship him out . . . but the best thing to do would be to build some players around him - while the prospects are coming up - just to stay competitive, if not actually competing. This may also ensure that Piazza goes into the HOF as a Met, which would also be a big PR boost, as their last HOF-er was Tom Seaver.
Questions, comments, flames?!? E-mail me and tell me how smart/idiotic I am! 2:17 PM
The Plot Thickens
Have no fear. I still check in on a daily basis. Millwood may no-hit the Giants, but this Phillies fan is trying to give you a hit of some sort. :)
Ouch. And just so you know (segue warning), the Phills traded Pat Burrell to Toronto for Kelvim Escobar in my MVP Baseball 2003 franchise . . . so I scooped him up while Bonds is on the DL. How do you like them apples?
By the way, nice review of MVP Baseball 2003. I haven't had a chance to play it for almost 3 weeks now, and I'm itching for some free time.
Here's a perfect example of why there should be an online option. We could settle our grudge match with a Millwood-Foppert (downloaded from a new roster list perhaps?) rematch!
Maybe they'll include that in the 2004 version.
Editor's Note: I have set up a second counter to see if there's just something wrong with the first one. There are two icons in the tracker section, the first is the original, and the second is the one I set up today (May 6). For those of you who are interested in this little development, we'll see if they match in a couple of days. 9:22 AM
Monday, May 05, 2003
Good thing I've been busy
Reader (singular) Response
As one of your two daily visitors, keep up the good work! Go Giants!
Fight On Gordy! Go SC! Beat the Irish!
I also heard from Stephen Shelby of the perma-linked SS's SF Giants Diary.
No-hit for 15 days? That has to be a bit discouraging.
Yes. Yes it is.
I guess he'd be my other visitor.
But worry not Stephen and Gordy - or Gordy and Stephen if you prefer - The Southpaw will post for two thousand or just two.
The man can't hold me down! 5:32 PM
Finally, The MVP Baseball 2003 REVIEW
Thursday, May 01, 2003
And still I push forward
Does that league have a wild card too?
April gave us many injuries, proving again that there are three leagues today: AL, NL and the DL.
For some reason, that was the funniest thing I've seen a "professional" sportswriter say in a while. 12:23 PM