The Southpaw
south·paw (southpô) n. Slang A left-handed person, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003  

At Least We're Not the Yankees

Any fan thinking that their team is loaded with huge contracts should check out the table that Doug Pappas made.

While being "stuck" with players like Giambi, Jeter, and Mussina might not sound so bad, the fact that none of their players are getting younger HAS to be of some concern. If this Yankees team starts to deteriorate, that's a LOT of money not to be competing for a title annually.

Admittedly, the Yankees will most likely reload with new free agents, but at some point even Georgy will say "when".

If Giambi cannot stay healthy, that's a LOT of money to have tied up for the better part of a decade.

Ditto for Jeter.

A couple of interesting things I noticed while looking at this table...

* Soriano only has 1 guarenteed year left.
* Posada's contract looks cheap in relation to his teammates, and he's making BANK.
* This list of players doesn't look as menacing as when Mariano is listed.
* Does Drew Hensen (due #12 million through 2006) make more than Josh Beckett?
* I thought (incorrectly) that Aaron Boone was signed beyond 2004.
* If/when they move Weaver, his 2 years remaining will be just enough to pay Mussina's 2004 salary.
* Speaking of Mussina, it looks like his agent was asleep at the wheel when they set up his buyout (17/1.5).
* Do the Yankees set up payrolls like I do when I play Madden? Everyone's salary is even (Weaver signed before joining the Yanks).
* Will Giambi and Jeter be platooning the DH in 2008?
* Will Jeter be a middle infielder in 2010?
* Matsui reportedly had the Yankees #1 on his list, and yet Contreras (reportedly going to Boston) has a longer deal.
* Jeff Weaver will make more money in 2005 than Matsui, Contreras, and Posada (no, not combined).
* ALL of Jeter's money is guarenteed. Does anyone do that any more?
* Speaking of which, Jeter signed a 10 year deal without a buyout, and the Giants are lucky they gave Cruz a buyout on a 2 year deal.
* I wonder how many big contracts are out there without a buyout in a least the final year . . . Jeter, A-Rod, ???

I think even Bonds has a buyout option. Interesting.

5:46 PM

We still here muthasuckas!

Sorry for the obscure Notorious M.S.G. reference. And while I don't know them, I DO know the guys from Warp 11 (who will be performing at the G Street Pub in Davis, CA on Halloween for those who are interested).

Okay, enough of that.

Free Agents

Players are starting to file for Free Agency, as things start to officially kick off in the off season.

The Big names are unquestionably Vlad the Impaler, Sheff, and Miggy. Vlad will most likely dictate most of the off season movements, as just about everyone will hold their breath to see where he ends up and for how much.

I, like many others, hope my team (SFG) somehow finds a way to bring him in. Deep down, however, my fingers aren't crossed.

And speaking of Free Agency, I read something interesting over at Baseball Musings about how MLB is once again using the Expos to comtrol Free Agent signings. A very interesting argument, and not something that is easily dismissed.

Also via Baseball Musings, here's a list of Free Agents by team, and another by position.

Wait 'Til Next Year's got the 2003 Free Agent first and second team lineups out, so if you're curious who the best available at a certain position is, check out his thoughts.

Other than that, keep your eyes and ears open . . . 'cause it should be an interesting off season. I expect big changes for the G-men (worse than last year?), Yankees (Boss is mad), Twins (lots of youngsters), A's (par for the course), Mets (how long can you rebuildin NYC?) and many others. OH, and the World Champs too.

3:09 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2003  

New Sites and An Update

Here are a couple of new sites that I've been introduced to, all of which are linked to the right.

First of all, Marlins blogger Mike Hunssinger (The Book of Mike) checks in to correct an error I made in my "Selig Series" post. While I was correct about the Fire Sale being in 1998, the World Championship was from the 1997 World Series (making them the 1997 World Champions). My Bad. Thanks for the correction.

By the way, did you know that The Book of Mike is the self-proclaimed "longest running Marlins blog on the web"? Yup, he's been gracing the web "almost daily since October 5, 2003". Great stuff.

West 116th Street is a Yankee blog written by Irina Paley. It's a good read, check it out.

And on a Left-Handed note, Chris Jenkins has started a site with the best LHPs in baseball called Southpaw Legacy: Baseball's Greatest Lefties of the 20th Century (And Beyond). Lots of information and pictures there. Surprisingly enough, while looking through the site I realized (for the first time) that Andy Pettite was a 21 game winner this year (don't know how I missed that one).

Even more interesting about that is when I looked up the stats, it's only the second time he's won 20+ and both times he won 21 exactly (the other time was 1996). Looking closer at those two seasons (1996 & 2003) you'll see that they're almost identical. 2003 may even have been better, due to less walks and more strikeouts.


Also, Wil Everts has a (mostly) non-baseball blog (for his baseball blog, click on Baseballtopia. Fair warning, he's a D-backs fan). Very interesting, a great read.

10:36 AM

Thursday, October 16, 2003  

Why You Should Root for the Yankees Tonight
Why I Will Boycott the "Selig Series"

I am an admitted anti-Yankee fan. Not only do I not root for them but I have pretty much always rooted against them. There's been no real reason for this, other than that's what I've always done. Spending most of my formative baseball years in the early 80's, the Yankees weren't a powerhouse. So it wasn't because they were winning all the time, which is why most people hate them, I just didn't like them in general (maybe it's because I always liked the Mets better).

This may change because of what happened last night.

Last night the Florida Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs in a deciding Game 7 to determine who would be the National League Champions and represent the NL in the World Series.

I've got nothing personal against the Marlins per say, but I am one of the people that was disgusted by the fire sale after their 1998 Championship (credit link to Doug Pappas). Honestly, that bothered me more than the fact that those same 1998 Marlins eliminated my favorite team, the Giants.

And I won't be rooting against the Marlins because they eliminated the Giants THIS year, either.

I will be rooting against the Marlins because they represent a lot of what I feel is wrong with baseball. They represent the corruption that Bud Selig has inflicted on America's Pasttime.

As most of you know, the Florida Marlins are owned by Jeffrey Loria. You probably also know that he was the last owner of the Montreal Expos, back when they actually had an owner.

Loria bought the Marlins from John Henry (who in turn bought the Red Sox in a rigged sale) and sold the Expos to "Major League Baseball". It was even reported that Loria controlled BOTH teams (the Expos and Marlins) at the SAME TIME!

If you don't know much about the rigged sale of the Red Sox that I am referring to, go read this (credit link to Doug Pappas).

So back to why you should root for the Yankees tonight against the Boston Red Sox.

If the Red Sox beat the Yankees, then the two teams (and owners) that were involved in Selig's rigged sale will be competing for the World Championship. Say what you will about George Steinbrenner, he's definitely NOT one of the owners in Selig's pocket. I cannot say the same thing for Henry or Loria.

As much as I want to root for the Red Sox (just don't like those Yanks), I cannot - in good conceince - back the "Selig Series", which a Red Sox-Marlins World Series will now be referred to on The Southpaw.

I can't believe I'm actually typing this, but . . . Go Yankees.

Editor's Note: I thought about writing this last night as soon as the Cubs lost, but alas I did not. The worst part is that if/when anyone actually reads this, it will probably be linked AFTER the decisive Game 7 tonight. As they say, "You snooze, you lose (links)".

11:18 AM

Thursday, October 09, 2003  

News and Notes

Barry Bonds will get a chance to hit the first home run in the San Diego Padres brand spanking new Petco Park in 2004.

John Smoltz thinks it's time to become a starter again, stating that he doesn't think the Braves can win a championship with him closing.

If Smoltz returns to the rotation he may just end up taking Maddux's slot when he leaves via Free Agency.

In Free Agent News...

The Giants will be releasing everyone that they can this offseason, not picking up any options and exercising all buyouts . . . according to the San Francisco Chronicle (via Names listed as those being let go include Santiago, Aurilia, Snow, Cruz, Worrell, Felix Rodriguez, Ponson, Galarraga, Jeffrey Hammonds, Eric Young, Bernard, and Dustin Hermanson.

And with the expected $10 million payroll decrease from 2003, they will also reportedly NOT go after Sheffield or Guerrero, either.

Miguel Tejada says he'd like to play for Art Howe again, but also states that he'll listen to everyone who calls. I wonder, how many messages has he already received from Dan Evans?

5:31 PM

Still Here

Alas, bay area baseball has come to an end in 2003. As I'm sure anyone who visits this site knows, the A's and Giants have been eliminated from the 2003 Playoffs, and now must look to 2004 for "Battle of the Bay 2".

I'll be updating some things on the site, and I'm currently looking at the roster for the Giants to see what they've got and what they need. I'll post some speculation on what I think they should and will do, but I want to put some research into it.

It's easy to say that they should sign Sheffield and Guerrero to play with Bonds in the greatest OF ever assembled . . . but realistically that ain't happening. In fact, getting either would be a stretch, and nothing short of a stroke of genius (or great luck).

The Giants need pitching and some bats, and will have lots of holes to fill. Many long-time Giants will move on, or return at a HUGE discount from their previous salary (so like I said, they'll move on).

It's a big offseason again this year, so let's hope that they can retool like last season and not have to rebuild. Bonds will run out of his youth elixer sooner or later.

More to come.

10:40 AM

Monday, October 06, 2003  

Hidden Indicator?

Every team that has advanced thusfar in the 2003 playoffs has done so on a 4-man rotation.

Starting Pitchers (3 days rest)
Florida: Beckett, Penny, Redman, Willis
Chicago: Woods, Zambrano, Prior, Clement, Woods
New York: Mussina, Pettite, Clemens, Wells

Today, the A's and Red Sox will face off in a Game 5.

Previous starters . . . today's starter (3 days rest)
Oakland: Hudson, Zito, Lilly, Hudson . . . Zito
Boston: Martinez, Wakefield, Lowe, Burkett . . . Martinez

Although, it's not as bad as it looks . . . the Braves are the ONLY OTHER team to send out a starter on 3 days rest (which they did twice). They went 1-1.

Starting Pitchers (3 days rest)
Atlanta: Ortiz, Hampton, Maddux, Ortiz, Hampton
San Francisco: Schmidt, Ponson, Rueter, Williams
Minnesota: Santana, Milton, Lohse, Santana (4 days rest)

Using this arbitrary statistic, the Red Sox should be favored to win.

Using "Home Field" as your arbitrary statistic, the A's should be favored to win.

Then again, using the arbitrary "statistic" (if you can call it that) of history, you've got the A's Game 5 futility vs. the Red Sox overall postseason futility.

Sounds like a push.

Go A's.

11:20 AM

Saturday, October 04, 2003  

Still Tired?

What is it with the A's and plays at the plate?

* If little Giambi slides, the A's advance.
* If Hernandez, Chavez, and Tejada execute a simple rundown, the A's advance.
* If Tejada runs all the way home, the A's advance.
* If Byrnes touches home plate (even if it would have been the SECOND time, why take a chance?), the A's advance.

Instead, the A's haven't made it out of the LDS in 4 consecutive years, and are playing extra innings in Boston when they should be celebrating.

Too many mental errors . . . it's like the Giants flew to Boston and put on green jerseys.

Update: The A's will have to play another at Fenway, as Boston has won it on a Trot Nixon walk-off 2-run home run off of Rich Harden in the 11th.

8:07 PM

No Mas

It's over.

Some thoughts:
* Who sends J.T. Snow home on a short single to left with Aurilia and Bonds coming to the plate?
* Did anyone else think it was over with Perez leading off the ninth?
* Can a team really expect to win a series with 7 errors in 4 games?
* Can a team really expect to win a series without hitting a single home run?
* Were there more mental errors than physical?
* Is the Russ Ortiz trade still good?
* Is it still bad?
* Is Joe Nathon still ready to close?
* Who do you bring back for next year's campaign?
* Is Magowan/Sabean smart enough NOT to sign Bernard, Snow, and Benito?
* Is Vlad interested in playing for Alou again?
* Since the end of the regular season, the Giants only have 3 more losses than the Detroit Tigers.
* Why do you send Snow with Aurilia and Bonds coming up?

Stop me before my head starts spinning.

Doug has temporarily(?) renamed his blog Westwood Suicide, and reminds us that Pitchers and Catchers report in 121 days.

E.K. Sports cannot even look that far ahead.

The New Giant Thrill knew this was coming yesterday.

On a lighter note, there's a new Giants Blog (just in time for offseason speculation, the best time for blogging) called Class or the Game?, and Jake's got an optimistic look on the series . . . I'm just glad someone does.

Ray Ratto's already checked in with a story about the Giants' crashing defeat.

Peter Magowan has already spoken to the team, and says that this loss wasn't as bad as the '02 Series or 2000's loss to the Mets.

How much does it suck that we have to compare stomach-punching losses?

Go A's.

7:57 PM

Thursday, October 02, 2003  

Let's Play Two!

In what was scheduled by MLB as a glorified two-ticket double-header, the A's have taken control over the LDS with the Red Sox.

The two teams will now travel the states to the "other" coast, where they will play Game 3 in historic Fenway Park.

Go A's.

3:47 PM


"What an ending. Who would have thought that? A's win with a bunt. Shame on anybody who missed it." - Ken Macha, Oakland A's Manager

"It was probably the best game I've ever been involved in." - Eric Chavez, 3B

"It was the biggest hit in my career." - Ramon Hernandez, C


Years from now (or today for that matter) if anyone ever asks me where I was when the A's and Red Sox played an amazing ALDS Game 1 I'll simply say, "Returning f---ing movies".

Last night, as the Red Sox led the A's 4-3 going into the top of the 9th, I had to return some movies that we had rented over the weekend. With time being a factor, I had to go. With the Red Sox leading in after 8 and the A's not even threatening with their 4-5-6 hitters in the bottom half of the 8th, I figured the game would be over (one way or the other, but probably the first one) by the time I got back.

My reasoning was that either Boston would win by scoring more runs and/or holding off the A's in the 9th, or B.K.Kim would give up the GWRBI in the bottom of the 9th.

As it turns out, I missed one of the best finishes in years.

Aaron Gleeman didn't miss it, and rubs it in my face (not intentionally of course).

If you also missed it, let me spoil it for you. With bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom of the 12th(!) of a tie game, A's catcher(!) Ramon Hernandez executed a "perfect" squeeze bunt (YES, THE OAKLAND A's BUNTED) and the A's win.

The A's now have a huge advantage in this series, even though the "numbers" gave them the edge in the beginning (even if no sportswriters - or idiot left-handed bloggers - picked them to advance).

Go A's!

Editor's Note: Who would have guessed that Game 1's winner would be Rich Harden? How cool is THAT?

In other news, the Giants lost to the Marlins, killing my 3-game sweep prediction. Now let's get it in four, and set the rotation for the Cubs/Braves winner.

Go Giants!

9:05 AM

Wednesday, October 01, 2003  

More Predictions

It looks as though Dan Lewis and I are almost identical in our Playoff Picks.

You know what they say about great minds and all that.

2:18 PM

Just One More Reason

John Wiebe of John's Dodger Blog has another reason why you should root for the Giants in the 2003 playoffs . . . taking away the only valid argument dodger fans have against Giants fans.

I know my dodger buddies use it against me (this means YOU, Brett).

11:13 AM
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