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

Monday, December 22, 2003  

...And Knowing is Half the Battle

Ray Ratto has a pretty good feel for Central California baseball fans this winter.

With the holidays coming up, and my trip to Southern California to USC's second home (read: Rose Bowl), posting will be sporadic at best for the rest of the year (read: next 2 weeks). Then again, I guess it's been pretty sporadic for the last 2 months, so things shouldn't be too bad.

Thank you to everyone who still stops by, and have a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or just plain ol' Winter Solstice.

6:01 PM

Thursday, December 18, 2003  

Time to Speak Out

David Pinto has a MUST READ post over at Baseball Musings.



9:32 AM

Wednesday, December 17, 2003  

Blog Notes

Wait 'Til Next Year looks at the 6 Division Winners from 2003 and sees where they're at so far this offseason. He likes the moves that the Giants have made. His prediction, the Giants will "be in the hunt again next season, but this time don't expect the division to be locked up by the All-Star Break."

Universal Baseball Blog, Inc. also looks at some teams and their offseason moves here (no Giants new, sadly).

According to The Transaction Guy, the A's owe Montreal TWO PTBNL because of the second deal with the Cubs. I'm not sure how this works, but it's got my attention.

A double-dip from El Lefty Malo. He checks up on some arbitration cases here, and also checks up on the status of your 2004 San Francisco Giants here.

That should hold ya . . . for now.

Editor's Note: I also added Barry Zito Forever to the links on the right. I can't believe it wasn't already there.

8:58 AM

Lots of News

Let's get right to it...

A's get Redman. The A's got Mark Redman in trade from the Florida "We're Not Having A Fire Sale" Marlins for RP Mike Neu and either a player to be named later or cash. Billy Beane expects Redman to fill in the 4th spot, which I would assume leaves Harden in the 5th spot and Duchscherer in Sacramento (or the Oakland Pen).

In related A's news, they also picked up Expos C Michael Barrett in trade for a PTBNL and then turned him around and sent him back to the NL with the Cubs for another PTBNL. So to clear this all up, the A's owe Montreal a PTBNL and the Cubbies owe Oakland a PTBNL. OH, and the A's still need a catcher.

Editor's Note: It's interesting that I almost missed the second part of this deal (or the second deal to be accurate), because the headline both times was "A's trade catcher Barrett". How was I supposed to know they'd traded him again?

In non-Oakland related Oakland news, it seems that Jose Guillen has agreed to a 2 year deal with the Angels.

Staying out West (because I have a West Coast Bias - it is the LEFT side of the country, you know), Mark Kreidler of the Sacramento Bee has a column at ESPN about the lack of excitement for West Coast moves this offseason. "It isn't that nothing is happening; it's just that you barely notice."

Don't worry Mark, I'm looking and I still hardly notice. Then again, most of the West Coast deals haven't stalled like the Sheffield signing, the A-Rod-Manny-Nomar tradestravagana, or Schilling deal.

Or maybe they HAVE.

The Schilling deal involved a West Coast team. Tejada and Foulke were both on Oakland's radar and went elsewhere. Seattle "almost" traded for Omar Vizquel (until he failed his physical). The Dodgers sent their ace to NYY and are part of the aforementioned tradestravaganza (on the Nomar end of the deal). The Angles have been buyers (Colon, Escobar, Guillen). So why no "Host Stove Action"TM?

Maybe it's the ballyhooed laid back style of the Left Coast. Or maybe it's the East Coast media bias. Or maybe everyone's waiting for the other team to flinch first. Who knows?

It's not like this is the first year that Giants fans have sat around waiting for something to happen (last year comes to mind), but when push came to shove, things got done. I guess it doesn't matter how SOON things happen, as long as they happen at all.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

But back to the rumors...

The A-Rod-Manny deal appears to be back on again, after it had cooled for what, a couple of days? Anyway, "experts" and "insiders" are saying that this is all but a done deal. If Hicks really wants (or "needs") to trade A-Rod, Boston is his only real dance partner . . . so in that respect, I guess I'll put the deal at 70/30 that it'll get done, contingent on Hicks' "need" to dump $81 million.

The most interesting twist, however, is regarding the fallout should the trade go through. Early reports had Nomar Garciaparra being dealt to the Angels, but lately word has been that the Dodgers are serious about getting "Nomah" (it should be noted that Nomar is a Southern California native, A.K.A. Hometown Boy makes good).

Luckily for Giants fans, things appear to have changed again.

Word over at ESPN is that the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox (contingent on the A-Rod-Manny deal) to swap Nomar for Magglio Ordonez. The Red Sox would actually be ADDING payroll in this deal (Nomar's $11.5 million for Magglio's $14 million) and would still need to deal with Free Agency (both will be Free Agents after 2004), but losing your duplication (SS) to fill your hole (OF) would be a great deal for the Sox, as far as I'm concerned. They definitely wouldn't have gotten an offensive player of Magglio's caliber from the Dodgers (and yes, I'm including Mr. Green, whom I feel has been overrated - and overpaid by the Dodgers - for some time).

In related: Alex Belth doesn't like the deals because he'll have to start rooting against two of his favorite non-Yankees.

Manny & Nomar for A-Rod is what everyone was talking about (many stating how bad it was for the Sox to have a 2-for-1).

Manny & Nomar for A-Rod & Maggs is a much tougher arguement to win (is it just me or does this look like a vetoed roto deal?).

The most comical part of this deal (for Giants fans) is that the Dodgers have wanted to get either Nomar OR Magglio in trade, and have held off on Maggs while they've waited for word on Nomah.


7:48 AM

Monday, December 15, 2003  

Random Thoughts While Surfing for Baseball News

*Has anyone but me noticed this?
Michael Tucker San Francisco Kansas City 2 years, $3.5M
Benito Santiago Kansas City San Francisco 2 years, $4.3M

It's like the Giants traded Santiago and a First Round Draft Pick for Michael Tucker! In what world does that make any sense?

*Here's the quote of the month courtesy of Jeffrey Williams of the Wrigleyville Giant from a string of e-mails about the Giants that I was copied on:
"The fact that we now have $5.25mm committed to Neifi, Hammonds, and Tucker, non of whom should be starting for a major league team, is absolutely killing me."


*My first move as Commissioner of Baseball if the A-Rod-for-Manny deal went through, would be to force the Red Sox to trade Nomar to the D-Rays or Blue Jays. The loser of the Nomar sweepstakes could sign Rich Aurilia and then every big name SS would play in the AL East. Who wouldn't want that?

*Knowing that J.D. Drew was on the block in StL, was I the only one who wanted to see him get traded to the Phillies? Even if it was a temporary stop on his way to another team, I just would have loved to see Drew in a Phillies hat on TV and in print. It'd be like Roger wearing a Boston hat as a spectator at a game in Fenway. Maybe it's just me.

*After reading Alex Belth's piece on his trip to the Winter Meetings, I can't help but compare it to Industry Trade Shows such as E3 (Electronics Entertianment Expo) and to a lesser extent, the Acadamy Awards and the Grammy's.

So when does MLB move the Winder Meetings out of the hotels and into a convention center. With the business side of baseball more popular than I can remember, it seems only fitting that at some point it will be an attraction all in itself . . . and in many ways it already is.

*Only 25 players were offered Arbitration. I knew the number was small, but I never realized it was THAT small.

*Thanks to Waiting for Boof, I finally have another source for Baseball Contract Info! This will be of added value if I can ever get my MLB Contracts Project off the ground. More on that as it materializes.

*The Southpaw looks TERRIBLE using Mozilla Firebird. For you Linux users out there, it looks much better on IE. I have yet to see it from Netscape, Opera, or any other web browser, though.

I'm thinking that in the re-design that I'll be doing at some point will have to include doing an actual ORIGINAL design myself, and not using a heavily modified template. Yeah, that's the ticket.

*Can I put the Rockies and Padres down for a preseason trade involving their Opening Day starter?

Maybe Brian Sabean is just making "pretend" moves to keep the other teams in the NL West dealing. If signing Tucker and losing a first rounder causes another good player to leave a division rival then Sabean makes a Williams-for-Kent type rebound.

Then again, it doesn't really work that way . . . does it?

*What's a worse contract clause for a team:
(a) No Trade Clause
(b) Player Option

Either way, the team has almost no control over the coarse of that contract.

Classic examples from last year of said clauses backfiring:
(a) Juan Gonzalez - The Rangers could have gotten SOMETHING for him.
(b) Rob Nen - Out for the season, two years of Barry Bonds (after the deferrment) money.

*I still can't spell Pierzynski (I copied and pasted, btw).

*Depressing statistic from The New Giant Thrill: besides Bonds, there is not one other current Giant who has ever hit 30 home runs in a season. Ever.

*At my ONLY (that actually HURT to write) game at Pac Bell Park - back in the inagural season - I got a BP (Batting Practice, not Baseball Perspectus) ground ball from Jeff Kent (I reached over the wall down the first base line). Later during warmups, I got said ball signed by Shawn Estes and Joe Nathon in the Giants bullpen. That ball now has no significance to the current Giants, except that I got it at PBP.

*Take my comments (and pretty much any blogger/writer/analyst for that matter) with a grain of salt . . . there's a REASON I'm(/we're) not a General Manager(s).

*You know you don't post often enough when your posts aren't longer than your links.

YES, I noticed that The Southpaw had this problem, and no I never thought about removing links as a solution (ok, I did).

*Hey, that's 2 posts in one day . . . see you in January!

(That was a joke. No, I'm not kidding. Shut up.)

5:47 PM

And No, It's Not Influenza

I'm sorry for not posting in so long, but I'm sick. It's not some Fijian strain of the flu, or even a sinus cold. I'm sick of sitting around watching teams getting better, free agents getting signed, available players getting traded . . . and the Giants sitting on their hands.


The Red Sox ALMOST made it to the World Series last year, so what do they do?
*Trade for Curt Schilling.
*Sign Keith Foulke.
*Look into dumping headcase Manny Ramirez for the best player not named Lamar.

The Cubbies also ALMOST made it to the big series, so do they stand pat? Nope.
*Declined Eric Karros' Option to save some money.
*Signed LaTroy Hawkins.
*Traded for Derrek Lee (a great move for them in my opinion, because Choi NEVER would have played under Baker).

The Marlins WON the World Series, but were due to lose a ton of players to Free Agency. Fire Sale? Nope.
*Traded Derek Lee for Hee Seop Choi (free up some cash).
*Re-signed Mike Lowell
*Re-signed Luis Castillo (despite being on the Yankees radar).
*Trade Juan Encarnacion to free up some salary space.

The Yankees. The "Evil Empire". LOST the World Series. Lots of money already on the payroll. Take a chance riding the current talent and wait for the farm system? Nope.
*Signed Tom Gorden and Paul Quantrill for the bullpen.
*Traded for Javier Vazquez.
*Traded for Kevin Brown.
*Likely signing Gary Sheffield.

The Phillies came up short last year after having high expectations, so what did they do?
*Traded for Billy Wagner.
*Signed Tim Worrell

The Braves picked up J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero.

The Diamonbacks dropped Schillings salary and then picked up Richie Sexson.

The Astros took Pettitte away from the Yankees, and rumors are circulating about Roger Clemens joining him.

The Angels loaded up on pitching with Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar.

The Orioles signed Miguel Tejada, and are STILL talking to Pudge Rodriguez and Vlad the Impaler.

Read that last line again . . . the ORIOLES.

The cross-town A's had another disasterous postseason exit. Here's how they followed up:
*Dumped Terrence Long.
*Traded Ramon Hernandez for Mark Kotsay (the above two weren't part of the same deal. They weren't. I don't care what you try to tell me).
*Traded Ted Lilly for Bobby Kielty (your classic inconsistant picthing for inconsistant hitting . . . btw, I like both of these guys - in case you couldn't tell).

So where are the Giants? They made one trade and then went into hibernation. Looking across the bay where Oakland lost BOTH of their big Free Agents in Miguel Tejada and Kieth Foulke . . . at least they got SOMETHING back for them (compensatory draft picks). The Giants didn't even offer arbitration to pretty much ANY of their Free Agents.

This means no chance to bring back: Aurilia, Ponson, or Galarraga . . . nor is there a chance to get any sort of compensation for them or Santiago.

In addition, the signings that the Giants HAVE made look more like Neifi Perez's then Ray Durham's:
*One year, $800K for RHP Dustin Hermanson.
*One year, $1M for OF Jeffrey Hammonds.
*Two years, $3.5M, and a compensatory draft pick to the Royals for OF Michael Tucker.
*One year, $1.5M with team option for 2005 ($2.0M vs. $250K buyout) for 1B J.T. Snow.

On the bright side (I think there's a bright side), Snow will finally be making a salary that we cannot complain about too much, but that's not much of a bright side.

Free Agents worth talking about that are still out there:
Vlad the Impaler (worth the high price).
Greg Maddux (small chance he'd sign on the cheap).
Juan Gone (one year with incentives?).

The Mets signed two guys that I think the Giants should have gone after, Mike Cameron and Kaz Matsui. But then again, I guess we're ok going with Neifi and a Hammonds/Tucker platoon. Right? Anyone?

On a related note, OBM is temporarily back in action, and he's more sick then I am.

With any luck I'll get over the sickness from one of the worst off-seasons in recent memory and be healthy and posting regularly soon . . . here's to hoping.

12:20 PM

Thursday, December 04, 2003  

Deals, Deals, Deals

Where to begin?

Apparently, the Yankees have signed Gary Sheffield, Paul Quantrill, Tom "Flash" Gordon, Aaron Boone, Felix Heredia, and backup catcher John Flaherty.

They have also made a mega-trade with the No-Use-For-A-Home Expos to acquire Javier Vazquez. As a surprise to no one, the deal included Sacramento local Nick Johnson as the centerpiece going to the 'Spos, with OF Juan Rivera and possibly SS Erick Almonte also included.

Don't forget to go to Bronx Banter for more Yankee info.

Staying on the East Coast, the Twins continue to clean house sending Eric Milton to Philadelphia for a $9 million payroll cut, and some throw-ins. Read Aaron Gleeman's take for more details, as well as other Twins/MLB-related news. For Phillies updates, View from the 700 Level is the place to be (although it appears to currently be in a Southpaw-like hiatus).

The Cubs have signed Latroy Hawkins, and Dusty might be crazy enough to try him as a closer again. The Cubbies have also addressed 1B by trading prospected Hee Seop Choi to Florida for Sacramento local Derrek Lee (that's 2 Sacramento 1Bs that have been traded!). For more Cubs news, check out The Cub Reporter.

OH, and Curt Schilling DID go to the Red Sox (possibly prompting the Yanks to finally move on Vazquez), which led Arizona to complete their trade for Richie Sexon.

And in Giants news, the G-men have signing Jeffrey Hammonds on the cheap for 1 year and $1 million. El Lefty Malo likes the deal.

And for any/all transactions, don't miss The Transaction Guy (now also linked to your right for your surfing convenience).

10:35 AM

Small Update

I've been a lot slower this post-season than last, and I appologize to anyone who's dropped by to see NOTHING. We'll see about getting that fixed. I'm working on some things that I'd like to introduce soon, but realistically it'll be some time before they're even ready for Beta Testing. On the personal front, as of yesterday morning I am an Uncle (again). My Sister-in-Law gave birth to her second child, and my wife and I were at the hospital of course. No word yet if he's going to be a Southpaw, or just another right-handed-drone (appologies to all right-handed-drones).

Ok, enough of that, let's get back to Baseball.

9:48 AM
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