Saturday, December 31, 2005
Oh Please Let This Be True
The only team this helps is the Mets.
That's where the Mets and Devil Rays come in. The basics of the four-team deal that had the baseball executives buzzing yesterday and would appear to satisfy the needs of all four clubs would have Tejada and Tampa Bay's Joey Gathright going to the Red Sox to fill Boston's holes at shortstop and center field.
Ramirez and Baez would go to the Mets, giving them one of the game's best sluggers and a setup man. The Orioles would satisfy their need at shortstop by getting Julio Lugo from Tampa Bay and add pitching by getting Matt Clement from Boston and possibly Kris Benson from the Mets.
The Devil Rays, who have always been difficult to deal with, especially in complicated transactions, are seeking top prospects and young pitching and would be satisfied in that regard by getting third baseman Andy Marte from Boston and Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman from the Mets. In addition, the Mets would send Kaz Matsui to Tampa to give the D-Rays a stopgap shortstop replacement until prospect B.J. Upton is ready.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:22 PM
Friday, December 30, 2005
ESPN Front Page: Andre Dawson for HOF?
ESPN has as its top baseball story today a plea for Andre Dawson to make the Hall of Fame in 2006:
"Nobody played on sheer guts and bad knees longer than Hawk," said Baker, the Chicago Cubs manager. "He could have had a lot bigger numbers. He was a big-time player."
Is Dawson a Hall of Famer? Not yet, but he should be.
If Kirby Puckett is in the Hall, if Tony Perez is in the Hall, if Gary Carter, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith are in the Hall, Dawson needs to be there, too.
Ok, so if anyone read my piece yesterday about Don Mattingly's Hall eligibility, you already know I've done the Puckett comparison. Now ESPN is throwing out other player names in comparison to Dawson (with, as usual, no statistical data to back up such an assertation. Let's take a look.
|Player ||Career OPS+ |
|Smith ||87 |
|Sandberg ||114 |
|Carter ||115 |
|Dawson ||119 |
|Perez ||122 |
|Puckett ||124 |
|Mattingly ||127 |
Ok, so in fairness, Smith was (obviously) not inducted based on anything he did at the plate (100 is a league average adjusted OPS. Smith was an above average hitter just four times in his 19 year career). I'm also going to take Carter and Sandberg out of the discussion, since they both played positions (catcher and second base, respectively) at which offense (especially during their eras) was considered a plus and not a requirement.
I know what the Dawson defenders are going to say: "but he had over 400 home runs!" Ok. Let's look at a few of Dawson's contemporaries:
|Player ||HR ||Career OPS+ |
|Dawson ||438 ||119 |
|Dave Kingman ||442 ||115 |
|Jose Canseco ||462 ||131 |
|Fred McGriff ||493 ||134 |
Does anyone honestly consider Kingman a Hall of Famer? His stats are very close to Dawson's. Before the Juiced scandal, was Canseco being given serious consideration? Will McGriff? Both of their stats are better than Dawsons. McGriff blows him out of the water. Now Dawson did win eight Gold Gloves and the 1987 NL MVP, so we'll give him some extra consideration for that... but outside of that spectacular 1987 season, he didn't ever lead the league in any significant category in his entire career.
Ok, so where am I going with all of this? I'm not so much running down Dawson as I am trying to make the argument that if Andre Dawson makes the Hall of Fame, and Mattingly falls off the ballot, an injustice has been done. Again, whether or not Mattingly should be a Hall of Famer is open for debate.. but what isn't is that he was a better player than a number of gentlemen already enshrined.
I'm sure ESPN wouldn't ever have any bias whatsoever against the Yankees, so I'll just accept that their push for Dawson and not Mattingly was just an oversight. I will thank them though for an important piece of information I should have mentioned in my previous article: how the hell is Tony Perez a Hall of Famer if Mattingly is not? Well, besides the fact that he had a slew of his old teammates on the Veterans' Committee (Bench, Morgan, etc) who basically greased the wheels for him.
A final comparison:
Perez played in a lot more games, but doesn't have much more to show for it.
To sum up, if you're considering or inducting Perez, Puckett, Dawson, etc... Mattingly needs to be a major part of the discussion.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:23 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Deck the Hall
I know it's been said before and probably beaten to death, but it bears repeating.
Player A: 6
Player B: 9
Player A: 0. 1 2nd place finish.
Player B: 1. 1 2nd place finish.
League Leader:So who is who? One was a first ballot hall of famer. The other has not come close
Player A: BA (1), RBI (1), TB (2), Hits (4)
Player B: SLG (1), OPS (1), RBI (1), Doubles (3), Hits (2), TB (2), OPS+ (2),
XBH (2), RC (1)
to induction. Both careers ended prematurely due to injury. The HOFer
has had some off field problems and brushes with the law; the other has
a squeaky-clean, media friendly image. They were contemporaries who
played their entire careers in the same league as each other, both
players only even donning one uniform.
If you're a long time baseball fan, you've probably guessed who is who a while ago:
Why the discrepancy here? Why is one a sure fire first ballot guy and the other doesn't get any love? My only guess is "championships." Puckett played on two good Twins teams that won titles. Mattingly played on a bunch of horrible Yankee teams that he had to carry himself, and only made the post season once, in his final year.
If you voted for one, you should vote for the other. I'm not saying Puckett should or shouldn't have been inducted (first ballot though?). What I am saying is if he's in, Mattingly should join him.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:06 AM
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Hall of Fame has always been slow to recognize the changing landscape of baseball. They put emphasis on stats like wins, RBI, runs, and other team-influenced numbers. Sluggers from the late 70's-80's are hampered by the comparisons to the huge numbers their counterparts put up in the 90's. And of course, it's been nearly impossible for relievers to get into the Hall.
Rich Gossage was the prototype for the modern day closer. He was the first, true, scary game ending pitcher. As evidenced many times, and here again by Bob Klapish, Gossage's numbers are pretty spectacular, especially if you consider that Dennis Eckersley is already a member of the Hall. Gossage wasn't a one inning pitcher. He was more often a two inning pitcher (4.73 outs per save).
Yet the Hall voters look at saves and saves alone. It was a different era, saves weren't a valued stat.
It's time the Goose got his due. Do the right thing this year, voters. Hang up a plaque of a golden Goose.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:03 PM
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Now who needs to be saved?
The Jeff Reardon story is just bizzare. The guy who's sixth on the all-time saves list, and pitched in an era where he should have made enough money to set himself up for life is robbing jewelry stores?
My guess is that over the next few days, we'll start to hear about "substance abuse" problems or a gambling addiction. I'm still always amazed - although I shouldn't be - that there are people who have so much opportunity in life and blow it. The guy was an all-star. Probably could still be working in the game in some capacity. Should have had investments to cover him for the rest of his life.. but instead, here we are.
TOP THREE WORST ALL-TIME RELIEVER ACTIVITIES:
|3. Drugs. While normally a drug offense (the recreational, not performance enhancing kind) wouldn't bother me all that much, when you get to seven (7!)of them, I think it becomes a problem.|
2. Armed Robbery. Yep, Reardon's offense isn't even the worst. That distinction would go to...
3. Chopping people with a machete and setting them on fire. It's really not even close. Lucky for Reardon, there's a guy like Ugie to save him from topping the list.
Those are the worst I can think of off of the top of my head. Feel free to add more if you've got them.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:03 AM
Friday, December 23, 2005
The Red Sox struck back at their arch rivals, doing to the Yankees what the Yankees did to them: signing away one of their superstars in John Flaherty. Flash's outstanding 2005 campaign (OPS: .458) must have convinced the Sox to make this move.
Damon was introduced today, and he looks excited to be a Yankee.
I mean, not as excited as Octavio Dotel:
... but excited nonetheless.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:23 AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Damon Come and Me Wanna Go Home
Hey, Mr. Tallyman. Tally up that contract.
Four years, $52 Million? Well, Cashman did say that he wasn't trying to reduce payroll as much as he was trying to spend more wisely.
On the surface, $13M/yr is a very good deal for 2006. It's a acceptable risk for 2007. It might start looking worse in 2008. By 2009 we might be back to a Bernie Williams-esque albatross of a contract.
I sincerely doubt Damon will be the Yankees centerfielder for the next 4 years. Two, maybe three tops. He'll be a left fielder, or have to learn to play first (because I can't imagine Jason Giambi playing the remainder of his contract with the Yankees and not becoming the full time DH eventually).
Does this improve the team in the short term? Absolutely. I almost get the impression that the Yankees viewed Damon as a fallback option, but planned on acquiring someone like Wilkerson, or Rowand, or Michaels. Damon may have been viewed as the last chance to avoid having to hear Bob Shepherd intone on a daily basis: "Now batting, the Centahfieldah, numbah eight-teen, Bubba Crosby. Numbah eight-teen."
This said, would I have preferred to sign Damon instead of trading Wang/Cano/Hughes/Duncan for an average-at-best ML centerfielder? Absolutely.
Enjoy the draft pick, Red Sox. The way the mass wish to exodus out of Boston is continuing (Epstein, Damon, Wells, Ramirez, Mueller) you're probably going to need it.
Finally, Ronald Blum - I have no idea who you are. You may very well be a very nice man. However, you don't know anything about baseball and I have to assume you got your job at the Associated Press because your uncle owns a newspaper or something:
|Damon, Yankees reach preliminary agreement on $52 million, four-year contract|
Damon, Yankees reach preliminary agreement on $52 million, four-year contractBy RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
December 21, 2005 NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnny Damon gives the Yankees their first big-time leadoff hitter since Chuck Knoblauch was at the top of the order a half-decade ago -- an era when New York won three straight World Series titles and four consecutive AL pennants.
I'm not going to - again - detail once more why Jeter's a much better leadoff hitter than Damon, because I've been over it multiple times
. (While I was against the signing then (and still am in principle now) the market has dried up on other options and the asking price came down.)
For the record, Mr. Blum, I didn't get past your first paragraph because after reading that utter nonsense, why continue?
The best news here is that we can all look forward to a Lupica column tomorrow extolling what a genius he is. Hooray!
Here's an item nobody wants: Sox fans
don't want a Yankee, Yankee fans don't
want to see a Red Sox uniform. Maybe
Michelle Damon can buy up the rest
Labels: insecure mean-spirited busybodies, johnny damon, lupica
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:59 AM
Monday, December 19, 2005
Oh, Roy Oswalt. You Do Make Me Laugh.
This easily has to be my favorite story of the off-season:
The Weir, Miss., native beamed as he climbed aboard the corn-colored machine, hauled into the parking lot at Minute Maid Park on a flatbed tractor-trailer.
"This is a dozer you can do anything with," Oswalt said.
McLane said a bulldozer has been on Oswalt's wish list almost from the day he moved up to the majors in 2001. The model he purchased for Oswalt cost about $200,000.
"Each year, with our players, I ask them what their goals are," McLane said. "I said, 'Roy, what is one of your goals?' He said, 'To own a bulldozer.' That kind of took me back a little bit. I had never heard that before."
"There are going to be a lot of jealous people around where I live. I'm going to try to hire out and make a little money in the offseason," Oswalt said.
Well it seems MLB.com has finally caught up with this news. Here's everyone's favorite redneck and his goal:
I wonder if he'll race Clemens in his Hummer.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:09 PM
You know, you'd think that...
Jeter could afford a much better Santa.
I mean it's for a good cause and all, but spend the extra $20 to get a guy who acttually looks the part, ok?
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:17 PM
Was Randy Johnson tipping his pitches?
From an interview with the always horrid Mike and the Mad Dog:
Russo: Randy listen, we all know how great you’ve been. Would I chalk up the inconsist...I know you were much better second half... but would I chalk up the inconsistency this year to mechanics, or could age be a part of the equation?
Johnson: Well, I don’t think age was, I mean initially at the beginning of the year my mechanics weren’t there. My location wasn’t there, my velocity was down and I think you saw what happened when my mechanics came around: I went from 93 to all of a sudden now I’m throwing 95, 97. You know, earlier in the year my mechanics weren’t there. I wasn’t hitting my spots and you know - I never told anybody anything of this nature - but you know, a lot of times I felt like I was tipping my pitches. You know, that was something that was floating around there and at- at times I probably felt I was.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:06 AM
Friday, December 16, 2005
Yankees Acquire Bergenfield, NJ Native Villone
Ron Villone, former #1 pick of the Seattle Mariners, was acquired today by the Yankees from the Marlins for minor league RP Ben Julianel. Villone was pretty damned good against lefties in 2005 (.222/.324/.256). Essentially, all lefties against him became Tony Womack... and thi was a down year for him. He's scheduled to make only $2M in 2006 (which is a bargain in this market) and gives a second lefty to Torre's bullpen.
Essentially this is the end of the line for Al Leiter. I can't imagine a third lefty out there.
Fantastic move by Cashman. Julianel is not considered a prospect, was the throw in on the Sterling Hitchcock trade to the Cardinals, and was left unprotected in last week' Rule 5 draft.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:12 PM
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Nomar to Decide This Weekend
Nomar Garciaparra's "old friend" (and fellow Arn Tellem client) Jason Giambi called him this week in an attempt to convince the former shortstop to join the Yankees. It's worked before, it can work again.
C'mon, Nomar. Unite The Trinity.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:23 PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Kotsay Can You See?
With Milton Bradley now a member of the A's, could my 2005 dream of Kotsay in CF for the Yankees come true in 2006?
Swisher. Kielty. Bradley. Kotsay. Payton.
Someone's moving. Kotsay's the most expensive. The question is how expensive would he be to acquire? If Cashman gives Beane choices not involving Cano, Wang, Duncan or Hughes, could it get done? Henn, Bean, Cox?
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:33 PM
Co-GMs? More like Lucchino's Power Grab
The Boston Media - especially the Globe (who incidentally owns 17% of the Red Sox) seem to be spinning the new Boston "co-GM" situation of Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington as a sign that Theo Epstein will be returning to essentially oversee them. I'm not buying it.
Let's see what such an announcement does:
Lucchino is once again asserting his power and tightening his grip while using Epstein to make it appear he's "leaving the door open" and of course his mouthpiece, the Globe, is right on board.
- Minimalizes the clout of each individual
- Solidifies power for Larry Lucchino
- Makes the tandem look weak in the media (placeholders for Theo)
After all, if Epstein did return - especially after Lucchino has attempted to destroy his reputation in the paper and said this week that his own position and role would not be diminshed - he has no self respect. Why would a guy who can essentially have his pick of franchises and salaries choose one that he knows he won't have the real power within and has attampted to make him look the fool?
Whatever Lucchino is selling, I'm not buying.
This move isn't about Theo, it's about Larry.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:48 AM
Monday, December 12, 2005
A Cincy Take on the Womack Deal
Found this little nugget of goodness while reading about Sean Casey:
My e-mail is running about 50-50 on the Casey deal. On the Tony Womack deal, it was 100-0 - against.
Womack's numbers were so woeful last season - .249 average, .276 on-base, .280 slugging - it's hard to see how he'll help. The Reds mentioned the speed factor.
But they probably could have traded for Carl Lewis without giving up a prospect like Kevin Howard.
If Womack has a bounce-back year - as Rich Aurilia did in '05 - it's going to be tough to get enough playing time to keep Womack and Ryan Freel happy.
Now this isn't the funniest thing I've ever heard. But it's close.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:26 PM
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Mike Myers signs with Yankees
Ok, let's get the juvenile jokes out of the way first:
Alright. Feel better? Ok.
I think the Myers signing could be a good one (career .207 BAA vs. LH, .158 BAA vs. LH). However, this really depends on Joe Torre. If he can hold himself back from the temptation to use Myers against right handers if he's pitching well, he should be fine. Myers vs. righties in 2005? 2.65/.385. Oh and that 2.65 isn't ERA; it's WHIP. Myers is downright horrible against righties. Thus, it all comes down to whether or not Myers has a belly of guts or the heart of a lion.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:31 PM
I Bet They Asked for Jeter and Rivera
While perusing Lupe's blog this morning, I saw an article from the St. Louis Dispatch about the recent trade of Ray King to Colorado for Aaron Miles (OPS+ of 65 and 68 the last two seasons) and Larry Bigbie, who managed to hit .212 for the Rockies while playing at Coors Field and compiled OPS+ the last two years of 96 and 73, and presumably, a bag of baseballs. This was for the Ray King, the leftie, with the ERA+ of 122, 131, 118, 160, and 127 in relief for the Cardinals. Are you telling me the Cards couldn't have gotten more for him than that? The Yankees wouldn't have traded more when they're scurrying for relief help? Especially for a lefty?
I really don't understand a lot of what's gone of this off-season. Some players are being traded for nobody (Mark Loretta for... Doug Mirabelli?) and everyone demands Cano and/or Wang from the Yankees.
Case in point, from today's NY Post:
Yankees were puzzled by the Marlins' approach to dealing Juan Pierre.
"They wanted different things from us than the Cubs," an insider said.
They sure did. The Marlins took three prospects for the center fielder while sticking to their request of Robinson Cano, Sean Henn and Scott Proctor from the Yankees.
Let's just be glad that Cashman stuck to his guns and didn't get Pierre. Even he can't define his own worth with any quantifiable means:
New Cubs center fielder Juan Pierre said he's looking forward to playing in Wrigley Field's deep grass.
"I might bunt a lot more,'' he said. "It helps kill the ball.''
Pierre said what he contributes to the Cubs isn't always going to be seen strictly in statistics.
"My game on paper really doesn't look good,'' he said, "but you appreciate it more if you see it on a daily basis. The things I do don't really show up in the box scores or the papers or things that people like to come see at a game.''
So what now? Where does Cashman go from here? He's right to hold on to Cano and Wang (except in a ridiculous, Willis/Cabrera-style trade), but other teams seem to be able to pick up quality for crap.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:01 AM
Goodbye to a Yankee Legend
It's reported that Tony Womack has been traded to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later.
To be honest I liked the idea of ToWo on the bench. He could have been the best pinch runner in baseball, and could have played a number of defensive positions if needed. He gave the roster some flexibility. My guess is that he requested to be dealt because he expected to be a starter when he signed (thank you, Bill Emslie).
So... who's the PTBNL? There's no longer a glut in the Reds OF since Casey is a Buc and Dunn will move to first (oh elusive Adam Dunn, of the high OPS and the undervalued profile). My guess is it's for a minor league OF, C, or pitcher.
Or maybe Dan O'Brien has gone insane and will make it for Wily Mo Pena.
New York received Class AA second baseman Kevin Howard and Class A outfielder Ben Himes.
Howard hit .296 with 12 homers and 70 RBI at Chattanooga, while Himes batted .320 with nine homers and 53 RBI at Sarasota and .255 with two homers and 18 RBI for Dayton.
Ok. So absolutely no help for this year's team. TLR loves Womack.. couldn't we at least have gotten Ray King?
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:43 AM
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Roger Clemens back in the Bronx? It's certainly not outside of the realm of possibility since the Astros announced they've declined to offer arbitration to Clemens.
This really did surprise me as I expected Houston to at least offer it to Clemens even on a wink-wink basis (where Clemens would decline). He's going to be in baseball shape because he's pitching in the World Baseball Farce this spring.... so what's to prevent the Yankees from offering their future HOFer (don't kid yourself into thinking he's wearing any other cap into Cooperstown) a one year contract?
There's little risk in a one year deal, and Clemens has been the NL's best pitcher over the last two seasons (if you throw out W/L).
Now I know where the argument against is - "the Yankees already have too many pitchers!"
Ok. But you add Clemens to Mussina and Johnson (they are untradable) and all of a sudden Cashman has a lot of flexibility to move any of the others immediately (Carl Pavano most notably, or even Wang if there's a huge offer out there, but it would have to be huge to give up the only young one).
The Yankees also don't have to sacrifice a draft pick.
Can you imagine a rotation of
I'm drooling just thinking about it. Of course some "private plane" use and extended travel plans concessions would be made... but who cares?
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:50 PM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
What, You Talkin' Bout Willis?
Supposedly, Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera are now available from the Marlins as well. Cabrera may become the best hitter in baseball... but as a Yankee fan, I'm more interested in Willis.
Lefthanded. Power. Good clubhouse guy. 23 years old. No history of arm trouble. Inexpensive (relatively).
I'm drooling over him, the guy with the funkiest delivery left of El Duque.
It was reported that Cashman offered the Marlins Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang, who were otherwise untouchables. The Marlin response was that it wasn't enough.
Would I throw in Eric Duncan? Hell yes. Melky Cabrera? Pack your bags, son. Tony Womack? Sure!
I would basically do whatever it took to acquire a guy who could anchor the staff for years to come - but can come in when he isn't pressured to be the ace.
Cano and Wang are could be very good players. Duncan as well. But none of them, in my opinion, projects to be as valuable to a franchise as Willis.
See what you can do, Bry.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:06 PM
Beane, Cashman, Colletti: 3 way deal?
Could a three way trade be in the works at the moment at the winter meetings? Beane loves undervalued players, and always tries to sell high. Barry Zito is entering his walk year, there's very little available pitching talent of his potential on the market right now. Milton Bradley is a persona non grata in Los Angeles, and could be had for a song compared to his talent level. The Dodgers need pitching, and Zito, who gre up in San Diego, lives in LA. The Dodgers would most certainly have to give up a lot more than just Bradley, but they have a glut of minor league talent (most assuredly, they'd have to part with Joel Guzman (they did just sign Furcal to play Guzman's current SS position) and/or Chad Billingsley, and either Matt Kemp or Russ Martin).
The trade would leave Oakland in a position where they'd most likely want to move one of their OFs. Considering Kielty and Swisher are young, cheap, and have their best days ahead of them. Those are usually the types of players that Beane likes to keep. They still also have control of Jay Payton. Which leaves the most expensive outfielder on the team as the one most likely to go: Mark Kotsay, who is signed through 2008 at a reasonable (especially in this market) $7M+.
Even though it's a salary dump for Oakland (can you imagine what Beane could do at the dealine after shedding those two contracts?) don't think Beane is just going to give up Kotsay for nothing. Throw the obvious Pavano rumor in to either Oakland or LA, but my guess would be more likely a couple of minor leaguers not named Duncan, Hughes or Cox and possibly even Jaret Wright, with the Yankees paying half of the remaining year on his contract. Colter Bean seems to be the type of player Beane likes - not a toolsy guy, but good numbers. These could go to either Oakland or LA, or both.
Sure, this is idle speculation, but you have to admit it makes a lot of sense.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:13 AM
Monday, December 05, 2005
Ryne and Cheese
Ryne Sandberg is back with more "expert analysis." Seriously, I can't understand why anyone pays this guy for his opinion. Yes, he's a Hall of Famer and had a great career. However he has no idea what's going on in baseball these days.
By Ryne Sandberg, Yahoo! Sports
December 5, 2005
Here's my list of the top free-agent hitters going into the winter meetings, which start on Monday.
TOP FREE-AGENT HITTERS
10. Brad Ausmus – He's known for his ability to handle a pitching staff and would be a solid pickup for a team needing an every-day catcher. Best fit: Houston Astros. They'll find a way to keep him.
3 year OPS+ for FA catchers:
Ramon Hernandez: 112, 116, 109
Bengie Molina: 110, 86, 100
Brad Ausmus: 54, 64, 83
.. and yet no mention of the two better catchers in this entire list. I like Hernandez a lot, but while I'm not a Molina fan, I'd take him over Ausmus.
9. Sammy Sosa – Sosa had an injury-plagued 2005 season and it looks like he'll have to sign a minor-league deal and prove he's healthy. If no big-league team takes a chance on him, Sosa might sign with a team in Japan. He would make more money by playing there. Best fits: Tampa Bay Devil Rays or Florida Marlins.
Healthy or not, he can't hit anymore.
Look at this scary trend of Sosa's OPS+:
2001: 201 (wow.)
His OPS last year, even while playing half of his games at Bandbox Park at Camden Yards was .671. He's now in the same neighborhood as David Bell (.671), Royce Clayton (.670) and Jeremy Reed (.675).
He's not even the best FA from the Orioles. Rafael Palmeiro's OPS+ since 2000?
Yes, the whole steroids thing with Raffy, I know. However any team that has trepidation about signing Palmeiro because of the 'roids issue should have the same reservations about Sosa. Both players are essentially DHs these days, although I'd feel more comfortable with Palmeiro's defense at 1B than I would with Sosa in the OF.
Sosa should not be on a top 10 list unless the list is about guys who should retire.
8. Alex Gonzalez – He'll probably have to see what happens with Furcal first, but you would assume the same teams that are in the Furcal race would be interested in Gonzalez. If the Braves lose out on Furcal, look for them to make a move on Gonzalez or Julio Lugo. Best fits: Braves, Dodgers or Cubs.
Well he can't hit (career OPS+ of 78, all-time high of 100 (dead average) but there aren't a lot of middle infielders out there. Personally I'd rather have Mark Grudzielanek, Miguel Cairo, or hell maybe even Mark Bellhorn.
7. Carl Everett – He will have to see where the market is set, but it is unlikely he will stay with the Chicago White Sox. Because of his difficult personality, Everett could come at a discounted rate. An American League team will take a chance on him – one that is looking for a big bat in the designated hitter spot. Best fits: Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers.
I dunno what it is about Crazy Carl, but broadcasters and sports writers seem to think he's some sort of great hitter. He can't play defense, and his OPS+ the last 2 years has been 85 and 94. Those numbers simply aren't good enough to warrant an every day DH role, considering half of the players in the majors can put up better offensive stats.
6. Kenny Lofton – One of my favorite players, Lofton will have to wait to see what happens with Damon. Even though he is 38, he will fit nicely in the outfield of team that is looking for a leadoff batter. Best fit: Yankees … that is, if they lose out on Damon.
Hopefully the Yankees sign Kenny Lofton again so that Joe Torre can continue his pattern of not playing him or DHing him in favor of inferior defensive players. Kenny can still hit (OPS+ 103, 109, 97, 107 the last 4 years) but he's not coming back to the Yankees (not even to park cars) while Torre is still managing. Lofton should be on this list.
5. Jacque Jones – He's a serviceable hitter and outfielder. It was rumored that the San Diego Padres might have interest in him, but they re-signed Brian Giles. Best fit: St. Louis Cardinals.
Jones had one good year in 2002. Other than that he's been a below average hitter.
4. Preston Wilson – He could find a home in a few places. He hit just .261 with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs in 68 games for the Washington Nationals last season. Best fits: Dodgers or Cubs.
I'm not as down on Wilson as I think a lot of people are. Yes, he strikes out a lot, but looking at the other players on this list, he's among the cream of the crop. He's only had one season of OPS+ below average. Is he great? No. Is he servicable? Sure.
3. Mike Piazza – It looks like his days in the National League might be over. Piazza will likely have to move to a DH role. Minnesota has showed interest. Best fit: American League.
Piazza is still a pretty decent hitter and may get even better if he's not forced to catch anymore, or at most once per week. As a DH, I think he could thrive in a good lineup (and fantasy fans, he will be catcher eligible next season!). Ok Ryno, we agree on this one.
2. Nomar Garciaparra – Nomar has been injured the last two years, and that is going to hurt his chances of signing a big contract. I think he is still holding out for a shortstop job, but that is not likely. He will likely have to move to second or third base or the outfield. His contract is going to have to be incentive-laden as a utility guy. Best fits: Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles or Angels.
I'd throw the Yankees in as a pretty good fit. Everyday player on an incentive-laden contract, majority of games at DH, but spelling players in the OF, 3B, 2B, SS, and 1B. Yes, I think Nomar can learn all of those additional positions. Versatility could be a huge asset for him. Tack on a club option second year that becomes guaranteed if certain incentives are met. Unite the Trinity, Mr. Cashman!
1. Johnny Damon – The Yankees and Red Sox are in another feud, but this time it's over the top free-agent position player. The Yankees are looking for a replacement for Bernie Williams in center field as well as someone to hit leadoff so Derek Jeter can move to the No. 2 spot. The Yankees will keep pushing the dollar amount up, but keep the years close to three years. Best fit: Yankees or Red Sox.
If there's any feud here, it's between both front offices and Scott Boras over Damon's asinine demands. Oh, and Ryne, the Yankees are *not* looking for someone to move Jeter to the #2 spot. I can't for the life of me fathom why idiot sports writers keep talking about that. Jeter has better stats leading off, and is one of - if not the - best leadoff hitters in the majors. He is a "legitimate leadoff hitter." There are very fe available CFers I would hit leadoff over Jeter. Actually I can't really think of any.
Longtime Chicago Cub Ryne Sandberg was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 31, 2005.
For his play on the field, obviously, many years ago hen maybe he might have had some clue about baseball.
The bigget travesty of this list? No mention of probably the bet all-around hitter still available: Frank Thomas.
| ||OPS ||OPS+ |
|2002 ||.834 ||117 |
|2003 ||.952 ||149 |
|2004 ||.997 ||151 |
|2005 ||.905 ||131 |
No other FA even comes close to those numbers. Not even Damon.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:00 AM
Friday, December 02, 2005
Flash Gone, but in Best Case Scenerio
I'll miss Tom Gordon. He was a good guy and was willing to accept a lesser role for two years to try and get a ring with the Yankees. People talk about how he loses it in the post season, but I put most of that on Torre's over use of him during the regular season.
However, giving a 38 year old Tom Gordon with all of those innings over the last 2 years on his arm a 3 year deal would have been wrong. Two years? Sure. But who wants a 41 year old setup guy who no doubt would be abused again and again by his manager?
The Phillies deal is a best case scenerio for New York for two reasons:
1. He didn't go to a division rival (Boston, Baltimore) in need of a closer.
2. He went to the team that most likely gives the Yankees the highest draft pick.
The way the compensation works is as follows: if a team signs a Type A Free Agent (which Gordon is) before Dec. 7th, the team who loses him gets their first round pick and a supplemental draft pick (between 1st and 2nd round) UNLESS the signing team has a top 15 pick. In that case the team who loses their FA gets the supplemental pick and the signing team's 2nd round pick. So let's look at the draft order. Teams 16-21 in bold.
2006 Draft Order
1. Royals (56-106) 16. Brewers - Not spending big bucks on a closer.
2. Rockies (67-95)
3. Devil Rays (67-95)
4. Pirates (67-95)
5. Mariners (69-93)
6. Tigers (71-91)
7. Dodgers (71-91)
8. Reds (73-89)
9. Orioles (74-88)
10. Giants (75-87)
11. Diamondbacks (77-85)
12. Rangers (79-83)
13. Cubs (79-83)
14. Blue Jays (80-82)
15. Nationals (81-81)
16. Brewers (81-81)
17. Padres (82-80)
18. Mets (83-79)
19. Marlins (83-79)
20. Twins (83-79)
21. Phillies (88-74)
22. Athletics (88-74)
23. Astros (89-73)
24. Braves (90-72)
25. Indians (93-69)
26. Angels (95-67)
27. Red Sox (95-67)
28. Yankees (95-67)
29. White Sox (99-63)
30. Cardinals (100-62)
17. Padres - Wouldn't initially spend on Hoffman, not likely to spend on Gordon and may fill from within or resign Trevor.
18. Mets - Wagner.
19. Marlins - Ha. Good luck getting them to open the purse.
20. Twins - Joe Nathan.
So really, the Phillies were the best chance for the highest pick.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:11 AM
Don't Print Bull like the New York Post
My apologies to Chuck D, but this article by George King is wrong on sooo many levels. I mean, I've seen some dumb plans and even dumber justifications by George King before, but really, this one takes the cake.
The last time Juan Pierre played center field in Yankee Stadium, he helped the Marlins win the 2003 World Series. Now, Pierre could be returning to The Bronx as the Yankees’ center-fielder. The cash-dumping Marlins have asked for lefty Sean Henn and right-handed reliever Scott Proctor for Pierre, and the Yankees didn’t reject the offer.
When the Marlins started dumping salary by trading Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox and Carlos Delgado to the Mets, the Yankees seemed cool on acquiring the 28-year-old Pierre. However, with only Bubba Crosby to replace Bernie Williams, the Yankees have been keeping tabs on who’s available.
They didn't accept the offer either. In fact until an offer is declined, it is "not rejected." So this is really a non-story.
Possibly what makes Pierre attractive is that it’s likely a one-year deal, since Pierre can become a free agent after the season and the 2007 class of free agent center-fielders will include Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter and Mike Cameron. And there is always the possibility that Pierre performs well enough to be brought back.
I'll go out on a limb here and say that Pierre isn't much of an upgrade over Crosby.
OK, this I agree with. What's most valuable about trading for Pierre is that you won't have him long. Pierre is arbitration eligible after making $3.7 million last year. According to several Sources, the Marlins also are shopping Pierre to Texas for pitching prospects and perhaps outfielder Laynce Nix, who annoyed Ranger brass by not playing winter ball after missing a good part of the season with an injury. Pierre would give the Yankees speed in center field and the pure leadoff hitter they haven’t had since Chuck Knoblauch left after the 2001 season.
That would allow Derek Jeter to bat second, a spot he did with Knoblauch around when the Yankees won three straight World Series and came close to copping a fourth straight in 2001.
Wait a minute. Oh, no. The Yankees already have a pure leadoff hitter. Why is it that ever jerk sportswriter in New York wants the Yankees to get a "pure leadoff hitter" and always seem to think guys who play centerfield and steal a lot of bases are the answer? I just went all over this with the Damon nonsense, so I'll be brief and say that Jeter's superior OBP (31 points higher, career) makes him far more valuable as a leadoff guy than Pierre.
I don't think the Yankees won three World Series simply because Jeter was batting second. In fact Jeter's numbers are better in the leadoff spot. However at least for once there's a new angle as to why the Yankees haven't won in 5 years besides "A-Rod is a choker" and "they are a group of superstars but not a TEAM." Jeter bats second = rings. Ok, got it. While Pierre is coming off a down season in which the career .305 hitter batted .276 with an on-base percentage of .326, he batted .326 with a .374 on-base percentage in 2004. He also swiped 57 bases in 74 attempts. And he hit lefties (.299) better than righties .270) last season.
Wow, OBP? Seriously? I'm pleasantly surprised. However it's glossed over and disregarded, especially since it's lower than the guy who is already hitting leadoff. What seems to be George's big selling point in this article however is that Pierre "swiped 57 bags in 74 attempts." Now 57 steals is a lot, especially in this day and age... but look at the percentages. That's a 77% success rate. Not bad, and over the generally accepted break even point of 70%. King mentioned 2004 though so let's look back there again. Pierre was 45 for 69. That's 65%. Pierre actually hurt his team and cost his offense runs. He would have been better off never attempting a steal all season. Especially with a power team like the Yankees, that's suicide. Jeter's SB% over the same two years? 73% and 85%. Jeter's career SB% is 79% which is 6 points higher than Pierre. But he's not a "pure leadoff hitter." When the other center fielders available are presented, Pierre stacks up. The Angels are shopping Darin Erstad and Steve Finley. The Dodgers are expected to trade Milton Bradley before Dec. 20. The Phillies asked for Chien-Ming Wang, possibly the Yankees’ No. 3 starter, for Jason Michaels, who never has been a regular player. Carl Pavano’s name surfaced yesterday in a possible deal for Michaels. Tampa Bay could move Joey Gathright but he is raw.
Unless Johnny Damon’s wishes for a seven-year contract decrease, the Yankees aren’t interested.
I'm sure the Phillies will take less than Wang for Michaels. If not look into Bradley. Erstad and Finley are past their primes (and Estrad's prime was not much to write home about anyway). Gathright is fast. That's about all I can say positive about him at this point.
The gamble in it for the Yankees is Henn. He is a 24-year-old lefty they thought enough of to promote from Double-A to the big leagues for an emergency start when Randy Johnson was scratched in May. In three games Henn was 0-3 with an 11.12 ERA. He was 5-5 with a respectable 3.23 ERA in 16 games for Columbus and 2-1 with an 0.71 ERA in four games for Double-A Trenton.
However, the emergence of Wang and the chance that RHP Phil Hughes, the No. 1 pick in 2004, could be ready for the big leagues in 2007, softens the blow of losing Henn.
The gamble is Pierre. Because he's not that good of a player.
Why trade a left handed prospect because you have 2 other young pitchers? You know you need 5 starters, and the Yankees aren't getting any younger in that rotation. I'm ok with trading Henn, but certainly not for Pierre.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:05 AM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I'm Larry Lucchino, Wah Wah Wah
Here we go again. Larry Lucchino and his cohorts in Beantown are crying again over the ball from the last out in the '04 World Series. Doug Mientkiewicz lent it to the Sox for a year, and now they're suing to prevent the return, which they agreed to do last year.
Here's the history:
MLB says Mientkiewicz owns the ball. Period, end of story. It's not the property of the Boston Red Sox.. if anything MLB has a better claim to it.
- Mientkiewicz catches baseball, Sox win, celebrate
- Mientkiewicz takes ball home
- Dan Shaughnessy writes a smear piece in the Boston Globe at the behest of his lover, Larry Lucchino. He takes quotes out of context, changes the nature of the statements, and runs down any contribution at all that Mientkiewicz made to the Red Sox (which is pretty much what Shaughnessy does with every former Red Sox player).
- Jodi Mientkiewicz, Doug's wife, posts on the Red Sox MLB forum:
yes doug does have the ball and yes we did authenticate it after the series. thank god we did or any person off the street could claim they had the ball. we have told numerous sources since the series ended that we have the ball and not until this article have we been approached by anyone with the red sox to return it to them for a museum. furthermore, the first we heard of that was through the media and not through a personal conversation with anyone with the red sox. doug and i have no intention of selling the ball for profit. doug did say he could be bought, joking and laughing the whole time. he also said how much he knows the value of this ball and what it means to red sox nation. so before everyone goes crazy, know this, we have always had the ball, we have told other media sources we have it and they have never pitted us against the ownership. there must be some agenda here that i am unaware of but i am sure doug and the team can resolve everything and all will be happy in the end.
the irony is he (Shaughnessy) called doug to talk about the kevin/doug situation going on and doug did not want to comment about anything until theo made a decision so they started talking casually about the ball and the world series. trust me - we are no strangers to slanted journalism but i think he is going to wait til after he speaks with ownership privately before he comments publically.
this is definitely learning the hard way not to say anything in jest. When a writer calls wanting to get info on the kevin/doug debate - gets nothing from doug - then goes on to ask him what he did with the ball -when we have already told everyone. And then prints doug's lighthearted comments about being able to be bought as some statement of "ill take the highest bidder". bottom line if doug wanted to sell the ball - it would have been sold. if the red sox wanted the ball from doug - they should have asked him for it. i just had some reporter show up at my door 15 minutes ago to talk to doug. this is so exaggerated, it's ridiculous. yes ulimately doug did answer the writer's questions in a playfull manner. but if the red sox wanted this ball so badly to put in a museum, why did they wait 3 months til the week when a deicision is going to be made about trading doug or kevin to discuss it - and not with doug- but with the media?
- Mientkiewicz goes on WEEI in Boston to explain that the Shaughnessy article was a complete sham.
- MLB spokesman Carmine Tiso says: “Doug Mientkiewicz owns the baseball and we authenticated it. Anything beyond that would be between the Red Sox and Doug Mientkiewicz.”
- Mientkiewicz agrees to lend the ball to the Sox for display for the fans for a period of one year after which the Sox will return the ball.
- Sox refuse to return ball.
Where's Charlie Hayes and the '96 ball? Did anyone care about that? I'm pretty sure Gary Carter kept the ball from the '86 World Series, when Orosco ended it with a strikeout and threw his glove in the air. Nobody's ever cared about the last out balls, except in no-hitters or perfect games or first wins of a career, but never to end a series. The Hall of Fame only has two of them on display. Cal Ripken had the ball from his Series win. He lent it permanently to an Orioles museum, but he still retains ownership.
What happened here is Lucchino apparantly decided to sick his boyfriend on Doug, or the boyfriend decided to make up a juicy story after which Lucchino decided to capitalize upon it.
In any event, shut up Red Sox. Shut up Larry Lucchino. And please shut up Shaughnessy. MLB certified it's the property of Mientkiewicz. If you had just called and asked him for it in the first place instead of throwing him under a bus, there wouldn't have been a problem.
If I'm Mientkiewicz, after all of this, I tell Lucchino to go fuck himself.
The biggest surprise of all is that I made it through this entire post and didn't once screw up the word Mientkiewicz.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:26 AM
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