Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Too Dumb For Words

This is such an idiotic statement that I'm kind of at a loss for a suitable title.

Joe Torre, on the pressing return of the fabulous Bubba Crosby:

Since Bubba Crosby is less than a week away from coming off the DL, the Yankees have to clear a roster spot. Crosby is eligible to be activated Sunday in Baltimore.

While Terrence Long is a candidate to be dumped for Crosby, Torre likes having Long around.

"He's a pro and easy to like in the clubhouse," Torre said of Long, who started yesterday against Jeremy Bonderman as the DH because of a .333 (6-for-18) average against the right-hander. "He has been in the fires before with Oakland when they were winning pennants," Torre said. "You can never discount that experience in my mind."

Long went 0-for-3, fanned twice, walked and scored a run.

Ok, it's only three paragraphs, but let's look at what's wrong with it:
  • "He's a pro and easy to like in the clubhouse." Being a nice fella is good. Heck, it's a bonus in this world of surly ballplayers. It's one of the reasons Tim Raines and Luis Sojo stuck around as long as they did. It's possible though that today Luis Sojo and Tim Raines could outhit Terrence Long.
  • "Long...started yesterday against Jeremy Bonderman as the DH." I don't care if Terrence long is 100-for-100 against a guy. He should NEVER be a DH. This is the same mentality that could have Enrique Wilson as DH against Pedro Martinez. It is the same mentality that DID give Tony Womack of the ..276 OBP and .280 SLG eleven games at DH last year. Sometimes Torre will look at stats and other times he ignores them completely when they stare him in the face and instead defends his decisions based on "feel." It's like he just cherry picks a stat every now and then.
  • If Long doesn't get demoted/DFA, who does? Well that's easy. Melky Cabrera.
    2006 Cabrera OPS: .700.
    2006 Long OPS: .473.
    Oh and Long is a horrible defensive player, one thing Crosby (of the .577 career OPS) does actually bring to the table.
  • "You can never discount that experience in my mind." Torre has a penchant for choosing experience over talent, a sure thing (even if it's awful) over uncertainty. This is the way to lose ballgames and a big reason why the Yankees have developed exactly one position player (Cano) and one pitcher (Wang) from the farm system since 1998. He won't play them, and the Cano/Wang move was Cashman's brainchild anyway.
  • Long went 0-for-3, fanned twice Big fucking surprise, I know.
    ..... and finally, easily the greatest gem from Joe Torre in quite some time. We all know he grasps at straws and uses ridiculous and flawed logic to defend his moves, but this one takes the absolute cake:
  • "He has been in the fires before with Oakland when they were winning pennants." .... what?! Ok Joe! Terrence Long of those pennant winning Oakland A's! Great contributions he made to those storied championship teams!

Joe Torre's recent daydream.

For the love of all that is good and holy, someone please fire this man.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:46 PM   3 comments


Sunday, May 28, 2006

FSN: Before The Bigs - Adam Kennedy

"Adam Kennedy hit 2 homeruns in the 2002 World Series, proving he can rake with the best of them!"

Yep, I'm betting on Kennedy in the homerun derby this year!

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:06 AM   4 comments


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Who Am I?

Time for another fun quiz, kids! Get those pencils ready!

Who Am I?
I am a two time American League MVP. Last year I led the American League with 124 runs and 48 HR. Along with Jimmie Foxx, I am one of only two players in Major League history to compile at least 35 home runs, 100 runs and 100 RBIs in eight consecutive seasons. I hold the Yankees single season record for home runs by a right-handed batter when I broke Joe DiMaggio's record of 46. I have played in 9 All Star Games. I have 440 career home runs and am still in the prime of my career. Over the last five seasons, I lead the Major Leagues with 240 HR and 631 RBI. Who am I? (highlight below for the answer)

I am the fifth place batter in Joe Torre's lineup.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:08 PM   6 comments

How To Prepare On Your Off-Days

Some players read scouting reports.

Others watch film.

Still others take extra batting practice, or throw on the side.

Curt Schilling? He likes to make believe he's a loot-dropping virtual bad guy who battles unwary players.

Schilling's video game character will reside within the online world of EverQuest II for three days during the Yankees vs Red Sox baseball series running through June 5, 6 and 7. During this time, anyone can register for and log into EverQuest II at www.battleals.com to challenge the evil Schilling character.

I can guarantee you if it were someone like.. say Alex Rodriguez instead, the media would be ripping him for goofing off. They'd also probably wait until a player defeated him and have a segment on SportsCenter about how "un-clutch" he is when it comes to battling half-orc clerics.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:22 AM   0 comments


Friday, May 05, 2006

Steven A. Smith on Bonds Chasing Ruth

I'll paraphrase a bit but this is what Steven A. Smith just said on ESPN about Bonds chasing Ruth:

"Let's face it, Bonds isn't even going to break Hank Aaron's record. Babe Ruth has been deified by Major League Baseball for what he accomplished but let's face facts. Ruth didn't even play against black ballplayers, because blacks weren't allowed. He didn't have to face the best competition out there. Ruth was deified and celebrated. Well if Ruth was deified and celebrated, we NEED to celebrate the man who breaks Ruth's record. *thunderous applause*"

Ok Steven, I agree. We should definitely celebrate the man who breaks Ruth's record. Currently, the only (major) home run record that Ruth holds is the all time American League home run record. Should Bonds break that, I will be the first to declare him the greatest ballplayer of all time. In fact, I will pull my pants down in times square and poop on a photo of Ruth.

Bonds has a shot to break it. He's only behind by 708 home runs.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:38 PM   1 comments


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ghetto Fabulous!

Well, not quite.. but close

Washington Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen had a big night at the plate Wednesday. But while he was at RFK Stadium, a $10,000 chunk of his paycheck was stolen in a robbery a mile away.

Guillen's girlfriend was attacked as she left a check-cashing business in Northeast Washington, police said. The mugging took place at 5:30 p.m. -- about 90 minutes before the Nats' game -- just after she cashed part of Guillen's weekly paycheck. She was not injured.

Guillen said last night that his girlfriend went to the business to get cash and send money home to the Dominican Republic. "She's all right," Guillen said.

Police did not identify the girlfriend because she is considered a witness. No one has been arrested, and police have no suspects.

Authorities said the crime occurred outside the Money Mart in the 1100 block of H Street NE. Guillen's girlfriend, who is 24, entered the shop about 5 p.m. and went to a back room to cash a portion of Guillen's check. It took about 30 minutes for a store manager to count out $10,000 in cash, police said.

She put the money in a Louis Vuitton purse, which already contained $2,000, police said. As she walked outside, the robber sneaked up from behind and pushed a sharp object -- perhaps a knife -- into her side, police said.

Guillen went 2 for 4 with a double Wednesday in the Nationals' 6-5 loss to the Florida Marlins.
The rightfielder will make about $4 million this season.

Wow. You make $4M per year and you're still essentially cashing your paycheck in a liquor store?

Hey Jose, there's something called a bank. They will cash your checks for you, and even give you a money order for an extra $3.

UPDATE: I called a few check cashing places today and the cost of cashing a check over $1500.00 was pretty standard - a small fee ($3-$5) + a percentage from 1.5% to 2.99%. Guillen was looking at spending $153 - $304 just to cash the check - and I'm assuming more since the $10,000 was just a portion of the whole amount, the rest of which probably went to a cashier's check.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:45 PM   1 comments

Mike Lupica is a Jackass: Chapter Five

Well it's been a while since I did one of these - which actually used to be the primary focus of my old blog - but I happened upon another article by New York's preeminent jackass. Now as to be fair, I've only read the first two paragraphs so far, so I'll be commenting from a fresh perspective as always. However, let's all bear in mind the typical Lupica gripes:

  • Loves the Mets and Red Sox. Hates the Yankees.
  • When the Yankees sign a free agent, it is "George trying to buy a championship."
  • When the Mets sign a free agent, it is the genius of Omar Minaya combined with ownership "laying it on the line" for their fans.
  • Randy Johnson is a punk.
  • Jason Giambi is a cheater and a punk.
  • Alex Rodriguez is an overpaid, choking punk.

Ok so with that out of the way, let's get to it.

Weight of the World

LOS ANGELES - Here are the most prominent big-ticket Yankees who have not: Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Alex Rodriguez. Have not meaning they haven't won a World Series. Have not yet, might not ever. If there is one thing we have learned the past five years at Yankee Stadium, it's that the money all these Yankees make doesn't guarantee anything anymore in baseball.Randy Johnson won somewhere else. Not here. Gary Sheffield won somewhere else. Just not here. Johnny Damon just got here and Carl Pavano, who won with the 2003 Marlins, has never really shown up. Maybe the two of them can make a difference this year.

Ah here we go. Typical Lupica "haha, you haven't bought a championship in years!" garbage.

We constantly talk about the core of Yankees who have. Meaning HAVE won a World Series here: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams. We constantly act as if they are still the Yankees, even if the Yankees haven't won the Series since 2000. It is a nice thought. Except for this one big thing:
The have-nots have them outnumbered now.

Pretty surprising that the number of players on a team for six straight years are outnuumbered by the players that haven't been there as long, I know. You mentioned the Marlins above though and their exciting 2003 victory. You know how many Marlins are still there from 2003? Two. Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. The Angels won two full seasons after the Yankees. Who's still there? Only two more players than the Yankees are still on the roster: Brendan Donnelly, Frankie Rodriguez, John Lackey, Jose Molina, Adam Kennedy and Garrett Anderson (and Tim Salmon is trying a comeback, but he hasn't exactly been around). There aren't even that many of the vaunted Red Sox World Champions left anymore.

Guess how many Mets are left from their last championship? Zero. None. I guess we constantly act as if Hernandez and Carter and Knight and Strawberry are still the Mets, even if the Mets haven't won the Series since 1986. It is a nice thought.

Now for the most part, the have-not Yankees have delivered the kind of numbers they were supposed to. Mussina fell off a little bit last year because of injury, Giambi seemed to be breaking down entirely in 2003 before he got big and strong again. Rodriguez became the MVP of the American League last year after a productive but odd first year at the Stadium that ended with Joe Torre finally having to bat him second.

I can't believe I'm going to do this, but I'll defend Joe Torre there. It wasn't Rodriguez's fault that he "had to bat second." That was probably the best position for him to bat. He got more ABs and was an OBP machine, and the Yankees didn't really have a better option.

Matsui has been swell, if not quite the defensive wizard in left we thought we were getting. Called Godzilla, plays like it out there sometimes.

He plays like Godzilla? Meaning what, exactly? Is he attacking airplanes, fighting giant moths or stepping on Japanese fans in the bleachers? What the hell does that mean?

Mussina, in fact, pitching for a new contract, has been one of the great pitching buys in free-agent history. It is usually nuts to give a pitcher, especially a starting pitcher, a contract as long as Mussina's, six years and $84 million. But he has pitched into the last season of that contract, mostly at a high level, even if his playoff record is only one game over .500. When he's been healthy he has pitched and won and for the time being, is pitching at as high a level as he has since he put on a Yankee uniform.

Yep, bring up records. You love that. A guy can lose 1-0 and he's garbage. Mussina has been the best Yankee postseason starting pitcher since he's been on the team. Go ahead, look it up. Statistically, he's easily outdistanced Johnson, Clemens, Pettitte, Brown, Vazquez, Weaver, Wells, etc. I know this because I looked it up and didn't just look at a W-L record.

Only the Yankees have not won a World Series in those five seasons he has already pitched here. They have not won since they paid Giambi the $119 million, a contract they would have done anything possible to get out from under as recently as one year ago. Mussina has pitched in the Series twice. Giambi has been there once, even if he wasn't much help three years ago. A-Rod? You know about A-Rod. He was one inning away from the Series in 2004 before the sky fell on him and everybody else.

Yeah, that's when he choked, right? Odd to mention that here, in the same breath as Rodriguez.

They all knew the deal before they got here, A-Rod better than any of them: George Steinbrenner is not just buying big names and big numbers, he always believes he is buying the championship.

I think he believes he's acquiring the best players possible to make the best team possible. I mean I could be wrong, but my opinion of what Steinbrenner "believes" is just as valid as yours.

We hear now that the Yankees have this crackerjack farm system. We'll see about that.

Who wants to bet the only prospects Lupica has heard of are Phil Hughes and Eric Duncan? You mention Tabata to him and he'd probably think it's a new type of italian sandwich.

Since they stopped winning the World Series, they have considered the rest of baseball their farm system, every time there was another big-ticket guy they wanted.

Carlos Beltran says hello.

Mussina was supposed to be a difference-maker, Giambi was supposed to be a difference-maker after that 2001 World Series, when the Yankees could only produce 16 runs in seven games against the Diamondbacks. A-Rod was supposed to be the ultimate difference-maker, because not only were the Yankees getting him, the Red Sox weren't.

They were difference makers. The difference is that - last year for example - you take away Giambi or Rodriguez and the Yankees don't even make the playoffs.

"These guys could have gotten their money somewhere else," Torre likes to say.
They could have. Torre says he understands the responsibilities of the uniform. So do the new hired guns who show up every year. It's just that the core of have-nots keeps growing, like the payroll. Have not won here.

Yes, every year the number of players there from a specific fixed year in the past that are still on the roster - or still even active in baseball - dwindles. Clemens, O'Neill, Martinez, Brosius, Cone, Mendoza, Neagle, Nelson, Stanton, Tessmer, Watson, Yarnall, Turner, Delgado, Sojo, Kelly, Bellinger, Johnson, Polonia, Spencer, Thompson, Jose, Justice, Canseco, Hill and Leyritz all played for the Yankees in 2000, the last time they won the Series, and yet none of them are active in the majors. But I suppose they should all still be Yankees, because then the "haves" would out number the "have nots." A team with those guys plus Jeter, Williams, Posada and Rivera would win about 30 games. Most started by Clemens.

Maybe this is the year when the old Yankees and the new Yankees finally become one team.

I'm assuming you're only "one team" when you win the World Series?

It used to be you could come here for big money and easy rings, the way Roger Clemens did. Not anymore.

It was never easy rings. For you to say that completely invalidates the efforts of those players who won those four championships, you jackass.


If the Yankee pitching goes south this year, does the old man still blame it on Mel Stottlemyre?

No, since he's no longer a pitching coach. Kind of a silly question.

Keith Hernandez should not have said what he said about the Padres' female trainer being in the dugout, and his bosses were right to reprimand him.
But I still like listening to him do Mets games on television, because more and more he shows you why he was one of the smartest players on a ballfield anybody ever knew about.

Uh, the guy won A RING with the Mets. The LAST ring. He should still be on the field!

Can somebody explain to me in a logical and straightforward way why the Red Sox traded Bronson Arroyo?
Did they actually think they had too much starting pitching?

No, they thought they didn't have enough outfielders because they lost Johnny Damon.

Wouldn't it be something if the White Sox won again with both Jose Contreras and Javier Vazquez in their starting rotation?

It would be something, considering both of them mentioned after they left that the great Mel Stottlemyre didn't pick up the flaws in their deliveries.

If Roger Clemens comes out of retirement to pitch for the Yankees or the Red Sox, does that mean he doesn't want to spend as much time with his family this summer as he did the last two?

No, it means he's coming to New York for the money and easy rings.

How come Pedro Martinez never has to inform us that he's only human, the way Randy Johnson did the other day?

It's because Pedro isn't human. He's from the planet Zorzax. Why doesn't Randy Johnson have to inform us why he attacked an old man on the field?

I love watching Johnson pitch, but when did it become our job to give the Big Unit a Big Hug?

No, it's your job to write about sports, and you do a piss poor job of it.

Originally published on April 30, 2006, by a Jackass.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:05 PM   2 comments


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What Did Rick Sutcliffe Learn by Broadcasting One Game?

He was the color man for the previously mentioned Dave O'Brien masturbatory Red Sox-Yankees broadcast. So what exactly did he learn about both teams from watching one game?

What did I see in the first meeting of the year between the Yankees and Red Sox, and what did these two teams find out about each other?
When it comes to pitching, the Yankees are pretty much the same -- Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Shawn Chacon, Chien-Ming Wang and Mariano Rivera.

Alright, so what Sutcliffe learned about the Yankees by watching one game is that the Yankees have many of the same players from last year on their roster.
The Yankees know all about Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett, two pitchers who have won World Series MVP awards -- both against New York (Schilling in 2001 with the Diamondbacks and Beckett in 2003 with the Marlins). They have seen Schilling and Beckett perform in October, and perform tremendously well.

But what the Yankees learned from Monday night's loss to the Red Sox is that the Boston bullpen -- which was its Achilles' heal last year -- is stronger than it's been in a long time. The depth of the bullpen is remarkable.

The Yankees learned that Boston's "bullpen depth is remarkable" based on 2 innings pitched against them by only two relievers - Boston's best two relievers - one of which was there last year and was their best in 2005? How exactly does seeing 2 guys show "depth"? Bear in mind that the two best Yankee relievers (Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera) did not appear.

Jonathan Papelbon is legit. He'll be the Red Sox's closer for the remainder of this year, but he'll be in the starting rotation next season according to general manager Theo Epstein. Keith Foulke is also healthy again. I talked with him before Monday's game and he said he's much better now. The key for him is just getting his rhythm back and pitching every second or third day. Mike Timlin is his usual self, and Julian Tavarez and Rudy Seanez are two quality middle relievers. If Boston has a starter who only goes four innings, the depth of that bullpen could hold a lead by using just one pitcher in each of the next five innings.

Although it wasn't a save situation, I love what manager Red Sox Terry Francona did in the ninth inning Monday. He already had Papelbon warming up before David Ortiz hit the three-run home run, and Francona still brought in his closer to pitch the ninth and test the waters with the Yankees. There are saves and then there are saves against the Yankees. It wasn't a save situation by rule, but Papelbon put a big exclamation point on that win.

The guy had a 4 run lead. David Ortiz was the one who put an "exclamation point" on the victory by extending the lead from one to four runs with a mammoth home run off of a lefty specialist.

Pitching was a problem for the Red Sox last year, everyone knows that. But they were also horrible defensively. When you look at their infield now (and when they get Coco Crisp back in center field), they are improved defensively -- maybe even more than they did with their pitching and that's saying quite a bit. Not only are the Red Sox going to hit the ball, but they are going to throw it better and catch it a lot better.

Rick, their infield offense is terrible. Loretta isn't the player he once was, Youkilis plays a power position but lacks pop, and just look at some stats for Lowell and Cora. They still have Ramirez and Ortiz, but is Crisp the hitter Damon was? When Wakefield pitches, Varitek - the only decent hitting infielder - sits because Ortiz is such a liability in the field that you can't think about DHing Varitek. I'd say their defense is better, but it comes at the cost of offense. I'm sure I could find a bunch of statistics based on win shares for all of the players involved, but that's not my job - it's yours - and I'm busy.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has seen one thing from each of the last three World Series champions.

I would think he's seen more than one thing.

In 2003, Florida's starting rotation was healthy and had depth. The Red Sox had five starters that won 10 or more games during the 2004 regular season. And the first thing that comes to mind about last year's White Sox World Series team is its starting pitching -- they led the league in innings pitched in 2005.

I'm glad that Brian Cashman was able to finally learn that having good pitching is important to winning a championship. Up until now he probably thought any old yokel would do. Those three World Champions really must have shown them.

Last year, Yanks manager Joe Torre used 14 different starting pitchers. This year, he has the chance to stay within seven or eight starters and run quality out to the mound on an everyday basis. And you know with owner George Steinbrenner, adding someone -- a la Roger Clemens -- is never out of the question.

This year is no different than the second half of last year. In fact you stated earlier that the Yankees pitching hasn't changed. But now, it's totally different. Good job Rick.

It's one win for the Red Sox, and some people might not think it's a big deal.

It's not.

But remember last year, the difference in winning the American League East and the wild card was one game (and the Yankees won the season series from Boston, 10-9). So, one game is big.

No, really, I assure you, it's not. It's one game out of 19 out of 162. It is worth exactly as much as every other game.

I used to watch Sutcliffe when he was a broadcaster for the Padres channel and always considered him a huge homer for the Friars to the point of idiocy, so really it should come as no surprise that he's a Red Sox homer now that he works for their network.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:43 AM   3 comments


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

8th Inning. One Out. Two Men On.

What do you do?

Well, if you're this guy:

you bring in your worst reliever!

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:05 AM   0 comments

Hi, My Name Is Dave O'Brien and I drink Red Sox Sperm

... or perhaps I was the only one to watch the SURPRISING ESPN coverage...

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:41 AM   0 comments

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