Wednesday, November 22, 2006

George King Actually Wrote a Decent Article?

It could be because it's free of opinion and just giving regurgitated quotes and facts, but even so, amazing.

King reveals the admitted thought processes of many of the MVP voters, which of course includes a section on Joe Cowley. (Remember him? The guy we're all mail bombing right now? The guy you're signing up for mailing lists? Yes, that Joe Cowley.)

My favorite part has to be this:

This isn't the first time Cowley has been in the eye of an MVP controversy.

In 2003, when he worked for the Daily Southtown, Cowley left Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells off his ballot. Chicago chapter chairman Paul Sullivan suspended Cowley from voting the following year because he didn't think Cowley took the voting seriously and "embarrassed" the Chicago chapter.

In other douchebag news, I heard Cowley on the Dan Patrick show today, and it was incredibly obvious that not only is he a homer, but he couldn't defend his positions well. He left Joe Mauer (OPS+ 128) off his ballot, but included A.J. Pierzynski (OPS+ 95) and defended this by having to "look past stats" and the fact that Pierzynski had to catch "a bunch of headcases." This is not to mention that Mauer won a Gold Glove (which doesn't mean he was the best, but it is certainly indicitive that he's at least not a butcher) and he caught the Cy Young winner and the probable Rookie of the Year (before he got hurt, of course).

When asked about Alex Rodriguez on his ballot, he says he put him on though because of "stats." Way to contradict yourself, assfrog.

Listen here, and tell me he doesn't completely show his anti-New York bias with comments like "the slurping sound coming from New York."

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:41 PM   16 comments

Mike Lupica is a Jackass: Chapter Six

You know, I really don't have the energy anymore to point out his douchebaggery. Anyway, read the idiot here. He says Jeter wasn't robbed of the MVP even though he "would have voted for him" (*cough* *bullshit* *cough*) because Jeter "didn't have the numbers." Then he proceeds to write typical Lupica garbage, never once mentioning a single number, and then wrapping up again by reiterating how Jeter "did not have the numbers."

Oh, don't worry Lupica fans, he still manages to get a couple of shots in about how Ortiz deserved the award last year far more than Jeter does now. Without that it wouldn't be a Lupica article.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:12 PM   0 comments


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

MVP More? No. So Don't Get Mad, Get Even.

By now you've probably heard that Justin Morneau won the AL MVP. This has to be one of the worst selections in the history of the award. Yes, Derek Jeter deserved it, but there were plenty of other candidates that deserved consideration far before Morneau, and that starts with his own teammates, Joe Mauer and Johan Santana. I won't cry collusion, but you're telling me there's nothing fishy here? There was no split of a vote between Mauer and Morneau? Mauer finishes sixth, and only Jeter and Morneau get first place consideration (besides the one vote for Santana)? There's definitely something rotten in the state of Denmark.

I'm really too disgusted by the BBWAA over their selections for MVP awards to really delve into the numbers here, and I'm sure those will proliferate over the net all day. The only stats I feel like posting are these: Jeter led the AL in VORP and Win Shares. Morneau ranked 12th in VORP and 5th in Win Shares. It's a dark day for SABRheads. Here are some comments by some other sources whom I respect, however.

Rob Neyer:
Justin Morneau won the 2006 MVP

Indeed he did. Which is clearly the wrong choice. The up-side is that there's clearly still plenty of room in my business for young men who enjoy facts. Justin Morneau was not one of the five best players in the American League.
Rotoworld (who usually are not exactly Jeter fans):
"Morneau wins despite leading the league in no significant categories. He finished eighth in OPS and 10th once OPS is adjusted for ballpark, and since he did that as an average defensive first baseman with little value on the basepaths, he qualifies as perhaps the weakest MVP in decades."

Justin Morneau was named AL MVP on Tuesday after receiving 15 of the 28 first-place votes.

Ridiculous. Derek Jeter came in second with 12 first-place votes and 306 points. Even though Morneau was, in reality, the third most valuable player on his team, he ranked in the top four on all 28 ballots cast by the writers, giving him 320 points. In third place was David Ortiz, who received 193 points. The rest of the top 10 included Frank Thomas (174), Jermaine Dye (156), Joe Mauer (116), Johan Santana (114), Travis Hafner (64), Vladimir Guerrero (46) and Carlos Guillen (34). Santana received the lone first-place vote not going to Morneau or Jeter, but seven voters left him off the ballot entirely. Morneau wins despite leading the league in no significant categories. He finished eighth in OPS and 10th once OPS is adjusted for ballpark, and since he did that as an average defensive first baseman with little value on the basepaths, he qualifies as perhaps the weakest MVP in decades.
A twincredibly bad decision by the voters to choose the Doctor over the Chairman or the Captain.
Keith Law:
Morneau awful choice for AL MVP

I think all carping about the NL MVP voters getting their choice wrong must immediately cease. The AL's voters couldn't even correctly identify the most valuable Twin, never mind wrapping their heads around a whole league.

The reality of baseball is that a great offensive player at an up-the-middle position is substantially more valuable than a slightly better hitter at a corner position. And when that up-the-middle player is one of the best fielders at his position in baseball, there's absolutely no comparison. Joe Mauer was more valuable than Justin Morneau this past season. If you don't understand that, you don't understand the first thing about baseball.

Mauer had a 54-point edge in OBP over Morneau, which overwhelms the advantage Morneau had in slugging percentage (a 52-point edge). But Mauer won the Gold Glove for his position this past year, and he is arguably the best-fielding catcher in the game when you consider all aspects of catching. Catchers who field and hit the way Mauer does are extremely valuable, just as shortstops who hit like Derek Jeter does and play passable defense are extremely valuable. First basemen who hit like Morneau just shouldn't win MVP awards in years when there are Mauers and Jeters and other candidates to choose from.

Here are the official votes.

You'll notice Jeter actally got a 6th place vote.

Peter Abraham found the culprit:
The person who voted Jeter sixth was Joe Cowley, the White Sox beat writer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Jeter was .292/.393/.542 against the White Sox this season.
Cowley just went on Mike & The Mad Dog and didn't represent the profession very well. He claimed the Yankees would have done just as well without Jeter in the lineup, that Ortiz kept the Red Sox in contention and that Ortiz had better numbers in the clutch than Jeter did. Never mind that the Red Sox were out of the ace in mid-August, the Yankees played nearly all season without Sheff and Matsui and Jeter had better RISP numbers than Ortiz.

Runners in scoring position

Jeter: .381/.482/.581
Morneau: .323/.401/.575
Ortiz: .288/.429/.538
Thomas: .298/.400/.547

Close and late situations

Jeter: .325/.434/.434
Morneau: .299/.343/.540
Ortiz: .314/.443/.756
Thomas: .298/.400/.547
(I'll provide the Mike and the Mad Dog audio link when it becomes available).

Well let's all let Joe Cowley know what a useless, mindless, small little man he is. After all, he gets paid to write and thus gets to vote on things that affect people, and giving Jeter a 6th place vote in inexcusable. So tell him. Berate him. I encourage, nay, I call upon all of you to mail bomb Joe Cowley. Contact him at Mail him once. Mail him twice. Sign him up for pornography lists. Set up a mail rule to forward all of your spam to him. Find the filthiest, most disgusting site, and register his email address.

I'm not taking this sportwriter idiocy lying down anymore. Neither should you. Join me in this crusade and let's give Mr. Cowley a very, very bad day.

** Update: Mike and the Mad Dog interviewing the guy we're all signing up for porn and spam (right?) is available here.


posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:18 PM   19 comments


Monday, November 20, 2006

Tomorrow Should be a Fun Day!

I'll get to read the LA Times to see how much of a positive spin Ned Colletti's lover (Bill Plaschke) can put on this absolute shite, which IMO is the worst deal of the offseason thus far not involving posting fees!

This is exactly the type of deal you expect from a guy hired to be the anti-DePodesta. I can't wait to rip Plaschke to shreds tomorrow. I bet he talks about "speed" and defense" and "hustle." Oh please, dear God in heaven, let him use the word "hustle."

It's going to be fun!

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:54 PM   0 comments

Stephen A. Smith is a Jackass

Most of you know when I rip a sportswriter's ridiculous article, I will tear it apart piece by piece. Not so this time. I'm simply going to post sections of this article by Stephen A. Smith, which conveniently appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Simply overlook the awful grammar and terrible writing style, and look at the man's arguments, which are completely off the wall. Howard should beat Pujols, because despite Pujols having better stats and carrying his team to a division title (withough Pujols, the Cardinals would have been a sub-.500 team), Howard made baseball popular in Philadelphia with African-Americans. Actually, I'll go one step further: Smith's argument is that Howard should be the MVP because he is African-American. I don't want to play the race card here, but I can already see Smith has it in his hole. I'm simply calling the blind.

Only one clear choice for National League MVP
By Stephen A. Smith
Inquirer Columnist

Except the Phillies do have Ryan Howard. The same kid who smacked 58 homers, drove in 149 runs, batted .313, and had a .659 slugging percentage. He symbolized the only reason fans had for showing their faces around Broad and Pattison during summertime.

Oh, did I mention he should also end up as National League MVP?

The result of the voting for the National League's most valuable player is expected tomorrow and, with apologies and respect to Albert Pujols, the vote shouldn't even be close. Of course, there are naysayers who'll spew otherwise, vociferously pointing out how the league's 2005 MVP still had 49 homers with a better batting average and slugging percentage than Howard - despite missing 15 games in June because of an injury.

They'll be the same people I accuse of not paying much attention last season.

You don't just look at the stat sheets or the box scores to measure the impact of Ryan Howard. You view the landscape of MLB then ask yourself, "Where did these fans come from?"

Who are all these people who weren't watching the Phillies before? This franchise hasn't made the postseason since 1993, so why on earth are stadiums packed whenever they come to town?

Where did all the African American fans come from? Why haven't we heard about steroids? Mark McGwire? Barry Bonds?

The answer would be because there's no need. Because Howard is the real deal. He's the modern-day athlete major-league baseball was starving for.

The same can be said of Pujols, who is as big-time as they come. The St. Louis Cardinals would not have sniffed the postseason without him, let alone captured a World Series championship. But the reality is the talent that is Pujols, while fairly unique, is a dime a dozen in the laundry list of Latin talent that has invaded baseball.

When you think of Pujols, you also think of Manny Ramirez and David "Big Papi" Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez. They play great baseball, but that's it.

In Howard's case, not only has he performed, he's single-handedly transformed the focus of a sport, forcing baseball - and possibly the rest of us - to take a closer look at potential African American prospects perhaps through something more than Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (RBI) programs.

Held back - some might say hidden - by the Phillies for far too long, Howard has burst onto the scene in less than two years in the majors. And he's done it with a Magic Johnson-like smile despite the Phillies' unwillingness to show him some money and his being surrounded by limited, wannabe talent.

In the meantime, there's Howard, who ranked either first or second in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage. He's given Phillies fans a reason to hope for a change.

Perhaps he won't be better than Pujols over the long haul. Maybe Howard will fade too quickly, succumbing to the pressures of Missouri's "show me" mantra like so many St. Louis natives before him. The truth is, however, we really don't know.

All we know for sure is what happened this year, what Howard did on the diamond, what he meant for baseball.

Numbers are being retired all the time. Baseball prides itself on setting precedents while maintaining tradition.

Awarding a difference maker on the field - and in the community at large - has always been baseball's version of a home run.

Pujols deservedly got his recognition last year.

It's Howard's time now.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:52 PM   10 comments


Sunday, November 19, 2006

If It's Not True, Pretend That It Is

Barry Rozner of Chicago's Daily Herald goes off on a rant about payroll disparity and how only the big city teams with the bloated payrolls qualify, which sounds all well and good until you realize that none of it is true.
Level playing field? Not in your baseball lifetime
Seven different champions in seven seasons. Sounds pretty level to me. In comparison, the NFL the "ultimate parity league" have, since the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 World Series to begin that seven team run, seen 50% of their championships go to one franchise, the New England Patriots. The NFL has near full revenue sharing and a salary cap. I guess there must be more to it than payroll, huh?
NEW YORK — Only in Gotham can you find a team truly worth a billion dollars.

And it’s clear from the early returns that the Cubs won’t fetch that price.

At least not yet.

But imagine a group of local businessmen/Cubs fans buying the club and paying, say, $700 million to $800 million for the team, give or take a few bucks, with a sweet broadcast deal thrown into the package.
Ok, I am imagining this. My guess is that they wouldn't invest that much unless they thought they'd get a return on that investment, but hey, what do I know, I don't write for the Daily Herald.
There are some who believe that could happen any day now, but we’re inclined to think ownership will continue to drive the price higher and create a bidding war.
There are some who think that man never walked on the moon and that OJ was innocent. It's lazy writing to say "there are some who say" without mentioning who those some are, and then to refute those nameless hordes with a "we're inclined to believe" as if Barry Rozner is not a man, but a collective mind of experts. Example: there are some who say that Barry Rozner is a big jackass, but we're inclined to believe he is many jackasses.
Still, whether it’s this year or next, it’s likely to happen, and if it does, imagine further a Cubs team willing to spend $200 million on payroll to win.

That would put them in the rarified air that belongs only to the Yankees and now the Red Sox, who were willing to spend more than $100 million alone on a hurler who has yet to throw a North American pitch in anger.
Yes, it would be truly awful of ownership to invest their profits into the team instead of pocketing it. Man what a bunch of jerks!
And nowhere in the last week — since owners began spending like drunken Steinbrenners — have you heard Bud Selig proclaim that the game is perfect, that anyone can win at any time, and that the days of the Haves vs. the Have-nots are over.

Indeed, Selig tries only to sell such fiction around the time of the All-Star Game, when it’s true there is parity in the game.

One game.

Wait, so is Bud Selig supposed to make a weekly address that "everything is fine"? Rozner would probably have purchased this invention:

Homer: Here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm! (loud piercing alarm)
This will sound every three seconds, unless something isn't
Marge: Turn it off, Homer!
Homer: It can't be turned off! [alarm fizzles out] But it, uh,
does break easily.
The reason Selig doesn't preach balance is because he's always been an owner for small markets (since he and his daughter have owned the Milwaukee Brewers for the better part of the last few decades) and doesn't complain when owners of those franchises line their pockets with revenue sharing. To admit that there is some competitive balance would be to undermine the "dire need" for a new stadium for every franchise owner wanting a community to pay to buy him a new toy.
Other than that, his “perfect’’ system seems quite broken, as there is no level playing field, and there is no competitive balance.
Seven champions in the last seven years.
Certainly not when it comes to purchasing free agents or making the playoffs.

That is reserved for the richest of the rich, and you’ll notice you have not heard a word from Selig since he bragged about the new collective bargaining agreement being signed without a work stoppage.
Again, I'm no Bud Selig fan, but why exactly should Selig be making statements "since the collective bargaining agreement" about parity? I'm truly at a loss to figure out why Rozner keeps saying that Selig hasn't made a statement since some arbitrary time about a situation that hasn't changed.

The playoffs are not reserved for the "richest of the rich." But let's use facts rather than hyperbole to prove it:
Top 10 2006 Payrolls and their results playoff teams in bold:
  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Angels of Whatever City You Choose
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. New York Mets
  6. Chicago Cubs
  7. Los Angeles Dodgers
  8. Houston Astros
  9. Atlanta Braves
  10. San Francisco Giants
That's three out of the top ten.
Well, congratulations for not killing the game again.
Hey dude, that is actually a big deal that there will be no work stoppage for the forseeable future and no acrimonius, dragged out negotiations full of threats and timetables. That is a very big deal, as it's pretty much unprecedented in the history of the sport. However I suppose Selig's time would have been better served giving speeches about competitive balance.
The truth is there was no work stoppage because the big-market owners are making money hand over fist, and the players couldn’t be more pleased.
I know this won't make and sense to Barry Rozner, but ALL teams are making money hand over fist. Remember the Brewers I mentioned before? Small market team, right? Well a few years ago they were the most profitable team in baseball: "Figures released by major league baseball show that the Milwaukee Brewers were baseball's most profitable club, after revenue sharing, in 2001. Without revenue sharing, the Brewers were the fourth-most profitable team." That hasn't changed. The Brewers are still making money:

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has said his profit for 2005 was about $4.5 million. That’s much lower than the Forbes estimate, but the magazine does not take into account taxes, depreciation and interest payments. A newly purchased franchise like the Brewers can claim millions in phantom depreciation on ballplayers, a tax break not allowed to any other industry. As for interest payments, that reflects borrowed money, not money an owner actually put up to buy a team.

The long and short of it is the Brewers are doing very well. Though the team ranks 26th of 30 franchises in total revenue, its profit is high because its expenses are low. That would reflect two factors: a very favorable stadium deal, with the public paying for more of the costs than most cities, and a player payroll that is one of the lowest in the league. This raises an obvious question: Given how generous the taxpayers have been, why is the Brewers payroll so low?

Ok, back to Rozner's Ramblings:
A terrible free-agent class is seeing ridiculous offers, and they’re getting them from the usual suspenders holding up the deep pockets of the big-market owners.

Just imagine a year from now the Cubs up around $200 million with fans/owners so possessed by a century of suffering that they’ll do anything to win.

Of course, money’s no guarantee, but we’ll guarantee you the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Mets and Dodgers, who all spent over $100 million in 2006, won’t sit back and let the Cubs spend alone.
Wow, some clubs are going to invest in free agents? Seriously? It's not just those teams. The biggest free agent contract ever was signed by the Texas Rangers. A couple of seasons ago the Seattle Mariners handed out huge contracts to Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson. Every team spends on free agents.

Also I don't see why Rozner chooses to isolate the Cubs here as if all of a sudden they'll be "up there" with these franchises. As I listed above, the Cubs had the 6th largest payroll in 2006 - just behind the Mets, and more than the Dodgers who at least in 2006 were content to "sit back" and let the Cubs spend.
Some of them will go with the Cubs dollar for dollar, competing for free agents as they are this winter.

What’s that you say about competitive balance?
Oh, you must not have been paying attention. I said "seven champions in seven years."
Of the bottom 19 teams in payroll, only two — Minnesota and Oakland — regularly compete for a playoff spot, and that’s only because their GMs are smarter than most and have figured out how to beat the system.

The rest of the Pirates, Royals, Marlins, Brewers, Devil Rays and Rockies still serve as farm teams for the major-league teams, trading their best and most expensive players either because they can’t afford them now, or know they won’t be able to sign them later.
This is pure nonsense. The Cardinals "regularly compete" for a playoff spot. They've been to two World Series in the past three years (and won one, I might add). The Padres regularly compete for a playoff spot, as do many other franchises. So far the only real "fact" presented in this article is that the Twins and A's have won playoff spots despite low payrolls. Yes,this is a testament to good management. It is also a testament to which divisions in which they play.
You want to talk level playing field?

It’s not just the air that’s thin in Colorado, where the Rockies might have to deal their best pitcher, Jason Jennings, because he’s a free agent after the 2007 season.
Jason Jennings had a career year. Now would be the time to unload him no matter what team owns his rights. His road ERA the past three seasons has been unremarkable and average at best. Yes, he's their best pitcher, but that should say something about the Rockies' long history of being unable to scout and develop any real pitching talent, and the fact that they still haven't really figured out how to build a franchise in that thin air. Coors Field is huge, and will sell out if the Rockies could put together a winner. Denver is a great sports town and I'm sure they'd love to get behind their team, but you can't praise the A's and Twins for great management and not blame the Rockies for mismanagement.
You worried about a luxury tax?

Not in New York, L.A., Boston or Chicago, where if the Cubs are sold, you’ll have another monster payroll to suck dry the best and brightest from the poorest of the poor.
Well, no team is really poor, but that's another reason why revenue sharing was created. However, owners often abuse their payouts as they shove millions of dollars into their pockets and do not invest in their teams.
Good for us in Chicago, bad for most of America.
Playoffs? Playoffs?

No, Jim Mora, the playoffs are reserved for the big markets.

Hahaha, a timely Jim Mora non-sequitor reference! Barry Rozner, you card you!

Ok so even though I posted that only three of the top ten payrolled teams made the playoffs last year, lets do the rankings of the teams who did make the playoffs:

1. New York Yankees
5. New York Mets
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
11. St. Louis Cardinals
14. Detroit Tigers
17. San Diego Padres
19. Minnesota Twins
21. Oakland A's

Hardly the richest of the rich. Hardly just the big markets.
Since revenue sharing was boosted in the previous CBA, three playoff teams out of 32 came from the group (the bottom 10) that is supposed to get the most money from the luxury tax — Oakland twice and the Marlins once.
Their owners and GMs are either not interested in investing that money back into their franchise, or are in a rebuilding mode, or are inept. Take your pick.
Since the expansion in 1998, 64 of 72 postseason clubs (89 percent) emerged from the top 66 percent of revenue clubs. Of the poor sisters who made it, five of the eight were Billy Beane’s Athletics.

In that same time period, 79 percent of the playoff teams were in the top 50 percent of payrolls, and 60 percent came just from the top 10 spenders.
Wow! Most of the playoff teams were from the top two thirds of teams based on payroll! Besides that fact that we're talking about a large majority here, of course that's the case. Teams looking to be competitive in a year are willing to spend, teams that are rebuilding are dumping high salaried players and going with young talent. That's the way it works.
The numbers don’t lie: If you’re a fan of the Reds, Brewers, Royals, Pirates, Rockies, Rays or Marlins, you’ve got a better shot at getting hit by lightning — or witnessing the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup — than you doing watching your baseball team make the playoffs.
The Reds came pretty close to making the playoffs in 2006. The Marlins have won a World Series since the hated big payroll Yankees (in fact they beat them in order to do it) and have won two championships since big payroll teams like the Mets, Dodgers and (yes) Cubs have won their last one.
Level playing field?

Yeah, as smooth as a Chicago side street in winter.
Barry Rozner, I have to admit I really don't know what you've been talking about this whole article. The Cubs are about to become a big spender (but they already are). Only the rich make the playoffs (but they don't) and the small market teams can't compete (but they do).

Next time before you write an article, take a deep breath and think about what you're point will be for the piece, and then throughout the article use facts to support your arguments. Now don't just pick and choose facts to support your case, but instead make a case based off all of the facts. Here's one, try it out: seven champions in seven years.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:57 PM   1 comments


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pujols Caught With Crack, Given Unconditional Release

No, not that Pujols. I'm constantly amazed at how many athletes, who have a chance many others would do anything to have, throw it away with stupid decisions. It astounds me. At any rate, here's the article. The bolding is mine in case you just want to skim, and because some parts of the story are almost to unbelievable to be true.

UNION CITY - A minor league baseball player who had been suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs was in trouble again Thursday after Union City cops caught him with 130 bags of crack cocaine, reports said.

Kengshill Scheider Pujols, 21, of 19th Street, a pitcher for the Vero Beach, Fla.-based Gulf Coast League Dodgers, was released by the team yesterday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers said.

He was arrested after driving erratically on the 200 block of 43rd Street, police said yesterday. As cops approached him, he seemed nervous and as he was picking up his jacket, they spotted a glassine envelope falling onto the back seat, police said, which turned out to contain suspected crack cocaine.

Officers then found another 11 packets and when they took him to police headquarters he gave up a large bag with an additional 118 bags from his underwear, officials said.

Pujols told police that he worked for the Dodgers and was suspended for substance abuse, police said.

He was charged with drug possession and distribution and driving without a license, officials said.

Pujols, who was in his first year with Gulf Coast League Dodgers was suspended Aug. 1 for 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances.

According to the Dodgers' Web site, his statistics were 0-0 with a 3.43 ERA and one save in nine games. He had 20 strikeouts in 21 innings.

He also played two years as a catcher with the Ogden Raptors in Utah, also in the Dodgers organization.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:16 AM   0 comments


Friday, November 17, 2006

Non-Baseball qotd

"'re a chair?"

-lupe, before realizing that perhaps there was something wrong with her connection and things weren't displaying properly :D

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:40 PM   1 comments


Thursday, November 16, 2006

12.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 BB, 13 K, CG, L

Cashman said he would probably ask Scott Proctor, who led the American League with 83 appearances last season, to prepare for next season as if he were starting. The Yankees have Brian Bruney and the recently acquired Chris Britton as right-handed options in the bullpen before turning to Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera. Proctor could easily return to the bullpen if needed.
Torre could probably give the whole bullpen the night off every five days. I know if I'm Kyle Farnsworth, I probably don't even show up at the park and instead hit some bars in Manhattan.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:14 PM   1 comments


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

$51.1 Million

"The greater the lie, the greater the chance that it will be believed."
- Adolph Hitler

Abreu? "Too expensive we can't compete with the Yankees!"
Contreras? "Too expensive we can't compete with the Yankees!"
Damon? "Too expensive we can't compete with the Yankees!"
Rodriguez? Too expensive we can't compete with the Yankees!"
Matsuzaka? "Let's pay $38 million more than any previous posting fee!"

I mean I thought $42 million was a bit much, but $51 million? You figure if Boras gets his wish (as he is wont to do) add 3 years for $12-$13 per, and that's a total of $29 million plus per season for Matsuzaka.

This team quibbled over a few million on A-Rod, and now is willing to give Matsuzaka $900,000 per start (if he stays healthy).

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:17 PM   4 comments


Monday, November 13, 2006

The Evil Empre vs. The Land of Shadow

It's being reported in many areas now that the Matsuzaka bid has leaked and that Boston bid $42M (reportedly over $10-$12M more than any other club).

I found this article interesting.
Steinbrenner fires shot at Sox after losing out on pitcher news services

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner just couldn't stomach coming up short to Boston and president Larry Lucchino in the courtship of pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The bitter relationship between Steinbrenner and Lucchino came into unquestionable focus this week after the Red Sox reportedly won the rights to Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka for $42 million.

After the agreement had been reached, Steinbrenner initially offered a brusque "no comment" when reached by The New York Times. Then he pulled a 180 with his position.

"No, I'll make a comment. The Land of Shadow extends its dark hand even into Asia," Steinbrenner told The Times.

"Lucchino has aimed all his venom at Steinbrenner," a baseball official told The Times. "He told his people, 'Lose Matsuzaka and you're done.' "

"We couldn't, the right word is we wouldn't, sacrifice the opportunity to sign these talents on the basis of reducing payroll first,'' Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said after Matsuzaka's bid was sealed.

The Yankees thought New York offered more to get Matsuzaka, but Red Sox spokesman Grima Wormtongue said Tuesday that wasn't the case.

"We made every reasonable effort and then some to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. " ... We went to the limit of fiscal sanity with our offer and would not go beyond."

But, according to The Times, the Red Sox were prepared to trump whatever offer the Yankees made to get Matsuzaka.

"(Lucchino) is just unbelievable," an agent told the Daily News. "He just doesn't give a (damn). God bless him. He's obviously gonna spend whatever he feels like to win. He's unbelievable."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Ok, so that story wasn't really linked on, I simply reversed the names and cities and changed Contreras to Matsuzaka.

It's completely amazing to me that, if true, Boston would bid so high for Matsuzaka when they've been crying poor for so long (Theo: we can't afford Abreu's $22M for 2 years "That's the reality. It's going to occasionally leave us short … every time there's a player who's available in a bidding war or taking on a contract or getting the best free agent.") and then turn around and bid $42M just for the right to negotiate with a pitcher who will likely then cost $13M for three years (which is about what Boras is looking for, reportedly). $39M + $42M / 3 = $27M a year for a player who has never thrown a single pitch in major league baseball. Now I was all for Matsuzaka as a Yankee, but $27M/year? I know that a portion of that doesn't go against the luxury tax, but still there is no reason to pay a player who will start 32 games per year that much money.

The Red Sox baffle me now. They're too poor for Abreu, too poor to pay Damon, and repeatedly mention it in the press, and yet now they blow everyone out of the water and are supposedly looking at signing JD flippin' Drew for more than $52M over four years?

Here's what this boils down to: what Boston is doing is fine. I hold nothing against them for it, since it's their money and their right to spend it however they see fit. You know what they've lost though? Any right to complain. No more whining about how you can't afford a player, but New York can. No more whining about your market (even though it extends from Connecticut through Maine). No more jabs at the "Evil Empire" for signing foreign talent. No, those rights officially ended once you faxed over that bid to Bud Selig. To paraphrase Marcellus Wallace, Boston, you just lost your LA privileges.

Oh and why did I choose to substitute the "Evil Empire" for the "Land of Shadow"?

Based On:
Star Wars
Lord of the Rings
The Emperor
Claim to Fame:
Death Star
One Ring

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:35 PM   7 comments


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Predicting the So-Called "Experts"

Just as last year, I'm going to guess at who will win the major awards, and who should win the major awards. To be quite honest I have more faith in the writers this year than last as there seems to have been less of a media (ESPN) concentrated effort to push certain players this season.

In any event, my picks:

Who Should Win
Who Will Win
AL ROYJustin VerlanderJustin Verlander
NL ROYRyan ZimmermanHanley Ramirez
AL MOYJim LeylandJim Leyland
NL MOYJoe GirardiJoe Girardi
AL Cy Young
Johan SantanaJohan Santana
NL Cy Young
Brandon WebbRoy Oswalt
AL MVPJohan Santana
Derek Jeter
NL MVPAlbert PujolsRyan Howard

As I said, I have more faith in the outcomes this year (if not the writers themselves) because some of the choices are easier and others have 2 or 3 viable and deserving candidates. I expect only to have picked a couple of different choices
(NL ROY, NL MVP, NL Cy Young) and other than Pujols missing out, I couldn't begrudge Oswalt or Ramirez from their wins (should they win).

It should be interesting, but there's far less drama and room for egregiuos mistakes as last year, when an undeserving Colon beat out Santana and Mariano Rivera, yet the media focused on and bemoaned how Clutchy O'Papi McOrtiz was beaten out by a guy with better offensive stats who also played defense.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:30 AM   0 comments


Friday, November 10, 2006

When a Player of His Quality Becomes Available

.. you simply must strike quickly.

The Reds made their first acquisition of the offseason on Friday, signing outfielder Bubba Crosby to a one-year contract worth $400,000.

"We're getting a guy that's been on winning teams, that plays the game the right way, that always plays it hard and can play all three outfield positions," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "We're happy to have him."

Crosby, a left-handed hitter, has split the past three seasons shuttling between the Yankees and Triple-A Columbus. He batted .207 with one home run and six RBIs in 2006 for New York and .238 in 22 games for Columbus.

"He knows what kind of hitter he is and what he needs to work on," Krivsky said. "It's somebody we've had interest in, and he got our attention when he came over on the wire. We wanted to sign him."

This is of course the same team who jumped all over Tony Womack.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:35 PM   4 comments


This is all I'm going to say about this.

Silver Slugger Awards were determined by a vote of MLB managers and coaches who selected the opposing players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in the American and National Leagues. Selections were based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Joe Crede was selected as this year's 3rd base Silver Slugger.

I'm sure he dominated in the stated categories above, right?


However it's possible voters looked here as well:


How is it that we live in a world where Derek Jeter is voted three times consecutively to be the best fielding shortstop in the American League, and voters think Joe Crede had better offensive production than Alex Rodriguez? How exactly is any of this possible?

Here's another example of the anti-A-Rods, the guys who get votes when they don't even deserve them: your 2006 Silver Slugger AL DH: who else? David Ortiz! Yes, David Ortiz, he of the moon landing, he who freed the slaves, the very same David Ortiz who singlehandedly defeated the kaiser in World War I, the man who cured feline cancer. That David Ortiz.


Whoops, almost forgot:


Early word is that Mr. Ortiz will be delayed in picking up his award as he is delayed negotiating a peace treaty between Hamas and Israel.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:42 PM   4 comments


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Unique Colors are Stupid!

How many teams' uniforms have colors or styles unique to them? I give the old school a pass (Yankees, Boston, Cubs, Dodgers, White Sox, etc) if they keep their classic looks, but what excuse do the expansion teams have for essentially copying the others? I used to think the best thing about the Diamondbacks were the fact that they had uniquely colored uniforms (thank you Buck) especially since in the 90's the Padres changed from brown to a knock off of the Dodger uniforms. Well, the D'Backs no longer have anything uniquely theirs anymore, as they have chosen to become the Nationals/Rangers/Angels/Reds/Cardinals:

Home Jersey

Alternate Jersey

Home Cap

Road Jersey

Road Cap

The oddest part of these new uniforms is that nowhere on them - sleeves, front, back - does the word "Diamondbacks" appear. It's as if the team, in an effort to be "new" and "hip" have decided to include a diamond in lieu of an apostrophe in their contracted name, because a diamond is far more Xtreme! than an apostrophe.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:15 PM   11 comments


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Zero Bids?

You're shitting me.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:02 PM   2 comments

I'm Getting Sick of Yankee Fans

Seriously. The further removed from the late 90's we get, the more these "fans" get nostalgic about those championship years, and the more any Yankee who won a ring have their abilities and accomplishments magnified in people's minds to the point where some people may think Charlie Hayes and Chad Curtis are borderline Hall of Famers.

I hate to say that in many ways I'm getting sick of fans of my own team (not all of them of course, because that would then also include myself and many people I respect) but it's getting to the point of ridiculousness.

Case in point: Joel Sherman wrote a blog post about how you can't "buy a championship," and that the difference between the 90's teams and today is the amount of pressure that they're under. I am not going to rip apart Sherman's article here, because that's not the point of this particular post, but here's a snippet:
The closest (Steinbrenner) came (to buying a championship), and maybe any team will come for a long time, was his 1996-2001 clubs. Interestingly, while those teams always had high payrolls, they did not lap the field on every other team. And I think that was one of the reasons those Yankee clubs won. They had pressure. But not the kind of pressure that intensified around the team because of a) the need to feed winning by winning some more, however, also b) the relentless, financial pursuit of a championship once the parades stopped.
Of course I disagree with Sherman here (I don't know how you can say the 1998 Yankees didn't "lap the field") but again, not the point. Check out the comments from that page, and see what these so-called fans think the problem is with the Yankees, and how to "fix" them (also ignore the terrible spelling and grammar).

This guy compares the Yankees to Costco, believing that signing a free agent is akin to passing up someone more deserving for a promotion, and thinks A-Rod is a "mercenary" even though he was traded and not signed as a free agent but makes no mention of "mercenaries" Sheffield, Giambi, Matsui....:

Costco is a simple company promoting within for advancement..Makes for a cohesive well tuned work team...How does a worker feel when a management position is filled by an outside candidate and mgmt bypasses loyal working Joe (ie. 20 yrs loyal service)?? Costco wouldn't do it!!

Bringing in mercenaries such as A-Rod will cause an atmosphere where dysfunction supercedes collective talent...Inevitably, golf will start earlier than the boss deems acceptable!!!

The curse of E-Rod will haunt the Boss until he rids the mercenary deamon!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Dennis on November 1, 2006 07:47 AM

This genius thinks it would be better to have an inferior player at third base:

what can i say , lets get rid of anal rod get as much as we can for mainkly pitching & sign a-ram
(aramis ramirez) to play third and we'll all be be happy never to see that stylish strike out swing again good riddance.

Posted by: jose garcia on November 2, 2006 11:37 AM

What was A-Rod's batting average (the most important stat) in day games on the road with less than three balls? I bet this guy knows:

does anyone out there know that arod had the worst batting avrg in the AL w/ rnnrs on 3rd base w/less than 2 outs? this is not oct 1 i speak of,but the whole season. yes get rid of him at any cost.please no more old pitchers! try for willis at any cost.i am willing to wager that houston would take arod for oswalt.they triedlike mad to get tejada before the trade deadline in aug only to bbe shot down the balt ownr.that deal involved oswalt please no more oldies!

Posted by: mitch from east meadow on November 2, 2006 02:39 PM

This is aone of my favorite theories: you need crappy players who then magically turn into unbelievable players for a short stretch of time, and that is how you win championships:

You're right -- you can't buy chemistry. You also can't win without overachievers, guys like Brosius, who went from lowest avrg to WS MVP, or Leyritz or even Boone...guys who thirst for a chance to grab the big stage and then come through big time.

And thank God they didn't dump Joe, who has the heart his players need to show more of.

Posted by: Aryeh C on November 2, 2006 04:27 PM

The Yankees will never win with Rodriguez because he is "a phony" so the plan here (which is hands down my favorite) to release him, and pay his salary and let another team pick him up off of waivers and pay him the major league minimum, because that will fix the Yankees:

Yankees will never win as long as Arod remains a Yankee. He is the biggest phony in baseball. In a tough situation he is the least likely player to come through. Give him his unconditinal release and
The Yankees can begin to rebuild.

Posted by: Poly on November 6, 2006 01:49 AM

All Alex cares about is his own stats, while Jeter cares nothing about stats because Jeter said he didn't care about the MVP but wanted to win the championship, even though that's exactly what Alex said last year but Alex is a big phony:

A-Rod tears the Yankees apart. He is the absolute opposite of every Yankee that played for the championship teams from '96-'00. He is the epitome of someone putting the I in TEAM. All he cares about is his individual stats and what his batting average is at any given moment. When Jeter was asked towards the end of the season about his run for American League MVP, he said that he didn't even care about MVP and that his focus was on winning the division. You think A-Rod would've said something like that. He will never live up to Derek Jeter's legacy in New York and can't stand being second fiddle on the team. He should be traded to a team where he can be the number one pretty boy as he was in Texas and Seattle where he probably wont win a championship, but at least he'll have the best stats on the team.

Posted by: Steve Gant on November 7, 2006 12:19 AM

A-Rod MUST be traded!!!!!111one1!uno:

Now we're stuck with having to accept mid level deals to get rid of Sheffield, and coddling E-Rod to hope he doesn't completely lose it. Its pretty much a must we trade Alex...but again how do you know we will gain a winning chemistry in return? Its down to luck as you say.

Posted by: Donald Stewart on November 7, 2006 12:42 PM

I agree in that he will never be like Derek Jeter, because Alex actually has to go ridiculously above and beyond to win an award:

I am in favor of dealing A-Rod to another team;possibly back to the West Coast. He will never be like Derek Jeter,who came up thru the Yankee farm system. ARod is nothing but a distraction. The yankees should definitely trade him,and I want to see him in the NATIONAL LEAGUE, on the West Coast.

Posted by: Helen Schultz on November 7, 2006 01:07 PM

And finally, this brainiac:

Whomever brought up the man on third less than two outs stat is right on. I am able to watch about 125 games a year, from my home in Boston no less (grew up in NJ), and I see the same thing everybody else sees; unproductive outs, unable to drive the ball for a sacrifice fly, overanxious, underaggressive, refuses to hit defensively for the team, etc. If he converted on half of those man on third less than two out situations with his natural ability he have David Ortiz like numbers and not just 90% of the league would give their right arm for numbers.

Posted by: John on November 7, 2006 01:43 PM

In fairness there are some guys in there like Chris and Andy who seem to actually get it, but these sadly are the exception and not the rule. And before Red Sox fans start gloating and feeling superior, you're no better:

As a Red Sox fan, I hope the Yankees are sincere in their desire to keep A-rod. Had this guy landed in Boston, I truly believe our championship drought is 89 years and counting. Say what you want about Manny Ramirez and his goofy behavior, but he has a ring on his hand and a World Series MVP trophy on his mantle.

I also hope the Yanks pick up their options on Gary Sheffield and Mike Mussina....keep all the small gamers and bad apples in the Big Apple!

Posted by: Dan on November 2, 2006 09:09 AM

Now usually I rip on sportswriters, and not fans. So why start on the fans now? Well, this isn't going to be a running theme on this blog, but there comes a point in time where you have to stand up and say "you idiots are making the rest of us look stupid. Shut your unknowledgable mouths and stop listening to jackasses like Lupica before you start spouting your asinine opinions."

This is simply a reflection of the idiots like Lupica and Celizic. This is the result of the mindless society who believes whatever they read. I meet more and more of these people in person and online every day.

They're giving the rest of us a bad name. Seriously, they're starting to sound like Red Sox fans.

What everyone seems to miss here is there's no "fix" needed to win the championship. Minor tweaks, sure. Better pitching would help. The hottest team is the one that wins in October. The Yankees just didn't get hot (again). Jeff Weaver and Kenny Rogers both stunk it up in the post season for the Yankees, and yet one of them won the only game in which his team was victorius in the World Series, and the other won the clinching game. Both got hot at exactly the right time. Does this mean the Yankees should go out and get Weaver and Rogers to "get them over the hump"? No, of course not. You build your team to make the post season. After that, it's like poker: even if you have pocket aces, there is no guarantee of victory, just a better chance.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:48 PM   4 comments


Friday, November 03, 2006

Mo Should Be Captain

He certainly acts more like one than some people.

Come on New York, give A-Rod a break. At least that is what Yankee closer Mariano Rivera advises. At his restaurant in New Rochelle last night, Rivera said he thinks the embattled Yankee third baseman did everything except catch a break this season.

"They didn't give the guy a break. New York, the town," Rivera said of Alex Rodriguez. "He's done a good job. If you ask me who has hit in the playoffs, I am going to say two or three guys. Alex is one guy, he is not the team. You can't win with that on one guy. A team is 25 guys."

Rivera, speaking at Mo's New York Grill, said he had not yet reached out to Rodriguez or any of his teammates. He said he had no insight into the rumors about Rodriguez being traded.

"It's not up to me whether he is here or not or whether the Yankees want him here or not," Rivera said. "He wanted to be a part of the team, part of a winning team. He's done everything. He works so hard, it's amazing.

"It's not easy being himself sometimes," Rivera said. "It's tough on him."

Would it have been so hard for Mr. Intangibles to make a similar statement at any time last year? Sheesh.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:53 PM   3 comments


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I Didn't Know Torre Even Owned a Computer

According to, Yankees manager Joe Torre is releasing a CD-ROM that teaches and showcases his outstanding in-game managerial skills and decision making abilities.
Torre dives into online virtual world
New animated CD-ROM features Torre's coaching method

NEW YORK -- Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play for Joe Torre? Now you can find out.

The Yankees manager has teamed up with Van Wagner Sports Group to develop "Joe Torre's Virtual Baseball Academy," a CD-ROM licensed by Major League Baseball and available for purchase at

The interactive, animated 3-D CD-ROM features Torre's coaching method to teach baseball to youth baseball players, coaches and parents.

"This is a unique product, because it's done in 3-D animation," Torre said. "When you combine that technology with my method of teaching the game, we think we have created the best baseball training product in the market."

"Joe Torre's Virtual Baseball Academy" teaches baseball skills and drills that are simple and effective, practice plans for youth baseball coaches, as well as the mental aspects of the game.

The CD-ROM also features "Joe Torre's Ballpark Challenge," which includes experiences that surround environments unique to a baseball stadium, from the concession stand to the bleachers to the playing field. The game comes in three levels of play, including a peanut throw and a fly-ball catch.

No word yet on the arm health of Virtual Scott Proctor.

Personally, I'd rather have Ron Guidry's Bayou Fishin' or maybe The Zims.

Feel free to poke fun at this in the comments. The best quip will get be guaranteed a fabulous prize*.

(*Not a guarantee)

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:02 PM   0 comments

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