Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reality Check History Lesson

Who was the lowest regarded prospect of the following:

A. Phil Hughes
B. Joba Chamberlain
C. Sam Marsonek
D. Domingo Jean
E. Ian Kennedy
F. Brandon Claussen
G. Johan Santana
H. Ted Lilly
I. Ryan Bradley
J. Jake Westbrook
K. Tyler Clippard
L. Ed Yarnall

If you guessed "G," you were correct. Santana was left unprotected in the Rule V draft by the Houston Astros, and then was selected by the Minnesota Twins. The Astros didn't think highly enough of Santana's future to place him on their 40 man roster, and lost him for nothing. Two (and deserving of at least one more) Cy Young awards later, Santana has proven the scouts and pundits wrong.

So where are Yarnall, Bradley and Jean these days? Clippard is now so low on the Yankees radar that they'd happily throw him in on almost any deal at this point. Claussen is now in the Nationals system after frustrating Reds fans and not pitching in 2007. Westbrook has had one good year (2004) and been a mediocre pitcher in every other. Theodore Roosevelt Lilly has had the most success of any of the "highly regarded" prospects traded by the Yankees, and has put together a pretty decent career as an above average major league pitcher (although 2007 is the only year since he left the Yankees he has posted an ERA under 4.00). I believe Sam Marsonek picked up my dry cleaning last week.

What's the point here? Yankees fans tend to overvalue their own prospects and young players, thinking every single one of them is going to be the next Whitey Ford or Roger Clemens. Kennedy, Hughes and Chamberlain are good prospects and appear to be able to compete on the major league level and hopefully all three will have good careers ahead of them. There are, however, no guarantees.

Remember that when the thought of sacrificing one of three prospects to obtain the best pitcher in baseball in the prime years of his career becomes a possibility.

Or maybe you're still hoarding that Hensley Meulens rookie card, convinced he could still be the next Mickey Mantle.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:01 PM   5 comments


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dude, They're Getting a Delmon

According to the Star-Tribune of the Mini Apple, the Twins have been busy on other fronts.

The Twins and Tampa Bay Rays are close to finalizing a multi-player deal, according to several sources with knowledge of the discussions. The deal could be announced as soon as today.

The main pieces changning teams would be outfielder Delmon Young, the first overall pick in 2003, and righthander Matt Garza. But indications were strong on Wednesday that as many as six players could be involved.

In addition to Garza, the Twins would send Tampa Bay shortstop Jason Bartlett and reliever Juan Rincon for Young, shortstop Brendan Harris and outfielder Jason Pridie. Pridie was with the Twins during spring training of 2006 as a Rule 5 pick.

There are a few ways to look at this deal:
  • The Twins plan to hold on to Santana for 2008, because without Garza they'll need pitcing.
  • The Twins plan to try Pirdie or Young in CF and now are targeting different players that match up better in return for Santana.
  • The Twins have a deal involving Nathan on the table in which they acquire a young third baseman, and only want pitching for Santana.
  • The market wasn't what the Twins thought it could be for Santana, so they are willing to take a larger package of less ML-ready talent and build around the young core they now have.

I don't think this deal helps the Yankees in their quest for Santana unless the latter is the case. Could the Twins be willing to accept Kennedy/Horne/Marquez with an eye towards 2009-10? It's possible I suppose.

I still think the only place Santana wants to go is New York. Torii Hunter and Ron Gardenhire have all but said that, and since he's got a NTC, he holds all of the cards as far as his destination. If the Yankees and Santana both play hardball, it would mean a lesser package or Santana filing free agency after the 2008 season.

The down side of this of course is that the Twins may not have to ask the Red Sox for Ellsbury anymore which would facilitate a better match with them.... if, of course, Santana agrees.

It will all come down to where Johan wants to pitch.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:08 PM   0 comments


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For the Record...

Johan Santana is better than any pitcher currently on the Yankees.

He will be better than any pitcher currently on the Yankees for the next number of years.

I would trade any pitcher currently on the Yankees for him (with an extension, of course).

There are preferences (Horne, Whelan, Jackson and Cabrera for Santana? Where do I sign?) but when it all comes down to it, with the Mussina/Abreu/Giambi money coming off the books, Santana should be acquired if there's any chance of it happening.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:59 PM   8 comments

So Which Players are the "Core" of a Franchise?

Because according to Jeff Passan, it's whomever you want to pick in order to prove your initial hypothesis, even if those players barely contributed to your team's success. In this case, the hypothesis is this: Theo Epstein is the best GM in baseball.

It's funny how this gets tossed around whenever a team wins the World Series. Last year, it was Walt Jocketty, Genius of the Scrapheap. Now it's back to Theo the Great, Wünderkind. Never mind that Epstein was given credit for assembling the 2004 team (which he had some influence over but essentially took over a team of stars).

Epstein's wife is due with their first child in a couple weeks now, so maybe, finally, once and for all we can put to rest the hullabaloo about his age – 34 in December, by the way, and rather dry behind the ears – and start recognizing him with the appropriate title.

Best GM in baseball.

Of course, to suggest such a thing to Epstein is verboten, as public self-promotion goes against his nature. Sure, he has won two World Series in his five seasons as Red Sox GM, constructed an organization with a farm system that produces big league players like the Kenai does salmon, and left the New York Yankees huffing behind, wondering when a $200 million payroll stopped sufficing. And yet with the afterglow of the championship worn off and most of Boston's heavy offseason lifting done, Epstein won't crown the Red Sox for next season, no way.
I really am curious if "heave offseason lifting" has anything more to it than overpaying Mike Lowell to return. Because seriously, has Theo done anything else?
How the Red Sox reached this point is the ultimate testament to Epstein and his lieutenants, a front office that includes a pair of contemporaries from elite schools (Jed Hoyer from Wesleyan and Ben Cherington from Amherst), two been-there-done-that scouts (Allard Baird and Craig Shipley) and the father of statistical analysis (Bill James), which gives Boston unparalleled ability to balance all sides of player development.
Look, I am in no way attempting to throw Epstein under the bus in this blog, but this article is nothing more than pandering and ass-kissing. Jed Hoyer from Wesleyan and Ben Cherington from Amherst? (Try repeating that sentence doing a Thurston Howell impression - it's more fun that way). Nothing personal against those two Caucasian-Americans, but is picking your buddies from Northeast Universities and giving them jobs something to celebrate? Bill James - sure, that was a coup. Shipley's been a scout for years, but Allard Baird? The same Allard Baird who, as GM of Kansas City, traded away Beltran, Damon and Dye and got nothing in return but signed Juan Gonzalez to a huge contract? (In fairness to Baird, Gonzalez *did* play 33 games for the Royals before getting his millions sent directly to his mansion). If by "been there" you mean KC and "done that" you mean ran a franchise into the ground, then Allard Baird has indeed done both. I just don't see what bringing up any of these people is supposed to accomplish here. Except James. I like James.
What, you think the Red Sox are here because of money?
Yes. They have the second highest payroll in baseball by far and it's not even close with third place. So yes, of course it's about payroll.
Oh, no.
Are you fucking kidding me? Every time the Yankees won - every fucking time - writers would wax about the end of baseball and lack of parity and how it's all King George buying more championships. There wasn't a lot of praise for Gene Michael or Bob Watson or Brian Cashman, because fuck you, Yankees GM, you have $X million dollars to spend, you *should* be winning. So fuck you.
They can afford Manny Ramirez at $20 million a season and make mistakes like J.D. Drew at $15 million a pop because of their incredible revenue streams, but this group – the Jonathan Papelbon-Dustin Pedroia-Kevin Youkilis-Jon Lester-Jacoby Ellsbury-Clay Buchholz core – does not materialize like rabbit from hat.
The Red Sox have the largest market in pro sports. I know, I know, everyone says it's New York, but really, the Yankees split New York with another franchise, and the Red Sox get Massachussetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and half of Connecticut as captive audiences. They have the second highest paid player in baseball, and are paying a terrible shortstop $36M over four years. Most teams can't recover from that, nevermind the Drew disaster. You're goddamned right it's about payroll. The thing teams with large revenue streams can do differently from other teams is they can afford to make mistakes and recover.

Anyway, let's look at this again:
this group – the Jonathan Papelbon-Dustin Pedroia-Kevin Youkilis-Jon Lester-Jacoby Ellsbury-Clay Buchholz core – does not materialize like rabbit from hat
Look, it is one thing to say that Epstein and his whitebread Bostonian flunkies improved the farm system. It is quite another to say that the Red Sox aren't champions because of money, it's because of these homegrown fellas:
Clay Buchholz: 4 G, 22.7 IP.
Jon Lester: 12 G, 63 IP.
Jacoby Ellsbury: 33 G, 116 ABs.

Yep, those were the guys who brought a championship to Boston. It's not about the payroll you silly geese, it's because of homegrown superstar contributions like those!
"You start planning for a season three or four years in advance," Epstein said. "That was the case this time. The decisions you make over the course of a long period effect the upcoming season. We're always thinking about this one."
I am essentially going to have to declare shennanigans here. Theo wasn't trying to repeat in 2005? 2006 was nothing to worry about (which is easy to say now that you won in 2007 and were so underacheiving in 2006, like when Pee-Wee Herman falls off his bike and says that "I meant to do that.")
Now, that doesn't mean Epstein will sit on his hands during the Winter Meetings, which start a week from today in Nashville. The best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana, is on the trade market, and as Epstein proved when he bartered a deal for Alex Rodriguez in 2003, only to see it shot down because of a money snag, he isn't averse to risk.
The Alex Rodriguez misstep was a huge mistake. HUGE. They would have shed Manny's contract and added the best player in baseball, but didn't do it because of "principle" over a few million dollars, when all was said and done. Can you imagine Rodriguez hitting against the Green Monster for 81 games? HUGE.
However much the thought of a Santana-Josh Beckett-Daisuke Matsuzaka-Schilling-Buchholz/Lester rotation appeals to him – the best rotation since Palmer-Cuellar-McNally-Dobson? – Epstein won't sacrifice Boston's organizational principles.
Schilling is 87 years old and falling apart. Matsuzaka is at best a league average starter (ERA+ 108), and got worse and worse the more the other teams saw him and figured out his herky-jerky delivery. Beckett had a career year in 2007. However as recently as 2006 he had an ERA+ of 95 and an ERA over 5. Who knows who you're getting in 2008? Oh, I forgot, Jeff Passan does, and you're getting the greatest pitchers in history.
That said, he's not a hard-liner like Yankees GM Brian Cashman appears to be with his Joba Chamberlain-Phil Hughes-Ian Kennedy troika, either.

"There are no untouchables," Epstein said. "If there's an opportunity to get better, we'll do it. We believe in those guys. Their value to us is legitimate. We're not eager to get rid of them."
Cashman said pretty much the same things that Epstein was just quoted as having said. He just wasn't going to move any of those three for garbage.
No reason to be, not with how the Red Sox marauded through the Cleveland Indians over the final three games of the AL Championship Series and dismantled the Colorado Rockies in a four-game World Series sweep. Epstein said he's not talking with anybody about taking on Ramirez's contract – "There's nothing happening with him at all," Epstein said, "because he's happy in Boston" – and all that concerns him is winning 95 games, which, he figures, gets the Red Sox into the postseason.
Since when? Since he doesn't show up for spring training and lies about his whereabouts, or until the next time he says he'd rather play for the Yankees?
With their success, the Red Sox could fall into the same trap the Yankees did, placing so much emphasis on the present that the future, even a year or two away, will be a problem solved with money. It doesn't work, a fact that sobered up the Yankees' way of doing business.

"Never prioritize one year over the future," Epstein said, a phrase of which he's rather fond. Boston has built not just a great team but a powerhouse franchise on planning and patience, the same vital characteristics that now embody Epstein, too, and prove that he really is all grown up.
The Red Sox also play for one year. They traded some young guys to get Gagne, a price the Yankees wouldn't meet. Yes but those small market Sawx (the two Worls Series CHampions with the highest payrolls were the 2007 Boston Red Sox and the 2004 Boston Red Sox) full of homegrown stars (the 2004 team only had one homegrown player, Trot Nixon) are always thinking about the future.

Jess Passan's dream is to be the next Mrs. Theodore Nathan Epstein.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:59 AM   5 comments


Monday, November 19, 2007

Joba Chamberlain is Better Looking Than Alex Rodriguez

Just ask him.

I may not be the best judge of how attractive a man is, but I'm not going to argue with him either.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:16 AM   5 comments


Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Making Typing Good

It's an epidemic that just won't stop. Major internet portal sites like Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL hire people to write sports articles (usually based on an AP, Reuters, or local newspaper story) and said people have no ability to form coherent sentences. Editors? Proofreaders? For suckers, they are!
Yankees out, Dodgers in, Lowell chase?
Saturday, Nov 17, 2007 10:42 am EST

The Boston Globe updated the negotiating status of free agent third baseman Mike Lowell Saturday and indicated the New York Yankees may longer be pursuing Lowell to play first base.

The Globe, citing a television source, said the Yankees appear willing to go with a plantoon between Jason Giambi and Shelly Duncan.

The Los Angeles Dodgers may decided to go after Lowell since the Florida Marlins are seeking three, high-level prospects for Miguel Cabrera.

Three sentences in the article. Four huge errors. Meanwhile, these overpaid hacks look down on the blogosphere.

I imagine a plantoon is a either some sort of a tiny banana, pair of trousers, platform boat, or Oliver Stone flick. I'm hoping trousers, because "the Yankees appear willing to go with a pair of trousers between Jason Giambi and Shelly Duncan" makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:39 PM   3 comments


Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Probably Pretty Official, He's Back

Just need to dot the i's and cross the t's, but third base is no longer a question mark.
Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed to the outline of a record 10-year, $275 million contract, a deal that potentially would allow him to earn millions more if he sets the career home run record.

The amount of the guaranteed money was revealed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been finalized. A-Rod and his wife met Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., with brothers Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, but the parameters of the agreement were set in place last weekend.

"The meeting was a final get-together," Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said. "He wanted to make sure myself and my brother knew that he was sincere and serious."

The Yankees still must draft the agreement with Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras. Asked whether the only remaining details were putting the deal on paper, Steinbrenner responded: "pretty much so."

To paraphrase Cashman, "goodbyeeeeee Wilson Betemit."

Also, my newfound love affair with Lil' Stein continues. Yes, he is loud and talkative and probably too much so, but while he's talking all the time, he's also agreeing with every one of Brian Cashman's talking points. He seems to really have bought into Cash's philosophies.
Steinbrenner said Rodriguez was given bad advice by Boras during the time before the decision to opt out.

"Boras did a lot of good things for Alex through the years, and Alex knows that. I mean, obviously, he's going to look to Scott's advice on everything," Steinbrenner said. "That's not unusual today. It's not like he's the only one. And if an agent gets out of line or makes bad decisions, then that's going to hurt the player. And obviously, that's one of the things that happened here."

Steinbrenner said he thinks that had Rodriguez tested the free-agent market, he would have gotten a more lucrative contract and cited the interest of the Los Angeles Dodgers, led by new manager Joe Torre, and perhaps other teams.

"There are a few cynics who say, 'Well he really couldn't get this there,'" Steinbrenner said. "Trust me, he would have gotten probably more. He is making a sacrifice to be a Yankee, there's no question. ... He showed what was really in his heart and what he really wanted."

Now that he's staying with the Yankees, will A-Rod get a Yankeeography on YES?

"Well, we'll see," Steinbrenner said, chuckling.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:50 PM   1 comments

Bail Bonds

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Also I'm beating the Post and Daily News to tomorrow's headline.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:44 PM   0 comments

Sometimes, Sportswriters are NOT Morons

I swear, this is not turning into the All-Alex-All-The-Time Blog, although I do appreciate when people consider it a good source of information.

Often I slam sportwriters (seriously, it has happened before) in regards to their idiotic ideas and biased or outdated attitudes that they continually perpetrate upon a generally wide-eyed and gullible public.

However, sometimes kudos are also in order. John Harper gets it. If you want to see a very good take on the A-Rod/Steinbrenner/Boras/Cashman relationship, it's a really good read.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:33 PM   0 comments

Let's Stop Making Insane Comparisons, Everyone

Peter Abraham reported that aliens are landing their UFOs in Central Park.

Now Wallace Matthews is going on about the following:

  • Ali G is about to be hired as a correspondent by "60 Minutes".
  • The Major League Baseball Players Association is about to abolish the DH
  • MLB is about to recommend the contraction of half the National League
  • MLB will ask players to pay for their own meals on the road and hand George Mitchell his reading glasses as he reads off the names of every player who can so much as spell H-G-H.

In proof of these theories, he offers the widely reported and believed story that Alex Rodriguez is negotiating a contract with the Yankees.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:22 PM   0 comments

Sportswriters are Morons

In tis case specifically, it's George Vescey's turn.
Rodriguez had a monster season, but the Yankees could not get out of the first round of the playoffs, yet again. He is an enigmatic figure in their clubhouse, clearly not a player who improves his team.

This is the Yankees’ big chance to take whatever money they had penciled in for him and spend it on pitching and power and first base and a reasonable approximation of Scott Brosius at third base.

What is it about cause and effect that sportswriters don't understand? Alex Rodriguez is not the reason the Yankees haven't won a World Series in the past 4 years. If anything, he's the main reason they even made the playoffs for at least the two odd numbered seasons.

Additionally, Brosius was not the reason the Yankees won three World Series while he played there. Other than one year that was an aberration, Brosius was not all that helpful in fact to his team's pursuits. Rather it was the late 90's versions of Cone, Clemens, Pettitte, Wells, Hernandez, etc who were the difference makers. Perhaps Vescey should take his head out of his ass and request a "reasonable approximation" of that type of pitching staff rather than pining for the Glory Days of Bellinger.

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


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A High and Tight Quiz

From SportsBlogs' New York Yankees Daily Entries, here are the headlines. See if you can find the one from this site:

A: From the horse's mouth (or fingers)
B: Third-Degree Burn: The Prodigal Son Returns?
C: Wood and Ice (NHL and NBA Roundups, Weeks 6 and 3)
D: Is it too early to talk 2008 draft?
E: Let's Talk, Turkey (or, Let's Make a Dope Deal)
F: A-Rod Confirms Yankees Talk
H: Pre-Emptive Strike Against Mike Philbrick for Being a Cherry-Picking Douchebag

Just remember where you need to go to get your "real" baseball news.


posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:11 PM   0 comments

Meanwhile, At The Waldman Residence...

"Oh, my goodness!! Oh, my goodness gracious!! Of all the dramatic things... of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen, Alex Rahdreegiz standing right in Hank Steinbrennah’s office announcing he is back! Rahdreegiz is a New Yawk Yankee! Big-Size A-Rod is now a Yankee! Attention fans! He is here and now we don't have to discuss who's going to take that spot at third! Oh my goodness gracious!!"

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:41 PM   0 comments

Source: Aliens Have Landed in Central Park

I'm not sure if this is true, and if it is a reference to immigrants or space creatures. More on this as it develops or as sportswriters return from poorly timed vacations.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:10 PM   0 comments

Do I Even Have to Answer This Question?

From ESPN's obviously biased A-Rod poll:
Which player would you rather have?
David Eckstein
Alex Rodriguez

You don't even really have to check the results, although A-Rod leads by a wide margin. The fact that anyone not related to Eckstein would choose Eckstein is amazing.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:06 PM   5 comments

Pre-Emptive Strike Against Mike Philbrick for Being a Cherry-Picking Douchebag

Let's revisit this article again in a year.

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

A-Rod to Be a Yankee Again. For Now. I Mean, We'll See.

Mark Feisand may be better at predicting the future than Tyler Kepner.

After all the back and forth we've listened to in recent weeks, it looks like Alex Rodriguez is headed back to New York after all.

As first reported on the Daily News Web site this morning, A-Rod and the Yankees have been talking behind the scenes about a deal to bring him back to the Bronx, and it looks like it will happen in the very near future.

This is the right move for the Yankees. They bring back the best hitter in the game, at the price they wanted to pay him to begin with. The deal should be in the range of 10 years and $275 million, which gives them back the $21 million they lost from Texas when A-Rod opted out.

For Rodriguez, it's the first step for him to restore his image, which has taken a beating since the opt out was announced during the World Series. Rodriguez comes back to New York on a lower contract, and he'll now finish his career in pinstripes.
I think Feisand's math is a bit off as far as giving back the Texas discount. While it's true that contract would have been less than Rodriguez would have made had he accepted the initial offer, it seems to be a little bit more for the Yankees to pay.

It seems John Sterling also confirmed through a "source" that the deal is "100% done."

I really don't know how to think or feel about this yet, but if nothing else this is a HUGE slap in the face to Scott Boras, because if Alex did this on his own it's practically admitting that Boras ignores the will of his high profile clients. I also believe it means he won't get a cut of the contract, which would be extra sweet.

UPDATE: Hank Steinbrenner says A-Rod "wants to be a Yankee."
It appears at this point that he wants to be a Yankee.” Steinbrenner said in a cell phone conversation.

Despite so vigorously stating they would not negotiate with A-Rod after he opted out, the Yankees are entertaining this surprising new development because Rodriguez is willing to take sacrifices.

“The reason we didn’t entertain it in the first place is because of the opt out and the loss of the Rangers money and so forth,” Steinbrenner said. “But at this point it appears he’s willing to make sacrifices to be a Yankee. Basically that’s it in a nutshell.”

In his statement, Rodriguez referenced potential sacrifices -- which would include taking less money to account for the $21 million subsidary from the Rangers he cost them by opting out.
If Hank is making such statements... well, a dealis probably close.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:17 PM   3 comments

Tyler Kepner Lives in the Future

And it's a strange and confusing future, as this article from tomorrow details:
Rodriguez May Talk to Yankees Without Agent

Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: November 15, 2007
Alex Rodriguez said all season that he wanted to stay with the Yankees, and now he seems prepared to finally back up those statements.

A person close to the Yankees said this morning that Rodriguez, through an intermediary, told the Yankees that he wants to talk with the team about a new contract agreement without the involvement of his agent, Scott Boras. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no deal has been reached.

When Rodriguez opted out of his contract during Game 4 of the World Series, on Oct. 28, the Yankees insisted they would not chase him as a free agent. Club officials were bothered that Rodriguez did not return their calls and refused to meet with them in person.

On Nov. 4, the Times reported that Rodriguez was dismayed at the public fallout from his decision to opt out and was considering returning to the Yankees at a lower salary. That feeling has grown stronger since then, and Rodriguez seems to understand that his only way to stay a Yankee is to make up for the $21.3 million subsidy from the Texas Rangers that the Yankees lost when he opted out.

The Yankees are wary that Rodriguez’s new stance might be a trap to lure them into negotiations and thus drive up his price in the marketplace. But they seem to believe he is sincere in his desire to return.

Rodriguez is free to negotiate with other teams, but no team – except, perhaps, the Los Angeles Angels -- has seemed willing to give Rodriguez a raise over the $32 million he could have made in 2009 and 2010 under his original Rangers deal.

The Yankees are also now free to negotiate with the free-agent third baseman Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox, the Most Valuable Player of the World Series, who could replace Rodriguez at third in the Bronx. Rodriguez has struggled in the postseason, but he is a far better player than Lowell in the regular season.

“There’s a shot they could get Lowell, but there’s a shot they could still get A-Rod,” a person close to Rodriguez said on Tuesday night, speaking on condition of anonymity because Rodriguez had not authorized him to speak publicly. “I think Alex is so scared, he might still come back. It would have to be on a discount, and he knows that.”

I don't even know what to think or feel anymore. But if Rodriguez is willing to sit down without Boras and discuss taking the Yankees initial offer minus the $21M from Texas, they'd be fools not to listen.

Rodriguez was owed $91 mil for three seasons on his old contract, and the supposed Yankee offer was five years at $140 mil. With the Texas discount, if Alex is willing to accept 8 years and $210M, sign him and be done with it.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:14 AM   1 comments

I Suppose Boras Forced Alex to Opt Out of This, Too

From the Miami Herald:
Alex ''A-Rod'' Rodriguez, who signed a contract to buy Shaquille O'Neal's mansion on Miami Beach's Star Island, took an intentional walk from the deal. The house, which Shaq bought for $18.8 million in '04, is listed at $32 million.

A-Rod's wife Cynthia is expecting a baby in April and wants to remain near her folks, John and Evangeline Scurtis, who live in Coconut Grove. That's why Rodriguez exercised a 30-day termination clause.

Because as the media will tell you, the guy can't do anything without the puppetmaster pulling the strings.


posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:10 AM   1 comments

The End of an Era

Looks like the Pavano Era is about to end. As more bile as gets thrown his way an argument can be made that he hurt the Yankees less over the past three years than did Joe Torre.

There is a strong likelihood the Yanks will release Pavano before Nov. 20 so that they can use his 40-man roster spot for a player valuable to their future. Each team's 40-man roster must be set by that date in preparation for the Rule V draft on Dec. 6 at the Winter Meetings.

Players not on the 40-man roster and with the requisite professional service time in the minors are eligible to be drafted by other clubs. For example, the Mets lost Jesus Flores in the process last year and Flores became a value backup catcher for the Nationals.

So teams treat each of those slots preciously and the Yanks will do so, especially now as they emphasize the restoration of their farm system. For example, the Yanks will put a pitching prospect who would be eligible in the Rule V Draft such as Jeffrey Marquez on the 40-man roster.

In addition, the Yanks would have to eat just about Pavano's entire salary anyway, even if there were a trade to be made. Pavano is due $11 million in 2008 and has a 2009 team option for $13 million with a $1.95 million buyout. The Yanks likely will see it as a sunk cost and value protecting their prospects over some pipedream of getting any value out of the indifferent Pavano. The Yanks already have a complicated 40-man roster situation because to sign Juan Miranda and Andrew Brackman, they had to give them major league contracts and, thus, 40-man-roster slots years before they would have been eligible for them.

So for a four-year, $39.95 million contract, the Yanks would have received 19 starts and a load of headaches and heartaches from the brittle Pavano. He went 5-6 as a Yankee with a 4.77 ERA. He had as many wins in four years as a Yankee as reliever Luis Vizcaino did in the four weeks from to June 22-July 21 last year.

$40M, 5 wins. 5. For everyone who liked to count Clemens' dollars-per-pitch and A-Rod's dollars per homer, that's $8M per win over three years. Yowza.


posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:03 AM   1 comments


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Commence New "Curse/Loveable Losers/Underdogs" Mantra in Beantown

Josh Beckett did not win the Cy Young Award, no matter how much lip service FOX, ESPN, and the Boston Media tried to give to this "inevitible conclusion" from about September 1st until after the last out of Game 4 of the World Series.

I will be interested to read all about how Beckett got "jobbed" and that voters are "anti-Red Sox" because when it all comes down to it, isn't complaining and blaming things that aren't remotely responsible for outcomes pretty much a Boston tradition?

Incidentally, it was pretty much a pick 'em:
Beckett: 30 GS, 20-7, 200.7 IP, 194 K, 40 BB, 3.27 ERA, 145 ERA+, 1.141 WHIP
Sabathia: 34 GS, 19-7, 241 IP, 209 K, 37 BB, 3.21 ERA, 143 ERA+, 1.141 WHIP

Beckett leads slightly in ERA+ and has an extra win.
Sabathia leads slightly in ERA and K/BB, but pitched 40 extra innings.

My best guess is that if Beckett didn't have his.. avulsion and had been healthy enough to throw the other 40 innings, Beckett wins in a landslide.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:49 PM   0 comments


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ridiculous Trade Proposal That People are Supposed toTake Seriously of the Day's Lane Meyer proposes the Yankees could trade Hideki Matsui and Andy Phillips for Jonathan Broxton and Matt Kemp.

I see that Torre is going to have some influence there, and was with the article in the beginning, but there's no way in hell Neil Colletti (who by all measures is not a good General Manager - I mean not like Jim Bowden-level shitty - but not good) is going to trade two guys who should contribute now and going forward for Matsui and a AAA player, Torre or no Torre.

Yhency Brazoban and Nomar Garciaparra for Matsui, DeSalvo and Clippard? Maybe.

Matsui and Phillips for Broxton and Kemp? That's a pipedream.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:31 PM   0 comments


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sexual Innuendo Headline of the Day, 11/03/07

Courtesy Yahoo! Sports:

You will also notice "Torre" is misspelled in the text, the page title, and the URL. Outstanding work, Yahoo!

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:49 PM   0 comments


Friday, November 02, 2007

Alex on Alex

Found this neat little collection over at the Hardball Times.

Whenever he opens his mouth, people cringe. While he has been a model of decorum (save his episode in Toronto) he is viewed as insincere if not outright deceptive:

"I’ve always said to everybody that Seattle is my first choice."

"I wanted to be a Met. I’ve always wanted to be a Met, I’ve been a Met fan since I was a kid. And I would’ve played there for less money and less years and they know that."

"I want to be remembered as a Texas Ranger."

"You're asking me what my sincere feeling is. I want to 100 percent stay in New York. Period. That's it. I don't know how many ways I can say it."

"I want to be here. I want to stay here."

"I want to be in New York. This is the place I want to finish my career. That's it.”

"We had options and we all know that, but I want to be in New York. That's it."

"I've always said it: I love New York, for me, as a player, to come full circle in New York, it's the most comfortable I've felt."


posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:33 AM   3 comments

The Dodgers Become a Juggernaut

Check out the totally unbiased and hyperbole-free article by Steven Henson:
LOS ANGELES – Admit it. What for days appeared to be another episode of reckless decisions and bungled stewardship by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt turned into the franchise's greatest coup since drafting Mike Piazza in the 62nd round 20 years ago.
The Dodgers signed Alex Rodriguez? Traded for Johan Santana? Re-animated the corpse of Jackie Robinson to replace Kent at second? Don't leave me in suspense, Steve Henson!
The Dodgers exchanged Forrest Gump for Joe Cool.

And another manager to be named later.
Forrest Gump plays for the Dodgers? Also is that a reference to the character Snoopy plays when he puts on sunglasses? Personally I would think fictional Gump would be the better ballplayer, seeing as how he could certainly run fast, and besides Snoopy would never break a sweat in those sunglasses. Snoopy kind of becomes a dick when he puts on eyewear.

Oh. Torre. The Dodgers getting Torre is it seems the greatest move they've made since drafting Piazza in 1998. Does anyone recall the Dodgers picking up a crusty old veteran that year named Kirk Gibson, who single handedly carried the Dodgers on his gimpy leg to a World Championship (see if you can out-hyperbole that, Mr. Henson!).

Not even going that far back, I would say that there are at least 5 players (I'm being generous) on the Dodgers current roster whose acquisition will have more of an effect on the fate of the 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers than a green tea freebasing manager.

I don't think Henson knows who Joe Torre really is. Look at his criticism of Little:
Little, a man of consummate integrity whose limitations were restricted to sixth-inning pitching changes and a growing inability to communicate with a certain curmudgeonly second baseman, saw through the charade.
Henson believes it seems that a change was needed from a manager with a bunch of integrity and class who couldn't manage a bullpen or an infielder. Let me correct this by re-writing the sentence:
Torre, a man of consummate integrity whose limitations were restricted to sixth-inning pitching changes and a growing inability to communicate with a certain curmudgeonly third baseman, saw through the charade.

But I digress.
In comes Torre, a .605 winning percentage in 12 seasons with the Yankees, a .476 mark in 15 National League seasons before that.

Yes, capital move old sport in bringing in a guy whose career in the National League is that of a losing manager. This is the New Torre, the Torre given credit only for successes and no blame for failures.
"The free agent market is thin, and any team that is trying to build via free agency is bound to be disappointed," he said. "Our young players, we need to maximize their ability. It's also about the individual players we have here getting better. You're not always going to be able to call the cavalry."

McCourt and Colletti did, however, bring in the equivalent of Gen. Philip Sheridan, who any Civil War buff knows was assigned to duty in the West after distinguishing himself in the East by playing a large role in Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Torre knows the drill. He knows about expectations. He knows to watch his back. Given the ammunition, he might even take the Dodgers to a World Series before handing over the reins to Mattingly.

This might turn out to be McCourt's finest hour, Colletti's greatest get. Just don't let the kids in on the details.

Colletti's greatest "get" is a manager with exactly the same flaws as the previous guy and who has had a losing record when not backed by the Yankees.

If I were a Dodger fan (and I'm not even close) I would lament the loss of DePodesta and wonder why exactly Frank McCourt is batshit insane.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:18 AM   0 comments

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