28 November 2005

Baseball Musings 11/28/2005

More on the Red Sox-Marlins Deal - So, the Red Sox ended up getting Guillermo Mota in the Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell deal as well, which is quite a good, high ceiling addition if you ask me. He can hopefully be no worse than Matt Mantei, and will hopefully be on par with Scott Williamson minus the constant injuries. Otherwise, the Sox got a great haul in Beckett, Lowell & Mota. Now, of course, comes the wailing and gnashing of teeth when it comes to the place Kevin Youkilis has on the team. Does he play first? Third? Second? For the Twins (for J.C. Romero?) I'd love to see him stay, but only if he finally gets a chance to play regularly.

Blue Jays Go Mad - Best comment right after the B.J. Ryan deal for 5 years/$47M was announced (courtesy of the SOSH): "I hope that's Canadian dollars." This officially marks the end of Moneyball outside of anywhere that Jerry Brown isn't mayor. To give a guy who will be makes >$1M per career save is almost insane...don't get me wrong, Ryan was filthy last year, but this sets the bar so high that Billy Wagner (who has a much longer track record) could break 4 years/$50M. For a closer. Who pitches <100 innings a year. Yowzah!

22 November 2005

Baseball Musings 11/23/05

I'm a little behind on the baseball writing these days, so lets get started.

Has the world gone mad?

Big News! Josh Beckett (SP) and Mike Lowell (3B) to the Red Sox - Anibal Sanchez (SP), Hanley Ramirez (SS) and Jesus Delgado (RP) to the Marlins. - The deal isn't final, but looks like it will be soon. On one hand, I love the deal. How often do you get, arguably, the best 25-year-old starter with World Series MVP credentials in any deal. On the other hand, Sanchez could be great. Overall, Sox make out pretty well, especially if Lowell can get his swing back.

Two crazy trades today:
Carlos Delgado (1B) to the Mets - Y. Petit (SP) and Mike Jacobs (C/1B) to the Marlins - Woah. Do the Mets just enjoy getting fleeced? First they give up Kazmir for a bag of doorknobs, now they send Petit for a 33 year old 1B. Not that Delgado is bad, he's not, but with lots and lots of money in the back end of his contract, the Mets take on a lot for giving up two good to decent prospects.

Jim Thome (1B) to the White Sox - Aaron Rowand (OF) to Philadelphia + a dumptruck full of money to Chicago no doubt. This one is a shocker to me. But at least Ryan Howard will have a place next year.

Some ramifications for these trades:

1. Does Delgado going to the Mets end any Manny to the Mets rumors? Or, could the Mets flip Delgado to the Sox in a Manny trade? Oh, the options are endless.

2. Does Thome going to the White Sox mean that they don't think they'll be able to resign Konerko? Or does Thome replace Frank Thomas? And why would you take on the monster Thome contract than resign Frank Thomas at a lower price?

3. With Beckett in the rotation in Boston, who does to the pen? Papelbon? Arroyo? Neither?Does it matter - If the Sox send Wells to the Padres, they will likely not be getting an starter, so that opens the rotation to one. So, the Sox rotation next year could be: Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wakefield, Papelbon (or Arroyo). And now, the Red Sox have 3 of the last 5 World Series MVPs on the team (Schilling, Manny & Beckett). We'll see how long that lasts.

19 November 2005

Baseball musings 11/19/05

Well, a day late (it's been a bad week), but here is a little baseball update...

Endless Red Sox GM Search - Yes, the search goes on and on ... and on ... and on ... and on. Second interviews for Jim Beattie and Jim Bowden, first interview for Dave Wilder. Will it never end? We'll see...

Cameron-for-Nady - Pads acquired Mike Cameron for Xavier Nady. My question: how long is Cameron's stay in SD, especially considering all the Wells-to-SD rumors.

Marlon Anderson signs with the Nats - Sounds like a rich man's Jamie Carroll to me.

Scott Eyre cashes in - Get an MVP vote, and cash in with the Cubbies for 2 years/$11 million. Not bad for a middle relief pitcher with a career ERA of >4.00. Ah, how easy it is to separate an MLB owner from his money.

Jason Bay signs 4 yr/$18.25M contract - Finally, the Pirates made a move that has them thinking about the future. Maybe this is the first step to take Pittsburgh out of the basement of the NL.

16 November 2005

Manny to nowhere?

ESPN is reporting (INSIDER) that Mike Cameron is about to be shipped to the Padres ... the upshot of that is Cameron was supposed to be a key component for any Manny-to-the-Mets trade. And with the Angels also saying they have little interest in Manny, it looks like he won't be going anyway soon.


Albert Pujols finally won his MVP after 4 years of Barry as MVP. Good for him!
Andruw Jones and Derrek Lee also got first place votes for the NL MVP.

A look at the final voting reveals some interesting things as well, such as Houston players are speckled throughout the list (Ensburg, Berkman, Clemens, Oswalt, Pettitte and Lidge all got votes). David Eckstein outpolled Roger Clemens. But what I find most interesting is that Scott Eyre got votes for MVP. When was the last time a middle relief/setup pitcher for a sub .500, non-playoff team got an MVP vote? My guess is never.

Red Sox GM Search - The fiasco continues, as candidates are dropping out like flies. Dayton Moore pulled his candidancy even after getting a second interview. What's the deal? Are the Red Sox that uninteresting/messed up after winning the World Series?

That crazy Scott Boras - The Boston Globe website is reporting rumors that Johnny Damon might be asking for ... wait for it ... SEVEN YEARS/$84 MILLION. Yes, that Johnny Damon. Good luck with that. You and Rafael "$50 Million" Furcal can enjoy sitting around waiting for what you deserve.

15 November 2005

Jayson Stark on Papi for MVP

Jayson Stark (ESPN) makes a compelling argument about how voters missed the boat on this one, both philosophically and statistically.

14 November 2005

All MVP Votes

It's always fun to look at the complete AL MVP voting. Never thought you would live in a world where Jorge Cantu got an MVP vote? AL ROY Huston Street got the same number of votes as AL Cy Young Winner Bartolo Colon? Colon, in fact, got 56 fewer MVP points than Cy Young also-ran Mariano Rivera. Heck, even Bob Wickman got 2 points...And the until now unknown "Corey Sizemore" got 3 points. Ah well.


Sadly, baseball sportswriters proved, once again, they know nothing:

Slappy beats Papi for AL MVP

A-Rod: .321/.421/.610
Papi: .300/.397/.604

*edit* - OK, maybe I'm biased ... but honestly, this came down to two things because they were so similar:

A-Rod: .321/.421/.610
Papi: .300/.397/.604

1. Is a DH a legitimate player?
2. Is A-Rod a leader?

As I mentioned with my comments on Ryne, #2 is a moot point. #1 is harder to prove...Except that A-Rod's VORP is 99.7 and Papi's VORP is 85.8. Where does that difference come from? For VORP, the biggest factor might be that there is a bigger step downward at 3B than DH for a "replacement player", instantly giving A-Rod an advantage. Defense doesn't enter into VORP, so offensively, A-Rod would be more valuable merely because he was so far ahead of any other 3B versus how far ahead Papi was of any other DH.

So, why do I think A-Rod is a poor choice? Take him out of the Yankers lineup, and you still have Giambi, Sheffield, Matsui, Posada, Jeter to pick up the slack. Remove Papi from the Sox, you have Damon, Manny, Varitek and a bag of doorknobs. Ah well, just shows that sometimes, when all the stats line up, it all comes down to who you like better. So much for science.

Baseball Musings 11/14/2005

While we wait for the announcement of the AL MVP ...

Ryne Sandberg is an idiot - Thanks to Big Lou, I found Ryne Sandberg's article on how he would pick the Cy Young winner. His main criteria include: if the pitcher is on a playoff team, ERA and wins. Hmmmm. Of those three stats, how many does the PITCHER HIMSELF control solely? Exactly ZERO. So, by Ryne's argument, the best pitcher should be the guy who happens to find himself in a happy place where is team wins a lot, scores a lot of runs for him and has decent defense. Nothing to do with the pitcher's actual performance with his control, or ability to keep runners off the bases, or ability to pitch deep into games. No, just if he happens to be on a good team that gets him lots of wins and gets to the postseason. This is what, my friends, we can garbage sportwriting/analysis based on conjecture and hunches. Its like "intelligent design" applied to baseball.

This is not to say that Chris Carpenter was not deserving, but to dismiss Dontrelle Willis offhand because the Marlins miss the playoffs is an affront to Willis and to all intelligent baseball fans. Just to show, yet again, that Ryne Sandberg is a poor man's Joe Morgan: They base all of their picks on the old school ideas like "intangibles", "leadership", "carrying the team on their shoulders" and garbage like that.

Anyway, here are some of the Cy Young winners since 1990 that would not have won by Ryne's standards:
2003 - Eric Gagne & Roy Halladay
1991, 1997-98 - Roger Clemens
1996 - Pat Hentgen
1994 - David Cone

10 November 2005

NL Cy Young to Carpenter

Well, it wasn't Dontrelle.

Chris Carpenter wins NL Cy Young. Now, if Dontrelle played somewhere else than Miami, would he have won? Hmmm.

09 November 2005

NL and AL Managers of the Year

My first miss:

Ozzie Guillen (CHW) and Bobby Cox (ATL) named Managers of the Year.
Maybe I just like Eric Wedge because he used to be a catcher in the Red Sox system. Ah well. He did come in second.

Baseball Musings 11/9/2005

Kind of slow in the "actual things" happening in baseball right now, but lots of crazy rumors, including...

A's to San Jose?. San Jose has bought an abandoned sausage factory and thinks this gem will lure the A's down to San Jose from Oakland. Well, before Jerry Browne sends his brownshirts to keep the A's in town, a highly placed source in Oakland says that its not going to happen. Expansion then?

New Red Sox GM will be ... Theo? Rumors are rampant that Theo may replace Theo. That would surprise me, but after Macha and the A's did a similar dance, maybe its the new trend: quit and then reconsider. However, as Gordon Edes says in his blog from the GM Meetings: "The Theo-back-to-Boston rumors? Right now, it remains only wishful thinking, even if 99 percent of the Sox organization would take him back in a heartbeat. Nothing has been set in motion that would lead to Theo's return." And, of course, Dan Shaughnessy tries to get back into the mess, but should just be ignored if we know whats best for us.

Rocco Baldelli gets 6 years/$33 million from the D-Rays What? Huh?

Neifi Perez reups with the Cubs Whoppee! Like, I said, slow week.

More Sox GM News The Red Sox are apparently interviewing a lot of people, including Jim Bowden of the Nationals (ugh), Jim Beattie, formelly of the O's (ugh), Chris Antonetti, asst GM of the Indians, Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays along with all the internal candidates like Jeremy Kapstein, Jed Hoyer and Peter Woodfork.

08 November 2005

AL Cy Young

3 for 3! Colon wins Cy Young. The question becomes: Is Bartolo is the fattest Cy Young winner ever? Way to go Fat Sack of Crap Jr.!

07 November 2005


2 for 2!

Street wins AL ROY, Howard wins NL ROY.

Baseball Musings 11/7/2005

Here is my NL ROY argument, as I've been getting some flack about picking Howard:

for 2005

Wee Willy Taveras (OF-HOU) - .291/.325/.341 for an OPS of .666 (ha!). Good numbers, but of his 172 hits in 592 AB, he had 20 extra base hits. That leads to an EXAVE of .034! Also, you ideally want a leadoff/#2 hitter to have an OBP of >.325.

Big Ryan Howard (1B-PHI)- .288/.356/.567 for an OPS of .921. Admittedly, it was in 280 fewer AB than Taveras (312), but Howard had 41 extra base hits in that, leading an EXAVE of .128, a full 3.8 times higher than Taveras.

and for kicks,

Jumping Jeff Francoeur (OF-ATL)- .300/.336/.549 for an OPS of .884. Jeff's numbers were in only 257 AB. He had 35 extra base hits in those 257 AB, leading to an EXAVE of .136, not too much higher than Howard's, and negated by Jeff lower OBP.

So, there you have it, why I like Ryan Howard. Of course, who knows where he'll be playing next year thanks to Jim Thome.

06 November 2005

Award Picks 11/6/2005

Here are my picks for the 2005 Awards, before they start coming next week.

AL ROY: Huston Street (RP-OAK)
NL ROY: Ryan Howard (1B-PHI)
AL Cy Young: Bartolo Colon (SP-ANA)
NL Cy Young: Dontrelle Willis (SP-FLA)
AL MVP: David Ortiz (1B/DH-BOS)
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (1B-STL)
AL Mananger: Eric Wedge (CLE)
NL Manager: Bobby Cox (ATL)

04 November 2005

Music Musings 11/4/2005

Oh yes, I'm supposed to write about music too!

New to my iPod:
Wedding by Annie - I heart Annie. I don't know why. I just do. This track from her DJ Kicks album is much less poppy and more clubby, which is good.
Tanglewood Numbers by Silver Jews - There is just something enjoyable about this rootsy/country indie rock. See my upcoming review on TIG.
The Campfire Headphase by Boards of Canada - Honestly, I haven't spent much time with this yet. I will.
One Way Ticket... by the Darkness - Yes, new Darkness. They must have subliminal suggestion in all their songs, as I can't find a single reason why I like them so much.
My Boyfriend's Back by the Raveonettes - Cute.
Play by David Banner - Can someone explain to me how this is a Top 40 hit? It's got to be the raunchiest song I've heard since Flower by Liz Phair. Man, it just makes me blush when I'm driving.

My most recent TIG reviews:
Invisible - Invisible
Mon Frere - Real Vampires EP
Xiu Xiu - La Foret
Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir

Baseball Musings 11/4/2005

Here we go!

Brian Lawrence (SP) to Washington, Vinny Castilla (3B) to San Diego - Four main things fall out of this trade: (1) Sean Burroughs is not long for the Padres. Look for him to head to Minnesota or Pittsburgh or Boston; (2) It's very hard to believe that in any trade, the team getting Brian Lawrence is the winner. Well, at least he eats innings (I've never really understood that phrase. Heck, I could eat many an inning myself); (3) If this is an example of Kevin Towers trading prowess, I'd like to pass on him becoming GM of the Red Sox; (4) Ryan Zimmerman becomes the Nats third basemen. This I like.

Yankers corner the market on ex-managers - The Yankers now have Joe Torre as manager, Larry Bowa (formerly Phillies mananger) as third base coach, Tony Pena (formerly Royals manager) as third base coach and Lee Mazzilli (formerly Orioles manager) as bench coach. Never has a team had so many chefs ... and we all know where that leads.

Matt Lawton, busted - Hmmm. Again, what are the benefits of the 'roids if your year-end line is .254/.356/.396?

Sox resign Mike Timlin - This is good, as long as (a) he doesn't close and (b) never has inherited runners. His ERA with no runners on: 0.90. Runners on: 3.57. RISP with 2 outs: 5.14! Thats not what you need from your #1 bullpen man.

Padres hire Glenn Hoffman as third base coach - How did I miss that Glenn and Trevor Hoffman are brothers?

Finally, Sean McAdam has a good summary of the free agent market this winter.

02 November 2005

Baseball Musings 11/2/05

I know, I know, I promised no more Theo-related info, but too bad. Red Sox owner John Henry takes the blame for Theo leaving in today's Sox press conference, and says Lucchino did not force him out. Theo also denies that the Globe article had anything to do with his decision, but makes it clear that the article was a travesty.

And for those of you who enjoy Boston media, transcript from the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI. They had Curt Schilling on the line and played back some of Dan Shaughnessy's earlier interview:

Shaughnessy: You got Curt Schilling’s take on this thing the day after it comes down. Why is that? Is that because you guys have a relationship because of the show? And I got to read Curt say that he picked up the Sunday paper and knew that was a lie. Tell Curt to go ask the people who paid him $13 million to win eight games last year about that situation. Maybe they can explain it to him.

Schilling: Wow… that’s awesome. (Shaughnessy tape: Tell Schill I love him). That’s good stuff. You know what… I mean Dan knows that I think he’s a tired act and I don’t like him and he doesn’t like me, so take that for what it’s worth unfortunately or fortunately I’m not in the minority in that situation. Dan is Dan.

On to other news...

The Phillies introduced Pat Gillick as their new GM. Gillick arrives after stints with the Orioles and Mariners, leading both teams to the playoffs in the late 90s and early 00s. He's a sharp baseball mind, albiet not a "new generation" type, but hopefully he can right the Phillies. They have a lot of talent (Abreu, Utley, Burrell, Floyd, Madson to name a few). Look for the Phillies to make a move in the East next season.

Arod is supposed to stay away from illegal poker houses, according to Yankers sources. Ah, maybe this is where Arod gets so far into debt to the mob that he has to throw the playoffs. Oh wait, no, thats just his sub=.200 playoff hitting.

Everyday Eddie Guardado will be back with the Mariners next season (unless they trade him). He was pretty sharp last year for a guy pitching through an injury all season: 2.72/1.19/3.20.

Moneyball is over! Scott Hatteberg had his option declined by the A's. Of course, they way Billy Beane works, he'll have Hatteberg back in the fold by next week. Of course, Hatty's 30 point drop in OBP might sour Beane to him. Also, the A's hired Gerald Perry as their hitting coach.

Oh yes, and the Gold Glove Winners were announced. Winners included the first Red Sox (Jason Varitek) since Tony Pena in 1991 and still wildly overvalued Derek Jeter (just as the BP crew what they think of Jeter's defense).

01 November 2005

Final Theo Thoughts 11/1/05

Bill Simmons does an excellent job of wrapping up the Theo Fiasco, although I think he underestimates Theo's baseball prowess a bit. Now we can begin the process of guessing who comes next, and whoever it is has the toughest act to follow up in Boston since 1919.

Gammons weighs in for the second time in 2 days (Insider). "The mistake would be to try to win the 2006 world championship in December and January. This is an organization with a lot of talent close to the major leagues, and it needs to integrate Jonathan Papelbon, Lester, Hansen, Edgar Martinez, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia into the equation in 2006. With the right trades, the Red Sox can make their run in 2006, and by 2007 be in position to be the best team in the division for a five-year run."

Theo Musing 11/1/05

Who would have thought that this failed trade may have brought down the Sox and Epstein.

To Boston: Larry Bigbie, Ryan Sheely
To Colorado: Kelly Shoppach, Abe Alvarez, Adam Stern

It seems now that Theo just didn't want the pressure and agony of running his childhood team. As a friend of mine said "Why would anyone turn down 1.5 million per to do a job most baseball fans would do for free?" I suppose that speaks volumes about why Theo might have walked away. Fans like us would do it for free because its perceived to be a fun job, like running your fantasy team, but in Boston, where the media is constantly hounding every little move ("How dare they not bring up Roberto Petagine? Theo is a idiot" seems familiar), the joy and excitement of running the Sox must have been lost. I hope Theo finds a situation more to his liking, but we'll always be thankful for what he brought to New England after so many other people failed.