22 December 2005

Top Ten on the ol' iPod

This is something I did on my old website, and I think I'll try to resurrect it.

Current Top 10 songs on my iPod.

10. Easy/Lucky/Free - Bright Eyes
9. Creep - Afghan Whigs
8. Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson (don't ask)
7. Morning Wonder - The Earlies
6. Big Bang - Aesop Rock
5. A Mariner's Revenge Song - the Decemberists
4. Behind Blue Eyes - Rupert Giles (I said, don't ask)
3. Public Service Announcement - DJ Danger Mouse & Jay-Z
2. Tribulations - LCD Soundsystem
1. Start Wearing Purple - Gogol Bordello

Ok, off to Boston this evening. What fun. Wish me luck.

21 December 2005

Top 20 of 2005

Here it is (and yes, sorry, its in PDF format).

Top 20 Albums of 2005.


Damon is a MFY

Ok, well, I wanted to avoid posting about this, but I can't get around it.

Johnny Damon signed with the Yankers for 4Y/52M.

If the news folks are to be believed, that a full $12 MILLION higher than the Red Sox 4Y/40M offer. And with that sort of ridiculous overspending, I'm glad Damon went to the Yankers. Why spend that much on a 32 year old CF who can't throw? He'll be a LF by the time the contract ends (at best). Now, there isn't a lot of good CF options in the FA markeet right now (Encarnacion? Preston Wilson? Jamal Strong? You get the idea) and althought I like the Jeremy Reed-for-Clement deal that been suggested, I don't think its apt to happen. However, I don't think that not signing Damon is the "colossal mistake" that some people think (well, Buster Olney, who's a schill for the Yankers anyway). Sure, in 2006 Damon might be worth $13M, but in the long run of the whole contract, this is like the Yankers replacing Bernie Williams with, well, Bernie Williams.

Of course, many Sox fans are moaning and claiming that the management doesn't have a plan. I think that this non-signing is exactly within their plan: rebuild the team with good, young players. The Sox have acquired this winter one of the best young pitchers in baseball (Josh Beckett), the #1 prospect in baseball (Andy Marte) and have a cadre of great young pitchers in their farm system like Jon Papelbon, John Lester, Craig Hansen & Edgar Martinez. They think Dustin Pedroia should be ready to start at 2B by 2007. Kevin Youkilis will likely be the starting 1B in 2006. Sure, the team has holes right now, but (1) its December! and (2) unless you're the Yankers, with a $250M payroll, everyone has to be creative. Go sign a Matt LeCroy to platoon at first. Go trade for a Brad Wilkerson to play CF. I know many Sox fans can't stand the idea of rebuilding, but look at the 2005 Indians? That's how a team is built for a long run of success, not by signing aging OF for too much $ and too many years.

20 December 2005

Top 20 Albums of 2005

Ok, so I've been in a chipper mood lately. Thats good!

First things first:
1 - The Rangers gave up a lot for 1 year of Adam Eaton and 37-yo Otsuka. We'll see, maybe they plan to swing Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox or something.
2 - Rudy Seanez signed with the Red Sox. Woo.


My top 20 albums of 2005 will be finished soon and I'll post a link to the PDF when thats done, but as a teaser, here are #16-20

16. Magic Numbers - Magic Numbers (Capitol Records)
17. White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan (V2)
18. Stephen Malkmus - Face the Truth (Matador)
19. Sigur Ros - Takk (Geffen)
20. Brakes - Give Blood (Rough Trade)

and for the fun of it, here are the near misses (aka honorable mentions)
Iron & Wine + Calexico – In the Reins (Overcoat); Death Cab for Cutie – Plans (Atlantic); Metric – Live It Out (Last Gang); New Pornographers – Twin Cinema (Matador); Mon Frere – Real Vampires (Cake); Kanye West – Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella); Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punks (Side One Dummy); Bright Eyes – Motion Sickness (Team Love); Silver Jews – The Tanglewood Numbers (Merge); Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty); Gorillaz – Demon Days (Virgin); Xiu Xiu – La Foret (5 Rue Christine); Dangerdoom – The Mouse & the Mask (Anti); Jens Lekman – Oh You’re So Silent Jens (Secretly Canadian)

And the worst albums? Easy:
Moby - Hotel (V2)
Weezer - Make Believe (Geffen)

19 December 2005

Notes for 12/19/2005

A few comments for today:

(1) Nomar signing with the Dodgers - I'm sure he'll be happy in LA. Good for him.

(2) If you haven't heard it already, the Brakes album Give Blood is excellent, especially for their cover of Cash/Carter's "Jackson"

(3) I'm cheerful today.

16 December 2005

Coming next week...

Erik's Top 20 albums and songs of 2005.

Big fun!

All Names Team

Here it is, with help from Big Lou

1B: Doug Mientkiewicz (KC)
2B: Mark Grudzielanek (KC)
SS: Nomar Garciaparra (N/A)
3B: Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
C: AJ Pierzynski (CHA)
LF: Scott Podsednik (CHA)
CF: Take your pick: Hiram Bocachica (OAK) or Adam Hydzu (TEX)
RF: So Taguchi (STL)
DH: Erubiel Durazo (DH)
SP: Mark Buehrle (CHA); Scott Schoeneweis (TOR); Doug Waechter (TB); Wes Obermueller (ATL)
RP: Yhency Brazoban (LAD); Justin Duchscherer (OAK); Bartoleme Fortunato (NYM); Shigotoshi Hasegawa (SEA)
Closer: Jason Isringhausen (STL)

Yes, the Rotation is hard. Any suggestions?

Let's give it to the Royals!

They might suck, but they'll win any "hardest team to spell" competition!

Royals sign Doug Mientkiewicz (1B) and Mark Grudzielanek (2B). Throw in Garciaparra at SS, and talk about an infield.
Any suggestions for 3B?

12 December 2005

12/12 in the Windy City

Big Lou is right ... The A's are stockpiling pitchers ... maybe its time for the A's and Rangers to trade OF for SP, eh?

I'm in Chicago right now, and I like it. Maybe I miss the east coast ... although Chicago isn't fully east coast, but it does have Dunkin' Donuts on every corner. Ah yes.

Best New Music
Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks - Think Molotov meets the Leningrad Cowboys. Or something.
Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger - Fun, dancy rock stuff.
Molotov - Dance and Dense Denso - Think Molotov. Its that easy.

11 December 2005

Post-Winter Meeting Baseball Musings 12/11/05

Well, its been a long week, not only thanks to the fact that I was at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, but also trying to keep track of all the Winter Meeting Madness. It seems like baseball has lost its mind and suddenly trading is as shiek as ever. Everybody loves to trade. Trade trade trade! Like baseball cards as a youth. So, here's my quickee ratings and comments on these trades.

(Ratings are out of *****)
12/4/05 - LoDuca (C) to the Mets for 2 minor leaguers - Mets ***; Marlins ** - Mets get a catcher who usually only lasts 1/2 a season, Marlins get a bag of doorknobs (but save $). This is one of these trades that makes me say "meh." Yes, I said "meh".

12/5/05 - Chad Gaudin (SP/RP) to A's for PTBNL - A's *; Jays **** - So, how do you score four stars for getting a PTBNL? Well, its easy. Gaudin, for all intents and purposes, became B.J. Ryan as the Jays moved Gaudin to make room on the roster. So, in an alternate universe, Billy Beane made a terrible trade.

12/6/05 - Steve Kline (RP) to Giants for LaTroy Hawkins (RP) - Giants *; Orioles * - Maybe I should have saved my "meh" for this trade. Just please, oh please, don't let Hawkins be the closer for the O's. On second thought, go ahead!

12/7/05 - Dewon Brazelton (SP) to Padres for Sean Burroughs (3B) - Padres *; DevilRays ** - Let's see, how many infielders do the DevilRays need? They have Cantu, Upton, Green, Lugo, Burroughs, Huff. Burroughs looks like a future Geoff Blum, except maybe with less power (thats scary). My guess is he will be backing up all the infield, or starting at 3B if the Rays don't get anyone else. Brazelton, on the other hand, looks like he might have burned out already, at least mentally.

12/7/05 - Mark Loretta (2B) to Red Sox for Doug Mirabelli (C) - Red Sox ****; Padres *** - My first reaction: Ha ha ha ha! Loretta was stolen from the Padres (if he's healthy) and give the Sox a solid 2B to keep the spot warm for Dustin Pedroia. Now, lots of the media are saying Dumpy Doug will be a backup in SD. Why? He's solid defensively (he caught Wakefield for chrissakes) and can be potent versus lefties. I think they should give Mirabelli a fulltime look. As for the Sox, who becomes the backup for Varitek? Maybe they'll let Shoppach learn to catch Wakefield (he's caught Sox knuckling farmhand Charlie Zink).

12/7/05 - Ray King (RP) to the Rockies for Larry Bigbie (OF) and Aaron Miles (2B/SS) - Rockies *; Cardinals ** - Ray King said he wanted a trade if he wasn't going to be used in St. Louis. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. King. The Cardinals have found their Abraham Nunez replacement in Miles and maybe their Reggie Sanders replacement is Bigbie.

12/7/05 - Danny Kolb (RP) to the Brewers for Wes Obermueller (SP/RP) - Brewers -*; Braves ** - Yes, thats negative one stars for the Brewers. How often can a team trade for a player, then the player sucks it up and the team can send him back to the first team? And actually get someone for it? Obermueller did an OK job filling in for Sheets (for a while), so I see the Braves using him as MR.

12/7/05 - Mark Redman (SP) to Royals for 2 minor leaguers - Royals **; Pirates ** - Royals get an OK starter. Wow.

12/7/05 - Yorvit Torrealba (C) to Rockies for PTBNL - n/a - Woo.

12/7/05 - Juan Pierre (OF) to Cubs for Sergio Mitre (SP/RP) and 2 minor leaguers - Cubs **; Marlins *** - Its always good to stockpile pitchers, so Marlins get the edge. I've never been too impressed with Pierre, and Baker doesn't like to steal. Hmmm. I might have taken a chance on Felix Pie or Corey Patterson over Pierre.

12/7/05 - Johnny Estrada (C) to Diamondbacks for Lance Niekro (RP) & Oscar Villareal (RP) - D-Backs ***, Braves ** - I guess the Braves really trust Brian McCann. A key point to remember: You can no longer say "well, they'll be working with Leo Mazzone" when mediocre pitchers go to Atlanta. Now, they will be learning from "shoes on fire" Roger McDowell. We'll see how that works.

12/8/05 - Sean Casey (1B) to Pirates for 2 minor leaguers - Pirates *; Reds ** - Weird. I like this trade for the Reds because it means that Kearns & Pena should play with Dunn moving to 1B. I don't like it for the Pirates because it keeps Brad Eldred at AAA. Odd "additional by subtraction" trade in my books.

12/8/05 - Tony Womack (IF/OF) to Reds for 2 minor leaguers - Red 0; Yankees ** - Yankers get positive points for ridding themselves of the plate appearance sink that is Tony Womack for anything larger than the time of day.

12/8/05 - Edgar Renteria (SS) to Braves for Andy Marte (3B) - Red Sox ****; Braves *** - 1. The Sox gave up on Renteria too quickly; 2. The Braves gave up way too much for Renteria and most of his contract; 3. With that being said, everyone wins! Of course, the Red Sox now have a 3B logjam of Marte, Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis. My question that no one I've read has asked: Why can't Lowell play 1B?

12/9/05 - JC Romero (RP) to Angels for a minor league INF - Angels ***; Twins * - He complained, he was traded. Angels get a lefty in the 'pen. Done and done.

12/9/05 - Alfonso Soriano (2B) to Nationals for Brad Wilkerson (OF) and Termell Sledge (OF) - Rangers *; Nationals *** - The Rangers now have half of the OF in the league and the Nats have 2 All-Star 2B. Hmmm. Why do I feel like this trade isn't the end of the story.

02 December 2005


Well, I've been kind of in a funk lately, so I think I may hold off in posting until after the Winter Meetings and after I digest some of the Bill James Handbook. So crazy projections in that book (Brad Eldred = .300/38/107?).

A few parting thoughts before the winter meetings in Dallas

- I'd say its 60/40 that Manny stays with the Sox. We'll see. If not, they need to get a lot for him.

- Jermaine Van Buren (RP) was traded to the Red Sox from the Cubs for a PTBNL. I think it's a good dead. Van Buren is a live arm that could help fill in the bullpen so the Sox don't have to turn to the likes of DFA'd Remlinger or Harville.

- Closers are making waaay too much money, especially after Tom Gordon got 3 years @ 11-12M from the Phillies. Wow. And he's 38!

- Zito will not be on the A's come 2006.

That's all for now.