Pat Dobson. I knew the name only, as part of the quartet of Baltimore Orioles pitchers who each won 20 games in 1971. At age 64, he died too young.
Pat Dobson. I knew the name only, as part of the quartet of Baltimore Orioles pitchers who each won 20 games in 1971. At age 64, he died too young.
I've always referred to Gary Matthews Jr. as "Sarge Jr." because his father Garry Matthews was Sarge. Today, I learn that GMJ is referred to as "Little Sarge." I like mine better.
Thy name is Sarge Jr.
$10 million a year for 5 years for a journeyman who's had but one decent season in his career. Who is 32 and will be 37 when the contract is up. Tori Hunter dough for a guy who's not even in the same hemisphere as Hunter as a player.
The Angels will rue the day, probably starting next season.
The Boston Red Sox have spent $50 million not to sign a player, but just to buy the rights to sign a player, that player being Japanese stud right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. Set aside the fact that no one has a clue whether Matsuzaka can even pitch in the Major Leagues, much less America. A mere triviality when you consider the obscene amount of money the Red Sox propose to fork over if they can reach a deal with him. Let's look instead at what $50 million can buy you.
In baseball terms, $50 million is enough to buy Johnny Damon for four years. It's enough to pay Alex Rodriguez for two years. It's enough to field Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, and Mariano Rivera for one season. It's enough to fund the talented young Florida Marlins for three plus seasons. All for a player who has never thrown a pitch for a professional team in the U.S.
In real life terms, $50 million can buy a lot. In Africa, it's enough to provide food aid for 125,000 thousand families for I assume a year. Here in the U.S., it's enough to buy $5000 worth of groceries for one year ($100 a week) for 10,000 families. There are 1200 public schools in New York City serving over 1 million students. You could buy each of them a text book for $50 million. You could give each school $40,000 in aid for one year. You could give a one-time stipend of $355 to each of the 140,000 active and retired NYC school teachers.
Instead, the Boston Red Sox choose to lavish this outlandish sum of money on one player. Not to sign him, mind you, but simply for the right to sign him. Wasted money if you ask me. They should be embarrassed.
The Rocket is undecided about pitching in 2007. Now there's breaking news for you.
Buster Olney has given the Baltimore Orioles or any ill-minded team a great idea. Say you don't want a rival to sign ace-in-waiting Daisuke Matsuzaka. All you have to do is bid some obscene amount of money to get exclusive negotiating rights, make a low-ball offer that's sure to be rejected, and send Matsuzaka back to Japan out of the harmful clutches of your rival. Why wouldn't you do this if you were the Baltimore Orioles?
On becoming the worst team ever to win the World Series.
There has been much talk of the record low ratings of this year's World Series. Two solutions have been offered by the media. The first is to move the World Series to a warm weather climate. The other is to shorten the season to avoid the sudden change in weather that can make a Series game a miserably cold and uncomfortable experience. Before offering my own thoughts, let me say, "Fools!" We're talking about TV ratings. In the words of Tony Reali, host of ESPN's Around the Horn, I fail to see what the weather has to do with TV ratings.
Now onto my own thoughts. I'm not sure what to do about the low ratings. Not many people outside of St. Louis and Detroit care much about a Cardinals-Tigers series. There's understandably greater interest when a major media market team is in the mix. I suspect that baseball would do better, drawing ratings similar to the Super Bowl, if the Series was shorter and each game correspondingly more meaningful. Asking non-fans to endure seven games, vs. the one game of the Super Bowl, is a bit much. I, for example, watched the end of last night's game because it was the potential clincher for the Cardinals. However, no one is about to shorten the World Series.
Still, it's not a bad idea to shorten the season. Games should not last until the end of October when it gets downright chilly in northern climates. If I were Bud Selig for a day, I would shorten the regular season to 154 games; shrink the Wild Card round to best two of three, with the higher seeded team hosting all three games; and shorten the LCS back to three of five. That would cut two weeks off the season. Since none of that is happening, however, one solution to shortening the season is to have teams host more day-night doubleheaders. Toss in eight of them a season and you can cut the season by a week. The logistical difficulty is that they would have to be played on the weekend, otherwise, owners would balk at the lost gate receipts and TV ratings for the weekday portion of the double dip. I don't know if there are enough four-game series to make the idea workable for a week's worth of games.
Oh well, I guess have no real solution, other than mere fantasies of the way things should be. Wait, here's one. At a minimum play the weekend games of the LCS and World Series during the day. It would be nice to see some day baseball again.
Cross posted at Plum Crazy.
Oy vey did I get my predictions wrong for the post-season. Every single series was I wrong on. I had the Yankees going all the way, taking down the Twins in the ALCS and the Padres in the World Series. And I had the Dodgers as the other team in the NLCS. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I saw it this way. The Yankees had the pitching and the offense to win it all, that Santana would take two for the Twins and the Twins would find a way to get it done in one more game, that the Mets pitching was too shattered to stand up to the Dodgers pitching, and that the Padres had the best pitching in the NL. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Still won't stop me from making predictions for the World Series. After seeing the Mets take down the Dodgers, I see no way they don't take the Cardinals easily in the NLCS. A's and Tigers is a compelling match-up. Good pitching on both sides of the ball. For the same reason the Tigers made me nervous going into the ALDS - Verlander, Rogers, and Bonderman - I like them in the ALCS.
Leaves Mets-Tigers in the World Series. My initial instinct is that the Tigers pitching shuts the Mets down, but the Mets have a talented, balanced, and young line-up - yes, the Yanks had a good line-up, too - one that has a player in Jose Reyes that will give the Tigers fits. He gets on and the dynamics of the game changes, and he has so many ways to get on. Mets in 6.
My other prediction? I will be wrong, wrong, wrong.
Cross-posted on Plum Crazy.
Has A-Fraud reverted back to A-Rod? He's had two strong games in a row, blasting three homeruns. Is he back? Too early to tell, but if I were given a toss-up - who's A-Rod now, the A-Fraud version we've seen most of the year or John Sterling's A-Bomb version - I'd go with A-Bomb.
Been ages since I posted. Not since before the Abreu trade.
In my last post, I said the Yankees shouldn't do anything at the trade deadline except try to snag a role player and a Paul-Byrd-type for the rotation. They sort of listened to me. They picked up Craig Wilson as a sometimes first baseman and outfielder and landed Cory Lidle to prop up the back end of the rotation. Of course, as we all know, the Yankees also scored Abreu in what would be the biggest deadline deal.
Despite my reservations - the Bombers had held the fort this long, why couldn't they hold it a bit longer; what it could mean to the Melk Man - Abreu has been terrific. Where Sheffield is an RBI machine, Abreau is an on-base machine. I've lost count of how many times he's been on base this series vs. the Red Sox, but it's been a lot. His addition and the return of Cano have really lengthened the Yankees line-up. There's not an out to be found anywhere. At least not an easy out
That said I do have one reservation about Abreu: his paltry power numbers. He had only 8 homeruns with the Phillies, and in 19 games in Pinstripes, he has only one homerun and 8 RBIs. With that meager production, he's more suited to be a lead-off hitter. Maybe the Yanks should swap him and Damon, who's putting up numbers worthy of a number three hitter. The Bombers might bomb even more than they have in the last three games. Although, who am I really to complain. They've torched the Red Sox so far. Shouldn't be too greedy.
No way the Yankees should deal Scott Proctor - he's too invaluable to the bullpen and trading him would leave a void they couldn't hope to fill - or go out and do something stupid like trading for Bobby Abreu, whose power numbers don't justify his contract or slotting him into Gary Sheffield's spot in the line-up. Abreu is a classic underachiever whose make-up is questionable. It would be a major mistake adding him at the expense of Sheffield or playing time for the Melk Man, who what? Who always delivers! The Yanks are just half a game out of first and in front in the Wild Card race with Matsui and Sheffield due back in a few weeks. All they have to do is tread water until their guys start coming back. They've made it this far and can make it just a tad bit further. There's one guy the Yanks should target: Paul Byrd, who's having a decent season for the Indians and the most appetizing of the fifth-type starters who might be available. Unless they can use Philip Hughes and Jose Tabata to land Barry Zito and sign Zito for five years. Otherwise, stand pat.
Word is that the A's have dropped their asking price from the Mets for 28-year-old southpaw Barry Zito. In the off-season, they were asking for both Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman. Now they are content with a deal built around one but not both of them. If you're the Mets, you go to the mat for this trade, provided that you can sign Zito long-term. Adding a young arm of that caliber gives the Mets a legit shot to win the World Series. Chances to win the World Series don't come around that often and you take them when they present themselves. The Mets would have a top 3 in the rotation that can carry them the way staffs of the past have carried other teams. Plus, with Zito in the fold long-term and with young arms like Mike Pelfrey and John Maine, assuming that one of them doesn't go in the deal, the Mets would be competitive for a long time. The chance is now. The time is now. Go for it Omar.
Seems I get a bit carried away with my gushing over Joe Mauer and belief that he would be this year's AL MVP if he kept up his pace. There are a bunch of other deserving candidates, including our own Derek Jeter, and I forgot about such studs as David Ortiz, Jim Thome, and Jermaine Dye, plus pitchers like Francisco Liariano, Johan Santana, and Jonathan Pablebon.
For a complete take on Jeff Passan's picks, click here. Passan is Yahoo's chief MLB writer.
Ok, you know it's getting bad when you're picking up the table scraps of the Kansas City Royals.
Derek Jeter is having an MVP-caliber season. His average is up to .348, he's now driven in 51 runs, and has scored 56 runs, putting him on pace for one his best seasons. Still, if the Twins stay hot and Joe Mauer keeps going the way he is, Mauer is the MVP. Sorry Derek.
How long before the Twins move Mauer out from behind the plate? Granted, I-Rod and Piazza have spent their careers catching and remained productive - as has Posada - but Mauer may be too good a hitter to risk the wear and tear of full-time catching. I wouldn't be surprised if he moves to another position, and you heard it here first.
Huge sign that Melky Cabrera rebounded from his slump to boost his batting average to over .270. That's a hike of 30 points. When he slipped, it might have been a sign that the league caught up with him, but he's shown the ability to adjust and basically proven that he's a bona fide hitter. Just like Cano when he slipped last year and then rebounded.
Enough random thoughts.
Just like with John Sterling, I doubt this will be the only post about you. Not unless you to decide to shut up once and for all. We can only wish.
What's with this stuff about having Mo close this year because it might be his last All-Star Game? To quote you:
Mariano Rivera is on the team, Mariano Rivera is my closer. It's not Bobby Jenks. Mariano Rivera is a [likely] Hall of Famer and this is maybe his last All-Star Game. What this guy has done in baseball, he should be my closer.
Yes, I do appreciate your recognition of Rivera and your decision not to favor your guy over the best closer in baseball history. Still, "this is maybe his last All-Star Game"? I don't see any appreciable drop-off in his game that would lead one to think he won't be on the top of his game next year. I suppose it's possible, but I sincerely doubt it. Just leave it at "What this guy has done in baseball, he should be my closer." That's all you need to say.
Listen, of course I am biased as a Yankees fan and would love to see Moose, Damon, and Giambi on the All-Star team, but the one I can't figure out is Francisco Liriano. His stats:
Ks: 94 (in 81.1 innings)
I haven't checked the stats of all comers in the A.L., such as Roy Halladay and Johan Santana, but I'd wager that Liriano is outpitching all of them and is the leading candidate for the Cy Young. Hold on, I'll stop being lazy, and confirm. Santana is having a stellar season, but his ERA is almost a run higher. Also pitching superbly is Halladay, but again, he's not as good as Liriano.
How Ozzie left him off the team - say by picking Mark Buerhle instead - or the fans did when they voted the last player in - they selected A.J. Pierzynski - is beyond me. I just don't get it. Well, at least the fans knew enough to select N.L. batting leader Nomar Garciaparra.
Yet more mach posturing from Ozzie Guillen. Defending his selections of pitchers and the bench players for this year's A.L. All-Star squad, here's what the mouth has to say:
Whoever is not on this team, they have my number. They have my PR department's number. Whoever doesn't like it, play better next year.
This from the manager who should have been fired for his homophobic rant against columnist Jay Mariotti. You know what Ozzie, there are a ton of players you took over players who are playing well enough to have been selected. You passed over Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Francisco Liriano, Justin Verlander, to name a few. They've played just fine, thank you, and deserve to be on the team, especially over some of the six guys you took from your own team.
Ok, I am biased because I am a Yankees fan and because I dislike Ozzie Guillen. However, Guillen went too far in selecting his players from his own roster and bypassing players from others in selecting the pitchers and bench for the All-Star game. He especially snubbed too many Yankees. Missing from the roster are Mike Mussina, Johnny Damon, and Jason Giambi, all of whom have had an outstanding first half. In their stead, he selected six players from his own team, most understandable - he does have to live with these guys every day - but at least a couple questionable. He took Mark Buehrle over both Mussina and
Nelson Francisco Liriano, both of whom have pitched better than the White Sox lefthander, and he took both his first baseman over Jason Giambi. The latter was a close call, but Giambi is having an outstanding season and deserves to be on the team. Rather than pander to his players, Guillen in all fairness should have left Konerko off and selected Giambi. Then, Guillen takes Sarge Jr. (Garry Matthews) over Damon. Not to take away anything from Matthews, but aside from batting average, Damon is having the superior season. He has more homeruns, one less RBI, 18 more runs scored, and 11 more stolen bases than Matthews. Yet another questionable pick is Kenny Rogers, who is having a fine season, but hasn't been better than Mussina or Liriano. No question, Guillen is guilty of favortism and did a poor job in selecting the roster, showing a clear anti-Yankee bias.
New York sports fans will remember that memorable chant from whenever the Rangers hosted the Islanders in the 1980s. It comes to mind now because of the allegations that Brett Myers, the Phillies ace righthander, physically abused his wife in public a little more than a week ago. I am late coming to the party on this one, but the Phillies handled the incident in an abhorent manner. After Myers was released on bail shortly after the incident, the Phillies allowed Myers to make his regularly scheduled start, freely admiting that he was their best pitcher and they needed him to start. It then took the Phillies a few days to issue a tepid statement in which they finally acknowledged what they should have all along: that domestic abuse is intolerable. They really dropped the ball on this one and should be ashamed of themselves. Myers sort of took them off the hook by taking a leave of absence, but the Phillies should have suspended him for at least a start. Better, given the incontrovertible evidence that Myers is guilty, they should have suspended him and still can suspend him until the legal proceedings are over. Where are the consequences if you can go out and pitch after beating your wife up in public?
We now have all the proof we need that Barry Bonds, baseball's most notorius cheat, is guilty of taking steriods. According to the Miami Herald, his attorney has said that Bonds will cooperate with baseball's investigation provided that baseball doesn't turn his testimony over to the Feds. Hmm. I can think of only one way to interpret that. He's guilty! It's all but an admission that he took steroids. Toss him from the game and expunge his records from the books.