Monday, April 20, 2015

Manfred making his mark?

Is it even possible that he's trying to quickly one-up Selig?

Oddly enough, I think the Yankees have a legit point in their attempt to fleece one of their players.

"Oh sure, it's natural to want to see the chief offenders from the Steroids Era in baseball punished for their sins. Suspend them from the game. Drag them before Congress. Demand their apologies, and bar them from the Hall of Fame, and if that's not enough shame, paint a giant scarlet 'S' on the front of their uniforms."

Funny, I don't care about that really.


"Now the Yankees are taking that to the next logical level: They want their money back. Or more accurately, they don't want to pay Alex Rodriguez the $6 million bonuses he is owed for climbing up the all-time home run list — including the one he will earn in the coming days when he tops Willie Mays at 660."

I think the difference is actually quite important.

The Yankees already got quite a bit of their money back when ARod was suspended.

The bonus may not be legitimate because nobody cares anymore. In essence, the terms of the contract are voided.


"They're forgetting one not-so-minor point. Not only were the Yankees one of the chief beneficiaries from Alex Rodriguez's PED use (probably only second to the man himself), but they continue to benefit from all that illegal stuff he injected and swallowed."

Agreed.

Get to your cogent point.


"Don't buy that? Go ahead and give me three more compelling storylines around a Yankees team that is 6-6 heading into this series against Detroit and seems bound for 81-81. I'll wait."

Jeez.

Let's assume Politi is not generally a sportswriter, so he gets off the hook for the inability to come up with three compelling storylines.

For one thing, every game in sports is, in and of itself, a compelling storyline. For some of us, it's all we need. Every game has a time, a place, a background, a beginning, a middle, an end, conflict resolution, antagonists, protagonists, theses, antitheses, syntheses, drama, comedy, and, if you've ever seen CC Sabathia try to cover first base on a ground ball, dramedy.

But if you want three NYY storylines that are not ARod:

1. Tanaka.
2. Girardi.
3. Pineda.


"And the Yankees are kidding themselves if they don't think that'll be good for business. This is the unspoken truth about steroids and many baseball fans: They don't care. For all the hand wringing and manufactured outrage if Rodriguez approaches the great Ruth, you can bet that the closer he gets, the more tickets the Yankees will sell and the higher the ratings will be on the YES Network."

Agreed.

So why are we going to disagree?


"Are they going to ignore the milestone when Rodriguez becomes just the 29th player in Major League history to record 3,000 hits — he needs 51 more — after turning Jeter's ascension to that level into a Steiner Sports marketing orgy?"

Yes, they are going to ignore it.

No comparison to Jeter and I shouldn't have to explain why.


"It seems awfully petty, and besides that, it's bad business. Rodriguez's assault on the records books is not the happy little story it once was, but that doesn't mean it's not interesting. Because it's A-Rod, and because he's always been a human lightning rod, it might even get more attention because of the controversy."

I think $6 million is kind of petty, but I also think the Yankees are simply not able to monetize this as easily as Politi thinks.

I agree that a lot of fans don't really care about steroid use. But that doesn't mean ARod is a beloved figure in NY, in case you hadn't noticed.


"If he somehow chases down Bonds in the coming years, make no mistake, the Yankees will have gotten their $30 million's worth."

Getting wayyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of yourself here.



The contract itself was stupid to begin with. It put individual goals stupidly ahead of team goals. It put a monetary value on unimportant milestones.

A steroid cheat is beating the dubious record of another steroid cheat? You really think this is still a big deal? I sure don't think so.

You've got to sell a heckuva lot of tee shirts to stupid fans if you are going to clear $30 million.


The Yankees shouldn't be able to void a contract simply because they were stupid enough to sign it. As Politi points out, the Yankees knew what they were getting into and they have profited from the services of ARod and other steroids cheats.

But, with regards to this specific clause of the contract -- the bonuses for setting career HR milestones -- ARod's PED suspension changes the circumstances. These milestones are no longer particularly marketable.

So maybe the Yankees will just fork over the $6 million and get some pointless satisfaction by denying ARod the pomp and ceremony.

But I think the Yankees have legit beef.



Friday, April 17, 2015

Yankees don't have much to crow about ...

... but one of their lesser-known washed-up batters has 4 HRs in 31 ABs.

Which makes me wonder if Bill Madden wants to adjust his preseason prediction of 9 for the whole year. Maybe he wouldn't adjust his prediction, citing injuries, age, and the strong possibility of an upcoming slump.

But ARod is the best hitter on the Yankees so far and is proving his critics wrong.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Preach

The Yankees could actually be winless. Instead, they are just 1-4 and have lost three straight. And their response to this early-season swoon is not very complicated.

“We have to play better,” Chase Headley said. “It’s as simple as that. We’re better than that. We have to get it cleared up.”

The Yankees committed three more errors in Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Red Sox and also had a passed ball. They also saw a pair of catchable two-out fly balls go for doubles and result in four Boston runs. 

“It’s plays we’re not used to seeing,” Joe Girardi said. “We’re used to making those plays. For whatever reason this first week, we haven’t been.”

In fact, the defense has been the primary weakness, which is saying something for a team that has batted below .200 and, on Saturday, had 19 straight retired by Joe Kelly.

I know lots of Yankee fans. Zero of them are talking about Alex Rodriguez.

"We were reminded on Thursday afternoon in Washington, as we if we needed reminding, what we missed when the Mets lost Matt Harvey for more than a season and so did baseball.

We saw at the same time that he is the ace of the city and the biggest baseball star of the city, famous because of his surgically repaired right arm and his fastball and the breaking balls he drops on hitters as a different way of dropping a hammer on them."

Great pitcher who, like many great pitchers, throws both fastballs and breaking balls.


"The Yankees? Here is all you need to know about the Yankees and their own opening week to the baseball season: The big story for them was Alex Rodriguez, a soon-to-be-40 hitter who also missed last season, just for far different reasons than Matt Harvey did."

That is all you need to know, says the alleged reporter.

There is a lot more to know, by the way. Talk about the fielding ineptitude and RISP BA ineptitude.


"The guy Yankee fans are talking about after the first week of the season is a guy the people who run their team didn’t even want batting third by the fourth game."

Nobody is talking about ARod.

You are obsessed, but don't pin that obsession on the rest of us.

ARod is pretty much a washed-up DH. Fantasy leagues leave him undrafted.

The things Yankee fans are talking about? It's all ugly and bad.

ARod has likely been the Yankees' best hitter through five games, despite striking out half the time. This observation does not indicate that ARod has played particulary well, it simply illustrates how bad everyone else has been.


"This doesn’t mean that the Mets are going to be better than the Yankees, or that Harvey’s brilliance will be enough to carry his team through the summer. It doesn’t mean that Harvey really will turn out to be their Seaver, at least in the short run, and carry the Mets back to October for the first time since 2006, when they were as close as they were to not just making the World Series, but probably winning it that year."

I think the true NY Baseball Nightmare is coming true. At least for the first ten games. A combined 3-7 record, with the mediocre Mets technically "better" than the awful Yankees.

(The Mets were probably going top win the World Series in 2006, by the way. So, you know ... we might as well give them rings and throw a ticker tape parade. Because probably and almost.)


"A friend of mine, a Mets fans, asked the other day if I would trade the Mets’ starting rotation for Washington’s, which starts with Max Scherzer and is deep and talented and is supposed to take the Nationals all the way to the World Series this year. I said I would not. Because the Mets have Matt Harvey and, even with Strasburg, the Nationals do not."

I wouldn't trade Matt Harvey for all 25 players on the Yankees' roster.

I would keep Ellsbury, Gardner, Tanaka, Pineda, Miller, and Betances if I was allowed to. The other 19 players are garbage, and those 6 are replaceable enough ... maybe not Tanaka and Pineda. They're young enough and talented enough to hold on to. So it would be Harvey, Tanaka, Pineda, and 22 minor leaguers, and I'd take my chances.



"He is that kind of show. The Yankees, with the Red Sox in town, were a different kind of show on Friday night and into Saturday morning, playing 19 innings against the Red Sox, fighting back in the bottom of the ninth, and the bottom of the 16th, and the bottom of the 18th to tie the game three different times. They did not just show you a lot of fight in that game, they showed you a lot of arm. And their most important arm, Tanaka’s, will be on display on Sunday night."

Tanaka is something to talk about, something you need to know, that isn't Alex Rodriguez.


"It doesn’t mean they can’t compete in the AL East. But they better win it if they want to start making the playoffs again, because you have to believe that at least one wild card will come out of the AL Central again, and maybe two. They better be better than the Red Sox, who are never afraid to tear the thing down and start all over again, because now they have done it twice in the last five years."

I think there is a possibility that the Yankees will never be over .500 the entire season.




Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yeah, more of the same, unfortunately.

Teixeira tied the game in the bottom of the 16th inning with a leadoff solo HR.

He carried the bat triumphantly for about 40 feet down the first base line and then flipped it to the ground as if the Yankees had just won the World Series.

I have no particular gripe abut that display of enthusiasm, but he looks like a fool.

Teixeira never gets hits with RISP. He is batting .188 overall with 2 HRs (both solo HRs, of course).

It's just four games, but I see no reason for optimism with this team:

"As they try to avoid a third straight season of missing the playoffs, Joe Girardi’s bunch played the Yankees’ longest home game ever Friday night into Saturday morning. That they lost the contest, 6-5 in 19 innings to the Red Sox in the inaugural rivalry game of the year, served as yet another negative indicator on a squad filled with them.

'It was one game that felt like it was about six,' Girardi said, displaying some gallows humor. The double-plus shift, which lasted six hours and 49 minutes (not counting a 16-minute delay when some lights went out), featured its share of encouraging signs for the Yankees, who wiped out one-run deficits in the ninth, 16th and 18th innings and enjoyed excellent bullpen work until losing pitcher Esmil Rogers clearly ran out of gas.

'We showed a lot of heart tonight,' Brett Gardner said. 'We didn’t win, but we played hard, and we played long.'

But the Yankees continued a young trend by going 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and that ultimately cost them, as did the recurring trend of base running ineptitude. Gardner got caught stealing second base in the eighth, and he got picked off first base in the 17th."

Bottom of the 12th, game-winning run on second base, 3-1 pitch to McCann. He fouls it off, count goes full, and he strikes out looking on the next (disputed) pitch.

My problem is the 3-1 pitch.

I just get the sense McCann is trying to hit another one of his patented 400-foot towering foul balls, instead of trying to with the game with an RBI single.

Which, frankly, may have gloved by a middle infielder and turned into an easy GIDP.

But these hitters are simply not smart enough to change their approach, and this season sure looks like more of the same. It's not working.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

It's called free agency.

Don't be an intentional idiot:

"The Yankees need [Tanaka] to be a star, or Michael Pineda to be a star, because there isn’t one among their position players, unless you think Jacoby Ellsbury, paid like a baseball star, is going to stay healthy all year and put up numbers the way he did in his best seasons with the Red Sox; going to look like more than a slightly better version of Brett Gardner, who isn’t making nearly as much money as Ellsbury is."
 
I believe that unreasonably long sentence was intended as an insult to Jacoby Ellsbury. It is actually a compliment to Brett Gardner.


Who cares if Ellsbury makes a lot of money?

That's how free agency works.

It's the same reason Bartolo Colon will make 18x what Matt Harvey makes this season.

That means the Mets think Bartolo Colon is 18x better than Matt Harvey! What else could it possibly mean?


Saturday, April 04, 2015

At least he put a number on it.

First place and 92 wins for the Mets.

I see no way of separating this optimistic prediction from the Daily News' endless cheer leading for the Mets ... but at least Madden is not being vague:

"As for the offense, obviously I’m banking on Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares and Travis d’Arnaud all building on their 2014 seasons and David Wright, his shoulder fully healed, regaining his 20-homer/100 RBI form — and possibly even Curtis Granderson benefiting from the pulled-in fences in right-center and the reunion with his favorite batting coach, Kevin Long, to have a year more befitting his $13M salary. I don’t think any of that is a reach."

I think it's a reach.

David Wright 20/100?

He has accomplished this one time since 2008. He came close in 2012, and 20 HRs is no big whoop.

But RBIs are a team stat. I think the same thing when I hear Teixeira talking about 100 RBIs. Like it just happens because, you know, it's a round number.

Tossing off 100 RBIs as if it was 1999, does Madden know how many NL players drove in 100 runs last year?

Three.


So David Wright is going to drive in 100, in the National League, in 2015 ... and Granderson and Lagares and Duda and D'Arnaud are also having good years.

Is this team going to score 800 runs?

Or is Wright going to be the only player ever to drive in 100 for a 600-run team? (No, I didn't research this.)


Maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe all this Mets optimism is warranted.

With no worthwhile analytic backup, though, it just sounds like wishful thinking.





Sunday, March 29, 2015

I'm sure he's fine.

Just rub some gluten on it.

Good luck with your book and everything ...

I'm not sure why the Daily News would give up column space on their sports pages for free advertising, but here it is:

"Yes, the Mets are revived. That’s my claim on the cover of my new book 'Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets,' and I stand by it 100%: The Mets are relevant again, they’re exciting — and it’s time to circle Matt Harvey Day on the calendar."

Mmmkay.


"My title and subtitle have been carped about by the words-mean-what-I-think-they-mean crowd. What is a 'maverick'? A 19th Century Texan named Samuel Maverick refused to brand his cattle. Unbranded cattle were then assumed to be ‘mavericks', that is, his."

Wow. Thanks for the history lesson, I guess.

You're attacking the "words-mean-what-I-think-they-mean" crowd and oddly ended one of your sentences with "that is, his." Did your book have a better copy editor? Or are you doing this on purpose? You're pranking the readers?


"He developed a reputation for being smart and independent-minded. That’s the meaning longtime A’s GM Billy Beane, an Alderson protégé, had in mind with the quote that inspired the title."

Yeah, everybody knows the meaning of the word "maverick."

Everybody has seen Top Gun.


"That’s the 'revolutionized' part of the subtitle. Can a reasonable person infer that 'revived' suggests the Mets have already won a World Series on Alderson’s watch? Not by a mile."

Because they haven't won a World Series on Alderson's watch.


"Revive means 'to restore to consciousness or life,' 'to restore from a depressed, inactive, or unused state: bring back,''“to renew in the mind or memory.' (Merriam-Webster)"

Jesus, pal.

We know what "maverick" means and we also know what "revive" means.

You're insulting your audience badly enough ... and then you're using the freaking dictionary as a source.


"Under Alderson’s leadership the Mets have already been revived. But now what? Alderson’s goal is not reaching .500 to shut up loud-mouthed critics, but achieving the critical mass to be a postseason force for years to come.

I join with Tom Verducci and other canny baseball observers in thinking the Mets have an excellent shot at doing that this season. We’ll see soon enough.

Play ball!"


The Mets are going to make the playoffs because they've achieved the critical mass (?) to be a postseason force for years to come.

Alright. That's one person's opinion. Rather, two people's opinion. Because when Tom Verducci talks, people listen.

Not sure who the loud-mouthed critics are. Outside of the weird Daily News Mets propaganda machine, I haven't heard anyone mention your book, positively or negatively.

I think the topic might be more interesting after all of the playoff success, but I'm quite sure I wouldn't buy that book, either.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

I don't believe David Ortiz when he says he never knowingly took steroids.

Alex Rodriguez has never tested positive for a test in the past eleven years, either.

Naturally, I can't prove that Ortiz took steroids. But you can definitely count me among the "some people" described below:

" 'Some people still look at me like I'm a cheater because my name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003,' he wrote. 'Let me tell you something about that test. Most guys were taking over-the-counter supplements then. Most guys are still taking over-the-counter supplements. If it's legal, ballplayers take it. Why? Because if you make it to the World Series, you play 180 games. Really think about that for a second. One-hundred-and-eighty games. Your kids could be sick, your wife could be yelling at you, your dad could be dying -- nobody cares. Nobody cares if you have a bone bruise in your wrist or if you have a pulled groin. You're an entertainer. The people want to see you hit a 95-mile-an-hour fastball over a damn 37-foot wall.' "

I agree 100% that the pressure to perform drives pro athletes to use illegal performance enhancing substances.

Your long-winded denial kind of sounds like a confession.


"Ortiz wrote that he may have have taken an over-the-counter supplement that 'all of a sudden MLB comes out and says there's some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don't know anything about it.'

'If you think I'm full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is,' Ortiz wrote. 'I'm not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I'm in a strip mall across from the Dunkin' Donuts, bro.' "

I don't doubt that you bought your banned performance enhancing supplement in a strip mall across from the Dunkin' Donuts.

And I ain't your bro.

And I absolutely know what all of the stuff is that is on the back of a supplement bottle. The day before your company's drug test, don't eat a poppy bagel.

Buzz!

A member of the press who isn't just writing about the Mets. That would be too predictable. He's writing about how much the members of the press are writing about the Mets:

"When it comes to spring training, nothing is set in stone, cast in iron or written in blood. Or as the late, great Mets Hall-of-Fame voice Bob Murphy used to say: 'That’s why they put erasers on pencils.'

Situations and circumstances change on a road through the long season. Yet who would’ve believed, even with the countdown to Opening Day still on, that the Mets have upstaged the return of Alex Rodriguez AND totally taken the media buzz away from the Yankees as well."

Who would have believed it?

Me.

Most discussions about the Yankees refer to them in the past tense.


"Right now the Mets are the more compelling TV property headed into the regular season — by far. Things have been turned upside down. With expectations raised, the Mets are walking the high wire without a safety net. That kind of act will have people watching to see if the wire snaps."

You'd really have to do a better job explaining why the Mets season is like a high wire act ... or why they'd expect the metaphorical wire to snap.


"The Yankees? This is one of those rare times when the All-Knowing ones don’t know what to expect. Until further notice, the Yankees are officially bland."

It's official.

Until further notice, that is.

So I guess we'll have to keep checking back with Bob Raissman to see if he notifies us of any changes to the conclusions of his officiation.


"Ultimately, controversy and storylines finish second to consistent winning. That’s what drives the ratings to higher ground. When the two elements collide, the ratings go even higher. For the not-so-big secret here is this: Despite those who actually believe everyone’s fandom is locked in, there is a large — very large — segment of eyeballs who hang out in the middle before gravitating toward a winning, compelling team."

If that is the case, then those people don't actually care about the Mets Spring Training. Right? So there's no buzz whatsoever, and the media buzz won't help segments of eyeballs -- very large or otherwise -- who wait until the team is in a playoff race before they bother paying attention.

However, this isn't the case. Fandom is pretty much locked in.

In the New York metro area, more or less, it's 1/3 Mets fans and 2/3 Yankees fans.

The Mets have a long way to go to swing the pendulum significantly after 20 straight years of Yankee success.








Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's why we do this.

Gee, Mets fans.

We are holding off Matt Harvey one day so we can get a nice gate for game #2. If you're at the ballpark that day, we'd like to remind you of the multitude of souvenirs you can purchase for your entire extended family.

We sarcastically apologize to the fans who attend the home opener and are forced to endure the indignity of cheering for the Rookie of the Year.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I want Brian Roberts back.

"Scouts are not only down on Carlos Beltran, particularly his chances of playing an agile right field, but several evaluators following the Yankees are seriously questioning what Stephen Drew will be able to contribute.

Drew, who batted .162 last year for Boston and the Yankees, is hitting .161 this spring, after going 0 for 3 and striking out twice on Sunday.


The Yanks have made clear that Drew is not competing for the second base job. He will be the Opening Day second baseman. But with the experts seeing a slow bat and wondering if the 32-year-old Drew is shot, you wonder if we’ll see Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder before summer."

And when I say "scouts" are worried about Stephen Drew, I mean "anyone with eyes."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Alex Rodriguez is a metaphor.

For a man who claims to be disinterested with Alex Rodriguez's washed up career, Mike Lupica sure spends a lot of time writing about Alex Rodriguez.

If you think Lupica would be better served writing a human interest sports story about, say, old men playing stickball in Florida, you'd be very wrong.

Sheesh. That was even worse. Stick with what you know. Tedious, nonsensical ARod metaphors.

Alex Rodriguez is like Lance Armstrong is like Hillary Clinton's email address:
 
"The reality, of course, for as long as he is around and until his body breaks down for good, is that the Yankees are stuck with their very own Lance Armstrong. The difference between him and Armstrong, for now, anyway, is that he gets to come back to the sport that made him rich and famous, while Armstrong is now panhandling for redemption with Travis Tygart of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, so he can somehow rebuild his own sorry brand in triathlon competitions.

They both lied until they ran out of lies, but now we are supposed to believe everything they say about how pure their hearts are. And anyone who doesn’t believe, anyone who still finds the scope of the lies they told and the vindictiveness they both showed to those who refused to ignore those lies, is accused of moralizing with two men you wouldn’t trust if they told you water was wet."

Nobody believes anything they say and nobody is supposed to.

When Poor Mike Lupica is accused of moralizing, he's being accused of selective moralizing, which is despicable and unconvincing. You don't hate ARod because he's a cheater and a liar. You just hate ARod.


"Rob Manfred, the 10th commissioner of baseball, had no choice about letting Rodriguez return to Major League Baseball, and to the Yankees. Rodrigiuez had served his suspension, he was eligible to return, that was that. Manfred didn’t have to meet with Rodriguez and did, despite Rodriguez’s war on the game he says he loves so much across 2013, when he blamed everybody except Hillary Clinton’s private email address for being up to his eyeballs in Biogenesis."


 In 2013, ARod blamed everybody except Hillary Clinton's email address?

1) This is a comparison between an event that occurred in 2013 and an event that occurred in 2015.

2) An email address is not a person.

This is nothing more than "Hillary Clinton is a general topic and her email address is a current event. I'm going to make a strained comparison between Alex Rodriguez and a current event."


Alex Rodriguez blamed everybody except Dancing with the Stars.

Alex Rodriguez blamed everybody except Mike Baxter from Archbishop Molloy.

Alex Rodriguez blamed everybody except Tommy John Surgery.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Training doesn't matter when Matt Harvey gets hit hard.

"It wouldn’t really matter to them how it turned out for Matt Harvey, the six hits he gave up before his second strikeout against the last batter he faced. What mattered to them was that they got to see Harvey on this day, a long way from Jersey and a long way from the start of the season. He is that kind of star for the Mets again, that kind of pitcher. There have been only a handful like this, since Seaver."

So you actually attended a Spring Training game in person and, when the Golden Child doesn't dazzle as you expected, you have the gall to say it doesn't matter?

If it doesn't really matter, then why did you make the trip?


"Len Adler, out of Short Hills, N.J., is standing at the corner of the Mets dugout, first base side of Roger Dean Stadium, an hour and a half before Harvey and the Mets would face the Marlins, baseball in one hand, pen in the other. He says he bought tickets to this game a month ago."


You're interviewing Mets fans at a Spring Training game and asking them what they think about Matt Harvey.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say they think Matt Harvey is good.


"Maybe 40 minutes from Port St. Lucie, this was not the kind of spring training day that last Friday was for Matt Harvey, when he pitched in a game for the first time since August of 2013. You know what kind of moment that was for him, for his team, for Mets fans, even in just two innings, even in the first week of March. He struck out three and got two comebackers and hit 99 on the radar gun and even threw a 3-2 curveball that seemed to start up in Short Hills before breaking all the way down here."

It doesn't really matter that he threw a 3-2 curveball and hit 99 MPH on the gun.


"He is back. His arm is strong. When he is at his best this season, he will return to being the biggest baseball star in New York, the way he was before he tore that ligament in his elbow and before Tommy John surgery. In his absence, Masahiro Tanaka became New York’s pitching sensation last season, before the minor tear in his pitching elbow, as if there is such a thing as a minor tear in a pitcher’s elbow."


Lupica said Harvey was the biggest baseball star in NY before he got injured. That is not correct. Derek Jeter was the biggest baseball star in New York at that time.

It's quite likely that Lupica wasn't counting Jeter ... that Lupica didn't mean it that way ... but Lupica wrote it unambiguously.


You'll never guess what Matt Harvey's career record is.

Go ahead and guess.

It's 12-10.

With a lot of strikeouts (10 per 9 innings), very few HRs for a power pitcher, and fantastic control. The sky is the limit. Young, inexpensive starting pitchers are the most valuable asset in baseball.

Still, it's a long way to go before the silly comparisons to Tom Seaver mean anything.


"Tanaka says he can keep pitching without the surgery. We will see about that. Tanaka’s spring training starts, on the other side of Florida, will be a different kind of event than Harvey’s over on the East Coast. The Yankees will hold their breath every time he throws his split-fingered fastball, and with the big stuff he showed before he got hurt. Harvey has already returned to the business of being the kind of pitcher who can take your breath away with his own stuff."


Lupica's anti-Yankee bias is so strong, that he actually roots for Yankee players to get injured. Ellsbury last year and now Tanaka.

It's beyond "I told ya so" score keeping ... I truly think Lupica despises the Yankees so much, that he simply can't separate the uniform from the human being who is wearing it.


After reading Lupica's breathless article, now I'm suddenly curious if Pineda can hit 99 on the gun. If Betances can hit 99 on the gun. If so, I need to know what some random dude from NJ thinks about it. It's compelling Spring Training baseball analysis.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Somebody wrote a book about a sub-.500 team.

Maybe I will just wait for the movie:

"In 2010, the New York Mets were in trouble. One of baseball’s most valuable franchises, they had recently suffered an embarrassing September collapse and two bitter losing seasons. Their GM had made costly mistakes. And their principle owners were embroiled in the largest financial scam in American history.

To whom did they turn? Sandy Alderson, a former marine who served in Vietnam and graduated from Harvard Law. In 1981, Alderson started in baseball with Oakland, where he led a revolution in the sport. The A's partnered with Apple, pioneered using statistical analysis, and became a powerhouse, winning the 1989 World Series. When new owners slashed payroll in the 1990s, Alderson's under-the-radar creativity and intelligent management were thrust into the spotlight.

Granted unprecedented access to a working GM over several seasons, bestselling author Steve Kettmann traces Alderson’s history and his renewal of the Mets despite a limited budget, through big trades that brought back high-profile prospects to the development of young aces including Matt Harvey, Zach [sic] Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom. Now, the turnaround is almost complete. Baseball Maverick is a gripping, behind-the-scenes look at a Major League team and a fascinating exploration of what it means to be smart."


It certainly sounds gripping.

It sounds like a baseball GM made some trades for high-profile free agents while developing young players including Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom.

Now that you gave away the plot, I don't have to read the book.