Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Eat a hot dog and hit a homerun.

Teixeira still looks fat to me:

"After talking to Darien, Conn.-based trainer Ben Prentiss — who works with many NHL players — Teixeira started what he calls the 'No Fun Diet.’

'No gluten, no dairy, no sugar,' Teixeira said of the diet Prentiss suggested to curb the inflammation running through Teixeira’s body. 'We attacked all those things I have been having and I got myself really strong. I feel really strong. I was weaker than I had ever been in my entire career last year.’ "

I'll believe it when i see it.


"According to Teixeira, he lost 13 pounds of fat and added 15 pounds of muscle."

That's what everybody says after they put on 2 pounds of fat.


By the way, Sabathia used the All Fun Diet this offseason.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

He should have reported to Spring Training late and out of shape.

Believe it or not, this is going to get tired fast and even the reporters will become disinterested.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's too easy.

This one is even funnier, from pre-season 2012.

To be fair, I didn't find a good one from pre-season 2013:

"If Santana can come all the way back and be the Mets’ Opening Day starter, be something close to what he was before he tore up his shoulder, then maybe the Mets can be a team to watch again. And maybe, with everything stacked against them the way it is, they can be a team in which Mets fans can invest not just their money, but the belief that maybe things can get better, after 5½ years of what feels like a Biblical plague since Molina hit that Game 7 home run and Carlos Beltran took a called strike three with the season on the bases at old Shea Stadium.

Maybe in six weeks, if baseball goes right for the Mets and if the owners get the decision they think they will get in Judge Jed Rakoff’s courtroom, then maybe they can start being the Mets again, instead of the New York Madoffs.

...

Then Collins was talking about his message to his players this spring, so many of them kids, as the Mets try to somehow come back from everything that has happened to them, on and off the field, for a long time.

'We talk a lot about belief around here,'he said. 'I tell our players all the time, if they don’t believe in themselves, how can I believe in them, how can the organization believe in them, how can our fans believe in them?' "

74 wins.

Lupica recycles the same article every year and then claims that he hasn't been this optimistic about the Mets in, like, forever.

Not difficult to find in the archives.

Lupica article from almost precisely one year ago.

Basically, the Mets are going to win the World Series in 2014:

"The Mets manager talks about the 2013 Red Sox, a team that will be referenced this season and for a lot of seasons by other teams that think they can come from hard times and shock the world.


...


Then Collins, a good man and a good manager who has never lost his team through all the bad luck and bad news he has seen off Roosevelt Ave., is talking about how he doesn’t just think about the loss of Harvey when he looks back at the 2013 season, he thinks about the last 100 games his team played, when somehow he and the Mets figured out a way to play .500 ball.


...


He talks about Curtis Granderson, how he doesn’t expect Granderson to hit 40 home runs at Citi Field the way he did at the new Yankee Stadium, where balls fly out of the place like driving-range golf balls. Instead he talks about how Granderson provides protection for 'Number 5,' meaning David Wright, and how if pitchers pitch around Wright, they are going to get hit hard by Curtis Granderson."

Number 5 means David Wright, by the way.

In case you weren't sure who wore the uniform number 5 on the Mets.

In case you assumed Collins was referring to Joe Dimaggio or maybe George Brett.


"He talks about how 'it’s still in there' with a player like Chris Young, and how it’s his job now to get it out; and about how important the young shortstop, Ruben Tejada, is to everything. Mostly he talks about how strong he feels his starting rotation will be, even without Harvey, a rotation that could include more kids like Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero before the baseball summer is over at Citi Field.

On a Florida morning full of sunlight and sky, Collins really talks blue sky for the Mets, and not in some season down the road. So eventually he is asked a question about what his message is going to be to his team before they all break camp this time, where he expects his team to be on the first of September when big games are played in the National League.

'We’re gonna be in the hunt is where we’re gonna be,' Collins says. 'Can I tell you where we’re gonna be? I can’t. But I am telling you we’re going to be in the hunt.'

Then he talks about the 2013 Red Sox, a team that will be referenced this season and for a lot of seasons by other teams that think they can come from hard times and shock the world.

'll those guys the Red Sox got last season,' Collins says, 'who thought they were going to play that good? As far as I’m concerned, we’re in exactly the same boat.' "

Now, Terry Collins is the manager of the Mets and he can be as optimistic as he wants to be ... and this may have occurred after his GM kind of put him on the spot by predicting 90 wins.

But it's still big talk for a team that won 79 games and Lupica/the Daily News don't have to be the man's cheerleader.

It's all hackneyed garbage from a hack. The Daily News isn't a newspaper, it's the PR Department for the Mets.


If you want to really hear how ludicrous these Daily News articles are, switch the word "Yankees" for "Mets," switch the word "Girardi" for "Collins," switch the word "Beltran" for "Granderson."

It sounds ridiculous and unprofessional because it is.


Gee, "when is the last time we said the Mets were really going to be better than the Yankees." Be honest. You say that every year. The reason you always say that is because you're fanboys.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Last year, at this time.

Understand what's really happening when the weird pro-Mets media pushes this angle:

"When was the last time in the big bad city we could have a reasonable conversation about the following question:

Who’s going to win more games this season, the Yankees or the Mets?"

The 2014 Yankees won 84 games. The 2014 Mets won 79 games. The difference is only 5.

The 2014 Yankees were outscored by 11 runs. The 2014 Mets outscored their opponents by 11 runs. SABRE-metrically speaking, the Mets are already better.

The Yankees only scored 4 more runs than the Mets last season. The Yankees playing at Yankee Stadium instead of CitiField. The Yankees with a DH batting instead of a pitcher batting.

If you weren't having this "Mets vs. Yankees" Race to the Bottom conversation last year, you were behind the times.


The Mets almost made the World Series in 2006 following a 97-win season. So, while I don't have a distinct memory of Talk Radio pre-season 2007, I know that plenty of Mets fans thought their team was superior to the Yankees because  the Mets had just gotten further in the playoffs.

So that's eight years ago, at most. Which is not that long ago.


But the real answer is we go through this every single season. The Mets are always talking big, from Valentine to Randolph to Alderson's 90 wins. It looks like Lupica, the Daily News, and Frank from Forest Hills will finally be correct. In my opinion, the Yankees are a 4th-place, sub-.500 team this year.


The agenda is not to have a serious discussion about which mediocre baseball team is better. The agenda is to over-hype the Mets because the Mets are perceived as the Underdog team in NY. The Mets and their supportive media are allowed to talk trash in a way that would be unbecoming for the Empirical Yankees ... an Empire that's in name only at this point.

I'd say to the Mets the same thing I'd say to the Yankees: Shut up and play.






Saturday, February 21, 2015

Let's talk about Masahiro Tanaka.

"If you thought this Yankee spring training was going to be all about Alex Rodriguez, Friday’s first managerial press conference of the new year offered proof that not even the specter of A-Rod’s return to baseball outranks the significance of Masahiro Tanaka’s damaged elbow ligament."

Anyone who reads the Daily news thinks Yankee spring training is going all about Alex Rodriguez.


"OK, let’s not kid anyone. The reality-show quotient will dominate the headlines and video clips, in part because A-Rod is more Kardashian than ballplayer at this point, and in part because the Yankees have little else in the way of compelling star power these days.

So, yes, Joe Girardi answered his share of A-Rod questions on Friday, making a point of saying the media-circus factor will be a good baptism for the many newcomers to this team, an instant test of the 'thick skin' the manager believes it takes to thrive in New York."

The headline said something about Tanaka.


"And no doubt those questions will multiply next week when Rodriguez shows up with the rest of the position players, but even then the issue will be more about the spectacle he brings than any true impact he has on getting the Yankees back to the playoffs."

No doubt.



"After all, if Girardi or any of the organization’s decision-makers were to be completely honest about their expectations, they’d almost surely tell you they expect Garrett Jones to get more at-bats in the DH spot than A-Rod."

When Girardi shockingly said that ARod had to earn his at-bats ... isn't that the same as every other player? The Jeter Farewell Tour to the contrary, of course.

Garret Jones isn't Edgar Martinez. Chase Headley isn't George Brett. Forty-year-old washed-up ARod will probably fit right in on an awful offensive team.

I would love it if ARod was forced to the bench not because of his own ineptitude, but because some replacement surprised me with an .900 OPS.


"Until further notice, then, the Yankee brain trust will be observing Tanaka far more intently in the coming weeks."

Tanaka!

Not a great segue, but you finally got to the subject matter that drove me to click on the link.


"And with that in mind, it was at least somewhat revealing that Girardi, ever upbeat when discussing all things Yankees, spoke about Tanaka on Friday with what could be best described as cautious optimism."

Girardi at his most effervescent could be described graciously as cautiously optimistic.


" 'I feel it’s healed,' he said. 'I’m confident I can get through the season.'

Even that answer, if interpreted accurately, reflects some sense of the season as a minefield, with the potential for explosion with every start.

And because the Yankees chose not to spend any more on high-end pitching this winter, a healthy Tanaka is crucial to their hopes of playing October baseball again for the first time since 2012.

Which is why there were more questions for Girardi on Friday about his ace than his three-time MVP. The impending A-Rod reality show, after all, is likely to have far more drama than Tanaka-like significance."

I mean, yeah, obviously. Tanaka is the best player on the Yankees. If healthy, he may be one of the best pitchers in the American League. If he had stayed healthy last season, the garbage Yankees would have made the playoffs.

Every game is a minefield for every player. Old players might stay healthy, young players might get hurt. 

My expectation? He'll probably pitch great and stay healthy. Then shut it down in mid-August because the team is 20 games out of first place.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lupica Takedown

 I sorta read ARod's hilarious apology. Hilarious if only for the lovely cursive handwriting to give it the sincere touch. I pretty much got the gist, so I didn't bother reading it carefully.

The Lupica Response was redundant and predictable, and even I ... the King of Redundant and Predictable ... didn't bother slogging through a retort.

My buddy forwarded this to me: Craig Calcaterra takes Lupica down.

Now I kinda wish I had blogged about Lupica's article just so I could compare notes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Four years in prison for Bosch.

So why did Bosch cooperate with MLB in the first place?:

"Bosch lawyer Guy Lewis, a former U.S. attorney in Miami, said that without his cooperation, MLB would not have had sufficient evidence to sustain Rodriguez's suspension. Lewis said Bosch has met dozens of times with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and helped prosecutors pore over thousands of pages of documents.

That cooperation, Lewis added, came despite threats from unnamed people warning Bosch to keep his mouth shut, forcing him to hire security services and move to several different locations. Bosch was also offered $150,000 to flee to Colombia and 'lay low,' but he did not, Lewis said.

'Mr. Bosch has cooperated thoroughly and extensively,' Lewis said. 'He was truthful. He was reliable.'

But Gayles refused Lewis' request that Bosch receive a lighter sentence of just under three years."

Bosch is a criminal and not a sympathetic figure. But MLB conned the guy and got what they wanted. MLB promised a lighter sentence they couldn't deliver. MLB got ARod for a full season and washed away all their steroid sins.

Is everybody happy now?


The greatest baseball player alive? Or the greatest human being alive?

Classy:

"Giambi finishes his career with 440 homers, 1,441 RBIs, the 2000 MVP award and five All-Star selections. Whether he warrants enshrinement in Cooperstown is another matter altogether, one that's premature to decide now, but at least worth discussing.  

  ...

Using the JAWS metric, Giambi (46.5) falls below the threshold of the average first-baseman in the Hall of Fame (54.2). He also doesn't measure up to Jeff Bagwell (63.9) or even Mark McGwire (51.9) — so that coupled with his PED use doesn't bode well for Giambi."

Oh, yeah ... the PED use! I knew something was holding him back.


I mean, I don't really care all that much about PED use in the first place. If Giambi goes into the HOF, then a whole lot of superior cheaters should go before him.

What we are learning is what we knew all along. The anger directed towards certain PED players is not because of PEDs. Some players are likeable and some players are not likeable.

Palmeiro and ARod are villains. Pettitte and Giambi are classy.
 
The HOF? The MVP votes? All star games? The praise (or relative lack of praise) when a player retires/apologizes?

That's fine. Mike Oz is entitled to biased opinions.

The problem is that a player doesn't deserve to be stripped of money and games because he is unlikeable. That isn't justice. ARod deserved 50 games like everybody else.



Monday, February 16, 2015

I think Knoblauch will be one of the few to not get his number retired.

 This is actually one of the funnier comebacks you're likely to see"

" 'Maybe if you took HGH you would’ve reached first base #46,' tweeted Michael Schepp (@Schepp2).

'I did. Know your facts,' was Knoblauch’s reply."

Yeah, I thought it was common knowledge that Knoblauch took PEDs.

So if you're too ignorant to know this, then the joke's on you.

He'll probably make the HOF, since his reputation is restored.

"Jason Giambi and Elvis Presley share a birthday. Like the King, Giambi has left the building."

Jason Giambi died?

Jason Giambi died just like Elvis?

Jason Giambi died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet, straining to poop due to drug-induced constipation?


"The former Yankee announced his retirement Monday, telling the Daily News, 'It's time to come home.'

The 44-year-old Giambi, speaking exclusively to the News from his home in Las Vegas, said his desire to spend time with his wife, Kristian, and their two children, London, 3, and Tristan, 1, was the biggest factor in his decision."

That's cool.

But why was a Daily News reporter speaking to Jason Giambi in the first place?

The term "exclusive" means a lot more when it's used in conjunction with a relevant story or a sought-after interviewee.


"Giambi finished his career with 440 home runs, 1,441 RBI and a .277/.399/.516 slash line over parts of 20 seasons with the Athletics, Yankees, Rockies and Indians. He was a five-time American League All-Star, winning the league's Most Valuable Player award in 2000 and finishing second the following season.

...
 
Giambi is one of only 14 players since 1901 to have at least 400 homers, 1,400 RBI, 400 doubles and an on-base percentage of .399 or higher."

Great career. He will probably make the HOF, right?


"He also endured his share of tough times, most notably his involvement in the BALCO performance-enhancing drug scandal more than a decade ago. Unlike many players involved in PED scandals, Giambi emerged on the other side with his reputation restored, even becoming a finalist for Colorado's managerial job in 2012."

His reputation is restored?

Says who?

I suppose we'll see that hypothesis put to the test in five years.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Great news for Mets fans.

Matt Harvey has apparently passed the swag test.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Do you care about Lance Armstrong? I know I don't.

"You know why the Yankees are going to meet with Rodriguez, and his lawyers, after turning him down originally?"

Why????


"They are doing that to come up with a way that somebody whose Lance Armstrong confessional will be conducted with the media instead of just Oprah doesn’t make it appear that the Yankees are the ones who have crossed the clown line, because they either take this guy back or give him $61 million or so in parting gifts."

Oh. Crossed the clown line? Who's crossing he clown line?

I'm confused. I'll try again after removing some of the extraneous clauses. Break the sentence down:
 "They (the Yankees) are meeting with ARod to come up with a way that somebody (ARod) doesn't make it appear that the Yankees are the ones who have crossed the clown line."

Another cut:
  "The Yankees are doing this to come up with a way that ARod doesn't make it appear that the Yankees are the ones who have crossed the clown line."

The essence. Why are the Yankees doing this?:

" ... to come up with a way that ARod doesn't make it appear that the Yankees are the ones who have crossed the clown line.

I read it a few times and I don't know why Lupica thinks the Yankees are meeting with ARod.


"But there is substantial risk for Rodriguez, too, when he spins his tale of enlightenment and forgiveness and throws himself on the mercy of the court of public opinion: He has to make sure, now and going forward, that the story he tells about his drug use and his involvement with Anthony Bosch, the fresh prince of Biogenesis, doesn’t conflict with the story he told the feds when they gave him his 'Queen for a Day' immunity deal on Bosch."

Substantial risk in losing the court of public opinion.

That's totally true.

What ever would Alex Rodriguez do if he lost in the Court of Public Opinion?


Hey, I just got an idea. Let me head on over to shop.mlb.com and get a fresh new ARod jersey to welcome him back.

That's weird.

There aren't any.

Maybe they just temporarily sold out of ARod jerseys? Since he's so popular? That must be it.

I mean, they have a Brian Roberts jersey for the low, low price of $225.99 ... lots and lots of #2 jerseys ... but no #13 to be found anywhere.


"Alex Rodriguez is about to find that out along with the rest of us. Our Lance Armstrong now returns to the Tour de Yankees. Everybody up on their bikes."

You wrote the article, not me, so  I guess you're right up on the bike.

As for Lance Armstrong, it is a useless analogy. You're writing about New York baseball in a New York Baseball newspaper. Alex Rodriguez has been on the Yankees roster for 11 years. Lance Armstrong rode bicycles in France, or something.


"The most interesting man in the world at this Yankee spring training isn’t going to be Alex Rodriguez, by the way.

It’s going to be Masahiro Tanaka."

I think there are at least 20 players more interesting than ARod.

But you designated Tanaka as more interesting, and I totally agree ... and that is the last time you mentioned Tanaka ... and you just wrote your entire Sunday column about ARod.

 
"Woods turns 40 later this year.

Alex Rodriguez turns 40.

Think about where they both were seven years ago, when we thought one was going to pass Jack Nicklaus and the other was going to pass Barry Bonds someday."

That's Tiger Woods, a golfer.


"You know what the real story of spring training for the Yankees is?

It isn’t that Alex Rodriguez will be there.

It is that Derek Jeter won’t."

You can write about these real stories if you prefer. I know I'd prefer if you occasionally wrote a real story, though I kinda think the Absence of Jeter angle is played out.


You just wrote a large article article about ARod. Sunday morning column.

You compared ARod to Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Masahiro Tanaka, and Derek Jeter. Other people only exist as they relate to ARod.

The whole time, you're insisting that nobody should really care about ARod.


Well, guess what? I kind of don't care about ARod.

I may sound like a turncoat, but the facts have changed. For a long time, ARod was a great player, but I don't think he's a good baseball player anymore. Now he's a washed-up DH who will bat 7th.

I'm rooting for him in the sense that he's going to wear Yankee pinstripes on a baseball field.

It might not be long until he's unceremoniously benched and then unceremoniously dropped.





The 2015 Spring Training vibe reminds Bill Madden of the 1992 Spring Training vibe.

I know he is basing his entire analysis on Mets-vs.-Yankees, but I'd still like to point out that Bill Madden has zero recollection of the Spring Training vibes from 1992:

"There’s going to be a strange vibe emanating out of Port St. Lucie this spring, making it seem almost like ... well ... Tampa. Indeed, you have to go all the way back to 1992 — when Buck Showalter was embarking on his maiden season as Yankee manager following the team’s 91-loss finish under Stump Merrill the year before, and after Met GM Al Harazin’s spectacular offseason overhaul, bringing in Bobby Bonilla, Bret Saberhagen and Eddie Murray along with a popular new manager in Jeff Torborg — that expectations for the coming season were higher in the Mets’ camp than in Yankeeland."


"Yankees are better than the Mets" has pretty much been the major baseball theme of the Daily News for at least 15 years.

In fact, I would go back to 2014, one whole year ago. I could probably verify this by reading the Daily News sports section from one year ago, and quite possibly by reading Bill Madden's take one year ago. Sandy Alderson and 90 wins and whatnot ... Robinson Cano's departure ... Mets sign Granderson!

(Madden's actual 2014 predictions were Yankees 89 wins and Mets 82 wins ... and Tampa storming to the top of the AL East.)

The Daily News is essentially always predicting Yankee doom and gloom. Eventually, they are going to be correct. Madden should be honest enough to own his past predictions.


"Now here we are, all these years later, and the Yankees are coming off their second straight season of missing the playoffs and their lowest full-season win total (84) since ... 1992. At the same time, the Mets are coming off their fifth straight losing season, but there is optimism aplenty among the Flushing faithful because of the bumper crop of homegrown players all coming into their own — at the same time the longtime failures of the Mark Newman-run Yankee player development system have forced GM Brian Cashman to make some controversial trades in an effort to address the team’s urgent needs at shortstop and in the rotation."

See, I don't even disagree with that. I think it's quite possible the mediocre Mets will be better than the ... medicore-er ... Yankees.

Mets win 80, Yankees win 78.

But that's a pointless distinction between two bad teams ... and I'll be the first to admit my pre-season predictions are often way off.

Even so, this conclusion isn't enhanced in any way by referencing the long-forgotten 1992 season.


"As long as Derek Jeter was on the scene, there were always going to be high expectations for the Yankees. But now that the Captain is gone, so, too, is that aura of October inevitability."

The aura of October inevitability, as illustrated by the Yankees coming off their second straight season of missing the playoffs.

What kind of brain-dead fanboy thought the presence of Dererk Jeter gave the Yankees an aura of October inevitability?

When is the last time Jeter was the best player on the team or playing at an all-star level?


"Still, just as the big additions made by the Nationals and Marlins may temper the high expectations for the Mets, by contrast the lower expectations for the Yankees should probably be weighed against the vulnerabilities of the rest of the AL East teams."

That would sound like first-level basic analysis of how many games a team is going to win.  It would be super duper cool if you had a public forum in a New York newspaper where that analysis could be performed.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

News

The Mets say this every year.