Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Monday, January 09, 2017

Ten years if you can believe it.

I sometimes still accidentally refer to him as Joe Torre.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Cano has seven more years on his contract.

"Ex-Yankee Robinson Cano returned to dominance in 2016, belting a career-high 39 home runs, triple-slashing .298/.350/.533 and ranking sixth in all of baseball with an ESPN Wins Above Replacement of 7.3.

Cano is now three seasons into his 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners. And so far — with the exception of the first three months of 2015, when he battled a reported stomach illness and struggled as a result — it's worked out very well for Seattle."

No, it hasn't worked out very well for Seattle. They haven't even made the playoffs.

"An eight-year, $200 million offer supposedly would've done the trick. But the Yankees went in a different direction, giving Jacoby Ellsbury a seven-year, $153 million deal, and deciding to move on from Cano."

I don't buy "supposedly" when it's off by $40 million, so the Yankees chose Ellsbury + $90 million. Which really means the Yankees chose Ellsbury + Tanaka. Yet, none of these analyses ever include Tanaka.

But even if Tanaka is excluded from the equation, $90 million isn't chump change, even for the Yankees.

"In a perfect world, the Yankees would be able to trade Ellsbury, who has had a history of injuries, and find a short-term solution in center before Clint Frazier's eventual arrival. But it seems like they're stuck.

Long-term, it's possible that Castro, who used to play shortstop, projects as a utility infielder and Ellsbury projects as a corner/fourth outfielder. In the meantime, the Yankees can only hope to get more consistency out of each player.

Cano's decline will eventually come too. But unless he gets hurt, it doesn't appear that's happening anytime soon."

Ellsbury has been a bust, Tanaka has not been a bust. Csatro will not be able to replace Cano at second base by any means.

It's simply too early to evaluate this signing by Seattle.

If Cano can produce in years 8 through 10, I'll be surprised ... shocked, actually ... and the Mariners didn't commit a quarter of a billion dollars to win 80-something games and miss the playoffs every year.

Seattle may get the last laugh, but that's only if Cano is flashing a ring in a Puget Sound parade.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Me me me me me.

It's one thing to overstate the importance of a player's popularity among his teammates. It's a stretch to keep that player out of the HOF for that reason.

But this guy is simply voting against Schilling because of a personal grudge.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Matt Holiday: Professional hitter and clubhouse leader.

"Aside from providing veteran leadership for his younger teammates, it's probable that manager Joe Girardi pencils the nearly 37-year-old DH in the cleanup spot — sandwiched between phenom Gary Sanchez and, perhaps, Greg Bird.

Holliday is an accomplished righthanded hitter, a seven-time All-Star who was one of the most productive bats in baseball during his prime — regularly reaching 5.0 wins above replacement or greater."

"Veteran leader" and "accomplished hitter" ... judges?


Damn. So close.

Friday, December 30, 2016

For what it's worth, I believe Schilling is a HOFer.

And it ain't worth much:

"Curt Schilling has lost more votes from writers who previously picked him than any other candidate on the ballot. According to Thibodaux’s calculations, 18 writers switched their votes away from Schilling. The next-most votes lost: the seven lost by both Trevor Hoffman and Fred McGriff.

Jerry Crasnick wrote about the Schilling phenomenon earlier this month, addressing the question: Is it possible to tweet your way out of Cooperstown?

In my opinion, this is a really bad look for the baseball writers, because it’s a loose affirmation of a stereotype that is almost always wrong: Writers pick candidates based on whether they like them. Since last year’s balloting, Schilling hasn’t thrown a single pitch; nothing he has written or said changes anything about what he did as a major league player over 20 years."

"A loose affirmation of a stereotype that is almost always wrong: Writers pick candidates based on whether they like them."

In response, let me just say one thing: LOL.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Just abolish the entire practice.

"I love voting for the Hall of Fame. I relish the rigor of it, along with the inevitable criticism that follows. If anything, the ethical dilemmas make the experience more worthwhile. As judgments become more nuanced and complex, I'm honored to be part of an organization that wields profound influence on the way baseball history is remembered in Cooperstown."

I suppose I can't blame you for sounding so consumed with your self-absorbed importance ... the baseball Hall of Fame has a way of doing that to people.

"First, I'll state my position on performance-enhancing drugs: I draw a sharp line at the 2005 season, when Major League Baseball began suspending players for PED use. To me, Rafael Palmeiro (no longer on the ballot), Manny Ramirez (eligible for the first time), Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun have disqualified themselves from consideration.

There is substantial evidence that Bonds and Clemens used PEDs. Steroid suspicion has followed Bagwell and Rodriguez. But rather than surmise who used -- because an educated guess is all we have in some cases -- it's most reasonable to vote for the players who truly excelled in a flawed era. Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez did that."

I must say, that's auite nuanced, just like you said.

"Sammy Sosa, by contrast, ranked ninth among position players on this year's ballot with an OPS+ of 128, just ahead of J.D. Drew and Magglio OrdoƱez. Yes, Sosa hit 609 home runs. But he did so during a PED-tainted era, in which the skill of hitting home runs became less historically significant.

Rodriguez won 13 Gold Glove Awards at catcher. Bagwell won one. Sosa? Zero. And Bagwell's OPS+ (149) was much higher than Sosa's."

I actually can't wait for Ivan Rodriguez to get in.

This is the first of an avalanche of ridiculous justifications.

"I draw a sharp line at the 2005 season" because that makes no sense whatsoever, but that way I can justify voting for Ivan Rodriguez, who won 13 gold gloves as a catcher and stuff.

By the way, reviewing the people you voted for?:

  • Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez, Curt Schilling

I'll bet they all took steroids. Not sure about Mussina, Schilling, or Hoffman ... it's not as easy to tell with pitchers, is it? Quite sure about all the others ... and if Raines is not guilty of taking steroids, he's guilty of worse.

I don't really think it's a bad list at all. You'd probably be better off leaving your nuanced reasoning out of it and just letting the list speak for itself.

Because the 2005 criteria doesn't make much sense.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Lupica Defends Bud Selig

"So this is the way it's apparently supposed to work: If Bud Selig gets into the Hall of Fame then Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are supposed to get in right behind him, as if it's some sort of referendum on equivalency. Only it's not."

Oh boy, this oughtta be good.

"If Selig is responsible for the use of performance-enhancing drugs by some of the most prominent names in baseball history, then so are a lot of us in the media, and not just the baseball media."

Yes. You are totally guilty. This obvious verdict is not even up for discussion.

"If you want to throw the book, and that means the record book, at Selig for not acting sooner, then ask yourself something: Why didn't the same people still prosecuting Selig for baseball's drug past tell us what was going on in the 1990s? What was stopping them?"

Not sure.

Maybe what was stopping them was a lack of complete awareness, hampered by incompetent and holier-than-thou baseball journalists who don't care about researching and disseminating useful information, but instead focus on personal grudges and empty gossip.

Maybe they never pondered Selig's HOF candidacy because it seems so absurd and perverse. Even now, after it's happened. It seems surreal, actually. 2016 has been a very strange year, hasn't it?

It's difficult, however, to answer your rhetorical question because you haven't specifically identified "the people" in question.

"Could Selig have stated his concerns about PEDs earlier than he did? He could have, could have applied common sense before he had actual evidence or proof, taken the high ground from the intractable union leadership of Donald Fehr and Gene Orza. He could have said that if it were up to him -- and this is in the mid-'90s -- he would unilaterally impose drug testing on the spot, even though he knew that was impossible under the sport's Collective Bargaining Agreement. Selig could have said he was doing it in the name of the record book, and clean players."

If the writers truly cared about steroid use (they don't), then they would not even consider Selig.

See, we're complaining about you. We're not really complaining about Selig. You're the hypocrites for voting this guy in. Do you not understand this?

Your defenses of Selig are completely missing the point.

"He could have done better. We all could have done better. I wrote a book about 1998, and the magic of it for my sons. Bob Costas, who started hitting the subject hard around 2000, on his various platforms, says now, 'I wish I'd addressed the issue sooner.'"

"We all could have done better." Speak for yourself.

"Of course, Bud Selig doesn't get a hall pass on the steroids era just because he's in the Hall of Fame now, where he absolutely belongs. No one is suggesting that he should. But Bonds and Clemens don't get to follow him through the doors like Selig's running interference for them, either. It doesn't work that way."

You are suggesting Selig gets a hall pass. In the column which I'm reading right now.

I think I know how it works, by the way. Check it out:

Incompetent and lazy sportswriters refuse to research and disseminate useful baseball information. Instead, they use their columns for empty gossip and personal grudges. So if Selig had refused to return phone calls or if he had worn bespoke suits instead of all of his ridiculous Regular Guy affectations, then the writers would not have liked him and they would not have let him into the HOF.

"Now this is supposed to be all Selig's fault. Only it's not all anybody's fault. There is plenty enough blame to go around. Selig looked the other way, we are now told, because home runs were so good for business ..."

Stop right there. That's exactly what happened. If you deny that, then you haven't learned anything.

Of course Selig profited, and so did you.

It's not all Selig's fault, but he was the Commissioner.

If you want to put the Steroid Commissioner in the HOF, then put in the Steroid Third Basemen and Steroid Left Fielders.

Please get off your high horse once and for all. It will feel good and feel just.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

I thought it was a rare moment of insight.

And what's the love affair with Joe Maddon?:

"I’m happy that Aroldis Chapman is happy to be back with the Yankees, but he needs to shut it on Joe Maddon now, whether Maddon should have gotten him out of Game 6 earlier or not."


He doesn't.

"Cubs won and so did Chapman, at the end of a season that began with him suspended because of something that happened between him and his girlfriend on Halloween weekend in 2015.

He won, and now he gets paid.

Move on."

"Move on." It only happened, like, 2 months ago. It's the first press conference since the World Series.

It's interesting to me that Girardi's superior bullpen management may have been a factor in Chapman's decision.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Andrew Marchand is going to be a contrarian.

"The largest reliever contract in baseball history is one the New York Yankees will regret. It is too long, for too much money, for the wrong guy and, in the long run, a mistake."


"Signing Chapman for five years and $86 million is an 'all-in' move. The Yankees, however, are an in-between team."

Is it?

Is that your idea of an "all-in" move?

Wait until you see what the Yankees offer to Bryce Harper.

Well, good.

I didn't expect the Yankees to get Chapman back.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Easy solution.

"The David Ortiz farewell tour was filled with many memorable moments. Most of those happened during games, as the retiring superstar nearly slugged his way into the MVP award.

His final season was also filled with just as many awkward moments. Most of those actually came before games when teams presented him with going-away gifts.

Perhaps the most awkward ceremony took place in Baltimore. Prior to his final game at Camden Yards, on Sept. 21, the Orioles rolled out the red carpet, showed highlights of Ortiz mashing home runs against the mutual rival New York Yankees, and then presented him with the actual visitor’s dugout phone he once destroyed during an in-game meltdown."

Yeah, if you're going to celebrate a player, then at least do it properly.

But, of course, there's an even easier solution that would nip this awkwardness in the bud.

Friday, December 02, 2016

All Star Game Changes

"Now the World Series team with the better record will host Games 1, 2, 6 and 7, a common-sense solution that ends the charade of tying the outcome of an exhibition to the sport’s signature event. If the teams have identical records, the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head record; the second, divisional record."

That's a good change.

Not much else going on. Tim Tebow hit .194 and did not commit to returning to the Mets. So there's that.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Correction: Four-Time Champ

He may have been on the 1996 postseason roster, but he did not play in the entire postseason.

Also, Bernie was better:

"MLB Network's Brian Kenny presents a case for Posada using OPS+, a metric which adjusts for era and park effects. From 1998 through 2009, Posada's 125 OPS+ ranked second only to Piazza's 132 OPS+, ahead of Victor Martinez (121 OPS+) and Ivan Rodriguez (113 OPS+).

What's more, over Posada's 10-year career peak from 2000-09, his 129 OPS+ is comparable to the peaks of Hall of Famers Johnny Bench (132 OPS+, 1970-79) and Berra (130 OPS+, 1950-59), while edging those of Gary Carter (128 OPS+, 1977-86) and Carlton Fisk (125 OPS+, 1972-81)."

Who knew it was all OPS+?

He walked a lot and hit a lot of HRs, particularly for a catcher.

"Though Posada was never a Gold Glove defender, his value to the Yankees was immense after moving from his original position of second base, helping him get to the Majors and develop into a power-hitting threat from both sides of the plate. Rivera said that Posada's impact on those championship clubs may even have been underestimated."

"Never a Gold Glove defender" is a nice way of putting it. It's an important point when most of his values are his offensive contributions "as a catcher."

I find the Posada-for-HOF conversation so weird. He went from underrated to overrated as soon as his career ended.

Here's a guy who got a handful of MVP votes in his career ... 3rd place one year and 6th place one year ... and now he's the second coming of Yogi Berra?