Thursday, February 23, 2017

Josh Hamilton is back in training camp.

The Angels got 31 HRs for their $125 million investment.

Though the Rangers paid $4 million of that.

So the Angels got 31 HRs for their $121 million investment.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

This is why set up men leave to become closers.

Betances has been basically unhittable for three straight seasons as a setup man.

bumps in the road last season because, I guess, he's human.

Then the Yankees use his lack of saves against him in arbitration and go out of their way to trash his accomplishments.

So Betances gets $3 million because the Yankees couldn't scrape up another $2 million. Which is probably what they spend on Dellin Betances bobble head dolls.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Last place.

It sounds kind of bad when you say "nine postseason innings in the past four seasons."

Not even being snarky, when I first read the headline, "Yankees Plan a Trip to Canyon of Heroes," I thought they meant for a different event. Like a team-building trip to celebrate a parade for a World Cup soccer team, or something like that.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

If you want to start with a runner on second base, then hit a double.

Has anyone even pondered the fact that you're giving both teams the same advantage? Sure, you're increasing the chances that the visiting team scores a run in the top of the inning ... and then increasing the chances that the home team scores a run in the bottom of the inning:

"I know there's a romantic notion about extra innings, which speaks to the timeless element of a sport that isn't governed by a clock. But the reality of it is the romance goes out of your run-of-the-mill extra-inning game fairly quickly, and after the 10th or 11th it feels as if everyone in the ballpark is begging for some action."

I harbor no romantic notions about extra innings or even the timeless elements of a sport that isn't governed by a clock.

Baseball has lots of run-of-the-mill games, extra innings or not.

Baseball fans enjoy them either way. 

If you're really hoping to keep the youngsters off their iPhones, you've lost them by the bottom of the second inning anyway. You're trying to make that game more exciting for a catatonic 9-year-old in the cheap seats ... and you think they'll awake from their slumber because you start the inning with a runner on second base?

"Is it gimmicky — an artificial way to get to a speedier result? Sure, but it wouldn't change the authenticity of the competition.

Instead it would create instant drama, put immediate pressure on the pitcher and the defense, and set up a strategy decision — to bunt or not to bunt? — that all but ensures some level of second-guessing of the manager.

Is any of that bad for the game?"

Yes, I believe it's bad for the game. The reasoning is so obvious that I don't even feel like taking the time to explain. After nine innings, line up 5 players from each team and spin plates on the knob of the bat. Whoever keeps their plates spinning the longest wins the game.

You're also wildly overrating the excitement of (a) sac bunting and (b) second-guessing the manager.

"But perhaps a better comparison is the radical change another sport adopted nearly 50 years ago to bring a conclusion to the endless hours sometimes needed to determine a winner.

At the time, players and fans alike screamed in protest that installing a tiebreaker in tennis was too gimmicky to be accepted. Now, all these years later, it's hard to imagine tennis played without tiebreaker. Otherwise some of those classic Federer-Nadal matches over the years might have never ended."

It's not a good example.

Because one is tennis and the other is baseball.

So ... other than that ...  it's a good example.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

You know what would be a great idea? Starting extra innings with a runner on second base.

One of the most pressing problems with baseball is the high volume of 18-inning games where utility infielders are forced to pitch:

"Let's see what it looks like," Torre told Yahoo! Sports. "It's not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it's nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time."

Sunday, February 05, 2017

I'm gonna show those arrogant New Yorkers.

"But for now, the Patriots really do feel like the old Yankees. Not Torre’s Yankees, who took Yankee hating out of style. No, the Yankees who began with Babe Ruth and went all the way into the middle 1960s. The Yankees who were once compared to U.S. Steel. Those Yankees."

Take a thing from Boston. Red Sox, Patriots, David Ortiz, Theo Epstein.

Compare it favorably to a thing from New York. Torre-era Yankees, Babe Ruth-era Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, Brian Cashman.

You did it.

You're Mike Lupica.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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.