Tuesday, November 18, 2014

They had Travis Ishikawa, but they lost Travis Ishikawa.

"The Yankees had plenty of problems in 2014, but among the most glaring was the lack of a capable backup first baseman."

Never really thought about it.

"With Mark Teixeira unable to consistently stay on the field due to various injuries, the club was forced to scramble."

I remember McCann screwed up a couple of plays.

I think the bigger problem might be the days when Teixeira was healthy and, you know, playing first base and batting fourth.

"Maybe Teixeira proves to the Yankees this offseason and during spring training that he's ready to take a heavier workload."

I certainly understand the desire to use the words "Teixeira" and "heavier" in the same sentence, but I'd say the starting first baseman is a bigger problem than the backup first baseman.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Don't pick on the Mets.

Funny how the press continually used steroids as a frying pan to bang over the heads of the people they dislike. As if Scott Boras has anything to do with this:

"Maybe Scott Boras should spend a little less time making snarky — and generally unfunny — comments about the Mets and do a much better job denying that he ever told Anthony Bosch to whip up a fake medical history for Manny Ramirez the way Bosch used to whip up steroid cocktails for all of his Biogenesis friends."

As I'm being snarky and generally unfunny.

No, for real, that was supposed to be funny. The phrase "whip up" used for dual purposes. Blows your mind with the word play. Maybe not funny, but clever.

"I’m not sure what Joe Girardi could have said about Alex Rodriguez that would have satisfied everybody.

You ever wonder who A-Rod thinks is a weasel, by the way?"

Joe Torre.

Never welcomed ARod to the Yankees, blasted ARod in a book, batted ARod eighth in a playoff game, and is now MLB's Vice President of Baseball Operations in Charge of Thug Punishments.

So is it a coincidence that MLB uses a large amount of resources and shady tactics going after ARod and his crew?

I mean, I can't see behind the curtains, obviously. I was surprised to find out that MLB had positive Biogenesis drug tests and they kept this information private.

But why the obsession with Bosch and Sucart while (as far as I know) ignoring all the other suppliers, mules, and hush men?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Failed drug tests?

First I have heard about the failed drug tests. I can't understand why MLB wouldn't just suspend the players according to its own rules. I also don't understand why MLB would hide the fact that its drug tests might actually be effective.

Bullpen? What's a bullpen?

I agree that the game has changed quite a bit and bullpens are more important that ever.

Of course, this observation is about 25 years late:

"It’s a changing game where, as both the Royals and the Giants demonstrated, the bullpen is everything now. As Cashman discovered last year when CC Sabathia went down and was hardly missed, and the subsequent loss of Masahiro Tanaka was likewise hardly felt, you don’t need a 250-inning, 20-win horse to compete. It’s nice if you have one (or two if you’re the Los Angeles Dodgers), but the vast majority of starting pitchers now are out of the games after six innings and/or 100 pitches, and if you don’t have the relievers who can consistently get you those last nine outs, you’re sunk."

Sure, it's nice to have a starting pitcher who pitches 250 innings, like Mario Soto or Dave Stewart, but Dennis Eckersley and Randy Myers have shown the baseball world the importance of bullpens.

As for the idea that Sabathia and Tanaka weren't missed? Let's suppose they both come back in 2015 and pitch light's out. Both are Cy Young Award candidates, as their salaries would more or less indicate. If that happens, the Yankees are instantly the best team in the AL instead of .500 slobs.

Tanaka was 12-4 and on his way to 20 wins when he got hurt.

You might as well say the Mets didn't miss Matt Harvey.

"This is why re-signing David Robertson is Cashman’s absolute top priority and why, if Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy get over-market four-year offers elsewhere, the Yankees will simply move on."

Robertson is better and more important than Headley or McCarthy. The success of the 2014 Royals has nothing to do with that.

Besides, I don't know if anyone noticed, but the Giants won the World Series ... and the MVP was a starting pitcher workhorse. His name is Madison Bumgarner and he is good.

"With Robertson in tow, and Dellin Betances supported by Wilson and emerging system lefty, Jacob Lindgren, plus Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren, the Yankees could potentially have one of the deepest bullpens in the AL."

They already have one of the deepest bullpens in the AL, and it's certainly an important component.

But I'll also say that a knockout closer is wasting his time on a bad team.

So of course the Yankees should sign Robertson.

Then maybe buy Teixeira a gym membership and tell him to hit a HR once in a while with men on base. That way, perhaps the Yankees will have actual leads in the ninth inning and Robertson can get a lot of saves.

"The point is, as long as he has a strong and deep bullpen, Cashman doesn’t need to have a superstar-laden lineup (although he does need to have a relatively healthy lineup, which could be no small order considering all his over-30 veterans)."

This is such a weird conclusion.

The Yankees had a star bullpen last year ... and they missed the playoffs.

The Yankees had Robertson and Mariano the year before that ... and they missed the playoffs.

The Yankees have been obsessed with bullpen depth since at least 1996. Nobody remembers Mariano setting up Wetteland? Nobody remembers Yankee closers winning the World Series MVPs in 1996 and 1999?

Sure, Mariano was the foundation for a long time, but the "bridge" to Mariano included pitchers such as Tom Gordon, Mike Stanton, Jeff Nelson, Kerry Wood ... remember when Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain were great setup pitchers? ... and they also had quite a few high-investment 8th-inning busts, such as Juan Acevedo and Todd Williams.

If anything, the Royals are mimicking the Yankees.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 AL MVP

Mike Trout 420
Victor Martinez229
Michael Brantley191
Jose Abreu145
Robinson Cano124
Jose Bautista122
Nelson Cruz102
Josh Donaldson96
Miguel Cabrera82
Felix Hernandez48
Corey Kluber45
Alex Gordon44
Jose Altuve41
Adam Jones34
Adrian Beltre22
Greg Holland13
Albert Pujols5
Howie Kendrick3
James Shields3
Kyle Seager1

 Felz Poll
Mike Trout 28
Miguel Cabrera9
Jose Abreu 7
Victor Martinez6
Jose Bautista4
Michael Brantley3
Corey Kluber3
Robinson Cano2
Nelson Cruz1

2014 NL MVP

Not too much buzz with the MLB awards this year, but here are the results:

Clayton Kershaw 355
Giancarlo Stanton298
Andrew McCutchen271
Jonathan Lucroy167
Anthony Rendon155
Buster Posey152
Adrian Gonzalez57
Adam Wainwright53
Josh Harrison52
Anthony Rizzo37
Hunter Pence34
Johnny Cueto22
Russell Martin21
Matt Holliday17
Jhonny Peralta17
Carlos Gomez13
Justin Upton10
Jayson Werth9
Denard Span8
Yasiel Puig8
Devin Mesoraco5
Lucas Duda3
Freddie Freeman2
Justin Morneau2
Dee Gordon1
Troy Tulowitzki1

 Felz Poll
Andrew McCutchen 18
Giancarlo Stanton17
Clayton Kershaw 16
Jonathan Lucroy6
Adrian Gonzalez4
Buster Posey1
Anthony Rendon1

MVP analysis according to Felz.

  • No one on the Yankees received a single MVP vote.
  • Nice to see Lucroy finish 4th in the NL.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014 AL Cy Young

Corey Kluber169
Felix Hernandez159
Chris Sale78
Jon Lester46
Max Scherzer32
David Price16
Phil Hughes6
Wade Davis3
Greg Holland1

 Felz Poll
Felix Hernandez 20
Corey Kluber17
Max Scherzer7
Jon Lester3
James Shields3
Dellin Betances1
Chris Sale1
Jeff Weaver1

2014 NL Cy Young

Not too much buzz with the MLB awards this year, but here are the results:

Clayton Kershaw 210
Johnny Cueto112
Adam Wainwright97
Madison Bumgarner28
Jordan Zimmerman25
Cole Hamels17
Zack Greinke6
Doug Fister5
Jake Arrieta3
Craig Kimbrel3
Stephen Strasburg3
Henderson Alvarez1

 Felz Poll
Clayton Kershaw 24
Johnny Cueto12
Adam Wainwright12
Madison Bumgarner2
Cole Hamels2
Wily Peralta1

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Check mate, rest of AL East.

They all have lost the benefit of the doubt.

Even badminton players:

"By the way, I read the other day that Rodriguez could have been a baseball immortal without PEDs.

But how could anybody possibly know that he wasn’t using drugs from the time he was a kid?"

Would you please cite a source for once?

All of these arguments with "people" who said "things."

Who, what, where, when, why ... the most fundamental basics of writing.

Who? Somebody.

What? Something.

When? The other day. The other day? He seriously is citing a vague something he read the other day?

I won't even cite something on this stupid blog without trying hard to attribute it. The pseudo-journalistic traits of Mike Lupica's writing are pathetically amateur.

We don't know if ARod was using steroids since he was a teenager. I now think that scenario is more likely than not.

Made a ton of money for himself, made a ton of money for other people, got caught, lost a lot of that money, lost his HOF creds, which he may have never achieved in the first place without the help of steroids.

But, without proof, I can say the same thing about hundreds of MLB players.

Not the HOF credentials part. Jason Grimsley, Jordany Valdespin, Francisco Cervelli, and many others lost their scrub credentials.

Let's say you were tied to a railroad track and the train was bearing down.

You can divert the train by pushing a lever. "Yes" lever or "No" lever. Choose correctly or you will die.

Simple question: Did the following player take steroids?

David Ortiz? Yes.

Craig Biggio? Yes.

Albert Pujols? Yes.

Josh Hamilton? Yes.

Edgar Martinez? Yes.

Nomar Garciaparra? Yes.

Mike Piazza? Yes.

This is not proof, it's just common sense, an educated guess, more likely than not.

Obviously, I could list hundreds of ballplayers I'm fairly certain about.

Once I get into some tricky calls -- Randy Johnson? Rickey Henderson? Trevor Hoffman? -- and I might get smushed by the imaginary train.

The thing is, nobody is going to jail, or getting their contract voided, based on innuendo.

You can't prove that ARod has been taking steroids since he was 17 years old. If you can prove it, then prove it. If you can't prove it, then you're just piling on a specific player because it's fun.

The list of steroid suspensions in MLB is astonishingly small. The drug testing doesn't work. The Miami New Times did all their work for them. The fans, managers, coaches, owners, and journalists all played along for a long time.

MLB investigators found a lot of damaging evidence on ARod... more than on any other ballplayer. But ARod's the only person they have investigated.

Kenneth Star never got the Clintons with Whitewater, but he stumbled into Monica Lewinsky (not literally).

Nostradamus's quatrains are always accurate simply because people always find what they're looking for. If you take the 14th letter of the 28th page and then read backwards every 13th stanza, it spells BKUJ... but that translates to AROD in ancient Abyssinian tongues.

Put the same energy, money, and time into investigating every player in the All Star Game ... every player in the Magical World Series.

Don't be surprised if you find steroid cheats, tax cheats, hidden evidence, hush money, drunk driving, wife beating, greenies, greenies, greenies, greenies, parking tickets, and a various assortment of copyright violations because they forgot to clear the Van Morrison song on their home movies.

I think you'll find that ARod is not the biggest criminal in MLB by any means.

So did ARod take steroids for his entire career? Probably.

Same for last year's World Series MVP.

Who isn't being banned from MLB because he's the Embodiment of Boston Strong.

This guy is so close to Joe Torre, that he nominated Torre for the ALS ice bucket challenge.

"It should no longer even be in dispute that the Yankees should do everything in their power, and explore every possible legal option — with the full support of Major League Baseball — to make sure Alex Rodriguez never wears their uniform again.

This doesn’t just speak to their obvious and own financial interests, and the more than $61-plus million for which they could eventually be on the hook for with a guy like Rodriguez. It speaks to their brand. The recent Yankee past is littered with guys who turned up dirty on baseball drugs. But there is nobody close to Rodriguez."

I totally disagree that there is nobody close to Rodriguez.

If the Yankees are seriously upset about steroid use, then give back all the tainted rings and take Torre's plaque out of the Hall of Fame.

For starters.

Then, donate about $500 million to anti-steroid campaigns, fire Cashman for negotiating contracts with known steroid users, and challenge all other teams to rid themselves of anyone associated with steroids, past or present.

Is that a strong enough message for you? Is that too much of a scorched earth policy?

Or just do the easy Selig strategy. Blame it all on ARod.

"You will hear once again about the sanctity of the guaranteed contract in baseball. One of these days somebody ought to challenge that notion, now that it turns out that Rodriguez sold out the Yankees in the interest of getting paid — the only thing that has ever mattered to him, truly — and mounted these various and fraudulent legal challenges during which he sold out just everybody with whom he came into contact, starting with Cousin Yuri Sucart."

It's not the sanctity of guaranteed contracts in baseball ... it's the sanctity of contracts and guarantees in the United States.

They already challenged ARod's contract and partially won.

They already got back around $27 million, or whatever it was.

"Whenever somebody like Rodriguez gets caught like this, we hear about how this is a world of second chances. It is. But you have to say Rodriguez already had a pretty good second chance, after he first copped to steroids five years ago at a press conference in Tampa. That was the first time he came around panhandling to the public and Yankee fans and his own teammates, looking for a second chance, and redemption, you bet.

A year later, almost as if he were still in the shadows of the Canyon of Heroes after leading the Yankees to the 2009 World Series, Rodriguez went straight to Tony Bosch for drugs. That is the only issue that matters with Rodriguez. It’s not about the coverage, it’s not about baseball’s prosecution of him and defense of its policy, it’s not even about all those who thought investigative reporting on Rodriguez — when he was in the barrel — involved taking phone calls from his lawyers and his flacks."

Yeah, he's a dick.

"Now we hear he is on the road to redemption, as if that day with the DEA was supposed to be something as inspiring as St. Paul’s epiphany on the road to Damascus, instead of him being just another perp trying to save his sorry self."

I haven't seen anyone claim he's on the road to redemption.

I think Lupica "hears" a lot of things in his head, imaginary arguments with the opposition.

"Only now the Yankees are just supposed to take him back because of a contract. But if honoring its terms meant nothing to Alex Rodriguez, why should it mean anything to them? They’d have the high ground with Rodriguez. But then, ask yourself a question: Who doesn’t at this point?"

You can honor the contract by cutting him or maybe by sending him to the minors (though he may be out of options, whatever those are).

The team that welcomed back Jason Giambi has the moral high ground over nobody.

That's why a lot of us fans don't really care.

Baseball is not the place we turn to for moral guidance. If we did, then MLB and the Yankees have already let us down thousands of times while they take the money and run.

I think ARod may end up as a high-priced platoon at third base with Chase Headley. That's embarrassing enough. That's more embarrassing than the steroids revelations. That's probably the worst punishment he can receive for his crimes -- a slow descent into irrelevance.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Two Words: Steve Howe.

Of course Steinbrenner would fight to dump ARod's contract. Not to save the Yankees' image, but to save money.

Save me the mush, it's utterly ridiculous:

"At the same time, people always wondered why Steinbrenner could be so hostile to Winfield and engage in verbal warfare with so many other of his core Yankee players, yet go out of his way to give chance after chance to noted drug abusers Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. The difference, Costello reasoned, was that Gooden and Strawberry never did anything to Steinbrenner, only to themselves."

Pettitte is probably going to get a plaque in Monument Park, OK? This idea of Embarrassing and Besmirching.

If you're serious about your anti-steroid stance, then just invalidate all the Torre-era rings.

Maybe a bold move like that would Save the Children.

"I would think by now, especially after all these new revelations and confirmations of everything that MLB prosecuted A-Rod for, Steinbrenner would be revolted at the thought of him ever wearing a Yankee uniform again. Whether he would go so far as to write him a check for $60 million and say goodbye and good riddance, no one can say. But we do know this: A-Rod himself has told his lawyers he can’t play without steroids — and proved that by beating the system right up until baseball launched its investigation of him. Does he really want to go to spring training and embarrass himself while being subjected to the daily media hordes and 'cheater' chants from fans everywhere?

This is why there has to be a meeting of the minds, between A-Rod, the Yankees and MLB, to negotiate as graceful an exit from the game as possible for him before he has to report for spring training. As bad as it’s been for A-Rod this past year and half, he was fortunate to never know what a Doberman Pinscher The Boss could be."

Madden has been pushing the ARod Apocalypse for a while now. Not sure what he'll write about in ARod's absence, but maybe he can drum up some fan interest in Brandon McCarthy, or something. A light conversation where you meet his family by the pool and talk about the pressures of playing in New York.

1) I think the remaining contract is small enough now that a buyout is a possibility. This is more of a cost-benefit analysis than a principled stand against steroid cheats. Just everyone needs to understand, you don't get to spend that money on other players.

2) The fans who are yelling "cheater"? If they are at Yankee Stadium, in the stands, it will be a miracle and a blessing for the Steinbrenners.

3) The latest unscientific poll I saw basically said 1/3rd of the fans are going to cheer for ARod. So is it really that much different than 2004?

ARod's willingness to endure embarrassment is very high. I think he will love going to Spring Training and playing baseball. I also think he's shot. The Yankees will pay him a lot of money to hit .240 and drive in 65 runs. A worst-case scenario.

All he needs is an online fake interview show and he's be the second coming of Mark Teixeira.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Francesa kisses ARod's butt in the search for ratings.

If anything, Francesa should kiss John Idzik's butt a little and try to get past the Jets' boycott of his show:

"The content and tone of the Pope’s sermon made it clear he wants to reprise his role of A-Rod’s designated interviewer/pro bono attorney in the next exclusive one-on-one. Short of reminding Rodriguez to bring his pillow to their next pillow fight, Francesa did everything he could to nail down the next one-on-one.

'Would I have him back on the show? Absolutely, tomorrow,' Francesa, without hesitation, told one of his callers. 'I would be stupid not to. No one would turn down an interview with him.'

Someone who takes lying seriously, or being used, might."

So says Bob Raissman, while writing another story about ARod. 

Look, it may not be hypocritical for the Daily News to criticize ARod while ignoring all the other steroid cheats ... but it's absolutely hypocritical for the Daily News to criticize people who pay attention to ARod in the search for ratings.

Francesa got the interview. Mad Dog would kill for that interview. Raissman would be so excited to get this interview, he'd pee his pants on the air at SNY.

"Even though his gut told him his client, er, interview subject was probably lying, Francesa portrayed Rodriguez as a martyr. And he portrayed himself as a pit bull saying he asked Rodriguez the same questions (are you still doing steroids, did you lie, etc.) '10 different ways.'

A few minutes later, Francesa said he asked the question '20 different ways.'

A few minutes later: '42 different ways. What did you want me to do, yell at him?' Francesa said on the air. 'Tell him, "You’re lying." '

Well, yeah."

Well, no.

Raissman, of course, is holding Mike Francesa to exceedingly high journalistic standards, even though Francesa is not a journalist and makes no claims to be a journalist.

Bob Costas was lied to by Jerry Sandusky. Go listen to it. It's chilling and it's also amazing. "I enjoy young people."

Even though I am not always the biggest Costas fan, this was a great interview.

What kind of skill does an interviewer possess to get a grown man to say, "I enjoy young people"?

Costas didn't act angry with Sandusky, the prison-bound child molester. The interviewer needs access to the interviewee.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

This really is not news.

"The news that Alex Rodriguez has confessed to routine performance-enhancing drug use probably means we’ve eliminated the last person who might have believed in his innocence, the existence of witch hunts and the over-aggressiveness of Bud Selig: that person being Alex Rodriguez himself."

ARod is guilty.

Selig was over-aggressive with ARod.

It never even occurred to me that these two observations were mutually exclusive.

My evidence that Selig was over-aggressive with ARod?
  • The penalties given to every other guilty MLB player. 
  • The guilty former players who work for MLB. 
  • The endless list of guilty players -- past and present -- who received no penalty.
It's not even a question of if, it's a question of why.

But we know why.

Francesa got ARod to lie on the air.

Why is Francesa getting grief? The interview was terrific and ARod was not under oath.

Francesa didn't shy away from the tough questions. He backed ARod into a corner and made ARod lie on the air.

Of course he'd have ARod back on the air.

Michael Kay wouldn't?

He lied to Mike Francesa.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

What's the agenda?

It's very important for Mike Lupica to convince you that the 2014 World Series was great:

"People act as if the World Series wasn’t great or memorable until the end because it didn’t have enough one-run games, like we did in that magnificent seven-game series between the Twins and Braves in 1991.

If they really think that, they don’t know what they were watching."

Funny you should mention what I was watching. Netflix probably got a workout, if you know what I mean.

I believe Schwarzenegger's "Conan the Barbarian" was on one night, but I don't remember for sure. That's always fun, even when toned down for basic cable.

Also, I'm always a sucker for reruns of "Law and Order."

So that's probably how "people acted." They didn't "act" like the World Series wasn't great or memorable, these "people," when they "acted." They didn't have an opinion one way or the other.

"It had the Giants scoring 15 straight runs after the Royals led 4-1 in Game 4, and then it had the Royals coming back and scoring the next 10 runs after that. Go find another World Series in all of baseball history where anything like that happened."

Gee, when you put it that way, it sounds more boring than I thought it was.

"In the end, you know what the 2014 World Series really was?

A celebration of baseball.

It was a full-out celebration that made a lie out of the notion from fake baseball fans and fake baseball experts that if you don’t have home runs in baseball you don’t have anything."

Fair enough.

Baseball could use more fans, fake or otherwise, that's for sure.

Also, it is very clear that the author of this statement only watches about 20 baseball games per year, and maybe about 120 total innings. Maybe I'm underestimating ... I'll change that to 120 innings when Harvey and Tanaka are not pitching, how's that?

When it the last time Lupica pushed his weight around to score seats for a mid-week game between two #5 starters, White Sox vs. the Yankees?

Do you think Lupica could name the Mets' starting five without looking it up?

Real fans care about that game simply because they're real fans. Fans of actual baseball, not just fans of player gossip or GM moves.

Real baseball experts ... well ... I have ten years of archived material calling out this guy's dopey predictions. (Sonny Gray is going to win the Cy Young ... I never saw him pitch, but I looked it up on fangraphs because I had a column due on Sunday morning.) I mean, Lupica  is the kind of self-professed baseball expert who couldn't get the $10 question on "Beer Money."

He hate homers so much, but his relationship with one of his sons was apparently built on the backs of McGwire and Sosa ... or maybe the author of that book is just a fake baseball fan.

Sorry, pal, it's not going to work.

Selig's legacy is steroids.

I see the narrative you're trying to push. The Wild Card World Series, the banishment of ARod, the Salvation of Selig, all rolled up into one ... the Little World Series that Could ... the Thinking Man's World Series ... the Old School World Series for Aficionados of the Game.

Stupid and incorrect.

You are the fake baseball fan, you are the fake baseball expert, and your Favorite Commissioner is a fraud. Madison Bumgarner didn't wash away your sins.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bumgarner was remarkable and amazing, but ...

The simple fact is, if you're talking about the best of the best ... the best performances in the history of baseball ... you have to deduct points from Bumgarner's accomplishment because he was facing a relatively unimpressive lineup.

So lazy.

I know the best way to win the World Series.

Do what the Giants did.

Because the Giants won the World Series:

"A look at how San Francisco and Kansas City competed should give Brian Cashman and Sandy Alderson some ideas about how to tinker with their rosters. Young and fast is the way to go. While power is and always will remain important, it is better still to have consistent contact hitters. For all the fearsomeness Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez offered, four of the Series’ final five games concluded without a homer. And that one homer, by Moustakas, simply provided the meaningless final run in the Royals’ 10-0 rout in Game 6.

In fact, there were only five homers hit the entire series."


If the Royals had one more well-timed homerun, then they're World Series champs.

"Instead of collecting every 38-year-old still working, the Yanks should focus their attention on importing younger, faster talent and developing through the minors. Imagine the stir they’d cause if a fast-growing star like Joe Panik came out of their system — just as a good-looking shortstop named Derek Jeter did 20 years ago — and produced a play like that third-inning, glove-hand flip that turned a potential rally into a double play. Imagine if they had a fast, fleet outfielder like Lorenzo Cain, who ran down just about everything in the expansive Kaufman Stadium outfield."

The 2014 Yankee outfield was Gardner, Ellsbury, and Ichiro. That may not be a young outfield, but it's athletic.

I think we all know by now that a lot of high-priced Yankee players are depreciating at the same time. It is a problem that doesn't seem to have a quick fix.

But young isn't necessarily good, and athletic isn't necessarily good. The Yankees can send out Brendan Ryan and Zoilo Almonte and you've got athletic and young covered, as long as you're willing to endure a lot of combined 0-for-10s.

The good news, of course, is that you don't have to be a good team anymore to win the World Series. So maybe Tanaka stays healthy, Beltran and McCann rebound a bit, the 3-4-5 hitters learn how to get an occasional RBI, and the Yankees get hot in October after winning the second wild card with 86 wins.

"Suppose they stopped making an issue of 39-going-on-100-year-old Alex Rodriguez, left Chase Headley alone at third to excel there, and developed a younger talent who could offer hitting and defense in the style of the 28-year-old Sandoval."

Correct. If only Yangervis Solarte was better. But he isn't.

The Yankees should also develop Bumgarner while they're at it.

That's what they should totally do! Just develop lots of World Series MVPs in their minor leagues.

I wish Cashman had thought of that.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Did anybody notice, that in this era of supposed unlimited opportunities, the Red Sox and Giants keep winning the World Series?

I'm going to explore this comment from the Newsday article a little further:

"Selig recalled how he was told during the mid-90s that '25 teams couldn't win' because the sport's economics were stacked unfairly against franchises that didn't play in the most lucrative areas"

Let's explore the mid-'90s:
  • In 1993, the Blue Jays won their second title in a row. This was shortly after the 1980s -- ten different Champions in ten years.
  • In 1994, the Expos and the Yankees had the best records in baseball when the season was interrupted because of the strike.
  • The 1995 WS was Braves over Indians.
  • In 1996, the underdog Yankees beat the Braves in the WS.
So why would Selig think that 25 teams couldn't win?

Because he didn't think that. It's revisionist history.

All of this nonsense is an over-reaction to the success of the 1998 Yankees.

You got what you wanted. It totally works out if there's a one-run Game Seven, but I fail to see how that particular excitement is a function of the Wild Card playoff system.

I can prove, with actual data, the the "hope and faith" nonsense did not boost attendance in any wild card city ... not even KC was into it until the very end of the season.

I can also prove, with data, that the World Series was a ratings disaster. I can't prove that the ratings tanked because the teams were relatively lame -- the first sub-90-win teams to ever face each other in the WS. I can't prove it, but the numbers speak for themselves.

A weird shill for Selig,

Gimme a freaking break with this:

"That is why there has never been a better ending to the World Series than we got Wednesday night in Kansas City, an ending and a World Series to make fools out of all the critics who keep suggesting that the sport is dying or has been passed by, the people who don’t love baseball or follow it and somehow think they have a right to tell you how to fix it or change it."

So Mike Lupica was riveted to the 7th inning of Game Six, at 1:00 am, to see if Tim Lincecum (or a differnt Giants mop up guy) was going to come in out of the bullpen?

Was Lupica keeping score at home?

I don't even know how to begin attacking this one sentence:

1) The World Series was terrible. You already know why, I don't have to explain again.

If you can name more than five players on either team, then you get a cookie.

If any of these players end up in the top five in MVP/Cy Young for the 2014 season, I have no idea who that would be (on second thought, maybe Posey can pull it off).

Five out of seven games were blowouts.

2) Some of us actually prefer to see the best teams and the best players in the finals.

Not some of us, a lot of us.

That explains why the ratings were the worst ever.

3) Of course a one-run Game Seven is terrifically exciting.

Now imagine if if happened with two good teams: Anaheim vs. LA.

Mike Trout or Yasiel Puig at the plate instead of an anonymous Royal.

4) The best ending ever to a World Series?

Bill Mazeroski, Bobby Richardson, Joe Carter, Jack Morris, and Luis Gonzalez might have something to say about that ... and there are many others.

Lupica even goes on to list the superior WS endings, inadvertently subverting his own argument. Context is key, and every other WS in memory involved superior teams.

Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez slayed the beast. Bumgarner beat the KC Royals, an 88-win team with no power who had not made the playoffs in three decades. You can't separate the story from the context.

5) Guess who has every "right" to explain what is wrong with baseball? The people who don't watch it or follow it.

That's exactly who needs to be convinced to watch baseball.

MLB should beg these point-missers to complain about the game rather than ignore it entirely. If I were Microsoft, I'd beg the consumers to explain why the Windows Phone only has 2.5% market share.

6) All of this nonsense is Lupica's weird defense of Selig. Probably hoping to gain endless access, a la Torre and Showalter. Not a journalist, a butt-kisser.

Selig makes 20 million steroid dollars per year and makes his final official appearance in an off-the-rack Sears suit.

Cool, man. We get it. You ooze "aw shucks" authenticity. It's your brand, you big phony.

Selig passes the commissioner baton to another old white lawyer, or whatever. A real out-of-the-box choice whose name I can't remember.

None of them get it. Lupica doesn't get it. Stop blaming the customer.

"This was the ending that this Series deserved, and that baseball needed, at this time when point-missers keep telling us that the only way to measure the sport is by network television ratings in October, as if that is the only way to measure the enduring beauty and greatness of the sport. This was a Series to make the people who think that baseball needs home runs to flourish look like the worst point-missers of them all."

Again with the ratings.

Lupica has forfeited the ratings argument forever, but I know for a fact he's going to waste no time mocking the 2015 post-Jeter YES Network ratings.

I mean, ratings no longer matter! The Astros are a huge success ... critics who panned "Manhattan Love Story" were missing the point ... the XFL lives!

Lupica has the nerve to explain to fans why they are incorrect when they tune out the Wild Card World Series.

Sorry, pal. The fans vote with their eyes, and they can never be wrong in that regard.

See? I'm not crazy. It's all here. He did this on purpose.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

You keep using the word "confidential," but I do not think it means what you think it means.

"Bosch pleaded guilty last week to drug charges and is cooperating with investigators in hopes of getting a lenient prison sentence. In the DEA affidavit, he is identified as 'CS1,' short for 'confidential source 1,' and told DEA agents that Berejuk was his first source of testosterone beginning in 2007."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Just what I have been saying.

An 88-win team vs. an 89-win team in the World Series that is going to get terribly low ratings.

Two exciting pennant races rendered meaningless.

That's the result of Selig's Master Plan.

In exchange, he got KC fans jazzed up a little more than usual at the end of the season. Of course, they are coming out for the playoffs ... but that's going to happen in any city once you get past the pointless wild card game.

What does this even mean?

" 'I had a really bad season last year,'; he said.

So on Tuesday, he said, he charted his strength — and the results weren't thrilling.

'I was almost off-the-charts low on upper-body strength,' he said.

'I understood that I need to get stronger,' he added. 'I didn't realize how weak I was upper-body. I'm going to be working the weights a lot harder. That will be my adjustment for this year.' "

You didn't do a pushup for seven months?

So you just woke up one day and looked in the mirror and realized you didn't have any upper body strength?

How long did you let this drift?