Saturday, December 20, 2014

The release of ARod wouldn't shock me at this point.

"With every move they have made this offseason it’s clear the New York Yankees are preparing for the early jettison of Alex Rodriguez from their roster in 2015. The signing of Chase Headley to a four-year contract left him without a position in the field and the acquisition of lefty slugger Garrett Jones as a possible DH Friday further takes away potential at-bats for A-Rod.

It makes you wonder if the Yankees really expect – or want – Rodriguez, who’ll turn 40 in July, to play for them at all. It’s almost as if they are giving him a good-faith gesture in allowing him an opportunity to show he can still hit after a year-long suspension for PEDs. However, if he’s hitting .220 with a homer and 10 RBI in the middle of May, the real plan is to hand him his walking papers by Memorial Day and eat the remaining $60 million or so on his contract which runs through 2017. The surest bet in sports right now is that A-Rod will never play through the rest of that pact."

That may be overstating it, but I think the risk-reward analysis has tipped. $60 million is still a lot to throw away, but it's not really that much.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


"Manager Buck Showalter told reporters Tuesday that Davis, who was diagnosed with ADHD while playing with the Texas Rangers and had previously obtained TUEs from the league for Adderall, will have the league’s permission to use it again in 2015.

Nearly 10% of Major Leaguers received TUEs for Adderall in 2014, a rate well higher than the 4.4% of adults affected by the disease nationally."

Ten percent that we know about.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Richard Justice really likes Chase Headley.

Of course, I don't think Richard Justice ever has an unkind word for anyone:

"Anyway, Headley re-upping with the Yankees for four years at a reported $52 million changes the divisional landscape yet again. The Yankees were prepared to move on without him, saying they'd shift Martin Prado from second to third and allow Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder to compete at second.


Meanwhile, the Yankees badly wanted Headley back. He probably surpassed all their expectations after being acquired from the Padres on July 22. His defense was outstanding. Offensively, his .381 on-base-percentage was fifth-best among all big league third basemen in that time. He was also fifth in walks, 13th in home runs and 11th in slugging.

These aren't All-Star numbers, but when his defense is factored into the mix, he was a solid contributor to a team that was in the playoff mix until the final few days of the season.

There was something else about him the Yankees appreciated, and it has become a pattern with general manager Brian Cashman's acquisitions. Headley fit in the clubhouse, too, in the overall culture of the Yankees."

No, I'm not sure what that means anymore, either.

As for the Yankees, I must say, this guy is very optimistic:

"OK, back to the AL East, where the offseason has been punching and counter-punching.

I'd rate the Yankees and Red Sox in a dead heat for first place. How's that for copping out?"

I don't think it's copping out at all. It's a bold prediction for two teams that combined to be outscored by 112 runs last season.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Landed on their feet" is one way to put it.

"Of course, an underlying storyline here is that Cabrera is another in the line of players recently suspended for PEDs to cash in with a nice little contract. Cabrera's deal actually comes two full years after he was banned 50 games after he tested positive for testosterone. In wake of their 2013 suspensions during the Biogensis scandal, both Jhonny Peralta (four-years, $52 million with the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the 2014 season) and Nelson Cruz (four-years, $57 million with the Seattle Mariners on Dec. 1) landed on their feet despite the obvious baggage."

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The list goes on and on ...

"In their second major deal Friday, the Yankees landed prized reliever Andrew Miller, who agreed to a record four-year, $36 million deal.

 The $36 million guaranteed contract for a setup man broke Rafael Soriano's three-year, $35 million contract with Yankees signed in 2011."

So if the Yankees signed Soriano to a record setup man deal in 2011 ... and the Royals didn't make the playoffs until 2014 ... and the Miller signing is proof that the Yankees are mimicking the Royals ...

Oh, forget it.

Late '70s. The Yankees had Sparky Lyle and Goose Gossage in the same bullpen ...

I guess acquiring Gossage in 1978 because the Cy Young Award winner in the bullpen wasn't enough.

Ron Davis setting up Gossage. 131 innings in 1980.

Moving Rookie of the Year Dave Righetti to the bullpen.

Mariano setting up Wetteland.

The Mendoza-Stanton-Nelson "bridge" to Mariano.

Betances setting up Robertson:

"There has never been a single offseason that I can remember when the Yankees weren’t declared world beaters after they started making moves.

I like the signing of Andrew Miller, and it made perfect sense for them, especially not knowing whether or not David Robertson is coming back.

But I was a little confused, tracking the giddy reaction to Miller’s signing, as to how I could possibly have missed the obvious comparisons between him and Mariano Rivera.

Not so long after the Yanks were going to be world beaters because of the longball, now they are selling something new:

The first all-bullpen team in Yankee history!"

Nice addition of a setup man that no one is particularly excited about.

Zero people have compared Miller to Mariano and very few people think the Yankees are world beaters.

So, once again, Lupica is creating an imaginary, defenseless opponent and then intellectually defeating that opponent like a Big Man with a typewriter.

The Miller signing continues the Yankees' decade-long obsession with a strong bullpen. Every hack writer seems to have conveniently forgotten.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

A suggestion for John Sterling.

The proposed HR call: "This is the dawning of the Age of Gregorius."

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Two words: Rick Honeycutt.

This particular narrative is driving me crazy. The idea that the Yankees are copying the Royals:

"The Yankees are trying to navigate this difficult terrain: They want to position themselves to contend for a championship in 2015 without taking on onerous long-term contracts at a time when their roster is, at minimum, problematic.

This is why they are involved so deeply with Andrew Miller."

In his heyday with the Yankees, journeyman lefty reliever Mike Stanton appeared in 79 games in 2002. It's not quite the Yankee record. That would be Paul Quantrill with 86 appearances in 2004. It's not even the record for a Yankee lefty -- that's Boone Logan with 80 in 2012.

Remember when Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young Award? Me too.

Remember that year when Alan Embree pitched, like, 20 games in a row in anticipation of a playoff matchup with David Ortiz? The year was 2005 and here is the Torre Special Game Log.

What do all these workhorses have in common?

They pre-dated the 2014 Royals.

"The Royals showed last season that an indomitable late-game bullpen could be the key element in a team getting to the World Series. In conjunction with an elite defense, Kansas City used its powerhouse late-game trio of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera to cover up for blemishes, namely, a good but not championship rotation and a middle-of-the-road offense.

The strategy is to win a disproportionate amount of toss-up games due to the strength of the pen, hope that is enough to push toward 90 wins or more and — should you get into the playoffs — have a proven October formula for success by reducing games to six innings."

Sounds like the Royals are copying the Yankees ... and the Red Sox ... and the Larussa A's ... and lots of other teams over the years.

Monday, December 01, 2014


"The league reported 10 positive tests for stimulants - which MLB first banned before the start of the 2006 season — between the 2013-14 offseason through the end of the '14 postseason, two positive tests for steroids — Boldenone and Methandienone — and the one non-analytical positive, which is the result of evidence of a violation other than from a positive test.

All cases resulted in discipline, including a season-long ban for Rodriguez, whose suspension was upheld by an arbitrator in January. By comparison, the league reported eight positive tests for stimulants a year ago, and zero positive tests for steroids and performance-enhancing substances. There were 13 non-analytical positives for steroids in 2013, all resulting in suspensions stemming from baseball’s Biogenesis steroid investigation."

That's what I thought:Two positive tests for steroids in two years.

MLB basically found none of their steroid users. The newspapers found all the steroid users.

Guess how many therapeutic use exemptions in MLB?:

"The number of TUEs granted in the past year was 113 - one for hypogonadism and 112 for attention deficit disorder."

That's four players per team with Attention Deficit Disorder. It's amazing that Selig rides off into the sunset with accolades from the three-monkey press corps.

ARod was caught because his supplier is from Miami.

If ARod played in Boston, he'd be going to the Hall of Fame, supported by a compliant press corps and compliant MLB officers.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A clone of Mark Teixeira, with one or two fewer chins.

And Epstein isn't even the GM anymore.

It's very important for Mike Lupica to convince himself that the Red Sox are a small market team. The Red Sox would never attempt to buy the World Series title because buying things is the worst thing a business can do:

"By the way?

Does anybody believe that five years for Sandoval and four for Ramirez is the same as seven years for Jacoby Ellsbury and seven for Masahiro Tanaka and more than $300 million laid out?


You just asked three questions in a row in the most passive-aggressive non-statement in the history of pseudo-journalism ... even though "by the way" isn't a question ... and even though you're asking an extremely specific question to which the answer is probably "no."

It's a non-answer to a non-question that nobody was asking.

But we still get the point. The Yankees are stupid and bad and all their players will get injured. The Red Sox are smart and good.

Friday, November 28, 2014

No, let's not gloss over that. Or the fake website which intended to osbscure the criminal facts. Or the fact that the Feds seem oddly disinterested when juxtaposed with another MLB player.

"Let's also not gloss over that PED suspension with the Giants back in 2012. He hit .346/.390/.516 that year; take that season out of the equation, and his four-year numbers look a lot more pedestrian."

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.