Yuni Being Yuni? No Thanks.

by JohnBowen

MLB.com writer Adam McCalvry, who regularly reports on the Milwaukee Brewers, has published this gem about how the Brewers are “letting Yuni be Yuni” at the plate.

The sub-header?

“Coaches not pressing vet to apply more patient approach”

Oh boy. It gets better:

“The reports said that when Mariners coaches tried to coax a more patient plate approach from Betancourt, his results actually suffered. When they let him simply react at the plate and swing away, he had some success.

The Royals reportedly used a similar hands-off approach, and Betancourt delivered a career offensive year last season, tying for the club lead in home runs and RBIs.”

Here’s my question: When the heck has Yuniesky Betancourt been successful? At all?

Betancourt has a career .293 on-base percentage. His career best? .310 – a full 26 points lower than the league average. He has never attained an OPS+ of 100 even once in his career. And last year, when he led the league in HR and RBI? He led the Royals. A team that scored 676 runs all year.

McCalvry continues: “Entering Tuesday, Betancourt had swung at a Major League-high 42.8 percent of first pitches…. He was batting .228 with three home runs and 20 RBIs.”

Is that your way of saying that it’s working for him?

Yuniesky Betancourt has got to be the easiest batter to face, with the exception of pitchers. Well, some pitchers. He swings at anything. Low and outside? Up and in? He’s hacking. He doesn’t strike out much, only because he rarely even makes it to strike 2.

Yuni, there’s a reason those pitches are generally called balls. It’s because when you make contact with them, they don’t often result in base hits. That’s why Yuni has been in the .230’s all season.

He’s also one of the worst defensive shortstops in the game, regardless of what the defensive metrics say. Somehow he’s at +0.5 dWAR, despite being significantly below average in range factor, slightly below average in fielding percentage, and all-in-all terrible at his job. He’s messed up at least two pickles this season. Pickles.

So what the Brewers have on their hands is arguably the worst all-around shortstop in the game. Maybe the worst overall player.

Why are the Brewers letting Yuni be Yuni?

In fact, why are the Brewers letting Yuni be their shortstop?

This is a team that’s supposed to be competing for a playoff spot. Brewers GM Doug Melvin made it perfectly clear this off-season that the Brewers were all-in for 2011. They kept Prince Fielder around, bolstered their bullpen, traded their top position prospect for Shaun Marcum, and then traded four players for Royals ace Zack Greinke – who brought with him some questionable baggage, his shortstop, Yuni B. Indeed, taking on Betancourt was an extra price to pay for acquiring Greinke.

Good one, Dayton.

Surely the Brewers can figure out something better to do. Right?

Jose Reyes has been either the best or second-best shortstop in the game so far this season and is rumored to be on the trading block. Unfortunately, the Brewers have very little to offer the Mets or anyone else for that matter. After trading Brett Lawrie and Jake Odorizzi over the off-season, the Brewers have exactly zero top-100 prospects. The only possibility is some package centered around Mat Gamel, but even that seems unlikely now that Gamel has been switched to first base.

Even if no potential deal is out there to be made, the Brewers already have a better option on their bench: Craig Counsell. Yes, he’s 40 and has basically no power. But even in his fifth decade, Counsell still fields better than Betancourt and has reached base at a .350 clip over the past three seasons.

He wouldn’t be good.

But he’d be better than Betancourt.

And the difference between adding one extra win and costing your team an extra win could mean the division.

214 Responses to “Yuni Being Yuni? No Thanks.”

  1. Raul Says:

    I admit that at times, I can be a mean, arrogant jerk.

    But I’ve never looked at John’s posts and replies and thought he was a hateful man in any way whatsoever.

    But I think you really, really might actually hate Yuniesky Betancourt.

  2. Cameron Says:

    You don’t know how much the man truly sucks until he puts on your team’s uniform.

  3. Raul Says:

    I can accept that.

    After all, I am a Yankees fan.

  4. Chuck Says:

    “You don’t know how much the man truly sucks until he puts on your team’s uniform.”

    “After all, I am a Yankees fan.”

    I’ve had the same feeling since 2004.

  5. John Says:

    Any man can hate Yuniesky Betancourt.

    It takes a real man to hate a player with 2 MVP’s for their favorite team.

  6. Kerry Says:

    Speaking as a Cardinals fan, I think the Brewers have made a fine choice for SS :-)

    Seriously, Yuni’s BAbip was in the .290s through 2008, but since then has been in the .250s range. Normally with such a low BAbip you might expect an improvement going forward, but he’s been that low for 2.5 years now. Extended bad luck, or extended suckiness?

  7. Raul Says:

    Here’s what I’d say about A-Rod.

    At times, he didn’t live up to the hype. Part of it was his own fault. But I believe that a big part of it was that guys like Torre, Jeter and Posada didn’t really embrace him when he came along. Just my opinion, but I think it bothered him and I think he had tremendous pressure on him to carry the team to a title.

    On the other hand, his 2007 season was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

    The only player that I can think of, off the top of my head that I thought was pretty good — until I actually saw him pitch — was Kyle Farnsworth. Good lord, he was horrible.

    Watching Kyle Farnsworth pitch is like going back to the past with a Guinness Book of Records, gambling, and still losing every single bet. I’ve never seen a guy with such great tools and such crappy results as Kyle Farnsworth.

    I take that back. There was Jose Contreras hitting 97mph with a 91mph splitter and he couldn’t get passed 3 innings.

  8. John Says:

    @Kerry, Yuni’s BAbip would be unlucky if he had even an average comprehension of the zone. But he swings at anything and pitchers know it.

    League Average BAbip is .300, but if you hack at anything, it won’t be .300.

    Unless you’re Vlad. I’ve loved watching him hit because the exception to the rule.

  9. Chuck Says:

    I don’t hate ARod, I hate the Yankees for getting him.

    They didn’t need him.

    They just went and got a $27 million a year player because they could.

    And then when he told them to fuck off, they gave him more money.

    The ARod/Jeter thing is overblown media bullshit, just like Tiger and Phil and Conan and Jay.

    As far as the other guys “freezing” him out, I have news for you….you would have too.

    Raul knows…you have a good team with a good clubhouse and you bring in some prima donna, the boat is gonna rock, whether it’s intentional or not.

    Remember Reggie with his “I’m the straw that stirs the drink”?

    As long as he goes into the HOF as a Mariner, I’m good.

  10. Raul Says:

    I agree.
    A-Rod didn’t do himself any favors.

    I just make the point that the Yankees didn’t exactly accept him the way they did some other players. But maybe that just came with the territory of A-Rod being who he was.

    It’s funny you mention Reggie Jackson in regards to Alex Rodriguez.
    Because Reggie Jackson WAS the straw that stirred the drink. Even if he was a jerk for saying it.

    And as much as Alex was a jerk for saying that you don’t expect Jeter to beat you. That you expect Paul O’Neill or Bernie Williams or Tino Martinez to beat you — the fact is, Alex was right about that too.

    But the NY media is so beholden to Jeter and Co., that it never gets acknowledged.

  11. Chuck Says:

    I guess if there is a silver lining to the ARod trade is the Yanks found a sucker to take Alfonso Sorry-ass-o

  12. Cameron Says:

    Funny Raul, Farnsworth is, AGAIN, someone I’ve seen their terribleness firsthand. How can a guy with that kind of gas and stuff suck that much? Throw everything straight down broadway.

  13. Raul Says:

    LOL.

    You are right about one thing, Chuck.
    Little gets made about Rodriguez’s declining range at 3B. I look at him and regard him to be a sure-handed fielder. But he doesn’t get to many balls.

    I don’t think he’s really as bad as you joke about. But I think he’s like…a step-and-a-half in either direction and a dive. Wait, did I just basically say he’s as bad as you say he is?

    LOL.

    I’ll put it this way…I think Alex is a serviceable 3B. But I think he tends to play a bit too even with the bag, and that can cost him some mobility. Play back. Sure, some guys will take a shot at a few bunts. But I doubt it’ll be many. And if they do, you should have the arm strength to make up for getting to the ball a bit later than other guys would.

  14. Cameron Says:

    I think A-Rod relies to much on getting the putout handed to him to really make plays for himself. I’ve seen guys who are less capable on the bag (like Mark Reynolds) make highlight reel catches because no one was just gonna hand them the ball.

    Self-entitled prick.

  15. Kerry Says:

    @John, as I mentioned he was a little below MLB average in BAbbip until 2008, but has really gone down since then, and I agree it’s probably not bad luck. Unless he’s the unluckiest man in the world — after all, somebody has to be at the far end of the bell curve.

  16. Chuck Says:

    If Jeter spent his entire career in Pittsburgh he’s still a first ballot Hall of Famer.

    Hits count the same everywhere and no one would give a shit about his defense.

    He’d be looked at as a great offensive player who was a good, but probably not great, defensive player.

    Assuming Barry Larkin is elected in the next six years or so, Jeter would become the 24th shortstop in the Hall.

    He’d be top five, easy.

  17. Kerry Says:

    Um, that should be BAbip, not BAbbip. I don’t know what BAbbip is, maybe BA on batted balls in play (as opposed to non-batted balls — kicked? — in play)

  18. Cameron Says:

    That Top 5 skews a lot on which position you consider A-Rod primarily. His best years were a shortstop, but I consider him a 3B.

    My current Top 5 SS
    -
    Honus Wagner
    Cal Ripken, Jr.
    Robin Yount
    Ernie Banks
    Barry Larkin

    Would Jeter edge out Larkin? Probably, but those top 4 are pretty much set in stone unless you bring Rodruiguez into the equation.

  19. Chuck Says:

    As long as someone other than me brought it up, someone needs to explain this to me about BABIP.

    Why are homers excluded, and sacrifice flies included?

  20. Chuck Says:

    ARod has 1242 career games at short and 1048 at third.

    By this time next year, he’s a third baseman.

    You are enshrined into the HOF at the position at which you make the most appearances.

    It’s not a subjective process.

  21. Chuck Says:

    Assuming, of course, ARod actually gets into the HOF.

  22. Chuck Says:

    Have you guys seen this before.

    I’ve played around with it a few times and forgot about it until someone mentioned it a few minutes ago.

    http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mlecalc.html

    It’s called the minor league equivalency calculator.

    Take any guy’s current or career minor league stats and program them and it will, through some magical formula, project what he’ll do at the major league level.

    In the example I provided, I showed my man Jesus.

    Next, Bryce Harper.

  23. Chuck Says:

    LOL

    http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mlecalc.html

  24. Jim Says:

    Chuck, the results don’t link, we just get the empty calculator

  25. Chuck Says:

    Noticed that…oh, well, you’ll have to put them in yourself.

    Montero.

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=C&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=524968

    Harper;

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=CF&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=547180

  26. Chuck Says:

    John,

    approve comment #25 please.

    Reminds me, forgot to email Patrick.

  27. Cameron Says:

    “ARod has 1242 career games at short and 1048 at third.

    By this time next year, he’s a third baseman.

    You are enshrined into the HOF at the position at which you make the most appearances.

    It’s not a subjective process.”

    Technically a guy gets inducted on positions he has fair amounts of time in, like how Banks is inducted both as a 1B and a SS even though he played more games at first base or Yount’s SS/CF combo.

  28. Raul Says:

    Anybody read this article on ESPN about the Athletics potential move to San Jose?
    I’ll say this much….it’s interesting.

    But a 34,000 seat stadium? It’s gotta be a little bigger than that.

  29. Cameron Says:

    The Giants would have to allow the A’s to move there. They hold the property rights to baseball in San Jose.

  30. Chuck Says:

    Banks is not in the HOF as a shortstop.

    Unless it’s on his plaque, there is no mention anywhere of him being a shortstop.

    http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/members/searchable-data

  31. Cameron Says:

    It’s on his plaque, but the funny thing is that they don’t make any official notation of position on plaques. Technically, I suppose, players just get inducted as players and unless they were an all-time great at the position, there’s not much of a mention on their position.

    The database on the website goes by primary position, but the actual induction and stuff on the plaque makes no mention. The database most likely does it for convenience’s sake.

  32. Kerry Says:

    Chuck: “As long as someone other than me brought it up, someone needs to explain this to me about BABIP.

    Why are homers excluded, and sacrifice flies included?”

    Well, a SF is in play (and an out) while a HR is not in play. The rationale is that in the long run (read: ignoring good/bad luck) BAbip is mainly dependent on fielding. HR for the most part are not fielded and SF are.

    Of course, BAbip does also depend on the batter, even in the long run, but if a batter part way through a season is above/below his historical norm for BAbip, it’s interpreted as good/bad luck, and a return to his normal BAbip (and hence a drop/improvement in performance) is expected (technical name: regression to the mean).

    FWIW, Pujols’ BAbip this year is 60 points below his career average. His HR is down a little, but not a whole lot. He has said he feels like he’s hitting the ball well, although even though he’s shown signs of improvement, his BAbip recently is still below his career average by at least 20 points.

  33. Chuck Says:

    So, it appears Michael Cuddyer would be open to a trade if “it helps the organization in the long run”.

    He’s a righty hitter, he can play both infield and outfield corners, plus second base in an emergency.

    He has postseason experience.

    If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m already on the phone.

  34. Chuck Says:

    So a guy like Brett Gardner could have 52 infield hits in a season and would have a higher BABIP than Alex Rodriguez because more of his hits ended up in the seats?

    Huh?

  35. Cameron Says:

    HR aren’t balls in play, so they don’t count towards BABip.

  36. Raul Says:

    Nah I gotta disagree.
    HR should be involved in that.

    Of course it’s in play. You hit the ball. What if you hit a ball that gets robbed at the wall?

    Yeah, most homers…guys can’t make a defensive play on.
    But there are singles and doubles and triples that defenders can’t make a play on. Sometimes, dudes just crush pitches and there’s nothing a defender can do.

    How would HR adversely affect that statistic? Meaning, how would including HR make it any less accurate than it already may be?

  37. Cameron Says:

    If HR were included in BABip, you know what it’d be? Batting average. BABip is essentially how a guy does when he puts balls on the field.

  38. Raul Says:

    I didn’t bother to memorize the formula. Excuse me.

    Does BABIP include strikeouts?

  39. Cameron Says:

    No. The formula is (Hits – Home Runs)/(At-Bats – Strikeouts – Home Runs + Sacrifice Flies).

    If it goes in play, it’s counted. Home runs leave the field, so they’re out, Ks never touch a bat, but SF adds to BABIP without adding to BA because, while it’s an out, it’s in play.

  40. Raul Says:

    Ok.

    I mean I don’t have a problem with BABIP. I did use it to reference David Wright a while back.

    Back when Shaun was talking about how awesome David Wright was. I mentioned that Wright had like a .400 BABIP (just looked it up, he was at .394 in 2009).

    Then last season it dropped to .335.
    This year he’s at .276.

    Just sayin.

  41. Raul Says:

    What’s interesting?
    The leaderboard in ISO (power) and BABIP on Fangraphs.

    Before Chuck calls me a stat nerd, I’ll just note that I observe it from time to time to see if people’s predictions prove accurate.

    (sorted by ISO)

    1. Jose Bautista (.346 ISO), (.323 BABIP)
    2. Curtis Granderson (.323 ISO), (.306 BABIP)
    3. Prince Fielder (.309 ISO), (.278 BABIP)
    4. Matt Kemp (.303 ISO), (.378 BABIP)
    5. Lance Berkman (.300 ISO), (.302 BABIP)
    6. Mark Teixeira (.296 ISO), (.222 BABIP)
    7. Carlos Quentin (.295 ISO), (.253 BABIP)
    8. Mike Stanton (.290 ISO), (.282 BABIP)
    9. David Ortiz (.290 ISO), (.300 BABIP)
    10. Ryan Braun (.254 ISO), (.328 BABIP)

    I don’t have the time to compare the BABIPs of those players with their career averages, but based on basic logic, one would assume that Mark Teixeira is primed to really heat up. And that Matt Kemp could have a long summer.

  42. Raul Says:

    In case anyone is wondering…

    Albert Pujols has a .216 ISO and a .251 BABIP.

  43. Cameron Says:

    I’ve actually been trying to engineer the BABIP formula into stuff like OBPBIP and SLGBIP… With mixed results. I’m fairly decent at math, but not enough to make the formulas take. Still working on it.

  44. Raul Says:

    That Nishioka kid is back in the lineup as of yesterday for Minnesota.
    Mauer came back to the lineup today.

  45. Cameron Says:

    Kid? Eh, 26 isn’t that old for baseball. Could be worse usage of the word. Is it just me, or just because someone gets mainstream exposure for the first time they’re considered young or called “kid”?

    The worst usage was something I saw today when someone referred to a wrestler I love (Austin Aries) who just got on national TV exposure for the first time and fan comments were basically saying “I hope this kid goes far.”

    Kid? Aries is 34 for the love of god.

  46. Raul Says:

    Maybe you have a point.

    I just want it on the record that he is 65 games into the season and Shin Soo Choo is batting .237/.319/.351.

  47. Cameron Says:

    Better than when he started out.

  48. Raul Says:

    Shin Soo Choo:

    April: .250/.325/.400
    May: .247/.336/.344
    June: .192/.276/.269

    “He does everything well.”

  49. Cameron Says:

    DID everything well.

  50. Chuck Says:

    “HR aren’t balls in play, so they don’t count towards BABip.”

    Exactly my point..dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The single most productive thing ANY hitter can do doesn’t count.

    LMAO

    And subtracting strikeouts.

    So, it’s conceivable, with everything else being equal, Mark Reynolds could have a higher BABIP than Albert Pujols?????????????????

    Am I the only one who sees how fucked up BABIP is?

    And, not for nothing, but BABIP is designed to be a pitching stat.

    Sigh.

  51. Cameron Says:

    True, BABIP against is a pretty good measure of how a guy throws stuff that gets hit. If it’s low, you can eat someone who doesn’t really have a lot of power. If he’s hittable and it DOES get through…

    I really don’t use BABIP for hitters as a measure of how good a batter is, but how lucky a guy is. If they’re unusually above their career mean, they’re on a hot streak and they’ll come down, and opposite with below and cold streaks.

  52. Cameron Says:

    Carlos Zambrano said he’d waive his no-trade clause to get out of Chicago.

    …Who’d be dumb enough to grab him is my question. The Yankees can’t be THAT desperate.

  53. Chuck Says:

    Another ROY bites the dust.

    Marlins sent Chris Coghlan to AAA.

    There may be no more worthless award than ROY.

    I mean, if you really look at Gold Glove voting, most of the selections are pretty close to being right on as far as the best at the position FOR THAT YEAR.

    ROY?

    Bob Hamelin on line one.

  54. Cameron Says:

    Bobby Crosby’s on hold.

  55. Lefty33 Says:

    “So, it appears Michael Cuddyer would be open to a trade if “it helps the organization in the long run”.

    He’s a righty hitter, he can play both infield and outfield corners, plus second base in an emergency.

    He has postseason experience.

    If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m already on the phone.”

    Supposedly Ruben Amaro has already made that call and inquired with the Twins over a week ago as to what it would take to get Cuddyer in Philadelphia.

    He would be a perfect fit there because he actually can hit LHP and with his multi-positionality, Ibanez hanging on to a job by a thread, Brown’s inability/non-exposure to LHP, and the Phillies dog shit for a bench Cuddyer would be all over the place but he would get plenty of AB’s and still wind up playing almost everyday.

    The slight problem is that Amaro has said in numerous outlets that the Phillies are maxed for payroll, and they are also around 3 million or so from the hitting the luxury tax which David Montgomery has said will not be allowed on his watch,
    and that any deals will require “creativity” on his part and the trading partners part.

    That’s code for the Phillies really would need Minnesota to eat most if not all of Cuddyer’s salary and the only way to accomplish that would be for Amaro to do another farm raid and dip in to the Phillies A-AA pitching stockpile and overpay in the hopes of winning this year.

  56. Cameron Says:

    On top of that, Philly’s one of the 9 teams in violation MLB’s debt code.

  57. Raul Says:

    The phillies are rumored for everyone.

  58. John Says:

    @52, Albert Pujols would like to have a word…

  59. Raul Says:

    So would Angel Berroa, John.

    LOL

  60. John Says:

    @49…. You’re missing the entire point.

    BAbip isn’t meant to compare players to each other.

    It’s unlike other stats in that it’s meant to compare other players to themselves.

    You’re right, Reynolds probably has a higher BAbip than Pujols (maybe, I dunno).

    Reynolds swings with all his might all the time, so when he makes contact, it often goes for a hit. We all know that means jack if he strikes out 200 times.

    But if his BAbip is .400 and for his career its .330, he’s probably getting lucky. That’s all it’s saying. Doesn’t matter what Pujols is doing. We have many ways of showing why Pujols is better than Reynolds…BAbip just lets us know if Reynolds is getting lucky bloops or if fielders.are snagging his drives.

  61. John Says:

    So would Ichiro, Raul :)

  62. Lefty33 Says:

    “On top of that, Philly’s one of the 9 teams in violation MLB’s debt code.”

    Very true but very irrelevant.

    If you read into the meat of that debt code rule Bud has given every team other than the Mets and Dodgers very wide latitude to become “compliant” when they choose to.

    AKA, as long as the team is selling games out and spending it on payroll he doesn’t care. The Phillies will be a player to pick up a complimentary type of player like Cuddyer before the trade deadline and the only real worry for them is simply do they take on more than three million more in payroll to trip them paying the luxury tax.

  63. Raul Says:

    Yeah but what does Philly even have to get Cuddyer?

    They got rid of every conceivable prospect in the last 3 years.

  64. Cameron Says:

    True, but the team in violation of the debt code find themselves limited in how much they can spend. The Cubs are a big one because they’re in a lot of debt. The code doesn’t carry a penalty, but it’s a nice marker of “turn your shit around”. That’s why the Cubs will never get Prince Fielder. They want him, but they can’t afford him.

    And Raul, they’ve got good guys down low like Jared Cosart and Jonathon Singleton. They have enough raw minors talent to pull off a big trade one last time before completely wiping out the farm.

  65. Raul Says:

    I’m such a douche for saying this, but I hope the Phillies get swept in the first round this year.

    It’ll be like, another Miami Heat situation. Although I like Halladay. I would take some joy out of seeing Cliff Lee fail. Fuck that guy.

  66. Cameron Says:

    And honestly, I don’t see the Phillies keeping up this type of management up for long. While guys like the R2C2 rotation, Howard, Utley, and Rollins are hugely popular, the contracts have put them EXTREMELY deep into the red. However, it’s brought them a lot of success. Chances are once the contracts run out they’ll let them go and rely on a team built on a homegrown core and rebuild from the ground up and it’ll look like the older Phillies teams that competed but really weren’t dominant. I guess you could say the most upside you can get out of the next crop of Phillies will be the ‘93 “How the Fuck Are THEY in the World Series?” Phillies.

  67. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Cam.

    Surprisingly to some, the Braves are hanging with them.

  68. Cameron Says:

    And here’s an interesting thing, the McCourts have reached a divorce settlement. It seems that if MLB approves the sale of the Dodgers to FOX, the team is ruled property of Frank and then business as normal. If the MLB blocks the sale (which they most likely will), then the team is ruled community property (or marital property for the other 80% of the country) and MLB will facilitate a sale.

    And there’s a HUGE surge of popular support, inside and outside of LA, for Mark Cuban to step up and buy the Dodgers. I love Mark Cuban (and all crazy rich people, really) and see him as the next George Steinbrenner in terms of a psychotic owner who runs a billion dollar bankroll and an even bigger eccentric streak. I’d love to see it happen.

  69. Cameron Says:

    I’m not too surprised, actually. Sure Heyward’s still pretty fragile and Dan Uggla has the lowest BA of anyone who qualifies for the batting title, but they’re good. It comes down to the hitters you don’t expect to hit hitting and the pitching being lights out and cheap.

    The same formula that helped them compete last year and a formula that’s pretty ideal if you wanna copy a strategy. It’s working for Kansas City.

  70. John Says:

    @47, lol Cam’s right. “did”

  71. Raul Says:

    KC has the worst pitching in the AL, practically.

    If they had like…Cleveland’s pitching or something, they could probably be in 1st place.

  72. Cameron Says:

    Unfortunately, we can’t call Shin-Soo Choo the new Ben Zobrist because Zobrist at least was serviceable in his dropoff season. This dude’s James Shields on a cold streak toxic.

    By the way, James Shields’ ERA is 2.60 right now. When he comes down to earth, it’s NEVER pretty. over or under on his ERA being 3.60 at year’s end? I say under, but not by much.

  73. Raul Says:

    I realize Stairway to Heaven is an overplayed, over-referenced song.

    But holy shit at Jimmy Page in this performance.
    Just zoom to about the 5:45 mark or so. Damn near 3 minutes of ass kicking.

    http://youtu.be/ugxFcmZXDyc

  74. Cameron Says:

    Okay, it WILL be working. The home-grown pitching like Crow and Duffy are good (and I guess you can argue guys like Teaford… Maybe Collins even though he’s not a KC product) are good too, but the outside help is the death of us.

  75. Raul Says:

    I need Duffy to whoop some ass this weekend. His opposing pitcher is on my opposing team’s fantasy roster.

  76. Cameron Says:

    IIRC, this is the “The Song Remains the Same” concert video cut, and FUCK YES. It is one of the best live guitar cuts in history, but not THE best live guitar cut ever. Sadly, there’s no video of it, but EVERYONE knows the song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejPi8D8LFnI

    If you’ve ever seen Clapton live, you’ll understand why people graffiti’d “CLAPTON IS GOD” on London Subways.

    Opening act was Robert Cray as well, met him in the bathroom after the show. Pretty cool guy. Check him out if you’ve never heard of him, great electric blues player.

    Another recommendation from that show was Clapton’s rhythm man for the show, Doyle Bramhall, Jr. from the old band Arc Angels. Track down the self-titled album, fucking AMAZING piece of work.

  77. Cameron Says:

    Either he will or he won’t. Duffy works on extremes. He’s either lights out with pinpoint control or throwing gas and not caring if his pitch hits the peanut vendor.

  78. Cameron Says:

    The amazing thing about listening to that Crossroads solo? Sync up the drums and the guitar in your head, Clapton’s playing that improvised solo a half-beat behind Ginger Baker’s drumming. Even off-time with the rest of the band, he makes it work.

  79. Raul Says:

    How long are the Royals going to bat Gordon leadoff? I need some RBI out of him, damn it.

  80. Lefty33 Says:

    “They got rid of every conceivable prospect in the last 3 years.”

    Actually most of what they have moved has been spare parts and crap.

    Lee was dealt for Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Knapp and Jason Donald.

    Marson and Donald are not major league hitters and at best are back ups. Knapp has had two major shoulder surgeries within the last two years and won’t even pitch this year.
    Carrasco will be a good pitcher for years to come but the other two suck.

    So that deal was Carrasco for Lee.

    The Halladay deal was Halladay for Drabek, Mike Taylor, and Travis d’Arnaud.

    Taylor at this point is a bust as he looks like the second coming of John Mayberry Jr.
    He should fill out the Sacramento outfield nicely for years to come.
    Drabek could be good but obviously he’s back in AAA so who knows and d’Arnaud is only 22 and 40 games into his first year in AA but he could be a very good OF.

    So that deal was Halladay for somewhat Drabek and d’Arnaud.

    But Lee was dealt to Seattle for three guys with the highlight being Phillipe Aumont who just got promoted to AAA and has closer type stuff.

    Contrary to popular opinion Raul the Phillies system from top to bottom is stocked at most positions.

    Next year they are going to overhaul the bullpen as only Contreras is under contract and that’s why they just released J.C. Romero.
    They are confident that kids like Aumont, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Drew Carpenter, Mike Schwimer, and Justin De Fratus all will compete for bullpen jobs next year with Stutes and Bastardo already pitching in Philadelphia now.

    If you go thru the Phillies minor league system they are stocked with a treasure trove of guys that other teams would love to have and that Amaro could easily use to get Cuddyer or anyone else he wants.

    “One veteran scouting director said it’s possible that the Phillies could go on a Braves-like run of division titles.”

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2011/2611043.html

  81. Raul Says:

    I believe you, Cam.

    I think the general consensus is that the top 3 all-time are Clapton, Hendrix and Page.

    People will debate the order, but I think most can agree it’s those 3 guys.

  82. Cameron Says:

    In all honesty? The rest of the season. Melky’s driving Gordon in like a motherfucker and Alex getting on-base and batting at a good clip. While he’s not your typical leadoff hitter, that lineup is pretty much set in stone as one of the best in the league at this point. “If it ain’t broke…”

  83. Raul Says:

    Wow @ that solo from like 2:30 to 3:30.

    That was awesome.

  84. Raul Says:

    Lefty,

    Good point, I guess. I didn’t really look into it. I really think that Bastardo kid is good. I’m not sure about the other guys. Haven’t really heard of them.

  85. Cameron Says:

    Page is usually the distant third in most arguments. Hendrix is good and in his prime was the undisputed king…

    But you gotta remember, after The Experience, Jimi was… Meh. He had “Machine Gun”, but there was a pretty steep dropoff. Most people don’t remember him post-Experience anyway.

    Clapton could’ve been considered the best all-time even if he retired after leaving John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. But then he went to The Yardbirds, Cream, Derek & the Dominos, and then his prolific solo career with very little dropoff in quality, he’s been playing for 50 years and never lost a step. I give it to him off sheer body of work.

    Although My #2 behind Clapton is someone most people who aren’t either hardcore music fans or a guitarist themselves (which I’ve been for… 9 years now?) have heard of. Jeff Beck, Clapton’s Yardbirds successor and then guitarist for The Jeff Beck Group (Fun Fact: That’s where Rod Stewart got his big break) and then his own solo career.

    Pick up Blow By Blow, ’nuff said.

  86. Lefty33 Says:

    “True, but the team in violation of the debt code find themselves limited in how much they can spend.”

    No they don’t.

    Like I said read into the fine print of the rule. Bud has wide authority to enforce or not enforce it as he sees fit and as of now from everything I read/seen/heard he is more than fine with the Phillies situation and with the lip service that Dave Montgomery gave last week that the Phillies will be compliant ASAP.

    If anything it’s more embarrassing to them than it is serious.

  87. Cameron Says:

    Not limited by the league, Lefty, limited by the financial hole they dig themselves into. On average, it’s a rule that enforces itself.

  88. Raul Says:

    AL ROY is gonna come down to Pineda, Hosmer and Hellickson.

    Pineda has to be the favorite.

  89. Raul Says:

    Jose Reyes leads the Mets in slugging percentage.
    And it’s not even close.

  90. Cameron Says:

    At the rate he’s going, he’s an outside-shot Cy Young contender.

  91. Cameron Says:

    With like, what, one home run?

    Citi Field has done something strange to the Mets. All the balls that used to clear the wall at Shea Stadium fly to the gaps now. For a guy like Jose Reyes, the new alleys are a godsend. For sluggers like Wright and Bay, they want Shea back.

  92. Lefty33 Says:

    “And honestly, I don’t see the Phillies keeping up this type of management up for long. While guys like the R2C2 rotation, Howard, Utley, and Rollins are hugely popular, the contracts have put them EXTREMELY deep into the red.”

    Not even close to true Cameron.

    The Phillies right now are rolling in a sea of revenue and black ink.

    You forget who owns and is running the team in David Montgomery and you also forget there is a big difference in what a team CAN spend and what a team WILL spend.

    This guy and Bill Giles are the two guys that refused to spend money on this team while trying to convince the media that the fifth largest MLB market was a small market franchise in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

    Montgomery has said numerous times that he will never run the team at a loss just to win. It’s been his mantra for thirty years.

    Of the current core pretty much all of the position players other than Rollins and Ibanez are under contract or team control thru 2013 or longer and Rollins likely will get brought back next year on a short term deal.

    The team essentially will has/will have six starting pitchers on the roster with R2C2, Blanton, and Worley and the pen is set with the kids + Kendrick.

    Next year the Phillies concerns are minor.

    1. Rollins to a short term low base deal.

    2. Arbitration with Hamels

    3. FA contract with Madson

    4. RH bat in RF.

    As long as they stay healthy no one in the NL East should win that division for at least the next five years minimum.

  93. Raul Says:

    I don’t get this R2C2 reference.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Roy Halladay
    Cliff Lee
    Roy Oswalt
    Cole Hamels

    R2C2.

  95. Raul Says:

    I recommend that people in Philadelphia stop coming up with stupid shit.
    That’s almost as bad as when the NY Giants had Thunder and Lightning with Ron “No Gain” Dayne and Tiki Barber.

  96. Lefty33 Says:

    “Not limited by the league, Lefty, limited by the financial hole they dig themselves into”
    There really is no hole as the team currently has a more than sufficient revenue base to handle their debt load. The league right now is really only actively concerned with the Mets and Dodgers for obvious reasons.
    The Phillies debt number is also skewed as well with the debt they owe on Citizens Bank Park.
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/Everything-you-need-to-know-about-what-you-dont-know-about-the-Phillies-debt.html

    Read that article by Phillies beat writer David Murphy and after your head stops spinning from how the debt number is calculated, in the words of Pete Townshend “one and one don’t make two, one and one make one”, and you’ll see that the number really means nothing to Philadelphia and only really means something to the teams that are fucked because either their revenue streams have been seriously impacted or because their owners are taking revenue away from their team for “personal endeavors”.

  97. Cameron Says:

    At least KC gets creative. The fans in RF who set up “The French Quarter” have fun with it.

  98. Lefty33 Says:

    “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. But then he went to The Yardbirds, Cream, Derek & the Dominos, and then his prolific solo career with very little dropoff in quality, he’s been playing for 50 years and never lost a step. I give it to him off sheer body of work.”

    Don’t forget Blind Faith.

    The shows that Clapton been doing with Winwood the last year or two have been excellent.

  99. Cameron Says:

    You know, as a guy who actually owns the DVD/Double Album combo, I should’ve remembered that.

  100. Cameron Says:

    Sorry for rambling on about music tonight, y’all. While my interest in various sports and other topics has waned and waxed through the years, my die-hard love of music has never changed. I could talk for music probably even longer than the hours I can ramble on baseball.

  101. Cameron Says:

    You know, I asked myself, “Can a player be traded in the middle of a game?”

    …Then I saw the story of Joel Youngblood and my questions were answered.

  102. Chuck Says:

    “So would Angel Berroa, John.”

    That’s the guy I was trying to think of when I wrote the comment, and just stuck in Hamelin out of frustration (I was also considering Joe Charbonneau).

    “@49…. You’re missing the entire point.”

    No, I’m not. BABIP is stupid, I just asked one of you guys to prove it for me, which you did. Thanks.

    “d’Arnaud is only 22 and 40 games into his first year in AA but he could be a very good OF.”

    Travis d’Arnaud is a catcher. His brother, Chase, is a SS in the Pirates organization.

    “If you go thru the Phillies minor league system they are stocked with a treasure trove of guys”

    I guess it’s just me, but I don’t see much in the Phillies system, although I’m glad to see, Lefty, that you’re starting to come around on Drew Carpenter.

    “The shows that Clapton been doing with Winwood the last year or two have been excellent.”

    Yes, they have.

    Steve Winwood is in the R&R HOF twice, as part of Cream and as a solo performer, and STILL is in the top ten most underrated musicians ever.

    I’m not much of a music guy, but enough so that this fawning over a guy that’s been dead for 40 years is somewhat annoying.

    This infatuation with Hendrix is nuts.

    Terry Kath was a great guitarist, Hendrix said Kath was the best guitarist he’d ever seen and gave him a lot of credit for teaching him how to play and perform. He was the lead guitarist for Chicago and blew his brains out playing Russian roulette in, I think, 1975 or so.

  103. Lefty33 Says:

    “Travis d’Arnaud is a catcher. His brother, Chase, is a SS in the Pirates organization.”

    That’s why I should never type at four in the morning.

    “I guess it’s just me, but I don’t see much in the Phillies system, although I’m glad to see, Lefty, that you’re starting to come around on Drew Carpenter.”

    I’m coming around on Carpenter because the Phillies finally found the correct use for him by making him a 7th/8th inning set up guy. His days of being a SP are over.

    “Steve Winwood is in the R&R HOF twice, as part of Cream and as a solo performer, and STILL is in the top ten most underrated musicians ever.”

    Not to be a bitch Chuck but if you’re implying that Winwood was part of Cream he wasn’t. He was only with Clapton in Blind Faith. Cream was Clapton, Bruce, and Baker.

    Check out on youtube Winwood from the ‘07 Crossroads concert doing Dear Mr. Fantasy and then Presence of The Lord with Clapton. A+ all the way.

    “Terry Kath was a great guitarist, Hendrix said Kath was the best guitarist he’d ever seen and gave him a lot of credit for teaching him how to play and perform.”

    100% true story. Kath could play anything and most of the time in Chicago he really had to restrain himself seeing as aside of a few songs like I’m a Man and Southern California Purples you would never mistake Chicago for a guitar band.

  104. Chuck Says:

    “That’s why I should never type at four in the morning”

    What the hell you doing up at 4am? (Unless you’re just getting home, then I understand perfectly) :)

  105. Chuck Says:

    “Not to be a bitch Chuck but if you’re implying that Winwood was part of Cream he wasn’t…”

    That’s why I should never type at seven in the morning.

    Spencer Davis Group, and they’re not in the Hall.

    “I’m a Man”

    A cover of a Steve Winwood/Spencer Davis cut. Ironic, huh?

    Chicago not being in the R&R HOF might be the biggest snub of ANY HOF. (Now that those fucking idiots in Springfield finally decided to induct Artis Gilmore)>

  106. Chuck Says:

    “Southern California Purples”

    Ever hear the live cut from Chicago III?

    They did a week at Carnegie Hall and put together a four disk set of the highlights of the shows.

    It’s at least a seven minute riff..you can hear Kath, Peter Cetera and Bobby Lamm talking over the music about “bringing it up”.

    An obscure, yet completely awesome, cut of music.

  107. Lefty33 Says:

    “A cover of a Steve Winwood/Spencer Davis cut. Ironic, huh?”

    Chicago cut that song on their debut album and they have been playing it in their live show nightly since.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk62SOhV-C0

  108. Chuck Says:

    I’ve seen Chicago 23 times, Lefty.

  109. Lefty33 Says:

    “Ever hear the live cut from Chicago III?”

    I have heard the Carnegie stuff and it is classic.

    The whole reason they are not in the R&R HOF is David Foster.

    If Foster doesn’t get in Cetera’s head that he could be a solo artist and to go ’80s pop and cut the horns out of Chicago’s sound they would be in there for having stuck to their guns creatively instead of looking like sell out whores.

  110. Lefty33 Says:

    “I’ve seen Chicago 23 times, Lefty.”

    I’ve only got around 15.

  111. Chuck Says:

    “If Foster doesn’t get in Cetera’s head that he could be a solo artist”

    True, but part of that is Cetera’s fault, too.

    Chicago was getting ready to leave for a tour of Asia/Japan right when “Glory of Love” became a big hit and Cetera wanted to do a solo tour around the song and release a solo album.

    When he said he wasn’t going to Japan, the band fired his ass.

    It’s only within the past couple of years that Cetera and Lamm started speaking, and considering they actually used to be brothers-in-law in addition to best friends, twenty something years is a long time.

    Hard to believe Cetera’s been OUT of the group longer than he was in.

    It’s kinda sad to see them now, now that Bill Champlin is gone I’m not interested in seeing them anymore.

    And I can’t stand Jason Schiff anyway.

  112. Lefty33 Says:

    “It’s kinda sad to see them now, now that Bill Champlin is gone I’m not interested in seeing them anymore.

    And I can’t stand Jason Schiff anyway.”

    I hear you on both of those points.

    Scheff’s yelp/howl/singing is unlistenable.
    (I swear he only got the job because of his father’s reputation.)

    And personally I love Champlin and if he would ever tour the east coast solo I would see him in a second but he never goes East of Vegas.

    “It’s only within the past couple of years that Cetera and Lamm started speaking, and considering they actually used to be brothers-in-law in addition to best friends, twenty something years is a long time.”

    Like every other fan I would love to see some sort of reunion with Cetera but I think the problem to that lies more with Walt and Jimmy. They seem like the guys that hold the grudges and that never allow the band to get either musically or set list adventurous anymore.

  113. Chuck Says:

    “I swear he only got the job because of his father’s reputation”

    No question. Although it could have been worse, the band offered the lead singer gig to Rob Thomas, that no-talent hack that fucked up Jefferson Starship with his wailing. Sounded like a house cat on Prozac.

    Pankow said he was writing a “definitive” book on the band’s history and would hold nothing back.

    He said that like ten years ago, and so far, nothing. I wondered if someone sued him to stop it…like Cetera?

    Even though they’ve pretty much turned themselves into a Friday night bar band, Cetera still cashes royalty checks every time they play, because he wrote most of their stuff.

    When I met my wife in ‘89 Cetera had already left the band, I would listen to them in the car and then we went to see them at an outdoor facility in CT and she said they didn’t sound the same.

    I explained the lead singer had left the band and they hired some kid to fill in.

    When we moved to Phoenix we got a chance to see Cetera in a solo show..you should have seen the look on her face when he started to sing. It was like she saw Jesus.

    Remember a few years ago, when he did the “Soundstage” concert on PBS?

    A friend of my wife’s works for PBS and got me an DVD of the show, signed by Cetera. Pretty cool.

  114. Lefty33 Says:

    “A friend of my wife’s works for PBS and got me an DVD of the show, signed by Cetera. Pretty cool.”

    Very Cool.

    “He said that like ten years ago, and so far, nothing. I wondered if someone sued him to stop it…like Cetera?”

    There are too many people who would have sued including Walt, Robert, and Lee for starters.

    “Sounded like a house cat on Prozac.”

    LOL

    The last thing I saw Chicago do that was decent was the ‘04 tour with EW&F.

    My wife and I saw the show at Jones Beach on L.I. and it was three plus hours of amazing music. Since then, to quote Raul, they’ve sucked donkey balls.

    I saw one of the shows with Lou Pardini after Champlin left and that’s what put the nail in the coffin for me.

    I’ll still catch an EW&F show or a Tower of Power show but Chicago is now beyond a karaoke band to me.

  115. Chuck Says:

    Last time I saw them Champlin was still there, it was probably 06 or 07…I remember we took our daughter, she was probably five or six. The sound scared her at first but by the time the show was over she was rockin’ it.

    They did some Christmas show last year or the year before with Brian Boitano skating, it was filmed at an outdoor arena in Bridgeport. That’s when I first noticed Champlin had left, AND they added another guitarist AND a second drummer.

    Sell outs

    You’re right, Lefty, karaoke is a good word.

    “The last thing I saw Chicago do that was decent was the ‘04 tour with EW&F.”

    I hate duo concerts. They did a tour maybe 20 years ago with the Beach Boys and it was beyond brutal. The each did an hour, then tried to play together for awhile..no good.

    (Brian Wilson and Mike Love sing back-up on “Wishin’ you were Here” from Chicago VII).

    Swore it would be the last time.

    I checked their website..they’re touring in Germany.

    And guess who is producing their new album?

    Phil Ramone.

    He produced the group’s first two albums after Cetera left, one of which was “Hot Streets”.

    Ewww.

  116. Chuck Says:

    Weird stat of the day.

    So weird in fact, that it’s the first time it’s ever happened in the “boxscore” era (since 1919).

    The Orioles had three players last night with four or more hits (Markakis and Jones with four, Derrick Lee with five) and a combined RBI total of zero.

    The Orioles were just the third team to have 18 hits or more as a team and score four runs or less.

  117. John Says:

    @101, BAbip is a great way to prove that Bautista’s first half has been a fluke. But fine, you don’t understand it, so it must suck.

  118. Chuck Says:

    That attitude is getting old, John.

    Assuming that everyone who dislikes sabermetrics does so because they don’t understand them is an insult to YOUR intelligence, not mine or ours.

    Are you telling me that without BABIP, you’d think Bautista’s first half wasn’t?

  119. John Says:

    If you’re saying that BAbip sucks because Mark Reynolds has a high one, then you don’t understand the statistic. Pure and simple. You’re missing the point altogether. It’s like saying “height” is a stupid statistic because Jeff Juden is taller than Pedro Martinez.

  120. Raul Says:

    I can’t understand how the hell Fredi Gonzalez is in the “hot seat” because the Marlins are struggling.

    He’s been the manager for 3 months and they lost one of the best pitchers in baseball for pretty much the entire year. It’s probably like the youngest team in the league.

    Can he get a fucking break?
    This isn’t the NFL where you can go from 3-13 to 10-6 with a few draft picks.

  121. John Says:

    No manager should be in the hotseat in his first 3 months with the team.

    Joe Girardi was fired after one year with the Marlins. The team had like 10 rookie regulars.

    It’s not like they’re the Yankees where there’s an expectation of winning the WS every year. But somehow management is Steinbrenner-esque with managers.

  122. Chuck Says:

    “If you’re saying that BAbip sucks because Mark Reynolds has a high one, then you don’t understand the statistic.”

    I will respectfully disagree with that statement, John.

  123. Chuck Says:

    “Joe Girardi was fired after one year with the Marlins”

    Joe Girardi sucks.

    In Florida, he actually HAD to manage. In New York, all he has to do is fill out a lineup card with seven All-Stars and go home.

    You can get a chimp from the Bronx Zoo and he’d do just as good a job with the lineup.

    And probably a better one with the bullpen. :)

  124. John Says:

    But in Florida, he appeared to do a great job.

    Then again, a few of those rookies were something special.

  125. Raul Says:

    Joe Girardi banned jelly beans or something from the clubhouse.

    I’m going out on a limb to say that he might not really understand what his priorities are as the manager of a baseball team.

  126. Raul Says:

    June statistics.

    Adrian Gonzalez: .453/.540/.906.

    That’s not a typo.
    He’s slugging 9-fucking-O-Six.

  127. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, he’s been pretty hot of late.

  128. Chuck Says:

    You know who’s really been hot?

    Mike Morse. He went yard again today and is hitting .310.

    Whenever Washington decides they’re going to hold their annual yard sale, he’s going to be in big demand.

    I also found it interesting that Pablo Sandoval played first base yesterday.

    I know Belt is hurt, but haven’t seen or heard anything about Huff.

  129. Raul Says:

    Yeah I’ve noticed Morse doing well, also.

    Before this Cubs/Yankees game started, Ken Rosenthal was talking about possible trades for Carlos Zambrano.

    Every time I see Rosenthal’s face, with that stupid bow tie, I just want to punch him right in his fucking mouth.

    Not out of hate. More out of…it’s a knee-jerk reaction.

  130. Chuck Says:

    I’d do it just to see if he’d cry.

  131. Raul Says:

    LOL

    Nunez has a pretty good arm at SS.
    Yankees should have scored in that 1st inning though.

  132. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, bases loaded and one out with Cano and Swish coming up you’d expect to get at least one.

    Cano’s got to be smarter than that.

    You can’t look fastball in that situation. He had to know he would get at least one changeup or two seamer in that sequence, especially after the first strike.

  133. Raul Says:

    Wow. Haven’t seen hitter’s interference on a steal in a long, long time.
    Nunez’s swing hit Soto and Russell Martin got sent back to 1B.

  134. Raul Says:

    Really?

    Mike Qua-dee?

    Your name is Mike Quade.
    Mike. Fucking. Quade.

    This is like that scene in Police Academy where the guy tells people his name is Jorge Marteen and his name is George Martin.

  135. Raul Says:

    Cano looks like he’s got a long swing but damn he gets his hands out in front so quickly.

  136. Raul Says:

    Watching A-Rod tag and go home on a sac-fly from Swisher…A-Rod looks heavy. Like he runs as if he’s carrying way too much weight.

    Maybe it’s just me.

  137. Chuck Says:

    I guess since he broke up with Cameron he’s not working out as much.

  138. Raul Says:

    Hey Chuck,

    There are several ways to break in a glove.
    How do you do it?

  139. Chuck Says:

    “There are several ways to break in a glove”

    You mean other than by using it?

    Ball in pocket, wrap as tight as possible, then toss it in a bucket of water.

    Once it’s about 75% dry, start working it with leather treatment..not oil, but the stuff you would use on your car interior or sofa.

    I would also start using it before it was all the way dry, too, especially the pocket. Playing a good game of catch or two with someone with an arm does more for forming the pocket than anything else.

  140. Cameron Says:

    “Terry Kath was a great guitarist, Hendrix said Kath was the best guitarist he’d ever seen and gave him a lot of credit for teaching him how to play and perform. He was the lead guitarist for Chicago and blew his brains out playing Russian roulette in, I think, 1975 or so.”

    And they’ve sucked since ‘76.

  141. Cameron Says:

    I just remembered in bringing up Brandon Phillips’ impending free agency he has a $12MM 2012 Club Option. Whoops.

  142. Raul Says:

    lol

    I was just wondering what other people do to break them in.

    I used to just play with it and fold it a lot to loosen it up, and I would use it as my warm-up glove — just to play catch. A little glove oil, but not much. I think I went through 2 years of baseball and never finished even one tube of the stuff. And that was with my teammates using it sometimes for theirs.

    Wrap it up with a ball at night and that was it.

    You hear some weird ways that people break in gloves though.

    I kinda stopped drinking for a while but someone mentioned Stella. Stella is a beer that…frankly, I think it sucks. So I recommended they try some microbrews and get some real taste. And I said it in a way that…I wasn’t looking to come across as elitist or arrogant. But seriously…things like Stella and Coors Light…you should probably drink that when there’s no other option. Well, maybe if the funds are low and you want something light to crank out…I could see someone going with an 18-pack of Coors Light. I mean it’s only like 10 bucks or something.

    So all this got me to thinking…it seems like it’s real hard to come across microbrews here on the west coast. I could walk into a bar back home and get a Smuttynose or Franziskaner any time i wanted.

    Here, if you get Blue Moon or Sam Summer (which i happen to like), people act like it’s the most exotic thing in the world.

  143. Raul Says:

    I guess Franziskaner isn’t really a microbrew, but I made my point.

  144. Raul Says:

    This is the absolute last year that I ever do Fantasy sports.

    Every player I get, fucking sucks.

    I always get Berkman on his down years.
    Same thing whenever I drafted Prince Fielder.
    I got Lester pitching like shit.
    Longoria is hitting like he should be wearing a skirt.
    I’ve had to put Roy Oswalt on the bench for like a month because he’s sucked and can’t get any wins.

    Damn.
    Now I want a beer.

  145. Cameron Says:

    Raul, I usually don’t do well in drafts, but if you ever wanna know on how to swindle some dumbass on a trade, hit me up. I’ve become something of a fantasy guru among my friends.

  146. Cameron Says:

    “I kinda stopped drinking for a while but someone mentioned Stella. Stella is a beer that…frankly, I think it sucks. So I recommended they try some microbrews and get some real taste. And I said it in a way that…I wasn’t looking to come across as elitist or arrogant. But seriously…things like Stella and Coors Light…you should probably drink that when there’s no other option. Well, maybe if the funds are low and you want something light to crank out…I could see someone going with an 18-pack of Coors Light. I mean it’s only like 10 bucks or something.”

    You know what comes to mind when I hear Coors Light? The quote, “That’s the only beer I’ve ever thrown up while sober.”

  147. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Cameron

    I’m just saying, as I’ve gotten to taste more beer I’ve gotten to be more selective.

    If I go to your house for a cookout (I’m very careful not to say Barbecue), I don’t care if there’s a bunch of Bud Light lying around.

    But if we’re driving to the store to pick up a six pack or two for the boxing match…that’s a small gathering and I have the choice to get whatever I want to drink. So yeah, I’m not getting Bud/Coors Light.

  148. Cameron Says:

    If you come to visit, my stepdad will probably have some of his own homebrew lyin’ around. You won’t be disappointed. I don’t drink myself, but he’s never gotten a bad review.

  149. Raul Says:

    Wait, what?

    I’ve heard of people making their own wine.
    Your step-pops brews his own beer?

    Is dinner decided by which animal was killed that day in your neck of the woods?

    LOL

  150. Cameron Says:

    Nah, he’s just taking a habit of brewing his own beer. It’s a nice little habit of his. I’ve tried to convince him to expand his operation and selling it, but he’s not doing it. Maybe after he retires, I dunno.

  151. Raul Says:

    That’s pretty cool.

  152. Raul Says:

    I heard Brautigan used to make his own baseball equipment by hand.
    You know…products of growing up in The Depression.

    You know Robert Redford’s bat in The Natural?
    Loosely based off Brautigan’s real life.

    LOL

  153. Cameron Says:

    Oh shit… RIP Clarence Clemons, saxophonist for The E Street Band.

  154. Lefty33 Says:

    “Oh shit… RIP Clarence Clemons, saxophonist for The E Street Band.”

    I really can’t imagine Springsteen continuing with using the E Street Band name without Clemons. It’s one thing when Danny Federici dies for that band but Clemons is such an iconic figure.

  155. Cameron Says:

    Tell me about it, this would be up with Van Zandt dying. Stuff like Jungleland, Rosalita, and (heaven help up) Born to Run aren’t gonna sound the same again.

  156. brautigan Says:

    @ Raul (#151): Don’t ask me what we used for a catcher’s cup.

  157. Cameron Says:

    I’m gonna say leftover scrap steel from the munitions plant down yonder on the road.

  158. Raul Says:

    Marlins Manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned.

    Not sure how I feel about it.
    If he was getting pressured to quit, that’s unfortunate. You don’t know what happens behind closed doors.

    If he got tired of the losing and quit on his team, then that’s BS.

  159. Cameron Says:

    My money’s on he finally woke up and said to himself, “Holy shit, my boss is Jeff fucking Loria? Time to collect my last paycheck and do something more dignified… Like staging my own donkey shows.”

  160. Cameron Says:

    Seems Florida’s got their crosshairs on two candidates already.

    1. Bobby Valentine, who always has his hands in these things and was runner-up last race…

    2. Jack McKeon, who led them to the 2003 WS Championship.

    …McKeon’s 80 fucking years old, I have to give it to Bobby V because he’ll still be alive when he gets called for an interview.

  161. Raul Says:

    I wouldn’t go to Florida if I was Bobby Valentine. They’ll never have any money and he’ll just be in rebuild mode all the time.

  162. Cameron Says:

    True. These are just preliminary targets, but I’d take Bobby V over McKeon. Not because Valentine’s a better manager, but Torre and Cox retired, citing age concerns, a good while longer before McKeon ever did. Even at an interim standpoint, 80’s too damn old.

  163. Raul Says:

    and Yovani Gallardo just single-handedly cost me a win this fantasy week.

    Thanks asshole.

  164. Chuck Says:

    “And they’ve sucked since ‘76.”

    First off, no they haven’t.

    Second, you weren’t even thought of in 1976, so why don’t you go back to jerking off to your Keith Cobain poster?

    #149

    Funniest thing I’ve ever read.

    “Marlins Manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned”

    Rodriguez is/was the first Puerto Rican to get a manager’s job, so I’m proud of him

    That said….fucking quitter…good luck getting another one.

  165. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, as much as I love Nirvana, I’ll be the first to admit all his talent was in writing lyrics and he absolutely fucking sucked on guitar. The talent was set in the band between Dave Grohl and touring guitarist Pat Smear, who went on to be half of the initial Foo Fighters.

  166. Jim Says:

    IIRC Valentine has turned Loria down before, like before they hired Rodriguez. Former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan, who is 80, was asked about the McKeon rumors and if Joe would take a managers job at 80. His answer was something to the effect of “are you nuts.”

    Loria is a slime ball.

  167. Chuck Says:

    Cobain is easily on the top of the most overrated musicians ever.

    If he hadn’t off’ed himself, he’d be doing cameos on American Idol and a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and probably be a judge on some karaoke show on CMT.

    Hate to sound like a douche, but the best thing that happened to his legacy was loading the gun.

  168. Cameron Says:

    I hate to say it, but I agree. The dude was the best at writing the pure angst that fueled the 90s grunge scene (not as good in execution as Soundgarden or Alice in Chains), but he was best as a songwriter and not a musician.

    And sorry about the Chicago crack, but I’m not a big fan of post-Kath Chicago. …Let me rephrase that, I HATE post-Kath Chicago. While he was there, they were great though.

    And take a look at what I was talking about before the Chicago crack. Jeff Beck isn’t something most guys my age listen to. To be honest, I dunno if too many guys your age listen to him. Damn shame, supremely talented guy who never got the exposure of his contemporaries.

  169. Cameron Says:

    And I only own one Chicago album, Chicago IX. That ‘74 cutoff is something I can live with. Great piece of work. Got the best of Blood, Sweat, and Tears as part of a buy one-get one deal. Great duo to play together.

  170. Chuck Says:

    “Oh shit… RIP Clarence Clemons, saxophonist for The E Street Band.”

    That sucks.

    Although we must remember he was a saxophone player.

    Not a singer..not a songwriter…not an arranger.

    You know, it’s funny..people say that in the moments before death, someone actually gets to the point of recovery.

    I saw a note on CNN a couple of days ago where Clemons’ family and Springsteen had issued statements that they were encouraged by the progress Clemons’ had made and they were hopeful.

    My mother in law had a stroke a year and a half ago, and for two months was pretty much bedridden.

    One day, she paged the nurses’ station, got up, went to the bathroom by herself, then walked, unaided, down a 20 foot hallway and back to her room.

    My brother in law was there and saw the whole thing, he called everyone and was excited she had done that and was encouraging to everyone the worst was over.

    She died the next day.

  171. Cameron Says:

    Truly amazing and heartbreaking story. That’s… That’s gotta be tough.

    “Although we must remember he was a saxophone player.”

    Just goes to show what kind of impact he had on that music. Is there anyone who plays a non-traditional rock instrument that had that memorable a sound? Can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

  172. Chuck Says:

    The two top selling records in Chicago’s history were post Kath.

    Chicago ranks second in total Top 40’s and in album sales of any American group of all time, behind the Beach Boys.

    I don’t care that they’ve become a Saturday night bar band.

    I don’t care if they became sell-outs after Peter Cetera left the group.

    I don’t care if they pissed off some high ranking music executives.

    “That ‘74 cutoff is something I can live with.”

    Kath died in 1978, not sure what your reference is there, Cam.

    The fact they are not in the R&R HOF is a complete fucking joke.

  173. Chuck Says:

    “a non-traditional rock instrument”

    You mean like the piano?

    Elton John…great.

    Stevie Wonder…great.

    Ever hear Sly and the Family Stone?

    What Sly could do with a keyboard/organ/synthesizer was unbelievable.

  174. Cameron Says:

    As much as I’m only a fan of 25% of their output, I’ll agree. The ‘74 thing is a reference to the fact Chicago Ix is a best-of their records from Chicago Transit Authority through 1974. It’s entirely pre-Kath and contains songs I genuinely love like “25 or 6 to 4″ and “Saturday in the Park”, but musically, I don’t like most anything past that. It’s just not my kind of music. It’s not something I can adequately describe. They have music I sometimes like, but something just rubs me the wrong way.

    Like… Like I like a good hard rock band, but despise Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen. I just don’t like it. Not saying they’re a bad band as they do have talent. They just don’t do things I like personally. I rarely call a band bad. The worst I usually call anyone music-wise is generic, but never bad.

    You wanna see some fun, heated music arguments? Next time my stepdad argue which incarnation of Van Halen and/or Genesis is better, I’ll try and get audio. I’m Lee Roth/Collins and he’s Hagar/Gabriel. It gets heated.

  175. Cameron Says:

    Honestly, with all the great keyboardists in rock history, I can actually call it a traditional instrument. not required, but not out of place if you see it out there.

    Off the top of my head on talent, I’d say Bela Fleck and the electric banjo, but nowhere near the popularity and memorable music (mainstream-wise) that the E Street Band did.

  176. Cameron Says:

    And Chuck, I have a good short list of guys snubbed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While I list KISS (the music’s meh, but for what the popularity they acheived, it’s kind of insane not to at least float the possibility) and Rush (…I’ve got nothing on that one), but after taking a good look at it, I have one very good question.

    Where the fuck is Warren Zevon?

  177. Chuck Says:

    “It’s entirely pre-Kath”

    What?

  178. Cameron Says:

    …Bad choice of words, there. I meant to say Kath-era and something misfired.

  179. Chuck Says:

    Dude…Gabriel and Collins played TOGETHER with Genesis..Hagar and Roth were never on the same stage together with VH.

  180. Cameron Says:

    I know about Gabriel and Collins, but I’m talking in terms of who was the leader of the band. That Collins era is what I define is when Collins took over vocals and they became that pop-heavy “Invisible Touch” style Genesis.

  181. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, I have to say I slightly hate you for making me cry.

    When you mentioned Elton John, I broke out my Elton John Greatest Hits I got for my mom the birthday before she died. I put on Candle in the Wind and I can’t make it through that song without crying. It weighs pretty heavy on me even though she’s been dead for over two years now.

  182. Chuck Says:

    OK..that I agree with.

    Gabriel’s “So” album, with “Sledgehammer” and “In your Eyes” is one of the more underrated records ever.

    I still play it.

  183. Cameron Says:

    I’ve got Trick of the Tail around here somewhere. Great listen. Still a bigger fan of Collins’ Genesis. Invisible Touch was a gem to me.

  184. Chuck Says:

    And I know you weren’t there..but, “In your Eyes” is one of the best getting laid songs ever.

    Pick up some girl, pop the song in the 8-track on the way home, and it was gravy from there.

  185. Cameron Says:

    Noted.

    In the meantime, I dusted off the old Stevie Ray Vaughan. You want someone who can play a fucking guitar? Jesus fucking Christ on toast could Stevie make that axe wail.

  186. Chuck Says:

    “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time” saved MTV, IMO.

    There was a pretty big downturn in video content following “Thriller”, were everyone expected every video to match “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” and a couple of others.

    There was a gap of maybe two years where MTV mass produced videos trying to keep their eyes above water, and thankfully for them, Gabriel saved their asses.

  187. Cameron Says:

    You think MTV wouldn’t have a shortage of videos in the 80s. Hell, TEN songs of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album went single. …I’m pretty sure that has to be a record.

  188. Chuck Says:

    “Hell, TEN songs of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album went single. ”

    And all the video’s sucked.

    Kinda my point.

  189. Chuck Says:

    You’re a major league pitcher.

    Obviously, you have to be pretty good to get there.

    But you’re in a group of 400 or so guys who are at least as good as you.

    How do you know whether you’re really good, or just are lucky to have a uniform?

    Brett Gardner takes you deep.

    Randy Wells…you got one foot in AAA, bro.

  190. JohnBowen Says:

    LOL @ Chuck

    I bet the Cubs would love to have that as a viable option.

    Here are the ERA+’s that the Cubs’ staff is putting up right now:

    88, 74, 98, 52, 82, and Wells was at 73 going into today’s game.

    Just ugly all the way around.

    And the thing is, all these guys are supposed to be at least alright. Maybe not Doug Davis, but I thought this was a quality rotation going into the season.

    Swing-and-a-miss, as they say.

  191. JohnBowen Says:

    Gardner made a nice running play last inning.

    Marshall’s looking good. Completely locked up Granderson for strike 3 just now.

  192. Raul Says:

    The San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs are the only teams in baseball yet to record a Complete Game this season.

  193. Raul Says:

    Going back 10 years…

    In 2001, the Cubs didn’t get their first complete game until May 24, 2001 behind a 1-hit performance by Jon Lieber. The Cubs beat the Reds 3-0 that day.

    Chicago wouldn’t have to wait long for their 2nd complete game of the year. The following day Kerry Wood threw a 1-hit complete game against the Brewers for a 1-0 win.

    I’m going to bet that back-to-back 1-hitters are rare in baseball.

  194. Raul Says:

    Another interesting thing about that 2001 season for the Cubs…

    On May 9th, the Cubs were 21-12.
    They would lose 8 straight games to fall to 21-20, only to go on and win 15 out of the next 16 games (and 12 straight) to a 36-21 record.

    In the end, they wouldn’t even crack 90 wins on the season.
    They finished 88-74, taking 3rd place in the NL Central.

  195. Cameron Says:

    ““Hell, TEN songs of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album went single. ”

    And all the video’s sucked.

    Kinda my point.”

    Eh, the “Bad” and “The Way You Make Me Feel” videos were decent, but the combined video quality of those singles couldn’t crack Billie Jean’s video and that was maybe the second or third best video to come out of Thriller. The music was good at least.

    And Jon Lieber. Haven’t heard THAT name in ages.

  196. Raul Says:

    Well Lieber hasn’t pitched since 2008 and hadn’t been a consistent starter since 2006.

    Lieber was taken in the 9th round of the 1991 draft. And he wasn’t the only guy taken in that round to manage a major league career. Mark Sweeney went on to a 14 year career, and Scott Eyre got 13 years in the bigs.

    Mike Sweeney, who went on to be the better player, was actually drafted 1 round AFTER Mark. They are not related.

  197. Cameron Says:

    And IIRC, Ryan Sweeney’s not related to either of them.

  198. Raul Says:

    I really can’t give a damn about golf without Tiger Woods. Sorry.
    Rory McIlroy? Dude, with a name like that, you should be wearing a dog collar. Not winning the US Open.

  199. Cameron Says:

    Admittedly, I actually like McIlroy. Dude’s this hard drinking psychotic Scottish bastard. He could be a wrestler from the 80s. I love a big personality.

  200. Raul Says:

    Batters are hitting just .228 against Clayton Kershaw this year.
    98 innings pitched and just 80 hits allowed.

  201. Raul Says:

    Kershaw’s also on pace to get his 1,000th strikeout almost 2 years before Lincecum reached his.

  202. Cameron Says:

    As a lefty, that’s impressive. There’s a reason I love this kid. I may be the only person who likes Kershaw over Jon Lester, but Kershaw can singlehandedly fuck the opposing team on command.

    And he’s what, 23?

  203. Raul Says:

    Yesterday the Blue Jays agreed to a 2-year extension with Yunel Escobar.

    Um…why?
    And why do it now instead of after the season?

  204. Chuck Says:

    The Marlins are a joke..it’s bad enough when your manager says “fuck this” and bails, but then you turn around and hire an 80 year old to run the team?

    You think Hanley’s gonna listen to Jack McKeon?

    Or Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton?

    And if you saw the replay, it should have been immediately apparent Albert Pujols sustained more than a sprained wrist.

    He did.

    Fractured left wrist, out four to six weeks. Another set of X-Rays will be taken on Wednesday after some of the swelling goes down to determine if surgery is needed, which is so will stretch his time out to six to eight.

  205. Cameron Says:

    Is that the same arm that Pujols needed surgery to clean up after the end of last season?

  206. Bob Says:

    Hope you fathers had a great weekend. Yup, Pujols lost a boatload of cash with this injury.

  207. JohnBowen Says:

    @26, your comment is approved

    @30, that’s kind of odd. Nothing Ernie Banks did as a 1B is HOF-worthy. His 1B numbers are barely starter-worthy. He’s in because he put up some of the best seasons ever by a SS.

  208. Bob Says:

    Jed lowrie might need surgery. Shit

  209. Cameron Says:

    5 40+ HR seasons as a shortstop, 4 of them consecutive? Yeah, all-time great.

  210. Cameron Says:

    Fuck me if I’m wrong, but won’t this be the longest Pujols will be on the shelf?

  211. Cameron Says:

    And so far, Tampa’s signed 5 of those 10 1st-2nd round picks all at or under slot. Not bad.

  212. Chuck Says:

    “Jed lowrie might need surgery. Shit”

    If you’re relying on Jed Lowrie to make the World Series, the Red Sox are fucked.

    They’d make the postseason with Yuniesky Betancourt playing short.

  213. Cameron Says:

    The alternatives there are, what, Jose Iglesias and Marco Scutaro? I’d prefer Lowrie, but he won’t make or break the team.

  214. JohnBowen Says:

    Scutaro’s fine. Solid defense, serviceable offense, reasonable price.

    Actually, I think I’d rather have him than Lowrie.

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