Breaking News: Pence Finally a Phillie

by JohnBowen

Just before the bottom of the fifth inning at Miller Parkon Friday Night, Hunter Pence was taken out of the Brewers-Astros game and was seen emotionally hugging his teammates in the dugout before departing.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the trade is a 4-for-1 deal has taken place involving Jonathon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, and two players to be named later.

My take? Pence is a solid young player, but this is a pretty big overpay for a guy who’s maybe the 10th best right fielder in baseball.

It would have made absolutely no sense if Pence had just been a rental, but he is now under Philadelphia’s control through 2013, meaning that, unlike Carlos Beltran in San Francisco, Pence will continue to contribute with his new team.

He made 6.9 million dollars last season and, after making his second all-star team in 2011, will be due for a  big raise.

In the last 13 months, the Astros have traded away three faces of the franchise: Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, and Hunter Pence.

89 Responses to “Breaking News: Pence Finally a Phillie”

  1. Jim Says:

    Even less a reason to go to an Astro’s game.

  2. Cameron Says:

    The tenth best RF? Given the sudden nosedive of once premier RF like Nick Markakis, Corey Hart, Jayson Werth, Shin-Soo Choo, and with Jose Bautista once again being a third baseman, that’s a bit of a short sell.

    I can’t really say Pence is the best guy in baseball, but he’s a good player. .290 career average, averages 35 doubles and 25 homers a year, and slugs .480. He’ll get double digit steals, is a good defender, and has a hell of an arm.

    He doesn’t take a hell of a lot of walks, but he’s a hell of a ballplayer. Was he worth Cosart, Singleton, and 2 PTBNL? No, but he’s a guy who plays the game very well, the way it’s supposed to be played. I watch as many Astros games as I can because of this guy, watching Michael Bourn light up the field, and seeing Bud Norris when I can.

    He’s basically the same thing you defend Shin-Soo Choo with, except I’ve never seen Pence have a cold streak in his life.

  3. JohnBowen Says:

    Choo has been hurt most of the year.

    The only thing that Pence and Choo are really equal in is power.

    - Choo has a much better arm.
    - Choo steals more at a much better success rate.
    - Choo hits for a slightly higher average (usually) but more importantly, walks a ton more.

    The only thing Pence is better than Choo at is not getting fucking hammered and deciding to drive.

  4. Cameron Says:

    Just for fun, let’s break down the primary RF by team, excluding the Astros.

    AL East
    -
    NY Yankees – Nick Swisher (Better than Pence)
    Boston Red Sox – (Worse than Pence)
    Baltimore Orioles – Nick Markakis (Worse than Pence)
    Tampa Bay Rays – Matt Joyce (Worse than Pence)
    Toronto Blue Jays – Eric Thames (Worse than Pence)

    AL Central
    -
    Minnesota Twins – Jason Kubel (Worse than Pence)
    Cleveland Indians – Shin-Soo Choo (Worse than Pence)
    Kansas City Royals – Jeff Francouer (Worse than Pence)
    Detroit Tigers – Magglio Ordonez (Worse than Pence)
    Chicago White Sox – Carlos Quentin (Worse than Pence)

    AL West
    -
    LA Angels – Torii Hunter (Better than Pence)
    Oakland Athletics – David DeJesus (Worse than Pence)
    Seattle Mariners – Ichiro Suzuki (Better than Pence)
    Texas Rangers – Nelson Cruz (Better than Pence)

    NL East
    -
    Atlanta Braves – Jason Heyward (Worse than Pence)
    Philadelphia Phillies – Domonic Brown (Worse than Pence)
    Florida Marlins – Mike Stanton (Better than Pence)
    New York Mets – Lucas Duda (Worse than Pence)
    Washington Nationals – Jayson Werth (Worse than Pence)

    NL Central (Sans Astros)
    -
    St. Louis Cardinals – Lance Berkman (Better than Pence)
    Cincinnati Reds – Jay Bruce (Wash? Bruce’s contact is kinda suspect)
    Milwaukee Brewers – Corey Hart (Worse than Pence)
    Pittsburgh Pirates – Garret Jones (Worse than Pence)
    Chicago Cubs – Tyler Colvin (Worse than Pence)

    NL West
    -
    Arizona Diamondbacks – Justin Upton (Better than Pence)
    San Diego Padres – Ryan Ludwick (Worse than Pence)
    Colorado Rockies – Seth Smith (Worse than Pence)
    Los Angeles Dodgers – Andre Ethier (Worse than Pence because LHP exist)
    Carlos Beltran – Carlos Beltran (Better than Pence)

    Now, figure the fact that Beltran, Hunter, Berkman, and Ichiro are gonna be out of the league in a few years and Pence is only 28, he’s better than them in the long-term. Looking forward, he’s a hell of a piece to add.

  5. Cameron Says:

    Choo’s been hurt most of the year, but even when his health came back, his average has dipped and his power’s almost nonexistent. No matter how you cut it, a .687 OPS ain’t good.

  6. Cameron Says:

    It seems that one of the PTBNL is Josh Zeid, and the Astros are also giving the Phillies $1MM in cash.

    …Also, why not call it “Pence Phinally A Phillie”? I just thought of that.

  7. JohnBowen Says:

    His health hasn’t come back…he’s still hurt. He’s on the DL, actually.

    Also, not sure what standards you’re using. You say Ichiro is better than Pence, but he has sucked this year and is old.

    Quentin and Ethier are both at least on par with Pence.

  8. Cameron Says:

    It’s mostly my gut feeling. Quentin’s a butcher in the field and Ethier can’t hit lefties with a paddle, Pence can do both those things.

    As for Ichiro… I dunno, old soft spot? His bat’s not up to par with the rest of his seasons, but he’s still good and the arm, glove, and legs are fucking scary.

    Though I may say Swisher might be worse than Pence because of the gloves and legs not being as good, plus he’s not a natural RF.

  9. JohnBowen Says:

    Pence isn’t exactly Roberto Clemente.

  10. Cameron Says:

    And I’ll repeat, I only like this move from Houston’s side. I don’t know what the fuck Ruben Amaro was smoking to think this was a good idea. Singleton and Cosart are gonna be studs. While Pence is a proven commodity, I’d have saved myself the 9 million dollars and my two best prospects. Pence is good, Pence is great. He’s not worth two top 100 prospects and 2 PTBNL.

    Then again, not many people are. Not a fair standard.

  11. Cameron Says:

    Roberto Clemente, great standard there, John. Not everyone has to be a Hall of Famer to be good. Seeing your arguments, I thought you of all people would understand that.

    Pence doesn’t do one thing outstanding (maybe the arm if you quantify assists, but like you said that’s not a surefire gauge), but he does everything well, and the main thing about Pence is consistency. No major injuries, no pressing health concerns, no periods of streakiness. And figure the teams that were fielded around him, pretty bad. That .480 SLG made him about an 80 RBI guy in Houston, but the guys around him sucked. He can be a 100+ RBI guy in Philly. Again, not a great measurement, but he’s going to be seen as a premier offensive force in the league when you put him in that situation. Think of it as an Adrian Gonzalez-lite trade.

  12. JohnBowen Says:

    It was an exaggeration Cameron.

    He doesn’t do any one thing outstanding…he has above average power, and everything else is average to a little above average.

    Which is good. It makes for a solid ballplayer.

    Possibly a top-10 RFer. That’s above average.

    But the trade? Terrible. Not worth two top prospects, not by a long shot.

  13. Cameron Says:

    I’m with you on the trade. Not many guys are worth two top 100 prospects. A-Rod in his prime? Sure. Hunter Pence? guys’ worth a top-100.

    Pence is a solid ballplayer, a hell of a ballplayer. He’s not gonna make them terribly regret the trade, but they’ll wish they kept him in the long run. However, I do like this move from Hunter’s standpoint. The guy’s one of my favorite players and he’s in a place with more media exposure, a better team around him, a team that can afford to keep him long-term, and most importantly a contender. It does me good to see a kid I like this much do well.

    …Still a terrible move from a business standpoint. But if any team can absorb that loss, it’s Philly.

  14. JohnBowen Says:

    “That .480 SLG made him about an 80 RBI guy in Houston, but the guys around him sucked. He can be a 100+ RBI guy in Philly. Again, not a great measurement, but he’s going to be seen as a premier offensive force in the league when you put him in that situation.”

    So?

    That just tells me that there are literally dozens of people who, if displaced, could do what Pence does (assuming he hits fifth, which is where I would put him).

    Again, I like him. Young guy, .450 slugging, doesn’t suck at anything.

    But we’re on the same page with the trade.

  15. Cameron Says:

    Same page with the trade, but not the player. I hope Philly does him some good. Manuel seems to know how to get the most out of his hitters, so maybe Pence will learn to take the occasional walk.

    Plus, Citizen’s Bank adds a little power I think. This could nudge him to a 30 homer guy.

  16. Cameron Says:

    The amazing thing? This is, at best, the #2 thing to happen on Philly’s sports page tomorrow. The Eagles have been busy boys. They signed Nnamdi Asomguha to a five year deal (FINALLY getting him out of my beloved AFC West and making it safe to pass on Oakland) and traded Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in next year’s draft.

    …KEVIN KOLB! For fuck’s sake, I know Arizona needs a quarterback, but this makes the Pence trade look like nothing in terms of how much they made out with.

  17. Cameron Says:

    Or however the fuck you spell Nnamdi’s last name. It’s hard enough to pronounce. I just use his nickname, The Shadow of Death.

  18. Cameron Says:

    Yet another great name.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/dicksjo01.shtml

    With his nickname, Ugly Dickshot. Holy hell, that’s just awesome.

  19. Raul Says:

    *cue Bud Light Real Men of Genius Music*

    Real Men of Genius!
    Mr. Really Shitty General Manager!!!

    They said it couldn’t be done. No one would trade two top-tier players for a Hyundai Elantra. But you stood bold in the face of such doubt, because you’ve got a 12-foot telephone cord, and a plan.

    (Ring, ring, ring, ring it up!)

    Here a stud. There a stud. You’re depleting your farm system like you’re trying to beat the Mayan Calendar.

    (Only 4 months left to win a title!)

    So crack open cold one, Mr. Amaro. Because you put the Rube, in Ruben.

    (Sacrificing viiirgiiinssss)

    …Anheuser-Busch. St. Louis, Missouri.

  20. John Says:

    That was beautiful, Raul. Take a bow.

  21. Cameron Says:

    Sacrificing virgins, line of the year, folks.

  22. Raul Says:

    Thanks.

    I think they said a bunch of scouts were looking at Erik Bedard today and he really pitched terribly.

  23. Bob Says:

    Did he ever. His value dropped.

  24. Bob Says:

    Doug Fister to Detroit. Not bad.

  25. JohnBowen Says:

    Doug Fister’s run support just went up 1.24 R/G.

    Tigers also got a guy who is under team control through 2015.

  26. Bob Says:

    Great deal for the Tigers. Obviously, teams told Seattle ” No Thanks” W.R.T. Bedard in the last 12 hours.

  27. JohnBowen Says:

    If I was other teams, I would take advantage of his reduced price.

    In his previous ten starts, Bedard had a 1.82 ERA in 64.2 IP.

    Now, obviously, Bedard missed all of 2010 and most of 2008 and 2009 with injuries.

    If those scouts saw something in his delivery that would suggest that he still had lingering problems, that’s one thing. Stay away.

    But if he just had a bad start where he got shelled?

    That’s not such a big deal.

  28. Lefty33 Says:

    “don’t know what the fuck Ruben Amaro was smoking to think this was a good idea.”

    I’ll tell you what he was thinking.

    He was thinking that his team is built to win now and that they came up short the last two years when most prognosticators put them in, particularly last year, as WS locks and they looked horrible against the Giants in the NLCS and just got their asses whipped by them again this week.

    Will Cosart be a stud? I don’t know. He’s 21 and won’t be major league ready for a few years and he has actually regressed slightly this year in Clearwater.

    The Singleton move makes more sense. He’s been a dud in the experiment of trying to make him an OF and his only other options are being a DH in the AL or playing 1B and obviously the Phillies have put all their eggs in the Ryan Howard Easter Basket so essentially Singleton could never play in Philly because he had no position.

    The Phillies paid more than they had to but it is a good move for them because they needed a RH bat no question about it and Amaro would have been grilled and crucified in the Philly media for not making a move especially this week when Mongtomery said that the luxury cap threshold no longer mattered and that they would make any move that would best help the team.

    Barring any crazy injuries, I don’t see how the Phillies miss winning the WS.

  29. Bob Says:

    A team like the Sox might be willing to do just that. They will have to make some moves in the off-season or lose some talent via the Rule 5 draft. They could part with 2 bubble guys in order to lessen their potential logjam.
    The question is can Seattle afford to part with 2 starters with still 1/3 of the season left to go?

  30. JohnBowen Says:

    Lefty,

    Interesting analysis of Cosart and Singleton. I guess my response w.r.t Singleton is…is Pence really the best they can do, especially with another top-100 prospect and two other guys tacked on? Maybe he has no future with the Phillies, but that doesn’t mean he needs to become an Astro because a decent OF happens to be available.

    For me, a deadline deal involving this many good prospects should put a borderline team an extra kick to get into the playoffs. Like the Brewers in 2008 when they got Sabathia.

    Once you get to the playoffs, I contend that your odds of winning the World Series are basically 1/8. How often does the very best team actually win it all? Maybe like 1/5 or 1/6 of the time, but in a short enough span of games, anything can happen, and all the teams you play against are good. In 2006, the Cardinals had one pitcher, 1 hitter, and David freaking Eckstein, and they won it all.

    The point is, the Phillies have about a 99.997% chance of making the playoffs, and probably about a 75% shot at home field advantage throughout the playoffs with or without Pence. Pence takes a 100-win team, and maybe makes it a 102-win team. Once in the playoffs…well, if the Phillies don’t win, it won’t have anything to do with the difference of Hunter Pence over Domonic Brown.

    The Pence deal makes a little sense for Philly because Pence gets to contribute for two more years after the deal, where he can have a much more profound impact, and might be of major service if one of those pitchers gets hurt/leaves/retires or Utley misses another 5 months.

  31. JohnBowen Says:

    My roommate and I hammered out the math real quick.

    Based on Pence’s career RAR/g and what the Phillies have done this year, he increases the odds of the Phillies winning the World Series around 4%.

  32. Lefty33 Says:

    “is Pence really the best they can do, especially”

    For this year yes it is. The Phillies have become like the Yankees where a few years ago where they are going all in every year to win NOW because they know their window to actually win a WS is closing and that is what they have conditioned the bandwagon jumping fanbase to expect.

    “but that doesn’t mean he needs to become an Astro because a decent OF happens to be available”

    Well if he has no position to play on your team and if a guy that can help you win this year and next year at least presents itself then you make that move. Clearly Amaro has made the choice over and over that Howard is their guy and this move stays consistent to that.

    Take the known quantity over the 19 year old that may never offer anything.

    “Maybe like 1/5 or 1/6 of the time, but in a short enough span of games, anything can happen, and all the teams you play against are good. In 2006, the Cardinals had one pitcher, 1 hitter, and David freaking Eckstein, and they won it all.”

    But the Phillies are also positioning themselves to win next year as well and like I said earlier Amaro no doubt is smart enough to know that he has been given more resources than any other GM in team history by a mile and so far he has no ring to show for it.

    That won’t be tolerated forever.
    Getting there is nice but at some point you do need to actually win the whole thing.

    “Once in the playoffs…well, if the Phillies don’t win, it won’t have anything to do with the difference of Hunter Pence over Domonic Brown.”

    It’s possible that it could. It allows them to pull Ibanez in late inning situations and clearly Brown does not offer them at this point consistent offense in general let alone against LHP.

    The Phillies as a team suck against LHP and now if they, as an example, end up facing the Braves in the NLCS they actually have a bat that could possibly hit the LHP the Braves have in their pen versus the 5 and 2/3 scoreless those same lefties put up against the Phillies the last time the played.

    “The Pence deal makes a little sense for Philly because Pence gets to contribute for two more years after the deal, where he can have a much more profound impact, and might be of major service if one of those pitchers gets hurt/leaves/retires or Utley misses another 5 months.”

    But as of now Utley has played every game since the AS break and the Phillies are in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days and Charlie has said that he plans to play Utley every one of those games and so far Utley has looked healthy and great.

    Yes he does have a degenerative condition but who knows if that causes him any issues in five months or five years. You can only go with what you know and right now that is Utley looks great.

    As for the pitchers getting hurt, who knows? Always possible but you can’t live on speculation. As for one leaving, other than Oswalt I doubt that happens as Lee and Halladay are there for a bit and they will no doubt back up the Brinks truck to keep Hamels around using the money Ibanez and Lidge and maybe even Madson’s expiring contracts to keep him in Philly for a while.

    That would give them a front four of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley and that’s without a possible one year run from Oswalt.

    Like I said earlier, the deal was an overpay but it was an overpay that Amaro needs to do and it keeps the team as WS front runners for ‘11 and ‘12 at least and barring crazy injuries as a GM this is a deal that I doubt Amaro regrets and it will likely get them at least one ring out of it.

  33. brautigan Says:

    Pence is/was a better option than Jason Werth (especially considering their age). The Phillies are fine.

  34. JohnBowen Says:

    Going forward? Sure.

    But no way Pence surpasses the production that Werth put up the last three years.

    Not that that’s terribly relevant. Trading 2 blue chip prospects for Hunter Pence isn’t the most genius deal out there, but 126 million dollars for Jayson Werth has to be about the stupidest deal of all-time.

  35. Raul Says:

    It would be hilarious if after signing Cliff Lee and trading for Hunter Pence, the Phillies still failed to get to the World Series.

    I could see something like Greinke beating Halladay and Gallardo beating Lee…then having Hamels implode on after a 3-run homer to Prince Fielder in the 4th inning of Game 3 or something.

  36. Chuck Says:

    “Barring any crazy injuries, I don’t see how the Phillies miss winning the WS.”

    I’ve been saying the same thing since opening day.

    So, Houston initially says no to Singleton, Cosart and another player.

    Amaro ups the ante, throwing in Zeid instead of Joe NoName, AND still tosses in another body.

    Astros 1

    Phillies 0

    I like Singleton, he’s a 19 year old kid learning a new position and putting up similar numbers to a much more higher profile prospect who is also learning a new position, all the while playing in a much tougher league.

    In three years, when Singleton is ML ready, Brett Wallace will be arbitration eligible, and the Astros will ship him off to an AL team at the deadline who needs a DH bat for the stretch run in return for some kid who will never see the show.

    Astros win.

    Cosart?

    I’ve seen scouting reports on him which profile him anywhere from a potential #1 to a closer.

    That’s not a good thing.

    The Phillies were clearly pushing him this year, and overall has performed pretty well. Heading into this season he had pitched 96 innings in his career, he’s already at 108 with six weeks to go.

    His walk and strikeout rates have changed dramatically, both in the wrong direction, but in taking a cursory glance at his stats I’m comfortable blaming it on the increased workload and better competition.

    That said, the Phillies chose him to represent in the Future’s Game, so it ain’t all bad.

    I’ve been aware of Zeid for awhile..he was a college teammate of David Price and Pedro Alvarez at Vanderbilt and a native of my home state, Connecticut.

    He’s a six five righthander who is in his first experience at a level higher than A ball as a 24 year old.

    I think the Phillies really screwed him..they converted him to a reliever last year and he was the MVP of the South Atlantic League playoffs for champion Lakewood.

    His average fastball went from 92 to 96 after he went to the pen, and his slider went from average to plus, and his change from below average to a tick above.

    He pitched well in the Arizona Fall League, so much so the Phils promoted him to AA Reading.

    Problem is, they had another starter turned closer already there, Phillippe Aumont, who they got in the Cliff Lee deal with Seattle.

    So, now he’s basically a swing man (ten starts, eleven relief appearances) in Double A.

    Not something you want on your resume’.

    So, while the Phils clearly were accelerating the development of Cosart and Aumont, Zeid had been relegated from prospect to afterthought in less than a year.

    Here’s a bet for you..Zeid pitches in Houston before Cosart.

    Lefty @#28, and John at #30..great comments, and I completely agree on all points.

    The ten regular users of Dugout Central know more baseball than the collective population of Bleacher Report.

  37. Chuck Says:

    “My roommate and I hammered out the math real quick.”

    Were you hammered when you did it?

    Sorry, you put the ball on the tee, all I did was find the fairway.

    :)

  38. Chuck Says:

    Sorry, simultaneous posting going on..add #32 to the list.

  39. JohnBowen Says:

    @37, fair enough.

    “The ten regular users of Dugout Central know more baseball than the collective population of Bleacher Report.”

    Aren’t you, me, and Lefty part of that collective population though?

  40. Chuck Says:

    “Aren’t you, me, and Lefty part of that collective population though?”

    Combined, the number of articles we have collectively written is twelve.

    Speaking only for Lefty, it is our collective responsiblity to ridicule and embarrass those who compare Jesus Montero to Frank Thomas and who don’t believe steriods helped performance, among others.

    So, no, while I have an account at Bleacher Report, I don’t consider myself “part of the population”.

  41. Chuck Says:

    “Speaking only for Lefty, it is our collective responsiblity to ridicule and embarrass those who compare Jesus Montero to Frank Thomas and who don’t believe steriods helped performance, among others.”

    And those who believe Pete Rose should be in the HOF.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/779297-mlb-hall-of-fame-a-starting-lineup-of-snubs-who-deserve-enshrinement

  42. JohnBowen Says:

    “Combined, the number of articles we have collectively written is twelve.”

    Haha. You’re welcome.

    I hear ya.

    There’s a lot of stupid people on Bleacher Report, but there’s a ton of people writing on there, period. Some of them have interesting stuff to say (whether or not I’m one of them is another discussion :D ) and it’s not like we all think in lock-step.

  43. JohnBowen Says:

    “And those who believe Pete Rose should be in the HOF.”

    Ha, I was wondering when you’d see that.

    Guess who’s in LF?

  44. Chuck Says:

    Knowing when you truly suck.

    You play for the worst offensive team in baseball and end up getting DFA’d.

    Bye, bye, Jack Cust.

  45. Chuck Says:

    “Guess who’s in LF?”

    Not worth the effort.

    Fifty years from now, chances are better Ted Williams gets reincarnated than Tim Raines does of being in the HOF.

    Ship sailed.

  46. JohnBowen Says:

    “Ship sailed.”

    Keep telling yourself that.

    He’s gained 15% in 2 years.

    He’s got 11 years to make up 38%.

    That’s less than 3%/year.

  47. Chuck Says:

    “He’s gained 15% in 2 years.”

    In two of the worst election years in history.

    You would have gained ten percent.

    Seriously, look at the ballots after next year.

    Not even counting the steriod guys.

    Raines doesn’t get in next year, he never gets in.

    Big picture, John, big picture.

    It took me a long time to realize Don Mattingly wasn’t really a solid HOF candidate.

    His injuries and inability to walk away when he wasn’t his old self cost him votes…just like it has with Raines.

    Raines plays fifteen years, he’s probably in now, he played 23 and will never get in.

    Those last eight years or so as a paycheck collector will hurt him more than anything else.

    Whether you agree or disagree isn’t even relevant.

    Santo has rightfully been kept out for forty years, and he’s a better candidate than Raines.

    Sorry, but it is what it is.

  48. JohnBowen Says:

    “Raines plays fifteen years, he’s probably in now”

    That should really tell you something.

  49. Raul Says:

    Using 250 Plate Appearances as a minimum,

    Jorge Posada ranks 10th out of 12th in OPS among Designated Hitters with a robust .703 — just above Jack Cust and Adam Dunn.

    True Yankee fasho….fasho.

    Those 12 Designated Hitters post a composite slash line of .267/.344/.414 and average $8,341,667 in salary.

    There was 1 player that I could find that posted similar slash stats this season.
    His name is Wilson Betemit, who is hitting .279/.339/.410.

    Wilson Betemit, ladies and gentlemen, is your typical Designated Hitter.

    Maybe it’s time to get rid of this position after all.

  50. Chuck Says:

    “That should really tell you something.”

    It does..question being, does it tell YOU anything?

  51. Chuck Says:

    “Jorge Posada ranks 10th out of 12th in OPS among Designated Hitters with a robust .703 — just above Jack Cust and Adam Dunn.”

    The same Jack Cust who got DFA’d yesterday and Adam Dunn who the Sox are trying to get rid of.

    I understand fifteen years with the same team and respecting a veteran, but no way should Jorge Posada be collecting a ML paycheck.

    Derek Jeter is his best friend…Derek Jeter carries more weight with the Yankees since any player arguably since Mantle.

    Jorge Posada didn’t get released in May because of Derek Jeter.

    I’m convinced Jeter saved his job.

  52. Raul Says:

    If A-Rod pulled that Posada crap….they’d still be talking about it.

  53. JohnBowen Says:

    “Maybe it’s time to get rid of this position after all.”

    The reason to get rid of it is that it’s not really baseball, plain and simple.

    Maybe Wilson Betemit is your typical DH, but if not for those DH’s, that .279/.344/.414 would become like .130/.130/.130.

    Personally, I like NL ball better. Dip in quality of 1/9 of the hitters is worth it for the strategy involved.

  54. Raul Says:

    Wow.

    Chris Dickerson is in the lineup today against Baltimore.
    Dickerson, prior to today’s game has just 5 at-bats in July.

    I understand he’s a bench player, but Girardi, you’re an asshole.
    5 at bats?

  55. JohnBowen Says:

    “Jorge Posada didn’t get released in May because of Derek Jeter.
    I’m convinced Jeter saved his job.”

    Those overpaid 80 OPS+ guys really have to stick together.

  56. Raul Says:

    Didn’t realize the Yankees and Orioles play a doubleheader.

    The very first game I ever went to was a doubleheader between the Yankees and Cleveland and we stayed for both games.

    I wish teams would still let you do that.

  57. Chuck Says:

    “Those overpaid 80 OPS+ guys really have to stick together.”

    Yuniesky Betancourt, Casey McGeehee, Carlos Gomez…

    And before you try and come up with reply, understand if you’re OPS+ is less than 80 and you’re making more than the major league minumum, you’re overpaid.

  58. JohnBowen Says:

    I actually went to a Yankees-A’s double header in 1998.

    I was 9, which would have put my younger siblings at 7 and 5, so we left part way through the second game.

    As I recall, Chuck Knoblauch had a homer. That’s also when I learned that Rickey Henderson, this guy I had baseball cards of, was still active.

  59. Raul Says:

    In Jeter’s defense (somewhat, anyway) he is having a decent offensive July – .293/.344/.463

  60. JohnBowen Says:

    “Yuniesky Betancourt, Casey McGeehee, Carlos Gomez”

    Yeah, they suck too.

    Combined Salary: 6 million dollars.

    Or about what Jeter gets paid in 2 months.

  61. Raul Says:

    Nice @ John!

    That doubleheader against Cleveland, Mike Stanley hit 3 homers…and NY still lost. I forget but I think Kenny Lofton killed us that day.

    Then in Game 2, Darryl Strawberry hit a home run that I still remember. Holy crap the sound when he made contact was unlike anything I’ve ever heard.

    Mike Stanton hits like that. You don’t even have to see it. You just hear it.

  62. JohnBowen Says:

    Reading over the game log:

    Darryl Strawberry had a pinch hit grand slam…that must have been after I left.

    Tim Raines went 4/5 in game 2 of that double header.

    That must be where I get it.

    I distinctly remember Knoblauch’s HR, but I had forgotten that he led off the game with it.

    On TV, I had never appreciated just how bizarre his stance was, but from the seats on the first base side, you could really see it.

    Bat was basically parallel to the ground.

  63. Chuck Says:

    My first game was at old Yankee Stadium..Bat Day double header against the Kansas City Athletics in July, 1967.

    First and only time I saw Mickey Mantle play in person.

    One of the best days of my life, and I remember it like it was yesterday, but seeing Mantle trumps everything.

    We sat in the lower right field stands, halfway between first base and the foul pole.

    Mantle hit a double to right center that one hopped the wall, if he pulled it it was a homer.

    I have goose bumps on my arms typing this.

    I was ten.

  64. Raul Says:

    Jose Bautista has an OPS+ of 202.

    Nobody has broken the 200-point barrier since Barry Bonds in 2004.
    Yet I’m not quite sure that Bautista is the front runner for the AL MVP.

    No American League player has broken the 200 OPS+ mark since Frank Thomas in 1994, and no one has done it over a full season in the AL since Mickey Mantle in 1961.

  65. Raul Says:

    It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that Mantle was like God in New York.

  66. JohnBowen Says:

    “Yet I’m not quite sure that Bautista is the front runner for the AL MVP.”

    Depends on what your definition is of MVP, really.

    If you think he has to come from a playoff team, or at least contender…well, he’s SOL there.

    But if it’s purely statistical, I can’t imagine voting for anyone besides Bautista.

  67. Chuck Says:

    Sunday, July 30th

    Game 1

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA196707301.shtml

    Game 2

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA196707302.shtml

    I came from a town with about 7500 people.

    There were 50,013 at the games.

    I didn’t think that many people lived in the world.

  68. Chuck Says:

    John..approve comment #67 please.

  69. JohnBowen Says:

    I’ve been going to games all my life, so I can’t distinctly recall my first one. Hell, I was probably an infant. I saw Robin Young and Paul Molitor play ball and didn’t even know it.

    I do remember my first game where it was just me and my dad. Scott Karl went the distance and Dave Nilsson hit a couple HR. Jeromy Burnitz (and don’t ask me how I remember this) took ball 3 and walked to first base before being called back. Brewers over Yankees, I think 4-0.

    The losing pitcher?

    Hideki Irabu.

  70. Raul Says:

    Wow.

  71. JohnBowen Says:

    My bad, final score was 6-2.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIL/MIL199707200.shtml

  72. Raul Says:

    You know what I love about Chuck’s post of the doubleheader?

    The Time of Game.

    2:24 and 2:28.

    Or about what it takes the Yankees and Red Sox to play 11 innings.

  73. Chuck Says:

    Rafael Furcal is a Cardinal.

    Nilsson never had a multi homer game against the Yankees, and had one career HR off Irabu;

    July 20, 1997

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA196707302.shtml

  74. Raul Says:

    The Tigers called up Jacob Turner to start today.
    When the hell did this happen?

  75. JohnBowen Says:

    My bad again.

    He had a fifth inning double. I must be confusing memories.

    Now that I think about it, the game I’m probably thinking of was in 1999 on my fourth grade trip to County Stadium. Cuz I distinctly remember Nilsson having two homers in that game, and hitting a long fly out on what would have been his third.

  76. Chuck Says:

    I actually saw Jeromy Burnitz cry on a baseball field.

    During the 1992 AFL playoffs, Burnitz grounded to second and threw his bat and ran about fifteen feet and stopped. Second baseman booted the ball and threw Burnitz out by a mile.

    Jerry Royster was the manager and met Burnitz about five feet in front of the dugout and ripped him a new one.

    There were actually families sitting behind the dugout that got up and moved because of the language.

    I thought Royster would pop a vein.

    Burnitz was my buddy Rico Brogna’s roommate that year so I got to hang around him alot..he really was an asshole.

  77. Chuck Says:

    “The Tigers called up Jacob Turner to start today.
    When the hell did this happen?”

    Um,..today.

  78. Bob Says:

    Two days ago I think.

  79. Chuck Says:

    June 3, 1999 vs. the Astros.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIL/MIL199906030.shtml

  80. Cameron Says:

    If you ever wanna understand how I can get jaded about the shit performance of the Royals, THIS was my first game.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA199809220.shtml

    Surprisingly enough? The only game I lasted all 9 innings. I get terrible heat sickness, so I can pretty much only go to night games.

  81. Chuck Says:

    Luis Gonzalez..LOL.

  82. JohnBowen Says:

    “Burnitz was my buddy Rico Brogna’s roommate that year so I got to hang around him alot..he really was an asshole.”

    Haha, really?

    I stood next to Burny for the National Anthem during the sunday game of a series against the Cardinals in ‘98.

    Sears Major League Moment.

    I thought he was a cool dude, but I spent all of 2 minutes with him, plus, it was a MLB ballplayer and I was 9. Hard to complain.

    I’ve always loved him as a ballplayer…and I think the chewing out Royster gave him had an impact. I never once saw Burnitz loaf in Milwaukee.

  83. Raul Says:

    Holy crap.

    I haven’t seen the names Deivi Cruz or Carlos Febles in forever.

    What’s next?
    Buddy Groom?

  84. Cameron Says:

    Pre-juice Gonzalez, Chuck. And Juan Encarnacion. I forgot he even existed.

  85. Chuck Says:

    Haha..we bust on Betancourt and Chris Getz, and Cameron’s first game he saw Carlos Febles.

    Way to set your expectations low, buddy.

  86. Cameron Says:

    Hearing about the national anthems during ballgames reminds me of a great quote from Jim Leyland.

    “I knew it was gonna be a long season when one of my players turned to me during the national anthem and said, ‘I always have a bad game when I hear this song’.”

  87. Raul Says:

    1990-1998 Luis Gonzalez:

    .268/.341/.432
    107 homers

    1999-2004 Luis Gonzalez:

    .307/.401/.556
    185 homers

    ————

    2004-2009 Jose Bautista:

    .238/.329/.400
    59 homers

    2010-2011 Jose Bautista:

    .286/.411/.646
    85 homers

    ————

    I’m sure they’re both totally clean though.

  88. Chuck Says:

    Burnitz may have been the most insecure “good” player I’ve ever seen.

    He always needed justification for everything.

    Maybe you’re right, John, the ass chewing(s) he got in the minor leagues made him a good player.

    He was always asking questions, but in a whiny, almost woman-like way.

    “Did I do good, really, no, tell me the truth, how did I do, come on, don’t lie, tell me honestly, do I look fat in this dress, how was my throw, am I wearing too much makeup…”

    You should have heard him in the car on the way back from the park.

    I remember once Burnitz had a tough game, and Brogna told him he’d give him $100 if he didn’t talk the whole ride home.

    Their apartment complex was maybe fifteen miles from the park, but he told me to stop and get take-out on the way back, and to make him suffer. So I took a detour back, pretending to get lost. I think the 20 minute ride took 45, and he said nothing.

    We pulled into the parking lot, and Burnitz was talking before his foot hit the ground, Brogna pulled his wallet out and handed him a c-note.

    Funny as shit.

  89. Raul Says:

    LOL @ that Burnitz story.

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