Phillies Should Consider Kevin Youkilis to Solve Third Base Concerns

by Chuck

By: Bob Owens

Shortly after the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the playoffs, Charlie Manuel said the Phillies need to upgrade at 3rd base.

Despite making just the second All-Star appearance of his fourteen year career, incumbent Placido Polanco suffered through an injury plagued season which saw him appear in just 122 games.

After hearing Manuel’s comment, my mind immediately turned to Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis.

And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense, considering the injury to Ryan Howard, and the ability of Youkilis to play first base as well as third.  A gold glove winner at first, last year “Youk” led all American League third basemen in fielding percentage at .967.

Furthermore he has shown he can handle the East Coast media and fans, which can be a rather difficult task, and considering Citizens Bank Park is hitter-friendly, there is no reason to think he cannot maintain his career on-base % .391. He has one more year left on his contract, although there is a team option for 2013 for 14 million dollars, or a 1.25 million buyout.

Certainly a team like the Phillies can afford this.

Now some of you may ask why the Sox would be willing to part with a guy like Youkilis, who was a member of both their 2004 and 2007 World Championship teams.

First off, he himself mentioned in a late-year interview that he wants to move closer to his Cincinnati home, where his parents live, and that he would like to play in the National League.

Moreover, the Sox have one of the better third base prospects in the game with Will Middlebrooks, who Baseball America recently named as the top infield prospect in the Double A Eastern League and is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League.

Middlebrooks isn’t quite ready for a full time role in Boston, but with a decent first half at Triple A Pawtucket could find himself playing a similar role to what Jed Lowrie did during his rookie year, playing everyday as a fill-in for the injured Mike Lowell.

Also, while management sided with him years ago in a feud he had with former teammate Manny Ramirez, his intensity may have gotten the better of him when he criticized Jacoby Ellsbury last season during his unwillingness to remain with the team while he recovered from his rib injury.

And after coming off a tremendous year, and displaying a tremendous work ethic even in September, the new regime of the Sox may want Ellsbury to be more vocal.   Ridding the clubhouse of Youkilis may make it easier for Ellsbury to emerge as a leader in what should be a season of huge personal changes to their club. Because of these factors, Boston will not hold out for a king’s ransom, perhaps a major league player and/or one or two interesting prospects.

In other words,  not an elite return for what you’d expect.

Kevin Youkilis became a household name for many baseball fans in 2003 when Moneyball author Michael Lewis called him the “Greek God of Walks.” And he will go down as one the heroes of their championships. But he himself acknowledged that his days with Boston are numbered, and that he hopes to play someday for the Reds, the team he rooted for as a child.

I hope so too, although the penultimate chapter should include a stint in Philadelphia, which at the very least gets him 310 miles closer.

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426 Responses to “Phillies Should Consider Kevin Youkilis to Solve Third Base Concerns”

  1. Cameron Says:

    Funny they call Youkilis the Greek God of walks. He’s largely Polish.

    Honestly, it’s a fit, but I just don’t see it happening.

  2. Jim Says:

    Youk has averaged only 119 games per over the last 3 seasons and has played in only one more game than JD Drew over that period so he’s hardly and iron man to replace Polanco.

    For the Sox, Middlebrooks is at least a season away if not 2 and Lowry’s defense would be horrible, particularly teamed with Scutaro since Inglesias isn’t ready. But Youk could be available as part of a shake up.

  3. Cameron Says:

    My bad, Romanian.

    And Jewish. Very Jewish.

  4. Jim Says:

    Actually a Polish Jew.

  5. Chuck Says:

    I was checking the list of Phillies minor leaguers and I’m not exaggerating when I say there isn’t ONE projectible third baseman in the whole organization.

    I read something similar to what Bob did regarding Manuel’s comments, that they want to use Polanco as a health insurance policy for Chase Utley and as a SS option in the event Rollins goes elsewhere.

    Probably not their best option, but considering they have no internal options, replacing either Polanco or Rollins would have to be external.

    Youkilis’ contract expires this year, with an option for 2013, as is the case with Polanco.

    I was thinking a Youkilis for Blanton swap (not a one for one), but Blanton’s a free agent after 2012 as well, so that’s out.

    As intriguing an idea as it is, I don’t see a scenario where Boston and Philly match up trade wise.

    Besides, the Reds need a third baseman anyway..why not just trade him there, or wait a year and sign as a free agent?

  6. Cameron Says:

    “As intriguing an idea as it is, I don’t see a scenario where Boston and Philly match up trade wise.”

    REALLY hate to say it as he’s one of my favoirte players… But Hunter Pence. You could pretty much one-for-one those two. Philly gets a third baseman and a fill-in first baseman and they can pick up CO help in the free agent market. The market’s overloaded with them, but not anyone of Pence’s caliber.

  7. Chuck Says:

    #6

    “…Sorry, I have a daily jackass quota I need to fill.”

    If your computer had “self-destruct on stupid” button, it would have blown up when you wrote that comment.

  8. Cameron Says:

    Hear me out, man. JD Drew’s out of Boston and there’s pretty much no internal replacements in right field there. Who’s really there, Kalish? Reddick?

    Philly has no projectable 3B, Boston has no projectable RF.

  9. Chuck Says:

    “You could pretty much one-for-one those two.”

    Not in a million years.

  10. Cameron Says:

    Yeah… Philly’s giving up too much.

  11. Chuck Says:

    Now you got it, Grasshopper.

  12. Cameron Says:

    Seemed like it checked out at first until I remembered that Pence plays about 30 or 40 more games than Youk a year. Roughly the same production (Pence has a slight edge in power and contact, but that might have been this year’s totals jacking his numbers up), but Pence is cheaper and younger.

  13. Cameron Says:

    And now, Sean Connery in a wedding dress.

    http://pics.blameitonthevoices.com/092011/small_sean%20connery%20wedding%20dress.jpg

  14. Chuck Says:

    First homer of the season for Harper, an opposite field shot to left off a lefty.

  15. John Says:

    I was all over the Phillies for picking up Pence, but let’s look at the facts here, Cam:

    1) Pence is an awesome teammate, Youkilis is an asshole.
    2) Pence is 28, Youk is 32
    3) From 2008-2011, Pence has missed all of 22 games. Youkilis missed 42 this year.
    4) Both are under team control for two years, but Youk costs 25 million in that time compared to, oh, probably 15-18 for Pence.

  16. Cameron Says:

    I know, it seemed like a good idea when I was just thinking about the production levels. Then everything else went “Wait…”

  17. John Says:

    If you could grab Youkilis from like 3 years ago…yeah.

    But now? I would say the tables have turned.

  18. Cameron Says:

    Guy’s still a great player, but injuries are starting to pile up now.

  19. Lefty33 Says:

    “Certainly a team like the Phillies can afford this.”

    Like Chuck already said the Phillies have zero in their system at 3B or aside of Galvis really anywhere in the infield and they have shown zero interest in going over the luxury tax threshold hence why they insisted on Wade throwing in cash along with Pence for that deal to happen.

    So with that in mind it sets the Phillies up for a very interesting scenario in ‘12 when, assuming they buyout Oswalt and Lidge, they are on the hook for 112 million dollars to 9 players.

    Amaro has already said he assumes payroll is going to be the same next year as this year so that puts them in the 175 million dollar range when they still have 16 roster spots not under contract next year and they still need to go through arbitration with Hamels, Kendrick and Pence which could set them back around 27 million dollars putting the team around 137 or 138 for 12 players.

    With the need to sign Rollins still looming and the need to go out and likely get a closer be it Madson or someone from the outside those two alone could put them at 160 for 14 guys.

    That still leaves 11 roster spots to get filled and that does not even come close leaving enough money to pay a guy like Youk.

    Add to that Youk’s poor conditioning which has led him to play fewer games than Polanco had over the past three years and unless Amaro decides to blow things up in a major way and not keep the core of the team together bringing a guy like Youk to Philly is impossible.

  20. Cameron Says:

    “Without high payrolls, GMs Jon Daniels and John Mozeliak built winners through forethought and bold moves.”

    …BULLSHIT! The Rangers had $103MM and the Cardinals had $126MM. That’s PLENTY of money to build a contender.

  21. Lefty33 Says:

    “4) Both are under team control for two years, but Youk costs 25 million in that time compared to, oh, probably 15-18 for Pence.”

    You’re being a bit short on Pence with 15-18 over the next two years.

    He made 6.9 alone this year and if he puts up another year in ‘12 similar to his past four I can’t imagine his next two years costing Philly less than 19-24.

    While that may seem small, to a team that is committed to not going over the cap threshold it is huge when they will be again flirting with whatever the cap number for next year is.

  22. Lefty33 Says:

    “Probably not their best option, but considering they have no internal options, replacing either Polanco or Rollins would have to be external.”

    There does seem to be a growing sentiment that Galvis will get a shot at making the team next year especially if Rollins leaves.

    If Rollins were to go they would miss nothing on defense with Galvis. The issue is obviously could he hit the same way he did last year in general.

    Personally if money and tax thresholds did not apply I think the idea of Polanco taking over the Valdez/Martinez role of infield sub would be a great idea as the Phillies bench this year sucked and Polanco would actually give them a bat that could make decent contact off the bench while physically he has missed 30 games ‘10 and 40 games this past year and I just can’t see Philly putting their trust in a 36 year old injury prone 3B with Valdez and Martinez again on the bench when they failed this year because of a lack of offense production.

    I would love to see them go after Cuddyer. But without Amaro moving a piece of the core I can’t see that happening because they just don’t seem to have the payroll flexibility without making major changes and I just don’t see him having the stones to do that to a veteran team with a veteran manager.

  23. Cameron Says:

    So… If Texas wins the Series, how big a jackass does Cliff Lee feel like?

  24. Chuck Says:

    Rangers in six.

    The only chance I see the Cardinals having is if Albert somehow manages to go 20-20 and there’s about a dozen rainouts so Chris Carpenter can get four starts.

  25. Raul Says:

    The Boston Red Sox won’t turn into the Seattle Mariners any time soon, but Adrian Gonzalez left a bad Padres team to come to Boston, and it looks like Boston might be unloading players already. I have to imagine he isn’t happy about the situation he is in.

    Ortiz may not be back, Ellsbury is sure to regress and if they lose Youkilis, that team’s got nothing.

  26. Lefty33 Says:

    You figure that the Red Sox would shake things up considering that they are obviously going to be changing directions organizationally with a new GM and manager.

    For ‘12 they are about as screwed as Philly is because they are currently on the hook for 127 million dollars to 11 guys.

    BUT the difference is that some of the contracts that they are stuck with look just look autrocious as this point.

    Crawford too much/too long

    Beckett 17.0 ‘12-’14

    Lackey 15.95 ‘12-’14

    Dice K 10.3 ‘12

    Jenks 6.0 ‘12

    I don’t see a lot of ROI there.

    Plus they have arbitration eligible guys this year with:

    Bard, Lowrie, Salty, Albers, and Ellsbury

    No matter what happens clearly they are going to be turning over a good part of the roster for next year and assuming the Yankees don’t screw it up, fingers crossed, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t win the AL East again next year.

  27. brautigan Says:

    Adrian Gonzalez carried the Padres for a couple of seasons. He can carry the Red Sox.

    Depending on what Tampa Bay does in the off season, it is quite possible the Red Sox finish 3rd again in their division.

  28. Raul Says:

    I was stunned that Baltimore didn’t make more noise in that division in 2011.

    But they have the talent to contend for a Wild Card some day if they can get their guys to play to their potential.

    Markakis, Matusz, Britton, Jones and Wieters all have yet to really play up to their talents.

    I really see no reason why Baltimore couldn’t leapfrog Toronto. Well, except for the whole Mark Reynolds/Derrek Lee thing. That really didn’t pan out. Frankly I’m not sure if they are held back by some off years, or if the coaching staff stunted development through incompetency.

  29. Bob Says:

    I am rooting for Nolan Ryan and the Rangers myself.

  30. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think Boston will have nothing, but they’ll experience some slides back. On the other hand, I fully expect Carl Crawford to be 2012 Comeback of the Year. Guy had a bad season, guy knows he had a bad season, and he wants to fix it. He was one of the best at his position before and he’ll find a way to get himself back up to par.

    Expect… A low-90s win total, but not enough to compete.

  31. Bob Says:

    Chuck, perhaps the Sox should trade Youkilis to the Reds directly.

  32. Raul Says:

    Born today:

    Michael Young
    Jose Bautista
    Rajai Davis
    JA Happ
    Daniel Descalso
    Jordan Lyles
    Tim Belcher
    Keith Foulke
    Joe McEwing (which is who I think of when someone mentions Jacoby Ellsbury).
    Dave Veres
    Mark Davis
    Sandy Alomar Sr.

  33. Cameron Says:

    Lot of stock is being put into whether or not Yu Darvish will go to the posting system. …This guy has the chance to beat Nomo for best Japanese pitcher in the majors. It’ll take a metric fuckload of money to win the bidding, but I like the guy’s chances. 24 years old, never posted an ERA higher than 1.88, 200 strikeout guy.

    Japan may be minor league competition, but you gotta admit, if a guy posted ERAs in the 1.75 range and about 200 Ks a year for four seasons in the minors, that’s a hell of a prospect.

  34. Bob Says:

    I hope the Sox make a play for him.

  35. Cameron Says:

    The two teams I’ve heard considering making strong pushes are AL East teams, but they’re Toronto and New York.

    I also heard KC has an outside interest, but I’m not holding my breath.

  36. Bob Says:

    I have heard/read about 10-12 teams.

  37. Chuck Says:

    “I hope the Sox make a play for him.”

    Based on the Sox’ previous experiences with Japanese pitchers, I’d say probably not.

    Besides, they already have two stiffs making $15 million on their roster, why add another?

  38. Cameron Says:

    Okajima wasn’t that bad an investment actually. But the Matsuzaka overpay may scare them off. If it was just the contract, it’d be fine, but after figuring in the posting fee, it wasn’t worth it.

  39. Raul Says:

    The Yankees are involved in every rumor.

    “Yankees interested in regenerating Ted Williams from DNA in cryogenically frozen head; Red Sox, Twins object…” wouldn’t surprise me as a NY Post headline at this point.

  40. Cameron Says:

    When you have a free agent budget that big, you can afford to do some crazy shit.

  41. Bob Says:

    From what I have read, the big difference in Japan vs North American baseball is that the balls are smaller in Japan, and Dice-K has small fingers, and the change made it difficult for him to throw his infamous gyroball.
    Darvish has long fingers and a bigger hand to grip the ball, so in theory, he should have fewer problems. Furtermore, I would hope one mistake is not going to keep the Sox from being aggressive in Japan.

  42. Cameron Says:

    There’s beinga ggressive, and then there’s posting over 50 million dollars just to sign a guy to a contract worth another 52 million dollars.

    In short, he basically signed a 6 year, 103 million dollar contract. Not worth it.

  43. Chuck Says:

    Well, Japanese men on average are smaller than in the US, so it only makes sense that they would have smaller balls.

  44. Cameron Says:

    *rimshot*

  45. Raul Says:

    Dice-K’s problem was always with pitch selection, in my opinion.

    He throws a mid-90s fastball and good movement. But he’s always behind hitters because of his love with breaking pitches and it’s crap.

    Go ahead and look at his numbers. I’ll bet Cameron’s 89-cent hot dogs that Dice-K walks a bunch of batters but otherwise rarely gets hit.

    He doesn’t really need to do a damn thing besides, fastball-fastball-wastepitch-fastball for 5 innings before he even thinks about going to a 3rd pitch.

    Instead he’s always trying to loop a crappy curveball inside to lefthanders in the 2nd inning. He’s an idiot.

  46. brautigan Says:

    Not only are the balls smaller, they are tighter, therefore, you can throw harder than you can with an American baseball. So, if you’re going to sign a Japanese pitcher, expect lower results. Or in other words, lower your expectations.

  47. Cameron Says:

    I stopped buying the hot dogs, actually. I switched to a cheaper grocery store so I don’t need to buy those to pad my meals in between food with taste.

    …Now you can make fun of me for having a freezer full of Tyson chicken breast patties.

  48. Raul Says:

    You realize that Chuck wouldn’t feed the stuff in your fridge to his dog, right Cam?

    LOL

  49. Cameron Says:

    That’s because he has a job and can afford real food. …And can cook.

  50. brautigan Says:

    Cam may not make his 30th birthday at this rate.

  51. Raul Says:

    He’s a Royals fan.
    They’ve got the life span of a Roman gladiator.

    It’s a miracle he’s over 16.

    That team fielded Angel Berroa, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jimmy Gobble.
    I mean, come on…

  52. Cameron Says:

    And Gil Meche making 55 million dollars, Matt Stairs as an everyday player, and rotations with such luminary aces as Jeff Suppan and Chad Durbin. Mediocrity? What’s that?

  53. Raul Says:

    The money wasn’t really right but I think Gil Meche was a talented pitcher.

  54. Cameron Says:

    In Seattle? Yes. In KC, he blew donkey balls.

  55. Cameron Says:

    Nice guy though, he’s my shrink’s neighbor.

  56. Cameron Says:

    Scotty McCreery started to sing and the mic wasn’t on. …Smooth.

  57. brautigan Says:

    Cards 1, Rangers 0.

    Go Cardinals!

  58. Mike Felber Says:

    Freegan Cam. I buy some food, & get much that is thrown out. Sometimes it is nice & wrapped up, even gourmet stuff, other times loose fruit, bread, dairy…most of my furniture, much clothes, reclaimed from street. Just watch for bed bugs, but I have never had a problem. Also there are swap meets at places from bars to churches & yoga centers where you can take & leave what you like, clothes, books, music, household stuff, electronics. Admittedly harder to do when not in an urban area. But in NYC, you can go to areas at right time & build a business by diligently collecting & when necessary refurbishing the often high quality furniture thrown out.

    Smaller denser balls can be thrown faster? Must be to a point,a gof ball is too small to toss as fast.

  59. Cameron Says:

    Oh there’s all sorts of fun ways to get free shit. My favorite method’s to salvage houses slated for demolition.

    …Sure it’s illegal, but it’s the kind of illegal no one cares about.

  60. Chuck Says:

    Happy 80th birthday, Mickey Mantle.

  61. Raul Says:

    Mantle was from Oklahoma and died in Texas.

    I’m pretty sure that’s a crime.

  62. brautigan Says:

    Of the thousands of ball players I have met over the years, only one caused me to stammer like an idiot. I had this great monologue I wanted to say to him and I thoughtfully had it planned. So when the moment arrived, and this great ballplayer signed my baseball, all I could manage to do was stutter the following:

    “Ttttthhhhhhhhhanks, Mr. Mantle”.

    I sounded like Simple Jack from “Tropic Thunder”.

  63. Raul Says:

    LOL Braut.

    Mantle could never understand why people loved him so much. He just saw himself as a baseball player. I read that it took him years before he could come to grips with it.

  64. Raul Says:

    Mantle played in an era before division series so all his postseason numbers were from the World Series.

    A line of .257/.374/.535 might not seem super impressive to some. But Mantle had 18 homers and 40 RBI in the World Series during his career. The 18 homers is still the all-time record. I’m not sure about the RBI.

    To appease John a bit…if you gave out the MVP to the League Leader in WAR, Mickey Mantle would have won the award 6 times.

  65. brautigan Says:

    I remember those “I want my Mapo” ads Mantle did. He couldn’t act, but he was a natural at selling stuff.

  66. Chuck Says:

    I saw Mantle play once in person.

    We sat in the lower RF stands halfway between the dugout and foul pole, and Mantle doubled off the RF wall, missed a homer by a foot.

    He might as well have been the only player on the field.

  67. Cameron Says:

    So, Theo Epstein will not be GM of the Cubs when he gets there. I knew he wouldn’t strictly be GM, but I figured he’d get another title on top of it. Theo Epstein will be named President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. The new GM will be incumbent Padres GM and former Theo Epstein aide Jed Hoyer.

  68. Chuck Says:

    That was already a given, Cam.

  69. Cameron Says:

    Well I thought Theo was gonna be like MacPhail in Baltimore, where he has an executive title and was still acting GM. I knew Theo wanted to bring along some buddies, but I thought they’d be as executives, not the GM.

  70. Raul Says:

    Pretty good seats, Chuck.

    Back in those days they must have cost you an astronomical….8 dollars.

  71. Chuck Says:

    I don’t know, I was ten.

    We were probably closer to the foul poul than the dugout, but, yeah, they were pretty good.

    Original Yankee Stadium, too, with the flag pole and monuments on the field and a cab ride to the CF wall from home.

  72. brautigan Says:

    When I was at the 2008 futures game, I went and stood in the spot where Roger Maris hit his 61st homerun. That was pretty cool.

    I was sad when Mantle passed away, but I cried like a baby when Roger Maris died in 1985. My wife walked into the room (we weren’t married at the time, but were a year later) and saw me crying, looked up at Sportscenter and knew what was wrong without asking. She turned around and left without saying a word. Man, that was a sad day.

    I have a scrapbook from when I was 10 years old and in Cub Scouts. In it is a picture of Roger Maris and underneath it in my 10 year old hand writing it says “Roger Maris, my hero”.

    That pretty much says it all. I damn near cried again standing in that spot.

  73. Chuck Says:

    Well, I won’t say I cried, but, yeah, Braut, I know what you mean.

    I was at the Old-Timers game when he came back after all those years and I’ve never heard noise like that, before or since.

    It’s unfortunate he was as stubborn as he was, and it’s more unfortunate that George was such an asshole (sorry, didn’t mean to swear).

    We hear all this crap about “true Yankee” and all that, but the way the fans, and to an extent the team, treated him, even when he was playing, is disgraceful.

    I’m almost glad I’m not old enough to remember him as a player.

  74. Raul Says:

    Eric Karros looks like a soulless douchebag.

    I hope Albert Pujols leaves St. Louis.

  75. Cameron Says:

    I feel sorry for Joe Buck. Must be tough having to share your booth with a zombie.

  76. Chuck Says:

    If you don’t like Tim McCarver it’s because you don’t understand him.

    Does he talk too much?

    Yep.

    Last year, I think it was Game 1 or 2, the game Hamels pitched.

    McCarver figured out the Phillies signs after five pitches.

    That’s ridiculous.

    There isn’t ONE analyst out there who knows the game better than McCarver.

    Stop listening to bloggers..stop listening to Law or Olney and start listening to what McCarver says.

    Rosenthal was just on and mentioned he had talked to Josh Hamilton before the game about his left groin injury and how he was coping. Hamilton told him he was trying to move everything from his lower body to his upper body.

    McCarver then went on to explain how hitters hit and how that was difficult for someone to make that change.

    99.999999% of everyone who dislikes McCarver never heard a word of what he said.

    All they got was, “blah, blah, blah, I’m Tim McCarver, listen to me, blah, blah, blah.”

    Idiots.

  77. Cameron Says:

    I like McCarver, it was just an old joke. Chill bro.

  78. Chuck Says:

    “Chill bro.”

    Really?

    A 21 year old in therapy is telling me to chill?

    OK, then.

    None of my business, obviously, but WHY?

  79. Chuck Says:

    *******Lefty alert***********

    What’s the deal with Tyson Gillies?

    Played 29 games in 2010 due to hamstring injuries, then only plays three games this year??

    What gives?

  80. John Says:

    If McCarver were such a genius, it would be cool if he offered “keys to the game” besides “win.”

  81. Chuck Says:

    “If McCarver were such a genius, it would be cool if he offered “keys to the game”

    “If you don’t like Tim McCarver it’s because you don’t understand him”

    Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear.

  82. John Says:

    Oh cuz I need an old man to ecplain to me, in Yoda-speak, that a team should try to win the game.

  83. Cameron Says:

    Disregard John, he tends to ignore people old enough to think that the internet is a “series of tubes”.

    …If anyone gets that joke, I’m so very very sorry.

  84. brautigan Says:

    John: You should listen to old baseball people. You would learn a lot of baseball. I listened to guys like Bill Rigney, Stan Williams, Steve Carlton, John Sain, Minnie Minoso, and many others, and they taught me a world of baseball I never knew existed. And that is saying something.

    The more I read of your posts, the more I come under the impression you don’t know a lot about (fundamental) baseball.

  85. brautigan Says:

    Hate to see the Cardinals lose, but props to Ron Washington. Having Kinsler steal in the 9th against Yadier Molina took gamblers guts. Hats off to him.

  86. John Says:

    I have no problem listening to old baseball people.

    Tim McCarver explaining to me that the key to the Rangers winning the game is to win the game is hardly educational.

  87. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck you may especially appreciate this look at olde tyme (sic) minor league baseball, dedication, & work ethic related triumph.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1191155/1/index.htm

  88. Cameron Says:

    Beautiful story Mike.

    And the latest on Yu Darvish seems to think that his posting fee will hit $50MM (about Matsuzaka’s posting) and the contract will be 5/$75MM ($15MM per). So that means he’s expected to be the highest paid Japanese player coming out of Nippon Pro.

    The numbers back it up and from what I’ve seen him pitch (tape from NPB and international competition like the WBC), I can see that. Great stuff and good command. He could be a potential ace.

    …What confuses me is the insistence that the Royals are one of the favorites to sign him. We’ve been scouting him a lot, yes. We need ace pitching desperately, yes. Do I think we’re gonna shell out $125MM+ for him? …This is the Royals we’re talking about. Dayton’s thinking about trading mid-to-lower end prospects for established pitching (most likely Dwyer/Giavotella level). I’d love for us to be aggressive and land Darvish but I just don’t see the Glass Family shelling out that much money. They have the money to go whole hog on this bidding, but they’ve never shown the willingness to commit.

  89. Jim Says:

    The “Keys to the Game” are nothing but another corny promo that Fox can sell. Perhaps McCarver treats it with the disrespect it deserves. In general, regarding McCarver, Chuck is right, but he can get tiresome to listen to at times despite acknowledging the quality of the analysis.

    There are times I roll my eyes at something McCarver says, because it is so obvious, but then I’ll be watching a game in a bar and a play will happen the shows the cluelessness of many fans, like the guy sitting next to me in the Tigers/Rangers series who loudly went on how the Rangers were jobbed on Cabrera’s bleeder that hit the bag an bounce over Beltre’s head. Even pointing out that if the ump was wrong, why weren’t the Rangers’ protesting wouldn’t shut him up.

    Committing $125M to Darvish is a fool’s errand.

  90. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 79 – Aside of the whole cocaine bust issue back in February, he Tweeted back in late April that he also was having issues with his right hip and left groin and because of that, aka poor conditioning, his 2010 hamstring injury never healed correctly and he seriously reinjured it in April causing him to miss essentially the whole 2011 season.

  91. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 79 – I clipped something from a Phillies site where a guy in sports medicine explained Gillies’s issue of why he missed 2011:

    “the way to correct a problem like that is to retrain the muscles. Our muscles are designed to work in a certain way, and after years and years of use, they gain a certain type of muscle memory.

    Any type of interference in the process can cause muscles to over or under compensate to correct the problem at hand. Im assuming that somewhere in the past (maybe even the original hammy injury) caused Tyson to compensate for that decificiency by using his other muscles in a different way in order to aleviate pain and restore physiologic function. This is of course a completely subconscious process and not something anyone can control.

    Think of it like someone who broke a leg or arm. In order to take stress off of that injury the muscles around it build themselves up and take the brunt of the work. So once that injury is healed, those other muscles are still stronger or acting differently than normal and can change the way that area works even with the injury healed. The way to correct a problem like this is to completely retrain the muscles to work in the physiologically correct way.

    This is done by what i assume is exactly what he has been doing, rehab. You need to build up the injured muscle and regain strength it needs to function normally, but you also need to break it down, to even the smallest movements, and correct the other muscles desire to overcompensate.

    As cliche as it sounds, you need to walk before you can run. In rehab he has to focus on each and every step he takes to make sure his hips stay parallel and even. Eventually, with extensive repetition his Hip will stay even, the muscles wont pull that hip up abnormally in a limp like fashion.

    Without that limping hip motion, his groin will recondition itself to pull the correct amount instead of the overcompensation it needed before. Its a long extensive process and not something he can correct overnight through sheer will of action.”

  92. Chuck Says:

    He looks pretty good out here, seems to be moving pretty well and hit a bomb into the wind yesterday for his first HR.

    Has a good eye.

  93. Lefty33 Says:

    In a perfect world he’s the replacment for Victorino.

  94. Cameron Says:

    In a perfect world, the Royals would be a threat to win 100 games.

    …It’s perfect to me.

  95. Bob Says:

    The front page of the Post.
    “KHADAFY KILLED BY YANKEE FAN.”
    “Gunman had more hits than A-Rod.”

  96. Raul Says:

    Gunman had more hits than Teixeira, too.

    Excuse me if it annoys the hell out of me that Teixeira gets a free pass and A-Rod gets crucified at every opportunity for over 10 years now.

  97. JohnBowen Says:

    Hey, but ARod signed a massive contract!

    Oh wait.

  98. Raul Says:

    Isn’t Mark Teixeira’s contract the 2nd highest contract ever signed?

    Or maybe it’s third behind the two A-Rod deals. Pujols will get more but the point is Tex had a historical contract and it’s swept under the rug.

    Fine, A-Rod was overpaid, but he’s at least performed like the best player in the game before. Tex takes home more money than practically the entire population of Laos and he’ll never come close to an MVP.

    I’m not trying to say he’s a bad player. But for nearly 200 million…come on.

  99. JohnBowen Says:

    “Tex takes home more money than practically the entire population of Laos and he’ll never come close to an MVP.”

    Let’s be fair…he’s been pretty work-a-day for the last couple years but he did finish SECOND in the MVP voting in 2009.

    Way way underperforming his deal, but part of the signing was his ability to consistently deliver power, which he’s done.

  100. Raul Says:

    So has A-Rod.
    So where’s the consistency in the criticism?

    That’s all I’m saying.
    Maybe someone needs to find a picture of Tex getting fed popcorn…

  101. JohnBowen Says:

    Oh, I completely agree.

    I was being sarcastic in comment 97.

    I would think that people would drop the choke-rod crap after he basically carried the Yankees through the 2009 playoffs.

    But alas, no.

  102. Raul Says:

    Whatever.

    It’s the world series. I shouldn’t be talking about this.

    I tuned in for games 1 and 2 but I have to be honest, I could care less about this world series.

    Tim McCarver DOES know baseball. But I don’t like him because he’s boring. And that he says things that are insanely obvious is just one more thing. On the other hand, announcers can’t assume the fans know everything. They have to broadcast as if they’re speaking to a new fan every night. So they’re bound to repeat themselves over a season or career.

  103. Raul Says:

    Joe Buck does suck though. Seriously. He might be the worst announcer ever.

    When Eli Manning completed that pass to David Tyree in the Super Bowl, I nearly died of a heart attack it was such an amazing play and drive. And Buck was speaking like he was at some Librarian’s Conference.

  104. Chuck Says:

    “Maybe someone needs to find a picture of Tex getting fed popcorn”

    Find a picture of him with a syringe hanging from his butt cheek, and you’ll have your answer.

  105. JohnBowen Says:

    By the way, what’s everyone’s thoughts on the Kinsler steal?

    I’m not sure one way or another.

    It worked out, and hindsight’s 20/20.

    The two runs scored largely because of it (especially with the advance to second).

    But man…power pitcher on the mound, one of the best arms in the game behind the plate. Huge risk with the tying run on and zero outs especially given the players involved…but then again, Kinsler steals at a pretty insane 86% rate.

    It worked, so Washington’s a genius…if it hadn’t he’d be the scapegoat.

  106. Bob Says:

    Yup. If it works, it works.

  107. brautigan Says:

    Raul: At the very least, the games are interesting, and that does make for compelling viewing. Very much unlike last year’s games one and two where it was 11-7 (11 to 4 going into the 9th) in game one and 9-0 in game two.

    So far, the largest margin of runs has been 2. No wonder there is more emphasis on small ball in this year’s world series. Which probably causes John all sorts of consternation. (HE’s Bunting, that’s giving up an out!!!). LOL

    (I did notice Texas bunting as well…………is there no shame?)

  108. brautigan Says:

    JB: see my post @ 85.

  109. JohnBowen Says:

    “When Eli Manning completed that pass to David Tyree in the Super Bowl, I nearly died of a heart attack it was such an amazing play and drive. And Buck was speaking like he was at some Librarian’s Conference.”

    LOL.

    If Buck had been broadcasting the Miracle on Ice, it would’ve gone like this:

    “11 seconds left, Morrow up to Silk, and that’ll do it. Up next, your late local news. Goodnight America, your final score, USA – 4, USSR -3.

  110. Lefty33 Says:

    “So has A-Rod.
    So where’s the consistency in the criticism?”

    Their is no consistency because A-Rod walks around with a target on his back because he looks for the spotlight and the downside to that is of course making yourself a huge target when you fall short of perfection which is the standard he holds him self to.

    I recently finished reading most of The Yankee Years and if a quarter of what Torre and Verducci have in that book is true then A-Rod for being the biggest prima donna – it’s all about me – non team guy the sport has ever seen deserves every last rip the NY and national media can throw at him because short of maybe Bonds he is the #1 A-Hole the sport as ever seen.

  111. Chuck Says:

    “Joe Buck does suck though. Seriously. He might be the worst announcer ever.”

    John Sterling.

    Thom Brennamann sucks too.

  112. JohnBowen Says:

    ” Which probably causes John all sorts of consternation. (HE’s Bunting, that’s giving up an out!!!)”

    If the situation calls for it, bunt.

    Sheesh.

  113. Bob Says:

    Just remember John, that was not the Gold Medal game. That came against Finland.

  114. Lefty33 Says:

    “John Sterling.”

    No way.

    Suzyn Waldman

    Compared to her Sterling is practically Vin Scully.

  115. Chuck Says:

    I miss the Yankees, but the best part about living 3000 miles away from New York is not having to listen to those two assholes.

  116. Lefty33 Says:

    Amen to that Chuck.

    My wife doesn’t care much for Baseball on the radio but if I have WCBS on she usually will make some vile comment about turning it off as soon as she hears Waldman say anything.

    After that the rest of the night she’ll start her best Jersey-Jew voice attempting to imitate/mock Waldman’s, to put it nicely, wretched tone of voice.

    Fingers crossed that their contracts are not renewed!

  117. Chuck Says:

    How old am I?

    I remember listening to WNBC before they spun off WFAN and hearing Imus on my way to work in the morning.

    Suzyn Waldman was his sports reporter and would come on every 30 minutes and read scores.

    On the way home I’d listen to Joe Franklin before they canned him and replaced him with this brand new concept, a two man show.

    Mike and the Mad Dog.

  118. Lefty33 Says:

    “Suzyn Waldman was his sports reporter and would come on every 30 minutes and read scores.”

    Which is pretty funny because that’s what she does for Sterling now.

    Susan’s scorboard updates.

    Because of the incessant ads that she has to read with her updates it’s also why I know where every BMW and Lexus dealer is located in the NJ/NY/CT area.

  119. Chuck Says:

    “Which is pretty funny because that’s what she does for Sterling now.”

    Some people just have a gift.

  120. Raul Says:

    A few years ago when Roger Clemens announced from a press box that he was returning to the Yankees, Suzyn Waldman nearly orgasmed on the microphone.

    I’ve never seen or heard anything like it before or since.

  121. Lefty33 Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdtn0Z4o8cM

  122. JohnBowen Says:

    Roger Clemens would make 17 million dollars to make 17 starts.

    6-6. 4.18 ERA, 1.313 WHIP, 6.2 K/9.

    Oh, and he got shelled in his only post-season start too.

    LOL @ that reaction.

  123. Mike Felber Says:

    joe Franklin is ensconced in Midtown office that anyone who finds can just walk & & visit him at. I visited him a few times last year when recruiting places in the building to be involved in my arts festival. he is older than God, orangish heair-& a very nice guy. His office is large, but it is filled with a tremendous amount of papers & records-there is just a narrow path to get to where there are several chairs in from of where Franklin sits on a small rise-handling calls & shmoozing with his old time biz friends. He has a radio show, was gracious & read something I wrote about the fest, & has par lines like “I need your friendship” to be kind.

  124. Mike Felber Says:

    Oh, & I found that he has a bunch of storage spaces with tons of memorabilia. It was either 7 or a little more, my memory is unsure.

  125. Raul Says:

    Mike, what are you talking about?

  126. Chuck Says:

    Definition of ugly.

    Matt Purke made his first AFL start today.

    Kevin Mattison bunt single on the first pitch.

    Leury Garcia fouls to right on the first pitch.

    Mattison steals second on the first pitch to Wil Myers, who walks on four straight.

    Mike Olt doubles off the CF wall on the first pitch, tie game (Will Middlebrooks hit a 2 run HR in the top of the first).

    Joe Terdoslavich triples to center, 2-3

    Kyle Shipworth homers to dead center, 2-5.

    Todd Cunningham HBP.

    Cunningham steals second.

    Ryan Strausborger singles to center, 2-6.

    Pitching change.

    Reliever gives up single and sac fly, 2-7.

    Linescore;

    one third of an inning, five hits, seven runs all earned, one walk, one HBP, two stolen bases, no strikeouts, 23 pitches, ten strikes.

    Out of the ten strikes, five hits, one out, four fouls. No called strikes or swings and misses.

    Ewwww.

  127. Raul Says:

    yeah…but what’s his xFIP?

  128. Chuck Says:

    :)

  129. JohnBowen Says:

    @127, apparently its 18.26 :)

  130. Chuck Says:

    Bryce Harper is hitting cleanup today.

    One out, top of the seventh, down 2

    He drag bunts a single.

    ?????????????

  131. Raul Says:

    There’s taking advantage of the defense, and then there’s not having any idea what’s going on.

    You’re Bryce Harper. You’re going to be relied on in Washington to hit for power and drive in runs. This is the AFL. It’s about development. It’s not about trying to get on base by drag bunting in a meaningless game.

    If I may take some liberty with this quote from Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction…

    So pretty please, with a cherry on top, swing the flipping bat.

  132. Chuck Says:

    Next batter singled, next batter singled, next batter lined into a fielder’s choice, Harper scored, next batter singled, tie game.

    So, he started a two run rally.

    In fairness, the fielders choice was a lock double play, but the second baseman dropped the ball during the exchange, so they really should have gotten out of the inning with no runs.

    But, yeah.

    My cleanup hitter bunts, he’s running laps til he pukes.

  133. Cameron Says:

    Is Ozzie Guillen managing that team? Because I can’t think of any other way I’m calling on my freak-of-nature power hitter to drag bunt for a hit.

    Also… God damn, I knew Purke’s arm trouble was affecting his pitching but…. Fuck.

  134. Raul Says:

    I doubt the manager called for a bunt.
    I think Harper chose to do it himself. Anyone know if it was called from the dugout?

  135. JohnBowen Says:

    Hey, Harper just has a lot of Scottsdale Scorpion pride.

  136. Cameron Says:

    From what I know, power hitters don’t bunt voluntarily. It might have been called from the dugout, but whoever called for it, be it the manager or Harper himself, having a kid with that kind of power try to bunt for a hit is an incompetent fuckweasel.

  137. brautigan Says:

    3Bman played very deep in a game when I was up to bat. Our second baseman scored and as he walked by he said “watch the thirdbaseman”. He noticed too the guy was playing deep when I was at bat the last time. Sure enough, he is deep again and so I dropped a bunt down the 3B line and there is no way they come close to throwing me out. Easy single. I would have hit .800 if they kept playing that deep.

    The next time up, he’s on the grass. Brilliant.

  138. Mike Felber Says:

    Raul, I was riffing of Chuck’s mention of the legend of talk show schmoozing in comment #117.

  139. Cameron Says:

    Speaking of Ozzie, his new team is actually thinking of doing something crazy. This time, I think I can call it a good crazy. Trying to sign Jose Reyes and shift Hanley to second or third if Jose signs.

    …If that happens, that Florida lineup has a core of Reyes-Ramirez-Stanton. That’s a terrifying thought for a pitcher.

  140. JohnBowen Says:

    Not that Hanley is anything special with the glove or anything, but it seems like Florida would be better served upgrading their rotation than acquiring a SS when they already have a capable player there with a proven track record of excellence.

  141. Cameron Says:

    It’d be interesting. I don’t think Florida lands him and the big landing spot for him, surprisingly, seems to be Milwaukee. The clubhouse itself is pretty vocal in wanting him. It’d be interesting to see.

    And I’m sorry, but you guys who are saying “Why is nobody ripping on Mark Teixeira more?” can kiss my ass. You sign a guy who gives you Gold Glove defense, hits 35 homers and 110 RBi a year while making base at a .365 clip because he’s still got a good eye… The fuck are you whining about? I’d KILL to have that on my team every year.

  142. JohnBowen Says:

    “I’d KILL to have that on my team every year.”

    Funny you should mention that.

    From 2009-2011, 18 MLB first basemen have accumulated 1500 PA’s, with Tex of course being the highest paid one by like a factor of 2.

    Among these 18 gentlemen, Texeria is tied for 10th with a 128 OPS+.

    The man he’s tied with? None other than Billy Butler.

    Yes, Butler’s a DH now and in the field is nothing compared to Tex etc etc. But still.

  143. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, Butler’s good, but the difference between Butler and Tex is Tex hits .260 with 35 homers and Butler hits .300 with 15 homers.

    And Butler was always a DH John, we just didn’t have anyone decent enough to hold an everyday job there before Hosmer so it looked like Butler was a first baseman. The guy’s a white David Ortiz in the field.

  144. JohnBowen Says:

    I would say the biggest difference between Teixeira and Butler is the 14 million extra dollars that Tex makes.

    Or, roughly 1.5 million dollars per extra total base.

  145. Cameron Says:

    You’re surprised the Yankees overpaid for somebody?

  146. Cameron Says:

    So, I just made the pitches I throw a lot better. Yeah I don’t pitch competitively, but I still work on pitching as a sort of hobby. Just because you don’t do it for games doesn’t stop you from enjoying it, you know?

    Anyway, changed my arm mechanic and my pitches have a lot more zip than they used to. A part of my great control was the fact my arm was so slow. I used to throw my arm completely straight behind me and whip it into a 3/4 angle to fire my old pitches. Surprisingly, not as taxing as it sounds on the arm because I whipped it at low speed.

    Trying new arm motions, I now get my arm level, hand facing downward, and get my elbow at about a… 120 or 135 degree angle (I don’t carry a protractor, sue me), before turning my arm 180 degrees so the ball is facing upward and whip my left shoulder forward where the momentum carries to the other one and my arm’s just firing shit faster than I ever have. Sinker and change are breaking harder and got more gas, still need to work on my breaking balls to get the old break they had.

    Yeah I’m throwing across my body, but my pitches just got a hell of a lot better.

  147. Bob Says:

    Cameron, do you sleep? Posting at 2:48 in the morning, then working out between 5:30 and 8:00AM? Seriously, buy a beer instead of coffee once or twice a week.

  148. Cameron Says:

    Sleep schedule got trashed due to contracting what I can only call atomic diarrhea from expired fried chicken. Slept away all of yesterday, so I was up all night.

  149. Bob Says:

    Expired fried chicken??? Go back to your microwavable hot dogs.

  150. Cameron Says:

    I forgot when the sell-by date on the chicken was, sue me.

  151. Bob Says:

    Why would I sue you? You are the victim?

  152. Cameron Says:

    This conversation is proof that this idiom needs to be removed from the popular lexicon.

  153. Chuck Says:

    I think you’re right Cameron…Christian Colon’s going to be a second baseman.

    He’s not nearly as big or athletic as I thought.

    Best player on the high school team plays short, but things change when you grow up.

  154. Chuck Says:

    Wow..Josh Vitters is playing RF today.

  155. Chuck Says:

    Colon’s got some pop, apparently, just popped one into the LF bullpen.

  156. Chuck Says:

    It wasn’t Joe Franklin on WFAN, it was Pete.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Franklin

    Sorry, my bad.

  157. Cameron Says:

    Don’t know if Colon or Giavotella’s the long-term answer. Johnny may be too good to be utility. Regardless, I’m pretty sure they stick to Alcides at short because… That glove.

    Thanks John.

  158. Chuck Says:

    You know I’m a big “Gio” fan, but I have to admit Colon looked pretty damn good for a guy whose been playing second base for three weeks.

    And his HR was a bomb.

  159. Cameron Says:

    Absolutely. I don’t know much about middle infielding, but moving from short to second isn’t that big an adjustment, is it?

  160. Chuck Says:

    The Cardinals this year grounded into 169 double plays, which is a National League record.

    Yet, they are in the World Series.

    Let’s see sabermetrics explain that.

  161. Chuck Says:

    Short to second is easier than second to short.

  162. Cameron Says:

    How many of those GIDP came with guys on second or third, that’s what I wanna know.

    I still think GIDP are bad, but they can move guys over every now and then.

  163. Raul Says:

    Is Roy Oswalt going to retire?

    Just wondering. Philadelphia seems like they could get mediocre really quickly. I mean Howard is injured. Rollins is declining. Oswalt keeps having back injuries. Utley has been dinged up. Polanco is hurt and old.

    Sure, there’s Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. But I kinda wonder when those guys will start to come down. Lee is 33, I think. Halladay is going on 35 and while that’s not ancient, he’s got some mileage on him and pitchers don’t age like wine.

    With some bad luck, the Phillies could be looking at 50-60 million dollars on the DL next season.

  164. Cameron Says:

    From what I’ve heard, he’s thinking about it. His contract’s up, he’s getting older (in his mind), and he doesn’t have the same passion. Oswalt may be gone, which sucks. I love Roy Oswalt. Guy WAS the Astros for a decade.

  165. Raul Says:

    The media talks so much about Ian Kinsler and I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.

    This guy is a scrub away from Texas. He’s just not that good.

  166. Chuck Says:

    I doubt it.

    He said a couple of years ago this would be his last contract, but playing for a good team has a way of altering someone’s mindset.

    As a free agent he could easily get a four year, $65-70 million deal.

    (Memo to Cashman..let CC walk and take a shot)

  167. Chuck Says:

    “This guy is a scrub away from Texas. He’s just not that good.”

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Put Kinsler in Boston and Pedroia in Texas and who’s the star?

  168. Raul Says:

    Kinda hard to pass up 70 million.
    I’ll admit that.

    Roger Clemens made like 50 million for two half-seasons with the Yankees.
    FIFTY.
    MILLION.

    I think we get de-sensitized to the kind of money we’re talking about here.
    I mean I would kill just to make $500,000.

    It’s like that scene with Kenny Powers…
    (pulls out Amex Black card)

    “Platinum will get you Jonas Brothers tickets. This card?…will get all three of them sucking your dick.”

    LOL.

  169. Chuck Says:

    Rangers are winning this game

  170. Lefty33 Says:

    “Is Roy Oswalt going to retire?”

    Doubtful.

    He went on the record in the Philly media at the end of the season and said that all of the retirement talk was premature and mostly media driven and that he wanted to pitch again next season.

  171. Raul Says:

    Can Philly afford him?

  172. Lefty33 Says:

    At his full 16 million?

    No, but also because he’s not worth that at this stage of his career.

    But at a discounted price?

    Maybe, depending on what they want to do with 3B, LF, and 1B.

    I’ve seen a story or two that suggest that he may take less but he would want a two year deal in return.

  173. JohnBowen Says:

    “The Cardinals this year grounded into 169 double plays, which is a National League record.

    Yet, they are in the World Series.

    Let’s see sabermetrics explain that.”

    Gee, this’ll be tough.

    Q: What needs to happen in order for there to be a double play?
    A: You need to have at least one guy on base.

    Q: So if you rack up a lot of double plays, what does that mean you also have a lot of?
    A: Baserunners.

    Q: If you have a lot of baserunners, what does that mean you also have a lot of?
    A: Runs.

    The Cardinals led the league in OBP, and completely unsurprisingly, they led the league in runs scored. All those baserunners meant more DP opportunities.

    The Mighty Mariners didn’t ground into too many double plays, because they averaged like 0.00045 baserunners per game.

  174. JohnBowen Says:

    “Put Kinsler in Boston and Pedroia in Texas and who’s the star?”

    Maybe in terms of media hype, it’s Kinsler.

    But Pedroia at least hits .287/.360/.421 away from Fenway.

    Kinsler on the road? .242/.315/.412.

    Both gentlemen are enhanced by their ballpark, but Kinsler is way more extreme.

  175. Chuck Says:

    Given the choice, I’d probably take Pedroia over Kinsler, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kinsler is still a top five, six second baseman in the game.

  176. John Says:

    Um, wow.

    Just.

    Wow.

  177. Raul Says:

    Wow @ pujols homer.

  178. John Says:

    Pujols should have to do a line of coke before at-bats, just to even things out.

  179. John Says:

    Dear Lance Berkman: That’s not how sliding works.

  180. Raul Says:

    An A-bomb…for err…Pujols. Again.

  181. Raul Says:

    You know, I kinda do wish Yankee insanity prevails and they offer Pujols 300 million. Just to piss John and Cam off.

    I wonder if such an act would cause half the league to separate and form their own baseball league in protest.

  182. Raul Says:

    LOL someone threw a ball on the field during a fly ball.

  183. JohnBowen Says:

    “You know, I kinda do wish Yankee insanity prevails and they offer Pujols 300 million. Just to piss John and Cam off.”

    Um, I would LOVE it if Albert Pujols never played another game in the NL Central.

  184. Chuck Says:

    The Yankees already have a $30 million a year DH.

    Sorry, John, but Pujols isn’t going anywhere.

    He may explore the option of free agency, but he’s not leaving St. Louis.

  185. Raul Says:

    Joe Buck asked that monkey in the bow tie if Mark McGwire will get in the Hall of Fame given his steroid use.

    I just want to point out that Joe Buck was once asked if he would report a player if he knew he was using steroids and Joe Buck said he would not.

    Joe Buck is a crappy announcer, and a soulless, worthless human being who lacks any spec of integrity.

  186. Raul Says:

    3 homers for Pujols.

    I’m surprised Nolan Ryan hasn’t ordered his pitchers to drill him in the ass.

  187. Chuck Says:

    Un-bleeping-believable.

  188. Chuck Says:

    “I’m surprised Nolan Ryan hasn’t ordered his pitchers to drill him in the ass.”

    It isn’t tomorrow yet.

  189. Raul Says:

    I’ll say this though…the 1st Pujols home run….the first thought I had was Brad Lidge…LOL

  190. Chuck Says:

    You know, for a guy who’s been in the US as long as he has, Pujols’ English sucks.

  191. Raul Says:

    lol, I know guys that have been here for 30 years and don’t speak a lick of english.

  192. JohnBowen Says:

    @185, Joe Buck just wants to get this series over with so he can get back to announcing the sport he truly loves (oh, he’s bad at that too).

  193. Mike Felber Says:

    Mark Belanger leads all SS in # of years #1 in total Zone, 8. Ozzie has 7. He also has the highest career r/tot I have ever seen in any position, averaging 19 for a career.

    For those who saw & recall him in his prime, did he & his range factor seem that good?

  194. Jim Says:

    Pedroia can play defense and seldom botches a play in a big game. The same can’t be said for Kinsler.

  195. Raul Says:

    How many players have hit 3 homers in a World Series game?
    Just Pujols and Jackson, right?

  196. Chuck Says:

    “How many players have hit 3 homers in a World Series game?
    Just Pujols and Jackson, right?”

    Babe Ruth did it twice, 1926 and 1928, both times in Game 4.

  197. Chuck Says:

    “Mark Belanger leads all SS in # of years #1 in total Zone, 8. Ozzie has 7. He also has the highest career r/tot I have ever seen in any position, averaging 19 for a career.”

    Is there an English translation of that?

    “For those who saw & recall him in his prime, did he & his range factor seem that good?”

    Yes.

    Belanger had the unteachable knack of always being in seemingly perfect position.

    Don’t get me wrong, he was a legitimately good defensive player, but his ability to anticipate was unparalleled.

  198. brautigan Says:

    Belanger was always difficult for me to assess. I found it hard to find brilliance with Belanger’s glove for the simple reason a guy to his right was making great plays with regularity. Belanger was “steady” and “consistent”, only in comparison to Brooks. He was the best shortstop I saw until Ozzie.

  199. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, people here mostly know the stats I talked about. And I asked directly about his range factor in the next line. One reason I mentioned advanced sttats is that if I just read the r/9 or FP, he still is quite good, but not nearly as great.

    Brautigan brings up a great point, I was thinking more along the lines of all the chances he might have received playing with great GB pitchers like Palmer. But a hoover like B.R. might have the opposite effect. I wonder how the combination of the pitching & B.R> might have effected the stats of exactly how good he was.

    According to r/tot, he was a big chunk better than Ozzie, 19 to 13 (though in a shorter career). Considering his knack for positioning, under NEUTRAL conditions, in an equal length career, who would you guys rather have as SS? Disregarding bat & base running.

  200. Chuck Says:

    ” Considering his knack for positioning, under NEUTRAL conditions, in an equal length career, who would you guys rather have as SS?”

    Belanger, no question.

    Personally, I believe Ozzie’s reputation is based more on the fact he played the majority of his career games on artificial turf.

    No bad hops.

    He was a truly outstanding defender and not taking anything from him, but switch their careers around and Ozzie isn’t in the Hall.

  201. John Says:

    It’s not a perfect statistic by any stretch of the imagination, but Ozzie had some SICK RF/9 numbers in San Diego.

    He obviously has that iconic barehanded play on a bad hop at JMS, but I certainly can’t verify this based on day-to-day observations.

  202. Mike Felber Says:

    Huh, thanks Chuck. I can see how someone not as acrobatic or athletic could be better largely due to an uncanny sense of positioning. It is interesting that the advanced stats you often disdain strongly back you up in this case. I just do not know how the unusual combination of great & G/B pitching & Brooksie at 3B affected his #s.

  203. Chuck Says:

    “He obviously has that iconic barehanded play on a bad hop at JMS,”

    Best play by a SS I’ve ever seen.

    “It is interesting that the advanced stats you often disdain strongly back you up in this case.”

    Not really.

    You can’t use subjective to back up objective.

  204. Mike Felber Says:

    I see what you mean, that there is enough of a subjective element that you do not think that the stat is more than coincidentally accurate in this case. It comes down to how much we think that element can be minimized. And the additional truths that come from figuring where what kind of ball hit brings.

    But let us say you reduced Ozzie’s career to the length of Belanger’s. Take his average career production, not even his excising his worst years. Considering their whole game, bats & base running, you would not pick Mark over Oz, would you?

  205. Chuck Says:

    Career OPS+ on grass: Belanger, 101, Smith 86.

    And Belanger played a lot more on grass, which further justifies the numbers.

    Put Ozzie in the ’60’s with no turf and in a pitching era, and he’s Gene Michael.

    I’ll take Belanger any day and twice on Sunday.

  206. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, help me out, did the 80s Cardinals that Ozzie played on have a grass or a turf field? I know the 80s had a lot of turf, including the Royals.

    Though playing on turf might have helped Frank White out. Guy knew how to play balls off the turf.

  207. Mike Felber Says:

    You must mean he would be the stick just offensively.

    But jus’ hold on a minute: are you taking every game played on grass, home or away, or just using the years they played at HOME on grass? And where do you get these #s? Small point is Ozzie p;ayed on grass his 1st 4 years, before in his offensive prime. But the # you list on grass is just about his career average.

    Belanger had a 68 OPS+ over his career, & played what good % of his career on grass, right? How on earth could he have had a 101 OPS+ on grass? He would have to be a historically terrible a hitter on turf to do that! Where did you find that 101 OPS+ on grass stat?

  208. Chuck Says:

    BR

  209. Cameron Says:

    Taking that 600 game advantage in the splits, I’m guessin’ turf.

  210. Chuck Says:

    Belanger was a historically bad offensive player, albeit in an era dominated by pitching.

    There were more great players in the ’60’s than in any other era, but the domination of pitching made them seem ordinary.

    But put together a list of players overlooked for the Hall, and the majority played the prime of their careers between 1964-1972; Oliva, Howard, Allen, Santo, Pinson, etc.

    Ozzie was clearly born at the right time, his skills fit his era more than any other.

    The same can’t be said for Belanger.

    Belanger was the SS on one of the greatest dynasty teams of all-time, they would have wiped the floor with the best team Ozzie played on, turf or not.

    That counts for something.

  211. Cameron Says:

    I dunno Chuck, I’d say the 70s had a slight edge over the 60s. Then again, that may just be because the pitching dominated so much that guys from the 60s didn’t seem as good.

  212. Mike Felber Says:

    Allen & Santo for the Hall, yes, though I thought you did not like the latter for it. I do not know if there were more great players in the ’60’s, but I see know reason why any decade’s average player was better than the last. Or much different, unless something like WAR or expansion moved the average somewhat. And there was expansion in the ’60’s.

    But let us say you are right about the O’s better than any teams of Oz. I believe they were better, but how does that count for anything in crediting Mark? Any more than the Wiz being born at the right time!

    Though why would Oz be not even MORE suited to a lower offensive era, where fielding & SB have disproportionate effect? Such as Mark’s era, or especially the dead ball era? He fielded well everywhere.

  213. Mike Felber Says:

    I do not know where you got the info on Belanger at 101 OPS + career on grass Chuck. Again, if he did AND played a lot on grass, he would have had to be not just a poor hitter on turf, but incredibly, unbelievably bad. This is simple logic, since he had a 68 career OPS+ on all surfaces.

    Unless I am missing something, I think you are misreading the BR stats. I see a listing for Belanger on grass: but it only records 47 PA! And he is shown as way below the league average on grass (sOPS+ of 78). See below:

    Game Conditions
    Direct Link · Glossary · SHARE · CSV · PRE · LINK · More Tools
    Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    Day 21 7 28 22 3 4 0 0 0 3 1 0 4 6 .182 .308 .182 .490 4 0 0 2 0 0 1 .250 70 40
    Night 33 5 29 28 3 8 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 .286 .310 .321 .632 9 2 0 0 0 1 1 .333 124 79
    Open 50 12 57 50 5 12 1 0 0 4 1 0 5 10 .240 .309 .260 .569 13 2 0 2 0 1 2 .300 100 62
    Dome 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Grass 42 10 47 41 3 11 1 0 0 3 0 0 4 7 .268 .333 .293 .626 12 2 0 2 0 1 2 .324 120 78
    Artif. Turf 12 2 10 9 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 3 .111 .200 .111 .311 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 7 -10

  214. Cameron Says:

    Split data is not complete on B-R.

  215. Mike Felber Says:

    Right Cam, & I see no splits for any significant # of games for these guys on grass. I see no way M.B, could have a 101 OPS+ on grass. His OPS + on turf would need to be like at a homeopathic level to account for a 68 career OPS+!

    Oz also rarely struck out- once every 16 AB, 14 times in the top 5, & once hit 1 in just over 30 AB. He is 37th all time in PA, though played through 3 shortened seasons. Only reason he was not a good hitter overall is he had little power. Not surprising at 5′11″ 150.

  216. John Says:

    @205 and 215, Belanger didn’t have a 101 OPS+ on grass.

    He had a 101 sOPS+ on grass, meaning that, relative to his OWN statistics, he did better on grass than he did on turf.

    His .581 career OPS on grass is still significantly below average, even for the era he played (but it’s slightly better than his career OPS of .580, hence the 101 sOPS+.

    For Ozzie, he had an 86 sOPS+ on grass, which just means he was way better on turf…hardly surprising for a man with his speed. Now…I would contend that at least some of this is from the fact that he must have played around 40-50% of those grass games as a Padre…and just from natural maturing, he got better at hitting (while he was playing the majority of games on turf). But Chuck’s main point is absolutely correct…a player like Smith was made, in large part, by turf.

    I do have a question about the defense though, especially since Smith had his best range years as a Padre…doesn’t the speed of a groundball on astroturf REDUCE the number of chances that a player can reasonably get to? Sure, the bad hops disappear, but the ball scoots through the infield faster, right?

  217. Mike Felber Says:

    So Belanger was almost exactly the same hitter on grass.

    Re: his range factor, it seems more ambiguous than that he had his best range years as a Padre. The league RF per 9 & G went down. He had a couple of years with a RF slightly better-compared to league average-in SD. His RF fell as he aged, as SS’s would. Though in ‘93 at 38 it was about as large as ever again.

    But the advanced stats of rtot & dWAR tell a different story. According to them, for example, ‘93 was not one of his better years. And his best year by far for dWAR was ‘89, 3.1, though his RF was not that much above league average.

    I admit that I cannot tell whether these Am measures are revealing something simpler measures do not show, or are fairly far afield. Pun intended.

  218. Cameron Says:

    Defensive metrics largely seem to be fueled by black magic, don’t worry about it.

  219. John Says:

    Yeah, Mike Napoli really sucks, good job Angels.

  220. John Says:

    @217, that would be the case if it was an even split (home/away).

    Since the vast majority of his PA’s are on grass, the turf ones have almost no effect.

    Man, Holland is dealing.

  221. Mike Felber Says:

    What would be the case? I said he was just about the same hitter everywhere.

  222. John Says:

    Belanger was way worse on turf (.205/.279/.259), but he only had 4% of his at-bats on turf. So, those turf at-bats barely affected his career marks.

  223. Mike Felber Says:

    Well, he was .228/.300/.280 overall. I would call that significantly worse, not greatly so. But it is a matter of degrees, & your point that the 4% of AB on turf does not move the average much is well taken. Any way you slice it, even if Belanger was a better fielder than Ozzie-& if so he was in all likelihood the best SS ever due to mostly to preternatural positioning voodoo-I do not see how it is possible that this could nearly make up the batting & SB/CS differential.

  224. brautigan Says:

    Just picture Ron Washington coming out to the mound with one out in the top of the 9th with a 4 to nothing lead. He’s going to pull Derek Holland after Holland pitched his heart out. Now picture Bob Gibson as the guy Washington is going to remove.

    Do you even think Washington leaves the dugout?

  225. Cameron Says:

    Best fielding shortstop maybe. Best shortstop? Honus Wagner has a few words for you.

  226. Raul Says:

    Wondering how many times John is going to talk shit about the Angels trading away Mike Napoli.

    Seriously, you’ve dwelled on that shit like 11 times.

  227. Cameron Says:

    It’s a trade worth lambasting, Raul. It’s not exactly Herschel Walker bad, but trades that insanely one-sided are worth making fun of for at least three years.

  228. Cameron Says:

    Holy shit, just saw the scores of today’s NFL games and… Man, if going 0-6 wasn’t proof that without Peyton Manning, the Colts are a joke of a team, they lost to the Saints today 62-7.

    They gave up SIXTY-TWO points. Tied for the NFL record.

  229. Mike Felber Says:

    Of course I meant just defense Cam. I do not even know if Belanger was that good defensively, but maybe due to near psychic p;cement he could have been. But he was not near a HOF man, offense is still more important, & the Wagner was at least the best relative to era.

  230. Cameron Says:

    Honus was an excellent player, but realizing he played in the middle of the dead ball era where the average hitter wished he had the offensive ability of Mario Mendoza, he was a freak of nature.

    As for the best live-ball shortstop… I guess it varies, but to me it’s Cal Ripken. Underrated defensively, one of the best offensively.

  231. Chuck Says:

    Sheesh, Belanger’s getting some attention.

  232. Raul Says:

    Offense matters more…until you consider that without Belanger and Robinson, Baltimore probably wins 8 games a year.

    Pardon the exaggeration.

  233. Cameron Says:

    Belanger and Robinson… IIRC, they’re 2 of the top 5 in dWAR. That’s goddamn impressive to have on one team. Combine the fact that the outfield is anchored defensively by Paul Blair and holy fuck how did anyone score on these teams?

  234. Chuck Says:

    Not to mention multiple Cy Young winners, MVP’s at different positions and a couple of Hall of Famers.

    Those Oriole teams were among the best I’ve ever seen.

  235. Cameron Says:

    And now they’re the joke of the American League…

  236. Chuck Says:

    When did the Royals get moved to the National League?

  237. Raul Says:

    That burns.

  238. brautigan Says:

    People keep ripping on the Angels for trading Mike Napoli. Hey, Toronto had him for all of 3 days before trading Napoli to Texas for Frank Francisco and some guy named “CASH”.

    I mean, Toronto did get rid of Vernon Wells, but they also got rid of Napoli and I don’t hear anyone ripping the Jays.

  239. brautigan Says:

    I’d take Arky Vaughn over Cal Ripken Jr.

  240. Raul Says:

    Eric Hosmer is 22.
    Rafael Furcal is 34.
    Arthur Rhodes is 42.
    Rafael Belliard is 50.
    Ron Gardenhire is 54.
    Omar Moreno is 58.

  241. Bob Says:

    After next year, where will Hosmer rank among 1bman?

  242. John Says:

    “I mean, Toronto did get rid of Vernon Wells, but they also got rid of Napoli and I don’t hear anyone ripping the Jays.”

    Very true, but the Jays weren’t going to contend for the post-season this year with or without Napoli. And getting rid of Wells’ contract was an extraordinary burden to be lifted. Oh, and they acquired one of the very best position prospects in baseball (Brett Lawrie) for 2 years of Shaun Marcum.

    They whiffed on Napoli, sure, but they already have a promising young catcher in Arencibia.

    The Angels – who won 86 games this year – acquired a player who hit .218 and is costing them 86 million dollars. They gave up a player who basically bitch-slapped the second half of the season, as a catcher. Oh, and the gentlemen they did play at catcher? Jeff Mathis, Harry Conger, and Bobby Wilson hit .192/.252/.302.

    Look, defense comes first with backstops. But there’s a limit. Just because defense is the primary job of a catcher doesn’t mean they can hit like NL pitchers.

  243. brautigan Says:

    But with the changing landscape of major league baseball, teams are going to be looking for the next Yadier Molina, not Mike Piazza.

    You can take that to the bank.

  244. brautigan Says:

    Of course, if you took Yadier Molina’s defense, gave him Mike Piazza’s bat, then you’d have cloned Johnny Bench.

  245. Mike Felber Says:

    Cameron, you are only right if the average player is that much better today due to the gradual improvement of play. Possible, & it is pretty much agreed that it has improved, though some like Chuck feel very differently. The main reason folks had much lower production in Wagner’s time though was the dead ball. Take away something around 20% of the distance, even without the heavier bats, & even today’s slugger’s would do much worse. Especially those who could not run well, when there formally 420′ blasts went maybe 345′ & fell well within most stadiums in those days (unless hit right down the line).

  246. Raul Says:

    It’s probably unlikely we see another Mike Piazza. Anyuone with that power is going to be a DH or 1B very quickly.

    BTW, 244 comments.

    Time for another article. Perhaps a preview of Game 5?

  247. Chuck Says:

    Piazza is the exception, not the rule.

    He was a catcher because of his bat, not the other way around.

    The Dodgers spent the first three off-seasons after drafting him trying to make him an outfielder or first baseman to no avail, so they knew from early on he needed to change positions to maximize his value.

    Props to him for working hard enough to make himself at least passable behind the plate, but if Piazza had Molina’s bat, he has no career.

  248. Chuck Says:

    On the AFL transaction page this morning;

    “10/22: Phoenix Desert Dogs add LHP Aroldis Chapman”

  249. brautigan Says:

    Must. Work. On. Command.

    Hence Cincinnati’s logic.

  250. Chuck Says:

    I haven’t heard too many complimentary things about Chapman personally.

    I’ve actually heard he’s, let’s just say, “mentally challenged”.

  251. Cameron Says:

    Fun Fact: Mike Piazza’s arm was so bad that “You throw like Mike Piazza” is still a terrible insult five years after his retirement.

  252. Jim Says:

    And in the O’s infield with Robinson and Belanger were either Davey Johnson or Bobby Grich, both of whom were Gold Glovers and if my memory serves me correctly Boog Powell, while not be at all agile did have soft hands and was a big target. Add Frank Robinson and Paul Blair in the OF… Lot’s of leather thrown.

  253. Raul Says:

    So the question was going to be asked sooner or later…

    What is the best defensive team of all-time?

  254. Chuck Says:

    Chapman threw an inning.

    Walked the first hitter, second hit one to the warning track in dead center, runner tried to tag and was thrown out, struck out the third batter swinging.

    18 pitches, 9 strikes

  255. Bob Says:

    The Phillies declined their options on Lidge and Oswalt. Eager to find out what the Indians do with Sizemore.

  256. Cameron Says:

    With Sizemore… Either try and find a trade partner who’s willing to exercise their options or hedge their bets on competing and exercise his option themselves.

  257. Raul Says:

    Sizemore is washed up.

    Chapman is a thrower, not a pitcher.

  258. Cameron Says:

    Sizemore hasn’t been healthy in three years… However, if he does heal up and actually posts anything close to what he used to be, you look like a jackass. Something’s gonna happen, he’s not gonna end up a free agent. He’ll be traded or option’s gonna be accepted.

    Washington’s had their eye on him for years, look for something to happen there.

  259. Chuck Says:

    I wonder if Oswalt would want to pitch in New York.

    Sign him for, say, three years and $45 million, and tell CC see ya.

  260. Chuck Says:

    “Washington’s had their eye on him for years, look for something to happen there.”

    He can keep LF warm for a couple of years until Harper is ready.

  261. Cameron Says:

    It’s take a return to form for Roy to make losing CC worth it. I’d say Oswalt’s more likely to retire than be a Yankee.

  262. Cameron Says:

    What do you think Anaheim does about first base? Morales and Trumbo are both very good first basemen when healthy. For the past two years, only one of them has been healthy consistently. Who gets shown the door?

    My thoughts? Try and sell as high on Morales as you can. Trade in-division if you need to.

  263. Bob Says:

    I doubt Oswalt will retire. If the Rangers lose Wilson, he could go back to the state of Texas.

  264. Cameron Says:

    You say that, but Roy’s been talking about how he might retire after this contract is up. I don’t put complete faith into it, but it’s an option.

    Even if he does come back, though, he’s not the ace he used to be. His stuff isn’t as good as it was. He’ll look more like 2011 Phillies Roy than 2010 Phillies Roy if you get him.

  265. Chuck Says:

    “What do you think Anaheim does about first base?”

    Prince Fielder.

  266. Mike Felber Says:

    It is hard to imagine a defensive team better than those O’s! looking it up, they had Demsey, a “defensive wizard” starting in ‘76. So it would be hard to beat the 0’s when you add a great catcher. But both Robinson’s were nearly done by then. Why was Frank called “The Judge’?

  267. Cameron Says:

    No idea, but it fits. No one likes sitting in front of a judge, and a pitcher wouldn’t like Frank coming to the plate. Both fill you with a sense of dread.

  268. Lefty33 Says:

    “You say that, but Roy’s been talking about how he might retire after this contract is up. I don’t put complete faith into it, but it’s an option.”

    There is no chance that Oswalt will retire.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2011-09-23/no-retirement-roy-oswalt-plans-to-pitch-in-2012

    His agent put out several statements in September clearly putting the media as the main source of the retirement talk and not Roy himself.

    Roy has gone on the record multiple times within the last two months saying that he will pitch in 2012. He’s not going to hang it up with a disappointing injury filled season as his last go around.

    He’s no dummy and he knew like the rest of us that his option would be declined. Now it’s just a matter of where does he want to pitch.

    I think that Chuck’s quip about NY obviously is funny because I can’t imagine that he pitches for three more years nor that he pitches in NY.

    I agree with Bob about Texas and personally I only see him next year either in Texas or back in Philly.

    “Even if he does come back, though, he’s not the ace he used to be.”

    Which is fine because nobody picking him up at this stage of his career is expecting him to be a #1. He is still a more than capable pitcher, when healthy, and he’ll pitch somewhere next year for a playoff caliber team that needs a decent veteran arm as their #3.

  269. Chuck Says:

    ” Why was Frank called “The Judge’?”

    Kangaroo Court.

  270. Jim Says:

    Kangaroo Courts. I can’t remember a team having one in the last 20 years, but they used to be common. The RS could have used one.

  271. Chuck Says:

    Everybody has one.

    The Red Sox judge is Ortiz.

  272. Mike Felber Says:

    All for comic relief? I have heard of them, but some info &/or stories would be welcome.

  273. Cameron Says:

    The RS are turning the MLB into one. Since the stories coming out of the clubhouse, MLB is considering putting a ban on beer in the clubhouse. While I’m sure Clint Hurdle’s popping a Jesus boner, don’t let three fuckheads ruin the fun for the other 747 players in the league*.

    * – 25 players per team, minus Lester, Beckett, and Lackey. (25*30)-3=747.

  274. Chuck Says:

    ” MLB is considering putting a ban on beer in the clubhouse.”

    They were thinking about doing that after Josh Hancock, remember? And it lasted, what, about ten seconds?

    Not gonna happen.

  275. Cameron Says:

    Actually I don’t, thanks for the reminder.

    But seriously, at least Hancock was worth considering a beer ban for. Cuz, y’know, the beer actually killed somebody. This? Fuck that.

  276. Cameron Says:

    Why’s I have a feeling that this was gonna happen?

    …Oh right, it’s Mark fucking Rzepcynski.

  277. Cameron Says:

    The way Mike Napoli keeps coming up with clutch hits, he might be the Series MVP if Texas wins. It’s like he goes to the plate, looks at the scoreboard, and says, “We don’t have the lead? Yeah, gimme a sec.”

  278. Raul Says:

    This is quite a forgettable Texas team.
    They’ll probably win the World Series, but they’re hardly impressive.

  279. John Says:

    How is the team that wins the World Series something besides impressive?

    Also, although he’s in the World Series for like, the billionth time, TLR is batshit insane.

  280. Cameron Says:

    Batshit insane, but his throwing seven relievers in the least three innings of a game approach has gotten him pretty damn far this postseason. Outside of Mark “Come Hit Me” Rzepcynski, the bullpen’s been pretty solid.

    And this Texas team is pretty impressive to me. Hamilton, Cruz, Napoli, Young, Kinsler, Andrus, the lineup’s stacked. The rotation’s been solid, but not great, and the bullpen’s been good. They’re a solid team. The pitching’s not flashy, but the offense sure as hell is, and the defense they’ve played is surprisingly good outside of Cruz botching that one slide play.

    …And Napoli at the plate, but that guy was never a full-time catcher.

  281. Raul Says:

    I suppose it never occurred to you that some World Series teams are better than others.

  282. Raul Says:

    lol

    Kinsler, Young and Hamilton are hitting like little Susies and Debbies. You’ve gotta be kidding.

  283. John Says:

    The biggest straw for me is the hit and run with Allen Craig on the bases and Albert Pujols up.

    Pujols – Holliday – Berkman – Red Hot David Freese – Red Hot Yadi Molina.

    You’re down by 2 runs and already have a man on.

    Under “hit-and-run” in the dictionary, this exact scenerio is highlighted in the “WHEN NOT TO DO IT” section.

  284. Raul Says:

    I don’t need any more reasons to hate Tony La Russa.

  285. John Says:

    The Rangers have:

    A reigning MVP
    A reigning ROY
    A man with 6-200 hit seasons
    A man coming off the greatest post-season series, probably ever.
    A man with 2 30-30 seasons
    One of the top 20 or so all-time 3B
    A top-3 defensive MLB SS.
    A catcher who slugged .6-freaking-31.
    A rock-solid rotation 1-5

    What’s forgettable here? Mitch Moreland is forgettable.

  286. Cameron Says:

    Yes, the World Series is the only way to measure a hitter’s worth and Yadi Molina and David Freese are better hitters than Kinsler, Young, and Hamilton…

    Excuse me, I need to check to see just how bad the concussion I must be suffering is because people in a normal world aren’t that short-sighted.

  287. Raul Says:

    lol, whatever you say.

    This Texas team might be the worst to win a World Series in the last 15 years. I highly doubt they would beat any of the other World Series winners in that time.

  288. Cameron Says:

    John, may I borrow one of your “In X’s world” analogies?

    In Raul’s world, David Eckstein is a better player than Ken Griffey, Jr. Because real ballplayers play well in the world series and everything else is meaningless.

  289. Cameron Says:

    Both Marlins teams, the ‘02 Angels, last year’s Giants, the ‘06 Cardinals, and the ‘05 White Sox were all worse if you ask me.

  290. John Says:

    “This Texas team might be the worst to win a World Series in the last 15 years. I highly doubt they would beat any of the other World Series winners in that time.”

    How can you possibly justify that statement?

    2006 Cardinals
    Either Marlins team
    2000 Yankees
    2001 Dbacks
    Last year’s Giants

    Look at that team. Look at that lineup. Look at their rotation. Look at their defense, especially on the left side of the infield.

    Just because a team lacks “Yankee Mystique” doesn’t mean they aren’t as much a winner as anyone else.

    Of course, they aren’t winners just yet. GO RANGERS.

  291. Cameron Says:

    It could be any AL team and you’d be cheering for them because it’s the Cardinals.

  292. Raul Says:

    That White Sox team would have shut down Texas without so much as a sweat.
    The 97 Marlins had better pitching, easily. The same is probably true for the 03 team.

    Maybe the 02 Angels.

    So fine, Maybe Texas beats 2 out of the last…20 World Series winners.

    You got me.

  293. Cameron Says:

    I’ll admit the pitching on this team isn’t great. It’s good, but not great. Offensively, though, this team goes toe-to-toe with any WS team in the last 20 years. With that kinda of bullshit offense, good enough pitching still gets you there.

  294. John Says:

    The 2005 White Sox are weird.

    They were the best team in the AL at 99-63, and went 11-1 in the post-season.

    But they sucked offensively. Just horrendous outside of Konerko and Dye. They won because of pitching…but none of those pitchers were superstars. They were all work-a-day pitchers (except Buehrle) who, somehow, all had career years. And not just the rotation, but fairly anonymous relievers. Cliff Politte, Dustin Hermanson, and Neil Cotts combined to basically form Pedro Martinez (185 IP, ERA of ~2).

  295. Cameron Says:

    Yeah… I took one look at that roster and go “How in the fuck did they win a World Series? …How in the fuck did they win the AL Central?”

  296. John Says:

    “I’ll admit the pitching on this team isn’t great. It’s good, but not great. Offensively, though, this team goes toe-to-toe with any WS team in the last 20 years. With that kinda of bullshit offense, good enough pitching still gets you there.”

    Texas OPS+: 108 (3rd in AL)
    Texas ERA+: 118 (2nd in AL)

    It would appear that pitching is at least as much a part of the Rangers’ success as hitting. Consider how quickly those late 90’s Ranger teams got swept out of the playoffs with only hitting.

    By comparison, the 05 White Sox were at 95 and 125.
    The 97 Marlins were at 98 and 106
    The 03 Marlins were at 97 and 105
    The 00 Yankees were at 103 and 102
    The 99 Yankees were at 110 and 114
    The 96 Yankees were at 100 and 108
    The 01 Dbacks were at 94 and 121

    And so on.

  297. Cameron Says:

    Funny their ERA+ is 2nd in the AL considering their actual ERA is 5th. Arlington has that big a park effect I guess.

  298. John Says:

    Yeah, and deservedly so. It’s a tough park to pitch in.

    Works both ways…actual OPS is second, but third when adjusted.

  299. Cameron Says:

    How many of these guys do you just think are having career years, though? Ogando was good, but this is his first year as a starter. Wilson’s having a career year at 31 in his second year as a starter, Matt Harrison finally earned a spot and did well…

    This is good pitching, but how good do you think the actual players are compared to the years they’re having? We mentioned the 2005 White Sox. That team collectively had career years. Could be the same thing.

    …Then again, I was wondering that last year, too.

  300. John Says:

    Yeah, I mean those 5 guys had a combined 4 or so years as starters before this year. I dunno, could definitely be flukes for all we know.

  301. Cameron Says:

    Hey now, Colby Lewis had more than 4 years starting experience.

    …Most of them were in Japan, but they’re there. If you squint REALLY hard.

  302. Lefty33 Says:

    “Just because a team lacks “Yankee Mystique” doesn’t mean they aren’t as much a winner as anyone else.”

    Are trying to say that the ‘00 Yankees lacked mystique?

    I mean come on John.

    That team had three, count them three full time pitchers with an ERA under 4.10.

    If that’s not mystique I don’t know what is. Only a team with total mystique could have pitching that awful and still win the AL East and the WS.

  303. John Says:

    “If you squint REALLY hard.”

    LOL. Subtle.

    “That team had three, count them three full time pitchers with an ERA under 4.10.”

    Roger Clemens had a 3.70 ERA in 2000.

    He was SECOND in the American League, almost 2 full runs worse than Pedro.

    That’s incredible to me.

  304. Raul Says:

    I don’t blame Lefty for being bitchy about those 2000 Yankees.
    That 2000 Phillies team was 65-97. But I heard Rob Ducey was one gritty ballplayer.

  305. Lefty33 Says:

    I’m not sure which is worse.

    The fact that he was two runs behind number one or the fact that 3.70 was good enough for 2nd place in ERA.

    Either way it was a horrible side effect of the Roid era.

  306. Cameron Says:

    I didn’t even realize what I did until after about ten minutes after I typed it, John. That was accidental racism.

  307. Lefty33 Says:

    “I don’t blame Lefty for being bitchy about those 2000 Yankees.”

    I just read the Yankee Years book by Torre and Verducci and even Joe was suprised that the ‘00 team won.

    That team tanked in September playing something like .430 baseball down the stretch and when 4/5 of your rotation puts up studly seasons like Denny Neagle 5.81, David Cone 6.91, El Duque 4.51, and Pettite 4.35 it’s amazing they got out the AL East let alone the fact that in the postseason they hammered the M’s and the Mets.

    “That 2000 Phillies team was 65-97. But I heard Rob Ducey was one gritty ballplayer.”

    Ahh yes, that was still back in the dark ages where the Phillies were in the process of losing on purpose to try and convince the city of Philadelphia and state of PA that they were a “small market” club and that both governments should subsidize a new stadium to the tune of 175 million dollars.

    That ‘00 team had a few good guys with Burrell, Lieberthal, Rolen, and Abreu.

    But the pitching. Oh that amazing bullpen pitching.

    Jeff Brantley 5.86 as the closer.
    Chris Brock (who) 4.34
    Wayne Gomes 4.40
    Jason Boyd 6.55
    Ed Vosberg 4.13
    Vincente Padilla 5.34
    Scott Aldred 5.75
    Amaury Telemaco 6.66
    Steve Schrenk 7.33

  308. Cameron Says:

    “Ahh yes, that was still back in the dark ages where the Phillies were in the process of losing on purpose to try and convince the city of Philadelphia and state of PA that they were a “small market” club and that both governments should subsidize a new stadium to the tune of 175 million dollars.”

    If that’s what KC’s trying to do, the Kaufman renovations are great. Heard good things about Arrowhead’s touch-ups, too.

  309. Cameron Says:

    Speaking of intentionally sucking, I think that’s what the Miami dolphins have to be doing at this point. You don’t go 0-16 unless you’re shooting for that #1 pick. Weirdly enough, the city of Miami’s getting behind it. I’m seeing “Suck for Luck” signs at Sun Life because they want Andrew Luck as their new quarterback. It’s pissing Matt Moore off, but… Well, it’s Matt Moore, who gives a shit?

    If they do go 0-16, the Dolphins are a weird franchise. They’re the only team to go completely undefeated throughout the year in the NFL and there’s a big chance of them not winning a game at all. Has any other team in any other sport had win percentages of 0.000 and 1.000 in their history?

  310. Raul Says:

    I read The Yankee Years.

    I didn’t really care for it. Frankly, I lost respect for Joe Torre because of it.

  311. Lefty33 Says:

    “A catcher who slugged .6-freaking-31.”

    You should say a “catcher”.

    Napoli is about as much of a catcher as you are an orchestra conductor.

    He hasn’t caught 100 games once in his career and he couldn’t throw out a ‘75 Plymouth Duster getting pulled by a team of Clydesdales.

    On a slightly less sarcastic note I do understand the point that Raul was making earlier because I kind of had the same thought that he did about the Rangers.

    Maybe it’s just the East Coast bias in me coming out but when you look at the team you really are not blown away because they really don’t have big name superstar players on that team in the way that you would think of compared to a big market team like Boston, Philly, or NY.

    I mean they do play solid baseball but it’s very under the radar and if you were to poll people I’m sure you would get more name/face recognition from Brett Gardner than you would anyone of the Rangers.

    I don’t think they are as bad as Raul thinks of them and clearly they and the Cardinals are never going to be remembered as great Championship caliber teams but the Rangers do belong and they earned it.

    They’re only real mistakes this year were paying Dave Bush a million dollars to pitch 1/3 of a season for the Phillies AAA team, Brandon Webb three million dollars to be injured, and Arthur Rhodes four million to pitch against them in the WS.

  312. Lefty33 Says:

    “I didn’t really care for it. Frankly, I lost respect for Joe Torre because of it.”

    What didn’t you like about it?

    I thought it was a good read, not great just good, and with the way Cashman, Levine in particular, and the Steinbrenners treated Torre at the end they deserve to stink a little bit instead of trying to pin any of the teams “failures” on him when it was Cashman and George’s fault mostly by signing overpriced – past their prime talent that couldn’t have cared less about winning and were just there as independant contractors waiting to cash a check twice a month.

  313. Raul Says:

    I didn’t like how Torre talked about things that went on in the clubhouse and how he trashed some of his players.

    You’re a manager. Act like it.

  314. Cameron Says:

    At the time he released it, he wasn’t a manager. Didn’t have to act like shit.

  315. Raul Says:

    It’s the equivalent of breaking up and then posting a bunch of shit about your ex-girlfriend on facebook.

    Grow up.

  316. Cameron Says:

    I think I’m just gonna call the fact it trashed the Yankees on this. If it was Mike Scioscia leaving the Angels and he trashed the team for the rampant jackassery that went on, would you really give a shit about it?

  317. Raul Says:

    I’d have less respect for Mike Scoscia.
    It’s the same thing.

  318. Cameron Says:

    Shaft got a seven-episode TV series. It just came out on DVD. …Fuck me, of all the times to be broke.

  319. Raul Says:

    Read some rumors online that the Yankees do not have much interest in bidding for Yu Darvish.

  320. Cameron Says:

    After the Kei Igawa fiasco, it’s understandable.

  321. Cameron Says:

    …You know, sometimes I read these weird news stories and get a laugh. Sometimes I see stuff that just makes my brain shut down from the sheer amount of wrong. But once in a blue moon, I get the perfect monsoon of someone trying to make any rational action and I see the most bizarre shit. Like this.

    http://www.kfor.com/news/local/kfor-man-covered-in-oil-makes-lewd-proposals-to-girls-20111018,0,7804247.story

    There’s being weird. There’s being batshit crazy. And then there’s this guy.

  322. John Says:

    “Napoli is about as much of a catcher as you are an orchestra conductor.

    He hasn’t caught 100 games once in his career and he couldn’t throw out a ‘75 Plymouth Duster getting pulled by a team of Clydesdales.”

    Allen Craig just wept a little.

  323. John Says:

    For what it’s worth, Napoli threw out a very respectable 36% of baserunners and the Rangers had a 3.16 ERA/.640 OPS with him behind the plate compared to 4.31 and .742 for Torrealba.

    He’s had two big CS’s in late innings of the post-season; yesterday’s final out was a bit of an adventure though.

  324. Raul Says:

    So literally hours after I read rumors that the Yankees have very little interest in Yu Darvish, ESPN.com is reporting that the Yankees actually prefer Darvish over CJ Wilson.

  325. Raul Says:

    Good news for John.

    The general concensus is that Yuniesky Betancourt’s 6 million dollar option will be declined.

    Also appears Joe Nathan will hit the market as he has a 12.5 million dollar club option.

  326. John Says:

    “The general concensus is that Yuniesky Betancourt’s 6 million dollar option will be declined.”

    I love that Dayton Moore thought that a 6M option with a 2M buyout made sense for a player who probably set some sort of record for pop-ups.

  327. brautigan Says:

    This is turning out to be a good world series. At least the games are close, but man, as a Cardinal fan, I sure hated to see the game go from Cardinals in control to Cardinals out of control. I mean, this is down to the end of the season and these guys are making plays that you might see in Spring Training. What is up with that? And what the hell was Craig doing running? (not in the 9th, that is kind of explainable, I’m talking earlier in the game. That was so wrong on so many levels, I can’t hardly come to grips with the fact he even tried to run in that situation. Dude went from hero to goat pretty damn quickly in my book.)

  328. brautigan Says:

    The general consensus is: Whoever gave Betancourt a $6 million dollar contract to begin with ought to be checking into a rehab clinic.

  329. Bob Says:

    This has been a very good Series.

  330. Chuck Says:

    #283,

    I don’t believe that was a hit and run.

    The situation just didn’t fit the call. Even after everything that was said, I think Craig just missed a sign.

  331. Chuck Says:

    “This Texas team might be the worst to win a World Series in the last 15 years.”

    Assuming they win it.

    And what’s that say about the Cardinals?

  332. John Says:

    ” I mean, this is down to the end of the season and these guys are making plays that you might see in Spring Training.”

    How do you think you got there in the first place? I mean, you probably were going to the WS anyway, but you did benefit from SEVEN errors in the last two games, including 3 in about a 100 second-span.

    “The situation just didn’t fit the call. Even after everything that was said, I think Craig just missed a sign.”

    Honestly, that’s the most logical explanation there is.

    Except it’s TLR, a man who had just left his LOOGY in against Mike Napoli (because, lord forbid that a righty pitch to HOFer Mitch Moreland).

    I honestly have no idea what goes on in that man’s head.

  333. John Says:

    “And what’s that say about the Cardinals?”

    They wouldn’t even be the worst Cardinals team to win it in the last 10 years.

  334. Chuck Says:

    “I just read the Yankee Years book by Torre and Verducci and even Joe was suprised that the ‘00 team won.”

    Verducci wrote that Sidd Finch-esque SI piece a few years ago on Bryce Harper.

    Sorry, personal choice, but I don’t like fiction.

  335. Chuck Says:

    #315

    Yep, I guess I should have read that first, would have saved some typing above.

  336. John Says:

    ” even Joe was suprised that the ‘00 team won”

    As well he should’ve been.

    His team won 87 games in (at the time) a very weak division.

    If anyone besides ARod shows up to play for the Mariners in the 2000 ALCS, that dynasty is a tad shorter.

  337. Chuck Says:

    Neither the Rangers or Cardinals are the best team in their respective leagues.

    Teams get hot (or cold, in the case of the Red Sox) at the right or wrong time and this is what we end up with.

    It HAS been a good series.

    But the fact we’re possibly faced with watching the immortal Matt Harrison starting game seven should tell you all you need to know about the talent level.

  338. John Says:

    Just the way the rotations worked out.

    I’d rather have CJ Wilson as my number 1 and Matt Harrison as my number 4 than CC Sabathia as my number 1 and AJ Burnett as my number 4.

  339. Lefty33 Says:

    “Except it’s TLR, a man who had just left his LOOGY in against Mike Napoli (because, lord forbid that a righty pitch to HOFer Mitch Moreland).

    I honestly have no idea what goes on in that man’s head.”

    It wasn’t TLR’s fault. The phone was “broken”.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2011/10/25/2011-10-25_cardinals_manager_tony_la_russa_has_bullpen_phone_problems_at_world_series_if_yo.html

  340. Chuck Says:

    “I’d rather have CJ Wilson as my number 1 and Matt Harrison as my number 4 than CC Sabathia as my number 1 and AJ Burnett as my number 4.”

    If anyone else said that, I would have fainted.

    Coming from you, not at all surprised.

  341. John Says:

    @339, I refuse to believe that. He’s just making excuses.

    @340,

    Spahn and Sain and pay for rain will win about twice every 5 days.
    Wilson-Lewis-Holland-Harrison-Ogando will win about three times every 5 days.

    Of course, you weirdly prefer things that lose games.

  342. Chuck Says:

    “Our goal is to build the best scouting department in the game.”

    Theo Epstein in his welcome presser in Chicago this morning.

  343. John Says:

    “Our goal is to go to OWS for food”

    Jim Hendry, to his family.

  344. brautigan Says:

    Craig came out and said he got the steal sign. My guess is, he didn’t get the steal sign (because there is no advantage to stealing in that situation), but misread the steal sign.

    In any event, it was a box of rocks dumb play. If Don Baylor was the judge of that Kangaroo court, Craig would be in an uncomfortable world right about now.

  345. brautigan Says:

    I’ve never rooted for the Cubs. Ever. Especially after the fan base response to Bartman.

    But you can guarantee I’ll be rooting against them now.

  346. Raul Says:

    OWS?

  347. John Says:

    ” If Don Baylor was the judge of that Kangaroo court, Craig would be in an uncomfortable world right about now.”

    I’m afraid to ask…but indulge me.

  348. John Says:

    @346, Occupy Wall Street.

  349. Raul Says:

    I don’t know how that even makes sense.

  350. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 339

    As do I but on Mike and Mike they were talking about Phone Gate for half an hour this morning.

    They had on Kurkjian and he said that is was possible that this could have happened and he relayed a story about bullpen phones not working including one with LaRussa this year in Philly where he had to call the bullpen catcher on his cell phone for the first two games of a three game series and then magically after complaining to the Commissioner’s office the phones got fixed for the Sunday finale.

  351. Cameron Says:

    “I love that Dayton Moore thought that a 6M option with a 2M buyout made sense for a player who probably set some sort of record for pop-ups.”

    He didn’t, Jack Zdrucinek did.

  352. John Says:

    @349, they have catored buffets and stuff.

  353. John Says:

    Actually, I think it was Jack Z’s predecessor.

  354. Raul Says:

    Ok I have to go on a rant here because if I don’t get this out of my system, I’m liable to go outside and kill someone.

    Stop it with this stupid suffix bullshit.
    Watergate was the name of the hotel. Gate should not be a suffix for every kind of scandal or controversy.

    It’s just fucking stupid. I’m sick of this shit. And while I’m at it, “aholic” is another stupid one. Alcoholism is a disease. Some stupid bitch with a shopping habit doesn’t have a disease. She’s just a dumb ass who loves to buy shit.

    I know I said I’d be better about the language on here but this shit makes me fucking furious.

  355. Raul Says:

    Ok I feel bad for using the “b” word.

    But the sentiment stands.

  356. John Says:

    @354, you and Lewis Black should get together sometime.

  357. Raul Says:

    MLB argues that Frank McCourt took 190 million from the Dodgers…apparently cementing his place alongside Dennis Kozlowski.

  358. Raul Says:

    btw, it also really pisses me off when people think “hysterical” means the same thing as “hilarious”.

  359. Chuck Says:

    Kangaroo Court is essentially a way to form camaraderie in the clubhouse, it’s a silly way to get or keep guys loose.

    Frank Robinson was the Orioles’ judge and would dress up in judge robe and wig and would hear arguments just like in a trial and pronounce sentence.

    You could get fined for missing a sign, making a mental error, not wearing a tie on the team .

    Money is either used for the season ending team party or donated to charity.

  360. John Says:

    by definition, only a woman can by hysterical.

    Not even sexism.

  361. Lefty33 Says:

    “Stop it with this stupid suffix bullshit.”

    Agreed.

    Greenberg called it that a few times and by the end even Golic was telling him to stop but Greenberg kept arguing that he had to call it something so he then used it about four more times until the segment was over.

  362. John Says:

    Oh, I know that, Chuck.

    Is there something specific about Don Baylor’s Kangaroo Court that’s disturbing?

  363. Lefty33 Says:

    They even have Kangaroo Courts in Baseball Fantasy Camps.

    The Phillies usually have John Kruk, Larry Anderson, and Mitch Williams as judges and Mickey Morandini acts as the public defender.

  364. Chuck Says:

    “They had on Kurkjian and he said that is was possible that this could have happened and he relayed a story about bullpen phones not working including one with LaRussa this year in Philly where he had to call the bullpen catcher on his cell phone for the first two games of a three game series and then magically after complaining to the Commissioner’s office the phones got fixed for the Sunday finale.”

    Sucks having a bullpen coach who doesn’t know the signs.

  365. Chuck Says:

    “Is there something specific about Don Baylor’s Kangaroo Court that’s disturbing?”

    No.

  366. John Says:

    Let’s say all that is true.

    Shouldn’t the bullpen coach have a little common sense? You know, enough to repeat “you said you want Lynn, skipper? Not Motte?”

  367. Raul Says:

    The phones didn’t work? That’s his excuse?

    I wonder what John McGraw did all those years…

  368. brautigan Says:

    Don Baylor learned at the feet of Frank Robinson.

    Some traditions need to be maintained. Kangaroo Court is one of them.

    I remember when Curtis Leskanic got fined for an ugly shirt he wore to a game. (He was with the Rockies then and Baylor was either a coach or a manager then). You should have seen the ugly ass shirt he wore the next day.

    Man, I miss guys like “Psycho” Leskanic.

  369. brautigan Says:

    “I wonder what John McGraw did all those years…?”

    He let McGinnity, Mathewson, Marquard and Raymond finish what they started.

  370. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Braut.

    Well played.

  371. John Says:

    I mean, for shit’s sake, Tony.

    Text your bullpen coach. Tweet him. Update your facebook status to say “GET MOTTE UP”

    Note: those last two things are probably against MLB regulations.

  372. Chuck Says:

    #371,

    The first one is too.

  373. Raul Says:

    “Note: those last two things are probably against MLB regulations.”

    1. Who cares? Once it’s done, it’s done.
    2. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

  374. John Says:

    You know what’s messed up? The NFL fined Troy Polamalu 10K for calling his wife to tell her that he was ok following a concussion.

    That’s borderline psychotic.

  375. Chuck Says:

    Leskanic was a little crazy.

    Once on a road trip, in Detroit, I think, he was bored so he went out walking the street and came upon a homeless guy. Leskanic gave him $100 to borrow his shopping cart and some clothes.

    He got all dressed up and went and stood with an empty coffee can and a harmonica and solicited.

    Outside the team hotel.

    His teammates would walk by and some would give money, others told him “get a fucking job.”

    He then gave the guy back his stuff, except the outfit he was wearing.

    Then he took a cab to the ballpark.

  376. brautigan Says:

    Well, if you’re managing a game and you’ve made a call to the bullpen, you’re going to assume the guys you wanted warming up ARE warming up. It’s not like the good old days where the guys were warming up behind the 3rd base line or the 1st base line. Some of these bullpens are invisible to the benches. So, it just happened. It will make for fine reading 30 years from now. It sucks for Cardinal fan…….but we still have two games left to make our case.

  377. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 371

    Like Chuck said it’s not allowed.

    LaRussa was only using his cellphone to call the bullpen coach because the league was unaware of the problem initially and the Phillies answer was to offer walkie-talkies that their security/valet parking staff used and LaRussa declined them.

    LaRussa complained to Bud’s office after game two of the series and magically things were fixed for the Sunday finale.

    “I wonder what John McGraw did all those years…”

    Navy Signal Flags like in The Naked Gun?

  378. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: That’s a good story. I have a few more of Psycho too. Once in Tucson, he drank so much tequila he smelled like a margarita the next morning. His color was a little like a margarita too.

    He told me years later that he quit drinking not long after that. He said pitching was more important than having fun. But somehow, I think Psycho still had a lot of fun.

  379. brautigan Says:

    If you guys don’t know who Bugs Raymond was (re: #369), you need to read up on him. What a weird ass character.

  380. Chuck Says:

    “He told me years later that he quit drinking not long after that”

    DUI last month in Florida.

  381. Lefty33 Says:

    “Some of these bullpens are invisible to the benches.”

    I’ve never been to Arlington but Kurkjian said that the visitors bullpen is 100% not visible from the visitors dugout and the phone in the bullpen is around the corner from the area where the players sit so that with the noise last night they couldn’t even hear the phone ring.

  382. Cameron Says:

    “by definition, only a woman can by hysterical.

    Not even sexism.”

    And the cure is doctor-administered orgasm. …Medical science used to be weird.

  383. Raul Says:

    Why don’t the phones have lights?

    Hell, I think Batman had a red phone that blinked up…..and that shit was in the 1960s with Adam West.

  384. Chuck Says:

    Once when he was with the Padres, my old buddy Doug Bochtler dressed up as a vendor and sold soda and cracker jacks during the game.

    In Philly, he used the bullpen phone to call the neighborhood cheesesteak place and ordered takeout, then stole the Phanatic’s little ATV and drove over and picked up the food…in full uniform.

  385. Cameron Says:

    “Once when he was with the Padres, my old buddy Doug Bochtler dressed up as a vendor and sold soda and cracker jacks during the game.

    In Philly, he used the bullpen phone to call the neighborhood cheesesteak place and ordered takeout, then stole the Phanatic’s little ATV and drove over and picked up the food…in full uniform.”

    That’s so ridiculous that that’s just amazing.

  386. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 383 & 384 LOL!

  387. Bob Says:

    John, post 343 cracked my ass up.

  388. Bob Says:

    Chuck, that is a great story about Leskanic. Cracked my ass up again.

  389. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: It looks like Psycho started drinking again after his career was over. Man, his BAC was .331. That high of a BAC is amazing….he certainly is alcoholic….but then, that’s what I though 16 years ago. I thought it was a smart move on his part then, but, baseball players without baseball can make for a difficult transition.

    Chuck: Do you know who Psycho is scouting for?

  390. Bob Says:

    Holy shit.

  391. brautigan Says:

    Back when the Rockies and Marlins first came into baseball, neither team had a AA team the first year. I remember being in Visalia where the Rockies had their first high A team and Doug Bochtler was there. He had pitched the year before in AA @ Harrisburg, so Doug wasn’t too happy about being assigned to “Central Valley”. My friend Jeff and I were waiting for Central Valley’s pitching coach to come out (Jack Lamabe) to get his autograph and out comes Bochtler. He was driving his girl friend’s car and the car had a flat tire. What made it a problem was, said girl friend’s car did not have a tire iron, jack yes, tire iron no. So Jeff get’s out his tire iron and loans it to Bochtler. We offered to change the tire for Bochtler, but he wouldn’t have any of that, so while we’re waiting for Lamabe, we’re shooting the breeze with Bochtler. Finally, I said “do you know that Psycho is up with Colorado Springs?” I thought Bochtler was going to put that tire iron through the roof of the trunk. Not only was he NOT happy about being in A ball, it really angered him to find out Leskanic was in AAA.

    For years after that, whenever I saw Bochtler, I’d say “hey, do you remember the flat tire in Visalia and he’d say “yeah, I do remember and screw Leskanic”.

    Bochtler was a great guy and I should have looked him up this last season. He was in the NWL this year as a pitching coach for the Diamondbacks. I don’t think he disliked Psycho, I think he just thought he was the better pitcher is all.

  392. Cameron Says:

    .331? Fuck, how are you still standing after that? Or do breathalyzers read vomit now?

  393. brautigan Says:

    They had to take him to the hospital to get checked out before they took him to jail.

    Highest BAC I have ever heard of was .50. A doctor from Hawaii hit that jackpot. He was about a Bacardi 151 shot away from the jackpot.

  394. Cameron Says:

    @389

    Oooh, oooh! I know!

  395. Bob Says:

    Then tell us.

  396. Cameron Says:

    He’s been working with Boston the past few years.

  397. Cameron Says:

    Speaking of Boston, John Lackey’s gonna have Tommy John surgery. …Didn’t know he was hurt. Good news, the black hole that was his rotation spot is open next season.

    Also, a sixth option year vested at league minimum for him because of the TJ. …That’s one of the weirdest vesting options I’ve ever seen.

  398. Bob Says:

    They must have seen something during his initial exam. I wonder if these provisions become more common now.
    This injury may also coerce the Sox to really make a play for Darvish.

  399. Cameron Says:

    I dunno. They’re under a lot of contract weight as it is, and after Matsuzaka, they could be like the Yankees and not be that invested. They may put something like $25MM in the posting auction, but it won’t win.

  400. Cameron Says:

    Also, I think Boston may try to look internally for options. They’ve got three spots filled between Lester, Buccholz, and Beckett. Matsuzaka will be back sometime next year, so only one spot’s really up for competition. Likely a free agent that won’t cost them north of 100 million’s getting that. Or Felix Doubront, depending on how much faith is left in the guy.

  401. Bob Says:

    They need pitching depth. I will prove it.
    1. Beckett
    2. Lester
    3. Bucholz
    4. Acevas
    5. Bard??? Doubrant??? Andrew Miller??? Kyle Weiland???
    6. See where I am coming from???

  402. Cameron Says:

    I know they’re considering Bard to the rotation, but I don’t see it working out too much.

    But Matsuzaka is back next year, Lackey the year after. It’d be a stupid move to sink that much money into Yu Darvish for a two-year band-aid job. They’re more likely to sign Jeff Francis than Yu Darvish.

  403. Cameron Says:

    Actually, if I’m Boston, I’m pushing hard for Mark Buerhle this offseason. Guy nets you 200 innings like clockwork and they can afford to outbid Chicago for him. Pretty sure his contract value won’t be as big as his last one after his last couple years. He’ll be in the “affordable innings eater” range, and that’s what they should be looking for.

  404. Bob Says:

    I wonder if the Cubs will compete for his services.

  405. Chuck Says:

    “Bochtler was a great guy and I should have looked him up this last season.”

    I met him in 1994 when he was pitching for Sun City in the AFL.

    He was nuts even then.

    He hung around with Sean Mulligan and a couple of other long forgotten guys.

    Bochtler used to hang out in the bullpen in old Sun City Stadium where the Brewers trained and would have baseballs in his jacket pocket.

    Some young hottie would go down to the bullpen and ask for a ball, and Bochtler would ask how old they were.

    If they answered 18 or below, he’d reach into the ballbag and flip one, or even tell her to pound sand if she wasn’t that good looking.

    If she said she was 19 or over, he’d give her one from his pocket.

    On the ball was the address of his condo and the number.

    Only other player I saw do that was CJ Wilson.

  406. brautigan Says:

    Damn Chuck, how do you do that? Sean Mulligan, man, I haven’t seen that guy in 16 years. I forgot all about him. IT’s like I have forgotten more players than I remember.

    I’ll have to go back and look at my old 1992 signed Classic Best cards to remember a lot of these guys!

  407. brautigan Says:

    There he is, card #132, in his High Desrt uniform. Right under Ryan Hawblitzel and next to Ray McDavid. Sean Mulligan had a nice autograph. Other notable autographs from that 1992 Classic Best include:

    Darren Bragg
    Robb Nen
    Salomon Torres
    Fernando Vina
    Billy Ashley (noted because he hit one of the longest homeruns I have ever seen.)
    Tony Womack
    Joe Randa
    Derek Jeter
    Brian Hunter (Astro OF)
    Curtis Pride
    Shane Andrews
    Brent Gates
    Mike Piazza
    Joey Hamilton
    Jim Edmonds
    Kevin Stocker
    Eduardo Perez
    Pat Meares

  408. Cameron Says:

    Fun Fact: Both Doug Bochtler and Crazy Leskanic have been Royals.

  409. Chuck Says:

    Darren Bragg grew up in the next town over from me.

    His uncle was the town constable where I grew up, my dad and uncle were fireman and they all were buddies from the hip from as far back as I can remember.

    I was an assistant coach on Bragg’s high school team and never once thought he would ever be a major league player.

    Now, whenever I get a coaching or speaking opportunity, I always use him as a reference to what perseverance and drive can do for you.

    Unfortunately, once he got to the majors, he turned into a first class asshole.

  410. brautigan Says:

    Second that Chuck. You’re right about Bragg.

  411. Raul Says:

    Nice list of players from 1992 there.

  412. Raul Says:

    I think the only names that don’t ring a bell are Bill Ashley, Brent Gates and Joey Hamilton.

  413. Cameron Says:

    Funny, because Bill Ashley and Joey Hamilton are names that ring bells for me. Don’t exactly know why or where from, but I know I’ve heard ‘em.

  414. Raul Says:

    Only name you recognized was your boy, Joe Randa.

  415. Lefty33 Says:

    “Speaking of Boston, John Lackey’s gonna have Tommy John surgery. …Didn’t know he was hurt.”

    You really didn’t know?

    Gammons broke that back in June and I know I’ve said it here at least four or five times that although Tito, Theo, and Lackey kept lying that he didn’t need it every major/minor reporter that follows the team has been saying TJ since the AS break.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/mlb/news/story?id=6719120

  416. Cameron Says:

    I knew he sucked, but he set a pretty low bar last season. I just thought he’d fallen off a cliff.

  417. Raul Says:

    Lackey being injured doesn’t make a difference. He’s simply not that good.

  418. Cameron Says:

    He was good in Anaheim. Maybe not an ace and certainly not worth his contract, but he was nowhere near THIS bad. The bad arm kinda makes sense.

  419. Raul Says:

    I got $50 says about 500 newspapers around the country are ready to print “Don’t Mess With Texas” as their headline should the Rangers win the World Series.

    Gotta love how America is about as original as 1955.

  420. Cameron Says:

    So, the MLB Fan Cave is taking new applicants. I think it’s a random selection thing. I put my name in this year since I couldn’t last year (applicants need to be 21 or older). I know I’m not gonna win, but I figured why the fuck not?

  421. Chuck Says:

    Do you need a note from your therapist to move?

  422. Cameron Says:

    Stopped going to therapy a couple years ago, actually.

  423. Bob Says:

    I’m rooting for you to win.

  424. Cameron Says:

    Thanks for the support, Bob.

  425. brautigan Says:

    The best 3B option for anyone is Aramis Ramirez.

    As far as I can tell, there is no other option.

  426. Cameron Says:

    …You’re pretty much right. Unless you can snag Youk or Wright in a trade, you’re pretty fucked for third basemen.

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