Contract Talk: Josh Hamilton

by JohnBowen

At the request of our very own Bob Owens, I thought I would introduce a topic that will be on everyone’s minds soon enough: Josh Hamilton’s upcoming free agency status.

The Texas outfielder is one of the very best stories in the game, having overcome drug and alcohol addiction to win the 2010 MVP award and lead his team to the last two American League pennants. Since resurrecting his career in 2007, Josh Hamilton has hit a tidy .311/.368/.548 while averaging 39 doubles, 33 home runs and 118 RBI per 162 games. And, he becomes a free agent after the 2012 season – a season that has seen him get off to a fast start, OPSing 1.208 through his first 13 games.

So, my question my millions, or 7, adoring fans is this: if you’re Jon Daniels, how much do you offer Josh Hamilton to remain a Ranger.

His abilities as a ballplayer are clear as can be, but it’s the downsides that Daniels will have to weigh before offering Hamilton a crazy deal.

The one that will spring to everyone’s mind is his history of drug and alcohol abuse – and the fact that he has relapsed twice in the last four years.

However, while this isn’t a completely trivial issue, you have to consider that Hamilton has landed on his feet in both cases, apologized for his actions, and has gone on to rake. Heck, this man’s entire life is a “weak moment” and he’s still basically the best player in baseball.

No, what concerns me about Josh Hamilton is the fact that he’s a 31-year old man who has missed 150 games over the last three years.

So, breaking the bank for him is probably unwise. At least I think so – but phenomenal talents like Hamilton tend to bring out the irrational in some folks.

On the other hand, the Rangers know first hand what it’s like to pay a top talent top dollar, watch him perform at an elite level, and still finish in last.

My offer? 5/100, with an option for a 6th year.

What’s yours?

415 Responses to “Contract Talk: Josh Hamilton”

  1. Bob Says:

    Could this boil down to a decision between Mike Napoli or Josh Hamilton for Texas? And while Texas, under To Hicks paid top dollar for an elite talent who did not help them in the standings, one might hope ( and think) that Nolan Ryan and Daniels learned something about that.
    If I am Hamilton, I give the Rangers a discount on account of
    1. The Stadium
    2. The support the player have given him. Celebrations of sprite or Ginger Ale, what have you.
    3. John, thanks.

  2. Cameron Says:

    I’m about with your numbers, John, but I’d give a second option year as well for a maximum of 7/150.

  3. Bob Says:

    Team option or player option?

  4. Cameron Says:

    I have the same priority order on options, Bob.

    1. Club Option
    2. Mutual Option
    3. Player Option (Only sign if it’s a deal breaker, never offer it yourself.)

  5. Raul Says:

    Swishy-Swish is a FA after the season.

    Hamilton plays the Yankees against the Rangers and the Rangers go with a 6-year, 120 million dollar deal.

  6. Cameron Says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised Raul. I also would consider that a good deal.

    Same time, I think Swish tries to play the Yankees against the Rangers and ends up with something like 3/45.

  7. Chuck Says:

    I think it was Rosenthal who said Hamilton wants 7/200.

  8. Raul Says:

    LOLOLOLOLOL @ 7

  9. John Says:

    Hamilton’s a stud, but he’s too old to get that deal…I think.

    The Rangers are a good enough team to win about 90ish without him. He’s their best player, but it’s really not worth morgaging their future over.

  10. Raul Says:

    And how much longer do you think the Rangers will be getting by on Michael Young’s bat?

    They’re gonna lean on Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler?
    Surely you jest.

  11. Cameron Says:

    If Josh wants 7/200, he must’ve have had a third relapse no one told us about because he must be high to demand… What is that, 28.5 million a season? Albert fucking Pujols couldn’t pull that salary.

  12. John Says:

    And Napoli? And beltre? And a rock-solid rotation? They’ll survive if he leaves.

  13. Chuck Says:

    I’m thumbing through the new SABR Research Journal and came across this gem.

    One of the articles is written by a guy who’s a professor at CSF and is about something called “saved runs and fielding shares.”

    Quote;

    “I began my thinking with two premises. The first, an empirical point proven by Voros McCracken, is that once a ball is in play the pitcher has very little influence on the outcome of the atbat. It was not a finding McCracken expected, and he made painstaking efforts to disprove the conclusion. At the end of his analysis McCracken believed the pitcher’s influence dropped to almost nothing after the ball made it to the field of play.”

    How can anyone even respond to that?

  14. Mike Felber Says:

    John, I understand you moderate comments, ’cause I saw Chuck request you do so? Please do so for mine on the last long thread.. Thank you.

  15. Cameron Says:

    @13 Judging from the syntax in that statement, it reads to me as “Once the ball gets hit, the pitcher has next to no influence over what happens to it.”

    Which NO FUCKING SHIT!

  16. John Says:

    I’ll get to it when I get home, Mike.

  17. Cameron Says:

    So, the organizers of the London Olympics decided to invite a member of The Who to play the closing ceremony. …Unfortunately, it was Keith Moon.

  18. Cameron Says:

    I… Sometimes I find something in the news that just baffles me. This guy takes the crazy cake. 10 felonies, 9 hours, no motive.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/man-commits-10-felonies-9-hours-231718822.html

    To recap, during a nine-hour bus layover in Nashville, he pulled off the following crimes.

    1. Broke into The Slaughterhouse, a local haunted house.

    2. Stole a tazer, a revolver, a shotgun, and a t-shirt from said haunted house.

    3. Set said haunted house on fire.

    4. Robbed four people at gunpoint using the tazer and revolver from crime #2.

    5. Carjacked a taxi.

    6. Used credit cards from crime #4 to buy $199 of merchandise from a Wal-Mart in a nearby town.

    7. Broke into a law office and defaced the interior with his own feces.

    8. Went to the Hotel Indigo and robbed two Canadian tourists at gunpoint while crying the whole time.

    At this point, he found time to shave his head.

    9. Crashed the stolen taxi in a parking lot.

    10. Carjacked ANOTHER taxi.

    …In nine hours on a fucking Greyhound layover. He was arrested in the water reservoir on a hotel roof.

  19. Chuck Says:

    ” He was arrested in the water reservoir on a hotel roof.”

    If I was the arresting officer, I would have thrown his dumbass off the roof, then wrote in my report;

    “Suspect appeared intoxicated, and while trying avoid arrest, tripped on his shoelace and disappeared over the edge.”

  20. Chuck Says:

    I know we all have differing opinions on players and why we like them or don’t, but I fail to see how anyone can watch Jesus Montero catch and believe he can play everyday at the ML level.

  21. Mike Felber Says:

    Thanks John. I think y’all are right, 20 million with an option is reasonable. I did not realize Hamilton had 2 separate relapses! That guy was whacked out on drugs. A guy like that is worse than annoying, but murdering him would still be, like, super bad. Even if you get away with it.

  22. Mike Felber Says:

    NPR radio is having an interview with Phil Neikro & Tim Wakefield. Recently Dickey, now the K-ball master! Featured in movie premiering movie at Tribeca Film festival is “The Knuckler”. Very nice!

  23. Cameron Says:

    Huh… That’s actually pretty cool.

    Also, is it just me, or was Phil Niekro kinda shafted when it comes to his career? A member of the 300-3,000 club, but was only a 5x All-Star, never won a Cy Young or a World Series ring. Amazing career, but not a whole lot to show for it, really. Kinda sucks.

  24. John Says:

    Phil Niekro should’ve won a couple cy youngs.

    One was in a year where ge lost like 20 games…should”ve willed your offense to hit better, Phil.

  25. Cameron Says:

    Yes, the Braves of the 1970s, a team even Phil fucking Niekro couldn’t save from sucking.

  26. Cameron Says:

    I’m just curious, do you think baseball’s labor history is smoother (if not overall, at least recently) is because the MLBPA doesn’t have players be in positions of negotiating power?

    I don’t know how many heads of the MLBPA there’ve been, but I know both Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr are lawyers. These guys are used to negotiating and make a living out of not saying stupid shit. Compare this to the NFLPA, who had a preseason lockout and has a president and executive director who are both ex-players. Even worse is the NBPA whose president is CURRENT player Derek Fisher. When negotiating a CBA, I think a guy who’s directly involved in the outcome is about the worst guy you can have negotiating it. MLB? They have experienced professionals without a personal interest in it negotiating. Considering the last 17 years as an argument, I think this might be the secret to success here.

  27. Jim Says:

    Regarding Hamilton’s contract, $20M per for 4. Too old for a longer contract. Also a caveat that the team can void the contract if Hamilton falls heavily off the wagon.

  28. Bob Says:

    Jim, that sounds fair to me.

  29. Chuck Says:

    I have a hard time calling Hamilton’s latest incident a “relapse.”

    Even though his drug of choice was actually a drug, in his first incident he was so intoxicated he physically had to be carried outside and forcibly put in a car.

    This time, called Ian Kinsler himself and told him what had happened and where he was.

    Kinsler’s statement to the Rangers was he thought Hamilton was “in control of himself”, appeared remorseful for the situation, and was speaking clearly and walked outside without assistance.

    Error in judgement?

    Yes

    Relapse?

    Hardly

  30. Jim Says:

    Hot Boston rumor has the RS picking up Marlon Byrd from the Cubs for ???

  31. Chuck Says:

    And his .056 average?

  32. Chuck Says:

    Looking through the International League stats, Bryce Harper, in 54 PA’s, has one RBI.

    There are three PITCHERS in the league with more.

    I think the Nationals have mis-handled him this year, and really have put him in a position where he can’t possibly succeed.

    So, here’s the question of the day.

    Obviously, if Harper continues to struggle, they’re not calling him up, if they need an outfielder Jason Michaels would get the call first.

    But would they send him DOWN to AA?

  33. Raul Says:

    They should send him down.

    The Nationals made a mistake by sending Harper to AAA and while sending him down to AA is going to be a media disaster, it’s the right thing to do.

    Harper will have to swallow some pride and get over a little embarrassment, but so be it.

    AAA is for players who largely fall into two categories:

    1. Players who aren’t quite good enough to be Major Leaguers, but who have shown some level of dominance or stable performance in the Minors.

    2. Players who are just waiting for a position to open up on the big league roster.

    Bryce Harper doesn’t fit either category.

  34. Chuck Says:

    I think Harper’s lack of maturity could turn ugly if he was sent down.

    Look at what happened to Montero last year after he didn’t make the Yankees in ST, he went to Scranton and dogged it for three months, getting benched for not hustling and for insubordination.

    Whether the Yanks would actually admit it or not, I’d bet that scenario played a part in him being traded.

    Obviously the Nats’ aren’t about to trade Harper, but if he goes down to Harrisburg and gets all bush league, it’s not going to end well.

  35. Raul Says:

    It’s possible.

    Bottom of the 1st. Rick Porcello allowed 8 runs, 7 earned to the Rangers.

  36. Bob Says:

    @ 30 Possibly Michael Bowden, who is from Illinois. The Cubs are just unloading a contract. Again, just a guess.

  37. Mike Felber Says:

    John, my comment to moderate is ~ #275 in the last long thread.

  38. JohnBowen Says:

    Actually, Kerry has to moderate that, because it was his article.

    But I can just copy+paste and put it here, and then moderate it myself:

    I can see the case about not criticizing a Manager, but it was not at all apparent that Valentine did not mean that Y was slacking off. now while it would have been best for P to say something privately, I cannot really fault him for making what sounded like restrained, not “F you”, comments when his Manager seemed to be publicly slamming his teammate & friend.

    A Manager who even accidentally violates “the code” should take the heat, & he has. Thus I agree with Bob.

    The Band at its best was arguably beyond sublime. Tears of Rage, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Rockin’ Chair, Opehlia, Slippin & Slidin’, It Makes no Difference, Long Black Veil, so much more remarkably raw yet refined Americana. And they did not think that he would speak, let alone sing again, after throat cancer. Stage Fright, Music From The Big Pink, The Last Waltz…

    Masterpieces.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg3J4zLy-Kg&feature=fvwrel
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBuJB218UvU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrYh_MsnkuM

  39. JohnBowen Says:

    Has Bryce Harper ever been accused of not hustling? Everything I’ve heard about him suggests that he’s kind of a jerk, but also that he plays balls-out all the time.

  40. Bob Says:

    Middlebrooks with his 7th homer of the season today.

  41. Chuck Says:

    http://thefuturists.mlblogs.com/2012/04/21/have-the-killer-bs-started-to-lose-their-sting/

  42. Bob Says:

    Chuck, I eagerly await your blog.

  43. Chuck Says:

    #39

    No, on the contrary, he’s overly aggressive to the point he’s showing off, (Harper’s admission, not my opinion), and has been told to back off.

    It’s not a negative thing, he just has to learn he can’t do things in AAA that he did in high school.

    He’s progressed so fast he hasn’t had time to learn that or make adjustments.

  44. Jim Says:

    @40 And the pink hats are screaming for him to replace Youk. That would be a big mistake, he needs a season or most of one at AAA. When I looked last week he had 1 BB and 9 K’s, not a good ratio.

    Bob, have you started you list of RS players to make available when the club starts selling near the trade deadline? Mine focusing only on players who started the season on the 25 man roster or IR.

    Keepers: AGon, Pedroia Ells, Lester, Buckhholz, Bard & Dubront

    Untradable: Crawford, Lackey, Dice-K

    The rest? Let the auction begin.

  45. Bob Says:

    Jim, I was somewhat thinking about the past couple of days, and I have concluded that Lester and Buchholz are or should be fair game.

  46. Bob Says:

    Pedroia and Gonzalez are keepers. Ellsbury may want out of Boston, so they may end up trading him. On the other hand, if teams think he is brittle, he & Boras may miscalculate the market.
    Also, classify me as a pink hat as I think
    1. Middlebrooks is ready
    2. Youkilis is done

  47. Mike Felber Says:

    Thanks John! Cameron at least will appreciate it too.

    Knucksie was better than his peripherals suggest, since that is the one pitch that seems to have less success on BBIP. Whatever effectiveness it has, consider that batters usually know it is coming too. Imagine if a fireballer could throw it effectively & without telegraphing it!

  48. Bob Says:

    See you guys either Monday, or late Sunday as fishing season is open. Going to People’s State Forest in New Hartford tomorrow.

  49. Chuck Says:

    Another stab to the heart to those anti-believers in the benefits of longtossing.

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/03/tim-alderson-returns-to-long-toss-sees-velocity-return.html

  50. Raul Says:

    Well, whaddayaknow?

    After using his bullpen like a complete dickhead yesterday, Joe Girardi gets 1.2 innings out of Freddy Garcia today.

    So what does he do? Girardi, in his infinite wisdom, brings in Clay Rapada for 0.1 innings where he throws 9 pitches and allows 1 hit.

    Enter David Phelps — who probably should have been starting this game in the first place.

    If Girardi gets even 1 single vote for Manager of the Year, I’m personally going to find the nearest voter and stab him in the chest with his own pencil.

  51. Cameron Says:

    @49

    Why do people hate long toss again? Seems to be working pretty fucking well for the guys that do it.

  52. Chuck Says:

    Phelps isn’t any good either.

    Today is don’t blow the bullpen day.

  53. Raul Says:

    Phelps is a better option than Freddy Garcia.
    The kid’s arm isn’t going to fall off and he’s not afraid of throwing a fastball.

    He nearly got out of that inning with just 1 run and left a pitch up to Aviles for the 2nd.

    I’m not saying Phelps is a 15-game winner, but the Yankees will never find out if they have any pitchers as long as they bury their quality arms in AAA or in the ML Bullpen.

  54. JohnBowen Says:

    Check this shit out:

    http://deadspin.com/5904043/the-ninth-inning-of-todays-mets+giants-game-was-about-the-worst-ever?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_facebook&utm_source=deadspin_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

  55. Raul Says:

    Wait.
    Aubrey Huff was playing…2nd base?
    Hahahahahahahahahahaha

  56. Cameron Says:

    Dude, we need video of this shit. It might end up on mlb.com.

    “Must C: Catastrophe”

  57. Chuck Says:

    White Sox pitcher Phil Humber perfect through seven in Seattle.

  58. Chuck Says:

    Justin Smoak strikes out swinging.

    Next, Kyle Seager

  59. Chuck Says:

    Seager lines out to LF

    Next, Jesus Montero

  60. Chuck Says:

    Montero grounds out, 4-3

  61. JohnBowen Says:

    Watching live now.

    Facing the 7-8-9 hitters for one of the worst lineups ever assembled. Come on Philip.

  62. JohnBowen Says:

    First three to Saunders were up and out.

  63. JohnBowen Says:

    full now…

  64. JohnBowen Says:

    Came back to strike him out! 25 down.

  65. Chuck Says:

    Michael Saunders strikes out swinging..after being ahead 3-0

  66. Chuck Says:

    John Jaso pinchhitting..

  67. JohnBowen Says:

    26 down, Brendan Ryan pinch-hitting.

  68. Chuck Says:

    pop to short right two down.

    Brendan Ryan pinchhitting

  69. JohnBowen Says:

    Not so sure about that check swing call, but Ryan decided to argue like a jackass instead of running to first on a ball that got by the catcher.

  70. Chuck Says:

    That was awesome

  71. Cameron Says:

    Congrats to Humber, man.

  72. Raul Says:

    Wow.
    Teixeira made it 8-9.

    Red Sox lead

  73. Raul Says:

    I don’t know how Tex hit that ball out to LF.

    He looked like he was out in front.

  74. Cameron Says:

    Uh-huh, cute little rivalry, whatever. Still in post-perfecto shock.

  75. Raul Says:

    …well, the Red Sox were up 9-0 like 15 minutes ago.

    That’s kind of a big deal.

  76. Cameron Says:

    I’ll admit, coming back from a 9-0 deficit in one inning? That’s good.

    …But it’s a perfect game and I’m a pitching nut. Sorry. =P

  77. JohnBowen Says:

    Watching live now…

  78. Chuck Says:

    Humber threw 96 pitches.

    Girardi would have pulled him after the seventh.

  79. Raul Says:

    Watching Rafael Soriano pitch.

    I can’t even remember the last time I saw a pitcher leave the ball up in the zone that much.

    It’s sheer luck that he hasn’t given up 4 HR

  80. JohnBowen Says:

    That stings for the Sox.

  81. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Chuck.

    Man I wish there was a time machine or something. Just so I could see what Tom Seaver or Nolan Ryan or Steve Carlon would say if a manager tried to take them out because they hit 100 pitches.

    Shit, Carlton had like 250 CGs. That guy might be liable to punch a manager’s fucking mouth loose.

  82. JohnBowen Says:

    I will say, once again, that

    1) The average start 50 years ago was less than 1 out longer than the average start today.

    2) Bob Gibson on his fourth time through the order was about as good as a fresh Jeff Montgomery.

  83. JohnBowen Says:

    Hamilton homered again today, #6 on the year for him.

  84. JohnBowen Says:

    Great at-bat by Jeter.

  85. Raul Says:

    That doesn’t mean shit regarding what I was talking about @ 82.

    So repeat all you want.

  86. Chuck Says:

    Might want to re-check your data, John.

  87. Raul Says:

    Swish-a-lish!

  88. Chuck Says:

    Bob sees this score, he’ll be swimming with the fish instead of trying to catch them.

  89. JohnBowen Says:

    Freaking McCarver.

    (Paraphrase) “You don’t wanna face ARod here, with his 631 career HR” (as the Sox intentionally walk Cano).

    Is the Mariners’ 25-year old shortstop from 2000 going to show up and hit here? No? Ok, just checking.

  90. JohnBowen Says:

    “Might want to re-check your data, John.”

    MLB 2011: 4858 GS, 29299.3 IP in starts -> ~6.03 IP per start.
    MLB 1961: 2860 GS, 18263 IP in starts -> ~6.39 IP per start.

    Ok, so I misspoke. On average, starters lasted about 1.09 outs longer than 50 years ago.

    Big deal.

  91. JohnBowen Says:

    Oh, and Steve Carlton on his fourth trip to the order was basically as good as Brandon League, who was about the 20th best closer in baseball last year.

  92. JohnBowen Says:

    What a play by Gonzalez to save a couple runs and turn 2.

    Ibanez LACED that ball.

  93. JohnBowen Says:

    Not that it matters, because Martin just hammered a 2-run double. Wow.

    The Red Sox bullpen really is a laughingstock.

  94. Raul Says:

    Teams are pitching A-Rod from the outside in.

    He walked, but with his power he should be smacking doubles to Right-Center like clockwork.

    The only thing he’s doing with inside pitches lately is grounding out to SS or shooting impressive home runs foul to left — sort of like Gary Sheffield used to do.

  95. Jim Says:

    And tomorrow the Sox go up against CC

  96. Jim Says:

    Earlier today Valentine was quoted as saying “no one has tried to run him over.” He should hire a limo after this.

  97. Raul Says:

    LOL @ the idea that you would actually have preferred that Steve Carlton have 0 complete games in his career, and bringing in Brandon League instead.

    What else, ya got?

    This is good.

  98. JohnBowen Says:

    @97, do complete games count more in the standings than regular wins? No?

  99. Raul Says:

    Answer the question.

    If Steve Carlton is no better than Brandon League in the 9th, what possible argument could you make for ever pitching a complete game?

  100. JohnBowen Says:

    Steve Carlton, 4th time through the order: .249/.311/.368
    Brandon League, career: .248/.315/.368

    But, I bet in your head, every time Carlton started the ninth inning with the league, he won. He definitely never blew it. Ever.

  101. Raul Says:

    Answer the question.

  102. Chuck Says:

    Carlton fourth time is equal to League’s first?

    I’ll take Lefty.

  103. JohnBowen Says:

    “If Steve Carlton is no better than Brandon League in the 9th, what possible argument could you make for ever pitching a complete game?”

    If your pitcher is dealing, and everything’s working, and/or your closer has gotten a lot of work recently, go for it.

    But you keep talking about the demise of complete games like it’s some big tragedy.

    Starter goes 9 and wins the game? Counts as 1 win.
    Starter goes 8 and closer finishes? Also counts as 1 win.

    But if you’ve got a half decent closer, outcome two is simply more likely to be successful.

  104. JohnBowen Says:

    “Carlton fourth time is equal to League’s first?

    I’ll take Lefty.”

    I agree. After all, that’s the break-even point, and if it’s even, you’d rather save your closer for when he’s a much bigger upgrade.

    But what if you’ve got a much better closer than League (which, odds are, you do)?

  105. Raul Says:

    “If your pitcher is dealing, and everything’s working, and/or your closer has gotten a lot of work recently, go for it”

    No.
    That’s completely against the argument you just made. You just said that one of the best pitchers of the last 50 years is no better in the 9th that a closer who is not even in the top HALF of the closers in baseball.

    You’re making the argument that he’s statistically no better. So the logical reasoning is that you can’t possibly ever argue for the Complete Game — like HARDLY EVER.

    …unless the closer just pitched the night before or something.

    That’s what you’re saying.
    Don’t dance around shit.

  106. Raul Says:

    James Loney homered.

    Just wanted to note that because James Loney sucks.

  107. JohnBowen Says:

    “like HARDLY EVER.”

    Um, exactly?

    Last year, 3.6% of starters finished what they started.

    That’s good. That’s smart baseball. That’s the result of people doing a little research and figuring out that, as fun as it is to watch a star pitcher grind one out, the smart play almost all the time is to turn it over to fresh arms who haven’t been seen by the batters yet that day.

  108. JohnBowen Says:

    “Just wanted to note that because James Loney sucks.”

    Hey! We can agree there.

  109. JohnBowen Says:

    Big Papi has a 4-hit day and is hitting like .440 on the young season.

  110. Raul Says:

    Stats show that NFL teams should go for it on 4th down — like…almost all the time.

    I’m sure you agree, John.

  111. Chuck Says:

    I don’t know John, I mean, I trust your numbers, but what your essentially saying is today’s fifth starters throw as much as number one.

    In 1961, there were 745 complete games out of 2800, that’s one of every four.

    In 2011, there were 73 complete games out of 4800.

    And, yet, there’s only an inning difference per start?

    Hmmm.

  112. JohnBowen Says:

    Not an inning, Chuck. 1/3 of an inning. 1 out. And there were 173 CG’s, just to clarify.

    So, all that means is that the average non-complete game lasted about 5.5 IP (between 5 and a third and 5 and 2/3) in 1961.

    In 2011, the average non-complete game was 5.92 IP.

  113. JohnBowen Says:

    Tulowitzki just homered. Love that guy. Too bad he jacked one out against the Brewers.

  114. JohnBowen Says:

    “Stats show that NFL teams should go for it on 4th down — like…almost all the time.”

    NFL teams should definitely go for it more often than they do.

  115. Raul Says:

    When a pitcher hit the showers after 6 innings, you didn’t have 4 shitty relievers pitching after him, using up roster spots and wasting team funds.

    Suppose the pitchers you bring in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings aren’t any better than the starters. Why is that a good strategy?

    None of this makes your team better. None of it prolongs careers. None of it makes starting pitchers more effective.

    This idea that you need to pull a guy after 100-110 pitches, or limit him to 210 innings a year because he’ll otherwise get hurt or not be as effective is bullshit.

    It’s plain bullshit.

    Or maybe it isn’t. Yeah. Thank God Jeff Suppan was on those limits. If not, he might be a shitty 30-something year old by now. Oh, wait…

  116. JohnBowen Says:

    “This idea that you need to pull a guy after 100-110 pitches, or limit him to 210 innings a year because he’ll otherwise get hurt or not be as effective is bullshit.”

    So, pitchers are just as effective after 110 pitches as they are at the start of a game?

    Cool, Raul. Can’t wait to see you back up that one.

  117. Raul Says:

    Depends on the pitcher.

    You could get on the mound right now and be gassed after 40.
    I could stand up there and throw 140.

    40 pitches wouldn’t mean shit to me.

  118. Raul Says:

    Tim Wakefield had games where he was dealing and he got pulled after 100 pitches.

    Because that knuckleball was tearing his shoulder a new asshole.
    Get the fuck out my face with that bullshit.

  119. JohnBowen Says:

    Great, well, I’ll go off of what applies to 99% of pitchers, which is that they get worse as the game goes along, and by the 3rd or 4th time through the order, a typical reliever will be a better option.

  120. Raul Says:

    How the hell do you know what applies to 99% of all pitchers?

    The 100-pitch limit is such an arbitrary bullshit number.

  121. JohnBowen Says:

    “The 100-pitch limit is such an arbitrary bullshit number.”

    I agree with that.

    I just think it’s silly to be upset by a lack of complete games. It’s like you’re saying that teams should let pitchers get more complete games, because then they’ll get more complete games.

  122. JohnBowen Says:

    And it’s not just about fatiguing, which is different for everyone.

    It’s just a common-sense fact that the more times you see a pitcher, the better you see his pitches, and the better you’ll do against him.

  123. Cameron Says:

    @117 Yeah, about the same for me. If I lay off my off-speed too much, it shrinks to about 120, but yeah.

    However, 100 maybe arbitrary, but that’s about the point where a lot of guys start to feel tired. 100 pitches is a lot of work, but nothing to shut a guy down over, just when to start worrying.

  124. Raul Says:

    I don’t think 100 is a number where guys get tired.

    Look, if you set up your entire system where you pull guys after x-number of pitches and you never challenge them to develop the endurance to go further, you know what you’re going to have? A bunch of guys who get tired after x-number of pitches.

    You can’t bitch to people that they shouldn’t bench 250 lbs when you never let them go past 175.

    For decades, pitchers surpassed that 100-110 mark on a regular basis.
    Should guys be going 150 every 5 days? No. But a good pitcher doesn’t need 150 every night anyway. But I have no problem with a front-end guy going 120-130.

    None whatsoever.

  125. JohnBowen Says:

    “For decades, pitchers surpassed that 100-110 mark on a regular basis.”

    For decades, they pitched less effectively through the 3rd and 4th time through the order.

  126. Cameron Says:

    Not tired, but kinda start to feel it. I think it’s a good number to start asking guys how they feel, but it’s not “holy shit, let’s pull this guy” territory, you know?

  127. Raul Says:

    For a bunch of guys who claim to watch more baseball than anyone, I’d expect you two to fully acknowledge how many times these managers pull a perfectly effective pitcher with 100 pitches (and often less) for no good reason whatsoever.

  128. Cameron Says:

    I do. I said 100 pitches is a good time for a mound visit, not a pitching change. A guy could go 120 pretty easily, but some days are different than others, you know? Never hurts to be cautious. It DOES hurt to be paranoid.

  129. Raul Says:

    And Matt Kemp keeps on keeping on.

    This fucker might actually go 50-50.

  130. JohnBowen Says:

    When did I say that never happened?

    I’m saying that, in general, on average, a typical fresh reliever will fair better than a starter once you get to the 3rd / 4th time through the order.

    And you can’t deny that.

  131. Cameron Says:

    I’m not quite ready to swallow my words on him yet, but fuck me if he isn’t working his ass off this year. If he finally got his shit together, the NL West is fucked.

  132. JohnBowen Says:

    Kemp has more total bases than at-bats this year.

  133. JohnBowen Says:

    “If he finally got his shit together”

    I kinda thought Kemp got his shit together last year, personally.

  134. Raul Says:

    Jose Bautista is hitting .208/.365/.354

    He better pick it up. Because I’m pretty sure this is the 1st year they’re doing blood tests for HGH and I’m gonna start putting 2 and 2 together.

  135. Raul Says:

    I forgot to put Matt Joyce on the active roster for my fantasy team and he decides to fuck shit up this week.

    Bob Saget.

  136. Chuck Says:

    Sometimes a guy can throw 120 and be fine, sometimes he can be gassed after 60.

    It’s the quality, not the quantity.

    To me, it’s not even a question if I want Greinke or KRod in the eighth inning.

    Has he had a lot of three ball counts?

    Are guys starting to get good swings?

    Has he thrown a high number of off-speed stuff?

    If the answer to those is no, then he’s staying out there.

    And if Boras calls upset because KRod isn’t pitching enough, I’d tell him it’s his own goddamn fault for picking up his option,

  137. Chuck Says:

    Kemp has nine homers…all of them to right and right center.

    Pitchers are going to start coming in on him, and that will be that.

    As far as the SB’s go…he won’t have fifty ATTEMPTS.

  138. Chuck Says:

    Roy Halladay just walked three batters in an inning for the first time in nine years.

  139. Chuck Says:

    This is an unexpected treat.

    MLBNetwork is showing the Orioles/Angels game, they picked up the MASN feed, which is the Orioles network.

    Gary Thorne is the Orioles TV announcer.

    I’m pretty stoked right now.

  140. JohnBowen Says:

    Good game for the rookies of 07; Tulowitzki and Braun both just homered.

    “Pitchers are going to start coming in on him, and that will be that.”

    Did pitchers never come in on him all of last year? Because he kinda had the best season by an NL CFer since Willie Mays.

  141. Chuck Says:

    It’s not like he’s a rookie John.

    Kemp’s been in the league six years and last year was his first AS season.

    He’s a good player, but he’s not THIS good.

  142. JohnBowen Says:

    Well, I don’t think he’s going to hit .500 with 90 home runs this season, so no, he’s not THIS good, you’re right.

  143. Raul Says:

    Not a fan of Thorne.

    Every time I hear him, all I picture is a hockey game.

  144. Raul Says:

    WTF?

    AJ Burnett is back already?

  145. Chuck Says:

    Through three innings, Jared Weaver is perfect with three K’s.

    He’s thrown 38 pitches…34 fastballs.

    That’s about as low impact as you can get.

  146. Chuck Says:

    #143.

    Well, yeah.

  147. Cameron Says:

    @133 Well, considering his good 2009 was followed up by a bad 2010, I’m waiting to see if he’s breaking this good season-bad season pattern.

  148. JohnBowen Says:

    It’s one thing for a “meh” player to put up Kemp’s ‘09; it’s another thing altogether for him to put up Kemp’s ‘11.

  149. JohnBowen Says:

    Ron Roenicke (manager of the Brewers) will now watch his nephew, Josh pitch for the Rockies.

  150. Chuck Says:

    Burnett went seven shutout innings today, allowing three hits, while walking none and striking out seven.

    Number of times he did that in three years with the Yankees?

    None.

  151. JohnBowen Says:

    Man, Wieters got all of that one…

  152. Chuck Says:

    Correction, Burnett walked two.

    Answer is still zero

  153. Mike Felber Says:

    Fangraphs has Kemp’s WAR lower, 8.7, but either way he had a great ‘11.

    John, in considering pitcher effectiveness across era & ballpark, you need to take those splits against & normalize them.

    I see some truth in both sides. Even if you do not feel especially tired, effectiveness dwindles later, partly due to the greater looks. This is an incontrovertible fact. I do not think it has even varied for any pitcher, ever. Though also going longer increases your ability to do so-to a point. Overwork tends to break you down, but guys are usually far from that.

    Hard to disagree with what James long ago proposed. Have guys pulled at a certain point/not go to long, but have them go more OFTEN. You would get more total IP with your starters this way, maybe a 4 man rotation.

    Could the Ego stand it though, being pulled when still effective, maybe after 6 or in the 7th?

  154. Raul Says:

    Hell, if you’re going to switch from the 4-man rotation to the 5-man rotation, you damn sure better be going as long as you can.

  155. Cameron Says:

    Mike, I have an Abstract. He said you could manage to work a three-man rotation these days. …Though I don’t remember the exact method as to how. I’ll have to bring the quote when I can.

  156. Chuck Says:

    “Have guys pulled at a certain point/not go to long, but have them go more OFTEN. You would get more total IP with your starters this way, maybe a 4 man rotation”

    You mean like things were always done?

    What James proposed is hardly an orginal idea.

  157. Mike Felber Says:

    No Raul, you can just have the relievers going for longer, as we all agree is better-if they are good. Your usual 5th man can be the main reliever. 3 man rotation, Cam, OK. That would be more different.

    Chuck, things were done very differently-with guys going complete games often-& go back far enough, even most of the time for most pitchers. Before that, guys starting most games on schedules of about 1/2 the length of today. But with a shorter mound distance & almost certainly less velocity.

    The main point was that guys could do more IP more effectively with no long outings, & would not need as long to recover. Of course that also gives batters less of a look at the starter each time.

  158. Chuck Says:

    Finally…first AAA homer for Harper..off Jeurys Familia.

  159. Cameron Says:

    Yeah. I just double-checked the quote. To paraphrase, you’d keep them in on a pitch limit (his example was 100 pitches) and work as hard as you can not to overrun it, and go sooner if their arm gets stiff or they find themselves really strained after a long inning.

    So while it’s a stricter pitch count and, in all likeliness, a shorter game per outing, it’s also a way to turn someone into a 300 inning pitcher in theory.

  160. John Says:

    4 man rotation with a swingman.

    You replace around 20 shit starts from your #5 with 20 from your front 4.

    And personally, I thinks guys get rusty with more than normal rest. This would solve that

  161. Cameron Says:

    Yet the only time we see 4-man rotations is the postseason… The fuck?

    Also, what I find funny is one of the first aces of a five-man rotation, Don Sutton, still managed to post insane amounts of IP and hung around long enough to become a 300-3,000 pitcher.

  162. Mike Felber Says:

    Yep, that makes sense Cam. You too Johmn!

  163. Chuck Says:

    #160

    Again, before guys like LaRussa and Torre made it mandatory for starters to wear tampons and skirts, this was the norm for, like, 120 years.

  164. Cameron Says:

    But even guys like Sutton and Ryan managed to have insanely long careers in five-man rotations. It’s not completely bad for a five-man rotation to be in effect. At what point does using relievers become excessive?

    …BESIDES Girardi, because that’s just obvious.

    I remember the first instance of “modern” closing is attributed to late-career Bruce Sutter. He started to break down and his manager started saving him specifically for save situations, but that’s just specialization of the closer and not an overuse of relievers in general.

  165. JohnBowen Says:

    #163, my understanding was that the norm (and correct me if I’m off here) was to have pitchers go on 3-days rest with regularity.

    In 2011, starters had a 4.76 ERA, 1.361 WHIP on 3-days rest (40 starts).
    In 2010, starters had a 4.75 ERA, 1.543 WHIP on 3-days rest (41 starts).

    Keep in mind, guy’s going on 3-days rest aren’t your typical starters…they tend to be your Halladay’s, Verlander’s, Sabathia’s, and Weaver’s.

    So, I don’t think it’s intelligent to have guys go on 3-days rest unless their back is absolutely against the wall.

    But I think basing your rotation on a pure “who’s turn is it?” idea is also incredibly unintelligent. If I’m Girardi, and CC Sabathia has had 4-days off, he’s pitching that day, period, end of discussion. I don’t care if Freddy Garcia has to skip a start, it’s not 2001 anymore.

  166. Chuck Says:

    If either Ryan or Sutton pitched in a five man rotation, it’s because they were already past forty.

    In their primes, in the seventies, both were top of the rotation, four man rotation, starters.

    Just look at their numbers.

    I just picked a few guys at random.

    Roy Halladay’s career high in starts is 36, which he actually did way back in 2003 with Toronto, he’s hit 33 just four times in 15 years.

    Sabathia’s is 35, he’s done 34 three other times, in 12 years.

    Lincecum’s is 33, which he’s done 3 times in five years.

    Felix Hernandez’ is 34, which he’s done twice in eight years.

    Josh Beckett’s is 33, which he’s done once in twelve years.

    Nolan Ryan’s career high was 41. He also had three seasons of 39, one of 37, three of 35, and 16 total of more than 30..the last of which when he was 42 years old.

    Don Sutton’s career high was also 41. He also had seasons of 40, 38, 37, and 35 twice, and in a 23 year career had 30 or more 20 times.

    The difference between a 1972 #1 starter over a #1 2012 starter is about six starts, and using John’s numbers, about 38 innings per year.

    Considering the average ML season is roughly six months and twenty six weeks, your basically talking one start and six innings per month.

    If you can honestly tell me you’d rather have Rafael Soriano or K-Rod on the mound over Halladay or Sabathia and Greinke once a month, you’re fucking out of your mind.

    Stop reading Bill James and Tom Verducci, contrary to what you believe, you’re making yourself dumber.

  167. Chuck Says:

    #165

    John’s right. (Holy crap, do you realize I said that TWICE in one day?!)

    Your number one, two and three starters pitch every four days, period.

    Rainout, off day, whatever, you don’t skip a start.

    Your number four and five are interchangeable, if you have to use one for a long relief spot, then he misses his next turn (because a long relief is the same as a start, except you don’t actually start).

    I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it.

    There is no position/job/responsibility more overrated, more meaningless and insignificant, than that of a closer. Even a fat slob DH is more valuable over the course of a season.

    The overpaid, overdrafted, Jesus worshipping, clipboard carrying quarterback who does nothing but hold for extra point attempts is more valuable than a closer.

  168. John Says:

    I don’t see it as much as KRod taking innings from Greinke, but rather, Chris Narveson taking whole starts from Greinke.

    Or Freddy Garcia taking starts from Sabathia, or Joe Blanton taking starts from Halladay.

    No reason to do that…it’s better to keep a regular schedule for your main starters and, over the courae of a full season, that’s 4a more starts from your best guys.

  169. Chuck Says:

    I see your point, but it doesn’t justify why Halladay, Greinke, Sabathia, et al, don’t pitch 15 complete games every year.

  170. Cameron Says:

    @166 I’m not sure about Ryan, but I know the first five-man rotation Sutton pitched in (the 1972 Dodgers), he was 27.

  171. Raul Says:

    Close.
    Except Bill Singer made 25 starts. Hard to call that guy a true starter when Sutton was making 33 starts.

    And Sutton still pitched 272 innings.

  172. Chuck Says:

    For those counting, that’s eight and a third innings PER START.

  173. Chuck Says:

    The comedian/ventriloquist I was thinking of the other day is Terry Fator.

  174. Raul Says:

    Must’ve been brutal on Don Sutton’s 6′1, 185 pound frame.

    He definitely fell apart and had like 8 shoulder surgeries after that.

    @ Chuck

  175. Cameron Says:

    I thought Sutton was bigger than 185. I don’t know, guys that last that long don’t tend to be small.

  176. Cameron Says:

    @171 You know what a modern ace pitches 32-33 games a year, bar injuries.

    So yeah, same number of games pitched, actually. Just went a lot deeper into them. Kinda proves that guys have been falling off.

  177. JohnBowen Says:

    “I see your point, but it doesn’t justify why Halladay, Greinke, Sabathia, et al, don’t pitch 15 complete games every year.”

    Because it wouldn’t help the team, at all.

    Even an outstanding ace is less effective than a decent reliever late in ballgames, both because of # of pitches thrown, and also the number times the opposition has seen the player.

    A fresh Jeff Montgomery = Bob Gibson on the fourth time through the order.
    A fresh Brandon League = Steve Carlton on the fourth time through the order.

    That’s how extreme the drop-off is. Two whatever relievers versus two of the very best pitchers of all-time. 110 pitches and 3 looks from the opposition is a hell of an equalizing factor.

    History has been good to the legends, in that no one seems to remember them ever faltering in the eighth or ninth inning, ever.

    But, they did, because they were human, not Gods. In fact, they faltered more often than most fresh relievers would have.

  178. JohnBowen Says:

    In his career, Roy Halladay has held batters to a .268/.309/.390 line on the fourth time through the order.

    52 relievers have posted a better line than that during Halladay’s career for both BA, OBP, and SLG, including such legends as Guiollermo Mota, Matt Guerrier, and Chris Hammond.

    Again, 110 pitches and 3 looks is a hell of an equalizing factor.

  179. Cameron Says:

    @177 And if you’re trying to protect a one-run lead on that fourth time through, the fresh guy is gonna be good for you.

    …But pulling in guys to face one batter or “protecting” three run leads, you can’t tell me guys don’t overuse relievers.

  180. Chuck Says:

    With a 9-0 lead, Bobby V pulled Dubront after six the other day.

    He’s their fifth starter, probably hasn’t lengthened his arm the same as Beckett or Lester have, so pulling him was the right thing to do.

    Same score, same situation, if it WAS Lester or Beckett pitching, they don’t get pulled, the bullpen pitches less, and the Sox probably win.

  181. Raul Says:

    Why do you need to bring in another reliever and waste a roster spot to take a 1 inning from a starter when it’s the exact same outcome?

    Is your argument that the reliever is fresher, and thus more reliable? Well, that isn’t true. The numbers you spew say they’re equal.

    Is it because you want to prevent injury and overuse of the starter? There’s no evidence that’s the case anyway. And relievers fall apart every day from pitching 50-60-70 innings.

    Pitchers are going 190 innings and getting multiple Tommy John surgeries. Pitchers have gone 270 innings and didn’t get Tommy John surgery AT ALL.

    Even if you want to make the argument that you don’t need the starter to go 9 innings (and I’m willing to grant you that), surely we don’t need the Starter to go 7 innings, and then use another 3 guys for the final 2.

    Frankly, I don’t think we’re really in disagreement there.

  182. Chuck Says:

    A couple of weeks ago, Jonathan Niese had a no-hitter broken up in the eighth inning.

    In his postgame presser, Terry Collins said he would have pulled him after 8 because he had thrown 104 pitches.

    If I was Niese, I would have kicked his ass right there in the dugout.

    If I was Collins, and I was pulling him because Sandy Alderson said to, then I would have taken the elevator up to his suite and kicked HIS ass.

    At that stage of the game, 15 pitches wouldn’t have meant anything, and no-hitter or not, there’s no justification for going to the bullpen…it wasn’t a save situation for the closer and who cares about an inning of work for a mop up guy?

  183. Raul Says:

    Agreed, Chuck.

  184. John Says:

    @181 (the first part)

    That was just the cut-off point. Chances are, your starters are worse than Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. Chances are also that your relievers are better than Brandon League and Jeff Montgomery.

    I’m not even making the argument with regards to saving your starter’s arm, just winning the ballgame the odds are almost always better with the reliever in the 8th or so.

    Everything is situational of course…not saying it should automatically be starter for 7, setup, and closer.

    I just don’t find the IP/start decline or CG decline to necessarily be bad things.

    Starter should be making more starts and thereby accumulating more overall innings for the year though. I personally believe that a set, 4-day’s off routine no matter what, would reduce injuries while adding 30 or so IP a year to regular starters.

  185. Raul Says:

    “I just don’t find the IP/start decline or CG decline to necessarily be bad things”

    …that contradicts the very fact that largely speaking, the less your starters pitch, the worse your team is.

    Bottom line is, if CC Sabathia is going to be pulled in the 8th because he’s at some stupid number of pitches, then Mariano Rivera has to pitch those final two innings.

    Period.

  186. John Says:

    I’m talking about in-game, Raul.

    There’s nothing wrong with how deep starters are pitching into games. Because after 110 pitches, and 3 looks, starters are generally less effective than relievers.

    That’s just a fact.

    My problem is that front-line starters aren’t always going on 4-day’s rest but by turn, thereby missing around four potential starts per year that are given to crappy number 5 starters.

  187. Raul Says:

    The crappy #5 starter should be assuming the 110 innings that your two most-used relievers are taking, John.

  188. John Says:

    No, he should be starting the 10-15 games a year required to keep the starters on normal rest.

    And making long relief appearances in between.

  189. Raul Says:

    False.

    But even so, he’d still be able to assume a large chunk of the bullpen innings.

  190. Bob Says:

    1. The Rays are expected to sign Hideki Matsui.
    2. Dontrelle Willis and the Orioles are at odds.
    3. The Red Sox made a few moves in the past 2 days.
    4. They still suck.
    5. I will still watch them.

  191. Raul Says:

    The Red Sox are off to a poor start but they can still turn it around.

    Their upcoming schedule is the following:

    3 games @ Minnesota
    4 games @ Chicago
    3 games vs Oakland
    3 games vs Baltimore
    3 games @ Kansas City
    4 games vs Cleveland
    2 games vs Seattle

    22 games listed through May 15.
    It’s not that much of a stretch to say they could win 17 of those games.

  192. Bob Says:

    Considering the turmoil, it is a bit of a stretch. Although I hope you are right and I am wrong.

  193. Raul Says:

    I’m a Yankees fan.
    I hope I’m wrong.

  194. Bob Says:

    Figured as much.

  195. Raul Says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/sports/big-price-tags-attached-to-even-the-littlest-leagues.html?_r=1&hp

    Crazy talk.

    When I was a kid, Little League was like $20-$30 per kid. And sometimes they wouldn’t even charge some kids if the parents were poor and couldn’t afford to play.

    My first glove was a Wilson, I think my uncle paid $40 for it and I was like 11 or 12 (before then I’d just borrow a glove from a lefty on the opposing team). I had that glove until I was 15, when I bought a Rawlings for $70. Two years later I bought an expensive glove ($170 and I still have it) and later a metal bat ($120)…and that was when everyone was buying Reflexes for like $200.

    I don’t even think I bought baseball cleats until I was 16. I’d just use my old football cleats.

    Funny how prices were. I thought my $170 glove was expensive, until I ran into a coworker who played college ball as a pitcher. He spent $350 on his glove.

    LOL, I remember I would line up my knuckles a certain way…it was helpful for wrist rotation, but it had the added benefit that I didn’t get callouses and so I didn’t really need batting gloves. Hahaha. Just trying to save a buck, I suppose.

  196. Raul Says:

    I forgot. The article mentioned “wheeled baseball bags” for $45.

    Um. No.
    Hell no.

    There’s no need for wheels on a goddamn baseball bag. You carry that sh*t like a man. What’s it got in there, anyway? Glove? Bat? Cleats? A few shirts? maybe 10 pounds worth of crap?

    Please.

  197. Cameron Says:

    But Raul, those ten pounds could tear their little rotator cuffs and make Little Jimmy need surgery.

    …I hate America sometimes.

  198. Raul Says:

    If some scrawny, dusty 8 year old in the Dominican Republic can walk 3 miles in broken flip flops with a 20-pound sack of rice on his shoulders in 89-degree heat, privileged little Stuart can handle a 20-yard walk from mom’s minivan to the dugout with a baseball bag.

  199. Raul Says:

    Derek Jeter is raking.

  200. Raul Says:

    Derek Holland, a lefty, is pitching for Texas.

    Girardi decided to start Eduardo Nunez tonight.
    At 3B, right? No.
    At SS, to give Jeter a break in the field? No.

    Eduardo Nunez is tonight’s DH.
    *Facepalm*

  201. Raul Says:

    JP Arencibia sure seems like a Taylor Teagarden clone.

    He can hit the ball 500 feet, but he only makes contact like twice a week, so who cares?

  202. Raul Says:

    I don’t know who the hell stole Josh Willingham’s uniform and is hitting the ball well, but he really should give Willingham his uniform back.

  203. Cameron Says:

    Eduardo Nunez DHing? …I can’t laugh hard enough to do that stupidity justice.

  204. Raul Says:

    Cam,

    I understand why Nunez is in the game. The Yankees didn’t want to start Eric Chavez against a lefty. So Nunez it is.

    Fine.
    But put him in the field where he’ll help you.

    Some people are against giving their regulars too much DH time. I guess maybe Jeter or A-Rod might forget how to hit the baseball if they aren’t playing defense.

  205. Chuck Says:

    #195,

    When I was a kid, Little League was free.

    So was public school PE and other extracurricular/after school activities.

  206. Chuck Says:

    Ever see a major leaguer’s equipment bag?

    Priveleged little Stuart could live in it.

    It also has no wheels.

  207. Jim Says:

    For a team like the Yankees, rotating older players like ARod & Jeter through DH makes sense.

  208. Chuck Says:

    For Raul,

    Discussion topic on BA thread surrounding Pedro Alvarez potentially becoming the biggest first round bust ever.

  209. Chuck Says:

    Sorry..it’s early.

    Link would help.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2012/2613291.html

  210. Chuck Says:

    Dice-K’s first rehab start

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2012_04_23_wilafa_salafa_1

    Rumors starting that Ned Yost will be fired.

    Royals became third team in ML history to go lose every game on a homestand of ten games or more.

  211. Bob Says:

    Matt Barnes vs. Dylan Bundy today.

  212. Raul Says:

    Sad about Pedro Alvarez. Considering the story, I was kinda pulling for him. Relatively poor kid from the DR/NYC who steps up at a big-time college program.

    But he’s completely lost. I don’t know if it’s a matter of batspeed or conditioning, like the article suggests. I just think he doesn’t have the approach or coordination to hit at the ML level.

    I do remember you being really low on Pedro Alvarez like 3 or 4 years ago.
    Too bad we don’t have those archives.

  213. Chuck Says:

    I remember seeing Alvarez when he was in college in Tempe in an NCAA Super Regional and not being overly impressed.

    He’s one of those thick, bad body guys who really aren’t all that athletic and who have trouble staying in shape or healthy.

    He has good hands and arm at third, but his footwork and lateral movement are statue-like, and I remember thinking watching him hit that he was a typical aluminum bat beneficiary..a lot of balls to left center which would be outs with a wood bat.

    He was a terrible choice and Pittsburgh is paying for that now. He’s untradeable at this point, and they can’t afford to have him hit .250 in AAA.

  214. Raul Says:

    I’m not pulling for Ned Yost to remain the manager, but the Royals have other problems.

    I think some people within the Royals organization are straying from what should be their goal = to develop the talent they have.

    KC has some good players in their system but when your manager decides he’d rather have Yuniesky Betancourt playing 2nd base instead of Johnny Giavotella, or that he’d rather throw in Mitch Maier in CF instead of letting Lorenzo Cain get more at-bats, that tells me there is a feeling that people want to win now instead of dealing with some of the growing pains that comes with young players.

    We’re only 3 weeks into the season and I’m sure Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer will start hitting more, but I fear the franchise might be losing focus of the ultimate goal.

    The Royals could very well lose 95 games this year. But in the process, it could lead them to winning 90 in two years.

  215. Raul Says:

    Also, I’m convinced that Jonathan Sanchez and Oliver Perez are the same person.

    Fantastic ability, but horrendous control. Man, if those two guys ever figured out how to limit their walks…

  216. Chuck Says:

    Alvarez had the fortune to play on a good college team with a couple of teammates scouts were tripping over, David Price and Mike Minor. He was almost a residual find.

    He went way too high and never should have gotten a ML contract.

  217. Raul Says:

    That reminds me, I have Mike Minor on my fantasy team.

    I had him on the bench for the first 2 weeks of the season (early in the year, the first scoring period is 2 weeks) but started him this week. He looks like a stable pitcher. Not sure if he has the raw ability or upside of a guy like Julio Teheran, but I’m gonna gamble on Minor for now.

  218. Chuck Says:

    I saw Minor’s first pro start in the AFL a couple of years ago.

    double, single, HBP, three run homer. On like 8 pitches.

    Welcome to the pro’s, rook.

  219. Raul Says:

    Hahaha.

    I suppose the good news is that when that happens do you, there’s no where to go but up @ Chuck.

  220. Brautigan Says:

    No way is Pedro Alvarez the worst pick. Don’t forget Danny Goodwin, or Steve Chilcott. Al Chambers anyone? How about Rice’s Matt Anderson?

    Without reading the BA thread, I am going to assume they have forgotten the aforementioned.

  221. Brautigan Says:

    Chuck: I am sure you were aware that was Minor’s 5th professional game. Atlanta showed him the fast path to the majors, and while it wasn’t pretty, Minor has rewarded them this year (so far….the always required caveat this time of year).

  222. Chuck Says:

    Chilcott got hurt…so did Anderson.

    They did mention Chambers and Goodwin as fizzlers, but neither had the status of Alvarez when drafted.

  223. Raul Says:

    They actually mentioned Chilcott, Brautigan.

    That reminds me…when Brautigan was in Little League, a baseball glove cost $4.
    And 25 cents got you a bottle of coke and a ham sandwich.

  224. Brautigan Says:

    At this early point, the major league slugging percentage is under .400. On base is .316. Feels like 1965 all over again.

  225. Chuck Says:

    I was reading some Pirates’ blog earlier, ripping the BA column.

    It’s not their fault Alvarez sucks. I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t had a winning record in 20 years, you kind of get used to sucking.

  226. Brautigan Says:

    Did they mention Goodwin was drafted #1 not once, but twice? I would think that hands down earns you the dubious distinction.

  227. Brautigan Says:

    LOL @ 225.

  228. Brautigan Says:

    @223. My first baseball glove, a Frank Malzone model, came from the green stamp store. I don’t remember how many green stamps it took, but I was the proud owner of a Frank Malzone glove and that was all that mattered.

    Twenty five cents got you 5 packs of baseball cards. A thick and frosty milkshake. 5 candy bars. A little over a gallon of gas. Two comics with a nickel left over. That’s what twenty five cents got you in 1965.

  229. Raul Says:

    Frank Malzone is the most New York-ish name I’ve ever heard. Well, next to Steve Balboni.

    That’s awesome @ 228.

    I thought you were gonna go all Willie Nelson on me. What do I mean by that? In that old Chappelle movie, “Half Baked”…well, let me just quote the dialogue:

    Historian Smoker: You know, back in the ’60s we used to smoke this shit on the street. Cops didn’t say nothin’, hell, they was gettin’ high, too. Everybody was good. It wasn’t a thing to do because it was a thing to do, you know? It was a thing to do because it got you high. Can you dig it?
    Thurgood Jenkins: Oh, I feel you, that’s why I’m doin’ it. I feel you. Man, you’re cool as shit, mister. I hate to do it, but I gotta charge you. That’s 60 bucks.
    Historian Smoker: 60 bucks? Man, I remember when a dimebag cost a dime, you know what I mean?
    [pause]
    Historian Smoker: You know how much condoms used to cost back in them days?
    Thurgood Jenkins: How much?
    Historian Smoker: I don’t know, we never used ‘em.
    [both start laughing]

  230. Raul Says:

    Matt Cain vs Mat Latos tonight
    Johan Santana vs Josh Johnson
    Hiroki Kuroda vs Yu Darvish

    And Jamie Moyer goes for win #2 against Kevin Correia and Pittsburgh.

  231. Brautigan Says:

    I can relate to the Historian Smoker.

    Nothing a good dose of penicillin couldn’t kill. Then AIDS made sex Russian Roulette and the sexual revolution was changed forever.

    And to quote Republicans everywhere: “I got mine”. :)

  232. Cameron Says:

    @214

    That “tank the season for yet another draft pick” theory is starting to sneak up on me again.

  233. Bob Says:

    Happy 40th birthday Chipper Jones. We had a thread on you not too long ago, so no need for a major write-up.
    Although in the spirit of first overall picks, a very solid career… To say the least

  234. Bob Says:

    let’s see. Should our next topic/thread be on submitting our All-Star team before May 1st, then seeing how much we change our mind by the 4th of July?

  235. Raul Says:

    Cam,

    I’m not suggesting the Royals “tank the season”. What I think they should do is try and give their young players (the ones they think can stick at the ML level) a decent shot to figure things out.

    They seem to be doing it with Mike Moustakas, and perhaps they’d be doing it with Salvador Perez if he didn’t get injured. So maybe I should relax a little bit with the criticism. But did they really give Aaron Crow a shot at the Starting Rotation? You really expect me to believe Aaron Crow is a worse option than Luis Mendoza?

    Maybe Giavotella and Cain won’t be long-term solutions. I get that.

    I suppose the good news is that early on Adcock and Jeffress are doing well. Montgomery not so much.

    And I had no idea the Royals had Max Ramirez in AAA. Looks like a good bat but good lord…8 years in the Minors. I guess you have a DH if you need it, LOL.

  236. Raul Says:

    Bob, I’m not ready to pick any All-Stars just yet.

    Ryan Sweeney is hitting .400.

    Alex Rios is OPSing .934 (which, with his talent he SHOULD do, but we’ve been down this road before)

    Tim Lincecum has an ERA of 8.20. Jon Lester has an ERA of 6.00

    I’ll hold off on my All Star selections for a bit.

  237. Raul Says:

    In the Royals’ first 16 games of the year, Alcides Escobar is hitting .310/.355/.483.

    That won’t continue. But if by some miracle it did…with his defense? That’s your AL MVP.

  238. Chuck Says:

    Alex Rios…all time head scratcher.

    That guy should be Dave Winfield.

  239. Raul Says:

    Ok this I didn’t know: Alex Rios was the #6 overall prospect by Baseball America before the 2004 season.

    Ahead of Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke, Grady Sizemore, Justin Morneau, Cole Hamels and David Wright.

  240. Cameron Says:

    @235

    I’m not saying they should do it, I just have a nagging feeling that’s what they’re doing. Chuck said it best by pointing out we’re playing Yuni every day. YUNI! AGAIN! Yuniesky Betancourt is such a fuck-up, he can’t even get a team to tank a season right. If it weren’t for Yuni’s hot streak in the end of his Mariner days, Strasburg is in Seattle right now.

  241. Chuck Says:

    First time I saw him play was in Puerto Rico when he was 19, I think the year he was drafted.

    The ballpark in Ponce sits almost on the street, the parking lot is around the corner and you walk.

    I’m with my father and brother in law and my wife and we’re walking down and the bus pulls up and whatever team he was on empties out, right into the crowd standing at the ticket windows.

    A bunch of guys get off, some recognizable, some not, and then here comes Rios.

    6′6″ about 190, long thighs and forearms and big shoulders, and it’s like, God….damn.

    He comes up in the first inning and hits a line drive to right center (field in Ponce is artificial turf..so is the soccer field behind the park..more later). RF cuts the ball off in the gap and throws it in, so I look to second to see if there’s a play..and there’s no one there.

    Rios is STANDING at third base.

    The soccer field behind the park is also artificial (play soccer on turf? you got to be out of your mind).

    The fence to LC is about 380, then maybe a space between the fields which is a maintenance/access road. Rios hits a ball that clears the road and lands on the soccer field (there was a game) and starts bouncing like a Titleist on the turf.

    And he almost threw out a guy at first on a base hit.

    I left the park thinking I just saw Jesus in a baseball uniform.

    For one day, anyway.

  242. Raul Says:

    That’s awesome.

    I guess some guys are just…I dunno. Mentally unable or unwilling to get better.

  243. Cameron Says:

    I don’t know why Rios doesn’t play up to his own potential. It’s not like he’s Grady Sizemore and can’t stay healthy.

  244. Chuck Says:

    I don’t like the way he hits. Why would a 6′6″ guy crouch that much? Don’t these people realize the more a tall guy crouches, the BIGGER his strike zone becomes?

    And why have your hands so low?

    It’s like anti-physics.

  245. Raul Says:

    As big as he is, with his height and his hands up there, he should be coming down on the baseball with his bat like a giant hammer.

    Just crushing line drives left and right.

    Stand his ass up like Ken Griffey Jr used to at the plate…or Darryl Strawberry…man, Rios would rake.

  246. Raul Says:

    Sweet apple pie. Carlos Pena just crushed one off Ervin Santana.

  247. Chuck Says:

    This is too cool.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20859403&topic_id=8879212

  248. Chuck Says:

    After a pretty uneventful first two innings, the Yanks have bases loaded no outs in the third against Darvish.

    Mike Pelfrey has a torn UCL…in the words of Michael Kay…see ya.

  249. Chuck Says:

    Granderson just took a 2-2 curveball for strike three. Looked a bit outside, but too close to take.

  250. Chuck Says:

    ARod grounds into a 5-3 double play.

    Bases loaded, no outs and no runs.

    LOL.

  251. Raul Says:

    I’m amazed that Alex Rodriguez hasn’t figured out that teams aren’t really going up-down against him. It’s all inside-outside.

    Considering his power to all fields, he just needs to pick one and wait for it.
    I mean seriously. Dude, just sit on a slider and take it to deep RF. It shouldn’t be that hard for him.

    It’s becoming pretty clear though that he isn’t capable of keeping inside pitches fair down the LF line. He’s either pulling balls foul, or he’s grounding out to SS — CONSTANTLY.

  252. Raul Says:

    3-2 count to Albert Pujols leading off the inning.

    David Price throws him a 94 MPH fastball….TO ALBERT PUJOLS. Pujols lined it hard but it went foul to LF. That is a ballsy pitch.

    I mean, yeah, the Rays lead 5-0. So good for Price to challenge him.

    Anyway, Price’s next pitch was an 82 MPH change up that Pujols flied to CF.

  253. Chuck Says:

    Great trivia question on the Yankees broadcast.

    Derek Jeter is one of two Yankees to have 200+ stolen bases and 100+ homers.

    Who is the other?

  254. John Says:

    Watching four games at once for fun.

    Nice job by Darvish to pitch out of that jam, but man…that control is concerning.

    Bud Norris struck out 4 guys in an inning.

    Josh Beckett needed 37a pitches to get through the first, walking three and walking in a run.

  255. John Says:

    That’s a fun one @Chuck.

    I’m gonna say Mickey Mantle and Roy White.

  256. John Says:

    Aramis thought there were two outs and took off on a 1-out flyball from second.

    Moron. Never trust a Cub.

  257. Raul Says:

    So the Angels have a 12 year old pitching.
    Actually its Hisanori Takahashi.

    They list Takahashi at 5′10, l75 lbs.

    My ass. That’s a Japanese Mugsy Bogues on the mound.

  258. John Says:

    Great play by Andrus just now.

  259. Cameron Says:

    Keep in mind 5′10″ in America is like 6′9″ in Japan. That country is full of tiny people and apartments that’d make a studio in NYC look like a goddamn mansion.

  260. Chuck Says:

    Pay attention, Rain Man.

    Derek Jeter is one of TWO…who is the OTHER…

  261. Raul Says:

    David Price is dealing.
    About to get that coveted CG that John hates so much.

  262. Cameron Says:

    Uh… Hm.

    DiMaggio?

  263. John Says:

    The Rays game is a great example of when it makes sense to let a guy stick it out and pitch the cg.

    Price has dominated, and he has a 5-run lead. Save your pen.

    Pujols just missed that.

  264. Raul Says:

    DiMaggio never stole bases.
    C’mon.

  265. Cameron Says:

    Hey, he retired like 40 years before I was born and I was trying to answer without consulting stats for once.

    Besides, Mantle seems like too obvious an answer.

  266. Raul Says:

    Mantle didn’t steal 200.

  267. John Says:

    My other guess was correct.

  268. Cameron Says:

    Actually, John already got it. It was Roy White.

  269. John Says:

    Prince Fielder has an infield single tonight.

  270. Raul Says:

    He probably gets a 100k bonus if he gets 2 more on the season

  271. John Says:

    Beckett settled down nicely, presumably behind the cushion of 10 runs on 16 hits.

  272. Raul Says:

    Have to give Kuroda some credit. He’s kept the team in the game.

  273. Chuck Says:

    “Prince Fielder has an infield single tonight.”

    He had Mexican for lunch, he swung so hard he let lose some nasty cheese, and neither the pitcher or catcher could get near the ball until the air cleared.

  274. Cameron Says:

    @271

    So how long until the bullpen fucks this up too?

  275. John Says:

    @273, LOL…sounds like a winning strategy.

  276. Chuck Says:

    Raul..what’s your email address

  277. Chuck Says:

    John…do you know Shaun’s email?

  278. Chuck Says:

    Raul..never mind, found it.

  279. John Says:

    Not offhand, Chuck, but if he commented on any of your articles you can probably find it.

    I recall him insisting that Heyward would be better than Stanton in that article you wrote back in 2010.

  280. Chuck Says:

    Shit, dude, not THAT important.

  281. John Says:

    @PayneBall on twitter if it’s worth opening a separate webpage over.

    So, a rocky third, but otherwise a helluva start by Darvish, huh?

  282. Chuck Says:

    Email blast going out in a bit announcing my new website, and I wanted to include him.

    His email isn’t on his profile page here or on bleacher report.

    Oh, well. Thought that counts.

  283. Raul Says:

    RAULGARCIA@OPTONLINE.NET

  284. Chuck Says:

    I found it Raul, thanks.

  285. Chuck Says:

    Typical Shaun, has his own website and doesn’t even have his own email address THERE.

    Must be afraid of death threats.

  286. Brautigan Says:

    Email me as well Chuck. I no longer work, so here is my home email address:

    Johnok@pacifier.com

  287. Chuck Says:

    Thanks Braut, I had the other one.

  288. Raul Says:

    Don Mattingly decided to bat Juan Rivera in between Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

    Rivera has a home run tonight, but if Mattingly continues to bat Rivera in that spot, I can guarantee him he’ll be in Southern Russia by the end of the month.

    Sorry, that last quote is from Schindler’s List. I was just watching that last night.

  289. Chuck Says:

    You guys remember Brad Eldred?

    Three bombs tonite, eight RBI’s

    In 20 games for AAA Toledo, he has 12 homers and 35 ribs.

  290. Raul Says:

    Cardinals had a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th when Marc Rzepczynski gave up a home run to Brian LaHair.

    So who is the Cardinals closer? Jason Motte.
    Why wasn’t he on the mound tonight with the game on the line? Because delicate Motte blew a save to the Cubs last night and threw 31 pitches.

    Let’s suppose you buy that.
    Who is the Cardinals setup man? That would be Fernando Salas.
    So why wasn’t he up in the 9th with the game on the line? Frankly, I’m not sure. He hasn’t pitched since Saturday and wasn’t brought into the game until after Rzepczynski blew it.

    So to sum up: Cardinals had a lead in the 9th. They didn’t bring their closer in the game. They didn’t bring in their setup man in the game. They brought in the guy who is 3rd in the depth chart, and he promptly blows the game.

    Crackerjack job, Matheny. You’ll be in Cooperstown in no time.

  291. Raul Says:

    Brad Eldred?

    LOL. I thought you said Cal Eldred. I figure Cal’s gotta be like 48 years old. That would be a heck of a job for a pitcher, too.

  292. Chuck Says:

    “Crackerjack job, Matheny. You’ll be in Cooperstown in no time.”

    Holding hands with Joe Girardi, no doubt.

  293. Chuck Says:

    There’s this guy named Jai Miller. He hit like six homers in spring training for the Orioles.

    He couldn’t beat out Endy Chavez for the reserve OF role, so he’s in AAA.

    In 19 games and 54 at bats, he’s struck out 29 times. He has 21 total bases.

    Damn.

  294. Raul Says:

    I saw this profile on Joe Maddon on HBO Sports last night.

    I gotta say, I’m a fan of Joe Maddon. That’s a cool guy.

  295. Raul Says:

    Wow @ 293

    Those numbers are impressive, but with the strikeouts…somehow don’t seem to make sense.

  296. Chuck Says:

    There’s these “all you can eat” sections down the LF line in Chase Field, in the second level above and behind the bullpen.

    It’s possible to hit a fair ball into the far left section, but you’d have to hook it around the foul pole and clear the pen, which is a pretty good shot.

    I’ve been to that park 200 times and even have sat in that section a couple of times, and even in BP have never seen a ball go there.

    Hunter Pence just lined a foul ball, just missing the pole, off the facing of the third deck ABOVE the all you can eat section.

    Snap.

  297. Chuck Says:

    Counting little league, summer leagues, high school, college, semi pro, beer league softball, I played close to 25 years.

    Some years I played over 100 games.

    I don’t think I struck out 29 times in my life.

  298. Raul Says:

    Well this is interesting.

    Dee Gordon leads off with a single up the middle.
    Mark Ellis bloops one to LF.

    1st and 2nd, nobody out.

    Matt Kemp takes a high outside fastball and pulls it to SS. Freeman couldn’t pick up the short hop so Dee Gordon scores. Game tied at 3.

    Kemp runs 20 feet passed 1st base, takes 1 step towards 2nd and walks back to 1st base.

    The umpires confer and he’s called out.

  299. Raul Says:

    I know Collmenter pitched well last year, but the Diamondbacks didn’t want him on the rotation after the Spring Training he had, and I don’t know how much longer of a leash they’re going to give him considering his performance this year.

  300. Raul Says:

    If the Nationals bullpen blows this Gio Gonzalez win for me, there’s going to be hell to pay.

  301. Raul Says:

    WTF??

    The Cubs had a 1-0 lead today and in the top of the 8th inning, Carlos Marmol allowed a solo HR that gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

    And he was charged with a blown save. How?

  302. Cameron Says:

    @297

    The few years I did play little league, I was about the worst hitter you ever saw. Hit the biggest bombs in the league, but hit once in a blue moon.

    …Kind of explains why I pitch now.

  303. Cameron Says:

    @301

    If it was 1-0 when he entered and it ended up being 1-2, seems pretty clear here how he blew the save.

  304. Raul Says:

    It was 1-1 when Marmol entered the game.
    But it was the top of the 8th inning.

    I guess I’m just having a brain fart, because how is that a blown save?

  305. Raul Says:

    My mistake, it was 1-0.

    Furcal singled off Rafael Dolis.
    Then Holliday homered off Marmol.

  306. Raul Says:

    I gotta admit, listening to this Dodgers broadcast, Vin Scully is still pretty sharp. And he’s 84.

  307. Raul Says:

    Matty Kemp cost the Dodgers this win. Martin Prado hit a deep shot to the wall, but Kemp didn’t really know where he was and botched the play.

    It’s amazing how seldom players run to the spot where they think the ball will be, and then adjust.

    Even as a 1st baseman, I was always taught on pop ups to run to where you think the ball will be and adjust.

    Kemp should have known the ball was well-hit. Go to the wall, and come in as necessary.

  308. Raul Says:

    Classy email, Chuck.

    Can’t wait to see the site.

  309. Chuck Says:

    Site is live, Raul, take a peek.

    I’m still editing the tab pages at the top which will take a couple of days, and hope to have my first actual article up either Thursday nite or first thing Friday.

  310. Jim Says:

    Is there a team that has received poorer defensive play from its corner outfielders than the Twins?

  311. Chuck Says:

    “Is there a team that has received poorer defensive play from its corner outfielders than the Twins?”

    What were we thinking..that replacing Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer would upgrade the defense?

  312. Chuck Says:

    For those of you whose email I don’t have, feel free to stop by the new site.

    http://mlbprospectpulse.com/

  313. Raul Says:

    Nice website.

    And for the newbies, that background is the old Yankee Stadium.

    Doesn’t look like we can register to the site — which is fine. I’m not registered here, I don’t think. But I wasn’t able to leave a comment on the 1st post.

  314. Chuck Says:

    Looking into that Raul, thanks.

  315. Chuck Says:

    Raul…add your name to the first box and email to the second, just like here. My wife checked it and said it seems fine. Any other problems let me know.

  316. Raul Says:

    Oh, I see.

    It’s because I just went to the bottom of the front page and tried to click on Comments.

    When I clicked the link of the article, that’s where I saw the Leave A Reply — Name and Email at the bottom

    Got it.

  317. Chuck Says:

    Geez..even I didn’t know that.

  318. Raul Says:

    Yeah, I had to click the link on the left right side of the page, under “Recent Posts”….just above the Twitter feed.

    It would be helpful if the title of the article was a clickable link itself (kind of how when you go on NYDB, you can click “Is the Knuckleball an Endangered Species”) and it takes you to the article.

    Or if that comments link on the main page was clickable. Or both.

    I don’t know anything about web design, and I have no idea if that’s a pain in the neck to do.

  319. Chuck Says:

    I clicked on the article title..that’s what opened it.

    Once I actually have a library built up, then the articles will be linked.

    I’m a computer retard, so I’m trying to make the site as user friendly as possible..specifically for me.

  320. Jim Says:

    @311 So it is part of the Twin’s grand plan to replace Young & Cuddyer and be worse?

  321. Cameron Says:

    Well, the corner options of the future are likely Hicks and Revere. The defense will get better.

  322. Raul Says:

    Well the Twins do have the weakest-hitting 3rd baseman in the league.

    I don’t know much about Valencia’s defense but if that guy isn’t hitting .320, he’s pretty much a hole in your lineup.

  323. Cameron Says:

    I like Valencia’s bat, Raul. Sure he’s not a banger, but he can be a .300 hitter. He could be an RBI guy for Minnesota with the meat of the lineup in front of him.

  324. Chuck Says:

    Yes or no question.

    Not really interested in the question as the thought process which lead to it.

    24 year old all star caliber player in AA, position irrelevant.

    Prospect?

    I am actually looking for something specific, but no hints.

  325. Raul Says:

    I would say YES @ Chuck.

    If the kid went to college, 24 in AA is pretty good.

    If he was signed at 17 and has 7-8 years in the Minors…well, that isn’t so great, but I wouldn’t give up on the kid.

    Being a 25-year old Rookie in the Bigs isn’t so awful.

  326. Raul Says:

    Carl Crawford is out indefinitely and is now on his way to see Dr. James Andrews.

    7 years, 142 million dollars.

  327. Raul Says:

    So David Schoenfield writes this panic article about Albert Pujols no longer being the best hitter in the game. A claim that may be true.

    That said, I think Pujols will come around.

    But in light of this poor start, I’d like to reiterate that Pujols has 445 HR. And I was (and continue to be) one of the few voices that said it’s unlikely he ever gets to 700. Much less 762.

    We shall see.

  328. Raul Says:

    Wow.

    AL East

    Tampa: 10-7
    Baltimore: 10-7
    New York: 10-7
    Toronto: 10-7
    Boston: 6-10

  329. Raul Says:

    Also, for those who haven’t noticed, Cleveland leads Detroit by a half-game in the AL Central.

  330. Raul Says:

    Err, they’re tied.
    My bad.

  331. Chuck Says:

    Remember Cleveland’s start last year?

    And their finish?

  332. Raul Says:

    Yes sir.

    But it does look like the old Travis Hafner is back. At least, lately.

  333. Raul Says:

    There is this growing concern about Michael Pineda.

    Frankly, it’s nonsense. Because even if Pineda is out for the entire year, the Yankees were right to make this trade.

    If the Yankees ONLY got Jose Campos, it’d still be a win for them.

  334. Chuck Says:

    #333

    Amen to that.

  335. John Says:

    Somehow, I think Shelley Duncan and Jack Hanahan will stop hitting like Aaron and Schmidt. Call it a hunch.

  336. Raul Says:

    The same would go for Cory Hart. You think THAT guy is gonna slug .690?
    Or Carlos Gomez for that matter?

    Ramirez and Weeks better pick it up, son.

  337. Raul Says:

    Actually, what’s up with the Brew Crew?

    Their current rotation is

    Zack Greinke
    Yovani Gallardo
    Shaun Marcum
    Randy Wolf
    Marco Estrada

    Isn’t Greinke a FA soon? Well, he’s gone.
    I sure hope they’ve got something better in mind than Chris Narveson and Wily Peralta.

  338. Chuck Says:

    Narveson’s having rotator cuff surgery and is out for the season.

  339. Bob Says:

    Not convinced Grienke is gone. The new CBA will be a major deterent to outlandish contracts going forward, Pujols and Fielder notwithstanding. If the Brewers are fair, I expect him to re-up with them.

  340. Raul Says:

    Chris Narveson is 6′3, 205 pounds.

    His he’s only eclipsed 100 innings in a season twice:
    2010: 167 innings
    2011: 161 innings

    Number of times Chris Narveson surpassed 110 pitches in a game:
    2006: 0
    2009: 0
    2010: 3
    2011: 2
    2012: 0

    This is a guy who in all his AAA Minor League games (101 of them) averaged 4.5 innings per appearance.

    But we need to limit innings and watch pitch counts.
    Riiiiiiight.

  341. Bob Says:

    Jeremy Bonderman hopes to pitch in 2013. I assume the Tigers will have an opening…in Toledo.
    Although I wish him well

  342. Chuck Says:

    The Cardinals have this 20 year old OF playing AA and is raking, last year he won the Midwest League batting title at .386..as a 19 year old..the highest BA in the league in 54 years.

    He’s in a 2-15 slump and the collective idiocy of the blogoshphere is questioning his offensive skill set because he has only walked once this season in 17 games.

    WTF am I getting myself into?

  343. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Chuck

    Moneyball, brah.

  344. John Says:

    Why is Brett Myers closing?

  345. Raul Says:

    I just ordered Das Boot.
    Not the movie.
    Literally glass boot-shaped beer container.

    Quite possibly, my best purchase ever.

  346. Chuck Says:

    When a guy consistently hits .300, there’s nothing more insignificant than his walk rate.

  347. John Says:

    A guy who hits. 300 with a .320 OBP isn’t terribly useful unless he also hits for significant power.

  348. Chuck Says:

    Who said anything about OBP?

  349. John Says:

    Well a guy who hits .300 with a low walk rate will have a low OBP.

    Doesn’t worry me as much in AA…as long as he has good pitch recognition.

  350. John Says:

    Pineda out for the year?

    Man, I thought the Mariners got fleeced in that trade.

  351. Raul Says:

    They did.

  352. Raul Says:

    Any second now, Oakland will be 10-10 on the season.

    I would have taken the Under on that bet.

  353. John Says:

    That was certainly my opinion.

    Yankees win the deal if Montero ends the year with a sub-0 WAR…which he might if he OPS’s. 580 as a DH.

  354. Raul Says:

    It doesn’t matter what Montero does this year. That’s not going to determine the winner of the deal.

    The Yankees still have a young Pineda under team control and they have a young, front-end arm in Jose Campos.

    Baseball America ranked Montero the 6th best prospect coming into the season.
    If Seattle wanted to trade Montero to the Mets for #54 prospect Matt Harvey, they’d get laughed out of the room.

  355. Raul Says:

    On the other hand, if Montero proves to be a .280/.370/.520 DH in Seattle, while Pineda turns into Mark Hendrickson and Jose Campos never sees a day above AAA, then sure, Seattle wins the deal.

  356. Raul Says:

    Nevermind that about Oakland.
    Grant Balfour blew the save when Paul Konerko took him deep.

  357. Raul Says:

    So this Jose Altuve kid rakes last year between High A-ball and AA (note, AA in the Texas League).

    The Astros make him the starting 2B and he’s cleaning up. How long is this gonna last?

  358. Chuck Says:

    The Yankees could have traded Montero for an autographed Nirvana album and a $100 Starbucks card, and they would have won the deal.

    When you make a trade, it isn’t always what you GET.

    Keep that in mind come June or July when Montero and Noesi are in Tacoma.

  359. Chuck Says:

    White Sox score two in the top of the 14 to take a 4-2 lead on Oakland.

    Two outs, 1-2 count on Yeonis Cespedes..and the LEFTY reliever throws him a changeup.

    Fuck me.

  360. Raul Says:

    Albert Pujols has gotten a base hit in the 1st inning just 3 times this year.
    I don’t know if that’s abnormal, but it seems like it should be.

    All 3 were singles.

    He’s 0-1 today, with a ground out to SS.

  361. John Says:

    Hosmer just homered to the opposite field, second of the game.

  362. Raul Says:

    Pissed me off last year when the Royals came to play the Yankees, and Hosmer maybe had like a week in the bigs….and Michael Kay called him “The Hoz” like 9 times during the game.

    Right. Because Michael Kay is a part of the Royals clubhouse and he knew Hosmer for years.

    It’s the same silly crap that Suzyn Waldman and other YES Network employees were doing in calling Yankees players by their clubhouse nicknames. Suddenly, Posada became “Georgie” because Torre called him that.

    You report on the game. You aren’t a part of it.

    //EndRant

  363. Chuck Says:

    Watching Syracuse game.

    Syracuse outfielder just tied it with a grand slam.

    It wasn’t Bryce Harper.

    Remember this guy?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/teahema01.shtml

  364. Brautigan Says:

    I saw Altuve play in Lancaster last year and he has this short, compact swing and has good contact. He really drives the ball. He is a gamer and will probably continue to hit. And hit. Defense? Your guess is as good as mine.

  365. Brautigan Says:

    Funny. I was thinking about Teahan today. I remember being in the Sacramento dugout the exact moment he was traded to Kansas City. That is always a weird time to ask someone for their autograph………

  366. Chuck Says:

    “Hey, Mark, can you validate my parking?”

  367. John Says:

    Just kidding it was Hosmer’s first of the game, but he put a charge into that one.

  368. Chuck Says:

    Must suck being on a 12 game losing streak.

    Thank God for Cleveland.

  369. Chuck Says:

    I’m convinced now more than ever that despite his physical abilities, Bryce Harper has no fucking idea how to play baseball.

    Hitting fifth, first and second, no outs, top eighth, down one, on the road.

    He fucking bunted.

    Right back to the pitcher, who threw to third for the presumed force, excepting the fact the thirdbaseman was so intent on throwing to first for the DP he forgot to catch the ball.

  370. Raul Says:

    LOL @ 369

  371. Raul Says:

    Phil Hughes is doing his very best to be traded.

  372. Raul Says:

    Pujols’ average is down to .222

  373. Mike Felber Says:

    I used a lower case spelling on my 1st name & need my comments above, several, moderated John. Though I will just copy the last one:

    That looks very good Chuck! Who is your Web Master, the Misses?

    If you need it, I am at michaelmfelber@aol.com.

    Raul, have you been lifting & losing?

  374. Chuck Says:

    “Phil Hughes is doing his very best to be traded.”

    Yanks won’t trade him, they’re still wiping egg off their faces over the decision to keep Joba and trade Ian Kennedy.

  375. Chuck Says:

    Yes, Mike, she is.

  376. Raul Says:

    Being honest Mike. I’m slipping up. Back where I started.

  377. Raul Says:

    This David Freese guy seems legit.

  378. Mike Felber Says:

    That’s nice. if it was your still ‘lil girl, you might feel like a dinosaur! ;-)

    Raul, so hard for folks to takee & keep off weight. But do not be discouraged; you can be one of a small % who does it! But the strongest addictions, like tobacco, usually take a bunch of attempts to master.

    Best thing you can do is not overdo things. Denying yourself enjoyable foods, skipping meals, going on a spartan program will make it physically & psychologically harder to lose weight.

    Just replace less productive habits with better ones, though that you get some reward from. Like always have & carry around healthy meals, do not skip any, so you eat moderately but high nutrient low calorie whole foods.

    And yes, make yourself exercise until you get reinforcement from the results, but do things you like-but succeeding by workouts just getting easier can make it easier!

  379. Bob Says:

    Raul, who are the Dolphing selecting at pick 8?

  380. Chuck Says:

    Dan Marino’s 12 year old nephew.

  381. Bob Says:

    Fine with me. That was my prediction as well.

  382. Raul Says:

    Word is they’re going with QB Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M. That’s what I’m reading on the mock drafts.

    There’s hope that Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin could develop him like Aaron Rodgers, but I’m less optimistic.

    The entire NFL operates in the Yankees universe. If you don’t win soon, you’re out. And if you don’t develop into a top QB in a year or two, you’re out.

    I don’t doubt that Tannehill could be a solid NFL quarterback. But I felt the same way about Chad Henne, Matt Moore, Sage Rosenfels and others.

    The bodies have been there. The talent has been there. But Miami has failed at developing it. This is a team that went with Jay Fiedler for 5 years because they weren’t willing to take losses and grow their talent. They took on Chad Pennington twice. The man has Johnny Damon’s throwing arm in the NFL and the Dolphins took him TWICE.

    They’ve also drafted pretty poorly. That Ted Ginn Jr. pick…

    Why am I talking about this? I’m getting depressed.

  383. Cameron Says:

    Tannehill is a big guy, but he’s really… Well, the guy has 19 games under his belt as a 23 year old seniors. I’m calling a bust.

  384. Brautigan Says:

    Today is Virgil “Fire” Trucks 95th birthday. Happy Birthday Virgil. One of the nicest guys in baseball, ever!

    Two amazing things about Virgil Trucks:

    1) He went 5-19 for the woeful Detroit Tigers in 1952. Two of those five wins were no-hitters.
    2) In his first year in minor league ball, Virgil struck out 418 batters. A single season record for pitchers throwing at the 60 feet 6 inches distance.

  385. Cameron Says:

    And I believe he is the… Uncle(?) of Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks.

  386. Raul Says:

    95 years old.

    I guess that means Kim Kardashian will be contacting him soon. She’s basically the Anna Nicole Smith of the era.

  387. Bob Says:

    @382. My fault for bringing it up.
    @384. Thank you for that.
    @386. LOL

  388. Cameron Says:

    So… The talent level in this draft is supposed to be really deep.

    If that’s the case, what is 28 year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden doing as a likely second-rounder? Former 2002 Yankees #1 draft pick Brandon Weeden.

  389. Bob Says:

    it is a twofold answer.

    1. He is athletic.
    2. Qb’s are like pitchers. Never have too many.
    3. Although I would not draft him in the 1st 2 rounds. Because he is 28 and not 22.

  390. Chuck Says:

    I’ve heard that after the top six, seven players the rest of the draft is like Mike digging through a dumpster trying to find something good for dinner.

    When three of the top fifteen players in the country are offensive lineman, it’s a bad draft.

    People complain about the MLB draft because they don’t know the players as well, but it’s an entertaining show, the NFL draft is now, IMO, unwatchable.

  391. Cameron Says:

    There’s some good talent outside the top 7. Real standout that comes to mind for me is Luke Kuechly, who could be one of the best linebackers in the NFL pretty soon, despite being a relatively small white kid from Boston College.

  392. Bob Says:

    You just described Doug Flutie.

  393. Bob Says:

    Actually, I will watch it tonight. The Bruins are done. I only watch basketball in March. Flip between the picks and baseball.

  394. Cameron Says:

    Sadly, we don’t have cable and I think my roommate has work to do on the computer, so I can’t watch.

  395. Bob Says:

    I will make sure to tell you about the Chiefs.

  396. Lefty33 Says:

    “And I believe he is the… Uncle(?) of Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks.”

    Wrong generation Cam.

    He’s the uncle of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks and the great uncle for Derek Trucks

  397. Raul Says:

    The only reason…I repeat…THE ONLY REASON to watch the NFL Draft is the hope that the New York Jets will just BOMB on their picks.

    “WE WANT SAPP! WE WANT SAPP! WE WANT SAPP! WE WANT SAPP!”

    “…and the New York Jets select….Tight End, Kyle Brady”

    AAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    *Facepalm*
    *Grown Men Crying*
    *Looks of Disbelief*

  398. Cameron Says:

    Thanks, Lefty. And I could’ve sworn Derek played for the Allmans in the later years. He also has his own band that’s pretty good.

    And Bob, I’ll probably still be able to see the website on her phone, just no video. I have two theories on how KC picks. If they take need over value, they’ll take Dontari Poe to be our nose tackle for the future. If they take value over need, and I think this is what they’ll do, they take Luke Kuechly as the second mike for the team and pray Alameda Ta’Amu falls to #44 in the draft.

  399. Cameron Says:

    It’s the Jets, Raul. They’ll fuck something up.

  400. Bob Says:

    Perhaps Tim Tebow will announce the pick.

  401. Chuck Says:

    I went to the draft one year..the year the Jets picked Al Toon.

    You should have heard that reaction.

  402. Cameron Says:

    At the Jets’ position, it’s kinda hard to do something stupid. There’s still a lot of help available on both sides of the ball. My guess is Michael Floyd, a WR. Though knowing New York, they could do something stupid like, oh, Brandon Weeden.

  403. Bob Says:

    No way will they draft a Qb in the first 3 rounds.

  404. Bob Says:

    Back to baseball. The Tigers released Inge.

  405. Cameron Says:

    He’s 36 and can’t hit. No big loss.

  406. Raul Says:

    I saw Al Toon make a 1-handed catch once. That’s all I remember about the guy.

  407. Raul Says:

    The media is making up a story by “suggesting” that there are “whispers” that the Mariners knew Pineda was hurt.

    This is disgusting.

  408. Raul Says:

    What probably happened is that he has a weak shoulder.

    When a guy comes in overweight and out of shape, it’s indicative that he didn’t work out properly. I mean, ok. So maybe Pineda ate too many plates of rice and beans. Maybe he was drinking too many Presidentes. Maybe he wasn’t running like he should have been.

    The point is, if a guy is out of shape, chances are it’s not just his gut that’s the problem. It’s the entire body that isn’t fit to play.

    So Pineda goes out there in the Spring, takes it easy for a few days…trying to work up strength. Then one day he starts cutting loose those fastballs but his shoulder isn’t in shape. He gets a little soreness…probably the same feeling he always gets after he pitches. A few more starts, a few more muscle tears…and before you know it, there’s significant pain.

    Boom. Torn shoulder.

    That’s my theory, anyway.

  409. Bob Says:

    @ 407. Even if true, the Yankees had the right to perform a physical, and void the trade, if they wanted to.

  410. Cameron Says:

    At least it’s a partial labrum tear. Even if he’s out for the whole season, I don’t think this bodes badly for his future.

  411. Chuck Says:

    Everything you guys have said is true, but to get the complete picture, you must look at the glass as half empty.

    1) What happened last year is irrelevant. The season ended in September, the trade was made in January. If the Yankees didn’t ask for his medicals, or at least travel to the DR to see him, that’s their fault. He showed up at ST bigger than CC, which is really hard to do. A friend of DelGrippo’s said he gained close to fifty pounds in five months. You can’t even do that on steriods.

    2) A power pitcher not having velocity in March is about as relevant as being a high school soccer coach in Boise. John Smoltz was on MLBNetwork the other day and he said it took him about 80 innings to get his arm strong enough where he could be confident enough in his command to throw any pitch in any situation.

    3) I saw Pineda’s last start and texted everyone I knew he was hurt, his arm slot was way down and he wasn’t following thru, the classic sign of anyone, pitcher or not, having a sore arm.

    4) In the last fifteen years, thirty six pitchers have had labrum surgery, the only one who has come back and performed at his previous injury level is a reliever, Rocky Biddle. There is now a 75% success rate on Tommy John surgeries, Pineda’s career profile is as a marshmallow throwing reliever.

    It sucks, but if the stories are true about him lying to the Yankees about his shoulder, then he deserves it. The Mariners have a track record of asking for medicals during trades (David Adams), I find it hard to believe they would intentionally hide an injury.

    Bottom line hasn’t changed, however.

    The Yankees win the trade because they got rid of Montero, not by what they got back.

  412. Lefty33 Says:

    “Thanks, Lefty. And I could’ve sworn Derek played for the Allmans in the later years. He also has his own band that’s pretty good.”

    Derek does play currently for the ABB with Butch.

    The generation thing is because Butch, drummer with ABB since the beginning, is 64 and Derek, guitar since ‘01-’02 when they fired Dickey Betts via fax, plays 2nd guitar along with Warren Haynes is 38.

    Derek’s side band with his wife Susan Tedeschi, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, is killer in it’s own right.

    http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com/

  413. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, I try to get a bunch of meals at once, that was funny though-last time found a bunch of perfectly great cooked rotisserie chickens, just expiring, freeze what you do not use soon.

    So Lefty, you are a big AM Band & Co. fan? I did not know about the side band, saw Susan at a cool fort/no ceiling venue a while back, she has an excellent blues voice, like on “Angel From Montgomery”. The deep delta blues related stuff is my favorite,& the rock bands that cover them well, like Zep did.

    Here is pure talent. Improvised to a degree, simple, but the nuances of feeling & carefully crafted ‘looseness’ are so affecting.

    The description put it well. I would add the rambling, real deal feeling anti-American Idol antidote.,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T75YklbUXj8

  414. Chuck Says:

    “that was funny though-last time found a bunch of perfectly great cooked rotisserie chickens, just expiring..”

    So, what, they still had the expiration dates on them?

    LOL.

    Newsflash…no respectable restaurant would put anything in the trash unless it was past the point of saving.

    But, hey, can’t beat free, right?

    If I ever get back to the city I’ll give you a call, but you have to promise not to take me out to dinner.

  415. Mike Felber Says:

    Ha, well I would not be taking you to Chez Dumpster man. My festival is during the 9th Avenue (I live on) International Food Festival this year, 100s of thousands over the weekend, many of the great establishments here have booths. I will have a table where we will give away maps. I could take you to great inexpensive places.

    You think I am like 101 Dalmatians with a date, right? Italian table cloth on a garbage pail, nosing over a meat ball…Actually, you are wrong on the restaurants. There is so much waste Chuck, some reports say fully 1/2 of all food is wasted.

    But I usually go outside supermarkets. They throw out perfectly fine stuff ALL THE TIME! Even stuff past the expiration date can be fine, depends also if dairy, dry food, etc…I have gotten sich from the bachelor idiocy/frog boiling in H20 of not knowing it had gone bad due to being the the fridge too long, but NEVER from stuff just freeganed.

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