Seriously? Melky?

by JohnBowen

A few have suggested that the Giants might be missing something they need to make their final push towards their second title in three years.

Dan Szymborski of ESPN writes:

“When compared with left field alternates Gregor Blanco and Xavier Nady, that’s still enough to give Cabrera a 4-win edge over 162 games. ZiPS estimates the dropoff in team quality is enough to turn the Giants from the 52-48 favorite to the 47-53 underdog in the World Series, a dropoff greater than the Nats using Ross Detwiler instead of Strasburg.”

Keith Law, also of ESPN, tweets:

“My argument on Melky is strictly that he’s a better use of a roster spot than Huff or Mota.”

Both gentlemen seem to be missing the point. The Giants are completely right to leave Melky Cabrera off their playoff roster, even though the terms of his suspension have been fulfilled. There are at least a dozen reasons why, here are three:

1) Melky Cabrera sucks

Yes, Melky Cabrera was hitting .346/.390/.516 at the time of his suspension. Yes, he won the All-Star Game MVP. Yes, he had 200 hits last year.

Steroids account for most of that. Which, in case we’ve forgotten, is the entire reason why he was suspended in the first place.

Before 2011, there was nothing special about Melky Cabrera; hell, even after 2011, Keith Law – yeah, same guy – referred to him as a fourth outfielder. Pre-steroids, Melky Cabrera had just been cut loose by the Atlanta Braves following an 83 OPS+ year (he had never had a season over 100 before that).

He’s also a poor defender, amassing negative defensive ratings each of the past four seasons.

Finally, he’s out of practice, having not played since August. Is that the player you think is going to dominate Justin Verlander?

Frankly, that’s the Melky you should expect to see. Not the MVP candidate from the first half.

2) If the Giants do win, with Melky Cabrera as a contributing factor, it will tarnish their legacy

The Giants should be able to brush away attacks that a 2012 championship would be illegitimate due to Melky Cabrera’s contributions on the team. After all, Melky Cabrera was valued at about 5 Wins Above Replacement (or, if you prefer, 5 Wins Above Blanco) for the 2012 season. The Giants won the division by 8 games. It’s an estimate; maybe things would have been different – but with such a commanding lead at the end of a season, our best guess has to be that the Giants would have ultimately prevailed. Remember, they were actually tied with the Dodgers on the day Cabrera was suspended and pulled away after.

Then, the Giants made the post-season and won both the NLDS and the NLCS, winning an incredible six elimination games to ultimately advance to the World Series. Without Melky.

The Giants can make it out of this season with an untainted World Series victory. Considering Melky Cabrera sans steroids isn’t all that great a player anyway (see 2006-2010) and is unlikely to contribute above an beyond what Huff or Blanco could do, it’s really not worth tarnishing what could shape up as a dynasty.

3) They made it without him

As mentioned above, the Giants pulled away from the Dodgers after Melky Cabrera was suspended. The Giants went 30-15 after Cabrera’s suspension. Gregor Blanco filled in and his play, while unspectacular, was certainly satisfactory, his speed and glove-work compensating somewhat for the lost offense that Cabrera was responsible for.

The Giants made the decision they did for a reason: Melky Cabrera is no superstar. His 114 games of super-stardom  were nothing more or less than a juiced-up anomaly. There’s no reason to bring him back now. Keep your current, successful team and keep your dignity (although Guillermo Mota is a confusing way of achieving ‘that end).

171 Responses to “Seriously? Melky?”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Well said, John.

    As a Yankee fan and well aware of Cabrera even before last season, there’s no way he’s talented enough to do what he’s done over the past 300 games or so.

    Everyone who plays long enough has a career year, most of the time you look at it as maturing as a player, but in Melky’s case it’s just so unnatural you almost know something’s not right.

    I mean, when he got caught, how many people really were surprised?

  2. Bob Says:

    John, nice article.

  3. Raul Says:

    Nice article.

    Though I think the whole legacy point carries little weight. If you win, you win.

    This Melky situation underscores the big problem with suspensions for steroid use. What the hell is the point of serving your time if you’re going to be vilified and discredited for the rest of your career? If you’re going to paint a guy with the scarlet letter and every one of his future contributions is going to be devalued, scarred, unappreciated and considered legacy-rotting, then why even let the guy back in the game in the first place?

    Mike Morse was suspended for steroid use. Albeit years ago. If the Nationals won, would it have tarnished the legacy of a Nationals World Series title? Yes? No? Why not? Because it happened years ago? If that’s the case, then your problem isn’t with Melky tarnishing anything. It’s a problem that you FEEL he hasn’t paid enough because the memory of it is fresh in your mind.

    Frankly, that’s bullshit of the highest order.

    Let Melky contribute if you think he can. Or ban steroids users for life.

  4. Chuck Says:

    If you watched the whole game last night, Rosenthal touched on the Melky situation with McCarver and Buck, and if what he said is even partially true, then I agree 100% with Melky not being on the roster.

    When he was suspended, he just packed his locker and left..none of his teammates knew, and he didn’t hang around to apologize or explain anything.

    If one of my teammates abandoned ship like that..fuck him.

    I’ll bet ten bucks he doesn’t get a full share.

  5. Raul Says:

    If you bail on your teammates, you shouldn’t be on the roster.
    But I’d make a point to illustrate that was the reason.
    Lots of things go on in a Major League clubhouse over the course of a season, and things can be forgiven. Walking out on people who battle with you every day is not one of them.

  6. Raul Says:

    RIP Emanuel Steward.

  7. Bob Says:

    Too bad @ 6

  8. Chuck Says:

    Tommy Hearns’ trainer, right?

  9. Raul Says:

    And Vitali Klitchsko’s trainer.
    But there are conflicting reports he is still alive.
    He is sick. Hope for clarification.

  10. Chuck Says:

    You want to read a funny comment thread?

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/10/22/3527176/ot-you-got-game

  11. Raul Says:

    I’m speechless.

  12. Bob Says:

    I played
    1. Kick the can.
    2. Truth or dare.
    3. And the AP version of that. Dare or double dare.

  13. Bob Says:

    The Detroit Free Press has retracted their story. Steward is still living.

  14. Raul Says:

    So anyway

    Those of you picking Detroit, you still like em after that smackdown last night?

  15. Bob Says:

    Yes. Though I picked Washington

  16. Bob Says:

    His death is official.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Luis Gonzalez is a managerial candidate in Florida.

    A little upset I’m not.

  18. Chuck Says:

    A bigger fluke than Verlander getting hammered was Kung Fu Fatso ripping three bombs.

    Not worried at all.

    Right now.

  19. Mike Felber Says:

    Yeah, if you served your suspension, & there is no reason to know you are still cheating, no taint about him coming back. But he is not good or needed.

    I cannot slam him too much for the precipitous departure. No reason to believe he knew what the etiquette must be, a new situation for him, likely was in semi shock. I dunno if he contacted folks later. The suspension should have ben longer, but the rules were applied correctly.

  20. Bob Says:

    The real point is Melky would not be in game shape. The Giants made the right call. We will see what teams offer him as a free-agent shortly. Other outfield free agents include
    1. Hamilton
    2. Ichiro
    3. Andruw Jones
    4. Who signs Melky?
    5. See you guys tomorrow.

  21. Raul Says:

    Giants with 2-0 lead and are sending Vogelsong and Cain to the mound.

    If Vogelsong wins, Verlander has to come back on short rest, right?

  22. JohnBowen Says:

    I’ve got to believe Verlander’s gonna pitch game 4 regardless.

  23. Bob Says:

    Max Scherzer has certainly been solid this year. But yes, Verlander peobably goes Game 4, especially when a game or two could be postponed because of Sandy.

  24. Raul Says:

    Detroit better start hitting soon.

    They didn’t give Prince Fielder all that money to buy Hot Pockets.
    And just to raise suspicion, are we sure Verlander wasn’t tipping pitches? I mean that offense hitting Verlander?

  25. Chuck Says:

    Won’t be officially announced publicly until November 5th (small story on team site if interested), but new DBacks TV announcing team are Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly.

    Daron Sutton was fired after the season (with four years remaining on his contract) and Mark Grace’s contract was not renewed following his second DUI arrest.

  26. John Says:

    You mentioned Sutton’s situation before…wasn’t his crime, like, not wearing a tie to work?

  27. Chuck Says:

    It was a bunch of things, insubordination, broadcast style, friction with him and Grace, side jobs taking away from game prep, among other things.

    But, yeah, the last straw was his not being compliant with the team’s on air dress code.

    And from what I heard, it was intentional..almost like he was daring the Dbacks to do something.

  28. Raul Says:

    Yeah. Not wearing a tie definitely challenges the integrity of the broadcast.

    Can you imagine the outcry from the fans when they show the broadcasters on TV for those 90 seconds out of a 3 hour baseball game?

    For all I care, broadcasters can be in the booth in their pajamas so long as they don’t say anything too stupid.

  29. Raul Says:

    What is Bumgarner’s career postseason ERA? Seems like he throws up a shutout every time.

  30. Raul Says:

    Well his postseason ERA is 3.79. Not very good. But the Giants have won every game he’s appeared in.

    I’ll take it.

  31. Raul Says:

    Have to say, those fans in San Francisco were loud and supportive.

    Usually fans on the west coast are apathetic, in my experience. I mean, they aren’t like Bleacher Creatures or anything (though the new Yankee Stadium ruined the game experience, but that’s another story).

  32. Bob Says:

    1. Scherzer will pitch Game 4.
    2. Larry Bowa interviewed for the Marlins job.

  33. Raul Says:

    I don’t want Larry Bowa to manage for Loria.
    It would just turn out poorly for Bowa.

    He should have interviewed for the Rockies job. But only if Rockies made him certain guarantees about future spending and direction of farm system.

  34. Chuck Says:

    Larry Bowa getting an interview shows how desperate the Marlins are.

    Not that he’s not qualified for the job, he’s probably more qualified than the guy they end up hiring, but he has to be pretty far down their list.

    Brad Ausmus said no. So have Mike Lowell and Jeff Conine..two former Marlins’ players I might add.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Hanks got an interview.

    Loria’s a monumental douchebag and everyone knows it.

    The fact he has to pay Ozzie the four years remaining on his contract should be point one to that discussion.

  35. Chuck Says:

    Walt Weiss has interviewed for the Rockies’ job, looks like they’ll interview Matt Williams also.

    I think the Jason Giambi story was a publicity stunt.

  36. Chuck Says:

    If the Tigers win tonite, Verlander should pitch tomorrow.

    Having him pitch down 0-3 makes no sense.

  37. Mike Felber Says:

    Now that we can agree upon.

  38. Len Says:

    Loria does come across like rich asshole-douchebag. Just the crap he pulled with the Expos makes him look like a two face lying prick.

  39. Cameron Says:

    Well, go Giants. All I really have to say this week. Detroit looks fucked. Like, super fucked.

    Also, would these Giants be the least impressive team to win 2 World Series in 3 years? There’s being an underdog, and then there’s a team that just doesn’t look like it should win its own division, let alone two World Series.

  40. Raul Says:

    @38

    Spoken like a man who wouldn’t recognized a rich asshole douchebag if he was sleeping with Mitt Romney.

    Giants going for the sweep. Who would have thought that was possible with their offense?

  41. Mike Felber Says:

    Why would Len not? My #s do not always match, but my agreement was clearly about & right after the Verlander pitching endorsement, & came before the D-Bag comment.

  42. Raul Says:

    Yeah that sentence doesn’t even make sense.

    So Game 4 of the World Series and the Tigers could be swept.
    Fans are waiving white towels…which looks a lot more like white flags.

  43. Len Says:

    @40

    What a weird post??

  44. Mike Felber Says:

    I dunno whose sentence is questioned, given the #s do not match. If mine I can easily explain. I assume the werd post reference is Raul’s/Romney related.

    RIP Tigers. Shows anything can heppen in a few games-& how unready the Yanks were.

    My boxing friend (was 9-2) is going back to it, doing the Gold Gloves in January. He knows too little about the sport’s history, sent him some Marciano links, now he loves him-before only by default, an Italian boxer who has a pizza place across the street from me.

    Searched the SI vault & reread maybe the most inspiring sports story I had even read, just about 20 years ago. probably the most moving & meaningful I have ever read there, & they have had some great journalists. The story of tolerance born, love, religion, culture, basketball/minor miracles & redemption in Amish country, via a black coach in a place that had no familiarity with folks of color.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1021912/1/index.htm

  45. Chuck Says:

    Well, that’s it.

    153 days til Opening Day.

    In the meantime.

    A couple of weeks of AFL…award announcements..Winter Meetings..free agency..VC and BBWAA HOF announcements..pitchers and catchers…spring training and World Baseball Classic.

    There’s other stuff in there as well..NBA and NHL seasons (maybe), NFL playoffs and Super Bowl, College bowl season and March Madness..but no one really gives a shit about that stuff.

    Right?

  46. Chuck Says:

    Pitcher Dennis Lamp on Luis Polonia’s defensive abilities.

    “They actually wrote a book about it, hit him 100 balls and he might Catch-22″.

  47. Chuck Says:

    Working for these guys as of November 1st.

    http://www.bigleaguesmonthly.com/.

    Made the official announcement Silva’s radio show last night..also heard there was a tweet or two.

    Starting to get heavy into the minor leagues, will be doing some team prospect rankings and participating in a staff “Top 100″ with some feature stuff spread out through the year.

    Best part?

    $$

  48. John Says:

    Congrats Chuck!

  49. Chuck Says:

    Thanks, John.

  50. Raul Says:

    Surely you should be paid if the entire jungle bunch writes for Fox Sports.

  51. Chuck Says:

    Did you see the tweets from Heyman yesterday, thanking Kevin Millar and a couple of other guys for saving him from Pat Burrell?

    Can’t even imagine how that got started.

  52. Mike Felber Says:

    Alright, great CHuck, not just one but 2 “$”. Very good job coup!

    Yes Raul, Chuck deserves the dinero especially relative to Fox. But he usually has your full support-stop calling him Shirley.

  53. Chuck Says:

    It worked for Shirley Povich.

  54. Chuck Says:

    It’s a percentage deal based on issues sold/subscriptions, so can’t quit my job.

    If it just covers beer money I’m still OK with that.

  55. Chuck Says:

    AFL Games on MLBNetwork:

    Saturday, November 3, Rising Stars Game, 8:10PM EST.

    Saturday, November 10, Scottsdale at Surprise, 8:10PM EST

    Saturday, November 17, League Championship Game from Scottsdale, 3:10PM EST.

    Play by Play announcers: Paul Severino and Tom Verducci.

  56. Raul Says:

    I have this weird thing with Jon Heyman where I have to unfollow him because he says dumb shit, and then I follow him to see what dumb shit he has said lately.

  57. Chuck Says:

    I have no idea why he’d even say that, I mean, even if it’s true, putting out for the world to see that it took three guys to save you from an ass kicking isn’t something I’d want the world to know.

  58. Raul Says:

    All I know is Pat Burrell went to the top of my favorite players list.

    Just like in that scene in Goodfellas:
    Jimmy: Hey Spider…this is for you [puts $100 bill on table] Atta boy.

  59. Chuck Says:

    Pat Burrell’s a scouting supervisor with the Giants, I doubt he’d be trying to pick a fight with a sportswriter in a bar.

    If he was still a player, then, probably, but not now.

    Heyman has no class that’s for sure.

  60. Raul Says:

    You gotta understand…
    Jon Heyman’s face rates a 9.83 on the scale of punchable faces. At that point you don’t even need a reason to punch his fucking mouth loose.

  61. Raul Says:

    NYC was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

    Scary stuff for my friends out there. Here, up north in Westchester County, we were spared. Some flooding. Some boats off the Hudson River were pushed onto land. My building never lost power or suffered any water contamination. I’m sure there are lots of trees down but otherwise, we’re ok.

    Hope John in Connecticut didn’t see anything too bad.
    I think Felber lives in Hells Kitchen and it was brutal in downtown NYC.

  62. Chuck Says:

    I have family in CT still, about 30 miles NE of New Haven.

    My parents house lost power at about 8pm last night, but no trees or branches down.

    Kind of a humorous story.

    Our old colleague here, Joe DelGrippo, lives in Pt. Pleasant, NJ. He’s less than a mile from the Jersey Shore.

    When he heard the storm was coming, he boarded up his house and took a flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

    He texted me last night:

    “You know things are bad when you flip on the TV and the Weather Channel has people stationed full time in your hometown.”

  63. Raul Says:

    I’m amazed he was able to get a flight out of town.

    NJ was crushed.

  64. Chuck Says:

    Joe’s in Ft. Lauderdale alot, has some connections down there. Probably banging a stewardess or something.

  65. Mike Felber Says:

    Man what a high impact storm! Though by looking outside/walking before it started, I would never have guessed the impact. Millions without power, major transportation systems down, schools & other facilities remain closed. Lots of fires/fireworks from transmitter stations, looking like fireworks, some cell phone towers & service down. People at some coasts can have 8 feet of water AND hoses in flames. Losing hot water & steam was minimal impact for me, hooker shower & at gym is easy. Biggest storm ~ NYC since ‘38, & no subways for more daaaze-until ~ late on the weekend.

    How are you faring Raul?

  66. Mike Felber Says:

    Meant many of their “houses” in flames.

  67. John Says:

    @61, I left CT – was in DC during the storm and am now back in Charleston.

    So, suffice to say, I’m fine.

  68. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, I see Raul. It is a totally different world below ~ 28th Street. Midtown is fine, the bars & restaurants, most are opened & hopping-folks love their drinks, some a bit stir crazy, came from downtown, often by cabs, to be here. But lower Manhattan is most all DARK. Bouncer at a bar biked from deep in Brooklyn, 1/2 the bridge he came over was dark too.

    Charleston is a beauty, like Savannah is.

  69. Mike Felber Says:

    Pretty comprehensive look at NYC & surrounding area damage.

    http://gizmodoemergency.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/hello-world

  70. Chuck Says:

    It’s not quite up there with Rafael Palmeiro in the “WTF” category, but Robinson Cano winning a Gold Glove?

    “C’mon, barkeep, we only have second base to vote on, can we get one more round, please?”

    “No, sorry, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”.

    “OK, guys, fuck it, just write a name down and let’s get out of here.”

  71. Raul Says:

    MLB doing top 40 teams.

    Top 3:

    1. 1998 Yankees
    2. 1975 Reds
    3. 1961 Yankees

    That Reds team was overrated. So was the 1998 Yankees team…but at least they dominated the playoffs.

  72. Chuck Says:

    The ‘76 team was better than the ‘75 team, and I can think of 10 teams without trying that would wipe the floor with the ‘98 Yankees.

  73. Raul Says:

    I think you’re being unfair to that 1998 Yankees team.

    Just because they didn’t have the same powerhouse names and future HOFers that other teams may have had…doesn’t mean you can dismiss them.

    You’re talking about individual teams…singular seasons.

    You look at the 2001 Mariners, for example. Greatest team ever? No. But you put that team against a lot of the World Series champions from 2001-2012, and that Mariners team was better than a lot of them.

  74. Chuck Says:

    “that Mariners team was better than a lot of them”

    Including the ‘98 Yankees.

    “I think you’re being unfair to that 1998 Yankees team.”

    I hear you, but as a Yankee fan, I think the opposite is true. I’m not some TV analyst or internet blogger who looks at the W/L lost record and pees himself.

    I’m a Yankee fan who has seen every team for the last 50 years and can tell you without question I’d have trouble listing them in the top five YANKEE teams I’ve seen, much less the top five period.

  75. Raul Says:

    lol, granted, I was born in 1980. I don’t have the first hand experience of seeing the other great Yankees teams.

    Frankly from the time I had any memory, the franchise wasn’t very good.

  76. John Says:

    All-time great teams are made less by all-time great players and more by a lack of deficiencies.

    The 1998 Yankees had no deficiencies. That’s how they went 125-50.

    Brosius, Martinez, Knoblauch, O’Neill … these guys aren’t Hall of Fame players. But I’ll take a team like that over a team with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and 6 Ryan Theriot’s any day.

  77. Raul Says:

    Sure, it took some career years from a few guys, but that doesn’t diminish the accomplishment.

    I was surprised Brosius retired when he did. He wasn’t very good at the end, but there was interest in him at the time.

  78. Raul Says:

    Offensively they weren’t the 1995 Indians, but they were solid all around

  79. Mike Felber Says:

    So who was the best? For those who think quality baseball was played early last century, you have to consider the ‘27 & ‘39 I believe Yankees. The Negro Leagues had The Homestead Grays suffused with stars, we will never know just how good they compared. The Athletics had some good runs, Phillies, Cards…The braves not quite as good, but pitching in the ’90’s tailor made for (especially a few rounds of ) playoffs.

  80. Raul Says:

    Your boy Bill James wrote that he thought about writing a book about the greatest teams of all time playing each other in a hypothetical playoff system.

    He never wrote the book, because in the end the 1927 Yankees end up on top, and all the readers would just conclude “Well, who the hell didn’t know about the ‘27 Yankees?”

  81. Chuck Says:

    “But I’ll take a team like that over a team with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and 6 Ryan Theriot’s any day.”

    But I’ll take a team like that over a team with Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and 6 Yuniesky Betancourts any day.”

  82. Chuck Says:

    From 1982-1994, the Yanks went 13 straight seasons without a postseason appearance, which is the second longest streak in franchise history.

    During that time, the were a cumulative 83 games OVER .500 and posted fove losing seasons.

    From 1965-1975, the Yanks went 11 consecutive seasons without reaching the postseason, were a cumulative SEVEN games over .500, had five losing seasons and finished last for the first time since 1912.

  83. Mike Felber Says:

    James has done great things for the enhancement of understanding of baseball & how to understand statistics. Though I have said repeatedly here that I do not agree wioth al he says. Rated Dick Allen too low due to personal distaste, also did so for Hornsby, down to mid 20’s all time! Only way someone could justify that is if they graded on such a curve that all the old timers were significantly dinged, but he had Ruth, & Wagner #s 1 & 2, Cobb 4, Charleston 5…

  84. Chuck Says:

    “Rated Dick Allen too low due to personal distaste,”

    Doesn’t that, in itself, make pretty much everything he says quesionable?

    If you’re supposed to be a reliable source of information, that means removing all personal opinion from your research and letting the process and results speak for themselves.

  85. Raul Says:

    From article:

    The Yankees also announced that Casey McGehee, who arrived in a midseason trade, chose to become a free agent instead of accepting an outright assignment… Gil Patterson was hired as their minor league pitching coordinator Wednesday. Patterson had been a candidate to become pitching coach after Dave Eiland’s departure two years ago and most recently worked with the A’s. The former Yankee pitcher replaces Nardi Contreras, who will stay with the organization… The team announced it donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross to help relief efforts in the tri-state area associated with Hurricane Sandy.

  86. Mike Felber Says:

    It makes his judgement open to question, which then should lead folks to examine how common any bias was. I think it was not. It seems appropriate to give a SLIGHT uptick for + team players over difficult personalities, but it should overwhelmingly based on what they did on the field. I seem to recall at some point he left a 20% subjective factor, would have to research where the context. And also Allen was liked & respected by his teammates: James took the negative view that was advocated & exacerbated by a racist milieu.

    But Williams was rated %7 all time, he was seemingly not penalized. Mantle I love, but was too high at #6. Hornsby was difficult, & he disdained due to his defense, which does not look that terrible. I dunno how you can put the other old timers so high though, & him so low. You have Wagner #2 & Speaker #11, can’t have Hornsby at least much lower than Speaker.

  87. Lefty33 Says:

    Anyone see the WS ratings for this year?

    All-time record low that must have FOX feeling great that it just doubled the amount it’s paying to MLB starting next year to a half Billion per until 2021.

    Always good to see Dancing With the Stars drawing more eyeballs then games 1, 2, and 3. And people seriously wonder why FOX and ESPN have Yankee and Red Sox fetishes. At least then people watch the games.

  88. Mike Felber Says:

    I learned more about your namesake Lefty, just by reading his wiki page. That he is by far the leader in both pick offs & balks, all time. How much he varied in pitching skill during his long prime-he would have mediocre to decent years, then reel off one for the ages. We know he was odd in beliefs & media averse, so it seems ironic that he was listed as “unidentified Secret Service Agent” when his ‘87 championship team made the white house. And for his great ‘72 campaign his training included “Carlton attributed his success to his grueling training regimen, which included Eastern martial arts techniques,the most famous of which was twisting his fist to the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket of rice”.

  89. Chuck Says:

    I met Carlton twice, once in 1979 when he was still an active player, and once in 1993 at a card show in Scottsdale.

    Both interactions together were maybe five minutes total, and in both cases, he couldn’t have been nicer.

    Some guys are just ballplayers, and despise the extracurricular “activities” that go with being a celebrity.

    Got to respect that, and if you don’t, whatever he says or does is on you.

  90. Chuck Says:

    MLBTradeRumors has the Red Sox signing Melky Cabrera, Stephen Drew and Francisco Liriano.

    I want to sue for the ten seconds for accidently clicking a link to the site. What a fucking waste of time.

  91. Chuck Says:

    Raul’s going to blow a fuse….Marlins hired Mike Redmond.

  92. Chuck Says:

    Pascual Perez was murdered today during a home invasion robbery at his home in the Dominican Republic.

    RIP

  93. Raul Says:

    Sucks about Perez. I met him in DR in 2003.

    Fucking Mike Redmond. Whatever. Any self-respecting manager considers Miami to be Baseball Siberia so I won’t get too worked up
    over it.

  94. Raul Says:

    I’m pretty sure Sal Fasano deserved a shot before Mike Redmond.

  95. Chuck Says:

    Brad Ausmus, you want the Florida job?

    No.

    Larry Bowa, Jeff Conine, Mike Lowell, Joey Cora?

    No, no, no and no.

    Eventually you’ll get far enough down the list to where someone will say yes.

    Nothing against Redmond, who is unquestionably qualified, but he’d have to buy the team first to be at the top of the list.

  96. Chuck Says:

    In the Peoria/Mesa game today, catcher Dan Rohlfing had two putouts and two assists…in the first inning.

  97. Raul Says:

    What?

  98. Chuck Says:

    And..

    Remember Brien Taylor?

    Facing 40 years in prison for selling 28 ounces of crack cocaine to an undercover detective.

    Dumbass.

  99. Chuck Says:

    Batter strikes out..putout..picks a runner off third base..assist.

    Batter strikes out on a ball in the dirt..putout..throws to first..assist.

    Never mind..no putout on the ball in the dirt..two assists, one putout.

    Still, not bad for a catcher for an innings work

  100. Raul Says:

    Wow @ Brien Taylor.

    That’s sad. Especially considering that the Yankees have always been receptive to former players getting coaching/instructing opportunities after their playing days. I guess he didn’t have the brain to seek another job in baseball after he flamed out and went the drug route.

    Dumb ass indeed.

  101. Raul Says:

    even if this was tongue-in-cheek…Jim Caple is a fucking idiot…

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8576232/a-modest-proposal-make-every-world-series-go-seven-games

  102. Mike Felber Says:

    Even if? He said he was joking, it was obvious, & he entitled it after Swift’s own Modest Proposal. C’mon Raul it was funny, you just Love to Hate! And the last 3 paragraphs had some serious & intelligent commentary.

    Early in baseball history when there were no competitive races, sometimes there was a joke game at the end of the season. All kinds of silliness, clowning & shenanigans occurred. My avatar, in the WAR rated greatest (non-kazillion IP very early baseball) season ever of ‘14, “gave up” 2 meatball lob hits where runs scored later. Otherwise he would have had a 1.09 ERA.

  103. Raul Says:

    It was terrible and no self-respecting journalist or reporter would ever publish that kind of nonsense. But that’s indicative of what ESPN has become over the last 12-14 years.

  104. Mike Felber Says:

    It is very bad for so many ~ NYC, NJ & the East. The aftermath & getting basic supplies & power to many, esp. infirm & elderly in high rises, is a big problem.

    http://weather.aol.com/2012/11/01/exasperation-builds-on-day-3-in-storm-stricken-nyc/?ncid=webmail1

  105. Mike Felber Says:

    Terrible is the disaster. It was a perfectly appropriate parody, meant to establish a point & to celebrate the absurd. The justly celebrated hoax, “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch” was done in that spirit, & had no other “redeeming” points whatsoever. So are Friar’s Club Roasts, & the Al Smith Dinner held again recently, where Romney & Obama took the piss out of each other & themselves. It is a very human good-natured clowning & release, RELIEF of tensions & sometimes coming together in generous good humor! With a few trenchant comments to wrap up.

    Sometimes a clever Court Jester is exactly what we want & need. It is intuitively understood to exist properly on a different plane than serious journalism. Like kids know when you play, play fight with them & act really silly, it is a loving joke, & does not undermine your authority. Both allow you to identify with the other & our common yearnings, & are a needed safety valve for tensions.

    If even a relentless pedant like me sees the value & maturity of this Raul, you need not be so PC. ;-)

  106. Jim Says:

    I know it is Fan Graphics, but it is also Dustin Pedroia talking defense. Interesting.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-dustin-pedroia-on-defense/

    He does not lack for confidence.

  107. Raul Says:

    Nice stuff from Pedroia, but here’s what caught my attention.

    The guy asked Pedroia how he felt about his 50 errors in 9 years. Pedroia responds “isn’t that a lot?”
    The guy says “Well Jeter had 50 through 2 years”

    WHAT THE FUCK DOES JETER HAVE TO DO WITH PEDROIA?
    They don’t even play the same position. They never played for the same franchise. Why not fucking compare him to Jose Offerman or some shit?

    The stats crowd’s obsession with Derek Jeter is fucking 1 million times worse than Arod’s obsession with Jeter.
    Jesus Fucking Christ.

  108. Jim Says:

    What is interesting about that, is Pedroia’s response indicates that he doesn’t give a hoot about errors.

  109. Raul Says:

    And he really shouldn’t, Jim.

    At least not publicly.

  110. Raul Says:

    Earlier in the year, Josh Hamilton said he didn’t feel he owed the Rangers anything.

    Well, the feeling appears to be mutual. The Rangers offered Hamilton a 1 year deal…for less money.

  111. Mike Felber Says:

    Huh? If I was a highly paid sports figure lucky to have the skill to be able to operate at that level, get renown, have many fans…I would want to seem & be concerned about problems with mt game. Though 50 in 9 does not seem very bad. And range is much more important.

  112. Raul Says:

    Pedroia doesn’t care about errors because by and large that stuff tends to sort itself out.
    You can’t really try to NOT make an error.
    You just try to anticipate where the ball will be hit and you try to get your body in position to field it. If that happens, the errors will take care of themselves.

    That’s why Pedroia wasn’t even aware of the number of errors he has made.

  113. Chuck Says:

    Two part trivia question.

    You know what happens to “great” high school or college shortstops who can’t cut it in the pros?

    You know what position Dustin Pedroia played in college.

    Don’t really need to say anything else, right?

  114. Mike Felber Says:

    Oh, you mean that he cares about fielding, but there is nothing more he can do to help the errors. That the approach encompasses the effort. Sounds fair, but do not some rush too much, others worry about things to much & stuiffen up, thus do not react well or quickly, & other subtleties?

  115. Chuck Says:

    “The guy says “Well Jeter had 50 through 2 years”

    In his first two seasons as a regular, Jeter combined had 40 errors. Over the rest of his career, only twice did he have more than 30 combined over two years.

    That guy is obviously a Jeter hater who can’t spell Google and is now in the lead for Internet Douchebag of the Year.

    Secondly, for the black socks to gym class population, if you think playing shortstop and second base are even remotely similar, then I hearby sentence you to watching a Godfather marathon.

    I initially thought of a “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” marathon, but you’re the reason that show even existed in the first place, so never fucking mind.

    I was a pretty good player, I played at a decent Division II school (which today is Division I, btw), and played in a real good semi-pro league until I was 30.

    I started playing when I was 8, so that’s a 23 year career.

    I played most of the time at third, with quite a bit of time in LF and CF, and made brief appearances at every other position except one.

    Shortstop.

    When he retires, Jeter will be the all time leader in games player for a SS.

    He accomplished this playing for the most successful team of the last 20 years.

    That is not a coincidence.

    The black sox crowd would have you believe Jeter sucks, is overrated, should have moved to first base five years ago, etc, etc., when in reality he is arguably the greatest player in the history of the game at his position.

    So, to Brian Kenny, and Bill James, and Shaun Payne and everyone else…

    …suck it.

    As far as Pedroia goes, when he’s 38 he’ll be broadcasting Red Sox games and will be lucky to be on the HOF ballot longer than it took me to write this sentence.

    Holy shit.

  116. Mike Felber Says:

    I wondered about that error statement, since the rap on Jeter has been his range, not errors. Some good points, though the TV show reference is a bit of a puzzler.

    There are Jeter haters galore. And deniers of his flaws. I see no reason why, true HOF man that he is, he should not have moved, likely to 1st, a few years ago.

    I do not think that you can make a cogent argument that he is arguably the greatest ever at his position. Obviously saying he is not that superb is nothing like hating.

    Wagner is easily the greatest, unless you feel player quality was dramatically lower then. You can thank James for exposing how great Arky Vaughn was. He & Ripken were better than Jeter at their peaks, & Ripken lost no years/had longevity.

    Seems Ripken, Yaz, & to an extent Mantle’s top 3 years really stood out. D you have a problem with the superb defensive rating bWAR gives Ripken Chuck? 34.5 is huge for just defense.

  117. John Says:

    The inability to separate a player’s offensive accomplishments from his defensive ones is astonishing to me.

    Derek Jeter is the second best offensive player to ever play SS.

    That doesn’t mean he should play SS.

    Saying he should revolves around the idea that the Yankees make exclusively good decisions. They don’t. The Yankees are successful because of their massive payroll which can afford superstars everywhere – and in no small part to the offensive prowess of one Derek Jeter.

    What Chuck said about him playing the most games at SS will likely end up true.

    Doesn’t mean he can go left.

  118. Raul Says:

    I really didn’t mean for this to turn into another bout of defending Derek Jeter.
    Look, the guy is 39 years old or something. Whatever.

    It’s just that whenever people talk about infielders lately, Jeter always seems to come up. Jesus Christ. He doesn’t even play the same position as Pedroia. And even if they did, they aren’t contemporaries. I don’t see anyone comparing Tulowitzki to Vizquel lately…

  119. John Says:

    I agree. Different position, no reason to compare Pedroria to Jeter.

    Easier position too. Of course a 2b will make fewer errors.

  120. Raul Says:

    Looks like the Haren/Marmol trade is off, for now.

    The Angels were a major disappointment in 2012, but I still think they can run away with the division in 2013.
    They might have to play a AA player instead of Vernon Wells to do it, though.

  121. Chuck Says:

    Any Haren trade is now dead..Angels bought his option, he’s now a free agent.

  122. Raul Says:

    Keith Law rated his top 50 free agents.

    1. Greinke
    2. BJ Upton — he of the .298 OBP in 2012.

  123. Mike Felber Says:

    C’mon CHuck, was Ripken as great a defender as the 32.5 WAR gives him? Not Wizard of Oz level per game, but the next level down according to the stats.

  124. Bob Says:

    Nice to be back.

  125. Jim Says:

    @122. BJ Upton #2 rated FA, does that say more about Law or the lack of FA talent.

  126. Bob Says:

    Asking me, I will say the FA talent. Law and I probably are hesitant on Hamilton going forward. I am, though I may be in the minority here.

  127. Chuck Says:

    Law’s a moron, we all pretty much know that by now.

    Based on just WAR, Angel Pagan is better than Upton.

    Money being a factor, I’d take Shane Victorino and Michael Bourne over Upton.

    And on a cheap, one or two year incentive deal, I’d take Grady Sizemore too.

  128. Chuck Says:

    Hamilton apparently wants 7/175.

    Good luck with that.

  129. Lefty33 Says:

    @ Chuck- http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=425319

  130. Raul Says:

    Look, Josh Hamilton has his question marks.

    But even on his shittiest day, he’s better than Blow Job Upton.

  131. John Says:

    I assume the ranking has everything to do with the fact that Hamilton is 4 years older than Upton.

    That’s not insignificant. You’re paying for what you have to believe are Upton’s peak years, versus Hamilton’s inevitable decline.

    Is there any question who has been more valuable over the last five years? Of course not.

    But it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Upton was more valuable from 2013-2017 than Hamilton.

  132. Chuck Says:

    #129…

    I saw that, Lefty. Strange.

    I can’t even think of a possibility of the new name..they can’t go “Lehigh Valley Phillies” because of Allentown, and, you know, they’re already the “Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs”.

    They’ve been the “Reading Whatevers” even before becoming the Phillies, so, just slapping a name change on it won’t do anything.

  133. Chuck Says:

    “But it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Upton was more valuable from 2013-2017 than Hamilton”

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if you were the only one who thought that.

  134. John Says:

    He’s 32. He may have beaten addiction, but he can’t beat Father Time.

  135. Raul Says:

    .255/.336/.422
    That’s BJ Upton’s career slash line.

    You really think Hamilton will be worse over the next four years?
    Or are you gonna tell us that BJ Upton will unleash his secret Willie Mays defensive skills in the next four years?

  136. John Says:

    I think that Upton will hit his prime, and Hamilton – who has missed 25% of team games over the past four years as it is – will inevitably decline.

  137. Raul Says:

    BJ Upton is 28 years old dude.
    You already have seen his ceiling.

    Josh Hamilton will decline. That’s true. You know what he’ll eventually decline to? He will decline to BJ Upton’s ceiling.

  138. Chuck Says:

    “You know what he’ll eventually decline to? He will decline to BJ Upton’s ceiling.”

    LOL..comment of the year.

  139. Bob Says:

    Think about Hamilton leaving Arlington and the Rangers line-up. Not worthy of anything more than 3 years, and 3 years is too thick for my tastes.

  140. Raul Says:

    I’m not too concerned with Hamilton leaving Texas.

    The durability concerns are real. But he will produce.
    If the guy can hit, he can hit. We all thought David Ortiz would stink after Manny left and Papi remained a solid…maybe even “top tier” offensive player.

  141. Bob Says:

    Cody Ross wants a 3-year $25MM deal. Seems realistic. The Red Sox have interest in Torii Hunter.

  142. Raul Says:

    8 million per year for Cody Ross?
    I know that SEEMS reasonable because of the large contracts we have seen lately. But Cody Ross is a league average player at best, and below average defensively. Has Ross ever been a full time player?

    I guess every team overpays for talent these days.

  143. Bob Says:

    Considering he had a decent year in the East, and the FA class this year. Everybody here has expressed issues with
    1. Hamilton
    2. Upton
    3. Melky

  144. Raul Says:

    Hamilton is worth 15 million to a team, maybe a bit more, for a limited number of years.

    BJ Upton is a 6ish million per year guy.

    Melky should get a Spring Training invite at 2 million with incentives to reach 5 million.

  145. Chuck Says:

    Hamilton will get his years, not the money.

    If David Ortiz is worth 13, then Ross is certainly worth 8.

    I wouldn’t give Melky $20 to wash my car.

  146. Raul Says:

    Melky would normally get just a ST invite, but I’m sure teams will take a shot at him, hoping he turned a corner…steroids or not.

  147. Jim Says:

    Ortiz’s $13M is largely payment for past performance and keeping a team icon around through what could be a couple of miserable years. Ross can’t use Papi to justify $8M. Who will give him 3 years?

  148. Raul Says:

    I wonder what fangraphs projected Cody Ross’ worth.
    What’s his WAR $?

  149. Chuck Says:

    Ben Cherington is a retard if he’s giving a 36 year old DH $13 million for what he did five years ago.

  150. Raul Says:

    Seems to me that Boston is bidding against themselves.

    The only place Ortiz can go and be on a contending team is Tampa. And they won’t pay him anything.
    He’s a DH and no National League team would take him.

    Anaheim already has their DH.
    Texas isn’t doling out 13 million to Ortiz when they wouldn’t give Hamilton his money.
    And New York already has an entire infield of designated hitters.

  151. Chuck Says:

    The best part of flipping on the TV tonite will be no more political ads.

    My name is Chuck, and I approve this message.

  152. Raul Says:

    Lol it has been a long election “season”

  153. Bob Says:

    Brien Taylor got a prison term of 38 months.

  154. Raul Says:

    Lucky. Thought he was staring 40 years in the eye.

  155. Chuck Says:

    Good news..Mets got rid of Jason Bay.

    Bad News..They’re still on the hook for the entire $21 million remaining on his contract. Bay rejected a buy-out proposal and instead agreed to have most of his salary deferred.

    Yasmani Grandal suspended 50 games by MLB for somehow gaining access to Melky Cabrera’s locker.

    Mark McGwire resigned as Cardinals’ hitting coach and took the same job with the Dodgers.

  156. Raul Says:

    Wondering why Mac let STL?
    Didn’t really care for Matheny or wanted to be closer to home? Doesn’t he live in California?

  157. Chuck Says:

    Yes, I think so, outside LA somewhere.

    Walt Weiss new Rockies manager. Good luck.

  158. Chuck Says:

    Yes, McGwire lives in Irvine.

    Nice “old school” look to the Astros new uniforms.

    http://shop.mlb.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=17131886&cp=17131846

  159. Chuck Says:

    “DBacks GM Towers denies team is shopping prospect Trevor Bauer”.

    Two weeks ago, you could have substituted Chris Young in that statement.

    How’d that turn out?

  160. Chuck Says:

    I’m making a conscious effort not to get into this trade rumor crap this year. It’s hard not to, though, for the next month that’s all which will be talked about.

    I was going to text Silva about the Upton/Wright rumor, but knowing the Dbacks aren’t interested in Wright for one year or his money, then what’s the point?

    It’s not going to happen no matter what Rosenthal says.

    Ellsbury for Elvis Andrus?

    Josh Hamilton going to Seattle?

    See what I mean?

  161. Chuck Says:

    Now that it’s over, I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in the final season of “No Reservations”, especially the final few episodes.

    It was pretty obvious Bourdain mailed the season in, especially the last few episodes.

    The last one was a real bummer.

  162. Raul Says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about trades until December.

    I thought the final episode of No Reservations was rushed. My mom kinda liked the DR one because it reminded her of some parts of home, but he really didn’t go anywhere interesting.

    I barely watched the final season…too many clip shows.

    I hope his CNN show will be better.

  163. Chuck Says:

    Do you know when it starts?

  164. Chuck Says:

    AFL Military Appreciation Game on MLBNetwork on Saturday, 8:10pm EST.

    I will be there..probably last game of the year for me unless I decide on the championship game.

    Going to see Scottsdale, where the Yanks prospects are..second time seeing them and I have yet to see Betances or Heathcott. Will be pissed if I don’t see them this time.

  165. Raul Says:

    Not sure when the CNN show starts. I’ll keep an eye out.

    I thought you tweeted that Heathcott was a player of the week

  166. Chuck Says:

    He was..last week.

  167. Chuck Says:

    Does anyone REALLY believe Tino Martinez will take the Red Sox hitting coach job?

  168. Bob Says:

    Possibly. He is pissed the Yankees got rid of him for Giambi, plus Ramiro Mendezo once fled the Ounsripes for the Sox.

  169. Chuck Says:

    The funniest thing about Johnny Damon playing for Thailand in the World Baseball Classic isn’t Johnny Damon playing for Thailand in the World Baseball Classic, it’s he had to pay THEM for a roster spot.

  170. JohnBowen Says:

    Silver Slugger article up. And by article, I mean regurgitation. Just another place to leave comments.

  171. JohnBowen Says:

    Tino has actually been hired by the Marlins.

    Martinez is 44 years old, which was the number of home runs he hit in his best year, 1997 – finished second in the MVP voting to Ken Griffey Jr.

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