This and That; Random Thoughts on Random Things
So, it’s been awhile since anything fresh has been written, sorry about that. With John off saving the world it’s up to me to keep everyone entertained, and entertainment isn’t my strong suit.
Sure, I could easily post something everyday, like Brian Kenny making an ass of himself, but even that would get stale eventually….right?
*Speaking of Kenny, he posted a tweet the other day that listed the most sabermetrically driven organizations, with Houston leading the way with “6″. I replied, “6 what?” and didn’t hear back, so one can only assume he was killing time for some reason. Kevin Goldstein, the former Baseball Prospectus prospect writer who now scouts for the Astros, did respond, calling Kenny out, saying, “we are not an organization driven by analysis.” When the leading proponent of sabermetrics gets called out by someone who used to be a leading proponent of sabermetrics, it’s a good day.
*Speaking of the Astros, about a year and a half ago I sent letters and resumes to all thirty major league teams, just putting my name in the hat for openings in scouting or player development. Most positions are entry level internships which require you to work your ass off for nothing, but a job in baseball is a job in baseball. Some teams responded, some did not. Houston did initially, a Dear John like everyone else. Yesterday, though, I got a letter saying there was “a position open which fit my resume and skills” and contained an email address where I could go and click a link to get an application. I type the URL into the computer and I go to a page which I assume was the Astros’ Human Resources page, where two questions pop up.
“Are you bi-lingual?” I select no.
“Are you willing to relocate to an as yet to be determined location in Mexico?” Again, I chose no.
The page flashes for a second, then a window pops up. “Thank-you for your interest in employment with the Houston Astros Baseball Club, we wish you success in your future endeavors.” It’s like getting eliminated first from a reality TV show.
*Dick Allen has a real cool website, he’s on Twitter and Facebook, too. From what I gather, he does most of the posting himself.
*I, for one, am glad it appears Masahiro Tanaka won’t be posted. The only thing dumber than paying a posting fee is paying $20 million a year for a Triple A pitcher.
*If sabermetrics really mattered in MLB, Shin Soo Choo would have signed a month ago. Defensively challenged outfielders who can’t hit lefties aren’t worth $23 million a season for seven years despite what Scott Boras and Brian Cashman try and tell you.
*I think it’s pretty cool Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa will go into the Hall of Fame together, but, yet again, the omission of Marvin Miller is somehow considered more newsworthy. Miller posted no stats, he never played, he didn’t build a team into a perennial champion, he was a labor leader. His primary function was to make money for the union, to do that he promoted the stars, while simultaneously forgetting about the other ninety percent of his constituents. I’ve written on these pages before about my friend Mike Colbern leading a group of players in a lawsuit against MLB and the PA for benefits; while they lavished cash on the likes of Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson, guys like Colby struggled with the effects of injuries suffered while playing and were denied the resources to pay for medical care or material things like their mortgage.
*Speaking of the Hall of Fame, the BBWAA portion of the ballot was released recently with results being announced on January 8th. As everyone knows, I’m a small hall guy and look for reasons to keep guys out, you won’t see me trying to justify Curt Schilling by looking at his post-season record or Jeff Kent because he’s the all-time home run leader at a position known more for defense. While I have to admit my stance is softening on Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens because of the “already in before they cheated” argument, I still can’t couldn’t convince myself to vote for them if I could, but if 75% of the BBWAA does, I won’t have a stroke afterwards.
Here’s the way I’ve always looked at the Hall of Fame; you were an elite player for a long time. If you play 23 years in the majors but don’t get an MVP vote or make an All-Star team after age 29, or only have one qualifying season over your last ten, you’re not elite (Tim Raines). If you play more than 50% of your career games as a designated hitter and accumulate more than 60% of your career numbers at the same time, you are not elite. (Frank Thomas/Edgar Martinez).
If you are linked to steriods or HGH in any way, whether proven or not, you’re out. I would much rather take my grandkids someday to Cooperstown and explain why you’re out than try to explain how a cheater can get this type of recognition.
My prediction is only Greg Maddux gets elected.
*I met Mike Silva last week, he was in Phoenix on business and we had dinner together at the Cheesecake Factory in Scottsdale. He’s doing his radio stuff now for Champions Radio in Long Island, which is an ESPN affiliate. He’s been talking to his producers about getting his old NYBD show back up and running, if only for a brief segment of his Saturday morning show. If he can pull it off, that means the old gang will be back together, albeit in a limited format; me, Joe DelGrippo, Frank Russo, Steve Keane and Jed Weisberger. Stay tuned for that.
*The City of New York changing the address for Yankee Stadium from River Avenue to Rivera Avenue is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in years.
*Some of the prospect rankings are starting to come out now, and the list of shortstops is, in a word, stunning. Javier Baez, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, Francisco Lindor…just crazy.
*As bad as the Robinson Cano contract is, the Jacoby Ellsbury deal is so bad I can’t even find words. The Yankees will be trying to get out of it by 2016, and since they gave him a full no-trade on top of $100 more than he’s worth, well…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone.
Yes, Mike, even you.