Current Hughes, Joba Situations are not Unique

by Chuck

Much has been made of late surrounding the struggles of Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain and whether we are seeing the last of them in a Yankee uniform. With both performing below expectations and about to enter free agency, one has to believe neither will be wearing pinstripes come 2014.

Many people, myself included, have been riding the Yankees hard for their seeming inability to develop prospects, especially pitchers. I was in a conversation on a Yankees blog earlier this week and after some surface research determined that opinion is not entirely true.

Since the major league draft began in 1965, teams have selected 814 pitchers in either the first round or supplemental first round. Four hundred and eighty one of these went on to make at least one major league appearance, a success rate of 59%.

Over this same time period, the Yankees have selected 25 pitchers, with 12 making the major leagues. While that comes in at below average at 48%, it’s too early for three of them. Jeremy Bleich was drafted in 2008 and missed a year and a half recovering from Tommy John surgery; Ty Hensley and Ian Clarkin were selected in the last two drafts respectively. And a fourth prospect, Cito Culver, was converted to another position after the draft, so we won’t count him since he has never pitched as a pro.

So that makes 12 of 21, which is 58%, almost right on major league average.

Not bad.

Here’s where the number start to skew, however.

The top two pitchers in appearances, Scott McGregor and Eric Milton, combined to make zero appearances in a Yankee uniform.

The next three on the list have all been drafted since 2004, which shows there has been some development within the system, although the best of them, Ian Kennedy, has had all of his success in Arizona and San Diego.

The other two? Joba and Hughes.

From a sabermetric standpoint and focusing on WAR only, Joba and Hughes are the top two pitchers ever developed by the Yankees (who have spent their entire career in the Bronx).

Which clearly shows a historical inability to develop pitching. It’s great they are at major league average in getting guys to the show, but they have returned underwhelming performances.

Going one step further, outside of the previous two, the top pitcher in WAR for a guy who spent his whole career in New York is Andrew Brackman, who posted a 0.1 over three appearances, with Jeff Marquez being the career appearance leader with four.

My theory to why this has been such a long term problem goes 1973 and the beginning of the George Steinbrenner era.

Not much happened during the first two years of his administration, the Yankees were playing their home games eighteen miles away in Queens while Yankee Stadium was being remodeled. Free agency came into play after the 1975 season however, and George’s personal candy store was open for business.

He immediately got down to shopping, signing Oakland ace Catfish Hunter to a then unheard of five year, $3.25 million dollar deal. Steinbrenner followed up the next season by signing future Hall of Famer and ticket seller extraordinaire Reggie Jackson to an even bigger contract, and despite George turning the team over to his two sons before passing away in 2011, it’s a trend that’s continued uninterrupted for almost forty years.

What does all this have to do with the draft you ask?

There is a residual trickle down effect in play. The average time period for a draft pick to make the major leagues is slightly more than four years. Obviously first rounders make it in less time, but four off-seasons is a long time to build a team through free agency and whatever holes are remaining can be filled with trades.

The bait for these trades?

Your now positional surplus in the minor leagues.

If the current Yankees hierarchy is serious about avoiding the luxury tax next season, they are going to have to figure out a way to hack about $60 million off the current payroll. With a handful of bad contracts already on the books and potentially facing another one this off-season, bringing back to guys who could earn in the ten million range wouldn’t be feasible even if they were performing as first rounders.

What many people don’t know is the longest modern era gap between World Series appearances (1982-1996) also took place during the Steinbrenner adminstration, his tenure hasn’t all been roses and puppies. (The deadball Highlanders/Yankees went 20 years in the pre-Yankee Stadium 1901-1920 era).

I’m afraid there may be another Sahara on the horizon, the Yankees’ core group is aging, underperforming and expensive, the farm system is barren, especially at the top and especially in pitching.

I became a baseball/Yankees fan in the barren late sixties, early seventies, and while I have great memories of Mel Stottlemyre and an at the end of the line Mickey Mantle, I also remember the Bill Burbachs and Thad Tillotsons and Frank Tepedinos too. I can’t help now seeing those guys when looking at the Yanks’ current crop of minor league “talent”.

Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, who have been successful with a smaller payroll, have done so because of their resources obtained through the draft. They take the time to develop them, they take the time to nurture them and grow into productive major league players. By drafting well you build a surplus over time, and if a trade becomes necessary you can do so without gutting the organizational depth, so in case of an injury you still options to fallback on.

This isn’t to say the Yanks haven’t been successful in the draft, more than half of second rounder Al Leiter’s career appearances came as a Yankee, same with fourth rounder Stan Bahnsen. There have been successes from the bottom half of the draft as well, Andy Pettitte came from the 22nd round.

The expecations for Joba and Hughes were high at one time, that they haven’t met them isn’t entirely on their laps.

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258 Responses to “Current Hughes, Joba Situations are not Unique”

  1. Jim Says:

    Went camping for the weekend and came home to find out that the ole towne team had shoveled dirt on the Yanks playoff chances. Nice!

  2. Chuck Says:

    Bite me.

  3. Raul Says:

    Chuck writes:

    “It’s great they are at major league average in getting guys to the show, but they have returned underwhelming performances.”

    And there it is. Clear as day.

  4. Bob Says:

    Jim, where did you go camping? New Hampshire? Maine? Elsewhere in New England? Do you fish or hunt?

  5. Raul Says:

    CC Sabathia has a 4.90 ERA this season.

    Joba Chamberlain should have remained in the minors the entire 2008 season and out of the NY media circus. Maybe he could have developed into a nice 5th starter…then again he hasn’t really shown the kind of discipline or focus to have been really successful.

    Phil Hughes is the real disappointment, because I think he actually could have been much better than he’s shown. He had early injuries and the Yankees mismanaged him but I think 3 things hurt his development.

    One is that the Yankees threw him in the bullpen early in his career.

    The other is that he only had like 250 Minor League innings by the time he was called up in 2007. Granted, not everyone needs 350-400 innings in the minors. And other pitchers drafted in Hughes’ class (Verlander, Weaver & Gio Gonzalez) didn’t need many innings, either. But all of them came up for bad teams with no pressure to win immediately. And in Verlander’s case, that guy has a once-in-a-generation arm. Hughes could have benefitted a lot from toiling in the minors, refining his pitches and strategy.

    Which brings me to the 3rd thing. Hughes has a terrible cut fastball. I don’t know what prompted him to fall in love with it at the Major League level. Maybe being around Mariano Rivera can do that to you. But he doesn’t have a good one. And Hughes always had the ability to dial it up to 96 MPH anyway with his 4-seamer. He never needed the cutter in the first place. The kid was fastball-curveball and very successful. Change-up would have been the way to go, and I know he throws it occasionally, but it’s a waste pitch.

    BTW, I was curious to see Hughes’ numbers by catchers.

    Russell Martin – 223 innings, .267 batting average against
    Jorge Posada – 208 innings, .226 batting average against
    Francisco Cervelli – 84 innings, .328 batting average against
    Austin Romine – 80 innings, .267 batting average against
    Chris Stewart – 74 innings, .280 batting average against
    Jose Molina – 59 innings, .212 batting average against

    I don’t know that it means anything, but it’s interesting.

  6. Bob Says:

    Verlander and Weaver came from the college ranks; Hughes is younger than those two. He should have had more innings.
    If memory serves, the Yanks may have panicked/rushed them due to the Sox impressive ( at the time) stable of young arms in Lester, Papelbon and Craig Hanson plus Michael Bowden who was a tad younnger than those guys.

  7. Raul Says:

    I understand, Bob.

    But this isn’t an insolated case of Hughes not panning out.
    The Yankees are always reluctant to call young players up, and then once they are called up, if they struggle, they are reluctant to send them back down to work on things.

    Also, the Yankees have had some talented kids on the farm, but never let them go through the growing pains of learning to pitch. Take Manny Banuelos, for example. Chuck never liked him in the first place, but what did the kid average before getting hurt? Like 4 innings per start? Give me a break. What were they afraid of? That Banuelos would get exposed as a below-average pitcher? Isn’t that the point of the minor leagues? For a team to find out what they have? What good does it do for you to have a 20 year old kid with a 1.80 ERA in AA only to find out that he can’t get batters out the 3rd time through the order until he’s on the road in Seattle?

  8. Chuck Says:

    This isn’t just a pitching problem, the same theory works for position players too.

    Top two first rounders in appearances/WAR are Jeter and Thurman Munson. Munson was drafted in 1968..before Steinbrenner.

    The next best? Bronson Sardinha, who played 10 games and posted a career WAR of zero point zero.

  9. Raul Says:

    There’s just no excuse for it.
    The Yankees have more money than anyone.
    How are you NOT out-bidding everyone in the International FA market? HOW???

  10. Jim Says:

    Bob, we were in the White Mountain Nat’l Forest. As far as fishing and hunting, only for bottle bass and a good restaurant. This was a motorcycle weekend.

    @2 – I’ll send the Doberman by.

  11. Jim Says:

    This epitomizes the the Yanks futility this weekend.

  12. Raul Says:

    I bet you enjoyed that, Jim.

  13. Jim Says:


  14. Bob Says:

  15. Raul Says:

    That was the right decision.

    Although between this and that All Star Game in Milwaukee, it seems postponing games is the only thing Bud Selig is good at.


  16. Chuck Says:

    Happy 58th Birthday Robin Yount.

  17. Raul Says:

    Wasn’t Yount a golfer?
    Thought I read somewhere that he could have gone pro in that, too.

  18. Bob Says:

    “In 1978 he actually contemplated giving up baseball for the PGA Tour.” Good memory. I never knew that.

  19. Chuck Says:

    Yeah..he’s good too, he holds at least one course record I know of.

    Ken Harrelson actually did play on both the PGA and SR. PGA Tours.

  20. Bob Says:

  21. Chuck Says:

    stupid..guarantee he has surgery..just adding tiime to the process.

  22. Chuck Says:

    Watching AAA Championship game…new ballpark in Allentown is beautiful…added to the bucket list.

  23. Cameron Says:

    And the Royals are still mathematically in the playoff hunt… The problem is, remember how I said that all it takes is “one well-timed hot streak”? …EVERY TEAM in the wild card hunt is just as fucking hot.

  24. Chuck Says:

    Except the Yankees

  25. Chuck Says:

    Pirates sending Jameson Taillon to the AFL….

  26. Bob Says:

    If the Royals make the playoffs, this guy will be Cameron’s hero:

  27. Jim Says:

    Bob, that’s obscene.

  28. Bob Says:

    Thank you

  29. Chuck Says:


    RIP Ken Norton.

  30. Chuck Says:

    RIP Impossible Dream Red Sox pitcher Dan Osinski, who passed away last Friday.

  31. Cameron Says:

    Obscene? Yes. Do I want to see him on replay on FOX during the seventh inning? Hell yes.

  32. Cameron Says:

    Holy shit, Tim Beckham got promoted to the full Tampa roster.

  33. Chuck Says:

    He played in the AAA championship game on Tuesday, then went straight to Tampa.

    Courtesy call-up.

    He’s a #1 overall pick, they have to try and get something out of him, but he can’t play worth a shit.

    Meanwhile, Pedro Alvarez leads the NL in homers and Buster Posey has two WS rings.

    Suck it, Friedman, you cheap bastard.

  34. Raul Says:

    Drafting for signability almost never works, it seems.

  35. Bob Says:

    Certainly do not adhere to that approach in the 1st round.

  36. Bob Says:

  37. John Says:

    Are we really questioning Friedman’s ability to allocate resources?

  38. Cameron Says:

    When you bypass Pedro Alvarez and Buster Posey for Tim Beckham, you deserve a few insults.

  39. Bob Says:

    I thought this was interesting. Hope you guys do, too.

  40. Raul Says:

    Alvarez probably should have been passed over a bit. Easy for me to say that now, though. But I remember Chuck and others calling Alvarez out for having holes in his swing even then.

    There’s hardly any excuse you can make for Posey, though.

  41. Raul Says:

    By the way, Pedro Alvarez leads the National League in homers while posting a .760 OPS.

    That’s gotta be one of the lowest ever, no?

  42. Jim Says:

    Andy Pettitte is retiring.–mlb.html

  43. John Says:

    @41, Dave Kingman rocked a .717 with the Mets in 1982. Hit .204/.285/.432.

  44. John Says:

    Before that, I think you have to go back to 1918 – Gavvy Cravath (who led the league in OPS three straight years, 1913-1915 and had a 151 career OPS+) led the league with 8 HR while rocking a .696 OPS. The dead ball era featured plenty of shlubs who sucked but led the league with 10ish HR.

  45. Cameron Says:

    1 more win… At this point, a wildcard berth would be nice… But just hit 82, please. It’s been so long…

  46. Cameron Says:

    So, who do you think wins the NL MVP? There seems to be a lot of conversation between Yadier Molina or Andrew McCutchen. That said, I say it goes to Clayton Kershaw. 214 Ks, sub-2 ERA, the guarantee of a win while he’s out there is probably the biggest factor the Dodgers locked up the west. It’s clear to me.

  47. John Says:

    I say McCutchen

  48. Bob Says:

    So do I.

  49. Bob Says:

    You need insider access, but all you need to do is read the last sentence of the teaser.

  50. Cameron Says:

    We did it! Number 82!

  51. Chuck Says:

    Congrats, loser. :)

  52. Cameron Says:

    Oh shut it, Pinstripes. I haven’t had a season like this in a decade. Let me savor this. 8P

  53. Jim Says:

    Cameron, “Wait until next year” in anticipation rather than resignation.

  54. Cameron Says:

    I know, right? Then again, I’m not getting my hopes up about next year. A lot of the success has been because of quality starting pitching and Shields, Santana, and Chen (who had a sub-3 ERA somehow) are free agents so… Eh, we’ll see.

    If it’s a fluke, I’ll enjoy the fluke. If not, this is a hell of a starting point.

  55. Cameron Says:

    Oh also, remember the guy Bob posted the video of in the Royals shirt who had his gut hang out of his shirt while dancing in the stands? Now he’s a thing. We call him Rally Gut.

  56. Chuck Says:

    Spring Training is going to be fun next year…Royals and Rangers both over .500..Reds and Indians in the playoffs…the Dodgers comeback…and the Ryan Braun fiasco…

  57. Bob Says:

    You saved the best for last!!! Braun is fucked, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Figured it was like the non-fat yogurt episode of Seinfeld, when Kramer fucks a lab techician spilling test tubes into each other. Unable to find that scene on YouTube.

  58. Bob Says:

  59. Chuck Says:


    Another shit contract we can’t get rid of.


  60. Bob Says:

    Well let us take a quick glance.
    1. No mory Mo
    2. No more Andy
    3. They could certainly lose one of Cano and Granderson.
    4. just inked a lucrative radio deal with WFAN.
    5. Most likely 1 more year and Jeter departs.
    6. One year from now, and the payroll will be trimmed massively.
    7. Sabathia and ARod may be shells of themselves, but the Yanks will be able to absorb their economic sunk cost.
    8. Their sunk cost playing ability? Probably not so much come 2015.

  61. Bob Says:

    Tim Beckham with an RBI. 1-0 Rays over Baltimore in the 2nd inning.

  62. Raul Says:

    Mariano Rivera is a class act all the way. If there was a Hall of Fame for how a player should carry himself, Mo would be among the 1st elected.

    Andy Pettitte has always been a likable guy. Respected by every player in the game and had a fantastic career. But for some, the admission of using PEDs will always be there. As far as I’m concerned, using PEDs doesn’t make you an evil person. That’s not my issue with Pettitte or Bonds or Sosa or A-Rod. I don’t like Barry Bonds because he’s a jerk who treated people like dirt, not because he stuck a needle in his arm or rubbed a cream on his legs. Andy’s playing legacy deserves a blemish. That’s as far as it should go.

    Cano and Granderson should both be given a firm handshake and best wishes on their future endeavors. To me, neither is worth the investment for Yankees teams that will amount to Wild Card contenders at best.

    A-Rod will be suspended. It’s just a matter of how long, so the Yankees will save themselves at least 1 year of salary. I genuinely believe Alex loves baseball. He loves to play. It’s the only reason I can see him sticking this out as long as he can, even with all the boos and harassment from the Yankees and media. The money is huge, but I just don’t think that’s the motivating factor for him at this point. You only get to play the game for so long and with everything Alex has achieved in his career…with all the money he’s made…he’s got nothing else to play for except the game itself. Believe me, if it was just about the money, he’d have cut and run. And the Yankees would have paid him.

    Jeter should about 10 days after the Winter Meetings. Don’t take away from the Awards in November or the Winter Meetings with the trades and Free Agent signings. Go quietly before Christmas, and before the Hall of Fame stuff ramps up. He won’t retire, of course. But he should.

    CC Sabathia is a disaster. He did everything that was asked of him until this season, but as he approaches his mid-30s as an overweight pitcher with injuries in consecutive years, how does he even come close to validating the contract extension in the face of the star pitchers in the American League? (Anibal Sanchez, Yu Darvish, Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander…etc)

  63. Jim Says:

    In many ways the Yankees situation is similar to what the Yanks of the 60’s faced when Mantle, Ford et al retired or got old. The question is will this Yankees team wander in the wilderness as long as their ancestors did.

    Raul, Jeter should retire. If he plays next year it could bring back memories of Willie Mays’ final season with the Mets. As a BB fan I’d rather remember his last seasons as being 2011 & 12.

  64. Bob Says:

    Manny Machado has a fucked-up leg.

  65. Bob Says:

    Congtrats to the Pirates.

  66. Chuck Says:

    Some of this internet handjobbing over Andy Pettitte is almost making me embarrassed to be a Yankee fan.

    I’ve seen articles calling him “an all time great” pitcher and a “certain Hall of Famer”.

    I get the homerism part of it, but does anyone really believe, especially with the PED admission, that he has any shot at all?

    He should consider himself lucky if he gets a plaque in Monument Park, the HOF is out of the question.

  67. Jim Says:

    Pettitte had a nice career and he is finishing still a decent pitcher, but HoF’er? No.

  68. Bob Says:

    @ 66 and 67. I concur.

  69. Bob Says:

    Do not read this with food in your mouth or any coffee as you may choke or spit out the hot liquid.

  70. Bob Says: I found this even funnier than the Harvey news.

  71. Chuck Says:

    I tweeted last night if I learned anything about Sandy Alderson is he doesn’t know the eligibility rules for the AFL.

    Harvey can’t play here.

    There is an injury/rehab clause in the rules, but when reading it there doesn’t seem to be a place where the service time rule would be waived.

  72. Chuck Says:

    “No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible”

  73. Bob Says:

    This hurts.

  74. Jim Says:

    @70 Brings to mind the story of involving the late RS broadcaster Ned Martin. The Sox final game of the 1961(?) season was against the Washington Senators. Legend has it that Martin opened the broadcast by saying, “Hello, hello. Is there anyone out there?”

  75. Chuck Says:

    Martin was great.

  76. Raul Says:

    That Houston CBS affiliate website looks like it was designed in 2003. Like 2 pop-ups and a solid 60 ads have to be on that site.

    What a mess.

  77. Raul Says:

    This won’t surprise many. We are well aware that Buster Olney’s IQ coincides with his age. Still, this is a new low.

    MILWAUKEE — Rachel Robinson said last year that she is so glad Mariano Rivera is the last player to wear No. 42, and the affection she has for him was apparent during Sunday’s ceremony, in the way that she held his face and looked into his eyes.

    Jackie Robinson changed baseball and changed a nation, and he was at the heart of 10 years of extraordinary success for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a great player, with a .311 batting average and .409 on-base percentage and an MVP award among four top-10 finishes, and he was a transformative figure in the game’s history. He became eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 1962, and he received 77.5 percent of the vote. In other words, he scraped by, getting the 75 percent needed for election.

    Almost certainly, for some of the voters at that time, racism played a role in leaving him off the ballot. Maybe some didn’t think his playing career was worthy, in comparison to the records of others who had gained induction, like Babe Ruth. Or maybe some writers decided that no player would ever be listed on their respective ballots the first time they became eligible, a practice that has continued over the last half-century.

    Ted Williams clubbed 521 homers, finished his career with an OPS of 1.116, with an OPS+ of 190 — and when he became eligible for selection in 1966, 20 voters didn’t cast ballots for him.

    Willie Mays, regarded as arguably the greatest player since World War II, hit 660 career homers, had 3,283 hits and scored 2,062 runs — and 23 writers found a reason to not vote for him.

    Hank Aaron, baseball’s home run king at the time he retired, wasn’t a unanimous selection. Nine writers left him off their ballots.

    Cal Ripken set a record for consecutive games played, had 3,184 hits, 431 homers and transformed shortstop into an offensive position. Eight writers didn’t vote for him.

    Maybe it’s time for this embarrassing tradition to end. Maybe it’s time for this small handful of writers who want to turn themselves into a speed bump at the gates of the Hall Fame to stop making themselves the story.

    Tom Seaver received the highest vote percentage in Hall of Fame history, when he was named on 98.8 percent of the ballots. He should’ve been unanimous, and there’s every reason that Greg Maddux should be this winter, when his name appears on the ballot for the first time, after a career of 355 victories and four Cy Young Awards. Tom Glavine, reaching the ballot for the first time, is another candidate for unanimous selection, having earned 305 victories.

    And five years from now, there is no reason for any voter to not put a check mark beside Mariano Rivera’s name on a ballot, because his candidacy is pristine.

    He is the greatest closer ever and will finish his career with about 50 more saves than Trevor Hoffman, and 150-plus more than the pitcher in third place in the category, Lee Smith.

    Rivera is arguably the greatest postseason performer in baseball history, having thrown 141 innings — the equivalent of two full seasons for a reliever — with a 0.70 ERA.

    Think about that. In those 141 innings, he has allowed exactly two — count ‘em, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Jay Payton, two — home runs. Which is beyond absurd in its greatness. Rivera retires with five championship rings, and he was the closer on arguably the greatest team in history, the 1998 Yankees.

    In an era when some writers are leaving some players off of their ballots because of the character clause, Rivera is finishing his career without a hint of scandal or bad blood or ugliness. He has been revered as a teammate and as an opponent, as we have seen this summer during his farewell tour.

    The stories of writers invoking their personal vendettas into the MVP and Hall of Fame voting are legendary. But this needs to stop, and if the change doesn’t take place in the years to come with Maddux, Glavine or Pedro Martinez, then Rivera’s candidacy will be a good place to draw the line.

    Note: My colleague Barry Stanton sent along this tidbit about the Seaver voting:

    “Seaver was named on 425 of 430 ballots to post his all-time best 98.8 percent of the vote. Of the five ballots that did not name him, three were sent in completely blank to protest the exclusion of Pete Rose’s name. A fourth BBWAA member admitted he had left Seaver off unintentionally. Only one voter said he did it because Seaver was a first-time candidate.”

  78. Cameron Says:

    You know, I’m sure Buster is a great guy personally, but you ever have that one friend who no matter how nice he is, he just keeps saying stupid shit and you just want to tell him to shut up (IE, what I am to most of my friends)? …To me, he’s that guy.

  79. Raul Says:

    It’s not that I don’t have tremendous respect for Mariano Rivera.
    I do.

    But he’s just not going in unanimously.

  80. Bob Says:

    Perhaps. But the larger point of Buster’s still stands. These jackasses need to realize Maddux and Pedro are HOFers. And anybody who says or votes otherwise SHOULD BE BANNED from future votes. Becauses they clearly know nothing about the criteria that has been established. ( Note, I said should, I realizr they won’t be banned.)

  81. Chuck Says:

  82. John Says:

    Andy Pettitte obviously isn’t a HOFer.

    But he’s a far more deserving candidate than Jack Morris.

    As far as Monument Park goes, how many of the last 20 years or so of Yankees will get enshrined there? Jeter and Rivera of course. But the non-HOFers? It’s kinda cool that Hall-of-quite-solid players like Bernie Williams and Pettitte will probably be able to say, hey, my face is hanging right there alongside Babe Ruth’s.

  83. John Says:

    Just saw Jason Giambi hit a come-from-behind walk-off HR for the Indians, who maintain a hold on the 2nd wild card.

  84. Chuck Says:

    Giambi’s rumored to be the new hitting coach in Colorado next year. He was Walt Weiss’ first choice this year but wanted to keep playing, hence the hiring of Dante Bichette.

  85. Chuck Says:

    If Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson weren’t unanimous, then no one should be.

  86. Bob Says:

    “If Babe Ruthand Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson weren’t unanimous, then no one shopuld be.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: ” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines

  87. Cameron Says:

    So… We blame the Sportswriting Gnomes?

  88. Chuck Says:

    Voting for someone who isn’t worthy is a bigger sin than not voting for someone who is.

    I wouldn’t vote for Mariano on principle, doesn’t mean I’m abusing the privelege of having the rights.

  89. Bob Says:

    Who should we blame for people not voting for Ruth, Robinson or Williams? And the argument about Mariano being a closer instead of a starter is fine. Post 80 I said Pedro and Maddux should be unanimous. And I stand by that position, as does Olney.

  90. Cameron Says:

    Again, I suggest the gnomes.

  91. Chuck Says:

    Maddux, maybe, not Pedro, I can see him not being first ballot.

  92. Raul Says:

    Wow @ Chuck posting that book about Ty Cobb. I read that article you sent me a while back. Long piece. I can only imagine the detail that is in the book.

    I’m resigned to the fact that Mariano Rivera is getting elected. I think we all are. And the issues people have with relievers as it is, Rivera basically stands head and shoulders above the rest — by today’s standards. So in that sense, he certainly belongs.

    But I can understand a voter’s argument that maybe Relievers shouldn’t be in the HOF. Or I could understand that a voter might choose to vote for a lesser, every day player.

    But I also agree that if you watched baseball for 20-some odd years or however long a guy’s career was and you didn’t cast a vote for a Rickey Henderson or a Greg Maddux…you’re an a-hole. I just can’t accept any other explanation. If Greg Maddux is off your ballot, you’re a first class A-hole.

  93. Chuck Says:

    If you look at the reliever’s who’ve been elected, starting with Hoyt Wilhelm, it’s a progression on the “best ever”. I think the voters realize how stupid saves are in general, and will look more at longevity at the position than saves.

    IMO, that way of thinking is why Lee Smith will never get in..if he was REALLY that good, he wouldn’t have pitched for ten teams.

    The progression is saves leader though, so they matter to a certain extent, and is why I don’t believe Trevor Hoffman will get in, because he isn’t the leader anymore.

  94. Raul Says:

    Hoffman is also coming on the ballot at the wrong time.
    In a weak year, he would get a lot of support.

    But Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones…all those guys coming on the ballot in the next few years is gonna make it tough for any of the fringe guys to hang around…even if a few of the above-mentioned guys don’t get in.

    And then you have the “evolving” steroid guys issue.

    I think Hoffman stays on the ballot a while…maybe hovering in that 20-30% range.

  95. Chuck Says:

    See Mike Piazza.

  96. Raul Says:

    There are 5 days left in the season.

    Have to give a lot of credit to Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. A 94-64 season right now. They blew away the Rangers and Angels this year. I didn’t think Jed Lowrie was much of a pickup, but .290/.346/.447 is pretty darn good. Josh Donaldson…anyone see that coming? Bartolo Colon is doing it with smoke and mirrors but long-term, I think Griffin and Parker are solid starters. Even Sonny Gray has been good.

    Houston has 107 losses. Should they lose their remaining 4 games, it would be tied for 9th place all-time. For frame of reference, only 2 teams in the last 60 years have lost 111 or more games in a single season:

    The 1962 Mets: 40-120 (W/L)
    The 2003 Tigers: 43-119 (W/L)

    Then again, the Mets won the World Series 7 years later.
    And the Tigers lost the World Series 3 years later.

    Rock on, 2016 Astros!

  97. Raul Says:

    Who the hell is Miguel Andujar?

  98. Chuck Says:

    International signee from the Dominican in 2011.

  99. Chuck Says:

    2004 Dbacks lost 111

  100. John Says:

    This was funny:,33996/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:1:Default

  101. John Says:

    “Maddux, maybe, not Pedro, I can see him not being first ballot.”

    A good litmus test.

    If you don’t vote for Pedro Martinez for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, you don’t get a vote anymore.

  102. Chuck Says:

    The worst part of all this Andy Pettitte HOF crap the last few days is most of the comments came from Yankee blogs or Twitter stuff.

    It’s like we’re not even watching the same team.

  103. Raul Says:

    Andy Pettitte is one of the best pitchers the Yankees have had in their history, given his time with the franchise.

    Hall of Fame is out of bounds.
    Frankly, a plaque in Monument Park would be a tremendous honor for him.

    It’s not like Andy was better than Guidry. Let’s keep our heads here.

  104. Chuck Says:

    I said that to someone on a blog yesterday, and got back “WAR this, and peak that..”

    Easy to tell the guy had to Google Guidry after I mentioned his name.

  105. Chuck Says:

    Among some of the highlights of this thread;

    One guy saying Jeter is better than Honus Wagner because he “played against non-white people”.

    Another guy saying Pettitte is a Hall of Famer because he’s second all time in pickoffs,

    and the aforementioned Pettitte is better than Guidry because he WAR is higher.

  106. Raul Says:

    I feel sick.

  107. Bob Says:

    Pettitte is a HOFer for his pickoffs. That made me chuckle. Good piece of criteria.

  108. Raul Says:

    By the way, Stats Jesus himself Bill James ranked Honus Wagner the 2nd greatest player ever.


    Debate the rankings all you like, but it’s hard to argue Wagner drops out of the top 10 in any legit ranking.

    Jeter wouldn’t crack the top 50.

  109. Kerry Says:

    Pettitte has a WAR of 60.5, not HoF material, but pretty damn good (better than I would have guessed).

  110. Chuck Says:

    Career WAR

    Pettitte 60.3

    Rivera 56.7

    Jack Morris 43.9

  111. Chuck Says:

    Ron Guidry..47.8..

  112. Chuck Says:

    I mentioned in one of the comments the average WAR for HOF pitchers is 72.2..if you take out the really, really bad VC selections it’s closer to 80.

    Jack Morris is barely HALFWAY to AVERAGE.

    Talk about misusing your vote.

  113. Kerry Says:

    On another subject, Matt Carpenter is a doubles machine — he has 55 and counting; 2 more and he’ll hit the top 10 all-time for a season. Most of the top 10 are from the 20’s and 30’s, except for Todd Helton (59 in 2000) and Carlos Delgado (57 in 2000).

    Of course, he will have played more games than the older players. However,
    he has the best career 2B/PA ratio of any player with at least 1000 PA — ever — at 7.37%. The next closest are Chick Hafey (6.67%) and Joe Medwick (6.63%).

    If you go by his WAR (6.7), he is the Cardinal MVP this year, even better than Molina (5.3) or Wainwright (6.2). He also leads the majors in runs scored with 125 (Trout is next with 108)

  114. Kerry Says:

    @110, 112 — I agree, Morris is overrated.

    As for Rivera, to have that much WAR as a pure reliever is amazing, I think he deserves to get into the HoF. (Although I can understand people who disagree on principle.) His WAR/IP is 4.40% — the next closest among players with at least 1000 IP is, not surprisingly, Pedro Martinez at 3.04%. Papelbon, with only 560 IP, is at 3.52%.

  115. Chuck Says:

    Carpenter would get my vote if Andrew McCutchen played in the AL.

  116. Chuck Says:

    The year Carpenter is having reminds me of the year Melky had in Kansas look up and he has 200 hits, and it’s like, “Where the hell did that come from?”

    With Cabrera it was pretty obvious, Carpenter just looks like a gamer.

  117. John Says:

    @108, consider the difference between Wagner and the second best SS ever – Ripken. The gap is incredible…I imagine that contributed to James’s ranking.

  118. Kerry Says:

    Carpenter can flat out hit. His career BAbip is .356, which looks unsustainable, but a number of really good hitters have had a high career BAbip (e.g., Rod Carew and Miguel Cabrera).

  119. Bob Says:

    And Mike Trout

  120. Chuck Says:

    You know what we think about BABIP around here…:)

  121. Kerry Says:

    Trout too, but I was choosing players with a little longer track record.

    Cabrera already has a WAR of 54.8 — a few more years at his current rate and he should be a lock for the Hall. Another interesting candidate for the future is Adrian Beltre — his 70.4 WAR is already in HoF territory, especially for thirdbasemen. Also, Carlos Beltran is at 67.7 — less impressive for an outfielder, but if he lasts a few more years, should get serious consideration.

    BAbip has its uses.

  122. Cameron Says:

    I want Beltran to make the Hall of Fame. He’s on record as saying if he was elected, he’d have a Royals cap on his plaque. I gotta get behind that.

  123. Kerry Says:

    Good for him — he did have 6+ years in both KC and NY, with slightly more PA in KC (but a lot more $ in NY :-) ).

  124. Kerry Says:

    This year the Cardinals have the most-ever number of pitchers with rookie status and WAR 1.3 or more — 5 (Miller, Rosenthal, Siegrist, Maness, and Wacha). 5 teams have had 4, most recently Oakland last year and in 2012.

    They have used 7 more pitchers with rookie status: Carlos Martinez, John Gast, Sam Freeman, Tyler Lyons, Michael Blazek, Maikel Cleto, and Keith Butler. And that doesn’t even include Joe Kelly (WAR 2.4) in his second year and Lance Lynn (WAR 1.6) in his second full year.

  125. Kerry Says:

    Since Craig went down, Matt Adams, a 23rd rounder in 2009, has replaced him with .324/.352/.559 and 5 HR in 19 games.

    Kolten Wong, 1st rounder in 2011, OTOH, has been a dud so far, although it’s still a little early to really know how he’ll turn out.

  126. Mike Felber Says:

    Hello gentleman. Reading the tea leaves here again.

    James was generous with Wagner. And you could rate any of the old guys significantly lower if you believe that playing quality was so much lower then, & you estimate overall head to head quality over stats against what you figure are inferior peers. But if you do not believe that the greats from long ago had their value much inflated due to worse players…

    Wagner was great at a most key position, stole plenty, & was a top offensive force. It is hard not to put him at least in the top 10.

  127. Cameron Says:

    Lower standard of play, yeah. But the level of sheer dominance he had over them? Even accounting for the level of play, he’d have been great in any era.

    Plus, a lot of people forget Wagner wasn’t a full-time shortstop until he was 28. He played everything, and was the best in the league at it while he was there.

  128. Bob Says:

  129. Bob Says:

    Perhaps Raul and Chuck should avoid this link.

  130. Raul Says:

    So let me get this straight.
    Before the season even started, the Yankees offered Robinson Cano 7 years, 168 million…and he turned it down?

    Cano will be 31 next month, and Jay-Z is asking for 300 million for him?
    Oh this is gonna be fun to watch.

  131. Bob Says:

    No He is asking for 305 million.

  132. Jim Says:

    Cano & Jay Z should avoid pissing in a bottle as they have been smoking something.

    Then again, we’re talking about the Yankees, coming off a lousy year with Cano being the team’s only star still playing at an all-star level.

  133. Raul Says:

    Exactly how often does amnesia strike in MLB?

    V. Wells

    But oh, I didn’t have any idea that giving a yacht-load of money to these guys was a bad idea…really…I swear…

  134. Bob Says:

    Fielder has actually been fine. He could have an Ortiz-like career if he moves to DH. And he still has at least 3 more years playing 1st.

  135. Raul Says:

    Prince Fielder is fine?
    200 million dollars to slug .460?

    Time for another fishing trip, Bob…

  136. Bob Says:

    By the standards of ARod Hamilton, and Pujols etc Fielder has been fine, though certainly not stellar, but he is the best player of the guys whom you mentioned. But yes, it is always time for a fishing trip. Just need to learn where the hot spots for Flounder ( or fluke) are in Long Island Sound.

  137. Raul Says:

    Not much time left. It’s getting cold.

    Do you have your own boat?

  138. Bob Says:


  139. Chuck Says:

    To catch a fluke, all you need is a ticket in the CF bleachers at Fenway.

  140. Raul Says:

    …not bad

  141. Jim Says:

    Of course if you want flounder you need to stop by the Yankee’s front office.

  142. Cameron Says:


  143. Chuck Says:

    There have been two pennant race walk off homers in the past three days, Jason Giambi and Jurickson Profar.

    When Giambi made his major league debut, Profar wasn’t born yet.

    I love this fucking game.

  144. Mike Felber Says:

    So Mike Trout is now 21. He is about to finish the 2nd straight year clearly leading the majors in WAR. This seems to roughly reflect his value. He is running less wild on the base paths, his great defensive metrics have declined much due to factors that he may be unable to help, & his K/BB rations have improved.

    It is really rare to have 2 campaigns out of the gates at such a historic level. He really may well be an ATG or legend. He could always fade or get injured, but his well rounded skill set & athleticism means he could also become a Willie Mays.

  145. Kerry Says:

    Trout’s most similars through last season were Pinson, F. Robinson, Mantle, Conigliaro, Cepeda, Kaline, T. Williams, Foxx, Griffey Jr., and Heyward. A lot of HoFers there, it will be interesting to see who they are after this year. His most similar not accounting for age was, strangely enough, Allen Craig of all people.

  146. Cameron Says:

    Pinson wasn’t and Conigliaro could’ve been if it weren’t for a wild pitch. Other than that, DAMN!

  147. Raul Says:

    That was basically it last night, for Mariano and Andy.
    It’s only Jeter now.

  148. Cameron Says:

    I just saw the video of that. I have to admit… That was kinda hard to watch. It’s rare I get emotional over moments like that, but… Wow.

  149. Bob Says:

    Mo may play center field for an inning or two this weekend. Not sure how smart that is.

  150. Raul Says:

    What’s the downside to it?

  151. Bob Says:

    Him going off on a stretcher. Let’s look at the possibilities.

    1. He could go out crying into Andy with Jeter a foot away.
    2. He could save Andy’s game on Saturday.
    3. He could make a Willie Mays like catch in a meaningless game.
    4. He could run into a wall or Ichiro, or Cano etc. amd end up writhing in pain.

  152. Mike Felber Says:

    Those similarity scores are based upon raw #s & offense. Almost nobody started as fast as Trout considering WAR or any other measures of total value relative to their peers. Gooden is comparable, one year even better the other worse. Anything can happen to a guy, but given his well rounded talents & extremely rare 1st 2 (full) years especially at this age, the odds now in his favor to have a Pujols-type level of dominance. For how long is the question.

  153. Raul Says:

    I guess there’s nothing really to be gained from Mariano taking the field.
    That’s true.

  154. Kerry Says:

    I agree Mike, I just noticed the similarity scores and found it interesting — whenever a majority of your most similars through your current age are HoFers, that says something. Trout does have the third highest WAR through his age 21 season, after Bob Feller (29.2) and Dwight Gooden (22.0), and followed by Mel Ott at 17.9
    (maybe somebody mentioned that above, I’m too lazy to look right now :-) ).

  155. Kerry Says:

    On another subject, as of today’s (Friday’s) games, Tampa and Cleveland are tied for the wild card and Texas is a game back. It’s possible they could end up in as 3-way tie. According to Wikipedia (which quotes a source in the commissioner’s office), the tiebreaker would be handled as follows:

    “Based on a group head-to-head record, teams A, B and C will be created. Team B will travel to team A. The winner wins wild card one. The loser will go to team C. The winner of that game wins wild card two. After those two games, wild card teams one and two will play each other in the wild card round.”

    My take on “group head-to-head record” is: among games the three have played against each other, Tampa and Cleveland each have won 7, Texas 5, so Texas would be Team C. Tampa won the season series with Cleveland, so I think Tampa would be Team A, and Cleveland Team B.

    In any event, a 3-way tie for the two wild-card spots would result in 3 games being played to determine the fourth ALDS team.

  156. Kerry Says:

    Oh, I almost forgot: Woo, woo! Cards clinch! Cards clinch!

  157. Cameron Says:

    Winning baseball all around for the Show-Me State. I’d say the same for football, but… Well, the Chiefs are kicking ass at least.

  158. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes Kerry, though Trout has had around exactly 2 seasons-those 3 others had more. Trout is an incandescent talent just a rare level of skill, athleticism, & suitability to his sport-he may on the upside end up a Lebron level man, a candidate for the very best ever. It would be a surprise at this point if he does not have at least a lower tier HOF career.

    How is Physics treating you? Any new insights into the universe? Do
    you agree that the favorable basic natural laws here is akin to our planet being in a habitable zone: that is, however rare, it only might seem created or predestined because we are looking from the inside out, & the analogy is that most larger structures, suns, galaxies, even whole universes, will not have favorable conditions to life, but amongst the numerous-in the case of the multi-verse possibly infinite-# of possible natural laws & chemistries, any conscious being must logically be in those rare situations amenable to life?

  159. Cameron Says:

    Fun fact, I found Kerry’s Rate my Professor page. Positive reviews pretty much, though I did find a student who called you “the most boring lecturer in the whole university.”

    …To be fair though, even I find university-level physics lectures boring, and I study it for fun.

  160. Chuck Says:

    RIP Gates Brown

  161. Chuck Says:

    Eric Wedge..gone…Davey Johnson…gone..Dale Sveum…gone

    Joe Girardi has some options, although I sort of buy Rick Sutcliffe’s opinion that Girardi won’t manage at all next year because his daughter is a freshman in HS and he wants to watch her after school events.

    Rumor has it he has an offer on the table to broadcast for ESPN.

  162. Cameron Says:

    Johnson isn’t necessarily like the other two though. He’s going upstairs, not out the door.

  163. Bob Says:

    Shit at post 160. RIP Mr. Brown.

  164. Chuck Says:

  165. John Says:

    Decent article.

    It should have made a point of mentioning that Rivera was properly used…in one season.

    And he was extremely valuable.

    That season was 1996, when he saved all of 5 games.

    John Wetteland was the closer, Rivera was in more of the ace reliever role (accidentally). Rivera pitched 107 mostly high-leverage IP, and recorded the highest WAR and WPA of his career.

    The Yankees had an opportunity to revolutionize the way bullpens are used by keeping Rivera in that role…and they squandered it. (Hard to complain too much after 6 more pennants and 4 more titles though)

    As the article says, it’s not Rivera’s fault. He was misused, but in the role that he was used, he was better than anyone else who has ever done it…and it’s not particularly close. The article mentions that the vast majority of closers break down after a couple years either physically or emotionally. Of those that haven’t, Rivera’s closest comparisons – Trevor Hoffman and Joe Nathan – sit with ERA+’s in the range of about 150.

    In other words, the difference between Rivera and his two closest contemporaries is the same as the difference between either of them, and a league average dude.

  166. Kerry Says:

    @159, yes, there are always some students who don’t like your teaching. I do resent that one comment though; last spring I actually used a cat video of a cat on a treadmill to get across a certain idea (relative velocities), just to make it more interesting. Maybe that student wasn’t in last spring’s class. :-)

    The bowling ball pendulum is fun, too. I stand with it right up against my nose and then release it. The students usually enjoy watching it swing away and back right up to my face. You just have to be careful not to push it away when letting go! Gotta love conservation of energy.

  167. Kerry Says:

    @158, I don’t worry about metaphysics too much. Although it’s true that if you changed the basic physical constants (e.g., the elementary unit of electric charge, electron mass, Planck’s constant), the world would be way different (atomic sizes, nuclear reactions that power stars, etc.).

    In my bailiwick, we (the physics community) have shown that CP violation in the neutrino sector may be possible (which means that neutrinos and antineutrinos might behave differently), which could lead to an explanation of why our universe is made up of mostly matter with little antimatter. Without CP violation, a universe created in a Big Bang should have equal amounts of both, which would tend to annihilate each other (kind of like that Star Trek episode “The Alternative Factor”, only at the particle level). (CP stands for Charge conjugation and Parity symmetries.)

  168. Chuck Says:


  169. Chuck Says:

    “@159, yes, there are always some students who don’t like your teaching. I do resent that one comment though; last spring I actually used a cat video of a cat on a treadmill…just to make it more interesting….the bowling ball pendulum is fun, too.”

    I think your students would be far more engaged if you were to combine those two ideas..drop a bowling ball on a cat.

  170. Cameron Says:

    Toldja Chuck. Physics. Fascinating subject, boring lecture.

  171. Chuck Says:

    Chris Carter has 209 strikeouts this season.

    Chris Davis needs two for 200.

    There have been 38 individual seasons of 180 strikeouts or more…six this year alone…


  172. John Says:

    I’m guessing the Orioles don’t care if Davis strikes out 200 times.

    Also striking out a lot: the playoff-bound Braves (most K’s in NL), Pirates (3rd) and Reds (5th)

  173. Kerry Says:

    @169, I tried that once, but the SPCA complained…

  174. Kerry Says:

    @155, Cleveland is now ahead in the AL wild card race, with Tampa and Texas tied for the second spot. If it ends that way, Texas won the season series with Tampa 4-3, and so they would host the playoff for the second wild card. The three-way tie is still possible if Cleveland loses and Tampa and Texas win tomorrow.

  175. Chuck Says:

    Prediction…all three wild card contenders win today…tampa at texas tomorrow, winner beats cleveland on tuesday to become wild card team.

    Although it would give me immense satisfaction for Cleveland to make it, just so they could kick Boston’s ass for Francona.

  176. Chuck Says:

    I’m so glad the Yankees’ season is over, this has been as challenging a season as I can remember DESPITE having a winning record.

    Granderson, Jeter, Youkilis, ARod and Teixeira played 164 games…COMBINED.

    Other than Phil Hughes, they had consistent starting all year, and despite Girardi’s attempts, the bullpen was pretty good.

    Their run differential was -30 something.

    Joba this, ARod that, Biogenesis this, Jeter that, Cano’s contract, Andy and Mo retiring, having to deal with Nunez and Ichiro and signing scrap heap garbage like Ryan and Reynolds just to field a team, is Girardi coming back…my friggin’ head is about to explode.

    I honestly could give two shits about the Yankees now, I just want it all to stop.

    Raul, bro, feel sorry for you..reading the paper the past three or four months must have been a total fucking nightmare.

  177. Bob Says:

    Obviously football is enthralled with baseball’s wild card concept.

  178. Cameron Says:

    They’re not enthralled with the wildcard. It’s two parts. One, the NFLPA hates preseason games because players get hurt over games that don’t mean anything. And the NFL loves the postseason because they make shitloads of money. Win-win all around for both sides, at least in Roger Goodell’s head.

  179. Chuck Says:

    Henderson Alvarez no-hit the Toledo Mud Hens…0-0 tie entering the bottom of the ninth..single, single, wild pitch, walk, walk off wild pitch.

  180. Chuck Says:

    Spring Training is all profit for ML teams, too.

  181. Cameron Says:

    R.I.P. L.C. Greenwood

  182. Chuck Says:

    Rays at Rangers tonight…David Price vs. Martin Perez..Nelson Cruz back for Rangers…have to give them the edge.

  183. Chuck Says:

    Don’t read the whole article, just the last sentence.

  184. Bob Says:

    I’m going with the Rays for some reason. Though could care less who wins.

  185. Bob Says:

    Holy shit. So the “ideal utility player” is now borderline Cooperstown???

  186. Cameron Says:

    So, now that the season is over, congrats to Clayton Kershaw for another Triple Crown season. Dude’s spun quite possibly the best season since Pedro Martinez’s 1999-2000 run. Cy for sure, I’d say a strong MVP candidate. Verlander won it with a worse season in a stronger field.

  187. Bob Says:

    Ben Zobrist after 8 seasons has this line .263/354/.435. He is finishing his age 32 season. In other words, here come the gradual decline. I like Zobrist, I do, but good God, how much research did the author do?

  188. Bob Says:

    Kershaw is an easy choice. I hope Fernandez finishes 2nd. Where should Harvey finish?

  189. Cameron Says:

    In Cy voting? I’d say Harvey finishes second. Fernandez likely third.

    The AL is a bit tougher. I’d say Scherzer will win it, but I’m not sure if he’d have my vote. I myself am leaning more towards Yu Darvish. Dude’s been worth the investment for Texas so far.

  190. Jim Says:

    @187 Yeah, but, WAR…Pujols!! (writer rolls on the floor laughing uncontrollably)

  191. Raul Says:

    I had to scroll back up at that Zobrist article.
    I thought maybe Shaun started writing again.

    I watched less baseball this season than I have since I was a kid.
    The last few weeks/months of tv have consisted of Ray Donovan and Breaking Bad, mostly. And now I’m getting caught up on Homeland.

    I’ll watch the playoffs to root for the Pirates, and maybe the Dodgers, because the possibility of Don Mattingly getting a ring after all these years would be nice.

    But I’m sick of the way MLB and other sports bombard you with analysis and opinions and hype. And I think that’s part of the reason I didn’t watch many games this year (the Yankees underachieving aside).

  192. Chuck Says:

    I see where you’re coming from, Raul.

    A year ago I shitcanned 90% of the websites I belonged to and any chat functions..most of them just regurgitate each other anyway, and one person can only take so much stupid at one time.

    And now that this season is about over, I’m going to clean it out again…

    Paul Goldschmidt had a helluva season, but not only is he not winning MVP, I don’t see him in the top three.

    Most VALUABLE Player, not Most Impressive Statistics.

  193. Raul Says:

    At one point last season, I think Goldschmidt was playing himself out of a job.
    But I think he picked it up in the 2nd half of May.

  194. Chuck Says:

    At the Futures Game in 2011 there were a lot of people who thought Goldschmidt wouldn’t be an everyday player, especially defensively..he was bad. I’ve heard the announcers say how hard he works on his game and it’s paying off.

    Do I expect him to do this again?


  195. Raul Says:

    Carlos Gomez hit .284/.338/.506 with 24 HR, 10 triples and 40 stolen bases this season in 147 games.

    Is he going to do that again?

  196. Bob Says:

    The Cubs fired Dale Sveum.

  197. Raul Says:

    Mike Trout, according to Baseball-Reference, put on a 9.2 WAR this season.
    That gives him a career 20.8 WAR.

    Another all-star season in 2014 would give him a higher WAR than the entire careers of Garrett Anderson (17 years, 25.8 WAR) and Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers (26.1 WAR).

    I’m sure there’s a lot to discuss/dismiss above. LOL

  198. Jim Says:

    Re Dale Sveum. Theo & Jed said the Cubs sucked do to their rebuilding plan. But Sveum still gets the ax? He deserved better.

  199. Bob Says:

    I agree.

  200. Jim Says:

    Ron Gardenhire received a 2 year extension. Exactly why I’m not sure. The Twins’ were not only a team low on talent, the legacy of Bill Smith, but they were poor fundamentally and that is Gardenhire’s problem.

  201. Cameron Says:

    I think Goldschmidt can keep this level of hitting up. Maybe not this impressive year in and year out, but at a good enough level to be a key piece of that D’Backs (or wherever the hell he happens to be traded if he is) offense for a while. Not a great defender, but he’s a first baseman. You don’t pay them for their gloves down there.

  202. Chuck Says:

    Told you to watch out for Gomez Raul…hope you drafted him for your fantasy team.

  203. Raul Says:

    I actually didn’t join a fantasy baseball league this year.

    Minnesota has had just 2 managers in like 25 years. I’m not even sure how much of an impact a manager has. And the continuity is kinda nice to see.

    Well, I take that back a bit. Having watched Joe Girardi for the last few years, a manager CAN have a major impact. Girardi probably cost the 2013 Yankees a spot at the Wild Card. His managing easily cost them 5 games this year.

  204. Jim Says:

    One name: Bobby Valentine.

    On a day to day basis, the effect that a manager has on a team is small when discussing in game decisions, but how he deals with the personalities, knowing when and how to sit a player out does make a difference.

  205. Mike Felber Says:

    Rollie Fingers averaged 118 IP over 17 years with a 120 ERA +. He did have a high pressure/leverage index, 1.9. So he is given ~ 1.5 WAR per year.

    Rollie Fingers has commonly been understood as overrated. A colorful character & great guy, a pioneer arguably, certainly in the great ‘Stache category…but a good, not a HOF pitcher. Checking against an underrated pitcher from his era, Blyleven: Bert had a marginally lower ERA +, & marginally more than 2X as many IP per year. Rollie had better defenses.

    So why does Bert have somewhat more than double his ERA + per year (over a longer career)? Because the leverage index is more than compensated for by the RA9avg: Relievers obviously have significantly better ERA + #s from their manner of limited usage. A 120 ERA + for a reliever is good. For a starter with a proportionately long career as Fingers had, it is very good indeed.

    Considering his 1st year of 1.1 IP & last couple partial years, ~ 1.5 WAR per year for a reliever throwing good IP & good but not excellent WAR & peripeherals for his role sounds just about right.

    So 3 great years by a f/t player could clearly be more valuable than a good not great reliever’s whole career.

  206. Chuck Says:

    Tom Kelly “won” two WS with the Twins…look at his career record.

    “His managing easily cost them 5 games this year…”

    And yet some Yankee fans think he should be MOY.

    Buck Showalter personally lost two postseason series, ‘95 with the Yankees and ‘99 with the DBacks.

    Girardi’s and “old” player’s manager..he was teammates with Rivera, Pettitte and Jeter when they came up, even Soriano for awhile. Now that all his homeboys are retiring and are being replaced by such future legends as David Adams and Zoilo Almonte, it’s time for someone else.

  207. Raul Says:

    I think maybe the way to go for NY would be to get a highly experienced manager who has spent time developing young guys.

    Girardi had 1 season with the Marlins and then moved to a team of veteran winners. How would he even know how to help take a group of young kids to the next level?

  208. Cameron Says:

    So… The Pirates are officially back in the postseason. There’s hope for all the shitty teams of the league yet.

  209. Raul Says:

    When’s the last time Pittsburgh was in the postseason?

    Was John even born at that time?
    Chuck was probably like 30…just wrapping up that 80’s decade of debauchery.

  210. Bob Says:

  211. Cameron Says:

    Chuck just doesn’t remember the 80s because he doesn’t want to. It’s the 70s that he has trouble remembering because of the debauchery.

  212. Bob Says:

    Normally, I would just root for Pittsburgh, but since I have a couple of Cueto rookie cards, I do not care. Though I think people here want Pittsburgh, correct?

  213. Cameron Says:

    The whole Youngstown area is pretty pumped. It’s about the halfway point between Pittsburgh and Cleveland and both of them made it. Today’s paper lost its shit.

  214. Bob Says:

    Ed O’Neil ( Al Bundy) is from Youndstown

  215. Cameron Says:

    I’m heading back to school next fall, going down to Youngstown State. Pretty good school, even has a D1 sport with the basketball team. And thank god it’s in the good part of town. Anywhere outside of downtown, I’d recommend kevlar.

    …I’d go somewhere else, but it’s the only school nearby with a Social Work program.

  216. Chuck Says:

    #211…right, Cameron.

    Good luck, Cam, that’s cool.

  217. Raul Says:

    Ed O’Neil is a Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt…which I think is really hard to achieve.

    I thought I read that Youngstown, OH was decimated in the past few decades with all the manufacturing jobs leaving the rust belt. I think the only guy that I knew of from that area was boxer Kelly Pavlik.

  218. Cameron Says:

    You’re not too far off Raul. The Youngstown metro’s a real shithole these days. Most of the job market’s still manufacturing jobs. I think I’ve met more welders here than I’ve ever met in my life. Welding, pipefitting, machining, etc. That’s pretty much all of the work that goes on around here.

  219. Cameron Says:

    And yes, Pavlik’s kind of a big deal around here. Every time he gets a fight, there’s always news coverage.

  220. Chuck Says:

    Ray Mancini…Sammy Ellis

  221. Raul Says:

    Mancini. Heh, I thought he was a Jersey kid.

    Cameron, the Royals’ 86 wins this season were the most since 1989

  222. Cameron Says:

    Yep. It’s been a hell of a ride. We’ll see what next year holds.

    Remember, we followed our last season by going 58-104. So… Not exactly holding my breath.

  223. Cameron Says:

    Last winning season, I’m sorry.

  224. Mike Felber Says:

    Very nice Cam! I used to teach the Dev.disabled, had foster care social work jobs, in NYPS…What will you specialize in?

  225. Cameron Says:

    I plan on getting a therapist’s certification if I can, if not… I’m not sure. I know I plan on moving back home and there’s possibly opening with schools there, so we’ll see when we get there.

  226. Chuck Says:

    Cubs are interested in AJ Hinch as manager.


  227. Raul Says:

    Anyone but Ryne Sandberg, it seems

  228. Bob Says:

    Cam, good luck.

  229. Bob Says:

    Have no idea if you guys ever read him, but author Tom Clancy passed away. RIP

  230. Raul Says:

    Never read Clancy, but just about everyone has come across his work through movies or video games.

  231. Bob Says:

    One for John. The Brewers waived Mat Gamel and Taylor Green.

  232. Chuck Says:

    Gamel will be invited back on a minor league contract, waiving him opens up a 40 man spot.

  233. Cameron Says:

    @226 Well, Hinch IS a notorious asskisser.

  234. John Says:

    Gamel’s had rotten luck with injuries. Just wasn’t cut out to play the hot corner, so he had to go to first and wait for Prince Fielder to leave via free agency and/or die or a cornorary. The former happened, and Gamel got his shot…and got hurt. He managed to get another chance and get hurt again.

    I agree with Chuck – he’ll be invited back since Hart is likely gone.

  235. Bob Says:

  236. Raul Says:

    Thing about the Brewers is that they don’t ever really seem to get anyone in trades.

    They did get Sabathia and gave up what amounted to nothing for him: Rob Bryson, Zach Jackson and Matt LaPorta.

    But while they rode Sabathia hard down the stretch, ultimately they didn’t much out of him. They didn’t make the deep playoff run they were hoping for.

    After Sabathia went to the Yankees, the Brewers took CFer Kentrail Davis in the draft in 2009. Davis is now 25 in AAA…a career .270/.359/.399 hitter with 89 steals in 488 games. So the Sabathia gamble didn’t work out. Still a good shot, though.

    Mat Gamel is 28 years old and hasn’t played in a year. And the fact that he wasn’t able to crack that Brewers lineup or that another team didn’t make a hard push to take him off Milwaukee’s hands just points to AAAA-player all the way.

  237. Raul Says:

    Pedro Martinez is 41 years old.
    What good would it do to have a memoir? You’re basically at the midpoint of your life, you idiot.

    A few “on the road” stories and the Don Zimmer thing aside, what could possibly come out of this book to make it worth reading?

    I could see if maybe he had a book about pitching…his mentality on the mound…his strategy…that sort of thing. But who cares about what hookers he or Carl Everett picked up in Arlington?

  238. Bob Says:–mlb.html

  239. Chuck Says:

    Hart will be back, year deal.

  240. Chuck Says:

    The Brewers weren’t really that good when they got Sabathia and his acquisition really didn’t mean much.

    I believe if you have a horse, ride him, he does you no good in the stable.

    First day of full squad workouts.

    Was our orientation day. I get to Maryvale around 10, fill out employment paperwork, took about 10 minutes…done. Spent an hour helping train the newbies, had our press box staff meeting for another half hour, done for the day.

    First workout is at 1 PM. A couple of us walk over just as the players are coming out, you can tell Gamel is excited to be on the field after missing almost all of 2012 with the knee.

    First thing players do is calisthenics, guys are sitting down with one leg folded underneath for hamstring stretches…no shit, not three minutes in Gamel stops, gets up and limps over to a bench.

    After awhile he gets up and joins the catch line, then they all break up into their hitting groups. Obviously, we wanted to follow Braun’s group, so we walk towards the back field, all of a sudden Uecker goes by in a golf cart with maybe 20 people chasing him.

    Gamel was on another field with the infielders and while we didn’t see it, we were told he got in the cage and on his second or third swing gave a yell and collapsed…his repaired ACL blew.

    I think he did it stretching and tried to play through it, maybe it partially tore then completely tore when he swung, but makes no difference.

    The guy rehabs an ACL for ten months, and is on the field for ten minutes and the thing blows out.

    He was crying when they drove him off on the cart, whether it was pain, frustration or both, but that really sucked.

    You could tell by the body actions of some of the players and Roenicke that was the last thing they expected, ten minutes into the first workout of the season and you’re already down a starter.

    Guys get hurt all the time, but when you combine that with the circumstances, it was depressing, especially seeing it happen.

  241. Bob Says:

    A touching story, even if you are not a fan of basketall. Also, do not read this at work.

  242. Bob Says:

    The Cubs claimed Gamel.

  243. Chuck Says:

    I just saw that, what the hell do I know.

    (Rhetorical question, Raul)

  244. Raul Says:

    Of course the Cubs claimed Gamel.
    A defensive liability who can’t stay healthy.

    The only thing is, when Theo did it in Boston, he had the DH to plug David Ortiz into.

  245. Cameron Says:

    Well, there’s one thing the Royals have done right so far.

  246. Cameron Says:

    Fun fact. The top three most postseason home runs by active players…

    Derek Jeter – 20
    Albert Pujols – 18
    Carlos Beltran – 15

    And the PA it took to do it…

    Derek Jeter – 734
    Albert Pujols – 321
    Carlos Beltran – 153

    ¡Viva Señor Octubre!

  247. Kerry Says:

    Oh, and @246, way to go Carlos!

  248. Raul Says:

    One game down.
    I just want to reiterate on this site for about the 7th time this season that I have been saying Atlanta will be eliminated in the 1st round.

  249. Jim Says:

    Dusty bit the dust. sorry. couldn’t help myself

  250. Raul Says:

    Dusty Baker:
    20 years
    .526 winning percentage
    7 playoff appearances
    0 world titles
    1,671 wins

    Tommy LaSorda:
    21 years
    .526 winning percentage
    7 playoff appearances
    2 world titles
    1,599 wins

    I’m not saying Dusty Baker is the same as Tommy LaSorda. And LaSorda didn’t get to enjoy the playoff system that Baker did.
    What I am saying is that Tommy LaSorda was a bit overrated.

  251. Cameron Says:

    Pittsburgh is getting revenge for the asswhooping they were handed in game 1. …In fact, every game in the divisional round so far has been a blowout.

  252. Chuck Says:

    Joe Girardi’s next job just opened up.

    Think about it…a bunch of six inning starters, a decent pen, and a good closer.

    Right up his alley.

  253. Cameron Says:

    So, Alex Rodriguez is losing his goddamn mind.

  254. Jim Says:

    No Arod lost his mind long ago.

    Fenway’s right field late in the day eats another fielder and Will Meyers is the goat. Though Rodriguez twice being eaten by the monster probably caused more damage to TB today.

  255. Cameron Says:

    I mean losing his mind as in suing the MLB for Defamation of Character in regards to them acting within the terms of the CBA for a steroid test he failed. Not a leg to stand on and he still wants to get in an asskicking contest.

  256. Chuck Says:

    I’m convinced ARod is bi-polar or something, he’s fucking nuts…

    I guess if there is a silver lining to this it’s whatever settlement MLB offers him will likely include retirement.

    Girardi’s almost gone, ARod is is a good day to be a Yankee fan.

  257. Cameron Says:

    Steroids can fuck a dude up in the head, man.

  258. Chuck Says:

    Looking through the AFL rosters..Angel Vilallona is playing..remember him?

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