Saturday, April 30, 2005


Good article at Futility Infielder on Mel Stottlemyre's ability to, well, be a pitching coach. Looks like, with the help of Jay Jaffe, Allan Barra just wrote an article on it in the NY Sun (subscription required, which is great, since that'd be another obnoxious NY sportswriter we'd feel compelled to read). The statistics are pretty damning. Also, the description of the Yankees bullpen is fairly entertaining:
...the rarely healthy Steve Karsay, the enigmatic Tanyon Sturtze (whose positive ledger rests on a 20-inning spree spread out between last September and early April that may well qualify as an out-of-body experience), the shellshocked Tom Gordon (who hasn't looked the same since David Ortiz got through with him), and the overcooked Mike Stanton...
Of course, I'd rather be talking about the Sox, but what to say? Between injuries and impending suspensions and spotty hitting, it seems like there's nothing to say -- just bite your lip and wait for...I dunno, June?

(Man, what is it with these SaturdayYankee day-games and night Sox-games? Is this done on purpose? I want to watch now! I mean, don't get me wrong -- watching Wang is interesting and all, but still.)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Bob Watson is an idiot.

Suspensions have been handed out. Arroyo -- one mild retaliation pitch -- got 6 games. Lance Carter -- threw behind Manny, then at Ortiz's head -- got 5. This comes one week after Gary Sheffield takes a swing at a fan before completing a play, and got no suspension -- even was commended for his restraint! Hey...wasn't Bob Watson once the Yankees GM?...

Anyway, conspiracy theories aside, MLB seriously messed up. Many will appeal these suspensions, and point to Sheffield's lack of punishment as some sort of standard. I mean, how can what Ortiz did (yell at the pitcher who threw at his head) be two games worse than what Sheff did? Annoying.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

They can't be serious

Listening to Sterling and Waldman on the Yankee radio network, they were seriously saying that Joe torre had to be pleased with tonight's game. Brown had his best outing (true enough) and that his stuff finally looked good. And also that Matsui broke out of his slump with a big clutch hit. I guess he had been 2-22 or something.

So now the Yankees are counting moral victories. Very funny. Its not like its KC or Detroit.

Important news

We could have told them this a long time ago.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jeremy (Jeremi) to get his shot???

Speculation is out there that Jeremi Gonzalez is the most likely to get the call up to fill the rotation.


The bad news: Three saves (1 was shaky), 1 win (also shaky), 3 losses, 1 (only one?!?) blown save.

The worse news: In 10 IP: 7.20 ERA, 4K/5BB, .310 BAA, WHIP 1.80.

The even worse news: Righties (in 16AB) are batting .500 off him. And slugging 1.250. That's an OPS of 1.806. (In fairness, these numbers were probably far less obscene before Tejada and Lopez teed off on him.)

This photo about sums it up. What's going on? Does he have nothing...or have hitters just figured him out? He doesn't have typical "closer stuff" -- mostly a weak fastball and a nasty changeup -- so the latter is certainly possible. I haven't watched enough of his innings to tell -- is his changeup more obvious these days?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

20 Games in...

...and the Sox are 11-9. Just two games above .500, and that's thanks to the Devil Dogs. Among the rest of the AL East, Sox are 7-7; one of those three teams (Baltimore) is flying high, but the other two are most definitely not. Sox got out to a 2.5-3 games lead over the Yankees a while back, and for all the talk of Yankees' struggles, haven't put any more distance in between. Not to mention Sox are 2 games back in the division. So I wouldn't say they're struggling, but they certainly aren't playing to potential. Already they're 2 games behind their Pythagorean W-L record, meaning they win blowouts and lose close ones -- sounds about right.

Not really anything to say about the Devil Rays-BoSox fight that hasn't been said already. All the people on the we-hate-the-Red-Sox bandwagon are pointing to the fight as evidence of how "low class" the Red Sox are -- get real. [Seriously, check out the guy's site -- it's one of the most pathetic websites I've ever seen.] Everything was done on the field, most of the retaliation pitches were reasonable (except Carter's pitch to Ortiz), the ejections were fine, and Trot Nixon is an angry, angry man. Also, that picture of Blaine Neal carting Trot off the I had no idea Neal was that big.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Yankees to test Wang

The starting rotation of the last-place Yankees (wow, that's fun to say also!) now has a Johnson and a Wang. I want to make a joke here, but there are just so many options, my brain isn't working right. Where to begin? Please, help me out in the Comments.

[I'll get you started: the bullpen also has an F-Rod (though he hasn't been performing too well). And I hear Koch is looking for some major-league action.]

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Moneyball...sequel?

Good article by Michael Lewis in the NYT Sunday Magazine about the minor league system (warning: it's looooong). The focus is about the huge emphasis on power in baseball today, but it's interesting for a lot more reasons. There's a brief discussion about steroids, but Lewis is pretty ambivalent about the ireffects, saying it's difficult to separate the effects of steroids from other factors (he also seems skeptical about those other factors, but it's a refreshing view). The focus is on two minor league players drafted while he was writing Moneyball, one who got a whole lot of attention in the book (Mark Teahen) and one who I didn't remember at all but was in fact mentioned (Steve Stanley). Cool that he continued to follow those guys.

Anyway, in and high school and college both were (obviously) huge on-base guys; but what's happened since then is that everyone they've been around since being drafted has tried to make them hit for power. What's ridiculous is that this is from within the A's organization, the club which has popularized the importance of OBP over slugging. Listening to all the advice about hitting may have ruined Stanley's career, though Teahen chose to ignore them, and is now a major leaguer (probably thanks to the Beltran trade, sending him to KC, who needed a 3B -- unfortunately he's now on the DL).

So there's some pretty interesting insights into the way farm systems work. A couple other random notes from the article:

- In a refreshing change from his writing in Moneyball, Lewis seems to have added some (healthy) skepticism to Beane's views:
Oakland's first hypothesis was that a college player who got himself on base at an extraordinarily high rate, and who drew many bases on balls, possessed a core competency: an ability to judge, and control, the strike zone. A keen eye, and the discipline to use it, reduced the risk that a hitter would fail completely as a pro...The Oakland hypothesis might prove to be right; it might prove to be wrong. It might give Oakland a better-than-average shot at finding big-league players, or it might not.
[His point, though, is a good one: franchises can't be worse than they already are at picking talent, so why not gamble?] He also portrays Beane as a little more human, not guy who always knows what he's doing and who always alienates "the old scouts": when Stanley (5'7") first took the field, Beane blurted out "God, he's a little runt! Take a deep breath and say, 'This can work.'"

- A while back, when Giambi's admitting steroid use was leaked and the Yanks were trying desperately to get out of his contract, I was laughing at the Teahen section of Moneyball:
Everyone stares silently at Teahen's name for about thirty seconds. Eric says, "I hate to say it but if you want to talk about another Jason Giambi, this guy could be it." Giambi was a natural hitter who developed power ["developed"...yeah right] only after the Oakland A's drafted him. In the second round. Over the objections of scouts who [rightfully] said he couldn't run, throw, field, or hit with power. Jason Giambi: [steroid-powered] MVP of the American League in 2000.
Okay, sorry, I couldn't help myself with the editorializing. Anyway, Giambi was a 3B then too; also in the article baseball people compare him to George Brett. And Wade Boggs. Amazing how baseball people -- even nerdy Oakland front-office types -- can be so small minded, only describing players in terms of other similar players -- who play the same position. Isn't it possible that Teahen has a fairly unique set of skills? Or is more like, say, someone else who doesn't play third base?

- Finally, I have new-found respect for Mark McLemore.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Another Classic

Clemens v Mulder.

clemens lowers his ERA to 0.32!!!! And in four starts is 1-0. Amazing.

And now Mulder has had consecutive strong outings.


I'm thoroughly enjoying my Saturday watching the Yankees lose yet again. I know the name Yankees is in the name YES, but this is laughable. The dynamic duo of Kay and O'Neill can not bring themselves to say anything bad about the Yankees. Jim Kaat is being very quiet, but O'Neill is amazing.

Exact quote:

"This team is built to win the WS and those games come down to great pitching and great defense and this team has both."

Amazing. And then when asked if he had concerns based on what he has seen so far, he said No - it takes about 8-10 starts for a pitcher to get his rythm. Has he even been watching?

A few more innings and we can add Chan Ho Park to "the list."

Friday, April 22, 2005

22 April versus TB

Lets hope the Sox can get to Kazmir early this game.

Kevin Brown is looking good tonight in the stadium. 4 Run first for the Rangers.


Dave mentioned the large number of stellar pitching performances so far this year. That was a couple days ago, and there have been a number since then. I went ahead and tried to compile all the starts of 8 innings or up, with 0 or 1 earned runs. I may have missed a few, but here they are:

Westbrook (4/4 vs CWS), 8IP, 4H, 1ER
Willis (4/6 vs WAS) CG, 5H, 0ER
Weaver (4/7 vs SFO) 8IP, 5H, 0ER
Buehrle (4/8 vs CLE) 8IP, 2H, 0ER
R. Lopez (4/10 vs NYY) 8IP, 6H, 1ER
Beckett (4/10 vs WAS) CG, 5H. 0ER
Pedro (4/10 vs ATL) CG, 2H, 1ER
(4/12 vs WAS), 8IP, 6H, 1ER
Willis (4/13 vs PHI) CG, 3H, 0ER
Halladay (4/14 vs TEX) CG, 5H, 1ER
Lowe (4/15 vs SDG) CG, 3H, 0ER
Suppan (4/15 vs MIL) 8.1IP, 5H, 0ER
Chen (4/15 vs NYY) CG, 4H, 1ER
Heilman (4/15 vs FLA) CG, 1H, 0ER (got clobbered 5 days later)
Buehrle (4/16 vs SEA) CG, 3H, 1ER
Lieber 4/16 (vs ATL) 8IP, 7H, 1ER
Chacin (4/16 vs TEX) 8IP, 2H, 0ER
Harden (4/16 vs. LAA) 8IP, 4H, 0ER
Weaver (4/17 vs SDG) CG, 5H, 0ER
(4/18 vs HOU) 9IP, 4H, 0ER
Byrd (4/18 vs SEA) 8IP, 11H, 1ER
Mulder (4/18 vs PIT) 8IP, 2H, 0ER
Astacio (4/19 vs OAK) 8IP, 6H, 0ER
Lowe (4/20 vs SDG): 8IP, 5H, 0ER
C. Zambrano (4/20 vs STL) 8.2IP, 5H, 1ER
Oswalt (4/20vs MIL) CG, 4H, 1ER
D. Wells (4/20 vs BAL) 8IP, 3H, 0ER
(4/20 vs DET) 8IP, 5H, 1ER
(4/20 vs CLE) 8IP, 4H, 0ER
Clement (4/21 vs BAL) 8IP, 8H, 0ER
R. Lopez (4/21 vs BOS) 8IP, 5H, 1ER
Carpenter (4/21 vs CHC) CG, 7H, 0ER

That's a stunning 32 starts (12 complete games), out of 238 total games -- almost 15% of all starts were downright dominant. And 6 of the pitchers (Lopez, Lowe, Weaver, Hudson, Willis, and Buehrle) had 2 each. And more than a couple of these guys got a no decision, or the loss! [Four honorable mentions: Burnett has 2 CG; Clemens has given up 1ER in 21 IP; and two relative unknowns, Maroth and Francis, each gave up 1ER in 7.2 IP...plenty of others who went 7IP, or 8IP and 2ER.] And note that the opposing teams on this list are no slouches: NYY, BOS, BAL, CWS, STL, FLA, etc. (and no Tampa Bay or Rockies!). I wish we could see the stats from other years, but I assume the pitching numbers in 2000-2004 were nowhere near this good. What's going on?!? I refuse to believe it's the S-word, but I also can't think of anything that might be different this season.


Jennings (4/22 vs LAD): CG, 10H, 1ER (at Coors!)
Santos (4/22 vs SFO): CG, 5H, 1ER
D. Bush (4/23 vs BAL): 8IP, 5H, 1ER (loss)
Webb (4/23 vs SDG): 8IP, 5H, 1ER (ND)
Mulder (4/23 vs HOU): 10 IP CG, 4H, 0ER
Johnson (4/24 vs TEX): 8IP, 5H, 1ER, (1st Yankee)
Ponson (4/24 vs TOR): CG, 3H 1ER
Blanton(4/24 vs LAA) 8IP, 6H, 1ER (loss)
Moyer (4/24 vs CLE): 8IP, 6H, 1ER
Garland (4/25 vs OAK): CG, 4H. 0ER
Santana (4/26 vs KAN): 8IP, 5H, 1ER
Halladay (4/29 vs NYY): CG, 3H, 0ER
Bedard (4/29 vs TAM): 8IP, 5H, 0ER
Lawrence (4/30 vs ARI): 8IP, 2H, 0ER
Garland (5/1 vs DET): CG, 4H, 0ER
Towers (5/3 vs BAL): 8IP, 3H, 0ER
D. Cabrera(5/3 vs TOR): 8IP, 4H, 1ER (loss)
Bedard (5/4 vs TOR): 8IP, 4H, 1ER
Arroyo (5/5 vs DET): 8IP, 3H, 1ER
Contreras (5/5 vs KAN): 8IP, 4H, 1ER
Radke (5/5 vs CLE): CG, 3H, 0ER
Santana (5/6 vs TAM): CG, 6H, 1ER
Ponson (5/6 vs KAN): 8IP, 5IP, 1ER
Mussina (5/7 vs OAK): CG, 4H, 0ER
Hampton (5/8 vs HOU): CG, 2H, 0ER
Zambrano (5/8 vs PHI): CG, 5H, 1ER
Robertson (5/9 vs TEX): 8IP, 6H, 0ER
C. Young (5/9 vs DET): 8IP, 6H, 0ER (ND)
Towers (5/9 vs KAN): 8IP, 7H, 1ER
D. Cabrera (5/9 vs MIN): 8IP, 3H, 0ER
Milwood (5/9 vs LAAOA): 8IP, 1H, 0ER
Halladay (5/10 vs KAN): CG, 8H, 1ER
Willis (5/11 vs HOU): 8IP, 6H, 1ER

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Boy that did not look pretty.

Nomar quoted: ""I've strained my groin before but I've never felt anything like this before," Garciaparra said. "It's kind of a freak thing."

Like the freak wrist/sheath injury and the funky achille problem. Maybe its just Nomar that is the freak. Man I be Theo is thanking himself that Nomar didn't take the $60 MM/4 years.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Cy Chen

First and Third No out - let's hope we can get to him.


Nice to see the contract get done. I think the Sox are the big winner with this one. $4 Million seems to me as way under market. In the current environment, I'm sure Wake could have gotten two years at about $5-6, maybe more.

Obviously, Wake is comfortable in boston and wants to stay. He has made $30 million in his career, so no need to be greedy.

Ortiz took a below market contract last year - one they should look at again and add a few years to it.
Hopefully the Sox can get Millar to do the same (if they want him back).

Damon is probably gone after this year - his agent is Boras. Enough said. Who knows on Meuller and Bellhorn. Probably time for Youk to play everyday. Hanley Ramirez will have a spot on the Sox roster next year. all he needs to do is establish a position.

In Theo we trust.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It's just so obvious...

...I can't believe we didn't think about it sooner. On Monday the Yankees beat the Devil Rays 19-8. That score sound familiar? Prepare for the Yankees to begin a 4-game losing streak. One down, three to go. (Or does it mean they'll lose 4 straight to the Devil Rays? That wouldn't be as dramatic, but it'd be much funnier.)

Anyway, yesterday Jeremy pointed out that "George's statements were a no-lose proposition. If he yells at the team and they still suck, then he gets credit for yelling at them. If he yells at the team and they turn it around he looks like a genius." Turns out there is a third possibility...he yells at them; they beat the D-Rays in a laugher; the media all make a big deal about how the motivational talk worked; the next day they lose, in a rather embarassing fashion; the media then all run stories about how "apparently, the pep talk didn't work". Awesome.

Also, Quote of the Day definitely goes to Hideo Nomo: "[Pitching on three-days' rest] wasn't really a concern to me. Last game I didn't pitch too much."


TB leading the Unit 2-1.

Motivational speech my ass.

real baseball talk

Did you guys catch the highlights from that Houston - Atlanta game. Classic. Only thing missing would have been if roger had made it all 9 or hudson had pitched into the 10th.

Grammatically Challenged???

The Sox suspended the guy's season tickets who interfered with Sheffield. I wonder if they even spoke to the guy. Probably not because they were forced to make a PR move to avoid looking bad. That's a shame. I have watched that play (thanks to the numerous times it has been shown) and while I don't think the guy should have reached on to the field, I don't think that revoking his season tickets was the right way to go. (By the way, they also banned the beer spiller....who spilled the beer when Sheffield took his charge when they were trying to get out of the way...there was no aggression on their faces, just fear)...There should have been some punishment, but they chose to make an example of this guy...

What? Sox bias you say? Well, maybe...But let's look at this from another point of view...I believe that they issue a warning about interfering with play before (or during) every game. This guy made contact with Sheffield, but did it change the course of the game? Absolutely not. Varitek would have had a triple on that play, and both runs would have scored. Nothing changes. But the guy made contact and probably should have been (and was) removed from the game AFTER Sheffield shoved him. The fan loses his tickets. Nothing happens to Sheffield...

That was Part 1.

Now Part one has spoken of this, and I am surprised as it changed the course of, perhaps, the entire Yankees organization through the 90s...That's right...Jeffrey Maier. Orioles are up in the game, about to go on to the Series. Jeter hits the fly ball, Tarasco is camped under it, and Maier pulls it over the wall. Yankees go on to win...Now if Tarasco had gone in to the stands, would we have understood? I mean not many people ever get to play in a World Series...BUT...Maier is NOT punished, but put (by many sports writers and the Mayor of NY at the time) in to a class of Yankee heroes like Mantle, and DiMaggio...

Sheffield gets swiped (not punched) by a guy's forearm, shoves the guy, the game doesn't change, and the media is painting this House guy as the "problem" fan in baseball. He is now the proto-type for all "bad fans". What about the knuckleheads who throw the batteries at players in the Bronx???

So, what did Sheffield have to say about all this once the revoking of the tickets happened?

"That just proves I wasn't in the wrong, and that's what this is all about (REALLY?)," Sheffield said in New York. "Yeah, you try to represent the game the right way (by taking steroids and then lying about it), but then being told you're in the wrong for reacting to something you didn't start, that's kind of disturbing. That just makes me feel like it's a hypocritical society."--Someone should explain hypocritical to him...

Monday, April 18, 2005


How many thousands of words were writtent today - with headlines like Boss Slams Yankees, Boss Blows UP, the Boss will Blow when the Boss will Blow. He didn't even speak - it was issued through his puppet, I mean publicist. Here is the entire statement.

"Enough is enough. I am bitterly disappointed as I'm sure all Yankee fans are by the lack of performance by our team. It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk. They are not playing like true Yankees. They have the talent to win and they are not winning. I expect Joe Torre, his complete coaching staff and the team to turn this around."

I can't believe I read about 4 articles about this one statement.

Only the NYT accurately reported the Boss issued a PR statement.

"First Fan"...but that's about it

Not to dwell too much on politics, but the first two notes by Al Kamen on George W. Bush's knowledge of sports vs. current events are pretty telling. In the first note, Tony Tavarez (the president of the Nats) calls Bush's baseball knowledge "astounding". Bush also seems to know a lot about high school football. In the second note, Bush admits not having heard about the new (White House-approved) rule requiring passports to return from Mexico or Canada until it was reported in the papers.

So there you have it. The President of the United States apparently spends more time watching baseball and less time working than even me. Except, you know, the fate of the world doesn't rest on me doing my job.

(It's 8am here in Los Angeles. The Sox are about to start a baseball game. Weird.)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

4/17 vs TB

regardless of what happens versus TB....

Nice start in baltimore. Kevin Brown - 2 innings 6 ER. 2 HR. Nice to see him picking up 2005 right where he left off in '04. I would bet Joe will leave him out there to a) save his bullpen and b) show the world (cashman, media, george) that he really does not have much to work with.

Good times. Can't wait to read the NY papers tomorrow.

Yanks rotation is a mess.

NY papers: the good and the bad

First, a little perspective from the pages of the New York Daily News. It's about freakin' time someone in the media wrote a little sense about the the whole Sheffield incident. Best line:
The latest incident, one actually described by David Justice of the YES network as being somehow indicative of the general breakdown of society...
I love the subtext there: "this crap is brought to you by a man who beat his wife". (Hey, like my block quotes? Damn I'm good.) One last thing about the Incident: I'm sick of hearing about Sheff's restraint. Sure he didn't jump into the stands and go haywire like we all feared, but since when is not doing that the standard for restraint? He swung at the fan. Before throwing the ball to the infield. Calling that "restrained", just because the Sheffield we all know normally would have gone berserk, reminds me of when everyone in 2000 called Bush the winner of the debates with Gore. He actually lost all three -- but since Gore didn't wipe the floor with Bush's ass like everyone expected, Bush was declared the winner. Similarly, with Sheffield we're playing the low expectations game, so he comes off better than he should. And no one's discussed this: on that play David Ortiz scored from first. If Sheff had thrown the relay prior to swinging at the fan (or had he simply not waited for the ball to roll in his glove, which would've avoided the whole incident entirely), think there's a chance Ortiz would've had to hold at third?

Whoa. Rambling.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the New York media, George Vecsey actually puts the words "Pedro" and "utter professionalism" in the same sentence. Yeah George, just wait until the win streak is over, and a couple obnoxious Mets fans start complaining on talk radio. Anyway, the article is about how Minaya thought that Pedro would be a good influence on other Latinos on the team, and he was clearly proven right yesterday since the game was won when a guy from Puerto Rico batted in a guy from Santo Domingo. I don't even know where to begin with this. First, it was one game. Secondly, and more importantly, talk about a patronizing viewpoint! I'm not sure if Minaya really had this theory about the Pedro Factor, but whoever came up with it (Minaya or Vecsey) apparently doesn't think Latino players are capable of playing well based on their own motivation? Please.

The big story here is the reason I've always assumed the Mets overpayed for Pedro -- it was a good business decision. Get the Mets a new superstar; a Latino would probably help increase the fanbase; and a Dominican would increase the percentage of baseball fans in NYC who root for the Mets (up until this year, Dominicans had their allegiances split between the Yanks -- because they were in the Bronx -- and the Red Sox -- with Pedro, Manny, and Ortiz). And this plan might actually be working: yesterday's game at Shea -- against the Florida Marlins -- was sold out.


Check out the sign. Amazing how devoted Orioles fans still are, after the team's been virtually ignored by ownership the last few years. [Much of my family is from the DC area so are longtime Baltimore fans; my cousin was at Camden Yards' opening day last year -- which was Orioles-Sox -- and said the highlight was when someone in Yankees gear dropped a foul popup. That caused Sox and Orioles fans to join together and start the "Yankees Suck" chant. I normally hate that chant, but when it brings inter-team harmony, it's hard to dislike.] I wonder if the recent moves -- Palmeiro/Lopez/Tejada last year, Sosa (and an attempt at Pavano) this year -- is a result of Angelos realizing baseball's returning to DC, whether he likes it or not, so he might as well field a competitive team.

Anyhow, Brian Roberts -- damn. I really wish he were still on my fantasy team -- last year he had that 4 steal game, and his steals alone were enough to make him a great 2B pickup. So far this year, he's batting well over .400, with an OBP of over .500 (8 walks already), and has 5 steals. Plus he's apparently found his power -- he's hit 5 HR, matching his total from last year, and is slugging over .900. So his OPS is 1.45. Obviously this won't last...but look for him in the All-Star Game this year.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

April 16 vs TB

Good first inning for Clement. Lets see if he can follow Boomer.

Headline of the Day

Report: Yankees closer to deal for new stadium

What, is Mariano Rivera now in the real estate business? (Ba-dum bum.)

Seriously, if I were a Yankee fan this would piss me off. Hell, I'm not a Yankee fan and it still pisses me off. One great thing about the old parks is you get to think about all the greats who played right there. And Yankee Stadium has had more greats than anybody. And it's not like the old stadium is dilapidated or lacking in amenities.

On the other hand, given that they want to move, they're doing it in maybe the best way possible. Paying for all of it ($800M), so no taxpayer money will be spent, except for parkland and a new train station, which are both worthy projects given the neighborhood.

Still, it all seems a little too perfect right now. Yanksees Prez Randy Levine: "We expect this project to be one that is supported by all." Yeah right, good luck with that.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Didn't expect this...

...Ben Sheets just signed an extension with the Brewers. Four years, $38.5M. So much for him being a Yankee/Red Sock/A by the end of the season. As sad as it is that he'll be a Brewer for another few years, I just gained new respect for him...if he became a FA this fall he'd easily get $11M/year with the Yanks or Mets or Sox.

On the topic of's feast or famine for former short-term Red Sox pitchers...Nomo got rocked, but Astacio, Chen, Suppan are smokin'. WTF?

Tonights game (4/15)

Nice to have the big lead. A little cushion to get Wells comfortable.

nice 8th inning lineup - mcCarty in LF, Payton in CF, Vazquez at 3B, Mirabellin behind the dish.

what do you think the Sox record would be against the Rays in a 162 game season even with that lineup - I still say we would beat them 95 times.

Two great quotes from fark

Regarding A-Rod's saving a kid from being hit by a truck on Newbury Street:

"A-Rod saves boy from being hit by truck by slapping him out of the way"

"Good thing it wasn't Rivera. He can't save anything these days."


That was a great game, and a great series. The home plate umpiring sucked royally, but everyone (with the exception of Ron Jackson) managed to keep it together and just roll their eyes at the guy. But then the Gary Sheffield Thing happened. Such a non-story. Fan tried to catch the ball, or restrain his friend, or something; does a horrible job and clips Sheff on the lip; Sheff instinctively shoves the guy, realizes he has a baseball in his glove, wheels around, and throws it to the infield; by the time he turns around again, there's a (very quick!) security guard in the way, everyone calms down, the interfering fan is out of the ballpark, and that's the end. It had no effect on the game whatsoever.

And that's all anyone's talking about. YES, NESN, Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter. And tomorrow, the Herald, the Post, the Daily News, etc. Like I said, it was a great game. And there were other great games too -- baseball returned to Washington, and Vinny Castilla had a career night, showing he can hit even at sea level. But no, all we'll hear about is Sheffield. God I hate sportswriters.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


So what to say about yesterday's game? I guess everyone's pointing to Tito for leaving Schilling in too long. First four innings were great, but it was pretty obvious that he was done after 5. With him just coming off the DL, having had some shaky minor league starts, and with a well-rested bullpen, 5 innings, nearly 100 pitches should've been plenty. Oh well. My guess is Schilling still hasn't learned the ALCS Game 1 lesson: if you think you're unable to pitch well, suck it up and admit it. But "suck it up" is not in Schilling's vocabulary, unless it's referring to all the air in the room. Anyhow, I guess it's Tito's job to decide; at least he could've had someone up in the bullpen earlier.

The big story, as far as I'm concerned, is the offense. Based on Wright's pitching, Sox should've had the lead even after Schilling gave up the second HR. Wright looked terrible, but they just couldn't get to him. I think, in the big picture, this game bodes well for the future -- Schilling was solid for his first few innings post-surgery, and Wright continues to pitch like he should (and not like he did in 2004) -- but still the lack of offense is frustrating. Of the 8 games, they've scored 3 or fewer runs 4 times...with hitting like that, who cares what your pitching is -- a 3-5 record sounds about right.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Who Says The Policy Doesn't Work?

From the Denver Post:
San Francisco - Jorge Piedra, an outfielder on the Rockies' 40-man roster, expects to be suspended today for violating baseball's new drug policy. He would become the second major-league player publicly identified, joining Tampa Bay's Alex Sanchez.

Take that steroid users...

It's a shame the league's top talent is being targeted in this witch hunt while all the young struggling players are getting away with it...

The Good News

The Sox looked glad to be at home. And why not? The last game they played there was nearly 6 months ago...

They battered around Mike Mussina. Finally, they didn't let this guy settle in. How many times have we seen Mussina struggle early against the Sox always to find the key double-play ball? Too many. But not yesterday. They never let him rest, getting his pitch count high early.

So, they had accomplished that. What else? They scored some two out runs...AND...the biggest point of the day...The bullpen looked great. Finally...

And, yes, they are tied for last place now, but they are also only a 1/2 game out of the wild card and only two out of first AND it is early.

Schilling is now back and he will be our number one. That means it isn't Wells against Johnson, it is Schilling against Johnson. Wells against Mussina...Clement or Wake against Pavano or Wright...and Arroyo versus ???

I still say if you line that rotation up against anyone else you are in good shape. Toronto is off to a solid start, but they do not have the pitching to do it all year. Now if they land a Ben Sheets, there will be a dog fight for the wild card...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Seven games in...

...And the Sox and Yankees are tied. For last place. As in, worst records in the AL. It means nothing, of course, but it's a little surprising that both teams are struggling to play anywhere close to potential, at the same time. Yanks had one strong game (Game 1), Sox had one (Game 7), and that's about it. Two other close ones with each other, and some lackluster performances against what should be worse teams. (Though 5 runs off Halladay is about all you can ask for, I guess.) Obviously, it's too early to say anything meaningful about either team. But that's never stopped us before.

- Tons of discussion about Mariano. But Foulke's ERA is actually worse. Not to say he's been pitching worse -- he actually hasn't blown a save (though it sure feels like it) -- but he's struggling as well. Both players are pretty crucial for their teams.

- Questions about recent FA acquisitions. Wright looked awful, but that's no big shock. Now I'm going to continue to hammer on Renteria. He's batting .148. Not too worrisome this early on, but it's worth mentioning his OBP is also .148. So is his slugging. So he's 4-for-27, all singles, no walks. Plus he seems to dig the GIDP. Definite Moneyball hitter.

- Surprisingly, Womack seems reasonably solid. Maybe 2B won't be the position the Yanks fill in late July.

- Knock on wood...but if Giambi doesn't pick things up soon (a Renteria-esque batting average of .190...for only twice the price!) his grace period in the Bronx will be over by the time he returns to the Stadium.

- Two serious health scares, one on each team (Tito, Pavano). Thank god they're both okay. A reminder of just how small the whole Yankees-Red Sox rivalry actually is, in the grand scheme of things.

The latest

Okay, so Pedro and the (new) Mets have won their first game. Pedro is on pace to go 16-0 with the Mets going 16-148. He also will strike out over 300 batters. Very impressive.

So while Pedro's first outing would not have helped the Sox a week ago against the Yankees, they could have used his most recent gem. While Wells and Clement each faultered in start number 2, even the Mets bullpen could not keep Pedro from winning today.

For now, the W-L cost of not having signed pedro is one victory. I still think in the long run the Sox made the correct decision. I sure hope Wells and clement can get some W's or else the media could be all of this in a week or two.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Pedro Vs. Red Sox II

At this point I am sure you've all caught wind of this! It's sad that the Sox and Pedro broke up on bad terms. That being said, it happens and at this point I think Pedro is looking more and more like a prima-donna. Am I alone?


...pulled the auction, but apparently this was up on eBay for a while. Not bad.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A gem

THE BRONX (April 6) -- Major League Baseball on Wednesday set April 8 as the date for the historic start of the conclave to elect a successor to Mariano Rivera, as the Yankees made final arrangements for the funeral of a great career that is expected to draw millions of Yankee fans and world leaders to the Bronx.

The decision came after the future Hall of Famer blew his second save in as many days against the team's biggest rival, the World Champion Red Sox, giving up five runs in the ninth, getting battered like a rented mule and ignominiously getting removed from the game in the middle of the inning, the fourth consecutive time he has blown a save to the Red Sox dating back to the 2004 ALCS. Fans at Yankee Stadium even booed the great closer on his way back to the dugout, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yankee fans are headed to hell.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees would be sequestered in the team offices in the early afternoon to start the decision process for the next closer. Candidates include Oakland's Octavio Dotel, Detroit's Ugueth Urbina, current set-up man Flash Gordon, Rick Ankiel and Charlie Sheen. The Yankees will continue to use Rivera from the bullpen, but only in blowouts and games where the lead or deficit is six runs or more.

If none of the candidates gets the required two-thirds majority after about 12 days, the Yankee braintrust may change procedure and elect the closer by simple majority. The date was set on the third hour of preparatory meetings of Yankee front office people who have converged on the Bronx ahead of Friday's funeral and burial of Rivera's career.

Fans continued to flock to Yankee Stadium after Wednesday's game, jamming up streets as they waited to pay their final respects to Rivera, who has been lying in state of shock since the Red Sox hammered him off the field for the second straight day. More than 200,000 Yankee fans will have filed solemnly by the pinstriped body by the end of Wednesday night, at a rate of about 15,000-18,000 people an hour in a nearly around-the-clock procession, according to calculations by the Yankee front office.


Wow. So make that FOUR blown saves in a row.

Two things I'd never seen before today:

1) Torre taking the ball from Mariano.
2) Yankees "fans" booing Mariano. Just sick.

Get well soon Terry.

Thoughts on Batting Order

This is always one of my favorite topics so I thought that I would post it so we can get some back-and-forth. Initially, this was going to be a rant about using Nixon in the 2 hole (I said, "2 hole") because he struck out twice yesterday. Ironically, I think I have made arguements in the past that Nixon ought to be batting second and I was about to argue that we should use Mueller. Alas I did the research and I found some interesting things.

1. Nixon is .294/.385/.553 in 425 ABs batting second
2. Mueller is .282/.365/.396 in 2273 ABs batting second
3. (Just in case you were wondering) Bellhorn is .257/.357/.432 in 544 ABs batting second

As far as I am concerned I am happy with Bellhorn (aka K-horn) batting 9th. So, Nixon batting second is pretty sweet. That being said, is his best place in the line up 2nd?

1. Nixon is .342/.425/.629 when batting 6th
2. Mueller is .355/.438/.597 with 375 ABs when batting 8th

So moving Nixon and replacing with Mueller isn't the best idea. Furthermore, 5,6,7 are Millar, Edgar, and Tek per yesterday. (Edgar batted 2nd in the first game, but more on that in a second). The best order I could establish based on the stats are:

1. Edgar is .306/.375/.422 with 206 ABs when batting 5th
2. Varitek is .299/.371/.508 with 311 ABs when batting 5th
3. Millar is .301/.376/.527 withh 731 ABs when batting 5th

5th would go to Millar, if not for the fact that,

1. Millar is .367/.439/.592 with 245 ABs when batting 7th!

So that leaves Varitek or Edgar at 5 and 6, which is easy because,

1. Edgar is .302/.354/.437 with 970 ABs when batting 6th
2. Varitek is .248/.340/.376 with 508 ABs when batting 6th

So clearly, Edgar is fine with 5 or 6, which leaves 5th to varitek. The only thing left to do before drawing up a summary is double-checking Edgar when batting 2nd:

1. Edgar is .286/.340/.382 with 2536 ABs when batting 2nd.

He's clearly got experience batting second and I like him just as much as Mueller batting second when Trot isn't in the line up. That being said, he's got generally better stats in the 5th and 6th positions.

So of course all of this research means nothing because I did not look at lefty vs. righty pitcher, ball parks, moon cycle, and number of beers consumed (oh wait that just affects me). That being said, I'd like to see a solid number of games this season with the following line up:

1. Damon
2. Nixon
3. Manny
4. Ortiz
5. Varitek
6. Edagr
7. Millar
8. Mueller
9. K-horn

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Man, for all the Opening Day losses, we usually win Game 2. I think the last time we went 0-2 was in 1996. So that loss sort of hurt. Sort of. Upsides:

- The Sox are clearly in Mariano's head. That's his 3rd blown save in a row against the Sox, his 5th in the last year. Bear in mind that's out of only eight blown saves total (including the postseason). We may be getting to the point where the Sox actually like to see him coming out for the 9th of a close game.

- Nice to know this team still knows how to come back late in the game. And it's not like we can feel too bad about Foulke's blown save. I mean, better he gives up the losing run now than in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Or in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS. Or in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. Or in Games 1-4 of the 2004 World Series.

- Clement actually looked all right. Lots of baserunners, but only 3 of them made it home. And had Renteria not muffed that DP ball, that number might've been zero. Plus, I said "muffed".

- Bullpen was not as shaky this game. Three baserunners in 3 2/3 innings; unfortunately one of those was Jeter at the end.

The big negative so far:

I was wary about the signing of Renteria -- why not sign OCab for 2 more years as Hanley develops? -- and nothing we've seen so far has made me feel any better about it. He's gone 0-8 with 2K's, stranded a bunch of runners, and committed a couple of errors, one of which was extremely costly. I can only assume things'll get better, but right now it hurts to watch him, both at the plate and in the field.

Monday, April 04, 2005

It's over.

That's it. No point playing the rest of the season -- this team sucks. They just don't have the fire.

Seriously though, I'm getting sick of these Opening Day losses. That's five in a row now!

Two gems from the NY press today:

1) Terry Francona, upon noticing there was new carpeting in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium: "I guess our Champagne messed up last year's carpet."

2) All the sour grapes from Yankees fans. Can you believe some fan actually said this:
"Hate or love them, the Yankees are all about professionalism. We're champions, win or lose, because we play the game of baseball with class."

Did he even WATCH Game 6 of the ALCS? Not to mention two of the Yanks' Starting Nine are admitted steroid users. Man, it's sad. They can no longer brag about their team camaraderie, or their strong farm system, or their loyalty to veterans, so they're reduced to make up stories about "professionalism". Sad.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The first positive test

ESPN is reporting that Alex Sanchez (the 4 career HRs Alex Sanchez and former draft pick of the bootylemurs).

Rumor has it Yahoo Sports is investigating both Bootylemur general manager Kroll and recently maligned GYS commisioner Longo. There is some question about the contract language given to Sanchez by the Lemurs, as well as speculation that the commissioner arranged to trade Trot Nixon and Kevin Mench to the Lemurs.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Hey Derek

You wanna come over my house after the game. I'll show you a new trick I learned this offseason.