Friday, December 30, 2005

Vincent Schiavelli, RIP

Vincent Schiavelli, the creepy-looking guy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Ghost and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, died on Monday. Rest in Peace, Vincent.

(Of course, this is baseball news because he and a member of the 2005 Orioles were separated at birth.)

That didn't take long.

"I've been with the Orioles for two years and things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting, so I think the best thing will be a change of scenery." - Miguel Tejada, December 8

"I never said I wanted to be traded. I said I want to see a better team. I don't want to keep losing like we have the past two years." - Miguel Tejada, December 11

"Now, I am more upset than when I requested the trade because it's been a month and they haven't done anything.'' - Miguel Tejada, December 29

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Santa, Jesus, etc.

For Kwanzaa I got this, containing 35 hours of pure awesomeness. The plan was to watch it all from the beginning, but then I realized how stupid that is. Who wants to watch games 1-3 of the Yankees series? I know I'm like the 10000th person to ask this, but why not just show the 3 ALDS games? 11 disks, all wins. But seriously, really, has any Sox fan actually watched those first three DVD's?

Having decided not to watch games 1-3, I nearly began game 4, but then realized I didn't have seven hours to spare. So I zipped ahead to game 7. Johnny Damon's grand slam -- damn, that still makes me smile when I think about it. Anyway, it was great to watch, and I realized (for the first time) I really am going to miss him. I was never as big a fan of him as most people were -- his media whorishness would be fine, if he had anything even remotely interesting to say. (Okay, "it seems to me that we've won four games in a row before" is a pretty good line.) But it'll be different with him gone; it's going to be very weird seeing someone else lead off next year.

Thanks Johnny. Here's hoping your decline is swift and completely free of pain.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fight for your right to parity

So I'm a big fan of the Cincinnati Bengals. That happened in late October of 2002, when they opened their season 0-and-7. I thought they had a chance of having the first-ever "defeated" season (what's the opposite of "undefeated"? "Unvictorious"), but on November 3 they routed the Houston Texans (of Houston Texas), and finished the season 2-14. It was at this time that everyone started pointing to the Bengals as the prime example of "the downside of parity". Cheap teams could be bottom-feeders, living off the league's largesse without contributing, or even trying. From 1991-2002 they went a combined 55-137, with zero playoff appearances, and since the owner showed no sign of selling, they were doomed to stay this way. In other words, the argument was: "parity is communism, and communism doesn't work".

And yet, just 3 years later, with the same ownership, the Cincinnati Bengals are AFC North Champions, with a 11-4 record. They haven't been dominant (2-3 against playoff-bound teams...which suggests a pretty weak schedule), but that particular "parity doesn't work" argument is pretty much shot. I suppose people can try to apply it to the Arizona Cardinals, or the Houston Texans, but neither of those would be anywhere near as convincing.

It'll be interesting to see what the next "parity doesn't work" argument is. I imagine someone, somewhere, is going to mention the Pats. Which is silly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

My favorite (non) story

Well, we have all read about ten thousand Johnny to NY stories, but my favorite was the one about Damon having asked Manny for his opinion on where Damon should sign and Manny supposedly said "Sign in NY, go for it."

Of course we are supposed to be shocked that a guy would encourage one of his own teammates to sign elsewhere, but then again Manny says he doesn't want to play for the Sox anymore. So no real story. However my favorite part is that Damon would actually consider advice on where to sign from the same guy who also took maximum dollar (I still have not heard where the mystery $65 MM offer was from, maybe it was from Santa Claus). And what has happened since Manny took maximum dollar - he has only wanted to leave ever since he got here.

My second favorite one was George King trying to goad Damon into taking shots at Schilling.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hoo boy

The BJ's are about to sign Troy Glaus. And of course they've gotten AJ and BJ already. (Would be pretty cool if they could also sign Pierzinski and Nitkowski and Surhoff). I'm starting to wonder of Andrew's long-standing prediction of the emergence of a three-team AL East may be coming true.

(...on a related note, remember 9 months ago, when the Orioles were leading the division? God that was ridiculous.)

The Onion

...has a year-end sports wrapup. Best line:
Nov. 14—Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez wins the AL MVP award for the second time. A-Rod tells a group of reporters, "The second one feels just like the first, in that none of my teammates called to congratulate me this time, either.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Damon is Gone...Get Over It

I, for one, will not look sadly on the departure of Johnny Damon. The guy was great for the Sox, but he took the money and ran. Not only that, he went to the Yankees...If that doesn't show everyone in Red Sox Nation that baseball is purely a business I don't know what will...

With that said here are my guesses as to what we'll see in the next week or two (and I really do believe that there will be a quick move to fill this void...mostly because of PR.

So the possibilities?
Wells to San Diego for Roberts and prospects...
Arroyo and Youk to Minnesota for Torii Hunter...
Marte and Clement to Cleveland for Crisp...

I don't believe that the Sox will run at Preston Wilson or Juan Encarnacion...At least I hope not. And Terence Long is not the answer, either.

I also believe the Sox will take some of this money and sign Millwood, especially if they trade Clement or Arroyo AND Wells.

I look at that Yankees lineup and it is scary, but hasn't it been scary for a few years now? Adding Damon gives them a legit leadoff guy, but Jeter was pretty good there, too.

The Yankees still have not addressed their pitching. The Yankees and Sox scored a billion runs each last year...It didn't do either of them any good.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Quote of the Day

On moving to the OF, Alfonso Soriano offerred: ""I don't want to change," Soriano said Monday night at a dinner held for major league players by Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez. "If I haven't done it before, I won't do it now."

Your typical self centered athlete. Yes, but it gets better:

"I knew the pitchers and batters of opposing teams and, therefore, where to place myself defensively. In the National that's going to take me a while," he said.

He knows where to place himself defensivel and will get worse in the NL. Of course using just about every single defensive measure, Soriano is among the worst 2b in the major leagues. (zone rating 13 of 17, range factor 12 out of 17, fielding percentage last).

Seems like all the more reason to move him. Not.

Two Birds with one Stone

So much for some of the names discussed as possibilites. This deal kills the proposed Wells for Otsuka deal and also likely eliminates the Sox from getting Gonzales. Although maybe we could do Wells for Gonzalez. The Friars could put Klesko at first and have an OF of Giles, Cameron Roberts and/or Sledge.

Anna Benson Watch, part 281

Obviously a bit late to the party on this one, but a while back she gave a ridiculous interview to NY Daily News reporter Adam Rubin, in which she:
  1. criticized Carlos Delgado for being unpatriotic for not standing up during "God Bless America" (in protest of the Iraq War);
  2. then showed her own patriotism by suggesting the Mets, if they trade husband Kris, should give them back the $1M they donated to 9/11 charities;
  3. mentioned there would be no Playboy spread because talks fell apart because of (surprise) money disagreements;
  4. complained that the Mets promised them they would build around him and that "They wanted Tommy [Glavine] to school him, and then they turn around and trade us?" (Where to begin?)
But now, thanks to an article by Flip Bondy, it turns out Rubin didn't even print all the stuff she said, which included complaining that Minaya was building an "All-Latin team". However, she also dispenses some wisdom: "The first rule of journalism is: 'Don't believe what you read in the papers.'"

I did not know that.

Anyway, some nice, whore-y pictures of the Anna at the Mets' holiday party can be found here.
Kris Benson went as Santa, Anna has his "little helper". Interestingly, the last two Mets Santas, John Franco and Mike Cameron, are no longer with the organization.

Monday, December 19, 2005

And the outfield?

Ok, with the post below discussing the infield, what about the outfield?

Looks like Manny is staying...So we'll (for the time being) put him out in left...
Center field? The arbitration deadline is approaching so this forces Damon and Boras's hands...They definitely won't accept arbitration...

I can't imagine Damon going to NY, but anything is possible.

If he does leave, I don't want the Sox to try to get Coco Crisp...not at the asking price the Indians want. Not worth it...

For CF I go back to Lowell (picking up some of his salary) for Torii Hunter.

I guess we'll have Nixon in RF. I haven't heard anything different.

Kapler as the 4th outfielder? Will he even be ready for the season?

With all the positive talk about the moves so far this offseason, I am not too confident in this Sox team if this is the plan...

So combined the infield and outfield posts and our lineup looks like the following:

CF Damon/Crisp/Hunter/????
2B Loretta
DH Ortiz
LF Manny
C Varitek
RF Nixon
3B Lowell
1b Youkilis
SS Cora

Graf'ing out the infield

Ok...I know...bad pun...whatever.

It's looks like Tony Graff-el-nino will be accepting arbitration and will be on the Red Sox next season (for probably $2MM). That's good, I guess, but it looks like we are stockpiling second basemen. Why?

Do the Sox really need Cora, Loretta, and Graffanino? Cora can play short and, therefore, probably won't get any time at second. But Loretta and Graf are pretty much the same player. Good gloves, hover around .300 at the plate...Can you trade a guy that goes through arbitration?

The Sox probably offered Graf arbitration just to get some draft picks. I, frankly, am surprised that no one picked him up. He is a bargain, and a heck of a player...Aren't there teams that need guys to play second?

Meanwhile, we still don't have a SS. Rumors are that something is still in the works for Lugo. I am thinking that the Sox go with Cora and Pedroia through spring training and see how things go. There are always some strange releases during the spring and the Sox may look to pounce then...Pedroia was moved to second because of Hanley...Now Hanley is gone, and Pedroia can return to his natural position.

It looks like Lowell at third. Despite the Twins talk, they aren't biting. That's fine. Lowell is solid at third and hopefully he'll hit a little...Graf can also play there. For that matter, so can Youk...


Youk looks like our first baseman...Who else???

One thing is for sure, we have a infield full of utility guys. I see many Jimy Williams like lineups for a while until Francona can sort it all out...

Opening day predictions?
1b Youk
2b Loretta
SS Cora
3B Lowell

No power whatsoever (unless Lowell can get some B-12 shots!!!)...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"At Dodger Stadium, it's beginning to look a lot like Boston."

Lowe, Little, Mueller...and now Nomar. Frank McCourt must really miss Beantown. (They should go ahead and sign Damon just to get it over with.) Nomar's new (one-year) contract is reportedly about $6. So far then, his decision to turn down the Sox's offer of 4 years, $64M has cost him $ just the first two years. Yikes.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

World Baseball Classic

I am bvery excited about the WBC, but I do think it is silly to call it the World Baseball Classic. Doesn't classic portray that it is a tradition and has been happening for years?

Friday, December 16, 2005


"Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek join Royals."

The uniform guys in the Royals clubhouse must be thrilled.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Reported on today, "The Sox continue to work on contingency plans, with the team source indicating talks with the Mariners for center fielder Jeremy Reed have intensified. The Sox have proposed trading Matt Clement for Reed; the Mariners have asked for Bronson Arroyo. The Sox have also talked with the Cleveland Indians about switch-hitting outfielder Coco Crisp; the Indians also would like Arroyo."

Earl, please contain your enthusiasm regarding the possibility of screaming "I love Coco Pufss" from the bleachers next year.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


The prior post on how good Francona had been, brought up some interesting dialogue toward the end. Particularly relative to what is a prospect. Andrew brought up the phrase - "There's No Such Thing As A pitching Prospect, "which now that it is in the mainstream is getting a bit tired, but I always though it was pretty accurate. But is it really limited to pitchers?

Go back 10 years to the first round of the draft. Darrin Estad was picked first overall. Todd Helton was 8th. That year also had Kerry Wood, Roy Halladay, Matt Morris and Mark Redman. There were 10 guys that never made the bigs and the rest of the ones that did were middling at best. of the 13 pitchers that were selected, 9 eventually made the bigs as opposed to 9 of 15 for the position players. Close. But does not give much credence to pitchers being more risky. I checked some other years for the first round of the draft and really didn't see 1995 as an aberation. So, I thought - "is the first round of the draft really the right sample." Probably not since a large population of players, notably the DR, are not subject to the draft and sometimes players get picked in like the 62nd round and become potential HOFers (Mike Piazza).

So I dug up my Baseball America from 2000 to look at the top prospects from 5 years ago.

the top 20:
1. Rick Ankiel, lhp, Cardinals
2. Pat Burrell, 1b/of, Phillies
3. Corey Patterson, of, Cubs
4. Vernon Wells, of, Blue Jays
5. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
6. Ruben Mateo, of, Rangers
7. Sean Burroughs, 3b, Padres
8. Rafael Furcal, ss, Braves
9. Ryan Anderson, lhp, Mariners
10. John Patterson, rhp, Diamondbacks
11. Dee Brown, of, Royals
12. Mark Mulder, lhp, Athletics
13. Josh Hamilton, of, Devil Rays
14. Kip Wells, rhp, White Sox
15. Matt Riley, lhp, Orioles
16. Alfonso Soriano, ss, Yankees
17. Chin-Feng Chen, of, Dodgers
18. Michael Cuddyer, 3b, Twins
19. Josh Beckett, rhp, Marlins
20. A.J. Burnett, rhp, Marlins

Now I don't have time to do very, very thorough analysis here (like win shares or VORP or even all star appearances) but I will say of the 8 pitchers on the list there are 3 that were stars, 2 that were good (with Patterson maybe moving up), 2 busts and one that I'm not sure where to classify (Ankiel). For the position players - I would say (and this can be debated) 3 stars, 4 good players (of which some may move up), 3 low level and 2 busts. Again not seeing strong evidence that pitchers are more of a risk.

I have about 8 other years of BA at my house and in going through the lists, it really is the same equal distribution. For every Rick Ankeil at the top, there is a Josh Hamilton. and I know injury can more likely blow out a pitchers career (Ryan Anderson aka the little unit), but other guys that have been number one in the past include JD Drew and Joe Mauer both of who are injury prone.

Overall I do agree position players project a bit better, but not so much so to the point that the old quote is irrefutable.

Local boy does good

In New York, but whatever.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dodger blues

Well, another one is moving out here to SoCal. Weird. I just can't get excited about the Dodgers, as close as the stadium is to me and as nice is it to go to their games. And this season could be a particularly bad one. But at least Bill Mueller will be there. (On the other hand, watching Grady Little walk to the mound is sure to give me nightmares for weeks.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Its that time again

Book Review.

Well it seems like a very long time since I have been able to post a book review. And its not that I have taken a vacation in reading, its just that I don't think most of you would have an interest in this. Or this. Or this. In case it had been missed, that is right. I am a daddy. Thanksgiving morning, Little Kate made her grand enterance to the world.

So, this months entry is Stud. No, its not the story of Kate's creation. Or even the story of Shawn Kemp. Its about horse breeding.

-see comments

Monday, December 12, 2005

Terry Francona, the player

Terry Francona's player page.

Decided to take a look and see what type of player the Sox feerless leader was. Turns out his professional (major league) career was rather uneventful. Although Francona was the winner of the Golden Spikes award at U of A (the BB equivalent of the Heisman).

But two unique things jumped out at me. I guess I can turn this into a trivia question...

One is obvious, the other, not so.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


So the Sox offered the Orioles Manny for Tejada. The Orioles will ask for a lot more, namely a young pitcher, and I hope the Sox don't give in to that. As nice as it would be to have a hitter like him (and he's no Manny, but the price difference reflects that), I just can't get excited about anything more than a straight up trade, which won't happen.

And quite frankly, I just don't like Tejada. My main impressions of him of course comes from his complaints about Derek Lowe's "obscene" gesture, after Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS. "He's going to pay for that sign he made. I'm a man. I'm a professional. I have my kid up in the stands, dammit. He's going to pay for that." Not only was that an open threat to another player, it also came after 5 games of live TV picking up his screams of "motherFUCKER!" after every one of his crappy at-bats. (And there were a lot of those: he was 2-for-19, with no walks, for a postseason OPS of .217.) And now he's announced that with the O's, "things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting". I really wish someone would ask him what exactly he was expecting. He forgoed even taking offers from smaller market teams like the A's, and signed with one that everyone knows is run by a miser, who cares only about profits and not about fielding a good team. I really hate it when players sign for the best-paying contract they can find, with no regard for what team they're actually signing with, and then suddenly feel that somehow they have the standing to comment on their teams' "desire to win."

Okay, enough ranting.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I don't run a MLB team

but maybe a I could.

Less than 24 hours after predicting the Yankees would sign Myers. Well it happens. I still don't understand why not at least offer arbitration.

Also the Sox elect to go with GM by committee - as also, not really predicted, but noted. Hey why not? I like the idea. And it is certainly better than Jim Beattie.

Equal Value or Better???

Renteria gets traded and all of the sudden Tejada says he wants to be traded and that he would LOVE to play in Boston.

Manny for Tejada...In a second...Tejada plays everyday and is an RBI machine. He would provide the protection needed for Ortiz and he is a great clubhouse guy.

The infield (still searching for a 1b) would be:
Lowell at third
Tejada at short
Loretta at second
Youk and other at first

Damn, bring back D-Lowe and his ground ball outs...Nothing is getting through that infield...

Of course, now there are swirling rumors of Nixon getting traded and, perhaps, Damon going to Detroit. Now we need an outfield, but at least we have some money to get some guys.

Torii Hunter in CF?

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I don't understand that one. Why not offer him arbitration? I know Lajoie said they could not afford two specialists in the pen (w/ Chadford), but Myers has value and probably would only get $2MM in arbitration. Plus if he signs elsewhere (rumored to be NY) they get the draft pick. And if he accepts, can't you trade one of them? I don't get it. My guess is that the Yanks move in today and snatch him up, now that they are not faced with the potential PR hit of losing their draft pick to the Sox.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New trade talks...

Renteria in the three-way trade with Atlanta and Tampa Bay. We get Lugo. Not too bad...I don't know how much better he is than Renteria. I just can't see Renteria having another year in the field like that.

SO...this looks like our infield.

1b Sean Casey (Youk and Arroyo to the Reds),OR Overbay (Clement and/or Arroyo to the Brewers)
2b Loretta
SS Lugo
3b Glaus (Lowell may be going to the Twins)...

CF Damon (although I can't say I am liking him as a person too much right now...his Yankees are the greatest comments really bothered me)
RF Nixon
LF ???

DH....Ortiz, of course

And the latest trade rumor...Even swap...D-Lowe for Clement...
It might be good for the first year. Lowe has something to prove and no one in Boston like Clement. Lowe would be back with Tek...

Soooo many possibilities...

New trade talks...

Renteria in the three-way trade with Atlanta and Tampa Bay. We get Lugo. Not too bad...I don't know how much better he is than Renteria. I just can't see Renteria having another year in the field like that.

SO...this looks like our infield.

1b Sean Casey (Youk and Arroyo to the Reds),OR Overbay (Clement and/or Arroyo to the Brewers)
2b Loretta
SS Lugo
3b Glaus (Lowell may be going to the Twins)...

CF Damon (although I can't say I am liking him as a person too much right now...his Yankees are the greatest comments really bothered me)
RF Nixon
LF ???

DH....Ortiz, of course

And the latest trade rumor...Even swap...D-Lowe for Clement...
It might be good for the first year. Lowe has something to prove and no one in Boston like Clement. Lowe would be back with Tek...

Soooo many possibilities...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh Boy

The CHB is going to have fun with this one.

I'll save everyone the trouble of going to the globe tomorrow. Here is the link.

He'll be falling all over himself on this one. Forcing his stupid "He who will not be named" nickname on him as if this will spawn another book deal for him. I see him doing something gimmicky and silly like an open letter to Dodger fans.

What I would really like to see is this as a chance for Grady to earn some redemption. Maybe Ryan or McMullan will take that angle.

GM Thoughts

It looks like the Sox are not getting any loser to naming a GM. And with the few candidates that have been mentioned (especially Bowden and to a certain extent Beattie), I am kind of happy about that.

I think the multi-headed GM thing can work really well - the role has so many different aspects that it is somewhat unreasonable to expect one person to do it all - talent evaluation, contract negotiations, trade talks, scouting and PR/media relations (which can be especially difficult in Boston). Why not have a team of individual contributors each specializing in one area. It may even be the wave of the future in front offices. Of course egos can get in the way of such an arrangement, but really not take the strengths of multiple people and end up with a stronger situation?

Monday, December 05, 2005

We knew

This was coming. I'm suprised it took three or four days since the trade rumors surfaced before she started popping off.

And I love the 'we never would have signed with NY." Um, we?

In case you guys did not know, but my wife and I just had a baby girl and one of my pet peeves was whenever someone would say - I didn't know YOU (Plural) were pregnanat." Or some variation. Its Debbie that was pregnant not me. But in today's PC world, this type of shit is soooo common. Its ri-donk-ulous.

Trade Possibilities...

According to Edes in today's Globe...

Wells back to San Diego (possibly with Mirabelli) for Loretta (2B) and Otsuka. I like Loretta. He was my fantasy league 2b two years ago and he was great. He was hurt last year. He's got a good glove and can get on base. However, I think they need more in this trade. Wells was a 15-game winning LEFTY...Mirabelli handles Wakefield and we've seen Varitek give that a go...Yikes...That leaves two large holes...I know Wells is in the last year of the contract, and he might retire if not traded...I don't really have a problem with Loretta for Wells except that I might rather just resign Graffanino...

Other trade possibilities...Soriano for Ramirez...That isn't too bad...It gives us a more than solid leadoff guy if we can't resign Damon. If we can then our top of the lineup looks like this...


Who is the elusive number 3??? Of course if we get Loretta than it shapes up like this...

Damon CF
Loretta 2B
Soriano LF (there was talk of moving him there)

That looks really good. I'd do that...

Also, it looks like the Sox might try to bring back Olerud for some platooning with Youk...Nice.

Our infield would be
Youk/Olerud 1B
Loretta 2B
Renteria SS
Lowell 3B

Our outfield
Nixon RF
Damon CF
Soriano LF




Mets trade and sign EVERYONE in MLB

No seriously, the Mets just locked up the 2006 season by buying every single free agent and trading for every player of value. "It's going to be quite a camp," Manager Randolph explained in a statement released to the press. "I think we have like 10 guys competiting for the catcher position and a couple of them have been All-Stars!" he added.