Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I’ve been doing some reading on this cat and a couple of thoughts come to my mind. Almost all reports indicate that he will be posted as early as tomorrow. The posting process has sealed bids with the highest bidder then being allowed to negotiate exclusively with him (and agent Scott Boras) for 30 days. If the two sides can not reach an agreement, the posting fee is returned. Ichiro fetched a $13 Million posting fee six years ago. Current speculation is that Matsuzaka could fetch double that (or more) in just the posting fee.
Now, here is where my questions come in:

One, if Matsuzaka can be a total free agent next year, why would he (led by Boras) not just wait out the one year? By coming to the US now all it does is put the alleged $25+ million in the pockets of the owner of the Seibu Lions. Conservatively, say its $20 Million to post, plus $35 million over 5 years (all indications are that Boras is going to ask for even more). That comes to $55 Million over 5 years (Burnett money) for the team. But if he is that good, why not wait the year, be a full free agent and then sign for the prorated $44 million over the last four years – the player would get $9 Million more (plus what he earned in Japan). To me, any posting fee paid by the US team is merely money taken out of the player’s pocket.

Two, what is prevent a team from bidding a ridiculous amount and not signing him, just to keep him away from other teams? Okay, you would probably create some ill will with the Japanese team/league (possibly even to the extent of damaging future transactions). And possibly with your own fans. You would likely have chance at him next year, but in the process you would increase the cost for the team that ultimately signs him (see math above). But it is a possibility.

Three, with the winning team being the exclusive negotiator, doesn’t that effectively stop Boras from doing what he does best – playing offers (fictitious or real) off one another? Then again, he got Hicks to go to $252 when no one else was above $150, so maybe it will be his finest day.

So all this adds up to a sneaking suspicion that this is all much ado about nothing. He may very well return to Japan next year.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Okay, seeing as how we were so good at out post season predictions lets have two more contests. The first is pretty simple - major awards. The rules are simple - one point per correct guess.


MVP - Jeter (pains me to say it and I don't agree, but I do think the voters will award to him)
Cy Young - Johan
ROY - Verlander
Manager - Leyland

Wow, this is not as hard as it looks...... Then again, the NL could be much harder


MVP - Howard
Cy Young - Carpenter
ROY - Hanley (probably the toughest of the group)
Manager - Girardi (again another tough call)

I'm guessing that we will do better as a group with these predictions.

The tougher category will be guess next year's opening day Sox starting lineup, 5 starting pitchers and closer.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Tigers Win! The Tigers Win!

I was going to post this under X's previous post, but with a headline like that I couldn't resist! I am not sure if it was Buck of sycophant McCarver who remind us all of this "stat": in the two previous World Series between the Tigers and the Cardinals the winner of Game 4 eventually loses in game 7. Anyway, I can't believe they will even bother to play it out. With stats like that we should just crown the Tigers champs!

Getting back to sycophant McCarver, it is truly amazing how much ass he kisses and how much more noticable it is when the Yankees (the ass he loves most to kiss) aren't playing. To paraphase his commentary regarding Granderson's double last night, "that is a beautiful hit by Granderson, beautiful fielding by Wilson, and great base running by Granderson" - ugh. He sounds lost. With out the Yankees around he doesn't want to get left out in the cold by kissing the wrong ass, so he opts for kissing all ass. (Note to Jeff Passan, you have my permission to freely reuse this material).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Holy Crap

Scooter is back. And with the voice (and face) of Jeff Suppan. How perfect. Maybe Scooter will also say "Vote for McCain." After all, it is Fox.

What a great guy

So Sheffield is apparently unhappy that the Yankess may pick up his option for next year. The same option that Sheffield was angered (then not angered and then angered again)over the Yankees not picking up this spring. Classic.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

When "celebrities" attack

Just in case you've stopped disliking Jeff Suppan because his crappy stint with the Sox was over 3 years ago, check this out...and start the hatin' all over again. Shockingly, it turns out his understanding of politics (and developmental biology) is on par with his mastery of baserunning fundamentals.

Go Tigers!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


As X pointed out, there's big news about the steroids in the NFL; the ~450 articles on it show it's gotten some attention. But compare this to the 2200 articles on the mysterious brown stuff (with no proof of any wrongdoing!) on Kenny Rogers' hand. Yes, yes, I know, World Series, Sanctity of the Game, etc. But there were at least as many articles were written about Sammy Sosa's corked bat in a meaningless game. I agree the double standard is ridiculous.

Stil, I've decided: I don't care. I follow only baseball closely, and want the one sport I follow to be relatively free of cheating and scandal; I try not to let it bother me if the fans and the media and Congress completely ignore the ridiculousness in the NFL...because fans and the media and Congress are stupid.

I don't have much to add about the Kenny Rogers thing - the evidence is all circumstantial, but it's pretty damning. The discrepancies in everyone's stories didn't make much sense, and the cap thing discovered by Uni Watch is what convinced me. But whatever. What I can't stand is argument that "Well, he pitched really well after cleaning his hands, so it's no big deal." Talk about a great ethical standard. So if Barry Bonds stops using steroids, and passes Hank Aaron, apparently we're supposed to ignore all the steroid use from before?

On a related note, Jeff Passan quotes Todd Jones (who's the reason Kenny Rogers is my second-least favorite Tiger) admitting to he's used pine tar. "It's whether you think it's cheating or not." Awesome.

Update: apparently everyone's doing it. Well, that's exciting. It would certainly explain why LaRussa and MLB aren't making a big deal about it. Double awesome.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Double Standard Continues

Last year’s NFL Rookie of the Year tested positive for steroids. And while it has made some headlines, my guess is that it will be allotted about 45 seconds on PTI today.

Had this been the 2005 ROY of the NL (Ryan Howard), we would be subjected to endless hours of media scrutiny and criticisms of Bud Selig et al on what a mess baseball is.

An actual quote from an ESPN talking head – “I'm shocked and saddened by the news of Shawne Merriman's reported suspension for a positive steroids test.”

MLB postseason pool: results

Thanks for playing, everyone! The postseason isn't over, but thanks to a boatload of awful predictions, the pool is. The scoring: 1 point for each correct ALDS/NLDS pick; 3 points for each correct ALCS/NLCS pick; 5 points for correctly picking the World Series champs. The contestants are me, X, Dino, and 19 of ESPN's baseball "experts".

THE RESULTS (max score=15)

Peter Gammons: 2
Buster Olney: 2
Steve Phillips: 2
Gary Gillette: 2
Bob Klapisch: 2
Earl: 1
X: 1
Jayson Stark: 1
Jerry Crasnick: 1
Eric Neel: 1
Keith Law: 1
Tim Kukjian: 1
Enrique Rojas: 1
Phil Rogers: 1
I Believe In Dinosaurs: 0
Rob Neyer: 0
Jim Caple: 0
Alan Schwarz: 0
Eric Karabell: 0
Pedro Gomez: 0
John Shea: 0
Sean McAdam: 0

Wow. I can't decide which is saddest: that no one at ESPN (people who get paid to follow baseball) picked more than 2 series correctly; that only five of them did better than me or X; or that one of those five was Steve Phillips.

(Also, there's a nice analysis of the ESPN picks over at Fire Joe Morgan)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Its that time again

Book review. This month's entry - The Mind of Bill James or How a Complete Outsider Changed Baseball.

After my last reivew, I vowed that I would no longer read almost every baseball book that came along. And I was tempted to ignore this book as well. I had a feeling that the book would try to give Bill James credit for everything from Sabermetrics, to Billy Beane and Moneyball, to the 3 run Home Run. But it turned out to be a solid look at the life and work of Bill James. In fact there was a lot of effort to debunk that James was responsible for creating focus on a number of items.

There also was quite a bit written about James that was unflattering. Nothing in particular worth mentioning, just that he can be a bit grumpy.

No real specifics to get into. A solid book.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Possibly the worst baseball article ever

Today's NY times has this rubbish from Tyler Kepner actually giving credit to Scott Boras for the Tigers being in the World Series. I guess that these things happen when someone goes from being a beat writer to actually writing a column. Without a formula for game coverage to fall back on, the job gets harder and you have to reach. There a couple of references to Mike Ilitch, but not a single mention of the Tigers GM (Dombrowski).

I am still shaking my head on this one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Maine Event

I am disappointed that the NY papers weren't more creative with their headlines this morning. My pathetic attempt above is better than most. All the talking heads think the Mets are going to use every pitcher they have to tonight. Should be an interesting game if it stays close. A couple other observations from last nights game:

1. Is it me, or will both of these teams get crushed by Detroit?
2. Wagner is crazy unpredicatable or predicatably crazy?
3. Reyes is HUGE he's like a foot taller than Lo Duca
4. Booooit

Meaningless, useless "statistics"

From the MLB homepage at ESPN.com:

"Good news for New York: Home teams are 7-4 all-time in LCS Game 7's."

I just hate stuff like that. As much as I want the Mets to win (a team with 83 wins should not make to the WS), there is pratically no information, and no predictive power, in a "stat" like that. It was about two years ago (two years ago tomorrow, to be exact) that they could have written a very similar, equally stupid caption:

"Good news for New York: Home teams are 6-3 all-time in LCS Game 7's."

(Man, that just doesn't get old.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Damnit Lucchino

I think he is on to me. From today's Globe.

``Talking about payroll in any way is a competitive disadvantage," Lucchino said. ``We spend a lot of time keeping track of the loose comments regarding payroll and it's been a point of pride that we don't discuss that. It's very helpful for us to know that Team X has made a major announcement that they're going to take their payroll from 72 to 92 [million].

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An embarrassment of riches...crappy, has-been riches

This is just ridiculous. The Phillies now have a coaching staff that includes

Manager: Charlie Manuel
Bench coach: Jimy Williams
First-base coach: Davey Lopes
Third-base coach: Art Howe

(Phillies GM Pat Gillick knows these guys were fired for a reason, right?) This staff is reminiscent, of course, of the Yankees coaching staff, to the right...

Manager: Joe Torre
Bench coach: Lee Mazzilli
First-base coach: Tony Pena
Third-base coach: Larry Bowa
Bullpen Coach: Joe Kerrigan

That's four current/former managers for the Phils, five for the Yanks. I think the Sox should one-up them (turns out while they hired Magadan, it might not be as hitting coach). I hear Buck Showalter is available; so are Ken Macha, Don Baylor, Buck Martinez, Jeff Torborg, Bobby Valentine, and Jack McKeon.

I think we should get them all. We can have the stupidest and/or least likeable coaching staff in baseball history!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saynora Senor Psycho

Steve Lyons - fired by Fox. For making racially sensitive comments about Lou Pinella. Who knew Sweet Lou was Hispanic. Now Lyons has a small history, but this seems extreme to me.

A couple more thoughts.... The big Boo-Ya Frank Thomas whined last night that Kenny Rogers hit him on purpose. With an 0-2 count nonetheless. Frank you should be happy that you got on base somehow.

Who would have thought Milton Bradley would be the most clutch player for Oakland in the ALCS.

And Suppan is pitching well. Based on this offseason, I would say that the best way to have success in the post season is to be cast off pitcher from the AL East. Kenny Rogers, Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver, David Wells - have all pitched decent this postseason.

A few thoughts for a Saturday

What on Earth is Chuck Merriweather doing umpiring an ALCS game? Should be lots of questionable strike calls today.

I guess my World Series Tickets are worthless.

I think I have watched 3 Mets games this year from start to finish. And Billy Wagner has basically blown two of them.

If it is true Soriano turned down $70MM for 5 years from Washington, I hope Theo and the trio will finally see that Manny is a bargain at $20MM.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Welcome Dave Magadan!

I remember this guy taking over 1B for the Mets after Hernandez left. The guy had a sweet swing (reminded me of Olerud) and a ton of plate discipline (a .390 career OBP...he walked in over 11.5% of his plate appearances).

Why am I bringing this up? Because he is the new hitting coach for the Sox.

The downside? He was the hitting coach for the Padres and was fired...because the Padres couldn't hit.

He also wasn't a power hitter (never even hit 10 HRs in a season), so I am not sure how that helps someone like Wily Mo.

My guess is that he was specifically hired to help guys like Youk, Pedroia, Murphy, and Crisp. You know, all the young all-stars we'll have on the field next year.

Anyway, a move by the Sox...better than the "no news" we've been getting.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lists/pop quiz

I don't really have anything useful to say about the Lidle thing; it's just so tragic, and really puts the whole "sports" and "rivalry" things into perspective. (My sister lives basically across the river from the building, so can see it from her street.) Alan Schwarz's article is definitely worth reading. Anyway...

Turning to happier, and less important, subjects...here's a quiz. What's this a list of?
  1. 2006 Red Sox
  2. 2003 Mets
  3. 2001 Red Sox
  4. 2002 Red Sox
  5. 2002 Rangers
I'll give you a hint...here's a related list, one I like much, much more:
  1. 2005 Yankees
  2. 2006 Yankees
  3. 2004 Yankees
  4. 2003 Yankees
  5. 2002 Yankees


Cory Lidle RIP.

Also, I', sure we all had a momentary flashback to five years ago. While my thoughts and prayers go out to the Lidle family, they also go out to all the firemen who had to respond to this call. I can not even imagine.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


So, despite Tommy Lasorda's best efforts, I admittedly haven't been watching very much of the postseason (the west coast is so great for watching baseball - you can watch "normal" 7:00 games from work, and you never have to stay up late). So I don't have much to say about the last few games. Except that Barry Zito's value just went down by about $10M. Makes no sense, but it's the reality.

(Thoughts on where Zito will be next year? I'm assuming a NYY/BOS bidding war will occur, but they can't be the only ones.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

am I a bad person...

...for actually hoping Steinbrenner fires Torre and hires Piniella? I think Torre's pretty damn overrated, but I still like the guy, and just like I don't think he doesn't deserve all the credit for the 1996-2000 run, I don't think he deserves much blame for the last couple playoff losses. Firing him would be such an utterly stupid act...but obviously that's a good thing. And Torre's going into the HOF anyway, so it's hard to feel too bad for him. So instead, I think of the entertainment value - a new twist on the Jeter vs. A-Rod saga, Piniella's on-field temper tantrums ("Yankee class!" "Mystique and Aura!"), Torre actually saying something negative once he's fired, etc. Wheeee!

[I'm sure this joke's been made 100,000 times already, but some team (Yanks? Cubs?) should sign Buck Showalter to a $10M, one-year contract.]

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jumper Warning

New York (AP) - With the elimination of the Yankees and the Mets advancing, New Era caps is bracing for an onslaught of Met hat purchases to accomodate all the bandwagon jumpers.

Peter Y/Peter X/Paul/Mary or whoever you were, making comments earlier this week after game 1. On the outside chance you stop by again (not likely) , I'll save you the effort and provide a link for you.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Heading to Oakland

I'm leaving the office right now. Should have a beer in hand in about an hour.

Go A's!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007 World Series Champions

The Texas Rangers!!

October 1995 - Fired by the Yankees. October 1996, Yankees end longest world series drought in team history.

October 2000 - fired by the D-backs. November 2001 - D-backs win World Series.

It seems almost inevitable. And of course we will be subject to 4,915 articles over the next couple of days making the same claim.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Go Oakland!!

I guess we should all be cheering for Oak-Town to sweep, now that they have beaten Johan it would be nice to have Zito stat Game 1 of an LCS. Then again, they are the A's. And history has not been kind to them.

Speaking of Tom Brady...

1) Ron Jackson and Dave Wallace won't be with the Sox next year. I understand about Wallace, but Jackson's departure confuses me. The offense was better than I had expected this year (Youk, Gonzales, Lowell), and Ortiz loves the guy and gives him a lot of credit for his success. Anyway, Jackson wrote a very classy letter (to the fans, players etc), printed here. Though his postscript, "P.S.: I want to make sure Tom Brady knows that, although I'm no longer with the Red Sox, I'll always be his personal hitting coach and he can come take BP with me any time," sounds a little...uh...weird.

2) The federal prosecutor in the mlb steroids case has announced that the LA Times report, saying that Grimsley fingered Clemens, Pettite, Gibbons, Tejada, and Roberts, contains "significant inaccuracies." Which is good...but the prosecutor's never done this before. Can we therefore assume that whenever a leaked report comes out, we can tell whether it's true based on whether the prosecutor denies it.

(Also, who the hell is leaking false information?)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Change of subject and refocus....

First a quick note on the Pats - I have not read the paper yet, but I wonder what the reaction will be that the Pats TROUNCED a good team. Scoring 38 points in the process. Everyone (especially Borges) was so down on these guys.

But, back to the Sox. Did anyone read Edes piece on the rebuilding of the Sox. A few things jumped out at me. Particularly in this quote from Epstien:

"One, it revealed we had flaws on the team, weaknesses on the team, that were revealed some but not exposed in the first half. Two, everything that could go wrong did go wrong, to an extent that I've never seen before and probably was close to unprecedented in modern baseball."

I agree the team had flaws, but I think it is a bit self serving and naive to say that everything that could go wrong did go wrong to the extent that it was unprecedented in modern history. Huh? Perhpas there is hyperbole in there. And sure there were things that went wrong, but really what went wrong that none of could have foreseen (or been able to forsee)? Maybe Coco's finger? Or Wake's injury. Clement had been shaky since ASB 2005. Wells is old. Same with Timlin. Nixon is always hurt. Foulke has sucked since October 27, 2004. Lester was not even supposed to be in Boston, so that can't really count. Maybe someone could say Beckett was a disappointment, but he was inconsistent and he has been that his entire career - its usually just the result of injury instead. He did have career highs in Wins and Innings. So maybe Tek's injury was a surprise.

Now if we had looked back and say everything went wrong, we could have had a rookie 1b that did not adapt to everyday play. We could have had a new middle IF or two not adapt to the pressures of Boston (that certainly has happened before), Lowell could have continued his 2005 performance, Schilling could have remained a shell of his prior self, and Ortiz could have come back to earth a bit. So, Theo, after you stop feeling sorry for yourself, maybe you will see that EVERYTHING did not go poorly.

And yet he continued:

``Look, we knew that there were players being pushed into roles that we thought at this point in their careers would be fortunate to [succeed]. Go back and look at June, how well Lester was pitching right off the bat. That's rare for that stage. Not everyone has the same assimilation to the big leagues as Jonathan Papelbon. That happens about once a generation."

Okay, but who exactly is he talking about Hansen, Delcarmen, Lester? Not really. They were pushed into those positions because everyone else sucked. None of those guys were on the opening day roster, if I recall correctly. Go back and look at June? How about we look at April or January. That is when the team was built.

And then to suggest that what happened with Papelbon was soooo very outstanding? Are you kidding? I guess he forgot about Huston Street coming in the year before and being one of the top closers in the league as a rookie.

Okay, that is about all the venting I will do on Theo. I still believe. I just don't like anyone thinking we are all naive.

Post Season Predictions

We need to get this on the books quick. How about we make some lame-ass predictions about the post season? Here are a couple of topics to pick from or feel free to add your own categories:

1. Will The Twin's and Pitching be too much to handle or not enough?
2. Will Oakland's bat be enough to get by?
3. Will the Yankees get their act together or will their big names up-stage each other?
4. Which Detroit team will show up?
5. Will the Mets raly?
6. Will the Cardinals Conintue to Slide?
7. Will the best rotation in the league possibly the MLB (San Diego) get through to World Series?
8. Will the ex-sox (LA) win it all?

More in the comments about my lame-ass predictions!

Oh, hey look! The season's over! And the Sox finished third! Awesome.

So I actually disagree with GR's statement that "Second place is no better than last place if you don't make the playoffs." I mean, it's absolutely right in terms of results, but what pisses me off about the 3rd place finish is that all the dumb "analysts" who predicted Toronto would come in 2nd were right. And for all the wrong reasons - no one said anything about a lot of injuries, a crapass bullpen, and a questionable starting rotation. No, the difference, they said, was Glaus and Overbay and Ryan and Burnett. Which is silly. But their prediction - of a Yanks-Jays-Sox finish - was correct. Pisses me off.

Anyway, looking at parity for the season...here are the final standings, listed in terms of salaries:

AL East: 1st, t-3rd, 2nd, t-3rd, 5th
AL Cent: 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 4th, 5th
AL West: 4th, 1st, 3rd, 2nd
NL East: 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 4th
NL Cent: 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 1st
NL West: 1st/3rd, 2nd, 5th, 4th

Wow, I'm surprised, and impressed - not much (though certainly some) correlation between payroll and success. This might actually be a real sign of parity. Or maybe it's a fluke - last season it was "highest payroll wins the division". We'll see.