Sunday, December 31, 2006
On the latest steroid business, of the names of the survery testing from 2003 getting into the hands of the Feds:
"Donald Fehr and Eugene Orza had a right, under their agreement with Major League Baseball, to destroy the record of the names attached to those positive tests. For some reason they sure did not. Only they know how and why this happened. "
Do a little research Mike - it is all out there. Fehr and Orza sort of had a right to destroy the names attached to the tests. But as you can contend, "for some reason they sure did not. Only they know how..." Actually we all know why - two things called a subpoena and a search warrant. It has been reported in great detail. Fehr and Orza, as we know, will do just about anything for their constituents; however, I doubt they would risk a felony obstruction charge.
Do the editors of these papers even bother to read this stuff? Or are these columnists such must read pieces that it does not even matter. I could only imagine having the same kind of independence in my work.
Friday, December 29, 2006
So I made the idiotic assertion this weekend that George Brett's Pine Tar incident was one of the top 10 moments in the past 25 years in MLB. As my brothers regailed me with multiple examples it became clear that it wasn't and that I was probably just drunk. Below are a handful of moments that we came up with that top Brett's. I think that particular moment sticks out for me, because he put up such a fuss. Plus I love how the umpire measures the bat with the plate!
1. Barry hits 73
2. Sammy and McQwire
3. Kirk Gibso
4. Carlton Fisk (see above)
6. Red Sox win and Dennis loses a nut
7. Aaron F. Boone/Bucky F. Dent
8. Arizona beats Yankees
9. Cal Ripken
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
What the hell? You're actually trying to unload one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, a first-ballot Hall of Famer? I mean, it's bad enough that for the first time since 2001 or so, you don't sign a mega-free agent. But now you're trying to get rid of the ones you have? Come on Georgie, step it up! Don't let these pencil-pushing, money-grubbing sissies in New York tell you what to do! I know they're saying you can save money - and field a better team - by signing people under the age of 35, but you and I both know that's bullshit. It's obvious to anyone who follows baseball that the only reason you guys haven't won a World Series this millennium is that you haven't signed enough people for $22M/year. This offseason, you've been outdone by the Cubs, Astros, Angels, Dodgers, and even the hated Red Sox. Hell, even the Brewers and Royals have thrown more money at free agents than you have. You can't have that, can you? No, of course you can't. So stop this silly "trade the 43-year-old" talk - maybe even sign him for 4 more years - I mean, he shut you guys down in the World Series over five years ago, so he must be awesome. And then go out and get you some more free agents! Remember: if they're expensive, that means they're really good.
P.S. Here's a tip, for free: Steve Finley's still available. He's only 41, and had 36 HR in 2004 - that's worth at least $16M right there.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
This week, their regular morning host has been on vacation and Eric Byrnes has been filling in. Solo. And he has done a great job. He was decent (even if he is a bit goofy looking) during the post season work he did this year. But he has nailed this radio gig. The guy is smart and funny and does not say the stupid things that athletes tend to say all the time (like Damon saying Mienkieviwcz saves 2-3 runs per game.) When he does say things from an athlete’s perspective, he is the first to say “I know I am saying this from the perspective on a player, but the owners….” He has had a few of the beat writers for the A’s and Giants on this week and he has totally just called a spade a spade when addressing certain of the writers – saying which ones you can talk off the record to, which ones are the best to get information out accurately, which ones to avoid. And he gave examples. Plus he had Zito on, asked him some pretty direct questions about contracts, Boras, TEX, NY. And Zito answered them. And you know a guy like Ordway would never ask smart questions that weren’t self serving, get the trust of a player to actually answer them, or even someone that is not his suck up crony take over the show for a week.
It has been extremely refreshing.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Anyway, what shocked me about the article is that it pointed to Houston's huge payroll. This last year the Astros quietly became the highest-salaried team in the NL (or at least came very close). The reason is a few gigantic contracts:
Roger Clemens $22M (prorated at $12.5M)Damn, those are 2007 numbers. I have to say I've never really thought of Houston as a big-market team, but I guess they are now. Of course, Bagwell and Pettitte are gone in 2007, and Clemens maybe (I bet he'll be back), but Carlos Lee's $100M contract should keep them up there for a while.
Jeff Bagwell $19.3M
Andy Pettitte $16.4M
Lance Berkman $14.5M
Roy Oswalt $11M
(Also: I like this. That's a lot of $327,000's.)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Consider this...The Sox outbid everyone for J.D. Drew at $70MM. The strange this is that no one else was bidding. They gave him a contract much longer than they had given others before (including big named Sox players). Of course, Drew is represented by Boras.
Then, there is no announcement as to the signing. Why? Well, according to a report today, the Sox aren't sure that Drew is healthy enough to warrant the contract. His physical turned up something. Boras said the holdup was "language issue(s) in the contract".
Anyway, injury vs. terms of contract are very different. Of course, Boras doesn't want an "injured" Drew back on the market. And maybe this is more because the Sox couldn't move Manny and might feel like they could do without Drew. Would this be a deal-breaker?
Who knows? It is interesting, though, that this is coming about. Drew was healthy last year. What could have happened in the meantime?
What would the Sox do if Drew wasn't their guy? Well, it would give them a lot more money to play around with. But, who else is out there? If Drew is injured, they can't pay him all that money. No way. Not for 5 years. Even that money at 3 years is too risky. This is a franchise, after all, that let future-hall-of-famer Pedro go for fear over a fourth-year breakdown. The same could be said of Damon. I can't see them working too hard to satisfy a contract with Drew if there are injury concerns following a healthy season.
So what is the conspiracy? Well, the Sox had signed Drew before D-Mat, but didn't announce him. They must have known that he had problems with the physical by then. Of course, so would have Boras (I think). But, it could be possible that the Sox didn't kill the Drew deal just to make sure Matsuzaka got done.
My overall take, though, is that Boras came well down on the Matsuzaka price because of the Drew concerns. And now...the language in the contract is restructuring Drew's value as an injured player. Maybe a contract in terms like "if he plays an average of 135 games over the next two years, options for 3 and 4 are triggered...etc..."
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Matsuzaka’s translator was universally panned by the English-speaking media, which discovered afterward that many of the pitcher’s responses were shortened, changed or butchered. Members of the Japanese media helped provide the accurate comments.They discovered that afterwards? The five minutes of Japanese translated to one sentence fragment in English didn't give them even the slightest clue? The translator is named Tak Sato, and he was hired by Scott Boras...more evidence that Boras has no idea what he's doing with these international negotiations. What's weird is that even though this guy seems completely unable to translate Japanese into English, he apparently had no trouble translating the English questions into Japanese, given Dice's long answers.
Anyway, I for one don't understand why everyone is talking about how the Sox need to find Matsuzaka a new translator. I totally disagree - I think the Sox should hire this guy for the whole season. Given how remarkably lame most questions the media (esp. the Boston media) pose to sports figures, having Sato around can only be an improvement. Just imagine the dialogue:
HAZEL MAE: D-Mat, would you say that David Ortiz's three-run home in the 4th run took some of the pressure off of you, so you could concentrate just on getting guys out?Hell, the guy shouldn't be relegated just to translating for Matsuzaka. Think how much better things would be if everything that Larry Lucchino said to the media went through this guy first. Same goes for Curt Schilling. And for Johnny Damon.
TRANSLATOR: (speaks in Japanese to Matsuzaka)
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: (3 minute response in Japanese)
TRANSLATOR: In Japan, the bulldozers are only slightly smaller.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Q. Have you thought about pitching to Ichiro and Hideki Matsui?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Inaudible.
Q. What was the turning point that made negotiations?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Inaudible.
Q. Is there any player that you are looking forward to meet that's on the Red Sox, any particular player you've always followed?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: As a member of the Boston Red Sox, to contribute to the World Champions, I'd like to meet inaudible.
Q. I wanted to get from both of your perspectives what the last 30 days have been like for you guys, and in particular yesterday, from list off to touchdown here, and also, John Henry, did the plane make it back to Florida to get you, or did you have to go commercial?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Very many interesting things have happened in my life, waiting inaudible.
Man, he's just like you or me. Very many interesting things have happened in my life, waiting inaudible, as well.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I'd pack myself on the back for predicting this headline yesterday, but it was just too easy.
(Update: yes, that's a typo. I would neither pack nor pat myself on the back. Good thing I didn't accidentally type "pat myself on the bat", because that sounds naughty.)
With the huge circus surrounding this story, one other huge baseball story of great importance to me has gone under the radar. No, not the signing of Doug Mirabelli, or even of Julio Lugo. No, I'm talking about the absence of Anna Benson from the Mets Christmas party. Remember her? Not sure why this is news - apparently the image of her dressed up as Mrs. Claus is seared into the brains of some of the Mets beat reporters.
Anyway, David Wright was Santa this year (click here for an extremely surreal photo). If I were a Mets fan, I'd be worried, since being the Mets Santa is basically a kiss of death. The last three (John Franco, Mike Cameron, and Kris Benson) were each all out of the organization within a couple months after the party.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Dice Man cometh to Boston - Salem News, 12/14
The die is cast as 'Dice-K' makes it to Massachusetts - Salem News, 12/13
Red Sox roll the dice - SportingNews, 12/13
A roll of the dice - Yahoo! Sports, 12/13
Dice game is too costly: Team needs to stand firm - Boston Herald, 12/13
Who's throwing with no Dice? - Boston herald, 12/13
Dice is not the only game in town - BDD, 12/13
No dice for the Red Sox could mean no Rocket for the Yankees - NY Daily News, 12/12
Boras is playing with loaded dice - BDD, 12/12
Tumbling Dice - Boston Globe, 12/11
Dice-K or Craps? - Red Sox Times, 12/10
NO DICE - Boston Herald, 12/10
Tumblin’ Dice: Sox’ talks with Matsuzaka break down - Boston Herald, 12/10
Getting dicey with Matsuzaka - Boston Globe, 12/7
Rolling The Dice - Joy of Sox, 12/7
Sox should roll out the Dice-K - Maine Village Soup, 11/17
Rolling the dice - Mark it Down, 11/15
(If he does sign, expect lots of "The Diceman cometh" headlines. Maybe a "Dice Dice Baby!" or two. If he doesn't, at least we can hope for a great Herald headline: "What a Bore-ASS!")
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
With the signing of right-hander Gil Meche, Royals general manager Dayton Moore has sent a strong message about his desire to improve the moribund franchise.
(Seriously, what the hell "message" could he be sending? "I have no desire whatsoever to improve this moribund franchise"? "My desire is to make this franchise even moribund-er? "I hate my job and would like to get fired, and might as well screw over this moribund franchise in the process"?)
Yesterday was a great day to be a headline writer...
Texas Legislator introduces bill to allow blind people to hunt
Tigers add experience to bullpen with reliever Jose Mesa
I don't know, I really feel the Tigers already have plenty of "experience" losing World Series they should've won. (Or is the headline just referring to the "experience" that is Jose Mesa's relief pitching?)
Also, I know I'm hardly the first to point this out, but according to Mesa's official bio on MLB.com, his first child is only 8 years younger than he is. Is that a typo, or did he marry an older woman?
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
That brings me to the next point and/or question...
For a few years, we've heard about Aubrey Huff...Well, he entered free agency this off-season. I am surprised they haven't taken a run at him. Is he signed? Everywhere I've looked he's listed as a free agent (*unsigned)...If they can sign him, they could move Manny for less. Does he put up Manny numbers? No...but then you could make the Sexson deal, or take a little less from LA. I guess my surprise is that I've heard nothing about Huff.
As for the bullpen...I hope that Theo isn't going to be Boras's bitch. He signed Drew to a huge contract. Some thought was that he did it to get some leverage in the D-Mat deal. Now they are closing in on Gagne (who has only pitched about 15 innings over the last two years) at pretty big money. At least Foulke showed promise at the end of last year...Of course, there could be a huge upside IF Gagne is healthy. I am not holding my breath.
So the Sox as of now look like this
They need a backup catcher still...probably the kid they got from the Padres...
This looks better with Matsuzaka, but he's not here, yet...
If D-Mat signs, that is 24 on the roster. One spot for the closer...Does Lester move to the pen? My guess is that once D-Mat is signed, the Sox start trading...Hansen, Tavarez, Delcarmen, Pena, Manny, and Hinske are on the block. If Manny goes for Helton, Youk or Lowell would go. Then they need a LF...Would they start Wily Mo?
Probably not...In fact, if you look at most of the Manny trade scenarios now, they would have to trigger many subsequent moves. Of course, it is only December...But, I can't see them completely reshuffling less than two months from players reporting.
So, I see some younger guys going out...
Just my thoughts...
PS- It is freezing in Boston today, so this baseball talk is like bourbon...it warms one up...
“I don’t think he’s the kind of player who would walk away from $33 million without some idea of what was out there,” a baseball official said.Dude, his agent was Scott-effin'-Boras. Of course he had "some idea of what was out there". Let's see: Juan Pierre got $9M/year, Gary Matthews Jr. $10M/year, Vincenet Padilla $11M/year. Unless you think Drew is a Pierre/Matthews/Padilla-caliber player, obviously he'd walk away from a contract worth $11M/year! If the Dodgers wanted him to stay, why not up his contract $1-2M? Now they're stuck with Pierre, who costs them practically the same amount that Drew did, while bringing far less to the table.
The main person baseball people should be complaining about here is Paul DePodesta, and his terrible contract-writing skills. If you give players an "out clause", you've just short-circuited the entire point of negotiations. GM's try to undervalue players; players try to overvalue themselves. If the GM was right, and the contract was lower than market value, the player loses a lot of money, and the team gets a great deal...
...unless, of course, the player is allowed to simply walk away from the contract.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Lily is signing with the Cubs (Pavano money $40MM/4 years)
Freddy Garcia has been traded to the Phillies (for minor leaguers)
Schmidt goes to the Dodgers $47MM/3years
Pettite appears to be using the Yanks to drive up his price to stay in HOU.
A couple of catchers to the NL West (Molina - Giants and Lieberthal - Dodgers)
Bonds implies he won't play for less than the $18MM he made last year. If true, he will not play.
In a bizzaro situation two former Padres sign with the A's - Piazza and Embree, with Embree getting two years and future HOFer Piazza (who, I believe, had the most HR of any catcher in baseball) only one. Odd.
The Braves and Mariners swapped former top prospects that never achived their potential.
The meetings are done - save the rule 5 draft tomorrow.
Once the meetings are finalized, I will try to taliate the damage - as CHB said, nothing happens these days at the meetings. well I guess, spending nearly a half billion dollars is nothing then.
A few random thoughts:
That brawl at the basketball game in Serbia was amazing. Worth watching the footage.
Flashback to one of the better games this year - the Dodgers with 4 straight homers in the 9th - for those that say Drew "never" produces, I think he hit one of the HRs. BTW that was one of the best games this year in the regular season this year.
One more day to get the lineups in......
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Red Sox sign JD Drew - 5 years $70MM
Red Sox sign Lugo - 4 yeats $36MM
Manny is still a Red Sox, please come soon opening day.
Lester speaks up and all appears even better than reported yesterday.
SD signs Maddux
Texas signs Padilla
And more rumors than you can possibly even begin to report on, although ESPN has tried.
One note on Lugo, for all the attention that JD Drew is getting as a bad makeup guy, it will be interesting to see if the papers even mention that he was involved in a spousal abuse, restraining order situation with a wife or girlfriend.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Padilla gets over $11MM per year.
Pujols now wants to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
No firm news on Manny.
If I am a dodger fan and I wake up and read that my team did not get one of the most feared sluggers on the planet because Ned Colleti did not want to part with Jonathan Broxton, I would be pretty upset about it. Jonathan Broxton? There is as good a chance we reach the ASB next year and his ERA is 4.00 or above as there is he repeats his performance this year. Hopefully all six dodger fans don’t read the paper this morning.
Jon Lester is apparently getting better.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Rules are as follows:
Predict the Red Sox Starting Lineup for opening day 2007. Exact batting order and positions, plus the first five starting pitchers to take the hill. Oh and name the closer. To be determined as the first Sox pitcher to earn a save in 2007.
Scoring is as follows:
9 points for any player on the roster by this Friday (so if Drew or Lugo signs this week they are a nine point player.
18 pointes for a player not on the roster by Friday (therefore, if D-Mat signs, we should all get the 18 - can't really think of a better way to handle these).
Minus one point per place in the batting order that a hitter is off (i.e., if you have Youk hitting 6th and he actually was batting leadoff that would be minus 5)
deadline is Friday noon Eastern.
Pitchers - 9 points per starter and 5 for the closer. Order of starters does not matter.
This is all open for discussion - we could add anyone with all 9 players in the batting lineup is a bonus 20 points, but that would discourage random guesses.
I'm not looking for positions - i.e. if Youk plays 1B or LF, just care about order - otherwise there is too much too tabulate (my thoughts, but we shall see).
Predictions posted become final - if someone posts with an out of the blue trade (like GR with Sexson) prior to the trade commencing credit will be given for the acquisition - so if Sexson is acquired Wednesday, but GR put it up today, he gets the 18 points, but if Dino put it up Friday, its only 9 for him.
Do we want to count starters orders similar to batting average?
Do these make sense? Any suggestions?
Saturday, December 02, 2006
No arbitration for Trot. Too bad Edes didn't give us the odds of that happening. Here's yesterday's post from Seth Mnookin's "Feeding the Monster" blog:
I can't decide which is better: that he said an item reported by Buster Olney and Peter Gammons "hasn't been much discussed", or that he was proud he reported Gammons's (incorrect) information before the Globe had the chance to. Yesterday's Globe article cited only one "source with ties to the team"...i.e., Peter Gammons.
Read Tomorrow's News Today!
The Feeding the Monster blog, November 30, 2006: “There are some intriguing possibilities out there, though, at least one of which hasn’t been much discussed, and that’s the possibility that Trot Nixon ends up back in Boston on a one-year deal.”
The Boston Globe, December 1, 2006: “Sox: Nixon in ‘07? Team may offer him arbitration.”
Just yesterday, our own GrieveRules used statistical analysis to prove that the chance of Nixon being offered arbitration was no more than 50%. I think that makes the GYS Network a more reliable source of Red Sox insider information than Seth Mnookin, the Boston Globe, or Peter Gammons, put together. Rock on.
Friday, December 01, 2006
While reporting on whether Ramirez will be traded, Edes estimates there is a 50-50 chance.
Now, I took stats...There are two possible outcomes. 1, he gets traded. 2, he doesn't get traded. 1 out of 2 in either direction...that's 50/50. Edes is a madman! Why waste the ink? I mean is there another possible outcome to the scenario?
I know that he was trying to put a likelihood on Manny being traded (not just the cut and dry)...but even when someone says there's a 70 percent chance....there's really only a 50 percent chance. It either will...or won't happen.
Well, on another note...the Sox might offer arbitration to Nixon. I think that's a pretty good move. It really keeps them from having to sign another outfielder, and kind of makes Manny tradeable, and your bench deep. Your outfield players this year in Boston: Nixon, Drew, Crisp, Pena, Hinske, Youkilis. You could get Pena a bunch of at-bats, have two left-handed hitters who are injury-prone spell each other. You have plenty of depth. Not bad...Plus, you could still trade Pena and/or Crisp.
I'd say there's a 50-50 chance of Trot being offered arbitration....