Sunday, October 19, 2008

On a Personal Note...

Yesterday I proposed to my girlfriend.  And she said yes.  So we're quite well on the way to making her Mrs. Six.  Just figured I'd share that with you all.

Especially you, Sal Sessa.  I know you're still popping in occasionally.

I'll get back to bitterly bashing bad journalism as soon as possible.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Manny the Bastard! More Amazing Spin!!

Yup, right here. Bob Lobel of OT Boston (who?) thinks that Manny should be banned from the game for his "re-enactment of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal."

So yes, basically more sour grapes coming out of Boston. And yes, that makes this post blog-on-blog crime. And I'm not sorry.

Remember the eight players from the 1919 Black Sox who threw the World Series for money? Perhaps one of the original Black Sox came back as Manny. "Shoeless Joe," back as "Clueless Manny." Black Sox outfielder Oscar Felsch, known as "Happy," back as "Dopey."

No, I don't remember the eight players from the 1919 Black Sox. How old are you?

And secondly, who paid Manny to throw games? You want to ban the guy from baseball for "not hustling"? Okay... then I guess we should strip the Red Sox of the 2004 and 2007 World Series titles... since one of the keys to them winning those series, was a player who cheated and violated the rules and all this and that, and should be banned, right? No? You don't want to give back those titles? Then shut the fuck up.

Shoeless Joe as Clueless Manny? Nah. More like apples to oranges. Nobody paid Manny to do this. It wasn't organized by the mob. And moreso, the Sox didn't have to trade him. Despite all the press, they could have kept him, continued to endure his antics... and come post-season time, with another title in sight, he'd have done exactly what he did in Los Angeles.... for Boston.

It was dissatisfaction with $15,000 back in 1919 and displeasure with $20 million to $40 million in 2008.

It was dissatisfaction with $15,000... and the fact that the fucking mob was involved. Supplying money. Paying these guys a lot of money to throw the games, so they could turn a profit.

Manny's "displeasure with $20 to $40 million in 2008" isn't why he did this. He was being disrespected by that organization in every way. For years. He's watched "Boston Heroes" like Pedro Martinez, Keith Foulke, Derek Lowe, Mark Bellhorn, Bill Mueller, Nomar Garciaparra, Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar and Bronson Arroyo get lowballed, cut and traded over the last few years, in favor of whatever "newer better model" Theo wanted to build upon.

He knew he was going to get a shittty lowball offer, or hung out to dry in some other unceremonious way, and he was going to be left to pick up the pieces in the off-season, so he did what people do in professional sports. He looked out for #1.

The word out of Boston for the last 3 or 4 years, has been that Manny's not happy. Manny wants to be traded. Manny hates playing in Boston. And yet, year after year, Manny put up numbers, made that team competitive, and knocked the cover off the ball in the post-season.

Now he's gone, and Boston's on their way out the door. So cry me a fucking river.

Their strategy: Play less -- for more pay. And, 89 years later, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Manny's strategy wasn't "Play less -- for more pay." His strategy was "get the fuck out of Boston, and go somewhere where they appreciate me, and then play more!"

Lets make this clear. Manny's probably going to get some sucker to shell out 7 years, at $20 Million per, because of what he did in August and September in Los Angeles. Manny could have stayed in Boston, batted .400 with 20 homers and 50 RBI for the last 50 games, batted .550 in the playoffs... and gotten the same money.

He didn't NEED a trade to boost his value by going batshit insane for 2 months. He wanted out of Boston, because the organization didn't appreciate him, and didn't treat him with respect.

Fast-forward to a new super Hall of Fame ballot before the Baseball Writers of America. (By the way, and it's not only my observation, I believe the electors would have trouble passing over the famous Hall of Fame character clause.) Here is the super ballot of villains before us today:
Pete Rose
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Manny Ramirez

So... let me get this straight.
Pete Rose bet on baseball games... but that's cool.
And Barry Bonds broke US Law, by taking an illegal substance. And then broke US Law by lying about it. And broke US Laws by not paying his taxes. And that's cool too.
And Roger Clemens did all the stuff that Barry Bonds did. Plus he lied to Congress about it. And none off these are problems...

But Manny Ramirez... didn't hustle. And orchestrated his way out of Boston. And it hurt the Boston Red Sox. And that's the guy you want to go after? Do you even pretend to have a neutral, non-homer opinion?

By your logic, Carlos Delgado should also be thrown out of the game for what he did in New York this year.

He played like complete shit under Willie Randolph. He didn't hit, he didn't hustle, he did nothing. And as soon as Randolph got fired... Delgado caught fire! That means that he didn't hustle for Randolph, and therefore, he should be banned for life.

Do you know how many other examples of this I can give you?

In 2004, Adrian Beltre hit 48 homers and batted .334/.388/.629 for the Dodgers, with 121 RBI and 32 doubles.

The Seattle Mariners rewarded him with a big, fat contract. And since then, he's never hit close to .300, and his home run totals are 19, 25, 26 and 25.

So basically, Adrian Beltre played really hard during his walk-year... in order to get a big fat contract... and then he never hustled again. Should we also ban him? And everybody else who has a career-year during a contract year... then reverts to being shitty?

Where do we draw the line? Wait... let me answer that.

We only punish guys who screw over the Boston Red Sox... right Bob?

This entire article is a bad analogy, so that tag's been added. Thanks to Jane for the tip.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heyyyy... Do You Remember This?

And speaking of Batman... do you remember this?

I'm pondering this new Adam Jones suspension... cuz actually, I might be flip-flopping to say that the league is now picking on the guy... gonna sleep on it. Yeah.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Joe Torre!! JOE TORRE!! Give Me a Fucking Break!

Can everybody please stop fellatiating Joe Torre, for chrissake?! It's seriously starting to piss me off. In the last two weeks, I've read more glowing reviews of his work in Los Angeles than I read in 5 years in New York, when he got his hands on 4 rings with the Yankees.

The Dodgers aren't winning because of Joe Torre. They're winning in spite of him. Lets run down a list of factors in this.

1) Manny Ramirez played 53 games in Los Angeles. He batted .396/.489/.743 with 17 homers and 53 RBI in that time. He was worth a run a fucking game!!! Pre-Manny, the Dodgers were a .500 team. With Manny, they were STILL only 6 games over .500... which brings us to #2.

2) They play in the NL West. This is, by far, the worst division in baseball. Everybody sucks. Look at how many games the San Francisco Giants won this year. Now name 3 good baseball players on that roster. I dare you. You can't do it! That division is awful. The Baltimore Orioles could have won that division. The Kansas City Royals could have won that division. The Toronto Blue Jays would have won 100+ games if they played half their games in that division.

3) Look at the at bats that Andruw Jones, Nomar Garciaparra and Juan Pierre took this year. And consider that you could have gotten better production from a kid at Triple A... because Joe Torre notoriously sucks up to veterans at the cost of younger, more talented players.

Facts being facts, if the Dodgers were in any other division in baseball they wouldn't be in the playoffs. In fact, the AL West is the only division where they'd even rank as high as second!!

Here's the Dodger's placement, based on their record, by division.

AL East - 5th Place, 13 games back of 1st Place, Tampa Bay.
AL Central - 3rd Place, 5 games back of 1st Place, Chicago.
AL West - 2nd Place, 16 games back of 1st Place, Los Angels of Anaheim via Kentucky University of Georgia.

NL East - 4th Place, 8 games back of 1st Place, Philadelphia.
NL Central - 5th Place, 13 games back of 1st Place, Choke-ago Curses.

Here's a list of teams that missed the playoffs with a better record than the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Record GB Team
89-73 - New York Mets
89-73 - New York Yankees
88-75 1.5 Minnesota Twins
86-75 2.5 Houston Astros
86-76 3.0 St. Louis Cardinals
86-76 3.0 Toronto Blue Jays
84-77 4.5 Florida Marlins
84-78 5.0 Los Angeles Joe Torres

So I guess what we're really dealing with is this simple fact.

When Joe Torre is your coach, your team gets to choose which division it plays in.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Something for Met Fans to Cheer About!

A Mets player has finally executed a successful Hit-and-Run!!

Congrats to Ambiorix Burgos on this landmark accomplishment. And we hope to see him when he gets out of the clink in 20 or 30 years with good behavior.

And I thought Brian Bannister had a down year.

Fixing The Mets & Yankees! With Grit and Hustle!!!

Apparently the hot topic after both New York baseball teams failed to make the playoffs, is how to fix their rosters. I know it's the hot topic, because yesterday, I found like 600 articles about it. I really think the heads of sports in New York told all their writers on Tuesday to write something about this. And I don't think the journalists were cool with the idea, because none of them seemed to put even a slight bit of thought into the process. Here are the three we're going to deal with... all at once... because they're all stupid, and all similar:

Daily News's Bill Madden on the Yankees
Daily News's John Harper on the Mets
Newsday's Ken Davidoff on Both!!

We'll start with Bill Madden, who's usually a pretty smart guy, but very clearly lays an egg this time out.

Madden suggests the following:

Trade Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes to Colorado for Matt Holliday.
Sign Orlando Hudson to replace Cano at Second Base.
Don't sign Mark Teixeira.
Play Jorge Posada at First Base.
Sign Greg Zaun to back up Jose Molina at catcher.
Trade for David DeJesus (from Kansas City), specifically because he batted .419 with runners in scoring position this year.
Dump Bobby Abreu, trade Hideki Matsui, and DH Johnny Damon.
Avoid CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett.
Sign Derek Lowe, "who, at 35, has suddenly taken on the look of an ace."
Sign Oliver Perez to "crazy money for (a) middle-of-the-rotation starter."

Robinson Cano is going to be 26 next year. He's a career .303/.335/.468 hitter at second base, and has decent, developing power. Defensively, he's better than adequate, and his games totals for the last 2 years are 159 and 160, so he's pretty durable.

Phil Hughes is going to be 23 next year, and was considered to be the best pitching prospect in baseball a couple of years ago. He got hurt last year, and hurt again this year. When he came back from his injury, he looked good. It seems a bit early to give up on the kid to me.

In return for this, you're going to get Matt Holliday. He's sick good... at Coors field (.357/.423/.645 at Coors for his career). However... on the road he turns into Hideki Matsui. Yup, on the road, Holliday is .280/.348/.455 for his career. So if Holliday comes to the Yankees, how many games per year is he going to play at Coors Field? Probably none... so is this really a good idea? I don't fucking think so Bill Madden. Did you bother to look at Holliday's home/away splits? No, you didn't.

Orlando Hudson is going to look for somebody to overpay him. He's a great defensive second baseman, but a pretty average hitter(.282/.346/.433, OPS+ 99). He's a downgrade from Cano (career OPS+ 110). And in 6 full seasons, he's played 142, 135, 131, 157, 139, and 107 games. So with one exception, he misses at least 20 games a year, every year. And he's going to be 31. I'm going to say no to Orlando Hudson. This is a stupid idea.

Mark Teixeira hit .308/.410/.552 this year, with 33 homers and 41 doubles. He's sick fucking good no matter where he plays. And he's a good first baseman. And you don't want him why?

Instead, you want Posada... who's played 130 innings of First Base in his 14-year career? And you want to replace his offensive production behind the plate with Jose Molina (career OPS+ 62) and Greg Zaun (career OPS+ 90)? Isn't the fact that the Yankees got NOTHING offensively from the Catcher position part of what doomed them this year? You want to do that... AGAIN?

I like David DeJesus. He's a Bronx guy. He's also appeared in 96, 122, 119, 157 and 135 games in his career. He doesn't stay on the field. And he's pretty much an average hitter. Melky Cabrera can probably give you the production that DeJesus will. Unless you believe that DeJesus is going to hit .419 with RSIP every year... in which case, you're a moron and I can't help you. And also, statistics now hate you for manipulating them in this horrible way. I hope you're happy.

Derek Lowe did not look like "an ace" this year. He went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.133 WHIP. He had a 136 ERA+, which is good... until you consider that he pitches for the Dodgers, in the NL West. The NL West is the worst division in baseball, and more specifically, the worst HITTING division in baseball. You want to move him over to the BEST hitting division in baseball? And you expect him to duplicate these results? Oh... and he's going to be 36... and looking for a 3-year contract? How good do you expect him to be at 39?

Oliver Perez was 10-7 this year with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.402 WHIP. In the NL East, those numbers are pretty god-awful. Yes, he has potential and a live arm. We've always known that. He also walked a career-high 105 guys this year. ONE. HUNDRED. AND. FIVE. WALKS. No thanks.

Next up, John Harper on the Mets (Don't worry, it gets easier):

Be open to trading David Wright or Jose Reyes.
Don't pick up Delgado's Option.
Play Daniel Murphy at First Base.
Dump Luis Castillo.
Sign Orlando Hudson.
Sign Raul Ibanez.
Dump Pedro and Oliver Perez.
Sign Derek Lowe.
Trade for JJ Putz (from Seattle).

Trading David Wright or Jose Reyes would be the dumbest imaginable thing the Mets could do. They'll never get equal value for either of their young, cheap superkids. And why make a trade if it doesn't improve your team in ANY WAY?

Carlos Delgado sucked for 4 months. And then he turned into Barry Bonds circa 2002 for 2 months. You want to let him walk? You don't think they should pick up the option, and then look to trade him, the way the Yankees did with Gary Sheffield? That way they can get something in return for him?

Daniel Murphy at First Base.... hmm....why could this possibly be a bad idea? Maybe because the entirity of his major league experience consists of 130 at bats in August and September? You really want to entrust one of the cornerstones of your offense to a 23-year old who's cup of coffee impressed you? Good luck with that.

You're dumping Luis Castillo because he's expensive, injury-proned and he can't hit, which caused the fans to hate him. And you're paying his salary so a team will take him. And then you want to sign Orlando Hudson... who's going to be expensive... and is injury-proned... and who doesn't hit that much either? So let me get this straight... you're dumping 2008 Luis Castillo... and signing 2009 Luis Castillo?

Raul Ibanez is 37. Didn't the Mets start 2007 and 2008 with Moises Alou? Because he's old... but he's a great hitter when he's healthy? Was he ever healthy? Yeah, Ibanez is a solid hitter, and I'm sure he's a wonderful guy. If you're the Mets... and you fielded the oldest team in baseball in 2008, shouldn't you be trying to get a little younger?

Derek Lowe: See Above. What's with these people and Derek Lowe?

JJ Putz rocks. He's a good relief pitcher/closer. I like him. Who do the Mets give up, to get him? He's cheap and good, and I'm guessing the Mariners will get better offers than "Fernando Martinez."

Last up, Ken Davidoff (again, most of his suggestions are the same):

Sign Francisco Rodriguez and Darren Oliver.
Dump Ayala, Heilman, Sanchez and Schoeneweis.
Dump Castillo. Give Second Base to Daniel Murphy.
Dump Pedro.
Don't sign Manny Ramirez. Get Juan Rivera and Fernando Tatis instead.
Don't sign Damaso Marte or trade for Huston Street.
Look for more guys like Brian Stokes.
Sign Wes Helms, because he hit a homer in the last game.
Sign Oliver Perez, Jon Garland or Derek Lowe.

Get Derek Lowe for $15M a year.
Guilt Pettitte into returning for $10M.
Melky, Damon and Brett Gardner share Centerfield in 2009.
Keep Cano, unless you can trade him for Matt Cain or Jake Peavy.
Don't sign CC Sabathia or AJ Burnett.
Don't re-sign Giambi.
Sign Casey Blake to play First Base.

You want to pay $20 Million a year for Francisco Rodriguez? While you're still paying $10+ Million for Billy Wagner? So you're going to spend $30 Million on the 9th inning? That's fucking madness. Do I need to explain why?

Darren Oliver is 38. That's scary-old to sign a pitcher. And he's a lefty specialist. The Mets already have a lefty specialist named Pedro Feliciano, who's 6 years younger and better against Lefties. The manager just needs to understand that Feliciano shouldn't pitch to righties. Ever.

Castillo -> David Murphy: See above.

Manny: .332/.430/.601, 36 2B, 37 HR.
Juan Rivera: .246/.282/.438, 13 2B, 12 HR.
Fernando Tatis: Old. Flukey.

Huston Street: Closer, 24 years old, career ERA+ 148.
Brian Stokes: 28 years old, career ERA+ 78, released by Tampa Bay.

Wes Helms: .243/.299/.347 (OPS+ 72). But go ahead and sign him because he knocked you out of the playoffs. Maybe in 2009 you can miss the playoffs because of the hits he DOESN'T get.

Perez/Lowe: See above.
Jon Garland: 90 strikeouts this year. 98 strikeouts last year. Career ERA+ 103. Although I'd probably take him over Lowe or Perez.

And now for the Yankees:

Lowe: See above again. These guys fucking love Derek Lowe.

Andy Pettitte sucked balls this year. And he knows it. You wouldn't have to "guilt him" into taking $10 Million dollars to pitch next season. He'd probably suck Hank Steinbrenner's cock for that contract offer right now.

Johnny Damon breaks down in CF. Melky was awful. And Gardner can't hit. And that's your plan? That seems sound enough.

So you're going to keep Robinson Cano unless someone offers you Jake Peavy or Matt Cain for him? In other words... you're going to keep Robinson Cano. Good, I agree with you. But for the record, nobody would ever be drunk or stupid enough to offer Peavy or Cain for him.

AJ Burnett's won/lost record this year is going to land him a big contract. And it shouldn't, because he wasn't that great, truth be told. I agree that the Yankees should stay away from him. But why in the blue FUCK shouldn't they go after CC Sabathia? Did you watch any baseball games this year? Or last year? How about in 2006? Did you watch baseball then? Have you ever actually watched a baseball game, dude? Yeah, he's thrown a ton of innings. Yeah, he might break down. After passing on Santana for the same reasons, the Yankees CAN FUCKING NOT afford to let Sabathia get away. It's not about trading talent this time. It's just money. The Yankees can afford the salary whether Sabathia gets hurt or not. This is a no-brainer for anyone who isn't on the payroll of Derek Lowe.

Casey Blake at First Base? You do realize that Giambi spends more time on the basepaths than Casey Blake, right? And he hits more home runs? And defensively, it's probably a wash, since Blake's only played 105 games at First Base in his career? I'll say this again... how about if the Yankees go after Mark Teixeira... who's good defensively, and hits more than Casey Blake and Jason Giambi combined?

I'm going to sleep. Yes, it's 12:41 in the afternoon. But I'm exhausted now. Later.

Quick Note on Cedric Benson...

Didn't get a chance to write about this yesterday. Cedric Benson got picked up.

By.... THE BENGALS!!! Yes indeed!! If you had the Bengals in the pool, you've won a nice prize!! I mean, this really came down to the Bengals and the Cowboys from the start, didn't it? But yeah... we finally have resolve to this situation.

On a side note, I wonder why the Bengals have so many personnel problems in their organization.

Moreso... Benson was driving to sign his new contract and was stopped for a 4-yard loss.