Friday, November 21, 2008

Mike Mussina? Hall of Fame?

John Harper of the NY Daily News says no. Because of stats? Because he missed 300 wins? Nope! Because Mussina didn't have enough "moments." Whatever that means.

His overall numbers stack up well against some notable Hall of Famers, including Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Catfish Hunter and even Bob Gibson. Actually, he has a better winning percentage (.638) than any of them, and indeed at 270-153, he would have the best percentage of any player not in the Hall.
Here's the case for Mussina. 537 starts. 270 wins, with only 153 losses. lists his "162-Game Averages" as 34 starts, 17-9, 226 innings pitched, 49 BB against 178 strikeouts, a 3.68 ERA (ERA+ 123), and a 1.192 WHIP. Over 18 years as a professional pitcher, those are very, very good numbers. And 270 wins, for a guy who never made more than 36 starts in a season, is a very impressive number.
Fergie Jenkins made 57 more starts (594) and won 14 more games (284). He also lost 71 more games, most likely because of less use and specialization in the bullpens when he pitched. He threw 267 complete games in his career. Moose threw only 57, however, that's not really Mussina's fault. The game is different.
Jenkins also didn't spend the better portion of his career pitching to guys who were injecting fucking horse steroids into their asses. And to boot, Jenkins' career ERA+? 115. Which means, Mussina, over his career, has been better in comparison to his peers, than Jenkins was to his.
Marichal won only 243 games, and his 123 ERA+ is the same as Mussina's. Yeah, he went 26-9 in 1968. He also went 6-16 in 1972. Maybe it had something to do with throwing 3 300+ inning seasons.
Catfish Hunter finished 224-166 with a 104 ERA+. Looking at his numbers right now is making me wonder who he blew to get into the Hall of Fame. Suffice to say, I'm not impressed.
And Bob Gibson, to me, is one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball history. Mussina doesn't even get to be in the room for that conversation, so I'm not going to compare him to Gibson.
So why isn't Mussina a Hall guy, John Harper?
You look at Mussina's career and it's hard to find the wow factor that usually defines the very best players of an era.
Wow factor? Hang on, let me check Baseball Prospectus. They usually have stats for those crazy acronyms. WOW? Is that a new acronym? What does it stand for?
Wait a second... there's no such stat as "WOW." What are you talking about John Harper? Oh. Fuck.
You're saying that he can't be a Hall of Famer, because, despite having statistical credibility and value over an 18 year career, he never impressed you enough? He never trotted out of the dugout in a cut up leather jacket with a crazy haircut, with WILD THING playing on the PA system? He never threw 14 shutout innings in game 7 of the World Series? He never appeared in a porno with guys named Lexington Steele and Mandingo and slapped around a 19 year old blonde with his "freakishly large certain part of the male anatomy?"
This is your hall of fame criteria?
He didn't win a Cy Young Award, finished second once, and had a few other fourths and fifths.
Because Cliff Lee won 24 games this year? And Roy Halladay threw 700 innings? I'm not sure, but I think it was 700.
And in 1999, he finished second behind Pedro Martinez, who had an ERA+ of 243!!
Point is... his lack of a Cy Young isn't because he was never a great pitcher. It's just that he was never the greatest pitcher in a league with Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez gobbling up most of them.
And what the fuck were the voters thinking in 1992? They gave the Cy Young to Dennis Eckersley? For throwing 80 innings? Followed by Blackjack McDowell and Roger Clemens... then followed by Mussina, who went 18-5 that year, with a 2.54 ERA? The case for Clemens that year was strong too... but McDowell and Eck had no business being considered... and they got most of the votes.
He didn't win a championship, and though Mussina pitched well in some big postseason games, he never had a brilliant postseason that demanded attention in the manner of John Smoltz, Jack Morris, Curt Schilling, or even Josh Beckett or Cole Hamels.
He didn't win a championship. By himself. Nope, he went 7-8 in the post-season... with a 3.42 ERA and he struck out 145 in 139 innings.
In 1997, with Baltimore, he was 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in the Divisional Round, carrying Baltimore over Seattle. Then, in 2 starts against Cleveland, he allowed 1 run and 4 hits, in 15 innings. Not brilliant? Or maybe you just don't remember that...
Never mind Gibson, who won 251 games in his career, or 19 fewer than Mussina, but had two Cy Youngs, one MVP, and won World Series for the Cardinals in 1964 and '67 practically singlehandedly.
So you're saying that a pitcher has to be as good as Bob Gibson to make it into the Hall of Fame? Then we ought to throw about just about every pitcher who's already there... and forget about adding new guys. Maybe Pedro. Koufax. A handful of others at best. This is a moronic argument. Bob Gibson was the Shaquille O'Neal of baseball back then.
He was so nasty, that they lowered the mound height so batters wouldn't shit down their legs when he threw his slider. Gibson was a fucking buzzsaw.
In addition, while winning 20 games this season at 39 was quite a feat, Mussina never had one or more of those incandescent seasons that stamp pitchers as bound for Cooperstown.
Umm... 18-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 1992. 16-5 with a 3.05 ERA in 24 starts in 1994 (apparently, the strike was his fault too.) 19-9 with a 3.29 ERA in 1995. 15-8 with a 3.20 ERA in 1997 (with minimal run support at best.) 17-11 in his first year in New York, in 2001... and if you remember, despite playing for the Yankees, he received about the worst run support in baseball that year.
However, Marichal set himself apart as a superstar with an eight-year run in which he posted seasons of 18-11, 25-8, 21-8, 22-13, 25-6, 14-10, 26-9, and 21-11. That pretty much defines dominance.
His starts in those years? 36, 40, 33, 37, 36, 26, 38, 37.
Give Mussina an extra 4 or 5 starts in 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2002... and he probably gives you 5 20 win seasons.
You can make the case that Mussina was more consistent over his 18 years than Tom Glavine, but Glavine has two Cy Young awards, five 20-win seasons and a world championship, in addition to 305 wins, all of which make him practically automatic.
You can make the case that Glavine made 145 more starts than Mike Mussina, and won only 35 more games. And that if Mussina hung around and pitched until his 50th birthday like Glavine, he'd probably have 330 wins or so. And that it was probably a little easier for Glavine, since he spent his career following Greg Maddux and John Smoltz in the rotation. He was a glorified fucking 3 starter who walked 1500 guys in his career. And avoided the American League like the clap.
For me the argument for Mussina in the Hall falls just short, subject to review in five years as we gain more and more perspective on the steroids era. If only he'd had a few more moments that were as remarkable as his decision to retire as a 20-game winner.
A few more moments? You mean like the time in 2001 when he came within 1 strike of a perfect game... in Boston... before Carl Everett broke it up? And the only reason they sent Everett to the plate... was because he crowded the plate, and they hoped Mussina would HIT HIM WITH THE BALL?
Or in 1995, when Mussina was on the mound and got the win in Cal Ripkin's 2,131st consecutive game played?
Or out of the bullpen in the 2003 ALCS to shut down the Red Sox?
Or in 2006, when he became the first pitcher in AL History to win 10 or more games in 15 consecutive seasons?
How about in 1998 when he retired 23 straight, before Frank Catalanotto's double in the 8th?
1997 again Cleveland, when he was perfect for 25 outs before Sandy Alomar, Jr. got to him for a single?
How about the 7 gold gloves? You like awards. They mean shit to me... but you like them.
This guy belongs in the hall. John Harper, you belong in a different hall for this terrible article.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dustin Pedroia is Officially the New Derek Jeter!

Vastly overrated singles hitter, who, despite not being the best player on his own team, receives consideration for numerous awards and is constantly felitated by members of the media.

Who am I talking about? Which one of them? Pedroia or Jeter? You can't tell, can you.

Jeter, in any given season, was far behind Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, Mariano Rivera and numerous other Yankees in terms of value. And yet, when they're winning, he's the reason according to every major media article that's written. His grit, calm eyes and hustle are always the key components. Oh, and intangibles.

Pedroia wins an MVP with a sub-.900 OPS, 17 homers and 85 RBI. Given the way the season unfolded, a case could easily be made that Kevin Youkilis, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester were more valuable to the Red Sox... and that's without even mentioning Papelbon.

Youkilis hit 29 homers and drove in 115. He batted .312, had a much higher OPS and hit .374 with runners in scoring position. Pedroia with RSIP? .307 with 5 homers in 200 plate appearances.

David Ortiz played a little over half a season and had more homers and RBI, in what was, by far, his worst season in Boston. Hell, Jason Bay hit 9 homers in a little over a month and a half in Boston.

And Lester won 16 with a 3.21 ERA and threw 210 innings. Honestly, without him, this years incarnation of the Red Sox would have been sitting firmly in 3rd place as the Yankees took the Wild Card.

And Matsuzaka went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 29 starts. Sure, he only threw 170 innings, but he was freakishly good despite missing some time.

Yeah, it was a weak crop this year. Josh Hamilton's season totals look good... I mean .302 with 32 homers and 130 RBI... but he fell apart after the all-star break. Quentin got hurt, which pretty much derailed his chances.

But Jesus Christ... Joe Mauer was more deserving here. The guy hit .328/.413/.451, walked 30 times more than Pedroia, played great defense, drove in the same number of runs... and he's a CATCHER!

Tampa gets 27 homers and 85 RBI from Evan Longoria in 122 games! He transforms them from a middle-of-the-pack team to the AL East Champs... and he doesn't get some consideration? What better demonstration of value is there than seeing how average the team was without him... and how far they went with him?

Justin Morneau jacks 23 and drives in 129 with a .300/.374/.499 line and 47 doubles.

A-Rod misses a month and still hits 35 homers and has 100+ RBI.

Just for the record... when you can name 10 guys who probably deserved an award more than the guy who got it... the guy who got it probably didn't deserve it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

FJM is Calling It Quits...

So yeah, I just caught a look at this. I'm really sad to learn that FJM is going the way of Andruw Jones' bat, but it's the harsh reality that we have to deal with.

I've only said it about a thousand times already, but FireJoeMorgan was what inspired me to start writing this blog, and I'll do my best to continue posting infuriating and humorous takes on sports, and lambasting bad sports commentary as best as I can.

So thanks, FJM Crew, for the entertainment, inspiration and information. And for linking to one of my posts. That was my high moment as a blogger.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Because Boxing is Just Too Hostile These Days...

I mean, it's all about punching and bleeding and guts and stuff. That is, until Trenton Titsworth gets into the ring.

Yup, that's his real, actual name. And this is why he shall forever be immortalized in sports.

Yup, you just saw him nibbling amorously at his opponents neck... only moments before getting knocked the fuck out. From this day forth, I shall refer to any such loving acts in the world of sports as Titsworths. Or is it Titsworthes? How do you pluralize the name Titsworth?

Correct Me If I'm Wrong Here...

What do you guys see here? Obviously, I'm bias because I'm an admitted Celtics-hater, but aren't there rules in the game of basketball? And aren't some of those rules about taunting opposing players?

I'm told there are two ways of looking at this in this article, by J.E. Skeets.

1) It was disgusting. KG should have been nailed with a taunting tech immediately, maybe even tossed. Sure, he's playing mind games and getting into his opponent's head, but the officials have to draw the line somewhere — he went way over it. Classless move by the Big Ticket.

Yeah, that sounds about right to me. The broadcast guys in the clip seem to agree with this argument too. I'm of the mind that Garnett should have been T'd up for this, immediately. And if it continued beyond the technical, he should have been tossed. Classless, indeed. Although, surprisingly, that's nothing new for Garnett.

2) It was awesome. We're what, six or seven games into the season, and here are two Eastern "All-Stars" jawing at each other like it's Game 7 of the NBA Finals. KG tried to rattle young Jose, but the Spaniard refused to back down. Loved the intensity. You can sense the mutual respect between the two.

Awesome? That the officiating crew chose to selectively ignore the rules of the game of basketball to allow this to continue throughout the game? And yeah, J.E. Skeets, I can sense Garnett's respect for Calderon as he's sticking his finger in the guy's face. Whenever I really respect a guy, I clap my hands at him, and jut my finger towards his face all while talking as much smack as possible. That's actually why I'm mocking you right now, J.E. Skeets... because I respect you. I'm sure you can sense it.

I got so fired up watching these two competitors go at that I started slapping the floor like I was Garnett himself.

So that's what professional sports has come to then? We don't care about the quality of play or the closeness of the score of a game. We're not interested in feats of athleticism or brilliant execution? We get fired up over a guy talking shit and wagging his finger?

Then why isn't Terrell Owens the most beloved athlete in professional sports? How about long-time former Boston athlete, Manny Ramirez? Does he fire you up when he stands at the plate admiring his home runs? I mean, I'm sure that really pisses off the pitcher.

As a friend of mine put it, the NBA needs this type of emotion.

Let me put this as gently as I possibly can. Your friend is a fucking imbecile. The NBA needs the opposite of "this type of emotion." This type of thing is what's turning fans off to the NBA game. If this is what the game is so desperately lacking, then explain to me, why the "And 1 Mix Tape Tour" isn't the highest-rated program on TV?

What the NBA needs, is guys who play the game hard, play the game right, and don't embarrass themselves and their teams by taunting a 5'11" Spaniard for the entire third quarter.

Here's the bigger question. Why wasn't Garnett slapped with a tech for this? Or tossed?

Could it be, because he's Kevin Garnett? If this was Rasheed Wallace, do you think we'd be having this discussion? Of course not. He'd have gotten tossed immediately. I admit, that's sort of cherry-picking, because I named one of the most misbehaved athletes in the game, so lets try some other names. In fact, lets name some Celtics players.

Do you think Leon Powe, Sam Cassell, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, J.R. Giddens, Eddie House, Patrick O'Bryant, Kendrick Perkins, Gabe Pruitt, Rajon Rondo, Brian Scalabrine or Bill Walker would have gotten away with this?

Yes, that's everybody on the Celtics not named Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Ray Allen. So basically, isn't it almost a guaranteed fact, that the reason Garnett got a free pass for this... is because he's a star player? And the league notoriously looks the other way when star players break the rules?

This isn't about emotion or gamesmanship or getting the fans involved. It's about a very plain, very visible violation of the rules of the game. And it's about the leagues willingness to look the other way when the guy doing it is one of their "marketable star players."

Am I wrong? Drop me some comments/mail and let me know. Pornstar Names tag added, because how else can you explain "J.E. Skeets"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Political Musings? Yes We Can!

Here's the thing. I did my best not to hurl my political views at you guys during the election season. And there were a few reasons for this.

1) It's not really what I'm here for. I'm here to try to make you laugh by likening the NL West to a bunch of guys swinging Screech Dildos, not to attempt to influence your voting habits.
2) I wasn't exactly thrilled with the choices in this election, again.
3) I'm not exactly a credible, authoritative source on the topic of politics.

Now that the election is over though, I'll fill you guys in on something. My guy lost. Yup, I was a McCain supporter. I won't get into why, as again, that's not what I'm here for. So, why the big lead-in? And why the sudden decision to touch politics?

Sarah is forcing my hand. She's shooting off her mouth about, who else, BLOGGERS!!!! So, how will the failed vice presidential hopeful go about bashing the haphazard interactive gangbang known as the blogosphere? What carefully crafted digs will she take at it? How will this "educated, intelligent woman" go about making her point? Keep in mind, she just ran, unsuccessfully, for the second highest office in the nation.

A few days after she called McCain campaign staffers "cowards" for criticizing her anonymously, Palin dismissed some of her critics on the other side as "bloggers in their parents' basement just talking garbage."

Booyah!! In their parents' basement just talking garbage!!! GOTCHA FUCKERS!!!! Jesus Hfucking Christ!!! Such innovation, such craft!! It's as though she's able to see right through us all!!! I give up. I can no longer blog. Blogging is dead. Upon it's headstone, the words...

In Their Parents' Basement Just Talking Garbage. - Sarah Palin

You know, while I was sitting in my mom's basement, just talking garbage on the internet the other day, I learned something new. Wanna know what it is?

Africa is actually a continent!! It's not just a group of states all mushed together to the south of Europe!! It's a continent!! LIKE AUSTRALIA!!! Did you know that Sarah Palin? What? You didn't? Well, I guess that's okay... I mean, those crazy scientists are changing their minds about what makes something a continent all the time, right?

Wait, what? They're not? Africa's been a continent FOREVER?! And everybody learns about the 7 continents in grade school? Well, shucks Sarah! I guess you should have known that then, huh?

Know what else I learned on Al Gore's Internets (TM) the other day? That the Vice President, doesn't, in fact "run the Senate" and can't "really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes." You told me that the Vice President does those things.

But everybody else says that the Vice President can really only cast the tie-breaking vote for the Senate. And since the Senate never "ties," that's basically one of the most scarcely used powers in American Government.

So wait a second. You were running for Vice President... and you didn't even know what the Vice President is Constitutionally allowed and/or required to do?

That reminds me of the time that I applied for a job as the Head Nurse at a hospital... because I thought that my job would be to get head from all the nurses! They actually called me in for an interview, and wouldn't you believe it? They started asking me all these lame medical questions and told me that I'd probably have to give sponge baths to old men. Can you believe that shit?!

I was all like, look dude, I'm just here to get blown by chicks in nurse costumes while swigging from my trusty flask of gin. You know, because nothing is more sophisticated than a flask of gin. Except for a top hat. But whatever. They called security. And it went on my permanent record.

But back to the topic at hand. Sarah Palin. Hating bloggers.

Here's the really funny thing Sarah. This is a relatively small blog. It's only been written for a little over 3 months. And in those three months, this relatively small, obscure sports-themed blog has received 54,000 views. So using some simple mathematics, we can deduce, that over a full year, at a consistent rate of viewership, this small, obscure blog will receive 216,000 views.

The high point of your political career came in 2006, when you beat Tony Knowles to win your job as the Governor of Alaska. And in that election, you received a grand total of 114,697 votes.

Again, using simple mathematics, we can learn that my small, obscure, irrelevant blog, which is written from my parents' basement... will receive 101,303 more views in a year... than you received votes to be governor. Let me break it down further, just in case you're missing my point.

My readership is bigger than the electorate of your entire fucking state, you beauty pageant bimbo. And nobody had to buy me a $150,000 wardrobe.

Moreso, you are the single greatest reason that John McCain lost this fucking election. You are a complete imbecile who lacks the most basic understanding of grade school curriculum, no less American Government.

And you seriously believe that the Republican Party is going to let you run on your own ticket in 2012? Who do you think you are? Hillary Clinton? Why don't you try spending a little more time raising your skanky trailer trash family, and a little less time swilling brewskis with Joe Sixpack and pretending to posses a fully functioning brain. You're not fooling anybody.

Your candidacy in this election was a scam. It was an attempt to lure women and disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters over to the Republican ticket. And it might even have worked, if you could have just kept your stupid fucking mouth shut and looked pretty.

Instead, you talked... and talked... and talked... and looked mavericky... and talked... and got made fun of by Tina Fey... and talked... and talked... and looked mavericky... and talked... and exposed your completely empty cranium on the world stage. You're Dan Quayle with tits.

Things Sarah Palin Can Look Forward To:

1) Being Governor of Alaska.
2) The Cover of Playboy.
3) Being a great Grandmother by age 50 when her trailer trash daughter's trailer trash daughter gets knocked up at age 12.

Things Sarah Palin Should Not Hold Her Breath Waiting for:

1) The Start of her Campaign for President of the United States of America.

I'm Mister Six, and I approve this message.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hot Topic: Things the New York Yankees Should Not Do This Off-Season...

The New York Daily News' sports cover today involved the New York Yankees and two pitchers: Jake Peavy and Carl Pavano.

The early word is that Brian Cashman is interested in cutting a deal to bring Pavano back around for another couple of years. That seemed like a really stupid idea, until I realized the following:

a) Pavano would probably only be re-signed to a bargain basement type of deal.
b) There's no way Cashman's dumb enough to actually rely on the guy. He'd sit on his ass in AAA and wait for a call as a spot starter.

So I guess, why the hell not, right? Sure, bring Carl back for another year!! But that got me thinking... what kind of things should the Yankees avoid doing at all costs? So I'm going to make a list.

1) Do not sign A.J. Burnett.

He's going to opt out. He's going to be looking for $16-18 Million per, for about 4 or 5 years. And in his 10 year career, he's made 30+ starts a grand total of twice. People are turned on by Burnett's 18 wins in 2008... but those people seem to be overlooking a couple of key numbers. Burnett's 105 ERA+ indicates that he was really only slightly better than league average... and his 1.342 WHIP is downright scary. To put this lightly, 18 wins from Burnett last year was fluky and will not be repeated any time soon. Just to be clear, we all realize that Burnett walked 86 guys last year, right? That's Oliver Perez/Barry Zito-type wildness. If that number jumps any higher, Burnett will earn the right to use the surname "Zambrano."

Still, the Yankees might go there, especially because of their long-standing tendency for going after guys who own them. In 11 career starts against the Yankees, Burnett's thrown 77 innings of 2.43 ERA baseball. To you and I, this is fluky, small sample size-type stuff that doesn't mean very much.

To a couple of kids who were raised by George Steinbrenner, I fear it could mean much more. I guess if they grab Burnett and re-sign Pavano, those dudes can chill together on the DL.

2) Do not re-sign Bobby Abreu.

What?! Doesn't that go against everything Mister Six usually digs? Guys with high OBPs? Patient hitters who take a ton of pitches? Busty Japanese girls dressed up as vampire schoolgirls for Halloween (no, I couldn't find a picture, but this will do)?

Yes, it does go against my usual beliefs, but here's why. Abreu is declining. He was solid last year, but not amazing. His BB have dropped a couple of years in a row. He's not getting any better. And there's really no room for him in my plans. I'd much rather see Nady in RF, and either Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn in Left Field.

Manny's a freak of nature, pure and simple. I went into this yesterday.

And the case for Adam Dunn seems to be a series of sixes. He's six years younger than Abreu. He's drawn 100+ walks for 6 straight years. And he's hit 40+ homers and driven in 100+ runs in 6 straight years. Sure, Adam Dunn strikes out a lot... but because he strikes out a lot, he's hit into 14 double plays in the last 2 years combined. Abreu rolled in 14 last year alone, and 25 for the last 2 years. So in a twisted sort of way, it evens out.

3) Don't get any bright ideas about guys like Casey Blake.

Brian Cashman's usually good about this sort of thing. He doesn't usually fall into the "grit/hustle/heart" trap that lures lesser GMs to sign guys like David Eckstein, Eric Byrnes and Darren Erstad to inflated contracts despite statistical evidence that states that they're not very good at baseball, and probably won't stay healthy. Cashman's not usually the kind of guy who's out there looking to sign the next Scott Brosius.

Scottie, if you happen to browse over this, I'm not attacking you. Well... now that I look at the numbers, I guess I'm kinda going to attack you. After 1998, you weren't very good. And speaking of 1998... how did you get caught stealing 8 times in 19 attempts? That's terrible!! What idiot kept giving you the green light? You were a lot of things... but fleet of foot, you were not. Maybe somebody'll bring that up during Joe Torre's Bestest Manager in the World Induction Ceremony. "Hung Brosius out to dry 8 times in 1998. Pioneered Ozzie Guillen's Smartball Technique, where a team scores runs by getting slow-footed runners caught stealing."

Back to Casey Blake. How do I put this lightly? Casey Blake sucks at baseball. He didn't make it as a full-time guy until he was 29. Over a full season, he's going to hit about 20 homers, he's going to walk about 11 times, strike out about 120 times, and get on base about 10% less than Mark Teixeira. People are talking about Blake as a first baseman. He's played 105 out of 950 career games there. Adam Dunn has seen more games at first base than Casey Blake... and hits twice as many homers. And gets on base more. And has a cool nickname. Big Donkey. The Big Donkey vs. The Big Father, David Ortiz (sorry, I don't speak Spanish.)

4) Don't sign Derek Lowe.

I talked about this already. So I'll try to summarize.
Lowe is 35.
He pitches in the worst hitting division in baseball.
He's coming off the second-best season of his career.
And his best year since he won 21 in Boston in 2002.
And he's 35.
And pitches in the NL West.
Where instead of bats, people swing replica Dustin Diamond sex-toys.

5) Don't deal Robinson Cano or Phil Hughes.

Hughes was the top-rated pitching prospect in the country. For a while. That kind of potential doesn't fizzle out because of some minor, naggy-type injuries. Johan Santana didn't start dominating until he was 25. Josh Beckett dealt with naggy-type injuries until about the same time. Sabathia really showed what he was about at 26.

Phil Hughes is going to be 23. It's too early to give up on him. Period.

Robinson Cano is 25. He's a career .303/.335/.468 hitter. He has developing power. He struggled last year, which means one of two things. Either... he's a fluke who will never produce again.... or he had a bad year after signing a big contract extension. We should examine that over the next year, and make a determination regarding which it is.

My guess is, Cano bounces back, bats .300/.350/.500 with 40+ doubles, 20+ homers, and 90+ RBIs. The question is... would you rather him do that in New York or San Diego?

If the Padres really want to deal Jake Peavy, offer them an all-you-can-eat-buffet of second-tier prospects. Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Alan Horne, Darrel Rasner, Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, Humberto Sanchez, anybody named Duncan, Juan Miranda... Ian Kennedy?

No Hughes. No Cano. No Jesus Montero. No Chamberlain. And no Austin Jackson.

Peavy's coming from the NL West (See: Derek Lowe), so in the AL East, there's a pretty good chance that his ERA's going to bump up by about a run and a half... and if it does, do we really want to watch Phil Hughes winning 20 games a year pitching in the AAAA NL West?

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Morals are Dying As I Write This...

I'm just going to go ahead and glob a few thoughts together here. All of them feel wrong in my heart, and yet seem terribly obvious to my brain. I never, in a million years, imagined I'd say any of these things... so rather than just spitting out one of them... I'm going to put them all out in the open.

1) The Yankees should sign Manny Ramirez.

Why? Because he'd be incredible in New York. He'd get 19 games a year to remind the Red Sox what a horrible mistake they made by letting him leave, and if his performance in Los Angeles is any indication of what he's capable of when happy and motivated to stick it to the Red Sox, he'd probably win the Triple Crown in his first season in New York. Is he a giant boogie man? Yes, he is, but in case you hadn't noticed, Alex Rodriguez is sorta turning into a boogie man... so maybe Man-Ram would even succeed in taking some pressure off of Fragile-Rod's delicate psyche, especially in these trying times during which A-Rod has to learn the principles of Kabbalah while retaining his home-run swing.

2) The NFL was too hard on Adam (Don't Call me Pacman) Jones.

Did I say something about this before? Yeah. Did anybody ever bother to consider that the guy might have a drinking problem? And that the vast majority of his problems might have been occurring while he was intoxicated? Doesn't the NFL have some degree of obligation to look out for this guy's well-being, rather than just labeling him as a bad guy, and looking for ways to throw him out of the league? And here's the bigger question... if Adam Jones was a white guy, do you think Roger Goodell would still have this giant, obvious boner for trying to throw him out of the league? What if he was a white Quarterback, instead of a black Cornerback? Still?

More the case, Jones got into a scrap with a bodyguard. The bodyguard was an employee of the Dallas Cowboys, assigned to look after Jones. So at worst, isn't this a team matter? And shouldn't the Dallas Cowboys be entirely in charge of how it's resolved? Yes, there was an altercation, and yes, police were called. Was an arrest made? Nope. And aren't people in this country supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty"?

By that logic, isn't it then impossible for Jones to have been guilty of anything, if he was not arrested and charges were not filed?

3) Stephon Marbury needs to play for the Knicks, like, immediately.

Benching him for the first game was stupid. Moving him to the inactive list was moronic and inexcusable. And keeping him there... probably makes the baby Jesus cry. I'm not even exaggerating.

I understand that Mike D'Antoni's logic is, that since Marbury won't be here beyond this year, the minutes are better spent "developing" players who will be here. There's a problem with that logic though...

The guys who are playing instead of Marbury aren't going to develop into anything special. Anthony Roberson is an undrafted free agent who got a 2-year contract for playing well in the summer league. And Mardy Collins is a late first rounder with almost zero potential. And Chris Duhon is garbage, pure and simple, garbage. None of these guys have the jumpshot to be productive in D'Antoni's offense, regardless.

Marbury, on the other hand, has played the part of "good soldier" the whole way. He's said all the right things. And on top of that, he came to camp in terrific shape, worked his ass off in the pre-season, and showed the ability to grasp the offense to some degree. He's done everything he possibly can to distance himself from the last couple of years.

Show me one team, in the history of the NBA, that's won games while it's best player was a healthy scratch. In fact, show me one team in professional sports history, that's ever deactivated their best player and improved as a result. That's what the Knicks are doing.

They claim to want to trade Marbury. And how, exactly, are you going to trade a guy who's not playing? If Marbury were to see 10 minutes a game, and he played well, looked rejuvenated, had his old quickness back, along with that relentless drive... wouldn't his value increase? Wouldn't it become easier to move his $22 Million expiring contract? Couldn't you even, perhaps, bring back something of value for him?

These three points go against everything I feel like I should know about professional sports by now, but they seem to need to be said.