Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Downside to Rangers Fandom

As if the Rangers offseason hasn't been painful enough. This video comes across my Twitter Feed. Of course, it is a video from 2006, but any chance to twist the proverbial knife a little deeper, is reason enough for me to show it off.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Adam Greenberg Gets One More Actual Chance

He can't believe it either
Once upon a time. I was a baseball player. I had baseball playing friends, baseball playing good times and baseball playing habits. I had a dream, just like every other 10 year old out there, to play in the big leagues one day. I was going to be a star. Then this crazy thing called reality happened. Luckily for me, it wasn't a heat seeking baseball hell bent on crushing the back of my skull that forced me to rethink my life's path. In Adam Greenberg's case, that was exactly the case. Unfortunate as it was, that's life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holy Baseball Trades Batman

"I got traded to a winner. REJOICE!"

Earlier this week, the Royals and Rays pulled off an "out of nowhere trade" swapping James  Shields and Wil  Myers (among others). Not to be outdone, another mediocre at best AL Central team went and made their own blockbuster trade. And oh, did they ever trade. Word leaked onto twitter via the usual sources (Rosenthal, Heyman, Olney) that the Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks had completed a nine player trade sending personal secretaries into a maddening frenzy. Moving parts, moving trucks, moving animals. At least it's fun for us. Suckers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Resolving The Royals Rays Trade

Now that the dust has settled and knee-jerk Twitter comments basically reducing Dayton Moore to a sad clown of a GM have subsided (somewhat), the blockbuster deal doesn't look so terribly lopsided in the Rays favor. It's not like Moore completely scorched the Royals farm and salted the earth. Besides, if the Royals win the World Series after making this trade, giant fireballs will destroy the planet leaving all of these article pointless anyway.

About That Deal: Royals GM Dayton Moore finally got the ace of his Hot Stove pitching triumvirate adding James Shields to Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie. And, oh, how will they rule the AL Central with the same power of Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. Along with two reasonably controlled seasons of Shields, the Royals are receiving starter/reliever/starter/? Wade Davis and a PTBNL or some sweet Tampa cash.

The Rays get a package of prospects led by minor league player of the year Wil Myers. Myers is a 22-year-old outfielder who hit 37 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012 and strikes out a bit/a lot. RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery and 3B Patrick Leonard also leave the Royals farm for Tampa Bay's.

Win Now Without Money: The Royals at least have an allowance but not enough to shop at major department stores. While they can afford starting pitchers like Santana, Guthrie, Bruce Chen and sometimes Gil Meche, the Royals just don't ever have elite guys like Zack Greinke. From 2007-2012, Shields is 13th in MLB with a 23.4 fWAR. And a respectable 3.80 ERA. The Royals will pay him around $22 million for two years before Shields hits free agency. He gives them a front line pitcher to go with a young and currently inexpensive core of position players. The Royals will give Davis another rotation look after he excelled in the pen.

The Rays, taking a page from my book, have no money. But they're crafty. Thanks to good drafts and smart trades, the Rays can replace (to an extent) Shields in the rotation with Chris Archer, Alex Cobb or even Odorizzi. While Davis was great in his bullpen role, the Rays have a history of procuring prolific pen pieces. Adding Myers, at first glace, looks like another steal. Myers will likely start the year in right field for the Rays and make preseason Rookie of the Year lists. In classic Rays style, Myers will be dirt cheap for a few years and under control for six. Same with Odorizzi and Montgomery who isn't quite the prospect he used to be.

Then There's The Uncertainty: Dave Cameron nails it. But in summary, yeah, there's uncertainty. As Royals-side trade supporters point out, prospects can fail. This is news to me and I will ask Brandon Wood if it's true the next time he bags my groceries at what I assume is his winter job. Wil Myers could be a bust. His name is spelled incorrectly after all. Or he could be an All Star, next season.

The same Royals defenders (okay, it's mainly Jeff Passan) claim Kansas City is getting a "known quantity" in Shields. Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Tim Lincecum, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are all ahead of Shields on that fWAR from 2007-2012 leader board. Uncertainty is a dish best served cold. Wait, that's not it. Cameron's point, that I borrowed, is uncertainty doesn't only exist at the prospect level.

Concerns: Shields has a career 3.33 home ERA and 4.54 road ERA. Jeff Francoeur will continue to get playing time in the Royals outfield.

Myers' strikeout percentage jumped to 20.9% as he did to Double-A in 2011. It jumped again to 27.6% in Double-A in 2012 before "coming down" to 22.3% in Triple-A.

Conclusion: N/A

Sunday, December 9, 2012

RA Dickey is an Oxymoron

We expect baseball players to do things like, have a training day with the New York City Fire Department or, Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for human trafficking in India. What we don't expect from baseball players is to find out that they are avid readers of C.S. Lewis or that they own a copy of Life of Pi. These findings destroy stereotypes. Ball players are jocks. Period. They gather around in a circle, jump up and down, put there hands in the middle and yell "WIN!" They don't get together in a corner and engulf themselves in books with titles like The Weight of Glory. It's not natural. 

But then R.A. Dickey had to go on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hall of Fame Case: Royce Clayton

Who's getting into the Hall of Fame this year? With how stacked the ballot is, it should've been a slam dunk. But syringes, cocktails and creams have changed that. Some players like Barry  Bonds and Roger  Clemens will still most likely be enshrined one day. Others like Mike  Piazza, who might've had to wait a couple years, will probably be first ballot entries. And Jack  Morris is happier than a pig in shit because his borderline case looks really good with 'roiders on the ballot.

These players don't need my help. Or yours. There are others.

Royce Spencer Clayton is one of those others.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A-Rod Has Another Bum Hip

Alex Rodriguez's hips are aching again which either means it's about to rain or we get six more weeks of winter. The 37-year-old shell of a superstar isn't gracefully sauntering into the sunset of his Hall of Fame career. It's more like an awkward and painful limp to the finish. A gimp gait to retirement, if you will. Now comes the news that A-Rod will have surgery on his good, left hip that will likely sideline him for half of the 2013 season. He already had the right hip repaired several years ago. I'm not board certified but it appears the weight of his wallet has destroyed the joints in both his right and left, lower middle. But let's go to the block quotes for a second opinion...

A-Rod will undergo surgery on his left hip to repair a labral tear, the same procedure he had on his right hip in March 2009, according to sources familiar with his case. The surgery will take place in January and will be performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly from the Hospital for Special Surgery rather than Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the first procedure in Vail, Colo. in 2009.

A-Rod isn’t expected to play until June or July, costing him three to four months of the 2013 season. Rodriguez turns 38 in July.
Right. *taps clipboard* Basically what I said. If Rodriguez was a German shepherd, they'd probably just put him down at this point.

Rodriguez hit 18 home runs and .272/.353/.430 for a 2.0 bWAR, the worst of his career in a full(ish) season. Hey, Derek Jeter only had a 2.1 bWAR so..there's..$46,000,000 of the Yankees 2012 payroll. Rodriguez will make $29 million for his half of 2013 and $119 million if he makes it through 2017. Maybe A-Rod will remember to lift his blocks of gold with his knees next time.

This news leaves the Yankees with a hole at third base. Not that ole no hips was exactly zipping around the hot corner. Too bad Wilson Betemit signed that two-year deal with the Orioles last season, said nobody. The free agent third base market is weak which should spark the Chase Headley trade rumors in 3, 2, 1...

Also disappointing? The Post's "Hip, Hip, Oh No!" headline. I hold you to higher (lower?) pun standards than that.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Trout Jersey Sells Big on eBay, MTD is Beside Himself

Poor MJ. Mike Trout's offseason for him has been the equivalent to that one Christmas where his parents promised him a new ride and surprised him with a one month bus pass. Next stop, the bar.

First, Trout got snubbed in the Gold Glove Award voting (Adam Jones? Really?). Luckily, the BBWAA got something right and unanimously voted Trout as the Rookie of the Year. Then they undid all that good in the MVP vote. Furniture, mirrors, stoneware, nothing was safe. Many hours of therapy, along with the viewing of this video, had Mr. Lloyd almost back to normal. Almost.

Atlanta Braves Burn Money, Sign B.J. Upton

Give a General Manager a blank check, and he'll most likely waste it on a player with hype. The Atlanta Braves and B.J. Upton agreed to a five year $75.25 million contract (pending a physical), skewing the market and all but assuring that Michael Bourn will probably now get the $100 million contract that he is seeking. At the same exact moment, Tinker Bell died. Well played Mr. Wren, well played.
(AP) Paid, homey.

It's not Upton's fault. He wasn't going to go into the negotiation and say "I don't know Frank, $75.25 million? you realize that I hit .246 last year right?" B.J. is getting paid and most bloggers will be ecstatic because now we can break out the "overpriced fellatio" jokes that we have been dying to use. So maybe a small amount of thanks is in order on our part. That feeling quickly disappears when the idea of signing an outfielder at some point in the future crosses our minds and we think, "Damnit, Upton got $75.25 mil. What the hell is it going to take next year to sign Carlos Gomez?"