What You Overlooked About the Texas Rangers

by Shaun

Coming into the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, the Texas Rangers were undersold.  They were undersold because of their starting pitching.  Their second- and third-best starting pitchers (C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis) are almost as good as the Yankees’ best starting pitcher (C.C. Sabathia), or at least they are in 2010.  This should have been obvious to every avid baseball fan, at least, and we shouldn’t be surprised that the Rangers hold a 3-games-to-1 lead as I write this.

Let’s look at some numbers that tell us about underlying performance, shall we.

Here are the 2010 FIP’s (Fielding Independent Pitching on an ERA scale, from FanGraphs.com) for Cliff Lee, Sabathia, Lewis and Wilson:

Lee: 2.58

Sabathia: 3.54

Lewis: 3.55

Wilson: 3.56

Lee’s FIP was the second-best in all of baseball.  Clearly he’s the best starting pitcher we’ll see in this series.  But it may come as a surprise that Sabathis, Lewis and Wilson were essentially equal at least in terms of FIP.

Here are their 2010 WAR’s (Wins Above Replacement, again from FanGraphs):

Lee: 7

Sabathia: 5.1

Wilson: 4.4

Lewis: 4.4

Sabathia has a bigger edge in WAR than in FIP but it’s still closer than most fans probably realize.  The gap between Lee and Sabathia is greater than the gap between Sabathia, Wilson and Lee.  Lee let major league pitchers in WAR, Sabathia was 13th and Wilson and Lewis were tied at 18th with Dan Haren.  No other Yankees pitcher was in the top 35 while the Rangers had three pitchers in the top 18.

Here are their ERA+ (ERA adjusted for league and parks, this from BaseballReference.com):

Lee: 130

Sabathia: 134

Wilson: 129

Lewis: 116

Things are a little more bunched up here.  Sabathia looks better here than he does in the other statistics we’ve looked at, actually out-shining Lee.  But this stat is based on ERA, and ERA is influenced by defense and luck.  While ERA+ takes into account league and parks, it does not account for defense and luck.  So it is not a great measure of the fundamental, underlying performance level of a pitcher; it’s much more results-based than performance-based.

Cliff Lee is obviously head-and-shoulders above any pitcher we’ve seen or will see in the ALCS and quite possibly in the playoffs.  But the Rangers have two other starters that are almost as good as any starter their ALCS opponent has or will throw at them.  Many probably overrated the bigger names of Sabathia and Pettite and overlooked the 2010 performances of CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis.  But name recognition doesn’t always mean more talent, at least not current talent level.

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541 Responses to “What You Overlooked About the Texas Rangers”

  1. Raul Says:


    However, I think this article would have been more interesting before the ALCS. Right now the Yankees are about 3 hours away from elimination.

    There are questions about FIP, but I’d rather not turn every article into a stats debate.

    My opinion is that the Yankees simply aren’t hitting. Cliff Lee is one thing, but watching the games, I see absolutely nothing special about CJ Wilson or Colby Lewis.

    Certainly the Yankees haven’t pitched as well as they could have. But part of me is leaning heavily towards blaming that on the Yankees catchers. (Yes, I know there are people who don’t really think catchers have much impact on pitching — but I do)

  2. ShaunPayne Says:

    Yeah, I know. I honestly did say the same things before the ALCS. Didn’t get a chance to write it before. I know that’s easy for me to say in hindsight. But even if the Yankees were up 3-1 and even if they come back, I don’t think that changes anything about Wilson and Lewis being closer to Sabathia than many realize.

    I also said before the series that I could see the Yankees’ offense carrying them and more or less winning it for them. But I thought it would be harder for the Yankees against the Rangers’ starters than it would be for the Rangers against the Yankees’ starters. I just don’t think the Yankees pitching is that talented at this point. Sabathia is great but he appears to be declining some. Hughes is not quite there yet. Pettite is definitely past his prime. And we all know Burnett is the shakiest of them all.

    Wilson and Lewis aren’t Cy Young material but it was clear to me coming in that they would give the Rangers a fighting chance more so than every Yankees’ starter not named Sabathia would for them.

    Plus it’s odd that Girardi seems to be unwilling to throw his best relievers. Sergio Mitre and David Robertson have more innings than Kerry Wood, Mariano Rivera and Boone Logan. Oh, that’s right. Set-up men and closers can only be used when you have a lead and you have to overplay the platoon match-ups. Part of the unwritten rules of baseball; you have to rely on convention and tradition more than sound strategy.

  3. ShaunPayne Says:

    Raul, I can’t see that any Yankee pitcher performed drastically different than we would have expected had they been throwing to other catchers. And the Yankees won 3 consecutive World Series with Posada. What happened? Did he all of the sudden forget how to call a game? Unless you have good reason to believe someone else should be blamed, you should probably blame the person actually performing the task, seems to me.

  4. ShaunPayne Says:

    Raul, also, how do you “see absolutely nothing special about CJ Wilson or Colby Lewis.” Well, I guess that depends on what you mean by “special.” I don’t think they are destined for the Hall or anything but they are good. But any objective observer should be able to see that they were fairly close to Sabathia in 2010, a lot closer than many fans probably realize. Maybe if you had watched them and Sabathia throughout 2010, you would have seen that.

  5. Cameron Says:

    Sabathia had an edge in ERA and Ks in 30 more innings of pitching. Still, Lewis and Wilson were a good combo and I can way that their numbers were similar to CC’s, but not as good. These guys make Texas a lot more solid than New York in the rotation.

    Also, quick trivia bit. What do these players have in common?

    Allie Reynolds
    Johnny Vander Meer
    Nolan Ryan
    Roy Halladay
    Virgil Trucks

  6. Mike Felber Says:

    This article is a reminder of how flawed ERA + can be. I would be interested in questions about FIP Raul, if you have the inclination. I wonder just how off ERA + tends to be. Certainly does not seem as accurate as OPS +, though wOPS + is best.

    It really is foolish not to use your best relievers in high leverage situations. And would it be hard to get closers to throw, say 30 more IP a year & still be about as effective? That would be about 50% more innings, & would mean 1-2 more wins a year for a good-excellent reliever.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Hamilton’s homer off CC in Game One was clearly Posada’s fault.

    I don’t think he pays attention anymore, I just looks to me he randomly drops fingers and whatever happens, happens.


  8. Raul Says:

    Well Shaun,

    Posada winning 3 titles 10 years ago is one thing. The Yankees had better hitters. Not necessarily power hitters, but better overall hitters. They could come through. And guys like Cone, Wells, El Duque and Pettitte were pitchers – not throwers. They knew how to hit spots and change speeds.

    But with regard to which pitchers could be better without Posada? Phil Hughes comes to mind. Over the season you see plenty of pitches poorly received by Posada that completely change the count and situation and strategy. He also calls odd pitches in odd situations. This isn’t new. It’s one of the reasons Mike Mussina clashed with him all the time.

    When I say that there isn’t anything special about CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis, it’s that they don’t have the stuff that should shut down teams the way they apparently have done with the Yankees. They’re around the plate, and the numbers may say they had seasons similar to CC Sabathia, but CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis are not even in Sabathia’s league. To paraphrase Pulp Fiction, they shouldn’t even in the same friggin sport.

    If CJ Wilson Colby Lewis had to face Tampa, Boston, Toronto and Baltimore this season their numbers would look a lot differently. In fact, their numbers were pretty awful against those teams this year. Sabathia, meanwhile, looked great against those teams.

  9. Hossrex Says:

    I’ve not noticed any GLARING problems with ERA+ (usual caveats apply… use it in context, use it with other stats, make sure you compare it to innings pitched, etc).

    The data spread is certainly more narrow with ERA+, but it still pretty much works out to “bad” starters being in the high 80’s/low 90’s… “good” starters are almost always between 100 and 110… and “great” pitchers should spend either a short career around 130, or a long career around 120 (keeping in mind that’s a “bad” pitcher who’s able to stay in the league… so not THAT bad… and I’m only talking about starters since *EVERY SINGLE* rate stat is utterly useless when evaluating relief pitching).

    In general, I would say its far more likely that Cliff Lee is a good yet inconsistent pitcher who’s ERA+ of 112 represents his abilities as a pitcher… than it is that Adam Dunn’s OPS+ of 133 accurately represents HIS abilities as a batter.

    Also… love the articles about how a team is surprisingly good… a day before they clinch to go to the world series… just like actual PROFESSIONAL sports writing!

  10. Raul Says:

    By the way, A-rod should have had that ground ball. As it stands, we’re 1st and 2nd with 1 out.

    Sabathia gives up a single to Francoeur, and now it’s bases loaded.
    But I guess A-rod’s defense won’t show up in the box score

  11. Raul Says:

    Ok, Sabathia just threw an 0-2 slider outside that was a strike to Matt Treanor. It should have been down and in but Posada sucks and his reaching made the ball look like it was far out of the zone.

    THAT’S what I’m talking about.

    Those are the types of things that people don’t understand about how catching influences a game.

  12. Mike Felber Says:

    You jus; wanted to use that line Raul! I can believe that Sabaitha is clearly better, but is it so hard to believe that those guys were close to CC for this year?

    I agree with everything you say Hoss, except I think that ERA + has a fair amount of divergence from real performance in any given year. And for some it is significant over a career. The problem is mainly how much good or bad defense changes the rating. Unearned runs are a smaller question. But a pitcher with a great or porous defense-range is the biggest factor-can easily get 1/2 run or so too much or little credit per year.

    Dunn is a good example of OPS + overrating a batter. Due to his great # of Ks & his relatively higher slugging. wOBP would be better. But as is, I would ‘dock’ Dunn ~10 OPS + points compared to an average slugger. Interesting, B-R WAR (uses Total Zone) has his fielding as below average, but truly terrible just last year. Only if he regresses to that level-unless he can DH-would Big Donkey be done.

  13. Cameron Says:

    I just realized…

    I have no idea why CC Sabthia’s such a good pitcher. I mean, the dude’s a lock for about 230-240 innings of 3.00 ERA ball, but what is it that does it? As far as I know, he doesn’t exactly throw the fastest or hardest-breaking pitches. He’s just good. Why is it?

  14. Raul Says:

    Because he can dial up his fastball to 95-96 when he needs to.
    He’s got a good change-up to right-handers, and he’s been able to backdoor his slider for strikes.

    That’s why he’s good.

  15. Shaun Says:

    If a pitcher doesn’t throw what he wants to throw, it’s his fault…period. If a pitcher knows a pitch is going to get crushed, he’s just as much at fault for not shaking the catcher off as is the catcher for calling the wrong pitch. It really is that simple. Anyone who disagrees is biased towards pitchers. A pitcher should know himself and his pitches better than any catcher. A pitcher is not a slave to catchers. A pitcher is his own man. If he doesn’t throw the pitch that he wants to throw and that he thinks is best, it’s his own fault. I don’t see how any reasonable, halfway intelligent person can think otherwise. But so many just want others to think they are reasonable and halfway intelligent so they make up things like trying to convince us that pitchers are slaves to catchers.

  16. Hossrex Says:

    Because Sabathia is a very good lefty. For any lefty, the majority of his plate appearances against will be favorable match-ups. This means mediocre lefties have a bit of an advantage over otherwise identical righties.

    CC is simply a very effective pitcher who happens to have the advantage over a statistically significant number of batters.

    The problem is even good lefties generally get completely owned by good lefty batters.

  17. Mike Felber Says:

    That sounds a bit harsh Shaun. Someone need not think that Pitchers are catcher’s b*tches (could not resist the ring of that, sorry), or even favor pitches, to believe that the 2 share responsibility for pitch selection. Since the catcher initiiates it, IF a catcher is constantly using poor judgment, it is hard for a hurler, & hard on their relationship, to always shake him off.

    Also, it is not an exact science, & a pitcher should also have some humility & consider other’s opinions. So it is natural even a confident pitcher will try to compromise sometimes, & who wants to spend all their time fighting to get their pitch selection approved? So while they should speak up for their inclinations, the dynamic also means that a bad catcher takes much of the blame for a poorly called game.

    It is not a strength to not see how reasonable, intelligent people can & do see things differently. Unless we are talking about something like a pro-zombie cannibal rapist lobby. Though clearly there could be significant overlap & synergy between the 1st 2 groups….

  18. Lefty33 Says:

    “A pitcher should know himself and his pitches better than any catcher.”

    “A pitcher is not a slave to catchers.”

    I agree with everything you have written except for these two statements Shaun.

    A whole lot of pitchers are not very intelligent.

    (You know the term, “Million Dollar Arm, Ten Cent Head”)

    And there is also a reason why with the exception of Girardi, catchers almost always make the best coaches and managers. It’s because usually they are the smartest guys on the field.

    Read the John Feinstein book about the season where he followed around Glavine and Mussina.

    It is a good read into two very different pitching styles.

    Glavine, who only completed high school, was for his whole career a slave to the catcher, as you call it, and by his own admission in the book would go along with whatever was called 99% of the time without fail. He went into starts with his game plan and regardless of his stuff that day he never deviated from it win, lose, or draw.

    Mussina, who graduated from Stanford, would practically call his own game and while in NY would shake off Posada more than he would go with what was called.
    In the bullpen before every start he would evaluate which of his six pitches was “on” that day and then mostly just feature those and leave the rest out of his repertoire for that start.

    You also need to understand Shaun that a lot of teams teach pitchers to be slaves to the catcher. Now granted it was a few years ago, but when I pitched in the Reds organization you were taught to follow what the catcher called at all times.

    They wanted you to focus on executing the pitch you were throwing and not worry about trying to over think and strategize on the mound. That was the catcher’s job.

    Other organizations no doubt were/are different.

  19. Jim Says:

    The thing that impresses me about CC is that when he’s on, which is most games, is how consistent he is with his arm slot and release point. He has very good stuff and he regularly commands it and that’s why he’s so successful.

  20. Raul Says:

    2 things, Shaun…

    1. Pitchers will sometimes throw what they want to throw. But they’ve got enough problems trying to execute pitches. Mostly it’s the catcher that dictates strategy. I really don’t want to come across as condescending, but pretty much anyone who plays baseball knows this.

    2. None of your reply addresses the fact that some catchers are poor at receiving the baseball, which affects the complexion of an inning or game. Clear example above about Posada poorly framing a 3rd strike to Treanor in the 6th. That should have been the end of the inning. Instead, bases were loaded, which changes the defense, and strategy to the next batter. It also led to 12 more pitches for Sabathia that inning.

    Catchers have a big impact on the game that doesn’t always show up in the box score. They aren’t negligible position players you can just cast aside and put blame and credit on pitchers and fielders.

  21. Cameron Says:

    So, from what I’ve gathered, CC does the little things well. Sounds about right.

    Also, here’s something I heard that made me laugh. To paraphrase:

    Billy Beane isn’t a genius. He gets credit for emphasizing on-base percentage over batting average and liking guys who take walks. This isn’t news. Ever since little league, we’ve been hearing parents yell that a walk’s as good as a hit. My dad wasn’t a genius then, Billy Beane isn’t a genius now. Next we’re gonna hear the coaches saying they want to build a team around pitchers, not belly-itchers.

  22. John Says:


    I’m not Beane’s biggest fan and I think he got a lot of credit that was really due to great finds by other guys, most specifically the big 3.

    1. Beane didn’t write moneyball.
    2. Lots of gms have no understanding for OBP at all. Ned Colletti gave Juan Pierre 45M and he’s poor at getting on base.
    3. A .270/.380 guy will go for way less than a .320/.380 guy. The latter is more valuable but the former is always a better bargain. This is what Beane got credit for, not discovering obp in a computer.

    Posada sucks. That is all.

  23. Cameron Says:

    I know John. I like the discoveries and think he’s good, but the message was basically saying, “He’s using crap we heard every day in little league to make a team.”

  24. John Says:

    As I’m reading this, Shaun, do the respective FIPS of these guys imply that New York has a stronger defense than Texas?

    Like, that can’t possibly be true.

    Teixeira probably has the edge over the clusterfuck of gentlemen that have manned 1B for the Rangers this year.

    OF is basically a wash.
    2B: Not honestly sure. Cano’s fine. Kinsler’s fine. As far as I can tell.

    3B: Michael Young >> A-Rod
    SS: Elvis Andrus >>>>>>>> Jeter
    C: Molina and others >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>(passes out) >>>> Posada.

    Any time a stat is relient of fielding metrics, you’ve got to figure that it’s going to be flawed. Pure and simple.

    Great to see you on here again though!

  25. John Says:

    “He’s using crap we heard every day in little league to make a team”

    And yet, for the longest time, people with .290 OBP’s regularly hit leadoff because they could run fast. And they murdered their offenses.

    People who hit .300 also got grossly overpaid compared to guys who hit like .282, even though substantively there’s not a giant difference and if the other guy walks a lot more, he’s probably the better hitter.

    Maybe Beane isn’t a genius, but other GM’s are certainly dumb.

  26. Cameron Says:

    Kinsler’s good, but I think Cano’s had a good year with the leather. So yeah. Texas is better on defense unless you count the outfield, where you have Brett Gardner, who’s proving to be an excellent defensive player and Granderson, who’s still able to track balls down well, then Yankees have the advantage.

  27. Raul Says:

    Damn it, Fox and Cablevision need to fix this crap because I’ve missed nearly every game of the NLCS except yesterday’s.

  28. John Says:


    The Rangers have a significant edge over the Yankees at the two most important defensive positions. I guess Granderson is better than Hamilton/Bourbon in CF, but I have a hard time that the Rangers weak spots have been allowing more runs than Jeter/Posada/Arod.

  29. Chuck Says:

    Bryce Harper’s first “pro” atbat.

    Pop to short.

    On the first pitch.

    After a leadoff double.

    Gotta take a strike, bra, this ain’t high school.

  30. John Says:

    chya bra.

  31. Chuck Says:

    Is that a Chia Pet knockoff?

  32. Jim Says:

    Raul, you’re missing a good game.

    Damn Posey is good.

  33. John Says:

    no, that’s how people who say “bra” say “yeah”

  34. Chuck Says:


  35. Cameron Says:

    Cha, bra. What’s with gramps here not gettin’ it?

    …To be fair though, I had a moment where I felt old today. I was listening to a classic rock station and realized that I was older than a song they were playing. Stuff from my childhood’s now “classic”.

  36. Chuck Says:

    What were you listening to, Cam, NSYNC?

  37. Cameron Says:

    Nah. Black Crowes. Good band, but I have a hard time accepting stuff from the 80s on my classic rock station, these guys are from the 90s.

  38. Mike Felber Says:

    Black Crowes are classic due mainly to their style being very much in the mode of blues rock from around the early ’70’s, esp. the stones then. They got criticized for being derivative, which was nonsense. If a band played in a hip current style, they were/are not called copycats-but they are equally shaped by a style, & more so formed by what is conventionally accepted.

    Though do not worry, we (& everyone) will soon enough be old! If we are lucky.

  39. Mike Felber Says:

    More on Dunn: he will be 31 later this year, & already has 354 HRs. His HR rate has been very consistent for the last 7 years. He has a very good chance to be the worst overall player to hit 600 HRs. And especially if availing himself at the DL, he has a real shot at 700.

  40. Cameron Says:

    Classic style, yeah, but unless it’s their cover of “Hard to Handle”, I’m just gonna have some trouble to call it classic.

    And Dunn’s easily gonna smack 500, could go 600, and if he plays into his mid-40s, I’ll say 700. Still, he may not be the worst. How one-dimensional was Sammy Sosa, and without the 50 and 60 homer seasons, would he even have 500, let alone 600?

  41. Cameron Says:

    Also, I think that if Ken Griffey Jr. stayed healthy when he went to the Reds he could have easily had 700 home runs in his career. Who knows? If he didn’t break his wrist in 95 he could’ve had just enough to where Barry Bonds would be catching up to him.

  42. Cameron Says:

    Think about it, he lost about 50 games a season to injuries in Cincy.

  43. Lefty33 Says:

    “Classic style, yeah, but unless it’s their cover of “Hard to Handle”, I’m just gonna have some trouble to call it classic.”

    No way Cameron. The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion is a 100% classic.

    A song like “Remedy” will be getting airplay on commercial radio fifty years from now.

    And to me on a side note, their HTH cover is awful. Stick to the original.

  44. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “Billy Beane isn’t a genius. He gets credit for emphasizing on-base percentage over batting average and liking guys who take walks. This isn’t news. Ever since little league, we’ve been hearing parents yell that a walk’s as good as a hit. My dad wasn’t a genius then, Billy Beane isn’t a genius now. Next we’re gonna hear the coaches saying they want to build a team around pitchers, not belly-itchers.”

    It fascinates me how CERTAIN some people are about Billy Beane and Moneyball… and yet they’ve quite obviously never read the book, OR had anyone properly explain it to them.

    Neither Moneyball, nor the philosophy of Billy Beane, has anything inherently to do with on base percentage whatsoever.

    His philosophy (and by extension, the theme of Moneyball) was to “exploit the deficiencies in scouting by focusing on under-appreciated aspects of baseball”.

    You may feel perfectly free to say whatever you want about his specific decisions or his results… but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the basic premise of Moneyball.

  45. Raul Says:


    You know what is undervalued in baseball today?

    I haven’t seen the Oakland A’s exploit THAT.

  46. Bob Says:

    Raul, did you see Dave Roberts exploit that!!!!!!!!!!! You’re gonna kick my ass, aren’t you

  47. Raul Says:

    LOL Bob, you’re a funny guy.

    It’s unlikely, but there’s still hope of a San Francisco vs. New York World Series.
    ….I can hope….

  48. Bob Says:

    San Fran looks good.

  49. Jim Says:

    Interesting article by Mike Schmidt (yes that Mike) as to why good hitters don’t in post season.


  50. Raul Says:

    LOL @ All 3 of them.

    Nice article by Schmidt.

  51. Shaun Says:

    John, to reply to your post #24, FIP stands for fielder-independent pitching. It takes into account things the pitcher has some control over; things like homers, strikeouts, walks, hit-by-pitch. It basically comes out of the idea that a batted ball that finds the hole between the shortstop and thirdbaseman and a batted ball that ends up in the glove of a shortstop or thirdbaseman aren’t all that different as far as what a pitcher does is concerned.

    The pitchers’ FIP’s don’t necessarily tell us which team has the better defense. It just tells us more fundamentally what these pitchers did than some other stats.

  52. Shaun Says:

    I think some are misunderstanding. I’m not saying Sabathia isn’t good or that Sabathia is worse than Wilson or Lewis. I’m saying CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis are good, and were closer to Sabathia this season than people realize. This article wasn’t meant to be a knock on Sabathia. It’s just meant to show you that Lewis and Wilson are pretty darn good, too.

    Raul and Chuck, so the idea that catchers have a great deal of influence on pitching is based largely on framing pitches? How many times do you think framing pitches makes a difference in whether a pitch is called a strike or a ball? And how many catchers that have worked their way up to the majors do you think are completely incompetent when it comes to framing pitches? Seems you don’t think highly of major league catchers. Seems like they are responsible for all the world’s ills.

  53. Chuck Says:

    “Raul and Chuck, so the idea that catchers have a great deal of influence on pitching is based largely on framing pitches?”

    And you’re asking me, why?

  54. Raul Says:

    Catchers have an influence on pitching because they tend to dictate strategy, receive the ball, and are largely responsible for managing the opposition’s running game. In some instances, they’re responsible for defensive positioning.

    All of that influences pitching effectiveness.

    How many catchers are incompetent at framing pitches? I don’t know. I just know that I watch the Yankees a lot, and have over the years, and Posada is very bad at it.

    Off the top of my head, what catchers do I think were good at framing pitches? Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Varitek, Jason Kendall, Brad Ausmus and all of the Molina brothers.

  55. Raul Says:

    How many times do I think framing pitches has an effect on whether a pitch is a strike or ball? Depends on the pitcher sometimes.

    A guy like Cliff Lee who lives on the corners? It’s huge for him.
    A guy like Felix Hernandez? Probably not as much.

    I would guess Posada screws about 7-10 pitches per game for Yankees starters and relievers. But it’s the extra pitches they have to throw because of it that really hurts the team.

  56. Raul Says:

    I don’t know, Shaun.

    I get the feeling you don’t think very highly of any catchers unless they’re slugging .530

  57. Shaun Says:

    Raul, I agree catchers influence the opponent’s running game, blocking balls, preventing wild pitches and passed balls, etc. which all relate to run prevention. I don’t think the difference between the best and worst game-callers at the major league level is a large difference; a big reason for that is that pitchers are responsible for what they throw and where they throw it. Maybe a pitcher doesn’t dictate what he wants to throw on every pitch but it’s definitely on the pitcher to communicate his game plan to the catcher so that the catcher thinks along with him. A catcher’s primary job is to catch the pitches, keep the running game in check and do everything in his power to prevent passed balls and wild pitches. Most of game-calling and pitch selection is on the pitcher.

    Also, I don’t think you can blame the Yankees’ pitchers on their catching because there is really not one pitcher on the Yankees’ staff this season who drastically underperformed what we would reasonably expect if they had been throwing to different catchers.

  58. Jim Says:

    Shaun, regarding the effect of catchers, late in the season a Boston baseball writer did the digging to compare the 2010 performance of RS pitchers when Varitek caught and when Martinez did. IIRC, except for Buchholz all Boston starters and the heavily used relievers had better numbers with Varitek catching than with Martinez and in the case of Dice-K markedly so. This would be consistent with Tek’s reputation as being an outstanding defensive catcher (throwing excluded) and that pitchers love to throw to him.

    Whether its framing the pitch, game calling, knowledge of the hitters a catcher with whom the pitcher has confidence in helps him be better. In many ways Posada is an outlier among catchers in that he is so obviously bad and the only reason he plays is that his bat is so good at the position.

  59. Mike Felber Says:

    Classic = style & durable appeal. So while the latter is speculative, there is more than enough evidence that those Crowes albums easily qualify, even on the latter standard.

    I do not agree on Sosa Cameron. Yes, he depended on his big HR seasons for his 609-which would not matter except they were clearly PED fueled. I am as critical as anuyone about that, & he would not be a HOF caliber player without them. But the question was who would be the worst 600 HR player. His peak was way higher than Dunn’s & he actually was not a 1 dimensional player. He BECAME one, because of drugs 7 likely the normal effects of aging-power is the last to go. But he fielded very well, & stole well too. Check out his stats:


    And as we have been discussing on this site, their version of WAR rates players like Sosa somewhat lower than others, WARP & win shares likely: if you do not walk often, like Sammy. But he was naturally much more well rounded than Dunn, & with PEDs exceeded anything Dunn has or likely will do in a season-especially ‘01.

    But Dunn does not need to play into his mid ’40’s to hit 700. He is averaging 40 per 162 game season for a career, & missing few games. What if he averages 35 for the next 5 years, then 30 for the next 5? Then he is at 679. Next year, at 41, he reaches 700.

    This is the best case scenario that is realistic, & it assumes a very consistent HR hitter declines, but not dramatically. I would give him ~ a 20% chance to do it in this 11 year scenario, & ~ a 1/3 chance to ever hit 700. And a 70% chance to hit 600. I think he will retain enough value to stick around a while. What do the rest of you think?

  60. Mike Felber Says:

    I think that while the battery cooperates, the catcher usually takes the lead on game calling, & only a few pitchers like Mussina usually shakes them off. And another reason why there is a significant difference in catchers at the ML level is it is very hard to get guys who are both very skilled at this most demanding position, smart, & decent hitters. And if you cannot get a good defensive catcher, you may settle for a very good hitting catcher who is minimally acceptable at the plate. Even to be a Posada or Piazza level defensive catcher is beyond most ML player’s capacity. Whaddya (done)thunk Chuck?

  61. Raul Says:


    I think we’re going to see players age in their mid-30s like they had before the Steroid Era. It’s probably very unlikely that we’ll see a bunch of 35-39 year old guys hit 30+ homers in a season. So I wouldn’t bet on Dunn to keep up that pace; especially as it doesn’t seem like he’s in tremendous shape.

    He’s also quite tall, and he could end up like Richie Sexson. A guy with great power but who couldn’t extend on the inside fastballs and ended up not hitting for enough average to warrant a spot in the line-up.

    Albert Pujols is 30 and is sitting at 408 homers. Barring major injury, he should get to about 520 homers or so. But all bets are off once he turns 34,35,36…I don’t see him getting to 700.

    Only Alex Rodriguez has a legitimate shot at 700 if he plays out his entire contract.

    The next young player with somewhat of a chance at 500, (600 will be hard) is probably Miguel Cabrera who’s 27 years old and has 247 homers.

  62. Raul Says:

    By the way,

    Ryan Braun is 26 and in his 4 seasons in the majors has hit 34, 37, 32, 25 homers (128 total).

    If he maintains that average for the next 6 seasons (through age 32), he’ll have about 320 homers. So it’s tough for him to get 500.

    Chuck’s boy, however, Mike Stanton…he hit 22 homers in 100 games as a 20-year old. That might be the guy you want to look at to reach 500-600 in his career.

  63. Chuck Says:

    The reason most players take steriods/PED’s isn’t statistical, it’s financial.

    Sosa was not a good player. Matter of fact, he was pretty horrible.

    “But he fielded very well, & stole well too.”

    No, he didn’t.

    His ability could no longer keep up with the game, and he was on the verge of being released, or at least traded.

    Steriods kept him in the game, and kept him earning a paycheck, which, because of his unnatural performance, led to an unnatural paycheck, and statistics.

    Sosa is not an exception to the rule, he IS the rule.

    Sosa, and not McGwire, is the poster child for what “cheating” can do for you.

  64. Lefty33 Says:

    “Most of game-calling and pitch selection is on the pitcher.”

    Sorry Shaun but that’s not even close to true.

    Like I told you in post #18, a lot of teams teach their pitchers from the beginning that the catcher is in charge and you follow what he wants done.

    A lot of times when the pitcher does shake the catcher off, it’s done more for the effect of making the hitter/baserunner think that something is changing than it is actually changing anything.

    Like I said read the book Shaun. Read how Glavine would not shake off anything from the catcher whether it was Piazza, Castro, Lo Duca or a no-name rookie.

    Just like Mussina would shake off anything, anytime and throw what he wanted except the rare situation when the pitch was called from the dugout.

    Unless a pitcher is amazingly smart like a Mussina or a Pedro and truly has full command they are not allowed to dictate the pitch selection.

  65. Lefty33 Says:

    “to communicate his game plan to the catcher so that the catcher thinks along with him.”

    Making a statement like that Shaun shows me that you have never been involved in Baseball at any kind of higher level.

    That’s not really how things work pre-game. I would have loved to have thought it was “my” game plan and that the catcher and pitching coach would just stand there like bobble-heads while I talked.

  66. Lefty33 Says:

    “I think that while the battery cooperates, the catcher usually takes the lead on game calling, & only a few pitchers like Mussina usually shakes them off.”


  67. John Says:

    “His ability could no longer keep up with the game, and he was on the verge of being released, or at least traded.”

    When are you saying Sosa started using?

  68. Bob Says:

    Thje Tigers and Brandon Inge agreed to a two-year extension, and the Yankees sent 2 guys to the minors to complete the Kerry Wood trade. Great trade for the Yankees.

  69. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s about the pitcher, catcher and pitching coach all talking about a game plan. If the pitcher doesn’t execute during the game, that’s his fault, not the catcher or the pitching coach’s. My point is that a vast majority of catchers who reach the major leagues are all capable of doing their part to help the pitcher as far as game-calling and pitch-selection is concerned. So if a pitcher fails it’s mostly on the pitcher himself or it’s just bad luck (balls finding holes, etc.). That’s likely why Glavine didn’t shake off catchers, because they already had discussed his game plan before the game and in Spring Training, etc. so the catcher could think along with Glavine fairly easily.

  70. Chuck Says:

    “When are you saying Sosa started using.”

    Before 1998.

  71. Chuck Says:

    When you see a pitcher on the mound shaking off, he’s not shaking of the pitch, but the location.

    “It’s about the pitcher, catcher and pitching coach all talking about a game plan.”

    Ever been in a pre-game meeting?

    (Rhetorical question)

    So, then how can you pretend to know what is discussed?

  72. Bob Says:

    ” Before 1998.” I was about to write the same thing. Plus the corked bat is part of his legacy.

  73. John Says:

    Well Sosa was certainly no where close to being cut after ‘97. His 171 K’s and 99 OPS+ left something to be desired, but his 5-year averages were .268/.321/.511, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 26 SB, and a 115 OPS+. Certainly not mind-blowing, but he was an above-average ML rightfielder at least, not “horrible.”

    Defensively, I always got the impression that he had some trouble going back on the ball, but his speed allowed him to play CF in a pinch.

    Steroids made him a borderline HOFer (if he hadn’t gotten caught). So yeah, he’s pretty much the rule.

    Or maybe the rule is someone like Jeremy Giambi, who wouldn’t have ever played MLB ball but, thanks to steroids, played 6 years and made 4 million dollars as a professional baseball player.

  74. Raul Says:

    Lefty and some of the other guys who’ve experienced minor league and major league ball can probably speak better about it, but my GUESS is that at that level, there’s some details around specific batters, but it’s a general game plan that’s left up to the catcher on an at-bat basis — and it changes according to the situation. Runners on….who’s on…the score…the types of swings taken, etc. At most, I think they discuss the first go-around through the order.

    I mean, it seems like Cliff Lee goes all fastballs early in the game, and breaks out the change-up and curve from the 5th inning on.

    You know how you want to approach Alex Rodriguez and Josh Hamilton. I don’t think they are incredibly specific with Bengie Molina and Brett Gardner.

    I just know that the times when I pitched, whatever the catcher put down, that’s what I was throwing. I realize some pitchers may not have confidence in a certain pitch, but if I knew how to throw it, I was fine whenever the catcher called it. I’m not gonna tell a coach or a catcher that I throw fastball, curve, slider…and then shake him off every time he calls for the slider.

  75. Raul Says:

    I’m not basing my belief in the importance of catchers on my limited experience. I didn’t mean for it to come across that way.

    I’m just saying that catchers can have a significant impact on the outcome of a game.

    For example, you can have a guy who throws 98mph. But if the catcher calls for a 1-2 fastball inside to a fastball crusher (think…Gary Sheffield), and it goes out of the park…that’s the catcher’s fault. At least to me.

    Remember in Major League 2, when Vaughn is talking to the psychiatrist?

    “Why did you throw him the 0-2 fastball when everyone knows he’ll chase the curveball in the dirt?”

    “I already threw him 2 curveballs, the 2nd one he hit 430 feet foul.”

    “Better than 520 feet fair!”


  76. Shaun Says:

    Raul, my point is that if the catcher calls a ridiculously bad pitch, it’s just as much the pitcher’s fault than the catcher’s fault if the hitter crushes that pitch. Also, in the major leagues it’s rare for a catcher to call for a pitch that he blatantly shouldn’t have called for. On the rare occasion that it happens, the pitcher has to know to shake him off or it’s just as much the pitcher’s fault. Both the pitcher and the catcher have to know how they want to work to certain batters. Some seem to claim that it’s only the catcher’s responsibility.

  77. Cameron Says:

    You do realize that if they call for a pitch that bad, the pitcher can just tell him no and ask for another pitch. Jorge knows more than one sign. He has to, you can’t catch Mo all day.

  78. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, exactly! It’s just as much the pitcher’s fault (I would argue more the pitcher’s fault than the catcher’s) if a horrible pitch (in terms of pitch selection) is thrown.

  79. Mike Felber Says:

    Since the catcher overwhelmingly calls the game, & the Pitchers are understandably usually taught to trust their judgment, I would blame the catcher for a terrible pitch selection.

    Sosa had a down year in 97, & I agree with the poster boy for ‘roids claim. But as John said he was still good overall. In fact, he is a ‘roid case in another way: his defense had been quite good throughout his career-check the stats-& then he lost the range. Just like he he was good at stealing bases-the stats do not lie-but poor after a just decent 18-9 ‘98.

    Wow Raul, you really think Pujols will only get to 520 or so? I agree that folks will have a more normal performance curve un-juiced, but my #s figured in a decline. I have Dunn at ~ 50% for 650, though that could be slightly optimistic given your points. It would require about 30 for 10 years, Still, with Phat Albert at 408, given his discipline & much greater skills, you do not think he is at least 50% for 700?

    He has averaged 42 HRs per 162, & misses few games. He would need to average just over 29 for 10 years to reach 700. And if he is close especially, he could play past 40. When I look at the fairly recent, 70’s or so finishing, non-PED members of club 500-Robinson, Schmidt, Mays, Aaron, Jackson, Killebrew: they maintained their average HR level, on average, until right about 37. Then produced at a somewhat lower rate for a few years.

    So let us forget about Pujols having better training behind him. Why would it be at all generous to say he should average 35 through age 35, then average 24 until 40? That would put him at 703, without playing after 40.

    You do not think he has an good chance of doing this?

  80. Hossrex Says:

    Wait… we’re arguing the value of catchers… AGAIN?

    Does it honestly never OCCUR to some of you that there might be game outside the box score? Or do you think about that, and quickly dismiss it because you find it bizarrely uncomfortable for some reason?

    You guys always say “no, we don’t need the WHOLE game the be perfectly quantified to appreciate it!”

    And then when someone points out to you that there might be more important aspects to catching than how well the person bats… the reply is always “show it with stats!”

  81. Shaun Says:

    Hossrex, my response is show me any reason to believe (with stats or anything else) that major league catchers are drastically different from one another with the same or similar pitchers in the way they call a game. Seems to me that most pitchers perform more or less the same even if the same pitcher pitches to different catchers at the major league level. Now game calling is probably important in little league or high school when some catchers are dramatically smarter or have much more knowledge of baseball than others. But in the majors the smart, knowledgeable catchers are the only ones who make it to the majors and the others have been weeded out.

    Basically your argument is that because we don’t need the whole game to be quantified to appreciate it, that means we should just trust that catchers matter without reason or evidence. How are the two related?

  82. Shaun Says:

    I didn’t bring up catchers. I’m simply trying to argue that Wilson and Lewis are almost as good as Sabathia.

  83. Chuck Says:

    ” Now game calling is probably important in little league or high school when some catchers are dramatically smarter or have much more knowledge of baseball than others.”

    Ahh, shit…

  84. Mike Felber Says:

    If you really think that Pujols will tank at ~ 520 HRs Raul, I wanna make wannna make a bet with you! That is only 28 for 4 years!! I am drooooling at the prospect of collecting, in, say, the better part of a decade! OK, how ’bout this:

    You say 520 or so, I say 50% at least for 700. I’ll meet you more than 1/2 way: if Pujols hits over 620 I win, under you win. Exactly 620 we treat a stranger. terms should be the usual: some kind of dinner. To be ratcheted up outrageously over the next few years.

    Has anyone ever bothered to collect or follow up on any of the puffery here about wagers? And while my final prize (or yours) will end up something along the lines of a palatial estate/Arabian Potentate/dot com gazillionaire…I’ll end up settling for a moderate priced dinner.

    No Tonya Harding treatments allowed!

  85. Raul Says:


    Players break down. It’s going to happen to Pujols sooner or later. I doubt he gets 600.

  86. Raul Says:

    Well, let me see what his next contract looks like. If he signs like an 8 year deal, I suppose it’s possible.

  87. Raul Says:


    Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson pitch in the AL West.

    They don’t face the line-ups of the AL East.
    Take a look at how CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis faced against the Redsox, Rays, Orioles and Yankees this year.

    Then take a look at how Sabathia fared against…well, everyone.
    They aren’t close to Sabathia. At all.

    I’m starting to wonder why the hell you make some of these outrageous claims.

  88. Raul Says:

    Let me be clearer.

    CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis had fine seasons. They aren’t scrubs. But they aren’t *close* to CC Sabathia.

  89. Bob Says:

    Mike, no way he hits 700. I doubt he reaches 660. And if Chuck lived in New England, I would have gladly brought him a meal, Japanesse or Italian. Then I could pick his brain. Although if he ordered sushi, I may have left the table and just consumed Long Iceland Iced Teas at the bar.

  90. Mike Felber Says:

    C’mon guys-make some kind of a case. of course people break down &/or performance declines-tell me WHY you disagree with my #s, which already figure in a significant decline for Pujols! Raul, sounds like you are hedging your (not yet technically) bet: including by saying “I doubt the gets 600″. Clearly, since you already said he would top out at 520 or so.

    So Bob, tell me exactly WHY Prince Albert “no way” gets 700. Some have considered him for the all time record. While that would be difficult, take 700: LOOK at my math & tell me why he should break down at a greater rate. WHY should “the Machine” break down or decline at a faster rate than all those other players I mentioned? Only if he is like Killer, not the others, certainly not Aaron, would he not be a decent bet to reach 700.

    God is in the details.

  91. Chuck Says:

    “And if Chuck lived in New England”

    I was born and raised in New England and lived there for 35 years. The only way I go back now is for weddings and funerals.

    Come out to Arizona, Bob. Joe DelGrippo is coming out in a couple of weeks and we’re going to hang out and see some Arizona Fall League.

    “God is in the details.”

    As long as he isn’t on this site.

  92. Bob Says:

    Mike, let us revisit this topic in 14 months. That way we know what type of contract he will get and what stadium he will be playing in 81 games a year. But in this post-Mitchell Report era I think his contract will be for fewer years than most people think it should be. I do not think any player over 30 will ever sign a contract longer than 5 years.
    Again, let us revisit this topic in a year. And we And you live in New York, correct? So if we bet, I will get my ass down to Port Authority and buy you a steak dinner with soup, salad, and dessert, but please, for safety reasons, no more than two drinks. And of course a cup of coffee after dinner!!!

  93. Raul Says:

    I just think players eventually get injured and their performance deteriorates.
    Pujols is what? 30?

    How many players did you think would probably hit 600 or 700 when they were 30, but didn’t?

    Probably a lot.

  94. Bob Says:

    I am assuming Fairfield County

  95. Raul Says:

    61* is on HBO.

    McGwire, Sosa, Bonds.

    Do you old timers still look at Maris as the king?

  96. Chuck Says:

    “Do you old timers still look at Maris as the king”

    Always did.

  97. John Says:

    Raul: “CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis had fine seasons. They aren’t scrubs. But they aren’t *close* to CC Sabathia.”

    For what it’s worth, you’re right. But I think for the wrong reason.


    According to this site, CC Sabathia actually had the lowest OPS of opponent’s (that is, how is opponents faired vs. people who weren’t him) in the AL. Wilson and Lewis were very close.

    Sabathia: .715
    Lewis: .717
    Wilson: .718

    So actually, all three of these guys faced relatively easy opponents. Yes, Sabathia pitches in the AL East, but remember that he doesn’t have to face the toughest offense…his own. Also, the Yankees had a relatively easy interleague schedule. The Rangers obviously play in the weakest offensive division in baseball.

    The reason Raul is right (and Shaun is a bit off-base)? Sample space. Sabathia has been good-great for about 5 straight years now, and consistently solid for pretty much his whole career. Also, he goes deep into games, racks up a lot of K’s etc. Wilson and Lewis both had terrific years. Over a larger span of time though, you know what you’re going to get with Sabathia and it’s great…not so much with the other guys.

    “I can’t think of no higher praise”

    Seriously McCarver. He was commenting on someone comparing Posey to Bench…seriously, learn English though.

    “Posey is the kind of kid who would sneak behind a barn to chew a piece of gum”



  98. Mike Felber Says:

    How many did I think would hit 6-700 at 30 & did not? None. Griffey took a nose dive then & still made it. I cannot think of any others I thought would hit that many. Yes, we have established that all things fall apart-the question is, how much on average, & what is this particular player’s prognosis. There is a fair chance he stops short of 700, but a good chance he makes it. One way to run the odds: find players who had around that # at his age, with his degree of consistency. Where did they end up? That is what I was getting at with looking at the more recent, yet unenhanced, 500 + club guys.

    Where do you think he will end up Chuck? Understanding that there is much uncertainty, if you had to bet?

    Bob, he already is not in an HR park. And it does not matter how long the contract is: if he wants a contract, barring some unusual devastating injury, he will almost certainly keep getting them. It would be unusual indeed if he would not re-up when productive at 35. Also, I would make another bet about no player over 30 getting an over 5 year contract…But it will be less common. Yet if a very valuable early 30’s player wants a long contract, he will likely still get it.

    That is very gracious of you Bob. Though if you win, the dinner’s on me. I’m like a kid in that I do not like alcohol much, nor coffee. But you can enjoy ‘em. I do regret that they do not have much of the big unlimited salad bars around anymore. Well, Ruby Tuesdays…not far from Port Authority.

  99. Mike Felber Says:

    I think he means Posey is a straight arrow.

    Re: God expression, it means that the glory & proof is in the details, necessary to establish anything. Not literally anything to do with the divine. When they say the same about the devil, it just means that the difficulty in accomplishing something good is in the details.

  100. Cameron Says:

    I could give Pujols an outside shot at 700. He’s only 30, his lowest season total is 32, has 6 seasons of 40+ homers and averages 42 a season and has 408 on his career.

    He’s never been on the DL once, either. I say he can do it, he’s got the stroke to hit 500 faster than A-Rod did.

  101. Mike Felber Says:

    All those specifics sound good Cameron-though it is 42 per 162 played-yet your good points seem to support something more than an outside chance at 700. He would have to slow down more than (y)our arguments suggest not to hit 700. Quite possible, not highly likely-which is what an “outside shot” implies.

    I would say he is as likely to hit 700 as Dunn is to hit early 600’s. Though they are not in the same ballpark as hitters…

  102. Raul Says:

    Maybe you’re right. Pujols is on an impressive streak of great seasons.
    I guess I’m just being pessimistic about this one.

    The guy could destroy his elbow in April and who knows where we’d be?
    Or maybe we find out he juiced and don’t care anymore?
    Or maybe he hits 50 homers for the next 5 years and they change his name to God Pujols?

    Who knows?

  103. Cameron Says:

    I said outside shot because once he goes into his mid-30s, anything could happen. Guys like Griffey had that kind of power and seemed to take a nosedive after 30, so me saying outside shot is my form of pessimism. I can’t make a fair adjustment, but I’d say it’d take him slowing down pretty significantly to take him to just a high-600.

    Then again, I saw a career simulation of him staying injury-free for the rest of his career and pretty much keeping his power at a consistent rate and finishing with over 800 home runs.

    …I’ve actually seen several sims like that.

  104. John Says:

    Someone forgot to tell Madson that he was facing the heart of the Giants’ order.

  105. John Says:

    Apparently Werth’s HR was just the third, all season by a RHH over the leftfield fence in San-Fran.

  106. Chuck Says:

    Mike, do you know Adam Dunn was a quarterback at the University of Texas? On a full scholarship?

    Is Albert Pujols a better baseball player than Adam Dunn?

    No question.

    Is Albert Pujols a better ATHLETE than Adam Dunn?

    When pigs fly.

    Where do you think he will end up Chuck? Understanding that there is much uncertainty, if you had to bet?”

    Two players in baseball history reached 700 career homers, and one of them cheated like a motherf*cker to do it.

    I think you 620 is a good guess, Mike. I see Pujols as a bad body guy who has probably taxed himself more than, say, a Mark Teixeira has, even though they play the same position and are the same age. Pujols may be 30, but his body’s 35, and not only do I not see him hitting his 700th career homer at age 38, I don’t see him being ACTIVE at age 38.

    “I would say he is as likely to hit 700 as Dunn is to hit early 600’s. Though they are not in the same ballpark as hitters…”

    Actually, Mike, in the context of this discussion (power), Pujols isn’t in Dunn’s “ballpark as a hitter.”

    Albert’s not a homerun hitter, he’s a great hitter who hits homeruns. As he gets older and his skills start to suffer, those 388.5 foot homers he hits will start to become doubles, whereas Dunn will always have the ability, with his swing, to create enough topspin and loft to keep hitting homers even as he ages.

    I think, in two, three years, Albert’s going to hit the wall, and hit it hard. I see another two or three, maybe four years of Albert production, then he’ll finish out his career impersonating Ty Wigginton.

  107. John Says:

    “Two players in baseball history reached 700 career homers, and one of them cheated like a motherf*cker to do it.”

    Try again

    “I think, in two, three years, Albert’s going to hit the wall, and hit it hard. I see another two or three, maybe four years of Albert production, then he’ll finish out his career impersonating Ty Wigginton.”

    I have several running bets going with you Chuck, and I would love to take you up on this one. What makes you think that Pujols’s production is going to fall that quickly?

  108. Chuck Says:

    “I have several running bets going with you Chuck”

    And by several, you mean one?

  109. Cameron Says:

    There could be one thing that Albert could do to get himself up the home run charts. He hits those balls with good power, but mainly gets them off great contact. I think if he tried to hit JUST 300 and stopped worrying about contact first adn went more of a Ryan Howard approach, no one would be safe. He’s in the same boat as Ichiro in that he could pretty much hit a home run on command, but the priority for them is to just put it in play.

  110. Mike Felber Says:

    I did NOT know that about Dunn Chuck. And the comparison in athleticism between the 2 is instructive. Actually, my guess is still at least 50% that he hits 700: the 620 was the over/under I am offering Raul. How has Pujols taxed his body so much? Why is he a “bad body”? Maybe these things are true & I just am not aware.

    Clearly in terms of pure power you are right. Though someone like Aaron did not hit them so far, & really kept up his skills until year 40. Likely you will say Aaron was not so battered, relied more on his wrist snap-but I would be surprised if the more muscular Albert could not keep the power in the proverbial ballpark-

    At least longer than you predict. It is a bold prediction indeed. Maybe my bet should be with you! But without predicting injury, you seem to feel Albert will be dominant ONLY through year 33. In fact, after that you feel he will be mediocre! For an uninjured, well conditioned modern athlete, is that not an unusual career trend to project? Can you be more specific re: what is so deficient about him, body or debilitation from playing, that has you figuring he will be done so (relatively) young?

    You did not say he will get hurt a lot like Griffey. Three reached 700, & while the 800 projections mentioned above seem unduly optimistic, he could stay good & decline like many others & hit 700. Recall the testing a little while back that Pujols had? he was given the battery of reflex, eye sight, reaction tests, etc that Ruth was ages ago, & both scored unusually high across the board. So it seems that he has great baseball specific skills, & Ruth, even with hard living (Though he took at least better care of himself later/with his 2nd wife) did not stop the power surge or have a huge decline until he was fat & 40.

    Yes, I know, he is not Ruth. But if Ruth & Aaron & others could stay good throughout their 30’s, one a wild livin’ type, the other absent modern conditioning: What on earth has Pujols been doing to debilitate himself so thoroughly that he will be worse than (a massively injured) Mantle was after 33?

  111. Cameron Says:

    I think it may be the elbow worries. I think he’s had surgery once or twice in it with multiple scrapings for bone chips. He’s not gone on the DL, but there’s worries.

    Plus, when is Chuck ever an optimist about anything? Don’t try and change his mind either. It’s fun to watch him be the board’s cranky old grandpa.

  112. Chuck Says:

    “Don’t try and change his mind either..”

    If you knew what I know, and have seen what I’ve seen..

    I’m the guy who thought Travis Lee would win a batting title.

    I’m the guy who thought Tim Alderson would be better than Madison Bumgarner.

    I’m as open minded as anyone, probably more so.

    You want to change my mind, it’s there for the taking.

    But if you think you can just by coming up with a bunch of Shaun-isms, think again.

  113. Chuck Says:

    Mike @ #110.

    Just an opinion, not really looking to debate anything.

  114. Cameron Says:

    Fair enough Chuck. All I can say about Pujols is I can’t, in good faith, make any sort of predictions about Albert Pujols. The guy’s done more in ten years than Joe DiMaggio did in a career. There’s pretty much no one I can use to makea fair comparison to the guy with.

    So I’ll only make one prediction I know I’ll get right. He won’t break Rickey Henderson’s stolen base title. Otherwise, I won’t be surprised at what he does.

  115. John Says:

    Chuck: “I’m the guy who thought Travis Lee would win a batting title…
    I’m as open minded as anyone, probably more so.”

    Haha. Is that an open mind, or just Travis Lee probably being done chasing batting titles?

    “How has Pujols taxed his body so much? Why is he a “bad body”? Maybe these things are true & I just am not aware.”

    I remember Pujols being extremely dinged up in 2006. I believe he was actually incapable of throwing a ball at some point that season.

  116. Mike Felber Says:

    Well Chuck is more than just grumpy often, & he can be gracious in volunteering mistakes. Have I ever seen him change his mind? That would be a challenge. ;-)

    I see how he has been hurt, though has not missed much time. I guess you did not mean intrinsically a bad body, but absorbed a lot of damage. It just seems a bit extreme to think he likely will be done as any kind of force in 2-3 years, 4 at the absolute utmost. Those who had these kinds of profiles overwhelmingly missed a lot of games in their 1st decades. Though even your assessment is 100 above Raul’s 520.

    You DO have me thinking how he could decline more than expected. But it still seems likely he can hit, even at DH, & he seems to have enough reserve power. Even if not “primarily” an HR hitter, he is still tied for 6th all time in HR %-without PEDs.

    Looking at the list, I se…Russell Branyan? At #14. few AB over the years, traded often-what is his deal?

  117. Cameron Says:

    Branyan rides this weird line of having too much power to be a bench bat, but not enough of a batting average/has no glove/gets hurt too much to be an every day player. He hit 30 homers for Seattle last year, but somehow ended up having to be low-balled by Cleveland because he doesn’t fit the profile of what any team was looking for.

    I think it’d be easier if he was a bit worse actually, then he wouldn’t have the expectations of multimillion dollar deals that 30 homer seasons get you.

  118. Mike Felber Says:

    A shout out to Killer: he did not get regular play until 23, did not dominate late, & was not multi-dimensional. Still, #9 all time in HR rate over approaching 10,000 PA. And 2 of those ahead of him were PED cases, 3 of 4 active players are 30 & will almost certainly end up behind him, AND he played in a pitcher’s era.

    So really, he will be easily #4 all time in HR %, in a tough HR era. Though it Seems The Met was conducive to this…

  119. John Says:

    Branyan can’t hit LH to save his life.

    Also, given the opportunity, he would chase down Mark Reynolds hallowed strikeout record, with a bit less power.

  120. Shaun Says:

    Raul, as John pointed out, check out opponent OPS. Sabathia, Lewis and Wilson essentially were all close in that category.

    John, you bring up a good point about sample size. But I think 2010 is enough of a sample to give an indication that Sabathia doesn’t have as big an edge over these guys as many think.

    Also, by nature this discussion is difficult because it’s hard to capture what “big edge” and “fairly close” mean. Basically what I was trying to do is to get people to realize that Wilson and Lewis aren’t scrubs and in fact could be at least number 2 starters on a lot of pretty good staffs. Is there really any doubt that Wilson and Lewis are clearly and noticeably better than any starter on the Yankees’ staff not named Sabathia?

    A bigger point that maybe I should have made more clear is that the Yankees only had a starting pitching edge in Sabathia’s starts. Lee is obviously the best starter in the series. Sabathia is the second best. But it’s not as if the rest of the starters in the series are all bunched up down below those two guys. Wilson and Lewis are fairly close to Sabathia and are clearly above all the other starters not named Lee and Sabathia; and that included Pettite and Hughes.

    I should have emphasized more the fact that Lewis and Wilson are clearly and noticeably better than Pettite and Hughes (and Burnett, although that’s probably more obvious). Maybe that should have been the focus of the article instead of Lewis and Wilson being reasonably close to Sabathia, although I do think that’s true.

  121. Raul Says:

    You give John credit for saying sample size is important, and then you say 1 season is enough of a sample size?

    I think Shaun is Mike Lupica.

  122. Chuck Says:

    Pujols is entering his age 31 season, and has already played 1558 games.

    That’s alot, almost Cal Ripken-esque.

    Granted, Pujols plays a much less physically demanding position, but he’s also not the athlete Ripken was, so, IMO, Pujols’ 1558 is more like 1800.

    Pujols is listed at 6′3″, 230, both of which are generous.

    He had the Tommy John last offseason, he had some nagging injuries the past couple of seasons which may not have affected his games played total, but certainly affected his effectiveness, and I just think, along with Johan Santana and Manny Ramirez and maybe Derek Jeter, that Pujols has past his physical peak and is starting the downward side of his career.

    Pujols has 408 homers and needs 176 to pass Mark McGwire for tenth all time. I think he gets there.

    Pujols has 1900 career hits and needs 1416 to pass Eddie Collins for tenth all time. He will NOT get there.

    Pujols has 1558 games played and needs 1269 to pass Collins for TWENTIETH all time. If he gets there, it won’t be by much.

    I look at ARod, clearly a much more physical specimen than is Pujols, and see the struggles he’s had the last year, year and a half with his hip. Granted, he should have had it done right the first time, but I see his point in not doing so, because he wouldn’t have a ring if he did, but, in the long run, it may end up costing ARod more than one year of his career.

    I think Pujols’ would be more like Albert Belle, have a significant injury and never plays again.

    Whether Pujols could do what ARod is doing is certainly a debatable point; fight through an injury and still be productive at 70-80%, but I’m not so sure.

  123. John Says:

    Well, unfortunately for both Travis Lee and Randy Wolf, no one can predict exactly what’s going to happen.

    “he had some nagging injuries the past couple of seasons which may not have affected his games played total, but certainly affected his effectiveness”

    Barely. I mean, his rate stats fell off a little, but he tied his career average for HR (while leading the league), slugged just a hair under .600, basically tied his career OPS+. He’s probably going to finish 2nd in the MVP voting.

    Would he have been a more potent player without those nagging injuries? Sure. But you could say that about anyone.

    Albert’s been a Major Leaguer for 10 seasons. He has played in 1558 games. Meaning he has missed all of 62 games over the course of a decade.

    JOHN-OTA predictions for Pujols in 2011: .324/.433/.616, 40 2B 44 HR 129 RBI.

  124. Raul Says:

    Early in the year, Jayson Werth got off to a great start and hit a bunch of doubles.

    I remember asking in one of these articles if Werth had any shot at 60 doubles. He didn’t even get 50, and finished the season with 46.

    Last guy to hit 60? Charlie Gehringer and Joe Medwick, both in 1936.
    I’m curious to know why when comparing Gehringer and Medwick’s careers, there are no Grounded Into Double Play stats for Gehringer on Baseball-Reference’s page.

    GIDP didn’t start getting recorded until 1933, but they’re listed for Medwick.

    Werth struck out 147 times this season, in hitting his 46 doubles.
    Medwick (13) and Gehringer (33) combined to strike out 46 times.

    Stan Musial lead the league in doubles 8 times, but never led once in homers.

  125. Shaun Says:

    Raul, sample size is not a black-and-white issue; it’s more relative. Sample size is more significant the larger the sample size. One season is a good sample size, two or three is better.

    Also a problem is that sample size collides with aging patterns. What I mean by that is what if a player is 30 and looking heavier than he has in the past, and his past 2-3 seasons have been great. It’s good to look at those 2-3 past seasons but we also must take into account that he is in the decline phase of his career and he appears heavier than he used to. You have to balance the sample size you are looking at with aging patterns, among other things.

    So basically I think one year is a good sample, although not as good as 2-3 years. But I think one year is likely enough of an indication that Lewis and Wilson aren’t complete flukes, especially if you look at what they did this year and adjust for fluky things that could have happened, like grounders finding holes or gloves and things of that sort.

  126. Bob Says:

    According to BaseballReference Teixiera is 6′3 220 pounds.
    Pujols is 6′3 and 230 pounds

  127. Chuck Says:

    Good point, Bob.

    Not sure what it is, though.

  128. Raul Says:


    One season is never, ever good sample size.
    Would you have said that Brady Anderson and Albert Belle were similar players based on 1 season?

  129. Shaun Says:

    Raul, good point. I guess it would be more accurate to say 1 season is enough of a sample to confirm what we suspect about players but is not necessarily enough of a sample to draw conclusions based on that 1 season.

    Let me explain. Brady Anderson’s 1996 season was an obvious outlier. This is different from Wilson and from Lewis.

    Coming into this season Wilson, although a reliever for most of his career, was a darn good strikeout pitcher, his walk rate was good and he did a good job of keeping the ball in the park. I think it was reasonable coming in to except Wilson to more or less do what he did this season, based on his previous performance.

    Coming into this season Lewis had posted a respectable strikeout rate in the majors but he had control problems and gave up too many homers. He went to Japan, got it all together and dominated. He seemed to figure out how to strikeout more hitters and walk fewer hitters. Yes, it is a surprise that Lewis had the kind of season he had in 2010. But coming in it would have been reasonable to think he was capable of being a solid major league pitcher. I think what Lewis did in 2010 confirms that most likely he did indeed figure it out in Japan and 2010 isn’t a fluke, at least not to a large degree.

    So, I concede that it’s probably not correct to say 1 season is a large enough sample size. I think it’s more accurate to say 1 season is enough to confirm suspicions of the larger sample size of previous seasons.

  130. Mike Felber Says:

    Maybe that is so Sean, barring other complicating factors.

    It is an interesting thing, how much a player is effected by injuries. The recent mantle book describes, besides him being sexually abused by 2 people when he was a kid effecting his relationships with woman, medical testimony that he was a superb specimen, in that he had the natural strength, coordination, balance, etc…to compensate well for devastating injuries. Even though he not only lived wild, he did little or partial off season rehab.

    Now if Pujols has less athleticism Chuck, maybe whatever problems he develops he handles like us mere mortals. But above we have indications of some quite serious problems-I mean, being unable to throw during the regular season is a huge impediment! Since has dealt with this all with few missed games, & has declined only slightly, still the best hitter in the game-his production MAY collapse early, but he is showing resilience to serious injuries & medical procedures on par with, well, anyone I can think of.

    So like those physical tests/NY Times article showed, maybe he has great baseball skills that will lead to Ruthian resilience, even if without the pure speed or agility of gross motor, “macro” athleticism.

  131. Cameron Says:

    You know who couldn’t throw a baseball at all and played great first base? Steve Garvey. …Okay, he could physically throw it, but that was tantamount to defensive suicide because of his arm.

  132. brautigan Says:

    Cameron: Did you know Garvey started his major league career as a 3B?

  133. Jim Says:

    Here’s a quote from Peter Gammons that should warm the cockles of Chuck’s heart.

    Talking about Cliff Lee.

    “You can just take all our computers and throw them out the window when it comes to development. Athletes sometimes just find it, and you can’t explain why. I have a good friend who scouts, was very close to Cliff coming up in the Montreal organization, he said, ‘He’s always been this way. He finally grew into that control.’ He’s so strong. …”

  134. Cameron Says:

    So did Pujols. …Or was he a LF, I forgot. Point is, you can throw worse Scott Podsednik trying to hit the ticket vendors out front and still play first.

  135. Chuck Says:

    Just goes to show even the most obvious bears repeating.

    Thanks, Jim.

    Pujols started as a 3B, then went to left.

  136. Jim Says:

    Raul, my condolences.


  137. Chuck Says:

    I saw a great comment regarding the Yankees earlier.

    “The Yankees are no longer a great team with great players, they have become nothing more than just a team with great names.”

    Yep, pretty much nailed it.

    If Girardi is the manager next year, it will have not only been a wasted season, but a wasted off-season.

    Go Rangers!!!!!

  138. Cameron Says:

    Thanks Chuck.

    And I wouldn’t necesarily say that they Yankees stopped being a good team. They’re just a good team who’s really great at shooting themselves in the foot. If you watch the NFL, there’s tons of teams that can do that. Green Bay’s only 3-3 this year as a result of all the penalties they got and injuries caused by sloppy play. There’s talent there, just not intelligence.

  139. Cameron Says:

    And go Rangers. First World Series appearance for them and I kinda hope they win it. If the Giants go to the WS, I’ll be torn because I love the Giants, but this is the Rangers’ first appearance and I’ve grown to like them.

    …On the other hand, if Philly goes, I REEEEEEALY hope Texas wins it.

  140. Bob Says:

    Chuck and Raul, what happens with Mo, Pettitte and Jeter this off-season. I can somehow see Mo and Andy retiring. Jeter signs a 1 year deal worth 25 million and gets to 3000 and he and Posada retire next year.

  141. Bob Says:

    Wow, just read that Yankee starters not named C.C Sabathia had a 5.91 ERA in the second half of the season. They will go hard for Cliff Lee. They may actually go beyond 5 years.

  142. Chuck Says:

    I think Andy retires.

    I think Mo gives it one more shot.

    Jeter signs a four year contract for somewhere in the 77-83 million range.

    The season’s been over less than 24 hours, but here’s what my crystal ball is telling me how the off-season SHOULD pan out.

    1) Joe Girardi is shown the door. The Yanks haven’t had much luck with former players as manager, (Dent, Showalter), but I’d like to see Willie Randolph get a shot.

    2) They will sign two big name free agents..Cliff Lee will NOT be one of them.

    3) I see the Yankees going hard after an established catcher who can help control the running game. Ramon Hernandez is a possibility. Posada plays 130 games next year, but 2/3 will be as the full time DH.

    4) If Pettitte retires, that makes the Yankees more RH dominant than they are now. For the money they save on Lee, they could sign a lefty starter and reliever. If the rotation goes Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Nova..that means they’re looking for a #5 starter, I like that Jorge de la Rosa from Colorado. There’s a bucket load of lefty reliever free agents, throw them all in a hat and pick one.

    5) They need to upgrade their bench and bullpen. Not to get better players, per se, but the balance is all screwed up. I’d like to see them sign a veteran infield type like Adam Kennedy/JJ Hardy to maybe give ARod and Jeter a day off a week, and maybe replace either as a defensive sub late in some games. As far as the bullpen goes, relievers are a dime a dozen, although I do think Joba is gone, hopefully they can sucker some team into believing he’s better than he is and can get back a body that is actually breathing.

    While the Yankees don’t have a lot of replaceable/movable parts in their everyday lineup, they need to be ready in case someone does get hurt.

    Other than that, they’re fine. :)

  143. Lefty33 Says:

    I agree with everything you said Chuck except for Pettite retiring.

    I think he pulls his annual Farve and waits for a while to see whether his family wants him to go back again.

    (Which to me is code for waiting to see what the Yankees do in the off-season in terms of reloading.)

    If the Yankees show Joe the door and if they bring in a manager that Andy likes and make a few smart FA moves then I think Andy is back in the rotation on another one-year deal.

    Lord knows the Yankees need him more than he needs them at this point and if they can bring him back they would stupid not to. The rotation going into ‘11, barring some surprising spending spree, is not that good that Andy would possibly be excluded.

    If he wants to pitch then he’s the #3 guy again to me.

  144. Cameron Says:

    Mo, from what I remember, says he still feels like he wants to pitch. He doesn’t get injured ever and he’s just pitching because he wants to at this rate. I could see Jeter retiring before Mo does.

    Maybe the Yankees don’t have much luck with managers named Buck. I’d love to see Willie Randolph as the new manager. …But as you know, I’d love Torre to come back more. Could happen after trying to put up with Girardi.

  145. Cameron Says:

    Let’s see, two big name free agents. Well, Chuck’s been going on about signing Crawford despite the fact everyone else here thinks it makes no sense and the other… I’m assuming since you said Mo’s gone that they go hard for Rafael Soriano because they really don’t have a guy in the system with a track record of closing successfully.

  146. Chuck Says:

    I don’t consider Rafael Soriano a big name free agent.

    Most (media) believe Girardi is 100% certain to come back, which, obviously, I believe is a mistake.

    But when teams under perform and the manager doesn’t pay the price, that means the coaching staff usually does.

    I think Tony Pena gets the Pirates manager job, and takes Mike Harkey with him as pitching coach.

    Whether Girardi comes back or not, Dave Eiland won’t.

    “Chuck’s been going on about signing Crawford despite the fact everyone else here thinks it makes no sense”

    Of course he does.

    If Arte Moreno outbids the Yankees for him, fine, I don’t think he’s worth getting into a bidding war over (neither is Lee), but if Crawford feels playing in New York is enough of a perk and takes less money, then, absolutely the Yankees should sign him.

    Gardner’s year was a fluke.

  147. Cameron Says:

    Fair enough. I still think he’d be a smart pickup for New York though. Insurance for Mo in case he retires. IF not, he was good setting up for Mike Gonzalez in Atlanta, I don’t think he’d have a problem setting up an actual closer.

    More guessing! Adam Dunn? Huge lefty power bat that gives the team a steady DH? Dude’s a 50 homer candidate in Yankees field.

  148. Chuck Says:

    As much as love Adam Dunn, I don’t think he necessarily fits into the Yankees lineup.

    First, I have concerns about him DH’ing full time. He said he doesn’t want to do it, and I look at Pat Burrell as someone who struggled in the role, and as soon as he got to a place he can play in the field, he took off. Say what you want about Buster Posey, but the Giants don’t make the playoffs without Pat the Bat.

    I said earlier I think Dunn gets the second biggest contract behind Lee, and at the time I completely spaced on Carl Crawford, so I’m already eating crow. I will say Dunn gets more than Jayson Werth, however.

    I like Soriano, but he’s a closer. Stud today, dud tomorrow.

    Nobody I’d pay for, and I still have nightmares about the last guy named Soriano who played for the Yankees.

  149. Raul Says:


    The Rangers won. Good for them.

    I don’t think Girardi is an exceptional manager in any sense. He should go.
    I don’t think Joe Torre is any better. Honestly, I don’t even think he cares anymore. He’s just cashing checks.
    Jeter should get a 3 year deal, for 45 million. And that’s generous.
    Rivera will go 1 more season, and retire.
    Pettitte should retire now. He’s been delaying retirement for 4 years now.

    I don’t think the Yankees should sign Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford, although I’m warming up to the idea of Crawford in NY.

    As I’ve stated many times, I’m concerned with all the long-term, high salary contracts the Yankees dole out. When the players age, it’s going to be very hard to move them without eating most, or all of the money. They are already completely suck with Teixeira and Rodriguez for the next several years, and it looks like Rodriguez is sliding quickly, and Teixeira is too streaky to be relied on in the big games.

    I hope the Giants beat the Phillies.

  150. Chuck Says:

    The ARod contract is certainly going to be an albatross for the Yankees for the next few years. He’ll be retired before the contract runs out and is virtually untradeable now.

    He could end up putting up similar numbers to what Jr. Griffey did his last couple of years and the Yanks would be forced to keep running him out there because they can’t afford to have $27.5 million sitting on the bench.

    As much as I hate to say it, but the last eight, ten years of personnel irresponsibility are catching up with them, and they are almost certain to have a dry spell similar to what they had in the late ’80’s early ’90’s.

  151. Cameron Says:

    And now to invoke a classic line…


  152. Chuck Says:


  153. Cameron Says:

    Also, fun fact.

    Longest World Series Droughts:
    1. Chicago Cubs (102 seasons, Last Win: 1908)
    2. Cleveland Indians (62 seasons, Last Win: 1948)
    3. San Francisco Giants (56 seasons, Last Win: 1954)
    4. Texas Rangers (49 seasons, Last Win: Never)
    5. Houston Astros (48 Seasons, Last Win: Never)

    Numbers 3 and 4 facing off this year. Nice.

  154. Cameron Says:

    Yep, and Bruce Bochy played a good game today. Giants were up 3-2, men on base, 5 outs to go. He goes to Wilson and says, “Yeah, tough save, but we need you.” IE, he used a closer like you’re supposed to.

  155. Lefty33 Says:

    “As much as I hate to say it, but the last eight, ten years of personnel irresponsibility are catching up with them, and they are almost certain to have a dry spell similar to what they had in the late ’80’s early ’90’s.”

    The problem is that this time I don’t think they have a Stick Michael type of guy to give the Steinbrenners a wake-up call and show them the right way to move the franchise.

    To me a lot of the fault has got to be laid on Cashman.

    Actually on second thought if Girardi is going to get canned then I would love to see Cashman get it first.

  156. Lefty33 Says:

    “Pettitte should retire now. He’s been delaying retirement for 4 years now.”

    Let me ask you Raul, why should Pettite retire now?

    He’s still effective and the Yankees do not have anyone past C.C. and somewhat Hughes who is in anyway reliable or proven.

    I’m just a big Pettite supporter and have seen in the last 24 hours many people
    on a couple of different sites wanting to bury him and I guess I’m just not understanding why.

  157. Chuck Says:

    Girardi’s a “free agent” after this season, Cashman after 2011.

    Cashman is responsible for ARod’s contract, and Burnett’s contract, and Carl Pavano’s contract…

    He’s somewhat responsible for having not one single player in the entire minor league system that will ever be a decent ML player.

    He’s responsible for the AL Rookie of the Year wearing a Tigers uniform instead of a Yankee uniform.

    We could do this all day, but while Cashman is responsible for who is on the field, Girardi is responsible for what happens on the field.

    Bruce Bochy took Charlie Manuel to school, I haven’t seen an out-managing job like that since Bobby V. cleaned Showalter’s clock in the ‘99 DS, but what Ron Washington did to Girardi gets honorable mention.

  158. Cameron Says:

    Lessee, what was the stat I heard? Bochy used 18 players from the 25 man roster this game. That might just be overmanaging, but hell, it worked.

  159. Cameron Says:

    It was either this game or this series. Either way, nice way to utilize all the bench players they have.

  160. Chuck Says:

    The combined payrolls of the Giants and Rangers is $53 million LESS than that of the Yankees.

    Sorry, but I find that funny.

  161. Cameron Says:

    Heheheh, that is worth a chuckle. They Yankees have enough salary to field 3 or 4 teams that could contend.

  162. Lefty33 Says:

    “We could do this all day, but while Cashman is responsible for who is on the field, Girardi is responsible for what happens on the field.”

    I agree with you 100% Chuck.

    My point of contention is that like you said earlier, the Yankees have moved way too much back to the days (late ’80s) of when King George would decree that his puppet of a GM go out and throw big dollars at the “biggest name” available.

    Regardless of whether that name was a cohesive fit for the team or not.

    And regardless of whether they blew up the farm while doing it.

    While I agree that Girardi is no Einstein, Cashman needs to be scrutinized as well as he is one that put this mish-mash of non-cohesive parts together.

    While the dollar amount spent is impressive, the talent level in return quite frankly isn’t.

  163. Cameron Says:

    “My point of contention is that like you said earlier, the Yankees have moved way too much back to the days (late ’80s) of when King George would decree that his puppet of a GM go out and throw big dollars at the “biggest name” available.

    Regardless of whether that name was a cohesive fit for the team or not.”

    I don’t know why, but Dave Winfield and Reggie Jackson come to mind. Dave with his war with Steinbrenner and Reggie for… Well, being Reggie.

  164. Lefty33 Says:

    “I don’t know why, but Dave Winfield and Reggie Jackson come to mind. Dave with his war with Steinbrenner and Reggie for… Well, being Reggie.”

    I’m more thinking about guys like: Clemens in ‘07, Kenny Lofton, Jaret Wright, Rondell White, Jose Contreras, Kyle Farnsworth, Pavano and Igawa.

    And those are just the guys during Cashman’s time.

    If you go back to the time period that Chuck and I were referencing the Yankees racked up bust after bust.

    Mike Witt, Scott Sanderson, Tim Leary, Pascual Perez, Andy Hawkins, Dave LaPoint, Rich Dotson, Charles Hudson, Rick Rhoden, Ed Whitson, etc.

    (And those are just the pitchers.)

    All of those guys were either signed for big dollars of the day or the Yankees traded way too much to get them and then got no results in return.

    What some of the GM’s did from ‘82-’90 is just flat out criminal and stupid.

    (But it’s what George decreed.)

  165. Cameron Says:

    Something odd I just noticed. Both of the teams Bengie Molina played for this year made the World Series. Coincidence?

    …Eh, probably.

  166. Raul Says:

    Why should Pettitte retire?

    Why should he keep playing? Just because he’s good? The guy’s been considering retirement for years because he’s got other things he wants to do. He’s made tons of money, and is a winner several times over. He doesn’t need to keep playing just to satisfy the fans, or to give Jeter and Posada another piece of jewelry.

    It’s one thing if a player just wants to keep playing. It’s something else when every year he needs to be talked into playing again.

  167. Cameron Says:

    Also, in a vacuum, saying that Aubrey Huff is the best player (not counting pitchers) on a World Series team seems kinda ridiculous, but… Well, this is a season where every playoff team had over 90 wins and San Diego was a 90-72 team, the Angels had a losing record and… While not as screwy as the NFL this year, this year was kinda wacky for baseball. Gotta love it.

  168. Jim Says:

    Cameron, my definition of a good manager is a guy who puts his players in a position where they can succeed. Over managing occurs when the manager gets in the way of his players. I contend that Boche’s use of 18 of 25 players is an example of knowing his players skills and abilities and utilizing them. I believe that there would be a broad consensus among we commentators that the Giant’s roster is flawed, but here they are going to the WS. Boche did a great job.

  169. Lefty33 Says:

    “Why should he keep playing?”

    First of all because he can.

    I don’t buy that dopey line that players give about wanting to do “other things” instead of playing. To me that’s code for a player covering for the fact that he doesn’t have it anymore.

    These guys have short time windows to do this and Andy has got probably at the most if he squeezes it maybe two seasons left but likely only one and then he has the next 40-50 years to do “other things”.

    Second the Yankees would be lunatics not to make a significant play at him. Unless they are going to up the payroll to mythic levels, what they have possibly on paper as their rotation in ’11 is not that scary and past C.C. and Hughes not very reliable or very good.

    ”He doesn’t need to keep playing just to satisfy the fans, or to give Jeter and Posada another piece of jewelry.”

    While that is very true, most players are egomaniacs and competitors in the highest degree and I would be shocked if Andy turned his back on coming back when he still will have his old friends on the team, can still contribute at a high level, and likely will be playing for a winning playoff caliber team.

    If the Yankees were going into a “rebuilding” mode or if he had a horrible year then I would think that it wouldn’t make sense for him to return.

    But based on the likelihood that the Yankees will reload again for next year and that he has proven that he can still pitch very effectively retiring now wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

  170. Chuck Says:

    “But based on the likelihood that the Yankees will reload again for next year”

    That’s just it…I don’t think they can.

    And it’s not because of finances.

    The Yanks need a catcher. Ramon Hernandez is the best free agent option available and would fit the Yanks perfectly, but I’d hardly call him a reload.

    They don’t need an infield starter.

    They really don’t need an OF starter either. As much as I think Gardner’s year was as fluky as Jose Bautista’s (context, John, context), he’s the Yanks’ only true speed option and whether he starts or not, his playing time really won’t decrease all that much from this year.

    What the Yankees need is demonstrated by the fact Marcus Thames and Lance Berkman started a postseason elimination game, and Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli were on a postseason roster.

    Fixing that is hardly a reload.

    It is paramount, however, to the Yankees being a contender next year. The AL East is a bitch, the fourth place team finished above .500, so standing pat is not an option.

  171. Bob Says:

    Chuck, they could easily out-bid everyone for Lee and either Crawford or Werth. And with all due respect, they need to start finding infield replacements for SS and 3rd base.

  172. Chuck Says:

    ARod’s contract expires in 2017. Jeter’s probably going to sign something that will take him through 2015 at least.

    While I agree with the contention neither will be a quality everyday player by then, the Yanks are also not going to have on the bench two utility guys making more money than the Pirates’ roster.

  173. Bob Says:

    ARod can DH in a year. As far as Jeter goes, Joel Sherman said while he would offer only a 1 year deal, he thinks the Yankees will offer 3. Ian O’Conner actually said the Yankees will offer 4 years. I say 2. Once Posada, Pettitte, and Mo retire, it will no longer be fun for him. Plus he does not want to go out playing like shit. As always, time will tell.

  174. Chuck Says:

    Jeter: 4 years, about 83 million.

    Nothing less.

  175. Jim Says:

    When the Yanks bid against themselves in 04 to retain ARod’s services and compounded that by signing an aging core to long term deals they locked themselves into a reality where they need to overpay in contract length for the last couple of decent years of soon to be over-the-hill players in order to win now before the carriage turns into a pumpkin. They’ve become the baseball equivalent of George Allen’s Redskins.

    Those free agent signings hurt the minor league system since most are Type A FAs, they cost a draft choice and since few FA who leave NY are offered arbitration, they are not getting any back. Then trading young players…the whole just gets deeper.

    The Yanks will probably be in the middle of the AL East race next year and likely in 2012, but it is also not hard to see them in 4th or 5th if there are a lot of injuries. At some point the Yankees need to replace the core, but it hard to see how they will considering the paucity of talent in the minors and the dollars committed to aging players. From a midterm club development point of view the best thing for the Yanks would be let Jeter walk as they’d get a pair of draft choices and free up some salary. They’d come out ahead even if Jeter accepted arbitration.

  176. Raul Says:

    The Yankees haven’t really planned to replace Jeter over the past few seasons.
    This year’s 1st round pick was Cito Culver. Things aren’t very clear about him. He’s only 17 and there were thoughts that he’d be a pitcher.

    Found this while searching him on Google:

    Anyway, I think they should be wary of trying to find the next “Derek Jeter” and focus on finding a capable shortstop who can field his position.

  177. Lefty33 Says:

    “so standing pat is not an option”

    And that is also part of the problem.

    The Yankees, because they are the Yankees, are now expected to be great every year and that’s not normal.

    Every other team in MLB has ebbs and flows and arcs to their franchises in terms of winning and losing.

    The Yankees are now more than ever expected to win every year and the way they have been going about it is by acquiring every “name” on the market whether they fit or not.

  178. Bob Says:

    I thought Nunez is the guy who will replace Jeter. Isn’t that the guy the Yanks refused to part with to get Cliff Lee? One interesting off-season coming up in ther ALEast.

  179. Bob Says:

    Speaking od the ALEast, the Jays hired John Farrell. And St.Louis extended the contract of Dave Duncan for at least 2 more years.

  180. Chuck Says:

    “I thought Nunez is the guy who will replace Jeter. Isn’t that the guy the Yanks refused to part with to get Cliff Lee?”

    Technically, I suppose you could say that.

    In reality, once the Yankees agreed to trade Montero, every other postion player in the system became off-limits.

  181. Chuck Says:

    Why did the Yankees draft Culver?

    “Culver signed early for under-slot money,”

    That’s why.

    The draft talent pretty much sucked. Instead of paying two million for a stiff, may as well draft the hometown kid and see what happens.

    This pick was as much a public relations move as it was a baseball move.

  182. Raul Says:

    Two players have been named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year twice in the last 30 years.

    Gregg Jeffries (1986-87) and Andruw Jones (1995-96).

    I didn’t know that.

  183. Bob Says:

    I recall that about Andruw Jones.

  184. Bob Says:

    Just trying to have a topic for tomorrow. Has Josh Hamilton eclipsed Johan Santana as the second best rule V pick of all time. Clemente being the best.
    Other notables include Darrell Evans, Willie Hernandez and Joakim Soria.

  185. Raul Says:

    Santana won like 2 Cy Young awards, and probably deserved another one or two.
    Hamilton hasn’t won anything, yet.

    I’m going with Santana.

  186. brautigan Says:

    John Farrell is about #4 on my list of all time favorite baseball players I have met. (Brooks Robinson is #1, Dale Murphy #2, and Ben Petrick is #3) Here’s hoping Farrell finds success with the Blue Jays. I’m rooting for him!

    Maybe I can do a list of all time worst baseball players I have met. Any guesses as who #1 is? LOL

  187. Chuck Says:

    Shane Victorino was a Rule V pick twice.

  188. Chuck Says:

    You’ve only told us like 100 times, Braut.

    It’s weird, too, because his father was such a great guy.

    I agree about Farrell, too.

    He played a couple of seasons with my hometown Waterbury Indians of the EL in ‘85 and ‘86.

    The ‘85 team may have been the nicest collective bunch of guys I’ve ever been around; Cory Snyder, Dave Clark, Gary Allanson, Jay Bell, Farrell, Reggie Ritter and John Miglio. Even the manager, Jack Aker, was a good guy.

  189. Cameron Says:

    Lemme guess Braut… Either Albert Belle or Barry Bonds.

  190. Bob Says:

    Cnuck, now I see why you left Ct. You are from Waterbury, home of the most corrupt mayors in the United States. And Braut, you’re from Oregon. There is a store close to where I live that says the best pears are from there. Royal Riviera Pears from Harry and David. Should I try one?

  191. Bob Says:

    While I know some people ignore the site, TradeRumors is reporting that Cliff Lee’s wife was offended by some Yankee fans.

  192. Raul Says:

    It doesn’t matter. Cliff Lee is an Arksansas boy. He’s going anywhere BUT New York. Of course, he’ll use the Yankees as leverage to get as much money as he can, but he won’t go to the highest bidder. I don’t get the feeling he cares at all about the big city.

    Then again, AJ Burnett is an Arkansas boy, too…

    …Actually maybe Burnett would do well to go elsewhere.

  193. Bob Says:

    Actually, he may have lost leverage by having his wife come out so early. Would have been a stinging rebuke if the Yanks wasted 3 weeks coming up with offers and proposals only to have him say screw you once all the other alternatives were gone. Could Baltimore actually win the AlEast next year?

  194. brautigan Says:

    Bob: If they hale from Hood River, Oregon, then yes, by all means devour them. They are indeed tasty. The Southern Oregon pears are good as well, but not as tasty as the Hood River pears. They are the absolute best I have ever tasted.

    Chuck: Actually, Johnny Bench takes the cake. I have had at least 3 pleasant conversations with Barry Bonds. It goes #1 Bench, #2 Joel Youngblood (I don’t know what happened to him, he was actually a nice guy when he played), #3 Bonds, #4 Tom Seaver and #5, Derek Parks. Parks just pushed my buttons. He may be a nice guy (in fact, all these guys may be nice guys), but he just pissed me off more than 5 times, which qualifies in my book as a jerk.

  195. Chuck Says:

    I saw something yesterday which “predicts” Lee’s contract to be six years, $144 million, and one reason why the Yankees are not on his list is he wants to be paid more than Sabathia.

    Bench, really?

    I’ve never met him, but I don’t recall too many negatives about him either.

    I met Youngblood a couple of times when he was with the Mets, seemed like a good guy. He’s now the Dbacks third base coach.

    I’ve never met Barry, although I have “seen” him be a jerk, and I also met Seaver and really had no complaints about him, although his wife is a b*t*h.

  196. Raul Says:

    The Orioles SHOULD be really good right now. But it just hasn’t clicked yet.

    It’s taking longer for Matt Wieters than most people thought, and while Nick Markakis is a solid player, he hasn’t developed any kind of home run power. I don’t think anyone expected him to hit 45 homers, but you play in Baltimore. The 45 doubles he hits every year are excellent. If he can get up to 25 homers a year, that would be a huge plus.

    Brian Matusz was a different pitcher in the 2nd half and he’s going to be just fine…maybe even a Cy Young contender one day.

    I read somewhere that Baltimore might try to get Paul Konerko, who would certainly give them some pop, but might be gone by the time the O’s are ready to make a serious run. That also might just be a rumor, too.

  197. Raul Says:

    Chuck & Brautigan:

    You got a 6 pack. Which former Major Leaguers are you drinking with?

  198. Chuck Says:

    Jon Warden.

    Funniest guy on the planet.

    I could have picked more than one, but you only gave me a six pack. :)

  199. Raul Says:

    LOL, maybe I should have said a case of beer.

    I’m a little concerned that the Yankees might use Jesus Montero as a trading chip this off-season, or next season.

    I totally understand that he isn’t going to be great as a catcher, but it’s my opinion the Yankees are seriously over-estimating their offensive abilities.

    And trading Montero would prove disastrous for their line-up. Nearly every player on the team is either in decline or soon to decline. They don’t have any power bats in the minors that could play 5 days a week, and if they are considering shipping the 1 guy who can (even if he’s a DH) to get some pitching, they are going to regret it as they scrounge around for Austin Kearns-type players every summer for the next 5 years.

  200. Chuck Says:

    “but it’s my opinion the Yankees are seriously over-estimating their offensive abilities.”

    I’s my opinion you are seriously over-estimating Montero’s offensive abilities.

  201. Raul Says:

    Maybe, Chuck.

    But I’m fairly confident Montero is a better right-handed bat than anyone on the Yankees not named Alex Rodriguez.

  202. Bob Says:

    Raul, do you envision Montero ready for the majors come April 3rd?

  203. Bob Says:

    The Yanks signed Wilmer Romero out of the Dominican Republic. A centerfielder.
    FWIW. Keith Law likes the signing

  204. Jim Says:

    Raul @196 – While the O’s aren’t on the threshold like the 06 Rays were, they are much better than they’ve played. They should be decent next season.

  205. Raul Says:

    I think Montero would have been a better option than either Kearns or Thames, and I think he deserves a shot next year.

    But I don’t think the Yankees will give him that chance – at least, not to start the year.

    Offensively, what does he really have to prove in the minors? He can’t be any worse in terms of “approach” than the guys who came up in 2009.

    Is he going to walk as much as Heyward? No, and probably never will. Is he going to hit for as much power as Mike Stanton? No. Stanton is a 40-45 homer guy. But Montero could be a .290-.320 hitter with 30-homer potential…and if the stars align, you’re looking at Mike Piazza. But modestly, I could see him being Brian McCann with a better batting average. Although Chuck might say that’s not modest at all. LOL

  206. Raul Says:


    I think Baltimore’s poor start sand-bagged them. That team lost confidence and probably played worse than they should have. Had the O’s started off…say…25-25 or something, it might have played out differently. But they started the year 15-35.

  207. Raul Says:

    I meant the guys who came up in 2010 @ Post#205

  208. Bob Says:

    Brautigan, they do come from the Hood River area. They are outstanding. Is that the river where Williams, Pesky and Bobby Doerr used to fish?

  209. Bob Says:

    The Phillies declined their 4.5 million dollar option on J.C. Romero. The Phillies will instead buy him out for 250K

  210. Raul Says:

    Not sure. I looked it up a bit and I saw that Doerr fished around the Rogue River.

    Mostly you find the three of them fishing in Florida.

  211. Bob Says:

    I know they fished in Oregon. Pesky is from there. I recall seeing how stunning the state is back when I was reading Field and Stream magazine. Great fishing from what I understand. Which reminds me. Ted Williams is also in the fishing HOF.

  212. brautigan Says:

    Bobby Doerr lives on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. It is some of the most beautiful country you can imagine, but also, some of the most rugged and remote country too.

    Hood River is in northern Oregon, about 64 miles east of Portland on the Columbia river. The Columbia is good for salmon and sturgeon fishing. The Rogue is good for Salmon and steelhead, which is why Teddy Ballgame used to come up here (for the Steelhead).

    Ok, Raul, the guys I am going to sit and drink with are in no particular order:

    1) Tony Phillips
    2) Terry Mulholland
    3) Jeffrey Hammonds
    4) Tony Gwynn
    5) Mark Grace
    6) Brett Butler

    I might invite Jimmy Piersall, but that can be dicey.

    If I could pick a couple of deceased people, I’d pick Doc Ellis and Bill Rigney.

    These people will make you laugh and they will keep you entertained for hours!!!

  213. Cameron Says:

    Wait, Tony Gwynn drinks? Honestly, he striked me as a total teetotaler. Maybe it’s the fact his voice reminds me of Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

  214. Lefty33 Says:

    “The Phillies declined their 4.5 million dollar option on J.C. Romero. The Phillies will instead buy him out for 250K”

    Not suprising.

    The contract they gave him was a 100% mistake by Amaro.

    Scott Eyre should have been kept as the LOOGY, not Romero. Between injuries and his 50 game PED suspension he was a waste.

    The Phillies are really going to give Bastardo a shot at being the LOOGY in ‘11.

    The Phillies bullpen is wide open for ‘11.

    They only have Lidge, Madson, and Baez under contract and Baez sucked so bad he was left off the postseason roster in both rounds.

  215. Lefty33 Says:

    The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that Boston is already interested in Romero to be their LOOGY in ‘11 instead of Okajima.

  216. Bob Says:

    Hot damn. He already had a great stint for Boston. Although I believe Okajima will end up in Japan regardless of Romero. His days in Boston are over.

  217. Chuck Says:

    ” But Montero could be a .290-.320 hitter with 30-homer potential…and if the stars align, you’re looking at Mike Piazza.”

    Defensively, Montero will never be Mike Piazza.

    If the Yankees felt like he could get to that level, they wouldn’t have been trying to trade him the past two years.

    “The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that Boston is already interested in Romero to be their LOOGY in ‘11 instead of Okajima.”

    I was hoping they’d give Dustin Richardson a shot at it, but I guess not.

    “If I could pick a couple of deceased people.”

    Leave it to Braut to drink with stiffs…more booze for him!!

    If I could pick five…


    Robin Yount. Most unassuming, unpretentious great player ever. If you didn’t know anything about baseball and ended up next to him on a plane, you’d never know he is who he is.

    Jim Riggleman. I first met him 35 years ago and we’re still acquaintances today.

    Ed Nottle. Still haven’t gotten back at him satisfactorily for “stealing” my car in 1979.

    Frank Howard. Always wanted to meet him, over a couple of cold ones sounds as good a time as any.

  218. Jim Says:

    Chuck: regarding Dustin Richardson. With all the caveats about September call ups and using those stats to predict ML success, Richardson couldn’t/wouldn’t throw the ball over the plate 9.7 BB/9. There’s no way that the Red Sox can go into 2011 and believe that he’ll help them considering that command/control have been issues throughout his minor league career.

  219. John Says:

    Says something about Montero that he could never get to the defensive standard of excellence set by a man who was a punchline for poor defensive backstopping.

    Says even more that he would be a downgrade compared to Jorge Posada.

  220. Raul Says:

    The only thing it says is that he isn’t a great catcher.
    A lot of players aren’t great catchers.

    You think Albert Pujols would be a great catcher? Think again.
    Montero’s bat still has value.

  221. brautigan Says:

    I don’t know if Tony Gwynn drinks or not. But the man is flat out amusing and riveting. He could easily be a public speaker. So yeah, I could knock down some cold ones and listen to Tony Gwynn all day long. (And he will talk baseball all day long)

    Along with the aforementioned folks.

    Honorable mention: Tommy Davis. A good humanitarian.

  222. Cameron Says:

    Okay, that Montero won’t be Mike Piazza crack made me laugh. He was good at framing pitches, but he still dropped a bunch of balls and instead of saying “throwing like a girl” my friends say someone “throws like Mike Piazza”.

  223. Cameron Says:

    Wow, impressive. Arizona overhauled its coaching staff. They retained Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammel’s the new bench coach, Don Baylor’s the new hitting coach, Eric Young (Sr.) is the first base coach, and Charles Nagy’s pitching coach. They just gutted the place.

  224. John Says:

    “Robin Yount. Most unassuming, unpretentious great player ever. If you didn’t know anything about baseball and ended up next to him on a plane, you’d never know he is who he is.”

    I was diagonally across from Yount on a flight from Phoenix to Milwaukee.

    You’re 100% right. I had a vague idea of what he looked like, but it wasn’t until a couple days later for an ’80’s Brewer reunion at Miller Park that I made the connection.

  225. Chuck Says:

    “They just gutted the place.”

    Hopefully, the roster’s next.

    I want four of the eight starters back, and maybe the same % of pitchers.

    Everybody else can go try and find a roster spot in Mexico.

    “Honorable mention:”

    Mark McLemore, Ron Kittle, Ozzie Virgil Jr, Wally Joyner, Dennis Burtt.

  226. Chuck Says:

    Picture this…

    Spring Training, 2011.

    Kirk Gibson calls Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton into his office to talk about their strikeout rates.

    Gibson’s at his desk, to one side is Don Baylor, to another is Alan Trammell.

    Something tells me neither Reynolds or Upton will give their standard “who cares about strikeouts” answer.

    Unless, of course, they prefer the weather in Reno to Phoenix.

  227. Raul Says:

    More and more it’s being said that Cliff Lee is going to sign for well over 100 million dollars.

    Whoever does is going to regret it.

  228. John Says:

    Man, does Raul hate Cliff Lee…

  229. Cameron Says:

    Arizona… You know your team’s bad when the coaching staff could take the field and play a better game than you can.

  230. Chuck Says:

    You know who I think of when I hear what Cliff Lee’s going to get this off-season?

    AJ Burnett.

    Burnett pitched in two mid market locations where he was the number one or number two guy and could pretty much leave the ballpark everyday and no one cared.

    Then he signs a big money deal with the biggest market team and turns into Ed Whitson.

    There are three things I want the Yankees to do in the off-season.

    Since one of them appears to be a done deal, then I’ll have to live with the other two, but, if they take care of business there, I will consider the offseason a successful one;

    1) Don’t bring back Genius Joe.

    2) Tell Cliff Lee the vault is closed,

    3) Find a team, any team, willing to take Joba. I don’t care if it’s for a PTBNL, just get rid of him.

  231. Cameron Says:

    I could see the contract for AJ Burnett as a starting point, but I don’t see Lee’s performance dropping off like that. Sure Burnett wasn’t exactly lights-out, but Lee came off a Cy Young year, a good year, and a top-5 finish this year. He’s shown consistency for once and he’s going to stay a pretty consistent pitcher. I think if he gets a big money deal, he’ll have earned it.

    I say the Yanks make a play for him, but not a serious one considering their rotation. They’ll probably go lower on the FA pole if they really go for a free agent. I say the big play them making is for Jayson Werth to maintain right field and have Swish at DH mostly. That, or go for Crawford and trade either Granderson (preferably) or Gardner (probably) and keep the other one in right.

    …Of course, they could very well do both.

    I still say they should pick up Rivera insurance and see if they can find a way for Adam Dunn to accept a DH role and let him loose in that park.

  232. Cameron Says:

    And by Rivera insurance, I mean Rafael Soriano. He’d only cost a few million and if Pettitte retires, they’ll have the money coming off the books to do it.

  233. Hossrex Says:

    Check it out:


    The whole article is giggle worthy… but pay special attention to number 7.

    Now the whole Arod-Jeter romance makes a bit more sense. They’re both using performance enhancing lube.

  234. Mike Felber Says:

    If someone clearly cannot catch as well as Piazza or Posada, they are not competent ML backstops. That being said, of those mocking players, say Piazza as throwing like a girl, very few of them could (ever)throw even as well or hard as him.

  235. Cameron Says:

    Mike, read closely. I imply that throwing like a girl is a step up from throwing like Mike Piazza. Not saying he’s as bad a catcher as Dale Murphy, but Posada could throw out a baserunner better. Mike could block the plate and that was about it. He just happened to be a worse first baseman and left fielder. Placed him in the area that hurt them least.

  236. Lefty33 Says:

    “And by Rivera insurance, I mean Rafael Soriano. He’d only cost a few million and if Pettitte retires, they’ll have the money coming off the books to do it.”

    Pettite got paid 11.75 this year.

    Next year Texiera gets another 2.5 added to his salary, Granderson gets almost another 3, Cano gets 1, and Swisher gets 2.25.

    8.75 of Pettite’s 11.75 will be eaten up by those contract increases by themselves.

    And I believe that Hughes is now arbitration eligible as well so based on his season he’ll get an increase.

    Pettite may be off the books for now but whatever “savings” that may bring is already accounted for.

    Based on the 141 million that’s already on the books for 2011 (which is not including options and only covers 10 guys) unless the Yankees are going to take a header next year the payroll will need to exceed this years for them to field a “competitive” team in the AL East.

    If you want to talk about savings to look forward to; 2011 is the final year of Kei Igawa’s deal.

  237. Cameron Says:

    141 million… You realize by Yankees standards there’s still about 60 million on the books, right? If they find a trade target for Granderson, they could easily field a Crawford-Gardner-Werth outfield next year and have Rafael in the back end AFTER arbitration raises. Unless they start drastically cutting payroll, expect them to be big players.

    After analyzing the scenarios, I’m with Chuck in saying the Yanks should play for Crawford. …We just disagree in who they dump. I’m saying find some other dumbass to take Granderson and his lefty-whiffing ass. Maybe Arizona or the Cubs. They seem dumb enough.

  238. Lefty33 Says:

    “they could easily field a Crawford-Gardner-Werth outfield next year”

    To me that’s doubtful as they would have nowhere to play Swisher.

    Tex is at first and would expect Posada to DH a lot.

    And based on Swisher’s season he needs to play somewhere.

    There is no way in hell the Yankees make a FA play on both Crawford and Werth.

    They have 141 on the books now that is owed to 10 guys.

    After they resign Rivera and Jeter that will mean another 30-35 million?

    So now the payroll is 170+ for 12 guys. Werth is going to get his salaried doubled more than likely and Crawford is not coming cheap either.

    I find it hard to believe the Yankees are going to spend 200 million dollars on 14 guys.

    It either means a payroll of at least 250-260 next year or a bunch of spare parts and junk for the rest of the roster spots.

  239. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “141 million… You realize by Yankees standards there’s still about 60 million on the books, right?”

    New ownership man. Precedent is meaningless at this point, because no one knows how the little Steinbrenners will manage the franchise.

    It’s universally accepted that Big Stein spent more money than he had to, and wasn’t seeing the revenue from owning the Yankees that was possible. George loved money, George loved baseball, and George loved the Yankee… but George NEEDED to be a winner, and he made sure he was.

    It’s impossible to say on which side of the line the Bros Steinbrenner will fall.

    A Yankees team that quietly (to avoid public backlash) spent a more reasonable sum on payroll… still making sure to be competitive, but not necessarily filling every infield position with a hall-of-famer… is literally like printing money.

    I’d wager that slowly, over the course of five or ten years, the Yankees payroll comes down to no higher than 40-50% higher than the median salary (instead of the absurd 100% higher than the median salary from 2010). The days of Reaganomics (a word oddly recognized by my spellchecker), and outspending the Red Sox in some bizarre simulacrum of the Soviet era Cold War, are over.

  240. Cameron Says:

    Fair enough, but they could still sign Crawford (@20 mil a year), Werth (@18), and Soriano (@10) for roughly 40 million on the year adjusting for unloading Granderson on someone. I was estimating a little high to be safe. If guys like Posada, Andy, and Mo retire, there’s even more coming off the books they can dedicate to restocking the team. It can be done and at that point they still shave 20 off the books. Keeps them competitive and frees money to spend on future players.

    Who else is coming off the books… Berkman won’t be on the hook, Javy’s gone, Johnson’s gonna get the boot, the few million each will pile up and the reserve spots will be guys like Cervelli, Nunez, and Golson who’ll be there on the cheap.

    And I said they could. They’d need to either have faith in Jorge behind the plate, pray he retires… Or wait until his inevitable injury. Just saying they could, and probably should. It’ll tax Posada a bit by keeping him behind the plate, but at this point those three and Swish at DH with Posada riding the bench would be a better option than Posada taking time from them.

    Mostly I’m just speculating on what could be. I like these little exercises, keeps me thinking. Bad things happen when I stop thinking. Even dumb ideas are better than no ideas for me.

  241. Lefty33 Says:

    “If guys like Posada, Andy, and Mo retire, there’s even more coming off the books they can dedicate to restocking the team.”

    But the problem in your scenario Cameron is that Werth and Crawford are FA NOW.

    Posada is under contract for 2011. He is not coming off the books until 2012.

    Mo is not retiring. He’ll be back for 2011 and probably 2012.

    I’ll bet even money that Pettite returns next year.

    The three made a combined 39.8 million last year. I would expect those three to make the same next year as well.

    “Berkman won’t be on the hook”

    Houston paid most of Berkman’s salary when he was with the Yankees. No savings there.

    “Javy’s gone, Johnson’s gonna get the boot”

    Even that only opens up 17 million.

    Cameron the Yankees have already committed 141 million dollars for 40 percent of a roster.

    You put back in Mo, Pettite, maybe Kerry Wood, and Jeter and you’re looking at 180-190 million dollars being spent on a little more than half a roster.

    Like I said, they will either be forced to back fill with a lot of filler (like this year), or their payroll will hit a level that has never before been seen in MLB and like Hoss said earlier I really doubt that will happen.

  242. Cameron Says:

    Fair enough. I’m just trying to find a way that’d make it work. I still think it could work, but it’s a big hypothetical and they’ll probably settle for “just” Carl Crawford.

  243. Cameron Says:

    ““Javy’s gone, Johnson’s gonna get the boot”

    Even that only opens up 17 million.”

    And think about that for a moment. Javy Lopez and Nick Johnson made a combined 17 million dollars this year. Jesus…

  244. Raul Says:


    I don’t hate Cliff Lee, lol. But he’s not worth 100 million. That’s for damn sure.

    And I’m angered that anyone could think Carl Crawford is worth 20 million per year, or that Jayson Werth could earn 18 million.

    If anyone has access to Brian Cashman, I have the following message:

    Spend some of those hard-earned Yankee dollars by flying someone into space, finding Superman, bring him to Earth, make him spin the f*cking planet in reverse to go back in time, and when you’re asked to trade Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson, tell them to f*ck off.

  245. Lefty33 Says:

    “Spend some of those hard-earned Yankee dollars by flying someone into space, finding Superman, bring him to Earth, make him spin the f*cking planet in reverse to go back in time, and when you’re asked to trade Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson, tell them to f*ck off.”

    LOL Raul.

    Either that or we could have him loop the sun like in Star Trek IV.

  246. Jim Says:

    Last off season when Matt Holliday was unsigned, I figured the Yanks would make a play for him and they didn’t and until the trade for Kerry Wood they really didn’t make moves that added (much) salary. This leads me to believe that a payroll of $200M is the upper limit for the Steinbrenners. When you consider that their luxury tax is 30-40%, the actual payroll is probably around 210. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them try to get the payroll down to around $180M over a few seasons. That would eliminate chasing Lee and makes the ARod contract even a worse decision.

  247. brautigan Says:

    Reading this thread, it feels like every team is grounded in reality and then there is the EA SPORTS Yankees where we can throw around 15 to 20 million for fantasy players.

    Here’s hoping the Yankees win 55 games next year.

  248. Raul Says:


    Normally, a team winning 55 games would prompt them to re-evaluate their decisions and perhaps start over a bit. Not the Yankees. If they won 55 games, they’d go out and sign everybody.


    I guess I’m just as critical of the Yankees as anyone, even though I’m a fan.

    Anyway, heard that the Braves pulled their 1B prospect in the AFL…Freddie something…can’t remember his name.

  249. Chuck Says:

    According to Cot’s, the Yankees have $118.1 in committed payroll for 2011.


    The Yankees’ problem for next year as Lefty describes it is exactly what their problems were this year..forty percent of your roster accounts for eighty percent of your payroll.

    You have no flexibility.

    The Elias rankings have Jayson Werth the second most valuable free agent behind Albert, which, as we all know, is a crock of shit.

    Anyone giving Werth $15 million a season is an idiot, much less $18. As far as Crawford goes, is he worth $20 million?

    Of course not, but he is a better player than Werth and his game is a better fit to the Yankees lineup, so if they have to pay him, so be it.

    I think the Yanks should give Crawford whatever he wants and call it a day. Take care of Jeter, Rivera and Pettitte and focus on filling multiple openings with players capable of playing multiple positions.

    Signing Johnson was a mistake, he can only play one position and he couldn’t do that very well. Same with Thames and Kearns.

    “Anyway, heard that the Braves pulled their 1B prospect in the AFL…Freddie something…can’t remember his name.”

    Freeman. Broken hand.

  250. Bob Says:

    Probably the last major pieces of news until the completion of the World Series.
    The Mets hired Sandy Alderson.
    And according to the Boston Globe, David Ortiz is telling people the Sox will bring him back in 2011 for 12.5 million.
    And since I predicted a Rangers-Padres series in late August, go Rangers.

  251. Chuck Says:

    “And according to the Boston Globe, David Ortiz is telling people the Sox will bring him back in 2011 for 12.5 million.”

    That’s not what it says.

    Ortiz’ option is for $12.5 million, the Sox are talking with Ortiz’ agent about a buyout and possibly resigning him for a lesser amount.

  252. Lefty33 Says:

    “According to Cot’s, the Yankees have $118.1 in committed payroll for 2011.”

    That number is Chuck is based on after the 2009 season.

    The current number is below. (144.612)


  253. Raul Says:

    Beltre’s gone and if the Redsox lost David Ortiz, they’d really have no bats.
    Plus losing Ortiz would probably mean VMart would look around and decide Boston is no place to be for the next 4-5 years.

  254. Bob Says:

    Raul, how do you know Beltre is leaving? And no way is Ortiz playing for the Sox for the next 5 years. My guess is 3 years at most in the majors, then he retires. And they could sign Werth or Crawford. And Chuck, my bad.

  255. Cameron Says:

    I wasn’t necessarily saying they were worth 20 and 18, I was high-balling for the sake of the exercise. Knowing Werth is represented by Boras (and reportedly is using Matt Holliday’s contract as a talking point), I said 15 as a ballpark estimate, I’d offer him around 12.

    20 for Crawford would be overpaying, but in the right lineup, he’d earn 18 I think. Absolute lowest is fifteen.

  256. Bob Says:

    The Yanks declined their options on Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman and Nick Johnson but excercised their option on Andrew Brackman.

  257. Bob Says:

    Ben Badler of BA said he would haveto be ” overwhelmed ” to trade Jesus Montero. Chuck, do you think Montero could reach Ortiz like stats as a DH?

  258. Cameron Says:

    I think he could, but the Yanks have better options at DH and probably would be better suited for a team like the White Sox that need a stable DH option.

    …Actually, they probably HAVE a stable DH option, but Ozzie Guillen’s nuttier than a bag of trail mix.

  259. Raul Says:

    Beltre put up arguably the best season of his career. He’s definitely gone unless Boston is prepared to offer him 15 million for 4 or 5 years. Not gonna happen.

    Ortiz is not playing for 5 years, but VMart is looking for at least 4, and if Ortiz leaves, VMart’s not gonna sign with a team who’s most offensive threat is Kevin Youkilis and a 5′6 pigeon that plays 2nd base.

  260. Bob Says:

    I assume you mean Posada and ARod as better options, and both are rapidly declining. Posada retires in a year.

  261. Raul Says:

    Who’s a better option on the Yankees at DH than Montero?
    On the current roster? A-Rod. That’s it.

    Jeter, Swisher, Thames, Kearns, Posada?….all worse.

  262. Cameron Says:

    In the immediate future. If they trade or pay a free agent bat, they’ll fill that need handily and quickly with someone that’ll probably get them the same production. It’s something that can be fixed easily.

  263. Cameron Says:

    Clarifying, I mean future trades or FAs. Next year’s market looks stacked.

  264. Bob Says:

    And they are both coming off injuries. If I had to hazard a guess, they re-sign Beltre; I think he likes hitting at Fenway. And then they team Salty with a free-agent or trade for Napoli. God forbid they bring back Varitek for one more year. Then Ortiz, Tek and Wakefield can all retire together. I shit you not, but one of the biggest mistakes Theo made was parting with Mirabelli while keeping Wake.
    Kevin Cash and George Kottaras were wasted, and it forced the Sox to trade for Martinez, although the trade is/was defensible.

  265. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, do you think Montero could reach Ortiz like stats as a DH?”

    In the Yankees lineup, I could put up Ortiz like stats as a DH.

  266. Chuck Says:

    “…but excercised their option on Andrew Brackman.”

    They had to, he’s the center on the Yanks’ charity basketball team.

  267. Chuck Says:

    “Beltre put up arguably the best season of his career.”

    Non-steriod for sure.

  268. Chuck Says:

    “Ben Badler of BA said he would haveto be ” overwhelmed ” to trade Jesus Montero.”

    Zach Greinke overwhelming enough?

  269. Chuck Says:

    Rangers in six, by the way.

  270. John Says:

    Man, I wish my team had the same problems as the Yankees.

  271. John Says:

    ” “Beltre put up arguably the best season of his career.”

    Non-steriod for sure. ”

    Yeah, I was about to say…04 was a pretty ridiculous season for Beltre

  272. Cameron Says:

    “Zach Greinke overwhelming enough?”

    Dayton Moore’s made some bad trades before, but Greinke for Montero straight up, fuck you. Montero wouldn’t even fit in the lineup. Butler’s a good bat and will DH when Hosmer comes around, we have Myers at the backstop. Unless Jesus can play left, I don’t think so.

  273. Bob Says:

    Couple of thoughts. Vladimer can no longer play the outfield. He looked shity out there. And Texas activated Mark Lowe, the other pitcher they got in the Cliff Lee trade.

  274. Chuck Says:

    “Dayton Moore’s made some bad trades before, but Greinke for Montero straight up, fuck you.”

    No one suggested straight up, so, fuck you too.

  275. Raul Says:

    I thought Greinke has a no-trade clause.

    Plus, he wouldn’t ever sign long-term in New York. I mean, I could see him signing with a team in a larger market, but NY, Los Angeles and Boston are sure to be off the table.

  276. Bob Says:

    I think it is a limited no-trade clause.

  277. Raul Says:

    In other news sure to make Jesus cry, the Yankees re-signed Joe Girardi.

    And Barry Bonds wants to return to baseball as a hitting coach. I’ll say this: Barry Bonds has been a total jerk his entire life. He’s self-absorbed, and he lied about the steroid use that allowed him to put up monumental numbers in the game. He was, however, undeniably talented and certainly knows a lot about hitting. And to that degree, I think he could be helpful to some players. But I wouldn’t hire him as a hitting coach. At most, I might allow him to serve as a special instructor during Spring Training.

  278. Bob Says:

    Does he need money? Are his legal bills being paid? I know he made a crapload of money during his career, but some athletes jsut do not know how to save/invest.

  279. Raul Says:

    Also seeing that the Blue Jays won’t bring back John Buck, and that catching duties will be split between Jose Molina and JP Arencibia until Arencibia is ready to take over full-time.

    Molina’s 1.2M option was picked up by the Jays, and I don’t mind saying that he’s one of the best back-ups in the game.

  280. Raul Says:

    No idea, Bob.

    I’d say it’s gotta be hard to imagine Bonds blew through all that money, though.
    Baseball-reference says he earned over 188M during his playing days.

  281. Bob Says:

    And I believe I read than Bengie Molina will retire after the Series. Anyone else hear that?

  282. Raul Says:

    I haven’t read that, but it wouldn’t be so surprising.

    Molina will be 37 next summer and he’s had a fine career. If the Rangers manage to win the Series, that’ll give him 2 rings. What else would he play for? It’s not like he’s close to any milestone numbers by a catcher. And he’s a big boy. He’s gotta be feeling the years of abuse at his position.

  283. Raul Says:

    I didn’t know this, but I was looking at the Leaderboard for Most Games Caught, and Ivan Rodriguez leads the list.

    1. Ivan Rodriguez
    2. Carlton Fisk
    3. Bob Boone
    4. Gary Carter
    5. Jason Kendall
    6. Tony Pena
    7. Brad Ausmus
    8. Jim Sundberg
    9. Al Lopez
    10. Benito Santiago

    Shocking to me, but Jorge Posada is 24th all-time

  284. Chuck Says:

    Why would one assume Bonds’ wanting to come back be about money?

    Yes, Benji said he wants to retire, but my guess he won’t.

    Especially after Lee signs with the Rangers.

    Despite what such respected media sources like MLBTradeRumors, TMZ and the National Enquirer are saying, the Royals are NOT shopping Zach Greinke.

    Just like during the regular season when guys like Albert Pujols get put on waivers, floating somebody’s name isn’t an indication of trading/moving him, it’s judging the market.

    What other teams may offer impacts how much that team can spend in free agency, or to make a move on another player.

    Remember a couple of years ago when every idiot sportswriter had Felix Hernandez going to the Red Sox?

    Much ado about nothing.

    Greinke’s not going anywhere.

    The Royals need him to start Game One of the 2013 World Series.

  285. Chuck Says:

    “If the Rangers manage to win the Series, that’ll give him 2 rings.”

    He gets a ring if the Giants win, too.

  286. Raul Says:

    Oh, that’s right. Forgot about that, Chuck.

  287. Cameron Says:

    Greinke, if traded this season, has full veto power over 15 of his possible 29 destinations. And from what I remember, both New York, LA, and Chicago teams are off the table as well as Boston. The only teams that could really make a play for him with his 15-team clause are Minnesota and Tampa.

    If it’s anything past next year, it’s only a 10-team clause, but I think still takes all the big names off the table. Soria has a similar no-trade clause, though less restrictive. Still takes him off the Yankees wishlist though.

  288. Cameron Says:

    Whoever we trade Greinke for, we better get ourselves a goddamn outfield for it. Our current outfield looks like Gordon-Dyson-DeJesus (a converted third baseman, a rookie who quite frankly sucks, and a guy who’ll be gone when his net contract or trade offer comes up and is set for a decline).

    And picking up the slack? …Uh… Got nothin’. Out of all the awesome prospects we have, the only outfield prospect worth mentioning is Derrick Robinson, who really doesn’t impress me. We need to either hit the OF like Ike Turner in the draft or trade Greinke for a haul.

    …You think we can talk St. Louis out of Colby Rasmus with Greinke as a centerpiece?

  289. Raul Says:

    If the Cardinals had Wainwright and Greinke on the same team, the rest of the NL Central would just refuse to show up for games.

  290. Cameron Says:

    Wainwright, Greinke, and Carpenter, don’t forget Carpenter.

    Given that the young talent will need a few years, it might be worth talking to Mozeliak about to make sure the next few years aren’t spent trying to catch up to Cincinnati and failing.

    …Okay, maybe not the smartest, but we get to pluck prime talent from our inter-state rivals, so it’s the best option if you’re a Royals fan. 8)

  291. Hartvig Says:


    “I’d say it’s gotta be hard to imagine Bonds blew through all that money, though.
    Baseball-reference says he earned over 188M during his playing days.”

    I have a vague recollection of a divorce & previous money problems but I have no idea of any details or even that my memory is correct about this.


    “He gets a ring if the Giants win, too.”

    Does anyone remember if this has happened before? I thought about Mark Koenig in 1932 but New York had traded him to Detroit in 31 so it wouldn’t have applied. I can’t think of anyone else but it doesn’t seem like that unlikely a scenario.

    Does that mean he gets to run out & join in the celebration if the Giants win?

  292. Cameron Says:

    “I have a vague recollection of a divorce & previous money problems but I have no idea of any details or even that my memory is correct about this.”

    He also had a mistress he started seeing in 1993, while he was married to his first wife and broke up with her in 2004, about 6 years after marrying his second wife. He bought her a mansion in Arizona pretty much so he’d have a place to do her.

    Bonds is a dick, pure and simple. …But hell, I’d probably ask him to play if he was desperate enough to DH. He can probably still hit and still was getting on-base at an amazing rate long after his power fell off.

  293. Raul Says:

    I purposely did not include Chris Carpenter because he’s 35 and he’ll be 36 in April. Although he’s still a quality pitcher and should be for another 2 years.

  294. Cameron Says:

    He’d be the best #3 starter in the league by far, even at his age.

  295. Raul Says:

    Hard to argue with that, Cameron.

    I am thinking of #3 starters around the league. Nobody comes to mind.

    The trouble is anyone who’s a decent #3 is young, and will likely end up being Aces and solid #2’s. Guys like Phil Hughes, Jhoulys Chacin and Jeremy Hellickson.

    Is Tim Hudson a #3 starter? If so, he’s gotta be as good as Carpenter.

  296. Cameron Says:

    Hudson strong-armed his way into making Jurrjens and Hanson two and three guys. Lowe’s just a fifteen million dollar tumor at this point.

  297. Cameron Says:

    Oh wait, we forgot Roy Oswalt Raul. H20 of Halladay-Hamels-Oswalt. That’s a front three that’ll give Wainwright-Greinke-Carpenter a run for their money.

  298. Bob Says:

    The Sox thought they had a fearsome foursome. Although that did not work out.

  299. Chuck Says:

    “I am thinking of #3 starters around the league.”

    Cliff Lee?

  300. Cameron Says:

    According to Shaun, apparently.

  301. Bob Says:

    Chuck, I admire your baseball knowledge, and while I agree with you that Lee should not get a 5-year deal, he is not a #3 starter. There is no way there are 60 or more starting pitchers better than he is right now. In 2 years, that may change. But he is the best pitcher on the best team in the AL, and he was # 2 in Seattle behind Felix.

  302. Jim Says:

    Greinke has expressed disinterest in playing for a large market team and both NY and Boston were mentioned do to the intensity of the fans.

    If KC were to trade him, St Louis, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Denver would be good places for him.

  303. Cameron Says:

    Like I said, not only disinterest, but he’s got a no-trade that includes half the damn league. Let’s see, talking pieces for those teams…

    St. Louis – Colby Rasmus, solid OF option and more pop in a lineup that’s being groomed to be feared.

    Twins – Kyle Gibson, this kid’s got great stuff from what I hear and he’d be a better RHP option than Crow. Crow’s good, but I can shunt him to middle of the rotation for a kid like this.

    Reds – Uh… Shit, their big talking piece is Yonder Alonso but we’re clogged at 1B. Maybe Jay Bruce would be the centerpiece, but we’d need a hell of a package. Not a good trade matchup. There’s demand, but no supply.

    Rockies – Again, not sure if they have what we need. They’ve got guys in the OF like Seth Smith who are good, but aren’t centerpieces of a Greinke deal, but their big guys like Tulo and CarGo are too good to ask for. Another bad matchup.

    If the tigers are interested, see if we can’t work something out centering around Austin Jackson and Jacob Turner.

  304. Raul Says:

    Greinke’s not going to another team in the AL Central

  305. Shaun Says:

    Regarding posts 299 and 300, where do I ever say Cliff Lee is a number 3 starter? Show me.

    This quote is directly from the article above: “Cliff Lee is obviously head-and-shoulders above any pitcher we’ve seen or will see in the ALCS and quite possibly in the playoffs.”

  306. Cameron Says:

    We’d hate to do it, but if the package was good enough we can overlook the fact we’re facing him and just pray that the other team gets the shit end of the stick. Some of the other ALC teams have pieces that we’d consider doing an in-division trade.

    If Texas can grab Cliff Lee, Minny or Detroit and grab Greinke.

  307. Cameron Says:

    I was just playing off the setup Chuck did Shaun, I’m a sucker for taking advantage of a good joke setup.

  308. Cameron Says:

    And making a guess on Chuck, Cliff Lee in New York.

  309. Raul Says:

    Cliff Lee’s pitched 69 innings in the postseason. Who really gives a damn?

    Whitey Ford – 146 IP
    Tom Glavine – 218 IP
    Roger Clemens 199 IP
    Greg Maddux – 198 IP
    El Duque – 106 IP

    There have been plenty of guys with longer track records of success than Cliff Lee. How about a friggin reality check? Mmmmm-Mmmm! That would taste good!

  310. Cameron Says:

    Greg in the postseason actually didn’t impress me all that much and aside from Ford, they have LDS and LCS to pad the numbers of IP.

    Though I wonder what those numbers have to look like after that game last night. Was not expecting the Giants hitters to realize, “Wait, bats do WHAT? Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

  311. John Says:

    Statistically speaking, the more innings Lee accumulates, the more likely he is to regress to his normal performance.

    That doesn’t mean that, somehow, after having 3 lights out starts, he is any more likely to implode like last night. It also doesn’t mean baseball is played on computers.

    What it does mean is that, if you’re a betting man, you don’t bet on Cliff Lee to be effing Jack Bauer whenever there’s a crunch situation just because he started his career 7-0 in 8 starts with a 0.000005 ERA.

    Look at those guys listed for career ERA’s:

    Whitey Ford: RS ERA: 2.75; PS ERA: 2.71

    Tom Glavine: RS ERA: 3.54; PS ERA: 3.30

    Roger Clemens: RS ERA: 3.12; PS ERA: 3.75

    Greg Maddux: RS ERA: 3.16; PS ERA: 3.27

    El Duque: Okay, he’s way better in the PS. But he had less than 1/2 season’s worth of innings.

    I’ll even add another name:

    Andy Pettitte: RS ERA: 3.88; PS ERA: 3.83 (263 IP)

    Maybe there are guys who really thrive more under the bright lights. Schilling comes to mind. So do Gibson and Koufax. But they were really damn good in the regular season too.

    For the same reason, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds weren’t the perrennial chokers they were made out to be once their sample space was increased.

  312. Bob Says:

    I know the game is tonight, but over at TradeRumors, they have a list of the upcoming Type A and Type B free-agents. Perhaps a topic for tomorrow.

  313. Chuck Says:

    The thing about the postseason is everyone is watching…general managers, managers, scouting directors, hitting instructors…

    The Giants put on a clinic last night on how to attack Cliff Lee and what happens when he throws strikes.

    He’s not very good.

    If you watched his starts against the Yankees, he kept going further and further outside the strikezone, the Yankees hitters looked like a bunch of drunks playing whiffleball in a hurricane.

    He is hittable.

    Last night’s start cost him ten million bucks.

  314. Bob Says:

    You honestly think so? He had way too much rest. Game 4 will be much more telling in my view. If he is putrid again, then he is screwed.

  315. brautigan Says:


    It was 1932 and Mark Koenig played for the Yankees and then the Cubs. It started a firestorm when the Yankees announced they would not give a share of the W.S. monies to Koenig. And the rest is history. And no Raul, I wasn’t alive then.

  316. Cameron Says:

    Cliff Lee finally found an offense that can hit him, somehow I think the Giants could somehow be a really-off-the-wall entry into the Lee sweepstakes, at request of Cliff Lee.

    Why? Save face, man.

  317. Raul Says:

    Yeah, Cliff Lee shuts down the Yankees (or they shut themselves down), yet somehow the Royals and Orioles dominated him.

  318. Cameron Says:

    Kind of the opposite of Bruce Chen being… Well, Bruce Chen against most teams, but when against over .500 teams after we’re eliminated, he’s the second coming of Tom Seaver?

  319. John Says:

    And then there’s Jeff Suppan. Against teams that are atrocious, he’s just terrible. Against teams that are average, he sucks. Against teams that are good, he’s really really bad.

  320. Cameron Says:

    Ted Williams wins the Triple Crown, Jeff Suppan wears the Triple Dunce Cap.

  321. Hartvig Says:

    brautigan- That was what I thought too but according to Baseball-Reference he played for Detroit from mid-1930 thru 1931 and then was sold to Mission in the Pacific Coast League. I assume they sold him to the Cubs in mid-1932 (B-R doesn’t really say). There must be at least someone else who was traded from the AL Champ to the NL Champ or vis-a-versa besides Molina but I can’t come up with any names.

    I think in Koenig’s case the firestorm was the Cubs gave him a half share (for 33 games) but cut out Rogers Hornsby entirely. Hornsby only played in 19 games but managed the team until August 3rd. Hornsby filed a complaint with Landis but got nowhere with it.

  322. brautigan Says:

    Hartvig: I did have it screwed up. Koenig only played a half season with the Cubs and was given a niggardly half share which pissed off his former Yankee teamates. The supposed “call shot” by Ruth was allegedly because of this mistreatment of Koenig. I knew there was a controversy about his half share, but I thought it was from the Yankees, not the Cubs. I stand corrected.

    Also,Koenig refused to fly, he would take the train when his teamates would fly to the next town. Just another tidbit of info…….god I love this stuff. You can’t make up history……or I guess I did earlier in post #315. LOL

  323. Chuck Says:

    Molina is the sixth player to play for both WS teams in the same season.

    Jack Kramer: 1951 Giants and Yankees

    John Schmitz: 1952 Dodgers and Yankees

    Sid Monge: 1984 Padres and Tigers

    Lonnie Smith: 1985 Cardinals and Royals

    Jim Bruske: 1998 Padres and Yankees

  324. Lefty33 Says:

    On a lighter note, someone needs to get in touch with Sal Fasano.

    WHEN & WHERE IS IT? – Saturday, December 4, at 7pm at Al Hrabosky’s Ballpark Saloon in St. Louis from 7pm until midnight.

  325. Hartvig Says:

    Thanks Chuck. I kind of figured it would mostly be bit players, although I’m not at all surprised about Lonnie Smith & he did pretty well against his former team. I also should have remembered about Monge since he was a part of the 84 Tigers. Schmitz might be the best story however since he played for 4! teams in the 52 season. I’d really like to hear how that happened.

    And brautigan, I was just as certain as you were when I went to look that Koenig went directly to the Cubs from the Yankees. The most surprising thing I found out checking that out was how many errors this early version of Mark Belanger or Bud Harrelson committed. The Yankees supposedly got rid of his replacement (Lyn Lary) after just a couple of years because of his fielding & he never made as many errors as Koenig & was 2nd or 3rd in the league in range factor most years. Of course, he had a couple of crappy seasons at the plate when they dumped him as well so that might have been a factor.

  326. Hartvig Says:

    Lefty- It would take a little work with the scissors & a razor but I could go down there with a full-blown Al Hrabosky/Goose Gossage Fu Manchu (plus a couple of mutton chops on the side). The decision would require a great deal of alcohol consumption however so I think I’ll give it a pass.

  327. Cameron Says:

    I voted for Carl Pavano. Didn’t Clay Zavada’s handlebar win the award last year?

  328. Cameron Says:

    And proof Jeff Loria is fucking insane, when Ozzie Guillen was trying to get a contract extension and got stonewalled, he floated the idea of trading Ozzie Guillen for Mike Stanton.

    …Just… What?

  329. Raul Says:

    So is Jonathan Sanchez going to continue the Giants’ pitching dominance?

  330. Cameron Says:

    In Arlington? I don’t think so. I say Texas takes the next two and San Fran in 6.

  331. Bob Says:

    Actually, I was just looking at the Giants roster and realized they have a shot at winning the West for the next several years. Could the Giants-Rangers be the start of a new rivalry?

  332. Raul Says:

    What difference does Arlington make?
    Sanchez’s away numbers are actually better than his home numbers this year.

  333. John Says:

    Yeah, but Arlington is a major hitter’s park.

  334. Raul Says:

    So why wouldn’t that mean San Francisco would score even more runs than they did at home?

  335. Bob Says:

    I think they mean that it will be harder for Sanchez to dominate.

  336. Chuck Says:

    Number of times this season the Giants scored a combined 20 runs in two consecutive games.


    And in two of those instances, one of the games was a loss.

    What happened over the past two days is almost as rare as Haley’s Comet.

    Let’s not dis the Rangers pitching as much as we should be doing the “holy shit” dance over the Giants offense.

    I said Rangers in six.

    I will now amend to Rangers in seven.

  337. Raul Says:

    If San Francisco wins Game 3, I’d fully expect Lincecum to be “on call” should it be a close game in the late innings of Game 4.

  338. Bob Says:

    Why, what if he loses. There goes your game 5 starter

  339. Chuck Says:


    It’s not a must win.

    Bochy’s not going to use his Game Five starter in relief in a meaningless game.

    Only retard managers do stupid shit like that.

    For example, Joe Girardi.

  340. Raul Says:

    I’m sorry.

    You’re right, Chuck & Bob. That was stupid of me.

    I guess it would be better to say I’d use Brian Wilson for more than 1 inning in that case.

    I don’t know what I was thinking.

  341. Chuck Says:

    If the Giants win Game Three and Ron Washington doesn’t start Cliff Lee on three days rest, then he’s an idiot.

    And I don’t give a rat’s behind Lee has never started on three day’s rest…ever.

  342. Raul Says:

    Ugh, I’ve been compared to Joe Girardi. I hope the stink wears off soon.

  343. Chuck Says:

    “Ugh, I’ve been compared to Joe Girardi.”

    Hey, it could have been worse.

    I could have said Buck Showalter.


  344. Bob Says:

    I think Lee should start game 4 anyways. The only exercise he needs to do in November and December is sign his name to a contract.

  345. Shaun Says:

    Anyone hear Tim McCarver last night talking about the misconception that a pitcher shaking off a catcher means that they are vehemently disagreeing? He said the best catchers encourage pitchers to shake them off and throw what they want because ultimately the pitcher is the guy throwing the pitch. Funny how no one brought up what McCarver said though it directly relates to a discussion we had earlier and more than once. I guess a former major league catcher basically refuting some of the claims by those who view themselves as knowledgeable fans was pretty threatening. Some of you probably hoped no one was paying attention to it.

  346. Raul Says:

    I was looking at Buck Showalter’s managerial career. He actually has a winning record.

    Just for interest, I looked at the Yankees 1991 team (a year before he took over).

    They were 71-91 and finished 11th out of 14 AL teams in attendance with 1,863,733.

    C – Matt Nokes
    1B – Don Mattingly
    2B – Steve Sax
    SS – Alvaro Espinoza
    3B – Pat Kelly
    LF – Mel Hall
    CF – Bernie Williams
    RF – Jessie Barfield
    DH – Kevin Maas

    SP – Scott Sanderson
    SP – Jeff Johnson
    SP – Tim Leary
    SP – Wade Taylor
    SP – Pascual Perez
    SP – Dave Eiland
    CL – Steve Farr

    Before you comment, just know that Alvaro Espinoza is a saint! Between him, Cookie Rojas and Luis Sojo, you’ve got like…the 3 funniest looking guys to ever set foot on a baseball field.

  347. Raul Says:


    You’re citing Tim McCarver.
    Think about that for a second.

  348. Cameron Says:

    Here’s the thing about what I said, I don’t like Sanchez in Arlington. Unless he’s completely dialed in, even if he gets a little wild, the Rangers have their first World Series game at home. That place will be loud, the Rangers will have momentum behind them, and once Sanchez gets wild he can’t right himself. One hit will turn into five, and it could easily be a laugher if he’s not 100%.

  349. Raul Says:


    I don’t think Sanchez will get rocked off the hits. He’s got great stuff. If he’s in trouble, it’ll be the walks that hurt him. He’s always been a high-walk guy.

    Chuck made a joke about Oliver Perez. Jonathan Sanchez IS Oliver Perez. Or at least, he used to be. They’re both talented pitchers who can strike guys out but hurt themselves with walks. But unlike Perez, Sanches seems to be getting a better feel for pitching.

  350. Bob Says:

    Jamie Moyer is a free-agent, and Dave Cameron is advocating the Mariners offer him a job. Here is hoping they do.

  351. Cameron Says:

    Sanchez walks a lot, but he’s also pretty hittable when he gets wild. Same thing will happen to him that the Giants did to Cliff Lee if he’s off.

    And if Jamie Moyer still pitches next year, I will go bald from scratching my head wondering why whoever signed him did so.

  352. Bob Says:

    Cameron: http://Www.UssMariner.com

  353. Chuck Says:

    Shut the fuck up, Shaun.

    A pitcher shaking off the catcher is shaking off the location, not the pitch. Most of the time, that’s where a pitcher/catcher disagreement comes from.

    Raul explained that to you VERY CLEARLY, as did I, but, as usual, you only hear what you want to hear.

    Just like last night with McCarver.

    It SOUNDED to you like he was agreeing with you, when, in reality, he was saying exactly what Raul and I, and others, have said previously.

    Back to the sandbox for you, Mister.

  354. Raul Says:

    Chuck is a funny guy lol. I just hope he doesn’t go all Joe Pesci in Goodfellas on me about that. Lol.

    Cam, you have a point. We’ll see how it shakes out.

    I would like for Jamie Moyer to keep pitching. He seems like one of the nicest guys in the game and he’s fairly effective. He and his wife do a lot of charity work, I hear.

  355. brautigan Says:


    I mean, why do I have to ask this? Did you ever play baseball?

    Did you ever pitch? Have you ever caught? Do you even know what an “indicator” is? Do you watch a catcher go through his motions and KNOW what he is asking for?

    I wonder.

  356. brautigan Says:

    Why would Seattle want Moyer? (Unless they got him for minimum wage, he is not a good match. I mean, look at how well the Griffey revivial worked in Seattle…..it didn’t). The only reason Seattle would put him on their roster is if they were shooting for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders record of futility.

  357. Chuck Says:

    The way the Mariners’ roster is shaking out for next year, Felix Hernandez will be one of the oldest guys and he’s not even 25 yet.

    Maybe Moyer coming in means he’ll chaperone off day activities on road trips; Chuck E Cheese, the zoo, planetarium, miniature golf, etc.

    Maybe if the schedule plays out right and the Mariners end up in Anaheim, DISNEYLAND!!!!

  358. Bob Says:

    The Mariners ( or any team for that mattter) could probably get him for 3 million. Low-risk, medium reward concept.

  359. Lefty33 Says:

    Moyer has publicly in the Philly media said two contradictory things in the last two months.

    1. He wants to pitch again next year.

    2. He only wants to pitch in Philly and doesn’t want to relocate his family or be gone for the whole season by going to pitch somewhere like Seattle.

    Barring a medical miracle or the Phillies off-season plans collapsing they are done with Moyer.

    Moyer only went to Seattle and Philly because of Pat Gillick. Gillick likes Moyer and with Amaro running the show in Philly and Gillick being more or less no longer associated with any franchise I highly doubt Moyer goes back to Philly, Seattle, or the AL.

    Moyer kind of burned his bridge in Philly on his last contract negotiation after the WS in ’08 with Amaro where he really held out for more money in an elongated and public way. And with Moyer it’s personal because he has no agent and negotiates all contracts face to face personally with the GM.

  360. brautigan Says:

    Moyer for $3 million is now “low risk”? I would think taking someone like Danny Cortes and put him in the rotation for mimimum is a better “risk” than Moyer.

  361. Bob Says:

    For one year, yes. At least in my view. Seattle is a decent sized market, and if he under-performs in April and May, cut him. Perhaps he could provide help for Josh Lueke, who is having a decent stint in Arizona and could help out the M’s bullpen. Seattle cannot trade him, and by sending him to Arizona are telling teams they will not cut him.
    And perhaps you can get Moyer even cheaper. On the other hand, perhaps he just retires.

  362. Lefty33 Says:


    Moyer will NOT pitch in Seattle.

    He is spending this winter pitching I think in the Dominican Republic trying to draw interest so there is not doubt that he is serious about pitching next year.

    But if he pitches at all in ‘11 it will be in the NL and in the east.

    If Moyer pitches in the AL at this point he’ll be eaten alive.

  363. Bob Says:

    Lefty, fair enough. The only reason I brought up Seattle was due to the write-up by Dave Cameron. You are probably right that no AL team will offer him a job. His market is limited.

  364. Hossrex Says:

    Okay. Come on guys.

    Which fucking one of you told Justin Bieber he could sing during the World Series?

    It’s like Fox is trying to make me hate baseball.

    Fuck you Fox. I hope you die in a fire.

  365. Raul Says:

    Speaking of dying in a fire, I just watched Inglourious Basterds for the first time. I was not very impressed. The movie’s beginnings were outstanding, but toward the end, it got…disappointing. Although I hear he’s making a third installment of the Kill Bill series so he may redeem himself with me. The first two were excellent.

  366. Hossrex Says:

    Wow. I had the exact opposite reaction (regarding Kill Bill vs Inglourious Basterds). I liked Basterds. I liked the unabashedly alternate take on world history. It was certainly “talky”, but I felt the action which generally punctuated the “talky” parts… while admittedly short… was awesome. Not my favorite Tarantino by any stretch, but I liked it at least as much as Jackie Brown.

    Kill Bill part 1 was amazing, but part 2 just fell completely apart. They were both intended to be a single movie, but New Line balked at the idea of releasing a four hour movie created by it’s golden child. They much preferred the idea of cutting it up, and getting two summer releases out of it instead. So viewed as a whole, the “movie” sits entirely unbalanced. Far too much action in the first half, far too little in the second half. The parts with Pai Mei were awesome, and the fight with Daryl Hannah was good… but there wasn’t even a fight with Budd or Bill. It was an homage to classic 70’s kung-fu movies, but the ending was just boring (although I loved the monologue about Superman).

    Pulp Fiction on the other hand is as close to a perfect movie as anyone has made in a LONG time. It’s a shame it lost the Best Picture award to Forrest Gump (which only won because it became an “event movie”).

  367. Raul Says:


    I actually enjoy the non-action part of most movies. That’s where I feel stories and character development usually take place. I just get the feeling Tarantino falls in love too much with action and violence, and not enough with storytelling.

    The best parts of the movie were the scenes with Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and the scene with English double agents posing as Nazis. And by the way, horrible job casting Mike Myers. That was awful.

    I mean, Inglourious Basterds wasn’t bad. I’d say it’s a good movie. But I really have no desire to ever watch it again.

  368. Raul Says:

    And I know tastes differ a lot here, but Melanie Laurent was beautiful.

  369. Raul Says:

    What a horrible throw to the infield by Andres Torres after Nelson Cruz’s double.

  370. Raul Says:


    Cameron was right about Sanchez. When he’s wild, he starts to lay pitches in there, and Moreland took him deep.

  371. Raul Says:

    Ken Rosenthal looks like a fucking worm.

  372. Hossrex Says:

    Christoph Waltz was amazing. Easily the best part.

    I didn’t actually think Myers did a “bad” job, but he was so out of place in the movie and famous enough in general, that his appearance did take me out of the movie for his entire scene. I wasn’t thinking “highly placed British Officer”, I was thinking “That guy who was in the Love Guru”… which… damn… isn’t really where you want the audience to go while watching a tarantino movie.

    Tarantino absolutely falls too much in love with action and violence, but Kill Bill was an homage to 70’s kung-fu movies. Somewhat hard to do that genre without putting a lot of action on film.

    I fully admit I’m ENTIRELY in the minority here. Everyone I know loves Kill Bill (Ms. Rex included). I just didn’t really care about The Bride by the end.

  373. Raul Says:

    Who’s in the minority, Hossrex?

    I’m the one who wasn’t blown away by Inglourious Basterds, and it has like an 8.2 rating or something on IMDB

  374. Cameron Says:

    Told you guys, if Sanchez gets wild, he’ll never be able to right the ship and Texas would slam him for it. And you thought I was crazy.

  375. Cameron Says:

    Have not seen Basterds yet, want to because I love Tarantino.

    And laugh-worthy quote of the day for me.

    “Okay. Come on guys.

    Which fucking one of you told Justin Bieber he could sing during the World Series?

    It’s like Fox is trying to make me hate baseball.

    Fuck you Fox. I hope you die in a fire.”

    Congrats Fox, you outdid the cast of Glee singing the national anthem before the ASG. Could I hate you anymore right now?

  376. Bob Says:

    Hot damn, no sweep.

  377. Chuck Says:

    Never mind who told Justin Bieber he could sing at the World Series, I want to know who told Justin Bieber he could sing.

  378. Chuck Says:

    Five years from now, Bieber will get busted behind a crack house getting a blowjob from a transvestite hooker.

    Danny Bonaduce lives on.

  379. Cameron Says:

    Bryan Adams, Geddy Lee, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber. What do they all have in common?

    Canadians who are fucking terrible singers. Geddy’s only saved by the grace of Rush’s music being awesome. The rest of them… *shiver*

  380. John Says:


    McCarver is an idiot.

    I ignore everything he says.

    His keys to winning are generally something like “winning” or “scoring more runs.”

  381. Cameron Says:

    Happy Halloween everyone.

  382. Raul Says:

    Not sure if anything was ever made of this, but the 2010 San Francisco Giants allowed 546 earned runs.

    It’s the fewest allowed earned runs since LA Dodgers allowed 511 in 2003.

  383. Raul Says:

    No team has allowed less than 500 runs in a season since the 1972 Oakland Athletics.

    However, the Mets, Cardinals, Tigers and Orioles all allowed less than 500 in 1968.
    The Dodgers did so in 1966. The White Sox in 1967.

  384. Hartvig Says:

    In 1972 the Baltimore Orioles allowed only 430 runs, 27 fewer than the A’s. Unfortunately they also scored 85 fewer runs than the A’s too.

  385. Mike Felber Says:

    How many runs scored or allowed compared to the League average would be better to know. And if we did this & added in runs scored compared to League average, it would be interesting to see who was more efficient in translating these into wins. Usually teams do not, say, get blown our or have lopsided wins much more often, but sometimes things are a bit unbalanced.

    Hold one…Scoring MORE runs leads to wins? Oh that is good. Ever notice how McCarver’s moniker is/sounds close to the name for the genius award? He is from the Ralph Wiggum school of brilliantly incisive logic. Cat food/cat’s breath connection level of transcendent intuitive wisdom.

  386. Raul Says:

    You’re right, Hartvig.

    I missed the 72 Orioles.

  387. Raul Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how different teams were managed back then, and how effective some players were.

    That ‘72 Orioles team gave up 430 runs all season, and this was their rotation:

    Jim Palmer – 274 IP, 2.07 ERA
    Pat Dobson – 268 IP, 2.65 ERA
    Mike Cuellar – 248 IP, 2.57 ERA
    Dave McNally – 241 IP, 2.95 ERA

    They carried 4 starters, 11 total pitchers all season. And 3 of them were relievers who pitched less than 25 innings. That’s incredible.

    I wonder how many players from that team went on to become managers?
    I know Johnny Oates and Davey Johnson did. Paul Blair ended up coaching Minor League ball for while. Oh, and Don Baylor was on that team, too.

  388. Shaun Says:

    How did I know I would get that reaction when I brought up what McCarver said?

    Basically I get the predictable, “McCarver is an idiot” and the only reason is because he said something counter to your beliefs. Then you ask me if I’ve played the game. a) Yes, I have and b) McCarver has played it at a much higher level than most if not all of us. I am not particularly fond of McCarver as an analyst but I take him at his word on this because he has no incentive to lie. Anyone who thinks that he does have reason to lie is simply stubborn in their wrongheaded beliefs. What, do you think McCarver is conspiring with me in order to spread the lie that catchers encourage pitchers to throw what pitchers want to throw? That’s basically the argument you have to make in order to hold on to your beliefs.

  389. Raul Says:

    Nobody here suggested Tim McCarver was lying. We simply are aware of the truckloads of stupid things he says.

    What? You think Tim McCarver is right about what pitchers are catchers are shaking off? Because he’s a former player and he’s on tv?

    It’s one thing if Tim McCarver is asserting something that most people believe to be true. But when virtually everyone I know says he’s wrong, and when I couple that with my own experiences pitching, and being around pitchers in the Dominican Republic, then yeah, I’d say he’s wrong.

    I’m quite amazed, Shaun, that it didn’t occur to you that you were going to cite the 3rd biggest jagaloon to set foot in a Major League Baseball press box. Joe Morgan and Joe Buck.

  390. Raul Says:

    *Behind Morgan and Buck, that is.

  391. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: ” “McCarver is an idiot” and the only reason is because he said something counter to your beliefs.”

    Shaun, the ONLY REASON? You want to expound on this before I think of you in a very narrow and shallow way? That is a very broad statement and loaded with bull.

  392. Cameron Says:

    “What? You think Tim McCarver is right about what pitchers are catchers are shaking off? Because he’s a former player and he’s on tv?”

    By that token, Macho Man Randy Savage would be just as good a baseball announcer, and certainly a more entertaining one.


  393. brautigan Says:

    Keep in mind, I don’t really mind Buck and McCarver. You have to remember, I grew up listening to Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean on the tube. which makes McCarver and Buck sound like seasoned public speakers.

  394. Raul Says:

    Damn you, Cameron, for showing me that.

  395. Cameron Says:

    Didn’t know the Macho Man had a minor league career?

  396. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, I think McCarver is telling the truth about catchers encouraging pitchers to throw what the pitcher wants to throw because he has no reason to lie and he was once a major league catcher.

    I agree that McCarver seems to think he’s smarter than he is. But with regard to this, he was just stating something as it is. He has no incentive to lie about it. We really have no reason to let how we feel about McCarver determine whether his statements about catchers and pitchers wasn’t likely to be true. I just don’t see how McCarver seeming to think he’s smarter than he is and him stating how the relationship between a pitcher and a catcher works have anything to do with each other.

    Now if McCarver is telling us something like Nelson Cruz should have ran himself into an out at the plate, something that’s based on his view and opinion of how the game should be played, then that deserved to be scrutinized. But when he’s telling us the way something is and there is no reason for him to lie, I don’t see how that can be scrutinized. Especially when we know that it’s up to the pitcher to throw what he wants to throw (and not the catcher) even before McCarver made his statements. Those who think it’s completely up to the catcher to dictate every pitch the pitcher throws are the ones who seem like they’ve never played the game.

  397. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, why the Macho Man analogy doesn’t work for this discussion: He wasn’t a catcher for as long as McCarver nor did he reach the majors as a catcher. He played 1 game at catcher. McCarver was discussing something that he had direct experience with. So “by that token” doesn’t apply to this discussion. Sorry.

  398. Cameron Says:

    Dude, I was joking. You need to get the pole out of your ass and learn to laugh.

  399. John Says:


    I’ve never thought Buck was that bad, just kinda boring and of course, seated next to McCarver.

    McCarver and Morgan are truly awful. Kruk might be worse.

    For my money, no one will ever top Steve Phillips.

  400. Mike Felber Says:

    What Raul said above should be obvious Shaun-nobody here thinks McCarver was lying. His judgment is just very questionable, & there is much evidence that catchers take the lead more in calling games. Some catchers encourage some pitchers to do so- that does not mean that usually pitchers take the lead or make most of the pitch selection decisions. Overall.

  401. Chuck Says:

    “Those who think it’s completely up to the catcher to dictate every pitch the pitcher throws…”

    Nobody said that.

  402. Chuck Says:

    If McCarver truly sucked as an analyst he wouldn’t have had a thirty year career doing it.

    Yes, he sometimes gets Phil Rizzuto-ish with his unnecessary nonsense, but when McCarver limits his talk to JUST baseball, he’s as good and as knowledgeable as anyone.

    There’s a fine line between being informative and a jackass, a line McCarver crosses way too many times.

  403. brautigan Says:

    The other point that needs to be made, how many catchers call their own games? I think that number has dwindled. You see a lot of the pitches coming from the dugout these days, which has benefits, and it has a multitude of drawbacks.

    Of all my years in baseball, only once have I seen a pitcher call his own game. Hell, even McCarver called pitches for Bob Gibson and Larry Jackson.

  404. Hossrex Says:

    Zero outs in the fourth. Josh Hamilton batting.

    Tim McCarver: “This may sound simplistic, but the reason the Rangers AREN’T (emphasis his) hitting, is because the Giants ARE pitching.”

    You’d all puke if you knew how much money Tim McCarver was making.

  405. John Says:

    Hossrex, he’s been saying that shit for 30 years, so he must be insightful.

  406. John Says:

    Also, Joe Buck is currently talking up Troy Aikman, who’s at the game, talking about all his title and such. Weird, because Buck works with him 15 sundays a year.

  407. Chuck Says:

    If what he said was so simplistic, why are you questioning it?

    Good pitching beats good hitting.

    Anyone else said it, you’d think he was a genius.

  408. Raul Says:

    This Tim Lincecum dude is…uh….pretty good at pitching.

  409. John Says:


    ANYone can say that. NO ONE thinks he’s insightful.

    His key to winning? Win the game.


  410. Hossrex Says:

    If anyone else said (basically) “This may sound simplistic, but the reason one team isn’t playing well, is because the other team is playing well”… I would think it was genius?

    Errr… no?

  411. Raul Says:

    Tim McCarver may know baseball. It doesn’t mean he knows everything, and it doesn’t mean he’s always right.

    Hell I’m sure even John Kruk knows some things that are true, or some things that could even help players. That’s not necessarily the point.

    And a guy being employed for 30 years could mean a lot of things.
    Strom Thurmond was in Congress for like 50 years. Doesn’t mean he was necessarily smart or accurate or even good at his job.

    Sometimes I’d rather watch baseball with the SAP mode on.

  412. Hossrex Says:

    I don’t hate Kruckie nearly as much as I know I should. At least he speaks English.

    I also don’t have any particular problem with the idea that (for all I know) Tim McCarver might be the most knowledgeable baseball man around. That’s fine. Doesn’t mean he’s not a shit analyst (and I mean that literally… think about what you imagine the “analyst” role should be… then listen to Tim McCarver. Are they alike WHATSOEVER?).

    This bullshit is nearly as bad as listening to Steve Lyons (does Dodger games when we’re further east than Vinny is capable of traveling). His pre-game “scouting report” is always some version of “they’ll have to play well”. As if he REALLY doesn’t understand that “they’ll have to play well” IS IN NO WAY A SCOUTING REPORT.

    A scouting report is “lefties should watch out for his slider” or “the pitcher is much worse deep in the count, so batters should try to foul off some pitches”.

    Not (as John said) “Key to winning: Win the game”.

    It’s just time wasting nonsense. The worst shame of the whole thing is that there ARE GOOD SPORTS CASTERS… for some reason unfortunately, Fox doesn’t hire those talented people.

  413. Raul Says:

    Renteria homers.

    Game: Blouses.

  414. John Says:

    “You don’t have to throw him a strike here. Remember Aaron Rowand is a much less fearsome hitter”

    And Renteria clubs a 3-r homer.

  415. Cameron Says:

    You see, all this talk of bad sportscasting makes me wish I had MLB Network on my TV and not the downstairs set. They have… If not good, at least entertaining sportscasters. Mitch Williams isn’t the greatest, but you can tell he’s at least having fun with it, same with Harold Reynolds. Al Leiter and Dan Plesac are better than I thought they’d be.

    …And of course they have Bob Costas, and I’m a huge fan of his.

  416. Raul Says:

    Nice job, Nelson Cruz. For a second, I thought it was headed for Juarez.

  417. John Says:

    Today, I watched Nelson Cruz club a homerun in the World Series. My favorite team traded Cruz for CoCo Cordero. FML

  418. Raul Says:

    Us Yankees fans have a rotation of guys.
    Michael Kay and Ken Singleton. Al Leiter, Paul O’Neill and John Flaherty will sometimes do a game.

    I rather enjoy Singleton. And Kay isn’t SO bad, but I don’t like him.
    But I miss Bobby Murcer.

  419. Raul Says:

    LOL John.

    Dude, we had a Seinfeld episode because of Jay Buhner, lol

  420. Raul Says:

    Is it me or Lincecum is throwing slower? I mean he has great movement and all, but didn’t he used to dial it up to 96 mph on his fastballs?

    It doesn’t matter, he’s still good. I just thought he used to throw harder.

  421. Raul Says:

    92 pitches for Lincecum.

    He’s staying out there for the 9th.

  422. Cameron Says:

    I think he’s trying to take some gas off so he can hit his spots better. It’s a do-or-die game, he doesn’t want to get wild.

    …That or he lit a fattie in the dugout.

  423. Hossrex Says:

    Slower in general? Yeah. Lincecum (thank god) is looking like he might not be the hall of fame level dominate force he seemed assured to be.

    He most certainly has lost a bit of velocity. Not enough to make him “Bad”, but at the VERY least, he’s not the guy he was in ‘08 and ‘09.

    Lincecum and Kershaw were drafted the same year. That makes me sad.

  424. Raul Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s not throwing 86mph fastballs.
    I just…well if you trust the radar gun, it says he’s at 91-92. That’s fine.

    I just thought I saw him hit like 97 in past games. But it is a long season, and maybe Cameron has a point about not over-exerting himself.

  425. Cameron Says:

    Tim’s ERA’s ballooning and his strikeouts dipped a little, but he still seems a lock for sub 3.75 ERA (wouldn’t say lock for sub 3.50 given the year, but it’ll hover around there on a bad year) and 200 strikeouts. This year looks like it could be the norm, which is a career year for most guys.

    He’s not a lock for the HoF, but if he keeps this up, we’ll see.

    And remember that Kershaw was a high school draft pick, Lincecum was a college pick. I’d take Tim over Kershaw, college picks are safer bets IMO. Not saying safe because every pick’s a crapshoot, but I’ll take the college guy.

  426. Cameron Says:

    Tim throwing slower this game’s smart. The old adage goes the faster the pitch, the faster it leaves the park. This is a huge hitter’s park, you screw up and it’ll hurt you worse than in most parks. Dial it down, hit your corners, and go to the breaking stuff more. Keep them off-guard and you’ll wrap it up. He’s got a good change and a great curve, he has the breaking balls to make them get out in front.

  427. Raul Says:

    Just in case you’re bored…someone sent me this link, so…


  428. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “college picks are safer bet”

    I’d heard the opposite. I’d heard teams are starting to prefer high school guys, because they haven’t been screwed up by college coaches yet. That teams prefer to take young talent, and form it in the vision IT see’s for how a young player should be.

  429. Raul Says:

    Nothing against Brian Wilson, but I’d leave Lincecum in there

  430. Cameron Says:

    Teams prefer them, yes, but that doesn’t mean I agree with them. You’re asking a guy to make a jump from high school to pro-level talent. There’s a HUGE jump and it’ll take them longer to get to the same level. A college guy’s gone up against other good prospects and have a good midway, letting them make the jump easier and they won’t have to develop as much.

    If you’re worried so much about what the college coach will does, either don’t draft from that school or hire and have faith in a coaching staff that will teach what you want.

  431. Cameron Says:

    In this situation, I’d leave Lincecum in, but have Wilson in the bullpen. One hit and Tim’s yanked.

  432. Hossrex Says:

    Not that it mattered, but Lincecum should have faced Hamilton, then brought in Wilson to face Vlad and Cruz.

  433. Hossrex Says:

    An hero time.

  434. Raul Says:

    The Giants win the Pe—-World Series!

  435. Cameron Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, your World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!

  436. Hossrex Says:

    Oh well.

    I’m about to go to Ms. Rex’s house to watch (in this order) “Dexter”, “The Big C” (shut up, it’s good), and “Inception”.

    I aint gonna let this shit get me down.

  437. Raul Says:

    Just out of curiosity, what did PECOTA project for the San Francisco Giants this year? 50 wins?

  438. Raul Says:

    She’s got you watching The Big C?
    Don’t forget to take that midol pill with your milk before bed.

  439. Raul Says:

    The Giants are going to have the best-organized, cleanest World Series parade ever. Fully equipped with pink confetti and peppermint macchiatos.

  440. Chuck Says:

    Say what you want about McCarver and Buck, but Ken Rosenthal?

    With a bow tie?

    He had to suck a lot of c*ck to get that gig.

  441. Cameron Says:

    I happen to have this year’s Baseball Prospectus right here and they said 83-79.

  442. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Chuck

  443. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “She’s got you watching The Big C?”

    It’s… it’s… It’s… GOOD!

    *cries into his beer*

    Oh god… oh god… what has my life become!

  444. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “With a bow tie?”

    Did you see the embarrassing part with Lincecum and HIS bowties?

    Why do they want me to hate baseball? Why?

  445. Cameron Says:

    For the record, BP also thought the Dodgers would finish 99-63 and they actually went 80-82, so make of it what you will.

  446. John Says:

    Gee, that seems pretty close for a computer.

  447. Chuck Says:

    “Don’t forget to take that midol pill.”

    Single best cure for a hangover.


  448. Mike Felber Says:

    Raul, if those girls joined us at the gym we would likely squat more than once a week. Spot them, yesss I would.

    Actually Chuck has a point. MsCarver should have articulated it further, but it is always an open question just how much the offense or defense is accounting for a lack of, or much, productivity on either side. For example, pitcher A gets a 4 hit shut out CG, walks 2. Excellent performance, right? Clearly usually he would be throwing about a 9 on a 1-10 score. But besides that certain teams hit better or worse, & there are injuries: sometimes just by coincidence most all player scan have a bad (or great) game, right? Not even needing to be due to psychological issues-just a small % of times the whole lineup is especially weak or strong by coincidence.

    The difference in 4-5 MPH cannot be that great in terms of distance hit/HR likelihood. But the point is well taken that control is more difficult approaching your top speed.

    Reminds me how humbling it is to throw for a radar gun. Raul you pitched & are Clemens height: what could you hit?

  449. Chuck Says:

    Now that it’s over, I can say honestly I meant what I said earlier about being glad the Yankees got bounced early.

    It wasn’t sour grapes.

    The last time the Giants won was before I was born, and the Senators/Rangers had never won.

    Both rank in the bottom third of payrolls.

    I can’t see how either of those scenarios paints a bad picture for baseball.

    Do you?

  450. Chuck Says:

    Lincecum WAS off his game tonight.

    He didn’t have his good fastball, and was throwing, for him, an inordinate amount of changeups.

    The Rangers hitters couldn’t figure him out because he was essentially pitching backwards, so while they were aggressive early against a fastball pitcher, he wasn’t throwing fastballs, which negates their aggressiveness.

    97 pitches through eight and probably throwing a third less fastballs than normal?


  451. Cameron Says:

    The fact he was off his game, not throwing his best, and still only gave up one run is pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

  452. Raul Says:

    Throwing with incorrect mechanics, when I was 19 I threw about 88mph.

    I never did perfect my mechanics, but once when learning new mechanics, I was recorded at about 83 most of the time…and once hit 85. At that point I was 23 and the only reason I was even playing around was because I was in DR on vacation for a few months and I was around a bunch of ballplayers.

  453. Raul Says:

    We all have our stories, but in high school I was 6′4, about 170lbs, left-handed. When I graduated HS, I was about 205.

    Until I decided to pitch a little as a junior and senior (I was primarily a 1B), no one…absolutely no one had ever tried to make me a pitcher, or even suggested it. Never in Little League, or anything.

    That tells you a lot about the kind of coaching there is in the Northeast.

  454. Cameron Says:

    You kidding? I can barely touch the 60s, I just live off the fact I have pinpoint control and can keep it in the dirt into a 200 pitch count.

  455. Raul Says:

    That’s ok, Cameron.

    Jamie Moyer has a 24 year career.
    Mark Prior had 5.

  456. Chuck Says:

    “That tells you a lot about the kind of coaching there is in the Northeast.

    Frank Thomas couldn’t throw the ball across the diamond to third in the air.

    He was, what, 6′5′, 260, and he threw like a five year old girl.

    I know what you mean, though. I’ve seen some potentially great players ruined by the fact they had no coaching early on.

    Talent only takes you so far. If you don’t know how to play the game, all the physical talent in the world isn’t going to mean squat.

  457. Cameron Says:

    I know. There’s also something I pride myself on. I basically take my middle and ring fingers, girp diagonally along the seams, twist my wrist and snap it so it flies sideways.

    The result is pretty strange. I almost want to call it a slurve, but it doesn’t have the same break. It travels like a lazy cutter until about 5-10 feet from the plate and then just vanishes in the dirt. If it were thrown at normal speed, I’m pretty sure that thing would just fly off and hit the first base coach, but I’ve turned it into something that makes everyone who watches it (including me) go “What the fuck was that?”

  458. Raul Says:

    You do find some nice players from the Northeast, but I’d say it’s unusual for the most part.

    I think BJ Surhoff was from Rye, which is like 20 minutes away from me.

  459. Chuck Says:

    Without much thought, and no research.

    Rhode Island: Paul Konerko, Chris Iannetta, Rocco Baldelli, Davey Lopes.

    Massachusetts: Rico Brogna, Mark Wohlers, Jeff Reardon, Tom Glavine, Jeff Juden

    Connecticut: Brad Ausmus, Darren Bragg, Mike Porzio, John Caneira, Paul Householder, Ricky Bottalico, Chris Denorfia, Charles Nagy, Rob Dibble and Carl Pavano.

  460. Chuck Says:

    BJ Surhoff is actually from the Bronx.

  461. Raul Says:

    Surhoff played for Rye High School. And from what I hear, hit “the rock” during a baseball game against my highschool back in the 80s. That rock has to be over 420 feet from home plate.

    And my guess is that a number of those guys Chuck listed were from families that were fairly well-off and could send their kids to camps or down south in the winter.

  462. Cameron Says:

    It’s strange where you see where people are born and where they end up.

    Albert Pujols was born in the DR and pretty much spent his whole life here in the KC area. Went to high school at Fort Osage in Independence (15 minutes from my house, I know the guy who umpired all his home games) and went to college at the Metropolitan Community College at Maple Woods (about 25 minutes from my house and a 5-10 minute drive from Kauffman Stadium).

    …If the Royals drafted Pujols, he would’ve been one hell of a hometown hero. We got about 9 or 10 chances to do it and… What the fuck guys?

  463. Raul Says:

    From Kansas City:

    Casey Stengel
    Smokey Joe Wood
    David Cone
    Andy Ashby

    But the list from St. Louis is damn impressive.

  464. Mike Felber Says:

    Let me see if I know what you meant Chuck. Coaching is important, but just like Raul having unusual speed as a skinny kid, is not something like that & Thomas not being able to throw well mostly a natural ability? That is: Raul & Thomas could have perfected their technique, for accuracy, good bio-mechanics.injury prevention: but there is not a great deal that can be done, absent some unusually lame motion, to increase greatly the speed or distance one can toss, right?

    And you mean Thomas could not throw usefully, i.e., a liner, to 1st, right? Cameron, your pitch sounds wicked. Though studies do show that even the most “drop off the table” pitches do not actually do that. It is an optical illusion due to switching from main to peripheral vision-I can get you a link on that. Basically in the necessary process of changing from one visual mode to another, a continual bend is not noticed until the last minute/all at once.

    Though the knuckle ball does some strange fluttering.

    Actually Raul, you were not as thin at 19. But it is fascinating how sometimes beanpoles who could not move much in a weight room can leverage so much speed. Even sometimes guys who are not at all tall, like Martinez. Just a gift.

  465. Cameron Says:

    Head of the list is Yogi Berra, I know that much. The Cards took his friend over Yogi because they didn’t think Berra would be a good catcher.

  466. Mike Felber Says:

    And Billy Wagner. Seemingly a random gift that no measurement or observation, short of seeing the actual pitch, could predict.

  467. Cameron Says:

    That’s because the knuckleball doesn’t rotate straight out of the release, causing wind to flow over the ball in a fashion abnormal compared to most pitches, causing it to flutter. …Or something along those lines, all I know is I know how to make a knuckleball flutter a bit. Since I can’t get good velocity on anything, I added a downward break to it to make it even more confusing.

    …Then again, I a downward break to everything to save my own ass. Same with that pitch I accidentally discovered. I’m pretty sure with its mechanics, the only people who can throw it are me, Jamie Moyer, and Tim Wakefield.

  468. Raul Says:

    I was skin and bone my entire life until about my junior year in high school…because I got a job and started eating junk food…then started working out.

    I probably could have thrown faster, but things just didn’t turn out that way….unless I somehow wake up 38 years old, throwing 95 like that Tampa Bay Rays movie.

  469. Raul Says:

    I was looking at the most home runs by players born in New York.

    1. Alex Rodriguez
    2. Lou Gehrig
    3. Carl Yastrzemski
    4. Rocky Colavito
    5. Hank Greenberg

    Really? Rocky Colavito??

  470. Cameron Says:

    Colavito was a bit of an underrated player.

  471. brautigan Says:

    Colavito had one of the best OF arms in the history of the game. And he could hit a little. :)

  472. Cameron Says:

    I speak from research and the fact few seem to remember him.

    Braut remembers seeing him and thinking “He’s no Zack Wheat.”

  473. Lefty33 Says:

    “I am not particularly fond of McCarver as an analyst but I take him at his word on this because he has no incentive to lie.”

    Why take him at his word?

    Just because he says something doesn’t make it always correct.

    Question it.

    Research it.

    If you played you may even know better.

    Don’t be a parrot.

    I mean look at you. People on this site constantly question things that you bring up because most are 100% factually incorrect and you can’t back them up with anything except useless talking points.

    Like I told you before, read Living on the Black by John Feinstein. It puts pitcher’s approaches into very basic layman terms.

    Glavine is the future HOF pitcher who almost never shakes off his catcher and let’s him call the game 100% of the time.

    And it’s not because of the jack-wagon reasoning that you mention in post #69 as to why he didn’t do it.

    He didn’t because he was taught, like most pitchers are, that the catcher/manager/pitching coach calls the game and that your job as the pitcher is to execute the pitch called and not to question why you see two fingers down and not three.

    Mussina was the rare breed in that he was simply a smart enough guy that he, to a point, called his own game and if in the bullpen one of his six pitches wasn’t working he would tell Posada that his curve was bad so that day he would bag it.

    And he expounds in the book about how he would shake off Posada whenever he didn’t like the pitch or location that was being called and that in some starts that equated to well over fifty percent of his pitches.


    Read that article about Ruiz and Halladay during the no-hitter against the Reds.

    “Ruiz said Halladay shook him off once. That was on Cincinnati’s last batter, Brandon Phillips. Ruiz wanted a fastball, up. Halladay wanted to throw a cut fastball. Ruiz said he changed the sign “right away.”"

    Halladay only shook Ruiz off once because Ruiz calls the game.

    It’s really not that hard Shaun.

  474. Cameron Says:

    Is it just my weird, super-sinkerballing approach to pitching, or is it actually harder to hit your spots high in the zone compared to lower? Might just be me.

  475. Cameron Says:

    Oh fun! Instead of the traditional 15 day period where impending free agents can negotiate with their clubs before hitting the market, we have only five this offseason. Hot stove starts early.

  476. Hartvig Says:

    Re: Rocky Colovito

    It got me wondering what Detroit did with both Colovito & Kaline on the roster and, in 1960 at least, Colovito played 100% of his game in right field & Kaline played all of his in center. Colovito made 2 pitching appearances in his career, a total of 5 and 2/3rds innings. He gave up no runs, faced a total of 23 batters and allowed exactly 1 hit. He did walk 5 however. Looks like he could have been the second coming of Bob Feller or maybe a precursor to Nolan Ryan if things had worked out differently.

  477. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “Single best cure for a hangover.”

    No joke here. Try Dramamine. The motion sickness (seasick) pills.

    Seriously. I’ve never tried anything that worked SO well, SO quickly.

  478. Hartvig Says:

    Hangover cures:
    #1 Drink plenty of water while your drinking alcohol. A hangover is primarily caused by dehydration.
    #2 Just before you call it a night, drink something with plenty of high-fructose corn syrup (Shasta used to be a good choice- I’m not sure what would be now). Fructose increases the metabolism of alcohol and gets it out of your system faster.
    #3 Use the high-fructose drink to wash down 600 mg of ibuprofen or 1 Gm of aspirin (usually 3 tablets of either). Better yet add about 30 mg of caffeine to the mix (about 1/2 cup of weak coffee). That might make it difficult for some people to sleep however. This will help reduce meningeal inflammation. Don’t do this too often or if you have poorly controlled high blood pressure or kidney problems or diabetes or any other condition where you shouldn’t take NSAID”s. Tylenol is tough on the liver & if you’ve been drinking a lot that makes it worse. If you do have to take Tylenol, eat something with it because that reduces the impact on the liver quite a bit.
    #4 Dramamine will help with nausea and might put you back to sleep so you have more time to clear the alcohol out of your system. If sleeping longer is a problem, Bonine (or non-drowsy Dramamine) might be a better choice.

    When I was in college, the boys would come down from Selkirk & Portage la Prairie, Manitoba to visit my roommate. In the morning, bodies would be strewn among the carnage, where ever they happened to fall over. Next to every guy would be an open beer (so it would be warm & flat) on-top of which would be a cigarette & a couple of APC tablets (a combination of aspirin, phenacetin (similar to Tylenol) and 15 mg of codeine). It looked like the hangover fairy had visited during the night.

    Those boys were some seriously demented partiers, an that’s coming from a former social chairman for a college rugby club.

  479. Raul Says:

    Thanks for the Feinstein book recommendation, Lefty.

  480. Chuck Says:

    “And my guess is that a number of those guys Chuck listed were from families that were fairly well-off and could send their kids to camps or down south in the winter.”

    The guys I listed from CT were from memory and only because I either coached or played with or against them.

    The only guy with a “well-off” family was Ausmus.

  481. Chuck Says:

    “is not something like that & Thomas not being able to throw well mostly a natural ability?”

    Throwing a baseball is an unnatural act. It is an act which must be taught. The sooner a player learns the proper fundamentals, and the sooner he learns the proper exercises and how to care for his arm, the better, and longer, he will be able to throw.

    “but there is not a great deal that can be done, absent some unusually lame motion, to increase greatly the speed or distance one can toss, right?”

    Not at all.

    It doesn’t matter how you throw, as long as you are throwing naturally. If everybody was supposed to throw the same way, we’d have never heard of Dan Quisenberry or even Randy Johnson.

    The more you throw, especially long toss, the stronger your arm becomes. The stronger your arm becomes, the further, and harder, you throw.

    Chris Sale, the White Sox rookie everybody thinks will get hurt because of his motion?

    6′4″, 170.

    Why does he have such an unusual motion? Because his body isn’t strong enough to support a proper one.

    Speaking from my own experiences; I’ve seen a number of players with unusual body types as teenagers. My personal experience with nutrition/body styles gives me an added advantage to having a good idea whether or not they will get bigger and stronger or not.

    But, I wrote down every single name. I would be remiss in my job if I didn’t.

    Every single one of them was worth following because of their size, and I would follow them or turn in their names for someone else and kept on them until it became apparent they couldn’t play.

  482. Chuck Says:

    Mike, do you think Lincecum’s motion is violent and stressful?

  483. Raul Says:

    I probably shouldn’t have said “proper mechanics” since…well like Chuck alluded to, it can differ from player to player.

    I, apparently, threw way too “overhand” — if you can believe that.
    I actually remember exactly why that happened, too.

    When I was a teenager, I was having catch during a tryout. My uncle had come down from college and was helping the coaches, so he and I were throwing to each other. He started telling me to throw overhand, because I was slinging the ball and my arm was too low. Me? I felt perfectly fine and everything was natural. Anyway, him knowing more than me, I started raising my arm higher. It felt weird at first, but I just kept doing it.

    Years later when I was in DR just helping out with the ball players and taking part…one of the coaches told me I was pitching the wrong way. I tried to fix it but I couldn’t.

    So anyway, about 20 minutes later all of the pitchers (myself included) started taking ground ball practice. You’d pitch to the catcher, and the coach would hit little grounders to us, and we’d turn and flip to first base. Well, when I threw to first base I kinda slung it a little bit side-armed “Randy Johnson-style” and the coach screamed at me. THAT’s how I was supposed to pitch. It actually felt perfect when just tossing it, but I had trouble throwing that way as a “pitcher”.

    Can’t help but wonder how I might have developed if I’d been throwing that way the entire time.

  484. Bob Says:

    Chuck, I believe Pags was born in Ma.

  485. Chuck Says:

    You guys remember Jim Umbarger, the lefty reliever for the Rangers and A’s in the ’70’s?

    A “side-armed Randy Johnson style” thrower?

    Six-six, 200 pounds.

    I never paid any attention to how guys throw before, but after talking with him a couple of times, how guys end up with the motions they have, especially pitchers, is not really by design but of necessity.

    Name a tall pitcher who throws overhand?

    There are exceptions, Carlton, Clemens, Jenkins, even Cliff Lee, but for the most part, the taller a pitcher, the lower his arm slot.

    I wish Shaun was around, since he knows more about pitching than any of us, but, no worries, I got his back.

    Umbarger told me it had to do with the slope of the mound and how it affected his balance.

    Randy Johnson is almost a foot taller than Greg Maddux, yet when they pitched against each other their landing spots were almost the same.

    Umbarger said the downward slope of the mound isn’t long enough to accommodate the longer strides of a tall pitcher, so, to compensate, they had to learn how to throw from a three quarters or sidearm motion.

    Throwing from a lower arm angle doesn’t require as much strength or balance as a higher angle does, basically a pitcher puts his front foot down and slings the ball around his body, instead of throwing over himself, which requires the longer stride and more balance.

    Because the mound slope is shorter for a tall guy, if he threw overhand, he could stride longer than the slope and land on flat ground, which would be equivalent to slamming on your brakes at 80 mph, and would cause knee, hip and especially shoulder injuries.

    Umbarger said he was an overhand pitcher when he was a kid, but when he started growing in high school he had to make an intentional change to the way he threw. He said he was drafted out of high school (Indians, second round) but decided to go to college because he felt he needed additional work on his “new” delivery, and the scout who drafted him actually suggested he go to school.

  486. Chuck Says:

    Yes, Bob, he was.

    And still lives there.

  487. Jim Says:

    ML’s from NH – of the top of my head Carlton Fisk, Chis Carpenter and Brian Wilson.

    Oh how far MLB has fallen. The day after the WS I’m looking at the Yahoo Sports headline feed on my Google widget and the series isn’t mentioned. All football stories and two of them were top headlines yesterday.

  488. Raul Says:

    Interesting stuff, Chuck.


    Come to think of it, I don’t know of many tall pitchers who do throw straight overhand. And those who do, appear to have control issues…a lot of them, anyway.

    David Price is more of a slinger than over-the-top. So is Sabathia.

  489. Jim Says:

    Re: 485 – The lower arm slot likely means that from a batters perspective the ball is approaching at relatively the same angle that the typical overhand pitcher throws, negating a source of potential advantage for a tall pitcher.

  490. Raul Says:

    Maybe…except when the ball looks like it’s coming out of the 2nd baseman’s hand.

    It’s been said that when Randy Johnson unleashed his slider, it started behind the batter, and ended up 2 feet outside to left-handed batters

  491. Raul Says:

    MLB Trade Rumors is reporting the White Sox re-signed SS Omar Vizquel.
    Um…has any one ever played shortstop at the age of 44? What is that guy? A machine?

    The Padres exercised their 2011 option on Adrian Gonzalez yesterday.

  492. John Says:


    1) Vizquel didn’t play a whole lot of SS as a 43-year old – just 9 games. I wonder if he’s actually thinking he’ll get to 3000 hits if he just dinks around long enough.

    2) Think Gonzalez will be traded? The Padres resurgence last year must make it tough to trade their premier slugger.

  493. Chuck Says:

    “The lower arm slot likely means that from a batters perspective the ball is approaching at relatively the same angle that the typical overhand pitcher throws, negating a source of potential advantage for a tall pitcher.”

    Not true.

  494. Raul Says:

    Where would Gonzalez be traded to?

    The Redsox have a need but they simply don’t have the prospects to do it.
    Oakland? They don’t have the prospects either.
    Texas? They had their 1B and shipped him to Seattle. I doubt they’d give up more top prospects AND sign him to a 100M deal.

    I can’t think of any team that has the need, and the prospects.
    Atlanta could use him, but they already have Freeman.

    Only way I see him going is if San Diego really won’t pay him, and a high-ceiling OF prospect becomes available. They may decide that’s better than 2 draft picks.

  495. Chuck Says:

    Ryan Howard is a free agent following the 2011 season.

    Can anyone see Philly letting him walk to the AL, and giving Gonzalez a shot?

    Gonzalez is a better all-round player than Howard, and is two and a half years YOUNGER.

    I know Philly has the prospects to get him.

    And the cash.

  496. Jim Says:

    Didn’t Philly sign Howard to a ridiculous extension or are you thinking of Fielder?

  497. Chuck Says:

    You’re right, Jim.

    On Cot’s free agent page, it lists Howard, but if you go to the Phillies team page, it shows where he signed the extension.

    Not a very good job for a site of their caliber to have conflicting information on the same page, but my bad for not checking too.


  498. Chuck Says:

    I hate it when you pull a link off another site and you get the “your comment is awaiting moderation”, when, in fact, there are no moderators.

  499. Jim Says:

    Well in Red Sox news they signed Curt Young as pitching coach and not surprisingly, refused the option on Bill Hall.

  500. John Says:

    Brewers just hired Ron Roenicke. Any information on that guy?

  501. Bob Says:

    By the way, who is going to write a column about ” What You Overlooked about the Giants?”

  502. Chuck Says:

    I think that’s pretty obvious, Bob.

    Ron Roenicke was on Mike Scioscia’s staff in LA, and is Gary’s little brother.

  503. Jim Says:

    That Bruce Boche is a damn good manager.

  504. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “I hate it when you pull a link off another site and you get the “your comment is awaiting moderation”, when, in fact, there are no moderators.”

    I don’t understand why it does that just SOME times.

    If I’m posting a link to a silly picture of a guys face photoshopped onto a fishes body… that goes through just fine.

    If I need to post a link to baseball reference to make a point about the topic being discussed… SCREW THAT! AWAITING MODERATION!

    In payment: http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:4CjZjhYfFbg7AM:http://www.destructoid.com/elephant//ul/8430-550x-seaman.jpg&t=1

  505. Mike Felber Says:

    This is interesting Chuck You know a lot about this, so allow me to throw you some specific queries:

    1st, I communicated ineffectively re: the lame delivery comment. I know that is individual, I meant a risky delivery, like the old elbow over the hear. Yes, I feel T.L.’s delivery was straining.

    Next, I know the arm gets much stronger-in terms of the ability to throw more & avoid injury. But does that tend to add much raw speed? Is that not overwhelmingly genetic, with control/endurance/stuff much more trainable?

    I wonder how guys would/should throw without a mound, or if a mound was somehow tailored to their size. And how much a guy would tend to develop through unfettered exploration the most effective &/or less taxing style: for his body. Or is counsel on this usually necessary? Seaver had a great delivery. Walter Johnson & Bob Feller had just gorgeous, unique styles. Johnson always just felt out what was best & natural, Griffin could not persuade him to try trick pitches.

    Back to the “strong arm” question. There already seems such a weak correlation between physical strength & velocity. Even though guys added speed re: PEDs, they already threw hard. An average guy cannot even throw harder than Cameron (or me). i could be wrong, but I cannot see ever being able to increase speed much. throwing a lot seems different. I just wonder if even the ability to increase velocity is somewhat dependent on native ability in that dept.

    Thanks for your comments.

  506. Cameron Says:

    Just a quick aside, there’s a slight benefit that’s come from Lincecum taking a few notches off the gas. His groundball rate has been increasing as a result, so there’s less chance of it leaving the park from the lower velocity and the fact more balls are in the dirt now. I think the kid’s wising up that he won’t be able to throw smoke forever and he’s trying to be a good pitcher instead of a hard thrower.

  507. Bob Says:

    Coco Crisp’s option was picked up by the A’s, while the Braves declined their options on Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth.

  508. Raul Says:

    Looks like Sparky Anderson is close to the end. They’re reporting he’s in hospice care with complications from dementia.

    Arizona declined the option on 1B Adam LaRoche.

  509. Bob Says:

    That’s too bad about Sparky. I wonder how many people remember Les Moss?

  510. Raul Says:

    Never heard of Les Moss.

    Gonna look him up.

  511. Chuck Says:

    “Yes, I feel T.L.’s delivery was straining.”

    I’ll refer you, Mike, to the comment you made earlier about the different types of vision needed to pickup certain pitches.

    The same theory works here, essentially. Lincecum’s delivery looks taxing not because it is, but because he’s different than anybody else. He’s been throwing that way since he was a kid, and knows no other way. Did you notice in Game 5 when Andrus hit that little chopper in front of the mound? Lincecum’s throw to first was exactly the way he throws a pitch.

    So while our eyes tell us he’s unnatural or violent, he’s really not.

    “But does that tend to add much raw speed?

    Strength does add speed, undoubtedly, although how much is probably an individual thing.

    “Is that not overwhelmingly genetic, with control/endurance/stuff much more trainable?”

    I wouldn’t say “overwhelmingly” genetic, but it helps.

    “There already seems such a weak correlation between physical strength & velocity.”

    Anybody, whether it be ML pitcher or beer league softball player, can increase velocity by increasing strength. The question is, how much?

    “An average guy cannot even throw harder than Cameron (or me).”

    Your definition of average is on the low side.

    Thanks for your comments.


  512. Hartvig Says:

    That’s way too young to get hit that hard with dementia. I think he had a pretty good life. It’s sad it has to end like this, especially for his family.

    There is a lot of bad stuff that can happen to you when you get older- everything from an increase risk of some cancers to impotence- but there is nothing I can think of that would be worse (for me at least) than Alzheimer’s.

    And I had heard of Moss but had to look him up too because I couldn’t remember the details.

  513. brautigan Says:

    I know about Les Moss (had a bunch of his old baseball cards). What about him?

  514. Raul Says:

    I would guess the average man can throw about 70 mph

  515. Bob Says:

    Just that he was replaced by Sparky Anderson just because Sparky was available. Les Moss deserved better, he did nothing wrong.

  516. Raul Says:

    Beltre declined the option. He’s gone.

    Kinda wish there was another article. 516 replies and this is dead.

    And in an odd move, the Reds picked up Bronson Arroyo’s 13 million dollar option.
    Bronson Arroyo is a fine pitcher, but 13 million?

  517. Raul Says:

    Players born today:

    Bob Feller
    Paul Quantrill
    Armando Benitez
    Larry Herndon
    Bob Welch
    Dwight Evans
    Ken Holzman

  518. Raul Says:

    Bob Welch may not be a Hall of Famer, but from 1980 to 1990 he went 164-99 with a 3.18 ERA, 49 Complete Games and 24 Shutouts. That’s pretty damn good.

    Comparing that with (off the top of my head), Tim Hudson, From 2000 to 2010 Tim Hudson went 154-85 with a 3.43 ERA, 22 Complete Games and 11 Shutouts.

  519. Jim Says:

    Arroyo’s option – probably they figured someone would give him a long term deal and they weighed overpaying for one year vs. a longer commitment.

    Hartvig- We’re watching my father-in-law slide into dementia. Except for the early stages he hasn’t noticed, its gradual, but when you don’t see him for a couple of month you notice. Now he’s like a kid, whose told that he can’t do something, he gripes a bit and accepts it. A few months ago his doctor told him not to drive any longer and he was upset and confused. For a while he would ask his wife why he couldn’t drive, now I’m not sure he even remembers that he drove. When we see him he seems happy.

    The experts say the patient doesn’t know whats happened/happening and it is harder on those who are watching and contemplating that it could be us.

  520. brautigan Says:

    Raul: I can only imagine what Bob Welch could have done had he gotten sobriety sooner.

    Bob Welch was “death to sharpies”. You could hear the sharpie scream when he applied ink to baseball card. It would take me about 25 autographs before a sharpie started to lose it’s “edge”, but after one Bob Welch autograph, it looked like it had been used 1,329 times. (Kevin Flora was another “death to sharpie” guy). One of my favorite autographs from Bob Welch is the 1991 Score (the card that has a black background, no picture of Welch, just his right hand holding the baseball in a split fingered fashion) with a silver paint pen. It is a thing of beauty.

  521. Cameron Says:

    The problem with silver paint pens is that they smudge kind of easily. I got an autograph from one of my favorite wrestlers on a DVD cover and it kinda smudged, so my childhood hero’s Hancock is a bit blurry.

    …Luckily, I got two other autographs of his that are completely fine.

  522. Hartvig Says:

    Jim- That’s exactly why I fear it so much. I would never want to put my family thru that. And, if it ever comes down to it, I won’t.

    Braut- Les Moss was who Sparky Anderson replaced

  523. Hartvig Says:

    Sorry Bob. I just saw that you had already answered the question about Les Moss. I missed it my first time thru.

  524. John Says:


    I’ll write something about Brian Sabean. Sorry, been busy over here.

  525. brautigan Says:

    Cameron: I had a 1993 Topps Stadium Club card of Ricky Bones and the pen “crapped” out on me and left a huge puddle of ink on the card. Didn’t stop Ricky though; he dipped the end of the pen into the puddle and wrote his autograph. I still have that card. It looks like an abortion with a sweet autograph. Clearly the best Ricky Bones I have in my collection.

    Years ago, there was this guy at Phoenix Muni and he had a full size Oakland A’s helmet. It was dark green with a yellow bill. This guy was getting everyone on the A’s to sign it (he used a silver paint pen on the green part and a blue sharpie on the yellow bill). It got down to the last person (Matt Stairs) and when Stairs put the paint pen to the helmet, it “crapped out” and spilled ink all over the helmet. Stairs felt awful, and we all had GALES of laughter. WHy you ask would we laugh? Well, the guy was a dealer and his pen just cost him some money and we lauged because we consider dealers the biggest of the DICKHEADS. They are the dickheads that give players gruff when they decline to give an autograph. Yup, I dislike the dealers a lot.

  526. Bob Says:

    The Mets excercised their option on Jose Reyes, while the Rangers declined their option on Vladimer Guerrero. Nothing too surprising.

  527. Raul Says:


  528. Hossrex Says:

    Braut: “the guy was a dealer and his pen just cost him some money and we lauged because we consider dealers the biggest of the DICKHEADS. They are the dickheads that give players gruff when they decline to give an autograph. Yup, I dislike the dealers a lot.”

    I’m not a big fan of autographs, or even interacting with the people who create my entertainment (actors/athletes/artists). I’ve always felt that simply because I enjoy the work someone does, doesn’t mean the PERSON and I would have anything interesting to talk about… and most times you don’t even have the opportunity.

    So… on the rare occasion that I’ve been somewhere that has afforded me the opportunity to actually geek out (mostly just comic book crap), I’m always stuck in the line behind a guy getting fifty things signed, and the autograph might as well have been made out to “future eBay bidder”.

    :( Wouldn’t let me add the link to a funny picture. Oh well.

  529. Hossrex Says:

    I thought of Chuck (and Spoony) when I watched this: http://www.wimp.com/phoenixstorm/


  530. Cameron Says:

    “The Mets excercised their option on Jose Reyes, while the Rangers declined their option on Vladimer Guerrero. Nothing too surprising.”

    I’m actually a little surprised about Vlad. He had a huge season and proved that the numbers he put up in that park weren’t just because he was facing shitty Texas pitching most of the time. I would’ve picked him up. I think they may try for a lower-cost deal, but I know they want him to stay.

  531. Cameron Says:

    “I thought of Chuck (and Spoony) when I watched this: http://www.wimp.com/phoenixstorm/


    …Wait a minute, another fan of The Spoony One? This place gets more awesome every day.

  532. Chuck Says:

    I first met Bones about ten years ago when he pitched in Puerto Rico. Nice guy. He’s a pitching coach in the Mets’ organization now and is in Arizona for the AFL with Mesa. I’ll be at the Mesa/Surprise game on Friday and hope to be able to stop by and chat for a minute.

    We all know autograph dealers are scumbags, but they’re also about two IQ points above death.

    Stephen Strasburg is in the AFL last year. People were showing up to games with HUGE pictures, I’m not talking 9×11, I’m talking 20×30 and bigger.

    And bats. And balls. Where they get this stuff is beyond me. I mean, until the AFL, Strasburg never wore a Nationals uniform, and yet, here these people are, walking around, pushing by people to get to the railings, whatever.

    After the season, Tim Lincecum was in Scottsdale, where the Giants offices are, for some business. He decides to hang around and watch the game, assumedly to watch his future catcher.

    Tim Lincecum off the field is anything but a millionaire ML baseball player. He dresses like he’s homeless. Or like we did in college, just pick whatever out of the pile of dirty laundry on the floor that had the fewest wrinkles or pit stains.

    And he’s about two inches above the maximum requirement to be considered a midget.

    I’m at this game to watch Strasburg, and Lincecum walks in with a couple of Giants’s suits and sits right behind the dugout next to the railing. No one, and I mean no one, recognizes him.

    He has a ponytail, some really bad hat, and punk rocker clothes.

    Strasburg starts walking off the field after pre-game, and all these DB dealers start crowding around, right where Lincecum is sitting. One of them actually turned to him and told him to move, then turned right around and waited for Strasburg (who blew them all off, by the way).

    Afterwards, they all go sit together in a jerkoff circle and whine about what a jerk Strasburg is for not signing their stuff. After the second inning or so, Lincecum leaves, walks right by the guys, into the Giants offices and he’s gone.

    I couldn’t resist. Had to do it.

    I went over and asked them if they knew who the “little guy with the funny looking hat was.”

    Not one.

    Then I told them.

    Then I started laughing at them, and suggested they do something better with their lives. A two time Cy Young winner just walked by them and they’re pissed off because someone who at that time had never thrown a pitch blew them off.

    And they had no clue.

  533. Chuck Says:

    In the ’70’s, the Expos had an infielder named Pepe Frias and an outfielder named Pepe Mangual.

    One year in spring training they decided to sign each other’s names. It lasted until June, and not that they got caught, but that Mangual was sent down.

    For two months they signed each others name and no one noticed.

  534. Cameron Says:

    “In the ’70’s, the Expos had an infielder named Pepe Frias and an outfielder named Pepe Mangual.

    One year in spring training they decided to sign each other’s names. It lasted until June, and not that they got caught, but that Mangual was sent down.

    For two months they signed each others name and no one noticed.”

    Reminds me of when Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain posed for each other’s baseball cards one year.

  535. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: Great story about Lincecum. I had to laugh, that’s happened to me. I think I told the story of the conversation I had with Ken Griffey Jr., not realizing it was him because the guy in front of me looked so young and not like the starting CF for the Mariners.

    I was at a boxing match in Reno after the 1991 baseball season. It was Pernel Whitaker and Jorge Paez. And I run into David Zancanaro and went up and started chatting with him. He was amazed that I recognized him. Really nice guy.

  536. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “Wait a minute, another fan of The Spoony One? This place gets more awesome every day.”

    Awesome. I threw that out just in case anyone knew what the hell I was talking about.

    Sucks that he’s been sick lately. Hasn’t put out much in the last few months.

  537. Cameron Says:

    Lately? He’s had that condition for a while from what he says. It’s sorta like a weak heart. Anything too strenuous and he blacks out. Poor bastard.

  538. Chuck Says:


    The MLB media guy running the press box today spent last summer with the PCL. He was telling some stories about that asshole you’ve been dealing with in Portland.

    Did you hear the Tucson deal fell through, and that the land “donated” to the Padres for their AAA stadium in Escondido is a former landfill and loaded with toxins?

    Rumor today the Padres’ AAA team might play at their spring training home in Peoria, but would have to pay the Diamondbacks’ infringement fees. Which would be really funny considering Padres’ owner Jeff Moorad used to be part owner of the Dbacks.

  539. Mike Felber Says:

    OK, thanks Chuck. Though allow me to ask you some things. 1st, if 70 MPH is about average for a guy, why when I have watched guns at places like a State Fair, Cooperstown, Shea Stadium, High School-is the average not more than around 60? And when I asked a guy who ran one for a while-that was upstate NY ~ Bear Mountain-did he say the fastest he ever saw was 82, 83 MPH? Are these guns for the public slow? I recall watching for a while in places, & the best biggest guys hitting mid ’70’s.

    OK, strength adds speed. But it MUST be just additive to other major factors, like natural leverage & ability to move an arm quickly. Otherwise we would not have beanpoles who could throw more heat than virtually anyone else, throughout history. And huge weightlifters would throw 100 +. So besides that you need to throw, surely there is a point of diminishing, & even backwards, returns?

    Is it not that absent any special training, there are guys who are bell curve outliers? That a small % of guys can easily throw 20 MPH more than average, & a very small % ~30. So if I do not think that getting strong made me throw better, is that due to doing no regular throwing? I mean, if I take a typical quite strong guy in my allegedly longest running gym in the nation, http://www.midcitygym.com/ would they throw much harder than normal? I do not think so.

    Now certain deliveries like the elbow above the shoulder are supposed to be hard on the body. But you say that there are exceptions to every rule for a very few? Surely not the one about using much leg action & hip torque instead of mainly arms & shoulders. More particularly, you are saying Tim’s delivery is O.K. not so much due to him doing it forever, but due to his unique physiology, right?

  540. Mike Felber Says:

    Tim is listed as 5′ 11″. I recall you calling a 6′ prospect short, so I am to assume that T.L. is…maybe 5′ 9″ 1/2? Which to you is somehow basically this guy, right Chuck?



  541. Chuck Says:

    “1st, if 70 MPH is about average for a guy, why when I have watched guns at places like a State Fair, Cooperstown, Shea Stadium, High School-is the average not more than around 60? And when I asked a guy who ran one for a while-that was upstate NY ~ Bear Mountain-did he say the fastest he ever saw was 82, 83 MPH? Are these guns for the public slow?”

    LOL. Yeah.

    Mike, when we talk about adding strength to increase speed, it’s NOT arm or shoulder speed I’m talking about. No one throws with their arm only, regardless of their arm speed.

    Most of your weightlifting buddies couldn’t throw a ball across a room. Too much bulk in the shoulder to get much extension, they would essentially flipping the ball, like playing catch with a child.

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