Time to end the Experiment; Joba Needs to Start

by Chuck

By Bob Owens

While baseball has generated a sizable number of debates  and arguments over the course of its long history, there are at least two truths to the sport which have remained true and constant;

1. No team can ever have enough pitching.

2. Starting pitching is more valuable than relief pitching.

Which brings me to Joba Chamberlain and the roster of the 2011 New York Yankees.

After the Yankees were ousted by the Texas Rangers in October, every one knew the Yankees needed to improve their starting pitching.  But after being spurned by Mrs. Cliff Lee, the retirement of Andy Pettitte,  and Zach Grienke believing his chances of winning to be better in Milwaukee, the Yankees only moves so far were to upgrade their bullpen.

Since the Hot Stove league commenced in early November, the Yankees have re-signed aging future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera,  brought in 2010 AL saves leader Rafael Soriano from Tampa to pitch the eighth inning (and pay him twelve million per season in the process), and selected two relievers in the Rule 5 draft.

In addition to righthander Daniel Turpin (from Boston) and lefty Robert Fish (Angels), the Yankees signed Pedro Feliciano and will be forced to keep 2007 first rounder Andrew Brackman on the roster due to terms set forth in his contract.

All of these moves seem to point to the demotion of  Joba; keeping Chamberlain in the bullpen with, Mo, Soriano, David  Roberton, Feliciano and Brackman probably forces the Yankees to return one or both of the Rule V guys back to their original teams.

Bad idea.

You hoard pitching.Instead, they appear to be frittering it away.

The travesty of it all is the Yankees have a potential answer to their now over-crowded bullpen and shortage of starter candidates right in front of them.

And I’m not talking about Sergio Mitre.

Why not Joba?

In Chamberlain,  who started at starred for Nebraska and did well enough  that the Yankees drafted him as the 41st overall selection in the 2006 draft.

Chamberlain began his professional career as a starter, posting a 9-2 record in his only minor league season. Chamberlain found himself relegated to the bullpen when the Yankees featured a major league rotation which included Roger Clemens, Pettitte, Mike Mussina, and two other young arms in Phil Hughes and the since-traded Ian Kennedy.

Contrast that to the current core group of C.C. Sabathia, Hughes, A.J.Burnett, and possibly Sergio Mitre and the unproven Ivan Nova, and one can certainly see the need to rapidly upgrade and augment that staff.

Moreover, it is my contention that starting is actually easier than relieving, as you know what day(s) you are going to be used and can more easily devise a routine for your off-days.

A reliever is not afforded that luxury. Barring any rain-shortenend or extra innings games, the Yankees will play 162 games and 1458 innings of baseball this year.

I’m saying here Joba Chamberlain needs to start 25 of those games and pitch at least 158 of those innings.

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156 Responses to “Time to end the Experiment; Joba Needs to Start”

  1. JohnBowen Says:

    Great article Bob, and I completely agree.

    Chamberlain had a 97 ERA+, 1.544 WHIP, and 7.6 K/9 in first full season as a starter in New York. He only averaged about 5 IP per start, because that’s all Girardi would allow.

    That’s not bad for your first season. At all. Unless you’re a Yankee, and then expectations are higher.

    Here are the first full seasons for some future HOFers:

    Greg Maddux: 76 ERA+, 1.638 WHIP, 5.8 K/9
    Tom Glavine: 80 ERA+, 1.352 WHIP, 3.9 K/9
    Randy Johnson: 82 ERA+, 1.512 WHIP, 7.3 K/9
    Roger Clemens: 97 ERA+, 1.313 WHIP, 8.5 K/9

    Thing is, these guys’ teams didn’t mess with them by flip-flopping on where to put them.

    The Yankees do need to make their mind up one way or another.

  2. brautigan Says:

    I about spewed my gin and tonic like a lawn sprinkler until I saw Bob’s byline under Chuck. I thought we had confirmation of Chuck’s split personality.

  3. Raul Says:

    I have gone back and forth on this in my mind. He should start. He should relieve.

    Here’s the thing. You can’t shuffle this kid between the bullpen and starting rotation. Pick one and go with it.

    I’ve read replies and articles stating that Joba does not have the endurance/body to be a starter. I’ve always found that to be a weak excuse. That’s a physical issue and can be addressed by simple training and diet. There have been fatter pitchers with worse stuff than Joba Chamberlain to have 8-10-12 year careers.

    Have the Yankees handled him poorly? In my mind, absolutely. Does Joba have what it takes to be a quality major league pitcher? Maybe. I don’t think they can put him in the rotation right now, though. If the Yankees were to seriously consider making him a starter, once and for all, they have to send him to the minors immediately. They’re fortunate right now that they have the bullpen depth to do so. So if they’re going to make that move, now is the time. Joba is 25 years old and has wasted 3 years of development in my opinion.

    Joba’s incredible string of scoreless relief outings in 2007 set him up for high expectations.

    The truth is, he’s probably the 3rd guy in most teams’ pitching rotations. If he can prove to have an ERA in the low 4’s, I’d say he could have a nice career — in New York or elsewhere.

    In fact, that might be the biggest reason why the Yankees would let Joba start at some point in 2011 — to trade him.

  4. Cameron Says:

    He should lose some weight and get shipped out of the Bronx. I know the scouting department in Detroit is high on him.

  5. Raul Says:

    Speaking of Detroit…

    It’s a general consensus that Felix Hernandez is the best pitcher in the American League. Where would you say Justin Verlander ranks?

  6. Cameron Says:

    Er… He’s elite, but it’s hard to place an exact ranking on the guy. His ERA isn’t gonna be low like a Hernandez or a Greinke, but the guy can gas the ball better than no one’s business. I can confidently say he’s in the top 5 in the AL, probably even as high as #2. And he’s young and signed long-term. Guy’s gonna be a star.

  7. Hartvig Says:

    Why not? If he’s not cutting it in spring training, start him in Scranton until NY needs a regular 5th starter. If he isn’t ready then or if he blows up when he’s called to the majors maybe see what the trade market will bring.

  8. John Says:

    I’d put him third behind Sabathia. I like Price and Boston’s 1-2 punch, but I love a workhorse, and Verlander gives his team 230+ innings pretty consistently.

  9. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck (via Bob Owens?): “After the Yankees were ousted by the Texas Rangers in October, every one knew the Yankees needed to improve their starting pitching.”

    lol… I just deleted a LONG post.

    A long MEAN post.

    Long story short, Yankee fans should shut their fucking faces about this shit.

  10. Raul Says:

    Post the long post, Hossrex.

    You haven’t posted here in a long time…spending your time being Ansel fucking Adams.

  11. Chuck Says:

    “lol… I just deleted a LONG post.

    A long MEAN post.”

    Dugout Central thanks you.

  12. Chuck Says:

    I don’t like Chamberlain.

    I thought he was a lousy pick then and I still think so today.

    Twenty four innings of relief and Yankee fans are ready to put him in Monument Park.

    Chris Tillman, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Justin Masterson were all drafted after Joba and all signed for significantly less money.

    Looking at the Yankees bullpen as it is now, Joba’s out of a job, so why not start him?

    Send him to Scranton and give him ten starts and see what he does. If it looks like he can contribute, call him up, if he struggles, get what you can for him.

    In a way, Hoss is right.

    The Yanks need to find out once and for all if Joba can contribute, and, if not, cut the fat.

  13. brautigan Says:

    You know, New York’s need is starting pitching. Heck, why not start Chamberlain? He isn’t setting the world afire by being in the bullpen, and if he is decent, New York gets the benefit. And if he tanks, well, that is about where the line of expectation falls, isn’t it?

  14. Raul Says:

    After the All-Star break, Detroit’s Max Scherzer posted a 2.47 ERA.

    102 innings
    81 hits
    96 strikeouts
    28 earned runs

    Using a 100 innings minimum, Scherzer’s 28 Second Half earned runs were good for 2nd in the Majors last season, with only Felix Hernandez (112 IP, 19 ER) ahead of him. Justin Verlander was tied for 10th with 35 ER.

    Flame-throwing Rick Porcello, who struggled appeared to progress as the season went on. The kid is only 22 years old and only had 153 innings in the minor leagues (including 28 last season). Clearly he’s been rushed.

    Maybe it’s just me, but a kid with an arm like his should miss a lot more bats than he does. Detroit would be well-suited to slow him down and work hard on his off-speed pitches. Or trade him for someone a bit more polished. It’s hard to trade that kind of arm, but Detroit could probably take the AL Central with a good #3. Especially in that park. Get a finesse pitcher. Who cares? Austin Jackson will be shagging flies all day in that huge park.

    Hey, I’m just saying…

    Anyway, Detroit needs to do something before Kansas City’s kids are ready to make their run.

  15. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “You haven’t posted here in a long time…spending your time being Ansel fucking Adams.”

    You’d think, right? Actually the opposite problem. This is my slow time of the year. After Christmas photos, but before graduation pictures. While I’m working I’m almost always at the computer (standing behind the camera and taking the photographs is about 1% of the job), and while I’m at the computer I take a break every hour or so.

    That’s when I do things like read about baseball, and write about baseball.

    Right now though, I have little work, so I’ve been doing CRAZY things like spending time with my girlfriends family, and reconnecting with my love for pharmaceutical grade narcotics.

    It’s been chill… it’s been relaxing.

    Then I come back and read an article where a Yankee fan is whining about the Yankees not spending enough money, and it makes me want to go all Loughner (GET IT!).

    Seriously… an article about the Yankees needing MORE.

    Here’s a clue. The Yankees might be the most popular team, so it seems like a safe bet to cover them heavily… but there isn’t a fucking team on earth people hate more then them. You might think you’re cashing in the golden goose by writing articles 25-30% of your readership might enjoy… but you’re ignoring the glaring problem that you’re pissing off the other 70-75% who think the entire city should implode.

    Ya know… at long as it isn’t Muslim fundamentalists doing it.

    That would be a national tragedy.

    I guess.

  16. Cameron Says:

    Porcello’s only 22, there’s still time for him to develop. But there’s still Verlander, Porcello, Shcerzer, and Coke there, and Jacob Turner waiting in the wings. Detroit’s rotation will be stacked. …They’re lacking everywhere else though, as the lineup is good now, but will get older and that production will drop.

  17. Bob Says:

    Gentlemen, thanks for all the comments. And Hoss, I am a Red Sox fan. Chuck and Raul can verify.
    And Chuck, the only way the Yanks will find out if he can contribute is to use him on a regular basis, not this 3 innings a week, pitching out af the stretch.

  18. Hartvig Says:

    I hope I’m wrong about Porcello. He needs to develop a strikeout pitch (ala Tom Glavine) or his career is going to be over before it ever really gets started.

  19. JohnBowen Says:

    Normally when people complain about a problem with the Yankees (like, Gardner as an every day starter) it makes the rest of us fans want to, well, do what Hoss suggested. Most teams would kill to have Curtis Granderson as a #7 hitter, for example.

    But looking at their rotation…

    I honestly have a tough time calling it average.

    CC Sabathia is a bona fide ace.
    Phil Hughes has the potential to be a #2 or even ace, but as of the 2011 baseball season, he’s much more like a #3-4 on most teams.
    Burnett sucks.
    Nova and Mitre combined for 10 starts in 2010.

  20. Cameron Says:

    Porcello’s trying to rely on his fastball as a strikeout pitch. …Rarely a successful venture, not without a good off-speed to lob from the beginning to screw with the hitter.

  21. Hartvig Says:

    When the Yankees picked up Berkman last season (basically getting a guy who had a decade long triple crown average of .300/30/100 to pinch hit) there were people on various comment treads decrying the move as insufficient, which is their right. Where they really went off the tracks was in the alternatives suggested, which was everyone from Adam Dunn to Evan Longoria, with no mention of what New York would have to give up to get them. Some of the comments read as if it were New York’s divine right to simply demand that teams turn over their best players in exchange for whatever spare parts New York might deem to part with. Which I guess is kind of how it worked with Kansas City in the late 50’s & early 60’s so maybe there is something to it.

  22. Hartvig Says:

    I should clarify that these were (mostly) NOT Dugout Central comment treads I was referring too

  23. Shaun Says:

    I agree. If a pitcher is capable of being a halfway decent starter and he’s not exactly blowing the world away as a reliever, why not give him all the chances in the world to fail as a starter?

    I think the problem with Joba is that he was over-hyped by many people. And he was rushed to the majors largely because of the hype. He was impressive in the minors but he wasn’t unhittable. And a team like the Yankees shouldn’t have a need to rush a 21-year-old pitcher to the majors unless he basically forces them to; i.e., unless he’s completely unhittable.

  24. Chuck Says:

    Funny you mention Scherzer, Raul, because as I was editing Bob’s article that’s who I was thinking of.

    Scherzer has lights out stuff….when he can get it in the strike zone.

    The Dbacks were seriously considering making him their 2010 closer right up until the trade happened, in order to give him consistent work but not put a 150 inning demand on him.

    John Hart also mentioned the same thing last night on MLBNetwork, talking about Aroldis Chapman.

    While this reliever to starter situation happens more frequently now than in the past due to the lack of pitching depth in the majors, it should be pointed out that guys like Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling and Steve Carlton began their careers as relievers.

    Chamberlain has been given every opportunity to start, and it’s abundantly clear he doesn’t have what it takes to be a top of the rotation starter.

    He could, however, be an effective swing man, sort of a Tim Wakefield type, who can start one day, then two days later throw five innings of relief.

    If he can give the Yankees 15 starts and 125 innings, I think he would have value.

  25. Raul Says:

    I really can’t remember, but Chamberlain’s first season was Torre’s last. And I don’t remember if Torre was compelled (or forced) to use him down the stretch.

    I do remember the Yankees calling Chamberlain up and thinking to myself “who the hell is this guy?” Especially since you normally hear about a good prospect a year or two in advance. It’s rare for a kid to show up in the middle of nowhere and do well.

  26. Bob Says:

    Chuck, has he been given every opportunity to start? From the day pitchers and catchers and report, to the last day of the season? I do not think he will be an ace, but I know the Yanks need starters, and Sabathia might opt out next year.
    If he needs to start the season in the minors as a starter, so be it. But sitting in the bullpen pitching 40 innings will not help him or the Yankees. Shit, it could be detrimental to both.

  27. Cameron Says:

    Sabathia would be a dumbass to opt out of his contract. No one but New York could afford to pay him his CURRENT contract, why go for a bigger payday?

    …Then again, A-Rod did it and it worked.

  28. Chuck Says:

    No, Bob, they haven’t.

    But I don’t think they need to.

    This is Chamberlain’s fifth year in the organization and everyone from Brian Cashman to the parking lot attendant in Tampa knows he doesn’t have the stuff to start.

    The “Joba Rules” were meant to protect the Yankees, not Joba. The LESS he pitches the better off the team is.

    Look at Andrew Brackman.

    The guy was a first round pick the year after Joba, got more money to sign, got a major league contract, and even the most die-hard Yankee fan would be surprised knowing he’s still in the organization.

    Amazing what 24 innings of relief in a pennant race can do for one’s reputation?

    We as fans put the expectations on Chamberlain..not the Yanks and not Joba himself.

    He should have spent the last three years starting in the minor leagues, working on his conditioning and on his stuff and command.

    Maybe, by now, the Yanks would have another Phil Hughes on their hands instead of another Kyle Farnsworth.

    A year from now, Chamberlain should be penciled in for the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation.

    In New York or elsewhere.

  29. Chuck Says:

    “Sabathia would be a dumbass to opt out of his contract.”

    I think he’d be a dumbass not to.

    The top free agent pitcher for next year is Mark Buerhle, and he’s already said he’s leaning towards retirement.

    Cliff Lee can’t carry Sabathia’s jock, and look how much $$ he got, being the marquee player on a very thin list.

    He’s already got $69 million in the bank and his ring.

    He’s from the Oakland area, and while Beane is too cheap to pay him, the Giants have money and so do the Angels.

    He could sign a four year, $80 million deal with a guaranteed option for say, $10 million in the fifth year, and all he’d be losing would be about two million dollars.

    And he’d be adding an extra year to his career.

    There’s only one reason why the clause is there.

    Because Sabathia asked for it with the full intention of using it.

  30. Chuck Says:

    “…Then again, A-Rod did it and it worked.”

    That’s because Hank Steinbrenner’s a dumbass.

  31. Raul Says:

    I think the fear with Sabathia opting out is that he may very well take similar money or even a slight pay-cut to go back home.

    Could you imagine if the Dodgers found the money to get him? A rotation with Sabathia and Kershaw?

    I mean the Dodger’s don’t have the offense NY has, and I think it’s highly doubtful that Sabathia would leave, but I’m sure he would at least consider it.

  32. Raul Says:

    F*ck off, Chuck.

    If there was a rotation with Sabathia, Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner and Sanchez, I think the NL West would just quit.

  33. Chuck Says:

    Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels is better than Sabathia, Lincecum, Cain and whomever.

    Heck, I’m not so sure the Giants would be much better than Greinke, Gallardo and Marcum.

    So, the Giants win the West by ten games, then get pummeled in the postseason because Buster Posey can’t hit a six run homer every time up.

    And before anyone says anything…last year was a fluke.

  34. John Says:

    “while Beane is too cheap to pay him”

    Sabathia would cost 50% of the A’s payroll.

    Beane is too smart to pay him. His ownership is too cheap to pay him.

    I was thinking there was no way that he would opt out, but you make a very sound case, Chuck.

    Personally, I think he does end up staying in New York because he knows he’ll have the run support he needs to win a bunch of games and cement his legacy.

  35. Cameron Says:

    “Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels is better than Sabathia, Lincecum, Cain and whomever.”

    The kicker to that is the five starter. When Jonathon Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner is your five guy, that’s just unfair. Philadelphia’s five guy is basically the first hobo to show up to the ballpark that day.

  36. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, I’ve got my AL Central preview all ready to go and emails sent to the addresses. Do you want to wait and see if I get my username to post or should I just email it to you?

  37. Bob Says:

    Cameron, he asked us to wait until Spring Training is complete, as injuries and trades could still happen.

  38. Cameron Says:

    Ah. …I’ll jsut save it for later then.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Bob & Cameron,

    I had replied to Bob when he said the deadline was when pitcher’s and catcher’s report.

    I had said opening day would be better, just because of the time it takes to write them.

    If you guys have your stuff done now, by all means send it.

  40. brautigan Says:

    Cameron: glad to see you chomping at the bit.

    Anybody got the AL West?

  41. Bob Says:

    Chuck, I will wait until late March. Hopefully I will find something else to write about in the interim.

  42. Chuck Says:

    Not yet, Braut.

    I’m holding off to see what everyone else wants.

    Cameron has the AL Central, John has the NL Central, Bob the AL West.

    If you want it, you got it.

  43. Bob Says:

    Bob has the East, not the West.

  44. Cameron Says:

    Check your email, Chuck. Also, I couldn’t pin the font down exactly since Yahoo mail only lets me work in increments of two, so it’s in Thaoma 10 point instead of the 9 point that DC uses.

  45. Chuck Says:

    I’m going to wait a bit on mine too, Bob.

    Nothing yet, Cameron.

  46. Cameron Says:

    …I hope I sent it to you. What’s your email again? I had to troll the backlogs of comments and may have sent it to the wrong person.

  47. Cameron Says:

    Brian Cashman is saying when Jeter’s contract is up and he still wants to play, he might end up in the outfield. Odd move… Why not move him in a year or two?

  48. Bob Says:

    I hope Jeter still wants to play after his 3rd year. That’s my next article. Jeter should play the outfield and ARod should go back to SS. Perhaps he can win a Gold Glove playing left field.

  49. John Says:


    That should have been the case in 2004.

    ARod is way too beat up to be the shortstop he was 7 years ago. I’m not sure he’d even be an improvement over Jeter, and that’s saying something.

  50. Bob Says:

    John, I wrote that in jest, although as a Sox fan, I really hope Jeter plays a 4th year and is still a starter because the Yankees do not have the gumption to tell him to retire.

  51. Chuck Says:

  52. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: If it gets to the point where there is a division left and no one has it covered, I’ll be glad to take it. If it is the AL West, that would be fine with me since I still can catch games in Tacoma and Seattle.

  53. Chuck Says:

    The difference between ARod and Jeter defensively in 2004 was negligible at best.

    This myth that ARod was some gold glove defensive genius is just that.

    The Yanks could ask ARod to move and justify it only because he wasn’t that great and it wouldn’t hurt the Yanks on the field.

    And I truly believe that while ARod sucks balls at third, he’s still better than Jeter would be.

    Some big body shortstops move to third..ARod, Ripken, Tejada. Some others go to the OF, like Robin Yount.

    If Jeter goes anywhere, it will be to the OF, although in three years he won’t be able to handle that, either.

  54. Chuck Says:

    The West is yours, Braut.

    Good luck.

  55. John Says:

    “The difference between ARod and Jeter defensively in 2004 was negligible at best.”

    We will never agree on this.

  56. Cameron Says:

    Yep, got it right. It should go in soon enough.

  57. brautigan Says:

    Got it Chuck. Give me a “due date” for the final edit and I’ll be good to go.

  58. Raul Says:

    A few of the guys here in my office have been to Spring Training (notably the Royals’ camp in Surprise) and told me good things. I’m pumped to go.

    Any of you guys have any recommendations? I know some of you have been to Arizona.

  59. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: I saw AROD play shortstop in Tacoma and in Seattle. He certainly was above average then. I can’t speak to his performance in Texas as I quit caring about AROD at that time.

  60. Chuck Says:


    No due date, whenever you get it done works.

  61. Chuck Says:


    I live two miles from the Royals camp in Surprise.

    There are two hotels directly across the street…a Holiday Inn Express and a Marriott.

    From my house to the parking lot at Disneyland is five and a half hours. It’s also a 45 minute flight from Sky Harbor to Orange County Airport.

    Come on out.

    I have a few days off in March..my parents are coming out for my daughter’s birthday. We’ll hit up a game or two, maybe have a BBQ at my house.


  62. Chuck Says:


    No email yet, bro.

  63. Chuck Says:


    Jeter was above average when he was 21, too.

    I’m talking 2004.

    ARod had put on 25 pounds of steriod weight and had the range of a corpse.

  64. Raul Says:

    Thanks Chuck.

    I’ll see what happens. Most likely what will happen is I’ll tag along with my brother’s in-laws. Their idea is to go in early March. I’m not sure how much freedom I’ll have since I won’t have a car but maybe we can catch a game or a beer together. I’ll even buy John a beer if he drops by…and doesn’t go all Saber on me.

  65. Raul Says:

    The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Frank Francisco and cash for Mike Napoli.
    Perhaps JP Arencibia isn’t screwed after all.

  66. Bob Says:

    Cameron, tell Chuck to e-mail you. That is what I did. Then you can e-mail him back your articles.

  67. brautigan Says:

    Raul: I always went about a week before the spring training games start. There are three very good reasons:

    1) You don’t have every kid there going “hey you, give me a ball”.
    2) The players aren’t yet fighting for a job and they are very relaxed and will chat you up if you have something interesting to say. And if you speak Espanol, you will REALLY do well in Arizona with the latin players (they tend to get homesick early in spring training then get accustomed to being gone).
    3) The games really mean nothing and are not that interesting. Go to the park early, chat it up with the players and then watch them work out. Nothing like hearing the snap of the ball in the glove and the crack of the bat. Not to mention if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might even get a broken stick from a player (I have over 60, so it does work).

    Enjoy yourself, and by all means, bring a cooler of your favorite beverage. And if you hear players talk about these 3 guys that would be at the park at 7 in the morning drunk asking for autographs, well, that would be US.

  68. Raul Says:

    That’s awesome, Braut.

    Thank you.

  69. brautigan Says:

    Raul: Also, Tempe Diablo is a good place to watch practice, as is Maryvale. Kansas City used to give us plenty of space to roam around in as long as George Brett isn’t hanging there. Oakland at their training facility is a fun place to hang out, and I guarantee you Billy Beane will be there.

  70. Raul Says:

    Funny, I was told to avoid Maryvale…although I wasn’t given a specific reason. lol

  71. Chuck Says:

    “Funny, I was told to avoid Maryvale…although I wasn’t given a specific reason”

    Picture Harlem in the ’70’s.

  72. John Says:


    I’ve twice gone to watch Brewers’ spring training games. Their home park is in Maryvale, but both times, my dad and I were instructed that it was best to stay in Scottsdale and commute in. The part of Maryvale right around the park is definitely less prosperous than the other Phoenix suburbs, but nothing awful that I could immediately see. Chuck probably has more insight on this.

    I can’t remember the name of the hotel off the top of my head, but there’s a very bookable one about a block from the Giants home stadium in Scottsdale that I stayed at. Very nice place, and down the street from a Denny’s, so you can eat with old people before game time.

    Spring Training in Arizona is really the best vacation imaginable. Perfect weather, some great baseball games, seats right behind home plate for under 20$ or lawn seats for like 5. If all the teams have a morning off, Camelback Mountain is fun.

  73. Chuck Says:

    Two years ago my parents are here from CT for spring training.

    It’s cool to go over at 9, 10 AM to watch workouts or B games or minor league games.

    We’re at the Rangers facility and there’s no one around, I mean, other than players and groundscrew, the place is pretty much empty.

    We’re walking between fields to watch Josh Hamilton’s group take BP and as we are crossing the walkway we hear, “heads up, cart coming through” so we jump across the path just in time to see Nolan Ryan going by in a golf cart.

    About three steps later my dad looks at me and goes, “that guy looked familiar”.

    So I tell him it was Ryan.

    My dad is a talkative person, he’s been known to have a ten minute conversation with a lamppost, so he goes over to where Ryan is sitting, plops himself down next to him, and proceeds to talk baseball with him for a few minutes.

    Lemme see anyone do that anywhere but spring training.

  74. Chuck Says:

    A few years ago, my wife is out shopping with my daughter and decides to stop on the way home to pick up a pizza.

    The pizza place we go gives a discount with the spring training ticket stub, so the place is packed.

    She’s sitting in the waiting area when this “really big guy” comes in, and is immediately surrounded.

    My wife goes, “people were asking for pictures and he was signing napkins and menus, so I think he was a player for somebody.”

    I grab my media guide and she sits down and thumbs through the pictures for a few minutes, then says, “that’s him, that’s him”!!

    It was Mark Teixeira.

    So, we have a new house rule;

    Anytime you see something like that, have him sign something, as long as YOU decide what he signs.

    That way, I don’t have to worry about it being a summons or a warrant. :)

  75. Chuck Says:

    I have randomly seen Bo Jackson at a convenience store buying a soda,

    I’ve seen 1969 Miracle Mets catcher Duffy Dyer at a golf shop buying golf balls;

    I’ve seen should-be NBA Hall of Famer Tom Chambers at Costco;

    I’ve seen Phil Mickelson at Macy’s

    I’ve seen NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

    I’ve seen Mark Rypien, Regis Philbin, Alice Cooper, and Steve Nash in the crowd at the Phoenix Open.

    A buddy of mine’s wife was the women’s coach at ASU, before we moved out here he said to always have a Sharpie in your glove compartment because you never know who you will see around town, or when.

    He was right, obviously.

  76. Raul Says:

    That’s awesome, Chuck.

  77. Raul Says:

    I thought Alice Cooper lives in Arizona.

  78. Bob Says:

    Probably why Chuck saw him.

  79. Raul Says:

    Touche, Bob.

  80. Bob Says:

    I was just reading an article on TradeRumors, and it said Pettitte will either join the Yanks or retire.
    Which got me thinking, he could actually suit up for the Rangers in mid-season if the Yanks are so far out of it and deem it a waste of money, and the Rangers are in the thick of things out there.

  81. Raul Says:

    Boy those people at TradeRumors are at the cutting fucking edge of sports reporting.
    Really? Who the hell DIDN’T know Pettitte would retire or play for the Yankees?

    Was there a related story about how Lou Piniella is retiring from the Cubs?

    No chance Pettitte pitches for any other team.

  82. Bob Says:

    To be fair, they were discussing the best starters still out there, and excluded Pettitte from their survey. And the Tigers are open to signing Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league deal. Hope he does sign with them.

  83. Cameron Says:

    Yeah Chuck, I guess my yahoo email didn’t work. Try the email I use to post to the site.

    I’ll replay with my article in the response.

  84. brautigan Says:

    Raul: If you go before the spring training games, you run a good chance of seeing Willie Mays at Scottsdale stadium.

    Maryvale is in a rough neighborhood, but I have only been there once when there was a game to be played. Then we parked in the neighborhood to the West and we had no problems. Again, if you go before spring training, you can park anywhere you want, and at Maryvale, that’s between the locker room and the practice fields. The players have to walk right by you to get to the field.

  85. brautigan Says:

    “Lemme see anyone do that anywhere but spring training.”

    There is so much truth in that.

  86. Cameron Says:

    Alright Chuck, just sent my response.

  87. Raul Says:

    I want to see an article on possible changes to be brought up in the next collective bargaining agreement. Or possible revisions to the amateur draft process.

  88. Cameron Says:

    I’m curious here. The Nats are talkign to Cleveland about Carmona and/or Grady Sizemore. Sizemore could be a nice buy-low option. Count my interest piqued.

  89. Cameron Says:

    Also, KC had 6 prospects in mlb.com’s Top 50 Prospects list (a list topped by Mike Trout, if any were curious) in Moustakas, Hosmer, Montgomery, Myers, Lamb, and Odorizzi.

    What was BA’s record number? 9 prospects in the top 100. If this is a barometer, we’re gonna break that easy.

  90. Cameron Says:

    For those interested (and debate purposes), here’s mlb.com’s list.

    1. Mike Trout, Angels
    2. Jeremy Hellickson, Rays
    3. Bryce Harper, Nationals
    4. Domonic Brown, Phillies
    5. Dustin Ackley, Mariners
    6. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
    7. Mike Moustakas, Royals
    8. Eric Hosmer, Royals
    9. Jesus Montero, Yankees
    10. Julio Teheran, Braves
    11. Desmond Jennings, Rays
    12. Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays
    13. Michael Pineda, Mariners
    14. Mike Montgomery, Royals
    15. Jacob Turner, Tigers
    16. Wil Myers, Royals
    17. Freddie Freeman, Braves
    18. Jameson Taillon, Pirates
    19. Zach Britton, Orioles
    20. Shelby Miller, Cardinals
    21. Mike Minor, Braves
    22. Casey Kelly, Padres
    23. Martin Perez, Rangers
    24. Manny Machado, Orioles
    25. Chris Sale, White Sox
    26. Brandon Belt, Giants
    27. Matt Moore, Rays
    28. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
    29. Jarrod Parker, D-backs
    30. Jonathan Singleton, Phillies
    31. Jordan Lyles, Astros
    32. Gary Sanchez, Yankees
    33. Tyler Matzek, Rockies
    34. John Lamb, Royals
    35. Manny Banuelos, Yankees
    36. Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians
    37. Jake Odorizzi, Royals
    38. Nick Franklin, Mariners
    39. Aaron Hicks, Twins
    40. Kyle Gibson, Twins
    41. Wilin Rosario, Rockies
    42. Jose Iglesias, Red Sox
    43. Tanner Scheppers, Rangers
    44. Dee Gordon, Dodgers
    45. Devin Mesoraco, Reds
    46. Brett Jackson, Cubs
    47. Chris Archer, Rays
    48. J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays
    49. Yonder Alonso, Reds
    50. Christian Friedrich, Rockies

  91. Raul Says:

    I don’t know about Dayton Moore’s abilities.
    Maybe he’s a good GM.
    Maybe he’s a poor GM who’s hired some excellent people beneath him.

    But what’s undeniable is that Kansas City has an amazing load of talent in the minors. They’ve managed to get rid of Jose Guillen and Yuniesky Betancourt. They traded away David DeJesus and maybe didn’t get as much as they should have for a player of his caliber. But the retirement of Gil Meche provides some cash flexibility.

    If only they could take back the signing of Jeff Francoeur, but I guess you can’t have everything.

    ESPN’s Depth Chart shows the Royals team as the following:

    C – Jason Kendall
    1B – Kila Ka’aihue
    2B – Chris Getz
    3B – Mike Aviles
    SS – Alcides Escobar
    LF – Alex Gordon
    CF – Melky Cabrera
    RF – Jeff Francoeur
    DH – Billy Butler

    With the rotation:

    SP – Jeff Francis
    SP – Luke Hochevar
    SP – Kyle Davies
    SP – Sean O’Sullivan
    SP – Vin Mazzaro

    If you’re looking at the Royals in a few years, it could conceivably be:

    C – Wil Myers
    1B – Eric Hosmer
    2B – (FILLED BY FA)
    3B – Mike Moustakas
    SS – Alcides Escobar
    LF – Alex Gordon
    CF – Lorenzo Cain (POSSIBLY FILLED BY FA)
    DH – Billy Butler

    Probably no 40-homer guys there, but like the mid-90s Yankees, possibly a solid team that could beat you with pitching and good contact hitting.

    (by the way, contact hitting does not mean slapping singles like Juan Pierre)

  92. Raul Says:

    Bryce Harper is 3rd?

    Fuck No.

    I vehemently disagree.

  93. Cameron Says:

    Dayton’s an ex-scout, probably explains why the drafts have been so good.

    Oh, and I can save you a few bucks.

    SP – Jeff Francis
    SP – Luke Hochevar
    SP – Kyle Davies
    SP – Sean O’Sullivan
    SP – Vin Mazzaro

    If you’re looking at the Royals in a few years, it could conceivably be:

    C – Salvador Perez
    1B – Eric Hosmer
    2B – Cristian Colon
    3B – Mike Moustakas
    SS – Alcides Escobar
    LF – Brett Eibner
    CF – Lorenzo Cain/Derrick Robinson
    RF – Wil Myers
    DH – Billy Butler

    SP – Mike Montgomery
    SP – Jake Odorizzi
    SP – John Lamb
    SP – Aaron Crow
    SP – Danny Duffy/Chris Dwyer/Noel Arguelles/Tim Melville

    MR – The guys who lose the #5 battle
    SU – Tim Collins
    SU – Jeremy Jeffress
    CL – Jaokim Soria

    All that’s pretty much homegrown talent.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Looking at scouting reports, I see KC with 3 guys (Montgomery, Lamb, Odorizzi) as guys listed between very solid number two starter to ace pitchers and 3 (Moustakas, Hosmer, Myers) that project as annual .300-30-100 threats. …Jesus. 300 RBI between three guys? …Is this what it feels like to have a good team?

  95. Cameron Says:

    Well damn… Napoli just got shipped to Texas for Frank Francisco. Didn’t take long for Napoli to get sent packing again. Texas gets an everyday home-run hitting catcher, Toronto gets to start a catcher with defensive value (either Jose or JPA) and gets someone better than any of the Type As the bullpen lost this season. Win-win if you ask me, but Toronto might’ve sold low on Mike.

  96. Bob Says:

    Rocco Baldelli is retiring. Good luck to him.

  97. Chuck Says:

    “What was BA’s record number? 9 prospects in the top 100.”

    I think it’s eight, actually.

    From what I hear, the Royals will have ten for sure, and possibly twelve.

    “I want to see an article on possible changes to be brought up in the next collective bargaining agreement. Or possible revisions to the amateur draft process.”

    That’s kind of impossible, because no one knows. It would be difficult to even speculate, especially since MLB or the PA aren’t talking publicly.

    “Bryce Harper is 3rd?

    Fuck No.

    I vehemently disagree.”

    If you think he should have been first or second, then I vehemently disagree.

    “Well damn… Napoli just got shipped to Texas for Frank Francisco.”

    And the Rangers are going to use him as their replacement for Vladdy.

    Napoli’s OK, but he’s no star. DH is probably where he fits the best.

  98. John Says:

    “Napoli’s OK, but he’s no star. DH is probably where he fits the best.”

    I don’t necessarily disagree…but if I’m a playoff-caliber team and I’m paying a guy to only hit, I would want to see them do better than .238/.316/.468.

    If I’m paying a guy to play catcher (even if he’s not great) and hit like that? Sure. And on top of that, the DH spot is still open for a better guy.

  99. John Says:

    meh never mind. I completely spaced on the Rangers acquiring Torrealba.

  100. Raul Says:

    10-12 years ago, the best Shortstops in the American League (and probably the game) were Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter.

    Who are the 3 best Shortstops today?

  101. Chuck Says:

    “10-12 years ago, the best Shortstops in the American League (and probably the game) were Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter.”

    Steriods are amazing….

    Thinking out loud…Escobar, Ramirez, Tulo, Hanley…

    Wow…not many candidates, huh?

  102. Jim Says:

    Let’s concede the AL East to the Yanks. Their pitching problems are solved with the signing of Bartolo Colon.

  103. Bob Says:

    I am writing their preview, and I think I might concede the basement to them. Toronto is all active, Baltimore is up-and coming and Tampa, while taking some huge losses has some talent in the minors that might help them this year.
    What can Yankee fans look forward to? Tell you in March!!!!

  104. Chuck Says:

    Very funny, Jim.

  105. John Says:

    The Yankees won 95 games last year behind some shotty offense from their highest paid players and a very patch-work rotation.

    I’ll take the Red Sox to win the division, but the Yankees will win 90+ games and most likely win the wildcard.

  106. Bob Says:

    And they still have a very “patch-work rotation” and Posada, Jeter and ARod are all one year older and Teixiera is coming off an injury. It will be a long summer in the Bronx.

  107. Bob Says:

    Holy shit, you were not kidding Jim. The Yankees really signed Colon.

  108. Raul Says:

    I have no faith in the Redsox rotation outside of Jon Lester.
    Win the division? I highly doubt it.

  109. Raul Says:

    This is why I am a Yankees-hating Yankees fan.

    ESPN.com has an article that reads “Derek Jeter Working in Batting Cage”


    Is that even f***** necessary?
    What’s next?

    “John Hirschbeck seen buying baseballs”?????
    This is an outrage.

    I hate ESPN. I hate all reporters. All of them.
    All of them!

    Can we clone a new Dick Schaap? Because literally everyone else in the past 40 years has sucked.

  110. John Says:

    “ESPN.com has an article that reads “Derek Jeter Working in Batting Cage” ”

    Maybe this is breaking news, I’m not sure how much Jeter worked in the cage last year.

    “I have no faith in the Redsox rotation outside of Jon Lester.”

    But you…do have faith in the Yankee rotation outside of Sabathia?

  111. Raul Says:

    I don’t think it’s significantly worse, Bob.

    And the Yankees offense and bullpen is decidedly better.

  112. Raul Says:

    Excuse me, I meant John.

  113. Bob Says:

    The Yankees offense will be inferior to the Red Sox offense this year. And really I think the Sox have a decent pen with Papelbon, Bard, Jenks, and Wheeler.
    Hopefully Atchinson, Wakefield and Oki are serviceable.

  114. Bob Says:

    No harm no foul.

  115. Jim Says:

    The Yanks won’t be as bad as many RS fans think and by the same token the RS will be better than Yanks’ fans think. But neither team will have 100 wins and likely who ever reaches 95 wins the division.

  116. Chuck Says:

    Adrian Gonzalez replaces Adrian Beltre.


    Carl Crawford replaces Ryan Kalish/Mike Cameron.

    Advantage Crawford.

    Jarrod Saltalamachhia replaces Victor Martinez.

    HUGE advantage Martinez.

    The Red Sox offense is actually worse this year than last.

  117. brautigan Says:

    Well that depends Chuck on how well A.G. hits in his new digs. Take Big Papi’s best season and that is how I think A.G. will hit.

  118. Bob Says:

    Pedroia, Youk and Ellsbury if healthy will make this a dynamic offense with Crawford and Gonzalez. And I think Jed Lowrie will be better than people think. I will give you Martinez is vastly superior to Saltalamachia.

  119. Chuck Says:

    “And I think Jed Lowrie will be better than people think.”

    What difference does it make, he’s not the starter, Scutaro is.

    Pedroia in the lineup everyday obviously helps, Ellsbury stinks.

  120. Bob Says:

    For some reason, I think (and hope) Lowrie beats out Scutaro.

  121. Raul Says:

    Offensively speaking:

    C – Martin vs Saltalamacchia – advantage Martin
    1B – Teixeira vs Gonzalez – even, but I’ll give you Gonzalez
    2B – Cano vs Pedroia – advantage Cano
    3B – A-Rod vs Youkilis – advantage A-Rod (although up for debate)
    SS – Jeter vs Scutaro – advantage Jeter
    LF – Gardner vs Crawford – advantage Crawford
    CF – Granderson vs Ellsbury – advantage Granderson
    RF – Swisher vs Drew – advantage Swisher
    DH – Posada vs Ortiz – advantage Ortiz

    Admittedly, I think it’s fairly close but decidedly in the Yankees’ favor. And while nobody knows what the hell Montero is going to do, or where he’ll be, he could project to be a better bat at DH than David Ortiz, should he arrive in the Majors in 2011, and should Ortiz decline due to age.

    If you disagree with my advantages, please let me know though.
    I’m sure some are up for debate, notably 3B.

  122. Chuck Says:

    Can’t really argue with anything you said, Raul.

    I’d probably take Youkilis at third just because of his big defense advantage, and I’d take Teixeira over Gonzalez, so they cancel each other out.

    When considering just everyday lineups, the Yankees are the better team.

  123. Cameron Says:

    AG’s my pick for the AL MVP. He’s in a good hitter’s park in a division filled with very bad starting pitching (after the aces, every team has precisely jack fuck out there) and his table will be set by Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis. He’ll be seeing at least one of them on base a fuckload of times and he’ll get them across.

    Lester’s still good and while Buccholz’s 2.30 ERA was a fluke year, he’ll still be a very good option. When Josh Beckett is your #3, not bad. Plus, that bullpen is… It’s terrifying. I love the new Red Sox.

  124. Raul Says:

    If you’re talking about Rotations:

    Sabathia vs Lester
    Hughes vs Beckett
    Burnett vs Buchholz
    Nova vs Lackey
    Mitre vs Matsuzaka

    Advantage Redsox.

    But I’d say a few things. Beckett had the worst season of his career last year. I don’t know if I would rely on him, but like many of the Redsox starters, he’s the bigger name. Same goes for Lackey. But Lackey’s WHIP took a huge jump last year. He’s not a strikeout guy and as he ages, he’s even more hittable than before. Matsuzaka, in my opinion would be the ace of the staff if he didn’t waste time throwing junk. Walks kill him. But he rarely gives up a ton of hits. That said, he’s hardly a consistent stud pitcher. Buccholz is talented. I have no knocks on him. I think he’ll be a fine pitcher.

    I could argue the Yankees are close 1-3, but 4 and 5 are clearly Redsox advantages….unless Nova really surprises, the Redsox pitchers get injured, or Mark Prior finds some magic in the next 12 weeks.

  125. Chuck Says:

    Whoever doesn’t win the division wins the Wild Card.

    Same bat time, same bat channel.

  126. Jim Says:

    The way to look at the RS changes from last season is to look at it by position offensively and defensively

    Salty v. Victor = Victor
    Agon v Youk = small improvement with AGon
    Youk v Beltre = small improvement w/Youk as Beltre would have regressed
    Crawford v Ells, Nava, McD, Kalish = huge improvement with Crawford
    Ells v Cameron = small adv to Ells

    Salty v. Victor = Salty
    Agon v Youk = weaker with AGon
    Youk v Beltre = much weaker with Youk
    Crawford v Ells, Nava, McD, Kalish = huge improvement with Crawford
    Ells v Cameron = weaker with Ells

    Without Beltre and Youk on the corners Scutaro/Lowry and Pedroia won’t be able to cheat towards the middle.

    Lowry will eventually take over from Scutaro as his bat is much better.

    Regarding only this coming season – I’d call Jeter – Scutaro/Lowry a wash if not a slight advantage to Scoot & Jed.

  127. Raul Says:

    BTW, very quietly the Redsox are getting closer to a 190-200 million dollar payroll.

    They’re at 160 right now, surely to get bigger should they re-sign Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett. And as Jon Lester gets closer to Free Agency. They’ll also need to replace JD Drew, and I don’t think they have anyone in the minors to assume RF.

  128. brautigan Says:

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I am high on Bucholtz, his only question is durability. We’ll see. And if we’re following Granderson, his career peek has already come and gone, I’ll take Ellsbury’s on base, but Granderson has a big edge on defense and power. (But at least Ellsbury can get his bat on a ball against a left hander)

  129. John Says:

    “Adrian Gonzalez replaces Adrian Beltre.

    I disagree with you, sir! Adrian Gonzalez has been hitting 35-40 HR every year at Petco, a freaking pitcher’s paradise. Adrian Beltre had a terrific year last year, but Gonzalez is going to destroy his HR total and probably come close to his 2B total. Also, Gonzalez walks a whole lot more than Beltre. As an opposite field hitter, he’s going to wreck Fenway.

    “The Red Sox offense is actually worse this year than last.”

    100$ says that the Red Sox score more than 818 runs in 2011.


    I mostly agree with your hitting assessment, as I think A-Rod is going to have a more typical A-Rod kinda year (~40 HR). Just kind of a gut feeling from seeing how he did in the second half. Also, I’m not sure about Russell Martin, coming off his injury and all.

    As for the rotation, I give a very decisive advantage to the Red Sox. They are solid 1-5; Beckett may be coming off the worst year of his career, but I’ll take him over Burnett any day of the week – and twice on Sundays (although not really, because 18 innings in one day *might* be a little too much).

  130. Chuck Says:

    “I disagree with you, sir”


  131. Raul Says:

    I think people are making it seem like AJ Burnett is a complete scrub.
    He’s a quality pitcher with amazing stuff.

    I don’t think he’ll be posting a 2.19 ERA, but he has the ability to shut you down. Now maybe he’s got issues with Posada or Girardi or whoever is making the calls…or maybe he just falls in love with certain pitches now and then, but I don’t expect him to pitch as poorly as he did last season.

    He should be a guy who lives in the high 3s, low 4s ERA territory.

    You know what AJ Burnett’s career ERA is? 3.99 over 12 seasons.
    You know what Josh Beckett’s career ERA is? 3.96 over 10 seasons.

    Yet people act like Beckett is a god and Burnett belongs on the Bad News Bears.
    Let’s settle down here.

  132. John Says:

    The difference for me is that Beckett has had 2 seasons in the last 4 with 200 IP AND an ERA sub-4.

    Burnett hasn’t done that since the two were teammates with Dontrelle Willis’s Marlins in 2005.

    Career-wise, you’re right, they’re pretty much even.

  133. Chuck Says:

    I’ll take Beckett because he doesn’t have any tattoos.

  134. John Says:

    AJ Burnett looks like he just tried a really shitty shot every time he pitches.

  135. Raul Says:

    Who cares about tattoos?

    AJ Burnett’s last 4 seasons:
    4.28 ERA, 780 IP, 371 ER, 747 Ks, W/L 51-42

    Josh Beckett’s last 4 seasons:
    4.08 ERA, 715 IP, 324 ER, 681 Ks, W/L 55-29

    Is it really THAT big of a difference? Career-wise, last 4 seasons…they’re close no matter how you cut it.

  136. John Says:

    Ok, here’s a question: Should Ellsbury really start over Cameron?

    It seems to be a foregone conclusion that he should, but I would take Cammy’s glove+arm+power to Ellsbury’s speed.

  137. Raul Says:

    Cameron didn’t do too well last season and he’s 38 now.
    If Cameron does start over Ellsbury, that really says an awful lot about Ellsbury’s abilities as a player.

  138. Chuck Says:

    If either Brian Cashman or Theo Epstein are comfortable with their current rosters and believe they can reach the postseason without making any addtional moves, then both of them are on crack.

    Neither team has a good farm system and no one capable of filling in for a lengthy period of time in case of an injury, especially to a core player.

    Neither team has a good enough farm system whereby if a core player suffers a long-term injury they could go out and acquire a core player to step in and cover the role.

    Both teams are at the top of the payroll lists and each has exceeded the magic number for revenue sharing, so even if they look into picking up someone like Carlos Beltran, for example, they can’t take on salary, even short term.

    While the third place team in the East will likely finish closer to last than second, at least six other teams have improved themselves enough to be considered a serious wild card contender..Oakland, the Angels, Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, even Texas may have enough without Cliff Lee.

    So, memo to Yankee and Red Sox fans…don’t go planning any October vacations as of yet, unless they’re to Myrtle Beach.

  139. Chuck Says:

    “Who cares about tattoos?”



  140. John Says:

    Neither did Ellsbury though. He played like 9 games and kept getting hurt.

    Cammy’s been about as consistent in his career as a guy can be.

    .250, 20-25 HR, 20-30 SB, gold glove defense. Year in, year out.

    I like knowing what I’m going to get, even if it isn’t dominating.

  141. Cameron Says:

    You know who should start at center?

    …Whoever fucking shows up. Most of the CF ABs last season were taken by Danrell McDonald I think because both of them were on the DL. Get somebody that’s at least an everyday CF. When I saw that Boston was asking about Carlos Beltran, I said go for it. Chances are he’ll be there for more than half the season at least. Jose Reyes will probably leave for free agency and I say Boston trades Jose Iglesias (others if nec.), pick up Beltran… WAit for Reyes to hit the market and grab him too.

    The Mets fans are gonna riot, but I’ll laugh my tits off.

  142. John Says:

    “If either Brian Cashman or Theo Epstein are comfortable with their current rosters and believe they can reach the postseason without making any addtional moves, then both of them are on crack.”


    Both these teams, as they stand, will likely reach the post-season barring injury.

    ” they can’t take on salary, even short term.”


    Both teams have essentially shown that they can ALWAYS take on salary. Boston has added like 40M this offseason alone.

  143. Raul Says:

    Every year it seems a player or two takes a big step and becomes more of a household name.

    This year, I’m going with Jay Bruce. Bruce made a splash a few years ago when he came up and had a hot start, but cooled off and has been mostly forgotten by casual fans. But I think he’ll be among the best hitters all season in 2011.

  144. Chuck Says:

    “Should Ellsbury really start over Cameron?”


    Ellsbury’s a one trick pony, and apparently has the pain threshold of a five year old girl.

    His arm makes Johnny Damon’s look like Dave Parker’s.

    As with most slap hitters, he has a very small “happy place” within the strikezone, which makes him easier to pitch to.

    Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, and Bobby Bonds, to name a few, had the ability to drive the ball, so even though speed was their game, they were tougher to pitch to.

    Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner too, have pretty much been figured out by opposing pitchers and can only go down at this point.

    I also like Cameron in the OF because he’s the only RH outfielder Boston has who is capable of playing every day. Ellsbury, Kalish, and Reddick are all lefties.

  145. Jim Says:

    Admin! While having 2 pages open at DO Central open I had two trojan attacks. Possibly the site has been compromised?

    Just asking

  146. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, I initially misread that comment as Barry Bonds being a slap hitter and asking “has he lost his goddamn mind?”

  147. John Says:

    I want to take a moment to remember this day.

    26 JAN 2011, 9:34 PM EST.

    Chuck said a positive thing about Tim Raines.

    I agree with your assessment – I take Cammy for consistency and defense. Also, it’s not like he’s slow, he’ll give you stolen bases. Plus they just acquired an actual leadoff guy.

    Cameron, how is Beltran any more regular than Mike Cameron?

  148. Chuck Says:

    I really wish you’d read what I write, John.

    Disagree if you wish, I don’t care, but to basically re-iterate what I just said is kind of pointless.

    I like Jay Bruce.

    I like Drew Stubbs more.

  149. Chuck Says:

    “Cameron, how is Beltran any more regular than Mike Cameron.”

    Rice and beans.

  150. John Says:

    “This year, I’m going with Jay Bruce.”

    Weird, I was just writing that in my NL central thing. I completely agree.

  151. John Says:

    I didn’t reiterate what you just said, Chuck.

    You said you wanted Cammy for being RH and because Ellsbury isn’t very good.

    I said I wanted him for – wait for it – consistency and defense.

    But I agreed that what you said was also correct.

  152. Chuck Says:

    Different quotes, John, and it doesn’t matter.

    It wasn’t about Cameron.

  153. Raul Says:

    I haven’t heard anything about Houston lately.
    Anyone know what’s going on down there?

  154. John Says:

    Ed Wade signed Bill Hall to play every day.


  155. Chuck Says:

    They’re a mess.

    They really can’t make any moves because Dayton (Drayton?) McLane is trying to sell the team.

    Sort of like the Dodgers last year and the Padres two years ago.

  156. Raul Says:

    Oh. Damn so both Texas teams were on the market? That sucks. Or maybe it’s good depending in the incoming ownership

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