American League West Forecast (August 16)

by JohnBowen

As I boldly predicted back in February, the Rangers sit fairly comfortably on top of the American League West Division in mid-August.

Ok, that’s not even close to what I predicted. I made the mistake of thinking that the computers that Billy Beane programs to draw walks for him would win the West. I guess that didn’t work out. Oh well. Egg on my face.

Currently, the standings for the division look like this:

Team W L WP% GB Rs/G Ra/G
Texas Rangers 70 52 0.574 0 5.2 4.2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 65 57 0.533 5 3.9 3.8
Seattle Mariners 53 67 0.442 16 3.4 3.9
Oakland Athletics 53 68 0.438 16.5 3.9 4.1

Currently, puts the Angels’ odds at about 10% to overcome the Rangers.

Doesn’t seem too far off, but I could see it being closer to 15-20%

The Angels can definitely make it up head-to-head, as they play the Rangers nine more times this season, after losing last night to them 8-4. The other advantage the Angels have is an easier overall schedule down the stretch; while the Angels do have to face off against the Yankees in a 3-game set, the Texas Rangers have 6 games remaining against the Boston Red Sox and 6 more against the Tampa Bay Rays while also playing more games against the highly motivated American League Central contenders.

The Angels, of course, have to make up 5 games in 40 which is no easy challenge. They can take themselves right out of the race if they get swept by Texas in their current 4-game set.

A curious comparison: Mike Napoli was traded from the Angels as part of a trade to acquire Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays subsequently traded Napoli to the Rangers in the offseason. At no point in the first transaction was Napoli considered a comparable player to Wells; the whole reason for the trade was for the Blue Jays to clear out some payroll, presumably so they could hire more men in white to spy for them. Here’s a little comparison of those two:

Vernon Wells Mike Napoli
Plate Appearances 385 285
Batting Average .205 .290
On-Base Percentage .236 .386
Slugging Percentage .374 .592
OPS+ 71 156
HR 17 19
RBI 46 49
WAR -0.5 3.2
Salary 23M 5.8M

If WAR is to be believed, the Angels paid 17 million dollars to be 5 games out of first instead of ahead by a game.

Not Tony Reagins’s greatest moment.

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352 Responses to “American League West Forecast (August 16)”

  1. Chuck Says:

    “I made the mistake of thinking that the computers that Billy Beane programs to draw walks for him would win the West. I guess that didn’t work out. Oh well. Egg on my face.”

    Live and learn, Grasshopper.

  2. Cameron Says:

    Hey, I didn’t think Texas would be as good this season. I was wrong.

  3. Raul Says:

    I’m trying to decide what is more surprising:

    That the Angels are within striking-distance of the division lead, or that the Oakland Athletics are so far behind.

    I did say the A’s would struggle, but I was thinking more along the lines of 7 or 8 games out.

  4. Cameron Says:

    Eh… I’d say the A’s. It’s rare to see an entire offense have a down year.

  5. John Says:

    I fully expected the offense to be bad. I just thought they’d be like, the Indians bad, and not basically the Mariners.

    Ah well.

  6. Cameron Says:

    Didn’t think they’d be bad, I thought they’d be serviceable. I’ve never seen a team fuck up every free agent signing and trade before. These guys are an achievement in failure.

  7. Cameron Says:

    The Mariners DFA’d Aaron Laffey (he’s still around?), the Angels DFA’s Reggie Willits (hey, I remember him), and the Braves signed Wes Helms (wasn’t he that one guy?).

  8. Raul Says:

    Unfortunately, Reggie Willits’ GRIT Factor was insufficient to keep him on the team.

  9. Cameron Says:

    Willits can play all 3 OF positions and first, so there’s a bonus to anyone who wants to sign him. I think he got dicked out of a position because the Angels are the new Cubs and their outfield is old, slow, and expensive.

    Well, two thirds of it. Bourjous is fast and cheap.

  10. John Says:

    Well everyone, it’s official.

    The Phillies are going to finish with a better record than the Astros this year.

  11. Cameron Says:

    There goes their chances for a miracle comeback.

  12. Cameron Says:

    Wait… Bubba Starling said in a press conference about his signing that he could work on his offense. he was a three-sport star in high school and said he never really had time to devote himself to working on his hitting as much as he should.

    He… He can get better?

  13. Chuck Says:


    Not a bad start.

  14. Cameron Says:

    19 Ks is impressive no matter what level you’re at.

  15. Chuck Says:

    He retired 19 in a row..he didn’t strikeout 19.

  16. Cameron Says:

    My bad. Still a hell of a start for the guy. I just have on concern about Drew. While he can be lights-out, he can leave stuff over the plate. Leave anything over the plate in Denver and you’ll pay.

  17. Raul Says:

    Happy 46th birthday, Marcus Lawton! Who? Marcus Lawton is Matt Lawton’s brother. His career consisted of 14 Plate Appearances with the Yankees in 1989.

    Happy 56th birthday, Bruce Benedict! Benedict was a catcher for the Atlanta Braves during the 1980s. Benedict would go on to be a Minor League Manager, scout, and NCAA College Basketball official. He runs a baseball academy in Georgia.

    Happy 72nd birthday, Joe Azcue! Azcue, also a catcher, played during the 1960s. When Azcue hit into an unassisted triple play in 1968, it was the first time it happened in 41 years. He was also noted for having a rocket throwing arm. In 1966, he threw out 62% of all base stealers.

    Happy 41st birthday, Bobby Higginson! Probably one of the more recognizable Detroit Tigers in the mid-1990s, Higginson’s career started off quite promising. He did play 11 seasons but declined quite a bit in his early 30s. I don’t recall if he had injury problems. Surprisingly, Higginson never made an All-Star team.

    Happy 51st birthday, Mike LaValliere! Pretty big birthday for catchers today. LaValliere, like most catchers was nothing special with the bat, but had a strong arm and by many accounts was a terrific defensive backstop. He was part of some really great Pittsburgh teams in the 1980s and early 90s.

    Happy 50th birthday, Jack Howell! I think the only thing I can say about you is that you managed 11 seasons in The Bigs and you got fired from being the Diamondbacks hitting coach last season. Best of luck in whatever you’re doing now.

    Also born today, Roberto Clemente. He would have been 77 today.

  18. Raul Says:

    That should read “managed to play 11 seasons” — regarding Jack Howell.

  19. Chuck Says:

    Kirk Gibson said the other day the Dbacks “would do anything possible” to ensure Ian Kennedy has “every opportunity” to win 20 games.

    He said the division still is a priority, but that Kennedy is their best pitcher, and he wouldn’t rule out him pitching on three days’ rest or even out of the bullpen if necessary.

    As opposed to Dickhead Girardi, who skipped Phil Hughes down the stretch and cost him three or four attempts to win the final two games he needed.

  20. Raul Says:

    I’m a little encouraged that some of these older guys are pushing players today to do more.

    3 days rest used to be the standard for like 50 years. Now people act like it’s murder.

  21. Cameron Says:

    I’m really liking Gibson as a manager. Guy’s got a good mind for baseball.

  22. Bob Says:

    Cameron, google Dave Rozema.

  23. John Says:

    If Gibson is running Kennedy out on short rest, it should be BECAUSE it gives that team the best possible shot at the playoffs.

    Not so Kennedy can reach a meaningless milestone.

  24. Chuck Says:

    Thanks, Einstein.

  25. Bob Says:

    Mike Jacobs gone for 50 games.

  26. Chuck Says:

    Coolest story ever.

  27. Bob Says:

    Masterson is a class act.

  28. Bob Says:

    Actually, hearing that the Rockies released Jacobs altogether. And the Royals sign Francouer to a 2-year extension.

  29. Jim Says:

    Great story about Hannahan.

  30. Cameron Says:

    Dave Rozema… Wow, now that’s a story.

    And Frenchy gets to stay? Awesome!

  31. Bob Says:

    Youk to the DL. Yale guy Ryan Lavarnway is promoted.

  32. Raul Says:

    Adam Dunn and John Lackey are clearly not living up to their salaries.
    But what about another player who signed a fairly large contract a few years ago?

    I’m talking about you, Derek Lowe.

    Lowe signed with Atlanta for 4 years and 60 million. Modest, by comparison to players like Sabathia but 60 million is not peanuts.

    To date, Lowe has done the following:

    4.49 ERA
    533 innings
    599 hits
    1.454 WHIP
    88 ERA+
    5.9 K/9

    Granted, he has given the Braves innings. But for 15 million per year, you expect a bit more.

    Not to be absolved from his performance is AJ Burnett, who in that winter also signed a large contract: 5 years and 82.5 million.

    Here’s what Burnett has done:

    4.61 ERA
    548 innings
    543 hits
    1.432 WHIP
    95 ERA+
    7.7 K/9

    Yankee pinstripes haven’t been good to Burnett in terms of the long ball.
    Prior to being a Yankee, he’d given up 20 homers in a season just twice in his career: 20 in 2001 with the Marlins, and 23 in 2007 with the Blue Jays.

    He’s given up 25 in each of his first 2 seasons in the Bronx and already has 22 this season.

  33. Raul Says:

    The Yankees are playing the Twins.
    I don’t think the Twins have taken a series from the Yankees in 40 years.

  34. Mike Felber Says:

    just heard an interview with this guy on the radio.

  35. Raul Says:

    Brad Ausmus should have been on a World Series team.

    Good catcher. It was too bad he spent his years on some really bad teams.

  36. John Says:

    You know who his high school coach was, right?

    @35, Ausmus was actually the catcher on the 05 Astros. Not a WS winner, but he still got to the party.

    Those 1998 Astros were incredible though.

  37. Raul Says:

    Lima Time.

  38. brautigan Says:

    I used to see Ausmus in Tucson in the early 90’s. I think I only caught up with him once after he made the show(I think he was with the Tigers). What a nice guy, and certainly, one of the finest defensive catchers of his generation.

  39. John Says:

    Saw this one:

    Jeff Mathis has 52 total bases this season.

    Mike Napoli has 24 total bases this season…against the Angels.

  40. Chuck Says:

    Harper pulled a hammy last night and will miss the rest of the season.

    Raul, did you see Mike Stanton’s new stance?

  41. John Says:

    Um, why does he have to change his stance?

  42. Chuck Says:


  43. Bob Says:

    1.The MLBPA filed a grievance on behalf of Zambrano.
    2. T.G.I.F.!!!

  44. Chuck Says:

    I wonder if they’ll file a grievance on behalf of Mike Jacobs.

    Probably not, because Zambrano is an All Star making $19 million, and Jacobs is an irrelevant piece of shit.

  45. Bob Says:

    The two cases are not really comparable. Jacobs is a minor leaguer who failed a piss test. Zambrano just used his right to free speech to say something moronic.
    That said, Chicago should try to deal him this off-season, yet how many teams are going to vie for him?

  46. Chuck Says:

    If you think the MLBPA treats all players equally, I have a bridge for sale.

  47. Cameron Says:

    Is Jacobs even subject to the MLBPA’s jurisdiction anymore?

  48. Raul Says:

    I haven’t seen Mike Stanton’s hitting stance, but I’ll check it out tonight.

    Regarding Harper, that’s unfortunate. I think he’s 19 years old though and I don’t recall many players pulling hamstrings while so young. At least. not to the point where they might miss more than a week. Must have been a freak thing. Although I wonder why the Nationals would treat Harper’s hamstring with more care than Strasburg’s arm.

  49. Chuck Says:

    The season’s over on September 5th, so probably a good thing to not risk a more serious injury for no reason.

    Maybe he’ll be healthy enough for another return to the AFL.

  50. Raul Says:

    That’s right, I forgot about the shorter season in the Minors.

    I was looking at the standings in the NL.
    The Mets are 60-63, which is better than I expected given the injuries, trades and how crappy they are, in general. But they also lead the NL East in Runs Scored. Pretty impressive.

  51. Chuck Says:

    Betances made his first AAA start yesterday..pretty impressive considering..gave up a bomb to Tim Beckham.

  52. Bob Says:

    Jim Hendry has been fired.

  53. Cameron Says:

    Wait, the Cubs did something right?

  54. Bob Says:

    Not sure yet. They still have to hire someone.

  55. Raul Says:

    Tim Beckham?

    I thought he was out of baseball years ago.

    Wow, the Cubs are finally serious about cleaning house?
    What was Hendry’s best move? Trading for Carlos Silva or trading away Milton Bradley? LOL

    Hendry was promoted to GM in the summer of 2002.
    Cubs 1st Round Draft Choices:

    2003: Ryan Harvey. Appears to be out of baseball.
    2004: None
    2005: Mark Pawelek. Appears to be out of baseball.
    2006: Tyler Colvin. Somewhat decent player. Can’t get on base.
    2007: Josh Vitters. Tyler Colvin with less power. Went from Baseball America’s 43rd best prospect in 2008, to #51 in 2009, to #70 in 2010, and not in the Top 100 for 2011.
    2008: Andrew Cashner. Struggled with walks in the past. Could be a solid bullpen addition.
    2009: Brett Jackson. Looks like the best of the bunch. Could see time in Chicago next season. Currently hitting .272/.373/.492 in 99 games between AA and AAA.

    I suppose we can leave it there.

    I believe the Cubs didn’t have a 2004 Draft Selection because they signed Greg Maddux in Free Agency. I’m not sure, though.

    People talk about Bryce Harper and his draft.
    Take a look at the 2008 MLB Draft. I doubt he goes in the Top 10, possibly not even the Top 15.

  56. Cameron Says:

    Hendry’s best move was getting fired.

  57. Chuck Says:

    Took the words right out of my mouth, Cam.

  58. Chuck Says:

    “Take a look at the 2008 MLB Draft. I doubt he goes in the Top 10, possibly not even the Top 15″

    Tim Beckham and Pedro Alvarez’ -1.7 career WAR in 151 games indicates otherwise.

    If you re-shuffle the draft knowing what you know now?

    No question, considering those other two guys wouldn’t have either.

  59. Chuck Says:

    “Jim Hendry has been fired.”

    New Cubs GM?

    Brian Cashman.

  60. Cameron Says:

    My cat could be the new Cubs Gm and they’d be better off.

    And Jose Tabata is working on an extension with the Pirates. They see potential in him and the extension will cover the next six years, which buys out all his arbitration and a free agent year.

  61. Chuck Says:

    “And Jose Tabata is working on an extension with the Pirates”

    Wait..what the hell?

    I would give three years off my life right now to be Andrew McCutchen’s agent.

  62. Cameron Says:

    Last I checked, Catch-22 is still working on a deal, but his agent and Huntington can’t agree on the years or numbers, but they want to. They should’ve done it earlier.

    This is why I like what they’re doing with Tabata. They see he could make money through arbitration that they don’t wanna pay and they’re buying that out as well as year one of free agency way ahead of schedule. It’s like a lesser version of what the Rays did with Evan Longoria, who signed an extension… What, 10 games into his career?

  63. Raul Says:

    I would be careful with Jose Tabata.

    He’s listed at 5′11 and 220 pounds.

    Things like that are typically inaccurate but it’s not like he’s really 175 lbs.
    He’s a pretty stocky dude, and for a guy who’s got zero power, I’d be careful about giving him big dollars. You could be looking at another Luis Castillo.

    Honestly, I’d trade him.

  64. Chuck Says:

    Evan Longoria’s a future Hall of Famer.

    Jose Tabata is McCutchen’s future limo driver.

    Big difference.

    He should be on one year contracts for the rest of his life.

  65. Cameron Says:

    I’d wait until I see the numbers of the deal. If it’s something like 6/$12MM or 6/$18MM, I don’t think it’d be that bad a deal. I just like when teams are proactive. But I’m witch Chuck, they should’ve started talking about extending McCutchen last year while he was still cheap.

  66. Chuck Says:

    No way I’d sign that deal.

    They just gave Josh Bell five million, why the hell would I lock myself into a deal for a million more when I’m already an established ML player?

  67. Cameron Says:

    I’m thinking of it from the office’s standpoint here. Try and buy out a guy as long as you can for as cheap as you can. Hell, if a player who’s as slam-dunk as Ryan Braun or Evan Longoria will sign early long-term deals, why not try and get it done. If you see a guy who’ll be a big part of your team, make sure he’s a big player for as long as you can within reason.

    Which is actually a reason I didn’t like the Rockies signing Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to long-term deals in the same season until they traded away Ubaldo. The guy would’ve been expensive and they’d have had three guys locked up for 50-60 million by the end of that.

    Better to try and sign extensions early like Tampa than late like Colorado.

  68. Chuck Says:

    The Gonzalez contract was stupid, and the Rockies know it.

    Yeah, I agree..better to lock up Jimenez and make Gonzalez have more than one good year.

  69. John Says:

    “They just gave Josh Bell five million, why the hell would I lock myself into a deal for a million more when I’m already an established ML player?”

    2 Reasons:

    1) It’s (according to Cameron) 7-13 million more
    2) You’re Jose Tabata, who, 2 comments ago, you described as Andrew McCutchen’s limo driver.

    I dunno, Jose Tabata strikes me as a very bleh player. A starter in the big leagues, but an average one at best, probably a little below average. But, hey, 2-3M per season seems like an alright deal for that kind of player and it gives you more money to spend on the pieces that will actually fuel your return to the playoffs or, barring that, Pirates’ executives bonuses.

  70. Cameron Says:

    Gonzalez was showing promise as far back as his Oakland call-up. I think the Rockies should’ve tried to lock him up earlier, actually. They probably could’ve pulled off a 6/$60MM extension and be a lot team-friendlier. As for Tulowitzki, it’s a good move now, but something tells me he’ll be at third base and overpaid by the time it’s over. It’s worth it for the bulk of it, though, so I’m not too bad about it.

    I don’t like guys getting paid more than $15MM a year as part of an extension from an early age. Make you look like a jackass when you’re done if it’s a bust and you get guys like Vernon Wells at the end of it.

  71. Cameron Says:

    John, it’s just what I said I’d try and pay him. He’ll probably make more.

  72. John Says:

    “I don’t like guys getting paid more than $15MM a year as part of an extension from an early age. Make you look like a jackass when you’re done if it’s a bust and you get guys like Vernon Wells at the end of it.”

    What about Derek Jeter?

    10y/189 million dollar deal, and I would argue, much as I think he’s a prick, that he more than fulfilled that bad-boy.

  73. Cameron Says:

    Like I said, in principle. you occasionally get a guy like Jeter who’ll be worth it, but after taking into account potential injuries and whatnot, it’s not a smart move to sign a guy to a move that will fuck you in the budget, isn’t that right Mr. Zito?

  74. Raul Says:

    Tulo is a very good player.
    But, he’s a shortstop. And, sorry but considering how generally low-paid shortstops are it’s really hard to justify 20 million dollars per year for a shortstop.

    The Rockies are in the 80-million range in payroll.
    In 4-5 years they’ll be committing 35-40 million on just 2 players.
    This is not the Yankees we’re talking about. This is Colorado.

    Look for the Rockies to be at the bottom of the NL West for the better part of the decade.

  75. John Says:

    Zito wasn’t young at all.

    And, in his defense, he wasn’t injury-prone before and hasn’t been injury prone since until this year.

    He just wasn’t that good a pitcher.

    Troy Tulowitzki is an interesting one. A perennial MVP candidate when healthy, but he’s gotten hurt a couple times.

  76. John Says:

    “And, sorry but considering how generally low-paid shortstops are it’s really hard to justify 20 million dollars per year for a shortstop.”

    SS aren’t paid a lot because they don’t generally produce like Tulo on either side of the ball.

    He’s the best SS in the game…easily.

  77. Raul Says:

    Because they don’t have to.

    The Rockies would be a lot better off with a Troy Tulowitzki in Left Field and an Omar Vizquel at SS.

  78. John Says:

    He’s the best offensively and defensively.

  79. Raul Says:

    It doesn’t even matter.
    The Rockies would still be better spending that money elsewhere.

    If the Rockies traded for Alcides Escobar and Escobar managed to hit .270, and shifted Tulo to RF or something, they would be a better team. And their cash flow would allow them to improve even more.

    This isn’t even debatable.

  80. Cameron Says:

    Tulo’s very good, but they guy strikes me as someone who won’t really age well. He’ll be 35 by the time that contract is up unless they exercise the option, which he’ll be 36. There aren’t that many guys who are an everyday shortstop in their mid-30s, shortstops convert out of necessity unless they’re a true Yankee by that point. You need to count on him having a good enough bat to justify $20MM+ as a third baseman by age 35. Will he be that good? I don’t know, to be honest, but there’s too much what-iffing in this situation.

  81. John Says:

    Sure, just like that, because a natural switch is to move a SS who’s the best in baseball to RIGHTFIELD.

    That’s baby crazy.

  82. Cameron Says:

    And he’s a pretty big guy for a shortstop as well, big shortstops aren’t career shortstops. A-Rod, Cal Ripken, and Garciaparra and Yount were tall-ish for shortstops (but skinny guys) that didn’t stick.

  83. John Says:

    Ripken stuck until he was 36, playing EVERY DAY
    A-Rod was moved originally to appease Jeter’s ego. He had just come off a season where he was the MVP of the league…an award that Tulo will win at least a couple times during this deal.

  84. Raul Says:

    How insane to think that a guy who is the “best” defensively and offensively at one of the most athletic positions in the game would really struggle to play the outfield.

    What a douche one must be to suggest that.
    You hear that, Mickey Mantle?

  85. Cameron Says:

    And he was a pretty damn good shortstop, too, but Ripken had no injury history. Tulo? Not so much. If he plays every remaining game, he has over 150 games for the third time in his career, but he’s also got a season of 122 games and one of 101. There are injury concerns with the guy, and shortstop isn’t a position that’s easy on a guy. He’ll wear down, the question is how fast.

  86. John Says:

    @84, I’m closing in on an advanced degree in aerospace engineering.

    So, naturally, I’ll be able to land a sweet job as a fucking microbiologist.

    Because all things are transferable.

    “You hear that, Mickey Mantle?”

    Once again, let’s site one of the top 5-10 players ever to play baseball as a rule for everybody else.

    And then pretend like the situations are the same, and that there’s someone better defensively than Tulowitzki currently at his position who has JUST WON THE MVP AWARD, as Rizzuto had just done.

    While we’re at it, maybe Todd Helton should fucking pitch, because those skills are transferable too.

  87. John Says:

    I just want to be clear, Raul.

    You want to move the best SS in baseball to right field.

  88. Cameron Says:

    Yeah… The 50s was filled with some bullshit MVPs. While you had guys like Roy Campanella and Mickey Mantle winning MVPs, you also had the Hank Sauers and the the Phil Rizuttos winning. The BBWAA had an obsession of guys up the middle being a lot more important than they were just because they were, in fact, up the middle.

    They were the closers of the 50s in terms of sportswriting wet dreams.

  89. Cameron Says:

    Raul, I’ll admit that’s stupid. But I think I get the reason why you said RF. He’s got a cannon of an arm and RF is the only position in Colorado with a big question mark on it, am I right?

  90. Raul Says:

    If you really think the most talented shortstop in baseball would struggle to play the outfield, just give up on watching baseball.

    1.2 trillion games, and you honestly believe this?
    I really hope you’re just arguing to argue. Hell, I’d respect you typing that as mere trolling and douchebaggery. But to suggest that a team would be worse off by having that kind of power bat at a corner outfield position, considering those dollars involved…that’s not only stupid. It shows a pathetically small understanding of the game, finances and value.

    But yeah, let’s attack this idea because I used Mickey Mantle.
    Sorry I didn’t say Robin Yount.
    Or Gary Sheffield.
    Or Craig Biggio.
    Or countless other players who’ve gone from PITCHER to outfielders.

    But no. A top athlete at SS would have tremendous trouble running and judging trajectory of fly balls. What the hell could I have been thinking?

  91. John Says:

    “Or Gary Sheffield.”

    Arguably the worst outfielder OF ALL-FUCKING-TIME

    That’s who you site.

    Gary Sheffield


    The other guys all graded out negatively in the outfield. Robin Yount is a great example of someone who was an elite fielder at SS and basically average in the outfield.

    Let’s just review:

    You want to take the best SS in the game and move him to RF…WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO THAT?!

    It’s like, you’ve got this fantastic, once in a generation talent and you think…let’s FUCK his skills by putting him in the outfield.

  92. Raul Says:

    You go around acting like I’m saying “move Tulo to RF”, as if it was that simplistic.

    Tulo putting up those numbers at SS for 4 million…fantastic.
    Tulo putting up those numbers at SS for 20 million is inefficient because of the importance of the position isn’t offense and that’s the basis for the contract. You simply can’t argue otherwise.

    If the Rockies want to get Tulo’s production out of the OF…you know what they have to do? They have to spend 80 million (coughCARLOSGONZALEZcough).

    So that’s 35-40 million on 1 OF and 1 SS.
    Shift the SS to the OF and you are spending 20 million for 1 OF, and arguably 5-9 million for a competent SS. And you won’t be losing anything.

    If you disagree, so be it.
    You’re just wrong.

  93. John Says:

    I wonder why no one thought to just put Pudge Rodriguez over at first base?

    Man, if only they had Raul to tell them exactly how to fuck over their team.

  94. Raul Says:

    I love how John calls Tulowitzki a “once in a generation talent” and then makes it seem like I’m completely wrong to compare him to ANOTHER “once in a generation talent” in Mickey Mantle (who made a much tougher position change than I suggested).

    In fact, I think I’ll just copy and paste that. Because it bears repeating.

    I love how John calls Tulowitzki a “once in a generation talent” and then makes it seem like I’m completely wrong to compare him to ANOTHER “once in a generation talent” in Mickey Mantle (who made a much tougher position change than I suggested).

  95. John Says:

    The CarGo deal was incredibly stupid.

    Spending 80 million on a guy when you can get around 95% of his production for 1/4 of the price? Yeah, pretty dumb.

    Tulo putting up the numbers he does at SS – while, by the way, being the best or second best defensive SS in all of baseball – allows the Rockies to NOT have to seek 80 million dollars from the OF.

  96. John Says:

    Fine, you got me.

    The Yankees moved Mickey Mantle to the outfield because they already had a very good all-around SS.

    Do the Rockies have a SS even close to Tulo’s DEFENSIVE prowess in the works?

    Unless the Royals are the Rockies AAA team (did Jeff Francis get sent down?), I’m fairly sure they do not.

    Not once in history, has a team made a position change based on reducing that player’s value as a ballplayer, because that’s a good way of deliberately hurting your team.

  97. Cameron Says:

    “Not once in history, has a team made a position change based on reducing that player’s value as a ballplayer, because that’s a good way of deliberately hurting your team.”


  98. John Says:

    Pat Gillick was inducted into the HOF this month.

    He took over the Mariners in 1999.

    Are you saying that, one of the best GM’s of *all-time* was stupid for not moving ARod to left field to make him more affordable for a possible extension?

  99. Raul Says:

    They don’t need a SS with Tulo’s defensive abilities.
    They merely need someone who can hit his weight and play solid defense.

    It’s better financially to have a powerhouse corner outfielder making large money and a serviceable shortstop than it is to have a powerhouse SS making large money and a serviceable outfielder. A serviceable outfielder will cost you more than a serviceable shortstop.

    This is why for 120-some odd years teams didn’t mind so much that middle infielders hit lightly because it didn’t matter.

    It’s like having a catcher (Joe Mauer?) making 25 million. You’re gonna shift his butt out of there because those dollars are better used elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if he’s the greatest catcher ever.

  100. Chuck Says:

    I just read a comment on a chat which suggests the Yankees try and get Hunter Pence…to be their fourth OF.

    Man, there are some fucking brain dead people on the internet.

  101. John Says:

    @97, the Yankees weren’t trying to reduce ARod’s value. Or if they were, they did a silly job of it by giving him an all-time record contract three years later.

    But really, they were just protecting Jeter.

  102. Cameron Says:

    Didn’t intentionally devalue him, but Rodriguez was the better fielder.

  103. John Says:

    “It’s better financially to have a powerhouse corner outfielder making large money and a serviceable shortstop than it is to have a powerhouse SS making large money and a serviceable outfielder. A serviceable outfielder will cost you more than a serviceable shortstop.”

    Based on what?!

    “They don’t need a SS with Tulo’s defensive abilities.
    They merely need someone who can hit his weight and play solid defense.”

    This is seriously the most backwards-ass logic I’ve ever read.

    Let’s deliberately hurt our team.

  104. Raul Says:

    Whatever John.

    You’re as hopeless as Shaun. Like him, 2 or 3 years here and you haven’t learned a thing.

  105. Cameron Says:

    Raul, I’m with John here. You sign a guy to play his natural position and only shift him out of necessity. It isn’t a necessity to move Tulo yet, and if they do need to shift him, it’s either to second (which their starter is Mark Ellis and they lack a solid backup) or third (Ian Stewart could be gone by the end of the season), or even first when Todd Helton retires.

    Right field is his fourth-best option for a conversion, it was a stupid thing both theoretically and in context.

  106. John Says:

    Raul, name one time, ever, in the free agent era when a SINGLE team has done what you’re describing.

    Deliberately FUCK a player’s value by moving him to a LESS valuable position.

    That’s what you’re suggesting.

    The move you’re suggesting would cost the Rockies 2 wins before a game was even played.

  107. Chuck Says:

    “You’re as hopeless as Shaun. Like him, 2 or 3 years here and you haven’t learned a thing”

    How DARE you talk to an aerospace engineer in that tone of voice!!! :)

  108. John Says:

    Thank you Chuck.

    Show some respect!


  109. Chuck Says:

    “You sign a guy to play his natural position and only shift him out of necessity.”

    Tell that to the Twins.

    Joe Mauer’s contract goes from a bargain to rape if he’s an outfielder.

  110. Cameron Says:

    They signed him to play his natural position, which was catcher, and they’ll shift him to 1B/LF out of necessity in a few years. I’ll give him… Three or four years before he needs to move, and then he will be a contract drain unless he finds that power stroke he had in ‘09 and then improve on it.

    …So, basically, starts taking steroids.

  111. Chuck Says:

    “Deliberately FUCK a player’s value by moving him to a LESS valuable position.”

    See above

  112. Cameron Says:

    Mauer would be broken down to the point where he’d be more valuable in left than behind the plate at that point. Even Yogi Berra had to move eventually.

  113. Chuck Says:

    A gold glove winning catcher who’s a good handler of pitchers and a good game caller who oh, by the way happens to own three batting titles is a bargain at $18 million a year.

    A below average defensive rightfielder who’s had 85 RBI’s twice and double digit homers twice in a nine year career isn’t worth half that amount.

  114. Cameron Says:

    I don’t know if he’d be a right fielder. For some reason, I’m thinking first or left. Guess it’s just more natural for catchers, since that’s usually where they end up. Don’t think he’d have the legs for right.

    And Target Field ain’t gonna help him, that place killed what little power he had. Then again, you can apply that for the Twins as a whole.

  115. Chuck Says:

    You know he played RF yesterday, right?

  116. Cameron Says:

    Did not know that, actually.

  117. John Says:

    Spot-on, Chuck.

    And the same thing goes for Tulo if you move him to the outfield.

    Even if you assume he makes the seemless transition there and is equally as proficient defensively out there as he was at SS, there’s still the fact that his line just becomes less impressive and less valuable compared to a lot of guys at his new position.

  118. Cameron Says:

    Tulo’s never gonna be more than 180 feet from the plate, pure and simple… Well, it’s more like 120 feet if you go from a straight line.

  119. Chuck Says:

    Tulo makes half of what Mauer makes.

    His big money doesn’t kick in until 2015.

    I’m not sure I want to be paying a 30 year old shortstop $20 million a year either, though.

  120. John Says:

    I heard Mauer’s RF start happened because various guys were injured and MISSED FLIGHTS (seriously?)

    I don’t see him moving there permanently.

    Hopefully the Twins can keep him in a role where he catches 110-125 games a year or so and DH him another 30 to keep him fresh.

    That’s the best way to go.

  121. Cameron Says:

    Probably not. Mr. O’Dowd isn’t exactly great shakes with long-term contracts. Remember Todd Helton? Yeah, CarGo and Tulo are basically Act II of that one.

  122. John Says:

    @119, it’s a gamble, given his injury history.

    But he’s just so rock-solid at what he does when he’s healthy.

  123. John Says:

    In the span of Helton’s deal, he had a .317/.427/.512 line (134 OPS+ for Coors), averaging 139 games in a year from 2003-2010.

    It was a bit of an overpay, but there’ve been way worse deals than that.

    The CarGo deal is worse. It’s for less money, but he’s a man that NEEDS Coor’s Field in order to be productive.

    Tulo and Helton have/had skill sets that don’t turn them into the Bad News Bears 81 times a year.

  124. Cameron Says:

    I’d give Gonzalez a little more time before completely writing him off. He’s only 25, he’s got a few years to hit his stride.

  125. Chuck Says:

    Mauer’s on pace to set career offensive lows across the board, and the fact he missed two months with what amounted to leg cramps would concern me if I was in the Twins front office.

    I would be looking to move him, maybe not to right, but to first, and DH Morneau, who is basically done anyway.

  126. Cameron Says:

    Sad to see what Morneau’s become. While he never was gonna be a stud, that concussion basically ended his career.

  127. John Says:

    “Sad to see what Morneau’s become. While he never was gonna be a stud, that concussion basically ended his career.”

    I dunno about the “never be a stud” part.

    When he went down last year, he had played exactly 81 games:

    .345/.437/.618, 186 OPS+, 18 HR, 25 2B.

    It really is too bad, because he probably would’ve been MVP if that hadn’t ended his season.

    And he actually would’ve deserved this one.

  128. Cameron Says:

    I wonder what the MLB will do about concussions. There are only a handful of organizations that seem to work actively to prevent concussions. I know the NFL is super-paranoid about them, the WWE has gone out of its way to protect the wrestlers (the rest of pro wrestling, not so much), and the NCAA are working on it. The NHL might, given its nature, but I dunno becuase who gives a flying fuck about the NHL?

  129. John Says:

    What do you do about concussions?

    Most of them are the fault of the guy who gets them.

  130. Cameron Says:

    Preventable concussions, John. What actions will the MLB do to prevent it? The NFL prevents helmet-to-helmet shots and other behavior and the WWE has all but banned anything putting the head of a wrestler into direct contact with anything (including banning chair shots to the head, that one kinda made me sad, but I’ll deal with that if the payoff is not reliving the nightmare of the Chris Benoit case).

    I guess the only thing MLB can do to prevent concussions is crack down on headhunting, even though I’m pretty sure Morneau got hit by a wild pitch and it wasn’t intentional. I know Corey Koskie also got concussed by getting slid into in the middle of a play and he got flipped and landed headfirst on the basepath. The MLB really can’t do a whole hell of a lot, I guess.

  131. Cameron Says:

    Fuck me, I actually nailed the Tabata contract.

    6 years, $14.75MM

    He also has three option years that total to $22.MM, bringing the potential contract to 9/$37.25MM. All in all, not bad.

  132. Cameron Says:

    *three option years that total to $25.5MM

  133. John Says:

    Seems about right for him.

  134. Raul Says:

    The Yankees are so confident Manny Banuelos can help them in September, and possibly the post season that they claimed Aaron Laffey off waivers.

    Aaron Laffey. He of the 1.53 career WHIP.


    No I mean this question seriously…

    Is there any organization in professional baseball that goes out of their way as much as the Yankees to send the message to their Minor Leaguers that they have no faith in them whatsoever?

    That is a real question. Because I just fucking give up at this point.

  135. Cameron Says:

    And now they’re trying to extend Neil Walker. Neal Huntington’s a busy motherfucker lately. If I had to weigh in on this one…

    If they’re doing the same thing they did with Tabata and they’re trying to buy out at least one free agent year, you need to look at his situation. He’s arb-eligible after 2012, making his first arbitration year 2013 and his first free agent year 2017. To buy out his first free agent year, that makes it a six-year extension. Then you need to figure his AAV (average annual value). I pegged Tabata at $2-$3MM, as for Walker… I’d say 5 to 7 if you were to lock him up now.

    So my math is at anywhere between 6/$30MM and 6/$42MM, though I have a gut feeling he could go as high as 6/$52.

  136. Raul Says:

    Wait on Neil Walker, unless you are using his down year as leverage to pay him less money.

    Because he’s not having a great year.

  137. Cameron Says:

    Raul, a down year is a perfect time to sign an extension. It’s a bastard move, but pointing out to an agent that your client may have a high upside, that down year can put the fear of god in him and force him to pay out less.

    Why do you think they did that to Tabata? They waited for the guy to come down to earth so there could be a sense of realism in his worth. Don’t speculate on player worth, sign him for as low as you can.

  138. Raul Says:

    I feel bad that I checked out the box score for the Yankees-Twins.
    It read “Batting: E. Chavez” and I thought of Endy Chavez, not Eric Chavez.

  139. Cameron Says:

    I’m amazed either of them still have jobs.

  140. Raul Says:

    Way to stick to your guns, Girardi.

    After letting it leak that you were going to bench Jorge Posada, you sat him out for 5 games…and let him play in 5 of the next 6.

  141. Cameron Says:

    You wanna get rid of Posada? Force him to suit up the catcher’s gear again. I give him five minutes.

  142. Jim Says:

    Cameron, Morneau’s concussion was the result of a collision at second.

    Unlike football and hockey, where concussions are a result of how the game is played, in BB they are incidental. Stuff MLB can do would be to improve the coverage and protection of batting helmets. Send a player out wearing the equivalent of a motorcycle helmet and concussions resulting from being hit by a pitch would all but disappear.

  143. Cameron Says:

    I know there’ve been some new helmet designs that are great in reducing concussions from bean balls, but I don’t believe they’re mandatory.

  144. John Says:

    I think I get it.

    Tabata and Walker aren’t superstars. They aren’t Evan Longoria or Ryan Braun or Troy Tulowitzki.

    They’re probably going to be middle of the pack, something like the 10th to the 20th best players at their positions.

    Which is ok for the money you’re paying them (at least Tabata, not sure what they’re throwing Walker’s way).

    You know you’re not getting superstars here, but you lock up 2 of your 8 positions for several years for cheap contracts, and you’re able to save your money for McCutchen and a pitcher or 2 to help turn that team into an actual contender.

    So while you might not have Barry Bonds and Robbie Alomar locked up at those two positions, you’ve at least locked in some young players who aren’t likely to fall off the map and will contribute solidly around the stars you have (McCutchen), are coming up (Taillon, Sanchez) and FA you sign when the time is right (???).

    Better than having those right pieces in place and having pieces of the scrap heap out there with them.

  145. Cameron Says:

    If they’re focusing on locking up guys on the cheap, I think Paul Maholm isn’t a Pirate past this season. He ain’t worth $9.75MM.

  146. John Says:

    Yeah, he’s got a 9.75M option with a 750k buyout.

    If you’re Huntington, you take the buyout.

    If he’s a guy you’d like to keep around, you can still offer him a contract, but you don’t wanna be spending 10M a year on Maholm quality pitchers if you’re rebuilding.

    That is, unless you know you can trade him right after picking up the option. He’s a pretty good pitcher. Way better than his 6-14 record would indicate.

  147. Cameron Says:

    Indeed, but not worth the option. I dunno if he’d be on good enough terms with the Pirates to negotiate with them after what’s essentially a non-tender, but I don’t know if they can pick up a guy his level on the cheap. Their rotation next year… Doesn’t look great. Morton, McDonald, and Karstens are the only guys still there next year in the current crop, and McDonald’s the only one I like in there.

    If they look to the bullpen, they can plug the holes with Brad Lincoln and Daniel McCutcheon, but still not great. Re-sign Maholm, resign Correia, buy as much time until you can get Cole, Taillon, and Heredia in there.

  148. John Says:

    What’s wrong with Karstens?

  149. Cameron Says:

    Eh, the guy really doesn’t strike me as someone who’ll be more than league-average.

  150. Raul Says:

    2 homer game for Russell Martin

    Just 1 hit allowed by Hughes but he isn’t striking out many these days.

  151. Cameron Says:

    Haven’t got a good look at Hughes. What’s he lost that’s bringing his Ks down, the heat or the command?

  152. Raul Says:

    It’s everything.

    It’s his heat, his command…sometimes he’ll even have questionable pitch selection.

    Not sure if he still does it but for a while he’d try to throw like…a cut fastball to lefties. I don’t know if he’s trying to be like Rivera or if the Yankees are telling him it’s a good idea. But I’d say give lefties the change-up and stop dicking around.

    Even if Hughes does believe in his cutter to lefties, it should strictly be a waste pitch to set up the change-up away. It’s pretty hard to sneak fastballs by lefties in Yankee Stadium. Those bastards are already looking to pull that shit.

  153. Raul Says:

    Don’t get me wrong.

    You can’t be disappointed with a 7-inning, 1 hit performance like Hughes has tonight.

    I’m just saying…

  154. Cameron Says:

    Ouch, that sucks. At least with Soria falling off the map, I can attribute it to one thing. Replacing his curveball with a cutter. nothing else really changed. With Hughes, it’s like he’s a different pitcher.

    It’s like… The first time he came around with the Yankees, before his stint as a setup guy that got people to notice.

  155. Raul Says:

    Checking the box score…
    The Yankees let Hughes go out there for the 8th and he recorded an out, a single, and a line out. Then they removed him for Boone Logan. Hughes was at 106 pitches with a 6-1 lead.

    Do you know who was up next? Ben Revere.
    Seriously? You remove Phil Hughes because Ben Revere is up with 2 outs and a man on 1st?

    The notion of moving Tulowitzki to the outfield aside, I’m 10 times the manager Joe Girardi is.

  156. Cameron Says:

    …Something tells me that Revere may not have been the reason he was pulled. 106 pitches may be a lot for Hughes at least, but the guy may have just ran out of gas. The guy ain’t exactly durable and that arm’s had plenty or wear on it as it is in terms of being injured.

    He gets shut down a lot because that arm’s held together with hopes and dreams.

  157. Raul Says:

    If Girardi felt that way, he wouldn’t have sent Hughes out there for the 8th to begin with.

  158. Cameron Says:

    You send a guy out for as long as he feels he can go. If you have a guy who thinks he can go out in the eighth, you let him go out. Girardi made the right call, but he had to be shitting bricks knowing how fast Hughes can wear that arm out.

  159. Raul Says:

    Hughes was at 90-something pitches before the 8th inning.
    If Girardi wanted to save his arm he should have taken him out at the end of the 7th.

    Hughes induced a ground out. Then a single. RIGHT THEN is where you take him out if you’re going to do it. But he let Hughes get the 2nd out of the inning, and then removed him.

    That shit just doesn’t make sense.

  160. Cameron Says:

    I still can’t get too miffed at Girardi. Even if he isn’t striking guys out, he had a no-hitter going through seven and only had one hit after that. If a guy’s hot, don’t mess with it, let him go as long as he can.

    If I had money to bet, Girardi was going out to the mound after every batter with Logan and Roberston in the pen, checking in to see how Hughes was holding up and gave the signal as soon as Phil said he couldn’t go.

    You let a guy throw as much as he can to build up arm strength, right? That’s how you stretch a guy.

  161. Raul Says:

    Felix Hernandez lost again today.
    He’s 11-11 on the season.

    His ERA is a run higher but you look at his stats across the board and they’re almost on pace to be just as good as last season.

  162. Cameron Says:

    Not good enough to catch up to Verlander in the Cy Young race. Guy’s on a fucking tear this season. Am I really surprised, though? …Not really, Verlander’s one of those guys I look at and just think “I feel sorry for the assholes that have to face this guy”.

  163. Raul Says:

    Yeah Verlander has had it locked up for about a month now.

  164. Cameron Says:

    Johnny Cueto STILL has an ERA under 2? Fuck me.

  165. Raul Says:

    8-8 battle between the bucs and reds.

  166. Raul Says:

    Tampa Bay’s 67 wins would lead the AL Central.

  167. Chuck Says:

    “Is there any organization in professional baseball that goes out of their way as much as the Yankees to send the message to their Minor Leaguers that they have no faith in them whatsoever”

    You have to look at it from the other side.

    I’m Joe Girardi or Brian Cashman or Damon Oppenheimer or Mark Newman.

    You’re a “stud” pitcher in our system.

    I have 25 years of scouting experience behind me.

    If a peanut vendor hit you between the eyes from 20 feet, I’m signing his ass.

    We, as a collective group, know you suck.

    But the media assholes like Law and Olney and Rosenthal keep writing articles about you because it’s easier and cheaper than Viagra.

    I can’t give an interview to Joel Sherman or Mike Silva or Peter Gammons and ADMIT you suck, so my only recourse is to play along with the hype.

    “Well, you know, we’re in a pennant race here, it’s not fair to stick a 20 year old kid into that type of situation, plus he’s hit his innings limit for the year anyway.”

    The Yankees know their farm system as a whole sucks elephant cock, but they can’t admit it.

    Like when a reporter asked Tiger Woods how he spent his downtime after a round.

    “Nothing special, dude, just chilled in my hotel room.”

    Neglecting the fact he’s with a porn star that could suck a golf ball through ten feet of garden hose and who could comfortably park Tiger’s courtesy car in her cunt.

    I’ve told you guys this’s not what people’s what the DON’T say.

    If the Yankees were five games under .500 and were fighting Baltimore for fourth place, Banuelos and Montero would already be in the majors.

    But the rest of the season is important, so they’re not calling up someone who can’t help them.

    ARod went on the DL a month ago and they needed a big righthanded bat to fill in.

    They already had Nunez to play third, but they needed a pop guy, even if he just DH’d once in awhile.

    And all that considered, they didn’t call up Montero.


    Because the Yankees KNOW he sucks.

    At the same age, Jason Heyward was a National League All Star and Mike Stanton was hitting 20 homers.

    Montero has 1000 Triple A plate appearances in an organization that has Francisco Cervelli as the back up catcher and Andruw Jones as their righthander off the bench.

    I REALLY don’t have to explain this to you, right?

    Especially to an aerospace engineer.

  168. Chuck Says:

    “It’s his heat, his command…sometimes he’ll even have questionable pitch selection.”

    Name one Yankee pitcher with a decent changeup.

    (Cue Jeopardy theme)

  169. Chuck Says:


    Sounds like a guy who has been watching a losing team for fifteen years.

  170. Cameron Says:

    I made that observation based on the fact he’s been shut down on a season twice because of his arm, has gone through surgery, and had the dreaded “dead arm syndrome” all by age 25. This guy has no future if he’s THAT fragile.

    He’s like Josh Johnson with about 20% of the talent.

  171. Chuck Says:

    Phil Hughes has never been shut down because of his arm..he’s been shut down because the Yankees hierarchy is a collective bunch of morons.

    Every pitcher in history has had “dead arm syndrome”

    Even you.

    That cramp in your elbow you get sometimes jerking off?

    Haha..Josh Johnson.

    Unlike Hughes..Johnson has actually had surgery.



  172. Cameron Says:

    Really? Could’ve sworn Hughes has had elbow surgery at least once.

  173. Raul Says:

    I don’t want to blame Hughes’ season on velocity.
    That’s a bullshit cop out that people on tv use.

    Hughes did throw 95-96 and now he’s on the lower 90s.
    But 91-92 is PLENTY to get batters out.

  174. Cameron Says:

    My favorite player of all-time is Greg Maddux. You see how much I value a guy who has command over any fireballer.

  175. Chuck Says:

    “My favorite player of all-time is Greg Maddux.”

    I’ve recently been approached to provide information around my experience a few years ago watching Maddux warmup for a spring training start. Through a friend of a friend I was actually in the bullpen, ten feet from him, watching and listening to what he did.

    We were told before heading down we couldn’t talk to him, we couldn’t ask for autographs, we couldn’t do anything.

    I learned more about pitching in 20 minutes than I knew in 40 years.

    No freakin’ joke.

    Nick Hundley was his catcher that day, and it may have been his first time catching him because of their interactions during his warmup.

    Knowing I couldn’t talk to Maddux, I asked Hundley a question as they were leaving the bullpen for the start of the game..Maddux turned around and answered it.

    It took five innings for my boner to chill out.

  176. Cameron Says:

    That’s awesome, and it sounds like something Mad Dog would do. The guy wasn’t really all that flashy. He was a goddamn genius, but never really talked much unless it was to share his knowledge of the game.

    Quite frankly, I’m disappointed that was only a five-inning boner.

  177. Mike Felber Says:

    Wow, great story Chuck. Feel free to share the Words of the Pitching Oracle.

  178. Hartvig Says:

    ” Feel free to share the Words of the Pitching Oracle.”

    Stick it in their ear.

  179. Bob Says:

    Chipper Jones is going to play next year. Honestly, I think the Braves were hoping he would retire and they could use the 13 million bucks elsewhere. Although one big hit in October could alter that view.

  180. John Says:

    “Montero has 1000 Triple A plate appearances in an organization that has Francisco Cervelli as the back up catcher and Andruw Jones as their righthander off the bench.

    I REALLY don’t have to explain this to you, right?

    Especially to an aerospace engineer.”

    Hey, you’ve sold me long ago on Montero.

    I just said the aerospace engineer bit so I could follow it up with “hey, easy transition to microbiology” in response to the claim that you can just move a guy from SS to RF seamlessly.

  181. Raul Says:

    Maybe an aerospace engineer would have trouble in microbiology but moving the short order cook to the cash register would take 2 days tops.

    But yeah, let’s just leave that whole thing alone.

  182. Raul Says:

    Chipper Jones is having a decent year.
    But 14 million next season for him is really pushing it.

    You talk about a team treating a fan-favorite well…

  183. Cameron Says:

    “Maybe an aerospace engineer would have trouble in microbiology but moving the short order cook to the cash register would take 2 days tops.”

    I’ve seen a guy who was a short-order cook for twenty years not be able to take an order in person after months of work, so transitions aren’t really that easy.

    …Of course, Mark was a fucking dumbass.

  184. Bob Says:

    And the Yanks were scouting Rich Harden yesterday. Bet you they trade for him in the next 10 days.

  185. Cameron Says:

    Boston tried and he failed his physical. The Yanks can’t afford someone as injury-prone as Harden if they want a good stretch run.

  186. Bob Says:

    Still say the Yanks end up with him before Sept. 1st.

  187. Raul Says:

    Mark Grace is in the booth for this Cubbies/Cardinals game.

    Could have sworn Grace did Diamondbacks games.
    Or I guess he just works for Fox and it seems like the few times I’ve watched the Dbacks, Fox also did the game.


  188. Cameron Says:

    Grace works for the D-Backs, but I guess he dropped in for his old team.

  189. Raul Says:

    Ah, ok.

    It’s pretty cool how even with these bad Cubs teams, the fans always come out.

  190. Cameron Says:

    After 108 years, I think they just stopped giving a fuck.

  191. Raul Says:

    Well, the Royals aren’t quite there yet.

  192. Cameron Says:

    That’s because we still know what hope feels like.

  193. John Says:


    Mets threatening in the 7th. Brewers leading 7-2.

    Does Ron Roenicke bring in the best pitcher in his bullpen.

    No, because John Axford can only get the 9th inning.

    Surely he’ll bring out his second-best pitcher to put out the fire.

    No, K-Rod can only work in the 8th.

    It’s the 7th inning, and no matter what the game situation, that bad boy belongs to 126 year old Takashi Saito.

    Before you can blink…7-6.

  194. Raul Says:



    John’s on his 4th beer.

  195. Raul Says:

    Cubs win.
    What’s that bring the Brewers’ lead to? 9 games?

  196. Raul Says:

    Can they remake Major League with the KC Royals?

    I just want to see Harry Doyle progress from water on Opening Day, to Jack Daniels by Memorial Day.

  197. John Says:

    It’s gonna stay 7.5 with John Axford sitting in the bullpen.

    I’m fucking stoked that we saved him for a half inning that won’t ever get played.

  198. Chuck Says:

    And if that wasn’t enough, Mark Rogers, the top prospect in the worst system in baseball, was suspended 25 games for a second failed drug test.

  199. Raul Says:

    Dontrelle Willis started for the Reds today.

    Um, what?

  200. Chuck Says:

    MLBNetwork game of the week is Dbacks/Braves.

    Blacked out in Phoenix because the game is on local Fox station.

    Bummer, I’m stuck watching the Yankees.

  201. John Says:

    Well, I might have to go back on that last thing I just said.

    Jason Isringhausen’s line: walk, walk, single, walk

    So 9-8 Mets, zero outs, top of the ninth, bases loaded, and Braun&Fielder coming up.

  202. Chuck Says:

    Depending on how his injured hammy responds, Bryce Harper will return to the AFL.

  203. John Says:

    And the Brewers reclaim the lead on back-to-back singles from Fielder and McGehee.

    It’s gonna be axe time.

  204. Chuck Says:

    After retiring Ben Revere to lead off the game, back to back doubles by Plouffe and Mauer off Burnett..1-0 Twinks.

  205. Chuck Says:

    Watching the Scranton Rochester game..some promotion going on, Rochester is wearing the most hideous uniform shirt I’ve ever seen.

  206. Chuck Says:

    wild pitch and sac fly….2-0

  207. Raul Says:

    Burnett just doesn’t have it.

  208. John Says:

    So, the lead is now 8.5 games over the Cardinals for the Brewers despite a 2-inning bullpen meltdown.

    11-9 was the final.

    The Brewers are now 21-3 in their last 24 games and are officially closer to catching the Phillies than the Cardinals are to catching them. In addition, the Cardinals are closer to 4th place than they are to first.

    So…knock on wood.

  209. Chuck Says:

    HR Danny Valencia…3-0

  210. Chuck Says:

    Single, ground out, single by Revere…4-0

  211. Chuck Says:

    Burnett gets yanked after an inning and two thirds…64 pitches.

    Luis Ayala comes in, walks Morneau to force in a run, then gives up a two run single to Kubel…7-0.

    All runs charged to Burnett.

  212. John Says:

    Out of curiosity, Chuck – how would you set the Yankees rotation in the post-season?

  213. Chuck Says:

    Burnett and Girardi had words when he left the mound.

    Sabathia, Colon, Hughes, Nova.

  214. John Says:

    So, why not Garcia?

    On top of being right with Colon (and better than Hughes and Nova), Garcia has 9 career post-season games to his name.

  215. Chuck Says:

    I don’t trust any of them to be honest, except CC.

    The Yanks starting pitching this year has been smoke and mirrors.

    I’m not very confident in their postseason chances.

    Phillies released Jack Cust.

    Lefty must be on his way over to the nearest Turkey Hill for a case of Yeungling.

  216. Raul Says:

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Haven’t had a Yuengling in a while. I think I’ll pick up a 12-pack tonight.

  217. John Says:

    “The Yanks starting pitching this year has been smoke and mirrors.”

    That’s probably the best way to put it.

    I looked at that patchwork rotation and assumed that the Yankees would just have to slug their way to the post-season, and that if a big bopper (like ARod) went down, they were screwed.

    Their hitting has been very good, but it’s their pitching that has (inexplicably) given them the AL’s best record.

  218. Chuck Says:

    “Haven’t had a Yuengling in a while. I think I’ll pick up a 12-pack tonight.”

    I thought they didn’t export?

    You get it in California?

  219. Chuck Says:

    Curtis Granderson leads the AL in homers against lefty pitchers.

    His season is as fluky on the positive side as is Adam Dunn’s from the negative side.

  220. Raul Says:

    The local BevMo has em.

  221. John Says:

    Granderson hasn’t changed anything in his approach against lefties?

  222. Raul Says:

    I had to look this up because I forgot when it happened.

    June 21, 2005.

    Lou Piniella and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are in New York to face the Yankees.
    Tampa gets out to a 10-2 lead after 4 innings.

    The Yankees crawl back to make it an 11-7 deficit after 7 innings.
    Then the Yankees score 13 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning.

    Batter after batter is getting hit after hit.
    And Lou Piniella, angrier than a wet hen leaves reliever Travis Harper out on the mound for 0.2 innings, 46 pitches and 9 earned runs.

    I swear it was to the point where even the announcers were like “Really? Lou’s just gonna leave him in there?”


    Best lesson ever.

  223. Raul Says:

    HGH is banned in the minors but not the Majors.
    I suspect some Major Leaguers’ days are numbered once that testing gets adopted.

  224. Raul Says:

    Poor Tim Wakefield.

    Dude just can’t get that 200th.

  225. John Says:

    Through 3, the first 8 Orioles in the lineup have exactly 1 hit.

    Not all that telling, besides the fact that Pineiro looks very hittable, but I thought it looked cool in the box score.

  226. Raul Says:

    Orioles 4
    Angels 5

    You had to know it was coming.
    It’s Joel Pineiro.

  227. Raul Says:

    14 runs for the Padres.
    They’re in the 6th.

  228. Cameron Says:

    The Padres actually have guys who are resembling power hitters in between Kyle Blanks and Jesus Guzman. They’ve got guys in the minors who can really slap the fuck out of a ball, too, but not enough to make them competitive.

    …Or make them look like an even more lopsided tradeoff of power-at-the-cost-of-defense than the Blue Jays when all’s said and done.

  229. Raul Says:

    I think the Padres have scored 10+ runs in a game more than any team in baseball this season.

  230. Cameron Says:

    They still suck.

  231. Raul Says:

    Well, they’re 11-8 thus far in August.
    Tops in the NL West.

  232. Raul Says:

    Livan Hernandez: 4.34 ERA
    Jason Marquis: 3.95 ERA
    John Lannan: 3.61 ERA
    Jordan Zimmermann: 3.11 ERA
    Tom Gorzelanny: 4.35 ERA

    Washington is just 60-64.
    They really should have won more games.

  233. John Says:

    @229, I had that same sense. They had that one series against the Pirates where they blew them away.

    The Padres are tied for tenth in MLB with 8 10+ run games, as it turns out.

    Boston has done it 18 times, most in all of baseball.

  234. Raul Says:

    Wow, didn’t even occur to me that Boston scored that many.

  235. Cameron Says:

    Not really surprised, though.

  236. John Says:

    I hear ya

    Boston scoring 10 doesn’t even register because they have like a 180 million dollar payroll and 3 mvp candidates and they play in a hitters park.

    Padres are led by Chase Headley and play in a park where runs never score. So when they do score 10, you notice.

  237. Raul Says:

    In the month of August,

    Derek Jeter is hitting .403/.449/.486 in 72 at-bats.

  238. Raul Says:

    2008: 4.81
    2009: 4.41
    2010: 3.64
    2011: 1.89

    That’s the ERA progression of Johnny Cueto.
    Cueto is 25 years old.

  239. JohnBowen Says:

    I was about to say.

    I saw the box score the other day, and his average was up in the .290’s.

    Still murdering his team in the field, but whatever.

  240. Raul Says:

    Jeter’s actually a lot closer to the middle of the pack this season according to the shitty defensive metrics people use.

    So I’m inclined to cut him some slack.

  241. John Says:

    Uh…which metrics exactly?

    His range factor is 3.56. That’s awful even for him.

    Of the 46 qualifying SS, Jeter ranks 43rd in Fielding Runs.

    UZR is also negative. Haven’t seen that one in a while.

  242. John Says:

    Projected over a full season, Alcides Escobar will make 223 more plays than Derek Jeter.

  243. Raul Says:

    Alcides Escobar projects to make more plays than a lot of people.
    Cherry-picking like a mother.

    Jeter’s UZR is the same as Jose Reyes.
    Does it absolve him? Not a chance. It’s just one crappy metric, but one that people bring up so whatever.

    But how many people are calling Jose Reyes a shitty defensive player? Clearly that’s a rhetorical question.

  244. Raul Says:

    I guess I’ll watch the Cleveland/Detroit game until the Yankees start.

  245. John Says:

    The difference is that Jeter has won 5 gold gloves and will probably win a 6th this year.

    Reyes has never won one, and he’s (at least metrically) had good seasons in the past.

  246. Chuck Says:

    Was/is Jeter a great defensive player?

    He was certainly no Ozzie, but in his prime he was above average.


    Clearly his best days are behind him, although he’s not as bad as the anti-Yankee bias groups would lead us to believe.

    One thing I do know is if you’re attempting to prove Jeter (or anyone else for that matter) to be a good or poor player and you’re using UZR as you defense, you’re pretty much clueless.

  247. John Says:

    Jeter has always gotten to far fewer balls than league average SS.

    His whole career. 15 years.

    If you want to make excuses, go for it.

    If you want to mention the flip play and the time he ran into the stands, and the 2 times a year he goes right and makes the off balanced throw, go nuts.

    If you want to insist that fewer balls have been hit his way pretty much every year for a 15 year career, and that it’s just weird luck, you’re welcome to do so.

    But you would be wrong.

    He has never been even an average defensive player.

  248. Chuck Says:

    “Jeter has always gotten to far fewer balls than league average SS.”

    Being on teams with higher pitcher flyball rates has nothing to do with it.

  249. John Says:

    “Being on teams with higher pitcher flyball rates has nothing to do with it”

    Mostly because they haven’t had higher flyball rates, at least not by a statistically significant amount.

    But it’s cool, we can just make shit up here.

  250. Raul Says:


    They always preface it with “these metrics aren’t very good” but based on those same crappy metrics…

    Alex Rodriguez comes back today. Hope he’s healthy because NY will need him. I have a feeling the pitching won’t last.

  251. Cameron Says:

    And Drew Pomeranz’s season has ended after undergoing surgery, an emergency appendectomy.

    …Hate to be a jackass, but here in KC, Matt Cassell had to undergo an emergency appendectomy as well and you know how much time he missed? One game.

    Still, hope Drew gets better soon.

  252. Raul Says:

    Something has to be going on here.
    Emergency appendectomy?

    These guys have to be taking something. This is like the 4th or 5th guy to undergo emergency appendectomy.


  253. John Says:

    @250, I hate it when THEY do that.

    Like when people say:

    “Jeter’s actually a lot closer to the middle of the pack this season according to the shitty defensive metrics people use.

    So I’m inclined to cut him some slack.”

    I mean, you can watch Jeter play too.

    You might notice that, on a day-by-day basis, balls hit to his left get through pretty much all the time.

    But no, he made a flip play 10 years ago, dove into the stands on a pop up 7 years ago, and makes a sweet off-balanced throw like twice a year. So based on those rare good occurrences, his suckitude can be ignored.

    Can you imagine if we did that with other players, like with batting? Just single out individual cases as examples of greatness?

    “Well, the METRICS say that Mario Mendoza hit .215/.245/.262 for his career. But remember that RBI single in the 1974 NLCS?! What about the RBI double in the bottom of the eighth against the Brewers on June 22, 1979? He’s AWESOME”

  254. Raul Says:


    You’ve never even once in my entire time on this website ever seen me reference Derek Jeter’s flip play so just stop it.

  255. Raul Says:

    Tigers 5
    Indians 0

    Atta boy, Ubaldo.

  256. John Says:

    There’s lots of Yankees fans out there, Raul.

    And to your credit, you generally don’t drink the Jeter Koolaid.

  257. Cameron Says:

    “Something has to be going on here.
    Emergency appendectomy?

    These guys have to be taking something. This is like the 4th or 5th guy to undergo emergency appendectomy.


    Appendicitis is a bitch, man. Pomeranz is in his early-to-mid 20s. From what I remember, that’s when a lot of guys suffer appendi…

    I’m fucked, aren’t I?

  258. Raul Says:

    I don’t deny there are Yankees fans that think Derek Jeter invented jump-throw to 1st base. Or that NY can just trade for Pujols and Halladay.

    Clearly such people exist.

  259. John Says:

    I think the Yankees should go out and get Albert Pujols to be a nice back-up for Teixeira, maybe DH once in a while to give Posada an off-day.

  260. Raul Says:

    7-0 Detroit.

    Ubaldo still in the game
    3rd inning.

    LOL @ John

  261. John Says:

    What’s Jimenez hitting on his fastball?

  262. Raul Says:

    I haven’t been paying attention

  263. Cameron Says:

    “What’s Jimenez hitting on his fastball?”


  264. Chuck Says:

    #259..Bleacher Report is rubbing off on you.

  265. Chuck Says:

    Whatever,’re clearly a hater. Tim Raines is a HOFer because he stole a lot of bases, and Jeter sucks because he can’t go to his left.

    If that was all there was to the game, you would be 100% right.

    You know who was very similar to Jeter defensively?

    Alan Trammell.

  266. John Says:

    Derek Jeter’s an easy HOFer.

    He’s a shitty defender.

    How, in any way, are Jeter and Trammell similar?


    Trammell got to an extra ball more than once every other game, compared to Jeter.

    Trammell has played 230 FEWER games than Jeter at SS and has 230 MORE assists.

    It’s ridiculous to even compare the two.

  267. John Says:

    ” Tim Raines is a HOFer because he stole a lot of bases…”

    AND reached base a lot. He did BOTH of those things. Not one or the other.

  268. Raul Says:

    Tough break for the Yankees.
    Bases loaded 1 out and nobody scores.

  269. Chuck Says:

    “It’s ridiculous to even compare the two.”

    Using your narrow minded way of comparing, absolutely.

  270. John Says:

    I agree…let’s compare them according to flip plays in playoff games.

    That captures the big picture

  271. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck is usually pretty immune to homerism, & tears the Yankees a new one for foolishness like clockwork. But like my Brother, i do not think he is objective on Jeter. By any metric you choose, & any sober l/t observation, Jeter is just not very effective at getting to many balls. At his best he was-not as deficient. Still an easy HOFer, just a sub par defender.

    But Chuck also thinks that Prime Tyson could, at best, be competitive with our still alive & ambulatory grandmothers. Not possible that disgust with character deficits could have colored objectivity there.

  272. Chuck Says:

    Jeter’s weak to his left because he has to shade to his right because the Yankees third baseman is WORSE to HIS left.

    Not rocket science.

    My maternal grandmother lost her husband with two children younger than five during the tail end of the depression.

    She could kick Tyson’s ass with one hand tied behind her back.

  273. Raul Says:

    The idea that Jeter was always below-average at SS is complete nonsense.
    It wasn’t until these defensive metrics gained media attention in the mid-2000s and people started comparing him to Adam Everett, that people started saying 1995 Derek Jeter was a bad shortstop.

    Ivan Nova went 7 innings allowing 5 hits and zero runs today.

  274. Cameron Says:

    I didn’t think Jeter was getting bad until a few years ago, really. He was alright. I remember him being pretty good during the dynasty years, but I was like, 10. Derek Jeter was awesome to me and I didn’t understand what being a bad defender was at the time, so I’m not exactly reliable.

  275. Raul Says:

    With today’s 4th inning home run, Mike Stanton is tied with Albert Pujols atop the National League with 30.

  276. Chuck Says:

    The fact John believes Jeter to be a lousy shortstop or Tim Raines to be a HOFer isn’t a reflection on John.

    Or Shaun.

    It’s a reflection on just how bad sabermetrics really are and the fact they have brought thousands of people into the conversation.

    People, who in a baseball sense, wake up with morning wood and call 911 because they think they’re dying.

  277. Raul Says:

    On July 21st,

    The NL Central had the Pittsburgh Pirates atop the division, tied with Milwaukee and St. Louis was 1 game behind.

    On August 21st,

    The NL Central has the Milwaukee Brewers atop the division, with a 9 game lead on the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Pirates are 15.5 behind.

    Philadelphia has a 6.5 game lead on the Atlanta Braves. It is a foregone conclusion that they will win the division. Or will they? Philadelphia faces Atlanta 6 more times this season, including the final series of the regular season.

  278. Cameron Says:

    Trevor Hoffman’s #51 was retired in San Diego.

    Say what you will about how much he actually mattered, but he saw the team through it’s biggest period of success and change and was the face of that team for 15 years. He’s still part of the organization and clearly loves the Padres like family. Does your heart good to see a guy like that get rewarded for that dedication.

  279. Mike Felber Says:

    SM has brought 1000’s into the conversation. You would automatically dismiss anything that does not support your preconceptions, put neutrally. Though it supports many of arguments you make, endless selective bias would have you label those them flukes or otherwise meaningless.

    There are many things to question about it, & ways to improve it. But it has moved the conception of value closer to the truth, as myriad mythologies related to quality assessment have been unseated.

    We have been through these discussions many times, & I have never heard a convincing argument that Raines did not create enough value, including peak, to deserve the Hall. You would need to undervalue OBP & historcial SB proficiency to not find him at least a marginal HOF.

    And I am afraid you really do believe that said GM could kick Tyson’s ass Chuck. Very afraid. Toughness does not equate to fighting ability. Since you cannot blame any popular system, why do you believe that, oh, most everyone who know fighting, & everyone I have heard from on this site, is deluded about Tyson being a great defense wrecking ball in hus late ’80’s prime?

    I know, the old real USSR & its embittered ex post facto fellow travelers was trying to weaken us in retaliation for Rocky 4! Don’t believe any of the footage showing devastating speed, power & slipperiness-smoke & mirrors. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

  280. Chuck Says:

    “SM has brought 1000’s into the conversation”

    Hey, look, if you need a whip and a chain to get laid, that’s personal choice.

    Personally, a home cooked five star meal and soft porn works everytime, but, again, whatever works for you.

  281. Raul Says:

    The big problem with too many HOF debates (not just Tim Raines) is that often, the Sabermetric community tries to set a numeric baseline for HOF induction. That, and the typical weakest link scenario, whereby if Player A not in the HOF has better statistics than Player B who is in the HOF, it reasons that Player A belongs.


  282. Raul Says:


    I’ve flipped on Raines several times. Right now I’ve decided that his HOF argument is based on what he did from age 22-29. There was nothing HOF-like about him for the next 13 years. For me, I think I’ll pass.

  283. Raul Says:

    Is James Loney the most pathetic 1B in baseball?

  284. Cameron Says:

    I dunno Raul. Most guys in the Hall of Fame have a good part of their career you can consider number padding. Depends on what you think is most important. Career numbers, peak value, etc. etc.

    Peak value means a lot to me. I think Frank Thomas is a Hall of Famer despite the SHARP dropoff after his prime. Dude had enough value in that peak to have what he did in Oakland and Toronto count as enough padding for me, but some other guys probably differ. That’s what I love about the Hall of Fame. Unlike statistics, the ambiguity leaves room for good-natured debate.

  285. Chuck Says:

    I agree, Raul, if Raines had played 15 years, he’s in already.

    The last ten years of his career he spent as a pinch hitter killed him.

    It’s in the archives, but I remember Shaun writing an article about Ron Santo.

    By the time I finished reading it, he had convinced me Santo was a HOFer.

    I felt like one of the Flying Wallenda’s, talk about flipping an opinion.

    But every time his name comes up, I go back to BR or Retrosheet and look at his numbers, and I honestly can’t find anything that would justify my vote if I had one.

    Santo is more overrated defensively than is Jeter.

    Even by John’s narrow standards.

    In the 1960’s, Santo played almost 2200 games at third base.

    Only one other player IN THE ENTIRE DECADE played more than 900.

    Of course he had the best stats of any third baseman.

    Raines retired fifth all time in stolen bases.


    Is the fifth all time leader in sacrifice flies a Hall of Famer?

    Does anyone even KNOW who that is?

    Jeter’s a better shortstop than Raines is a left fielder.

    Shit, Manny is barely better.

    Five tools.

    Running: Above average.

    Hitting: Above average.

    Fielding: Below average

    Throwing: Below average.

    Hitting with Power: Below average

    Good player?


    Hall of Famer?

    LOL..Hahaha, you’re an idiot, Dr.Phil on line one, did I mention you’re an idiot?

  286. Raul Says:

    People bring up that Raines was “the best leadoff hitter”.
    Except that I think Lefty or Brautigan once made the argument that Raines actually didn’t lead off as much as people think he did.

    If I recall correctly, it was a fair point.

    That said, I see no reason to credit a guy for being the best leadoff hitter any more than one would to say that someone else was the best 7th hitter.

    To me, Raines makes a case no stronger than Robin Ventura to get in the HOF.

  287. Mike Felber Says:

    That is pretty funny Chuck! Both above & the SM turn around, Kudos. But we must note that you are a married man, so you are not exactly in a real hunt…Though no question being a great cook is a panty dropper. Otherwise even soft core porn might seem too crass, but as a 1=2 combo-yeah, that could be literally lights out.

    Yet I think you know the above analysis just scratches the surface. It is easy to name players like Teddy ballgame who are just good at a minority of the above skills. Not that Raines was ever nearly as good. But again, it is how important those skills are at adding value, in two ways”

    1) What is the value of X level of quality at each skill in dding or saving runs, &

    2) How good was a player at them? To figure the latter, how good you were at peak is vitally important, at least as much a career value. I would say it should be 1st amongst equals, & most agree: even amongst those who say Koufax is overrated, few would say he should not be in the HOF.

    It is NOT just the total SB. Some folks in the early days may have added little or even negative value with then: it is historically high RATE of SBs too. This & his OBP has a tangible & intangible effect on the game. The latter is effect on pitching performance, which almost certainly is not insignificant.

    Raul, I respect your back & forth, but do you really want to commit yourself to only finding most of career sustained greatness HOF worthy? Banks did almost all of his damage between 24 & 30, max. Unless a player is piling up significant negative value, which almost never happens, the total value is to be judged on its own. Tears when only decent or mediocre means you do not pile up value, but what you did before still counts.

    Ron Santo. Unless he is much worse in what both traditionalists & defensive metrics show, he was good enough to get in. If it was only relative dominance against who happened to excel at the corner for chose3n years, I would agree with you Chuck. But he was amongst the very best PLAYERS around for a few years, & a fine player overall.

  288. Raul Says:

    This Tim Raines has been done enough.

    5-2 Cardinals ahead of the Cubbies.

  289. John Says:

    Let’s count the things that are wrong with 272:

    1) Jeter has had a different 3b for the last two months and hasn’t gotten to shit.

    2) Jeter had different 3b’s for 15 years and never got to shit.

    3) Jeter has always ranked way closer to the bottom among SS than ARod has among 3b.

    4) Actually watching the game instead of having your opinions fed to you by Mike&Mike reveals that Jeter can’t get a ball 2 steps to his left

  290. John Says:

    If Raines belongs in the Hall for those first 15 years, he belongs.

    I respect thinking he didn’t do enough in those 15 years. I disagree, but I can respect that.

    6 years as a role player don’t undo 15 years of greatness (if you believe he was great).

  291. John Says:

    Chuck thinks Manny was better at LF than Tim Raines.

    Raul, I think you should have your opinions spoon-fed by someone else.

  292. Cameron Says:

    Manny wasn’t a better left fielder. …He’s a better player than Raines, but not a better fielder.

  293. Chuck Says:

    “Raul, I think you should have your opinions spoon-fed by someone else.”

    If Jeter played his whole career with the Brewers they’d have three rings and you would have had a boner every day since you were eight.

    Shut up.

    If your mouth was a shovel, you’d be living in Shanghai.

  294. Danny O Says:

    Can’t we all just agree that even if Jeter is “below average” in the field, his hitting more than makes up for it.

    He is not the first great hitter to not field like Ozzie Smith.

    If we are gonna talk negatively about him, let’s talk about his smugness which annoys the shit out of me…

  295. Cameron Says:

    “If your mouth was a shovel, you’d be living in Shanghai.”

    …I’m pretty prone to some colorful and nonsensical sayings being a country boy at heart, but what the fuck does that mean?

  296. John Says:

    Sure Chuck.

    One player can turn a 75 win team into a 95 win team.

    The fact that you believe that shows why we need sabermetrics.

  297. Chuck Says:

    Because every time he talks, he bury’s himself.

    All the way to China.

    On Bleacher Report, John is the equivalent of Peter Gammons.

    Here, he is the equivalent of Forrest Gump.

    Guilt by association

  298. Raul Says:

    Chuck has nothing to do with why I wouldn’t vote for Tim Raines for the Hall of Fame.

  299. Cameron Says:

    Ah… Thank you. That was pretty confusing.

    And John, one player can make that much a different. Look at most of the Cardinals teams before this year. Look at Pujols and what he does and tell me they’re a .500 team without him.

  300. Chuck Says:

    “One player can turn a 75 win team into a 95 win team.”

    Who said that?


    Saying I’m wrong and proving it are two entirely different things.

    You’re really good at the first one, and really bad at the second.

  301. Chuck Says:

    Raines has averaged less than 30% of the vote his three years on the ballot.

    That means 50% of 600 voters dont’ think he’s worthy.

    In two of the worst ballots in history…and next year is the WORST.

    If he doesn’t get in next year, he’s Veteran’s Committee.

    Guess who’s on the VC?

    Existing HOFers.



    I respect your opinion on Raines, John, and you make a good argument.

    You are clearly in the minority…by people who forgot more about the game than you will ever know.

    If you ever have trouble finding work once you get out of the military, you have a future in stand-up.

    He’s a complete asshole, and I don’t like to admit knowing him, but if you want I could send a letter of reference to Jay Leno for you.

    Apple don’t fall far from the tree.

  302. John Says:

    @300, if the Brewers had Jeter.

    They might’ve mustered a couple more .500 seasons, but no additional playoff berths.

    Replace 2008 JJ Hardy with 2008 Derek Jeter and our one playoff appearance goes away.

    With Raines…I don’t care how writers vote. Most of them are idiots.

    We disagree on him. Fine. I just don’t think it’s logical to say that he was good enough and somehow negated it by hanging around to win a ring, play ball with his son etc. He was done at 36. So was your boy Robin. So are a lot of HOFers who surely would have stuck around if there had been 30 teams.

  303. Raul Says:

    I fully expect it to come out in a couple of years that Jose Bautista is juicing.

  304. John Says:

    @301, I’m not particularly worried about finding work after the military.

    Some people here aren’t as lucky, and could use a phone call.

  305. Chuck Says:

    “He was done at 36″

    Wrong, he was done at 30.

    Yount won his second MVP at 33.

    At a different position from his first.


    You really are an idiot.

  306. John Says:

    @303, wouldn’t shock me entirely.

    But all players have to do piss tests.

    Which means Bautista is doing something that doesn’t show up on tests.

    Which raises the question…what does he have access to thay no one else does?

    That’s why my guess is that he’s clean.

  307. Raul Says:

    MLB does not test for HGH.

  308. John Says:

    @305, Raines was still reaching base 40% of the time into his mid-30’s. He had a 6-WAR season in there.

    Yount -who was easily better than Raines, just sayin’ – sucked pretty hard for 4 years after winning his MVP before retiring.

    Also, pretty impressive that he won MVP’s at different positions.

    I wonder who else did that…

  309. Cameron Says:

    HGH is a blood test, isn’t it?

  310. John Says:

    @307, ok.

    Why is no one else even close to as dominant as him then?

    I agree it’s suspicious, but why is JoeyBats the only guy doing whatever you think he’s doing?

  311. Raul Says:

    Yes, Cam.

  312. Raul Says:

    Just because nobody else is as dominant as Bautista (and that’s arguable) doesn’t mean he isn’t juicing.

    The nature of his career trajectory suggests it.

    If you have 20 students cheating on a math test but only one manages to get an A+, that doesn’t mean it’s to his credit that he was the best cheater.

  313. Cameron Says:

    I can look at swing and easily find where his power is coming from. Dude’s got a monster stroke.

    Got a hole I can drive my Taurus through, though. Don’t know how he makes the contact.

  314. John Says:

    That’s just it…if a bunch of guys are cheating, how did Bautista leapfrog them?

    Steroids can make a good player great.

    Alone, they can’t turn Juan Uribe into Jimmie Foxx.

  315. Raul Says:

    They turned Brady Anderson into a 50-homer guy.
    Yes, baseball can make bad players great.

  316. John Says:

    Brady Anderson was an alright player with 20-hr power.

    Way better than pre-2010 Bautista.

  317. Raul Says:

    You really are delusional.

    Sammy Sosa.
    Luis Gonzalez.

  318. John Says:

    All way better players than pre-2010 Bautista.

    Sosa was hitting 30-40 hr before roids.

  319. Cameron Says:

    How do you know Sosa didn’t start in ‘93? I wouldn’t be surprised. Guy pretty much was Jose Bautista before then.

  320. Raul Says:

    lol Sosa was hitting 30-40 homers ON STEROIDS.

  321. John Says:

    I mean, maybe. He was also way young before that.

    But he wouldve really stepped up the dosage in ‘98.

  322. Raul Says:

    Another strong start for Ivan Nova.
    Is he seriously going to get a shot at AL ROY?

  323. Cameron Says:

    Does Nova still qualify? I know he’s hand stints on the Yanks’ roster before.

  324. John Says:

    I think Pineda and Hellickson are better, but he has to be in the discussion.

  325. Cameron Says:

    Huh, 42 IP last season. He’s under the cutoff unless he was on the roster long enough without being used.

  326. Chuck Says:

    “Sosa was hitting 30-40 hr before roids.”

    No, he wasn’t.

    Sosa was doing roids in Iowa.


  327. John Says:

    Ah, the night’s just not complete without Chuck making something up.

    Sosa played all of 5 games for AAA Iowa.

    But name-calling really helps get your point across. That’s why so many people are still on this blog.

  328. Lefty33 Says:

    “I just don’t think it’s logical to say that he was good enough and somehow negated it by hanging around to win a ring, play ball with his son etc.”

    No different than in the real world where let’s say that Raines were a salesman that was a top producer for 7-8 years and then spent almost twice as long only doing a fraction of what he used to do.

    What would happen:

    1. He’d be fired
    2. Everybody would wonder what the fuck happened to him.
    3. No body would remember or care about his dusty plaques on a wall that told you what he did so long ago that no one can remember.

    Did Raines go through a strike? Yes but tough shit.
    Did Raines have all sorts of injuries? Yes but tough shit.
    Did Raines play in Montreal? Yes but tough shit.

    John the argument is logical and if Raines doesn’t make it in ‘12, which he won’t, he buried for the next decade by players that were light years better than him both actually and perceived.

    When you compare Henderson to Raines the distance between the two is laughable in most categories.

    And just because Raines might be the second best leadoff hitter of all time to some, which I pointed out to you already that idea is a fallacy as he had 3845 PA’s as a non leadoff hitter and 6514 as a leadoff hitter, it’s pretty hard to be the second best leadoff hitter of all time when over 1/3 of your PA’s were not as a leadoff hitter.

    So unlike most guys where you can say he was the greatest (fill in the blank)……

    The thing that most people hang on Raines about being a leadoff hitter doesn’t really apply because for over 1/3 of his career he didn’t do it.

    Solid player no doubt. But he’s not a HOF player.

  329. Chuck Says:

    Sosa was doing steriods well before 1998.

    That’s the point.

    Where he was doing them is irelevant.

    You took the time to look up his career games in Iowa, funny you couldn’t figure out when he started juicing.

    Especially when it’s more obvious.

    Especially for an aerospace engineer.

  330. John Says:

    I’m on a phone and it took me 3 seconds.

    Your evidence is that he hit 30 HR.

    Big deal.

  331. John Says:

    @328, the more logical comparison would be, I dunno, someone like Elvis ruling the music world for a decade and getting fat and ODing in the 6 years after.

    Raines is not the Elvis of baseball, but the point still stands.

    Once you’re great, you’ve attained greatness forever.

  332. Raul Says:

    “Once you’re great, you’ve attained greatness forever”

    Ispo facto, Derek Jeter is a great shortstop.


  333. Lefty33 Says:

    @331- Bad example.

    Elvis would be like the equivlant of Henderson.

    And Raines would be like Chicago.

    Even during the fat/Vegas period Elvis still sold everything. He never stopped.

    Chicago hasn’t been able to sell dick for the last twenty years because they stopped producing new music that matters.

    “Once you’re great, you’ve attained greatness forever.”

    Not if you were only just good to begin with.

  334. John Says:

    Yeah, Jeter belongs in the HOF.

    Regardless of how bad he is for the last couple years of his career, his pr%or greatness is enough to enshrine him.

    Raul accidentally gets it!

  335. Raul Says:

    John, I was being silly.

  336. Raul Says:

    My comment was joking on the idea that once you achieve greatness, you’re always great.
    So if Jeter was, even for a split second, a great shortstop, he’s always a great shortstop.

    But nevertheless…

  337. Mike Felber Says:

    I no of no convincing evidence that Sosa was using years earlier. While he had a relative power surge in ‘93, he only had one full year before that. I would not be shocked, he was not above all sorts of cheating, but he had not grown very big, & playing in Wrigley would not make 30-40 HR power unlikely. But then he hits 66, not remotely similar, & continues to get bigger AFTER ‘98.

    Gotta love his nickname on Say it Ain’t Sosa. Kudos to them for putting that in.

  338. Mike Felber Says:

    I dunno Lefty. Those are enough games to be considered a lead of hitter, though the time spent elsewhere is a fair caveat. Difference with the Sales guy analogy is that even being a replacement level player you may well keep your job, since so few people can do it, And properly great & exciting payers are remembered, it is a national stage.

    There should only be some adjustment for what he lost in several shortened seasons. No, he is not Ricky Henderson, & he may never get in just due to logistics. But we believe he is deserving.

  339. Mike Felber Says:

    It is hard not to savor the massive irony of how well Joe Morgan is rated by all modern Metrics, & a mentality towards it that seemed to imply how Bound & Determined he was to remove the “n” from his last name. WAR gives him a 51 WAR over ‘72-’76, only a very few HOF guys ever do this in 5 straight years, & this accounts for almost exactly 1/2 of his reckoned career value. Though most every other year & for a career, they rate him sub par defensively.

    Does that accord with memories?

  340. Mike Felber Says:

    No Extraneous Words Shall Sully the Purity of this Brilliant Farce.

  341. Bob Says:

    So, what do we think of he Weaver exension???

  342. Hartvig Says:

    Mike @ 340 That’s why minor league ball is the best!

  343. Lefty33 Says:

    “Those are enough games to be considered a lead of hitter, though the time spent elsewhere is a fair caveat.”

    Maybe in your book since you want to bend the argument to your POV.

    I find it quite disingenuous for people to want to compare him to Henderson and say that since it’s their opinion that he’s the second best leadoff hitter ever that makes him good enough, worthy, or whatever euphemism you want to use.

    Two problems with that:

    1. Even if you think he’s number two, he’s so far behind number one that his numbers are actually diminished because of it.

    2. Henderson actually hit leadoff 99% of his PA’s.
    Brock did it 82% of the time. Raines is at 63%. So while it’s nice Mike that you want to consider him strictly a leadoff hitter, personally I don’t think you can when he wasn’t a leadoff hitter for over 1/3 of his career.

    Raines biggest HOF issue other than what was already mentioned is that his career cannot be categorized.

    He’s not Henderson who was the best ever.
    He’s not Brock who the best ever before Henderson.
    He wasn’t a homerun hitter.
    He wasn’t a defensive specialist.
    He has no hardware.
    While he has a lot of SB who gives a shit as that doesn’t mean much unless you’re number one. Who is in the HOF just based on SB that wasn’t number one? No one.

    While I know that John likes to call the BBWAA guys stupid when they don’t see things his way in reality a lot of them are far from it. But the one thing they all love, like a record company A&R guy, is to categorize.

    And when you are a guy that doesn’t fit into a particular box, like Raines, you really don’t stand a chance or you will wait forever. (See Blyleven, Bert)

    “he may never get in just due to logistics.”

    It’s not logistics.

    It again was simply that he was good for much longer than he was great and that diminishes his greatness.

    “you may well keep your job”

    Apparently you’ve never worked in Sales.

  344. Lefty33 Says:

    @267- “AND reached base a lot. He did BOTH of those things. Not one or the other.”

    But what does fifth in SB really mean?

    Are we voting in Willie Wilson or Vince Coleman next just because they had a bunch of SB?

    And as for his OBP of 136th all-time is that really impressive when other guys around him include Johnny “Bananas” Mostil, Tim Salmon, Keith Hernandez, J.D. Drew, Will Clark, Travis Hafner, Carlos Delgado, Dom DiMaggio and Mark Grace?

    So he wasn’t a leadoff hitter for over 1/3 of his career and you want to base his induction on a stat where he has a bunch of solid players around him, but no HOF players, and a stat that that carries as much gravitas as the save.

    So again from the top, he should be a HOF player why?

  345. Raul Says:

    Because Keith Law and The Hardball Times says so, Lefty.

  346. John Says:

    Because he did BOTH those things.

    Independently, those things don’t mean greatness.

    Together they do.

    And Raines is wayyy better than Brock. At every aspect of the game.

  347. Cameron Says:

    Just for the record, you can justify a shitload of people in the Hall when you realize that guys like Rabbit Maranville are Hall of Famers.

  348. Raul Says:

    A number of players are better than Lou Brock at various aspects of baseball.
    Should they be in the HOF?

  349. Raul Says:

    Clearly I’m teasing, John.

    Settle down.

  350. Lefty33 Says:

    “Together they do.”

    In your opinion for which there is neither statistical basis nor any historical precedent.

    That would be what most of us would call……Makin’Shit Up

  351. Mike Felber Says:

    Of course there is historical precedent for considering total value & putting someone in. And you are steadfastly IGNORING what I have written a bunch of times Lefty: SB rate means a lot too.

    Now, I do not think you make stuff up. But you are so imprecise about what you claim I say, & thus the Straw Men, you knock down, that you might as well be Lefty.

    1) I never said anything like that Raines was exclusively a lead off hitter. He was mostly so, & more importantly, during the vast majority of his best years & PAs.

    2) I never said that being the 2nd best ever alone would get you into the Hall. It is likely too, but not necessarily-what is surprising is what a huge historical deficit you have in HOF quality players there. Its not like we are looking at bottom of the order guys.

    3) You describe exactly, in part, what I meant by “logistics”. PART is what you referred to re: big names coming up in the next decade. Part is a lack of a dramatic salable case. Neither of which speaks to whether he belongs. Even his worth dwarfed to Henderson.

    But John is right, as is anyone, if arguing that just an inability to categorize is keeping someone out. That IS dumb of the BBWA, & they were positively retarded on Captain Bly for years, to the point they could not see even his very high PEAK value compared to many HOF contemporaries elaborate evidence provided upon request). Raines is not that good. He was good enough.

    Lefty: I give all the benefit of the doubt, but given how good you have been at other times at least at understanding details, please tell me how you can use my carefully qualified quote so far out of context?

    “You may well keep your job”. I specifically said this applies to something much more competitive, much more a rare skill, than being a skilled salesman. Being a major league player. And thus distinguished it from the sales guy, who is not within the top 1000 in the world at hus skill even after his decline, not even close!

    For the record, I did many sales jobs for a few years. Activism for Environmental & consumer rights all over, & years of mostly, but not exclusively, inside sales. Some B to B, for different arts groups like NYC Ballet & Roundabout Theater, fundraising, a year with a Project Management firm that repped/sold 100’s of furniture lines, a bit longer for the 1st successful Time Share in Manhattan (where I booked more Appts. than anyone. The Manhattan Club). Book sales to institutions, briefly 3rd party pharmaceutical solicitation, insurance, proxy solicitation, more.

    I at least tried to work with folks that were morally neutral.

  352. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty: I give all the benefit of the doubt, but given how good you have been at other times at least at understanding details, please tell me how you can use my carefully qualified quote so far out of context?”

    Because Mike you are too busy writing your own loquacious posts to realize that I was referencing things from three different posts and that not all three were pertaining to you or were wriiten by you.

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