Rookie of the Year – Who are your picks?

by JohnBowen

So awards season is getting ready to get into high gear.

On Monday, November 14, the rookies of the year will be announced. I maintain that at least five rookies from the class of 2010 class would have won in the National League, while the American League featured several solid starting pitchers. Here are my picks:

National League

3. Freddie Freeman (1B, Atlanta Braves)

Freeman had a strong showing in his first season, hitting 21 homers and 32 doubles at just 21 years of age.

2. Danny Espinosa (2B, Washington Nationals)

Espinosa hit just .236 in his first season but delivered 55 extra-base hits – an impressive display of power for a rookie middle infielder.

1. Craig Kimbrel (RP, Atlanta Braves)

I’m not nuts about giving the Rookie of the Year to a closer, but Kimbrel was among the best at his craft in 2011, and there wasn’t exactly a tremendous season from a starter or position player. Kimbrel tied Milwaukee’s John Axford for the National League lead in saves with 46 and struck out an incredible 127 of the 306 batters he faced. Voters tend to cast their ballots for closers in the absence of a dominating season from other rookies; the only question is whether or not his last impression – a blown save on the day’s final season to lose a playoff spot – will tip the balance.

American League

3. Ivan Nova (SP, New York Yankees)

With the Yankees rotation a big question mark, Nova came through for the AL East Champs, going 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 165.1 IP

2. Michael Pineda (SP, Seattle Mariners)

Michael Pineda made the all-star team in his first big league season, and finished eighth in the American League in WHIP and second in K/9.

1. Jeremy Hellickson (SP, Tampa Bay Rays)

Looking backwards, the Rookie of the Year is Hellickson’s to lose. In his first full season, the young Ray went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA, good for eighth best in the American League. He also surrendered just under 7 H/9, good for fourth in the league, and led AL rookies with 189 IP. The question is whether or not he’ll come back to Earth in 2012 – his peripheral statistics suggest that he was far less elite than his sparkling ERA would suggest and that he won’t excel as greatly.

Those are my picks – what are yours?

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153 Responses to “Rookie of the Year – Who are your picks?”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Kimbrel and Eric Hosmer.

  2. Cameron Says:

    Kimbrel and Hellickson. Hos was good, but a sub-3 ERA from a rookie starter deserves hardware.

  3. Raul Says:

    Hosmer deserves more consideration.
    I think people just decided around the end of July that Hellickson was going to win no matter what.

    The last time a Royal won the Rookie of the Year…nevermind.

  4. JohnBowen Says:

    Hosmer had a good season for a rookie.
    Hellickson had a good season for anyone.

  5. Cameron Says:

    Raul, if you mention Angel Berroa one more time they will never find your body.

  6. Raul Says:

    Hosmer had a good season for anyone. Not just for a rookie.

  7. JohnBowen Says:

    Huh, I had forgotten about Berroa.

    I was thinking of Bob Hamelin.

  8. Cameron Says:

    Hosmer did have a good year, Raul. 19 homers for a Royal just doesn’t happen often. That makes me sad. However, Hellickson just had more time to make an impact. The two roughly had the same amount of production I think, but once you realize that Hosmer had about 120 games whereas Hellickson was there from day one, I’ll give the edge to the guy who stuck it out longer.

  9. JohnBowen Says:

    I mean, he showed he could handle big league pitching, demonstrated great potential, and Royals have every reason to be pleased with it.

    Among all AL pitchers, Hellickson ranked in the top-10 in both ERA and H/9.

    Hosmer ranked 6th out of 9 qualified AL 1B in OPS. Very very good for a rookie, not trying to take anything away from him. But still, this is Hellickson’s award to lose.

  10. Jim KLOSCAK Says:

    Freddie Freeman, plays everyday and hit .280 21HRS. 79R.B.I. an everyday player should get the award.

  11. Raul Says:

    Happy birthday….ugh…Curt Schilling. He’s 45.

    Willie Hernandez is 57. Hernandez won the Cy Young AND MVP in 1984.

    Xavier Nady is 33, and I don’t recall him playing at all — but somehow he appeared in 82 games for the Diamondbacks this year.

  12. Cameron Says:

    Willie Hernandez… What the fuck, dude? How in the hell did you win a fucking MVP Award?

    Also, found something interesting. The new CBA is supposedly working on teams losing their first round draft picks when they sign Type A free agents. This is gonna make teams a lot more willing to sign guys, but I wonder what’s going to happen to the compensation. If I had to guess, ranked free agents are going to cost teams their second round draft picks regardless (instead of the current system) with Type A entitling the team losing the player to a first sandwich round pick and a Type B to a second round sandwich pick.

    …Watch me be completely wrong now.

  13. Bob Says:

    I believe it is now Guillermo Hernandez. And yes happy birthday to him and Schilling.

  14. Bob Says:

    Cameron, look at his 1984 stats.

  15. Cameron Says:

    Yes… He was a reliever. Closers and MVPs just shouldn’t go together.

  16. Bob Says:

    I concur. But he was flat-out awesome that year, and the Tigers won. Whether or not that last factor should count is debateable, but what is not open for debate is the fact it used to count. And it did in 1984.

  17. Cameron Says:

    Indeed. That’s about as good of 140 IP anyone can pitch. …It’s still only 140 IP though.

    I probably would’ve been one of the jackasses who voted for Eddie Murray. Honestly, 1984 is kind of a hard year to pick an MVP for. A lot of the best players put up near-identical lines.

  18. Raul Says:

    Yes, I agree that closers should not win the MVP.


    In 1984, Hernandez pitched 140.1 innings and every single one of them was in relief.

    That’s a lot closer to the model to which a reliever should be used, than throwing a pitcher out there for 60 innings and paying him 50 million dollars.

  19. Cameron Says:

    I’d agree Raul, but let’s face it, most STARTERS don’t go 140 IP these days. How the fuck are you gonna see a reliever go that much?

  20. Raul Says:

    Relievers today can’t go 140 innings.
    Not in an age where top prospect starting pitchers are pulled out of games in the 4th innings in the Minors.

    But I see no reason why a top reliever could not eclipse 100 innings in a season.

    100 innings is averaging about 4 innings per week. And teams play 6 games a week. So you mean to tell me that a closer is going to die and his arm will be shredded because he throws 4 innings a week? That’s 2 games of a 2-inning appearance. Probably like 40 pitches a week.

    Dear God. Asking a guy who signed a contract for 10-15 million per year…to throw 40 pitches a week. What a son of a b*tch I must be.

  21. Bob Says:

    By following Sparky’s approach and trust 4 pitchers
    1. Morris
    2. Petry
    3. Hernandez
    4. Senor Smoke
    5. Milt Wilcox sorry you finished 5th.

  22. Bob Says:

    Kemp and the Dodgers are closing in on an 8-year extension.

  23. Lefty33 Says:

    Like Bob said that was Sparky’s approach.

    In the ‘84 playoffs he carried nine pitchers on the roster instead of the twelve you normally see today. Girardi was rumored to be interested in carrying 13 for this years DS series at one point.

  24. Cameron Says:

    8 years, 160 million dollars.

    And I think the main reason that Willie got 140 IP was the fact his manager was Captain Hook. His philosophy for relievers is the same as mine. Keep the starter in as long as you can and hook him for your best guy out of the pen when he starts losing you games. Worked for the Machine, worked for the Tigers.

  25. JohnBowen Says:

    Other candidates from 1984:

    Cal Ripken Jr.
    Alan Trammell
    Don Mattingly
    Wade Boggs

  26. Lefty33 Says:

    In ‘84 Sparky went essentially with a seven man pitching staff.

    Morris, Petry, Wilcox, and Berenguer all got the majority of the starts and Dave Rozema and Glenn Abbott filled in as the 5th starter with 24 starts between the two of them.

    In the pen Hernandez, Lopez, and Bair all threw over 90+ innings.

    After that came Sid Monge with 36 and he was left off the postseason roster.

  27. Cameron Says:

    Cal Ripken Jr. had one tenth place vote that year. I can’t figure out why.

    Maybe it was hard to tell since his line looked exactly like everyone else’s. Look at that 1984 MVP ballot, it’s ri-goddamn-diculous how eerie everything looks like everything else. It’s like the Stepford Ballot.

  28. Bob Says:

    Lefty, thanks for the Juan Berenguer reference. I always forget about him, and I was living near Detroit then. Deplorable on my part.

  29. JohnBowen Says:

    …except that Ripken played SS.

  30. Cameron Says:

    A shortstop with his season gets one tenth place vote and a reliever wins the MVP.

    …Considering this is 1984, I’m just gonna blame cocaine.

  31. Bob Says:

    Or George Orwell. Time for lunch

  32. Bob Says:

    John, you predicted the winners. Congrats

  33. JohnBowen Says:

    The surprise for me is that Trumbo finished second but he had an ok year too.

  34. JohnBowen Says:

    Full voting:

  35. Cameron Says:

    29 homers and 87 RBI from a rookie is just okay? Really?

  36. JohnBowen Says:

    I didn’t realize that Dave Stewart (the pitcher) was Matt Kemp’s agent.

    Any credence to the idea that this contract was a condition of the prospective buyers?

  37. Cameron Says:

    Also, Desmond Jennings stole 20 bases in 63 games. That’s 51 over a full season. Impressive.

    Vance Worley finished third in the NL voting. Had a good year, struck out more than Hellickson did.

  38. JohnBowen Says:

    @35, when you combine it with a .291 OBP, it becomes ok.

  39. JohnBowen Says:

    “Had a good year, struck out more than Hellickson did.”

    Part of why I’m thinking Hellickson might not be quite as great next year.

  40. Cameron Says:

    True. 25 walks combined with a .254 batting average. Trumbo’s an all-or-nothing player. Still, that kind of power is impressive from anyone, much less a rookie. I’m not surprised he finished second.

  41. Cameron Says:

    Dustin Ackley got a first place vote in the AL race.

    …Five bucks this is the same guy who tossed Felix Hernandez a first place vote in 2009.

  42. Cameron Says:

    Cy Young is given out tomorrow. Do we really need a topic? Verlander and Kershaw, case closed.

  43. JohnBowen Says:

    The NBPA is filing for decertification which basically means no NBA season.

    In other news, the Cusco Province of Peru has a population of 348,493, which is roughly as important to me.

  44. JohnBowen Says:

    @42, if you wanna write this one up I’d be happy to post it for you. Not sure if I’ll have time tonight.

  45. Bob Says:

    @ 36. I agree with you 100%

  46. Cameron Says:

    And yet the NBA is still making money. NBA 2K12 sold a lot of units, probably because of the lockout. However, due to the lockout, players can’t be used in the advertising campaign. Last year they had a mode based around the career of Michael Jordan as a gimmick, but now he’s on the cover of a basketball game out of necessity. Testament to the popularity Jordan has though for being a cover athlete on NBA games in 2010 and 2011.

    Though the new mode they did was interesting. They got a 15-man team of all-time greats that you can take against a combination of any players in the NBA and see who wins. Lemme find that team the game made…

    -Kareem Abdul Jabbar (‘86-87 Lakers)
    -Larry Bird (‘85-’86 Celtics)
    -Wilt Chamberlain (‘71-’72 Lakers)
    -Julius Erving (‘84-’85 76ers)
    -Patrick Ewing (‘94-’95 Knicks)
    -Magic Johnson (‘90-’91 Lakers)
    -Michael Jordan (‘92-’93 Bulls)
    -Karl Malone (‘97-’98 Jazz)
    -Hakeem Olajuwon (‘93-’94 Rockets)
    -Scottie Pippen (‘95-’96 Bulls)
    -Oscar Robertson (‘70-’71 Bucks)
    -Bill Russell (‘64-’65 Celtics)
    -John Stockton (‘97-’98 Jazz)
    -Isaiah Thomas (‘88-’89 Pistons)
    -Jerry West (‘70-’71 Lakers)

    …I’ll admit, being able to play as that team makes me want that game so bad.

  47. Cameron Says:

    @44 Here’s my article.

    Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw won the Triple Crown. They’ll win the Cy Young, too.

    Any objections? No. Good. I’m gonna go make a sandwich.

  48. Cameron Says:

    “The Braves seek a Zack Greinke-like deal for Jair Jurrjens.”

    …You need Zack Greinke-like talent for a Zack Greinke-like deal.

  49. John Says:

    Since “wins” are part of the pitching triple crown, that’s not a deciding factor for me.

    Kershaw had way more starts against winning teams than Halladay or Lee.

  50. brautigan Says:

    You’re right Cameron…..Jair Jurrjens is better than Zack Greinke.

  51. brautigan Says:

    Younger too………

  52. Chuck Says:

    Kemp’s contract is 8/160.

    Holy fack.

    Can’t wait to hear what Hoss has to say about that, unless his head’s already exploded.

  53. Chuck Says:

    No reason to write an article about the AL Cy Young winner.

    If Verlander isn’t unanimous, then they should do away with voting.

  54. Cameron Says:

    Braut, look at what Zack did in 2009.

    …Zack has the potential to do that again. Jair? Not even close.

  55. Cameron Says:

    Either Cy really Chuck. Triple crowns are triple crowns.

  56. Chuck Says:

    Kershaw’s not winning in the NL.

  57. Cameron Says:

    Really? This oughta be good. Who do you think is winning? A guy with less wins and strikeouts and a higher ERA?

  58. JohnBowen Says:

    Kershaw is very clearly going to win in the NL, largely due to that pitching triple crown.

    As far as who should win…

    Leading the league in wins is next to irrelevant and the ERA difference goes away pretty fast when you consider the difference between Dodger Stadium and CBP.

    Roy Halladay started just 10 games against teams with records better than .500.
    Clayton Kershaw started 18, with an ERA that was over a full run better than Halladay.

    Kershaw’s had stiffer competition…that’s why he should win.

  59. Chuck Says:

    “A guy with less wins and strikeouts and a higher ERA.”


    And more importantly, someone from a good team.

  60. Cameron Says:

    John, you don’t need to explain WHY Kershaw will win. Only a total asshat could look at a triple crown and say “You know what? No, fuck you. I’m giving your award to someone else.”

  61. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, the last two AL Cy Young winners were from godawful teams. Does being from a good team really help a guy?

  62. JohnBowen Says:

    “And more importantly, someone from a good team.”

    Hernandez’10, Greinke ‘09, Linecum ‘08, Lee’08, Webb’06…

    Not to mention, the Dodgers did have a winning record. Lincecum’09, Peavy’07, among many others have won Cy Young awards for non-playoff teams.

  63. JohnBowen Says:

    To the extent that wins matter (and they don’t), isn’t it WAY WAY WAY more impressive to have 21 wins for a team that won 82 than winning 19 for a team that won 102?

  64. brautigan Says:

    Ok, Cam, you take Greinke at $10 million a year, I’ll take a younger Jurrjens at $3 million a year.

    Yeah, one year does not make a career….I forgot to throw that in there as well.

  65. brautigan Says:

    Not to mention, there are a lot of rumbles in Kansas City that Greinke quit on them in 2010. As my college coach would have said about someone who quit on him, “I’d give that bastard enough chin music to think about the next at bat. And the one after that. And the one after that”.

  66. Cameron Says:

    I know one year doesn’t make a career, in fact I’m the first one to point out he most likely won’t hit that level again.

    However, even being younger and cheaper, Jurrjens simply doesn’t have that level of talent to justify the same kind of deal.

  67. JohnBowen Says:

    Cy Young article is published, figured I’d go through a ballot.

    Brautigan, I gotta side with Cameron on this one, given Jurrjens’s injury history (less than 25 starts both of the last two years) and his lack of a truly dominant season (although 2009 was outstanding).

    Also, given the choice, I want the guy who’ll provide the strikeouts, which Greinke does…and 3M is just what he made last year. He’s gonna be due for some expensive raises soon enough (and if you wanna negotiate a deal, check out his agent).

  68. brautigan Says:

    It’s Atlanta. They will let Jurrjens walk or trade him, and let another phenom take his place.

  69. JohnBowen Says:

    They’re almost certainly going to trade him.

    But Greinke yielded

    - The top pitching prospect in the Brewers organization
    - The #2 pitching prospect in the Brewers organization
    - A borderline MLB-ready CF
    - One of the most talented defensive players in the game
    - The departure of the very worst player ever in baseball history ever.

    Jurrjens might yield a solid prospect or 2, but nothing like what Greinke netted Moore.

  70. Hossrex Says:

    chucks ben talking about hosmer for years. it would certainly be impressive if he were the roy.

    its weird stepping out a year, and then step back into a roy discussion.

    everyone saying such impressive things about players i aint never heard of.

  71. JohnBowen Says:

    Hosmer finished 3rd. I would’ve had him fourth, but I also would’ve had him ahead of Trumbo, who finished 2nd.

  72. brautigan Says:

    JB: ’nuff said.

  73. Mike Felber Says:

    I am interested in opinions about the NBA lockout. Some folks say, a pix on both your houses, rich & richer. But the money must be divided up somehow, the sport manufactures it. My sympathies tend to be with players, hard to see why they should not get 1/2. And this new union desertification & transformation-is this a wise move? How hard could it be to have a mutually beneficial good faith agreement anyway?

  74. JohnBowen Says:

    Honestly, I don’t care one bit.

    The NBA is crappy basketball. There’s basically no interest outside of like 3 places.

    With the NFL lockout, you knew it wasn’t going to last, just because there was SO MUCH MONEY out there to be lost.

    Not so much with the NBA…there probably won’t even be a season and like 17 people care.

  75. Hossrex Says:

    i dont understand why anyone wathes a sport, where for the first 3 and a half quarters no one plays defense, no one passes, and everyone is just trying get a good picture so they can sell slam dunk posters to morons.

    on a good year though, i might be persuaded to admit the final ten minutes of game seven in the final round is kinda almost okay.


  76. Mike Felber Says:

    I don’t agree John. The NBA still makes very good money, & the players paid somewhat more. There is plenty of hostility to both sides, but many folks are embittered when their season’s are threatened & overreact-a sign of how they really care. look how folks came back to baseball after ‘94 & ‘95.

    There is some real lack of fundamentals, though that can be overstated, & great athleticism. I think many Cities feel they can be competitive, especially with all the teams that make the pay offs. The NBA & basketball has deep roots here, especially amongst blacks & in the mid west, & the biggest cities have glamor histories & roiling changes in personnel & dramatic stories.

    They get a good portion of the season played somehow, they will do fine.

  77. Mike Felber Says:

    That stereotype has some truth Hoss-but is exaggerated. Some teams have defense as their main asset, & have gone all the way with it. Even teams that do not prioritize it as much do not leave guys wide open all the time-& the best players are doubled or more.

  78. Hossrex Says:

    no employee should ever automatically get half. nba employees should earn what the market demands.

    if you pay people more (or less) than their market value, the economic foundation of the industry will NOT be sustainable.

    if people were willing to pay a thousand dollars for a big mac, you dont start paying burger flippers 80 dollars per hour.

    its a deceptively simple equation to figure out.


  79. Hossrex Says:

    how rare are the skills? how easily replaced is the output? how integral to the overall process is the individual?

    since the above is categorically (and obviously) correct… imagine how badly it makes me cringe to hear someone over simplify things by saying ‘labor should get half’.

    i’m more confused how one person can call for the complete quantification of a nebulous childrens game, but you seem to prefer that economies are run in the same emotional, inefficient way you so loathe in baseball.


  80. Hossrex Says:


    think about how frustrating it is when chuck espouses a preference for inefficiency.

    thats how frustrating it is when people over simplify/complicate things.

    an economy run by compassion instead of efficiency will ALWAYS hurt more people in the long run.

  81. Lefty33 Says:

    “look how folks came back to baseball after ‘94 & ‘95.”

    Too bad it took Roid Ball to make that happen.

    In ‘96 baseball drew almost 7.6 million fewer fans than in ‘93.

    “The NBA still makes very good money, & the players paid somewhat more.”

    NBA attendance was off last year for the second straight year and depending on the site you use five of the last six years.

    For the ‘10-’11 season 18 teams either had flat attendance or negative growth compared to ‘09-’10. Only the Heat and Bulls had attendance growth over 2.5% and the worst two were the Hawks and Pistons who were down 13.2% and 12.2%.

    TV ratings were very good last year with ABC/ESPN/TNT all posting double digit plus increases from ‘09-’10 but the average game was attended by 350 fewer fans a night than the year before and in some markets (Memphis, Philly, Charlotte, Indiana, DC, Denver) that numbers is off thousands per night from five years ago.

    The difference between the NFL lockout and the NBA lockout is that the NFL mints money and that was simply a pissing match of greedy versus greedier in that everybody is making so much money that the owners and players fought over who could be the biggest pig in the revenue trough.

    Where as in the NBA lockout the league is collectively losing money because of assinine high dollar guaranteed contracts to scrub bench players and, like John pointed out, there are numerous markets in this country that do not give a shit about NBA basketball leading to a revenue issue.

    The league’s claim of having lost $300 million dollars last season is no doubt a bit extreme, but what no one is doubting is that the league did lose money and that’s the fundamental difference in the two sports.

  82. Mike Felber Says:

    You technology is having you come through in waves Hoss!

    Generally market value is a good thing-though it is a different situation when huge Cos can make giant profits & have the leverage to pay folks at or near minimum wage. Certainly it is different from what the top athletes in one of the few major sports can get. NBA employees are asking for a share of profits, the market determines the total pool. There is no debate about there being a division, what is in question is where the line is drawn. Owners cry poverty but are deceptive when claiming losing money: they do not count all sources of income.

    Both of us try to quantify things Hoss-though as far as possible, & much of the enjoyment is drama & dynamics not reflected in #s. recall though i said we cannot measure exactly how much a pitcher or catcher is responsible for an outcome between them…

    It depends what is meant by ‘compassion & “efficiency”. But you have a fair point there. Though much done in the name of efficiency is really best only for those in charge.

    This is not opposing you man, but with derivatives/credit default swaps/many speculative measures, in the name of benefiting shareholders folks were massively screwed. And they whad to be bailed out, & many others, at taxpayer enormous expense anyway. Glass-=Spiegall was overturned, other regulations were not enforced, Citigroup for one at least 5 times took settlements where they agreed to not do such & such…each time! They kept cheating & were let off the hook endlessly, Executives do not go to jail. When they do things like bet AGAINST the fortunes of the packages sent their customers. of course without telling anyone…

    A tangent, it is just that OTHERS sometimes permit criminal activity & massive immoral actions in the name of efficiency. I do not have a firm conclusion as to how much the players should get Hoss, & in %s the two sides are not far apart.

    It is very possible that the analysis which legitimately supports relatively powerless workers does not apply even to the extent that the player’s demands are most reasonable.

  83. Mike Felber Says:

    Huh, thanks Lefty. I think most of that is well said & reasoned. The total pie is still quite large, but things are declining overall.

    I wonder though, is it mostly the guaranteed contracts to marginal players that is the culprit in expenses? If so, whose fault is this?

    A quibble is it is a limited # of markets in the NBA, so not technically numerous, but the point is well taken. But B-Ball was doing so well, & has great cultural traction. WHY should so many markets be apathetic, at least in terms of actual attendance? is this not somewhat a marketing issue?

  84. JohnBowen Says:

    “WHY should so many markets be apathetic, at least in terms of actual attendance? is this not somewhat a marketing issue?”

    I would love to meet the person capable of marketing the NBA as a serious alternative to any other sport it competes with.

    The regular season runs from November until when they eliminate the Clippers, and then they play a million rounds of playoffs which are all 7-game sets.

    There’s 1 month – February when they have little competition. And even then, I find the NHL more exciting.

  85. Cameron Says:

    The NBA is just a poorly-run business. Honestly, the game is still exciting enough to attract the average fan. Let’s face it, a lot of guys probably just watch the NBA because of the athletic guys who can light teams up. There’s teams like the OKC Thunder that are actually pretty fun to watch but nobody gives a shit because the NBA’s become a joke and hasn’t tried to be a good business.

    I think there were, what, three NBA teams in the black last year? Everyone operates at a loss and the attendance is dropping off because the NBA isn’t EVERYHWERE like it was fifteen years ago. Sure there are guys like LeBron James who people know, but let’s be real here. Were they starring in major motion pictures like Michael Jordan did or Dennis Rodman did TWICE (no joke) and Shaquille O’Neal being in… I think three movies, are there players so popular today you can market entire video games around them like Charles Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam or Shaq’s (god-awful) Shaq-Fu, are they headlining major wrestling events like Dennis Rodman (yet again, but that’s a long and ludicrous story).

    There’s still the drawing power. Everything the NBA marketed back in the 90s was pretty much absolute crap, but it was crap that SOLD. They need to start giving a shit again and maybe the money will start coming in. They can’t just sit on their asses and operate in the red and just wait for shit to happen. If they’re not proactive about things, they’ll never get close to their old popularity. Which is a shame, because with these players and what they do on the court you can market the HELL out of these guys without trying.

  86. Lefty33 Says:

    “I wonder though, is it mostly the guaranteed contracts to marginal players that is the culprit in expenses?”

    There are several MLB teams that have real boondoggle contracts but there are also several teams on the lower end like Pittsburgh, KC, and Tampa that don’t overpay or really even pay at all for that matter yet seemingly every NBA has a deal like Andris Biedrins’s where he made nine million last year for five points a game and he also only made thrity-two percent of his free throws.

    Think of the NBA as MLB fifteen years ago when SABR-poop didn’t exist and every team just signed guys based on look and/or name value as opposed to more of what they could actually do either somehow scouted or graded metrically.

    The other issue is that while the NBA has a “salary cap” there are about fifty ways to subvert/pervert it and teams go over it all the time without any drawback.

    Mike and Mike did a segment this year mocking the NBA’s worst deals and they were easily able to put together more than a team of suckery.

    Here is the list they used.

    “If so, whose fault is this?”

    Please see the earlier discussion about MLB GM’s being unable to control themselves with four and five year contracts for closers.

    Horrible history for that but yet it keeps happening.

  87. John Says:

    “Think of the NBA as MLB fifteen years ago when SABR-poop didn’t exist and every team just signed guys based on look and/or name value as opposed to more of what they could actually do either somehow scouted or graded metrically.”

    LOL…that kinda makes “SABR-poop” sound like a good thing, Lefty.

  88. John Says:

    “16) Travis Outlaw, Nets- 3yr, $21 million”

    Nets owner (J-Z? or something like that? Who cares): Alright boys, who should we sign?
    Nets scout: Travis Outlaw. Because, see, his name is Outlaw! Intimidation! Excellence!
    Nets Owner: How much is he worth?
    Nets scout: Well, his 7.3 pts per game are worth right around 1.2 million. But his name? That’s a man’s name! easily worth 19.8, right there!
    Nets Owner (after 12 minutes of excruciating math): So 21 million? SOLD

  89. Lefty33 Says:

    “WHY should so many markets be apathetic, at least in terms of actual attendance? is this not somewhat a marketing issue?”

    The thing that has made many markets apathetic has been the ability of teams to subvert the salary cap and load up on talent and put these “dream teams” together like they did in Boston, Miami, and to a lesser degree LA.

    The NBA unlike MLB is a very ME driven league where the team concept takes a backseat to the marketing of a player/players individually and if you’re a team like the Clippers and you draft like shit and you are almost blacklisted by every FA because your ownership won’t pay and/or won’t create a winning enviorment then you can suck for years and years where as teams like the Lakers, Spurs, and Dallas are in the playoffs year in and year out and it seems like every off-season every FA wants to go there.

  90. Lefty33 Says:

    “LOL…that kinda makes “SABR-poop” sound like a good thing, Lefty.”

    In moderation it is.

  91. Mike Felber Says:

    Alright, that sounds pretty on target Lefty. This analysis may bu supplemted with “$40 Million Slaves”. Seems like Stern & ownership is pretty short sighted in promoting things for the collective good of the sport, that would also help them directly in the no more than medium term.

    Seems like nobody is watching the proverbial store.

  92. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “Generally market value is a good thing-though it is a different situation when huge Cos can make giant profits & have the leverage to pay folks at or near minimum wage.”

    No. You’re over thinking it.

    If players are under payed, they stop doing that job, and go back to Jiffy Lube.

    If players are over payed, there will always be someone to come along and do the job cheaper.

    I don’t feel a person has any inherent right to make better than living wage, just because he plays professional sports, and it’s not like *ANY*one would prefer to have a job lifting heavy things.

    If they don’t like it, they can quit. That’s how it is for normal people in the real world.

    Why should it be different for them?

    Mike: “Certainly it is different from what the top athletes in one of the few major sports can get.

    Why shouldn’t we just treat them like human beings? Human beings with a job that pays a salary based on a level of skill, hard work, and dedication.

    Are you seriously saying that there should be some sort of multiplier effect in determining how much athletes should earn when compared to how we determine the wage of the other seven billion people on earth?

    Mike: “what is in question is where the line is drawn”

    And I’m saying is that it’s absurd to think anyone should actually draw that line, when the market will determine (much more efficiently) where the line should be.

    Try this:

    The NBA wants a certain level of skill on their court. They then examine how rare that skill (a combination of natural talent and hard work) is. That rarity is compared to other work of a similar level of exertion, a similar amount of required work per week, and a similar location. From that a number can be generated, which we will call “X”.

    The NBA has decided that it wants players of a caliber as to be worth “X” dollars per week. Any player who feels that number is satisfactory may try out, and if his skills are determined to hold value “X”, he’s offered a contract. Any player who doesn’t feel “X” is sufficient, can go fuck himself.

    Congratulations. I just fixed professional sports.

    I mean… seriously… why the fuck not?

    That is how *EVERY* other profession on the planet works. Nearly regardless of culture… THAT is how it works.

    Except for sports.

    Why the fuck not?

    Mike: “Though much done in the name of efficiency is really best only for those in charge.”

    Yep. It’s good to be at the top of the totem pole, and it sucks to be at the bottom.

    That’s how life works. You can either cry about it, or do something about it.

    It’s funny how we spend so much time teaching kids that life isn’t fair… and then we grow up, and complain about our older sister getting more cookies than we did from Uncle Sam.

    It’s kinda sad.

  93. Hossrex Says:

    To put it into perspective… consider my point.

    I’m saying “if you fundamentally overpay, or underpay labor, you’re creating an inherently unstable industry which CAN NOT be sustainable.”

    I said so much as that above.

    The proof is the current condition of the NBA. That’s what happens when you begin artificially inflating the wages of labor.

    It seems like the “nice thing to do”, but it just fucks things up… like always happens when you meddle in the market.

  94. Cameron Says:

    “Yep. It’s good to be at the top of the totem pole, and it sucks to be at the bottom.”

    The NBA’s a pretty fucked up totem pole. From what I recall, only three teams OUT OF THIRTY operate at a profit.

  95. Lefty33 Says:

    I have not seen the data for ‘10-’11 but according to Forbes for the ‘09-’10 NBA season 13 of the 30 teams were profitable led by the Knicks, Bulls, and Lakers who together netted around 150 million dollars.

    Their three profits were enough to cover the losses of the other 17.

    The owners main issue is that in 2010 of the four major sports the NBA players recieved a higher portion of league revenues than any other league at 58%.

  96. Hossrex Says:

    After the way McCourt was cooking his books (and getting away with it until he’d literally cooked them down to nothing), you can’t honestly still trust a damn thing these teams are saying… can you?

    And keep in mind how “profit” is determined for a corporation. Owners draw a salary as an employee, so “profit” isn’t necessarily required for everyone to get paid. The owner absolutely gets paid below the red-line. Most people don’t realize that.

    I mean… you don’t really think Jaime McCourt was FUCKING PRESIDENT OF THE GOD DAMNED DODGERS… do you?

    She got a paycheck to do that job. I bet it was *JUST* enough above the typical “President of Team” salary as to be im-fucking-pressive… but not actually draw undue attention.

    So… now we’ve paid McCourt. We’ve paid Jaime. They’re off at the spa. Buying some coke from a black guy in the valley. Asian ladyboys for Jaime.

    All before they’re showing a profit.

    They use a sort of l33t speak to their advantage.

    In other words… I wish I were that type of poor.

  97. Lefty33 Says:

    “After the way McCourt was cooking his books (and getting away with it until he’d literally cooked them down to nothing), you can’t honestly still trust a damn thing these teams are saying… can you?”

    The league gave the players union copies of federal, state, and local tax returns and had the those returns were audited to GAAP standards which is why even the union is not contesting that losses have been occuring.

    To a point, if the NBA owners say they’re losing money I believe it because if not they’re going thru great lengths to prove it and they will run into serious problems with multiple taxing authorities if said books are cooked that badly which I doubt they are.

  98. Chuck Says:


    Tyson Gillies interview from yesterday.

  99. brautigan Says:

    As I see it, the problem with the NBA isn’t the talent on the floor. These guys are bigger, faster and stronger than their predecessors. The problem is, the brand of basketball they play. European players, who normally couldn’t carry the American’s jock strap, are far more advanced in basketball knowledge that it is down right embarrassing. SO, the NBA plays a slow down, set it up, two man game (right out of NBA 2K)and it is SOOOO BBBBOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGG.

    I recall seeing a basketball game between the Atlanta Hawks from 1971-71 with Pete Maravich and “Super” Lou Hudson on ESPN classic. That game was full of action, non-stop I might ad. It was like comparing “Die Hard” with “Howard’s End” for excitement.

    Frankly, from where I sit, the NBA can just go away.

  100. Chuck Says:

    The entire collective NBA are a bunch of idiots.

    The NBA sucks, it’s nothing more than a bunch of tattooed dropouts who think defense is what you put around your yard to keep the dog from running away and passing is what you do on the freeway.

    I find it unwatchable, and, yes, I hope they all collectively screw themselves.

  101. Bob Says:

    Derek Jeter’s high school, Kalamazoo Central, is in the process of naming its baseball field after him. He hit .508 as a senior with 4 homers and 23 rbi’s in 23 games.

  102. John Says:

    I remember the 2004 Pistons winning the NBA championship almost entirely on defense and selfless play, and it was a big shock.

    Problem is, it’s harder to market yourself if you’re worried about setting picks and covering your zone.

  103. Bob Says:

    Not really. Their GM was known for playing defense.

  104. Bob Says:

    Known for selfless play as well.

  105. John Says:

    No, I mean the BBall world was shocked when a TEAM beat Kobe and Shaq.

  106. Bob Says:

    Oh, sorry. Just want people to know that Joe Dumars was an outstanding player and is an outstanding GM. And that is the extent of my basketball knowledge.

  107. Bob Says:

    Back to baseball. ( What a buch of fucks we are for discussing basketball) Mark Ellis signed a 2-year deal with the Dodgers for $8.75 million.

  108. brautigan Says:

    I see where Florida offered Jose Reyes 6 years, $90 million. Fair enough, but I wonder what Reyes thinks especially given Jason Werth’s contract from last year?

    I mean, how do these guys justify these huge contracts? Really?

  109. Cameron Says:

    “SO, the NBA plays a slow down, set it up, two man game (right out of NBA 2K)and it is SOOOO BBBBOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGG.”

    If you let the computer play maybe, I’ve been able to master my breakaway and can go straight for the hoop on every drive. …That and I cherrypick like a motherfucker because the AI never stops me from doing it.

  110. JohnBowen Says:

    “I mean, how do these guys justify these huge contracts? Really?”

    You mean, GM’s?

    I assume they justify it because the alternative would be…collusion, which is rather frowned upon.

  111. Cameron Says:

    If my options are being broke and giving Gilbert Arenas 64 million dollars or calling my buddies and rigging the contracts, I’m gonna start colluding.

    Chances are if I’m GM of an NBA team, I’ve got the money to eat if I get fired.

  112. Bob Says:

    The owners are the ones who get nailed for collusion, not the GM’s.

  113. Bob Says:

    And the Jays offered Omar Minaya a job as a scout.

  114. Cameron Says:

    Isn’t that the one thing Omar can do right?

  115. Bob Says:

    Come on. He never harassed women like Steve Phillips.

  116. Cameron Says:

    Steve Phillips didn’t give Oliver Perez thirty six million dollars.

  117. Mike Felber Says:

    I have no evidence to claim that the owner’s are cheating, & your claims seem sound Lefty. Though do the owners have other revenues that are not legitimately not “on the books”? And what do you think of the soundness of the Union disbanding & becoming a Trade organization?

    Chuck, that kind of language often comes from racists motivation. Not saying you intend that, but if you look at comments from those who refer to NBA players, references to tattoos, intelligence, thugs…Often is accompanied by racial diatribes & invective. Not good to even inadvertently feed into that polarization. And they do not deserve to be disdained due to tattoos or cultural signifiers, & most all of us would drop out from college if we could become rich in Professional sports. baseball players are well known to be not very well educated historically, generally not even college boys to begin with. Which should not have them stigimatized either.

    I am familiar with those general claims about the market Hoss. Very well know, often apply, but are themselves too simplistic. Nodody is going back to Jiffy lube if they can be pro athletes, & much is properly regulated, like collusion. The point was that if there is huge money in a game, those who actually perform, provide the service that IS the sport, what folks come for, should have a large share of it.

    That does not mean marginal players should be overpaid, but it is hard to blame the players for that. Whose gonna turn down a small fortune?

  118. Mike Felber Says:

    It is useful to know life is unfair: & to fight to make it more fair, but not just for our own personal interest. It is sad if folks do NOT “cry” about criminality, fraud, corporate welfare, basic services for the vast majority slashed, those who are bailed out & their cronies continually pleading “no contest” when caught, & the SEC just gets promises for them not to financially rape & ravage public & private coffers, then they do it many more times (ex. Citi Group).

    It is SO FAR from lazy folks complaining that others are better off due to just having more &/or deserving it. That is a wholly inaccurate picture of everything that has been happening as our freedoms & economic opportunities are disemboweled,& massive iniquities have expanded exponentially for the last 30 years.

    I am not saying that the NBA is an example of this. But they should not just be 40 million dollar slaves either.

  119. Bob Says:

    Mike, did you really try to equate basketball players to victims of slavery?
    If so, do you think we need a Harriet Tubman to establish an underground railroad for these victims. Did slaves get a chance to augment their daily ration with endorsement offers?
    Do you really think that Bird, Johnson, Jordan McHale, James are/were really abused? And if these owners are that fucking sinister, why do many Dodgers fans want Cuban to own their team?

  120. brautigan Says:

    When I see tattooed NBA players, it reminds me of a Paul Rodriguez joke:

    “I don’t get black dudes with tattoos. That’s like sky writing at night”.

  121. John Says:

    So, by a weird glitch in the rules, Mike Trout is ineligible for the ROY next year, even though he was up for less than 45 days and had fewer than 130 PA’s

  122. brautigan Says:

    I can’t wait for Nat Turner visiting that Autistic ass hat, Paul Allen.

  123. Cameron Says:

    << You got a problem with the autistic, buddy?

  124. Cameron Says:

    Huh, Francisco Cordero’s a free agent. That’s odd because it came off being declined a a club option despite a pretty good year. Though, I think it’s because Cincy didn’t want to pay him the… What was it, 12 million?

    If you need a closer this year, you’ve got a lot of options. Madson’s still out there along with Bell, Rodriguez, and Cordero.

  125. Chuck Says:


    Where’d you see that, John?

  126. Chuck Says:



  127. Bob Says:

    Cameron, Braut is (WAS) a Sonics fan I think. Get the reference???

  128. Cameron Says:

    I get it, yes, but why use being autistic as an insult? That kind of offends me.

  129. Raul Says:

    “OldHossRadbourn: Congratulations indeed to J. Verlander. I was unaware they gave out awards for a half-season’s worth of work.”

  130. Cameron Says:

    Oh Mr. Radbourn, always the cad.

  131. Bob Says:

    Raul, you follow him too? Cool, and have a good night.

  132. John Says:


    Apparently its under the review, but it has to do with how, if you’re sent down, it has to be for at least 20 days or else the days you were down still count towards your MLB service time.

    Weird weird rule.

  133. Chuck Says:


  134. Brautigan Says:

    Was a Blazer fan.

    The reference is to Allen…..if there was ever a person that was a disconnected bot, it is Allen. He is the opposite of Midas. If I offend you by the use of my language, I apologize. But know that I have worked for years with folks with developmental disabilities and autism, and it is not my intent to slander them.

  135. Cameron Says:

    I know, no harm done really. Just a bit sensitive when people throw the term around either as an insult or justification for acting like an asshat. …Especially that second one. Stupid internet trolls trivializing afflictions that have fucked up people’s lives just to say stupid racist shit and act like it’s cool.

    I hate people sometimes.

  136. Hossrex Says:

    The way I read the Trout article, he’s being given an extra 17 days of service time he didn’t technically earn… which according to my math works out to about $35,000 extra dollars the Angels should owe him.

    I bet Mike Trout is just fine with this situation.

  137. John Says:


    And, as Chuck pointed out, Trout might not even be the favorite anyway considering the AFL.

    If I’m making 400k a season, I’ll take an extra 35k rather than a mere shot at an award that Angel Berroa, Pat Listach, Bob Hamelin, and Todd Hollandsworth all won.

  138. Chuck Says:

    ROY is the rookie who had the best year, not who will have the best career.

    MLBNetwork went with Hosmer in that regard, with the exception of Rosenthal, who picked Brett Lawrie.

  139. Bob Says:

    Heavy rumors that Type B free-agent compensation will be eliminated in the new CBA.

  140. Chuck Says:

    Effective in 2013.

  141. John Says:

    The Marlins have offered Albert Pujols a 9 year, 225 million deal.

  142. Raul Says:

    Happy 47th birthday, Dwight Gooden. I don’t know who is the most tragic sports figure of the last 100 years, but Gooden is surely one of them. No one knows how great Doctor K could have been. He ranks up there for some with Mike Tyson, Len Bias, Marcus Dupree, Bo Jackson, Ernie Davis, and many others that I am surely forgetting.

    Julio Lugo is 36. Lugo was a decent player 10 years ago. It’s unfortunate that the biggest thing I remember about Julio Lugo is that he was arrested for domestic abuse.

  143. Chuck Says:

    Sorry, but snorting enough “snow” to cover Killington in January isn’t tragic.

    Tony Conigliaro is tragic.

    Thurman Munson is tragic.

  144. Raul Says:

    Perhaps it’s more suitable to call it “Unfortunate” that such players did not meet their respective potentials?

  145. John Says:

    I mean, yeah, he brought it upon himself.

    Doesn’t mean it’s not a sad story.

  146. Chuck Says:

    It’s not, though.

    It doesn’t matter if you stick a needle in your arm or your still did it to yourself, and I don’t buy for one second you don’t know what you’re doing or can’t find help.

    Josh Hamilton, Rick Ankiel, there’s a lot of guys who’ve gone through the addiction thing and saved their careers.

    Gooden STILL is a fuck-up.

    Hard to feel sympathy for him, or sad.

  147. Raul Says:

    Guess I’m one of those bleeding hearts…

    Meanwhile back in ‘Nam, Chuck was…. (just kidding, buddy)

  148. Chuck Says:

    Not THAT old….

  149. Chuck Says:

    Charlie Lea died the other day, the Expos pitcher who was the first native born Canadian to throw a no-hitter.

    He was one day younger than me.

  150. Raul Says:

    Good thing you’ve got your health, Chuck.

    (In my best Alec Baldwin voice) Mazel mazel…Good things….

  151. Chuck Says:

    With two regular season games remaining, Mike Olt needs two homers and three RBI to set new AFL single season records.

    The HR record of 14 was set in 2005 by Brandon Wood, the RBI record way back in the second season in 1993 by Orlando Miller (in a longer season).

  152. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, the master.

  153. John Says:

    and…LOL @ 56

    Just kidding buddy :D

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