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TAINT!Via Rotoworld:

Robertson hinted that he might be better off with a change of scenery. “I think the cycle of a player’s time in certain places, it comes and it goes,” Robertson said. “This is my seventh year in the organization, and maybe my time here is nearing its end. And I’m fine with that.”

It’s true, nothing is worse than toiling for a team for over five years only to be told that a young phenom by the name of Rick Porcello will replace you as the fifth starter in a terrible, terrible, terrible rotation. I mean, it’s not like Robertson pitched his way out…

Oh.

Wait, he had a 6.53 ERA in over 150 innings last season? Really? I mean, he must’ve had a at least five seasons where he didn’t allow more hits than innings pitched, right?

No, actually he only had one season like that. And it was only by 2 hits! A terrible career WHIP, ERA, wins total, hell, just a terrible career by starting pitching standards.

So yeah, Nate Robertson. Keep thinking that you’ve earned the respect of your organization and the major leagues. You are certainly one major league pitcher that I wouldn’t be afraid to bat against. And I am terrible, terrible, terrible at baseball.

But nice glasses. You’re making Eric Gagne very proud.

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This is fake, right?  This is like a high school yearbook pic with a fake border?

This is fake, right? This is like a high school yearbook pic with a fake border?

Derek Lowe just signed a four-year $60 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Braves.  Their rotation now includes Javier Vazquez, that Kawakami guy from Japan, Jair Jurgggggens and Phil Neikro (103 years old, and the knuckler still works!).  People seem dubious of this signing, but I don’t think it’s that bad of a fit.  Do you know how you get a sweet 60 milly?

By being one of the most durable pitchers in the game.  By starting at least 32 times in the past seven seasons.  By owning an ERA of 3.24 with a WHIP of 1.13 last season.  By having a sub-4.00 ERA the past four seasons since entering the senior league.  He’s got a career ERA+ of 122, which makes him an above average pitcher if your glasses are constantly falling off your face and you own multiple pocket protectors.  For fantasy purposes, Derek Lowe is one of those hidden gems in the mid-to-low rounds who provides great ratios and is seemingly never hurt.  I like.

He fits perfectly into this rotation.  And by perfectly I mean the Braves will potentially have an all-right-handed rotation, which is nothing if not predictable.  With Charlie Morton and Jorge Campillo (yikes) fighting for the fifth spot, there will be little variation to the theme.  Oh well, at least they can depend on the solid play of Jeff Franceour to…never mind.  Remember Andruw Jones?  Double-yikes.  This team will be okay, especially if Kelly Johnson can get hit batting average up and Chipper Jones’s voodoo doll isn’t being stuck by a certain defensively over-rated third basemen from the New York Mets.  Will they win the East?  Probably not, especially if they don’t re-sign Julio Franco.  Will Derek Lowe make a big difference?  Yeah, I’d say he gives them some much needed stability that certain aging men (Smoltz, Hudson) could not seem to shoulder.  Terrible pun.  Just.  Terrible.

Then again, he is just a big bulky white guy one shoulder-snap away from the hallowed trenches of Atlanta’s Disabled List, permanent home of Mike Hampton. I don’t care that the Astros signed Mike Hampton. They will be confused when he doesn’t show up to training camp. They will soon find out he’s taken his wounded obliques back to Hotlanta.

THIS IS MIKE HAMPTONS HOUSE.  NO PAIN-FREE PERSONS ALLOWED

THIS IS MIKE HAMPTON'S HOUSE. NO PAIN-FREE PERSONS ALLOWED

He will always be on the Braves DL in my mind. Always.

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The Mets are opening up a new stadium.  It will be called Citi Field Park, in the grand tradition of sucking the  fun out of naming stadiums (could you imagine Red Bull Presents: Robocop 3 Stadium?  I know I could).  With the naming of the new stadium comes not only the stadium but new merchandise, more expensive seats that offer worse views of the game, and of course the inaugural patch.  These patches are worn on the sleeves of player’s uniforms and do not feature the new stadium name.  Coincidentally, they generally aren’t terrible.  They are vetted by non-robot humanoids with reasonable limits of taste.

And then there is this:

Um...

Um...

Now, take a look at this:

The crust is like cardboard, but when one is blazed...

The crust is like cardboard, but when one is blazed...

The first image is the Mets new “Commemorative Patch” that recognizes the opening of their new stadium. The second will be recognized by every college student who lived during the 1990’s. The similarities are eerie, although I admit it’s a bit of a stretch. Either way, it’s frankly embarrassing. I’m from New York, now in Chicago. Never a Mets fan, but for Christ’s sake LOOK AT IT. It looks like a fucking parking validation stub from a movie theater! How does any graphic designer in the universe come up with such a shithouse awful idea?

I imagine myself in 10th grade visual arts class, something I engaged in to bump elbows with the hot arty girls. I’m essentially an autodidact, meaning I get terrible grades, smoke too much pot and still believe my horrific artwork has some kind of greater merit (all while listening to Radiohead like I’m the only one who “gets it”). We are given an assignment to create a commemorative patch for the New York Mets Stadium. A picture in the local rag, the Clinton Courier, is the reward. I, of course, get too stoned and end up using bright orange and blue construction paper as a backdrop. But because “Inaugural Season” won’t fit, I turn the patch diagonally to make it fit.

I mention this fantasy because it could have happened. I’m not sure of any other excuse the Mets’ design team could use. A 7-year-old child could have come up with a better design:

Fuck Yes

Fuck Yes

See? How hard is it to make a kick ass inaugural patch? Not hard at all. Instead, we’re left with a terrifyingly stale and grotesquely simple patch that can easily be confused for a poorly designed hotel key card. Sad.

But don’t worry Met’s fans, soon K-Rod will be your savior.  He’ll helps your team shed it’s reputation as a pompous gloating choke machine with the gracious, humble style of play he’s  always been known for:

This is his reaction to Strike One call on Marco Scutaro

This is his reaction to a strike one call on Marco Scutaro

Via ESPN and Youppi

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A lot has been written about Steven A. Smith. He is a derisive character, one who seemingly has no friends on the internet, and few in actual media. What does not help Steven is writing an article about Manny Ramirez possibly signing with the Yankees. I will not go all FJM on this piece, I’ll just give you this golden turd:

From losses to Anaheim, Boston and Detroit in the playoffs, to more losses at the hands of Arizona and Florida in the World Series, many native New Yorkers — of which I am one — wouldn’t hesitate to admit those defeats are entirely too painful, too vivid, to recall or discuss.

Well, here’s a thought: Maybe this championship futility will change if the Yankees come to their senses and sign Manny Ramirez.

Far be it from me to be an arbiter of great writing or sanity, but this article is completely nuts. Maybe Steven knows he pissing in the wind; he points out the Yanks have already signed Texeira, Burnett and Sabathia, arguably three of the best players on the market. They got rid of Roid-less giant-head-no-neck Giambi, blah blah blah. He then safely assumes the Yankees have at least spent 426 mil on the new acquisitions alone.

Just read the article for the second time, and I’m guessing this is just an editorial, considering it includes the following phrases:

I think!

This is about winning, folks!

So damn it, sign the man.

Now, please!

Here’s a question: Why is Steven A. Smith even writing about baseball? His basketball articles are hard enough to swallow. Who gave this man money to write words? He comes off sounding like…well, my blog for instance. I’m hoping if anyone comes to this site, they’re here for a tiny bit of real baseball fact, mixed in with endless fantasy baseball griping, the public humiliation of Rafael Furcal, and a wee little bit of angsty humor. Meanwhile, when I go to ESPN’s website concerning baseball’s off-season transactions, I prefer to read articles that while not entirely bereft of opinion, provide the reader with a semblance of reality, not an entire article that is contrary to the parent company’s already researched facts.

ESPN’s own Buster Olney’s usual crack reporting on all things baseball has determined there’s no truth to rumors that the Yankees have entertained pursuing Ramirez at a price tag of three years for $75 million.

In the end, who cares? It’s funny to see Steven’s article placed between the work of Jayson Stark and Keith Law on ESPN’s Hot Stove page. So keep it up Steven, as I look forward to your article urging the Twins to sign the rest of the free agent pool, and start 9 infielders…

IN THE OUTFIELD!

Anything’s possible in Steven’s World. Anything.

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Let’s play a fun game. The San Francisco Giants manage to sign Manny Ramirez. Their outfield in my mind would consist of Manny in left, Aaron Rowand in center, and Fred Lewis in right field. I see the Giants then trying to sling Randy Winn for a decent reliever or middling first baseman.

The line-up would read as follows:

1. Fred Lewis
2. Aaron Rowand
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Bengie Molina
5. Pablo Sandoval
6. Edgar Renteria
7. John Bowker
8. Emmanuel Burriss
9. Whoevs

Not a bad line-up, actually. Will it happen? Not with Barry Zito’s albatross contract sitting around. With the Giants starting pitching (Lincecum, Cain, Johnson, Zito, Sanchez), they could actually make an impact in the generally weak National League West.

One can dream, right?

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Ah, nothing makes me happier in 2009 than a solid baffle.

Derrick Turnbow, he of the “Once a closer, now a hoser” fame, has been gaining attention from teams interested in his services. According to Rotoworld, up to five major league teams were pursuing him at one point during the off-season. Well, that’s pathetic.

I get it, Turnbow had an off-year, he’ll be cheap and accept a performance-based deal, but this guy reminds me of another hyped up bullpen stud, one Todd Coffey. Remember him? Exactly.

Coffey was supposed to be the Red’s future closer. I drafted him two seasons in a row, each at the tail-end of the draft. It was usually safe to assume David Weathers would not be able to hold on to his closer role if his life depended on it. Wrong. Every time Weathers faltered and the Red’s tried out Coffey, he would be brutalized.

Turnbow had one great season, and then spent the next three seasons pitching like he caught whatever virus destroyed Chris Capuano’s career, injuring himself and then whining about it. Sounds like a great teammate, am I right?

So today, Derrick Turnbow signed a deal with the Texas Rangers, guaranteeing over a million dollars if Turnbow makes the team and appears in enough games.

Implications: Turnbow is like any human being; he will have a decent season because sweet sweet money is his reward. While he will have arm problems somewhere along the line, I see him posting something along a barely sub-4.00 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP. If his strike outs are still there, he may perform even better. Fresh start in a new league will make this borderline-ignorable reliever slightly less ignorable. He’s not own-able in a 12 team mixed league unless you count holds.

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Eick, the lovable DC-food blogging Washington Nationals fan has had a rough fall and winter.

The National’s team leaders were Christian Guzman and Tim Redding. It’s painful to read and painful to type that last sentence. Nick Johnson and Da Meathook are gone, and Elijah Dukes remains to beat up people another day. Also, get ready for staff ace John Lannon(gulp) to murder batters with his crafty 80 mph stuff.

I WILL NEVER LET GO OF YOU, MEATHOOK.

I WILL NEVER LET GO OF YOU, MEATHOOK.

This winter, the Nat’s biggest headlines involved non-tendering Tim Redding, letting Odalis Perez go free (which on any other team would be considered euthenasia), and floating a huge contract that Mark Texeira will never, ever ever ever sign. Don’t worry Eick, things just got a whole lot more, shall we say, “Natty”:

The Astros and Aaron Boone have come to terms on a one-year deal, MLB.com reports.

Proof that Aaron “Boston BonerCrusher” Boone will never play for Eick’s team. Well, until 2010.

My predictions: In a no-duh move, the Nats sign Adam Dunn. Other than that, enjoy another season of Elijah Dukes and Ryan Zimmerman.

Woof.

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Matt Treanor was signed by the Detroit “Weren’t We Supposed Be an Epically Great Team?” Tigers today. How the mighty have fallen.

Treanor will back up Gerald Laird, and be wonderfully useless.

Implications:

1. Who the hell is catching for the Marlins? John Baker? He swung a hot bat last year, but he’s no Charles Johnson.

2. This move pushes “Awesome Baseball Player Name” Dusty Ryan to the minors. Sad. Great catcher name, though.

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To be the bad man.  To be the sad man.  Behind giant predator Dreadlocks.

I have heat vision, and I hate Carl Weathers

I have heat vision, and I hate Carl Weathers

You know what no one is talking about? Manny being incredibly petulant concerning interest in his wooden stick wielding capabilities.

From Rotoworld:

Manny Ramirez is growing extremely upset about the lack of suitors for his services, so much so that he has told friends he would contemplate retirement if a suitable offer doesn’t arrive soon, a person close to the situation told Newsday.

I love this. And I’m concerned that more Red Sox blogs aren’t yelling and screaming saying, “See?! See?!? Manny is terrible, this was a good idea!!!” That being said, I’m saying right now that Manny ends up on the Yanks, with the Dodgers remaining as the dark horse candidate.

In other news, Rafael Furcal, my sworn enemy, decided to sign with the Dodgers again. Fantastic. Can’t wait to watch someone else grab him in our 12 team roto league in the 8th round. He’s a great player, but he has the back of a 70-year-old astronaut who didn’t drink his milk as a kid; he’s brittle.

Also, Brian Giles is the new Brett Myers. In a related story, Marcus Giles finally took off his costume and showed his true form: Mark Lemke.

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Hi, I’m Bill.  I’m the ignoramus who signed Carlos Silva to a FOUR YEAR 48 MILLION DOLLAR deal.  To give you a better idea of why I should be fired and take my terrible manager with me, we’ll play a game. For every point that Bavasi or the Mariners players attain, the more blame goes their way.

Carlos Silva

Career Line:

IP: 1022
K: 423
H: 1221
ERA: 4.44
WHIP: 1.38
BAA: .300

Notice the 200 hits more than innings pitched! Also, the sparkling .300 Batting Average Against! That’s not a typo. In his major league career, Carlos Silva has let ALL of his opponents bat .300 against him. That’s an awful number. Almost impossible to ignore. Bavasi apparently did. To the tune of 12 million dollars a year. A terrible signing bested only by The Incomparable Sabean and Zito the Great.

Score: Bavasi 1, Mariners 0

Richie Sexson

Need some good old power hitting? Look no further than…sorry, scratch that, look further, look into the fucking solar system, look anywhere but at Richie Sexson. He has been putrid, and the fact that Seattle couldn’t land another power bat to platoon with Sexson (or mercifully end his career with a vicious knee-cap Kerrigan-style) says something about Bavasi. In plain English, he and his staff cannot address inherent flaws in the Mariner’s offense, even with a 117 million dollar payroll. Why else would Jose Vidro be batting clean-up or 5th on any planet on any team in the world-o-sphere? Points for Bavasi and the Mariners, as a point can be made that Sexson should be playing better than a dog with three legs.

Score: Bavasi 2, Mariners 1

Erik Bedard

He’s on my team, I know the pain he brings to the table. Is he hurt? Maybe? The Mariner’s ain’t sayin’ squat, so my guess is as good as yours. One start he’s untouchable, the next he’s the kid from Rookie of the Year Pre-Injury/Post-Recovery of Normal Skill Set. He’s like Oliver Perez Lite. Points against the Mariners, simply because Bedard was supposed to be my ace this year.

Score: Bavasi 2, Mariners 2

Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista

Really? These guys are still pitching professionally? Really? Why/How? This has got to be all Bavasi. This reads as a bad joke, so there’s no use in trying. Two points for Bavasi for each horrible veteran starter retained.

Score: Bavasi 4, Mariners 2

John McLaren

His managing skills are Yost-like. Also, he waited until the Mariners were 18 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim of Greater Disneyworldland to scream at his team. Puzzled? Count me in. If you are TEN games back, I believe every last one of your players should be sent from the stadium in tears. Especially Carlos Silva and Richie Sexson. Too little too late, McLaren. You’re more useless than Bob Geren.

Score: Bavasi 5, Mariners 2

 

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