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Archive for the ‘Hot Stove/Dutch Oven’ Category

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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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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