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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.

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?

Today’s Baffling Signing

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.

From Underachiever to Underachiever

From Underachiever to Underachiever

Honestly, I wish the best for those folks in Washington. As Slanch pointed out, the Scott Olsen/Josh Willingham move was nice, and netted them some cheap, quasi-talented youth. I still believe they’ll grab Adam Dunn at a pretty good price and move him to first base somehow. People will complain. He will crush his traditional 40 homers, walk a ton, and provide the necessary stability a major league line-up needs at the clean-up spot.

And then, this, via Rotoworld:

Sources told MLB.com that the Nationals and Daniel Cabrera have come to terms on a one-year deal.

Quoting Cockcroft here: “Ick. Ugh. Dear Fucking God.”

I can’t really disagree with him here. Will Cabrera be any better than Odalis Perez? Yes. Ballpark factor isn’t really an issue, as the Nats moved out of spacious RFK stadium to a more hitter-friendly arena. Will the move to the National League help Cabrera’s numbers? Not if his WHIP can help it.

He will strike players out, but if he continues to over-throw the ball and  lose all semblance of control, he is as unreliable and erratic as Odalis. Too bad, as Cabrera’s always had huge potential.

Implications: The Nat’s starting five doesn’t look too pathetic anymore, with Cabrera, Lannon, Olsen, Bergmann and Balester available. Lots of potential, but can they deliver? I’d like to say yes, as it would make a great story. But my heart is nodding it’s tiny head no.

Which brings me to my last point: What happened to Shawn Hill?

The Nats Hate Jon Eick

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.

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.

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.

Every spring we get our draft boards ready and rub our hands together as if the friction represents how much we want to win/destroy our friend’s sporting livelihoods. At least I rub my hands together, and if I’m sporting a handlebar mustache, I may give it an evil twirl. I mean, what better to do when trying to figure out if Alex Gordon will be Alex Gordon or “The Royals Entire Future on One White Man’s Shoulders.” I choose the former. Some of my league-mates will disagree.

Here is my completely arbitrary list of future missteps my league-mates will make regarding talent next season. Enjoy!

1. Cockcroft- Remember that Alex Gordon fellow? I have a feeling he’ll end up on Cock’s team once again. He’s the epitome of Cockcroft’s drafting strategy, which involves grabbing the best guys on paper and looking great going into the season. The season begins, and Cockcroft is in the basement. He does find his way out eventually, but Alex Gordon has the high-upside that Cockcroft digs, especially after two lame-duck seasons which see his value dip to all-time low in the high teens/low twenties. That is, if he doesn’t completely fail next year.

2. Tristan- Carlos Delgado. Or Moises Alou. Or Fernando Tatis. You get the picture. Home team bias is the name of the game for Tristan, and it doesn’t matter if you’re old/broken, a scrubby Utility OF/IF, or if your name is fucking Billy Crystal. If you’re Billy Crystal, and you’re wearing a Mets uniform, Tristan will draft in the last two or three rounds, citing your potential to steal and score runs in the Met’s “potent” line up.

3. Shatraw- After this year’s “over-balanced team” debacle, Shatraw will draft pure power hitters and pitchers. Someone along the lines of Ryan Howard, Lance Berkman or Ryan Braun. Eric Byrnes is a thing of the past, a figment of his Traw-magination. He’ll end up getting short-changed on pitchers, though, drafting John Lackey in the 6th round as his ace. Mark my words.

4. Zegen- He will reach for Jeter in the fourth round. Again. This one is too easy. If not Jeter, then Cano. And when you try and pull a trade in the second half, Zegen will speak of Cano’s tendency to heat up Adam Laroche-style as the summer grows old. Jeter is nothing but the poster child for mediocre shortstop in real life/mediocre fantasy shortstop in fantasyland. Seriously. Jose Lopez is having a better season than Jeter. But he isn’t dating Jessica Biel, is he?

5. Shanks – Shanks loves his solid power guys, so I have him taking a 5th round shot at a drastically under-valued Travis Hafner. Either that or his usual solid Jack Cust pick that guarantees him a .200 BA and 25 homers in the 19th round.

6. Slanch – Dortiz. No matter what. Or Jason Bay. Although quite the deluded Red Sox fan, he will not bite on your Varitek garbage. He’ll probably end up taking Dustin Pedroia in a second round reach, to be honest. Gotta love that slap-happy swing.

7. Eick – Ryan Zimmerman, early third round. As you can see, a decent amount of owners in our league are geographically biased. Eick in DC, Shanks outside of Oakland, Tristan in NYC, Menaker…you get the picture. Eick loves this guys upside, injury problems or not. At this price, it would be a bargain, as long as he doesn’t get the dreaded Shawn Hill-disease (wherein your body is always hurt in relation to your team being awful and giving a roster spot to Belliard).

8. Dubie – Here are Dubie’s first 5 picks if everything falls the right way. J. Santana, J. Peavy, D. Haren, Manny Ramirez, Aaron Harang. Dubie loves pitching. Loves it. His penchant for hoarding endgame closers (Brian Wilson among others) is notorious. So I’d also conservatively say he grabs Joel Zumaya in the 20th round.

9. Lucas – Easy. Unless I get him, Carlos Lee in the beginning of the second round. If not, I guarantee a second round Justin Morneau. I just have a feeling, you’ll have to go with me on this one.

10. Mattraw – Having been spurned by a J Roll, Matt will avoid pricey middle infielders and opt for pricey OF’s instead. I see him grabbing Carlos Beltran in the second round. First round he could go with a risky Johan Santana grab, but perhaps this year’s humbling experience in the basement will see him take less chances. On the other hand, I see him reaching at least 4 rounds to get Matt Kemp at any cost.

11. Dibbes – He’ll go home run crazy due to this season’s crippling bomber drought. I see a 2nd round Texeira and a 7th round Jermaine Dye in his future…

12. Me – I will once again reach for the stars…and end up grabbing Andre Ethier about 5 rounds too early. Love him for next year if Torre can get all of the Juan Pierre slapped out him. Meanwhile, I’ll probably make a run at Kevin Slowey and get burned when he turns into Glen Perkins.

Carl Crawford HATED Me

Por que?

Por que?

I drafted you in the fricking first round.  What the frick!?

You sat there and slowly but surely started to steal your requisite 25 bases in the first half.  And then you pulled your hamstring.  And then you checked your swing, and “something popped.”  Great, there went my legitimate shot at finishing anything close to second place.

As is, I still have an outside to chance to break even and finish 3rd in this league, but I’m sad.

– Ty Wigginton has been on fire for my team.  Thank Jehovah he qualifies for outfield now.  Carl Crawford, your timing was horrible.

-I should not have traded Manny.  I was a fool.  Just like last year, when I traded Carlos Lee for Andruw Jones.  Woof.

-I initially regretted taking Grady Sizemore with my second wrap-around pick for a lack of power.  He now has 31 homers to go along with 34 SB’s, and is actually on pace for 100 RBI’s.  And he’s hitting leadoff.  That’s unsane.

-Tim Lincecum now has 15 wins.  That’s 6 more than I expected out him.  And he’s tied for the MLB lead in ERA with Cliff Lee, and oh yeah, he has 210 K’s.  Wow.

-I’ve over-managed my team this year.  Too many add/drops, too many trades.  I should’ve just stood pat with my team and gave it a shot.  Oh well.

-I’ll have my list of guys that league-mates will over-reach for next season.  Included, Michael Zegen’s infatuation with all things Melky Cabrera.  And of course Tristan’s throbbing Luis Ayala boner.

Hello, It’s Me

After suffering through a number of serious mental health maladies related to my team and its inherent sucktitude, I’m back!  And so is my team, currently battling for 3rd place.  The league is so tight, that within a week I could probably be back in 10th place, but I refuse to accept the chaos of an unknown future and instead choose an optimistic, half-retarded future that involves me winning the league and/or beating Matt Berry in a Feel Sorry For Me Competition.

Not like anyone actually reads this thing anymore, but a few things have changed:

Trades

I made three semi-blockbuster trades, one of which has already blown up in my face (huzzah!)

Firstly, I was offered Brandon Phillips and Andrew Miller for Erik Bedard and Johnny Cueto.  It did not take me long to click accept on this trade.  Bedard won’t pitch until 2011, and Cueto is, well, Cueto.  Phillips has been okay, and Miller I dropped, but I still think I got the better end of this deal.

Secondly, I decided that Manny had to go.  I believed that his old Manny body would break down eventually.  I had the same thought with Kent.  He’s old.  After shopping him for weeks, I finally received Tim Hudson, Mike Gonzalez and Bobby Crosby for Manny Ram, Jeff Kent and Scott Downs.  Yes, I was raped in this trade, but Huddy’s actually trying to pitch through a ligament tear.  Dude’s a fucking gamer!  And Kent is still semi-broken, and who needs Scott Downs when I could pick up Ron Mahay?  Anywho, Gonzalez hasn’t gotten a chance to close in four years, and Manny has played well (but infrequently).  Hopefully hanging out with Andruw “The Curse” Jones won’t rub off on him the wrong way.

And thirdly, after picking up wunderchild Mike Aviles, I realized Pedroia was at the peak of his value for the season.  He was hitting at a bananas rate, something like .450 over a one-and-half-month period.  That’s fucking hitting.  I nabbed not only Ocab to fill in my SS hole, but John Danks for Pedroia and Andy Sonnanstine.  I feel like time will bear this one out, but I love having Ocab’s steals and runs.

Pick Up’s

I love vulturing people off the waiver wire.  Real good times, especially since Eick and Mattraw pitch a hissy because they “weren’t at their computers” when a new Tigers closer was announced (Rodney, got him!).  A lesson to them: You should always be at your computers, at all times.  Lord knows you couldn’t separate me from this thing with a backhoe.  Yeah.  Anyways, I grabbed the aforementioned Aviles, Billy Butler, Ty Wigginton, and Jerry Hairston, Jr to help fill out my line-up card.  Gotta love the multi-position eligibility.

Another reason I grabbed multi-position players is because I have 3 moves left on waivers.  That’s it.  Three.  I figure I don’t have much wiggle room left anyway, as I’ve been wiggling ever since Yovanni Gallardo and Furcal hit the DL for good.

Speaking of the DL, the Big Hurt just came off it and I’m chancing it by starting him tonight, hoping he can nail one of Wakefield’s errant Wuss…I mean, knucklers out of the park.  Cheap power is good power.

Also, John Lennon did not say “Cranberry Sauce” at the end of Strawberry Fields Forever.  He’s clearly saying, “Paul (Konerko) is dead.”

It’s true.