David Pinto of Baseball Musings predicts the AL East. You can tell it's an accurate and sophisticated projection because the Yanks come out on top. Check it out.
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
We've talked before about how crowded — and controversial — the Hall of Fame classes four to five years from now could be. Ken Griffey Jr. and Ivan Rodriguez have since found gainful employment, but that still leaves Bonds, Clemens, Lofton, Schilling and Sosa eligible in 2013 and Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Martinez, Mussina and Thomas potentially eligible in 2014.
Now maybe add another one to that list:
Gary Sheffield's milestone 500th career home run will have to come with a different team. The Tigers released the longtime slugger on Tuesday, a surprising roster move and a potential end to what may ultimately be a Hall of Fame career.
On the cusp of traditional greatness statistically (499 homers), Sheffield blows away the baseline HOF numbers on both the Standards and Monitors metrices. His No. 2 comp is Griffey, his 3-7 and No. 9 comps are all in the Hall of Fame. Nos. 8 and 10 are future Hall of Famers. His No. 1 comp is a borderline guy I would probably vote in, Fred McGriff. From 1992-2003, Sheffield posted a 156 OPS+, and if not for the 1994-95 strike – seasons in which he posted an OPS+ of 145 and 176, respectively — Sheffield would have long ago blown past the elusive milestone.
I'm not so sure he'll be elected though. He has no team identity (four seasons and parts of two others in Florida, four in Milwaukee, three and part of one in LA, three in New York, two in Atlanta, two in Detroit, one and a half in San Diego) so no base to push for his candidacy. He didn't hit a milestone that even now is losing its luster, he wasn't well liked during his playing days, and — worst of all — he has the taint of steroids. Maybe he sails in easily — he should — but if he doesn't find another team, he'll find himself on a crowded ballot in 2014 with a stain that could be hard to wash off.
Today's spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays may be the first important game of the year. Kind of. Why?
The Red Sox are playing for the first time their likely Opening Day lineup in its entirety, and they're facing nemesis Andy Sonnanstine. You might remember him. He had a 102 OPS+ yet did not allow a single earned run all season long against the Red Sox. Thirteen innings. Seven hits. Zero earned runs.
If the Sox are to overtake the Rays and win the East this season, beating up on league-average pitchers should be a top priority. It's never too soon to start.
Also, the Globe reports the Sox are leaning toward giving Chris Carter the 25th spot on the roster. If Carter makes something of his time in the bigs, that Bronson Arroyo trade may yet turn out to be worthwhile.
It turns out hitting a baseball really well isn't the only thing Mark Teixeira has with Alex Rodriguez. They're both also ridiculously bad liars!
Teixeira was asked specifically if the public nature of the Red Sox negotiations last winter bothered him. "It did, it did," replied Teixeira. "And I think in the end, it probably worked against them a little bit, because everyone thought the Red Sox were [my] No. 1, but in reality, the Yankees were gonna be the team, like I said all along, if all things were equal, the Yankees were the place that I wanted to go. It made the most sense for my family. It made the most sense for me and my career and where I wanted to go. Being a Yankee and wearing the pinstripes into the new Yankee Stadium, it doesn't get any better than that. They had a leg up all along."
So let me get this straight:
- "The Yankees were gonna be the team, like I said all along."
- "If all things were equal, the Yankees were the place that I wanted to go."
- "They had a leg up all along."
- We already know that Teixeira had chosen the Yankees before he even met with the Red Sox — and thus before they said anything publicly.
- And we already know that the Yankees' offer was higher than the Red Sox' — and thus not "equal."
- But it was the Red Sox' public statement that hurt them in their efforts to sign Teixeira.
Isn't that sweet? Only with the team for a few months, and A-Rod's already taken the newbie under his wing!
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Mark Feinsand reported that Sabathia will be the opening day starter, and will also be on the bump for the first game at Yankee Stadium. He also noted that Girardi is experimenting with Jeter and Damon swapping spots in the lineup.
Another Daily News article had several of their writers along with PECOTA and a scout speculate on the record and ERA Sabathia might tender by the end of the season. I guess that’s interesting enough. I’m more interested in what his record will be in the post-season, putting the cart in front of the work-horse.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Today's Times profiles the eats coming at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. We certainly prefer sports bars and dirty water dogs, but the foodie in us appreciates the showcasing of local purveyors. Unfortunately, the cost of admission alone might prevent us from spending $15 on a sandwich with Lobel's beef (we've had steaks from Lobel's once – yes they were spectacular — in both taste and cost).
Yankee Stadium will feature, amongst others, Masaharu Morimoto (brilliant, if overpriced in Chelsea), April Bloomfield (we're not a fan, if only because we've never gotten a seat at her restaurants due to what seems like serious attitude from the obnoxious hosts at her too-cool-for-school hangouts), and a local Bronx sushi purveyor called "Soy Kitchen". Citi Field looks to be the more interesting and also more "populist" spot, that is if transplanted $8 brisket-laced hamburgers qualify — Danny Meyer, one of NYC's top restaurateurs, takes the helm of food services.
Good times for foodies, though it remains to be seen if anyone will have money left in their wallets to eat at the games.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Unfortunately many of our regulars (including myself) were shut out of the original (CBS) YFSF fantasy baseball league. So I have gone back to Yahoo! in hopes that we can finally have a fully functional, fair and enjoyable fantasy baseball league. Using Yahoo! gives us a chance to get more regulars into the league, the league max is 20, as opposed to 10 at CBS. So we are going to scrap the CBS league and move forward with Yahoo! If you are interested in joining the league simply send me an email at: JohnYF13 at yahoo dot com. The first 19 teams that contact me will be granted league access. Thanks guys and I am sorry for the confusion.
Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Tyler Kepner’s Sunday piece on C.C. Sabathia has an interesting quote from Jorge Posada, who says that due to C.C.’s rapid delivery, “I got plenty of time to throw a guy out.”
This makes Yankee fans happy.
The rest of this filler-piece delves into the touchy-feely realm of leadership, camaraderie, and clubhouse “chemistry.” Normally, gerbil glides over this sort of fluff, but rah-rah is better than reading tawdry tripe telling of nice Johns. Better yet, Kepner does something special in this article by giving us the gift of a word game:
Mike Mussina was cerebral and introverted, Kevin Brown was edgy and antisocial, Randy Johnson was suspicious and insecure.
This also makes Yankee fans happy, because now we have something to do while waiting for baseball to start. Let your free association fly, and play by the rules Kepner unwittingly penned.
Curt Schilling is officially retired, having posted the announcement on his blog.
This party has officially ended. After being blessed to experience 23 years of playing professional baseball in front of the world’s best fans in so many different places, it is with zero regrets that I am making my retirement official.
For all his flaws, Curt Schilling was a damn fine pitcher, author of one of the most awe-inspiring postseason performances in baseball history. His acquisition may be the single most contributing factor to why the Red Sox have been the most successful World Series team this decade.
Farewell, Curt. We'll see you in Cooperstown.