Reports indicate that the Yankees have signed
out machine outfielder Randy Winn. As the great Jay Jaffe notes on his Twitter stream, Winn's splits against lefties (158/184/200) are the worst in the history of the Retrosheet Era. Great! Also, he'll be 36 and he had a .318 obp with 2 hr last year. But he's nice? We can only hope.
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Reports indicate that the Yankees have signed
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Retiring consecutively over the last three years are The Rocket, Mad Dog, Big Unit: three of the most dominant pitchers of their generation, and arguably three of the best to ever take the hill. But baseball accolades post-career are more than what happened between the lines. Each are first-ballot locks for the HOF from my perspective, but Roger (certainly) and Randy (sort of) have baggage. Greg’s squeaky-clean, but who would take prime Greg over prime Rocket/Randy? Should each be a first-ballot lock regardless of circumstance? Would you be surprised if they make any of the three wait? Does that matter? If Clemens goes in AFTER Maddux and Johnson, does it mean anything at all?
Sunday, January 10th, 2010
Friday, January 8th, 2010
Thursday, January 7th, 2010
We tweeted about it yesterday, but wanted to reiterate our sentiment that bookmarking Charlie Pierce's blog at the Boston Globe is a must. Pierce, a wonderful writer, grew up a Boston sports fan, but his range is not limited to just Boston sports; he's a bona fide sports nut. He wrote for The National way back when (some of our readers may not even know what The National was!) and he's a regular on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" (one of our faves). His credentials are pretty much unimpeachable, though if you are a Yankee fan you may have to forgive him his allegiances.
We'll add a link to the sidebar, but we recommend you do so on your own browser as well.
The good from Gordon Edes' interview with Jonathan Papelbon:
"I got a copy of it,'' he said, referring to footage of the horrific ninth inning in which the Los Angeles Angels rallied from a two-run deficit and eliminated the Boston Red Sox in their AL Division Series, obliterating Papelbon's streak of never having allowed a run in the postseason in the process.
"I get it in my weight room at home and pop it in, use it as motivation. … Every time I'm in the gym struggling, feeling like [expletive], I look up at the TV, and it gives me a kick.
"It's something I really had a lot of pride in and cherished, my scoreless postseason run," which hit 26 innings, a major league record. "Obviously, it was disappointing. Any human being who says it was no big deal is full of B.S."
Papelbon's wife, Ashley, is pregnant with the couple's second child, a brother for toddler daughter Parker. The child is due in April.
"Got a name picked out,'' Papelbon says. "Gunner Roberts. The significance? Nothing, man. Just a badass name, so we went with it.''
The TV in his house is always turned to Nick Jr., the Disney Channel or Sprout, he says, so he hasn't been keeping track of the Red Sox's offseason moves.
"I had no idea we got [John] Lackey until [trainer Mike] Reinold came down to see me, just a few days ago,'' he said. "I swear to you. I don't know anything about the ballclub, but I know the words to the 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' song.''
Adrian Beltre deal? He hadn't heard. Casey Kotchman about to be traded to the Mariners? Nope. Mike Cameron? "Cameron, Mike Cameron?'' he said. "We got him? I swear to you, I didn't know.''
Oh, and he wants a lot of money. But we already knew that.
CHONE projections are out, which allows us to begin the fun task of seeing how our respective teams match up, given their various improvements. Unlike the Bill James/Baseball Info Solutions projections, CHONE has proven in years past to be pretty accurate, and it also provides enough data to allow Fangraphs to do a WAR projection, so there's obviously some more value there for our purposes — particularly given that both teams have made defensive upgrades that may or may not be captured in the pitchers' projections.
Here's a comparison of the Red Sox starters' 2009 vs. their projected 2010. If I get the time, I'll revisit these posts as additional systems release enough data for Fangraphs to figure WAR projections and see what the differences are. And I'll try to do the Yankees' projections later today or tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Andre Dawson, a brief member of the Red Sox toward the tail-end of his career, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar, both of whom should have been first-ballot enshrinees, barely missed the cut, setting up their likely entrance in 2011.
Dawson received 420 votes for 77.9 percent of the electorate. Blyleven received 400 (74.2 percent) and Alomar garnered 397 (73.7 percent). Jack Morris, who does not deserve election, remains stuck around 50 percent, while Barry Larkin, who does, received 51.6 percent. Lee Smith was the only other player breaking 40 percent.
First-timer Edgar Martinez has a tough row to hoe, getting just 36.2 percent, and Tim Raines is still criminally low, with just 30.4 percent. Deserving enshrinees Mark McGwire and Alan Trammell are stuck around 23 percent, and first-timer Fred McGriff got 21.5 percent. Don Mattingly, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy and Harold Baines live to fight another year. Barely.
Among those who missed the 5 percent cutoff are two first-timers who had better cases for the Hall than many realize — Robin Ventura (7 votes) and Kevin Appier (1 vote).
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
The Red Sox seem to like to cluster their offseason news events.
One day after reaching preliminary agreement with Adrian Beltre and the same day they designated Mike Cameron their Opening Day center fielder, the Red Sox have traded Casey Kotchman to Seattle for Bill Hall, a prospect and cash. Yes, the cash is going toward the Red Sox, which is a bit of a switch. Hall's tab is being mostly paid for by Milwaukee; presumably, the Mariners are forwarding that cash on to Boston.
If you're keeping track at home, that's Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland for
Adam LaRoche Casey Kotchman Bill Hall and a prospect — all since July 22.
I think Dave Cameron likes the Sox signing:
Beltre isn’t just a good defender. He is in the conversation of the
best defensive third baseman of all time. Since 2002, the first year we
have UZR data available here on the site, Beltre has put up a total of
+104.5. That’s an average of +14 per 150 games over an eight year span.
Forget complaints about small sample size or year to year variations –
+14 UZR/150 over eight years is impossible to fluke.
It isn’t just the numbers, either. When you watch Beltre play third
base, you are amazed at the things he can do. He has perfected the
charge on a bunt – no one in baseball comes in on the ball as well as
he does. His lateral range is hilarious at times, as he regularly
fields balls that are hit directly at the shortstop, just because he
can. He has a great arm, often throwing lasers across the field without
transferring his weight, showing pure arm strength.
But don’t take my word for it – take the word of the fans who filled out Tom Tango’s scouting report project.
Beltre grades out as the best third baseman in the game, rating a 4.56
out of a possible 5, and only five players in the game were graded out
higher than Beltre.