Random Musings

Thoughts upon my return from an early Thanksgiving with the in-laws/recapping a busy weekend in baseball:

  • 8 years, $136M. I’m not dogging on the Dice-K bid because I love it. But leave it to the Chicago Cubs to make a $51M outlay just to talk to a pitcher who’s never thrown a pitch in MLB look downright brilliant.
  • If SF can be criticized for being a member of the Flat Earth Society for his reservations about BABIP, then Tony Masarotti must still believe the earth is held up by an elephant standing on the back of a turtle. How else to explain Masarotti’s dismissal of such a new-fangled techno stat as on-base percentage in questioning Drew’s production potential? "Are walks really worth all that money?" he asks. There are two good arguments against the Red Sox signing Drew (injuries and personality), and Masarotti hits both of them, but it’s odd to try to minimize the production of someone who consistently hits .280/.400/.500 (162-game average: 27 HR, 27 2B). You don’t get there just by walking a lot, Tony.
  • Two schools of thought on Manny Ramirez’s suddenly bargain-basement contract (if Soriano is worth $17M a year, how much is an actual Hall of Fame hitter who can hit the ball consistently from season to season worth? $25M? $28M?): 1. Manny is suddenly much more attractive to other teams, allowing the Sox to get more in return and pick up less of his contract in a trade with, say, the Angels or White Sox. 2. Manny is suddenly much more attractive to the Red Sox because replacing his production would require spending the same or more money on a less-productive hitter. Which wins out? You make the call!
43 comments… add one
  • Regarding 162 game average for Drew, fine if you want to think of it that way. It will be a fun mental exercise projecting what Drew may have done on the field during the 42 or so games per season when he’s not playing.
    The Cubs supposed lunacy in offering Soriano $17M/year contract doesn’t make Boston look brilliant regarding Matsuzaka in any way. It also doesn’t make Manny a bargain-basement player; he’s still getting 3M more per year than Sori (20 M averaged over his eight year; Manny is still owed ~38 million over the next two years of his contract prior to incentives, club option 20M in 09/10). Perhaps the Cubs FO may end up having overpaid by a million or two per year (or more); we’ll see in a few years. I guess they figure a strong spray hitter in hitter-friendly Wrigley will make a mighty fine trio with D Lee and A. Ramirez.
    Soriano has not been that inconsistent the past couple seasons, if you look at his numbers the past few years. Even in his off year in 2004 (his first year in Texas) he was still integral to that team battling strongly for the western crown. He’s the only 40/40/40 guy in the league. Soriano has been consistently healthy.
    I’m not trying to knock Ramirez; just don’t short Soriano. Sure he k’s a lot. Sure he would rather swing than take a walk (but he rarely grounds into double plays). He’s still an exciting talent with a bat and on the paths. Check his numbers.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 7:46 pm
  • http://firstinning.com/players/Chien-Ming-Wang-511/
    Chien Ming Wang- History coming yo the Majors and he’s yankees true homegrown unlike Matsuzaka. Redsox are copycats.
    Wang $300,000 = priceless
    Matsuzaka – $100 million

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 8:24 pm
  • Traaaaade meeeee!!!!

    Manny Ramirez November 20, 2006, 8:32 pm
  • Andrew: I can easily see your comment bringing back that argument about what constitutes “homegrown.” Wang was an amateur FA signing, not a draftee, and the only historic aspect about him of note is that he has had the most success of any Taiwanese MLB player (there have been three). He’s not the first player, and he’s not the first starter.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 8:35 pm
  • But Wang’s still Considered a Yankee Homegrown? yes or no???

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 8:39 pm
  • Andrew: that’s debatable, but I would say no, he’s not. If you say that Wang is homegrown signed as a amateur free agent, then perhaps everyone signed via posting should be as well. I don’t know. It doesn’t make a difference in how I regard a player whether they are homegrown or acquired through trade once they get to the team. It only means that in the time that I allocate to following baseball, I’m much more likely to know what happens with a young draft talent in the Yankees system than I am in another team’s system. If I got paid to follow baseball (wouldn’t that be sweet?) I would track other team’s farms as well. I still don’t think that because a player comes up and through a system, it matters much. I believe Seinfeld coined the phrase that we “root for laundry.”

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 8:49 pm
  • edit: “..don’t think that because a player comes up and through a system that it matters to me more than if he did not

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 8:51 pm
  • No, Your dumb my friend and don’t know baseball. Wang’s is only making major minumum slary unlike the Copycats Redsox won the bidding and posting…

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 8:53 pm
  • No, Your dumb my friend and don’t know baseball. Wang’s is only making major minumum salary unlike the Copycats Redsox won the bidding and posting…

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 8:53 pm
  • Wang’s is a Yankee Homegrown, accept it, Matsuzaka wasn’t..

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 8:55 pm
  • Re: Traaaaade meeeee!!!!
    It would have to be one helluva package traded for you that would not constitute lunacy, Manny.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 8:56 pm
  • Matsuzaka was bought “Blood Money” by Redsox… lol

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 8:56 pm
  • No, Your (sic) dumb my friend and don’t know baseball
    I do not recall ever claiming anything that would contradict either your first or third assertion in that statement, and with better research on your part of my posting history, you would no doubt be able to mount a strong case against me. Your second assertion is libelous.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 9:05 pm
  • Andrew, have you been drinking tonight? Normally your arguments make sense, but tonight, they’re a bit on the rediculous side.
    I don’t count Varitek or Lowe as Red Sox farmhands, but they both definitely were. They both made the minimum at one time or another( along with every player), and when they were able, they cashed in. The fact that Wang makes the minimum doesn’t mean that he’s cheap – it means that he hasn’t been afforded the opportunity to cash in.
    FWIW, Papelbon made about the minimum as well, but we’re not throwing that in Yankee faces when when we compare him to RJ are we? And, I’d be willing to wager that, if asked, nearly every team out there would rather spend that money on Papelbon. I’m just not sure where you’re going with that line of reasoning. Do you think Wang is going to resign at that price because of his loyalty and devotion to the Yankees?
    Also, as far as the “copycat” thing, I have to ask what you mean? Is every single team that puts in a valid interest to an aging, on the downside starting pitcher a copycat to the Yankees? Is every team that wins the race to signing a free agent a copycat to the Yankees? Is every player who wears a hat a copycat to the guys who did it before him? It’s a business that requires all teams do a very similar line of work, at which time, in an insane conspiracy to turn a profit and win a championship, said teams may sign free agents. Does that mean they’re all “copycats” to your beloved Yankees? Did the Yankees write the book on how to run a baseball team, and no other team has the right to do what they have, will, or ever will do without being called copycats?
    And, what the hell is “blood money”?

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:13 pm
  • Brad: Don’t confuse Andrew with Andrews

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 9:14 pm
  • Blah Blah !! Don’t touch me Mr Evil Gerbil. I don’t want germs on me…

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 9:19 pm
  • oh jeez. Good call, AG. I totally made that mistake there.
    I was really baffled by the comments, and figured maybe I was onto something with the drinking thing. Sorry, Andrew(s).
    Andrew, please see the above comments, as they are about you. Also, try to stay away from calling anyone (esp. AG) stupid, when you can’t put together a good sentence to do so. At least read what you wrote, and ask yourself “does this make any sense whatsoever” before you hit the submit button.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:20 pm
  • The Copycat are Redsox because The entered Asia Market like yankees. They are Jealous what Yankees Pitchers Chien Ming Wang did this year and hving sucesss.

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 9:21 pm
  • Oh man. It’s right down the middle.
    A) Wang is from Taiwan, not Japan.
    B) The Red Sox once had this guy from “asia” throw a no-hitter long before Wang came along.
    C) Ichiro – Mariners. Enough said.
    D) Every word does not start with caps.
    E) Did you not see the “does this make sense..” thing, or are you just ignoring it?

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:26 pm
  • http://www.redsoxdiehard.com/players/lowe.html
    On July 31, 1997, Derek Lowe was traded along with catcher Jason Varitek to the Boston Red Sox for right-handed reliever Heathcliff Slocumb. Lowe made his Red Sox debut on September 1, 1997, in Montreal.
    Oops Varitek homegrown like Jeter, Why Does He deserved to be a captain. The captain should be Redsox mascot. lol

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 9:31 pm
  • The first asian player to play in the majors was Masanori Murakami, who played a brief stint with the San Francisco Giants in 1964. There was a contract imbroglio with Ford Frick that almost led to a complete embargo to US-Japanese baseball relations. Future “copycat signings include” Hideo Nomo (Dodgers, arguably most successful asian pitcher ever). Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle, first position player signed, no doubt most successful asian player ever). Neither signed by NY.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 9:32 pm
  • It just keeps coming down the middle!
    Both Varitek and Lowe were traded and played in the Red Sox farm system, much like Wang, before ever coming to the Boston Red Sox. Just a ‘bit more google-ing on your part, and you’d have it, Andrew. See where I’m going here, buddy? All three were not drafted by the organization, all three played in the minors of said organization(s), and all three contibute to thier respective teams today. Were they “homegrown”? Nope.
    Besides, the only thing homegrown in baseball is well, nothing anymore.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:36 pm
  • AG, is the person, Andrew, somone you’ve made up for the rest of us to easily defeat in bloggerbattle? This person can’t be a real, O2 breating human being. I refuse to belive that Andrew is real. If he is, I hope he has a nametag or a net on his head, or some kind of identifiable trademark so he’s easily recognized by the rest of society.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:41 pm
  • Wang wasn’t traded. He was developed from yankees farm system. Get your fact straight Brad….. Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe was traded, they weren’t homegrown.. lol copycats. Jeter is named captain and suddenly Redsox named Ex Mariner Varitek captain. waht a concidence.. Lol

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 9:41 pm
  • Brad, I’m not anywhere near that good.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 9:47 pm
  • I never said Wang was traded, Andrew. When saying “much like Wang”, I meant that the three all ended up in the majors through the same path – a new farm system, not a draft.
    Also, I was captain of my high school and collge teams – was my school and University copycats? Dude, you can’t be serious.
    I’ll counter with this: Aren’t the Yankees the copycats of every coach or organization to ever name a captain of their teams throughout the history of all sports?
    Sounds stupid, right?

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:49 pm
  • You’re correct Andrew, Wang wasn’t traded. He was purchased, just like many other amateur free-agent signings. You are correct that he started in the minor league system, which therefore may constitute home-grown, if one would want to look at it that way, and if that makes one whit of difference.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 9:52 pm
  • Was Wang Purchased With Blood Money by Yankees? lol.
    Is there anything worse than “lol”?

    Brad November 20, 2006, 9:55 pm
  • No , He’s making $300,000 unlike Evil Empire Jr, The Redsox bought Matsuzaka for $100 million worth of blood money…

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 10:01 pm
  • Who’s blood?
    Okay, I’m feeling dumber for even being the other half of this discussion. It’s like my brain is going haywire with synaptic firestorms just trying to wrap itself around the stupidity. You win. I’m out.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 10:06 pm
  • now, call the nurse and get the sleepytime medicine. You have a big day of finger-painting and drooling on yourself tomorrow.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 10:08 pm
  • AG, I’ll try to raise the IQ level of the thread by actually trying to make rational points, with correct grammar and punctuation and all! (The typos might still be bad though).
    Regarding 162 game average for Drew, fine if you want to think of it that way. It will be a fun mental exercise projecting what Drew may have done on the field during the 42 or so games per season when he’s not playing.
    In Drew’s case, I think the 162-game average is instructive because while he’s been injured for much of his career, he has not had what I’d consider a troublesome injury in three seasons (2005 was lost to a HBP broken hand). So there are two ways to derive an idea of how Drew will do this season if healthy — which of course is the rub. One is Masarotti’s highly disingenuous note that Drew averages fewer than 20 HR per season. While technically accurate, it misleads the reader into believing Drew is no better than, say, Tad Iguchi. In reality, Drew’s production is better than that, closer to Grady Sizemore or Johnny Damon this year. Granted, he has to stay healthy to rech the 162-game average, but based on recent history, he has a better chance to do that than not — and I really just took exception to Masarotti’s apparent belief that Drew is just a .280 hitter who walks a lot. Completely inaccurate.
    The Cubs supposed lunacy in offering Soriano $17M/year contract doesn’t make Boston look brilliant regarding Matsuzaka in any way. It also doesn’t make Manny a bargain-basement player; he’s still getting 3M more per year than Sori …
    That $3M is part of the deferred portion of Manny’s contract paid out over something like 20 years. All that Manny will receive in 2007 is $17M. And for the same money, I’ll take Ramirez over Soriano any day. How about Rodriguez, who like Ramirez has something nine consecutive seasons with at least 30 HR and 100 RBI? Soriano and Rodriguez are the same age, yet the Yankees will be paying Rodriguez less money than the Cubs will pay Soriano next season.
    As for comparing to the DM signing, really only time will tell. I was exaggerating a bit for effect. If it’s my team, I’d rather spend what it takes in tax-free money to bring a potential 26-year-old pitching ace, risk accepted, than spend close to triple that for a 31-year-old slugger who has little chance of being anything close to that halfway through the deal.
    I guess they figure a strong spray hitter in hitter-friendly Wrigley will make a mighty fine trio with D Lee and A. Ramirez.
    I agree that at least for the next two years, the Cubs will have a very good heart of the lineup. Just let me know when all that money for Soriano strikes out Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard.
    Soriano has not been that inconsistent the past couple seasons, if you look at his numbers the past few years. Even in his off year in 2004 (his first year in Texas) he was still integral to that team battling strongly for the western crown. He’s the only 40/40/40 guy in the league. Soriano has been consistently healthy.
    A guy who hits home runs and steals bases is very easy to overrate if he can’t show any plate discipline (which Soriano has not) and if he gets thrown out more than 25 percent of the time (which Soriano does). Compared with the big Manny and A-Rod deals — which were given to players who performed exceptionally well for long periods of time and were still under 30 at the time of their megacontracts — this is a loser. Big time.

    Paul SF November 20, 2006, 10:21 pm
  • I should called The FBI investigated how The Redsox Won Bidding with Matsuzaka. The Owner John Henry and Bud Selig are best friends.The Rivalry between Yankees and Redsox , Mlb wants to signed with boston and goes to Boston.. Redsox probably change their bid to $50 million. There’s consipiracy Theory . How Did the Buster Olney know The redsox won the Bidding especially with The sealed bid. Hmmm interesting?
    How many years left on John Henry’s life? I swear to god I hope He suffers a concussion and nevers wakes up again….

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 10:23 pm
  • I should called The FBI investigated how The Redsox Won Bidding with Matsuzaka. The Owner John Henry and Bud Selig are best friends.The Rivalry between Yankees and Redsox , Mlb wants to signed with boston and goes to Redsox . Redsox Knew the Yankees are interested with Matsuzaka. By Bidding more than $51 million and 1 dollar . Redsox could never lose. Redsox probably change their bid to $50 million. There’s consipiracy Theory . How Did the Buster Olney know The redsox won the Bidding especially with The sealed bid. Hmmm interesting?
    How many years left on John Henry’s life? I swear to god I hope He suffers a concussion and nevers wakes up again….

    Andrew November 20, 2006, 10:25 pm
  • Paul,
    Interesting points, but I can’t see Soriano as a loser, not with the unique numbers he has and likely will continue to post. More later. I’m off to a party.

    attackgerbil November 20, 2006, 10:42 pm
  • On a wholly unrelated note, anyone see the segment on CNBC this afternoon about John Henry’s finanical misfortune this year? Apparently all his foreign currency investment funds have hit the fan this year.

    Eric November 20, 2006, 10:49 pm
  • Paul,
    I have to agree with AG. While Soriano’s numbers may not be what his contract suggests, he’s a valuable commodity to a team with declining attendance, little to no interest from true baseball fans anymore in a city it used to own, and a very new and inspired firepot manager.
    By getting Soriano, they’ve essentially gotten another Sammy Sosa. A thin-skinned, poor defensive power hitter, but a name that millions will wear on T-Shirts and Jerseys.
    On Drew, I’m torn. I have to see where the detractors are coming from, but I also know they guy can be very good. I think, in reality, that the Manny thing has some merit, and that Theo will possibly play Drew in LF. That’s not based on anything other than my gut feeling, but I think that most fans, the FO, and everyone else including teammates are tired of the schtick with ManRam. By putting Drew in LF, they limit his running for 50% of the games, and they still have a good hitter behind Ortiz. Plus, you can be sure that for whomever they’re trading Manny for will be cause for fewer runs being scored anyhow (ie – great pitching).
    I do think the past couple injuries with Drew are, as you say, not his own fragility. The pitch he broke his hand would have broken the hand of whomever it hit. If he’s healthy, he’s a great hitter and OBP machine. That’s the risk that the FO has to inherit if the sign him, but it can’t be worse than Trot. Nothing is as fragile as Trot. He’s like a truckload of eggs on a dirt road every single year.
    Very good point on Chicago pitching. They better hope Soriano hits a ton, because they’re going to need every bit of it.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 11:01 pm
  • John Henry’s finanical misfortune this year?
    I didn’t see it, but I did read somewhere that Mr. Henry has no more than 15% of his worth in one place. This means that no matter how terrible one aspect of his business does, the other 85% probably swallow it for the year. For sure, his Red Sox business is doing better than okay, unless of course one thinks that the 50mill to negotiating rights for DM put him in some kind of debt.
    Multi-billionaires don’t have bad years. They have bad deals, or bad investments, but normally the years are okay.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 11:05 pm
  • CNBC said he had a bad year. I don’t know what else to tell you.

    Eric November 20, 2006, 11:08 pm
  • Oh, I wasn’t disputing what you heard, Eric.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 11:09 pm
  • PS – I think I keep Plummer of the younger Manning, Spidey. ha.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 11:31 pm
  • of = over.

    Brad November 20, 2006, 11:32 pm
  • Good god, I think *I* could’ve played QB over Eli tonight. Ugliness….

    Manny Ramirez November 21, 2006, 12:06 am

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