OK, sorry about the late start. I had to park three counties away from my building. ESPN needs to build more parking garages! But enough of that, let's talk some baseball.
Big Tigers fan here and I want to believe, but, well, how freaking bad is the rest of the AL Central? Detroit is .500 against all teams that aren't in their division, and my guess is the run differential says the same. So, is Detroit really the 2nd best team in the AL?
I think the three best teams are all in the AL East. What record would Tampa have playing the Royals and Twins 36 times instead of the Red Sox and Yankees? I should do a post on the worst divisons ever ... it's possible the AL Central ranks up there. (Worst ever though: 1994 AL West. All four teams under .500 when the strike hit.)
The Braves are ok, right?
4.5 with 14 games left ... I think they'll hold on, although their schedule is tougher than St. Louis'. Braves have FLA, NYM, @FLA, @WAS, PHI, although they probably miss two of the big three in that final series. Cards have @PIT, @PHI (4), NYM, CHC, @HOU. I still say the Braves hold on. Our playoff odds predictor gives STL a 6 percent chance of making it, which sounds about right.
Is Clayton Kershaw the best pitcher in baseball?
Kalispell, MT -- one of the most beautiful places in the country. He just very well may be. Chatters, what do you think?
David, thanks so much for your thoughts/article on LaRussa. We have been screaming this for months. NOt arguing the guy wasnt one of the best ever, just keep it simple Tony. Quit over thinking it. Keep up the great work!
Thanks, Ryan. Obviously, the players have to perform. If Rzepcyznski does the job, nobody is second-guessing La Russa, but I think the bottom line is he didn't get either of his two best relievers in the game until the Pirates had already tied it up. Would you bring him back? Personally, I just think it's time for the Cardinals to change directions. It's hard for any manager to stay in one place for so long.
I saw a quote from Joe Girardi about Austin Romine being a possibility for the playoffs if Cervelli doesn't come back from his concussion in time. I was under the impression that a player had to be on the roster by September 1st to be considered for the playoff roster. Romine just got called up, am I missing something? What are the rules for playoff eligibility?
You can replace an injured player with anybody, even if they weren't on the DL. That's why a lot of teams will stash a couple players on the DL on Aug. 31, so they can be "replaced." The best non-September guy I remember was K-Rod with the Angels in 2002. He wasn't on the Aug. 31 roster (didn't make his MLB debut until later in September), but replaced an injured pitcher and of course was lights out in the playoffs.
Hey David. Is a projected rotation of Buehrle, Peavy, Danks, Humber and Sale realistic? If so, what is Gavin Floyd's trade value? Is it more likely they keep Floyd and deal Danks? Thanks as always.
Buehrle is a free agent, so no guarantee he'll be back. I had thought he was interested in going to St. Louis (his hometown), but with the Cards just signing Carpenter, their rotation looks set for 2012, assuming Wainwright is healthy. I think Floyd's trade value is pretty decent. He's actually pitched better than his 4.35 ERA suggests (1.18 WHIP is career-best), he's healthy (hasn't missed a start in four years) and signed to a decent contract ($7M in 2012, $9.5M team option for 2013).
The Al Central is so bad that I think Detroit makes the playoffs even without Verlander, thus eliminating him from MVP discussion. Thoughts?
I don't follow the logic. So an MVP can only come from a team in a close pennant race? Why?
David you do know that the Tigers went 6-1 against the Rays this year don't you?
The Tigers went 1-2 against the Mets, Pirates and Dodgers and 4-6 against the Mariners, so does that make those teams better?
I think people should remember that at the beginning of this hot streak, in late August, the Tigers went into Tampa and won 3 out of 4 from the Rays. I know that most of this hot streak has come at the expense of the Tribe, Sox and Twins but I doubt it would be much different if they were playing the Red Sox and Yankees instead. The hitting has been off the charts and I see no AL staff capable of stopping that.
Another Tigers question here...what would your postseason rotation be? Does Fister slot in before or after Scherzer?
It's all-Tigers chat. I'd go Fister. More consistent and Scherzer's home run issues would concern me against the Yankees or Red Sox (especially in Yankee Stadium). On the other hand, managers love power pitchers for October, so I can see Scherzer getting the nod.
Let Kershaw put those numbers up while NOT facing the Giants and Padres six times a year each and then we'll talk.
What about the NL West in 2005? Padres won the division with a 82-80 record and the rest of the division was awful.
4.5 with 14? The Rays are only 3.5 or so with same left. You think the Red Sox are alright too? That race is more interesting since they play each other 4 more times I think....What do you think?
Right, the Rays get the Red Sox four games starting Thursday, which of course gives them a much better chance than St. Louis catching Atlanta. Beckett threw off the mound yesterday, and I'll assmuming he'll be ready to go in that series, which is a huge lift obviously for Boston.
On the one hand, Kershaw gets credit for beating Lincecum three times. However, he was also pitching to the Giants offense, the worst in the league. To me, a pitcher pitches against the other team's offense, NOT the other team's pitcher.
David, any thoughts on the whole Mets cap flap? I'm not from New York, and I understand Torre's explanation that they wanted to keep the caps consistent. But it seems to me that if the New York (and for that matter Washington) teams want to wear special caps on the anniversary of 9/11, they should be allowed to because, you know, those cities were actually attacked! I don't understand why anyone would object. It's clear the whole thing has been blown out of proportion, but ...
I think MLB dropped the ball here. Driving in to work today, I heard a good interview with Jeff Francoeur on MLB Radio and he said he would have just worn the NYPD hats and taken the one-day fine. Maybe easy to say not being in that situation, but I liked that response. Somebody also pointed out that Joe Saunders wore a Virginia Tech after the shooting tragedy there a couple years ago, so kind of an inconsistent ruling from MLB.
The 2006 NL Central was pretty awful too.
How's your fantasy team doing? Who's your team's MVP?
Fifth out of 18 (in a league of ESPN fantasy experts), not too bad since I was hammered by injuries -- Posey, Sizemore, Choo and Clay Buchholz. That's a lot of salary on the DL this year. Teams MVPs were Weaver, A-Gone and Cano, with Francouer ($1) the big surprise. Also picked up Fernando Salas early on on waiver. OK, back to real baseball!
Do you think the jays are biding their time and saving their dollars for a run at Joey Votto?
A friend of mine in the Canadian media insists the Jays are going to make a big push for Votto this winter. The Reds do have Yonder Alonso, but would they consider trading Votto? I have my doubts, and I'm not sure the Jays have the talent to match up.
So long as we're playing this game, DET is 1-5 vs BOS, 4-3 vs NYY, and 6-3 vs TEX and slated for BOS in ALDS.
David, comparing the Tiger records against the teams that you did was not a very good rebuttal. Didn't the Colorado Rockies demonstrate the importance of being hot down the stretch?
I believed the reader was suggesting Detroit was better than Tampa since the Tigers won the season series, thus my rebuttal. That has nothing to do with being hot down the stretch. BTW, for every "hot" team, I can come up with a team that didn't play well down the stretch and still won/reached the World Series.
Team I remember off hand: 2000 Yankees, went 3-15 down the stretch, won the World Series.
The Phillies have averaged 4.54 runs a game this year, while the Brewers have averaged 4.36. Yet it seems the national story is about the Brewers high powered offense, what am I missing?
Right, it's not high-powered. It's mediocre -- 7th in NL in runs. Great 1-2 punch, but too many black holes to be "high-powered."
Isn't it interesting that the "where would they be without him" argument has faded a bit for Verlander because of how far ahead of the rest of the division the Tigers are? Now, you could argue that without Ellsbury or Pedroia, Boston would be behind Tampa making one of them the most important guy in the league. I love flawed logic.
I'm with you. Does Boston's decline "help" Ellsbury in the MVP race, since they're now in a playoff race? Ridiculous.
If The Rangers end up with the 3rd seed in the playoffs how much do you like the matchup of C.J WILSON VS CC SABATHIA, since that to me is the toss up of the series, and hopefully COLBY LEWIS continues to domintate the YANKEES?
I love C.J. Wilson. I think he's every bit the ace that Verlander or Sabathia is. OK, if Verlander is 100 percent, maybe Wilson is 98 percent, but you get the point. He has a 2.36 ERA on the road, has allowed only two HRs vs. left-handed batters all season.
Lewis worries me. Leads the AL with 33 HRs allowed. I assume your "dominate" the Yankees refers to last year's ALCS. He didn't face them this season.
For the record, the final scores in the games Kershaw won over Lincecum: 2-1, 1-0, 2-1
Thanks, Al. I watched the first two of those and they were obviously terrific games. I don't if Kershaw is THE best pitcher right now (he may be), but I think he may be the most fun to watch. Well, Verlander is fun. And Lincecum. And Halladay. And ...
Hey David, got any predictions for who'll get undeserved gold gloves this year?
Hmm, good question. Could Jeter win again? I think Alcides Escobar may deserve it in the AL, but it usually takes a young player a couple years for his reputation to catch up to his actual performance. What about Granderson? There are so many great AL outfielders (Gardner, A. Jackson, Bourjos would be my three) that he shouldn't be considered, but great hitting often = Gold Glove.
David, I can't believe you're falling for this MVP-should-go-to-the-best-player nonsense! It's the most VALUABLE player, not the BEST player, which is somehow different! We all know that a guy's value is determined by having teammates who are good enough to win with your guy, but not so good that they would be able to with without him! DUH! /sarcasm
Don't discout Cano in the MVP race. Robbie has been en fuego!
By the way, I bet Jimmy Leyland goes with Scherzer first to "help the bullpen"...since Verlander and Fister typically go deep in the game and Scherzer and Porcello often do not.
Have you seen or will you see Moneyball? I enjoyed the book, but at no point, did I think to myself what an awesome movie it would make.
I'll go see it. Everyone I've talked to who has seen a preview said it was very good.
You hit the nail on the head regarding Tony LaRussa. He may be one of the best managers ever and deserves his eventual place in the HOF (as much for his innovations like the use of video as for his actual game managing). But what drives fans crazy about him are his weird foibles: over-managing, playing washed-up veterans over talented rookies, sticking with low OBP "scrappy players (see Miles, Aaron), carrying 12 or more pitchers so he can play his games (and then fretting that they're not all getting enough work), and his notoriously thin skin. He is a hard man to like, but you fear for the future if he leaves.
Well said, Bob.
How can you say the Jays' don't have the talent to match up? They have one of the best farm systems in the business.
They did have three guys in Keith Law's midseason top 50: C Travis D'Anaud (Reds don't need a C), P Henderson Alvarez (he could be one part of a trade, and P Drew Hutchison (spent most of year in Class A). But the Reds aren't going to trade Votto for Class A guys. They're a contender, so I think they would need young, MLB-ready or already proven talent. But maybe Alvarez, Hutchison and Adam Lind (.296 OBP? Yech) and something else would be enough. I don't know. Either way, the Reds and Jays should be two of the most interesting teams to watch this offseason.
Is 4 consecutive winning seasons enough to prove to St. Pete/Tampa Bay residents that the Rays are "for real" and the lack of relocation talk from Sternberg enough to let fans know that they're not going anywhere? 320+ wins for a team that had never gone above 70 wins in the 11 years before their first winning season is jaw-droppingly awesome.
Division titles past three years: Jays 2, Yankees 1, Red Sox 0.
Does Brett Lawrie get any ROY consideration?
Great six weeks, but not enough playing time in a year with several outstanding candidates (Hellickson, Pineda, Ackley, Trumbo, et al). But I absolutely love the bat. Imagine if they did get Votto and you have a 3-4-5 of Baustista, Votto and Lawrie!
With all due respect to Muzzy from Leicester, it is MVP, not MBP. The rules allow each voter to determine for themselves what valuable means. You take the rules you are given and run with them. I'm not defending any particular interpretation of valuable, just defending people's right to *have* an interpretation.
As a long-time baseball fan and TLR-watcher, I have to giggle when I hear everyone jumping off his bandwagon now. George Will did everyone a big disservice by making him out to be the smartest man in baseball; any "fair" assessment of TLR now would have to include his ridiculous penchant for starting beanball wars and looking the other way while his entire team was juicing in Oakland.
If the Jays go after Votto, the Reds could try to get D'Arnaud in the deal. That might be worth it to give up Votto.
The Reds already have two outstanding catching prospects in Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal, so I don't think they need a third. Seattle could use a catcher. How about a three-way trade involving Felix Hernandez somehow ... speaking of ...
Why wouldn't this trade make sense: Felix Hernandez for Bentances, Banuelos, Montero, Nunez, Hughes?
Think Seattle wishes they had Montero? Its a small sample size, but Smoak doesn't look like the hype, their offense is brutal
Smoak did try and play through a thumb injury most of the year, so I'll give him one more mulligan.
Who is the best fielding 3B in baseball, Polanco's play has been stellar, who else?
Polanco has been stellar. Longoria, Adrian Beltre is still terrific, Ryan Zimmerman ... the go who scores No. 1 on the defensive metrics -- both UZR and DRS (defensive runs saved) is, believe it or not, Pablo Sandoval.
As much as I'm interested in the concept of Moneyball, it's hard to imagine it will garner a lot of box office interest other than those who love to see Brad Pitt. It's the ultimate "inside baseball" story, which obviously doesn't translate into mainstream success. I guess the sabremetrics crowd will go see it 10 or 20 times, but that's not exactly a groundswell.
And the whole concept of movie star is overrated. Women may love Brad Pitt, but they don't want to go watch a movie about baseball. I think the hope is that it picks up momentum like "The Blind Side" a couple years (another Michael Lewis book, by the way), but that wasn't *really* a sports movie, so it drew men, women and teenagers.
I don't see anyone in the NL who can beat the Phillies more than one fluke game in an NL series. Disagree?
Just like they couldn't be beaten last year?
Does Zambrano's flameout clinch the Silver Slugger for Dan Hudson's .713 OPS and 14 RBIs?
Our first pitcher hitting question of the season! Dontrelle is hitting .406, but Hudson has to win it with the 14 RBIs.
What are the chances that Alex Avila gets a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove this year?
Yes to Silver Slugger, no to Gold Glove. That should go to Matt Wieters.
Speaking of the Blue Jays, will they ever give Travis Snider a chance to settle in, and does Rick Ank...I mean, Adam Loewen have a chance to stick around?
I think Snider needs a change of scenery. He looked like a future star a few years ago but the bat hasn't developed as expected. Loewen is a great. Actually very similar to Ankiel ... has power, low average, will strike out a ton, but maybe a decent fourth outfielder type.
Any chance Posada gets left off the postseason roster with the performance of Montero?
I think Posada does get left off. Unless you're going to start him at DH, he has no value, and right now I think Andruw Jones (against lefties) and Montero are better options. Chavez probably makes it since he can play the field in a pinch and then you have somebody like Dickerson who can pinch-run.
David, as much as Kershaw is awesome, if i had to have my dream rotation for 2012 (and only 20120), it would be Doc, Verlander, Felix, Lincecum and CC. Kershaw needs one more year of awesomeness to crack top 5, IMO. David - if you have KErshaw in there, who would you take out to make room?
Great question. Tough question. Hmm. I think I'd drop Lincecum. He gets a pretty good edge from his home park, his K rate is still excellent but in *slight* decline -- 10.5 to 10.4 to 9.8 to 9.4 this year -- and I think if you putt Felix and CC in the NL their numbers would be even better.
Exactly, David. I watched The Blind Side with my wife and she not only got it, she loved it. I'm not sure she would suffer through 10 minutes of my explanation of undervalued assets and the unappreciated value of Scott Hatteberg, even with Brad Pitt in the movie.
How do you even make a movie based on a guy whos give his team no chance of winning with such a weak lineup. Beane cut his starting 1B and 3B this year. It was pitching that won him games, Mulder, Zito, Hudson, Haren not his evaluation of terrible hitters.
I don't think that's completely fair. The pitching was great ... but so was the hitting. You don't win 102 and 103 games with pitching alone. What we've learned though is that it was the farm system that was the key, more so than Beane's genius: In a short time, Oakland produced Mulder/Zito/Hudson, plus Giambi, Chavez and Tejada.
No way Yankees make that trade. They're way high on Bentances and Banuelos, have to love what they've seen of Montero, and Hughes and Nunez are suspect right not. Hughes for health and Nunez for being a hole in the infield.
@Scott from Columbia: Historically, the title "most valuable player" was chosen because it sounded better, not because of any intent to give the award to anyone but the "best" player. Besides, any interpretation that concludes one player is more "valuable" than another who is demonstrably better is highly suspect.
You didn't answer the King Felix trade question! :) :)
I don't think the Yankees make that move. They're going to win close to 100 games without Hernandez, so why give up so much young talent?
Who would be your #3 guy in the playoffs for the Snakes? Collmenter's ERA is .4 less, but Saunders pitches deeper into the game and has postseason experience.
I'd probably go Saunders for the reasons you cited, but I could see it going either way. Everyone keeps expecting Collmenter to get hit, but it hasn't happened yet.
How sickening is it fo Indians fans to see Pomerantz's debut?
Snider Drabek Hechevaria Hutchson for Votto
Not even close. Snider and Drabek have seen their value go WAY down this year.
Are you a fan of any other sports besides baseball?
Sure, I watch a little bit of everything -- tennis, NHL, NFL, college football. Used to be a big Sonics fan when they were good in the '90s, but alas ...
Have two pitchers who were both A) Great and B) teammates ever had as similar seasons as Halladay (210.2 IP, 2.44 ERA, 29 BB, 204 K) and Lee (210.2 IP, 2.44 ERA, 41 BB, 211 K)? If Doc's on the "top 5" list, why not Cliff?
Right, no reason not to have Lee in there. Or even Hamels. Or Jered Weaver. There are some pretty awesome pitchers right now.
I realize it's fashionable to assume that Posada won't be on the post-season roster for NYY, but remember that he still has left-handed power and -- hard to imagine -- he can be an emergency third catcher, which actually is more useful in the playoffs than you might think.
Realistically though, who would the Yankees pinch-hit for? If you count the nine starters (let's say Montero at DH), plus A. Jones, Nunez, backup catcher and Chavez .. that's 13. Do they keep 14?
Re: Felix; the Yankees would make that trade any day. You can never have too much pitching, let alone one of the best pitchers on the planet. Also, prospects don't always pan out, you can give up a couple for a sure thing Ace in Felix.
Mike in LI is right, Cervelli may be done for the year with a Concussion, and they may ride into the postseason with Martin C, Montero DH/ Backup C, and Posada an emergency C/ pinch hitter
What about including Rasmus in a deal for Votto?
Possible ... Jays don't really have another good CF option though, do they? Reds priorities would be: MLB-ready starting pitcher, SS, 3B (Rolen getting old) and a big bat for LF.
What would you end Moneyball on? Eric Byrnes stomping away from home without having either touched the base or being tagged?
From what I understand, the condense the whole Moneyball era into one season, so we could end there or maybe they'll make the "flip" play into a Game 5, bottom-of-the-ninth play ...
Loved your article today about the 6 other good teams never to make it to the World Series... except I was a lazy ready and commented that the Indians should have been included. Could you make us your list of the best teams who ::DID:: make it to the WS and lost? Would love to see your take on that, thank you!
Yeah, 1954 Indians and 1995 Indians would be near the top. The 1906 Cubs were upset in the World Series by the "hitless wonders" White Sox. Also the 1969 Orioles -- 108 wins, upset by the Mets.
Offseason rumor had Snider and Drabek for Grienke, sigh.
What's the climactic scene in Moneyball? The A's draw 19 walks in a three game sweep of the Royals in Mid-July?
C'mon, that's only Act 3.
Juan Francisco hit a baseball OUT of GABP. Too bad the kid won't/can't take a walk.
Yeah, the power is apparently off the charts, but I don't think he's the answer at 3B. They'll probably give him a shot though.
From the criteria: ?There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.?The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931: (1) actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense; (2) number of games played; (3) general character, disposition, loyalty and effort; (4) former winners are eligible; and (5) members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.?
Why doesnt Milwaukee get the same "questioning" the Tigers get about the NL Central? Playing Houston and Chicago sure helps thier record. In fact the NL Central has a worst winning percentage than the AL Central.
By the way, speaking of hot teams, be sure to check out Jayson Stark's piece. He backs up what I said about being "hot" not actually being that important.
Hosmer for ROY!
Gose maybe an option 2 years from now, same with hech, maybe you could part with escobar and rasmus, but they may be too much.
Gose has a lot of developing to do, but he does have all the tools, as they say. But they got Rasmus so cheaply, I think you give him a year away from La Russa and see if you do have a star on your hands.
Regarding King Felix, on the YES broadcast last night, the only pitcher to ever do better then him in first 10 starts against the Yanks was AJ Burnett - and we see how well that worked out. Why would they take a flyer on someone similar?
Jimenez was getting the fastball up to 98 the other night. Is the velcity aspect overblown? Could it just be he needs his mechanics tweaked in the off season with Belcher?
I still like Jimenez. He has 48 SO in 47 IP with Cle, so the stuff and velocity are fine.
Re Posada -- it's a bit of a stretch, but he could PH for Nunez, Andruw Jones or Cervelli/Romine against a RH. One of the challenges is that no one knows what's going to happen with A-Rod, who I think is much more banged up that he anyone will admit. In the 5-game series DS where you only need 3 starters, the Yanks only need 12 pitchers, max, so might as well keep him as insurance. It's better than having Ramiro Pena or Romine.
Good point about A-Rod. Does that mean you need to carry Nunez plus another guy who can play third, just in case? I think the Yanks will still need four starters for the Division Series though. CC can start on three days' rest, but you're not going to do that with anyone else. Depending on how the dates line up, they may need four. I love dissecting rosters. Personally, I'd go with 14/11, but it seems most teams go 13/12, even though that 12th pitcher rarely gets used.
You can't give Gold Gloves to both Jackson and Bourjos since they are both CFs and Rawlings has changed the rules this year.
Is that true? I didn't realize that. So you have to give one to a LF and a RF? That should be a lock for Gardner ... and maybe Francouer (16 assists or something like that). Ichiro does NOT deserve a GG this year. He's been very shaky out there.
Best young lefty in the AL East, David Price or Ricky Romero?
If only they'd meet in a playoff game to determine once and for all ...
What about Lind, Hechevarria and Marsnick for Votto?
Blue Jays fans, you do realize that Adam Lind isn't very good, right?
My prediction for the MONEYBALL ending: Beane forsakes the money and glamour of the Boston GM gig to stay in Oakland so he can be close to his daughter. The reason the movie ultimately got made has almost nothing to do with the A's or Billy Beane. It has everything to do with Michael Lewis (well, Brad Pitt, too). Or more specifically THE BLIND SIDE's box office take. Ending the movie on a family-positive note would be consistent with that.
As a life-long Angel fan, I still can't shake the depression over the Vernon Wells trade. Is there any chance in the world they could swing a trade for him? I'd almost take Zito and pay the difference in their contracts if it means just getting this hacker off the team and giving Trout the job outright.
I'm not an Angels fan, and the Vernon Wells trade depresses me as well.
What about starting a package with B Morrow for Votto?
You do realize he has a 5.12 ERA and has never come close to pitching 200 innings? That's the starting point for one of the best players in the game? That said ... Morrow is intriguing, but I think the Reds' staff is already full of enough No. 4 and 5 starters.
How about Heisey and Bailey for Bautista? (2 can play this game)
Is Adam Lind the same not very good as you described jacoby Ellsbury at the beginning of this year? Because I'll take that.
yes, we all knew Ellsbury would increase his home run total from eight to 26. Lind has four years in the majors, three with an OPS league average or worse. He's OBP the past two years is a horrible .291 and he has no defensive value. And I don't say Ellsbury wasn't any good, I said he was overrated. At least ... that's the way I remember it. :-)
Yep...has to be one LF, one CF, and one RF, and there's a minimum number of games at the position to qualify.
Thanks, Chris. Weird decision, if you ask me. There's a reason most guys play LF ... it's because they aren't good enough to play CF or RF. So now they get to win Gold Gloves. Kind of comical in a way. (Brett Gardner, however, is awesome out there.) As is Gerardo Parra in the NL. So you actually have two good candidates this year.
David, Speaking of King Felix and the Yankees, did you see him last night? He was not mentally in the ball game when he started getting hit a bit. The Yankees might be okay with that on the assumption that if they get Keing Felix, all their games will matter (and Montero had the reputation of being bored in AAA this year) but it was not a pretty sight.
I did watch the first few innings. I've seen that happen a few times this year with Felix. I was at game in Boston -- I think it was during Seattle's 17-game losing streak -- and Seattle actually scored a run in the first. But when Boston tied it in the bottom of the inning on a blooper, Felix looked defeated, his body language was horrible and he clearly lost his mental edge. Same thing last night. Sure, he's tired of years of poor run support, but he's had too many of those games this year.
Are the Mariners going to surprise some people next year? Ackley is getting all the press, but they've also added Kyle Seager, Trayvon Robinson, and Smoak is better than he's shown. That's the start of a decent offense, isn't it?
I was talking about the Mariners with my friend Jim Caple yesterday. He's more optimistic than I am. Those young guys have been striking out a TON lately, the pitching rotation is now a question with the trades of Fister and Bedard and the bullpen has little behind League. Seager profiles more as a good utility guy, Olivo is horrible at catcher, Smoak still has to prove he can hit, Carp may or may not be legit, Ichiro was bad, Gutierrez has to prove 2009 wasn't a fluke ... BUT, I'm much more optimistic than I was at the start of this season and at least you can root for the young guys instead of Chone Figgins.
To Mike on long Island. Nunez, Jones, Cervelli/Romine wont start and probably wont play in a short series. At least if you keep Romine, Pena, and/or Dickerson you get a player who can do more than occaisonally run into a fastball when batting lefthanded. In the event that a left handed batter was needed I would send up Chavez any way...
Alex Gordon is also awesome in left - more assists than Frenchy.
Talent for talent, Bautista for Votto! Fair?
Except Votto is three years younger, not an insignificant point.
Couldn't you make the argument that one year away from free agency Votto would be worth the same as Doc in a trade? 3 upper tier prospects. Or an Adrian Gonzalez package, what was that 4 higher end or so prospects.
Votto isn't a free agent until 2014.
If James Shields is available this offseason, would something like Alonso and Grandal be a good starting point for a trade with the Reds?
I'm not high on Alonso. He's already 24, didn't really show much power in Triple-A (12 homers in 358 ABs) and I believe there are some concerns on how he'll hit lefties. That doesn't mean others don't think he'll be a good player, but I'm not sure you trade Shields for a first baseman who may only profile as a Lyle Overbay type.
These trade suggestions have to stop. I haven't seen a single one mentioned that is remotely realistic.
It seems like its very popular to bash Billy Beane in anticipation of this movie. Unless the book is completely misleading, Billy Beane was the first GM to appreciate the value of OBP v. average, and to diagnose what stats are overvalued and what stats are undervalued. Its not that Billy got "lucky." He was ahead of the curve, but the curve has now caught up to him, and he hasn't figured another way ahead of it yet. And I'm a Nats fan.
I'm not sure it's fair to say he was the first GM to appreciate the value of OBP. The Yankees of the late '90s were built on that premise (Gene Michael wasn't the GM, but was instrumental in influencing the Yankee front office on the importance of OBP). Earl Weaver the Orioles of the '70s always stressed OBP. Beane was ahead of the curve and acquired high-OBP guys like Matt Stairs and John Jaha for nothing. And I'm not bashing him when I say he suddenly became less of a genius right when the Oakland farm system stop producing star players.
I do not want to trade Votto at all, but can you imagine how many homers Bautista would hit playing in GABP? It would be insane.
Back when Coors Field was COORS FIELD (before the humidor), I always wished the Rockies had picked up somebody like McGwire or Piazza, just to see what a masher like that would have done there (no offense to Todd Helton or Larry Walker).
How about this: Votto to San Francisco for Bumgarner, Belt, Surkamp
Now that seems more realistic than anything else I've seen. Reds could Alonso at 1B, Belt in LF, get two guys for the rotation ...
Yeah, LF's are the weak sisters of the OF, but 1B is the weak sister of the infield and nobody says you should give 4 infield GG's to Shortstops...
Fair enough. I think. BUT WHAT ABOUT TRADITION!?!?!?! :-)
OK, everyone ... have to run. Fun chat today. Thanks for the questions and comments.