Monthly Archives: December 2012

Edwin Jackson’s Deal With The Cubs Sounds About Right

Sometimes I see things, and I just think “oh, that can’t be right” and then I consider it and I think “yeah, I guess that’s right.”

Edwin Jackson is only 29 years old? That can’t be right. He came up at 19 and…wow, yeah, I guess that’s right.

Edwin Jackson was on the Rays World Series team in 2008? That can’t be right. I don’t remember him starting a game against Philadelphia…and…but….no, yeah, I guess that’s right.

Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter against the Rays? Totally believable. He did it with 8 walks and on 149 pitches? Oh, that can’t be right, I mean no manager would leave him in for that kind of….yeah….I remember now….yeah, I guess that’s right.

Edwin Jackson signed a four-year deal with the Cubs? Edwin Jackson who has been traded more than the Steve Sax rookie card that was in every deal Josh Pritchard and I made on my bedroom floor when we were nine? Four years? And he didn’t demand that a no-trade clause be included?  That can’t be right.

Yeah, I guess that’s right. The only people who are more relieved (w/r/t the no-trade clause) than Cubs brass has to be Edwin Jackson’s movers.

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The Slight Chance That Dayton Moore and Kevin Towers Know More Than Us Isn’t So Slight

My Comcast internet service went down for about 20 minutes yesterday. I called Comcast’s toll-free number to inquire. I was told there was an outage in my area. I am fairly certain that the internet, bogged down with fury from baseball fans over two trades that happened in two days, just got tired and said “I need a rest.”

I’m pretty sure all the tweeting and blogging and column-writing and message board arguing and Facebook posting and emailing and g-chatting about how stupid Dayton Moore and Kevin Towers are, the value of six-plus-years of a top prospect, the performance of James Shields, the stuff of Trevor Bauer, the need for a team to have two shortstops who can’t hit, and more, on just two trades, killed the internet. And that’s ok, because I needed a 20-minute break from the internet.

One thing I’d ask that everyone does–everyone who likes to give forceful and binary opinions about baseball on the internet, anyway–is stop and consider one thing. Well, two things.  Continue reading

Tim Raines Has Hall Of Fame Character

Ladies and gentlemen of the Baseball Writers Association of America who have a Hall of Fame vote,

I submit to you today a case for Tim Raines’ character. I understand that character is part of the criteria on which the BBWAA as a body asks you to individually vote, and that it is a part of the decision-making process you will undertake when filling out your ballots. Despite the black mark of early-career trouble with drug abuse, Raines’ is a positive story for the Hall of Fame, and can provide a wonderful life lesson for young visitors to the museum in Cooperstown. I’m asking that you vote Raines into the Hall, if character is playing a role in your vote, rather than to not vote for Raines under the notion that his character lacked. I believe that latter notion is wrong, and would like to talk briefly about why I believe that.

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Robinson Cano Knows His Worth

This is awesome. Per a source, “(Robinson Cano) knows he’s the best player on the Yankees….There’s no reason for him not to be paid that way.” I have two thoughts off the top.

1. Good point, Mr. Cano. Among position players in pinstripes this year, you doubled the fWAR of the second-best player, Nick Swisher, who is now a free agent and not likely returning. You were the second-best player in the American League last year, after Mike Trout.

2. Hoo boy. That’s a lot of money. An extension between Cano and the Yankees that would take effect in 2014 and make him the highest-paid Yankee would amount to annual salaries of $26 million in 2014, $23.125 million in 2015, and $25 million each in 2016 and 2017 (this is assuming CC Sabathia’s vesting option for 2017, at $25 million, happens) plus one dollar each year.

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A Humble Proposal Re The Baseball Hall Of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award

I do not support in the least the moralizing, sermonizing, and character-judging being done by BBWAA’s members over the Hall of Fame. It is taking place on their ballots and publicly, as they rush to write columns and post tweets damning players they believe to have used PEDs. “Cheaters,” they are calling them. This year as in the past they will fail to cast ballots that are backed by rational analysis and will instead cast votes rooted in self-righteous disgust. A disgust directed at ex-players who they wrongly believe tarnished something that was spotless.

If Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Jeff Bagwell do not belong in the Hall of Fame because of PED suspicion, then there is a larger group who similarly don’t deserve reward or association with the Hall: the baseball writers.

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Dayton Moore’s Moves And The Kansas City ” Payroll Pinch”

I have ranted. I have ranted some more. And I’m not even emotionally attached to the Kansas City Royals. Hell, I grew up a Cardinals fan, and 1985 still stings. If I’m not apathetic to the Royals from a fan perspective, I’m negative toward them. As I get older and my fan fires die, my love of baseball and the ins and outs of front office machinations and player development grows, overpowering any tribal fan-based loyalties I had in the past. I’m more a fan of players now than I am of teams, regardless which colors they wear. And I have become more a fan of General Managers (Andrew Friedman, Jon Daniels, Jed Hoyer) than I am of players on the team I loved above all else when I was younger. An error in the field by a replacement-level shortstop has ceased to generate an emotional spark in me. However, when General Managers do inefficient, wasteful things, I jeer. When they do smart, efficient things, I cheer. I’m more a fan of smart baseball at this stage in my life than I am of any individual team. I’m not upset that Tim Raines isn’t in the Hall of Fame because I love Tim Raines, I’m upset he’s not in the Hall because of the inability of writers to analyze his career by looking at the value he produced and then simply putting it in the context of his peers and the current Hall.

That’s not to say I’m better or worse than your more traditional, typical fan who supports the home nine no matter what, just that this is how I look at baseball now. And I’m fuming over how poorly Dayton Moore is running the Kansas City Royals.

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The Rumored Three-Way At The Winter Meetings And Driving Yourself Nuts On The Internet

It’s hard to say who the big winners and losers are in the Winter Meetings. I think you could peg Michael Bourn as a loser, since several outfielders have been signed or traded and Bourn, the best one available, is still without a deal. Especially daunting for him and agent Scott Boras is the fact that the market for Bourn is shrinking. Maybe add Josh Hamilton to the list, with all reports indicating that a few teams kinda sorta like him, and the one that seems most interested–the Seattle Mariners–is the fallback to Hamilton’s fallback plan.

Probably the biggest losers (and this is not to call these folks losers, as I’m one of them) are the interested parties at home, hitting refresh on the MLB Trade Rumors website far too often, only to be repeatedly informed that the Dodgers and Rangers are the leading candidates for Zack Greinke, that Texas GM Jon Daniels wants Justin Upton real bad, and several minor deals for players like James Loney and Randy Choate.

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Let’s, Y’know, Get Off Royals GM Dayton Moore’s Back For Discussing Wil Myers In Trades brief note: I’m not a Kansas City Royals fan. I have no emotional attachment to the team. I have two interests in them: as a baseball fan in general, and as someone who made a goofy prop bet on them in January, 2010.

A few years ago I made that bet with a friend. The bet I placed was for $100 and my position was: “The Kansas City Royals, between 2013-2015, will win the American League Central twice and will go to the World Series once.” The position came from my belief in youthful excellence in baseball, and from Kansas City’s abundance of it, especially in the realm of pitching.

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Live! Your Live Winter Meeting Updates Live! (With Slight Delay)

Update: 12:08PM EST: The Royals have money for a #1 starter, and someone on the internet whose job security depends on clicks and traffic and stuff  just equated Anibal Sanchez to a #1 starter. Check back for more!

Josh Hamilton is still a free agent.

Anibal Sanchez is still a free agent.

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In MLB’s Free Agent Game, A Change Is Gonna Come (No, Oops, It Came. It Totally Came.)

Last week the Tampa Bay Rays spent money many didn’t think they had to lock up Evan Longoria, the best third baseman in baseball, through five more sessions of Congress. The New York Mets followed suit, extending David Wright, the second best third baseman in baseball, for almost as long from today.

The Rays move was surprising, as it was when Pittsburgh extended their franchise player, Andrew McCutchen, earlier this year. It’s a trend that’s spreading throughout baseball. The Rockies/Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies/Carlos Gonzalez, Twins/Joe Mauer,  and Cubs/Starlin Castro types of deals are becoming more common. There has been a change in just three years.

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