A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Stuff White People Like

I'm back, but not for long. I'm off to go snowboarding and hopefully knock over some kids on the mountain. It's not like baseball started or anything, right?

As a peace offering, I give you this...Wouldn't 'Things White People Like' be a better title? I say yes, but who gives a fuck? Stereotyping works!

#68 Divorce

Most studies on the topic of divorce, focus in on the obvious. For instance the median age of divorce for white men is 30.5 and 29 for women. This is usually around the time when white people further over analyze their lives and look for change, even if some of the stuff that they accomplished, like having good credit, a high paying job, or the ability to purchase a hybird car are things that people from other ethnicities would love to have.

#67 Co-Ed Sports

On the surface, these events seem like friendly contests with everyone having a laugh. But these events are lurking with danger, and within them exists the possibility to ruin your reputation and hard earned status with white people.

If you are a poor athlete, rest easy. Co-ed sports were made for you!

But if you are reasonably skilled in sports, you have to be extremely careful how you approach your co-ed matches. If you try TOO hard (bowling over a female catcher, throwing a kickball EXTRA hard at someone) you come off as an aggressive, crazy guy. On the other hand, if you don’t try at all you come off as a jerk who thinks he’s above the game. The only solution is to approach the game like a point-shaving basketball player - play hard enough to be convincing, but not hard enough to win.

If you follow these rules, you will find yourself invited to the mandatory post-game drinks at a local bar where you will be photographed many times.

#66 Recycling

If you are in a situation where a white person produces an empty bottle, watch their actions. They will first say “where’s the recycling?” If you say “we don’t recycle,” prepare for some awkwardness. They will make a move to throw the bottle away, they will hesitate, and then ultimately throw the bottle away. But after they return look in their eyes. All they can see is the bottle lasting forever in a landfill, trapping small animals. It will eat at them for days, at this point you should say “I’m just kidding, the recycling is under the sink. Can you fish out that bottle?” And they will do it 100% of the time!

The best advice is that if you plan to deal with white people on regular basis either start recycling or purchase a large blue bin so that they can believe they are recycling.

#63 Expensive Sandwiches

If you are in the position where you need to take a white person to lunch for business or pleasure, saying “I know a great sandwich shop,” will always bring out a smile. The white person will then tell you about the great sandwich shop in the town where they went to college and how they had a crush on a waiter, or that there was some special sandwich that they always ordered. This will put the person in a good mood.

#58 Japan

Though there is full white consensus on a number of white things, there is perhaps nothing that draws more universal white acclaim than the island nation of Japan. It should be noted, that some white people harbor SOME ill will toward Japan because of whaling, killing dolphins or Nanking. But those are generally considered isolated incidents that do not indict the entire nation.

#55 Apologies

White people know that their ancestors did some messed up things. As a result, it has become hard wired for them to apologize for almost anything.

In fact, white people are so used to apologizing that they start all sentences that might cause disagreement with “I’m sorry.” For example “I’m sorry, but Garden State was a better film than Hard Eight.”

In other cases, white people will apologize without being asked.

“Excuse me Dylan, you dropped a piece of paper in front of my desk.”

“Oh, sorry about that!”

It’s just that easy! Just point it out and they’ll apologize.

Sometimes if you are out late at night and a white person irritates someone at a night club or a bar, the first thing they will do is apologize in rapid fire mode in hopes it will stop them from getting their ass kicked. This technique has a surprisingly high success rate, as the aggressor immediately knows that fighting this person will be very easy, with little satisfaction.

#53 Dogs

A lot of cultures love dogs - be it for entertainment, labor, or other. But white people love dogs on an entirely different level.

It should be understood that in white culture, dogs are considered training for having children. That is to say that any white couple must get a dog before they have kids. This will prepare them for responsibility by having another creature to feed, supervise it’s bathroom activities, and to love. Because of this, white people generally assume that their dog is their favorite child unless otherwise stated.

#51 Living by the water

To a white person, a view of water from your house is the greatest achievement in life. And you should remember this when discussing your hopes and dreams with white people. It is also important that you choose a water sport (swimming, fishing, kayaking, etc) that you pretend to like. That way, you can talk about how when you move to your waterfront property you can just wake up in the morning and [insert outdoor activity], right from your front door.

#49 Vintage

First, it allows them to say “oh, this? I got this shirt at Goodwill for $3.” This statement focuses the attention on the shirt, taking attention away from the $350 jeans and $200 shoes. The white person can then retain that precious ‘indie’ cred.

Secondly, it allows a white person to have something that other white people don’t. This is an important consideration when trying to determine the worth and ranking of white people.

#31 Snowboarding

If one would like to meet a lot of white people, one of your best bets would be to go on a Snowboarding trip. Snowboarding is the practice of skiing sideways on one ski. White people love snowboarding as opposed to basketball or football because there is a sense that it is an alternative sport outside of the mainstream. Also too many ethnic people are skiing now. White people enjoy activities that cost a lot of money and require expensive clothes. Even though pro snowboarders make far less than football or basketball players, it is an activity that is exclusive to those who have money. Below are some of the prerequsites for snowboarding

Plenty of good nuggets for you to peruse this weekend.

* * *

  • This is an oldie but a goodie. Old women falling down.

  • I'll take a iced tea with lemon......oh and some fecal matter.
  • Labels:

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    The real Mr. Met

    I have to travel for work so I have no time to write anything meaningful. So.....I'll just post the best thing I've read in quite a while since not everyone has access to ESPN Insider. Oh, buy a membership to ESPN Insider.

    * * *

    From Ben Shpigel's piece about David Wright in yesterday's Times:
      At age 25 and preparing to enter his fourth full season in the major leagues, Wright is in a unique position. Already admired by his peers for his professionalism and accountability, Wright, for the first time in his brief career, will be expected to assume part of a leadership void created when Lo Duca and Tom Glavine were not re-signed.

      -- snip --

      "I've tried to emulate Glavine's professionalism and the way he carries himself. John Franco's leadership, the way he could get everyone on the same page. The one thing that all these guys had in common was that they had the ability to bring together people from different backgrounds and languages."
    Is this guy for real?

    True Story: Last year I thought Wright was the best player in the National League. His numbers were brilliant, and from Sept. 2 through the end of the season he batted .365 with devastating power. I spend most of my time 3,000 miles away from the National League East battles, but from here he looked like the MVP. So that's what I wrote. He finished fourth.

    Right around Thanksgiving the phone rang. We had visitors so I let the machine pick up. It was David Wright, or at least it was someone identifying himself as David Wright. He said he'd read what I'd written and just wanted to say thanks. Later I checked an ill-used e-mail account and discovered that the Mets' PR director had asked for my phone number. So it really was David Wright.

    Obvious Question: So is David Wright really, in addition to being probably the best player in the National League, also an incredibly thoughtful guy? Or is he merely a fantastic player who thinks his life might go a little better over the next 25 years if the writers are on his side?

    Simple Answer: Both. Or rather, all three. David Wright really is the best player in the National League. He really is smart enough to know that one quick phone call to a writer might lead to something good down the road. And that really is the mark of someone who's both thoughtful and emotionally mature, and perhaps worthy of our admiration as not only a hard-working professional athlete, but also a person.

    Next fall, if I think Wright wasn't the best player in the National League in 2008, I will write passionately about who was the best. But if Wright is the best player, again? I'll write with exactly the same passion … and a bit of pleasure tacked on.

    * * *

    I'll say it again. The Mets will have the Cy Young Award winner and the MVP.

    Labels: , ,

    Prospect Musings

    I am late to the party on this one, but when am I not?

    Mets Top 10
    1. Fernando Martinez, of
    So far ahead of the rest of the system, but still a long way from his ceiling.
    2. Eddie Kunz, rhp
    It's not a good sign when a reliever from the most recent draft is your No. 2 prospect.
    3. Brant Rustich, rhp
    It's worse when a reliever from the most recent draft is your No. 3 prospect as well.
    4. Jon Niese, lhp
    Young lefty with solid stuff will pitch in Double-A at age 21.
    5. Nathan Vineyard, lhp
    Sandwich pick last June has the potential for three average or better pitches.
    6. Robert Parnell, rhp
    Gets whiffs with his fastball and slider, but must refine his changeup to stay a starter.
    7. Joe Smith, rhp
    Sidearm reliever made his big league debut 10 months after getting drafted.
    8. Scott Moviel, rhp
    He's 6-foot-11 and already touches 94 mph, though his breaking ball needs work.
    9. Danny Murphy, 3b
    His third-base defense is an issue, but he has the second-best bat in the system.
    10. Wilmer Flores, 3b/ss
    Signed out of Venezuela for $750,000, he draws some Miguel Cabrera comps.

    I find it strange that Vineyard, who I really like, and Niese are not above Kunz and Rustich. I cannot see how those two would not be above them being starters with a #2/#3 ceiling. But that is just me...

    John Sickels' list:

    1. Fernando Martinez, OF
    2. Jon Niese, LHP
    3. Eddie Kunz, RHP
    4. Brant Rustich, RHP
    5. Joe Smith, RHP
    6. Nick Evans, 1B
    7. Stephen Clyne, RHP
    8. Scott Moviel, RHP
    9. Brahiam Maldonado, OF
    10. Nate Vinyard, LHP

    Here, you could extend what BA says to say if your 3, 4, and 5 guys are all college relievers that you drafted over the past two seasons, things are not good. However, I do some bright spots.

    I was a bit pessimistic when I said the Mets could have the worst system in the league. That of course belongs to the Houston Astros at this point, but the Mets are certainly in the bottom third. The only reason they are not in the conversation for the worst is because they have a legit blue chip prospect in Fernando Martinez that is one of the few guys in the conversation for the projected #1 prospect in 2009 out of all of baseball. If you can produce three superstars from your system and have them all at the big league level at the same time, you are doing something right, which the Mets might have.

    Also, what I do find interesting here is that Niese and Vineyard are both lefties. Those are rare commodities and I do see them as the #2 and #3 prospects rather than the legions of right-handed relievers. Niese is a hard throwing lefty and I am sucker for lefties that own plus sliders, which Vineyard has. They have a knack for making lefties and righties alike look stupid.

    There is just something about sliders and lefties that righties just rarely replicate. Jeff Nelson had a frisbee-esque slider, Joba has a devastating one, as do a few others, but Kazmir, O. Perez, and RJ (in his heyday) make righties swing at balls that hit the tops of their shoes. I am not suggesting Vineyard's is going to be that good, but he throws in the low 90's, is projectable, and already has a good slider. Therefore, I am going to begin my irrational fawning over him as a prospect.

    Moviel is another guy I really like. Think high 90's fastball. That is where it will be sitting by the time he is in the upper rungs of the minors. Of course, that may not be a good thing. As far as guys who are up in the high 90's go, their success rate and ability to put things together for a sustained big league career is rather low. There are more guys with high heaters that do not make it than do make it. However, that does not mean this kid has no chance to be legit. Plenty that do make it and are able to harness their fastball are usually pretty good.

    Let us not forget that Flores guy. The Mets were active in '07 on the international front and inked Martin Perez for $560,000, Wilmer Flores for $750,000, Kelvin Mostcantero for $400,000, Jeffrey Marte for $550,000, and Polanco for $400,000. That is a lot of coin and gone are they days of calling Fred Wilpon cheap. We do not know much on these guys so these are all names to keep on the radar.

    Another positive development to keep an eye on is actually honest to god hitting prospects. Dan Murphy's .430 SLG% in St. Lucie in his first go 'round as a pro, Maldonodo's .500+ SLG% in 2007, and Nick Evans' .476 SLG% in St. Lucie are all encouraging signs. They will all be 22 for the 2008 season and they will all be in A+ or AA baseball. These guys will not make any top 100 lists or garner the attention of many thirteen year old girls when they make the bigs, but all have a chance to be contributing regulars on the big league level and successful teams simply need to grow not just superstars and little else, but a supporting cast as well. The Mets have done a bad job with position guys, but these three look promising.

    The truly obvious problem and one that has repeated many, many times, outside of Pelfrey and Fernando, there is nothing outside of a few relievers on the way to help. Of course, the Mets have a lot of young guys they control for a while, but they will lack the wherewithal to pull of trades or fill in for injuries. Another year like 2007 could be devastating for this team over the next few years. Health is key because their depth is at an all time low.

    * * *

  • Sure he had an ERA north of 6.00 last season, but I still like the deal.

    He is still young and might be able to string a nice season together.

  • Radomski spills the beans.

  • Tim Marchman continues his stellar work.

    John Maine, the Mets' no. 3 starter, was born in May 1981. Oliver Perez, the no. 4 starter, was born three months later. The Mets stole each in seemingly minor deals in 2006. Last year, each won 15 games and ranked in the top 20 in the National League in earned run average: This year, they could make the difference between a team that rates among the best in baseball's weaker league, and a team that rates as the best in baseball. If they pitch as well as they did last year, the Mets will probably win the division. If one does and the other raises his game, they'll almost certainly win it. If both find a new level, they might win 100 games.

    This team could win in the high 90's if Pedro is healthy and Maine and Perez continue to do what we all think they can. However, the article was a really interesting one comparing and contrasting the two and who was better.

    Essentially, Perez wasn't quite as good as he looked last year, and his record doesn't quite support the idea that he's even as good as he was last year. Maine, meanwhile, was about as good as he looked last year, and has been so for some time. There's a clear, meaningful distinction between them — Perez is a solid no. 3 starter with an upside well past that, and a good chance of reaching it; while Maine is a no. 2 starter who just needs to add some innings. Take into account that Perez will probably earn more over the next two years as Maine will over the next three, and it's clear which is a terrific young pitcher and which is one of the more valuable properties in the league. You can root for both pitchers, but if you have to pick one, make it Maine.

    Maine's DiPS ERA was roughly the same as his regular ERA and about 0.20 lower than Perez's. So despite Ollie's lower ERA, his DiPS ERA suggests he was lucky a bit while Maine actually did pitch slightly better.

  • Beltran still is not 100%.

  • Billy is shooting for the stars

    Reportedly, the A's want two from Column A — pitcher Homer Bailey, pitcher Johnny Cueto or first baseman Joey Votto. Seriously, while the A's are at it, why don't they also ask for the Carew Tower and a Montgomery Inn franchise to be built later?


  • Allllllll the way out of left field, the Twins sign Livan. For that price, I could think of many other teams that should have jumped all over him.
  • Labels: , ,

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    No No, No, No No No, No No

    Joe Posnanski had a nice post about something weighing heavily on our feeble minds.

    There are so many fun things to be found in The Bill James Handbook. I was glancing through it again in my flu-ridden stupor and ran across his pitchers most likely to throw a no-hitter along with their percentages.

    1. Scott Kazmir, 24%
    2. Erik Bedard, 23%
    3. Jake Peavy, 20%
    4. Johan Santana, 17%
    5. Daisuke Matsuzaka, 13%
    6. A.J. Burnett, 12%
    7. Chris Young, 12%
    8. Tim Lincecum, 12%
    9. Javier Vazquez, 11%
    10. Oliver Perez, 11%

    Mind you, this actually has some statistical relevance. There was actual thought and number crunching that helped comprise this list. I am a bit shocked at Vazquez's inclusion here, but the rest have that domination factor. When they are on, they are unhittable and they have devastating out pitches that are second to none when they are working. Joe also assembles his own list in a non-scientific manner, but it is hard to argue with his list.

    1. Johan Santana.

    I’m stunned that not only has Santana never thrown a no-hitter, he’s never thrown a one-hitter. He’s never thrown a two-hitter. Of course, the reason for that is simple: Santana does not complete games — the guy has six complete games in his career so far.

    You have to agree with his #1 choice and that is not being a homer. The guy is moving to the NL with a big park and a good, and sometimes great when Endy subs in for Alou, defense behind him. As for him not completing games, who cares? If you could see the look on my face, you would see the look of a person who does not care. The guy has simply no reason to push himself and has logged more innings than any human since 2004. If all the chips are down, I have no doubt he will push it.

    2. Chris Young.

    He has led the major leagues in fewest hits allowed per nine innings each of the last two years, which is pretty amazing. But when it comes to pitching into the late innings, he makes Johan Santana look like Robin Roberts. Young had made 99 starts in his still young career and he has completed exactly 0.0 of those games. Not one complete game. He currently ranks fifth on that all-time list, most starts without a complete game (behind Tony Armas, Casey Fossum, Shawn Chacon and Claudio Vargas) and I would say he is by the most accomplished starter to never complete a game.

    Fewest hits per nine? Nice. Despite the facts, I am not agreeing with his place among the top ten. Also, other factors apply which you will see down the line.

    3. Scott Kazmir.

    One complete game in young Kaz’s career. You know, I realized that the complete game is way, way down and everything, but I guess until I started looking at young pitchers, I had never really put it in proper perspective.

    Pitcher of the 1950s:
    Warren Spahn (215 complete games) or Robin Roberts (237 CGs).
    Pitcher of the 1960s: Juan Marichal (196 CGs) or Bob Gibson (165 CGs)
    Pitcher of the 1970s: Jim Palmer (175 CGs) or Tom Seaver (147 CGs)
    Pitcher of the 1980s: Jack Morris (133 CGs) or Fernando Valenzuela (102 CGs)
    Pitcher of the 1990s: Greg Maddux (75 CGs) or Roger Clemens (57 CGs)
    Pitcher of the 2000s: Randy Johnson (30 CGs), Pedro (18 CGs), Johan Santana (6 CGs) or Clemens (3 CGs).

    We’re there — we’re at that ground floor in baseball now where the complete game is so outdated that it’s possible that the best pitcher in the 2010s might not complete a single game. Or maybe, who knows, some manager and GM will figure that the best way they could score runs would be to go to the old Earl Weaver and Casey Stengel method of platooning, and that will mean the need to have more hitters, thus fewer pitcher, and that would lead to more complete games. I doubt it — as Bill James will tell you the complete game has been dwindling pretty consistently since the beginning of the 20th Century.

    It seems unlikely now for that trend to ever get reversed. Anyway, Kazmir’s stuff is so overpowering, he will — assuming he stays healthy — have more than one shot at a no-hitter, I think. I have him below the other two only because it seems to me that an American League guy — especially on an American League team with 19 games against the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays — will have a tougher time throwing the no-no. Of course, that might be wrong. All three no-hitters in 2007 were by American Leaguers (though Justin Verlander threw his against Milwaukee).

    I kept that entire blurb because it speaks to the craziness of the game today and how gently pitchers are treated these days. That being said, Kazmir can do it. When that slider is on and his fastball is humming, he is so fun to watch.

    4. Carlos Zambrano.

    I’m surprised he’s not on Bill’s list, though I’m certain there’s a sound reason for it. Zambrano seems to me one of the rare guys in today’s game who — even though he has never actually thrown a no-hitter — is a legitimate threat any time he pitches*. He’s thrown a couple of eight-inning one hitters, two complete game two hitters, if he was pitching in San Diego or LA or somewhere like that I would bet on him being the No. 1 choice to get the next no-hitter.

    My issue with the Big Z. is his walks. However, the man can throw 150 pitches so I would not think the walks prohibit him. Didn't Burnett walk like six during a no hitter? I would suspect his would go something like that.

    5. Jake Peavy.

    Another guy who doesn’t complete games. He deservedly ran away with the NL Cy Young Award last year even though he did not throw a shutout nor complete even one game. Last guy to win the NL Cy Young without a single complete game? Roger Clemens in 2004. But Peavy was a lot better than Clemens in 2004 — he became the 30th pitcher since 1900 to win the League Triple Crown — most wins, most strikeouts, best ERA. He was the first to do it without a complete game* — (only Johan Santana in 2006 has done it without throwing a shutout). *Another sign of the times.

    Here is a sampling of those Triple Crown winners: Lefty Gomez, 1934: 26-5, 2.33 ERA, 25 CGs, 6 SHOs. Bob Feller, 1940: 27-11, 2.61 ERA, 31 CGs, 4 SHOs. Sandy Koufax, 1965: 26-8, 2.04 ERA, 27 CGs, 8 SHOs. Steve Carlton, 1972: 27-10, 1.97 ERA, 30 CGs, 8 SHOs. Dwight Gooden, 1985: 24-4, 1.53 ERA, 16 CGs, 8 SHOs. Roger Clemens, 1997: 21-7, 2.05 ERA, 9 CGs, 3 SHOs, x HGHs Pedro Martinez, 1999: 23-4, 2.07 ERA, 5 CGs, 1 SHO. Randy Johnson, 2002: 24-5, 2.32 ERA, 8 CGs, 4 SHOs. Jake Peavy, 2007: 19-6, 2.54 ERA, 0 CGs, 0 SHOs.

    The caveat for him is the outfield defense. I would say more things have to go right for him than others on the list. One or two spectacular plays need to be made and with Kouzmanoff at third and the aging outfielders with Headly/Hairston in left, you would be hard pressed to convince me he can throw one without striking out twenty. That would especially be true at home with such an expansive outfield when those guys simply cannot go after balls and vacuum everything up.

    6. Erik Bedard.

    My favorite Erik Bedard story so far was hearing Brian Bannister talk about facing him in spring training. Banny — what a guy. He takes a lot of pride in his hitting, and he said he was facing Bedard and the guy was throwing serious gas. Banny says that what makes Bedard’s gas so much more effective than most is that he hides the ball really well so that when you’re swinging, it’s ON YOU before you even know what happened. Anyway, Banny’s telling the story and he says (I’m paraphrasing), “So Bedard throws me a pitch, and I’m right on it. I mean I’m right on it. And I hit a hard line drive — I’m right on it, this is the best I can do — and it goes foul over the first -base dugout. And then I’m like, ‘Uh, OK, I don’t think I’m hitting this guy.”

    Awesome story. Awesome pick. That is especially true if he moves to SafeCo, but Ichiro might have to call off Ibanez a few times though.

    7. Tim Lincecum.

    He just seems sort of a modern day Jose Deleon — I think he’ll have no-hitters going into the sixth and seventh inning for as long as he can stay healthy.

    Great arm and a great pick. I just hope it does not happen against the Mets.

    8. Matt Cain.

    I guess a 22-year old stud who consistently allows fewer than 8 hits per nine innings and has been good for one complete game each year he’s been in the big leagues should be on this list.

    Man, the Giants sure can develop pitching. Now about those bats...

    9. John Maine.

    I don’t know why … I just think this is the guy who is going to break that Mets curse. He’s thrown a shutout each of the last two years, he keeps hits way down, he strikes out people. Here’s the second preseason call of 2008 — John Maine throws a no-hitter for the Mets.*

    *Brilliant reader Jeff P. already points out the contradiction that if I think Maine will throw the first Mets no-hitter, he should be ranked ahead of Santana. It’s true. However, it’s a mind-heart thing. My mind says that Santana is the most likely guy in baseball to throw a no-hitter in 2008. But my heart says he’s another Mets great who won’t throw a no-hitter for the team (while young and up-and-comer John Maine will). The rankings are more based on mind. The opinions are more based on heart. I know this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but there you go. It’s like Eddie told Tom Berenger. Words and music, man. Words and music.

    How can you not agree with this one? We have seen him almost do it about two times already and simply dominates some games. When he is on and getting people to chase those high heaters, he motors through the lineup.

    10. Cole Hamels.

    I’m a huge no-hit fan of Fausto Carmona, King Felix, Jered Weaver, but for whatever reason I can already see the headline: “Cole Hamels Throws No-No.”

    How can you not agree with this one? He looks people make stupid every night with that change-up. Overall, a great list.

    However, I would like to inject some more homerism and remove his #2 off the list and slide in Oliver Perez somewhere between seventh and tenth. If you put Kazmir on there, Oliver needs to be as well. Their stuff is comparable when they are on and both sliders could arguably be the best from any lefties in the game so I am with Bill James on this one. The guy may walk ten one night, but he can rebound with nine k's and no walks the next time out. Believe the hype.

    * * *

  • Jim Caple has a nice article on the Twins fantasy camp he attended.

  • It looks like Schilling is going to go down the non-surgical path. Of course this is what Pedro had ailing him and he too initially opted for the non-surgical path at first. That might get him through the 2nd half of '08, but he will need to go under the knife after that.

    However, his doctor thinks he may never pitch again without surgery. Even if he could come out and pitch in 2008, would sitting out 2009 after surgery mean retirement is in his future after 2008? It would be hard to envision him sitting out 2009 and rehabbing all the way back in 2010. The only way I see Schilling returning to pitch again is if get surgery now and eyes the 2009 season.

  • Everything you wanted to know about Erik Bedard and more. He seems like a down to Earth guy and seems like he would do well Seattle given their lack of New York/Boston-like media coverage.

  • A little Colbert action. Not enough? How about some more Colbert action.

  • Stupid, stupid, stupid animals.

  • Boo hoo. The Braves are getting no respect. ESPN did a hot stove match-up in which they debated who was the better team in the NL East between two teams and neither was Atlanta. Of course, the Braves are the 2nd best team in the division. I mean, yes, the Phillies won the division, but they are have holes and many of them.

    The Rockies may have finished second and made it to the World Series, but who is speaking of them in the same regard as the Dodgers, D-Backs, and Padres? Not many. You will forgive me if I think the NL East is in fact a two team race that does not include the Phillies. One thing I do have an issue with is this:

    RIGHT FIELD — Also not close, but in the Braves' favor. Jeff Francoeur is far preferable to the Mets' Chavez/Church duo and the Phillies' Geoff Jenkins/So Taguchi/Jason Werth combination

    Frenchy facts: In 2006, he had a .260/.293/.449 line. Yikes. His 2007 line was .293/.338/.444. The bad news is even though he improved in the plate discipline department, he was still pretty bad and simply covered it up better with a higher BA. It is also worth noting he had a BABIP of .337 in '05, .284 in '06, and .337 in '07. The MLB average is usually between .290 and .300. Of course the big time players end up sustaining a much higher BABIP, but we have no idea if that does include Frenchy. He had exactly the same about of XBHs in '07 and in '06, but ten fewer balls found their way over the way in '07. His OPS+ was 87 in '06 and 103 in '07. Overall he notched 22 Win Shares, after nabbing 16 in '06.

    I guess the real question is, who is Frenchy? Is he Atlanta's David Wright as many over zealous fan dubbed him? Or is he another toolsy player that has trouble putting it all together?

    Church facts: Churchy compiled 19 Win Shares in 18 less games in '07. In '06, he tallied 6 less Win Shares in 71 games compared to 162 for Frenchy. Over the last three seasons, he beat Frenchy's career best OBP and posted an OPS+ of 118, 131, and 114. He also posted a higher WARP1 in '07 for good measure. The big thing here is one guy will be 24 next year while the other would be 29, but why no love for Church? If I were making a team for the long term, I could not deny Frenchy's upside, but for 2008 and maybe even 2009, give me some Ryan Church. I am shocked people really think this guy is an afterthought.

  • Let this one marinate in your head for a second. It is great! The entire family is crooked.

    "Roger came to me one day and told me that we had been asked to do a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated," Debbie Clemens recalls. "I had major anxiety! I was a 39-year-old mother of 4! Once I realized that this WAS going to be a reality, I decided I had to give it everything I had." "My mind was set," Debbie Clemens continued. "I am not a risk taker, but have since learned that with great risk, sometimes comes great reward. The responses from that experience have been wonderful and I feel it was a turning point in my life. It's nice to have a goal for yourself and to see it through. The goal kept me motivated and focused. Using common sense and my ability to balance my life, I achieved that goal."

    Big risk. Taking some clothes off and smiling in spread that everyone forgot until now? I totally admire you for that. There was also a tasty one in the comments:

    If it's true, maybe Kim Mattingly should've taken some as well, then she's still be hot.

    Ziiiiing!! Now, that is not nice. True, but not nice.

    Take a look at this link as well. The pictures are classic. Nothing like getting together with a few buddies and downing some Miller Lites and injected some steroids.

  • I have not seen this one before so it is new to me.

  • All eyes will be on Santana this spring.......wait....no...all eyes will be on Pedro this spring. Luckily there is enough media coverage both will get their fair share of attention. There is no question they are both important, but there is also no question for me about either of those two. They are both going to healthy and very good.

  • Steve Popper has lots of questions. He could have just asked me though. I have answers to all of them.

  • McNamee's lawyers sees the Feds getting involved in the Clemens case. Roger, Roger, Roger...maybe you could have come up with a half lie and say you did it once like everyone else. Now you are going to come out looking horrible if this goes awry. Or maybe he is taking the George Costanza stance on lying.

    It's not a lie if you believe it.

  • Fernando Tatis gets an invite to Spring Training.

    New York Edition: Aside from 56 at-bats for Baltimore in 2006, Fernando Tatis has not played in the majors since 2003. Nevertheless, the Mets have invited him to spring training and would love to have a righty bat to potentially serve the role Julio Franco once filled - pinch-hitter/caddy to Carlos Delgado.

  • The Yankees inked Robinson Cano and bought out his last years of arbitration and tacked on a few more.

    He will receive $3 million this season, followed by salaries of $6 million, $9 million and $10 million. The Yankees will have a $14 million option for 2012 or can pay a $2 million buyout.

    There is a $15 million option for 2013 with another $2 million buyout.

    Seems like a great deal for each side. Cano will never go hungry again and the Yankees get some nice value out of stellar production.

  • I guess the fact that Sandy Alderson is their CEO means Bonds to the Padres would be rather unthinkable.

  • Spring Training this week? Swelliciousness.

    Labels: , , , , , ,