Prepare for more Boston vs. NY hyperbole!

Despite buddy Shyster’s YAWN about the NY/Boston angle for the Superbowl, we have two full weeks of breathless hyperbole about the game.

Maybe you’ve heard, there’s some not-so-good-blood between the two fanbases.

Guessing the rest of the non-East Coast Biased viewing public will be further sick of us pretty quickly.

I’m really interested to see where the general populace will fall, in terms of rooting interest:

  • anti-NY (obnoxious fans)
  • anti-Boston (insufferable fans)
  • anti-both (both are obnoxious)
  • anti-Belichick (evil)
  • anti-Manning (over-played and sick of Peyton’s commecials and shots of Dad Archie sweating in the owner’s box)
  • anti-undefeated (this means YOU, Dolphins fans)
  • anti-dynasty (well, just because)
  • anti-Brady (the Jeter of NFL)
  • anti-Strahan (American Dental Association)

Plenty more to exploit here but since today’s a day off, I gotta run and have some non-work fun. Stay tuned for more!

Continue reading Prepare for more Boston vs. NY hyperbole!

On the road again!


I woke up this morning still saying “I can’t believe the Giants pulled that one out.” Still can’t. Had a great time watching the game, especially since it’s a holiday today and there’s no school, and my 7 year old got to stay up watching the game to the finish. Putting him to bed afterwards, I told him he’d remember that game for a while. To which, he replies: “I’ll tell my kids about it!” Pretty funny for a 7 year old.

Onto Arizona we go!

Continue reading On the road again!

Interesting viewpoint by Kaat

Courtesy of Buster Olney’s consistently excellent blog, there’s an interesting rebuttal by YES broadcaster and 25 year MLB vet Jim Kaat. Certainly worth a read, if you ask me. Below is a snippet:

I cringe when I hear or see a former player speak out about erasing records set during this era. Here is my own example of a ‘performance-enhancing method.’ Pitching outdoors in Minnesota, a pitcher needed something to help him grip the ball without having it slip out of his hand. Games were played in temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s, and the ball was slick like a frozen snowball. I used pine tar and later a solution my pitching coach, Johnny Sain, concocted by boiling resin and adding a little turpentine and a few other ingredients. It was against the rules. No foreign substance is to be applied to the ball. No punishment was ever noted. Veteran umpire Jim Honochick, known later for his role in the Miller Lite commercials with Boog Powell, approached me on the mound from his position at second base one day and said, ‘Lefty, you’re putting a foreign substance on the ball. That’s illegal.’ I quickly replied, ‘Jim, that’s not a foreign substance. It’s made in North Carolina.’ He chuckled and went back to his position.

Quaint or cheating? Tacit approval or fear by the umps? Good old days or same old, same old? Beneficiaries of a lack of high-def multi-angle camera work and instant replay? If you aren’t cheating then you aren’t trying? You tell me…

Have a good Sunday. Let’s go Giants!!! Continue reading Interesting viewpoint by Kaat

More bad news for Clemens?

Looks like there’s some more possible evidence coming out against Clemens. Can’t be good.

Jim Murray, who is employed by Clemens’ agents, met with the pitcher’s former trainer Brian McNamee in 2004, near Clemens’ New York apartment, according to McNamee’s attorney Earl Ward.

Ward said that at the time, McNamee was concerned that some steroids may be lingering in Clemens’ system that could result in a positive test in Major League Baseball’s first round of steroid testing.

“He did speak to Murray about his suspicions, his concerns that Major League Baseball had implemented testing and that Roger could have a problem,” Ward told the New York Times after speaking with his client Friday night.

McNamee said Murray took detailed notes about the meeting.

Hope Roger is channelling Houdini or else he’s in for a beat-down Feb. 13th.

Continue reading More bad news for Clemens?

They are clean because J.Donovan says so’s esteemed John Donovan posted an article naming what he believes the be the all-clean team (of the Steroids Era, however you define it). All-clean? Just one man’s hunch, I guess. After all, how would he know? Shouldn’t our cynical side take over and suggest a renaming to “All Not Yet Accused Team” rather than the All-Clean Team.

Maybe these guys are truly beyond reproach and have kept clean their entire careers. Believe me, I would LOVE for every one of these guys to be spotless. It’s better for the game if they really have been.

Atlanta Braves: Can John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Mike Hampton take the ball for 85-90 starts? Can Rafael Soriano stay healthy?

Are you kidding me? If Smoltz and Glavine each make 33 starts, you mean to tell me anyone would expect, in their right mind, that Hampton returns from 2 years recovering from injuries to make 20+ starts? Call Vegas; I will take the under.

Baltimore Orioles: We know the Orioles are rebuilding. If Erik Bedard is going to be traded, which seems inevitable, then who, besides Nick Markakis, can be serve as a root in that effort?

If Peter Angelos just let his “baseball people” do their “baseball things”, this once-proud franchise would be in a better position that it is now, which is likely one of looking UP at the Rays, which was unthinkable just a few years back.

Boston Red Sox: Will J.D. Drew bounce back from a subpar first year with the Red Sox? He fared well in the last two rounds of the 2007 postseason. Maybe he has made the transition, or maybe not.

Call Vegas on this one, too. Drew was huge on the post-season, but his dour personality and on-field attitudes will rub the RSN faithful bigtime. The Sox look loaded, no matter what.

Chicago Cubs: With contract in hand as the 2008 season starts, will Carlos Zambrano be Big Z, or less than that? Is Kosuke Fukudome going to be as good as everybody thinks he’s going to be?

100 years and counting? And what will Fukudome’s nickname be? K-Fuk? Fuku-do-me? Welcome to the Fuku-Dome.

Chicago White Sox: How good are John Danks and Gavin Floyd? The White Sox will sink without solid seasons from one or both. Will the money invested in Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel pay off, or make no difference in the way that the Orioles’ bullpen spending made no difference for Baltimore last year?

Kenny Williams sure thinks his team has a shot to return to 2005 glory, doesn’t he? Me, not so sure. Doesn’t seem like they have the rotation, especially after dealing Garland.

Colorado Rockies: Does Ubaldo Jimenez possess staying power? Does Ian Stewart have enough athleticism to make the adjustment to second base? Jimenez has added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason, writes Patrick Saunders.

15 pounds of muscle? Remember when that used to be an innocent and quaint sign of “hard work” and now we have to wonder how he did just that? Remind me of him come draft time in my fantasy league.

Cleveland Indians: Will Travis Hafner hit like Pronk, or will he put too much pressure on himself and struggle, even with a contract in hand? Will C.C. Sabathia’s impending free agency and on-going negotiations have any effect on him? Who will step up to be the right-handed hitter that the Indians need?

Clearly, not enough has been made about Sabathia’s free agency prospects. If I am NY or Boston, I am letting Johan go and hope both or one of them hit the FA markets. This guy is a horse and will be paid a smidge below Johan but will be at least as good going forward for the next 5-7 years.

Detroit Tigers: Will the Tigers’ rotation hold up? Can Dontrelle Willis make the transition to the AL? Is Detroit’s middle relief deep enough?

What a lineup. They will be able to keep the rotation afloat, so long as Maroth doesn’t return. Will be interesting to see Dontrelle in the AL. Wonder how often he pinch hits.

Florida Marlins: Can the stable of injured young starters bounce back? Might Hanley Ramirez be regarded as the league’s best player by season’s end?

Hanley Ramirez, the next MVP from a last place team? Wow, is he good. Too bad no one will see him live.

Houston Astros: Do the Astros have enough starting pitching behind Roy Oswalt? Will Miguel Tejada, generally known as a sensitive guy prone to outside forces, be able to successfully play through an FBI investigation and give Houston suitable shortstop defense?

What a mess. Yet, Drayton has no buyer’s remorse. Yeah, right.

Kansas City Royals: Will Zack Greinke build off his strong finish? Can Alex Gordon produce, after not producing much last year?

Honestly and secretly, I am rooting for the Royals, despite their ownership. If for no other reason than this.

Los Angeles Angels: Will Scot Shields bounce back and again give the Angels a dominant bullpen? Will Ervin Santana gain consistency, as he has in winter ball? Will Erick Aybar or Maicer Izturis win the shortstop job?

Will AL West team anyone challenge this team? Does the SS position battle even matter? A’s are down, Texas is just OK. Seattle, especially if they get Bedard, is a threat.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Is Andy LaRoche good enough to hold down third? Can Jason Schmidt give the Dodgers anything? Will Matt Kemp become the power hitter the Dodgers so desperately need?

If Torre is a good judge of talent, Kemp will play full time. If he’s hamstrung by that silly Pierre contract, then that’s a shame. Interesting how Mattingly bailed out before the season started.

Milwaukee Brewers: Will Chris Capuano pitch like the All-Star he has been in the past, or like the pitcher who went winless for almost five months last season? Will Ben Sheets break down? Will Eric Gagne bounce back from his Boston experience?

I enjoyed the resurgence of the Brewers. Home-grown, fairly likeable, even with Prince’s constant negativity towards his dad. We get it, you don’t like him. Move along. “Will Sheets break down?” Vegas, Jason here, again. I wi

ll take that bet. Sign me up.

Minnesota Twins: Assuming that the Twins swap Johan Santana before the start of the season, can their young pitchers step up to fill the gaps created by the departures of the left-hander, Carlos Silva and Matt Garza? Will Delmon Young become a more patient hitter and give himself a chance to a superstar?

I’m really interested in seeing this drama unfold. One, I’d like to see the Twins keep Johan to pair with a recovering Liriano. Those two could be dominant. And if Johan is dealt, it’s going to be a case study in dealing a stud pitcher. Will Bill Smith get good value this late or will he just take whatever’s out there? Or will he roll the dice, go for it this year and if out of it, deal Johan at the deadline. Talk about compelling…

New York Mets: Who will take the ball at the front end of the Mets’ rotation, and is that good enough to overcome the Phillies, Braves and the mental ghosts of last September?

Oh man. My Mets fans are still in the dumps about last year. And they have no pitching. Relying on Pedro for 33 starts is more than a risk.

New York Yankees: Will the New York rotation have enough depth? The Yankees hope that three youngsters, among Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, are consistent enough to hold down two spots, but does Mike Mussina have another solid 30-start season? Will Andy Pettitte be distracted in his preparation, by the Clemens situation?

I’m worried about Pettitte’s distraction. Unless, of course, he tells Congress that Clemens knew what he was doing and he can enter the year with a clear head. I’d lobby for a 6 man rotation to keep the kids’ IP under control and Moose fresher than last year. I’m also hoping we keep Hughes and the others; it’d be nice to have a group of home-grown kids to root for again. It’s been a while.

Oakland Athletics: Will Rich Harden and Bobby Crosby stay healthy? How long will Billy Beane wait before dealing Huston Street?

If Harden appears in more than 20 games, I will be stunned and he will have a chance at the AL CY. Crosby, overrated when healthy, rarely healthy. Yes, he signed a ball for me at Yankee Stadium when he was a rook, so I still root for him. But still, take the under.

Philadelphia Phillies: Will Brad Lidge be dominant Brad Lidge, or will he give the Philly fans reason to boo him? Can the Phillies hit enough to overcome the lack of depth in the rotation?

Talk about a fun team to watch: The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Utley, Rollins, Howard, etc.

St. Louis Cardinals: Their projected rotation is Adam Wainwright, Braden Looper, Joel Pineiro, Anthony Reyes and Matt Clement — is that enough? How quickly will the talent of super prospect Colby Rasmus manifest itself? How good is Rick Ankiel, really?

Enough for what? Last place? Yes. Hanley and Pujols can wonder what it’d be like to have a solid surrounding cast this year.

San Diego Padres: How many games will Jim Edmonds play, and how much will he hit? How soon will Brian Giles be back in the lineup? Will Kevin Kouzmanoff continue to progress as a big league hitter?

They have such a good rotation and Trevor’s still Trevor despite October. Wonder if they have enough to topple Arizona.

San Francisco Giants: Is the rotation good enough to carry what will be a sluggish offense? Will Tim Lincecum hold up and develop a better off-speed pitch? How different will the Giants’ clubhouse — and offense — be without Barry Bonds?

Lincecum and Cain: too bad they won’t be dealt for two teams’ farm systems to totally rebuild this mess from the ground up. Such a great ballpark, too bad it will be empty.

Seattle Mariners: We saw how good Felix Hernandez can be early last season, with his remarkable outing in Boston. Can he do that over a long season? Will Richie Sexson hit, and if he doesn’t, will it matter? Will the Mariners finally complete their trade for Bedard?

If they get Bedard to pair with Felix, they could threaten the Angels of Some Place in CA.

Tampa Bay Rays: Will Matt Garza’s game advance to the next level? Because if it does, the Rays will suddenly have a solid quorum in their rotation, to go along with an offense that will thrive if B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena hit as they did last year.

This team, if they had any baseball sense and discipline, they would threated the Jays for 3rd place and bury the Orioles in last. We’ll see. Tell ya what, though: They have a fun team to watch, just not at home in that airplane hangar.

Toronto Blue Jays: Can the Jays’ pitchers stay healthy, and if so, what could they be capable of? If A.J. Burnett makes 30 starts, might this rotation rank among the best in the majors? Will Vernon Wells bounce back from his shoulder surgery, and hit the way he did in 2006? How quickly can B.J. Ryan, coming back from elbow surgery, be a factor in Toronto’s bullpen?

How about 3rd place in the AL East? It’s reserved for you.

Washington Nationals: How will their new ballpark play, and how will it affect the current group of players? Who, besides Ryan Zimmerman, will anchor their rebuilding effort? With 600 plate appearances, how many homers will Wily Mo Pena hit?

Will they beat estimates again, or revert to the historically awful team most expected in 2007?

If you couldn’t tell, I can’t wait for the season! Continue reading They are clean because J.Donovan says so

A quick moment of thanks

Just wanted to say thanks to a few “friends” who have been helpful in getting this little blog experiment up and running. I launched this blog not more than a month ago and I’m already seeing some impressive, growing traffic. Again, I’m not a writer; I’m just a dumb numbers guy and crazy sports fan who happens to like to write as a hobby. Put them together and you have what you can see here. Comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc., are all encouraged and welcomed.

Guys who have been particularly helpful so far (please visit their sites, bookmark them and visit often) deserve some special attention:

  • Shysterball (Craig has been as helpful and accessable as anyone. Impressive for a guy I have never met but someone who wants to help because he’s a good guy.)
  • The Sports Hernia (for the twisted side of sports)
  • MLB Trade Rumors (the model of timeliness)
  • Smart Ball in Seattle (another newbie who’s also trying to figure this all out)
  • Pride of the Yankees (two guys my bro and I grew up with, back in the day. They just posted this, with all my thanks possible)

Special mention goes to our friend Jason’s excellently written blog called It’s about the money.

Again, thanks for the early support. I even added a “Add to Favorites” button (upper lefthand side). Continue reading A quick moment of thanks

Warning: Holes can be deeper than you think

Think McLane (see posting below) won’t be regretting the Tejada deal if THIS comes to pass? Wow. Forget the prospect of a bad year or lockerroom distraction. How about DEPORTATION?!? Will that bring a tad bit of regret, Drayton?

Miguel Tejada’s immigration status could be in peril in light of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s decision to ask the Department of Justice to investigate whether the new Astros shortstop lied to federal investigators in 2005.

Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic, is a legal U.S. resident with a green card. Yet there are some instances in which he could be denied entry back into the country just by admitting he committed a crime for which he is being investigated.

Yes, it appears that a lot of things have to fall a certain way for this to happen, but it’s still entirely possible. Talk about a bad week…

3PM 1/17/08 UPDATE: So it begins.

The FBI has opened a preliminary investigation into whether baseball All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada lied to federal authorities when he denied taking steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

Continue reading Warning: Holes can be deeper than you think

Great moments in GM-speak

Astros’ owner McLane doesn’t regret adding Tejada

When Tejada was initially dealt for 5 prospects, ESPN’s Keith Law, who I think is an excellent scout, had this to say:

By acquiring Miguel Tejada, the Astros seem hellbent on trying to contend in 2008, and the Orioles are the happy beneficiaries. In Tejada, Houston gets a good player who’s already in decline and Baltimore receives a good mix of quantity and quality in return.

The Astros do improve their offense significantly with the move, albeit at some cost on defense, so that the net gain is probably under two wins. (emphasis mine)

Home town boys and former Astros Pettitte and Clemens will appear before Congress on the eve of Pitchers and Catchers reporting and now we hear that Tejada will be forced to testify, too (date TBD). So now Drayton McLane doesn’t regret inviting this additional scrutiny and distraction into his clubhouse? ALL FOR TWO STINKIN’ WINS? Yeah, right. Sure. Mmm hmm.

According to the report:

McLane said he was caught off-guard when Tejada was mentioned in the report and that he asked commissioner Bud Selig on Wednesday if he knew in advance that Tejada would be in the report.

Have you EVER heard of due diligence, Drayton? It’s not like Tejada’s name wasn’t ever brought up in steriods discussions before. Remember Palmiero (or is it PalmierEE) throwing Tejada under the bus way back when? Buyer beware, indeed.

Now, if McLane really doesn’t care, doesn’t that mean that tacitly condones PED use, or at the very least, chooses to downplay it “since everyone else was doing it”? If Tejada’s decline continues and/or he’s distracted due to the Justice Department crawling thru his entire life, think McLane still won’t regret it? Well, maybe not since he’ll still be looking forward.

“You can’t look back,” McLane said Wednesday during a break at the major league owners’ meetings. “You have to move forward.”

And just for giggles:

“I’m not going to go into the past or talk about my past.” (Mark McGwire, 3/17/05)

Video here

Continue reading Great moments in GM-speak