We don't need no stinkin' draft

Yet another benefit of Latin American ballplayers being exempt from the Rule IV Draft: It’s open bidding season! No worries about some team drafting the guy you want ahead of you. No pesky “slotting” recommendations. Just straight cash, homie.

Multiple international scouts have told Baseball America in the past week that Inoa will shatter all bonus records for the international signing period by signing a contract worth at least $4 million, with numbers in the $4.2 to $4.5 million range being floated.

“He’s a once-in-a-decade type pitcher,” said one international scout.

Scouts say the Yankees have also been heavily pursuing Inoa, who hails from Puerto Plata, but with one week until Inoa can officially sign, the Athletics appear to be the favorite for his services. Athletics general manager Billy Beane and other top talent evaluators from the organization had been in the Dominican Republic to watch Inoa earlier in the year, and Beane was reportedly back in the Dominican again in recent weeks.

How the Yanks could get out-bid by a relatively measley $1 million (give or take) is beyond me. This is the one area that the Yanks should absolutely exert their financial muscle. The cost of not winning the “auction” far outweighs the incremental costs. The way the Yanks write off bad decisions, what’s another $4-5 million if the kid absolutely flops? And if he develops like the scouts dream he can, you’ve got control of him for years and will save multiples of that signing fee.

Inoa’s fastball sits in the low-90s and has touched 94, which he complements with a curveball that generates generally positive reviews from scouts and a changeup. Aside from his present velocity, what stands out about Inoa is his size – at 6-foot-7, 205 pounds he projects to throw even harder – and his athleticism, which enables to repeat his fluid delivery.

Why not ante up and make a run at this kid?

Continue reading We don't need no stinkin' draft

An Interview with Matt Sosnick

An interview with Matt Sosnick

I was recently privileged to spend some time with professional baseball agent Matt Sosnick of Sosnick-Cobbe Sports. Matt Sosnick was the subject of ESPN analyst/writer Jerry Crasnick’s bookLicense to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent” (published in 2005). Sosnick’s current roster of MLB players include Dontrelle Willis, Josh Willingham, Darrell Rasner, Freddy Sanchez and the hottest rookie on the planet, Jay Bruce. Sosnick’s name was in the news recently as he was Josh Hamilton’s agent until a few weeks back, a story which I covered here. Matt was kind enough to chat with me about the business of being an agent, the Hamilton situation, Mark Cuban, collusion, integrity and how his mom found my blog.

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Continue reading An Interview with Matt Sosnick

Goose probably hates you, too

Evidently, Goose Gossage seems to hate everything about baseball today. He probably hates me for having the nerve to post my thoughts without being employed by a newspaper. He probably hates you for daring to read it. New fangled interwebs.

I’m not really sure why he’s so anti-expression and anti-emotion, considering his emotion is what made him one of the most feared pitchers of the 70’s and 80’s. But he is and I find it silly.
Gossage believes the dancing antics of Jose Reyes are one reason why the Mets have been in a tailspin since last September.

There’s not enough mustard in the city to cover Reyes,” said Gossage, who was at the Stadium to give a pitching clinic to Bronx Little Leaguers and raise money to support inner-city youth baseball leagues in six cities. “He needs to act like a professional.

I don’t want this sport to turn into football where they dance after every play. I can’t stand that – the dancing, the laughing – there’s no place for that in the game. He’s not the first great player to play – I wouldn’t even say great because he hasn’t won anything yet.”

Gossage also ripped Joba Chamberlain last month for his fist-pumping antics, but later spoke to the rookie to make sure his words weren’t taken out of context.

Yeah, so stuff that in your Z-Cavaricci‘s and burn ’em. And get off his damn lawn, too!

Continue reading Goose probably hates you, too

Schilling done?

(H/T to the ProJo SoxBlog, emphasis mine)

Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, on this morning’s edition of the WEEI radio show Dennis and Callahan, said that he will have shoulder surgery on Monday, ending his chances of pitching this season. The 41-year-old right-hander went on to say that “there’s a decent chance that I have thrown my last pitch, forever.”

There are lots of Yankee blogs chatting about this today. What I have seen a lot of, that I really don’t like, is that people seem to be taking a twisted joy in knowing that Schilling is hurt and possibly done for his career. I enjoy watching the Sox lose as much as any Yankee fan, but I don’t think I have ever cheered an injury. And I am not going to start now.

I’m a fan of the game, a fan of the team I grew up watching, a fan of the players who have made the most of their incredible skills. Cheering when a player, even on your most bitter rival, suffers a possible career ending injury is just so low, so weak, so cowardly, so… disgusting.

I might think Schilling is a pompous blowhard (as do others). I might not like his approach and tact on certain things. But, he’s entitled to his views and opinions as much as I am. He’s incredibly generous and charitable. I will not cheer his injury. Continue reading Schilling done?

An interactive gangbang

No, not what you’re expecting, you perv! This is a PG site! It’s just the hook quote from an article about the bloggers vs. the old guard. From blogger fan extraordinaire Buzz Bissinger:

The younger generation likes the snarky tone,” says Bissinger. “They like the gossip, they like the juice. I don’t think they really appreciate good writing and reporting, and those, to me, are precious arts. . . . it’s all some interactive gangbang.”

At least he’s not saying we all live at home in our parent’s basement, sitting in our underwear. Or are they?

Retort from ESPN’s Bill Simmons:

Those guys had it easy up until the mid ’90s,” argues ESPN’s Simmons, whose online oeuvre has made him arguably America’s best-known sportswriter. “It was an old-boys network, there was no accountability, nobody was calling them out. And their jobs were protected by the union, so it didn’t even matter.
And the notion that sports bloggers don’t want access? That they’d rather sit in their mother’s basement (to use a favorite old-media slight) than actually report on the athletes they’re covering? Simmons swears it’s bogus, at least in his case. “I wanted to be in the clubhouse,” he recalls. “I couldn’t get a job at a newspaper because nobody ever left, and nobody would give some schmuck writing on the Internet a press pass. So what was I supposed to do, give up? I started writing a column about sports from the only perspective that I had ” the voice of a fan ” and it worked. I’m not going to apologize for it.”

The bottom line,” Simmons concludes, “is that these guys never, ever fucking leave. That’s one reason sportswriting took off on the Internet ” because you had a whole generation of frustrated wanna-be sportswriters who couldn’t get a chance to do what they wanted.”

Ya got that right, Bill. Continue reading An interactive gangbang

Why I hate Kyle Farnsworth

I was asked why I hate Kyle Farnsworth. I had to step back and and explain it in a different way. He seems like a nice enough guy (except when you charge the mound). He seems like he cares and genuinely wants to win and succeed. So here’s how I explained it:

I hate Kyle Farnsworth because he’s got so much natural talent and all I want is for him to be as great as his talent. Because of those expectations, it makes me hate his failings that much more. I don’t hate LaTroy Hawkins because I don’t think he has the natural stuff that Farnsworth does, therefore I hold lower expectations than Farnsworth. Maybe I just need to lower my expectations for him. But that’s hard for me to do since I can see how much God-given talent this guy has.

This is why fans boo their stars, I think. We want them to succeed SO badly, when they fail, we’re disappointed. We know they are supremely talented and we want that talent to shine.

Major league ballplayers can hit speed when it’s just speed. When there’s no movement, professional hitters can catch up to 100MPH straightballs. As my Dad yelled to me over the phone the other day: “Just move your middle finger over a half an inch and make the ball move a little!”

Continue reading Why I hate Kyle Farnsworth

Jeter overrated, says MLB players

Interesting that a Sports Illustrated survey of 495 MLB players showed that Derek Jeter was voted most overrated.

In a Sports Illustrated survey of 495 Major League Baseball players in its June 23rd issue, Jeter was voted the most overrated player in the game, grabbing 10 percent of the vote. Teammate Alex Rodriguez and Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew were tied for third in the poll, each with a seven percent share.
Ironically, when SI asked MLB players, “Whom would you pick to build a team around?” in a separate survey last week, A-Rod ranked first and Jeter second.

I won’t weigh in here. You tell me. Is Jeter overrated? What makes him overrated? Or is he just “rated”, neither over- or under-?
Let’s hear ya. Make the case.

Continue reading Jeter overrated, says MLB players