“When you score runs and drive in runs, you win games“
—Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers, 7/21/08
A week or two ago, I dove into SI.com’s Vault and came up with an unreal essay about Marge Schott. It’s a slow news Monday (so far), so I wanted to lay this one at your feet: The Left Arm Of God. We know about Koufax’s on-the-field exploits and we’ve heard about his elusiveness off the field, but Tom Verducci did such a great job with this story, it bears a rewind.
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I’ve questioned Giambi’s resurgence here before. Others have questioned him and other Mitchell Report players, too. But most of the questioning seemed to be coming outside of the MSM, the beat reporters. Was it because such a question would damage their ability to get close to the players, something they need to do to be successful in their jobs?
Maybe, maybe not.
But Wallace Matthews flat-out asks the question: Great, but was it clean?
It was a win to remember, to be sure. But was it a win to be proud of? Was it real? Was it clean?
Those are the questions you’d rather not have to wrestle with, but considering the players involved and their well-publicized history, they refuse to go away.
On the mound, you have Pettitte, admitted HGH user in the Mitchell Report, throwing eight strong innings in weather that would fry a cactus, and at the plate, you have Giambi, who couldn’t hit his listed weight until Memorial Day weekend, blasting a fastball into the rightfield seats against a pitcher with the lowest ERA in major-league baseball, a pitcher who had allowed a measly six home runs all season long.
If both of them are to be believed — and there is no evidence at the moment to doubt them — then clearly, Pettitte is capable of throwing eight overpowering innings and Giambi is capable of looking like Mr. Olympia without the help of a chemist.
Or are they?
Pretty aggressive stuff, eh?
I get that Billy Beane is smarter than the average bear, GM, MIT aerospace engineering grad student, and me. He’s got a knack for selling pitchers at their peak and getting excellent value in return. He has survived the free agent departures of Giambi and Tejada. And he hasn’t missed Koch, Dotel and Foulke (he loves dumping those overvalued clsoers!). He gambled on Chavez though that hasn’t worked so well. He didn’t trade Zito but let him go, too. He picked up Piazza and Frank Thomas on the cheap, maxed out their value and dumped them. He then picked Thomas up again this year on someone else’s dime.
I have neglected a key part of the game. Not intentional, just ran out of bandwidth to put some thoughts together. Thankfully, the loyal tadthebad asked me about it and well, it got me to thinking more about it.
I think it’s B.S., but who knows: Source: Bonds-Yankees Deal Imminent
The incentive-laden deal, being hammered out between Bonds’ agent Jeff Borris and general manager Brian Cashman, will well exceed the major league $200,000 minimum but has a number of protective clauses to isolate the Yankees’ exposure to the possibility of Bonds missing time due to legal distractions or recurring injury, the source said.
Adding Bonds to the Yanks would be like the USA having a massive bonfire made up of unused grains, gas, cash and coal and broadcasting it to the 3rd World Nations with a picture of Ted Kennedy and The Steinbrenner Trio mooning everyone.
“See, we’re big, we’re bad, and we don’t give a crap what you think since you hate us anyways.”
My head hurts.
Now, I spoke (via email) with the esteemed Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com and he hadn’t heard of this source and questioned the dollar amount as that’s not a league minimum (I asked if that could be a pro-rated portion). We’re waiting to see if the MSM picks up on this.
I can hear Murray Chass grinding his teeth right now about those irresponsible bloggers!
UPDATE (3:30pm): With the Yanks signing Richie Sexson, this makes the Bonds rumors a load of hooey.
I’ve discussed Bob Sheppard many, many times here as he’s struggled to return to the mic at the Stadium. His replacement, Jim Hall, has a wonderful voice, strikingly similar to Mr. Sheppard’s, but like any sequel, it’s never as good as the original. Mr. Hall had a rough night on Tuesday, but I think this is an amazing idea.
But due to the state of text-to-speech technology, Sheppard’s voice could be the voice of the starting lineups for the next 50 years, if the Yankees choose to go that route.
Patrick Dexter, director of business development for Cepstral a leader in text-to-speech technology, told CNBC that it would be possible for the company to create a program that would enable the Yankees to have every player – the Yankees and their opponents – be announced by Sheppard’s voice forever.
Doing names and numbers is easier than creating what they call a full domain voice, which is voicing full sentences,” Dexter said. “But if we had some time and money — and the Yankees certainly might have that bankroll — we could do this.”
I think this would be great.
I wrote about the All-Star game mess a week and a half ago. One of the things I’d change if I were given a chance would be to modify the roster rules for the All Star Game.
- Eliminate mandatory representation by every club. It was one thing when there just twenty-something teams, but with 32, too many inferior players are being named at the expense of more qualified players.
- Expand the roster sizes to accomodate the expansion in the number of teams. If you do this, you can keep mandatory representation. Open the rosters to 35 and eliminate the handwringing.
It’s pretty simple. Boost the roster sizes to 35 and add three more pitchers. I’d rather do that than eliminate mandatory representation but if baseball is married to a 32 person roster, that rule has to be eliminated.
The only other thing to do to eliminate the All Star mess would be to just keep it an exhibition and give the WSHFA to the team who, you know, actually earned it.