Parents suck

Parents suck. When parents have to resort to lawsuits, calling the police and other sorts of unseemly things —all because a 9-year-old kid is too good of a pitcher— then you know things have spiraled waaay out of control.

Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player — too good, it turns out.

The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

Evidently, he has yet to hit/hurt anyone. He’s only much better than everyone else, nothing more, nothing less.

My head hurts.

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Continue reading Parents suck

Moose a HOF'er?

Seems that Jonah Keri thinks Moose is a HOF’er. And ya know what, he makes a pretty good case.

Earlier this year, I thought that Moose was impressive but not an All-Star. Seems, also, that my thoughts were similarly familar to those claiming Moose wasn’t a HOF’er: Good but not great. Others have better, more impressive numbers. Others have achieved certain milestones. blah, blah, blah.

Everyone from stat-literate writers like Rob Neyer to members of the blogosphere to the mainstream media agrees: If Mike Mussina wins four more games this season, he’s punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame.

Keri rightfully noted the Base 10 Problem, among others:

Baseball writers constantly overstate the importance of multiples of 10, obsessing over 20 wins in a season, or 300 wins, 500 homers or 3,000 hits in a career — as if 19, 299, 499 or 2,999 are vastly inferior totals.
Mussina won 19 games two years in a row, in 1995 and 1996. Yet somehow the impact of those seasons is diminished because he couldn’t get to a multiple of 10. It’s doubly ridiculous when you combine the Base 10 problem with the context problem.
On Sept. 28, 1996, Mussina threw eight terrific innings against the Blue Jays, allowing just four hits, two walks and one run, while striking out nine. Armando Benitez entered the game in the ninth and promptly squandered the Orioles’ one-run lead. Baltimore went on to win the game 3-2 in 10 innings. But because of Benitez’s lousy performance, Mussina didn’t get the win — the one that would have been his 20th of the year.

Really? Mussina doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame because of Armando Benitez?

The article isn’t new today (came out on Saturday), but I thought it was worth noting. Continue reading Moose a HOF'er?

Just because he rakes

Sometimes, the answer might be the easiest and most obvious one:

The left-hander is expected to command at least $100 million as the top starting pitcher in free agency, and Blake said Sabathia has shared no inside information about his preferred destinations. Sabathia hails from the Bay Area and has said he is shopping for a home in Southern California.

“I think he wants to be close to home,” Blake said. “I think it would be in his best interest to stay in the National League.


“Just because he rakes,” Blake said.

We Yanks fans like to hope that every ballplayer is solely driven by the biggest paycheck, but sometimes, there’s more to the story than that. I’ve made a little home here claiming it’s about the money, stupid, but ya know what, it might not be for Sabathia.

Of course, if he winds up in pinstripes, we’ll know it’s about the money, stupid!

UPDATE (8/25/08, 11:30am): Just took a second to scan the daily Jon Heyman news and notes and he has this about Sabathia:

But despite Sabathia’s expected interest in going home, that doesn’t mean it’s likely to happen. Many believe that money will eventually decide the Sabathia Sweepstakes, making the Yankees the favorites over the Dodgers and Giants.

The Giants have long shown a willingness to spend, but it remains questionable how anxious they’d be to enter into another megadeal for a starting pitcher considering that pitching is by far their greatest strength. It would also take quite a strong stomach for them to agree to another nine-figure contract following the high-profile $126-million deal for Barry Zito that has blown up.
Regardless, Sabathia, should have plenty of big-market choices, led by the Dodgers, who nearly made a deal for him in June, and the Yankees, who will have even deeper pockets than usual with $88 million coming off the books and untold millions coming on via their new Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees’ ability to blow away the field makes them the pre-derby favorite. And as one baseball executive said regarding Sabathia, “It’s going to be a big number.

So maybe it will be about the money. Continue reading Just because he rakes

Welcome back?

Hey there, friends.

Sadly, I’m back from a much-needed vacation. San Diego is just incredible. For those who have never been, GO! If you have young kids, it’s so much better than almost any place I can think of. Everything any kid (and adult) would want: beaches, Disney, zoo, wildlife park, beaches, Padres, Angels, Chargers, beaches…and almost guaranteed PERFECT weather.

I won’t bore you with the family photo album, but the highlight was watching my boys take their first surfing lessons. Just awesome.

I’ll be back at it today as much as the schedule permits. Still sifting thru email and whatnot, but I will be back posting full throttle today.

Thanks for coming back. I appreciate it more than you could imagine. Continue reading Welcome back?

The Charity Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you, my loyal readers:

Anyone who donates $100 or more to either charity below (Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber or American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides”) can create their own posting about ANY subject and I will post it here, unedited (make it SFW, please!). You want to bash the Yanks on a Yanks-centric blog, go for it. Want to talk about the Olympics, fine. Knitting, sure. Put your money where your mouth/keyboard is. *

Also, if you can’t donate that much but can donate even just $5, send me an email with your name, hometown and I will put together a roster of those readers who were generous enough to dig into their wallets for great causes.

* I hate to ask, but for any $100 donation, please email me the confirmation.

For reference:

UPDATE (8/15/08, 8:30am): We have our first Charity Challenge winner!!! None other than loyal reader/poster tadthebad was the first to take me up on my challenge. I couldn’t be happier to turn over the floor to him. He’s a RedSox fan so this should be great. Stay tuned for his posting.

UPDATE (8/15/08, 10:40): Shysterball is on board! Please share these links with any other blogs/websites you may frequent. The more we get this out, the more help we can do. Continue reading The Charity Challenge

Reader Mail: Fixing the Yanks, take 2

In honor of me being on vacation, today’s fill-in host gets to be played by loyal reader/commenter extraordinaire, themarksmith. I’m happy to present his plan to fix the Yanks for 2oo9:

First, the rotation needs a facelift. Sabathia would indeed be he logical choice as the Yankees have the money to spend, so barring CC wanting to go elsewhere, there really isn’t a reason he won’t be wearing a Yankee uniform next season. That puts a dominant 1-2-3 punch in Sabathia, Wang, and Chamberlain. As for Mussina and Pettite, I would re-sign one and maybe the other depending on how much they cost. I know Mussina seems to be the logical choice, but he does turn 40 next year so I’d give him a thorough physical before re-signing him (Have you watched the Braves this season?). You might lose production with Pettite, but somehow, I think both funnel back toward the middle of how each has done this year. In the final spot, Hughes should be able to step in there. He has injury issues, but he has quite a bit of talent. The Yankees might have put too much pressure on he and Kennedy this year with the rotation not being very good and the Santana trade situation. With Sabathia, Wang, Joba, and Mussina/Pettite before him, Hughes will be able to relax a bit more.

For the bullpen, Mariano is still there in the ninth. Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Brian Bruney, and Chris Britton could fill in the bulk of the spots. They still need two spots. Brian Fuentes and Juan Cruz? There will be a few options in the free-agent market for relievers, so things should be okay here.

As for the lineup, there should be changes. Posada, for better or worse, is the Yankee catcher next season. At first, make a move for Tex. Money is never an issue, and Tex makes the Yankees younger, which is something they need. Keep Cano at second. I think this year is just a bump in the road, and you’d probably be selling low by trading him. Jeter, again for better or worse, is at short, but I think he’ll hit better next year (and if he hits well, who cares about his defense? I didn’t hear much about his defense while up for the MVP last season and the season before, but his defense couldn’t have been much better). A-Rod is at third. I would re-sign Abreu for right but find something to do with Matsui. He may not bring much back, but he’d be an upgrade for many teams. Right now, he’s just an injury waiting to happen (They’re both surprisingly the same age. I didn’t know that). Center is a place to make a decision. How good is Cabrera? I think a trade is in order. Bring up Jackson to play center. He’s ripped AA pitching this season, and if it is a bit of a jump, Brett Gardner could also be called up after hitting well in AAA. I don’t think there would be much dropoff. In left or right, keep Nady as he hits his prime. As for DH, keep Matsui or Damon. On second thought, trade Damon and keep Matsui. The DH spot should (maybe) keep Matsui healthy.

Here’s the lineup.
Gardner/Jackson CF
Jeter SS
Tex 1B
A-Rod 3B
Nady LF
Abreu RF
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B

The Yankees should be a tough team next season. I think getting younger makes them healthier. The question mark appears to be Posada and if he can return as a catcher (if not, maybe put him at DH?), but keep Molina just in case. Otherwise, if they get Sabathia, that staff will keep them in every game.

Some interesting thoughts, Mark. The comments section is now open for YOUR thoughts. Have at it. Continue reading Reader Mail: Fixing the Yanks, take 2

Programming note: August 18-22

Just a quick programming note: I will be on vacation all of next week, channeling my own Lewis & Clark, heading West to sunny San Diego.

Posting here will be sporatic at best. If there’s something going on that I should be aware of, please don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll do my best to check it out.
PS: If anyone from the Padres happens to wander back here, I’ll looking for interviews. Players, DePodesta, lockerrom guys, whoever.

Continue reading Programming note: August 18-22

Cano's hanging with the wrong crowd

Very good interview by The Big Lead with SI baseball writer extraordinaire Jon Heyman. Long but worth the read. Trust me.

Interesting nugget about Cano can be found at the bottom. Makes me wonder if Cano’s a ripe candidate to be dealt in the off-season? Hello, Orlando Hudson?!? Just sayin’…
Right now, who is the most overrated player in baseball?
At this moment, I have to say Robinson Cano, who is a great but still doesn’t get it; he should be following the lead of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, but instead he hangs out with some very wrong people and doesn’t always hustle.

(H/T to Shysterball for the link) Continue reading Cano's hanging with the wrong crowd