Random thought of the day: Twins-style

I was clicking thru various links from Buster’s blog (which really isn’t so much of a blog in the first place) and clicked on one about the Twins wearing the 1982 uniforms every Saturday at home during this, their final season in the Metrodome. OK, that’s cool. I love the throwbacks.

And that lead me down a strange path of thinking about the Twins new stadium, Target Field. Looks to be gorgeous (click here to see a virtual tour). I hadn’t thought much of it until seeing that virtual tour and layering in the memories of the poor weather that affected the World Series. My eureka moment: Target Field has no roof. I repeat: THERE IS NO ROOF!

Let’s review: Minnesota, cold. Minnesota, snowy. Games in April and October are potential weather “situtations”. What if the Twins, you know, make it far in the playoffs, even into November? I can hear the “neutral site” panic already growing. And you know what? In that case, I agree. Playing baseball in the snow/sub-freezing temperatures is not natural. I know a retractable roof would add at least another $300 million to the tab but wouldn’t it behoove MLB leadership to INSIST upon this?

Average climate in Minnesota by month (emphasis mine):

April: Average high= 57 degrees F; Average low= 36 degrees F; Average precipitation= 2.31 inches. Okay, don’t bring out the shorts yet, but you can lose the long underwear. There’s plenty of annoying freezing rain.

June: Average high= 79 degrees F; Average low= 58 degrees F; Average precipitation= 4.34 inches. June is usually the rainiest month, but everyone’s so happy it’s summer that no one cares. Thunderstorms can be frequent, along with the threat of tornadoes.

July: Average high= 83 degrees F; Average low= 63 degrees F; Average precipitation= 4.04 inches. This is the “hot” month, so to speak! There’s often a spell of 90 degree days, and the humidity and thunderstorms can be nasty. However, with an average high temperature of only 83 degrees, July is Minnesota is pretty amazing. Unfortunately, the mosquito problem really gets bad around July.

October: Average high= 58 degrees F; Average low= 39 degrees F; Average precipitation= 2.11 inches. Snow is possible–in fact, the Halloween blizzard of 1991 dumped over 28 inches of snow on the Twin Cities!

November: Average high= 40 degrees F; Average low= 25 degrees F; Average precipitation= 1.94 inches. The calendar may say that’s it’s fall, but winter has begun. Expect about 8 inches of snow.

Someone tell me how this ends well. I can’t see it.

Here is a YouTube video of Target Field and artistic renderings:
Continue reading Random thought of the day: Twins-style

All I want for Christmas is a 9 digit contract

It must be good to be Mark Teixeira:

“I don’t want to put a timetable on it, but Christmas morning, I want to know where I’m going to be for the next couple of years, so hopefully, by Christmas it will be done,” Teixeira told ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews…
Teixeira said that he and Boras are on recon at the moment but will hopefully have a decision to make in the next few weeks. The Nationals, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox and Giants are projected to be suitors.

“I want to go where I can win and my family is happy,” Teixeira said. “Whether it’s the East Coast — that’s where I’m from — but I loved playing in Anaheim, too, so we’ll see what happens.”

So if he wants to win, he can cross off the Nats, Orioles and the Giants. That leaves the Angels, Red Sox and Yanks. If the Yanks actually pull that Sabathia offer, they can bury Teix under an avalanche of cash.

Continue reading All I want for Christmas is a 9 digit contract

MLB Network madness

Get ready for more blackouts with the launch of the MLB Network.

MLB owners, yet again, tabled restructuring the local and regional television territories for the league at today’s quarterly owners meetings in New York, and in doing so, leaves an arcane and convoluted system in place just before the MLB Network launches on January 1.
If the owners, yet again, table the issue in January, then the odds will continue to dwindle for a fair and equitable system that allows as many baseball fans as possible to enjoy MLB’s product. Limiting your product to the masses is a backward way of thinking.

Amen, brother, amen.

Continue reading MLB Network madness

False promises and idle threats

Yesterday, I was excited to hear that Hal, not Hank, was named uber-lord of the Yankee Empire. I viewed it as a directional positive that the silly proclamations and buffoonery that came from Hank would stop.

Except I was dead wrong and it only took a few hours to prove me wrong. I was hoping to look semi-smart for just a day.

[One thing I try not to do as a parent is make promises to my kids that I can’t (or have no intention to) keep or throw out idle threats. After a while, the kids realize it and the threats and promises fall on deaf ears. The same applies to baseball players and their agents.]

So Hal comes out yesterday, with his shiny new sheriff’s badge glistening in the midday sun, and declares:

We’ve made [CC Sabathia] an offer. It’s not going to be there forever

Holy crap.

Lemme get this straight: If you set a deadline of –just for the sake of an example– December 1st and Sabathia takes his time and ultimately decides that he wants to take the offer… but waits until December 5th… you wouldn’t welcome him with all the fanfare you could muster*? Hal, don’t you realize that you are giving him the out he might be looking for to take a lesser offer? Do you really think he gives a rat’s backside whether you set an arbitrary deadline or not? He, and everyone else who cares about baseball, knows that the Yanks would be ga-ga to have Sabathia. You don’t bully the guy you are begging to save your franchise and shower with enough cash to put his great great grandchildren on Easy Street. Something like attracting more bees with honey instead of vinegar?

Instead of an idle threat, go the other way: make him feel comfortable taking all the time he needs to make what is a major life decision. Don’t put a date stamp on an offer like a carton of milk. Don’t give him the excuse to take less money from the Dodgers (“Well, the Yanks pulled their offer, so this was the best available to me and where I wanted to be all along…“)

Maybe, having Hal steering the ship isn’t what I hoped it would be. Looks like he backed it up into the dock backing out. Shipbuilder George won’t fix it, either.

* Doesn’t this have the same look and feel of Hank telling ARod that if he opts out of his contract after the 2007 season, there would be no way he’d be back as a Yankee… except he then signed ARod to a 10 year behemoth of a contract that broke ARod’s own record contract?

: Looks like Shysterball had the same thoughts on this silliness.

For what it’s worth, I think that’s a pretty empty threat. Sure, maybe it won’t be there forever-forever, but I have this feeling that if CC said he needed a few weeks to consult whatever God he believes in, Hal wouldn’t pull the thing off the table.

UPDATE (11/21/08, 10:25am): Buster’s in agreement, too, almost verbatim (Insider access required, sorry):

Put it this way: If the Yankees pulled their offer to Sabathia on Dec. 10, and on Dec. 13, Sabathia’s agents called and told them he wanted their $140 million offer, do you think the Yankees would say No, sorry, our deadline has passed? No, of course not.

Continue reading False promises and idle threats

All Hail Hal

Ladies and gents, we have a new sherriff:

Major League Baseball owners approved the shift of control of the New York Yankees from George Steinbrenner to his son, Hal, on Thursday.

I believe this should be taken as a positive for fans of the team.

What this means for Hank, I have NO idea. Will he slink off into the background? Drift into the ether? Keep acting as a petulant brat with the big mouth?

I dunno but stay tuned! Continue reading All Hail Hal

Stark's (Yankee) Rumblings

From Jayson Stark, first about Sabathia (who really sounds like he doesn’t want to be in NY):

We’ve heard the arguments that Sabathia’s contract is too important to his fellow players for him to turn down the most dollars. And it’s hard to imagine that the Dodgers will attempt to beat the Yankees’ total dollars. But one longtime friend of CC told Rumblings this week that if the dollars he’s offered in California are “anywhere close [to the money in New York], he’ll go there.”

Another veteran baseball executive asked this question: “Let’s say he takes less money than he’d get in New York, but he still signs the richest pitching contract of the winter. Wouldn’t he be able to sell that [to the union]?”

Our suspicion is: As long as he beats the average annual value of Johan Santana‘s deal (just under $23 million), he would.

And this tidbit about Hughes, from a review of the Arizona Fall League:

Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes (1-0, 3.60 ERA, 28 K’s, 25 IP): “Saw him two games, and he cruised. He dominated, and he should. His curveball was very sharp. All those people who think he’s lost his luster — no way. Hell, he’d be our No. 2 starter right now.”

Continue reading Stark's (Yankee) Rumblings

Maple bats and minus 3.5

Among many of the esoteric and rarely known/discussed rules includes the rule that the specifications for a bat’s length and weight must not exceed -3.5. Adding to the list of things for which I am clueless, this rule is one of them.

“We’ve been told that they probably won’t ban maple, that they will come up with some recommendations for changing what we do now,” said [Brian] Hillerich, professional bat production manager for [Hillerich & Bradsby, which makes the Louisville Slugger], which has a 60% share of the MLB market.

One of the remedies to reduce the number of broken bats is to change the difference between the length and weight of a bat. According to MLB rules, bats can be no more than minus-3.5, which means the difference between the length in inches and weight in ounces cannot be greater than 3.5.

“A 34-inch, 30.5-ounce bat is waiting to be broken in half,” Hillerich said.

I have no idea whether what Hillerich says is indeed true, but I’m in favor of any change that will help prevent the epidemic of exploding bats. Continue reading Maple bats and minus 3.5

Thanks Moose!

Moose is calling it a career.

The biggest question around the blogosphere and MSM today is “Is Moose a Hall Of Famer?” Personally, I have wavered on this. Was he ever THAT guy, the truly dominant pitcher of his era? Well, maybe back in his Baltimore days and maybe a bit in his earlier Yankee days, but generally speaking, no he wasn’t.

But what really got me leaning towards answering that question with a “yes” was the fact that he spent his entire career in the AL East through what will go down in baseball history as “The Steriod Era”.

Select View Full Post to continue reading.

Continue reading Thanks Moose!

I love me some tongue-and-cheek humor

The epitome of tongue-and-cheek humor, Yanks style:

Things were so much better when Scott Brosius was around. That’s a third-base plan. Third basemen who put up on-base percentages of .307 and .299 in consecutive years just don’t grow on trees. Factor in his twice-monthly barehand pickups and some timely postseason hits and he goes from prized commodity to once-in-a-lifetime talent. Even at age 42, he would be a great fit for this team in 2009. Bring him back. The Yankees haven’t won a World Series since Brosius retired after 2001, and they’ve made only one in that span. That’s just too much to be a coincidence. It has nothing — nothing — to do with bad luck or a lack of pitching.

Sad part: ARod’s still judged only on his post-season (and how it stacks up to Scotty B, fair or not). No matter if he carries the team TO the playoffs, he’s expected to WIN it for them.

I wouldn’t mind his checkbook, but that’s an awful amount of pressure. Especially when wrapped up in Madonna’s sinewy arms and old-looking man-hands. Plus having to be reminded about Jeter’s 4 rings and “never do wrong” legacy. Continue reading I love me some tongue-and-cheek humor