Neyer on Burnett, lineup

I’m an unabashed Neyer fan, I’ll admit it. And he’s spot on again about Burnett, which is something I have been saying in the lead-up to his signing:

[Burnett]’s not reliable, and the Yankees have pretty obviously overpaid. Too many dollars, too many years. If the Yankees wanted an impressive fifth starter, they probably could have spent a little less money for a slightly better pitcher. But what’s a few million dollars to the Yankees?

I have noted that I love a Burnett contract for three years, like for four and hate for five. Well, Cashman went to a five year deal to land their man. Though, when has eating the extra years of a bad contract prohibited the Yanks from doing anything else they had planned, so why worry about that, right? Ain’t my money.

Sure, the Yanks offense is older and on the slide. But it’s still pretty good. Says Neyer:

And the offense? Yankee Stadium is (or rather, was) a pitcher’s park. Considering only road games, the Yankees finished third in the American League in OPS last year. Maybe that doesn’t qualify as “excellent,” but it’s certainly somewhere between “good” and “excellent.” Granted, everybody’s a year older and we might expect a slight decline next year. So yes, the Yankees should try to improve their offense – and I’m not at all convinced they can’t still afford to do exactly that. Has Brian Cashman suggested that he’s finished spending money? If he has, I missed it. In fact, I’ll be surprised if the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup doesn’t look better than it looks right now.

And right now it looks pretty darn good.

I would have LOVED to see Teix in pinstripes over Burnett and gone after Lowe or Sheets on a shorter term deal. Continue reading Neyer on Burnett, lineup

Save your venom


Yankee bashers, save some of your venom. The Sox are entering the $200m contract realm. Does this mean they are officially out of the “scrappy, gamer, underdog” business and now headlong into the mercenary business?

Dan Patrick reported on his show on AM 570 that the Boston Red Sox have made first baseman Mark Teixeira an eight-year, $200 million offer.

If so, that blows the reported eight-year, $160 million offers by the Angels and the Washington Nationals out of the water.

Patrick said Monday morning: “If it’s true they’re offering $200 million to a career .290 hitter, it’ll be interesting to see what the Angels do.”

Evil Empire II. Save your chest-beating, Sox fans, and look in the mirror. You aren’t much different than the team you love to hate. Except your management allows facial hair.

Now…all fun aside, if the Sox get Teix, that’s a fantastic move for them. He’s a quality person first and foremost, an anti-Manny, if you will. He plays great defense, a solid hitter from either side of the plate. Seems to be accountable for his actions, which I love. Does he have the personality that will fit in a loose Boston clubhouse? Not sure. Can that be overlooked? Probably.
Add in Teix to that lineup with that rotation and I’d be hard-pressed to see any team beating them along the way to the World Series. Beckett, Lester, Dice-K at the front of the rotation with Papelboner at the end. Pedroia, Youk, Papi, Teix, Drew. That’s a great team. Period. Hurts to say but it’s true.

Can the Yanks climb back into the playoffs over this team and the Rays? Can the Rays sustain the ’08 momentum? Will I be jealous/envious if the Sox land Teix? Maybe, probably, definitely. Continue reading Save your venom

The inevitable: Padres for sale

Is anyone shocked?

San Diego Padres owner John Moores told this weekend that he has hired Goldman Sachs to identify potential buyers for the ballclub.
Moores said selling any part of the club does involve a much-publicized personal wrinkle: the pending divorce between him and his wife, Becky.

Together, they own 90 percent of the team, and because of community property laws in the state of California, Becky shares 50 percent of that asset. She must agree to any sale, and in the event that they can’t come to an agreement, the California state court presiding over the divorce would be the arbitrator.

Thanks to ShysterBall for the alert and the Delta Burke reference, which is always good. Continue reading The inevitable: Padres for sale

Gamesmanship versus cheating

Apparently, when it happened in a historically meaningful game more than 50 years ago, it’s both charming and nostalgic. When it happens in the last decade and a half, it’s subpoena-worthy:

Sign-stealing by mechanical means was outlawed by baseball in 1961. As for that episode a decade earlier, “I didn’t feel guilty about anything,” [Sal] Yvars told Prager. “I was just doing my job.”

The link above is the obituary for Sal Yvars, a back-up catcher on the NY Giants team that won the pennant when Bobby Thompson hit his “shot heard ’round the world” against Ralph Branca.

When Branca delivered his fateful pitch, a high inside fastball, did Thomson know what was coming? “I gave him the sign,” Yvars told The New York Times in 2001. But Thomson told Prager that he had been concentrating so heavily that he had not looked toward Yvars.

Bottom line, cheating is cheating. Unless it’s on grainy black and while film and we wax philosophical about that time and the good old days. Because it wasn’t yet illegal by definition (though clearly in against the spirit of the rules), it’s gamesmanship. Just not for PED’s.

(Thanks to Ron Rollins for the tip)
Continue reading Gamesmanship versus cheating

Who is worse for baseball: Yankees or Padres?

This topic was not my creation. I caught a bit of the MLB Home Plate morning show on XM radio (channel 175) on my way into work today. Admittedly, I am just getting into this as I recently switched from Sirius to XM*. The chatter of the day was the question: Which team is worse for baseball, the Yanks or the Padres.

* Pos-like aside: I had a Sirius unit installed when I got my car in 2005, even though XM came pre-installed. I just liked the music selections better. Now that programming is almost identical, I switched to XM (better signal strength, cheaper with my wife having XM too) which gave me access to MLB Home Plate (all baseball, all the time) and will eventually give me radio access to every game for every team. I’m getting into the discussions a bit.

The easy answer to the above question is the Yanks due to their payroll and spending. They are flaunting their money while most teams are cutting back, shedding office staff, etc. They are routinely the highest payroll with very little to show for it the last few years.

Then there are the Padres. They are slashing payroll to something in the neighborhood of $40m. No player is untradable. Heck, they let legend Trevor Hoffman go and maybe you heard that they are trying to unload Peavy. Their owner, John Moores, is going thru a divorce that threatens his ability to own the team. The team has no chance to be competitive for many years, unless they can get the bounty they are looking for to deal Peavy…and even then, it might take several years.

So what’s worse for the “game of baseball”? A team that overspends or a team that underspends?

Select View Full Post to continue reading.

Continue reading Who is worse for baseball: Yankees or Padres?

Buster on the Yanks, prospects

Just a bit from Buster on the Yanks and their keeping of their prospects:

On the front end, both teams would have been required to surrender their top pitching prospects — for the Red Sox, that was Jon Lester, and for the Yankees, that was Phil Hughes — and then they would have to pay Santana like he was a free agent. It was such an extraordinary price that even some folks in the Mets’ organization wondered, after getting Santana, whether it was the right thing to do.

The argument that several executives made with the Red Sox and Yankees was that if you were patient — patient — then you might have a shot at a pitcher much like Santana in CC Sabathia, and the cost would only have one layer. Sure, you’d have to give him a huge contract, but you wouldn’t have to give up top prospects along the way.

So the Yankees, in the end, were patient and got Sabathia, and the pundits who are saying that the team has blown up its plan for player development are simply not paying attention. In fact, the signings of Sabathia and A.J. Burnett are absolutely in keeping with the refocus on the farm system.

None of this is a guarantee of a playoff visit, no matter how much money is spent. The RedSox and Rays are formidable and equally talented. But it sure makes the team better than it was last year. And that’s the point. Continue reading Buster on the Yanks, prospects

Madoff's Ponzi scheme hits the Mets

For those not tuned into the remarkable $50B Ponzi scheme collapse, it’s hit Mets’ ownership hard:

But interviews Saturday with several people with knowledge of Wilpon’s business dealings revealed concern about significant problems that Wilpon and the Mets could encounter because of the reported fraud. Although it is unclear how much money Wilpon may recoup, any significant financial loss by a team owner raises questions about how those losses may affect the franchise.

Continue reading Madoff's Ponzi scheme hits the Mets