Defense is the New Moneyball?

An interesting article for your mental digestion, Yankee fans, by the great Peter Gammons on “Falling back in love with defense” showing that baseball people and fans alike are slowly coming back to the point where defense is now being valued nearly as much as offense.

One GM even goes so far as to say, “I still believe that one of the factors that has hurt some of the good offensive free agents this winter, like Manny Ramirez, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, is the concern about how many runs they give back defensively. There is a great deal more appreciation for defense than there was a decade ago.”

Gammons goes on to cite teams like Tampa and Minnesota who have had great success with a philosophy that revolves, to a great extent, on defensive prowess.

Why is defense making a comeback?  Several reasons come to mind:

1) The sheer cyclical nature of the universe had to rear its head at some point. … Click here to read the rest

Dissecting the ARod transcript, pt III

PETER GAMMONS: How do you go about making people believe you?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I think coming into the league at 20 years, coming second to Juan Gonzalez as MVP is one good indication. And then, 14 years later in 2007, having the greatest year of my career is another. The other thing is, I’m going to have a sample of 14 years past this Texas era where I get to show and prove to the world who I am as a player. Hopefully I’m part of a championship team or two.

And I also, more importantly, have a chance to, you know, tell the story to kids so they can learn from my mistake. Because there’s a story to be said here. I’m looking forward to that challenge.

But to me, ’09, now I’m getting excited going to spring training. When you take this gorilla and this monkey off your back, you realize that honesty is the only way. I’m finally beginning to grow up.… Click here to read the rest

Who else is on the list?

Alex Rodriguez has been outed, now, what other names do you think may be featured in the 2003 results (there are 104 in total)? I don’t consider this to be inappropriate speculation, instead, I think it’s only fair for us to wonder about who the other names are since they have yet to be released. If one guy’s name is released, release them all, right? Here are a few players that I think could be on the list.

1. Barry Bonds
2. Bret Boone
3. Jason Giambi
4. Aubrey Huff
5. Bill Mueller
6. Gary Sheffield
7. Javy Lopez
8. Eric Gagne
9. Sammy Sosa
10. Richard Hidalgo
11. Jeff Bagwell
12. Miguel Tejada
13. Kevin Brown

Who do you think is on the list?… Click here to read the rest

Dissecting the ARod transcript, pt II

The “without trying to overinvestigate” comment is again so profoundly absurd, it’s amazing that he kept going back to this. Gammons, who knows ARod as well as anyone, should have hammered on this. I’m disappointed he let it slide the way he did. Sure he asked ARod a few times but never said “C’mon Alex. Do you mean to tell me that you injected or ingested whatever someone gave you without asking what it was, what it did, what the effects were?

PETER GAMMONS: To go back, you were 21 years old. You’re saying at that point in your career, high school, No. 1 pick in the country, you’re hitting .358 at the age of 21, you were completely clean?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: 100 percent. 100 percent. Even before that I had never even seen or even heard of the idea of taking any substance. I’ve been very fortunate to come up. I was up at 18 years old. I remember meeting you when I was a few months removed away from high school.

Click here to read the rest

Jorge feeling good

Jorge Posada played catch yesterday, throwing 140 times at varying distances. According to Jorge, he’s feeling pretty good and is progressing nicely. Also, speaking of Jorge, he offered a “that’s pretty accurate” of his own, yesterday, when asked if he was one of the 104 players on the now infamous 2003 survey list.

From Anthony McCarron (Daily News):

When Posada was asked if he worried that his name would get tainted by steroids, he replied, “I hope not. I think I’ve done things right. I don’t think I’ve put anything in my body that could be positive on one of those tests.”

Later, Posada had to clarify to a reporter that he had never used steroids.

“I have never done it,” Posada said in a telephone interview. “Let me make myself clear: I will never be positive. I don’t take anything. I’ve never tested positive in anything and I never will.”

Jorge hit 30 homers in 2003. I guess everyone is a suspect, now.… Click here to read the rest

PECOTA 2009 Projected Standings

From the WGS Red Sox blog comes the 2009 PECOTA projected standings. PECOTA predicts that three AL teams will win over 90 games. The problem is, all three teams are in the AL East, as you could make a strong argument that the three best teams in all of baseball are Boston, New York, and Tampa. They have Boston with 98 wins, the Yankees with 97, and the Rays in 92. That one win likely represents the poor projections for the Yankees coming off bad seasons and injuries.

Other interesting numbers:

They have the Al Central going to the Indians with 84 wins, with the rest of the division being under .500. The White Sox, last year’s division winner, are projected to finish last. The Al West is won by the 82 win A’s, with the Angels falling under .500. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Angels blew the division, but I would be fairly surprised if the finished with 79 wins.… Click here to read the rest

Dissecting the ARod transcript, pt I

Click here for the transcript on ESPN.

Here are my thoughts following each Q&A:

PETER GAMMONS: Alex, this weekend Sports Illustrated reported that in 2003 you tested positive for testosterone, an anabolic steroid known as Primobolan. What is the truth?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day.

Back then, it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time. And I did take a banned substance. You know, for that I’m very sorry and deeply regretful.

… The culture back then, and Major League Baseball overall, was very — I just feel
that, you know, I’m just sorry.… Click here to read the rest