Yanks have faith in Cody Ransom

From the Denver Post we learn that the Rockies are shopping Jeff Baker, a useful utility player that has the ability to play at 1B, 2B, 3B or RF and LF. The Post article also mentions that the Astros and the Yankees — two teams that could use some assistance at 3B — would make sense for a Baker trade. However, author Troy Renck notes that “the Rockies will ask for a lot for Baker,” especially if Colorado knows that he’ll start somewhere.

Baker is versatile in that he can play a number of positions and he does have some power upside, however, a trade doesn’t seem to make much sense for New York. Not only will the team balk at the asking price for an eventual part-time player — whatever that price may be — Renck points out that a “source” familiar with the team’s thinking believes that the Yankees are truly “committed to giving Cody Ransom a shot” while A-Rod heals.… Click here to read the rest

Stephen Strasberg At The Draft

Although our own Stephen S. covered this a few days ago, I’d like to weigh in.

Stephen Strasberg is the best NCAA pitcher in recent memory. All things being equal, he’s probably better right now than Mark Prior was. Strasberg, pitching for San Diego, has thrown 34 innings so far this season, with 74 strikeouts and just 7 walks. He has a fastball that tops out in Joel Zumaya territory, and strong secondary pitches to go along with them. He was the lone college player on the 2008 US Olympic team, and went 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA for the Bronze Medal team. Not sold yet? Look at this video: (Warning, there’s sound)

How could this man possibly be relevent to the Yankees? Contract demands. Scott Boras, Strasberg’s agent, has recently stated that he wants a 50 million dollar major league contract for his client at the draft. This sounds absurd. It probably is. Boras uses the threat of playing in Japan for a year as leverage for Strasberg.… Click here to read the rest

Schilling vs. Mussina

Disclaimer: While I dabble in and thoroughly support advanced statistical analysis, I won’t pretend I speak the language fluently. For the sake of this discussion, I won’t delve into the HOF worthiness of Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris, or any other well-discussed pitchers. All data referenced herein comes from the incredible Baseball-Reference.com.

What I thought about was how the voters will look at these two accomplished pitchers.

  • How will they tell them apart?
  • Will Schilling’s stellar post-season efforts outweigh Moose’s longer and more consistent years and greater win totals?
  • Will each of their lack of milestone win totals preclude both of them, given there are pitchers with greater win totals still having to buy a ticket to enter the HOF?
  • Were they truly great or just very, very good?
  • Will their ‘seemingly’ PED-free career in a the “Steroids Era” help them or will they be caught up under the blanket of “presumed guilt until proven innocent”?

Let’s compare these two horses side by side and see what the numbers begin to tell us.… Click here to read the rest

One Last Post On Flipping Damon and Jeter

I have suggested on various occasions this offseason that the Yankees flip Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon at the top of the batting order. Late last month, I supported that notion with the following:

The one element that supports keeping things as they are is Damon’s speed, as he is a much better base stealer than Jeter at this point. However, the remainder of the data points in the opposite direction. Unless Jeter’s poor season was a sign of a steep decline, Derek is better at reaching base than Damon, with a 30 point edge in OBP over their careers. However, Damon is less prone to the strikeout (12.1 K% to 17.1 for Jeter) and is significantly better at keeping the ball off the ground (1.33 GB/FB compared to 2.36). Essentially, this means that Damon is able to put up similar numbers to Jeter while making more contact and hitting fewer ground balls, both qualities that help avoid rally killing double plays and strikeouts from the #2 slot.

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A-Rod: I've Given Up On Being Liked

Alex Rodriguez recently did an interview with YES Network’s Michael Kay, and had a few very interesting things to say:

Alex Rodriguez believes the other 103 positive tests from Major League Baseball’s 2003 survey program should remain anonymous, the Yankees slugger told the YES Network in an interview to be aired Tuesday….

“This is really about my mistake,” Rodriguez told Kay. “You know, many nights I fell asleep thinking about who I can blame, and this guy, or that guy. And when I woke up I kept coming back to the same person; it’s me. I mean, there’s no one to blame. I hope those 103 names never come out…..”

The recent revelations are certainly the most prominent items in what has been a tumultuous five-plus year stay in New York for Rodriguez. Asked by Kay if Rodriguez worries that people do not like him, Rodriguez said that he has “given up on that.”

“It’s just the way it is,” Rodriguez said.

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A-Rod’s Madam Speaks out. .

. . . and apparently she wasn’t the source of the Daily News piece.

Former madam Kristin Davis, who served three months in jail and is on five years’ probation after pleading guilty to promoting prostitution, spoke in generalities when reached by Newsday on Sunday.

“All I can say is, there is a connection,” Davis said when asked about Rodriguez, a former Mariner.

Davis declined to comment on the specific allegations, saying she does “not talk about my personal life or who I date.”

I speculated the other day in Moshe’s post about the Daily News article that Alex’s PR people might be behind the story for various reasons. Now Davis comes out today and says she doesn’t want to comment on the story. So if she’s not the source, that kind of narrows things down, no?

Alex is represented by William Morris LLC, and while they have a small stable of sports figures, most of their clients are Hollywood celebrities and musicians. … Click here to read the rest