What if: ARod landed with Boston

I love little fantasies like this: What if the ARod trade to the Sox really happened? Well naturally, if it’s written by a Boston writer, ARod becomes a hero and beloved, clutch when it counts.

The Yankees, blindsided by the season-ending knee injury third baseman Aaron Boone suffered while playing basketball in his driveway, never recovered. The Red Sox, their offense scoring over 1,000 runs, won the division going away, then ran the table in the postseason, winning their first World Series in 86 years. A-Rod was named MVP. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, appalled that his team had missed out on both Schilling and A-Rod, fired GM Brian Cashman, who could have had Schilling but didn’t want to trade Nick Johnson.
It came as a shock this spring when Selena Roberts reported that A-Rod had used steroids while in Texas, but after the press conference in which A-Rod tearfully spoke of how sorry he was and vowed that for every home run he would hit, he would make a donation to the Taylor Hooton fund, Red Sox fans gave him a standing ovation on opening day.

Back to reality!

Though, there is a really good T/F “quiz” at the bottom of this article that is pretty cool, such as:

  • Alex Rodriguez was willing to send cash back to Texas owner Tom Hicks to make the deal to the Red Sox happen.

    True. But good luck ever getting anyone to admit it.

Continue reading What if: ARod landed with Boston

What ever happened to: Peter Gammons

I still like Sir Petey, even with his notorious Sox bent. Now, I don’t listen to ESPN as much as I used to and I tend to find myself enjoying the MLB Network more than BBTN lately, so maybe he’s still as present as ever… but his last article was 3 weeks ago. Three weeks. In otherwords, before the season even started.

What’s going on? Did I miss something? Continue reading What ever happened to: Peter Gammons

Finally, the cry to ban maple bats is getting louder

I’ve been ranting about this for some time now, insisting that MLB ban the use of maple bats until they have a reasonable solution. Good to read that there are others in the MSM who are joining the charge:

it’s no mystery why so many bats are splintering on contact: Some 55 percent of players prefer maple bats popularized by Barry Bonds. Maple bats tend to snap when broken. A broken bat made of ash, on the other hand, usually cracks.

The distinction is important. A snapped maple bat can deposit debris that travels as far as 100 feet, in any direction. A cracked ash bat almost always remains in one piece.

Although research at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell has proven that maple provides no extra power, old habits – unlike maple bats – are hard to break. So those players who prefer maple will continue to use maple. it’s legal, isn’t it?

The author, John McGrath proposes an interesting alternative to a flat-out ban on maple:

Here’s a better idea: Allow hitters the freedom to swing a maple bat, with handles as thin as they want. But if the bat snaps and any piece of it lands on the field, the hitter is ruled out on batter’s interference.

Creative. Not sure how I feel about it, but I sure like hearing some alternatives.

Other related posts on this bat issue:

Continue reading Finally, the cry to ban maple bats is getting louder

Posada's Quick Start And His Legacy

Kat O’Brien talked to Jorge Posada about his return from last season’s injury: “I have three more years, counting this year, with the contract,” said Posada, 37. “We’ll see after that. I would like to catch those three years. Obviously, I can’t play first base [with Mark Teixeira there]. I want to prepare myself every year that I can catch. I love catching. I love being behind the plate. I love being in charge……” Posada is off to a good start at the plate, hitting .286 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 13 games. He has a .357 on-base Continue reading Posada's Quick Start And His Legacy

Panic envelops the Mets

Of course it’s still incredibly early in the season (not yet 10% of the way thru), but it’s always fun to see which team panics first. Aside from Boston being in a 2-10 hole, watching the Mets and their ever-pessimistic fans gag first is just damn fun stuff.

A team insider later elaborated that no one, aside from Johan Santana, has immunity. Translation: Perez or Pelfrey, who can be optioned to the minors without passing through waivers, could be ticketed for the minors, while Livan Hernandez’s standing as fifth starter could be on shaky ground. Perez would have to consent to a minor-league assignment, like Steve Trachsel did in 2001, since he has more than five years of major-league service time. Maine, who is 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA, is out of minor-league options and needs to stay on the roster, but – like Perez and Pelfrey – could be sent to the pen.

This is the same Mets team who lavished a nice multi-year deal on the same Ollie Perez… the same Ollie Perez who has NEVER, EVER lived up to his hype, expectations and raw talents. Three years, $36m for Perez. Good luck with that, Mets fans. I am sure he’ll get his stuff together… in the last 3 months of the 3rd year of the deal.

And Livan? Did ANYONE think that would, you know, actually work out well? Even the most bullish of Mets fans (and by ‘bullish’ I mean ‘not fatalistic’) were down on Livan. At least he eat innings, right? Yesterday: 7 runs in 4.1 IP. Eat that. Naturally, everyone with a microphone and a radio show is talking about bringing Pedro back to the Mets. Yee-haw. I can’t wait for that one.

Of course, once Pedro signs with someone else, he’ll actually be good, but on the Mets, the funk would simply envelop him as it has with everyone else.

At least the Mets can gaze longingly at Johan. He’s pretty amazing.

Continue reading Panic envelops the Mets

When "very good" isn't good enough

Commish Selig tries to make a fair point about the Yanks (and Mets) seating “issues”:

“They’re off to a very good attendance start. One team is averaging 44,000 — the Yankees are at 44 — and the Metsies are averaging 37,000,” he said. “So it would be hard if I went to Pittsburgh or somewhere today and tell them, gee, you know, those two New York clubs are really struggling.”

In a vacuum, 44K fans on average is indeed very good. Some teams would KILL for that sorta attendance number. Hell, Fenway doesn’t even hold that many (max capacity: 37.4k). Except this is a brand new stadium in New York, capable of holding 52,325 easy-going, mild-mannered fans. Not packing the Stadium more than 84% is flat out embarrassing. A shame. This tribute to excess should be sold out. Given the demand for seats last year, the last season in the Old Stadium, this season appears to be a sharp contrast.

Now, most of those empty, hyper-expensive seats have been paid for. Not all, but most. So the empties will only really impact the Yanks in terms of lost concessions and parking revenues. The unsold seats, on the other hand, will sting a bit more.

I don’t think this is a “house of cards” scenario, where a big decline in gate revenues will hurt the team’s ability to pay for the on-field talent resulting in a major collapse. After all, this recession/depression will, at some point, be behind us. And then, the big-wigs and movers-and-shakers will back, clamoring to be seen up front. Fox will stuff those seats with “stars” they want to promote who have no business otherwise being there. Politicians will wear the interlocking NY to curry favor. All will be right in the Yanks world.

And Randy Levine will be somewhere in the park, likely in the deep recesses sitting in a huge leather chair with a dozen monitors at his fingertips, rubbing his hands with an evil grin, chortling under his breath “I told you so, you mindless sheep. I told you everyone would be back“. Bwaaaaa-haaaa-haaaaa! Continue reading When "very good" isn't good enough

Yankees-Red Sox Double Standard About Depth

This from Tim McCarver, via the NY Post: “The rivalry has changed because I think the pitching has changed,” McCarver said. “You don’t have them standing toe-to-toe slugging it out anymore. The Red Sox have a deep rotation and the Yankees were right with them, but with [Chien-Ming] Wang’s three horrendous starts that has changed for the time being.” Hmmm, so Wang being bad and possibly injured kills the Yankees, but Dice-K being bad and definitely injured is not even a factor for Boston? This is symptomatic of the media’s double standard regarding the Yankees and Sox that has been Continue reading Yankees-Red Sox Double Standard About Depth

Hughes To The Show?

As Steve referenced below, Chien-Ming Wang pitched in an extended spring training game yesterday and was uninspiring. Here is what Nardi Contreras had to say, via Pete Abraham: “He doesn’t have the arm strength he had last year,” Contreras said. “But he hasn’t pitched in eight months prior to this spring training. What I saw today, he had the best slider I’ve seen since I’ve known Chien-Ming. The slider has improved and the changeup is very good. His offspeed pitches are coming in really well.” You know what that sounds like? It sounds like a report you might get on Continue reading Hughes To The Show?

Greetings, and minors recap

Good evening all.  Before I start my recap of the minor league action tonight, I would like to briefly introduce myself.  My name is Eric Schultz, and I was previously a blogger at Pending Pinstripes, where I covered the minor leagues (joining and eventually succeeding EJ), but when I was offered to join The Yankee Universe I jumped on it, and here I am.  A lot of my posting will be about the minors and the draft (without stepping on EJ’s toes), but I hope to contribute to this site by writing on other topics as well, so stay tuned.  Continue reading Greetings, and minors recap