Back and ready to roll

  • Billfer at the Detroit Tigers Weblog has a nice dissection of Damon’s home runs and vector analysis which is worth reading.
  • New news: Yanks sign Chan Ho Park. Bullpen depth, anyone? Otherwise, a yawn.  Wonder if the media will cover his beard removal like they did when Damon signed initially with the Yanks from Boston? Doubtful.  Just a guess.
  • That Jeter guy is sure determined.  Give him all the credit in the world that he attacked his weaknesses with the gusto and determination that you’d wish other players (and people in your office) would work.  The naysayers will still call Jeter overrated and I’ll never be able to convice them. However, if you can’t respect his desire and motivation, then you’re just flat out wrong.
  • A bigger unit might be coming to the majors soon. Yeah, he’s 7’1″. Yikes. He might just hand the ball directly to the catcher. (h/t to Ron Rollins for passing this along)
  • Mazel tov to this fan, 15 years later.
  • Click here to read the rest

    The Hiroshima Carp are my favorite squadron

    While perusing MLBTR, I came across a mention of Japanese baseball club The Hiroshima Carp. Eager to find out more, I promptly Googled the Carp to see if they had a sweet- and or crazy-ass logo a la many a minor league team, but instead came across this gem of a team information page. Truly, this has to be the most honest description of a professional baseball franchise on the Internet.

    To wit:

    “Partly owned by the City of Hiroshima and Toyo, a car manufacturing company, the Carp may be one of the poorest ball clubs in Japan. Because the team reportedly has a low salary benchmark above which it refuses to go, the Carp tend to rarely negotiate with free agents or sign high-priced foreign players.”

    So the Carp are the Japanese Pittsburgh Pirates.

    “Bored with pitchers’ duels? Enjoy watching a lot of action and home runs? If so, the Hiroshima Carp are your team. Hiroshima’s sluggers take advantage of their home ballpark’s shallow outfield walls.”

    Everyone knows baseball fans hate pitchers duels.… Click here to read the rest

    Projecting Austin Romine

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    John Manuel was asked about Austin Romine in a recent ESPN chat, and this is what he had to say:

    David (Atlanta): What kind of bat potential (power and average) does Austin Romine have?

    John Manuel (3:11 PM): He should settle in as a .260-.270 hitter with 15-20 homers annually, which is pretty good for a good defensive catcher.

    While those numbers seem a bit modest, Manuel is spot on when he says that is pretty strong for a good defensive catcher. I took a look at this past season’s numbers to see how many catchers passed the low end of those two thresholds (I know that batting average is not a perfect metric, but it is the one Manuel used and it is decent for weeding out those who cannot hit at all). 11 catchers hit at least 15 homers, while 13 catchers with more than 300 PA’s batted at least .260.… Click here to read the rest

    Discussion: Once Boss Is Gone, Will Kids Cash Out?

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    Steve Lombardi, writing over at Was Watching this morning, surmised that the Steinbrenner clan may cash out of the Yankees once the Boss passes on. The suggestion was that most of the Junior Bosses do not really care that much about the team, and are simply running the club to continue their father’s legacy and attempt to impress him before he dies. Once he goes, most of them could simply search for a mega-payout and live off that for the rest of their lives.

    I have two questions about this:

    1) Do you agree with Steve? Prior to the 2009 season, I likely would have concurred with his evaluation of the season. However, it seemed to me that Hal warmed to the role as the year progressed, and was really gaining a feel for running the club by the time the offseason was reached. The fact that he set assessed the finances, set a budget, and stuck firm to that line despite the clamoring by Yankees fans for the return of Johnny Damon suggested that he is in this for the long haul.… Click here to read the rest

    Keep An Eye On Brandon Webb

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    Joel Sherman compiled his list of top 10 players to watch in the 2010 season, and Brandon Webb was mentioned:

    BRANDON WEBB, DIAMONDBACKS
    The pitching version of Reyes: a 2005-08 iron man who led the majors in innings and wins before breaking down last year. So far, so good on his shoulder. If Webb is 2006 Cy Young healthy in tandem with ace Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson, Arizona will have a rotation front three among the NL’s best.

    I would keep an eye on Webb’s performance, but not because I think he will give Arizona a top rotation. Rather, the 30-year old Webb is a candidate to be traded if he can recapture some of his old glory. If Arizona is not a legitimate playoff contender when the trade deadline rolls around, the Diamondbacks will likely seek to extract some value from the impending free agent. While his shoulder issue and the fact that he will be a 2 month rental player will limit the return, he should still fetch a nice package of prospects, as his last 3 healthy seasons yielded one Cy Young award and 2 second place finishes.… Click here to read the rest

    Johnny Damon signs with Detroit

    The Tigers and Johnny Damon have agreed to a one-year $8 million deal. By most accounts Damon has signed for more money than the Yankees ever offered him for a single season, although he was originally looking for a longer contract.

    Damon comes away from this looking like the typical modern professional athlete. He wanted as much money as he could get and got it, although it probably cost him a spot on a World Series contender in the process.

    On the other hand, if you were as bad at your job as Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski you would be fired. He had Curtis Granderson, a power hitting, left handed outfielder who is young and makes $5.5 million next year. He traded him for pennies on the dollar (thank you, by the way) so he could sign Johnny Damon, a power hitting, left handed outfielder who is old and will make $8 million next year. I’d rather have the money.… Click here to read the rest

    Matt Damon and Ben Affleck May Star In Yankee Wife-Swapping Movie

    From Deadline Hollywood:

    EXCLUSIVE: The Trade, a film that tells the true tale of 2 New York Yankees pitchers who caused a national scandal by swapping wives in the sexually-free 1970s, has finally hit the big leagues. Ben Affleck has become attached to direct and potentially star in the Warner Bros film. (Let me say that for a Yankees fan like myself, it would be worth it just to see Ben Affleck, and possibly Matt Damon, forced to wear the New York pinstripes. That has always been considered a potential obstacle for two die-hard Boston Red Sox fans and renowned Yankees haters.) Teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich stunned the country when they disclosed in spring training 1973 that they were trading wives. Peterson had fallen in love with Susanne Kekich and his teammate fell in love with Marilyn Peterson. Fritz and Susanne remain a couple till this day, while Mike and Marilyn drifted apart. Affleck and his former Live Planet partners Matt Damon and Sean Bailey have long been intrigued with the project, with Affleck eyeing the role of Peterson and Damon the role of Kekich.

    Click here to read the rest

    A Brief Musing on the Joba Situation

    Yesterday at River Ave. Blues, Ben Kabak did a good job at breaking down a shoddy John Harper B-Jobber article. Both Moshe and I were planning on doing something like this, but Ben beat us to it and did a great job.

    Phil and Joba

    Instead of talking about the article now, though, I’d like to discuss the Joba/5th starter situation, and in more general terms.

    First off, I know everyone–from Cashman, to Girardi, to Eiland, to Joba, to Hughes–has said that the fifth starter competition is just that: a competition. I don’t believe this for more than…five seconds. This job is Joba’s to lose. Obviously, the Yankees can’t come out and say that. It could send a bad message to the other players and it could lead to a sense of complacency in Chamberlain. Perhaps the Yankees are “gun shy” after guaranteeing roles to Hughes and Ian Kennedy before the ’08 season. The results were rather ugly, so the Yankees have to at least put on the air of competition.… Click here to read the rest

    Tigers make an offer to Johnny Damon

    Although it’s not reporting the terms of the offer, ESPN.com is reporting that the Tigers have made an offer to Johnny Damon. In the same article it is also reported that the Atlanta Braves remain interested in Damon, but no further details are provided so the latter may only be speculation.

    Yankee fans will be paying close attention to the size of any deal Damon signs. If Damon signs with the Tigers then Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski will be making an early push for being the Not GM of the Year. Dombrowski had young, affordable left-handed Curtis Granderson earlier this offseason. Now he may be about to replace him with old, greedy left-handed Johnny Damon.… Click here to read the rest