Don Mattingly, Outfielder?

Amidst my time spent looking at pictures of baseball cards for my posting earlier today, there were several interesting little tidbits that jumped out at me:

  • Biggio in catcher’s gear
  • Gwynn’s jeri-curl
  • Maddux’s pedo-stache
  • Schilling’s equally troubling pedo-stache
  • Mo, By Dockers
  • David Arias (pre-Ortiz)
  • Pedro’s mullet (and ‘stache)
  • CC’s ‘stache (noticing a trend? ‘Staches on 20 year olds are never a good idea)
  • Sosa bunting (and that his in-the-prime picture featured elastic sleeves so he could show off the guns)

But most interesting to me is that they have Don Mattingly listed as OF-1B. I grew up with Donnie Baseball but I never, ever remembered him playing anywhere but first base. So I checked. And whaddya know, there it is: Don Mattingly, outfielder.

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New Year’s Resolutions

In 13 hours, 2010 will officially be in the books. We’ll have finished our 365th rotation around the sun and we’ll starting writing the first lines of the new year. However, we could argue that 2010 will be on-going, at least for us baseball fans. The Hot Stove season, however cooled it may be, is still burning and that gives us a link to 2010 and our new year won’t start until pitchers and catchers report in mid-February. But, in keeping with tradition, here’s some Yankee and baseball themed resolutions for us to try out: –This is for a certain Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions

The problem with believing everything our eyes see

There has been a very healthy and strong debate about the Hall of Fame, particularly from two of the industry’s heavyweights: Joe Posnanski and Jeff Pearlman. This debate focuses on Jeff Bagwell most specifically, but really, it’s a proxy for most of the players who played at least part of their career during “The Steroid Era”. To set this up, first Joe Pos:

2. Jeff Bagwell — though he never tested positive for steroids, never was implicated in any public way, was not named in the Mitchell Report or by anyone on the record as a suspected user, and is not even on this rather comprehensive list of players linked to steroids or HGH — seems to have become in some voters’ minds a player who used performance-enhancing drugs.

I can’t even begin to describe my disgust at No. 2 … it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. This is PRECISELY what I was talking about when I said how much I hate the character clause in the Hall of Fame voting. I think it encourages people to believe their own nonsense, to stand up on high and be judge and jury. It’s something that my friend Bill James calls the “I see it in his eyes” tripe. Bill has finished a book on crime — it is, he says, actually about crime books as much as crime — and one thing he kept running into in his research was people who claimed that they could pinpoint the murderer because “it was in their eyes.” Well, as Bill says, that’s a whole lot of garbage. Eyes are eyes. Some people look guilty when they’re innocent, and some people look innocent when they’re guilty, and most people don’t look innocent OR guilty except when we want to see that something in their eyes. Oh, but we love to believe we know. It’s one of the flaws of humanity. And the Hall of Fame character clause gives voters carte blanche to judge the eyes and hearts and souls of players.

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Comparing the Yankees To Other Likely Top-6 Farm Systems

[image title=”jesus_montero” size=”full” id=”24033″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]Yesterday, we learned that Jim Callis regards the Yankees as a top-6 farm system in baseball. Accompanying them are probably going to be Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and possibly two of  Minnesota, Atlanta and Oakland. Among this group, how to the Yankees rank? At the top of each organization, the Yankees probably have the best prospect. Jesus Montero’s main competition for the title probably includes Jeremy Hellickson in Tampa and the Kansas City trio of Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, and Mike Moustakas. I think Montero is a pretty clear choice  over that group Continue reading Comparing the Yankees To Other Likely Top-6 Farm Systems

Hall of Shame: Instead of Votes, Some BBWAA Members Cast Doubt; Bagwell A Chief Victim of Smear Campaign

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog.) The holidays are also major league baseball’s Hall of Fame season. Once the ballot is released after Thanksgiving, hundreds of BBWAA members endeavor to narrow down the choices, and in the process, usually write about their selections ahead of the official announcement on January 5. As a result, an undercurrent usually emerges from the collective prose to offer a hint as to the eventual outcome. Unfortunately for the likes of Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, Roberto Alomar and Alan Trammell, there really hasn’t been a resounding sentiment that would foreshadow their deserved elections. Instead, Continue reading Hall of Shame: Instead of Votes, Some BBWAA Members Cast Doubt; Bagwell A Chief Victim of Smear Campaign

What changed from 2009 to 2010?

As 2010 winds to a close I’ve been thinking about what would need to change in 2011 for the Yankees to win another title. The reflexive answer is to suggest better pitching. After all, the Yankees are in the market for starters, in case you hadn’t heard. But is that true? The 2009 Yankees clearly were good enough to win the World Series, and the team did it with only three reliable starters. Heading into the playoffs the 2010 Yankees had about that many again in CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes but the post season had a different Continue reading What changed from 2009 to 2010?

Callis: Yankees Have Top 6 Farm System

Back in August, Jim Callis of Baseball America was asked if the Yankees had a top 10 farm system. He was noncommittal, but suggested that they might be ranked in that range and were certainly in the conversation. Yesterday, he was asked a similar question, and his answer was an encouraging one for Yankees fans: Yes. @mitchellnj: #Yankees Top 6 Farm System? As I said back in August, this ranking displays the growth of the Yankees system over the last few months. Players such as Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos retained the status they achieved last year, while Andrew Brackman Continue reading Callis: Yankees Have Top 6 Farm System