Premature Observations from Game 1

Just a few notes and observations from the Yankees 5-4 loss to the Phillies today in Tampa:

  • I guess we might as well get this one out of the way; Bartolo Colon is huge. But other than that, he didn’t embarrass himself out there today, and he only allowed one really well hit ball, a shot to right that would have been a loud single had Nick Swisher not misplayed it and allowed it to go for a triple.
  • On the other hand, Joba Chamberlain really didn’t look fat to me at all. Or, at least, he didn’t look any bigger than he was last season. But maybe my vision was skewed by the fact that he was following Colon.
  • Obviously results mean very little in spring training, let alone the first game, but still, I was struck by how good A-Rod’s swing looked right out of the gate.
  • David Robertson pitched the 4th inning, and just about everyone on my Twitter timeline noticed that he had a decidedly lower leg kick in his delivery. He was also trying to work in a change up, and threw a very nice one to strike out Raul Ibanez.
  • Hector Noesi has some seriously long legs.
  • It might have just been me, but it sure looked like Brandon Laird was swinging really hard in his at bats.
  • This one really doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but Jorge Vazquez hit a monster home run in the 7th inning. It cleared the batter eye and everything. Again, doesn’t mean anything, but it was really cool to watch.
  • For some reason, Hank Steinbrenner did not attend the pre-game ceremony honoring The Boss. Seemed a little weird, given what a production that was.

Continue reading Premature Observations from Game 1

Thoughts from the Yankees' first 2011 game action

The Yankees kicked their 2011 Grapefruit League schedule off this afternoon against the 2011 World Series Champion (too soon?) Phillies, losing 5-4. Rather than author my regular comprehensive and authoritative game recap, given the whole exhibitioness of it all I wanted to share a few bullet point observations: – Bartolo Colon threw two innings of one-run ball, and looked OK save for a Ben Francisco triple. He started out the game throwing a troubling 89mph fastball, but dialed it all the way up to 94mph in his second inning of work. I still don’t expect much of anything out of Continue reading Thoughts from the Yankees' first 2011 game action

Bud Selig: Lord of the Realm

The New York Times reports further on the dire financial situation of the Mets:

Major League Baseball provided $25 million to the owners of the Mets as they struggled to deal with a cash shortfall last fall and a looming lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s vast Ponzi scheme, according to two people briefed on the arrangement.


The Mets have exhausted baseball’s standard bank line of credit, tens of millions of dollars that Mr. Selig and the sport’s owners make available to teams for a variety of reasons in the course of a year. The owners also have more than $400 million in debt on the team. Thus, the additional money provided by Mr. Selig — done in secret last November — might have been crucial in keeping the club functioning. Three weeks ago, after months spent denying that they were in any significant financial trouble, Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz announced that they were willing to sell 25 percent of the club, which is valued by Forbes magazine at $858 million. In recent days, the men indicated they were willing to sell even a larger share of the team, but they have insisted they do not want to give up majority ownership.

Mr. Selig’s decision to give what amounts to extraordinary assistance to one of the sport’s most highly valued teams — one owned by Mr. Wilpon, a man Mr. Selig has long regarded as a close personal friend — could anger other team owners, who might wonder why their money is being used to rescue a team with a $140 million payroll.

The top line takeaway here is that the Mets are in even more trouble than originally thought (how many times have we said that?), and while that certainly seems true, I’m a bit more interested in Selig’s role in all of this.

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The scouting scale explained

In light of the recent release of EJ’s excellent Top 30 list (and new grading methods) and Baseball America’s Top 100, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to delve a little deeper into the traditional scouting scale.  Often, when reading a scouting report of a prospect, you’ll see something like “Player X has average speed but a plus arm” or “Player Y is a 60 hitter”, and generally you have an idea of what the scout is trying to convey.  However, the specific meaning of these grades is often lost.  I’d like to address this topic in two Continue reading The scouting scale explained

Trying to Turn Brett Gardner into Another Babe Ruth?

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). As Moshe Mandel covered in detail yesterday afternoon, Brett Gardner has made improving his bunting skills a priority during spring training. Hopefully, that means more drag bunts for base hits and not maddening sacrifices when the team can ill afford to give away an out. Unfortunately, if history is the judge, it could be more of the latter. Over the past two seasons, Gardner ranks second on the team in sacrifice bunts, one behind Francisco Cervelli, who should probably bunt more often considering his less than potent bat. Despite being second, however, Continue reading Trying to Turn Brett Gardner into Another Babe Ruth?

Open Thread: Buying MLB Advanced Media

I’ve reached an exalted status in life: I’m officially a baseball journalist blogger Joe Posnanski wannabe friend of Jason’s. I figure I can’t do my job adequately without video access to every baseball game there is (subject to blackout restrictions). How can I post adequately if I can’t watch Cleveland battle Kansas City for bragging rights in the second division of the American League Central?

Only I’m not sure the best way to do this.

There’s MLB Extra Innings through DirecTV. That’s about $200. I’m supposed to be able to watch 8 games at a time. Subject to blackout restrictions. I live in L.A., so I won’t be hit with Yankees’ blackout restrictions all that often. But then I’m limited to watching on the TVs in my house.

There’s MLB.TV ($100) and MLB.TV premium ($120). I can watch games on my computers, iPod, iPad, Droid phone, presumably all at once, with picture-in-picture on my computers if I pay for MLB.TV premium. I figure if I do that, it will take my wife and daughter about an hour to access their email, but that’s not my problem. If I invest in a Roku box, then I can watch the same stuff on a regular TV. I think.

Then there’s At Bat 11, available for $15, though I might have to pay for each device I want to use to access this service. At its heart, this program looks like a way to track ongoing games (like ESPN’s GameCast) and access statistics, but apparently you can use it to watch ballgames if you also subscribe to MLB.TV. Or maybe not.

Has anyone figured out the best way to access MLB Advanced Media content? Is it worth an extra $20 for MLB.TV premium? Do I need At Bat 11 on top of everything else? How about Roku? What are the cool kids doing at your school? Please post your thoughts in the comments below. Continue reading Open Thread: Buying MLB Advanced Media

2011 American League Preview: Detroit Tigers

(This post continues our series previewing the 2011 season for each American League team. You can see the rest of the series here.)

2010 record: 81-81 (3rd place A.L. Central)

2010 run differential: +8 (751 runs scored, 743 runs allowed)

Key additions: Victor Martinez C/1B/DH, Joaquin Benoit RHP

Key losses: N/A

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