Trying to destroy a narrative

The following is going to be a bit rantish, but I’m okay with it. Over the last few days, we learned that Alex Rodriguez “begged” the Yankees to re-sign outfielder Melky Cabrera. Melky isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire, so I’m glad they didn’t heed A-Rod’s talent evaluation and acquisition advice, despite Brett Gardner‘s performance (or lack thereof) to start the year. In the comment section of that RAB article, and the comment section of my piece about Gardner from yesterday, people brought up the fact that Melky and Robinson Cano were good friends when they were both on Continue reading Trying to destroy a narrative

Colon strikes out seven, picks up first win as Yankees beat Blue Jays 6-2

Consider this my official truce with the Kreme. Bartolo Colon continued his resurgent season Wednesday night with a dominant start in Toronto. Bartolo allowed only five hits with two walks over 6.2 innings of work, giving up just two runs while striking out seven. He was efficient, throwing only 89 pitches, and showed strong command of those pitches. His fastball topped out at around 93mph, with late movement in the zone and he complemented it with swing and miss breaking stuff. Colon only got himself into trouble in the seventh inning, and had retired twelve consecutive Blue Jays at one Continue reading Colon strikes out seven, picks up first win as Yankees beat Blue Jays 6-2

Bartolo Colon partying like it’s 2003

Remember when the Yankees announced they were signing Bartolo Colon? Remember how you rolled your eyes, threw up in your mouth a little, and then cracked a fat joke? I’ll bet you’re feeling much better about things now, aren’t you? Yeah, me too.

After three long relief appearances mopping up Phil Hughes’ disastrous starts, Colon got his first start of 2011 last night, and it was fantastic. Colon pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and walking 2, but striking out 7. Of his 89 total pitches, 56 were thrown for strikes. According to Brooks, his 2-seam fastball, which he threw 36 times, carried a linear weight of -2.3372. In other words, the rotund righty had it working last night, turning in one of the best starts the Yankees have gotten this season, especially in the non-Sabathia division.

Yes I know it’s only one start, on April 20th no less. And yes, Colon is still not in the best shape of his life, and will probably have at least a couple of clunkers before he breaks down at some point mid-season. But for now the guy has been an incredibly valuable asset for this team, and has done more than just about anyone thought he would in 2011. Considering all the fat jokes that were made about the guy, we might as well take a chance to enjoy the surprise. Continue reading Bartolo Colon partying like it’s 2003

Baseball Deep In Debt (Part 1: The Scope of the Problem)

Forbes Magazine has called it a “Debt Disaster”: certain baseball teams are drowning in debt and (in the words of sports economist Andrew Zimbalist) are “teetering on the brink.” Debt forced the Texas Rangers into bankruptcy last year. This year, we learned that Mets owner Fred Wilpon had borrowed all he could and would have to sell a piece of the team in order to raise cash needed for operations. Yesterday, Bud Selig announced that his office would seize control of the Los Angeles Dodgers, yet another team that has exhausted conventional sources of business credit and is scrounging for the cash required for day-to-day operations.

What has gone wrong? In most respects, baseball’s financial picture has never been better. Nearly every team is turning a profit. Baseball’s revenues have grown despite the recent recession. Since the turn of the century 18 of baseball’s 30 teams have opened new stadiums. Baseball enjoys a relationship with the player’s union that should be the envy of other U.S. professional sports.

But as I’ll show below, during the last five years the aggregate debt load carried by baseball’s 30 teams has grown by nearly a billion dollars. By my estimates, five teams (including the Mets, Dodgers and Rangers) are carrying more debt than is permitted under baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and another five teams have borrowed money at levels close to the CBA limit.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Baseball Deep In Debt (Part 1: The Scope of the Problem)

Game 16: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2

Looking to split a short series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees sent Bartolo Colon to the mound.  It was his first start in about a year and a half, but it didn’t show, as the veteran hurler dominated the Blue Jays’ lineup.  Much like Tuesday night, Toronto made a late run, but this time the Yankees were able to stop it and came away with a 6-2 victory.

New York got to work in the first inning, with Nick Swisher working a one out walk. Mark Teixeira followed with a double, putting runners on second and third. Alex Rodriguez drew a walk and a grounder to first by Robinson Cano allowed Swisher to score, giving the Yankees an early 1-0 lead.

The Bombers were able to build on their lead in the second. Russell Martin singled to left and scored on a triple by Curtis Granderson. Derek Jeter grounded out to short, but Granderson came home.  J.P. Arencibia started the second inning with a solo homer, but Colon struck out Travis Snider and Jayson Nix before getting John McDonald to fly out to end the inning with the Yankees ahead 3-1.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Game 16: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2

Selig Takes Control of L.A. Dodgers

Major League Baseball has taken over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced this afternoon that he would “appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club.”

Don’t be misled by Selig’s use of the word “oversee” – Selig does not want to merely keep an eye on current Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. According to the L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin, Selig has stripped McCourt of financial control of the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have been in financial difficulty at least since late last year, when Selig refused to allow McCourt to borrow $200 million from Fox, the Dodgers’ cable TV partner. McCourt recently borrowed $30 million from Fox to meet the team’s current expenses. While this loan was structured as a personal loan to McCourt and not as a loan to the Dodgers, the loan evidently prompted Selig to take over the team.

Selig’ move is similar to the NBA takeover of the New Orleans Hornets, and MLB’s own ownership of the Montreal Expos before the Expos (now the Nationals) were relocated to Washington, D.C. But most observers believe that Selig’s move here is unprecedented, and that Frank McCourt is likely to challenge Selig’s move in court.

(click “view full post” to read more)
Continue reading Selig Takes Control of L.A. Dodgers

Great Moments In Fandom (Part 2, Philly Fan Redemption)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The Phillies are playing a home day game this afternoon against the Brewers, and the first pitch of the game was thrown out by a robot. According to Craig Calcaterra, the robot bounced the pitch into home plate, and the Phillies fans booed the robot.

Yes, I know: Philly fans have a reputation for occasional vocal outbursts of negativity. But how could anyone boo this robot? Just look at the picture above. This robot is kind of cute.

I’ve given this considerable thought, maybe five minutes, maybe not so much. I’ve decided that booing the robot is the coolest thing ever. To reiterate: the robot bounced the pitch to the plate. Either the robot choked, or it didn’t care. Boo! Boo!

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Great Moments In Fandom (Part 2, Philly Fan Redemption)

Imperfect Perfection: A Closer Look at Mariano Rivera’s Failures

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Mariano Rivera’s accomplishments can’t be overstated. But, what can we say about his failures? Over 17 seasons, the reliever has consistently dominated the opposition, compiling an astounding ERA+ of 205, which is the highest total by any pitcher throwing over 1,000 innings. Incredibly, he has been even better in the post season, where his 0.71 ERA in 139 2/3 innings is without compare. In other words, Rivera’s superhuman reputation is certainly well deserved. Because there are so many ways to trumpet Rivera’s successes, it’s easy to take him for granted.  That’s Continue reading Imperfect Perfection: A Closer Look at Mariano Rivera’s Failures

Minor League Update

I want to try and do this once a week and I’ll probably be messing around with the format until I find something that works. My only goal here is to make it easy for everyone to see what’s happening in the minors in a condensed fashion. If you have any preference for the format at all or suggestions, anything of the sort, just let me know. Thanks. Scranton AAA Jorge Vazquez and Jesus Montero continue their show on offense and both continue to display an aversion towards walking…As Matt alluded to earlier, the candidates to hypothetically replace Brett Gardner Continue reading Minor League Update