Analyzing Jim Bowden’s Plan for Realignment

Where Bowden’s proposal becomes truly radical is in his realignment process.  Rather than simply moving one NL team to the AL, he completely reshuffles baseball’s deck.  Under his proposal, here’s how baseball would look:

Eastern Division Southeast Division
Boston Red Sox Atlanta Braves
New York Mets Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees Florida Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays Washington Nationals
Central Division Western Division
Cincinnati Reds Arizona Diamondbacks
Cleveland Indians Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers Houston Astros
Minnesota Twins Seattle Mariners
Pittsburgh Pirates Texas Rangers
Midwest Division California Division
Chicago Cubs Los Angeles Angels
Chicago White Sox Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals Oakland Athletics
Milwaukee Brewers San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco Giants


Before I critique his proposal, I must admit there are a few potential benefits to his plan.  For example, his plan would cut down on the travel and player wear-and-tear.  Additionally, new geographic/regional rivalries (NYY-NYM, CHC-CHW, LAA-LAD, SFG-OAK) would be established; thus, theoretically increasing TV ratings, gate receipts, and overall revenues. … Click here to read the rest

Martin and Montero

Russell Martin sat with a back injury last night. If Martin cannot catch back-to-back days and his back hasn’t responded overwhelmingly well to treatments, then he needs to be laced on the 15-day disabled list. If he goes on the 15-day disabled list, the Yankees have to call up Jesus Montero.

The whole picture of 2011 for Jesus Montero has not looked as rosy as we’d’ve liked it, but I think most of us would agree that the bat has enough potential that he’s worth the call up at this point (it helps that he hit a homer last night). There is not much left for him to accomplish at AAA and he could benefit from some major league coaching. Besides, it just makes sense at this point and goes to the theoretical plan we had laid out at the beginning of the year.

We all seemed to think that his is how it would go: Russell Martin would play for the first few months and at some point, be ineffective or injured and it would be a logical time for Jesus Montero to come up and get the bulk of the catcher plate appearances.… Click here to read the rest

Appealing to authority

One need look no further than the current catching situation for such an example. Russell Martin missed four games last week with a stiff back, but was not put on the disabled list. He got a start on Sunday, but then had to be scratched again on Monday thanks to the back. It seems likely that he’s going to need time on the disabled list to rest, and that’s fine. But now, instead of being able to put him on the 15-day DL retroactive to Tuesday, his inactive time will have to be calculated from Sunday, meaning the Yankees burned five days futzing around with a sore back on a catcher who’s gotten a lot of playing time this year. In isolation, that might not seem like much, but the Yankees have an annoying tendency to futz around with minor injuries like this, ultimately forcing guys to be inactive longer than they need to be because they wait too long to put them on the DL and then try to get some playing time before they’re ready.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees shockingly roll over and die for Pitcher They've Never Seen Before

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

The most surprising thing ever happened on Monday night, and by most surprising I mean least surprising thing in American history, as the Yankees got completely shut down by a Pitcher They’ve Never Seen Before™ for the approximately 800 millionth time over the last two seasons.

I’m sorry, but there’s just no excuse for a game like this. Bases loaded, no out in the first inning, and the team fails to score. Five total hits off Carlos Carrasco, who came into this game with an ERA above 4.50, and who struck seven Yankees out during his seven scoreless innings. Seriously, what is it about the Indians and pitchers the Yankees have never seen before? This was even worse than the Josh Tomlin game last July, as they at least managed a run off Tomlin! I know the team just won three of four and in doing so obviously won this series, but the double ignominy of the utter predictability of the Yankee bats getting shutdown by a new hurler in addition to losing by a score of 1-0 is altogether incredibly frustrating.… Click here to read the rest

Game 64: Indians 1, Yankees 0

The Bombers had another chance in the bottom of the second, when the suddenly hot Jorge Posada singled to center and Brett Gardner drew a walk.  Once again, however, the Yankees left the runners on the bases and came up empty.  In the third, Teixeira walked and Cano singled, giving New York a pair of runners, but Swisher hit into an inning ending double play.

While the Pinstripes got plenty of base runners, yet no runs, the Indians struggled to get runners on against a sharp Burnett.  In the top of the fourth, Michael Brantley led off driving a ball to right.  Swisher one of his patented plays in right, as the ball rolled to the fence and the Indians outfielder landed on third. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a RBI single and the Tribe took a 1-0 lead. Burnett came back and sat the next three hitters down in order, but the damage was done.  Neither team threatened much through the rest of the game and Cleveland took a 1-0 victory and avoided the sweep. … Click here to read the rest

And now for the airing of grievances

Brett Gardner can not bunt. This isn’t about sacrifice bunting or run expectancy charts or Joe Girardi’s affinity for the National League, this is just a straight-forward estimation of Gardner’s bunting skill, or lack thereof. He’s just not any good at it! Yes he’s small. Yes he’s fast. But just because he’s small and fast does not mean that he’s got an inherent ability to be a good bunter! The sooner someone realizes this and tells him to knock off the bunting the better. Tonight he decided to bunt in a full count and bunted the fourth ball foul, turning a walk into an out with Francisco Cervelli and Eduardo Nunez hitting behind him. Just dumb baseball. I’m willing to forgive Gardner’s lack of baseball instinct, but at this point there’s no excuse for him bunting so much.

Robinson Cano needs a smarter approach. We’ve talked about Cano reverting to his old hacking ways and then some this year, and he did it again tonight.… Click here to read the rest

Game 64-Brooms out for the Tribe

I don’t quite know how to read this series thus far. Either the Indians caught the Yanks at the wrong time, coming off being embarrassed at home by the Red Sox. Or maybe the Yankees caught the Indians at the right time, slumping their way into the stadium losing 6 of 7 before coming to the Bronx. Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way, the results haven’t been pretty for the Tribe, but have been lovely for the boys in pinstripes.

In Yankee news, Russell Martin was a late scratch due to his back stiffening up after he took BP. He’s been slumping with the bat, and now he can’t get on the field. I wouldn’t mind getting a look at Jesus Montero for a few weeks, but that’s just me. For those counting, Derek is at 2993 hits. With 4 games left in this home stand, he’ll need a good night somewhere to get DJ3K at home. If he doesn’t, I personally wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.… Click here to read the rest