Alex Rodriguez: The Great Witch Hunt

If you couldn’t tell, we’ve held off mentioning Alex Rodriguez‘ name over the last couple of days. Why you ask? There isn’t enough information to analyze it. This blog prides itself on analyzing hard data and credible news stories, and neither fall into the category of the recent PED news. With that said, this Rodriguez bubble has grown, and real MLB investigations are beginning, so perhaps it’s time that we step away from our usual statistical analysis. Over the last couple of days, an article came out naming a few athletes involved in a PED investigation, Rodriguez being the biggest name. The Continue reading Alex Rodriguez: The Great Witch Hunt

A-Rod is not Bagwell

I’ve got something of a reputation for defending guys accused of using steroids, especially when the accusers are overtly indifferent to quaint concepts like “proof,” but I’m gonna have to get off the boat here:

Ryan Braun never had a chance. He was guilty in the eyes of the public from the moment his positive test for synthetic testosterone was leaked. Alex Rodriguez is guilty of everything the Miami New Times report says he is – guilty, that is, if you listen to what the public has already decided about the situation. Jeff Bagwell is guilty too, just because.

Slow your roll a little bit. Ryan Braun’s sample was improperly handled so, officially, the positive test result never happened. As such, there’s technically no evidence at all that he broke any rules. The case against Bagwell, such as it is, is that he played during the steroid era and had big muscles. This, tp put it mildly, is no evidence of any kind, circumstantial or otherwise. The problem with accusing these guys is that it’s all done based upon suspicion, with no real evidence backing it up.

Say what you will about some of the dumb responses various columnists have pumped out over this news, but there’s no question that there is at least evidence that A-Rod has been juicing. An actual newspaper reviewed hundreds of documents detailing the sale of banned substances to A-Rod and others by a clinic operator who is being investigated by the federal government. It’s true that those documents could be fabricated, but that’s a pretty wild assumption that shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt.
Continue reading A-Rod is not Bagwell

Yankees could be close with Hafner

According to Rob Bradford, the Yankees may be close to a deal with former Cleveland DH Travis Hafner. Hafner, who hit .228/.346/.438 in 263 plate appearances in 2012, fits the Yankees’ profile as a power and patience slugger, but health is a major concern, to say the least. Hafner has appeared in at least 95 games just once since the 2007 season, and he’s more or less incapable of being anything but a designated hitter at this point, even on an irregular basis. Still, the Yankees have a pretty significant need for a DH right now, and the left-handed Hafner owns a 117 career wRC+ against southpaws, so a reasonably priced deal would seem to be a great fit. Continue reading Yankees could be close with Hafner

Yankees’ Plan This Offseason Could Be Setting Them Up For Future Failure

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) One of the posts I read over the weekend that really stuck with me was Greg Corcoran’s open letter to Brian Cashman over at Bronx Baseball Daily letting Cash know what he thinks of the Yankees’ offseason plan.  The general theme of Greg’s post was that while he can get on board with what the team has done this offseason to transition to the sub-$189 mil payroll in 2014, he didn’t see their no-spending approach as a real plan for success after the payroll ceiling had been reached.  Specifically, he Continue reading Yankees’ Plan This Offseason Could Be Setting Them Up For Future Failure

The Yankees can’t void A-Rod’s contract

The idea of the Yankees attempting to void Alex Rodriguez‘s contract pops up every now and then even when A-Rod isn’t in the middle of a major ongoing story involving continued use of banned substances, so I certainly can’t say that I’m surprised it’s become all the rage with columnists both national and local since the Miami New Times story came out yesterday. Still, there’s no more chance that the Yankees can actually do it today than there was last week.

The first, and biggest, problem for the Yankees to clear is that A-Rod’s contract is guaranteed, and iron-clad under the rules of the CBA. The Yankees can not simply decide, unilaterally, to abrogate the contract, nor can they go before a judge or an arbitrator making ad hoc arguments as though the law had to be made on the fly due to unclear rules or something. Disciplinary reasonings won’t help either, since the CBA also spells out in detail the exact punishments for A-Rod’s alleged offense, and they don’t include the voiding of a free agent contract. If the league decides to take action, Alex will be suspended for 50 games as stipulated by the rules, and that’s that. Indeed, the fact that the punishment is explicitly prescribed by the CBA more or less shuts this whole discussion down, as there’s no way the Yankees can expect to find a judge who would find that they are somehow special and can operate outside the parameters of the CBA, which is exactly what they’d be doing. Continue reading The Yankees can’t void A-Rod’s contract

Yankees Land Three Top Prospects On MLB.com’s Top 100

Prospects season is creeping up on us, and yesterday Jonathon Mayo of MLB.com released his top 100 overall prospects of 2013. On this list, Yankee prospects Gary Sanchez ranked 35th, Mason Williams 41st, and Tyler Austin 75th. The top three overall prospects were Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals, the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy, and Jurickson Profar of the Rangers. Sanchez also finished as the Yankees top prospect on John Sickels’ 2013 ranking, though he was given the same grade as Austin. The 19 year old catcher played 474 plate appearances in 2012, through Charleston and High-A Tampa. In that time, Sanchez hit .290/.344/.485 with 18 Continue reading Yankees Land Three Top Prospects On MLB.com’s Top 100