IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

Author Archives: @Jason_IIATMS

Change happens, again

First, a few words on ESPN. I have nothing but great things to say about the MLB team at ESPN, notably Dave Schoenfield, David Kull, Jamie Greenthal, Mark Simon, Matt Szefc, not to forget Jon Scher at ESPNNY. And most importantly, Rob Neyer, who is now at SBN. Rob took a chance on me in the Fall of 2009 and he knows how grateful I will always remain for putting his faith in me. Dave stepped into some very large shoes when Rob left and was always accessible and eager to hear new ideas and suggestions. ESPN is a beast and there are some serious fiefdoms to contend with, but on a personal level, these guys were professionals. I am proud to be able to call these guys friends and colleagues. I hope we did right by them. Like with us, you might not agree with everything they say or do, but you have to respect their force.

And without stealing his thunder (we have spoken at length about this and hopefully this post is timed with his), I am thrilled that Rob Abruzzese’s Bronx Baseball Daily will now be holding the Yankees flag at ESPN going forward.…

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No surprises here, Yanks are not getting Darvish

While I am certainly disappointed that the Yanks won’t be able to fit the young, 6’5″ pitcher for very long pinstripes, I can only hope some other team feels financially strangled by this latest breach of the “Yanks buy everyone” contract we all signed so long ago. I just hope they didn’t bid to win out of fear from prior Japanese pitching acquisitions.

Take that, competitive balance.

Oh yeah, for those wondering about videoboy Yeonis Cespedes, says Marc Carig, again:

The Yankees have scouted Cespedes and came away believing him to be an everyday major league center fielder. But even that belief won’t be enough for the Yankees to be a factor in the bidding.

Remind me again, who are the Yankees if not big spenders?

(h/t to HBT)

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Can we drop the “But Irabu and Igawa failed” line of reasoning?

Players are investments, pure and simple. Like investing, we root for our investments to “win” for us. Some pan out, some fizzle. You and I hope to make some sound investments to help cover those that failed, and at the end of the day, we strive to be better off than when we started. Prospects resemble the penny stocks that we hope explode and make us all rich/successful, but really, most don’t. The top free agents are those larger equities who have already enjoyed a run up in price and we’re hoping their stock still has some legs left for us to participate in. Some do, some don’t. It happens.

If you bought a stock ten years ago and it failed, or at least didn’t live up to your expectations, does that mean you no longer invest in the stock market? Well, maybe if your risk profile changes due to age or other circumstance, but otherwise you continue to seek the best assets to invest in.…

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Your 2011 Anti-IIATMS HOF selections

Albert Pujols

According to Bob Nightingale, the Marlins attempted to match Alex Rodriguez‘s second contract (grrrr, don’t get me started) with a similarly sized deal. Instead, Albert opted for ARod’s first deal:

@BNightengale: The Miami #Marlins actually outbid the #Angels for Pujols,offering 10-year, $275 million deal, sources confirm.

My dearest Marlins fan(s), you will not regret Albert taking this deal. You would, however regret it in about year five, just as Albert’s 10-5 clause will kick in. However, given that Albert Almighty left some $20-25M on the table, he gets the first 2011 anti-IIATMS selection.

C.J. Wilson

At least this guy just came out and said it, which I dig:

“If it was about the money, I’d be a Florida Marlin.”

Evidently, the Marlins were willing to go to $100M for Wilson, which in corporate finance terms, is called “bat-shit crazy”. Your newer text book might refer to it as something else. Nonetheless, props to Wilson for taking what appears to be a lesser offer to draft behind the Pujols big-rig.…

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A bit about the new CBA rule about maple bats

Jason: What’s your official, on-the-record stance on the new CBA rules about maple bats and your thoughts if the new limits on low-density wood have a material impact on the # of instances?

Phil: I do not feel that outlawing “low-density” maple will solve the problem of injuries on and off the field. It’s obvious that bats are still breaking at an alarming rate as cited by numerous players, yet upper management says it’s reduced breakage by fifty percent. Where are the statistics and numbers? Are we supposed to “blindly” believe that everything is under control? I believe my own eyes and see just as many broken bats fly into the stands and on the field as they have in the past. The only thing that has changed is that they have muzzled the announcers from talking about it and do not show the bats going in the stands after they break during game-play. This propaganda tactic can only last for so long until there is a death on the field or in the stands.

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Bernie Williams headlines the 2012 HOF nominees

ESPN’s SweetSpot force majeure David Schoenfield was making the case that Bernie is worthy of HOF consideration. While I agree he’s worth considering, Schoenfield really created the case why Bernie should not be in the HOF:

At his peak, Williams was a terrific offensive force, even though he reached 30 home runs just once in his career. From 1995 through 2002, he averaged .321/.406/.531 with 105 runs and 102 RBIs per season. He won four Gold Gloves, despite his weak throwing arm; the defensive metrics never matched his reputation and Baseball-Reference.com grades out Williams as a below-average center fielder over his career. He sure seemed smooth and effective out there, however. It’s an extremely strong peak, punctuated by starring on four World Series champions, arguably the most valuable player on those teams. (From 1996 through 2002, Derek Jeter had 35.1 WAR according to B-R, Williams 34.6, Andy Pettitte 27.3 and Mariano Rivera 24.3.)

Williams had seven seasons with an OPS+ of 130 or higher — OK, that’s a lot fewer than the all-time great center fielders like Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle — but it’s the same total as Hall of Fame center fielders Duke Snider and Earl Averill, the same number as Andre Dawson (who had seven such seasons, but three as a right fielder), and more than Larry Doby and Kirby PucketT.

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