May 25, 2013
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Jon Heyman has an early free-agent preview. In it he asks an unnamed agent and an unnamed GM to guess how much everyone will get. Interesting reading, but some of these predictions seem a couple bubbles off plumb. Here's Matt Holliday (the "me" is Heyman's guess):
Agent: $147 million, 7 years.
And here's Bay:
Agent: $147 million, 7 years.
The agent -- whose identity is an utter mystery -- is pretty far out there on these in my view, as I can't feature anyone paying thirtysomething left fielders $20M+ a year. Surprisingly, however, he isn't too far out of line with the other guys on most of the other players. Well, he has someone giving Miguel Tejada a three year, $30M deal, and I just don't see that happening.
In any event, it's a good debate starter.
Sorry, can't answer that question until September 22nd:
Tom Lasorda will soon take his place alongside other Los Angeles Dodgers stars in the Smithsonian Institution.
A look at the apparently very common use of corporal punishment in both amateur and professional Korean baseball:
Corporal punishment has long been part of the way sports teams operate here. The way it is dealt with by the teams and the media generally follows the same playbook. Whenever reports of a violent incident surface, those involved explain the incident away by saying it’s just the way things have always been done, and even after the news has spread, the perpetrators usually deny they’ve done anything wrong. In the end, most of the offenders walk away with a minor penalty and the game goes on. Meanwhile, the players who are witness to these acts of violence keep quiet to protect their fellow teammates. The cases usually end with the teams and the media brushing the incident aside.
There are several anecdotes. None involving Julio Franco's stint on the Samsung Lions. My guess is that he wouldn't have stood for that crap.
The Yankees are lowering some ticket prices next year. So are the A's. I'm sure others will follow.
That sound you hear is every hack sports writer changing their annual "tickets are too expensive" groan fests into "these changes are welcome, but tickets are still too expensive" groan fests.
I have a question:
Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore underwent successful surgery to repair a sports hernia, his second operation in a week.
Has there ever been a report immediately after an athlete's surgery in which the procedure was characterized as "unsuccessful?" Tiny Bonham, I suppose. Neal Finn. Doc Powers' biggest problem was pulling a Bump Bailey and slamming into a brick wall, but he may have died from surgical complications. But really none in the last 60 years or so.
Sorry, feeling rather morbid today. If you are too, here's some more fun stuff.
Chipper Jones recently dropped hints that he may not play out his contract. Could Bobby Cox be gone soon too?
When asked if he would come back for a 25th season as the Braves’ manager next year, Cox would not commit one way or the other.
My assessment of Cox: he's a Hall of Fame manager who, while nowhere near the genius Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine made him out to be, still excels at the most important parts of his job. Though people complain about his tactical decisions from time to time, he makes the right decisions most of the time. Certainly more often than most other managers, no matter what people on the AJC message boards say.
More importantly, Cox has always made the clubhouse a happy, peaceful and sane place for the players to be. He's never had a problem establishing who, exactly, was is in charge, yet he has never felt like he had to call out players in the media or act like a big man in order to do it. I'm struggling to think of a manager who has done that as well in my baseball-watching lifetime. La Russa is great, but he's had his public scrapes with players. Torre too. Sparky? I'm not sure. I have to read Posnanski's book first because I may be imagining him as a harmony-promoting manager.
That being said, Cox is not essential to the Braves success going forward (In fact, I've come to believe that no one manager is essential as long as he gets the big picture right). I would be happy if he wanted to stay in Atlanta until his health didn't let him any longer. But if he's tired of the grind and wants to give it up, hey, that's OK too, because I think the Braves will be fine.
Heck, now that I think about it, it may be better for him to leave earlier rather than later because then he may still have some sort of position with the club and can help pass on his philosophy, such as it is, to his successor. If he hangs on until he's unable to work any longer his juju may be lost, organizationally speaking. And I tend to like Bobby's juju.
Red Sox 4, Angels 1: Say what you want about the guy, but Dice-K has always done well on 89 days rest (6 IP 3 H, 0 ER). I'm not sold yet. Even Dontrelle Willis had a good game his first time back this year.
Blue Jays 10, Yankees 4: Fisticuffsmanship! Jorge Posada and Jesse Carlson threw down in front of the Yankee dugout in the eighth. Unlike most baseball fights, however, someone connected. Girardi got popped once too. Even an umpire was taken out, with crew chief Derryl Cousins leaving the game after the fight. Either Cousins got a case of the vapors or else someone is going to be suspended for about a decade for roughing up an ump. UPDATE: according to the game story he was hit in the knee with a bottle of soda thrown from the stands. So basically everyone was misbehaving.
Giants 10, Rockies 2: Barry Zito struck out nine and the Giants pull to two and a half back. Nervous Jim Tracy?
"Here's the deal. Here's our situation. It's very simple. It's black and white. There's no gray. There's no middle area. We've got an opportunity to win a game in this series, which is something that we're obviously striving for, and you move on and you're 3½ ahead. Or you lose and you're 1½ ahead and then everything's up for grabs. I'm not sitting here saying to anybody that we're trailing. We're not going to trail. We've still got a lead. But the opportunity of having a cushion versus giving it back -- that's what tomorrow is all about."
With quotes like that, I give it greater than even odds that that man is sitting in a broadcast studio someday.
Dodgers 5, Pirates 4: Andre Eithier gets his fourth walkoff home run of the year. He's the first Dodger to hit 30 home runs since 2004.
Braves 6, Mets 0: The Mets had absolutely no answers for Tommy Hanson. Couldn't even get a man past second base on him during his seven innings of shutout ball (his second straight start without allowing a run). Adam LaRoche homered twice and drove in three, doing nothing to harm his second-half-stud reputation. Too little too late for Atlanta, but it's nice to see them play out the schedule on a high note.
Phillies 5, Nationals 0: After three lackluster starts, Cliff Lee returns to being Superman (CG SHO 6 H, 9 K). Lee is an Adam LaRoche All-Star himself, improving to 20-3 after the break over the past two seasons.
Royals 11, Tigers 1: Good thing Detroit doesn't have to play Kansas City in the playoffs, because KC has their number, taking their fifth straight from the Tigers. Magglio hit an $18 million groundout in the fifth. Play was delayed briefly in the top of the seventh when a shirtless fan ran onto the field. I have some nogoodnik kin up in Detroit who don't do much all summer besides drink beer with their shirts off, so I'm expecting the call for help with bail any moment now.
Orioles 10, Rays 5: After lulling the American League into a false sense of security, Matt Weiters finally decides to strike: 3-5, 5 RBI. It begins.
Marlins 2, Cardinals 1: Wainwright pitched well, but got the loss because Sean West and the Marlins' bullpen pitched better. Wainwright stays at 18 wins. Unless La Russa decides to give him extra rest heading into the playoffs, he probably has three starts to go. I'm going to assume at this point that if he wins 20, he's a lock for the Cy Young.
Reds 5, Astros 4: I'm not going to say that it's hard to find something interesting to talk about in a late-season, no-hope Astros-Reds series, but here are two of the "game notes" from the game story: "Janish became the first Reds batter with three doubles in one game since Jorge Cantu on Sept. 21, 2007, at San Francisco" and "ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale watched the game with Reds owner Bob Castellini." Feel the magic.
Cubs 13, Brewers 7: The Brewers walked 12 guys and hit three more, so this wasn't exactly a crisp one. Carlos Zambrano kind of melted down after four good innings. I'm sure this has absolutely nothing to do with him being rattled at the "we're gonna trade you" talk from earlier in the day, because Carlos is totally composed and cool when he's out there and let's no emotions intrude on the task at hand. Total iceman.
Athletics 6, Rangers 1: That sound you hear is the Rangers' playoff hopes being stuffed into a burlap sack and thrown into a river. The sack's technically still floating, but it's about to go under any minute now. Michael Young came back as a DH after missing two weeks, but he pulled himself from the lineup because he tweaked the hamstring again. It's been a nice season for the Rangers and the future is bright, but it's just not happening.
Twins 5, Indians 4: The game stories still talk about the Twins having a chance to make a run at Detroit, but then you read something like this: "Along with Morneau, third-baseman Joe Crede is likely out for the season with back problems, and recent call-up Justin Huber is day to day with a strained oblique. But Gardenhire said his desire to call up reinforcements was "squelched" by the front office." Has the front office thrown in the towel, or is Gardenhire asking for unrealistic things? And why is he telling reporters about that kind of family business? Stange.
Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2: Mark Reynolds hit what proved to be the game winning homer in the 9th. Nick Hundley made a pretty spiffy defensive play, acrobatically pursuing an overthrown ball into the dugout (he went in, not the ball) and throwing out Eric Byrnes at the plate, who was tagged out by Ardian Gonzalez, who was sliding/diving for the throw. I'm guessing video does that play better justice than that description did.
White Sox 6, Mariners 3: The White Sox have gone back and fourth between wins and losses for nine games. One more and they get their Dutch 200 patch, right?