Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Day Has Come

NFL- ah, okay. NBA- pumpkin pushers. NHL- I'm not f'n Canadian. NASCAR- I'm white without a redneck. Screw all other sports, the only one that matters is baseball and today MLB comes back with Opening Day. Thank God!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring training stats are meaningless

Spring training is usually about getting guys ready for the season and the giving guys competing for jobs at bats. It is also about fans seeing some top prospects either getting at bats or pitch an inning here or there. Sometimes prospects are so impressive they force their way onto the team or get a quick call up soon after the season start.

What Spring Training is also about is overreacting to Short sample Spring training stats. David Wright starts out 0-13 in the spring? Time to be worried no? Wright is hitting around .600 since.There are fans that are suggesting that Bobby Parnell should be sent down because he has a 4+ E.R.A this spring, never mind that he was really good last year. The main reason some want Parnell sent down is because Blaine Boyer and Jason Isringhausen are having really good Springs.

Izzy is a feel good story, but he is 38 years old and recovering from his third Tommy John surgery . Do you really wanna not only wanna send Parnell down, but  lose a guy with an arm like Manny Acosta's? You know  just to keep a guy that likely won't stay healthy or effective? Izzy hasn't been good since '07 or healthy since '08. It would be fun to see him make The Mets and come full circle, but he's already had a issue with his elbow and and with this team in transition there's no reason to keep around a guy at the end of his career over younger higher upside guys at this stage.

Then there's Blaine Boyer whose been career mediocrity and  is likely in the lead  for the last spot in the bullpen due to a his stuff impressing management,and the fact that he has an out in his contract next Thursday. He does get a lot of ground balls , so that's something. I would be more interested in keeping a guy that misses bats like Acosta over him.

Bobby Parnell has have major issues in getting lefties out, because he doesn't have a effective secondary pitch.  That said, he is likely to be the second best pitcher in the bullpen as he does dominate righties. He deserves to make the team on the strength on his '10 season and his potential. You hope he learns a secondary pitch to get lefties out. You do not send him down to keep lesser lights like Boyer and Izzy.

Another example of overrating to spring training is everyone wanting going crazy over short sample stats.This is what was happening in a the competition for the second base job between Emaus and Murphy.  Daniel Murphy was hitting .310-333-424  five days ago, While Brad Emaus battling line was 216-350-270. Those were  not good numbers, for Emaus for sure, but he hadn't played a lot and  again it was a short sample. Murphy meanwhile was hitting , but struggling on the defensive end,as he has at every position except for first base. Emaus while not hitting was drawing walks at least.

The reports  that Emaus was gonna be named the starting second baseman caused an uproar. He is just getting handed the job some screamed, its because he's Riccardi's guy (Riccardi drafted him in '07) well one 4-4 game and Emaus' avg went up nearly 80 points and his slugging went from .270 to .435. That is a strong example of how irrelevant Spring training stats are. Emaus has had a couple other good games and there is no longer an uproar. Which again shows how silly it is to go crazy over spring stats. You can not make decisions purely on Spring stats.

If you really believe Spring stats mean anything you must think Melky Cabrera; .400 average this spring is a sign that he'll actually be a good player after being an average to below average hitter most of his career. I guess if Spring stats mean anything then Jake Fox and John Mayberry Jr. will be our 2011 MVPs.

I remember growing up seeing Darren Reed rake every spring and wondering why he never made the team, well if you look at his non spring training stats you'll see why..Jorge Toca ten years later raked in spring , and he never made anything of himself either.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Match Made in Hell

Opening Day is just around the corner, which means only one thing-my crazy manager, Ozzie Guillen, will be bursting with outrageous things to post on Twitter.

Ozzie and Twitter-a match made in Heaven (or Hell, if you're Kenny Williams and the White Sox PR department).

I choose Hell.

Cartoon courtesy of yours truly,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vote in The Phield

*Click on image for larger view.

We Should Be GMs has advanced to the 3rd round of this year's March Madness of Phillies blogs in The Phield. They've defeated Holy KK! and Phillies Insider, and now set their sights on Phillies Nation. They're definitely playing the part of the underdog in this match-up, but America loves an underdog (ex- Dodgeball the movie). So please go cast your vote for We Should Be GMs...from multiple computers. Voting ends Thursday at 5 pm.
*Vote for We Should Be GMs Here*

As The Phield puts it- "Phillies Nation and WSBGMs move onto round three as two of the oldest blogs in existence – an Ohio St/Kenucky tilt, so to speak."

Monday, March 21, 2011

B is for Baseball

I am a father of two young boys and my passion is baseball. I want activities to keep them and me entertained while also having some educational merit. Roll out the red carpet for B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards. Artist Doug Keith did a wonderful job displaying the alphabet with enjoyable cards of each letter depicted by baseball players. If you have a young one in the family, I recommend picking up a set.

The back of the box of cards reads, “A for alphabet, B for baseball, C for cards and together they form this set of flashcards by Doug Keith that captures the action and spirit of the sport.”

The set is a product of Simply Read Books.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More Madness!

*Click on image for larger view.

No upset in the 1st round of the Phield this year, as We Should Be GMs passed through onto the 2nd stage beating Holy KK!. Now they take on Phillies Insider, so once again please show support by casting your vote before Monday at 5 pm at The Phield. No email required this time, just click on the link and vote in the poll.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

MLB St. Patrick's Day

Today is the day that everyone is Irish. Swill green beer, chow on some corn beef and cabbage, and try to find that leprechaun's pot of gold. While you're at it, convince some inebriated dame to screw kiss you because you're Irish. Well, one of the traditions I love most about this holiday is Major League Baseball's donning of the green uniforms for the occasion. Growing up collecting baseball cards I always found it odd when a player would be rocking a green jersey, but I later came to find out this picture was taken during this magical day of spring training. Happy St. Patty's Day!

Dropkick Murphys- Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness of Phillies Blogs

*Click on image for full screen view of the bracket in all its glory.

Vote for We Should Be GMs in The Phield 2011. To vote, simply email that you are voting for We Should Be Gms. Thanks!

As some of you may recall The Phield was created last year as a competition of Phillies blogs in the spirit of the NCAA's tournament of March Madness.

Voting ends at 5 pm on Thursday March 17th.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Feeling the Pain (Spring Injuries)

Adam Wainwright was the first to fall victim to the dreaded spring training injury bug and his season was ended with Tommy John surgery. Some of his cohorts have also been zapped with a malady.
mlb injury report Pictures, Images and Photos
Notable Boo-Boos:
Chris Carpenter/Cardinals- hamstrung hammy
Chase Utley/Phillies- bum knee
Zack Greinke/Brewers- fractured rib
Corey Hart/Brewers- overused oblique
Jason Castro/Astros- f'd up knee
Adrian Beltre/Rangers- flat tire
Carlos Beltran/Mets- old
Domonic Brown/Phillies- hacked up hand
Johan Santana/Mets- missing arm
Brian Roberts/Orioles- bad back
Adrian Gonzalez/Red Sox- sore shoulder
Grady Sizemore/Indians- needy knee
Ian Stewart/Rockies- no glee knee
Rickie Weeks/Brewers- groaning groin
Michael Cuddyer/Twins- f**ked up foot
Joe Mauer/Twins- he's a catcher, they always hurt
Matt Cain/Giants- erratic elbow
David Aardsma/Mariners- hip hiccup
Miguel Olivo/Mariners- gimpy groin
Vicente Padilla/Dodgers- achy elbow
Jon Garland/Dodgers- strained oblique
Ryan Braun/Brewers- messed up muscle in rib cage
Brandon Webb/Rangers- sucky shoulder
Ryan Zimmerman/Nationals- obituary of an oblique

Monday, March 07, 2011

Message to MLB Players- Call a Cab!

Since the turn of the calendar year from 2010 to 2011, 4 MLB players have been arrested for DUI. That's bullshit! The Mariners Adam Kennedy, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Austin Kearns of the Indians, and the latest Oakland Athletics Coco Crisp. C'mon fellas, seriously?!?!?!?! lists their career earnings as follows: Kennedy- $19,427,500, Cabrera- $54,410,623, Kearns- $20,780,000, and Crisp- $23,434,299. They have the money to do what the want, and one of those things should be hiring a f'n chauffeur, calling for a cab, or text a teammate to pick you up. Something, anything, but drive yourself while under the influence. I'm not pissed off that they drank to the point of inebriation, because that would be hypocritical of me. Nope, I'm pissed that they're stupid and selfish enough to put themselves and others in danger by operating a motor vehicle when it's simply not a necessity. Have we learned nothing from Nick Adenhart's tragic death or the saga of Jim Leyritz?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Forced Out of the Game

Every year seemingly usefull spare parts get left in the bargain bin of free agency and go unsigned before their time (as in not ready for retirement). Usually they're old, injured, or coming off a poor season. This year Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Bonderman are the biggest free agents left on the market that could conceivably help a team. However, let's not forget Troy Glaus, Bengie Molina, and Scott Podsednik also remain unemployed. Each has their faults, but each also have their assets.

Millwood would be a veteran presence in a rotation and an innings eater too, which is important on young inexperienced staffs. He'd be a good fit for a team like Cleveland, KC, Washington, St. Louis, or Pittsburgh. The Yankees could even use his help, but he's too proud to accept a minor league deal. I still have a feeling he'll sign before spring training is over and pitch in somebody's rotation this season. 2010- 4 W, 5.10 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 190.2 IP.

Bonderman is a case of a once promising up-and-comer flaming out. He's still regaining arm strength from a surgery a couple years ago, but at only 28 he has some possible upside. Recently said he might just sit out the 2011 campaign, but if given a guaranteed contract, he'd likely jump on the opportunity. 2010- 8 W, 5.53 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 171 IP.

Glaus can no longer play 3rd base and isn't that good at 1st base either, but he does still have some thump in his bat. He is age 34, but his body is more like mid-40's. Still, I'm surprised the Padres didn't sign him to platoon with Brad Hawpe at first, or a team like the Rays to be a part-time DH/1B. 2010- .240/.744, 16 HR, 71 RBI.

Molina wants to start, but his bat no longer warrants regular appearances and his defense is adequate at best. The eldest of the Catching Molina Brothers is 36 and is probably done in the Majors unless he takes a backup gig. 2010- .249/.623, 5 HR, 36 RBI.

Podsednik should have exercised his portion of the mutual option with the Dodgers for $2M, because now he's fighting for his MLB life. The speedster can still get on base and swipe enough bags to be a solid 4th outfielder. Shame somebody didn't sign the White Flash. 2010- .297/.724, 35 SB.

Jermaine Dye left the game because he felt his was being low-balled by offers. At 36 he was a defensive liability and was only suitable for DH duties. His bat was still potent at times, enough so that he even garnered some interest this past offseason. His numbers dipped in '09 (.250/.793, 27 HR, 81 RBI), but the year prior he hit .292/.885 with 34 HR and 96 RBI.

Braden Looper is back in the game on a minor league deal with the Cubs this year, but in the offseason of '09 he went unsigned. Durable starting pitchers have their worth, and Looper was just that. The 35 year old was coming off a 14 win season, albeit with a 5.22 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 194.2 IP.

Gary Sheffield is a future Hall-of-Famer in my opinion, but hanging on a few more seasons to rack up his hit total would have helped a lot. Unfortunately the 40 year old was dismissed from every GM's mind and left filing for unemployment. He was horrible in the outfield, but when wielding a bat he was dangerous. 2009- .276/.823, 10 HR, 43 RBI.

Jarrod Washburn had a solid 2009 campaign, but was an afterthought come free agency time. The lefty finished poorly in Detroit, but was fantastic in Seattle prior to the trade. 2009- 9 wins, 3.78 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 176 IP.

David Weathers was a dependable middle reliever, but in the offseason of 2009 he went by the wayside. Coming off a year of 68 appearances and a 3.92 ERA, the reliever probably had something left in the tank even at 40 years old.

Moises Alou used to piss on his hands rather than wear batting gloves, but the man could rake. Alou was essentially forced out of the game due to injury, not because a lack of production. From 2004-2007 he never had a batting average below .293 or and OPS below .916. However, he was limited to only 15 games in 2008.

Ray Durham is one of the most undervalued players of the last generation in my opinion. The 2nd baseman was still productive with the bat- .289/.813 in 128 games in '08, so I'm not sure why a team didn't snatch him up on the cheap. At this stage in his career his defense was subpar, his days of swiping bags were gone, but the batting average and on base percentage were still worth playing time.

Mark Grudzielanek was great at making the routine play, as his errors at 2nd base were almost always less than 10. In 2008 he was with the Royals and posted a .299/.743 line, but was not offered a contract the following year. His ability to get base knocks and play 2nd, SS, and 3rd would have lent well to a utility role. Grudz did pop up with the Indians last year for 30 games, but he's out of the game now.

Luis Gonzalez was a fun player to follow through the years. He quietly put up some impressive career numbers (2500+ hits, 1400+ runs and rbi, nearly 600 doubles, and 354 homeruns). At at 40 he was still roaming the outfield and hitting well enough (.261/.749) that a team should have picked him up for veteran leadership and 4th outfielder duties.

Rudy Seanez was a member of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies bullpen, but went untouched that offseason. After posting a 3.53 ERA for the Phils and a 3.79 ERA the previous year with the Dodgers it was surprising a team didn't give him a contract to pitch middle relief.

Barry Bonds was a media circus and once San Francisco washed their hands of him, no other team wanted to touch him. Despite legal problems and steroid allegations the 42 year old was still a formidable presence at the plate- .276/1.045 the year he was essentially blackballed from the game.

Kenny Lofton also left the game on a high note, batting .296/.781 with 86 runs and 23 stolen bases. If K-Lo could have held on a 2-3 more years we might be looking at a Hall-of-Famer, but sadly the speedster went without a contract for '08.

Reggie Sanders went out with a bang- .315/.905, albeit in only 24 games. People easily forget what a power/speed combo he possessed.

Sammy Sosa skipped 2006, then came back to hit his 600th homerun in '07 with the Rangers. Overall he was productive with 21 bombs and 92 rbi.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Very Early Thoughts on Second Base Competition

You know I was really hopeful that the Wilpons would do the right thing, and cleanse the team of Castillo and Perez eventually this spring. The worse the news gets about  Wilpons and their lack of funds the more I worry. . There was supposed to be a open competition for the second base job, but so far Luis Castillo has started three of the first five games at second base. That coupled with the fact that Emaus has gotten one start at second and Murphy has started at third gives me a reason to be skeptical.

I mean the thought came to my mind that maybe The Mets are showcasing Castillo, but who in their right mind would want him? The guy can't hit anymore and has the range of a dead mule. He has been absolutely horrendous two of his three full years here. Castillo even in his good offensive year killed ground ball machine Pelfrey with his piss poor range.

I will be fair to Castillo on one hand., he has never been as bad as Perez. I don't get why a lot of fans hate him more than Perez. He makes half the money Perez does and isn't in the same league when it comes to stinking it up. Castillo used to be a really good player, but is at the end of the line and no longer adds anything to this team. That four year contract Omar gave him was beyond stupid, but not Ollie Perez twelve mil a year stupid. That is really my only defense of the guy.

I do understand using Murphy at numerous positions as he might be a utility guy, but early in the spring doesn't it makes sense for him to get as much innings and games at second base,as possible? I mean he is the least experienced guy of the three.   He started at third today with Castillo at second why not shift him over to 2B after Castillo came out of the game?

The fact that shill Matt Cerrone of Metsblog has been going on about how well Castillo looks at turning the DP and how much smoother Castillo is gives me pause. ESPN's Rich Coutinho keeps going on and on about how Castillo is the best all around option at second base. Then there's SNY's Kevin Burkhardt reporting that Castillo is already in the lead for the second base job early on. Burkhardt has been effusive in his praise of Castillo early this spring You gotta wonder if these guys have seen Castillo play the past few years. The praise Castillo is getting makes me worry that he'll make the team.

I am probably overreacting as we're less than a week into exhibition  games. I was pretty reasonable thinking Castillo and Perez were goners(I still think Perez is), but the fact that Castillo is getting this much playing time  does worry me.

It just might be that the front office is giving the veteran a early chance to show he has something left and when he doesn't he's cut loose. That is surely my hope. I do believe in the front office, but the mistrust of the Wilpons has led to my possible irrationality.

The Mets second basemen last year had an OPS around .600.  That is utterly  pathetic. I can't imagine Emaus and Murphy not producing at a much better clip than that. Terry Collins has talked about how second base is a offensive position now, well lets hope he really means it and goes in that direction when deciding on the starter there.

Coco got Crispy

Many kids and young adults prefer milk with their cereal. However, a select few enjoy some alcohol with there Coco Crisp's...especially the man behind the cereal. Crisp was arrested last night for DUI while driving his 2009 Rolls Royce Phantom, valued at $400,000. Coco got out of jail this morning and made it to pregame drills. However, Coco was not in the lineup today for their game. PR from the A's have made a comment "no comment." It is rumored that discipline measures will be taken either today or tomorrow. Also Coco reportedly was hanging out with Charlie Sheen a couple of weeks ago. Never mix Coco and Charlie. The result could be detrimental to the society.

Daddy Chooch

Yesterday Carlos Ruiz became a proud father for the first time. Carlos left spring training yesterday to be with his wife in Panama for the birth of their son. The baby weighed 9 pounds. No word on the name of the baby. My guess would be Benji or Pedro. Way to go Carlos...I guess Chooch is no stranger to the Cooch.