Tagged: Chicago White Sox

Watch out for the White Sox meteorite

The White Sox are really bad now. They aren’t just crashing back down to earth. They’re streaking through the atmosphere, the heat shield isn’t holding up, and it looks like the ‘chutes aren’t going to work either. They’re going to make a giant-sized crater in the ground. But again, we’re not just going to say things and not provide evidence to support our claims. As usual, we’re going to use numbers.

The White Sox are in a 2-way tie for the fewest wins in Major League Baseball. They’re 29-42.

That about says it all. Teams with better winning percentages than the White Sox include the Pirates, Orioles, Nationals, and Devil Rays. Teams with lower winning percentages consist of the Rangers, Royals, and Reds. In 2005 they won the World Series. In 2007 they’re hanging out with the cellar-dwelling Royals. And GM Ken Williams is saying things like, "Something’s got to happen. I’m tired of watching this."

As a result, White Sox management has begun to make some rather peculiar choices regarding player personnel. Especially when it comes to Mark Buehrle. By all accounts, he’s a good guy, a clubhouse guy. Fan favorite. He did finish last year with an ERA circa 5. My opinion is that his arm is tired, as Buehrle has pitched more than 220 innings a year since 2001. He’s probably lost some life on his moving fastball. He’s a free agent after this year, but he was on record last year as saying he wanted to stay in Chicago. Sort of, we think. No one really knows what was being said. In any case, he is apparently trade bait. Why would you trade away a guy who you can really build something around? You know they’re not going to get anything in return. But they’re betting that they’ll get more prospects that, five years down the line, will be worth more than Buehrle to them. I think they’re underestimating Buehrle’s staying power in this league, and that he will remain a great pitcher for another 10 years. The trick is signing the guy, and that’s where they might be better off trading him away. Otherwise, they get nothing for him.

This string of loses was kind of predictable. Last year, Carl Everett accused GM Ken Williams of breaking up the team chemistry after he was traded away post-championship. Now, I’m certain that Carl didn’t factor into the teams’ chemistry as positively as he thinks. In fact, he thought the White Sox lacked leadership with him gone. Which is an interesting observation, as Carl Everett is currently a DH for the Free Agent squad, so he is now leading nobody. Everett also believes that we should implode Wrigley Field, and that even if we put every American child on ‘roids, we would still lose more kids in war then to steroids. I’m not sure whether to call that Malthusian wisdom or just idiocy.

But Everett does have a point. A lot of important guys were shipped off, and nothing was really gained in return. Aaron Rowand was shipped off for Thome, who, as predicted, has been like a walking test ground for physical therapist students. And the Sox get Luis Terrero patrolling Center. McCarthy is gone, as is Cotts, as is Garcia, as is Frank Thomas. And not one single decent player has been acquired in any of these deals outside Thome. So you took a championship team, and in order to improve it, you traded away two starters, a reliever, a stand up centerfielder, a loud-mouthed DH, and an aging and oft-injured slugger for an aging and oft-injured slugger*. Probably not the best example of "if its not broke, don’t fix it."

* – Jim Thome and Frank Thomas are also considered ‘similar batters’ according to baseball-reference.com, not just me.

Tigers, Braves, and Sox

We’re going to do things in reverse order today, starting with comments first. Kevin actually came in and surprised me by leaving some legitimate baseball opinions. Regular readers know that Kevin is Part II of this whole baseball thing I have. He’s the guy I go to the ballpark with, and occasionally he’ll pipe in with his own comments. They’re usually something like, "Roy Halladay is not that good," or, "You know you didn’t think the Tigers would do as good as they are." And at least once a week he’ll send me an IM that goes something like this:

Kevin: Dude
Reid: What’s up man?
Kevin: I was on this message board, and some dude just said that (insert stupid comment here, "the Yankees are the worst team in the league," or, "Barry Bonds is the best player ever," or, "Kenny Rogers will win us the World Series,") and I tore him up. He kept saying these stupid things like, "dude no you’re wrong."
Reid
: Stupid idiots.
Kevin: Haha yeah.

I think that was an accurate representation. In any case, he also has his own blog when he wants to, and he does other stuff like that. According to him, the Tigers will deal for Bobby Abreu, just because Leyland says it won’t happen. Like I said, he is strong in his beliefs. Tell him that the Tigers won’t be getting Abreu, and you’re wrong. Why do we want Abreu now? The Tigers have been building up one of the best farm systems in the league for the past few years. Eventually, it will be time to trade away some of those prospects for a championship run. I don’t think that now is that time. Maybe, come July, the Tigers are 5 games up of the White Sox – then, maybe, you make a deal. But if the Tigers are 5 games back of the Sox, that move doesn’t happen. But to deviate for a second to what Yuhsing said, the Tigers do have some hidden problems this year. What he says is that we strike out a lot, don’t walk a bunch, and have an experienced rotation. However, the team is winning. But the Tiger’s weak schedule has also helped them to their record. However – and this is important – like I’ve always said, bad teams don’t beat average teams. What I mean by this is that, oftentimes, someone will say, "Hey, Roy Halladay (or take your pick,) had a 2-hitter against the Angels. But they have a terrible offense, so it doesn’t count." My point is that, while it may be easier to 2-hit the Angels than the Yankees, that doesn’t make it and easy thing to do. You still need to be a good pitcher to do it. Same thing goes with the Tigers – they have to be good to do as well as they’re doing. So maybe the Tigers are a little worse than their record shows us, but they’re not bad. Maybe they should have 45 wins instead of 52, for example. Next, Brandon Inge. He’s not  the All-Star that some people think he is, (I keep hearing that people think this. Why?) But he just broke up Clemen’s potential perfect game in the bottom of the 3rd. Not a big deal for most, except that Kevin invited me to tonight’s game (2 hours before gametime,) and I declined. If Clemens had thrown a perfect game or even no-hitter, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. In any case, I was happily watching this game, but then someone at MLB found out and the feed stopped. Of course, when I tried to start it up again, I received the black out message. Alright, I accept that I can’t watch any Tigers games… but please, don’t tease me about it, alright?

So now we’re going to shift gears to the Yankees – Braves game. As I mentioned in last night’s post, the Braves have gone, in the month that I’ve been in Chicago and Cincinnati, from 5 games back of the Mets to 16 games back. Uh, alright. Why? Perhaps it’s because the Mets can’t be counted on to choke two seasons in a row. They’re not drastically different from last year, yet they have 10 more wins now than they did exactly one year ago – and the Braves have 10 fewer wins. Last year, at this time, Atlanta had 42 wins and New York had 37. This year, New York has 47 and Atlanta has 32. In other words, Atlanta is worse, and New York is better. So maybe the previous theory is incorrect – the Mets are better, but that’s not why the Braves are in last, (however, if the Mets had the same record this year as they had last year, the Braves would only be 6 games back, not 16.) Maybe it was the not-so-good start they got off to this year, which they never really recovered from. Throw in a losing streak like this, and look where you end up. But, remember this. The Braves are baseball’s version of a vampire. Remember that. Just when you start to throw some dirt on them, they come back and take the division again. All the evidence points to this not happening this year, but you never know with these guys. And they just showed a ‘highlight’ clip of Jaret Wright getting hit by comebackers. Are you kidding me? I think they showed four, and once he was even hit with a bat. And, I also believe he was wearing a Yankee uniform each time. Considering he’s only pitched about three games as a Yankee, I can’t imagine how many times the guy has been drilled in his career.

Well, it looked like Buehrle was kicking around the Pirates, surprise. So I jumped to that game, because I like Mark Buehrle. From the moment I turned the game on, here is what happened: Craig Wilson got an infield single, Jose Castillo hit a double, advancing Wilson to third, and then Ronny Paulino walked on four pitches. Then Joe Randa comes to the plate and came about two feet away from the Grand Slam. Mark Buehrle is on my pay league Fantasy Team, and suffice it to say that there must have been some sort of black magic at work there. You know it’s time for one of our favorite BHGM references… Black Magic in Baseball? And they just showed a very distraught-looking Jim Tracy explain why Oliver Perez has been moved out to the bullpen. He said that you never know which Perez is going to show up every fifth day. You just never know, he continued, and that’s just really hard to deal with. You know what else is hard to deal with? A guy that, in the last four years, has only had an ERA below 5.38 one time. Once. That one time was his unforgettable – at least for the Pirates – 2004, when he had his breakout year. He went 12-10, with a 2.98 ERA, and 239 K’s in 198 innings. Remarkable. That was the good Oliver Perez. Now, let me make things simple for you, Jim. In 2004, the Good Oliver Perez showed up. In 2003, 2005, and 2006, the Bad Oliver Perez showed up. This isn’t a matter of specific games, it’s a matter of being good, and that’s something Perez hasn’t been since 2004. Here’s something else that’s hard to deal with. You’re team has lost 11 games in a row. They have three games with the Defending World Champs, and then they have three games with the team that has the best record in baseball. That’s what’s really hard to deal with. Which brings us to something that BPS has asked repeatedly… "Do these games with the NL still count?"

It’s like a turkey-shoot here. I wrote, much earlier, about some possible reasons why the AL is so much better than the NL. The crux of my theory was that a player needs to field in the NL, but not in the AL. Therefore, when a good bat rises through an AL organization, he can continue even if he can only hit, and not field. In the NL, this player would be dealt for another guy. You could say that this makes for a more potent 8-man lineup than the AL, but that’s obviously not the case for two reasons. If it was true, the NL would be evenly matched when they played at home. The second reason, which is more likely the ultimate cause, is that the game is so balanced right now that’s its impossible to have 8 men that are more potent than 9 men.

That may be all for tonight. I’ve got more work to do, (I still have to unpack from school, which I ended on May 10th,) but I’ll be back later if something comes up in one of these games.

Good to be back

Well, for now at least. I just got back from Chicago and will be heading up there yet again, (but hopefully for the last time,) on Monday. I’ve been working so much out there that I haven’t had any time to follow any baseball. Sorry. But, as I half-watched Sportscenter at about 5.30am before work the other day, (maybe it was today, maybe yesterday… it was too early,) I saw a quick story about the Padilla Flotilla hitting A.J. Pieyrzynski twice, presumably intentionally. First off, when the Flotilla is involved, you can’t be certain of any intent. I’m not looking at how many guys the dude has beaned in the last five years, but judging by how good he is – which is, not very – he’s probably pretty high up there. That is to say, I doubt he has impeccable, Greg Maddux-like control. Some of his pitches are going to sail away… but not two pitches, and not two pitches to a guy that nobody likes. Of course, you will recall that Michael Barrett was the most recent addition to the A.J. Hating Parade. That said, how did Ozzie’s guy – some recent AAA-call up, I hear – manage to miss his mark twice? You have to be bad to unintentionally hit a batter, but not too bad. It happens all the time. But to throw at a batter, and miss him twice? That’s pretty bad. Unless this AAA call-up was doing the honorable thing, that being to disobey the Captain’s orders and decide that he would rather be "Pitcher on AAA team" than, "Goon for MLB team." It’s a well-known fact on BHGM that I am not a fan of Ozzie. So, I say good job for the AAA pitcher. Maybe he threw for the guy’s legs because he wanted to ‘miss/give the guy time to get out of the way.’ Makes sense to me anyway.

I was also able to catch a couple other segments of some games. I heard that Adam Dunn hit a HR in four straight games. It’s about time. I’m looking at the last week’s stats for my Roto Fantasy team, and I can see that Dunn is hitting .350 with 5 HR in the last week. Take that in, because you’ll never see that ever again. The .350 average, I mean, not the 5 HR. Meanwhile, (just to pick some players out at random,) Mark Teixiera continues to not play like the first-round pick he was. Heck – brace yourselves – his numbers are comparable to Jose Reyes right now. Except in two of our five major categories, runs (37-54,) and steals, (0-28.) They both have 6 HR, and Tex has 35 RBI’s, while Reyes has 31 – from the leadoff spot no less. Tex is hitting .285, while Reyes is hitting .263. However, Reyes’ .334 OBP is a full 40 points lower than Tex’s. But… that doesn’t really comfort me any, in a league where walks are basically a wasted at bat. For those of you who are unaware, a basic 5×5 Roto League counts R, HR, RBI, SB, and AVG. Pitchers rack up Wins, SV, K, ERA, and WHIP. Anyway, what’s wrong with Tex? Seeing as this entire train of thought popped into my head just from looking at Dunn’s stats, (???) I don’t really have an answer. If it’s a slump, it’s a long one. We’re what, 1/3 of the way through the season by now? Where’s the power, buddy? This time last year, he was near the top (if not at the top,) of the AL HR Leaderboard. Whatever it is, it still has the Rangers in 2nd place in the AL West, just .5 games of SI’s "2nd Best Team in Baseball," the Oakland A’s. Again, SI is never going to live down that prediction. Not ever. In the same shot, they called the Reds the "3rd worst team," and the Tigers the, "18th best," or "12th worst." Depends on whether you’re a glass half-full or half-empty kind of guy I guess.

Thanks for hanging with me through this disjointed post. It was one of those, "just got off the road after a 7-hour drive and a 55-hour work week," things. Anyway, I knew people were starting to lose faith that I would ever be back, so please, I am ok. Hopefully we’ll see more tomorrow, or even tonight. Later!

Weekend in Review

So the bad thing about Sunday is that it’s usually day games. By the time I got home from work, all the games – with the exception of Yankees-Mets – were over. So here are a few various items, from both yesterday and today.

Marlins v. Devil Rays
When the Marlins lost to the Devil Rays again last night, 4-3, they blew their fourth game in a row after leading in the ninth inning. The only other MLB team to accomplish that feat? The 2002 Devil Rays. How special. In fact, the Battle for Florida Supremacy, as we’ve taken to calling the series, was so important that D-Rays manager Joe Maddon was "out of town" for the first two games, leaving his bench coach in charge. But in all seriousness, the Rays got a fantastic game out of Scott Kazmir tonight, to take the series 3-0. Looks like we found the best team in Florida, right? Right? Loser heads to Las Vegas, right? Anyway, Kazmir struck out 11 Marlins, going 8 innings, walking one, and allowing just 4 hits and no runs. Funny, because I just wrote about how Kazmir seemed to be back on track, and more importantly, for real this year.

Cubs v. White Sox
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So the Cubs beat the White Sox in game 3 of that big Chicago v. Chicago thing. Uh, that pretty much means no repeat. I know the Cubs have been getting attention for being bad lately, but I don’t think people are aware of exactly how bad they are. One of the worst teams in the league, the Pirates, are in the same division and have 14 wins. The Cubs have 18, and one more loss. And it will get much worse before Lee returns. So basically, if the Cubs played the Pirates in a 4-game set, they’d be likely to lose at least two, if not three, games. Anyway, regarding yesterday’s Throw Down by Michael Barrett upon A.J., a few notes. First, A.J. is known as the biggest a-hole in baseball. I mean, this was something people knew years ago. Here’s a list, basically, of why the world should thank Barrett for punching A.J, from Sporlitics. And let me explain to you, exactly, whyBarrett_1_2

Barrett was so upset after A.J. knocked him around sliding into home. He didn’t just train Barrett. He trained him when there was no play at home. And after that, he got up, pounded the plate, and stared down Barrett. Barrett then gave A.J. a quick hug before coldcocking him. As you can see to your right, A.J. never saw it coming. But, Barrett hugged A.J. so they could have a quick chat – what did he say? "I didn’t even have the f*cking ball, b*tch."

I also want to make sure everyone saw the video on YouTube. Actually, MLB already managed to get it taken down – dang, that was fast! Look, I get the whole anti-copyright thing, and it’s cool – I don’t like it, but I can see that if you let people start posting plays on YouTube, it will eventually weaken the fan’s appreciation for the sport, right? Wait… whatever. It’s not about that, right? It’s about something bigger – the principle, right? Look, if you’re going to interfere with the free market that YouTube provides and supports, then you need to provide a better or at least equal service. Which you don’t. If I wrote Bud Selig and asked him if I could post a video from a baseball game on YouTube, would he respond? And would he grant me expressed permission if he did? Alright.

Reds v. Tigers
I was able to attend the first game of this series, which was the only game of the Tiger’s last 10 that we lost. My luck, right. The Tigers won last night on a Felipe Lopez throwing error, and won this afternoon as well – 1-0. Good job. You don’t see a lot of 1-0 games from two clubs which are both in the top 5 of all MLB teams in HR – Detroit at #2, Cincinnati at #4. Anyway, Nate Robertson pitched 7.1 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 7, but walking 5. Obviously, he wasn’t lights out – but he was pretty good. Especially considering what Nate Robertson usually is. And, again, the Tigers are one game above the White Sox in the AL Central.

Albert Pujols
Albert hit another home run today. In related news, the sun came up this morning. Albert’s HR contributed to the St. Louis Albert Pujol’s 10-3 thrashing of the Royals.

Matt Cain
Cain one-hit the A’s on Sunday, also allowing just 3 walks. Matt who? The Giants are now 23-21, which means they can pretty much start printing playoff tickets right now. That is, as soon as they overcome the first place, 25-19, Rockies.

Minnesota…
The Twins, my pre-season pick for the surprise bad team of the year, remain bad. They lost to Milwaukee today, and are now 19-25, good for 4th place and 10.5 games back from the AL Central Division-leading Tigers.

Mark’s War
The Citizen Soldiers of the Kansas City Royals are in dire need of a victory. They’re on a 9-game losing streak. Coming up? A 4-game set with the Tigers, and a pair of 3-game sets with the Yankees and A’s on the road, where the Royals are 2-20 this year. In other words, PFC Mark – who returned to the team after being gunned down on Saturday night, trying to score from 1st base – and Captain Bell will trot an impressive 19 game losing streak onto the battlefield when they arrive in Seattle on June 2nd. They will have won 5 games in all of May – three by one run, one by two runs, and one by three runs.

That’s about all for today. Again, didn’t get to do much baseball stuff today, so that’s why we have the short post. I have tomorrow off, but then I have to work 36 hours, in 5 days of 6 days, with only Thursday off. And of course, they wanted me to come in on Thursday too. After that, I’ll be heading to the Tigers-Yankees game on May 31st, and then it’s down to Cincinnati, where BHGM will be on vacation for about 3 or 4 days. If anyone is interesting in posting some guest writings here, contact me at reid@yankeesmvp.com. Check out the liveblog from last night, and lets see some comments too, people.

Yankee OF and Catchup – Part I

Alright, there was no post last night. On weekends, nothing is guaranteed. Besides, I had to get up for work at 7am. I know, I know, everyone reading who reads this site has been up since 5am. I know. Tonight we have a two-part post – Part II will appear by tomorrow afternoon – because there are a lot of interesting things going on in the world today. In fact, there is all of the following, and more! Here comes the list:

  • Candidates for the Yankee Outfield: Would acquiring Barry Bonds be, "fiendishly logical?" Meanwhile, Phillies GM Pat Gillick is "expecting a call" regarding Bobby Abreu. Torii Hunter is in a contract year, will the Twins be willing to trade him?
  • Usually, when you score seven runs in the first inning, you’re all set. Defensive replacements can start coming in to the game, you can give your stars a rest and give the reserves a few AB’s. Unless, of course, your the Minnesota Twins, and Carlos Silva is your pitcher.
  • Apparently, the mess that is the Kansas City Royals can be narrowed down to three major mistakes. They involve Angel Berroa, Neifi Perez, and Mark Teahen – who, depending on who you ask, is either "another Corey Koskie" or "a bad Joe Randa."
  • Finally, the rest of the world is talking about Dusty Baker getting fired. Note that I have been suggesting this for over a year.
  • Apparently, the Dodger Fan Code of Conduct is more like a license to operate "young, poorly trained, overzealous, and rude security staff with child-like behavior."
  • It’s a good thing the All-Star Game is in Pittsburg this year, because, frankly, Pirates Fan doesn’t have much else to be excited about.
  • Does Lew Ford spell his name funny?
  • This is a baseball blog. That said, is Isiah Thomas seriously going to pay Larry Brown $40 million to haul out of New York?

Yankees seeking replacement outfielder?
So, I’ve done some research in response to Geoff’s request for a breakdown of possible outfield replacement candidates. I’ve polled my sources. I’ve done my digging. But first, I think we all need to step back and think about the situation for a second. Matsui is not dead. He will be coming back. Maybe not this year, but next year. Johnny Damon is also signed for next year. Gary Sheffield, however, is not. But that’s irrelevant. Pause and think about this for a second. The Yankees prospects are, primarily pitchers. That said, all we can do is trade pitchers for hitters. In other words, we trade our pitching to improve our offense. Does that make any sense to anyone? Do you really think Brian Cashman is running around thinking, "oh my god, we don’t have enough offense, we need more offense." For some reason, I don’t think so. I heard someone say that Torii Hunter may be traded to the Yankees. This makes no sense. Sure, you shift Damon to Left, you put Torii in Center. Alright. Then you have 4 All-Star Outfielders next year, if Sheffield comes back. Yet Torii isn’t half the hitter Sheff is, even at his old age. Therefore, you’re sacrificing future pitching and future offense for a couple months of Torii Hunter. As for Abreu, this makes even less sense. Now that the Phillies are finally winning, what can the Yankees possibly offer them to give up their best player? Heck, they wouldn’t take A-Rod. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 games, and now they’re one back of the Mets. They wouldn’t give up their bat boy for A-Rod right now. As for Barry Bonds…

Trading for Barry Bonds doesn’t make any sense. Yet, at the same time… it does. Barry can get off his rusty feet, DH a few games, and play a few in left as well. He’ll have plenty of protection in the lineup. But here’s the real kicker – you often hear that a player "isn’t cut out for New York." If there was ever a player made for New York, it’s Barry Bonds. The most hated player on the most hated team. It’s a perfect match. I don’t like Barry Bonds, and I’m sick of the hype. As Deadspin wrote, "Hey, the circus is in town! Come see A .217 hitter get an intentional walk! Right this way, folks!" Anyway, here’s the bottom line – right now, there’s no reason for the Yankees to make a move. You don’t trade for guys like Bobby Abreu just because your outfielder – star though he might be – breaks his wrist. Even if you’re the Yankees.

You shouldn’t lose a game you’re on pace to score 63 runs in.
On Sunday night, the White Sox played the Minnesota Twins. The Twins scored seven – count them, seven – runs in the first inning off Mark Buehrle. Now, Buehrle is one of my favorite guys. I was upset. But I told myself that Buehrle wasn’t hurting too bad; he had actually only given up one earned run. Amazing, yes. If there was ever a time to talk about the Fundamentals, it would have been then. But that matter concerned the team, not Mark. So I went on following the Gamecast. The Sox had scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st, so they were only down 4. One more run in the third, five more in the fourth. Sox up, 9-7. Twins lose. Mark Buehrle gets the W. Carlos Silva gets not only the loss, but a full blown demotion. That’s right, Carlos Silva and his 8.80 ERA have now migrated to the bullpen. I can’t decide what’s happening here – are the Twins betting that they will improve because Carlos will spend less time ruining their games? Or, do they just think it’s better to have them ruin the games in later innings than the earlier ones? Either way, Silva, who didn’t have much of a Spring Training due to the WBC, needs to get some innings in any way he can.

The Mess that is the Royals has actually been a long time in the making.
Not that it matters. Basically, you’re just digging up the past for no good reason. But that doesn’t mean someone wont do it, and that someone is Ken Rosenthal, who claims he has found the "The three trades that crushed the Royals." Let’s run them down.
#1: Gave up – Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis in exchange for Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Roberto Hernandez. Yeah, that’s not an improvement.
#2: Gave up Jermaine Dye in exchange for Neifi Perez. Perez was released the following off-season, after spending an entire two months with the team. He has a career .300 OBP.
#3: Gave up Carlos Beltran in exchange for Mark Teahen, John Buck, and Mike Wood. Royals GM Allan Baird thought he was making a smart move here by acquiring "the next Corey Koskie" in Teahen. Not that giving up Beltran for ‘Koskie’ is ok, but that doesn’t matter, since a scout described as just "a bad Joe Randa." And he hasn’t done a thing to suggest otherwise. You mean a .299 OBP is not ok?

That’s all for right now. Tomorrow afternoon, we’ll see Part II, which will touch on Dusty Baker, the Dodger Fan Code of Conduct, The Pirates, Lew Ford, and the Knicks. And possibly tonight’s Yankee game. But I’m not sure I want to talk about that right now. See you all soon.

David Wright stays, C. Young, Rocket, and Chi Sox

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David Wright won’t be traded
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Good news. Turns out, David Wright won’t be traded after all. I know, you thought the "next Jeter" (which he isn’t,) was as good as gone, right? Again, maybe I’m the one living under the rock, but I had no idea that such a rumor was circulating. Apparently the Marlins were going to trade Dontrelle Willis to the Mets for our man David Wright. Why? Well, forget for a second that Marlin’s owner Jeffrey Loria says the rumor was "the invention of some irresponsible reporter," and "never happened." Frankly, I’m inclined to believe him, but lets pretend that someone in either organization wanted this trade to go down. If so, they’re the greatest Saboteur this side of Scott Eyre. Think about it. The money-starved Marlins trade away one of the best pitching values in exchange for a power-hitting 3rd baseman. The Mets get to replace Victor Zambrano in the rotation with Willis, thereby nullifying every aspect of the infamous Scott Kazmir trade, and further enraging their fans. Miguel "Runs like a Bus" Cabrera gets to head back out to the outfield to make room for Wright… no, I’m sorry. Nothing about this trade discussion that "never happened" makes any sense at all. The Marlins trade away the future and bedrock of their franchise for the future and "next Jeter" of the Met’s franchise. No way. Never. I’d give up Jason Schmidt for Ryan Vogelsong before I do Willis-Wright from either side of the table, and that really happened.

Chris Young
More good news – I’m even more scared now than I was yesterday. Now I’m terrified. See, Young has some pain in his pitching thumb. When I first heard this a few days ago, my first reaction was a ‘not good but probably temporary.’ But I’ll admit, I was scared he would turn around and pull a small-scale Kip Wells on me. From what I gathered, there was not only pain but a slight loss of control in the thumb, which made me suspect a circulation problem. Apparently I was right, as Young is now going on medication to correct the "decreased blood flow" to his thumb. All this after jamming a finger? That’s no good. I’m currently searching for a replacement for Young for my pay league Fantasy Team. If the medication doesn’t work, Young will take a trip to the DL. I’m gonna go way out on a medical limb and suggest that he’s taking something like Coumadin, a sort of blood thinner. I’m no doctor, but I thought it’d be fun to take a stab. In any case, the medication is obviously not a long term solution to the problem. If it’s serious enough that it doesn’t fix itself, Young will probably get an extended DL stint. Something more minor, (C’mon, who hasn’t jammed their finger like 10 times playing ball?) and he’ll do a couple weeks.

Rick Monday
I want to talk about Rick Monday’s 30-year anniversary of the Flag Saving. However, my writing style precludes such discussion. It’s hard to offer an opinion on situations like these without offending or alienating someone. Obviously I’m the first guy to take a shot at someone’s actions if they do something stupid, but I’m not here to bash people’s personal views and beliefs, regardless of whether or not I agree. That said – Monday was a stand-up guy for what he did. Even more, he describes it as somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction. Good to know that Monday, a former member of the Marine Reserves at the time, had his head in the right place.

The Rocket
Rocket_3
And how about the Rocket Race? Is he coming back? I’m 100% positive that even he doesn’t know yet. Think about it – would there be anything more un-Rocket-like to keep the media hype going when he knows it’s unwarranted? If he knew he wasn’t coming back, he would’ve told us a long time ago. If he knew he was coming back, he wouldn’t be saying things like, "It’s very flattering [but] it would be a mental challenge [to come back]." We also have some other variables to consider. For example, why did Rocket take a short term contract last year in Houston? It wasn’t because that was all they would give him, it was because that was all he wanted. He knew then that he wasn’t sure whether he’d be back in 2006. Furthermore, recall that Rocket retired once already, but returned to active duty for Houston, saying that being close to his family was a primary reason. Meanwhile, the Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox are currently the front-runners for bringing him back. That said, why would he sign with the Yankees or Red Sox? I’m also assuming Clemens doesn’t want his time to go to waste, so why would he go back to Texas? I’ll bet good money that if Rocket does come back, he’ll be back in Houston. I won’t hazard a guess as to whether or not he’ll be back, but I would say he’s more likely to stay in retirement, but not by much. 45/55 maybe?

Mark Buehrle and Ozzie Guillen
Ozzieguillen_3
Ozzie Guillen labeled Mark Buehrle as ‘underrated’ after going 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last 3 starts. Guillen claims that, "every day he has done the same thing for three years and nobody talks about him. The only time they talk about him was last year when he threw like a one-hour game." Uh, that’s not true. Sure, Buehrle is the most underrated pitcher in the game. It’s been that way for the last two years, which is why he’s been a member of four of my last five fantasy teams over the last three years. Frankly, I was convinced that would change after all the attention he would get from the World Series, but it hasn’t. Buehrle has always been one of my favorite pitchers because he’s fun to watch (quick) and he’s downright consistent. I suppose the only other time people were talking about him last year was when he snapped his 48 (or something) consecutive 6 inning start streak by intentionally beaning a batter, (I plan on talking about the League’s phantom beaning rules in a subsequent post). In fact, on April 30th, 2005, I said, "Mark Buehrle is the most underrated pitcher in the
Big Leagues. He has amazing control and makes batters look foolish when
he’s on." And no, Ozzie, that wasn’t the only time they talked about him last year. I’m sick of Ozzie Guillen lying and exaggerating, but I’m even sicker of everyone subscribing to his worldview. It’s tired, it’s old, he’s an *ss, and I don’t like him. Does it work? Getting on your players for playing bad baseball works, a little. Swearing at kids for asking for an autograph, or swearing at the media for asking a question, or swearing at the general public for doing whatever they do – that doesn’t win baseball games.

Carl Everett
Turns out, Chicago wasn’t big enough for two A-Holes, (three if you count Frank, which I’m not willing to do.) So, one of them had to go. GM Ken Williams opted to send off Carl "Fan is short for fanatic – he’s crazy about something he doesn’t know
about. And it’s proven that 99 percent of baseball fans have no idea
what they’re watching" Everett instead of Guillen. And yes, Carl Everett did say this. Then again, he also believes that we should implode Wrigley, and that if "everybody in the world" got on steroids, we’d still lose more kids to a war than steroids. Anyway, getting run out of town didn’t sit too well with Everett, who claims that the White Sox lack leadership with him gone and will finish third in the AL Central because of it. He now plays for the Mariners, and claims that Ken Williams broke up the White Sox chemistry. When asked before Monday’s game against the White Sox if he would say hello to his "buds," Everett launched the following shot:

What buds? All my buds got traded. They’ve still got some cool people
– Jermaine (Dye) and I are still cool. But I’m not here to talk about
them.

Nice class, Carl. When asked about this, Guillen replied, "He didn’t mention me. He mentioned Kenny. Ask Kenny." Luckily, ‘Kenny’ Williams was able to douse the flames by saying he had not and likely would not talk to Carl. Good to hear that they’re taking steps to prevent another Frank Thomas-like disaster in Chi-Town.

Jason isn’t gonna let you forget that Brandon Phillips did win the NL Player of the Week. And as for Julien, hailing from France, I can’t agree with you more, and I encourage you guys to check out his comment. Not surprising that you ended up here googling for "baseball athletically." Keep the comments coming guys. I don’t think we’ll be seeing much game coverage until at least Thursday. Finals are coming. I also remade the sidebar over the last couple of days, check it out.

Happy Birthday? We’re still playing Baseball

I probably won’t win any award from Mr. Newman for this one, but Happy Birthday MLBlogs. Here’s a cake with one candle on it. Make a wish, blow it out, move on to next year. I’m not saying that a one-year isn’t a big deal, (just ask the ball and chain,) but still, it’s only an anniversary – the best part is what’s yet to come. Let’s celebrate the past, but keep your eyes on the prize and look ahead. I mean, I’m not really sure what to make of it. However, I refuse to make a special Happy Birthday post just to get some run, or have a posting party and make 7 posts to grab some more run from the Update list. This day is like any other on BHGM, so if you do something stupid I’ll still call you out on it. Tonight I may write something highlighting some favorite posts I’ve made, just because that’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. Or I’ll go all out and release that post on BHGM’s Birthday, which happens to be the day after my Mother’s. (Happy Birthday Mom.) Our first real post here was made at 5pm on April 29th, 2005. That’s only 11 days after the first ever post, which has got to make me one of the first guys here on the scene.

I don’t really remember what the Blogosphere was like back then. I know there was a "Look who’s blogging now" panel, but if I recall correctly it might not have even had a scroll bar. There was a recently updated thing as well but I’m pretty sure that if you updated, you’d be on that list for a couple days. I know no one left me any comments. I know that I had no clue who Mark Newman was. There was certainly no MLBlogosphere blog, nor were there any Spheroids, those are really new. Two games from yesterday I’m gonna hit on today, White Sox v. Royals and Tigers v. Indians.

White Sox v. Royals, 4-17-06
Jose_contreras
Well, the final score says it all. White Sox win, 9-0. Royals get 1 hit, Sox get 12. Contreras allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk in his 7 innings, using only 101 shots. He even had a no hitter going through most of the game, until he gave up a double – the only Royals hit all day – to Mark "We won’t be a bad team this year, but if we are, we’re gonna battle all season long" Grudzielanek. Well, the Royals are gonna have to fight World War III if they want to avoid being a ‘bad team’ this season. Even then, my money is on PFC Grudzielanek failing. That said, I’m still trying to figure out the puzzle that is Jose Contreras. He’s been on fire lately, winning his last 10 decisions in a row. Now, a lot of this is because he was/is playing for a good team. A lot of it’s luck. However, the old Contreras (left) doesn’t win 10 straight if his life depended on it. It used to be a coin flip with this guy; he’d either go out and tear you up and make you look like a fool, or he’d give up 7 runs in 1.2IP and be out of the game. Who knows, but the White Sox are better than the Royals.

Tigers v. Indians, 4-17-06
10-2. I’m embarrassed. Robertson had a (really) bad outing, Shelton homered. End of story. I hope.

Oh yeah. I was bummin around John’s ‘Rays from across the Pond‘ blog and saw that the Rays swept the Royals. Heck, I had no idea they were playing each other – honestly. Maybe us Yankee fans were giving each other chest bumps and high fives when the we swept the Royals, but I’m going to ignore that. I’ll never miss a chance to kick a team when they’re down, so I have to say something here – The Rays are bad. The Royals are much worse.

 

Check out yesterday’s ‘things that won’t happen this year.’ Judging from the comments (0) no one read it. I’m encouraging you to do so, because I actually thought it was pretty good. Also, so I don’t forget, we’ve added the Philippines and Portugal to the Visitor list. We also added  Aruba, Singapore, and Burkina Faso to the list earlier.