Saturday, December 20, 2003

Who Are These Dopes And Why Are They Ruining Baseball?

"The players association's intransigence and the arbitrary nature of its action are responsible for the deal's demise today. Reports that negotiations are continuing and shall continue are inaccurate." -- Lucky Luccino, on the end of Renaissance of the Red Sox, stillborn, half-term aborted.

It's another sign of the out-of-touch with the corporate world encroaching, imposing its stamp upon the sanctity and holy purity of the world of sports when it takes a degree in Quantitative Macroeconomics and Contracts Law to understand the anatomy of a baseball trade gone sour. Does anyone else get a headache trying to sort that A-Rod, for whom the contract was written, was willing to diminish the value of his contract, through deferrals, by $28 million; union lawyer Gene Orza would allow only $12 million?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!

"Goodness gracious me!" said Henny-penny; "the sky's a-going to fall: I must go and tell the king."

One thing that has been not missed in these days in England: the Beatlemania-like hysteria over The Madness of King George, Mad Scientist George and His Bad Chemistry Clubhouse, the rise and fall of Chemical George, and a string of other epithets to describe the ruination of the Evil Empire, the last, vile twistings and strainings of the death row prisoner as he suffers his fatal injection. Despite the defections and sour reasoning, King George is still around to save the day and the sky has not yet fallen.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Torre's Headache City: Mad Scientist George and His Bad Chemistry

Wouldn't it be a beautiful little clubhouse, Sheffield, Keven Brown, Lofton: one whiner after another. Why didn't they pick Manny off the waiver wire again? Chemical George, mixing up toxic clubhouse auras. Off his rocker. Mad with doom.

A sad man in his final hours, Chemical George.

Poor Joe Torre. The man who got too much credit for everything from an adoring media, get's nothing from his Boss but a kick in the teeth for insubordination and another episode of Steinbrenner Knows Best (awww, carrots again tonight pa?). Yes give us high paid malcontents and clubhouse cancers. Fly the Yankee flag.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Steinbrenner Soiled Again By His Own Stupidity

The good news just keeps getting better. Sox snag Yankee-killing Schilling. Sheffield, the petulant and troubled free agent only an idiot would sign begins his whine early, in preseason, before the contract is even signed, and demands more money from Slimebrenner. Now, the best news we could hope for:

Pettitte spurns Yankees and signs with Astros.

Is it bigger news that the Red Sox, suddenly the money bags of the AL East, offered, $54 million over four years to the Yankees final offer was almost half that.

Very quickly, the Yankees traded Jeff Weaver and a few bodies to the Dodgers for Kevin Brown.

On paper, this could work out better in the long run. Brown is old and oft-injured, but when healthy, despite his own rotten fish clubhouse personality, he can be one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball. It sorts out that he'll end up costing the Yankees less than Pettitte would have over the years and after all, it isn't win next year, it is win now. Should Brown be healthy for the year, he could be the staff ace, eclipsing even Mussina. Brown, too, has had his moments at Yankee Stadium. Overall, he's 12-3 with a 2.50 ERA against the Yankees, his top win total vs. an opponent and although he hasn't pitched in the AL in awhile, this IS after all, a pitcher who went 14-9 with a staggering 2.39 ERA. At one point, before the injuries set in, he won 9 straight giving up 9 earned runs over 65 innings, a 0.80 ERA.

So while, from the outside, at the onset, this looks like a Yankee loss, combined with the possibility that Sheffield may have whined his way out of a Yankee uniform, these seeming harbingers of Yankee doom might actually turn out to be godsends.

Let's hope not, of course. Let's hope for more failure and futility, but let's not get too jacked up on Yankee blood letting just yet.

Perhaps even richer, is the rampant speculation that now with Pettitte signed, Roger Clemens won't be far behind. Richard Justice reports:

Could Roger Clemens be lured into joining Pettitte and giving the Astros a devastating one-two combination, in terms of pitching performance and marketing potential? The Astros intend to find out. Even as team owner Drayton McLane made possibly his most dramatic acquisition since purchasing the franchise, he admitted he has one more in mind.

"I will call Roger at the appropriate time," he said. "We'll talk."

As for the two of them pitching for the Astros next season, Pettitte said: "Five days ago, I'd have said no. Now, I don't know. If he gives me any opening to say he might think about it, I'm going to jump on it pretty good. That would be awesome."

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Off Seasons Are the Kick In the Balls

The real imbalance of baseball is the Off Season.

That's when money matters: on paper.

Newspaper you read every morning hoping desperately for news on who's in, who's out, trade rumours, free agent signings on page four:

In certain cities, there is no off season. The team sucked last year. There were no 162 games because none of them mattered. Loss is Loss. And Loss is loss after loss after loss.

The offseason are franchises that stand against the wall for execution as some junior high dance waiting to be ignorant and hoping not to be mocked.

Will Milwaukee re-sign Gary Sheffield? Fuck no. How could they?

So imagine yourself a stinking Brewers fan and you've got Bud Selig underpants and Bud Selig dishwashing liquid in your house and you've got no fucking hope that there will be improvement. Bud Selig to daughter, for example, is a precedent of bad decision making and why the hopes of Brewers fans are like a spreading rot.

Hey! What's going on in the Devil Rays camp these days?

Yup. Big fucking excitement. Heart attacks. Lou Piniella farts at charity dinner for corpses and doesn't apologise immediately! No one wants Son of Bitch Ben Grieve who can't hit nepotism pussy if it hit HIM in the face first.

Puke him out in bloody chunks-like stomach cancer or miscarriages into the toilet .

There's you're fucking off season.

No Fucking Hope

And no Fucking Hope for the future.

Some cities gets hope and somes gets losers, naive, bloodless servility.


Win Hope!

Defeat envy!

(just checking if anyone was reading)

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Human Headache Waiting To Happen

The marriage made in hell: sourpuss and whiner extraordinaire, Gary Sheffield has, in the words of one baseball exec: "changed his mind and wanted more money."

Now there's a shock. What a relief it was a few seasons ago when the Mets were thinking about getting him from the Dodgers and cooler heads prevailed. The head case that is Sheffield will not survive the media spotlight of New York. He whines too often, he's too outspoken when there is nothing to say: Prima Donna's don't usually last in NYC with perhaps the exception of Reggie Jackson and even he too left one day.

As The Daily News reports it:

"There is still a chance a contract with Sheffield will get done, of course. But according to baseball sources, Sheffield upset the Yankees when he called George Steinbrenner - who is personally handling the negotiations - in the last few days and demanded that the contract be increased to $42 million over three years. The original pact had been for three years and $39 million and the two sides were haggling over how some of the money would be deferred, because the Yankees want the average annual value of the deal to be $11 million.

Friends of Sheffield's have been warning that he was pushing Steinbrenner too far with his latest gambit. No official said the negotiations were completely shut down, but Steinbrenner is probably unhappy that Sheffield tried to get more millions when The Boss thought the deal was nearly sealed."

So, although as a Yankee-hater, whilst I'd have loved to have seen Sheffield scuttle Yankee harmony all season next year, even MORE savory will be the hat-in-hand Sheffield, shuffling from team to team trying to find another idiot big enough to take on a headcase for millions of wasted dollars.

In a related issue, let's not listen to the normally rational Bill Madden in the Daily News who thinks the Mets should go crazy and try and swing for Vlad. Bad idea, methinks. Terrible makeup, this Vlad, despite his numbers and one should consider what a such an enormous salary increase would do. Too sensitive for the NY market. He's better off in Baltimore where he can disappoint in peace and make no difference to any team.

And before I forget, reservations now to jump on the Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl bandwagon?

C'mon. Everyone already knows: KC Chiefs - St Louis Rams Final to see Vermeil meet his old team.

Monday, December 08, 2003

The Superstah Cometh

The Kaz man, Kazuo Matsui and the Mets appear to have agreed on a deal to bring him to the Blue and Orange.

"The switch-hitting Matsui is known for his speed, defense and batting average and is sometimes compared to Ichiro Suzuki, the Seattle Mariners' star from Japan. Unlike the stoic Ichiro, though, Matsui is outgoing and flashy, at least by Japanese standards.

Matsui is a native of Osaka, which is known for its straight-talking people. At the news conference near Tokyo, Matsui spoke confidently and happily about his desire to play in America, a marked change from Hideki Matsui, who is no relation, who apologized profusely when he said goodbye to Japanese baseball last year to join the Yankees.

When Kazuo Matsui turned professional, he changed the Chinese characters of his first name to mean "top earner in the middle," a nod to his desire to be the best shortstop possible.

Matsui's signing was the Mets' first move of the off-season and was a clear signal that the franchise, after two straight last-place finishes, is more interested in a quick turnaround than any painstaking rebuilding process. Still, the Mets have indicated they will be relatively modest as they move through the winter, and the acquisition of Matsui may be as bold as they get."

Of course, while this was the blueprint for the Mets' offseason, my other little plans, the resigning of Shannon Stewart by the Twins and of Hasegawa by the Mariners means I don't think the Mets should trade the whining, selfish Sheman Mike Piazza anymore. No, leave him in another year, let him platoon at first with a host of others and here's a potential lineup:

1B-Jason Phillips/Mike Piazza
2B- Reyes
C-Piazza, Phillips

HOLES: CF and RF and almost the entire bullpen and #3/4 starter depending on where one slots Trachsel.

The beauty of this signing is that it can only mean that they are going to make another run, take another shot, load the guns again. They wouldn't sign the Kaz Man and leave him hanging with no one but the injury prone Floyd the injury prone Reyes and the sensitive Piazza to back him up would they? Nah. They will make some more signings before it's all over.

If we take a look at players not offered arb by their respective teams and are now unrestricted free agents, we see that Mike Cameron is now available to play CF for the Mets. Cameron, who turns 31 next month, won his second Gold Glove last season, committing only four errors in 492 chances for a .992 fielding percentage. Cameron hit .253 last season with 18 home runs and 76 RBIs. Something else to consider is the fact that he also set a franchise single-season record with 176 strikeouts in 2002.

Budget accomodations: Cheaper alternative to Cameron is infamous streak-hitter and 36 year-old Reggie Sanders whom the Pirates let free. Sanders batted .287 with 31 homers and 85 RBI last season in 130 games. For his career, which also includes stints in Arizona and San Francisco, he has a career 2.68 average with 249 homers and 802 RBI.

They say Johnny Damon and Trot Nixon might be available in a trade, but at what cost? Will the Sox be trying to dump a little more salary to make way for A-Rod and other off season signings?

Why not sign Reds reject Eric Owens on the cheap? Sure, he doesn't hit for power, but he adds speed and can play all three outfield positions. More speed cannot hurt the Mets plus, even if Cedeno started over Owens in RF, Owens could always be used to spell Sanders in CF or take over when Cliff Floyd suffers his inevitable season-altering injury in Spring Training.

Last word on cheap OF alternatives might be the Jose Cruz Jr, the man who failed to catch a routine fly ball that helped the Marlins' game-winning 11th-inning rally in Game 3. He is another switch-hitter to join Kaz and give greater versatility to the Mets batting order. .250-20-68 is steady enough provided he comes cheap. Plus, more speed (30 homers, 30 sbs in 2001). It appears the Mets would only have to outbid the Rangers and Devil Rays...

So let's look at a batting order that looks like this perhaps:

Jose Cruz Jr -LF
Reggie Sanders-CF
Jason Phillips-1B

perhaps this beats me previous lineup in a previous blog of:

Shannon Stewart (resigned with Twins)- LF
Kaz -ss
Reyes - 2b
Floyd - Lf
Ty Wigginton - 3b
Travis Lee - (still a Free Agent, unstricted) 1B
Aaron Rowand - (still untraded on the White Sox) CF
Jason Phillips - C

Yes, now that the Mets have Kaz, they should keep Piazza and roll the dice somemore.

Another good Pirate reject might be pitcher Julian Tavarez, 3-3 record and a 3.66 ERA. Other bullpen wish list might include Tim Worrell, whom the Giants set free. Worrell, 36, had a great year, saving 38 games after replacing injured closer Robb Nen. He might not be cheap and thus, might not be worth it in the end.

Who WOULD be worth it, just for the comedic value alone: If you noted, the Mariners declined to offer arbitration to ARMANDOGEDDON. Wouldn't it be funny to see him back at Shea? Yeah. Almost as funny as seeing his barber, Rey Sanchez, also a free agent no one wants, join him. Gaaaak!

Another ex-Oriole and ex-Mariner, Arthur Rhodes, is hanging around with nowhere to go to augment someone's bullpen.

What would Sidney Ponson cost to add to the starting rotation? Of course, he seems to be on the list of alot of teams. He had an initial salary of $4.25 million last year, which is manageable for most teams. He has a very shaky past with the Orioles though, despite last season and the question is, will he fulfill that promise finally, or revert back to his frustrating inconsistencies of the past?

A REAL low budget move might be to sign, as #4 starter: John Burkett is a free man from the Red Sox now. He's gone 109-84 pitching in the National League. Plenty of experience.
Looks like Millwood might stick with the Phillies after all.

I like the rumour that Vlad Guerrero is going to the Orioles. Guerrero, a four-time all-star, made $11.5 million last year for the Expos, and he hit .330 with 25 homers and 79 RBI while missing 39 games because of a herniated disk.

Glad to hear the human headache Gary Sheffield will ink with King George. Those two pigs deserve each other and it spells certain horrific chemistry for the Yankees yet again combined with Giambi's knee problems, the uncertainty over what to do with Bernie in CF and Soriano at 2B. The lack of a starting rotation: So far, Mussina, ex-Expo Javier Vasquez, whom is compared by the Baseball Crank, Choke Weaver, maybe the 40-going-on-100 David Wells coming off back surgery, definately not Clemens and perhaps not Pettite if the Astros can make themselves appealing. A rotten season indeed in store for the Yankees. Oh! If only it were true!

Is it not delicious, the rumours that A-Rod will go to the Red Sox for that whining Dominican, Manny Ramirez.