Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Off In LA LA Land

I know that I'm not breaking any news by telling you that over the past few seasons, the Dodgers rank among one of the worst run franchises. With the massive, but illogical and sporadic, payroll cutting that has occurred as Frank McCourt prepared for his inevitable little-less-painful-than-Tiger payout for his divorce, I have surprised no one with my first sentence. That last run-on, however, maybe surprising to some, as you can clearly tell I lost my train of thought a good seven or eight times. Work with me, I'm shaking off some of the writing rust.

I understand the cost cutting initiative McCourt has forced upon his less than genius GM, Ned Colletti. There's certainly nothing wrong with it, it's a part of the business and/or divorces. The problem is that if they are going into a cost cutting mode, don't you think that the Dodgers should be doing a better job of it?

They only have to look down the road (I know it's kind of far because California is unfathomably huge) to see the model of re-building and cost cutting Billy Beane and the Athletics accomplished in Oakland. Now, I realize that things like sabermetrics, numbers, math, and logic may be out of Colletti's range of comprehension, which makes the Athletics model tough for the Dodgers.

That's why they could have seen what the Florida Marlins have done essentially every year in their existence and copied accordingly. There's certainly nothing terribly difficult about trading off the good players and huge contracts a team currently has for a boatload of random young players and hoping something happens, right? I mean, I feel like a chimp throwing darts against a wall could accomplish this task while saving money and fielding a team of (hopefully) humans.

But getting rid of the current, large contracts on a team is not the only part of cost cutting. The team also has to use their money wisely in the offseason and make smart free agent pickups. And it would be hard for one to argue that this is the strategy the Dodgers have taken so far.

Just look at the contracts that the Dodgers, who are supposed to be cutting money, signed this offseason:
Rod BarajasC
1year   $3.25MM
Juan CastroSS
1year   Minor
Dana EvelandSP / RP (Left-Handed)
1year   Minor
Jon GarlandSP
1year   $5.00MM
Jay GibbonsLF
1year   $0.65MM
Matt GuerrierRP (Right-Handed)
3years   $12.00MM
Tony GwynnCF
1year   $0.68MM
Hiroki KurodaSP
1year   $12.00MM
Ted LillySP
3years   $33.00MM
Dioner NavarroC
1year   $1.00MM
Vicente PadillaSP
1year   $2.00MM
Juan Uribe2B
3years   $21.00MM
Eugenio VelezLF / CF
1year   Minor

On the surface, most of those signings look alright. The Velez/Gwynn/Gibbons/Eveland/Castro signings seem fine since they are simply filling organizational depth. However, they have to spend that money because of terrible decisions in the past that gutted the team's minor league system (ahem, the Carlos Santana throw-in). That undernote makes those signings hurt in the end.

Then you have the idiotic Barajas signing. Please note this point, teams trying to cut payroll/turn the corner: do NOT spend $3.5 million on a pudgy, old catcher who can't stay healthy simply because he played better than your oft-injured but extremely overrated young catcher. Especially since Barajas became completely unnecessary once Navarro signed his contract later.

Now on to the glaring bad spots of the offseason:
1. WHY THE HELL ARE THE DODGERS PAYING $12M FOR HIROKI KURODA NEXT YEAR!?!? When I first learned of this signing in the offseason, I knew that the recession was officially over.
2. Let's hand another $33M to an aging left-hander in Ted Lilly. The left-handed starter pool of free agents was extremely shallow this year, but I think I established that the Dodgers are trying to save money and sudo-rebuild. Handing $33M to Lilly isn't going to help either of those causes. Although I do think that Lilly is a solid starter, a team with clear and realistic intentions of competing next year should have been giving him a contract, not the Dodgers.
3. Matt Guerrier is seriously the worst contract handed out this entire offseason. Hands down, a replacement-level reliever should never ever be given $12 million guaranteed.
4. What's the plan with that Uribe signing? Do they really see him being productive in the last two years of that contract, because I certainly don't. I get the feeling that it was a move to block the Giants from re-signing him. Revenge signings are not an intelligent move for teams that need to learn good roster management skills.

All in all, the signings were not good for the Dodgers this offseason. But they also should have been attempting to dump some of their current payroll. Between Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake, you have to think they would be able to find a suitor for one of the two players. In fact, I bet the Red Sox would love to have both, and they don't give a fuck about money, so they may pick up the tab, too. This is where the Florida Marlins strategy of turning a starter into a handful of minor leaguers could ultimately benefit the Dodgers right now.

After sifting through all of this Dodgers information, I think it is possible for the Dodgers to compete in their rather weak division while also cutting money. If they had the right people running the show, things could get turned around. However, it seems more likely that they are using the McCourt divorce and corresponding cost cutting as a scapegoat for their failures, which are supposedly so crippling that they couldn't have overcome them. But ultimately, the Dodgers will not be competitive in the NL until they realize that there is a lot more overhauling that needs to be done with this team other than cost cutting.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FJM: Strange But Horrible

I haven't done this for awhile, mainly it takes quite a long time to sift through baseball writings and find complete shit thrown at a page just to meet a quota. While finding a writerhorrible views on every sport take complete control of sports. While Jayson Stark isn't the bottom of the barrel over at ESPN, he has a tendency to compile some horseshit, which ESPN always puts on their front page. I'm not going to go through the entire piece, but trust me when I say this, every single section begins with the worst most translucently contrived statement Stark could possibly write. By the third section I'm sharpening my knife for some stripper murdering. who consistently writes complete crap isn't all that difficult, I would much rather spend my time reading articles with thought- on Fangraphs- than mindless space filling dribble. And then there is ESPN. They openly allow people with horrible views on every sport take complete control of sports. While Jayson Stark isn't the bottom of the barrel over at ESPN, he has a tendency to compile some horseshit, which ESPN always puts on their front page. I'm not going to go through the entire piece, but trust me when I say this, every single section begins with the worst most translucently contrived statement Stark could possibly write. By the third section I'm sharpening my knife for some stripper murdering.

Hitting some strange patches in 2010

A Molina brother hit for the cycle. A Pirate got tagged out in the middle of a home run trot. And the same baserunner stole third -- and got caught stealing third -- in the same inning. And if all that could happen in one year, it's just more proof it was another Strange But True kind of season. So what better excuse to look back at the Strangest But Truest Hitting Feats of 2010.

So, you are saying that weird things sometimes happen in baseball???? I am completely flabbergasted by this revelation. Please Jayson tell me more. (Side Note: Is there any better way for parents to ensure that their child ends up as a douche bag than inserting an unnecessary "y" into their child's name? Side Bet: First writer to do this to their child is Mr. Anonymous, whose third child will be named Karyn. Female douche spelling.)

The Very Strangest But Truest Hitting Feat Of The Year

Here is the segment which forced me to FJM this...

Every once in a while, a stat erupts in baseball that's so mind-warping, it feels like it must have been dreamed up by the guys who created "Lost." But there's a reason we crank out these Strange But True columns every darned year. And it's all because stuff like this happens, in real life.

Everything about these three sentences is terrible. Please do not dirty a fantastic program like "Lost" by using it in your shitty column ever again.

So here it comes, a little tidbit we've broken out before. Heck, we confess we've even broken it out before this week. But every time we type it, we still have trouble believing it. So we're rolling it out there one more time.

Preface: the players he compares and expects you to be shocked about will be completely un-shocking you will begin looking for your old timey revolvers.

Please note that JaYson decides to start his first informative sentences with the following words: So, Heck, But, and So. I am not a terrific writer, however, that is a complete shit storm.

It involves our man Ichiro Suzuki.

He got the most hits in the American League last season. No shocker there.

Yet he still, somehow, scored fewer runs than the man who got the fewest hits in the National League (among players who qualified for the batting title).

Ok, maybe that is interesting. I don't know the player in the NL who had the fewest hits, so this could be surprising.



It makes no sense, but it's a 100 percent true fact.

I like my facts to 100 percent false facts, but I will concede to your higher education that true facts may be better than false facts.

Ichiro: 74 runs, 214 hits
Mark Reynolds: 79 runs, 99 hits

Is baseball the Strangest But Truest sport ever invented, or what?

Um, no. This isn't strange at all. Ichiro played on a horrible team that scored a historically low amount of runs. Reynolds is the definition of a 3 True Outcomes player (Home Run, Walk or Strike Out) and he hit in the middle of the Diamondbacks order for the most of the year. I would expect him to have a low amount of hits and high amount of runs. That is why Runs are a bad individual stat. Runs are a good team stat, just like RBI's. Theya re a terrible individual stat for this exact reason. None of this screams strange, but thank you for wasting my time and doing it in the absolute least journalistic way possible.

The rest of the article is bad, but here are some things that make you wonder how JaYson Stark got to this level of journalism...

Strangest But Truest Trip Around The Bases Of The Year

On Aug. 11, Astros sprint champ Michael Bourn pulled off a feat we've never heard of. You should try it on your Xbox 360 sometime -- except, of course, that you should be aware there's an excellent possibility it might blow up.

Zingers. I fucking love zingers.

Strangest But Truest Home Delivery Of The Year

We're still not sure how this happened.

I'm still not sure why you are insisting on introducing every "Strange" feat with disingenuous shock.

On Sept. 9, September call-up -- and emergency pinch-runner -- Chris Nelson almost single-handedly won a game for the Rockies in which he never batted and never wore a glove.

By doing something he'd never done before in his life.

Dramatic pause...

By pulling off a straight steal of home.

Dramatic pause...

To score the winning run.

Dramatic pause...

In his team's final at-bat.

Dramatic pause...

For the first stolen base of his career.

Dramatic pause...

Pretty amazing feat. But there's more.

Dramatic pause...

It was Nelson's only steal of the year, in 17 games in the big leagues.

Dramatic pause...

He stole only seven bases in the minors. And five the year before that. And six the year before that.

Wait, we are done with the 1 sentence paragraphs?

And he'd never stolen home anywhere, any time, not even in T-ball.


Oh, and he was the first player in 25 years to steal home in a game in which he never batted or played the field. (Gary Pettis was the last, on June 11, 1985, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.)

So how strange was that? But still as true as it gets.

Remember the last time something shocking happened to you and you were like, "Heck, man, that is as True. As. It. Gets." That is SHIT compared with the truth that was just laid before you.

Strangest But Truest Cyclist Of The Year

Never get tired of mentioning this.

How would you even classify these? Rhetorical comments? Let's just call them Steaming Piles of Stark.

Strangest But Truest Debut Of The Year

It was the most heartwarming Strange But True tale of 2010.


In September, the Dodgers called up 33-year-old rookie John Lindsey, after 16 years in the minor leagues. And on Sept. 8, he made his long-awaited big league debut.

By playing in a game he never played in.


No. This must be false. I can not even believe that this is true. This is so wacky... No! So, Strange, that it must be true. HOLY FUCK I get it now, "Strange but True". You've done it again JaYson.

If you want to read a bunch of crap typed one sentence at a time because the brain dead writer does not know what a fucking paragraph is, there are plenty more fragmented sentences for you to enjoy. Oh, please don't forget...

Coming Friday: Strangest But Truest injuries of 2010.

Where the fuck is that revolver?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Which NL Rotation is the Best?

With the Brewers acquisition of Zack Greinke the Brewers now have one hell of a rotation. Their top 3 starters can compete with any rotation in the league in a 5 game series- yes, that includes the Phillies. With all of this movement of National League starters, I think it would be interesting to compare some of the rotations. Since the Phillies have clearly cheated this offseason and now have Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton as their 4-5 starters, I'm only going to compare the Top 3 starters for each team. Let's face it, the Phillies rotation is unmatched when you look at all 5 of their starters.

So let's start out with the favorites:

Philadelphia Phillies

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt. Sure an argument could be had that Hamels is better than Oswalt, but Cole's status as a mental midget moves him into the 4 slot in the rotation. They have 3 Cy Young's split between the first 2 starters and all 3 of these guys are Cy Young contenders every year.

Let's get their career stats out of the way, all of these will be respective to Halladay/Lee/Oswalt:
Career Wins: 169/102/150 (about 16 wins a year average for each of them)
IP/162 games: 235/218/221
K/162: 175/168/183
Career ERA: 3.32 (lots of time in the AL East)/3.85/3.18
FIP: 3.42/3.77/3.34
Projected 2011 WAR: 6.8/6.7/4.1

Each of these guys has put up absolutely insane career numbers, we can all agree on that. They are all on the back side of their careers though, which is the big negative against them. Will these guys be producing at the same level 3 years from now? Most likely not. There is sure to be some regression, especially in Oswalt's case, from their career numbers. These guys are also making a ton of money with a committed $253 mil will be made between them after the lives of their current contracts.

After you look past their negatives and just look at what they will do on a baseball field, this front 3 may be one of the best ever. Look at those projected WAR's (all roughly similar to what they produced last year). Other teams in the NL East may just want to start playing for the Wild Card right now. Halladay carving up the opposition with pinpoint control and dazzling pitches, Cliff Lee's utter dominance from the left side, and Oswalt's mix of power and control will make this a tough series every time you face the Phils this year.

San Fransisco Giants

Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez. These 3 showed their ceiling in this year's playoffs. They each beat some of the best pitchers int he game in a heads up matchup. Hell, I think they actually beat every pitcher from the above rotation head to head. Oh, and don't forget they are all young and signed fairly cheaply. Now a look at the numbers:

Career Wins: 56/57/34 (16/11/10 for 162 averages)
IP/162: 225/218/162
K/162: 252/181/170
Career ERA: 3.04/3.45/4.26
FIP: 2.86/ 3.84/ 4.08
Projected 2011 WAR: 6.9/4.6/3.2

Sure their numbers are not what the Phillies' staff boasts, but you can not argue with their production from last postseason. Also, this staff may be the most fun to watch out of any. The electric stuff that each pitcher has is dazzling. They may not be as good as the Phillies but they are almost there. Seeing that each of these guys is under 29, the Phillies may want to watch out in the upcoming years.

Milwaukee Brewers

Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, and Shaun Marcum. A prediction before I even look at the numbers: these guys won't even be on the same planet as the staffs of the Phillies and Giants. However, the jump in numbers from going to the NL from the AL (especially the East) for these starters should not be undervalued. Shaun Marcum pitched exceptionally well against the Yankees, Red Sox and Ray all year last year. How do you think he is going to fare against the Reds, Pirates and Cubs? Greinke has gotten some of the least run support of all time the past 2 years. Now he has Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun hitting for him. The numbers:

Career Wins: 60/36/37 (11/15/12 for averages)
IP/162: 199/184/187
K/162: 167/214/151
Career ERA: 3.82/3.67/3.85
FIP: 3.59/3.51/4.46
Projected WAR: 6.3/4.6/3.6 (Gallardo's was last years WAR numbers)

Actually, my prediction was a little bit off. The only category that the Brewers' staff pales in comparison is in the Innings Pitched. I believe that most of these guys have been limited by youth and their innings purposely limited. Now that they are all getting to the middle of their careers and their peak years, I would expect those numbers to increase. I'm also not sure if the projected WAR's factor in the shift to the NL. Logically, they should, as facing the pitcher slot and a host of inferior talent should provide a boost to one's value. Although WAR may just be based on FIP which already takes those into account. Pardon me for my lack of knowledge on the subject.

Regardless of the WAR debate, surely their numbers will improve from their career numbers. Facing worse competition (Marcum), having better offensive support (Greinke), and not having to face the opposition's #1 (Gallardo) will surely help their Win numbers (I know it is a bad stat, but the influence of those outside forces are the reason it is a bad stat). I may not put them on the Phillies level, but I would definitely be wary of this pitching staff next year.

St. Louis Cardinals

Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Jaime Garcia. While Wainwright and Carpenter have had some injury riddled pasts, it should not exclude them from this discussion. These two have proven to be some of the best in the game, when healthy, and deserve to be mentioned on this list.

Career Wins: 66/133/14 (Average: 15/15/14)
IP/162: 198/220/182
K/162: 164/167/142
Career ERA: 2.97/3.80/2.96
FIP: 3.36/3.89/3.74
Projected WAR: 6.6/4.1/3.2 (last year's numbers)

None of these guys are as electric as most of the pitchers listed before, but Carpenter and Wainwright have proven they can do the job and Garcia is an interesting young pitcher. While they, too, are not on par with the Phillies, they should be very interesting to follow. (Side Note: with the addition of Big Puma's mammoth... um... bat, I would expect the Cards to score at least 3 runs more per game than last year. Yeah, that is how good Puma is.)

Overall, none of these teams can match the Phillies, but it looks like the NL is about to face another year of offenses putting up dismal numbers.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kerry Wood!

He's back with the Cubs. I'm so happy I won't care if they lose 100 games next year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Always Sunny and Von Hayes

I was recently watching the latest episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia when Mac (the second biggest Chase Utley fan I've ever seen-that story is for later) began a tirade about the likes of Mike Schmidt and Von Hayes. Now, we all know who Mike Schmidt is, but I'm here to enlighten you on the career of Von Hayes.

That man knows how to wear eyeblack.

Von Hayes played from 1981 to 1992, coming up with the Cleveland Indians then moving to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he spent the majority of his career patrolling the outfield at The Vet. He had 8 exceptionally productive seasons with the Phillies in which he posted an above average WAR, peaking in 1989 with a 5.1 WAR and an All Star selection. Remarkably, Von was traded to the Phillies in a 6 player deal which netted the Indians a slue of talent including Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, Jerry Willard, and Julio Franco. (Copied and pasted directly from Wikipedia).

Some interesting facts about Von is that he is the first player ever to hit 2 home runs in the first inning of a game. Hayes was hit by a pitch against Houston hurler Tom Browning. A pitch that would end up breaking his fucking arm and ending the productive portion of his career. A tidbit that I feel compelled to throw in here: well known douche bag Chris Berman's nickname for him was, you would never have guessed this...

Von "Purple" Hayes

I continue to be amazed at how Chris Berman has had a job for so long.

I would be ashamed if I didn't give you any of his stats, so here we go...

Career: 11 seasons, 1,495 G/1,402 H/143 HR/767 R/696 RBI/253 SB/.267 AVG/.354 OBP/.416 SLUG.

I think it is safe to say that Hayes would have been a pretty good top of the order guy. I have never seen him play, and have no idea where he batted in their lineup, but with above average on base numbers and he clearly displayed good speed throughout his career. Actually, analyzing his numbers a little more, his career goes through several quick shifts. Early on he was purely a speed guy, stealing 48 bags in 1984. Then he quickly transitioned to an on base percentage machine in the '85 and '86 seasons, posting .376 and .404 OBP, respectively. Then in the last two years, he displayed power to the tune of 26 HR in 1989 and 17 HR in 1990.

As far as his career is concerned I'm not sure if I would label him as a consistent player his BB%, K%, and SLUG were all quite erratic, but none the less he produced each and every year in a different way.

Well my curiosity was piqued by Always Sunny, and I'm glad I got to take this trip into Christmas Past with Von Hayes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cubs Moves Open Thread

The Cubs stupidly signed Carlos Pena to a huge deal. Let's discuss. Leave your comments below.

Big Puma Open Thread

The Cards signed Big Puma! I love the signing. Cooly hates it. Let us know what you think.

White Sox Signings Open Thread

Since we've all been on a huge Twitter binge, I figured we should move this to our blog. Seeing that our other followers are getting angry at us, and we have this blog for a reason.

So leave your comments about the White Sox moves in the Comments Section. Big things going down with the Dunn and Konerko signings.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Choose or Die!

With the recent irrational moves by the Dodgers sweeping the baseball world, I figured we should compare and contrast the insignificant moves they made today. The moves that I am talking about are the earth shattering choice of signing Juan Uribe to a 3 yr/ $21 mil contract and trading away Ryan Theriot (approximately $3 mil after arbitration).

The question of course is, Should the Dodgers have kept Theriot or gone with Uribe?

Juan Uribe Pros:
1) Swings hard
2) Used to be a good defensive shortstop
3) Hits around 20 HRs a year
4) Can play 2B, SS and 3B
5) Once dove into the bleachers in a World Series (Derek Jeter did that too!!!!!)
6) 2 World Series Rings
7) Throws really hard

Juan Uribe Cons:
1) Pretty shitty at most things required for baseball
2) Barely ever gets on base
3) Not good defensively anymore
4) Once dyed his beard orange
5) I've said to myself "No team can win a World Series with Juan Uribe starting for them" TWICE!
6)Will someday swing so hard time will go back 5 seconds
7)Unlike Antonio Alfonseca, only has 5 fingers
8) Is getting paid $7 million more than he should be

Ryan Theriot Pros:
1) Girls think he is pretty
2) Once played shortstop
3) Cooly thinks he is a good fit on the Cards
4) Gets on base a lot
5) Could steal you 20 bases
6) He is from the Bayou
7) The Cubs thought he could hit leadoff
8) Is probably undervalued in his current contract

Ryan Theriot Cons:
1) Has always played shortstop poorly
2) He cannot hit lead off
3) Has a little girl arm
4) Best way to describe him is "scrappy"
5) I think he looks like a cross between an elf and a douche bag
6) Cannot hit the long ball

I think I'm going to have to side with Theriot. He is getting paid much less to do the same job, and will basically be equally as effective.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kim Jong-Il Hates Indians Baseball/Cleveland Too

If you missed it today, North Korea fired shots at South Korea. Who could really say why, maybe it is because Kim Jong-Il is bat shit crazy; more likely North Korea was super pissed that South Korea won the Asian Games. (That is their title!).

Regardless of the why, we know that South Korea is mildly upset. Now, as many of you know Shin Soo Choo is South Korean (kind of like Mr. Anonymous). Choo was supposed to sign up for military duty within the next 2 years. However, since he lead his team to Total Victory, he has been granted a pardon from his military service. This made me extremely happy as one of my favorite players and my fantasy baseball pillar now can actually play baseball in his prime years.

Then, Kim Jong-Il had to go and fuck everything up. With this latest incident Choo can either run and hide from his military service, or fearless patriotism will consume him. My guess is that Choo ends up signing up for the Korean military and becomes the best fighter pilot since Ted Williams.

I guess we will just have to wait this one out. Let's all hope it doesn't end with a crazy Korean detonating a bunch of nukes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Matt a Brewers Fan?

A few posts ago in the comments section one of our staff members made an outlandish claim: Matt stated that he was a Cubs fan and a Brewers fan. This offended every sensibility that T-Pain had and he declared somewhat of a war on Matt. T-Pain could not comprehend how someone could have their 2 favorite teams reside in the same division. He felt this betrayed a good baseball knowledge. In his own defense, Matt claimed that he was a proud Brewers fan before they transferred to the National League and that he should be grandfathered in.

How can we prove that Matt was a Brewers fan when the Cerveceros were in the AL?

The other writers and i have compiled a quiz that should settle the score. The scoring will be completely subjective and I will serve as the administrator of the quiz. In order to obtain the most accurate results, we must use a Gentleman's Agreement with Matt. Matt must promise not to use any Internet sources to find these answers. As I have known him since we were 10, I feel as though I have a strong grasp on the questions Matt does and does not know. If I suspect any cheating on his part sanctions will be brought upon him.

Without further ado, THE QUIZ (I also implore everyone to attempt to take The Quiz. I will leave a scoring key in the comments section in a few days. Let's all test our knowledge of the Brewers)

(Side Note: I've requested that the questions either be geared toward general Brewers knowledge or in depth team knowledge from the 1990's or 2000's, as to yield the best results)

1 Point Questions

1) In what year did the Brewers win the World Series? (got to start off easy)
2) What was the name of the Brewers' former Stadium?
3) What years did Robin Yount win the AL MVP? (1 point per correct answer)
4) What year did the Brewers shift to the National League?
5) Please spell Hall of Fame Brewers' announcer's last name.
6) Who was the Brewers owner before he sold the franchise in 2004?
7) What was the Brewers original team name?
8) What were the 3 original types of sausages to race?
9) What are the current sausages that compete in the Sausage Race?
10) Name the player responsible for striking the Sausage with a baseball bat. (Bonus 5 points: which Sausage was struck)

2 Point Questions

11) Which double play combination patrolled the infield from 1995-1999?
12) Which slugger patrolled Left and Right Field for the Brewers from 1999-2007?
13) Name the players who's numbers are retired by the Brewers. (2 points per correct answer)
14) How many division titles and pennants have the Brewers won?
15) What year was the Sausage Race first introduced?
16) Who were the Brewers playing when Yount recorded his 3,000th hit? (5 Bonus points for getting the pitcher)
17) The 1987 Brewers team nickname was...

My own scoring...

Name your favorite Brewer All Time and Currently.
Name the Brewers Team Leaders in Hits/Home Runs/RBI/SB/Wins/Saves/Strike Outs

Please leave your comments in the comment section and I will give each a score. Remember, NO CHEATING!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Derek Jeter Saga

I know, I know, I know. Two Derek Jeter posts in a matter of hours of each other when we hardly post once a week? You are probably thinking that someone took Zach and I for some experimental lobotomies this weekend.

However, fear not, both posts offer Jeter, Yankee, and general New York bashing (for the most part)! Hooray baseball!

Anyways, my post will not revolve around the travesty of Jeter's Gold Glove win this afternoon since I'm sure somewhere in a dark basement, Bill James is dying of a brain aneurysm. May God rest his sweet, sweet, giant-book-writing soul. Instead, I will focus more on the other Jeter news that is setting the mass sports media on fire - the fact that, OMG, DEREK JETER DOESN"T HAVE A CONTRACT WITH THE YANKEES NEXT YEAR!!!!1!1!!!1!!

(How do you like that link to the boring, bland MLB Trade Rumors page even though I freaked out like a fourteen year old girl? Ah, my irony is hilarious.)

Now some are taking the news better than others. As one could have expected, most people around baseball are relatively calm because sometimes contracts do actually run their courses and players don't end up taking the last three years off with a "hip injury" a la Albert Belle. And of course, New Yorkers are not most people, which drives them to write terrible articles. (Zach, please FJM that for me - thanks a ton)

In order to make this whole situation a little easier to handle, let's lay out the facts.

1. Derek Jeter is a free agent. (Have to start slow)
2. Jeter is a future Hall of Famer, which comes with its usual end-of-a-star's-career pros and cons.
3. Jeter and everyone in baseball (except maybe Joe Buck and Tim McCarver) knows that he sucks. I don't think they really need that many reminders.
4. The Yankees are going to sign Jeter no matter what.

Given those facts, most of the debate has gone out the window. There's no need to worry about him signing with any other team. In fact, I really can't find any articles discussing another team being in the Derek Jeter negotiations; although, I'm surprised that Billy Beane hasn't phoned him up since he's all about bringing washed up veterans on board.

However, when Jeter finally signs this offseason, the only question is how much will the Yankees overpay him? Yes, his baseball production will not be anything worth what he will ultimately earn, but one also has to keep the dollar value of Derek Jeter the merchandise seller when signing him. You know that the Yankees (and ESPN) will promote the shit out of Jeter's 3,000 hit run. The money and media hullabaloo to be made over that whole ordeal, much to the chagrin of Zach and I, will dominate most of early portion of the season.

So what does Jeter get paid in the end? I honestly think he gets somewhere between $15M to $18M per year. Yes, he will be paid more than double of what his baseball production will be worth. And yes, the Yankees and Brian Cashman said something stupid about their franchise existing without Jeter possibly, but that's not going to happen. Jeter will not be allowed to get his 3,000th hit with another team because the Yankees will never allow that situation to happen, Jeter knows he has a slight upper hand in the negotiations, which he will push just below the $20M range (he's got a Minka Kelly to feed!).

But enough about that Derek Jeter contract bullshit, it's now time for the real reason I wanted to write this post. It's November, which means The National get to rock out with their Jeter ode. Hell yeah.

MLB's Least Honorable Award Becomes a Mockery

I am going to try not to swear during this post. I feel that the travesty that the voters for the Gold Glove need to feel shamed without the simple pleasures of a good curse. Gold Glove voters shamed the baseball world and forever brought skepticism to one of the decent ways of comparing fielders across eras. Willie Mays racked up countless Gold Gloves; Brooks Robinson even more. Being born in 1987, I will never have the pleasure of seeing these athletes chase down balls that mortals never dreamed of catching. The only way I can accurately assess just how great these fielders were compared to today's greats can only be measured through accolades, written and award based. The coaches and players in charge of giving this award sullied the spirit of the accomplishment.

Derek Jeter has won the American League Gold Glove for the short stop position.

This is offensive and appalling.

Since there are seemingly 2 schools of thought on how to value baseball talents, I would like to argue why Jeter winning makes no sense in any realm of thinking.

See it with your eyes types (symptoms of this include enjoying Joe Morgan commentary, liking the White Sox because they are grindy and sharing any baseball beliefs with Ozzie Guillen)

Many of you may be thinking, "Derek Jeter is the best shortstop to ever play the game. He is a True Yankee and has lead his team to 12 Championships all through pure desire and heart." These people are fucking morans.

Derek Jeter has not even been useful on defense for at least 5 years. Yes, you are correct, Derek Jeter is very sure handed and he probably looks good banging his hot girlfriend. He made 6 errors this year! You are right, that is a phenomenally low amount of errors to make. However, you are missing the fact that he has absolutely no range. None. This is not arguable. During the ALCS, I tweeted that Elvis Andrus just made an amazing play and that absolutely separates Andrus from Jeter in this series. I only had to wait a half inning to find out how right I was. With Andrus at the plate, he hit a slow roller to short. Clearly hit slower and about a step closer to Jeter than the ball hit to Andrus in the prior inning. Derek Jeter, on the biggest stage, a True Yankee, did not come anywhere close to making this play.

Jeter simply does not have the quickness anymore to play the position at even an average level. I don't want to get to numbers heavy in this section because I will be hitting you with a lot of that in the next section, but a typical meat head stat is fielding percentage. Going of this metric, Jeter was far and away the leader. However going to another simple statistic you can see how limited his range truly is. Derek Jeter was 6th with 365 Assists this year (Alexei Ramirez with 499 lead the category). Again Jeter made 6 errors all year, and was nowhere close to the lead in assists. How can you explain the 134 more Assists made by Ramirez? Ground ball pitchers? The opposition never hitting to Jeter for fear his Yankee Pride will get them out? I think over the course of an entire season most of those intangibles tend to even out. The only way you can account for this discrepancy is acknowledging Jeter's subpar range.

The Sabermetric View (symptoms include: being a pompous jerk and constantly believing you are right)

First of all, I would like to show you the leaders in the AL this year in UZR (I acknowledge this is not a perfect stat, but still!). Oh, you did not see Jeter's name on that list. That's funny, probably because he is not on it. Check page 2! That is right, your Gold Glove winner is not even in the Top 40 of players who played shortstop in the AL this year in a metric widely considered the best defensive measure, right now.

Not only that, but he was a -4.7!!!!! Not even close to being average, a decidedly terrible fielder just won the 2010 Gold Glove Award. Matt Tuiasosopo finished higher on the list than him! Do you even know who he is? Me neither, but his fucking brother wasn't even good enough to beat out JaMarcus Russel for the Raiders QB job, so he has to fucking suck major ass.

Seriously, Alexei Ramirez should have walked home with this award and by a huge margin. The guy had an outstanding year defensively. At the very least, Cliff Pennington could have taken the Gold Glove home. Hell, the A's were downright horrible offensively and still managed a .500 record on the year. You know how many A's won Gold Gloves? Zero! How good of a defensive team do you have to have to obtain a .500 record when your best hitter is Ryan Sweeney??????

Much like most of the non baseball-stupid world I'm angry that Jeter won the award. Not just because an inferior defender won the award again (I believe Eric Chavez won 4 Gold Gloves on the A's and he didn't even have to get out of his hospital bed). I am angry at this bullshit Derek Jeter/Yankees bias that causes baseball writers to swoon. I dislike Derek Jeter thoroughly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Freddy "Dirty" Sanchez Gets His Groove On

While enjoying lunch in my luxurious office I was surfing around about the baseball playoffs and found this absolute gem of a youtube video. I'm not judging at all because I know if I just made it into the playoffs or won a series or something I would be doing the exact same thing (just of course with much better dancing skills).

So I felt as the classy blog we are here at YSSW we owe it to ourselves to comment on this video of Freddy getting down with his bad self. I'll start with my observations:

1. I know I was very sad to discover that the woman who had the boots with the fur on that Big Fred was dancing with was actually his wife.

2. I couldn't help but notice that none of the wifes/side girlfriends had on real pants.

3. Aaron Rowand is a great supporting cast.

I know when I go crazy on the dance floor my wife usually just ignores me to the extent of pretending not to know me. Just another reason not to allow cameras in the locker room after a certain point in the night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Love For Bobby V?

While this is my first article in a while due to laziness and not having time to write because of school/work, traveling, and softball 5 nights a week, I make an appearance to bring up my disappointment. I may get a lot of grief for writing this article, but who could not love this man?

As many probably know (many as in the 10 people that even read this) that picture is when Bobby Valentine was kicked out of a game one day and returned in his amazing disguise. Seriously how awesome is it that he gets kicked out but tries to come back after altering his appearance!

As a closet Brewers fan I was really hoping that Bobby would come manage the Brewers! Not because I thought he gave them the best chance to win, but because his humor, shenanigans, overall dickheadness would be good for Milwaukee.

To clear things up, most of you know I am a huge Cubs fan. It's hard to keep my loyalty. Not because the team constantly loses and I'm a fair weather fan. There are many reasons to hate the Cubs, but that's a whole other article (top 3 reasons: I hate other Cubs fans, Jim Hendry/Andy McFAIL, & Wrigley Field/tickets.) There is at least one person that can relate to hating a team because of constant fails and stupid moves. Maybe a fan that likes the Vikings......A team that trades a 3rd round pick for a former fan favorite, then releases him because he just doesn't fit the team. Well Mr. Childress, you're an idiot.

Getting back to Bobby, I wish he would have received more consideration for the Cubs. Better yet going to the Brewers would have been a dream. I had big plans if Bobby were to be hired by either. I was going to get a Bobby Valentine shirt (I'm too cheap to get a jersey) and wear the classic sunglasses/fake nose combo like so:

Believe me I think the Cubs got it right. The Brewers may have too. I will be the first person to second guess either hiring. In Cubs terms, I was probably the only person in the world that wanted Bobby as their manager, and when Quade fails, everyone will say Sandberg was the man. WRONG!

I do think Quade will be successful, but it will take a new GM to create that success. Hendry needs to go, so lets start rounding up the candidates for next GM! Keep Valentine on speed dial Rickets family.

Elijah Dukes Hates his Kids. Now Making Efforts to Kill Them

A recent report indicated that Elijah Dukes has been arrested again.

"Authorities say former Major League Baseball player Elijah Dukes has been jailed in Tampa on charges related to allegedly failing to pay child support."

It seems Elijah is just taking a more deliberate route to complete the journey of killing his own children. Withholding his child support payments, Elijah is clearly hoping that his kids will will fall victim to poverty and be unable to feed themselves. Without food, they will surely starve, absolving Elijah of his fatherly duties... O wait, he has 4 other children with 3 other women to take care of. Can Elijah Dukes brainstorm 5 different ways to murder his own children? Based on his first threat against them left on a voicemail, I'm not so sure:

"Hey, dawg. It’s on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain’t even bullshitting. Your kids too, dawg. It don’t even matter to me who is in the car with you . . . all I know is . . . when I see your motherfucking ass riding, dawg, it’s on. As a matter of fact, I’m coming to your motherfucking house.

Just in case she failed to understand his intentions, he also sent her a photo of a gun."

Good Luck, Elijah! Hopefully without all those kids around you will be free to yuck it up (pictured not yucking it up: Josh Willingham) more with Nyjer Morgan in the outfield.