Friday, December 15, 2006

Matsui who?

Josh Beckett will have a dominant year, and he'll be their number 3 starter. Ridiculous.

Now all eyes can turn to Barry Zito. Yawn. More Scott Boras in the news. At least he'll be talking to more than one team.

"I'd like to meet Curt Schilling," said Dice-K. Umm, pretty sure you'll get the chance dude. He's learning Japanese for you buddy. What a pal.

The whole Red Sox brass flying to California and lighting bags of feces on fire in front of Boras' house reminded me of the Thanksgiving dinner Schilling deal. I remember the excitement and palpable energy there was surrounding the team then, and look what happened the very next season...

Not a prediction, just a thought.

The real prediction? Royals v. Cubs in the series, but they only make it to two games and the world as we know it implodes on itself.

Now, votes on who the hell is going to anchor that (still) travesty of a bullpen for the Sox come '07? Tavares?

Monday, December 11, 2006

People I intensely dislike may or may not look like insidious members of a sci-fi classic

Scott Boras is going to be the reason that the Sox don't sign Matsuzaka (if indeed they end up not signing him.) That pisses me off so much, but not as much as it irks Mike.

Clock's ticking down to the end on this one, and all the rumors swirling around don't sound too good. I'm hoping for the best. This business with Schilling learning Japanese is such a transparent PR ploy (although he may indeed be doing it with good intentions) it makes me ill.

Jim Allen on ESPN (from where I got the picture at left) makes some good points in this article. Namely, that it will ultimately be up to Matsuzaka to decide whether he signs or not. No, and he goes back to Japan for another two seasons and the Lions get jack. Boras can finagle all he wants, says Allen, but ultimately the prospect of earning the most money he's ever earned in his life and the chance to bring pride to his old club and home country will be the deciding factors for Matsuzaka.

We'll see how that goes very soon.

Coming up later: Why signing Juan Pierre was a great investment for the Dodgers: Definitive proof courtesy of MVP Baseball '05.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Yay for Sense!

After all that chatter, Barry Bonds is not going anywhere. That's probably the most logical move. No other team would offer him that cash, and no other fan base would likely support him. 16 million is too much, but whatever. At least we can focus our rancor in the same place.

And, ho, Pat Gillick! I wanted a top starter and we got one in Freddy Garcia. That's a good deal. Yeah, Gavin Floyd might be great down the road and we could end up regretting all this in the future, but as I've been saying for a while, the Phils can't keep waiting with the farm system and young pitchers who may or may not pan out. They still have Hamels and Myers, who have looked good, and now they have their ace. Add them into a rotation with solid vets Lieber and Moyer (or maybe Madson, who knows how they'll move people), and now their rotation is solid... in fact, one of the best in the NL. I can't think fo anyone hugely better for now.

See how nice it is when people make deals that make sense?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Collusion part 2, electric boogaloo.

I'm hoping that the whole Barry Bonds issue is a big conspiracy. Back in the days of collusion, owners got together and decided that, in order to cut back player salaries, they would work together despite their equal desires to spend money and sign the best players. This, of course, was illegal and tainted MLB for a long time.

Now in the days of throwing money around and player salaries that are nearly unfathomable, I find it odd that the best baseball player ever is a free agent, spurned by his former employer and still jobless. This, of course, could have a little something to do with the fact that a. he is almost certainly guilty of taking steroids and b. he is a consummate asshole.

Never the less, I can't see how an AL team desperate for wins like the Indians or Rangers don't throw a contract with performance bonuses at this guy. Sure, he says he wants to go to a playoff-bound team, but money talks. Now he's gone to the winter meetings personally to bully around teams. Wonderful.

His agent says there are plenty of interested teams and that "their first question is always about Bonds." It seems if that were the case he would have reached a deal with someone by now. The best player ever is just flapping in the wind, a free agent that nobody wants to take on.

Is this some sort of big conspiracy among owners, GM's, managers, etc. to finally rid baseball of this media centerpiece/freak show? It just seems odd that he's not signed yet, and that the only one talking about him is Jeff Borris, his agent. All I've read is vague, PR type quotes from Borris; none from GM's, nothing from anyone. Are GM's just getting together to say 'hey, this guy is a catastrophe' and not signing him? Do they even have to get together? Anyone could really come to that conclusion on their own with a few simple google searches.

I, for one, and hoping that Bonds gets signed somewhere. True, he may have taken steroids, and he may be an asshole, but the fact remains that he is the best player ever to play the game, and watching him hit, despite the fact that his power may be derived from something outside of the gym, is a thing of pure beauty. Of course, I hope he doesn't get signed to a team I like.

Looks like the Sox are going to be "stuck" with Manny's 35+ homers and 120+ RBI's (barring injury) again next year. Oh well. I think their trying to "trade" him every year is all a front. Unless they traded for Pujols, Howard or A-Rod, there is no way they're getting value from the deal. And none of those trades are going to happen. That said, the Sox lineup looks to be shaping up for next season. I hope Lugo does well, or else the revolving door shortstop charade will continue.

It unnerves me that I haven’t heard anything about Matsuzaka recently. I know the negotiations are confidential, but at writing, there is only a little over 8 days left to sign this guy. I haven’t heard anything at all, save for the fact that the team and Dice-K are ‘far apart’ concerning the terms they are each seeking. I know I said bidding that much for him was a mistake, and I hold to that, but not signing him makes the Sox look horrible. He seems like a good pitcher from the scouting reports, so if you’re willing to put up that sort of money, why not go for broke (hopefully not literally.) Again, hopefully this is not some clever, shady backdoor deal to keep Dice-K out of Steinbrenner’s hands for one more season.g

Jason Schmidt, whose head looks like a fake goatee affixed to a pumpkin, signed with the Dodgers. I like that for one of the better pitchers out there this year, I didn't hear too much about him. All I've heard is where will Ted Lily come to rest? What about Gil Meche? Who cares. I think tonight or tomorrow I will make a photoshop of Schmidt's head as a pumpkin. And why not, right? Expect that.

The arms race, part laaaame

In an off-season already being hailed by critics as the most freewheeling in ages, one team is taking the bidding war and frustration with the pitching drought to a new level.

The New Y0rk Yankees offered Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn $7.5 million a year to shore up their bullpen. When reached for comment, GM Brian Cashman said that they were most worried about his control, though he had shown promise in the California Penal League.

Cashman also added that in such a dry market, having a fictional character as your setup man isn't necessarily the worst thing.

"I mean, it's not like we signed Vicente Padilla for 11.3 [million] a year," he said. "That would just be stupid."

Actor Charlie Sheen, who portrayed Vaughn in the 1989 film "Major League," said he was excited by the opportunity.

"It's been a while since I slipped on those horn rims," said Sheen. "It's also been a while since I had a free pass to start seeing those hookers in Cleveland again."

"Cleveland rocks, indeed," he added.

Cashman also said that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner might be willing to give Steve Nebraska another chance.

"Maybe we bailed on him too soon," said Cashman. "That funny little man with the hat who reminded me of Woody Allen seemed pretty convinced he was something special."

"Besides, let's face it - who are we going to sign, Ted Lilly for 10 [million] a year? Give me a break."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills or something

John Lester is in remission. Here's hoping he'll be at spring training.

In a right and just world, there is no way that Gil Meche gets $10 million per season from anyone. He's good (Beat Jason Schmidt back in June) but he's not $10 million good.

Vincente Padilla would, in a normal world, never think of making $11.3 million per season. Yeah, he won 15 games, but he lost 10 to the tune of a 4.50 ERA.

Jayson Stark has a great article about the lunacy of this offseason's pitching scramble on ESPN.

The headline should be "Welcome to Bizarro World."

You know something is wrong when the thought "Gee, the Orioles rotation looks decent this year, but how 'bout that bullpen. Boy Howdy they look sharp" creeps into your head. That and when Omar Minaya keeps balking at dela because the price is "too high."

My favorite part is where he points out that in 2002, Zambrano was a 4th starter behind Kerry Wood, Prior and Clement. Now the Cubs are looking for two starters. Alas.