.... Not much going on
The Yankees appear to have finalized the majority of their roster, meaning that they are finally off the back pages of the NY newspapers. That leaves the Giants and the Jets, (U-u-u-gly), the Knicks (maybe....), and the Nets (not form MY, are they?) to provide the locals with their sports fix.
In the meantime, you can keep up with baseball by visiting all of my friends, located on the left, or by reading the many fine books out there.
Me, I am sitting here pondering the 2004 season the SF Giants are heading for. Care to indulge a cynic?
In 2002, the Giants went to the World Series, (and came within a pitch or two of winning it all) on the strength of the best offense in baseball, and some solid, if not great starting pitching, combined with some very good relief work. Last season, the offense slipped quite a bit, the pitching was about the same, and the team was quietly dispatched in four games by the eventual champions, the Florida Marlins.
2002 Road Production .273/.350/.471 126 HR's 426 Runs 416 RBI's
2003 Road Production .250/.325/.418 98 HR's 357 Runs 335 RBI's
That's a huge drop, 69 runs, 81 RBI's, you're talking almost a run per game. Notwithstanding the weaker offense, somehow the team managed to win 100 games and the division. How? Some of it was luck, the Giants outperformed their expected wins by a full six games, the most in baseball. Also, the NL West was pretty damn weak this season, allowing them to feast on their own division, (their 53-23 divion record was the best in baseball). And their home record of 57-25 was also the best in baseball.
They allowed only 275 runs at home, an awesome accomplishment only bettered at the graveyard-like parks of the Dodgers and the Marlins. However, they were not quite as good on the road, giving up 320 runs, or about a half run per game more.
And don't forget that they had Superman to carry the load throughout the year.
Add it all up, and you can see how they were ripe for the fall come October. By the end of the season, no one was pitching to Barry anymore, and Jack McKeon came right out and said that he would not allow Barry to beat him. He didn't, and the Giants are once again rebuilding.
Trading a full season of Neifi for Aurilia will hurt. The Tucker/Hammond/Mohr for Cruz rightfield might be a wash, only time will tell. Resigning Snow for less money makes him less onerous to the payroll, but no more productive on the field, where he will continue his stranglehold on the title of worst offensive first baseman in baseball. Without the terrific production from Galarragga as his backup, expect the Giants to lose something like 30 runs from first base alone.
They'll likely see a small bump in production from behind the plate, as the sabermetricly exciting Pierzynski will combine with Torrealba to give them a pretty solid cathers slot.
But the bottom line is not promising. The Giants roster as it stands today includes exactly one player who has ever hit as many as 30 home runs in a season, and we know who that is. If GM Sabean is unable to find somebody, anybody to bat behind Barry, the Giants are poised to suffer a substantial drop in the standings. And that begs the question; exactly why did the team bother to resign Barry to such a huge contract, if they didn't intend to take advantage of his unbelievable production and get themselves a championship? Of the possible answers I can imagine, I am left with the supsicion that it was only intended to insure 5 more years of sellouts, as Barry moved closer and closer to immortality, as in 755.
That would be a disappointing turn of events, and as a strategy, it would be one that is almost certainly doomed to failure. If the Giants fortunes plummet, the games in which Barry is looking to hit his 660th, 700th, 715th, 716th, 755th and 756th home runs will be the only ones that provide Peter Magowan and company the big payout, as fickle San Francisco fans have proven time and again that they will not line up to see a loser.
And Barry will find out (just as A-Rod has learned) that money will not buy happiness, or a championship, for that matter.
Comment on this  » December 30, 2003
Good to be back
I know I'm bitching and moaning, but I'm at my brother's, and he's got some super high-speed internet access, so I'm really happy to be able to post for a while.
Comment on this  » December 23, 2003
Lying as an art form
It's important to remember that Selig's shady dealings affect all areas of baseball, not just the immoral scheming and scamming he presides over in Milwaukee. Check out this article by Derek Zumsteg in which he examines some shady dealings by the Chicago Cubs. Basically, the Cubs sell a million dollars worth of their best tickets to a broker, who then sells them for whatever they can get. Sound illegal? It is, to everyone except the judge presiding over the lawsuit, and our intrepid commissioner, whom Derek rips for doing nothing.
Well, of course Selig's done nothing. What can he do about ripping off the fans in Chicago when his efforts in his home state have reached the level of an avante garde art form?
Comment on this  » December 23, 2003
Lies, damn lies, and our Commissioner
Andrew Zimbalist has a disturbing article regarding the disgraceful Milwaukee Brewers situation. It's a sad state of affairs when the man who is supposed to be in charge of the entire league is so blatantly dishonest and scheming.
More disheartening is how obvious and inevitable all of this seems to be. Let's see, he's a used car salesman, whom, upon being installed as figurehead commissioner for the dunderheads who run their respective teams with such appaling dishonesty, refused to divest himself of his team, no, instead of that, he put his share of the Brewers in a blind trust! His daughter is the one running the team, see? He's not involved at all. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Baseball is run about as poorly as it can be at the MLB level. Selig and his cronies are more diligent at stamping out any blogger that misuses a team logo while writing about and essentially offering free marketing and exposure for their favorite team than they are at handling their own affairs honestly and professionally. He should be ashamed of himself, but he's probably too busy counting Steinbrenner's money and patting himself on the back. What a disgrace.
For more details on the Brewers pathetic efforts at running a team, check out Al's Ramblings. He's got a terrific handle on the details, as well as comprehensive coverage of all links Brewer-related.
Comment on this  » December 23, 2003
.... Back with a vengance
Hey Travis, it's great to be back, (although I still have limited access). Soon enough, I might be back to posting consistently again.
Back to task, the Yanks have started to seriously consider Vladimir Guerrero, I have been persuaded by Neyer and Huckabay that Kevin Brown and Javier Vasquez might, just might, be a worthy replacement for the two Houstonians.
The Giants continue to do little or nothing, disappointing fans and more importantly, King Barry. The winter meetings are in full swing with a lot of moves rumored and happening. Baseball baseball baseball.
Comment on this  » December 13, 2003
No access for most of the last two months. Much to talk about. First, thanks to all who have continued to stop by while I have done little or nothing, especially those of you who took the time to pin my guest map. I love that thing!
Next up, the Giants. U-u-u-ugly. More JT--Worst everyday first baseman in all of baseball-- Snow and Neifi--Worst everyday any position player in all of baseball--Perez, plus no Aurilia, Gallaraga, Cruz, Benito, Nathan or Ponson. Sabean and the team owners walking around with their hats in their hands saying they can't sign any big-time free agents, AGAIN. Here's a question, 43,000 fans spend about $100 bucks apiece 81 times a year, hmmm..... Isn't that something in the range of $240 million dollars in revenue, BEFORE TV, radio, print and other assorted income streams?
Am I alone here? Sure, $20 million a year for the ballpark is a chunk, but it isn't THAT much compared to what comes in.
Anyway, I'm here in NY for a long visit, and I have been watching the hated empire, (run by General von Steingrabber) lose all sense of reality and common sense. Say goodbye to class act Andy Pettitte and sign ass act Gary Sheffield? Leave Soriano at second base and move Matsui to centerfield? Trade Nick Johnson and make Bernie Williams a DH? Trade 27 year old Jeff Weaver for 39 year old Kevin Brown?
In 2004, the Yankees are looking like your average fast-pitch softball team, lot's of offense and pitching, and little or no defense. I guess they haven't reviewed any of the video of the ultra-fast and skilled defensive artistry laid on them by the Marlins. Doh!
Oh, and how much fun is it to watch Seligula and company, with their inept, embarassing to the point of shame team, now come out and say they are modeling themselves after the Minnesota Twins, one of the teams they tried to eliminate a couple of years ago. One more time I am forced to ask exactly how is it that a greasy a used car salesman like Selig is allowed to run a multi-billion dollar a year industry like baseball, let alone his own team? Oh, I forgot, his share of the Brewers is in a blind trust.... Yeah, that's the ticket.
Comment on this  » December 12, 2003