Archive for the 'Hall of Fame' Category
The NY Daily News’ Bill Madden is in the minority when it comes to common sense:
all of Fame’s Great Dilemma: It continues to bill itself as a museum, and the custodian of the game’s history, and records. But down the road, how does the Hall justify that if it excludes the holders of the most significant of those records?
…. with 15 MVP and Cy Young Awards between them, Clemens, ninth all-time in wins and third in strikeouts, and Bonds, the all-time home run leader, are the two most decorated players in the history of the Baseball Writers’ awards voting — and yet those same writers, many of whom are of the opinion they have an obligation to abide by the “integrity and sportsmanship” clause, feel compelled to say “No” when it comes to a plaque in Cooperstown.
…. “The problem you have now is that the Hall of Fame is supposed to tell the history of the game, good and bad,” said a baseball official, “and unfortunately there is this inconsistency between the records and the people elected to the Hall. If you’re going to keep out the suspected steroids players, don’t you then also have to put an asterisk or something on their records? You can’t have it both ways. Obviously, the commissioner has no intention of putting an asterisk on the records, and so, if they’re going to stand, Bonds and Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame. And, frankly, so, too, should Rose.”
Um, yeah. I’ve been saying that for going on a decade. Better late than never.
Meanwhile, Mike Lupica, (savior of children, baseball and integrity, though maybe not in that order) still wants us to know he’s got it right about Bonds and Clemens:
…. You break no laws, by the way, if you don’t care whether Clemens and Bonds and Sosa were shooting up in the dugout.
You don’t have to care.
But if you do, ask yourself a question:
Do you believe Clemens was clean over the second half of his career?
Once again, we see how it is with guys with a computer, a newspaper and am axe to grind. “Apologize.” Done. “Not enough.” “Gotcha, now go on trial.” Beat it. “Not enough.”
On and on. Just remember that Clemens was better than Lupica’s boyhood idols, Bonds was better than Lupica’s boyhood heroes, and that’s why he won’t let up. Guys like Palmeiro, guys like Ramirez, those guys he’s already forgotten about. Jason Grimsley? The only time Jason Grimsley will be in a Lupica article is if he shoots somebody. He didn’t beat an immortal.
UPDATE: In a related article written by Murray Chass, I came across this Buster Olney quote:
“The institution of baseball condoned the use of performance-enhancing drugs for almost two decades with inaction. To hold it against a handful of individuals now is, to me, retroactive morality.”
Again, not to belabor the point, but I have been saying that for going on a decade. At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll also mention that Pete Rose is in the same boat with these moving target assholes.. The sportswriters who now champion his permanent exclusion from baseball absolutely knew he was betting on sports for years; and at least a couple of them suspected he was betting on baseball. They said, wrote and did nothing, until it was politically expedient to act shocked and horrified.
On and on…. They demanded that Rose admit what he did, come clean, and apologize. The minute he did, they jumped down his throat insisting that he didn’t apologize the right way. Jason Giambi went through the exact same thing. So did A-Rod. Only Andy Pettitte appeared to handle his apology the right way. Of course, the writers already didn’t believe he was cheating anyway. He was an acknowledged “good guy,” which meant that he was a good interview for the sycophants.
Dan Lependorf, over the Hardball Times, puts together a graph detailing how impressive Matt Cain’s Perfecto really was:
blockquote>…. If a pitcher strikes out 14 batters in a single game, it’ll be the lead story on every sports news program of the night. After all, it’s only happened a few hundred times in baseball history. If a pitcher throws a perfect game, it’s one of those landmark events that’ll be sold on DVD in the MLB.com store. And people will buy it, because hey, it’s a perfect game. Only 22 of those.
But both of them at the same time? Congratulations, Matt Cain. You just had one of the best nights from any pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.
But then Bill James –who Lependorf cites in his article– writes (subscription required) that Cain’s game, while very impressive, isn’t even close to being the best pitched game of all-time:
…. The Game Score for Joe Oeschger, when he pitched 26 innings one afternoon, was 153, a feat beyond the understanding of modern fans. But in the last 60 years, Dean Chance against the Yankees on June 6, 1964, had the highest Game Score on record—116. 14 innings, 3 hits, 12 strikeouts, no runs.
James then goes on to chart the best games, seasons and careers using his Game Score method. It’s a great read, and well worth the $3 bucks a month you have to pay for access to Bill James Online.
The government has been given more time to decide whether they want to retry Bonds on the hung jury charges in his perjury case.
…. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston granted prosecutors’ request for more time to decide whether to try the case again, over the objections of Bonds’ attorney, Allen Ruby. Ruby wanted to know immediately whether the government would continue its yearslong pursuit of Major League Baseball’s career home runs leader.
But the judge testily told Ruby that prosecutors had no obligation to announce their intention until the court resolves Bonds’ motion for outright acquittal or a new trial on the obstruction conviction. Bonds’ attorneys say that the jury erred in concluding the slugger’s rambling answer to a question about injecting steroids was meant to mislead a grand jury’s investigation
into sports doping.
Really? What did she do, give them the evil eye? Who the fuck is she kidding? Under no circumstances should this group of complete assholes be given one ounce of leeway. What a joke. They’ve only been investigating Bonds in this absolutely disgraceful display of ineptitude, waste and vindictiveness for over seven years now, and she testily allows them more time. She is as big a complete sham as everyone else the government has paraded around as they attempt to save the world from Barry Bonds.
Shameful. Truly and totally shameful.
Every person involved in this witch hunt will forever have their names and reputations besmirched by their corrupt participation.
I’m sorry, but I just can’t help myself.
Eric, one of my backtalkers, pretty much sums up the common thread in all of the internet-wide negativity surrounding Jeter’s negotiations:
“I don’t know that he deserves anything. He has given a lot to the Yankees, yes, but he has received a lot, too. How many other players have had the chance he has? Playing for the Yankees, especially in the last 15-20 years in an era of unprecedented revenue (allowing the Yankees to REALLY shoot off the charts with their payroll) has helped Jeter become the player he is/was. “
My question is this, how can Eric –and pretty much everyone else that is thinking along these lines– miss the single most salient point in this debate by so much?
The reason the Yankees’ revenue has gone up so much in the last 15 years is because they became a dynasty. It is because they won 4 World Series in 5 years (and just missed 4 in a row), and have made the postseason fourteen of the last fifteen seasons, and Derek Jeter is one of the main reasons that has happened. Not to pick on you, Eric, but, did you even read what I wrote? Do you, or for that matter, anybody, have any sense of history whatsoever?
Prior to Jeter’s arrival, the Yankees had won nothing for almost 20 years. NOTHING.
NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING!!!!!!
How can you even discuss this, if you have no apparent knowledge about the history of what has happened, unless you’ve already decided that you know everything there is to know about the issue? The Yankees in 1995, went to the postseason for the first time in Don Mattingly’s career. His last season. Prior to that, the Yankees hadn’t made the playoffs since 1981. The only reason people wanted to be a Yankee was for the cash General von Steingrabber was doling out, and even then, the lure of big bucks wasn’t always enough. There was no cache, no pizzaz. The “Aura” of the Yankees was a memory. No ballplayers talked about how much they wished for “the chance to play for the Yankees.” In 1992, Greg Maddux turned the Yankees down when Steinbrenner tried to sign him as a free agent. The “Boss” offered more money than Atlanta, and Maddux said no thanks. Forget about how ballplayers didn’t want to come to the Yankees, neither did the fans. No fans poured into Yankee Stadium to watch the greatest team the game had seen in the last 50 years, because that team didn’t exist!
The Yankees drew 1.7 million fans in 1995, good for 7th out of the fourteen teams in the league. SEVENTH!!!!! They were 7th again in 1996, 5th in 1997. In 1998, when the Yankees went 125-50 throughout the regular season and the playoffs, making a case for being the greatest baseball team in history, they were still only 3rd in the league in attendance. (By the way, you know who was the best player on that team, arguably the best team of all-time? Derek Jeter, with 7.8 WAR) They were 3rd again in 1999, and then again in 2000, as they were winning their third consecutive World Series. It wasn’t until 2003 that the Yankees led the league in attendance, after they had been in the World Series for the 6th time in 8 years.
Over the course of that eight year run, during the regular season, Derek Jeter led the Yankees in almost every meaningful, measurable statistic: hits, times on base, at-bats, plate appearances, runs scored, doubles, games played. He was a Rookie of the Year, an All Star every season. He played in 1,197 of a possible 1,296 games. In the postseason, he was simply a sensation. A quick look at what he did during those first eight years is illuminating.
In ’96, he hit .360. In ’97, he hit .333. 1998 saw him post just a .235 batting average overall, but he hit .353 in the Serious. In 1999, he was on fire, batting .375 to carry the team. In 2000, he posted a .317 batting average. In 2001, after going 8 for 18 while leading the Yankees back from an 0-2 deficit against the A’s, he hurt himself diving into the stands in Game Five and managed just 6 hits the rest of the playoffs. It should be noted that his injury certainly contributed to the Yankees falling to the D’backs and derailing their chances of winning their fourth title in a row. In 2002, against the eventual champions, the Anaheim Angels, Jeter did all he could, going 8 for 16 in the four game loss, with 2 home runs and 6 runs scored. And in 2003, when the Yankees went to the Series again, Jeter batted .314 for the playoffs, and .356 in the World Series. Today he is the all-time leader in virtually every significant statistic. He’s even third all-time in postseason home runs, with 20. Sure, he’s played in a lot of playoff games. He’s one of the reasons why.
And don’t give me that Core Four bullshit. Pettitte left. And, sure, Mariano Rivera is the best closer ever, but he’s responsible for something like 200-250 batters a season. Posada’s been the number one catcher for a while, but let’s not forget, Girardi was the number one catcher in 1996 and 1997, and in 1998 and 1999, he was still getting 75-odd games behind the dish. That’s three of the first four titles. During these fifteen years, the Yankees have had a parade of players at virtually every postion but short, many of them players who were paid more money than Jeter at the time. No matter how you slice it, it’s been Jeter who has been the one constant.
Nothing had changed in the world of the Yankees over the last fifteen years, other than all the winning. Steinbrenner was still going out and signing the best free agents available, as he had been since he took over the team in the 70′s. He was still giving those players –players who hadn’t contributed to any Yankee tradition, championships, or anything– huge sums of money, almost always more than anyone else was offering. Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, hell, people forget that Tino Martinez was a free agent they brought in to replace Mattingly. Roger Clemens, David Cone, anyone remember Chuck Knoblauch? When they signed Knoblauch after the 1997 season (his fourth All Star season in the previous six), they gave him a four year deal worth $6 million per. You know how much Jeter made in 1998? $750,000. Even Darryl Strawberry ($825,000) made more than Jeter in 1998. Virtually every player on the team did. Practically every everyday player in baseball did. Derek Jeter’s 7.8 WAR was second to A-Rod’s 7.9 in the American League that season. A-Rod made $2.6 million, even though he played for Seattle. That’s a terrific illustration of how much things have changed. The Seattle Mariners were paying their All Star shortstop three times as much as the Yankees were paying theirs.
Over the last 15 years, Derek Jeter has been the Yankee shortstop day after day, at the plate 600 times a season, gets 190-plus hits like clockwork, and has been a team leader of the highest order. He is the face of the franchise, and the franchise’s outrageous financial success is intrinsically tied to what the team has done on the field, which is tied to the one player who has been there the whole time, a decade and a half that has changed the fortunes of the Steinbrenner family, and the Yankee franchise, forever.
The Yankees gave 37-year old Kevin Brown $32 million dollars for 200 innings of 5-plus ERA. Don’t tell me how they can’t overpay Derek Jeter, that this is a business decision, that his worth is set by the market. That is utter nonsense.
If the Yankees can throw $90 million dollars combined on the ground for Carl Pavano and Kei Ishigawa; they can absolutely, without question, and without reservation, give Derek Jeter the same amount of money for his last four years with the team. He is different. He is not just any player, and the Yankees are wrong to pretend like he is.
Wow, I am stunned by the negative reaction. I know that many people feel Jeter is over-rated and all that, but to hear that he’s not a leader, already over-paid, in obvious decline, etc.. Stunning. I’ve always thought that his leadership qualities were overblown, sure. I mean, it was clear to me that when the Yankees landed A-Rod, A-Rod probably should have taken over short, and Jeter should’ve slid to center-field, like Yount did for Milwaukee about a thousand years ago. In terms of what’s best for the team, that move was a no-brainer, A-Rod was clearly the better player, the Yankees at the time needed a center-fielder, and Jeter had always shown excellent instincts on fly ball. Of course, only Jeter could’ve have stopped it, and when he did, he dropped down a notch in my estimation.
That said, he is one of the constants during this historic run of dominance by the Yankees. This is a fact, and it is not in dispute. What is in dispute is what he is going to be paid for the next four years or so. The fact that the Phillies gave Jimmy Rollins a lesser deal, or gave Chase Utley, who is younger and a better hitter, the same deal as the Yankees are offering Jeter doesn’t matter at all. What other team are paying their players has no bearing on this at all. When the market said CC Sabathia was worth $100 million, the Yankees gave him $161 million. The Yankees pay more. They pay more, because they make more.
If you are the top software programmer for Bob’s software company, you’re gonna make a lot less than if you are the top software programmer for Apple. I would’ve thought this is common knowledge, but apparently, it isn’t. If a player comes to the Yankees and helps lead them to the playoffs and beyond, he is making an impact on the Yankees bottom line, and the Yankees bottom line is bigger, much bigger, than just about any other team’s. He is adding value to the franchise. Jeter has added massive value to the franchise over the 15 years he’s been there. You don’t compare his salary to what a player in San Francisco or Philadelphia makes, because there is no comparison.
And one of the main reasons that that is the case just happens to be the current dynastic run that Derek Jeter is an irreplaceable part of. Obviously, people don’t remember, but back in 1996, the Yankees hadn’t won anything in almost 20 years. Don Mattingly played his entire career as a Yankee, and only made the playoffs in the last year. And, Steinbrenner was considered a joke, a buffoon. Lupica called him General von Steingrabber, and he was –rightfully– regularly pilloried in the NY Daily News, the NY Post, and even Sports Illustrated for his antics. Remember Billy Martin? Steinbrenner hired him 5 times. 5 times! He fired Yogi Berra 16 games into the season, a move that prompted Berra to boycott the Yankees for some 15 years. Steinbrenner was a gas bag, a joke, widely ridiculed around the league.
Now, they’re talking about whether Steinbrenner will get in the Hall of Fame within a year of his death. The Yankees were rich, and they spent more than anybody, but they weren’t rich like this. They weren’t a team the rest of the league worried about at all, because they never won anything, even though they spent and spent and spent. During Jeter’s time with the team, they’ve made the playoffs fourteen of the last fifteen years, been to the World Series seven times, and won five championships. The Yankees have represented the American League in almost half of the World Series that have been played while Jeter has been on the team. Read that sentence twice. I mean, how can that be overstated? What team wouldn’t give $100 million dollars right now to have that sentence be written about their team instead of the Yankees? What team’s fans wouldn’t trade the last fifteen years of their franchise with the Yankees?
In the fifteen years prior to Jeter’s arrival, the Yankees had Don Mattingly, by all measures, a much better baseball player than Derek Jeter, a man who also happened to be considered Jeter’s equal in terms of being revered by the fans, being classy, in handling the media, the spotlight of Yankee stardom. He was surrounded by some considerable talent, including Hall of Fame players Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield, as well as a few almost HoFers like Ron Guidry and Dave Righetti. The Yankees during those 15 years, the Lost Mattingly years, for lack of a better term, lost the 1981 World Series, and lost in the Wild Card round in 1995. That’s it. 15 years of baseball with the highest payroll, just like now, with the best player in the league for something like half the time, just like now, the Yankees won nothing. They weren’t on TV all the time, the series with the Red Sox weren’t considered the best baseball there was. They were an afterthought.
During the last fifteen years, the Atlanta Braves had a run of dominance that neatly coincided with the Yankees run. They’ve been to the Serious five times, and won only once. Why is that? They had plenty of talent. If you guys think it’s so easy to replace Jeter with Adrian Beltre, how come the Braves were only able to parlay all that talent into just a single championship? The Marlins were able to get two titles, for crying out loud.
Derek Jeter is one of the constants of this run. He is one of the Core Four, and they are one of the main reasons the team is where it is now, where the Steinbrenners are now. As a member of the Core Four, he’s been the top ranked player on the team four times during that stretch, a feat only equaled by A-Rod (four of the last six seasons). You want to tell me that it’s just a coincidence that the last fifteen years have seen the Yankees make the Serious half the time, while the previous fifteen it was once? Jeter’s not a leader? He should be paid like a Hanley Ramirez?
I don’t see it that way. He deserves a nice send-off, a thank you, if you will. Not to have his legacy trashed by a group of people who should know better, people who are riding on the coattails of some of his best work.
UPDATE: Still loads of vitriol all over the web about Jeter. Astounded to see how much of it is anti-Derek. Harvey Araton sees my point:
…. let the Yankees, who have thrown countless millions at players who gave back next to nothing, try to tell Jeter to go shop the qualities that have helped put such a classy face on a franchise run by people who would take the last dime from the pocket of a homeless person.
Let them say to Jeter with a straight face that there will be no position for him to play when he makes the inevitable move from shortstop — after winning 1990s championships with the likes of Charlie Hayes at third and a second baseman, Chuck Knoblauch, whose throws to first base were the stuff of tee-ball legend.
…. I’d like throw in my two cents on the Derek Jeter situation.
The Yankees are blowing this.
Jeter is hyper-competitive. You don’t get to where he’s gotten without a certain kind of fire burning inside you. Jeter is ultra-intense, ultra-competitive, and he’s gotta be that way with everything. Knowing this, it seems obvious that he is insulted that the Yankees are playing hardball with him, especially after watching A-Rod get a contract extension three years ago worth more than he has made in his entire life, even though A-Rod –at the time– hadn’t brought the Yankees even a single American League pennant, let alone a championship. He knows that, at that time, A-Rod was being vilified as A-Fraud, with nothing but notable post-season failures as a Yankee. He knows that since signing that deal, A-Rod’s reputation and value have been tarnished by his steroids scandal, and that he, Derek Jeter, is, as he has always been, as clean as the driven snow. He knows that he, too, is going to be passing a significant career milestone next season, and that the Yankees will, once again –because of what he, Derek Jeter, is doing– be the center of the baseball, and really, the entire sports world, when he does.
He’s insulted, he’s angry, and he’s right to be. A-Rod is signed through his age 42 season, and the Yankees are telling Jeter they are only willing to go to his age 39 season. He knows that the Steinbrenner family is wealthy beyond their father’s wildest dreams, and he knows that he is one of the reasons, one of the main reasons that they are. For Hank and Hal Steinbrenner to try and tell him about who earned what and how much it should be is disgraceful. They were born into wealth, they have built nothing. Work? All they do is sign checks and wear expensive suits. They know nothing about real hard work. They were sitting in the luxury box watching Derek Jeter build their dad’s team into financial juggernaut and a modern-day dynasty the likes of which we’re likely to never see again.
Derek Jeter is one of the main reasons the Steinbrenners are as wealthy as they are, he is one of the main reasons the Yankees are worth $1.6 billion dollars, one of the main reasons they have a cash flow from television and radio worth some $500 million dollars a year –much of it from the YES network– on which he is featured about ten times a day.
He deserves better. He is different. He is Derek Jeter. And he deserves another contract that pays him big. A five-year deal worth something like $75 million would probably get it done, but I think he wouldn’t complain too much if it was more money for a year less. Three years at $15 million per? Really? That’s less than they’re paying AJ Burnett, for crying out loud. Javier Vasquez makes $15 million a year. You think Jeter is gonna sit there and make as much money as a couple of the biggest busts on the team? No way.
See, here’s the rub…. the Yankees are forgetting who they are dealing with. When they say it’s just another contract negotiation, that it’s just another day in the life of running a team, that it’s business as usual; they are wrong. This is Jeter, the captain, the most beloved Yankee since Don Mattingly. And more importantly, Jeter is Jeter. He’s not Bernie Williams, who really did have no other baseball choice when the Yankees told him he would have to earn his way in the team. Williams said, the hell with it, I’ll go play guitar.
Derek Jeter is a proud man, cognizant of his place in baseball history, his place in Yankee history, and his own image. He is very much like Joe DiMaggio in that respect, in fact, old-timers around the Yankees say that he is like DiMaggio in many ways, and in that he is; the Yankees are going to lose if they keep going down this path. DiMaggion wouldn’t tolerate any form of disrespect. If you crossed him, you were as good as dead to him, forever. Jeter is very much like that. DiMaggio walked away when he felt he couldn’t keep up with his own level of greatness. He walked away from money, from fame, from everything. He simply disappeared. He said, if I can’t still be great, if I can’t still be DiMaggio, I don’t want to be here at all. You think there’s no way Jeter sees the writing on the wall? You bet he does. You bet he knows all about how DiMaggio walked away. You don’t think maybe he’d rather play golf than see his legacy tarnished by another year of leading the league in outs, another year of writers all over the country saying that he is old, that he has no range, that his Gold Glove was a fraud?
If the Yankees, if Hank and Hal think Derek Jeter is gonna sit there and allow his career, his worth, his image, his legacy, get treated this way by a couple of spoiled rich kids, they are out of their minds. If they think that he is going to sit there and listen to them talk about him like this in public, denigrating his worth to the franchise, to all of baseball, really, and that he is just going to take it, they are wrong. The Yankees think he has no choice, but he does.
Jeter can retire. Oh, yes, he can. He can walk away, tell the Yankees go ahead, see how easy it is to sell $10,000 dollar tickets with A-Rod as the face of your franchise. See how easy it is to be THE YANKEES when I am not here anymore. Jeter can retire, he can walk away right now. You think he doesn’t already know he is on the downside of his career? You think he hasn’t seen other great stars look like crap because they couldn’t walk away? He sure has. He’s seen players hanging on, just trying to get one more payday, one more chance to play. He is not that player. He can walk away. Jon Heyman asks the question from a different angle:
…. A friend of Jeter’s posed this question: Why not? Why can’t Jeter leave? The friend pointed out that most of Jeter’s dearest friends and allies are gone from the Yankees. Torre is gone. Mattingly is gone. George Steinbrenner is gone. Bernie Williams is gone. Tino Martinez is gone. The Core Four may still be there, but best friend Jorge Posada has been told he’s lost his catching job and the other three remain free agents at the moment (all three, including Jeter, were declined arbitration by the Yankees).
He can leave, but not to another team. He can retire. He can walk away proud, with his head up, instead of playing these games.
And he will, before he allows himself to be dragged through the mud by Brian Cashman and –more importantly– those two spoiled rich kids. He can walk away, satisfied that he is a five-time champion, that he is gonna be standing in front of the crowd in five years thanking everyone for helping him forge a Hall of Fame career.
Jeter can retire, and if the Yankees keep up this bullshit, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he did.
As in, a hitter with a .300 batting average is usually going to be considered for the All Star team. Barry Zito won his 30th game as a Giant last night…. in his 100th start. A .300 batting average for a pitcher is nowhere near an All Star. Consider Lincecum, who is an All Star. He’s won 42 games in his 92 starts, which would translate to a .456 batting average using this obscenely simple metric.
Chris Carpenter would be a better comp for Zito. Carpenter has started 262 games in his career, and won 118 of them. That translates into a .450 batting average, again, a powerful winning percentage. Or, you could look at what Zito did as an Athletic. 222 starts, 102 wins, a .450 batting average. Which means, obvioulsy, that Zito, as a Giant, has been unremarkable at best, and a tremendous disappointment at his worst.
That said, he’s now 2-0 for the first time in his Giants career, and he has pitched well this season out the gate; the two wins aren’t especially fluky. The Giants continue their torrid offense, now Sandoval and Molina are raking, although Renteria has come crashing back to earth (0 for his last 10). Huff reached base all five time last night, (that’s eight straight plate appearances reaching base), and the relief pitching last night was stellar. Romo was especially sharp, his two strikeouts last night were simply filthy.
Speaking of Lincecum, Sunday night was the 20th time he’s struck out at least 10. Henry Schulman looked up who’s struck out that many batters in their first 100 starts, and found a pretty damn impressive list:
1. Dwight Gooden (31)
2. Herb Score (25)
3. Kerry Wood (23)
T4. Mark Prior (21)
T4. Hideo Nomo (21)
T6. Tim Lincecum (20) — (in 92 games, not 100)
T6. Bob Feller (20)
T8. Roger Clemens (19)
T11. Randy Johnson (16)
T14. Nolan Ryan (14)
He has a realistic shot to get into the top three, but no chance to catch Dwight Gooden.
I was living in Manhattan when Gooden exploded onto the baseball scene as a 19-year old fireballer. His 1985 season ranks as one of the top five pitching performances in the modern era, and he was 20 years old. It ranks as one of the greatest season a 20 year old has ever put together, if not the greatest. As great as Lincecum has been, (and he has ben spectacular) I can safely say Gooden was better, (before he became a coke fiend, obviously).
It isn’t bad enough that the Giants organization is run by people who still think it’s 1940. But when I read this kind of horseshit, I can’t help but think that Schulman is essentially parroting the company line in an effort to maintain access to the team. In other words, he’s being blackmailed. Because, if he’s not being blackmailed, he’s not competent to cover this team, or any team for that matter.
…. This is going to be an anti-Sabermetrics screed, specifically the notion that Lewis needs to be the Giants’ everyday left fielder because his .348 on-base percentage last year was 90 points higher than his .258 batting average. In other words, Lewis can take a walk.
I get e-mails like this all the time. I see this sort of comment on Internet boards. I’ve ignored them, hoping they will go away.
Um, we’re not going away, Henry. In fact, it’s people who think like you do who are going away. Sabermetrics are currently sweeping through baseball, basketball, and, in fact all sports. Thoughtful analysis, incisive research, and careful consideration of the many so-called “truisms” that lazy sportswriters, baseball men, and old-timers –like you and Brian Sabean– spout like veritable pearls of wisdom, are being systematically torn apart by men who sit around and analyze thousands upon thousands of fact-based results to discover whether, in fact, for instance, a strikeout is any worse or any better than any other kind of out.
It is sabermetrics and the men who use sabermetric principles to advance their understanding of this great game of baseball that are the foundation of baseball analysis for most, if not all of the top organizations in the game, and it is teams like the Giants, mired in the past, who are the bottom dwellers that these top organizations feast upon. Quite frankly, your comments are laughable.
Just last season, for example, the list of the top scoring teams and the list of the top teams in getting on base were mirrored each other remarkably well. In the AL, the top four in both categories were the Red Sox, Yankees, Twins and Angels. I guess it was just a coincidence that these were the four playoff teams. In the NL, only two of the playoff teams made the top four in both lists, but the other two playoff teams just missed in OBP (.334 and .332, with .340 being the fourth best total in the league), while three of the top four runs scoring teams made the playoffs. Go back through the years, and you will see a very strong correlation between OBP and scoring runs, and, incidentally, making it to the post-season.
And to think, for fifteen years, the Giants watched the greatest player of all time, the player most perfectly representative of the very best possible application of every single axiom that sabermetricians have discovered these last several decades, and after watching Bonds; these men still think the way they do. Words fail me in an effort to capture this absurdity on paper.
But, anyway, Henry, keep up the good work.
Here’s what quality, well-run teams do when they realize that they have a once-in-a-generation player:
…. AL MVP Joe Mauer has agreed to an eight-year, $184 million contract extension to stay with the Minnesota Twins.
The deal announced Sunday covers the 2011-2018 seasons and includes a full no-trade clause. It’s the culmination of a months-long negotiation between the Twins and their hometown star.
Mauer has won three AL batting titles and an MVP award. He is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the game. Last year he hit .365 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs to help the Twins win the AL Central division.
That’s how you handle a once-in-a-generation talent. Teams that are run by real general managers, and owned by real men who know what the hell they are doing, understand this.
The Giants, on the other hand, spread rumors and innuendo about the physical limitations of their once-in-a-generation players, making it clear that they don’t trust them, and that they prefer to fuck them around for years, instead of locking them up.