Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ricky Davis' holiday wishes    

Keep 'em torched, folks... keep 'em torched.

Raja Bell's ESPN Journal -- What Can I Say?    

Anyway, what can I say? Let's just say it's Raja Bell's journal.

Anyway, here are some excerpts.

On "Blood Diamond":

I saw "Blood Diamond," and that was really good. It made me want to give up my diamonds, but I love my diamonds, so I'll keep 'em. But I definitely won't buy any more.

On Diaw's Frenchiness:

Boris Diaw always gets everyone the same gift: French pastries. I think that's pretty funny, but they're really good.

And finally:

I wouldn't profess to being a great snowballer, but I held my own.

Anyway, what can I say? I wouldn't say it's a great journal, but let's just say it's entertaining.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Flags Fly At Half-Mast In Philadelphia    

Well, that's that.

(I'd make that face too if I got traded to Denver.)

My first thought, apart from "wow, that didn't cost them ANYTHING," is whether Iverson and Carmelo Anthony can co-exist. Melo's game isn't an "involve all the teammates" type game. In fact, his and A.I.'s shoot-shoot-shoot mentality are kinda similar. One of them will have to adapt, and my money's not on Iverson.

On the other hand, A.I. has never had a teammate as good as Carmelo, so it's not fair to assume they won't get along. And they may be able to bond... Melo's going through the exact same character assault as Iverson dealt with in the mid-90's.

Also smart of Denver to replace Melo and J.R. Smith's scoring for the next month. Now they actually have a chance to compete in those 14 games. Cunning stunt by Denver.

As for the Sixers... dear lord. They've officially entered the Greg Oden sweepstakes. I really feel terrible for their fans. I may think Philly fans are awfully obnoxious (except Chas and Kabir) as a general rule, but nobody deserves this. Seriously. This is like trading Brett Favre. You just don't do it. And if you do, your career as a general manager is over.

Perhaps it's time for Sixers fans to go into Detroit Lions mode. They could stay completely silent all game long in protest of ownership's management of the team. But I suspect Sixers fans would just assume stay home. As would I.

Old News Is GREAT News    

I was thumbing through Boston sports media watchdog Scott's Shots just now, and found the following nugget from a 2003 FHM interview with Simeon Rice.  Excerpted to spare you some scrolling, and edited to satisfy my inner Formatting Nazi:

(On whether having a Super Bowl ring helped with attracting women):
"If you're counting on a Super Bowl to get you some pussy, then you're a sad-ass cat."
(On what he thinks about having a woman on his team):
"Is she hot? Because if she was, then she'd be getting herself pregnant by halftime."
(On who gives him inspiration):
"Walter Payton and Michael Jordan. And Bruce Lee-he was an ass-kicking son of a bitch and his philosophy was the best thing going. I see myself as a combination of the three."

And when asked if his "boys" have a home in his trousers while he's on the field of battle, he responds:
"I'm definitely not freeballing. My nuts are precious. The jewels are kept in the safe and I will not relinquish the information to that safe."

Contrary to that final quote, Mr. Scott implied that famed doo-doo butter queen Vida Guerra had the information to that safe.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Drunken Sailors Update IV    

So... let's check the scoreboard real quick, shall we?

Top new $ spenders this offseason (thanks, ESPN):

Chicago Cubs
LA Dodgers
San Francisco
LA Angels
Kansas City
St. Louis
New Team
NY Mets
NY Yankees
San Diego
Tampa Bay
New Team
Chicago Sox

Note the differential between the Sox and Los Junkees. Granted, the league is still playing catch up to the Yankees power hour of spending that was the early aughts, but still... if the Sox don't win the AL East this season (or, if not this season, for the next few), you have to chalk this up to gross fiscal mismanagement, don't you?

And how much are you hating life as a Royals prospect? $60M??? They let the likes of Damon, Dye, et al go because of lack of $, and then they make the starting 7 of drunken masters in an offseason of Dionysian level debauchery? Gil Meche better win the freaking Cy Young award AND give ATM/A2M in the parking lot on a daily basis or I expect a full scale riot in KC next year.

And yes, I brought up this chart mainly as a way to work both the Sox/Yankees feud and the Royals into a single speaking point. Which is, I believe, a record.


What a big man he is!!    

Friday, December 15, 2006

Under The Radar    

The Sox just pulled off a quiet but worthwhile move, acquiring set-up man Brendan Donnelly from Anaheim for AAAA lefty Phil Seibel.  Seibel's a decent pitcher, but he wasn't going to get anywhere in Boston, so to pick up a decent reliever like Donnelly is a big plus.  There's still plenty of room in that bullpen for improvement, but they're in much better shape now, and they upgraded without harming the major-league roster.  Nice move.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


My long regional nightmare is over!

Not much to be said at this point, beyond mea culpas regarding certain earlier posts of mine.  Scott Boras got absolutely PWN3D.  Red Sox ownership is now officially Red Sox pwn3rship.  Brilliantly executed.

Now that I can breathe again, I'm more prepared to get excited about Matsuzaka's impending arrival.  In the cheerleading spirit, I thought Nick Cafardo's feature on the contract was very good, specifically the quotes from one of the few likable Yankees in history, Mike Pagliarulo.  Pags scouts Asian players (including Matsuzaka) and calculates what their value would be to American ballclubs.  He had unabashedly positive thoughts as a knowledgeable outside observer.  Excerpts:

When asked what he would have recommended as a posting figure for Matsuzaka, Pagliarulo said, "Fifty million. That's what I had written down long before the figures came out. That was based on the talent level of the player, the market for the player, and the value of the player to a team. The Red Sox did an excellent job in finding that value. They really did their homework."


Pagliarulo has watched Matsuzaka closely the past few years. "I only scouted him when the proper matchups were in place," he said. "If you're scouting him haphazardly against any hitter or team, you're wasting your time. I wanted to see how he reacted against top hitters and I analyzed his strikes in the strike zone. The thing about him is he wants the baseball. He wants to pitch in the biggest stage and in the biggest game.  If you beat him, he's not fazed by that. He comes right back at the next hitter. He's a winner. He'a tough kid on the mound and I think that should translate very well to the majors."

That kind of rave is encouraging.  Of course, I'm in a very easily-encouraged place right now.  I got excited this morning when the Japanese prime minister called Matsuzaka "Japan's best pitcher," and said "his ability was fully evaluated" by Boston.  I read that and thought, "Wow!  He wouldn't have said that if it weren't true!"  Basically, I'm a big sucker.  But I figure I'll take a few weeks to bask in the glow, and then move on to figuring out how this could go wrong, just so I'm prepared.


Jose Vidro?    


Edit: No longer drunk and depressed, I just hate (as opposed to hate hate hate) the way the Mariners are run. Maybe this is part of some master plan, but I sincerely doubt it.

Edit II: The more I think about this the more I think it's not just terrible, it's actually interesting. Because of this paper I'm about to start writing, I'm thinking a lot about the notion of risk right now, what it means to people, how people perceive it, how people respond to it. Maybe that's not actually necessary to explain why I'm thinking about perceptions of risk in this situation, because it's so obviously a big part of baseball considerations, especially where prospects are concerned, but anyway...

Bavasi & Co. just traded the risk of Snelling giving them nothing because injury or not really being an "MLB hitter," for the risk of further decline from Jose Vidro. Probably, right or wrong, they thought Fruto was relatively worthless. From their perspective, that was smart. From the perspective of most everyone else, that was a stupid calculation of the risks actually involved, a failure to think about risk correctly. This team still has an OK shot at being good, but in order to improve it will either have to get really lucky, or it will have to understand and respond to risk better. This is as much or more an organizational issue than a Bavasi issue. It's a really good thing this team has such a good young core. Without Felix, Lopez, Betancourt, and Jones, we would be the Baltimore Orioles.

I would however, like to thank whoever it was who posted this image for helping me gain a little bit of perspective:

It's no great comfort, but it is just a game, maybe one I can start to take a little less seriously.

That, however, does not make this trade any less stupid. My favorite USS Mariner quote on the subject so far sums it up pretty nicely:

"Yup. In general, the Nationals blogs are dancing a jig, as well as our AL West opponents. I’m not saying that consensus is the truth, or that many blogs should be considered to constitute authority, but if all your enemies get together to dance on a grave and sing with joy, well, you might be dead."

We're not dead. But we will be paying the combination of Sexson, Washburn, Batista, and Vidro about $37 million in 2008 for what is likely to be total mediocrity. Yay!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006


--- that's slang for foreigners, right?

Cause boy do they seem to be in the news a lot lately.
Between Steve Nash and Matsuzaka-san, it's got my head spinning.

Thankfully, Xmas came early for Mr. Lehr this year, in the form of this website. Take your time with the mission statement... I'll be here when you get back.

You are all now stupider for having read that. Victory is mine!

P.S. I'd like to take this moment to welcome all newcomers to Postgame Spread, brought here with the help of Google and a Furries search.

P.P.S. Note this from the site: "Many of you have inquired about Rocker T-shirts and how to get an autograph. T-Shirts are available for sale here, and you may send an item to Debi Curzio at PO Box 670927, Marietta, GA 30066 and John will be happy to autograph it and send it back to you."
I have one question- what color Sharpie is most suitable for signing a Turd Sandwich?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Colts' Chances    

Blah blah blah lost three of four, can't stop the run, no good third option for Manning...

So, how bad is it? When I was watching the Cowboys game, I thought they actually did a pretty good job of stopping the run most of the time...until the 4th Quarter. Obviously, that's the most important time, but I came away with the impression that the talent was there, and maybe the endurance was a little lacking. Is that fixable? Of course, I didn't get to see any of the Jags game, but the score certainly gave the impression of major Colts collapse. And I heard the Jags ran the ball right at them, so I'd agree it looks pretty bad. On the other hand...

1) Simmons talking about the lack of running game so much...I don't know, I don't get to watch the Colts very often, but it seems pretty clear that Addai is pretty allright. And Edge looks pretty horrible this year, so I'd say the decision to let him walk was a smart one. Maybe they're not quite as strong at running the ball overall, but at least Addai will be fresh with all the carries that Rhodes has gotten throughout the year. I feel good about the running game.

2) And why are the Colts so bad at stopping the run this year? No major turnover on the defensive end. I mean they lost their best run-stopper to injury, but that's just one guy. Can they fix this?

3) They'll work out a third option. More passes to Addai, more to Utecht, whatever. I'm not buying this as a major problem. And he still has both Harrison and Wayne, who do a pretty good job on their own.

So, I think the biggest difference between this Colts team and the big chokers of the past several years is that the optimism about the positive direction of the defense has worn out. They look a little weaker, but I think they have just as good a chance as ever, ultimately. Maybe going in with something to prove will be good for them. The defense still can tackle runners in the backfield, just not very often. And in a single game, a few well timed tackles for losses could mean everything.

Also, do you guys think they match up better against the Chargers in a way? I mean, Tomlinson can run the ball all over anybody. Maybe by just acknowledging they can't stop him and focusing in on the rest of the offense, they gain something that a team more optimistic about stopping the run wouldn't. Probably not, but I thought it was worth raising as a possibility.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Prescient Simmons    

I have a more obsessive Iverson post in the coming days, but for now, this Bill Simmons quote from his late November column:

Worst-case scenario: Other than Billy King getting bored and talking himself into a C-Webb/Steve Francis trade? Probably Iverson getting frustrated and demanding a trade within the next two months, followed by the self-loathing Philly fans taking Iverson's side and saying, "Just trade him, throw him a bone, we're not good enough to deserve him, let the Sixers rot to death like our other teams," and then King dealing him for 40 cents on the dollar and all the Philly fans heading outdoors and angrily whipping snowballs at one another.

Time to Fire Bavasi    

Well, the timing of this is unfairly dictated by one lopsided trade, but I’ve had enough. Reading this just makes me want to scream. I know Bavasi was in a tight spot, but I don’t trust the guy anymore, if I ever did. I think he does some things well and that some criticism of him is overblown, but I don’t want him anywhere near my baseball team anymore.

So, I’m officially joining USS Mariner’s campaign, not that anyone will give a damn or anything. But from their description, Antonetti really does sound like the guy you want, so I’m fully onboard. If only Paul Allen would buy the Mariners so it could actually happen.

Chris Antonetti in ’08—or even in ’07 if we can swing it. Bavasi, if you can offer me one present before you go, sign Ichiro to that extension. I can’t stand the thought of him manning CF in some other city, even if he starts declining.


Friday, December 08, 2006


What?!?  Pessimistic on Matsuzaka?!??!?!?!?  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Goddamn Boras.  What an absolute ass.  Assuming there's something to this, I can't say I'm stunned that he's taken the "chicken" approach to contract negotiation, and that he's apparently betting on litigation against MLB as his response to Boston taking their money back.  He's been aiming to sue MLB over any mechanism that isn't free agency for a long, long time, and he appears to have his golden ticket now.  Great.

All I'll say is that if lawsuits are his ultimate strategy, he'd better be goddamn positive he can't lose.  I seem to recall Maurice Clarett having it shoved it up his ass sideways by the NFL.  The NFL doesn't even have antitrust shit to hide behind like MLB does, and they still won, in what was considered a big surprise at the time.  Further, Clarett actually had a valid argument!  What's Matsuzaka's beef gonna be?

However... I'd feel fine about losing Matsuzaka so long as it leads to the public shaming of Scott Boras.  I would love to see him lose business and negotiating power over this shit.  Hell, I have half a mind to call Larry Lucchino right now and tell him not to even try signing Matsuzaka, just to see Boras get it in the pooper.  There's my silver lining... Matsuzaka fails to sign, but Boras screws the whole thing up royally, costing Matsuzaka and Seibu about $100 million between them.  That would be excellent.

OK, so I'm being ridiculous.  Just a thought...



I'd been staying quiet about this cause, frankly, I was nervous that a Ted Lilly Contract might be involved. Now that the details are out, I can open my fat yob.

Pettitte to Yankees; 1 year, $16M

Whether you believe the current market dictates that he's worth $16M a year (the same as Bonds, by the way), I gotta say, I love Andy Pettitte, and I LOVE this signing.

Even if he's not an ace, a rotation with Wang, Mussina, Pettitte and Unit isn't too shabby. Hopefully this will also serve as a bridge to Hughes, who will probably be up by mid-season at the latest, but I certainly don't want to rush him. Notice something? Not a PavaNO to be found anywhere in the equation.

I certainly prefer overpaying for one year for quality to overpaying for multiple years for mediocrity.

In short... we still need a setup man, unless Karstens can magically become that, but still...


Gagne With A Spoon    

Looks like Eric Frankengagne has been low-balled by the Sox and the signing is in question.  They're balking at the $5m guarantee that Scott Boras seeks.  After seeing his medical records.  Hmm.  When you consider that the Sox are a) desperate for relief help, b) rich, and c) friendly with Boras, doesn't that seem weird?  I mean, they need a guy like Gagne, desperately, and they aren't using their financial clout to blow Texas and Cleveland out of the water.  Methinks they doubt his health... makes me a little less interested in the possibility.  Not that it'd be a bad sign if it goes through, but I'm not gonna be heart-broken over it.

Also worth noting that Manny Ramirez is still on the team, and Theo has gone into what he calls "listen-only" mode with regard to a trade.  That means someone will have to offer the closer and prospects Theo demands.  Not too likely, which is fine by me.  But I'm totally on-board with their current strategy... "he's available, but we're not pushing anymore, so if you're not serious about meeting our demands, we're not gonna waste a second of our time on your ass."  Tell 'em, Steve-Dave!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Clearly, the winter meetings are actually being held in bizarro world (and yes, if you think I'm repeating that word simply so I can use that link, you're right. Bizarrro!).

The Phillies made what I believe is the best move of the offseason so far.

Chicago sends Freddy Garcia to Philly for prospects Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez.

Now, a couple caveats here--
1) the Sox have a pretty major recent history of fleecing the Phillies (Jim Thome).
2) Garcia will be a free agent at the end of this year, and he's only 30, which means he'll be earning a Ted Lilly contract, minimum.
3) Gavin Floyd is a strong prospect, and a lefty.

All of those points are valid, but here's the thing...
1) The Thome for Rowand deal really wasn't that awful... Thome was blocking the Unstoppable Iron Golem Man-Child That Is Ryan Howard, and they needed a decent center fielder desperately. As long as they don't lose Rowand in free agency after this year, I have no problem with the move.

2) Garcia gives them a rotation that begins like this: Brett Myers, Freddy Garcia, Cole Hamels. I'd go to war with those three. Hell, I'd trade the Unit, Mussina, and PavaNO (and eat his entire contract) for them in a fantasy-land second.

3) Gavin Floyd was given an audition in the show last year, and bombed. The fans HATE this guy. The Philly fans.

Low-risk, high reward. In today's market, this is a great deal.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Soriano to ATL for Horacio Ramirez    

Pending physical. Just a horrible, horrible deal. Maybe we still end up with Hudson somehow and this is related, but on its own terms it's completely deflating. What a stupid idea.

Red Sox: "But Why's The RUM Gone?"    

The Yankee fan stole my thunder by posting first. But I'll throw this all out there anyway.

I still think this is a bad idea, but I'm better about it now. For several reasons: 1) the initial sticker shock has worn off, 2) I'm exhausted from fighting about Drew in particular, 3) I'm not the guy paying for this douchebag, and 4) they're clearly serious about trading Manny. If they're really gonna go through with a Manny trade, then I agree that you have to get this guy.

I'm actually pretty pleased about this.

Believe me, nobody's more surprised than I am. A week ago, I was all ready to jump all over this deal, solely on the grounds that Lugo is a sucky defender. That was my opinion as a casual non-observer of the Devil Rays. But apparently I was quite mistaken. This MLB Trade Rumors post mentioning the deal says that Lugo "defends well," which I read as "defends adequately," and the Lugo thread on SoSH treats him as "average" defensively. Considering that the premier offensive shortstops (Jeter, Tejada) tend to be not even adequate, I will take that as a command from the people who know baseball to STFU about Lugo. So I will, because it's a lot healthier than getting all outraged about it.

Besides, nobody can argue about the guy's offensive talent. And he takes all the pressure off of Coco Crisp, who can now be a Trot Nixon-style offensive afterthought... if he hits, fine, and if not, fine.

Also of interest is the page 3 of the Lugo SoSH thread, where Lugo is described as "underrated by OPS." I find that intriguing, along with the fact that he only had five GIDP in 2005.

Even more good rumors! Nothing set in stone here, but this makes tons of sense to me. Closers are disposable, so Gagne for a year or two is an affordable gamble. The expectations are significantly lower, because he's a medical case. And you're not going all-in, like with the Drew deal. We'll see if it actually happens, but given that they're interested, that they have been making friends with Scott Boras, and they won't be undersold, I bet we see Gagne before the meetings end.

I am officially nervous. Can we just sign the guy, please? Part of me thinks the Sox are signing every Boras client on the market just to clear up his schedule and give him no choice but to talk Matsuzaka-san.


They're the same as the Yankees.

You know what? Good! What I learned from last season is that the Red Sox have absolutely, positively no chance at the division unless they spend toe-to-toe with Steinbrenner (responsibly, anyway). It's a situation where spending doesn't imply winning, but not spending most definitely implies not winning.

So, drunken sailors or not, I have decided to let 'em go batshit with the contracts. I officially drop my objection to the Drew contract on its own. I still protest the ejection of Manny on financial grounds, and continue to protest the hypocrisy of going insane with the contracts now despite having spent the last 4-5 years complaining about the Manny contract. But it's none of my concern how the Sox pay their employees.

And you know what else? Anyone who wants to cry hypocrisy can show me a salary cap plan that MLB owners will go along with. I'll sign the goddamn thing myself. Any plan with a level playing field is OK by me. In lieu of that, open that checkbook.

Sailors, III    

All hail Cap'n Bly!

Drew - 5 years, $70M
Lugo - 4 years, $36M

In all honesty, at least they're getting two quality (if Drew somehow stays healthy) players, even if they're overpaying massively for them. That's more than you can say for the Pierre signing. If they keep Manny, that's a hell of a lineup (when healthy)

If they trade Manny, expect to see Ortiz walked at a rate approaching Bonds, so it'd be critical that Drew get off to a fast start, cause Sox fans won't like paying the highest prices in the league to watch Ortiz's fat ass ambling off to first base three times per game. The media would kill Drew within a month.

All that aside, I absolutely love this quote from Boras, which simply reeks of Truthiness:
"J.D. has a great on-base percentage. He gives you a quality at-bat. He's an RBI guy. And he's really going to add a defensive component to that team that is, I think, really going to enhance their play, what they do both with arm strength and his ability to cover ground in the outfield. And his baserunning -- he can run a little bit. He is going to steal 20 or 30 bases. He's going to bring a dimension there."

Did you catch it? The bold emphasis is mine, but hoo boy that's a whopper. What dimension is he bringing exactly, the one that opens a pathway to bizarro world?
Drew's base totals, by year: 19, 17, 13, 8, 2, 12, 1, 2. Yep. In 2004 and 2006, his only two injury-free seasons, he had 12 and 2 SB's. Plus, he's 31 years old. How many 31 year old do you know who have the ability to add 18-28 SB's on a whim? Oh, and of course, all those piles and piles of SB's in his past came in the NATIONAL LEAGUE. Can you guess how often the Sox stole bases last year? If you guessed 51 times, last in the majors, congratulations. My guess is that Drew steals 4 SB's next year, amazingly doubling his Cecil Fielder-level basepath production from last year. Whoopdeedoo!

Memo to Boras: Maybe you should stop talking for a while, big guy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter Meetings Links    

For our general rumor-mongering needs.  Some of these links might be Tuesday-only.

MLB Trade Rumors (pretty much everything will end up here)



Baseball Prospectus

Where Would We Play Jon Lester?    

It's been a long, long time since I posted anything genuinely positive on this here Tuberblog, so it gives me great pleasure to say that Jon Lester's chemo is about to be over.  He's got a lot of hard work to do before returning to the club, but even a conservative timeline should have him back in uniform sometime this season.  I'm extremely happy about this.

This begs the question of what to do with him.  I suspect the glut of starting talent (pending Daisuke Matsuzaka's arrival) will delay Lester's return well beyond the point where he could come back.  Even the healthy, pre-cancer, blue-chip, A- prospect Lester would be the odd man out in Boston, with or without the glaring question marks associated with each of the Sox' five projected starters (Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Matsuzaka and Jonathan Papelbon).  Hence the paraphrased Lou Gorman quote in the post title... where would we play Jon Lester???

Each of the myriad options I can think of is unlikely to do much good to anybody:

  1. Stashing him in Pawtucket is pointless.  The guy's a major-league pitcher, having proven it beyond a shadow of a doubt last season.  And he's a lefty to boot.  You don't send away AAA lefties, let alone legitimate major leaguers.
  2. Sticking him in the bullpen is the obvious solution, but is he likely to get enough work as the long man?  (If that question made you ask yourself how often Josh Beckett pitches, you get a cookie.)
  3. The Schilling-as-closer experiment in 2005 was an utter disaster.  Shoving him back to the pen could keep him healthier, but the guy didn't show a particular aptitude for it.  Besides, he's not too likely to take a back seat in his swan song.
  4. They really shouldn't trade any of the five starters in Lester's way.  The injuries that ensued in the aftermath of the Arroyo/Pena trade are proof enough.

I bet he'll end up as the long reliever/spot starter, but only until one of those starting five gets hurt.  Schilling basically pitched a full 2006, and Wakie had a pretty nasty injury, so it's possible that they won't be quite themselves.  Barring that, I certainly don't envy Theo and Tito's decision.

Hey, why wait until March to talk about roster decisions?  Spring training's only a couple months away...

Why Can't We Be Friends?    

Looks like the Mariners have engaged the Red Sox in some Manny trade talk.  I'm figuring they'd demand a deal that doesn't help Seattle at all, like Beltre/Putz or something like that.  (Not that Putz strikes me as fair return on Manny, even setting my biases aside.)

Nevertheless, you're dead to me Willard.  Get down on your knees and pray to your pagan Quaker deities for mercy!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Behold the Future of American Sports    

Introducing the best prospect to come around since the gold rush.
Center Field, leadoff hitter. Possible career arc ranges from to David Eckstein to Johnny Damon.
I can't be more excited.


The Mariners are close to adding Jose Guillen to a reasonable deal. $5 million guaranteed may seem a lot like a guy who may not really ever come back from his injury, but it's just one year. And with the incentives and the option for 2008, we get a pretty good deal if he comes back well. Looks like the Mariners will trade Broussard, leaving Snelling/Ibanez/Guillen to man LF/RF/DH somehow, with varying reports about who will man which position. Depending on Guillen's arm health, the ideal defensive configuration would be to make sure Ibanez is the DH, but I'll hope for a rotation of some kind. Both Snelling and Guillen could probably use to be rested from time to time anyway.

John Thomson apparently is also in the wings for cheap, which sounds pretty nice, if not a solution. So far all pretty low risk (at least in terms of commitment and/or talent out the door). Apparently we're trying to trade for Jason Jennings, Reed is likely headed to the Marlins for some arm or another, and we're still the most likely destination for Schmidt (although the Mariners have in the past ruled out any 5-year deal for a pitcher, which could leave the Dodgers room to snag him). Put me down for either Schmidt or Jennings but not both, if I were to have my way. Schmidt helps us contend next year but will almost certainly hurt us down the road, whereas Jennings helps us tread water so we can really make a (hopefully sustained) splash in 2008. But I don't want to see talent go out the door for Jennings AND a big financial commitment for Schmidt. That seems like mortgaging the future too much for the present.

Actually I'm terrified of Schmidt in 4 years (let alone 5), so I guess I'd prefer Jennings, but I'm afraid we'll trade Soriano to get him. That might be the right decision, but it doesn't mean I like it. The Mariners have enough in-house candidates for a 5th spot that someone should be able to hold that down OK. I think you have to hope that by the time it matters Morrow or Feierabend (or Soriano for chrissakes) will be good enough to handle one of those jobs, and well. But if we could sign Schmidt, extend Ichiro, and call that an offseason, I wouldn't be too upset. There would be financial issues down the road, but by then Sexson will be off the books at least, so that's something. And it keeps the talent in place...clearly, I'm waffling a lot here.

I'm seeing an allright team start to shape up, and we're not going a spending spree, thank god. But I'm not that optimistic either. We'll just have to see how it goes I guess. If we trade Soriano this offseason, Jennings or whoever else better be worth it. I'll just be glad when this offseason is over and I can start just hoping the decisions made end up working out. All this worrying about what might happen is tough on me.

Crash Davis would be proud    

"We gotta play 'em one day at a time. ... I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub. ... I just wanta give it my best shot and, Good Lord willing, things'll work out."

Someone needs to post this list inside doRA's locker. I don't know how I had never heard about his list before reading this really great piece today, but boy howdy, this list is fantastic. I'd like to see something similar put together for foreign/domestic policy, full of BS like "Stay the course" and "as they stand up, we'll sit down".

Box score line of the week    

I was all ready to use this morning's post to trash talk Jay Cutler's Walton-level-HORRIBLE pass late in the first half of last night's game, but then this morning I noticed this:

Rex Grossman:
6 of 19 passes completed, for a total of 34 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs

And he WON the game, courtesy of a defensive touchdown, safety, and a punt return TD. 16 points scored w/ Sexy Rexy on the bench.

People are openly screaming for Grossman to be benched, favoring the Immortal Brian Griese.
So my question is this, do you bench Rex for Griese, heading into the playoffs, despite the immutable law of No Team With Brian Griese As Quarterback Will Ever Win The Superbowl?

I say no, unless the clubhouse has completely turned on Rex. What I do propose, however, is that they punt on first down. Call it the anti-Tecmo strategem. Punt first down, every possession. Keeps your best players (defense/special teams) on the field, and your worst player (Rex) safe on the sideline. Hell, devise a whole slew of fake-play punts just to cause havoc and confusion. Maybe try some Flutie drop kicks too just to spice things up. Is Flutie available?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Recent Sox Stuff    

* Red Sox sign Japanese pitcher!  Haha, that's one hilarious joke.  We show you the funny!  Grabbing Okajima seems like a good move.  Anyone who doubted the sincerity of the Red Sox' intentions to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka and become a presence in Japan must be enjoying their delicious bowl of crow.  But beyond the political side of the signing, lefty relievers are in short supply, so it's good that they made one materialize out of thin air.  And the record of Japanese relievers moving to MLB has been pretty good (Mac Sasaki, Akinori Otsuka, Shigetoshi Hasegawa).  Looks like another shrewd-on-paper move from Theo.

* If only the other rumors were as shrewd-looking.  The J.D. Drew money has unofficially risen from 4/48 up to 5/70, which ended my radio silence after a gaudy 22 hours.  I was just getting used to the idea of 4/48 being OK, but this is really out there.  I can't deal with this rationally anymore.  I should just shut up.  But since this is clearly happening, I'll refer folks to the SoSH thread on Drew, since it contains plenty of data in his defense, and plenty of interesting speculation.  I still don't like where this deal leads us, both in terms of logic, in terms of the roster implications, and in terms of Drew himself.  And I don't have to.  And if you don't like that, you can eat a bag of dicks.

* Speaking of dicks, there's also the sobering reminder that Roger Clemens is available and decidedly not retired.  Last we heard, a "family friend" (most likely a Hendricks brother) said Clemens regretted not signing with Boston.  Can I change the blog's color to doo-doo brown now, or do I have to wait until spring training?  Not that I believe the Pitcher Who Has Buttocks Where His Head Should Be to be a man of his word, but the mere thought is enough to make my blood curdle.  So they trade Manny to save $20 million... so they can waste it on Clemens?  If you thought I was against spending Manny's money on Drew, you just watch how I behave myself on these here Webertubes if Clemens comes to town.

Whassup my nizzle?    

Is it bad that when i read this, I had a Randall "Porch Monkey" reaction to the dropping of the term "octoroon"?

Wait, don't answer that.

My biggest issue with this article is the position that athletes could be used as a driving force for positive social change among adolescents, as much as and perhaps more so than hip hop artists.
Um... no.
I don't have the data at my fingertips, but I'm fairly confident that about 100 different reliable economic and sociologic studies have shown than African American youth are WAAAAAAAAY more likely to access (and thus be influenced by) hip hop than athletics.

So. While Ron Mexico telling everyone to stop using the N word might have some positive influence, it's still going to be acting in conflict with hip hop messages, and it's going to lose out, which could lead to Mexico losing his street cred to begin with.

I can't help but think that the "Don't use the N word, ever" argument smacks a bit of "Just say No!" We all know how well that worked out. Or abstinence education. A campaign like is proposed in this article ain't meeting the kids of America where they're at, and thus will not work. Now, Kanye getting up and doing a Colin Powell '08 concert where he drops a few "octoroons"? Wait... i'd better stop. This has turned horribly offensive, which is not at all my intent.

That said, Michael Richards is kind of a douche.