Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Hot Stove (I hate that term)

The offseason has begun in earnest. Let's start with the deals that have been signed, and then we'll talk about those that have just been loosely agreed upon, and those that are just "in the works."

  • The Phillies signed middle reliever J.C. Romero to a three-year contract extension for $12 million. The money doesn't bother me that much, although the Phils should really be looking at Romero's track record. The problem is a 3-year deal. Considering the fact that most relievers are essentially replaceable, and considering the fact that this knowledge is not a secret among baseball boardrooms, why are marginal relievers getting multi-year deals -- especially for more than two years? I can maybe understand extending an excellent reliever beyond his expiration date, but why would you do so with someone who is less than excellent? I guess some things people just never learn.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Potential Free Agents

First Base:
Sean Casey
Tony Clark
Jeff Conine
Shea Hillenbrand
Eric Hinske
Ryan Klesko
Doug Mientkiewicz
Olmedo Saenz
Mark Sweeney
Mike Sweeney

Friday, November 16, 2007

Preseason Picks revisited

Well, the time has come to look back at my picks and selections from the 2007 postseason and see how I did.

Here's what I predicted for the NL EAST:

New York (93-69), 91-95 win range
Philadelphia* (87-75), 85-89 win range
Florida (82-80), 80-84 win range
Atlanta (80-82), 78-82 win range
Washington (68-94), 66-70 win range

And here's what really happened:

Awards Wrap-up

BEST NL OFFENSE: Philadelphia Phillies
Even taking into account their friendly ballpark, the Phillies had the best offensive attack in the NL. If they had a third baseman worth a damn, their infield would have been historically great, with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins all having fine years. The outfield wasn't great, but it was solid enough, thanks in large part to a career year by center fielder Aaron Rowand (309/374/515). Other than third base, catcher was the Phillies' biggest problem, but they finally ended up having Carlos Ruiz (259/340/396) as their everyday starter, and he wasn't too bad.
All in all, the Phillies ranked 1st in the NL in Runs Scored (892), first in Equivalent Average (.276), and first in slugging percentage (.458). The 2nd-place team in runs scored was Colorado with 860, and no one else had more than 810. But this exaggerates the Phillies' real level of quality. Looking at EQA, the Phillies were just slightly better than the Mets (.272) and the Marlins (.270), two teams whose park effects dampen their raw offensive totals.

2nd place: New York, 3rd place: Florida

BEST AL OFFENSE: New York Yankees

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A-Rod and Barry

Well, this isn't what I was expecting. It looks like Alex Rodriguez has definitely come to a preliminary agreement with the Yankees on a 10-year, $275 million contract. This is basically the same offer the Yankees extended to A-Rod in the days before he opted out of his contract, except it's actually less -- the Yankees have subtracted the money they would have gotten from the Rangers as part of the old contract. So for all intents and purposes, A-Rod will be returning to the Yankees next year and will be a Yankee for the foreseeable future.
The Yankees negotiated this contract directly with A-Rod -- the Steinbrothers refused to negotiate with Scott Boras.
There are a lot of implications here, and to discuss them, I'll whip out my bullets:

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Awards 2007

Earlier today, Ryan Braun and Dustin Pedroia were named the 2007 NL and AL Rookies of the Year. Do I agree with these picks? How do I feel about the other candidates? Read on to find out!:

American League MVP: Alex Rodriguez
There's really no comparison. A-Rod hit 314/422/645 in over 700 plate appearances while playing an adequate third base (although the latter is debatable). He sported a .338 EQA and led the league with 96.7 VORP. Here's how he compares to the rest of the league (bold indicates league leader):

Friday, November 09, 2007

Offseason news

There's a lot of news, so let's categorize.


  • A new report has come out listing former Giants third baseman Matt Wiliams, among others, as having received steroids and/or other PEDs. Maybe we can finally, finally admit that the good guys used PEDs, too. And instead of throwing a sportswriter hissy-fit and sulking and pouting in public, let's just accept that our melodramatic, overwraught attempts to cast the PED scandal in black and white terms is infinitely inaccurate.
  • George Mitchell has set this Saturday (tomorrow) as the deadline for any new evidence or information to include in the Mitchell Report. My guess is that this means we're going to get the report before Christmas. Ho, ho, freakin' ho.
  • This brings me to my next point . . .

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pirate Shi*

Buried in one of Buster Olney's blogs was a reference to a story by Rob Biertempfel in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The story is about the Pirates' search for a new manager, and it includes some comments by team president Frank Coonelly in front of the Sewickley Senior Men's Club. Coonelly made some comments about the new executive staff and the new direction the Pirates were taking. Then, he went on to another topic. I'll let Biertempfel explain: