Thursday, December 8, 2011

Way cool!

AP is AL!

ABM, baby! (Anywhere but Marlins!) Now we'll get to see him @ Rays & Yanks!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ugh, how did I miss this?

MLB adds two wild cards, moves Astros to AL

RSox seem bent on Bobby Valentine

This will be good for the team members, if he's as savvy as he sounds on radio & tv. Apparently he's got a nasty & wild mouth, too, which just means the Boston fans will understand him. Nice move, creative.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Name that Molina!

It's José -- and Rays have him! Bye, JJ, see you in Seattle! Woo-hoo!


By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original) UCinternational (crop)via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Joe Maddon: AL Manager of the Year

Way to go, Joe! A manager like no other!

I talk Marlins at Jane's

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shields 3rd in Cy Young voting

Verlander unanimous, Weaver second. Complete Game James!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What will I read tonight?

Great series, great Cards, great outcome, great deal of freed-up time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Season's over...

RIP, Dalians.
RIP, OuTTaHERE.
RIP, RayRays.

Great going, Rays! Too bad about the slow start and the slack offense. Nice pitching and thanks for game 162 -- I will never forget it. Keep Andrew Friedman. More Matt Moore! Joe Maddon rocks!

Bye-bye, RSox &  Terry F. It wasn't really CCs fault, though he seems to have undergone a reverse talent makeover. Maybe freshman jitters or bigmoney nerves or even just playing to full houses every day. Be still my heart!

Too bad, Yankees. Bad rain, bad calls, and no clutch hits. It wasn't really ARod's fault... oh, wait! Yes, it was! Bye, Jorge, it was great while it lasted!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Next game?

The post-season tv schedule is here.

WOWIE WOW WOW WOW!

RAYS!  WILD CARD!  WIN!
WOWIE WOW WOW WOW!


DAN JOHNSON!
WOWIE WOW WOW WOW!
WOWIE WOW WOW WOW!

CARL* CRAWFORD!  WOWIE WOW WOW WOW!

   * we miss you, too; we all have mixed feelings... even unconscious ones...


Extra tee-hee:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weird let's win it Wednesday

Even! Up by 1/2!  Even again!  What's a gal's baseball nerves to do?
Awesome Jennings catch!  Amazing triple play! Breathtaking Matt Joyce!

Rays sudden-death (to RSox) playoff tix on sale at 9 am. To go or not to go? I don't think there will be a playoff. I think the Rays will kill tonight and Boston will fall to the Fighting ShowalterOs. Let's get it done!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Down by a half! Wow!

Three more games vs Yankees. Shields, Hellickson, Price. Time to step up. Go, Rays!

UPDATE:  Bummer!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Okay, Yanks are in!

Now, Rays, get it on!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not much for schadenfreude, but still...

My Way - Sports News: "Red Sox INF Kevin Youkilis missed his third straight game because of a sports hernia. "He needs some time down, whether it's days or weeks, we don't know," Francona said."

'via Blog this'

Intense game yesterday

Boston Beat-down, hoping David Price is alright. Rays back by only 2 games. Next 10 games are mission critical. (If we'd had a better April, we'd be in already, but if my aunt had wheels, I'm told she'd be a tea-cart! Imagine!)

Mariano Rivera, a Closer Like No Other

My Way - Sports News: "Nice appreciation of The Sandman!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

I can't believe it's September!

And...

Wade Davis held the Red Sox to 2 runs on 6 hits -- NO WALKS -- pitching a complete game for his 10th win. Very exciting, to see all the pitchers body-bumping each other on the field afterwards, celebrating the classy win. Lackey was out by the 4th inning, apparently now has a 6.20 ERA, a record high for Sox teams.  All right! Five and a half behind the RSox for wild card; 2 more games to sweep.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hip Hip Jorge! Grand Old Man!

You can't really tell from this photo, but the bases were loaded, he hadn't played in like 5 games, and next week he's turning 40. Oh, yeah, he was hitting a home run to right field.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Say no more!


And all you other guys who batted in the ninth! WOW!

Monday, July 18, 2011

0-0 in the bottom of the 12th... midnight +30, Rays v RSox

I can never tell if these are great games ("pitchers' duels") or crappy games ("no one got a hit").  Still this one's pretty cool, Niemann was amazing, one webgem from newbie Rettick, now if Evan would just end it all so we can go home. Almost, not quite. Smiling through his tears. (No, no, Longo doesn't cry.)
Still nil, bottom of the 15th -- do it Zobie!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jeter! Price! Jeter!



                                                                    AP

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Go, Zo!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Call him "Complete Game James"

Just 106 pitches. Nine Ks, 3 hits. When I tuned in at 4-0 in the 6th, I wondered if he were throwing a no-hitter. The announcers said nothing, no box score on-screen, looked like maybe. Cool pitches he was throwing, you could tell he was in the zone. Six complete games so far this season... just like the old days. It's impressive. Very. And no one was more stunned than he was in the post-game interview with Todd Kalas.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saw Rays play Marlins 6/17/11 in Tampa

Here I am at another Rays - Marlins game again, Friday, June 17. Was not anticipating any vuvuzuelas at this one... cowbells mostly. Even though we were dragged out from the drive, we got to the Trop right before five, so we could see batting practice. I got a 2010 AL East Division championship hat and a couple of extra pounds I didn't need. J scored 4th row seats behind the dugout on the first base side, which some season ticket holder had offered on StubHub for a not-unthinkable amount of money and really, they were worth it. Check out the photo show below... I didn't have to leave my seat for any of those shots. Plus, Rays won, the Marlins manager was ejected (a few days later, he quit entirely!), saw some incredible BJ catches, Longo plays, Zobie thrillers, HRs, RBIs, The Legend of Sam Fuld, and Todd! I know, what a geek. It's weird, what fun feels like to me now.

Rays - Marlins June 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

NYY v BOS Sunday, 5/15

What an unpleasant game to watch. Joba, you still work for us? Yuck. Orel thinks Jorge at the plate, even though he walks, might be having a special moment when he hears the cheers of the crowd and remembers the kind of intensity it takes to win. If only.
The whole team should be batting ninth. Granderson can lead off. Even Mo walked one. And when Ortiz went 3 for 5 (single, double, HR), it was almost as if he wanted to show Jorge what a DH is all about. He would be right, too.
If this is a dream team, they are a nightmare. Girardi could get the boot. No offense, worse defense, time to go back to fun-damentals and quit the psychodrama.

This is why some guys don't want to be a Yankee

What a freakin' mess! I blame Cashman for not getting a real DH in the off-season... and that's why he's shooting his mouth off. Oh, yeah, and to show his bosses he's on their side, 'cause he sure threw his team under the bus. Oh, yeah, and helped them lose the game to boot.  Posada should have taken extra batting practice & played hurt (mentally & physically); next time, dude, bend over during your stretches and go, "OW!" really loudly before you ask for down time. Jeez, after 17 years, you'd think he'd learned something.
If the reason he's not catching is because his arm can't throw out a base-stealer, but everything else still works, perhaps we need to measure those several outs against the train wreck that he is now.  Maybe just let the guy catch batting practice & keep his arm & knees oiled. Or let him catch a game against some other oldsters. Oh, wait, that was last night.  After this tawdry affair, Jorge's gonna be really messed up in the head.  I hate it when that happens.
Olney seems to think it's the beginning of the end.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Seeing is Believing! Don't Miss This! Click Here!

This carved wooden box of baseball cards, created by sculptor Randall Rosenthal, must be seen in process at this web page.  Genius!

The end is not THAT near...

The Ends Nears for the Yankees' Core .
While this story has more than a few germs of truth, I don't think the end is that near.  Although Cashman should have gotten Lee or another ace, maybe gone for Garza, who's at least young and good. And Posada's coming to work everyday only to find his desk is all cleared off and he's looking for a way to still make a meaningful contribution. Well, coaching the youngsters & getting that bat out would be just fine for a final curtain. It must feel awful to have to say, "Gee, I should have retired last year." Not to mention the distressing personal numbers. Jeter is notoriously discreet about aches, pains, and real injuries, but he ought to realize that you don't heal at 37 the way you did at 22. You may have to get off it for a while. Mariano Rivera will --- well, I think you'll need to carry him off the mound, prying his fingers from the seams.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The good kind of Friday the 13th...

East W L PCT GB
Tampa Bay 23 15 .605
NY Yankees 20 16 .556 2.0
Boston 18 20 .474 5.0
Toronto 18 20 .474 5.0
Baltimore 17 20 .459 5.5

Saturday, April 30, 2011

BEN ZOBRIST -- My Player of the Week

Yes, it's Zorilla, Ben Zobrist, for finding himself, his swing, his place (anyplace & everyplace) on the field, for giving all the credit to #TheLegendofSamFuld, and for single-handedly yanking my three fantasy teams out of their respective dumpsters and winning their match-ups this week. Well, I don't exactly know yet, but at least one -- RAYRAYS -- will snap a bad 0-4 start streak, which is long overdue. Speaking of Long Overdue, the guy who wouldn't trade me Evan Longoria dumped him the other day & I'm hoping to get him off waivers so he'll be all mine when he gets back in the rotation, perhaps as early as Tuesday. Then I'll be long Longoria.

Manny might return to play winter ball

Wonder if Alex's cousin runs the testing lab? Ouch! Zing! Just go away already.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great Big Games, James!

Complete games. Complete control. Under 100 pitches. Over the top!  And AL Player of the Week. Ray ON!

It's official: MLB & SI know the Legend of Sam Fuld

Short'n'sweet: Fulds'n'Shields

Lovely story here and here about the guy... just slightly overshadowing James Shields' 2 complete games in a week and the team getting to .500 after that abysmal start. Ray ON!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mo Physics

The Baseball Tonight gang on the ESPN pre-game did a break-down with 8 by 10 full color glossies and video of Mariano Rivera's pitches and arm angles and how the spin affects the air pressure, which determines where and when it breaks. Also that it's hard to tell which pitch he's throwing because his arm angle has less than a 3-degree variation and it's too late to swing by the time the batter figures it out. I can't find the presentation online, but this Yankee blog-meister has most of it right here. Fascinating to see where the magic lies. (The commentators said they showed the piece to Mariano before the game and he thought it was pretty much gibberish. Said he just picks up the ball and throws it. Hahahahahahaha!)

cut fastball

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rays beat TC at the Trop on Damon's 2-run walk-off HR

Damon gets pie-d. Shields solid. Joyce hits. Fuld rules. Morneau returns. Mauer goes on DL.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Twitter Groundswell

The Legend of Sam Fuld lives on!

What? Just because the guy hit for the megacycle, made some more of those killer catches, in his old stomping grounds (Fenway) in front of gathered friends and family, now gathering steam as the Manny replacement?

Stanford, married, diabetic, cute, blue-eyed, New Englander, statistician, dad, and very cool baseball player.



(Because Superman sleeps in Sam Fuld t-shirts.)
So, not really missing Manny anymore, who cares, got me a new LF, who's keener than you.

Won again tonight, only by one, but Farnsie & Peralta held it together for DavidPrice. Loved Damon's smile to the cameras as he trotted around the bases at Fenway, 1st pitch HR off Dice-Man (now he's on ice, man.)

Yanks rained out.  Feels great to be out of the basement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

16 - 4 and a star is born

Rays needed this win bad:


             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9     R  H E
Rays (2-8)   1 6 0 1 1 3 0 0 4    16 20 1


RSox (2-8)   0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1     5 10 1


In my fantasy teams, most of which contain Sam Fuld, he himself scored 34.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spectacular Sam Fuld catch Saturday

Play of the year, web gem, saved an inside the park HR.  Actually, Dewayne said it would have been an inside the park grand slam. Whoa. Amazing. Video at this link.
This guy's terrific, came over for Garza, who was beaten badly today. Nice Jewish boy, cute, smart, blue-eyed. Putting him on all my fantasy teams.

Here's the thing... then this other thing

UpdateMarc Topkin in Tampa reports: "Because Ramirez retired, the Rays paid only $87,912 of his $2 million salary."  Not a bad gig.

I am resisting this reality so much, even though several unnamed sources said it was definitely a PED. Even with all his past hijinks & personality quirks, I did not think he was so stupid or arrogant. That's why I kept thinking it was a different type of drug. I'm letting go of the viagra explanation too.   Probably because I was looking forward to him helping my team. If he had no more pop, then that's one thing. To show yourself to be a stupid idiot is another. And I hate being duped by someone I "trusted."  If I'm so messed up about it, the guys in the locker room must really be off-balance (which shows in their hitting).
===========================================
It didn't have to be roids. It could have been pot, or heroin, or simple possession or failure to show up. Or Sudafed or an anonymous tip from someone in the AL East who might not want the Rays to win this year.

Here's the MLB drug policy, according to Wikipedia.
Under the policy, all players are prohibited from using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing, or facilitating the distribution of any Drug of Abuse and/or Steroid. Any and all drugs or substances listed under Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act are considered drugs of abuse covered by the Program.
So basically, you're toast if you do anything with anything, even if your legit doctor prescribes it legitimately for you (cf. Pettitte's elbow healing shot). I notice really a lot of anti-diarrheals on the list. Something seems weird here... Manny is not really that stupid a guy.

One story I read said that Manny came to camp really buff. He had to have had a physical by the Rays and a drug test before they contracted to pay him $2M.  He could not have completely revamped his body between 1/22/11, when the deal was announced and 2/14/11 (or so) when Spring Training started. So he was rebuilding at the end of 2010, hoping to get a job, then got one; Rays would have tested him for the contract. Then everyone gets tested once during Spring Training, especially people who have been in The Program. So either someone wanted him out, or the THC didn't clear his pee in time.

I could easily see it not being a PED (he was already having an abysmal season, so no enhancement there), but being something else, and his not wanting to deal with any of it anymore.  Oh, wait, look what I just found at ESPN Desportes:
By Enrique Rojas  ESPNdeportes.comBOSTON -- Los medicamentos que consumió para mejorar el rendimiento sexual después de someterse a una vasectomía en noviembre pudieron tener un rol en el positivo a sustancias que condujo al sorpresivo retiro del béisbol de Manny Ramírez, dijo a ESPNdeportes.com una fuente relacionada al pelotero.
"Manny se sometió a una vasectomía para no tener más hijos. El procedimiento ocurrió en noviembre", dijo la fuente.
"El inconveniente fue que la operación afectó en parte su capacidad para tener relaciones sexuales adecuadas y entonces se sometió a un tratamiento con medicamentos que contienen sustancias que están prohibidas por el béisbol", agregó la fuente. 
(Translation by Google:)  BOSTON - The drugs consumed to enhance sexual performance after a vasectomy in November could have a positive role in the substance that led to the surprise retirement Baseball Manny Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com a source connected to player. "Manny underwent a vasectomy to avoid having more children. The procedure took place in November," said the source."The downside was that the operation affected in part their ability to have good sex and then underwent treatment with medicines that contain substances that are prohibited by baseball," the source added.
Can't really blame the guy for not wanting to parade this in public. And he's choosing sex over beisbol ... and the Hall of Fame. I can dig it. I'm going with this explanation.  


(Ok, I posted on the Baseball Nerd's blog. Why should I be the only one to know this?)

Friday, April 8, 2011

You never forget your first...

Rays 9, White Sox 7
123456789RHE
TB
0001021059101
CWS
1021010207112



Happier w/o MR?

Manny Whammy

Manny out, Kotchman in. This is so weird.  I want details. Pot, HGH, Sudafed? What was the drug issue? It sure wasn't anything that was helping him in the 2011 season.  Or was it guilt that spooked his swing? WTF is going on here?  After his initial humiliation -- and I do believe he was humiliated -- I was sure he wouldn't stray again. He's too talented a batter. Ortiz ever been tested?

The Times says he was positive during spring training, says they have two sources sourcing this.

Ramirez retires.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Advice for Carl

Beware of what you want,
For you shall have it,
And it will fhuck you up.

Carl, take the money, see the shrink. You were a big fish in a small pond, empty Trop, now you're a small fry with a big pot in screaming Fenway, where the fans are the worst. You're trying to earn your pay, but you already did. You're worth it, it's okay to be paid what you're worth. No need to punish yourself for selling the f*ck out, though I personally think you would have fit better with the Angels. Got that Eastern Division jones goin' on, though. It happens. And your catch in the All-Star game will always be there.

"Batting Averages"

Carl Crawford = .133
Derek Jeter = .167
Manny Ramirez = .063
Johnny Damon = .071
and
!! BJ Upton = .313 !!

Didja need some more spring training?

Soriano's in for it...

Left without taking his lumps last night. His English isn't that great, nor is his personality. Hey, NYC, he ain't no Mo!  (Probably why Cashman didn't want him.)

Sabathia Gem Wasted by Soriano, bullpen.

Update: Cashman said of Soriano. “We’ve got to bang out some kinks. That was one.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I cannot wait to read this book!

I sold it to a customer last night and hadn't even heard about it. He said he read a review in the Wall Street Journal. I've always been interested in this subject, so I downloaded a copy to my nook asap. Only one problem: it was written without the participation of Rays management. So their real secrets remain intact.

From the Publisher

What happens when three financial industry whiz kids and certified baseball nuts take over an ailing major league franchise and implement the same strategies that fueled their success on Wall Street? In the case of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, an American League championship happens—the culmination of one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history.
In The Extra 2%, financial journalist and sportswriter Jonah Keri chronicles the remarkable story of one team’s Cinderella journey from divisional doormat to World Series contender. When former Goldman Sachs colleagues Stuart Sternberg and Matthew Silverman assumed control of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005, it looked as if they were buying the baseball equivalent of a penny stock. But the incoming regime came armed with a master plan: to leverage their skill at trading, valuation, and management to build a model twenty-first-century franchise that could compete with their bigger, stronger, richer rivals—and prevail.
Together with “boy genius” general manager Andrew Friedman, the new Rays owners jettisoned the old ways of doing things, substituting their own innovative ideas about employee development, marketing and public relations, and personnel management. They exorcized the “devil” from the team’s nickname, developed metrics that let them take advantage of undervalued aspects of the game, like defense, and hired a forward-thinking field manager as dedicated to unconventional strategy as they were. By quantifying the game’s intangibles—that extra 2% that separates a winning organization from a losing one—they were able to deliver to Tampa Bay something that Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” had never brought to Oakland: an American League pennant.
A book about what happens when you apply your business skills to your life’s passion, The Extra 2% is an informative and entertaining case study for any organization that wants to go from worst to first.

Here's an excerpt.

Stat Gives Keith the Creeps

Keith Olbermann, over at Baseball Nerd, is kinda, sorta, hinting that Derek Jeter's declining stats are kinda, sorta, maybe connected to his being introduced by the great -- and yet, late -- Bob Sheppard.  BB voo doo?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Unbreak my heart...

Oy, this game, 2nd of the season, 1st on my tv, all set for Zobie's walk-off homer and that creepy Markakis grabs it out of the air and makes it go away. An unusual moment where one act, after 3 hours, determines the outcome. Great theater, sad season start.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Price Pitches Into 7th, Beats RSox 7-4

All right!  Starting to feel the feelings now!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The House that Jeet built

Derek Jeter’s House Is impressive.

Did you know Florida has no state income tax? Why they all want to play here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Go, David!

Wants to be the best! Yeah! My Way - Sports News

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Performance anxiety?

Found details of Damon's performance-enhancing money deal here in the 2/1/11 Tampa Times.

....."We wanted this to happen," said Damon, who will make $5.25 million in base salary with a bonus tied to attendance to play left field and bat first or second in the order. He will receive a $150,000 attendance bonus if the Rays draw 1.75 million to the Trop and an additional $150,000 for 1.85 million, 1.95 million, 2.05 million and 2.15 million.....

.... Damon talked about how he and Ramirez are in better shape than a lot of the younger players in the major leagues. To prove it, Damon said he is willing to take off his shirt and flex. "My body is my temple," Damon said.

So the language is "draw... to the Trop." Ironically, Manny might be the draw!  Still, tickets sold, not necessarily bodies in seats, but if Damon's going to go around flaunting his holy body, you might see fans ramp up. If you flex it, they will come!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The AndyMan Can... but probably won't anymore

Not Petite Pettitte
Andy Pettitte Decides to Retire; tears tomorrow at 10:30

Andy Pettitte Retires Because of Heart, Not Arm :NYTimes.com
  • Update 2/4: Andy said Clemens and attendant circus had absolutely nothing to do with his decision. Okay. I'll go with what he says. He thought about it though, even just to figure where you might have to be when.
  • Update 2/10: I think we're going to see him again... wouldn't he be great as the Rays closer? Heheheh
Still surprised when these two stories broke on the same day?
1.  Clemens Waives Any Conflict Involving Attorney.  This is about when Roger 'n' Andy had the same lawyer for a couple of days, then Andy got his own, but Roger still has the one they shared and he's going to be allowed to cross-examine Andy at Roger's trial, because Andy says Roger told him he was taking roids and Roger says Andy mis-remembers the conversation.  So, put that together with family matters, pulled groin, elbow fears, and a team that does not include ClifFlea in its rotation and you have one poignantly-memorable freakin' Ace. Like here and here.

2. Some of McNamee's Claims Against Clemens Survive: still in RoidHell. Some went away, but smacktalk still around. This is so gross.

Carlos who? Carl wha? OMG!

Manny Ramirez & Johnny Damon are excited about joining -- and leading -- the young Rays team.  Well I should hope so! With Joe Maddon & his plaid blazers and team Mohawks, I can just see the guys getting batting helmets with dreds pre-attached. Nah, they wouldn't... would they?

I was really enjoying looking at the new incarnation of the Rays depth chart -- holy cow! What a great starting rotation, great guys on the field, nice bullpen, awesome DH options, and they're already making Damon the lead-off hitter like I suggested. (Andrew, we could use a closer!!)

If you look closely, you'll see that Boston has a pretty good team with a pretty good pitching staff. They'll be the guys to beat this year. Yankees have a great fielding team and a potentially great bullpen, with incredible closers. It's the starting pitchers we're concerned with. Blue Jays had that incredible spoiler run last year with all the HRs, but they are not mega-threats. Now the Orioles have peeled off a wad of bills this year and bought some really good players to go with their young phenoms; if they all get together and act like a team, they could do some damage in the A.L. East. I'm picking Sox and Rays, but with injuries, it could easily go Rays and Sox.

Cash-man was talking in the Times today about Yanks being the Wild Card team behind the Sox, but that is not going to happen. He tactfully did not mention the Rays because he knows his team is going to have to climb over them again and again this season and he plain loses his appetite when he sees David Price as the Rays  #1 ace.  This is going to be one interesting season. I noticed that Carlos is lost over there in Cubsville, Garza yeah, but not much else, and playing for the losingest team. Too bad....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lots of Yankees & Rays news in Boston

  • Nice memories of Rocco Baldelli
  • Riff on Bartolo Colon
  • Suspicion that Andy is looking for a Clemens-type season (4 months + post)
  • Rays in discussions with Manny Delcarmen
  • And over on the right, a video discussing what Manny & Damon bring to the Rays (they seemed more excited about the latter then the former).

Rays sign Casey Kotchman to Minor League

Now this is interesting, because he can play first, he used to be able to hit pretty well (on my fantasy team before he went to Boston), and keeps Zobrist for better uses of his great arm. Liking this, Andrew, liking it a lot. Jane's hubby said, "Well, he's no Carlos Pena." True, but for a couple of years now, Carlos Pena was no Carlos Pena!   Joe Maddon seemed to be going far too easy on him; I would have sent him to the Kevin Long School of Long Ball early on. But what a glove on that guy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ch- ch- ch- changes...

  1. 1B Carlos Pena    =>  Cubs
  2. SS Jason Bartlett=> Padres
  3. LF Carl Crawford=> Red Sox
  4. P Dan Wheeler => Red Sox
  5. P Randy Choate => Marlins
  6. C Dioner Navarro => Dodgers
  7. P Joaquin Benoit => Tigers
  8. OF Brad Hawpe => Padres
  9. P Matt Garza => Cubs
Still left to leave...
  • DH Rocco Baldelli => retired to Rays mgt
  • RHP Grant Balfour => Oakland
  • OF Gabe Kapler => Dodgers minors
  • RHP Chad Qualls => Padres
  • RHP Rafael Soriano => Yankees
Maybe some will stay.
Update 2/4: Here's the latest HotStove tally

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Very strong possibility” that Andy Pettitte pitches in 2011

Yes, but sooner or later. Will he pull a Clemens?   Skipping the first 3 months? or waiting for legal air to clear.  I think the stuff about family is a smoke-screen; dads work and don't see their kids often enough. End of story. He gets October through February off, like teachers.  Plenty of time. Not buying it.  Body falling apart... that I can see.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cash & burn

Yankees GM sees Jeter moving to outfield to finish his career.  Whoa there, Nelly!  Just a couple of days after the Soriano over-rule? Just a couple of months after the Jeter cliff-hanger and dirty-linen-in-public debacle?  Not sure that stating the obvious out loud  is benefitting Cashman's last stand. Jeet's positions now and then have already been discussed at length in Blog World; couldn't he have said,
"Derek Jeter is the face of the franchise and the contract we just signed with him shows the confidence we have in him as a baseball player for the next four years. No moves are planned or anticipated. He plays more than shortstop on the Yankee's infield. Next question."
Maybe he's cruisin' for a bruisin'. Or he misses George. Or feared him. Or wants to move on.  Odd, he's always been more circumspect. Something's up.

Besides, I wouldn't put Jeter in the outfield -- don't know if his arm's good enough. And if he's slow on the infield, he'll be useless in left or center. I'm putting him at first base. You?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bring it! Damon & Manny are Rays!

With Damon's bonuses tied to attendance! Woo-hoo!   This might be so cool! So we are apparently saying that

 1 Damon + 1 Manny + 1 Desmond Jennings = 1 Carl Crawford

Yeah, that works for me.

Psychologically, I think both of them will want to show up their former teams, especially Boston and Rays pitching and defense can help them do it. The phony turf will be hard on Damon's feet & knees, but his goofy scrappiness fits right in. Manny allegedly has an incredible batting work ethic, which could help the guys. Of course, with Pena's .190 average out of town, we can get back to hitting, instead of just sobbing.

So if Jaso or Upton lead off, then Damon bats 2nd, Evan 3rd and Manny 4th (if he's bringing it), there's still Zorilla, Brignac, Joyce, Johnson. Not too shabby. This team is not bad. They will do some damage on the way to 90 wins.

Now, if we only had a closer...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

David Price named 2010 Warren Spahn Award winner.


Another terrific honor for the ace still on board. Nice, Price!

I'll trade you one Fernado Perez for

apparently one Dirk Hayhurst. Thanks, Renegade, for posting about him; he was under my radar, but looks like he'll fit right in.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Life in Baseball

Yes, it's true, I have 2 loves. I'm hard-wired to love the Yankees; spent toddler time in the Bronx with grandparents, walking distance from the stadium, listening to radio games with Grandpa. My dad was NY Giants all the way; when they left, he left MLB. When I grew up, there were two major boyfriends who were major Yankee fans. One bought me my first cap, the other got me Ron Guidry's autograph. I wrote Mrs. Munson a sympathy note and I carry a Reggie Jackson pog in my wallet (because I can).

Now I'm in Ft. Lauderdale, where the Yankees and then the Orioles used to have Spring Training. Six bucks a seat, twelve to sit right behind home plate. Heaven. Now gone, both gone.

However, all Rays games (& Marlins -- eww!) games are telecast all over Florida. Yes, every game, which is how you get to know and love your players. Yankee games are not, except when ESPN deigns to cover them, or when they play the Rays, Marlins, Cubs or WhiteSox. Since 2009, Yankee games have been broadcast on local AM sports radio, so I've learned to love John & Suzan (at least on uncloudy nights).

But I've really gotten to know and love the Rays, pretty nearly the antithesis of the Yankees: unknown players, poorly paid, play in an indoor stadium in front of few fans. When Lou Pinella was managing the Devil Rays, I still felt connected to the Yankees (he was not a great manager there; I think working with young kids wasn't for him). Yankees moved to Legends Field in Tampa, so the connection stayed. We'd go to Tampa for Rays & Yanks spring training games, and when the Yankees came down to play the Rays.

We thought we were rooting for the Yankees, but a shift occurred when the Rays ownership turned over: they were now run by young, Jewish, former New York investment bankers (pre-crash), who secured players like they were picking their favorite lesser-known fantasy picks. They dropped the "devil" from the name, got a make-over for everything, stole Joe Maddon from Mike Scoccia and even signed Don Zimmer after Pedro played him.

So I get a little psycho when the Rays and Yankees play, but I also get double plus pleasure when Rays kill the Red Sox, as they have done many times in Fenway Park in the past couple of years. Killed Matsuzaka, killed Lester, killed Papelbone, even the side-armer Wakefield. It's a beautiful thing.

That's why it's so alarming that Carl went to Boston. I really wanted him to be an Angel. On the other hand, it's always been obvious that the action's in the AL East... it's where you want to be!

Sometimes I watch a Rays game with captions on & sound off so I can hear the Yankee game call. Yes. Nuts. True.