Wednesday, December 19, 2007

David Eckstein Continues to Get His Balls Licked by the Media

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I suspect with the Holidays and work stuff coming up, there will be about a post a week for a while. This is also because I don't see nearly as much egregious NBA writing as MLB.

Anyway - I wish I had the energy to do a line by line parse of this piece of fluff about Eckstein, but it's really all be done before. To death (search Eckstein labels at FireJoeMorgan). It's a bunch of shit about how small he is and how hard he tries and about how he has a really big heart and all that shit. This is every cliche, and even includes this piece of falseness at the end:

Eckstein was asked to try to patrol the same ground Ozzie Smith covered at Busch Stadium. Eckstein ran to cover most of it.

The "ran" part is a play on how the column started, about how he always hustles. It makes no sense in this context, as every SS has to do some running to cover their ground. Also, you know, Ozzie Smith is 9.7 billion times better at SS than David Eckstein. To imply in any way that he even almost covered Ozzie Smith's SS Glove-jockstrap is insanity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Random Eonline post

This obviously has nothing to do with sports, but this headline is just in very poor taste.

Alex Trebek Jeopardized by Heart Attack

We can all make up fucking puns. It doesn't make you clever, or funny. In this case, they use a pun when discussing a man having a heart attack, and that's in poor taste.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stuart Scott Chats Shit Up

Stuart Scott brought his game to the ESPN chats yesterday. Here’s a few questions:

Josh (B-more): 1,200 wins for Pat Riley, Sturat. How do you rate him among all-time coaches?

Stuart Scott: (4:38 PM ET ) He's in the top-5 along with Red Auerbach, Phil, Lenny Wilkins, and my guy Matt Guokas.

Matt Guokas in front of Red Holzman? Chuck Daley? Don Nelson? Larry Brown? 50 other guys? Matt Guokas with a career .430 win % and one 50 win season and an 8-9 playoff record? I’m missing something.

Shug (VA): Yo Stuart. Everyone's talkin bout the Pats, but there's another undefeated team down there in Carolina. How far will the Tar Heels go before tasting defeat?

Stuart Scott: (4:39 PM ET ) Carolina goes undefeated this year, and wins the national title. Maybe I'm a tad partial.

Ha ha! Stuart went to UNC. I’m not reminded of that like every week.

Stuart Scott: (4:40 PM ET ) Ps. There's really no reason to speak of a college BB team going undefeated in Dwecember. None.

He’s not asking if they’ll go undefeated. He’s inferring the opposite; that they will lose. Then he’s asking when you think they will lose. You have terrible reading comprehension.

Zach (LA): Who's the biggest surprise in the NBA so far this year?

Stuart Scott: (4:44 PM ET ) the Magic.

As of this chat, Orlando is 16-5, which is good, but with their talent I’m just not that surprised. Since I didn’t do any projections or anything, it’s not fair for me to pick on this one. But isn’t Chicago going from a .598 team, who was projected by many to continue improving, falling all the way to a .333 team a much bigger surprise? People at least thought Orlando would improve, I didn’t see any predictions of a huge regression from Chicago.

Matt Guokas? How fucking random is that?

Friday, December 7, 2007

White Sox GM Ken Williams = Delusional

If I posted enough to have a quote of the week, this would be it. From White Sox GM Ken Williams:

Reacting Wednesday to the blockbuster deal that sent power-hitting third baseman Miguel Cabrera and former All-Star left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins to the Detroit Tigers — wrecking the Sox’ latest offseason plans — Williams said: ‘‘All this has done is put the Tigers in a better position to contend with us.''

The White Sox were 72-90 last year. Their old players are getting older, they've yet to get them some help this off-season, they were last in the AL in runs scored last year and third to last in runs allowed.

The Tigers were 88-74 and now have arguably the most lethal lineup in the major leagues after trading for Miguel Cabrera.

Bill Plaschke Spins Some Nonsense

Bill Plaschke likes the Andruw Jones signing for a bunch of reasons. Let’s take a look:

Folks will complain because Jones, 30, is coming off the worst full season of his career, but every question has an answer.

I can’t argue with that. Was the Jones signing a good one? Probably not terrible since it's only for two years. Will Bill Plaschke have some good reasons? Probably not. Do I like Jello Pudding? Absolutely.

You say he had a bad summer? I say he still would have led the Dodgers in home runs (26) and runs batted in (94).

And he would have finished 9th in OPS+ among all Dodger hitters. That’s behind Wilson Betemit.

You say he's overpaid? I say that by giving him only a two-year deal, he's going to feel underpaid, and you know how hungry those guys get.

Last year he was so hungry that in his big-time, have-a-monster-year-and-get-huge-contract season of 2007 he turned in his worst performance to date. So that logic sucks.

You say he won't be any better than the combination of Kemp and Andre Ethier? I say, in a post-steroid-era season in 2006, he hit 41 homers with 129 RBIs, so get real.

So we’re not going to address how good Kemp will be? Just that Jones had a good year in 2006? How’d he do in 2007? Matt Kemp had an OPS of .894 last year, Jones had an OPS of .894 in the aforementioned 2006 season. Last year? Jones was at .724. Matt Kemp made about $400K. Ethier didn’t show Kemp’s potential but was still better than a league average hitter last year, Jones was not.

Since when is “so get real” an actual fucking point in a real argument?

You say that Lebron James is better than Kobe Bryant? Well Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a game, so get real! What grade are we in?

You say it's silly to bring a power hitter to Dodger Stadium? OK, well, how about bringing a perennial Gold Glove winner to Dodger Stadium?

I say both statements are silly. The point that you made up (and then didn’t address) and the point you brought up. Yes, Jones is a good fielder. If that’s what you care about, trade for Coco Crisp.

In acquiring Jones, the Dodgers are actually acquiring four players.

This is going to make a ton of sense. Four players worth of salary maybe. But based on last year, he represents pretty much one average player.

His power allows them to give Andy LaRoche a long-awaited chance to win the job at third base.

Ahhhh I see…so having Andruw Jones allows the Dodgers to play Andy LaRoche over power hitting Nomar Garciaparra, who’ll have to take his 7 HR’s and 78 OPS+ to the bench. Andruw Jones should have nothing to do with third base.

His pedigree probably convinces Jeff Kent to return for one more run at a championship.

Now we are onto the hardcore evidence. Jones’ pedigree will convince Jeff Kent, who is “good”, not great, and is about 40 years old and proved to be clubhouse poison again last year to stick around (which is mildly odd because I thought LA had a club option on him).

His position lets Juan Pierre become Juan Pierre.

Yes, Jones playing CF instead of Juan Pierre is a big upgrade on many fronts, because Juan Pierre is an out-machine with a little girl arm. But, Bill, what the hell are you saying here? I don’t think it’s “lets Juan Pierre become Juan Pierre, bench player”, and that’s a problem.

No, no, the Dodgers will not and should not trade the short-armed center fielder. Just because he was overpaid doesn't mean he lacked value. Did everybody somehow miss that he was second in the league in stolen bases and led the league in sacrifice bunts?

That might be the most terrible paragraph (well, a Plaschke paragraph) of baseball analysis I’ve read in a while. How can you ever say a team shouldn’t trade a bad player with a bad contract? I mean, if they could give him away, they should. Nobody would want him though, because he LACKS VALUE. You try to trade him Bill, and tell me what kind of “value” you get back.

The other NL leaders in sacrifice hits were John Maine, Omar Vizquel, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Kyle Lohse, Wandy Rodriguez, and Ian Snell. Do you notice anything about the hitting prowess of these players? They are not good hitters (all but one is a pitcher). They sacrifice bunt a lot because their managers would rather them give up an out than give it the old college try. The fact that Juan Pierre led the league in sacrifices is not impressive and including that point as a positive is the ultimate in reaching for an argument. I mean, it’s a hitting category that he beat a bunch of pitchers in and that should tell you something.

The Dodgers need to keep Pierre's speed and bunting ability at the top of the order. Goodness, it's one of the reasons Jones agreed to play here. But at least now, Pierre can move to a safer left field and be viewed for what he is -- a complementary player.

The Dodgers don’t need to keep out-machine Juan Pierre at the top of the order for a variety of reasons, two of them being that he sucks and Rafael Furcal is also on the team at the top of the order, who was sort of inept last year too.

"I never said Juan Pierre is a franchise player," Colletti said. "He's a very good player on a winning team."

That statement makes zero sense. He’s only a good player on a winning team? So he’s only good if he’s surrounded by a ton of other good players? I suspect that’s Colletti’s perception, but he doesn’t realize that it’s the winning team that masks how bad Pierre is.

Four players in, one player out, and that player is either Kemp or Ethier, who are overcrowding right field.

If you’re keeping track. This is a summary of the math:

IN (+):
- Andruw Jones (duh) at $18 million per.
- Andy LaRoche (because now they can safely sit HR machine Nomar Garciapparra out, which we still don’t know if they’ll do. This should happen completely independent of who was in CF anyway.)
- Jeff Kent (because of Andruw Jones’ pedigree or some nonsense)
- Juan Pierre (he’s in somehow, even though Jones’ is taking his place in CF).

OUT (-):
Solid young player Andre Ethier or potential stud Matt Kemp, who have the nerve to overcrowd RF.

= Good signing. That's one loony equation. Andruw Jones for two years at that pay is a bit much, to me, but given Hunter's contract I think it's not a bad move for the Dodgers. But who would dig up these arguments? Bill Plaschke, that's who.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Some Lame Jon Heyman Proofreading

From today's summary of the big Marlins/Tigers trade:

Willis was the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year after going 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA and is 68-54 in his five years in Florida. He has pitched over 200 innings in each of the last three years.

2003, not 2004.

The intent of this site isn’t to point out shit like this, or Mike Celizic not understanding how to apply the glass half full analogy. It’s to voice disagreements with columnists who come to crazily supported or unsupported conclusions. I haven’t seen that much lately in the vein of the early content on this site, which began just after the NBA finals. I am trying to avoid purely original content for two reasons: 1.) I’m not a writer. 2.) There are many good blogs/columnists out there that do this. ESPN baseball insiders like Keith Law and Rob Neyer really don’t come to many conclusions that I would disagree with and the ESPN basketball folks are okay. There’s no insight on a baseball trade that I can offer beyond what those guys will. We’ll see what the winter brings.

Anyway, from Heyman’s daily scoop today:

• The Cubs are considered the favorite for top Japanese League outfielder Hiroki Fukudome. But the Red Sox could be an interesting possibility, as well.

If you define “interesting” as “signing a player you don’t need to a lucrative deal to play OF when you already have all three positions set (including 2 CF’s)”, then I agree…..that’s pretty interesting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What Does Jon Heyman Have Against Kenny Rogers?

Last week it was this comment, and yesterday it was the following:

Congrats to penny-hoarding Kenny Rogers, who accepted the same Tigers deal already negotiated by his former agent Scott Boras -- $8 million plus a lot of incentives -- but saved the commission by OKing it after letting Boras go. Real nice gesture for a player who's made more than $80 million in his career. Perhaps the small savings can go to the poor cameraman who got clocked.

Did Kenny Rogers take money from the Salvation Army or something? Does Heyman depend on Boras for inside info – why does this deserve even a mention, never mind a sarcastic asshole-ish shot at Rogers? I thought I read in SI that Boras usually takes 5% (which was lower than what I expected) of the deals he signs. So $8 million x 5% = $400,000. I don’t care how much money you make – that’s still $400K. I don’t think Rogers expected to best Boras’ deal by millions. He probably just realized that he could get the same deal he already had and not have to work through an agent. By my count he came out almost a half million ahead (with incentives). Knucklehead!