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July 20, 2001

6-4-3

Puddle of Consciousness

by Gary Huckabay

  • Who's more crack-addled? The Detroit Tigers for offering Roger Cedeno a three-year deal worth $4.5 million annually, or Cedeno for turning it down? Cedeno is 26, with career numbers of .277/.356/.370, and he's perhaps a 50/15 SB/CS guy. How does this guy push your club towards a championship at that price? As a fourth outfielder, he might help Detroit raise a pennant, but for that money, he's going to get 550 to 650 PA, which means a sustained competitive disadvantage. The Tigers already lucked out once by having Juan Gonzalez turn down an even more ludicrous offer--now they're pushing their luck.

    From the Cedeno side, I have two words for Roger--Jody and Reed. The whole thing strikes me as Sophie Marceau throwing herself at a shut-in, and having the shut-in look up from his "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" DVD and slam the door in her face.

  • Hats off to Brian Gorman for his one-hitter in the Kansas City/Pittsburgh game last Friday. Apparently, they have a metric home plate at PNC Park, and the specifications are for a plate width of 0.7m. Looked a lot like an aging Fernando Valenzuela was going for a no-hitter. 214 pitches, 151 for strikes, and after the hitters saw the zone during the first two innings, I'm surprised the ball/strike ratio wasn't higher.

    It's time to automate the calling of balls and strikes. MLB umpires are doing a tremendous job at every part of their job that's possible, and they deserve credit for it. But one part of their job simply isn't humanly possible--determining whether or not a small object traveling at 90 mph passed through a relatively small and obstructed three-dimensional space. Automate it, suffer through the inevitable David Halberstam tripe about how it's the end of the universe, and move on.

  • The Expos drew 14,615 rabid Montrealers to see the Devil Rays after the All-Star break; unfortunately, it was for the whole series. It's possible that the Expos didn't adequately inform the populace that Randy Winn was in town. You gotta sell the stars.

  • The ERA of every pitcher who's started a game for the Texas Rangers this year:

    4.95
    5.30
    5.84
    6.20
    7.04
    7.40
    8.00
    10.89

    Could you be next?

  • Almost every business has an inflection point at which they need to go out and get some capital to take advantage of an opportunity in the marketplace. It's very difficult go ahead and pull the trigger on this when the moment comes up; the costs can seem very daunting, and the payoff may be somewhat delayed. But consider the lineup put on the field by one particular business Wednesday night:

    Lawton RF
    Blake DH
    Mientkiewicz 1B
    C. Allen LF
    Koskie 3B
    T. Hunter CF
    Pierzynski C
    Hocking SS
    Rivas 2B

  • Sure, David Ortiz should be back fairly soon, but there's some doubt about how well he'll be swinging the bat, and the idea of Casey Blake and Chad Allen at DH and left field is just wrong. The Twins are fourth in the AL in scoring runs, and they've got to know that they've been pretty lucky. In an environment where Billy McMillon can be picked up off waivers, you're facing a potential labor stoppage, and you've got tremendous national buzz, you have to make a move.

  • Open supplication to Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta: Please don't sign Jason Giambi to a six-year deal at $16 million (or more) annually. I love Jason, but he plays first base, he's already 30, and we can't afford to be wrong. Bite the bullet, take the picks, and work your magic to scrape up the best replacement possible. The crowds (such as they are) will come back.

Gary Huckabay is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact him by clicking here.

Gary Huckabay is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Gary's other articles. You can contact Gary by clicking here

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