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I'm not saying the problem is unique to Oakland, I'm saying it's a given, and wondering if they can't do better in the avenues they have more control over. Cespedes was given a very good deal, and wasn't a major league player prior to coming here, so he had no preconceptions about Oakland.
Another question (from an A's fan!)--the A's haven't had much in the way of successful player development in a long while, despite all the losing and resulting better draft slots. All the good "young" players the A's have brought up in recent years have been guys they've traded for. At what point do the A's just fire their minor league development, scouting, and draft personnel. Beane's always had a good eye for trades (though the recent crop of prospects he traded for are all bombing badly with the exception of Millone), but no free agent (of any value) ever wants to sign with Oakland (except Willingham... oops). The team is therefore utterly dependent on the draft and easily snookered GM's like the guy who ran the KC Royals a decade ago. Given their utter failure to draft any decent players, isn't it time to re-evaluate?
I was thinking the same thing. And more generally, I'd think it would be easier to trade for a left-fielder with Uggla's offensive numbers than a second baseman. But I assume the plan is to move Prado to 3B when Chipper goes down or retires.
Funny how data can disprove those cute little stories that pervade baseball journalism.
Given the importance of Pujols to the franchise and his talent level, I honestly can't understand how this hasn't gotten done yet. Pujols is supposedly seeking a contract similar to A-Rod's, which while unreasonable for ARod, is probably only a marginal overpay for Pujols. Any 10-year contract is a risk--I get that--but just frontload it slightly so the first seven years are over $30M, keep the last three years fairly low (so you meet ARod's base salary of $275 but don't go over) and give Pujols the ability to opt out of the last three years. Unless he's disastrous over the next seven years or gets hurt, he'll easily be able to opt out and get a better payday over those last three years. Heck, you can even include a clause that allows the Cards to prevent Pujols from opting out by agreeing to raise his salary to X amount. This just doesn't seem to be that difficult of a problem. Given how much money worse players have gotten and how much Pujols means to the franchise (and I guarantee you he brings in a sh-t ton of revenue via merch and ticket sales), it seems like a no-brainer to me to get things done on his terms. They're not that unreasonable (at least, not as far as I can tell from the limited reporting on the subject).
I heard that as well.
Agree with the previous two posters--this seems like a fairly underwhelming strategy. The problem, though, is that this may be the best the A's can do since hitters really don't want to seem to play for them. I'd really love to see them just blow a ton of money on Adam Dunn or Jayson Werth. Outbid the rest of the field by a decent chunk to make sure they get a legit hitter. That is, in my opinion, a better strategy than going after these cheap players who rarely pan out. Ben Sheets, Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas et al. Thomas was fantastic, but if you're constantly building your team on guys who "might" pan out, it's going to be very hard to compete. Ironically, I made this same complaint about the Giants, telling a friend they'd be better off signing two really good players than keeping Renteria, Sanchez, DeRosa, Rowand, Molina, etc. And yet they won it all...
Completely agree. That was sort of glaring when I read it.
Agree, but I believe the complicating factor was that the Braves couldn't afford him, right? They dumped Vazquez because they were looking to shed payroll.
Also, Johnson really only had a bad half-season. His second half numbers in 2009 were actually quite good.
I'm just trying to be moderately polite by not typing the whole word =)
Oh, gotcha. I don't disagree with anything you've said. I don't get particularly ruffled about "cheating the game" the way some do, but some people get super worked up over it, so I could see why they might hate Bonds more than, say, [Ok, it's late and I can't think of a specific example, but insert player with long history of upsetting people but not PED use here, haha]
I should clarify -- when I said "I mentioned above" I meant in a reply to a post above yours, not in my response to your post.
No, I'm not biased against the guy. I don't hate him. I'm largely indifferent. I mentioned above that I didn't care that he was blacklisted because he was a jerk. I don't have any desire to see him publicly stoned, but if he gets screwed I don't really care.
Regarding public perception of him -- a lot of his teammates had issues with him. I heard he cheated on his wife. He cheated at the game. It's not as if there's no rational basis for labeling him a bad person.
It is probably out of line with what he really deserves, given that fans tolerate other players who are every bit as much of a jerk, but it's not like the guy was Mr. Friendly. I don't know that I'd say it's unfounded =).
That's a bit over-dramatic, don't you think? I believe his point was that teams trumped up the idea that Bonds was going to trial and that would be a distraction to the team, when everyone knew that in reality it would take several years to go to court (if it would at all). It was just an excuse they trumped up to cover for the fact that all MLB teams had agreed amongst themselves to not sign Bonds. I'm not sure if this would technically be collusion since the benefit of coordination is not clear, but it clearly violates the spirit of competition. That said, I didn't really care that it happened because Bonds was a d-bag.
Additionally, the trade of Dan Haren to the DBacks for Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Carlos Gonzalez and others is looking like it has a pretty good chance to be successful for the A's. From the Rockies' perspective, getting Carlos Gonzalez (along with Street) is looking like a good return for Matt Holliday.
Agreed. Additionally, I agree with those that have said that you're effectively trading someone with no value (beyond draft picks) for something that may have value. While it may be true that the majority of these deals don't work out particularly well, is the rate of failure really any higher than the rate of failure for the draft picks they could have gotten when the traded star packed up and left? That would be interesting to compare.
To say that "The team that got [Star Player] won" greatly oversimplifies and, in particular, ignores the COST of keeping players--a cost some teams frequently cannot afford.
I'd be curious to see how many of the pitchers on Dusty Baker's list landed on the DL for an extended period of time or hand their careers come to an end shortly after having a great season for him ;-)
It's interesting, the news about Gallardo seems to have estimates for his return all over the place. Will says it'll be about a month (and I should note I have a lot of confidence in anything Will writes), Ken Macha seemed to agree the problem was serious and said it'd be at least 10 days before Gallardo would be allowed to resume any baseball activities, but now the Brewers have opted not to put him on the DL and say he's just "day to day". I'm very curious how all this will play out, since the trade deadline in my fantasy league is next Monday and there were a LOT of people interested in trading for Gallardo before this happened (he's currently owned by a team out of contention conducting a fire sale).
I think you're spot on here. Other sports limit the number of timeouts that can be taken, but in baseball they're close to unlimited. Every batters steps out of the box after every pitch, you can call time out pretty much any time you want, visits to the mound are limited but not limited enough, etc. There is also still a lot of stalling that occurs when a pitcher is being ineffective and his manager needs to buy time to get someone ready.
Totally on board with this. That's definitely the one thing I'd want. Especially if it were unique and not just the standard 5x5. Maybe a keeper league that uses BP stats to approximate runs scored and allowed for your team when playing an opponent's. If we could draft a limited number of minor leaguers, that would be awesome too.
At least a part of his "edge" being lost has to do with the fact that he doesn't get to use KC as his second AAA team any more. Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye... those were the good days. But in this case I don't think he had any use for Miles, he was just willing to part with $1M to get Fox. Given how shaky we've been at 3B in recent years, Fox was worth a look.
My favorite example of the type A rumor was from 2005, when a Chicago writer (if memory serves, it was a writer and not a fan) wrote that the A's were giving up on the season and going to unload Eric Chavez to them for spare parts. This was back when the A's were still in contention and Chavez hadn't completely bottomed out yet. The irony is that if that trade had actually happened, it would have worked out far better for the A's than anyone would have predicted at the time.
Agreed. In particular, I'm guessing that a lot of the overhead for teams (stadium upkeep, staff salaries, etc.) are considerably more even than payroll. Let's say all those other costs are $30M for most teams (just for argument's sake). That would move Oakland from 39% to 58%, but would only move the Yankees from 54% to 62%. Though I'm sure given the quality of the new Yankees Stadium and various other factors, their other costs are higher than Oakland's.
*nudges Grady* =)
I agree with the majority of your points here. The one I would argue with is the first. Having a super-high payroll doesn't directly cause victory, as you pointed out, but it sure makes it a heck of a lot easier to win when you can plug any hole you have without worrying about cost.
I would say one of the easiest ways to improve parity right now would be to have salary minimums instead of caps. If a team can't afford the minimum while still making a reasonable profit, you can mess with the profit sharing numbers to an extent to give them more support (after all, NY is clearly a better market than a number of other cities), but if you continue to subsidize teams that suck you're going to allow incompetent management to stick around longer than they should.
I'm throwing in my hat with those who think extra off-days are a bad idea. I don't want to see the stars slug it out--I want to see the whole team slug it out, just like in the regular season. Too many off days allow you to use Mariano Rivera every day, or use a starting pitcher three times in one series (Curt Schilling, for example), and the postseason games don't at all resemble the regular season games.
I just saw that too. He must have been expecting the fielder to tag Posada and stopped paying attention to Cano or something. Just another terrible call. I can't remember a single postseason series over the past 15 years that has had umpiring nearly as bad as this postseason has had across every series. Maybe the Marlins/Braves series with the Eric Gregg/Livan Hernandez incident, but that's about it.
I'm not sure if I would rank Buck Martinez as worse than Tim McCarver. They're both terrible... as best I recall, McCarver annoys me more when he speaks but Martinez speaks louder and more frequently. =)
And apparently I can't spell =). "I've been rambling on for a while *here*"...
In general, baseball fans deserve better than Tim McCarver. I have no idea how he's been a broadcaster for so long. He is absolutely horrendous. My favorite example is a Yankee game from 2002 or 2003, shortly after Giambi was signed to his massive deal--McCarver chastised Giambi for drawing a walk, saying that it would be better for him to swing at bad pitches to try and hit a home run, because you don't want a slow runner on base "clogging things up" for the faster runners behind him. In more general terms, McCarver tries to use idiotic word play far too often, usually by repeating a word twice in one sentence but in different contexts. I can imagine McCarver saying something like "Jimmy Rollins just stole second base, but I tell you what, this guy has been a *steal* for the Phillies. What a great player." You're not clever, Tim McCarver. I know I've been rambling for a while hear, but I really can't stand the guy. I'm glad the majority of games have been on TBS so far so I don't have to listen to him or watch the game on mute.
I agree that the ump blew the call on the hbp, but I think that rule needs to be modified now that everyone has their jersey's hanging out like they're some sort of hand-me-down from a giant. Maybe uniforms should be required to be tighter or something, because when a pitch barely knicks your shirt or pants only because your shirt or pants extend a good 6 inches away from your body, I don't think you should be awarded first base.
Haha, I took Dan Meyer as a keeper in my fantasy league. Worse, I chose him over Dan Haren. *sigh*
They might need to hold a press conference, or maybe a parade or circus, to celebrate the Pirates' fleecing of the Giants. Wow.
I agree with the statement about Lyons. Worse is his former Fox broadcast mate Tim McCarver. But I probably don't even need to say that -- everyone I know hates listening to Tim McCarver.
Baseball Prospectus has just referenced How I Met Your Mother. I think I'm in heaven. Yeah, slap bet!
Is it strange that the minute I saw the title of this article the first thing I thought of was the Joker's magic pencil trick in The Dark Knight and not home runs? I think the references to popular culture on this site (I can specifically remember references to Veronica Mars and The West Wing) have actually primed me to think every ambiguous title is a reference to something other than baseball =).
I run a league that uses the Runs Created and Component Runs formulas to simulate "runs scored" and "runs allowed" for teams (http://www.kingofthediamond.com/) and had the same problem trying to incorporate defensive stats. I use Yahoo to compile the stats for me. Having BP host a fantasy game would be awesome, especially if they allowed us to do customized leagues. In the meantime, does anyone know of a site that can compile stats for teams on a weekly basis that would have the info necessary to incorporate defense in a meaningful way?
I figured it was a WW reference as well. I don't really follow the WBC and that's the only reason I clicked on the post =).