This article is going to be a little bit difficult to me. As a Semi-Professional Baseball Expert, it’s my job to balance unfailing and valuable baseball omniscience with a certain level of openness and humility, one that conveys a willingness to learn and grow with the world. It’s a tricky proposition, and if I tend to succeed at either, it’s almost entirely toward the side of the latter. But there’s one facet of baseball that I don’t understand, that I’ve never understood, and it forces me to expose the real possibility of my ignorance. I’ve tackled it in multiple articles before, all of which were received with the warmest of apathy. But it’s a question of human nature, so it never really goes away.
JAWS gapes for the Hall candidacy of Tim Raines, but finds the other eligible outfielders not quite so tasty.
Picking up where we left off last week, we turn JAWS loose on the outfielders of the 2008 ballot, a mercifully smaller crop than last year's 13 outfielders, but one about which we have much to discuss.
The Red Sox and Yankees are trying to get all of their injuries out of the way...or at least it seems that way. It's doubtful that these early-season injuries are all that the two teams will have. The pressure of being very evenly matched throughout the season could keep some players on edge and--knowing every game is important--could lead to more diving, sprinting, and colliding in order to get that little extra edge, and potentially more injuries. I've said throughout the spring that one of these teams will collapse and miss the playoffs, but I'm not sure which one. Like Vladimir Guerrero last year, a minor disc herniation is becoming a major problem for Trot Nixon. Nixon is following the same protocol--therapy, then injections, then surgery--so the Sox are hoping that like Guerrero, the cortisone injections and a core-strengthening regimen will get Nixon back in mid-May. Use Guerrero as the comp here and you'll likely be able to spot exactly where Nixon will be back. We'll know shortly whether the injections worked.
The Red Sox and Yankees are trying to get all of their injuries out of the way...or at least it seems that way. It's doubtful that these early-season injuries are all that the two teams will have. The pressure of being very evenly matched throughout the season could keep some players on edge and--knowing every game is important--could lead to more diving, sprinting, and colliding in order to get that little extra edge, and potentially more injuries. I've said throughout the spring that one of these teams will collapse and miss the playoffs, but I'm not sure which one.
Jim Palmer plays the fool. Bob Feller preferred Wheaties to steroids. Rey Ordonez gives way to Khalil Greene. Dallas Green thinks the time is right for younger talent to take over GM jobs. These and other quips in The Week In Quotes.
"In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it... I'm the fool."
--Jim Palmer, former Orioles pitcher and Hall of Famer, on the issue of steroids in baseball (Baltimore Sun)
The White Sox may finally commit to Willie Harris. The Reds are playing all the wrong players. The Miguel Cabrera era begins in Florida. The Twins' handling of Johan Santana is a crime. News, notes, and Kahrlisms in the latest edition of Transaction Analysis.
The Snakes bury John Patterson, the Red Sox sort through a batch of soft tossers, the Marlins vie for a 25-catcher roster, and the Devil Rays solve all their problems by grabbing Al Martin and Damion Easley.
Nevertheless, in the wake of the most bizarre deal we've seen in a very long time, I couldn't help myself; I peeked around. Now, I have a lot of respect for Rob Neyer, and for Rob's work. As a fellow product of the analysis revolution of the '80s, I suspect we share a basic philosophy of trying to inject some element of quantitative analysis to provide better qualitative commentary. That said, I think any attempt to quantitatively assess the trade of Jeremy Giambi--regardless of your opinion of Win Shares and their utility--ignores two basic problems.
Losing David Justice isn't good news, considering I'm not a big Scott Hatteberg guy, but I am a believer when it comes to Eric Byrnes, so I guess I'm happy. Outfield defense is always going to be an issue for a unit that has Terrence Long in center field and either Justice or Jeremy Giambi in a corner. While I'm not arguing for Byrnes to play every day, he does give the A's a hitter who puts hard-hit balls into play, who can cover an outfield corner well, and basically give the bottom of the lineup someone who can help score some of the other more walk-inclined hitters batting higher up.