Everything you wanted to know about the BP Kings Charity Scoresheet Draft.
Peter Gammons' unfortunate incident focused the spotlight on cerebral aneurysms, but my connection is more personal. My mother had a cerebral aneurysm rupture way back in 1977 and was fortunate to survive.
Draft Strategy: Be strong at scarce positions offensively, avoided the dreaded Pitcher-AAA as always, and work on building a better bullpen to compensate for the lack of early starting pitchers. I sort of strayed from that strategy by taking John Lackey relatively early, and I might have a problem at second base if Jose Lopez doesn't pan out. I wanted to build a good core under the age of 30, and I did a fairly decent job of that. One of my harder decisions was my first one--Grady Sizemore vs. Joe Mauer. The consensus seems to be that I went the wrong with Sizemore--the consensus could be right, but I get the idea that three years from now Mauer won't be catching as often, to preserve his knees. Maybe that's too far forward to look, but at the same token, I see Sizemore as basically being risk-free.
I participated in the Mock Draft in the Scoresheet newsgroup, and because of that I expected the draft to be a little more prospect-heavy early-on. With the notable exception of Nate Silver, it wasn't, which suits me fine. I'm happy to have Brignac and Adam Miller among my top prospects.
Draft Strategy: Our only real strategy was to get big bats with the first few picks, then turn to pitching. Other than that, we basically reacted to the draft. We had the third pick, and in a league with an obvious top three, that made things easy. The one who's left is your guy, and that was Joe Mauer, whom we were happy to have. When Vernon Wells fell, we felt, to us at No. 22, we had our theme for the early part of the draft: Young, studly up-the-middle guys.
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The Indians and the Orioles seek a reversal of fortune by spending on relief help.
Yet don't tell that to the Cleveland Indians. While General Manager Mark Shapiro is a believer in sabermetric principals, he also understands the human element of the game. Shapiro was more than willing to invest in relief pitchers on the free-agent market over the winter, signing four veterans to one-year contracts with club options for 2008: Keith Foulke ($5 million with a $5-million option), Joe Borowski ($4.25 million with a $4 million option), Roberto Hernandez ($3.5 million with a $3.7 million option) and Aaron Fultz ($1.65 million with a $1.5-million option).
"I know people say one of the worst things you can do is spend a lot of money on free-agent relievers, but I think it made a lot of sense in our case," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "There is no greater (area of) volatility on your roster than the bullpen, so I think it pays to try to find the most consistent relievers you can, guys you can count on."
Picking up where he left off yesterday, Rany continues his dissection of the 2006 Detroit Tigers.
A month after nabbing their franchise shortstop, the Tigers signed a franchise catcher, Ivan Rodriguez. On the surface, this made all kinds of sense; it's not often you get the opportunity to sign a surefire Hall of Famer who just turned 32. On the other hand, catchers age quickly, and Rodriguez caught more games (1564) before his 32nd birthday than anyone other than Johnny Bench, who was finished as a catcher by the time he turned 33 and was finished as a ballplayer when he was 35. While Rodriguez's 4-year, $40 million deal was eminently reasonable, it still represented a gamble in that it was likely the Tigers would never be competitive enough during the life of the contract to make the addition of Rodriguez meaningful.
In his final 2005 column, Joe takes a look at what he learned during the year.
I intend to do a stack dump of those notes, because I've missed covering some significant moves--and have the e-mails to prove it--but it'll have to happen next week. It's just been very difficult to find blocks of time and access to information, and putting those two together has been a virtual impossibility. Come Monday, I'll be back amidst my technology--if on the wrong coast--again, and can get caught up on all the things I wanted to be writing over the past couple of weeks.
Kim Ng started her baseball career straight out of the University of Chicago as an intern for the Chicago White Sox. After rising to take over arbitration duties with the Sox, she took a job with the AL league office. Ng then spent four years with the New York Yankees as an assistant GM, where at age 29 she was the youngest in that position in baseball when hired. After completing her second year as vice president and assistant GM for the Los Angeles Dodgers, she's now one of only two women to hold such a position in baseball operations and the highest-ranking Asian-American executive in the majors. She was mentioned as a candidate for several GM jobs this off-season. Ng recently chatted with BP about learning the business, taking lessons from different mentors, and what it takes to succeed in baseball.
Baseball Prospectus: How did you first get your foot in the door with the White Sox?