The Mets’ season already looks like a mess, though Jose Reyes, Aaron Heilman, and yes, even Ty Wigginton could brighten the picture. Jose Jimenez has gone from solid, unheralded reliever to arsonist; Shawn Chacon has gone from arsonist to early ace. The Orioles are bad at the big-league level, bad at the minor-league level, and may finally start to feel the economic pinch too.
In this installment of Prospectus Triple Play, Prospectus authors look at the Red Sox closer situation, the Reds’ injury woes, and Ryan Klesko’s improved defense for the Padres. Plus tips o’ the cap to Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar, and Brian Lawrence.
Prospectus Triple Play debuts with a look at the Yankees, Marlins, and Pirates.
See how the Yankees are handling Derek Jeter’s injury. Delve into the mystery that is uberhacker Alfonso Soriano. Marvel at Jeff Torborg’s ’82 Cardinals baserunning strategy. Scratch your head over Pudge’s transformation into Jim Thome. Watch in horror as the Pirates slip into Tigerville sans Brian Giles. And light a candle for the return of John Wasdin.
There are 30 teams in MLB, 25 players per team, for 750 roster spots total. We put out a book with about 1,600 players in it. You’d think we’d be able to cover those 750 roster spots, but no, every year MLB teams manage to find players we didn’t cover and give them uniforms on Opening Day. Right rude of them, we think. So here’s what we’ve been able to dredge up on the 37 guys we’ve identified as being on an Opening Day roster but not in Baseball Prospectus 2003.
The cheapskate A’s finally get off their butts and spend some money, inking reigning MVP and world’s best shortstop Miguel Tejada to a five-year, $58.5 million deal. GM Billy Beane turns attention to locking up Frank Menechino for the next five years.
BP’s authors shoot the breeze, giving their takes on their surprising AL West unanimity, the wide-open NL Central, the viability of Vlad for MVP and Mark Prior for Cy Young, and more.
Readers critique BP’s Tout Wars team, go below the belt for an injury question, and challenge the notion of set rotation roles.
Well, it’s that time of year again–the time for Baseball Prospectus authors to emerge from out of their respective caves, and provide readers with further evidence that they know absolutely nothing about this game they call “base ball.” In other words, it’s time for the annual set of Preseason Predictions.
For this survey, 13 members of the Baseball Prospectus staff submitted their predictions in time for publication, covering–among other things–divisional standings, postseason standings, and end-of-season awards. Later this week, a Roundtable discussion will run in this space, discussing the predictions seen below, and probably a bunch of other topics as well. Enjoy.
The question going into this season is, does removing a Bobby V-shaped tumor from the Mets, and plugging in Howe’s soothing salve fix things? Does adding two big signings–both with some questions–push the big-money Mets back into contention? A team with the cash the Mets have should never have an organizational depth problem if they do the necessary due diligence. At the very least, they should fill Norfolk with Quadruple-A players while they’re developing young prospects. Yet somehow, the Mets have found ways to spend money without making themselves appreciably better.
On September 19, 1968 at Tiger Stadium, Detroit right-hander Denny McLain was cruising along in the top of the eighth with a 6-1 lead over the New York Yankees. He had won his 30th game five days earlier, and the Tigers had already clinched the American League pennant. When Yankee first baseman Mickey Mantle came to bat with one out and nobody on, McLain let Mantle know that he would give him whatever pitch Mickey wanted. Mantle signaled for a fastball letter high, McLain delivered it, and Mantle hit it into the right field seats for his 535th career home run. Although McLain was coy after the game in the locker room, everyone knew what had happened.
It was classic McLain: charming, cocky, arrogant, reckless. A rebel or a punk, take your pick, and your choice likely depended on your age and your politics. Just 24 years old, McLain had played by his own rules his whole life, and as the first 30-game winner in baseball in 34 years, he could get away with just about anything. He knew it. He had a prickly relationship with his teammates, managers, and the fans, all of whom he was apt to criticize in the press. Bill Freehan, his catcher, once wrote, “The rules for Denny just don’t seem to be the same as for the rest of us.”
The Baseball Prospectus staff responds to reader mail about Rick Peterson, Todd Zeile and more.
This week, Baseball Prospectus 2003 will be released to bookstores nationwide. To celebrate the release of the book, we’re announcing our Top 40 Prospects here at the Web site.
Part two of our look at the top 40 prospects.
If the Bartolo Colon trade was some big Selig conspiracy, how come Minaya offered Colon a $50-million, four-year extension? Bud had to approve that contract. Only after Colon rejected it, did Minaya trade him. Why wasn’t that mentioned? Oh, I get it – if it’s A FACT but it doesn’t fit the conspiracy template/make Bud look bad in EVERY situation template – just ignore it.
The end always justifies the means when it is Bud we are attacking. I don’t mind opinionated journalists, but when you ignore important facts to make your argument look better, it destroys your credibility. Is BP’s urge to bash Bud that strong that you must always embellish your pro-MLBPA side and ignore facts that might weaken your argument?
Featuring Jonah Keri, Jeff Bower, Chris Kahrl, Derek Zumsteg, Nate Silver, Jeff Hildebrand, Gary Huckabay, Dave Pease