Tag Archives: Rollins

WS Game 3: KC goes up 2 games to 1 with a 3-2 win.

Alcides Escobar had two hits and scored two runs, and KC’s bullpen tossed four innings of no-hit ball as the Royals beat the Giants in Game 3 of the WS Friday night 3-2 to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the World Series.

Game 4 Saturday night.

Surprising news today as Joe Maddon opted out of his contract as manager of the Rays. He won’t be out of work long.

Kevin Long signs on as hitting coach for the Mets, not too long after the Yanks let him go.

Jimmy Rollins and Paul Konerko share the Roberto Clemente Award for giving back to the community.

Phils re-sign Rollins, SD & Cincy make a deal

Long-time Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins, the 2007 MVP, re-signed with the Phils yesterday, for a three-year deal worth $33 million. There is a vesting option for a fourth year. Not the five-year deal the 33 year old wanted, but the Phils regular SS since 2001 stays in Philly. Rollins, a .272 hitter (ave. 162 g. season .272-17-72, 37 SB, OPS+ 97) could get his 2000th hit in 2012. He is 134 short.

SD traded Mat Latos to the Reds for four players. Latos, 24, was 9-14, 3.47 for the Padres last season, ERA 3.47 (ERA+ 102). The youngster is 27-29 in his career, but with a 3.37 ERA (ERA+ 108). In return, the Padres get 1B Yonder Alonso, C Yasmani Grandal, as well as pitchers Brad Boxberger and Edinson Volquez. Alonso played some LF for the Reds in 2011, hitting .330-5-15 in 88 AB. Volquez was 5-7, 5.71, ERA+ 68. Since going 17-6, 3.21 in 2008, Volquez has gone just 13-12, 5.01.

The Celtics will be without F Jeff Green for the entire season. Green will need heart surgery to correct an aortic aneurysm.

Today’s move

Dontrelle Willis now tries to resurrect his career with the Phils. Willis was 1-6, 5.00 for the Reds in 2011 (ERA+ 78). The one-time Marlins ace (MLB leading 22 wins in 2005, CYA runnerup, 2003 ROY) is 14-30, 5.65, ERA+ 76 since 2006.

Ex-Yank Jonathan Albaladejo has signed with AZ. He pitched in Japan last year.

Ex-Yank #1 draft pick Andrew Brackman signed with the Reds. He pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the Yanks last year, but was just 3-6, 6.00 at AAA.

It appears that Josh Willingham is headed to the Twins. Willingham, 32, hit .246-29-98 for the A’s in 2011, OPS+ 121. The A’s lost DeJesus already (.240-10-46) to the Cubs. If they trade Gio, they’ll need bats. Godzilla will be 38 in 2012, and he’s slipping. Hideki Matsui (Godzilla) hit just .251-12-72 in 2011, OPS+ just 92. The team OPS+ was just 87.

With Texas still strong (2x defending AL Champ) and the Angels picking up Wilson and Pujols, it could be a long 2012 for Oakland.

The Rox are said to be looking at either Michael Cuddyer or Carlos Beltran.

It doesn’t appear that Jimmy Rollins will leave the Phils, but the Tigers are said to possibly give the Phils competition in signing the free agent SS.

NFL: “Bad Boy” James Harrison of the Steelers suspended for one game for his hit on Browns QB Colt McCoy. I don’t advocate dirty football or purposely injuring someone, but sometimes the NFL does go too far. It is football after all. Hits happen. Sometimes the NFL seems to be turning it into p****ball. Let them play. A defender can’t stop in mid-run to avoid hitting someone. Let the refs decide if a hit was avoidable or not.

Marlins still making waves

So the Marlins are out on Pujols, despite a ten-yr. offer.

Is Pujols really 31? Even if that, ten years is too much. If he’s really 34 or so, then a ten-yr. offer is insane.

But apparently Miami is also out on Fielder. Fielder, younger, may make more sense but it appears the Marlins, after being spurned by Albert, seek more pitching. There are rumors of a six-yr. deal being tossed at Wilson by both Miami AND the Angels.

They did land LHP Mark Buehrle today (I’ll admit, I wanted Buehrle on the Yanks, but apparently the Yanks didn’t want to go more than two years. Buehrle got $58M/4 yr.). This reunites Buehrle with his old mgr., Ozzie Guillen. Buehrle, who has thrown two no-no’s (one a perfecto) was 13-9, 3.59 this past season, ERA+ 117. For his career, he’s 161-119, 3.83, ERA+ 120, 162 g. ave. 15-11, 3.83. Solid. He’ll be 33, and if I were Cashman, I’d have offered him 2 yr., $30mm. Nothing more. Of course, I don’t know what $$$$ Cash has to deal with. Buehrle got 4 yr., $58MM. I don’t think Cashman wants to go into that 2014 CBA . Meaning nothing (outside of present contracts) into 2014.

The Yankees did win a posting fee on a Japanese SS, Hiroyuki Nakajima. Twitter has reports of him being a good bat, but poor glove despite a recent GG in Japan. The Yanks posting fee of $2mm was enough. They are looking at him and Nunez for the utility inf. spot. Nakajima’s last four years in Japan were: .331-21-81, .309-22-92, .314-20-93 and this past year’s .297-16-100 (21 SB). We don’t know if the pop will translate, but it’s nice pop if it does. The Yanks now have 30 days to sign him.

Huston Street was dealt by the Rox to SD. Street was 1-4, 3.86, 29 saves for Colorado in 2011. He is just 28 but has 178 career saves, 30-21, 3.11, ERA+ 143. He was the 2005 ROY with the A’s.

SD meanwhile, DFA’d Jeremy Hermida.

Could Jimmy Rollins be going back to the Phils? It appears so. As does K-Rod to Milwaukee, where he would be one very expensive setup man.

So now Miami is looking to deal Hanley Ramirez because he had a snit fit about being moved from SS to 3B. He is coming off a bad year, and has had a history of showing up his mgr. Great talent, great asshole.
Grow up, Hanley.

For the record, I saw Hanley Ramirez play for AA when he was a Boston farmhand. I saw great talent. Too bad he progressed into a jackass.

Erik Bedard to the Pirates. Bedard was 5-9, 3.62 combined for Sea/Bos. ERA+ 110. Bedard has never given 200 IP in his career, only once has he given 30 starts in a season. Pass.

Guillermo Mota back to SF. He was 2-2, 3.81 for them in 2011, ERA + 94. Career 39-44, 3.91, ERA+ 106. He is 38.

David Ortiz accepts arbitration from Boston. He did hit .309-29-96 in 2011, OPS+ 154, but he is 36.

Rumors are that the Phils would deal prospect Domonic Brown for Gio Gonzalez of the A’s. Gio would make that rotation … ugh.

For Gonzalez, the A’s wanted Montero as a start…

The Angels are about to sign LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins, soon to be 39, was 3-1, 2.42, ERA+ 162 in 2011. For his career, he is 63-85, 4.48, ERA+ 104 w/87 saves.

UPDATE: K/ROD accepts Milw. arb. offer. Meaning he’ll be the most expensive setup guy ever.

Tim McCarver, who had a long playing career (and was 2nd in MVP voting to teammate Orlando Cepeda in 1967), was elected to the HOF as a broadcaster. (The Ford C. Frick Award).

DeWayne Wise, who saved Buehrle’s perfecto with a great catch, is about to sign a minor league deal w/the yanks. .219 B.A., OPS+ 62. Better glove than bat.

 

 

 

Reyes to Marlins, 6 yr. $106MM

Jose Reyes is no longer a Met. The SS signed with the Marlins, 6 yr. $106MM.

Reyes is a talent, but some recent injuries have me wondering if six years is too much and if Miami overpaid.

The 28 yr. old will supplant Hanley Ramirez at SS for the Marlins, as the Marlins plan to move Ramirez to 3B. Reyes led the NL in B.A. in 2011, hitting .337 (although he backed into it the final day). He led the majors in triples with 16 while going .337-7-44, with 39 SB and an OPS+ of 143. He was an All-Star and finished 11th in MVP voting.

For his career, Reyes is a .292 hitter, OPS+ 106. His 162 g. average is .292-12-65, 57 SB. Four times he has led the majors in triples.

Reyes, however, has missed 25-30 games each of the last two years due to injuries. In 2009, he missed some 120 games due to injury.

Ramirez, meanwhile, had a terrible 2011, missing 60-65 games with injury and hitting just .243-10-45, 20 SB, OPS+ 85. Ramirez, the 2009 batting champ in the NL (.342), was a 30/30 guy in 2008. His 162 g. average is .306-25-83, 41 SB and an OPS+ of 132—numbers the Marlins need him to get back to. Ramirez turns 28 later this month.

With Heath Bell and Reyes, the Marlins are making a splash, and it appears they aren’t done. There could be more “fish in the sea” that they attempt to land.

The Phils, meanwhile, looked to strengthen their bench with the acquisition of Laynce Nix. Nix, 31, hit .250-16-44, OPS+ 103 for the Nats in 2011. For his career, the OF/PH is a .244 hitter, OPS+ 85. His 162 g. ave. is .244-17-60.

The Mets struggled to go 77-85 last year, and now have lost Capuano and Reyes. You wonder if they’ll go into full-fledged rebuilding mode and dump David Wright. They are stuck with that awful Jason Bay contract. Not only that, but Johan Santana missed all of 2011 except for two minor league games late in the year, and who knows how good his return will be?

As for Jimmy Rollins, the other top all-star SS out there, as Buster Olney of ESPN reports, the Brewers are the main competition to the Phils bringing Rollins back.

…but as for the Marlins, they aren’t done. They look like (with a new Stadium, a new name [Miami instead of Florida] and a new manager [Ozzie Guillen]) the Yankees right now. Bell, Reyes, and rumors have them targeting Pujols or even Buehrle.

Reyes AND Pujols? And more?

Football: PSU’s fallout continues as they drop to the Ticket City Bowl, 1/2/12 in Dallas vs. Houston. Other, more prestigious bowls passed up 9-3 PSU (due to the scandal) for teams 7-5 and 6-6 that PSU beat this year. Still, it’s a nice matchup for the bowl, as PSU will take on 12-1 Houston.

But Alabama winds up with a “mulligan.” Despite losing 9-6 earlier this year to LSU, the Crimson Tide gets a rematch in the National Championship game. I can’t say I’m happy about that. They had their shot…and at home, too. Okla. St. probably deserves it more.

Shut up and play

Jimmy Rollins started talking predictions again. Now, there is nothing wrong with his prediction of 100 wins for his team. He did go a bit overboard with his wanting to go after Seattle’s 116 of 2001 (hey, Jimmy, just so you know, the Mariners lost the ALCS that year. Just saying). Rollins prediction for the 2009 WS was, well, wrong, as anyone who has the 2009 WS DVD knows.

Obviously Rollins will exude enthusiasm and predict his own team. His Phils are the favorite for the NL pennant this year and possibly the WS as well. The problem is, Rollins should start shutting up and start playing.

Rollins is an exceptionally talented athlete, don’t get me wrong. He has power, and hit 30 HR in his 2007 MVP year. He has great range and plays super defense (3 GG). He has great speed, having stolen 40 or more bases 4x. He had a 30/30 year in his MVP year.

But for a leadoff hitter, he has had three seasons in his ten years of being a full-time player where he has hit .250 or less. His OPS+ is 97. Just 97. He’s never hit .300 in a season. His lifetime BA is just .272.

He’s better than that. This is a guy who conceivably could have a .314 BA, walk 90 times, steal 60 bases, hit 25 HR. He has that ability. In no season, other than his 2007 MVP season, has he approached what he can do. In that season, one of only four in which he had an OPS+ of 100 (league average) or better, he had a 119. In the other three seasons that he had an OPS+ over 100, he barely squeaked over that line.

In the past two seasons, he hit .250 and .243. He missed two months with an injury last year. But OPS+ of 87 and 86? For all his speed, he’s never walked 60 times in a season.

No .300 BA. No season of 60 walks. A career OPS+ of 97.

His 162 g. average is respectable. .272-17-72, 37 SB. Just 55 walks. Maybe he should forget about the power and go for average and drawing walks.

He is 32. Personally, I’d take Ramirez, Tulo and possibly Reyes over him in the NL. Personally, I think he’s the greatest Phillies SS ever.

But also personally, I think he has never become what he should have been, except for possibly one season. Physically, he may have better tools than even Jeter. Physically. Smaller, but faster, more range, as much power, maybe more … but Jeter has a .314 career BA and an OPS+ of 119. Those are numbers Rollins should be looking at.  Put it this way, we are worried about Jeter after a .270, OPS+ 90 year. That is still better than what Rollins has done over the past two years. Rollins is in his prime, Jeter isn’t.  

Maybe if he just kept his mouth silent…

but then that’s me being old school. Shut up, play, produce. 

Don’t be content with being 80% of what you can or should be.

 

Buck is Back; Oswalt to Phils; Tejada a Padre, Cantu to Texas

Buck Showalter is back managing.

I always liked and respected Buck, even though at times he seemed a bit too uptight. Let’s remember that after the Yanks hit rock-bottom 1989-1992, that it was Buck who got them back to respectability and to the postseason (1995, first time since 1981 and let’s not forget the best record in the AL in the wasted 1994 season) before Torre got them to the top.

But I wonder if Buck should have waited. For he is taking over the worst team in baseball, the Orioles. I don’t know if Buck would have been considered for the Cubs job, in which Ryne Sandberg is the sentimental favorite, but I just don’t think the Orioles are a good fit for him. Oh well, at least Buck has the Boss experiences to fall back on for his new dealings with Angelos. He may need it.

Meanwhile, the Phils made a big move today in getting Roy Oswalt from the Astros. The last NL team to win three consecutive pennants were the Cardinals of 1942-1944. Those teams are often overlooked because of WWII. They won the WS in 1942 and 1944 with players such as P Mort Cooper (1942 MVP), C Walker Cooper (Mort’s brother), 1943 MVP and HOFer Stan Musial, HOF Enos Slaughter, 1944 MVP Marty Marion, Whitey Kurowski, Terry Moore, and Max Lanier. Billy Southworth was the manager.

Could the Phils now become the first NL team to win three conecutive pennants since those Cardinal teams? They have Halladay as the ace and his record should be better than 12-8, given his 2.21 ERA (Halladay had the perfect game earlier this year). Cole Hamels is just 7-7, but the ERA is a respectable 3.48. You don’t know when you get the “Ancient Ex-Mariner,” 47 year old Jamie Moyer back (9-9, 4.84). I’m not a big believer in Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 4.60) or Joe Blanton (4-6,  5.85). However now you have Oswalt, who despite leading the majors in  losses (6-12) has an ERA of 3.42. A nice 1-2-3 punch. Oswalt is 143-82, 3.24, ERA+ 134 for his career and brings postseason experience as well (2005 pennant winning Astros, for one).

He’ll be 33 soon so this is a NOW move. Happ isn’t that young, he’ll be 28 soon, and he’s been injured. He did show promise last year (12-4, 2.93), 2nd in ROY voting but he’s only pitched three games for the Phils this year. If he develops and Oswalt doesn’t help the Phils to a pennant, then maybe a bad move. But the Phils are going for the now. (An aside: I felt that Charlie Manuel did the Yanks a favor in starting Pedro in games 2 and 6 at Yankee Stadium in last year’s WS. Pedro lost both games. I felt that the Phils’ move should have been Happ instead of Pedro).  

Of course, getting Chase Utley back healthy would help them even more. Having Jimmy Rollins produce (.244, OPS+93) would help too. Even though he won an MVP, I’ve always felt that Rollins hasn’t gotten the most of his ability. His career OPS+ is still just a 97. Even though the Phils won the pennant last year, Rollins OBP was terrible. Just .296. His 162 g average is .273-17-72 with 37 steals but 55 walks. He needs to walk more.

With Shane Victorino on the DL, the Phils called up top prospect Domonic Brown, who went 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI in his MLB debut. His first MLB ab was an RBI double that came close to going yard. I saw his stance, and he holds his bat high. How high? When I first saw him, the only player I recalled having the hands up that high was Yaz.

Now it will be interesting to see how say, Doc/Oswalt/Hamels matches up against the Cardinals trio. Carpenter (11-3, 3.09), Wainwright (14-6, 2.23) and Garcia (9-4, 2.33) are formidable. I’m not too sold on Lidge or Franklin no matter what their records as closers, however. Maybe I am just spoiled with Mo. 

The Giants don’t have a bad foursome Lincecum 10-4, 3.12, Cain 8-8, 3.14, a revitalized Zito 8-6, 3.49 and Jonathan Sanchez 7-6, 3.55. I like their closer, Brian “the Beach Boy” Wilson over Lidge or Franklin. As for the Braves, the starters outside of Hudson aren’t impressing me too much but Billy Wagner (why retire? 5-1, 1.69 with 23 saves) and Johnny Venters 3-0, 1.07 have been fabulous, not to mention other bullpen arms in Peter Moylan (3-1, 2.68), Saito (1-3, 3.41) and O’Flaherty (3-1, 2.30). Starters? or bullpen? If the Braves starters (Hudson ERA 2.40 but others at 3.99, 4.48, 4.37, 4.75) keep them in the game, then…

The Phils helped themselves with Oswalt…but they need Utley and a revitalized Rollins more. They have played good ball this week, cutting the lead to 3 1/2. We’ll see if Oswalt gives the Phils a boost. 

Update: Miguel Tejada dealt to SD. Tejada seems cooked, 36, .269-7-39 in a bandbox and now he is going to a tougher park to hit in. The Padres were trying to find a stick, so…

Texas gets Jorge Cantu from the Marlins. .259-10-54. He’ll give some versatility. Nice deadline for the Rangers. Lee and Cantu.  

Joba must impress today. Result: Pettitte ok, Marte awful. Joba ok. Yanks lose in S.T. 6-2.

With Aceves and Hughes leading the pack for the 5th starter position, Joba Chamberlain looks at today and sees his stats in last place, behind those two as well as Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre.

It’s put up or shut up time. Andy Pettitte starts against the Phils today, Damaso Marte gets an inning, but eyes will be on Joba. His first two outings were terrible, and you can excuse one because of a bout with the flu (of which I am fighting now, so I clearly empathize).

But Joba has to show something… and now. Back with the results later.  

In the first, Gardner singled, stole 2nd but was left stranded. Rollins doubled off Pettitte, stole third and scored on a Howard single. Andy K’d two. 1-0 Phils.  Cervelli had a two out single in the second but was stranded. Andy gave up singles to Ransom and Castro and a SF to Ruiz in the 2nd. 2-0 Phils after 2. Nick Johnson had a two-out hit in the third but was stranded. Andy has a scoreless 3rd, one hit.  

RBI double for Cervelli in the 4th. 2-1 Phils after 3 1/2.  

Pettitte’s day is done. A shaky beginning, then he settled in. 4 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk, 4 K.

Encouraging day for Gardner, who has his detractors. He triples (reminding us of that great speed, he just needs to hit enough to take advantage of it) and scores on a game-tying SF by Johnson.  

Thank goodness this wasn’t the Marte we saw in the WS. Both Pettitte and Marte are facing live batters for the first time. Pettitte? Decent. Marte, not so. 3-run HR by Werth. Marte gave up 4 hits and retired no one. According to Chad Jennings at LoHud, Marte was removed from the game after taking a Ryan Howard liner off his back. Amaury Sanit finished the inning. In the 6th, the Yanks got two hits off Contreras (including Cervelli’s third of the game) but no runs. Time for Joba to show something.

Joba gets two outs, gives up a bloop double then an RBI single. Good day for Cervelli who throws out a runner trying to steal. We’ll see how Joba bounces back.

He winds up going three, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 3 K. A good outing, considering the run basically came on a bloop double. Is it enough to get him even with Hughes and Aceves? Probably not, but it puts him back in the picture.

The team was 0 for 9 with RISP today.    

Update: Chad Jennings at LoHud reports that Marte is fine. He also adds that (and I was just looking at the boxscore) Chamberlain pitched a “bottom of the 9th” even though the home team won. A 1-2-3 with 2 ks. So 4 IP in all, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 5 Ks. The Joba we’d like to see….whether as a starter or a reliever. Nice bounceback.

Speaking of bouncebacks, time for yours truly to do so, after he has spent most of the past three days trying to get over the flu.   

 

  

Weekend wrap

As we head into the weekend, what do we see over the past couple of days?

The Rose Bowl is set. Oregon (who beat Oregon St. in what basically was the Pac-10 title game) vs. Ohio St.

The Phils got a 3B. 34 year old Placido Polanco is going back to Philly, where he spent part of 2002, all of 2003 and 2004 and part of 2005. He hit .285-10-72 for the Tigers last year, OPS+88. Gold Glove at 2B (which he also won in 2007). The Phils will move him from 2B to 3B. Earlier, the Phils didn’t renew the contract of Pedro Feliz, their 3B from this year. Polanco is a .303 career hitter, OPS+98, who doesn’t strike out much (43 per 162 g. average) but doesn’t walk much either (35 per 162). His 162 g. average is .303-10-64. I hear talk of him in the #2 spot behind Rollins with Victorino dropping down. I think that may be a mistake. Maybe the Phils should bat Victorino (.292-10-62/.358 OBA/.445 SA/OPS+ 109/25 SB) leadoff and move Rollins (.250-21-77/.296 OBP/.423 SA/OPS+ 86/31 SB) down. Keep the better OBP in front of Utley and Howard and drop the better slugger down. Polanco at 2? .285-10-72/.331 OBP/.396 SA; doesn’t have the steals, but… The Phils could go Victorino (S)/Polanco (R)/Utley (L)/Howard (L)/Werth (R)/Ibanez (L)/Rollins (S)/Diaz (R)/pitcher. They have Brian Schneider (L; 2009 Mets .218-3-24 in 59 games, OPS+67) to backup Diaz (R; .255-9-43 in 107 games OPS+ 104).   

The Braves signed Billy Wagner. The 38 year old missed most of 2009 due to TJ surgery which ended his 2008 season. In 2008 for the Mets, Wags went 0-1, 2.30 with 27 saves before the injury. Last year, in 17 games, just 15 2/3 IP (Mets and Red Sox), Wagner was 1-1, 1.72. He has 385 saves in his MLB career with a 2.39 ERA.

Not to be outdone, and getting someone OLDER to share the closer’s spot with Wagner, the Braves also signed Takashi Saito off of Boston. Saito will be 40 next Valentine’s Day. He was 3-3, 2.43 for the Red Sox this past year. In his short MLB career (he didn’t come over from Japan until he was 36 in 2006) he is 15-10, 2.05. He spent 2006-2008 with the Dodgers before going to Boston.

Apparently the Braves felt that they would lose both Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. I am reading a lot about how the Yanks are very interested in Soriano, who was 1-6, 2.97, 27 saves for the Braves in 2009. 102 K in 75 2/3. They see his power arm as setting up RIvera (with, conceivably, both Joba and Hughes possibly in the rotation—especially if Pettitte retires). Soriano is 8-18 in his MLB career, but with an ERA of 2.92 and a 9.9K/9IP ratio. The soon-to-be 30 year old did have injury issues for Seattle in 2004-2005 and with the Braves in 2008. He is a righty. Interesting that (with Robertson, Melancon, as well as Hughes, Aceves and Joba) that the Yanks’ interest is in Soriano, when you might think it would lie more with the lefty Gonzalez, being that the Yanks’ lefties are Marte and Coke. I wonder, after his excellent postseason, how much stock the Yanks have in Marte, who is still signed for two more years at a nice piece of change.

In a recent column, Joel Sherman lists alternatives if the Yanks can’t bring back Damon. He is not thinking Bay or Holliday but cheaper—Cameron, Winn, bring back Nady, Ankiel, Juan Rivera. One name he floats is someone I liked a few years ago. Before signing Damon (something I didn’t see coming, an ultimate Red Sox “idiot” coming to the Bronx), I advocated two people for CF as Bernie’s successor. One was Victorino, then in the Phils minor league system. The other is someone Sherman puts out as one of the names (not mentioned above)—David DeJesus. DeJesus hit .281-13-71 OPS+106 in KC and maybe Yankee Stadium could suit his lefty swing a bit better. A local lad from Brooklyn, he will be 30 in a few weeks. $3.6M, mostly LF but CF in the past and you know how I feel about CF playing LF in Yankee Stadium (basically that with the 399 to LCF, you need to CFs out there, with the weaker one in LF. Damon, a former CF, fit that bill this year like Chad Curtis did in 1998-1999). Sherman says $4.7M for DeJesus in KC in 2010. Not the power of Matsui or Damon, but not bad production for the price (and we know the price of Matsui and Damon was $13M each in 2009).

George King floats that if Damon is lost at #2, that Chone Figgins could play LF and leadoff (dropping Jeter back to #2). Figgins could play 3B on days where A-Rod DH’s. Interesting. Figgins also matches that “CF actually in LF” mode. Should that ever come to be and you had say, Figgins leading off with Jeter second and say, it’s a game where Brett Gardner is in CF batting 9th…the other team’s catcher could be going nuts. Do I see Figgins in NY? No, but just riding King’s thought a little here.

Update:I see that Figgins is going to Seattle. Interesting in how he has been such a pain in the ass to Yankee fans while with the Angels. I have to e-mail “Uncle Joe” Colarusso from YFCR. You know how much he hates the Angels. Does this mean the Angels will be less of a thorn in the Yankees side? Seattle would then have Figgins and Ichiro as leadoff guys. King Felix will like that. But how much (if anything) does Junior have left at 40? Will Beltre return?  

Seattle is also apparently heavily after Jason Bay. It looks like they may be big players this offseason.

Marco Scutaro to Boston to be their next SS. I saw rumors of the mighty mite, Pedroia going to SS. Just rumors, it appears. Scutaro was .282-12-60 for Toronto last year. OPS+111, the only year the 34 year old has been over 100 OPS+ in his career. 162 g. average, .265-10-57, OPS+ 92. It seems like a nice, but not earth-shattering pickup.  

I watched the WS DVD. Nice to be reminded (in Games 3 and 4) of how close JD may have been from winning the WS MVP himself—and not Matsui. He did so much in both of those games, and not just the double-steal.

Also, it was interesting to see the one hit that Utley had that wasn’t a HR. Utley had six hits in the Series, five of them homers (tying Reggie Jackson for the most in a WS). Do you know what that sixth hit was? It was a double hitting high off the RF wall, where the Phils have that two feet of Plexiglass or whatever the heck it is. So, for three feet or so, Utley may have had the record to himself and could have had six HR in one WS.

Also nice to be reminded on the DVD of Lee being the first to have 10K/0 BB in a WS game since Deacon Phillippe in the very first WS game in 1903; Andy’s 18 postseason wins; Rivera’s 0.74 postseason ERA (WS ERA 0.99); and the quartet (Core Four as also known) each with five WS rings—most by teammates since 1962, when Yogi got #10, Mickey #7 and Whitey #6.

One tidbit on the DVD that will make you smile is the piece in which Jeter mentions Pettitte always talking about his hitting and now with the hit and WS RBI Jeter will have to hear Pettitte talk about it at Old Timers’ Days 30 years from now. Funny…and cute. 

Did you see the photo of a guy on a plane who was so obese he was taking up one seat and half the aisle? C’mon buddy, lose the weight. Not to be cruel, but a huge safety and security issue. I mean this guy was so huge that getting out the emergency exit would be a struggle! Check out the photo for yourself.

Fat man on plane
I hope the passengers didn’t have to use the bathroom.

Speaking of fat guys, I guess you saw that Mangino resigned (or was forced to) from Kansas based on how he was supposedly treating and abusing players. If those allegations are accurate, Kansas had no choice.

The Post states that besides Aroldis Chapman, that the Yanks are also looking at another heat-throwing Cuban defector—Israel Soto.

Got to love the Tiger jokes in the Post today…cruel, but good…hey, he has no one to blame but himself.

Thanks to Mike F. for sending along the SI write-up on Sportsman of the Year Jeter. As Jason wrote, good piece in there of Jeter ripping Witasick after Game 6 of the 2001 WS (a game in which Witasick was pathetic but seemed to “shrug it off.”). Funny how each of the four outs Witasick got were K’s…but he also gave up 9R, 8ER, 10 hits in that 1 1/3 IP. In the article, Posada remarks that it was as mad as he ever saw Jeter get. I wish I was a fly on the wall to hear Jeter tell Witasick off. Witasick’s 2002 WS appearance (for SF) wasn’t any better…

If you didn’t like Skip Caray on TBS you are in luck. He isn’t there anymore. TBS let him go.

The afterglow.

Watching the parade. I still believe that although the WS MVP went to Matsui that the real MVP is Mo. Every closer pissed away a game this postseason—except for Mo. Papelbon, Street, Broxton, Lidge, Nathan, Fuentes, Franklin…the one solid rock was who else…Rivera, who had a 2009 postseason ERA of 0.56 and whose overall postseason record is now an incredible 8-1, 39 saves and an ERA of 0.74 in 133 1/3 IP.

Reflecting on a year that started in turmoil and disgrace. The steroid allegations and confirmation by Alex. The mea culpa press conference by Alex in which he promised his teammates the season of their lives…then delivered on it. The trials and failures of Wang. Both catchers, Posada and Molina, going on the DL at the same time so that A AA catcher hitting .190 had to be brought up to start. Although not a superstar, Cervelli, that AA catcher, handled himself well. The early season woes of Teixeira, who wound up the co-HR champ in the AL and the AL RBI champ. The emergence of a Cervelli, Robertson, Pena, Gardner and Hughes. Nady going down. Swisher stepping up. The bullpen failures. The takeoff of the team once Alex returned and Hughes, Aceves and Robertson replaced Edwar, Alby and Veras. 

It never comes easy.

…and as I watch, who else to close the parade than Mo?

Nope, it never comes easy. Got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues…or raise the trophy.

It Don't Come Easy
Sing it, Ringo. It Don’t Come Easy.…and it won’t come easy in 2010 for whoever wins it. The Yanks will have major decisions to make this offseason. The team is aging. Damon, Pettitte and Matsui are free agents, as is Jose Molina. Mo, Posada and Jeter, while returning, are all over 35. Alex turns 35 next year. For some, a last hurrah?

 

Heck, the Red Sox already made a move, trading for Hermida. The White Sox sent Fields and Getz to KC for Teahen.  Now today, the Brewers sent J.J. Hardy to the Twins for Gomez. 

Uneasy is the head that wears the crown.

But today, we celebrate.

Celebration Time, Come on!     

If you didn’t hear it, it looks like Girardi WILL switch to #28 next year…

and if you didn’t read it, check this out on Girardi’s Good Samaritan work after winning the title. 

…and what is the “Freak,” Tim Lincecum thinking (or NOT thinking due to being caught speeding and with grass?)?

Oh yeah, the guy who denigrated Jeter last week by saying that he’d be a nice backup infielder on the Phils (I wonder how many drinks the idiot had) Jeter. 407, Rollins .217 in the WS.