Tag Archives: Scutaro

Giants sweep away Tigers for crown

As I stay at home today with work called off because of Hurricane Sandy, I hope everyone stays safe.

Meanwhile, last night the S.F. Giants won their second title in three years. This time, it was in a sweep. The Giants defeated the Tigers 4-3 in ten innings.

Pablo Sandoval, who tied a record with three HRs in Game One, was named the WS MVP. He hit .500 (8 for 16) for the Series.

In the second, Pence doubled, and Belt tripled to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

Miguel Cabrera put the Tigers up 2-1 with 2-run HR in the third.

In the sixth, Buster Posey put S.F. up with a 2-run HR, but Delmon Young tied it with a HR of his own in the bottom of the sixth.

Some littleball won the game and the Series for the Giants in the 10th. Ryan Theriot singled, was bunted over to second by Brandon Crawford, and then Marco Scutaro, with two out, singled in Theriot.

The final out was a strikeout of Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, who watched strike three go by.

Now as for that ring, I wonder if PED users (Melky) shouldn’t get diamonds but should get cubic zirconia instead?

In other news…

See another post for the major news of today.

In other news, the Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro to the Rockies for a young pitcher, and may be targeting Roy Oswalt.

Championship Sunday. We’ll see what happens. My eyes will be focused on Foxboro and San Francisco, but my mind and heart will be (as a PSU alum) in State College.

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.

Thanksgiving Thoughts and a look ahead.

The one and only “Yankee Truth”, Josh, sent me a gift this week. It’s a Yankee Trivia Teaser book first printed in 2007. While appreciative (you know the saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth?), I do NOT recommend the book.

It has more errors in it than the gloves of the 1962 Mets. Let’s see, if I call the publisher (that is, if it is still in print) and get paid X amount of dollars for each error I caught, I’d make…

Here’s one. When discussing Vic Raschi, the book states that he gave up Hank Aaron’s first MLB HR in August of 1953. There is a problem. Hammerin’ Henry did touch Vic for #1 of his 755, but Aaron didn’t come up to the majors until 1954 (1st HR, April 23, 1954). Raschi was still with the Yanks in 1953 (as part of a killer quartet of Reynolds, Raschi, Lopat and Ford—Reynolds was used mostly in relief, though).

I picked up Baseball Insider this week, which I usually don’t do. I did it because they have a feature where they analyze projected 2012 lineups. Interesting, since who in 2006 had CC, AJ or Teixeira on the Yankees? Who in 2006 would have predicted the decline of Wang due to injury? Who would have predicted Swisher? You don’t know about free agency, injuries or trades.

Nonetheless, here is what they had (lineup order from me, as to where I’d put them if their prediction becomes true).

Gardner CF
Jeter SS (at 37 on Opening Day 2012, with some 3140 hits in tow?)
Teixeira 1B
Alex 3B (at 36 Opening Day 2012, which makes you wonder about the D on the left side of the infield; in the spring of 2012, A-Rod shouldn’t be too far behind Mays’ 660 HR and should have about 2830 hits himself as he hopes to end 2012 with #3000).
Cano 2B
Montero DH (at the age of 22)
Jackson RF (that’s Austin at age 25, not Reggie!)
Cabrera LF (ummm…Melky, not Miggy).
Cervelli C (but as Baseball Insider points out, possibly Austin Romine at 23).

Young with A-Jax, Montero and Romine. You wonder about some power, which Montero is expected to provide (.325, 37 HR in 257 minor league games so far and still not 20 yet—a few days away). Austin Jackson hit .300 at AAA this year at age 22, but had just 4 HR. 24 SB. You hope the power starts to develop.

No Damon (38), Matsui (37), Swisher, or Posada (40). But as I’ve noted, this doesn’t take into account any free agent signings or trades from now until 2012.

Now for the pitchers.

CC, AJ, Hughes, McAllister and Brackman as the starters with Joba closing.

Ok, Pettitte would be 39 and most likely retired. Mo would be 42, and who knows about him?

Hughes would still be just 25 on Opening Day 2012. Joba would be 26.

As for Zach McAllister, he would be 24 at that time. This year the 21 year old went 7-5, 2.23 for AA Trenton in 22 starts. He is 30-22, 2.81 in his minor league career. He and CC could be power forwards for the 0-14 Nets (maybe they should be). McAllister is 6’6″ and weighs 230.

I can’t figure out how Brackman made this list. Granted Baseball Insider (USA TODAY) states that Brackman was slowed by TJ surgery, but his 2009 numbers were horrendous. He will be 24 on December 4th (meaning 26 on Opening Day 2012) but has a LONG way to go after a 2009 which saw these numbers:

2-12, 5.91 at LOW A Charleston. 19 starts out of his 29 games. 106 2/3 IP.
103 K, but 76 walks. 10 HBP and 26 wild pitches.

But hey, he is 6’10” and 270…there’s always the Nets…(BTW, my local newspaper’s NBA coverage is so poor you need a magnifying glass to see it).

Interesting signings. This year the Chisox let Jim Thome go (right after he passed Reggie on the HR list with #564). The 39 year old’s chances of hitting 600 don’t look good unless he can find an AL team. After going to the Dodgers at the end of August, he was just 4 for 17, all as a PH. He hasn’t played in the field since 2007. With the White Sox in 2009 he was .249-23-74, OPS+ still a good 122 (Overall .249-23-77, 118). He does still whiff a lot, 123 times, but the OPS+ numbers show something may be left. The White Sox let him go in August…presumably to get younger??? (Trade for a minor leaguer).

But who do they sign this week? Andruw Jones. Yup. Andruw Jones, who will still (believe it or not) is just 32 but whose last couple years have been like this:

2007 .222-26-94 OPS+ 87 Atlanta
2008 .158-  3-14 OPS+ 35 (you read that right; pitcher’s stats) 75 games. Dodgers 
2009 .214-17-43 OPS+ 100 (league average; 82 games in the hitter’s park in Texas).

You may talk about Andruw’s defense (10 GG) , but consider this…he only played 17 games in the OF for the Rangers this past season. The rest of the time, it was DH… 

Before that signing this week, the Pale Hose signed Omar Vizquel, who is 42. Omar did decently enough this past year, .266-1-14 as a backup for Texas. Vizquel’s career OPS+ is just 83. He’ll be an interesting HOF case. Over 2700 hits, .273 (same as Rizzuto), 389 SB. 11 GG.

I don’t see the upside in Andruw, and wonder how much Vizquel has left.

Heck, Ozzie Guillen is just 39 months older than Vizquel. Ozzie will be 46 in January.

Guillen’s last full year came at the age of 33 in 1997. His last year was in 2000. The ROY in 1985 and Manager of the Year in 2005 (when the White Sox won their only WS since 1917) hit .264 as a player (3x AS, 1 GG). The OPS+ was only 68 because he NEVER walked. His 162 game average was .264-2-50 with 14 SB but just 19 walks. AN OBP of … ugh…. .287.

Alex Gonzalez (of Game 4 2003 WS Jeff Weaver infamy) left Boston to go to Toronto. MLBTR states that Boston has interest in Scutaro.

Shelley Duncan, taken off the 40-man, refused an assignment back to AAA SWB and is now a free agent.