Tag Archives: Vizquel

Once again, time to strip the HOF ballot from some BBWAA members.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Baseball HOF ballots are being counted (and new, if any, members are to be announced January 24) once again we see that the BBWAA should seriously consider stripping voting privileges away from some of its members.

This year’s case in point (so far): Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who only voted for two ex-players: former Indians Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

If he wants to skip over known and suspected steroid users like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez, that is one thing.

But what about others who may need every vote they can in order to receive the 75% it takes to get in? Ex-players like Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero or Edgar Martinez?

If someone like Mussina winds up with 74.7%, they don’t round up. Hoffman missed by only a handful of votes last year.

And, if someone like Mussina just misses, he has a legitimate gripe against voters like Livingston.

Voters like Livingston (and others who vote for candidates clearly not HOF worthy just to give them a vote—maybe they were drinking buddies with that player?) should have their voting privileges revoked.

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Posada retires today.

Jorge Posada announces his retirement at a press conference at Yankee Stadium today. See Bronx Baseball Daily (link at right) for a review of Posada’s career.

Cody Ross signed with Boston. He most likely will platoon in RF. Boston still has holes to fill.

Kevin Millwood signed a minor league deal with the Mariners. Omar Vizquel signed with Toronto. Vizquel, the active leader in games, PA and AB, will be 45 in April. He has 2841 hits.

Besides Ibanez, Damon, Vlad, Matsui… forgot another DH still out there: Derrek Lee. One off the board: Wilson Betemit, who signed with Baltimore.

Ex-Phils broadcaster Andy Musser died at the age of 74.

 

Yanks sign Marcus Thames to minor league deal

Well, for those wondering about Randy Winn’s righty bat as far as OF platoon player goes (Winn hit .158 righty in 2009), the Yankees may have alleviated some concerns.

Brian Cashman did say he was looking for a righty-hitting OF. Today they signed Marcus Thames to a minor league deal. Thames will get his shot to make the team in spring training.

Thames, 32 (33 next month), hit .252-13-36 (OPS+ 99) last year with the Tigers. For his career, he is a .243 hitter with 101 HR and an OPS+ of 104. He hit 26 HR for the 2006 AL Champion Tigers and 25 in 2008. His 162 g. average is .243-31-81, 42 walks, 134 K. Low average, doesn’t walk much but has pop. He is mostly a LF, but has played RF and 1B.

His very first HR in the majors came as a Yankee—on the very first pitch he saw in the majors, a fastball by Randy Johnson.

Good Lord. I see other blogs advocating that Gary Sheffield be signed by the Yanks. NO, NO and NO! Sheffield is 41. If the Yanks had worries about Damon’s declining defense, why pursue someone five years older whose defense is just as bad if not worse? Granted Sheff had a decent year for a 40 year old platoon player (.276-10-43, OPS+ 119) but NO!

It’s amazing how people won’t give youngsters a chance or are impatient with them but want to keep the declining, aging ex-stars.

Check out this post over at MLBTR of free agents still available.

Funny how numbers can be “unretired.” Omar Vizquel will wear #11 for the White Sox this year. I take it Luis Aparicio gave his blessing, for he was the one it was retired for. Vizquel, like “Little Looie”, is a Venezuelan SS. Aparicio is the only Venezuelan in the HOF. A look at the numbers.

Vizquel: .273, 2704 hits, 389 SB. OPS+83. 11 Gold Gloves. 3x All Star.
Aparicio: .262, 2677 hits, 506 SB (led league 9x, each of his first 9 years), 9 Gold Gloves, ROY 1956, 2nd in MVP in 1959 to teammate Nellie Fox,  10x All Star. OPS+ 82.
   

I hate February. Too cold for me, and after the Super Bowl, ugh. There is the NBA, but my Celtics seem to be dying out. They could fall to the #4 seed in the East. They already have shown that the contenders (Orlando, Atlanta, Cleveland) have their number. Things don’t look good lately for the Celts.

This February will be a bit different sports-wise, however, because the Winter Olympics will be starting on Friday. Something to root for.  

Usually SI picks an Olympian as its “Man” or “Woman of the Year” in an Olympic year, but after yesterday, I wonder if Drew Brees already has the award locked up. Not only for what he did ON the field (and 32 of 39 was quite impressive) in delivering New Orleans its first Super Bowl Championship, but for what he has and is doing OFF the field, in helping a devastated region recover from Hurricane Katrina.

BTW, if you didn’t hear about this yet…Somewhere up there, Grandpa must be proud. For Joe Lombardi is the QB coach of the Saints. You may have heard of his Grandpa. The SB Trophy is named after him.

Joe Lombardi
See any resemblance?

Vince Lombardi 

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.

 

     

Checking the blogs.

Apparently the Yanks are still a player for Freddy Garcia.

Meanwhile, Omar Vizquel has signed a minor league deal with Texas.

Omar will be 42 in April, and whenever he quits, will be an interesting HOF call. .273, 385 SB, but an OPS+ of just 85. Seattle, Cleveland and Giants (so far) 1989-2008. 3x all star. 162 ga. average of .273-5-54, 23 SB OPS+ of 83.

.250-0-20 in the postseason. (57 g. 228 AB). Helping his cause is 11 Gold Gloves.

His best comparison may be Phil Rizzuto. Same BA, .273. Phil played his career before the GG. Still, same average. .273. .273-4-55 for the 162 g. average. OPS+ 93. 15 SB (but remember, it was a different age, not as many SB, and with the guys (DiMaggio, Henrich, Keller, Mantle, Berra) you didn’t steal as much)… Scooter’s postseason saw .246-2-8 in 52 games (comparible) with 183 AB.

Very interesting call, esp. when compared to the “Scooter.”

SF to get Renteria, What does C.C. want? Is he trying to avoid NY?

Frank Zappa, We're only in it for the money

After the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper, Frank Zappa thought they sold out. With his group, the Mothers of Invention, he released an album entitled “We’re Only In It For the Money.”

I wish I could photoshop Carl Pavano’s face over Zappa’s and put Randy Johnson, Ed Whitson and others into the picture. The only thing is, Yankee fans wouldn’t call them the Mothers of Invention. What they would call them is something else. Might start with Mother though.

Why do I mention this? Because so far C.C. Sabathia hasn’t exactly been swimming in offers. There aren’t many who can afford him. He has the offer of arbitration from the Brewers, and the Yankees offer, and what else? Maybe he is waiting for offers to roll in (in this economy, don’t count on a lot of teams offering a six-year, $140M contract, C.C.). But you have to wonder…with the paucity of offers so far, what is he waiting for? King, George A. III asks that in the Post today. Would C.C. only be coming for the money? Is that the delay? Do the Yanks really want someone who doesn’t want to be here (another Big Unit situation?) Do we have to photoshop C.C. into the picture above, next to Zappa?

We’ll have to see if Cashman or C.C. is the “Dancing Fool.”

Word from Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is that the Braves may go to five years for Burnett. As Pete Abraham posts, it would be good for the Yanks. Get someone else to go the risky five years on him, and get him out of the AL East. What do you prefer as far as risk goes…3 years for Sheets or 5 for A.J.?

Abraham does mention a couple of names I’m not sold on. One, Mike Cameron, I’ve gone into detail about before. The age, the strikeouts. The .245 average he’d probably put up. The other name Pete mentions is Rich Aurilia, and I’m too sold on that either. 37, .283-10-52 for SF this year, OPS+ 93. .277 for his career, OPS+ right on the average. 100. He played 1B and 3B for the Giants in 2008, does have some SS/2B experience recently, mostly 2005, some but not much middle infield since. I am a little worried about the age, but will admit that his year last year wasn’t too bad. I remember when the Yanks took a chance on Bert Campaneris in 1983. Campy was 41 and was out of the majors in 1982 but Billy took a chance on him. Campy hit .322 in his final season by being a backup infielder for the Yanks. His pop was gone but his OPS+ was 101. The range was diminished, but for a backup 2b/3b he did ok, esp. for someone 41. So maybe Aurilia would be ok, but I’d prefer a Reegie Corona or younger player than another player over 35.

Speaking of the Giants (the baseball type, not the Burress-type), it looks like they will be getting Edgar Renteria. Renteria, the hero of the 1997 WS, is 33 and hit .270-10-55 for the Tigers in 2008. OPS+ just 84, though. He is a .290 career hitter, but with an OPS+ of just 96. Still, SF needs some hitting. They’ve been atrocious the last couple of years, and remember, they HAD Bonds in 2007. Meanwhile, besides Aurilia, there IS someone else who is a free agent from the Giants available. The only problem is that he will be 43 next April. If a team wants a utility infielder who won’t have to hit much but just be a defensive replacement and pinchrunner, maybe get in 80-100 games but get a total of 100 or less at bats, Omar Vizquel could be their guy. Omar only hit .222-0-23, OPS+ a sorry 45 last year, but he only made two errors. Obviously at 43 his range isn’t what it was, but Omar’s 385 career SB and fine glove could lead someone to sign him. It would have to be a team wherein Omar is strictly a PR/def. replacement. Some team pretty much set in the infield and which has a solid lineup to cover for Omar’s bat. Despite a career OPS+ of just 83, Omar put up over 2600 hits and has a .273 BA (same as Rizzuto). Eleven gold gloves. A problem is this…all at SS. How would he be at 2B or 3B? He has played in only one game at 2B in his career, none at 3B. Can he do it? Can he show the versatility to be able to stick? Big question, and it actually makes Aurilia look better, now that I compare the two.

Boston signed MVP Dustin Pedroia to an extension. Six years, $40.5M, with an option for 2015.

A quick addition: In the “Don’t You Forget About Me” category, Jonathan Albaladejo has pitched in eight Puerto Rican Winter League games, and is 6 for 6 in saves. 9 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 6 Ks.

MLBTR (via Ken Rosenthal of Fox) says the Yanks could be interested in Baldelli. This would be interesting because Baldelli can’t play CF everyday. Would there be a rotation between him, the Road Runner (Gardner) and Melky for the CF/Backup OF spots? A revolving door? Rosenthal also calls the Yanks a possibility for Adam Dunn. Rosenthal says that the Braves are close to signing Dave Ross as a backup C. MLBTR also reports that the Mariners have signed Russell Branyan. As for Rosenthal, when it comes to the Yanks, I kind of take his stuff with a grain of salt.