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It's time for a fresh Hijack Central.

A few signings today. The Washington fill-in-the-blanks signed a left side of an infield today, signing Christian Guzman and Vinny Castilla. Castilla signed a $6.2 million, two-year contract and Guzman signed a $16.8 million, four-year deal.

Former Blue Jay Cory Lidle was re-signed with the Phillies for 2 years and $6.8 million.

**** Hijack of Hijack Central ****

My review of the best baseball reference annual around - The Bill James Handbook 2005 - is up at The Hardball Times (Robert Dudek).
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Ducey - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 07:11 PM EST (#17388) #
Not a big fan of the Castilla signing. I think Washington is likely to see more of Tampa Bay Vinny than the Coor's fueled Vinny - especially at age 39.
_Noah - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 07:18 PM EST (#17389) #
I think the Vinny signing has more to do with bringing in a veteran presence to an extremely young team then it has to do with their expected output from him. If he was to hit say 20-25 hr with 90ish rbis and hit around 270 I'd think they be satisfied.
_Jim - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 07:27 PM EST (#17390) #
Two horrible signings from a horrible GM. Chris Kahrl was right on the mark in TA today about Bowden.
_Rob - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 07:28 PM EST (#17391) #
Did Cory Lidle go to North Carolina State? ;)
_Cory - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 07:42 PM EST (#17392) #
Horrible signings? Signing Guzman for 4 mill a year is a heck of a deal in today's salary market. Just imagine his doubles and triples on the concrete at the Dome. We could use some speed on the basepaths, not only in reality, but it sure would help me on the MVP Baseball game! Oh well, I guess our big goal this offseason is resigning Zaun to a multiyear contract. Lol. How exciting does that get?
_Geoff - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 07:47 PM EST (#17393) #
Uhh, Guzman has posted a career 76 OPS+ in a Dome to this point...horrible, horrible signing
_Braby - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:23 PM EST (#17394) #
We should let Zaun walk, there seems to be demand for him, so you may have to overpay him to keep him. Why not just go with Myers (if healthy) and Quiroz.
_Cory - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:38 PM EST (#17395) #
Well Goff, I guess that's your own opinion. Once again, I share in your pain of losing Woodward.
_Nolan - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:40 PM EST (#17396) #
Boy, the Vizquel and Guzman signings have really hurt the Jays chances at resigning Delgad...not that we were the favourite anyways.

If those two shortstops are worth 4 million a year (4!), then Delgado must be worth close to three times that at around 10 to 12 million...at least when usin Sabean or Bowden arithmetic.

Oh well, I'm still hopeful, kind of
_Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:52 PM EST (#17397) #
Nick Johnson was brought up in the other thread. I think he'd be a great replacement for Delgado. He's young, and fairly cheap, and is an OBP machine with increasing power. And I'm usually of the school of thought saying oft-injured guys are more unlucky that injury prone. Getting whacked in the face by a bad hop is not exactly good luck. He's a pretty slick fielder too. Anyway, assuming that patch is behind him, I'd be thrilled to see him as a Jay next year. Make it happen JP!
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:53 PM EST (#17398) #
I actually don't think the Castilla signing was that bad. Castilla was a decent hitter in '03 (with the Braves) and a two year deal can't really be horrible, I don't think.

The Guzman signing is atrocious though. One of the worst hitters in the league when it comes to getting on base and hitting for power. Plus, he only had 4 triples last year and 10 SB (5 CS.)

Not to mention the fact that he's injured every year, etc. AAAnyways, I don't like that signing.
_Geoff - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:53 PM EST (#17399) #
Good call on Chris Woodward Cory - he's just one about 100 better options for the Washington SS position than Guzman at 4 million
_G.T. - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 08:57 PM EST (#17400) #
Where's the movie quote? :)
_Cory - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 09:07 PM EST (#17401) #
You must be joking or else you need to lay off BC's finest for awhile. I suppose you also think Dinkske is the future for the team as well?
_Jim - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 10:04 PM EST (#17402) #
7.3 Million a year for those two bums? A 38 year old third baseman who was HORRENDOUS on the road last season?

Why would you set the market with these 2 clowns. I can't believe there is much demand for Castilla, I wouldn't even waste a spot on the 40 man roster on him.
_Jim - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 10:06 PM EST (#17403) #
A .281 OBP away from Coors Field in 2004 for Castilla.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 10:07 PM EST (#17404) #
I suppose you also think Dinkske is the future for the team as well?

Well, let's put it this way. The best-case scenario for the Jays is that Hinske turns it around and plays like he did in 2002. This is for several reasons:

- they get a good-hitting third baseman out of it
- the money they're paying him won't be wasted
- it's nice to have some roster continuity
- the Jays won't have to expend time and resources finding a replacement
- it'll help repair the reputation of the organization and the general manager with the local media and some of the fans
- he seems like an okay guy and those are the guys you want to do well

None of which is an argument that Hinske will turn it around, but it's such a desirable outcome that it's wise for the Jays to pursue it for as long as it's reasonable.
_Jim - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 10:12 PM EST (#17405) #
'I suppose you also think Dinkske is the future for the team as well?'

I'm not quite sure what Guzman has to do with Hinske. One can think that Guzman stinks (which is clearly evident) and that opinion is independent of what one thinks of Hinske.

If 'Dinkske is the future for the team' means that does one think that Hinske will be a Blue Jay for awhile longer, then I'm sure that many agree with that. If it means that 'Dinkse' will be some sort of all-star on a championship Blue Jay team I doubt that anyone thinks that.
_Braby - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 10:25 PM EST (#17406) #
At what point does JP totally give up on Hinske? With Hill and Hattig coming up behind him? I'm sure those guys can't be worse than Hinske was last year, and they would be had at a fraction of the price. But again, moving Hinske's contract is the biggest issue.
_Peter - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 10:48 PM EST (#17407) #
My two cents on a couple of recent comments. If Huff is avaiable for a reasonable price in terms of prospects, I would try to trade for him and forget Carlos. You will get more for your money with Huff.

I am also in favour of letting Zaun walk but I would offer arbitration. Can't figure out how he ever was rated a level 2 for compensation purposes but if letting him sign elsewhere brings an extra 1st rounder. it's a good deal for the Jays. Plenty of inexpensive catcher types available and Quiroz will soon be ready.
_sweat - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 11:08 PM EST (#17408) #
As much as i like Huff, why go and trade away prospects for a guy, who will make 8M in 2006. The only way the jays should be moving prospects at this point is to get a guy they control cheaply for 2 or more years.
_R Billie - Tuesday, November 16 2004 @ 11:49 PM EST (#17409) #
If Zaun is offered arbitration he will more than likely accept. It would probably guarantee him a one year salary of over a million. Also once you offer arbitration, people are unlikely to give up a first or second round pick to bring in Zaun.

But then again, people are giving up draft picks to sign Vizquel, Guzman, and Castilla. Guys who had no hope of getting offered arbitration. Sabean thinks its worthwhile not to pay for two first rounders and pour the money instead into Tucker and Vizquel. So I guess conventional wisdom doesn't really apply to the baseball off-season.

If Seattle really is interested in Delgado then it might be good news. Bavasi didn't seem to mind giving up a first rounder to get Ibanez. I don't see why he should hesitate with an actual star.
_Sophoric - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:27 AM EST (#17410) #
BA's top 10 list is up:

1. Brandon League, rhp
2. Aaron Hill, ss
3. Guillermo Quiroz, c
4. Francisco Rosario, rhp
5. David Purcey, lhp
6. Russ Adams, ss
7. Dustin McGowan, rhp
8. Zach Jackson, lhp
9. Josh Banks, rhp
10. Gustavo Chacin, lhp
_Jacko - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:03 AM EST (#17411) #
1. Believe it or not, Woody and Guzman are approximately the same hitter. Sub-700 OPS in a typical year, around 800 in a good year. Hitting-wise, at or near the bottom of the heap for shortstops.
Definitely not worth 4MM+.

2. From 2002 to 2004, Hinske's hitting has gone from good to average to terrible. And because of his backloaded contract, he's owed around the same money per year that Guzman just got.

However, at the time Hinske signed his contract, he looked like he was going to be a pretty decent hitter. Guzman's contract was signed after establishing a consistent track record of suckiness, even while playing half his games on quick astroturf. Which makes the Guzman signing pretty well idiotic.

As far as Castilla is concerned, I have no idea why GM's refuse to understand park effects. All they have to do is go on the internet and look up the home/road splits:

2004-Colorado: 329/379/575, 14 HR (comp: Vlad?)
2004-Road: 218/281/493, 21 HR (comp: Tony Batista?)

In other words, they would have been better off signing Tony Batista, at least is a few years younger (30 vs. 39).

Moves like this are what bury less wealthy franchises. Sigh.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:05 AM EST (#17412) #
You guys sure are rough on Guzman. Compared to Jeter, Nomar and Renteria, sure he's not THAT good. But getting him for $4 million is a good deal. He plays solid, unspectacular defence, he has speed (although not stolen base speed) and he is a solid number 2 hitter. I'm not sure you all have a grasp on how much certain types of players make. I'll bet a number of teams would have ponied up $4 million for Guzman... He's just entering his prime. After all the Dodgers are ready to offer Glaus $30 million over three years and look at the year and injuries he had last year. And Renteria will likely get about $8 million a year, unless he takes a hometown discount to stay in St. Louis.

With both Castilla and Guzman, Washington have a great infield defence when you add Johnson, Vidro and Schneider. Remember pitching and defence win titles.

Also, Castilla had a low average on the road last year but he hit two thirds of his homers AWAY from Coors.
_Ryan C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:30 AM EST (#17413) #
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/features/04top10s/bluejays.html
He didnt make the top 10 list but the former top pick in 2000 won a few of the BA "tools" categories.

Fastest Baserunner : Miguel Negron
Best Athlete : Miguel Negron
Best Defensive Outfielder : Miguel Negron
Best Outfield Arm : Miguel Negron

And maybe Im just showing my lack of knowledge but I found this surprising:
Best Power Hitter : Guillermo Quiroz

COMN for the complete listing.
_MatO - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:37 AM EST (#17414) #
Remember pitching and defence

and offense

win titles
_Geoff - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:56 AM EST (#17415) #
Just saying Guzman is a solid #2 hitter doesn't make him one...Objectively speaking he is at best a solid #9 hitter
_Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:00 AM EST (#17416) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=1923207
Buster Olney of ESPN gives some insightful comments on Guzman (COMN).

Eg: you would never give Guzman a long-term deal

some scouts say that Guzman hasn't improved that much since he broke in with the Twins in 1999

He swings at pitches out of the strike zone


I'm quite surprised people are defending that deal. Sounds pretty miserable for a below average player. Try having him on your fantasy team...
_Geoff - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:07 AM EST (#17417) #
From Gleeman:

And just to make the day complete, he also inked former Minnesota shortstop Cristian Guzman to a four-year deal worth $16.8 million. The whole thing reads like a really cruel joke played on the new baseball fans in Washington.

The Expos just committed to two years of a 37-year-old third baseman who has hit a combined .247/.291/.423 away from Coors Field over the past three seasons, and he looks like Barry Bonds compared to the other guy they signed. Guzman has hit .272/.303/.379 over the last three years, including an absolutely miserable .259/.281/.351 away from the Metrodome and its turf.

Yesterday I asked, "If Vizquel can get that kind of money for that many years, what kind of deal can Guzman, a soon-to-be 27-year-old shortstop ... expect to receive?" Now we know: $16.8 million over four years (which, as a Twins fan who has watched Guzman's entire career up to this point, seems almost impossible to believe).

Wow...even I didn't realize his offence was that bad
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:18 AM EST (#17418) #
http://tsf.waymoresports.thestar.com/thestar/baseball/player.cgi?2119
I certainly wouldn't recommend spending $4 million per year on Cristian Guzman, but it's not as bad as some have suggested. Guzman plays good defence at short, and his offensive future is not hopeless although his performance to date has been on average poor.

Why do I say that his offensive future is not hopeless? COMN for his career statistics. Guzman is 26. His game in his early 20s was speed. Last year, he started to slow down a bit, probably due to back troubles. While he may swing at pitches out of the strike zone too much, he does not swing and miss at them too much. He struck out 64 times last year. A little more pop (which he has shown in flashes) and a little better eye, and you have yourselves a valuable contributor.

He's certainly not a #2 hitter. If all goes well for him, he'll be a valuable contributor at the bottom of the order with good defence at short. That is worth $4 million, but that performance is at the top end of what one could realistically hope for. You'd prefer to pay for mid-range expectations, which in Guzman's case might be .275/.315/.400, in other words a little better than Alex Gonzalez.
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:19 AM EST (#17419) #
Remember pitching and defence

and offense

win titles


Wow... so, playing baseball better than the other team will win you titles, eh?

Oh... and I heard that if you score more runs than the other team, you win the game.

As for Guzman and Vizquel signing, with all the gluttony of FA shortstop this off season, I don't get why such smart GMs (Bowden, not withstanding) are willing to give multi-year, multi-million deals to shortstops with little offense but could flash leather now and then. If Sabean's willing to throw that kind of dough to Vizquel, I'm a little scared to see what kind of dollars Cabrera, Renteria, and Nomah will command in this market.
_MatO - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:56 AM EST (#17420) #
Wow... so, playing baseball better than the other team will win you titles, eh?

Revolutionary isn't it? :-)
_Vern - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:08 AM EST (#17421) #
Just because Guzman can't hit, doesn't mean he's good on D. Just about all the advanced metrics say he's in fact, with the exception of this year, a pretty crappy defensive player.
robertdudek - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:15 AM EST (#17422) #
Guzman just isn't a very good player - probably as good as Deivi Cruz, no better. His services are worth about $700,000 a year in the current market. Very few shortstops provide value to their teams past the age of 30 and those are almost always the ones that started out above average.

A huge waste of money.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:21 AM EST (#17423) #
http://theraindrops.weblogs.us/archives/015441.html
COMN for a summary of the advanced defensive metrics for shortstops during 2001-03. Guzman was poorly rated, but even with Jack Wilson and Deivi Cruz, and ahead of Miguel Tejada, and behind Chris Woodward. Clay Davenport named Wilson as his 2004 NL GG winner.

I think that it's fair to say that the metrics need a fair bit of tweaking. Robert Dudek's work in the Hardball Times' Baseball Annual may result in the start of the tweaking for outfield defence, but for infield defence, it's very difficult to design reasonably accurate metrics.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#17424) #
Guzman had an average over .270 and only commited 12 errors at shortstop. Those aren't BAD numbers. And $4 million is not THAT much in this era of baseball.

And he puts the ball in play. He is fairly adept at sacraficing and bunting. All things people look for from a number 2 guy. He is rough around the edges, sure, but he hasn't hit his prime yet.

So then, what would you pay these shortstops on average per year, ignoring the number of years they've played and gauging it simply on their numbers?

Nomar
Jeter
A. Everett
C. Guzman
A. Gonzalez (FLA)
A. Gonzalez (former Jay)
O. Vizquel
O. Cabrera
E. Renteria
M. Tejada
R. Furcal
J. Rollins
J. Valentin
D. Eckstein
C. Guillen
J. Wilson
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:35 AM EST (#17425) #
Just for fun, I checked on Deivi Cruz' and Chris Gomez' performance and salary, although I'd rather have Guzman at this stage in his career. I'd probably pay up to $2 million for Guzman. Anyways, it looks like the market for shortstops this year is similar to the market for middle relievers last year. It makes JP look awfully smart for having drafted Adams and Hill, who should be way better in 2006-07 than most of this bunch.

The most comparable player to Chris Gomez at age 33 according to BR is Mike Bordick. Cool, eh?
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:35 AM EST (#17426) #
If I were a GM, and below SSs are all FA, I would offer them one year deals of (on purely numbers):

Nomah $ 8.5M
Jeter $ 7M
A. Everett $ 1M
C. Guzman $ .75M
A. Gonzalez (FLA) $ 2.2M
A. Gonzalez (former Jay) A bag of peanuts
O. Vizquel $ 1.5M
O. Cabrera $ 3.2M
E. Renteria $ 5.5M
M. Tejada $ 9M
R. Furcal $2.2M
J. Rollins $ 1.5M
J. Valentin $ 3.5M
D. Eckstein $ 1.5M
C. Guillen $ 3M
J. Wilson $2M

but that's just my opinion... and now that I think about it, former Jay, A. Gon isn't worth a bag of peanuts.
robertdudek - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:36 AM EST (#17427) #
Mike,

I've been thinking about groundballs. I suspect that if you timed how long it took for an infielder to reach a groundball, you'd find a relatively small window in which almost all groundballs were easy outs.

To analyze groundballs systematically, I think it would be enough to record:

1) the time it took for a fielder to touch the ball, or else the time it took for the ball to come to a stop or get past the nearest infielder.

2) Mark the zone in a very loose way as follows: fielded by (the fielder closest to the batted ball) and the designation R-L-N (right-left-neither) which would tell us whether the ball was hit to the right, the left or at the fielder.

The second point would imply 12 infield zones, plus two more that could be designated P-Right and P-Left: balls dribbled in front of the pitcher or down the lines, for which the first and third baseman would have partial responsibility.

Then there is the double play - timing can come in handy here too. Every attempted double play could be timed from when the first fielder fielded the ball and the second out was made (typically at first base). The normal range is between 2.2 and 2.6 seconds. The DP combinations with the quickest average time would figure to be the best ones, though factoring in poor throws would be necessary.
robertdudek - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:38 AM EST (#17428) #
And he puts the ball in play. He is fairly adept at sacraficing and bunting. All things people look for from a number 2 guy.

I don't look for those things and I think it would be very foolish of any team to bat Guzman second.
Pistol - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:38 AM EST (#17429) #
Here's the GPAs of AL SSs who qualified for the batting title this year.


C. Guillen, Det 0.306
M. Tejada, Bal 0.296
M. Young, Tex 0.280
D. Jeter, NYY 0.276
O. Vizquel, Cle 0.256
J. Lugo, TB 0.251
B. Crosby, Oak 0.250
J. Valentin, CWS 0.247
D. Eckstein, Ana 0.236
C. Guzman, Min 0.235
A. Berroa, KC 0.235


And here's a fun comparison:

Player A: .274/.309/.384
Player B: .282/.337/.346

Player A: Christian Guzman
Player B: Chris Gomez

You'd have a hard time getting me to pay over $1 million to Guzman.
Pistol - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:42 AM EST (#17430) #
Just because Guzman can't hit, doesn't mean he's good on D.

LOL. I saw this playing basketball in college - take a short guy who can't shoot and he thinks he's a point guard.
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:45 AM EST (#17431) #
And he puts the ball in play. He is fairly adept at sacraficing and bunting. All things people look for from a number 2 guy.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but...
Isn't job of number 2 batter is to get on base (not to put the ball in play that might result in DP while lead off batter got on), for the meat of the order to come through? I'm thinking above quality (ball on play and sac bunt) is more fitting of number 9 batter?
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 11:55 AM EST (#17432) #
Guzman had an average over .270 and only commited 12 errors at shortstop. Those aren't BAD numbers. And $4 million is not THAT much in this era of baseball.

And he puts the ball in play. He is fairly adept at sacraficing and bunting. All things people look for from a number 2 guy. He is rough around the edges, sure, but he hasn't hit his prime yet.


To paraphrase Bush, that's a pre-Moneyball mindset. Washington isn't going to win next year, they aren't anywhere near being a winning club. Neither of these guys are going to sell tickets, they cost the team draft picks who could hopefully provide similar play at a fraction of the cost down the road, and they have horrific OBP numbers. Who cares if Guzman hits more than .270 if he gets on base at a .300 clip? Hilariously, Castilla may well put up numbers similar to Tony Batista, who we've been kicking around here after ESPN said that he "had an excellent offensive season". Oh, and he'll do it much more expensively.

These are bad signings.
_MatO - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:04 PM EST (#17433) #
Does any team have their number 2 hitter bunting these days? Is Gene Mauch still managing?
_Mick - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:20 PM EST (#17434) #
The most comparable player to Chris Gomez at age 33 according to BR is Mike Bordick.

Whereas the most comparable to Cristian Guzman is ... Pat Meares. For the purposes of this discussion, it's worth noting that Meares is widely regarded as one of the most laughable free agent signings (Pirates '99) in the history of the game. (Go ahead ... someone point out that he "hit" a career-best .308 in 1999. The Pirates saw fit to only give him 91 at-bats. That happens when you manage an OPS+ of just 88 even though your batting average surpasses.300.)
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:29 PM EST (#17435) #
Robert,

I've been thinking about measuring infield defence too, and here are my initial thoughts. I agree that the window for easy outs is narrow, although it is probably significantly wider for second basemen than for shortstops or third basemen because of the short throw.

I think I'd probably start the study with third basemen because it is easiest to account for the influence of the ability other fielders. Third basemen get first shot at the ball in the hole, and are more apt to make the play if they field the ball than the shortstop anyway.

There really are two separate issues: first, the hard-hit ball, where the major question is whether the fielder will get to the ball at all, and the softly-hit ball where the major question is whether the fielder will get to the ball in sufficient time to have a play. I agree with your analysis with respect to the hard-hit ball (the one that makes it to the baseline between 2nd and 3rd in sufficient time for the 3rd baseman to have a play). Measuring time to glove or where it passes the fielder plus crude location should be fine to address the issue fairly well.

The chopper where the fielder must come in is very difficult. Measuring time to glove has its problems. A ball chopped at the third baseman might take say 2.5 seconds to reach glove because it's a high chopper, and the third baseman has no realistic other alternative but to wait for it to come down. Or it might take 2.5 seconds to reach glove even though it's not high because the third baseman's positioning, quickness or reaction time allow him to field the ball in that time, whereaw another third baseman might reach the ball in 2 seconds say.

My instinct is that for the chopper, you have to measure time from contact to an average location, perhaps 15 feet inside the baseline at fielding level, regardless whether the fielder gets there or not. Defining the average location would be difficult, as would be actually measuring it. It might indeed be near impossible to measure that.

A beginning study might be better to have a crude measure of choppers converted/chopper opportunities, and keep them separate from the other more reliable data with respect to hard-hit balls. It should be relatively easy to define the choppers from the other grounders in objective terms.
_R Billie - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:37 PM EST (#17436) #
$4 million isn't that much if you have a $100 million payroll and all of your other major holes are filled. Then you could justify paying a premium for a reliable, everyday shortstop (even a poor one) if it's just to make sure you have someone there to prevent slow grounders from getting through the infield. $4 million would be your average salary per roster spot. Of course you still couldn't justify committing for four years but we'll lay that aside for the moment.

The problem with the Nationals making this signing now is

(A) I'm guessing the Nationals will not have a $100 million payroll anytime soon. That means they are paying well above average for a roster spot on a below average performer.

(B) It's not even December yet. If you're not targeting the best shortstops out there then why set the market with mid tier (and I use that term loosely) player and give up a draft pick to boot?

(C) Correct me if I'm wrong but the Nationals do not have a strong offence nor a strong pitching staff. So why pay a premium to add a one dimensional player whose one dimension isn't even all that dominant? There are bigger fish to fry with the $7.3 million they have committed between Guzman and Castilla.

(D) Guzman is a known quantity but he's an exceedingly mediocore known quantity. As such is it worth risking nearly $17 million over four years on the off chance that he will somehow improve significantly in the next few years? As opposed to say signing Larkin or Gomez or someone else for less than a quarter of the price short term?

Hmmm. Any way I slice it I can't make heads or tails of either of these signings other than to conclude that either the Nationals really think these players are going to garner fan interest in the short term or they don't have much of a clue in player evaluation or budget management. I don't think either prospect should inspire confidence in the prospective fans of this franchise.
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:49 PM EST (#17437) #
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54695-2004Nov16.html
I was talking to a friend last night who was speculating that these deals were done to try and send a message to the media and those around the team that the teams is serious about winning. Obviously, it's based on the idea that spending = winning. Nevertheless, it seems to be working-COMN.
_Jacko - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 12:55 PM EST (#17438) #

You guys sure are rough on Guzman. Compared to Jeter, Nomar and Renteria, sure he's not THAT good. But getting him for $4 million is a good deal. He plays solid, unspectacular defence, he has speed (although not stolen base speed) and he is a solid number 2 hitter. I'm not sure you all have a grasp on how much certain types of players make. I'll bet a number of teams would have ponied up $4 million for Guzman... He's just entering his prime.


Just because someone is entering their prime doesn't mean they'll suddenly get good. You need to look at what they've done so far, and in the case of Guzman, it's not much. A single half season of star level production (according to Gleeman's article).

It's similar to arguing that George Bush is good because of his decisivenes, without bothering to investigate the quality of his decision making.

After all the Dodgers are ready to offer Glaus $30 million over three years and look at the year and injuries he had last year. And Renteria will likely get about $8 million a year, unless he takes a hometown discount to stay in St. Louis.

Assuming 2004 was an abberation, Renteria is a far superior player to Guzman. Way more power, way more patience.

If I decided I absolutely must have a sub-700 OPS SS who plays solid defense, I'd much prefer to pay Rey Sanchez or Royce Clayton 750K than pay Guzman 4.2 MM.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 01:02 PM EST (#17439) #
What the signings come down to is the fact that GM Bowden does not have a guaranteed job if and when the team sells. He needs to make a splash to show that he should stay. He really has nothing to lose, so he is making a gamble. If the Nationals are given a $50 million budget, those salaries should not be a problem. Anything less than $45 million though, and they will be in trouble and will likely have to ditch some of: Eischen, Armas, Ohka, Johnson, Schneider or Wilkerson.

With Castilla and Guzman, the team has roughly $26 million committed for 2005, not including arbitration players (those I mentioned above). The biggest herring, in my opinion, is Vidro at $7 million a season.
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 01:16 PM EST (#17440) #
Herring, albatross, whatever? I think you're confusing your sea-based metaphors, but I assume your referring to Jose Vidro as an albatross based on his contract. Vidro is signed through 2008, which is bad in my opinion, but I don't really have any trouble with paying him 7 million for next year. Of course Vidro can hit, and Guzman can't really. He's got an excellent track record of being one of the top hitting 2B in the league, and he's having his knee fixed, which should allow for a full season next year. Getting off the cement in Montreal will probably help him too. He's a career .304/.367/.470 hitter. That's right, his career batting average is better than Guzman's career OBP.
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 01:51 PM EST (#17441) #
Jim Leyland is looking for work. Maybe he'll end up in DC. Guzman, no doubt his #2 hitter, would set the league record for sacrifice bunts if only the Nats had a leadoff hitter who could get on base more than Endy Chavez.

At this point, returning this Bowden-led mess of a team to Montreal would be the final cruel act MLB could unleash on the city.
_Jabonoso - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:07 PM EST (#17442) #
Vidro should be their franchise player. He is very good.
Wouldn't it be lovely to have the AAA team ( Syracuse ) moved to Montreal? Closer to TO, in Canada, maybe even a pain killer to Montreal fans, etc.
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:22 PM EST (#17443) #
Jim Leyland is looking for work. Maybe he'll end up in DC.

I haven't heard that Frank Robinson was fired/resigned from his post as Manager of Les Expos/Nationals... has he?

Also, I know this is coming from the left field... but...
Anyone here actually get together to play ball? It seems like majority of posters are from TO area, I'm just wondering it might not be bad idea to have a ball game or two, instead just talking about it...
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:32 PM EST (#17444) #
Can you have a franchise player who doesn't hit more than 15 home runs and doesn't drive in 100 runs and barely ever scores 100 runs? He doesn't produce enough, plain and simple, to warrant $7 million or the title of franchise player.

How does he compare to other franchise players: Bonds, Delgado, Tejada, Pujols, Rodriguez, etc? Poorly.
_Magpie - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:40 PM EST (#17445) #
Anyone here actually get together to play ball?

Wow, this is a cool idea. But I hope it snows tomorrow, I need time to get into playing condition. Lots of time.

The time it takes to make...oil.
robertdudek - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:40 PM EST (#17446) #
Jabanoso,

Syracuse is actually closer to Toronto than Montreal is. I don't know how well a Blue Jays' AAA franchise would be received in a city that just lost a major league team.
_Caino - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:41 PM EST (#17447) #
"Vidro should be their franchise player. He is very good.
Wouldn't it be lovely to have the AAA team ( Syracuse ) moved to Montreal? Closer to TO, in Canada, maybe even a pain killer to Montreal fans, etc."

- Depends where they play. I don't want to risk our future starts to the falling concrete of Olympic Stadium.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:42 PM EST (#17448) #
Jabonoso, what a brilliant idea! Moving the Jays triple A franchise to Montreal (renaming them the Royals?) would make my trips to Montreal even more enjoyable than they already are.
_Caino - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:43 PM EST (#17449) #
I meant to say stars. But in the case of pitchers I suppose it would be starts aswell.

*Rimshot*

... I know. Lame.
_Magpie - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:47 PM EST (#17450) #
But if the AAA team moved to Montreal, our future stars would get trained at an early stage in the fine art of clearing customs every time they go on a road trip... One less adjustment to be made at the major league level.
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 02:58 PM EST (#17451) #
Can you have a franchise player who doesn't hit more than 15 home runs and doesn't drive in 100 runs and barely ever scores 100 runs? He doesn't produce enough, plain and simple, to warrant $7 million or the title of franchise player.

Well he's hit 15 home runs or more from 2000-03, and just missed it this year, despite missing a chunk of games due to health. He may barely ever score 100 runs and never get 100 RBI-who cares? MTL sucked these past few years, it's not like he's had anyone else useful on the team outside of Vladdy, and this year he didn't even have that. Just for fun, consider that he hit .304/.367/.470 for his career. Jeter is at .315/.385/.463. Reasonably comparable, less durable and for less than half the cost? Hardly an albatross.
_Eric - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:01 PM EST (#17452) #
How does he compare to other franchise players: Bonds, Delgado, Tejada

Player A: .276/.336/.472
Player B: .304/.367/.470

A is Tejada, B is Vidro. I'd say he compares pretty well in that instance, at least.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:10 PM EST (#17453) #
Runs-RBI totals for the past three seasons:

Player A: 103-96; 77-65; 51-60

Player B: 108-131 ; 98-106 ; 107-150

A is Vidro, B is Tejada.... Vidro can get on base and slug all he wants, but unless he is creating runs one way or the other, he is not much good to Washington. At least not to the point that Tejada is in Baltimore. That's what makes a franchise player.
_Magpie - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:13 PM EST (#17454) #
But the point is that runs and RBI are team dependent numbers. Tejada would not drive in 150 runs if he was playing for the Expos unless they extended the season past Christmas.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:36 PM EST (#17455) #
The Jays were a pretty pathetic team and Delgado managed to miss a lot of time and still drive in 99 runs.

As for messed up signings... Pervical just signed with the Tigers for two years and $12 million. Is a closer in the twilight of his career really worth that?
_Jabonoso - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:39 PM EST (#17456) #
Robert: Isn't the road to Montreal much nicer than the one to Syr?
that would make it "closer".
A franchise player in a franchise that does not hit is not supossed either to have high run-rbis totals.
Jeter is the Yankees franchise player even if he is not the best, ( change franchise player for short stop and say that phrase again)
I want cry after hearing Delgado is our franchise player ( for how many hours still? )
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:44 PM EST (#17457) #
Wow, this is a cool idea. But I hope it snows tomorrow, I need time to get into playing condition. Lots of time.

Yeah... I never had success playing ball on snowy field.... and I would need time to reinvent my curveball... not to mention getting my fastball near what I had during high school...

As for messed up signings... Pervical just signed with the Tigers for two years and $12 million. Is a closer in the twilight of his career really worth that?

This deal would've been decent for Tigers, if it weren't for two years or $12M. Percival's peripherals weren't that great, but it would've been covered up pretty well in spacious Comerica Park, especially with his ability to give up the long ball at most inopportune time. But $12M over two years for washed up closer?
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:51 PM EST (#17458) #
Marc,

Delgado had 0.175 RBI for every runner on base when he came up this year, Vidro had 0.164 RBI for every runner on base when he came up this year. That means that if Vidro had the same amount of plate appearances and base runners as Delgado, he'd have had 63 RBI, plus his homeruns, figure he'd have about 17 with the same number of plate appearances. That's 80 RBI. I'm guessing he's more likely to be on base following an RBI than Delgado is, so there's more runs there too. I'm not saying Vidro is a better offensive player than Delgado, I'm saying he's closer than you'd think, and that pointing to things like RBI and runs isn't helping your case.
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#17459) #
Not sure what the 2004 park factor was for Comerica, but I know they moved the fences in from 2003. Not sure that it'll protect Percival from his gopheritis.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#17460) #
Tyler,

You're welcome to take Vidro as your franchise player. I'll take Delgado any day over him. Especially given that Delgado struggled mightily in the first half of the season. A healthy, normal Delgado would likely have much better numbers than an average Vidro. Mind you, given my druthers, I'd prefer Pujols.
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:01 PM EST (#17461) #
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3289
Not sure what the 2004 park factor was for Comerica, but I know they moved the fences in from 2003. Not sure that it'll protect Percival from his gopheritis.

According to BP (COMN), Detroit's Comerica Park played (2004)as pitcher's park with park factor of 955, which was 3rd lowest in AL, which would certainly help "gopheritis" suffering Percival.
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:01 PM EST (#17462) #
Marc, you've done an excellent job of sliding away from the genesis of this discussion, which was the absurd signing the Nationals have made and your defence of it. You somehow seem to think that I'd rather have Vidro as my franchise player than Delgado. All things being equal, that's not true. If it's a question of having them at costs of 19 million or 7 million though, I'll take Vidro any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Obviously, Delgado has better rate stats, but you've got to get value for your investment, and the Jays weren't getting sufficient value for the investment in Delgado.

If you read the last sentence of my post explaining why Delgado's RBI stats aren't really relevant, it becomes clear, particularly the part where I say "I'm not saying Vidro is a better offensive player than Delgado". I'll put that in bold, just to make it clear, at the end of this one. I'm not saying Vidro is a better offensive player than Delgado
_Wildrose - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:05 PM EST (#17463) #
http://tsf.waymoresports.thestar.com/thestar/baseball/player.cgi?4382
I think given the Guzman/Castilla signing (calamnity?), you'd have to look at the Seung Song signing in a new light. Did Bowden screw up, and did J.P. benefit from what appears to be an early pattern of dubious decision making?

On Primer somebody noted former Expo hurler and Canadian Olympian Shawn Hill was released by the Bowden regime. Is he worth taking a run at?(Comm for stats)
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:06 PM EST (#17464) #
According to BP (COMN), Detroit's Comerica Park played (2004)as pitcher's park with park factor of 955, which was 3rd lowest in AL, which would certainly help "gopheritis" suffering Percival.

Thanks for the link. Anaheim was a 960 so Percival's situation hasn't changed very much.
_Jacko - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:07 PM EST (#17465) #

This deal would've been decent for Tigers, if it weren't for two years or $12M. Percival's peripherals weren't that great, but it would've been covered up pretty well in spacious Comerica Park, especially with his ability to give up the long ball at most inopportune time. But $12M over two years for washed up closer?

Not to mention the fact that they already picked up Urbina's option.

I have no idea why they feel they need two closers.

And Urbina is 2MM cheaper to boot...
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:09 PM EST (#17466) #
I think given the Guzman/Castilla signing (calamnity?), you'd have to look at the Seung Song signing in a new light.

What I'd like to know is why Da Box headline writers didn't consider going with Seung Song Blue (Jay) when they reported the story. Or is a Neil Diamond reference crossing the line of good taste, even with his baseball surname?
_Jacko - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:10 PM EST (#17467) #

If it's a question of having them at costs of 19 million or 7 million though, I'll take Vidro any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Obviously, Delgado has better rate stats, but you've got to get value for your investment, and the Jays weren't getting sufficient value for the investment in Delgado.

Your argument is little dishonest Tyler. Delgado's 19 MM salary is history. And Vidro signed his deal after the market peaked.

Let's say Delgado signs for 10 MM per season this winter.

Who do you prefer now, Vidro at MM or Carlos at 10 MM?

I would lean towards Carlos...

jc
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:11 PM EST (#17468) #
I have no idea why they feel they need two closers.

I think they are unsure of Urbina's status, given that his mother remains kidnapped.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:15 PM EST (#17469) #
Troy Percival at $6 million per year is unfathomable to me. I predicted at the start of the free-agent season that he'd be vastly overpaid, but I had no idea how much.

You've got to believe in "magic closer dust" to give him half that amount.
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:16 PM EST (#17470) #
Tyler,

Can you repear that please? I'm not following you...
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:18 PM EST (#17471) #
If it's a question of 10 or 7, I'd likely lean towards Carlos as well, given his superior health, although it's probably harder to find a guy with Vidro's offensive ability to play 2B than it is to find one of Delgado's to play 1B. If I'm the Jays, I likely wouldn't touch either one of them. Not enough bang for the buck at those prices.
_Wildrose - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:19 PM EST (#17472) #
I can't find any confirmation that Hill has been released, still I wouldn't put such a move past Bowden.

"Seung Song Blue- Jay everybody needs one". Chuck I like it, but I'm afraid given the musical tastes of many of our younger Bauxites only a few of us more elderly and refined fellows may appreciate this timeless classic.
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:19 PM EST (#17473) #
Sarcasm's an ugly thing Marc, particularly after you earned it by not reading what I said, and responding anyway.
_Mick - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:20 PM EST (#17474) #
What happened to Urbina? Is the deal with his mom going to take him out of next year? If not, the Tigers already have a mediocre overpaid Proven Closer.
_Hamboy - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:22 PM EST (#17475) #
Troy Percival at $6 million per year is unfathomable to me. I predicted at the start of the free-agent season that he'd be vastly overpaid, but I had no idea how much.

Considering that Mesa got $2.5M, and there's a washed up closer (I think over 70 hits allowed in less than 70 innings pitched), every FA's values are going to inflated back toward pre-CBA days of baseball. Which saddens me...
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:24 PM EST (#17476) #
"Seung Song Blue- Jay everybody needs one". Chuck I like it, but I'm afraid given the musical tastes of many of our younger Bauxites only a few of us more elderly and refined fellows may appreciate this timeless classic.

Not to worry, Will Ferrel made him relevant again for the younger generation. I have to say, I was surprised to learn that Diamond once killed a homeless guy.
_Lefty - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:26 PM EST (#17477) #
but I'm afraid given the musical tastes of many of our younger Bauxites only a few of us more elderly and refined fellows may appreciate this timeless classic.

As one barely qualifying for elderly and refined, I must say that tune is neither timeless nor classic.;-)

It looks like the free agent signings are starting to roll now and it feels like its gonna be a bumpy ride.
_Wildrose - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:26 PM EST (#17478) #
Are some of these lucrative early signings indicitive of teams spending their increased portion of revenue sharing, and if so how will this affect the market?
_Caino - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:27 PM EST (#17479) #
Haha, one of the funniest skits ever.

"Everyone just cool out. Cool out. COOL OUT!"
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:27 PM EST (#17480) #
Troy Percival at $6 million per year is unfathomable to me.

Percival hasn't even cracked 60 innings once in the past 6 seasons. $1M a month for 8-10 inning is a little dear.

You reckon Benitez's agent is licking his chops right about now?

Chuck I like it, but I'm afraid given the musical tastes of many of our younger Bauxites only a few of us more elderly and refined fellows may appreciate this timeless classic.

While my tastes may not reflect those of the younger folks at this site, I'm not ready to trade in my pullover yet for a billowy, satin shirt.;)
_sweat - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:38 PM EST (#17481) #
All these teams overpaying for 2nd or 3rd tier FA's might mean that there might be some left over top-of-the-line talent at the end of the silly season. No one has overpaid for a starter yet, so we will have to see what the jays are gonna have left to get and what the potential price will be.
_Nolan - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 04:58 PM EST (#17482) #
http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3171866
So I was over at SportingNews.com reading a Kevin Kennedy and couldn't help chuckling to myself...his views are pretty much polar opposites to what most people on this site's are in regards to the recent free agent signings.

Here is a small chunk of what he wrote:

The guys who have signed have taken less. Vinny Castilla, who led the National League with 131 RBIs last year with Colorado signed with the Expos or maybe the Nationals if the deal to move the team to Washington isn't torpedoed at the last minute at $6.2 million for two years. Castilla, 37, got a nice deal for a player his age. Christian Guzman, 26, who helped the Twins win the AL Central last year, also signed with the Expos, getting $16.8 million for four years. Guzman is an outstanding shortstop who should have his best years ahead of him, yet he signed a pretty moderate deal. As I said, the market has changed.

The Giants also made a great move by signing Omar Vizquel for three years at $12.2 million. Vizquel is 37 and this pact will take him up to age 40.


COMN for the article
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 05:13 PM EST (#17483) #
So Kevin Kennedy joins the pantheon of elite journalists that includes Rob Dibble, John Kruk, Tony Gwynn...
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 05:16 PM EST (#17484) #
Chone Figgins got votes for MVP apparently, so Kruk has pull with someone.
_Nolan - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 05:24 PM EST (#17485) #
As did Burnitz and V.Castilla...guess that's why he's getting the big bucks. It's really weird that there are at least a couple of baseball people who think that these two guys are in the top ten of baseball players last year...
_Tyler - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 05:35 PM EST (#17486) #
I've come to the conclusion that "baseball knowledge" is actually highly lacking in many baseball people, whether they're writers or people involved in the game itself. That's true, but there is a more pressing need for business knowledge, and an understanding of the need to have a process, a plan to how you will achieve success. Jim Bowden's baseball knowledge might be questionable, but it's beyond debate that he lacks a plan.

I could run a baseball team, despite having little knowledge of the fundamentals of the game. I'd hire some smart people to tell me what's happened with a player, some "baseball people" to explain to me why it's happened, and I'm a smart enough guy myself to understand the need to have a process, and to evaluate whether a guy's contract can fit into the scheme of what we're doing, and the type of flexibility we need to have moving forward. This isn't rocket science, and it's not as hard as GM's make it look.
_Ducey - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 05:59 PM EST (#17487) #
Not only are the Castilla, Guzman, and Percival signings curious in terms of time and money but why are these teams rushing to give up draft picks? Detroit and Montreal could be the poster children for that commercial "Not going anywhere for a while?" (ironically I can't remember the product - I guess it did not work on me).
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 06:09 PM EST (#17488) #
...but why are these teams rushing to give up draft picks?

I wonder if the Brian "I'm not an idiot" Sabean model is being intentionally followed by other GM's, preferring to spend their allowance on known mediocrities instead of on draft picks.
_Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 06:26 PM EST (#17489) #
"Not going anywhere for a while?"

Snickers. And good point too. Giving up a draft pick makes these look even worse.
_Caino - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 07:30 PM EST (#17490) #
Just wondering. I'm not 100% clear on the whole compesnatory pick thing. So, if Seatle signs Delgado, do we get thier first rounder. Or does the rule kick in where the pick is too good, and we'll get a second rounder?

Also, what do we get if Zaun, being in the 'B' group, signs else where?
_Marc - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 07:36 PM EST (#17491) #
Delgado to Seattle would net a second round pick of Seattle's (because they finished in the bottom 15 teams) and a first round supplemental, assuming the Jays offer arbitration, which they likely won't unless Seattle signs him by the early Dec. deadline.

Zaun will net a first round pick if signed by a team in the top 15 teams and a second round pick if taken by a bottom three team. But again, TO must offer arbitration.
_Ryan Lind - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 07:46 PM EST (#17492) #
With the way things have been going so far this offseason, I wouldn't be surprised to see Delgado signed tomorrow for about 6yr/100mil.
_Vernons Biggest - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 07:57 PM EST (#17493) #
Wouldn't it make more sense to move Washington's AAA team to Montreal. At least the fans would recognize some of their former call-ups, and even some management. Re-name it the Expos, keep Youppi!, and build a nice small park and rename it Parc Jarry. this would be the best case scenario.
_6-4-3 - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 08:10 PM EST (#17494) #
I'm all for keeping Youppi! employed, but wouldn't Expos fans think that this was a slap in the face?

I mean, if the MLB moved the Blue Jays to Las Vegas, then moved the Skychiefs to Toronto, renamed them the Blue Jays, had them play in a small stadium called Exhibition Stadium, and signed Dave Berg to make it look like the good ol' days, you couldn't pay me to go. But maybe AAA baseball is better than no baseball, and some Youppi! is better than no Youppi at all.
_Chuck Van Den C - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 08:29 PM EST (#17495) #
Just my two cents worth, but I can't imagine AAA ball working out in Montreal, at least not until a number of years have passed and the bad taste left behind by the Expos debacle is no longer so acrid.

I can't ever imagine a Toronto minor league team being popular in Montreal. Montreal, like much of Canada, holds Toronto in disdain and would not embrace a relationship whereby they are the inferior party.
_Jordan - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 08:45 PM EST (#17496) #
"Not going anywhere for a while?" (ironically I can't remember the product - I guess it did not work on me).

Snickers, I think, or some candy bar or other.

The Giants also made a great move by signing Omar Vizquel for three years at $12.2 million. Vizquel is 37 and this pact will take him up to age 40.

"And Greg Goossen, he's only 20, with a good chance in 10 years of being 30." Honest to God, the rank unfairness that Kevin Kennedy gets paid to write stuff like this, while terrific blogger analysts (I don't count myself) have to sit and watch from the outside.

Vizquel should be giving his agent daily champagne massages for getting that contract; the Giants continue to waste the game's best player. And I don't know where to begin on the Tigers' and Expos' signings, except to say: I'm thankful there are still stupid organizations in baseball, and I'm thankful that my favourite team isn't one of them.

Wouldn't it make more sense to move Washington's AAA team to Montreal.

In the right ballpark, this could be a great idea, but the scars are probably still too fresh in Montreal. If at some point, the city can enthusiastically support a AAA team in a cozy, 10,000-seat, Jarryesque ballpark (shades of Jackie Robinson's Royals), it could be in line for a future MLB expansion.

Regarding the Expos' current AAA team, though, I'll tell you what -- it's not going to sit well with many people here in Ottawa that we are now Washington's farm team. The symbolism cuts a little close to the bone.
_Jonny German - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:40 PM EST (#17497) #
The symbolism cuts a little close to the bone.

No kiddin'. Here's a great scenario for Jays fans - Swap Syracuse and Ottawa.
Craig B - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:51 PM EST (#17498) #
Wouldn't it make more sense to move Washington's AAA team to Montreal. At least the fans would recognize some of their former call-ups, and even some management. Re-name it the Expos, keep Youppi!, and build a nice small park and rename it Parc Jarry. this would be the best case scenario.

That's, like, the single most humiliating thing I've ever heard.

Regarding the Expos' current AAA team, though, I'll tell you what -- it's not going to sit well with many people here in Ottawa that we are now Washington's farm team. The symbolism cuts a little close to the bone.

They ought to move it to England.
_Four Seamer - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:56 PM EST (#17499) #
Regarding the Expos' current AAA team, though, I'll tell you what -- it's not going to sit well with many people here in Ottawa that we are now Washington's farm team. The symbolism cuts a little close to the bone.

Huh? I thought the Lynx were Baltimore's farm team. Isn't Montreal/Washington's farm team in New Orleans?
_Vernons Biggest - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 09:59 PM EST (#17500) #
if the MLB moved the Blue Jays to Las Vegas, then moved the Skychiefs to Toronto, renamed them the Blue Jays, had them play in a small stadium called Exhibition Stadium

I can't speak for Expo fans but i think they are nicer towards Parc Jarry than Jay fans are to the EX.

And, no, you're right. I wouldn't pay to see Dave Berg play, but i would pay to see young guys like Aaron Hill, Eric Crozier, etc, grow up and become distinguished stars of the game.

The only way that this whole idea could work is based on if MLB did it at the right time, and the right stadium was built at the right location. Right away is not the time, but people will realize how much they missed baseball in Montreal and welcome it back, even if it's in a smaller form.
_Caino - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:01 PM EST (#17501) #
Four Seamer's right. Lynx have been affiliated with Baltimore for 2 years.

I definatly agree with Jonny G. Having our affiliate in Ottawa would be fantastic... For me that is.
_Jordan - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:02 PM EST (#17502) #
Huh? I thought the Lynx were Baltimore's farm team.

Yes, well, you're overlooking the fact that I'm a moron.

It would have been a great line two years ago, though. Sigh....
_Vernons Biggest - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:03 PM EST (#17503) #
Sorry Craig .B., like i said, I don't speak for Expos fans.
_Jim - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:11 PM EST (#17504) #
You don't need MLB to have a AAA team. They are independently owned and that ownership sets up the affiliation. Easiest way is to buy a franchise and move it. New Haven moving to New Hampshire is the easiest example for Jays fans. You just need someone willing to invest in a franchise and bring it to your fine city.
Craig B - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:16 PM EST (#17505) #
No offense taken, VBF, and I'm sure none intended. Just that that's how people would interpret it.
_S.Bialo - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:27 PM EST (#17506) #
Well, at least we know that was the real Jordan that said that.
_6-4-3 - Wednesday, November 17 2004 @ 10:47 PM EST (#17507) #
I can't speak for Expo fans but i think they are nicer towards Parc Jarry than Jay fans are to the EX.

And, no, you're right. I wouldn't pay to see Dave Berg play, but i would pay to see young guys like Aaron Hill, Eric Crozier, etc, grow up and become distinguished stars of the game.

The only way that this whole idea could work is based on if MLB did it at the right time, and the right stadium was built at the right location. Right away is not the time, but people will realize how much they missed baseball in Montreal and welcome it back, even if it's in a smaller form.


Sorry, I really shouldn't have used either Berg or the Ex. But the point is that (and I won't use Expo prospects, because I honestly can't name many) fans in either Montreal and (hypothetically) Toronto would want to see Hill / Crozier / Chacin / League etc in the Major League uniforms. It's bad enough that for a long period, the Expos were like a AAAA team that developed stars then watched them leave, but to have that status become official, it'd be humiliating. Maybe, after time, they would want a AAA team. But they certainly shouldn't call it the Expos, play in le Parc Jarry, hire Youppi, and expect people to love that situation. Better just to start over, with a new name.
_Paul D - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 12:09 AM EST (#17508) #
Craig, I have no idea where to put this, so I'll put it here:
Thank you for slapping Backlasher around on the leadership thread. I have neither the knowledge, patience or ability to get into it with him, but I appreciate those of you that do.

I don't think that the Percical signing is bad on its own merits, but it doesn't seem like Detroit should be giving up draft picks. The situation with Urbina is horrible, I hope it gets resolved soon.
_Jobu - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 12:19 AM EST (#17509) #
Sorry if this has been mentioned earlier, but did anyone notice our old buddy Pat "MVP" Borders signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with Miliwuake? Good luck Pat!
_Braby - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 12:25 AM EST (#17510) #
http://www.easports.com/articles/05/mvp05_cover.jsp
COMN for the announcing of Manny Ramirez for coverboy of MVP Baseball 2005, can't wait for this game.
_Fozzy - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 12:42 AM EST (#17511) #
I'm not going to touch MVP 2005 for PC until I see some of their most damning and mind-boggling errors fixed this time around. Lefty's can't hit homeruns? Jerky gameplay on faster machines? Outrageous dynasty controls? Incorrect pitches and speeds for many marquee pitchers (may I point out that in the out-of-the-box game Halladay throws 98mph and a palmball)? It's called beta testing and test markets people!

I'll just stick with 2004, which, thanks to the work of awesome modders, has been made into an awesomely awesome game. Awesome :)
_Fozzy - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 12:45 AM EST (#17512) #
By the way, I was really hoping for Palmeiro holding a bat in a provocative position and a little blue pill in the other to make the box cover. Kinda like an advertisement and a Russ Meyers film melded into one. That would be great.

Ah well, one can dream...
_Caino - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 02:20 AM EST (#17513) #
http://www.billybean.com
Lol, funny story. Last few nights before bed I've been reading parts of 'Money Ball'. So just now I was bored and thought I'd look up some more information on the Athletics and Billy Beane. So I was googling and in one of my searches instead of typing Billy Beane, I typed Billy Bean.
Wow. Now I don't know much about Billy except from what is said in 'Money Ball' and what is said in the media. So needless to say, I experienced quit a paradigm shift when I supposedly stumbled upon his own website. COMN to see it. Having never heard about this other Billy Bean guy, I was rather confused for a second there.

Got a chuckle out of it, though you may aswell.
Now to quote a famous Seinfeld episode "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
_Jim - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 08:26 AM EST (#17514) #
Not only are the names confusing

Bean 226/266/308
Beane 219/246/296

Throw in the fact they were both mainly outfielders and both were with Detroit in 1988......
Mike Green - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 08:49 AM EST (#17515) #
This thread's getting a little long, so I opened up a fresh hijack central thread.
Craig B - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 08:57 AM EST (#17516) #
Thanks Paul D. It's too bad for Primer, but they've let themselves go down a path that has lost them some really good readers. It's still the second-best place to talk baseball, though, even if the screamers end up killing off half the threads.

If you ever need to reach me, just e-mail craig@battersbox.ca!
_Lee - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 12:43 PM EST (#17517) #
but that's just my opinion... and now that I think about it, former Jay, A. Gon isn't worth a bag of peanuts.

Geez, you guys are really hard on Alex around here. He was certainly no superstar, and I too was annoyed by Buck Martinez's constant declarations to the contrary, but he DID provide a very solid glove which IMO is the first thing you need from a shortstop. He was way too much of a free swinger, of course, which contributed to his high K totals and low OBP, but at least he was good for a consistent .250 AVG and maybe 15 HR. No superstar for sure, but I'd take him over Guzman in a heartbeat.
_Paul D - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 01:31 PM EST (#17518) #
I agree about primer Craig. I'm not really sure what, if any, solution there is though. Things were going crazy before the registration, so I think it was needed...

I'm not opposed to people disagreeing about certain types of thinking, but there's literally no point in reading some of the threads there, as they just turn into people calling each other names and ignoring all the points that are made.
Craig B - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 02:26 PM EST (#17519) #
Things were going crazy before the registration, so I think it was needed...

It definitely was, and it's much better now, but they haven't really used a principal benefit of registration, which is to get people to cut it out if they're being jerks. That's a conscious choice, though, and it's certainly popular, and I still go there, so I wouldn't say it's wrong.

but he DID provide a very solid glove which IMO is the first thing you need from a shortstop.

I think we are pretty hard on Gonzalez - frustration born out of watching him develop not a single inch in eight years, probably.

But he doesn't have a solid glove anymore. His fielding has decayed to the point where he's no better than many players widely viewed as insufficient for shortstop.

No superstar for sure, but I'd take him over Guzman in a heartbeat.

I'd take Guzman, but that's like Hobson's Choice. I'd much rather have Chris Woodward, since he's pretty much as good as either and won't cost an arm and a leg. But if you can hit Guzman ninth, and keep him away from the #2 spot, he's not a horrible player at all.
_Lee - Thursday, November 18 2004 @ 02:51 PM EST (#17520) #
I think we are pretty hard on Gonzalez - frustration born out of watching him develop not a single inch in eight years, probably.

I share that frustration.

But he doesn't have a solid glove anymore. His fielding has decayed to the point where he's no better than many players widely viewed as insufficient for shortstop.

True, but he did when with the Jays. I agree with Hamboy about Gonzalez not being worth too much right now, I was commenting more on the general sentiment about Gonzalez around here and elsewhere...
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