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Very few new developments. The A's may get Kendall (thanks to faithful reader and Blue Jays Cheer Club drummer bird droppings); additionally, our very own Craig B has written a preview of the Canadian and Venezuelan World Cup teams at THT.

This thread's quote is probably pretty easy.

The first night's the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born, skin burning and half blind from that delousing shit they throw on you, and when they put you in that cell... and those bars slam home... that's when you know it's for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.
Hijack Central: Red Tidings | 163 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Christopher - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:05 AM EST (#11486) #
Shawshank Redemption, one of my favourites.
Has anybody picked up the 10th anniversary DVD?
_Jonny German - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:07 AM EST (#11487) #
Mike Green plugged it at the bottom of the last Hijack Central, and it deserves another, more prominent plug: COMN and check out Craig B's Hardball Times projection of the Venezuelan and Canadian squads for the possible 2006 World Cup of Baseball. Not a subject that particularly interests you? I thought so to until I read his original article on the subject.
Joe - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:26 AM EST (#11488) #
Ahem. Apparently Jonny doesn't read the Hijack Central intro. :)

Well done Christopher. One of the best movies ever in my opinion. No punishment is given for movies of Shawshank's quality. Instead, here is your fabulous prize:

_Marc - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:27 AM EST (#11489) #
I still can't fathom why the A's are doing this trade... sure Kendall is a leader and hits (a soft) .300 as a catcher, but they are adding about $13 million to their budget over the next three years and purging two left handed pitchers. I think Redman is going to do really well back in the National League and Rhodes could even enjoy a resurgence, although his numbers scream "downward spiral!" to me.
The Pirates are going to have the nicest collection of lefthanded arms in the National League if the deal goes through. I think Mike Gonzalez has the chance to be the best left handed reliever in the majors... it's crazy to think he was property of the Red Sox for something like two days last winter.
And a rotation of Kip Wells, Oliver Perez (stolen from San Diego along with Jason Bay for Brian Giles), Redman, Josh Fogg and VanBenschoten, Peterson or Snell is nothing to sneeze at in the NL. Now if only they can get their offence figured out...
_Jonny German - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:55 AM EST (#11490) #
Apparently Jonny doesn't read the Hijack Central intro.

Uh, yah. I just wanted to erase any doubt: Yes, I am an idiot.
_Moffatt - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:05 PM EST (#11491) #
I still can't fathom why the A's are doing this trade... sure Kendall is a leader and hits (a soft) .300 as a catcher, but they are adding about $13 million to their budget over the next three years

I imagine the Pirates will eat some of Kendall's salary. It's just a mattter of how much. I doubt this is going to be a straight-up player swap.
_Braby21 - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:06 PM EST (#11492) #
Latest on the Delgado situation. Talks a bit about the latest rumours from the York report. It doesn't really shut Marty down, but tells us Marty isn't 100% accurate, which isn't such a huge surprise.
_Braby21 - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:14 PM EST (#11493) #
I'm sure this has been brought up here before, but does anyone think that Marty York's fire is fed by the Jays? Since they are owned by Rogers, the same people who cut the cheques for Marty. I'm sure that they wanted to get teams scared about Delgado's "knee problems."
_Paul D - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:26 PM EST (#11494) #
On Primer they're saying that the A's are sending a million to Pittsburgh in 2005 and 2006, but that the Pirates will pay half of Kendall's salary in 2007.
_Mick - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:30 PM EST (#11495) #
I don't believe for a second that PIT will keep Rhodes. Big left-handed reliever being overpaid? And the Pirates now need a catcher? I smell a flip-Rhodes-to-the-Yanks-for-Dionar-Navarro deal coming.
_Marc - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:45 PM EST (#11496) #
It gets much better, then, if the A's get a break on Kendall's contract.
_Jeff Geauvreau - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 01:06 PM EST (#11497) #
From Gammons Diamond notes at bottom of page re:November 24/04

West Wing Stars to wear Fisher Cats stuff on show !

How great is this: The producers of "West Wing" are getting several items of interest from the Eastern League champion New Hampshire Fisher Cats for upcoming episodes. Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is, of course, from a small town in New Hampshire. The only thing wrong is that in the last 40 years, the only states to have produced presidents are Georgia, Arkansas, Texas and California. ...

COMN for the full Gammons story and column.
_Jim - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 01:12 PM EST (#11498) #
Any show that has found a way to mix in Whalers references not once but twice is ok in my book.
_Jordan - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 02:06 PM EST (#11499) #
I smell a flip-Rhodes-to-the-Yanks-for-Dionar-Navarro deal coming.

That would be a sweet trade for Pittsburgh, and would help them salvage something from this sad deal. All general managers should have this carved into their desk: You will regret almost every long-term contract you sign. Where's that Gammons list that Mick reproduced a few days ago?

"Sammy Sosa. Preston Wilson. Kevin Brown. Jason Giambi. Kenny Lofton. Cliff Floyd. Mike Piazza. Tom Glavine. Byung-Hyun Kim. Ryan Klesko. Jason Kendall. Andruw Jones. Shawn Green. Darren Dreifort. Arthur Rhodes. Jose Vidro. Pat Burrell. Mike Lieberthal. Charles Johnson. Chan Ho Park. Matt Lawton. Paul Konerko. Eric Hinske. Edgardo Alfonzo. Ray Durham. Juan Encarnacion. Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Jay Payton. Jeff Bagwell. Jose Guillen. Tim Salmon. Bret Boone. Joe Mays. Kazuo Matsui....."

If you thank Gord Ash for nothing else, thank him for keeping Delgado's deal at four years.
_greenfrog - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 03:30 PM EST (#11500) #
Kendall seems like a good guy to have around (career average: .306/.387/.418, with a BB:K ratio of 454:403). He sounds like a gamer too, although his defense apparently isn't that great and he doesn't run the way he used to.

Looks like Billy Beane hasn't abandoned his high-OBP offensive philosophy (at the expense of team defense) quite yet.
Mike Green - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 03:44 PM EST (#11501) #
COMN for John Sickels' AFL prospect report. Interesting stuff, as usual.
_Jonny German - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 04:28 PM EST (#11502) #
I've been working on a Josh Towers for Ramon Vazquez trade with Geoff over at Ducksnorts. Should I try to get him to throw in a prospect?
_greenfrog - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 05:21 PM EST (#11503) #
Does anyone think the M's (or anyone else) are likely to sign Delgado before the Dec 7 deadline? This seems unlikely to me, although I think this happened last year with Ibanez. I would think that any Delgado suitors would strongly prefer to hold off until it's confirmed that the Jays will not offer him arbitration.
_Dean - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 06:19 PM EST (#11504) #
BA has their Top 20 AFL prospects listed, Hill is the only Jay representative @ #20.
Pistol - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 08:13 PM EST (#11505) #
It gets much better, then, if the A's get a break on Kendall's contract.

I suspect that the info at Primer was correct. I was just in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and they talked that about $6 million (net) would be headed to Oakland in the deal.

There was a good 'Stats Geek' article that talked about catchers declining at the point that Kendall is currently entering. COMN.
Pistol - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 08:24 PM EST (#11506) #
And now that the Pirates don't have a catcher perhaps the Jays could flip Cash for something useful.
Mike Green - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 08:31 PM EST (#11507) #
Thanks, Pistol, for the cool link. The subject seemed, I don't know, strangely familiar :)

Just for fun, COMN for Jason Kendall's comparables, according to BR. Munson and Cochrane both make the list, but as you can see, he's quite a piece behind both.
_Caino - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 10:55 PM EST (#11508) #
I'm surprised John Sickels' mentioned Rosario as one to watch and not Hill.

Flipping cash for something useful would be a great trade. I'm not sure how much can be expected for him. Though he's a servicable major leaguer in every respect but his bat.
_Vernons Biggest - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:13 PM EST (#11509) #
Seattle is hoping to sign Sexson and Delgado.

If Seattle signs Sexson, most likely Delgado will get alot of time DH if they sign him too.

Why would Delgado go to a last place team, worse than the Jays, to play DH, and bat 3rd....

when he can make a little less in Toronto (he has made alot in the last few years), be treated like a King, bat fourth in the lineup, play in a better hitting park, play with his team mates which he likes, and play 1st base %99.9 of the time.
_Wildrose - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:16 PM EST (#11510) #
Much like Jonny German, I'm surprised their's not more discussion about Craig's fine story about Canada's potential world cup team.

Another guy you could add to the Canadian roster is Chris Reitsma of the Braves. Reitsma was born in the States but grew up in Calgary and as the story (comm) notes apparently played for Canada's national junior team. I suppose you might even add another Albertan( no we haven't separated yet) to the mix, Jeff Zimmerman of Texas, although injuries probably make him a long shot.

I'm a little less sanguine( or perhaps more blindly nationalistic) than Craig. I think our hurlers are not all that bad;




Cormier(I'm optimistic he can atleast be a solid loogy)
I also think Clapp,Nicholson and Klassen will still be reasonable players even if they have to go play in an independent league.

At any rate I can hardly wait for this event.
_Mick - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:30 PM EST (#11511) #
If you mention Jeff Zimmerman -- and let's hope he really is healthy, be sure to give some love to his brother Jordan Zimmerman, who's done some quality work for the Mariners. Not All-Star setup quality like Jeff, but he'd certainly be a candidate.
_Jobu - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 03:47 AM EST (#11512) #
To anyone who ever took Da Box for granted, I just swung by the ESPN blog as I'm terribly bored and found one post where the "gentleman" seriously suggested that next year the Jays field a swirling 1b/dh death spiral of:

Cat/Franco/Dye/and maybe Crozier

All I can say is long live Da Box!!!

and Steve Buscemi
_Ducey - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 01:55 PM EST (#11513) #
Its official: Kendall to the A's for Redman, Rhodes and some $$ in the last year of Kendall's contract. COMN
_Ducey - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 01:57 PM EST (#11514) #
Sorry, I got the $$ going the wrong way. The Pirates are paying the A's.
_Fozzy - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 02:50 PM EST (#11515) #
Does this open up a Kevin Cash trade to Pittsburgh? Call it intuition, but I think he could thrive there.
Pistol - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 04:15 PM EST (#11516) #
The article said that the Pirates are looking for a veteran catcher FWIW.

The Pirates also designated left-hander Frank Brooks for assignment and now have 10 days to trade or release him or send him outright to the minors.

Brooks could be an interesting LHP to acquire. COMN for his stats.
_Jobu - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 04:44 PM EST (#11517) #
If not for the fact that it might ruin FA views of Blue Jay ownership, it might have been interesting to sign Zaun and then flip him to the Pirates for something. Maybe Bobby Hill just so the Cheer Club could have a field day with signage.
Pistol - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 05:09 PM EST (#11518) #
There's a certain window of time where you can't trade free agents that you just signed.
_Jobu - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 05:16 PM EST (#11519) #
Again, not that it would happen but what if he took Arb? Same rules apply?
Thomas - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 05:23 PM EST (#11520) #
I would echo Wildrose's sentiments about Craig's fine piece over at the Harball Times.

Regarding Crain, I'm not sure if you missed it in Craig's article, but Crain has pitched for the United States in international competition and is thus ineligible to pitch for Canada.

I would think the Blue Jays own Vince Perkins has a decent shot at a back-of-the-bullpen gig, and I'm optimistic Pete Orr would be a solid utilityman. Joey Votto is developing an interesting bat, but he maybe too raw for this tournament
_deesanchez - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 05:57 PM EST (#11521) #
jobu: i don't think those rules do apply with arb. i've been thinking for a while that the jays would be dumb not to offer zaun arbitration. worst case scenario: myers is healthy and we end up with too many underpaid catchers which opens up trade possibilities. best case: he says no to arb, signs with a good team and we end up with a good draft pick as comp (zaun's a type b f.a.).

can anyone explain why we wouldn't offer zaun arbitration?
_Wildrose - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 06:16 PM EST (#11522) #
Yes, Crain was hotly pursued by both Canada and the US for the Olympic qualifier last year, and unfortunately chose the States.
_Ducey - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 07:21 PM EST (#11523) #
An update of sorts on Delgado COMN
_Ducey - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 07:27 PM EST (#11524) #
Not sure this has been noted here before but the Jays sign minor league deals with the Matos "brothers" and someone named Acuna COMN
_Ducey - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 10:23 PM EST (#11525) #
Hmm... looks like I am conversing with myself. Here are Acuna's numbers COMN

No power - yet. Signed when he was 15 with the Mets Dominican league team. He is only 23. If he develops some power (and he is 6'4" and 225!) he might be a steal - otherwise he is minor league material.
_John Northey - Sunday, November 28 2004 @ 12:42 AM EST (#11526) #
Acuna is kind of odd. Large enough to have power but never hits for it. 8 HR his best for a season, and just 5 HR over the past 3 seasons over more than 1400 AB's. Looks like a 300 hitter with no pop, mediocre speed (20+ SB normally but only makes it about 2/3rds of the time thus only breaks even), not a great eye (40 BB his best for a season) and strikes out more than he should (99 last year). Someone who probably needs a good hitting coach before he can turn into a useful player.

The two Matos players are nothing special imo. The pitching one has shown hope in the past but had an ERA over 5 last year for Syracuse. The other is just a utility player from what I can see.

As for the arbitration cases, I think Zaun is a lock for being offered it as I cannot see an arbitrator giving him more than a million and the Jays could live with that while Zaun will probably be looking for a team to give him a starting job which the Jays won't with Myers & Q in the ranks. He might even think a 2 year deal is out there for him (which it could be).

Delgado seems very odd right now. According to the article he hasn't made a counter-proposal to the Jays which seems very odd. One would think he'd say something. I suspect he is waiting until December 6th to make up his mind as to if he wants to stay or go, knowing that after that he is out of Toronto for sure. If the top interest is indeed from the Mariners then the only reason for leaving TO would be cash, but does he really want to risk leaving his only team thus far, and a city where his stands are not going to be booed just for a bit more money? Hard to say. I'd have trouble leaving a few million on the table, but if I already had tens of millions in the bank would it still matter?

If I was JP I doubt I'd offer arbitration as it would be very tempting to Delgado. However, again he'd have to risk leaving a lot of money on the table to take it. He'd most likely get a big (20%) pay cut via arbitration (down to $15 million about) and have no money beyond one season, thus making it so he must have a decent year to lock in a two year $6 million contract to break even (injuries or a continuing slide could make that $6 million harder to get than one thinks). Delgado is on the wrong side of 32, the age at which most sluggers start to lose it quickly, which most GM's should know quite well.

Next weekend should be an interesting one in the Delgado household. Go for the bucks and risk a lot of BS during the 7th inning or stay at home for good but not great (in baseball terms) money.
Craig B - Sunday, November 28 2004 @ 10:42 AM EST (#11527) #
The pitching one has shown hope in the past but had an ERA over 5 last year for Syracuse.

I think Josue Matos can still make it. I'm not sold on him as a starter, but he's been extremely effective as a reliever in the past and that's where the team should look to employ him. Unless they really think he's never going to make it, any extra time he spends as a starter is, at this point, pretty much wasting his development.

In the past seven years (which comprise six seasons played with a year off for surgery in 2001) Josue has been almost exclusively a reliever in two seasons, and almost exclusively a starter in four.

                ERA    K/9   K/BB   HR/9
As Starter 4.61 7.6 2.9 1.4
As Reliever 2.23 10.9 3.2 0.7

Even though the starter sample is about four times bigger, that leads me to believe that there's a good chance that Josue Matos could be a very, very effective reliever in the right role.

Julius Matos won't embarrass you horribly as a utility infielder if you have to press him into service, but he doesn't have a big league future. He's useful as long as he's useful to Syracuse.
_Marc - Sunday, November 28 2004 @ 03:15 PM EST (#11528) #
The problem with Josue is that he wants to be a starter, even though he is MUCH more effective as a reliever. He said at the end of the season that he would consider resigning with the Jays if they would continue to let him start...
Mike Green - Sunday, November 28 2004 @ 06:13 PM EST (#11529) #
Craig, Matos' stats are a little distorted. In 2003, he pitched in relief in San Antonio, and the park heavily favored the strikeout. Whether this was due to a hitter's background issue or something else, I do not know. I agree though that he should be used in relief, but expectations should be a little more restrained than would be suggested by his relief line above.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#11530) #
COMN for the financial details on the Kendall/Rhodes/Redman deal. If I read the details correctly, the A's end up spending a net $6 million dollars over the 3 year term remaining on Kendall's deal. I'd say Beane ended up doing very well.
_perlhack - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 01:24 PM EST (#11531) #
Mike, the way I interpreted that article is as follows:

The A's pay the full salary of Kendall for 2005-2007 ($10, $11 and $13 million). They also send $1 million to the Pirates in 2005 and 2006.

The Pirates pay the full salaries of Redman and Rhodes for their full terms (total $14.75 million in 2005 and 2006). They also send $5 million to the A's in 2007.
Mike Green - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 01:49 PM EST (#11532) #
Tom Haller passed away on Friday. He was a fine catcher of the Giants and Dodgers in the 60s and early 70s.
_GregH - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 04:55 PM EST (#11533) #
There are some reasonably nice Jays' wallpapers available on the official site. COMN
_Scott - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 07:51 PM EST (#11534) #
A couple of odds and ends.

The latest Ken Rosenthal article is up. COMN. Nothing Jay specific although if they want to get Kearns (or Dunn) from the Reds they better hope the price comes down.

The latest news from the Puerto Rican league.


TOR M.Negron CF 5 3 3 1 .359 - HR (2), K
_Ducey - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 11:11 PM EST (#11535) #
Hmmm .... apparently the Jays are not looking for any replacements for Delgado or anyone else COMN
_Jobu - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:57 AM EST (#11536) #
Since the Hijack is supposed to be used for just about anything, I just want to say I'm upset that Cherry didn't win the greatest canadian contest tonight, just to make a mockery of the whole stupid process which already is nothing but a mockery.
_Fozzy - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 03:05 AM EST (#11537) #
Jobu, I think the fact that Don Cherry finished ahead of the man who invented the god-damned telephone (not to mention the greatest actual hockey player ever) cemented this "contest's" status as pure mockery, as did the 'ceremonial show' CBC presented tonight. What a mess that was.

Some low-lights: camera angles of the back of Wendy Mesleys' head as Rex Murphy speaks, leading to a quick camera switch that is completely out of range, then forgetting to tell the hosts and letting them speak to the other camera for 2 minutes; almost opening the card for #1 instead of #7; screwing up the dialogue a hundred times by the hosts; and, most appallingly, completely ignoring Terry Fox and only briefly touching on Tommy Douglass because they ran out of time - say who finished #2, let the advocate say their piece and then announce who #1 is; don't make it like the damned Miss Universe pageant and try and dilute the #2, not when you're trying to promote them all equally and have givem the other eight a fair amount of time.

It was pretty obvious there wasn't any sort of rehersal for this thing, which was too bad, because it genuinely got people out there thinking about Canadian history, and was a good chance to promote Canadiana in a new and interesting way. Considering they are trying to sell the DVD collection of the series, the ending was nothing short of a complete disappointment.

Rant over.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 10:59 AM EST (#11538) #
According to Lee Sinins, Glenn Williams, long-time Jay farmhand, signed with the Twins. COMN.
_Jason Robar - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 11:13 AM EST (#11539) #
Speaking of the Twins, here's a quote from an "observer close to the Jays scene":

"The only difference between (previous owner) Interbrew and Rogers is that the Rogers ownership lives in Toronto," one observer close to the Jays scene said. "If you took the Minnesota Twins front office, put it in Toronto with say, a St. Louis budget ($79 million US), you could retire the division. It would belong to the Jays."

(Not surprisingly, it's Bob Elliott who provides us with this quote. COMN for the full column.)

The only way that this comment is not completely wrong is if the observer is referring to the Central.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 11:32 AM EST (#11540) #
That's just silly, and insulting to Epstein and Cashman. Nobody, but nobody, is going to "retire this division" unless they get a budget substantially in excess of Boston's and New York's. And that's simply not on.

The hyperbole here is unbecoming.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 11:41 AM EST (#11541) #
Since the Hijack is supposed to be used for just about anything, I just want to say I'm upset that Cherry didn't win the greatest canadian contest tonight, just to make a mockery of the whole stupid process which already is nothing but a mockery.

Good thing you didn't follow the Dutch version of the contest. The results were interesting, to put it mildly.
_Braby21 - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:11 PM EST (#11542) #
The club has reached a tentative agreement with Benitez on a three-year contract worth about $21 million, major-league sources told The Chronicle on Monday night. It could be announced as early as today if the 32-year-old right- hander passes a physical in Florida.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:15 PM EST (#11543) #
Let me guess: an anti-immigrant politician demolishes Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:22 PM EST (#11544) #
Braby, it's better not to cut and paste from the article. Incidentally, for the clickaphobics, it's the Giants who signed Benitez.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:26 PM EST (#11545) #
Let me guess: an anti-immigrant politician demolishes Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

and Willem van Oranje, which is pretty much as no-brainer as you can get. He finished 2nd.

It's a little misleading (or at least a little oversimplified) to define the winner, Fortuyn, as "anti-immigrant", but given how rich Dutch history is he's a pretty strange choice. If they ran the contest 2 years from now he might not have even been in the Top 50.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:38 PM EST (#11546) #
I don't really know Fortuyn, but COMN for the BBC obituary. I wonder what the Beeb would say about Cherry.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:55 PM EST (#11547) #
This just in from Rogers:

On Wednesday (December 1st), Ernie Whitt will be at Men Are From Mars located in Square One from 6:00 - 7:00 PM meeting fans and signing autographs.

If you purchase a $20 Blue Jays Gift Card that day at Men Are From Mars, you will also receive a FREE 8"x10" photo of the Blue Jays star, plus a donation will be made to the Jays Care Foundation. As an added bonus, the first 100 people that print off and bring this email will also receive a limited edition Blue Jays BBQ Apron.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 12:59 PM EST (#11548) #
I don't really know Fortuyn, but COMN for the BBC obituary. I wonder what the Beeb would say about Cherry.

The BBC really tried to paint Fortuyn as this far-right Le Pen type politician. They really, really hated him. I'm not sure how a flamboyantly gay, Marxist sociology professor who says "Maybe we shouldn't let so many religious conservatives in our country as it could cause us to lose some of the civil rights we've fought so hard for" can be characterized as "far right", but that's the BBC for you.
_Braby21 - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 01:02 PM EST (#11549) #
Aight, sorry Mike. I was just too lazy to type it out.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 01:42 PM EST (#11550) #
For balance, here's the CNN Fortuyn obituary.

Moving on to baseball, the Benitez signing is (bearing in mind the prior signings of this off-season) a reasonable one. Benitez is a fine relief ace candidate, and should be good for 3 years. The Percival signing boggled my mind. This one makes sense.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 01:47 PM EST (#11551) #
Moving on to baseball, the Benitez signing is (bearing in mind the prior signings of this off-season) a reasonable one. Benitez is a fine relief ace candidate, and should be good for 3 years. The Percival signing boggled my mind. This one makes sense.

I'd agree with this assessment. If I were Florida I'd spend the $21 million dollars in other ways, but this is certainly defensible.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 01:55 PM EST (#11552) #
Actually, the Giants have apparently signed Benitez. Anyways, I agree that it might not be wise to spend $7 million on a closer, even a fine one. Some of the cost is tied up in unrealistic assessments of the importance of the role, in my view.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 01:57 PM EST (#11553) #
Those darn Florida Giants. :)

Now it makes a bit less sense. Why take Vizquel + Benitez when you can probably get Delgado for the same amount of money?

Thanks for the correction. I guess I need another coffee.
_G.T. - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 02:01 PM EST (#11554) #
My favourite Greatest Canadian slip-up: Wendy informing that "Deborah Grey is now in the Pierre Trudeau camp". I almost fell off my chair when I heard that. I'd have loved to have seen Grey's reaction to that statement!

(Mesley had meant that Charlotte Gray had given her "support" to PET)
_Caino - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 02:21 PM EST (#11555) #
The Fan is reporting that the Mets have eclipsed the Sox offer to Pedro. They are reportedly offering 38 mill over 3. With on option for a forth year at in and around 12 mill.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 02:23 PM EST (#11556) #
Paul Wilson re-signs with the Reds, 2 years $8.2M. This offseason continues to be ridiculous... compare to November 2003:
Date	Name       	Team	$	Years
13-Nov Mike Timlin Bos $ 2.500 1
13-Nov Tom Martin LA $ 3.200 2
17-Nov Jose Vizcaino Hou $ 1.200 1
18-Nov Pat Hentgen Tor $ 2.200 1
19-Nov Brad Ausmus Hou $ 4.000 2
19-Nov Raul Ibanez Sea $ 13.250 3
24-Nov Kelvim Escobar Ana $ 18.750 3
26-Nov Curtis Leskanic KC $ 1.375 1
26-Nov Joe Randa KC $ 3.750 1
26-Nov Brian Anderson KC $ 6.500 2

Some questionable contracts, to be sure, but nowhere near the degree of overpaying.
Lucas - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 02:45 PM EST (#11557) #
Paul Wilson has had an ERA+ of 92 for four consecutive years. I guess he's consistent.
Pistol - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 02:51 PM EST (#11558) #
Some questionable contracts, to be sure, but nowhere near the degree of overpaying.

The bargains will come to those who wait.

Cool Paul Wilson fact - ERA+ the past 4 seasons: 92 92 92 92
Pistol - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 02:55 PM EST (#11559) #
Guess who types slowly?
_Ducey - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 03:18 PM EST (#11560) #
With the Vizquel and Benitez signings the Giants now have signed two type A freeagents and forfeit their 1st and 2nd rounders in the June draft.

I guess they could spend that bonus money on highschool guys in the later rounds but boy, they don't seem to be into player development.
_Ryan C - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 04:08 PM EST (#11561) #
Here's something to file under "bizarre", Kevin Smith is appearing in 3 episodes of Degrassi High: The Next Generation along with his life partner Jay and "a secret special guest". Apparently he's been a fan of the original Degrassi since he was a kid. COMN
_Nolan - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 07:27 PM EST (#11562) #;_ylc=X3oDMTBqdjIzNzFqBF9TAzk1ODYxNzc3BHNlYwNlY2w-?slug=cnnsi-aheadofthecurve&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns
Here's a little snippet from a Tom Verducci article that gives reason to hope for the 2005 season: (COMN for the whole article)

When Elias ran the SPF from 1980-88, it identified 21 teams as possible sleepers. Every one of them improved. Since I dusted off the SPF in 1995, 13 of the 17 teams identified as possible sleepers also improved their record, including three-for-three the past two years with the 2003 Royals (+21), 2003 Cubs (+21) and 2004 Indians (+12) stepping up.

Who will be the guaranteed sleeper team next year? You'll have to wait until after spring training is completed, but 10 teams are eligible, based on their 2004 one-run records: Arizona, the Cubs, Colorado, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Seattle and Toronto.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, November 30 2004 @ 07:32 PM EST (#11563) #
There was a trade in Dominican winter league:
Miguel Olivo for Miguel Batista.

it seems that El Artista is not in the peak of his performance. Olivo was back up for Alberto Castillo...
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 10:46 AM EST (#11564) #
Rob, if you're reading, could you please send me an e-mail?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 10:47 AM EST (#11565) #
Ugh. Rob you can send me that e-mail by COMN.
_Rob - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 11:51 AM EST (#11566) #
Consider it sent.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 12:21 PM EST (#11567) #
Interested in pitch counts and performance? Check out Part 1 of Robert Dudek's study on THT. COMN.

Roger Clemens and Erik Hanson are a matched set in the study. It makes sense, but still the memories are a little too painful...
_greenfrog - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 12:29 PM EST (#11568) #
Anyone know why the Jays don't seem to be bidding on Jaret Wright? He seemed to put it all together last year, is only 28, and would be cheaper than Clement.
_Marc - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 01:06 PM EST (#11569) #
Anyone know why the Jays don't seem to be bidding on Jaret Wright?

Because the Jays are smart. Wright's stuff isn't as good as Clement. His won-loss record is impressive, as are his strike outs... but his command isn't that good, he has health issues and he has only had one good season. He also has never pitched 200 innings. He also pitched last year in a pitcher's park. The Jays would have to at least match Seattle's offer of three years and $15 million if they want him. Any team who signs him for more than a year or maybe two is going to regret it, especially for more than $3 million.
_Moffatt - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 01:24 PM EST (#11570) #
I've been the most vocal of the "Don't sign Clement" crowd, but if the choice is between Clement and Wright, sign me up for Clement.
_R Billie - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 01:56 PM EST (#11571) #
Wright is a risk. Clement is a risk. Escobar was a risk. All pitchers are risks. But generally you have to take some risks if you hope to improve your club's situation.

Clement has been an above average starter for three straight years and has been generally healthy and productive. The only scare was towards the end of 2004 when he had to sit out a while in September. As long as he's over that think I feel comfortable giving Clement a moderate contract which a pitcher with his track record could expect. Hopefully, not too much more than $6 million but who can tell in the current market?

I will say though that if Delgado costs $9 million to keep then I'd rather have him than a mid-rotation starter at $7 million.
_Moffatt - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 02:31 PM EST (#11572) #
I like Clement at $6M. I have a feeling he'll go for closer to $10M than $6, though. (aka $8M+)

Also given how the market has been this off-season, I'd be surprised if Delgado goes in the single digits.
_Braby21 - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 04:30 PM EST (#11573) #
As some of you may know, I've posted some updates for MVP Baseball 2005 on here before. Here is the latest....

COMN for the link...scroll down for the excited...there will be grass in Toronto on my tv next year...haha
_James W - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 08:52 PM EST (#11574) #
I just saw on the ticker that the Angels signed Kendry Morales to a 6-year contract I believe.
_greenfrog - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 10:13 PM EST (#11575) #
It will be interesting to see what happens if the Jays miss out on both Delgado and Clement. I would like to know what JP's plan B is. After the last couple of off-seasons, I would rather see the Jays sign one or two very good players (like Clement) rather than three or four players with the potential to be slightly above-average (like last year's relief corps). But I'm not sure which other free agents the Jays could sign. Of course, the team could also spend its extra money on a player obtained through a trade--someone like Teixeira, for example, although I imagine Texas's asking price is probably too high, assuming he's even available.
_Rob - Wednesday, December 01 2004 @ 10:14 PM EST (#11576) #
Yep, six years. COMN for the Angels' press release.

The O.C. Register* had more info on this earlier. Sounds like this Morales is pretty good.

* Username: asdfasdf, Password: asdfasdf
_Nolan - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 02:14 AM EST (#11577) #;_ylc=X3oDMTBpcDBuM2RlBF9TAzk1ODYxNzc3BHNlYwN0aA--?slug=ap-yankees-johnson&prov=ap&type=lgns
Wow, I just read what the D-Backs are asking for from the NYY in the R.Johnson trade (COMN):

Arizona asked for Vazquez, $18.5 million, four or five prospects, and a pitcher from a list of 10: Oakland's Tim Hudson and Barry Zito, Florida's A.J. Burnett, Detroit's Jeremy Bonderman, Toronto's Ted Lilly, Los Angeles' Edwin Jackson, Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir, Colorado's Shawn Chacon and Jason Jennings, and Texas' Kenny Rogers.

Last week, the official said, Arizona changed its request to Vazquez, Gordon, $18.5 million and three to four prospects.

Wow. That is a lot for a 41 year old pitcher. I think if i were the Diamondbacks, I would forget about Vazquez and take one of the above pitchers (excepting Chacon, Jennings and Rogers...they seem strangely out of place in that list), plus the cash and prospects.

On a side note, what would/culd the Yanks give us to make us part with Lilly?
_Nolan - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 02:14 AM EST (#11578) #
_deesanchez - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:33 AM EST (#11579) #

did i actually shock anyone? big surprise, i know. COMN for a link
_deesanchez - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:45 AM EST (#11580) #
try this instead...
_sweat - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 10:47 AM EST (#11581) #
COMN for an article on a recent jays signing. Some Aussie, who can hit, and pitch(he's a LHP and RHP).
Coach - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#11582) #
Thanks, Sweat. You can never have enough ambidextrous pitching, and it's good to see the Jays so active around the globe. To me, this kind of signing is the equivalent of an extra mid-round draft pick.

Our pal Burley continues his excellent look at potential World Cup teams at The Hardball Times today with the mighty USA and the less-intimidating Dutch. Gregory Halman sounds very interesting. We'll have to wait for Craig's Australia preview to see if Shane Benson warrants a mention.
Craig B - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:42 AM EST (#11583) #
And our pal Burley used the wrong version of his list, which left Mark Prior off the "no-brainer" list. At least I fixed that.
Gerry - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:08 PM EST (#11584) #
Hitting is the strength of the US team, a lot of the pitching has question marks. As you point out Craig, Johnson, Schilling and Clemens are old, plus Kevin Brown and Smoltz are almost done too. Others are not established or more erratic, Tim Hudson has had trouble in big games, Peavy is young, Wood is erratic, etc. The pitching choice would give any manager headaches.

Speaking of manager Davey Johnson would probably have the inside track, a good manager with the international experience.

I am looking forward to seeing the Dominican team.
_Scott - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:23 PM EST (#11585) #
New Blue Jays Trade Rumour! New Blue Jays Trade Rumour!

And its a scary one (the fact that JP possibly offered this or that Washington turned it down).

COMN (right hand side)
_Fozzy - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 12:46 PM EST (#11586) #
Rios for Johnson, eh?

Hmm, I'm not so sure about that one. If Delgado stays, you basically force Cat to play left and Reed Johnson in right, and call Gross up, or if Delgado leaves, Reed Johnson/Gross in left and a need for somebody that can produce big as a backup if/when Johnson gets hurt.

Now Rios/Chacin for Wilkerson, there's a trade I'd rather consider.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 01:39 PM EST (#11587) #
I'd hate to see the Jays give up on Rios to get Nick Johnson. I just feel that Alexis' star potential is way higher than Johnson's.
_Pumped4/05 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 02:57 PM EST (#11588) #
Sportsnets Marty York, is reporting that Menchinno has agreed to a 1 year, $650,000 deal that will be announced shortly.

Also some info, on Speir, Zaun, and possibly offering Delgado arbitration. Huh?

It also mentions that Washington offered J.P. someone for Ted Lilly. I'm guessing it was Johnson. No way would I give Rios away for Johnson, but Lilly....maybe.

Anyway, COMN for all the details
_BCMike - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 02:59 PM EST (#11589) #
According to Sportsnet Menechino has resigned for 1yr at 650k.

A few other tidbits as well, COMN
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:02 PM EST (#11590) #
Hey BC, looks like I just beat you to it!

Anyway, I read an article ( I think the link was on the ESPN Jays message board) that stated that the Jays had offered Koskie a 3 year 15 millon dollar deal. Apparently he has already turned down an offer from Washington for the same amount.

Any thoughts on that one?
_BCMike - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:13 PM EST (#11591) #
Damn, thought I had a scoop ;)

I'd take Koskie for that, but not much more. In another thread it was stated that Minny offered 2years for 8mil, and he obviously turned it down. I wonder what his level of desire is for playing in Canada?
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:17 PM EST (#11592) #
Can somebody explain the Salary arbitration concept to me. I understand most of it...but Marty York's saying that if the Jay do not offer arbitration to Carlos, they can't even talk to him about re-signing him until May 1st? When Carlos would've obviously signed somewhere else by then. So basically if this is true, the Jays have until Tuesday @ midnight to either sign Carlos or offer him salary arbitration?
_Rob - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:37 PM EST (#11593) #
If Delgado is offered salary arbitration by the deadline of Dec. 7:
- the Jays can negotiate with him for a longer period of time
- if it goes before an arbiter, he can be awarded no less than 80% of his 2004 salary
- if Delgado signs with any team at any time, the Jays receive two draft picks, one after the first round and one depending on the record of the signing team and the other signings made by the signing team.

I'm not sure what will happen when Delgado is not offered arbitration. The Jays won't get compensation if he signs elsewhere, but the "May 1st signing date" is new to me. Looking through the CBA, I don't see it. I can't read most of that law-talk, though. If only someone here was a lawyer...
_bin - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:40 PM EST (#11594) #
I wouldn't mind hearing the 'Box' opinion of the Grand Jury testimony of Giambi. I also wouldn't mind hearing the opinion regarding the 'very likely' steroid enhanced records that Barry Bonds now holds.

Do you think, sometime in the future, we might get an '*' next to Barry's name?
_Scott - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:40 PM EST (#11595) #
Blue Jay Trade! Blue Jay Trade!

_Pumper 4/05 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:41 PM EST (#11596) #
Yeah BC, I think I'd go three for five on Koskie, provided that I did have a deal lined up to move Hinske. Otherwise you're paying him to warm the bench or play first (very scary thought)

Braby, in terms of the Delgado situation, that's the impression I get from the article too. That they have to sign him by Tuesday, or that's that!

In either case, It'd great to finally know and move forward!
_Dunny - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:48 PM EST (#11597) #
Mcdonald is better than Woodward, atleast he can play defence
_Jonny German - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#11598) #
Conversely, at least Woodward can hit a little... I really don't see the point of this acquisition, this guy will make us miss Dave Berg's mighty bat. A career .319 OBP... in AAA. For the majors his career mark is .270. Ugh. Is there any reason to believe McDonald will be better than Jason Alfaro?
_Rob - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#11599) #
There are very few players in MLB I have never heard of. John McDonald is one of them. Anyone know more about him? All I found out so far is he can't hit to save his life.

I guess he'll be the backup to Russ Adams.
_Ducey - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:56 PM EST (#11600) #
if only someone here was a lawyer...

Tah, Dah!

(3) Rights of Former Club to Sign Free Agent
The following provision shall apply only to those Players who
become free agents under this Section B.
The former Club of a free agent, no later than by the December 7
following the free agency election period, may offer to proceed with
the Player to salary arbitration under Article VI of this Agreement,
for the next following season. The Club’s offer shall be communicated
to the LRD, which shall notify the Association in writing. Said
offer shall be effective upon receipt by the Association and the Club
will not be permitted to retract the offer. If the former Club of the
free agent does not so offer, it shall not be entitled and shall lose all
rights to negotiate with, and sign, the free agent, until the succeeding
May 1.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 03:57 PM EST (#11601) #
Chris Woodward is no better hitter than McDonald

neither of them can hit

Woodward had no business in any league above juco
_Jonny German - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:01 PM EST (#11602) #
Chris Woodward's major league career: .247/.300/.398 in 1067 AB.

John McDonald's major league career: .231/.269/.308 in 623 AB.

Chris Woodward is not a very good hitter. He is significantly better than John McDonald.
_Ducey - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:04 PM EST (#11603) #
I think McDonald can play SS defence well. It signals that Adams is likely to get the job with McDonald and Menechino as backups. Presumably Frank will start vs lefties. Maybe McDonald will be a good tutor for Adams on defensive techniques/professionalism/ work ethic a la Mike Bordick.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:05 PM EST (#11604) #
That's fine, I'll agree with that

But, we have Menechino to hit, now we have McDonald to defend.

smart move imo
_Ryan01 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:13 PM EST (#11605) #
York's correct that the Jays won't be able to talk to Delgado until May 1st if they don't offer arbitration. But he is incorrect that Menechino and Speier are free agents. They are simply arbitration eligible so Speier won't have to be offered arbitration until Dec. 20th.

I hope McDonald is simply the backup plan incase Alfaro doesn't impress in spring training.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:16 PM EST (#11606) #
I don't know anything about Alfaro, but if Boone won a gold glove McDonald is the second coming of The Wizard.

Nothing wrong with this signing at all, every team needs role players
despite what the stats "gurus" think.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:17 PM EST (#11607) #
Is McDonald guarenteed a spot on the Jays Roster? I seem to feel that he is by reading the last couple messages. I thought JP aquired Alfaro to back up middle infielders along w/ Frankly M.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:20 PM EST (#11608) #
I don't know, that's a good question

competition is healthy
_Ryan01 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:21 PM EST (#11609) #
He is for now, but they can always put McDonald on waivers at the end of spring training if they think Alfaro is capable.
_Paul D - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:32 PM EST (#11610) #
Nothing wrong with this signing at all, every team needs role players
despite what the stats "gurus" think.

Well, they need role players who can fill a role, whereas it's not clear that MacDonald can do that. I think that's the issue. Plus, could someone in the Jays system fill the same role? ie, Sequea?

(I'm not saying that he is, but I'm not convinced that the Jays should have given up a player for someone of MacDonald's caliber.)
_Crush_99 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:34 PM EST (#11611) #
What are the chances of the Jays offering Delgado arbitration, and then trading him if he accepts. Would Delgado's no-trade clause still be in effect? Or is there a rule out there that prevents this (I think there may be one preventing him from beiing traded before a certain date...).
At least this way they get something for Delgado (even if they have to trade him and eat some salary)...
Just a thought.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:39 PM EST (#11612) #
I don't think I'd want the Jays to sign Delgado for no less than 80% of his Salary and then have to find someone to take him and then having to eat some salary, you'd have to think you'd have to eat a lot of cash to get anything in return.
_Rob - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:40 PM EST (#11613) #
In case anyone didn't know, Wilner confirmed the Menechino signing (1 year, 650K) on the FAN's 4:00 update. He also said McDonald's a good-field-no-hit type, which we already knew, I suppose.
_Crush_99 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 04:50 PM EST (#11614) #
Well Delgado will probably make around 15 million after arbitration (80%) so if the jays were willing to eat 3-5 million of the salary and then flip him to the Mariners, Mets or Nationals(Nick Johnson) for a good young cheap player.... Hey just something I thought I would put out there.
_Ducey - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 06:14 PM EST (#11615) #
I think the Jays could not trade Delgado without his consent if he accepted arbitration becasue he is a 10 and 5 guy.

I also believe that JP is toying with the idea of offering arbitration because he would hope someone would sign Delgado to a long term more attractive deal - JP is just hoping for draft picks. It depends upon the demand for Delgado, but I doubt at the end of the day JP will take the risk of getting tagged with an untradeable $15 Million a year player.
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 06:29 PM EST (#11616) #
I've started a new thread to discuss the Menechino signing and the trade for McDonald.
_John Northey - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 06:41 PM EST (#11617) #
I think Delgado arbitration also depends on what Delgado is saying to the Jays about long term vs short. If Delgado only wants a 3 or more year deal so he can be 'settled' then arbitration is not an option he'd take even if he'd make more in the short run via it. Delgado catches me as someone who values stability, thus would avoid arbitration if at all possible. Given Seattle is definately after him and the Jays have a 3 year deal on the table he might not take arbitration, or if he did it would be in order to negotiate a 3 year deal that would cost the Jays a bit more than they hoped, but might still fit the budget. (ie: $15 mil year one, $7 mil each year after = $29 mil vs the goal of $24 - $5 million risk to lock in Delgado or to get draft picks should he go elsewhere)
_Ron - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 10:02 PM EST (#11618) #
A heads up for those interested in the roid scandal.

Founder of BALCO Victor Conte will be interviewed on 20/20 tommorow night. I saw a teaser where he said over 50% of MLB players have taken anabolic steroids.

With Giambi admitting under oath he took roids and considering the fact he asked Bonds trainer what he does with Bonds to keep him on top of his game, I'm starting to wonder if Barry is actually clean or not.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:28 PM EST (#11619) #
starting to wonder?
_bird droppings - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 11:59 PM EST (#11620) #
Interesting Note: COMN

Although the Nationals have taken over

This link was one of their rotating top stories in recognition of former Expo Andre Dawson's forth appearance on the HOF ballot...
_Ron - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:35 AM EST (#11621) #
Bonds admits he uses Roids!

COMN for story


You have your best player and soon to be HR Record King admit he cheats!!

So is his soon to be HR record legit?

If I'm Hank Aaron I'm saying there's no way the record is legit.

How many other guys are on the juice?

As a Baseball fan, I feel ripped off.
_Dr B - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 01:10 PM EST (#11622) #
Yeah, I feel for you Ron. In similar way I can't watch the Olympics any more because it is totally permeated by cheats. Same goes for cycling, though I wouldn't have watched it anyway (Does anyone else gag at Lance Armstrong's heroic tales when he fails to give proper credit to EPO in his achievements? Dirty cheat.)

Baseball has failed badly to clean up its act and is now reapings its rewards. I couldn't get into Mark McGwire's historic homerun season, because I knew (as did everyone else) that he was using some kind of steroid. I don't like to see cheats prosper, so I would love to see baseball clean up its act. The current testing regime is a joke (though better than before) and is basically designed to try and avoid MBL humiliating itself rather than actually cleaning up the problem.

Sorry. Don't mean to rant, but cheating makes me unhappy. :-)
_Tyler - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 01:41 PM EST (#11623) #
Maybe I'm just naive, but isn't Armstrong at least somewhat explainable? The story I've heard is that he has a perfect body for cycling-in a way, cancer was a blessing for him, it allowed him to rebuild his body in a way more suited to cycling. This part will sound absurd, but I've also read that his legs are different in some way from other cyclists-he's able to exert more force on the pedals or something...

I don't see him as a guy like Bonds who seems to have ballooned overnight.
_John Northey - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 01:45 PM EST (#11624) #
I guess I always wonder why steroids are listed as 'cheating'.

Basically, it is a drug which can cause problems and/or death later in life for an athlete. Much like many other drugs I'm sure. It is just that someone, somewhere, sometime decided that steroids = bad while other drugs = good. IIRC the IOC has caffeine listed as a banned substance.

Now, if there is some logical setup to determine what is banned (ie: drugs that cause death at 30) then I have no problem with banning them. However, if it is just 'it helps the athlete perform', then why not ban exercise as that helps them perform at levels higher than they would perform otherwise. I know that is a silly argument, but isn't banning various cold medicines also silly?

Years ago if you were paid to perform athlete feats you were viewed as a cheater in the Olympics. Years earlier it was viewed much the same in baseball (early to mid 1800's). Will people 100 years from now look back and wonder what the fuss was all about? My gut says 'yes'.
_Ron - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:03 PM EST (#11625) #
Now, if there is some logical setup to determine what is banned (ie: drugs that cause death at 30) then I have no problem with banning them. However, if it is just 'it helps the athlete perform', then why not ban exercise as that helps them perform at levels higher than they would perform otherwise. I know that is a silly argument, but isn't banning various cold medicines also silly?

While I can't comment on cold medicine being banned I see steroids being banned because they are damaging to your health. Jason Giambi is finding out about this right now. Just look at the past 5 years to see how many major wrestling stars have died while being under 45 years old.

The MLB drug testing is a joke and perhaps the worst part of this, is the little kids/teenagers that are juicing up right now because they see what Bonds is doing.

I was listening to ESPN radio yesterday and Rob Dibble said if he was still playing today and knew there would be a 200 million dollar payoff for performance he would do steroids even knowing the health risks involved. He also said while he was playing he knew a lot of guys that were on the juice.
_Ducey - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:09 PM EST (#11626) #
I guess I always wonder why steroids are listed as 'cheating'.

Are you serious?

I had a whole rant typed up but I erased it. If you don't get it then I can't help you man.
_Dr B - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:21 PM EST (#11627) #
I guess I always wonder why steroids are listed as 'cheating'.

Well, I think that is a fair point. To some extent is is subjective, though you would think that there is some expectation that athletes do things by skill and hard work rather than artificial means. At some point you have to codify what is cheating and what isn't, and if steroids are not listed as cheating then technically they are not. I do think MLB (and other sports) have an obligation to protect their athletes from silliness. What good will Giambi's millions be if I follows in Flo Jo's footsteps...?

While in my opinion (and I realise that is opinion) that most of the drugs that are banned are very sensibly banned.

but isn't banning various cold medicines also silly?

Actually, no, at least if you buy that taking performance enhancing drugs is cheating. Many cold medicines contain stimulants such as pseudo-ephedrine. The athletes are unlikely to get a perfomance boost from using cold medicines, but when they do get busted for stimulant use they typically say they had a cold and oh, so unfortunately, used a cold medicine. Banning cold medicines takes away the excuse.
(BTW: I am not a medical doctor, so I am not an authority on these, though the effects of pseudo-ephedrine are well documented due to the publicity surounding the party drug P which can be derived from pseudo-ephedrine).

BTW: Caffeine is used for the stimulant affect and is also said to give better endurance. I don't know of any long term side-effects, but in the short term high dosages give you a very unpleasant feeling. If caffeine gives you an advantage over the non-caffienated, then everyone will use caffeine to be on a level pegging. Should we force our athletes to do this? Caffeine is marginal, I would agree, but they only test for really high dosages. You would have to be *wired* to fail on this.

Maybe I'm just naive, but isn't Armstrong at least somewhat explainable?

Alas, no. (i) he failed a drugs test (ii) people say he does EPO. One account of his drug use has a very good motive to lie about him (making money on a book), another has no obvious reason at all (its one of his riding team mates). The latter case said (and I paraphrase from memory). "I never saw Armstrong use EPO, we all did it individually, but he did suggest it. It was him who said "we must do this to compete" with the other teams. "
Is that a cast iron case against him? No. I find the last source, Jack (?) Swart, convincing, however, and has no obvious reason to lie.
_Braby21 - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:23 PM EST (#11628) #
COMN for Spensor Fordin's report on some of the players in the Jays organization who are playing Winter Ball. The list inclides, Quiroz, Cash, Ismael Ramirez and more. Most good news, Cash isn't hitting so good, but that's no surprise.
_Dr B - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:33 PM EST (#11629) #
I don't see him [Lance Armstrong] as a guy like Bonds who seems to have ballooned overnight.

One more thing. EPO is a hormone that increases the amount of red blood cells, so it an endurance thing rather than a strength thing. You would not see someone using EPO ballooning out.

The legal way of boosting naturally producing EPO and therefore more red blood cells is by doing high-altitude training. Because it is naturally produced, EPO abuse is very hard to detect.
_Jobu - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:50 PM EST (#11630) #
COMN for a very interesting Baker article I think would be a good discussion peice here at Da Box.

The just of the article suggests that the great Moneyball Theory has one foot in the grave now as the might Beane himself went out and got big bucks Kendal instead of an undervalued player.
_Jobu - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 02:53 PM EST (#11631) #
* Gist
_Jonny German - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 03:35 PM EST (#11632) #
From Baker's article:

Epstein's sacrificing of Garciaparra's power bat in return for gloves helped lower his pitching staff's earned run average and pushed Boston into the playoffs.

2004 Red Sox Pitching, Pre-All-Star Game: 3.89 ERA (775 IP)
2004 Red Sox Pitching, Post-All-Star Game: 4.51 ERA (676 IP)

The All-Star game was July 13. The Garciaparra-Mientkiewicz-Cabrera trade was July 31. Interesting.

the book's main thesis — that the A's won with a $50 million budget by outsmarting competitors on the cheap with a no-name offence — falls woefully short.

Maybe I'm the one who didn't 'get' the book, but that ain't the thesis as far as I'm concerned. Click here to read the Batter's Box round table discussion of the subject. Mr. Baker, I'd love to hear your disagreements with our take.
_Tyler - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 03:38 PM EST (#11633) #
Excellent post Jonny. It seems to me that Beane did a good job of a) cleaning up the messes he'd made with Redman and Rhodes and b) finding an edge in that the A's added a great deal of offensive performance in a position where that's pretty difficult to do. Baker and Co. still don't get it.
_Ron - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 03:47 PM EST (#11634) #
I don't recall Beane ever saying he wasn't going to go out and get players with big contracts or sign his own players to big money deals.

What he was able to complish with his payroll was amazing but the A's never won a single playoff round. Also any team that has 3 CY Young calibre pitchers is going to have a chance to compete. The interesting part is that A's payroll was about the middle of the pack before the start of the 2004 season. They no longer operate on a shoe string budget. Heck as a Jays fan I would love to have the A's payroll budget. And then there's teams like the Brewers and Rays that have a payrolls under 40 mil.

I'm starting to ramble a bit but if you really want to see how a club wins on a low budget look at the Marlins. Unlike the A's they reached the pinnacle of the sport by winning the title with a payroll less than 50 mil. I'll gladly trade in a few division pennants for a World Series victory.
_Rich Hacker - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:01 PM EST (#11635) #
It looks like the Indians have made an offer to Matt Clement. COMN for more info
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:03 PM EST (#11636) #
Mr. Baker takes a very narrow view of Beane's philosophy. The acquisition of a high OBP veteran catcher at arguably market rate is not in contradiction to the philosophy. But, let's suppose that Beane decided that Jason Kendall was better value at $8 million per year than Zaun at $3 million say. I don't see this as a contradiction.

Further, the A's and Sox continue to do a variety of things that most other teams are not yet doing apparently:

1. developing their own sophisticated defense measures, above and beyond zone rating
2. relying to a great extent on performance measures, rather than tools evaluation, for drafting purposes.

One can certainly argue whether all the innovations have been successful, but to say the acquisition of Kendall spells the end of a philosophy that finds its roots in the thinking of people like Branch Rickey and Bill James seems like overstatement to me.
_Rich Hacker - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:06 PM EST (#11637) #
Sorry, I will try this again. COMN
_Ron - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:40 PM EST (#11638) #
Apparently Russ Ortiz's agent is asking for a 4year/40 mil deal.

Also says JP would love to get Durazo.
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:49 PM EST (#11639) #
COMN and then download for a fascinating academic paper on the economic evaluation of Moneyball, brought to our attention by Studes at THT.

The conclusions of the paper are:

1. OBP was widely undervalued in 1999
2. that had been corrected by 2004, likely as the result of the dispersal of Oakland based management talent, and
3. the correct weighting of OBP to slug is actually 2-1 rather than
the 1.8-1 we use in GPA calculations.
_Fawaz K - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 04:56 PM EST (#11640) #
The most striking thing about the Kendall deal is that Beane opted for the trade rather than signing Blue Jays free-agent Gregg Zaun to step in behind the plate.[H]e seems the epitome of the low-budget, undervalued position replacement that Lewis so championed in his book.

There is also something to be said for acquiring a known quantity. In addition to a quicker ascent to the majors, 'moneyball' teams draft college kids because it is easier to project major league performance. Signing Zaun is a plunge into the unknown. His career numbers are pretty erratic and he was a stint in Colorado away from consecutive seasons with an OPS below .600 in 2002-2003. To 'buy high' after a good season in Toronto would have been pretty 'unmoneyball'. It's also extreme to suggest that any team can win simply by finding the best talent per dollar, or that moneyball claimed it could be done. The per dollar value of guys like Mighty Mouse may be high, but nobody thinks that a team made only of Mighty Mice could win in the majors.
_Jobu - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 05:36 PM EST (#11641) #
Did anyone else notice this?

The yanks sent Lofton to Phily for F-Rod.
_Fozzy - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 06:04 PM EST (#11642) #
That creates a pretty big hole for a fourth outfielder for the Yanks, doesn't it? Are they sure of getting Beltran and are planning to make Bernie the fourth/DH, or something entirely different?
_Moffatt - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 06:43 PM EST (#11643) #
If you speak Portugese, this may be of some interest to you. CBC Radio Canada International's Portugese Language program Canada Direto did a 5 minute piece on the sale of the Skydome. Click here if you want to hear it. The Skydome part starts at 7:45.

At about 9:45 in the clip, they interview some pointy-headed economist named Mike Moffatt and ask him what he thinks. So you get to hear his voice for about 5 seconds until they translate his voice into Portugese. :)
Mike Green - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 09:04 PM EST (#11644) #
I had no idea that Moffatt would be Mo Phatt in Portuguese. Nicely done, and well said. RCI today, the National in 2007.
_Jordan - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 09:06 PM EST (#11645) #
RCI today, the National in 2007.

Hands off my gig, Moffatt.
_Mick - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 09:48 PM EST (#11646) #
That creates a pretty big hole for a fourth outfielder for the Yanks, doesn't it? Are they sure of getting Beltran and are planning to make Bernie the fourth/DH, or something entirely different?

No, I think it is a clear indication that they believe they will get Beltran. That meshes with dropping out of the Big Unit trade sweepstakes, too. Not to mention that Lofton is quite past the ol' prime. So is Bernie, of course, but as a fourth OF option when not DHing, that'd be OK.

On the Rodriguez acquisition, it doesn't quite have the ramifications of last off-season's Rodriguez acuisition, really only resulting in what may be the only right-lefty all-Felix relief pair in MLB history (Rodriguez, Heredia). But the Stanton re-acquisition is huge. On a team where the only lefties on the roster are Heredia and Brad Halsey (who was one of the thirty-four players Arizona wanted in exchange for RJ), Stanton could end up being one of the key acquisitions by any team the entire off-season. That sounds hyperbolic, but it ain't.

The great Yankees teams of the last decade have always had at least one lefty in the rotation (Wells, Pettitte, even Neagle) and at least one in the bullpen (Lloyd, Stanton, Choate) ... the return of Stanton and what I assume will be the acquisition of Milton with Johnson out of the picture will fill a VERY big hole.
_Fawaz K - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 10:23 PM EST (#11647) #
Unfortunately, we may have to wait longer for a two-Felix 'pen, as Heredia went to the Mets in the Stanton deal.
_Paul D - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 11:57 PM EST (#11648) #
Craig, or anyone else... please create another Boxing Out thread.

The Raptors have just imploded and gone insane. Rafer Alston wants to quit, the coach won't start two of his starters, the players hate each other....

What does it say about the Raptors that Butch Carter was the best coach they ever had?

Sorry for the hijack.
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