Well, I sure nuff wish I had TIME to do any staring out of the windows, but I digress. I hate the end of the baseball season, and Spring Training seems a million years away.
I’m happy for the Giants. 4 ace pitchers – well, Sanchez was played out, to put it mildly, a bunch of old retreads a couple of guys with unexpected awesome years, AND the manager and the GM had the good sense to decide that they wanted to win and they benched crappy players in favor of better ones – IGNORING SALARY!!!
Not that Drayton would take that as a sign to bench Clank.
But at least the Giants management understands the meaning of sunk costs…
Richard Justice says that these past years, Drayton was hoping to catch the same ligntning in a bottle that the Giants did – namely, adding Old Guys to a roster which included 4 ace pitchers + ace closer and hoping they could pull it off. Which the Giants did because 3 of the 4 pitchers pitched ace games (unlike Oswalt, Pettitte and Clemens), their ace closer didn’t give up home runs to the likes of Scott EFF Podsednik, and the CHEAP Old Guys came through.
And yeah, one expensive Old Guy (Renteria). And I bet that a whole lot of people will be clamoring for them to re-sign the Cheap Old Guys (Burrell and Huff) to expensive extensions. Well, maybe not Burrell, as he did worse at the plate than several PITCHERS…
But I seriously doubt that Drayton will be signing any expensive FA. And really, Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford are the only expensive ones who would be Werth (hahaha) the money. Oh yeah – and Adam Dunn, who is even worse at 1B than Clank, and who the fans will hate in spite of his 40 HR/year because he walks and strikes out a lot (and last year, he worked on walking less, striking out less, putting the ball in play more, and decreased his OPS and Runs Created – so much for making the fans happy) but I digress…
The Free Agent List was just released. The Astros have 2, Blum, who has already been informed that he will not be back, and Moehler, who has essentially been replaced by a younger cheaper guy, Nelson Figueroa. Yeah, I know, 2 years and 1 mill. Hahahahaha. So no extra picks this year.
Actually, the only FA I really have any interest in is Davey Lopes, who was the 1B coach for the Phils, and who is essentially their baserunning/base stealing coach. The Phils have been the best base runners/base stealers in tha majors since he took over 4 years ago, and he did not re-sign because the Phils didn’t want to give him a little more money, a sum Lopes says is way less than the ML minimum. The baserunning on the Astros, except for Bourn, is teh uck-say, and for a couple hundred thou, we could hire the best in the biz, especially seeing as how the starting payroll will be at least 40 mill lower than it was last year and Drayton can afford it…
This running the postseason all of October and into the election is for da Boids. Bud Selig is now talking about adding 2 more Wild Cards and extending the playoffs even MORE. Which will DECREASE interest in these silly extended, delayed games, not increase it. At least here the games were ending before midnight MOST of the time, one of the great advantages of no ^*$^#%! Yankees in the playoffs. MLB and ESPN have taken great care to focus baseball pretty much in Yankees/Mets/Cubs/Redsox/Phillies that they don’t know how to not act disappointed when one of their little petsie-poos doesn’t make the playoffs.
MLB, in fact, has absolutely NO idea how to pimp their sport. They want parity, supposedly, but yet pimp only a few teams. They don’t want to pimp any particular player (except Jeter) because Bud Selig doesn’t want the players to look good. Baseball, unlike football, has no real marketable STARS!!! or maybe I should say that MLB hasn’t made any effort to find any.
Interestingly enough, they COULD market Josh Hamilton, especially with the Prodigal Son Reformed sort of theme, and he is a big, good looking guy, but somehow, clean cut guys (with the exception of the old Tiger Woods) don’t sell – one of the reasons, the many reasons why Lance Berkman, who, although certainly not a good-looking guy, was almost never mentioned by the baseball media. But really, the guys who are seriously mega stars are faded or gone – guys like Barry Lamar or da Rogah or Manny Ramirez; the remaining supastah is Albert Pujols, a naturalized American Citizen (like Manny) who is not good-looking, is a family man who is a devout Christian who (apparently) doesn’t party/cheat on his wife and spends his off season doing charity work with disadvantaged kids. Uck – who wants THAT kind of guy to represent your sport?
Your average male sports watcher (they don’t care about females or think we care about or watch sports) can’t really think of a STAH!!! as an ordinary middle aged guy who is as controversial as cream of wheat, has a wife and 4 kids, works hard comes home, isn’t our having “fun” – soulds like THEIR lives. Or even worse, their DAD’S life.
Now it would be great for them to market Lincecum, a guy who looks like the kid who bags your groceries – an everyman, not a Josh Hamilton, who somehow, with lifelong hard work, and everyone thinking he can’t do it, wins 2 Cy Youngs and 2 WS games by age 26. But of course, he might could have smoked some Mary J Wanna (unlike every other guy in California) so oh nooooes, we cain’t have THAT.
Actually, it would be even better for MLB to make sure that each TEAM gets some face, or that casual fans will be able to easily recognise at least 1 player from each team, so that we don’t hear a – does San Francisco HAVE a baseball team? I thought the Raiders left years ago.
Ah well, we’ll have to content ourselves with more of the “Moneyball” vs ANTI-Moneyball discussions, whatever THOSE words mean, although I think it really means that fans don’t like it if ballplayers walk or strikeout, no great change there. Also that they hate new stats made up of mysterious letters of terms that are not calculateable by anyone without a college degree in advanced mathematics, to start.
Joe Posnanski wrote a blog entry on new stats HE’D like to see. Check it out.