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How to Feel About Albert Pujols After You Forgot He Burned St. Louis

13 Mar

This off season, Albert Pujols became one of the biggest free agent players to hit an open market since Lebron James. It came down to his desire to be one of the highest paid players in the game, and his loyalty to the only organization he ever knew.  In the end, he and his family felt slighted over what they felt was a sub par offer from St. Louis, and chose to sign a 10-year, $254 million dollar contract to join the Los Angeles Angels. Albert switched leagues and joined the AL, where you figure he’ll play a significant role as a DH somewhere down the line.  Consider it a wise move for a player with mild concerns over his actual age, nevermind that he followed the money.

Now that the dust has settled, and uh, new dust is kicking around Continue reading

Beard of the Week: January 26

26 Jan

It’s Thursday! Which means it’s time for yet one more lovely beard to be honored over here at Beard of the Week!

Let’s go back to the sports world, with the help of pal (and new roomie!), Justin, I’ve come across quite a beard.

Pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Brian Wilson!

I think that photograph says it all. Continue reading

Edwin Jackson’s Value

4 Jan

There are 3 reasons why Edwin Jackson is about to make a bunch of money: he’s an above-average pitcher; he’s in his prime; Scott Boras is his agent. Boras, according to an a study by baseballprospectus.com, earns his clients an extra 14 percent over market value, and in-prime above-average pitchers never sign for less than 10 million a year for fewer than 3 years. Making 3 years 34 million a minimum after the Boras factor. But the market for starting pitching may be collapsing after the signings of CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle, and many of the bargain options. Jackson is at risk of becoming the next Johnny Damon Continue reading

Clubhouse Confidential

1 Jan

Clubhouse Confidential, weeknights at5:30 pm on the MLB network, accomplishes something I thought was as unlikely to happen on a baseball show as another player hitting .400 is on the baseball field. It provides insightful, easily understandable analysis  and all the while remains entertaining without lowering itself to pitting two polarizing figures arguing a’ la everything on ESPN.

Brian Kenny compliments the show’s SABR slant because he is not some baseball outsider trying to be Billy Beane’s character in the Moneyball movie. The show is for Continue reading

Baseball’s Free Agency

27 Dec

Baseball free-agent classes are determined to be strong or weak based on the quality of the players available in a given off-season. What is sometimes lost in this assessment is that there is not a direct correlation between the quality of players available and the marginal return that player provides. For example Albert Pujols is sure prove a more productive signing this off-season than Casey Kotchman, but at 26 million a season versus an estimated 5 million, not more valuable.

To relate this to a different market, stock-brokers have proven no more effective at picking stocks than random selection; what this proves is Continue reading

Joe Saunders

24 Dec

Baseball Prospectus may rescind my membership for this statement, but I’m going to say it anyways: I don’t think Joe Saunders is a bad pitcher. In fact, I think his career 69-52 record, and 4.16 ERA prove he’s a pretty good pitcher. Sure Saunders doesn’t have swing and miss stuff, and his career FIP is half a run higher than his ERA; however, did he deserve to be derided as worthless when he was traded to the Diamondbacks or non-tendered by the same team after a season with an ERA of 3.69 in 2011?
As much as I love statistical analysis, I’m not in love with Continue reading

Ryan Braun’s Purist Problem

15 Dec

Major League Baseball has a problem that the other three major sports leagues in this country don’t have to worry about.   I’m not talking about steroids or other performance enhancing drugs, (since, let’s be honest, they ALL have that problem.)  You see the NFL, NBA, and NHL have all embraced change and progression as their particular league evolves, as well as when technology allows them to.  The problem baseball has is the nagging, tired idea of the purist; an unorganized group of people who believe that baseball should never change, and that the game is still as good as it was back in them good ‘ole days.  Things such as instant replay on home run calls, or computerized strike zones can never truly get off the ground because of them.  They worry about the “integrity of the game.”  That is a phrase purists use Continue reading

Chicago Hope: Saving the Cubs

14 Oct

I have no idea what they would write on the back of this card.103 years ago today marks the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.  Try as they might, they have not been able to get to the top in over a century.  Bad luck, bad players, and more recently bad contracts have been among the myriad reasons why this franchise has been unable to capture it all.  So what to think of the recent acquisition of Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein?  The media-appointed boy wonder GM is the one who put together the hallowed 2004 squad that stunned the Yankees in seven games to win the Pennant and ended the so-called “Curse of the Bambino.”  He shook the team up again in 2007 (Julio Lugo!), and won their second title in four years.

Now, at a robust 37 years old Theo Epstein has taken on the biggest challenge left in baseball, and quite possibly all of sports: build a winner for the north side’s long-suffering fan base.  He’ll have work to do.  Carlos Zambrano’s faux-retirement meltdown has been overshadowed by a thrilling post season.  He has a great young center infield nucleus with Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro.  He has to decide if he wants to keep Aramis Ramirez (or Carlos Pena, or Alfonso Soriano, or…you get the idea.)

Now, keep in mind that there is no vacancy for the Cubs manager, and that Joe Girardi is still gainfully employed for the Yankees.  Joe Girardi’s been under increasing pressure here in New York.  He seems to be struggling with the finer points of managing in the post season.  Radio and newspaper pundits questioned whether his job was truly safe this off-season.  While he has a world title to his credit, he was out managed by Jim Leyland in the ALDS, and his line up couldn’t solve Justin Verlander.  To his credit, Girardi could strike first.  Girardi has always maintained he would one day like to manage for the Cubs.  With Epstein’s departure from Boston, it’s not outrageous to think he could lure Girardi away.

Now comes the biggest piece of the potential puzzle; can they sign Albert Pujols.  Pujols has already become one of the greatest players to ever play the game.  At 31 years old, he could potentially play for another 12 years.  He was unable to reach an extension deal with the St. Louis Cardinals before the beginning of the season, and had already declared he would test the free agent market if that was to happen.  Plainly put, he wants to be the highest paid player in the game.  Currently, that would put him in the $300,000,000 million dollar ranger, possibly over 10 years.  If its money he’s truly after, then Epstein will drive an eighteen wheeler full of money up to Albert’s front door.

Cubs fans will have sky-high expectations no matter what.  Getting Theo was a great move, but his biggest challenge will be finding the right guy to lead on and off the field.  It’s either that, or wonder what to write about next year for 104 years.