New York Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, at Scores till the wee hours after spending much of the day at Fix (Bellagio) to watch the Southern Cal-Notre Dame game and returning for dinner. He also joined teammates Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi at Tryst (Wynn). [las vegas review journal]
The selection, announced yesterday, of Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau as the American League's Most Valuable Player is dumb and indefensible, good evidence of why no one takes baseball writers seriously. Morneau wasn't the best, or the second-best, or the third-best player among first basemen and designated hitters. He wasn't the best or second-best player on his own team. He wasn't even the best player with the initials "JM" on his own team. (You take the guy with 130 RBI and I'll take Joe Mauer, a Gold Glove-caliber catcher who led the league in batting average, and we'll see who wins more games.) He wasn't one of the five best players in the division. He wasn't one of the 10 best players in the league.
and the maddeningly sensible
If there's any indignant outrage to be directed anywhere, it should be directed at those of us who legitimize this silly award with columns like this one. The MVP award, all agree, has no credibility; it's as relevant as a moss-covered, three-handled family credenza, or a tin of Boer War rations, slightly more meaningful than a Gold Glove. Why treat it with any seriousness at all? [tim marchman]
TOO FUCKING STUPID TO LIVE. NOT EVEN THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER ON HIS OWN FUCKING TEAM. off to finish watching the latest dexter and concoct fantasies of a plot in which our unlikely hero happily eviscerates idiotic sportswriters.
"step one: peel the banana. step two: slip the peel over your randy johnson; start pitching." -- weeds character andy botwin explaining something i hope i never have to explain to anyone ever to his nephew shane
oh, and i believe this is the first time any mention of randy johnson's name has made me smile.
know how homer has those intense conversations with his brain?
yeah, i just did that. i saw an ontd item on james gunn's red hat nation which mentioned a gilmore girls affiliated brother, whose bio blurb stated "cousin of mark gunn." wondering just how many frigging gunns there are, i clicked through sean's bio, and onto james', and there began my homer moment of the day: "irish catholic... st louis... brian gunn... 2gether... hey, wait.... st louis... brian gunn [pause. pause. pause. pause. pause.] OH."
The Orioles have agreed to trade reliever Chris Britton to the New York Yankees for starting pitcher Jaret Wright and cash, according to two team sources.
While the specifics of the deal have been worked out, the trade won't be official until it gets the commissioner's approval, which is necessary when more than $1 million in cash exchanges hands in a deal. That could happen as early as today.
Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan could not be reached for comment, and vice president Jim Duquette didn't return calls last night.
Along with Wright, a 30-year-old right-hander with a 68-57 record over 10 major league seasons, the Yankees have agreed to send the Orioles $4 million, according to sources. That is the amount it would have cost New York to buy out Wright's 2007 option.
Pitching sporadically this past season as New York's fifth starter, Wright went 11-7 with a 4.49 ERA.
The Yankees had until today to decide whether to pick up Wright's $7 million option or buy it out, and they were reportedly planning on the latter. Now, it is a moot point as Wright's two-year stint with the Yankees, marred by injuries and inconsistency, appears officially over.
...Britton, a 23-year-old right-hander who was the Orioles' eighth-round selection in the 2001 draft, was possibly the team's second-best reliever as a rookie this past season behind closer Chris Ray . Britton was 0-2 with a 3.35 ERA and one save in 52 games.
However, team officials were concerned about Britton's lack of command of a second pitch behind his fastball, and they also were worried about ongoing conditioning problems. [baltimore sun]
i like that the o's claimed concern over britton's lack of command of a secondary pitch when jaret wright can control, oh, none of his. i love you, baltimore. can i interest you in this guy? i'll throw in the brittany murphy impersonator for free.
comes from june: "So if I've got this right - humans can create a spacecraft that can get to Saturn and make a fairly detailed movie of it from TWO HUNDRED TEN THOUSAND FUCKING MILES AWAY, but humans also think that Aaron Boone is a better baseball player than Alex Rodriguez. DON'T GET ME WRONG: YES I REALIZE AARON BOONE DID AN INCREDIBLE THING IN A RILLY IMPORTANT MOMENT AND I'M VERY GRATEFUL FOR THAT. HOWEVER THAT DOES NOT MAKE HIM* - oh forget it. why bother. You gotta figure the creatures on Saturn meanwhile are scratching their heads at us too."
*reminds me of a conversation i had with my brother as we watched the cardinals win the world series -- somehow alex rodriguez came up and i in all my inebriated glory said something snide to the effect of "i bet you're one of those scott brosius people," to which he replied "WHAT?!" and then i realized the stupid magnitude of what i had done and desperately exclaimed "NEVERMIND I AM NOT HAVING THIS CONVERSATION RIGHT NOW. OH LOOK! DAVID ECKSTEIN!" too late, other brother jumped all over it and of course they went on about clutcheriferousness grit heart rings and all those other things which make a ballplayer great. and i tried, i really did. i said that i remembered certain moments of brosius' career very fondly but the very idea that someone would take him over alex rodriguez was offensive to me, and i'm probably pretty sure they've disowned me. when i see him now he goes "so can we talk about how much you hate scott brosius now, scott brosius hater?"
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Luis Gonzalez is leaning heavily toward signing a one-year deal with the Cardinals, possibly as soon as next week. Some have speculated that Gonzalez would prefer to stay in the NL West with the Giants or Dodgers, allowing him to punish the Diamondbacks for letting him go. If the Cardinals made him their left fielder, there wouldn't be any room left for Chris Duncan, who was only the club's second best hitter once he got his chance last season. They would likely consider trading Juan Encarnacion, but it's doubtful there'd be a lot of interest. Nov. 11 - 11:02 am et [rotoworld]
Ladies, if you're heading to the bars to watch the game tonight (and hoping to impress the baseball-obsessed dudes there), do your homework. Met third baseman, hottie and new face of Vitamin Water David Wright offers tips on how to master the guy-speak.
1. KNOW THE TERMINOLOGY "What impresses me is not a girl who knows the in-depth things about baseball, but the general terminology. You get a hit and you end up on first, and it's a single. You end up on second, it's a double, and you end up on third, it's a triple. If you make it all the way around, it's a home run," Wright counsels.
2. KNOW A FUN FACT ABOUT THE TEAM YOU'RE WATCHING "We're playing the Dodgers. They were the wild card winner from the National League West. They were originally from Brooklyn. If they really want to impress the guy, here is a fun fact. The Mets' colors are orange and blue. We got our blue from the Dodgers when they left New York; we took the orange from the Giants when they were in New York."
3. KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT "The first round we play the Dodgers. It's a five-game series. This is called the National League divisional series, and if you win three of these games you move on. The winner of the Mets-Dodgers series plays the winner of the Cardinals-Padres series. The winner of that [series] plays in the World Series."
4. KNOW THE ODDS "We match up with the Dodgers really well. We're kind of the same team. We have a lot of speed in our lineup; they have a lot of speed in their lineup. They have power; we have power."
5. KNOW THE PLAYERS "Players to look out for on the Dodgers: They have Nomar Garciaparra, who is a little hurt right now, but will probably play. They have a very good pitching staff. They have Brad Penny and Derek Lowe. They have J.D. Drew, a good outfielder." Mets ace Pedro Martinez is injured and will be out for the rest of the season, but the men in orange and blue still have Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran.
6. CLINCH THE DEAL WITH THE MOST OBSCURE RULE IN BASEBALL: THE INFIELD FLY RULE If there are runners on first and second, or the bases are loaded (i.e. runners on first, second and third), any fly ball within the infield is automatically an out. That prevents infielders from dropping the ball on purpose to cause a double play. The rule applies only with fewer than two outs.
a little bit about the newest baby yankees from milb:
Sanchez, 23, was 10-6 and ranked second among all Tigers Minor League pitchers with a 2.63 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 20 games (20 starts) with Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie in 2006. He struck out 129 in 123 innings while allowing 97 hits and 47 walks.
He began the season with Erie, where he went 5-3 with a 1.76 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .190 batting average in 11 starts before being promoted to Triple-A Toledo in June. In his first five starts with Toledo, Sanchez went 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA and was named the International League Pitcher of the Week from June 12-18. He finished the season with a 5-3 record and a 3.86 ERA in nine starts with the Mud Hens.
Sanchez, who attended high school in the Bronx, was named the Tigers' Minor League pitcher of the month in back-to-back months (May and June) after allowing just three earned runs over seven consecutive starts from May 17-June 18 (47 2/3 innings, 49 strike outs). Sanchez entered the 2006 season ranked as the Tigers' sixth-best prospect, according to Baseball America. He was selected by the Tigers in the 31st round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
Of all the prospects in a deep Detroit farm system, none caught as much attention as Sanchez. His name was intertwined with Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano for most of July, though Washington had more interest in Class A West Michigan outfielder Cameron Maybin. At least three other teams reportedly watched Sanchez in his last start July 19 at Pawtucket, and others have eyed him from afar. Just when Sanchez might've been the most-discussed prospect on the trade market, he was off of it. A tender throwing elbow in mid-July prompted the Tigers to shut him down for two starts, taking him past the July 31 trade deadline.
The interest last summer was a microcosm of Sanchez's career. While Joel Zumaya and Justin Verlander rose quickly to the big leagues last spring, Sanchez has been in the system as long or longer with somewhat comparable potential -- a big right-hander with a similarly big arm. It simply took this long to translate it into a season of results.
His 2002 season was interrupted by shoulder and bicep strains. He was an All-Star selection at Class A West Michigan in 2003, but struggled down the stretch after inflammation in his elbow. He rose among the Tigers top prospects in 2004, but a knee injury cut his season short.
The most frustration came in 2005, when three different disabled list stints held him to 11 starts at Double-A Erie. He put up a 10-strikeout game and fanned 31 batters over 24 2/3 innings in June, but after missing two months with a lat strain before missing most of August with a groin strain. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League last offseason simply to get some innings.
...With better conditioning, the 6-foot-6 Sanchez finally had the health. Once he struck out eight batters in five scoreless innings for Erie in his season opener, he started putting up the numbers.
Back-to-back eight-strikeout games preceded a 13-strikeout gem over seven shutout innings April 29. He came within one out of a shutout on May 23, the first of three straight nine-strikeout games that wrote his ticket to Toledo. After a short first start there, he racked up 13 1/3 scoreless innings over two outings.
The ability wasn't any different. The consistency was the major difference.
...Whelan, 22, ranked third among all Tigers Minor League pitchers with 27 saves in 2006, going 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 51 games for the Class A Lakeland Tigers. He limited opposing hitters to a .178 batting average (33-for-185) and held right-handed hitters to a .158 average (18-for-114). In addition to being named a top prospect in the NY-Penn League following the 2005 season, Whelan also ranked as the 10th-best prospect in the entire Tigers organization according to Baseball America. He was originally selected by the Tigers in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas A&M University.
Claggett, 22, posted a 7-2 record with a team-best 0.91 ERA and 14 saves in 51 games for Class A West Michigan in 2006 (59 1/3 innings, 35 hits, seven runs, six earned, 20 walks and 58 strike outs). He held opposing hitters to a .174 batting average (35-for-201) and did not allow a run in his final 10 appearances of the season. He was selected by the Tigers in the 11th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of UC Riverside.
The Cardinals locked up the dean of their roster and one of their core players on Friday, agreeing to a two-year contract extension with center fielder Jim Edmonds. The deal ensures that Edmonds will be a Cardinal through the 2008 season.
The Yankees and Tigers have agreed on a Gary Sheffield trade, SI.com has learned.
In return, the Yankees will acquire highly touted right-hander Humberto Sanchez and Class A pitchers Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett, according to a Tigers source.
The Tigers will extend Sheffield's contract for two years beyond the one year and $13 million remaining.
Sheffield reunites with manager Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski, who were all a part of the 1997 world champion Florida Marlins.
Sheffield, who turns 38 on Nov. 18, wants to play three more seasons. He topped 34 homers and 120 RBIs in each of his first two seasons with the Yankees but missed most of 2006 with a wrist injury from an April collision with Toronto's Shea Hillenbrand. When Sheffield returned in late September, the Yankees shifted him to first base.
During a special ESPN.com "Hot Stove Preview" chat session last Monday, it was revealed that leading baseball analyst Buster Olney is unable to read or write. "Evry teem nedes god pichinq," Olney wrote in response to a question about whether or not he thinks Barry Bonds will resign with the Giants. He added: "RGFlssdas glkfrsfgtyr 578fhs3lka;d." Several ESPN.com contributors, including Jayson Stark and Rob Neyer, came to Olney's defense the following day, saying that they too are illiterate, but believe that skills such as reading or writing are unnecessary in their line of work. [the onion]
you're in the car listening to the localish college radio station and a bjork song comes on, and you're listening, blissful old lady dreaming of happier timeslike, when it fades out and this smug little princeton bitch is all "umm, that's off, um, vespertine, which is um, an old album, um..."
The Yankees are close to finalizing a contract extension for right-hander Mike Mussina.
Mussina's agent, Arn Tellem, said in an e-mail yesterday that the two sides have made "significant progress'' in coming to an agreement. The Yankees hold a $17 million option on Mussina but would prefer to sign him to a two-year deal for an average of $10 million-12 million a year.
Mussina, who turns 38 next month, was 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA and made 32 starts. He is 92-53 since joining the Yankees, making him a better risk than most of the free-agent starters available this winter.
The Yankees have until Nov. 15 to secure a deal before Mussina would enter the market. Knowing that the Mets would be among the teams interested in him, GM Brian Cashman has made retaining Mussina a priority. [pete abe]
fractured qotd anyway, from fjm: "...Jeter just won his motherhumping third Rawlings Pepsi Burger King Microsoft Vista Gold Glove Award, despite being terrible at gloving things."
on juneh's blog, i made a comment to the effect of feeling like jeter is ferris beuller to my exasperated jeannie... and of course i have to now do a silly post about it, screwing the blouse man ( too lazy to look for the post, sryfoundthem. had to edit the pictures slightly.) style. zooey deschanel playing jovie will be playing me playing jeannie, because a) not putting my face on this blog b) it's my blog and i can do whatever i want.
: Incredible! One of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second.
: Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe Ferris isn't such a bad guy. After all, I got a car, he got a computer. But still, why should he get to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants? Why should everything work out for him? What makes him so goddamn special? : Screw him.
: Why'd you kick me? : Where's your brain? : Why'd you kick me? : Where's your brain? : Why'd you kick me? : Where's your brain? : I asked you first. : How can we pick up Sloane if Rooney is there with her? : I said for her to be there alone and you freaked. : Now, I didn't hit you. I lightly slapped you. : You hit me. Look, don't make me participate in your stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it. You make me get out of bed, you make me come over here. You make me make a phony phone call to Edward Rooney? The man could squash my nuts into oblivion. And-and-and then, and then, you deliberately hurt my feelings.
: I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind.
[Ferris has snuck aboard a parade float] : Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little tune for you. It's one of my personal favorites and I'd like to dedicate it to a young man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today - Cameron Frye, this one's for you. : [screams] : Ferris! Get off of the float!
[after hearing Jeannie describe her problems... ] : There's someone you should talk to. : If you say Ferris Bueller, you lose a testicle. : Oh, you know him?
: What's your name? : It's Jean, but most guys call me Shauna. : Bye Jean.
: Oh, he's very popular, Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads—they all adore him. They all think he's a righteous dude.