November 11, 2004
BASEBALL: Around the Horn 11/11/04
I haven't done a trip around the baseball blogosphere in a while; here we go:
*Brian Gunn hangs up his cleats at Redbird Nation. The Holy Cross sportswriting contingent loses one of its best, as Brian becomes yet another blogger to decide that blogging is just too all-consuming. It's a shame; the only problem with Brian's site was that, like Aaron Gleeman's writings, there were never enough hours in the day to read it all if you were reading other sites as well. Let's hope we see him back in print soon, but in the meantime, good luck.
*USS Mariner has a good rundown of dates to keep in mind this offseason, starting with today's opening of teams' ability to initiate formal talks with other teams' free agents.
*Mac Thomason on the Braves' free agents:
[J.D.] Drew was the Braves' best hitter this year, finding his health and having a career year in Atlanta. And it's his home state. Some players would take less to stay at home where they've found success. These players do not have Scott Boras as an agent. Drew will want an eight-figure salary and a long-term contract, one I find it unlikely that the Braves would give. . . . There's still the question of his health, which might drive the price down. But the market is thin in outfielders this year, and it seems likely to me that someone will indeed give Drew a long-term deal for more than $10 million a season. And that it won't be the Braves. . . .
*Speaking of Gleeman, lest I be accused again of ducking the issue, I send you to Aaron's explanation of why Derek Jeter - who was improved with the glove this year - did not deserve the Gold Glove.
*Jay Jaffe studies the Yankees' most recent cost-cutting moves, from declining options on Jon Lieber and Paul Quantrill to letting Fred Hickman (!) go, and concludes that the Yankees do, in fact, have limits to how much money they will spend. Me, I'll believe it when I see it. I think of the bumper sticker slogan used by supporters of New Jersey Senate candidate Bob Franks in 2000 against multi-millionaire Jon Corzine's self-financed campaign: "Make him spend it all, Bob." Make him spend it all, Omar and Theo and the rest. At the moment, however, it looks like a familiar process is starting whereby other teams are already getting scared off from bidding against the Yankees for Carlos Beltran while Yankee players woo him.
*Participate in Tangotiger's fan scouting survey of your home team!
*Jon Weisman discusses a Mike Piazza for Shawn Green rumor, which sounds like a really bad idea for the Mets; Green's not that young, plenty expensive, and appears to be damaged goods (he had a very disppointing 2004), and at that point you might as well just stick with the one who can get behind the plate. I can see why the Dodgers are desperate for catching help, though.
*I'm way late in linking to Wizbang, which sends you to the sad tale of how gambling wrecked Cecil Fielder. By the way, I've seen Fielder's house in Florida, and it is indeed gigantic; it's a sign of the guy's foolishness that he managed to lose the house, when part of the reason why rich people buy big mansions in Florida is because of legal protections against losing your house there if you file for bankruptcy.
*Finally, Will Carroll notes an irony for baseball-and-politics bloggers:
[Ever notice that] everyone says “get back to baseball” to me when we get “too” political, but that we get insanely long participative threads when we talk about anything except baseball?
Or is it just that everyone nods their head and says “Oh, dead on!” when I write about baseball?
Actually, the irony is this: most of the major baseball bloggers agree on the basic ideas they are promoting, there's a lot of agreement and civility among baseball bloggers, in contrast to the acrimony and the adversarial nature of political blogs. But one side effect of that is that it sometimes seems that baseball bloggers (other than David Pinto) don't link to each other enough precisely because we're not attacking each other. And I say that being as guilty of that as anybody.
with regards to the rumored Green for Piazza trade- not only is it bad for the mets its even worse for the Dodgers. Sure, they need a catcher and losing LoDuca- but to think they should replace him with a aging catcher who may not be physically up to the job very soon. As a Dodger fan, i'd rather keep Green. Piazza maybe be a better fit in the American league were the DH comes into play
I followed your link to Will Carroll's site. Sad but not surprising to see that he is part of the extreme left. I think a facinating study could be conducted on why journalists are overwhelmingly far left of center. Even those not involved in "hard" news tend to lean way left. Not all but a definite majority. Strange.
Will Carroll is a Communist? He certainly didn't seem like one when I met him earlier this year.
"Communist" would be going rather far, but Carroll clearly falls on the left-of-Howard-Dean side of things.
Horribly disappointing year for Green? Perhaps, but his offensive production (.266/.352/.459) was almost equal to Piazza's (.266/.362/.444). Green did it while staying healthy all year, and in a tougher home park. Green is also the better bet to return to form or at least stay at his current level. Piazza clearly has the highest upside, and he hit very well prior this year prior to the injury, but I doubt he can produce at that level for a full season anymore.
Piazza is a defensive liability wherever you play him. He isn't likely to stay healthy catching regularly, whereas Green continues to be very durable. Really, Piazza would be best off going to the American League, catching 50-70 games and DHing the rest of the time. With the Mets that isn't an option, and the New York media scrutiny over what position he plays and how badly he's playing it will continue to be a distraction.
In my eyes, it would be an even trade, and both guys seem to need a change in scenery.