Posted on: November 22, 2010 7:19 pm

New Blog

Hey everybody i just wanted to let you know that along with this blog on cbssports a friend and i have started a blog on blogger that will feature a bi-weekly sports podcast show. The podcasts wont start until after thanksgiving break but i hope you will check out the new blog. The address is below, and dont worry i will still blog on here as frequently as i can.

Posted on: November 19, 2010 12:41 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 8:04 pm

MLB Offseason Preview (NL Central)

After last posts NL East preview we move to the NL Central. It is pretty well known that this is the division i know the best and i know the teams involved very well. But no matter how well you know a division you can never correctly perdict every move the teams in a division will make. As i said in my previous posts these are the moves that i think are the most likely to happen and also moves that i think teams should make.

Chicago Cubs-

The Cubs added on to their dissapointing 2009 season by putting up an even worse 2010 season. The Cubs had managed to build the worst team with the biggest budget which makes me even more proud to be a Cubs fan. Luckily all of the Cubs bad contracts are begining to come off the books, losing Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly's big salaries should loosen up the Cubs wallets. But i would not recommend they spend big this offseason, although Adam Dunn is available and they are in need of a first baseman i think they should hold off. The problem with acquiring Adam Dunn is that it is a typical Cubs move, it may help us be competitve next year but in the end the contract will hold us down. The only way i would fill first base with a big name player this offseason is if they can find a way to acquire Adrain Gonzalez via trade. It would cost a lot of players but the Cubs have been improving their farm system and may have the prospects to get him now. I dont need to explain the impact Adrian Gonzalez would have on this team. If they cant bring in Gonzalez I would recommend siging Adam LaRoche, he would significantly cheaper than Dunn and would provide the left handed power bat the Cubs crave. He consistently puts up a .280-25-90 with quality defense and would allow the Cubs to have money to spend in other areas or allow them to hold on to their money so they can spend big next season. They also need to begin to plan how they will fill the hole at third when Aramis leaves next season. I woldnt be suprised to see A-Ram dealt either this offseason or at the deadline. The only other major area of need is releif pitching that im sure they will waste their money on.

Cincinnati Reds -

The Reds are not a team that needs a lot of work, they have a nice affordable core of players that have room to improve. They are set at all the major position players but their biggest need is starting pitching. If you know anything about post-season baseball you know that you need a dominant ace at the top of your staff to succeed. Look at the Giants (Lincecum), Rangers (Cliff Lee). Phillies (H20), Yankees (CC Sabathia). This is really the piece the Reds are missing, the only way they can address this is if they trade for Zack Grienke. Now of course thier is the problem that the Royals want the farm for him but i think the Reds have the prospects to matchup. They would likely have to give up Travis Wood, Yonder Alonso, Mike Leake and another big prospect to get him but it would be worth it.Now i know there will be people who disagree with  First of all Grienke played for one of the worst defenses from a UZR standpoint they didnt make a ton of errors but their players lacked the range to make the plays for him. If you brought Grienke into the national league with one of the best defenses in the league he could put up numbers similar to his CY Young winning season of 2009(with more wins). The other benifit of Grienke is that he is in/near his prime and should be able to put up similarly productive numbers for the next few seasons. I have also heard the Reds have interest in Marco Scutaro as the Red Sox have put him on the market. They could fill a hole at short stop or they could attempt to have Paul Janish play a full season, although im not sure his bat will play well in a full season. But besides adding an ace the Reds only need to make a few tweaks here and there.

Houston Astros-

The Astros finally realized that it was time to go into a rebuilding faze this past season by dealing former stars such as Lance Berkamn and Roy Oswalt. They did get some nice pieces in return but they are far from contention, they will need to draft better and acquire better prospects if they want to compete with the rest of the division. I do like the move they just made by acquiring Clint Barmes for Felipe Paulino straight up. While his offense may regress from leaving Coors field he should still provide more than the rotation of Angel Sanchez and Tommy Manzella. He also plays good defense according to his UZR. There are still some significant holes around the infield, I do like Chris Johnson at third but im not sure how he projects long term (Is he the next Casey McGhee?). They can do better than Jeff Keppinger at second and I doubt that Brett Wallace is the answer at first. Jason Castro didnt show much at the big league level last season but they should give him some time. Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are fine in the outfield but Carlos Lee is definitly hurting them both offensivly and defensively. The pitching staff could use some help as well with Brett Myers playing the ace followed by middle of the rotation guys in Wandy Rodriguez, J.A. Happ and Bud Norris. While they did make some moves that will help the club in the long run the Astros are maintaining the level they have been at for years where they are not horrible but they wont make it over .500 either. I still think they need to scrap the whole team and start from scratch dealing Pence, Myers, Bourn and Lee (although the later may be though).

Milwaukee Brewers-

They definitly have the offensive pieces to compete but they are extremely lacking in the pitching department. Their main off-season goal will be to beaf up that pitching staff behind Gallardo and Wolf. Earlier in the offseason it seemed they were willing to part with Prince Fielder but it seems less likely now. I have heard rumors that Casey McGhee could be moved for pitching which would also open the door for Matt Gamel to start for a full season. I wouldnt be suprised if some Corey Hart rumors pop up either as they did at the trade deadline last year. Im not sure who they would match up with for pitching but they desperatly need some. They dont want to waste their offensive players prime years when they have no pitching. If Milwaukee had any money i would think they would go after some starters but im not sure they have a ton to spend. But besides thier lack of pitching this is a very strong roster that should be able to get them to the post-season if they can prevent runs from scoring.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates are on the rise although their record may not reflect that. They have developed a nucleus of very good offensive players that should score plenty of runs. But like the Brewers they lack the pitching to be competitve. Their best pitching prospect James Tailon wont be ready for a while, but they are attempting to be aggresive through the free agent market. I wouldnt be suprised to see Jorge De La Rosa and Jeff Francis in Pittsburgh as the new Manager Clint Hurdle is familiar with both players. This season i think they want to attempt to be respectable while continuing to improve so they wont hand out any massive contracts. I am very excited to see Pedro Alvarez for a full season as he showed off his tremendous talent at the end of last season. He could be a .260-30-100 player this year with a good top of the order hitters in McCutchen and Tabata. They could use some improvement at short stop, left field, and first base but every other position looks solid for next year. They will probably sign some small contracts and make some small trades to fill holes at those positions and if they add some pitching they could be a 70 win team.

St. Louis Cardinals-

They were unable to keep up with the Reds last season but they did play a fairly good season. The back end of their rotation didnt perform to expectations and their middle infield struggled. They addressed the pitching by re-signing Jake Westbrook but they could still use some additional pitching. They have a solid offensive core in Pujols, Holliday, and Rasmus and with the return of David Freese from injury they could be even better this coming up season. They will most likely bring in someone to back up Frees in case he is hurt again or he struggles, this player may start up the middle but be versatile enough to play the hot corner. I have heard Miguel Tejada is being considered along with some other SS/2B to improve upon Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumakers production. But outside of those few moves the major offseason goal for the Cardinals should be giving Pujols his contract extension which is almost guranteed he will agree to. The Cardinals and the Reds look to be in the best shape of the teams in this division and have the fewest moves to make.

Posted on: November 12, 2010 8:45 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 12:42 pm

Offseason Preview

Hey everybody, this has to be one of my favorite times of year as i already discribed in my previous post. The main reason being that its offseason baseball time, the time where teams success or failure can be determined. Every team has an offseason agenda, a list of things that they want to do to improve their ball club wether it be coaching changes, signing free agents, or trading personell. So today i wanted to start a series of posts dedicated to outling each teams offseason agenda and moves that i think they should make. Lets start with the NL West.

Atlanta Braves-
Well the Braves did make the post-season for Bobby Cox's final season but they didn't get very far. Similar to their dynasty days they have good pitching, but they do have a flaw in my opinion and that is their offense. While they have some nice pieces in Brian McCann, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward they do not have that middle of the lineup punch that a playoff team needs. Until they can acquire a big bat they will struggle to compete with the Phillies for this division. Their major priority should be to some good bats, and their are several positions that they could use one at. Outfield is a major hole, with the exception of Jason Heyward they do not a have another quality starter (Sorry Matt Diaz and Nate McLouth). Both corner infield positions are also glaring holes as Chipper Jones probably wont be returning if he hasnt already announced it(I think he said he was retiring but i can't remember sorry), and Derrek Lee and Troy Glaus are both free agents. They could look to improve these areas via trade which i would recommend they do for their outfield holes, because the Braves do not have a realistic shot at Carl Crawford. First base is an area they can improve through free agency and at a fairly low cost because there is a bevy of first basemen available. There is also a chance that Jurrjens gets traded and he could help acquire some offense but i have heard the Braves are hesitant to move him. It will be interesting to see how Fredi Gonzalez does in Atlanta, he did an amazing job with what he had in Florida and I was amazed when they let him go. He seems like a quality manager and is an able replacement to Bobby Cox. The Braves will be competitive but i dont think they can contend unless they get some quality bats via trade.

Florida Marlins-
They never are going to be big spenders in the offseason so really the only way they can improve their club is through trade. They have some nice young pieces but im not sure its enough contend. The story to follow will be Dan Uggla's contract extension negotiations because if they can get a deal done it would be in the Marlins best interest to trade him. I dont think his value is going to get higher than it is now, so they should get the best possible return that they can from him. I do like the pieces that they have in place and they could contend in 2011 if their young players develop into stars. There really isnt a lot florida can do in the offseason to change this team other than trading Dan Uggla. They may add some small pieces in free agency or make some small trades but i doubt any big deals will be made.

New York Mets-
The Mets need to make some big moves if they want to get back into contention. They still have a nice core group of players in David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ike Davis, Angel Pagan and Johan Santana. But they dont have great starting pitching depth and they have holes in the outfield. They are going to have to hope that Jason Bay returns to form next year along with Carlos Beltran or else they will strugle again. I dont see the Mets making any big free agent signings but they should try to make some trades for pitching. I dont think the Mets will be very close to competing this year but if they make the right moves this offseason and next they could get back there.

Philadelphia Phillies-
The Phillies are in the best shape of any of the teams in this divison, they have a dominant pitching staff and a stacked offense. But the lose of Jayson Werth is going to hurt as he was the righty power bat of this team. I do like Dominic Brown but he still cannot makeup for the lose of Werth. The Phillies really dont have any money to throw around to change things. They will probably re-sign Jose Contreras but other than that they are not going to sign free agents. The only thing they can do is try to bring in a right handed outfielder with power to replace Werth via trade and im not sure who they could get. The Phillies are good now but they have a lot of money locked up in a lot of big contracts so it may hurt them in the long run. But for now they have the control of the division but they need to make some deals for the long term.

Washington Nationals-
The Nationals are a team on the rise who have some good prospects on the way to go along with a lot of money to spend. These next few years are really going to shape how competitive the Nationals will be in the long run. They need to make sound investments that can help them continue to improve. I like thier young players in Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, and Drew Storen. They have a good trade chip in Josh Willingham who could fill a hole on multiple teams and could bring in some desperatly needed pitching. I wouldnt be suprised to see Willingham moved, and the Nationals will sign at least 2 free agent pitchers most likely Jorge De La Rosa and Brandon Webb. The big hole they will need to fill is first base but it seems everyone already assumes they are going to sign Carlos Pena who would be a defensive upgrade and a change of scenery could help him. I think they will lose a win by replacing Dunn with Pena but Pena will be significantly cheaper. It will be very interesting to see this franchise continue to get better and i cant wait to see Bryce Harper in washington in a few years. This is the franchise that is on its way up and i really think that in 2-3 years they could be playoff bound.

Posted on: November 7, 2010 3:47 pm

So Many SPORTS!!!!!

Now we are entering one of my favorite times of the sports year! When multiple sports schedules collide for my daily viewing pleasure and hourly updates on baseball trade rumors. It can be a bit overwhelming but i love it. I just wanted to make some predictions and analyze a few things going on in different sports. First lets start with the sports that are currently going on.

College Football - With an utterly boring NFL season going on i turned to the the NCAA for my football entertainment. Little did i expect that my Michigan State Spartans would have been a championship contender a few short weeks ago, and although that slipped away a Rose Bowl appearance is a very realistic posibility. Im not sure they will win because they really havnt played an elite program this year. But it will be their first Rose Bowl bid since the 80's so im pretty psyched. Hopefully we'll get to see an Oregon v.s TCU championship as well. I am really rooting for these non-BCS schools to get in (although isnt everybody). I dont want to go down the road about why NCAA football needs a playoff system but they do. Im just glad to see Michigan State becoming an elite football program at the same time their Basketball team is, which brings me to my next topic.
College Basketball - We are only what, a week away? I can not wait, yet another sport where my teams are doing well. It's nice to have some success after watching such a dismall MLB season(Cubs) and NFL season(Cowboys). I was a bit worried earlier in the year with the talk of Tom Izzo leaving for the Cavaliers. But luckly Lebron took his talents to south beach and Izzo kept his in East Lansing. Which was probably the smart move, i really feel that the college game can bring a coach more prestige and recognition than the NBA. But the biggest thing is that Izzo has a pretty sweet deal, everybody loves him, he has excellent job security and he has built a great program that should last for a while. I am very excitited to see this years team play because i think it could be the best one yet. They have a bevy of scorers starting with last years tournament star Durrell Summers, the dude is a freak athlete who can do some crazy dunks but is also a pretty good shooter. If he can stay consistently good (which is what he struggled with last year) he can carry this team. Kalin Lucas is back from a ruptured achilles tendon and when he is healthy he is a dynamic player maker who can score in a matter of seconds. The frontcourt is led by fowards Draymond Green and Delvon Roe, Green being the team leader and Roe being the freak athlete who needs to breakout this year. Derrick Nix looks to be the starting center although freshamn Adriene Payne may take over, he has a ton of potetial and is already looking to be a dominant defensive presense in the paint. But this team is also very deep with junior Guard Korie Lucious and Freshman guard Keith Appling looking to steal time from Kalin Lucas and see who will take over next year. This will be another great rebounding and pace controlling team but they also have a lot more firepower than ever before and 3 five star recruits which is probably the most talented roster Izzo has ever had. All of this will probably lead to a third straight final four appearance and possibly a championship.
NBA- Now i am not a huge NBA fan but have followed the Bulls my whole life because being from Chicago and living through the Michael Jordan era how can you not. But over the past few years i have slowly gotten more and more into the NBA and now have become a daily watcher. I find it a little to flashy for my taste (I love Big 10 Basketball Tom Izzo style) but it is a lot of fun to watch. And i am glad that finally the Bulls are starting to make some smart personell decisions. I hated the trades and signings of players such as Ben Wallace, Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes. They didnt make a lot of sense to me but watching them build this years roster i have been very impressed. Obviously it is centered around Derrick Rose, but they have put together some very nice pieces. They have the low post options in Carlos Boozer and the emerging Taj Gibson. The rebounder and defensive presense in Joakim Noah, the shooter in Kyle Korver. A defensive guard in Ronnie Brewer, a scoring PG in CJ Watson. These are just a few of the pieces that the Bulls have put on this roster. I am in no way saying this is a championship team but i think it is a contender. They have a bevy of players with very diferent skill sets, which is the difference between them and the Heat. The Heat have 2 players who have a similar game in Lebron Jame and Dwyane Wade, a low post scorer in Chris Bosh and a bunch of washed up veterans (excluding Mario Chalmers). Im not saying the Heat wont be the number one team come playoff time but i feel that the Bulls could make a push in the playoffs if they get the chance.
NHL- By now if you have read everything ive written you can guess im a Chicago sports fan, so i bet you can guess what my hockey team is. Yep you guessed it the Blackhawks. And no i am not a bandwagon fan i have been a fan for a very long time. My excitment for them has grown over the past few years but i have always like them. Now i have been somewhat dissapointed in them thus far this year. They have shown thier talent but it has been eratic, and i dont like Corey Crawford they need to start Marty Turco as much as possible at goalie. They have shown they have the offensive firepower to compete every night its the goaltending that has been the problem. Kane and Towes are starting to heat up and Sharp has been dominant. Marian Hossa had been on fire before getting injured. This is a good team but they need to be more consistent if they want to repeat.
MLB- Im just about done i just wanted to mention that this is probably my favorite part of baseball when teams start building for next year. I love hearing people debate what players their team is going to sign or trade for. Obviously the Yankees are going to get Cliff Lee since any good player has to play for them because its the Yankees divine right to all talented players right? I hate the Yankees attitude that they are entitled to the leagues best players just because they can buy anybody out. But it really is an exciting time for baseball as we see our teams start to take shape for the next year. I hope the Cubs do NOT sign Adam Dunn. I lived and still live in Cincinnati and i saw Adam Dunn play here for a while and i do not want him to be striking out 200 times in a Cubs uniform. They need to get a stop gap player and attempt to get Adrain Gonzalez anyway they can. I would recommend Adam LaRoche on one of his perenial one year deals. Then if they can attempt to aquire Adrian at the deadline and swing a deal to get rid of LaRoche. It is definitly better than 4 years of Adam Dunn. Now i am very noticebly excluding the NFL from this discussion because i do not want to discuss the Cowboys i am embarrased.

Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:52 pm

Managing options

As the Cubs continue to flush their season down the toilet we can start to look towards the future. I realize i have been talking about the future all year but guess what, thats really the only thing i have to be excited about so cut me a break (please). The main issue i wanted to talk about today was the managing opening for next year. Right now it is the most sought after job in baseball, who wouldnt want to try and be the guy that brings us Cubs fans our first World Series in 102 years. Well actually probably a lot of people but still it is a very coveted job. Their are a multitude of qualified canidates and i just wanted to take a look at them so that you as fans could make up your own mind on who you think is the best. The obvious fan favorite is probably the place to start Ryan Sandberg is probably the most beloved Cubs player right along with Ernie Banks and Ron Santo. He was a hall of fame second baseman who has succeeded at every minor league level he has managed at. Starting with Peoria Low-A, to Tennessee AA and now Iowa AAA. He has a personality that is known well and loved in Chicago and he already knows many of the players on this roster as he has already coached them and will know the many more that will come up. But he does lack expierence and i would hate to see him fail. It would be almost worse if they hire him and he fails horribly (although i believe he will succeed if hired.). The next best known option is current Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a former Cubs catcher and a well respected manager. He was considered several years ago when Lou was hired but i think they went with expirence over who was actualy the best fit. Girardi already has a ring and has proved he is a good manager, i think he would excell in chicago. But i have to question wether he really would want to come to Chicago. He has a great gig in New York were your basicaly guaranteed to be in the playoffs. If I was him i would stay but if you want a real challenge there isnt a bigger one than the Cubs. Mike Quade is currently managing the Cubs on an interim basis. I dont think you can really read into any of the numbers the team puts up now. Even if they have a winning record because he didnt really mold any of these players and i hate it when teams hire the interim managers for what they did as the interim. But he does have expierence as both a minor league manager and first and third base coach. His knowledge of the game cant be questioned but im not sure he has a big enough personality for the role. Pat Listach is another option and similarly to Mike Quade he is a proven minor league coach who coached for the Cubs affiliates and also is the current Nationals 3rd baseman. But again i dont think he or Quade are the high profile signging the cubs are looking for. Bob Brenly, the current color commentator for Cubs baseball has also become a canidate. I have to say i do like Bob Brenly and he guided that 2001 D-Backs team to a World Series title. He has expirence, he knows the Cubs, he knows their system and his son plays for the High-A Daytona Cubs. He actually would be an solid choice and he is well known. Eric Wedge, the former Indians manager is also a major canidate as he was recently approached by the Cubs. He has obvious interest and has had success as a major league manager. His MLB record stands at 561-573 with one playoff appearance. Wedge has the expierence, he is well known but im not sure he would excite the fans. There are many other names that have been mentioned such as Bobby Valentine and Fredi Gonzalez but i consider these to be the major canidates for the job. As a die hard cubs fan i have to say i would love to see Sandberg as the manager as well as Girardi. The dream coaching set up would be Sandberg as manager, Greg Maddux as pitching coach and keep Rudy Jaramillo as hitting coach. But Greg still isnt sure what he wants to do in the Cubs organization and Sandberg is not a for sure. But i think the Cubs need to make a hire that will re-energize the fan base. While the Cubs may still be selling tickets the interest is begining to fade after 2 dissappointing years and bringing in someone like Sandberg would bring excitment. And i know he could fail but everyone will still love Ryno and it just seems like its the best choice.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Best Teams AL Central

In case you missed my first post of this series, the idea of this series is to put together the best team of players of the modern era for each franchise. This week we take a look at the AL Central.

White Sox
1. Minnie Minoso-OF-        4.7 WAR  1.1 FLD
2. Nellie Fox-2B-              3.8 WAR  8.1 FLD
3. Magglio Ordonez-OF-   2.9 WAR  -1.8 FLD
4. Frank Thomas-DH-       4.6 WAR 
5. Paul Konerko-1B-         2.4 WAR  1.7 FLD
6. Harold Baines-OF-        2.2 WAR  -.3 FLD
7. Robin Ventura-3B-        4.2 WAR  11.1 FLD
8. Carlton Fisk-C-             2.6 WAR  .1 FLD
9. Luis Aparico-SS-           4.0 WAR  10.9 FLD

#1 Starter- Billy Pierce

Cleveland Indians
1. Kenny Lofton-OF-         4.5 WAR  10 FLD
2. Omar Vizquel-SS-         2.6 WAR  2.1 FLD
3. Manny Ramirez-OF-      4.0 WAR  -4.2 FLD
4. Jim Thome-1B-             4.0 WAR  -3.3 FLD
5. Larry Doby-OF-             5.3 WAR  4.3 FLD
6. Al Rosen-3B-                4.8 WAR  -.6 FLD
7. Victor Martinez-C-          3.2 WAR  -1.7 FLD
8. Travis Hafner-DH-          2.6 WAR
9. Bobby Avila-2B-             3.2 WAR  -1 FLD

#1 Starter- Bob Lemon

Detroit Tigers
1. Alan Trammel-SS-          3.7 WAR  4 FLD
2. Lou Whitaker-2B-           4.2 WAR  4.3 FLD
3. Al Kaline-OF-                  4.8 WAR  7.4 FLD
4. Norm Cash-1B-               4.3 WAR  2.6 FLD
5. Kirk Gibson-DH-              2.6 WAR
6. Bobby Higginson-OF-       1.9 WAR  -3.2 FLD
7. Travis Fryman-                3.4 WAR  3.8 FLD
8. Chet Lemon-OF-             3.6 WAR  7 FLD
9. Bill Freehan-C-                3.5 WAR  1.8 FLD

#1 Starter- Mickey Lolich

Kansas City Royals
1. Carlos Beltran-OF-           3.5 WAR  6.7 FLD
2. Amos Otis-OF-                3.4 WAR  -2.5 FLD
3. George Brett-3B-             4.6 WAR  2.4 FLD
4. Mike Sweeney-1B-           1.8 WAR  -.6 FLD
5. Hal McRae-DH-                2.3 WAR
6. Darrell Porter-C-              4.5 WAR  2.5 FLD
7. Willie Wilson-OF-             3.1 WAR  7.6 FLD
8. Frank White-2B-              2.0 WAR  6.7 FLD
9. Freddie Patek-SS-            2.5 WAR  1.7 FLD

#1 Starter- Bret Saberhagen

Minnesota Twins
1. Rod Carew-2B-                5.2 WAR  1 FLD
2. Kirby Puckett-OF-             4.1 WAR  -1.2 FLD
3. Joe Mauer-C-                  5.3 WAR  -.2 FLD
4. Harmon Killebrew-3B-       4.6 WAR  -4 FLD
5. Kent Hrbek-1B-                3.2 WAR  1.4 FLD
6. Tony Oliva-DH-                3.7 WAR  
7. Torii Hunter-OF-               2.5 WAR  3 FLD
8. Bob Allison-OF-                3.8 WAR  3.6 FLD
9. Greg Gagne-SS-               2.1 WAR  6.6 FLD

#1 Starter- Bert Blyleven

White Sox-  31.4 WAR  27.5 FLD
Indians-       34.2 WAR  6.6 FLD
Tigers-          32 WAR  27.2 FLD
Royals-         27.7 WAR  24.5 FLD
Twins-            34.5 WAR  14.5 FLD

This analysis took a little longer than the NL Central but thats partially due to the fact that i know a lot more about the NL Central(Im a Cubs Fan) than the AL Central. Although the Royals are my second favorite team mainly because of George Brett. Looking at the numbers this is a very close division. The Twins have the highest WAR just barely ahead of the indians. The Sox have the highest FLD barely ahead of the Tigers. But you have to remember that WAR includes fielding in its calculations so i would say the Twins are the best team. Followed by the Indians, Tigers, White Sox, and Royals. I dont think any of their number one starters really stand out against one another. I personally think Bret Saberhagen is the best of the bunch but they are all pretty equal to each other. Again please give me feedback so i can continually improve these posts. The next post will be the NL East but it may not get posted till next weekend.  
Posted on: August 20, 2010 1:16 pm

Best Teams NL Central

Earlier in the week a started a series of posts that were going to cover each team in baseballs best players in the modern era (which i consider 1950+). I analyzed the Cubs then began working on the other teams, i decided it would be much more effiecent if i posted the teams by division and compare to see which would fare the best. I will post each teams lineup and #1 starter with their WAR and FLD numbers next to them.

1. Ryne Sandberg-2B-  4.2 WAR  4 FLD
2. Mark Grace-1B-        3.5 WAR  5.1 FLD
3. Billy Williams-OF-     5.2 WAR  -3 FLD
4. Sammy Sosa-OF-     4.9 WAR  6.6 FLD
5. Ron Santo-3B-         5.7 WAR  1.9 FLD
6. Ernie Banks-SS-       3.9 WAR  2.8 FLD
7. Andre Dawson-OF-   3.0 WAR  -.5 FLD
8. Jody Davis-C-          2.4 WAR  4.5 FLD

#1 Starter- Fergie Jenkins

1. Lou Brock-OF-         3.2 WAR  -3.1 FLD
2. Ozzie Smith-SS-      4.7 WAR  15.1 FLD
3. Albert Pujols-1B-      7.8 WAR  6.3 FLD
4. Stan Musial-OF-       6.3 WAR  2.4 FLD
5. Jim Edmonds-OF-    5.5 WAR  4.4 FLD
6. Ken Boyer-3B-         5.2 WAR  6.8 FLD
7. Ted Simmons-C-     4.1 WAR  -1 FLD
8. Red Shoendienst-2B- 2.5 WAR  5 FLD

#1 Starter- Bob Gibson

1. Craig Biggio-2B-      3.5 WAR  -3.3 FLD
2. Cesar Cedeno-OF-   4.3 WAR  .5 FLD
3. Lance Berkman-OF- 4.7 WAR  .3 FLD
4. Jeff Bagwell-1B-       5.6 WAR  3.9 FLD
5. Jose Cruz-OF-          3.8 WAR  6.5 FLD
6. Doug Radar-3B-       3.4 WAR  -1 FLD
7. Dickie Thorn-SS-      2.1 WAR  4.3 FLD
8. Brad Ausmus-C-         .5 WAR  -1 FLD

#1 Starter- Roy Oswalt

1. Joe Morgan-2B-        7.6 WAR  .75 FLD
2. Pete Rose-3B-          4.6 WAR  -4 FLD
3. Frank Robinson-OF-   6.6 WAR  5 FLD
4. Johnny Bench-C-       4.8 WAR  4.2 FLD
5. George Foster-OF-     4.3 WAR  4.8 FLD
6. Tony Perez-1B-          3.2 WAR  .4 FLD
7. Vada Pinson-OF-        4.5 WAR  0FLD
8. Barry Larkin-SS-         3.7 WAR  1.5 FLD

#1 Starter- Jim Maloney

1. Paul Molitor-3B-         4.1 WAR  .7 FLD
2. Robin Yount-SS-        3.7 WAR  -2.3 FLD
3. Cecil Cooper-1B-        3.1 WAR  .7 FLD
4. Jeromy Burnitz-OF-     3.7 WAR  4.2 FLD
5. Geoff Jenkins-OF-      2.8 WAR  6.5 FLD
6. Ben Oglive-OF-          2.7 WAR  .1 FLD
7. B.J. Surhoff-C-           1.9 WAR  2.8 FLD
8. Jim Gantner-2B-         1.4 WAR  2 FLD

#1 Starter- Teddy Higuera

1. Roberto Clemente-OF-  5.1 WAR  11.3 FLD
2. Jason Kendall-C-          3.8 WAR  -1.8 FLD
3. Barry Bonds-OF-           7.1 WAR  18.4 FLD
4. Willie Stargel-OF-         3.4 WAR  -3.5 FLD
5. Donn Clendenon-1B-    2.6 WAR  -.2 FLD
6. Richie Hebner-3B-        3.5 WAR  -5.4 FLD
7. Jay Bell-SS-                 3.1 WAR  .7 FLD
8. Bill Mazeroski-2B-         2.3 WAR  8.6 FLD

#1 Starter- Bob Friend

Team WAR + FLD

Cubs- 32.8 WAR  21.4 FLD
Cardinals- 39.3 WAR  35.9 FLD
Astros- 27.9 WAR  10.2 FLD
Reds- 39.3 WAR  12.7 FLD
Brewers- 23.4 WAR  14.7 FLD
Pirates- 30.9 WAR  28.1 FLD

I think it is obvious that the Cardinals have the best team of the bunch and are lead by the best pitcher of the bunch as well. Cincinnati is probably the second best team on this list because their team WAR is tied for first with the Cardinals but their defense is 2nd to last and Jim Maloney dosnt rate up as highly as Bob Friend or Fergie Jenkins. The Cubs and Pirates are probably tied for 3rd, while the Cubs have a better WAR the Pirates have a better FLD, although Fergie may have the edge over Friend. The Astros are 5th and the Brewers are officaly the worst team of the buch. I got the WAR and FLD stats from Fangraphs.com which is an excellent site if your a stats junkie like me. I created the lineups by going to Baseball-Reference.com and anaylizing who i thought were the best at each position, obviously not everyone is going to agree with me on my stats. Also a side not i just picked the top 3 outfielders i did not pick the best at each particular position this time. If you have any comments please post them i love reading them and give me feedback please. I plan on doing the AL Central next.
Posted on: August 16, 2010 1:12 pm

The Best Teams

I recently went on a long road trip to go see family, it seems whenever i go on these long trips i always bring my ESPN Basesball Reference and refresh my self on baseball history. While going over some stats i came up with a series of posts that i would like to start. I want to go team by team and put together what i think would be the best team from the modern era for each one. So to start it off i will warm myself with any easy one for me by begining with the Cubs. This team will consist of a 5 man rotation a closer and the full lineup. Here we go.....

1. Ryne Sandberg-2B-This was by far the easiest pick, Sandberg may be the best 2nd baseman of all time and definatly the best in Cubs history (Sorry Glen Beckert). His career .285/.344/.452 slash line may not look like a typical leadoff hitters but his basestealing abilities and the fact that there are better RBI guys in this lineup makes him the best fit for this spot. His 9 consecutive gold gloves and career FLD rating over 60 (Stat from Fangraphs.com) solidifies the Cubs infield defense.
2. Mark Grace-1B- While Mark may not be the sexiest pick on this team he may be one of the more consistent bats. A Cubs career slash line of .307/.386/.445 fits well into the 2 hole. He may not have had blazing speed but he got on base and played good defense at first with 4 gold gloves and a career FLD rating over 70 solidifies first.
3. Billy Williams-LF- He may be the pest pure hitter on this team, with a Cubs slash line of .296/.364/.503 he is the definition of a 3 hole hitter. There have been no other Cubs Left fielders that can compare to Billy in terms of of longetivity and production. His defense may be somewhat lacking with a career -41 FLD rating but his good outways his bad.
4. Sammy Sosa-RF- This was definatly the toughest pick, i wanted to put the Hawk here so bad but Sammy defined the Cubs in the 90's and early 2000's. Even with the steroids and character issues at the end of his career, he was still one of the best hitters to play the game. His Cubs career slash line of .284/.358/.569 proves that he is the perfect middle of the order bat. For most of Sammy's career he carried his teams and had little help, i can only imagine what Sammy in his prime could do on a team like this. His career 91 FLD rating also proves he gives us solid defense as well.
5. Ron Santo-3B- This was one of the easier choices although Aramis Ramirez gave him a run for his money. Santo would have to be my favorite player on this team because i love his personality  but he is also one of the best pre-steroid era third basemen. His Cubs career slash line of .279/.366/.472 is solid especialy considering the stellar defense he provides with 5 gold gloves and a career 22 FLD rating.
6. Ernie Banks-SS- I couldnt leave off the best SS of all time, although he did play significant time at first his prime years were at short. His .274/.330/.500 slash line is great although on this team it only gets him in the 6 hole but there will still be plenty of oportunities for RBI's hitting behind Ronny. He adds to an already stellar infield defense with a gold glove and a career 54 FLD rating. Mr. Cub would finally get to the playoffs on this team.
7. Rick Monday-CF- When i started looking at the list of modern day Cubs CF i really couldnt find any that i like to go with this team. But then i saw Monday's name which whenever i see it i think of his heroic efforts to prevent a flag being burned rather than his baseball career. But i chose Monday mainly for his offense which was at his best when he was a Cubs hitting at a .270/.366/.460 clip. According to Fangraphs.com his defense was abismal though with a career -110 FLD rating which gives us a somewhat weak outfield defense.
8. Jody Davis-C- Catcher is a tough position to get quality players at, and there were only 3 names that i even considered to start at catcher. Because i Knew that i couldnt put Gaby Hartnett because i wanted modern players. So it came down to Randy Hundley, Jody Davis, and Geovany Soto. Soto went out because i dont think he has had a long enough career to out him on this list. So i compared Jody and Randy and Jody Davis's numbers are just flat out better than Randy's. With a .251/.313/.416 slash line he may be the worst hitter on this team but he gives us excellent defense behind the plate with a career 39 FLD rating and for a catcher thats not a bad stat line anyway. I think Geovany Soto may eventualy be the man to put here but he needs to play at a high level for another 4 years before I'll consider him.

Ill post the rotation tommorow
Category: MLB
Tags: Baseball, Cubs, MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com