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Tag:Baseball
Posted on: January 1, 2010 10:40 pm
 

MLB- Past Decade In Review

Now that another decade has come and gone i figured it was time to take a look at how each baseball franchise has faired over this past decade. This morning i went on to baseball-reference.com and poured over statistics for several hours and compiled a list ranking every franchise in order of their success this decade. The top 4-5 are pretty obvious, but the lower rankings were tougher and are partially my opinion.

1. New York Yankees - No real suprise here, they started and ended the decade with World Series titles. Appearing in the playoffs every year except 2008, they have been the dominant franchise over the past 10 years.

2. Boston Red Sox - These 2 teams from the AL East have really dominated baseball this decade, the Red Sox finally broke their curse and went on to win 2 World Series titles. They have created a steady foundation to be competitive for the next decade also.

3. St. Louis Cardinals - They have been the dominant franchise of the NL, making 7 post-season apperances and win a World Series title. The Cardinals dominance has been highlighted mainly by the emergence of one of the greatest baseball players of a generation in Albert Pujols.

4. Los Angeles Angels - It has become a common occurence to see the Angels in the post-season. They won the first World Series title in 2002, and have accended to the top as one of the dominant franchises in the league.

5. Atlanta Braves - Although the Braves are considered the team of the 90's they have still been very succesfull in the 00's. They made 6 post season appearences and have recently begun to get back to their formula of dominant pitching. Look for them to see even more success in the coming decade.

6. Chicago White Sox - The White Sox also broke their curse in this decade, winning their first World Series title since 1917 in 2005. They made 3 post-season appearences and have thrived under the leadership of manager Ozzie Guillen.

7. Philadelphia Phillies- They slowly built themselves up over the corse of the decade to the point that now they have back to back World Series appereances one of which they won. They have created a model of success that many teams are going to try and repeat.

8. Oakland Athletics- They started off the decade with 4 straigth post-season apperances and made another in 2006. They have struggled lately, but they have one of the best GM's in baseball in Billy Beane.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers- They have had a winning record every year except the 2005 season, and have made the post-season 4 times. Most recently, under the guidance of Joe Torre they have made it to the NLCS in back to back years with a youthfull roster that should dominate for years to come.

10. Minnesota Twins- They have only had 2 losing seasons over the course of the decade and have appeared in the playoffs 5 times. They have been in constant competition with the White Sox through out the decade.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks- Only 3 years old when the decade began the Diamondback franchise has seen it ups and downs throughout its short life. They started off the decade very well, winning the World Series in 2001 with the dominant dou of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They have eratic the second half of the decade though.

12. Houston Astros- Since the NL Central was first formed the Astros and Cardinals have been the main competitors for the division (Although the Cubs have taken their place as of late). They were great the first half of the decade, culminating in an NL Pennant in 2005, but have faded in the second half.

13. San Francisco Giants- The Giants were another team that started the decade strong earning the NL Pennant in 2002. But struggled mightly in the second half, failing to win more than 76 games from 2004-2008. But with the arrival of stars such as Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Pablo Sandoval they showed promise in 2009.

14. Florida Marlins - They havnt been flashy, only making the post-season once, but they made it count winning the franchises 2nd World Series title in 2003. They have managed to stay competitve through out the decade with a small fanbase and budget.

15. Chicago Cubs- Another decade has gone, and the curse still remains. THe first half of the decade they were erratic, although in 2003 they came within a game of winning the NL Pennant. Most of their success came in the last 3 years of the decade, with 2 post season apperances and 3 straight winning season the Cubs may break the curse in the next decade.

16. Seattle Mariners- The first four years were great, with 2 post season appearances and a 116 win season in 2001. But they also had 3 season with fewer than 70 wins. They have looked better near the end of the decade although Ichiro is starting to slow down ( Only in speed, he still collects 200 hits a season).

17. New York Mets- They started the decade off with the Subway series (Although they lost to the Yankees). But since then they have only made 1 post-season apperances. The latter half of the decade has been defined by end of the season collapse, and the team self destructed in 2009. The future is uncertain for the Mets.

18. Cleveland Indians- The late 90's were good for the Indians, but the 00's were not as good. They only made 2 post-season apperances, although they did have four seasons of 90 or more wins. 07 showed promise winning 96 games and making it to the NLCS but their record worsened in 08, and 09.

19. Colorado Rockies- The young franchise struggled for most of the decade. Until in 2007 they won the NL Pennant, losing to the Red Sox in the World Series. They had a down year in 08', but made the playoffs again in 09'. The next decade holds a lot of promise for the Rockies.

20. San Diego Padres- They have struggled for most of the decade, with only 4 winning seasons from 2004-2007 during that span they managed to make the post-season twice and never made it past the NLDS.

21. Detroit Tigers- The first half of the decade the Tigers were awfull, in 2003 they posted their worst record going 43-119. But in 2006 they came out of no where to win the AL Pennant, and have posted winning records 3 out of the last 4 years, although only 1 post-season appearance.

22. Toronto Blue Jays- The Blue Jays could go higher on this list if it werent for the fact that they did not make the post-season at all this past decade. They havnt been bad, but they have played in a very tough division with the Yankees and Red Sox the top 2 teams of the decade. They have posted a winning record 5 times in the decade.

23. Texas Rangers- The Rangers have been a mediocre team most of the decade, never losing more than 91 games in a season in the decade. They have only had 2 winning seasons and did not make the post-season at all this decade.

24. Millwaukee Brewers- The Brewers have been succesfull recently, but the earlier part of the decade they were awfull, posting their worst season in 2002 going 56-106. But in 2008 they made the playoffs for the first time since 1982 and the Franchise looks poised to be a contender in the next decade.

25. Tampa Bay Rays- I guess the name change from Devil Rays to Rays turned the franchise around (LOL). Up until 2008 they had never won more than 70 games in a season. They sure turned around fast going from having 10 straight losing seasons (from 98-07) to winning the AL Pennant. They were not as good in 09 but still had a winning record.

26. Cincinnati Reds- They started the decade off with a winning season, but have failed to have one since. While they have not been awfull they havent done much right either. There are some signs of hope for the next decade though.

27. Washington Nationals- Im including the Expos in this analysis. They have had 3 winning seasons, but they did not make the post-season at all in this decade. They had 2 consecutive 100 loss seasons to end the decade and they are still a while away for contention in the next decade.

28. Kansas City Royals- Although they have the worst record of the decade i still rate them higher than the other 2 because they haeg had a winning record as recently as 2003. The other 2 franchises are on record long losing streaks.

29. Baltimore Orioles- Their last winning record was in 97' and they have failed to win win more than 78 games in the decade. Their are signs of life and they have the potential to break out of thier drout in the next decade.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates- It is well known that the Pirates are on a streak of 17 consecutive losing seasons. This past decade they were especially bad winning more than 72 games only once (75 in 2003). They are in a complete rebuilding process and it may take a while to break that streak.
Posted on: December 31, 2009 5:49 pm
 

Cubs 2010 Lineup Is About Set

Well the Cubs filled their Center Field hole today with the signing of Marlon Byrd. Thus filling in the last piece for the Cubs every day lineup next year.

Projected 2010 Lineup

1. Ryan Theriot
2. Marlon Byrd
3. Derrek Lee
4. Aramis Ramirez
5. Alfonso Soriano
6. Kosuke Fukudome
7. Geovany Soto
8. Jeff Baker

While i am not thrilled with the Cubs decision to sign Marlon Byrd i realize that its probably the safest option. I had heard rumors of the Cubs trying to trade for Jacoby Ellsbury, Dexter Fowler, or Ryan Spilbroughs. I was hoping the Cubs would go that route just because as of now the team lacks speed at the top of the lineup. Another concern i had with signing Byrd is that the Cubs would be overpaying for a career year in a hitters ballpark (Arlington). But looking at the contract i think the Cubs got a good deal (3 years $15 mill). Based on the moves i have seen thus far in the offseason, i think the Cubs are trying to stay competitive and keep this core of players until the farm system develops. Help is on the way in the lower minors, so a few years of mediocrity might be worth it. All though i do think this Cubs team is being undervalued, there were high expectations last year and they failed to meet them, but this is still for the most part the same team that won 96 games in 2008. It is a solid core of veteran players who get along very well, the Cubs messed that up by bringing Bradley in, but Bradley has been replaced by Byrd who is the opposite. Byrd is a great club house pressence and he already knows Rudy Jarmillo. Lets take a look at each spot in the lineup.

1. Ryan Theriot - He has been the #2 hitter for some time, he changed his approach at the plate last year and was much more aggresive. It helped his power, but his contact declined, look for him to revert back to his patient approach if he is going to lead off. Theriot also has some speed, look for the steals to go up if he leads off.
2. Marlon Byrd - Had a career year last year, popping 20 HR, and driving in 89. Its doubtfull that he will post those numbers again, and if he hits in the 2 hole will be asked to be more patient. My guess is his average my rise closer to what it had been the 2 previous years in Texas (around .300) but his power to decline to around 10 HR.
3. Derrek Lee - Seems the wrist finally is healed, he regained his power that he had before his 06 injury popping 35 HR and driving in a career high 111 runs. He hit over .300 for the 3rd time in his Chicago career and should continue to put up solid contact and power numbers, but at 34 years old there is no where to go but down.
4. Aramis Ramirez - Suffered a seperated shoulder early in the season, but still managed to put up solid numbers. Hopefully injuires will not continue and turn him into another Eric Chavez. If he is healthy, he can put up a .300-25-100 stat line and is a great cleanup hitter.
5. Alfonso Soriano - He seems to always get forgoten when people are talking about the Cubs. His numbers did see a steep decline, and injuries have hurt him through out his Cubs career. But when he is on, he is one of the most dangerous hitters in the majors. Early on last year he was on fire, but his lack of patience killed him. I dont see how he could hit any worse, teaming up with Rudy Jarmillio should help him greatly.
6. Kosuke Fukudome - He can be an excellent hitter, but has fallen in the trend of starting hot and progresivly getting worse the rest of the season. He did improve from his rookie campaign though, his OBP jumped from .359 to .375, his slugging jumped from .379 to .421 and a move back to RF should benifit him. He could fit in the 2 hole if he can continue to keep a good OBP.
7. Geovany Soto - Had the epitome of a sophmore slump, hitting .218 and hitting only 11 HR, a steep decline from his rookie of the year campaign. After a horrible 2009 he has no where to go but up. Early in the season his swing was bad, but he seemed to correct it later on but an oblique injury prevented him from breaking out of his slump. Consider him an extreme break out canidate for 2010.
8. Jeff Baker - After not doing much in Colorado early in the season, he was traded to the Cubs and was outstanding. Hitting over .300 he earned himself the starting gig at second over struggling Mike Fontenot, his minor league numbers suggest he has more power than what he displayed last season (4 HR). His statistical potential makes me think of Todd Walker, an average to above average second baseman. He could also fit in the 2 hole, giving Pinella some versatility.
Category: MLB
Posted on: December 22, 2009 5:20 pm
 

The Rich Keep Getting Richer

Yet again the Yankees have made another move to continue their effort to create the best baseball team that has ever touched the earth. They aquired Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera and 2 good prospects. I wonder if the yankees managment watches the MLB Network, because just the other day they were talking about how the Yankees had succeded last year in the playoffs with a 3 man rotation and that they need to improve that. Now they have gotten anothter great arm that can help them in the postseason. The loss of prospects dosnt hurt the Yankees since they just but everything, and Melky was an average player anyways. The only questionable spot on that Yankees roster now is outfield depth/LF. I guess they are going to play Gardner in LF, although im wondering if they get someone else to play LF. But they are going to be hurting if Swisher, or Granderson gets hurt. But now they have one of the most dominant rotations in all of baseball, so i guess its okay. It had become obvious in recent days that the Yankees were going to aquire another pitcher, i had heard they inquired about Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs but they did not like what the Cubs asked for in return. Which is hard to argue with, Zambrano is still only 28, he has always had a ton of talent, and he is a firey leader. But i can not imagine the asking price for Z being more than Vazquez. Anyways the Yankees just added another All-Star to their roster that already includes the likes of Mark Teixera, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera, how many good players can they get. 
Posted on: December 9, 2009 9:36 pm
 

Brewers Making Moves

The Brewers made 2 pretty big moves today in aquiring lefty starter Randy Wolf and reliever LaTroy Hawkins today. They bolsterd an area that they had a huge need for, and should help them to contend in an interesting NL Central. I have always liked Randy Wolf, he may not be a great pitcher but he has always been effective. He is coming off of his second best season of his career concerning ERA. He seems to be fully healthy and can provide solid innings (214 last season). He will slot in as the number 2 rotation spot in Milwaukee and should prove the be a significant upgrade from Jeff Suppan. His numbers may go up because Miller Park is a little more hitter friendly, but he should still provide solid innings for the Brewers. He is probably more of a middle of the rotation fuy, but he might be okay as the Brewers number 2. They probably need another starter to really be able to contend, now that Harden is off the board (Texas Rangers) they could bring back Ben Sheets, or they could sign a Vicente Padilla which is probably more likely. The Brewers may have overpayed a little for Wolf but they should still be happy from what they get out of him.
The LaTroy Hawkins deal was the other big move the Brewers made today. He gives them a nice setup option to help out Trevor Hoffman. Also he provides insurrance in case Hoffman gets injured he could close if needed. The only thing i worry about with Hawkins is that he was just playing for a good contract last season. But even at his worst i still value Hawkins higher than most if not all of the Brewers current relievers. I like this move especially with the news that Mark DeFilice is going to be out for the season next year. Again like the rotation they need some more arms to make this a good bullpen, but this move will help them bridge that gap to the 9th inning. The Brewers are making some smart moves, and if they continue to improve their pitching they could win this division considering the offensive weapons they have.

Posted on: December 6, 2009 1:14 pm
 

Chone Figgins and the Mariners

As you may have heard the Seattle Mariners recently aquired Chone Figgins via free agency. At the end of the season i made a list of my top 10 free agents (i did not post it though) and Chone Figgins was number 2 on my list. I know that many people may disagree with me on that, but i think Figgins is more valuable than Jason Bay or John Lackey. He may not have the power needed for third base, but he plays exceptional defense, he gets on base, and is a good baserunner. Plus he is significantly cheaper than any of the other top 4 free agents. I am really begining to think that the Marniers may win the West this year, they improved last year by making some solid moves with limited payroll flexability. Now they have around $50 mill freed up, they just spent some on Figgins but if they can grab a pitcher and a power hitter they will be in good shape to contend for the AL West crown. Just take a look at their 2010 team thus far.

C- Rob Johnson
1B- Mike Carp
2B- Jose Lopez
SS- Jack Wilson
3B- Chone Figgins
LF- Michael Saunders
CF- Franklin Gutierrez
RF- Ichiro Suzuki
DH- Ken Griffey Jr.

Rotation
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Ryan Rowland Smith
3. Jason Vargas
4. Brandon Morrow
5. Ian Snell

CL- David Aardsma

Felix Hernandez has finally become an ace and can be depended on to carry a rotation, and the rest of the rotation has potential. But i think they neeed to add a reliable pitcher. I have heard they are interested in Harden, he could work although he is injury prone. John Lackey has been mentioned and that might almost be the best, but he will be expensive. I really am waiting for Ian Snell to bust out, he needs to limit the walks, but he was better in Seattle. Like I said, they are just missing that number 2 pitcher.

Offensivly they need to bring back Branyan as their cleanup hitter, and they need to upgrade at LF. I have heard Jason Bay thrown around, and that could be a good move, but again he is going to be expensive. I think Jason Bay is more realistic than John Lackey. My guess is that if they are going to get a pitcher it will be some one like Rich Harden, and if they are going to get a bat it will be someone like Jason Bay. But really their focus should be on bringing back Russell Branyan. They have the top of the lineup secure they just need to get that middle of the lineup figured out. The Mariners are starting to get back to winning and in a few years they should take the place of the Angels as the class of the division. Although i do not think the Angels will ever go away and the Rangers will always be in the mix, so this should make for a competitive couple of years in the AL West.
Posted on: December 5, 2009 2:03 pm
 

The Perfect Small Market Team (GM/Manager)

Well i have sat around for a while thinking about who is the best GM in baseball. I looked over trades and free agent signings and im not sure there is a #1 GM at everything. But i do think there are several GM's that do well in there market size. But for our small payroll, i think i will go with Billy Bean (Oakland Athletics). There are not many GM's who are better with a small market team. I realize the A's have not been great the past few years, but they always seem to have minor league talent. I also loved the move of aquiring matt holliday, then trading him at the deadline to peak his value and gain a better return then what they gave up. Bean just seems the obvious choice to run my small market team that im creating here. I know that he can make the right trades and free agent signings the keep my team competitive year in and year out. Now the next position i have to fill is my Manager. First i have to figure out is my team AL or NL, since im not as knowledgable about the AL i'll make my team an NL team. So now i have to think who is the manager who has the National League game figured out the most. I hate to say this because im a Cubs fan, but i think Tony La Russa (St. Louis Cardinals) is the best option. He always seems to get the most out of the least talent. That will wrap up todays team decisons with the hiring of Billy Bean as the GM and Tony La Russa as our Manager.
Posted on: November 21, 2009 8:02 pm
 

The Perfect Small Market Team

I was reading Ken Berger's article about assembling his perfect NBA team. Which gave me the idea to try and do something equally as challenging. Assemble the perfect small market team, with a Payroll of $70 mill, which would cover the 40 man rosters player salaries. I will also pick the best GM, Manager and bench coaches to go along with the team. Before i post my choice for G.M. i would like to hear who you think is the best and why, please post that below. Obviously Billy Beane is one of the GM's  i am considering, but i want to take a look at every GM in Major League Baseball and find the perfect one.
Posted on: November 9, 2009 6:21 pm
 

Trade Reviews/Previews

Well the offseason officialy started last week and it has already been very interesting. So far the most intriguing trade to me has been the J.J. Hardy for Carlos Gomez trade. On paper right now it seems like an even deal, but after looking over the numbers, i think the Twins will benefit the most from this trade. That;s not to say i dont think Gomez will contribute, or be a valuable player but J.J. Hardy will improve the Twins more than Gomez will the Brewers. Had Hardy not crashed offensivly his value would have been a lot higher, and he might not have even been traded. So basicaly the Twins bought low on a high potential, he plays exceptioanl defense, and if he can return to his 07-08 form, he could be a 20 HR threat at SS. The aquisiton of Gomez will allow the Brewers to let Mike Cameron go, and let them use what they would have paid him to improve their pitching, which is the biggest concern for them right now. When you look at the potential the Twins have on offense with Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer, and now Hardy they have a serious edge in the AL Central. I already talked about the Iwamura- Chavez deal which the more i look at i think the Rays got the edge for that one.  Iwamura is kind of expensive for his production, while the Rays aquired a cheap hard throwing reliever that is under team control for a while.

Rumor Discussion-

Talking about the Cubs for the offseason, GM Jim Hendry made it clear that they are going to move some pieces around this season and that they are going to go more towards trades than spending money on free agents although he said they might still sign some people. For me that is great news, because the Cubs seem to be better traders than buyers ( We like to overpay for players). Just think about it the heart and soul of our team (Aramis Ramirez, and Derrek Lee) were aquired via trade. What i like more is the fact that the players we have given up in trades never really pan out. Lets take a look at some Cubs trades from recent years.

Aquired                                                           Recieved

John Grabow, Tom Gorzelanny                            Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, Josh Harrison

Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin                                  Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson

Derrek Lee                                                        Hee Seop Choi

Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton                             Jose Hernandez, Matt Brubeck, Bobby Hill


Those are 4 of the most significant, recent trades made by GM Jim Hendry, all 4 of those trades were successes to an extent. But if you compare that to his free agent signings you will understand why i am glad he wants to do more trading.

Alfonso Soriano-  8 years  $136 mill

Kosuke Fukudome-  4 years  $48 mill

Milton Bradley-  3 years  #30 mill

These 3 contracts are really holding the Cubs back from being able to due much this offseason (although i dont know who they would get). Obviously the Bradley contract is the worst, Fukudome is getting way overpaid but he does contribute. Soriano has the potential to still live up to that contract, but im not suret the Cubs should have signed him so long he is going to be in his mid to late 30's before his contract expires. Now the Cubs have made some bad trades, and some good signings but overall Hendry is a better trader than a buyer. I will be interested to see who the Cubs go after, the only thing we no for sure is Bradley is going somewhere else. I have heard the Cubs are going to go after pitching, more likely relief and insurance for the rotation. I havnt heard a ton about offensive trades, im sure Brian Roberts rumors will pop up like they usually do this time of year. The Cubs seem like they are confident in Jeff Baker at second, so it seem like they are going to try and improve the outfield. I have heard some rumors about the Cubs going after Mike Cameron, Marlon Byrd, Jason Bay, and Matt Holliday although the latter two are less likely. Cameron would actualy be a good fit, he would provide great defense in the outfield which is something the Cubs have been lacking for many years and he hits for solid power. I am not as crazy about Byrd although he did play for Jaramillo and he played well last year. If the Cubs can bolster the pen, get rotation insurrance and get at least 1 outfielder to replace Bradley they could easily be in contention especially since the Cards most likely wont retain Holliday.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com