Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Nationals
Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:26 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Survivor's Guide

The World Series begins tonight in St Louis where the weather will be 47 degrees at game time with winds at 16 out of the NW.  There is also a 40% chance of rain.  You would have to go all the way back to 1984 to find the last World Series game played outdoors in the sun.  They were games 4 & 5 (Sat. & Sun.) at Tigers Stadium. 
I have prepared a check list for those of you who may have tickets and plan on going to the game.


2 World Series tickets, check.  Bernard will love going to his first game.

Heavy Down Parka, check.

Ski mask, check.

Ski Gloves, check.

Hand Warmers, check

Mets  Blue snuggie in a snuggie., check. 

Brandy Cask for St.Bernard, check

 

The game will be televised by FOX.    Yogi’s advice, scalp the tickets. 

 

 

This check list and advice is not brought to you by the Commissioners office.  If you look carefully you will be able to spot Allan Huber Selig in the heated owners box. 

Posted on: September 12, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Absolutely Clueless

No one should have been surprised that the worst Commissioner in the history of baseball made another bad decision yesterday on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country.  The two cities that bore the brunt of those attacks New York and Washington DC were told by MLB not to wear the caps of the first responders for the Mets or the Navy Seals for the Nationals.  Joe Torre, formerly the Yankees manager in 2001 was the messenger, but there can be no doubt that the author of that edict was Allan Huber Selig. 

What profit would baseball garner by having the nation watch a game with the players wearing the unauthorized caps of the NYPD, the FDNY, the Port Authority of NY ?  None. This on Selig’s watch is unacceptable.

Selig as owner of the Brewers with help of the gang of 6 forced Fay Vincent, the last independent Commissioner, out and assumed the role of acting commissioner himself.  For the next six years Selig wore two hats, baseball owner and commissioner until in 1998 baseball confirmed him as commissioner and he turned the Brewers over to his daughter and son-in-law.  Six years after that the Brewers were sold and Selig’s son-in-law Laurel Prieb was hired as an executive by MLB.  In the 35 years that Selig and family owned the Brewers they made the playoffs twice and in the final twelve years finished under .500 every year.  An argument could be made either way as to whether Selig was as bad a commissioner as he was a baseball executive.  Both sides would be right.

September eleventh resonates with  everyone.  But for some the scars are still visible in the unfinished resurrection of the fallen World Trade Center, in the tears of loved one left behind and in the children.  The NY Mets wore the caps of the first responders in the first game after 9/11/01 against the Braves at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21/ 2001.

On September 11, 2001, 3,051 innocent people died at the hands of Osama bin Laden and his death squad.  403 of them were first responders who died trying to save lives.  184 died in a field in Shanksville, PA., the final resting place of Flight 93, where the final words were “Lets Roll”.  The courage and patriotism on that plane destined to hit the Capital Building can never be surpassed.  I think of that day and I get a knot in my chest, and Selig sees dollar signs.  Not only the worst commissioner, but a soulless commissioner.

Posted on: August 13, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:45 pm
 

The NY Mets and Tomorrow

I thought that this might be entertaining.  Some players need no further comment as to their placement, with others I offer my opinion.  All the players that have made the big club this season and their status, as I see it, for 2012.

 

KEEPERS

Johan Santana, Not going anywhere with his contract and unknown status.

Jason Bay, Contract and he hasn’t played up to it.

David Wright Still has a reasonable contract and club control.  He is, even with the offensive fall off an upper echelon third baseman and has age on his side.

Jose Reyes, Extraordinary ability when healthy and one of the top players in the game at those times.  What looked like a 140 million dollar, 7 year deal has likely dialed down into a 5-6 year 90-100 M contract.  The Mets have to do what it takes and that may mean going beyond their comfort zone to ink Reyes.  The NL East is the toughest division in the NL and arguably in baseball.  The two teams in front of us have a balance of excellent pitching and hitting, with the Braves also adding quality young players like Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.  The Nationals will become that constant threat sooner than later with Stephen Strasburg on the mend and Bryce Harper working his way up, add in others like Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Jordan Zimmermann, rookie 2nd baseman Espinosa and Michael Morse.  As reprehensible as I consider Jeff Loria the Marlins periodically put together unsustainable winners.  With their pitching and a new stadium opening next season, they could be willing to spend some to produce a winner.

Reyes’ ability to drive this team and to draw fans is financially why the Wilpons will sign him.

Daniel Murphy, baseballs Philip Nolan.  There is an account of Murphy being asked by a journalist as to what was his position? Murphy responded “I hit third”.  Murphy is currently hitting .320 and fourth in the NL but will fall short of being listed among league leaders as he doesn’t have enough PAs.  Not long ago I suggested that Murphy be groomed as a catcher.  Jade reminded me of the hits on both knees and common sense filled in the rest of the blanks on what was wishful thinking.  Murphy has been in a learning curve going back to PSL 2009 when he was the new LF’r.  He will be 27 at the start of next season and perhaps revisiting the OF would be a wise move.  As the line up card would look next year Murphy would be on the bench.  The ability to play an adequate OF added to his resume of his more than adequate play at 1st  and 3rd, and his ability to play 2nd<sup> </sup> enhance his opportunities to do what he does best, step in to the batters box.  Murphy is not a free agent until 2015, but I can imagine the number of phone calls that Alderson will get over the next 3 years from all 29 other teams that will include the name Daniel Murphy.

Josh Thole is included as a keeper more of by way of backing into it as opposed to earning it.  Thole has not shown much improvement in his game offensively or defensively.  Essentially he is here because options are poor or expensive and he is young and inexpensive.

Ike Davis, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Justin Turner, Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell.

Mike Pelfrey, probably next to Reyes there has been more words written on this board about Pelfrey than the next two players.  Pelfrey is a keeper because he will be a reasonable 5-5.5 M.  There are no better options.  He will give us 200 innings.  Slotted middle- back in the rotation he will possibly find a psychological comfort zone and exceed expectations.

 

ON THE BUBBLE

R.A. Dickey, despite turning 37 I think that the Mets will make an effort to resign Dickey in the off season, but may have to contend with other clubs.  The 5-11 record belies the 3.75 ERA and 1.28 whip.

Angel Pagan, The Pagan of 2010 was a sure handed player that was offensively having his best season, the criticisms regarding his instincts and focus were forgotten and he became a fan favorite.  This year is raising doubts that last year was an indicater that Pagan had taken the step up to full time player.  His errors are next to worse in the league and his offensive game has regressed.  Pagan is 30 and is arbitration eligible, at 3.5 M this year he would likely ask for and get an increase of 4.5 to 5 M.  The Mets have to question if he is still a starting CF or would they be offering arbitration to a 4th OF’r.  The free agent market doesn’t present great options either.

Ronny Paulino will be 31 early next season, he is still arbitration eligible for 2012 and coming off a 1.3 M contract could be a solid candidate for an offer from the Mets.

LIMBO

Ruben Tejada is either going to be on the bench or will continue with Buffalo

Lucas Duda also has a chance to make the club in a bench role.

Nick Evans returns to Buffalo as does Mike Nickeas

GONE

Tim Brydek, Jason Isringhausen, DJ Carrasco, Ryota Igarashi, Manny Acosta, Mike O’Connor.  Some may be offered minor league contracts. 

Willie Harris

Scott Hairston                                                                                                                   

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 18, 2011 8:37 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:51 pm
 

Getting it all Wrong

Not able to fix the problems that plague baseball such as lack of a salary cap, suspected use of HGH, the slippage of baseball’s standing amongst other sports, the DH, and the over exposure of inter-league that has limited the more critical intra-league component, Allan Huber Selig has taken it upon himself to create a new twist that should never see the light of day.

Under pressure from the owners of teams in the NL Central Major League Baseball is looking at a two league 15 team format which would advance three teams each into the playoffs and have the fourth and fifth place teams play a post season series for the wildcard. 
  The NL Central is the only 6 team division in baseball, hence making the competition for the playoffs more difficult.  This can be traced back to 1998, when baseball’s AL and NL were both 14 team 3 division leagues. 1998 is when baseball expanded once again adding the Devil Rays to the AL and the Diamondbacks to the NL, realizing that 15 team leagues wouldn’t work Selig had his former franchise the Brewers moved from the AL to the NL creating a six team division.  Now in the chase for the last dollar MLB wants a fifth playoff team from both the AL and NL, hence formats that will give us inter-league play from day one until day last. There are two other configurations possible assuming that Selig wants to pursue fixing that which wasn’t that badly broken.  Contract two teams and return to the 1997 balance of that day and as long as we traveled back to 1997 delete inter-league all together or limit it to one 4 game series per year between geographical or historical rivalries.  I confess that I don’t know whether the concept of contraction falls under the CBA or not, if it does the Players Assoc. will never agree to the loss of jobs.  For the sake of this discussion, it does not.  My parameters for contraction would be attendance and I would grandfather all teams that made up the Major Leagues prior to the 1961 expansion which added the Angels and the Senators which replaced the team that became the Twins and later moved from Washington to Texas and became the Rangers.  Safe among low attendance teams (2008-date) would be the Athletics, Indians, Orioles, and Pirates.   The first contraction team should be the Marlins who have never received fan support and have finished last in attendance in two of the last three years and are currently last as we speak.  The problem, the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County are on the hook for 500 M on the 634 M dollar stadium.  Jeff Loria, team owner, and David Samson (son-in-law) team president have threatened to move the team repeatedly and have claimed poverty despite a 38 M operating profit in 2008.  Miami Mayor Carlos Alverez who engineered the stadium deal was later voted out of office 88%-12%.  The next expansion team that consistently appeared on the list low attendance is the Kansas City Royals, followed by the Blue Jays.  Should the Marlins get a pass and avoid contraction?  I would vote no, but with Selig’s finger prints all over the purchase of the Marlins by Loria they would be safe.   When 2002 dawned, John Henry owned the Marlins having bought the team from Wayne Huizenga.  The Boston Red Sox were on the market and Jeff Loria was unhappy in Montreal.  Selig brokered a deal in which MLB bought the Expos for 120 M, Loria bought the Marlins for 160 M and John Henry bought the Red Sox from the Tom Yawkey Estate.  The Expos ultimately moved to Washington and were bought from MLB in 2006 by Ted Lerner.

Another option would be another round of expansion adding two more teams to the mix and creating two 16 team leagues with four 4 team divisions.  Based on the 2010 census there are eleven population centers that are larger than 9 current major league teams including Atlanta, Minneapolis, St Louis, and Cincinnati.  San Antonio, Indianapolis, Austin,TX, Charlotte N.C., and Memphis are all top 20 cities.  Others include Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and Albuquerque NM.  Whether it is contraction or expansion both would save baseball from first to last inter-league and from the continued meddling of Allan Huber Selig, baseballs worst commissioner beyond question.

Posted on: June 10, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:00 pm
 

A Common Denominator

What do David Wright, JasonBay, Ryan Church and Justin Morneau all have in common?  All suffered concussions in recent years and all have experienced a drop in performance. 

Church was the first of the four when he slide into the knee of the second baseman on May 20<sup>th</sup> 2008, he PH in a game two days later and then flew with the team to face the Rockies. At that time he was hitting .315 (.383 OBP) with 9 HRs and 32 RBIs in 162 ABs.  He had also struck out 39 times.  Church went on the DL June 5<sup>th</sup>, was activated on June 29<sup>th</sup>, returned to the DL July 6<sup>th</sup>, and returned on Aug. 22<sup>nd</sup>.  Through the end of the 2008 season he hit .219 (.305 OBP) with 2 HRs and 13 RBIs.  The 114 ABs resulted in 33 strikeouts.  Thru 2009-2010 Church never regained his HR ability and the K/AB remained higher than pre-concussion.

David Wright was hit by a pitch on Aug 15<sup>th</sup> 2009.  At the time he was hitting .324 (.414) with 8 HRs and 55 RBIs.  In the 426 ABs to that point in had struckout 105 times.  He returned from the DL on Sept. 1<sup>st</sup> and hit .239 (.289) with 2 HRs and 17 RBIs in the final month.  He K’d 35 times in 109 ABs.  Obviously Wright is not the same player he was in 2008, it is reasonable to point to the impact of Citifield and the aftermath of the concussion.

Both Justin Morneau and JasonBay sustained their concussions last July, Morneau early in the month in a play similar to Ryan Church when he was hit in the head by the fielder’s knee.  At the time of the season ending injury the 2006 MVP was hitting .345 with a .437 OBP; he had 18 HRs and 56 RBIs in 296 ABs.  Today he is hitting .225; the OBP is .281 with 4 HRs and 21 RBIs in 213 ABs. 

Two weeks later Bay ran into the gate at Dodger Stadium while taking an extra base hit away, this occurred in the 2<sup>nd</sup> inning but Bay completed the game.  His injury was also season ending and came at a time he was hitting .262 (.347) with 6 HRs and 47 RBIs.  While Bay was underperforming he had not raised a red flag among the Mets fans who had a full plate with the Castillo and Perez issues, the early success by the Mets and then the disastrous west coast trip following the AS break.  Mike Pelfrey’s 9-1 start followed by his July slump and of course the continued fans focus on the GM and Manager.  I believe that it was also thought that Bay was just starting slow and would eventually snap out of it.  He hasn’t hitting .207 (307) with just 2 HRs and 10 RBIs and a higher incident of strikeouts.

It would seem that sports medicine and neurological testing are still in the infancy of understanding the impact of concussions, the evidence is there from the incident of Alzheimer’s in football players, the diminished speech function of Muhammad Ali to the instituting a mandatory 7 day DL by  MLB for a player having a concussion.  Athletes in a wide spectrum of venues are all at risk.
  Maybe with Wright and Bay we have been looking in the wrong places for an answer to fix their problems, maybe the answer is… you can’t fix it.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:01 pm
 

A Giant has left us

If you are reading this blog and are not from the NY metro area you may not know the name Bill Gallo.  He was the iconic sports cartoonist from the NY Daily News for over 50 years, he passed away on 5/10/11.  Outside of an interruption in his newspaper career called WWII when he was a Marine who saw combat action in some of the bloodiest battles of WWII including Iwo Jima, his career spanned 70 years. 

My love affair with Bill Gallo began more than 50 years ago when I was twelve.  I got a job at a ‘candy store’ in Hempstead, NY, my job was to insert all the sections of the Sunday papers to make the final package.  Some sections arrived on Thursday, others on Saturday and the main and sports sections on Sunday morning….early Sunday morning.  In those days Hempstead was the primary shopping center for a large portion of Nassau Cnty. And there were only two stores that carried the papers.  What that meant was a lot of newspapers to insert, and a lot of choices The New York Times, the NY Daily News, The World-Telegraph & Sun, The NY Post, NY Mirror, the Herald Tribune, and The Journal American.  When my week was finished, a cumulative 10-12 hrs, I was paid my 5 dollars (minus 15 cents SS) picked up the Journal American for my father and a Daily News for myself and walked back home. 

Bill Gallo’s cartoons always brought a smile to my face and they weren’t just baseball, he drew it all, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer, if they did on a field, in an arena, or on the court Gallo captured them.  Bill Gallo poked fun at George Steinbrenner with his Prussian General Von Steingrabber.  George loved him for it. He created Yuchie, the eternal boy in all of us that was always carrying his glove.  28 of his illustrations hang inCooperstown.

I still read the NY Daily News every morning, and I have found it in Denver, San Antonio, the Great LakesTraining Center, Virgina, the Poconos, Boston and our Naval Base in Cuba‘Gitmo’.  If you don’t know his work, Google Bill Gallo, a small representation of his 15,000 illustrations are shown.

RIP Mr. Gallo

Posted on: January 16, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 1:11 pm
 

Mutually Inclusive ?

How much is payroll a factor in making the playoffs in baseball.  You could focus on the Yankees who outspend every other team in baseball and by a ratio that can be 5-1.

For this entry, I went back nine years to 2003 which was the first year of the ‘Luxury Tax’.  The Luxury Tax is relevant to the topic as it is a threshold agreed upon by the players union and MLB as a point where those teams that spent over that threshold would pay a tax to the MLB (for the development of baseball and player benefits).  I looked for the number of teams in the top ten payrolls of each season that made the playoffs, and made the World Series.  In each season the spread from the NYY (#1) to the tenth team was an average of 2.1-1 an indication that even the tenth highest payroll was already at a major disadvantage.

In the nine seasons there were a combined total of seventy two playoff positions available,  Thirty eight (53%) of these went to teams in the top ten in payroll in those given years.   Of the teams that landed in the World Series in those nine years only six of the eighteen (373.3%) were teams in the top ten payroll bracket.  2009 was the only year that both World Series teams, the Phillies and the Yankees were top ten teams.   

Big spending teams tend to remain big spenders, the Yankees, Mets Red Sox, and Cubs are on the list for all nine years.  The Angels have made it eight times. 

Returning to the Luxury Tax, only four teams during the nine year history of this version of the tax have crossed that line in the sand, the Yankees every year, the Red Sox twice, Angels, and Tigers.   Of the eightAL components of the fall classic 50%, the Yankees and Red Sox twice each have gone to the World Series and then wrote a check to the MLB to pay the tax.  However going to the World Series is not the goal for the Yankees, winning it is.  In the past 12 years 2001- the Yankees have won one championship and have spent more than 2.5 Billion in payroll to do so.  That one championship was won in 2009 after the addition of Marl Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and 424 Million to the payroll.

A large payroll seems to give a team a better than even money chance to make the playoffs and a decent chance to reach the World Series.   Each of the other major sports in theUnited States, the NFL, NBA, and the NHL have a salary cap and equally important a salary floor.  MLB has a new CBA and while they don’t have and no one should have expected a salary cap there were some changes to the Luxury Tax.  The Red Sox who paid the tax at a percentage of 30% on salary over the 178 M threshold will move to the 40 % level while the Yankees will be taxed at 42.5 %.  The new CBA will allow a team that falls below the threshold (189 M in 2014) to reset its tax rate at 17.5 percent and also recover some of its revenue sharing cost.   For the Yankees with a 2011 payroll of 213 M and no relief insight that may not happen for many years.  The Red Sox who paid a tax of 3.4 M are far closer.  Their 2011 salary was 189 M and with the loss of Jonathan Papelbon and David Ortiz accepting arbitration may edge them close to the threshold.  Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeny obtained in a trade with the A’s will add less than 2 M to the 2012 payroll.   

 

Posted on: December 22, 2010 3:52 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:05 pm
 

From Bad to Worse

At the close of the General Manager meeting in Orlando last month Allan Huber (Bud) Selig offered up to the press his desire to add another wildcard and another round to the playoffs.  The response from the GM’s was favorable, but not for a one game playoff.  Selig did not expect that such a change would be in place until 2012.

Bud Selig is in a damage control mode as his time as Commissioner draws to a close.  He is widely thought of as the author of the ill will between the MLBPA and ownership, reverting back to the 280 M dollar payment by baseball to the players as the result of a court finding ownership guilty of collusion.

  He was acting Commissioner when baseball shut down in 1994 cancelling the World Series.  He was Commissioner when the steroid era flourished putting the records of a century of baseball in conflict.  He was the Commissioner when the All-Star game was played to a tie.  He was the Commissioner when the post season was first played in the month of November.

Selig has been a controversial figure; he has pumped more money into baseball than perhaps every Commissioner before him.  Certainly baseball owners have made money, although some will plead poverty as they cut salary on teams whose worth has escalated far beyond ownerships wildest dreams.  Players chase contracts that exceed 20 million dollars in some cases.  Virtually every player has an agent, negotiating those contracts and taking a percentage. .  Colleges today offer courses in ‘Sports Representation’.  The Media led by the alphabet soup of ESPN, MLB, in addition to the over the air FOX, ABC, etc. are paying huge premiums for the best packages.  A certain indicator they must be ekeing out a living. 

It would appear that ‘Bud has met every ones needs except for the fans.

Selig’s desire to repair his legacy will cost baseball in some unseen fashion as he negotiates the addition of another layer of playoffs.  In this arena, despite the benefits the Players Assoc. members have garnered under his appointment, Selig has been raw meat in a tiger’s cage.   The likely cost will be exposing fans to inclement weather even further in November than we have already visited. 

It wasn’t so very long ago that the World Series was played and over before mid-October.  Those were games that if you were attending you probably brought sunglasses.   You might have heard the voice of Mel Allen in any number of years telling you it was a beautiful day for a game.  Maybe it was Ernie Harwell or Jack Buck describing the shirt sleeve crowd.   If you go back far enough it might have been Russ Hodges or Red Barber setting the scene for a mid ‘50s’ Giants or Dodgers world Series.   Just maybe it was Bob Murphy, Lindsey Nelson or Ralph Kiner from Shea Stadium in 1969.  Every game played without lights, without an overcoat, without scarves, mittens, or hand warmers.   We know that New York and Philadelphia are cold at 8:30 pm in Nov., In years to come we will find out about Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and maybe even Pittsburgh. 

No Commissioner has done so much to disenfranchise the fans than Allan Huber Selig. 

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