Posted on: November 25, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:38 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.
For years, the Minnesota Twins were the model of how to build a consistent winner in a small market. From 2001-2010, the Twins appeared in the playoffs six times and recorded just one losing season. But the wheels fell off in 2011, with a mixture of bad fortune and bad pitching. The Twins have two former MVPs in their lineup, but it would be tough to find two former MVPs who did less in 2011 than Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Those two homegrown players were supposed to be cornerstones for the franchise, but their performance last season was more fitting a tombstone. The team's fortunes, for better or worse, will be tied to those two for the next few years.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Torii Hunter, RF
6. Jason Kubel, LF
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Danny Valencia, 2B
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
1. Matt Garza
2. Nick Blackburn
3. Kevin Slowey
4. Brian Duensing
5. Anthony Swarzak
Closer - Jesse Crain
Set up - LaTroy Hawkins, J.C. Romero, Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins, Grant Balfour, Peter Moylan
Notable Bench Players
A.J. Pierzynski, Ben Revere, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe.
With Ramos and Pierzynski on the roster, there's zero reason for Mauer to get anywhere near catching gear -- unless it's for another commercial. With Mauer freed of pitching duties, he can concentrate on first base and Justin Morneau doesn't have to worry about playing in the field. Even though Morneau is a very good defensive first baseman, keeping him off the field could keep him on the field. Last year he suffered concussion-like symptoms after merely diving for a ball. Limiting his risks for a recurrence of head injuries should be a top priority for the Twins, and the easiest way to do that solves the team's other big problem, getting the most out of their long-term deal with Mauer. While the Twins don't have anyone on this list with a large number of saves on their resume, there are a ton of good relievers.
It's a good thing the team has good relievers, because they're going to need them -- and even more than the seven listed above. The rotation, after Garza, is shaky. That rotation isn't going to get much help from its defense, either. The roster makeup requires several position shuffles, including Cuddyer to third, a position he's played, but is not too keen on playing. The Twins also have to put Nishioka at shortstop. Although he played there some in 2011, the team signed Jamey Carroll to play shortstop every day in 2012 for a reason.
Comparison to real 2011
Well, if you thought it couldn't get much worse in Minnesota than it did in 2011, it may with this lineup and rotation. Minnesota went 63-99 in 2011, and it probably breaks the 100-loss barrier with this squad, but don't expect them to be historically bad, so it'd probably only cost four-to-eight wins in my unscientific research. Either way, it's an ugly summer in Minneapolis.
Up next: Pittsburgh Pirates
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Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, AL Central, Anthony Swarzak, Ben Revere, Brian Duensing, C. Trent Rosecrans, Danny Valencia, Denard Span, Glen Perkins, Grant Balfour, homegrown, J.C. Romero, Jamey Carroll, Jason Kubel, Jesse Crain, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Kevin Slowey, LaTroy Hawkins, Luke Hughes, Matt Garza, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Blackburn, Pat Neshek, Peter Moylan, Torii Hunter, Trevor Plouffe, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins, Wilson Ramos
Posted on: September 27, 2011 10:43 am
By Evan Brunell
Ozzie: The dominant story Monday night and today is obviously Ozzie Guillen, who was released from his contract after Monday night's game.
It looks as if Guillen is headed to the Marlins to become their skipper, and that's just fine with outgoing manager Jack McKeon, who plans to retire (again) from managing. Guillen served under McKeon back in 2003, so the octogenarian has familiarity with the former White Sox infielder.
"I like Ozzie," McKeon told MLB.com. "I think he's a very, very intelligent manager. I think he was a very smart player. I think he'll do well. He's done well. I think he's a good man. I like him. He's a good baseball man."
McKeon continued, praising Guillen's ability to interact with players.
"I liked the way he was able to control the players, especially the Latin players," McKeon said. "He wasn't afraid to jump on them and encourage them, but also try to help him. He wasn't worried about being their friend. He'd tell it like it is. And that's Ozzie. That's what reminds me of another guy [Jack McKeon]. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."
In a separate story, the Chicago Tribune wonders whether Guillen moving to the Marlins could open up a Carlos Zambrano deal to Florida. Zambrano and Guillen are close friends, and the Marlins are looking to jack up payroll and raise fan interest heading into a new stadium and a new identity. It's certainly feasible -- the Marlins will have money to spend and a desire to upgrade the pitching.
Ripping Moneyball: Honestly, I'd rather not even waste time giving Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone publicity for this, but here goes: the two White Sox announcers ripped Moneyball despite not having read the book or seen the movie to CSNChicago.com. Credibility: out the window.
Hey, it's totally OK to rip things you disagree with. But to rip something with zero knowledge is ludicrous. (And no, being familiar with the "concept" of it or hearsay does not count.) Billy Beane isn't a perfect GM and he's made his share of mistakes, but that doesn't nullify the basic idea of Moneyball, which continues to be sadly unnoticed these days instead of the popular narrative of "Moneyball is about poor teams who love statistics and OBP and hate everything else!" Why are we still doing this in this day and age?
Oh, and according to Harrelson, playing like a kid is way better than putting up good statistics.
"You take Mark Buehrle, he has never lost his childlike qualities. That’s one reason he can go out there and throw an 86 miles-per-hour fastball and still compete and win."
Uh-huh. Or maybe Buerhle is really good at commanding the ball and inducing weak contact.
Ted Williams movie? Could a movie be made about Ted Williams? Given the wealth of content of the Hall of Famer's life, a movie about Williams would be entertaining. John Underwood, who was a friend of Williams and wrote for years at Sports Illustrated, is developing a treatment he hopes can turn into something. With the success of Moneyball at the box office and Broadway wrapping up a play about Vince Lombardi, the time might be right. (Washington Times)
No charges: Juan Carlos Oviedo, a.k.a. Leo Nunez, will not face charges in the Dominican Republic for falsifying his identity. Given Oviedo came forward with the admission and cooperated with officials, he is getting a free pass. Only time will tell, though, if MLB will allow Oviedo back for 2012. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Moved: Phil Hughes admits he isn't pleased with pitching out of the bullpen for the Yankees. The righty has struggled through a difficult year for the Yankees, with a recent back issue prompting the move to the 'pen. Even if Hughes would understandably prefer to start and although it depletes the Yanks' thin rotation, Hughes has a chance to make a major impact in the bullpen in October. In 2009, he was a lockdown reliever setting up Mariano Rivera. (MLB.com)
Signed: Omar Infante has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Marlins, worth $8 million. In his first year with the Marlins after coming over from Atlanta in the Dan Uggla deal, he hit .279/.317/.385 in 574 plate appearances. (MLB.com)
Returning: The Reds want to bring closer Francisco Cordero back, and he's pleased to hear that. There is a $12 million option on the closer's remaining deal, and it's not clear whether or not Cincy will pick the option up. A return for Cordero isn't surprising following a solid season in which he notched 35 saves. (MLB.com)
Back to Washington: If Jonny Gomes has his way, he'll be back with the Nationals after coming over from Cincinnati in a trade. Gomes hasn't quite impressed, but could be a strong bat off the bench for Washington next season. Gomes for his part says he would probably accept arbitration if the Nats offered it and believes the team will be "friggin' good." (Washington Post)
Where's Coco? Coco Crisp wouldn't mind returning to the Athletics, but Oakland's free-agent machinations will depend on the outcome of the A's prospects of building a new stadium in San Jose. The A's will have competition if they want to bring Crisp back -- two sources say that San Francisco is expected to make a run at Crisp. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Looking ahead: Joe Mauer can't wait to put 2011 behind him, as the year represented a disappointment for both the club and Mauer, struggling with injuries and poor play. "You always want to do well when you put the uniform on," Mauer told MLB.com. "For me, my biggest goal is just to come back and be healthy. It's been a frustrating year. I haven't been healthy. Hopefully, we can do that as a whole. I'm talking about myself, but this whole room, we've kind of got the same thing going [with injuries]. My No. 1 goal is to just get healthy and just get ready for next year."
Lost season: Peter Moylan, a reliever for the Braves, missed months with a back injury. Finally back, Moylan got lousy news once more as he'll need surgery for a torn rotator cuff and labrum, which will be his third major surgery in four years. Moylan will miss about six months worth of time, so may not be ready for Opening Day. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Athletics, Braves, Coco Crisp, Evan Brunell, Francisco Cordero, Hawk Harrelson, Jack McKeon, Joe Mauer, Jonny Gomes, Juan Carlos Oviedo, Leo Nunez, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, MLB Rumors, Moneyball, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, Omar Infante, Ozzie Guillen, Pepper, Peter Moylan, Phil Hughes, Red Sox, Reds, Steve Stone, Ted Williams, Twins, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: June 27, 2010 3:17 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:49 am
In what is becoming a trend, an umpire admitted to Tigers manager Jim Leyland that he missed a call.
Earlier this year it cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game, Saturday it may have cost the Tigers a victory. Leyland called Gary Cederstrom following Saturday's game-ending called third strike on a full count with bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a one-run game.
Replays showed Peter Moylan's pitch to Johnny Damon was well wide of the strike zone.
Leyland talked to reporters before Sunday's game with the Braves and according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News said: "You can't complain about yesterday's breakfast. But I called him after the game and I just said, 'I hope you take a look at the pitch.' He said, 'Well, I kicked it.' I knew that when it happened but watching the replay on television, it was brutal. It's not acceptable, especially in that situation. It's just not acceptable."
Following Saturday's game, Cederstrom told a pool reporter from the Detroit Free Press that he knew he missed the call immediately.
"It was a sweeping pitch, going away from Damon," Cederstrom said. "It looked good coming in, then broke late."
The umpire added: "My timing was fast. Whenever you have fast timing as an umpire, you usually get in trouble."
UPDATE: Leyland was ejected in the fourth inning of Sunday's game for arguing a call at first base. Umpire Fieldin Culbreth called out Justin Verlander at first to complete a double play and Leyland went out to argue the call and was ejected. Cederstrom was at third base and stepped between Leyland and Culbreth before walking back to the dugout with Leyland and Leyland seemed to be giving Cederstrom a piece of his mind, as well.
Replays seemed to show that, once again, the umpires missed a call against the Tigers -- atlhtough, of the three, this one was the closest.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: June 10, 2010 12:34 am
Edited on: June 10, 2010 1:34 am
Simple physics -- Jason Heyward is 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Nate McLouth is 5-11, 180-pounds, when they collide someone's going to be hurt and it's no surprise which player left the game.
The ball bounced away from McLouth and to the wall and Gerardo Parra raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, giving the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning.
It was the first home run Peter Moylan had given up since opening day of 2008, a streak of 123 games. Moylan didn't allow a home run in 88 appearances last season.
UPDATE: McLouth has a headache and will be evaluated throughout the night, MLB.com's Mark Bowman Tweets. McLouth was seen by doctors before the Diamondbacks finished up the 2-1 victory.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.