Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:54 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:23 pm
Cole Hamels signed a new contract Tuesday. Tim Lincecum didn't.
Hamels will get $15 million plus performance bonuses from the Phillies. Lincecum will exchange arbitration numbers with the Giants.
And none of that changes the big picture, because neither Hamels nor Lincecum has a new long-term contract yet.
As of now, Hamels is still eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. Lincecum is eligible after 2013.
And both can (and certainly will) continue to discuss long-term deals that will keep them off the market.
Hamels, who made $9.5 million in 2011, agreed to 2012 contract just before the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange contract figures with their teams. Lincecum will go through the arbitration process, although he and the Giants can continue to work on a deal while awaiting a hearing.
According to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, Hamels' new deal also would pay him $100,000 if he's named the Most Valuable Player, $250,000 if he wins the Cy Young Award, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 each for LCS MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger or an All-Star appearance.
Tuesday was a deadline day for some teams that have a policy of not continuing negotiations after arbitration numbers are exchanged.
Posted on: June 18, 2010 9:30 am
Lakers-Celtics is a rivalry.
Dodgers-Red Sox? Not exactly, but at least the presence of Manny Ramirez at Fenway Park makes you think that interleague play is worthwhile.
For three more days.
Do you realize that we've got another full week of interleague play coming? Another full week of Royals-Nationals, Rangers-Pirates and Mariners-Brewers.
It's not going away, not for another week and not for another few decades. Bud Selig is convinced that fans love every minute of it, and he'll cook up the numbers to prove it.
So what that at least three teams felt the need to stage bobblehead nights this weekend to boost interleague attendance?
Part of the problem is that the interleague schedule no longer makes any sense. When baseball began interleague play in 1997, the idea was that it would be division vs. division, with each team in a division playing basically the same schedule, and with opponents rotating year-to-year. Every six years, the theory went, you'd get to see each team from the other league twice, once at home and once away.
That system didn't last, and now teams seem to be drawn together at random. The Phillies went to Yankee Stadium for an interleague series last year, and went right back there this week. The Tigers and Diamondbacks seem to play every year.
This year, the Red Sox play four of their six interleague series against teams that were in the 2009 playoffs. The Rays play none of their six against playoff teams.
The system is broken.
To fix it, I'd build off a suggestion Ken Davidoff made this week in Newsday . Ken wants interleague play shortened to one week, with an NFL style schedule that would have first-place teams play first-place teams, second-place teams play second-place teams, and so on.
Good idea, but it's not realistic to eliminate the traditional-rivalry games (Yankees-Mets, Cubs-White Sox, Twins-Brewers, etc.), as Ken would do. These games still draw fans, they still draw interest, and they're still worth it.
So work out a plan that preserves those matchups (one series a season), and still gives us one week of interleague games under a system that makes sense.
And while you're working it out, here's this weekend's 3 to watch:
1. No, we haven't gone back on last week's vow to feature every Stephen Strasburg start. Not at all. In fact, when I got to Penn Station this morning, I almost got on the southbound Acela, headed towards White Sox at Nationals, Friday night (7:05 EDT) at Nationals Park . But even Strasburg III couldn't keep me away from Mannymania.
2. How do you know interleague play lasts too long? When both Fox TV and ESPN pass on a Subway Series, that's how. The funny thing is that this weekend's series in the Bronx feels worthwhile, now that the Mets are winning again (thanks in part to a kind interleague schedule that sent them to Baltimore and Cleveland, while their rivals were stuck playing powerhouse teams). And Mets at Yankees, Saturday afternoon (1:05 EDT) at Yankee Stadium , features a pair of young nine-game winners, in Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes.
3. For all the talk about how Manny is hated in Boston, when he left town on July 31, 2008, after the trade to the Dodgers, people came up to hug him at Logan Airport on his way out of town. They hate him, and they love him, and they'll likely do both again, in Dodgers at Red Sox, Saturday afternoon (4:10 EDT) at Fenway Park . Manny is 6-for-26 with eight strikeouts in his career against Tim Wakefield, but the last of those at-bats came 10 years ago.
Posted on: May 28, 2010 1:00 am
Edited on: May 28, 2010 1:03 am
NEW YORK -- First off, the answer is no.
No, this doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the Phillies. Not anything that matters.
But the second answer is yes.
Yes, it's shocking to see this team get shut out three straight games. And four times in five games. And, if not for those three otherwise meaningless ninth-inning runs (in an 8-3 loss) Sunday, five times in five games.
As of Friday, when the Phillies take the field in Florida, it will have been a full week since they last scored a run off a starting pitcher. A week since they scored a run that mattered.
No Ryan Howard home runs. No Chase Utley home runs. No Jayson Werth RBIs.
You'd be less stunned to hear that the Phillies scored in every inning of a three-game series. You'd be a lot less stunned if the Phillies threw three straight shutouts.
"Weird things happen," Cole Hamels said.
"We've hit some of the greatest pitchers in baseball," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're going to come out of it. When, I don't know."
Then he added, "Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear eats you."
And sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh, which is what Manuel did next.
"Panicking ain't going to do no good," he said.
You don't panic when you're still in first place. And it's still May. And you still have the best team in the National League.
"People will forget about it once we're at the top of the division at the end of the season," Hamels said. "Once we make our way to the playoffs, nobody's going to really remember it."
Oh, we'll remember.
We'll remember the next time a team gets shut out three straight games. We'll remember the next time a team goes an entire series without scoring a run.
We'll look back through the records, just as we looked back through them as Mike Pelfrey and the Mets bullpen were shutting out the Phillies in Thursday's 3-0 New York win.
We'll see the 2007 Dodgers and the 2007 Braves, the last two teams before this to go scoreless in back-to-back-to-back games. We'll see the 2004 Royals, the last team before this to go scoreless in back-to-back-to-back games in the same series.
We'll look back and see the 1992 Cubs and the 1985 Braves, the last two teams to get shut out in four straight games.
We'll see the 2004 Expos and the 1995 Tigers and the 1992 Mets and the 1991 Indians, and all the other woeful teams that were blanked three straight times.
Then we'll see the 2010 Phillies on the list, and we'll be every bit as stunned as we are now.
The 2010 Phillies? They were shut out three straight times?
How in the world did that happen?
Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear eats you.
Oh, and one more thing: The last team to get shut out three straight times and then make it to the World Series? The 1983 Phillies, of course.
Here's guessing that people were shocked at that, too.
Posted on: May 23, 2010 10:04 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2010 10:06 pm
Just before opening day, we told you that Cole Hamels was not only the most important player on the Phillies, but the most important in the entire National League.
With Hamels off to a 5-2 start and the Phillies in first place despite injuries that have hit their rotation, their lineup and most notably their bullpen, we may well have been right -- except for one thing. The way the Phillies look with Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup, Rollins is starting to look like the Phils' most important player.
Rollins' right calf injury has kept him out of 31 of the Phils' first 43 games. Their record when he plays: 9-3. Their record when he doesn't: 17-14.
Not only that, but after beating the Red Sox 5-1 on Friday night with Rollins in the lineup, the Phils put Rollins back on the disabled list Saturday. Sure enough, they nearly got no-hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday, and didn't score until the ninth inning of an 8-3 loss to Tim Wakefield and the Sox on Sunday.
So as the Phillies go to Citi Field this week, their ability to score runs without Rollins is every bit as interesting as Jerry Manuel's future with the Mets.
Speaking of which, this could be an interesting week for managers, with the Baltimore Sun already speculating that the Orioles could finally fire Dave Trembley.
On to this week's 3 to watch:
1. With Josh Beckett on the disabled list with back trouble, the Red Sox need Jon Lester even more than ever. Lester threw a complete game to beat the Twins the day Beckett went on the DL, improving to 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his last six starts. A bigger test comes in Red Sox at Rays, Tuesday (7:10 EDT) at Tropicana Field , when Lester faces the team that beat him 7-1 last month at Fenway Park.
2. The Yankees believe Javier Vazquez is getting things figured out. Or, at the very least, the Yankees hope that Vazquez is getting things figured out. We'll know more after Vazquez's next start, which for now is scheduled to be in Yankees at Twins, Thursday (8:10 EDT) at Target Field . One unanswered question is whether the bruised index finger that forced Vazquez out of his Friday night start against the Mets will affect him, or even keep him from starting. Another unanswered question: Will Jason Kubel's grand slam off Mariano Rivera last week at Yankee Stadium give the Twins any more confidence against a Yankee team that won all four games in Minnesota last year (three in the regular season, one in the playoffs).
3. The last time the Mets and Phillies met, the Mets could at least dream that they were ready to challenge the Phillies in the National League East. That's not really the case this time, not with R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi the scheduled Mets starters in the first two games of the series. But the Mets have a chance against anyone with Mike Pelfrey on the mound, and he's Hamels' scheduled opponent in Phillies at Mets, Thursday night (7:10 EDT) at Citi Field.
Posted on: April 30, 2010 10:30 am
Saturday is May 1, and that means Saturday is the first anniversary of Joe Mauer's 2009 debut with the Twins.
The first anniversary of the first day of an MVP season.
A year ago today, the two teams that would meet for the American League championship were 11-10 (Yankees) and 9-11 (Angels). The team that would win the National League wild card, the Rockies, was 8-12. The guy who would win the NL Rookie of the Year (Chris Coghlan) was still in the minor leagues, and the guy who would win the AL Rookie of the Year (Andrew Bailey) had yet to record the first of his 26 saves.
The point isn't that April is meaningless. But a great season doesn't depend on it.
Which is good news for Cliff Lee, Brad Lidge, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ian Kinsler and anyone else readying for a 2010 debut this weekend.
And good news for this weekend's 3 to watch:
1. Felix and Cliff. Cliff and Felix. That was supposed to be the 2010 Mariners, right? So maybe it fits that Lee's injury-delayed Mariner debut falls on Felix Hernandez bobblehead night, in Rangers at Mariners, tonight (10:10 EDT) at Safeco Field . The M's went 11-11 while Lee recovered from an abdominal strain, and in the crazy American League West, that was good enough to leave them just half a game out of first place. They're one game ahead of the last-place Rangers, who will be just as happy to see second baseman Ian Kinsler make his 2010 debut, after missing the first month of the season with an ankle problem.
2. The Phillies survived Lidge's terrible 2009 season, all the way up to the World Series, so it's no real surprise that they survived when he missed the first 21 games of this season while recovering from elbow and knee surgeries. But fill-in closer Ryan Madson converted only four of his six save opportunities and has a 7.00 ERA, so we'll believe manager Charlie Manuel when he says, "We can always use Lidge back." He returns tonight, although the game we want to see in this series is Mets at Phillies, Saturday afternoon (3:10 EDT) at Citizens Bank Park . That's Roy Halladay (4-1, 1.80) against Mike Pelfrey (4-0, 0.69, and 24 consecutive scoreless innings). Of course, with Halladay's history (51 career complete games, including two in his first five starts with the Phillies), Lidge may not be needed on Saturday.
3. What should we expect from Matsuzaka, who missed the first month of the season with a strained neck? We really don't have much of an idea, do we, which is what makes his 2010 debut, in Red Sox at Orioles, Saturday night (7:05 EDT) at Camden Yards compelling. At his best, Matsuzaka gives the Red Sox perhaps the best 1-5 rotation in baseball, along with Josh Beckett (who had a terrible April), Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz. At his worst -- well, last year Matsuzaka was 4-6 with a 5.76 ERA in just 12 starts.
Posted on: April 15, 2009 6:55 pm
"Right now, we have not made a decision," manager Jerry Manuel said.
The Mets have been concerned with the way Pelfrey has looked in his first two starts of the season. After Pelfrey gave up five runs in five innings Monday night against the Padres, the team sent him to have an MRI test. While the MRI showed no structural damage, doctors told Pelfrey he has inflammation that will have to be treated.
"We'll get this thing taken care of," said Pelfrey, who still hopes to make the Sunday start.
Pelfrey, who went 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA, was slotted in as the Mets' No. 2 starter, behind Johan Santana. Through two starts this season, he has an 8.10 ERA.
Manuel said if the Mets decide against pitching Pelfrey on Sunday, they'll call up a pitcher from the minor leagues to take his place.