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Baseball Told the Right WayIn-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!
2009 Season almost here
Well another year is upon us and there have been a ton of changes. What I have learned once again is:
I guess we will see what the next few weeks brings us.
The Little Things Count Too
Great article by Eric Neel (one of the few bright spots of ESPN) about the art of the pickoff move. An excerpt:
It's one of the real under-appreciated dramas in baseball. Each guy is lying about himself and trying to read the other, and the conclusion, whether it's a pickoff or a steal, comes with a sweet, stinging "gotcha" punch right in the gut. Think about the successful pickoffs you've seen at the ballpark; they're not just outs, they're exercises in shame and humiliation. Guys head back to the dugout with their heads down and taunts from the crowd ringing in their ears. Hits are common, strikeouts are cheap, but a pickoff is something to see.
I couldn't agree more. There is probablly nothing more embarrassing in sport. Its right up there with letting a ground ball through your legs or airballing a free thow. Considering the frequency with which the other two occur, I'd say getting picked off is as embarrassing as doing any of the others without any pants on.
Its also a lost art in Major League Baseball. The article mentions only Brian Anderson, Terry Mulholland, Kenny Rogers, Mark Buehrle, and Andy Pettitte (all lefties). There isn't really anybody else that can pick people off, and mostly these guys get by on reputation alone. I'm sure if someone (not me thank you very much) could find the average number of steal attempts off a pitcher, the numbers for these guys would be a tiny fraction of that. Even if one found the average number of steal attempts only off of lefties, these guys wouldn't even be close. You'd have to separate out the catchers effect (a lefty with Mike Piazza catching has no chance), but there is real, tangible value in not allowing baserunners to even think about stealing.
And besides the measurable effect of nobody stealing bases with a certain pitcher on the mound, think about the unmeasurable effect of having guys start with a two foot lead. And think about how many times when a good lefty is on the mound, the runner at first takes a step back to first instead of getting a secondary lead as the pitch is thrown. Do you think that runner is going first to third on a single?
There are so many little things in baseball, so many underapreciated nuances that so many big name players ignore. Baserunning, defensive positioning, duking baserunners on balls in the gap, trash talk, the lost art of stealing signs. In these days, with the rise of statistical analysis, where more and more baseball is measurable, it sure seems that the small unmeasurable things are getting forgoteen more and more often.
Go ahead and Email Curt to tell him that Jose Canseco letting a ball bounce off his head for a home run was WAY more embarrassing.
So Its Been Awhile!
Well a ton has happened in the baseball world since I last posted. The Cubs landed Fukudome...Clemans took roids...Rockies made the Series...So whats next...
Well tomorrow is the hall of fame voting and I want to take a second and plug Andre Dawson for playing the game the right way. He had more knee surgeries than I have ever seen and was always productive. Heres to you Hawk!
The Cubs are going to be sold and I hope that Mark Cuban gets a chance to but that team. He would be perfect for what the cubs are. I wanna hear the cubs up there with the Yankees and Red Sox when every free agent is available.
Lets see what happens
Check out this guy on the radio...
Ed Bosco is the man with the plan!!!
Why not Pie?
The Cubs are in search of a true centerfielder. Why not a home-grown talent? Felix Pie has been their most prized prospect since Mark Prior. He is a great five-tool talent who excelled at every level. If the Cubs fail to sign Kenny Lofton, a chicago favorite, Pie should be the answer.
Lofton is said to be close to signing with the Rangers to replace Gary Matthews Jr., another former Cub. Lofton sparked the 03' varsion of the Cubs to a second half surge and a well-storied trip to the playoffs.
So I am watching the news and a big topic is the Cubs expanding 1,800 seats in the bleachers. That really isn't a problem with me. The problem that I came across is the $60 dollar ticket price for premium bleacher seats. Part of the fun of getting bleacher seats is it is first come first serve. It sounds like the front few rows are now off limits. Either way, limiting your choices in the bleachers at Wrigley is a step in the wrong direction. Also, The Cubs are $30 million under their so-called "budget" and only one player is out there worth signing, Jeff Weaver. Problem is they went the cheap route in hopes that Wade Miller and Kerry Wood can equal 17 wins or so. I am sorry to say but Jim Hendery has totally taken a backseat to Kenny Williams. The latest rumor is Bobby Abreau for Jermaine Dye. If that happens, The White Sox are gonna be harder to beat than ever. I guess we'll just have to see what happens.
Things I thought were interesting...
Rick Ankiel has a good shot at making the Cards opening day roster as a hitter. He belted 21 homers in the minors last season.
Kevin Appier is competing for a spot with the Mariners.
Andy Marte has been traded two times in seven weeks.
The Padres only have one player under 30 in their everyday lineup (Kahlil Greene).
Felix Diaz, formally a big White Sox prospect, is going to play in Japan.
Bobby Abreau may be traded to the south siders for Jermaine Dye.
David Kelton was not offered a contract by the Cubs and has caught on with another club.
The Devil Rays are still hoping that Josh Hamilton, former first overall draft-pick, will conquer his drug addiction.
More to come...
New Writers Wanted
I am looking for new writers to contribue to the site. Let me know if you are intersted and shoot me an e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
It'a about time that the loser Cubs decided to step into the mix and pick up a legitimate player. I have sat back quietly and witnessed the Cubs attepmt to land Rafel Furcal and be unsuccessful. Everyone in Chicago (except Sox fans) took a deep breath and fell back to reality. Just a few days later our beloved Jim Hendery fixed that situation and our best leadoff hitter ever fell in to our laps. Ill have more when I hear more.
What I've heard so far
Ok here is a rundown on some hotsove talk:
Furcal is deciding between the Braves, Cubs, And Dodgers
Konerko is mulling offers from the O's, Angels, and White Sox
The Marlins are still looking to deal Juan Pierre...many suitors including the Cubs and Yankees
Nomar possibly to the A's as well as Frank Thomas
Damon to the Yankees...Bernie Williams to possibly retire
Giles offered big contract from the Jays
More to come
OK let me start off with how I believe that the Whitesox made the correct decision in acquiring Peoria Jim Thome. First, I think Konerko is going to the Angels to be with his family out west. That's a huge power hole to fill which they already did. Second, Rowand reached his max potential. He has a slow bat. He is a great fielder who was robbed of a Gold-Glove to Torii Hunter, a guy that played half a season. Third, Thome has something to prove. He is older and is looking for a ring. He has dominated the Central before and will do so again. Just too bad he couldn't do it as a Cub. He offered to take a paycut three years ago but they said no. Now he will dominate the South side. Well, that's it for now. Ill be writing more often now.
And as for Curt...Where are you man?