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    Baseball Told the Right Way
    In-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!

      The Indians in 2006......next year, who knows.........
    The Cleveland Indians re-signed closer Bob Wickman to a one-year $2.75M contract. I've already mentioned here how much I like the Indians. I liked them and the Padres before last season (can we forget about the Mets already?), and I like the Indians even more moving forward.

    Realistically, if the Indians' young starters take a step forward, they get one more quality SP, and fill out the bullpen, they have a very good chance at competing for a World Series next year. That is three really big "ifs" but I can see it happening.

    With that said, Bob Wickman is not the answer. Wickman has consistently been an above average reliever, and I expect him to be that again in 2005, but the Indians' problems in the pen run much deeper. They need several more quality arms.

    And now I'll separate my trust in an organization that makes sound moves (Cleveland) and one that makes me shake my head (see all previous entries below). The difference in my trust is that I think the brass in Cleveland knows Wickman is not the answer.

    I also think the Indians' brass is planning on winning the division next year, and won't be making a big push for the World Series until 2006.

    Attendance at Jacobs Field has plummeted from the 3.5 million in 2000 (when they set the record for consecutive sellouts) to 1.8 million last year. Fans in Cleveland loved the new ballpark, but they weren't willing to go watch a team in the rebuilding years.

    I think it's safe to say casual (and ballpark-going) fans lag behind the hardcore baseball fan (that I assume is reading this now) and weren't aware of just how good the Indians were getting. After 2004, though, the word is out. It's about time for the fans in Cleveland to start getting excited again. Actually, its a little overdue.

    Let Cleveland sign another solid bullpen arm, maybe pick up a Clement or a Radke off the free agent market. Make a couple relatively small moves for 2005. The fans will start coming back to the park. Then in 2006, when they start selling out Jacobs Field again, the Indians can take on some salary in trade or in free agency and they can patch any holes revealed during 2005.

    The other reason it might not be Cleveland's time yet: Their biggest weakness, the bullpen, is an area of unbearable scarcity in the free agent market. There is no Keith Foulke out there to solidify a bullpen. The best arms available all have question marks next to their names, and after the top names, there is a pretty big drop-off.

    Troy Percival already signed, good move by the Tigers jumping on the best arm early. Armando Benitez looks to be the best left. And then you have guys like Rob Nen, Rheal Cormier, Chris Hammond, who are probably the next best, but not really elite relievers. There are also guys like Jeff Nelson, Terry Adams, Chad Fox, Mike DeJean, Antonio Alfonseca, Buddy Groom, Matt Mantei, David Weathers, and Ramiro Mendoza, all guys who have had some success in the past, but are not exactly people to count on to solidify a bullpen.

    Out of all those, you can hardly hope to build a bullpen from scratch, which is essentially what the Indians would be doing. So its probablly better for them to wait, or for them to acquire somebody closer to the trading deadline.

    For anybody looking to add bullpen help (uh, everybody except the Angels) there isn't much to choose from. This is only good news to the sellers. Bad teams with a piece to trade, and Armando Benitez's agent are pretty much the only ones happy to receive that news.

    All this means is that teams with major holes in the pen will be looking for creative ways to fill them. Expect a lot of AAA relievers to be drafted in the Rule V draft. Also expect a lot of interest in someone like an Ugueth Urbina come trading season. If I were a GM, and I needed to get creative, I'd explore the option of turning one of the starters out on the market into a reliever. Some marginal starting pitcher like a Paul Byrd, or a Paul Wilson might be open to the idea of pitching long relief for a contender. Maybe someone gets lucky and hits on a good one, kind of like the Cubs did last year with the thought-to-be-washed-up Glendon Rusch. But when even Rusch is getting two year deals, you know its going to be a tight race to fill out the pen.
      A's deal for Kendall.
    The A's made a deal for catcher Jason Kendall this weekend, shipping starter Mark Redman and reliever Arthur Rhodes to the Pirates.

    Kendall is going to be a great addition to the A's. His power has completely disappeared since his days before a horrific ankle injury, but he's an excellent bet for an OBP around .400. There is at least an outside chance his power magically returns, but even if he continues to be strictly a singles hitter, getting an .400 OBP from your catcher is incredibly valuable. He'll slide nicely into the top of Oakland's order.

    Even if the A's are loaded with guys who get on base, and conspicuously lacking guys to drive them in, Kendall will be better than Damian Miller, and the A's offense will be better.

    Suprisingly, (or maybe not if you follow the A's) their pitching doesn't really get any worse. Rhodes was pretty much expendable after last year. He's talented, and there is a decent chance he might rebound, but Rhodes is 35 and Oakland had the 3rd best pitching staff in the AL despite the damage of his 5.12 ERA.

    Redman? Who cares. The A's don't need him. When they signed Redman, it was to be a placeholder. He got a 3 yr/$11.5M contract from the A's, but it was atypical because he only made $2.25M last year. So its no suprise the A's traded him. I remember talking about how the A's would trade him, and sure enough.....

    The A's didn't need a starter for three years, with Joe Blanton ready in the pipeline. So they enticed Redman, who had a bad year but was a decent placeholder, with a three year deal that was heavily backloaded. Billy Beane was planning this the whole time. He got a 5th starter worth $4M for $2M, promptly traded him when he got expensive, and now the Pirates will be overpaying Redman to be mediocre in Pittsburgh.

    And what about the Pirates? They'll be overpaying Redman, but not by all that much. There is a decent chance he could earn that $4M with a move back to the NL, where he had his best years. Rhodes, I wouldn't count on, but he could come back and be a valuable reliever. But in all reality, the Pirates picked up two average-ish players for one of the most reliable catchers in the league.

    But they saved money.

    The Pirates made this deal because of the cash they save. Make no mistake about it, on a purely personnel level, the Pirates got fleeced. But after taking into consideration the cash the Pirates sent to balance out the remainder of Kendall's 6yr/$60M contract, the Pirates will save $15M over the next three years.

    So basically, the Pirates traded Jason Kendall for Redman, Rhodes, and whatever that $5M a year will buy.

    Unfortunately, its the Pirates. That $5M will probablly go to some distant relative of Derek Bell, or maybe they won't even bother. Please excuse my negativity, but its really hard to get excited for any move the Pirates make. They haven't done anything but tread water for the last DECADE, so why should this year be any different.
      This is not about Jason Varitek.
    Yes it is.

    I'm not prepared yet to take down my Jason Varitek altar. I spent a whole seven seasons building it, and I'm not taking it down until I absolutely have to. I'm scared to see him go, and scared to see some combination of Kelly Shoppach and Doug Mirabelli starting for the Red Sox next season.

    So when Damian Miller gets signed for 3yrs/$8.75M, I have to worry a little.

    All this signing really means (a.k.a. means to contenders) is that one less viable option at catcher is available. Like it or not, removing the fallback option of Damian Miller only increases the value of Varitek. Not good news for me.

    But for the Brewers (because EVERYONE cares about the Brewers) this signing should be good news, relatively speaking of course.

    Yeah, Miller is a 35-year old catcher, so signing him to a three-year deal is a little like letting your dog loose on a busy street with no leash, but Miller can hit. He's a good bet to be a little above, or right at, league average for a catcher, and $3M for that is a decent bet.

    Barring a major tragedy, Miller is bound to do better than the .213/.280/.311 Brewer catchers combined to hit last season. Which is, of course, atrociously bad, and almost downright Juan Castro-like bad.
    For Curt
      Why do I care so much about irrelevant signings? Nobody knows.
    The Minnesota Twins "filled" their hole at shortstop by signing Juan Castro to a 2yr/$2M deal.

    I honestly think I could hit as well as Juan Castro. Seriously, I think I could. Now I'm not going to say I could play defense as well as he can, I definitely couldn't, but Castro is a career .226/.269/.331 hitter. I know I could do better than that.

    Anyways, its not like he has a lot to live up to if he even makes the team. After all, he replaces Christian Guzman, who is a career .266/.303/.382 "hitter".

    One million dollars a year to a defensive replacement? Strange. It's interesting that the Twins, a low budget team, don't have better ways to spend a million. It may not be a lot of money, but there are AT LEAST eight other shortstops not named Nomar still available on the free agent market who would be a better option than Juan Castro. Why do the Twins think Juan Castro is the answer? Wouldn't they be better off signing Pokey Reese for $1M? Unfortunately, Twins GM Terry Ryan doesn't see it that way.
    "Our shortstop search is over," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Tuesday. "We feel good about the people we already have in the organization and this man who is joining them."
    I don't know how to interpret that statement. I really don't. I have to assume that Jason Bartlett, who last year hit .333/.415/.475 in AAA will be the opening day shortstop. That would take Terry Ryan off the hook for not pursuing a shortstop who belongs in the major leagues, but it definitely doesn't take him off the hook for wasting $2M on a replaceable player.

    Maybe though, just maybe Terry Ryan is actually counting on Juan Castro as his everyday shortstop. Well good luck to him. Much like my fearless prediction that no NFL team will win with Tony Banks at quaterback, I will boldly predict that no MLB team will EVER win with Juan Castro starting.

    The Twins were in the playoffs last year. They aren't that far away from being a serious contender. Throwing a million bucks at a player who could be replaced for the league minimum is hardly an attempt to take the next step.
      Will the Mets be good in 2005?
    One quick note, Kris Benson has re-signed with the Mets.

    The deal is for 3 years at $22.5M. Seems like a decent deal, market rate for a pitcher of his talent. The Mets also have a chance to have a bargain on their hands if Benson can develop into the pitcher he looked like he was about to develop into before Tommy John surgery in 2000.

    It's a good deal for the Mets.

    And now Met fans, turn away.

    The problem with it is the Mets could have done this, and not given up Justin Huber and Matt Peterson to do it. Here's what I said at the trading deadline,
    All I know is that the Mets just pawned off their #2 & #3 prospects for two months of Benson. Lets say he turns into a 3.50 ERA type pitcher, is it even worth that? The Mets obviously want to re-sign Benson after the year is out. Then why give up the prospects? Why not just wait until he is a free agent and go after him heavily? Then, the worst case is that you miss out on Benson and have to settle for someone like Matt Morris
    Here's another fearless prediction. Matt Morris will sign for less money than Benson. I'm also saying its about a 50/50 shot that (after adjusting for home park) Matt Morris has a better year than Kris Benson.

    Now I like Benson a lot more than Morris, but there is no way in heaven Kris Benson was worth two very good prospects just for the first crack at signing him.

    But that's not important. The Mets will be better next year. Blah, blah, blah. The Mets will sign Sammy Sosa and Stan Musial and Oil Can Boyd, and they will be better. Blah, blah, blah.

    Does anyone in their right mind think for one second that this team has their priorities in line to become a contender? Does anyone really think that the Mets ownership has a single collective head screwed on straight?

    Oh, wait, I did.

    My bad. I'll never go against my better judgement again. Good signing though. But take it with a grain of salt.
      There is a baseball team in Washington. Who knew?
    The new Washington Nationals continue to make moves, cutting a deal for Jose Guillen. Jim Bowden, new GM for the Nationals has already made his prescence felt. Maybe, not in a good way, but a prescence is a prescence, even if this one reeks of mediocrity.

    Now Guillen has shown that he can hit. I was one of his biggest skeptics, and he has proved me wrong. I have no problem admitting it. He looks like a good bet to hit .300/.350/.500 and play a pretty good right field. He's not the "proven run producer" you will hear about on the four letter when they're not showing slow motion replays of Jermaine O'Neal punching out a fat kid, but he will definitely help an offense that featured 500 ABs from Endy "I can't steal first, but I sure can lead off" Chavez.

    Guillen will replace the man he was traded for, Juan Rivera, in right. Bowden also sent Maicer Izturis to Anaheim to complete the deal. Izturis had a pretty good year in AAA but doesn't look like any more than a utility player in the bigs. Guillen is a step up from Rivera, but Rivera very quietly hit .307/.364/.465 in 391 ABs last season. If he can recreate that over a full season then he's almost as good as Guillen, at a fraction of the cost.

    So a lot of people are calling this a good risk for Bowden to take. The risk being Guillen turns into a Carl Everett type headcase. The reward, apparently, is that Guillen is the "proven run producer" the Nationals will need. But there's a reasonable chance that Guillen is only marginally better than the man he replaces, and while I don't think Guillen will turn into Ron Artest any time soon, you gotta love nuggets like this from Bowden,
    Bowden spoke to Guillen five minutes before going on a conference call with the media, and believes the outfielder has learned his lesson from taking anger management courses.
    So Bowden thinks Guillen has learned his lesson, but he hadn't even spoken to Guillen until AFTER he made a deal for him. So it wouldn't have mattered if Guillen had been a raving lunatic on the phone, swearing, and calling Bowden's mother a two-dollar whore, Guillen was still on his way to Washington.

    Now for those of you with short memories, Jim Bowden is the former general manager of the Reds. He was there for 10 years, and he had a reasonable amount of success, but the front office under Bowden has never impressed me. He seems incabable of finding pitchers to fill out a staff and most of his trades have confused me. The Reds have had some good prospects come through their ranks recently so maybe there is some hope, maybe he can build a good scouting/developing department in Washington, but so far his moves at the head of the Nationals have, once again, confused me.

    This move for Guillen, while most likely a popular one with the new fans, doesn't really make sense. The former Expos have holes all over the field. Right field wasn't one of them. Juan Rivera could have been a perfectly acceptable right fielder, a year younger than Guillen and at a savings of about $3M. If Bowden wasn't going to considerably upgrade from Rivera, he should have just left it alone and spent the money somewhere else.

    But the money. Oh, the money. It isn't all about the money in Washington. How else then, could you explain the two other moves Bowden has made?

    A little while ago, Bowden signed Vinny Castilla and Cristian Guzman to play 3rd and short. What Guzman? Oh, the Cristian Guzman of the .685 career OPS? I'm going to venture a guess that Maicer Izturis could have provided that.

    Then again, whats another $16M to a major league baseball team?

    And Castilla? Is Jim Bowden serious? The same Vinny Castilla who hit .218/.281/.493 away from Coors field last year? In fact, nobody this side of Dante Bichette has had more of a boost in his career from Coors field then Castilla. He is a career .334/.381/.614 hitter at Coors, and .256/.295/.433 hitter EVERYWHERE ELSE.

    Welcome to Washington Vinny. Washington, meet Vinny Castilla, your 2005 version of Tony Batista (he hit .241/.272/.455 for the Expos last year, by the way). Not to mention, the Expos got Brendan Harris from the Cubs in the Nomar trade. Brendan Harris plays third and has shown he can hit in the minors, but now finds himself ostensibly blocked by Vinny F. Castilla for the next two years.

    But, then again, whats another $3M a year over the next two years to the Washington Nationals?

    I'll tell you what. I'll tell you exactly what. If Jim Bowden wasn't so concerned with bringing in veteran baseball players to appease the new fans in Washington, he might be able to put together a pretty decent squad.

    Why not let Rivera play right and Harris play third? Why not use the $10M you save by leaving the "veteran prescence" exactly where it belongs, and sign Edgar Renteria to play short. Or Nomar. Or hell, block Brendan Harris and spend the $10M on Troy Glaus. I heard that Adrian Beltre character is pretty good too. A few more million could have gotten Beltre, and Bowden will undoubtedly spend that on some other mediocrity (I'm hearing Russ Ortiz or maybe even Cal Eldred, or both).

    Fearless prediction: Vinny Castilla will have an OBP under .300 this year.

    Look, Guillen is a pretty good baseball player. Cristian Guzman and Vinny Castilla are not. At least Guzman is young, and has a chance to get better, but Castilla has none. He will not be good. He will not even be average. Yet, he will probablly hit fifth and squeak out 30 HRs while making outs over 70% of the time. Bowden is setting up the fans of Washington to be disappointed, and he is doing it with indiscretion.

    Throwing $3 and $4 million at mediocre veterans fills roster spots relatively cheaply, it helps your manager fill out his lineup with names he can recognize, and it keeps uneducated fans interested in the team.

    At least until they start playing the games.

    But when the 3 and 4 million dollar deals add up, and you've bought a $60M team that can't compete, and the fans start wondering how much more they can take of Cristian Guzman flailing hopelessly at a baseball, well then, what do you do?

    Fire the coach.

    I put the over-under on Frank Robinson's firing at a year and a half. It's impeccable baseball logic.
      Percival to the still mediocre Tigers.
    The first big signing of the hotstove season took place, and as a random proud (and quite possibly drunk) Tiger fan informed us all, Troy Percival has signed with Detroit.

    Percival is one of the better relief pitchers in the game, but I have some concern that this could end up a bad signing for Detroit. The cause for concern is of course that Percival is 35, has had arm problems, and has watched his K-rate deteriorate over the last four years (11.1, 10.9, 8.8, 6.0).

    The 2yr/$12M deal is pretty reasonable for a "closer" of his talent, but despite what Troy will say about wanting to be in Detroit, it's pretty likely that because of the concerns I mentioned, nobody else was willing to guarrantee so much money.

    It's a decent risk though, if Troy stays healthy he is an excellent bet to at least remain an above average pitcher. If last years K-rate was just a result of him getting healthy, therefore a fluke, Troy would return to one of the elite relief pitchers in the game.

    It helps immensely when you sign an elite relief pitcher, just because everybody else in the pen slides down into less leveraged situations. Hopefully this means that Tiger fans won't be subjected to seeing someone like Al Levine in key spots next year.

    There is a problem though. Ugie Urbina is not too happy with this. He has made plenty of public comments in the past reiterating his desire to be a "closer". He will not take kindly to being bumped back to pitching in a setup role. So that leaves the option of what I thought the Tigers should have done in the first place.

    Trade Urbina.

    This team isn't good enough to contend yet, and they keep giving these 2 year deals to a lot of players at a little bit above market value. I like the idea, and its helped them scratch back to respectability, but I think they can take it further. In the second year of these deals they need to unload them and try and restock a barren but improving farm system. A guy like Rondell White, Ugie, or even someone like Jason Johnson could probablly fetch a middle of the road prospect come trading deadline. Even more if they cut a deal in early July.

    Re-stock the farm system, re-sign more 2 year deals, and eventually, the mid-level prospects might be able to replace the mid-level free agents for practically free, and the Tigers have enough money to really make a splash on the open market.

    Cough, cough, starting pitching, cough.

    But seriously, the Tigers have been talking to Jeff Kent, who would replace the .317 OBP of Omar Infante at 2nd. Jeremy Bonderman is good, and at times I've seen him be dominant. If he can continue his development, and the Tigers find some way to fill that rotation with anything less than stiffs, they have a chance to be pretty good next year.

    I wouldn't start icing the champagne, but I'd also hold high expectations that the front office should be able to put together a playoff team as early as 2006. I think that's a realistic goal they should have and there's no reason why Tiger fans shouldn't expect it.

    They deserve it after the Randy Smith debacle.
      KMart is the funnest place on earth.
    I'd like to take a moment to welcome myself back to the world of the internet. Yes, they do have that on computers now, and I once again have one of those thingies. So that means the temporary hiatus is over. Over, I tell you.

    I spent my non-internet time reading Ball Four (thanks Frank) and for those of you who haven't read it, I recommend it highly.

    So the hotstove (as its called for a reason nobody really knows) has started. Free agents have filed, and since I'm behind the time, I better get caught up before the good ones start to sign and the anger begins to mount. After all, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to have to dis-erect my Jason Varitek altar, which pains my heart. Regardless, it has to be done.

    Anyways, one thing I like to do in the offseason is put together a team from scratch. Well, not scratch, you'd of course need about $400 million, no aversion to being told what to do by a car salesman in a bad hairpiece, and a local government willing to stick the taxpayers for a brand new ballpark. But lets say I had all that and wanted to start a baseball team. Forget the draft, I'm starting with free agents only. Give me Scott Boras on line 1, and I'm going to build myself a team and move them to my new park in Mexico City.

    I did this last year with a friend who unfortunately is a proud (as much as one could be) Tigers fan and we actually put together a pretty good squad. Not cheap, but pretty good. Here's this year's,
    Nomar Garciaparra  SS
    Carlos Beltran CF
    Carlos Delgado 1B
    Troy Glaus DH
    Adrian Beltre 3B
    J.D. Drew LF
    Magglio Ordonez RF
    Jeff Kent 2B
    Jason Varitek C

    Richie Sexson
    Edgar Renteria
    Moises Alou
    Todd Walker
    Quinton McCracken (for fun)

    SP Pedro Martinez
    SP Carl Pavano
    SP Matt Clement
    SP Brad Radke
    SP Kevin Millwood

    CL Troy Percival
    RP Armando Benitez
    RP Robb Nen
    RP Chris Hammond
    RP Jeff Nelson
    RP Rheal Cormier
    A little weak in the relief core, but that lineup is a contender. Maybe we sign Derek Lowe and Matt Morris and move them back to the pen. The only problem with the whole deal is that by my (very) rough estimate, that 25 man roster sets its new owner back about $170 million. At least they would beat the Yankees.

    Where's Mark Cuban when you need him?
      Grow up......
    Josh Beckett impressed a national audience with his 2003 post-season heroics. Beckett is a talented pitcher with the potential to be one of the best. Unfortunately, the wonder kid acts exactly like a kid. I was somewhat suprised to hear it, but people closer to the team have been calling out his immaturity for awhile.

    In this article, Joe Capozzi lays out the predicament of dealing with talented prima donnas, used to getting their own way. A relevant story:
    After coming out of a start against the Braves in September, Beckett was stewing over a hit that had been credited to Rafael Furcal.

    If Furcal had reached on an error, Beckett would have gotten a quality start. Sitting in the dugout, Beckett demanded Rosenthal call the press box — during the game — and persuade the official scorer to change the call to an error. (Never mind how many plays shortstop Alex Gonzalez had made for Beckett all year.)

    Rosenthal refused, so Beckett called the press box himself, then bad-mouthed the pitching coach to his teammates.
    All that to get another quality start in the stat book? That's the most idiotic thing I have ever heard. Maybe Beckett knows, but can anyone of you tell me who had the most quality starts in the league last year?

    Didn't think so. (It was Randy Johnson by the way) Why should he care?

    It always bothers me to hear about a ballplayer who follows his own stats closer than his fans do. That mentality screams of a player who cares for himself and cares only to get paid. He may be a great player, but I don't want him on my roster.

    Meanwhile, I still don't have internet access at my new place, mostly because the MLB-like monopoly that is the cable company keeps screwing up. So not too much writing from me. And since I work for The Man, who likes to monitor my internet use at work, no access there for me either. I should be back online next week, at which time the hotstove season will officially begin.

    Besides there's only been one big move, and it wasn't very big at all. It's the calm before the storm.
      Where will the Cubs be next year?
    Its all to familiar..."Wait till next year"...... a common theme here in the windy city. What do we have to look forward to next year? Lets make a list:
    1. Sosa staying put = more problems
    2. Who is going to play left field?
    3. Who will be the 2nd baseman?
    4. Can the Cubs get a closer?

    Sosa staying put means that the cubs will have the same mentality at the plate, HomeRun. Sosa and Alou have continually left runners stranded on 3rd base with less then 2 outs. Selfish play at its best. That's on field problems...What about the fact that every teammate hates Sosa. Kerry Wood took a bat to Sosa's boombox at the end of the season when Sammy left early. How does a manager repair that? Alou, Wood, and Prior had more comments about Steve Stone (who is the smartest man in baseball in my opinion) than worry about what the team was not doing on the field. This will be something to watch.

    Left field will be a spot that the Cubs need to fill. Alou is a great hitter but very old. The Cubs could use a leadoff hitter in this spot. They also have options in their farm system such as Jason Dubois and the youngster Felix Pie. The right-handed Dubois is a slugger while Pie, a lefty, will steal a bunch of bases. Pie hit .297/.358/.441 this season in 431 at bats. He finished with 18 doubles, 10 triples, and a career-high 8 HR to go along with his 32 stolen bases. He is listed as a centerfielder but could be moved to left in favor of Patterson who is an excellent fielder. The last option is to depend on Todd Hollandsworth who has not been healthy for quite some time. His positive is he has a strong lefty bat and decent speed. But can he stay healthy?

    2nd base is going to be another question mark. There are reports that the Cubs are looking to deal Sosa to the Orioles for Jay Gibbons and Jerry Hairston Jr. I think the Cubs should resign Todd Walker. He was consistent throughout the season and seems to be the best choice unless we somehow get Soriano in a trade with the Rangers.

    We desperately need a closer. The name I have been hearing is Troy Percival. The Cubs have a knack for signing closers after their prime (Rick Aguilara, Rod Beck, Lee Smith, and Randy Meyers) to name a few. This has been a pretty successful route for the Cubs and I hope they do sign Percival. LaTroy Hawkins will then be put back into the set-up role where he belongs. The other options are Hawkins, Borowski, Dempster, and Farnsworth. These options are highly unlikely.

    This will be an interesting offseason to say the least!


      Some pretty cool news.......
    This is pretty cool news. XM radio has signed up to have the radio broadcast of every MLB game in 2005.

    I like this a lot, since I already pay the $15.95 to MLB to get all the radio games over the computer. If XM radio is $9.95/month and I get that in addition to commercial-free radio, sounds like a pretty good deal (well as long as their 'radio' doesn't suck).
      and so the new season begins......
    The World Series is long over. There's a tendency to live in the past once you have finally shedded the demons that used to reside there. I am not going to do it. Theres too much baseball to think about. The new season has started and, The Hotstove has to earn its name.

    Hotstove season officially starts November 11th, at which time all players will officially have to file for free agency, and at which time the full baseball related rambling onslaught will continue. Feel free to listen, chime in, or remain respectfully silent, but at least for now I have a little problem to work out.


    Yeah, those air filled plastic phallic symbols have swept the nation. Selling for $3.25 a pop, you too can piss the hell out of your neighbors.

    I don't know where they started, may have been Angels games, or it may have been in Sacramento (or was that the cowbell?), but they need to go. I didn't used to care too much, because I had never actually been to a game where they were employed. That changed last night.

    Last night I went to my first Celtics game since they beat the Pistons in the 2002 playoffs. I sat behind one of the baskets, (excellent seats since nobody in their right mind would actually consider going to watch that wretched team, well that and NBA basketball is horrible) and during the second half the cheerleaders started passing out thunderstix to the crowd behind the Pacers basket.

    Now I may have gone on a small rant about the fact that there were Celtics' cheerleaders. For those not familiar, the Celtics have NEVER HAD CHEERLEADERS, and since I believe cheerleaders to be a waste of oxygen, I was happy to be a fan. Red Auerbach is my idol and he knows his basketball. He also knows that a basketball arena should not look like a circus, and people don't go for gimmicks. People go to watch a basketball game, not anorexic midgets dressed in skimpy clothing and pom-poms.

    But in order to further shit on the grave of Red Auerbach, the Celtics brass has decided to complete the gimmicking of the Fleet Center and introduce thunderstix. Now I don't care that they are loud, its supposed to be loud in an arena. But people bang them without realizing one thing:

    The noise produced by banging a pair of inflatable dildos is actually smaller (in decibel levels) than the noise produced by one PAIR OF CLAPPING HANDS.

    If you want to make noise, get off your feet and yell at the sorry sack attempting a free throw. Stamp your feet, clap your hands, do something. Don't sit on your ass and bang those dildos together during timeouts, it just pisses off your neighbors.

    Danny Ainge has officially shit on the grave of Red Auerbach with every move he has made since joining the organization. And yes I know Red isn't dead yet, but if he's got a grave picked out, its got a fresh steaming pile of Danny Ainge droppings waiting for him. If he hasn't got a grave picked out, Ainge has been shitting in a plastic bag for months now, in preparation to fertilize the good man's grave when he does go.

    The second the Red Sox pass out thunderstix in Fenway Park, I will cease to be a fan of the organization. You can mark that down and save it if you want.

    No more basketball talk here, the NBA is horrible, the NHL is cooler during a lockout. Baseball talk resumes next week. Continue on.