The Mets Are Losing

I saw the second to last game ever at Shea Stadium, where Johan Santana pitched a complete game in the drizzle.  Thanks to that purchase, which had everything to do with Shea Stadium and nothing to do with my affinity for the Mets, this weekend I received a glossy flier advertising the 2010 Mets season.  The slogan?

It's only March, but the Mets are already losing, apparently.

I’m no one to judge, rooting for a team whose motto last season sounded like the slogan of a losing political candidate (“A New Day, A New Way” – Seattle Mariners 2009).  But as my housemate pointed out, “Boy, the Mets seem to be admitting that they’re already losing.”

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Now Coming to You From Seattle

I have just spent the past 3 weeks driving leisurely across the USA, passing through 21 states and losing a whopping $1 in Las Vegas, to complete my move to the wonderful city of Seattle…complete with it’s own well managed baseball team, the Mariners (the NY teams aren’t well-managed, chucking large amounts of money at big-name players is…well, you know).
Anyway, if you want proof of intelligence take a look at this recount of a Q&A with Tony Blengino, special assistant to Mariner’s GM Jack Z. Making decisions based on scouting reports and statistical analysis? Madness!

My real reason for posting something is this:
SABR is releasing their “Emerald Guide to Baseball 2010” for free (squeal!).
Assuming you want it in PDF and not hard copy ($24.95).
You can also get the 07, 08, and 09 versions.
Enjoy the free lists of numbers.

Seattle’s Rotation May Actually Decline in 2010

The Mariners are getting lots of props online for their winter moves.  I agree that this off season has made me as optimistic about the franchise as I’ve been in years.  I encountered an interesting statistic today, however, which dampens my expectations for significant improvement from 2009 to 2010.

Let’s play the popular guess-which-pitcher-this-is game.  Below are two pitchers from 2009:

Pitcher 1: 14-13, 231 innings, 245 hits, 43 walks, 181 K, 3.22 era, 1.25 WHIP
Pitcher 2: 13-9, 216 innings, 176 hits, 67 walks, 169 K, 2.71 era, 1.13 WHIP

Which pitcher would you rather have pitched for your team in 2009?  Given that wins and losses are not a great metric for pitcher performance, I’d guess most people would go with Pitcher 2.  Fewer innings, but significantly better ERA and WHIP.

Cliff Corcoran over at Sports Illustrated points out that Seattle traded for Cliff Lee essentially to replace Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard in the rotation.  On paper it’s a good swap.  But Pitcher 1 is Cliff Lee in 2009, and Pitcher 2 is Bedard and Washburn’s combined performance for Seattle in 2009.  No one expects Washburn to pitch in 2010 like he did for Seattle in 2009, and nobody expects much of anything from Erik Bedard (except, perhaps, for his mother).  But as good as Lee has been the last two years, it seems unlikely to ask him to replicate those Pitcher 2 numbers.  Combine that with the unreasonable expectation that Felix could do much better than he did last year, and it seems entirely possible that Seattle’s pitching production from its #1 and #2 starters will decline in 2010.

Edgar for the Hall

Edgar Martinez Drive runs along the south side of Safeco Field

Do the right thing: Edgar in 2010

ESPN editor David Shoenfield does us all the service of laying out the case for Edgar Martinez’s rightful place in the Hall of Fame:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4755544

Griffey’s race home from first in 1995 may have saved baseball in Seattle, but it was Edgar who lined the double down the third base line which sent him home.  While Griffey will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, it would be perhaps more fitting that Edgar be the first player elected to the Hall as a Seattle Mariner.

Do it.

It’s cock bashing time

So I’m posting, which means a few things. A) It will probably be thrown together quickly B) It certainly will be mindless and incoherent C) It will have a Phillies slant.  Lets go through this mongo mega trade and really depict it…and who I truly see as the biggest winners.

PHILLIES:

OUT: Cliff Lee (under contract for one year at 8 mil), Travis D’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek

IN: Roy Halladay (who immediately signs 3 year extension with vesting options for two more), Tyson Gillies, Phillipe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Six million bucks

BREAKDOWN:

I love Cliff Lee…really I do.  But he wasn’t resigning here.  Just wasn’t happening.  That dude wants CC-like money at CC like length (for you bastards playing at home…thats 20+ for 6 or more years).  It’s been rumored Amaro has had a boner the size of the Comcast Building for Halladay for quite some time…he finally found a way to get him.  Now, the Phillies do give up a boat in prospects (Taylor is a potential stud, Drabek as well….D’Arnaud has potential but is only single A), but the blow is softened by getting back very quality players as well (I investigated these boys…two pitchers with very plus stuff and an absolute SPEED demon who hit .341 in A+ ball last year).

People in Philly are shitting their pants over Roy Halladay.  We’ve heard he’s so good and blah blah blah…but lemme tell you something, this guy is the fucking titties.  You know how good Cole Hamels’ changeup can be? Like how it comes directly out of the same arm slot angle as his fastball that sits at 89 mph?  Well, imagine if Cole Hamels was 6’6″, 230 lbs, and instead of having one of those devastating pitches, he had 3.  Oh yeah, and have that fastball sit at 97mph instead of 88.  Oh yeah…he’s been pitching in the most offensive division in the most offensive era in baseball, and all the while shitting on everybody’s faces.  I can’t even describe how legit this guy is.  No bullshit, a sub 2.00 ERA is a serious possibility for him in the NL East.

This is a move that makes sense, but stings a bit for the Phils.  Gave up some real homegrown depth on the farm…but dudes like Halladay just DON’T become available.  Not only that…he really gave the Phillies a bit of a discount on his extension.  For an avg of 20 mil…thats a joke.  Comparable to other guys out there (CC, Santana) it truly is a deal.  To sweeten the pot, Phils also got six million bucks to offset Halladay’s salary this year.

In time I’ll break down further how the Phillies aren’t totally fucked for salary in the future as well.

SEATTLE:

IN: Cliff Lee, two draft picks in ’10, and in one year nothing but a dick in their hands

OUT: Phillipe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, JC Ramirez

People are blowing their loads over how fuckin rad of a deal this was for the Mariners.  Yeah…they got Cliff Lee.  Everybody in Philly knows how good he can be, and with The King at the top of the roto, they’re going to be a power to deal with in the AL West.  One problem:  THIS IS A MOVE A TEAM WITH A LEGIT SHOT TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES MAKES….AND THE MARINERS AIN’T THAT.

I’d bet dollars to donuts Cliff Lee is staring at a loaded revolver and a Mariners hat, deciding which fate is worse.  He’s going to a passionless fan base where he’ll post 17 wins, MAYBE a playoff appearance and then get paid.  THEY’RE GOING NOWHERE THIS YEAR PEOPLE.  At this time next year, the Mariners and their fan base are going to be looking around at no more Cliff Lee, the King posting another monster year and saying “Pay me”, and watching the Halo’s reload and overtake the AL West.  Enjoy this year Mariners fans, because if you don’t win the world series its going to be right back to Bavasi-esque doldrums.  Oh yeah…they emptied half their farm to get Cliff for one year.  Maybe the revolver is for the front office next October? Probably.

TORONTO:

IN: BALLER PROSPECTS

OUT: Roy Halladay, six mil

Boys and girls, I present to you a very shrewd team looking to stay competitive.  I tip my hat to the Jays…they got the man they REALLY wanted (Drabek, immediately the #1 pitcher in their farm), Travis d’Arnaud who has an awesome last name and very well could develop into a good major leaguer, and flip Michael Taylor to the A’s for a prospect named Brett Wallace.  For people who don’t know Brett Wallace let me break it down.  He’s kind of big framed/kinda pudgy, and is one of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues.  For you scoring at home, people with awkward bodies who can really swat=friggin’ awesome (ask John Kruk and Princess Fielder).  A lefty 1b/3b who has an ability to actually hit lefties rocks.  The only problem with Halladay leaving is the Jays have to sell to their fan base that they’re in rebuild mode, considering Roy Halladay truly was the face of the franchise.

OAKLAND:

IN: Michael Taylor

OUT: Brett Wallace

Nice little move for the A’s here, although as you can see I have a some serious love for Wallace.  Taylor has the tools to be the next Strawberry but is still a little raw—however unlike most super athletes in the minors he’s already a contact hitter trying to develop power.  Usually its the other way around.

Bottom Line for the best god damn team on the planet: Yeah, we did give up some better prospects than we got back.  But think like we just gave up a BMW 7-Series for a BMW 5-Series; we didn’t get slouches in return.  Adios Cliffy baby, Hello Doctor.  Yay baseball.