Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rotation News From Girardi Via LoHud

From LoHud and Fack Youk content guarantor Pete Abraham. Thank you for your updates Pete, we would be non-existent without you!
Joe Girardi said as he makes up the rotation, he wants to keep the lefties apart and not use Burnett and Joba Chamberlain back-to-back because of their similarities. Therefore, the rotation will be:




Not bad options.

Option #1: Probably better off for the bullpen. The horse/K guy/horse/horse/K guy provides optimal reliever rest.

Option 2: Splits up the ground ball pitchers Wang and Pettitte. I'm not sure if this makes any difference or not.

I'll take Option 1 myself. Excuse me for not appreciating this strong rotation.

Of course this order will change as a result of inevitable injuries, off days and occasionally skipping Joba in order to keep his Innings Pitched around 160 IP.

Also, in the postseason, Wang has to pitch at Yankee Stadium given his home/road splits.

"Can Anyone Be This Good?"

Jeff Francoeur is heading to arbitration and seeking $3.95M, while the Braves have offered $2.8M.

Joe Posnanski has an advanced transcript, and here is an excerpt:

Francoeur's People: Only two other players in the National League have started as many games as him since he entered the league in 2005.

Arbitrator: Hmm. Who are those two?

FP: Jose Reyes and David Wright.

Arbitrator: Well, of course, I’ve heard of both of those players. This seems quite compelling to me. What do you Atlanta guys say about that?

Atlanta Braves: He sucks.

Arbitrator: I see.

I'm going to have to side with the Braves on this one. Last year, Francoeur had a 72 OPS+ as a corner outfielder. Just to frame that epic suckitude, Melky Cabrera had a 68 OPS+, but at least was able to play a somewhat competent CF.

Which made me think back to this:

The short answer to the question at the bottom: Yes, but not Jeff Francoeur.

When they wrote the article he was apparently batting in the .370's, and on the date on the cover (9/29/05) he was batting .351 with a 1.032 OPS. One good reason not to run a cover story on the guy was the fact that his OBP was only .377, meaning if his hits weren't dropping in, he wasn't getting on base. After the story ran, his production steadily dwindled until he ended the season at .300/.336/.549.

For the 2005 as a whole, Francoeur's BABIP was .337 which was still above average, but it was most likely much higher when he was tearing the cover off the ball (can't find those #'s). He actually had another BABIP of exactly .337 in 2007 but hit only. 261, meaning that he was getting lucky, but was still pretty bad. It might have been a good stat for SI to look up before devoting a cover to "Georgia's New Peach" and saying things like:

[Ed. Note: I am about to FJM an article from August, 2005 with the full benefit of hindsight. It's low-hanging fruit, I know. In exchange, feel free to make fun of me for spending my Valentine's Day writing for a sports blog.]

Although he'd played just 30 games in the majors, of course Francoeur was singing in the outfield. Why not?

Although... of course... Why not? No matter what words you fit between those three, that sentence and a half wasn't going to make sense. The fact that he had only played 30 games in the majors didn't really have anything to do with the fact that he was signing in the outfield. Maybe he was nervous, or maybe be just likes to sing. It should have, however, factored into the decision to run a cover story about how awesome he is/will be in the most read sports magazine in the country. (small sample size)

The TV highlights roll on, showcasing Francoeur's typically sublime game against the Los Angeles Dodgers the previous night. He went 2 for 5, lifting his average to .373, and hit his 10th home run, a 407-foot parabola that landed midway up the leftfield stands. He saw a total of 16 pitches, on par with his economical average of 3.34 pitches per plate appearance.

Odd, last time I checked, pitchers were the ones trying to be economical with the amount of pitches per plate appearance...

Speed, clearly, is yet another implement in the seemingly bottomless Francoeur toolbox.

A bottomless toolbox couldn't hold any tools, now could it? An unintentionally prescient statement, nice work.

Following that 10-2 win, Braves starter Tim Hudson said of Francoeur, "He's like Roy Hobbs. I'm waiting for him to come out of the bullpen and start striking guys out, throwing 98 [mph]. Or to start hitting bombs lefthanded."

He added, "I'm also waiting for that mysterious woman on the train to shoot him after he strikes out Walter "The Whammer" Whambold at a carnival, only to have him come back 15 years later and be involved in a completely unrealistic game-fixing scandal and strike out in his last at-bat."

So why the reference to The Natural, anyway?

Francoeur was born the year The Natural hit theaters...

So was I and about two million other Americans. Fucking INCREDIBLE!

Here is a short list of of players in the MLB who were born in 1984, along with a reason a similar article was not written about them:

Jose Arredondo  (Synthetic)
Elijah Dukes (Unnatural)
Scott Kazmir (Artificial)
Tim Lincecum (Supernatural)
Matt Kemp (Manufactured)
Jon Lester (Irregular)
Joakim Soria (Factitious)
B.J. Upton (Black)

The reason books--or at least baseball novels--often disappoint is that authors conjure preposterous characters and absurd situations to heighten the drama.

The reason mainstream baseball writing--or at least this article--had absolutely no chance of sounding even slightly reasonable 3 1/2 years later is that the author conjured a preposterous character and absurd situations to heighten the drama.

The kid proceeds to hit about 100 points higher in the majors than he had in Double A (a fanciful conceit), smacking homers and gunning down runners, all the while singing along to the soundtrack in his head (you've gotta be kidding!) and lifting the local nine into first place. Not even Hollywood would buy it.

No, of course not, because that would be ridiculous.

Producer: He's hitting 100 points higher in the majors than he did in Double A? What's his BABIP?

Assistant: .365, sir.

Producer: He'll be hitting .300 by the end of the season, tell them to fuck off.

But you know who did buy it? Sports Illustrated.

[He had] a 4 for 4 against the Giants five days earlier. "It was strange because that's my first four-hit game ever in pro baseball," Francoeur says. "Never had a perfect day in the minors, no 2 for 2 with two walks or anything. Because I've always been a free swinger, at some at bat during the game I'm going to get stupid and swing at a dumb pitch."

That should probably have told you something.

CC, Burnett and Teixeira To Benefit From A-Rod Scandal

If there is another positive about the A-Rod Steroid Scandal, which I am already sick of hearing about (despite the fact I am writing about it now), I think that in the event that CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira fail to live up to their nice offseason contracts that amount to approximately half a billion dollars, they will not get criticized like they would have sans the scandal. Instead of focusing on the performance of each player with a microscope, the tabloids and sports radio will be focused on A-Rod's performance and how it relates to his admission.

Given the questions about how a California boy will handle New York, I think this will benefit Sabathia the most. It will also help Teixeira, a notoriously slow starter. For the month of April, the press will be writing about a minute detail from Selena Robert's book, the release date of which was pushed up by Harper Collins up from May 19 to April 14.

As I read the Post and Daily News this morning, I expected to see a few stories about CC and AJ. However, 3 of the 4 stories in the Post are about A-Rod and 6 of 7 News stories about the Yankees are about A-Rod....When Teixeira wins the AL MVP and CC wins the Cy Young, they should treat A-Rod to a huge dinner at Sparks followed up by a night at HeadQuarters (sans the heat, of course).

Print media is so stale that they need to have multiple stories about how Alex's teammates will stand behind him. Why wouldn't they stand behind him? They play with the guy for 162 games and share the same clubhouse, dugout, charter flights, postgame spreads and hotels.

Also, another gem from the Post that serves as its lead story: "Pettitte: I'M NOT ON MLB'S LIST. "Why would it matter if it is on the list? The guy admitted HGH use last year and has already suffered from the PED scandal. Sure, the A-Rod stuff is "juicy," but myself and other Yankees fans are going to support the guy just based on the fact that he will be in Pinstripes for 9 more years.

So basically you're telling me that amateur, vulgar mid-20s guys come up with more innovative angles than people who are PAID to write? Pathetic. Now wonder why the industry is dying. Stop writing this crap and save some trees. Joel Sherman, I'm looking at you.

Torre: A-Rod Is A Taint

Oh, I'm sorry, I may have misquoted you, Joe.
I'm happy that Alex admitted it. Knowing him personally, I know how proud he is of what he's done and how hard he works. I haven't been around anyone who works harder. I know it's important to him to continue to add to his numbers, because he has a chance to do a lot of special things numbers-wise, but now they're going to be tainted, because people don't forget.
It's laughable that this is even a headline on my ESPN Widget.

When it comes to steroids, the meejah thinks that calling someone's numbers "tainted" is tantamount to saying they are the biggest dirty fucking cheater who ever pissed on Babe Ruth's grave. The fact of the matter is that his numbers, and everyone's from this era, are now indisputably tainted, and that should be obvious.

Think about the word "taint". Awwww, not the Urban Dictionary definition, sicko. This one:
  • taint (tnt)
v. taint·ed, taint·ing, taints
1. To affect with or as if with a disease.
2. To affect with decay or putrefaction; spoil.
3. To corrupt morally.
4. To affect with a tinge of something reprehensible.
All it takes is "a tinge". This is "a truckload". To me, if something is tainted, it means it can never be the same again. No matter what happens from here on out, history has already been written. Alex Rodriguez used steroids and that's never going away. Eight years from now, when he's 56 and dating Stevie Nicks, he's still going to hear "Aaaaayyy-Raaawwwd!!! Yaaawwwaah aaaahhh faaacccckkkinnn cheeeeaaataaah!!!!!!" every time he sets foot on the grass at Fenway Park.

If your girlfriend (or boyfriend for our six female readers) cheats on you, it's not something that goes away. You might smooth it over and get back together, but you don't erase the past.

Which is why A-Rod might be a taint, but Bud Selig is an asshole; that which makes the taint vile to begin with. Even though he backed off his earlier statements about suspending A-Rod and reinstating Hank Aaron as the Home Run King, the fact that he would ever say either of those things gives you some insight into some of the specific ways in which he is such an insufferable prick.

He thought about suspending A-Rod based on the results of a test that was supposed to be anonymous, and didn't turn out to be so because HIS LEAGUE didn't destroy the results as was originally agreed upon. If you didn't think he was in the tank for the owners already, he basically forgot the MLBPA was part of the MLB. I'm guessing when one of his daughters did something wrong, he'd her sit down and say "Honey, just tell me what happened and you won't get in trouble, okay?" And then when she admitted it, he would slap her across the face and say "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME??!?"

And the Home Run Title... Bud Selig thinks you, baseball fan, are an idiot. An ignoramus incapable of even the most basic objective analysis. Because if you walked into a hypothetical museum and saw a photo retrospective of each player's career with, aside from pictures and captions, just some basic career stats and no other details, you would just assume that Barry Bonds is the All-Time Home Run Leader because he has seven more round-trippers than Hank Aaron. You wouldn't find it suspicious, you dumbass, that Barry Bonds' career exploded at the same time as the size of his head and biceps, when he was 35 and turned into the greatest hitter to ever walk the planet. The fact that he put up the greatest offensive season of all-time at the age of 39 after his middle-aged metamorphosis, wouldn't seem odd to you. Because you are that fucking stupid. You asswipe.

That wasn't me typing, that was Bud Selig. He needs the record books to be changed because you can't decide whether or not PEDs were worth eight, EIGHT - fucking eight - of Barry Bonds' 762 career home runs.

Tag Clouds Of The Week

Let's try this again...