Appropriately enough, the Mariners stick King Felix with the first of what is sure to be many no-decisions in a battle of deep, talented offenses. (A lot of critiques of Billy Beane are silly. What is a fair critique is that the three best position players he’s drafted since 1999 have so far been Nick Swisher, Andre Eithier, and Kurt Suzuki. Very unimpressive even before you consider that Eithier was parlayed into 115 games of Milton Bradley.)
So, it looks like Wilpon and Katz have lost enough that they won’t be interested in properly capitalizing their team but, alas, not enough to sell the team.
However bad for Mets fans, however, the settlement actually seems reasonable if I understand the existing law correctly. Wilpon’s argument that he was entitled to some percentage of profits from the Ponzi scheme is absurd. But absent independent evidence, the argument made by the trustees that Wilpon and Katz had actually become part of the fraud is also pretty problematic; regardless of what one perhaps should have figured out after x years of consistent profits continuing to put money into a Ponzi scheme is in fact pretty good evidence that you don’t know that it’s a Ponzi scheme.
Verona, PA – While campaigning in Puerto Rico, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum received the endorsement former major league baseball player Carlos Baerga.
“I support Rick because he is a Christian and has fought for the people of Puerto Rico for many years, and stands behind the people on the issue of statehood,” Baerga said. “I am grateful to have played professional baseball in the United States and I want all young people to have the same opportunity, and Puerto Rican statehood would make that possible.”
I haven’t been this moved by a celebrity endorsement since Wilford Brimley convinced me to vote McCain/Palin in 2008.
I’ll confess that I haven’t watched the video, and I don’t understand most of what people are saying with regards to Obama’s embrace of Derek Bell. Nevertheless, while I’m generally reluctant to launch into rants about “Obama apologism,” this Derek Bell thing really does seem to me to be a bridge too far. I appreciate that the speech (and apparent embrace) happened in 1990, when Bell was still in the minors and hadn’t fully demonstrated his craptastitude; nevertheless, I would expect that a competent chief executive would note that Derek Bell was simply not the kind of player who should be a regular outfielder for a good organization. At a bare minimum, we should hope that our President will be as smart and capable as Pat Gillick. It should have been clear to Obama that Bell was a mediocre hitter with poor on base skills, no glove, and questionable commitment to the game. I don’t think we even need to get into “Operation Shutdown” or Bell’s post-retirement drug problems to realize that this issue opens up serious questions about Obama’s judgment.
This can be taken too far; Derek Bell is obviously no Sarah Palin. Nevertheless, I doubt that Hillary would ever have made such a mistake. I would like to think that Scott and others could get past their tribal defensiveness and acknowledge that this represents yet another serious problem with the Obama legacy.
Ryan Braun’s suspension has been overturned. As is generally the case with drug warriors, MLB is furious that pesky things like “due process” and “checks to ensure that evidence is reliable” are getting in the way of a good witch hunt.
Anyway, given this kind of attention to detail I’m sure that everyone fingered in the Mitchell report is 1000% guilty of breaking non-rules. We’d better keep some people against whom there is even less evidence for breaking non-rules out of the Hall of Fame just to be sure.
If there was ever a player poorly served by fixation with the batting average stat…
Cameron appeared to be a possibility as a center-field platoon partner with either Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel — both of whom are left-handed — but now the Nats are without a righty option. Of course, if Bryce Harpermakes the team out of spring, the plan is to play Jayson Werth in center every day.
Cameron, 39, closes with a good career resume. In 17 seasons, he hit .249/.338/.444 with 278 home runs, 968 RBI, 1,064 runs and 297 stolen bases. He won three Gold Gloves, made one All-Star Game and received MVP votes two times.
He never spent more than four years with the same ballclub, playing for eight different franchises: The Mariners, White Sox, Mets, Red Sox, Padres,Brewers, Reds and Marlins. Amazingly, as you can see, he played in every single division
The fondest LGM memories of Cameron come from his years with the Mariners, especially 2000 and 2001. Acquired for Griffey along with several other players, Cameron outplayed Griffey in all but his first year, and at much lower cost. He was a crucial part of the great 2001 team, and always a pleasure to watch in center field.
I wrote a bit about the Kid when he received the diagnosis last year. He was a really great one; his career was a little short because he was worked so hard in Montreal, but at his peak he was one of the greatest catchers ever. I’m glad that the Nationals reversed their decision not to honor his retried number, and am glad that he will be permanently honored at the Bell Centre as well.
…I was at this game!
Congrats to a very deserving Hall of Famer.
The rest of the ballot has two encouraging signs, in that both Raines and Bagwell had major jumps which make it likely they’ll get the honor they’ve been denied too long. My sentimental choice Edgar Martinez will have a long wait but has enough support that he can’t be written off. On the other hand, Jack Morris will now almost certainly be enshrined, which would be a poor selection (although I suppose not much worse than Rice or Dawson.)
Reds trying to win in the near term:
The Reds acquired right-handed starter Mat Latos from San Diego on Saturday for a package of four players, including infielder Yonder Alonso and right-handed starter Edinson Volquez. Cincinnati wanted to acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter in free agency. Latos went 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA for the Padres last season, finishing among the NL leaders in ERA and strikeouts.
The Reds gave up two of their top prospects — first-round picks Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal — in order to get Latos in their first deal of the offseason. He joins a rotation that includes right-handers Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo.
The price is significant, but the Reds obviously felt that they needed to try to win while Votto, Bruce, and Cueto were all under contract and reasonably cheap. If I’m counting right they’ll have all three plus Matos for the next two years, and the NL Central can certainly be won.
See also this article on Jeff Mathis, Mike Napoli, and the species “backup catcher”.
This exhaustive explanation of why Jeff Bagwell — an obvious Hall of Famer on the merits — wasn’t even named on half the ballots last time does indeed contain every “reason” not to vote for him:
Jeff Bagwell played from 1991 to 2005, and he was muscular.
That’s it. We don’t don’t even have an unusual aging patterns from which a witch-hunter might infer causation; he was an excellent prospect, was steadily good, peaked at age 27, and had his last good year at age 35. There’s no reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, not even the really terrible reason that he used steroids.
And, yet, this collective guilt illogic on the part of the drug warriors makes perfect sense. Obviously, the idea that great players should be kept out of the Hall of Fame for violating non-enforced non-rules is going to be unsustainable in the long run. But nothing is going to end the silliness faster than someone who’s already in Cooperstown admitting that they used PEDs. (Well, there are already people in Cooperstown who used PEDs, but I mean the PEDs that are associated with a higher-offense context in which players could break records that boomers believe should permanently belong to their childhood icons.) So the fewer sluggers inducted from that era the longer sportswriters will be able to keep up the witch hunt. Players against whom there is no evidence whatsoever of steroid use are going to have to be at least temporary collateral damage in this particular front of the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs.
Eagerly awaiting confirmation on this deal. Tossing it out now for the folks to chew on; my first thoughts are that it’s a good deal for the Angels, that moving Morales to DH isn’t likely to be such a problem, and that Mark Trumbo isn’t really all that good anyway. And yes, Mariners apparently going nowhere.
Will certainly enliven this year’s fantasy baseball auction; several members of LGM participate in an AL-only keeper league. With Josh Hamilton also becoming available after several years under contract, should make for some interesting strategy…