Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What Else is New?

Last night, it happened again. Those Red Wings rolled in, their fans took as many seats as they wanted, and Detroit took two more points out of North Texas.

The Lockout made me forget how much Detroit fans annoyed me. Unlike Eagles fans that annoy me, I will be the first to admit that Detroit fans annoy me partially because I am jealous. Jealous of their following (albeit a bandwagon at times), jealous of their ability to continue to find European studs deep, deep in the draft, and of course, jealous that the team to beat year after year resides in Detroit.

I find their fans and media to be know-it-alls, their marketing department pompous, and most of all, their continuous success in Dallas to be maddening. And yet, it keeps rolling on.

On the ice, the Stars did everything early they could to beat Chris Osgood. Then, when Detroit so easily took a 3-1 in the third, the Stars looked resigned to another defeat. Very little determination in the home team when the going got tough last night, and that was disappointing. They are now only 4-4 in their last 8, and are beginning to look a little frustrated in their home form.

Stars need to show Detroit they aren’t scared

The Stars' resurgence in the Western Conference this season has only underscored the need to compete with the Red Wings. The Stars are 0-4-5 in the last nine meetings. The last time the Stars beat the Red Wings was Jan. 16, 2002, in the final days of Ken Hitchcock's regime. The names have changed; the styles haven't.

Over the last few days, I have received plenty of emails. Actually, since we started vacation, I am up around 500+ emails that are not considered “junk/spam” and therefore generally require something of a response. But, given that at least 100 of them revolve around Cowboys-Redskins and another 100 about how there is no way that Tom Hicks will seriously bid on Kevin Millwood, I thought I would delete those, and move forward. Cool? I thought so.

Incidentally, there really should be some sort of vacation email policy, don’t you think? I realize I have a great job, but do I really need 500 sports emails waiting for me when I return for work again? Do the math. At only 2 minutes an email to read and respond to each one, and I need to find 16+ hours to get caught up. I know life isn’t fair, but I really should get caught up by punching a big delete button.

Anyway, on to the email topics that are more recent. Many are revolving around my thoughts on trading Chris Young away and my thoughts on why the Rangers paid $60 million for a guy with just 9 wins last season in Kevin Millwood.

First, Chris Young thoughts:

I really like the young lad, but there were some things to consider about Young that I don’t think is being said very much. Everyone likes the personable Young, but Jon Daniels did need to make a decision based on what he saw in 2005 and what he thought would happen in 2006 and beyond. I figure Daniels looked at 3 things:

1) Young’s run support was 7.32, the 2nd highest in all of baseball. Run support is random as it relates to a starting pitcher. Especially in the AL, where pitchers do not bat, it is like the lottery and can swing wildly from year to year. Just because his win total was higher than expected in 2005, does not mean that will continue if the fortuitous run support does not also continue.

2) Young’s ground/fly ratio was certainly not suitable for Arlington’s conditions long-term. Last season, he caused 6 ground balls for every 10 fly balls. As a comparison, Adam Eaton gets 11, Kevin Millwood 13.

3) Young’s pitches per inning were a strong concern. He throws a ton of pitches to record outs, and although that causes strikeouts, it also causes him to fatigue earlier in a game, which then causes your bullpen to work harder.

I know stats can be deceiving, but I wondered about Young’s topside. I think going to San Diego will do wonders for his career, but I really think 2005 was a bit of a mirage over what he might have done over the next 4 or 5 years in Arlington.

But, I am in the minority. Here is a response from Jared in Irving:


I need to take serious issue with the way you’re evaluating this Adam Eaton signing. You keep saying we didn’t give up any of our valuable prospects.

Well I contend Chris Young is every bit as valuable as any of the DVD. However, had Diamond been included in this deal rather than Young, people would be howling about how we were robbed.

The sad reality, however, is that we will be extremely fortunate if even two of the DVD ever turn in even one season on par with what Young did last year. That’s a fact.

We had Chris Young locked up through 2010, making next to nothing. Hicks’ sudden willingness to spend not-withstanding, Chris Young epitomized everything the Rangers were trying to do as an organization in regards to pitching.

Now, on to how you compared Young and Eaton. You kept using run support to say Young was not all that great. Well run support only matters if you’re silly enough to use wins to evaluate a pitcher. Check out their career ERA’s, because they’re identical. Literally. Check out Eaton’s road ERA from last year, a whopping 5.09, and that’s in the National League. Oh, and Eaton only average about 2/3’s of an inning more per start than Chris Young, so your statement about him not getting late into games doesn’t carry any water either.

The fact of the matter is, Chris Young was flat out better than Adam Eaton across the board last year, and it was Young’s first full year as a pro. With the change in leagues and parks, Young’s ERA will go down, and Eaton’s will balloon.

All that, and we haven’t even gotten to the fact that after this year, it will cost 8-9 mil/year to keep Adam Eaton, while Chris Young is making $600,000 with the Padres. Taking that into account, Eaton could win the freaking Cy Young this year, and if we don’t make the playoffs, and he isn’t resigned, it’s a horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE trade.

Jared in Irving

I would just say this to Jared, who made some great points; the object of the game is to buy low and sell high. I think in this trade, they did both potentially. But, only time will tell who is right.

Now, on to Millwood. I am bothered by his injury history for sure. It should be noted that only 12 months ago, his offers were for 1 year because of his history in Philadelphia that included some issues with his elbow. Beyond this, he appears to have the numbers that fit the description of the perfect Arlington pitcher.

- He gets ground balls (see above)
- He throws few pitches per inning to record his outs
- He has proven to be a work horse over his career
- His 9 wins in 05’ is very deceiving, in that his run support was incredibly low. 3.9 rins per start is all that Cleveland provided him (remember Chris Young had 7.3). If both pitchers meet in the middle, Millwood likely adds 5-6 wins, and Young subtracts the same.

I think the Rangers overpaid, but only in the way they would have to for anyone they wanted this badly. If they want a pitcher, they must overpay. They did, and I think they were wise to do so.

Hicks likes his team now

"I'm ready to go," Hicks said. "I think we've really improved the team. I like our defense better up the middle, I like the outfield a lot better and I like our pitching."

Hicks, and others from the Rangers organization, wouldn't comment on Kevin Millwood, the free-agent right-hander who has agreed to a five-year contract with the team worth about $11 million to $12 million per season, because the deal isn't finalized. But the owner couldn't hide his excitement about a revamped rotation that will probably include Millwood as of Thursday, when the team has scheduled a 9:30 a.m. news conference to introduce him.

None of the five pitchers expected to make up Texas' 2006 rotation were in the rotation when the 2005 season began. Gone are Ryan Drese, Kenny Rogers, Chris Young, Chan Ho Park and Pedro Astacio. Expected to take the mound in a few months are Millwood, Adam Eaton, Vicente Padilla and probably Juan Dominguez and Kameron Loe. Edison Volquez and R.A. Dickey may get a chance to compete for spots.

Lebreton likes what he sees from the Rangers …seems like all the columnists agree here…

DVR’s now counted in tv ratings

Starting next week, the company that measures what people watch on television will also follow what they record on DVRs to watch later.

The move by Nielsen Media Research is a reflection of how the traditional notion of watching TV is changing. And if Nielsen's numbers show that new technology is also changing what people are watching, it has the potential to profoundly disrupt a multibillion-dollar business.

An estimated 7 percent of the nation's 110 million homes with televisions now have digital video recorders, and that's expected to rise to one quarter of the TV population by sometime in 2007, Nielsen said.

I get this question all the time. “Hey Bob, who are the free agents this off-season in football? Here is the list ….

Cowboys playoff scenarios

Seriously, Billy

Week 17 = Reggie Bush Bowl

Houston is traveling to San Francisco this weekend for a matchup that has long been billed as the Reggie Bush Bowl, because it may very well determine who gets Bush, the junior tailback and Heisman Trophy winner from U.S.C. The title of the game is a bit presumptuous, considering Bush has not made himself eligible yet for the draft, but his specter alone is creating the most unlikely showdown imaginable.

If the Texans fall to the 49ers (3-12), they will finish with the worst record in the league and pick first in the draft, a reward potentially more meaningful than any wild-card game. But if they emerge victorious in San Francisco - a notion so terrifying it is barely mentioned in Houston sports bars - the Texans could end up
in a complex tie breaker with as many as four other teams, including the 49ers.

At this time every year, fans in forgotten football cities begin to take solace in their lofty draft position. In Houston, fans have been taking solace for about two months. That is partly because the Texans kicked off their schedule with a six-game losing streak. And it is partly because Bush is so clearly the most compelling player available.

For much of the country, Bush's broken-field runs this season have been a source of entertainment. For Houston, they have been a source of hope. When the Texans were 1-12, Bush was practically penciled into their future backfield. Opposing teams would score touchdowns at Reliant Stadium and the chants would begin: "Reg-gie, Reg-gie."


BoomGoesTheDynamite said...

"Sorry, is temporarily down"


Thanks for getting my baseball weenie up this morning, Bob.

Jared in Irving said...

Here's a follow to my email that I wish I had included.

In my best impersonation of "Alright's" best work in A Time to Kill:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Close your eyes and imagine. Imagine that we traded our youngest, cheapest, and most successful pitcher from last year.

Imagine we traded someone who was locked in for cheap for five more years, and had proven he could pitch in the ballpark.

Imagine if you will, in return for this pitcher, we got a pitcher who had a worse year, statistically, than our pitcher. We got a pitcher who has never realized his potential, and is a free agent after this season, and has already turned down 3/20.

Now imagine this pitcher we got had already stated it would take "crazy money" for him to resign with the team that played in Arlington.

Now, imagine John Hart made the trade....

The defense rests.

Anonymous said...

Hitler mustache?

chaz said... was up until the day he got cut. He had a "billy's journal" on the site. He had the mental strength of 5th grader. he talked about "I only missed one kick, but I tried my best". But he did have a hot wife, which he interviewed her on a bio section of the site like he was Barbara Walters.
I'm sorry he's out of a job, but the dude's lame.

mithrandiryod said...

I agree Bob, despite sounding like a sore loser and at the expense of sounding like a homer, I can't help but just HATE!!! the redwings and their fans. It's so fricken annoying to be watching the game (We didn't have tickets to go - Go figure) and during a home game hear redwings fans hoot and holler at the end of the game (and during the game). Well If no one else is going to say it I'll say it "REDWINGS AND THEIR FANS SUCK!"

Brandon at GSR said...

Remember when Modano quipped that the Stars were the 5th most popular team in the Metroplex right behind the Red Wings?

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to muster a little sympathy, but at my job we get 500+ non-spam messages a DAY. You just have to learn to skim a little better.

Anonymous said...


Observer said...

What, no ticketchicks? Ty was spoiling us.

I have to agree with Jared on the Young deal. I really hope that reliever Otsuka (?) is either really good or he fails his physical and trashes the whole deal. I like the moves to strengthen the bullpen and the starters, both. I worry about the offense. A lot.

Anonymous said...

You should learn to use filters, Bob. Glad you're back! Missed you!