Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flashback: Chris Young Trade

This blog thing has been around since about 2003 for my mindless drivel. The first several years were lost in the move over to blogspot, but ever since January of 2005, you can see every last word I have written about various things at various times (if you would want to – and what would that say about your amount of free time?).

Nevertheless, it is a good way to settle debates about “didn’t you say such and such when that happened?”

Here is a good example. We were lamenting the trading away of great young pitchers from the Rangers over the last few years (I know, what a fresh idea!), and I pointed out what a disaster the Chris Young –Adam Eaton – Adrian Gonzalez deal was.
But, truth be told, at the time, I did see the Rangers premise that they were “selling high” on Young.

December 28, 2005

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.

Not a horrendous read on the situation, but I thought they were getting a decent deal here. Clearly, I was dead wrong, and have since changed my opinion (With far more evidence to go with) that the trade with San Diego from December of 2005 was horrible.
A far better job in forecasting the horrible trade was done in that same blog entry by frequent emailer 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

Anyway, back to July 2008, Mark Buehrle owns the Rangers still

Mark Buehrle pitched 7 1-3 innings and Alexei Ramirez hit the first grand slam of his career to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 10-2 Tuesday night.
Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer, Jermaine Dye had three hits and Jim Thome reached base four times as the White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak.

Pitching on three days rest so he could attend his grandfather’s funeral in Missouri, Buehrle (8-8) gave up a leadoff triple to Hank Blalock in the second inning and then retired 15 of the next 16 batters.

The Rangers send Kevin Millwood to the mound for a 1:05 p.m. start Wednesday to close out the series.

Buehrle’s last start against the Rangers was his no-hitter on April 18, 2007. His only blemish on Tuesday night came in the eighth when he gave up a solo home run to Chris Davis.

Buehrle left to a loud standing ovation after allowing one run on six hits and no walks.

Luis Mendoza (2-4) gave up an RBI double to Dye in the first inning and got roughed up in the fourth, allowing Swisher’s three-run homer and A.J. Pierzynski’s RBI single to put Chicago up 5-0.

Mendoza was pulled after giving up consecutive singles to Dye and Thome in the fifth. He allowed six runs on nine hits in four-plus innings.

,full.story> Here is a very interesting read about how the Angels look at trades ….

July, of course, heralds the season when fans wonder whether their Angels will trade for a big bat.

They won't.

"I don't see anyone that can come in here for two months and hand me a World Series trophy," owner Arte Moreno said.

They won't trade for that big bat, not under this ownership, not if picking up Matt Holliday means giving up two good young pitchers, with no guarantee Holliday would stick around very long.

"I think pitching wins," Moreno said. "If your pitching can't keep you in the game, I don't think you can win a championship."

This isn't only a Moreno thing. The Angels have not traded a pitcher of any consequence since 1996 -- in the same month the Walt Disney Co. bought the team from the Autry family -- when they traded Lee Smith so Troy Percival could ascend to closer.

Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia put pitching first when they arrived in Anaheim in 1999, and Moreno embraced the philosophy when he bought the team in 2003. On the American League team that waves an L.A. banner, at least, the management is on the same page.

There is no need for the Colorado Rockies to trade Holliday, arguably the best outfielder in the National League. The Rockies are not hopelessly out of the NL West race, and they should be in position to win next year even if they do not win this year.

Holliday is signed for $9.5 million this year and $13.5 million next year, with free agency to follow. As the Rockies survey the market, gauging whether they could fill three needs by trading Holliday now, potential trade partners worry about the startling disparity between his career numbers at home and on the road.

In 329 games at Coors Field, he is batting .363, with 79 home runs. In 311 games away from Coors Field, he is batting .277, with 39 home runs.

"If I get traded, I think I'll be all right," Holliday said. "Everybody is more comfortable when they play at home. You play 81 games there.

"I guess I'll hear that forever if I play at Coors Field."

Said Colorado pitcher Aaron Cook: "I wouldn't want to pitch to him anywhere."

Nothing against Maicer Izturis, but the Angels' lineup would look infinitely more frightening with Holliday batting third, ahead of Vladimir Guerrero.

The Rockies have made clear any package would start with Nick Adenhart, the Angels' top pitching prospect. The Angels might swallow hard and say yes, but beyond Adenhart they face the same dilemma the Dodgers do: Their best young players -- their most valuable trade chips -- already are filling key roles on the major league club.

"I don't want to disrupt this roster," Moreno said.

However, should the Angels wish to pursue Holliday, they'll need to dig deeper than one minor league pitcher. The Rockies are believed to be interested in completing a package with second baseman Howie Kendrick, who might hit 60 doubles in Coors Field, and one of the Angels' All-Star starters, Ervin Santana or Joe Saunders.

That might be a starting price, but it's a steep price, as it should be.

"They're going to want three or four guys," Moreno said, without providing any names. "And Holliday is a Scott Boras guy."

A guy with Boras as his agent generally does not pass up free agency, so the Angels could count on Holliday for no more than one year and two months.

Should the Rockies opt to trade Holliday, Boras is believed to consider the Angels a fine fit.

The Angels have one of baseball's best stables of young starting pitching, along with the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays, so they might be the team that could best afford to trade a pitcher and afford to sign Holliday for the long term as well.

"Everybody wants pitching," Moreno said, speaking generally. "They want top-line pitching, and they want guys who are inexpensive."

Santana cannot file for free agency until after the 2011 season, Saunders and Jered Weaver until after 2012.

The Angels would be hard-pressed to convince Colorado to accept a minor leaguer in place of Santana or Saunders. Beyond Adenhart, they have to dig all the way to Class A before they find another top-line pitching prospect, Jordan Walden and his 100-mph fastball.

The Angels danced this dance last winter, when they told the Florida Marlins they could have one but not two starters in a potential trade for Miguel Cabrera.

Since then, the Angels' depth beyond their current rotation has all but evaporated, with Kelvim Escobar set for shoulder surgery and Adenhart, Nick Green and Dustin Moseley struggling at triple A.

More on the Aggies QB competition

Shortly after his arrival this offseason, Sherman sent a message when he declared all starting jobs, including the quarterback spot owned by McGee the past two seasons, were up for grabs.

“I think it would be unfair to walk in and just hand Stephen the job,” Sherman said. “I told him he’s going to have to earn it. In fairness to him and Jerrod, they both have to work and compete against one another and earn the job.”

McGee, a senior from Burnet, was used more as an option quarterback under former coach Dennis Franchione despite coming out of high school as a heralded passer. Along with proving himself to Sherman, McGee spent the offseason rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
McGee, who has thrown for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two seasons, is expected to benefit from the Aggies’ switch to a pro-style offense. McGee was the top rusher among Big 12 quarterbacks with 899 yards last season, but he also showed his arm with career-high 362 yards to lead A&M to a second straight win over rival Texas.

“Stephen welcomes competition,” Sherman said. “Stephen is unfazed by it and didn’t bat and eyelash when I told him it was an open competition. If I would have said Stephen has been the quarterback and will continue to be the quarterback, I think the biggest disservice would have been to Stephen. I think he wants to prove to people, if he ends up being the guy, he won the job and it wasn’t given to him.”

Johnson, a sophomore from Humble, is athletic and possesses what Sherman calls a “rocket arm.” As a backup last season, Johnson led the Aggies to touchdowns on six of eight drives.

The downside is Johnson remains raw (he played in only five games as a true freshman) and is unknown as a pocket passer.

“He’s never really taken snaps under center,” Sherman said. “His drop points and being consistent in the pocket are probably things he’s just worked on this summer. He made a lot of progress in the spring.”

Sherman said he would like to make a decision on a quarterback within the first “7-10 days” of training camp.

Regardless of who wins the job, Sherman said the Aggies won’t have to change offensively to fit a certain style.

“We would run what we run whether anyone of them is in there,” he said. “We wouldn’t change a lot.”

Sherman said he would prefer not to rotate QBs
“I’ve never done that as a head coach,” he said. “It just seems kind of sticky to me.”

The Cardinals attempt to keep the Cowboys Out

The Arizona Cardinals are trying to "protect the nest." This means they'd like University of Phoenix Stadium to continue to sell out, and to do so with as few opposing fans as possible.

In the past two seasons, there was little concern about this since the team sold out every home game. But with ticket sales a bit slower as the third season approaches, the Cardinals are requiring fans who want to buy tickets to the Dallas game on Oct. 12 to also buy tickets for the Aug. 7 exhibition opener vs. New Orleans. Cardinals fans have "created a decisive home-field advantage" the past two years, and the team wants to keep it that way by discouraging single-game ticket sales to Dallas Cowboys fans, team spokesman Mark Dalton said.

"Our goal is to have as many Cardinal fans in the stadium as possible," Dalton said.

In terms of overall ticket sales, "We're a little slower than we were at this point" last year, Dalton said, citing the slowing economy. Dalton estimated about 58,000 season tickets have been sold. Ideally, the Cardinals would like to sell about 60,000 season tickets and hold back 3,000 or so to sell for individual games.

"If we don't get to that threshold, then there will be a few more individual single-game tickets available," Dalton said.

Phone Records could hurt the Vikings?

In a column published on its premium Packer Insider page, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the Green Bay Packers have evidence that quarterback Brett Favre made "repeated calls" not only to Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, but also to coach Brad Childress.

The Packers filed tampering charges against the Vikings earlier this month, and the NFL is investigating. The Vikings haven't commented, but according to the Journal Sentinel, Favre held the conversations with both men on a cell phone issued by the Packers. Because they owned the number, the Packers were able to review Favre's phone records and make the discovery.

As many have pointed out, telephone calls alone are not evidence of tampering. Neither are conversations between two men -- Bevell and Favre -- who have known each other for most of this decade. But the more widespread the contact -- Childress and Favre have no direct history with each other -- the harder it will be for the NFL to look past the accusations.

Where did everyone land this spring in free agency in the NFL?

With Jason Taylor heading to Washington and Jeremy Shockey bound for New Orleans, NFL fans will have to get used to the odd sight of those star players in new uniforms.

But that's the NFL, where rosters are shuffled and reshuffled every season.

A look at some of the familiar faces in new places this season:

CB Asante Samuel, Philadelphia -- The prize of the free agent talent pool, Samuel was an All-Pro with New England last season and has 22 interceptions in the last 75 games. He adds some instant pizazz to an Eagles defense that recorded an NFL-worst 19 take-aways last season.

WR Donte Stallworth, Cleveland -- This former first-round pick gives Derek Anderson another deep threat and should help take pressure off fellow receiver Braylon Edwards. Stallworth wasn't a primary target with the Patriots last season, but he could stretch the field.

LB Rosevelt Colvin, Houston -- The Texans are hoping just a bit of New England magic rubs off on them, and they see Colvin as the type of experienced player who can help mold Mario Williams into a superstar. At 30, Colvin might not have many years left to play.

DE Jevon Kearse, Tennessee -- "The Freak" returns to where his career began and will compete with rookie William Hayes for the starting left end spot. Kearse, coming off four lackluster seasons in Philadelphia, hasn't had double-digit sack numbers since 2001.

TE Alge Crumpler, Tennessee -- The Titans had only nine touchdown receptions last season, so Crumpler gives them a big, reliable target. He isn't the same player he was in his Atlanta heyday, but he knows how to get open.

WR Keary Colbert, Denver -- Carolina had high hopes for Colbert after his five-touchdown rookie season. The former USC standout was far less productive in his second season, though, and was pretty average the last two years. He'll get a fresh start with the Broncos.

CB DeAngelo Hall, Oakland -- The league's best cornerback tandem could be shrouded in silver and black this season. Hall, the outspoken former Falcons standout, paired with Nnamdi Asomugha, should rekindle memories of Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes.

DE Jared Allen, Minnesota -- The Vikings paid a steep price -- a first-round pick and two third-round picks -- to pry loose Allen from Kansas City, but they figure he's worth it. Allen led the NFL with 15 1/2 sacks last season.

WR Bernard Berrian, Minnesota -- Signing Berrian was doubly sweet for the Vikings. Not only did they get a premier deep threat, but they won't have to face him in Chicago anymore.

RB Michael Turner, Atlanta -- The understudy to LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego, Turner was among the league's best backup running backs. Now, he'll get a chance to prove he's a capable starter. He'll have to do it behind a less-than-stellar line.

K Jason Elam, Atlanta -- It's hard to imagine Elam in anything other than a Broncos uniform. Kicking for the Falcons now, he'll be trading the benefits of high altitude for the windless predictability of a dome.

RB Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay -- The Buccaneers don't just stockpile quarterbacks, they have quite a crowd at running back too: Dunn, Cadillac Williams, Earnest Graham and Michael Bennett. A first-round pick of the Bucs in 1997, Dunn re-signed with them after six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

WR Isaac Bruce, San Francisco -- Who better to help implement Mike Martz's offensive system than Bruce, who had so many stellar seasons with Martz in St. Louis? Question is, can he still beat defenders at age 35?

How did golf do without Tiger?

It's all a matter of perspective. The PGA Tour and its truckload of sponsors aren't even asking you not to touch that dial on your television; they're asking you to make sure the set is turned on in the first place.

The Absent Tiger Factor is here and it's awful to behold.
Case 1: Buick Open. The first event of three events so far that Woods would have played but missed because of his knee surgery. The overnight rating on CBS for the fourth round was down 12%, from a 1.7 to a 1.5.

Case 2: AT&T National. Worse. The overnight ratings for the fourth round on CBS were down 48%, from a 2.9 to a 1.5. Third-round ratings dipped 35%, from a 2.0 to a 1.3.

Case 3: British Open. Not good. The overnight ratings for ABC's final round coverage Sunday fell 14.6%, from a 4.1 to a 3.5.

None of this is good news, despite the intriguing British Open story lines of Greg Norman trying to hold it together at age 53, and Padraig Harrington coming through to win his second consecutive Open title.

But with the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup -- two of pro golf's biggest titles -- still on the table, and both without Woods, you can be sure the PGA of America is keeping its fingers crossed for both of its prime properties.

And that's not even mentioning CBS and NBC, their broadcast partners.

TV update

The British Open will be an all-cable major beginning in 2010 and be carried only on ESPN, ending a 50-year association with ABC, according to SportsBusiness Journal. The seven-year deal is not yet finalized but reported to be around $25 million a year.

Chicago and Detroit at Wrigley Field on New Years Day? …must see tv….

A gentle wind was blowing in Tuesday at Wrigley Field, dropping the windchill to about 72 degrees. That's significantly warmer than it's likely to feel on New Year's Day, when the Blackhawks face off against the Detroit Red Wings at the ballpark.

Representatives of the National Hockey League, the Cubs, the Hawks and the Red Wings gathered atop the third-base dugout to formally preview Winter Classic 2009, the third outdoor game in league history.

"These great clubs will combine at this unique venue to contribute to our newest tradition — outdoor regular-season hockey on the first day of the New Year," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We certainly expect that the NHL Winter Classic will be a home run for hockey in this ballpark."

Last year's event between the Penguins and Sabres drew a league-record crowd of 71,217 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. The NHL also played outside for the Heritage Classic in 2003 in Edmonton.

"There was a lot of discussion about Yankee Stadium," Bettman said of the New York ballpark, which is closing after the baseball season. "But the logistics with the [new] construction going on [across the street] just made it unworkable.

"We were very comfortable that we certainly had a great alternative coming here. We are thrilled to come here because we knew this would work for us."

Hawks President John McDonough informed Bettman of the team's desire to host the game and was instrumental in the decision to have it in Chicago. The NHL announced last week the game would be at noon Jan. 1 on WMAQ-Ch. 5.

"I never thought it would happen," Hawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said. "On Jan. 2, John called and said, 'We really need this game in Chicago.' I said, 'You and (team Vice President) Jay [Blunk], go for it.' I just never believed the league would have enough faith in the organization to give it to us, so it's just terrific."

The event is expected to draw 42,000 fans to Wrigley, which had the outline of a hockey rink in the outfield, though that configuration could change. The NHL will determine the cost and handle the distribution of tickets. Bettman said those details should be worked out within several weeks.

"We're going to spin [the rink] a lot, do it with some architects and engineers and check all of the sightlines," Bettman said. "Of course, it can't be perfect, because Wrigley wasn't built with this in mind. [But] we're going to try and make this the most fan-viewer-friendly for people sitting in their seats."

Wrigley, which opened in 1914, has played host to other sporting events, including Bears and Cardinals football games, professional soccer, boxing matches and rodeos.

"I believe it will be one of the most memorable events when people look back on the history of Wrigley Field," Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney said. "We have a motto around here, and that is the best games are played in October. So maybe for one year we'll have to suspend that and say maybe the best games are played in January as well."

Becks the richest of them all

David Beckham may no longer play for one of the top soccer clubs in the world, but he is now the top earning player on Earth, according to Forbes magazine, which also tracks the richest clubs in the world.

Beckham, who now plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, earned a total of $48.4 million last year to overtake Barcelona’s Brazilian star, Ronaldinho. The magazine said that Ronaldinho made $32.3 million as he hobbled through the season in Spain and is expected to soon be with a new club.

Ronaldinho’s Barcelona teammate, Thierry Henry, was third ($24.9 million). Ronaldo of A.C. Milan in Italy was fourth ($21 million). The highest paid player in the English Premier League is Manchester United’s Portuguese star Christiano Ronaldo ($18.2 million), in fifth place.

Generation Kill Reading:
Episode 2 recap
Episode 1 recap
Watcher’s Guide

Gen Kill Email:

FYI- Stark Sands is a cast member of the HBO Show Generation Kill. He is a Highland Park grad.
Bill Saunders

Thanks, Bill. That is true. In face, meet Sands below, who is a very prominent member of the great show…

DMN Review of the Flobots from last night Here …My review? Dug it. They have something.

We interrupt this blog for a first! WNBA Fight!

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