Spurs advance, Suns golf …
Duncan and Parker lead the way …
I have added a bunch of links to some of my favorite blogs on the right hand side of this page. Check them out at your leisure (or don’t). Also, please don’t ask me to add your personal blog to my links. I want to keep it to blogs I actually read regularly. I would likely put your link up just to stop you from bothering me, and then, the readers of this site would be misled into thinking that I think your blog is really good, when, in reality, I am just trying to get you to leave me alone. No offense intended. All of those blogs on my list are updated constantly with good opinionated stuff. Except for Meredith. She updates when she darn well pleases, but she is my friend and co-worker, and puts up with my crap so she gets the friend exemption.
In other news…I have decided to start watching the reruns of Lost . Enough of you have promised me this is good, so here I go. The Pilot was last night, and will now run Wednesdays at 9 on ABC…
Drese pitches great, fields poorly, Rangers streak ends …
Ken Hill in Little League fracas …
Galloway on Kenny Rogers …
Remember me? Doug Davis gets Milwaukee a win …
49ers being wacky …
Jamal Lewis about to be released from prison …
On a typical day, Lewis wakes up before dawn and starts work in the prison tool shop at 6 a.m. ET. After his shift, which consists primarily of distributing and hauling equipment, he diligently exercises his tender right ankle, which forced him to miss two games last season and was surgically repaired in January.
Then, according to Simon, Lewis hits the weights "like a maniac."
"He's in such great physical shape, it's been very impressive," Simon said. "He actually looks younger."
Before the lights go out, Lewis usually reads a book.
Sports Guy answers Email …
Q: Are you a Bradley guy or a Muresan guy?
– Chris, Norristown, Pa.
SG: I'm a Bradley guy, if only because he was once Shaq's answer to the question, "Shaq, who's the one player you could score 100 points against in a single game?" Nobody in the history of mankind has been dunked on more than him – it's like the opposing players are sitting in the locker room before games saying, "All right, everyone throw in $500, first guy to dunk on Bradley gets the pot."
Today is the final round of the national spelling bee. Follow our official speller, Samir Patel all day as he finally tries to get the monkey off his back…
NY Times on the Rangers …
There is no question that the Mike Hindman topic from yesterday got people fired up one way or the other. The topic of Tom Hicks’ commitment to winning is one that quickly polarizes those that love baseball.
I wanted to show you the discussion that Mike and I had via email yesterday. I deleted the interaction we had that did not have to do with the baseball discussion due to irrelevance, but otherwise I believe it is just more of the discussion that you might enjoy.
This from Mike, as a follow up to my comments on yesterday’s blog, 9:29 am yesterday:
The team is obviously not without holes. I don't believe I said that it was. I said that the free agent market THIS YEAR probably could not have fixed the holes (or maybe even worse, created other holes). And I said that the holes the club actually has are different than the ones that they appeared to have this winter. Anyway, which team is free of holes? And tell me which team used the free agent market this past winter to patch all of them over?
Your "apples to oranges" point is well taken, but I think it's pretty safe to say that Eric Milton---one of the most severe flyball pitchers in baseball who habitually gives up dingers in large quantities--would have been even worse in this ballpark.
By the way, are you sure that you've considered all of the factors in the math on whether or not the Rangers are making money? And what about the MLB debt-ratio rules? Have you factored them into your analysis? Do you know if the Rangers are in compliance with the MLB's capital structure rules? Do you know what penalties, if any, they face if they aren't? Do you know when they have to be in compliance or when the sanctions start to kick in? I don't, but I do know that there are other factors besides those you typically cite in your analysis of whether or not the team is making money.
My Response at 10:45 am:
As for Milton, I did not care specifically about him. Although, over the last 2 or so years, there have been many players that the Rangers should have been in on in my humble opinion when they were made available by their given teams: Colon and Freddy Garcia pop to mind as inning eating horses, whereas Millwood or Clement come to mind as smaller investment options. And finally a guy like Wade Miller jumps off the page. Nothing is cheap, but when you suggest you would not spend $8 million on a pitcher, I think that is too myopic. I say a payroll below $70 million is embarrassing for a team with these resources. If they choose to spend $15 million difference on two players or four, it doesn't matter as much to me.
As for the specifics of their book keeping, all I know is they follow similar regulations as their competition. But to allow them to pocket the profits of these huge broadcast contracts because they lost money in 2002 is idiocy. They can win. The players are busting their butts to do so, it would be nice if ownership would join them.
Further, your discussions of not wanting to part with prized prospects who are sure to be superstars remind me of Ruben Mateo, Carlos Pena, and all of the others who were destined for stardom. Prospects should not be confused with Superstars.
Mike’s next volley at 11:01 am:
Mateo and Pena? OK, let's play that game....
The Red Sox gave up minor leaguer Jeff Bagwell for nearly worthless setup guy Larry Anderson;
The Indians surrendered budding young star Brian Giles for garden variety lefty reliever Ricardo Rincon;
The Orioles gave up Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley to Houston for an over the hill Glenn Davis;
The Mariners sent kids Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to Boston for setup "stallion" Heatcliff Slocumb;
The Rangers sent Sammy Sosa, Wilson Alvarez and Scotty Fletcher to the White Sox for Harold Baines;
The Expos sent a young Randy Johnson to the Mariners for nearly broken down Mark Langston;
The Yankees sent young Jay Buhner to the Mariners for the incredibly anonymous Kenny Phelps;
The Tigers traded young John Smoltz to the Braves for ancient Doyle Alexander;
The Phillies gave up Ryne Sandburg to get spare middle infielder Ivan DeJesus.......
And didn't say that you don't do it. My point is that you need to realize that the reason a deal might NOT get made will almost certainly have everything to do with the decision to not eviscerate the farm system and nothing to do with payroll concerns. And my secondary point was that there are serious long-term consequences to playing that game on a regular basis.
Do it? You bet. But you better not do it unless you are pretty damn certain that the guy you get puts you over the top.
And, finally, my response at 12:37 pm. Yes, I should likely be thinking about the show at 12:37…
So I give you the two biggest names in the Rangers Minor League System over the course of 1999-2002, and you respond with all of the moments in baseball history where a prospect trade was bad?
I think we can both agree that occasionally, Terrell Davis falls to the 6th round of the draft. That should not mean that the best way to get talent is to trade all of your picks to the 6th round, right? Nor should we aspire to finding Almanzar-types on the scrap heap. Occasionally, one must pay for what they want. If that means $8 million for a 200-inning starter, then so be it.
I dare say for all of your examples, they still rate about 25% or lower with regards to all trades for prospects. Like I said, all of the Rangers can't miss guys from 1995-until Teixeira did miss- That is why Danks or Diamond or others should not be enshrined to Cooperstown just yet-
Anyway, good debating sports-
Thanks for listening to BaD Radio!
Hope you enjoyed that. Mike is a worthy debater…
Here is a P1 response to Mike from yesterday that I thought was interesting:
I read Mike Hindman's rant against those critical of Tom Hicks' spending, or lack thereof. As you know, Mike's primary tactic in dismissing the criticism of the Rangers' extremely low payroll (for a
top 5 market), was selectively listing possible free agent acquisitions this off-season and showing how poor they're doing with their current teams. As you point out, assuming they would perform
the same with the Rangers is apples and oranges. But what Mike chose to leave out were all the possible free agent signings (of pitchers, starters and relievers) that HAVE worked out just fine for their new teams.
The Rangers signed Pedro Astacio to be in their rotation, a low-risk incentive based deal for a pitcher coming off injuries and strugg-a-ling years. He is currently 2-5 (and that is on a
first-place team with a solid offense) with a 5.57 ERA.
They could have signed the following starting pitchers (who switched teams this offseason), listed with the team they signed with and their current stats:
Paul Byrd, LAA: 4-4 (4.15 ERA)
Matt Clement, BOS: 6-0 (3.06 ERA)
Shawn Estes, ARI: 4-3 (3.79 ERA)
Orlando Hernandez, CWS: 5-1 (3.91 ERA)
Jon Leiber, PHI: 6-4 (4.41 ERA)
Esteban Loaiza, WAS: 1-4 (3.61 ERA)
Derek Lowe, LAD: 4-4 (3.11 ERA)
Pedro Martinez, NYM: 5-1 (2.79 ERA)
Wade Miller, BOS: 2-1 (4.85 ERA)
Kevin Milwood, CLE: 1-4 (3.20 ERA)
Carl Pavano, NYY: 4-3 (4.18 ERA)
Aaron Sele, SEA: 4-4 (4.24 ERA)
Woody Williams, SD: 2-2 (4.84 ERA)
There are some high-priced guys there, but also some bargains (i.e. Kevin Milwood, whom I know more than 1 Ticket-host was hoping the Rangers would sign). But considering the Rangers are in a top-5 market and DO have "financial flexibility" even the high-priced quality pitchers shouldn't be off-limits.
Mike then goes on to discuss possible signings of relief pitchers. He says the "choices were pretty limited" and then lists Steve Kline and Billy Koch as the only two options, closing with "Nothing there. Obviously." Not so fast Mike. What about these twelve relievers who
switched clubs in the off-season?
Ricky Bottalico, MIL: 0-0 (3.20 ERA), 20 G, 19.2 IP
Chris Hammond, SD: 5-0 (1.73 ERA), 19 G, 26.0 IP
Dustin Hermanson, CWS: 0-0 (0.00 ERA), 19 G, 21 IP
Roberto Hernandez, NYM: 2-2 (2.66 ERA), 25 G, 23.2 IP
Todd Jones, FLA: 0-1 (1.48 ERA), 22 G, 24.1 IP
Matt Mantei, BOS: 1-0 (2.12 ERA), 21 G, 17.0 IP
Kent Mercker, CIN: 1-1 (2.31 ERA), 27 G, 23.1 IP
Mike Myers, BOS: 1-1 (1.93 ERA), 17 G, 9.1 IP
Dennys Reyes, SD: 3-0 (3.46 ERA), 22 G, 26.0 IP
Rudy Seanez, SD: 3-0 (3.00 ERA), 23 G, 24.0 IP
Rick White, PIT: 2-2 (2.92 ERA), 21 G, 24.2 IP
Jay Witasick, COL: 0-2 (3.06 ERA), 15 G, 17.2 IP
I'm sure the Rangers could use help from any number of these guys right about now, with Fransisco and Almanzar out for the year.
Obviously, Mike's rant was extremely dishonest. He selectively chose free agent signings that turned out bad and ignored those which have worked out (50 games into the season, which again, isn't enough to fully judge).
Jon G. in Cleburne
I don’t think I would use the term “extremely dishonest”. But, your point of selective reasoning is well taken. We all do it to make our points…
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this stuff, and check out Mike’s fine work everyday over at the Newberg Report.