Category Archives: Reflections On Baseball

WHICH METS STARTER WOULD YOU TRADE FOR A SORELY NEEDED BAT?

The New York Mets have some big decisions to make this winter. Assuming they are not willing to put up the money it’s going to take to sign Yeonis Cespedes,images-134 (left) or even better they don’t want anything to do with him – they will need to move on a trade to replace his bat – one that clearly rejuvenated a struggling lineup and powered them to the World Series. To do this, teams will be looking at their core of young starting pitchers saying “Okay, for this guy, we’ll give you him but if you sweeten the deal with HIM we’ll give you HIM”. So, what is the best move for the Mets? Continue reading

IF I COULD BE COMMISSIONER FOR A DAY………

I suppose it might be the dream of many fans of baseball……but here’s what I would do given the chance to be Baseball’s Commissioner for a day….. Continue reading

RULE 5 IS GOOD, BUT……….

At the Winter Meetings following the World Series, major league teams must decide on the 40 players they want to protect in a special draft that is commonly referred to as the Rule Five Draft.

The rule is basically a good idea as it prevents teamsimages (25) from stockpiling players in their farm systems and it gives hope to minor league players who may be languishing behind a all star major leaguer playing the same position. Depending on age when they signed, players become eligible after three or four years

Historically, players such as Roberto Clemente (above) who as we know turned into the steal of the Century for the Pirates, R A Dickey (left),download (9) Dan Uggla, and Jose Bautista (below) revitalized their careers after being taken in this draft. Last year, the Rangers caught lightning in a bottle when they selected images (26)Delino Deshields who became the Texas Rookie Of The Year. For major league teams, the price of a selection is a mere $50,000…….but there’s a catch……
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YANKEES – SIT TIGHT AND WAIT IT OUT

If there is one thing the 2015 season demonstrated, it’s that younger (read athletically) constructed teams were the ones who played well into October. In essence, speed kills. Whether you’re talkingimages-1 about a fast ball consistently in the 95-97 mph range (Mets starters) or quick thinking and athleticism on the base paths, or swift and reliable ball tracking in the outfield (Royals on both counts)  – all winning teams (add the Cubs, Astros, and Pirates too) have speed as a common thread between them. Continue reading

PICKING OFF THE LOW HANGING FRUIT……

A quick look at the Transaction Wire over the past few days reveals that general managers are picking the low hanging fruit of the free agent market in an attempt to either bolster the depth of their team, or (more likely) hoping to catch lightning in a bottle by signing a player who underperformed or was injured last season.

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POST SEASON AWARDS – 50% AIN’T BAD

 Dallas Keutchel (check), Bryce Harper (incorrect), Jake Arietta (incorrect), and Jeff Donaldson (check). That’s how it went in the Cy Young and MVP Awards for me. 
Noticing that both of my incorrect picks were unanimous winners certainly is something to give me pause. Maybe it’s time to hop on the Bryce Harper bandwagon……who knows. What I do know though is that Paul Goldschmidt is wallowing away in the Arizona desert and no one seems to recognize him. Or, maybe Bryce Harper is just that good.

Rookie Of The Year honors…….not really a big deal when you consider that such household names as Tom Tresh, Curt Blefary, John Castino, Pat Listach, and Marty Cordova also were awarded this honor. It’s nice, but prove it twice. Continue reading

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT….(CHAPTER THREE)

Once again, a-siegel-deadline
in tribute to the late newspaper journalist and reporter Jimmy Cannon, this piece attempts to capture the flavor of what he might be writing about today………

…..The Chosen One in this year’s free agency field images (9)appears to be Ben Zobrist, (right) who is flexible regarding defensive positions and has just enough offensive power to make him a valued addition for several teams. Reasonably priced, watch the scramble for his services carry well into the winter.

…..When are the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays just gonna images (10)wave a white flag and move the team to a real (potentially) big league city? San Antonio, Texas comes to mind……cynically the answer might be pretty simple….despite the underwhelming support of their fan base, the owners are still making $$$$.

…..Even more than his outstanding abilities with a ball imagesor bat in his hand, Zach Greinke is a student of the game. So much so that he was a welcome resource in the Dodgers war room on Draft Day last year. If he wants, his next career will be as a General Manager of a (lucky) major league team. Continue reading

THE CY YOUNG AND MVP AWARDS – REVISITED

Five weeks ago, I took a stab at who might win the Cy Young (left) images (8)and MVP (below) awards in each league. Yesterday, the top three finalists were announced in each category (somebody had a good idea). The field looks remarkably images (7)similar to the players I predicted would be in contention, except for the inclusion of Sonny Gray who emerged as a candidate for the AL Cy Young. 

While my reasoning behind the selections I made remains constant, my selections now are a bit different, mainly because the Post Season is now over. In the same way I put stock in a player’s TEAM making the playoffs, I now think that player’s performance in the Post Season counts equally as much. So, let’s get to the picks….. Continue reading

MONEY FOR NOTHING – TITLES FOR FREE

For those who follow baseball, an intriguing question images (6)continues to be…….what role does money play in the game today….and does $$$ automatically equate to winning, and especially winning World Championships?

Off the top of your head, you might say – look at the success MLBtrophyTampa Bay has had in recent years in a devalued market and shrinking revenue, and that is true. But overall, what is the true value of money spent? I thought I’d take a look at this from a pure mathematical standpoint. Here are the results of this study…… Continue reading

A TRIBUTE TO PLAYERS WHO SERVED

On the day we honor Veterans who served in the American Armed Forces, I thought it would be time well downloadspent and interesting to do some research on Major and Minor League players who have served their country. The sheer number is startling – 336 during the Korean War (view list here)  for example according to Baseball Reference, my go-to source for anything about baseball.

Some of the names we are familiar with and a few such as Ted Williams (above) deservedly gainedWhiteyFord-Korea-044-1307011627_4_3 renown for their efforts. Williams (view MLB’s tribute here), a distinguished fighter pilot for the Marines forfeited three prime baseball years to serve. Hall of Famers Whitey Ford  (above right) and Willie Mays WillyMays-Korea-033-1307011639_4_3( right with another Veteran, Don Newcombe) also served in the Korea struggle in the early 1950′ s.  Other names are not as much of note, but count players like Jerry Coleman, who appeared in six World Series for the New York Yankees,  Roger Craig, a 20 game loser for the first New York Mets team in 196 , Don Larsen (no introduction needed), Billy Martin, a journeyman player but a dynamic manager, and Frank Torre, the brother of Joe hit .273 in seven big league seasons, among those who served too. Continue reading