General

Reactions To The Mitchell Report

I have skimmed the Mitchell Report and I have some initial conclusions.

1- I think Mitchell did a pretty good job. He will rightly be targeted as biased because of his involvement with the Red Sox but I am pretty sure that is not the reason for all the Yankees named in the report and the lack of many Red Sox players. The fact is, Mitchell got a lot of testimony from Kirk Radomski and Radomski was based in New York. Just as there are a lot of Giants and A’s players who got fingered because of BALCO, Radomski brought in the New York element. If Mitchell had gotten someone from a lab in Quincy or Natick, I am sure we would have a lot of Red Sox names. That being said, baseball would have been smart if they had put someone in charge of the investigation who didn’t have ties to the sport in any capacity.

2- The sad reality of this report, that Mitchell fully admits, is that he has only scratched the surface. Mitchell talks about how the people who design these drugs are ahead of the testers. Furthermore, they are serious problems with how the test are conducted. MLB can fix some of this, but not without significant help from the players’ association.

3- Based on the above, you have to view stats carefully. As the report showed, it’s not just power hitters who use this stuff. Nook Logan bought some of it. I will be interested to see how Baseball Prospectus handles this with their PECOTA system.

4- Roger Clemens is as big a crook as Barry Bonds. You cannot excuse one and condemn the other. Reading the reports of Clemens getting injections in the butt makes you realize that the greatest hitter and the greatest pitcher of the past 20 years are both cheats.

Those are my initial reactions, what do you think?

A Big Trade

The Marlins are sending Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera to Detroit for six players. The Tigers just got a lot better.

This trade may also put the Angels into the Santana sweepstakes because they were considered the favorites to land Cabrera before this trade and they have a ton of prospects they could deal.

“Neither Offer Is Going To Change”

That was Peter Gammons tonight on Sportscenter talking about the Yankees and Red Sox offers for Santana. Gammons believes a deal is going to happen, it’s just up to the Twins to decide which package they like more.

ARod Signing, A Disaster?

ESPN’s Rob Neyer had a semi-thorough review of agent Scott Boras’s big deals over the past 10 years. Neyer’s conclusion? Buyer beware. Read this quickly as it is an ESPN Insider article that is being made available for free for some reason.

Basically Neyer took the top Boras client signing over the past 10 years and looked at the player’s 2 seasons prior and seasons since the signing. It is 7 bad, 3 good. And ARod qualifies as a good signing, except that Neyer points out that the Texas Rangers (the deal Neyer reviewed for this study) was good from a statistical standpoint for ARod, but not for the Rangers as a team as they remained bad. And for whatever reason, they felt it a good idea to trade ARod and assume $51mm of his contract. Does that suggest anything?

Have the Yankees courted 10 years of mediocre play? Obviously each contract is different as is each player. But I’ll stick with my guns and say that when you pay a player so much more than the next guy, it causes problems. The Red Sox signing of Manny Ramirez 7 years ago might be the only exception. Why? Because Manny is a unique personality. I think it is dumb luck actually as Manny does anything he can to avoid the spotlight and attention usually afforded very rich sports types. Maybe I’m kidding myself.

ARod is going to make at least $27mm a year for the next 10 years and has incentives that will pay him, based on personal accomplishments, another $30mm or so. Scott Boras gets top dollar for his clients (I don’t know how much he was involved in this deal, but he already made ARod a ton previously) and while it makes the player rich, it usually makes the team regret. Usually.

Buster Olney Says

I just heard an interview with Buster Olney on ESPN Radio in New York and it centered around Santana. Olney says that he sees no way Santana signs for less than 6 years/$25 million per. With his no-trade clause, he is going to demand that salary before he approves a deal anywhere. The Twins have apparently talked to the Yankees about a package of Hughes, Cabrera and (interestingly) Austin Jackson and the Red Sox about a package of Ellsbury, Buckholz and Lester.

Olney felt that between the price and the prospects, neither team would make a deal and the only team he could see pulling the trigger on this trade was the Mets. The problem is, the Mets don’t have the same level of prospects and Olney wasn’t sure Minnesota would take a lesser package centering around Milledge and Pelfry for Santana. His ultimate conclusion was that Santana wasn’t going anywhere.

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s well known that in 1621 after plates full of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing the diners split into two groups, the Red Sox and the Yankees and played baseball.

Ok, maybe it didn’t happen that way, but we would like to wish all the Yankees and Red Sox fans out there a great holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tick…Tick…Tick

Mo, Posada, Lowell and that guy who used to play third in New York are all free agents in a matter of hours.

How Will This Work?

The Boston Globe (link via ESPN) is reporting that 11 players who are free agents will be named in the Mitchell Report. The story states that the players have been notified, but what about the GM’s?

We know that free agents can start signing with new teams next week, but are teams supposed to be bidding on guys who may have cheated without knowing it? Mitchell is apparently collecting evidence until Saturday and then finishing the report, but this looks like another mess for baseball. I guess we will know the reason if we see a free agent sign right away for less money than expected, but this seems like an odd way to run a billion-dollar business.

We Have Playoff Times

MLB has announced the starting time for the Yankees and Red Sox series and let’s just say they are weird. 

The Yankees will play at 6:30 on Thursday, the middle game of the day, 5pm on Friday (1st game of the day), 6:30pm on Sunday (3rd game of the day), 6pm Monday (1st game) and 5pm Wednesday (1st game) This makes sense because they will try and put the Boston series later in the day since they are playing a west coast team.

 

Boston plays 6:30pm Wednesday (middle game), 8:30pm Friday (late game), 3pm Sunday (2nd game), 9:30pm Monday (late game), 8:30pm Wedneday (late game) I suspect they play earlier than the Yankees on Sunday because the Jets play the Giants in New York on Sunday and TBS wants to avoid putting the Yankees on at the same time.

And, for those of you in the NYC area, good news, TBS HD will be available with most cable providers.   

Here’s An Interesting One

Of interest to both Yankees and Red Sox fans should be the playoff scenarios in the NL. You could have the ultimate tie-breaker with five teams ending up with the same record. (New York, Philadelphia, Arizona, San Diego, Colorado) If so, you would have tiebreaking games starting Monday and ending Thursday. Since both NLDS’s are scheduled to start Wednesday, would baseball move the ALDS to those dates? It would be a pretty wild situation, but it is pretty amazing that with four games left, not one team in the NL has clinched a playoff spot.