• The Express Hits 66

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (2)

    Reggie Jackson, on facing Nolan Ryan: “Every hitter likes a fastball, just like everybody likes ice cream. But you don’t like it stuffed into you by the gallon.”

    Happy Birthday Nolan.

    Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, Nolan Ryan was inducted on July 25, 1999 wearing a Rangers cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. Nolan was elected to the Hall of Fame on 98.79% of the eligible ballots, a figure which remains the second highest in history. He is the only player to ever have his uniform number retired by three different teams with the Angels (#30) and Astros (#34) joining the Rangers.

    Terry Francona On Studio 42 With Bob Costas

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (0)

    I got to see a little bit of this one.

    I’ve always been, and still am, a huge fan of Joe Girardi as a person. I just love the way he lives his life. Actually, I put him – again, as a person – in the “type of guy that I hope my son grows up to be someday” or the “type of guy that I hope my daughter marries someday” category. And, I can’t say that about many in baseball.

    As far as being a big league manager, to be candid, I had very high expectations for Girardi when he took the Yankees job. And, now that I’ve seen him in that role for five years, I realize that my expectations were a mistake. Don’t get me wrong – Joe does some things very well and he’s won a World Series ring. Plus, he works extremely hard and tries to be prepared. But, albeit right or wrong, I was expecting more from him.

    In any event, I also find Terry Francona to be very honest and a commanding presence. As such, he impresses me. If you had a major league ball club, you could do a lot worse than having Francona as your skipper. The Indians are lucky to have him.

    A-Rod And The Yankees: An Unnatural Alliance

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (0)

    Great stuff from Selena Roberts here. It’s a quick but must read.

    George Mitchell On Baseball’s PED Issue

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (1)

    Via MSNBC

    [Former Sen. George] Mitchell, whose report helped lead to new rules regarding drug testing, said the problem isn’t going away. “Every society has laws against robbery and murder, yet everyone knows that robbery and murder are not going to end. It’s managing an ongoing human problem. That’s the case with performance-enhancing drugs,” Mitchell told Chuck Todd on The Daily Rundown. “It’s a problem of…keeping pace, reducing the incentives to use and…increasing vigilance, regulation and punishment for those who use.” Major League Baseball released a statement saying its in the midst of an “active investigation” into the latest allegations and noted that the developments amount to proof that anti-drug efforts are working.

    Mitchell says the sport has its hands full trying to clamp down on cheaters. “In many parts of the world, including the United States, there are people engaged in illegal businesses trying to develop new performance-enhancing drugs that can escape detection. They try to stay one step ahead of the regulators and the testers.” Nevertheless, the former Senator says there’s no need to get the federal government involved. “Not at the moment, I don’t think so,” he said. “Let’s wait and see what happens.”

    It’s hard to argue with any of that.

    Matt Holliday: Turn Up The Heat On PED Users

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (3)

    Via Derrick Goold -

    In the wake of the Miami New Times report that links Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and others to a Miami clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs, baseball is back in the throes of criticism for a drug culture that even strict testing rules haven’t been able to lasso.

    Count Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday among the critics.

    Holliday joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio on Wednesday and suggested that harsher penalties should be in place to deter the use of performance-enhancing drugs such as human growth hormone and steroids. The left fielder explained to the hosts how his opinion on the current penalties has changed and how he believes in a two-strikes-and-you’re-out policy.

    That is: A second test results in a lifetime ban.

    “I’d go first time (you get caught) you miss a full season, 162 games you’re out,” Holliday said, according to a transcript of the show provided to The Post-Dispatch. “And then the second time I think you are suspended for a lifetime with the eligibility after two years maybe to apply for reinstatement. That’s what I would do. I feel like that’s pretty harsh but I think that’s what we need. I think we need harsher penalties. I think that would be a good start.

    “… I thought (a 50-game suspension) was pretty harsh,” Holliday continued. “I thought that might be enough with 50 and then, I think it was, 100. But it clearly is not enough. There are guys getting caught and there’s a paper trail and all this stuff going on now. It’s clearly not enough to deter guys from trying to find ways around it, trying to find ways to beat the system or whatever they’re doing. So I’m all for making it harder.”

    It is rare for an active player to comment in such a forum, but it speaks to the conversation going on even in the clubhouses as baseball tries to stay ahead of PED use in the game.

    The current penalties for a positive test or proof of PED possession are 50 games the first time and 100 games for a second positive test. A third positive test yields the lifetime penalty that Holliday talked about. Those penalties have been collectively bargained by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association. The union and the commissioner’s office have rewritten the policy before to increase the penalty for positive tests.

    If the powers that be are confident in their testing process, I would have no problem with what Holliday suggests here.

    Top 40 WAR Totals – Batters During Age 30-35 Seasons

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (0)

    Here is the list -

    Rk Player WAR/pos From To Age G PA R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Willie Mays 59.2 1961 1966 30-35 939 3968 712 1059 171 263 693 453 469 77 .305 .384 .599
    2 Honus Wagner 56.2 1904 1909 30-35 851 3576 604 1094 230 33 538 337 214 312 .349 .418 .505
    3 Babe Ruth 53.8 1925 1930 30-35 835 3716 792 1011 154 281 825 685 441 39 .343 .469 .707
    4 Lou Gehrig 45.8 1933 1938 30-35 924 4158 811 1159 213 226 848 697 281 39 .338 .453 .627
    5 Hank Aaron 44.8 1964 1969 30-35 915 3945 626 1058 193 212 603 412 429 121 .303 .374 .548
    6 Roberto Clemente 44.2 1965 1970 30-35 831 3546 525 1071 138 113 502 275 506 33 .331 .384 .521
    7 Jackie Robinson 44.0 1949 1954 30-35 862 3634 602 994 183 95 522 488 168 122 .327 .428 .505
    8 Barry Bonds 43.7 1995 2000 30-35 862 3738 694 870 175 235 645 736 477 162 .296 .437 .614
    9 Nap Lajoie 43.1 1905 1910 30-35 798 3349 397 995 206 11 392 219 111 109 .332 .384 .436
    10 Charlie Gehringer 42.3 1933 1938 30-35 909 4203 770 1229 256 91 659 532 127 56 .340 .427 .508
    11 Stan Musial 41.8 1951 1956 30-35 926 4096 660 1157 229 178 655 557 218 22 .331 .424 .576
    12 Mike Schmidt 41.3 1980 1985 30-35 863 3663 576 847 140 223 607 576 702 51 .280 .394 .564
    13 Tris Speaker 39.8 1918 1923 30-35 824 3619 618 1072 280 41 507 472 72 74 .355 .445 .532
    14 Ty Cobb 38.6 1917 1922 30-35 764 3381 591 1128 206 28 499 309 148 163 .380 .441 .539
    15 Rogers Hornsby 38.6 1926 1931 30-35 727 3160 563 939 197 115 569 409 218 20 .355 .443 .584
    16 Joe Morgan 38.3 1974 1979 30-35 848 3595 578 827 162 110 457 655 305 281 .287 .416 .473
    17 Rickey Henderson 36.1 1989 1994 30-35 758 3332 594 761 129 100 300 608 367 323 .285 .420 .454
    18 Pete Rose 36.1 1971 1976 30-35 961 4486 660 1230 228 44 353 487 296 44 .313 .392 .424
    19 Jim Edmonds 35.2 2000 2005 30-35 878 3537 599 851 201 210 590 551 853 33 .292 .406 .584
    20 Larry Walker 34.9 1997 2002 30-35 775 3227 630 971 214 182 590 392 419 83 .353 .441 .648
    21 Ozzie Smith 34.4 1985 1990 30-35 920 3855 464 921 159 12 334 423 203 223 .276 .357 .348
    22 Bill Terry 34.1 1929 1934 30-35 887 3927 664 1284 213 88 616 284 197 33 .360 .408 .528
    23 Ichiro Suzuki 33.2 2004 2009 30-35 953 4416 624 1368 138 55 333 278 413 220 .335 .380 .431
    24 Dolph Camilli 32.1 1937 1942 30-35 875 3755 585 883 159 160 609 609 573 35 .284 .403 .525
    25 Wade Boggs 31.7 1988 1993 30-35 896 4057 568 1089 230 31 335 556 265 6 .316 .409 .425
    26 Alex Rodriguez 31.4 2006 2011 30-35 810 3534 579 874 157 200 667 436 651 79 .291 .387 .546
    27 Brooks Robinson 31.3 1967 1972 30-35 943 3966 425 925 157 108 486 313 312 6 .259 .319 .406
    28 Jeff Bagwell 31.3 1998 2003 30-35 947 4219 748 1025 209 232 697 660 717 87 .296 .412 .562
    29 Ken Williams 31.0 1920 1925 30-35 804 3511 600 1007 188 145 624 374 162 123 .334 .411 .575
    30 Pee Wee Reese 30.9 1949 1954 30-35 880 4032 623 951 146 66 397 546 360 123 .280 .381 .404
    31 Art Fletcher 30.6 1915 1920 30-35 827 3371 344 845 136 17 359 85 197 64 .270 .307 .353
    32 Frank Robinson 30.4 1966 1971 30-35 827 3492 555 882 143 179 545 460 452 35 .300 .401 .543
    33 Craig Biggio 30.2 1996 2001 30-35 900 4137 690 1044 216 101 422 438 572 169 .298 .394 .459
    34 Barry Larkin 30.1 1994 1999 30-35 772 3284 528 839 165 90 374 440 309 183 .301 .397 .480
    35 Mark McGwire 29.9 1994 1999 30-35 745 3141 539 698 106 293 645 637 684 5 .285 .436 .689
    36 Ted Williams 29.8 1949 1954 30-35 552 2469 453 643 120 144 508 545 158 5 .335 .482 .633
    37 George Davis 29.7 1901 1906 30-35 702 2941 359 726 135 12 363 250 240 148 .281 .348 .374
    38 Harry Heilmann 29.5 1925 1930 30-35 850 3546 541 1102 253 84 675 377 196 37 .361 .433 .560
    39 Eddie Stanky 29.5 1946 1951 30-35 792 3608 537 781 128 28 254 685 262 34 .275 .421 .368
    40 Cal Ripken 29.4 1991 1996 30-35 905 3954 495 997 193 128 541 325 332 13 .280 .342 .450
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 1/31/2013.

    .
    Yup. From ages 30 through 35, Jackie Robinson was that good.

    A-Rod Never To Play For Yankees Again?

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (11)

    Via the Daily News -

    Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever wear the pinstripes again, sources familiar with the Yankees’ situation with their troubled third baseman told the Daily News, no matter what happens regarding new allegations that he is again involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

    According to numerous baseball sources, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will likely derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.

    “I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” said a baseball official.

    “If he did that, he’d be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones.”

    This could be a way to force A-Rod’s hand – and one that is totally legal, etc. The Yankees can simply tell him “Do what you need to do, yadda-yadda. But, when you come back, we’re not playing you. If we are forced to active you, you will set the bench the entire time you are with the team. We will only use you in mop-up duty. And, if you refuse to go play in the field when you are called upon, we will void your contract for your refusal to play.”

    Sure, it would be a media mess and a distraction to the team. But, the long term gain from the short term pain may just be worth it.

    Why Baseball Should Ban A-Rod

    Posted by on January 30th, 2013 · Comments (22)

    I totally understand why a baseball player would be tempted to use a performance-enhancing drug.

    I think that most ballplayers, at any level, aspire to improve their level of play, all the time, and would love to be among the best to play the game.

    And, when it comes to professional baseball players, the drive to get to the major leagues is very strong. It’s an uphill battle too. I would estimate that less than 9% of the players in the minor leagues at any point in time will ever go on to appear in a major league game. Further, as many who have made it will tell you, getting to the major leagues is incredibly hard. However, staying there, and forging out a major league career, is even more difficult to attain.

    And, to be the best of the best in the majors? Well, put it this way. If you’re going to make it to the Hall of Fame as a player, you’re going to have to be in the top 1/1000th of all players to ever play in the major leagues. (Yes, about .001 of the some 207,000 men to play in the big leagues made it to Cooperstown as a player.)

    Oh, and, by the way, there’s the money angle. The minimum salary for the 2013 major league season is $490,000. And, the highest paid players in baseball today can make as much as $20 million in a single season.

    When you factor all this together, it’s not hard to fathom why ballplayers would use a performance-enhancing anything (much less a drug).

    This all said, the issue here is that major league baseball, as a result of pressure from sundry fronts, does not want players using performance-enhancing drugs. And, when players do use them, quite often, they are obtaining them illegally. But, again, the players, wanting to be better, in the majors, and making a lot of money, will continue to do whatever they can do to enhance their performance.

    At this point, the only thing that will prevent players from using performance-enhancing drugs will be a penalty which makes the risk much greater than the reward.

    My daughter is almost 11-years old. Since she is getting older, people will sometimes ask me how I will handle it once she starts dating. To that, my answer is always the same: “I am going to kill the first boy who asks her on a date and hang him from the tree in front of my house – as a warning sign to all the other boys who are thinking about chasing after her.”

    Of course, I am kidding (when I say that). But, the notion is an effective one.

    If baseball really wants to scare the bejeezus out of someone considering using performance-enhancing drugs, then they need to make an example out of someone which will leave an indelible mark in the minds and memory for ballplayers today and those in the future.

    This brings us to Alexander Emmanuel “Alex” Rodriguez (aka “A-Rod”). If baseball had the balls to void his contract, ban him from the game, and make his ineligible for the Hall of Fame, that would set one helluva example (and strike fear into the hearts of potential future offenders). Yet, we know this cannot happen because of baseball’s CBA, the MLBPA, and the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

    I guess that’s one of the differences between baseball in 1921 and 2013. Baseball should ban “A-Rod” today. But, the can’t – so, they won’t. And, this chance to make a move and set an example will go down looking…

    Pronk In The Bronx?

    Posted by on January 30th, 2013 · Comments (17)

    Yankees, Hafner Could Be Nearing Deal.

    Give us your old, broken down, likely former juicers…

    A-Rod’s Legacy: Attention For Bad Reasons

    Posted by on January 30th, 2013 · Comments (3)

    Good stuff today from Richard Justice -

    Some of us thought A-Rod would change when he joined the Yankees. For the first time, he would not be bigger than the franchise. He’d be surrounded by players even more famous and part of a franchise that won before he arrived and would win once he departed.

    The Yankees changed Roger Clemens, and not in a small way. He’d probably reject such a notion, but Clemens became a different guy with the Yankees. He was no longer the main player. Instead, he was part of something larger, and he understood it and absolutely loved it.

    The Rocket misbehaved some early in his career, seemed to do things to draw attention to himself. Once he walked into the clubhouse doors at Yankee Stadium, he saw that it was no longer about him. It was about winning. It was about carrying himself a certain way.

    He saw how Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte and Joe Torre conducted themselves. He saw there was no drama in the clubhouse. He saw that only one thing mattered. As a result, The Rocket had a great six seasons with the Bombers. He was a beloved and respected teammate. He did charity work, befriended cops and soldiers and competed like hell on the field.

    He may not enter the Hall of Fame as a Yankee, but I’m guessing that in his heart and his soul he’s a Yankee.

    For whatever reason, A-Rod never seemed to find that same comfort level with being a Yankee. He was constantly making missteps or doing things that called attention—many times negative attention—to himself. Some people may have disliked him intensely, but there seemed to be more who just never understood him.

    He had a wonderful career arc written for him long ago. He was the kid who showed up at Miami Stadium and befriended Cal Ripken Jr. during Spring Training one year. He wanted to be like Ripken, who tried to do everything right, signing every autograph, preparing and performing in a way that would influence others in a way more powerful than words.

    All great players have special needs, and so it has been with A-Rod. If this is the end of his career or the beginning of the end of his career, he’ll go out with people remembering all the wrong things about him, not that he was an incredibly gifted player, but that the attention too often wasn’t on his playing.

    Whatever happens with A-Rod, I will say this: After his playing days are over, he’ll be done with baseball. They will never let him be part of team ownership or a front office. And, even if he was willing to manage or coach, which I doubt, no one will touch him.

    Hopefully, he will go into retirement and never been seen again. Then again, if he ended up like O.J. Simpson someday, that would not shock me either…

    Is A-Rod’s Career Over?

    Posted by on January 30th, 2013 · Comments (14)

    From Bob Klapisch today -

    Say goodbye to Alex Rodriguez and whatever good memories you have of this disgraced slugger, assuming there are any left to conjure. A-Rod has been linked (again) to performance-enhancing drugs, as recently as last season, putting the finishing touches on his now-utterly trashed legacy — baseball’s all-time fraud.

    This is our hunch about Rodriguez’s career: It’s over, and not just because of the severity of his recent hip surgery. Rodriguez knows his reputation has been shredded — no one believes his denials, especially the Bombers. Their lawyers are already crawling all over the language of Rodriguez’s contract, looking for ways to void that absurd $275 million investment, of which he’s still owed $114 million.

    That would be reason enough to send A-Rod into hiding, but there’s an even more compelling reason to write him off now. It’s the psychological dependency on PEDs — he’s been hooked all along and was too weak to ever stop. Rodriguez may look like a bruiser, but don’t be fooled. He’s nothing without his syringes and pills and creams. He can’t compete without them.

    There’s no way out — the relationship with the Yankees and their fans is too toxic. Rodriguez was reportedly dumb enough to keep breaking the rules, but he’s savvy enough to know he’s used up the last of his equity. Just wait and see, A-Rod will find a doctor to say he’s medically unable to keep playing, like Albert Belle, whose own career ended in 2000 because of hip problems. This convenient detour will allow A-Rod to pocket the rest of his money and give the Yankees 85 percent reimbursement from their insurers.

    Dishonest or not, it would be the ultimate face-saver, and don’t think for a minute Yankee elders aren’t praying for this very road map. They’ve cursed themselves a hundred times over for that crazy contract, the one general manager Brian Cashman tried to block. Now, finally, there’s a way out.

    Will ownership try to void the deal in the meantime? They’re already dreaming about it. But the process will be long and meticulous; it’s the commissioner’s office, not the Yankees, who’ll be investigating. The feds are involved, too, according to one person familiar with the day’s developments. The Drug Enforcement Agency is sniffing around Biogenesis of America, the Coral Gables, Fla., anti-aging clinic that, according to the Miami New Times, was more like a drug factory for athletes — an East Coast BALCO. A-Rod was listed among its clientele. The government will eventually learn if the published claims are verifiable, whether A-Rod was trafficking in controlled or illegal substances.

    That would mean an immediate 50-game suspension per MLB’s drug policy, which could be actionable by the Yankees. So could proof that Rodriguez was being treated by a non-team physician without management’s knowledge or consent. That would be a loophole the Steinbrenner family would gladly blast right open.

    Has there ever been a player with a baseball resume like Alex Rodriguez who was run out of the game as an active player by shame? Maybe Joe Jackson…but, he didn’t quit out of shame…the commish banned him.

    The Cacique Has Fallen & He May Not Get Back Up

    Posted by on January 30th, 2013 · Comments (3)

    Via Tom Verducci -

    Under section 7.G.2 of the Joint Drug Agreement, the commissioner can rule for disciplinary action against a player for “just cause” in the cases of violations not specifically referenced in the JDA. Prescriptions and records of PED use and purchase fall under the “just cause” umbrella.

    In 2009, for instance, Manny Ramirez entered an appeal of a test that showed an elevated level of testosterone. When an investigation of that appeal turned up a prescription from a doctor for a banned substance, Ramirez dropped his appeal and accepted the 50-game suspension. Ramirez was not banned because of the test, which technically was not entered as a positive, but because of the records of his prescription for hCG, a female fertility drug often used to kickstart testosterone production after steroid cycles.

    Ramirez’s doctor? Pedro Bosch, the father of Anthony Bosch.

    It was that same year, 2009, that Rodriguez was using Anthony Bosch’s cocktails of PEDS, according to the Miami New Times. Rodriguez, who turned 34 that year, returned surprisingly fast from hip surgery to bat .286 with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs while helping to the lead the Yankees to the world championship. A notoriously poor postseason player for the Yankees, Rodriguez batted .365 that postseason. Rodriguez also had been treated post-surgery by Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor who pleaded guilty in 2011 to bringing unapproved drugs, including HGH, into the U.S. to treat athletes.

    The Bosch notebooks contain information about Rodriguez’s doping regimen from 2009 through 2012, including the drugs, payments and schedules. The banned substances include HGH, IGF-1, and creams and “troches,” a type of drug lozenge, that contain testosterone.

    The notebooks refer to Rodriguez by name and also by the code name “Cacique,” a term originally referring to Caribbean tribal chiefs but has come to be used to describe local political or street bosses with excessive power — a corrupt leader.

    The union and MLB moved quickly toward the adoption of such tougher protocols as more major league and minor league players were getting caught for using synthetic testosterone. The investigations into the South Florida clinics ran on parallel tracks to those concerns.

    Likewise, the strange events surrounding Rodriguez’s second hip surgery will bring about questions about his involvement with Biogenesis. Rodriguez had no problems with his left hip before a complaint about his right hip, the one surgically repaired in 2009, eventually led to the diagnosis that he would need surgery on his left hip. That surgery was postponed for nearly two months for “pre-habilitation” in order to better prepare the area for the rigors of recuperation. Rodriguez was expected to miss half the season, though Yankees general manager Brian Cashman did not rule out the possibility of Rodriguez missing the entire season.

    Indeed, Rodriguez’s career never has been in more doubt than it is today. His health and reputation are in tatters. He turns 38 in July. The incentives the Yankees included in his contract for “milestone” home runs now stand as even more awkward reminders that his achievements are fraudulent.

    What will become of him? The Yankees would wish he never puts on their uniform again, writing him and his contract off to the insurance companies or, if they have the stomach for it, to try to invalidate the agreement because of his use of PEDs, the way they once threatened to do with Jason Giambi. Rodriguez must give a full accounting of himself and this report to Selig and, quickly, to baseball fans. You can see Oprah, Katie Couric and Dr. Phil already lined up at his doorstep for the next sports confessional.

    In any case, the news is worse for Rodriguez than it is for anybody else in the report, if only because of his stature and that 2009 confessional production under the tent in the Yankees’ spring training complex. Until now, Rodriguez was careful to shield the Yankees from his taint, telling the story about how he stopped using PEDs before he became a Yankee — as if it made perfect sense that he used for a last-place Texas team but suddenly would have no more use for performance enhancers upon being put on the New York stage. The story seemed to fly for many people. But now, with this story, the franchise and its 2009 championship are smeared by Rodriguez’s connection to PEDs.

    Now Rodriguez must bring to bear all of his advisers and Hollywood image makers for some kind of severe recovery strategy — even bigger than the last. No matter the damage control Rodriguez brings, it is a terribly sad story. It is sad because the scouts who watched him play in high school will tell you they never saw a better, more complete player at that age. He needed no help. And now he stands as someone defined by his help, not by his talent. What is there left of him that is believable? Only this: the Cacique has fallen.

    What pisses me off, the most, about all this today? I had to explain it to my son this morning. I didn’t want him to go into school and hear it from someone else. He’s in the 3rd grade and not yet 9-years old. He’s a Yankees fan and I could tell that he was sad to hear about this news. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll get over it quickly. And, it may not even be lunchroom and/or recess time conversation in his school today. But, I did not want him to be hit with it from a schoolmate. And, I wanted to make sure that it was delivered in the proper way to him. So, I updated him on the situation this morning.

    I’m sure I am not the only father of a young child who is a major baseball fan in this spot today. And, I am also sure that just about everyone who has a hand in stuff like this doesn’t really care about fathers who have to explain this to their young kids.

    Great times, eh?

    I Don’t Think We Will See This A-Rod Shirt At Modell’s

    Posted by on January 30th, 2013 · Comments (0)

    arod lisa

    Source.

    Yankees Want A-Rod Contract Voided?

    Posted by on January 29th, 2013 · Comments (5)

    The story is here.

    I guess anything is possible. Brian Cashman got Louise Meanwell locked up, after all.

    Project For You Wannabe Lawyers Out There (Or Actual Lawyers)

    Posted by on January 29th, 2013 · Comments (9)

    Here is the 2012-2016 MLB/MLBPA Basic Agreement.

    Is there anything in there to help baseball and/or the Yankees deal with this latest A-Rod situation.

    Report: A-Rod Got PEDs From Anthony Bosch

    Posted by on January 29th, 2013 · Comments (34)

    How do you say Tic Tac’s in Spanish?

    Via the Miami New Times -

    This week, New Times takes you inside Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables run by Miami entrepreneur Anthony Bosch. His name is familiar to sports fans because he and his father, Dr. Pedro Bosch, were probed by authorities in 2009 when Manny Ramirez was suspended for violating baseball’s drug rules.

    An extraordinary cache of Bosch’s records suggests that Bosch has been supplying performance-enhancing drugs to some of the biggest names in sports, including Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Click through for a full look at all of A-Rod’s appearances in Bosch’s files.

    First, a word about the records. New Times reviewed a wide range of Biogenesis files, from a neatly kept spreadsheet of patients dated June 2012 to folders of loose documents. There are also daily logs of visitors and, most important, Tony Bosch’s personal notebooks from 2009 through 2012.

    In all, we reviewed 256 pages of handwritten notes from Bosch, a half-dozen full patient files, and more than 100 pages of other business documents from Biogenesis.

    How did we authenticate the records? New Times called dozens of numbers from client lists and Bosch’s personal notebooks. Virtually everyone we spoke with acknowledged their involvement with the clinic or politely declined to comment. There wasn’t a single denial. We also spoke to six clients who confirmed that their information — as recorded in the records — was accurate. Two former Biogenesis employees described intimate details of the clinic and its business.

    Bosch’s personal notebooks also check out in every other respect. Scrawled numbers to diagnostic clinics reach diagnostic clinics. Details about Bosch’s family life, business plans, and debts match public records.

    Alex Rodriguez appears 16 times in the documents we reviewed. His name is recorded as “Alex Rod” or “Alex R.” or by his nickname at the clinic, “Cacique.” This is particularly interesting because on ESPN, he acknowledged using PEDs but said he stopped in 2003.

    It’s also important to note that Rodriguez’s cousin, Miami resident Yuri Sucart, frequently appears in the same records on the same days as Rodriguez. Sucart has been identified in the past as Rodriguez’s source for performance-enhancing drugs.

    Now, to the records. We have redacted names that don’t appear multiple times in the records or who couldn’t be confirmed outside the records in some way. Also left out are regular clients whose names we did not believe to be newsworthy. More records will be posted on Riptide over the next few days.

    First, Biogenesis’s client list as of June 2012 includes a number of ballplayers, as well as their nicknames used by Bosch in his personal notebooks. A-Rod was “Cacique”:

    Here’s what the Yankees and A-Rod have to say about this news.

    Yankees Batters In The 2012 ALCS

    Posted by on January 29th, 2013 · Comments (3)

    I still cannot get over these stats:

    Playoff Series Stats
    AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
    Robinson Cano 18 0 1 0 0 0 3 .056 .056 .056
    Eric Chavez 8 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000
    Brett Gardner 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
    Curtis Granderson 11 0 0 0 0 2 7 .000 .154 .000
    Raul Ibanez 13 1 3 1 2 3 4 .231 .375 .538
    Derek Jeter 5 0 1 0 0 1 2 .200 .333 .200
    Russell Martin 14 1 2 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .143
    Jayson Nix 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .200 .000
    Eduardo Nunez 6 2 2 1 1 0 0 .333 .333 1.167
    Alex Rodriguez 9 0 1 0 0 0 3 .111 .111 .111
    Ichiro Suzuki 17 1 6 1 2 1 2 .353 .389 .529
    Nick Swisher 12 0 3 0 1 1 5 .250 .308 .417
    Mark Teixeira 15 1 3 0 0 3 1 .200 .333 .267
    Totals 140 6 22 3 6 12 36 .157 .224 .264
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 1/29/2013.

    .
    A collective .157 batting average with 36 strikeouts in four games.  Take Ichiro out of the picture and it’s much, much, worse.  It’s like Al Leiter was batting for the Yankees in the whole series.  How does that happen?

    I Feel Like Ruben Rivera

    Posted by on January 29th, 2013 · Comments (7)

    Know what this is?

    Jeter Glove

    Yankees GM: Quant Analysis Key To Winning

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (4)

    Via Index Universe:

    Brian Cashman, general manager of the legendary New York Yankees for nearly 16 years, will be a featured speaker At Inside ETFs, the world’s largest ETF conference, to be held Feb. 10-Feb. 12 in Hollywood, Fla. Cashman recently spoke with IndexUniverse Editor-in-Chief Drew Voros about how the management techniques and tools he uses directing the Yankee’s baseball operation are similar to those used in business and investing.

    You can read the entire Q&A here – and, I recommend it. Here are a few snips:

    IndexUniverse: As you know, Inside ETFs is a financial conference. We’ll have a lot of hedge-fund types, institutional investors and a lot of discussion about hedging. How does a Major League Baseball general manager like yourself hedge risk when it comes to not just high-priced players, but players in general?

    Brian Cashman: The thought process incorporates communication and information as the most important aspects. The more accurate information that you can obtain and dissect, the better informed you’ll be to make safe bets, safe investments. My investments are into players. As an industry, we have seen a radical change. “Moneyball” is a term that people repeat too often—the movie and the book—but essentially we have gotten to the point with technology that we can measure everything that takes place on the field. We’ve hired some really smart people to educate us on what statistics are more meaningful than others. This allows you to make safer bets and manage the risk in a much smarter way than I think the old-school regimes used to do.

    IU: So you have essentially an analytic process, right?

    Cashman: Big time. I’ve been with the team here about 15 years now, and going on my 16th year, and I have changed over time as a department head. One of the changes I’ve made is to take the Yankees into the 21st century. When you see things in the industry improve and change, you’ve got to keep up with the challenges. We have created a quantitative analysis department and hired a director of quantitative analysis. That department has grown to some 14 people who manage a number of different information streams. Not only do they pool that information, but then it is dissected and produced in a meaningful way about what is truly taking place on the field in present performance and then future predictable performance. That has certainly allowed us to make safer, more informed decisions.

    You’ll never be perfect or right all the time, but I think I’m in a much better position to make decisions and be comfortable with those decisions if they are educated-based.

    IU: With investments, a lot of times people have the right idea, but either the investment doesn’t click and they run out of money, or they give up on the idea only to see two days later their idea actually succeed. In that similar vein, in terms of trading players or keeping players, is there a player you would care to speak to that maybe you traded too early and then you saw him blossom on another team? And conversely, is there a player that maybe you held onto too long?

    Cashman: Mike Lowell is a player that has now since retired, but he was a New York Yankee well before he was a World Champion Marlin and then eventually a World Champion Red Sox. Mike Lowell was a third baseman at our Columbus Clipper minor-league affiliate. We won the World Series in ’98 with Scott Brosius as our third baseman, and he was a World Series MVP, so we signed Scott Brosius to a three-year contract, which kind of put the nail in Mike Lowell’s coffin with the Yankees at that time.

    So we took the depth of that position of strength for us at third base in Mike Lowell and we traded him to the Marlins for three young starting pitchers that would shore up an area of weakness for this franchise. And Mike really turned into a heck of a player over the next 10 to 15 years after that and helped the Marlins to a World Series title. He eventually got traded to the Red Sox and helped them to two World Series titles. And he is one of the game’s quality people and great players. Scott Brosius was a fantastic thrust for our championship runs and he was a world champion I don’t know how many times over, three times over probably, but that was a player we traded too early or I traded too early.

    Which player did I trade too late? There are probably a number of them that I could name, and I say “a number of them” because when it’s too late, you can’t trade them. So, especially with the investment that we have in our players, once one of these guys with a big contract goes on the wrong side of the mountain, then it’s kind of too late to trade them, because no one is going to want them.

    …we traded him to the Marlins for three young starting pitchers that would shore up an area of weakness for this franchise…

    Todd Noel, Mark Johnson and Ed Yarnall “shore[d] up an area of weakness for [the Yankees] franchise”? Really?

    Tiger Cubs

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (0)

    The Red Sox may have Bill James. But, now, the Cubs have Tom Tango.

    Tom is a good guy. And, he will help the Cubs, no doubt.

    あなたの顔に!

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    Please, keep it over there.

    Sickels On State Of The Yankees Farm System

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (3)

    Here is what he said:

    Strengths: quartet of young hitters at the top, with Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Slade Heathcott all potential impact prospects, though all have some questions. Good depth in C+ types behind them.

    Weaknesses: impact pitching. I don’t count Manny Banuelos as an automatic Tommy John recovery. Wildcard: Rafael DePaula, who could vault up lists quickly once he pitches against people his own age.

    I wonder how this will stand up seven months from now?

    Yankees To Sign Juan Rivera

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (4)

    Hide the golf carts!

    To be honest, I have been wondering about this for a while – pondering if the Yankees would make this move. It seems to make sense for both parties. But, if the Yankees are smart, they will limit Rivera to D.H. as much as possible. He’s a dog in the field. And, he’s a bit of a turd on the bases too.

    Low risk, given the contract. And, I would not be shocked if he made the team.

    Michael Kay Signs Multi-Year Extension With YES

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (12)

    The story.

    Shoot me now.

    Top 40 All-Time WAR Rookie Seasons For Position Players

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    Here is the list -

    Rk Player WAR/pos Year Age Tm Lg G PA R H HR RBI BB SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Mike Trout (RoY-1st) 10.7 2012 20 LAA AL 139 639 129 182 30 83 67 49 .326 .399 .564
    2 Shoeless Joe Jackson 9.0 1911 23 CLE AL 147 641 126 233 7 83 56 41 .408 .468 .590
    3 Dick Allen (RoY-1st) 8.5 1964 22 PHI NL 162 709 125 201 29 91 67 3 .318 .382 .557
    4 Benny Kauff 7.8 1914 24 IND FL 154 667 120 211 8 95 72 75 .370 .447 .534
    5 Ichiro Suzuki (RoY-1st) 7.5 2001 27 SEA AL 157 738 127 242 8 69 30 56 .350 .381 .457
    6 Fred Lynn (RoY-1st) 7.1 1975 23 BOS AL 145 605 103 175 21 105 62 10 .331 .401 .566
    7 Carlton Fisk (RoY-1st) 7.0 1972 24 BOS AL 131 514 74 134 22 61 52 5 .293 .370 .538
    8 Mike Piazza (RoY-1st) 6.8 1993 24 LAD NL 149 602 81 174 35 112 46 3 .318 .370 .561
    9 Tony Oliva (RoY-1st) 6.6 1964 25 MIN AL 161 719 109 217 32 94 34 12 .323 .359 .557
    10 Ted Williams 6.6 1939 20 BOS AL 149 675 131 185 31 145 107 2 .327 .436 .609
    11 Troy Tulowitzki (RoY-2nd) 6.5 2007 22 COL NL 155 682 104 177 24 99 57 7 .291 .359 .479
    12 Nomar Garciaparra (RoY-1st) 6.5 1997 23 BOS AL 153 734 122 209 30 98 35 22 .306 .342 .534
    13 Jason Heyward (RoY-2nd) 6.3 2010 20 ATL NL 142 623 83 144 18 72 91 11 .277 .393 .456
    14 Albert Pujols (RoY-1st) 6.3 2001 21 STL NL 161 676 112 194 37 130 69 1 .329 .403 .610
    15 Kenny Lofton (RoY-2nd) 6.3 1992 25 CLE AL 148 651 96 164 5 42 68 66 .285 .362 .365
    16 Vada Pinson 6.3 1959 20 CIN NL 154 706 131 205 20 84 55 21 .316 .371 .509
    17 Billy Grabarkewitz 6.2 1970 24 LAD NL 156 640 92 153 17 84 95 19 .289 .399 .454
    18 Frank Robinson (RoY-1st) 6.2 1956 20 CIN NL 152 667 122 166 38 83 64 8 .290 .379 .558
    19 Donie Bush 6.2 1909 21 DET AL 157 676 114 145 0 33 88 53 .273 .380 .314
    20 Tommie Agee (RoY-1st) 6.0 1966 23 CHW AL 160 689 98 172 22 86 41 44 .273 .326 .447
    21 Mitchell Page (RoY-2nd) 5.8 1977 25 OAK AL 145 592 85 154 21 75 78 42 .307 .405 .521
    22 Lou Klein 5.8 1943 24 STL NL 154 696 91 180 7 62 50 9 .287 .342 .410
    23 Alvin Davis (RoY-1st) 5.7 1984 23 SEA AL 152 678 80 161 27 116 97 5 .284 .391 .497
    24 Bobby Grich 5.6 1972 23 BAL AL 133 528 66 128 12 50 53 13 .278 .358 .415
    25 Al Rosen 5.6 1950 26 CLE AL 155 668 100 159 37 116 100 5 .287 .405 .543
    26 Glenn Wright 5.5 1924 23 PIT NL 153 662 80 177 7 111 27 14 .287 .318 .425
    27 Tom Brunansky 5.4 1982 21 MIN AL 127 545 77 126 20 46 71 1 .272 .377 .471
    28 Joe Morgan (RoY-2nd) 5.4 1965 21 HOU NL 157 708 100 163 14 40 97 20 .271 .373 .418
    29 Home Run Baker 5.4 1909 23 PHA AL 148 606 73 165 4 85 26 20 .305 .343 .447
    30 Kevin Seitzer (RoY-2nd) 5.3 1987 25 KCR AL 161 725 105 207 15 83 80 12 .323 .399 .470
    31 Devon White (RoY-5th) 5.3 1987 24 CAL AL 159 696 103 168 24 87 39 32 .263 .306 .443
    32 Thurman Munson (RoY-1st) 5.3 1970 23 NYY AL 132 526 59 137 6 53 57 5 .302 .386 .415
    33 Jimmie Hall (RoY-3rd) 5.3 1963 25 MIN AL 156 571 88 129 33 80 63 3 .260 .342 .521
    34 Minnie Minoso (RoY-2nd) 5.2 1951 25 TOT AL 146 622 112 173 10 76 72 31 .326 .422 .500
    35 Johnny Pesky 5.2 1942 23 BOS AL 147 686 105 205 2 51 42 12 .331 .375 .416
    36 Hal Trosky 5.2 1934 21 CLE AL 154 685 117 206 35 142 58 2 .330 .388 .598
    37 Eddie Foster 5.2 1912 25 WSH AL 154 678 98 176 2 70 53 27 .285 .345 .379
    38 Stan Musial 5.1 1942 21 STL NL 140 536 87 147 10 72 62 6 .315 .397 .490
    39 Paul Waner 5.1 1926 23 PIT NL 144 618 101 180 8 79 66 11 .336 .413 .528
    40 Bryce Harper (RoY-1st) 5.0 2012 19 WSN NL 139 597 98 144 22 59 56 18 .270 .340 .477
    41 Bump Wills (RoY-3rd) 5.0 1977 24 TEX AL 152 617 87 155 9 62 65 28 .287 .361 .410
    42 Dusty Baker 5.0 1972 23 ATL NL 127 503 62 143 17 76 45 4 .321 .383 .504
    43 Charlie Hollocher 5.0 1918 22 CHC NL 131 588 72 161 2 38 47 26 .316 .379 .397
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 1/28/2013.

    .
    If Mike Trout’s 2012 rookie season was a woman, I would want to make love to it.

    The 20 Worst Seasons By Yankees Center Fielders

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (3)

    It’s an interesting list:

    Rk Player WAR/pos Year Age Tm G PA R HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Bernie Williams -1.8 2005 36 NYY 141 546 53 12 64 53 75 1 .249 .321 .367
    2 Joe Pepitone -0.2 1967 26 NYY 133 544 45 13 64 34 62 1 .251 .301 .377
    3 Dave Fultz -0.1 1905 30 NYY 129 482 49 0 42 39 47 44 .232 .308 .277
    4 Whitey Witt 0.2 1924 28 NYY 147 662 88 1 36 45 20 9 .297 .346 .362
    5 Danny Hoffman 0.3 1906 26 NYY 100 359 34 0 23 27 72 32 .256 .318 .325
    6 Bernie Williams 0.7 2003 34 NYY 119 521 77 15 64 71 61 5 .263 .367 .411
    7 Danny Hoffman 0.8 1907 27 NYY 136 583 81 5 46 42 99 30 .253 .325 .313
    8 Ping Bodie 0.9 1920 32 NYY 129 523 63 7 79 40 30 6 .295 .350 .446
    9 Melky Cabrera 1.2 2007 22 NYY 150 612 66 8 73 43 68 13 .273 .327 .391
    10 Lee Magee 1.3 1916 27 NYY 131 581 57 3 45 50 31 29 .257 .324 .325
    11 Harry Rice 1.5 1930 28 NYY 100 390 62 7 74 31 21 3 .298 .361 .436
    12 Harry Wolter 1.7 1913 28 NYY 127 521 53 2 43 80 50 13 .254 .377 .339
    13 Earle Combs 2.0 1926 27 NYY 145 670 113 8 55 47 23 8 .299 .352 .429
    14 Bernie Williams 2.2 1993 24 NYY 139 628 67 12 68 53 106 9 .268 .333 .400
    15 Ping Bodie 2.2 1919 31 NYY 134 533 45 6 59 36 46 15 .278 .334 .406
    16 Whitey Witt 2.3 1922 26 NYY 140 628 98 4 40 89 29 5 .297 .400 .364
    17 Dave Fultz 2.3 1904 29 NYY 97 382 39 2 32 24 29 17 .274 .324 .366
    18 Jerry Mumphrey 2.5 1982 29 NYY 123 533 76 9 68 50 66 11 .300 .364 .449
    19 Curtis Granderson 2.7 2012 31 NYY 160 684 102 43 106 75 195 10 .232 .319 .492
    20 Joe DiMaggio 2.7 1951 36 NYY 116 482 72 12 71 61 36 0 .263 .365 .422
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 1/28/2013.

    .
    It’s not like the Yankees had “terrible” full-time center fielders very often, at all. And, clearly, the team waited one season too many to move Bernie out of there (in 2005).

    Eventually, These Guys Are Going To Start Choosing Baseball Over Football

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (5)

    Word.

    Agreed, It’s For A Good Cause

    Posted by on January 28th, 2013 · Comments (0)

     

    86 Years Ago Today, Landis Exonerates Cobb & Speaker

    Posted by on January 27th, 2013 · Comments (2)

    On January 27, 1927, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker were both exonerated of charges of wrongdoing by Commissioner Landis. Both had been accused, by Dutch Leonard, of conspiracy to throw a game in 1919.

    Cobb Speaker Headline

    It was headline news in 1927. But, today, do many baseball fans even know the story? And, has it tarnished the legacy of either of these players? For sure, it didn’t keep them out of the Hall of Fame.

    Best First Ever Seasons For Batters Age 26

    Posted by on January 27th, 2013 · Comments (0)

    The list -

    Rk Player WAR/pos Year Age Tm G PA R H 2B HR RBI BB SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Chris Sabo 4.8 1988 26 CIN 137 582 74 146 40 11 44 29 46 .271 .314 .414
    2 Dale Alexander 4.7 1929 26 DET 155 701 110 215 43 25 137 56 5 .343 .397 .580
    3 Chris Singleton 4.5 1999 26 CHW 133 530 72 149 31 17 72 22 20 .300 .328 .490
    4 David Eckstein 3.9 2001 26 ANA 153 664 82 166 26 4 41 43 29 .285 .355 .357
    5 Ferris Fain 3.8 1947 26 PHA 136 567 70 134 28 7 71 95 4 .291 .414 .423
    6 Yoenis Cespedes 3.4 2012 26 OAK 129 540 70 142 25 23 82 43 16 .292 .356 .505
    7 Roy Johnson 3.0 1929 26 DET 148 714 128 201 45 10 69 67 20 .314 .379 .475
    8 Miller Huggins 3.0 1904 26 CIN 140 596 96 129 12 2 30 88 13 .263 .377 .328
    9 Dave Stapleton 2.9 1980 26 BOS 106 472 61 144 33 7 45 13 3 .321 .338 .463
    10 Dan Uggla 2.8 2006 26 FLA 154 683 105 172 26 27 90 48 6 .282 .339 .480
    11 Spike Shannon 2.8 1904 26 STL 134 582 84 140 10 1 26 50 34 .280 .349 .318
    12 Cuckoo Christensen 2.5 1926 26 CIN 114 385 41 115 15 0 41 40 8 .350 .426 .438
    13 Josh Hamilton 2.4 2007 26 CIN 90 337 52 87 17 19 47 33 3 .292 .368 .554
    14 Vic Davalillo 2.4 1963 26 CLE 90 394 44 108 18 7 36 16 3 .292 .321 .424
    15 Jake Daubert 2.3 1910 26 BRO 144 635 67 146 15 8 50 47 23 .264 .328 .389
    16 Marv Breeding 2.2 1960 26 BAL 152 594 69 147 25 3 43 35 10 .267 .313 .336
    17 Fred Haney 2.2 1922 26 DET 82 257 41 75 7 0 25 32 3 .352 .439 .423
    18 Lefty Davis 2.2 1901 26 TOT 112 503 98 124 10 2 40 66 26 .291 .389 .380
    19 George Altman 2.1 1959 26 CHC 135 467 54 103 14 12 47 34 1 .245 .312 .383
    20 Jimmy Ripple 2.0 1936 26 NYG 96 344 42 95 17 7 47 28 1 .305 .365 .441
    21 Milt Byrnes 1.9 1943 26 SLB 129 491 58 120 28 4 50 53 1 .280 .362 .406
    22 Ival Goodman 1.8 1935 26 CIN 148 637 86 159 23 12 72 35 14 .269 .314 .429
    23 Taffy Wright 1.6 1938 26 WSH 100 282 37 92 18 2 36 13 1 .350 .389 .517
    24 Larry Rosenthal 1.6 1936 26 CHW 85 381 71 89 15 3 46 59 2 .281 .394 .407
    25 Roy Campanella 1.5 1948 26 BRO 83 320 32 72 11 9 45 36 3 .258 .345 .416
    26 Heinie Heitmuller 1.5 1909 26 PHA 64 239 36 60 9 0 15 18 7 .286 .351 .405
    27 Hobe Ferris 1.5 1901 26 BOS 138 564 68 131 16 2 63 23 13 .250 .290 .350
    28 Chris Dickerson 1.4 2008 26 CIN 31 122 20 31 9 6 15 17 5 .304 .413 .608
    29 Elston Howard 1.4 1955 26 NYY 97 306 33 81 8 10 43 20 0 .290 .336 .477
    30 Rollie Zeider 1.4 1910 26 CHW 136 581 57 108 9 0 31 62 49 .217 .305 .243
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 1/27/2013.

    .
    Some fun names and/or interesting stories/backgrounds on this list.

    Next Page »