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Shaggy Comments on Previous Post…

“Also incredible that Nookie had only one win in the first 7 weeks and finished in 5th place. I think I will take Nookie over Mendoza actually…and then you can pick which team you want to win the semi.”

Notes:

1) Nookie autodrafted and needed a few weeks to sort out his team via trade. Once he made his trades, he’s been one of the league’s hottest teams. 34-55 weeks 1-7; 104-76 thereafter. I tried to help him out with a few trades, but of course he helped my team as well. Trading works.

2) I don’t understand why my AAA-affiliate, “Champion”, gets so little love. Brought that entry home 2nd overall. I guess I should just be grateful it doesn’t the get abuse the CL entry gets when it rips off Coach, Dutch Boy, etc.  in trades. “Champion” made 15 trades this year, most ridiculously lopsided, and nobody said dick.

3) You really have no business being in the playoffs, and Slumpy is going to beat you down. On the other side, yeah, I like the Aa-affiliate. When Copp doesn’t get his draft exactly right, it isn’t very pretty.

 

Regular Season Over.

Well, Curacao Littleleague set the record for most dominant regular season ever — 27 games ahead of the Great Unwashed in second and lower places. The playoffs are what they are.

Burger also has a bye this week. I wonder if we’ll meet in the fina–oh.

With little to talk about this blog will also just be what it is until February. Expect posts once or twice a week in September during playoffs, then we’ll slowly ramp stuff back up in January.  Thanks for all your comments and letters.

White Sox give up De Aza for… nothing.

Alejandro de Aza was headed into his final year of arbitration next winter. He’s making $4.25M this year after 17 HR, 20 SB, and a fairly typical .726 OPS in 2013. This April and May were brutal, and Curacao Littleleague got him off the wire in late June. He’s our Monday/Thursday guy and the first guy off our bench, unless he’s leading off, in which case we try to find a place for him in the utility slots. So we play him 2/3 of the time.

De Aza, CL Team log: 38/149 (.255), 0 HR, 9 RBI, 8 SB, .329 OBP, 10 XBH, 17 R

He hasn’t hurt us. The RBI are awful but since he either hits eighth or leadoff, and we try to get him extra leadoff at bats, that’s not why he’s there. The runs are OK, especially on a bad team. 

Now I didn’t have to call KW to know he wasn’t looking at my team log when he traded De Aza. Here’s his full 2014 for the Sox, which, sure, is disappointing:

De Aza 2014: 96/395 (.243), 5 HR, 31 RBI, 15 SB, .309 OBP, 29 XBH, 45 R

(CL has missed out on 5 HR in 246 AB, but gotten better ratios and disproportionate speed.) 

For the season, De Aza’s OPS is .663. One would think, in arbitration, a corner outfielder with an OPS of .663 and average-plus speed wouldn’t be on for much of a raise on this year’s $4.25M. 

And yet he cleared waivers and KW dumped him for two pitchers who have had cups of Sanka in the high minors. 

De Aza came across my desk this week from an MLB team, and I urged them to put in a claim. They are not in contention this year so they decided not to, but they hope to be in contention next year after a long drought, and I told them I saw nothing wrong with either a $4-5M rental next year, or a 4-for-$20M deal plus PA incentives that buys De Aza through age-34.

I think the Orioles fleeced KW with a story that they saw De Aza as the backup to David Lough (he of the Lough Lough .603 OPS). I think De Aza is more useful than Lough and will play more. We’ll see.

The White Sox were clearly going to non-tender De Aza this winter, and there appears to be little interest around the league, so maybe KW did well to get something, anything for him. I think he could have gotten something more. Like fan favourite Mark Buehrle plus cash.

The Jays rate to lose at least one of Rasmus and Melky. De Aza covers some of that off, and even if the Jays have to eat some Buehrle money, they would still have something left over to go shopping this winter. Talking out of my hat here but Buehrle is owed $19M in 2015. Send Buehrle and $9M to the White Sox to De Aza. So the Sox get a year of Buehrle for $10M, which seems OK and is almost certainly better than the two scrubs they got from Baltimore. The whole things cost the Jays $13-$14M ($9M to the White Sox, plus whatever happens with De Aza next year) but that’s $5M less than they are paying Buehrle. And if De Aza shows 15/15 form next year they’ll look awfully clever for letting Melky leave. (In my opinion, the Jays need to not just qualify Melky, but tie him up for three or four years.)

 

Is baseball doomed? Well, no.

The space complains a lot about the ever-lengthening of baseball games. That said, we don’t claim that baseball is in danger of shutting up shop. Ben McGrath at The New Yorker is bizarrely much more pessimistic:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/twilight-baseball

McGrath isn’t complaining about the length of games. Rather, he puts it down to a failure to market Mike Trout (and other young baseball stars) as national icons. McGrath does have a point when he says that, unlike baseball’s greatest players of generations past, Mike Trout doesn’t register among the wider public.

That’s a shame, but it’s not the death of baseball. McGrath concedes that baseball revenues have doubled to $8B since the first years after the last Strike, and that park attendance has doubled since the early 1970s (…and that’s on a per-game basis, even as baseball expanded three times since).

He sees baseball’s tribalism as a problem–I think it’s glorious. I’m a baseball fan and I don’t get excited about watching Mike Trout, because instead of staying up to watch the Halos start at 11pm, I’ve already spent all evening watching my Sawx or my Bucs. And I can watch Boston or Pittsburgh 162 times a year if I choose. If the Angels are at Fenway, hey, look–it’s Mike Trout, who may finish up as the greatest OF to ever play.

Sure, baseball should market its stars better. Not just Trout. It’s a little bit disconcerting that on the last Saturday in August baseball took the back seat in the sport utility vehicle. College Football had the middle seat because Michael Sam was up front sucking off the driver driving him home from Rams camp. But the sports world has become fragmented.

Some years ago in Chicago I came upon a pile of US newspaper sports sections from the early 50s. The only things they wanted to write about were baseball, and… boxing and horse racing. Seriously. There were tiny game reports for the Blackhawks, Bears, and Northwestern. If the Bulls had a team in Chicago in the 50s, the newspaper was unaware of it. But the horse racing coverage was bigger than all of it, boxing was bigger, and with two teams in town baseball had 70% of the whole thing.

Baseball is no longer the biggest sport in America, but with hundreds of TV channels, baseball offers ready content (if, unlike with the Jays, Yankees, Sawx etc., the TV station isn’t already part of the conglomerate). Mike Trout is going to be just fine, and if he sees his 100th birthday, he’ll have lots of baseball to attend or watch on TV.   

Listening to Mendoza, Pt. 2: Roster Maximization

Mendoza’s been wondering aloud as to why more real baseball teams don’t do what Fantasy teams do–game the system to effectively run a larger-than-25-man roster.

Well, aside from DL shenanigans which have gone on forever, it seems that this year teams are figuring out pitching. The Orioles spent much of June running six starting pitchers for the price of five spots (and once, five for the price of four) by repeatedly optioning Kevin Gausman to the minors. When a player is sent down, he needs to go for 15 days… unless there’s an injury, or he’s needed as the extra man for the back-half of a doubleheader. Gausman, conveniently, kept being That Guy.

There’s one other trick: you can bring up anyone you want on/after September 1, no matter where they are and no matter how long they’ve been down there. So the Mariners sent James Paxton down Wednesday. He’ll be back and starting Monday. Gerrit Cole got sent down Friday by the Pirates–to a Rookie Ball franchise whose season is over. He didn’t clean out his locker either, and will start Monday. In the mean time, the M’s and Bucs will each have an extra bat on the bench on the weekend.

Clever.

Extra Bags, Confidential to WNM: It’s ok to love ice cream sandwiches, but don’t try to share one with Jesus Montero. He might come after you with his baseball bat.

 http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/report-jesus-montero-altercation-scout-involving-ice-cream-sandwich-article-1.1921460

“Montero, 24, screamed profanities and threw the ice cream sandwich at the scout while trying to get into the stands with a bat in his hands. That’s when pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera intervened.”

Montero has been deactivated early and his season is over.

Fuck. I thought fat people were supposed to be jolly.

 

Listening to Mendoza, Pt. 1: Selling Cars

Mendoza’s always concerned when players sign for a team’s arch-rival as a free agent, metaphorically asking “where are these guys like Juan Uribe going to have car dealerships when they retire?” Well, today’s MLB salaries mean that most guys who play a few years are set for life. But fear not. Here are two guys with the Blue Jays who are already trying to sell cars, even though neither rates to be with the Jays next season.

We start off with Munenori Kawasaki, who obviously should be pitching Kawasaki motorcycles but somehow finds himself peddling Chryslers instead. Badly:

Good thing that Monkeys never crap, Son!

If you want to listen to somebody whose first language is English do the whole spot, here’s likely-inbred Colby Rasmus, who assures us he’s a star ballplayer, but not a Hall of Famer… yet:

The saddest thing is, I keep waiting for the punchline that these commercials are a gag, but it never gets there. These spots are the genuine article. Great.

Hey Coach: you want either of these dumb fucks cutting commercials for your lot?

Drafting Jean Segura: We warned you.

It’s a year to forget for Jean Segura, between personal tragedy and Ryan Braun taking a bat to his face. So while he gets a bit of a pass on his counting stats (435 AB yield 4 HR, 16 SB, 28 RBI) look at these ratios:

avg: .237

obp: .277

slg: .320

ops: .597

and he’s how in a timeshare with Elian Herrera. What did we suggest instead? Well, we said if you wanted a SS reasonably early the better moves were Reyes (to date, a good 8 HR, 23 SB, .741 OPS) or Ian Desmond (an even better 21 HR, 17 SB, .733 OPS). But we also offered you the low-budget option of waiting five rounds and getting “the same stats as Jean Segura” from Everth Cabrera. How similar are those stats? Let’s look at Cabrera. Only 357 AB (hamstring), but he’s got 3 HR (one less), 18 SB (two more) and 20 RBI (eight less). Look at the ratios:

avg: .232

obp: .272

slg: .300

ops: .572

I can’t see the difference. Shaggy drafted Segura #49 overall and Jose took Cabrera at #111. 

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