Friday, May 31, 2013

MLB Friday Funnies: GIF of the Week

Andre Ethier shouldn't play center, and Scott Van Slyke gives up:

What does Andre Ethier have to say when the umpire blows a call?


Apparently nothing but the stare of death.  I wonder what he does to Don Mattingly when he's benched?  

And remember, if the gif doesn't show up, just click on it and it should work.  Unless you're out in  Little Spring, Arkansas using a dial-up connection.  

This week, instead of starting in right field or left bench, Andre Ethier found himself in an unfamiliar position of centerfield (his second career start there) with Matt Kemp hitting the disabled list and other options hovering close to below replacement level.  

During the course of the game against their crosstown rival,  Ethier's worst nightmare comes true: the ball heads his direction.  The rightfielder Scott Van Slyke also gives chase.  

With both of those happenings combined, we get today's MLB Gif of the week and today we salute you, Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke for showing all of the budding little leaguers in out families how NOT to play outfield defense.  

You can listen to this music, while you watch: 

Right away we notice a few things:

  1. Andre Ethier is not going to come close to making that catch.
  2. Van Slyke looks like he could make the catch.
So when Van Slyke is in the process of tracking the ball and puts up his glove, he'll attempt to make the catch, right?  Well, lets see the chronology of how things really unfolded...

  1. Van Slyke takes a near perfect route to the wall.
  2. Instead of keeping his glove up, Van Slyke pulls it down.  This is clearly so he can...
  3. Run directly into the wall
  4. Notice that the ball actually hits right above his left shoulder...
  5. a.k.a. exactly where his glove would have been.  Meanwhile Andre Ethier is...
  6. Well too close to the wall.  When you're too close to the wall and the ball karooms off of the wall....
  7. It will bounce past you.  
  8. The ball bounces past Andre Ethier.  

So what we've learned is that:

A. Van Slyke spends too much of his time watching Bryce Harper getting his face smashed in when he hit the wall a few weeks earlier (HERE).  Clown catch attempt bro.  
B.  Andre Ethier should not be playing centerfield.  
C. The Dodgers are not a good team right now.  

They would also lose that game to the Angels to fall further in last place in the NL West.  Not funny for Dodgers fans, but funny for us.  Thanks again, Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke.  We salute you in today's Friday Funnies.  

What do you think Dodgers fans?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Wrap: Derek Jeter's Diary, Rick Porcello is a tease, and closers are overrated

Quote of the Day:
“He was the one to go to and he always had the right answer.”
-- Jered Weaver on longtime Angel's surgeon Lewis Yocum, who passed away from liver cancer this past week.  Yocum was esteemed and respected throughout all of Major League Baseball and saved the careers of many. RIP.

Roy Halladay, Greg Maddox, Stephen Strasburg, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Jordan Zimmermann, Kendrys Morales, Ted Lilly, Robb Nen,Daisuke Matsuzaka, Max Scherzer, Ian Kennedy, John Lackey, Randy Wolf, C.J. Wilson,Francisco Liriano, Billy Wagner, Joakim Soria, Jake Westbrook, Cal Eldred, Scott Erickson and Daniel Hudson should all send a card to the family of Dr. Lewis Yocum.  The renowned physician saved or extended the careers of many, including the above players and will be missed.

Jered Weaver made a touching tribute in his start against the Dodgers last night, with the initials "LY" scratched in the dirt on the mound.  Weaver pitched a gem too in his first start coming off of the DL.    

In today's wrap we've got some must-read articles, including  Rick Porcello's adjustments, Wrigley renovations, a new hitting coach for the Royals, excitement in Steel City and the best game of the year?  Let's get it going! 

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has a super awesome article out that you need to click in the hyperlinked title above about closers.  A fan only needs to check out guys like Fernando Rodney and Jim Johnson's stats from this year, compared to last to realize that closers are more unpredictable than Lady Gaga's next outfit.  Verducci throws a lot of stats and figures out there and suggests teams find a new way to evaluate who should get the ball to start the 9th inning.  It's definitely worth the read.  Check it out.  

Tuesday night, Tiger's pitcher Rick Porcello struck out eleven batters in eight innings of shutout baseball (though failed to get the win since the Tiger's offense apparently hates him).  Porcello is striking out batters at a career high and has posted the 4th lowest K rate in May, behind only Strasburg, Matt Harvey and Shelby Miller -- a very talented and good-looking group of dudes...I mean, nevermind.  

Fangraphs decided to explore what happened?  Is Porcello a mega-troll to the Tigers fan base?  Or is he really getting better at adjustments and discovering his talent that made him a 1st round pick?  Here is the article in all it's glory.  If you're a baseball fan that loves stats, graphs, and analysis, this is a must-read.  If you're a casual baseball fan that doesn't like that stuff, you should be so it is still a must-read.  Check that one out too.  

What happens when your walk rate stays the same, your strikeout stays the same, and your velocity stays the same?  You will probably be the same pitcher that you were last season.  That's exactly what SB Baseball Nation is finding out about Tim Lincecum. 

While last season was a mystery as to what happened to the former back-to-back Cy Young winner, this season shouldn't be that surprising given how similar his numbers are to last year.  And I mean, it's like crazy how similar they are to 2012.  It is worth checking out.  And maybe it's not Tim Lincecum, it's Joseph Gordon-Levitt that's out there in a Giants jersey.  It's the only thing that I've got that can explain it.  Moving on.  

Just freaking read it.  Thank you.

Um, don't look now but guess who's tied for the second best record in baseballl?  It's not a team from the shiny lights of New York or Los Angeles.  It's not the big-budgeted teams on the east or west coast but the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Who called that?  HINT 

The Pirates have won eight games this year when trailing after six innings and 15 come from behind victories on the season and are 24-1 when leading after seven innings.  There's exciting stuff in Steel City that's doesn't involve the Penguins.  Get pumped up Pittsburgh!  

 When your organization has basically traded an entire top ten farm system to acquire a 31-year-old pitcher (and the offense hates him apparently), and you're mired in the midst of a 4-19 slump you may be alarmed.  The Royals decided it was time to make changes and fired their hitting coaches and promptly replaced them with Hall of Famer, George Brett.  Brett collected over 3,000 hits during his 21 year career all spent with the Royals.  

He had been serving as the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the team since 1993 or eight years after the Royals last postseason appearance.  Yikes.  He also once did this....

Angel Hernandez look out...George Brett is coming for you.  

Cubs to Rooftop Owners: "F@#$% You!"

I'm tired of the link above or just watch this:

Buzzfeed says that this was the "game of the year" so it probably wasn't

The Mets are really bad, but that didn't prevent them from topping the Yankees in the Subway Series both Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night.  

As part of the Met's elaborate, evil scheme to screw with Mo Rivera's head, they invited him to throw out the first pitch.  Then next pitches he threw were in the 9th inning and he blew his first save of the year. Score one Mets.  

Calling all Major League Baseball lip readers

And finally, if you can figure what Jared Weaver is saying, call the HR department of your favorite ball club and ask if they have any open positions for a "Sign Stealer" job.

I'll give you a hint:

     WHAT     THE     ______     IS     GOING     ON     


No links wrap up today as everything I posted was a link, and it's going to be lot of reading at your cubicle at work when you get home from work.  Catch you soon baseball fans!  Until next time....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Recap: My name is Munenori Kawasaki! I am from Japan. I'm Japaneeeeeese!

Quote of the Day:

"I don't know what he's saying all the time, but he sure gives a lift to his team."

-- Mark DeRosa on teammate, Munenori Kawasaki, who may have given the best postgame interview not involving the University of Cincinnati, like this.  

Welcome back to the harsh realities of a Tuesday morning that feels eerily like a Monday.  I hope that the Memorial Day weekend was spent reveling in family, barbecue, camouflage baseball caps and your best Arrested Development "chicken dances."   

In today's recap of weekend baseball action, we've got Kawasaki's epic interview (duh), Don Mattingly's last stand, more Miggy, White Sox hit a major mark (not a good one), it's rivalry week and the inevitable Matt Garza/Johnny Cueto celebrity death match.  This and more in today's Full Count weekend recap.  

Let's get it started...

Munenori Kawasaki challenges PSY for Asian web meme of the century 

If you follow baseball and you have an internet connection, you probably saw this...


Munenori Kawasaki, or as he's know in Japan as 川﨑 宗則 (I may have misspelled something there), is a career .215 hitter in the show with no career home runs.  But even long after he's gone, he'll be forever immortalized for this interview.  Hopefully he can top it later in the year.  I hear they're making a movie and Tom Cruise is in it playing Mark DeRosa.  It's called the "Last Samurai of Toronto."  

The Embattled Month of Don Mattingly

We touched on it last week, but Don Mattingly is doing everything short of calling Vin Scully a "old punk-ass geezer," to try and get fired.  Benching Andre Ethier, pulling Matt Kemp on a double switch, and his provocative postgame comments suggest a manager at his brink.  Next week, he'll claim that Dodger Dogs taste like mixed cement and that Dodger Stadium is nothing but a dump filled with cholos.  The weird thing?  He's right.  The Dodgers aren't playing with any sort of urgency sitting at 21-28 and would anyone question benching and pulling players with Ethier and Kemp's respective numbers if they went by any other name?  You make the call.  

The Legend of Evan Gattis and "El Oso Blanco"

With $75 million man B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward still in the midst of horrendous slumps, the Braves are looking for Evan Gattis to get at-bats any way they can.  What other player with a 33-8 strikeout to walk ratio and a really bad glove can get songs written about him like this?  And please, click on that last link.  Just do it.  

Speaking of the Atlanta Braves, despite the early season struggles of Heyward, Upton and Dan Uggla and despite no reliable 8th inning man with Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty's Tommy John surgeries and despite the absence of Brandon Beachy, the Braves sit at 30-20 and a comfy 4.5 games ahead of Washington in the NL East.  When the aforementioned guys begin to inevitably progress toward the mean, they'll be even better.  That's the good news; and even the bad news is pretty good.  

Problems like finding El Oso Blanco at-bats and what to do with either Julio Teheran and/or Kris Medlen when Beachy returns are good problems to have.  Gattis' power is simply to good to be relegated to a pinch-hitting role and a surplus of starters is never a bad thing because raise your hand if you're a Braves fan and think that no starter will hit the DL the rest of the season?  That's what I thought.  

Angel Hernandez trolls the @#$% out of Hawk Harrelson

It's been a rough month for umpires as we've pointed out here and here.  And anytime there's a blown call that potentially costs a team the win, it's especially egregious in a season where making or missing the playoffs can literally come down to one win or loss.  

Angel Hernandez was the latest one to mess it up and he's done it before already this season.  But I'm surprisingly not as upset this time.  Yes it was a bad call, but if it leads to Hawk doing this....  

...then I'm all for Angel Hernandez umpiring every single game for the White Sox for the rest of the season.  And in honor of this week's Crosstown Classic, I'll post the video here for you Cubbies fans that indulge on every Hawk rant ( won't let me embed it).

Classic Hawk.  

Closers in trouble? 

You would have trouble finding better closers last season than Tampa Bay's Fernando Rodney and Baltimore's Jim Johnson after the two of them tore up the AL East to the tune of 48 and 51 saves respectively.  This season, however, Rodney has already blown 5 of 14 opportunities and his last two.  Johnson has blown four saves in the last two weeks and has looked nothing like the MLB saves leader just a year ago.  

While closers and relievers in general are notoriously fickle from season to season, the rate at which both Johnson and Rodney have regressed has been puzzling to some fans and alarming to Orioles and Rays fans...well, at least Orioles fans since I'm still not sure a "Rays fan" is an actual thing.  

Or should it be puzzling?  Johnson has been suffering from a pretty unlucky BABIP but his groundball rate is down and his fly ball rate is up...which means more home runs.  Johnson has already given up as many home runs (3) as he allowed all of last season.  Rodney on the other hand, has always been prone to control issues but after allowing only 15 walks last season, he has a frightening 18 in 19 1/3 innings pitched already.  Some have blamed it on his appearance in the World Baseball Classic this spring but who knows?  Closers are like NFL kickers.  Look for the two to either bounce back or be replaced.  The leash is short and the AL East is too competitive.   

White Sox finally reach... .500?  

This May, the Southside Sox started in the AL Central cellar and have since passed up Minnesota and then Kansas City.  With their sweep over the Marlins, the Sox have now won nine of their last twelve and reached the .500 mark.  They sit five games back of the Tigers in the AL Central and this is still a team that led the Division just a season ago until Detroit caught them in September.  First up this week: the Cubbies.  

It's Rivalry Week in Major League Baseball, so why isn't anyone excited?

It should be one of baseball's finest moments when rivals from the same city (White Sox-Cubs, Yankees-Mets, Angels-Dodgers) or rivals from the same state (Indians-Reds, Royals-Cardinals) face off in interleague play.  So why isn't anyone excited?  Is it the overplaying of interleague games so far this season?  Or could it be the fact that there's a good chance one of the teams in the matchups (or both) just simply aren't that good?  At least one person thinks interleague play is boring and says that baseball should realign altogether but that's not entirely realistic.  But I can't think of any real Cubs-White Sox fans that wouldn't love to win the series this week.   Let the hate take over...

Miggy, Miggy, Miggy can't you see, sometimes your bombs just hypnotize me...

Take a cue from the hit Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander gifs from earlier this season, FanGraphs put together another gem showing Miguel Cabrera's "ridiculous plate coverage" and further laying claim that they are perhaps second to only Billy Beane when it comes to mixing technology and baseball for positive things.  Baseball replay take notes.  Also American League pitchers take notes...  

 Yeah, that pretty cool.  We all knew there isn't really a good spot to pitch to Miggy but seeing it is more convincing.  And seeing it all together is even better.  If you want to watch an even neater gif of the same thing, I've got it here too.  

American League pitchers, you may just want to stop taking notes now.  Can you imagine a pitching coaches session in the film room after watching that?  "Um, don't throw him a strike...but don't throw him a ball either...actually, just throw him four wides ones and we'll see if we can get Prince to ground into a fielders choice."  Pun intended.  

Let's get ready to rumble, Dusty Baker style

It's no secret by now that there's no love lost between Cubs pitcher Matt Garza and his counterpart in Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto.  After Sunday's matchup, where Cueto sailed a pitch over the head of David DeJesus in what would end up being a 5-4 Cubs win, Garza postgame said that Cueto needs to "grow the hell up."  

Ironically, it was Garza, not Cueto who hit a batter on Sunday, nailing Todd Frazier in the arm while in the middle of giving up four runs in the fourth inning.  Garza said that he has, "no personal history" with Cueto but Johnny has had problems in the past as part of the Reds/Cardinals scuffle where Cueto was caught kicking Cardinal's catcher Jason LaRue during a benches clearing brawl.  

Of course it was Dusty Baker that offered his hilarious solution
"Just put them in a room, let them box and let it be over with. I always said this, let it be like hockey, let them fight, someone hits the ground and it's over with. I'm serious about that."
The Cubs face off against the Reds again on Monday, June 10th.  If anyone has tickets, let me know because the Garza-Cueto fight won't be on Pay-Per-View.  

And before we get to our links for lazy people, we just have to say one more thing...


And you know that no recap would be complete without our traditional...


Today's totally irrelevant theme is "Who's on your way too early All-Star Ballot?"

Matt Kemp keeps being a great person   ●   And David Wright is a pretty good person too   ●   The redemption of Carlos Gomez (Twins fans, "I HATE YOU CARLOS GOMEZ")   ●   The Albert Pujols career comes full circle because the Cardinals have a butt-load of prospects   ●   "It's not you, it's me" - Wrigley Field to Cubs   ●   Angels score two runs...on a strikeout?  ●   Verlander back on track, probably never gone   ●   Mockups for Wrigley jumbotron (take that roof owners!)   ●   Aces aren't aces this why?  ●   And this bad-ass Brewers reporter (she's a girl!)   

Adios!  Until next time baseball fans.  And since you were so good today, I give you Kate again...

Friday, May 24, 2013

MLB Friday Funnies: GIF of the week!

MLB GIF of the Week

We're trying to make baseball a bit more fun on this blog, instead of boring recaps.  Today, we salute you, Cleveland bat boy, who gives minimal effort to get out of the way of Ryan Raburn in today's Friday Funny gif of the Week.

Now that I've spent the better part of my adult life in an office or cubicle rather than a classroom, I can empathize with the white collar workers who sit around on their asses and procrastinate on the internet all day go the extra mile and overachieve to reach the parameters of success in their chosen field.  

But even if you've got one of the best jobs in the world, it can be tempting to take a day off.  My idea of the best job in the world would be described as something like the bat boys/girls who sit  in outfield foul territory on a stool and wait for a stray ball to come by.

Seriously?  Front row seats to all the home games.  You get maybe a maximum, three, four balls hit to you a game on average.  And you get a cool-ass uniform.  All you would need is a beer in hand to make it a dream job even for grown men.  

I've watched enough Baseball Tonight highlights to know that whoever the HR managers are for Major League baseball teams may need to start taking such applications a bit more seriously.  I mean...

None of these ballpersons ever seem even remotely athletic enough to field a grounder goign slower than Adam Dunn.  They never pick me to throw a foul ball to and could teams start giving these people gloves that fit for godssake?   

But I, for one, applaud the young man at the Cleveland Indian's game this week, who takes the term "giving minimal effort" and puts a new height to underachieving.  We salute you, young Prince Fielder imitator, in today's Full Count GIF of the Week.

Let's break it down.  [if GIFs don't appear, click them and they'll work]

Thursday night, Jhonny Peralta's line drive off down the first base line approaches the ball boy's perch in the outfield.

(QUESTION: Why was he stationed that far back?  BETTER QUESTION: Why do they even have any dude chilling there in Progressive Field at all, one of the ball parks notorious for the little foul ball territory to be screwed with)

As the ball streaks toward him, outfielder Ryan Raburn heads to the corner to pick it up and fire it back in play.  The ball boy's effort basically consisted of picking up his stool and taking three steps to his right.  Awesome.

Congrats Cleveland Indians ballboy.  You will never see this, but let it be known that us slackers around the country are raising our glasses to toast your long as they're not so far across the bar that we have to stand up.  

Have a play that you would like to submit for GIF of the Week?  
E-mail us at and tell us in one sentence why you hate the Yankees.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Wrap: Trout-tastic, Miguel Cabrera is good, James Shields officially hates his teammates and welcome to The Show Jurickson Profar

Quote of the Day:

"I didn't really think about it until about the eighth inning. And when I got on deck, I started feeling it a little bit. To be honest, I thought Josh was going to hit for the cycle after his those first two at-bats. I wasn't thinking about myself."

-- Mike Trout

Happy mid-week baseball freaks, it's that time where I stop by and instead of doing my work because I'm bored in a cubicle use my free time, to recap everything that's been going on in the wide world of baseball.  If you're in Chicago, take a bit of time to see where you're favorite player will be traded (via Tommy's post yesterday).  If you're anywhere else in the world, take time to move to Chicago.  

Today we've got the youngest player to hit for the cycle (can you guess who it is? Can you?), tell you why Miguel Cabrera is pretty good, Zack Greinke returns to the 4-1-4, and why James Shields won't be taking his teammates out to dinner anytime soon.  .  

Also on the menu, we've got Jurickson Profar's debut, an injured Giant, Don Mattingly potentially on the hot seat, and why does Barry Bonds need to keep being a d****?  

Let's get it started.  

Mike Trout stepped up in his first at-bat against the Seattle Mariners last night and struck out.  It would be the only time in the evening that Trout wasn't simply spectacular.  After a single in the third, a triple in the fourth and a double in the sixth, Mike Trout took a pitch into the rightfield seats for a home run and into the record books as well, making MLB history by hitting for the cycle at age 21... the youngest ever to do it in the history of baseball.  

Trout ended up driving in five runs and pacing the Angels who have now won three straight and get was the first time all season that they gained a whole game on the AL West leading Rangers.  If some of their big names (Pujols, Hamilton) can get their act together, look for the Angels to keep creeping up the standings.  

Miguel Cabrera shined in the national stage, smashing three home runs on ESPN's Sunday Night baseball against Texas.  Even that was not enough to beat the red hot Rangers.  Two nights later, though, Cabrera went deep again against the Indians in a Tiger's win to pull within a game and a half against the just-as-red-hot Tribe.  Boo-ya.

Right now, Cabrera's the talk of the league, thanks to his performance on national television Sunday night.  Miggy has a MLB leading 49 RBI, leads the majors in batting average at .384 and his 12 home runs are second in the AL.  Could another Triple Crown be possible?  Probably not.  No one has ever won the Triple Crown in back-to-back years.  Having said that, though, we are watching possibly the greatest hitter in baseball in the middle of his prime.  If anyone can do it, I would say it's Cabrera.

Sunday night.  Cabrera's second home run is a line shot, straight to dead center.  Here's how fast it got out...3.7 seconds.  

In comparison, let's cut off a clip of a home run after 3.7 seconds of a shot by Mark Trumbo against the Astros...

Pretty wild.  Moving on...

Greinke returns to Milwaukee...Dodgers still suck

The Brewers scored four runs in the fifth inning to beat the reeling Dodgers and handing fresh of the DL, Zack Greinke his first ever loss at Miller Park.  Greinke, who had previously pitched for the Brewers, was 15-0 at home during his Milwaukee career.  

Zack struggled with his command in a very un-Greinke like performance, at one point having thrown 30 balls to 30 strikes on 60 pitches.  Carlos Gomez continues to smoke the ball, hitting a two-run double to pace the Brew Crew. 

What's the best cure for a losing streak? Play the Astros...maybe?

Expectations were sky for the Royals when they basically traded their entire touted farm system for James Shields (I guess when you haven't sniffed the postseason in over a decade, you start to have strange expectations) but entering this week, they had lost three straight and had fell to third in the AL Central.  

Enter the MLB worst Houston Astros.  Just barely keeping above the 1969 Mets pace, the Astros then promptly went out and beat the Royals in the opener.  Losing streak at four.  Then on Tuesday night, the Royals went out and scored seven runs against the atrocious Astros' bullpen, aided by some equally atrocious Astros' defense.  Losing streak snapped!  Yay!  And then last night, they promptly went out and lost to the Stros again with James Shields on the mound.  Shields has now received a total of five runs in his last four starts which is like, terrible.  Shields is now 2-5 with a 2.47 ERA.  Welcome to Kansas City.  Apparently, you lack the will to win.  

Barry Bonds to Miggy: "You ain't as good as me!"

Barry Bonds, who I personally hoped would just leave forever and never resurface as long as I live, is in the headlines again, talking about, who else?  Miguel Cabrera.  Bonds gave Miggy a sort of backhanded compliment in a USA Today Telephone interview:

“He’s definitely the best, it’s not rocket science here.  He’s the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best.”

But then, Bonds goes on to add the caveat...

“I don’t try to compare me to anybody, I was the best on the field. I did more things than he did. My game was different than his game. So comparing him, to me, there’s no comparison.  He doesn’t have my MVPs. He doesn’t have my numbers. Well, not yet, anyways."

Okay Barry Bonds.  You got your piece in, now please go away.  Do we even have to bring up the Balco thing before we talk about your accomplishments?  That's like Bernie Madoff coming out and saying, 

"Yeah, the Ricketts family is rich....but no one made money like I did." 

Hopefully this will be the last time that Barry Bonds is mentioned in this blog until Miguel Cabrera breaks all of his records.  

Moving on...  

Ryan Vogelsong hurt swinging a bat. How do you like the DH rule now, Giants?

Bad news for the Giants as pitcher Ryan Vogelsong fractured his pinky on his pitching hand and underwent surgery this week.  The worst part was how it happened...swinging at an inside pitch.  The ball dislocated Vogelsong's pinky and broke it in two spots.  That means a DL trip for the resurgent right-hander, while the Giants also put reliever Santiago Casilla on the DL with right knee discomfort.  

Casilla was part of the dominant Giants bullpen that helped guide them to a World Series title last season.  He had only pitched twice since May 8.  Chad Gaudin will replace Vogelsong in the rotation while the Giants recalled Sandy Rosario to fill Casilla's spot in the bullpen.  San Fransisco currently sits in a three-way tie with Colorado and Arizona, atop the NL West standings.  Ahead of the Padres and the sucky Dodgers.  

Don Mattingly's seat on the Dodgers bench grows increasingly warm...

And it's not because of the hot temperature in LA.  Speaking of the sucky Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly is sounding more and more like a dead man walking with recent public shots at both Dodgers players and Dodgers management.  Some of the quotes aren't so nice....


“Too many walks. Too many free runners. And we have to catch the baseball, that’s all there is to it,”
-- Mattingly, on Dodgers recent play. 

“Guys in the big leagues make that play all day long.” 
-- Mattingly on Luis Cruz's dropped line drive.

“Matt Kemp's at the plate. Come on, Dee, we've been there. There's no real upside to stealing the base.”
-- Mattingly on Dee Gordon getting thrown out at third on a stolen base attempt (which, c'mon Dee, NEVER be the first or final out at third)

"It’s not just all, ‘Let’s go put an All-Star team out there and play games, and the team with the All-Star team wins.  All grit and no talent is not going to get you there, and all talent and no grit is not going to get you there. There’s got to be a mixture of both.”
-- Mattingly on the roster he was given. 

“If we don’t win, and we’re healthy, they really should look at it. This team has a lot of talent. My job, and my coaches’ job, is to get them to play the game right. If we can’t get them to play the game right, they may have the wrong voice.”
-- Mattingly on his future as Dodgers skipper.

"For me, today, I’m putting out my lineup that I feel is going to be the most competitive and going to compete the hardest.”
Mattingly on benching Andre Ethier

“We had guys get away early who seemed to fit,"
-- Mattingly on losing veteran relievers because management insisted keeping a surplus of starters.  

From the sounds of it, Don Mattingly's must have a weirder plan to keep his job than Kevin Spacey in American Beauty.  You don't talk that way in public about your team and management unless you want to get fired...which is exactly what one NL executive said: "It sounds like he wants to get fired."  

Look for Mattingly to next say that Matt Kemp never should have given his jersey to that punk ass kid.  


Is Don Mattingly on his way out as Dodgers manager?


Let the Jurickson Profar Show begin! 

Rangers called up the top prospect in baseball when Ian Kinsler went to the DL this week.  While it appears to only be a temporary time in the majors for Profar, you never know when this year's first Trout/Harper rookie will hit the Show.  Fantasy owners be on alert.  

This is actually not the first time that Profar had to come to the rescue after a Kinsler injury when Profar became the 113th player to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat last August.  While he'll probably head back to Triple-A Round Rock when Kinsler comes back, you never know what kind of production guys like this have during their "stints."  It may just be enough to make Ron Washington find a place for the kid.  Keep an eye out and welcome back Jurickson Profar!  

And finally, no Thursday Wrap would be complete without our traditional....


Today's theme is "TRADE FOR WHO!?!"  

Let's roll...

Red Sox GM not going to talk to Ellsbury   ●   But Theo might   ●   No offense but Jesus is not good enough (before you gasp, read first)   ●   Chase Utley is scared swinging   ●   One Opening Day starter down, 29 to go (ps - we want Ben Revere back - MN fans)   ●   You know you're struggling when John Danks coming back sounds awesome   ●   Joey Bats does baseball-ish things that are good   ●   Gary Carter Street in Canada sounds good, hopefully sounds better in French   ●   When Max Scherzer is on, he's really f----g on   ●   Stanton takes live batting practice (and knocks satellite out of sky?)   ●   Kuroda will not miss a start, Phil Hughes spot start averted

Thanks for tuning in baseball freaks, catch you this weekend...

Oh and Kate?  

Yeah Kate!  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Your Chicago Trade Primer....May Edition

Alright Chicago baseball fans, it's mid May and both of your teams are struggling.  White Sox fans, I know you're probably saying, well we were 17-21 last year, we were 17-21 this year, we'll be just fine.  I don't respect your opinion and I sure don't agree with you.  So let's play a fun game.  I'm going to dive into the trade candidates for both the Cubs and White Sox, assuming that both fall out of it and both go into sellers mode (the Sox don't ever do this so it's a big if).  So let's look at what Chicago players could be moved:

Matt Garza
The Cubs best trade piece came back today, and threw 5 shutout innings in his debut against the Pirates.  Garza is a solid number 2 starter and is probably the best starter available when healthy.  If he can prove he is healthy, he could get the Cubs a very good return.  The Cubs can also very likely wait it out and offer him arbitration, either getting him back for one more year, or receive a draft pick if he signs elsewhere.  

Chance traded: 75%

Scott Feldman
Feldman has been lights out lately, with an ERA just over 1 in his last 5 starts.  Buster Olney in a recent article called Scott Feldman the best starter available at the deadline.  Feldman is on a 1 year deal, so he is a rental, but he has great stuff, even if he doesn't have the greatest track record of success as a starter.  Feldman should be able to fetch the Cubs a package similar to what they got for Ryan Dempster last year.

Chance traded: 60%

Alfonso Soriano
Soriano is once again at the center of trade talk.  His production isn't quite there this year, but the Cubs are willing to eat a large chunk of the money he is owed.  With how much it would cost the Cubs money wise, I just don't feel that the return will be worth moving Soriano.  Like him or not, he does have a ton of value to the Cubs as a guy who can get hot and a great mentor to the younger players.

Chance traded: 20%

Carlos Marmol
Marmol has been the epitome of awful this season.  He is still owed quite a bit of money this year, in the last year of his 3 year, 20 million dollar contract.  Marmol has little to no value, especially given his price tag.  I would be happy if the Cubs could get a bag of baseballs and free pop (seriously, Billy Beane got this in a trade once) in return for Marmol.

Chance traded: 50%

David DeJesus
Never fuck with DeJesus!! David DeJesus just continues to be a prototypical lead-off guy for the Cubs, with an average in the high .200s and an on-base in the mid to high .300s.  DeJesus also plays above average defense in center field and the Kansas City Royals seem to be a perfect fit.  DeJesus, to me, is the guy with the highest chance of being traded, mostly because he carries a lot of value.

Chance traded: 90%

James Russell
Russell is a quality left handed reliever, one of the best in the league, and as the Cubs showed with Sean Marshall a couple years back, you can get a quality return.  Bullpen arms are a dime a dozen, and if you can get a quality return for one, you absolutely move him.  Even though he is one of two good arms in the pen, you move him if the return is right

Chance traded: 15%

Kevin Gregg
Gregg has been remarkable for the Cubs, as he is perfect in save situations and has yet to give up an earned run in his time with the Cubs.  Sell high, right?  Absolutely!! While Gregg has the track record of being an average reliever, if he keeps this up, you move him instantly to a team that needs a closer.  The return should be solid if a team is desperate enough.

Chance traded:30%

Alex Rios
Rios has been great the last two seasons.  He hits for power, average, can steal a base, and plays average defense in right field.  Rios will most likely be the top bat available if the Sox decide to move him, meaning that teams who need a quality hitter will be chomping at the bit to get him.  Rios should easily be able to fetch a top 100 prospect plus a couple other solid prospects so if the Sox fall out of it by July, they should explore moving him.

Chance traded: 10%

Jake Peavy
Trade Jake Peavy?? Outside Chris Sale, he's our only good starter!!  Well Sox fans, he also is the starter with the most value on your team.  He's on a relatively cheap deal, with another year of control after this one.  He has proven he can pitch in the AL and NL and seems to have the injuries behind him.  If he is made available, he probably jumps into the top spot among starters available.  For the Sox sake, if they're anywhere near out of it, they need to restock their farm system, which is among the worst in baseball.

Chance traded: 5%

Paul Konerko
Konerko has no trade rights, so they would need his permission to trade him, which I just don't see happening.  While Paulie can still hit, he has regressed a bit, which might limit the return the Sox could get.  I just don't see the return being worth it for trading your most beloved and longest tenured player.  

Chance traded: 1%

Matt Thornton
Thornton has regressed, but he is still a quality left-handed reliever who can get both lefties and righties out.  He is a good middle reliever, and while he might not bring a great return, sometimes you just have to change things up in the pen.

Chance traded: 20%

Jesse Crain
Crain has been very effective of late, and while he has more value than Matt Thornton, he still doesn't carry a ton of value as a middle reliever.

Chance traded: 25%

It will be an interesting summer in Chicago.  The truth is, I see the Cubs trading between 4 and 6 players by July 31st because that is the plan.  True to their past, I also don't see the White Sox trading anyone of value.  They always seem to stand pat and have always avoided the sell off, mostly because they would not draw as well as the Cubs do when they're bad.  Look for the Cubs to sell and be out of it, while the Sox will hover just below .500, ultimately not losing enough games to trade their players, but not winning enough to make the playoffs.