Royals Get James Shields, Play It “Safe”

Trades are baseball. It’s one of the ways that baseball involves the fan more than (arguably) any other sport. Between salary caps, early deadlines, and roster structure, few professional sports have the trade possibilities that baseball does. Well, hockey did, but I’m starting to forget what hockey is anyway.

So often, trades are of the “veteran for prospects” variety, where one team offers some of their farm system’s best players in order to get established major league players from a team that either has a surplus, or finds the upside to be too good to pass up. We got one of those last night, when the Kansas City Royals sent their #1 prospect (and potential #1 overall prospect in baseball) Wil Myers, along with pitcher Jake Odorizzi (himself a top 100 prospect) and two other minor league players to the Tampa Bay Rays for starter James Shields and Wade Davis. Shields, a year removed from an All-Star game appearance and coming in 3rd in the AL Cy Young balloting, is the obvious jewel of the deal for Kansas City, the established workhorse starter the Royals didn’t have. Davis, who had been in the starting rotation for the Rays the previous two seasons, worked solely out of the bullpen for the Rays last season and had a career year, giving up only a little over six hits per nine innings pitched, while striking out over 11 per nine. Whether Kansas City plans to put Davis into the rotation or keep him in a relief role is unknown at this time. Continue reading Royals Get James Shields, Play It “Safe”

Yunel Escobar: What Are The Rays Really Getting?

Some time when most of the country was sleeping, the Tampa Bay Rays were trolling Craigslist for team spare parts and found this:

Starting shortstop – like new cond (Miami)

Found this in a box of stuff we picked up from up north last month. Seems to have all parts and is in working condition. Would keep but received newer model in the box as well and dont need 2. Had some markings below eyes but removed them so should be good as new.

Will be in Nashville this week if you want to pick up or else will leave on curb when we get back to Miami. FREE OBO

  • Location: Miami
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID:5872649531

So now Yunel Escobar is on his way to Tampa Continue reading Yunel Escobar: What Are The Rays Really Getting?

Evan Longoria, Beet Farmer

Evan Longoria, potential 2016-17 free agent, signed a six year, $100 million contract extension with the Tampa Bay Rays which keeps him under contract through 2022, with a team option for 2023. As with any kind of pro sports contract signing, this is news and causing some controversy surrounding the player signing the contract.

The thing is – Longoria’s motives are getting questioned, but in the opposite way that most fans are used to. While most players get ripped for deserting their team and leaving for the highest possible salary (see Pujols, Albert) or for causing their own team to sign a contract they can’t afford and crippling their financial flexibility (see Mauer, Joe), Longoria’s contract is reasonable, around (or below) market value, and allows the team to continue on without handcuffing them too badly. Yet – he’s getting dumped on. Continue reading Evan Longoria, Beet Farmer

Back on the wagon

Look at that – I’ve broken through the combination of bitterness and writers block and self-doubt to make a post, and at 2400+ words, it was one of my trademarked rambling posts. That said, I don’t think I rambled too much, especially since I really could have written more – I think ADHD meds tend to be misunderstood due to those that choose to abuse them, so a little insight can be a welcome thing.

I’ve gotten some nice feedback on Twitter too:

“That…was INCREDIBLY interesting. And I’m not even following this story. Very well done!” – Lindsay Beaton, former Pop Bunker collegue

“An excellent article/blog, Tom. Thanks!” – Fred Schulcz, guy

“…I really liked the column. Thoughtful and well-written.” – Peter Krause, star of Parenthood & Sports Night comic creator [Irredeemable, Insufferable] & artist

“Great piece. Very informative.” – Steve Bennett, guy with a Far Side cartoon in his avatar

“[N]ice article. You oversimplified the [TUE] process…” – Will Carroll, sports injury expert, writer for Sports Illustrated, Internet curmudgeon

“I look forward to reading it later when I have more time.” – Wendy Thurm, ex-Long Islander, San Francisco Giants fan, writer for every baseball blog ever

You get the idea. Well, I hope you do since I’ve got no more quotes left – spread the word, people!

I’ll come up with something with more meat tomorrow. Maybe.

Adderall, Baseball, and me

Yesterday, Major League Baseball announced that Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz would be suspended for the first 25 games of the 2013 season for “testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.” According to Philly.com’s Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover, the Amphetamine in question is Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy and more commonly attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While there haven’t been any reports as to whether or not Ruiz has been diagnosed with ADHD (or narcolepsy for that matter) and whether or not he had a legal prescription for the drug, the point is moot in the eyes of MLB, who list Adderall on their list of banned substances. Those who are prescribed Adderall by a MLB-certified doctor can apply for an exemption; since Ruiz didn’t have an exemption, it doesn’t matter (in MLB’s eyes) whether Ruiz had a legal prescription or not (I’ll get back to that later.)

The main issue I have with the discussion about Ruiz Continue reading Adderall, Baseball, and me

Me vs US Airways

I’m a complainer. I’ll admit that. Being a cheap bastard, when I do actually spend money and don’t get what I pay for, I’m going to complain. The drawback of that was that I generally hate confrontation, but hooray for the Internet, allowing us to complain through things like email and social media. It’s actually very effective (well, usually it is) and very therapeutic, as long as you don’t overkill it. Most companies want to hear if something goes wrong and will bend over backwards to make it better. Those that don’t – well, they end up getting blog posts written about them. Continue reading Me vs US Airways

Why I Write (and why I don’t)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now – not just during the two month hiatus, but really ever since I got back to somewhat regularly writing for the blog. I wanted to give an idea as to what brought me back regularly, taking time out of my day (some more than others, thanks to my need to research things that don’t need to be researched) to do something that wasn’t making me any money, wasn’t making me famous, wasn’t helping with my job (hell, probably hurting my job more than anything, but not really), and really had no apparent benefit. It’s a question you could ask of a lot of bloggers, I’m sure, and they’re bound to give you a variety of answers ranging from providing a service, honing their skill, or out of pure enjoyment.

There is that, I guess, but I think most bloggers deep down want what I wanted – an audience. Continue reading Why I Write (and why I don’t)

The Yankee Pitcher Curse – Part 1: The Dawn Of Steinbrenner (1975-1981)

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Passan implied something that a lot of people have said in the past. He stated that players coming to the Yankees – most notably starting pitchers – generally fail to live up to expectations. I talked about it in an earlier post, but Passan’s point that only “three of 21” pitchers the Yankees have picked up performed better after becoming Yankees was misleading, since veterans (especially “big name” veterans) are acquired to produce at the same level as they performed previously, not better. I talk more about it here, using big words like schadenfreude.

Then I hit baseball-reference.com to see if it was true.

What follows is what I found, broken into several parts so it’s easier to digest. I started at 1975, when the Yanks signed their first free agent, some “Hunter” fellow. I figured I’d base the majority of my comparison using WAR – Wins Above Replacement – to attempt to level out things such as park factors and differences in statistical eras, although ERA+ (a statistic that gauges a player’s earned run average compared to the league average, eliminating park factors) will also be used. Continue reading The Yankee Pitcher Curse – Part 1: The Dawn Of Steinbrenner (1975-1981)

Est. 2000, which is like 1947 in Internet years.