Thursday, June 28, 2007

First half AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez

Sure, we're not to the All Star Break quite yet, but we're halfway through. Over the next couple of days, we're going to take a look at the best players in each league thus far.

Magglio Ordonez: 13 HR, 68 RBI, .377 BA, .452 OBP

This was a tough pick. In the end, it came down to Magglio Ordonez and Alex Rodriguez. And here's where we start splitting hairs a bit. First off, it is the Most Valuable Player award. So you have to ask yourself, who does more for their team, Ordonez or Rodriguez? Rodriguez had more than twice as many HR (28 to 13,) but Ordonez has 34 doubles to Alex's 18. In the end, they have about the same extra base hits, and Alex has 77 RBI's to Ordonez's 68. The main difference, and what gave Ordonez the prize, was the average and OBP. Ordonez has struck out 33 times to Alex's 60. His batting average is 46 points higher, and his OBP is plus 23 points. There isn't a lot of difference there, but it's all we have to go on. Ordonez puts the ball in play more often, and he rarely strikes out.

In general, Alex is probably the better hitter, and the stats are barely in Magglio's favor. Both of them are above-average fielders at their position. However, Alex is not considered the leader of his team, and when his team is slumping, there's talk that he's going to leave next year. It will always be Jeter's team, and if Babe Ruth started tomorrow's game, it would still be Jeter's team. So we can't hold that against him. But you get the feeling that he's just not the most important player on the team. He'll never make a Jeterian dive into the stands. I'm not going to hold the muscled-up ladies against Alex, but it is a slight off-field distraction. And you get the feeling that Magglio seems to have more of a team motivation in him. Of course, that could all be crap. I live in Michigan, not New York, so there might be some favoritism. But the bottom line is that, when Magglio comes up to the plate, he's more likely to get on base or move the runners along than Alex is.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First half NL Cy Young Winner: Jake Peavy

Sure, we're not to the All Star Break quite yet, but we're halfway through. Over the next couple of days, we're going to take a look at the best players in each league thus far.

Jake Peavy (9-2): 105 IP, 113 K's, 2.14 ERA.

Jake Peavy has been a great pitcher for quite some time now. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for his 2006 hiccup, many would probably regard him as the greatest pitcher in the game. After all, Peavy finished 2004 with a 2.27 ERA, and '05 with a 2.88 ERA and 216 K's in 203 IP. However, pitching for a less-than-stellar Padres team, he went just 28-13 combined. In 2006, he had an 'off' year. Most of his stats were identical, except that he gave up significantly more hits, resulting in a 4.09 ERA.

In 16 games so far, Peavy has gone 9-2. He leads the NL in strikeouts with 113 - that's 9.69K/9IP, and batters are hitting a meager .216 off him. However, his most remarkable statistical improvement - and there have been many - has been his ability to keep those balls that are put in play on the ground. Previously, Peavy had been a slight fly-out pitcher, hovering around a G/F of 1.20. This year, his G/F ratio is at 1.49. The result is 1 HR allowed and 10 double plays. In comparison, he forced 10 and 13 DP's in all of 2005 and 2006, while allowing 18 and 23 HR, respectively. While 1.49 is generally the line between a ground ball and fly out pitcher, it is an 'increase' over his career average and shows that Peavy has changed something on his pitches, resulting in fewer HR and more DP's. That provides evidence that his performance this year has not been due to mere chance, but rather to a marked change. Of course, the debate of a pitcher's control over a batted ball is one for another blog entirely.

The reality is that Peavy is having a season nearly identical to that of his 2005 campaign, but while giving up fewer walks. This, along with the G/F ratio, again shows that he is not having a string of lucky starts. As such, Peavy wins out and takes away the Ballhouse's first half NL Cy Young Award.

The competition wasn't easy, and Peavy wasn't the original choice here. But after some discussion, Kevin and I decided that he deserved it. The two other finalists were teammate Chris Young and LA Dodger Brad Penny. However, the fine folks at ESPN, in all their wisdom, provided us with some pretty compelling stats that shifted the voting in Peavy's favor. One of them is a Bill James innovation called the "Game Score." Peavy's AGS, (Average Game Score,) was 63.1, while Young's was 60.7, and Penny's was 59.9. Interestingly enough, this showed that the Ballhouse's initial picks of the top three NL pitchers were correct. The next highest regular NL starter was Cub Rich Hill, with 58.6.

We'll be continuing our first half awards with our AL/NL MVP and AL/NL Rookie of the Year later this week.

Monday, June 25, 2007

First half AL Cy Young Winner: Dan Haren

Sure, we're not to the All Star Break quite yet, but we're halfway through. Over the next couple of days, we're going to take a look at the best players in each league thus far.

Dan Haren (9-2): 117.2 IP, 93 K's, 1.91 ERA.

Dan Haren has quietly become one of the most outstanding pitchers in the game. He had a good year in 2005, his first with Oakland. He finished with an ERA of 3.73 in his first full year as a starter. He followed up in 2006 with similar numbers, albeit a slightly higher (4.12) ERA. He did, however, increase his strikeouts from 163 to 176, and knocked his walks down from 53 to 45. Home Runs remained a problem, as Haren gave up 31 shots in 34 starts.

But this year, Haren is really doing special things, and he's been the model of consistency. He leads the majors with a 1.78 ERA, and at no point has his ERA been higher than 2.00. He is 9-2; however, his two loses came in the first two games of the year, where he gave up a combined 1 ER in 13 innings, (in an interesting turn of events, Haren managed to give up a 3-run HR which was wholly 'unearned.') Haren has not lost since April 7th, and has gone 6+ innings in all but one of his starts. He has only allowed 3 ER twice, and never more. His 'worst start' was his 3rd start of the year against the Yankees, where he gave up 3 ER on 4 hits and 4 BB over 5 innings. He is 7th in the AL with 89 K's and 2nd with a WHIP of 0.90. And the best part is that he's only 26 years old.

Haren, unlike some pitchers, has been remarkably consistent this year as we saw above. He keeps his team in the game every time he starts, and that's what you need from your ace. Haren, as you may recall, was acquired in a trade with the Cardinals in which the A's shipped of Mark Mulder. And, of course, we haven't seen much of him lately. For those who are curious, Mulder is currently rehabbing after rotator cuff surgery and has almost no timetable for return. Barry Zito has gone arsonist after landing the richest free agent pitching contract ever with San Francisco, and Tim Hudson has been a strange guy for the Braves as well. Has anyone ever considered the possibility that the A's burn through young arms, as they have no hope of resigning them? Note that Haren averaged 220 IP in'05 and '06 and is on pace for 243 this year.

Haren, who supposedly pitches for a 'small market team' - and by that, we mean a team that plays on the West Coast and rarely meets expectations come October - has not gotten a lot of credit for his outstanding play. So here you are Dan. And I would suggest a haircut, but apparently the birds nest is working out well, so just leave it alone.

Watch out for the White Sox meteorite

Has anybody noticed that the White Sox suck? They aren't just crashing back down to earth. They're streaking through the atmosphere, the heat shield isn't holding up, and it looks like the 'chutes aren't going to work either. They're going to make a giant-sized crater. But again, we're not just going to say things and not provide evidence to support our claims. As usual, we're going to use numbers.

The White Sox are in a 2-way tie for the fewest wins in Major League Baseball. They're 29-42.

That about says it all. Teams with better winning percentages than the White Sox include the Pirates, Orioles, Nationals, and Devil Rays. Teams with lower winning percentages consist of the Rangers, Royals, and Reds. In 2005 they won the World Series. In 2007 they're hanging out with the cellar-dwelling Royals. And GM Ken Williams is saying things like, "Something's got to happen. I'm tired of watching this."

As a result, White Sox management has begun to make some rather peculiar choices regarding player personnel. Especially when it comes to Mark Buehrle. By all accounts, he's a good guy, a clubhouse guy. Fan favorite. He did finish last year with an ERA circa 5. My opinion is that his arm is tired, as Buehrle has pitched more than 220 innings a year since 2001. He's probably lost some life on his moving fastball. He's a free agent after this year, but he was on record last year as saying he wanted to stay in Chicago. Sort of, we think. No one really knows what was being said. In any case, he is apparently trade bait. Why would you trade away a guy who you can really build something around? You know they're not going to get anything in return. But they're betting that they'll get more prospects that, five years down the line, will be worth more than Buehrle to them. I think they're underestimating Buehrle's staying power in this league, and that he will remain a great pitcher for another 10 years. The trick is signing the guy, and that's where they might be better off trading him away. Otherwise, they get nothing for him.

This string of loses was kind of predictable. Last year, Carl Everett accused GM Ken Williams of breaking up the team chemistry after he was traded away post-championship. Now, I'm certain that Carl didn't factor into the teams' chemistry as positively as he thinks. In fact, he thought the White Sox lacked leadership with him gone. Which is an interesting observation, as Carl Everett is currently a DH for the Free Agent squad, so he is now leading nobody. Everett also believes that we should implode Wrigley Field, and that even if we put every American child on 'roids, we would still lose more kids in war then to steroids. I'm not sure whether to call that Malthusian wisdom or just idiocy.

But Everett does have a point. A lot of important guys were shipped off, and nothing was really gained in return. Aaron Rowand was shipped off for Thome, who, as predicted, has been like a walking test ground for physical therapist students. And the Sox get Luis Terrero patrolling Center. McCarthy is gone, as is Cotts, as is Garcia, as is Frank Thomas. And not one single decent player has been acquired in any of these deals outside Thome. So you took a championship team, and in order to improve it, you traded away two starters, a reliever, a stand up centerfielder, a loud-mouthed DH, and an aging and oft-injured slugger for an aging and oft-injured slugger*. Probably not the best example of "if its not broke, don't fix it."

* - Jim Thome and Frank Thomas are also considered 'similar batters' according to, not just me.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Milton Bradley - Looking for Work

Kansas City, as we know, is not the epicenter of baseball activity. Let's cut out the superlatives, they're just awful.

So, say you're the general manager of the disaster that is the Royals organization. You've got no talent, you've got no money, and you've got no fans. Then, someone offers you a veteran outfielder with a career average of .270 for the ridiculously low price of Leo Nunez, him of the 6.99 ERA and 67 career MLB innings. You're going to want to take that deal no matter what, right? I mean, you can't even rip someone off like that in fantasy baseball.

And this is exactly what happened when the A's tried to ship off the ticking firebomb, one Milton Bradley, to aforementioned Royals. Milton was perfect for this deal. He's just the fire that KC needs. And we'll get to that in second. The impossible thing to understand here is that Kansas City canceled the trade after discovering that Bradley had suffered an oblique injury. This is just nonsense. I don't care if Milton comes to you with a fractured leg and green goo coming from his ears. You take the guy! He's talent! He's got to be better than seven of the guys you're starting now, easy. And what is your argument for this? That you need a player now, so you're holding on to Nunez? Nunez isn't even in the majors. He hasn't pitched in The Show all year. Even if you have to wait 6 weeks on Bradley, which is generous, he's still going to give you more than Nunez.

And now Milton is out of luck. No one else is going to take him because he's about as volatile as jet fuel over an open flame. Only the Royals need talent that bad, and Kansas City is about as small a market you can get, where you can just reasonably hope that when he screws up, no one will notice care. So this was a great deal for all parties involved. But hey, Milton is a full 29 years old, and you never know when he might be a worse bet in the outfield then Emil Brown or David DeJesus. Or any of the 9 guys on your DL. Mark Teahen (RF) can actually hit, but you can always send him back to 3B and kick out Alex Gordon. But now, for fun, let's recap the dangerous world of Milton Bradley:

  • April 2004: Indians trade Milton Bradley to make room for Coco Crisp.

  • June 2004: Ejected by Terry Craft, Bradley leaves his equipment in the box and returns to fling a bag of balls on the field. Suspended 4 games.

  • September 2004: Fan throws plastic bottle on field. Bradley responds by throwing plastic bottle violently at man nowhere near original launch site. Suspended 5 games.

  • November 2004: Police pull over Bradley's "friend" on the highway. Bradley stops alongside his friend and approaches police yelling, "why did you stop my friend!" Officer: "Return to your vehicle." Milton: [Hands behind back] "Arrest me." Officer: "Alright, let's go to jail." Served three days in the slammer.

  • August 2005: Calls Jeff Kent a racist.

    So there's really no telling when Milton is going to strike next, or where. And the Royals canceled on their chance to get a hold of this gem of a guy? Why?

      Saturday, June 23, 2007

      You know, you guys should go visit Ballhype

      Fine folks over at Ballhype, really. And I'll tell you why. Not only have they developed this way for everyone to get advertising for free, but now I can bet on sports games at the same time, but with not real money. Let me explain how it works. It's a points system. You simply select the winner of the game, and then if your pick loses, you lose 1 point. All those points are then added together, one point is added, and the result is distributed to those who picked the winning team. Nine people pick the Braves to win. Five pick the Tigers. The Tigers win. So everyone who picked the Tigers gets 2 points. Most points at the end of the week wins a t-shirt and feature spot.

      Maybe this is just the kind of thing Pete Rose needs, since he clearly cannot help himself.

      Rick Ankiel is still hitting the crap out of the ball

      Remember when Rick Ankiel broke down and admitted that he didn't have pitcher stuff? Instead, he had outfield stuff, and he was going to do that instead. It must be nice to have so much talent that you can switch positions.

      We checked back with him last year, and he was doing pretty well for himself. And now, the guy who struck out 19.7 batters/9IP in his senior year of High School is looking like he is a right fielder for good. On June 16th, he had 3 homers in one game. He now has 19 on the year, along with 52 RBI. (I began writing this piece on June 20th. Since then, Ankiel has gone 0-13.) Not bad, Rick. And he turns 28 in a month. How insane would it be if, having led the Cardinals to the NL Central title in 2000, he comes back in 2007 to replace the old and decrepit Jim Edmonds? As I mentioned before, I like Jim, but it might be time for him to launch a preemptive strike of the "you can't fire me, I quit" variety. The Cardinals probably have the most lopsided drama-to-wins ratio of any team besides the Astros. And maybe the Orioles. Anyway. Rick's problem is that he can only play right field, apparently. This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Sure, the ball comes off the bat differently to left or right. But have you ever looked in a mirror? It's the same effect. They're basically the same position. Center, you can't learn - you just have to be an athletic guy. But left and right are dopplegangers. It takes time to adjust, but the Cardinals have the entire 2007 season to play with. This whole year is already one big training exercise, except all the 'trainees' are really old. I submit that Juan Encarnacion's "success" in right shouldn't keep Ankiel out of the bigs, as La Russa says. The only real problem is that he has no options remaining. And the Cardinals can't afford to give up any more outfielders for no reason. So they want him to develop, and they don't think he can get good playing time in the Majors yet. So he's still down in the minors.

      In fairness to the Cards, this is probably the right decision. Ankiel is only batting .270 in the AAA PCL league. So he isn't setting the world on fire, by any means. So one argument is to give the guy some limited MLB experience while the stakes are low, and risk losing him to another team if he has to get sent down again. Or you leave him in the minors to develop at a 4AB a day pace. Basically a wash. Also, thanks go out to geoff for the comment the other day. I forgot about that, because I forgot that you guys posted comments. Because you stopped posting comments. Anyway, it looks like we have found a new home at Nothing concrete yet. Right now, we're calling ourselves the Ballhouse. Not sure I like that name, in fact I'm pretty sure I don't. Best suggestion for a new name gets a prize. Send it to me at reidksmith at hotmail. Include your business in the subject line, or I might delete it along with the payment due notices from Discover.

      Statistical proof that Andruw Jones has stopped hitting

      A while back, we made note of Andruw Jones' decreasing effectiveness at the plate after he struck out 5 times against the Red Sox. Well, at that point, Andruw's average was a comparatively stellar .212. He is now batting .199. Now, I know we have all moved on from using batting average as the sole statistical judge of a player's ability, but in this case it's really all we need. He isn't hitting the ball, he isn't getting on base, and when he does make contact, it's not very good - his slugging percentage is .383. To show just how bad this is, consider this. Since his last multi-hit game on June 9th - just his tenth this whole year, all but one of which have been 2-hitters - Jones has gone a depressing 2-39. So that's a .051 average. However, his season average has dropped only 26 points, from .225 to .199. And, as I will always point out, A. Jones has not exactly dropped in the batting order. Inexcusably, he has been batting 4th or 5th in almost every game. Cox dropped him to sixth on the 18th and 19th, only to throw him back in the 4-hole on the 22nd. Is it that he just can't help himself? Is Cox going senile? It's one thing to stick with your player when he slumps, but this guy has no business within sight of the 5-hole, as we will demonstrate.

      Take a larger sample size; consider the entire month of June. Jones has exactly 10 hits in 79 AB's, for a .127 average. I'm sure many of you are thinking, 'but the walks count too - he's getting on base.' Ok. Fine. He has just four walks. Lets give him four more singles in four more at bats. He is now batting .169. He has not reached base on error or a fielders' choice once, and therefore his OBP is also .169. Meanwhile, he has 18 strikeouts. In other words, his strikeout average for June is .217. Jones is more likely to strike out than he is to reach base by any means. Let's go further. He has 3 homers, and has scored 5 runs and has 6 RBI. He has 21 total bases. So his basic runs created (TB x OBP), is at 3.549, for you sabermetricians out there. 20 games in June; that gives him .177 runs created per game. Fellow outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who is also struggling - a .262 OBP through June - has 6.288 runs created this month in just one more AB. Catcher Brian McCann, playing hurt (.238 OBP) and with just 3/4 as many AB's, has produced 4.522 runs. Therefore, even by his struggling teammates' standards, Andruw Jones is a curse at the dish this month. Edgar Renteria, who is not struggling, and making $4 million less, has created 15.17 runs.

      So now we know - not only is Andruw struggling at the plate, but he is hurting his team as well. We're not just blindly throwing his average out there and saying he's a crummy player. The truth is, the guy is really hurting the team. And he either doesn't realize it, or he doesn't care. I don't think he's pouring over his splits with a calculator, but he has to have some self-awareness. But Jones just brushes aside these criticisms. "I've never been an average hitter. Average isn't a big deal to me." Alright. But is scoring a big deal to you? Is getting "market value" next year a big deal to you? "I just go out and play the game. Everybody struggles. I'm just getting pitched good." Andruw, you're not just getting pitched good. I don't think we should be looking for a tell in Jones' stance anytime soon. You've been in the bigs for 11 years. People aren't just now figuring you out. But let's be real. You can't take anything this guy says to mean anything. He knows he's hitting .199. He doesn't need guys from the papers asking him why. He doesn't know why, and they know it. So he gives them something to print, they print it, etc.

      And another interesting note. Chipper Jones is playing hurt. And he's peeved. He's the short story.

      Reporter: Chipper, do you feel you are rushing to return from your most recent injury, which was to your... groin?
      Chipper: "Probably. But I feel backed into a corner. Let's just say there are people who don't believe me. Let's just say that and leave it at that."

      You know what? I understand that these guys have to be in peak shape to go to work every day. I get that if they aren't at least 90%, they're not effective at work. But can you imagine this conversation happening?

      Reporter: Weekend Athlete, do you feel you are rushing to return from your most recent injury?
      WA: You know, I didn't want to come out today. But the boys said I had to. I told them I was hurt, they didn't believe me.

      Most of us get paid to do things with our heads, not our bodies. If your brain is at 90%, do you call in sick? No. So Chipper, maybe you don't want to play. Maybe you feel hurt. But you're getting paid to play baseball. So when Bobby Cox tells you to play baseball, you play. Once you take that paycheck, it's up to Bobby. If you're really hurt, he won't play you. If he decides that he wants you to play, he know that he's risking a re-injury. He's judged that risk to be less substantial than the risk of playing without you. So go out there and do your job.

      "Andruw Jones tells us about the bad days" - May 21, 2007.

      Sorry about the downtime. I lost a friend of mine this week in a skateboarding accident. Parents, kids, please - wear your helmets. Just because it hasn't happened to anyone you know doesn't mean it can't.

      Tuesday, June 19, 2007

      Welcome back

      This is the new home of BHGM. We're still working out a few kinks, and we're not sure when it will be 'official... but here we are. Also. we're quite unsure of the new name. Any more suggestions will be considered. It's just, Google made us name the thing in order to set it up, so... yeah. We're going to start mirroring our posts here about now.

      A.J. Burnett will beat you in a foot race

      A little while back, we wrote A.J. Burnett a letter of apology. Basically for calling him a waste of $55 million. In the letter was a well-hidden clause, stating that "a reversion back to your early-season form will result in immediate rescindment of this letter." A.J. left his very next start with a sore shoulder. And now he's on the DL. In all fairness to A.J., this DL stint might not be 100% his fault. It might be the guy that threw him out for 118, 103, 103, 125, 117, and 130 pitches in his previous 6 starts. Way to go, Gibbons. But the dude is still looking to compete, and we can't knock him for that. First place finish too, clearly.

      "We're sorry, A.J. Burnett" - June 7th, 2007, BHGM

      More Steve Phillips fun with numbers

      It's no secret that, even as far as baseball analysts are concerned, Steve Phillips is not the brightest of the bunch. I'm not exactly sure how he ended up with ESPN. He served as the Met's GM from 1997 to 2003. He is 'credited' with bringing in David Wright and Jose Reyes. But it's not like he went out and scouted the guys. After he was fired in 2003, it doesn't seem like he was gainfully employed until ESPN came knocking. And yes, I'm going to assume that ESPN came to Phillips and offered him a job before the 2005 season, not the other way around. What do you think Phillips' response was to that inquiry? "Why in the world do they want me working for them?" Back to the issue. We know have something to add to Phillips' crazy predictions:

      • 2006: Jose Reyes will have a coming out year, hitting 30 triples, and steal 35 bases.
      • 2006: Corey Patterson will hit 40 HR and get 140 RBIs. From the leadoff spot.
      • June 19th, 2007: Alex Rodriguez will have the greatest season of any Yankee right-hander, and will negotiate a new 10-year contract for about $35 million a year.

      Alright... where to start... so Reyes would be fast enough to bust Chief Wilson's 1912 record of 28 triples, but not fast enough to get anything more than a mediocre number of steals. Actually, Reyes had 17 triples and 60 steals. Both league-leading numbers. And Corey Patterson got sent to AAA-ball. Whoops.

      But this morning was something totally different. It's interesting that Phillips' actually tried to stay within his field of 'expertise' with this Alex prediction. But Alex is about to turn 32 in July. What kind of idiot is going to give this guy $35 million to play as a 42-year old? Ignore, for a second, the fact that a 10-year contract to anyone over 30 is a bad decision. You're going to take the most well-paid athlete in the world and give him a 40% raise, just as he reaches his pinnacle of performance? The fact is, no team is going to give Alex that kind of money, except, maybe, the Yankees. This is how that negotiation will go.

      Scott Boras: Alex wants $35 million a year. 10 years. He's that good.
      Cashman: Um, no. We'll give him $20 million. 4 years. Club option for x.
      Boras: That's not good enough. He deserves more.
      Cashman: Dude, only one other guy in MLB is making more than $20 million a year.
      Boras: I have no leverage. No other team can afford to give me more than $15 million a year.

      Stop it, Steve. Do you even listen to yourself?

      UPDATE: The Yankees did end up signing Rodriguez to a 10-year contract. Worth about $27 million a year.

      "Are Steve Phillips and John Kruk stupid?" - April 11th, 2006

      Thursday, June 14, 2007

      The Battle for Missouri Supremacy

      There is one thing you have to love about interleague play. You can beat it up for screwing with the team's records. You can knock it for forcing AL pitchers to hit. Heck, you can even take issue with the over-commercialized, we're-going-to-stuff-it-down-your-throat advertising. But you can't say a bad word about some of the great Interstate match ups that take place every year. And I'm not talking about the Subway series, or the freeway series, or any of that garbage. I'm talking about Florida v. Tampa Bay. And, new to this year, St. Louis v. Kansas City. What used to be serious three-day slaughterhouse is now a send-in-the-clowns matchup. We're talking about two of the worst teams in the game right now. And tonight, they're pitting off for the decisive game 3.

      Royalscardspreview_1It's been a real rubber band series so far. Mark Teahen had a single, double, and a triple to lead the Royals to a Game 1 victory over the Cardinals, 8-1.  But the Cardinals came surging back to take Game 2, 7-3. And now Kip Wells faces Scott Elarton for the tie-breaker. How's this for a series-deciding matchup? I don't even know what to say. I mean, is Kip Wells the better pitcher because his ERA is a full point less than Elarton's, at 6.33? Or is Elarton the better pitcher because he only has 2 loses, and not 10? Seriously guys, this game could go either way. You can just see these two clubs battling it out on the diamond. Beating the heck out of one another. After all, winner is the best baseball team in Missouri, right? And who doesn't wake up every morning wanting exactly that? Are they even playing this game at a major league ballpark? Is anyone even going to show up? Does anyone even care?

      And after this, the Royals play the Marlins. There's another interleague matchup we have all been dying to see. Two teams that, quite frankly, could pack up their tents tomorrow and go home, (or move to Las Vegas, I guess), and no one would notice. Who was the scheduling genius at MLB who decided, "hey, we've got this great marketing tool here with interleague play. It really gets the fans involved. Shows them something they've never seen before. And you know what the Missourians need to see? Another 100-loss team." Exactly. Maybe it will keep Royals fans from selling their loyalty on eBay when they realize, 'man, my fellow Marlins fan has got it even worse than I do. I think I'll hold on for one more year.' Don't hold your breath, brother. And by the way, once Dan Uggla comes crashing down from his turbo-orbit, that team is going to fall apart. Again. And it won't be Lou Piniella's fault this time, Curt.

      "Relief for a Royal Pain" - May 5th, 2006, Yahoo Sports
      "Those D-Rays and Red Sox" - May 1st, 2005, BHGM

      Wednesday, June 13, 2007

      Way to go, Justin!

      Well, it happened again. A no hitter that I had absolutely nothing to do with. It wasn't until I checked the current matchup against my brother Dave last night that I saw Verlander's line. First I saw 41 points, then, CG, 4 BB, 12 K's (wow), and no hits. So, of course, I went off to to see than, once again, I had missed an entire no-hitter. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - never, ever, will I witness any part of a no-hitter. My most recent breakup was when I tuned in UM - Oregon State game this weekend. Michigan's Zach Putnam had gone 8 innings with a no hitter. After two outs,he was one strike away from a no-hitter when he gave up an RBI, game losing single. I'm a no-hitter curse.

      Anyway, Justin. I was wrong about you. I saw him pitch in person in 2005, and when he was called up to the rotation for 2006 I said, "He's better than former #5 starter Wil Ledezma... I guess." But I was pretty sure this was a case of premature call up, and I didn't want to see the guy lose his confidence because he wasn't ready and we had no one else to throw out there. Oops. Way to go, man. And 12 K's with only 112 pitches? Considering he faced 30 batters, that's impressive. That's less than 4 pitches a man. That's the only way to do it - you have to be economical with your pitches. And a lot of time, strike out pitchers use up so many pitches they have trouble with that.

      The Hit Streak v. the Perfect Game: Superstitions - April 3rd, 2006
      Tigers dump Pena and re-tool for 2006 - March 26th, 2006

      Tuesday, June 12, 2007

      "It makes my head explode"

      Our feature story is an interesting piece on the struggles of Bob Melvin, Manager, Arizona Diamondbacks.

      Simple roster changes can, in fact, be very confusing
      Chad Tracy, Arizona 3B, had been on the DL with a sore ribcage since May 15th. He hadn't actually been 'right' since May 1st. He finally returned on Sunday, June 10th... which causes some strange shakeups in the Arizona infield, at least if you're manager Bob Melvin. 23-year-old 3B Mark Reynolds was brought up from AA to replace Tracy when he was injured, and was playing out of his skull, finishing May with a .426 average. However, he only has 4 hits in June, and has seen his average decline to .318. For some reason, this has Melvin throwing mental fits. But Tracy can also play 1B. Why not put him there, if you're intent at keeping Reynolds' sinking ship running? Because Connor Jackson (.280) is currently starting at 1B, with Tony Clark (.226, mostly as a situational hitter,) filling in at times. This somehow matters to Melvin. Never, I don't think, as anybody agonized this much over such a simple decision. "Every time I think about it, my head explodes... [Clark] is an important guy, and I don't want to leave him out... you want to keep everybody involved... if someone gets their feelings hurt, that can be the bad side of it." GROW UP, BOB. This isn't Little League. Your job is to win baseball games. Are you afraid Tony's dad is going to confront you, and ask you why his son isn't playing? Besides, the two guys you're worried about "leaving out" are too young, too old, and too not good. Send Reynolds back down to the minors, and start Tracy at 3B, end of story. Are you seriously struggling with that decision? By the way, Clark might have 7 HR, but that is all he is good for. He has 19 hits. Stop starting him and leaving him in for crucial spots in the game. This guy is batting .167 in late-inning pressure situations. He's hitting .267 as a pinch-hitter. Use him there, don't start him. He turns 35 on Friday, dude.

      Francisco Cordero blows another one
      Francisco Cordero finally blew a save on Saturday night. I just published something I wrote on Sunday about this, during which I said, "He's got a fragile mindset... he was hotter than the sun... now he's probably going to fall faster than a ship from heaven." On Sunday night, Francisco did, indeed, blow another save - just as I predicted, giving up one run to tie the game back up.

      Remember Brad Lidge?
      He's back, it seems. Brad's ship capsized last year, when he had a 5.28 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. As my brother Dave, the author of, "BETTER TRADE THAT GUY [Teixeira]. I've give you Nick Markakis and Adrian Gonzalez,"  put it, "when did this guy become so bad? What happened to him?" Anyway, current Houston closer Dan Wheeler has been an arsonist lately, allowing 9 runs in his last 6 games, resulting in 3 blown saves. His ERA is at 5.22. But manager Phil Garner is playing it off differently. He says it's always been the plan that, if Lidge pulled it together, he'd get the closer role back. Lidge, meanwhile, now has a 2.35 ERA. He hasn't allowed a run since May 17th. Welcome back, Brad. Don't screw it up this time.

      Remember Dan Kolb?
      Couldn't help including this behind Lidge. Kolb was recently called up from the Pirates AAA affiliate, where he had a 3.15 ERA. You may recall Kolb saving 39 games for Milwaukee in 2004 with a 3.00 ERA. He then moved on to Atlanta in 2005, where he lost 8 games to 11 saves and had a 5.97 ERA. Last year he returned to Milwaukee to try to restore the magic, but had only one save and a 4.87 ERA in 48.1 IP. Now he's getting called up to the Pirates. Things aren't going the way they used to, are they Dan?

      Mark Teixeira and The Rangers - April 26th, 2007

      Welcome to the Houston Circus

      Events have been interesting in Houston this year. We all know these guys aren't winning a ton of games. And I bet if you ask anyone off the street about them, they'll tell you, "Hunter Pence." Great. I'm glad Houston is continuing to make such a great contribution to the game. Oh yeah, and that Biggio dude is closing in on 3,000 hits... like a Peruvian mountain sloth. Maybe you should've sprung for that Clemens guy after all. Or that Beltran kid. Hmm.

      We talked about Brad Lidge making it back to the closer role. Last night Lidge blew his first save opportunity. He gave up a solo, game-tying HR. I'm inclined to chalk that up to bad luck. It's not like the guy melted down on the mound, giving up hit after hit after hit. He just gave up one hit, on an 0-2 count no less. Just keep throwing him out there, Phil. After Lidge battled back from his struggles last season, and earlier this season, you have to give him another try. I'm sure people are going to be saying that it must be the 9th-inning pressure that is doing Lidge in. That is false. Think about it - the guy has been pitching for a job all season. There's no greater pressure than that.

      Besides, it's not like the Astros are serious contenders anyway. If they were, they wouldn't keep trotting out Craig Biggio and his .227 average. And, as if it could get any worse, he always leads off. Did Phil Garner take "setting up your batting order 101" from Dusty Baker or something? Furthermore, what brilliant principle leads Garner to put Biggio's .273 OBP in the 1-spot, and Adam Everett's .278 OBP in the 7-hole? Besides the fact that Everett has 20 FEWER strikeouts, they're practically the same player. This is absolute insanity. But he must be doing something right. After all, Houston is 27-37, a whole game and a half out of last place. But honestly... can anyone explain this obvious incompetence to me? Heck, it's not like Biggio's been hot at any point in the season. The last time his average was above .270 was after the 5th game.

      By the way, want more proof that the fans that cast all-star votes are indeed from the bottom of the baseball intelligence barrel? Houston LF Carlos Lee is leading the NL with 54 RBIs. He's batting .293. By all accounts, an All-Star worthy selection. However, he must pass Andruw Jones in order to get the nod. Jones has a .217 average with 42 RBI - 10th in the NL. How can he be one of the best eight players in the league if he isn't even one of the best eight at his position? And trust me, 10th on the RBI list is the highest that Jones appears on any list. Unless you count strikeouts. He's #4 on that list. He's #57 in OBP. Right above the great Brian Schneider. Seriously, how many of you guys even know who Brian Schneider is? Whatever. The All-Star game is stupid. And so is letting a bunch of knuckleheads vote for it as often as they want. But I accept it as a necessary evil.


      "It makes my head explode" - June 12th, 2007

      Sunday, June 10, 2007

      Some pitching meltdowns

      I originally wrote this on Sunday, June 10th...
      Lets look at why I am about to lose my first fantasy baseball matchup of the year. Here were my pitchers for last night. In this league, a typical quality start will get you 15 points, add 10 if the pitcher gets a win.
      Jason Marquis: 1.2 IP, 4H, 3BB, 6R, (2ER): -1.2 pts.
      Tim Hudson: 2.0 IP, 5H, 2BB, 5ER: -3.5 pts.
      Francisco Cordero: .2IP, 5H, 1BB, 4ER: -4.7 pts.
      Also, keep in mind that Marquis and Hudson were facing each other, so I'm expecting at least one of them to get the 10-pt win. And, as if it couldn't get any worse, Hudson was removed because he was hit in the leg by a grounder. These three guys typically combine for 40, 50 points on an ok week. This time they gave me -9.5.
      I don't care about Marquis and Hudson. But I'm worried about Cordero, big time. The dude proved that he has a fragile mindset last year. Prior to last night's outing, he was hotter than the sun; 0.36 ERA, 23 straight saves, 35 K's in 24.2 IP. Now, he's probably going to fall faster than a ship from heaven. To his credit, it was like Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. He had 2 outs, and Brad Wilkerson hit a 2-out single. Ramon Vazquez walked, Gerald Laird hit an RBI single. No biggie, Brewers are still up 3-1. Kenny Lofton hits another RBI single. Marlon Byrd, (again), hit another RBI single. So now it's 3-3. We've already quadrupled Cordero's ERA. Then another Michael Young single to win the game. Do you remember when we last talked about Francisco, and we said that, of 12 given batters, one will get a hit and another will walk, and the remaining 10 will make outs? So do you see how insane this is? A straight-up meltdown of epic proportions.

      F. Cordero still posting "mind-boggling numbers" - June 6th, 2007

      A little follow-up on Nate...

      At the end of our last Cardinals post, I mentioned in passing that Nate Robertson: bounced around the yard this evening. Actually, the problem was more that the balls he was throwing were bouncing... in the seats. Nate went exactly 0 innings before he was 'yanked.' He allowed 6 runs, all earned, on 4 hits and 2 walks. Sammy Sosa hit a bases-loaded single, followed by a Victor Diaz grand slam, followed by a Marlon Byrd (of course,) triple. Game over, Nathan. He saw his ERA rise from a decent 4.25 to a frightening 5.07. There's that Texas offense for you.

      Well, sadly, the bad news didn't stop there. Against his wishes, the Tigers placed him on the DL with a "tired arm". There are not many times when you have to force a guy to go on the disabled list. He's basically DL'ed with a case of sucking, so lets call it what it is. And Robertson acknowledges as much. "There are no red flags. I'm not hurt." But Robertson hasn't had a quality start in his last 6 outings. His velocity is down. He threw 30 pitches in that last start of his, and not a single pitch was a swinging strike. So something is wrong. But I'll bet it's more a confidence issue. He's not broken. He's just down.

      That's a tough break. Rogers is already gone, as is Zumaya. Luckily, Dombrowski has been hoarding starting pitching for about five years now. So whenever a starter goes down, just call up First Round Draft Pick X. The lucky winner this time is Andrew Miller. I shouldn't say lucky, because the guy is really lights out. In his major league debut he held the Cardinals scoreless, (as we've seen, not a tremendous accomplishment, but not a shabby first start either.) He'll be better off for the team right now than Robertson has been, and there's some talk he may be here to stay. Which, quite frankly, is a little bit less plausible than it sounds. Only because the guy was drafted about a year ago. But we'll see.

      On the note of drafts; a guy I know from back in the High School days was drafted by the Tigers in the 25th round. His name is Colin Kaline, and he's Al's grandson. He's already playing ball at Florida Southern, but it's still pretty good. Good job.

      The Cardinals are trying something new this year - June 5th, 2007
      Some pitching meltdowns - June 10th, 2007
      Draft ties generations together ( - June 8th, 2007

      Friday, June 8, 2007

      Rich Hill, it appears, is not done yet

      At the risk of becoming repetitive - this will be our third pitching post in a row - it seems that Rich Hill got over whatever slump he was in. In 3 outings against the Phillies, Mets, and Padres - totaling 17 innings - he allowed 14 ER. He also walked 9 guys. Not surprisingly, he earned three loses for his efforts. Things were looking bad for Hill, and things were looking bad for the Cubs as well. No worse than usual, as the Cubs, at the time of Hill's last loss, were 20-23. Pretty good for a team that has no business near the top of any division. They're now 26-32, but Hill is doing better. You're right, none of that makes any sense. The bottom line is, the Cubs are a bad team. But Cub Fan will read hope into anything he can find, so we're just going to play around with his emotions a little.

      Ah. Back to Mr. Hill. In his last three games, (against LA and ATLx2), he has gone 21 innings, allowing just 2 runs and striking out 20 batters - 11 of them last night. He has issued only 4 walks. This is more like the early season Rich Hill that we saw. Rich Hill is a special guy, because he has a special curveball. You really have to see it. Right when you think the pitch is sailing high, it drops like the Cardinals starting pitching. Rich now has a respectable 2.71 ERA and a 5-4 record. Mark my words - this dude will be something great one day. He just turned 27. When he was 23 or 24 I saw him pitching, and even then he had a knockout curveball. Then, at that moment, I knew he was going to do big things with that curve. And I'm still just as sure.

      As for the rest of the Cubs pitching staff, we sadly cannot say the same good things. Just a quick rundown. Carlos Zambrano is NOT having a good year. First off, who really cares about the fights? Dude was pissed, and I can't blame him. The Cubs committed 5 ERRORS on the play that caused that fight, even if only one of them were scored. First, Barrett allowed the ball to get by him. He then made a bad throw. Ramirez made a crappy stab at it. That's three errors. Then the shortstop was WAY late backing up the throw - he should've been running behind third the second the runner took off - four errors. Then, when he finally got his slow ass behind 3rd, he still missed the ball. Thats five errors. Heck, when I played little league ball, we had it down better than that. No wonder Zambrano threw punches. The dude is a walking firebomb, and that play was a cordite flash-fire. Of course he's going to go off on you. Anyway, 5.38 ERA. Not the greatest. Then we've got Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis, decent innings-eater-type starters. Wait. Stop right there. I know what you're thinking - "but wait, Marquis has a 2.84 ERA, he's awesome LOL!" Incorrect. He's Jason Marquis, and he pitches for the Cubs. That ship is going to come crashing back down to earth, just like the Chris Capuano rocketship did earlier this year. Heck, it already has. Marquis hasn't won a game since May 9th. The back end of the rotation is Sean Marshall. Haven't made a decision on him yet, but don't hold your breath. He's 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts so far, so we'll have to wait and see to be sure.

      "Welcome to the Wacky fun house that is the NL Central" - May 28, 2007

      Digging up some old Dodger follies

      There are many times when I go onto my website visitor stat page and look at the pages you guys are viewing. I can do that. Anyway, I'm often quite entertained. You guys tend to dig up the oldest and funniest stuff on the site. And it cracks me up. Because I have to say, I am probably one of my favorite writers. I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I really like to read what I have to say. So I'm looking around, and I find this. But I would be remiss for giving myself all the credit on this one, not when teams like the Padres and Dodgers provide me with material like this. Here's a short excerpt.

      Bottom of the 9th, the Padres are down 5-0... heading into the 10th, with the score tied 5-5... The Padres win!... for the first time since last Sunday! [7 days prior]

      I'll let you guys read the rest. But lets just say, this was one of the saddest games ever.

      I don't like the Padres or the Dodgers, but I can't pass this up - April 30th, 2006

      Thursday, June 7, 2007

      I'm sorry, A.J. Burnett

      Mr. Burnett,

      I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to you, on behalf of BHGM and all associated parties, for all libelous claims made prior. We have no excuses, other than to say that at the time of these claims, we were deceived by your career-high 12 wins in 2005. We were upset that you had only started 30+ games once in your then five-year career as a starter, and reacted rashly. It now appears that you are no longer "clowning around," and that Mr. Ricciardi didn't make an $11 million a year mistake when he signed you.

      Personally, I have been impressed with your performance in your last seven games. You have brought your ERA down a full point and a half to around 4. Meanwhile, you have struck out 72 batters in just 52 innings. I believe that at this point it is obvious to even the most casual observer that you have truly "stepped up your game" and I commend you. While these stats have not necessarily translated into wins for your team, you have turned in quality starts on all occasions but one. And for $350,000 a start, that's really all we can ask.

      However, there still remains the question of your start to the season. Your first six starts contrast strongly with your last seven. During the aforementioned starts, you posted a 5.46 ERA and struck out only 26 batters in 33 innings. I am also concerned about the abundance of home runs that you seem to be serving up. So far this year, 14 guys have "jerked you out of the yard." In the future, I would like to see you improve these numbers. Additionally, a reversion back to your early-season form will result in immediate rescindment of this letter.

      Please accept my sincerest regrets for our previous comments.

      Good luck!

      Reid Smith

      Tuesday, June 5, 2007

      The Cardinals are trying something new this year

      We've talked about the Cardinals a bunch lately. And right now I'm 'watching' the CBS GameCenter of the Reds v. Cardinals, and I have to ask... how much longer are the Cardinals going to try to win games with a 5-man lineup before they decide the experiment has failed? In our 'Welcome to the wacky fun house that is the NL Central' post, we discussed the faults in the Cardinals rotation. Now we're going to talk a little more about that interesting lineup of theirs...

      Fun Fact #1 - The only player on the active roster with an average above .300 is Adam Wainwright.
      Adam also has a 5.12 ERA. So maybe they should go Rick Ankiel on him. Anyway, the Cardinals' lineup tonight, which I assume to be pretty typical, at least statistically, is as follows: Eckstein, (.288) is leading off, which is where you want your best hitter. Followed by Chris Duncan, Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, Scott Spiezio. Then you have Encarnacion (.231), Gary Bennett (.254), Adam Kennedy, (.224), and your pitching spot. That's really a 5 man lineup. And it's one of those things that's just going to roll over itself and get progressively worse. As more and more managers realize that Jim Edmonds/Scott Rolen is no longer as sharp with a bat as he once was, no one will pitch to Albert anymore. It's bad enough already. How much farther can you get from not protecting the best hitter in the game when you put a .244 hitter behind him? Typically, Rolen will hit behind Pujols. He is batting .258 so... no difference.

      Fun Fact #2 - The Cardinals offense ranks in the bottom four of 16 NL teams in 10 of 12 categories.
      This one is really unbelievable, folks. And it's according to baseball-reference, (which, though I have no way to prove it, is quickly becoming the most frequently cited website in the world.) There are 16 NL teams, so here are all 12 categories and the Cardinals' respective ranking: AB (16th), Runs (15th), 2B (16th), 3B (16th), HR (13th), BB (16th), SO (16th), Avg. (11th), OBP (13th), SLG (15th), SB (16th), SB (16th). Keep in mind that for SO, 16th is technically first place. So they're not striking out a lot, which is good. But they're also never getting on base, which nullifies that. Keep in mind, this is for the entire National League. You know, the same league that the Pirates, Marlins, Red, Nationals, and Rockies play in.

      Fun Fact #3 - Apparently, Barry Bonds is a better hitter than Albert Pujols.
      And five times better, in fact. Bonds has 20 intentional walks this season. Pujols, with the solid-hitting Scott Rolen batting behind him, has 6 intentional walks. Furthermore, Adam Kennedy - whose OBP (.292) is higher than his SLG (.286) - has 5 IBB. Bonds has better protection. And heck, Kennedy, who is 'protected' by the pitcher's spot, is pretty much the same matchup as the pitcher. So, the first person who can explain this gets a prize.

      Then again, asking for your guys' input lately is a downright waste of time. I appreciate the CBox comments, Kaylee and Mark. Definitely appreciate the praise. What is strange is that, on Sunday, we logged 3,157 visits. And 0 comments. So... I'm thinking of shifting to a shorter-post, more frequent model. Which has always been the opposite of what we've been doing here at BHGM for the last 2 years. But I think it may be time to get more concise.

      UPDATE: Too soon for another post, but I just couldn't keep this to myself. Nate Robertson got bounced around the yard this evening. Actually, the problem was more that the balls he was throwing were bouncing... in the seats. Nate went exactly 0 innings before he was 'yanked.' He allowed 6 runs, all earned, without getting an out, on 4 hits and 2 walks. Sammy Sosa hit a bases-loaded single, followed by a Victor Diaz grand slam, followed by a Marlon Byrd (of course,) triple. Game over, Nathan. He saw his ERA rise from a decent 4.25 to a frightening 5.07. There's that Texas offense for you.
      Also, Carl Crawford is just killing me in this week's fantasy matchup. So far tonight, he's 3-5 with a 1B, 2B, HR, 3RBI, and 3R. That's 13 points against. I'm 9-0 in this head-to-head pay league, and Crawford might ruin it for me. In other news, Andruw Jones is a respectable 0-7 in today's Braves-Marlins doubleheader. Guess that would be a "bad day," huh Andruw?

      Welcome to the wacky fun house that is the NL Central - May 28th, 2007
      St. Louis Cardinals 2007 Statistics... (
      Andruw Jones tells us about bad days - May 21, 2007

      Monday, June 4, 2007

      The funniest tirade, ever

      Have to give props to Kevin for pointing this one out to me. Listen - no amount of time you spend on YouTube is going to be 'wasted' time. So, while it still works, check out this video of the Braves AA manager Phillip Wellman just losing it. I'm not sure what happened to prompt this tirade, but... it must have been serious. I especially like how he draws from many of the best explosions. But my favorite is when he does the military crawl through the infield and throws the rosin bag like a grenade - at the umpire, who is hanging out at home "eating sunflower seeds," and then ejects the 3rd base umpire. I'm guessing that this will be the last time we see Phillip in any official capacity. Enough of me. Enjoy.

      Friday, June 1, 2007

      NL Central, hitting streaks, Mariner's payroll reset

      Hey guys. I'm out of town right now on a spur of the moment trip. In fact, I'm in Cincinnati with my grandfather, who explained that "the Reds are so bad, I don't even watch them anymore." And it's true. We talked about this at length in our previous post. Since then, the Cardinals have dropped to only two games up on the still last place Reds. And Pittsburgh is now in 2nd place in the division. They are 23-30.
      Here's something I've noticed lately. What about these hitting streaks? So far this year, we've had Torii Hunter go 23 games. Freaking A-Rod was on an 18-game tear. Brandon Philips; 22. Randy Winn; 20. Aaron Rowand; 16. Currently, Kevin Youkilis has a 22-game hitting streak, and just snapped a 9-game multi-hit streak, the 6th longest in the last 50 years. Ichiro is at a Seattle-record 24 games. Furcal just ended a 15-gamer. There have always been hitting streaks in baseball. But I don't remember so many being this long. Thoughts?

      I also wanted to comment on a comment that BigFoote made in the Chat box. He said not to get discouraged about the lack of comments. He thinks he's the only reader. Well... sadly enough, that's not the case. I risk offending you here, BigFoote, but that's not my intent. I do appreciate you, loyal reader. But BHGM has been around for 2 years. In fact, the site usually, (on a typical, ok day) gets about 400 hits or so. By my estimate, there are at least 30-40 regular readers, from what I've seen of direct referrals and return visitors from the hit counters. And those are people that come check out the site almost every day. There are at least 15 subscribers to RSS feeds that automatically go to the site whenever a new post is made. So, you guys are out there - you're just not making any noise. I know you have to register to make comments on this blog, but that's why I have the Chatbox to your left - no registration required! Make good use of that tool. Or, do as Monkeypunch did.

      'Monkeypunch' made a quality comment on the Mariner's Payroll post. Now, I'll talk about your comment in full when I get home, but for now, let me point out some important things. You mention that Beltre is coming back, he just needs to adjust his mechanics. You're wrong. Beltre had one good year. Like I said, the Mariners have you believing that these players are better than they really are. You can etch this in stone or carve it in wood - Adrian Beltre will never win another HR crown. Right now, his .280 batting average is higher than every season except 2004 and 2000. He is on pace to hit 29 HR's - more than any other season ever, with the exception of 2004. I don't believe he will ever hit more than 30 home runs. However, that was the only logical hole in your post, for the most part. I think you may have misunderstood my main point - that the Mariners have overpaid for these guys. Richie Sexson is not a bad guy to have on your team. But you shouldn't be paying him $15.5 million. You also conceded that the Weaver deal was 'crap' So why would you pay him almost $10 million? Give him a small base salary with incentives, or let another team take the one-year risk, and offer him $15 million - an amount he can't refuse - when he goes into free agency, as no team would ever give him more than a one-year. Anyway, we'll talk more when I get home. But keep up the good, insightful, intelligent comments like those.

      The Mariner's Payroll is really $107 Million? - April 24th, 2007