Or so says Joe Posnanski. Great read. Paste link to browser:
Guess who it is?
One hint, it is a pitcher.
Or so says Joe Posnanski. Great read. Paste link to browser:
Guess who it is?
One hint, it is a pitcher.
|1||New York Yankees||206,738,389|
|2||Boston Red Sox||160,913,333|
|5||New York Mets||136,022,942|
|7||Chicago White Sox||105,530,000|
|8||Los Angeles Angels||104,161,666|
|9||San Francisco Giants||98,586,333|
|10||Los Angeles Dodgers||95,358,016|
|11||St. Louis Cardinals||93,940,751|
|19||Tampa Bay Rays||72,323,471|
|20||Kansas City Royals||71,405,210|
|23||Toronto Blue Jays||61,484,400|
|29||San Diego Padres||38,199,300|
Forteenth seems to suggest that the ownership is making a reasonable commitment to the team’s success. The source is ESPN on the numbers. Thought it might be good to dive a little deeper, so here it is by player and it suggests something else:
|NO.||NAME||POS||BAT||THW||AGE||HT||WT||BIRTH PLACE||SALARY||% of total|
|45||Erik Bedard||SP||L||L||32||6’1″||200||Navan, Canada||$1,500,000||2.29%|
|58||Doug Fister||SP||L||R||27||6’8″||210||Merced, CA||$406,500||0.62%|
|34||Felix Hernandez||SP||R||R||24||6’3″||225||Valencia, Venezuela||$7,200,000||11.01%|
|–||Aaron Laffey||SP||L||L||25||6’0″||185||Cumberland, MD||$421,900||0.64%|
|43||Brandon League||RP||R||R||28||6’2″||205||Sacramento, CA||$1,087,500||1.66%|
|71||Josh Lueke||RP||R||R||26||6’5″||235||Covington, KY||$412,500||0.63%|
|39||David Pauley||SP||R||R||27||6’2″||215||Longmont, CO||$425,000||0.65%|
|36||Michael Pineda||SP||R||R||22||6’7″||260||Yaguate, Dominican Republic||$401,000||0.61%|
|46||Chris Ray||RP||R||R||29||6’3″||210||Tampa, FL||$975,000||1.49%|
|38||Jason Vargas||SP||L||L||28||6’0″||210||Apple Valley, CA||$412,500||0.63%|
|73||Tom Wilhelmsen||SP||R||R||27||6’6″||230||Tucson, AZ||$401,000||0.61%|
|50||Jamey Wright||RP||R||R||36||6’5″||225||Oklahoma City, OK||$900,000||1.38%|
|10||Adam Moore||C||R||R||26||6’3″||220||Longview, TX||$401,000||0.61%|
|30||Miguel Olivo||C||R||R||32||6’0″||230||Villa Vasquez, Dominican Republic||$2,000,000||3.06%|
|9||Chone Figgins||3B||B||R||33||5’8″||180||Leary, GA||$8,500,000||12.99%|
|4||Adam Kennedy||2B||L||R||35||6’1″||195||Riverside, CA||$1,250,000||1.91%|
|26||Brendan Ryan||SS||R||R||29||6’2″||195||Los Angeles, CA||$425,000||0.65%|
|17||Justin Smoak||1B||B||L||24||6’4″||230||Goose Creek, SC||$425,000||0.65%|
|2||Jack Wilson||SS||R||R||33||6’0″||190||Westlake Village, CA||$5,000,000||7.64%|
|15||Milton Bradley||LF||B||R||32||6’0″||215||Harbor City, CA||$11,000,000||16.81%|
|29||Jack Cust||LF||L||R||32||6’1″||235||Flemington, NJ||$2,500,000||3.82%|
|55||Michael Saunders||LF||L||R||24||6’4″||225||Victoria, BC||$425,000||0.65%|
|51||Ichiro Suzuki||RF||L||R||37||5’11″||172||Kasugai, Japan||$18,000,000||27.51%|
|12||Ryan Langerhans||CF||L||L||31||6’3″||220||San Antonio, TX||$525,000||0.80%|
|1||Luis Rodriguez||SS||B||R||30||5’9″||188||San Carlos, Venezuela||$425,000||0.65%|
The team that opens up Friday night carries a tag of $65.4 million. More than I have to spend certainly. The difference between the ESPN number of $86 million and $65 million is mostly deferred compensation from previous years and guys on the disabled list. Real money.
Some of you may have read in Forbes that the Mariners were profitable last year despite their horrific year.
When you look at the detail above it suggests that if you remove Ichiro and Bradley, who make up $29 million of the $65 million in the active budget, that this is a pretty cut rate operation. Florida, Texas, Oakland and San Diego were competitive at that type of commitment.
Between this year and next the Mariners figure to part company with Milton Bradley and Jack Wilson. Figgin is here through 2013, while Ichiro’s contract matures in 2012.
After that it is only Felix at $7.2 million. It would seem that he is the premier player on the team right now. Without exception.
For the team to get to the next level, the system needs to bring up players and the team has to spend a little more wisely on talent than it has recently. The following chart looks at each team in the division and how they are spending their money on their top paid offensive talent:
Runs win games. As a GM if you can get runs for cheap like the Rangers did last year all the better. Angels paid a lot more but should get good production from that group and the As numbers reflect partial seasons by those players should get good production from those players. The Mariners paid almost as much as the Angels with little to show for it.
Blah, blah and more blah. Last year was bad. What should we expect from those big dogs for the Ms? If Ichiro and Figgins have any kind of years, both should score from 90 to 100 runs. Neither will drive in very many. Milton Bradley had a great year in 2008 in Texas. Really a great year. .436 on bag, .563 slug. From 2003 to 2008 he was good to very good, albeit injured off and on. He is staring over an abyss baseball wise. He is 32 years old. There could be something left in the tank, there might be, this spring suggests there is something there.
If he is good, then it helps Smoak to be better and grow.
The infeld defensively should be very good.
If Milton does not rekindle his career, it could be a long year.
There is a lot riding on him.
They too used the Cream and the Clear like Barry. Both received it from Greg Anderson, Bond’s childhood friend and trainer.
We used to think that Barry-ball was the opposite of small ball, but we all know now that is not true.
Sophomoric jokes aside, and do you ever have enough of them, the fact that this trial has lingered for seven years and that is not about him taking steroids, rather him lying about taking steroids poses some interesting questions.
During this time period, say the early 80s through 2003 or so, it was the worst kept secret. Mark McGwire kept bottles of the stuff in his locker. It WAS NOT illegal during most of the period.
So, so many of the players, both stars and not were so much bigger than the preceding generation of players.
Players took it for different reasons: To heal from injuries and fatigue from the daily grind and to get stronger to sustain their career and put up bigger numbers. Because that translated into more money for longer.
This trial is kind of a show piece like the Black Sox that when Bonds gets thrown away and stomped on, allows baseball to heave a sigh of relief and move on the problem publicly stamped out, sort of a modern witch trial.
The owners benefited hugely from this massive period of home runs and offense. Increased attendance, new TV contracts, new stadiums that communities felt forced to pay for.
Where was Bud Selig and his posse? It defies credulity that they were unaware that this was going on.
Do you want to do something fun? Look at rookie cards for guys that came up in the 80s, 90s, when they weighed 170 pounds or so and then look at them in 1998 or 2000. Mark McGwire, Ken Caminiti, Giambis to name a few. Bonds certainly, he was 163 pounds. Look at the transformation of some Mariners too during that period. it was pervasive.
There are many franchises that are great and have been for over one hundred years. There are others that simply exist to make money and never, ever deliver a good or great baseball team.
Baseball is a game played in our neighborhoods, that once in a while, one of the neighborhood kids makes it to the bigs. Even more rare is the local team playing for the World Series. Let alone winning.
If none of you have watched Ken Burn’s anthology on baseball I urge you to do so. One thing comes out, at long last it is about great teams made up of great players. It is never, ever about the owner, unless it is about some dunderhead who sells good players to their competitors.
Art Spander on Bond’s Girl Friend testimony…might have tried for a joke there, but didn’t.
Newsday (N.Y.): Bonds’ ex-mistress testifies against him
By Art Spander
Special to Newsday
SAN FRANCISCO — In testimony both tearful and confrontational, Barry Bonds’ former mistress Monday described the advent of his hair loss, acne and other changes to the anatomy that a doping expert previously said could be caused by the use of anabolic steroids.
Kimberly Bell said she was Bonds’ girlfriend from 1994 until 2003, when he told her “to disappear.” She also testified that the former slugger threatened her more than once, insisting, “I thought he would kill me.”
Bell, who said she met Bonds in the parking lot at Candlestick Park after a game during his playing career for the Giants, is a prosecution witness in the case against Bonds. He is accused of four counts of perjury and one of obstructing justice for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury.
In testimony, Bell described Bonds’ shrinking body parts and behavior in which he became “aggressive, irritable and impatient” from 1999 to 2001.
Twice during the long session, Bell began to sob. On other occasions, she was terse with a defense attorney.
Bonds, 46, sat next to his attorneys, occasionally twisting in his chair and taking notes but not showing any emotion.
Bell said that Bonds, after they broke up, refused to pay for a Scottsdale, Ariz., home he had promised her.
When asked by prosecutor Jeff Nedrow if she ever discussed
steroids with Bonds, Bell responded that she did around 1999-2000
at her apartment in Mountain View, Calif., about 30 miles south of
San Francisco. Bonds had a serious elbow injury, and Bell had asked
why it was so severe, and, she testified, “He said
it was because of steroids.”
She said he told her that Mark McGwire and other ballplayers were using steroids “to get ahead.” McGwire in 1998 set the single-season home run record of 70, which Bonds broke with 73 in 2001.
Defense attorney Chris Arguedas tried to poke holes in Bell’s testimony by insisting Bell was only trying to make money off her relationship with Bonds, by authoring a book with a ghost writer.
Bell was depicted as a bitter former girlfriend who in trying to promote the book, which never was completed, went on various radio and television programs, including Howard Stern’s.
Arguedas also made much of the fact that when Bell signed the lease for the Scottsdale house, where she lived from 2002-04, it was as a “secondary home,” not a primary home, trying to persuade the jury Bell committed fraud on the documents.
Bell said she first thought of Bonds as the actor Richard Gere in the film “An Officer and a Gentleman,” but was hurt when he told her in 1998 he was marrying someone else.
Longtime Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy, who conceded he
was “very nervous,” said Bonds originally wore a size 7 1/4
baseball cap but that his head size increased to 7 3/8. Murphy also
explained, however, that the hat sizes of Giants Hall of Famers
Willie Mays and Willie McCovey also increased as they aged,
although it occurred after their playing careers ended.
- – - – - -
Copyright © 2011 Newsday. All rights reserved.
Four new guys out of the system have made the opening day roster:
1. Michael Pineda
2. Adam Moore
3. Michael Saunders
4. Justin Smoak
Pineda had a great spring, throws gas and his breaking pitch and changeup seemingly improve every time out. Throwing 95-96 helps.
Adam Moore had a very good, if not great spring if you count how he’s improved as a receiver and what he’s done at the plate.
Saunders and Smoak both started off very poorly, but have surged towards the end. Saunders lost the left field job to Milton Bradley, but is here due to Franklin Gutierrez’s stomach issues.
What does that say about the rebuilding effort? Three of those guys are fruit of Bill Bavasi’s random walk as a major league general manager, Moore, Pineda and Saunders. Smoak came from the Cliff Lee trade with the Rangers, he was in the majors already.
So nothing from the rebuilding? Is that what I’m saying? Dustin Ackley is nearby and ready now if they were not trying to diddle him and his agent, something that will come back to haunt them. He was drafted less than two years ago in June of 2009, which was the commencement of the rebuilding effort.
Is it too premature to measure the rebuilding effort? Is THAT what I’m saying?
No, rather to reduce it to a yes no formulation, binary as it were is bad analysis.
The Cliff Lee trade to the Phillies for a bunch of guys that are still in the minors and subsequent trade to Rangers with Mark Lowe yielded Smoak, Blake Bevan, Josh Leuke and Matt Lawson. Bevan is somebody that might supplant Fister later this year.
Two are on the Ms roster now and Lawson was traded for Aaron Laffey who is also on the roster now. So in sum Smoak, Leuke, Laffey now, Bevan and Ackley this year. They are all young.
Furthermore is the reclamation project Tom Wilhelmsen, who might translate into a closer.
We have two drafts under Zduriencik. If he is allowed to do this for another three or four years, the team should have a very good and long run. Ackley has had a short stint in minors, most hitters need at least 1,500 plate appearances. All of that needs to develop into a system that keeps pushing guys up to the major league team.
If not, the franchise will probably continue to flounder.
Bradley, Moore, Figgins and Jack Wilson all had productive and good springs. A number of the younger players sent down did as well: Ackley, Tuiasasopo, Baron, Liddi. Saunders came back towards the end.
Seemingly, Tui always has a good spring. The times he’s stuck with the team, he never plays and then after sitting for a week he gets to pinch hit and makes an out and gets sent down. He might be a little bitter.
Perusing spring training numbers is akin to walking down a beach with a metal detector. Frequently you do not find anything of value and a lot of people look at you as if you are very weird.
If the team is going to score more than last year, the combination of Cust, Smoak and Bradley is going to have to be formidable.
Maybe they can do it.
It is within the range of probability.
Really small chance, but it is out there. Batting third, fourth and fifth at the major league level asserts that you are the best of the best. Nobody in baseball other than the Mariners want Bradley or Cust in those positions. There are some people in baseall who think Smoak can do that.
It is why they play. Four days and counting.
Royce Ring a left handed pitcher that some of the local beat guys thought would make the rotation, did not.
Matt Tuiasasopo was sent to Tacoma as well, in favor of Josh Wilson and Chris Gimenez who is a catcher and can play left field and first base.
The team figures to need both a closer and potentially a couple of different starting outfielders, given Gutierrez lingering stomach problem and Bradley’s recent past.
Manager Wedge loves Gimenez and Mr. Moore between the traded for Olivo and Gimenez, might want to keep his bags packed in case a deal is made for one of those needs. If his spring training stats are any indication, it looks as if he might have figured out how to play at this level.
There are however, unsubstantiated rumors that Moore and the departed Rob Johnson were the folks that outed Rip Van Griffey last summer. If that is believed to be true in the front office, he’s not long for the roster.
There is one critical name not listed above: Kendry Morales. He has not appeared in any spring training games, after missing most of last season breaking his leg celebrating a home run. He will start the season on the disabled list with a left big toe problem. Rookie Mark Trumbo based on his spring training stats would seem to be the replacement. He led the Angels minor league system in home runs and as the stats above suggest has hit very well this spring. When it is real we will be able to tell how good he might be. But Morales not being there last year is the primary citation for their collapse last year.
Above are the starters for the Angel’s staff. Dan Haren and Jered Weaver had great springs. The other three Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro and Scott Kamir got their work done and appear healthy. They got shelled the whole spring. Veterans sometimes do that to work on something in their game and because they don’t want to show much to in division competitors. Fernando Rodney their closer likewise got his work in and also go shelled with an OPS Against of .827. Huge number.
They still look like a number three team.
Couple of different options to peruse. In the Sun today there is a piece by Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald that cites the M’s as having the 14th best minor league system. He provides a comprehensive look at the system by position.
It is a wee bit optimistic. Some of the names include guys forever stuck between Tacoma and Seattle such as Mike Carp and Matt Tuiasasopo and you can probably throw in Greg Halman and Mike Wilson too.
There are some observable fruits of Jack Zduriencik’s efforts. What I don’t see is somebody to bat third, fourth or fifth yet. Maybe they are there, but if so they are a bit camouflaged.
Here is another spare look at valuation of organization’s systems. Baseball America’s dated March 23rd. Mariners are in 18th.
From the same system here is BaseballAmerica’s top 100 list of prospects, done at the start of spring training:
Dustin Ackley at 12th, Michael Pineda at 16th and Nick Franklin at 53rd.
Pineda has made the team as the fifth starter, Ackley by June and we might get a look at Franklin in the fall.
Hopefully, when they redo this in the fall, there will be replacements for those three guys and more.
One of the fun things about sports is that we have so many
stories within the stories. We have new players trying to break in
and old players trying to hold on, all the while the team is trying
to win. We will be following some of these players, through their
Runs Created (RC), throughout the 2011 season. The Runs Created we
will be using is the simple RC, or points, of Runs plus Runs Batted
In. This will give us a good overview of how the players are doing
in relation to the other players on the list. We will have some
Proven Players, Players on New Teams, Players on the Spot, and New
Kids on the Block.
1B Albert Pujols Stl
3B Alex Rodriguez NYY
OF Ichiro Suzuki SEA
2B Robinson Cano NYY
SS Hanley Ramirez Fla
OF Josh Hamilton Tex
Players on New Teams:
OF Carl Crawford Bos
1B Adrian Gonzalez Bos
1B Russell Branyan Ari
2B Dan Uggla Atl
OF Jason Werth Was
C Miguel Olivo Sea
Players on the Spot:
3B Chone Figgins Sea
OF Grady Sizemore Cle
3B Pablo Sandoval SF
SS Brendan Ryan Sea
OF Milton Bradley Sea
OF Jose Bautista Tor
2b Jack Wilson Sea
OF Franklin Gutierrez Sea
New Kids on the Block:
OF Mike Stanton Fla
OF Jason Heyward Atl
C Carlos Santana Cle
1B Justin Smoak Sea
OF Desmond Jennings Tam
We have a good cross reference of players which should give us a good view of how the season is going. We may need to drop players as they get hurt, or become minor leaguers, and pick up hot players or surprise new stars. So, check back and see how the players in the 2011 RC 25 Player Challenge progress.