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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Kansas City Royals

Acquired P Jaime Cerda from the New York Mets for P Shawn Sedlacek.

The Mets soured on Cerda quite a bit this year, but he’s a better pitcher then his 2003 Met stats show.  Cerda’s one of those dreaded relief prospects but he did show some potential in 2002 and a 0.81 ERA in 4 minor league seasons (including a 50-60 inning scoreless stretch!) is nothing to sneeze at.  There doesn’t appear to be an open spot in the Royals bullpen to start the season but Cerda will appear in the majors at some point, probably with better success.  Cerda would have been useful for the Mets at some point, but Duke Deux has his own troop of minor league relievers coming up.

Sedlacek is strictly organizational filler at this point.  Being a big, crafty righty that doesn’t fool AAA hitters and throwing a sinker that occasionally doesn’t won’t earn him a job in the majors.

Good move for the Royals.  Cerda doesn’t fit onto the team as currently constituted, but his talent fits well into the organization.

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 27, 2004 at 11:53 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Cris E Posted: July 25, 2001 at 06:12 PM (#551561)
Ed: Well said.

Much of what money forces KC to do gets done worse than what others have done in the same position: MN (Knoblauch), SEA (Griffey, Johnson) and even MON (many) have gotten good milage from guys on their way out of town. (That isn't to say that they are actually forced to do anything, but my point is when you feel backed into a corner you can still act in a productive, non-panic way.)
   2. Robert Dudek Posted: July 26, 2001 at 01:05 PM (#551563)
' This demonstates once again that the "problem" in MLB isn't a revenue gap, but what Baseball Prospectus calls an "intelligence gap". '

Cory...

Why can't both of them be a problem ? Citing the example of the abysmal Royals and sharp Padres makes a case for the idea that a good GM can make a difference. So what - everyone knows that already.

The issue is to what extent do win/loss records over a period of years relect a lack of a level playing field versus good/bad luck and smart/dumb front offices.

There have always been smart and dumb front offices and there has always been good and bad luck, but the revenue gap has widened to historic proportions (at least in the last 25 years). Payroll disparity is greater now than it has been in the last 25 years.

The causes of real life problems are seldom either/or. The Great Bill James (sorry if this moniker offends anyone, but to people like me you can never give him enough credit) wrote a short piece on how so many people wish to explain complicated phenomena in the simplest possible way. They are always looking for that either/or switch.

The performance of clubs is a reflection of an uneven playing field, luck and front office acumen. Precisely what the proportions are seems to me to be unknowable. I do know one thing - if we judge a playing field as level if there is a lot of parity in revenue, then we are farther away from it then we're been in the last 25 years.

This was discussed ad nauseum in that monster thread which I enjoyed so much (thanks David, Chris, Andy and Stu once again for your contributions to that).

You probably didn't intend it, but using the word "demonstate" in your absolutist statement is a gross distotion of the truth.
   3. Greg Franklin Posted: July 31, 2001 at 06:58 AM (#551631)
More likely the new guy is there to guard against anyone in the front office trying to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.

Current management is having too much fun living naked in an earthly Paradise, where all the non-pitchers are slick fielders who can lay down a bunt and hit behind the runner whenever they feel like it, and where all the pitchers are Gritty Gamers(TM).
   4. Colin Posted: July 31, 2001 at 08:19 PM (#551642)
As I mentioned in another thread, Sanchez will only hurt if he gets to start. Unfortunately, I suspect he'll get more starts than would be healthy. Walt Weiss earned lots of postseason starts because of one late-inning play made against the Astros, and I suspect Derosa's next miscue will mark the end of his starting job, if he even still has one.
   5. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 31, 2001 at 08:33 PM (#551643)
"John, this is Bobby. I don't think this offense is anemic enough. I've got two middle infielders who can occasionally hit the ball to the wall or beyond. You can't win baseball games with middle infielders who can hit the ball that far. John, we need a guy who can waste a few outs, especially now that we're wasting so many less over at first..."

Ugh. If Sanchez replaces anyone other than Jesse Garcia the Braves have just endangered their post-season chances dramatically.
   6. Robert Dudek Posted: August 01, 2001 at 10:08 PM (#551647)
James...

You've shortchanged Rey Sanchez.

Yes, he can't hit.

But he's probably the best defensive SS in baseball according to Zone Ratings over a number of years (which is the best measure widely available in the public domain).

Derosa didn't hit very much in 1999 and 2000 in AAA (about .700 OPS) and his defensive numbers are below average.

I have argued in another thread (Outside the Box: "Baseball Loyalty") that it is very likely that Sanchez would outperform Derosa overall over the last third of the season.

The guys you've suggested bringing up would hit at about 550 OPS, so I don't think you'd want that.
   7. Robert Dudek Posted: August 03, 2001 at 06:47 PM (#551649)
Chris...

It's obvious that 1999 was a fluke year from Florida Alex (we can see that when we look at his minor league record) and that we should have expected something halfway between 1999 and 2000 for this year. He has exceeded that significantly. He's still young.

Alex's horrible K/W data from 1999 is evidence that that level of production was unsustainable, at least without considerable improvement in K/W rate.

Here are Alex's K/W data:

1999 13 W, 0 IW, 113 K
   8. Robert Dudek Posted: August 03, 2001 at 08:16 PM (#551651)
Chris...

I never said he was going to be a superstar.

I expect him to be an average or slightly above average hitter for a shortstop. He's young and he still seems to be improving.

My point was only that the Marlins aren't stupid enough to give him up for a marginal regular or a couple of borderline prospects - and the Braves aren't going to offer anything more than that for 2 months plus playoffs (for 2002, they've got Furcal and many middle infield prospects).
   9. RJ in TO Posted: December 19, 2001 at 07:12 AM (#552257)
The terms have been disclosed, and they are 1 year at $2M. Considering the amounts that have been thrown around this year, this really doesn't seem like an awful deal to me.
   10. Jay Jaffe Posted: December 19, 2001 at 07:28 AM (#552258)
I really don't think it's an awful deal either. While Knoblauch's offense has declined considerably from its peak, he's had a hell of a lot more in the way of external (i.e., non age-related) reasons for that decline than the average player. It is entirely possible that he will find some measure of productivity away from the spotlight. I don't think he'll hit enough for a regular LF, but check the stats--AL LFs are nothing to write home about these days.

And supposing he does find some level of productivity, he may make a nice cheap pickup by some team for the stretch run. Even in his darkest days here in NY, he made an excellent bench player--a good pinch-hitter who could draw a walk or an HBP in the middle of a rally, a speedy pinch-runner, whatever.

Worst case scenario, he fails and is out of baseball in a year at a small cost to the Royals. Best case, he regains his form and becomes a decent leadoff hitter who might still learn to play adequate defense (more experience would certainly help). Most likely outcome is that the Royals are able to turn him around for a prospect or two in July. It's not like they're trading for Donnie Sadler here or signing Derek Bell.
   11. NTNgod Posted: January 17, 2002 at 05:13 AM (#552821)
It's actually been like that for awhile.
   12. Snowboy Posted: January 17, 2002 at 05:21 AM (#552822)
Scott Garrelts has a career winning record, and an ERA under 3.30 -- that makes him VERY odd among Royals pitchers. And could a 41 year old Billy Hatcher be better than Michael Tucker? If you say yes, I promise not to argue.
   13. NTNgod Posted: January 17, 2002 at 05:28 AM (#552823)
Hmm...maybe if Hatcher brings his corked bat along....

He never did walk much, though....
   14. Greg Franklin Posted: January 17, 2002 at 11:40 AM (#552825)
Does Hatcher really call himself "William" now? If he wants to be taken seriously for a front-office position, I don't think he needs to. B. Beane has won much respect in executive circles despite keeping his boyish playing name.

From the Fringe Players Retirement Dept.: Jack Howell and Dan Carlson agreed this week to join the D'Backs minor-league coaching staff. (Wow, Jack's salary peaked at $652,500 in 1990-91.)
   15. Greg Franklin Posted: January 17, 2002 at 12:00 PM (#552826)
I spot-checked 3 other AAA rosters on MLB.com for equivalent organizations, and I don't see wild errors. So there's not a systematic problem with the minor league sites.

Chicago White Sox
   16. Bull Pain Posted: January 17, 2002 at 06:00 PM (#552828)
I recognized this last year when they had the White Sox was Roger McDowell on the AAA roster. I'd assume some of these guys will be NRI to spring training. I work in the D-Rays organization, and I'm pretty sure that only Andy Sheets is expected to stay in AAA, the rest will be dumped.
   17. Big Ed Posted: January 18, 2002 at 03:02 PM (#552831)
Maybe Billy Hatcher is a nice guy, wants to keep playing baseball, isn't standing in anyone's way, and someone is doing him a favor. Would that be a bad thing?
   18. Greg Franklin Posted: January 18, 2002 at 10:10 PM (#552834)
Are you calling Rick Lancellotti a one-tool slugger?? For shame.

I was growing up in Phoenix (SF AAA) at around the same time. Chili Davis, Bob Brenly, and Jeff Leonard passed through there when they were young and good ... otherwise, bupkis in terms of old guys.
   19. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 12, 2002 at 01:22 AM (#555329)
Even if Rosado was destined to break down without the Royals' help, the Royals sure showed little care when dealing with Rosado. Actually, it might make it worse; if Rosado was more likely to break down, the Royals should have taken more care with him.

I'm not a pitch count psycho, but I believe that in most cases, discretion is the better part of valor, especially since a pitcher isn't the same anyway in pitch 135 as in pitch 35. I generally consider it akin to drunk driving; the majority of drunk drivers get home safely and plenty of sober drivers get in horrible accidents. That doesn't mean we shouldn't avoid driving drunk.
   20. jwb Posted: March 12, 2002 at 01:31 AM (#555331)
On the other hand, working with the theory that everything Allard Baird does is wrong, Rosado might not be a bad minor league pickup. The Royals say he's healthy, so he may just need some time to work himself back into shape. Just the sort of pitcher that, say, Texas or Montreal might take a flyer on.
   21. jwb Posted: March 12, 2002 at 01:35 AM (#555332)
Or Cincinnati, apparently...
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 12, 2002 at 04:07 AM (#555333)
It's my understanding that the Royals intend to try and sign Rosado to a minor-league deal. His contract for this year was 3 mil, but it was non-guaranteed money, so they aren't out a dime for cutting him.

I'd imagine there are better organizations for him to try and restart his career, though. He could come all the way back and still not break through the ridiculous heap of arms the Royals are trying to shoehorn into the rotation.
   23. Klobedanz Posted: March 12, 2002 at 04:59 PM (#555336)
What's you guys' take on the disparity between IP philosophies between today and say the 60's and 70's. How was it guys like Ferguson Jenkins and Steve Carlton could be such workhorses and today you worry if a guy goes over 100 pitches. Can it be we are overreacting or am I off-base. There were alot of guys who racked up huge IP year after year back then and were quite good, now if C.C. Sabathia gets 110 pitches people have a conniption, couldn't he be just another Mickey Lolich? Just like to hear the arguments, thanks.
   24. Edmundo Posted: March 12, 2002 at 05:40 PM (#555337)
Having been exiled for 5 years of torture in KC during the late-Boone, early-Muser era, one of the few joys of the summertime was watching Jose Rosado pitch. Here's hoping we can see him pitch as of old in the major leagues sometime in the future.
   25. Klobedanz Posted: March 12, 2002 at 07:25 PM (#555341)
But why were the strikeout and walk rates lower? Have Aluminum bats made pitchers that are afraid to throw it over the plate? I think you may be right, it is a function of pitchers afraid to let muscular batters in tiny parks get something to hit, but there were some great pitchers from that era who threw plenty of strikeouts (Lolich, Jenkins, Sutton, Koufax, Carlton , Dierker et al) I just think pitch counts are a litle overemphasized.
   26. jwb Posted: March 13, 2002 at 07:38 AM (#555344)
Ol' P:

I think there is a data problem here. As far as I know there isn't a good source of DL data for players in the '80s or before. Heck, last year is pretty vague.

Mike Marshall still swears RPs can pitch 200 innings a year:

http://www.drmikemarshall.com/

He's an orthopedic surgeon now.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 13, 2002 at 03:49 PM (#555347)
They are, in fact, on the hook for a small percentage of Rosado's salary; I believe it's 300k. My bad.
   28. jwb Posted: March 13, 2002 at 08:04 PM (#555348)
Here's the deal with the salary and the timing. His salary is/was $3.25M. If they release by March 15, they him 1/6 of that ($542K). If they release him later, they owe him 1/4 of that ($813K). I don't know what other dates are in play here (when they owe him, say, 1/2).

Baird obviously didn't think it was worth $250K+ to give him another look.

For the first few days after his release, a team has to assume his existing contract. I believe this time for him is up today. Starting tomorrow, he is a free agent and a team can sign to a minor league contract.

I'm sure I've got some of the details here mangled, but this is essentially what is happening.

kamatoa: My bad on drmikemarshall.com's occupation.
   29. Brian Posted: March 13, 2002 at 09:12 PM (#555349)
"I think I remember Marshall saying once his rubber-armedness was a result of not throwing a curve until after he was 19 or something."

Don't a lot of people who deal with little leaguers and high schoolers advocate this philosophy? Ninteen years might be a bit late, but there's a lot of people out there who think that throwing breaking balls at, say, fourteen years of age is a really bad idea. Of course, if you try to make it through high school with just fastballs and changeups, your chances of getting drafted or getting into a good baseball program are probably a lot lower.
   30. Ron Johnson Posted: March 13, 2002 at 10:56 PM (#555350)
Klobedanz wrote:
   31. jwb Posted: March 14, 2002 at 07:45 AM (#555351)
Re: My earlier post

For the first few days after his release, a team has to assume his existing contract

For the first three days, he is on waivers. Any team which picks him up has to also must assume his contract. It seems he was released on the 11th, so he is a free agent on the 14th.

More of this sort of stuff from a Rob Neyer article at http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/1999/0908/46397.html

Ron Johnson,

Your memory is more or less correct:

from www.drmikemarshall.com/AcaCred.html

Thesis: An Investigation of the Association Between Sexual Maturation, Physical Growth and Motor Proficiency in Adolescent Males

Dissertation: A Comparison of an Estimate of Skeletal Age With Chronological Age When Classifying Adolescent Males for Motor Proficiency Norms

So it looks like he wants to work with Babe Ruth/high school age young men on their pitching forms.
   32. fables of the deconstruction Posted: March 30, 2002 at 05:59 AM (#555702)
If I'm paying for a Lexus, I'm not going to let a wino drive it.

Apparently, David Glass and Allard Baird have no compunctions to allowing that "wino" to drive their Yugo...

--------------
   33. SM in DC Posted: March 30, 2002 at 06:45 AM (#555705)
Just heard on ESPN Baseball Tonight -- Sweeney has a clause in his contract that if the Royals aren't over .500 by the end of 2003, Sweeney can walk. Interesting move.
   34. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: March 30, 2002 at 07:26 AM (#555706)
Sweeney has a clause that if the Royals are not over .500 by the end of 2003 he can walk? Jeez! Can you imagine what would happen if this became the standard? This is a very bad move for the Royals, I don;t mean signing Sweeny, but that clause??? Sets a very bad predcident, worse than the one Albert Belle set when he left the White Sox cuz he wasn't the top 3 highest paid players.
   35. Darren Posted: March 30, 2002 at 02:56 PM (#555709)
We'll see if he means it if he hits .250 in 2004 and opts out of his contract.

What made the Royals choose Sweeney after dumping Dye and Damon? They probably could have had either of those guys cheaper, and both seem to be rarer commodities than Sweeney.

I don't get this. He's a good player, but not a cornerstone for the team.
   36. Repoz Posted: March 30, 2002 at 03:59 PM (#555710)
Allard Baird was in the Royal radio booth yesterday telling a story about how before he left for work, he told his wife that they were thinking of signing Sweeney that afternoon......She told Allard if he didn't sign Sweeney....don't bother coming home!!

Now thats how to run an organization.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: March 30, 2002 at 09:46 PM (#555713)
Well, Beltran won't be an FA until after the 2004 season. By that time they will have presumably freed up about $17 M/yr from Roberto Hernandez, Brent Mayne, Jason Grimsley, Neifi Perez, etc. [If they didn't have those guys, they could have afforded to keep Dye and Damon too, and they'd have a nice offensive core this year without losing anything substantial.]

And of course at the end of the 2004 season, Sweeney will be exercising his opt-out clause, so that frees up $11 million right there. :-)
   38. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: March 31, 2002 at 01:09 AM (#555715)
Who is Sweeney's agent?
   39. Alan Posted: March 31, 2002 at 01:24 AM (#555716)
Well, Beltran won't be an FA until after the 2004 season. By that time they will have presumably freed up about $17 M/yr from Roberto Hernandez, Brent Mayne, Jason Grimsley, Neifi Perez, etc.

You don't think they'll have already wisely spent that money on talent such as Brad Ausmus, Jose Mesa, Royce Clayton, and Doug Glanville?
   40. Walt Davis Posted: March 31, 2002 at 07:25 PM (#555719)
Stathead fascination with Damon isn't so rare or hard to understand. It's based on the 99 and 00 seasons, where he posted a 380 OBP with a SLG near 500, and had an 82/15 sb ratio. It's hardly rare to see a talented young player post mediocre or worse numbers, then start putting it together at the age of 25 or 26 (as Damon was in 99 and 00). Last year was supposed to be his peak year, oh well.

If Damon returns to that form and Bernie continues his decline, Damon may have the highest OPS of any CF in the AL this year (though he might drop to 2 or 3 after park adjustments). If Damon plays like he did in 2001, then he's a waste.

As to Garrett Anderson, I agree that players like this are often undervalued by sabermetricians. I think it's more a reaction to the overvaluation of such players by others than anything else. But generally I think we overestimate the availability of hitting talent. I've made this point before so excuse me for redundancy, but last year only 78 hitters in all of MLB who had enough PA to qualify for the batting title had an OPS over 800. Included in that group are some noted objects of sabermetric scorn like Brian Jordan and Tino Martinez.

Just outside that group, with an OPS of 792, was Garrett Anderson. While he obviously isn't in the very elite, there's little doubt that he's among the top 100-120 hitters in baseball. And, depending on how we assign guys like Manny and Burks, he was the 4th-6th best LF in the AL last year. And while there are surely a few minor-leaguers and borderline major leaguers who could hit as well or better (e.g. Rosie Brown), it's not like there are so many of them as to make Anderson obsolete.

In short, Anderson is roughly the 100th best hitter in baseball, a fairly valuable commodity. Many sportswriters, fans, etc. treat him as if he was in the top 50; many sabermetricians seem to treat him as if he was down around 200.

I want to also add that it's not just our offensive era that makes a 290 hitter with 28 HR and 120 RBI not "all that." BA has always been a worse way to assess a hitter than OBP, this is not something new. Granted, the value of a walk relative to a hit (or an out) has changed over time, but high OBP hitters have always been more valuable than high average hitters (all else roughly equal). You'd have to go back to like 67-68 to find a time when Anderson's 314 OBP was above the league average for the AL (and that's including pitchers). So for the last 30+ years, and most of the 50 years before that, his 290 BA wouldn't have been anything special because it translated to just a 314 OBP. Similarly, slugging %age has always been a better way of measuring a hitter's power than just using HR's; and RBI's have always been more a measure of opportunity than talent.
   41. David Jones Posted: April 03, 2002 at 09:09 PM (#555724)
I think the under .500 provision in this contract sets a dangerous precedent, and could be an inducement for game-throwing.

Let's say the Royals head into the last game of the 2004 season still without that .500 year, but at 80-81. Let's also say that Sweeney's performance and the market dictates that Sweeney is now worth more than $11 million...let's say he's worth $15-16 million. So what does Sweeney do? Ah, bad error here, maybe a nice little check to the Royals starting pitcher not to bear down TOO hard, and wham, you've got an 11-2 drubbing in a meaningless end of season game. Except Sweeney reaps the financial rewards.

Of course, I don't think Sweeney would do that. But wouldn't that type of clause open up that sort of suspicion? A player having a dominating year closes the season in a slump, and the team finishes 80-82, so he becomes a free agent. Don't you guys think some eyebrows would be raised?
   42. Christopher Posted: April 30, 2002 at 03:26 PM (#556170)
Its kind of funny to me that a guy who has been given every benefit of the doubt for the last few years becomes one of the few managers to lose his job after a win.
   43. Stevens Posted: April 30, 2002 at 04:31 PM (#556171)
I'm just really happy for Rob Neyer right now.
   44. Klobedanz Posted: April 30, 2002 at 05:34 PM (#556173)
I hope they hire Davey Johnson. I miss him.
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 01, 2002 at 02:13 AM (#556182)
MattD, I don't think it's a PC comment. I think it's a really dumb comment. Humor. Sense of. Buy one.
   46. Darren Posted: May 01, 2002 at 03:45 AM (#556185)
MattD didn't deny anyone anything. He said that he thought the comment was in poor taste and wanted to call Dan to task on that.

You may disagree with him, but there's nothing fundamentally wrong with his logic.

I, for one, would like to read the diatribe, MattD.
   47. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: May 01, 2002 at 04:33 AM (#556186)
Here's another vote for the diatribe.

The 27th Amendment is a good one?you can argue that since it was always followed before it was ratified, we don't need it, but I'd just as soon have it a matter of law that Congress can't pay themselves millions of dollars before people have a chance to not re-elect them.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 01, 2002 at 03:05 PM (#556191)
For what it's worth, none of us actually enjoy any Constitutional rights. The country declared a state of emergency during the Great Depression, and no sitting president has ever revoked that status. As such, any president has technical legal justification to use his emergency powers, should he choose to do so. The fact that no president has done so _yet_ doesn't reassure me. Ahh, the illusion of security.

Or, if you'd rather, you can use Lysander Spooner's argument that the Constitution was only binding for those who were alive when it was written and signed, and possibly only for those who signed it.
   49. Darren Posted: May 01, 2002 at 07:36 PM (#556197)
Mr. Logical--

What do you take "should be avoided" to mean? I take it to mean that he thinks it should be avoided, because, as he said, he thinks those kind of comments are "Irresponsible, not funny. Just stupid..."

Now let's look at your comments:
   50. Darren Posted: May 01, 2002 at 08:46 PM (#556200)
It's a very small step to go from saying people shouldn't do something to trying to prevent them.

I'd argue that that's a huge step and one that Matt didn't take. There are plenty of things that people do that I don't think they should do. I've even expressed such opinions in forums such as this one. But I wouldn't try to prevent them from doing such things.

You seem to interpret things very very literally - I take it you probably wouldn't be very upset if someone told you "Your mother might be a [insert favorite derrogatory term here]." Perhaps I should have said something about thinking carefully rather than reading carefully?

Perhaps you should change your screen name to Mr. Condescending?

I tend to take things I read literally. That way I'm not distorting the writer's point with my own personal biases. I don't understand the mother thing. However, if someone told me my mother shouldn't be a Christian, I would see it a lot differently than if someone tried to force her not to be one.
   51. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: May 01, 2002 at 11:22 PM (#556211)
Well, MattD, you promised a diatribe and didn't fail to deliver.

Let me see if I understand you correctly: by saying things indiscriminately, allegedly without harmful intent, one fails to account for the possible effects they may have and the harm they might cause, and therefore has spoken irresponsibly. It's similar to someone randomly firing a gun down the street or dropping rocks off the Space Needle without harmful intent, but also without considering the possible effects, and then saying they didn't mean anything by it.

Or is it more severe: when someone says things like that, they do intend the ill effects, whether they realize it or not.

I''d appreciate your clarification, so that I may reply to you.
   52. Darren Posted: May 02, 2002 at 02:05 AM (#556217)
I'm beginning to think some of these comments should end in:

Cordially, as always,

RM
   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 02, 2002 at 06:00 AM (#556220)
1) MattD, words are not in fact weapons. And I didn't accuse your posts of lacking a sense of humor; I accused you of lacking a sense of humor. You said his post wasn't funny. It was.

2) By the way, Mr. Logical -- that was the exact link that I thought of when reading Matt's screed.

3) Vlad, don't let the black helicopters get you. States of emergency are declared all the time. Despite what Timothy McVeigh would tell you if he weren't dead, that does not mean we don't have constitutional rights.
   54. Greg Franklin Posted: May 02, 2002 at 07:22 AM (#556222)
MattD, if I could respectfully make a request, save your response for the day after tomorrow (May 3), then see if it still needs to be said. A lot of "cordial" exchanges could be dissipated that way.

Now for some signal. Check out Chris Kahrl's comments on the firing in BP. He recalls Muser's stint as a Brewers coach, when he nearly got killed by an exploding boiler in their spring training clubhouse in 1986.

It occurs to me that that trauma could be part of why he lasted so long in KC despite so much inability to do the job. (a) He himself didn't give a damn about modifying his behavior or "giving up" in response to mere media and fan pressure; (b) front-office people were so impressed with his backstory that they looked past his lack of "managerial" qualifications.
   55. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: May 02, 2002 at 08:07 AM (#556223)
Greg,

I disagree. I think MattD has been very cordial, and like to think I have too, as have some of the other posters. Those who haven't shouldn't mean the end of a very interesting discussion.

For my part, I'd like to understand MattD's opinion better, and don't think I should be denied that on the grounds that some people have been less than civil.

So bring it on, MattD.
   56. All you Need is Glove Posted: May 02, 2002 at 03:19 PM (#556226)
MattD,

The transcendent humor of your diatribe revolves around your citing that a word in and of itself can have no meaning; yet, you use non-contextual "definitions".

Hopefully, you will have years to learn that parroting the words of others indiscriminately without adding any of your own "insight" is not the archetype of the intellectual that you so desperately want to hold yourself out to be.

In closing, let me offer you some parting advice, as you are embarking on your future take great pains (assuming you mature no more) to land a professorship at a some small liberal arts where you can "lead" others to productive careers as sheep as you have yourself been lead. The empty pseudo-intellectual has a proud and storied tradition and one that you shall indeed add to.

Removing the ad hominems from this short passage took a great deal of work for I find your cobbled together, droning, semantically null "diatribe" less worthy of Constitutional protection than was Dan's original post (or even yelling "FIRE" in a crowded movie theatre). ...On second thought maybe I will leave the ad hominems in

Best wishes,
   57. Kurt Posted: May 02, 2002 at 09:34 PM (#556232)
Hey Tony, what's wrong with this one?

And what is there to discuss, anyway? You stunk.
   58. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: May 03, 2002 at 01:39 AM (#556235)
For those who can't find the baseball talk on this site: I'm sorry for you.

MattD,

First of all, while I'm not on the left coast, I'm well within its time zone, so no complaints there.

Second, I think I'm understanding what you're saying by and large. My response would be then that you're letting the listener off too easy.

I think every person who reads Dan's post and chooses not to ignore it has the responsibility to both divine intent and to judge the merits of the remark regardless. In other words, for Dan's post to either injure a reader or to cause a real change or a change in viewpoint, the reader has to allow it to do that. If the reader does that, then they share at least as much responsibility (and I would argue more) than Dan. So if I change my opinion about constitutional rights or Tony Muser by reading Dan's post, it's more my fault than his. It's my job to evaluate the statement. And it's my job to attempt to divine intent, which I think is important, no matter how murky the issue is.

I suspect now that we won't come to any consensus, because I still might not be grasping your viewpoint, and I think there's a certain amount of subjective opinion involved anyway.

Steve Cameron,

I'm about the most anti-censorship person you'll ever know, but I think there is validity to your points. Certainly something for Dan to consider.

Mr. Logical,

You're right about BIA, but Crisis? What Crisis? has a better cover.
   59. Don Malcolm Posted: May 03, 2002 at 05:13 AM (#556237)
A thread like this comes about when two essential and antithetical forces collide--cartoon violence and language theory.

Dan, regardless of the humorous (in)/(con)tent of your remarks (note the appropriation of the post-postmodern academics' favored technique for the strangulation of language...), you deserve no less than a fifteen yard penalty for piling on.

Given what has been said about Muser for the last five years--he's had the sh*t kicked out of him by statheads for so long it's a wonder he can still perform basic bodily functions--one would think that it would be possible to resist the urge to continue kicking him when he's (finally) down.

Of course, the optimum solution to the terrible problems facing this country today--the threat to the Royals, which has produced so much "midwestern angst" (right, David?), and the slow, insidious threat to our civil rights/liberties--was and is still available to us.

Simply have Muser and John Ashcroft switch jobs. :-)
   60. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: May 03, 2002 at 05:33 AM (#556238)
So, how much do I need to pay you guys to make this thread quietly go away?

Dan,

Here's my offer: I'll shut up, and you start a new thread about how Bret Boone is underrated.
   61. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 12, 2002 at 04:42 PM (#557079)
You're right; no mention of Donzell McDonald. I even had made his MLE, too. Darnell's less talented older brother looks to have more of a career now (not that he does anything other than run super fast)

McDonald, Donzell ? MLE Record (Born 2/75) - OF
   62. SM in DC Posted: June 20, 2002 at 12:58 PM (#557265)
Does this mean I have to drink something French like Champagne?? ( http://www.baseballprimer.com/clutch/archives/00003606.shtml#comments_31 -- see post No. 31)
   63. Repoz Posted: July 12, 2002 at 09:26 PM (#557658)
Bukvich is one of your typical ML one pitch pony types,a knee curdling slider that should serve him well over the next 10 years for the 8 MLB teams he will pitch for.
   64. Cris E Posted: August 13, 2002 at 05:51 PM (#558379)
Allard just wants to be sure that Carlos continues to get ABs in the event that a strike occurs. He's always thinking, that Allard.

(Serious question: do AAA players that are former major leaguers and hence union members go out when the MLBPA calls a strike? Do the AAA games continue with the guys that aren't in the union yet?)
   65. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 13, 2002 at 06:54 PM (#558380)
Well, all members of the 40-man roster are members of the MLBPA (unless they're specifically excluded), but whether minor league games are boycotted or not really depends on how exactly they structure the strike; if they only go on strike against MLB games, minor league games keep going.
   66. WillYoung Posted: November 20, 2002 at 07:55 PM (#559575)
This is exactly what the Twins did to Pat Meares in 1999 and Meares whined and complained and said he was treated poorly. Judging what happened to Meares and Pokey Reese, I fully expect Neifi Perez to be a Pirate by Thanksgiving.
   67. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 20, 2002 at 08:33 PM (#559577)
I fully expect Neifi Perez to be a Pirate by Thanksgiving

Has anyone ever seen Neifi and Jack Wilson in the same room together?
   68. Brian Posted: November 21, 2002 at 01:32 AM (#559579)
The really bad news is the Royals starting shortstop in 2003 might be even worse than Neifi, 22 year old prospect . . . oops, sorry make that 24 year old non-prospect . . . Angel Berroa.
   69. John Posted: November 21, 2002 at 03:56 AM (#559616)
The problem with Burkhart is he hits ok and fields like Frank Thomas. I don't see anyone ponying up to grab Big Frank even at a relatively modest price like $6M a year. Not that Burkhart doesn't add value to the Royals, but he isn't getting better and won't help push them towards even 3rd place so its kinda pointless.
   70. John Posted: November 21, 2002 at 03:59 AM (#559581)
I think the Giants got Neifi as Kent insurance. They could probably play him some at 3B too. Neifi's presence could let Ramon Martinez play 2B with Neifi as the UTIL guy. Not a bad pick-up if they don't pay Neifi more than like $400k or so.
   71. John Posted: November 21, 2002 at 07:07 AM (#559583)
Oh, I thought the Giants could offer 400k. If they're on the hook for a significant salary this move is inexplicable. Thought it may be that the Giants were concerned that they couldn't find a guy with a bat just as good as Shawon Dunston :)
   72. NTNgod Posted: November 21, 2002 at 07:23 AM (#559584)
Perez might get bounced around teams in a similar fashion as Pokey Reese did last offseason (Reds, Rockies, Red Sox, Pirates).

Scott Hatteberg was a Rockie for what, 3 minutes, last offseason? :)
   73. NTNgod Posted: November 21, 2002 at 09:25 AM (#559620)
Err, morganburkhart.com must be under new ownership.

It USED to a be fan site dedicated to him, if I recall...
   74. Mikαεl Posted: December 01, 2002 at 02:27 PM (#559823)
As I understand it, Baird is under a significant amount of pressure to cut salary. Randa actually has some value in 2003, and he only costs slightly more than one year of David Bell. I expect Baird to move him for a C pitching prospect and cap space. And wouldn't Randa just be perfect for the Mets?
   75. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 01, 2002 at 04:19 PM (#559825)
Other signings:
   76. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 03, 2002 at 10:22 PM (#559835)
Patterson didn't "get a shot" with the Pirates in 2000 because the team gave most of the PT at 3B to 22-year-old uber-prospect Aramis Ramirez. Why, exactly, was that a bad decision? It's like criticizing the Reds for playing Austin Kearns instead of Brady Clark...
   77. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 03:34 AM (#559837)
Patterson had already been traded to the Expos for Matt Skrmetta by the time Ramirez lost his grip on the starting job.
   78. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 11:43 PM (#559841)
Sojo didn't see regular time at third for more than a couple of weeks; the team then traded Wil Cordero for Enrique Wilson (and Alex Ramirez) and Sojo for Chris Spurling. Wilson, at that point, also looked like a better option than Patterson, as he was less than a year past nearly being traded even-up for Chuck Finley. Plainly, the team wanted to find a semi-permanent solution to the 3B problem, and didn't want to putz around with some minor league veteran for a couple of weeks while they settled on a target.

I won't argue that the team could have used a better-hitting utility infielder that year; any team that carries Sojo AND Abraham Nunez AND Mike Benjamin is asking for an extra helping of outs. I just don't think it's reasonable to assume that Patterson should have been the guy. At the time he was traded, he had a decidedly non-dominant .730 OPS at Nashville, and he was even worse after the deal (.661 OPS at Ottawa). He had hit well the previous two years, but who doesn't hit well at High Desert or El Paso? When he was traded, the deal was presented in the paper as a scrubby minor-league vet dealt for bullpen depth, and that's essentially what it was. The sentiment was that the Expos were dumb for getting caught short in the minors and needing to give up something of potential value for a guy like Patterson.
   79. Mr. Crowley Posted: December 29, 2002 at 04:06 PM (#561993)
It's a trap!
   80. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 29, 2002 at 05:43 PM (#561994)
That's just what the Royals need; a guy who likes to burn womens' asses with a cigarette lighter and sucker-punch valets when he's out drinking. Class, pure class.
   81. Gideon Posted: January 08, 2003 at 08:49 PM (#562686)
David Glass and Allard Baird have their new collective bargaining agreement and their revenue-sharing income stream, and they just spent $1.5 million on Albie Lopez. They are now officially barred from complaining about baseball's financial structure ever again.
   82. Bill Posted: January 08, 2003 at 09:05 PM (#562687)
This signing will be lambasted here with good reason, but from a selfish point of view I find this very pleasing. When I slide into my seat at Yankee Stadium on a chilly evening this April I will be warmed all over knowing that a portion of my ticket price has gone to help KC acquire Mr. Lopez. Cynically, I had imagined that it would further line the pockets of the fabulously wealthy KC ownership. Instead, I find that these humanitarians are directing my contributions to helping employ those who are finding it hard to get work. Thank you, gentlemen.
   83. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2003 at 10:33 PM (#562690)
More amusement from the files of baseball-reference.com:

Career Stats ?? Age ?? IP ?? K/9 ?? BB/9 ?? HR/9 ?? ERA ?? ERA+
   84. Bill Posted: January 08, 2003 at 11:17 PM (#562693)
A slow day at the office when I'm actually looking at Albie Lopez's stats. But, anyway, Albie's 2000 season (which brings his lifetime numbers to semi-respectability) is rather odd. How did he get an ERA+ of 119 with a neutral park, a terrible team, a WHIP of 1.46, k/9IP of 4.66, K/BB of 1.37 and 24 HR's in 185 IP's? I'm thinking luck had a lot to do with that ERA.
   85. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 09, 2003 at 03:10 PM (#562698)
Albie Lopez did not do a terrific job for the Braves' bullpen last year. He was their mop-up man, and any time he came into a game with the result on the line, it became a mop-up situation shortly thereafter.

You don't have a clue what you are talking about.

Lopez lost all four of his starts, and didn't pitch well in three of his starts, either (one was a tough loss ith a GS of 54). His ERA as a starter was 7.11.

His ERA as a reliever was 2.95. He didn't lose a single game in relief, and had no blown saves (though only one hold and one win). He did do most his work in mop-up situations, you are right about that, but let's look closely at his bad relief outings.

May 13 vs. the Giants... Lopez pitched the eighth with the game tied 4-4 and surrendered two runs in one inning. The Braves tied it up in the top of the ninth, but lost 7-6 in 11 innings. That wasn't a good performance.

July 28 vs. the Phils... Lopez came in to pitch the ninth with the Braves down 5-1 and gave up two runs.

Aug 10 vs. the Astros... Lopez came in in the fourth with the Braves down 5-2, gave up three runs in that inning. You've got me on that one... that hurt the Braves, though it wasn't a crucial situation.

Sept 8 vs. the Expos... Lopez pitched a scoreless eighth with the Braves down 4-0, but gave up three runs in the ninth, Braves lost 7-0.

That's it. The only bad relief performances by Lopez in 26 outings... he did his job very well.

All this was only in 36.2 innings... so sample size warnings apply as always.

Sorry for the bile... I hate it when people make easily-verified declarations of fact without bothering to check.
   86. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 09, 2003 at 05:25 PM (#562699)
Albie's peripherals as a reliever last year to go along with his 2.95 ERA:

36.2 IP
   87. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 06:30 PM (#562700)
I'm happy for Craig and Dan to set the record straight. I agree that we should try to be accurate here even on fairly trivial matters. But (there's always one or more "buts" somehow):

1. Albie Lopez has made 190 relief appearances in his career. His has pitched somewhat better out of the bullpen on the whole but there isn't anything that would make you believe that Albie suddenly found his niche as a reliever last year and will now start to look like a valuable bullpen guy. (Which is not to say it's impossible for him to have some Brian Boehringer-level of respectability.)

2. We all know (and Craig and Dan say so directly) the problem of small samples. Yet we somehow keep falling into this with pitchers. (See the Joey Hamilton thread with warm feelings expressed about his 29 relief innings last year.) 30 innings of middle relief from some mid-career journeyman just doesn't mean anything. If someone said in the Chris Stynes thread that "in 85 AB's after he opened up his stance last year he hit .345" we'd laugh. Yet someone's 30 IP's keep coming up.

3. This is distracting attention from the sheer irrelevancy of (a)Albie Lopez to KC (b) KC to the American League and (c) the new labor agreement to the alleged competitive balance issue.
   88. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 09, 2003 at 10:47 PM (#562702)
Bill,

Agreed.
   89. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 10:55 PM (#562703)
I'm full of happy thoughts (even if it is January). Why would I think otherwise just because the Yanks have a lot of starters and Raul Mondesi? The Yanks put on a great show and are well worth the price of admission.

And before Craig B does it, let me correct the facts. Senor Contreras was on terra firma. It was El Duque who was on the boat.
   90. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#562704)
But there's no stopping it Craig. On the Mulholland thread his so-so 36 IP's for Pittsburgh and 47 IP's for Cleveland have been entered as evidence in his favor. And he's a guy with 2290 IP's in the ledger!
   91. mchenrmd Posted: January 11, 2003 at 05:57 AM (#563075)
Wow! I am in awe of the Bania tie-in. A thing of beauty...
   92. Bill Posted: January 11, 2003 at 06:37 AM (#563078)
I agree on the tie-in. Excellent.

Isn't it a bit odd that this was a two-year deal? All of the under $1M/yr signings lately have been for one year.

I would have thought Desi, not a bad utility guy, would try to hook on with a better team, perhaps taking Lockhart's seat in Atlanta. It would be more fun and he'd have a shot at some post-season money. He risks overexposure in KC.
   93. WillYoung Posted: January 11, 2003 at 08:08 AM (#563081)
Is it a coincidence that Dan mentions Bania less than a week after I crack a joke about Mendy's in another thread?

"I'm the center of attention in the walls inside my head..."
   94. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 11, 2003 at 12:32 PM (#563082)
I tried making the Bania joke about Mendy Lopez then, but the thread was already dead. So, recycling time, baby!
   95. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2003 at 04:00 PM (#563083)
It's a good signing by the Royals. What's the world coming to?
   96. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: January 11, 2003 at 07:07 PM (#563089)
Rafael Furcal got a 1 year $2.2 million deal from the Braves yesterday.
   97. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 11, 2003 at 09:21 PM (#563091)
I disagree. I don't think the show ever really jumped the shark.

What would have made the show go over that line would have been if they had turned Susan's death into A Very Special Episode. As a display of sheer cold-blooded cruelty (as in Homer's Enemy on The Simpsons) it was absolutely delicious.
   98. Bill Posted: January 12, 2003 at 05:46 PM (#563099)
"Unfortunately, sometimes people overreact when something truly great becomes "merely" very -- or even just pretty -- good, and start screaming that it's now horrible."

Great point Jeff, and very baseball-appropriate. That's exactly how my local team ended up with Raul Mondesi for example. And it's an epidemic attitude in the media. Just wait until Bonds drops to a 1000 OPS. Everyone will start calling him an overpaid bum.
   99. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 12, 2003 at 07:44 PM (#563100)
I think the problem with the Simpsons is that they do sometimes go into these bizarre runs of bad episodes, but usually bounce back with a good run.

While I don't mind the occasional retarded episode (Kill the Alligator and Run), what really bugs me is the gratuitous celebrity guest stars.
   100. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 13, 2003 at 10:10 PM (#563104)
How can you attack the celebrity guest stars in view of the brilliant "softball" episode?

Barney : And I say, England's greatest Prime Minister was Lord Palmerston!
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