Recent Comments by BullpenPro

Grand Slam fantasy game French Open champions

Is this the line for new fantasy tennis teams?

posted by BullpenPro at 10:24 AM on June 12

Joe Buck and Jim Nantz, Sportscasters or corporate shills?

Vin Scully is so good, and almost worth the investment in XM Radio by himself. His broadcast style has many strengths, but I think his greatest is his awareness of his medium and his ability to sustain the drama that is occurring on the field of play without manipulating it to any great degree. He is equally good on TV and radio with regard to his timing. His dramatic pauses give the audience a chance to react to what is happening on the field without making you feel like your missing anything by his silence, and he jumps back in as though he can sense when the listener has stopped screaming (or crying) and brings us back up to speed. It's not a teachable talent, I suspect, or I would think we'd have more of it. To yerfatma's list, I would add these: Bill White Tony Kubek Jim Kaat Jon Miller Bob Uecker

posted by BullpenPro at 09:37 PM on February 01

Joe Buck and Jim Nantz, Sportscasters or corporate shills?

Eh. I'll take bland over vibrantly irritating any day of the week. I don't get the point of trashing these guys for not being exciting enough, or for staying in line with their employers. I would so much rather have a bland broadcast than have to hit the mute button -- at least I still get the nat sound. If the game isn't holding my interest, I don't want or need a broadcaster to compensate on the entertainment scale. I don't remember a time when I thought either of these guys was the worst broadcaster in the booth.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:21 PM on February 01

Joe Buck and Jim Nantz, Sportscasters or corporate shills?

I couldn't get past the first sentence. The October-to-April stretch is the prime rib on the sports menu. On the schedule for those seven months: the World Series, the Super Bowl, March Madness, and the Masters. Of course, three of those seven months have absolutely none of those events. That's a lot of gristle.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:01 PM on February 01

The Legend of 'One-Hundred-Foot Wednesday'

Nice post, rcade. I would have said that in my previous post, but I accidentally hit "Post" instead of "Preview" when I made a second check that my tags were proper, and I, uh, you know... didn't have any edit time.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:10 PM on January 31

The Legend of 'One-Hundred-Foot Wednesday'

In a world where both of their jet skis were totally under water...

posted by BullpenPro at 03:06 PM on January 31

Barbaro Euthanized

There has been a public statement that Barbaro never stood as a stud. Maybe it's the way my brain processes words. Maybe it's the font I use to read SportsFilter (Papyrus -- very cool, but not very practical). Maybe it's my painfully desperate need to be the center of attention. But sometimes when I see "Barbaro," a quick read makes it look like "Bullpenpro." And some of these comments are striking a little close to home.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:35 PM on January 30

Down with Bettman

He said, "moribund." He meant, "Hartford." The words are interchangable, and it's easy to get confused.

posted by BullpenPro at 08:29 PM on January 29

Thailand in Olympics-era Hockey Record.

Thailand at least prevented the shutout when Arthit Thamwongsin hit the target after 47.15. I'm pretty sure that exact same sentence is in the "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Universe." Verbatim.

posted by BullpenPro at 08:21 PM on January 29

Matsuzaka order's the gyroball sandwhich or does he?

wonder if Dice-K might use the myster of the "gyroball" as a way of keeping batters off balance. Throw something that MIGHT look like a gyroball and suddenly batters are going to be flumoxed by the idea that the next pitch COULD be the gyroball. How many gyro-less starts do you think it will take before the league picks up on the fact he doesn't throw the pitch? From what I've read, I don't believe he throws it, and frankly it shouldn't matter. The guy has established himself as a very good pitcher with or without the gyro. He's getting some extra press out of this, which is nice for him right now, but the unfortunate potential fallout from this is, if he starts out 1-4 with no gyro in sight, the Boston media is going to be calling this whole deal the $100 million Scam of the Century, and they'll bury him for lying about the pitch. Maybe then the Sox will deal him to the Mets for erkno, and I can see him pitch in TWO nearby stadiums.

posted by BullpenPro at 08:10 PM on January 29

Barbaro Euthanized

Maybe there is the potential for a positive outcome in all of this. This was quite a unique solution that brought together what seems to be a reasonably common problem with horses -- a broken leg -- with an ownership group that had the means to provide the highest quality medical care to a horse in that condition and the motive to spare no expense to get the horse well. Perhaps veterinary science gained some insight from this regarding what is and is not possible with a horse in that condition. At worst, maybe the conclusion is that you have to put the horse down -- that we simply are not equipped at this stage to get a horse in that condition back onto four healthy legs -- and in the future destroying the horse can be done with a cleaner conscience, knowing that nothing more can be done even in the best circumstances. At best, perhaps despite this failure the doctors gained some insight into what went wrong and medicine can move toward a place where future horses might be saved. If I'm right, the perceived selfishness of Barbaro's owners may end up serving a greater good. Or maybe this is just a stupid tragedy, and I'm trying to rationalize torturing a poor horse for months.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:00 PM on January 29

Federer Beats Gonzalez, Wins Aussie Open

Not disputing your excellent point, JJ, but it seems to me that another big difference between golf and tennis, one that gives tennis the edge in difficulty, is that there days in tennis on which you just cannot be off your game. In the 2005 Masters, Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco ended up in a playoff. Tiger had a bad day on Thursday when he shot a 2-over 74. DiMarco's bad day was Saturday when he shot the same. Obviously, you can't be really terrible on any day, but you can have any combination of a reasonably bad day with three great days and win a tournament. In tennis, you can't make up for your bad day later. If Federer is going to shoot a metaphorical 74, he'd better do it early and be lucky. It's harder to make up for your bad day in tennis because your tourament might be over before you get the chance, and the likelihood of prevailing on an off day in the final two matches of a major, when you're likely to be facing top-10 or top-5 competition, is pretty small.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:29 AM on January 29

Yankees sending delegation to China

Why does it always have to be about the Yankees, anyway? Yeah, why do stories about the Yankees always have to be about the Yankees? According to the article, the Yankees specifically were invited, not MLB. Note: Levine said baseball in China is in the "infancy stages," and that the Yankees had been talking with the CBA for six months and were invited to make the trip. And what difference does it make whether the motives to be there are financial or not? The outcome is still more likely to benefit the greater good than not. An awful lot of the wonderful things came about as the result of somebody pursuing a buck. Like the internet, for example.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:38 PM on January 26

Making a new life through soccer

Great post, Fence. This reporter really dug into this story and hung with it for a while. Really nice piece. I was surprised by what I perceived as the writer kind of selling Mufleh out after the last game as a coach too concerned with wins and losses. The article doesn't really go too deeply into Mufleh's persona as coach as much as administrator, advisor and friend. It's a small criticism, as her big picture focus seems to be very well directed, but I just found that odd.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:50 AM on January 26

Quite a Concept

I have an erg in my apartment that I use to keep in shape through the colder months (that shape, of course, being something between an egg and a pear). I have never thrown up from using the machine. And I thought I couldn't feel like even more of a sissy. Maybe if I just had more beer before getting on...

posted by BullpenPro at 04:06 AM on January 26

Yankees sending delegation to China

What is almost certainly a capitalistic enterprise on the part of the Yankees, who are looking at the potential for an enormous expansion of their consumer market -- there's, like, a billion people in China -- this relationship would certainly grow the international talent pool, and moreover it may provide some needed improvement in US/China diplomatic relations (however small in its weight). Baseball has a pretty strong history in breaking political tensions, from the Civil War to the regrettable internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, to the Cuba embargo, right up to the current war in Iraq. The game certainly doesn't solve international problems -- see the handling of Cuba during the WBC last year -- but it can establish a base of commonality (just as soccer or any other sport might -- just look at what the Olympics have accomplished in the face of political conflict).* *Noting that the success rate in that area is certainly not 100%.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:26 AM on January 26

Love, Baseball, and the Joy of Sox!

Man, here I am jonesing for a good baseball discussion, and there's all these "(11 new)" being promised, maybe some good discourse on the Sox, or at least some decent banter, and I get in here and... Poop. Poop mouth. Poop mouth and mouse with sign. Poop mouth and wiggly banana. I hate you SportsFilter. I hate you. /runs ungainly from the room, crying and screaming something about 21 days and "where's the WBC when I need it"

posted by BullpenPro at 04:03 PM on January 25

Love, Baseball, and the Joy of Sox!

- Now, which one's the woman? Schilling?

posted by BullpenPro at 05:17 PM on January 24

NFL Pick 'em - Superbowl!

I was more into the Ickey Shuffle myself. In college, my brother and I came up with a touchdown celebration dance that melded the Ickey Shuffle with the African Anteater Ritual from "Can't Buy Me Love." We did it at flag-football games, video football games, fraternity parties. The peak was when we did it on MTV's "The Grind." Yeah, I'm pretty much Anthony Michael Hall. Pre-steroids.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:35 PM on January 24

Love, Baseball, and the Joy of Sox!

For instance, he suggested there could be a golden years episode with single Sox seniors dating. I thought all the senior Red Sox fans died in October 2004. Scout is still trying to work out details such as whether courtship details will be flashed up on the ballpark’s scoreboards Maybe they could just have Manny make gestures in left field that indicate the relative success of the date. I'm so glad I don't have a bad Boston accent. Well, I read all your posts in a heavy accent. So, yeah, no, we don't believe you.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:56 PM on January 24

NFL Pick 'em - Superbowl!

Well, I'm going to go on record as a Bears lover. And it's not because I've gotten over the Super Bowl Shuffle... it's because I LOVE the Super Bowl Shuffle. I used to do the Super Bowl shuffle at pick up games back in my school days. Love it, love it, love it. And I'm picking da Bears to win. So take that, Bears haters. Bears by 3. Under 48.5 (De-FENCE!) Colts draw first touchdown blood with a passing TD at 4:11 into the second quarter. (That's right. I got the 4-1-1. I'm down with this.) I ain't here To cause no trouble I'm just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle. Go Bearce.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:43 PM on January 24

Lovie Smith becomes the first black head coach ......

TT: I wondered the same thing. Best I could come up with before I gave up was Jim Gilliam. Gilliam retired, was hired by the Dodgers as a coach, but then came out of retirement when the team took on some injuries. I haven't found a source that makes it clear whether he was a player/coach or if he dropped the coach title altogether when he returned to the field. It was a pretty cursory search -- I'm sure spending just a bit of time on it would bring better evidence, but I'll go with Gilliam.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:35 PM on January 22

Lovie Smith becomes the first black head coach ......

Anyone who is celebrating this as a great American accomplishment may be missing the point. That is to say, while this is certainly a very good step in the right direction, it is hardly a destination.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:51 PM on January 22

Lovie Smith becomes the first black head coach ......

Noting the achievement of an underrepresented group doesn't create racism -- it repudiates it. Dungy and Smith are breaking down a stereotype that's still strong enough that the NFL must force owners to interview minority candidates. This point, by rcade above, bears repeating, as it seems to me to get right to the heart of why making the racial distinction is valid. Whether or not we think it's worthwhile or necessary to distinguish achievements based on race, it's not going to change the fact that the NFL has a rule that is separating minorities from the the pack. The success of minority hires, I would think, indicates another baby step toward eliminating the need for this rule. I would hope that this Super Bowl will push the issue forward, forcing owners to explore minority hiring in the best interest of their teams' success rather than forcing them to explore it to accomodate a league requirement. That alone makes the distinction significant -- if you want the public to stop isolating them as "black" coaches, you need to get the league to stop doing it first. Anyone who is celebrating this as a great American accomplishment may be missing the point.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:42 PM on January 22

Lovie Smith becomes the first black head coach ......

this really turned out to be some celebration of the Bears' success It wasn't billed as a celebration of the Bears success, TBH. The FPP was billed as a celebration of the first black coach to take his team to the Super Bowl. The merits of that celebration are being challenged, and I think pretty much everyone, including Bishop, is keeping it above board and on topic. As for SDD, I'm not going to attack or defend his homerism, but I will say that it has got to be disappointing when your team gets cast as the villian for no reason other than that the team on the other side is the prohibitive sentimental favorite.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:42 AM on January 22

Lovie Smith becomes the first black head coach ......

Will there be an uproar from the words "First BLACK head coach . . . " Instead of "First AFRICAN AMERICAN coach . . . "? Well, on one hand, "first black" would seem a bit more impressive since it includes the pool of African-Canadians, African-Mexicans, and even unhyphenated Africans. On the other hand, "first African-American" would make it clear that kicker Gary Anderson has not a coached a team into the big game. You know, his being South African and all. The term African-American has valid utility, but in this particular instance I think the use of it by the media would be a bit disingenuous. The designation is being assigned based on the color of Smith's skin, not his nationality or ethnogeographic origin.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:34 AM on January 22

When franchises go bad.

they've done a good job the last few years of not only getting out from under some crappy contracts I hear Derek Bell's contract only has two years left. With a player option for 2009.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:38 AM on January 20

When franchises go bad.

Orioles? No. “I talked to one guy, he literally had tears in his eyes,” Moore said. “He said, ‘I was so excited to see the Kansas City Royals on ESPN about a signing we’d made.’ ” This is a major league franchise, for crying out loud. I totally have to go with brainofdtrain here. The Orioles are bad, don't get me wrong, and Angelos is a scumbag, but a good amount of the evidence against the Orioles in this article is bad luck. At least they have an MVP-caliber star in Miguel Tejada. Kansas City's only star (and the captain of their team, to boot) is a designated hitter who hasn't cracked 130 games played in a season since 2001. I think of Mike Sweeney once a year, when I try to figure out who the Royals could possibly be sending to the All-Star Game. Baltimore hardly even fits into that second category with clubs like Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay. Fans are weeping for joy over the signing of Gil Meche? How do you top that?

posted by BullpenPro at 04:17 AM on January 20

One Toke Over The Line, Ron Mexico...

If I were of a particular color You, being transparent.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:46 PM on January 19

Lefty Yearns To Make It Right.

Don't sell yourself short, Phil. You're a tremendous slouch.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:18 PM on January 19

NFL Pick 'em - Conference Championships

(...7, 8, 9.) Nine, please. I would like 9 bonus points.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:36 PM on January 19

One Toke Over The Line, Ron Mexico...

irun: I so, so, so want to be Derek America. I will definitely trade you.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:13 AM on January 19

One Toke Over The Line, Ron Mexico...

This story has a sweet cupholder. Yours truly, Mild-mannered-office-worker-Peter Bermuda/undercover-drag-operative-Missy Venezuela.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:59 AM on January 19

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

I am positive that there are people for whom a grenade is not a sufficient deterrent to expressing disdain about the Yankees. Nice article, TBH. Well written, and I enjoyed the story about Master Chief Cooper. Great job.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:57 PM on January 16

NFL Pick 'em - Conference Championships

Saints by 3. Indy by 4. Carney - 10 pts. For the record, I'd be picking the Pats here, but I need the Colts to grab the Confidence Costanza.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:03 PM on January 15

NFL Playoff Confidence Pool

If I'm reading this right, SDM cannot fall behind me. So it's between me and the Tenacious GD. She locks it up if the Pats win. If Indy and Chicago both win, I lock it up. If Indy and the Saints win, it's a loser-take-all finish to the end. If Marty Schottenheimer snaps and goes totally postal, well at that point all bets are off, I'd say.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:29 AM on January 15

Barry Bonds Throws Teammate Under "Speeding" Bus.

When they were on strike, he wasn't making any money. And it's not like they knew how long it was going to go on. Or how much the child support was to begin with. Of course, since the "story" wasn't his in the first place Looks like somebody thought it might be a good idea to actually talk to Bonds about this. Great observations, grum.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:46 PM on January 11

Barry Bonds Throws Teammate Under "Speeding" Bus.

In the case of the reaction of moral outrage that we're "supposed" to feel towards Barry Bonds, I think that only works on people who are somewhat predisposed to moral outrage in the first place puts you on the list of all-time worst teammates. posted by erkno11 at 7:47 AM CST on January 11 prove to me just how big of a dickhead he really is. To hell with him, I'm done. posted by louisville_slugger at 8:17 AM CST on January 11 Bonds has been enabled, coddled, and spoon-fed his whole life, accountability is long overdue. posted by mjkredliner at 9:15 AM CST on January 11 This guy has seemingly no bottom to his integrity. posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:05 AM CST on January 11 Major League Baseball, as a sport, as a business, is a total fucking mess. posted by chicobangs at 10:09 AM CST on January 11 Blaming a teammate for your own stupidity is about the lamest and most pathetic thing ever. posted by fenriq at 11:15 AM CST on January 11 What a sad, sorry and perfectly appropriate image for this sad, sorry human being. posted by diastematic at 11:45 AM CST on January 11 Bonds epitimizes whats wrong with baseball. posted by imanage at 11:46 AM CST on January 11 First a cheater and now a SNITCH who is lying again! posted by steelerchooks at 11:59 AM CST on January 11 These are all comments inspired by, as forestv pointed out, an article that doesn't name it's sources and received "No comment" from every single person that was asked about it, except of course for Bonds himself who doesn't appear to have been approached directly about it. Many of these comments are from highly respected members from this community, and I post them respectfully just to show that the Bonds train has come way off its tracks even for the most level headed of us. And you can't write this off simply to the protection of the integrity of the game. Nobody wants that integrity protected more than yours truly. But consider this: What Pete Rose did to baseball was 25 times worse than what Barry Bonds has done to baseball. That's not an opinion, that is a flat out fact. Bonds' actions effected the performance of one individual out of 750. Rose's actions effected the performance of an entire ballclub. Yet, when I posted a thread about Rose a few weeks ago, it didn't jump to 60 comments in 12 hours, and not one person exclaimed, "I hate Pete Rose with the seething, white-hot passion of a thousand imploding suns." I think what Bonds did was bad and is well deserving of a negative reaction. All I'm saying is that maybe a full-scale riot on this issue wouldn't have broken out if the media weren't handing out those eggs, tomatoes, torches and pitchforks. Think about it, folks. How much do you object to steroid use, and how much do you hate Bonds. Is it the same?

posted by BullpenPro at 06:29 PM on January 11

Barbaro Suffers Significant Setback.

And yet executing that political strategy continues to fail to get the desired result. What gives, Barbaro?

posted by BullpenPro at 02:58 PM on January 11

Barry Bonds Throws Teammate Under "Speeding" Bus.

Why is the media doing this to poor Barry?? Indeed. Why did the media make him get mixed up with BALCO?? They didn't. But they've done a pretty good job of convincing you that this the equivalent to a human rights violation. Why did the media force that other woman on him when he was married?? They didn't. But they apparently convinced you that consensual extra-marital affairs among professional athletes is contained to the handful that get slammed in the press. If you're going to condemn Bonds on this, fine, but you'd better be prepared to do it across the board. Why did the media force Barry to steal pills?? No evidence necessary. You're just sure. Hook, line and sinker. Why did the media make him lie to congress?? What's your source for this knowledge. You read it somewhere. Ah. Poor Barry what has he done to deserve this?? Indeed. ANYONE who feels sorry for him is an idiot. This conclusion not from something you read or saw on TV, in which the source stood to gain by making you feel attached to the story in this way. Probably from your intimate knowledge of the man from back when you had high tea together during his Pirates days. I'm playing devil's advocate here, but if we don't realize that we don't have a closer association to this story than what the media chooses to leak to us, and in the tone the media suggests it is to be taken, then as LBB suggested we may have some work to do on ourselves.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:25 PM on January 11

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

In fact, many consider him to be the best basestealer in the game. Word. I looked up his numbers, and few players are really close. Not Rickey. Not Brock. You know who IS pretty close, though? This guy. Never got a whiff of the Hall, but despite a late start to his career he put up some really solid seasons. 1979 was awesome, '77 and '78 weren't bad either. 83% career SB success rate. Not bad.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:06 PM on January 11

Barry Bonds Throws Teammate Under "Speeding" Bus.

But if they don't make us feel anything, then they are nothing more than a conveyance for news.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:34 PM on January 11

Barry Bonds Throws Teammate Under "Speeding" Bus.

I am sick to death of the media, and the self-righteous finger waggers who promulgate their agenda with mindless nodding, making me feel that if I'm a bad person if I don't demonstrate absolute contempt and moral outrage at Barry Bonds, like he's sporting some kind of nuclear device and is hellbent on ruining America, starting with baseball. Aren't you? Best hitter ever*. Done. Next.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:13 PM on January 11

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

Maybe that was their subtle way of letting you know that you smell. I would think that, too, except their way of doing turned out to be, "Dude, you stink."

posted by BullpenPro at 09:29 PM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

If you're trying to get me to pick Yaz for "cluthiness", it's a poor comparison as Manny is no . . . A-Rod. I claim victory. Beers are on me.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:05 PM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

Six different people gave me Driven for Christmas, and I have to say it smells better than Moises Alou's cologne.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:26 PM on January 10

50 Heartbreaking Moments in Sport...

I am currently emersed in a project on baseball in New York City from 1947-1957, ending when the Dodgers and Giants took flight. I think the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn is almost certainly the most heartbreaking event in the game's history. There is no hope of spring that resets the clock for an entire borough of fans who still hurt from having their team taken away. Believe me, the Mets are small consolation. I learned a good deal from this list, too. Thanks for the post, JJ.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:55 PM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

Well, Manny did win a championship, so by what appears to be your logic... I would appreciate it if you would leave logic out of this discussion. I also take Kamen over Einstein -- the Theory of Relativity is nice and all, but it won't get me to the store.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:04 PM on January 10

Barbaro Suffers Significant Setback.

Grow, threadie, grow.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:48 PM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

*clap clap clap* Well played! Maybe Ladewski has a point after all. No friggin' way. Okay, let me ask you a question: who would you rather have as your left fielder, Manny Ramirez or Carl Yastrzemski? On edit: "Heart" is a statistic now? I think the appeal was that it isn't.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:25 PM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

this analysis oversimplifies in that it doesn't take into account more advanced runs created or pythagorean formulas and doesn't account for defense... or the fact that Brosius wouldn't be put into the middle of the order, meaning a different player altogether would have the opportunity to drive in the critical runs that A-Rod doesn't. The change would effect every single player in the lineup, not just Brosius and A-Rod. Plus, the Boo Factor. Using Jim Williams' Boo Factor formula, which calculates the demoralizing aspect of being chided by your own home crowd, A-Rod's Boo Factor last year was -3.14156 wins. Brosius' average Boo Factor during his career with the Yankees was +1.85844. That's a total difference of about five wins. So, obviously, the Yankees are a better team with Brosius.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:01 PM on January 10

50 Heartbreaking Moments in Sport...

Yes, Cameron's one of the good ones. Well, you can at least count on him not to sit on his ass as the events that effect him unfold to determine the course of his life. He's going to take a stand. Right or wrong, he's going to defend it.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:43 AM on January 10

NFL Pick'em - Division Round Edition

Herm Edwards' ears make him look like a car driving down the street with the driver's door open.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:36 AM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

How come Cal Ripken's 1999 season doesn't get at least a raised eyebrow from the steroid hunters? How about this guy...? Years: 1997-1999, right in the heart of the "Steroid Era" Age: 37-39, well past his prime SLG: .547, .501, .477 for a career .459 slugger, and the only consecutive double-digit homer seasons of his career Teammate: his teammate the first two of those three seasons? Ken Caminiti. If that's not good enough for Yankee fans, nothing could possibly satisfy them at this point. I could do a breakdown of A-Rod's 2005 season that would look eerily similar to this one, starting with his 3 home run/12 RBI day against Bartolo Colon, but in the end nobody is likely to be converted one way or the other. Let's just leave it at "BullpenPro is the Jimmy Piersall of SportsFilter" and chalk it up to trophy withdrawal.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:16 AM on January 10

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

Slugger, what in the world are you going on about? I called out A-Rod's performance in the last three innings because they are the MOST critical, particularly in close games. I didn't say they didn't mean anything. And there has been a lot twisting and misunderstanding about "hitting home runs when they don't count," which I agree is an expression that doesn't make much sense at all. The criticism about A-Rod isn't that he sometimes hits home runs in games that already have a fairly concretely decided outcome. The criticism you are hearing, and apparently not understanding, is that A-Rod ONLY hits home runs in games that already have a fairly concretely decided outcome. And I would guess that was the sense wdminott and his brother had about Belle on the White Sox. You're a Reds fan. Isn't it awesome that when Griffey comes up in a "close and late" situation he hits a home run once every nine at bats? That he hit .281 with a .656 slugging percentage batting in that very critical three-hole in your lineup last year? Wasn't it great when he hit 8 home runs -- EIGHT -- to give your team the lead after the sixth inning, five of them when your team was losing? No, A-Rod is not a permanent vacant lot in the three-hole of the Yankees order. But when you watch the guy time and again in situations when even a single would be huge, and all you get is a lame strikeout, weak groundball to short... it wears on you having to watch it. And it's not the "Yankee fan has to win all the time" syndrome. I don't care what team you root for, if you can walk into a game without feeling hopeful your team will win, or walk away from a loss without some degree of frustration, well... I'm not interested in putting a measure on anybody's fandom or telling anyone how to root, but it seems to me that these are fundamental to attaching yourself to a team. Even Cubs fans want to get rid of pieces that they associate with losing. I associate A-Rod with losing a lot more than winning. The numbers, particularly last year, seem to back me up reasonably well, but I get that feeling more from watching him day to day -- not the boos, not the media, just the watching him and feeling that sinking feeling every time he doesn't get the job done. I'm sure A-Rod would turn around and be a full-time monster in Cincy, but he doesn't give any indication that he's going to do that in New York. To bring this back on topic, there's a guy who got no votes today who I would much rather see at third base on this Yankees team than the guy we've got. And there's a guy who got a lot of votes whose numbers were better in late and close situations than at any other time. Now that guy was good. (Grum... you just had to go there, didn't you. You dog.)

posted by BullpenPro at 11:02 PM on January 09

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

Where do I sign?

posted by BullpenPro at 06:31 PM on January 09

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

I've heard this complaint about A-rod so many times it turns my stomach. A-Rod hit 35 home runs in 2006. Of those, 13 were in the seventh inning or later (more than 1/3 in less than 1/3 of the game time, given that his team didn't bat in the ninth inning of most games they won at home). 1 was a walk-off in the 12th inning with the team down a run. 0 were with the score tied 0 were with his team behind, giving them the lead (except for the walk-off) 0 were with his team behind to draw the score even In 66 at bats in games that were "late and close," he had one home run (the walk-off), hit .242, and had a .333 slugging percentage. In 97 at bats in which the scoring margin was more than 4 runs either way (winning or losing), he hit 7 homers, hit .351, and had a .619 slugging percentage. You think it turns your stomach? You don't have to watch him on your team every day. I don't have a problem with hitting a home run late in a blow out -- he can do that every time if he wants. Pad your stats all you want. But you've got to come up with more than 1 meaningful one in between all those fluffy ones. (To leave on an up-note, I freakin' love baseball-reference.com more and more every day.)

posted by BullpenPro at 06:23 PM on January 09

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

I've heard this complaint about A-rod so many times it turns my stomach. A-Rod hit 35 home runs in 2006. Of those, 13 were in the seventh inning or later (more than 1/3 in less than 1/3 of the game time, given that his team didn't bat in the ninth inning of most games they won at home). 1 was a walk-off in the 12th inning with the team down a run. 0 were with the score tied 0 were with his team behind, giving them the lead (except for the walk-off) 0 were with his team behind to draw the score even In 66 at bats in games that were "late and close," he had one home run (the walk-off), hit .242, and had a .333 slugging percentage. In 97 at bats in which the scoring margin was more than 4 runs either way (winning or losing), he hit 7 homers, hit .351, and had a .619 slugging percentage. You think it turns your stomach? You don't have to watch him on your team every day. I don't have a problem with hitting a home run late in a blow out -- he can do that every time if he wants. Pad your stats all you want. But you've got to come up with more than 1 meaningful one in between all those fluffy ones. (To leave on an up-note, I freakin' love baseball-reference.com more and more every day.)

posted by BullpenPro at 06:23 PM on January 09

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

But the excuse most people seem to use with Albert is that he didn't dominate long enough. And that's just not a really good excuse. I agree. Sincerely, Don Mattingly

posted by BullpenPro at 05:41 PM on January 09

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.

Devon White 0 0.0 Given who actually got at least one vote on the list, this was, to me, the biggest surprise and the closest thing to a travesty, although Albert Belle's not making the cut is close. Not that I'm a big fan of Belle's, but just look at those numbers. You put a different name at the top of that page, and he makes the cut easily. Unless that name is Jose Canseco.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:26 PM on January 09