Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cogent Analysis of the Seattle Mariners Farm System and What a Weak Starting Pitching Market Means for Them

Fooled you. It's another "A-Rod's a stupid loser" article.

First let me briefly explain my absence recently. My mom's house was geting fumigated. That's right, fumigated. The giant tent and the toxic gases and everything. We had a serious insect infestation following an incident in which I dropped several foodstuffs behind the computer desk and forgot about them. Basically, my mom and I were put up in a hotel with no internet, and going to the library, of course, required going outside and walking for 5 minutes. Ummm....yeah. That's a no-go. So instead I enjoyed watching things such as the series finale of Full House (very anti-climactic!), about 8 episodes of That 70's Show (per day) and I, Robot for about the eleventy billionth time (does FX ever get sick of showing that?)

Anyway, back to the focus of this thing, courtesy of no-name (he should play for the Rockies!) George Vecsey of the New York Times.

Yanks Should Treat Rodriguez the Way He Treated Them

If by that you mean they should put A-Rod on their shoulders and carry him to the playoffs, then yes, I agree. Should A-Rod resign (and it certainly looks like he will!), the Yankees should sign billions of free agents so that if A-Rod morphs into a clone of this guy, he'll still make the playoffs. (What was the point of the Cubs giving up Jacque Jones for him, anyway?)

Even if Alex Rodriguez prostrates himself in front of the Yankees’ owners — which he just might have done yesterday — that does not mean they have to take him back.

Even if he fires his agent, Scott Boras, or plays him in a cage, that does not mean the Yankees should want A-Rod back.

These are pretty serious claims! Why, pray tell, does a baseball team with an essentially infinte payroll not want the best player in the universe who is on pace to shatter the (*DEBATABLY*) most interesting record in sports?

Rodriguez had a monster season, but the Yankees could not get out of the first round of the playoffs, yet again. He is an enigmatic figure in their clubhouse, clearly not a player who improves his team.

::phone rings::

George Steinbrenner: Hello?

Brian Cashman: George, it's Brian. I've just been doing a little reading in the New York Times, and.....there's absolutely no way we should re-sign A-Rod.

Steinbrenner: That's pretty fucking insane to say there's no way.....I mean he's the best player of this generation and all.....

Brian Cashman: Yes, well....did you know that Alex doesn't improve the Yankees?

Steinbrenner: He most certainly does! You'd better explain yourself...

Brian Cashman: Well....George Vecsey just pointed out to me that his figure in the's a little enigmatic.

Steinbrenner: Enigmatic?

Brian Cashman: Enigmatic.

Steinbrenner: That funny-sounding word that means "perplexing" or "mysterious"? A-Rod isn't improving the Yankees because his clubhouse figure is mysterious? I mean he hits baseballs pretty well despite that....are you sure?

Brian Cashman: Positive. George Vecsey is a widely respected man. Lots of people have totally heard of who he is.

Steinbrenner: I guess....we have no choice then. He's out.

This is the Yankees’ big chance to take whatever money they had penciled in for him and spend it on pitching and power and first base and a reasonable approximation of Scott Brosius at third base.

ZOMG! This is the Yankees' BIG CHANCE! They have a shot at signing someone like Scott Brosius! Take this chance, Yankees. These things don't come around just any old year.

The Yankees’ management was cold-blooded about Joe Torre, making him twist for days, then finally forcing him to fly down to Florida to try to save his job. They should be no less cold-blooded toward Rodriguez.

Oh yeah, because making Torre "twist" was such a great decision that helped the Yankees in so many ways and gave them great publicity. Yep. They should totally repeat that for A-Rod.

He dumped on the Yankees and on his business by passively allowing Boras to drop An A-Bomb! From A-Rod!

Amidst Vecsey's fascination that both of those things begin with an "A" followed by a hyphen, he's talking about the World Series opt-out announcement. Note to all excellent journalists out there: it's okay to capitalize indefinite articles when there are a good amount of other words capitalized nearby.

That’s what agents are for. I remember a beautiful evening in Seattle, when Rodriguez was dumped at second base and crumpled down, holding his knee. A few rows from the field, a clearly distraught man leapt to his feet and made his way to the railing. Why, it was Scott Boras, no doubt worried that his client’s impending free agency had just caved in.

As it turned out, A-Rod missed a few games and resumed his slippery path out of town, telling people in Seattle it wasn’t about the money, a tale he has subsequently told people in Texas and now the Bronx.

There's a good chance A-Rod wanted to leave Texas because ummmm.....the team sucked.

The Steinbrenners graciously allowed Rodriguez and his wife, Cynthia, to pay a social call yesterday in Florida, with Boras nowhere in sight, unless he was driving the car, to amortize his percentage.

This was the same Mrs. A-Rod who wore a profane and probably expensive little white tank top to a Yankees game last July, an eye-opener for the kiddies, telling the world off quite graphically. Presumably, she did not wear that shirt yesterday for the conservative Steinbrenners.

The only reason that A-Rod's wife was even brought up was so that Vecsey could make a useless reference to that incident. Read it again. that the sound of you agreeing with me?

In his own gauche way, A-Rod has offended the Yankees, which may only now be dawning on him.

Call me crazy, but several years of being an awesome baseball player being negated by a sub-par performance in a small subset of games in October(among many other sub-par performers) might be considered offensive to A-Rod. They batting him 8th once last year! EIGHTH! If that doesn't just say, in the immortal words of Red Forman, "my foot in your ass", then I don't know what does. A-Rod is unjustly unappreciated in New York, especially by assholes like you, Vecsey. He has no obligation to be kind to the team. Period.

The Yankees should imitate Vince Lombardi, when his Super Bowl-winning center, Jim Ringo, had the audacity to hire an agent for salary negotiations. According to legend, Lombardi left his office for a few minutes and came back and informed Ringo that he would have to negotiate with the Eagles, because he had just been traded. Ringo and Lombardi denied that scene, but Ringo did hire an agent, and he did get traded, in very short order.

Nowadays, of course, athletes have every right to hire an agent, but they need to be aware of the impact. Boras went too far, and Rodriguez did not seem to understand any of the implications of putting the squeeze on the Yankees. Whatever vision of El Dorado Boras painted, the response from other clubs has been underwhelming.

I assure you, Vecsey, A-Rod lives up to that image. Now look at a page full of MLB payrolls and ask yourself, "who is in a good position to offer $350M for any player?" It's a lot to pay for 11-14 wins at best per season (not to mention injury risk, etc). I guarantee you that there aren't any baseball teams that don't think A-Rod is the best player in the world (unless the Cardinals are really that obsessed with Albert Pujols).

This is a good sign. It shows that even baseball owners can learn.

No. It shows that they don't have bottomless wallets. It does not show that baseball owners think that A-Rod is a non-team-improving clubhouse disease.

Rodriguez has never justified himself to Yankees fans, having driven in nine runs in 24 postseason games since joining the Yankees with that huge contract in 2004

Probably the stupidest way that anyone has ever tried to prove A-Rod is a choker in the postseason. Ooh, lets cite a stat incredibly dependent on batters in front of A-Rod getting on base!

Even in the highly individualistic sport of baseball, there is a foxhole mentality. The players know Rodriguez works hard, but they also know he has not come through in the postseason.

Really? You want to blame A-Rod this year too, huh? Look here. Can you see anything that MIGHT have contributed more significantly to the Yankees losing in the ALDS than A-Rod's not-remotely-awful .267/.353/.467 performance? How'd Wang and Clemens pitch? Didn't Derek Jeter do something like .176/.176/.176 and ground into a few double plays? The team had a farking 5.89 ERA! I haven't looked it up, but I sincerely doubt that a team has ever had an ERA that high and won a postseason series.

Alex Rodriguez let his agent opt out for him, right during the World Series. Now the Yankees should opt out on him.

And...that's all? Great! Well Vecsey, I hope you enjoyed your first Fire Jay Mariotti experience. We hope to see you again real soon!


pnoles said...

A heartfelt FireJay thank-you to Dan for the tip!

Jeff said...

"telling people in Seattle it wasn’t about the money, a tale he has subsequently told people in Texas and now the Bronx."

Did he really tell people in Texas that? How would that make any sense, since his pay didn't change when he left Texas? How could that have been about the money? I have to think Vescey just made that up.

dan-bob said...

The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1960 World Series in seven games with a team ERA of 7.11

:retreats into nerd hole:

This is a statistical outlier. Your point stands.

pnoles said...

Haha...thanks for going through the effort....I really thought it never happened.

Tonus said...

It's amusing to see the media in NEW FUCKING YORK act appalled that someone would wear a shirt with the word "fuck" on it... to Yankee Stadium.

jf said...

nice article, appreciate the title too...

just some random tidbits:

between the lines had a little blurb about this same article - a nice little compliment to the points you make, just thought you'd like the heads up

and i'm pretty sure "An A-bomb for A-rod" or whatever is what the yankees radio play by play guy (i think) obnoxiously says when arod hits homers, so i guess vecsey, in all his cleverness, is poking some fun... hence the capitalized An, and all the exclamation points (assuming the announcer yells it)

(of course, if the yankees choose to "opt out" on rodriguez, what's next year's triumphant call?? "a double play bomb for betemit!!" "a regression to the mean for lowell!!" "an injury for rolen!!"??)

dan-bob said...

lol @ jf

larry b said...

JF just facialed Scott Rolen. (Lowell and Betemit too, but mostly Rolen)