Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sean Deveney Is Officially My New Punching Bag

As many people know, the Tampa Bay Rays are considering signing Barry Bonds. Sean Deveney really thinks they should. Which isn't wrong or anything. But en route to his argument that makes no mention of Bonds still being good at baseball (which is the #1 reason that a team should sign him), he gets pretty darned ignorant. Here's an excerpt.

The Rays are thinking this could be their breakout year. They're young and improving, but there are questions about the lineup.

Oh boy. Please, tell me what these questions are!

No one knows if Carlos Pena can repeat his out-of-nowhere, MVP-type performance of 2007.

No one "knows" anything about what a player will do in the upcoming season. You can make a similar sentence about any team in the majors. "No one knows if Ryan Braun is really as good as his rookie season indicated." "No one knows if Jorge Posada can keep posting these above-.300 EqAs into his late thirties." "No one knows if Ervin Santana will rebound this year." The purpose of you, the writer, the supposedly more informed person, is to give opinions and insights on these things.

And yes, such things exist that allow you to make reasonable forecasts. Pretty much everyone on the planet knows that it's tremendously unlikely Pena will do that again, and reasonably, he'll be pretty good, but not great, in 2008 (PECOTA forecasts .259/.372/.500 this year).

No one knows how the Cliff Floyd-Johnny Gomes designated hitter platoon will work,

What do you mean "no one knows how that will work?" Jonny (spell his name right, please) Gomes is better against lefties, so he'll play against lefties. Floyd is better against righties, so he'll play against righties. A "platoon" is one of the simplest baseball strategies to understand. I don't know what the hell you mean by this sentence.

or worse, what'll happen if Rocco Baldelli suffers another season-ending injury and Floyd and Gomes are forced to play in the outfield everyday.

Ummm....what will happen is exactly that. Floyd or Gomes will be in the outfield everyday. You answered your own "question". And both of them will probably play worse defense than Rocco Baldelli would have. These "questions" are completely stupid.

Even with a healthy lineup, is B.J. Upton really a cleanup hitter? Wouldn't he be better off batting third or fifth?

Hmmm. I don't know. That's a tough one, Sean-o. B.J. Upton hasn't completed his initiation into the "Fraternity of Cleanup Hitters." But you're right....I don't think he's really good enough to hit 4th, he's only good enough to hit 3rd or 5th. He's not quite as good as Paul Konerko, he's more like Jim Thome. He's no Manny Ramirez, I'll tell you that much, but he's good enough to be one of those David Ortiz types. Is Justin Morneau really a cleanup hitter? No way, Jose! He's one of those 5th-hitter types. Now Michael Cuddyer, THERE's a cleanup hitter.

Have I given enough proof to show your sentence was completely and totally senseless? I hope so, Sean.


larry b said...

No one knows for sure how any team will perform this year. Therefore- I question anyone's predictions about anything.

zenny said...

You forgot the most important part: if Bonds is no longer juicing, he's just a broken down 40-something former major leaguer. 'nuff said.

If he is still juicing, you don't want him around all the young players.

Jeff said...

Well when you have a bunch of question marks going into the season, particularly with your DH platoon (that's two DH's), the best way to answer them is to sign a 43 year old DH on a decline (though still very good) who may or may not have to miss time during the season in trial for his obstruction charges.

They should sign him if he's relatively cheap (add incentives for PA if you can)....because he's still really good at baseball. Not because Rocco Baldelli is fragile (etc.)