Weaver And Hendry’s Rational Self-Interests

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A tribute to the type of people they are?

These are the kinds of things that are being said about Angels pitcher Jered Weaver and former Cubs GM Jim Hendry.

Weaver took less money to sign a contract extension with the Angels when he could’ve been a free agent at the end of the 2012 season and made probably double what he’s getting from the Angels—$85 million over 5-years.

Hendry continued working for the Cubs after he was informed that he was being let go last month.

These acts are being treated as if they saved orphans from a burning building and found them loving new homes.

Did Weaver leave money on the table and presumably ignore the preference of his agent Scott Boras by re-upping with the Angels? Of course. He said all the “right” things that the tone-deaf Alex Rodriguez would never have said.

But A-Rod is seen as money-hungry, spotlight-hogging and perception-clueless.

Never mind that it’s within A-Rod’s rights to go for every penny he could possibly make—and did; never mind that Boras got him that money even when the rift between the two became public after A-Rod’s opt-out during the 2007 World Series. But Weaver is seen as a “better” person than A-Rod because he’s going to somehow survive on $17 million a year through 2016.

There have been testimonials as to the integrity of both Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and former GM Jim Hendry because Hendry was willing to stay on—for continuity sake—through the signing of the Cubs draft picks even though he knew he was fired.

Hendry is well-respected person within baseball and he’d been with the Cubs for a long time; he wasn’t going to sabotage the place on the way out the door, so it was a personal thing for him to continue doing his job after being fired.

But he was also under contract—presumably he could’ve left immediately upon his firing. But why? If the organization is asking him to stay and help and he’s still being paid, whom did it hurt? No one.

In fact, it makes Hendry’s reputation for professionalism look all the more impressive when he sifts through offers from other clubs to be a member of their front office because he helped the Cubs as he did.

Weaver and Hendry were behaving with rational self-interests in mind and it’s being framed as selfless and courteous.

Selflessness and courtesy were certainly a part of their decisions, but they weren’t acts of charity.

There will be the pursed lips, thin smiles of satisfaction and nods of approval to validate what both Weaver and Hendry did. Obviously they were doing what they saw as the right thing; but the right thing was also convenient for what they wanted and needed. That shouldn’t be forgotten during the love-fest.


Stop Enabling Billy Beane

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Just stop it.

It’s enough already.

The latest set of alibis for Billy Beane and Moneyball comes from Tyler Kepner in today’s NY Times and—in the greatest insult to our collective baseball intelligence yet—they’e being utilized in the same way to excuse his mediocrity as they were to build the foundation for his myth of genius.

He didn’t have any money and had to figure out a different way to compete; he doesn’t have any money now so that’s why he’s losing.

He was in a small, relatively unappealing market where players wouldn’t go unless they had no other choice; he can’t get players to come to Oakland.

He didn’t have a state-of-the-art ballpark with modern amenities; he doesn’t have a state-of-the-art ballpark with modern amenities.

There were stupid people in baseball; the stupid people have suddenly gotten smart and are using his innovations.

What’s next? Mediocre reviews of the film or a lack of connectivity between book and movie are turning players away from joining a club that partakes in such dramatic license in the interests of propping up a story? The old ballplayer line of rejecting a job based on cinematic liberties?

Why is there this investment from the media in trying to salvage what’s left of the farce that was the appellation of “genius” on the part of Beane?

Beane’s justifications are taking on the ludicrous nature the type you’d hear from a bust on To Catch a Predator.

“I just came to talk to her.”

“I wanted to explain that she shouldn’t be meeting men on the internet.”

“She needs to do well in school, study hard and get into a good college.”

It’s not believable; in fact, it’s nonsense.

This isn’t to imply the issues of revenue, venue and increased knowledge from his counterparts aren’t hindering Beane’s efforts to maintain a competitive team—of course they are—but you can’t use the same arguments to create the illusion of brilliance as you do when explaining away mistakes. It doesn’t work that way.

The biggest irony is the “kinder, gentler Billy” persona that Beane—quite the actor himself—is putting forth.

It’s laughable that the same character who ranted, raved, cussed, broke things and bullied subordinates is now a cerebral, down-to-earth, somewhat resigned caricature who’s using those ridiculed excuses from above as a protective cloak to shield himself from all criticism; what makes it worse it how he’s being willfully assisted by the sycophants in the media and his remaining apologists whose agenda is clearly in line with their so-called “stat revolution” that was supposed to turn every Major League Baseball front office into something resembling a combination Star Trek convention and Ivy League school reunion.

I’ll bet that the “Billy Beane” in the film, played by the likable Brad Pitt, won’t be smashing any chairs on-screen. The Beane in the book is not likable at all. The character in the book was tearing into conventional baseball wisdom and running roughshod over the old-school scouts and antiquated thinkers who were invested in their own version of running a team; the movie person will be more palatable to the mainstream audience it’s seeking to attract.

Is the objective reality that so often referenced as to why Beane did what he did?

Beane was supposedly too smart and too much of an analyst to make it as a player, so he transferred his self-destructive intensity into the front office and turned it into a positive while simultaneously flipping the world of baseball upside down; but now he’s finding the same varied list of whys to maintain the veneer that his terrible team is not his fault.

Whose fault is it?

Beane had his chance to go to a big market club when he agreed to take over as GM of the Red Sox and backed out.

I’ve repeatedly stated how much of a disaster that would’ve been as his plans included trading Jason Varitek and signing someone named Mark Johnson to replace him; moving Manny Ramirez to permanent DH, precluding the signing of David Ortiz; signing Edgardo Alfonzo who was near the end of the line; and sending Kevin Youkilis to the Athletics as compensation for Beane joining the Red Sox.

Luckily for the Red Sox, Beane walked away from the deal and chose to stay in Oakand. Michael Lewis’s story was that Beane finally had a monetary value placed on his work with the Red Sox offer—documented evidence of what he could get were he to auction his stud services to the highest bidder. That was enough for him and he returned to the A’s. Family considerations played a part in Beane’s decision to remain with the A’s, but there were other, unsaid factors.

Isn’t it easier to stay somewhere where the expectations are muted and you’re treated as a demagogue? Where you’re about to be given a portion of a billion dollar business all as a result of this concept of being a genius? Where there are always ways to stickhandle around any missteps with the financial/ballpark/venue/competitive problems? Of existing in a vacuum?

If I hired a “genius”, I’d expect the miraculous. I’d expect him to figure it out regardless of what obstacles stand in his way.

Beane isn’t, nor was he ever, a genius. He filled a gap and exposed a market that was rife for exploitation. Once everyone else figured out what he was doing and started using the same techniques he did, he was right back where he started from. Genius is innovation and in that sense, there was a shred of “genius” in what Beane did; but he’s no innovator in that he created something new. He found a weapon and used it like some megalomaniacal James Bond villain.

He’s been able to gloss over repeated rebuilding projects where he traded away the likes of Nick Swisher, Dan Haren, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder for returns that have been weak or abject failures. He’s dispatched managers for shady reasons—but if the managers don’t get credit for the wins, nor should they be saddled with the losses. His “card-counting in the casino” approach to the draft was the stupidest thing in the book and has been proven to be an utter absurdity with continually terrible drafts. His pitchers have gotten injured over and over; wouldn’t a “genius” find a series of preventative measures to keep his players healthy apart from referring to the idiotic Verducci Effect—which Beane says he does?

How long is this going to last?

Is it going to last until the movie is in and out of theaters when the bloom is off a rose that’s existed far too long and has been protected from reality in the interests of selfish motivations? Will others join me in stating the obvious? Will Beane finally be seen for what he is?

Or will there still be pockets of protest trying to refurbish the crumbling facade of Moneyball?

Moneyball lives, but in a different form; it’s a shape-shifter; a chameleon bent on survival at whatever cost.

I tend to think, as the A’s stumble to a 90 loss season, there will be other voices saying the same thing I do.

But I said it first.

Beane’s corporate terminology and sudden reliance on the reviled “subjectivity” to protect his legacy and fairy tale status has failed in theory and practice.

No one’s buying it anymore.

They’re just waiting until after the film to admit it.

And that only makes the subterfuge and self-indulgence worse and those documenting it less and less credible.


MLB Draft Dollars And The Strategy Of Spending

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Why do I get the feeling that with all the talk about clubs spending, spending and spending some more in the MLB Draft, that 2011 will wind up going down as the year that teams overspent and got little return?

We can go up and down, back and forth with the arguments for carting wheelbarrows of cash in the draft and bringing in top-quality talent, but the fact remains that the draft is the ultimate crapshoot.

As opposed to one of the most idiotic assertions in Moneyball that the genius Billy Beane was counting cards in a casino (repeated by Michael Lewis in the afterword/extra chapter of the paperback version as if saying something stupid once wasn’t enough), all you can do with drafted players is hope.

Naturally giving them an opportunity to play in the majors instead of continually bringing in veterans is a key to their development and becoming useful big leaguers, but the truth about the draft is that you don’t know until you know.

Picking a year at random (and I’m actually picking a year at random) with 2004 and the 1st round.

How many “star” players are there? There are two: Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver.

Apart from that, you have useful cogs (Huston Street; Jeff Niemann; Phil Hughes; Neil Walker; J.P. Howell; Gio Gonzalez); the underdeveloped (Bill Bray; Homer Bailey; Blake DeWitt; Philip Humber); and the busts (Matt Bush; Jon Poterson; Greg Golson).

Being a 1st round pick and getting a load of money increases expectations and the amount of time a player is going to get with the organization. The bigger amounts of attention and money they receive, the more a club is going to want to get some kind of return on that investment; that goes a long way in keeping a player employed and moving up the ladder even if he doesn’t deserve it.

The obvious and easy response to any failure or perceived success is to go all in. So if teams are seen to be “winning” with the Moneyball system, that’s what will come en vogue; if teams win by signing veteran players, that will be the new strategy.

It’s the same with the draft and development—others will copy it while it appears to be working; then they’ll move on to something else.

The drafted players have taken advantage of MLB’s complete lack of competence in implementing the bonus slots. The reliance on the draft to find players not to collect and trade, but to use is making them more valuable and the bonuses reflect that. But simply spending isn’t the answer on the big league level nor in the draft; it’s a matter of picking correctly.

This strategy of spending might be a one-and-out, because judging from history, it’s unlikely to succeed as well as the money or public accolades indicate it should.


MLB Draft Slot Bonuses—The Point?

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What’s the purpose of a “rule” that is universally ignored and bears no punishment for its flouting?

The MLB Draft has a slotting system for bonuses with recommendations for the amount of money that should be given to a drafted player for signing based on where he was taken in the draft.

It’s well-meaning in a communist sense to try and rein in spending on amateurs and level the playing field for clubs who don’t have the same amount of money to spare that the Yankees, Red Sox and a few others do.

But how’s this work when there are no repercussions for disregarding the recommendations? And what of teams that try to be good soldiers and find themselves missing out on players that the big money deviants who roll their eyes at the “stop or I’ll yell stop again” aspect of MLB mandating and spend more than they’re “supposed to” anyway?

It has no teeth.

Check out MLB Trade Rumors for the number of players who signed and whose bonuses surpassed—by a lot—what was preferable to MLB. And it wasn’t only the first rounders either—AL/NL.

If this is some attempt at slight-of-hand by MLB by having clubs use fudging the slotting amounts as a carrot to say, “well, we’re going over-slot for you”, are they seriously thinking that’s going to work on Scott Boras?

Daniel Hultzen, Brandon Nimmo, Anthony Rendon, Taylor Jungmann, Alex Meyer and a whole host of other names who may or may not set foot in the big leagues all signed for a lot of money.

This slotting bonus concept is another MLB “innovation” that is useless in both plan and execution.


Beltran A Fit For The Red Sox In 2012 And Beyond

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The Red Sox would be a reasonable landing spot for Carlos Beltran after the season in a J.D. Drew sort of way without the baggage Drew brought with him.

Having encountered eye-rolls and laughter at the perceived desperation when they signed Drew after the 2006 season, Drew has been mostly what the Red Sox expected for the 5-years, $70 million contract.

From his decision to shun the Phillies when he was the second pick in the 1997 draft; to his up-and-down, “he never seems happy” career while playing for the Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers; to his frequent injuries, Drew has always been an aggravating enigma. When he’s been healthy, he’s been a very good, productive player and as long as he’s not the main star, he’s fine.

There are similarities to this with Beltran, but Beltran doesn’t have the Drew reputation.

Most importantly, in signing Beltran, the Red Sox would have the advantage of not having to surrender the draft pick compensation since Beltran has it in his current contract that he cannot be offered arbitration.

Agent Scott Boras is said to want the same 5-years, $70 million that Drew got in 2006. I doubt Beltran will get five guaranteed years, but three with an easily achievable option for a fourth based on games played makes sense.

Beltran could fit neatly as a replacement DH—part-time—when David Ortiz is gone (and Ortiz will be back for at least 2012); and Beltran would benefit from being a background player on a team whose main offensive stars—Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis—are younger, more prominent and, in the cases of Pedroia and Youkils, far more outspoken.

Also, perhaps placating Boras with a Beltran signing might make the negations to keep Jacoby Ellsbury somewhat friendlier. The Red Sox had some interest in Beltran at the trading deadline, but didn’t want to trade the prospects the Mets wanted; now they wouldn’t have to provide anything other than money—and that’s something the Red Sox have to spare.


The Jose Reyes Chronicles, 6.11.2011

Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Management, Media, Players

Jose, JoseJoseJose…Jo….se……Joooooseeeeeeeeee….


While there were reasons he wasn’t able to perform up to his current levels and capabilities, had Jose Reyes played as well in 2009-2010 as he is now, the contract and free agency wouldn’t have been an issue because the Mets would’ve extended him long ago.

He had a hamstring injury in 2009—which brought back terrible memories of his injury-prone years in 2003-2004; and last season he was sabotaged by the thyroid problem in spring training.

He’s healthy and playing for a lot of money.

And don’t give me the “no evidence of a free agent year bump” nonsense; it happens in some cases and doesn’t happen in others.

It’s happening with Reyes. Shut off your calculators and open your eyes.


If the Mets intention is to make a perfunctory offer to Reyes in the interests of saving face and not a legitimate attempt to re-sign him, they should trade him.

Sandy Alderson has been said to prefer a contract of around 4 years for Reyes, which simply is not going to get it done. In fact, it would be insulting to Reyes and the fans to make such an offer…unless it was for a larger amount of cash than he’d make with the longer term contract; if they offer him wheelbarrow of money for a shorter term with the prospect of free agency again at age 32, then maybe they could sell it.

But that’s not what Alderson is thinking when the concept is mentioned.

It’s not good enough and would do more harm to the franchise than trading him.


How much will David Einhorn have to say about keeping Reyes?

What about MLB itself?

Of course you can say that Einhorn has no right to intervene in the Reyes negotiations because technically, he’s not the minority owner yet, but if I was fully expected to be approved as a part owner, I’d want a serious say in how things are run; if Einhorn jumps in and says the team should do everything within reason to keep Reyes, it should have some weight.

And judging from his aggressive dealings in the financial world and by playing competitive poker (successful in both), Einhorn’s not the type to recede into the background and defer when his future interests are at stake.

As for MLB, I’m only half-joking when I say they’re a partial owner of the club as well. While they can’t be perceived to openly interfere with a team, there obviously was some weight given to the desires of the commissioner’s office when Alderson was hired; they know the value of having a strong, viable National League franchise in New York; they hear the fan anger and see the lack of attendance at Citi Field; it’s reasonable for them to quietly try to influence the Mets to keep Reyes.

It’s similar to the concept of George Steinbrenner not having any contact with the people he left in charge of the Yankees while he was suspended—off-the-record conversations happen at the dinner table; if you think Alderson and Bud Selig are only talking about the weather when they speak, then I direct you to the Mike’d Up with Mike Francesa. An entity in which we’re supposed to believe that he believes the A’s and Twins are going to jump back into contention for reasons other than he picked them!


There are the usual suspects like the Red Sox and Angels who are going to be after Reyes, but there’s a club that has the quiet capacity to get him.

They have the need; they have the prospects; they have the nerve; and they have the willingness to trade for him without demanding a window to sign him to an extension because they know they can’t do it.

The Tampa Bay Rays have it all.

Because of their top-loaded draft (10 of the first 60 picks), their farm system is busting with prospects; they can afford to surrender 3 or 4 of what they already had in their prior to the draft to get Reyes.

Reid Brignac is hitting .180 and the Rays are having trouble scoring runs to support an excellent young pitching staff; the Yankees are vulnerable in ways that no one could’ve imagined; the Wild Card (despite the aforementioned Francesa’s decree that the Yankees have it sewn up) is wide open; and they’re bold. They’d be perfectly content to trade for Reyes, have him for the last 3 months and let him leave as a free agent and take the compensatory draft picks next year.

Watch the Rays.


Shifting stories works for Billy Beane, so maybe I’ll try it too.

Last season, I endured endless ridicule for picking Jose Reyes as my NL MVP. My argument always was, “does he not have the ability to win an MVP if he’s healthy and playing up to his talents?”

Now others are pushing him as an MVP candidate for the overachieving Mets.

No one’s laughing now.

I’m ahead of the curve—sometimes to my own detriment.

It’s part of the loose cannon persona that’s inherent in my charm.


Swift And Deadly 6.7.2011

Books, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Games, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players

The MLB Draft and destruction of legendary tales.

I…I’m almost unable to speak; to fathom; to understand.

The new Mets front office was supposed to be immersed in Moneyball, objective analysis, and all the faith-based tenets.

I’m shaken to the core.

The Mets drafted…HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS; and worse, they drafted a…HIGH SCHOOL PITCHER!

Selecting high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo and high school pitcher Michael Fulmer directly contradicts that which he who appeared from the heavens to teach us the proper way to run a baseball team.

Wasn’t it Michael Lewis who wrote in the sacrosanct text of Moneyball that drafting a high school pitcher was “delightfully mad”; that it “defied reason”?

What happened?

Are they not “card-counting”? Was it a ruse?

I…I can’t believe in anything anymore. My faith has been shattered.

Leave me be. Please. I…need some time to myself.

Speaking of Moneyball, Billy Beane and “genius”…

In all seriousness, I wasn’t as sold on the Athletics before the season as others were.

Much like in 2009, there was a benefit of the doubt aspect to assessing the Athletics. Intentional or not, there is an underlying expectation of Beane figuring it out, somehow.

I had them at 84-78 and a few games out of the top spot in the AL West.

My book with said predictions is still available by the way. Click on the links in the left column.

I did provide warnings as to the fleeting nature of young pitching. Dallas Braden is already out with Tommy John surgery and Brett Anderson might need the procedure.

There’s no one to blame for that, but it’s symptomatic and proves my point that there’s no “genius”. There never was.

The A’s have lost 7 straight, demoted Kevin Kouzmanoff and manager Bob Geren doesn’t appear long for his job.

I can write the pending press conference statement for the eventual Geren firing if the “genius” likes.

“This is no reflection on Bob.”

“Everyone in the organization is at fault and the main culprit is me.”

“We feel we’ve underperformed and something needed to change.”

“We’re better than this.”

“I’m taking full responsibility for this club’s problems.”

Blah, blah, blah.

I can’t wait for the Moneyball movie; although I don’t know if 74-88 will be a selling point for the “genius” of Billy Beane.

Lenny’s new accommodations kinda fit.

Lenny Dykstra wanted to be a billionaire; he talked and spent as if he was.

People believed him until they were caught in the middle of his schemes, scams, tricks and lies.

Now he’s in jail on a whole slew of different charges from those he was arrested for last month—NY Times Story.

I doubt we’ll see Dykstra at any Mets/Phillies reunions unless it’s to hit people up for his legal defense fund.

It’s just as well.


The Tommy John Pool

Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Games, Management, Media, Players

Inspired by the draft and the deranged hyperbole surrounding it, I’m starting the PaulLebowitz.com Tommy John Pool.

The person who picks the first pitcher requiring the procedure from this year’s MLB Draft wins. Said pitcher can’t have the warning sign of a pre-existing condition to his elbow which might indicate the surgery to be likely and we’ll have to rely on the honor system.

When (not if) one of the selected pitchers (no position players) needs the surgery, you’ll be required to send me the money to distribute to the winner. And before anyone dares suggest that I’m hoping this happens, let me be clear, I don’t care one way or the other whether it happens or not. That’s honesty—the type of honesty that should say that I’m not going to muck with the results.

I’ll limit it to the first 10 rounds and $20 per person should accumulate a nice kitty for the winner. If you enter and welsh, I’m calling you out publicly faster than a crotch-shot of Anthony Weiner explodes across the internet and he issues a non-denial denial, lies, attacks, parses and eventually, kinda tells the truth.

In other words, fast.

Since some brilliant, unnamed scout compared UCLA righty Trevor Bauer to Tim Lincecum (and said he might be better—yah, that’s rational), Bauer is my pick.

Leave your selection in the form of a comment below and I’ll keep track.

Good luck.

Or bad luck.

Whichever you prefer.

Like anything else, it’s all a matter of perception and selfish interests.


Draft Daze, Haze, Malaise

Draft, Management, Media, Players

Mock drafts condense the absurdity and ineptitude of the majority of would-be “experts” making predictions as to whom’s going to go where and altering it repeatedly based on sources, rumors, “analysis” and whatever else.

The Pirates have supposedly chosen to select Gerrit Cole as their first pick. Now that’s being analyzed with some applauding it; some criticizing it; and most not having the faintest clue what they’re talking about.

Then there are the discussion as to whom the Mariners are going to take next; who comes after that; whether MLB recommended bonus slotting will come into play; blah, blah, blah.

Then what?

If these predictions come true, what happens? Is their innate knowledge validated? Or did they guess right? The majority of them have changed their predictions repeatedly based on…I dunno what.

If they’re right about something that has nothing to do with actual predictive skill in examining something like a game where it’s a matter of competition rather than people making picks based not on an act, but determination on which player is the right one to take based on dozens of factors.

This is more ego-driven than usual when it comes to beat writers and draft-watchers and would-be Mel Kiper, Jrs.

I’m waiting for someone to explain the purpose of predicting which team is going to take whom where? How does it affect the draft-watcher how much money a player receives as a bonus?

One thing I’ll give to Keith Law and a few others is that they’d actually be able to pick the players who are set to be drafted out of a police lineup. Having nothing to do with scouting ability and accuracy, at the very least, Law has gone to watch the top-tier amateur players and can base an opinion on what he’s seen—specious though it may be.

What about the following in which David Lennon of Newsday tweeted about a mock draft he participated in?

Just did mock draft with MLB Network radio. A beat writer from each team makes selection, in order. Barnes there at No. 13 for #Mets.




That’s what it means.

It’s not a prediction; it’s not analysis; it’s a bunch of people talking about nothing based on nothing.

In other words, it’s a way to fill time; a column; a blog posting; or twitter inanities.

If you partake, you’re validating it.

And that’s on you.


Viewer Mail 6.4.2011

Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Games, Management, Media, Players

Gabriel writes RE Buster Posey and Scott Cousins:

What people don’t really see is that Posey did not suffer a concussion nor a separated shoulder. He was injured because of the awkward position he assumed when trying to defend the plate. It’s a shame Buster is lost for the season, but people should not satanize Cousins because injury was not his goal.


Pookah writes in response to Gabriel and RE Brian Sabean’s comments:

Gabriel, the injury could have been way worse. Unfortunately, it would take a way worse injury for the rule to be changed.

Though Sabs (as we call him) shouldn’t have said any of that, I don’t fault him. He lost his best position player. He spoke out of frustration. The Giants have already apologized on Sabs behalf (http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110603&content_id=19988894&vkey=news_sf&c_id=sf). Maybe he’ll get fined, but I’m sure he’ll think it was well worth it.

Posey was in a bad position because he moved in front of the plate to take the somewhat errant throw.

Cousins had no way calculating where Posey was and deciding in that small window that sliding around him was the best option. He chose to run him over and Posey got hurt. It was an accident of circumstance.

As for Sabean’s comments, you can’t defend them in any way. You can read Pookah’s link and then you can read this link from SBNation in which the Giants press release is “translated”—more accurately, I say.

Sabean’s absolutely going to get fined; he was going to get (or has already gotten) a stern talking to from baseball’s Godfather, Joe Torre; and he made himself look like a whiny fool.

The “home team” radio silliness as if Sabean’s comments weren’t going to be picked up by the national media and this “emotional time” garbage is stoking the fires.

Posey was hurt in a clean play. He wasn’t killed in a drive by shooting led by a rival gang with low-level soldier Cousins pulling the trigger.


Jak writes RE the Brewers and deadline deals:

Sounds nice and all, but can you name any Brewers prospects that any team is interested in? You seem to have forgotten how much the Greinke trade emptied their whole farm system. Jose Reyes would make them unbeatable, but i will bet my life that Melvin cant pull that deal.

It’s a fair point.

But history has shown that you can’t say now what it’ll take to get a player from a dealing club. Situations and demands are fluid and change rapidly.

Reyes isn’t going anywhere unless there’s a lot coming back, but with Francisco Rodriguez or Carlos Beltran, the cost would be less; K-Rod especially could be had for a young, high-end prospect who needs to mature and simply taking on the rest of his contract.

Unbeatable is a strong word. The Mets have had Reyes for eight years and have proven to be eminently beatable.

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE the MLB Draft:

HAHAHA! Who will be drafted number one!?!? THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME LIKE A NAIL GUN TO THE TEMPLE! Two words for Pirates fans: Brad Lincoln.

Our best bet is to wait to see what Keith Law says as he continuously alters his mock draft with a greater frequency than PECOTA tries to run from their picking the Twins to win 95 games.

I fought the Law and the Law won.

Let’s not fight the Law.

Patrick writes RE Reyes and the Mets:

Reyes won’t make or break the franchise, but it will make or break the next three to four years.

Look if his price tag becomes insanely overvalued a lunatic owner looking to make a splash, like the way Boston did with Crawford and Washington did with Werth, I can’t fault the Mets for being in a thanks but no thanks mode.

However when you look at the makeup of the Mets system, the pending free agent market for 2012 and 2013, the two most direct routes to roster improvement, there is not a lot there.

Most of the Mets options for improvement are going to need to come out trades and of non-tendered guys, wise looks at other teams systems ala taking shots at guys like Pridie and Turner and roll the dice some pan out.

The trades require a deep farm system which the Mets can’t boast currently. So is it wise to lose a core asset like Reyes if you really want to be competitive.

To get Reyes, it’s a safe bet that someone will go over-the-top in a similar fashion as the Red Sox and Nationals did with Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.

For the record, I’d like the Mets to keep Reyes unless someone offers the moon for him in a trade or his demands as a free agent are in the Crawford range ($140 million).

Teams turn around their fortunes relatively quickly even after perceived “franchise-wrecking” moves were completed. The Mets can’t let sentiment and the anger and rhetorical manipulations by fans/media influence them into doing something stupid; that’s how they got into this mess in the first place.

JR writes RE the Brewers and J.J. Hardy:

Do u think the Brewers go and try to get Hardy back?

I actually thought of that.

It’s not a terrible idea. A free agent at the end of the year, Hardy’s a far superior fielder and hitter than Yuniesky Betancourt, but his offense has collapsed since the All Star beginning to his career.

The Orioles won’t do anything now, but Hardy will be available and won’t cost much.

I could see it happening.