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Gammons: The Trade Talk Begins (May 19, 2003)

Let the rumors begin to fly! This is the best part of any given baseball season.
--posted by Sam Hutcheson at 4:35 PM EDT


Discussion

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Posted 4:43 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#1) - FGP
  Why would the Mariners, who have two centerfielders in Cameron-Winn and another backup in Ichiro, be shopping for a fourth?

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#2) - Graham Parker
  There is always some advantage to be wielded and brought to bear
It's a lonely occupation keeping others out of your hair
Fingers on all the switches talk in whispers talking soft
You know all my favourite bitches you know what gets me off
But try to reach a vital part of me My interest level's dropping rapidly
It's all excuses baby all a stall I just don't get excited

I've been running round in circles and jump jump jumping out of cars
They put animals in cages specimens in jars
It's summer now there's no temptation and baby nails digging under skin
It don't give me the right sensation it's just another thing
You try to reach a vital part of me My attention span is dropping rapidly
It's all excuses baby all a stall We just don't get excited
Don't get excited No Don't get excited Don't get excited

Talk about it talk about it all night long
Think about it think about it nothing's wrong
Don't get excited Don't get excited Don't get excited
Don't get excited Don't get excited Don't get excited Don't get excited

Baby listen without thinking you better be without demands
Now don't get edgy and don't start blinking and don't start making any plans
You try to reach a vital part of me My interest level's dropping rapidly
It's all excuses baby all a stall We just don't get excited
Don't get excited No don't get excited Don't get excited

Just dont' get excited!

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#3) - Jim Seymour
  Could be, FGP, that the M's are hedging their bets in case a great offer comes along for Cameron or (more likely) they don't re-sign him this winter. If I'm Gillick, I'd be more worried about the infield, though.

Posted 4:50 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#4) - Patriot
  "Speaking of that draft, two picks the Tools Police disparaged -- Notre Dame leadoff center fielder Steve Stanley and Alabama catcher Jeremy Brown -- are not only in Double-A, but Stanley has a .417 on-base percentage. Leadoff center fielders are few and far between."

I thought that part was interesting; Gammons almost seems to be using "tools police" to mock them, although IMO Peter just likes whatever is the new trendy thing to like, be it OPS or performance analysis or whatever.

Posted 4:51 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#5) - SM in DC
  Two things...

One -- that was barely readable (particularly the Juan Cruz section...)

Two -- what lefthanded pitching do the Yankees have to deal from? Claussen? I don't know of much else

Posted 4:56 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#6) - gd
  Maybe he meant 3B? He mentions Rob Mackowiack, who plays a decent 3B but a terrible CF (not Roger Cedno bad, but not good), of all people. I'm pretty sure the Seattle pitchers would revolt if Cameron was replaced with Mackowiak. Replacing Cirillo with Mackowiak is probably not a bad idea, but I'd think the Mariners would be aiming higher than replacing their sub-marginal 3B with a marginal one. Personally, I'd invest in an MRI and a therapist for Freddy Garcia. Or maybe a motivational speaker. Where's Matt Foley when you need him?

Posted 4:58 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#7) - Matt Foley
  Do you really need me to tell you where I am? DOWN in a VAN by the RIVER!

Posted 4:59 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#8) - Chris
  It's a timewarp! I'm confused! I just got back from Minneapolis, but I thought it was only one hour off. Or is the baseball primer server located on one of those atlantic islands? :P

Posted 5:04 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#9) - Dante
  Even though I remember who had the crowbar, I'm still the biggest idiot ever!

Posted 5:13 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#10) - Greg Franklin (e-mail) (homepage)
  The Cardinals are worried about Jason Isringhausen, and are trying to find relievers, with no money.

I have a suggestion for Mr. Gammons.

Ditto the Twins.

Posted 5:23 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#11) - Joe M.
  Gammonsian math:

There are 10-12 teams that are already peeking at 2004 . . .
Of the 13-15 teams that still have their eyes on October

If I read this correctly, Peter Gammons thinks there are 25 teams in the major leagues. I know all about the Brewers and the Tigers, but we still have to count them as Major League teams, right?

And are we to believe that there are only 13-15 teams who think they have a postseason shot? Let me take a quick look:

NYY, Bos, Min, KC(?), CWS, Sea, Oak, Ana, Atl, Phil, Mon, ChC, StL, Hou, Cin, SF, LAD, Ari

That's 18. Maybe he meant "18-20" teams looking at the post season, because then if you add in the 10-12 looking to 2004, that adds up to 30 teams.

Gammons is really sloppy, isn't he?

Posted 5:26 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#12) - Ozzy the Osprey (homepage)
  ***The Cubs have used their resources to go international, both in Latin America and Asia, as evidenced by the considerable contributions of Korean rookie first baseman Hee Seop Choi. Fellow Korean right-handed pitcher Jae-kuk Ryu is 6-1 in A-ball.***

I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

Posted 5:29 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#13) - Sparkles Peterson
  10-12 teams peeking ahead, 13-15 teams with a shot at the postseason, and 5 teams who don't have the sense to start looking past next week.

Posted 5:31 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#14) - Sparkles Peterson
  I wasn't aware Joe Morgan was a regular at Primer. I certainly can't see anyone else actually believing the Reds are a postseason contender.

Posted 5:31 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#15) - Mr. Tapeworm
  He must be thinking of Mark Phillips, too. They acquired him from the Padres for Rondell White. They also have Alex Graman in AAA, who was always considered a pitching prospect (25/13 K/BB ratio with a 3.57 ERA in 40.1 IP). There's also AAA prospect Danny Borrell (2.09 ERA, 22/15 K/BB in 38.2 IP), A prospect Brad Halsey (38/9 K/BB, 3.43 ERA in 60.1 IP) and AA prospect Andy Beal (37/10, 3.46 ERA in 39 IP). Sure, most of these guys haven't pitched many games, but I suspect any one of them (save A-ball Halsey) might be trade bait.

The Yankees' system doesn't look quite as bereft of prospects as it once did. One suprise is 2B Brian Myrow -- with a 1.037 OPS (457/580) in AA. Henson still stinks, but he's been improving. His average is up to .227 and he's slugging .433. Not exciting, but maybe he'll actually make the bigs someday. His plate discipline (9 BB in 130 or so ABs) is still bad, but it does seem to be improving a bit.

Posted 5:39 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#16) - Joey B.
  I certainly can't see anyone else actually believing the Reds are a postseason contender.

Or the White Sox for that matter. Firing the hitting coach isn't going to help much.

Posted 5:43 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#17) - Sparkles Peterson
  I still haven't quite given up on the White Sox. They've still got talent and the Twins don't look like a dominant team to me. Minnesota's got a leg up on the division, but if the Sox can figure out what's going wrong before they fall back much more, they've got a shot.

I'd put Chicago's chances clearly better than the Royals' or Reds' and a little better than the Angels'.

Posted 5:44 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#18) - Andrew Jackson Gammons
  Joe M., I'm a hack, but you're really nitpicking there.

Posted 5:44 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#19) - China
  Hendry knows he needs another hitter, probably at third base, and he and everyone from Key West to Korea knows that the Marlins will move Mike Lowell and his fifth-year arbitration projections to make room for 20-year-old phenom Miguel Cabrera

Hey, no one told us. That information was hidden along with the SARS information.

Posted 5:46 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#20) - The Iraqi Minister of Information
  The Marlins will absolutely not trade Mike Lowell.

Posted 5:48 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#21) - The Postseason
  This is the best part of any given baseball season.

Hahahahaha! Good one!

Posted 6:02 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#22) - Vlad
  "The Mariners are looking for a center fielder (Rob Mackowiak?)"

Please, please let this be true.

Posted 6:27 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#23) - Dingbat Charlie
  does Pudge have a no-trade? you know why I ask..

FREE RAMON CASTRO.

Posted 6:28 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#24) - Celadus
  I think you're missing the point here. Gammons has come up with a devilishly clever strategy, perhaps inspired by the Texas Rangers: bolster what you're good at and ignore what you're bad at.

For example, maybe the Mariners can get Piazza to back up Edgar, a middle reliever to accompany Hasegawa, and Stand Pat will be peeling their eyes for a second baseman to boot.
Forget about closers or third basemen. Any other position that is demonstrably or potentially weak should be ignored.

The Rangers just swept the Yankees didn't they? Works for them.

Posted 6:29 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#25) - Celadus
  I think you're missing the point here. Gammons has come up with a devilishly clever strategy, perhaps inspired by the Texas Rangers: bolster what you're good at and ignore what you're bad at.

For example, maybe the Mariners can get Piazza to back up Edgar, a middle reliever to accompany Hasegawa, and Stand Pat might well be peeling his eyes for a second baseman to boot. Forget about closers and third basemen. Any position that is demonstrably or potentially weak should be ignored.

The Rangers just swept the Yankees didn't they? Works for them.

Posted 6:31 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#26) - Sam Hutcheson
  Posted 5:48 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#21) - The Postseason

":This is the best part of any given baseball season.: Hahahahaha! Good one!"

What about "post" don't you understand?

Posted 6:33 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#27) - SM in DC
  I thought the best part of the baseball season was the All-Star Game, which is even better now because all those spoiled players have to play for something now -- home field advantage in that sill World Series.

Posted 6:37 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#28) - Pete DuBois
  "I wasn't aware Joe Morgan was a regular at Primer. I certainly can't see anyone else actually believing the Reds are a postseason contender."

Contender to get in? Absolutely. I don't see more than a 4 or 5 game difference between the top 4 teams - all seem to be tending towards .500.

Contender to make some noise in the post-season? Only if they can trade Dempster for Pedro, find someone (anyone) to play SS every day, and fire BaBoone.

Posted 6:38 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#29) - Pete DuBois
  That should be "top 4 teams in their division".

Posted 6:41 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#30) - SH
  I don't get post #10....

There are 10-12 teams that are already peeking at 2004 . . .
Of the 13-15 teams that still have their eyes on October

Plus the Yankees and A's, who are arrogantly taking October for granted. Plus the Tigers and Indians, who are already looking forward to 2005 or later. Plus the Brewers, who have their hands over their eyes. That makes 30.

Posted 7:01 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#31) - Walt Davis
  does Pudge have a no-trade?

Yes, but generally all a no-trade means is that the team trading for him has to pay him a little extra to waive the no trade clause.

Posted 7:27 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#32) - Dave Sund (e-mail)
  Cirillo plays an excellent 3B, and is above replacement level with the bat right now. Aside from his awful slump to begin the season, he's been hitting very well.

"The Mariners are closely monitoring Kaz Sasaki, who is not throwing close to normal velocity with his usual split since coming off rehab."

It's not so much this, but the implication in the opening paragraph that really gets me. The Mariners don't need a closer, and, even if they did, they have about a dozen guys in the minors who could come in and do an adequate job as Rhodes and Nelson moved up in the bullpen. In other words: Seattle is not going to be trading FOR relievers!! And the implication that San Francisco needs a closer...

"The Mariners are looking for a center fielder (Rob Mackowiak?),"

This is downright idiotic. Mackowiak is not an improvement on ANYONE defensively for the Mariners, ESPECIALLY in CF.

"and while Chuck Finley would love to sign there after the June draft expiration of draft-choice compensation, they don't have a starter to move out of the rotation."

Apparently Mr. Gammons hasn't seen Freddy pitch lately...

Posted 8:06 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#33) - Shane
  Sean Henn is another Yankee lefty, a 2001 draft and follow guy, who had the Tommy John a while back, and is now pitching again.

Posted 8:24 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#34) - Jonathan
  The Mariners are looking for a center fielder (Rob Mackowiak?)...

... for the Tacoma Rainiers.

Really and truly... other the fact that their old, the Mariners don't have obvious holes to fill.

They could upgrade at 3B or SS, but at their (self-imposed) budget limitations won't improve by much over the adequate players they have there. Randy Winn has done a better job in LF than I would have guessed thus far.

Ryan Franklin's arguably the best #5 pitcher in the majors right now (or is it Meche?).

The M's need power and a dominant starter (Freddy circa 2001) in order to have real world series aspirations, but it's not clear where you'd put those pieces nor how you'd afford them.

Posted 8:29 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#35) - Peter Gammons (homepage)
  Gammons is really sloppy, isn't he?

Why should I explain to you what makes me such a great writer? Did Pablo Picasso bother to explain Les Desmoiselle D'Avignon to a Norman Rockwell? Did Alfred Jarry stoop to the level of an Emily Post to explain to her the finer points of his Ubu plays? Of course not! But I will now do what those great masters never did, and provide each of you with the key to understand my art. Understand that I do so out of no great concern for any of you: I could care less about what you do or do not know about how I make one of my masterpieces (of which this linked article is a preeminent example.) Rather, to borrow a phrase of contemporary vulgar slang, I am "slumming" it today simply for my own amusement.

First, understand that my articles cannot be properly considered "journalism" or even "prose." It is "word art." In my greatest works, I have deconstructed what we commonly think of as a "sentence" or "grammar" or "syntax." In so doing, I have not only problematized our understanding of these "western" concepts, I have also undermined the idea of the "story" in which a writer or speaker explains a series of events in a way that could be considered interesting, or amusing, or entertaining, or enlightening. I am not concerned with what "interests" or "amuses" or "enlightens" you. I am only interested in the transcendent. That is my mistress.

To my mind, the story, or plot, as it has been understood for centuries beginning with Aristotle, is nothing more than an obscene monument to the male orgasm. You have an introduction, a "rising action" a "climax," a "falling action," and then a denouement. There is no doubt that the male orgasm has its uses: it is speedy, efficient, and predictable. I find that Michael Lewis, one author who has been discussed on this site recently, is very good at telling stories that closely replicate the male orgasm. His "Moneyball" is not so much a portrait of Billy Beane the general manager as it is the umpteenth monument that Western writers have erected (pardon the pun) to the male orgasm. (And oh, if only Billy could know that in the Shakespearean tragedy that is his life, he's already entered the fourth act! The main rivals have already been assassinated, but the overzealous King has just had the temerity and indiscretion to brag of his crimes to an aide, who will betray him. Billy, you are in command now, but the spurned Richmond waits outside the castle gates even as we speak! Ah, but that is for the future. I digress...) This may suit Lewis, but the male orgasm has been done in literature. We've had our Shakespeares, our Dickens, our F. Scott Fitzgeralds.

I am after something more elusive...in my writing, I seek to emulate the female orgasm, with all its false starts, interminable delays, incoherencies, and surprise endings. This is why sometimes what I write "doesn't make any sense" or is "hard to follow." I am not interested in "making sense." I care only for the female orgasm! If what I write seems confusing or irrational, all the better!

Also, my articles should never be called "articles." They are performance pieces that should be performed aloud in a small, intimate gathering. When reading a work by Peter Gammons, it is important that the audience participate, to create a sort of "call-and-response" rhythm that is most often found in this continent's folk religions. Allow me to excerpt my own work as an example of how one of my masterpieces should be performed. In this week's article, I write:

April promises have wilted into May reality, blind faith to kinds of baseball agnosticism. There are 10-12 teams that are already peeking at 2004, and those that hold pitching know The Boss is screaming for middle relief, the Red Sox have been shopping for the same -- as well as a starter -- for nearly two months, and the Cardinals and Reds want to repair their pitching, preferably before Memorial Day.

I imagine that most of you are the type of people who have to move their lips while you read, so I am sure you find this passage, at best, clunky and inarticulate. But that is a "western" way of reading words, where you expect them to fall neatly into little packages that are easy to understand and explain. I prefer a non-Western approach to writing. The opening words of this paragraph should be performed in the following manner:

Speaker: April promises have wilted into May reality...

Audience: ...LIGHT LEAVES ARE FLYING! (stomp feet on floor in unison three times)

Speaker: ....blind faith to kinds of baseball agnosticism....

Audience: ...EVERYWHERE IN GREAT NUMBERS TURKEYS WILL BE DYING! (stomp feet on floor in unison two times)

Speaker: ...(growing angrier) There are 10-12 teams that are already peeking at 2004...

Audience: ...THEY TOOK AWAY HIS CROTCH! (stomp feet on floor in unison one time)

Speaker: ...(shouting and gesturing angrily) those that hold pitching know The Boss is screaming for middle relief...

Audience: ...TRAITOR! (audience pelts speaker with cabbage)

That's the general idea. The rhythm of this work is not like Beethoven's violin concerto in D, swift and easy and graceful, but more like the frenetic stops and starts, the angry energy and bursting noise of John Coltrane's "Ascension." And, like that great Negro bluesman, I also have rejected the Western tradition, but yet am pulled back to it, in the sense that we are all slaves to the things we reject. Oh, sorrow! I can't go on...

Posted 10:10 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#36) - Sam Hutcheson
  Posted 8:29 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#35) - (I'm not) Peter Gammons

::

Is it even necessary to nominate that for a Primey?

Posted 10:41 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#37) - Greg Franklin (e-mail) (homepage)
  Sam, only necessary if there isn't any plagiarism going on. Part of Peter's audience libretto comes from a John Berryman poem.

And if there isn't, it all becomes perfectly clear. He is The One.

Posted 10:46 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#38) - Henry
  First, i'd like the start the post with A typo I found

"A.J. Burnett(next year's Jon Leiber)"

And, Chuck Finley should sign with the Astros.

Posted 10:47 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#39) - Henry
  First, i'd like the start the post with A typo I found

"A.J. Burnett(next year's Jon Leiber)"

And, Chuck Finley should sign with the Astros.

Posted 10:55 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#40) - The author of post #35
  Very good catch on the Berryman. I don't consider it plagiarism, because I used it as an intentional allusion, and so I'm glad that someone was sharp enough to catch it.

Posted 11:08 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#41) - Greg Franklin (e-mail) (homepage)
  Well, it was just a quick Google search to double-check that Peter's oration had not been lifted wholesale from another page.

In that case, I strongly second the Primey nomination for #35. I'll never read his pieces the same way again!

Posted 11:13 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#42) - Jim Furtado
  Does our faux Gammons work at the Times?

Posted 11:38 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#43) - Greg Walker
  Does Gammons mean that the Cubs were "lovable losers"? I don't think that "loveable Cubs" is such a bad thing.

Posted 11:47 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#44) - Kyle Lohse
  Ryan Franklin's arguably the best #5 pitcher in the majors right now

Hello?

Posted 12:08 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#45) - Jonathan
  + Ryan Franklin's arguably the best #5 pitcher in the majors right now

Hello? +

Hey, I didn't say "actually"

Ryan Franklin 50.1 3.58
Kyle Lohse 3.22

Yeah. I'd rather have Lohse too, especially with the upside potential

Johan Santana's definitely the best #6

Posted 12:29 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#46) - Vlad
  "Johan Santana's definitely the best #6"

I think you could make a case for Juan Cruz or Octavio Dotel.

Posted 12:42 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#47) - Kyle Lohse
  Franklin: 20 K, 14 BB, 1.29 WHIP in 50.1
Me: 44 K, 15 BB, 1.09 WHIP in 58.2

That's not much of an argument.

Posted 1:38 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#48) - Michael
  If you add Ana to the list of team with post season chances you ought to add the Jays. They are 5.5 back of their division lead and 4.5 back of the WC. Ana is 6.6 back of their division lead and 5 back of the WC. They have both played tougher than average schedules to date (very slight edge Ana).

All told there are 21 teams within 7.5 games of the playoffs. I think all of those teams could be legitimately considered still "in it" even if several (like the Jays) are planning for future years and aren't planning on trading to improve this year. That means there should be 9 teams focused a lot at next year. The teams that maybe starting to peak are the 5 teams between 5 and 7.5 back of the playoffs. Then there are 8 teams less than 5 games back of a playoff spot and 8 teams currently in a playoff spot. The teams are:

out of it:
Bal, TB, Cle, Det, Tex, NYM, Flo, Mil, SD.
starting to peak at next year due to too far back:
CWS, Ana, Pit, Col, Ari.
8 bubble teams:
Tor, KC, Oak, Phi, StL, Hou, Cin, LA.
8 playoff teams:
NYY, Bos, Min, Sea, Atl, Mon, CHC, SF.

So if you count the out of it plus what I call the peaking teams you get the 14 furthest out teams including Ana and Ari that many people think are real contenders.

Posted 2:20 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#49) - Dave Sund (e-mail)
  Ryan Franklin is the #4 pitcher in the Mariners rotation, nominally.

So, in actuality, Gil Meche is the best #5 starter in the majors.

Unfortunately for the Mariners, Freddy Garcia is arguably the worst #1 starter.

Posted 2:24 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#50) - BJ Birdy
  Gammons is convinced Escobar, Stewart and Lidle are all going to be traded. But with the Jays getting hot, is that necessarily going to be so? Not that I entirely expect the Jays to keep winning, but let's say they stay around five back of the wild card--does JP trade Lidle or Stewart when he has a reasonable shot at the playoffs this year? Sure the plan is 2005, but the Jays could really use the buzz of a playoff run. They're just not drawing. Right now the 500 level is just me and this fat annoying **** yelling "swing!" whenever the batter has two strikes...

Posted 2:30 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#51) - Peter Gammons
  How was I so good...and then so bad?

Posted 2:42 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#52) - Shredder
  Right now the 500 level is just me and this fat annoying **** yelling "swing!" whenever the batter has two strikes...

Hilarious. Although I can't say we had too many more than that tonight at the Cell.

Posted 3:01 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#53) - Dave Sund (e-mail)
  Escobar's going to be traded.

Posted 7:52 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#54) - Joel Pineiro
  Freddy lost that #1 position last July-September. I'm numero uno now.

Posted 10:38 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#55) - Jamie Moyer
  Ahem.

Pipe down, junior.

Posted 10:46 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#56) - Vic
  "starting to peak at next year due to too far back:
CWS, Ana, Pit, Col, Ari.
8 bubble teams:
Tor, KC, Oak, Phi, StL, Hou, Cin, LA."

You'll have to explain this one a little better. Toronto is 5.5 back of the Yankees and Red Sox. The White Sox are 5.5 back of the Twins and Royals. Colorado is 6 back of the Giants and Dodgers, and the D-Backs are only half a game behind them. Anaheim is 6.5 back of the A's and Seattle.

I'm guessing you're a Blue Jays fan.

Posted 10:52 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#57) - The Royals and Twins
  The Blue Jays will only make a playoff run if they keep playing us.

Posted 11:19 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#58) - Matthew Elmslie
  Gammons is convinced Escobar, Stewart and Lidle are all going to be traded. But with the Jays getting hot, is that necessarily going to be so?

I don't think it's necessarily so whether the Jays get hot or stay hot or not. There's no pressure on the Jays to lower their payroll at the moment. All three of those guys are helping the team perform respectably this year, and there's value in that whether they're in the race or not. And, to the best of my current understanding, there'll be draft pick compensation if/when they leave as free agents at the end of the year.

So I think the largest determining factor in whether these three guys get traded is the quality of the trade offer. Ricciardi is in the driver's seat; I imagine he'd be quite happy to hang on to all three of them unless someone gives him a good reason not to.

Posted 11:22 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#59) - Fiver
  "Peter", that post was sheer comedic genius. I can't express how impressed I am. If only the real Gammons had that level of writing ability and/or well-developed humor.

Posted 11:30 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#60) - Michael
  I am a Jays fan and realize they aren't going to make the playoffs most likely. But the Jays are 4.5 games back of the Red Sox not 5.5. And the Red Sox are the wild card. Hence they are within 5 of the playoffs. I divided the teams into currently in a playoff spot (including wild card), less than 5 games from a playoff spot (including wild card), between 5 and 7 of a playoff spot (including wild card), and 7.5 and more games back of the playoffs (including wild card).

Posted 11:45 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#61) - St. Philly
  #32--In what universe is Jeff Cirillo above (or even near) replacement level with the bat. Some think he fell off the cliff when he came to Seattle. He just moved from the cliff (Colorado). His Road OPS the last 4 years--.628, .710, .690, .757 (this season)
His Home OPS--1.079, .975 (both in Colorado), .560, .532 (in Seattle)

Cirillo's only shot now of being replacement level is if he could somehow bat atop the space needle.

Posted 11:52 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#62) - Treasury Secretary John Snow
  Actually the Jays have had their payroll drop already, thanks the sudden revaluation of the Canadian Loonie. In fact they could be in a position where they might be able to add payroll. Get this team a functioning rotation and they could contend. Myers won't keep hitting but the rest of the team will.

Posted 12:26 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#63) - Vic
  Michael,

It's not about whether or not the Jays will make the playoffs. It's that you made a list, one which was labeled (essentially) "should consider looking at next year", when in reality, the White Sox and Blue Jays could flip lists by this time tomorrow.

Posted 12:28 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#64) - Dave Till
  Gammons is convinced Escobar, Stewart and Lidle are all going to be traded. But with the Jays getting hot, is that necessarily going to be so?

Stewart will go; the Jays have three top outfield prospects in AA(Gross, Rios and Griffin), and one in AAA (Werth). The question is whether they re-sign Catalanotto after this year.

The Jays will probably want a lot for Lidle, but will trade him; they won't want to pay $28 million for four years, which is probably what it will cost to re-sign him.

Escobar has no trade value at the moment, after a spectacular April meltdown. The Jays are trying him as a starter; he's still got a tremendous arm, and they need starting pitching, so they won't give up on him just yet.

Actually the Jays have had their payroll drop already, thanks the sudden revaluation of the Canadian Loonie.

The loonie will go back down again - the current reevaluation is just currency speculators going nuts.

Get this team a functioning rotation and they could contend.

Alas, there aren't any teams lining up to donate pitchers to the Jays.

Posted 1:02 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#65) - Rod Beck
  Posted 4:58 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#7) - Matt Foley
Do you really need me to tell you where I am? DOWN in a VAN by the RIVER!

Hey, me too!

Give me your digits, we'll do lunch.

Posted 1:03 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#66) - Michael Lewis
  I love Billy Beane sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!

Posted 1:05 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#67) - Ace and Diamond
  Hey BJ you were fired years ago buddy....as for that fat guy,well yeah he is still there.

Posted 1:17 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#68) - Treasury Sec John Snow
  If the Loonie gets to 85-90cents/USD then the speculators will have gone nuts, but it's going to 80c/USD because the US wants it to. It's not a complete windfall for the Blue Jays because the revenue they get from MLTV agreements is US Dollars, but local revenue for Toronto has become much more valuable than they could have expected 5 months ago.

Posted 1:19 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#69) - John Snow again
  Oh yeah, the starting pitching? Well, I can't help you there. But hey the Phils got Millwood for Estrada. Funny things happen when you can take on salary.

Posted 1:20 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#70) - Russ S
  Posted 2:30 a.m., May 20, 2003 (#51) - Peter Gammons
How was I so good...and then so bad?

Honestly Peter, it's not you, it's us. When there was nowhere else to read about baseball, relative to the detris that counted for baseball writing (USA Today? Rick Reilly?), you *were* good. With the advent of the web-based (and initially, newsgroup-based) communication, two things happened:

(1) Smart people with other jobs began talking about sports. It may be your job to write about baseball, but they're just smarter than you are. They're better able to string together ideas and better able to make convincing arguments. They're also not constrained by having to write for a general public audience, instead they can write for people who know baseball inside and out. It makes a big difference in article quality.

(2) Not only did the smart people start writing about baseball, they also started talking *to* each other. Peter, you write *at* your audience... you sometimes engage in faux conversations with your audience, but you don't actually listen very hard when they talk back. One perfect example of the power of breaking through the communication wall was Voros' DIPS research. The idea had been mentioned before by some, alluded to by others, but Voros made the DIPS idea convincing AND he made an argument to smart people. He gave examples and counterexamples, he fielded most everyone's opinions and arguments with grace and level-headedness. Everyone else listened to what he said, thought about it, did some work, and compared notes. How could something like that ever be achieved in the journalistic domain?

Peter, your columns are journalistic pieces of work. Sites like Primer and Prospectus aren't examples of journalism, they're examples of research. And for some of us, we prefer the more research-oriented material. No offense... we're sure you'll find someone else. You're a good guy, after all.

Posted 1:43 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#71) - John M. Perkins
  Steve Stanley may be short and a OBP guy, therefore not liked by some scouts, yet many tools police would have noticed that the fast Stanley was the CF selection for the Easton All-Defense NCAA Division I team, and is considered to be currently a better better defender than Terrence Long. (I have not read a Singleton comparison.) I see a lot of Jason Tyner in Steve Stanley. Tyner was picked much higher by the tools oriented Mets than Stanley was by the A's.

BTW, the top defensive collegiate catcher in 2002? Jeremy Brown.

It's not all OBP.

Posted 2:19 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#72) - Ruppert Jones
  In what universe is Jeff Cirillo above (or even near) replacement level with the bat. Some think he fell off the cliff when he came to Seattle

In the universe of the last month plus, since he broke out of his season-opening slump.

Since April 12, a span of 89 at bats and 28 games (yes I know, small sample size):

BA .303
OBP .374
SLG .416
OPS .790
BB 9
K 10

I would say that's better than replacement level. It certainly lessens the pressure to look for a 3B, or at least means you can wait and see how he does over the next few weeks before you make a move.

Posted 2:36 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#73) - Rectorium
  "yes I know, small sample size"

So, it's meaningless.

Posted 2:37 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#74) - Ruppert Jones
  No, not meaningless. Less meaningful.

Posted 2:40 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#75) - Rob H
  If the Loonie gets to 85-90cents/USD then the speculators will have gone nuts, but it's going to 80c/USD because the US wants it to.

Do the Blue Jays spend any time following the futures market?

Posted 3:01 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#76) - Jonathan
  Like any large business, the Jays may have hedged all their future obligatiosn, in which case the change in the value of the loonie will have no effect for 2003

Posted 3:52 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#77) - Vinay Kumar
  Oh my god, #35 is so awesome. We should just close the Primey nominations now.

Read it once. Then, if you didn't do this the first time, imagine Gammons's face and voice reading that aloud.

Posted 3:56 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#78) - Jon Koltz
  Yeah, #35 pretty much seals it.

...of course, what would be even more awesome is if there was some way of getting ESPN.com to post it on their site. But somehow I doubt that's going to happen.

Posted 4:54 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#79) - Fiver
  imagine Gammons's face and voice reading that aloud

Now imagine a drunk and slightly belligerent Gammons reading it aloud in his best pedantic New Englander voice. That's high comedy.

Posted 7:37 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#80) - trevise
  Since April 12, a span of 89 at bats and 28 games (yes I know, small sample size):
   BA .303; OBP .374; SLG .416; OPS .790; BB 9; K 10

Ruppert,

Although you did mention the "sample size caveat" you did forget the context (caveat):

AB   AVE   OBP   SLG   OPS
37   .378   .465   .541   1.006 - road
52   .250   .303   .327   .630 - home

And it's even worse if you take out his "breakout" game
48   .188   .235   .250   .485 - remove Apr 12th game

Any offensive "improvement" for Cirillo is strictly a road phenomenon. Maybe the M's should have a 3B home/road platoon. Paging Mr. "Freakin" Mabry... ;-) ...

------------
trevise :-) ...

Posted 7:40 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#81) - John Berryman
 
Posted 1:02 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#65) - Rod Beck
Posted 4:58 p.m., May 19, 2003 (#7) - Matt Foley
Do you really need me to tell you where I am? DOWN in a VAN by
the RIVER!

Hey, me too!

Give me your digits, we'll do lunch.

Everywhere in enormous numbers turkeys will be dying.

Posted 7:54 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#82) - Kurt
  Read it once. Then, if you didn't do this the first time, imagine Gammons's face and voice reading that aloud.

For some reason whenever I read the "Joe Morgan" posts on this site (which are generally very funny), I always "hear" his voice saying the words. He's the only one, for some reason.

Posted 8:30 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#83) - BJ Birdy
  --Posted 1:05 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#67) - Ace and Diamond
"Hey BJ you were fired years ago buddy...."--

USURPER!

Posted 8:40 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#84) - Randal
  Hey wait. Are you the biggest idiot ever?

Posted 8:45 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#85) - Dave Sund (e-mail) (homepage)
  Apparently some of you people need to pay attention!!

Look at the link above! Jeff Cirillo is currently 1.2 RARP. By definition, that is above replacement level...

Posted 8:57 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#86) - Jimbo Jones
  For what it's worth, Bpro had Cirillo at about one run above replacement level (as a hitter) last year as well.

Posted 9:24 p.m., May 20, 2003 (#87) - Boingo
  No matter what moves Ricciardi is able to make, none will be as impressive as the fact that he "drove through a tornado", a feat I think ( and I watch The Discovery Channel) is pretty near impossible ( at least without mussing your hair).

Posted 1:00 a.m., May 21, 2003 (#88) - Carlos Zambrano
  Hey... I'm a #5 starter too, no matter how much better than Estes I am.


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