And the Award Goes to…

I believe itís mandatory that if you write for a baseball blog that you have to partake in some sort of postseason awards shenanigans. So hereís one manís take on the 2006 season. Managers of the Year (or manager of a team that most people thought would suck) I think we all know that this award means nothing. Whichever club had the most surprising season will have itís manager honored despite little knowledge of what happened behind the scenes. So I imagine Joe Girardi and Jim Leyland will win running away and I donít necessarily think those are bad choices. Personally, I take a look at whichever team had to endure the most disruptions during the course of the season. A manager who couldnít just put it in cruise control because everyone stayed healthy and productive, who actually had to make some tough decisions over the season. In the NL that still pretty much just leaves Joe Girardi with the Phillies Charlie Manuel sneaking in for a peek. Phils GM Pat Gillick went into sell mode around the deadline coughing up Bobby Abreu, David Bell and Rheal Cormier without getting any real major league talent in return. Then Aaron Rowand hit the DL in mid-August and the only pickup was a waiver wire deal to get the carcass of Jamie Moyer. The Phils though stayed in the playoff hunt pretty much until the end when they could have easily folded the tent. Joe Girardi though is the clear winner here. Brought in believing heíd have a little more experience than a full roster of rookies, he kept the team focused throughout the year as they flirted with the Wild Card for most of the season. There were obviously some rough patches and you can't attribute all the Marlins success to Girardi, but on the other hand you really canít underestimate the job Girardi did either. In the AL, itís a three man race between Jim Leyland, Ron Gardenhire and (Gasp) Ken Macha. Yeah, I said it. Sure, everyone will vote Leyland, but his pitching staff pretty much stayed healthy all year and he had the audacity to bat Neifi Perez 2nd a few times. The players may not have liked Macha, but they lost Harden and Crosby for good parts of the year and Eric Chavez was never right, throw in a lot of underperforming players the first half and keeping Milton Bradley from killing anyone and I donít think heís all that bad. Ron Gardenhire though prevailed through injuries to Radke, Stewart and Liriano, a horrid start to the season and a the likes of Rondell White and Tony Batista on the roster, not to mention a fairly young team. Plus they ended up winning the division which definitely gives him the nod over Leyland. Rookie of the Year In the AL, it looked like a three horse race between Papelbon, Verlander and Liriano early in the season, but injuries knocked two of those horses to the sidelines and one of them possibly to the glue factory. Justin Verlander didnít do much the last few months but at least he did something. Jered Weaver should also gets some votes. In the NL, itís between a pair of Florida rookies, Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla with Luke Scott and Clay Hensley deserving mentions as well. But Hanley Ramirez out- OPSíed Uggla and plays the more important defensive position along with some gaudy stolen base totals. Cy Young I usually just move right past the mostly meaningless win/loss records and onto ERA, strikeouts, quality starts and then some advance metrics that take into park factors. Thereís little point in examining the AL race though, Johan Santana should win unanimously. But letís take a look at just how much better he was than the last few unanimous AL winners, including himself in 2004. ERA+, VORP Santana (2006) ñ 161, 79.6 Santana (2004) ñ 182, 89.9 Pedro (2000) - 285, 116.7 Pedro (1999) ñ 245, 102.3 Not quite Pedro territory yet for Johan. The NL is a three man race between Brandon Webb, Roy Oswalt and Chris Carpenter. Our own Z had that nice win-loss record with a few moments of brilliance, but far too many walks and far too much run support to be taken seriously. Letís size the candidates up: &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp(ERA, ERA+, K/BB, QS, Run Support, VORP, FIP) Webb: &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp(3.10, 154, 3.56, 23, 5.40, 68,4, 3.20) Oswalt &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp(2.98, 141, 4.37, 25, 5.22, 72.4, 3.32) Carpenter: (3.09, 143, 4.28, 19, 5.40, 67.8, 3.47) Itís a close one but Iíd have to give it to Roy Oswalt. Surprisingly his park seemed to help him out the least, but he seemed to have the most quality outings with the least amount of run support. Although I donít think you could go wrong with Brandon Webb as your choice either. MVP The NL and AL races are actually quite intriguing although I imagine Pujols will win rather handily in the NL. My vote in August would have gone to Carlos Beltran but he basically took the last month off to rest up on some injuries once the Mets clinched. I donít put a lot of merit into a teamís win loss record like some do, on the other hand, a player on a bad team has to be considerably better than everyone else to get the award. And the Nominees in the NL
NameRuns CreatedGPAWin SharesVORPWARP1OPSOPS+HRRBIRuns
Pujols150.3653985.411.9110215849136119
Berkman142 .344 34 70.19.0104116145136 95
Cabrera141.3543478.710.099815926114112
Howard138.3483181.58.6108417058149104
Beltran125 .33038 68.510.4 98215341116127
Something is telling me that BR.comís ERA+ and OPS+ numbers are a bit off when Howard shows up at the top of the OPS+ numbers. One more number to throw in there, something from Baseball Prospectus called OBI% or the amount of ìotherî baserunners batted in, basically measuring how well a player did with runners on base, a sort of "clutch" measure if you will. Cabrera: .215 Berkman: .214 Pujols: .206 Beltran: .201 Howard: .179 The first four guys there are the top 4 in the NL, Howard though finished 15th. My vote goes to Albert Pujols and it should be unanimous, but I imagine Howardís gaudy HR marks and inflated RBI numbers will garnish him a few first place votes. Who says you donít need players getting on base in front of you? And the Nominees in the AL
NameRuns CreatedGPAWin SharesVORPWARP1OPS OPS+HRRBIRuns
Jeter138 .317 3380.5 9.8 9001381497118
Mauer 106.3203166.98.9936144138486
Morneau 121.309 2752.07.393414034 130 97
Ortiz127.3372976.87.9 1049 16454137 115
Thomas96.3112241.34.7 926141 3911477
Once again, the OBI% for the top candidates: Morneau: .205 (1st) Jeter: .187 (8th) Thomas: .183 (9th) Mauer: .179 (11th) Ortiz: .171 (18th) First, we can just scratch Frank Thomas from the list no matter how much he carried the team down the stretch, the breath of his work is lacking. Grady Sizemore and Manny Ramirez should deserve mention as well. But as much as it saddens me to say, Derek Jeter had the best season in the AL. He was too good offensively at too important a defensive position to pass over, even if that defense isnít Gold Glove worthy and he plays on a traveling All-Star team.
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Comments

I guess Olney is saying that Schmidt is plan B for the Yanks if they lose out on Matsuzaka and the West Coast bias for Schmidt is innaccurate, at least according to his agent.

Did anyone catch this?

Lee Elia, who has worked as a coach under Lou Piniella in Seattle and Tampa Bay, may be joining the Cubs as a scout and working mostly from his Florida home, but also showing up in Mesa, Ariz., at spring training. Elia served as the Cubs' manager in the early '80s.

Thanks, I heard Elia quit the O's and that he wanted a scouting or player development job. Guess he got it with the Cubs...

Welcome back c***sucker!!!

Oh and the AL MVP should be Morneau. No one was more important to his team during the season than him. If Jeter gets injured the Yanks still roll on without skipping a beat. They still got Abreu, Giambi, Damon, A-rod, Posada, and thats after the injuries to Matsui and Sheff.

Jeter doesn't win on being the single best player, and Jeter doesn't win on value to his team depending on how you define the MVP.

If he can't win either of those arguments then he isnt a serious MVP candidate. But since no baseball is played outside of Boston and NYY, he will probably win in a landslide. If he played anywhere else Jeter's name wouldn't even be up for consideration.

Completely untrue Mike on the East Coast bias on this one, did you even look at the numbers?

Mauer and Santana were better than Morneau anyway on his own team.

Jeter hit .343.....big deal. He gets crushed in HR's and RBI's by the rest of the crowd.

Mauer is a better choice than Jeter because he did it from the catchers position.

Hell Santana is a better choice as the rare Cy Young/MVP winner than Jeter.

Everyone else crushes Jeter in importance to their team and raw stats.

It is really a joke to hear Jeter for MVP. Wait Freddy Sanchez hit .344. He should be MVP in the NL. He didn't have the support of a bunch of all-stars knocking him home, but he hit as well as Jeter considering his supporting cast. So yeah if Jeter wins the MVP, Freddy Sanchez should also.

Like i said his numbers are not the best in the league and you can't even say Jeter is valuable to his team if he isn't there. He isn't a serious MVP candidate and the only reason he is, is because he plays for the Yankees.

I'm sure Jeter will win the AL MVP, but it will really be a shame if he does. Mauer outshines him in every meaningful way I can think of in determining an MVP.

I think Santana hands down should be the AL MVP. It won't happen, but if leading the league in Wins, Ks, ERA, and Innings pitched aren't enough for a pitcher to get MVP consideration, I don't know what is. Not to mention, Santana is the only one of the legitamate candidates whose team would have been truely sunk without him. The Bo Sox fell apart with Manny playing, The Yanks would have still won without Jeter, even the Twins might have stayed in the race without Mauer or Morneau, but they would not have had a prayer without Santana on the mound every 5th day.

Derek Jeter plays the toughest position on the field and is the heart and sole of the Yanks. IMO, he has the hardest, most pressure packed job in all of sports yet he shines. I have no problem with him winning the MVP and I think he is everything that the MVP is all about.

CHAD:

Look at all those fancy statistics!

I couldn't be more shocked over the reaction to Jeter. It's sad people can't get over their NY bias/hatred to see the season that he had.

I posted traditional numbers along with some newer advanced metrics. The two numbers that attempt to quantify the importance of his defense show him to be the best player (WARP And Win Shares). If Mauer happened to win it, I'd probably be okay with that, but alas catchers just sit too much over the course of a season.

Traveling All-Star Team or not, none of the other guys on Jeter's team swing the bat for him or field the grounders for him. His defense is nothing more than average, but it's at SS which along with CF and C are the most important defensive positions on a team and he hit like a decent corner OF.

RBI argument is a joke, Jeter is a #2 hitter and his ability to drive in runs this year was as good as anybody.

Good Article Rob. Too bad many (or any) writers can't look beyond HR and RBI's and W/L record.

Its kind of funny how one of the few times the "numbers guys" say Jeter is the MVP there is an outcry from the other side that he isn't even close.

BTW Chad, SS is not the toughest position. Catcher is. But then again I'm not an expert at Chadball, so I might be wrong

Catcher is the toughest position, brutal on those knees. I'd say shortstop is the most important though. Teams don't run as much these days and the defensive catcher is not as important as it once was.

Just my opinion...

It's a pretty simple concept Vince. Firstly you bring in a juiced up fraud from the Dominican for RF, trade away a HOFer innings eater for a slick fielding SS with a sub .300 ob who makes roughly 5 mill a year. Overpay for any other FAs with sub .350 ob cuz those guys who walk clog bases.

I will give you that it may not be as important as it used to be, but I am still in the camp of the catcher is the most important position(this coming from a former SS back in the day). There is a reason why guys like Ausmus and Matheny stay in the lineup as often as they do. If they played SS (assuming average defense), their offense is unacceptable. At catcher, although its getting past that point, is ok, because you can accept such low production from catcher because it is such a difficult position.

I guess today is the day ex-Cubs get hired for coaching gigs..

Glenallen Hill is the 1b coach of the Rockies

and I mentioned earlier that Dick Pole is the new Reds Pitching Coach

I couldn't be more shocked over the reaction to Jeter. It's sad people can't get over their NY bias/hatred to see the season that he had.

Jeter had a nice year, I just don't see anything that Jeter did that you can't say that Mauer did just as well if not better.

Mauer had the better batting average and OPS, played outstanding defense at a position at a very demanding defensive position, and was just as much of a team leader as Jeter - doing a wonderful just with a very young pitching staff.

As far as the "catchers sit too much," up until about September, Mauer was DHing on most of his days off. He wound up playing in 140 games, just 14 fewer games than Jeter.

"BTW Chad, SS is not the toughest position. Catcher is. But then again I'm not an expert at Chadball, so I might be wrong"

You are wrong. Wrong in the sense that you claim to have some fact that catcher is truly harder to field. I would say IN YOUR OPINION. I say that as I'll bet you if you asked major league players which is tougher, the opinions would be split. I'll bet you that there are catchers that would say shortstop and shortstops that would say catcher.

None the less, for you to use your corrective language is a joke.

Mauer's counting stats are lower in most cases because of the sitting. It's close though. Either one is worthy in my opinion.

The numbers I posted, (which apperently no one is looking at), show Jeter's TOTAL contribution outweighs Mauer's though. And this isn't like Arod where he isn't known as a leader or a clutch player or something.

But Mauer did a fantastic job as well, flip a coin if you wish.

Flip a coin? How about give the guy who actually has expectations to win the award. You think there's a lot of pressure in Minnesota? No.

Oh, so pressure is now a factor?

It's all a part of Chadball, Carlos. You have to read the book a few times to really understand it. Lots of extra points for performing under pressure as perceived by Chad. Itís covered in chapter eight, I think.

"Derek Jeter plays the toughest position on the field"

Wait, didn't you just claim as fact that Jeter plays the toughest position??

Chadball is truly confusing. No wonder nobody uses it.

"IMO, he has the hardest, most pressure packed job in all of sports"

How many times do i have to say IMO?

How about give the guy who actually has expectations to win the award. You think there's a lot of pressure in Minnesota? No.

Shouldn't the pressure to win the award be balanced out by the pressure to have to carry a team.

Jeter gets in a slump, even for a few games, and there are 8 other all-stars and 200 million dollars of talent to take the pressure off. If Mauer struggles for a couple of games, there is a very good chance he's taking the entire team with him.

I'll bet you if you asked major league players which is tougher, the opinions would be split. I'll bet you that there are catchers that would say shortstop and shortstops that would say catcher.

I think you are confusing the difference between being important and being tougher. I don't have much doubt that opinion is split on which position is more important.

But I don't know of anyone who would rationally say that shortstop is tougher or more physically demanding than being a human backstop who has to crouch on his knees for 2 hours a day.

It isn't a Yankee bias Rob, it is just that what Jeter did isn't MVP worthy. If it was, Tony Gwynn would be sitting on a ton of MVP trophy's.

I look at MVP as value to the team. Most Valuable Player. Some people look at it as best statistics.

Morneau is my MVP in that regard. The Twins were offensively challenged and needed a big bat. Morneau grew into that role and racked up 130 RBI while hitting .321 with 34 HR's.

I am sorry but defense has little to do with winning an MVP. And Jeter's .343, 14 HR, and 97 RBI isn't that impressive against Morneau's stats.

Maybe if Jeter pounded out an in-human 242 hits like Ichiro did when he won it in 2004. But he was clearly the best player on a team that won a record 116 games. But history shows hitters who hit under 20 HR's are not usually MVP's. And the ones who were hitting about 20 HR's the league high was around 30-35. It is ball park.

What isn't ball park is when you put Jeter and his 14 HR, 97 RBI against Ortiz's 54 HR, 137 RBI. His batting average and being a SS doesn't make up a 40 HR and RBI edge to Ortiz. His defense sure as hell isn't worth that kind of advantage.

Err Ichiro....2001.

"Shouldn't the pressure to win the award be balanced out by the pressure to have to carry a team."

No. Its Minnesota. No ones cares and there is no pressure to win there. Even the owner doesn't care.

"But I don't know of anyone who would rationally say that shortstop is tougher or more physically demanding than being a human backstop who has to crouch on his knees for 2 hours a day.

Ask Nomar Garciaparra.

.314 19 hrs 84 RBIs

MVP numbers?

Ask Ryne Sandberg

.319 15 hrs 66 RBIs?

Ask Barry Larkin 1995

.325 28 hrs 61?

Rickey Henderson 1990

Playing SS turns Nomar's groin to shredded wheat. He'd probably disintegrate or burst into flames if he put on a catcher's mask.

What I'm trying to get at is that playing middle infield, catcher and center will do the most damage to the entire body. I know a catcher's knees will be shot, I'm just saying that playing shortstop is grueling and hard.

I am sorry but defense has little to do with winning an MVP.

I guess Larkin in '95 and Ivan Rodriguez in '99 won because of their offense. My bad.

I also love that the Twins have 3 guys with reasonable arguments to be the MVP this season, the Yanks only have one, but Jeter was the replaceable cog in the machine, but Morneau, Mauer and Santana all deserved it more.

We're really going to start judging MVP's by payroll now?

And Tony Gwynn was a corner outfielder, has nothing to do with Jeter. And Ichiro robbed Giambi of the MVP in 2001, now THAT was a media bias award.

in other news, O's and Phils likely out of the Matsuzaka bidding. 5 team race according to Rotoworld between yanks, Mets, Texas, RSox and Cubs. Which of those teams has never won a bidding war?

Towers option got picked up for 2008 after he promised Alderson he wouldn't hire Baker. j/k

Rob G.:
Thanks, I heard Elia quit the O's and that he wanted a scouting or player development job. Guess he got it with the Cubs...

Welcome back c***sucker!!!

hahhahha...post of the day. :)

"What isn't ball park is when you put Jeter and his 14 HR, 97 RBI against Ortiz's 54 HR, 137 RBI. His batting average and being a SS doesn't make up a 40 HR and RBI edge to Ortiz. His defense sure as hell isn't worth that kind of advantage"

Mike C, let's think this out really quick. Say, just hypothetically that every one of Jeter and Ortiz's HR's were solo shots. How many RBI's would they have had without the home runs? For Ortiz, 137-54 = 83. For Jeter 97-14 = 83. They drove in the exact number of runs, excluding the times they drove in themselves. So when you say that Ortiz had a big advantage in Home Runs and RBI's, it is really only a big advantage in Home Runs.

Going by the driven in rates Rob posted, if Jeter were to have batted third for the Red Sox he would have had 105 RBI's. If Ortiz would have batted 2nd for the Yankees, 130.

All that being said, I'd take Mauer for the MVP.

Ignoring of course the fact that Nomar's injuries the last two years have occorred while batting or running the bases.

Was that a comment towards me? Oh yeah, groin would have been fine. Nothing to do with overall strain on a body. Nah! Just a crazy slip out of the batter's box. Coulda happened to anyone.

.. and that he didn't play shorstop in '06.

What's your theory Chad, that Playing shorstop is unusually hard on the groin? Have one shred of evidence to back that up?

"Itís a close one but Iíd have to give it to Roy Oswalt. Surprisingly his park seemed to help him out the least, but he seemed to have the most quality outings with the least amount of run support. "

ERA = a function of ER per Inning
Quality Start = a function of ER per Inning
Run support = a function of runs per Inning

It doesn't make any senes to adjust ERA to ERA+ and then not adjust Quality Starts or Run Support, does it? It also doesn't make any sense to consider 'lack of support' as a good thing. That means you're punishing Zambrano for hitting homeruns.

"#39 of 40: By The Real Neal (November 8, 2006 02:02 AM)
.. and that he didn't play shorstop in '06."

If you can't understand that a career of playing middle infield in the major leage takes a bigger toll on the body than almost every position (save catcher, we'll leave that out for now) then I don't think you watch baseball.

You have the most area to cover running side to side in a darting motion over and over again from a complete stand still all the while getting tackled while trying to turn double plays. But that wouldn't take a toll.

Evidence, yeah. I watch baseball.

I guess Larkin in '95 and Ivan Rodriguez in '99 won because of their offense. My bad.

Cool you found a handful of examples in the last 20 years of MVP candidates. 90% of the time it is going to the power hitter on a winning team.

Besides I never said it was absolute, nothing is ever absolute in baseball. If you can show it one way, someone can show it another way in baseball.

But when 9 out of 10 times it goes to a power hitter it means defense has very very little to do with who wins the award. It is who can swing the stick.

Pudge is a poor example. Sure being a catcher helped but it helped more to hit .330 with 35 HR's and drive in 113 RBI's for his first place Texas Rangers. He sure as hell wouldn't of won the award hitting 14 HR's and 97 RBI.

Like I said, MVP to me is Most Valuable Player to his team. If you look along those lines, Jeter isn't even close to being considered. If you go with best statistical performance, again he has no business being even remotely considered for the award.

And my MVP is Justin Morneau, on the offensive side he was critical to that team winning the division and making the playoffs. He clearly helped their offensive by leaps and bounds. Can anyone say that with a straight face about Jeter? "Oh damn Jeter is out? I guess we better lean on Abreu, Giambi, Damon, Posada, and A-rod some more."

Guess who becomes the major RBI threat after Morneau? Michael Cuddyer........yeah I think the Twins would be royally fucked if that happened. Yanks? Not so much. MVP = Morneau.

"You have the most area to cover running side to side in a darting motion over and over again from a complete standstill"

"Evidence, yeah. I watch baseball."

Do you? You description of playing shorstop sounds to me more like a basketball or football drill. Describe a play in baseball when a shorst stop 'darts from side to side'. Also, outfielders cover a lot more ground than shortstops. Not only that, but they have to run to the infield to backup throws etc. The infielders have to come out towards the outfield, but I haven't ever seen a shorstop trying to execute a rundown on the warning track.

It amazes me that a player suffers a one of a kind injury, while batting and you can positively conclude that the injury was a result of his playing shortstop. Sure, none of the other 1000 ML shorstops had this same injury, but only a shorstop could have suffered it. I don't have Will Carrol stats in front of me, but I would bet the players who have the most groin injuries are Pitchers, Catchers, Center Fielders, then maybe middle infielders or corner outfielders.

"Like I said, MVP to me is Most Valuable Player to his team."

Who was the MVP of the Yankees if not Jeter?

"But when 9 out of 10 times it goes to a power hitter it means defense has very very little to do with who wins the award. It is who can swing the stick."

Two flaws in your logic here. The debate isn't who is going to win the MVP, but rather who should win the MVP. What the baseball writers have determined in the past doesn't have much relavance when talking about who is the best player for 2006 and how that should be determined.

The other flaw is that Jeter's VORP, which is a purely offensive statistic is 55% higher than your candidate's. Morneau doesn't really belong in the discussion, he was the third best player on his own team. How could he possibly be the league's MVP?

From previous thread -
I'm trying to fill out the roster given this scenario...It looks like a power void is a real possibility

"I absolutely want the Cubs to re-sign Aramis Ramirez, but I would not go any further with the offense in a trade or FA than acquiring somebody like a Ryan Freel (a lead-off hitter who can play several different positions). I would then mix & match in LF-CF-RF-2B-SS with Jones, Freel, Matt Murton, Ryan Theriot, Eric Patterson, Felix Pie, Cesar Izturis, and Ronny Cedeno, depending on who's hot and who's healthy. And I would then allocate most of the rest of the available 2006 payroll to starting pitching, either via FA and/or trade, or by signing a ready-made Japanese rotation starter or two."

5 OF:
Murton
Freel
Jones
Pie
Pagan

7 IF:
Lee
Theriot
Izturis
Ramirez (God Willing)
Patterson
Cedeno
1b/3b Backup/PH

2 Catchers
Barrett
Blanco

11 Pitchers
SP:
Zambrano
Matsuzaka
Hill
FA
Miller/Prior/Guzman/Marshall/Ryu

Pen:
Dempster
Howry
Eyre
Wuertz
Ohman
Wood??/AAA Long Man

I don't think that adding Matzuka and Freel and replacing Greg Maddux with some other FA is going to get us to 90+ wins. Free may be better than Pierre, but only marginally so.

Individual awards in team sports are lame.
Sportswriters are self-important pomps.
John Kruk would suck his own truck if he lost the gut.

That just about covers it.

REAL NEAL
"What's your theory Chad, that Playing shorstop is unusually hard on the groin? Have one shred of evidence to back that up?"

With this kind of argument, it might be interesting to look up long-term studies as opposed to "I watch baseball".

We have a poster here, CUBSTER, who is an orthopedic surgeon, who might also have something to contribute.

I "watch baseball" too, and have played IF through high school, but can only say that imagining the daily wear and tear on a catcher's knees has to be huge.

I just don't think we were "programmed" to squat like that with heavy equipment added since we have been able to walk upright!

Two flaws in your logic here. The debate isn't who is going to win the MVP, but rather who should win the MVP.

It isn't my logic it is what history has shown.

And your correct about the 2nd part. I think Jeter is a lock to win it. I don't think he even remotely deserves it though.

The other flaw is that Jeter's VORP, which is a purely offensive statistic is 55% higher than your candidate's.

VORP is meaningless to me. There is nothing wrong with using what has been used for 100+ years. Good old HR, RBI, BA, SB's and clutch hits to decide who is the best. I bet you voters do not even consider VORP in the slightest bit in deciding an MVP.

Again it isn't my flaw, it is just what MVP's have been decided on since they started handing out the award. VORP be damned.....

Jumbo, I don't think it is realistic to have an ever shifting roster of players starting at three outfield positions and short and second. You suggest the Cubs do this and just play whomever is hot at the moment. Players usually need a few at bats to get into a groove. How many is a few? Should Lou wait three games, four games, five games? Some players need a couple of weeks. And then how fast should Lou pull the plug when a "hot" player goes hitless for three games? Nope, there is no team that I know of that has ever done such a thing and don't hold your breath in expectation of the Cubs doing it.

A's hitting coach Gerald Perry is supposedly going to join Piniella's staff. (link)

Anyone familiar with him?

Barry Rozner reports this morning that an inspection of the contract signed by ARam in 2005 reveals that ARam had a no-trade clause this year. Thus, Hendry could not have traded him in July without ARam waiving the clause.

This explains a great deal about why Hendry has handled the situation the way he has. ARam's leverage was far greater than we were aware of, and it would seem that the contract that McPhail gave ARam in 2005 was designed to give the player a free path to FA in 2006 he he wanted to opt out of the contract.

Alos, reports out of Oakland indicate that Gerald Perry will be the Cubs new hitting coach.

VORARE: I'm not hip to him either.

I was hoping it was Chambliss and was sure there may have been a "rappor" betw. Sweet Lou and he.

Also, it is always nice, if they're qualifies, to get ex-coaches from intra-division opponents.

Here's a fluff piece on Perry from when he was a hitting coach with the Pirates. This bit is promising, though:

"Gerald's a hard worker, and he demands a lot out of these players," McClendon said. "I can tell you one thing: He's always got these guys as prepared as they can be."

SEAM: "Barry Rozner reports this morning that an inspection of the contract signed by ARam in 2005 reveals that ARam had a no-trade clause this year."

Yeah - I had read this also.

It is depressing and maddening that we are learning more about the McPhail regime as the weeks go by.

De Luca claims that the Cubs are also targeting Kei Igawa.

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE CONTRACT SAYS. IF RAMIREZ ISN'T RESIGNED HENDRY IS THE WORST GM IN THE HISTORY OF THE CUBS! HE COULD OF ASKED HIM WHICH TEAMS HE WOULD LIKE TO BE TRADED TO OR OFFERED HIM MORE MONEY SO THAT HE COULD BE TRADED!

Just out of curiousity, if resigning ARam to a contract with the exact same options and no trade clauses as the last contract he signed with the Cubs was the only way that Hendry could get ARam to resign with the Cubs this year, should he do it?

Real: Maybe Hendry did offer to buy out the no-trade or offered him teams to which he would agree to accept a trade. However, I'm not sure why Aram would be open to either option, especially if he wanted to opt out of the contract and test his value on the open market.

and if what is being reported is true, MacFail was also central to orchestrating Aramis's contract with the premise that in 2007 they'd have to start locking up Z, Prior, and extend Wood so they wanted to be sure there would be sufficient $ with flexibility. On the oft-chance Aramis walks MacFail deserves half of the heat as well.

add to that concern over Ramirez's back woes.

"Anyone familiar with him?"
---

Anyone remember when Perry bitch-slapped Dave Duncan during BP before a game when him and McClendon were still wreaking havoc on the Pirates?
I think it was 2004, maybe 2005.

I was talking to friend last week and he was happy with the Cubs bouncing Dusty and McFail, but said they should have gone one further and bounced Hendry. I defended Hendry, acknowledging that he had an awful year, but thought he could bounce back and deserved another year. If Ramirez leaves that should be grounds for immediate dismissal. I thought there was no chance he would leave, but as we get closer and closer to Saturday, the chanes of keeping him go down substanially. Starting Saturday, or maybe its Sunday, the Angels can throw money at him along with the pitch they have already been making. This will be the first free agent to leave that we wanted to keep, except for the Maddux screwup and Lofton (who wanted to start, but we wanted as a backup).

Ramirez' back woes??

Quads and groin, sure, but his back?
When was that an issue?

I remember that Perry had one good year with the Braves so I looked it up and it was 1988 when he hit .300/.338/.400 with his lone AS appearance...an AS 1B with no power, .738 OPS...hit .300 and still couldn't crack a .350 ob%....gehhh. Not that many of the better hitting coaches were great hitters, I guess I'd prefer to have a Hal McRae, solid major leaguer type, because I'd imagine it's difficult to drive home the importance of patience and ob to a major league hitter when you're career ob is .333

When was that an issue?

since he was with the Pirates.

The link to SI

According to several sources, A's hitting coach Gerald Perry is expected to join Lou Piniella's coaching staff in Chicago.
-- San Francisco Chronicle

Levine is reporting the Cubs bid on Matsuzaka will fall short. What a shock.

Rangers "studying" Bonds.
http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/sports/baseball/15...

How could Levine know that unless he knows exactly what the Cubs and at least one other team bid?

Levine is guessing, but I'd say it is a very good guess. All one has to know is the other teams bidding with the Cubs to guess they will come up short. And, after all, they are the Cubs.

I would assume he has info from either someone in the Cubs organization or another GM. He's not the speculating type so I doubt he's "just guessing".

Ramirez would seem to gain nothing by resigning with the Cubs prior to hitting the open market. He has taken on all of the risk of opting out of a sure $22M so that he can see what other offers might be out there. Unless Hendry makes him an outrageous offer with a "take it or leave it" deadline of Saturday, Ram would be nuts not to test the market. He can always resign with the Cubs if he wants to, knowing that he has maximized his value.

Like I said, MVP to me is Most Valuable Player to his team. If you look along those lines, Jeter isn't even close to being considered. If you go with best statistical performance, again he has no business being even remotely considered for the award.

well other than the stats that show his defensive and offensive contributions were better than anyone else in the AL. Other than that, his statistical performance shows he has no business winning the MVP.

Cool you found a handful of examples in the last 20 years of MVP candidates. 90% of the time it is going to the power hitter on a winning team.

Yes I did because in those handful of examples, a player hit well enough playing a far more important defensive position that they deserved to be rewarded. This happens to be one of those years again.

If you want to stick to the Triple Crown Numbers to pick your MVP, more power to you. You're wrong, but more power to you.

Jeter:
.343/.417/.483
14 HR, 97 RBI, 118 R
13% of teams runs scored, 11 % of RBI's

Morneau:
.321/.375/.559
34 HR, 130 RBI, 97 R.
12 @ of runs scored, 17% of RBI's

Morneau also led the AL first basemen in assists, if we're taking defense into account.

When has Ramirez missed any time with the Cubs due to his back? Significant time, I mean?

Neal, are you sure you watch baseball? Cause I really think you don't. If you did you would know that the movements of a middle infielder are much quicker than any other player on the field. Outfielders have to run often but most of their plays are not a dead sprint from a stand still position. This is the case with most grounders hit to the middle infield. Ever seen a sharp grounder to the left or right of a middle infielder? You think he jogs to get it. No. From a basic standstill position to digging as hard as he can to get to it. I really don't know what game you are watching.

Jeter plays SS at least passably, some will argue good. (I'm not one of those). Morneau plays 1b where the likes of Matt Stairs, Cecil Fielder and Frank Thomas get stuck just to keep their bats in the lineup.

If you hit like Jeter while playing SS, you go to the Hall of Fame. You hit like Morneau playing 1b, you might make the All-Star team every year.

Quote: "Hendry is ìworking feverishly to turn a lot of dealsî and is taking ìa hard look at every position.î

Indirect quote: Where Dusty Baker offered excuses, Piniella will demand execution.

Comments from the Cubs new marketing director Jay Blunk. More in this article.

Aramis hasn't missed any significant time other than a couple days here and there with spasms as a Cub. He missed time with the Pirates in '02 & '03. That doesn't mean it wasn't a concern when the contract extension was drawn up.

"the heart and sole of the Yanks"

That sound fishy to me.

:-)

aram has missed time both on and off the the official DL thanks to his groin and legs every year he's been here.

he's sat when its raining..he's sat when he's not felt up to snuff..he's been given day(s) off on the fly without much warning multiple times thanks to his groin.

overall, though...its not a griffey-like thing where something acts up and he's down for 2-3+ days in a row every couple months (or on the DL every few months).

Jacos:

It might be fishy, but we all fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

Seamhead:
"Barry Rozner reports this morning that an inspection of the contract signed by ARam in 2005 reveals that ARam had a no-trade clause this year. Thus, Hendry could not have traded him in July without ARam waiving the clause."

What amazes me is that the no trade clause was never mentioned once this year till basically the last week or so. It never came out in July. Why? I think it is coming out now, if it even does exist, to save face for Hendry. If ARam isn't resigned, Hendry can say his hands were tied as he couldn't trade him and it wasn't my decision to have the out clause either.

To me this is just another perfect "Teflon" Jim move. Blaming the supposed no trade as to why ARam wasn't possibly traded and MacPhail as to why the out clause was put in. Can I ask why the hell is this guy even the GM if he actually makes none of the decisions? I guess Hendry is just the GM's equivilant to an A's manager.

"Hendry can say his hands were tied as he couldn't trade him and it wasn't my decision to have the out clause either"

Why isn't this true?

"Blaming the supposed no trade as to why ARam wasn't possibly traded and MacPhail as to why the out clause was put in."

If Rozner's article is correct, why isn't this true?

"To me this is just another perfect "Teflon" Jim move. Blaming the supposed no trade as to why ARam wasn't possibly traded and MacPhail as to why the out clause was put in. Can I ask why the hell is this guy even the GM if he actually makes none of the decisions? I guess Hendry is just the GM's equivilant to an A's manager."

And what's the deal with airline food?

if hendry wanted to trade him, SD, LA, and ANA were looking a guy just like him. doubt aram would protest the potential trade.

btw manny, you're calling an article written by a reporter with no comment from hendry (or input for the article) as hendry coming out and using it as an excuse for not trading aram.

the plan all along seems to be to retain him.

Crunch:
"the plan all along seems to be to retain him."

I sure hope that is the plan, and I hope it comes to fruition.

the no-trade thing has now been reported in 2 papers and a radio station or two as well. I think it's safe to say it's true or one helluva a hoax.

I think we all know that Hendry didn't want to trade Ramirez and that's why this was never mentioned. He wasn't in any real trade rumors. Sure, we made up some and probably some other blogs and maybe a mention or two on the radio, but there was never anything concrete.

You don't trade away a guy you want to keep.

Regardless of a no trade clause, why would the Cubs have traded him anyway. I can't imagine they would have gotten much in return considering he had the option to opt out of his contract at the end of the year. Basically, any team that traded for him would have gotten a 3 month rental, and the Cubs would have gotten very little in return.

By keeping him, they at least gave themselves a shot at bringing him back next year either on his original contract or a renegotiated deal. Had they traded him, I doubt he would have returned in free agency.

oh come on now Doug, you know that makes far too much sense. Manny' conspiracy theory is a lot more fun.

http://tinyurl.com/y5fl7v

"Just get me two starting pitchers, two position players, and, I'm telling you, we'll win."

All kinds of juicy stuff, some is directly attributed to Piniella, some seems like rumor.

The ones with "Piniella says" attached to them:
-Zito and Schmidt on top of Cubs wish list
- Soriano as well
- If they can't sign Pierre, Matthews Jr. might be the top priority
- Hendry thinks he can get Ramirez done, not so sure about Pierre
-Change the bench, looking for power
-Bullpen is fine

then some stuff that you can't tell if it's the writer just floating rumors he heard.
- another mention of the $115 million payroll
- Padilla, Lilly, Weaver and Batista

Makes it sound very much like Murton is destined for the bench with a power upgrade in LF btw.

evidently TBS is producing a new show called "My Boys" which involves a fictitious female sports writer for the sun-times covering the Cubs.

premieres Nov. 28th @ 10:30...

being panned pretty badly not only for college-aimed content with a lack of substance, but for a total lack of shots of wrigley field or any of its institutions (no press box, no lockerroom, etc).

evidently it wasn't even good enough to cover the logical focus of a station like TBS, the braves.

Rob G.:
"Manny' conspiracy theory is a lot more fun."

Hey, I am just trying to fit in here at TCR, the home of conspiracy theories...:)

"I think we all know that Hendry didn't want to trade Ramirez and that's why this was never mentioned. He wasn't in any real trade rumors."

Well, Hendry isn't trading him now either, so I am just curious as to why it is coming out now.

my bad, evidently there ARE shots involving wrigley and the lockerroom, but they're a minor backdrop to the story itself, mostly involving the "reporter" following around her stories almost everywhere but the park.

Bud Black gets the SD job...too bad Dustbag...and too bad for ESPN baseball viewers because it looks like we'll be getting a years worth of Baker "insights"...please assign him to left coast Padres and Giants games ESPN...no Baseball Tonight appearances please.

Well, Hendry isn't trading him now either, so I am just curious as to why it is coming out now.

So folks like you can scream conspiracy and cover-up?

FoxSports has the other Z(uleta) possibly returning to MLB looking for a DH gig.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6149242

If you hit like Jeter while playing SS, you go to the Hall of Fame. You hit like Morneau playing 1b, you might make the All-Star team every year.

So Rob, it IS about the statistics then?

Jeter is a good player, who will probably make the hall of fame, but if isn't in NY, he isn't getting the MVP push.

Rob G.:
So folks like you can scream conspiracy and cover-up?"

Good answer...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6149242

nothing too exciting..

- Julio Zuleta wants back in the majors
- Luis Gonzalez prefers to stay in the NL west
- Dbacks are shelling out a lot for Ortiz and Green this year and may not be able to afford someone like Schmidt

Jeter will not PROBABLY make the hall of fame. Jeter is going to the hall of fame.

SD Union Trib reporting the Padres have 2B Josh Barfield to the Indians for 3B/OF prospect Kevin Kouzmanoff and AAA pitcher Andrew Brown. Only bring it up because of the Giles family reunion rumors and some Cub fans wanting Giles here. Unless of course they're planning on bringing back T.Walker.

my bad,should read Padres have traded.

and apparently some billionaire has already inquired on buying the Cubs/TribCo according to ESPN

Jeter is a good player, who will probably make the hall of fame, but if isn't in NY, he isn't getting the MVP push.

B.S....

Jeter had the best season of any player in the AL STATISTICALLY, that's why he's getting an MVP push. I recommend reading the post I wrote and if you need me to explain some of the numbers I will. And I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I swear people just want to ignore the evidence or don't understand some of the newer metrics.

Good answer...

Great comeback...

a billionaire not named Cuban I might add.

MVP is a popularity contest...don't fool yourself.

everyone talks about the obvious robberies like bonds when he lost to pendleton, but there's other stuff like mo vaughn beating out albert belle in 95 for *NO* reason than sportswriter's view of belle.

belle was a toxic character, but he outclassed mo in almost every way in 95...the vote still went with the heart rather than the mind. not the first time and not the last...

interesting move by the Padres...

maybe Kennedy will follow Black, Giles or Iwamura to 2b.

Kouzmanoff nor Brown were even top 10 prospects according to BA last year for the Indians.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/2...

MVP is a popularity contest...don't fool yourself.

I don't disagree, Ichiro won in 2001 because of his buzz, Giambi deserved it.

But just because Jeter is popular and plays in NY doesn't mean should be docked for having a better season than everyone else, which he did.

Crunch-
My favorite "Wrigley shot" not filmed at Wrigley-

Gary Coleman in the made for tv "Kid from Left Field" from 1979. Coleman becomes manager for the hopeless Padres(wait 5 years) and the whole thing is filmed at Jack Murphy.

When they play the Cubs at "Wrigley" they put like 6 plastic vines over the wall at Jack Murphy.

Even at 9 I realized how retarted that look.

The BILLIONAIRES who submitted a bid on the Cubs are Ron Burkle (supermarkets) and Eli Broad (real estate) out of Los Angeles.

http://tinyurl.com/yyp5pn

That should read TRIBUNE not CUBS.

True but if BA list projected Kouzmanoff would likely have been #11...he's probably ahead of T.Crowe or S.Head in many scouts minds as it is. His career minors line is .333/.396/.561.

Jeter had the best year of any shortstop in the American League. Absolutely true.

Do the Yankees win without Jeter?
Do the Twins win without Morneau?

Does VORP accurately forecast the better of 2 seasons between 2 players who play different positions?

Yep Cubswin... Eli Broad apparently also inquired about buying or moving an NFL franchise to LA as well...looks like he's fairly serious.

While I respect Kevin Towers for fleecing a number of GMs in the past, I don't understand his latest move.

Barfield at least will become a top 5 2Bman in the league, considering that he had an extreme home/road split: .241/.279/.361 on Petco and .319/.355/.484 on the road. His defense is pretty good, too; Kouzmanoff has been regarded as a decent prospect for the last three years, with being "too old for his levels" the only downpoint in his game. He is a gap hitter, and he should thrive in spacious Petco.

Even with Brown also being a pretty good pitcher, I think the Padres gave up too much instead of actively pursuing big bad contracts they can afford like Beltre's or Lowell's.

Do the Yankees win without Jeter?
Do the Twins win without Morneau?

Who cares? In NY, whoever Jeter is banging is front page news and if he slumps for a month there's 100 reporters asking him why's he's slumping. In Minnesota, you play baseball, you go home. I don't really care to hand out MVP's by guessing what there impact to a team may be if they don't play. Might as well hand the MVP to Derrek Lee because the Cubs tanked when he went down....

Basically, the intangibles are just that, intangibles, impossible to measure and I don't think MVP's should be handed out by playing a guessing game of how a team may or may not have reacted to a players abscence.

As for VORP, which only calculates offense fwiw, it's the number of runs contributed beyond a replacement-level player at the same position. (you probably knew that). I won't argue that Morneau had a better season offensively, but his numbers are what's expected from a first basemen and weren't all that much beter than other first basemen. Jeter's numbers, which were comparable to Morneau's fwiw, came from a shortstop and are leaps and bounds MORE VALUABLE to his team.

There aren't many shortstops that hit like Jeter, there are a dozen 1b who hit like Morneau.

Fine Rob.

Padres go with Black.

Too bad, Dusty.

#117 Carlos, I'd imagine it's probably due to both the Indians and Padres among other clubs having interest in Iwamura for 2B/3B and Towers just wanted to be sure he landed a 3B as he has zero unless you count Branyan and Blum as someone. Maybe with CLE landing Barfield at 2B to go along with Marte at 3B CLE will now pull out on Iwamura and SD can land him for 2B if they do not trade for M.Giles. Of course it could be irrelevant if SD acquires M.Giles for say Linebrink then they won't have to pay for a 2B or 3B in FA and can focus their $ on Zito/pitching/LFer.

Broad and Burkle have been vying for the LA Times for awhile now fwiw. The bid btw was for the entire Tribco if that hasn't been mentioned.

Broad also tried to buy the Dodgers in 2004 if Mccourt's deal fell through.

Gerald Perry as new hitting coach is now official btw.

Another reason that Hendry was highly motivated not to trade Ram in July is that it would have been even more difficult to justify launching Dusty at the end of the season if Hendry had stripped the team of one its best players in July.

It's not a conspiracy theory, but it's the best I can do today.

http://tinyurl.com/yy3236

who else loves how much they stressed the walks and OBP in the press release?

As good as anybody I suppose....

The press release says he worked with Lou in Seattle from 2000-2002 as hitting coach.

you kinda forgot ryan zimmerman for NL ROY...he's the strongest non-marlin candidate.

yeah, Zimmerman deserved a mention as well, you're right. He's probably 2nd or 3rd actually.

"Neal, are you sure you watch baseball? Cause I really think you don't. If you did you would know that the movements of a middle infielder are much quicker than any other player on the field."

Wrong, catchers have to react more quickly than infielders. Infielders get to watch the pitch Caterhcers have to catch the pitch.

'Outfielders have to run often but most of their plays are not a dead sprint from a stand still position.'

You're correct. Most outfielders have treadmills they work out on until they ball is in play,

"This is the case with most grounders hit to the middle infield. Ever seen a sharp grounder to the left or right of a middle infielder? '

No I haven't. What you're saying is that groundballs are hit to the infielders? I never realized. Thanks for the clarification, and to think I have been living in the dark ages so long.

'You think he jogs to get it.'

No one 'jogs to get it', once again this points to the fact that you don't watch baseball games, unless there is some kind of Subway Jerod league I am not aware of, which you're obviously a season ticket owner to.

'No. From a basic standstill position to digging as hard as he can to get to it. I really don't know what game you are watching.';

Baseball. Chad. There's about a 1000 MLB games broadcast a year. You should check three or four of them out.

Damn. I wasn't particularly mean, but I will admit I am drunk,.

Nothing about your post was correct. Catchers don't move 30 feet side to side. Maybe three feet.

Outfielders rarely during a game have to break on the hit at get to max speed as fast as they can.

You wrote:

"No one 'jogs to get it', "

WATCH A FREAKING GAME. Most outfield outs do not have to be sprinted at. Outfielders jog to catch balls the entire game.

Dude, you really don't understand much.

Chad,

Have you ever tried thinking about what your saying when having an argument? Outfielders run much more than infielders, it is a fact. Sometimes infielders have to use a short burtst of speed to get to a ball. Other times they have to take on step, or none at all.

Rob G,

" I won't argue that Morneau had a better season offensively, "

I would. Jeter's advantage in OBP is pretty large and he stole a lot more bases. He was 2nd in the league in Runs Scored, Morneau was 21st. And before we get into the whole lineup deal, Morneu was batting behind Mauer and Castillo, not exactly OBP chumps, while accumilating his 130 RBI's, though that OBI% shows Morneau made the most of his opportunities.

What about the Hardball times win expectancy thing, is that still public access?

No Neal, that is not what I'm saying at all. Once again, you have totally missed the point and arguing just cause you're not a nice guy. The is no question I am correct on this and you know it.

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