Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday

It’s Friday afternoon, the clock is moving at half the speed at which it usually ticks, and to say you’re ready for the weekend is an understatement worthy of suggesting that Hosni Murbarak hasn’t really grasped the whole Web 2.0 thingy.

Have no fear, Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday are here.

1. During a radio interview this morning, Matt Holliday said that he’d be willing to defer some of his salary if it meant that Albert Pujols would stay with the St. Louis Cardinals.  There hasn’t been a more empty promise since Andy MacPhail spoke about the Orioles potential.  His agent, his union and his relationship with teammate Albert Pujols would all stand in the way of that ever happening.  Seriously, how could Pujols ever look Holliday in the eye after literally taking money out of his pocket to earn even more money?  It won’t happen.  And I’m sure it wasn’t Holliday’s intention, but even the suggestion kind of makes Pujols look bad.

2.  Which story do you think will be forgotten first once Spring Training gets underway: Michael Young is disillusioned with the Rangers, the Mets owners may not be the best investors, or Frank McCourt trying to pay off his former wife so that he can own the Dodgers?  Blargh.  If there’s a common lesson that can be learned from all three stories, it’s that you should never trust anyone ever.  People are only interested in trading you, bilking you out of your money or taking away whatever is most dear to you.

In my opinion, Fred Wilpon’s dalliances with Bernie Madoff will have the most lasting effect, considering how ownership of the Mets could change because of it, and if it doesn’t you can pretty much rest assured that Jose Reyes will be a free agent after this season.

3.  The American League East is going to be a little bit fascinating this year.  I can’t imagine an outcome right now in which the Red Sox don’t win it, but I also can’t imagine the second place team not being better than the second place team in any other division in baseball, and any of the rest of the teams in the division could get there.  Sure, the Yankees have rotation problems, but the rest of their team is so ridiculously deep that a healthy Eric Chavez could be a bench player.  The Tampa Bay Rays shored up everything they had to this offseason and replaced the players that left with the young talent that was already waiting in the wings, but you have to wonder how long they can survive with Johnny Damon in their outfield.  The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t especially improve their team from last year’s, but it’s not much worse, they’re saving a bunch of dollars in salary and that young rotation is another year old and has more experience coming into this season.  Finally, the Baltimore Orioles look awful, but because I’ve been so critical of the team this offseason, there’s little doubt that they’re going to have a great start to the year.

4.  Speaking of the Orioles, here’s one of the reasons I don’t think they’ll compete: they’re terrible against right handed pitching. This is what I’d imagine their starting lineup to be and in brackets is their OPS against righties last season.

2B Roberts (.726)
CF Jones (.804)
LF Scott (.935)
DH Guerrero (.810)
RF Markakis (.762)
1B Lee (.773)
3B Reynolds(.694)
C Wieters(.741)
SS Hardy (.759)

Good luck with that, boys.

5.  If I were going to take a road trip to go see some baseball games this year, my plan would be to leave Toronto on Canada Day and head all the way down to Cincinnati in time for the Reds interleague game against the Indians that night.  I’d hang out there for the weekend series and then travel back to Cleveland to watch a July fourth game against the Yankees.  If I stuck around for the rest of that series, I’d still be around to greet the Toronto Blue Jays who start a four game series in Cleveland on Thursday, July 7th.  Road trip?

6.  After Robinson Cano did it last week, both Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn dropped their agents today to become the clients of Scott Boras.  The Yankees have a club option on Swisher at the end of this season for $10.25 million.  Cano is in a similar boat with two team options after this season:  $14 million for 2012 and $15 million for 2013.  Meanwhile, Bourn avoided arbitration this year by signing for $4.4 million.  I’m going to guess that none of those guys ever sign another contract that includes a club option.

7.  I really, really hope that all, and not just some, of the charges against Barry Bonds get dropped.  If my tax dollars were paying for this ridiculous persecution, I’d be outraged.  As time passes and charges get added and dropped, to an outsider like me with little to no knowledge of the U.S. legal system, it begins to seem more and more as though the prosecution has nothing there.  I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it seems to me that they’re cutting off their noses to spite their face in pursuing these charges against Bonds.

8.  After reading the ridiculous suggestion that Albert Pujols might end up playing for the Kansas City Royals, I had a staggering thought: What if the Chicago Cubs signed him?  It’s the only way I could imagine a player going from beloved to hated faster than Johnny Damon?

9.  As always, you can get the latest Getting Blanked stories to pop up in your Facebook news feed by clicking here, and “liking” our Facebook page.  We’ll even have some original content in there once the season kicks off.  And staying on the social media train, you can also follow me on Twitter here, and follow the other Getting Blanked contributors here and here.

10.  I’d just like to reiterate something that I linked to in a previous post about why baseball fans should care about how their team is spending money.  For the more fanatical among us, we’re often just as quick to cheer a fiscally responsible move by our team as we are a transaction that makes sense on the baseball field, especially when you support a rebuilding team.

Other fans often criticize those cheers by claiming, “It’s not your money, so why do you worry about it.”

Ugh.  That’s such a shortsighted comment, as Sam Miller explains in The Orange County Register rather well:

Yeah, they’re not your home runs, either. Rooting for a team is a vicarious experience, in which you project yourself into the situation and take pleasure (or pain) from the achievements of others. Nobody is arguing that taking on a bad contract is going to have any literal effect on your standard of living. The argument is that a) you want your team to win games, b) getting good players helps win games, c) overpaying for good players hurts your chances of getting more good players or better players. So if (C) hurts (B) and (B) promotes (A), then (C) hurts (A). Bad contracts make you sad.

Thanks everyone for hanging out with me this week.  Have a swell weekend.

Comments (16)

  1. RE Point 5

    Sounds like a good plan, except the Canada Day series for the Jays is when the Phillies come to town. Halladay!

  2. Your road trip plans would mean missing out on the Canada Day Phillies Wankfest.

  3. i is a tarded. -

  4. Ahh Friday my favourite day at Getting Blanked,

  5. #5 – Road trip for me this year is Jay @ Reds. On June 18 the Reds have a giveaway of Reds Spirit Hair, a free red mohawk headwear to the first 20,000 fans. Just what I always needed!

    #10 – Such a great point. The idiocy of “it’s not your money” is amazing.

  6. 4 – Not to belabour the point (I know, a little late – I SWEAR I’m not actually an Oriole fan), but I did a (filthily unscientific) mean on those nine OPSes. I came up with .778. League average OPS in the AL last season was .729 and a .778 OPS would have ranked 10th in MLB, 4th in the AL (4th in the AL East, actually).

    I know, those figures include a whole lot of below-average bench ABs which are not accounted for in my lazy math. But on the off-chance that Reynolds/Lee bounce back to career norms, Roberts stays healthy, and/or Wieters actually turns into the wunderkind we were promised – not to mention the sheer number of LHSP in the AL East – suddenly I’d say a .800 OPS offense doesn’t look so bad.

  7. #5 – I’m headed to LA for the road opener (going to school on the left coast, so I’m missing my fifth straight home opener). We’ll see if Wells gets a better reception in Anaheim than he would have at RC.

  8. #10 – So [Getting Blanked]ing true. Why should you care if your GM flushes money down the toilet on players that don’t live up to their contracts and then refuses to go overslot for top draft picks and refuses to spend on international free agents? It’s not your [Getting Blanked]ing money. I see your Ugh, and raise it with a Bleccchhh and a Phooey. :)

  9. #8 – If the Cards don’t lock up Pujols before the deadline, it seems to me the Cubs, Nationals and Yankees are the teams most likely to meet his contract demands. Maybe Texas. I couldn’t even get half way through the article on Pujols to KC, it was so stupid. You are going to pay $30 million a year for 10 years (to an admittedly great player) to fill a position you seem to have filled pretty well with cheaper options in Butler and Hosmer?

  10. Couldn’t agree more on Bonds. Who gives a shit? If he weren’t a multimillion dollar ballplayer that kind of “drug offence” would warrant a civil court fine, and probably not even that. I know, you shouldn’t lie under oath, yes, yes, blah blah, but it’s not like he was lying about anything Actually important. Shit, drunk drivers are infinitely worse in my opinion, terrible dangerous assholes, and what do they get on a first offence there?

    It’s all ludicrous.

  11. The Red Sox potentially have their own rotation problems. They’ll probably win the division, but it could be close.

  12. dady tell me i dumb before he leve, but i find out i just tarded

  13. \de·fer/diˈfər/Verb
    1. Put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone.
    He’d not be giving up any money… just the time value of money which I am assuming would be compensated for.

  14. For what it’s worth, here’s the projected Blue Jays lineup’s OPS against RHP last season:

    CF Davis (.666)
    SS Escobar (.634)
    3B Bautista (1.030) (!!!)
    1B Lind (.829)
    2B Hill (.729)
    DH Encarnacion (.755)
    RF Snider (.783)
    LF Rivera (.721)
    C Arencibia (N/A)

    Also keeping in mind how abysmal this team was against LHP last year, it’s hard to scoff at Baltimore’s lineup based on these numbers. Not that I expect the Orioles to finish anywhere other than 5th place, but their lineup isn’t really that terrible.

  15. I guess a TSTOAF column is the best place for a link to this article about Strat-O-Matic Baseball as they near their 50th anniversary:


    Tremendous article about Strat-O-Matic, the game of baseball, and the difficulty of father/son relationships. Well worth the read. Strat-O-Matic is where my love of baseball really took off. I remember wearing out the 1980, and 1982-1985 cards (I was too pissed off with the players to get the 1981 cards and I felt the shortened season wasn’t worth it) as a kid. I used to get so pissed off when George Brett couldn’t get a hit every time up with that .390 average in 1980. Good times. :) Yessiree I’m a baseball nerd, but that’s OK. I’m in good company on this site. ;)

  16. Wow, I had no idea Davis and Escobar were such dogshit against RHP. You gotta think Hill will bounce back to his career average, which is still nothing special, even if you throw last year’s results out of the mix. Throw out 2009′s career year and it starts to look grim. With that decent split against righties, how on earth did Lind have such a bad year, you might wonder. OPS against lefties of .341! Which seems almost impossible.

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