Archive for February, 2012

[President Obama’s] birth certificate has yet to be validated. If they can counterfeit $100 bills, I think it’s a million times easier to counterfeit a birth certificate, if you ask me. So, all it is, let’s just see if it’s real. Anybody can produce a document, so let’s check it out.
- Luke Scott (May 3, 2011)

Luke Scott had an interesting off season. Despite being only being a year removed from 27 home runs and a .387 wOBA, the (let’s be honest) designated hitter was non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles, who didn’t want to give the left handed batter a minimal raise from the $6.4 million he earned in 2011.

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2011 Record: 80-82, 2nd AL Central
2011 Prediction:
65-97, 4th AL Central

Impact Player: C/1B Carlos Santana
Impact Pitcher:
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez
Best Reliever:
RHP Vinnie Pestano
Top Prospect:
SS Francisco Lindor

Last Year

The Clevelands were the story of the season for the first half of 2011. On May 23rd, they were seven games up in the AL Central with a 30-15 record. Pundits around baseball were already crowning them the unexpected champs of the division. Then, predictably, the wheels fell off.  From that point on, the Clevelands won 50 more games while losing 67, fifth-from-the-bottom in the AL in that span.

Although Cleveland finished with their best record since 2008, it was clear that they were a totally different team in the first half than they were in the second. Their Pythagorean record (a number that takes into account only runs scored and runs against, attempting to remove luck) was 75-87 and given that more of their games came against the weak AL Central than any other division, even that might be overshooting their overall talent level.

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Position Change In Blue Jays Camp?

The photo above is currently visible on the BlueJays.com Fan Forum website.

Oh, come on Toronto Blue Jays. Are you serious? I know Yunel Escobar is criminally underrated, but you could probably do a better job of promoting what very well might be the best shortstop in the American League than referring to him as a pitcher.

Crotch grab to the talented Matt English for spotting the error.

At some point, piling on the Astros will become too depressing and mean-spirited so we will just stop. The GM is a likable dude who interacts on Twitter and seems very wise. Which makes the Astros decision to move rotation cornerstone Brett Myers back to the bullpen, where he amassed 21 saves for the 2007 Phillies that much more curious.

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It’s been fun to have Manny Ramirez back in the league for the last week or so, even if we’ll have to wait until at least June before we see him in actual Major League action.  Manny is one of the most devastating right-handed hitters of the past 50 years, is a two-time world champion, a 12-time All Star, a perennial MVP candidate, and one of the most colorful and well-known characters in the game’s modern history.

Of course, Manny’s also one of the most controversial players over that same time-span.  He tested positive twice for “performance enhancing” drugs.  He allegedly hit his wife.  He frustrated fans with his general aloofness and, at times, truly odd behavior.  And he never really cared much for defense.

Still, baseball with Manny always seems to be more interesting to baseball without Manny.  But is it really right that he should be back?  How should you feel about Manny’s humble return on a minor league contract, talking about how he got right with God?  And if Manny plays in the Oakland Coliseum, and nobody shows up to watch, does it really matter at all?

All your answers are just 10 short questions away: Read the rest of this entry »

According to several media reports, the St. Louis Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are extremely close to agreeing on a five year contract extension worth between $70 million and $75 million. Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the dollar figure is the fact that Molina, whose reputation after eight years in the league is that of a grizzled veteran, is only 29 years old.

By average annual value, a $75 million deal would make Molina the second highest paid catcher of all time, behind Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. Not bad for a player who’s only scheduled to make $7 million in 2012.

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The Cincinnati Reds have locked up left handed reliever Sean Marshall for $16.5 million over three years beginning in 2013. This coming season, Marshall will earn $3.1 million as the final part of the two year deal he signed with the Chicago Cubs to cover his remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

The contract is especially noteworthy not only because it includes $1 million bonuses for both games started and games finished, but also because of this:

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