He is charged with killing a woman in Broward County Florida.
FORT LAUDERDALE – Jim Leyritz, the former Major League Baseball player known as “The King,” was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter Friday morning following an accident that killed another driver, police said.
Leyritz, 44, was traveling north-bound on Southwest Seventh Avenue when he passed a red light and crashed with another car around 3:30 a.m., said Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman Kathy Collins.
The accident happened at the intersection of Southwest Second Street and Seventh Avenue. A 30-year-old woman traveling west-bound on Second Street was ejected from her car, Collins said.
She was pronounced dead at Broward General Medical Center.
Leyritz was charged with manslaughter and DUI property damage after an investigation, Collins said.
Leyritz played with the New York Yankees in the ’90s, earning his nickname after hitting the last home run in Game 4 of the 1999 World Series.
If found guilty and sent to jail, it will be a shame will Leyritz’s famous homer gets blotted out by one foolish night of excess.
If published reports are to be believed, the Kansas City Royals have decided to continue the fine pharmaceutical heritage that began with Ewing Kauffman by signing outfielder Jose Guillen to a 3-year, $36 million deal on Tuesday.
The potential steroid suspension aside, are the Royals spending David Glass’s new found money wisely? How about some charts!
Below are two charts showing Guillen’s On-Base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Average (SLG) by age. The difference between the top chart and the bottom chart is that Guillen’s partial years have been removed (in ’99, ’01, ’02 and ’06, Jose appeared in fewer than 100 games for the season).
By removing the partial seasons, we can see that the Dominican fellow has followed a pretty standard career path, peaking at age 27-28 in the power department while maintaining some positive growth in the ability to get on base.
Walks as a percentage of plate appearances:
Again, Guillen has shown an improved eye at the plate over the course of his career.
Extra base hits as a percentage of hits and plate appearances:
Here is where it gets sketchy for the Royals. At first glance, Guillen appears to have a somewhat erratic ability to hit the ball hard when he makes contact, but overall looks like he is trending upward.
However, when you remove the years most likely to be affected by small sample size blips, he begins to look like any typical player. In terms of full-season ability, Guillen’s power potential seems to have peaked when he was 27.
The Royals have just “fixed” their middle order power problem with a guy who looks to be on the decline in terms of hurting the baseball over the next three years.
The good news is that while Guillen now becomes the highest-paid player in team history, his contract is not exorbitant in the current market. Three years is a short enough time frame that Kansas City can cut their losses if Guillen fails to find rejuvenation in the fountains at Kauffman stadium.
That said, I’d still rather see them go after Miguel Cabrera.
A favorite Strat-O-Matic player of mine continues his comeback.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Troy Percival thinks the Tampa Bay Rays have a bright future, and wants to do everything he can to help the young team realize its potential.
Spurning suitors that included the New York Yankees, the 38-year-old reliever agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract Friday with Tampa Bay, which needed to upgrade one of the worst bullpens in the major leagues.
Percival, who came out of retirement to go 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 34 appearances for St. Louis in 2007, will have a chance to earn another $4 million-plus in bonuses.
He said he had comparable offers from other teams and may have even been able to get more money, but he likes Tampa Bay’s nucleus of young talent and thinks longtime friend Joe Maddon is the right manager to get the Rays out of the AL East cellar.
Tampa Bay needs a great deal more than Percival to see a turn around in the team’s fortunes. Troy proved to me he can pitch again. 36 K’s, 10 W and only 24 hits in 40 innings. Sounds like closer material to me, which is what Percival did for the Angels from 1996-2004. As long as the reliever’s arm woes don’t come back, I see this as a good move for the Rays.
He won 135 games in MLB career that spanned over 20 years. After his ballplaying career was over, Joe spent 30 years in the broadcast booth. He died yesterday after being hospitalized for pneumonia. RIP.
CINCINNATI – Joe Nuxhall, the youngest major leaguer at age 15 and later a beloved broadcaster as “the ol’ left-hander” in Cincinnati, has died. He was 79. Nuxhall died Thursday night while hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia, the team said. He was awaiting surgery to insert a pacemaker, and had been slowed by a recurrence of cancer since September.
Brought up by Cincinnati to pitch during World War II â€” just out of junior high classes, he unraveled at the sight of Stan Musial in the on-deck circle â€” Nuxhall worked more than six decades for the Reds. He continued to pitch batting practice into the 1980s and was a member of the team’s Hall of Fame.
While he won 135 games, it was on the radio where he became best known. On a franchise filled with Hall of Fame players and big personalities, Nuxhall might have been the most popular of all.
“This is a sad day for everyone in the Reds organization,” outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. said in a statement. “He did so many great things for so many people. You never heard anyone ever say a bad word about him. We’re all going to miss him.”
Reds owner Bob Castellini said Friday that “Joe exemplified everything baseball’s all about, from the mound to the broadcast booth.”
Great American Ball Park was to be dark Friday night in Nuxhall’s honor, except for spotlights shining on his statue outside the main gate. Also to be illuminated were the big red words of his radio signoff, emblazoned outside the stadium: “… rounding third and heading for home.”
“Summer nights in Cincinnati will never be the same again without the voice of the ol’ left-hander crackling over the airwaves,” U.S. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio said in a statement. “To millions, even those who never met Joe in person, his voice was the voice of a good friend.”
Nuxhall’s son, Kim, released a statement thanking the public for the many cards and messages sent to his father.
“Dad felt that he truly had three extended families during his career â€” the great City of Hamilton, where he grew up; Fairfield, where he raised his children; and Cincinnati, where he was able to play and broadcast the great game of baseball with the Cincinnati Reds,” Kim Nuxhall said.
“We will be eternally grateful to the Cincinnati Reds organization and the fans who provided us with experiences and memories of a lifetime. Dad truly loved you all,” he said.
Nuxhall’s place in baseball lore was secured the moment he stepped onto a big league field. With major league rosters depleted during World War II, he got a chance to pitch in relief for the Reds on June 10, 1944.
At 15 years, 10 months, 11 days old, Nuxhall was big for his age. He was 6-foot-3 and his parents let him join the Reds when school let out.
Nuxhall spent most of the time watching from the bench, assuming he’d never get into a game. The Reds were trailing the St. Louis Cardinals 13-0 after eight innings when manager Bill McKechnie decided to give the kid a chance.
Nuxhall was so rattled when summoned to warm up that he tripped on the top step of the dugout and fell on his face in front of 3,510 fans at Crosley Field. He was terrified when it came time to walk to the mound.
“Probably two weeks prior to that, I was pitching against seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders, kids 13 and 14 years old,” he recalled. “All of a sudden, I look up and there’s Stan Musial and the likes. It was a very scary situation.”
Nuxhall walked one and retired two batters before glancing at the on-deck circle and seeing Musial. Nuxhall unraveled â€” Musial hit a line-drive single, and the Cardinals scored five runs as the young pitcher lost his ability to throw a strike and failed to get another out. In all, he walked five and threw a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning.
“Those people that were at Crosley Field that afternoon probably said, ‘Well, that’s the last we’ll see of that kid,’” Nuxhall said.
The Reds sent him to the minors, but eight years later he was back with the Reds. Nuxhall spent 15 of his 16 big league seasons with the Reds, going 135-117 before his retirement in 1966.
A year later, Nuxhall started doing radio broadcasts, describing games in a slow-paced, down-home manner that caught on with listeners. Marty Brennaman became the play-by-play announcer in 1974, and the “Marty and Joe” tandem spent the next 28 seasons chatting about their golf games, their gardens and some of the biggest moments in franchise history.
Nuxhall retired as a full-time radio broadcaster after the 2004 season, the 60th anniversary of his historic pitching debut. Since then, he was heavily involved in charity work, especially his scholarship and character education programs.
He had surgery for prostate cancer in 1992, followed by a mild heart attack in 2001. The cancer returned last February, when he was preparing for spring training in Sarasota, Fla.
Nuxhall called some games last season even though his left leg was swollen by tumors. He was hospitalized again this week.
As I’ve said before, umpires need help. And I refer you to a piece I wrote over a year ago on this very same subject. Baseball (and sports in general) is far behind the times in utilizing modern technology where it can, specifically to improve officiating.
I’ve thought about this topic for a long time. I think Questec is a good thing. (For those who dont know, it’s a computerized system that measures ball & strikes, and compares it to what the umpire actually called.)
One of the biggest and most frustrating problems in pro sports are bad calls by umps/refs. What I’d like to see is the steady removal of the so-called ‘human error’ from sports; I’ll talk specifically about baseball:
When umps are unsure when a ball is fair or foul down the line, why can’t a system be installed like they use in tennis? They could use technology to determine whether balls are just that, fair or foul.
Also, on disputed HRs, they must use instant replay. There’s no other fair way. An ump should be stationed in the park somewhere near a TV, like in the NHL. He should have the final word, since he’ll have access to the replay.
On balls and strikes, why not use Questec or ESPN’s ‘K-Zone’ (for example) to actually call the strikes? The only problem is that strike zone height is different for every hitter, but width is exactly the same, 17 inches (the width of homeplate). Rickey Henderson had a smaller up/down zone because he was short and crouched, and Richie Sexson’s up/down zone is bigger because he’s 6’8″. But their side-to-side zone is exactly the same. Therefore, computers/technology should be used to tell an umpire when a ball hits the plate or just misses. For the time being, umps will still need to call the up/down pitches (because every hitter is different), but will know for sure when a pitch crosses the corner or not. Or an ump could be assigned to determine the upper limit of each hitter’s strike zone dependent on his stance.
It also sucks when a pitcher throws a strike, but it’s not where he meant to throw it, the catcher has to reach for it, so the ump automatically calls it a ball. It doesn’t matter where the pitcher MEANT to throw the ball, it only matters whether it’s a strike or a ball.
For out/safe calls, when the closest ump feels the play is too close to call, he could send it to the ‘booth ump.’ TV technology is such today that it could be done in 30-60 seconds. Or (ala the NFL) managers should have two replays to use per game.
These steps would help legitimize the officiating and would make for fewer arguments from players and managers. You can’t argue with Questec strikes – it’s 100% consistent and 0% prejudiced (for veterans, or against rookies). Instant replay would also ensure the right call, and isn’t that worth waiting (at most) 60 seconds for – especially in close and/or playoff games?
The Atlanta Braves appear to be the winner for the right to acquire first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Texas Rangers.
A preliminary agreement has been reached between the teams for Atlanta to receive Teixeira and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay from Texas for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, minor league shortstop Elvis Andrus and two minor league pitchers.
Baseball America rates Saltalamacchia and Andrus as the Braves’ top two prospects in their organization.
The Fort-Worth Star Telegram, citing a Rangers source, is reporting that the two pitchers Texas will receive are 19-year-old right-hander Nestali Feliz and another pitcher to be determined.
The deal will be finalized once players’ medical records are reviewed. Major League Baseball’s deadline to trade players without securing waivers is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Teixeira, a 27-year-old switch-hitting slugger, has won two Gold Gloves at first base. He is batting .297 this season with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. Since breaking into the majors with Texas in 2003, Teixeira has had seasons of 26, 38, 43 and 33 home runs.
Only Ralph Kiner, Albert Pujols and Eddie Mathews hit more than the 140 homers that Teixeira had in his first four major league seasons. He had at least 33 homers and 110 RBIs in each of the past three.
Teixeira missed 27 games because of a strained left quadriceps muscle sustained running out a ground ball. The Rangers were 16-11 when he was out of the lineup after he played in a team record 507 consecutive games. He will be eligible for salary arbitration after making $9 million this season.
Among the teams that reportedly negotiated with the Rangers for Teixeira were the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox.
The Braves are giving up a lot for 1B Mark Teixeira. This move also makes it seem like the Braves won’t be able to sign Andruw Jones in the off-season unless they don’t give Teixeira a long-term deal. But with what the Braves had to give up in Salty and Andrus it wouldn’t make sense for Teixeira to be a season and a half rental.
But for now the move is a great one for Atlanta. Look for them to make a huge run at the NL East title.
-Jonathan C. Mitchell
Information from ESPN’s Peter Gammons, ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark, and The Associated Press was used in this report.
CLEVELAND — Kenny Lofton returned for his third stint with Cleveland — and another playoff run — on Friday as the Texas Rangers traded the 40-year-old outfielder to the Indians for minor-league catcher Max Ramirez.
Lofton was expected to arrive in Cleveland and be in the lineup for their series opener against the Minnesota Twins.
The Indians entered the weekend 1Â½ games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central and leading the wild card. They’ve been in the market for a left-handed hitter with speed and had been scouting Lofton the past few weeks with the July 31 non-waiver deadline nearing.
Lofton was a five-time All-Star in nine seasons in Cleveland, the leadoff catalyst for the Indians, who dominated their division throughout the 1990s but haven’t made the playoffs since he left as a free agent following the 2001 season.
Sometimes moody off the field but never a problem on it, Lofton was always one of Cleveland’s most popular players and has not spent more than one season anywhere else. Since getting a 20-game trial with the Houston Astros late in the 1991 season, Lofton has played for 10 other teams.
But although he’s near the end of his career, the Indians believe he can help them get back to the postseason. With David Dellucci on the disabled list and Trot Nixon slumping, Cleveland needed another outfielder and Lofton was having a solid season — his 17th in the majors — batting .303 with seven homers and 23 RBIs for the Rangers.
Lofton also has 21 steals and will immediately give Cleveland’s lineup a needed boost of speed at the top. The Indians have stolen only 54 bases.
Manager Eric Wedge will likely play Lofton in either right or left, flanking All-Star center fielder Grady Sizemore.
Lofton is Cleveland’s franchise leader in steals (450) and ranks third in club history in runs (951). In nine seasons with the Indians, Lofton batted .300 and won four straight Gold Gloves in center field.
Since signing with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent in 2002, Lofton, a .299 career hitter, has played for seven teams as he tries to win an elusive World Series ring.
In his final game for the Rangers on Wednesday, Lofton homered and drove in three runs in a 7-6 win over Seattle.
With Texas again in last place in the AL West, there had been plenty of interest from contending teams in Lofton and Mark Teixeira, their 27-year-old switch-hitting slugger who has won two Gold Gloves at first base.
Atlanta, the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly the most interested teams.
Any team that acquires Teixeira would get more than a rent-a-player for the rest of this season. While he will be eligible for salary arbitration after making $9 million this season, he can’t become a free agent until after 2008.
The Indians acquired Ramirez last season from the Braves in exchange for closer Bob Wickman.
With Lofton gone, Marlon Byrd will likely become the regular center fielder for the Rangers.
Byrd didn’t make the 25-man roster out of spring training but going into Friday night’s game at Kansas City had hit .350 since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma on May 26. He had a career-high six triples and 34 RBIs in 54 games and his 50 starts had been split among all three outfield positions, six in center.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
Great move by Cleveland! This is a huge boost to their offense and Lofton brings energy to this team. Lofton is said to be playing in either left or right field but doesn’t have the arm for right. He should get most of the playing time in left.
I also think this move will allow the Tribe to possibly send a veteran bat like Trot Nixon to a contender for a reliever. The Tribe need another reliever to sure up the back end of the bullpen.
The Rangers got a good young catcher in Max Ramirez. Ramirez, 22, can be groomed to be the catcher of the future for the Rangers. Ramirez is tearing up high-A ball to the tune of .303/.418/.505 in 77 games with 20 doubles, 12 homers, 62 RBI, 46 runs, a 53/63 BB/K ratio, and one stolen base.
This may be the beginning of a fire sale. Look for others like closer Eric Gagne, 1B/OF Brad Wilkerson, and even 1B Mark Teixeira to be on the trading block. I think Gagne will be gone for sure and Teixeira could be had for the right group of prospects.
*******Other Trade Rumors 7/27/07*******
- Mark Teixeira is almost certain to be traded away from the Rangers, with the Braves considered the most likely destination, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. A likely deal would bring C/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Texas, along with a couple of prospects, perhaps a pitcher and an infielder.
The Angels were the most recent to tweak their offer. The Angels had originally offered 1B Casey Kotchman and a choice of outfield prospects Nathan Haynes or Terry Evans. It is believed they have now added a pitcher to the mix, but the level of pitcher could vary widely from a young prospect with a high ceiling (20-year-old right-hander Nick Adenhart) to an experienced but struggling major leaguer (recently demoted Ervin Santana) to a prospect on the verge of pitching in the majors (lefty Joe Saunders).
The Dodgers, thought to be one of the teams interested in Teixeira, say they intend to go forward with James Loney as their first baseman.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, are believed to still be in the hunt for Teixeira, the Boston Globe reports. Teixeira was drafted by the Sox in the ninth round in 1998, but chose to attend Georgia Tech. He then was drafted by the Rangers in 2001 with the fifth overall pick. Currently making $9 million per year and arbitration-eligible next season, he can become a free agent after 2008.
Don’t expect Teixeira to end up in the Bronx. Without giving up Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees have little chance of acquiring Teixeira from the Rangers, The New York Times reports.
Texas wants promising young talent in return for Teixeira, the Dallas Morning News reports.
-Don’t expect the Twins to trade Torii Hunter before the deadline. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, there have been indications that the club is prepared to offer him a contract extension after the season.
Larry Reynolds, Hunter’s agent, said Thursday that he hasn’t spoken with GM Terry Ryan lately and is not worried about a possible deadline trade. Hunter, a potential free agent, has a limited no-trade clause that blocks deals to six teams.
“Anything can happen,” Reynolds told the newspaper. “Am I expecting [a trade]? No. Will I be surprised if it happens? Not really.”
Hunter probably could get five to six years and $80 million to $90 million on the open market.
- There are rumblings that the Padres might be interested in Mark Loretta, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. “I haven’t heard anything other than the rumors,” Loretta told the newspaper.
Loretta played three seasons (2003-05) in San Diego, and many believe Loretta would be a perfect fit for the Padres, who have been looking for a right-handed bat to give Adrian Gonzalez an occasional rest at first and help at second.
The Mets, Phillies and Tigers are believed to be interested in Loretta as well.
- Add the Cubs to the list of teams interested in Ty Wigginton, the St. Petersburg Times reports. The Dodgers, Twins, Yankees and Red Sox also have their eye on the utility infielder.
The Devil Rays are looking to improve their beleaguered bullpen, possibly with the addition of several relievers, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Talks with the Yankees have included right-hander Scott Proctor, though the deal might have to be expanded. The Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins all have several young pitchers who would be of interest to the Rays.
Wigginton, 29, is open to signing a long-term deal. His salary is expected to exceed $4 million next season through arbitration.
« Hide it
From USA Today –
There may have been an ulterior motive for New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to miss his first game of the season: he was resting up to face Los Angeles Angels pitcher Bartolo Colon.
Despite a current 0-for-19 slump and a strained hamstring, Rodriguez may still get a chance to extend his domination over Colon as the Yankees open a three-game series Friday against the Angels at Yankee Stadium.
The All-Star third baseman sat for the first time Thursday as the Yankees (40-42) recorded a 7-6 victory over Minnesota. Rodriguez, who tripped over Twins first baseman Justin Morneau running out a ground ball on Monday, went 0-for-4 on Tuesday while playing the field and 0-for-4 on Wednesday as the designated hitter before being a spectator in the series finale.
”He was a little uncomfortable yesterday,” said Yankees manager Joe Torre, who listed Rodriguez as questionable for this game. ”I don’t think it’s anything more than it was, but probably a couple of days playing on it exposed it a little bit more. We still don’t think that it’s anything that’s going to require anything more than maybe a day or so off.”
Colon (6-4, 5.79 ERA) may be secretly hoping Rodriguez – the major league leader with 28 homers and 80 RBIs – takes another day off. Rodriguez is batting .444 (20-for-45) with eight homers and 17 RBIs against Colon, hitting three of them in a 12-4 rout April 26, 2005, in which he ended up with a career-high 10 RBIs…
On field performances took a backseat in the final weekend of major league baseball’s first month. The untimely death of Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock cast a pall over a rather extraordinary month of early season baseball. Cardinal fan Wil Leitch of the site Deadspin offered a touching remembrance of Josh, which captures the relationship that fans have to the men who play the games they love.
The relationship that we, as fans, have with the athletes we follow is as genuine as it is bizarre. Not a single day has gone by since Opening Day 2006, when Hancock first appeared on the Cardinals’ roster, that he has not been on our mental radar. We cheered him, we cursed him, we forgot about him, we repeated the process; he occupied a real place in our lives. We did not know him, and we were not particularly curious to do so; if he got batters out, he made us happy, and that was enough. His sudden departure — shocking, horrible, insane — makes us feel as if we have lost something that we never realized we had. We want to go back and cheer harder for him, forgive his mistakes more easily … treat him as human in a way we never did as a mere fan. He shifts from middle reliever to human being only in death; this can drive a fan mad with guilt and confusion.
But we did not know him. Many did, in far more depth than our parents’ fleeting encounter 10 days ago. To those, he was never a middle reliever. He was just Josh, quiet, friendly, reserved, living the contradictory life of a Major League Baseball player who toils in relative anonymity. We cannot pretend to have known him, or to understand the anguish of those who did. We can only know that we have lost something small but real, and hope and pray that those who lost more than that can find some sort of peace.
I encourage you to read the rest.
Returning to the exploits on the field, Mark Buehrle and Troy Tulowitzki both joined very exclusive baseball fraternities. Buehrle hurled the 16th no hitter in White Sox history.
Mark Buehrle became the first White Sox pitcher since Joe Horlen in 1967 to throw a no-hitter at home, and the first in USCF [US Cellular Field] history. He was tantalizingly close to pitching the 18th perfect game in major league history. A 5th inning walk to Sammy Sosa was the lone blemish on Buehrle’s pitching line, and he would erase the baserunner two pitches later by picking Sosa off of first base.
Tulowitzki turned the first unassisted triple play since Rafael Furcal nabbed a line drive touched second and then caught the runner retreating to first base. Only the thirteenth such play in the 107 seasons since 1901, but the fifth since 1992. David Pinto has the details, plus a the link to the list of all 13 unassisted triple plays.
Troy Tulowitzki turns the rare unassisted triple play against Atlanta. His play prevented Atlanta from scoring in four straight innings, and the Braves ended up losing in eleven frames 9-7.
Baseball’s leaderboard at the one months mark has a few surprises. The Brewers, a fashionable spring training pick to win their division are proving to be fashionable, leading the six team division, with the defending World Series Champion Cardinals five and a half games off the pace tied with Houston and the Cubs in the cellar. In second place the Pirates, even with Adam LaRoche and his abysmal batting average. Cincinnati can’t decide who they want to be, contender or pretender. Check back in a month and they may still be a game under .500, and still vacillating on competing.
The new-look Diamondbacks are pacing the field, in the NL West, a division that only two seasons ago almost didn’t have a team over .500. This year only the Rockies have won fewer than they lost. The Dodgers, Giants and Padres are all chasing the youthful leaders.
Atlanta is enjoying a revival in the NL East, with the Mets keeping pace with them. Florida and Philly are off the pace, but both have enough talent to make a run. The Nationals are as bad as advertised, illustrating that just because a team plays in RFK doe snot mean that baseball has returned to the Nation’s Capital.
In the junior circuit, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California, USA, Earth, have won eight of their last ten to sit atop the heap in the West. Oakland’s solid rotation and regular second half dashes keep hopes up in the other city by the bay. Seattle’s collection of aging-veteran-has-beens and youthful rushed-to-the-majors-never-will-bes are keeping Ichiro company in what might be his last season in Seattle. Texas rounds out the field in what may be the weakest division in baseball.
The Central by contrast looks to be the strongest. Kansas City is scuffling, again, for what the fifteenth straight year? Meanwhile Cleveland has gotten off to a good start, showing the promise of the team that nearly hunted down the White Sox in 2005. The Twins and Tigers, last season’s central division post season participants are both a game and a half back. The White Sox are a game further behind. The ChiSox have to worry about the slimness of their run differential at this point. At one game over .500, their record is a little better than it should be with a 95-97 run scored versus runs allowed ratio. And remember Buehrle’s no-no night also feature multiple homeruns from Jim Thome (now on the DL) and a grand slam from Jermaine Dye.
Finally, baseball’s overhyped division, the American League East. The Red Sox are off to a hot start, behind a very stingy pitching staff. Their combination of good pitching and acceptable hitting has them ahead of the Blue Jays, Orioles and Devil Rays, oh and the last place Yankees. With the talent that New York has, they are unlikely to remain cellar dwellers for long, but the potential Vesuvius that is George Steinbrenner has let it be known the play of the Yankees to date has been unacceptable. Heads may roll in New York, which would spell the definitive end of the calm years of Yankee success that began in 1995 and produced the great Championship teams of the late 90′s. Teams, that featured homegrown stars and complementary role players and unlike the current Yankee incarnation did not have the bloated payroll, and aging all stars at every position.
May begins with a full slate of games tonight. And baseball’s season continues forward.
Forbes has an article about the Business of Baseball. Given that Forbes is a business magazine not a sports magazine its list of baseball 10 best general managers will be the subject of some debate.
Being an Orioles’ fan, I hardly think that Mike Flanagan (#10 according to Forbes) deserves to be anywhere near the top of this list (yet.) He works for a difficult owner and as a fan I haven’t seen a good product for an entire year during his tenure. If this year turns out well, as it appears it might right now, there’s still little hope for long term success here. The Orioles have one of the weaker farm systems in MLB and the team isn’t especially young. (Overall that is. There’s Markakis, Cabrera, Loewen and Ray, but most everyone else of significance is 28 and up.) Success this year isn’t likely to extend more than two years unless the team’s scouting improves drastically.
I realize that this ranking is primarily from a business not a baseball standpoint, that’s why stathead favorite GM’s without much success (so far) like Mark Shapiro and Doug Melvin don’t rank. (Forbes does have metrics for evaluating them, but success on the field isn’t necessarily one of them.) Still how can Mike Flanagan make the list but not the likes of Kenny Williams, Brian Cashman, Bill Stoneman or even Tim Purpura whose teams have been in the World Series in recent years. Or Kevin Towers and Terry Ryan whose teams have made the playoffs?
And how does John Schuerholz rank below Brian Sabean or Pat Gillick?
Shouldn’t baseball have something to do with it?
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.
| Send TrackBack
Soccer Dad linked with What's baseball got to do with it?...