Archive for December 2009

Defining Prostitution

December 25, 2009

Prostitution isnt always about sex. My definition of prostitution is when someone charges you money for something that you should be getting for free or can recieve elsewhere for free.

That brings us to the purpose of this post. Journalistic Prostitution, what I am talking about is our good friends over at ESPN who insist that we pay them money to become an “Insider” in order to hear or rather read the news. News that by the way is availible for free on other sites such as MLB. Com or CBS Sportsline. They expect us to pay up to 6.95 a month to read what usually turns out to be a piece of crap. Buster Olney , Jason Stark,  Keith Law and Jason Gray and many others like them are nothing more than Prostitutes. Like Sex the news is something that you should be able to get for free. This being said I make this Promise to you, ” I will never make you pay to hear about the baseball players that you all love, I will continue to bash Journalistic Whores and seek out the most accurate baseball news out there.  I will always be availible to you via Email 24/7 and will answer your questions to the best of my ability. If I don’t have an answer for you I will get one. When was the last time you e-mailed Buster Olney and got a response?

It’s Christmas now by about two minutes so in the spirit of that I will stop bashing those that steal from you.2010 is going to be a great year. 2009 was a great year. From all of us at BTFP and YOM  we wish you nothing but peace and Love during this Holiday Season.  Thank you for being loyal readers and keep coming back. Feel free to email us any time at mdrook6206@hotmail.com

Lowell deal is off

December 20, 2009

mike lowell Just when it seemed like the deal was a lock, Mike Lowell did not pass his physical and the deal with the Rangers is a No-go.  It seems that Lowell will need surgery on his thumb and will be out for at least six weeks. All indications are that he will still be ready for spring training but for now the Rangers will look elsewhere for a big bat.

Many believe that Lowell will never play in Boston again. Maybe so, but it seems that the players that the Red Sox have become interested in have either gone elsewhere or become unavailable. They can slide Kevin Youkolis to third and start Casey Cotchman at first, they could try and trade Lowell again closer to spring training, or they can let him play out the last year of his contract if healthy. I think that their willingness to pay 9m of his 12m in 2010 to the Rangers shows how badly they want to get rid of him. Lowell has been a great hitter while with the Red Sox but the last couple of years he has been a liability defensively. I think he will go into spring training a Red Sox and come out somewhere else.

Seattle will win the west

December 18, 2009

The Great Rookstrdomous has spoken. I know its not even spring training yet but dont think these guys aren’t serious about turning things around. The Mariners are taking a lets win this thing now approach to the off season by adding some big names.

First and foremost the surprise trade to obtain Cliff Lee. Lee is one of the top five pitchers in the game , add him to Felix Hernandez ( who in my book is the number two pitcher in the MLB) and you have the best one two punch in baseball. The Mariners have a good mix of young talent and savvy veterans that are going to make them serious contenders to steal the west from what appears to be a weakened Anehim Angels, and here is why:

Chone Figgens– Figgens will be manning third base and gives them another player with dangerous speed. He is by no means a power hitter but he hit .290 and had 42 stolen bases last season. Besides torturing opposing pitchers when he gets on base he is a good fielder as well.

Jack Wilson– The Former pirates short stop is a great defender and will provide solid defense behind that tough pitching staff. Also not a power hitter or even a very good hitter for that matter. Jack holds a lifetime fielding percentage of .997 thats pretty darn good.

Franklin Gutierrez at 26 years old this four year vertern has gotten better every year. last year he hit 18 HR and had 73 RBI while batting .283. I see him having a breakout year in 2010.  I think he will go closer to .300 and have 20 Hr and 20 stolen bases.

Ken Griffy Jr.- At 40 years old Griffy is obviously in the downside of his career but you cant say enough about his presence in the clubhouse and what he brings to this team. As a Dh this season look for him to have 20 HR and 70 RBI’s as well.

Ichiro Suzuki– Ichiro isnt human thats all I can say. I think he is the best pure hitter in the game hands down.Including his time in japan he has had 13 straight seasons batting over .300 he like Figgens tortures pitchers whenever he is on the base pads. Just the way he comes out of the box before the bat even hits the ground he is half way to first base. Its very difficult to double him up and he turns doubles into tripples like nobody else. His 9 straight seasons in the MLB with 200 + hits is just not human and at 36 doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Felix Hernandez– At 23 years old we have yet to see the best of King Felix . Last years 19-5 record was just a start of showing his true potential. Im looking for 22 wins in 2010 and Im calling him an early favorite for the CY Young

Cliff Lee– Lee may very well only be in Seattle for a year as he is a free agent at the end of 2010 and  did not come with a guarentee for extension. The former Cy Young winner is only 31 and primed to have a great year in a weakened AL West. Lee will teach Hernandez a lot if he is willing to learn. Besides maybe CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay i cant think of anyone else who is a better pitcher when all the chips are down. His middle name should be “big game”

So as you can see the pieces are there for the Mariners to have a big year. Especially seeing the Angels without John Lakey and Chone Figgens. Oakland is just to young still and may have lost thier best power hitter in Jack Cust. The Rangers usually look good on paper but never quite pull it together they have a very potent offense and solid fielders. Pitching is where they dont match up. Rich Harden will be their ace and he is a re-hab case.

I look for it to be a two team race and as I have already stated this division is Seattle’s for the taking.

Yankees closing in on a Nick Johnson

December 17, 2009

nick It seems that the Yankees are getting close to filling their Designated hitter position with Nick Johnson. Johnson was originally a product of the Yankee system and played with the bombers from 2001 –2003 before being traded to the Expos for Javier Vazquez, a complete bust in NY. Johnson has struggled with injuries over the Years but as a DH he may be able to squelch some of these concerns. Johnson Doesn’t have much power but gets on base more than anyone I know. That is what you need from a DH. I would like to see him hit in the #2 hole, with his lifetime .402 OBP he would create a ton of RBI opportunities for Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Also as a left handed pull type hitter he would certainly take advantage of that vulnerable right field wall which would increase his HR potential. I’m predicting that if the Yankees end up signing him it will be a one year deal probably in the neighborhood of six million dollars and might include some kind of incentive based on the number of starts he makes. It might even include an option for a second year based on some sort of vesting incentive with the number of starts he makes. It would seem the Yankees might throw something in there if he stays healthy. 

I unlike my co-author genevosey think this is a great signing. He doesn’t like Johnson I say once a Yankee always a Yankee. Welcome back Nick.

Nick-Johnson (1)

Sources: Halladay to Phils, Lee to M’s deal close

December 14, 2009

Sources: Halladay to Phils, Lee to M’s deal close

Its a three way.  Blockbuster trade that is, big trades are a dime a dozen this time of year or so it would seem, but none bigger than this one. Although all the details of the minor players to come out of it are yet to be aired the big pieces seem to be in place.

Roy Halladay will become a Phillie and Cliff Lee will become a Mariner. First lets look at Roy. Although it was rumored that the Yankees or Red Sox were prime candidates, Roy is from the city of brotherly love and it was his preferred destination all along. As part of the deal Halladay will give the Phillies an extension of a reported three years with vesting options for a forth.

In turn the Phillies will be sending Cliff Lee to the Mariners. Lee expressed his interest in staying with Philly but also wanted to be paid market value at the end of his contract. With Roy Halladay being the new bread winner he had to go. I’m not sure whether he will resign with Seattle but I tend to doubt it. Seattle is in a lets win in now kinda situation with the division being at its most vulnerable. Toronto will receive a truck load of young talented prospects that will certainly make them competitive in the near future. Phillippe Aumont is the big piece they get from Seattle. Aumont, a Canadian, was the eleventh overall pick in the 2007 draft and is labeled by Baseball America as number 33 in the top 50 prospects in America. He has a mid 90’s sinking fastball that is tough to pick up and in his first 36 innings last year allowed only six earned runs on 23 hits for an ERA of 1.50. At only 20 years old he is projected to be MLB ready in 2012.

From the Phillies they get a highly praised catching prospect in Travis D’Arnaud,  also a 2007 draftee at 20 years old is said to have well above average defensive skills. He was the 37th overall pick in the first round. What he lacks in size  at 5’11 195 he makes up for in overall ability. He was the Phillies #7 prospect overall and has had some success with the bat. Tagged as not being very disciplined at the plate, he is starting to develop a bit of a power stroke with 13 HR and 75 RBI’s in 126 games last season. He also stole 8 bags. Not saying thats a lot of steals but catchers usually don’t steal at all. Looking at his scouting reports I don’t see him being Joe Mauer any time soon but at 20 years old he has potential.Its always good to have catching depth. They will also receive another prospect from the Phillies. Initially they asked for Dominic Brown and the Phillies laughed at them. (as I would too) Reports indicate that it is highly touted outfielder Michael Taylor instead. No not the Michael Taylor that produced Battlestar Galactica, this Michael Taylor is a fifth round draft pick that is turning out to be a hell of a decent outfielder. Taylor is a good fielder with good speed. After making some adjustments to his swing in 2008 is starting to come around with the bat. Taylor is a huge guy at 6’6 and 250 pounds. I can’t think of anyone else that big with his speed and power. A dark horse to start in Toronto this season I project that he will be a starter in 2011. He will quickly become the best power hitter in Toronto’s minor league system.

So who is the big winner in this three way trade? Toronto is of course, they got young talented prospects that will make them competitive in the next five years. The additions of Taylor and  Aumont is huge. Philly is the big loser in the deal. They lose Cliff Lee who is younger than Halladay and in the long run may be cheaper and they lose Taylor who was probably their number two prospect.

Seattle will also be giving a couple of  PTBNL to Philly for the acquisition of Lee. The only way this will be a good deal for Seattle is if they are able to sign Lee to an Extension. Clearly the Blue Jays did well in this trade.

update: In contrast to what was earlier reported it now appears that Aumont from Seattle is actually going to Philly and Kyle Drabak from Philly is the other prospect coming to Toronto. For Toronto this is even a better deal as Drabek has a low to mid 90’s fastball and a curve ball that can make a grown man cry.Drabek, although a long shot may have the stuff to start in Toronto this year. Best comparison David Price.

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Al Central Winter meeting results

December 13, 2009

The second part of our winter meeting results looks at the American League central. Without further a due here’s what we got.

Chicago White Sox-  one of the bigger moves the White Sox have made so far is the signing of JJ Putz. Putz is a flame-thrower of a right hander and will add a serious boost to the pen. Last season Putz had an elbow injury and missed the majority of the season but in 29 appearances with the Mets did not look very sharp with an ERA of 5.22. The White Sox are of the belief that he will return to 2008 form when he had an ERA of 3.69. Best case scenario he returns to 2007 form when he was the best reliever in the game sporting a 1.38  ERA  giving up only 37 hits in 71 innings. The White sox have invested 3 million into this one year deal. Low risk high reward.In other Sox moves they signed Andrew Jones to a one year deal and traded Chris Getz and Josh Fields for Mark Tehan from the Royals. Teahan is a light hitting good fielding third baseman that will help improve their at the hot corner. At only 28 years old he should have a little more pop in his bat than he does but a decent hitter with a good glove is worth it for the Sox.

Cleveland Indians– The Indians did not make any moves at the winter meetings. Its hard to make a move when you have no free agent money to spend and have no tradable commodities. Im not expecting anything great out of the tribe in 2010. Their top catching prospect just had major hand surgery and they just seem to be treading water.

Detroit Tigers– The Tigers were fairly active at the winter meeting primarily as sellers unloading Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson in a three way trade with the Yankees and Diamondbacks. In return they brought in a fistful of young prospects including the number one prospect in the Yankees system Austin Jackson. Jackson is potentially a true five tool center fielder that is probably a year away from the Majors. They also got Phil Coke a left handed pitcher who was decent in the bull-pen for the Yankees and was used at times as a middle reliever. Its been rumored that Coke may get a shot at the Rotation in spring training. They also acquired right-handed starting pitcher Max Scherzer and lefty reliever Daniel Schlereth from Arizona as part of the deal.

Kansas City Royals- After laying the leg work at the winter meetings the Royals were able to sign veteran backstop Jason Kendell to a three year deal. Kendell who was the catcher for the Brewers for the last couple of years runs well for a catcher and has a good OBP. Not a power hitter but holds a .290 lifetime average.  At 35 years old three years seems a bit long but he was the best available after losing Olivo to free agency.

Minnesota Twins -  The Twins like the Indians remained quiet at the meetings. The only real news coming in Carl Pavano excepting arbitration. The Twins glaring need will be at third base. I have heard rumors linking the twins to about every free agent third baseman out there. Mark Derosa seems like a good fit but who knows. I will certainly keep my finger on the pulse of the situation.

There you have it the AL Central. I will be on Vacation from my regular job for the next week. So I will be all baseball all the time be sure to check back every day as I am hoping to update the entire league by mid week. Also for all you Yankees Fans there is some good stuff over on YankeesOnlineMagazine be sure to check it out.

Winter meetings wrap-up A.L. east

December 10, 2009

There were some moves made at the winter meetings, some free agent signings and a whole lot of rumors that are just floating around. Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of it all so I will try and wrap up the ones that add up to anything.

AL EAST:

Baltimore Orioles: Baltimore’s big splash came by trading Chris Ray and a PTBNL for Veteran pitcher Kevin Millwood. Millwood will be the veteran presence  on  Young Baltimore staff. The Veteran of 13 years has a career record of 155 wins and 121 losses and a career ERA of 4.03. He is under contract for 2010 and Baltimore will look to extend that. He has a great work ethic that will help young catching sensation  Matt Weiters.

Boston Red Sox: The Red sox made a few smaller moves but don’t think that they are done. They will most certainly be out to land a big Whale before spring training rolls around. What they have done is acquire Boof Bonser from the Twins. Bonser is a number five starter type with an ERA just over four and has struggled with injuries the last couple of years. He was designated for assignment by the Twins to make room for Carl Pavano on the roster. The Red Sox have acquired him for a PTBNL and cash considerations. A bigger move is the Trading of Mike Lowell , Their all star third baseman to the Rangers for a minor league catcher. Considering the Red Sox are also picking up a sizable chunk of his 2010 Salary trade isn’t the best choice of words. Lowell is still a very dangerous hitter even though his health is somewhat subject. This move preempts an upcoming move where the Red Sox are trying hard to sign Adrian Beltre. The Red Sox have only begun to make moves so stay tuned.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays did not make any moves at the Winter meetings, their big splash will be in the trading of Roy Halladay. Smart money says they will get a fist full of prospects that will make them competitive in 2011 and 2012 rather than 2010. We shall see.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays traded Akinori Iwamura to the Pirates for Jesse Chavez and then spun Chavez to the Braves for Rafael Soriano. Soriano is the first true closer the Rays have had sense Percival in 2008. Last season he had 27 saves and an ERA of 2.97 . These are the kinds of moves teams make that want to win. However I don’t think it will make much difference against a re tooled Red Sox and Yankees.

NY Yankees: Speaking of the Yankees they also made a bit of a splash in a three team deal with the Tigers and Diamondbacks that Netted them Curtis Granderson. I wont rehash the details of this because we have already discussed it. But for all the best Yankees News check out YankeesOnlineMagazine. Its the BOMB.

That wraps up the AL East tomorrow we will look at the AL central and so on and so forth in the days to come.