Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday 04/04 A.M. Quickie:
MLB Preview Begins (Belatedly)

With college hoops behind us, I'm thrilled to transition back to the usual shallow analysis -- and to the start of the baseball season this week.

(Yesterday's MLB "Studs and Duds" in the Comments showed everyone is back in Morning Quickie form. Hope to see everyone chime in daily on that topic.)

UPDATE: Speaking of baseball, that's the theme of the next Varsity Letters Reading Series TONIGHT at Happy Ending in NYC (302 Broome on the L.E.S.). Great lineup: BP folks, Jonah Keri and more, including haiku(!) After March's wild event, it's THE must-attend event of the month.

Since I have completely blown any shot at a reasonable MLB preview, I'm going to limit it to three specific topics over the next three days. (Today: Top Storylines. Thursday: Awards Picks. Friday: Playoff Picks.)

So let's start with the season's Top MLB Storylines. Feel free to offer up your own in the Comments section. These happen to be the ones that I personally think will be most fascinating or intriguing:

1. Bonds passes Aaron. Yes, everyone hates Bonds and half the fans don't even want to see him do it. But it's so momentous that it commands our attention.

2. New Cubs ownership. Technically, this won't really become an issue until AFTER the 2007 season, but expect rumors to run wild over the next six months. It is, after all, the biggest brand name in the National League (and probably Top 2 in MLB, behind the Yankees).

3. Curt Schilling's blog. Have you been following 38Pitches? It's quite ground-breaking, in terms of the real-time self-analysis he's willing to engage in. It's sort of like Cuban's BlogMaverick, but to get the unfiltered p.o.v. of a star PLAYER in mid-season seems unprecedented. Disintermediating the mainstream media? Advantage: Schilling. (And keep in mind: I used to really dislike Schilling. But this feels different from his usual media whoredom. He has reinvented himself as baseball's leading independent voice.)

4. Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Wow, how I wish this wasn't the dominant rivalry in baseball. But it is. Suddenly, the Yankees are thrifty and the Red Sox are panic-spending. All the while, the Mets are about to eclipse the Yankees as the city's best team (if it hasn't happened already).

5. Surprises. The REAL intrigue of any season are the things you can't possibly predict. The breakouts. The sensations. The unexpected successes (or failures). And, of course, the steroid allegations.

Women's NCAA Tournament: Vols crush Rutgers. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't exciting. Just more Summitt, one more reason why the debate over "Best Basketball Coach on the Planet" isn't one -- Summitt has ended any argument. (Think about that for a second: A women's basketball coach is the inarguable, consensus pick as the best basketball coach, male or female. In a college hoops world dominated by the men's side, this is pretty impressive.)

CBB Coaching Carousel: Dana Altman humiliates Arkansas. A day after taking the job, Altman quits and returns to Creighton. Of course, the last time we saw something like this, Bill Belichick was quitting the Jets to coach the Pats, and that turned out OK for him.

Billy Packer is a Jackass, Cont'd: "You always fag out." Caught on tape, no less. On Charlie Rose, no less.

Look: Either Packer intentionally used the word "fag" or didn't realize that using the word "fag" is wrong. Either way, it's a pretty good pretense to dump him. Who wouldn't want to see, say, Bill Raftery calling the Final Four? Bring a little joy back to the game, that's for sure.

(This isn't Packer's first pejorative. There was that "tough monkey" comment a decade ago. If that had happened in 2007, I guarantee you he would have been fired the next day. Hopefully, this latest slur will remind people of that other one; no statute of limitations on his stupidity.)

More: Gail Goestenkors leaves Duke for Texas, realizing that the massive-state-school life is more conducive to winning championships.

(In the middle of this Billy Donovan-Kentucky discussion, I'd love to hear what people would have told Coach K to do in April 1992 if he had been offered the job at, say, Kentucky or Indiana or UCLA. At that point, he would have been at Duke roughly the same amount of time as Donovan has been at Florida, with roughly the same success. And, at that point, Duke wasn't "Duke" yet. Would all of the analysts and experts still be telling him to bolt for the "name" program?)

MLB Wrap: The Pirates (and Xavier Nady!) continue to baffle the Astros in the late innings. Lidge, Wheeler: It doesn't matter... Marlins Mania: Florida is 2-0 for only the second time in 15 seasons... Hitting Stud: Ian Kinsler, Vlad Guerrero; pitching Stud: El Duque... Bud Selig earned $14.5 million last year? That actually seems reasonable for a major sport commissioner.

NBA Wrap: Heat beat the Raptors. As Toronto is the sexy pick in the East (and Miami the stodgy), it was revealing to see the Heat (still without Wade) beat the Raptors. Again, my NBA playoffs mantra: "Heat Repeat."

NFL: Will Roger Goodell be able to ban players for life for off-field criminal offenses that are bad enough? That's what he wants. And I'm not sure fans will mind he has that power, though "for life" is a hell of a punishment to wield. I thought "banned for the season" is pretty rough. Hell, even the Soup Nazi only banned Elaine for one year.

WNBA: Rare mention for the WNBA! But I'd say that if you're going to have league intrigue, why not have it be that your draft is the day after the college national title game, where the star player – sophomore Candace Parker – had roughly 12 hours to figure out if she wanted to go pro early through a draft-rules loophole and set a milestone in her sport. She would be the No. 1 overall pick. Her decision comes at 10; the draft is at 1. Talk about "on the clock!"

Wish I Thought of It: Rookiepedia, an all-in-one reference for NFL Draft prospects. Kudos to creator Brian Bassett. Definitely something not only to check out throughout the month, but to contribute to.

06/07 Florida vs. 91/92 Duke: The Offseason Debate of the Year. Feel free to wander over to yesterday's Comments section to read more about this. But at least one other blogger, The Big Lead, would take UF, too. Maybe we both smoke the same brand of crack.

Rest in peace, Eddie Robinson. One of the greatest college football coaches of all time. Would he go in the All-Time Top 5? (Wow, what a great question. Who's in contention? Paterno, Bryant, Osborne, Wilkinson, Bowden? I'd put Robinson up with any of those guys.)

Here are a bunch of great supporting stats about Robinson (via Cold Hard Football Facts). Win that argument!

-- D.S.


BpL - Beacon, NY said...

Really? The Mets go 2-0 and now they're on the verge of being the best NY team? Huh? 1 NL East title and that over classes the streak of AL East titles? That makes no sense ....

And about Candace Parker. I was listening last night and she can't declare for the WNBA draft until next year; they only let you declare for the draft in the year you're going to graduate; since she plans to graduates in May of 2008, she can't declare for the WNBA draft until next year. That being said ... the announcers mentioned she could go to places like Russia and make anywhere from $600,000 to $1 mil per yr ... that's serious coin and I can't imagine the WNBA would pay her anything close to that. I just found this site:
WNBA Salaries ... the highest maximum salary for next season is $93,000. That's actually more than I thought; I don't think she'll leave though. But what do I know

TJ said...

inarguable, consensus

Umm... I would argue it actually. Of course, you might just shoot me down as unreasonably discriminating against women's basketball when I argue that it's a completely different sport.

Not that I don't think she could also be a great basketball coach, but we don't know. Personally, I'd love to see her make the transition and see what kind of impact she could have on the men's scene.

Matt T said...

Free PacMan Jones!

I know I can't be the only one that doesn't care about women's basketball and was tired with it being shoved down our throats.

I think Braves/Mets is going to be back to what it was in 2000, it should be a fun year in the NL east

CMFost said...

BPL - I think he was talking about that the Mets are probably going to be the best team in NY for this season. And when you talk about this season you can not include what a team did in the past. It is all about this year.

The biggest problem I have with Schillings blog is that most of his post are just to damn long and take way to long to read. And the people who comment on that sight make me sick with there sucking up to him. And this is coming from someone who is a Red Sox Fan

CMFost said...

Stud from Yesterday - Jake Peavy, Ichiro for his game winning triple

Dud - Kiko Calero(1/3 Ip, 3 Runs), Padilla

TJ said...

Since your theme the last couple weeks seems to be "wish I thought of it"--ultimate bracketologist, rookiepedia--when are you going to start work on the "Mount Rushmore of..." book? Or is that idea already taken somewhere? If not, there's a book tailor made for the MQ format. If only...

Anonymous said...

Pat Summit as best basketball coach?

Definitely in women's hoops. However you can't say a high school basketball coach is the best coach of all time? Can you?

I'll give her credit but the things that makes it so tough to do it in Men's hoops as opposed to Women's hoops are:
1 - The field is much deeper in Men's hoops. The 25th best point guard is still pretty awesome and on a given day can match up with #1.
2 - The top players in the top men's programs leave early or until this year never go to college at all.
3 - There are 30-40 teams in men's ball who can win the NCAAs before the season starts. There are only about 6-8 women's teams who can since they have all the talent (see #1).
4 - You have to give Phil Jackson some respect as well. He did it at the top level.

That all being said, I would love to see Pat Summit coach a men's program for a few years. I think it would be great. However I seriously think she would have big trouble getting top recruits in the Men's game.

Imaging a top recruit choosing between Cocah K, Self, Pitino, Boeheim, Calhoun and Summit. Interesting.

BpL - Beacon, NY said...

You can't argue about "which team is better" after the first 2 games of a season. You have to use the past to determine "which team in the same city is better" and to say the Mets outshine the Yankees is flat out nonsense. If I used the first games of the season to determine the best team, I could say the Royals are the class of the mid-west and they're better than the Cards. Their #1 guy beat the Red Sox #1 guy and the Cards are 0-2. If you don't use the past, you can't use the first game(s) of the season as evidence either.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan your comparison to Coach K and Donovan is interesting. The one difference I see is that Coach K had already been to 6 Final Fours ('86,'88,'89,'90,'91 and '92) and he had been contacted by the Boston Celtics (1990).

Duke was also a basketball power in the 60s with Vic Bubas as the Coach and had gone to the title game in 1978 so there was some history with Duke basketball. Florida had no history that I can think of except making the 1994 Final Four and Dwayne Schintzius being a player there. I have been very impressed with what Donovan has done at Florida and think he should stay until the right NBA team comes calling.

rob said...

so you bought into the frugal yankees/profligate red sox meme, eh? get back to us after steve swindal's out the door in new york and big stein gets the reins back.

while only the naivest of sox fan apologists would deny that boston spent a lot of cash this off-season, you'd be hard-pressed to define any of the big-dollar signings (dice-k, drew, and lugo) as "panic-spending". the sox filled areas of obvious need with above-average to excellent talent at market rates. they sure as heck didn't drop $55m on gil meche (and yes, i realize that's a particularly ironic example given monday's results).

verbal97 said...

I don't think Bonds beating Aaron is the top storyline, but rather Steroids beating Aaron.

How is Schilling's blog a top 5 storyline. He's a blowhard, always has been and always will be. The only contributors to that blog will be Sox fans. Whereas, I HATE the NBA, but still read Arenas' blog.

The Mets may (or may not) be the best team in AAAA, but the AL is a completely different competition. It's like the difference between the NIT and the NCAAs.

Eddie Robinson's contribution cannot be quantified in wins and losses. He's college football's Jackie Robinson.

verbal97 said...


I think you can say that $70 mil for a player who often can't care any less and is constantly on the DL and over $100 mil for a pitcher that never threw a pitch in the MLB can constitute as panic-spending

Andy said...

Verbal, I'm not gonna lie, I've seen some pretty stupid stuff come from your keyboard the past couple days. The Mets are in VERY close with the Yankees for the best team in NY. Willie Randolph is showing that he's one of the best managers in the league. To say that the NL is like the NIT and the AL is the NCAA is just plain stupid. Explain to me how the "NIT" teams have won 2 of the last 3 World Series then.

Brian in Oxford said...

The Red Sox still are a good fifty million behind the Yanks in terms of spending....look, if THEY don't at least make the effort to chase down the Yanks, then who's gonna?

Hey, I think there's something to be said that a league that hemorrhages money like the WNBA does NOT pay its players millions. Fans actually like it more when the athletes are from the same financial class (a la the Brooklyn Dodgers living in the neighborhood and working winter jobs).

The best basketball coach is clearly that State Farm agent that got the kids to play zone....

verbal97 said...

That's all you got, 2 of 3 World Series?! When's the last time the NL won an All-Star game...1996! But the best barometer was last year's interleague record where the AL was 154-98. There is absolutely no basis to say the Mets have eclipsed the Yankees except opinion and pure speculation. All of the facts in the recent past favors the Yankees and there is not enough of a present to say the Mets are better. When your best three pitchers go in this order: long-term DL, 40s, and God only knows how old, you can't say the Mets are better. Hell, even the baseball experts say that the 4th place AL Central team could win the NL Central running away. Or are they just as stupid as I apparently am!!!!!!!!!!

Andy said...

Totally agree Brian. Teaching zone is hard.

Andy said...

But you forget a couple things:

All Star games are exhibition games. They mean absolutely nothing. The home field advantage crap is just another piece of evidence supporting the stupidity of Bud Selig.

Interleague Games records: Who cares? The AL couldn't win when in actually mattered, and that was October. St. Louis!!! The team that won their division with all of 83 wins flat out dominated Detroit.

And I'll take the Mets rotation and team anyday over the Yankees. They actually play like a team. The Yankees are 9 All-Stars that don't know the concept of team work. Perfect example being the A-Rod and Jeter feud. Also, in case you haven't noticed, the Yankees rotation isn't looking too solid either. Who was their Opening Day starter? Oh that's right, a guy who hasn't pitched in 2 years because of "injuries."

Jon said...

The Mets had their chance to move closer to eclipsing the Yankees, but Beltran just watched as that opportunity passed by him and the Mets. Yankees will need to start missing the playoffs again and/or the Mets will need to win a World Series before they take over NY.

ToddTheJackass said...

Yeah, the Interleague record really was staggering. I think the AL is still better this year, but the NL is closing the gap as the Cubs got a lot better, and the young core of the Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Rockies should really improve this year.

As for the Yanks v. Mets, I hate the Yankees, but I still think they get the edge as of now. While the Yankees rotation isn't spectacular, the Mets rotation really is not very good with Pedro out until at least August. Mussina gets the slight edge over Glavine (better K pitcher), Wang is better than Maine, I'll give Pettite the edge over El Duque (consistency), and Hughes is generally regarded as being better than Pelfrey. I'll just do Yankees fans and Mets fans a favor and not go into Pavano v. Oliver Perez... the bullpen edge goes to the Mets though I think.

Lineups are a harder comp, but I think the outfield depth of the Yankees is superior to that of the Mets, even though Beltran is the best OFer on either team.

What I think you can definitely argue is that the best SS in NYC is now no longer a Yankee.

verbal97 said...

Ok, so you're saying that one team beating another team over a best of 7 series is a better barometer for saying which league is better than 252 games in which all 30 teams play. And I'm stupid?!

So you think so highly of the Mets rotation. I wonder how many of them are on your fantasy team. Also, opening day starter does not equal best starter. Pavano started because of timing. Wang, Mussina and Pettite are all better right now than Pavano. Plus, comparing Pavano and Schilling's statistics, you could say that Pavano is slightly better (or less worse) this year. But you can't judge them on one start, just like you can't judge two teams on 3 games total. Unless you're stupid. And you aren't stupid are you?!?!?!?!

Unknown said...

Donovan after '07:
Two straight titles
Three final fours in 8 years
First/second round exits in the 5 years in the middle

Coach K after '92
Two straight titles
Six final fours in 7 years
Sweet sixteen loss in the other year

Duke was not Duke yet? The resumes are roughly equivalent if you conveniently ignore everything except for the two championship years.

Andy said...

Um, I think the best SS is a Yankee, but he's just being forced to play 3rd base. A-Rod will move back to SS next year after he opts out of the Yankees and someone signs him to be their SS. Then he'll show everyone why he is one of the greatest players in the game.

ToddTheJackass said...

I seriously doubt A-Rod will go back to being a SS. His body has really filled out a lot in the past two years and I'm not sure he's agile enough to make the transition back to SS. Not to mention that the wear and tear on SS is much greater than it is on corner infielders, making it less likely to have the longevity necessary to break the all-time home run record.

And you know I hardly ever agree with Verbal on anything baseball related, but he's entirely correct in pointing that interleague is a much better sample size of which league has been better the past two years. I think the gap is closing more as some NL teams have their younger cores getting older, but certainly the past 2 years the AL has been better.

Also, hasn't the AL won 2 of the last 3 World Series (Red Sox, White Sox, Cardinals?) I mean, if we're arguing that... right?

The Poobah said...

A few comments...

I don't think the Coach K/Donovan analogy is really accurate. Duke was definitely Duke because I hated them already. K had seen a lot of success there already.

I think the Yankees and Mets are pretty even. But until the Mets make the playoffs and the Yanks miss, it will still be a town dominated by the Yankees and their fans.

And the Schilling blog is just another move by a media whorewho wants to be loved. Just because it's a blog (and we know how Dan loves blogs) doesn't mean it's any different. It's interesting to be sure but he's still a media whore.

Andy said...

Lets look at this from a position by position stand point:

C: Lo Duca vs. Posada.
Edge: Lo Duca (close)
1B: Delgado vs. Mienkiewitz
Edge: Delgado (by a mile)
2B: Valentine vs. Cano
Edge: Cano (close)
3B: Wright vs. A-Rod
Edge: A-Rod (close [as 3rd, A-Rod would dominate as SS])
SS: Reyes vs Jeter
Edge: Reyes (not close)
LF: Alou vs. Matsui
Edge: Matsui (not close)
CF: Beltran vs. Damon
Edge: Beltran (not close)
RF: Green vs. Abreu
Edge: Abreu (not close)

Of those 8 positions, it's 4-4. I still take the Mets though because everyone has a role. The Yankees have no roles. It's everyone for themselves.

Pitching is harder to do with the injuries but I take the Mets bullpen because Wagner is just as good as Rivera, who is showing age. The starting rotation is close. Glavine is steady as a rock. But so is Mussina. El Duque is inconsistant, but Wang has no track record. Petitte is good, but so is Pedro when he's back. The rest is just young guys.

I'd say the whole thing is a push. The teams are pretty equal. I'll take the Mets because I think the NL is better at the AL style of play than the AL is at the NL style of play.

ToddTheJackass said...

As for Schill's blog, although I, as a Sox fan, still think he's a blowhard (and I know I'd hate him with a passion if he were on another team), his blog is actually interesting when he's writing about his own pitching.

His lengthy Q & A entries, not as good since they're formatted poorly and in desperate need of an editor.

But his write-up of his pitching performance against the Royals was really interesting, in that he owned up to sucking something terrible, and basically said how he was feeling in certain situations and why he threw certain pitches in certain counts. Obviously, for those that hate Schilling, this wouldn't be interesting, but for Red Sox fans and others who are interested in what is going through the minds of pitchers, it was pretty interesting and honest.

Even if it came from a media whore like Schill.

CMFost said...

actually i do not think you can point to interleague to make the point about 2 teams. The only way you can look at is if the 2 teams play each other which they did and they split 6 games. the reason being is there are a lot more bad teams in the NL then there are in the AL. Off the top of my head I can name only KC, Seattle, Tampa and Baltimore as AL team they have not shot at the playoffs.

The 2 teams (Mets and Yankees) are pretty equal. And saying the Yankees bullpen is better just because of Rivera is wrong since the Mets have a closer nearly as good in Wagner and they a probably deeper when it comes to middle relief.

Andy said...

My bad, I missed 2004 in there. I was going with Florida, the White Sox, then Cardinals. I just missed 04.

I still don't think you can make a judgement based on overall interleague records over the past couple years. Reasoning is because the styles are so different that you can't judge it based on 12 games per team. If it was over the course of the whole season, like the NFL where the besides division play, the schedule is pretty random, it would hold more water.

ToddTheJackass said...

I disagree with past history counting as to who the better team in NYC is right now. Neither team has won the WS in a few years now.

As for Andy's comps, I'd take Posada over Lo Duca, as Posada is a better power threat. But that is close.

Also Cano over Valentin isn't close. Cano could win a batting title, Valentin is league average at best, with having a bit of a fluke year last year.

And you know how much I hate Jeter, but even giving the edge to Reyes, it's close. I mean Jeter was a legit MVP candidate last year (even if I didn't think he should've won). Jeter would also get the edge in murdering innocent puppies.

Also Delgado's comp really should be Giambi (still give the edge to Delgado), though it's tough to balance it with the DH.

But please, change the subject, I hate defending the Yankees...

CMFost said...

Since 2000 The AL has won 4 World Series and the NL 3. Which I would say is pretty equal

2000 - Yankees
2001 - Arizona
2002 - Anaheim
2003 - Florida
2004 - Boston
2005 - Chicago White Sox
2006 - St. Louis

verbal97 said...

I think Todd's comps are more fair-minded than Andy's. Also, cmfost, I wasn't using the interleague records to compare the two teams, but rather as a way of comparing the two leagues as a whole.

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey, the Heat won the NBA title, but does anyone think the East was better than the West last year?

ToddTheJackass said...

While I wouldn't say interleague records would help show one team's superiority over the other, it is a large enough sample size to draw some kind of conclusion. I mean the results aren't even close. And it's not like the NL teams always have to play in AL ballparks, or vice versa. The AL's dominance in the past two years really has showed that they've been extremely capable of playing "NL style" ball.

Last word on Yankees/Mets, rating both teams out of 100 scale, I'd give the Yankees a 91 and the Mets an 89. So I'm saying it's close, but I still think the Yanks lineup is slightly better, and their rotation slightly better. I'd definitely reconsider if a healthy, effective, Pedro were not out for half the season though. But right now, I think that's a big difference.

ToddTheJackass said...

Well stated Brian... also, does anyone think the Cardinals were actually the best team last year?

TJ said...

About the Billy Packer thing. I think "fag out" is a legitimate phrase, isn't it? Maybe it's antiquated (or British maybe), but I could have sworn it was a phrase with origins having nothing to do with gay people at all. The meaning, I believe, is to "tire out." Simmons suggested that Packer used the phrase to mean "back out of a bet," but he's talking about Rose promising to be a runner, then fagging out. So, if it is a legit phrase meaning to tire out, Billy Packer is only guilty of being Billy Packer.

The other thing I find amusing is that it's bad for Billy Packer to say "fag out" but it's funny for Jimmy Kimmel to call Billy Packer a Fudge Packer.

TJ said...

Basically, if Saban can get away with saying "coon-ass," there's no way Packer should get in trouble for "fag out."

Andy said...

Lo Duca is more of a leader than Posada though. Those intangibles are nice. I also think you ahve to look at defense in the Cano and Valentine. Cano isn't that great with the glove in my opinion. Giambi doesn't count because he is the DH. The Mets don't have anything to counter it with. As for Reyes, he is an all-around better player. Reyes had more runs, more triples, more homeruns, more stolen bases, less strikeouts, and had a better slugging. Jeter had more doubles, RBIs, and had a better average. I'll take Reyes anyday.

This debate is endless though. I'm a National League guy so I'm gonna support the Mets anyday. Todd is an American League guy so he'll defend that anyday. Verbal, you're just an idiot. I'm done with this debate. We'll see how this turns out in the end of the season.

rob said...

verbal - i'm a little late to the party in responding to you, but there's a big difference between taking a calculated risk and panicking. flushing your entire farm system to get big names at the trade deadline is perhaps a panic move.

paying large (but not above-market) dollars for potentially elite players (note that i said potentially) when your market position and budget allows you to do so isn't.

verbal97 said...

alright, new debate. I'd love to know how I'm "just an idiot". Have I said something that wasn't correct? You're the only that was loose with the facts. But then again, name-calling is all you can really expect from someone with a brain capacity so limited, it makes Forrest Gump look like he's in Mensa.

David Kippe said...

Its tough to gauge AL v NL. Especially when the AL has a slight advantage with the DH. The bench players from the NL that hit DH when in AL parks are usually better fielders (utility) than they are hitters, hence why they do not start in NL play. The american league DH is typically a 1B. So it really is not fair to argue that the AL is better, not the same rules, not the same game. with that said...the only sport that shows dominance completely by a conference is Football. The AFC has been humiliating the NFC for almost 10 years now. Not just interconference matchups, but the Super Bowl as well (we should all agree that the Tampa team was one of the worse Super Bowl Champs ever). Though the AFC dominance does not even come remotely close to what the NFC East and SanFran did to the league in the 80s and 90s.

verbal97 said...


Fair point. The Red Sox didn't flush the farm system down the proverbial toilet with free agent signings. It's not like trading Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen or anything.

rob said...

and neville chamberlain's probably still smarting about appeasing the germans - which is about as relevant to baseball in 2007 as the bagwell/andersen trade.

ToddTheJackass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
verbal97 said...

hey rob, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

CMFost said...

OK, Dan you have to get over your non-nhl thing especially when there was a record tied last night and will probably be broken in the next day or 2.

Martin Broduer ties Bernie Parent for most wins in a season last night.

ToddTheJackass said...

Come on, we don't need to resort to name calling here... just having a good spirited debate.

I do agree that Lo Duca is a better leader than Posada, but Posada is the better hitter IMO.

Jeter v. Reyes is a fun debate. I take Reyes, but it's hard even for me as a hater to deny Jeter is a very good player. Jeter's leadership though did come under fire last year with the A-Rod debacle.

Also, while I understand it being difficult to find a comp for having the DH, I don't think it's fair to dismiss it altogether, as if there were no DH, Giambi would be playing 1B (or at least be trying to). Giambi also would be leading both teams in the category of steroid needle's injected.

Cano's defense did also improve last year, but his glove isn't refined yet by any means. Valentin's range strikes me as not being that great though, but I haven't looked at the metrics to know if that's a fair observation.

While some people claim that the NL is at a disadvantage during interleague, I'm pretty sure over the past two years the AL has even done better in NL parks than the NL has, even with home field...

Andy said...

Yanksfan, do you realize that your opinion doesn't mean anything to us because your name says your a Yankees fan? It's like how everything Dan says about Florida goes thru one ear and out the other to pretty much everyone that reads this blog. Mariano is still very good, but he is on the decline I think. Wagner is very good as well. Jeter is not a good leader. Look at the A-Rod situation and that's apparent. I would call Jeter an OK defensive SS. He just doesn't have that much range. He makes a couple higlight reel plays and everyone worships his defense. Honestly, it's average. Is he a top 10 SS in the league? Absolutely. But Reyes is number 1.

Luke Bell said...

As a midwestern fan that doesn't care about those east coast teams, I will opine that Reyes is a better player than Jeter is, but I would be more scared to see Jeter come up to bat with 2 outs in the 9th with the winning run in scoring position. So, for what that's worth. But I would be pretty scared to see Reyes causing all sorts of havoc on 1st base in that same situation.

I don't know if I would want any of either team's starting pitchers.

verbal97 said...

who's this "us" you're referring to. and how dare you say that someone's opinion isn't welcome because of their screenname.

ToddTheJackass said...

I'm really shocked we don't have any Mets fans as regulars. Seems to be more or less Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs fans here.

Come on though Verbal, it's not like the Yankees have never made a bad trade or anything either, right? I mean both have made good and bad trades, but I think you could at least use the Hanley or Cla Meredith trades as more recent evidence than Bagwell, right?

Andy said...

Yanksfan, that wasn't meant to be an insult either, just saying. A Yankees fan saying he'll take the Yankees over the Mets is obviously biased and won't be taken seriously. I expect my opinions about the Cubs to not be taken seriously. Sorry if it came across as insulting.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ToddTheJackass said...

The only evidence of Rivera "wearing down" was probably that he got shut down for a lot of Septemeber last year and Torre has gone on record saying that he's limiting Mariano to only one-inning.

Still, his cutter is filthy as ever...

For this year he certainly should be effective, but I don't think anyone could argue that he probably doesn't have too many more years left. (Again, not arguing his effectiveness this year).

Andy said...

My reasoning for Rivera's decline is because most people think Rivera is great because of his post-season successes. But in the past few years, it is VERY apparent that he has been very hittable in the post season. I think he's showing age by wearing down in September and October. I'm not going to look up munbers because I simply don't have time, but it just seems to me that he's wearing down later in the season. That shows signs of decline. Most playerss decline as the season wears on them, but Rivera had set his own standard so high because he was so good for so long that because he hasn't been as good lately, he is on the decline. Does that make sense?

verbal97 said...

yes todd, everything you say is true. But the topic I was commenting on was specifically about the Red Sox "panic-buying"...and the Bagwell trade is one of the worst in recent history, which is why I chose that one as a point of reference.

Andy said...

Hey Todd, we're agreeing!!

Anonymous said...

no todd, its just that redsox/yanks/cubs fans like to talk (and type) a lot about ...everything.

Go Reds!

Andy said...

Rafael, you have no room to talk. You might as well be a Yankees fan with all those Yankees on your fantasy roster. :)

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

A little off topic with all the baseball talk but the WWL has a column up discussing the greatest defensive player of all time.

Wonder why Theismann did not say, “Have you seen the video!?”

CMFost said...

1B -
Delgado - .265 38HR 114 RBI
Giambi - .253 37HR 113 RBI
edge - Delgado based on defensive skills

Valentin - .271 18HR 72RBI
Cano - 342 15HR 78RBI
Edge - Cano

Reyes - .300 19HR 81 RBI
Jeter - .343 14HR 97 RBI
Edge - Even Jeter better offense, reyes better defense

Wright - .311 26HR 116 RBI
A-Rod - .290 35HR 121 RBI
Edge - Even

CMFost said...

hard to use the Bagwell trade in reference to the current Red Sox, since they have different owners and GM now.

ToddTheJackass said...

Haha, NDYanks, you forget about the Sandy Alomar home run for Mariano.

The "best statistical closer in postseason history" stats aren't exactly reliable though, since the modern closer is relatively recent, and the playoffs have expanded recently, and the Yankees have obviously have given Mariano more opportunities.

But Mariano is an easy first-ballot Hall of Famer, which I don't think anyone can argue. But there are some blips on his record that keep it far from perfect.

Roge said...

I will weigh in on the Yankees/Mets debate, even though I'm a little late. I played college ball and now coach HS baseball. I'm a Tigers fan (so I shouldn't be biased). Here goes:

C: Lo Duca - career .290 hitter, a little better defensively, better leader

1B: Delgado - even if you count Giambi as a 1B, Delgado had better numbers last year. Very similar, but still better. Plus he's better defensively.

2B: Cano - by a landslide. His glove is servicable and many people think he will win at least one batting title. Hit .340 last year.

SS: Reyes - let's do a side by side. .300 19HR 81RBI 64SB 122 Runs 17errors vs .344 14HR 97RBI 34SB 118 Runs 15errors. Reyes with more HR, fewer RBI (But he's a leadoff hitter), more SB, more runs, about the same errors (Reyes has more range, therefore gets to more balls, making him more prone to errors. I'm taking Reyes. No doubt about it.

3B: A-rod - In a "down" year he had a better season than Wright. Wright is probably the second best 3b in baseball though.

LF: Matsui - Better defensively by far, less likely to get hurt, and puts up serious numbers as well.

CF: Beltran - premier CF in baseball. 41HR 116RBI from a CF... not to shabby. Also worlds ahead of Damon in terms of throwing ability.

RF: Abreu - Can do it all, hit for power, hit for average, run, throw, field his position.

Starting Pitching: I'm going Yankees here. Wang, Mussina, Pettitte are clearly better than the Mets top 3. Throw in Igawa and his potential and Pavano will be servicable in the 5th starter spot.

Bullpen: Yankees. I'm not sure why people are down on their pen. It's not bad. Farnsworth and Proctor are high quality relievers. Mike Myers is a great situational lefty. Then you have the best closer ever finishing it out. Gotta take the Yanks here.

Results: Yankees 6 Mets 4

That's not saying the Mets aren't good. I think they'll win the division. But I also think the Yankees will win their own division, which is clearly better than the NL East.

Roge said...


Learn the difference between there, they're, and their please. You misuse it all the time and it bothers me.

ToddTheJackass said...

Fantasy Alert

The Yankees/D-Rays game is postponed. So if you're in a daily league, you might want to switch out your Yanks or D-Rays since they won't be playing today. You should be able to do it before 1:05, the scheduled start of the game.

CMFost said...

a little off topic but did anyone else watch the Sheild last night. It was a pretty intense and amazing hour of TV.

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

Amen, cmfost!

Last night, you had the top 4 teams in the East* playing each other.

*: By points, I mean. Sorry, Atlanta.

In East Rutherford, Claude Julien's legacy remained intact as the Devils beat Ottawa 3-2 in a shootout. As cmfost said, Martin Brodeur tied Bernie Parent's single-season wins record with his 47th of the season.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh... The Penguins power play with Ryan Whitney: Dominating. The Penguins power play without Ryan Whitney: Pants. Buffalo wins 4-1, and clinches the top seed in the East. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, needs to win out, and for the Devils to lose out, to win the Atlantic.

You'd think that, somewhere along the way, Dan would notice even a little bit of what's going on in the National Hockey League right now. I sometimes wonder if he's trying very hard to ignore hockey right now.

I leave you with this little snippet from a reply Dan posted in the comment thread of yesterday's Quickie (emphasis added): said...

Geoff, you've picked up on this "to what extent have we over-romanticized the teams we grew up with" thing.

"We," in particular, being the sports media that tends to dominate and/or drive the conventional wisdom.

"Out of sight, out of mind" should be a warning, not a mission statement.


CMFost said...

Todd, hopefully we can get alittle focus on the NHL since the playoffs are about to start and there is no better playoffs then the NHL playoffs.

CMFost said...

My Personal Playoffs Rankings:
1. NHL
2. NFL
3. MLB
4. NBA

verbal97 said...


I loved that you spelled his (cmfost's) name wrong when correcting his grammatical errors. that's classic!


again, i was just using it (Bagwell trade) as a point of historical reference, not a direct comparison to the 2007 team.

verbal97 said...

I would agree with your playoffs ranking, but the NHL playoffs aren't going to be widely watchable, simply because it's not going to have the same coverage it used to...which blows. For me, there is nothing better than a 4OT playoff hockey game.

Matt T said...

are the mets and yankees playing each other in interleague this year? That could answer this debate a lot easier.

CMFost said...

Matt, the mets and yankees play every year in interleague

CMFost said...

verbal would it not be:

grammatical errors, that's classic!

Instead of what you wrote:
grammatical errors. that's classic!

sorry just kidding around

BeerBrarian said...

Schilling has gone from "old media" whore to "new media" whore. But he'll get a free pass from bloggers like Dan because now he's "one of us." Repeat that over and over again like a horror movie.

CMFost said...

actually Jake I think Schilling is an ALL Media Whore(new and old)

verbal97 said...

You're probably right, but I'm not the one that's hardcore about the "there, their, they're" thing. Plus, I was defending you somewhat.

Also, you forgot to mention the "I" instead of "i" in my response.

Andy said...

I'm not sure we should criticize typos too much. I'm sure we all pretty much suck at typing.

NA said...

CMFost said...
OK, Dan you have to get over your non-nhl thing especially when there was a record tied last night and will probably be broken in the next day or 2.

Martin Broduer ties Bernie Parent for most wins in a season last night.

That's a really misleading record, no? Since any shootout win that Broduer has would have been a tie in the past. New Jersey is 9-7 in shootouts this season. I would assume that Broduer, at a minimum played in 6 of those "bonus wins" kind of pads the ole' W/L record.

Of course he's still one of the three best goalies of this generation (Roy, Hasek, Brodeur). I'm just saying that his all-time single season wins record is almost as tainted as Bonds's HR record

ToddTheJackass said...

Dave still wins with the caps lock on. That trumps any kind of grammatical error.

As for the NHL, I have to admit I fall into that category of fan who only watches when the playoffs start. The problem for me is that in not paying very close attention to hockey the past few years, I don't know much about a lot of the players beyond the aging stars or young superstars. I also casually follow the Bruins, who won't be in it.

I do get the Vs. network in HD though, so I will switch to some of those games when the Red Sox are in commercials.

And you're right Verbal, there's simply nothing better than Overtime playoff hockey.

Brad said...

I think a lifetime ban for NFL players involved in serious criminal activity is a great idea! I don't think a player should be banned for a 1st offense, but just the possibility of being banned for life should scare some players into getting their act together.

You would think someone making millions of dollars could stay out of trouble. And for a lot guys, the NFL is all they have, and if you stay out of trouble for at least 5 years (or less for some players) you can be set for life, financially speaking.

Pete Rose is banned for life from baseball and a lot of people don't have a problem with that....and he didn't do anything that could have caused physical harm to other people like some of these NFL players.

jhawkjjm said...

The Red Sox fan in me just wants to say the Mets are better because I hate the Yankees.

But honestly I don't think its possible to have a good comparison between the two. They play two completely different games playing in separate leagues. The DH makes any comparison difficult. Comparing position by postion doesn't do much either. You can argue the Yankees have an advantage at 3rd, but is that advantage bigger than the advantage the Mets have in CF? To have any sort of fair comparsion, you need to look at the teams as a whole, but that's unfair due to the DH.

If you want to argue player-by-player, then you need to rank the players on each team from best to worst and find an compare them that way, then somehow aggregate it up to get an overall comparison.

Brian in Oxford said...

The best part of the NHL playoffs are:

1. The scheduling....every other night, straight through a series, usually. And so half the series play every night.

2. That feeling when a game goes to overtime....where you debate making the commitment to watch it out to its could be over in 2 minutes, or 2 hours.

3. The re-seeding of teams so the 8-seed has to at least really earn it.

Not to mention hockey is awesome, of course.

One thing I'd like to see in the NHL and NBA playoffs is that a large enough points / games discrepancy should buy the better team 5, 6, or even all 7 games as home games. When a 112-point team plays an 85-point team, then maybe the lower team gets game 4 at home, but that's it!

Brian in Oxford said...

Good God, Florida's pounding Washington again....

What's their over/under for losses? Eek.

verbal97 said...

Ok, a couple of people brought him up, so I have to say that Philip Hughes was re-assigned and isn't currently on the Yankees roster. Also, Mike, Pedro is out until August, so it's impossible that he and el Duque will win 40 games this year, although 40 missed starts is a very good possibility.

Brian in Oxford said...

Oh, I don't know....Pedro could come out of the bullpen in the 7th inning every night, and the Mets offense could bring them out of several starter-induced holes!

Matt Pickens said...

The Coach K-Billy Donovan comparison only works if Duke was a football school that has trouble selling out its basketball arena. I'm pretty sure that Duke football sucked at the beginning of the 90's too. Coach K was king at Duke then. Donovan will never be king at Florida, not even if he gets all his guys to come back again, win a third in a row, and then get the recruits to get another. Just won't happen. Still not saying he'll go (although everyday without an extension makes it look more likely) but this is a bad comparison for why he shouldn't.

ToddTheJackass said...

Right Verbal, but I'm in the camp that believe Phil Hughes will be in the rotation by Memorial Day, so he's important to factor in the Mets comp.

Hughes plays for the Yankees, and went to my rival high school, so I think it's pretty much my destiny in life to destroy him...

verbal97 said...

Actually, I think Karstens is above Hughes on the depth chart.

ToddTheJackass said...

For now, but he won't remain that way. The way I heard it, the Yankees are trying to protect Hughes a little bit, so they didn't want to start him off in the majors. But from a 'stuff' perspective, Hughes' ability is far better than Karstens. Hughes is a mega-prospect, so he'll be up soon if he pitches as well in AAA as he did last year in AA.

Plus I think Karstens is hurt. That's why Rasner right now is the Yankees 5th starter, w/ Wang out.

verbal97 said...

Hughes is a better prospect, no doubt about that. I guess we'll see what happens with injuries, etc. I think if nobody gets injured for a prolonged period of time, the rotation will be Wang, Mussina, Pettitte, Mussina and Pavano.

BTW, Karstens is indeed on the 15 day DL.

ToddTheJackass said...

Verbal, do you honestly think Pavano will stay healthy? I mean, really? That's like Cubs fans hoping... no... too easy...

Also, Wang is out until at least a few more weeks.

Early dud goes to AJ Burnett, giving up 6 runs in 2IP...

verbal97 said...

It's possible that at some point Pavano will be healthy enough to pitch the majority of the year, but you're right, I'm not going to hold my breath. Also, from what I had heard, Wang wasn't going to be out for too long.

Which group/pair of pitchers is more "cursed". The young Marlins pitchers from 2003 (Burnett, Pavano, Burkett) or Wood and Prior? I say the Cubs by far because at least the Marlins pitchers have a ring. Altogether, that's a sad waste of potential.

bayne_s said...

Forget Raftery we want Gus Johnson

starkweather said...

Jose Reyes vs. Derek Jeter is a good argument. It's actually a tough call. Wagner vs. Rivera? Not so much. It's one thing to say Rivera is on the decline. But to what point? He's still better than Wagner, who's also on the decline. It's not as if you're comparing someone with a future (i.e., K-Rod) to an aging star. You're comparing an aging star to an aging Hall-of-Famer. Rivera wins easily. I would like to ask, honestly, are the Cubs really the biggest brand name in the NL? I would say Dodgers but I live in L.A. so I may be biased.

Brian in Oxford said...

The Cubs had their own national station, that counts points. Plus, being in the midwest allows them to expand their fan base in numerous directions. It's not like LA can get more fans from the west, so to speak. From a "number of states" standpoint, the Cubs probably win that one. From a "total number of fans", then maybe the Dodgers, yeah....

ToddTheJackass said...

The Mets are the biggest brand name in the NL I think, just for the NYC factor. No one really cares about the Dodgers outside of So-Cal (and even there hardly anyone cares unless they're good).

I'd say Mets, then Cubs, then Dodgers.

Anonymous said...

Dodgers have faded badly. Ask most people, adn the only Dodger they remember is Tommy LaSorda.

I really hate to say it, since I'm a Cincy fan, but the Cubbies are the NL's biggest name right now.

Andy, my team might get another Yankee. lol Ugh. this sucks

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

@ bayne

Gus Johnson is play by play and Rafferty is the color guy. I would love to have those guys are Harlan and Rafferty announce the Final Four next year. Packer needs to go and I have felt that for years.

David Kippe said...

I cannot believe that anyone can argue that the Mets are bigger than the Cubs in the NL. Are you serious? The Cubs have more displaced fans throughout the nation than anyone else other than the Yanks. We should not even be having this discussion. You will find Cubs fans everywhere and have an oustanding road attendence year in and year out, and they have never won anything in any of these fans lifetimes. Interesting enough though, is that Cincy was the biggest draw on the road last year of any NL team.

Matthew B. Novak said...

5 Greatest College Football coaches, and you didn't name the all-time winningest coach in College Football? John Gagliardi needs to be mentioned in that top 5.

Sorry if someone else posted this - I didn't have the time to dig through all the comments.

Andy said...

Ok, I've been busy most of the afternoon but I gotta agree with the above comment. The Cubs are BY FAR the biggest brand name in the NL and probably only behind the Red Sox in all of MLB, but even then it's a close battle. Watch any Cubs road game, and you're going to see a minimum of 30% of the crowd wearing Cubbie blue. That says enough right there. Yes, I am a Cubs fan and yes, I do live in the Midwest, but I've also been to Florida and California in recent years and seen MANY people wearing Cubs hats around the tourist areas, etc. Cubs are the biggest in the NL, no competition.

Kevin said...

I hate when you just throw out a ridiculous statement without anything backing it up, like when you say " more reason why the debate over 'Best Basketball Coach on the Planet' isn't one -- Summitt has ended any argument." you really believe that? She doesn't have to deal with half the stuff the men's coaches do. Men's hoops and women's hoops are two completely different sports, and should be treated as such.

Anonymous said...

If you really think there are more Cubs fans then Yankee fans then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you

Luke Bell said...

There are Cub fans everywhere, but like I said before, Cub fans are the pink hats of baseball fandom. That is no insult to those true loyalists, who actually care about the team and follow them, rather than go to games because it is a social event. 90-95% of the Cubs "fans" I see are, for lack of a better term, total douches. And I see a lot of them, being in Milwaukee.

So yeah, the Cubs have a huge brand name, but really all that means is they are popular and can sell a lot of merchandise. So does American Idol. Both I could do without. :)

Anonymous said...

Cubs fans are the 'pink hats' of the NL

Red Sox fans are the 'pink hats' of the AL. I see way to many women in those.

Anonymous said...

Cool info about the NBA, but I was also thinking of shedding some more light on the WNBA, which doesn’t get much publicity, although it should. Here are some interesting facts about the WNBA:

On February 15, 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Donna Orender, who had been serving as the Senior Vice President of the PGA Tour and who had played for several teams in the now-defunct Women's Pro Basketball League, would be Ackerman's successor as of April 2005.

The WNBA awarded its first expansion team in several years to Chicago (later named the Sky) in February 2005. In the off-season, a set of rule changes was approved that made the WNBA more like the NBA Wizards game stats.

The 2006 season was the WNBA's tenth; the league became the first team-oriented women's professional sports league to exist for ten consecutive seasons. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, the WNBA released its All-Decade Team, comprising the ten WNBA players deemed to have contributed, through on-court play and off-court activities, the most to women's basketball during the period of the league's existence.

In December of 2006, the Charlotte Bobcats organization announced it would no longer operate the Charlotte Sting. Soon after, the WNBA announced that the Charlotte Sting would not operate for the upcoming season. A dispersal draft was held January 8, 2007, with all players except for unrestricted free agents Allison Feaster and Tammy Sutton-Brown available for selection. Teams selected in inverse order of their 2006 records, with Chicago receiving the first pick and selecting Monique Currie.

For mens basketball resources please see the pages on the following teams:

NBA New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers
Chicago Bulls basketball
Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic

Michael S.