Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday 05/31 A.M. Quickie:
Deja Vu! Kobe, A-Rod, Spurs, Bee, More!

Geez, see what happens when I do my usual morning post at 4 a.m. and can't get back online the rest of the day...?

Trade Kobe! Um...Nevermind! Well, that was a whole lot of nothing. It was the sports-media equivalent of a supernova: A day of frenzy, but ultimately, nothingness.

The only thing that came out of Kobe's "Trade Me! Wait, Don't!" frenzy was that Kobe knows how to use the media. He obviously understands that sports media thrive on daytime drama, like a soap-opera addict. The pipeline MUST be filled with stuff to talk about, ad nauseum.

By going out with "Trade me!" then backtracking to "Eh, nevermind!" Kobe also flexes his power over the Lakers. Would it have been cool to see Kobe traded, say, to the East? Absolutely.

But all this frenzy did was allow bloggers and columnists and talking heads the chance to pursue "Can-you-top-this?" trade fantasies all day long. (At least most of them used Chad Ford's "Trade Machine" to see if the numbers worked.) The most common phrase of the day? "Wait, but my idea actually works!"

There will be a trade by the Lakers, all right. But it just won't involve Kobe.

The more likely outcome is that the Lakers will abandon their plan to turn teen center Andrew Bynum into a future cornerstone of the franchise. They simply can't wait for him, and his trade value will never be higher. (The Nets covet Bynum and would absolutely trade Jason Kidd for the young center. The Lakers balked at this in February, and it probably cost them any chance of advancing out of the first round of the playoffs. I don't expect them to maintain their stance about it.)

In the end, Kobe's demand wasn't "Trade me!" but "Trade someone else!" And it's not a crazy request. The Lakers need to make moves to win now.

So, instead of Kobe trades, let's talk about Bynum trades -- the trades that will help Kobe win now. You've already heard about the Bynum-for-Kidd deal, which makes sense for both teams.

Let me throw out my own ridiculous trade theory: The numbers don't work AT ALL, but if I was the T'wolves, I'd consider trading KG for Bynum. The T'wolves aren't going anywhere with KG. Why not rebuild around a center who will be a force starting in 5 years?

Guess what: By 2012, to win the West, you'll have to have a great center to battle an aging Duncan, a peaking Amare and an Oden just hitting his prime. The T'wolves' future is brighter with a promising young center like Bynum than a past-his-prime KG. Can someone please help make the numbers work, without saddling the T'wolves with albatross contracts?

Want the best analysis of the situation? Skip the predictable mainstream stuff and go with The inimitable Basketball Jones, with a phenomenal podcast on all things Kobe.

More A-Rod Scandal! After yesterday's off-field stuff (see next item), it's refreshing to have an on-field scandal. This one is a tempest in a Toronto teacup: A-Rod apparently used a little catty verbal gamesmanship to disrupt Jays infielders from fielding a pop-up.

Blue Jays players are crying "bush league!", although their griping seems way more wimpy than A-Rod's pathetic bleating on the basepaths. (Did the Jays players not remember A-Rod's infamous effete swipe at Bronson Arroyo in the 2004 ALCS?)

Gamesmanship is part of the game. We accept that there's trickery that goes on. Most of the time, fans tip their cap (some cranks might gripe, but you can't please everyone). Understandably, we don't like that stuff to be as blatant as A-Rod made it, but I'm OK with it.

Meanwhile, as usual, it's the cover-up and not the crime that is at the heart of the real issue: A-Rod insists he was yelling something innocuous, when everyone knows he was trying to mess with the infielders' heads. Why didn't he just say this:

"Yeah, I shouted at him. So what? I'm trying to help us advance runners, score runs and win games. At this point, my team needs to do ANYTHING it needs to in order to win. I'd rather win shamelessly than lose with class, and I think most fans would agree with me."

(Hmm: Now that's an interesting debate question. Would you rather win shamelessly or lose with dignity? Consider the long and storied -- and memorable -- history of champs who are shameless, then rack your brain trying to remember the dignified losers.)

More: Tabloid A-Rod! I have absolutely no problems with A-Rod being caught, like any other celebrity, by paparazzi, whether that's a paid photographer or just some fan with a camera-phone. This is the era we live in; we're the "Deadspin Generation" (Copyright, D. Shanoff), and any athlete who doesn't recognize it is going to get burned by it. (And the fogeys in the mainstream media who are complaining need to get over it, too. Fans are doing the job that the media should have been doing. Yes, including 24/7 "Gawker Stalker"-style coverage.)

They're not saying "Boo!", they're saying "Boo-onds!" (h/t: Waylon Smithers): Barry Bonds was booed vociferously by Mets fans last night ("convicted" steroids guy Guillermo Mota, a Mets reliever, got a 50/50 reception). Hey, it's the fan's right to boo, and I'll always defend that as the equivalent of the Fan's First Amendment. But I guarantee those same fans are bragging this morning that they went to go see Barry Bonds last night – and in 20 years, they'll still be talking about seeing Barry Bonds the season he broke Aaron's mark.

MLB: Instead of the usual daily Stud/Dud list, with the season two months behind us, I'd love to get your "Two-Month MVP"; "Two-Month Cy"; and "Two-Month Rookie of the Year" for each league. Have at it.

Spurs eliminate the Jazz: Not that anyone didn't see this coming. Now, all the NBA needs is the Pistons to finish off the Cavs for this NBA Finals to become the least thrilling in NBA history. SI covers aside, there is simply no appetite for the Duncan Dynasty we're living in.

(Meanwhile, I like that Deron Williams sort of called his Utah teammates out. There's nothing wrong with competitive spirit, particularly from the NBA playoffs' most break-out talent.)

Grizzlies hire Marc Iavaroni: By far, the hottest name in NBA coaching – and a terrific hire for Memphis, a team in need of a spark. The guy to give it to them is a Mike D'Antoni disciple who can bring Memphis a little bit of that Phoenix-Toronto-Oakland-style international flavor. (This past season, if Golden State was like Phoenix without the discipline, then Memphis was like Golden State with even less.) Second, I am thrilled that the Grizzlies didn't go with one of the retreads from the NBA's Coaching Recycling Program. Third, I predict Rudy Gay is going to be a huge star in Iavaroni's system.

Meanwhile, the Magic say they're trying to go after Florida's Billy Donovan, but I think that Donovan signs his fat new deal to stay in Gainesville by the end of the week, and the Magic are left with the NBA's above-mentioned Coaching Recycling Program.

NCAA bails out Duke players, gives them an extra year of eligibility to make up for last season's "lost" year: Now, this seems a little strange, given that it was Duke that canceled the season. It's a very weird precedent, to be filed under "Beware of Unintended Consequences."

Stanley Cup: Ducks go up 2-0 on Senators after 1-0 nail-biter in Anaheim. Well, nail-biter for hockey fans.

College Football: What does it say when it's news that Notre Dame's QB situation was "narrowed" to three contenders... from two! (Related: As a pre-frosh, Jimmy Clausen is already setting a pace to break Brady Quinn's career team record for douchiness.)

Vick Watch: Pro Football Talk says that NFL Security thinks Mike Vick is guilty in the dog-fighting scandal. And I'd trust NFL Security's judgment over that of local law enforcement. NFL Security should be running U.S. Homeland Security. They know EVERYTHING.

More NFL: Chad Johnson will race a horse. 'Nuff said.

MLS signs YouTube deal: As I've said with every sports league (NBA, NHL) that has done this type of distribution deal, it's nothing but a win and a smart play.

Spelling Bee, Cont'd: I caught a bit of Mike and Mike this morning and they were already snickering at the Bee. I believe it was that the Bee is in primetime on broadcast TV. As I said yesterday: Mike and Mike come across like the assholes if they take an otherwise gloriously earnest competition and layer it with the sarcasm of the classic junior high "cool kid" and "jock" making fun of the "smart kid." The finals are tonight. Darren Rovell's picks are uncanny (see second time down in the link). My guy, Samir Patel, is still in win it!

Rovell's last paragraph contains genius: Why haven't other media companies (online, blogs, etc.) sponsored contestants? For the amount of exposure the finalists get -- in primetime on broadcast TV, no less -- a company could easily give the kid more than the measly $10,000 (or whatever) they get for winning the thing. They could pick the most flamboyant kid, who would definitely get the most airtime/attetion. And the return-on-investment is easy to see. This will be interesting to track next year. Ha ha: How about a ""-sponsored kid?

MLB Nostalgia: Postman E tipped readers off to this Hardball Times story about Steve Dalkowski, whose mythic career seems made for YouTube, but simply came too early.

Must-Read: United Football League! Oh my god. I'm a sucker for innovative sports leagues, so I'm obviously smitten with this idea of a start-up pro football league.

There's a lot to like here: Great founders. Mark Cuban. Friday nights. Untapped markets. IPO ownership of the teams to fans. Mark Cuban.

I disagree with story author Joe Nocera about Arena not being a model to follow: By all accounts, the Arena Football League is the greatest sports-league pure start-up in the last half-century. (One of my crowning achievements of business school was "cracking" the case study of the Arena League, so I'm impossibly biased.)

Will it work? Who cares? It's fun to think about. (See that link to Rovell's blog above in the Spelling Bee item; the lead item of his blog is about the United Football League.)

-- D.S.


Todd said...

W/ Apologies to Brian (it was a good and bad pitching day), here are MLB Studs and Duds from yesterday:

1. Erik Bedard - W, 8.0IP, 0ER, 4H, 5Ks
2. Chris Young - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 4H, 7Ks
3. Barry Zito - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 6H, 7Ks
4. Derek Lowe - W, 7.0IP, 0ER, 3H, 5Ks
5. Dan uggla - 2-4, 2HRs, 4RBI

1. Jessie Litsch - L, 0.2IP, 5ER, 4H, 2BB
2. Jason Hirsh - L, 4.2IP, 8ER, 10H, 2BBs
3. Derrick Turnbow - L, 0.1IP, 3ER, 1H, 2BB
4. Felix Hernandez - L, 6.0IP, 7ER, 9H, 3HRs
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka - L, 5.2IP, 6ER, 12H

Honorary Dud: Terry Francona, for leaving Matsuzaka in the game too long.

Questionable Stud/Dud: A-Rod, for distracting by yelling at Blue Jays' infielders on a pop-fly, sealing the lead and the game for the Yankees.

Todd said...

Two-Month MVPs:
AL: Magglio Ordonez
NL: JJ Hardy

Two-Month Cy Young:
AL: Dan Haren
NL: Jake Peavy

Two-Month Rookie of the Year:
AL: Hideki Okajima
NL: Tim Lincecum

CMFost said...

2 Month MVP - Kevin Youkilis - 354 - 8HR, 30 RBI - 22 Game Hit Streak
2 Month CY - Josh Beckett - 8-0 2.65 ERA
2 Month ROY - Hideki Okajima - 0-0, 1.05 ERA, 4 Saves, 0 BS, 3 runs allowed in 25.2 IPs

Yes I know very Red Sox heavy but when you have the best record in the league you have to look at them for awards.

verbal97 said...

I have absolutely no problem with what ARod did. Hell, I do these kind of things all the time playing soccer and as a catcher in little league did far worse (and got far worse from other catchers) than yelling "mine" or whatever at a pop-up. I think the Blue Jays 3b and SS are crying foul because it's easier and better than being straight-up embarrassed like they should be.

Ben said...

Two-Month MVPs:
AL: Magglio Ordonez
NL: Jose Reyes

Two-Month Cy Young:
AL: Josh Beckett
NL: Jake Peavy

Two-Month Rookie of the Year:
AL: Hideki Okajima
NL: Troy Tulowitzki

A.P. Boynton said...

Two-month awards

AL MVP - Kevin Youkilis
AL Cy Young - Josh Beckett
AL ROY - Akinori Iwamura (Devil Rays)

NL MVP - tie between Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder
NL Cy Young - Jake Peavy (year-long NL Stud)
NL ROY - Tim Lincecum (Giants)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Chad Johnson vs. a horse?

Nothing new in Cincinnati...a Reds player raced a tiger. I can't recall the players name but he got a head start and his hat fell off. The tiger ended up stopping and eating the hat. Help me out people if you remember this/know where a video link is.

Patriots64 said...

AROD is a Moron and broke the rules! Calling interference for intentionally confusing a defender is extremely rare but he should have been called out!!

According to the official MLB rulebook, in section 2.00, Interference is defined as:

(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play.

Todd said...

Yeah, in all reality, I don't really have a problem with A-Rod doing that. It's a little bush league, but it's not like spiking someone or purse slapping...

Dan, what are your two-month picks?

CMFost said...

Is it funny but has A-Rod completely dropped off to the point where we only speak to him when he does something wrong. When in April we where saying how he is going to break records and be the MVP.

Seth said...

The NCCA "bails" schools out all the time. One example is by allowing players to redshirt. The NCAA does not tell a kid to sit out a season when he is supposedly "hurt". The School's do it to get another scholarship player an extra year or to not overlap super prospects. The NCAA was correct in giving the Duke players an extra year of eligibility.

Mark said...

The UFL sounds intriguing. With Mark Cuban on-board, you know there is going to be some innovation. My question is this: will they allow players to come directly out of high school or before the requisite "3 years after your HS class graduates?" If they can do that, then they could really influence the way the NFL does business.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Ortiz - left the bases loaded in the 7th preserving the sox loss

...I am grasping at anything over here as the yankees bury me...

I can't believe A-Rod pulled the willie mays hayes and it worked...honorary stud. B-jays players are just embarressed...that crap happens all the time but it never works so when it does, its embarressing.

Keith said...

Game 2 Studs/Duds:

Studs: Goalies. Razor Emery single-handedly kept this game from becoming a blow-out. J-S Giguere didn't face as many shots, but he was clutch during Ottawa's late-game flurry with the goalie pulled, as well as an earlier 5-on-3 that almost gave Doc Emrick a heart attack.

Sami Pahlsson. Stick-flipping, goalie-distracting, 5-on-3-causing goat one night, aggressive-forechecking, Heatley-pick-pocketing hero the next.

Dud: Bryan Murray. Shuffling lines. Hoping to get a boost from Oleg Saprykin. Change for change's sake. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Choose your metaphor.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I do think Mike and Mike will make light of these kids at the Bee but I do not think Mike Greenberg qualifies as the "cool kid".

BD said...

Two-Month MVP
AL: Magglio Ordonez
NL: Jose Reyes

Two-Month CY:
AL: Josh Beckett
NL: Jake Peavy

Two-Month ROY
AL: Delmon Young
NL: Troy Tulowitzki

Sons of a Motherless Goat said...

AL MVP: Ordonez
AL CY: Beckett

NL MVP: Fielder
NL CY: Peavy

rafael said...

Alright. What A-Rod did is just baseball. I'm more shocked that it doesn't happen all the time.
This is baseball, not golf or doesn't need silence to make a play.
The Jays player made a rookie mistake. It's on him, not on A-Rod.
Obviously, I'm in the camp of folk that think this was just a good, fun, long-time baseball maneuver.

ndyanksfan05 said...

The A-Rod thing is comparable to a linebacker yelling loudly during the QB cadence...

Even with the ball slapping incident - everyone was all over him. All he tried to do was get on base. The rule is there so its up to the ump to enforce it. Its no different than a lineman holding a guy on purpose - they're both "cheating" but the player is saying 'call it if you want, but its the only way I can make the play'. Same thing with a basketball player fouling someone going for a lay-up, a DB grabbing a guy going for a pass or a hockey player hooking someone going for a goal. Why is it sooo much different for baseball players? How about a guy who traps the ball in the outfield and comes up pretending he caught it? He is cheating - he should say I didn't catch it and throw it in. It's doing everything possible to win and the player is stretching the rules as far as they can to get an edge.

rafael said...

todd... 4 pitchers in your stud columns...but you don't include any of the CG pitchers? Boo.

ndyanksfan05 said...

sorry - end rant on event that happened years ago...

CMFost said...

actually Raf it is baseball but it is actually against the rules in Baseball as well as softball. As someone who has umpired before and has to know and enforce the rules the batter should been called out due to interference and all base runners returned to the base they started at.

Geoff said...

Oh god, that would be awful if the UFL allowed players to come right out of high school. Awful for fans I mean.

CMFost said...

NDyank - A lot of times when a players traps a ball he or she really is not sure if they caught the ball or not so I do think this is comparable. This basically is typical MLB umpiring calling the rules only when it is conveinent. When was the last time an umpire called the real strike zone or called a players for going out of there way to break up a double play

rafael said...

that's fine cm. but if it had been a Sox player, you'd be ok with it. ;)

No self-respecting umpire should ever call a runner out for that. Now, if A-Rod had stopped running and just stood next to the player shouting in his year..that's an out.

rafael said...

obviously, i meant 'ear', not 'year'.

irish3687 said...

Too win shamelessly or lose with dignity? Hmmm, I think that we know the Spurs answer to that.

Jen said...

Kelly Shoppach had four hits with a HR for the Tribe.

As an Indians' fan, I give Terry Francona honorary "Stud" hahaha

Paul Byrd is still "BB-less" in 43 innings.

CMFost said...

raf it is the rules and should be called. Any Umpire who is worth anything if they see it or hear it should make the call. That is what you are paid for to enforce the rules.

Patriots64 said...

Two-Month MVPs:
NL: Prince Fielder

Two-Month Cy Young:
AL: Josh Beckett
NL: Jake Peavy

Two-Month Rookie of the Year:
AL: Hideki Okajima
NL: Hunter Pence

The Sports Juice said...

Here's a possible Bynum for KG trade.

KG, Mark Blount, and Mike James for Bynum, Odom, Vlad Rad, and Kwame

It works in the Trade Machine.

Geoff said...

Patriots, you are going to pick A-Rod for MVP when he is on a last place team? Not only a last place team but a horribly disappointing last place team? Wow.

Natsfan74 said...

Really, I think the ARod thing depends on what he actually said. If he just screamed, as he contends, it is not a big deal. If he said "mine" or "I've got it" or words to that effect, then he should have been called out. Same as in football -- defensive players can yell during a quarterback's cadence/audible, but they cannot do anything to simulate the snap, such as yelling, "hut - hut" or whatever.

Funny how so many people compare what they did in little league to what major leaguers should be able to do. LL is a kids' game, with kids' rules. MLB players should be above the tactics of an 11 year old.

And I saw the A-Rod/ blonde lady thing in multiple main stream media sources -- including, msnbc, and the NY Post. Just because you aren't MSM anymore, Dan, doesn't mean they are always wrong or behindo n things.

Finally -- the UFL will go the way of the XFL, USFL, WFL, WLAF, and all football things not named NFL. Without a gimmick (like walls and nets and a short field), no pro football league can compete with the NFL head to head. But, if they let kids come into the league straight out of HS, they could become a reliable minor league system for the NFL. But that's about it.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Most baseball players know if it one-hopped in there glove or not...even when its obvious they come up holding their glove up in the air.

I just think the glove slap play was blown WAY out of proportion becuase it was A-rod. Guy stuck the glove out in front of him and he slapped it out of the way (probably to knock the ball out) but still...ump caught it so its no different than anyother play where a player tries to bend the rules to their advantage.

Patriots64 said...

Ever hear of Andre Dawson??

If AROD hits 55 and drives in 140 and bats .300 he will win!

CMFost said...

and Geoff let not forget after a great april A-Rod has basically sucked in May.

April - .355 14 HR 34 RBI
May - .235 5 HR 11 RBI

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey fost...since you've umpired, let me ask you if you know whether the baseball rules are the same as the softball rules as applied to my game last night.

bases loaded, one out. Infield pop-up, so they call the infield fly rule. We all assume it's "batters can advance at their own risk". And our second baseman dropped the ball behind him, not deliberately. So everyone moved up....the second baseman threw to first and the runner was called out for leaving first too early. The umpire said that because the batter's automatically out, the runners still can't leave their bases until the ball is live -- hitting the fielder's glove or the ground. So it was like he didn't tag up on what essentially is deemed an out, and left first too "early".

I really hope games 3-5 for the Cup are good, since the NBA has San Antonio sitting around waiting....and actual hockey night in Canada on Saturday NIGHT should be electric in Ottawa. Kinda funny that the network coverage starting in game 3 has started in Calgary/Edmonton/Ottawa, so the US network doesn't even get to put their logo along the boards...

Patriots64 said...

It is impossible to hit 90 hr's and drive over 200!! The Yankees will hit and score a lot of runs especially when the weather warms up and AROD will still finish with pretty incredible #'s and win MVP!

Coach Chip said...

Dan made a good point about booing Bonds then bragging that you "saw him when...". A fan boycott of Bonds would be the better way to show how they feel. How cool would it be if the stands were empty when he breaks the record? Some one organize this. Maybe Todd Macfarlane could cut out the middle man and buy up all the seats.

Natsfan74 said...

ARod has already won an MVP award on a last place team that is drastically underachieving. See his MVP with Texas.

But this year's awards go to:
AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez
NL MVP: JJ Hardy (but Dmitri Young surprisingly has MVP caliber numbers... on a last place team)

AL CY: Beckett
NL CY: Peavy

AL ROY: Delmon Young
NL ROY: Jason Bergmann (nearly no-hit Braves (7+ innings) and is 2-0 against Smoltz when Smoltz started 7-2. He won't stay there, but wow!

Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

A-Rod does appear to call "mine" on the video. Again, I don't think it's the worst thing he could've done, but it's a little bush, right?

A-Rod video.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Its kinda amazing that for one of the greatest players most of us will ever see play the game, the stuff people talk about in regards to him is the 'glove slap' and now him screaming 'hah' during a pop up in a 10-5 game in May...astounding.

CMFost said...

Brian the umpire made the correct call. Even though the batter is automatically out the tag up rule still applies that the batter needs to tag up or be in contact with the base when the ball is first touched even if the ball is dropped. I actually had the same play happen during a game I was umpiring and it turned into a triple play since all the runners left the base early.

verbal97 said...

Even if he did call "mine", I fail to see the problem. CMfost, it may be arbitrarily against the rules. I can't imagine any umpire worth a damn calling an out on it. If the rules were enforced strictly, then the strike zone in the rule book would be adhered to and there would be no neighborhood "out" for 2b and SS trying to turn a double play (or when Youkilis plays first and leaves the bag early which annoys me to no end). Plus, ARod says that people yell things at him and everybody else in similar circumstances.

TBender said...

Well we could talk about his great October performances.


Todd said...

@NDYanks, the slapping incident is always brought up because it was at a critical point in the playoffs, and was unabashedly illegal. It also has the undignified glory of looking especially "girly" upon replays. I don't think that play, or the one last night, (which we'll all forget about in like 3 days), will really be a huge part of A-Rod's legacy. If he never wins a World Series, that'll be a much bigger deal.

Also, @Rafael, in my "stud" ratings I'd give more credit to a guy who pitches 7 or 8 scoreless innings over a guy who gives up 3 runs and pitches a complete game. Last night also just had a ton of great pitching performances, so it was hard capping it at 5.

TBender said...


You sure about that on the Infield Fly Rule?

On Easter Sunday I was at MMP for Cards-Astros and something very similar happened.

Pujols on 2nd, Rolen on 1st and Wilson batting.

Wilson hits a nubber pop fly halfway between the mound and 1st base. It was ruled as an infield fly but the ball was not caught. Once the ball had hit the ground, Pujols took 3rd without tagging up (Rolen stayed at 1st).

And after the ump conference, Wilson was out, Rolen was on 1st, and Pujols was on 3rd.

There was no explanation given during the game to explain what happened, so we all (who keep scorecards) had to figure it out ourselves.

grungedave said...

Hey, Shanoff,

you can't "copyright" the phrase "Deadspin Generation" - catchy phrases are not proper subject matter for copyright.

You can try to trademark it though (like Riley's "threepeat").

ndyanksfan05 said...

I was under the impression the runner is out no matter what and it is up to the baserunners to fend for themselves - so if the ball is caught they must tag or stay put and if not the runner move up a base without tagging. Basically the runner is automatically out and the play continues as normal with no force out options.

CMFost said...

Yes, i am sure about the rule based on the Application that Brian was speaking about. I will have to go and check as to when the ball is live when no one touches it. I believe it might be when it hits the ground. Do you know if Pujols after went back to the bag or if he was standing on the bag until the ball hit the ground.

Mikepcfl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CMFost said...

NDYank you are correct in your thoughts, on the infield fly rule the batter is automatically out as for the base runners if the ball is caught or touched and dropped the tag rule is in place. As I said I am not 100% when it comes to the application of the rule when the ball is never touched since if the ball is never caught or touched before it hits the ground it calls in to questions if the infield fly rule should of been called or not,

Mikepcfl said...

Let me try this link again. I think tbender is right about the rule. If the ball is not caught, the runners dont have to tag up. They advance at their own risk. But they only need to tag if the ball is caught.

ndyanksfan05 said...

according to wikipedia (the end all be all of any dispute) my initial thoughts were validated. The ump made a bad call in your game...the runners dont need to tag if the ball is dropped.

rafael said...

Watching that video...ARod was on the bag when the 3B backs off the ball. That's a pretty slow reaction time for responding to a guy yelling at you.
I say he had a lapse in concentration and lost track of the ball. I don't buy that he thought A-Rod was impersonating a teammate.
I do like seeing people try to lip read the slowmotion replay...

Kurt said...

"CMFost said...
2 Month MVP - Kevin Youkilis - 354 - 8HR, 30 RBI - 22 Game Hit Streak
2 Month CY - Josh Beckett - 8-0 2.65 ERA
2 Month ROY - Hideki Okajima - 0-0, 1.05 ERA, 4 Saves, 0 BS, 3 runs allowed in 25.2 IPs

You really are the biggest Red Sox homer I have ever seen. Kevin Youkilis for MVP?! He's 23 in RBI's, T22 in homeruns and 13th in batting average. Magglio Ordonez has 4 more homeruns and 18 more RBI with the same average and OBP as Youk. Think about what you're saying before you type it.

And Dan, how's your Dice-K for Cy-Young prediction workin out?

Brian in Oxford said...

ndyanks, I saw that wikipedia article, but it contradicts other baseball and softball rules pages I'm looking up. Most of them say you do need to tag back up.

CMFost said...

the rule in softball is different - here it is directly from the softball rule book.

INFIELD FLY: An infield fly is a fair ball, not including a line drive, which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort when 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bases are occupied before two are out. Any fielder can catch an infield fly.
NOTE: When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “INFIELD FLY – BATTER
IS OUT” to aid the runners. If the ball is near the foul lines, the umpire shall declare “INFIELD FLY – BATTER IS OUT, IF FAIR”. The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or re-touch and advance after a fielder touches the ball. If the hit ball becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any other foul ball.

CycleDan said...

You couldn't pay me to watch the spelling bee. I don't understand its allure. Speaking as a person who even won his class spelling bee a few times, it is boring. What makes it even worse is all these kids know every normal word. The whole point comes down to the organizers finding words that nobody has heard of so that they will get them wrong. Otherwise it would go on forever.

If they showed chess matches on TV I could watch it. I love Jeopardy. I am a geek at heart but national spelling bees suck. Watching kids who memorized the dictionary try to spell words that 99.99% of the population has never heard of (and that is a conservative estimate) is moronic.

... and as long as we are speaking about spelling:
their - possesive.
their favorite team,
their good looks.
there - place.
here and there,
don't go there,
the pitch was right there.
they're - contraction of they are.
they're the greatest team,

Jen said...

How about 2-Month Disappointments?

Forgot to say "Go Cavs!" earlier.


Kurt said...

"Natsfan74 said...
And I saw the A-Rod/ blonde lady thing in multiple main stream media sources -- including, msnbc, and the NY Post. Just because you aren't MSM anymore, Dan, doesn't mean they are always wrong or behindo n things."

I agree, Dan acts like such a fucking tool about somehow being better than mainstream media, now that he got fired from ESPN, yet he wants to call Brady Quinn a doochebag for no reason. It's called an inferiority complex; he plays on like blogging to 15 people everyday is better than working for the WWL, when really, he'd give his left testicle to have his old job back.

CMFost said...

actually in checking the MLB rule book not surprisingly Wiki is wrong. The MLB rule is the same as the USSSA/ASA Rule.

Directly from
An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.”
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.

CMFost said...

so based on re-reading the official rules the only time you do not have to tag up is when the ball is never touched by a fielder.

verbal97 said...

what rule should we over-dissect next?

Jeff said...


Thank you for calling cmfost a homer. I don't post a ton on here, but I read the comments most days. Sox/Yanks fans are the absolute worst for this... this is exactly why no one likes them.

Youk is having a fantastic year, but his numbers are behind about 10 different people right now. Perspective please.

Also, I like Jen's thought of biggest disappointment, here's what I got:

Chris Carpenter: 6IP 7.50ERA, on DL for months now.
Garrett Atkins: .223BA, .630 OPS, 3HR, 20RBI.

ndyanksfan05 said...

The fact that it says "the runners can advance at the risk of the ball being caught" indicates to me that if it is dropped they do not need to tag. The wording seems to indicate that they can run all they want but if it IS caught they will get doubled up.

Brian in Oxford said...

Well, we still need an interpretation if the ball's not touched, and allowed to drop unimpeded to the ground.

It seems like hitting the ground would make the ball live at that point, after which the runners would be free to leave their bases (or go back to tag up)

Jen said...

cycledan~ don't get me started on the correct use of words...that is one of my pet peeves! haha Thanks for the clarification on the use of "their", "there" and "they're".

two-the number after one
I have two eyes
Twins are two children born at the same time

too-also, in addition to; to a higher degree than is desireable or possible
I am an Indians fan and a Browns fan, too
This is too hard

to-expressing location in relation to a specific location
it's the "identifying" preposition

I am going to the Indians game on Tuesday
You were mean to her yesterday

ndyanksfan05 said...

In my experience the only confusion I have seen with the rule is that players wait to see if the ball is dropped and if it is dropped they run to the next base as if they are going to be forced out. Then they get tagged out in the basepath and complain to the ump.

Brian in Oxford said...

Let's go after plurals and possessives next.

"The Twin's scored 8 runs" is abhorrently wrong.

"The Twin's stadium is a dome" is also hideously incorrect.

CMFost said...

Brian if it was untouched it probably should not have been called an infield fly in the first place. Since the ball is alive the runners have no issue in moving up with or with out tagging.

Jeff said...

stop the grammar madness!! :-)

CMFost said...

ndyank you are correct the infield fly rule is confusing for most people who just play for fun or in a rec league.

CMFost said...

Hey I will admit my grammar and spelling suck but blogger does not offer spell checker or grammar checking for comment posts so I do not care.

ndyanksfan05 said...

If the ball is dropped (untouched or touched) the runners don't need to tag up. The "touch" aspect of the ruling is referring to the fact that a player may leave a base while tagging as soon as the ball touches the glove not after the player has secured it as a catch necessarily (therefore a player cannot bobble the ball forwards during a sacrifice to try and get closer to the infield to throw out a runner). Thus the reference to "just as any other fly ball".

Jen said...

Kevin Millwood~ 2-4 with a 6.60 ERA, on the DL again (but scheduled for a rehab start)

I was bummed that the Indians didn't keep him around, but I guess that's is why I am not a GM.

Jen said...

I'd rather talk grammar than the freakin' infield fly rule.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndyanksfan05 said...

brian - again no need to go back and tag if the ball hits the is played as "any other fly ball" except the batter is automatically out.

Brian in Oxford said...

well, the IFR was definitely the right call. We just hide sucky players at 2nd base most of the time.

I'm getting the opposite interpretation of the "like any other fly ball" line. It seems that if the ball WERE going to be caught, then the runners on 1st and 2nd can leave when the ball hits the glove, just as you said to avoid purposely bobbling it. And the fact that they refer to the ball being touched, not caught, seems to indicate that the tag-up is indeed necessary after it's touched.

Johnathan said...

dan's speller is out before the prime time portion of the show

CMFost said...

Kurt said - You really are the biggest Red Sox homer I have ever seen. Kevin Youkilis for MVP?! He's 23 in RBI's, T22 in homeruns and 13th in batting average. Magglio Ordonez has 4 more homeruns and 18 more RBI with the same average and OBP as Youk. Think about what you're saying before you type it.

lets get your facts straight:
Youk is 2nd in all of MLB for batting average not 13th.

Also let's look at other factors, Youk is 2nd in MLB for hits, tied for 7th in doubles, 9th in runs scored, 6th in OBP, 8th in OPS. He also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage(0 errors at 1b or 3b)

I think that you need to look at every not just the glamour stats when determining an MVP. You need to determine what that player brings to that teams success. And Youk is one of the key reasons the Red Sox are one of the top offenses in boston and that should give him some mvp consideration.

If I took off my homer glasses for a minutes my top 3 for MVP would probably be

1. Mags
2. Youk
3. Vlad

TBender said...

Pujols was a couple of steps off the bag and he shuffled back a step before breaking and never touched the bag.

But the ball was never touched, which as it appears was the key.

Todd said...

I like the biggest disappointments (Duds) as well:

AL: Kei Igawa - (7.63 ERA, sent down to Single-A)
NL: Carlos Zambrano - (5.24ERA, 32BBs)

AL: Bobby Abreu - (.228BA, 2HR) / JD Drew - (.226BA, 17RBI)
NL: Lance Berkman (.244BA, .335 SLG)

AL: Alex Gordon - (.185BA, 8RBI)
NL: Mike Pelfrey - (6.53ERA, 0-5)

Brian in Oxford said...

Sounds like Samir can't win the big one, then....too bad.

Andy said...

Yeah, what's with all this grammar stuff? I get bugged by people with poor grammar as much as the next person but this is a sports blog people. Most of you are the same people knocking Dan yesterday about the spelling bee and saying it shouldn't be on ESPN. Yet today, you're here talking about grammar? Come on. Even the infield fly discussion is at least about sports...

TBender said...

Next Topic:
The Balk Rule

Has anyone ever seen 8.05(l) in a MLB game?

(I did it once in Koufax league. The catcher moved early.)

CMFost said...

For me 4 big disappointments at least in my homer world are:

Dice-K - even with a 7-3 record he has not been as good as advertised.

TBender said...


I think it's a new law in Houston, but when you mention Lance Berkman you must mention his 6 XBH.

Todd said...

I love Youk, but he's not Top 3 MVP right now. I think there's a case to be made that Lowell or Okajima means just as much if not more to the Red Sox success right now. He's got a case for maybe top 5, but I can't put him over Magglio, Vlad, and A-Rod. Even if A-Rod is playing for the last place Yankees, he has single-handedly won a few games for the Yankees, and his stats are still really impressive.

Andy said...

Biggest Dud of the MLB Season: Chicago Cubs

That's coming from a Cubs fan. When you spend as much as the Cubs did this offseason, 22-29 is completely unacceptable. They even called a players only meeting before the game last night, and promptly lost 9-0.

TBender said...

Drew a disappointment?

Hasn't he played in half the games so far? I'd call that an unqualified success.

/bitter Card fan rant

Brian in Oxford said...

what's 8.05(l)? the catcher's balk outside the triangle?

How about the rule that says a baserunner isn't allowed to try to entice the balk out of the pitcher?

chipp said...

Biggest Dud: The DL. It wasn't able to hold Jeff Weaver long enough. He's moving into the Mariners' bullpen.

ndyanksfan05 said...

bender - you'd have to clarify what the 8.05 is...

Todd said...

Nice one TBender. Honorary stud award and cookies for the comment re: Drew.

As per Daisuke, the biggest problem for him is that it seems like he's never mediocre. He either pitches great, or pitches poorly.

The [incredibly] amatuer scout in me has noticed that his outings pretty much directly correlate with his control and command of his fastball, which surprises me given that he has so many effective pitches.

But on nights like last night, where he's struggled with control and command of his fastball, his secondary stuff becomes a lot more hittable. But on the nights when he's had success, his ability to throw early strikes with the fastball and command it well have really enabled him to be a lot more effective with his secondary stuff, even if it's not crisp or perfect. I've seen him get away with more bad breaking pitches than most pitchers, but that only seems to happen for him on nights where he can locate his fastball and keep hitters honest.

So I hesitate to call him a huge disappointment, though his lack of consistency from outing to outing is disappointing. Then again, that's pretty typical of a rookie in a new league, isn't it?

Joey said...

Last night was the first game where I watched Dice-K with a close interest and I came away not impressed at all. It would be one thing if it was just one bad start, but really he isn't pitching nearly as good as his record indicates. He has an ERA now of over 4.8. I think he could get worse as the year goes on if he doesn't adapt. The hitters are adapting to him. The 3rd time through the order the Indians had him figured out and started hammering him. He would have given up 7 if Barfield doesn't get thrown out rounding 2nd (even though he wasn't tagged).

I nominated C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona as 2 month Cy young studs. Nobody had mentioned them yet.

CMFost said...

8.05(l) The pitcher, while giving an intentional base on balls, pitches when the catcher is not in the catcher’s box;

I do not think I can ever remember seeing this rule called

Jeff Rogers said...

Did anyone just see the Spelling Bee when the zoomed in on Stuart Scott. Watching that in HD just scarred me for life.... his eye is out of control.

Natsfan74 said...

Here's my list of 2 month disappointments -- with a special nod towards the Cubs unbelievable start.

AL LVP -- JD Drew
AL Anti-CY -- Jeff Weaver

NL LVP -- Albert Pujols -- with honorable mention to Soriano for having 4 HR/ 12 RBI/ $18M for the season.

NL Anti-CY -- Carlos Zambrano (might be a good thing the Cubs didn't give him Zito money yet)

AL non-ROY -- Alex Gordon
NL non-ROY -- Kory Kasto (2 time Nats minor league player of the year, sub .100 hitter in MLB)

Geoff said...

Down goes Patel.

Brian in Oxford said...

If they're going to start calling catchers' balks, then they might as well issue intentional HBP, instead of taking the time to set up for 4 pitches. Plus, the dead ball factor so nobody steals home on ya....

Mr. Ed said...

Another grammar post - sorry guys...

Everyone, PLEASE learn that "should of", "would of", and "could of" are not correct. It's "should HAVE", "would HAVE", and "could HAVE"...

Pet peeve. Thanks for reading. Have a nice day.

*This grammar lesson has been brought to you by the letters "C", "W", and by the number "2". This has been a presentation of the Children's Television Workshop.

chitown italian said...

Crap I am late today.

I guess A-Rod never watched Major League. He just pulled a Dorn.

Enjoy that child support payment there $252,000,000 Man! Dumbass

big bri said...

Kavin Youkilis not just for MVP, but for president. His hot hitting has made everyone in Boston forget about Lugo, Manny and JD Drews poor hitting. Alright not everyone. It's still Boston.

Todd said...

Big Bri, you didn't mention Coco. He might be the worst of them all at the plate... but so long as he keeps making highlight reel catches every night, he's safe.

Manny's coming around too.

chitown italian said...

Now onto A-Rod the player.

I was playing in an adult baseball league and had been out for a bachelor party the night before.

Game time: 12:00.

Rolled out of bed: 11:45 (thank god it was a close field)

I was still drunk getting to the game the ump even asked if I had a good time last night.

Runner on first and I swing through strike two to protect a runner stealing. I couldn't hit the grand canyon that day.

I then proceed to get strike three but he calls it strike two. The catcher says its three and looks at me. I don't say anything because that day I needed all the help I could get.

That AB I struck out on five pitches, four strikes. Yeah BOOZE!

ndyanksfan05 said...

it was willie mays hayes not dorn...come on now.

Andy said...

Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside.

Travis said...

OK.. I'm a little confused on the Delmon Young for ROY.... Heck he was my preseason "ROY TO LOSE" pick, I thouight he was as much a lock as we seen in the past 10 years, but he has been awful and anyone who picked him on this board today must not be watching or paying attention.

Hideki Okajima is a great pick, he has been great for Boston. Another person who should receive consieration is Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia who's now batting .308 and has the 3rd highest average in May of players with over 50 ABS batting well over .400.

Yes Pedroia doesnt have great power, and his RBI totals suffered with his early April struggles but he has found himself and the numbers will continue to rise.

Lets compare Pedroia and Young...

51 games, 198 ABs, 25R, 50H, 10 2B, 6HR, 29RBI, .253 avg, .296 obp, .396 slg

41 games, 120ABs, 17R, 37H, 9 2B, 2HR, 11RBI, .308 avg, .394 obp, .433 slg

ndyanksfan05 said...

fly ball......caught...

Friz said...

Josh Beckett: 57.2 IP, 2.65 ERA, 8.58 run support.

Dan Haren: 82.1 IP, 1.65 ERA, 4.15 run support.

I invite everyone to take the East-Coast bias glasses off, and acknowledge the best pitcher of the first third of the season. Too bad his team can't hit.

CMFost said...

Friz here is a more important stat

Beckett 8-0
Haren 5-2

Andy said...

Well done, friz. Well done.

Brian in Oxford said...

CLEVIS? That's what he spelled wrong?

Obviously he's never had to assemble anything out of plywood!

CMFost said...

here is another stat

The Red Sox are 9-0 when Beckett Starts, The A's are 8-4 when Haren starts

Friz said...

cm - I'm fairly sure Ted Williams' frozen head could rack up at least a 6-2 record the way the Sox are hitting.

Andy said...

CM, Cy Young is for best pitcher. Just because Beckett is on a better team and his team wins more doesn't mean he should get it automatically. Haren has a sub-2.00 ERA. That is studly and Cy worthy. You show me a pitcher that has had a sub-2.00 ERA and not won the Cy Young and then your argument for Beckett stands. Otherwise, it's Haren all the way.

verbal97 said...


You NEED to take the red tinted glasses off. As friz said, Beckett's run support is DOUBLE Haren's while his ERA is full run higher.

chitown italian said...

Just to clarify: A-Rod = Dorn. Dorn got busted on TV with another woman. I was not referring to A-Rod's running the bases but getting to her bases.

Andy said...

Verbal....You and I agree?? What's going on?? Did a cold front move through Hell or something?? I'm so confused...

verbal97 said...

In that case, anyone know where ARod's wife likes to go for a drink?

verbal97 said...

yes, amazing as it may be, we actually agree on something...and you'll have noticed that i dropped the "name-calling" too.

Natsfan74 said...

Here's Jayson Stark's picks in today's Rumblings and Grumblings on

Our major-award votes if the season ended now:

• AL MVP -- Magglio Ordonez (runner-up: Vladimir Guerrero).
• NL MVP -- Jose Reyes (runner-up: Prince Fielder).
• AL CY YOUNG -- Dan Haren (runner-up: Josh Beckett).
• NL CY YOUNG -- Jake Peavy (runner-up: Brad Penny).
• AL ROOKIE -- Hideki Okajima (runner-up: Reggie Willits).
• NL ROOKIE -- Hunter Pence (runner-up: Josh Hamilton).

CMFost said...

Andy that is an Easy One - 2005 - Roger Clemens 13-8 with a 1.87 ERA in 32 starts lost the Cy Young to Chris Carpenter who was 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 33 starts, and Roger actually finished third in the Voting behind D. Willis. So wins do factor into the Cy Young Equation

Jingoist said...

Samir Patel = Chuck Lidell.

Great in their prime, overrated as the face of their sport when taken down by a better opponent. In Lidell's case that was "Rampage". In Patel's case, it was "Clevis".

OK, maybe that's a little extreme to place such an analogy on the poor kid, but I still think it is funny how over analyzed the Bee is.

CMFost said...

To add to that Dontrelle was 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA in 34 Starts in 2005 and finished ahead of Roger with his sub 2.00 era

Todd said...

Wins aren't the most important gauge of how a pitcher is doing. HOWEVER, they are generally a pretty good indication of who wins the Cy Young award (Colon a few years ago being the best example). So if someone is arguing that right now Beckett would be more likely to win the Cy, given his record, I'd agree based on how the idiot voters go.

But Haren's ERA and WHIP are amazing. And his K/BB and K/9 ratios really aren't that far off from Beckett's.

Brian in Oxford said...

1990. Clemens 21-6, 1.9 ERA lost to Bob Welch, 27-6, 2.9 ERA. Roger's been screwed before by not having enough run support :)

Jingoist said...

Oh sure. Roger "7 Cys" Clemens has been screwed by the voters. He has never gotten any respect. How many Cy Youngs was that again?

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

Just because idiots who don't actually watch baseball vote based on misguided stats, doesn't mean it's NOT wrong. The question put forth was who are YOUR picks for Cy Young, MVP and ROY. I thought the majority here was smarter than the voters, but alas, it's not to be.

Brian in Oxford said...

I don't think he should have won in '87, so I suppoooose it was a fair trade-off.

Can you believe Patel lost on a word that I actually knew the definition to?

Todd said...

Wow, strange day when Andy, Verbal, and I are all on the same page.

Up is down, down is up, and the Yankees are tied with the Devil Rays in last place :o)

Todd said...

Damnit Brian, don't you know you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition? What the hell is wrong with you?

Brian in Oxford said...

Good point, Todd. Of what was I thinking?

CMFost said...

Watch out our teacher Mr.Ed is going to come after you for your bad grammar.

IkeKrizzule said...

As a Jays fan I thought what A-Rod did was pretty bush league. I understand that it worked, and that winning the game is always better than losing it, but when you're up 2 with the most dominant closer ever (debatably) and you just got caught cheating on your wife with a stripper the night before may be that's not the time to come off as an ass.

That said if the Jays really were that upset, Gibbons should have told the pitcher to bury the next one in Giambi's ear. Not the classy move, but it gets the point accross.

shooless99 said...

Whats the difference in what A-rod did and when a guy fakes going to third, trying to get a throw or when a groundball is hit and the runner tries to block the infielder from seeing the ball, bush league ie roids, greenies, HGH

CMFost said...

Andy said "You show me a pitcher that has had a sub-2.00 ERA and not won the Cy Young and then your argument for Beckett stands. Otherwise, it's Haren all the way."

I was just trying to answer his challenge. And remember the answer to the questionas to who is your 2 month MVP/ROY/CY is your opinion and everyone is entitled to thier's

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

The Orlando Sentinel states that Billy Donovan has been offered the head coaching job of the Orlando Magic and will accept the job tomorrow. WOW!

CMFost said...

Someone get Dan a box of tissues he is going to need them.

sgc1804 said...

I read the blog and the posts everyday but hardly ever write anything.
Todd your opinion on baseball is one of the best. I am a huge Red Sox fan and thus a moron homer. I will try not to be that way when I post.

AL MVP: Maggs
NL MVP: JJ Hardy/Prince Fielder

AL Cy Young: Beckett
NL Cy young: Jake Peavy

AL ROY: Delmon Young
NL ROY: Tim Lincecum/ Josh Hamilton

I think almost all of these are up for debate. This may not be the people I see as the actully winners if the award was given out now, but I think this is who would get the votes.

sgc1804 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
verbal97 said...


CMFost said...

Here is the Donovan article

Friz said...

I like quality starts as a measure of Cy Young-ness. Clemens didn't win in '05 b/c he rarely went over 6 innings, whereas Carpenter had 241 IP, and more quality starts. Going longer into games adds value, even if it results in a higher ERA; your bullpen gets rest, and the pitcher earns more of the win on his own.

Haren has 11 quality starts this year. Beckett? 6. Surely, the A's also appreciate not having to use their sorry-ass bullpen quite as much when he pitches.

CMFost said...

Friz - Roger actually average 6.59 inning per start and pitched 7 or more innings in 21 out of 32 starts. and based on the definition of a quility start 6 or more IP with 3 or less Earned runs he had 26 Quality Starts out of 32

Todd said...

Well, in all fairness Beckett missed a couple starts due to his avulsion (DL stint). So that lowers his Quality Starts a bit. But you make a good point Friz about Quality Starts.

But even though I personally think that Haren would be more deserving than Beckett, there's no denying Beckett's been a hell of a pitcher thus far.

Neyer pointed it out a little bit, but what's been so impressive about Beckett is that his ground ball/fly ball ratios have really improved this year. And if you've watched the Sox, you can see that this year he's gotten away from the 4-seam, straight fastball he threw last year that got him in trouble. He's now throwing mostly 2-seamers as fastballs, not to mention throwing that he's throwing the changeup and curve at any point in the count this year.

I haven't seen Haren too many times this year, is there anyone who has that can say how he's been so successful this year? From what little I've seen he just seems to be pounding the corners low and away really effectively, but I'm sure there's something else to it, right?

TBender said...

He also has good stuff.

/baseball cliche

BJ said...

FoxSports reporting that Billy Donovan is taking the Orlando job...via the Sentinel.

Brian in Oxford said...

Oh, like Urban Meyer was worried or somethin', huh?

TF said...

As a Gator fan and a Magic fan, I'm split on whether I should be upset or happy for this hiring...

Joseph (Orlando)

Andy said...

One of the things I think makes Haren a better choice is the lack of run support. I remember in 2004, Matt Clement(I know, he sucked for the Red Sox) pitched pretty well for the Cubs, with a 3.68 ERA, which is respectable. It's not great, but it is decent. However, he went 9-13 because the Cubs never score runs for him when he pitched. I can remember watching multiple games where Clement would leave in the 6th or 7th innings having given up 2 or 3 runs, but the Cubs were sitting at 0 runs for him.

You need take into consideration that the pressure is significantly less on the pitcher when his offense gives him a 4 run lead. It's more relaxing and therefore he can pitch pretty well.

However, when you have a 1 or 2 run lead, the pressure is much higher and it's more difficult to handle. Therefore, when a pitcher has 4 runs of support a game and still carries a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-0.90 WHIP, he's earned the Cy in my book.

Indyfan said...

Dr. James Andrews' picks for Cy Young: Wood and Prior.

danthemanwise said...

Without Haren the A's most likely would not be where they are right now. When Beckett was on the DL the Red Sox did not miss a beat. So with similar stats, I have to go with the person who means more to their team. While I agree the pressure is bigger on Boston, with that line-up and the rest of the starters, there is more pressure on Haren and he is delivering.

verbal97 said...

Similar stats??? Haren's stats overall definitively beats Beckett's.

sgc1804 said...

Yankee fans on this site seem more into shooting down Red Sox players than saying anything about the Yanks(Verbal that is you).
Everyone knows that the most important stat to CY Young voters is Wins. Is should not be this way, ERA, Quality Starts, WHIP etc., are the real stats that show the measure of a great pitcher. So, if they voted today is would be Beckett because he is 8-0, even if Haren or even Lackey have been better.

Natsfan74 said...

Haren has better numbers. Beckett has more wins. Beckett has better stuff. Haren has better command of his stuff.

Beckett has faced @KC, SEA, LAA, NYY, @BAL, OAK, @TOR, BAL, CLE

Haren has faced @SEA, @LAA, NYY, LAA, @BAL, TB, @TB, @KC, KC, SF, @BAL, TEX

Other than it's hard to tell who pitches in the East vs. the West, I think Haren's actually faced tougher teams so far, but it will slow down as the Beckett faces more AL Central/ East teams over the course of the season.

I now officially change my vote to Haren! I'm such a Dan.

verbal97 said...

Ok, read my above comments regarding the voters vs. deserving.

Nobody is questioning that Beckett is in the top 2 (including me), so I'm not begrudging Red Sox players to make me feel better (Red Sox fans are too good at that for me to even try). It's just that Haren, in my opinion, is more deserving.

And before you take issue with my Red Sox fans quip, whose fan base has a shirt that says "I have two favorite teams, the Red Sox and whoever is playing the Yankees"?

verbal97 said...

Also, I may be wrong, but didn't Beckett jump out to a great start last year (7-0 if I remember correctly) only to falter as the season wore on him?

sgc1804 said...

Sorry Verbal. I was just giving you a hard time. I do not have a t-shirt that says that. I am Red Sox fan first and then because of my father a Dodgers fan. Please don't but me in the same boat as the stupid Red Sox fans that real Sox fans like to call Pink Hats.
He did start out hot, but it was 5-2 and his ERA was not this good. By the time may was over you could definitely see that he was not going to have a great year. So far he has looked great and deserves CY young consideration like you are giving him.
You do have to admit that many Yankee fans are just as obsessed with hating the Red Sox as Sox fans are about hating the Yankees. Trust me, I know. I grew up in New Jersey.

Todd said...

@SGC, glad to see you commenting more. Always good to get more opinions.

I actually think Kurt is actually much worse about 'attack' comments than Verbal. It's rare to see Kurt deliver anything constructive, just more picking on someone else's comment (Kurt, if you're reading this, take this as an invitation to comment more with ideas of your own, rather than just criticizing someone else's).

I think all Yankee fans right now get a pass on talking about their team right now. I know when the Sox collapsed last year I'd have much rather talked about other teams too.

Todd said...

$6 million/year for Donovan to coach Orlando? That's gotta be more than Noah, Horford, and Brewer made to stay in college!

Here's what ESPN is reporting on it.

sgc1804 said...

Once again great thoughts Todd. I think Yankee fans get a free pass this year too. I was depressed last year at the end also. And as I said before I was just giving Verbal a hard time. There is nothing I like more that good old fashion baseball discussion. Especially with an educated Yankee fan, like Verbal.

CMFost said...

at the end of may last year Beckett was 7-2 with a 4.46 ERA in comparision to 8-0 with a 2.65 ERA this year. Beckett has been a much better pitcher overall this year versus last year. Biggest change is HR allowed, last year through May he had given up 14 HRs this year just 2

sgc1804 said...

Thanks on the 7-2. I could not remember all of the sudden.

verbal97 said...

Sorry to imply I was lumping you in with that lot, just pointing out that such a shirt exists. A couple of my closest friends are Red Sox fans (and yes I realize this sounds like someone who's accused of racism say things like "But I have a black friend").

Anyway, I actually rooted FOR the Red Sox in '86, because in central New York, almost my entire elem. school class was rooting for the Mets and making fun of my Starter Yankee jacket that I got for Easter the previous spring. Kids are mean!

CMFost said...

Why does everyone think there is an "r" in my user name. It is CMFOST not CMFROST.

sgc1804 said...

I went to high school from 97-2000 and all I heard from everyone, including the Teachers, was 1918, 1918. KIDS ARE MEAN! Were is Dr. Phil when you need him!
Anyway, I fully expect Beckett to be solid are year. His stuff has improved and it appears he is more mentally prepared. We shall see.

verbal97 said...

I've noticed that too's one of those "tricks on the eyes" kind of thing. Actually, that's how my dyslexic cousin reads. He sees familiar letters and then pieces what the word is in the context of a sentence or whatever.

sgc1804 said...

Cause I cannot read...sorry man. I will learn today. I promise

CMFost said...

SGC no problem you are not the only one.

Todd said...

I am the proud owner of a Jesus Hates the Yankees T-Shirt, for what that's worth Verbal.

Best. Xmas. Present. Ever.

verbal97 said...

That's ok, I got a shirt with Calvin peeing on the Red Sox for my birthday.

CMFost said...

as a real red sox fan not the "pink hat wearing" Fraud Red Sox fan there are things I hate. The "Yankees Suck" Chant everytime your at a sporting event in Boston and a person pass by with a yankees shirt or hat on. Anything like a t-shirt or hat that is anti-yankee, I think it is just stupid. the only Red Sox clothing I own are a game jersey a couple of Red Sox t-shirts and a hat that I buy every year when I go to opening day.

Todd said...

Are they making Yankees and Red Sox Suck T-shirts yet (as in both teams on the T)? I'm sure with all of the vitriol toward both franchises and their fan bases that someone could make a dime with that one.

CMFost said...

no one is making that but that could be a good idea, or maybe even a t-shirt that says Anybody but the Red Sox or Yankees

Kurt said...

Todd, thanks for the advice, but I take pride in ripping CmfRost for his retard comments/spelling/grammar, someone's gotta do it. Also, Dan's cocky writing rubs me the wrong way sometimes so I feel the need to rip him. Other than that, I just like to read the blog and people's posts and keep to myself.