Apr
29

Dissecting the TBS announcers

By

As part of a multi-billion-dollar deal to broadcast baseball, TBS gets the non-exclusive rights to Sunday baseball games. This weekend, while I watched the Sabathia-Wang pitcher’s duel on the YES Network, fans around the country could tune in on TBS.

While watching the game, Maury Brown, the man behind the Biz of Baseball site, transcribed some of the more interesting tidbits from the broadcast. The first topic I found interesting focused around CC Sabathia:

CC Sabathia on his impending free agency: “This is home, I mean I’ve been here since I was 17 years old, eleven years now. This is the only place I know and I feel comfortable here, coming in from the parking attendants to the General Manager I feel comfortable, so that’s been the biggest difference.”

Martinez on the CC Sabathia’s needs versus those of the MLB Players Association: “He is very genuine and sincere about his desire to stay here (in Cleveland). Get the deal done and don’t let the outside influences cloud your judgment. The Players Association want him to set the standard for free agent contracts in this off-season and at his age, 27, he’ll turn 28 in July, he is the premiere free agent pitcher on the market. (Johan) Santana’s contract of 137 million with the Mets, they want him to out do that contract, and I don’t know if that is going to make him happy.

While Buck Martinez and Chip Caray were discussing this, so were the Yanks’ announcers. It seems that Kevin Millwood, unhappy in Texas despite the big bucks, called his former teammate and warned him to pitch where he is happy even if that means giving up a few dollars. For the Yankees, this could be a sign that they shouldn’t be counting on overwhelming Sabathia with dollars. Perhaps Sabathia will elect to remain with Cleveland for fewer dollars if the team makes a ballpark offer.

On the other hand, it seems that Sabathia knows he could have a four-year, $80-million extension from the Indians and has elected to pitch out the season anyway. If he continues to throw like he has in his last two outings, he’ll easily clear that $80 million and stands to land a deal in between those signed by the Giants’ reliever Barry Zito and the Mets’ starter Johan Santana.

The other topic was, of course, Joba Chamberlain. Take it away, Buck Martinez:

“I know there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Joba Chamberlain about whether he should start or be used as an eighth inning set-up guy and as a former manager this is where he was meant to be in my mind…I believe he can turn into Mariano Rivera in a couple of years when Rivera steps aside.”

In less than a couple of years, he could be an ace starter giving the Yankees way more than one inning every two or three games. With Rivera under contract for three more years after this one, why waste Chamberlain in the eighth inning for years on end? But then again, we’re just beating a dead horse with this one.

  • steve (different one)

    I believe he can turn into Mariano Rivera in a couple of years when Rivera steps aside.

    that’s great and all, but he could also turn into Roger Clemens.

    and i’d much rather have Roger Clemens in his prime than Mariano Rivera*

    * – as a baseball player only, of course.

  • Bo

    Maybe Boston should put Beckett in the 8th inning to have a lockdown 8-9.

    And Halladay can join Ryan in the 8-9.

    • Chris

      Why not?

      Since no one has tried this, maybe it would turn out that their ERAs would drop sufficiently in relief to make up for the reduction in innings that they would be pitching.

      Perhaps the model for the best possible team is to take you 3-4 best pitchers and put them at the end of the game. Get your 5 average starters to keep it close, and then shut down the other team for innings 6-9… Even Zito would only give up about 4 runs in a 5 inning start.

      Just because no one has tried it doesn’t mean it’s a stupid idea.

      • TurnTwo

        i wonder what that would even look like… imagine Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, and Joba each pitching 2 innings every other day, and then have like Moose, Rasner, IPK pitch the ther days in between.

        its ridiculously crazy in theory, but why couldnt this work?

        • steve (different one)

          you’d have your relievers throwing 162 innings per season.

          it’s like the workload of a #5 starter without the rest.

          i would imagine this would destroy arms quickly.

  • Rich M.

    It seems all these announcers are short sighted when it comes to Chamberlain’s development. Like last night on espn, Steve Philips(how this guy ever made general manager is beyond me) states track records for Joba coming out of the pen, while also making an inference that Joba has never started at any level. They completely forget about the starts in college, and in the minors like they never existed. My favorite last night was “I know he can come in with the big fastball and slider, but I am just not sure if he has secondary pitches to become a good starter”.

    • steve (different one)

      i am basically at the point where i think Steve Phillips the TV “character” is an act.

      i mean, this guy used to run a major league team. he HAS to be faking his idiocy just to stir it up for ESPN. be a contrarian.

      people will tune in just to get angry.

      no one can be this stupid.

      • TurnTwo

        absolutely, 100% agree.

        and i’ll go farther and say that whenever these media guys, including Mike and Maddog, get going on a Yankees rant, its moreso to rile up the Yankees fans and get them angry and want to call, write, email, etc, to drive up ratings, because they know yankees fans will do so passionately to defend their team and their players.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          That’s why we’re doing something about it :)

    • TurnTwo

      one thing i hear in the morning with Boomer and Cartin on WFAN is how the Yankees are 11-11 in situations at the end of games when Joba and Mo both pitch to close it out.

      its just so near-sighted… look at his potential!

      • steve (different one)

        man, that is selection bias at it’s finest.

        it blows my mind at how obvious this is:

        the Yankees win most of the games where JoMo pitches because they are ONLY brought in once the team already has a lead.

        it’s like playing 11 two inning games and getting a 1-3 run head start. of course you are going to win most of those games.

        • mustang

          And if it’s so easy to do why have they had so much trouble finding someone to do it.

      • mustang

        To make this point a little stronger the Joba-Mo combo has saved 5 games with leads of 3 runs or less. 3 of them were Wang starters.
        I’m just staying facts that all.
        I know this debate is over that’s O-V-E-R. LOL

  • Yanks99

    Has C.C. Sabathia ever been to New York? I would take far less money to live in NYC than to live in Cleveland.

    • Chris

      There’s a big difference between living in NYC and pitching in NYC. Imagine what the tabloids would be saying if he signed a $125mil contract and started like he did this year (1-4, 7.88 ERA).

    • r.w.g.

      He probably doesn’t live in Cleveland proper. He probably has a nice suburban home just outside the main city, with lots of property and no constantly honking horns.

      I’m also pretty sure in the off-season he lives in the San Francisco Bay area (I know he’s from Oakland originally).

      So I mean.. if I was going to make millions of dollars either way, already had a family (which CC does) and was more focused on winning baseball games than looking cool and setting contract records, I could easily see choosing Ohio/California over NYC.

      • yanks99

        California I can understand….There’s nowhere in Ohio I would rather live than in Jersey or NY.

  • Bryan

    There’s a reason Martinez is a “former” mgr !

  • ceciguante

    off topic and of no particular value, but has anyone noticed how the yanks season to date has been a complete yo-yo? except for april 5 v. tampa bay, they have followed every win or string of consecutive wins with a corresponding string of losses. bizarre. if form holds, they will win the next 2, then lose 4 straight. i hope it’s time to break this weird trend where they keep falling back to 1 game under .500. the mediocrity must cease. here’s the pattern:

    1W, 1L
    1W, 2L (2d game was april 5 v. TB)
    2W, 2L
    2W, 2L
    3W, 3L
    3W, 3L
    2W…

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      Yes copycat, I noted this twice already. Jeez, be original why don’t ya? :P

      • ceciguante

        doh.

        for what it’s worth, i noticed this phenomenon independently.

        • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

          LoL, I know man just messing with you. It is crazy though, I still find it amusing that they’ve been so consistent in the trend.

  • Steve S

    Wow the Joba starter debate. You know guys the cleaning crew who cleans my office all believes that Joba should be an 8th inning guy. Lets discuss.

    Who gives a shit what the TBS guys think? Of course all these guys think he should stay in that role, they are pandering. The guy is brilliant as they 8th inning guy and every time the Yankees win a close game he is involved. Its the safest thing in the world to say. Plus, the yankees have said he would be a starter, so its fun for these types to be contrarian.

    Everyone in the organization has said he will be converted so I dont understand everytime someone discuesses this on TV or radio it turns into a thread here. The point is moot.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Hence my dismissing it. That’s why the post is mostly about Sabathia. And why it’s tagged “A Dead Horse.”

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I really want to see him as a starter JUST TO SEE HIM AS A STARTER. Why are all the Joba in the bullpen knuckleheads not willing to even table the matter until we see HIM AS A STARTER???

    The TBS guys make me want to hug Michael Kay. THAT’S how bad they are.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Michael Kay did mention how CC Sabathia can prance around after striking out Arod but Joba gets criticized for a fist pump. That was about when I wanted to hug him.

    I’m off to take my meds now.

  • Tripp

    A lot of the guys I talk with want Joba in the eigth inning for the rest of this year and then move him to the rotation to start the year next year. But they don’t realize that there are more questions surrounding that philosophy then doing it mid-season. He will still have his innings limit of 150 innings. How do you keep him under that limit as a full time starter? You can’t.

  • swo

    The music blasts, the crowd roars, the fists pump………it’s clear that the late-inning relief pitcher has become more of an entertainment ploy than an actual weapon.

    I don’t mean to knock Mo or anything, but look no further than a stat like VORP……..Chien-Ming Wang’s VORP is substantially higher than Mo’s.

    Starters are clearly more valuable than relievers, but it’s a much more “boring” job for some reason. And it’s absurd that all these analysts and personalities are buying into the hype.

    All the “Joba in the 8th” people are being ignorant, through and through. Because when it comes down to it, even if someone like LaTroy Hawkins gives up 2 hits and walks 1 and gives up a run in the 8th inning, he’s still handing a lead over to Mo. It’s the same thing that Joba does, just with different “peripherals” and less excitement.

  • pete

    my favorite is the comparison to mariano setting up wetteland in 1996, which is utterly ridiculous. Not only is mariano a completely different (1 pitch vs. 4 pitches) pitcher who had already shown he couldn’t be more than a mediocre starter, but the 1996 yankees won 92 freaking games! It was them and the mediocre orioles in their division that year! If the yankees win 92 games this year, my guess is that they won’t make the playoffs. And then there’s that whole issue. If i remember correctly, there wasn’t a whole lot joba and mo could have done in that series (game two maybe, but then again it was joba who lost it anyway) with the starters as bad as they were. Now if joba somehow proves he can’t start, THEN you can move him back to the pen, making him a superbly safe bet to succeed in some way shape or form in his career. However, when he is moved to the rotation, we still have to be patient – remember it took beckett about 6 years before he was consistent. All i know is i’m happy cashman doesn’t listen to mike and mike.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      Josh Beckett has been consistent throughout his career IMO other than his inaugural year with Boston. Considering the adjustment to the American League, and quite frankly the American League East, you can understand why he pitched to the tune of a *ERA+ of 95 (only other time he posted a below average *ERA+ besides his rookie year).

      Your point is correct though, there is absolutely ZERO FUCKING LOGIC in not at least seeing what you have in Joba Chamberlain as a starter. Are the starter supporters more optimistic about his future as a starter than the bullpen supporters? Sure, but that does not mean in anyway that he should not be given a chance to succeed. I can’t understand the wisdom in not even giving him a chance if basically every God Damn scout says he has THREE PLUS-PLUS pitches and an average Changeup. It is absolutely mind-numbingly retarded that they don’t even want to give him a shot.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        That’s my exact argument. Maybe he DOES belong in the pen but I’d like to see him IN THE ROTATION and see how he does there.

        Turning him into Mo is a waste. Mo is a very very unusual pitcher. He has one pitch, basically, and no one can hit it. Everyone knows what is coming. They know EXACTLY what he’s going to throw and yet they can’t hit it. It’s the perfect closer scenario.

        Joba has 3 or 4 pitches and amazing command and velocity. He fits a starter profile.

        Whether or not he succeeds as a starter REMAINS TO BE SEEN but I’d like to see it and I have a feeling Hank Steinbrenner would also like to see it.

  • mike

    its moot with Joba anyway – if he starts now he will not be able to finish the season as a starter or reliever, so he remains in the pen for the forseeable future.
    The key for me is whether King Phil and Prince Ian are able to throw a freaking strike1 and get ahead of these hitters – if Phil nibbles tonite we are in trouble. I hope we dont here its chilly, the ball goes slippy-poo in the cold, hes tired from the trip…..and if i see him blowing on his hand every freaking second I think i will throw my beer at the TV – its so psycological.
    Can someone with a better memory (tho i was at the game) remember if he was blowing on his hand every second in Game 3 of the playoffs??

  • KC

    I would rather put that type of money into an everyday player , not a guy that pitches once every 5 days.