Sunday Links: A-Rod, Farm System, Jack Z.

There's something about Smoltz
Open Thread: AFC Championship Game

We’re all just running out the clock until the Jets take the field in Indianapolis, so here’s some links to help you pass the time.

  • Alex Rodriguez received the Babe Ruth Award at the BBWAA Awards Dinner last night, which is given to the player who performed the best in the World Series. “Postseason MVP. Wow,” said A-Rod. “What’s next, the good guy award?” I laughed.
  • Sky Andrecheck at Baseball Analysts examines Baseball America’s prospect rankings through the years, and discovers that yeah, a team’s ranking is a good predictor of future success. Check it out, very interesting stuff.
  • David Laurila at Baseball Prospectus interviewed Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik. It’s free to everyone, and it’s a great look at one of the brightest minds in the game. I highly recommend it.
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There's something about Smoltz
Open Thread: AFC Championship Game
  • Pete C.

    Supposedly Arod was able to crack-up when the comic who was hired mentioned that Kate Hudson was one of the Yanks big losses over the offseason.

  • http://mlbnewsrumors.com Johnny

    Jack Z has done a great job for the M’s this offseason.

  • Chris

    In regards to the prospect rankings, I wonder how much is really the result of those prospects impacting the major league level and how much is simply the fact that smart teams will tend to be able to identify good major league talent as well as good minor league talent.

    • pete

      probably both, plus the fact that having good cheap young players gives you the flexibility to sign proven stars.

  • JSquared

    A-Rod definitely deserved it.

    Jack Z has had a great offseason with the Mariners and I think they are definitely the favorites to win the West.

    • Zack

      Kinda think Matsui deserved it. He won the WS MVP at the time. Dont get why he wouldnt have won this award.

      • Mike Pop

        Because it judges the whole postseason, no? A-Rod was clearly the better player over the whole run.

        .365/.500/.808 (1.308) – A-Rod 6 home runs, 18 rbis, 15 runs scored

        .349/.462/.674 (1.136) – Godzilla 4 home runs, 13 rbis, 5 runs scored

        • JSquared

          Correct. Matsui got what he deserved, WS MVP, but A-Rod was definitely a bigger force the whole postseason.

          • Mike Pop

            A-Rod’s game 2 and 3 home runs in the ALDS were epic enough!

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              Don’t forget game 2 of the ALCS.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Preposterous. The Yankees will never win a WS with A-Rod on the team. They should trade him and eat the salary, and then get a couple of good minor leaguers in return. Or bad minor leaguers. Or a bag of balls. It doesn’t matter, get him out.

          Wait? What’s that? You mean they DID in a WS with A-Rod, and he contributed in a major way?

          I refuse to believe it.

          Sincerely,

          Adam Schein, SNY

        • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

          Is it the whole postseason or World Series? Mike says World Series above.

          • RichYF

            “Rodriguez completed a tumultuous season that began with an awkward confession to past steroid use and then hip surgery that kept him out until May by being selected the winner of the Babe Ruth Award as the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s postseason MVP.”

            • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

              Yeah thanks I found out just now. Should have read the thing.

            • Mike Pop
              • RichYF

                “The award was discontinued after the 2002 World Series.”

                2002’s winner? David. Eckstein.

                He’s so good at baseball that the BWAA stopped handing the award out because of him. Only David Eckstein could shatter a 50 year old award with his amazingness.

          • Mike Pop

            wow, you’re right. Reading comp fail. I got thrown off by Alex saying ‘postseason mvp’.

            • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

              Nope you’re right, it’s the whole postseason.

              • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

                Okay fuck it I don’t know anymore.

                • RichYF

                  Yeah, I’m confused too. I quoted ESPN, but the Internet (wikipedia in this case) is never wrong.

                  If you read it on the Internet, it HAS to be true.

                • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

                  Wait was that sarcasm saying that I shouldn’t believe in Wikipedia because of you’re ESPN quote? Or did I read that wrong?

                  Anyways “The award, which for many years was strictly a World Series MVP award, is now given to the MVP of the entire postseason.”

                  http://waswatching.com/2010/01.....s-weekend/

                  So it’s the entire postseason. But before it was only World Series.

                • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

                  Hey guys, who’s on first?

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  What’s on second

                • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

                  Just answer my question, dick!

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  I don’t know.

                  Third base!

                • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

                  That’s better.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                It’s postseason MVP. I read about it a few days ago. Or yesterday. Or something. The point is, before now.

        • Zack

          “which is given to the player who performed the best in the World Series” no?

          • Zack

            if its just for WS then Matsui deserves it, if its entire postseason then ARod does

  • Mike Pop

    Heh. A-Rod is the man.

  • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

    The AP would name the article about A-Rod getting the award “Rodriguez chokes up during speech.”

  • http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/19/MAD_MAX.jpg gxpanos

    I know that RAB and most of its commentariat hate “narrative” (a position I dont necessarily agree with), and perhaps A-Rod was great in the postseason because he’s a great hitter who was hot. And perhaps it had nothing to do with the Gammons-originated “it’s all off his chest–his clear mind will allow him to mash” analysis.

    But I think it’s foolish to say that he hasnt changed in a real way. The Old A-Rod NEVER would have made a joke at his own expense like the one Mike quoted. Even if his accepting of himself and his place in baseball/society doesnt make him a better player, he’s at least much easier to root for. I expect I wont have as many people making fun of me for supporting him, as often happened from ’03-’08, and I think A-Rod’s baseball life will be generally easier.

    There IS a “narrative” here, and it’s valid to discuss it unironically. It may not have an effect on A-Rod’s numbers, but I’ll argue with anyone that says it didnt have an effect on A-Rod, the Yankees, and the fans (that’s us!).

    Oh, also: J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Since when did we hate narrative? On the contrary baseball is one of the best sports to look for “narrativ” because of all the opportunities for failure and redemption.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Ugh, e at the end of the second narrative.

      • Tom Zig

        I don’t hate narrative, I just hate false narrative.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          + 1

        • Salty Buggah

          This

        • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

          …but think of the children, Tom!

    • camilo Gerardo

      I have always rooted for Alex

      and no way the jets hoist any banners at new giants stadium

      • usty

        It’s not “new giants stadium” this one is actually owned by the J-E-T-S too.

    • Salty Buggah

      Also, while it’s true A-Rod might not have made that joke, if he did before 2009, the NY media would have written that he lacks confidence and beat himself up by making that joke. No one hates narratives, we all just hate the false ones.

  • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

    I think Jack Z has done a nice job of re-tooling the Mariners, particularly with his focus on defense, but I still think there are a few notable question marks on that team.

    Outside of King Felix and Lee, what is the rotation? Ian Snell, Doug Fister, and Ryan Rowland-Smith, two of which likely overachieved last season. That looks shaky to me. The bullpen doesn’t appear to be great shakes, either. Cordero didn’t really pitch last year, who knows how he is after labrum surgery; Sean White struck out 28 batters while giving up 50 hits in 64 innings—not sure that bodes well for future success; League may have good stuff (supposedly one of the best pitches in the majors last year, if memory serves), but the guy is really inconsistent. After that it’s what, the shitty Vargas as a LOOGY and Aardsma?

    Still can’t figure out why they re-signed Griffey Jr. I know he’s the hometown hero and all, but he’s done. Figgins’ is unlikely to perform as well again this year, and his skills don’t traditionally age well. Kotchman is your 1B? Really? Milton Bradley makes Nick Johnson look like an Ironman triathlete, and then you’re left with the tepid-hitting Jack Wilson and Rob Johnson.

    There’s a good chance you get really limited offensive production from Wilson, Johnson, Kotchman, Bradley, and Griffey. Lopez, Figgins, and Guttierez should give you good production, and Ichiro is the only guy that scares anyone.

    Their defense better be freakin’ awesome to offset the potential woes of the offense. If Figgins and one of Bradley, Griffey or Kotchman have really good years, they could be fairly good, but that’s a big if considering the question marks.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Oh, they absolutely have some major question marks. Still, that front two makes you stop and stare. That’s an INSANE front two.

      • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

        That’s the last team I’d want to face in a 5-game series. They have two of arguably the best 7 pitchers in baseball. That alone should get them around 40 games, but again, if the bullpen is shakes McGriddle, and the lineup only has four good hitters, it could be a really frustrating year in Seattle.

        I’m really hoping we don’t have to play a short series against them. Just scary.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          They’re a good sleeper WS pick.

          I still may pick them to win that division since Anaheim does not impress me. The Rangers may end up coming out of the woodwork and surprising people too.

          That’s a very interesting division. They could end up being very good, or very bad.

        • pete

          not sure I’d call Lee the 7th best pitcher in baseball (I’m assuming that’s where you’re ranking him). I’d say that Halladay, Greinke, Felix, and Lincecum are all clearly better, and CC, Lester, Verlander, Carpenter, Wainwright, Haren, and I’m probably forgetting a couple others, are all right around the same quality. Lee’s one of the top 10-12, sure, but I wouldn’t say top 7.

    • whozat

      I figure Jack will sign one of the last DH/1B standing to pep up the offense. I know Griffey is a DH, but he’s not a good one…I don’t know if Jack will stand by and let a cheap, more useful player pass him by so that Kenny G can make his team worse

    • pete

      completely agreed. IMO, it’s pretty much a 3-way tie right now in the AL-West. Remember, while Seattle didn’t have Lee last year, they might as well have had him (or someone arguably better), since they got ~200 IP of ~2.75 ERA ball from Washburn and Bedard, neither of whom is on the team any more. Obviously they’re still much better in a short series than they were last year, and talent-wise, it’s a better rotation, but production-wise it should be similar if they don’t sign someone like sheets (which they very well could). The offensive upgrades of figgins and kotchman are likely to be negated (at least in the perception of those who expect significant improvement in Seattle) by the loss of Branyan, who, much like the bedard/washburn combination, provided excellent production despite the fact that having him vs. not having him is not a huge difference maker in 2010. They improved defensively at first, gained a full season worth of Jack Wilson, and arguably improved defensively at third. But they also are stuck with either milton bradley or ken griffey in LF. Seattle is, I think, a legit contender in the west this year, but equally so are Texas and LA. They’re a Ben Sheets and/or Johnny Damon away from being favorites, IMO.

  • Hey Kelvin says

    Damn I am psyched for this game, I am not a die-hard Football fan, but lets go J-E-T-S!