Feb
01

Open Thread: Overreactialignment

By

During these slow days of winter (unless you count that Willy Taveras blockbuster!) we’re subject to lots of nonsense stories, usually stuff about salary caps and competitive balance, but in some case realignment as well. David Schoenfield wrote a feature for ESPN in which he presents what their editors call a “radical idea” for making baseball less unfair by reorganizing the divisions each year. Allow me to excerpt.

Why does baseball have to keep the same division format every year? Why should Tampa Bay and Baltimore always have to beat out the Yankees and Red Sox while the AL Central teams duel each other to 87 wins? Why should the Angels only have to beat out three teams instead of four in the AL West?

So the plan is to realign the divisions after every season. For the American League, there would be three basic rules:

1. The Yankees and Red Sox always remain in the AL East. It makes sense and it’s good for the game.

2. Tampa, Toronto, Baltimore, Detroit and Cleveland can play only in the AL East or AL Central. All five cities are in the Eastern time zone and having them play in the West creates logistical and television issues.

3. The Angels, Seattle and Oakland always remain in the AL West. This makes sense for logistical reasons, as well.

Now, how do we disperse the remaining teams? Simple. MLB holds a big telecast two days after the World Series ends. We put all the team names in a big ball like during the NBA lottery selection show. Teams send their general manager and a star player and Hall of Famers like George Brett and Reggie Jackson draw out the team names. You wouldn’t watch this? You wouldn’t love to see Dave Dombrowski throw up in his mouth when the Tigers draw the AL East? You wouldn’t get excited to see Andrew Friedman high-fiving Evan Longoria when the Rays draw the AL Central? You know you would watch this.

Well, I probably wouldn’t watch it, but in general the idea of changing the division each year is completely unrealistic (and to his credit, Schoenfield acknowledges that). Why are we punishing the Yankees (and Red Sox) by keeping them in the same division year after year, while other teams get to enjoy life outside the AL East? Believe or not, there will be a point in time when either the Yankees or Red Sox aren’t competitive, so what are we going to do then, lump them in with the group that gets to change divisions each year? Aside from that, you’re killing some rivalries by constantly moving teams around. It’s not just the Yanks-Sox, it’s the Cardinals and Cubs, or the Giants and the Dodgers.

The game is in a place right now where the the two most dominant teams are in one division. It’s not fair to the other three clubs stuck in the division, but that’s life. Was anyone suggesting that baseball should realign when the Blue Jays and A’s were dominating baseball in the late-80′s/early-90′s? Somehow I think not.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the evening, and here’s your open thread. The big story of the night is Nick Swisher‘s cameo on How I Met Your Mother (WCBS, 8pm), in which he’ll be playing Nick Swisher. I’ve never watched the show, but I’ve already set the DVR. Other than that, you’ve got House and 24, but none of the sports locals are in action. Enjoy the thread.

Categories : Open Thread

261 Comments»

  1. JSquared says:

    This would make the travel ridiculous. If The Angels and Athletics were put in the AL East with the Yankees and Red Sox, it would be too much.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      You may want to go back and read the post again

      • JSquared says:

        I was just putting a worst case scenario together, thrown the mariners into the AL East as well, and it would be nearly impossible.

        • JSquared says:

          But I do get the point, what i also forgot to write was that all teams not changing would be a problem and therefore make the changing idiotic if not all teams could change***

  2. Stones says:

    I want to see Swisher but I can’t miss House.
    Do they put that show online after it airs?

  3. pete says:

    HIMYM is a great show. Great cast and really great characters. I don’t care if that makes me a girl I’m a HIMYM fan and proud of it.

    As far as the division alignment thing, I completely agree. The yankees have to play most of their games against the AL East, which has, apart from the big bad yanks, two teams that would easily win any other division in baseball, and a promising young Baltimore club. I’m sorry, but anytime you put together a roster like the yanks’ and there’s a pretty decent chance you don’t win your division or even necessarily make the playoffs (not saying it’s likely, but it’s certainly possible), it’s hard to call the setup unfair. The Yankees are the most popular team in sports on account of their merits and historical record, and having a great history and great fans because of that should make a team wealthier

  4. Mets May Not Have Shot At Washburn
    By Howard Megdal [February 1 at 6:12pm CST]

    Mets fans are already in near-revolt mode, so the tweet from Jon Morosi that the Mets likely don’t “have a real shot” at Jarrod Washburn will only stoke the fires further.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....hburn.html

    I am long past making fun of Mets fans. Now I just feel sorry for them. Their GM is a buffoon and even worse, their owner doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. You can change a GM, the guy who owns the team is going to hire the next one. Hopeless.

  5. Hey Mike, did you see this?

    http://newstadiuminsider.blogs.....icket.html

    Care to do a follow-up piece?

    • Steve H says:

      My 2 cents. Okay, he can spell (though I’m not sure I buy that he sent that from his iphone). He’s still batshit insane for canceling his season tickets because of the moves Cashman has made this offseason, which, though he doesn’t want to admit, have been roundly applauded this offseason. Even before Olney’s latest piece on Damon, this offseason has been a success, and seeing the lengths that Damon and Boras went to, makes literally all of the other pieces fall into place. What if Cash had waited? No more Granderson, Johnson would be with the Giants, Vazquez probably would have been traded elsewhere, and Winn would be with the Natinals. He waited as long as he could, and made the moves he needed to make.

      • He’s typical of many (not all) of the fans who were so upset about Damon leaving. They loved the guy, and had an irrational, emotional response.

        • Steve H says:

          But at the end of the day, aren’t we all Yankees’ fans? Hell, they could let Jeter and Mo walk at the end of the year and I’m still rooting for the Yankees. I understand that people can get irrational about a favorite player, but to that extreme? I still think he was canceling his tickets anyway, and wanted to bitch about something.

          • Yeah, he said the plan wasn’t worth it for him anyway.

            I have a full season, and I can barely get my money back on games in April and May. I wind up handing them out to customers. The reality is, you can get games on StubHub so easily these days, partial plans make less sense than they used to.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      I wonder why that guy is a teacher and not the GM of the Yankees. He is clearly smarter then anyone the Yankees have in their FO.

    • Does this surprise anyone? Their Doctors are not only good, but some of the best in the country. The problem seems to be once that medical info hits the Met front office.

      It’s either willful ignorance (‘Rub some dirt on it, kid’) or complete, utter incompetence. I could make the case for either, so I’ll say it’s both.

  6. http://www.detnews.com/article.....1129/rss15

    Note to Johnny-”Winners” don’t tell everyone in the press about every ache and pain they have. Just FYI.

  7. C says:

    Remember that “We Have The Yankees” Nike ad with Mo? Anyone know where you can buy a poster of that ad, or at least find a high-res version that I can have made into a poster?

  8. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Look at this piece of batshit insanity from lohud:

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/201...../#comments

    Let’s get right to my point. There should not be instant replay in baseball. It would ruin the game.

    Having the umpires on the field make the calls is the way that it’s always been. They get most of the calls right and occasionally blow a few. Baseball has managed to survive and thrive this way for over 100 years. Why change it now? Do we really want to see Lou Piniella throw a little red challenge flag, or would we rather see him blow his top and kick dirt on an ump? I know which one I prefer.

    One of the greatest plays of all time happened in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series. The Brooklyn Dodgers were trailing the Yankees by 2 late in the game with Jackie Robinson on 3rd. Jackie broke for home with the pitcher in a full windup and slid safely under the glove of Yogi Berra. At least that’s how the home plate umpire saw it.

    Whether or not Jackie was safe or not has been debated for over 50 years. Yogi still to this day swears that he was out. It’s a controversial call that has been talked about, over and over again.

    This is just one example of what makes baseball so great. A play that happened over 50 years ago is still talked about today. An umpire made a call, one side loved it, and the other hated it. Everyone who has seen it has an opinion. It was the whole play that made it great, the umpire, the call, and the close play that could have gone either way. Yogi argued, screamed, and well, it didn’t matter. There was no changing the call.

    Great moments like that will be forgotten sooner because of instant replay. We spend so much time talking about what could make the game better that we forget that it is already a great game. Having an umpire miss a call and watching the players and managers freak out is very much just a part of the game.

    With the number of cameras at a game, it’s almost certain that we’ll know exactly what the correct call should be, no matter what the ump says. We have super slow-mo, multiple camera angles, even computer generated strike zones. If an ump gets a call wrong, or even right, we have the definitive answer within seconds. So, while I know that the technology is available, I just wish they would slow it down a notch. It is driving the umpires and tradition right out of the game.

    Would instant replay have improved anything about baseball over the last 100 years? Imagine if there were instant replay in 1955. Nobody would still be talking about that stolen base of home, and Yogi wouldn’t still be arguing to this day. Nope, the debate would have ended in the replay booth and we would have only spent a few days talking about how bad the ump was.

    That’s because Jackie was out.

    I’m not even going to go through the reasons this post is utterly ludicrous, since it’s glaringly obvious. I’ll just add my thoughts to the discussion on the artcle.

    • Yeah, that’s just dumb. You can’t argue for getting the calls wrong. Everyone should agree that you want to get the calls right, it’s just a matter of slowing the (already slow) game down too much.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        His arguement is ridiculously flawed. Like you said, arguing that you want the umpires to get the wrong calls is ridiculous. It really makes no sense at all.

        Arguing that it would take too long can still be rebutted sucessfully, but at least the concept makes sense.

        • Stuckey says:

          I don’t think the “take too long” argument makes any real good sense either.

          As I stated in response there. Bad calls often lead to indefinite, unlimited delays anyway in the form of player/manager arguments with umpires.

          You take away a team’s ability to hold up the game completely at their discretion with on-field arguing, and replace with replay.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      So according to his logic the more batshit insane calls the better the game is.

      So every call should be wrong?

    • T-Dubs says:

      They need to enforce a pitching time limit with the penalty being an automatic ball. Might work best if they limit it to the first 7 innings for a trial though.

    • JGS says:

      Why not to read LoHud, exhibit A

    • And yet I’m the one that gets reamed….

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Also, this quote is ridiculous:

      Great moments like that will be forgotten sooner because of instant replay. We spend so much time talking about what could make the game better that we forget that it is already a great game. Having an umpire miss a call and watching the players and managers freak out is very much just a part of the game.

      So, because the game is already great, we should stop trying to improve it? Not to mention, does he really think that when Cuzzi blew the double call it made the game better? Really?

      IDK about you, but IMO the only people who will remember anything about that game but Cuzzi’s blown call are Yankee fans. I would argue that it makes fans of most teams forget that it was such a great game. Just like when KC won that WS in the 80′s. Game 6 was a great game, but I remember it far more for that blown call than for the bottom of the ninth comeback.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      Sam Borden’s take on it in a follow up post:

      “Instant replay in baseball? I’ve written on this before and agree with much of what James wrote this morning. As someone who has extensive experience officiating sports (including baseball), I can say that missing a call is (usually) as much a physical error as a player botching a ground ball. So, the argument goes, if errors are part of the game then errors are part of the game. That said, I find myself turning around a little on the idea as time goes by …

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        Except the umpires aren’t playing the game! That’s a ridiculous comment. So in chess, making a bad move is an error. If you make your pawn skip like a knight and take another piece, and somehow nobody catches it, that’s fair? That reasoning doesn’t make any sense. That comment was bullshit.

    • vin says:

      “This is just one example of what makes baseball so great. A play that happened over 50 years ago is still talked about today.”

      This “argument” is really just a means for fans to cope with a bad call costing their team the win – especially when a non-baseball fan questions them about it. I’ve been guilty of it myself from time to time.

      I’ve always liked the fact that one league has the DH and the other doesn’t. I always told people that is a little thing that makes baseball special. I still like the nuance, but it’s really me just defending baseball’s silliness to non-fans.

      • Steven T says:

        Here was my comment on it
        Are you seriously saying that just because we remember a controversial call that if it had gone the other way may change the outcome of the entire series is the reason why we shouldn’t have instant replay and the ability to get every call right? That was a terrible argument

    • barry says:

      No offense to you all, but I kind of think every once in a while, when a bad call happens, it makes the game fun. And every once in a while it’s a lil magic. I just don’t think that it’s so important in baseball.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        Unless you’re the team screwed.

        It’s basically saying that it’s okay for people to say that what happened, didn’t happen, when we have the resources to combat it.

  9. While I don’t agree with this realignment as such, I’d love to see a US-based league do it relegation style, as they do across the pond.

  10. T-Dubs says:

    House or Swisher??

    Swisher or House??

  11. I love Nick, but I’m not missing ’24′ on Fox.

  12. Ted Nelson says:

    I like the idea of a more open format for making the playoffs, given the competitive imbalance of baseball and the small playoffs relative to other sports. You could also solve a lot of the same problems by expanding the playoffs by one round.

  13. Ted Mosbey’s got mad game-calling skills.

  14. I have read a couple of articles about Jesus Montero and how some think he doesn’t project well as a catcher. Would the Yankees consider moving Montero to one of the corner outfield positions?
    - Anthony G., Belleville, N.J.

    You never say never, I suppose, but my understanding is that Montero would not be a terrific fit in the outfield because he just doesn’t run well. As one person in the know told me, “He’s slow as molasses.”

    But he sure can hit, and the Yankees internally believe he can be a big league catcher, something he’ll continue doing at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He might have made an ideal first-base candidate at some point, but since Mark Teixeira isn’t going anywhere, it’s probably going to be catcher or designated hitter when Montero makes his big league debut. That may happen as soon as this year.

    This is why, as much as it pains me to say it,that if Jesus Montero can’t figure out how to be a de4cent MLB Catcher, he’s trade bait. I wouldn’t trade him for just anyone, it would have to be a high ceiling pitcher like Roy Halladay or Josh Johnson, but like Nick Johnson back in 2003, he just doesn’t fit anywhere on this team.

    • What does “decent” mean to you, though? If he’s Mike Piazza or Jorge Posada back there, that’s fine.

      • Piazza and Posada had very different flaws. Piazza blocked the plate well, used his body on baserunners sliding into home, called a good game that pitchers seemed to like and was OK on popups. He just couldn’t throw anyone out.

        Jorge throws base runners out at a decent clip, and does just about everything else poorly.

        If he’s Piazza, I’ll LOVE him. If he’s Posada, he’ll drive me nuts just like Jorge does.

        • Steve H says:

          Maybe they can hire Varitek to call the games from the bench. The Yankees will ring up no-hitters in no time.

          • You can be as snarky as you want, the P-I-T-C-H-E-R-S are the ones who complain about Jorge. But you know more than they do.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Give me one example of a Yankee pitcher complaining about Jorge. A link with a quote would be fantastic.

              • You can’t be serious. So you’re just going to play the head in the sand game? Stop.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Right, because jumping to conclusions is a far better approach.

                • Right, and players go on the recortd with this stuff all the time. There’s no such thing as a clubhouse culture, only numbers on a spreadsheet.

                  BTW-If you were being intellectually honest, you’d admit (as most Sabermatricians do) that Catchers are among the hardest positions to quantify. But no, you’d rather play games.

                • Stuckey says:

                  Nostra, did you REALLY just use the “I don’t have to give an example to support my assertion because we all know it’s true” gambit..?

                  Really?

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Oh no, I’m not playing games. I’m just not very fond of people talking about clubhouse culture and stuff like that when they have absolutely no idea what goes on in there.

                  And of course there’s such a thing as chemistry and all that stuff. I never said there wasn’t, you’re putting words in my mouth. I just don’t believe it has nearly the kind of impact many think it does.

                • I never mentioned ‘Chemistry’ and it wasn’t what I was referring to. The ‘culture’ I’m referring to is that you keep these issues in house, and don’t air your dirty laundry in the press.

                • kunaldo says:

                  so isnt that just a big fat assumption? if the “culture” is to keep those issues in house? i’m not saying that there is or isn’t issues w/ posada’s catching, just that, like mike said, there is no smoking gun…

            • Big Juan says:

              I mean, I know Burnett and Posada had some trouble getting on the same page in ’09, but I can’t recall hearing of a pitcher complaining about his pitch calling.

              If it was that bad, would they have stuck with him this long?

              • -El Duque
                -Mike Mussina
                -Randy Johnson
                -Roger Clemens

                All had issues with Jorge. They stuck with him because they know how hard it is to find a bat like his at his position. But that doesn’t make his defense any better.

                • Big Juan says:

                  I’m not refuting your comment because I don’t have the facts to do so. But by chance, do you have any links to read?

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Randy Johnson had problems with everyone and Mussina always hoisted the blame on everyone else (fielders, umps, etc).

                • Stuckey says:

                  Am I missing something or did the Yankees not win 114 games on route to a championship this year with Posada as a catch, and miss the play-offs the only time in 15 years the year he was injured most of the season?

                • Juan, try reading Torre’s book.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  You mean Verducci’s book.

                • Big Juan says:

                  Got it.

                  I’ll just take your word that it’s there. I’d rather not read that book.

                  Bottom line is that I’ll take the 4 WS rings Posada helped the Yanks win. He called enough right pitches to get 27 outs quite a few times over that time span.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  El Duque and Jorge had a weird love-hate relationship. The due still pitched to him, and well.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Dude, you’re way overrating game-calling skills.

                • No I’m not. Game calling is only a small part of the equation, I agree. But he’s a passed ball machine, doesn’t bother to block home plate AND has issues with pitchers. That’s what I’m talking about.

                • Stuckey says:

                  Assuming you don’t play Posada’s play as a factor in 2008 (one could make a STRONG argument his lack OF play was a factor in them missing the post-season for the first time in 15 years), which post-season did Posada cost them a series?

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Right now of course he can’t be a ML catcher. I NEVER argued that. I said if he has MEDIOCRE defense you deal with it. Right now his defense is unacceptable. Still, I’m willing to give him time to get to Piazza or Posada levels defensively. He’s young and improving.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  What exactly are you arguing? That if he becomes a Jorge Posada type of player you wouldn’t want him? Because if so that’s ridiculous.

                • Big Juan says:

                  But he’s a passed ball machine

                  Okay, here we go:

                  According to Ben Badler (http://www.baseballamerica.com.....ts/?p=1835), in seasons which catchers play 120 games, the average passed ball total is 8.

                  In seasons which Posada has caught at least 120 games (8), his passed ball average is 11.5.

                  Not great, but is 3.5 over the league average really a “passed ball machine”?

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Who cares if he is? He’s sog good defensively he easily makes up for it. You’d really rather have a Stanley or a Molina behind the plate?

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Replace defensively with offensively, of course.

                • Big Juan says:

                  Well of course I wouldn’t want a Stanley or a Molina. The point of my post was that I don’t think Posada deserves the passed ball machine reputation.

                  And yes, even if he allows more PB than the average catcher, I’ll take his offense.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  I was responding more to Nostra-Artist than you.

                • Big Juan says:

                  Got it. My fault.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  BTW, for the record, I read the Verducci-Torre book.

        • Drew says:

          Hey, if it means we win 4 WS with him as the primary catcher, I’m willing to risk your sanity.

    • Steve H says:

      If he’s truly a Thomas/Piazza/Miggy type bat, he’s a fit on any team. Sure as a DH he loses some positional value, but if he hits his potential, that production, even though it’s coming from DH, is tough to find anywhere. Add in young and cost controlled, for a team that does have payroll concerns now and in the future, and he carries a ton of value to the Yankees.

      • But he’ll have more value to another team who can find a position for him. Therefore, he’s trade bait.

        • Steve H says:

          Maybe, but even in the Josh Johnson scenario, now you’re looking at trading a top 10 caliber bat who is cost controlled for a guy making $9 million/year. If you traded Montero for a pitcher of his caliber and age who is also cost controlled, you’re taking a huge risk in that the bat is more of a sure thing than the arm. Maybe you’d trade him for a SS who has less ceiling but gives you your future SS. It’s tough to think about a trade that would make perfect sense on the field as well as financially. In the Johnson scenario, what’s better, Montero+ $8 million to spend or Johnson alone?

          • Big Juan says:

            This.

            If Montero turns in the 40-100 threat that some scouts are saying he could be, I’ll take the sure thing bat.

          • They already offered him straight-up for one year of Roy Halladay, who was making 16 mil this season.

            • Steve H says:

              That was doing his due diligence and I’m guessing that he knew the Jays wouldn’t accept. And doesn’t that also show how much the Yankees do value him, that they consider him good enough by himself to get one of the 3 best pitchers in baseball? The Yankees have a better read than any of us, any national scout, or any scout from another team on whether he can make it at catcher, or in the OF. I can assure you that Bryan Hoch does not have a better read on Montero’s future in the field, either at C or OF than the Yankees organization does.

              • Steve, they offered him knowing the Jays might accept.

                As far as the OF stuff, read the first post. I had always thought that was an option as well, but Hoch totally shot that down. That changes things significantly, and is what I was hoping to discuss with my initial post.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      If he’s mediocre but as good a hitter as Miggy Cabrera you stick him at catcher and fuck the defense.

      • No. If the pitchers can’t deal with throwing to him, you’ll blow up the entire season. No one bat is worth more than your starting pitcher in any individual game.

        • Stuckey says:

          You mean like Posada has blown up every regular season since he came up…

          Like that you mean?

          • Ever heard of Mike Stanley? Of course not, you probably weren’t born when he was catching for the Yanks. The current manager was brought in because the pitchers (led by David Cone) couldn’t stand throwing to him. Again, if you read Torre’s book, you’d know this.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Don’t be condescending to try to make your point. The “get off my lawn” mentality appeals to no one and does nothing to help your argument.

            • Big Juan says:

              I’m assuming when you say him, you mean Posada. And if that’s true this example doesn’t seem like a great one.

              1) The only time Stanley and Posada were ever on the team together was ’97. And if they couldn’t stand throwing to him, that makes sense because he was still very young.

              2) They still had Girardi in ’97, and he caught the majority of the games. So it’s not like Posada was the every day catcher yet.

                • Big Juan says:

                  Okay. That anecdote makes a lot more sense now.

                  But like everyone else said, Stanley’s offense was not on par with what Posada became and what Montero will hopefully be. So I can imagine it was much easier to get rid of him.

                  I realize some catchers just aren’t the best pitch callers, but ultimately, the responsibility for that falls on the pitcher IMO for two reasons:

                  1) Obviously, the pitcher has the ability to shake the catcher off. In an ideal situation, you don’t want this very often because it breaks tempo, but the option is still there.

                  2) If the pitcher and the catcher are so far off in pitch selection, the pitcher should be getting with the catcher between innings, between starts and whenever else there is time, in an effort to get on the same page.

            • Nady Nation says:

              And Mike Stanley didn’t have Jorge Posada’s bat, so he was shown the door. Most are projecting Montero to have a Posada-like bat, at the very least. So…

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

              What everybody else said.

            • Stuckey says:

              Right, Girardi was brought in after Stanley caught the majority of games over 3 seasons, the last 1 and 1/2 (strike-shortened) were relatively successful.

              Jorge Posada has been the primary catcher for 12 seasons, 3 of which resulted in World Championship, 1 of which is in the argument for one of the greatest team single-seasons of all-time.

              And Posada is still here. NOT replaced ala Mike Stanley.

              Are you not arguing Posada is terrible defensively AND is unpopular with pitchers?

              But he has NOT been replaced and has NOT blown up a single regular season in his career….

              Do you even know what point you’re trying to make at this point?

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

              The point we’re making is that keeping Montero on the team as catcher, even with sub-par game-calling skills, would definitely be worth it if he has a Miguel Cabrera, or even Jorge Posada, type bat. Our evidence for this is Jorge himself. We’re not saying if you have to don’t bring in backup catchers to pitch to certain pitchers, but if you deny our point think about what you’re saying:

              1. It was not worth keeping Posada at catcher becaue of his game-calling, a ridiculous arguement.

              2. It was not worth keeping the defensively horriffic Piazza at catcher, a batshit insane arguement.

              Now we know you’re too smart to believe that. All I’m saying is if Montero’s offense is THAT good, you can live with mediocre defense. Get a personal catcher for certain pitchers if you have to. Whatever, it’s worth it for that type of bat.

              • Hey ZZ says:

                Just to add to that. Mike pointed this out in the chat the other day:

                Montero will be 27 years old when Tex’s contract expires. Even in the worst case scenario where he is only a DH for the beginning of his career he will have plenty of time to play a “real position.”

                Kevin Youkilis did not even play a full season in the bigs until he was 27.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          My God, you’re making way too much of this catcher stuff.

  15. Camilo Gerardo says:

    lol jim nantz

  16. Camilo Gerardo says:

    nice intro, nick!

  17. LOL @ “rack jacked” by The Scooter.

  18. Drew says:

    I gotta say I was hoping for a couple more lines from Swish.

  19. Steve H says:

    Piazza in the Hall as a Dodger or Met? I’d go Dodger, but it’s pretty damn close and the argument could be made either way. More counting stats with the Mets, better rate stats with the Dodgers and only 1 less year. Also came up with the Dodgers where he made a name for himself, and I think how he was drafted helps the Dodger case as well. No significant playoff moments to speak of with either team, unless getting a shattered bat chucked at you counts, which in the great minds of the BBWAA might.

    • bexarama says:

      I’d go Dodgers too, but it’s very close and I feel like the Hall will put him in as a Met. I’d say his “significant moment” that the BBWAA will want people to remember isn’t that he got a bat chucked at him, but that home run at Shea in the first game after 9/11 (which, to be fair, was a hell of a moment).

    • Mike Axisa says:

      When I think of Piazza, I think of him as a Dodger. Of course that means nothing. He did make his name in LA, so I’m inclined to say a Dodger hat.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      I think of Piazza as a Met, for what it’s worth.

  20. bexarama says:

    I think MLB Network is running out of Prime 9 topics. Most Unique Pitching Deliveries? Best Outfield Arms? (Also, if I ever hear that call of that one CRAZY throw by Ichiro from early 2001 again, it will be too soon.)

    Swisher was cute on HIMYM. :)

  21. Drew says:

    Okay, since we were blessed by some winter Swisher action.

    O/U 32 HR’s from Swish in 2010. Keep in mind he only hit 8 at home in 09.

    I’m going to take the over.

  22. bexarama says:

    Giants signed Byung-Hyun Kim to a minor league deal, heh. Thanks for the memories.

  23. Mike HC says:

    That division realignment is obviously ridiculous. There are too many problems there to even go over.

    I can see realigning the divisions to balance out the talent, or to create better rivalries based on team talent level rather than geography.

    But the current system seems to be working. I would personally like to see another team or two added to the playoffs from each League. Maybe set up an NFL like system. I don’t see why there can’t be another playoff round and more teams involved. Seems like a win win to me.

    • Big Juan says:

      I would personally like to see another team or two added to the playoffs from each League. Maybe set up an NFL like system.

      Of course you have the right to your own opinion, but I’m not a fan of expanding the playoffs. I like that baseball is the most difficult sport to make the postseaon.

      If I were to suggest any chance to the current format, it would be to put the best four teams (record-wise), regardless of division, in the playoffs. For example, if the Rays finish third in the East this year with the third best record in the AL, I’d rather see the in the playoffs.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I like the current system. Maybe they should just change it up to the teams with the four best records in each league, regardless of division.

    • Januz says:

      I would despise realigning the divisions, based on talent. There is no guarantee that teams will be good forever (For example: I remember the awful Stump Merrill Yankee teams, where we were laughed at by the “Bash Brothers” A’s). What makes a sport work (Or not work), is the level of interest of the fans. Traditional rivalries (Such as Boston), or rivalries based on geography (The Mets) are the games I look forward to every season. As a big Yankee fan, I will stay up for the West Coast games, and watch the Royals or Indians, but I guarantee you, the Sox and Met games are the ones I look for when the schedule comes out.

  24. Steve H says:

    The 1996 Orioles hit 257 HR’s. I’m guessing the juice was flowing thru that clubhouse, but somehow everyone believes the world would end if Cal Ripken were to be found out as a juicer. His best friend and roommate on the team…..Brady Anderson.

  25. Kiersten says:

    Can a Yankee be on my favorite show every week please?

  26. Evan says:

    Conan O’Brien and Billy Crystal from ’97 (SFW): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

  27. I’m having trouble getting Adobe flash to work on Google Chrome. anyone have any ideas on how to fix it?

  28. Johnson to the Dodgers is complete.

  29. Steve H., when’s the blog launching?

  30. Mike Axisa says:

    I’m doing a mock fantasy draft for this RotoWorld thing. I’m picking 6th out of 12 teams. Here’s what I got so far:

    1st Round: Prince
    2nd: Crawford
    3rd: Cano
    4th: Verlander
    5th: Lester

    I usually go for NL arms, but the K potential won me over.

  31. barry says:

    You’re a fuckin liar, everyone with a love for baseball would watch a division lottery.

  32. exile says:

    clever RABers…

  33. Brian says:

    One thing I once heard proposed, which will also never happen, is a sort of Promotion/demotion style system a la European Soccer leagues. teams that are dreadfully awful like the rays of about 5 years ago or the perennial Quad-A Pirates could get demoted to AAA ball and the top AAA teams (maybe the IL and PCL champs?) would move up to take their place. It would give the teams more incentive not to just mail it in after april every year. And then even if your team is completely out of the playoffs, the end of the season becomes a playoff race to not be banished next year.

    of course…this would completely disrupt baseball developmental league system and the talent levels between AAA and the Majors is huge (excluding the pirates?)…but I digress…

  34. [...] it is if you’re ESPN’s Senior Editor David Schoenfield. In the companion piece to his crazy realignment scheme, Schoenfield spent yesterday’s Hot Stove U. column writing about parity in baseball. [...]

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