Link Dump: Backups, Cervelli, Media Jerks


Let’s start Friday off with a few random links from around the netweb…

Projecting the backup outfielders

Sean at Pending Pinstripes took a look at some projections for the Yankees’ reserve outfielders, which essentially includes everyone not named Curtis Granderson or Nick Swisher. Unsurprisingly, Brett Gardner projects to be the best player of the bunch in 2010 on the strength of his outstanding defense and slightly better than league average bat. What is surprising is that the second best projected performance comes from Reid Gorecki, a minor league free agent the Yanks signed back in January. Although his offense will be below average, his defense isn’t all that far off from Gardner’s.

Cervelli may go all Dark Helmet on us

After suffering a concussion last week when he took a pitch to the noggin, Frankie Cervelli might use one of those big Rawlings S100 batting helmets this year. It’s the same helmet David Wright comically wore a few times last year, when he did his best Rick Moranis in Spaceballs impression. Safety first, of course, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh on the inside.

Bill Conlin is a jerk

Hopefully you remember this post from a few days ago, which disputed a claim from the Philly Inquirer’s Bill Conlin that the Phillies might have the best infield of the modern era. It’s pretty obvious he’s wrong, as they don’t even have the best infield of 2010. However, when a NoMaas reader by the name of Matt respectfully disagreed with Conlin, his emails were met with inflammatory responses. How could someone in Conlin’s position possibly be this disrespectful to his readers?

We joke about how the media in New York can be overly dramatic and stuff, but I’ll say this much, I’ve never felt disrespected by any of the guys who cover the Yankees, even when we were in disagreement. I feel bad for Phillies’ fans that have to put up with that.

Categories : Links


  1. People in Philly get testy when you point out how over rated Rollins is.

  2. Tim Sherman says:

    So obviously you never disagreed with Pete Abraham when he was covering the Yanks. I did many times and each time my opinion was scoffed at and I was told by Pete that his opinion was worth more than mine because “he sometimes has dinner with the players”. Pete was a moron and so full of himself it was ridiculous.

  3. vtbando says:

    Is there a link or transcript of said inflammatory remarks? I’d love yet another reason to hate the city of Philthadelphia….

  4. CHONE really, really, really hates Randy Winn’s bat, huh?

  5. We joke about how the media in New York can be overly dramatic and stuff, but I’ll say this much, I’ve never felt disrespected by any of the guys who cover the Yankees, even when we were in disagreement.

    That’s because they aren’t actually smart enough to be able to disrespect you cogently.

  6. RussW210 says:

    The extent of good I can say about Philly:

    I enjoyed their museum of art, the Rocky statue, and one of my vendors is very nice and from Philly.

    Can’t really say anything else.

  7. ggc says:

    I believe I read similar things about Conlin before. I think that’s when I really noticed his name when the previous story went up. One of those anti-thought “old school” print news elitists.

  8. A.D. says:

    Really from Conlin, he could at least write a full sentence or paragraph saying that he disregards A-Rod due to steroids.

    • Gardimentary says:

      If you disregard Arod, you to disregard a lot of other guys, too.

      The problem is we hear about these juicers in piece-meal, so while Arod is forced to give a press conference, and apologize, Papi can sit there, smile and tell us he’s innocent, and that baseball been very good to him.

  9. Bill Conlin’s Wiki page:


    Conlin drew criticism for failing to include pitcher Nolan Ryan on his Hall of Fame ballot. Conlin explained in a follow-up column that he was attempting to make an ill-advised point supporting pitcher (Don Sutton), who had the same number of victories as Ryan and fewer losses in a shorter career…


    In November 2007, Conlin drew the ire of internet bloggers after quipping in an email that “the only positive thing I can think of about Hitler’s time on earth-I’m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers.”

    You stay classy, Bill.

  10. gc says:

    If you check out the site where Conlin’s stuff is published, there is a link to a live chat he did yesterday. Notice how his tone changes:

    “I know a lot of you want to question or comment on my Greatest Infield column. It was reprinted in a Reds blog yesterday and I was inundated by irate Reds fans. I didn’t even mention the Big Red Machine because the numbers weren’t even close. Of course, it was a great infield, but this was basically weighted toward offensive output. I don’t want this to be a referendum on infields,.so e-mail me any comments on the column. Thanks.”

    And my favorite from the end:
    “Thanks for all the good questions today. And thanks for being civil and well informed.”

    I guess being well informed and placing importance on “the numbers” only counts when they make the Phillies look good.

    • Januz says:

      The trouble with Conlin, is not only is the Phillies infield NOT the best in history, But it is not even the best in PHILADELPHIA history. I copied the following from Wikipedia: The $100,000 infield ($2,327,143 in current dollar terms) was the name given to the famous infield of the Philadelphia Athletics in the early 1910s. The $100,000 infield consisted of first baseman Stuffy McInnis, second baseman Eddie Collins, shortstop Jack Barry, and third baseman Frank Baker.[1][2]

      Baseball historian Bill James rated the 1914 edition of the $100,000 infield the greatest infield of all time, and also ranked the 1912 and 1913 editions in the top five all time.[1] The $100,000 infield helped the Athletics win four American League championships in five years – 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914 and win the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913. The group was broken up after losing the 1914 World Series as a result of the financial pressures resulting from the emergence of the Federal League.[3] Two members, Collins and Baker, have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.[4].
      From a personal opinion, I happen to like the 70s Reds infield of Perez, Motgan, Conception, and Rose, and the current Yankee infield better than the Phillies. This team has rwo Hall Of Fame Locks, and Teixeira is well on his way.

      • You know what? Januz is right: the 1910-1914 Philadelphia A’s infield is pretty pimpshit.

        SS Jack Barry can’t hold a candle to Jeter (Rollins, yes, Jeter, no), but McInnis was a very good All-Star level (if the game had existed yet) first baseman and Collins and Baker are legit Hall of Famers.

        Side-note: I love the fact that Frank Baker’s nickname was “Home Run Baker”.

        He got the moniker for leading the AL in homers four years straight from 1911-1914. His total homers hit in that stretch:



      • I’d hate to Alex Gonzalez this but it’s hard to objectively compare a team before WWI and the ‘modern era’.

        Also, while I agree that the Reds infields were likely the best (Joe Morgan posting a 12 WAR!), saying Teixeira is “well on his way” to the Hall is a bit presumptive. Yes, he’s put up very good numbers thus far, but he’s only played 7 complete seasons. Also, he’s at 1B, so his numbers must be weighted against others of the same position. Let’s see him keep it up for at least five more years before we even chat about Teix and the Hall.

        • I’d hate to Alex Gonzalez this but it’s hard to objectively compare a team before WWI and the ‘modern era’.

          That’s why we have tools like WAR and OPS+ and wRC+ and shit, that compares players as relative to their own era-specific peers.

          I bet those old A’s infields would grade out quite nicely. McInnis, Collins, and Baker totally mashed the ball and routinely put up OPS+ numbers in the 150s, and Barry was league average. That’s a powerful quartet.

          • I’m not disagreeing that they were a tremendous infield or that we can’t quantify their performance relative to those in other eras. But we still need to account for the era’s talent level, style of play, defensive differences, etc.

            Take for instance the NBA of the 50s. Yes, there were definitely players that stood out and their stats can be compared to those of the era and now and some would still grade out as Hall-worthy and in the conversation for best ever, but it was also a very different game. You’re comparing oranges and tangerines.

            • Januz says:

              There are a lot of differences between the Dead Ball Era and the Yankee-Ruth era and beyond. But one thing that Collins and co had to deal with the spitball (Outlawed in 1920), which made hitting a lot more difficult. In fact, almost all rule changes have benefited the hitters (Lowering the mound after Gibson’s and McClain’s 1968 seasons come to mind). However, Collins would be a Hall Of Famer in any era (He is perhaps surpassed by ONLY Rogers Hornsby as a 2nd baseman).

        • Januz says:

          If you noticed I used the term ‘Well On His Way” to describe Tex, instead of making him a mortal lock for Cooperstown, like Jeter and Rodriguez are. I will concede the point this may be the greatest era for 1st basemen ever, so having the numbers are important (Pujols, Fielder, Howard, Tex, ect come to mind). But if Tex has 10 or more years of 100 RBI’s plus, he will be elected.

  11. Rose says:

    Cervelli may go all Dark Helmet on us

    After suffering a concussion last week when he took a pitch to the noggin, Frankie Cervelli might use one of those big Rawlings S100 batting helmets this year. It’s the same helmet David Wright comically wore a few times last year, when he did his best Rick Moranis in Spaceballs impression. Safety first, of course, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh on the inside.

    Is it bad that I can’t stop laughing at those two links of the helmets?

    Dark Helmet: Before you die there is something you should know about us, Lone Star.
    Lone Starr: What?
    Dark Helmet: I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.

  12. Mike HC says:

    RE: the outfielders — I am very excited for the new defensive outfield of Granderson, Gardner and Swisher. Watching them chase down fly balls should be fun.

    RE: the concussion helmets: I think everyone should be wearing these. Far too many pitches end up by players heads and these helmets are worth wearing. Hopefully over time they don’t look as funny.

    RE: Conlin – - he is surely a jerk and probably purposefully inflammatory and ignorant, but I didn’t see a problem with that email chain. Conlin did not personally insult “Matt” at all, while Matt insulted Conlin. I see Matt in the wrong here.

    • Conlin – – he is surely a jerk and probably purposefully inflammatory and ignorant, but I didn’t see a problem with that email chain. Conlin did not personally insult “Matt” at all, while Matt insulted Conlin. I see Matt in the wrong here.

      What’s funny/sad is, that Matt/Conlin conversation reminds me of many conversations between myself and SBGL.

      Did Matt technically become insulting first? Perhaps, in that third email. But a one word, nonpunctuated, dismissive, boversimplifying response like “STEROIDS” is a bit insulting as well, because Matt took the time to calmly, dispassionately, and clearly outline some very valid criticisms and Conlin stupidly ingnored everything Matt said and gave a pathetic and a not-the-point non-response.

      That’s kinda insulting as well. Matt is expecting Conlin to react like a grownup, and he’s not.

      • Mike HC says:

        I get that. No doubt Conlin’s response was frustrating, childish and dismissive, but not personally insulting, which is where I think the line has to be drawn. I don’t want to defend this guy too much, but in this limited instance, I don’t think he owed the emailer any further explanation. Maybe he should not have responded at all.

        • Ben says:

          There is a big different though – Conlin is a journalist. I am in journalism school now and you have to remain professional. A reader/e-mailer can say whatever he wants in response to your column because he is essentially the customer. If the reader says something stupid (which Matt didn’t do here), you can just ignore it or respond with a simple ‘I won’t respond to that juvenile statement.”
          The first response by Conlin wasn’t necessarily bad, just lazy and you would expect more from a guy who is at the heads of his respective city’s coverage of sports. The second response, especially the last two words, is juvenile and immature, which as the professional journalist in this situation, Conlin cannot be.

          • Mike HC says:

            I don’t really think that rises to the level of unprofessionalism. Maybe in the classroom setting that would be looked down upon, but in the real world, you don’t have to be a robot. He didn’t do or say anything particularly inappropriate. Just my opinion I guess. I guy is clearly a bit of an imbecile, so I am not defending his personality or views.

      • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

        conlin’s response was akin to sticking his fingers in his ears and going lalalalala i cant hear you stats are stupid. youre stupid lalalalala

      • I put on my Cervelli-styled helmet complete with antennas to make this comment.

        Drum roll please.

        Bill Conlin is…SBGL.

        **Takes helmet off**

        So what were we talking about, guys?

        • Bill Conlin is…SBGL.

          Bill Conlin: Drabek is a reliever long term and Taylor is nothing special. the phils should trade them to get Halladay whos a real ace why cant you see that????

          Matt: That’s a decent idea, but maybe we should wait a year, hang on to Cliff Lee, keep our prospects, and see if we can just sign Halladay when he hits the market next winter? That way we can keep our prospects and still get Halladay.

          Bill Conlin: Have u even seen these prospects in person that youre talking about????? what are u some left wing nutjob?????

          Matt: … you f#$%&ing moron.

          … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE!

          • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

            the phillies are going to come in last because they didnt resign feliz.

          • Gardimentary says:

            If all this Conlin guy is saying do whatever you can to get Halladay, then he’s right.
            No one has any way of knowing what Drabek and Taylor will amount to.

            Halladay is as a sure thing as there is. Even more so than Lee. Before 07, Lee was in the minors.
            Who knows if he can keep it up like Halladay has?

  13. kimonizer says:

    I know the comment in the post about the new Rawlings helmets being comical and laughable was all in good fun and everything, but I think that across the board people should poke less fun at the safety upgrades that they are trying in sports. Everything that has been said about the new helmets (even by fans on blogs) contributes to the players’ feeling that they look foolish and that they should sacrifice safety for appearance. Cervelli has had two concussions in a short time period which makes him much more likely to have another and to have long term brain damage. Is it really worth poking fun at him for that kind of risk?

    There was a great HBO Real Sports segment on football players and how their lives have been devastated by concussions, causing depression, dementia, and even death. I was actually glad that Girardi urged Cervelli to try one and shocked that Bobby Cox had such a short sighted view of the whole thing in the NY Times Bats blog ( This all reminds me of the period when hockey players started wearing helmets and there was so much posturing and machisimo about the helmets. I for one am glad that they are making the new helmet mandatory in little leagues as the only way to change the culture is from the ground up.

    To give a personal perspective: I was playing soccer last year and fractured my skull in two places in a head to head collision. Fortunately the injury was not all that bad, but I when I went back to play I felt much more at risk (being a goalie) and tentative. After the urging of my doctor and wife I began wearing some protective head gear and felt much more confident that I would avoid further injury. I did however have to get over my ego a little bit, and the fear that others would mock me. Fortunately Petr Cech, a world-class goalie on the English Premier team Chelsea who had had a serious knee to head injury a couple of years back, wears head gear while playing. This makes the concept of soccer players wearing head protection much more accepted by fans and players. In the end almost all of my teammates mentioned Cech when they saw me with the head gear, and I think that in some way his bravery to wear the head gear made it easier for me to start wearing it.

    My point is that safety and protection (especially of the head) is not a laughing matter at any level and we should all try not to create the types of stigmas that any type of player (professional, amateur, recreational) might respond to, thereby putting themselves at unnecessary risk.

    • It’s kind of a shame you make so many good points. I really wanted to bust out a “Debbie Downer” photo.

      But you’re right—safety precautions aren’t emphasized enough whether it be by those in the game or the media outlets covering them. I’m sure many fans probably see those wearing such devices as “pussies” or grit-less “womyn”. This is wrong.

      However, I think you’re just a little peeved because it’s personal. I sympathize, but not everything is sacred. Making a light-hearted joke isn’t a tragic slight.

      • kimonizer says:

        I probably came off a little angrier at the post than I should have. I understand that it is light-hearted and its not like I was totally enraged by the comment, just figured it created an opening for a forum for discussion, so I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks for the helpful bit of perspective.

        I guess in the end its not really blogs and commenters that set the standards, but the players/managers/GMs who can really set the tone. I think Cox’s comments were just a little surprising to me since they are just the kind of comments from a respected individual that perpetuate the situation in a problematic way.

        BTW I just reread the blog post from the Times and there is no comment from Cox there. So, either I am crazy and it wasn’t there or they edited it. Hmmmm. Here is the quote from an AP story however:

        Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is not a fan of the helmets.

        “I think it’s a deterrent to trying to hit and run,” Cox said. “It’s too big, bulky and cumbersome.”

        However, Cox, who still thinks helmets shouldn’t be worn on the basepaths, understands why someone would wear the new model to protect against injury.

        Read more:

  14. Michael Kay says:

    No offense to the reader that had the exchange, but if a writer from a rival city feels like the team he follows or roots for is “the greatest” and you think you can convince him otherwise, its like trying to convince Rush Limbaugh to vote democrat. Conlin took the chance to tease the Yankee fan and he subsequently took the bait.

    If you ignore them it works out better in the end. Like I ignore everything Lupica writes, and then when the Yankees win the World Series I chuckle at how he tries to appeal to Yankee fans all of the sudden, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he writes some Yankee “love fest” book to try to make a cheap buck, then go back to his “Move over Jeter, Reyes runs this town now!”stuff like everyone doesn’t see how transparent he is.

  15. Chris says:

    That response is not surprising given Conlin’s past articles/rebuttals. I think Matt lost him once he started using the “nerd terms” like OBP and replacement level.

    Also, Polanco is better than A-Rod because of steroids. You could pump Polanco full of every performance enhancer there is (steroids, hgh, blood doping, amphetamines, etc.), switch A-Rod to a diet of nothing but Total cereal and water, and A-Rod would still destroy him.

    Another solid rebuttal would be putting together the best infields from the modern era and bombarding him with them in separate e-mails.

  16. Gardimentary says:

    “It’s pretty obvious he’s wrong, as they don’t even have the best infield of 2010.”

    How is it pretty obvious that he’s wrong? He might be wrong, but they certainly have one of the best infields in the game—and the season hasn’t been played yet.

    The way I see it:

    Howard will hit more home runs than anyone. Even Teixeira, but if the question is considering offense and defense, I’d take Teix, because he plays a mean 1st base. Howard is average to below average at first.

    Utley over Cano. There’s no debate here by even the most deranged homer. Utley is the best in the game. Period.

    Rollins is an above average SS, but he ain’t Jeter. No one is.

    Polanco isn’t even a 3B anymore. They have no idea if he can even handle the position in a spot start. Arod’s offense is unmatched by any 3B in the game, and his defense has come a long way. He’s not a gold glover, but he’s still very good.

    The only other infield that I would say is on par with the Yankees is the Mets. They have a chance to be something special.

  17. Bo says:

    In Conlins defense no one knows the email he had to deal with that lead him to respond. It could have said anything and everything. It is a nomaas guy after all. You think it was really nice?? His bad was even responding to it.

  18. mbonzo says:

    I’d take Cano over Utley any day. Cano has done much more than Utley at 27. Cano has more potential on top of that.

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