Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The photo of Bubba the Owl is from the Rice baseball media guide. It's online here, in PDF form; there's a history section that has some pictures of Bubba, as well some interesting lists of records. (Thanks to RM for the tip!)
Naturally, Lance Berkman is featured prominently. There's also some mention of Reds shortstop Paul Janish, though not as much as I'd have expected. No photos (that I noticed, anyway), and not much in the way of records. (Though he is tenth on the list of career doubles.)
Bubba's name is on a lot of the record lists. Curiously, though he's on the batting average, triples, and home runs lists, he didn't make the doubles list. Perhaps it's related to the ridiculous number of triples he had. I could see a lot of doubles becoming triples, with his speed.
I was surprised to see Enrique Cruz was a product of Rice. Not, not "The Gay Porn Star," the Reds' Enrique Cruz (who got that nickname as a joke, after fans Googled his name the day he was added to the Reds roster). The other infielder named Enrique Cruz, who was drafted by the Yankees and is now in the Mets farm system.
Anyways, since PDFs are kind of a pain, and next year's media guide might be different, I decided to "liberate" some of the more interesting bits...
Career (400 Career At-Bats)
.399, Damon Thames (1998-99)
.385, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
.382, Vincent Sinisi (2002-03)
.376, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
.356, Joe Savery (2005-active)
.355, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
.355, Chris Kolkhorst (2002-2004)
.353, Mark Quinn (1994-95)
.347, Jacob Baker (1996-99)
.342, Will Ford (1996-99)
Season (2.5 At-Bats Per Team Game)
.431, Lance Berkman (1997)
.428, Vincent Sinisi (2002)
.424, Damon Thames (1998)
.419, Jim Fox (1962)
.401, Jose Cruz Jr. (1994)
.398, Lance Berkman (1996)
.398, Will Ford (1999)
.394, Bubba Crosby (1998)
.386, Justin Berg (1997)
.385, Curtis Fox (1985)
233, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
223, Jason Richards (1996-98)
223, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
203, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
200, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
199, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
198, Chris Kolkhorst (2002-2004)
191, Charles Williams (1997-99)
184, Chris Boni (1992-95)
175, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
174, Damon Thames (1998-99)
309, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
291, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
285, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
266, Chris Kolkhorst (2002-2004)
256, Jacob Baker (1996-99)
252, Will Ford (1996-99)
251, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
240, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
238, Damon Thames (1998-99)
235, Charles Williams (1997-99)
6, Bubba Crosby vs. McNeese State (Feb. 14, 1997, at Cameron Field)
6, Lance Berkman vs. Cincinnati (Feb. 21, 1997, at Cameron Field)
6, Will Ford vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (May 29, 1999, at Lubbock)
6, Paul Janish vs. Nevada (Apr. 3, 2004, at Reno)
Consecutive Games Hitting Streak
30, Bubba Crosby (1998)
29, Charles Williams (1998-99)
29, Damon Thames (1998-99)
272, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
243, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
217, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
203, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
187, Damon Thames (1998-99)
185, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
179, Will Ford (1996-99)
162, Jacob Baker (1996-99)
160, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
151, Justin Berg (1996-99)
151, Josh Rodriguez (2004-2006)
134, Lance Berkman (1997)
115, Damon Thames (1998)
92, Lance Berkman (1996)
91, Bubba Crosby (1998)
89, Mark Quinn (1995)
88, Bubba Crosby (1997)
81, Jacques Landry (1996)
80, Vincent Sinisi (2002)
76, Jose Cruz Jr. (1995)
75, Eric Arnold (2002)
10, Jose Cruz Jr. vs. Southwest Texas State (Feb. 9, 1995, at Cameron Field)
9, Mike Fox vs. Texas Tech (March 22, 1985, at Lubbock)
8, Eric Graff vs. Lamar (April 9, 1985, at Cameron Field)
8, Bubba Crosby vs. McNeese State (Feb. 14, 1997, at Cameron Field)
8, Lance Berkman vs. Cincinnati (Feb. 21, 1997 at Cameron Field)
8, Lance Berkman vs. Northwestern State (Feb. 23, 1997, at Cameron Field)
8, Damon Thames vs. TCU (April 3, 1998, at Cameron Field)
8, Bubba Crosby vs. New Mexico (April 11, 1998, at Albuquerque, N.M.)
8, Vincent Sinisi vs. Southwest Texas State (March 3, 2002, at Reckling Park)
20, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
15, Charles Williams (1997-99)
15, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
15, Chris Boni (1992-95)
13, Damon Thames (1998-99)
11, Will Ford (1996-99)
11, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
11, Tyler Henley (2005-active)
10, Chris Kolkhorst (2002-2004)
10, John Eierman (1989-91)
10, Josh Rodriguez (2004-2006)
11, Bubba Crosby (1997)
9, Charles Williams (1999)
8, Jason Gray (1999)
7, Matt Fox (1999)
7, Chris Boni (1995)
7, Damon Thames (1998)
7, Tyler Henley (2006)
6, Damon Thames (1999)
6, Robert deLeeuw (1978)
6, Scott Johnson (1983)
6, Patrick Hallmark (1995)
6, Bubba Crosby (1996)
6, Will Ford (1997)
67, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
59, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
43, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
42, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
39, Jay Knoblauh, (1985-88)
37, Damon Thames (1998-99)
33, Jacques Landry (1995-96)
32, Enrique Cruz (2001-03)
29, Jason Richards (1996-98)
29, Jacob Baker (1996-99)
41, Lance Berkman (1997)
26, Damon Thames (1998)
25, Bubba Crosby (1998)
22, Bubba Crosby (1997)
20, Jason Gray (1999)
20, Lance Berkman (1996)
19, Jacques Landry (1996)
18, Mark Quinn (1995)
16, Enrique Cruz (2002)
16, Jose Cruz Jr. (1995)
16, Aaron Luna (2006)
4, Lance Berkman vs. Massachusetts (March 9, 1996, at Cameron Field)
4, Bubba Crosby vs. New Mexico (April 11, 1998, at Albuquerque, N.M.)
3, Carl Reynolds vs. Baylor (March 22, 1956, at Rice Field)
3, Eric Graff vs. TCU (March 27, 1987, at Fort Worth)
3, Jose Cruz Jr. vs. Southwest Texas State (Feb. 9, 1995, at Cameron Field)
3, Damon Thames vs. New Mexico (April 11, 1998, at Albuquerque, N.M.)
HR in Consecutive Games
6, Lance Berkman vs. Massachusetts (2/4, March 9, 1996, at Cameron Field)
6, Bubba Crosby vs. New Mexico (2/4, April 10-11, 1998, at Albuquerque, N.M.)
5, Jose Cruz Jr. vs. S.F. Austin State, Southwest Texas State (2/3, Feb. 8-9, 1995, at Cameron Field)
Consecutive Games With At Least One Home Run
7, Bubba Crosby (April 7-17, 1998)
5, Lance Berkman (Feb. 8-14, 1997)
5, Lance Berkman (Feb. 21-28, 1997)
Home Runs in Consecutive At-Bats
4, Jose Cruz Jr. vs. S.F. Austin State, Southwest Texas State (1/3, Feb. 8-9, 1995, at Cameron Field)
4, Lance Berkman vs. Massachusetts (March 9, 1996, at Cameron Field)
572, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
499, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
499, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
461, Austin Davis (2001-2004)
449, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
435, Damon Thames (1998-99)
404, Jacob Baker (1996-99)
403, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
402, Will Ford (1996-99)
371, Jason Richards (1996-98)
263, Lance Berkman (1997)
248, Damon Thames (1998)
192, Bubba Crosby (1997)
187, Damon Thames (1999)
184, Jason Gray (1999)
183, Bubba Crosby (1998)
180, Lance Berkman (1996)
177, Charles Williams (1999)
177, Mark Quinn (1995)
175, Vincent Sinisi (2002)
18, Bubba Crosby vs. New Mexico (April 11, 1998, at Albuquerque, N.M.)
17, Bubba Crosby vs. McNeese State (Feb. 14, 1997, at Cameron Field)
16, Eric Graff vs. TCU (March 27, 1987, at Fort Worth)
16, Lance Berkman vs. Massachusetts (March 9, 1996, at Cameron Field)
14, Mike Macha vs. Texas Tech (March 21, 1975, at Lubbock)
Career (Min. 400 AB)
.772, Lance Berkman (1995-97)
.737, Bubba Crosby (1996-98)
.730, Damon Thames (1998-99)
.676, Jose Cruz Jr. (1993-95)
.617, Mark Quinn (1994-95)
.612, Jacques Landry (1995-96)
.609, Jay Knoblauh (1985-88)
.572, Vincent Sinisi (2002-03)
.560, Eric Arnold (1999-2002)
.558, Mike Macha (1974-76)
.550, Jason Richards (1996-98)
Season (2.5 at-bats per team game)
1.031, Lance Berkman (1997)
.876, Damon Thames (1998)
.828, Bubba Crosby (1998)
.747, Lance Berkman (1996)
.744, Bubba Crosby (1997)
.742, Jose Cruz Jr. (1994)
.717, Jay Knoblauh (1987)
.708, Mark Quinn (1995)
.686, Jose Cruz Jr. (1995)
.653, Aaron Luna (2006)
.652, Jay Knoblauh (1988)
Most Times On Base
7, Jose Cruz Jr. vs. Texas Southern (Feb. 22, 1995, at MacGregor Park)
7, Bubba Crosby vs. McNeese State (Feb. 14, 1997, at Cameron Field)
7, Lance Berkman vs. Cincinnati (Feb. 21, 1997, at Cameron Field)
Largest Margin of Victory
31: Rice 35, McNeese State 4 (Feb. 14, 1997, at Cameron Field)
28: Rice 37, Cincinnati 9 (Feb. 21, 1997, at Cameron Field)
26: Rice 27, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 1 (May 29, 1999, at Lubbock)
Will Rice's symbol is the Phoenix, its colors are maroon and gold, and the college is known among its alumni and residents as "the college of individuals," or, more jocularly, "the college of gods and goddesses."
The Green Bay Packers are at Texas Stadium tonight, playing the Dallas Cowboys. But most of America can't watch the game. Only those who get the NFL Network can see it. That's mostly satellite users. My friend in Ohio gets the NFL Network as part of her digital cable package, but it doesn't include the games. Apparently, it costs extra for the games, and her cable company was too cheap to pay. So she gets all the rest of the NFL Network programming, but not the live games.
I'm following the game as best I can on Game Center (which is kind of the NFL equivalent of Gameday, though not nearly as detailed). The first half was just nuts, with 44 points scored between the two teams. Favre threw two interceptions and left the game in the second quarter with a right elbow injury. Rodgers, the backup, took over. He seems to doing all right. The Cowboys looked to be running away with it for awhile there, but Rodgers has pulled them to within a field goal. Maybe it's just as well I can't watch this game. I'd have no fingernails left...
The Yankees officially announced the Posada signing today. They had 39 on their roster, so no roster move was needed. But someone's going to have to be DFA'd when Molina, A-Rod, and Mo are made official.
Baseball America has posted their Rule 5 draft preview. They think Brett Smith and Steven Jackson might be taken. The Yankees left Eric Duncan unprotected, but BA doesn't mention him, and he's not expected to be taken. I'm surprised his stock has fallen so far. He was their first round draft pick in 2003. I knew they were kind of disappointed in his development, but still. He's only 22 years old.
The Reds officially announced the Cordero signing today. Lefty outfielder Buck Coats was DFA'd to make room on the roster.
Nothing official from the Yankees, but the Santana talk is getting louder. Supposedly, the deal involves Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and perhaps another pitching prospect.
OTOH, if this deal goes through, the Twins may not want to trade Santana, and may not need an outfielder. Hmmmm.
You think you got leftovers? This guy roasted a 72-pound turkey.
Apparently, Rich Portnoy and his sister Andra have a contest every year, over who can serve the biggest turkey. Last year, he was heartbroken when his sister found a 47-pounder, outdoing him by 10 pounds. His family says he was so upset he pouted in the basement.
Not to be outdone this year, he found a retiring breeder courtesy of his local turkey association. It was 85 pounds live, 72 pounds after he had it processed. He had to call the Butterball Hotline to ask how long to cook it. (15 hours.)
And what's the baseball connection (aside from the spirit of competition)? They named the turkey "Barry Bonds." Very appropriate, in more ways than one!
Meanwhile, the Yankees and A-Rod have agreed to a deal, though it's not official yet. (I'm wondering if they'll wait until after the Rule 5 draft to make anything official, just so they don't have make any more roster moves.) The deal includes incentives for setting personal home run records. Bad idea, IMO. Everyone already thinks A-Rod is playing only to pad his own stats. This doesn't help.
The grapevine is still buzzing with Santana rumors. Some are saying the Twins want Cano, not pitching. Others say the Twins have a second baseman of the future, and are more interested in outfielders. Namely, Melky Cabrera and Jose Tabata. The latest is that they're demanding Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and hot prospect Austin Jackson.
I'm not sure what I think about this. Santana is a great player, and the Yankees need him (especially if it keeps him away from the Sox). He has a full no-trade, but he's made it pretty clear that he would love to come to NY. OTOH, he's going to cost a lot. And I hate trading with the Twins. Somehow, they always come out on top. They pride themselves on their scouting, and even when it seems like they're getting the short end of the stick, it works out in their favor. (OTOH, that might mean they'd be willing to take prospects that others don't see much in.)
Gonna be an interesting off-season...
This card is dated 1999, which means the stats and photo are from 1998. The team is the high-A San Bernardino Stampede.
No, I didn't hit the malls today. I was at work. (I'm such a nerd.) I got out a little late, and the moon was rising. Arrooooo! The full moon is technically tomorrow night, but it looked close enough tonight. It always looks so huge when it's close to the horizon.
How 'bout them Cowboys?
Thanksgiving dinner always tastes better when the Cowboys win. They played the Jets yesterday, so there was a lot on the line. No, not for the Cowboys. For me. I wouldn't be able to hold my head up around here if the Cowboys lost.
Luckily, they made it a nice and relaxing holiday for me. They jumped out to an early lead, and won it easily. What a bummer that next week's Packers-Cowboys game won't be seen by most of the country. Stupid NFL Network. There ought to be a law.
The Packers are my dad's favorite team. I was always a Cowboys fan, so Cowboys-Packers is huge in my family. Yankees-Red Sox pales in comparison. ;-) I can't believe I won't be able to see the game. They are the two best teams in the NFC; this could be the Super Bowl at state. And only the handful of fans who get the NFL Network get to watch it. It ain't right.
It snowed during the game. Being the house with the hole in the roof (so god can watch the Cowboys play, or so the legend goes), you could actually see the snow falling during the game. It was very pretty, didn't accumulate (and didn't seem to bother Tony Romo at all).
But it still hasn't snowed up here in my part of NY. Who'd have thunk Texas would see snow before NY?
Gig 'em, Ags
I got home tonight in time to catch the end of the Texas-Texas A&M game. The Aggies looked like they were going to win it in a blowout for awhile there, but the Longhorns made it surprisingly close. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy scrambled for two fourth down first downs, and brought his team within a touchdown...but the kicker missed the extra point. Unreal. They tried an onside kick, but the Aggies recovered, and got a first down, allowing them to run out the clock. Final score: Aggies 38, Longhorns 30. What an upset...for the second year in a row. The loss likely killed the Longhorns' chances for the conference title game, or a BCS game.
Good-bye to Texas University!
So long to the Orange and White.
Good luck to the dear old Texas Aggies,
They are the boys who show the real old fight.
The eyes of Texas are upon you
That is the song they know so well (sounds like hell!)
So, good-bye to Texas University...
Look out, NL, here come the Reds. Cincinnati is signing Francisco Cordero. He's getting four years, $46 million.
The deal, which is pending a physical, is the largest four-year contract ever given to a closer. It includes a club option for a fifth year that can bring the total value of the package to $57 million.
MLB.com is auctioning off a bunch of baseball memorabilia. The usual baseball cards, bases, jerseys, balls, etc. And some unique items...like a can of the bug spray they used on Joba Chamberlain during that horrible game in Cleveland:
Happy Thanksgiving, all. It's always been one of my favorite holidays. Even if it was invented by those chowderheads.
The Yankees did make some moves after all. Catcher Francisco Cervelli and RHP Steven White from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and RHP Jeffrey Marquez from Double-A Trenton were added to the 40-man roster and thus protected from the Rule 5 draft. Trenton RHP Scott Patterson, a six-year minor league free agent, was signed four days ago. This puts the Yankees roster at 39 players, without Mo, Jorgie, and A-Rod. Once those three are officially announced, at least two players will have be DFA'd.
Speaking of which, the Pirates DFA'd Josh Phelps. Maybe Baltimore will finally get him back. They were pretty annoyed when the Yankees grabbed him via Rule 5 last year.
Meanwhile, ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Yankees would be willing to trade anyone except Joba Chamberlain for Johan Santana. Of course, everyone's assuming that means Phil Hughes. Though the Twins are supposed to be more interested in a young position player than in pitching. The Red Sox are also very interested, and would be willing to trade either Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, or Jon Lester.
Stark also reports that the Reds are shopping Ryan Freel and Josh Hamilton. They want to clear room on their roster for Jay Bruce.
That's "D" for "deadline." Today is the last day for MLB teams to add minor leaguers to their rosters before the Rule 5 draft. Any player eligible for the Rule 5 draft who is not on a MLB roster by now is fair game.
I haven't heard a thing about any Yankees moves. Dunno if that means they didn't make any moves, or if they just haven't been reported yet.
The Reds made a lot of moves, adding a bunch of players, including former Rice infielder Paul Janish. Their roster is full now, so they would have to DFA someone to make room for any free agent signings or Rule 5 draftees.
To no one's shock, Alex Rodriguez is the AL MVP. (Does that stand for "Most Valuable Pain in the Butt"? ;-)
Mike Lowell has re-upped with the Sox, so he won't be playing 1B for the Yankees.
Both the Sox and the Yanks will be interested in Santana. Especially if Andy Pettitte retires.
And now for something completely different....
The Houston Ship Channel has been closed due to fog. (Not uncommon, but with oil prices nearing $100 a barrel and the Wall Street Journal running a front page story on "peak oil" today, well, expect to pay a lot for gas if you're driving over the river and through the woods to grandma's this Thanksgiving.)
The Galveston Harbor Webcam shows it is indeed foggy.
And then there's this link, which shows a Google Earth map of the Houston Ship Channel, with markers for each ship. You can track the ships in real time. Click on the markers to see the name of the ship, what kind of ship it is, and what it's doing. The oil tankers are magenta; if you zoom out, you can see a bunch of them anchored offshore, waiting for the fog to clear.
Absolutely nothing to do with baseball. I just thought it was a cool link.
He will accept the Yankees' 3-year, $45 million offer. And reportedly told a friend he'd have taken two years. That seems kind of strange. After demanding four years? Well, I guess you can't blame him for trying!
Jose Molina has also been signed, as a backup for Jorgie. He's certainly a better choice than Flaherty, Stinnett, Fasano, or Nieves, but where's the young catcher of the future for Jorgie to mentor?
Speaking of Fasano, the Jays reportedly want him back. He spent some time in the minors, but was called up and did well enough that they want to re-sign him.
Meanwhile, A-Rod says his contract negotiations are "in the bottom of the 5th." Sounds like the deal is as good as done, though.
It really hasn't been a good month for Scott Boras. A-Rod blew him off, and Kenny Rogers fired him.
Reportedly, it was Warren Buffett who got the Yankees and A-Rod back together. Yes, that Warren Buffett - the billionaire financial maven. Boy. Talk about friends in high places.
Looks like Lowell won't be donning the pinstripes. The word today is that the Yankees have cooled on the idea. Some are reporting they've withdrawn their offer. Assuming there was an offer to begin with.
Reds pitcher and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall has passed away. He was 79.
I came late to baseball, and even later to the Reds, so I don't have the memories that most Reds fans have of Joe. But I'm awed by the depth of the mourning. The man was loved in Cincinnati. New York lost the legendary Phil Rizzuto earlier this year, and it didn't get quite that kind of reaction. (Though that might be because the Scooter retired from broadcasting ten years before his death; Nuxhall was working until recently.) Seems like almost every Reds fan has fond childhood memories of listening to Nuxhall on hot summer nights. Makes me feel like I missed something, not being a baseball fan when I was a kid.
New York Times, as always, has a very good obituary. There are lots of writeups in Reds blogs, too; here's a nice one by Red Hot Mama.
Rest in peace, Joe.
I was starting to think Bonds had gotten away with it, but...
Baseball player Barry Bonds indicted on perjury, obstruction charges
SAN FRANCISCO - The home run king wasn't home free after all.
Barry Bonds was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice Thursday and could go to prison instead of the Hall of Fame for telling a federal grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.
Then came the indictment - four counts of perjury, one of obstruction of justice; a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison - and Bonds' lawyers seemed caught off guard.
..."I'm surprised," said one of his lawyers, John Burris, "but there's been an effort to get Barry for a long time. I'm curious what evidence they have now they didn't have before."
The answer seems to be "yes."
Still no official word on A-Rod, but it sounds like it's all over but the shouting. It appears that A-Rod and the Yankees both looked around at the market, and decided they were better off together than apart. There are no third basemen out there who can match A-Rod's production, and there don't seem to be a lot of teams clamoring to give A-Rod the $350 million contract of Boras' dreams, either. So, like a married couple who parted angrily, only to reconcile when faced with the hazards of the dating scene, the Yankees and A-Rod are back together.
It's always such a soap opera with A-Rod. If he really wanted to be a Yankee, why opt out? He could be getting an extra seven million a year - from Texas. Even though he's kissed and made up with the Steinbrenners, he's likely burned some bridges with his teammates and the fans. Various Yankee players expressed the wish to see Torre, Pettitte, Rivera, and Posada return. But when it came to A-Rod, the silence was deafening.
I predict there won't be silence from the fans. The boos will only be louder after all this drama.
Meanwhile, negotiations with Mariano Rivera aren't going well. Strange, because everyone thought Mo would be the easiest to sign. Apparently, he wants a four-year deal like Posada got; the Yankees are only offering three years. Mo is unhappy at comments Hank Steinbrenner made about his age, and has told his agent to shop him around. I think he'll still end up in pinstripes next year, but it might cost the Yankees more than they expected.
In other hot stove news...the Yankees are still pursuing Mike Lowell. Yes, even though A-Rod is as good as signed. They want Lowell to play first base.
I would guess that this is a bluff. They are just trying to drive the price up for the Red Sox. While the Yankees do need a first baseman, I'm not sure Lowell is worth what he would cost. And I wonder how much his improved offense is due to playing in the bandbox that is Fenway.
OTOH...Lowell at first base would also mean they have him as a backup at 3B and 2B. Right now, Betemit has the backup infielder role that Cairo used to have. Only Betemit's glove isn't that good. You sort of expect a backup infielder to be a defensive upgrade, or at least not a liability.
The only problem is the Yankees already have too many old, expensive players. If they add Lowell, what happens to Giambi? If he becomes the DH, what happens to Matsui? Someone would have to be traded.
Of course, someone may be traded anyway. Even with A-Rod back in the fold, the Yankees need pitching. Though it's probably their young players they'll have to trade to get it. Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain.
I must say, I'm none too sanguine about the Yankee's immediate future. I like Jorgie, and I'm glad they re-signed him. I want Mo to end his career in pinstripes, too.
But the cost may be very high. Jorgie will be 40 by the end of his contract. If Mo gets what he wants, he'll be 41 by the end of his contract. A-Rod is being offered a 10-year deal, which means he'll be 42 by the end of the contract.
This is a "win now" game plan. Only the Yankees haven't won, and they keep getting stuck carrying all these veteran players, way past their sell-by dates. It blocks younger players out, and makes for a one-dimensional team that's all-bat, no glove. They win during the regular season, but not in the post-season.
Cashman seemed intent on re-building the farm and making the team cheaper and younger. But I wonder how much influence he has these days.
Your name made you do it, albeit unconsciously, suggests new research that finds your name can negatively undermine your goals.
Psychologists in marketing at Yale and the University of California, San Diego studying the unconscious influence of names say a preference for our own names and initials - the "name-letter effect" - can have some negative consequences.
Students whose names begin with C or D get lower grades than those whose names begin with A or B; major league baseball players whose first or last names began with K (the strikeout-signifying letter) are significantly more likely to strike out, according to the report published in the December issue of Psychological Science.
It's not official yet, but it looks like it's as good as a done deal. Ten years, $270 million. Supposedly, the Yanks are just waiting to announce it until after Mo is locked up.
The headline at the Post is A-Rod Crawls Back. The Daily News, which originally broke the story, has A-Rod and wife: we luv NY. And even the NY Times is reporting it: Alex Rodriguez Talks to Yankees Without Agent.
The Times also has this story: Yanks Should Treat Rodriguez the Way He Treated Them
This is the Yankees’ big chance to take whatever money they had penciled in for him and spend it on pitching and power and first base and a reasonable approximation of Scott Brosius at third base.
The Yankees’ management was cold-blooded about Joe Torre, making him twist for days, then finally forcing him to fly down to Florida to try to save his job. They should be no less cold-blooded toward Rodriguez.
He dumped on the Yankees and on his business by passively allowing Boras to drop An A-Bomb! From A-Rod! — John Sterling’s cloying call, used 54 times last season — during the final game of the World Series.
The New York papers are all abuzz with the rumor that A-Rod and the Yankees are in contract talks. Supposedly, the Yankees laid down two conditions: A-Rod must make up the money Texas would have paid them had he not declared free agency, and Boras is not allowed in the room during the talks.
I'm not sure if I buy this or not. A lot of insiders are saying A-Rod is as good as back in pinstripes. OTOH, others smell a rat. The Yankees couldn't legally exclude Boras unless A-Rod fires him. Maybe it's just gamesmanship. I don't think A-Rod really wants to come back to the Yankees, but he doesn't want to look like a jerk, either...which is what he looks like, leaving the way he did.
And I don't know how I feel about the possibility of A-Rod returning, either. He's a good player, and the Yankees would be hard-pressed to replace him. They'll probably end up trading away a lot of young players trying.
OTOH, I'm just so tired of A-Rod, and the constant drama around him. I'm ready for a change, and I think he is, too. It might be best for all concerned if he moves on.
I'm watching Monday Night Football on ESPN. They are reporting that Posada and the Yankees have agreed on a four-year deal worth $52 million. Jorgie will be back in pinstripes next season.
You have to figure that by the end of the contract, he will be a first baseman or DH, if he's still playing, but after losing A-Rod, the Yanks pretty much had to do whatever it took to keep Posada.
And speaking of football...how 'bout them Cowboys? I know, I know. But I've been a Cowboys fan since I was a toddler - long before I knew anything about baseball. I've stuck by them through thick and thin, even that brutal season when they went 1-15. I'm not a bandwagon jumper.
That said, it sure is nice to root for a winning team. I'd almost forgotten what it was like. Sure, the Yanks and the 'Boys have played well enough over the last few years, but it always felt...fragile. Like any given game could be lost, even if it seemed like they had it in the bag. This year, the Cowboys seem like the pick of the NFC. (We'll know for sure on Thanksgiving Day, when they play the Packers.)
And you have to be happy for Tony Romo. The undrafted Tony Romo, who outplayed #1 draft pick Eli Manning yesterday, and looks like the cream of the NFL at the moment.
How could Romo be undrafted? My dad remembers watching him as a college player, and being very impressed. But the scouts apparently couldn't look beyond Romo's small, I-AA school.
Of course, that leaves the question of why he wasn't offered a scholarship at a school with a better football program. Somehow, he just fell through the cracks. He's of a decent size for an NFL quarterback, and has good wheels and a reasonably strong and accurate arm. But then, so do a lot of NFL wannabes. Romo appears to be a case where "intangibles" really do make the difference. He's got Jeter-like intangibles: leadership, charisma, resilience, and a certain maturity/responsibility that eludes many young athletes.
I also think his long apprenticeship has been an asset. Manning had half a season behind Kurt Warner before being thrown into the crucible. Warner has had his moments, but he's not exactly known as a smart quarterback. Romo had four years on the sidelines, behind wily veterans Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe. That's how it used to be in the old days. Quarterbacks waited for years to become starters, learning the ropes and watching the veterans play.
Giants fans have been turning up at the stadium waving "Eli was adopted" signs. (Geez. Until last year, a lot of people claimed Peyton couldn't win the big ones.) Eli will probably find his feet eventually. But if not...the Giants' decision to make him a starter so soon will come into question. When they traded for him, some crusty old coaches warned that starting him too soon could ruin him. I don't know if it ruined him, but it sure hasn't been good for him.
As for Romo...Dallas is sort of coming home for him. Though he was born in California and grew up in Wisconsin, his grandfather was a Mexican immigrant who settled in Texas. (And here I'd thought "Romo" was an Italian name.) Romo's paternal grandparents still live in Crockett, Texas - about halfway between Dallas and Houston, on the other side of I-45 from College Station, home of Texas A&M.
Veterans Day is usually celebrated "where it falls," but since it falls on a Sunday this year, many will be marking it tomorrow. Which, for us baseball fans, means the real horsetrading will begin on Tuesday.
Lots of Yankees rumors this weekend. Perhaps the biggest: They will likely release Carl Pavano. The deadline for setting the 40-man roster for the Rule 5 draft is November 20, and Pavano may be cut before then. If not, he will likely be cut before spring training.
The Rocket looks to be hanging 'em up. He's made it known that he wants to return to the Astros...as a consultant, not as a player.
It sounds like Mariano Rivera will be back in pinstripes next year. Jorge Posada might not be. He's seriously testing the free agent waters, and the Mets appear to be very interested.
The Yankees are expected to go after a third baseman. Preferably right-handed, with a power bat. One of the names that's come up: Bill Hall. The Reds would likely be very happy if it happened. Bill Hall has wreaked havoc against them, and they'd be glad to see him leave their division.
Speaking of the Reds...not a whole lot of rumors about them, but trading Griffey to the Mariners is one possibility. The Reds, as we know, have too many left-handed outfielders. Griffey is reaching the DH stage of his career. He was warmly welcomed when he returned to Seattle with the Reds this season, and said he wanted to end his career as a Mariner. Seattle is losing Guillen, and might have a need for a player like Griffey.
And there's been talk about trading Josh Hamilton for Santana. Doesn't seem likely, but the Twins feel they are set in pitching, and are more interested in acquiring a talented young position player.
Which brings us back to the Yankees. They are very interested in Santana. Perhaps interested enough to offer Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and a prospect. Or even two out of the following three: Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. They've said they won't trade any of the three for a position player...which leaves open the possibility that they are available for pitching.
But that may not be what the Twins want. Minnesota isn't that interested in pitching. They want Robinson Cano. Would the Yankees do that deal? They might. I think they'd rather trade Cano than Hughes. The Twins may have more young pitchers than they know what to do with, but for most teams, the philosophy seems to be "grow your own pitching, get position players on the free agent market."
Should be an interesting Hot Stove season. Veterans are retiring or heading to other teams, young players may be traded before the end of the month, and I would guess that Pavano is not the only player the Yankees are considering cutting before November 20, to clear room on the roster. The Yankees may look very different on opening day next year.
You know, I can remember when "peak oil" was a fringe topic, if not outright flaky. No more. It's mainstream.
I realized that tonight, when I was watching a football game, and a peak oil discussion broke out. Seriously. ABC's Saturday night college football game, Kansas at Oklahoma St., featured an interview with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens. Pickens funded Oklahoma State's new stadium, so I figured that's all they were going to talk about.
But out of the blue, Brent Musburger asks him, "Are we at peak oil?" And they go on to have a pretty in-depth discussion about global oil production. I guess oil nearing $100 a barrel makes peak oil a lot more credible. I couldn't believe they were discussing this during a football game.
Many moons ago, Pickens had a basketball scholarship to Texas A&M, but lost it, and transferred to Oklahoma State. Pickens is now one of the richest men in the world, and apparently quite generous to his alma mater. I bet Texas A&M is sorry they took away his scholarship now.
Torre thinks it's possible. Geez, maybe the Dodgers really are trying to be the Yankees West.
The A-Rod soap opera continues. The Yankees offered A-Rod arbitration, but they say it's just to get the draft picks. Others are not so sure. Meanwhile, the players' union is worried that the teams are conspiring to hold A-Rod's salary down. (IMO, he deserves it, after that announcement during the World Series stunt.) And the silence from the rest of the Yankees is deafening. They've said they want Mo and Jorgie back, but not a word about A-Rod.
Meanwhile, it looks more and more like Andy Pettitte will not be returning next year. Torre thinks he's retiring, though, so I guess he won't be signing with the Dodgers.
Oh, and Torre's wearing #6. I doubt the rookie who was wearing it is going to complain.
Whoa, Nellie! The GMs voted in favor of instant replay. And it wasn't even close.
I'm not sure what to think about this. Part of me is thinking, "Sacrilege!" Part of me is thinking, "It's about time."
It's probably time for baseball to step into the 21st century. Umpires seem to be getting worse and worse all the time. And if tennis can use automated line-calling systems like Cyclops, well, I guess baseball can use instant replay.
The Mets are reportedly interested in A-Rod. They've asked David Wright to move from 3B. No word on what the answer was.
Et tu, Jose? Mariners outfielder Jose Guillen has been implicated in steroid use. (Including when he was a Red.) And it might be just the tip of the iceberg. The names of tens of thousands of people who bought steroids and HGH were discovered during that big bust earlier this year. They included people from all walks of life, and all levels of athletic competition. Most of the names have not been revealed...yet.
Andy Pettitte declined his $16 million option and became a free agent. However, he says it's retirement or the Yankees. We'll see if Torre and the Dodgers can change his mind.
The GMs' meetings start today, somewhere down in Florida. They are discussing things like instant replay and extending the best of 5 playoffs to best of 7. And of course, this means Hot Stove season has begun in earnest.
The Rays are supposedly shopping Scott Kazmir. Ironically, the Mets may be interested. I imagine the Yankees would be, too. The Twins' Johan Santana is another arm the Yanks would be very interested in.
The Rockies reportedly want Shawn Chacon back. I always liked Obi-Shawn, but I'm surprised the Rockies are pursuing him. His pretty curve ball didn't curve much in the thin air of Colorado. Which is why the Yankees ended up getting him.
The Reds have released a tentative 2008 schedule. They play the Yankees June 20, 21, and 22. A weekend series. Maybe I'll see if I can get some tickets.
Joel Sherman warns other teams about taking on A-Rod's outsized neediness and greediness.
Could the Marlins trade Miguel Cabrera (perhaps to the Yankees), and sign A-Rod to be their new third baseman? The Marlins are dreaming, anyway. A-Rod calls Miami home, so maybe he'd be willing to be a Fish. They're talking about offering him a stake in the team in lieu of some of his salary. Though you have to wonder what manager would want to have to deal with a player-owner. It would be like that Lotto commercial, where the guy uses his winnings to buy the team, and makes himself the third baseman.
As for Cabrera...the Yankees are interested, but not at the price the Marlins are asking. (Reportedly, Phil Hughes or Clay Buchholz.) Maybe they'd take Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera instead. The Marlins do need a center fielder who can cover their cavernous outfield, and Melky could do that.
Oh, and it's official: Bowa and Mattingly will be joining Torre with the Dodgers.
It's that time of year, when trade rumors sprout like mushrooms in a cow pasture after a heavy rain. Probably the vast majority of them will never come to pass, but what the heck, they're fun. And what else is there to entertain a baseball fan during the off-season?
Andy Pettitte: The Dodgers are rumored to be interested in him. He might be interested, too, since Torre is there now. OTOH, he may stay with the Yanks (especially if Mo and Jorgie stay). Or he may just retire.
Johnny Damon: He may be traded to the White Sox for Joe Crede. The White Sox have too many third basemen and need a center fielder.
Kaz Matsui: The Yankees might trade for him, put him at 2B, and move Cano to 3B. (But two Matsuis on one team?)
Ian Kennedy: Reds blogs are talking about trading their third baseman, Edwin Encarnacion, for Kennedy. I don't know if the Yankees would do that deal. However, I do think they would trade Kennedy if the price was right. Other possibilities for 3B: Mike Lowell (if the Sox don't re-sign him), Hank Blalock (though the Yanks probably don't need another lefty) and Miguel Cabrera (which would mean not only two Cabreras, but two M. Cabreras on one team).
And speaking of the Reds, they seem to have something of a jam at 1B, with Votto, Hatteberg, and Cantu. One or more of them might be traded. Maybe Votto? There are rumors that the Reds are displeased with him. Perhaps because of his attitude, which fans often complain about. The Yanks might even be interested.
The Yankees might also be interested in Josh Hamilton. With Jay Bruce coming up, Dunn's option picked up, and Griffey apparently ensconced in right field, the Reds could spare Hamilton. The fact that they fired Johnny Narron, Hamilton's baby-sitter, suggests that at the very least, Dusty Baker is not inclined to coddle Hamilton. Hamilton has tremendous talent, but he's also tremendously risky. Not just the danger of falling off the wagon, but his history of injury. Still, a team like the Yankees can probably afford to take the risk. Hamilton's bat could go a long way to make up for the loss of A-Rod's production. The kid has a great glove, a cannon for an arm, and great wheels, too. He's possibly the worst baserunner I've ever seen, but that's because he hasn't played in years, not because he's lacking in speed.
In any case, I am expecting the Yankees to try to trade for a power-hitting center fielder. Damon is reaching the "move to corner OFer" time of his career. Melky is still a question mark. Perhaps most importantly, upgrading at CF is one obvious way to make up for A-Rod, since no matter who they get for 3B, he's not going to hit like Alex Rodriguez.
And speaking of A-Rod...boy, what a mess it's turning into. First the story about how he opted out because the Yankees wouldn't guarantee him at least $350 million. He wouldn't even meet with them to discuss it. Murray Chass thinks this was a bluff...and one that could cost A-Rod dearly, not least because everyone is so furious at the timing of the announcement. Tyler Kepner thinks A-Rod may end up back with the Yankees...but only if he takes a big pay cut as a mea culpa.
I don't know what to make of the whole A-Rod thing. One of his friends says he was angry with the Yankees for taking such a hard line, and that pushed him into free agency. Another says he was dismayed at how it unfolded, wants to come back, and is seriously thinking of making it up the Yankees by giving back the money they're losing from the Rangers. Which is true? Maybe both. I could see him agreeing to take a tough line, then being surprised and horrified when it results in him looking like a greedy egomaniac. That's just so...A-Rod.
Perhaps more interesting is what Boras was thinking. Either he had a blockbuster deal already secretly lined up, or he was trying to bluff the Yankees. We shall see.
The Yankees have picked up Bobby Abreu's option. Not really surprising. He got off to a really slow start, but was fine once he got past that. His defence was not that hot this season, but the Yankees are in no position to be too picky. They need his bat, now that they've lost A-Rod.
As for who'll take A-Rod's place at third...at the moment, it looks like it will be Betemit.
Cashman added that "right now" the only internal possibility to replace Rodriguez is Betemit, whose lack of conditioning displeased the Yanks after they acquired him from Los Angeles at the trade deadline. Still, Cashman also said to "remember when I said Bubba Crosby was going to be our center fielder a couple of winters ago."
It's official. Girardi is the new Yankees manager. He'll be wearing #27, a number that's been often used by minor leaguers up for a cup of coffee (most recently, Darrel Rasner).
It's official, part 2: Torre is the Dodgers' new manager. Not sure what number he'll wear, but #6 is currently being worn by rookie Tony Abreu. I'm sure if Torre wants it, the kid will give it up.
Creepy...Do Dodgers aim to be Yankees West?
...The Dodgers seem to be emulating the New York Yankees. It’s a little creepy, actually, like one of those thrillers where a loner learns to act, dress and behave like the celebrity he idolizes, then attempts to eliminate him and take his place in the final reel.