Saturday, April 28, 2012

To Boo or Not To Boo

I had an interesting conversation on Twitter with @williamnny23 of The Captain's blog. If you haven't read his blog, you should. It's a great read. He posted the following tweets regarding Freddy Garcia's last start against the Detroit Tigers followed by my responses.

@williamnyy23: I'll never understand why fans boo players. Garcia didn't give himself this start and didn't leave himself in despite having nothing

@williamnyy23 players should be held accountable when they don't do well. That's the way fans let themselves be heard as active participants

@williamnyy23: @SiscoKid027 I just think that's silly. I don't blame Garcia for being bad. I blame the manager for refusing to acknowledge it.

@williamnyy23 it goes with the standing O when they get the job done. The other side of the coin.

@williamnyy23: @SiscoKid027 Again, I think that's silly. Booing anything but a mental mistake makes no sense to me. Too each his own though.

He basically feels that it's silly for fans to boo Garcia for anything more than a mental mistake. The fact that he was trying and not getting his job done shouldn't have been a point of booing or placing blame by the fans. That the blame fell squarely on Yankees manager Joe Girardi for starting him and keeping him out there for as long (or as little depending on your point of view) as he did with Garcia basically throwing batting practice to the Tiger hitters. I can see his perspective on it but I think the pitcher should be held accountable by the fans for his lack of performance. For the fans, the way to do it is by booing. But is it helpful?

Let's be honest, booing will do nothing to help Garcia regain his confidence and /or his pitching mechanics. More often than not booing will only add additional stress to the person being jeered. At the same time, I believe that the jeering goes hand-in-hand with the cheers of adoration that players get when they succeed. I firmly believe that you can't have the fans cheer to your success and give you a standing ovation when you do well without you as the person on the field not being held accountable for your lack of success.

Do I feel that someone like Alex Rodriguez (or anyone else that is not liked by the fans) should be booed at every visiting park he steps to the plate in? Not at all. I believe that it's a product of jealousy by some fans and hatred of who he is by others. Back to Garcia. If a he has just one bad game so far, I don't think booing is recommended. But let's be honest, so far this season he's been downright dismal.

According to New York Newsday reporter David Lennon:

In his last two starts Garcia has given up 12 hits, 11 ER, 3 1/3 innings. 29.70 ERA. He has allowed 30 baserunners (25 hits, 5 walks) in 13 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting over .400

Fans today feel as if they are much more active participants in the games due to the fact that they pay higher ticket prices to games, higher concession fees and higher prices for merchandise. The smaller ballparks are putting the fans closer to the action further adding to the idea that they are more part of the game than just spectators. The way fans can show their displeasure is by booing and making noise in the same way the fans are asked to make noise, chant and cheer in between at-bats to help the team rally when it's down. It can't be one or the other. I believe that cheering and jeering are part of the proverbial same coin.

Do some fans take it past a certain respectable point? Absolutely. Those who make it personal against the person they are jeering are wrong. There is no excuse to heckle someone because of their race, religion, sexuality or beliefs. But I believe that it's perfectly acceptable for a fan to boo a player if he or she has not performed their job in the manner they were hired to perform. That's just my opinion on the subject. What do you think. Agree? Disagree? Don't care?


Friday, April 27, 2012

10 Innings or More In a Game

Maybe I'm late to this whole 10 innings milestone reached by Cliff Lee. In case you're late to the party as I am, on April 18th, Cliff Lee and Matt Cain locked up in a duel that hearkened back to the old days. Both pitchers combined for 19 shutout innings with Lee pitching 10. The 10 shutout inning plateau had not been reached since Mark Mulder did it in 2005.

To be perfectly honest, I thought the last pitcher to throw 10 shutout innings was Jack Morris in his masterful performance against the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. I was actually surprised that since that Game 7, seven pitchers (not including Lee) had thrown a 10 shutout inning game. Here is the list:

Kevin Appier 07/23/1992
Bobby Jones 09/29/1993
Bret Saberhagen 07/15/1994
Darryl Kile 09/20/1998
Kevin Millwood 08/28/1999
Roy Halladay 09/06/2003
Mark Mulder 04/23/2005

Roy Halladay actually has two 10 inning games though he gave up a run in the second game. So given that, I decided to dig a little deeper. I wanted to find out how many pitchers had thrown (at least) a 10 inning game. I came across an MLB blog called The Stats of Zoc. Now in May 23, 2011, an article entitled A Pitcher Going Ten Or More Innings in a Game, A Thing Of The Past was posted to the blogpage. In his post, Tom Zocco gives a list of the leading pitchers who from the years of 1950-2011 who threw at least 10 innings in a game. Granted, the list is not a complete list and some of the names of the list might not shock you but the amount of times they accomplished the feat might. Here is the list with the amount of 10 inning or more games next to their names:

Gaylord Perry 37
Robin Roberts 21
Warren Spahn 20
Jim Palmer 20
Billy Pierce 17
Tom Seaver 17
Bob Gibson 17
Phil Niekro 16
Jim Bunning 16
Nolan Ryan 15
Don Drysdale 15
Bert Blyleven 15
Ned Garver 14
Ferguson Jenkins 14
Curt Simmons 14
Steve Carlton 13
Rick Wise 13
Luis Tiant 13
Jim Kaat 13

What catches my eye almost immediately is that this list is peppered with power pitches and staff aces. This leads to the idea that starting pitching was absolutely something to be reckoned with before the era of pitch counts and specialized relievers. Sure some of you might counter with "Well, they were overworked". That might be true but consider this. Of the 19 pitchers Zucco highlights, 13 of them are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The innings they logged leading to many of the names on this list winning 300 or more games (six in total with Warren Spahn having an astounding 363 wins). Of the remaining seven Hall of Famers on the list of pitchers five have between 250 and 300 wins. So the idea that there were overworked might be valid, but the body of work they logged helped them get into the Hall of Fame. For some interesting tidbits and factoids concerning the 10-inning games pitched by those on the list, read A Pitcher Going Ten Or More Innings in a Game, A Thing Of The Past

The game that I feel is the most impressive was the 16-inning duel between Hall of Famers Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal. The game was being pitched into the 16th with a game winning homerun by Willie Mays being the only run in the game. I went into more detail about this game in my Latinoball blogpost September 9, 2009 entitled The Greatest Pitching Duel...Ever (In my opinion).

With the pendulum swinging back to the era of longer games by starters, maybe we'll see more games where starters go more than nine innings. Only time will tell.


For Further Reading
- Click Here to access the article A Pitcher Going Ten Or More Innings in a Game, A Thing Of The Past by Tom Zucco dated 05-23-2011
- Click Here to access the article by Roger Schlueter entitled MLB Notebook: Lee, Cain have duel for ages dated 04/19/2012 from
- Click Here to access the article by Tyler Kepner entitled From Morris to Lee: Ten Zeros in a Row dated 04/21/2012 from

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Michael Pineda Out for the Season

Where yesterday I was discussing how the Texas Rangers' offseason pick up of Yu Darvish was showing great promise, the New York Yankees' offseason pick up has been knocked out for the season. Michael Pineda, who was received by the Yankees in the trade of their catching prospect Jesus Montero, has been diagnosed with having a labrum tear in his right shoulder. Instead of having Pineda as the right handed option after left-handed C.C. Sabathia in the Yankees rotation, Pineda's loss leaves a big hole in the Yankees rotation. For the Yankees it means that some decisions have been made easier for Yankees' manager Joe Girardi. Where Pineda was slated to join the rotation upon his return and with Andy Pettitte looming, it meant that possibly Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia were in jeopardy of losing their spot in the rotation. Even with Pineda not being available one of their spots might be in jeopardy though it seems as if they have gotten a reprieve. So where does this leave Pineda.

Where the Yankees were counting on Pineda for this season, the injury and surgery comes at a time where it is not so negative for the team. The trade to acquire Pineda was done with the future in mind. Having completed his rookie season during the 2011 campaign, Pineda won't be eligible for arbitration until 2014 and free agency until 2017. So it would be safe to say that even though they lose him for the 2012 season, his being signed until 2017 leaves more than enough time for the deal to pay dividends. If you want more information on how labrum tears have affected other pitchers, read Michael Pineda Injury: The Horrors (And Success Stories) Of The Torn Labrum by Grant Brisbee. It paints a sobering picture about what kind of an injury a labrum tear is. In case you're wondering how Jesus Montero is doing with the Seattle Mariners? Montero is batting .254 with 2 HRs and 9 RBI with 15 hits in 59 at-bats with 11 strikeouts and 2 walks.

So the Yankees will have to roll with the proverbial punches when it comes to their rotation. We'll see how things work out with Hughes, Garcia and Pettitte in the days to come.

For Further Reading
- Click Here to Access Michael Pineda's career statistics from Baseball
- Click Here to Access the article Michael Pineda Injury: The Horrors (And Success Stories) Of The Torn Labrum by Grant Brisbee from Baseball Nation
- Click Here to access the article Michael Pineda out for 2012 by Wallace Matthews of

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Did I Tell You Guys About Yu Darvish

As my friend Pete would say "You've been talking about Yu Darvish for years", I've been telling any baseball person who would listen that Yu Darvish was the real deal regardless of whether he pitched in the perceived inferior Nippon Professional Baseball League. The Japanese are real stingy when it comes to giving praise and when I hear that many Japanese baseball people feel that Darvish was the best pitcher to ever throw in Japan that's saying something.

Consider this, from 2005-2011, Darvish compiled a 93-38 record with a 1.99 ERA, 916 Hits allowed, 1260 strikeouts with 333 walks (a little less than 4-1 K's to BB ratio) with a WHIP of 0.98. He started 164 games during that time and completed 55 of them with 18 shutouts. His highest ERA in the last five seasons was 1.88. 1.88!!! Now, if you're interested in all the advanced metrics which are beyond my realm of jurisdiction, you can click on this link: Yu Darvish stat spreadsheet. You can also access The Steal of Home's article entitled What Will Yu Darvish’s NPB Stats Look Like in the Major Leagues? for a much more advanced analysis on Darvish.

In this game against the New York Yankees, Darvish went 8.1 innings, threw 119 pitches, struck out 10, walked two and game up 7 hits. He exited the game with a run one first. So far Darvish is 3-0 in 4 starts with a 2.42 ERA in 26 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts and 15 walks. This is his best start yet.

Unfortunately I'm somewhat of an old school person and I adhere to the eye test analysis of a ballplayer. I'll leave the advanced methods of Baseball analysis to the Bill James' and sabermetricians of the world. For those of you who know me, I find a way to watch as much Baseball as I can, including finding International Baseball. The NPB is no exception. I even own the Pro Yakyu Spirits game for the PS3. Does that make me an expert? By no means, but I've seen how this kid can pitch. I think he can pitch at any level and so far, he has shown that. I believe that he will be to Japanese pitchers what Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui was for Japanese hitters/position players.Is he worth the $111 million invested in him between the contract and the posting fee? We'll know that after the 2018 season.


For Further Reading
- Click Here for Yu Darvish's MLB page
- Click Here to access Yu Darvish's Japanese Statistics from

AL Powerhouses Slugging It Out Early

I have to give credit where credit is due. Whomever thought that it was a good idea to have the top American League teams play each other to start the season should get a raise. He or she had tremendous foresight to have the Angels, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees mostly play against each other to start the season. It has produced some exciting baseball in the early going.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (I really hate writing that) who are coming off their offseason free agent bonanza signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson has probably had the easier of the schedule having played the Yankees in the Bronx and now starting a series with the Rays in Tampa. They played games against the Royals, Twins, A's and Orioles leading to a disappointing record of 6-10. No need to fret Angel fans, I'm sure Manager Mike Scioscia will right that ship soon enough.

The Texas Rangers on the other hand have been clubbing their way to an AL best 13-4 record by playing Red Sox, Tigers, and currently the Yankees and Rays (in their next series) all in a row. They've also played the surprising Chicago White Sox, the Mariners and Twins. The Rangers currently look like they are poised to make a run at their third straight World Series appearance.

The Tampa Bay Rays If you can say they had an "easy" team so far it would probably be against the Twins. They opened against the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, and the Blue Jays. They are currently facing the Angels and their next series is against the Rangers. 9-7 playing against the best teams in the AL and within their own division is not a bad place to be so far.

The most disappointing team so far and the one with the toughest schedule so far among the above mentioned teams has to be the Boston Red Sox. Coming off last season's collapse and the controversy surrounding Terry Francona's dismissal as manager, the team was looking to bounce back with a productive season. So far, the start of the season has been anything but productive with the team starting 5-10 sitting in the cellar of the tough AL East. Injuries to closer Andrew Bailey and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury have created major holes. Controversy is never far behind concerning comments made manager Bobby Valentine third baseman and fan favorite Kevin Youkilis. Games against the Tigers, Blue Jays, Rays, Tigers, Yankees and now the Twins have led to the calls of Bobby V's dismissal among many members of the Red Sox nation. If judging the amount of cheers Terry Francona received on his return to Fenway Park last Friday during the 100th Celebration of Fenway, there's no doubt on whom they would want managing the team.

The Detroit Tigers led by the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander, perennial MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera and free-agent signing Prince Fielder for a trio that make for a difficult challenge for any team. Tied for first in the AL Central with a 10-6 record, the Tigers have faced the Red Sox, Rays, White Sox, Royals, Rangers and now the Mariners and Yankees coming up this weekend. What makes the Tigers scary is that Verlander is already at mid-season form. Cabrera is Cabrera and Fielder will get going before you know it.

The New York Yankees have recovered from a opening series sweep against the Rays. The Yankees stand tied atop the AL East with a 10-6 record having faced the Rays, Orioles, Angels, Twins, Red Sox and now the Rangers and the Tigers looming on the horizon. The Bronx Bombers have done what their nickname indicates. They, along with the Rangers are atop the league in batting categories. With the bats humming along, and the starting pitching starting to come together, the Yankees will prove to be a difficult team to face as the season progresses.

To round out the field, the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles have played very good ball so far keeping up with the big boys of the American League. If April is any indication, this season will be like one of the old heavyweight boxing matches of yore when punches were thrown to the last second. We might have an ending to this season to rival last season's. Time will tell.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doc Gooden and Childhood Memories

Sometimes writing one blogpost evokes childhood memories that become another post. In my last post I wrote about the former Mets' pitchers who have thrown either a no-hitter or a perfect game after leaving the Mets. Here's the link to that post: Another Ex-Mets Pitcher Throws a No-No/Perfecto

Where the additional post comes in is in reference to one of the men on the list: Dwight "Dr. K" Gooden. For some reason mentioning Gooden brought me back to my dad's grocery story back in 1984. April 7th be exact. For you hardcore Mets fans out there you'll know that on that date in Baseball History, Dwight Gooden made his major league debut for the Mets against the Houston Astros. Thanks to Baseball Reference for the box score for April 7, 1984:

Gooden pitched 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, walked 2 and struck out 5.

Its not the pitching performance that I remember, its how my dad watched that game that I recall. I remember they kept switching image on the screen from Gooden on the mound to his parents in the stands. Gooden's father in particular was interesting to my dad. I guess he could empathize with Gooden's dad sense of pride in seeing his 19-year old making his debut on TV. I wouldn't call my dad a major baseball fan though he does know a majority of the players, especially the Latino ballplayers. But there was something about that game that made him pay attention in between customers.

I recall he kept saying that Gooden looked like "Hot Sauce". Hot Sauce was the nickname of this kid who I played with during little league. After all these years I have no idea what his name was, but that kid had a helluva fastball. I should know, being the chubby kid on the team, I was put behind the plate. LOL. I used to catch him as he pitched and he used to blow up my catcher's mitt. Pop! Pop! Pop! The ball would sound off as it blew up my mitt and my hand inside of it. At one point I remember dropping the mitt because my hand felt like it was on fire.

So to my dad Gooden resembled Hot Sauce and my dad was rooting for him to do well both because of the resemblance and also so Gooden's dad could be happy for himself and his son.

Amazing what mentioning one person's name can do for one's blogging experience. LOL. Thanks to Dr. K, his dad, Hot Sauce and my dad for the brief walk back down memory lane.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another Ex-Mets Pitcher Throws a No-No/Perfecto

I got up from my Pre-work nap to discover that Chicago White Sox starter Phil Humber was into the 9th inning against the Seattle Mariners: throwing a Perfect game. Mind you, there have only been 20 perfectos in Baseball. Humber was on the cusp of joining an illustrious club. After Humber retired the 27th batter he faced and i stood there watching the White Sox players celebrating on the diamond at Safeco Field something else came to mind.

Aside from becoming the 21st member of the Perfect Game Club, Humber also joined another club. This club is made up of pitchers who threw either a no hitter or a perfect game after leaving the New York Mets. The irony is that the New York Mets (Along with the San Diego Padres) are the only MLB franchises to never have a no hitter or a perfect game thrown by one of their pitchers.

With Humber's performance today, the total of ex-Met pitchers to throw either a no-no or a perfect game after leaving the Metropolitans is seven.

Here is the list:
Nolan Ryan (California Angels, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers) 
Tom Seaver (Cincinnati Reds) 
Mike Scott (Houston Astros) 
Dwight Gooden (New York Yankees) 
David Cone (New York Yankees) 
Hideo Nomo (Boston Red Sox) 
Philip Humber (Chicago White Sox)

What makes this list impressive is that you have arguably four of the greatest pitchers to play for the Mets in Ryan, Seaver, Gooden and Cone reaching their no hitter/perfect game achievements elsewhere. Ryan has more no-hitters than any other pitcher in the history if the game (Sandy Koufax is next with four no-hitters). Seaver took three no hitters into the ninth inning and lost two with one out and one with two outs in the ninth in Dave Stiebian fashion (Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays took 4 no-hitters into the ninth and lost them before he recorded a no-hitter). Humber is a former 1st round pick for the Mets in 2004 and Scott was utterly dominant in his NY Cy Young and NL League Championship Series MVP (in a losing effort) season of 1986 and to further add insult to injury, Scott was potentially the only man who could derail the locomotive that was the 1986 New York Mets. So the feats of these pitchers make each and every no hitter or perfect game thrown outside of Shea Stadium and Citi Field that much more bitter.  

Here is the breakdown of no hitters/perfect thrown by the former Mets pitchers:

Nolan Ryan
- May 15, 1973 – California Angles 3, Kansas City Royals 0 away at Kansas City
- June 15, 1973 – California Angels 6, Detroit Tigers 0 away at Detroit
- Sept. 28, 1974 – California Angels 4, Minnesota Twins 0 in Anaheim
- June 1, 1975 – California Angels 1 Baltimore Orioles 0 in Anaheim
- Sept. 26, 1981 – Houston Astros 5 Los Angeles Dodgers 0 home in Houston
- June 11, 1990 – Texas Rangers 5 Oakland A’s 0 away at Oakland
- May 1, 1991 – Texas Rangers 3 Toronto Blue Jays 0 home in Texas

Tom Seaver
- June 16, 1978 – Cincinnati Reds 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0 home in Cincinnati

Mike Scott
- September 25, 1986 – Houston Astros 2, San Francisco Giants 0 home in Houston

Dwight Gooden
- May 14, 1996 – New York Yankees 2, Seattle Mariners 0 home in the Bronx

David Cone
- July 18, 1999 – New York Yankees 6, Montreal Expos 0 in the Bronx ***Perfect Game

Hideo Nomo
- April 4, 2001 – Boston Red Sox 3, Baltimore Orioles 0 away at Baltimore

Philip Humber
- April 12, 2012 – Chicago White Sox 4, Seattle Mariners 0 away at Seattle ***Perfect Game

Combined No-Hitters with former Mets pitchers

Alejandro Peña
On Sept. 11, 1991, Peña was a part of a three-pitcher no-hitter for the Braves closing out a game that was started by Kent Mercker (6 innings) and relieved by Mark Wohlers (2 innings). The Braves beat the San Diego Padres 1-0. Pena had been traded to the Braves from the Mets earlier in the season. Oswalt was removed in the first inning due to an injury.

Octavio Dotel
On June 11, 2003, Dotel was a part of the largest combined no hitter when as a member of the Houston Astros. He joined Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner in no hitting the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Oswalt had been removed in the first inning due to an injury.

Who knows when the Mets will get their elusive no hitter and/or perfect game. Where a perfect game seemed weird only a few years ago, there have been five thrown since 2004, so there is hope. I guess the Mets faithful will have to continue to believe that it'll happen sooner than later.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Youkilis and Valentine

I would assume that often times its hard to really say what you would want to say about a player s a manager of a MLB team without things becoming a major media story. We saw how the whole Ozzie Guillen Fidel Castro comments turned out. This week's drama has to do with comments Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made in reference to third baseman Kevin Youkilis' recent struggles at the plate. According to the article on CBS Boston Valentine: Youkilis Not As ‘Physically Or Emotionally Into The Game’ Valentine made the following comments about Youkilis on Sunday Night:

“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,”

Maybe Valentine was being honest. Maybe Valentine was trying to motivate Youkilis. Maybe we'll never know but for as much as I like to complain about Youkilis to my friend Harper about his being a whiner, I would never say that Youkilis is not into the game emotionally or physically.

Youkilis represents that type of blue collar, down to earth, get dirt on your uniform everyday kind of player that the Red Sox nation seems to embrace whether they are hitting .350 or hitting .225. Another such player chimed in with his own comments. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had the following to say:

“I really don’t know what Bobby is trying to do,..That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here. He’ll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other’s backs here."

For his part, Youkilis said that he was confused by the comments and spoke to Valentine preferring to leave the comments made by both parties behind closed doors. Valentine apparently apologized to Youkilis.

Coming off of a turbulent offseason, the Red Sox players seem to be circling the wagons. Valentine is replacing a beloved players manager in Terry Francona who many feel (including myself) that he shouldn't have been dismissed from his managerial duties. Valentine is replacing a man who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series Championship in 2004 and 2007.

A few days ago former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had some reservations on the hiring of Bobby Valentine as Red Sox manager. He was quoted as saying "I just feel like this is not going to go the way people had hoped," Though he took some flack in the Boston media and from some of the Red Sox players, if Bobby Valentine keeps making comments that might alienate fan favorites, Schilling's comments might not be that far off.

For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access CBS Boston's article Valentine: Youkilis Not As ‘Physically Or Emotionally Into The Game’ dated April 16, 2012

- Click Here to access Brian MacPherson's blogpost Kevin Youkilis' response to Bobby Valentine's comments from the Providence Journal website dated April 16, 2012

- Click Here to access the ESPN article Bobby Valentine fires back dated April 3, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Baseball Does to the Soul

I recently read an interesting op-ed piece in the New York Times from April 1, 2012. In What Baseball Does to the Soul by Colum McCann, he discusses how the game of Baseball and the time spent with his children brings him back to early memories with his own father in relation to his grandfather. It is an amazing read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan. I would especially recommend the piece for those who ask what's the fascination with Baseball, for those of who complain that Baseball is too expensive, too commercial, too disconnected with the everyday person. They need to read this. They might learn something about what a sport and a game does to generations of fans. It gave me goosebumps reading it.

There something about the game that links generations. Family time at a game is something sacred. Sure people tell me that you can spend family time at other events/occasions but what's better at spending family time at a place and location that all members enjoy. Nothing better (in my opinion) than spending a day/night with my kids at the ballpark when all parties want to be there. Nothing memorable might happen on the field, but hopefully it will be something memorable for them that they can share with their own kids in the future.

My parents never really took me to the ballpark growing up but they spent time and effort to cultivate and support my love for the game. Be it taking me to little league games, baseball cards, magazines, posters, or anything else that I nagged them to buy for me. So now as an adult with my own kids, I try to show them that having a passion for a sport, a hobby or anything of interest is important. My passion is Baseball.

Thank you Mr. McCann for your candid words and personal experiences. Thank you for reminding me when faced by those who try to bring down those of us with passions for the game. Asking us and belittling us by asking us to justify said passions that in reality we have nothing to justify and explain.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Cain and Votto to Stay Put

On the cusp of the beginning of the 2012 season, there are cheers of joy from the cities of San Francisco and Cincinnati. It was reported today that San Francisco starter Matt Cain would be signed to a 6-year $127 Million dollar contract to remain with the San Francisco Giants. There was grumblings that Cain might have tested the free agent market if he wasn't extended this season. In doing so, Cain becomes the highest paid right-handed starter in the majors. According to sources of Bob Nightingale of USA Today, Cain will also will have a full no-trade clause and there is a vesting option for 2018 that could bring the deal to $141 million. This is impressive since the Giants have seemed a bit hesitant (and with good reason)to spend big money and a long contract on a starter since they signed Barry Zito to a free-agent contract.

Moving East to Cincinnati, rumors have it that the Reds will sign their first-baseman and 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto to a contract extension. With the defections of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols to the American League this past offseason, Votto arguably becomes the premier first-baseman in the National League.

So what do I think about these moves? Its good for the game of Baseball. I have no issue with players choosing to exercise their right to explore free-agency. Look at the example of Pujols, I believed that he had nothing to prove in staying in St. Louis. He did everything a player could have done there and in moving to Anaheim, he keeps his proverbial Baseball juices flowing. A move to the American League means new challenges in a virtual unconquered venue.

I also have no issue with players choosing to stay their whole career with one team. There is something romantic of the notion of players like Tony Gwynn, Craig Biggio and Derek Jeter starting as kids with their respective teams and retiring as elder statesmen in the same uniform. It harkens back to yesteryear when players basically played for one team (though there is nothing romantic with the reasons why since there was no free agency and could not leave the team unless facilitated by the owners, but that's a conversation for another post).

I've always said it that teams like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox shouldn't always sign the best players on the market. Teams should be able to keep their best players so that their fans can have connections with players on their teams instead of asking like the guys at the coffee shop in the movie Major League: Who the "F" are these guys. More talent that is distributed around the league, the better the league is. Bravo San Francisco and Cincinnati in looking out for the best interest of your respective teams and fanbases.


For Further Reading:

- Click Here for Bob Nightengale's article from USA Today entitled Matt Cain signs $127 million deal; Joey Votto close, too dated April 2, 2012
- Click Here to Access Matt Cain's career statistics from
- Click Here to Access Joey Votto's career statistics from