Its that time of year again when winter baseball begins to heat up. Many of the MLB's Latino stars head south to sharpen up their diamond skills.
Yankee second baseman, Robinson Cano, was playing in the Dominican League, batting .389 when his parent club put an end to his season.
Other notable MLBPers basking in a Caribbean Winter are Baltimore's Miguel Tejada, Tampa Rays' first baseman Carlos Pena and Red's third sacker Edwin Encarnacion. Along with the Dodgers speedster Rafael Frucal, Encarnacion and Tejada combine to power one of the Dominican league's best lineups.
usually a hesitation to let their stars play. In Cano's case, the Yankees have a lot vested in their young second baseman. Nursing a sore calf, Cano needs to consider resting until spring training. With today's multi-million dollar, guaranteed contracts, there's calf, Cano would be foolish to continue playing.
The Yankees, too, would be up a creek. Since it's late in the offseason, they would pay through the nose for a second rate second baseman, such as a Marcus Giles or Jose Valentin.
MLB 2K8 cover boy Jose Reyes is also playing winter ball in Santo Domingo. Hopefully the Gigantes have figured out a cure for laziness.
Its that time of year again when winter baseball begins to heat up. Many of the MLB's Latino stars head south to sharpen up their diamond skills.
The Kansas City Royals made a huge splash in this winter's free agent pool, and it's possibly one of the best signings that you've never heard of. Left handed reliever, ERA of a 2.55, batters hit a weak .218 against him last season, in 67 innings pitched over 58 appearances.
Let me introduce you to Ron Mahay, ex-Texas Ranger/Atlanta Brave reliever.
It's great to see Kansas City opening up their wallets. By also adding Jose Guillen, the Royals are starting too break away from that lovable loser label they've been wearing for the past decade or so.
According to ESPN, the Giants and Yankees also looked into signing Mahay.
Free agent outfielder Geoff Jenkins and the Philadelphia Phillies seem to have agreed on a contract. What does this mean for fantasy owners? Lets take a peak:
Jenkins was just waiting out his contract as a member of the Brew-Crew; he didn't really wear out his welcome, but was more a casualty of a up and coming Brewer farm system.
Jenkins has decent power and is a .280 hover hitter. His power number could benefit from a playing 81 games in the pinball machine park that the Phillies call home.
Jenkins signing would also effect Pat Burrell, potentially. ESPN suggests that Jenkins could replace Burrell whenever there's a righty on the mound. That would be disastrous for Burrell Fantasy Owners, because they're taking a huge gamble by owning him in the first place, now he's going to lose a good chunk of plate appearances.
With Shane Victorino now the everyday center-fielder, Jenkins could also spit time with Jason Werth.
With Aaron Rowand leaving via free agency and Michael Bourn traded to the Astros in the Brad Lidge trade, the Phillies outfield should probably be left alone on your draft day.
Looks like the folks over at 2K Sports have released the cover boy of this year's installment in its baseball franchise, MLB 2k8:
Interesting choice of player, since Derek Jeter had been the front man for the past versions of the game. In a press release on their website, MLB 2K8 developer Ben Brinkman said;
"This year we have signed one of the most exciting players in all of Major League Baseball® as our official cover athlete. Jose Reyes is a multi-talented player – a great baserunner, fielder and hitter, making him the perfect spokesperson for Major League Baseball® 2K8.”
The game will be available for the XBox360, Playstation 2 and 3, PSP, and Wii consoles. Gone, it seems, is the version for the regular XBox...
I've been hearing a lot of grumblings lately, of people just looking for a simple list of the names on the Mitchell Report. ESPN has somewhat of a preliminary list, but it's missing some names (Mark McGwire, for instance). Here's a list courtesy of BaseballReference.com that lists, in alphabetical order, those named in the report:
And if you're interested in reading the entire report, enjoy.
Paul Lo Duca
Usually, we might have titled this the season ending all-star team, a collection of the best athletes the majors had to offer this past season.
Not this year!
Here's a ster-studded cast of individuals that make up the 2007 All-Steroid Team, with their best season stats listed next to their names:
C Benito Santiago (1996; 30HR, 85 RBI, .264 BA)
1B Jason Giambi (2000; 43, 137, .333)
2B Brian Roberts (2005; 18, 73, .314)
SS Miguel Tejada (2004; 34, 150, .311)
3B Ken Caminiti (1996; 40, 130, .326)
OF Barry Bonds (2001; 73, 137, .328)
OF Gary Sheffield (1996; 42, 120, .314)
OF David Justice (93&00 - almost identical 40/41, 120/118, .270/.286)
DH Mo Vaughn (1996; 44, 143, .326)
SP Roger Clemens (1997; 21-7, 292 KO, 2.05 ERA)
CL Eric Gagne (2003; 55 SVs, 1.20 ERA)
Here's an interesting statistic too; almost every one of those players had their best season after either setting career lows the year before, or had injuries that severly hampered their production.
For example, lets take a look at Sheffield:
In 1995 Sheffield only plays in 63 games, hits 16 home runs and drives in 46 RBIs. Next season, he almost triples his stats from the year before. Sheffield doesn't reach those numbers again for another five seasons.
Need more proof? Clemens:
1996 he posts a 10-13 record, 3.63 era, and walks 106 batters. Clemens begins to hear those whisphers, and he signs with the Blue Jays the next season. Response? Twenty one wins, shaves a whole point off his era, and wins the Cy Young award.
Still not enough? Case #3, my favorite whipping boy; Barry Bonds:
Not even on the Nation's radar during the Big Mac/Sammy Sosa assault on Roger Maris' record in 1999, Bonds' home run totals begin to climb, rapidly; 34-49-73....during a career point that should have been focusing on hanging on for one more year....
This has to be the greatest fight in baseball's history. You can thank me later.
Good news loyal 108 Red Stitches blog readers! I've finally come out of my self induced baseball coma, one that kept me from writing for the past month.
So, what'd I miss?
Red Sox won the World Series? Did this coma transport me back in time?
Haha, you're funny, no way the Yankees "fired" Joe Torre.
Don Mattingly is going to be a Dodger? Are they really that hard up for a first baseman?
I'm sorry, the nurses must not have cleaned the wax out of my ears while I was napping, could you repeat that? A-Rod opted out? Did you say opted out, like, of his contract? So he's not going to be playing for the Yankees next season?
How will that effect next year's version of MLB 2K8? A-Rod will still be on the Yanks roster right? I want him breaking Bond's record while wearing pinstripes.
Did you just say that San Fransisco gave Bonds his walking papers? Well, that's nice. Good for San Fran.
He wants to sign with who?!?! Oh, Cashman has another thing coming if he signs that jerk.
Are we still talking about baseball? Because you mentioned instant replay for a minute there.
The Mets didn't fire everyone on their team?
The Phillies traded for Brad Lidge? What's the point of playing next year then? Might as well print off those championship t-shirt. Lidge solves EVERYTHING.
Really, so Tampa Bay gave up on the whole Devil thing? So you think that'll be the thing Peter Gammons points to when the "Rays" are leading the AL East?
I'm sorry, I thought you said the Devil sold his soul to Scott Boras.
Being on a winning baseball team has its advantages. You get to travel to play in state tournaments, you get to see places that you'd never dream of visiting. You meet fascinating people throughout your travels and play in ballparks that you're sure were designed by the big guy upstairs.
If you can help it, don't ever play for a baseball team that keeps on winning.
A few summers ago, I played for a semi-pro traveling baseball team. We kept winning, and kept hitting the road. Our horror story happens just outside of Saratoga, NY.
The hotel (not naming names) rhymes with Bed Bobbin Finn.
When our team checked in, we were greeted by none other than Elvis Presley himself. Sideburns and sunglasses, he gave each of us a key to our own rooms. Every room had something unique about it.
Room 1 had a high definition television (before HDTV was fashionable), and carried 142 channels. All ESPN. Each channel was three seconds off from the one before it. So if you were watching a highlight on channel 42, and wanted to see a replay, QUICK TURN TO CHANNEL 11!
The next room had a toaster. Room three had a fridge. Room four didn't have a door to the bathroom, but it had five dressers (though the drawers didn't have bottoms). Room five had a nice view, of Room six, because there was a fist sized hole in the wall. Room seven had a washing machine, but no pump to hook up the water. Room eight had two beds and no couch, but room nine had two couches and no bed. There was, believe it or not, a Room 13, and it overlooked the swimming pool, which had numerous un-aquatic animals floating towards the filter.
The next door neighbor lived in a trailer, and owned and routinely operated a 12 gauge shotgun, just to prove that he could.
Our starting pitcher for the first game slept in his truck, because he couldn't figure out where the tree roots in his bedroom were coming from.
Needless to say, as a team, we decided that we all had a great time playing on the same team for the summer, but this would be the end of the line for us.
So, instead of achieving some level of baseball immortality, we decided to end our season the next day, getting blown out of the championship game, 1-0.
You have to admit, you knew this was coming.
All those weeks of tormenting the Yankee Fan sitting in the cubicle next to you. All those summer months you sat on top of your perch, looking upon the downtrodden, the Yankee faithful. Peasants looking for a whiff of freedom, just a ray of light, any sign of hope.
Yesterday, as you have for the past week, you lose a little bit more of your throne.
The peasants are rising.
The Mets are failing.
What is happening to your Mets? As you sit silently in your cube/office/car, you catch shrapnel from every angle. The newspaper, the radio, internet, blogs, webcasts, podcasts, and the ever jerky smiling office temp with the neatly pressed Yankee tie.
This is your silent hell.
Willie Randolph is peering out from the left field fence, looking towards the Bronx. What would Joe do, he thinks. How would his mentor fix this flailing franchise. Believe it or not, what Willie learned while wearing Pinstripes will make or break the Mets during their playoff run.
Trust in Veterans: Mike Pelphry and fellow young guns on the Mets roster have offered their arms to aid a sinking bullpen. Torre preaches a trust in veterans, and Randolph will likely do the same. Rejecting the youth's plea to move to the bullpen, Willie doesn't think that "throwing these guys to the wolves" or forcing them in on a situation they are neither comfortable or familiar with, is a good move for the franchise.
Light a Fire: Randolph doesn't seem to be overly critical of his players. Not suggestion to call out underachievers, but Torre has a way of getting his point across to his players through the media (see Mussina, Farnesworth, Matsui).
Don't point fingers: Making a huge deal out of numbers and declines can often rub players the wrong way. So what if Reyes' batting average has slipped to a tune of 40 points since the All-Star game. John Maine, worthy of first half Cy Young Award Contention, has more than doubled his era in the second half. These players are young, and don't need to be beaten over the head with numbers.
For Mets Fans: Keep the hope alive. Invest in a Rally Monkey. Bring Mr. Met to his AA meetings, because there's no way he's a sober ball over the past few weeks. Don't shave until the magic number is down to 1, and keep those champagne bottles on ice.
That jerk in the next cubicle is probably going to ask to borrow them.
My Lugnuts. My Fantasy Team. My Bastards. You break my heart.
Last week of the season before playoffs and you decide to catch fire.
Too bad we were eliminated from playoff contention five weeks ago.
I should file a restraining order against Nick Swisher, I feel like I'm being abused.
But I love him anyway.
He ruins my fantasy team for the entire season, and just after I write about how there's no way he'll be wearing the Lugnut Cap next season, he has to go and catch on fire.
Three dingers in three days.
How do I justify leaving him now?
Scott Kazmir, you little runt you. I love you to death, but every morning, I flavor my coffee with tears because I can't stand the fact that you're bullpen steals 50+ wins from you every season. You're about as useful to me as a long inning reliever.
But I love him anyway.
Joe Mauer, you represent everything that is good and wonderful with the human race.
Too bad that's not a stat in my league this year.
Last season he's leading the league in batting average. The kid hits and no one can stop him.
Then he puts on a Lugnuts jersey.
But I love him anyway.
Barry Bonds. You're foot is hurting.
You'll never wear a Lugnuts Cap, no matter how many records you break.
You'll never have the opportunity to ruin one of my fantasy baseball season.
I hate you.
There is nothing more pure than this baseball video done by two brothers from Wisconsin. We need to fund raise to get them a better camera.
I was talking to my girlfriend last night about something that's been bothering me lately. One of my favorite football players happens to be Shawne Merriman (OLB, Chargers). Don't ask me why, I just like him. Last season, Merriman was suspended for using steroids.
Didn't faze me in the least. Kept right on rooting for the man.
Now, Don Mattingly, my favorite baseball player of all time, forever and ever, has never been accused of taking steroids or growth hormone, or any other banned performance enhancing substance. The minute he does, I'll hate him for the rest of my life.
Done. Everything I own of Mattingly will be tarred, feathered, burned, ripped up, mailed back, and shot with a potato gun.
I wonder why that is.
Jayson Stark,ESPN, recently ran an article on the double standard that exists between the Barry Bonds case and the recent light that's been shed on Rick Ankiel.
I for one am guilty of what Stark outlines as "Double Standard #1; The Likeability Test".
In theory, a good journalist is supposed to leave his personal thoughts, beliefs, and opinions checked with his coat at the front door.
That is why I never got passed writing articles for the Quinnipiac University Student Chronicles.
I despise Barry Bonds and everything that he does, eats, watches, showers with, sleeps on, and mails his credit card bills to. There is not one single redeeming quality I can find in the man.
If he was to find a cure for the AIDS crisis, reverse global warming, wipe oil off a baby seal, develop a better mouse trap, and adopt a tribe of aborigines, I would scoff and chalk it up to a media publicity stunt.
Rick Ankiel could wipe out half of the rain forest, and I like many of my American counterparts, would smile and look in awe as he walks by, chainsaw in hand.
I can't figure it out.
Stark lists some possibilities for why this is plaguing me and scores of baseball fans throughout the country, and I think he may be onto something:
He wasn't even a hitter then.
It wasn't a banned substance then.
He had a doctor's prescription.
He was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
He needed it to heal.
He hasn't been accused of any "wrongdoing."
The media is out to get him.
It's not like he's Barry Bonds or something. (Stark; Exposing Our Dirty Double Standards)
Tough is the life of Ace of the Future Ian Kennedy. First big league start he tosses a gem. Six strikeouts, five hits, two walks, and an ERA of 1.29. He wins his first major league start against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and in the process nets this author's fantasy team a few points in a much needed pitching category.
Kennedy is slated for another big start in the near future as well. No, not the fact that he'll be towing the rubber against the Royals Friday night, rather Kennedy is going to be on another type of incline. An alter.
Or is he?
Kennedy and his fiancee Allison Jaskowiak have an October 6th wedding date planned. Right smack in the middle of the American League playoffs. Granted its an off day, but try explaining to your future wife why Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner replaced your Best Man and Flower Girl (respectively) at the last minute.
Simple solution, move the wedding back a bit, right?
Kennedy's lovely future battery mate plays college basketball, therefor complicating the picture a bit. The USC Guard/Forward is in her fifth season with the Trojans (the NCAA granted her the extra year) and her season begins November 11th in UC Santa Barbara. (FYI, Kennedy is a USC alum as well).
While everyone begins to speculate whether or not Kennedy will be able to attend his own wedding, (especially after NYY playoff hopes are looking brighter by the minute) none other than Joe Torre provides what has to be 108 Red Stitches quote of the week:
"I didn't get one of the invitations," he said. "We just hope his prospective wife is very understanding."
My question is, do they still need a wedding videographer?
(quotes courtesy of the Associated Press)
Now that we've had a little time to let Ozzie's latest spout settle in, its time to praise the man.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ozzie's latest antics, here's a recap:
Quotes From ESPN:
"We've got a $100 million payroll and they don't show it on the field," Guillen said. "If this keeps up, bring on the Double-A kids. They're killing me. They're killing my family, my coaching staff and the White Sox fans. I hope they care the way we care. I'm tired of seeing this [expletive] every day."
In the day and age of "politically correctness", Ozzie Guillen brings a breath of fresh air to the baseball diamond. Too often are major leaguers (NBA, NFL, NHL included) treated with kid gloves. Endorsement deals often leave players concerned over potential injuries that could derail their marketing careers. Rather than run out a ground ball or dive head first into the warning track to save a run, a good portion of ballers tend to half-ass it.
As Ozzie puts it, maybe the White Sox need to bring up a Double A Kid, someone who will inject life into a listless lineup.
''You see this since April,'' Guillen said. ''I keep giving people a chance to succeed. A pat on the back. I wish I played for a manager like that. I swear to God I wish I could have played for a [expletive] manager like that. Every time you fail and keep putting guys out there who fail day-in and day-out, that's easy to play."
Good point #2, which also reinforces our last statement, detailing players being treated with kid gloves. Players need to realize that gone are the days where everyone gets a free cup of soda after the game, and everyone is a winner in our book. Playing for a Major League Franchise is an honor, not a right. The amount of hard work and effort these guys had to put in their game to get to the level they're at right now is indescribable, but now that hard work is nothing but a memory for far too many players.
Ozzie is right. Nothing more, nothing less.
We as fans, sportswriters, bloggers, casual channel changers, need to celebrate what Ozzie is saying. Now, he's not often the best choice or has most conventional means for relaying a message, but he's right. We as a sports nation need to hold these players up to task. Boo the guys who don't run out of the box, boo the guy who dogs a ball in the outfield. But most importantly, celebrate the ones that don't.
We'd like to introduce to you, Clark; The Canadian Hockey Goalie.
With only a few weeks left in the season, its time for me to look back and dissect one of the most important franchises in baseball. Where did they go wrong? How can a whole team simultaneously slump? When is it ever a good time to say goodbye to an fan favorite? In short, where did I go wrong with my fantasy team, "The Lugnuts"?
Over the past seven seasons, the Lugnuts continually hover around .500 baseball. They sneaked into the playoffs last year, but were crushed in the second round. In the seven years of existence, they've only won one Yahoo Championship. Considering the fact that I've been around the game since I was four, I should be able to build a winning team, right? Guess not. In a shameful look back on a dismal season, here are some reasons why the Lugnuts (and possibly your team) didn't do as well as planned.
1. Draft Day Jitters: Things were not looking good from the very beginning. Somehow I landed the number eight pick of the draft, a damning position in any fantasy league draft. David Wright somehow landed into my lap, and I grabbed Manny Ramirez followed with the 18th pick. Joe Mauer seemed like a sensible third round pick, but things quickly went south. Nick Swisher, Carlos Zambrano, Scott Kazmir, Takashi Saito, Barry Zito, Prince Fielder, and Ian Kennedy round out the top 12. They weren't bad moves at the time, but looking back, I overpaid for Swisher, Mauer, and Kennedy. Things started to unravel after my pre-draft day plans looked like a rorschach test.
2. Loyalty: This can kill any fantasy league player. One guy performs and carries your team in previous years, and you ultimately wind up overpaying and riding on wishes and fairy dust for the rest of the season. To date, Nick Swisher, (my hero, my rock that I built the team around, my player least likely to be back in Lugnuts uniform next season) has stats unbecoming of an outfielder: AVG: .269 R: 65 HR: 17 RBI: 63 SB: 2
3. Mediocrity and Slow Starts: It took Zambrano and Kazmir forever to get going and Zito has been hot and cold every other start. By the time the front four of my rotation got going, I was floundering at the bottom of my league. Picking up Tom Gorzelanny and Joe Blanton helped, but it was too little too late.
4. Injuries: I know, every team has to deal with injuries, but this season, I felt like I should have drafted a medic instead of a corner infielder. Ian Kinsler (after a dominating April) lands on the DL for the majority of the season. Nick Swisher and Carlos Beltran (acquired via May trade) are banged up before the All Star Break. The worst injury (as a close friend put it "When I found out the news, it was like a family member died".) was when Chase Utley went down with a broken hand. No sooner does he start to show some positive signs, does Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels plop themselves down on injury lane. Oh yeah, and Joe Mauer, he got hurt too.
Looking Towards the Future
This was the first time our league decided to join ESPNs Keeper League. I was able to make some trades (Acquired Chase Utley and Carlos Beltran via trade, Ryan Zimmerman via Coup d'état) and plucked Prince Fielder out of the draft in the 20th round (Thank YOU, Starbucks!)
So my keepers look like Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Prince Fielder, which are not a bad three to build your team around. They're all young, and each does something that the other doesn't, so it looks like I've got all the bases covered. Now, if I can just resist the urge to draft Swisher next season.....
The baseball season is getting down to the wire, and its time to take a look at past and potential acquisitions that will or have helped a team in its push to make the playoffs. Need to seal up that division title? Looking to squeak in through the Wild Card Door? Check out these players that have helped or can help your team in the final weeks of the season. (Impact is based on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest rating)
1. Atlanta Braves: Woah! Has Mark Teixeira re-found his power stroke! Possibly the best acquisition for any team in baseball, Teixeira cost the Braves a lot in terms of mortgaging their future, but has paid off in full. Teixeira shores up a weak spot in the Braves lineup offensively and on the field as well. He just recently hit 4 home runs in 2 games, and has been a spark plug, igniting the Braves lineup.
2. NY Mets: With Damion Easley out for what could be the rest of the season, the Mets were quick to pull the trigger on a deal to land veteran outfield Jeff Conine from the Reds. Conine adds playoff experience to a team that floundered last season in the finals against the Cardinals. This could be a big payoff for the Mets, now that Conine has something to play for. He can spell any of the corner outfielders and corner infielders, which is something Willie Randolph needs to prepare for the postseason.
3. Phillies: Get one, lose one. Things started to look bright for the Phils when doctors cleared Chase Utley to begin throwing and swinging on a regular basis. Then Cole Hamels hurt his elbow, and is expected to miss 2 starts as he heads to the DL. Utley is a welcome addition to any lineup, but losing your ace can't be good.
4. Yankees: Get out the way old man! The Yanks have injected life into their cranky, stiff bones with the recent call ups of Joba Chamberlin, Shelley Duncan, Edwar Ramirez, and the return of Phil Hughes from the 60 Day DL. Combine that with the everyday "Baby Yankees" Melkey Cabrera and Robinson Cano, the Yanks can keep their heads above water for the next few weeks.
5. LA Dodgers: Anytime you take strengthen your team by weakening another in your division, it has to be a good move, right? Well, not in this case. Dodgers traded for Giants firstbaseman Mark Sweeney for a player to be named (or cash). The move doesn't seem to make any sense at first, but now that Nomar is on the 15 Day DL, its a good move, sort of. If you're the type that salivates when you see anyone named Sweeney in the starting lineup, maybe you should check out this blog.
6. Mariners: So you want to win the AL West? One of the easiest divisions in baseball to win, the West is constantly up for grabs every year. So your biggest acquisition of the season is left hander John Parrish from Baltimore? Its a wonder that Ichiro signed the deal, if this is an example of your commitment to winning.
7. St. Louis Cardinals: Everyone wrote them off before the All Star Game. Now, with the NL Wildcard Up for grabs, and the Central looking as stable as Baghdad, the Cards gamble on signing Troy Percival looks like a briliant move. In 21 innings pitched, Percival has only given up 2 runs, batters are only hitting .183 against the righty, and he's managed to win 3 games in relief. With the resurgence of Rick Ankiel, the Cards are starting to looking like a dark horse.
It's a thankless job, but here at 108 Red Stitches, we're more than happy to take on the task of providing ways for ownership to fix the worst team in baseball.
1. Stop drafting outfielders. The Devil Rays outfield is more crowded than an LA Freeway or (going to reach deep into the pocket here) the old Star Jones in a pair of size 0 jeans.
Crawford, Young, Rocco, BJ Upton experiment, Greg Norton, Jonny Gomes, plus countless others in their minor league system.
QUICK FIX: Its time to give up on Rocco Baldelli and let him get a fresh start somewhere else. Trade him to a team like the Padres, who are rich in pitching and might need a new centerfielder in case Mike Cameron decides to leave via free agency at the end of the season. Baldelli would fit nicely in the Padres vast outfield, allowing him to roam and use his speed. He might also see his batting average rise, playing all those games at Coors Field.
2. Pitching. I'm sure this has been said before, but pitching is one of the most important elements needed to win ball games. It's very tough for Scott Kazmir and James Shields to go out and pitch effectively every night, only to have their bullpen blow lead after lead. It has to be mentally debilitating for a pitcher to suffer through the same fate game after game.
QUICK FIX: Again, a surplus of outfielders could bring in some pitching help. There are a ton of free agent outfielders this season and most will command big dollars (Hunter, Cameron, Andrew Jones, Corey Patterson). Teams looking for a cheap alternative could find one in the Devil Rays system.
3. Fan Base. I know, you ask, but how can fan base translate into winning or losing games? Try playing 81 games in front of less than 3,000 people showing up. Of the 3,000 half could give a damn about what's going on in the field, and the other half are from out of town. Your biggest crowd comes when the Yankees are in town, which is basically like playing an additional 10 games on the road. We're not saying its the fan's fault that the Rays are awful, but give them something to root for, and maybe, you'll begin to understand what a home field advantage is.
For more info on this subject visit this old ESPN PAGE 2 ARTICLE
4. Respect Factor. If you want to bring in a quality free agent player, you need to be serious about your franchise. No one is going to play for a franchise hoping completely disappear
off the baseball map. The quote from the film "Field of Dreams" applies in this case; "If you build it, they will come." Make that investment in a quality arm or a power bat that isn't on the downslope of a career (see Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco). Show other players that your team is committed to winning now and in the long term. Nobody wants to play for a AAAA team, and wait to be traded to a contender around the deadline.
5. Move Out of the AL East. Maybe a change of "leaguery" would be good for the organization. I'm not advocating re-alignment or contraction, but the move seemed to have (eventually) paid off for the Brew-Crew.
- ► 2008 (191)
- ▼ December (6)
- ► September (6)