Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lazy Sunday with Moving Pictures

After witnessing the abomination that was the Saturday afternoon game that has even the BLC sitting in the dugout asking questions (and how odd does he look without a hat or helmet on?), I need some relaxation. So sitting, sipping a hot cup of goodness from our new K-Cup machine (The DiaBride HAD to use her 30% off coupon that she got from Kohl’s on something more than just clothes…and this thing was a good start), let’s get going on a Lazy Sunday before Michael Phelps starts swimming again.
What’s that? He’s finally done?
Nevertheless…we’re off:

Jim Ingraham has some interesting statistical anomalies to report in regards to the 2008 season. And, no, I’m not the “Paul” in the comments section…though there must be something about people named “Paul” that make them able to identify the most telling statistic when many are laid out in front of them.
If you’re not clicking the link, the most compelling stat of which I speak in Ingraham’s piece is that:
“They have lost 20 games that they were leading after six innings.”
Nearly 1/3 of the season’s losses have come in games when the team was LEADING after six innings!

Anthony Castrovince has the most honest admission of Hafner’s shoulder that I’ve seen by a “traditional media member”, even if it shows up on his blog. Once you get past the ubiquitous Mike Phelps and a grammatical lesson, the man who worships at the Altar of The Boss states that:
“As for all the requests for info on Hafner's shoulder, there's not much I can tell you that hasn't been reported already. I've learned, unfortunately, not to take what a player or a team says about an injury at face value.
All I know is Pronk's condition proved to be worse than originally expected and took longer to correct than expected. I have no way of knowing how much the shoulder will affect him from this point forward, because, well, no one really does. All the Indians hope is that he'll return to action with enough season left to prove he can still do damage at the plate.”

That about sums it up.

Jon Heyman lists his top 7 Free Agents after the season, throwing some projected numbers on contracts for the seven:
CC - $150M over 6
Manny - $75M over 3
Dunn - $70M over 5
K-Rod - $60M over 4
Sheets - $51M over 3
Burrell - $48M over 4.
At those obscenely big numbers, anyone still want that “big splash”?
Oh, and that would be $25M per for 6 years for the Hefty Lefty if you're still shaking out cobwebs from Saturday night and don't have a calculator handy.

For those thinking that maybe that Manny money doesn’t look too big, here are Jayson Stark’s thoughts on what Manny did in Boston and how abhorrent most baseball executives find it. That should by no means be taken that Manny won’t get his money, but it certainly doesn’t make me long for a return to the North Coast for the Baby Bull.

In case you missed it (or were just severely under informed by the PD or ABJ), the Indians signed some of their draft picks to more money than where they were drafted would indicate what they “should have” been paid in the MLB recommended slotting system. In essence, the Tribe took players who were deemed harder to sign later in the draft than they would have been if they were thought to have been easily attainable. It’s an odd system that allows teams to take fliers on certain players later in the draft (as the Indians did a few years ago with Tim Lincecum, but were unable to sign), then pay them basically not to go to college or go back to college.

In this case, the Indians signed some high school pitchers, with Tony Lastoria providing a nice snapshot scouting report on each in his latest “Minor Happenings”, among other nuggets of gold. It’s awfully nice to see these arms added to the mix of the Latin American power arms (Hector Rondon, Kelvin De La Cruz) that figure to be that next “wave of arms” hitting the parent club two to three years down the road or figure that these youngsters are another whitecap off the coast a few hundred yards.

While we’re linking fellow writers at TCF, please read Steve Buffum’s B-List regarding the bullpen (actually originally written two years ago) for a tale of hopes and reality.
If you’re not reading the B-List on an everyday basis, by the way, shame on you.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere, Brian LeShier over at Ontario Street (the blog, not the physical street) has a nice piece on Zach Jackson, which evolves into a quick synopsis of who’s out there in the middle-to-back-of-the-rotation mix for 2009. LaShier makes mention of Aaron Laffey perhaps staying in Buffalo for the rest of the season “since the team already knows what he’s capable of in the Majors.”

But as Jay Levin at LGT has pointed out in the recent weeks, there may be another reason for Jackson getting the nod over Laffey. Jay, who penned the wildly informative “Service Time Update” some time back has calculated that if the Indians wait until after September 5th to call up Aaron Laffey, they will delay the year he becomes a Free Agent by one year.

To simplify this, if Aaron Laffey is called up tomorrow and stays with the team for the remainder of the season, his accumulated service time at the end of 2013 will allow him to become a FA.
If he is not called up until September 5th or so, the service time he will have accumulated by the end of 2013 will be just shy of allowing him to be a FA and his Free Agency will be pushed back until after the 2014 season.

It’s complicated, but don’t think that this isn’t a factor in Laffey being in Buffalo, for another 3 weeks or so, as much as wanting to see what the rest of these guys (Reyes, Jackson, etc.) can do. Basically, the Indians keep Laffey under contract for another full year if he stays in AAA for three more weeks in a lost yeah, it's a no-brainer.

If you didn’t see Show Pack go Bo Jackson on his bat, Josh Whitman at LFL provides the visual with some of his “reporting” to keep things light, as usual.

As long as we’re in the video portion of the LS, here’s a YouTube video of LaPorta hitting a bomb in one of the exhibition games against Canada prior to the Olympics:

I’m not sure if this was filmed and posted by one of his buddies, but the part where the camera turns to the guy in the Tribe shirt and the cameraman yells, “LaPorta…baby, yeah baby!” is my favorite part…well, that and that compact RH stroke.

Since we’ve been struggling to find a nickname that sticks for the University of Florida product, how about the title of the video...Chief Big Fly?


Hyde said...

Based on what I've seen of LaPorta so far, perhaps his nickname should be "Andy Marte's Country Cousin."

Rockdawg said...


I like Chief BigFly better than "The Door". If things pan out, and he becomes a clubhouse leader some day, then we can shorten it to simply "The Cheif". Although he has NOTHING in common with Robert Parish, it is still a great name.

Rockdawg said...

BTW, the reason that Manny can act like, well, Manny, and still get paid is this (career numbers):

.313 AVG/.410 OBP/.591 SLG/1.001 OPS/515 HR/1690 RBI

I cannot stand Jason Stark.

Brian said...

Many thanks for the link Paul, although I can't believe I forgot Laffey's service time earlier; good catch there. Davemannddd was also kind enough to point this out in the comments.

Cy Slapnicka said...

PC, consider this a warning. If you start talking about your hazelnut or green tea drinks courtesy of the K-cup, I have pictures of the Diapertribe and I am not afraid to post them.

And please don't start coaching softball.

Paul Cousineau said...

I can usually take Stark or leave him, but you have to admit that Manny just giving up is setting a dangerous precedent, regardless of his ability to hit the ball.

I hope you know by now how I like my drinks.
I take my gin accompanied by only ice and a few vermouth-soaked olives and I take my coffee my women.

Cy Slapnicka said...

are we going to have to bomb japan again?

Rockdawg said...

I am pretty confident that Manny isn't the first one to start tanking, so I don't see it as a precedent. Manny has been frustrated with Boston management for years, but since he never really talks, I feel there is probably a lot that we don't know about.

I'm just saying that nice people don't win baseball games. OPS does. Nobody liked Kelly Leak either, but where would Amanda Whirlinger, Rudy Stein, Ahmed, and Tanner be without him?

Anonymous said...

What ya say we give LaPorta the nickname WangBanger for now?