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Thursday, April 01, 2004
4/1 Pickoff Moves
A-Rod Wants Out Of NYIn a Birds In The Belfry exclusive interview, A-Rod has surrendered to what many analysts considered an inevitable change of heart about his signing with the New York Yankees after their recent 8-3 loss to Tampa Bay. "Did you notice that we don't have [names on the back of our uniforms] in New York? I had never noticed that before", a visibly frustrated and sleep-deprived Rodriguez opined.
Pappas: Yanks Need A New StadiumBusiness of Baseball author Doug Pappas makes a case for Yankee Stadium 3, one we've heard with increasing frequency from Steinbrenner, whose public carping about the Yankees' lack of competitiveness has made him almost as much a nuisance as Bud Selig. Pappas points to Yankee Stadium 2's lack of architectural integrity, grossly inadequate parking (depriving the team of yet another revenue source), poor location, and weak fan loyalty as arguments for abandoning the old stadium. Pappas concludes: "If New York taxpayers can offer $600 million to construct a platform so the NFL Jets can build a stadium atop rail yards, surely they can offer as much to ensure that the Yankees can remain competitive for years to come." The additional revenue will be indeed welcome, after their expensive 2003 additions, whose contracts won't expire until well into the 2010's.
Jays Release Entire Scouting StaffDayn Perry today reports on the release of Toronto's entire scouting staff. As I wrote earlier, Oakland GM Billy Beane introduced scoutless recruiting to the A's some time ago, and we're starting to see the fantastic results thereof already. Sabermetric baseball fans everywhere will cheer on the Jays as Ricciardi introduces another, still bolder wrinkle: having the players write their own scouting reports. Here's a sample, written by one Stephen Drew:
Comments: Handsome, powerful and destined for greatness. Don't be the fool that passes on this incredible talent. It wouldn't surprise me if your ass got fired for passing on Stephen Drew. Don't make a fool of yourself by offering him less than $15 million and a major league contract. Rumor has it that scouting directors who pass on Drew, who's a bad ass, will be declared illegal combatants and transported immediately to Gitmo. If you don't believe me, just ask me. Millions, I said.While old-school clubs like the Mariners and Angels continue to send old guys in used Toyotas all over the country to get subjective opinions of prep and college pitchers, the Jays look to save a bundle annually with this approach. I've long suggested scouts are tremendously overrated, and expect to see this cutting-edge stuff applied in Dodgerland any moment. Fire 'em all, Paul!