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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Pickoff Moves

Roster Moves, Made Easy

The Register says that the recent collapses of Dennis Houlton and the return to earth of Steve Schmoll have simplified their roster decisions. Most likely, Schmoll will be sent down, as Houlton is a Rule 5 pick.

With Mike Edwards' 2-4 game yesterday, Tracy has already committed to starting him today, along with Jason Repko.

More Dodger Rehab Notes

In that same article: Antonio Perez, 6-18 in seven games at AAA, played a full game for the first time on Friday. Jayson Werth still reports soreness in his wrist after going 0-3 with two strikeouts on Friday.

Bonds, A (Tax) Dodger?

ESPN passes on a New York Daily News story suggesting that Barry Bonds is being investigated for failing to report income from memorabilia sales. Now, MLB is looking into his relationships and activities after his knee surgeon was reprimanded for unprofessional conduct. Pretty soon, they'll be investigating him if his kid looks crosseyed at the umpires.

Rob Neyer: The Yankees May Collapse

You heard it here first ($$$ required):
You can't sign free agents in June, which leaves a few other, less money-centric ways of improving the club. You can trade good players for good players, but the Yankees don't have many (any?) good players to spare. You can take big contracts off the hands of other, poorer teams, but there aren't many great players on the market (the Rockies say they're not trading Todd Helton, the Astros say they're not trading Roger Clemens, the Mets say they're not trading Mike Cameron, etc...).

That could change, of course. But even if the Yankees are willing to assume a big contract or two -- and isn't that what got them in this mess in the first place? -- any trading partner will also demand two or three good young players. And at the moment, most of the Yankees' top prospects are either in the majors or playing poorly in the minors.

Can the Yankees win without doing anything?

Before the season, they were supposed to win 100 games again. I had them at 95, but to win 95 games now they'll have to go 83-48 the rest of the season. Which isn't going to happen. Right now, the question is whether the Yankees will win 90 games and fight for a postseason berth in the last week of the season ... or collapse, as they did in 1965 and 1982. Another injury or two, and the latter is a real and jarring possibility.

The Yankees' Götterdammerung has been predicted many, many a time before, but every year, their star-studded team gets more star-crossed. It may be that, at last, their big budget has pushed them into a corner, clearing the postseason field for teams like the Orioles, Chisox, and Twins.

Sabermetricians' Big Whiff

Rich Lederer rebuts a Nate Silver comment that strikeouts are good for young power hitters:
The major league burial grounds are filled with players such as Billy Ashley, Roger Freed, Phil Hiatt, Sam Horn, Dave Hostetler, and Hensley Meulens. I could list many, many more but limited the names to a half-dozen of the higher-profile names that have come along in the past couple of decades. More to the point, there are hundreds of unknowns out there who never even got a sniff of the big leagues because they simply didn't make enough contact to get a chance.


One of the weaknesses of the sabermetric community is that we don't challenge each other often enough. By allowing such comments to pass without addressing them adds to the conflict between scouts vs. stats or scouting vs. performance analysis. Nate is an excellent analyst, but he is off base on this subject.


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