Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Post Boxing Day Bullety Stuff
- We know more about the district court's stay of the Dodgers TV rights auction:
Stark said lawyers for Fox have demonstrated a substantial likelihood they will succeed in January's hearing. That's because the bankruptcy judge who freed the Dodgers from the current contract arrangement with Fox improperly relied on a single case in making his decision, Stark said. In addition, Stark wrote that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross likely made two factual mistakes: finding that the sale of the broadcasting rights was necessary to ensure creditors were paid and finding that the broadcasting rights needed to be sold to maximize the team's value.
- Here's a fascinating New York Times article on the post-Moneyball A's, and how the period documented in that book actually represented a high-water mark for the franchise. Beane, apparently, has started to look beyond baseball for his intellectual and career challenges; it seems that with the team stalled in Oakland, he's not especially interested in it. After his deal ends in 2014, I expect he will resign.
- The Angels signed Ryan Langerhans to a one-year minor league contract. Of course, the real reason to read this is that the Register's Sam Miller wrote it.
Friday, December 23, 2011
District Court Stays Dodgers TV Rights Sale
Update: The LAT story.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Judge Gross Calls Fox Early TV Rights Sale Objections "Disingenuous"
Gross called Fox's damage claims "highly speculative and therefore unsubstantiated." Gross also cited as "never supported by evidence" the claim of former Fox Sports Networks President Robert Thompson that Fox would have discounted the Dodgers' contract by 25% without the negotiating rights now in dispute.Fox has an exclusive negotiating window that lasts through January 19; thereafter, the rights can be auctioned.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
More Changes From The New CBA
- Allowing teams from the same division to meet in the playoffs before the league championship series.
- A ban on all visible tattoos, and any tattoos of commercial logos.
- Pace-of-game violations of up to $10,000 after the sixth violation. This means things like stepping out of the batter's box or taking too long to deliver a pitch.
- Plays subject to instant replay will expand to include fair/foul calls, fan interference calls, and caught/trapped calls. These are still subject to approval from the umpire's union. (Why they haven't added another umpire to the crews yet I have no idea, but it seems to me to make sense.)
- Bans team officials and players from contesting official scoring decisions, instead making it mandatory that this go through the league offices.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Angels Sign Kendrys Morales, $3M/1 Year, Other Transactions
- Per the Times, the Angels signed Kendrys Morales to a $3M/1 year deal.
- The Brewers have signed former Cub Aramis Ramirez worth $36M over three years with a fourth year mutual option.
- The Cards re-signed Rafael Furcal to a one year deal worth $14M.
- The Dodgers non-tendered Hong-Chih Kuo, though the team is interested in re-signing him. The Dodgers did tender contracts to Andre Ethier, James Loney, and Clayton Kershaw.
Dodgers Sign Tony Gwynn, Jr. To 2-Year Deal
Update: Earlier versions of this story said Jerry Hairston, Jr. Corrected.
Angels Sign Jerome Williams To One Year Deal
Update: Mike DiGiovanna has the skinny: $820,000 for one year.
Deirdre Pujols: “The City Of St. Louis Has Absolutely Been Deceived”
“I understand you’re talking to us, then one TV station, and that’s about it,” is how Sandi Brown, morning show host at 99.1 Joy FM in St. Louis, opened her conversation Monday with Deidre Pujols, the wife of new Angels first baseman Albert Pujols.So, tainted by that "insult" offer, and a subsequent arrangement that would have deferred $30M of his salary (the Angels' deal is 100% current with no deferments), Pujols eventually decided to become an Angel. This annoys me to some degree, because Pujols' decline is already to some degree evident. I am not convinced the back half of his deal will be of any value to the team that likely just signed the final contract of his career. However you may feel about that, it's a business decision, and we'll see whether Pujols becomes synonymous with Mo Vaughn or some of the other expensive free agent disasters in Angels history.
“This is the moment of truth for us,” Deidre replied. “Four days have passed and most people are probably sick of hearing our name by now, but I’m ready to let people have our side of what has happened and be able to make better judgements.”
“When you have somebody say, ‘we want you to be a Cardinal for life,’ and then only offer you a five-year deal, it kind of confused us,” said Deidre, calling the offer an “insult.”
Related: Scott Miller of CBS Sports tweets that Pujols is contracted to the Angels for the first decade past his presumptive retirement when this contract ends. Yow.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
More Linkies On A Momentous Day
- Turns out the Dodgers have a first baseman in the news, too: James Loney wrecked his Maserati November 14, and was arrested for drunk driving. A song for you, James:
You are now allowed to make jokes about Loney finally hitting something.
Update: Those of you with long memories may recall that was the day the Dodgers announced their new long term deal with Matt Kemp. Jealousy? Out of control celebration?
- Sam Miller has a roundup of how Ken Rosenthal was right and everyone else was wrong about the Angels' pursuit of Pujols. Amazing, and good work, Robo!
- One of my friends on Facebook mentioned that for Astros fans, this has to be pretty ridiculous: their team changes leagues and he's still in their division. Nice...
- Matthew Poulliot projects Pujols' 2012 and comes up with a .310/.429/.605 year with 42 HR.
- The terms of Aaron Harang's deal have been released; he's getting a backloaded 2-year/$12M contract with a mutual option for 2014.
- In more Dodger trades, the team traded Dana Eveland to Baltimore for LHP Jarret Martin and OF Tyler Henson, neither of whom look especially interesting. Martin is 21 and had a 5-12 record with a 4.96 ERA for single-A Delmarva. Henson is 23 and hit .247/.313/.321 with AAA Norfolk last year.
- Jon has some thoughts on the consequences of the new TV deal for the Angels as it will eventually affect the Dodgers.
Angels Sign Albert Pujols To 10-Year Deal Worth At Least $250M; UPDATE: Wilson Signing Official
I'm very excited for Angels fans who will have the chance to watch Albert Pujols, Vernon Wells, and Torii Hunter age rapidly together.On the other hand: it's interesting to note that Kendrys Morales has never even been a 5 WAR player (his breakout year, 2009, was 3.8) and Mark Trumbo last year had a 2.1 WAR. Meantime, Pujols has never been less than a 5, though looking at his recent dropoff I do wonder just how steep that curve has been. Was Jerry Dipoto given marching orders to get Pujols at all costs? We'll probably find out in the coming hours and days. As with all such big signings, the front end isn't so bad; it's the back end that starts to smell, and it bears repeating that Pujols will be 42 by the time this deal is over.
Also, a little bit of snark from Molly Knight:
On a scale of 1 to Eeyore: how sad are Dodger fans going to be if the Angels sign Albert Pujols?I honestly don't know the answer to that question. For me, I don't much care, because I know that this is Ned Colletti's last offseason as GM, which makes me happy, almost regardless of the players he signs. Because I view the Pujols signing as such a mixed bag, I can't get too excited for the Dodgers to miss out on him.
Update 2: Rev. Halofan reminds me that the Angels signed LaTroy Hawkins, Pujols, and Wilson in a span of 24 hours and didn't need to move anyone from the 40-man roster to do it. Nice.
Update 3: The thing fueling all this madness may well be the finishing touches being put on a new TV deal with Fox, to be announced later. The offer to the Dodgers for an extension last spring was $3 billion.
Update 4: Wilson signed for 5 years/$75M. Nice price.
Update 5: Bill Plunkett:
#Angels Moreno just committed $325m to 2 players today. Roughly twice what he paid for team in 2003. #Pujols.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Angels Sign LaTroy Hawkins
Update: The Register's Sam Miller on the deal.
C.J. Wilson Is — Or Isn't — An Angel
Six years on C.J. Wilson, huh? The Marlins really are like the lottery winners who spend themselves back into poverty within a couple years.Updates as they happen.
Update: Mark Buehrle to the Marlins, $58M/4 years. That sets a definite floor on Wilson's price. It also likely leaves the Marlins out of the Wilson bidding per Mike DiGiovanna.
Frank Must Sell Dodgers By April
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Dodgers Add Hairston, Jr., Frank Has "Absolute" Control Over Parking Lots, Josh Bard A New Dodger
- Belated: The Dodgers signed Jerry Hairston, Jr. to a 2-year/$6M deal. It's terrible. That is all.
- The Dodgers have subpoenaed Chase
Carey, the same Fox exec who once traded Mike Piazza to Florida, earning the eternal wrath of Dodger fans everywhere.
On Dec. 27, Fox will ask Gross to dismiss the Dodgers from bankruptcy, arguing that owner Frank McCourt can repay the Dodgers' creditors by selling the team and that further legal intervention constitutes an abuse of bankruptcy protection.Die in a fire, Frank. Oh, but it gets better: Frank has "sole and absolute discretion" as to whether the parking lots should be sold with the rest of the team's assets.
- Howard Cole of the Register reports that the Dodgers are about to sign Josh Bard as a reserve catcher. Bard hit .210/.256/.333 with Seattle last year as a 33-year-old while playing in 26 games.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Dodgers Sign Aaron Harang To 2-Year Deal
... [I]t’s the deal Los Angeles should have made instead of signing Chris Capuano, not in addition to. But what’s done is done.
Ron Santo Elected To Baseball Hall Of Fame By Golden Era Committee
Santo becomes the 12th major league third baseman to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first elected at the position since Wade Boggs in 2005. Including three selections from the Negro leagues, there are now 15 third basemen in the Hall of Fame. In 15 major league seasons, Santo compiled a .277 lifetime batting average, with 2,254 hits in 2,243 games, while totaling 1,331 runs batted in and 365 doubles.Santo died a December 3, 2010. This goes a long way toward rectifying the reputation of the Hall, which notoriously underrepresents third basemen.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
SEC To Pursue Marlins Over Stadium
The financing agreement to build the controversial new stadium in Little Havana left the county and city on the hook for almost 80 percent of the overall $634 million tab, which critics considered a giveaway to the Marlins. The deal was a contributing factor in the recall of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who championed it.Here's Deadspin on the Marlins.
Due diligence by the county and city into the Marlins’ finances was a key component of auto magnate Norman Braman’s failed court fight two years ago to stop stadium construction. City and county leaders said they never required the Marlins to open their books, though the team often cried poor and argued it needed public funding to stay in South Florida.
But the team’s claim was rebuked in August 2010, when the sports website Deadspin.com revealed that the Marlins were in fact financially healthy, having received more money from baseball’s revenue-sharing system over 2008 and 2009 than anyone in baseball — and pocketing $92 million in revenue-sharing those two years, making a $33 million profit.
What If Frank Isn't Serious About Selling?
--Although McCourt has a year to go under his current television contract with Fox, he has been seeking permission to negotiate with other media outlets. Fox has opposed that procedure, figuring it would ultimately negotiate a new contract wiith a new owner. The dispute has gone to mediation, a process that was supposed to end last week but was extended through the current week, suggesting that some form of progress is being made. Suppose McCourt emerges with an extension with Fox or the right to pursue a multi year, multi million dollar deal with another media outlet.Much more there, but I won't believe it until the weasel is gone from our shores.
--Suppose, at that point, McCourt figures he has or will have enough to pay creditors, his $130 million divorce from Jamie and retain operation of the Dodgers. All of these suppositions fall under the authority of the bankruptcy court, and the biggest challenge then for McCourt would have to be suing Selig for coercion in forcing him to sign his sale agreement with MLB.
Mike Scioscia Weeps As Angels Jettison Jeff Mathis
Obviously, the upside of this deal is getting rid of Jeff Mathis, whose Angels career has been mainly a case of mistaken identity, i.e. Mike Scioscia took him for a starting catcher. The Napoli schism has tended to be overdone (even by me):
|Year||Jeff Mathis||Mike Napoli|
Only two of those years — 2008 and 2010 — did Scioscia start Mathis in more games than Napoli. Yet, as Bill Plaschke pointed out earlier, Napoli only got 57 starts at catcher for the Rangers this year, a surprise for people who defend him as a good defensive receiver. (For the record, my position isn't that he is or is not good, just that Mathis can't be shown to be superior by any metric I am aware of.)
Mathis' major league career may already be over; his days as a starting catcher are probably over, anyway, and if it turns out that the Jays jettison him, too, I won't be terribly surprised. All in all, a necessary trade to keep Scioscia from playing Mathis.
Update: Any time you can link to a Grant Brisbee piece about a trade involving a team you follow, you totally should, because he is teh awesome.
Update 2: Sam Miller is predictably great:
Brad Mills has an 8.57 ERA in 48 career Major League innings. That’s actually only the 29th worst ERA in history, minimum 25 innings. Stu Flythe had a 13.04 ERA in 1936. “Hey, Alex, what’ll you give me for Jeff Mathis,” Jerry Dipoto asked. “Hmmm,” Alex Anthopoulos said. “I’ll give you Stu Flythe.” “But he’s dead. He’s been dead for, like, forever. He’s not on your team. Your team didn’t even exist when Stu Flythe died.” “Sorry, Jerry. That’s the best I can do.”
Friday, December 02, 2011
Report: Dodgers Sign Chris Capuano
Update: Christina Kahrl despises the deal:
...Capuano has one thing going for him: He racked up strikeouts, racking batters up 21 percent of the time with a crafty lefty’s assortment, changing speeds and trying to pound the bottom of the strike zone to avoid cookies. The strikeouts help conjure up all sorts of statistical joy: A 4.04 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, and 3.60 SIERA.Honestly, at this point I'm more concerned that the Dodgers won't be able to field a 25-man team next year. If ownership weren't so screwed up, I'd be madder about this deal; but as it is, I really couldn't care less, because the men occupying the Dodger uniforms in 2012 will be mannequins to me, placeholders until the real work of rebuilding can start.
Which is neat, and liable to encourage people to think that Capuano was just betrayed by ill fortune, and slow fielders, and maybe his ballparks and maybe a few black helicopters while we’re at it. You can see where this comes from, because rate metrics like xFIP run off aggregate numbers. Unfortunately, they’re blind to the fact of life that while Capuano’s effectiveness only goes so far into a ballgame. He might be effective once through the order, and more than a bit less so twice through the order. But a starting pitcher doesn’t give you six innings just going through the order twice in a game; he doesn’t even give you five innings all that often.