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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pickoff Moves

OT: Signs Of The Apocalypse: Paris Hilton Says Something Funny And Smart

A rejoinder to the McCain ads that involved her (which I didn't see), this response video is at once funny, self-deprecating, and surprisingly level-headed in its (hold your breath) policy prescriptions:

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Joe Maddon, Bicycle Mechanic

A great NYT piece on Joe Maddon, the former Angels bench coach and now manager of the AL East-leading Rays. Quote:
That bike. Of all the items that teammates would watch Joe Maddon lug on trips with the Angels — books without pictures, wine magazines, an iPod pulsing with Springsteen and Green Day and Pavarotti — none made them smile and shake their heads more than his beloved mountain bike.

The Angels’ bench coach from 1996 to 2005, Maddon would, before most every trip, take it apart — wheels, chains, from seat to nuts — so that he could pop it on the plane. Upon arrival, he would lay the pieces out on his hotel room floor and, quite happily, put it all back together again. Then bike to the ballpark.

“I can still see him doing that,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He just loved that bicycle.”

Maddon has retired his wrenches because he now can afford to rent bikes on the road for his 80 or so miles of weekly riding. But he still loves to put machines together. Perhaps you have heard of one — the first-place Tampa Bay Rays.

The above linked Alan Schwartz piece was the subject of Charlie Steiner's XM interview yesterday, and it was quite entertaining.

Jon Heyman Speculates Dodgers To Get Larry Luccino In Red Sox FO Explosion

Would Larry Luccino come to the Dodgers as the result of a Red Sox front office breakup?
People in high places in baseball are starting to speculate about whether this could be the last season together for the highly successful yet increasingly uncomfortable front-office tandem of GM Theo Epstein and president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and one logical ending would have Lucchino joining Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles. It's all speculation now, but it's not all that farfetched.
Heyman also says "Don't believe ... for a second" the rumors that Manny wants to play for either New York club, which makes sense, because "Ramirez's longstanding complaint about Boston was that he didn't like the fishbowl existence".

Team Travel Costs Killing PCL

Not a surprise:
"We are irrevocably married to commercial transportation," said Branch Rickey, president of the PCL and grandson of the legendary Dodgers executive. "There is no room for divorce. We can't get into Priuses or onto buses and solve our problems."
The league is considering more intra-division play and an unbalanced schedule to compensate. Via BTF.

Vlad To Stay, Or Go

We'll see.
He has no desire to test the market, to solicit bids from far and wide, to count down the days until he can become a free agent. He wants to sign a contract extension and finish his career with the Angels.

"That's something I'd like," Guerrero said through translator Jose Mota, "to stay here and not have to move again.

"I'm a human being. I have feelings. I'm very comfortable here. But I understand that's not my decision."

Is Edwin Jackson's 2008 Performance Smoke And Mirrors?

An interesting post at DRaysBay thinks so based on Ron Shandler's XERA. The big selling point for me is that Jackson's K/BB ratio is about 1.3, which is awfully low; like Jarrod Washburn of recent years, much of his success can be attributed to his strand rate, something he will have a hard time continuing. He needs to cut down on his walks.

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