quip: April Fooled the combine

nyphillycombine has been all lit up the past few days with quick shots of sporting non-sense and of course that means I must fill you in on the insanity that is a bunch of guys pretending they know what they are talking about. The jokes on us.

Willis he ever play?

There’s just something about watching teams implode that makes you shake your head, and in my case giggle. The Detroit Tigers are one of those teams. They rank right up there in the “what the heck could happen next” category and for Bobby and I fall somewhere between maybe the Dodgers and Mets as easiest to make fun of. Today, Detroit announced that Dontrelle Willis will begin the season on the DL…

The Mouse Is willis ever going to pitch?? – Maybe he’s thought to change his name to Carl Povano… and anxiety disorder? really? why, because he plays for the tigers, I’d be anxious too if that were the case
The LD: Although sometimes you might think you’re funny sir, you’re just not fair.
Bobby: At least you got Miggy out of that deal.
The Mouse: And a guy who’s so apt to be on the DL the league is considering changing the name to the Dontrelle List.

Sweeping the Swish

Bobby and I are already trading barbs on some of the decisions our teams are making with their personnel as spring training winds down. We’ll leave the ambitious rumors about both the Yanks and the Phils #5 starter roles being “up in the air” still and focus on more pressing matters, like the Yahoo news story that hinted that Nick Swisher might be upset that he didn’t get the starting OF position.

wow, wait a second… Nick Swisher was upset that Xavier Nady was getting the starting RF position? Really? Has Swisher even looked at his own numbers lately?? Nady career .280 hitter, Nick a .244, last season Nick was a .219 hitter! They are pretty even career wise on OBP, Slugging and OPS, HR, etc, but Nady is definitely a better fielder in RF, Nady was 1.000 with the Yanks and .990 with Pitt last year, compared to .963 for Swisher in the same role (and less ops mind
you) Although both have spent time in LF & 1B, Swisher is more a branded utility guy in many ways and originally brought over as an option at first, NOT as an OF. He should be happy he’s even in pinstripes this year and wasn’t shipped off to Kanasas city or something…

Bobby noted, as usual that “wow your team is hilarious there sir”

Yes Bob, yes they are. You definitely get your money’s worth as a Yanks fan – baseball and a sideshow!

On the whole, I totally agree with the decision. Nick is better at being a bench guy and offering an opportunity to give guys a day off in the OF (because you KNOW Damon is going to need a few) Furthermore, I agree on the Bret Gardner in center and Melky on the bench. The Melkman might have the better arm, but defense is more than just having a cannon. Often he seemed to make odd fielding choices and caused undo confusion on routine plays, especially with Bobby Abreu in the past. Gardner seems more fundamentally sound with the position and is speeder which should help. Furthermore, Bret is way speedier on the base pads which lends to more aggressive tactics and balances some of the power hitting the line up is built around. Both seem to have trouble “seeing” the ball both in hitting for average and in drawing walks, but Cabrera’s swing completely collapsed last year and even though it looked much better in spring training that’s no guarantee he’s going to be any more consistent than in years past. Bret also slots into the lineup with more flexibility, if he can raise his OBP he can lead off or bat in the two hole, as well as the more typical 8 or 9 to make the lineup “round” whereas Melky is strictly an end of the line-up bat with the way he hits. Bret slots in especially nice with the idea of Jeter as lead off and Damon in the two hole and Bret #9 because the 9-1-2 would go lefty, righty, lefty with the two lefties being pull hitters. It also may help diminish the Jeterian Double Play that became vogue last year as Bret might be able to run Jeter out of trouble rather than into a DP. Besides if Damon or Nady collapse Swish will have more than an opportunity to play and he’s a serviceable backup for first as well so the ABs will come regardless of how he slots in, he just needs to make more of them by about 90 point on his average

Shuffling Sheffield

This morning, the hapless Detroit Tigers shuffled of the mortal coil of Gary Sheffield after a disappointing journey with a disappointing club. One home run shy of 500, mind you… and now any team can sign him for the $400,000 minimum, with Detroit paying the rest of his $14 million salary. That’s one monster salary hit to take and miss out of the 500 party, but then again, these are different times.

The LD: he’ll definitely get signed somewhere, because someone will want to host the 500 HR party. It is too bad the Tigers couldn’t figure out what to do with him, or anyone on the team for that matter.

The Mouse: he’s super over-valued salary wise right now so he’ll have to take paycut to play past this year anyhow and he’ll have to resign himself to being primarily a DH/bench player/pinch hitter because he’s old and slow as a fielder and very injury prone the last few years. Also, he’ll have to relinquish the clean up role and hit middle of the order as a 5, 6 or 7 guy because he’s not the prolific hit machine he once was an only the jacks are worthwhile these days. Oh, and he can’t insist on playing for a contender because most of them don’t need the extra weight in the lineup. Doesn’t leave a lot of options really when you consider the potential constraints.

For example, the Yanks already have a bench with Swisher and Cabrera to cover the OF/DH role and Matsui as a primary DH. Tampa is in the same position with Kapler and Joyce to OF/DH and Burrell as a primary DH. Boston is a little more tenuous in the OF because Drew, Bay and Baldelli are injury prone but with Big Papi as a DH and a deep bench there’s no opening there either, even if all of them suck this year, which isn’t likely to be the case. So for the AL-E that only leaves Baltimore and the Toronto who are not going to really compete. The O’s are immediately out because they already have a very deep OF/DH setup even if none of them are really stellar apart from Markakis. The Jays could come calling, they could use the help in OF depth and a power hitter DH to off-set Snider as a pure average guy and some “protection” for Wells and Rios in the lineup.

The LD: You are talking all kinds of foreign languages to me right now.

Bobby: Don’t worry, he does that to me all the time… Sheff used to be a magic man, how he seems to be a ham… But I think someone will want his bat, there’s enough teams in need and if he’s going for under a half mil he’s gonna be hot stuff… I think you over think him getting a DH role somewhere, but you’re probably right sir about him fielding…

The Mouse: We’ll see. With my luck the Yanks will pick him up … But, ok let’s expand: Cleveland has substantial depth with Dellucci and Crowe as extra OF and no need for another DH with Hafner already there. The sox are already kickin it with Thome as their old man to draw fans which really only leaves KC and those guys wouldn’t even spend the league minimum on a player if they didn’t have to.

So, moving out west, there’s always the Rangers, they love to spend money for nothing and collect names and faces, but they rarely make a dent in the standings in any substantial way. The Mariners are trying to “rebuild” I can’t imagine that adding anything along the lines of an inconstant power hitter with limited OF range would be helpful in any way, shape or form, besides Griffy is the resident old man there. The Angles have more OF than they know what to do with trotting out Matthews, Hunter, Abreu, Vlad and Rivera… and the A’s already have a tandem of Giambi and Garceperia to DH and fill the grumpy old men roles.

Bobby: Point taken. I get what you are saying and it’s true… but for someone they will take the low salary hit for a year to put butts in seats on that 500th and whatever additional scoring he brings. He has done it before, no reason to think he can’t do it again if he’s on a team better than the Tigers.

The Mouse: Good point. I’ll conceede it… but i still can’t see him too many other places really… at least not in April, maybe in June when injuries and roster depth depletes some teams, or, someone needs a quick ticket-seller due to the economic downturn and is willing to host the 500-club party.

Despite the DH in the AL, it seems pretty cramped to start the season for him… perhaps the NL in a bench role, though that would mean a lot less AB and not as much fanfare, he actually could fit on a couple of teams… The Giants like to collect useless players and don’t have a lot of convincing depth in the OF, of course they recently shed one spoiled pain in the ass, I don’t know they are quite ready to jump on the boat to get another x-roid user to blast the ball to mccovy cove. Mets are an option as well, not only with question marks in their lineup on how well beltran and delgato are going to bounce back but also in the OF where platooning church and pagan on one corner with tatis and murphy in the other wreaks of trouble for them. Florida offers some potential, even though they don’t spend money they are local for him and they could be the surpise team in the NL-E with potentially the best top three for their rotation and a lot of guys primed for breakout seasons in the lineup, the question is can they figure out how to platoon him in that setting and keep his ego in check.

The LD: Again, speaking Swahili. So where does this leave the Tigers? I don’t see it hurting them much. Not that they can get much worse at times. But maybe unloading unnecessary pieces sets them back up for success. Definitely frees up the bench for more versatility.

The Mouse Of course, the Tigers are now more balanced having dropped him…but they probably weren’t contenders anyhow and even though they like to spend money, I don’t blame them for not feeling justified in holding onto that messy situation.


About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
This entry was posted in humor, Opinion, Quick Quip, sports commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

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