Saturday, February 6, 2010

We Are Greater For Having Lost Him

  • Jarrod Washburn may retire:



As if it's a veiled threat or something, there's word that if Jarrod Washburn doesn't get a lucrative enough deal (or a deal) to join the Mariners or Twins and be close to his Wisconsin home, he may simply retire.



To me, these types of statements coming from someone like Washburn strike me as announcements for people who like listening to announcements; for people who watch the Weather Channel for its entertainment value; or Sean Hannity fans----they need some background noise and it makes no difference what the noise is or what it's really saying.

Washburn, who's lucky to even received the job offers he has considering how atrocious he was after being traded to the Tigers, wasn't that good before the trade; he's a journeyman who, for some unfathomable reason, attracted great interest in the past couple of years from teams that you'd think would know better (the Yankees for example).

Aside from brief spurts in 2008 and 2009 that made his numbers look somewhat respectable for the Mariners, he's been eminently hiitable; relentlessly below mediocrity. To be even more blunt about it, you'd do just as well piecing together his rotation spot with other journeyman and a decent Triple A pitcher.

Washburn's uninterested in pitching for the Mets? Who wanted him for the Mets to begin with? The Mets sure didn't.

The entire episode of "I may just retire" strikes me as an attempt to garner attention from a player that deserves no attention other than in an emergency or if said team is getting him for nothing.

Did he want a farewell tour?

Here's a farewell: Lotsa luck.


  • Twins sign Orlando Hudson to a 1-year, $5 million contract:

Orlando Hudson; Orlando Cabrera; Washburn and a couple of other remaining free agents are prime examples of what would've happened had Charlie Finley's brilliant idea been taken as something other than the rantings of a lunatic and implemented.

Right before the free agency floodgates opened, Finley floated the suggestion to make every player in baseball a free agent at the end of every year.

The other, less ruthless and cheap owners scoffed at the thought. What would the fans of the Orioles for example have thought of the possibility of losing Jim Palmer after one of his Cy Young Award years if George Steinbrenner offered him a bank truck? But Finley's idea would've flooded the market, forced players to take lesser offers to get their deals done early; or sat out and waited hoping to get lucky by January or February----as players are doing now.

Of course the Palmer/Tom Seaver/Reggie Jackson-level stars would've gotten paid; but the lower echelon player who had use----the Sal Bando-type----would've been in the exact same situation that is now an annual rite of passage for Orlando Hudson.

Instead of getting the 3-4 year deal Hudson would've gotten in the past, he's sat out until late in the winter and taken what he could get after sifting through middling offers from a couple of teams. This is what would've happened to a large chunk of players if there was no such thing as a long-term contract. It's only now that the owners are realizing----due to the economy and not any increased intelligence on their own----that if they hold their fire and don't panic, they can fill their holes just as effectively with the medium range player at a far lesser price than if they jump into free agency with both feet.

  • More computerized projections:

Here's CHONE's projections for the coming season----link.

I do suppose anything's possible and as long as they're not altered every other day as PECOTA has taken to doing, then whatever regarding pre-season predictions. But if you check the link, you see that they have five teams going 81-81. Five. That's not that much different from having ten teams go 81-81; or fifteen teams go 81-81. Now that would be parity.

Nor do I understand how a team like the Indians, who won 67 games last year and this winter have signed Mike Redmond and no one else, can rise to 81 wins.

And the White Sox? Under .500? With that pitching staff?

Obviously any prediction can technically be accurate, but when the computers and whatever else they use to come to the various formulations spit the final result, doesn't anyone think that it might be a little weird to have five teams break even? Think about it with a little realism rather than numbers; then answer the question.

  • Viewer Mail 2.6.2010:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Chien-Ming Wang:

I wonder if the Dodgers will sign Wang once he's cleared to pitch. Torre always liked him.

The Dodgers have been so frozen in place because of the McCourt divorce that they've done next to nothing. I'm sure Torre would love to have Wang and probably two of the other starting pitchers who sat on the market for ages, but they're sitting around in limbo. Whether they'll offer a lucrative enough deal for Wang is the question and at this point, I'd say they won't.

John Seal writes two comments RE the Athletics and PECOTA:

Holy moly! The A's are now back in a two-way tie for second place in the PECOTA standings! DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK!

Yeah, two comments in one day, sorry...but I caught an editing mistake in your Hot Stove Losers column. You wrote that the A's were 'going to take advantage of the market by focusing on defense', but mistakenly typed 'Jack Cust' instead of 'Coco Crisp'. Then you wrote that 'they needed run-producing bats' and mistakenly typed 'Coco Crisp' in place of 'Jack Cust' (plus I think you also hit delete after typing 'Kevin Kouzmanoff'). Maybe hire a proof reader to catch these things before they go live...I'm available at competitive rates!

PECOTA's mid-winter pennant race is getting so exciting that we may need a computerized pennant race show to keep track of all the computerized fluctuations. I can't even picture the anarchy going on in the zombie hives.

Dunno what's liable to happen in the event of a blackout. Would that be the 1994 for the stat zombie?

Sorry about the perceived mistakes, John; but as you know, my final word stays as is once I press "PUBLISH". Billy Beane's genius mind may work too fast for my hands to keep up.

We missed out last week on another level. I was ready to unleash if the A's had held onto Willy Taveras; think how great the A's defense would be if he used his innovative mind to stick Taveras in right center and Crisp in left center. The only balls that would be uncaught would be the ones flying over the fence; but they traded for him just to dump him. GENIUS!!!!!


She-Fan said...

Washburn said he might retire? Didn't Damon say the same thing before he started campaigning to be a Tiger?

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