Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Haywood's a Convicted Felon, Isn't He Monty?"

  • Not the thing you wanna see when you open up the newspaper:

Harry Doyle: "Haywood's a convicted felon, isn't he Monty?"

Monty: "Doesn't really say here."

Harry Doyle: "Well, he should be."

Of course the above snippet is from the film Major League as Harry Doyle, played by Bob Uecker, discusses Yankees slugger Clu Haywood (played, interestingly, by former American League Cy Young Award winner Pete Vuckovich) and a prison record he may or may not have.

This occurred to me as I opened the newspaper and saw the following headline: "Mets' Closer is Arrested in Assault After Loss".

You can read the NY Times story here.

There's not much to analyze or say. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was arrested after the Mets loss for assaulting his father-in-law. K-Rod has shown a short fuse in his time with the Mets----mostly this season----that was never evident while he was with the Angels. Whether it was more deftly covered up or controlled by Mike Scioscia and the organization while he was in Anaheim or if he's angry about the Mets stumble, is unclear; but this is about the fourth public incident that I can think of regarding K-Rod.

There was his angry (over)reaction to Brian Bruney's comments regarding K-Rod's post-save histrionics; the near fistfight with Willie Harris after hitting Harris with a pitch early in the season; the scuffle with Mets bullpen coach Randy Niemann; and now this, which is the most disturbing one of all.

And this is the stuff we know about.

K-Rod has been upset (rightfully) with his haphazard utilization by Mets manager Jerry Manuel, but that's no excuse. In the cases of Bruney and Harris, K-Rod had a right to react in some way; but you can't go around hitting people and since it's K-Rod's 53-year-old father-in-law, the age disparity makes it worse.

Naturally, there will be talk of the Mets getting rid of K-Rod, but his contract runs through next year at a guaranteed $11.5 million and a $17.5 million option for 2012 with a $3.5 million buyout; this becomes guaranteed if (as is almost certain) K-Rod finishes 55 games in 2011; has a combined 100 games finished in 2010-2011 (he has 45 this year); and is declared healthy by the doctors after 2011 (I'm not sure what that means).

The option is going to be activated by performance clauses.

K-Rod also has a limited no-trade clause in which he can block trades to 10 teams.

The Mets may see if they can rein K-Rod in and use him until he's gone, but presumably they'll listen to offers to get him out of town. The one thing they can do to this end is approach teams with similarly weighty contracts and a need at closer like the Mariners. Would they take K-Rod for Chone Figgins or Ichiro Suzuki? Possibly. The Mets could pursue a replacement, veteran, free agent closer like Rafael Soriano or try to trade for Jonathan Papelbon.

They can get rid of K-Rod if they want to; and judging by the way he's behaved, I would think that they do want to.

  • Inexplicable laziness:

Slightly over two years ago, I launched into an ill-thought-out and vicious attack against against ESPN's Rob Neyer in a posting. Partially it was due to my frustration at the lack of attention for quality work I was doing; I was being ignored due to the ineptitude of the administrator then at MLBlogs (he's still there and still inept, among other things); part of it was because I don't agree with almost anything Neyer says; and part of it was because I posted a comment on that was deleted. (Idiot that I was, I posted my blog in a link and didn't realize that was against their commenting rules.)

I felt legitimately bad (as much as I can feel bad about anything I say and do) and apologized after I heard from Neyer himself. It was actually more embarrassment than anything because as often as I go off, I never attack people personally in such a mean way.

Be that as it may, since then, I've been reluctant to criticize him when he says something stat zombieishly absurd or out-and-out mean-spirited as I feel he does. I've credited him when he's been right and discussed when he's been wrong, but have held back.

But enough time has passed for me to cease letting things go in the interests of penance.

In yesterday's posting regarding the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers, Neyer writes the following:

And there's help available. Among the free agents who might be available this winter: Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, Tim Hudson, Ted Lilly, Vicente Padilla, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb.

Now, it takes no effort whatsoever to examine the contract status of players. None. In today's click-a-day world of gathering information, not only is accurate contract information available on the blog Cot's Baseball Contracts, but Baseball-Reference has started posting contract status as well; and then there's Rotoworld, which also has contract details.

It's okay to make mistakes----it happens to everyone----but to: A) not know that Josh Beckett signed a contract extension earlier in the year; and B) not check one's information when it literally takes 3 seconds, is the height of apathy about one's work. It's as if he's saying, "ESPN is paying me; I owe them a posting; here's the posting; screw off."

Click onto the B-R stats of Josh Beckett and Tim Hudson. Neither are free agents; in fact, Beckett signed his extension earlier this year.

How does a supposed baseball expert providing analysis for the "Worldwide Leader in Sports", ESPN, not know this?


And if he's not sure, why doesn't he do the tiniest amount of fact-checking to avoid such a ridiculous mistake?

He's getting paid for this.

Think about that.

I generally don't compare my work to others; I'd say the amount of time and care I put into what I do is self-evident; but you look at Neyer's postings and see that it takes probably 20 minutes for him to write each of them, his writing is mediocre at best, and he makes unconscionable mistakes to boot.

It takes me about 2 hours to write, edit and pimp. At least. Sometimes more. And there is a with something you're not going to get anywhere else.

In comparing the work, there is no comparison in quality, aptitude or care.

This has nothing to do with factional stat zombie/old-school lines in the sand; nor does it have to do with a difference of opinion; if someone expresses a strong feeling on what they believe and presents it cogently, the content is largely irrelevant. But he doesn't bother. The mistake is still up there in the posting, the entirety of which you can find here (presumably it will be changed once this starts floating around and he hears from his bosses, but I saved the screenshot).

I would literally love to get paid for writing about baseball as long as I was interfered with on a minimal basis and didn't have to bow to corporate whims about what I'm saying. One thing you know about me is that I don't take cheap shots. But they prefer to have this type of garbage from people who don't care; and that reflects terribly on ESPN.

The Brett Fav-ruh lust; the commercials that blur any objectivity; the clowns they push as on-air talent; and their relentless pursuit of self/cross-promotion are daily aspects of ESPN, but nothing will turn people off more than dismissing their intelligence by continually delivering disinterested pablum as they do now. Eventually, they'll pay the price.

I'd say they should be ashamed if they had any shame left. You tell me whether you think that they do. We know the answer though, don't we?

  • Viewer Mail 8.12.2010:

Gabriel (Capo) writes in response to Joe and RE Brandon Phillips:

Thanks for your comments, Joe.

I think of Brandon Phillips as the Reds' version of Jimmy Rollins.

I don't see Jimmy Rollins ever going that far publicly. Privately? Probably. Publicly? No way.

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE my alternate blog:

I had no idea you had the "My Father's Ring" blog! Love it!

Jane is referring to It's My Father's Ring. It's the scene man; and I'm gonna raise some non-baseball-related hell.

Jeff (Street Boss) at Red State Blue State writes RE the Cardinals-Reds fight, Yadier Molina and Brandon Phillips:

Well said on the Cards/Reds brawl.

Also of note, Brandon Phillips is 1 for 10 in this series (scratch that, now 1 for 11 and counting)... so yeah, he can suck a big, RED, fat one.

Your description of Yadi is dead on... which is why he's one of my personal favorites to follow/watch.

Phillips wound up 2 for 14 in the series. At least Rollins backs up his mouth.

The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger writes RE Reggie Jackson and other fights:

Wow! Thanks for jarring that Reggie memory loose. I remember watching that game. Remember this one - Who knew Graeme Lloyd was such a tough guy? The funniest was when Robin Ventura went after Nolan Ryan and the old man threw Ventura a Noogie Party.

Lloyd didn't connect with one punch when he came out swinging against Armando Benitez in that 1998 Yankees-Orioles brawl. He gets an "A" for effort, but "D" for execution.

Ryan has laughed when asked about the fight with Robin Ventura and said that as Ventura approached the mound, he sensed that Ventura was already realizing he may have made a mistake. Ryan was a predator on the mound and wasn't shy about letting people know he was the boss with glares, threats and knockdowns; it was known around the league, so Ventura has to be given some credit for standing up to him.

Max Stevens writes RE the Mets:

My feeling is that the Mets should shelve Jason Bay for the remainder of the 2010 season. I was dismayed this morning to see reports that he's insisting he'll be back this year. What purpose would that serve at this point? It's high risk, low reward. The Mets may have one final run in them, but, let's face it, they will not be making the playoffs this year - they won't be able to catch the Phillies and the Braves in the division, nor will they be able to jump over the six teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race. (Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong about this, but I just don't see it).

If Bay's healthy and able to play, he should play. You don't want him going into the off-season with the sour taste from his poor performance and injury hovering around in his head. There's no reason to give him the rest of the season off if he's cleared and Bay's not the type of player to say, "that's it, I'm going home" when given the excuse; some players would do that.

No, they're not catching the Braves and Phillies this year, but while the negativity of the organization as a train wreck still has some agenda-driven holdouts, it's not as prevalent. The same people who were desperately backpedaling when the team was playing well in June are peeking out of their holes hoping it's safe to start in again. It's not.

The Mets have enlivened the club with the young players and are in far better straits than any of the hit-and-run media suggested.

Insignificant Wrangler writes RE the Mariners:

The Mariners were confusing this off-season, acquiring Cliff Lee, but failing to go after a meaningful bat. Although I will say that I thought the Figgins signing was great. I know the career OPS is only .747, but its backed by a respectable OBP and all those steals. A great #2 hitter. They just forgot to find a 3, 4, 5 or 6 guy! Oops!

It was all part of Jack Zduriencik's "coming and going" series of moves. Last season, he dumped salary and simultaneously added players he wanted as part of his blueprint; he was willing to listen to anything and consider everything. It's a gutsy and difficult way to rebuild and I bet, if you cornered him, he'd admit that the 85-77 turnaround in 2009 from 61-101 in 2008 was more of a hindrance than a help to the long-term plan because of the raised expectations. He should not lose his job over this.

I railed against the Chone Figgins signing at the time. It was a terrible idea to give a speed player at age 32 a 4-year contract with an easily achievable fifth year kicker to make it, basically, a guaranteed $45 million. With the K-Rod mess and Figgins's behavior with the Mariners, it's starting to look as if former Angels lose their bearings when with less regimented clubs. The Mets aren't exactly the bastions of organization, nor do they have a strong-handed manager or GM who's able to do crisis control; the Mariners are a nightmare. Presumably Figgins will welcome a trade and the Mariners would love to be rid of him.

Bottom line, the Mariners don't have anyone who can hit the ball out of the park. Even the speed-defense Cardinals under Whitey Herzog always had one guy who could go deep whether it was George Hendrick or Jack Clark. A team has to have it and the Mariners don't.

I was a guest with Sal at SportsFan Buzz 8 days ago talking about the trade deadline, Ozzie Guillen and the pennant races. Click the link above or go to the site to download it on I-Tunes. Or you can get it directly here.

Also, the Red State Blue State podcast appearance is up as well. Click here for the RSBS blog and here to hear it directly.

My book is still available on Amazon, I-Universe and Barnes and It's available for download as an E-book here. You can also now get it for less that five bucks on BN via download here.

It's about the time in which the book is useful to see what I got right and wrong; and there are examples in both cases. It's fun!!!


Matt said...

I'm watching the Mets on MLB network and the announcer says that the media descended on CitiField in case K-Rod gets released from the centerfield police holding cell. I wonder if this is the first time in baseball history that a player has sat through a game while under arrest in his home stadium.

Jeff said...

I'm through with Neyer. That's inexcusable. For all the reasons you stated. I can't stand shit like that. Seriously. He gets paid?!?!? FTW!!!! And I don't watch ESPN anymore unless they're broadcasting a game I want to watch (sound off).

As for K-Rod, I'm signing him up for my MLB-UFC tourney. More info to come...

She-Fan said...

Why did the cops keep K-Rod at the stadium overnight? And where was he? In the clubhouse in handcuffs? How come they didn't cart him off to jail?