After the Dodgers got their 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers kept their word to release all news and debriefings following the game with Manager Don Mattingly at the mic. The summary from what was said at the press conference:
- Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone — that news from GM Ned Coletti
- Grienke will see doctors in LA tomorrow, will get timeline then
- Mattingly says Carlos Quentin shouldn’t play until Grienke pitches again
- Says Carlos Quentin had “zero understanding of the game of baseball” in that context of a 3-2 pitch in a 2-1 game
- Mattingly not sure what Hairston was saying to the Padres’ Baker
- Once Grienke was hurt, and Matt Kemp knew about it, “he lost it”
- Per Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA, Jerry Hairston heard someone on the Padres making fun of Zack’s hurt shoulder, then “he lost it”
- Greinke said, “[Quentin] always seems to think I’m hitting you on purpose… I didn’t hit him on purpose”
- Greinke believes his collarbone broke in the collision
- Greinke says, “I don’t know anyone that’s hit him on purpose before… I think it’s just a ploy [Quentin] uses to try to get pitchers to pitch outside”
The manager understandably upset that he lost their #2 starter, and tomorrow we’ll probably find out how long Grienke will be out. The Padres and Dodgers will see each other 16 more times this season.
It’s raining lightly at Wrigley Field now. We’ll keep you posted if today’s game time is affected by the weather.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2013
Well, the weather hasn’t been California-style in Chicago, especially since yesterday when their final game against Milwaukee had to be postponed due to rain. As I look at weather.com, the zip code doesn’t say anything about heavy rains, although there is a chance of precipitation. Meanwhile, at the ballyard, we have lineups posted. For the visiting Giants, you’ll notice Nick Noonan is getting his first MLB start, and that Brandon Crawford is batting second. Marco Scutaro is getting the day off, but that doesn’t mean a middle infielder needs to bat second. I’m not going to get into a full-rage rant over this since this is one game, and it could even work out (see Ryan Theriot DH-ing in Game 4). For the Giants:
Nate Schierholtz gets a start against his old mates, and he’s getting his share of starts, too, which is what he wanted during his prime years. Nate should be getting his ring some time this year but…
#Cubs Schierholtz hasn’t heard from Giants as to when he’ll get his ring
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 11, 2013
I would expect he gets it in late July at the very latest when the Cubs come to town, where I’d expect him to receive a lukewarm reception.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2013
Looking at today’s starter, going to take a look at how each pitchers pitches fared in 2012. First for the visitors, Ryan Vogelsong:
Vogey has done a pretty good job of not letting everybody take advantage of his off-speed stuff, although perhaps his defense helped him out as you look at that BABIP. The Great Equalizer of the four-seam variety fared pretty well last year also.
And next, for the home team, Scott Feldman:
Not much use of the four-seamer, and more so of the sinker-cutter for balls in play or on a pitch that ended a plate appearance. Plenty of homers off of the cutter and the changeup, especially for the ratio of AB to HR for the changeup.
The game is scheduled to begin at 11:20PM PST, unless we hear about some postponements or anything.
Josh Hamilton, as you might have heard, hates people in Texas. Or Dallas. Or the Rangers. Something. With all the booing Hamilton received this weekend you’d think he’d have done something really, really bad. He had a poor stretch as the 2012 season came to an end, which didn’t sit well with fans, some perceived it as “giving up,” which is silly because I don’t get that. He signed with the Angels over the off-season, and the Rangers didn’t want to take that kind of financial gamble on him, so I’m not sure why they’re so mad about that. Would they have booed him less if he went to another non-AL West team? Yea, maybe a little. But what he said in Spring Training really got people in Texas going. Just stirring angry. Here’s what he said:
“Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. The good with the bad is they’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. You can understand a really true, true baseball town. There’s true baseball fans in Texas but it’s not a true baseball town.”
How dare he say Dallas is a football town! Mark Cuban is going to be pissed. And how will the Dallas Stars’ clever twitter account respond to that one??
Of course, you know that people are angry that he said Dallas isn’t a “true baseball town,” even though he clearly, and rightfully, acknowledged there are true baseball fans in Texas. Many people that attended the first games were really butthurt about this quote. Then I saw this sign on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball:
This can be read multiple ways:
- Before Arlington Hamilton was a was Baseball 1981 Born 1972 Town Now
- Before Hamilton was born 1981 Arlington was a Baseball 1972 Town Now
- Before Hamilton was born (1981) Arlington (1972-Now) was a Baseball Town
Huh. So from 1972-April 7, 2013 Arlington has been a baseball town? I’m hoping I see some really impressive figures to show me that this is the case. Should I not feed the trolls? I absolutely shouldn’t, but I’m curious because I actually forreally reals do not know what attendance was like before Hamilton, or myself, were born. Luckily for me, baseball reference always comes around to save the day:
|2013||Texas Rangers||4||2||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||138,080||46,027||1st of 10|
|2012||Texas Rangers||93||69||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||3,460,280||42,720||2nd of 14|
|2011||Texas Rangers||96||66||1||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||2,946,949||36,382||5th of 14|
|2010||Texas Rangers||90||72||1||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||2,505,171||30,928||5th of 14|
|2009||Texas Rangers||87||75||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||2,156,016||26,617||8th of 14|
|2008||Texas Rangers||79||83||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||1,945,677||24,021||11th of 14|
|2007||Texas Rangers||75||87||4||Ameriquest Field||2,353,862||29,060||8th of 14|
|2006||Texas Rangers||80||82||3||Ameriquest Field||2,388,757||29,491||7th of 14|
|2005||Texas Rangers||79||83||3||Ameriquest Field||2,525,221||31,176||6th of 14|
|2004||Texas Rangers||89||73||3||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,513,685||31,033||6th of 14|
|2003||Texas Rangers||71||91||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,094,394||25,857||7th of 14|
|2002||Texas Rangers||72||90||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,352,397||29,042||6th of 14|
|2001||Texas Rangers||73||89||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,831,021||34,525||5th of 14|
|2000||Texas Rangers||71||91||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,588,401||31,956||5th of 14|
|1999||Texas Rangers||95||67||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,771,469||34,216||5th of 14|
|1998||Texas Rangers||88||74||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,927,399||36,141||4th of 14|
|1997||Texas Rangers||77||85||3||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,945,228||36,361||4th of 14|
|1996||Texas Rangers||90||72||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,889,020||35,667||3rd of 14|
|1995||Texas Rangers||74||70||3||The Ballpark in Arlington||1,985,910||27,582||5th of 14|
|1994||Texas Rangers||52||62||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,503,198||39,733||3rd of 14|
|1993||Texas Rangers||86||76||2||Arlington Stadium||2,244,616||27,711||6th of 14|
|1992||Texas Rangers||77||85||4||Arlington Stadium||2,198,231||27,139||7th of 14|
|1991||Texas Rangers||85||77||3||Arlington Stadium||2,297,720||28,367||7th of 14|
|1990||Texas Rangers||83||79||3||Arlington Stadium||2,057,911||25,096||7th of 14|
|1989||Texas Rangers||83||79||4||Arlington Stadium||2,043,993||25,234||9th of 14|
|1988||Texas Rangers||70||91||6||Arlington Stadium||1,581,901||19,530||11th of 14|
|1987||Texas Rangers||75||87||6||Arlington Stadium||1,763,053||21,766||10th of 14|
|1986||Texas Rangers||87||75||2||Arlington Stadium||1,692,002||20,889||8th of 14|
|1985||Texas Rangers||62||99||7||Arlington Stadium||1,112,497||13,906||12th of 14|
|1984||Texas Rangers||69||92||7||Arlington Stadium||1,102,471||13,781||12th of 14|
|1983||Texas Rangers||77||85||3||Arlington Stadium||1,363,469||16,833||10th of 14|
|1982||Texas Rangers||64||98||6||Arlington Stadium||1,154,432||14,252||11th of 14|
|1981||Texas Rangers||57||48||2||Arlington Stadium||850,076||15,180||10th of 14|
|1980||Texas Rangers||76||85||4||Arlington Stadium||1,198,175||14,977||9th of 14|
|1979||Texas Rangers||83||79||3||Arlington Stadium||1,519,671||18,761||8th of 14|
|1978||Texas Rangers||87||75||2||Arlington Stadium||1,447,963||17,658||9th of 14|
|1977||Texas Rangers||94||68||2||Arlington Stadium||1,250,722||15,441||9th of 14|
|1976||Texas Rangers||76||86||4||Arlington Stadium||1,164,982||14,382||5th of 12|
|1975||Texas Rangers||79||83||3||Arlington Stadium||1,127,924||14,099||5th of 12|
|1974||Texas Rangers||84||76||2||Arlington Stadium||1,193,902||14,924||4th of 12|
|1973||Texas Rangers||57||105||6||Arlington Stadium||686,085||8,470||11th of 12|
|1972||Texas Rangers||54||100||6||Arlington Stadium||662,974||8,610||10th of 12|
Don’t you think “Baseball Towns” would consistently rank in the at least the top five of their league? They did so in 1974-1976, so maybe the area was feeling a little baseball-y, but with a capacity of over 35,700, through 1985 Rangers fans were only able to break 1.5 million attendees once with a possibility of being able to seat 2.891 million fans. This doesn’t mean there weren’t true baseball fans around, just saying the attendance data doesn’t suggest it was that kind of town from 1972-1985 whatsoever. Now, I do get that it’s hard to support a 100 loss team, I do, but there were also some winning records there, as well.
The question for now though that is Arlington a baseball town in the present an accurate statement is not one I could factually and emphatically state “yes” or “no,” and I know the SABR conference mentioned something about the growth in “unique” Texas Rangers fans, so I don’t think Arlington is inching away from becoming a baseball town. Word that I’ve just seen around twitter is that Arlington still isn’t a baseball town, what with their love for football at every level. Their current ballpark, The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, has the potential to bring in nearly 3.9 million fans a season with the over 48,000 seating capacity it has.
So now that some Rangers fans live with a sound bite-sized chip on their shoulders, I’ll see it as interesting to see how they show up in good times and bad, and when I visit sometime in either 2014 or 2015, I’m very interested to see what I’ll experience when I get to the area, but it’s not going to matter to me whether it’s a baseball town or not. Just give me baseball.
I don’t play fantasy baseball, so I’m not going to tell you how my team is doing, but I know a lot of the baseball nation does, so this seems important (also a lot of people felt it was inevitable):
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) April 7, 2013
Carlos Marmol and his walking ways out, Kyuji Fujikawa and his Japanese baseball ways in. Fujikawa has only appeared in three games so far this season, so here’s him throwing an 89 MPH fastball down the pipe for a save the other day
This next story was kind of funny because people can get kind of dramatic:
Carlos Marmol gets ‘wiki-vandalized’ cbsprt.co/Y5MmMX
— Dayn Perry (@daynperry) April 7, 2013
Everything’s all good with Freddie Freeman right? No health issues to worry about or anything right?
Freddie Freeman has been placed on the 15-day DL (strained right oblique). The Braves have purchased the contract of INF Blake DeWitt (#32).
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 7, 2013
Sigh. Chris Johnson is in the lineup playing first base today, and I expect him to get most of the at bats in Freeman’s absence. So far, the Braves are 4-1 in games he starts, and 0-0 in games he doesn’t. Not sure how the Braves will respond to that since they haven’t won any games with him out of the lineup.
The regular season begins
this Sunday tomorrow at 5:05PM PST when the Texas Rangers play the Houston Astros in that famous AL West rivalry, which means this week is all about previews, bold predictions, and message board put downs. I will say I am not good at predicting things, so let’s get that straight. Like everybody else though, I have an opinion on the matter of how events will play out. Let us preview the postseason, where the best team doesn’t always win due to the randomness of how the short series will go. It’s a first team to eleven wins once the DS begins, and normally the team that catches fire tends to do the celebrating. Also in my analysis, the team that scores more runs tend to win games. I’ll start with who I have going into the playoffs, then the predictions of the resulting postseason series. After that, I’ll go into regular season awards.
NL Playoff Seeding
1. Washington Nationals
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Atlanta Braves
5. San Francisco Giants
Wild-Card Play-in Game
Atlanta beats San Francisco
Atlanta beats Washington
Cincinnati beats Los Angeles
Cincinnati beats Atlanta
AL Playoff Seeding
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Texas Rangers
Wild-Card Play-in Game
Tampa Bay beats Texas
Detroit beats Tampa Bay
Toronto beats LA of A
Detroit beats Toronto
World Series (game will be in AL Park when AL wins ASG)
Detroit beats Cincinnati
Don’t worry Tiger fans, I’m sure my predictions won’t be correct!
Regular Season Awards
I will go into who the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year for both leagues will be. These will also probably be wrong.
AL MVP — Mike Trout
Asking me if I’m mad, bro? Nah, not mad, but let’s say Mike Trout does even 80% of what he did in 2012 in 2013, and his team gets to the playoffs, the voters are going to give him his “redemption,” and feel good that “see, we don’t hate advanced stats,” as we roll our collective eyes together. Sophomore slump? Maybe a little, but the only thing that will stop this fish is if he gets hurt playing the game.
NL MVP — Justin Upton
They say a change of scenery can do wonders for a player, and how about playing with an organization that wants you? I’d say that’s a good start. I think Upton will have a career year, players like Braun and Posey will regress a little, and Upton will find his team in the playoffs. Justin Upton may not have the best year of everybody, but I think he gets the award.
AL Cy Young — Justin Verlander
Kind of like Trout, he’s only going to get stopped by an injury. He should continue to rack up the pitcher wins, satisfying the old school, and his team will make the playoffs all with lots of money, and lots of strikeouts. Probably not many multi-homer against games though. Verlander is just excellent.
NL Cy Young — Clayton Kershaw
Dickey was a great story in 2012, but I still side with the overall metrics a bit on Kershaw, believing he got snubbed by just a little bit, nothing too controversial. Kershaw, like Verlander, will be getting plenty of pitcher wins behind a boosted offense, and he’s still really, really good. Oh, and his team will be going to the playoffs so that equals instant votes.
AL Rookie of the Year — Jackie Bradley Jr.
Shot up the prospect lists in 2012 into 2013, and is projected to start with the team. For the kid, the defense will be getting peoples attention, while the stick may not be able to do anything super special, it’ll be enough. Lots of names for both RoY awards, JBJ just happens to be my guess right now.
NL Rookie of the Year — Zack Wheeler
Wheeler will not come up until June and he’ll still get the award. Dominating the minors, and yes, I understand the pain he’s going to cause Giants fans, but the kid is good, and will be going after his opposition from the get-go with heat and curveballs and breaking balls and strikeouts.
Let’s hear what your predictions are! Pretty much anything goes before the season gets going.
So I was just wandering around Valley Fair when I went into the Giants Dugout Store and was enjoying all the stuff they didn’t have on sale until I managed to find the gold mine of “Why is this being sold?” in an Emmanuel Burriss Mini-Helmet. It got me thinking: What things would I rather have than that? So I investigated MLBShop.com to find some materials I’d rather have that cost the same or less than the mini-helmet.
Would this be less awkward?
Yes, you can have a twitter shirt!
Something that looks like a consolation prize for your favorite 2012 Triple Crown winner
A clock that will likely break down soon after you get it!
Don’t use this cup when in an altered state
A mostly blue program from the World Series? Clearly East Coast Bias!
Wear this to Arizona, St. Louis, or Cincinnati games!
A bobblehead with a real live face of Marco Scutaro!
For anyone that finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the World Series
And finally, something that will serve better as a trash can than the mini-helmet:
CSN’s Andrew Baggarly with the breaking news to start off your Thursday:
The stories of Andres Torres are well known by now, of him being an incredibly hard working, and just as sweet of a man, so you can understand why everyone is pulling for him. After a magical .358 wOBA, 6.9 fWAR season in 2010, Torres couldn’t repeat the magic, going .292, .297 and 2.2, 1.7 in wOBA and fWAR in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Andres is a speed guy and will be on the bench possibly platooning with Gregor Blanco, or being a defensive replacement, getting his pinch hitting opportunities as the season goes on. He was traded in the 2011-2012 offseason with Ramon Ramirez for current CF Angel Pagan and cash considerations, so in the end, the Giants traded one year of Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan, cash, and a one year loan of Andres Torres. Nice.
Update: He will make $2MM this year and has signed a Major League deal, per Baggs.
I’m guessing this for sure will put Francisco Peguero back in Triple-A Fresno, while the Giants could continue to search for a RHH bat to come off the bench to maybe find a better option than the lighter hitting Torres. There have been whispers of Brandon Belt playing LF when Buster Posey plays 1B, so if that were true, the Giants would be done shopping for their MLB OF.
As for wondering how you should feel about this move? As for me, I am happy, from both a baseball, and personal level.
The San Francisco Giants and Angel Pagan have agreed on what I believe to be a below-market money/above-market years contract in a four-year, forty-million dollar deal with the assumption that he will be their everyday center fielder. The payouts for Pagan will go like this:
- 2013: $7 million
- 2014: $9MM
- 2015: $9MM
- 2016: $10MM
- $5MM signing bonus
If Angel Pagan can hang around that above-.320 wOBA, .300 BABIP, 20+ SB, being above a 2.0 fWAR player, this contract should look pretty good for the Giants even with TV money boosting payrolls (for the most part) all around the league.
As some, and notable beat writer Andrew Baggarly have also mentioned, Pagan’s contract may also suggest prospect Gary Brown may not be the super-leadoff-hitter in CF that we thought he could end up being. Additionally, with a Hunter Pence long-term deal not on the horizon, this gives Gary Brown time to develop in 2013 and maybe there’s a possibility he finds some magic to get his stock back up in time for either the latter part of ’13, or the 2014 season. Don’t rely on that last part, though.
Payroll Update: When I divide up the signing bonus across four years, and not including any arbitration figures, I have the Giants at $95,033,033 dedicated to 2013 right now. The Giants are said to be setting course now for Marco Scutaro.
Today could be a day of many trades, and Atlanta and the Angels of Anaheim have kicked off the day with some names you’ve heard of: Atlanta sending Tommy Hanson out for Jordan Walden. Here’s why Atlanta may be saying that they were ready to part ways while he had value:
This is his average velocity through the years on his fastball. Notice how in 2009 it’s in the 90′s , and in 2010 it’s also there, and 2011 OK it’s still there but the velocity range is down and then in 2012 you’re like dude, not even touching 95 anymore? What did you get older? No, but really, it’s not like Hanson has been consistently good: like his decline in fastball velocity, he’s seen a rise in BB/9 and FIP, which is not a good thing at all. Here’s what they got in Jordan Walden (who still doesn’t hit arbitration until 2014):
That’s in three seasons (’10-’12), the first one in 2010 not even being a full season in the bigs. His velocity looks like this:
It’s not the triple digit heat you might remember him for anymore, but mid-90′s is nothing to scoff at. The Braves add another power arm to their already powerful bullpen. If Hanson (going into his first of three arbitration years) regains his form, this will be a great trade for the Angels, but as it is on paper, I deem the Braves the winner of this early morning trade.
Not every day you wake up to find out that a guy that went to the same undergrad institution you did signed a 6-year/$100MM contract extension, and that’s what Evan Longoria and the Rays have agreed to, per multiple internet sources. Here’s the quick twitter story on this extension: The current details of his contract look like this, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts: So already with one team-friendly deal currently being worked, he signs another, and maybe him getting injured this year and playing only 74 games in 2012 was the best thing that could happen for the Rays affording Evan Longoria for the long term. In 2017 when Longo’s next contract begins, he will be entering his age-31 season, so it is very possible that he will end up being a Ray for life when all is said and done. This is an extremely team-friendly deal, and if you’re wondering why, consider the numbers for Evan Longoria among all MLB players from the 2008-2012 seasons: 20th in HR (130), 17th in SLG (.516), 24th in wOBA (.373), 15th in wRC+ (136), and has accumulated the 3rd highest fWAR (29.3). While he may not be putting up chart-toppers overall, those same numbers amongst 3B have him ranked 3rd, 2nd, 5th, T-2nd, and 1st, so the numbers tell you if Longoria wanted to wait, it is possible that he could have received more money. It would be unfair to bring up the counterpoint though that Tim Lincecum was offered a $20MM AAV package for five years and turned that money down, and maybe Evan decided that turning down $100MM wasn’t in his best interests.
Long Beach State now has three former-Dirtbag and current-MLB players signed to relatively long-term and rich deals in Troy Tulowitzki, Jered Weaver, and now Evan Longoria. Danny Espinosa should be the next former-LBSU guy on the list to get a long-term deal.