The Filibuster

What fool GM do you think is going to overpay for Josh Hamilton?

Jonestein
Fort Worth, TX
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“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction.”

Albert Einstein said that. Jon Daniels DID that.

He and the Rangers made their qualifying offer to Sir Parties-a-Lot and now they can sit back and let madness ensue knowing they’ll at least get a nice draft pick if and when some insane club with house money decides to give Josh Hamilton what he wants. (From what I have been reading on Twitter and some other baseball-centric forums, dude is asking for 7 years, $175 million.)


Right? WTF Josh Hamilton? SEVEN YEARS? ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS?!?

If this doesn’t prove Nietzsche’s god is dead lesson, I don’t know what does. Look, I’m impressed with the healthy Josh Hamilton just as much as any one else, but the problems with handing Hamilton a multi-year $100 million+ contract are as well known and documented as Hamilton is out of touch with reality.

1) Dude is a china doll. Can’t stay healthy.

2) Dude is (and always will be) an addict.

3) Dude is also a well documented RELAPSE just waiting to happen.

One minute Josh is manning left field, hitting bombs, the next minute he’s doing t***y shots off your college aged daughter, making it rain with whipped cream and pay-puh. Don’t believe me? Do some Google image searching.

Too risky. Way. Too. Risky. I wouldn’t give him anything over three years. Period. I’d pay him what he’s worth — close to the $20 million a year threshold if healthy (and sober). But no way I’d trust him for anything more than three years. His record speaks for itself.

And while I’m all for giving folks second, third, fourth chances, I’m also smart enough to know when to say when. Hamilton (and his enablers) seem to have a problem with that.

The good news, for sanity’s sake, is that most of the big pocketed clubs don’t have any room for Hamilton. I hear the Braves are interested but don’t want to be too left handed. And the breakout Orioles are in the mix too. But don’t expect L.A. or New York or Boston to go there. I’m not sure the night life in those cities could handle a potential Hamilton disaster either, and that’s really saying something.

So go ahead. Hate me ‘cuz I’m hatin’ on Hamilton’s free agency, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Is It Tuesday Yet?

While some are worried about Zack Greinke and Joshy Hamilton’s free agencies, I’m stuck on the suspense of which Republicrat will crush the liberty-lovin’ man into nothing. In fact, the suspense is literally killing me.

Okay, maybe not literally killing me, but it is literally making me cry. Bronco Bamma girl, I feel your pain.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

On the Right Side of Beltran

You know what was going through my mind yesterday? How terrifyingly awesome it must be to plummet towards earth at the speed of sound. You know what else was going through my mind? How glad I am that we have Carlos Beltran.

And I’m not just talking about a mild-mannered ball-bashing Carlos Beltran either. No, I’m talking about a mild-mannered ball-bashing and JADED Beltran. Despite what little Beltran has made of it to the press, I would guess there’s a certain undefinable stick-it-to-em-ness in Carlos’ bat this National League Championship Series, and whatever angst it might have been made of certainly stuck it to ‘em last night.

I mean, I saw it too, how the Giants turned their noses up towards the possibility of keeping Beltran through free agency last winter. In fact, they didn’t even make dude an offer, opting to bank on the offense of Melky Cabrera instead of having the solid (and, I should add: CLEAN) Mr. Beltran anchoring the middle of their lineup.

Well, we all know how well that turned out, don’t we? Meanwhile, all Beltran did was play 151 games with 26 doubles, 32 homers and 97 RBI.

Still, here we are: Cardinals and Giants, NLCS, and only three wins away from defending our World Series crown.

Boy am I glad Beltran is on our team.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right (and biased).

Peace,

Jeff

Why I’m Rooting Against the Angels

It’s nothing personal. Really. Halos fans are cool. And when I lived in SoCal, one of my favorite things to do was head on down to the Big A. But this has nothing to do with the Angels or their fans and everything to do with her.

I am over her. I am. We had our good times, and yeah, she broke my heart into a bazillion little pieces, but it’s over now. I’ve been over it.

For a while now.

It’s just that running into her during the playoffs — seeing how shiny and beautiful and happy she is with another man — well, just the idea of it happening like that so fast makes me want to puke. And while I’m sure there will be a time when seeing her prosper will not make me dizzy with envy, that time is not now.

Not yet.

Go A’s!

Five largest MLB Free Agent contracts of this off season

Mlblogo 
Here is a quick look at some of the money that has been thrown around this off season:

  1. Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox: 142 million
  2. Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: 125 million
  3. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies: 120 million
  4. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers: 80 million
  5. Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox: 56 million

Now some of these contracts will live up to their size and their hype, however at least one of them will blow up in the team's face. I wonder which one. Also kind of interesting that the New York Yankees had just the sixth biggest deal on the list at 51 million for their own Derek Jeter.

Should These Giants Stay or Should They Go?

Bradshawpats 

Now that everyone has had some time to cool off from the Giants latest late-season collapse, I think it’s about time to start looking ahead.  With the Eagles being eliminated from the playoffs, the dark cloud looming over the Giants’ offseason has now become the amount of key players who are free agents.  With all of the uncertainty regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement we don’t know yet when free agency will open or exactly how the process will work.  Regardless, let’s take a look at which vital contributors the NYG should bring back no matter the circumstances.

Ahmad Bradshaw: STAY

No I’m not just saying this because Bradshaw is my favorite player on the team and if he leaves I would need to buy a new jersey to wear on Sundays.  Over the past few seasons Bradshaw has proven to be one of the most dynamic running backs in the league and his combination of speed and toughness can be matched by only a few others.  There are those who speculate that the Giants could let him go because he’s earned a big pay day and his fumbling problems may not make him worth the price tag.  I guess I can understand if they don’t want to pay workhorse money to a committee back, but not keeping one of your best players because if a problem that can be fixed with proper coaching is just lazy.  I hate to insult Bradshaw by comparing him to Tiki Barber, but if Tiki can fix a fumbling problem, anyone can.  Even if you’re going to roll with Brandon Jacobs as your starter he needs a complimentary back, and there are none better than Bradshaw.

Mathias Kiwanuka: GO

I like Kiwi and don’t necessarily want to see him go, but he is one of the most expendable free agents on the team.  There is not another team in the league with as many feared pass rushers as the NYG and GM Jerry Reese seems to keep drafting a new one every year.  Even if Kiwi does return, he probably won’t be higher than fourth on the depth chart.  He seemed poised to break out last season after posting four sacks in the first three games, but a herniated disc ended his campaign prematurely.  Reese has been quoted as saying the team may offer him a one year deal to rebuild his value and prove he can stay healthy, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough for Kiwanuka.  There will most likely be teams out there willing to give him a more lucrative contract and it doesn’t seem like the Giants will be willing to match a larger offer at this time.

Kevin Boss: STAY

The Bossman should be resigned fairly easily by the NYG.  The former fifth round pick shouldn’t command an outrageous salary and is a key contributor to the Giants offensive plans.  Despite struggling with drops a bit this season, Boss has really come on a complete tight end in both the passing and running games.  There may be a decent market for his services, but even with an early draft pick in Travis Beckum behind him, Boss should not be allowed to walk by Giants management.  If anything they need to reward him for all of those terrifying hits that he takes.

Steve Smith: STAY

The last thing the Giants need right now is to let go of any wide receiver, much less their best possession receiver and third down target.  Smith’s inability to stay healthy this season has arguably the biggest impact on the team down the stretch.  After his injury the team relied on big plays to Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks (when he was healthy) for points in the passing game.  Gone were the long methodical drives where Stevie could be relied on to keep moving the chains and keep defenses on the field.  Derek Hagan filled in as best as he could as the possession receiver, but this team unquestionably needs Steve Smith back next season and every season after that.  Smith is damaged goods right now and he could come back on an incentive laden deal, but when he gets over his nagging injuries there is not a guy in the league that I would want on my team for a big third down conversion more than Steve Smith.

1stevie 
Don't forget to check out my Twitter and if you're a Rutgers sports fan visit the sports section of NewBrunswickPress.com where I contribute.

Should Red Sox Fans Feel Guilty?

It has been an incredible off season for the Red Sox. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, and the Sox appear to be close to signing Brian Fuentes. These additions make the Red Sox favorites not only for this season but for seasons to come. Is it too much though? Are the Red Sox becoming the Yankees?

There are two schools of thought here. The first is real simple, the Red Sox are just like the Yankees and are trying to buy a championship. There is no question the Red Sox are able to do things that most organizations are not able to do. Throw in the fact that Red Sox fans seem to be everywhere and invade stadiums from coast to coast and you can see why the average fan lumps the Red Sox in with the Yankees.
The second school of thought says the Red Sox are nothing like the Yankees. The facts show that the Red Sox payroll will be about the same as last year's and the for the next few seasons the Sox payroll will be right around that $170 million mark just below the tax threshold level. 
Crawford and Gonzalez basically replace the salaries of Beltre and Victor Martinez. Crawford's contract is back loaded and he will only make $14 million this year. Adrian Gonzalez is set to make a little over $6 million this season with a big extension coming real soon.
The 2012 Red Sox will be without the big contracts of Drew, Ortiz, Papelbon, Cameron, Scutaro. All that money coming off the books will allow the increase of Crawford's salary along with Adrian Gonzalez's extension. 
So maybe Red Sox fans shouldn't feel guilty but instead be proud that the Red Sox and Theo Epstein thought ahead. The moves and non moves that have been made over the last few years set things up for this season and seasons to come. Maybe that bridge year that Theo talked about is making sense after all. While the Yankees are spending money on aging players, the Red Sox are spending their money on elite players heading into their prime. 
Do the Red Sox have an advantage over the small market teams? Of course. Pittsburgh and the Tampa can't afford long terms deals like the ones given to and about to be given to players like Gonzalez and Crawford. Point well taken, but the Red Sox are not at the level of the Yankees and never will be when it comes to payroll and revenue streams. The Red Sox are at the next level lumped in with the Phillies, Mets, Angels etc. Don't feel guilty Red Sox fans. This off-season was great because the Red Sox are run the right way and have been run the right way since 2002. 

 

Phillies Off-Season Report on 6-ABC

Last night, 6-ABC Philadelphia aired a special report on the Phillies Off-Season.  The report covered the weddings of Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, Jamie Moyer’s charity work, Chad Durbin’s business venture, the Phillies Cruise and Charlie Manuel’s weight loss.  The Phillies Cruise coverage is about 3 minutes into the program and you can see five of my photos featured in that portion of the report with my name listed underneath:

And here are still shots of the photos as they aired in the report:6 abc Cruise photos

Special thanks to Scott Palmer and Scott Nickle at the Phillies and Beth Widhson at Holland America for including me in this project :O)

Earlier this week, there were a few very “minor” signings that occurred.  The Phillies picked up veteran outfielder Freddy Guzman on a Minor League contract.  He will not be invited to Spring Training.  And veteran right-hander Oscar Villarreal was also given Minor League contract on Thursday.  Villareal is coming off Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2009 season.  He was with the Astros in 2008, the Braves from 2006-2007 and the D-Backs three years prior to that.  With many question marks still in the bullpen, another in inexpensive, yet experienced arm hanging around is a good idea.

So the countdown to Spring Training continues…only 6 days until the truck rolls out and 13 days until pitchers and catchers report!

Rick Ankiel: This Man Cannot Be Serious

rick ankiel royals.jpg

If I were stranded on a remote island ten years ago and I just now got back to see Rick Ankiel is playing center field for the Kansas City Royals, I would be thoroughly confused.  We all know what a tremendous story Rick Ankiel's career has been up to this point.  So let me be clear: as a Cardinals fan, I fully support Ricky and thank him for all he did in a Cards uniform.  I wish him the best of luck.

Yet I cannot help but believe all those concussions did a smidgen more than some serious damage to his psyche.

In his welcoming press conference with the Royals last week, Ankiel mentioned that part of why he wanted to come to Kansas City was because he 'liked the direction' the team was going.

That's horse$hit.

And we all know it.

The truth is: Rick Ankiel is happy to be with the Royals because he has a job now when it looked like he might not.  I can't blame the guy.  I would do the exact same thing… which may or may not include my liking 'the direction' of the team.

Because, let's face it: this team ain't goin' anywhere. 

Again.

Scott Podsednik.  Jason Kendall.  Billy Butler.  Kyle Farnsworth. 

These names do not a champion make.

I think the best summary of the Kansas Royals' direction, under the keen eye of GM Dayton Moore, is represented by a technical glitch which provided wonderment during the press conference.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Kansas City Royals: Team of Infinite Regress:

kansas city royals infinite regress.JPG

Hate me 'cuz I hurt feelings, just don't hate me 'cuz I'm right.

Peace,

Jeff

- – -

Tune in Monday and Tuesday of this week. Ninemen's Morris is baaaaaaaaaaaaack…

Albert Ain't YOUR Girlfriend

albert-pujols-5.jpg

Enough babble from the crazy train that is the interwebbed rumor mill, dear readers!

Stop.  Breathe.  Focus. 

Now, let's look at this Matt Holliday signing for what it actually is: John Mozeliak & Co. finally growing a pair and making the St. Louis Cardinals perennial contenders for years to come.

And if you think they made this offer to Holliday without considering the task of signing Albert Pujols after 2011, then you need to be committed… or move to Wrigleyville.

Either way, Holliday is a Cardinal.  And Pujols is a Cardinal.

So no more talk about a potential move by one of the big money teams to snatch up Albert and take him away from us in his upcoming free agency.  It ain't gonna happen.  He ain't nobody's girlfriend but ours.

And I mean "girlfriend" with the utmost respect.

'Cuz sometimes really bad things happen to girlfriends:

star wars gone wrong.jpg

Don't hate me.  'Cuz I'm right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Skull Swap)

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