Earlier I wrote about how you could validate voting for each Giant on the MLB All Star Ballot, now it’s probably an appropriate time to list my actual All Stars. Since voting doesn’t close until the 4th of July, there’s going to be plenty of room for hot streaks, and hot piles of slumps. As with the online ballot itself, I’ll give you my players for each position, and we’ll leave it at that for now.
1B — Chris Davis (14 HR, .420 OBP, .458 wOBA, 190 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR)
SS — Jhonny Peralta (4 HR, .379 OBP, .364 wOBA, 127 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR)
OF — Mike Trout (9 HR, 9 SB, .400 wOBA, 157 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR)
OF — Jose Bautista (11 HR, .408 wOBA, 158 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)
DH — David Ortiz (7 HR, .397 OBP, .429 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR)
C — Buster Posey (6 HR, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 152 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR)
OF — Carlos Gonzalez (11 HR, 8 SB, .390 OBP, .413 wOBA, 154 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)
OF — Justin Upton (14 HR, .387 OBP, .410 wOBA, 165 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR)
Feel free to put your ballot or changes in the comments because I can see how you might like player B over player A. Short season so far, lots of time left before I have to decide who I’m voting in 35 times.
The O’s and Rays had the spotlight today, and while Matt Wieters, Ben Zobrist, and Chris Davis decided to dinger, Evan Longoria flashed the D. I have clips of it, too, for there were many plays of him keep Baltimore Orioles players from reaching base, and all they could do was jog back to their dugout of (still existing?) magic. For some clips, and I have many angles of the same play, this is just an appreciation post. I hope you appreciate this brand of baseball, too.
The way MLB people put up the game’s highlights made me think that this was his highlight reel play of the day. Because, it is a good one. Diving stop, throw from the knees, get the batter out. Good play.
Haven’t watched many games from The Extra 2% Stadium lately so I’d forgotten about this overhead 3B camera angle.
This one is very impressive. First you have the momentum-going-forward-pickup that goes to a roll to a throw from the seat of his pants. Probably his play of the day.
TropCam shows Longo getting out the not slow Adam Jones here, which makes the play that much more impressive.
Now he’s just showing off. But I thought this one was a fun play because of the slo-mo:
Ball just bouncing around on your forearm and then as it’s falling to the ground, grab it mid-air and
throw from your knees,
bounce it and still get Matt Wieters out.
Not a bad day for the former Long Beach State Dirtbag. Hey, Troy Tulowitzki (college teammate of Longo), hope you were watching and accepted the challenge.
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.
Earlier this morning Jerry Crasnick told us that Rays SP Matt Moore would be getting paid over a guaranteed 5 years, $14MM all before even throwing a full year in the bigs. He qualifies for the Rookie of the Year nomination next year and due to all the big names in his league, especially that division, he might not get the MVP consideration just yet. But if he pitches like he did against the Rangers, you never know. Anyway, here are the numbers for his deal:
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Boy, that’s not that much,” then that’s exactly it: it isn’t. This is one of the ultimate “team friendly” deals, very similar to the one teammate and Long Beach State alum Evan Longoria has signed himself. GM Andrew Friedman and his front office are full of geniuses. We all want them on our team… but what if Moore gets injured? That would suck, but $14MM over 5 years isn’t going to cripple an organization. What if Albert Pujols gets injured next year? Like Kendry Morales injured? Justin Morneau injured? Bad. Very, very bad. At the most, Matt Moore’s deal gets to 8 years $40.5MM and there’s probably some incentives sprinkled in there as well. What a deal, especially since the bulk of the money in that 8/$40.5 scenario is in the options. Team options. So it got some of us thinking: What if the Giants tried this? Who could they try it on? Could it work? What would be the structure of such a deal?
Fact of the matter is, with the core of the kids that are coming through their system at the Major League level, there’s really only one realistic candidate in my eyes and that is: Madison Bumgarner. Panda needs to prove consistency, Posey got hurt, and Belt was abused by management. You could argue for some of the other guys but personally, I just think they need to prove themselves as a talent more. These kinds of team-friendly contracts can be a beautiful thing — giving the kids some guaranteed money that will have them set for life while giving your team a stud for the long-term by buying out the years they could potentially become Matt Cain-expensive. I’m going to try and take a look at the kids and see what might be a possibility. The following material is highly debatable and by no means what management is thinking.
Brandon Belt: The least likely of the kids to get extended. Some would argue Brett Pill’s more likely to be extended because he hit 1,000 RBI in AAA last year or something. Due to the new CBA and stuff, I’m not positive how long he’s under team control until. Let’s say it’s 2016 which gives us 5 years. If management were bold enough to give him an extension I feel it’d be a little lower than what Matt Moore got. My guess: 5 years, $12MM. Least likely to happen though. Remember that.
Buster Posey: More likely than Belt, less than Panda because we have a feel for Panda but with Posey’s injury what can we be sure of? His rehab is supposedly going well, but until Spring Training and the Regular Season begins, we won’t know how his body has recovered. Let’s assume 2010 Posey blesses us with his presence. He’s also a 2016er. ROY, hitting for power and even if he wasn’t safe in Game 1 in the NLDS, he still is amazing. My guess: 5 years, $35MM with options definitely attached.
Pablo Sandoval: Dude needs to stay in shape. And from what we’ve seen, when he’s in shape, he does good things. Plain and simple. Seems like he’s figured this out and since he really hasn’t had his payday yet. You could argue that a guaranteed deal might take the Kung Fu out of the Panda and make him less motivated but I don’t know about that. He’s here until 2014 at least. His first arbitration year is now. My guess for a deal: 4 years, $30MM with option for a 5th year at $15MM. Very unsure about this one.
Madison Bumgarner: This is the guy the Giants must try to lock up. Absolutely must. If Matt Moore can be locked up, so can Madison Bumgarner and that face he makes every time he delivers the ball. It will require more though. This is what I imagined for MadBum:
I didn’t get a response, but hey that’s how Twitter goes. I think this is what can be done though for the kid from North Carolina. Of the 4, the front office will probably try on MadBum the most, if any of them. I do doubt that any deals of the Matt Moore variety happen with the Giants, but it’d be nice to see for us since we’ve got to worry about saving money down the road.
Discussion and disagreement are part of sports life, and after reading a post from @BayCityBall (http://www.baycityball.com/2011/10/02/my-postseason-rooting-order/) I thought this would be a good post for today. The idea is of course, there are eight teams in the postseason and if we had to rank who you would root for, what would that order be? Everyone’s list will be different and who can blame them? There’s some attractive talent (both on the field and in the dugout) for us to be amazed and stupefied at.
1. Tampa Bay Rays – expansion team, lost to the Phillies in 2008, came from a huge deficit to defeat one of the more despised franchises in baseball. They have lovable characters like Evan Longoria, One-A-Day 50+ sponsor Joe Maddon, Madison Bumgarner pitch-a-like Matt Moore (alike in that the Rangers couldn’t touch either of them). Shoot, their version of Eli Whiteside even hit two HRs against CJ Wilson. Awesome
2. Texas Rangers – When the Giants and the Rangers met up last year in 2010, you had a ratings nightmare: no Yankees? no Red Sox? no Phillies? We’ll just have Joe Buck and Tim McCarver do this one. Nobody’s watching, anyway. You also had two franchises starved for a World Series trophy. The Giants got their portion in 2010, but the Rangers were left hanging and from what I heard, the Rangers were very classy in defeat. Their exciting players are mostly hold bats and hit HRs for a living, their staff has the experience of winning so the jitters should be mostly out of the way.
3. Detroit Tigers – The playoff team I probably know the least about. I guess they’re like the Tampa Bay Rays or a Texas Rangers-lite on offense and some other team with their pitching. Justin Verlander? Hot. Jose Valverde? He should make a dance instruction DVD. As for everyone else? Whatever, just beat the Yankees.
4. St. Louis Cardinals – Just beat the Phillies, Tony La Russa. Use your craftiness when you get back home to even the series at 2 or something. Sprinklers, stadium lights, rain dance, Buffalo Wild Wings commercials, whatever. I laugh a little that Rafael Furcal is on this team.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks – They’re not far down on the list because I despise their team; really, I’m OK with them. Justin Upton, Chris Young, Aaron Hill, Kirk Gibson. I think he’s done a great job with the team and GM Kevin Towers a wonderful job rebuilding the bullpen. I don’t want them winning the World Series because I don’t know why, but I don’t. I may have this fear that winning the WS would convince idiots to vote Ian Kennedy for Cy Young even though it’s just a regular season award. Edit: Forgot that ballots are submitted before the post-season. Therefore, Kennedy performance in post-season will not change likelihood of getting Cy. Their twitter account is annoying as babies on a plane, by the way.
6. Milwaukee Brewers – I am very not fond of a certain player on their team that claims to have an alter-ego that rhymes with “Phony-Flush.” I do not want to see him happy. Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but no one’s perfect. I’m not too fond of Prince Fielder, either, but TofuMan doesn’t both me as much as the current CF. I like Ryan Braun. I like John Axford.
In between 6 and 7, please note that there’s a gap larger than the 6 hour drive from Long Beach to San Jose I have to endure at least twice a year.
7. Philadelphia Phillies – I have a strong dislike for the Phillies. They have become the Yankees of the NL. I will laugh at them in 2015 when they are still paying Ryan Howard $25MM to strike out with a sandwich in his mouth.
8. New York Yankees – Look, they have exciting players. They’re the freaking Yankees. But the only time you want a team like that to win is when: a) it’s your team or b) you’re playing a video game and you’ve constructed a super team that isn’t possible in real life and you don’t have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings.
In 2012, the list will be different. Buster ain’t havin’ it.
I will predict things, and I will be wrong. It’s just fun to guess.
(2) Rangers vs. (4) Rays, 2:07 PM PST, Ballpark at Arlington
The world was expecting Red Sox Nation to show up, but the great Baseball Deities decided to give us one of the best nights of baseball ever that resulted in a little something Long Beach State likes to call “Evan Longoria.” True, there was Dan Johnson who kept them from Game 163, and Joe Maddon is a genius.
Game 1: Christopher John (CJ) Wilson (16-7, 2.94 ERA, 1.187 WHIP, 223.1 IP) vs. Matt Moore (1-0, 2.89 ERA, 14.49 K/9, 9.1 IP, 1 GS)
While the world is pondering why Kyle Lohse is a Game One starter, Joe Maddon tried to one-up Tony La Russa and say, “How about I throw out our Minor League Stud-Muffin out there?” It’s true, GM’s and scouts alike have dreams of Matt Moore and the future looks bright for the kid born in 1989 (really). As with any other postseason series, it’s going to come down to pitching, and both staffs are well equipped to go toe-to-toe (and that Texas bullpen? What the heck is that all about?)
What we have come to love about both of these teams though, are their bats. Who doesn’t love themselves some Longo, Zoborist, Upton (the tradeable one), Hamilton, Cruz, Beltre and hitting catching in Napoli? Oh and Kinsler had a 32 HR season, big whoop. I do that in video games all the time.
I respect Ron Washington and Joe Maddon a lot, but Joe Maddon has some crazy smart tactics he gets from those One-A-Day 50+ multivitamins which may hold the key to jumping over the 2010 AL Champions who do not have Cliff Lee to beat them twice again this year. But then again, Texas does have Tommy Hunter anymore to underhand pitches to batters so the Rays will have to counter that with something.
The Rangers have a scary good offense. Can the Rays young pitching hold them down? I say no. Texas takes care of business in game one, 5-1.
(1) Yankees vs. (3) Tigers, 5:37 PM PST, Yankee Stadium
Game 1: CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 237.1 IP) vs. Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA, 0.920 WHIP, 251.0 IP)
Sure there are hitters involved, but as a Giants fan I know they don’t do anything. The game is in the starting pitching, and boy you bet America is excited for this.
The uneducated baseball fan will look at this matchup and say to themselves “holy crap, 43 combined wins between two aces! i love baseball for now until sunday!” They will feel like it gives them a clue as to the magic that could be awaiting them, what with Verlander’s two no-hitters he has under his belt, one coming this year in Toronto. There will be magic, but not because they have 43 wins between each other.
The scouting reports these guys get are processed and and executed to an “ace” level — these two having 480 K’s between them, the two of them averaging 4 K’s/BB. Sure, the ratio isn’t Sergio Romo-esque, but there’s only one person who pitches like Sergio Romo and that’s Sergio MF Romo. There might not be a repeat of Roy Halladay stature, but anytime these guys get on the mound you know you could be bearing witness to something special.
Weather reports are telling us we don’t even know what time this game will officially get started, but hopefully it’s just a bunch of clouds passing through. Wouldn’t want to watch the “Double-R” series and then have to wait hours to see Game One of this ALDS. That would be cruel.
When you watch these two, hopefully you think about two things: teaching your kid to either throw left-handed, or teaching your kid how to throw triple-digits with great control.
So who will it be for Game One? Both of these teams haven’t been in “playoff mode” for a while, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t worked. I like Verlander and Co. to take Game 1 and Valverde to do a little dance at the end. Tigers get first blood, 6-4.