A lot has happened in the World Baseball Classic over the past 24 hours, and you’ve probably seen it all, but you like to visit my blog and see the stuffs, right? Right.
Beginning with the wild one in Italy and Mexico, and no doubt Edgar Gonzalez has become a household name in households that watched this game, had a pitch hit by Anthony Rizzo to him off of San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo. All Gonzalez had to do was catch the ball, and the damage would be limited to a tie ballgame. Instead…
However, this game did end with one team being happy, and everybody loves it when an underdog team is really happy (as long as they’re not being happy against your team), and Italy was plenty happy.
Oh, by the way, they just mercy ruled Canada 14-4 in 8 innings to make them 2-0 and are on their way to a trip to Miami for the next round.
I take you next to San Juan, Puerto Rico where the Dominican Republic and Venezuela locked horns in a battle of recognizable names. Robinson Cano had a nice beginning of a double play to glove flip it to Jose Reyes. Watch and love:
Hanley Ramirez also destroyed a baseball in the game and decided to watch it go:
…and you know I love the bat flips:
Fernando Rodney also doesn’t care what you think of how he wears his cap.
A good response from Keith Law to people that are upset about how Rodney wears his lid:
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) March 8, 2013
The beautiful thing about this tournament at this stage of it is that there’s so much going on right now, and what day of baseball wouldn’t be complete without some call for instant replay? Curt Smith of the Netherlands had himself a moment:
My favorite part being the, “K, let’s get on with the gam–out? out. OH OUT! Yes! Ahem. Yes.”
Baltimore Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop also had himself a day, including this 3-R HR that put the Netherlands up for good:
Talk about someone that’s had his stock get a bit raised in the eyes of the public, and he is already on the Orioles’ 40-man roster.
The game after that one that saw some see-sawing late in the game from Chinese Taipei and Japan ended with some fun for Japan, and a way of thanking from the Chinese Taipei squad that I really liked.
First, Sho Nakata acknowledges the crowd as he jogs out to the outfield in the bottom of the 10th, who were celebrating his go-ahead sacrifice fly (Japan was the visiting team, being the #2 seed from the Pool they advanced from).
After the game, Chinese Taipei thanks the fans in a fashion I wouldn’t mind seeing more often:
As for the action today, Italy beat Canada 14-4 in 8 innings at Chase Field (moved indoors due to rain outdoors), and Spain and Puerto Rico are squaring off in San Juan right now. the US and Mexico will begin play at 6PM PST tonight on MLB Network.
Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.
Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.
This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”
This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.
60. Matt Cain (219.1 IP, 7.92 K/9, 3.60 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – In the battle of Cain v. Kuroda, if you really value WAR, you’ll take Kuroda, but the FIP and tERA speak to me more, as does Cain doing the work in one less start than Kuroda.
59. Elvis Andrus (31 2B, 21 SB, .322 wOBA, 4.2 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Imagine if this kid can get the bat going more, and he will be a talent that not just demands, but deserves the 9-figure deal.
58. Jose Reyes (37 2B, 40 SB, .335 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 2.8 rWAR) – I almost had a pretty neat string of 2013 Toronto Blue Jays going, but I think Jose will have a great time frolicking with an organization that isn’t made of pure Snakeinthegrass.
57. James Shields (227.2 IP, 8.82 K/9, 3.52 tERA, 4.3 fWAR, 2.2 rWAR) – Though he may be one of the better pitchers in the game, I think it is reasonable to worry about whether he will be what the Royals traded him for (their ace).
55. Josh Hamilton (43 HR, 31 2B, .387 wOBA, 4.4 fWAR, 3.4 rWAR) – Forever will be remembered by me as “the guy that didn’t hit enough HR” in 2012, or for his 2011 Game 6 HR that really should have given Texas a Title.
54. Melky Cabrera (25 2B, 10 3B, .387 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR, 4.7 rWAR) – Like Chooch, not sure how much the PED helped Melky, but Toronto is certainly willing to find out.
53. Edwin Encarnacion (42 HR, 13 SB, .396 wOBA, 4.4 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – Maybe everybody’s hitters should take some time in Toronto over the off-season to get coached to find a new timing mechanism to get them the power. We’ll get to see if this was a fluke year, or if him and Joey Bats are just getting started.
52. Dustin Pedroia (39 2B, 20 SB, .344 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – His glove is what gets him here, along with his low K numbers, power, and speed at a position not known for such attributes.
51. Ryan Zimmerman (25 HR, 36 2B, .352 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR) – Like Peavy, it was good to see Zimm healthy for most of the season, and reminded the people that he can be an integral part of a championship-level team.
50. Jake Peavy (219.0 IP, 7.97 K/9, 3.99 tERA, 4.4 fWAR, 5.0 rWAR) – Maybe he’s returning to his San Diego performance days, and I know the White Sox are certainly hoping so as well.
49. Adam Wainwright (198.2 IP, 8.34 K/9, 3.72 tERA, 4.4 fWAR, 5.9 rWAR) – Had he a better defense, and better run support, he probably would have been a bigger competitor in any award he was eligible for. Nearly a 0.80 difference between his ERA and FIP.
48. Adam Jones (32 HR, 16 SB, .361 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR, 3.4 rWAR) – Speaking of walks, Adam Jones does not, but he provides the boom as a replacement. May be a problem as he gets older, but he just completed his age 26 season.
47. Wade Miley (194.2 IP, 6.66 K/9, 4.11 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Just a rookie, Miley did a great job keeping the walks down, as it’s hard to find many of the top starters on this list that had lower than a 2.00 BB/9.
46. Angel Pagan (15 3B, 29 SB, .334 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Giants fans are just glad he got out of his slump in the leadoff spot well in time for the later months and postseason run.
45. CC Sabathia (200.0 IP, 8.87 K/9, 3.87 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 3.3 rWAR) – And all that was done in 28 starts, too, which is the same amount of starts Strasburg had.
44. Johnny Cueto (217.0 IP, 7.05 K/9, 3.91 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 5.8 rWAR) – Had Cueto kept up his first half dominance, he probably would have run away with the Cy Young Award.
43. Josh Reddick (32 HR, 11 SB, .326 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR, 4.5 rWAR) – Shocked that he was healthy a whole year, Reddick proved to be a fantastic surprise of healthiness for the surprise AL West Champs.
42. Max Scherzer (187.2 IP, 11.08 K/9, 3.71 tERA, 4.6 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – I was debating how he and Cueto should match up, and a lot of people might sight his ERA, but I’m not sure why the awful defense behind him should give the edge to the NLDS Game 1 SP from Cincy.
41. Cole Hamels (215.1 IP, 9.03 K/9, 2.75 tERA, 4.5 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Every time I see “Cole Hamels” all I think is “Coal Hammels,” and I have even once typed in “Hammels” on accident.
Remember when a year ago the running joke started with “I’m going to take my talents to Miami” or something along that line? Well, it’s coming back. The former Florida, now Miami Marlins have signed Heath Bell to an unreasonable 3 year, $27 million contract (breaking the unwritten rule of you should never sign a reliever to 3+ years and how about not paying for saves) and now tonight have announced a 6 year, $102MM contract with a guaranteed $4MM buyout option for the 7th year. And they’re not done yet. Lordie, they are not done yet because now we are hearing garbage like this:
And no one’s really saying otherwise, but there are people talking trash about the Marlins already. From:
To things like:
Loria being the owner of the Marlins. Now I’ve never owned a baseball team, nor will I probably ever at the Major League level at least. But life lessons can still be applied here. How about that lesson of “moderation?” “Too much of one thing isn’t a good thing” type of cliche where in this case the “one thing” is spending yourself blind. We’ve seen the Marlins go through firesales after winning 2 World Championships and now that they’re opening a new stadium with mostly public funds and probably also through the miracle that is revenue sharing, they have the cap space to go absolutely nuts this winter.
With Reyes now inked, they probably have around $60MM committed to 2012, before their arbitration eligibles. This leaves them room to still go for Albert and someone like Mark Buehrle and be around the $100MM mark which is a good competitive spot to be. Only problem is once the kids that are getting paid next to nothing (Stanton, LoMo, maybe even Bonafacio) start to grow older, so will their need for a raise. Even athletes like Josh Johnson will command more. What will Miami do then? Miami has now bought high on 2 guys, looking to go on 4. This could be very, very bad for them later and I have this feeling it will be. They’re going to be the new New York Mets, hard to say if they’ll be worse though. That’s for time to tell.
The Marlins aren’t going to change their game plan of an all-out attack this winter. They will be the big winners of the off-season with the biggest additions going into their newest stadium. I guess if there is one time to push the chips in for Miami it’s now, but they sure are taking a fattie gamble on their future while they’re at it. This is more than a publicity stunt, people. It’s happening, but don’t you worry: The Miami Marlins will get their comeuppance for this. Especially if they put together a farm-package to get Gio Gonzalez of the A’s. Short-term stuff because in the end, Florida hasn’t proven its worth as a baseball market and building a champion won’t happen overnight (right, Miami NBA fans?).
There’s not much to do nowadays, so I thought I’d do a “season in review” for as many players as I can. Since I have until Spring Training, I think I can cover the roster that put in some time, maybe a free agent or two as well as some new acquisitions (CC, Jose Reyes and Prince Fielder, right guyzz?!??!!). So we begin here and by the power vested in me, I chose to start with Dan Runzler.
2011 Pitching Stats: 31 G, 27.1 IP, .367 BABIP, 8.23 K/9, 5.27 BB/9, 6.26 ERA, 2.95 FIP
For most of the season, the 26 year old Danny Boy would have me screaming at whatever was displaying the Giants game. I would bring out the kleenex, get the pillow to yell obscenities in and throw across the room after he had thrown his first pitch, and roll my eyes after every 95 MPH fastball that ended up outside the strike zone by a foot. But then all of a sudden he starts having a nice September. Seriously! In 11 G, even though he was only used in 5.1 IP, he only allowed 2 H and 2 BB in facing 20 batters and didn’t allow an ER. Sure, the competition may have been weaker, but this was the same guy that couldn’t get through 2 innings of Houston Astros baseball.
I don’t remember this above highlight, so I thought I’d include it. It was something good that happened for him, and as much grief as I gave him all year, I feel like he is still owed a positive highlight to counter….
…This. Poor Danny Boy. Overall, April wasn’t so good (8 ER in 12 IP, but 10 Ks and a 1.167 WHIP in 49 Batters Faced though), May sucked (6 BB, 6 ER, 12 H in 7.2 IP) and August I can’t find the word for (19.29 ERA, 3.857 WHIP, 0.5 K/BB ratio in 2.1 IP). Was September a glimpse into what he can be, or was it merely a facade created by inferior opposition? We all want to hope it’s the former, and as long as his injury doesn’t hinder him being at 100% when pitchers and catchers report, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sporting a 4 ERA in the bullpen of the 2010 Champs.
Status in 2012: Long Relief Man/Zito extinguisher/Brandon Belt AAA roommate
Projected Salary for 2012: $425,000