Posts Tagged ‘a-rod’

Jim Rice Still Carrying Torch for “Good Old Days”

Friday, August 21st, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Rob Neyer already raked Jim Rice over the coals for this, but I don’t think adding a few comments of my own would be piling on. As reported by the Associated Press, Jim Rice, as part of a promotion for Allstate Insurance Co. (Full Disclosure Alert: they currently insure my car), recently spoke to a group of Little Leaguers in Williamsport, Pa. Here are some excerpts from the story:

“You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), you see (Derek) Jeter … Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare,” Rice said to Little Leaguers gathered in the cafeteria.

Stay classy, Jim. Somehow you got into the Hall of Fame and, just a few weeks later, you feel the need to crap all over today’s stars. What an ambassador for the game.

What’s also funny, Jim, is that you can compare the players from your era with those from the modern era. There are statistics for that. I won’t discuss Manny Ramirez or A-Rod because of the steroid issue (and it’s clear that Rice has adopted a holier-than-thou attitude on that subject), so let’s focus on Derek Jeter. I’d love to hear from Rice regarding which shortstops from his era were better hitters than Jeter. I don’t think Rice played with Arky Vaughan or Honus Wagner, so he probably won’t be able to come up with any.

“We didn’t have the baggy uniforms. We didn’t have the dreadlocks,” Rice said. “It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys.”

Asked later at a news conference to list current players worthy of the Hall, Rice suggested Seattle Mariner outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Ken Griffey, Jr., and Chicago White Sox slugger Jim Thome.

Really? That’s the best list that he could come up with? I agree that all three belong in the Hall of Fame, but aren’t there a few really obvious candidates out there? Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera, Albert Pujols, Ivan Rodriguez, to name a few.

He said he believes current Hall of Famers who did not cheat don’t want players who took performance-enhancing drugs to join them in the Hall.

Flexing the muscles in his right arm, Rice said, “That’s all the steroids you need. … It’s called God-given talent.”

What a piece of work. I guess Rice is feeling a little cocky due to his recent HOF election, which is still a mystery to me. I know that there is a lot of disagreement on this, but, in my opinion, Rice is not a HOF caliber player. He was a very good player, but not worthy of Cooperstown. Things are going to get awkward over the next few years when the baseball writers realize they elected Rice, but don’t want to elect Fred McGriff or Moises Alou. I guess McGriff and Alou weren’t as “feared” as Rice.

The last sentence of the article sheds some light on the interest level in Rice’s perspective. It reads like a little bit of an eff you from the AP writer:

He got a standing ovation from players and coaches, though some of the 11- to 13-year-old players were yawning or had their heads in their arms on the table about 15 minutes into the talk.

Sounds like your speech was a real showstopper, Jim. If it were Manny, A-Rod, or Jeter doing the talking, I doubt any of the Little Leaguers would have been daydreaming.

Overheard on Sunday Night Baseball…

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Those of us watching the Yankees-Red Sox game on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this past weekend were treated to a vintage Joe Morgan moment. Following A-Rod’s home run off of Jon Lester in the seventh(?) inning, the guys in the booth were discussing the pitch that Lester made, which was really his first mistake of the game, as he had held the Yankees scoreless to that point. Cue Mr. Morgan:

“You can’t pitch a perfect game. No one can.” (Awkward silence) “Except Don Larsen.”

And a bunch of other guys. It’s weird that he used Larsen as his example, when Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game three weeks ago.

What?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

I’ll start by saying that I genuinely enjoy most of the stuff that Jayson Stark writes for ESPN.com. The guy is pretty funny, digs up some interesting stories/stats, and seems to know what he’s talking about. That being said, I have no idea what is going on with this article.

Stark has assembled the “The All-Money Player Team,” the selection criteria for which appears to be a player’s clutch hitting ability/postseason performance record. Apparently, Chipper Jones is the starting 3B for the squad, based on his .870 career postseason OPS. That’s a great postseason OPS, but it’s a little less impressive when you consider that Jones’s career regular season OPS is .956 (which, by the way, makes me realize that Jones is much better than I thought he was; this guy is going to the HOF). So Jones is “All-Money” because he’s really good in the postseason, even though he’s significantly worse in the postseason than in the regular season? (By the way, A-Rod’s career postseason OPS is .844, suspiciously close to the “All-Money” benchmark of .870, even though A-Rod is generally considered to be one of the worst postseason performers of his generation).

To find the the starting SS for the “The All-Money Player Team,” Stark ditched the stats altogether, choosing Jimmy Rollins because “Who loves The Big Moment more than this man?” What does that even mean? Is “The Big Moment” a baseball term that I just haven’t heard yet? Also, Rollins’s career postseason OPS is .732. But that doesn’t matter because he loves The Big Moment. Apparently, in order to be “All-Money,” you don’t have to perform well in The Big Moment, you just have to love it. That’s what I told the admissions officer at Yale when I applied during my senior year in high school: “Don’t worry about the fact that I got a 600 on the SATs - what matters is that I loved taking the SATs!” (It didn’t work, which explains why I’m sitting in white sweatpants in my Mom’s basement, writing a snarky article for a baseball blog).

Chase Utley is the starting 2B for “The All-Money Player Team,” which is hard to dispute. However, Stark bestows the honor on Utley because he “hasn’t taken an inning off since birth.” I’m not really sure what that means, especially since Utley has averaged just under 150 games played during his four full seasons in the majors. So it appears that Utley has actually taken off approximately 108 innings each of the last four seasons. Also, isn’t Utley “All-Money” because he’s really, really good at baseball, not because he’s apparently never taken an inning off.

Following the unveiling of the “The All-Money Player Team,” Stark puts together a series of other hypothetical squads, which are actually even more ridiculous than “The All-Money Player Team.” I’ll spare you an analysis of those teams, since I’m sure most readers have already bailed on this post.

And I shouldn’t really give Stark too hard a time. He was probably told by the ESPN.com editors to put together a quirky column for the web site’s MLB Season Preview and this is what he came up with under deadline.

Three Cheers for Reasonableness!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

It’s pretty sad when just being reasonable and non-hysterical earns you a pat on the back, but such is the case with A-Rod and the New York media, especially since the steroid story broke. So, a Nerd Baseball Gold Star of Appreciation(TM) to Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday for having the guts to point out that A-Rod is good at baseball and helps the Yankees win. For those of you who do not live in the NY/NJ/CT area, the know-nothings on talk radio and in the “newspapers” (and the “fans” as well) have recently started up a “Yankees are better without A-Rod” chorus in the wake of his hip surgery that is truly an embarassment to sports journalism.

First Fantasy Post

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

What to do with A-Rod?

While looking at the ESPN average draft selections, it’s become apparent that the A-Rod slide has begun.  After having surgery on Monday, his average draft position has fallen from 2nd or 3rd overall to 29.9.  It will almost certainly fall to somewhere within the 3rd round (or below) before the drop ends.

How long you let him slide may go a long way in determining the final standings in your league.  While the risk is certainly real, this feels a little too much like the great Pujols elbow scare of 2008.  The fantasy draft for my main league fell right at the height of the speculation about Pujols missing most of the season…and because of this, he fell to about the 25th pick overall.

Needless to say, that turned out to be possibly the best 3rd round value in the history of fantasy baseball.

At least we know in this case that A-Rod will be missing some weeks. But as long as you can identify a late-round backup that will produce at a reasonable level for the first few weeks, I’ve got to think that letting him slide past the 3rd round will help deliver a steal for someone else.

This Just In: Rick Reilly Officially Off Deep End

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Rick Reilly of ESPN has hit a new low, which is actually saying something when you consider how he embarrassed himself on national television during Josh Hamilton’s home run barrage in last year’s Home Run Derby (remember: “This is a bad day to be an atheist!”). In his latest “Life of Reilly” column for ESPN (the) Magazine, Reilly jumps on the moralizing bandwagon to redistribute the MVP awards that were handed out to suspected or admitted steroid users over the years. I apologize for giving Reilly’s column the full FJM treatment, but it’s a particularly bad piece of baseball writing. Reilly’s column text is in bold.

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Please tell me this is a joke…

Monday, February 9th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

Either this a piece of sarcasm and satire so magnificent that I don’t get it…or the most ridiculous idea in the history of sports journalism. If you have a moderate understanding of the game of baseball, and high blood pressure, turn back now. Otherwise, buckle up…

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Ugh…

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

Today’s controversy has made me yearn for the good old days.

The days of 2002, when the biggest New York sports controversy was much, much sillier

Hoof.