Friday, December 21, 2007
Take care and Happy Holidays.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Topic 1: Alex Rodriguez re-signs with the Yankees
Shame on me for believing Hank Steinbrenner at all. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson, and yes, the Yankees are still contenders for Johan Santana, if not his most likely destination. In all fairness, in my offseason preview for Maize & Blog on November 7th, I did write this concerning Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees:
“Reports out of New York last week are that A-Rod would still be open to signing with New York, and while Hank Steinbrenner made it very clear that A-Rod wouldn’t be welcomed back to Yankee Stadium, can we really trust that the Yankees won’t be involved in the negotiations over the best free agent since, well, A-Rod at age 25?”
So don’t say I didn’t see it coming, but the Yankees should’ve been at the top of my list, and for that, I apologize.
This is a pretty obvious move for both sides. For A-Rod, it was easy – get rid of Scott Boras because nobody needs to sell the talent of the greatest baseball player on earth, and play where you want to play, which happens to be in the biggest media market in the country. For the Yankees, they had a vacancy at 3B, and most importantly, they had a vacancy in the middle of their lineup. Above all else this offseason, the Yanks’ top priority was acquiring a clean-up hitter, NOT acquiring another pitcher, and looking at the Yankees lineup without A-Rod and a top pitcher (Johan Santana anyone?) should reveal that:
C- Posada; 1B- Mientkiewicz/Giambi; 2B- Cano; 3B- Betemit; SS- Jeter; LF- Matsui; CF- Cabrera; RF- Abreu; DH- Damon
That equates to a lineup along the lines of: 1. Damon; 2. Jeter; 3. Abreu; 4. Posada; 5. Matsui; 6. Cano; 7. Betemit/Giambi; 8. Mientkiewicz/Betemit; 9. Cabrera
That might seem like a deep lineup, and it is, because I’m very high on Cano, Betemit, and Cabrera, but it lacks something that’s essential to a winning baseball team: POWER. Case in point, the 2007 Yankees of April and May, when they struggled in the power department and watched a Red Sox team slug their way with the likes of Manny, Papi, and
Topic #2: The Winter Meetings
This was a whole lot of nothing for a bunch of teams that everyone figured would make a move, and a whole lot of something for two teams that I expected to stay quiet at the Winter Meetings in
Of course those two loud teams were the Marlins and
As for the quiet teams, Johan Santana is still on the Twins, Erik Bedard is still on the Orioles, Dan Haren and Joe Blanton are still on the Athletics, Omar Minaya still wants a pitcher, and the Angels and Dodgers kept their prospects… for now. Chances are all of these names will come up again and again for the rest of the offseason, but in
Topic #3: Johan Santana
While the reports have changed by the minute when it comes to this guy, I’ll give you the abridged version of how we got to where we are before I rant. At the Winter Meetings, it looked like Santana would end up on the Red Sox after Hank Steinbrenner put a deadline on the Yanks’ negotiations with the Twins. The Yankees were apparently offering Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and one or two other prospects, while the Twins were asking for a package including Hughes and Ian Kennedy, which the Yankees decided was too much. As for the Red Sox, it appeared a deal was very close on the 2nd day of the Winter Meetings, but the Red Sox left Nashville empty-handed, but still negotiating with new Twins GM Bill Smith. The Red Sox basically made two offers, with one containing LHP Jon Lester, disappointing OF Coco Crisp, and two prospects in SS Jed Lowrie and P Justin Masterson, and one containing star OF prospect Jacoby Ellsbury along with two or three prospects (possibly including Lowrie and Masterson), and when it looked like the Twins were going to accept one of the deals after exchanging medical records, the Tigers pulled off their deal for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, the AL Central got a lot stronger, and the Twins became gun-shy. Most notably, they backed off their insistence on getting players who can help now and concentrated more on stockpiling high-ceiling guys who can help beat the Indians and Tigers in a few years, and with that new mentality, here come the Mets. Certainly teams aside from the Yanks, Red Sox, and Mets want Johan Santana and have the prospects to get him (see Rangers and Mariners with Adam Jones), but remember that Johan Santana has a no-trade clause and is going to demand a contract for 7-years and more money than Barry Zito got, potentially in the $25 million per year range, so that eliminates nearly every team that isn’t named the Yanks, Red Sox, or Mets (see Angels, Dodgers, DBacks). The word lately has been that Santana is not crazed about pitching in the Bronx, although I will still NEVER count out the Yankees – as I’ve said, I learned my lesson, and lets be honest here… if Bill Smith called up Hank Steinbrenner (I love how I’ve completely disregarded Brian Cashman as a member of the Yanks’ organization now) and said, “We’ll take Hughes, Cabrera, Tabata, and Jackson for Santana”, Hank is not going to say, “Well Bill, we’d love to do that, but you see you didn’t meet our deadline, so it’s a no-go.” However, what’s important is that Santana and his no-trade clause apparently wants to go to the Mets and then the Red Sox, and the Twins want to honor his desires, so they’ve been working with the Mets to get something done. Today, apparently the Mets offered the Twins a number of packages with either top OF prospect Carlos Gomez or high ceiling OF prospect Fernando Martinez, but none with both. The Twins said they would agree to the deal with Gomez if the Mets included either
- Jeremy Kreisberg
Monday, December 3, 2007
I woke up this morning and had a vision of something beautiful: a playoff system for college football. It was so simple, a solution that would keep the bowl system, but still determine a national champion on the field instead of on a computer. Here's how it works. The BCS computers actually do a decent job of synthesizing the major polls into one, so they will determine the top 12 teams in the country, with the top 4 teams getting byes. Teams 5-12 would match up in bowl games the December 21st and 22nd in the Cotton Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl, and Holiday Bowl (bowls chosen based on prestige and location). So this year the match-ups would be:
- (5) Georgia vs. (12) Florida in the Gator Bowl
- (6) Missouri vs. (11) Arizona State in the Cotton Bowl
- (7) USC vs. (10) Hawaii in the Holiday Bowl
- (8) Kansas vs. (9) West Virginia in the Capital One Bowl
- (1) Ohio State vs Kansas/West Virginia winner in the Rose Bowl
- (2) LSU vs USC/Hawaii winner in the Sugar Bowl
- (3) Virginia Tech vs. Missouri/Arizona State winner in the Orange Bowl
- (4) Oklahoma vs. Georgia/Florida winner int he Fiesta Bowl
This setup would create a ton of excitement and give us more games between the top teams in college football during the bowl season. Just look at some of the games and possible games, how can you not be excited? These are all very good teams at the top of their conferences. Plus, we'll get to see how the coaches prepare for a different opponent every week, instead of having over a month to gameplan for only one team. How will the sweater-vest prepare for an explosive spread attack one week, and then have to deal with a completely different offense the next week? I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about all the possibilities.
Now if only I could convince the presidents of all the major conferences, the representatives from the affected bowl games, and the TV executives who hold broadcasting rights to those games to adopt my system. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. I guess I'll just have to sit back and watch the bowl games, only to wonder what could have been.