Sharapova's Thigh

Showing posts with label CC Sabathia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CC Sabathia. Show all posts

The Indians just traded Victor Martinez to the Boston Red Sox. It doesn't even matter who they received in return.

To sum it up, in the last 20 months the Indians have gone from blowing a 3 -1 lead in the ALCS, to entering the 2008 season with the best pitching staff in baseball and a helluva line up to back it up, to having 2008 wrecked by a slew of injuries, to becoming the first team IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL to trade the defending Cy Young Award winner in back to back seasons, to now dismantling the team and cashing in the chips for this year and next year too.

This is absolute crap.

Long time readers of the Thigh know I'm a Tribe fan. Newer readers now are also akin to this fact.

After the 2007 ALCS debacle my only solace was knowing that the Tribe had a good team for years to come. I knew we probably only had CC for one more year, but that was ok because Fausto Carmona looked primed to step into his shoes. Cliff Lee was healthy again and had a great season at Triple A and would part of the rotation in 08. Jake Westbrook was a steady eddy middle of the rotation starter. They had a slew of guys capable of filling that fifth starter role.

CC gets traded. Jake has Tommy John surgery. Fausto can't throw a strike any more. The bullpen became almost historically bad. Cliff gets traded.


I could stomach the Indians trading Ryan Garko. He was a great clubhouse guy and a clutch hitter. The Tribe had a logjam at catcher and 1st base and somebody had to go. I wished it was Kelly Shoppach and not Garko, but oh well.

I was taking the bar exam this week, so I didn't have much time to think about the Lee trade. I tried to rationalize it while pouding out Constitutional Law and Criminal Law essays.

Then this morning happened. Victor Martinez is off to Bean Town. Blllleeeeehhhhh.

Victor Martinez is probably the closest thing the American League has to a Triple Crown threat in a given year. He'll never win it, but he hits for power and average.

The Indians are left to start over. This is so damn frustrating.

Over the last couple months of the season we're going to see some of the prospects from the CC and Victor trade called up. We probably won't see any of the guys from the Lee trade called up this year.

Welp, see you in 2011.

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The Mets and Yankees both made the moves they needed to at the winter meetings. The Yanks signed CC Sabathia, the prize pony from this years free agent class. They also appear to be the front runner for AJ Burnett. Price tag: nearly a quarter of billion dollars. The Mets signed K-Rod, the single season saves leader. Then they traded for the nasty JJ Putz.

Which team legitimized themselves as a World Series contender?

My gut tells me the Mets. That line up is already potent, the have adequate starting pitchers and they have effectively shortened games to 7 innings.

The Yankees went from having problematic starting pitching to possibly the best staff in the league. CC is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Ding Dang Dong is in the upper echelon when that splitter / sinker / whatever you want to call it, it's nasty, is working. Burnett is the guy on between 15 and 20 major league teams. For the Yankees he'll be their number 3.

My gut tells me the Mets for a couple of reasons. The Yankees offense is just getting older. Yes they are good, but with all things being equal they did nothing to improve their offense. An already aging core just notched another year under their belts. Their system is bereft of position players. They also have problems in the pen. Does Joba go back to the pen now that they don't need him to start? Additionally, the Yankees still play in the toughest division in baseball. I'm a huge CC apologist and I would never wish bad things on the guy, but his lifetime numbers in New York are awful. Something in the range of 6.40 era. He won't have the mental and media problems A-Rod brings on himself, but I'm just saying. For some reason his numbers in the Big Apple aren't great.

If not for their problems at the back end of games the Mets would have run away with the NL East. The Braves still aren't the Braves. The Marlins are still young. The Nats are....well the Nats. It's a soft division. They'll compete with the Phils for the division title. I'm just hardpressed to believe that a team this talented misses out of the postseason for a third straight year. We all know that postseason baseball comes down to pitching. They now have two legit forces at the back end of of games.

Its a toss up, but no matter which side of the coin you're on it was a very very good week for New York baseball.

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The New York Brinks trunks, I mean Yankees, have emptied their piggy banks and upped their offer to Carsten Charles Sabathia. It looks like the new offer is 7 years $160 million. Apparently Brian Cashman realized that CC was going to take a huge discount to pitch on the West Coast and decided to make his bank breaking offer. Needless to say I don't like this one little bit.

Now on to my unapologetically long tangent.

The Yankees and the Red Sox are what is wrong with sport. Is there a salary cap in football? Uh-huh. Basketball? Uh-huh. Thugs that figure skate? Uh-huh. So why is baseball different? I don't know.

No offense to everybody that I'm about to offend, including most of the major contributors to this blog, but......

We get to October every year and it’s like "Well the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs and Mets are in the playoff hunt."

Wow, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles. The 6 teams with the highest payrolls are going to be in the playoffs. Super. Glad I didn't see this one coming before this season.

This past season it was nice to see the Rays and Phils get in there and break up the dominance. It showed that money doesn't always buy championships. It was refreshing.

At least set up a system similar to the NBA where you have a salary cap and a luxury tax. That situation at least makes things more interested and turns money real for owners. "Oh you mean we're over the salary cap and would need to match Man Ram's contract dollar for dollar for luxury tax purposes? Um lets go a different direction."

People sit here and wonder why baseball contracts are so absurd. Look no further than the scenario I just finished describing.

As my second aside, Ned Colletti is a freaking moron. He's going to end up giving Man Ram somewhere in the range of $60 million for 3 years. He probably could have locked CC up for $100 million over 5, something like that. When a dude tells you that he wants to pitch you act. You don't leak it the media, rest on your laurels and give Brian Cashman the chance to up his offer for another year and another $20 mill for CC. Here is what should have happened in Vegas:

Ned: Hey CC.

CC: Hey Ned. Sweet shades man.

Ned: Thanks my mistress got them for me.

CC: Awesome. Hey I really want to be a Dodger. I'm almost done with my house down in SoCal. I really want to be down there. Plus I want to swing that lumber. Do you remember when I hit that Jimmy Jack in Dodger Stadium this year for the Indians? Yeah that was sweet.

Ned: Nice. How does $100 over 5 sound?

CC: Cool. Lets do it.

Now Ned is going to lose CC. He'll overpay Man Ram. He'll get Manny being Manny and not Manny being the player he was for the boys in blue last year. The Dodgers will probably still win a watered down NL West, but they probably are not legitimate World Series material.
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Guaranteed Strikeout.

The “Super Platinum Sombrero” Award: Mark Reynolds. MLB Record 204 strikeouts for the 25-year-old Arizona 3rd baseman. I haven’t seen this many swing and misses since Screech Powers with Lisa Turtle.

The “Please Make A Team Next Year So We Can See Your Wife At The Games, Preferably In A Warm State So She Isn‘t Wearing Many Clothes” Award: Kris Benson. Kris is of course married to former Thigh Of The Week, and 2008 Hot Ladies Tournament #12 seed Anna Benson. We love her. Anyway, Kris was released by the Phillies in August and is currently a free agent.

The “It’s Time To Hang ‘Em Up, And Only A Few People Knew Who You Were Anyway” Award: Mark Sweeney. Tip of the cap to Gaddeus of "The Sports Fellas" for pointing these numbers out a few days ago: .130 BA, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 28 K, .413 OPS. Sure it's only in 98 at bats, but I'd guess half the pitchers in the league would do better in 98 at bats than the 38-year-old Sweeney. Now, with all that being said, I'm sure he'll play in the NLDS against my beloved Cubs and hit 3 game-winning grand slams.

The “Latrell Sprewell” Award: New York Mets. Choked... again. 7.5 game lead blown in the last 17 games last year, and another gigantic collapse this year, including the Marlins beating them to finish the season at home yet again. And they gave their GM Omar Minaya a 4-year extension? Yikes.

The “2 Years Ago We Would’ve Said ‘He’s On The Juice’” Award: Ryan Ludwick. Unlike wine, it's rare that you see an MLB player get much better with age. Ludwick, a 30-year-old outfielder for the Cardinals, never hit higher than .267, and never hit more than 14 homers in 7 seasons with the Indians, Rangers, and Cardinals before 2008. His numbers this year: .299 BA, 37 HR, 113 RBI, .966 OPS.

The “Spent Too Much Time Eating In-N-Out Burgers" Award: Andruw Jones, or "The Bust Of The Century". Just when you thought Barry Zito and his contract looked like a joke, along came Andruw Jones and his 2 year, $36.2 million deal. Andruw who looked incredibly out of shape for the Dodgers this year, hit .158, with 3 HR, 14 RBI, and a .505 OPS in 209 AB.

The “How Is His Arm Still Intact?” Award: CC Sabathia. So the Brewers got CC to get them into the playoffs, knowing that they are unlikely to keep the lefty who will be a free agent. And to say they've gotten as much as they can out of him would probably be understating it. Since July 8th, CC has made 17 starts for the Brewers, with each of his last 2 starts being on 3 days' rest. How he's avoided an arm injury, and better yet, how he's managed to go 11-2 with a 1.67 ERA in that span is absolutely incredible.

The “We Might Not Win A Game If Not For Our Lineup” Award: Texas Rangers. The Rangers led MLB in runs scored(901), hits(1617), total bases(2647), and OPS(.816) to just name a few. However, they had an unbelievably putrid MLB-worst 5.37 ERA, with the next worst being the Orioles at 5.14. They hit an mlb-best .283, but allowed their opponents to hit .288. They still managed to finish 2nd place in the AL West with a 79-83 record. Imagine if they could even pitch almost decently.
Honorable Mention: Detroit Tigers.

The "We Might Not Win A Game If Not For Our Starting Rotation" Award: Toronto Blue Jays. Near the bottom of the league in just about every offensive category, the Blue Jays put together an MLB-best 3.49 ERA. That's even more remarkable when you consider they play in the AL East. Their rotation was just filthy(as Poorly Acquitted let us know in May), led by Roy Halladay's 20 wins(I did a blog about him in July, yes, we're going to keep plugging our other blogs in this blog), followed by AJ Burnett's 18 wins, Jesse Listch's 13 wins and 3.58 ERA, Shaun Marcum's league-leading ERA for a bit before needing Tommy John surgery which will be keep him out for 2009, and Dustin McGowan who has no-hit stuff.
Honorable Mention: Arizona Diamondbacks.

The “If Only We Did This In The 1st Half” Award: Cleveland Indians. The Tribe finished the season 81-81, and will finish 7.5 games out. On July 9th, they were 37-53,and that had been with CC Sabathia as a part of the team through July 6th.

The “Douchiest Home Run Celebration” Award: Ryan Braun. Seriously what the hell was that? And don’t even get me started on the cheesy and quite uncomfortable(especially with Prince Fielder) "untuck 'em" crap.

The "Last Year Is Looking More And More Like A Fluke" Award: Colorado Rockies. Everybody questioned if it was a fluke while their magical run was happening, and it seems that the answer is yes. They dealt with plenty of injuries this year and are probably better than their 74-88 record, but you just don't go on runs like they did last year in baseball without a lot of help. Give them credit for it, no doubt, but they need to make some serious improvements to their pitching staff if they want to make the playoffs again anytime soon.

The “My Back Hurts From Carrying My Team To The Playoffs” Award: Tie between Manny Ramirez and CC Sabathia. 2 of the best mid-season acquisitions in the history of the game. Well, for the current season at least. The Brewers might regret it next year if they go home after the first round against the Phillies, can’t re-sign CC, and watch Matt LaPorta blossom into a star in Cleveland. At least 2 of those things will happen. As for Manny, just wow: .396 BA, 17 HR, 53 RBI, and a 1.232 OPS in 187 at bats for the Dodgers! The Dodgers were 54-54 when Manny joined the team on July 31st, and finished 6 games over .500 as NL West champs.

The "Possibly The Most Hilarious Season Of All-Time" Award: Seattle Mariners. It all started in the off-season with their trade of 5 players to the Orioles for Erik Bedard. Bedard ended up being trash for the Mariners, and the Orioles appear to have some very nice young players now headlined by Adam Jones. The general manger that did that, Bill Bavasi, was then fired in June.

A couple days later, he was asked about Erik Bedard not being able to go past 100 pitches in his starts: "You have to ask him and I know that's no fun. And he's going to have a stupid answer for you can count on it. He's going to have some dumb-ass answer..."He's either gassed because he's laboring. He's protecting himself because he knows even he sticks around and is mediocre he gets another 2 million bucks lopped onto his salary...Why doesn't he go longer? It's a real pointed question. But you need to ask him. And good luck with that." Aboslute gold.

Richie Sexson was released a few days later after he'd been a bust with a gigantic contract, and then manager John McLaren was fired on June 19th. It just kept getting better!

Anyway, the crappiness and drama continues all year long, and the Mariners finished with the worst record in the American League of 61-101. They were eliminated from the division race in August! But the best part of all as Bz posted about last Friday, was the Mariners team apparently wanting to "knock out" Ichiro.

The "Receiving Death Threats From Clapp If The Cubs Lose The World Series In Game 7 Unless It's Against The Angels" Award: Bud Selig and Dan Uggla. I'm sure they'll get swept by the Dodgers so this won't come into play, but if it does, well I blame it on the freaking All-Star Game decides home-field advantage crap. Bud Selig gets the obvious blame for being the dumbass enforcing this nonsense, and Dan Uggla for making like 35 errors in the game for the National League.

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