18 November 2002

Keeping Up With the Perricones, Carminatis, Gleemans, Pintos...

It looks like my priorities have been all out of whack for the last several days: Spending time with my wife and good friends, going to church, buying groceries...instead of doing what's really important: Writing yet another slant on the current baseball news. Frankly, I haven't had much to say about a lot of the stuff that's happened. But some of it's worth discussing.

The Headaches for Headaches Trade I discussed last week turned out to be a Headaches for Headache and money for Tim Spooneybarger (a headache to write, in itself!) and a PTBNL . Nothing's really changed from what I wrote, except that Atlanta may be a more attractive option for Hampton than Florida, what with their eleven consecutive division titles and all, and the Bravos won't hafta pay but about $35 million of the $80+ mil owed to His Gopherball-ness. Not a bad deal. If he doesn't keep sucking. Mike Carminati does a good job of hashing out all the creative accounting involved in the deal.

El Dusto was named as the Cubbies' new field manager, to nobody's surprise except maybe Osama Bin Laden, who has evidently been under a pile of rocks until very recently. Serves him right. Many are not sure Dusty has what it takes to take a young, talented team that needs a chance to develop and make it a contender, but then he's never really tried, so we can't knock him just yet. But soon. Don't you worry, soon. Christian over at the Cub Reporter has some good analysis of Dusty's future.

Bob Melvin was named the new manager of the Seattle Mariners, who seem to do a better job of not leaking these types of decisions too soon than the Cubs do. All I know about Bob Melvin is that

A) He has three first names. This is not such a terrible thing as you might think. Heck, so do I!

2) He spent the last few years as the bench coach for possibly the worst tactical manager to win a World Series in recent memory

iii) He was once a fourth-string catcher for the Yankees, and was needlessly placed on the DL with something called a "strained neck" in order to make room for someone important coming back from a rehab assignment.

This tells me two things, and only two things, about his prospects as a manager of the Mariners:

He probably knows less about in-game strategery than Bob Brenly, which is bad. And he may know some good roster-shuffling tricks. Hopefully this is not his greatest asset.

Felipe Alou was named manager of the SF Giants, also not much of a surprise. This is an interesting choice, too, because like Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou is being asked to do something he's never had to do before: He must take a predominantly veteran team that is already a contender, and make it a champion. He's already 67, which isn't as bad as some would have you think, but since he's from the Dominican Republic, that probably means that he's really about 207, which is not so good. John Perricone has a seriously thorough breakdown of what Alou might do based on (what else?) what he's done in the past. Good stuff.

Cory Lidle was traded to the Blue jays for two prospects no one but their parents have ever heard of. This is a good trade for both teams, potentially. Billy Beane makes his living dumping replaceable, thirtysomething pitchers making $5 million on other teams. The fact that he got two prospects in return is just gravy. Beane must have a stash of league-average innings-munching starters (Gil Heredia, Tom Candiotti, Mike Oquist) in his linen closet. Right between the sage hand towels and the utility infielders with plate discipline. With the three great, young pitchers the A's already have, and the possibility of another one developing in Aaron Harang, the A's didn't need Lidle, not at that price. What surprises me about it is that JP Riccardi, a former pupil of Beane's and now the GM of the Blue Jays, was on the other end of the deal. He should know better.

New Links...

I have added a few new links, one new blog, on the left, and two non-blogs on the right.

The one on the left is Bronx banter, a brandy-spankin' new blog by Alex Belth, a New York native who will keep you up on some of the things going on there. Alex seems to be just learning about how to set up his blog, but the writing is quite good. I suggest (if he ever reads my stuff) that he find a different template before he makes too many modifications to the existing one. Mike Carminati and Misha Berkowitz (whom Alex replaces on my page) both use that one already. Just a suggestion.

It's pretty mean and vindictive, but then, I don't watch Todd Hundley play every day, and I'm not exacxtly Mr. Nice Writer myself all the time, so who am I to preach? Hundley has hit near or below the Mendoza Line four of the last five years, so maybe it's past-time for the Cubs to cut their losses. The fake interview part is pretty funny.

The other is for a book I have not read, but hey, if Rob neyer says it's good, then it's good. besides, the site itself has lots of stuff worth reading. Go check out

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