Results tagged ‘ Micah Hoffpauir ’

Yo, Out Of Here, Adrian – And The Bunning File

I guess you mention this now to decrease your client’s trade value, so maybe the best option for his current team winds up being letting him walk as a free agent. They take the draft choice; you take the percentage of whatever the market can bear. Otherwise there can’t be anything logical about the agent for Adrian Gonzalez explaining he is expecting a Mark Teixeira deal, from the Padres, or from which ever the Padres deal Gonzalez to, or from the free agent market in the winter of 2011-12.

The Padres are not going to summon $180,000,000 even to keep a popular hometown superstar, and it seems unlikely that many other franchises would. If the Cubs really aren’t looking at Derrek Lee long term (how is my Micah Hoffpauir recommendation working out, by the way?), the Chicago teams might battle for him, maybe the Mets, but without the Yankees there to help drive the market, the money just isn’t going to be like that for a player who is not Teixeira’s defensive equal, and it would presumably limit trading interest in a pre-free agent Gonzalez to lesser prospects.
Consider what a difference a year – and a conviction by one team that they could sign him, and the conviction by another that they could not – did to Teixeira’s “value.” In 2008 the nonpareil first baseman was a nice rental in Anaheim at a price of Casey Kotchman and Steve Marek. In 2007 Atlanta (in retrospect, disastrously) gave up Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Beau Jones, thinking they were buying Teixeira.
If new Padres’ GM Jed Hoyer somehow doesn’t see those stark options, there is the added dimension of Gonzalez’s salary. At just $4.75 million this year, with an option for $5.5 million in 2011, he will be paid for two seasons what Jonathan Papelbon asked for in arbitration for just the one ahead of us.
With even the false pretense of a hometown discount erased by the agent’s remarks, there would seem there are three stages to the Padres’ end game with Gonzalez: 1) trade him immediately for a package not unlike what the Braves gave for Teixeira, to a team that believes it can sign him (if you are getting ten years of Gonzalez for the price of eight of Teixeira, the deal suddenly begins to make a little more sense). 2) It is conceivable the personnel price might peak as late as this year’s trade deadline, but certainly beyond it, it will deflate. 3) The last stage is when it just isn’t worth it for anybody to go to the prospect bank to rent Gonzalez for all or part of 2011.
Think of it this way. Trade him today and you can have Andrus, Feliz, and Saltalamacchia. Trade him in July and it might just be Andrus and Saltalamacchia. Wait until July 2011 and maybe it’s just Saltalamacchia.
BUNNING DECONSTRUCTED
I vowed when I started this blog last year to keep politics out of this, so I’ve waited until the news story involving Kentucky Senator/Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning changed from active to past tense tonight, to share an odd bit of research I compiled awhile back.
One of the more intriguing measures of a pitcher is his record in the heat of pennant races. Don Drysdale, measured against the Dodgers’ chief rivals in each season of the ’60s, was only about a .500 pitcher. Juan Marichal pitched closer to .600 ball against the key teams in the Giants’ various pennant pursuits.
Another measure paints a very odd picture of Bunning the pitcher. He just wasn’t that good down the stretch.
Only once in his years with Detroit were the Tigers competitive. On July 15, 1961, they were tied for first with the Maris/Mantle Yankees. From that date on, Bunning posted a record of just 7-5 and his losses were not exactly to the cream of the crop (Baltimore twice, Boston, Chicago, and Minnesota). The Tigers plummeted to second place, eight games out.
1964 can hardly be blamed on Bunning alone, or even to a great degree. But it is still fascinating that however foolhardy Gene Mauch was in running his starters into the ground, the facts were pretty straightforward: On the morning of September 16, Bunning was 17-5 and the Phils were still five games in front. Their ace would make five starts between that day and September 30, and he went 1-4 with a 7.46 ERA. The Phils finished third, though Bunning did win on the last day of the season in a game that could have theoretically forced a playoff.
In 1966, the Phils were still on the outskirts of the pennant race on September 5th, seven out. Bunning had a 16-9 record. He dropped five of his remaining eight decisions and the Phils were no factor down the stretch.
In the winter of 1967-68, the Pirates stripped their farm system of a couple of top prospects (shortstop Don Money, who made it, and lefty pitcher Bill Laxton, who didn’t) and packaged them with quality lefthander Woody Fryman to pry Bunning from Philadelphia. I can recall vividly that many believed the addition of a pitching ace like Bunning made the Pirates the NL favorites for 1968. He went 4-14.
In 1969, the Pirates sold Bunning to the Dodgers in mid-August (and got a couple of fringe prospects to boot) as LA sought to replace the suddenly-retired Drysdale during the frantic five-team NL West title hunt. On August 19, Los Angeles was half a game out. They proceeded to lose six of Bunning’s nine starts (four of the five after September 5, when they were still only a game-and-a-half back). The Dodgers finished fourth, eight out.
Again, you can’t pin any of these pennant race collapses entirely on Bunning. In ’64 the Phillies would never have been in the position to fold had he not dominated the league until the middle of September. In ’68 a lot more went wrong with Pittsburgh than just Bunning. And in ’69 he pitched some fine games in LA that the Dodgers could not win for him. 
But it is odd that not once in four pennant sprints did he finish strongly.

After All, His Initials Are D.L.

I think Jayson Stark started this Player “A” jazz. I’ve stolen from him before, I’ll steal from him again.

Player “A” has three homers, 11 RBI, and a .295 average in 23 games (just twelve as a starter).

Player “B” has three homers, 15 RBI, and a .209 average in 24 games (but was up to .294 in his last five games).

And it’s good news that Player “B” won’t go on the disabled list, and will return to his team’s line-up this week, replacing Player “A”?

They are, of course, A) Micah Hoffpauir, and B) Derrek Lee. There may be 44 guys in this country not named Hoffpauir who think it would be worth the Cubs’ while to let Hoffpauir succeed D-Lee right now. I’m one of them. It’s tough to think in those terms of a man who slammed 46 homers just four seasons ago. But considering he’s produced only two full, healthy seasons, since (averaging 21 homers and 86 RBI in each) and with this largely untreated bulging disk in his neck, is not likely to make this a third full season, nor reach those production numbers, it’s time to face the fact that he’s no longer among the game’s elite sluggers.

He hit five homers after July 1st last year. He hit .258 “close and late.” He hit .205 against the Cards last year and .239 against the Brewers. As he slides into his mid 30’s you begin to look around and say, salary considerations included, which teams would happily trade their first baseman for him, straight up?

It can get late early out there at first base. The Cubs might have been serving themselves well to put D.L. on the D.L. for two weeks and see if Hoffpauir has the chops on a daily basis, that he seems to offer sporadically. It’s a damn tough thing to bench a richly-compensated player, and a good guy, and a veteran. But, especially without Aramis Ramirez in the line-up, the Cubs need more than the vague hope that their first baseman will be healthy enough to finish the year with 20 homers and 85 RBI. Hoffpauir may not be the solution – two weeks would’ve given Chicago a better ability to guess.

I just don’t think guessing that D-Lee is going to perform worse, not better, requires very much ability at all. 

 

Answers

Firstly, I believe they may be, in no particular order, Russ Ohlendorf, Justin Maxwell, Micah Hoffpauir, and Jonathon Niese.

Ohlendorf, as alluded to previously, is your early frontrunner for the emergent starter of 2009 after his efficient work against the Padres (and apparently not mixing in his curve until his last inning; sliders and fastballs exclusively, previously). Maxwell, as alluded to previously, will probably have to get an audition in the Nats’ outfield after beating up the Mets today with a couple of singles, a couple of steals, and a couple of RBI. Hoffpauir, as alluded to previously, would get any time Derrick Lee misses after neck spasms forced him out this afternoon. And Niese would probably get the first shot at what may soon be an opening in the Mets’ rotation after the latest Oliver Perez “Human Torch” act.
The rest of the answers are from your posts. As mentioned earlier, political ones will be ignored (this is a politics-free zone) and abusive or irrelevant ones ignored. And we’re still looking for somebody to identify the snippet of classical music used by the Yankees during the otherwise intolerable “Great Subway Race” on their scoreboard in the brand new Empty Stadium.

Bygreenm1@nevada.eduonApril 26, 2009 4:32 PM

If I am correct, Bill Sharman was sitting on the Dodger bench during a big argument and the plate umpire–if memory serves it was Frank Dascoli–cleared the bench, meaning Sharman never played in a major league game but got thrown out of one..


You are correct sir, September 27th, 1951, and the very irascible umpire was Frank Dascoli. So Sharman saw a lot of action during his month in the majors, between that and the Dodgers-Giants playoffs. He just didn’t get to appear in any action.

The new stadium is across the street (admittedly a very wide street) from the old stadium. Things can be weird in this city, but major atmospheric changes crossing 161st Street isn’t one of them.I’d say lousy pitching is the more likely answer.

Byjbraskin@hotmail.comonApril 21, 2009 11:43 PM


This one is about the outbreak of homers at Empty Stadium. The geographical point is correct; several hundred yards north and about a hundred west of the old location should not create a wind tunnel. But this isn’t about geography, it’s about architecture. The wind tunnel is not natural, it’s man made, most likely by the open-air ring in the upper deck (replacing what had been solid wall in the old place) and the giant open-air entrances down the first and third base lines. The new Yankee Stadium is at the mercy of air flow that was walled off across the street. Whatever it is, it seems to remain in effect.


One quick question- is our intrepid blogger wearing his Superbowl XLIII press credentials? And if so…uh…why? Besides the inherent awesomeness, that is?Byjeremy.m.chao@gmail.comonApril 18, 2009 11:31 AM


This refers to a photograph from opening day. That is not in fact a Super Bowl media credential around my neck. It is a Super Bowl laniard. Apart from the phenomenal price changes, the biggest switch in the new park is the number of times one is forced to present one’s ticket. So I needed something to carry it in, and that’s what I happened to have lying around.


Keith what’s with the suit? Only baseball suits wear suits to the ball game. Leno or Jason wasn’t wearing a suit.And I bet Yankee Stadium was real quiet after that 14 spot Saturday…Nick C.,Countdown (and SF Giants) fanBynixie224@earthlink.netonApril 18, 2009 8:46 PM


Same photograph producing yet another style complaint. Frankly, the only times I’ve ever gone to a game in a suit, I was either doing a broadcast or a report from it, or, as it happened on opening day, I was heading straight down town to do my news show.


Besides which, the suit is ok at the yard once in awhile. Look at the difference it can make if you get to pose for a photo with a few viewers:


0.jpg



Things I Promised Not To Tell

Batting clean-up last night, Micah Hoffpauir of the Cubs
homered to erase Cincinnati’s only lead (off his rival Micah, Owings, no
less), walked, then lifted a sacrifice fly to put his team back in front.
“He’s going to get 350 at bats this year,” Lou Piniella told me as Hoffpauir’s
dominant spring training ended. “A little first, a little left, a little
right.” Lou being Lou, of course, after Hoffpauir showed what he could do with
those 350 at bats, he was due up with the bases loaded and a lefty reliever on
the mound. So Lou pinch-hit Reed Johnson for him, and Johnson promptly struck
out. Sigh.

Pitching Coach Joe Kerrigan never counts chickens in
advance, certainly not in Pittsburgh, but even in the middle of the spring he was
insistent he had been able to help Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf -
especially Karstens – with arm slots and release points. Are the last two
nights against Florida indicators that he was right, or just the odds breaking
against the Marlins?

The latest Pedro Martinez story – about some vague interest
by the Angels – is probably overblown, to say the least. A National League
General Manager who was incorrectly rumored to be interested, said a month ago
that people sure were getting hopped up over him handcuffing the Dutch team -
during the first week of spring training – and not hitting 90 on the radar gun
as he did so.

So far this year Daniel Murphy has dropped a fly in left to
cost Johan Santana a game, and, last night, after getting picked off by Yadier
Molina, and then deciding that the only way to get past Molina at the plate was
not to slide but rather enact a dance move, managed to slide out from under a
crucial fly ball in St. Louis. The Mets are in awe of the youngster’s plate
discipline but after Murphy’s tight night, manager Jerry Manuel suggested he
needed to relax and admitted “I guess I’m a little concerned.”

Another Cubs note. If you’re wondering how they hope to keep
Rich Harden
intact into the second half of the season, yes, they will occasionally
skip his starts or give him extra days off. Kind of like the Chien-Ming Wang
plan. Only without the euphemistic “tune-up in Florida.” And replacing him in
the rotation at some point, more likely with Phil Hughes than Ian Kennedy. But
Wang is just fine – there’s nothing to see here.

A last question. Does it seem to you like the Angels treat
Brandon Wood as if he owed them money? Like they let him up every once in
awhile so he can breathe, before they stick him back under the water?

By the way, the title of this post is facetious – it comes from an obscure reference in the movie “All About Eve.” No actual confidences were violated in the writing of this blog.

FAN OF THE DAY:

Hats off to Ben Erdel. As part of his big night at Yankee Stadium last night, Brett Gardner let one of his Louisville Sluggers fly into the stands. Mr. Erdel and a much younger gentleman both had their hands on the rare souvenir – although only the younger gentleman had just managed to avoid getting hit with the helicoptering bat. Mr. Erdel took the bat, took a few steps, and then thought better of it, and generously did the right thing.

The younger gentleman now has a singular thrill from his first Yankee homestand, exceeding his previous one – being my nephew.

Here is Nephew, Jacob Smith, far left, and his bat, which was not stolen by either Katy Tur or Maegen Carberry.

IMG_1698.JPG

And here is Mr. Erdel, whose second prize is a blog posting (and a clear conscience, and one happy kid left in his wake). Thank you, Sir.

IMG_1696.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,946 other followers