Ever committed to spending on their roster (but hey taxpayers, thanks for that half a bil for our new stadium), the Miami Marlins traded Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck (who, as it happens, had by far his best year in Toronto) to the Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar (whose eye-black will surely be closely watched in South Beach), Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis and several minor leaguers. Today dawns quite a bit differently in the AL East than yesterday did.
Demented and sad, but social, right?
If the Marlins had fans I bet they'd be really ticked off right now, and rightfully so.... why has MLB not contracted this franchise yet?
Wow. I thought the East Coast bias would have led to Showalter's selection as the AL MOY. But there is justice (sometimes) in these votes. Melvin did much more with much less. Most of all all, he did lead the A's to the West championship, finally losing the flag to the Tigers. Monte Poole explains it all.
It also proves that Melvin is an elite-level manager, having won in both leagues. He won the NL MOY in 2007 with the DBacks. Only five others have accomplished that (including Davey Johnson, also this year).
I do wonder if the A's would have succeeded where the Tigers failed. Oh, well. That's baseball.
Last edited by Jim3k; 11-14-2012 at 03:18 PM.
Regarding the Marlins fire-sale, Loria is scum and dishonest. He lied to the people of South Florida to get them to buy him a stadium. I don't know how he can go out to eat in that town, because I suspect every waiter in town will spit in his food before serving him.
He has truly set a new standard for evil owners in sports. It is one thing to move a franchise, like the guys who owned the Sonics did or like the Baltimore Colts leaving under the cover of night, but to tell a community to give you money -- money that could have been used for schools or police or fixing potholes -- and then immediately sell off your team so there is no hope of being competitive... that's just wrong on a whole different level.
It is clear that this guy has decided he can make a very tidy profit by taking tens of millions of revenue sharing money from the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox; and tens of millions more from league-wide TV contracts; and the product he puts on the field just does not matter. It is disgusting. It is wrong. And it is anti-competitive.
This is a serious issue for baseball. Having one of your teams be a farm team for the rest of the league goes against the interest of the game of baseball. The Marlins insanity has now changed the balance of power in the AL East... that's wrong and should be addressed, for the good of the game.
The worst part is that even if the Marlins decided to compete again, no free agent would sign with them. Their own good players, like their young, stud outfielder Stanton, are not going to sign long-term deals with the club. The Marlins have lost any trust from fans or players... and without that trust, it is impossible to build a team. Pathetic!
-Jason "baseball should teach Loria a lesson and just seize the team from him... never gonna happen but that would be awesome!" Evans
Loria's only able to turn a profit because his team *isn't* treated like a business. It's unconscionable to take hundreds of millions of public dollars and then gut the team. Breaking up a last-place team and rebuilding it is fine - a fire sale is something else entirely.
I'm rather tired of professional sports teams falling back on the business side of sports when it suits them, then holding their hands out for public assistance.
Allow me to pile on Loria.
On one hard, there is an argument to be made that it was not a terrible deal for the Marlins. Josh Johnson was once one of the most promising young throwers in the game, but his skills have never bounced back from back and arm problems. Buehrle is going to be 34 years old and while still useful, he hasn't won more than 13 games in five years (and his 15 win season in 2008 was his only 13-plus win season in the last nine years). John Buck is a solid defensive catcher who hit .192 last season. Bonifacio is a speedy outfielder with absolutely no bat (an OPS of .645). Reyes is the one bona-fide quality player they gave up and he has a history of injuries.
I can hear Branch Rockey explaining the trade of Ralph Kiner "We finished last with you ... we can finish last without you." Dumping veterans for a bunch of young players is how Miami built two world championship teams. After winning the first, they dumped the team for young players and those young players did it again. Who is to say they won't do it again.
Okay, that's the argument ... let me say, it's BS.
The Marlins did not get a bunch of qualifty prospects back for their veterans. They got one good, but not great outfield prospect ... they got a talented major league shortstop who is a PR nightmare (and not nearly as good as Reyes).
I heard one baseball expert make a very valid point -- this is nothing more or less than a salary dump. If you were legitimately trying to deal a bunch of mediocre veterans (which most of these guys are) for the prospects to win the title, you would have shopped around. Send Buehrle to the Yanks for a couple of good kids. Send Johnson to the Rangers for a player or two. Send Reyes to the Braves for some real prospects. Don't dump them all in one place for a handful of non-magic beans.
Even worse, he made the point that this was premeditated. His evidence was that almost all of the long-term contracts Luria signed with last year's stars were back-loaded. Take Reyes -- he gets $10 million this year and next, then it jumps to $16 million, then from 2015 to 2018, it jumps to $22 million a year. It's also significant that they refused to give any no-trade deals in their contracts -- Pujols was courted by Miami and might have come, but they refused to include a no-trade clause in his deal.
I think it's clear that Luria was planning to do this all along.
Keep in mind that they already dumped Hanley Ramirez late last season ... and keep in mind that five years ago they dumped 24-year-old Miguel Cabrera to Detroit for six players ... and the only one that's still around (I think) is Andrew Miller, who is a so-so middle reliever for the Red Sox.
As a Yankee fan, I always thought the criticism of Steinbrenner's spending was unfair -- he did what you should want your owner to do ... invest his profits back in the team ... and consequently make more profits. But he has been demonized and because of that, we've got a system that rewards stingy owners to refuse to spend on quality players and instead makes his money from the league's revenue sharing plan.
Which is the bad guy here?
Most "experts" had the A's and Orioles finishing last in their respective divisions. The Orioles also had two starting Outfielders, their second baseman, third baseman/of, two dhs, and two of their best starting pitchers spend significant time on the disabled list. Two of their other starting pitchers to start the season were sent down to the minors due to ineffectiveness. But Buck still found a way to win. It seemed like everyone Dan Duquette acquired managed to fill a roll and exceed expectations. Again, I believe Buck was a big reason for this. (Also, it's a travesty that Duquette got ZERO votes for executive of the year). To sum up, while I think Melvin was a worthy finalist, in my admittedly biased opinion I think Buck is the manager who did more with less, and thus should have been manager of the year.
A collection of delightful quotes about Jeffrey Loria:
"In the end, you wonder why Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria didn't just follow his players out of the country on Tuesday. He has no future here. Baseball has no future with him here...
Please don't delude yourself by thinking the Marlins will use these saved millions and rebuild the roster by smartly signing free agents. There's no chance of that. None." Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun Sentinel"Itís disgusting. Itís the kind of deal that makes you wonder how a man like this was ever allowed to buy a baseball franchise and keep it for as long as he has. Whatever kind of art dealer Loria is doesnít matter now. The only memorable 'art' he should be known for dealing in is the art of the scam. And to his credit, Jeffrey Loria has done it as well as anyone ever has." -- Anthony Witrado, Sporting NewsLoria and his executives turned their seven-month-old, $600-million 80-percent-publicly-funded park into a toxic dump where no sane player will choose to play as long as present management has its hands on the throats of the team. Thomas Boswell, Washington Post (note: this entire column contains some great history on Loria's sordid baseball history in several markets)"This deal, even if it works out for the Marlins, is a violation of the public trust. Iíd say that commissioner Bud Selig should invoke his 'best interest of baseball' powers to nullify the blockbuster. But frankly, the best interests of baseball would be better served if the deal led to Loriaís demise." -- Ken Rosenthal, Fox SportsThink of it this way: The $150 million Loria will save with the trade could pay off his share of the new ballpark, with money left over. If only the people of South Florida could be so lucky; they'll be stuck paying the other $500 million for years. -- Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press-Jason "he's just a bad person..." Evans"Bernie Madoff is spending the rest of his life in prison for his con job. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and President David Samson get to walk free, enjoying the fine artwork, fish tanks and swimming pools in their $634 million facility." -- Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY
The biggest loss was ace pitcher Brandon McCarthy's season-ending head injury. His loss was seemingly irreplaceable. But Melvin dealt with it and all these things admirably and his team overtook last year's champs, the Rangers, on the last day by beating the Tigers. The A's backed into nothing; they earned it on the field, sweeping the Rangers in their last 3-game series then fought the Tigers to a draw at the end of the season.
I agree that Showalter was deserving of being in close contention. But IMO Melvin was a bit better. And our disagreement is what baseball is all about.
The Orioles didn't back into anything; they were 48-29 after the All-Star break. And I would say Buck did just as well with his staff as Melvin did. Chen was a rookie coming over from Japan, Gonzalez was a rookie who was pitching in the Mexican League last year. Coming into the season, Jake Arrieta was 16-14 with a 4.89 era and a 1.493 whip. Brian Matusz was 16-23 with a 5.62 era and a 1.53 whip. Jason Hammel was 34-45 with a 4.99 era and a 1.47 whip. Chris Tillman was 7-15 with a 5.58 era and a 1.578 whip. So it's not like Buck was dealing with a bunch of Cy Young award contenders.
Sorry, I forgot to add Zach Britton, who was 11-11 with a 4.61 era and a 1.451 whip, and started the year on the d.l.
Last edited by toughbuff1; 11-15-2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Forgot Zach Britton
Samson didn't appreciate the contract -Mariners' GM Bill Bavasi didn't appreciate Samson -I would say it’s the end of the world as we know it. … I am speechless by that contract. … It’s unbelievable. Literally, it will take the sport down, that contract. We’re right back to the ridiculous contracts. It can’t be.My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is, '[bleep] Dave Samson,’ then don’t say anything at all. So I’m not going to say anything at all. Is my mother the greatest or what?
Last edited by Blue in the Face; 11-15-2012 at 05:12 PM.
Demented and sad, but social, right?
After All-Star game: A's 51-25; O's 48-29
A's v. O's Head to head: A's 5, O's 4
A's v. East Div. 28-18, 60% win record
O's v. East Div. 43-29, 59% win record
A's v. West Div. 33-24, .578
O's v. West Div. 16-18, .470
Total final record:
A's 94-68, .580 -- Div. Winner
O's 93-69 .574 -- Tied with Rangers for both wild cards
And, I suspect, those are the reasons Melvin wins the MOY by a couple of frog hairs.
And, as I've said--IMO, Well-Deserved!
I'm willing to concede that the O's were a tough opponent. They've got some teriffic players: Wieters, Jones, Hardy, Markakis and some others. Wieters may be the best catcher in baseball (except for Buster Posey).
Allow me to cast my stone upon Loria's mutilated public image.
Loria has now gone scorched earth on Major League Baseball in two different cities, Montreal and Miami. It's disappointing that he and Bud are apparently tight, because he won't be punished for what he has done. I hope Giancarlo Stanton finds the fastest way out of that organization.
Oh, and Trout should have been the MVP. Five perfect tools and a consensus WAR title, this should have been enough for the sabre folks and the old codgers alike.
I disagree about the Trout/Cabrera argument.
Look, I love the new numbers as much as anybody (with one exception) and I think the Triple Crown IS overrated. RBIs especially are a bogus stat (more dependent on your teammates than yourself). Batting average is nice, but not nearly as good as OBP. Home runs are definitely a strong category, although not as good as SLUG. And I got angry everytime I heard an expert suggest that Cabrera deserved extra credit because his team won the division, but Trout's missed the playoffs -- Trout's team actually won one more game than the Tigers ... are we supposed to reward Cabrera because his team played in a weak division (and consequently had a weaker schedule)?
Yet, with all that, I finally came around to Cabrera. Here's why:
-- Of al the new stats, WAR is the one I absolutely refuse to accept. I've written about this on other threads, but the calculations just don't make sense in the real world. A stat that suggests that Rich Reushel has more career value than Bob Feller is bogus. A stat that argues that Brett Gardner was the most valuable defensive player in baseball in 2010 -- as a leftfielder? -- and indeed had one of the 10 most valuable defensive seasons in baseball history (more valuable than almost any year for Brooks Robinson or Ozzie Smith or Willie Mays in their prime) cannot be trusted.
Let me add one more logical reason to reject WAR as a valid statistic. Miguel Cabrera LOST points for playing third base because by the WAR numbers, he was worst defensively than a replacement level player. WAR would have rated him higher had he played DH. Would he have been as valuable to the Tigers as a DH ... or back at first base, his best position? By moving him to third, the Tigers were able to play Prince Fielder at first and thereby become a stronger team. The same applies to Derek Jeter. He's penalized by WAR for playing shortstop (never mind his five gold gloves). He would rate higher as a DH ... yet anybody with any bseball knowledge understands that Jeter is been far more valuable in his career because of his ability to play short. But WAR doesn't buy that.That's why I don't buy WAR.
The stats I do buy -- OBP, OPS, etc. -- can be shown to relate to the real world better than sme of the older stats. If you compare teams by run scored and batting average, you find only a slight relationship. Compare OBP and OPS with ryuns scored and you find a much, MUCH closer relationship. Those stats matter. WAR does not.
-- So let's look at the stats I DO buy. Trout actually has slightly better numbers -- his OBP is slightly better (.399 to .393) and while his OPS is worse (.963 to .999), his OPS plus (which factors in that he played in a touher offensive home park) is in Trout's favor -- 171 to 165.
-- Trout picks up extra credit for his baserunning. Stolen bases are not all that important in the scheme of things, but when you steal successfully in 49 of 54 attempts as Trout did, that's a plus. Defensively he's a much more valuable player than Cabrera. Although I don't think he was quite the defensive player his highlight reel suggested -- the fact that the Angels frequently subbed for him in center defensively (moving him to left) suggests that he's still a bit unpolished in center.
So why vote for Cabrera? It finally came down to two things.
-- Trout played just 139 games while Cabrera played in 161 games. Trout might have been 5 percent more valuable in my eyes, but Cabrera played in 14 percent more games. There has to be a cumulative factor.
-- The award is more valuable (not most outstanding) and down the stretch, Cabrera was clearly the more valuable player for his team. He had a 1.092 OPS in August and a 1.071 OPS in September/October as the Tigers ran down the White Sox and earned a playoff spot. Trout dropped to .866 OPS in August and .900 in September/October as the Angels failed to win a playoff spot.
That stretch drive changed my mind. About Sept, 1, I still was going to vote for Trout ... but the way Cabrera finished vs. the way Trout finished changed my mind.
BJ Upton to Braves. Good pick-up for Atlanta.
Eat Mor Jonny.
Have a hard time getting excited about Upton.
I just know that when he was in Durham, he was one of the most selfish, disruptive players to ever come through the franchise.
I hope he's grown up a little bit.
Oh, and the fact is that his numbers are pretty lousy too -- he's topped .800 in OPS once in his eight seasons. He's has a career .758 OPS (and a 105 OPS plus). You certainly don't want him replacing Bourn at the top of the order -- he had a .298 OBP last season and he's averaged 160-plus strikeouts over each of his last four years.
I wish I could be excited about this, but this guy is an awfully mediocre ballplayer to be signing for $75 million over five years.
Nats pick up Span from Minny for a top pitching prospect (although I'm sure the few, the recently proud Nats fans can enlighten us on Alex Meyer). Overall, a very solid move that will probably be under the radar with all the money going to Upton/Hamilton but will probably go further to deciding the division. True lead off hitter and solidifies center field. Bryce will probably move over to a corner position (for good) along with Werth.
This makes Laroche more of a luxury. Not sure if they even want him back. As much as I like Morse and his ability to play first and the OF, it will be tough to keep up Laroche's slugging although Morse brings a better average.
These two moves certainly put the pressure on the Phillies. Lot of agents/scouts are speculating that Philly will just go out and sign Hamilton. Not sure that is the prudent move but the Phillies might not have much time left. I'd probably prefer Bourn/Pagan who will be cheaper/require less years and I'd love Youkilis at 3rd but if they don't get Hamilton, I'd suspect they go out and make a splash in the trade market in some capacity (Span would have been a great addition).