Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This is why I should probably consider maybe doing drugs

For some reason, I'm in a crappy mood this morning. Maybe it's because last night's "House" was a re-run. Maybe it's because after clearing about $85 in online poker last night, I lost it all back and a little more with some totally inexcusable play that makes me want to commit corporal mortification on myself. Maybe it's because I shaved. I don't know. I do know, however, that the last thing I need to see when I'm already in a bad mood is that the Padres are close to signing Craig Counsell.

I realize that Kevin Towers doesn't read this blog, nor does he care much about the sabermatricians in his fan base. The Padres, frankly, are exactly the kind of franchise that pulls these kinds of moves. They're big on "character," and thusly guys who supposedly possess at surfeit of it. Me? I'm big on guys who can play baseball to some degree. I am convinced that Craig Counsell is no longer even bad at baseball; he really doesn't even exist anymore.

Counsell, in 2006: .255/.327/.347

In case everyone else was wondering, that last number is Counsell's slugging percentage, not OBP. If that were Counsell's OBP, that would be pretty awesome for him, considering it's three points higher than his career average. And that's the thing about Counsell that really pisses me off: If he were an aging veteran who was on the downside of his career, I could see it. But Counsell's 2007 season wasn't far off the beaten path for him; he's always been a shitty baseball player. But, because he has a high Eckstein Grittiness Metric score, he's beloved and probably won't have to retire until he's 60 and his VORP has hit -78.

And, now, it looks like he might be starting(!) for the Friars at second base next season. Christ. I don't want to hear Justin talk about David Bell, ever again.

Other things that are making me pissy this morning:

- I cut Peter Gammons a ton of slack. Even though he's still a little old-timey with some of his analysis, he's also done an admirable job of accepting the newer ways of looking at baseball and bringing them to a bigger stage. If anything, he's done more for Bill James' Q-rating than just about anyone else not named Billy Beane or Michael Lewis. And, for about three years, he was the only remotely reasonable, informed baseball mind on Baseball Tonight, which went from being my favorite show on television to unwatchable with the introduction (simultaneously, even!) of Harold Reynolds, John Kruk and Steve Phillips. Oh, and Brantley was on there every so often as well.

But has anyone else noticed that Peter Gammons isn't even remotely making sense anymore? Jesus, man, where are the copy editors? Don't they know that this is one of the greatest baseball writers to ever live that they're allowing to look like a buffoon? Give him some goddamn help!

- This story, right here, made me want to punch someone. Unfortunately, I am surrounded by septuagenarian women today, so that's probably a bad idea. But, honestly, it's this kind of sports commentary that makes me absolutely crazy. And, because Buster links to this asshole a lot, I end up reading most of his uninformed crap. He's a dickwad.

If I'm a GM, do I sign Drew? Probably not. The injury history is super-problematic, and to whatever degree "clubhouse chemistry" has an effect on the outcome of games -- I suspect it's much, much less than most fans and sportswriters think it is -- Drew's clearly not going to be a guy that everyone else on your team wants to hang out with. But if I were a GM, I probably wouldn't want to sign Soriano or Lee, either, and the three of these guys are the only "impact" bats available on the free agent market. Considering the absurd amount of money that's been thrown at Soriano and Lee, neither of whom are anywhere close to as valuable (when healthy) as Drew is to a lineup, and the Red Sox's potential need for a bat to replace Manny, Epstien's interest in Drew is far from "obscene." It's the symptom of a market that's gone absolutely crazy. And, frankly, it makes a lot more sense than them throwing that money at a guy like Lee, who acts as if walks are an affront.

One thing that made me feel a little better this morning:

- Burn, Ned Coletti. Burn.

Late edits:

- This and this have completely turned my day around.


Anonymous said...

Grossman would be a perfect fit in Detroit with Mike Martz.

Anonymous said...

Who knew Kevin Towers — with his love of getting "character guys", you know, like the kid with the .980 OPS who he obtained for one of the team's nicest guys, Barfield, a month ago — was a fan of "Two Guys?"

He has apparently gotten cold feet. From Ken Rosenthal:

The Milwaukee Brewers are getting closer to a deal with free-agent infielder Craig Counsell, FOXSports.com has learned.
If the Brewers are able to land the former Diamonbacks shortstop, it could result in the Padres making a move to obtain Tony Graffanino as their every day second baseman.
The Padres made a run at Counsell on Monday, but their offer to him is now off the table according to a source with knowledge of their discussions.

The Brewers would prefer Counsell to Graffanino; Counsell is a left-handed hitter and stronger shortstop. J.J. Hardy, the Brewers' everyday shortstop, played only 35 games last season due to a right-ankle injury.

Counsell, who went to high school in Milwaukee and played for the Brewers during the 2004 season, has a lifetime .260 average. He hit .254 with four home runs and 42 RBIs in 2006.

St said...

Saying that JD Drew is more valuable when healthy is like saying that I'm an NBA-caliber point guard when I'm being guarded by a unicorn.

I will never understand your and the brothers Finley's collective hard-on for JD Drew. How much fucking upside potential impact can you have when you're 31? Not to mention the fact that he's a reprehensible human being who deserves all those injuries.

Anonymous said...

As usual, St., you're making assumptions based on the fact I argued with Doyle over some sort of over-the-top point he made over the weekend.
Just because I have him on my fantasy team doesn't mean I like him — it just means that I think he, WHEN HEALTHY, is a pretty good baseball player. And 20 home runs, 1000 RBIs is a pretty good year, especially when you play in cavernous Dodger Stadium.

In fact, I agree with Doyle when he wonders why anyone would shop Manny Ramirez for a guy like Drew, who is bound to either be hurt — or flipping out due to the pressure — when he's in Boston. Say what you want about ManRam's ecceentricities, but he always performs.

But it's OK, St. I'd be bitter, too, if my team signed Adam Eaton for the GDP of most countries. Apparently Woody Williams was off the market. Wait, he was. At $6M per.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I inadvertently wrote 1,000 RBIs. That would do wonders for his VoRP

St said...

You want to hear something really disgusting? If anything, the Phils got Adam Eaton for below market value. Did you catch Randy Wolf's contract numbers? They replaced him with essentially a statistically identical pitcher for less than than Wolf is going to make. Being a lefty is, apparently, worth 1.6 million dollars.

Granted, Eaton's contract is 3 years with an option for 4, and Wolf's is 1, but Eaton's also younger, and Wolf's price may go up more if he has a good year coming off the TJ surgery. Not bad for a guy whose innings have gone down every year for the last five, while his (completely luck-based) ERA has gone up each year.

I hate baseball.

Diesel said...

I know it's a little late in the response game, here, but don't you get pissy with me because Pat Gillick's lost his goddamn mind, "St."

I shouldn't have to say this -- since I actually said it in the original post you've so delightfully ignored -- but I don't "love" Drew. I think he's a decent-to-good ballplayer with a long injury history that is about as friendly as Jeff Kent. But I think it's interesting that outside of Soriano's career year last season, neither he nor Lee have ever come close to Drew's production as a hitter, even with the sheer number of games Drew missed. If you like, I'll list all the numbers, but I'm not in the mood right now. The bottom line is I'm right, and you just hate him because he didn't want to play for your shitty home team.

But back on the Eaton thing; I don't think this will end up being below market value, because this contract's going to set the market. It would have been a much better gamble for the Phillies to have kept Wolf for a seaosn at more per year, because at least Wolf has given some indication, based on past performance, that he can be a good pitcher. Eaton's pretty much sucked from the get. Look at those HR-allowed numbers while he was with the Padres! He might give up 100 shots this year between the stadium and Charlie Manuel's autism.

Anon: 1000 RsBI would not increase Drew's VORP.

St said...

They tried to keep Wolf, but LA outbid them, and he wanted to go back to California. They didn't sign Eaton until they were sure Wolf was leaving. I think Wolfy's contract basically set the market -- $8 milly/year for a soft-throwing lefty coming off a spate of injuries, whose career peaked somewhere around 2001?

Eaton's no gem, that's for sure. But their numbers are strikingly similar, he's younger, he's somewhat less injury-prone, and he's cheaper. I'd rather have him at 6 mil and change for this season than Wolf at 8 (or Wolf at the 9.1 the Phils paid him to play half of last season). I don't think the Eaton signing is a bad move at all. Although I am sad that the Wolf Pack will be no more.

And for the 100th time, I'm glad JD Drew was never a Phillie. Because he's a somewhat talented and wildly overpaid clubhouse cancer who can't stay healthy.

God I wish the Phils had somebody to offer in a trade for Vernon Wells. Supposedly they really want him, but they're not about to give up Utley, Howard, or Hamels. I say we ship Brett Myers and a prospect.