Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

A’s Bring Back Pitching Coach Curt Young, And Hope For 2012

Curt Young ditches his team of drunks for younger kids who aren't old enough to drink

With a football resurgance going on in the Bay Area – the Raiders and 49ers are both off the great starts in the NFL season – Northern California baseball fans are wondering what it would be like if their MLB teams returned to contention next year. Sure, the Giants are, for a few more days, the reigning World Series champions, but they took a step back this year. But, if you know us, you know Doin Work is more about the A’s anyway. Over the second half of the season, it became clear that Oakland is not too far off from being competitive again. The pitching was clearly there, they just needed to find the offense to go with it, which has been a problem since the A’s went to the ALCS in 2006. But after we finally got rid of manager Bob Geren, the hitting finally came around. Problem is, the pitching suffered. Injuries were a factor, losing guys like Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson certainly hurt, but even ace Trevor Cahill had a down year. While I’m not so sure pitching coach Ron Romanick was the problem, there’s no denying the fact that the A’s pitching staff had much success under his predecessor, Curt Young. Young was let go last year to take the Boston Red Sox position, but we all know what happened there last year. With the Epstein-Francona regime ousted from power, Curt was left looking for a new team. Fortunately, the A’s wereright here waiting (as Richard Marx once sang in 1989 when Young helped pitch the A’s to a World Series pennant). Before he left to coach the Red Sox beer-drinking, fried chicken eating, video game playing bums, Young led the A’s staff to a 3.47 ERA, the lowest for an AL team in 20 years. It’s pretty much the same staff he left, with Braden and Anderson set to rejoin Cahill, and perhaps the new ace of the staff, all-star Gio Gonzalez. So, if Curt Young can help return the rotation to top form, it will allow the A’s front office and coaching staff to focus all of their attention on the offense, where it absolutely belongs.

 

Advertisements

Slow Out Of The Box

There’s quite a few surprise teams here in the first week of the MLB season, like the Orioles and Royals, but let’s focus on the negatives here. There are four teams that are playing downright ugly baseball to start the season. It’s not hard for us A’s fans, since we’ve had the privilege of witnessing 10 errors in the team’s first 4 games. Fortunately they were able to scrape out a 2-1 victory today to pull back up to 2-4. The Giants were able to do the same by beating the Padres pretty handily, though Brian Wilson had a shaky debut. 2-4 ain’t pretty, but to me, it’s a whole lot better than 1-5, or even worse, 0-6…. No one expected the Rays to be contenders this year, but no one thought they’d be this bad. Even fewer people thought the Red Sox would be this bad. I’m loving it of course, but I’ll hold back from piling it on until the season’s over and they DIDN’T make an improbable run into the playoffs. Obviously they’re off to the most disappointing start, but which team here has the most reason to panic early on?….


Doin MLB Power Rankings

We had some very nice weather for Memorial Day weekend in California, which is probably why we didn’t get anything posted on the blog. As the ever so powerful NBA marketing campaign has taught me, we need to get back to the top of our game. So I’m back at the computer to dish out some MLB power rankings. San Diego, Cincy, and Oakland are by far the biggest surprises in the MLB as they all hold their respective divisional leads, and nobody saw that coming. If you did, you’re a liar! It was quite an eventful weekend, and maybe if you were camping you might not have known that Roy Halladay threw a perfect game or that the Lakers and Celtics are squaring off in the NBA Finals for another classic, yippee… Anyways, here’s who I see as the top 16 teams in the league.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays (34-17)

They may have struggled a little lately. Being swept by Boston and going 4-6 over their last ten isn’t encouraging, but they have to be tested sooner or later to see if they are indeed for real. It’s a long season, and that three game lead they have in the division could disappear quickly with everyone in the AL East playing well. I think they need Pena to hit a little better than .177, and the rest of their lineup has been in a little bit of a lull. I’m sure they will start hitting again. I don’t see any Phillies like slumps coming on.

#2 New York Yankees (31-20)

The Yankees are starting to put up some runs and wins in bunches. They’ve only lost one series this whole season, and whenever you see them on your teams schedule, you are worried. I almost put them atop my rankings, but just couldn’t talk myself into it since they are three games back. The Yankees have a cakewalk in June, so don’t be surprised to see them atop the AL East by the end of the month.

#3 Minnesota Twins (31-20)

I dismissed the Twins in our predictions for the season, but when fantasy drafts came around I was all in on guys like Morneau, Mauer, and Span for all my leagues. Seems like they love their new digs. They are 19-9 in their brand new Target Field. Nick Blackburn just finished off an amazing month going 5-0 with a 2.49 era. Twins are finally liking that extension they gave him. I still can’t figure out why I didn’t see them as this good when the year started.

#4 San Diego Padres (31-20)

How do the Padres have the best record in the NL going into June? It’s a loaded question. Are they a $38 million team, built for now!?! I’ll go out on a limb and say no, but the future is as bright as the sunshine in SD. What’s amazing is they could conceivable take on some big names around the trade deadline instead of shopping AGon and Heath Bell around like we all thought they would be doing. Matt Latos went 4-1 in May with a ridiculous 1.49 ERA. Looks like they got a pretty good pitcher from Chicago in the Peavy deal. Continue reading


Doin MLB Power Rankings

It’s been a few weeks since we had our last power rankings up, and the landscape has changed a little now that we are about 1/5th of the way through the season. There were a few teams that fell out of the rankings, and some that moved up from the first power rankings we did. I’m really pumped that I haven’t had to put the Angels on the list. I think as long as Fuentes stays their closer that will help keep them off the list. Anyways, here’s how the top 16 shaking out.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays (22-10) – Getting zero hits and zero runs in one game doesn’t lose you the top spot, especially when it was the first time they lost two straight on the road all season, and it took perfection to do it. The Rays worst starter ERA is Wade Price’s 3.18, and is the reason they are doing so well. We will see if they can hold up when they start playing in their division more. If the Yankees hadn’t mirrored their losses, I may have moved the Rays down a spot.

#2 New York Yankees (21-10) – They’ve only lost one out of ten series they’ve played in this season. Maybe if Brett Gardner played a little better they might be number one, haha, just kidding. I’m pretty shocked how good Gardner is doing, and if he keeps it up I’ll be mad I didn’t pick him up for the fantasy team. Swisher has been great lately too, which makes me somewhat root for them, because I love my former A’s players. They’ve lost a couple in a row, but there are no concerns in NY now that Texiera seems to finally be seeing the ball.

#3 Philadelphia Phillies (20-12) –After taking three of four from the Cards, and playing ten days in a row going 8-2 makes me think they must be the best team in the NL right now. Jason Werth wants that huge contract this winter hitting .329 with 26 RBI’s already! Their starting pitching is doing well as of late too only giving up 8 earned runs over their last six games.

#4 Minnesota Twins (21-11) – No Mauer, no problem. Wilson Ramos seems like he belongs as someone’s backstop in the league. He might be able to take up a few extra games behind the plate sliding Mauer to the DH more often, so he can stay a little fresher.  I don’t see why not with the way Ramos burst onto the scene last week (10 hits in his first three games). The Twins pitching has been better than I expected. They are +48 in run differential, and have allowed the sixth fewest runs, a good recipe for success.

#5 San Diego Padres (19-12) – I along with everyone are wondering when will they fade? Not anytime soon, if their pitching keeps going the way it has. They are tied with the Giants for the fewest runs allowed (97). They don’t hit for average or power, but they do lead the league in stolen bases, and seem to push the right buttons in their small ball approach. When Adrian Gonzalez starts heating up, watch out NL West! Continue reading


I’m So Ready For Baseball, I Don’t Even Care If It’s the Yankees vs. Red Sox

Here we go… Easter lunch is out of the way, so now the real holiday can begin – no disrespect to Jesus of course. Two of Major League Baseball’s top franchises will take the diamond tonight and kick of the 2010 season. Normally I’d be as interested in a Yankees-Red Sox affair as I would in a Spurs-Jazz snoozefest, but tonight, I’m so starved for baseball I can’t wait to see these guys in action. Aside from the whole Opening Night thing, there’s plenty of other storylines to keep me glued to the tube. Sure, it’s a rivalry game featuring the defending champions blah blah blah, but here is what has got me excited…

CC Sabathia vs. Josh Beckett – Forget great Opening Day matchups, this is about as good a matchup as you’ll see on any given day in baseball. Sabathia is a Bay Area product, so he’s got plenty of supporters at Doin Work. He’s also one of the preseason favorites for the AL Cy Young Award. While Beckett isn’t as high on the Cy Young list, he’s still one of the best pitchers in the game. He may not have the hardware that most pitchers covet, but I’m sure he wouldn’t trade his two World Series rings or his World Series MVP for anything. One might anticipate a pitcher’s duel tonight, but there’s so much firepower on the offensive side for both teams that there are sure to be some runs put on the board as well.

New Additions – Each team picked up one guy I’m looking forward to seeing make their debut tonight. The Yankees replaced Johnny Damon in center field with former Tiger, Curtis Granderson. Granderson is quietly emerging as an elite player in this league, and the Yankees coveting him only further cements that. If he can get his average back up closer to .300 this year, he’ll surely build on his first all-star berth last year with many more to come, since there’ll be no shortage of exposure playing the Big Apple. The Red Sox, on the other hand, tested my hatred of them by signing the legendary Marco Scutaro. Even if Scutaro spurned the A’s to sign with Boston, he can do absolutely nothing to ever stop me from being a fan.

John Lackey in a Boston Uniform – You know how there are certain things that make you cringe or gag at the sight of it? I’m willing to bet that John Lackey donning a Red Sox jersey is going to be one of those. As much as I dislike the Red Sox, there’s not really any players on the team that I hate, aside from Papelbon of course. I think Lackey is going to be that guy, and I look forward to it. I’m actually going to keep a trash can by the couch to start the game in case the first camera shot of Lackey makes me throw up. It could happen.

First Fantasy AB of the Year – I try to keep my fantasy nerdom to a minimum here on the blog, but I can’t lie…. When Granderson steps into the box to face Beckett in the first pitch of the season, my squad, Five Tool Academy, is going to have a monopoly on fantasy stats for the duration of the at-bat. Beckett returns to my team by way of the draft (7th rd) after helping HolyShirtsandPants secure third place in last year’s league. Granderson is a new addition after being selected in the 5th round as part of my five tool plan, complementing other power/speed combo players Matt Kemp, BJ Upton, and Adam Jones. The fantasy season won’t be won with one at bat, but it starts here.


Is the AL West the Best Division in Baseball?

I guess it might be a stretch, since none of the four teams residing in the AL West are truly considered a threat to knock the Yankees off their thrown, but is there really anyone that looks like they can derail the Yankees besides injuries? I don’t think so… Can you name the only division that had three teams finish the season with 85 wins? Surprisingly, it’s the AL West! Sure you can argue that the AL East had three 84 win teams, but the basement is a lot worse than it is in the West.

The Yankees have pushed over the $1 billion mark in payroll a long time ago, and the Red Sox aren’t all that far behind, so we’ve been trained to see the East as far superior. Surprisingly the AL West had a great record versus the East going 95-79 in 2009. I think the best team in the West (Angels) regressed a little over the off-season losing their horse/ace in Lackey, and their versatile infielder Figgins, and that has put the division up for grabs.

I felt that Seattle made the biggest push to be a force in the west by trading for a bonafied yearly Cy Young contender, Cliff Lee, and last year’s runner up Felix Hernandez was already there setting up one of the deadliest duos in the league. They also stole Figgins away from the Angels, which should get them two guys on base if Ichiro and Figgy are hitting one and two. Milton might be able to knock them in if he’s on the field for more than 80 games, but that’s a big IF.

The Rangers bolstered their roster, but there are question marks already on the health of the players they signed. Vlad seems past his prime, but if he can be productive anywhere, it’s going to be in Arlington where careers being revived happens. They also signed the often injured Rich Harden, which could be a boost if they have a plan b for all the starts he gets scratched from each year. They were in the race for the West crown up to the last couple weeks, and have a ton of young talent that will only be better this coming season. It seems like a lot of the experts are picking them to win the west this year, but those predictions don’t seem to have much confidence behind them.

I’ll do my A’s preview a little closer to the season when I’ve gathered all my expectations of them, but honestly, all I’m hoping for from them is to stay healthy for once. We’ve used the DL more over the past two years than anytime in franchise history, and broke records two straight years in a row for DL usage. Not a good stat for a young team trying to figure out what pieces go where, and far from a recipe for success! Not sure about the offense, but the pitchers must be happy to have a true ace on the staff in Sheets. They owned a better run differential than Seattle last year, so there’s some hope!

All in all, I’d say the top teams of the AL West aren’t as good as the AL East. From top to bottom though, the West has teams that will be able to pull out wins night in and night out. You know you aren’t getting that from Toronto or Baltimore, who have both probably already given up on this year. I’d say that one distinct advantage that the West has over the East is in the farm systems. The East gets better through buying free agents that most of the time we can’t afford, and the West gets better by building up their prospects from within. I’m pretty pumped to see how it all shakes out, and one thing is for sure, the West is up for grabs this year with none of the teams completely out of the picture. Can’t say the same for the AL East.

What really defines the best division in baseball? The degree of difficulty? The balance from top to bottom? General intrigue?

Maybe I’ve been worn down from all the northeastern hype, and the YES network, but I believe there’s a solid argument that the west is the “best” division in baseball!


Big Baseball Moves

I don't like the Yankees, the Sox's, or big John Lackey, but I'm fully rooting for Lackey to throw some punches in one of their heated divisional games!

The Red Sox picked up John Lackey Monday, which was a solid move. I really like waving goodbye to Lackey from the AL West that is, he seemed to dominate the A’s every time he took the mound. Boston also made one other surprising signing as well. No, not Jason Bay. Matt Holliday?!? Nope, it looks like they are picking up Mike Cameron. Really!?! Interesting move Theo… I guess it’s a defensive upgrade getting a 3-time Gold Glover. Cameron has some power, and he is cheaper than the two mentioned guys. We’ll see how it pans out. I guess he could be a Johnny Damon type guy for them who has been known to be a good mentor and clubhouse guy. I just don’t see how it helps them compete with the Yankees, but oh well, I don’t really like them anyways. Another move that I saw, was the Red Sox offered Chapman a contract for $15.5 million! Ladies and gentlemen strap in for the next relevant Chapman!

The other shocking moves made Monday was the trade that sends Roy Halladay to the Phillies, and Cliff Lee is going to Seattle. I don’t really understand why they wanted to give up prospects, when they could just turn around and sign Lee keeping the prized youth, but if they sign Halladay to a long extension it might be worth it. I could really care less about Halladay landing in Philly, the main reason stems from me not really caring about the NL all that much. I’m just worried the A’s will now have to face Lee now five times a year. In the end, I’m really curious to see how Phillies top prospects pan out, they’ve had a good run of home grown talent over the last few years, so I’m sure whatever they gave up to make Toronto happy, must have been worth it!

In A’s news, we let go of JacKKK Cust, and inconsistent, wrongfully named, Santiago Casilla. I see this as an addition by subtraction. Our defense just improved by not having to ever put Cust in the field again. He makes a little leaguer trying to catch a ball during the home run derby look like a all-star out there. He also clogs up the bases with his slow station to station movements, and kept speedy guys from moving around the bases at times. This team is moving into a speed era it appears, and Cust doesn’t suit that. All in all, it’s been a crazy day for the MLB off-season!


Marco Scutaro Signs With the Much Maligned Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox and SS Marco Scutaro agreed to a two year deal this morning, making Scutaro the team’s new shortstop – a position that’s been somewhat of a hole for the club in recent years. It’s unfortunate to see one of my favorite players go to my least favorite team, but I’m happy for him to get the opportunity to be an everyday player on a contending team.

In honor of Scutaro’s deal, we’re going to revisit his greatest career moment, and probably the greatest moment I ever witnessed, in person, in my career as a professional sports fan. Back in 2006, the Oakland A’s won the American League West division title, and earned a first round matchup with the Twins. The Twins had home field advantage, and many predicted the A’s would leave Minneapolis down 0-2 in the series. Scutaro had a key RBI in each of the first two games. Game 3 was out here in Oakland. After an RBI double in the 2nd inning, Scutaro came to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 out in the bottom of the 7th. With a capacity crowd chanting his name in unison, Scutaro fell behind 1-2, and then cleared the bases with a drive down the right field line, sending the Coliseum faithful into a frenzy – and me almost over the railing down into the first deck. That hit put the game out of reach, as the A’s now had an 8-2 lead, and ultimately sealed the Division Series sweep for the A’s.


RFP of the Day – Rey Quinones

Somewhere in the late 80s I took a liking to the Seattle Mariners.  I know what you’re thinking…. Oh, I bet it was 1989 when Ken Griffey Jr. joined the team. Not so fast, though, random forgotten baseball fan.  My Mariners fandom came to be somewhere around 1987 or 1988.  But I’m a lifelong A’s fan, how could I root for a division rival?  Well, it’s simple see… I’m a fan of underdogs.  In those rare cases where my team is actually good, (see 1988-1990 A’s, 1994 49ers, and 2000-2002 Kings) I’ll sometimes start rooting for a less competitive team.  I won’t stop rooting for my own team, it’s just something else to root for to stay grounded, if you will.  Well, the 1987-1988 Mariners were that team for me in those days.  I believe it started with my admiration for Harold Reynolds, who could’ve had a solid career as an RFP if it weren’t for his later endeavor into the TV world at ESPN.  Nonetheless, he was one of the best “average” second basemen of the times, and being a middle infielder myself, those were the players I looked up to.  Naturally, I rooted for Reynolds’ double play partner as well.  That guy was none other than Rey Quiñones.

Quiñones was acquired by the Mariners from the Red Sox for Dave Henderson, among others, and was really only the starting SS for those two seasons in Seattle.  His power numbers were basically identical (12 HRs and 56 and 52 RBI, respectively), but his average dipped from .276 to .248 in ’88.   After playing just 7 games and going 2 for 19, the Mariners traded him to Pittsburgh, where he would finish his last season in the major leagues with a lowly .209 batting average.

Quiñones compiled a lifetime average of .243 with 29 HR and 159 RBI in 1,668 plate appearances over his 4 year career.


Angels Clinch AL West. Next…

Barring a meltdown of preposterous proportions, the Anaheim Angels will clinch the AL West yet again tonight.  The only consolation is it didn’t come at the hands of my beloved Athletics.  I mean, I do wish they were in second place, but that’s another story for another time.   What matters here is that even though the A’s are just three years removed from an LCS berth, the AL West still goes through Orange County.  As much as I dislike them, I find comfort in having them the team to beat, much like the way I feel with the Lakers in the NBA.  I suppose I’d rather have them as the target because that would be so much sweeter for my team to knock off.

We did it!!  Lets go hug it out in the Locker Room!

We did it!! Let's go hug it out in the Locker Room!

I just wonder who I’ll root for (by default) come playoff time!  If it’s the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, and Tigers… I’ll go Tigers.  But if the Twins sneak in there?  *gasp* I might be rooting for the Yankees.  I guess it basically comes down to who plays the Red Sox or Angels.  Either way, tonight’s events only cement the fact that the Halos will once again be the team to beat in the AL West in 2010.  For an A’s fan, it’s the same comfortable challenge that we’re always willing to accept to start the year.


Pretty Sure I Cursed the Yankees

For those who don’t know – probably roughly 95% of you – I have a bit of a curse when it comes to sports.  The team I’m rooting for never really wins the big game.  We won’t even mention what happens if I put money on a team.  It’s for these reasons that I knew posting that anti-Red Sox rant yesterday would somehow propel them into a hot streak and the Yankees, Rangers, and Rays into a freefall.  Well, day one of the post-rant era got off to a predictable start.  A day after getting pounded 20-11, the Red Sox came back and destroyed the Yankees 14-1.  Fortunately, the Rays and Rangers played each other, so they both couldn’t lose, although they tried.  Both teams repeatedly squandered leads, and they ultimately went to the 10th inning before the game was decided by a Carlos Pena RBI walkoff single.


FINALLY, the Red Sox are fading away!

I grew up like any other Northern California baseball fan: LOVED the A’s, wanted the Giants to do well, pretended to dislike the Dodgers but still respected them, didn’t care about the Angels because they’re irrelevant, and HATED the Yankees.  Even during my baseball hiatus in the mid to late 90s, I still rooted against the Yankees any chance I got.  This continued into my baseball fandom resurgance in the 2000s.  See, as the A’s were returning to postseason glory, it was the Yankees (well, largely themselves as well) who sent them home packing two years in a row.  With their much-maligne payroll heavy approach, the Yankees destroyed the competitive spirit by paying for wins.  They would load up their roster with whoever was good that was available.  Ironically, this was the same approach that would also pave the way for my jumping ship from the 49ers bandwagon back over to the Raiders.  But that’s another story for another time.

If you hear Boston fans tell it, Youkilis kicked Porcellos ass!

If you hear Boston fans tell it, Youkilis kicked Porcello's ass!

Somewhere between the Yankees last World Series win and the Red Sox first (in any of our lifetimes), I did a 180.  I have an extreme propensity to root for the underdog, and so in the Yankees case, it often was the Red Sox.  However, one thing changed all that: Red Sox fans.  Years and years of losing kept them quiet, but all of a sudden, one World Championship and they became the most obnoxious fans in all of sports.  Despite my NorCal ties, I always respected the Lakers, despite the bandwagon fans.  The fact is, they’re still good fans and they have plenty of reason to be proud.  Boston FANS, however, are the first fanbase that I can think of that have caused me to completely turn my back on a team itself.  Despite the higher payroll, the better ballpark, and larger fanbase, I now find myself rooting for the Yankees to reclaim AL supremacy.  There’s a comfort in the Bronx Bombers being the team to beat.  It’s as American as steroids and strip club shootouts.  When the Red Sox hold the top spot, it’s pretty depressing.  That is why, I take great comfort in looking at the standings each day, where the Yankees continue to distance themselves from the Sawx, and currently stand with a 7.5 game lead in the division.  Boston does lead for the wild card, but the cinderella story that is the Texas Rangers is keeping the pressure on, only 1 game back at time of posting.  I have doubts that their pitching will be able to keep them in it, but one can still hope.  Hope that we can be fortunate enough to watch a postseason without the Red Sox.  I’ll be rooting for the Rangers, Yankees, and Rays.  It probably won’t come to fruition though, leaving me with a Red Sox – Angels matchup.  THEN who do I root for?


Early Predictions for the Cy Young – American League

On the heels of Chappy’s MVP predictions, I figured there’s no reason not to start talking about the Cy Young races.  Today, we’ll start with the American League, where I’ve narrowed it down to six guys.  I had my list at seven, but after comparing the numbers, it was obvious that Edwin Jackson simply didn’t belong.  There were others you could make a case for as well, such as Jarrod Washburn and Mark Buehrle, but ultimately, they wouldn’t have a chance to win it, so for that reason, we’ll leave them out.   So, without further ado, I’m envisioning the award coming down to this group: CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Felix Hernandez.  Fortunately, the Cy Young Award seems to place less emphasis on the team’s win-loss record than, say, the MVP award.  So, you could still argue that Halladay, Greinke, and King Felix are at a disadvantage, but I don’t think at this point it takes them out of the running.

Rather than making a case for each guy, I’m going to cut right to the chase.  I put these 6 guys side-by-side (by side by side by side by side) and one player stood out: Roy Halladay.  See for yourself. If you asked me who I thought the frontrunner was, I would’ve said Josh Beckett or Justin Verlander.  Given Sabathia’s well-documented success in the month of August, I’d have given him the inside track to make a late charge.  I also would’ve thought that Zack Greinke’s dropoff since his outstanding start to the season would have taken him out of the running, but he still has very solid numbers.  His 2.33 ERA is still the best in the league.  So, if he were to regain his form, his final numbers might end up too good to ignore.

For now, though, it’s Roy Halladay who deserves the honor.  Part of me thinks he might get overlooked because he’s won the award in the past, but that was six years ago.  His 13-5 record is pretty remarkable when you consider he’s playing for a team that’s 8 games under .500.  It’s too bad he didn’t get the opportunity to pitch for a contender on a bigger stage down the stretch run of the season.  Nonetheless, if he keeps up what he’s doing, it would be a disgrace to give it to anyone else.  He’s easily the most consistent and dependable of the group.  All five of the other pitchers have been prone to blowups.  Halladay’s worst outing, numbers-wise, came two weeks ago against the Yankees, where he gave up 5 ER on 9 H in 7 innings pitched.  If that’s the WORST start you have all year, you take it in a heartbeat.  On top of that, Doc basically ranks in the top two in this group in each relevant category.  His 2.65 ERA is second only to Greinke’s.  His 173 IP is only short of Sabathia’s 178.2.  His 13 wins is only one less than Beckett and Verlander’s 14.  Most impressive, his WHIP (1.08) and walks (21) are far better than anyone else’s.  The only knock on Halladay’s numbers are the number of hits he’s given up and the low strikeout total – however, he’s right on par with Beckett and Sabathia in that department.  As for the hits, it should be noted that Halladay gave up a league-high 253 during his 2003 Cy Young campaign.  The key for him is damage control.  His strikeouts are limited because he excels at going deep into games.  He has 45 career complete games, only 7 less than the other five guys combined.  There’s no harm in giving up hits if they don’t score.

I hope this all makes it as clear as it is to me.  Like I said, I would’ve never put Halladay in the running before I dove into the numbers.  Obviously, there’s plenty of baseball to be played, but for now, the Cy Young trophy should be in the Doctor’s waiting room.


Doin Work E-mail debate: Who Else is on the list of 100+ that used PED’s?

Manny Ramierez & David Ortiz

In the wake of the leaked positive test results of Manny Ramierez and David Ortiz back in 2003, there has been unrest on what exactly should happen, and what should happen with the rest of the names on the list. We debated all morning in an e-mail chain that you can decide for yourself what the MLB should do.

Brian: It’s so lame they don’t just release all of the positive test names. The big ones are out there, so why don’t they release the rest of them…

Andre: Apparently Clemens wasn’t on the list, but we all know that Barry Bonds is crapping in his pants every time he hears more names have been leaked.

Tony:If they released, the MLB would be sued immediately by people as well as the players union. Legally they can’t just release because of privacy.

Brian: So who’s getting sued for all of these leaks then? If I was the players union, I’d be going after someone…

Nelson:MLB has not been the ones to officially leak anything, hence why they cannot say, “Here’s the whole list”…. like Tony said, a mess of lawsuits and headaches would come from it.  These names will just continue to trickle out.

Andy:MLB has the rights to this information for they were the ones conducting the test, for the good of baseball they should concede both the players union and MLB with a stipulation that no action will be taken against them.

Tony: The players Union exists for the exactly the opposite to happen. They are there to protect the player across every possible spectrum including players privacy. If a players name on that list isn’t public yet, they will fight to keep it that way.

I do agree it’s pretty much BS at this point however.

Nelson:You guys are all living in a fantasy land….the tests were CONFIDENTIAL.  MLB will never just release the whole list.  It may all get leaked, but you will never see MLB publicize it.

Andy:Nelson your missing the point I am saying what would be best for the game not that this will magically happen.  MLB is just like every other business which at this point is filled with lies, cheats and people covering them up. 

Nelson:What point am I missing?  You guys keep saying what MLB and the players union should be doing.  I’m just saying why it shouldn’t and won’t happen.  It might be best for you to enjoy the game, but it is not best for the business of baseball.

Andy: See I disagree 100% I don’t think bleeding out a list of the course of the next 5 years and constant wondering if your favorite star player took steroids is “best for business”.  Ownership needs to be taken on topic because as the onion slowly get peeled back fans will become more and more discouraged.  Especially in a economic downturn, I mean 1994 people got fed up with high salaries in a recession and it took years to get the fan base back.

Nelson: What I am saying is that opening up the flood gates and saying, “Here’s the whole list, wonder no more” which then opens up the lawsuits that was previously mentioned is not best for business.  I don’t buy the John Q. Public wondering about who did (is?) take steroids is hurting business all that much.  Baseball is hotter than ever right now.  Have you honestly stopped watching any games or buying merchandise because of this?  No you haven’t so why would anyone else?

The fan base went away in 1994 because of the strike.  Baseball is still being played despite these news items, so it’s not the same thing.  There is still something to watch, and since this test was years ago, it really is somewhat irrelevant at this point in time.

Andre: It’s funny, the conversation went from what’s right and wrong in terms of morality, fairness and legality to those names already leaked, to what’s god and bad for the game of baseball financially.

What happened there?  Talk about missing the point, it’s not about how baseball will be affected financially, it’s about gaining the respect and trust of the fans back.  Baseball needs to prove itself worthy of their fans after looking the other way for way too long and hiding information from the public who are the only victims here.  We have watched the entire situation turn into a gigantic circus of smoke and mirrors, sample tests with hidden results,  and privacy contracts that aren’t even really being enforced because they can’t.  The MLB Players Union is not a victim, they are the culprit and shouldn’t be able to hide behind the false pretense of secrecy from sample testing.  MLB Owners and MLB Front Office were enablers willing to put profit ahead of the truth the fans deserved.  NO ONE in baseball should expect any sympathy, the fans are the ones who deserve this way before the millionaires walking around on egg shells waiting for their name to be dropped next.

Matt: Did you guys catch “More to Love” last night?….


Doin MLB Power Rankings

mlb team logos

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers – In the 2nd edition of the Doin Work Power Rankings, the Dodgers are still in the #1 spot. We’ll see if Schmidt can do anything for them. manny bobbleheadI almost dropped them to #2 after seeing the new look Cardinals win their second in a row against them, but you can’t argue with the best record in the league!

#2 New York Yankees – The Yankees have won 23 of their past 29, and have seemed like the unstoppable machine that we had expected when they signed all those $100 million contracts this off season. They seem to be rolling full steam ahead and good luck to anyone playing them now. They are closing in on the Dodgers for the #1 spot.

#3 Boston Red Sox – You can’t go against a team with good pitching and depth! They are in the toughest division, and are surviving the worst team wide hitting slump of the season. I’m guessing they will make a run at Cliff Lee to sure up those holes in their starting rotation that injuries left behind.

#4 Los Angeles Angels – Yes, 2 Los Angeles teams in the top 4! And yes, I assure you there are plenty of fair weather fans roaming the streets of Southern California, I see them every day. ervin santanaThe Angels seem to be catching fire winning 3 out of 4 from the Twins, and winning 12 of their last 15. They need to get someone so they don’t have to rely on Santana, because he looks like a black hole in the rotation.

#5 Philadelphia Phillies – Looks like they keep getting denied on the Halladay offers. If that goes through they’ll be impossible to beat when he’s on the mound. They are averaging 5.49 runs per game second to only the Yankees. They look like they could wrap their division up by Labor Day if nobody gets hot.

#6 Texas Rangers – The Rangers look for real this year, keeping the Angels in check. They’ve won 7 of their last 8. Their offense struggled after the All-Star Break, but it looks like they found their swings again putting up 12 runs in their last two games.

#7 Tampa Bay Rays – It might be a good thing for them to be somewhat “under the radar”. Scott KazmirMaybe not to the extent they were last year, but if they can figure out a way to get Kazmir and Price functioning properly they should make a push at the wild card spot.

#8 Chicago Cubs – They are on fire winning their last 5 games and 12 of their last 14. Although it’s been weak competition, they still have overtaken the Cardinals for the top spot in the division. We’ll see if this winning lasts when the competition gets better.

#9 Detroit Tigers – The Tigers have a plethora of pitching and a ballpark that caters to pitchers, which probably explains their 31-16 home record. Rick Porcello has been a nice surprise, but it’s been Fernando Rodney’s 21 saves in 21 opportunities that has stabilized the 9th inning all year.

#10 St. Louis Cardinals – With Holliday and Derosa in the lineup, they looked really good against the top ranked Dodgers. You could even say they have a lineup that’s scary! I think they look poised to battle with the Cubs in the NL Central.Matt Holliday

#11 Colorado Rockies – The Rockies have gone 34-13 since June 4th which has them in the lead for the NL Wild Card at the moment. Surprisingly, their pitching has been the part of the team that has shined over that stretch. We’ll see if that keeps up in the thin air.

#12 San Francisco Giants – If the Giants make a trade for a hitter, they could make the jump into playoff contender. As it stands they may win the Wild Card, but I don’t see them making it very far if they do make it. Their pitching can only get them so far.

#13 Chicago White Sox – Their bright spot was Buehrle’s perfection. Their bad spot, is the middle of their order where they are getting no production in the home run department from Dye, Thome, or Konerko. If they are going to go anywhere, they need these guys to start hitting.

#14 Atlanta Braves – They’ve been playing well, but they aren’t going to even get a whiff of the Phillies in the division race. Say what you want about Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur, but it seems like there’s a change in the clubhouse attitude.  Their starting pitchers have a combined 3 loses in the month of July.

#15 Seattle Mariners – King Felix finally looked human tonight giving up more than one earned run for the first time in his last 13 starts! Felix HernandezSeattle seems to be fading behind the Rangers and Angels, but look much improved over the past few teams they put out there.

#16 Florida Marlins – Han Ram is hitting a eye-popping .427 with runners in scoring position. He is also the league leader in BA. They are so up and down, I’m not sure what to make of them. I think they’ll finish out the season around the .500 mark.

#17 Houston Astros – Nobody could figure out how they were doing as well as they were, but it looks like they are falling back to earth as the wins aren’t coming as easily as they were. A rough series against the Cubs pushed them backwards in their quest for a division title.

#18 Milwakee Brewers – The Brewers, just like the Astros have hit a rough patch going 3-7 in their last 10 games. prince fielderIf they don’t make a move at the trade deadline, Prince and company may have to slug their way into the playoffs. I don’t like the odds of that happening.

#19 Minnesota Twins – Minnesota looked bad on their westcoast swing losing games to the A’s and the Angels in every way possible. They should have a shot at the division if they can straighten out that rotation, and stop letting other teams put up those crooked numbers on a nightly basis. Their offense has been good, but that means nothing when you can’t stop the other team.

#20 New York Mets – They haven’t looked like a playoff team, and the injuries have piled up over the season. It may have been too much to overcome. Since no New York team is ever a seller, look for them to try to make a move that will give their fans at least a little hope.

#21 Toronto Blue Jays – We’ve all been wondering where Halladay will go or if he’ll even go. It’s starting to remind me of the Favre saga. The Blue Jays have had a nice run lately with all their players trying to showcase their skills in hopes of being traded out of the Canadian black hole to a contender.

#22 Cincinnati Reds – At least they stopped their losing streak against San Diego. Brandon PhillipsThey haven’t shown signs of anything good or consistent. The emergence of Brandon Phillips bat has helped fantasy teams out though. They seem to be stuck in the same situation year after year, and yup, it’s a bad one.

#23 Oakland Athletics – Possibly too high for a bottom dweller, but their pitching continues to mold towards next year as some of the rookie starters have shown promise. The question now is, when will they throw Brett Wallace into the mix!?!

#24 Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates have been shut out a league leading 11 times this season. I thought they may add to that total, but Lincecum settled for striking out 15 of them and going the distance.  The Pirates should be sellers at the deadline, but they really don’t have much to sell…

#25 Cleveland Indians – Cliff Lee has regained his Cy Young form after a rocky start. It seems like everyone on their team is on the trading block. We’ll see if any deals get done, as they have some players that could be very valuable to a contender.

#26 Arizona Diamondbacks – Mark Reynolds and Dan Haren have been the only two bright spots to their season so far. Maybe they gave up too much a couple years ago to get Haren, so they have no options behind him. Maybe the fans have something to look forward to other than every Haren start, but I’m not sure what that is.

#27 Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles are letting the young guys take over, and the young guys aren’t winning. They need to move some guys like Mora to shake it up and get some pitching.

#28 Kansas City Royals – The Royals are good at one thing, and they keep doing it well. Being in last place is a staple for this team, and they are making a push to stay there losing 80% of the time over their last two weeks.

#29 San Diego Padres – They have Adrian Gonzalez, so at least it’s worth it to go to the park to watch him bat a few times. He has played in 308 consecutive games, which is a club record and the longest current streak in the MLB.

#30 Washington Nationals – Willingham got them in the news with his 2 grand slams. They might even be able to trade him for something now!