Make no mistake about my last post for all you Bonds lovers. Bonds was better than Griffey in my opinion, even before the suspicion arose. I was just making the point that if I were a GM at the time, I would have chosen the player without the obvious character issues. But that being said, if I thought that Bonds was better than Griffey before he was accused of stealing syringes from the local pharmacy, then I probably still may have regarded him as the greatest player of all time, or at least given him the title, "There is no greater player." But no one knows how it all would have played out, and no one knows how it really played out. So Bonds [is] the greatest player of all time in my opinion, however, I would have been much more skeptical about appointing him to this stature, had his pre-98′ pace been followed.
I have finally begun to read "Moneyball." Finished about 130 pages or so since Sunday. I very much enjoy the book so far. There are some inaccuracies about the book, I have heard, and hope to pick them up. But I believe that no matter how it plays out, it will be a worthwhile read. There is one instance that I do not like so far, and it is when Beane wanted to choose a certain pitcher over Scott Kazmir. I cannot remember who it was off the top of my head, as there are many players names involved. I understand how a GM would want to choose a college player over a high school player. The stats translate better into analysis, and the player is more "Major League ready" in many cases. I just didn’t feel that not choosing Kazmir was a great example, because as we all know now, Kazmir is a heck of a pitcher now. And maybe that is why the book loses some of its credibility with time, as "The Prince of New York" stated. I do like, very much so, Beane’s approach. As he tends to view a player based on the amount of patience he has (BB totals). Understanding that this seems to translate to the upper levels very nicely. No one knows for sure how a hitter will fare against major league pitching, but they do know that if he has the ability to take a walk, then, and I quote, "he can stay out of prolonged slumping." That was from Neyer, a while back. And I am sure that Neyer probably took it from Bill James or some other genius that he seems to feed off of. Although, do not get me wrong, I like Rob Neyer’s coverage. It is just that he becomes obsessed with certain topics, as do I, and many other bloggers/writers. But anyway, I will let the book play out before I make any real judgements.
This was a question during Keith Law’s chat yesterday:
"Allen, houston: the astros will NOT trade oswalt, but what about lidge for ellsbury and lester?"
I was shocked when I saw this. Why would Law even answer this question? I wouldn’t even feel all that comfortable getting Lidge for free, let alone giving up two of the Sox top prospects. Lidge was very good in the past. And Pujols homer off of him in the 05′ NLCS to keep the Cardinals alive, may have been the most surprising home run I have ever seen. Even if it was Pujols who hit it. Lidge was automatic that year, and was getting rave reviews by all people who spoke of baseball. And I was watching that game, believe Pujols had two strikes, and he just crushed the ball off of Lidge to force a game six, I think it went six. But Lidge has never been the same, and his "stuff" apparently will not translate all that well into the AL anyway.
Speaking of never being the same, how about them Red Sox. Look, KC is better this year than they were last year, but they are still one of the worst teams in baseball. Losing one game in the series would have been understandable, but losing the series is downright unacceptable. I am a Red Sox fan, but if there were another team whom I would want to find success in the AL, then I would want it to be the Royals. As I have spoken about many times before, I am "pro-salary cap." I want the game to be fair to all. But it isn’t, and if the Royals rose above this, then it would be all that much sweeter for those fans in Kansas City who still care. But Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Mark Teahan, and Gil Meche give that city some hope, if nothing else.
I was viewing the game at work again as part of the "Extra Innings" free trial, and Drew came up in the ninth. And I said aloud to a coworker, "This will be Drew’s defining moment as a Red Sox player." It wasn’t necessarily a comment based on any real substance, but a comment based on [my] own hope. Anyway, he bounced a weak ground ball to second base. So much for that I guess. And I guess even worse was that fact that someone actually did there job and reached base (Ortiz), only for Manny to end the game on a routine pop-up. Even if Ortiz is hurt, he is still finding ways to reach base. He reached in two of his five trips to the plate, which is something, right? I mean that means his OBP would be .400 for the evening. Could be a lot worse than that. And he reached base in the clutch last night to top it off.
And just to accentuate my disappointment, losing a game against a team with a very low payroll and a lot less talent does not feel good. But on a night that they throw out Odalis Perez, it makes it that much worse.
Today Neyer wrote: http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=neyer_rob
He is explaining that Manny is pathetic on defense. And he is one of the worst outfielders in the game, but happens to have a gift in the "Green Monster" sitting behind him. He gets the ball in quickly, and plays the wall well. But any leftfielder who becomes accustomed to having that wall, should adjust to it, and begin to play it well. And he has not been playing it well of late, letting routine balls land behind him because he plays so shallow. So really the one thing he does well, and could probably do well in any park, is get the ball in quickly. But most fielders can do at least one thing well, right?
In Neyer’s blog is also a link to the new "Ultimate Zone Ratings." Once again, Adam Everett falls in the top ten of all players. And Jeter falls into the bottom ten. Of course so do, Manny, Drew, and Lowell. So even though the Red Sox have moved up to fourth in fielding percentage, they still have room for improvement. But there is always room for improvement.
Matsuzaka better be the stopper. This is what a good rotation does, right? Keeps a team out of prolonged losing streaks.