Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jake Peavy Trade

Here's my initial thoughts on the trade that brings Jake Peavy to Boston and sends Jose Iglesias to the Tigers (via the White Sox).

At first glance this trade is a winner for all three teams involved. The Red Sox get a top of the line starter in Jake Peavy (the second best starter available after Cliff Lee); the White Sox get potential future all-star outfielder Avisail Garcia (and they shed Peavy's big salary), while the Tigers get perhaps the best defensive shortstop in the AL.

I do agree that the Red Sox sold high on Jose Iglesias but I would also say that the Tigers probably know exactly what they are getting in Iglesias. And they are pretty happy - Iglesias is just that good with his glove.

My first hope was that the Red Sox would land Cliff Lee but the Phillies asking price was just too high. Reportedly the Phillies wanted three top prospects plus the trading team to pick up all of Lee's massive contract. The Red Sox got Peavy for just one top prospect. How can you argue with that? I do find it ironic that the last time Peavy was on the trade market in 2009 he was viewed as the second best pitcher available after Roy Halladay and this time around he was second to Halladay's teammate Lee.

In regards to Iglesias - Boston has super shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings and it must be said that no matter how good Iglesias' glove-work was he would eventually be booed in Boston for not hitting. Iglesias is probably better off in Detroit.

EDIT: I meant to mention both Peavy's age (at 32 - he's basically 2-years older than Jon Lester and 2-years younger than John Lackey) and the effect he might have on the bullpen (Peavy is basically a quality start waiting to happen - helping the bullpen by lightening the load is a bonus that shouldn't be overlooked). Also here were two more good takes on the trade:

Ken Rosenthal and Richard Justice

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Modest Proposal

The City of Detroit is in ruins. They are $18 billion in debt and about to declare bankruptcy. Here's a modest two step proposal to help save the city.

First - much of the debt is caused by retiree benefits granted via overly generous union contracts. The City would like to cut these benefits. The union members obviously don't want these benefits cut. Simple solution - tell the retirees if they live within the City limits then their benefits stay the same. If they live outside the City limits then their benefits get cut by 33 percent. Simple. The City is hemorrhaging people - make the people the City has to pay anyway live there.

Secondly, the US government owns a big chunk of General Motors. We will never see full value for the money we pumped into them and if we try to sell our stock it will just force down the stock price. Here's what I suggest - the government forgives all debt in exchange GM gives us their beautiful headquarters.  We then tell the United Nations they have to move to Detroit. We give GM three years to move out and the UN three years to move in.

Bingo-bango! We then take the UN's upper Eastside property via eminent domain and sell it. The proceeds go directly to reducing the national debt (drop in the bucket but every little bit helps).

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Alex Rodriguez's actions this season seem like the actions of a man laying the foundation for an insanity plea... Heh heh - the Royal baby introduced to the public... Andy Pettitte just passed Sandy Koufax on the all-time strikeout list but it took Pettitte 912 more innings to do it. Meanwhile Pettitte now has 719 fewer K's than Curt Schilling in basically the same number of innings... George HW Bush shaves his head in support of the son of secret service agent. It should be recalled that George and Barbara lost their first daughter Robin to childhood leukemia. History will be kind to this good man... With NASCAR going to NBC from ESPN - will Brad Daugherty now start doing more college basketball games for the Mothership?... From now on I am going to intriduce myself as a "minor celebrity" - Chris Lynch Minor Celebrity. Who is to argue the point? I may even have cards made up... Peter King did a Reddit AMA (ask me anything). I really hope someone asked him how many NFL coaches have a foot fetish. He'd have to answer at least one...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- I've said it before. My thoughts on steroids in baseball.

- Louis CK's take on Rolling Stone. Couldn't agree more. Can't recall last time I even thought about Rolling Stone never mind read an article from them.

- 62 of the world's most beautiful libraries. I love libraries and this is like library porn.

- Very cool Larry Legend anecdote

- Did astronauts really eat astronaut ice cream?

NBC Sports and NASCAR

It was announced that NBC Sports will pay $4.4 billion over 10 years for the rights to ESPN's entire NASCAR package and half of Turner's 6 races. When I read that my first thought was that NBC was trying to make their NBC Sports Network channel (formerly Versus) more appealing once a la carte cable pricing becomes a reality.

Today if someone allowed you to just keep and pay for the channels you want and not be forced into big bundles or tiers - would you keep the NBC Sports Network? My guess is that because of this new deal in the future NASCAR fans will keep that channel (over ESPN even), NHL fans will keep the channel (again even maybe over ESPN who doesn't have any NHL games), bicycle racing fans (Tour de France) and fans of the Dan Patrick Show will also have reason to be paying the monthly fee for the NBC Sports Network. And those are some of the most loyal and fervent fans around.

ESPN meanwhile just added Keith Olbermann while NBC Sports Network countered by adding NASCAR. The choice is getting clearer every day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Bryan Cranston goes to Comic-Con disguised as Bryan Cranston! Genius!

- Divers almost get eaten by whales (although I'd guess that the whales knew they were there and were not going to eat something that would probably give them diarrhea - nothing worse than whale diarrhea)

- Remembering Dennis Farina - I thought he was great in Out of Sight. Small role but he stole every scene. Get Shorty was also excellent.

- Fantastic Neil Gaiman short story - A Study in Emerald (PDF).

- Very cool - a walrus asleep on a Russian sub

- Speaking of photos - some beautiful black and white photography

- Cool story - good for Brady Hoke and Michigan. I wish this kid a full recovery.

- Hah hah - CNN you never cease to give

Monday, July 22, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

David Ortiz of the Red Sox now has more stolen bases on the season (4) than Carl Crawford has for the Dodgers (3)... 8 brilliant scientific screw-ups... I saw that Geraldo selfie and all I could think was that the next thing he did was dance around with his junk tucked between his legs like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs... The voice of God as a young man... I wonder if you added up all the time a PBS station takes for pledge breaks and pledge drives - how it would compare to the time an average station plays commercials?... Being stubborn means continuing to drink coffee even when you have diarrhea...  This photo of Jim Boeheim sleeping akimbo is just awesome... Who is the bigger disappointment at 3rd base in 2013 - Brett Lawrie for the Blue Jays or Will Middlebrooks for the Red Sox?... What actually happens at the end of Trading Places... It would be cool if Michael Keaton made an cameo on Justified as Ray Nicolette... Some comedian should do a person in the street interview asking average people if they are upset that Piers Morgan was acquitted of shooting Trayvon Martin...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dustin Perdroia's Contract Extension

Earlier this week it was reported that the Red Sox were looking to sign Dustin Pedroia to a 5-year, $100 million contract extension. This was greeted as good news by Red Sox fans but now some are suggesting the extension would be folly.

These people don't know what they are talking about. Here's why.

The most obvious reason for doing a contract extension now is because of the looming Robinson Cano mega-payday. Signing Pedroia now for $20 million per year would easily save at least $5 million per year compared to what Pedroia would get in free agency after the Cano deal. That's $25 million over the course of the extension. Put another way - that's one full year of salary in case Pedoia gets hurt or in case by the end of the contract he's just washed up plus another $5 million which easily could be spent on insurance in case Pedroia missed more than one year. No brainer!

However, it is unlikely that Pedroia would be side-lined by a minor injury any time soon. Consider that earlier this year he played though a torn ligament in his hand and did not miss any playing time and last season Pedroia played through a broken finger. This guy comes to play every day. He is a great example to the younger players.

The other face of the franchise is David Ortiz. The team has over-payed Ortiz these past few years paying him year by year instead of locking him up a few years ago when they had the chance. The PR hit the team took was nothing compared to the hit they would take if they tried to nickel and dime Pedroia. The team knows the time is right for an extension.

This is one of the arguments Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk makes against giving Pedroia an extension: "Of Pedroia’s 10 most similar players through age 28, according to Baseball Reference, only one remained a star after age 32. That’s Charlie Gehringer, one of two Hall of Famers in his top 10."

I would point out that Pedroia won an MVP as a 2nd baseman. The only person on that list to do the same was Charlie Gehringer who hit .313 when he was 37-years old. Of the second basemen who won the MVP in the AL there's Pedroia, Gehringer, Joe Gordon (who was an all-star at 34-years old), and Hall of Famer Nellie Fox (who was an all-star at 35-years old). In the NL you had Jeff Kent (who played until he was 40 and was an all-star at 37), Joe Morgan (who also played till he was 40 and was an all-star at 35), Ryne Sandberg (played till he was 37), Frankie Frisch (played till he was 38 and was an all-star at 36) and Jackie Robinson (but I'm not going there because its unfair to Pedroia).

The players I listed above all have more in common with Pedroia than the Jose Vidro's some people would compare to Pedroia. And all of the people I listed were certainly worth taking a gamble on a contract extension when they were 29-years old.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Top 5 - Players the Jets Could Have taken Instead of Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez went 5th overall in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Here are 5 players they could have taken instead who went after Sanchez in the first round.

1. Josh Freeman - if the Jets really needed a QB then Freeman who went 17th has 10 more TD's and 6 fewer INT's.
2. Clay Matthews - a top pass rushing LB and perhaps the real pretty-boy drafted out of USC in the first round in 2009.
3. Percy Harvin - a threat to run or catch would have given the Jets offense multiple options
4. Michael Oher - OT whose Blind Side story if it ended in New York would have made for an even bigger movie box office (and besides Oher has been pretty damn good)
5. BJ Raji - a DT who could have anchored the Jets defense.

The draft that yielded Tom Brady will always be known for the player after player taken before Brady and the what ifs for each NFL team if only they took the wiry kid from Michigan. The 2009 draft for Jets fans will probably be known for who they could have taken instead of Mark Sanchez.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Brewdism - potentially my new religion

- Game of Thrones pays tribute to every dead character

- Awesome - Archer combined with Star Trek

- Heh heh - Norwegian bachelor party tricks groom into thinking he's going bungee jumping

- This is so wrong that its right

- This is how you try to sell something on Craig's List

- Norm MacDonald's classic 1998 ESPy monologue. If you don't laugh then you don't know funny

Friday, July 19, 2013

Player Comparison

Here's a player comparison I've been thinking about a lot recently:

Player A: 17.6 PPG / 13.6 RPG / 3.8 APG
Player B:  21.8 PPG / 6.0 RPG / 3.9 APG

Player A was 6'9" and 230 pounds, was an 8-time All-Star, won 2 NBA Championships and even won an MVP. Player B was 6'6" and 230, 10-time All-Star, won an NBA Championship and was MVP of that Championship. It is obvious from the numbers that Player A was the better rebounder and Player B the better scorer but what links them in my mind is how strange it is to see either in another uniform other than the Kelly green of the Celtics.

Player A was Dave Cowens who finished his career with the Bucks. Player B is Paul Pierce who was introduced yesterday as a member of the Nets. Both will be in the Hall of Fame and both will have their numbers hang in the Boston Garden.

Both will always be Celtics in my mind no matter what uniform they wore at the end of their careers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

One of the benefits of being at the track during a NASCAR race is the fact that the noise of the cars is so loud that you can pretty much fart whenever you want and nobody will hear it... Rajon Rondo "I will never play for the Miami Heat"... Would it be ironic if the Patriots pre-draft report said that Aaron Hernandez had a "killer instinct". I wonder if given what happened with Hernadez if the phrase "killer instict" will be dropped from the sports nomenclature... It's James Joyce's Ulysses and Melville's Moby Dick for me...  It would not surprise me at all if Hollywood already had a sequel to SharkNado in the works. How about SharkNado II - The Reckoning... 11 people who almost played Doctor Who. I think Bill Nighy would have been fantastic... Barack Obama seems to be predisposed to only enforcing the laws he agrees with. This seems to make his Administration's enforcing pot laws even more vigorously than George Bush did seem very strange. Especially given his supporters views on legalized marijuana and his own past with the drug... If they can do a sequel to the movie Wall Street after decades. Why not a sequel to the movie The Secret of My Success?... As bad as Chris Berman makes your ears bleed during the HR derby it used to be even worse when he was partnered with Joe Morgan... Cool - fireworks and lightning at the same time...

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

OK I'll say it! The verbose Charlie Pierce is not a good fit with the MTV raised target audience of Grantland. And this is coming from a Charlie Pierce fan. Just too wordy - makes ESPN readers feel like they are taking SAT verbal tests... Joshua Chamberlain was a hero of Gettysburg and other Civil War battles but his body paid an awful price... The Red Sox gave call up Brock Holt number 26. This is another nail in the coffin for anyone who thinks the team has plans ever to retire that number for pariah Wade Boggs... I cannot remember a year I cared less about the All-Star Game. Or who may have been snubbed in the selection process... Small Town Dumps would be a good name for a band... Spes Mea Veritas (Hope is My Truth) could be a good motto for the Obama Administration (since truth obviously is not their truth)... The Emei mustache toad grows spikes on its lips for a few weeks so it can fight over girls. In the future I can see certain humans altering their DNA to do the same. And I can see SPIKE broadcasting Mustache Fights (and God help me - I can see myself watching it)... Israel should claim responsibility for the coup in Egypt just to mess with all the haters like Mel Gibson who claim they are responsible for all the wars in the world... They call it Online Dating but if you don't meet in person it is not really dating at all...

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Top 5 - Memorable Things that Happened on the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July. Here are the top 5 things that happened in US history on the 4th of July. Don't forget that July is American Beer Month.

1. 1776 Colonies declare independence
2. 1826 Presidents, patriots, rivals and friends John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both die on the same day
3. 1863 The surrender of Vicksurg to General Grant (the town of Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for 81 years)
4. 1831 James Madison, last of the founding fathers, dies
5. (tie) 1804 Lewis and Clark celebrate first 4th of July west of the Mississippi (tie) 1939 Lou Gehrig gives his "luckiest man alive" speech at Yankee Stadium

Fireworks and Politics

Heh heh - the funniest 4th of July political ad you may ever see.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

According to Darren Rovell - a Las Vegas bettor last night risked $400 on a 40-1 bet that a no-hitter would be thrown last night. Thanks to Homer Bailey - that betting slip is now worth $16,000... A map of the US based upon the beer that best represents the state... I wonder what gets better ratings - WNBA games on ESPN or anything on MSNBC. Either way - I'm guessing re-runs of Sponge Bob beats them both... Ernest Hemingway explains his love of alcohol... I feel lost not knowing what Jose Canseco thinks about the protests in Egypt... Alan Sepinwall called this the best fight scene ever on TV. I've been thinking and I can't come up with a better one... If Brett Favre develops testicular cancer - will he sue his cell phone company because of the radiation from his selfies?... Fantastic long read about Jason Everman who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden before finding his calling in the Special Forces... It's amazing but if Mark Sanchez were to retire today - the thing he'd most be remembered for is the "butt fumble". Not exactly what you want from your "franchise quarterback"... Serious question - can the Obama Administration point to a single foreign policy success?...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

What a Real Community Organizer Looks Like

President George Bush in Zambia working on a women's clinic.

Have you ever seen pictures of President Obama from his "community organizing" days doing anything as hands on? If those pictures existed don't you think we would have seen them by now?

History will judge one of these men to be a man of deeds and the other a man of empty words.

Gettysburg Remembered

One hundred and fifty years ago Confederate forces under the command of General Robert E. Lee were massed on one side of a small Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg while Union forces under newly appointed General George Meade were amassed on the other side of the small town. Over the next three days these forces were to fight the most important battle in the history of the United States. Yet today you will hear very little mentioned of the battle in either the newspapers or on TV.

Why was this the most important battle in the history of the United States?

General Lee had come North out of Virginia to find the Army of the Potomac and to beat it in open battle. If he was able to accomplish this – then Confederate President Jefferson Davis was to give Abraham Lincoln an offer of peace. 

If Lincoln accepted this offer of peace then the country would have forevermore been divided into two nations. If Lincoln refused the offer of peace (which he would have) – then chances are that Lincoln would have lost his bid for re-election to the Presidency. His opponent General McClellan would have accepted the peace plan if elected and again – the nation would forevermore have been divided.

Think of the implications:

· How much longer would slavery had survived? Would it still exist today?

· Would a Spanish Mexico and an English Canada have taken over what are now the Western States?

· Would Nazi Germany been stoppable in WWII without a “united” United States?

· Would Communism have been defeated without a “united” United States?

Luckily we did not have to find out because Jeb Stuart did not return in time to inform General Lee of the Union’s strength; because General Heth ignored Lee’s order to not engage the enemy on the first day; because General Ewell lost his nerve and did not attack and take the high ground when he had the chance and because Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine made their heroic stand on Little Round Top.

The North won the battle and went on to win the war. For that – we are thankful.

Months later after the battle, on November 19, 1863, a somber President Lincoln made the following speech:
Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

Now it’s a 150 years later and you would be hard pressed to find mention of the battle anywhere. Funny – Lincoln thought we would remember the battle and forget his speech but the opposite has occurred.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The United States has always been a forward-looking nation. We tend to dream of the future instead of dwelling on our past. It is one of our strengths.

Still - we should remember the sacrifice men made today and the next three days 150 years ago to preserve for us the great Nation we have today.