Wednesday, December 05, 2007

UP AT 6... THE AL CENTRAL JUST BECAME THE MOTHER-FLIPPING DEATHSTAR

A skewed view of the sports zeitgeist...
  • Modest proposal: The Detroit Tigers, now that they've added Miguel Cabrera and Dontelle Willis, should man up and offer to trade divisions with the Jays.

    Hey, the path to the World Series goes through Boston and New York. Why not try to take out one of those teams before October if your ballclub is that stacked, Dave Dombrowski?

    The long and short of it: The Tigers are going to have Ivan Rodriguez as a prospective No. 9 hitter. Has there ever been a team who had a future Hall of Famer (not counting pitchers, so save it, Tyler) batting ninth on a regular basis?

    The 2007 Tigers scored 887 runs (second-most in the only major league that matters) despite having the AL's fourth-worst strikeout-to-walk ratio. Now Cabrera and Edgar Renteria will be taking at-bats that went to two undiscliplined hitters, Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge. Chew on that.
  • Crashburn Alley, meantime, is hoping the Phillies deal for Inge to solve their third base problem. It would only be fair, since that position has been a black hole for the Phillies since then-GM Ed Wade gave the Tigers Placido Polanco 2 1/2 years ago.

    Inge was a No. 9 hitter in the AL who slugged .376 last season, which would translate into him being a darkhorse MVP canadidate in the NL.
  • As for what the Jays might do, you know where to go: Jeff Blair's globesports.com blog, The Tao of Stieb and Drunk Jays Fans. Some of us are not that dedicated to sit by the computer all day waiting to learn who might be rocking the powder blue next springy.

    Gut feeling: Nothing is going to happen with Alex Rios (don't trade a five-tool player,) and no organization should want any part of Jason Bay until they see how his knee holds up. The most similar player to Bay, by the way, is the infamously injury-prone Kal Daniels, who played his final game at age 29.
  • If anyone's interested in starting a Steve Downie Suspendable Offence Pool, consider the Philadelphia Flyers' Dec. 13 game vs. the Canadiens and Guillaume Latendresse already taken.
  • Sorry, no acidic comments are coming on the seven-in-a-row Senators. It seems like bad form when Patrick Eaves and Anton Volchenkhov are out injured. Meantime, Wade Belak scored a goal last night? Really?

20 comments:

Jim B said...

Nate:

If the Jays have been offered Cain OR Lincecum for Rios, they have to do that trade! As much as I love Alex, Both Cain and Lincecum are potential aces. In the ideal world, I would move Vernon Wells for one of those guys and unload his contract to give Rios and Hill an extension.

sager said...

Lincecum's wispy frame and rather violent motion is scaring some teams off... then again, that happened with Pedro Martinez too.

Jim B said...

I would worry about that maybe 6 or 7 years from now when he signs a big deal with the Yankees.

Pete Toms said...

I'd take Cain over Lincecum but I suspect Sabean thinks the same. Lincecum got a lot of hype last year but I think they're about the same age. I'm reading the same about Lincecum's body type vs Cain as well.

Is it a stretch to think that the Jays acquired Coats to improve outfield depth with a Rios deal in mind? Probably, but it's December, what else is there to do?

sager said...

Wouldn't Buck Coats -- not just a name, but also the place where I buy most of my clothes -- be insurance for a Lind move, since he's a lefty bat?

He could spell Johnson against some righties, with Reeder coming in for late-inning D.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Love the post title. The Tigers are definitely a team to be reckoned with now. On your question about the Hall of Famer batting ninth: 2001 Yankees had Alfonso Soriano taking the most plate appearances (and the majority of his PAs) in the 9 slot, which is the closest equivalent I can think of at the moment. He might not make Hall of Fame, but the Cubs certainly think he's worth a lot of money. 2005 Yankees had Robinson Cano take the majority of the 9 slot PAs: too early to evaluate him for future Hall of Famer, but he's been pretty good so far. His only half-counts though, as he took even more PAs in the 2 slot (Tony Womack was the runner-up in both spots, and I certainly wouldn't call him Hall of Fame). Thus, you're still probably right about this proposed Tigers lineup being one of the best ever top to bottom, but the two I mentioned are comparable IMO.

(Stats found at http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/lineup?team=nyy: you can look at production by lineup slot for all teams back to 2000).

sager said...

Soriano in the Hall? That's a bigger stretch than the one he makes to swing at balls two feet over his head.

Who knows, maybe all the guys who had him in fantasy will stage a bloody coup at the 2021 BBWAA annual luau.

I'm going to take the 5th on which old-guard sportswriters I wouldn't mind seeing rotating on a spit with an apple in their mouth.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Haha, fair enough, Soriano's Hall chances are slim to none unless he goes all Barry Bonds and puts up better numbers after 30. Still one of the best I could find in a ninth slot though, and he has put up similar offensive #s to Rodriguez (Soriano is averaging 187 hits, 36 HR, .282 avg, .517 slugging % per 162 game season to Rodriguez's 188 hits, 22 HRs, .303 avg and .479 slugging %). Pudge is obviously much more valuable when you consider his defensive contributions, but Soriano's power numbers offset his weaker average a bit, so I'd say they're reasonably similar if you're only looking at offence.

Pete Toms said...

N, that makes more sense, Coats as insurance if Lind is dealt. If the Jays were to deal Rios they would be more in need of a RH bat - with Lind & Stairs already there - than another LH bat with Coats.

Just stirrin the pot. What do you think about the LoDuca rumorsÉ. Would that be a signing you would favoreÉ ( My quetion mark isnèt working on my keyboard, nor is the apostrophe . )

sager said...

Unless he came came really cheap, it would be Molina all over again.

Some of the NY tabs would suggest that move would lead to beefed-up security measures at... no, not going to going to make that joke!

sager said...

Hey, we don't talk about hit totals and batting averages here.... relevant metrics only. :)

Tyler King said...

It wouldn't be Molina all over again unless they brought him in expecting to be a starter, which all signs indicate he won't be.

But Lo Duca accepting a backup role doesn't seem very wise either.

Ball's apparently in San Fran's court right now - JP's offered Rios for Cain and if that goes through it's quite possibly the best improvement trade he's ever made (since his salary dumps years ago were some of the best trades ever). A rotation of Halladay/Burnett/Cain/McGowan/Marcum? Yes please.

JP's really coming around, stating publicly he doesn't expect the young pitchers to do as well as they did last year - this is the bad assumption we made with Josh Towers.

Tyler King said...

Oh, and on this mind-numbingly useless Soriano/Pudge comparison? Pudge is a catcher, and very justifiably one of the most productive all the time. So any direct statistical comparison is silly.

I'm 60% sure the whole 'hall-of-famer batting ninth' question was rhetorical.

sager said...

So any direct statistical comparison is silly.

Nice, did I start a Journal/CFRC fight?

Tyler King said...

Heh.

On a relevent note to expand this comment past heh - I goofed - the offer is Rios for Lincecum, not Rios for Cain. Which wouldn't be as awesome as Rios for Cain, but still great.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Hey, I agree that Pudge is by far the better player: as I mentioned above, I was considering offence-only, which would seem to make sense when you're talking about a batting lineup, and I still came to the conclusion that the new Tigers one is probably better. Agree with Tyler that it would be nicer to get Cain, but there still seems to be some reluctance on the Lincecum deal, so Cain was probably wishful thinking as their organization seems to think higher of him.

Pete Toms said...

There is the jacked, juiced, whatever Marlins era I Rod who was a dominant force and there is the current slimmer I Rod who is very good but not dominant.

Tyler King said...

Yep, but plenty of hall of famers have gone through the same sort of decline. Of course, if Pudge gets named in the Mitchell report, things change quite a bit.

Cain wasn't wishful thinking - it's well established that Sabean made both available, it's just that the price is much steeper for the more talented and established Cain, as it well should be.

Pete Toms said...

TK, go find Marlins era photos of I Rod and compare them to today's I Rod. I don't need George Mitchell to tell me.

sager said...

All right, a Madoc vs. Kingston fight! :)