MLB
Jones Not So Chipper On Joining Yankees
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Chipper Jones New York Yankees Atlanta Braves

 

 

You have to give New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman some credit; the man can certainly get creative. Even George Steinbrenner would be proud.

 

While the rest of the baseball world is spinning its wheels, wondering how Cashman is going to replace the offense lost by losing both Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson for the first two months of the season, the hobbled GM (he broke his leg skydiving) is not leaving any stone unturned.

 

That apparently means making a quick streak down Major League Baseball's retirement list.

 

Cashman has contacted the agents of three retired ballplayers to date; first baseman Derrek Lee, third baseman Scott Rolen, and, wait for it, third baseman Chipper Jones. That's right, Cashman apparently thought the lure of playing for the Yankees and the untold riches that went with it would be enough to lure the lifelong Brave out of his nearly five-month retirement to play on a one-year deal with the Yankees.

 

Jones, for his credit, wasn't buying in.

 

"Enough with the rumors! While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I'm happy with life as a bad golfer!"

 

Still, that didn't stop Cashman from at least kicking the tires. After all, we are talking about a future Hall of Famer who is coming off a season in which he appeared in 112 games and a .287 average, 14 home runs, 62 RBI, and a  .832 OPS in his farewell tour. Still, it was far-fetched to say the least, with Jones more likely to return to the Braves than anywhere else in baseball.

 

James Huneker once said, "All men of action are dreamers." And when the action requires thinking outside the box, then dreams are maybe all that is left.

 

It beats settling for Juan Rivera.

Hawkeegn's Thoughts
Category: MLB
Tags: World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic

Okay so some folk this is a bad idea or dumb. So be it. I think it's cool. Then again, it's hard to get too excited about it when most of your own country's players are skipping it. Other countries sent a lot of their best players (Japan especially). Imagine a team that had Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Bryce Harper? Well yeah they'll likely be part of the National league All-Star team this season. But none of them are playing for Team USA.

Yes they won today to advance to the second round. And they might advance to the semifinals. I'm not counting on it. As long as you have Cuba (always a power even if many past WBC Cuban players defected and now are in the majors) and Japan, you could easily put those two teams in the final. Although this time, the Netherlands & Italy (!) have beaten teams no one thought they would and are clearly the upstarts. You always have to like the underdog.

As for Team USA, they really need to find a way to encourage the superstars that it's really okay for them to play for the US team, that the chance of injury is small (unless you happen to be Mark Texiera) and with you there, they might actually win in the semifinal round! And if they did that, more American fans might actually pay attention. And since the WBC is Major League Baseball's idea, wouldn't it make sense to attract as many American fans as they could? Just a thought.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. See ya next time.

Hawkeegn

Baseball Digest is hiring
Category: MLB
Tags: Baseball Baseball Digest

In the March/April 2013 issue of the Baseball Digest, the magazine is looking for writers for their website as they want to expand their coverage.

If you are interested contact writers@baseballdigest.com

you will need to submit a resume and a sample writing.

 

Scott

Five Minute Frags - Underestimating Bryce Harper
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Washington Nationals Bryce Harper

 

It goes without saying that I have spent a considerable amount of time angling against Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. I have openly questioned the Nationals' decision to recall the then 19-year-old phenom and make him a permanent member of their starting line-up. I then chided Tony LaRussa and Major League Baseball for naming Harper to the National League All-Star team instead of Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves. And then to close out the trifecta, I (a man who has absolutely no say in the matter) chose Wade Miley as my pick for the NL Rookie of the Year award, a trophy that inevitably went to Harper.

 

Some would read that and say that I have a personal ax to grind with the aforementioned Harper. It is actually quite the contrary. I feel he is a phenomenal talent, but my posts were backed up with thoughts of rushing a 19-year-old and playing to media sensationalism. Of course, Harper proved me wrong in terms of his maturity and his readiness to be a Major League star. And while I won't cave on my argument for Prado a year ago, the right evidence could easily beat me on the Rookie of the Year voting.

 

Well, I'm here today to prove that I am capable of change.

 

Harper has been on fire to start the spring and is already in mid-season form in regards to his cockiness and his desire to be in the line-up at any given time. Reading that lead me to reviewing what the stat pundits are predicting for the affable outfielder heading into his sophomore season. Before we get there, let's have a look at his stat-line from 2012, courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com:

 

2012 - 597 AB/ 98 R/ 144 H/ 26 2B/ 9 3B/ 22 HR / 59 RBI/ 18 SB/ .270 BA/ .817 OPS

 

Not bad at all for a 19-year-old who played just 56 games above A-Ball in his career. It shows just how advanced Harper was, but it also showed that there was room for improvement. So with that said, one would expect that the experts would see Harper as making a steady climb in 2013, right? Not exactly.

 

Noted statistician Bill James sees Harper making just modest gains in 2013:

 

659 PA/ 24 HR/ 105 R/ 65 RBI/ 20 SB/ .823 OPS

 

Dan Szymborski at The Baseball Think Factory, the man behind the ZiPS projections is a little more generous to Harper, but not much:

 

651 PA/ 26 HR/ 89 R/ 70 RBI/ 21 SB/ .834 OPS

 

So I have ask myself what these guys are seeing, or rather not seeing, from Harper's game? When all is said and done, their projections seem to be nothing more than extrapolating Harper's 2012 numbers over a full season. They don't seem to lend any real room for improvement, which you would have to expect from a player with such a lofty ceiling.

 

Sure, someone could point to the fact that a full winter of preparation by MLB scouts will help pitchers attack Harper better. That said, wouldn't we have seen a similar response to him later in the season, after he had been around the league once or twice and the book got out on him? Instead, we saw Harper have his best split in the season in September/October:

 

Sept/Oct - 126 PA/ 27 R/ 37 H/ 8 2B/ 3 3B/ 7 HR/ 14 RBI/ 5 SB/ .330 BA/ 1.043 OPS

 

With that in mind, and a full year of maturity under his belt, if Harper is half the player that we are made to believe, than one would expect him to improve on last year's campaign, with his performance in the last month of the season as proof that he is adjusting to the league rather than the other way around.

 

While I am not predicting that Harper will have the astronomical numbers that Mike Trout had a year ago (Trout likely won't either for that matter), you have to give the man credit. He has proven the naysayers wrong and shown that he a more mature ballplayer than any other player at his age.

 

Isn't it time we start giving Bryce Harper credit where credit is due

FYI, this is just a placeholder post. My real post got wiped out last night and I am in the middle of rewriting it and will have it up later today. I apologize for the delay, but thought you might enjoy this in the meantime.

 
2013 YouGabSports Fantasy Baseball
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Fantasy Baseball

It is that time again for YouGabSports and its faithful readers and compatriots to engage in baseball warfare. That's right, it is time to fire-up your draft skills and get ready for fantasy baseball!

This year, we'll be running two leagues.

The first league will feature the same teams as last season, as long as those players intend to return to the league. If you do, please respond below noting that you are activating your team or comment on the league message board to let me know you are still playing. If a team fails to do so in the next week, I will have to offer their slot up to another interested party.

The second league is being founded in order to accommodate those members that have joined up since last season's league was founded. I'll commission both leagues, so we'll only need 11 more teams for this league.

Leagues are head-to-head, category wins. The draft order will be randomized by ESPN and we will draft in the typical snake format.

Are you interested? Time to join up! Comment below and I will send an invite to the email address you used to register for The Gab!

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