February 26, 2008

phil hughes wants a player number ending in 5

Dear Carl Pavano:

Give Phil Hughes your number.

January 10, 2007

a starting rotation without roger clemens

I'm against having Roger Clemens rejoin the Yankees. Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens get along very well. They go to workouts together, and both joined the Houston Astros in the same offseason. Now Pettitte is back with the Yankees, and that's a great thing. I'm so pleased to have him back.

Roger pitched an abbreviated season last year. He joined the Astros during the season, saving himself some of the wear and tear that might push him toward retirement. I'm sure he can be an effective starter this year. Roger is in possession of one of the most important baseball player characteristics: passion. A player that puts passion before ego is going to strengthen those around himself, win or lose. Due to past mistakes with pitching recruitment, we know what happens when a guy driven by ego loses a game.

Roger sounds like a great pitcher on paper. So why would it be bad for the Yankees to bring him back?

The Yankees have two young, important pitchers: Wang and Igawa. What those two guys need is mentoring from more experienced pitchers, like Mussina and Pettitte. That's the definition of critical relationships among the starting pitchers. If Clemens is around, Pettitte will spend time with him, and less time with the new guys. And that can produce negative impact in the long run.

Andy doesn't need to better himself. He just needs to train, study batters, and be ready to pitch his game. He doesn't need mentoring, he needs to do it.

Don't get me wrong; of course the Yankees have a manager and a pitching coach. But it will take support and guidance from peers as well as superiors to achieve what needs to be done this year.

January 04, 2007

the modified baseballs that mlb denies

I'm fascinated by a couple of images recently released by a company called Universal Medical Systems. They obtained some of MLB's baseballs from the 1998 season and performed CT scans on them. Here are links to the images:

Mark McGwire's 70th homerun baseball

Several baseballs from the 1998 season

Hopefully these links will last. Anyway, what the images show is that the rubberized core of the baseball was bigger than usual, and an unexplained synthetic rubber ring was around the core. Major League Baseball officials insist that the formation of the official game baseballs has been the same for decades.

For a rubber ring inside a baseball to be a factor in an at-bat, the batter would probably have to hit a portion of the ring directly, causing extra compaction of the ball upon contact and providing additional travel force upon re-expansion. The baseball would have a slightly higher probability of traveling slightly further than a ball that lacked the rubber ring.

Baseball (object) article on Wikipedia

January 03, 2007

andy pettitte returns to the bronx

Andy Pettitte will earn $16 million in 2007 to be a starter for the New York Yankees.  I think this represents an excellent move by the Yankees: they get an established performer and pin him with high (but not unreasonable) expectations.  A lefty starter with an effective pick-off move, Pettitte will return to New York expecting admiration while at the same time expecting to have to prove himself all over again.

Randy Johnson no longer owns the title of lefty Yankees starter.  He's being made redundant in an employment system carefully protected by a strong union.  His name is generating phone calls to GM Brian Cashman, and believe me, not a moment too soon.  That was a bit of a back-handed way of speaking my mind, so let me be clearer:

Randy Johnson, pack your things and hand over your uniform.

January 01, 2007

respect for cory lidle

Rest in peace, Cory Lidle.  

I was immediately aware of the tragedy, but I decided to maintain Fault Page's "closed" status until January 2007 as originally stated.  Now we can get back to business, one thing at a time.

Cory Lidle was a bonus within the deal for Bobby Abreu.  Cory was a big contributor, keeping the starting lineup together down the stretch.  Nobody wanted to see him leave like this.