Tagged: Blue Jays

Does This Have Legs?

Posted by: Chris Cue
10:15am Wed, 11/25/09

     Doesn’t it just irk you when people play the “I told you so” card? Especially when it’s a no-brainer “I told you so” in the first place? Me too, so I won’t mention the fact that this was covered in my Hot Stove Predictions HERE and HERE 🙂

     If today’s headline’s are to be believed, then it looks like the Red Sox are all in for a Roy Halladay trade with Toronto….

Here’s a rundown of today’s stories on the subject with links provided…

From Boston dot com….
Halladay is being targeted

Jays may want Kelly, Buchholz
(link HERE)
From the NY Daily News

Sources: Boston Red Sox making push to trade for Roy Halladay, try to beat New York Yankees to punch

(link HERE)
From MLB.com

Red Sox making run for Halladay

Boston putting on ‘full-court press’ to acquire Jays ace

(link HERE)

     There are other stories out there saying the same, but that’s about the gist of what each say’s. This by no means is a slam dunk deal for the Red Sox. If all of these rumblings are correct, it won’t be long before you see a number of teams get into the picture as well. It’s a given the Yankees won’t let the Sox get this done without some sort of a fight/price hike. The LA Angels as well as the Dodgers and Phillies I would expect to have serious interest as well.

     It might be best to just look at this as a good sign that the Hot Stove is actually heating up.


Questions, Questions, Questions

Posted by: Chris Cue
5:30am Tues, 11/24/09

     If there is one thing that can be said of Baseball’s off season it’s that it’s filled with questions. “What will my team do?”, “Will we pay what is needed to land that guy?”, “Will they try to resign that player?” “Can we trade for so and so?” and on and on and on. There’s plenty of speculation to be sure. Equally as sure is that most of what we read is nothing more than that….speculation. So, at least during this point of the non-playing season, we all have equal ground to work on when it comes to “What I think will happen” types of conversations. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several area’s that may or may not affect the Red Sox and other AL East teams.

      We’ll start out with an article that perked my interest in where the Red Sox and Yankees might stand in the hunt for Doc Halladay’s services. The article (HERE) in today’s Herald by John Tomase states: “The Yankees and Red Sox are expected to be at the forefront of trade
discussions (for Halladay) with rookie general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The Sox have
more to offer, however, because they can dangle potential
front-of-the-rotation starter Clay Buchholz.”

   Now, being the Red Sox homer that I am, I would love to believe that is the case. However, when you step back and attempt to take a non-biased look at the situation, I’m not sure the Sox do have it over the Yankees because of Buchholz. Personally, as of today, I would take Clay over either Joba or Phil Hughes, but just because Clay may be considered a notch above (for now), you have to remember it’s going to be a package of players that lands Halladay….not just a single pitcher. The Jay’s needs for next season if they move Doc are going to be: Starting Pitching, a Catcher and a Short Stop. While the Red Sox can fill the Starting Pitching spot with Clay, we fall a little short in the Catcher and Short Stop positions as far as ML ready players go. Of course, it may not be necessary for either team to fill immediate needs for the Jay’s. It could be a matter of what the Jay’s see as future needs too. It appears to me that both the Sox and Yanks may be a little closer in available talent then Tomase gives credit for. As always, it will boil down to which team is willing to give up the needed talent to land Halladay. Recent history tells me that both Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman are rather shy about giving up the kids they develop, but for the opportunity to sign Halladay long term (if the Jay’s provide such a window to negotiate an extension ), we may see more of a willingness then we have in the past to trade some kids. Stay tuned to this one.


     The other curiosity I have also is in regards to Starting Pitching. While the Sox do appear to have a set rotation already in place, there’s no doubt that Theo is going to want to add depth to it in case of injury or flat out ineffectiveness. But will he (or the Yankees) be interested in a front of the rotation starter this off season?

     I started wondering how much next years crop of available Starting Pitchers will
determine what we do and don’t do this year. I think a case could be
made that both the Sox and Yanks made decisions long before last years off season
that allowed each team to be in the Teixeira race when he became available.
So, I’m wondering how much the crop of available starting pitchers next
year will determine what teams do this off season.

Take a look at a few of the names that are slated to become Free Agents next off season

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Josh Beckett
Brandon Webb
and there are a number of 2nd tier guys available too like:
Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez and others

By the way,
not only are all of those guys slated to become Free Agents next year, that list doesn’t include some guys that may be available via trade. For
instance, the Marlins by their recent actions may have opened up the possibility that Josh Johnson
could be available via trade next off season. Of course the Marlin’s didn’t come
right out and say he would be available, but they failed to sign the kid to an extension
and opted to go year to year for his last 2 Arbitration eligible seasons that
they have him under control (2010 & 2011). That would appear to
make him trade bait next off season, so we may be able to throw his name on that list too. We’ll have to see about that
because Marlin’s have been known to hang on to guys and just get draft picks
when they leave instead of trading them. However, it seems safe to assume there is at least a
very good possibility he’ll be shopped.

     That’s a pretty good
crop of potential available starting pitchers next year which is why I’m
wondering if teams may have an eye on that and be a little shy of
locking up someone less desirable long term this year. In other words,
let’s say that neither the Red Sox or Yankees show interest in John Lackey this
off season, I’m thinking that next years available pitchers may have
something to do with it.

Just a thought…..and of course, it adds more questions.

Cheers and Go Baseball!

Futile, but Fun

By Chris Cue
January 29, 2009

     Q: What does a Monkey and a Baseball “Expert” have in common?
     A: They both have the same chances of correctly predicting the outcome of the 2009 MLB season.

     For what it’s worth, that’s not really a joke. It’s been proven before. So much for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution huh? You’d think that by now we would have evolved to a point that would give us a “hands down” advantage over a chimp wouldn’t you? Guess not. At least it doesn’t seem so when predicting the future. Oh well, don’t worry about it too much because there will soon be plenty of “experts” telling us what will happen. None of them will be correct mind you, but hey, what does that matter right? Predicting the outcome of a Major League season is fun. It’s a futile exercise, but it’s fun never the less.

     There are a ton of Baseball statistic web site out there. Take your pick on which one you think may come the closest as they all will offer up a prediction sooner or later. Not to pick on anyone specifically here, but the Hardball Times had their staff make predictions on the 2008 season prior to it starting. Here’s a link to what their “experts” came up with. (Hardball Times Staff Predictions 2008)
Pay close attention to the AL East. How many of their staff members called the outcome correctly? Yup, you guessed it….NONE of them. You’ll notice that the end result in the predictions had the Red Sox winning the East, followed by the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles. Pretty whacked huh? Of course hindsight allows us to make that observation, but considering that these are the “experts”, it kind of puts the worth of these predictions out there for everyone to see doesn’t it?

     Morale to the story: Take any prediction regarding the outcome of a MLB season with a HUGE grain of salt.  

     You may as well make a few predictions of your own. They have the same odds of being correct as that monkey mentioned earlier. Just to see what would happen, I recently used my dog to predict the outcome of the AL East for the 2009 season. Here’s how the test was done. Using 5 pieces of notebook paper, each labeled with a single team name, they were placed face down on the floor (just in case the dog can read). Under each sheet was a dog treat. Standing roughly 10 feet back from the papers on the floor, the dog was released. Each time he went to one paper to fetch a treat. The first one he went to was the predicted winner, the second one he went to was the team predicted to come in second place and so on untill all the teams were picked and there were no dog treats left for our beloved pooch.

     Here’s the predictions of “Fido the Wonder Dog”:

     1st place: Tampa Bay

     2nd place: Boston

     3rd place: Toronto

     4th place: New York

     5th place: Baltimore

     Can he be any further off then what the predictions were for last season? Time will tell, but we should assume that it is a good thing that “Fido” doesn’t write for the NY Times. A prediction like that in a New York paper might just bump Joe Torre’s book to the back page.

     If you want to make some safe baseball predictions of your own, you may want to latch onto one of these. They are all fairly certain which will reduce your risk of being wrong. Feel free to pick one or add one of your own in the comments section. It’s just for fun….right??

The 2009 Safe Predictions

**Manny Ramirez won’t sign a contract until after Spring Training starts. That will be his excuse this year for not reporting on time.**

**Baseball experts will attempt to see into the future and tell us that they know what will happen before it actually does.** (I told you these were safe predictions)

**Before the first game is over, some knuckle head will use the nickname “Sit-n-Spit” when talking about Terry Francona.**

**Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts will see increased coffee sales the morning after West coast games.**

     See, isn’t this fun? It’s easy too. The best part is the experts will never come up with these kinds of predictions. Calculators don’t compute this kind of stuff. However, a well placed dog treat? Yeah, you might want to give the dog the edge on these. Have fun and let us know what else we should be betting on this year.