Thursday, November 25, 2010

So…We Still Don’t Work for the MLB

So last we week we had a brief, yet fiery rant about the retardation of adding more wild card teams. Regardless of our ranting, kicking, and screaming, if we’re to listen to Bud Selig’s nonsense, it appears as though we’re getting additional wild card teams in 2012 whether we want it or not. We asked you if you’d embrace more wild card teams and 3 of you feel as strongly as we do, being that this idea is “literally the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” 1 individual loves wild card teams because “they’re the bestest.” However, the truly brilliant part of this poll is that someone actually voted for, “Well okay, but only if they’re first forced to compete in the Tri-Wizard tournament for the Goblet of Fire, which will take place at Hogwarts…naturally.” Thank you for that. There are no words to convey to you how hard we laughed.

This year’s MVP’s have finally been announced, but there wasn’t anything surprising about the outcome. Joey Votto secured the NL MVP and the only thing shocking about it is that he pummeled reigning MVP, Albert Pujols by a landslide (31 votes to 1). Josh Hamilton took AL MVP, beating the second place Miguel Cabrera by 17 points.

Finally, after days, weeks, months of BS, the Mets have finally announced their new manager and no, it’s not the TBB. We must confess that we’re not really sure where we went wrong during our interview process. On Tuesday, Mets confirmed that 61 year old Terry Collins would be taking over Jerry Manuel’s former position. His previous managerial experience includes the Houston Astros (1994-1996) and the then Anaheim Angels (1997-1999) with a win-loss record of 444-434. Personally, we think that the Mets have made a big mistake choosing Collins over us. Combined, we’re 60 years old. We’re energetic and have many more years of experience under our belts, having managed several different teams from the stands, living room couches, and bar stools. We’ve even called the bull pen from our personal cell phones, selflessly using our own daytime minutes for the sake of the team. PLUS, we write a baseball blog. Granted, a baseball blog filled without a lot of malarkey, but does HE write a baseball blog? No. We think not.

We know that you probably don’t care about what we just talked about. We’re guessing that you want us to go off on this whole Derek Jeter/Yankees marital trouble situation. Fine. We’ll play a little ball with you, but we’re not going to spend a ridiculous amount of time covering it. Newsday, New York Times, Daily News, ESPN,, and are covering it enough. Brian Cashman refuses to comment on what Jeter’s camp is asking for or confirm if the Yankees’ offer is really 3 years/$15 million, but he has said that they’ve offered Jeter a “fair and appropriate” deal. He’s even gone so far as to suggest to Jeter that he should test the market if he feels cheated. Jeter’s agent has called the Yankees’ negotiation tactics “baffling” (which Cashman appears to be a bit stung by). You probably expect us to snarl over the Yankees’ selfishness and insensitive handling of the situation. Sorry, but it’s not going to happen. Oh, sure. We definitely see Jeter’s side of the coin here, but we can also understand the position that the Yankees are in as well.

The Victim’s side of the story (if you can call Jeter a “victim”): Jeter’s been an important figure in the Yankees’ franchise for his entire career. He’s been a member of the 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009 World Series teams. He was the 1996 Rookie of the Year and became team captain in 2003. He’s won 5 Gold Gloves at short stop with them (though there are plenty of people willing and able to argue against him winning them). He’s an 11-time All Star and a 4-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. He is the all-time hits leader among short stops and the Yankees’ all-time hits leader, having passed Lou Gehrig in 2009. Most Yankees fans love him and from what we can tell, he’s highly respected and well-liked by his teammates. Perhaps even non-Yankees fans and non-Yankees players like him. However, we can’t really confirm that now can we?

The Yankees’ side of the story: They realize what Jeter’s done for the team over the span of his career. The organization may be run by wealthy and arrogant businessmen, but they’re not foolish. However, Derek Jeter is 36 years old. He’s currently playing an infield position that requires a player to cover a good chunk of ground and as you get older, it becomes more difficult to do so. Hey, we’re not knocking the over 30 crowd here. We’re not quite at 36 yet and even we notice a difference in staying in shape. We can no longer eat a carton of ice cream without seeing it creep into our butts. It sucks. We miss our high school physiques. Plus, while he’s a decent fielder, it’s his offense that makes Jeter special. 2010 was NOT a good year at the plate for him. What if that’s a sign of things to come? Sure, it could just be an off year. Lots of players have them and then rebound the following year just fine. But still…what if it’s not? We’re not 100% confident that Jeter can switch positions. Switching positions to begin with is a difficult transition (make fun of Alex Rodriguez’s move from short to third all you want, but trust us. That wasn’t easy and the job’s he currently doing at third should be commended regardless of how you feel about him personally), but some people don’t have the athletic prowess to do it successfully. So if Jeter can’t switch positions and he’s no longer hitting well, are the Yankees really expected to keep Jeter for more than 3 years and pay him large sums of money simply out of loyalty?

We’re not saying that either side is more right or more wrong. We’re just saying that both sides have a point. We hear rumors here and there that the Red Sox and Mets might make an offer just to make the Yankees squirm, but the Mets just recently committed themselves whole-heartedly to Jose Reyes and we personally feel that Red Sox fans would rather slit their own wrists than see Derek Jeter in a Red Sox uniform.

When all is said and done, the fact remains is that both camps should’ve kept these dealings private. Jeter is a popular player and whether anyone likes it or not, he’s currently the face of the franchise. He’s high-profile, high-paid, and famously “Yankee.” His pending free agent status was news well before the season ended. The public back and forth crap does nothing for either side’s situation and it’s now almost at the point of embarrassing. This morning, the back page of a local newspaper didn’t address the Mets’ new manager, the spiraling New York Giants, or the endless amount of luck the Jets seem to be in possession of. It screamed Derek Jeter. Going forward, both parties should shut up and just let us know when a decision’s been made. That’s all anyone really cares about anyway.

Movement Around the League:
According to reports, Victor Martinez is ditching the Red Sox for the Tigers. If this is true, this leaves a pretty big gap behind the plate for the Sox to fill and Jason Varitek is most definitely not their answer.

Several players have been offered arbitration this week, including the Rangers’ Cliff Lee and Frankie Francisco, Red Sox’s Mike Lowell, White Sox’s Paul Konerko and JJ Putz, Phillies’ Jayson Werth, Twins’ Carl Pavano, Jesse Crain, and Orlando Hudson, and the Yankees’ Javier Vazquez. We’ll rattle off a few names that did NOT get arbitration (though this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re leaving the organization): Jason Varitek, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Hideki Matsui, Bengie Molina, and Vlad Guerrero.

Finally, we’d like to wish a happy birthday to The Favorite’s brother and Brownie Maker.

Have a Gobble, Gobble Thursday filled with good food, friends and family, and great football!

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