Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
Andre Drummond has improved immeasurably since the beginning of the year. He's going to have All Star numbers, but the East is surprisingly loaded with quality centers: Drummond, Hibbert, Horford, Hawes, Vucevic, Lopez, Jefferson. Stats here.
Pistons go up BIG, Miami storms back in the fourth, Pistons show resilence by holding them off and tightening up defensively just as the Heat within three. But...
This tweet inspired me to crunch some raw numbers.
Jim Johnson Saves 50 WAR, 1.5 $6.5 million - Drafted by Baltimore 5th round 2001.
Craig Kimbrel 50, 3.3 $655K - Drafted by Atlanta in the 3rd round '08.
Greg Holland 47, 3.1 $540K - Drafted by KC in the 10th round '07.
Rivera $10 million
Nathan $7 million
Soriano $11 million
Addison Reed 40, 1.2 $520K - Drafted by Chicago in the 3rd round '10.
Sergio Romo 38, .7 $3.5 million - Drafted by SF in the 28th round '05
Aroldis Chapman 38, 2.0 $2 million - Signed as amateur FA by Cincy in '10.
Grant Balfour 38, 1.4 $4.5 million - Signed as FA by Oakland in '11.
Four closers of the final playoff teams (that IS the goal, no?)
Kenley Jansen 28, 2.6 $512K Signed as amateur FA in '04.
Koji Uehara 21, 3.6 $4.25 million
Joaquin Benoit 24, 2.8 $5.5 million Signed as amateur FA in '11.
Trevor Rosenthal 3, 1.4 $490K Drafted 21st round by STL in '09.
Conclusions: The total cost of the 14 relievers is $56,962,000, or about $4.06 million per guy. Breaking it down further...
Half of them could be considered 'home grown.' They're highlighted. Their cost would be $1.84 million per player. Though I've precluded Rivera from this group. He's in the ensuing calculations.
The cost of those acquired through free agency/trade (Rivera) measures out to $7.04 million per player.
The Tigers needed to devote far too much salary to a closer for the same reason they've had to reconstruct their bullpen. If you don't have a stockpile of relievers who could be considered for the closer role, than you're going to have to search free agency, or find a trade partner with one too many bullpen arms. Funny, that now that's KC. I think Joe Nathan is actually underrated due to the legendary shadow of Mariano. He's a damn fine closer. But what he's being paid could've been allocated to improve the team either now, or shortly down the road.
Dave Dombrowski, lacking the respect to consult me, traded one of the steadiest and most reliable starting pitchers in baseball for a not-so-goodutility guy (there ARE good ones) and two young pitchers who weren't ever going to wrest away starts from Strasburg, Zimmermann and Gonzalez.
Read that again.
Wait, let me say I'm not stunned by this at all. There could not have been much market value difference between Fister and Porcello. Porcello could still bloom into Fister with a a sneaky deadlier fastball, or he might have peaked, while I don't have to be Bill James to predict Fister's numbers for the next many years.
Teams pay dearly for starters. The A's just gave Scott Kazmir $22 million over 2 years. Fister, still with two years of arbitration to go, was slated to make half annually of what Kazmir gets this year.
On a day they settled money with Leyland's adoptive nephew, Don Kelly, the Tigers upgraded over Ramon Santiago, and received nothing with proven Major League value in return.
Before the return was announced I suspected Adam LaRoche was going to be in the Tiger DH/1B rotation. Washington could then get Anthony Rendon to third and get Ryan Zimmerman and his progressing Sax-ian disease over to first. Didn't happen.
You don't have to be in a cape and cowl and be the World's Greatest Detective to figure out that something's up. More SHOULD be on the way, and Dombrowski alluded to just that in his 945pm press conference last night.
Acquired starter Robbie Ray reminds of long time Tiger prospect Casey Crosby. Gets his share of strikeouts, but puts a ton on base. He's labeled with mid to back end of the rotation stuff.
We can hope lefty Ian Krol turns into what was expected of Phil Coke. More than just a LOOGY. 8.1 K/9 in 274 minor league innings with a WHIP just over 1.1. Krol is fastball at 93, with a curve and a change mixed in. As a 22 year old he threw 32 games and 27.1 innings for Washington last year with no thing requiring obvious praise. Hopefully his nearly 4 to 1 K/BB minor league ratio eventually emerges for the Tigers bullpen.
Twitter got very testy that this was a salary dump by the Tigers. Dombrowski reiterated Detroit will still be a high payroll team, which didn't pull my eyebrown down to normal levels.
It's hard to retract trust in DD, but my worry is that the salary relief from Fielder and Fister could go in any of these directions, none I'd be pleased with.
A. Extension for Scherzer
B. Extension for Cabrera
C. Extension for both. I'll be on the roof.
D. They sign a free agent whose name fans have bandied around. Choo or Ellsbury specifically. You can find me plunging OFF the roof. Those contracts would be ludricous. Though you can talk me in 60/4 for Granderson, even if I give up a first round pick. There ARE other rounds in the draft. Make them count.
E. Something else that has me bowing at the temple of Dave.
There's one destination for that saved money I would spend it on though. Rick Porcello's got two more years of arbitration and then he'll be a free agent. If last year's positive gains were the beginning of his emergence, and remember that his defense will be much improved, I think I'm OK with buying out his arb and some free agent years.
Porcello will make 6ish this year in arb, then 7 or more next year. Do that math, and factor in the deal for Kazmir, and consider Ricky Nolasco getting 49/4. I think I might give Porcello that deal right this second, with a very reachable option for a fifth year, that would put another 15 on the deal, totaling 64 over 5. Down the road that should be bronzed Lincoln's for a quality mid-rotation starter STILL under 30.
The Porcello theory may be a pipe dream for me though because of other sentiments from Dombrowski. The crafty executive mentioned Ray profiling as a 1-3 rotation starter. You don't have to remind me YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH PITCHING, but Verlander and Sanchez are around for a while, Smyly should be as well, does this mean they won't even consider a Porcello extension? Recall who the Tigers target every year in the draft, BIG right handed starters. They have three of them in their 2014 prospects list. Jonathon Crawford, Endrys Briceno, and Jake Thompson.
There's more to come so no need at all to judge this trade now. We'll wait to the ensuing moves occur before I find the ladder leading to the roof.
#hashing out the tweets...
- I'll miss Fister. With Greg Maddux being my all time favorite pitcher, I enjoyed watching Fister work like Maddux. Quickly and with exceptional movement on what should be very straight pitches. Downright dominance at times with not much over 90.
- Elementary math says the Tigers have the same bullpen questions as they did when the season ended; possibly more. The proven Smyly goes to the rotation, and Krol is no sure replacement.
- The Nationals traded a pitcher to the A's last week who I sought in a potential deal. Fernando Abad. I also (think I) would've preferred the malleable Tanner Roark also over who the Tigers received. Anthony Rendon wasn't going to happen.
Oh this is fun!
There was way to much riding on this game for that to have been missed- a SEC Championship and National Championship. I think they should put together an overtime play for Auburn and Alabama. Sign the petition if you'd like.
And this makes it appear that Mike Tomlin didn't accidently step closer to Jacoby Jones.
You can see Tomlin actually take a side-step toward the field, where his foot ends up on the field of play.
He then jumps out of the way when he realized the Ravens’ kickoff return was heading his way.
Tomlin says he was watching the play on the jumbotron and got disoriented.
1. I said it within minutes of the Chris Davis crossing midfield of Jordan Hare Stadium with the clock at zero; all things considered - gravity of the game, venomous atmosphere, outdoing the OSU/UM finish - that's the single greatest and most dramatic sporting moment of my life.
2. On Monday, I still believe it my sentiment from Saturday night, so it's not hyperbole.
3. Saturday evening, I thought Auburn just went toe to toe with the team of the century, and Ohio State, granted in a fever pitched, unmatched rivalry game, was pushed to the brink of a loss by a team that was a lot more bad than good in 2013. Auburn should jump Ohio State in the BCS rankings. They made up ground but didn't surpass OSU.
4. I like chaos, and I also like Alabama - more on that shortly. Michigan State could certainly stifle the Buckeyes, however, favored by a zillion I can't imagine Florida State losing to Duke (football, I know, right?!).
How cool chaotic would it be if Florida State and Ohio State lost, and Auburn beat Missouri in the SEC title game.
Do you know who'd likely play in the BCS title game?! Lol. Think January 2012 and how pissed off most of the country was, while I was one of the few championing the 'you're darn right they're the two best teams' cause.
LSU and Bama.
This year? #rerematch. Alabama and Auburn. Yes, please.
I've long been a proponent of the BCS. I realize that's like saying I like the taste of rabbit shit. I'm one of the few.
Due to every major sport having a playoff, and some inviting half the teams, American fans have bought into what I like to call sports socialism. Everyone deserves a chance! And it's terrific when a darling underdog captures our emotions and breaks throught the gauntlet and wins a title.
Personally I find that absurd.
This is one of the few areas where I find myself to be extremely conventional.
I like when the best team (like the word value, I know that definition can be debated) wins the championship. Call me old fashioned, or unfair if you'd like.
I breathed a sigh of relief when the Red Sox won the World Series. They were the best team in baseball, and that was undoubtedly proven over the trial of a 162. Over the longest season in pro sports, it's hard to think good fortune will be at your side almost on command to garner the most wins in the game. Sure there's luck some days, but over 180 days of baseball luck is truly the residue of design.
Sure those Giants wins over the Patriots were when the games mattered the most, but frame it how you'd like, I think there should be a better reward than being upset for traversing the four rigorous and injury filled months of the NFL schedule.
Alabama is the best team in college football.
Alabama would still be favored over any team in the country (yes, including Florida St) - via bookmaker @JayKornegay— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) December 2, 2013
...and that's all I need to support the belief above.
I didn't see anything but the final minutes of the Iron Bowl, but I'm fine with Saban's decision to kick the field goal. I'm alright with it not because the kick came within mere feet of a win, so Saban obviously knew the kid had a shot to make it, but the chances of doing what Chris Davis did are plausible, but slim.
We can all remember Antonio Cromartie's return in 2008 against the Vikings making it a trendy ploy to have an elusive player underneath the goal posts. Scores came from that same instance several other times as well in the NFL.
Yesterday, Cordarrelle Patterson of the Vikings also caught a Robbie Gould 66 yard miss 9 yards deep in the end zone and he didn't get quite as far as Cromartie or Davis did. Patterson made it to the 22 before he was brought down, by a lineman no less, and the game went to over time. I can assure you that the Chicago special teams coach warned his unit about a game ending return, in light of Davis the night before, but I doubt speedier personnel was placed on the field in case of Patterson zooming leisurely the other way.
Alabama could have simply gone to over time, and won. Or lost. For my sports memories, I'm happy it ended the way it did, even though the it's unlikely the best team in the nation will win the title.
Michigan, an average team, rode emotion and seized most of the opportunity to put some shine on a dreary season by nearly beating Ohio State. A team with a questionable string of victories.
Auburn, in front of its 87 thousand fans, in the South's angriest rivalry, and the fourth ranked team in the country with only a loss AT LSU, took down the Crimson Tide.
If this was the NCAA selection committee for March Madness, and football will have its own a year from now, we'd say OSU had poor win and was fortunate, and Bama had a quality loss.
Bama and Florida State, unless they don't have Jameis Winston, are probably the two best teams in the country.
They don't play title games the way my world dictates though.
Until next year, they don't even have a four team communistic playoff for you!
We're at the mercy of the BCS rankings and all of the clandestine things that go into creating the rankings.
I'm alright with that. It's a computer, and you can't outargue a remorseless and cold computer. You'll think of that and me next time your PC blue screens and you either mope or become outraged.
It may be a rigid criteria to meet, but Alabama knew exactly what it had to do win a third straight BCS title; win all of its games. They didn't and excluding one modest, and one historic upset, the Crimson Tide will not play for a third straight title.
I'm alright with that. Because it's better than how champions were 100% subjectively determined in the pre-BCS era, and until greed turns the 4 team into a 16 team playoff, no less talented, dark horse team is going to win a title.
Just like I know Hank Aaron is the MLB home run king, I know that Alabama is 2013's best team in college football. But you know what, I'll live with Florida State, or even Auburn being crowned the final BCS champion.