|Arizona and the LABR Draft
|I went with Jeff Erickson this year to Arizona to draft RotoWire's AL LABR team (Jeff took the NL).
A few observations about LABR:
- The field of owners is pretty strong - there were no regular guys this year, and everyone in that room knew what they were doing.
- They didn't provide for an auctioneer, so Jeff agreed to do it. I then said I'd do it for the NL, which drafted the following day, especially because Jeff made it look easy.
- After the three or four hour draft, we drank beer and played poker until three in the morning before heading back to the room to do work. We had to get up reasonably early for a Baseball Prospectus sponsored talk with Pads' GM Kevin Towers and Mariners' GM Bill Bavasi before the Pads-M's game. Needless to say, I was dog tired when we had to get up and go to the park.
- Towers looks like an ex-athlete turned middle-aged golfer, still in good shape and wearing a polo shirt. Bavasi looks like an ex-biker-gang member/meth cook gone straight after some close calls with death. He's tall and lean with a long skinny shaved head and goatee.
- Towers was the more charismatic of the two, and he was pretty forthright about what the GM job entails. Some highlights included him saying at one point he realized Rickey Henderson was more valuable to his team than Tony Gwynn in the late '90s.
- After hearing from the GMs, we took in six innings of the game. Dewon Brazelton looked good and Francisco Cruceta threw gas. Also got a look at Kenji Johjima who got a hit, but it was hard to conclude much.
- We made it back to the hotel in time for a 40 minute nap, then it was off to the Arizona Republic offices again for the LABR draft which started 45 minutes late because two of the participants got into a minor car accident.
- I was the auctioneer, and on two days of little sleep, I realized it was work. I kept at it, but not only did I have to sell off all the players, but I had to turn around and write the purchases on the wall behind me. Some of the sheets of paper were low on the wall, so I had to squat down to write them. Being on your feet for four and a half hours, while talking loudly the entire time and intermittently having to turn and squat down to write player names on three hours of alcohol-tainted sleep is trying. I made it through, even if I had to ask a few times right after selling a player which player it was before writing it down.
- After the NL draft (which along with the AL draft I'm told took less time that any LABR drafts ever thanks to Jeff and I), it was back to drinking and poker until three am.
- The next day Jeff and I caught the Cubs-A's game with BP's Joe Sheehan and watched Angel Guzman pitch well, along with Santiago Casilla (fka Jairo Garcia).
- Then we did the six hour drive back from Phoenix - the last hour of which was a downpour when we got to LA.
Posted by Chris Liss at 3/10/2006 3:09:00 PM
|WBC: Thursday pitch count impacts
|Quick notes on major league pitchers
who took part in Thursday's WBC games, and subsequent eligibility for later
games based on WBC pitch count rules:
Dominican Republic: Odalis Perez threw 42 pitches in his middling start
against Italy. Jorge Sosa threw 40 pitches in an excellent four-inning relief
stint (the DR was up just 4-3 when he entered the game in the 4th). Having seen
Sosa come up in the Devil Rays' chain, I don't think he's ever been so mentally
involved in a game on March 9th in his life. Both Perez and Sosa, as well as
Bartolo Colon, are ineligible for the Dominicans' meaningless game against
Australia on Friday; Daniel Cabrera will start. However, when the second round
starts on Sunday, everyone on the staff will be eligible unless Cabrera or a
reliever hits the 50-pitch mark on Friday. Colon likely gets the start on Sunday
night against the Puerto Rica-Cuba winner. The scary outing will be Monday
afternoon in the heat on the Field Turf surface at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San
Juan; Perez and/or Sosa will get that call versus the Puerto Rica-Cuba loser.
Venezuela: Kelvim Escobar threw 63 pitches in his start against
Australia. When Venezuela begins the second round on Sunday, they'll have three
ineligible pitchers: Escobar, Freddy Garcia and Carlos Silva. Escobar will be
ineligible on Monday as well. Both the Venezuelans and Dominicans play on Sunday
and Monday before their rematch on Tuesday. Therefore, expect anyone pitching in
relief for either team on Sunday to be rested on Monday in order to be eligible
on Tuesday (you can pitch three games in a row in the WBC, but not three
straight days). You think the Twins' Ron Gardenhire was upset after Johan
Santana threw 61 pitches on Tuesday? Wait until he finds out Santana will
start on Sunday afternoon in that Field Turf heat at Bithorn against the
Puerto Rica-Cuba loser. Garcia will get the call on Monday night against the
Puerto Rica-Cuba winner.
BTW, Cuba's Yuliesky Gourriel has been an absolute sensation so far;
personally, I can't wait until he comes up against either Santana or Colon for
the first time on Sunday.
Mexico: Esteban Loaiza threw 68 pitches in his start against Canada,
putting together a clinic on how to pitch in a big game when your team scores
four runs in the top of the first. He will be ineligible for Mexico's second
round opener against Korea on Sunday, as will Francisco Campos, but everyone
else will be able to go.
Canada: Jeff Francis threw 36 pitches, five of which went for extra
bases. He'll remember this game for a while. No one else returning to an MLB
camp threw more than 16 pitches.
Team USA note: if Roger Clemens hits 50 pitches versus South Africa on
Friday, he'd be ineligible until Thursday and likely would not pitch in the
semis or final if the Americans get that far.
Oh, and the Orioles' Calvin Maduro threw 62 pitches in relief for the
Netherlands against Cuba on Thursday night. Between the workloads assumed by Maduro, Bruce Chen,
Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen this week, Orioles fans can be excused for hating
this stinkin' tournament. The good news is that everyone heads back to the O's
camp this weekend except for Daniel Cabrera and Mexico's Rodrigo Lopez, who'll
probably start against Korea on Sunday.
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/10/2006 11:16:00 AM
|WBC: Wednesday pitch count impacts
|Quick notes on major league pitchers
who took part in Wednesday's WBC games, and subsequent eligibility for later
games based on WBC pitch count rules:
United States: Tough day for Dontrelle Willis (65 pitches). He's now
ineligible until Monday, and that's if the US advances to the second round. No
other US pitcher that went Wednesday threw 50 pitches or more, so that means
everyone on the US staff, except Willis, is eligible for the game against South
Africa on Thursday.
Think anyone from the Canadian and Mexican camps is thinking of rigging
Wednesday's game to kick the big bad Americans out of the tournament? If Mexico
wins 1-0 or 2-0, both Mexico and Canada advance and Team USA is eliminated.
Canada: Not only did Canada upset the US on Wednesday, they
successfully did so with their second-string bullpen. Adam Loewen threw 61
pitches, so he's ineligible until Monday. However, Canada has everyone on their
staff, except for past starters Loewen and Erik Bedard, eligible to back up Jeff
Francis against Mexico on Thursday night.
Mexico: Mexico also successfully used their B-team pitchers in their
win over South Africa. Therefore, everyone but past starters Rodrigo Lopez and
Mexican League star Francisco Campos (56 pitches in his start on Wednesday) can
pitch against Canada on Thursday. Esteban Loiaza starts against Canada, with
Oliver Perez available in long relief.
Puerto Rico: Joel Pineiro threw 56 pitches in his start against the
Dutch on Wednesday night. He's now ineligible until Monday, but other that
Pineiro and Javy Vazquez, everyone else on the Puerto Rican staff can go against
Cuba on Friday. They're likely to have clinched a second round berth before they
take the field, and may use a "staff" approach to the Cuba game as a result in
order to keep everyone eligible for the next round.
Panama: Bruce Chen threw 50 pitches against Cuba on Wednesday; he's
ineligible until Monday, but Panama likely will be eliminated before then.
Venezuela: Both Freddy Garcia (61 pitches, struck out Mike Piazza
twice) and Carlos Silva (55) topped the 50-pitch mark against Italy, so both are
ineligible until Monday. For Thursday's game against Australia, the Venezuelans
have four ineligible pitchers (Garcia, Silva, Johan Santana and Carlos
Zambrano), but they do get Victor Zambrano back. Kelvim Escobar and Gustavo
Chacin will serve as the tandem starters against Australia. They'll advance with a win, which seems pretty likely.
Dominican Republic: All pitchers except Bartolo Colon are eligible
against Italy on Thursday. They'll advance with a win as well.
Italy: Lenny DiNardo of the Red Sox threw 54 pitches; he's ineligible
until Monday, but Italy likely will be eliminated before then.
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/9/2006 8:51:00 AM
|Set aside the historical implications of the latest Bonds bombshell. Where do you draft him this year? How much do you pay for him in an auction?
Try to leave personal feelings about him out of this. What I'm looking for is an analytical look at how much value he'll provide.
I think I'd pay no more than $10-12 for him in an auction (mixed league), maybe less now. Not only is the knee an issue, but I think the possibility of him retiring early has been greatly increased.
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 3/8/2006 11:09:00 AM
|WBC: Tuesday pitch count impacts
|Quick notes on major league pitchers
who took part in Tuesday's WBC openers, and subsequent eligibility for later
games this week based on WBC pitch count rules:
United States: All 7 pitchers used by Team
USA threw fewer than 30 pitches in their stint against Mexico. (Jake Peavy 23
pitches, Joe Nathan 16, Mike Timlin 14, Chad Cordero 11, Todd Jones 9, Dan
Wheeler 8, Brad Lidge 6.) With the US getting an off day on Thursday, all seven
can be used both in Wednesday's game against Canada and on Friday against South
Africa. However, Peavy almost certainly will be rested until Sunday unless
there's an emergency.
Mexico: Rodrigo Lopez threw 57 pitches and
is ineligible until Sunday, presuming Mexico advances. The other four pitchers
Mexico used on Tuesday (Elmer Dessens 22 pitches, David Cortes 11, Oscar
Villarreal 6, Ricardo Rincon 6) can be used either on Wednesday against South
Africa, or on Thursday against Canada, but not in both games; expect all four to
be rested on Wednesday, since the Mexico-Canada game likely determines who
Canada: Erik Bedard threw 55 pitches
against South Africa and is ineligible until Sunday, presuming Canada advances.
The three other Canadian MLB pitchers that faced the Springboks (Chris Reitsma
25 pitches, Jesse Crain 21, Rheal Cormier 17) can be used either on Wednesday
against the US, or on Thursday against Mexico, but not in both games; expect all
three to be rested on Wednesday.
Dominican Republic: Bartolo Colon threw 50
pitches against Venezuela and is ineligible until Sunday. All of the other four
Dominican pitchers that saw action Tuesday all threw less than 50 pitches.
(Miguel Batista 37 pitches, Julian Tavarez 16, Duaner Sanchez 14, Damaso Marte
9.) Since the Dominicans are off Wednesday, all are eligible for their next game
against Italy on Thursday.
Venezuela: Both Johan Santana (61 pitches)
and Carlos Zambrano (56) topped 50 pitches and are both ineligible until Sunday.
Victor Zambrano threw 31 pitches and is ineligible for Wednesday's game against
Italy. Jorge Julio (20 pitches) and Carlos Hernandez (6) can be used either on
Wednesday against Italy, or on Thursday against Australia, but not in both
games. Note that Wednesday's Venezuela-Italy game is now a virtual
winner-moves-on, loser-goes-out game, so both may see action Wednesday if
needed. Venezuela should be a huge favorite, but in one game, anything can happen; just ask another Italian named Mike Eruzione.
Puerto Rico: Javier Vazquez threw 57
pitches against Panama and is ineligible until Sunday. Both Francisco Cabrera
(16 pitches) and Kiko Calero (10) can see action Wednesday because Puerto Rico
is off Thursday.
Italy: The Tigers' Jason Grilli threw 57
pitches in his four-plus shutout innings against Australia and is out until
Sunday should Italy advance.
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/8/2006 7:07:00 AM
|Bonds on the Juice
|A new book, excerpts of which appear in this week's Sports Illustrated, describes alledged steroid use by Barry Bonds in great detail, including him taking "a steroid created to improve the muscle quality of cattle." Lots of other stuff in there, too, most of which apparently come from documents seized in the raid on BALCO headquarters.
"Depending on the substance, Bonds used the drugs in virtually every conceivable form: injecting himself with a syringe or being injected by his trainer, Greg Anderson, swallowing pills, placing drops of liquid under his tongue, and, in the case of BALCO's notorious testosterone-based cream, applying it topically."
A total shock, I know.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 3/7/2006 11:52:00 AM
|Kirby Puckett passed away this evening, according to ESPNews. That's really awful.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 3/6/2006 5:18:00 PM
|WBC: Tokyo Pool wrap-up
|More pitch count info on MLB pitchers from the
Saturday-Sunday WBC games at Tokyo:
Korea started Sunny Kim (Rockies) against Japan
on Sunday (60 pitches, 38 strikes), and he wasn't all that effective (7 of 17
batters reached base). Jung Bong (Reds) saw his first action of the WBC and
pitched two scoreless innings, although he was a little wild (31 pitches, 17
strikes). Chan Ho Park (Padres) notched his second save of the tourney, pitching
a 1-2-3 ninth (just 7 pitches). It now looks as if Park will serve as Korea's
closer throughout the WBC, which makes you wonder how far behind he'll be when
he checks back into the Padres' camp and prepares to start the season in their
rotation. Byung Hyun Kim (Rockies) did not see action after Friday's opener, and
Jae Seo (Dodgers) had the weekend off after his start on Friday.
For Japan, Akinori Otsuka (Rangers) pitched the
ninth inning against Korea and struck out all three batters he faced (14
pitches) in his first WBC action. Going into the tournament, Hirotoshi Ishii had
been designated as Japan's closer. However, entering the Korea game with a 2-1
lead in the eighth, Ishii blew the save (and eventually the game) by giving up a
two-run homer to Seung Yeop Lee on an awful hanging curve. Otsuka then followed
Ishii with that three-strikeout ninth; managers have been known to change
closers with far less cause.
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/6/2006 12:03:00 PM