It was 13 degrees this morning when I took my kids to school. My hands are still cold.
- This post (Why Don't We Let College Athletes Major In Sports?) linked from Deadspin is not all that interesting, but within the write-up for it is this great line, "Why can't aspiring professional athletes just major in sports, the way that aspiring dancers major in dance and aspiring actors major in theater and aspiring dickheads major in journalism?" And that leads in to this: Whicker: Angels, potential closer both on mend - The Orange County Register. "Madson, represented by Scott Boras, and the Angels have been seriously discussing a deal that would include several make-good provisions and wouldn't be as costly as the contract with the Reds. $8.5M" Yep, OC Register's crack columnist is reporting news of the Angels' interest in Ryan Madson. Good for him. If you decide to follow this link, pay attention to the "style" Whicker uses in this post. I haven't noticed it in the past, I don't pay that much attention to how he writes as much as what he writes, but what's up with all of the one sentence paragraphs? And why do the thoughts bounce around so much? It's almost like he's writing this story one sentence at a time, one sentence per hour. Odd.
- But wait! Not to be out-done, our boy Lyle 4000 takes a shot at short-attention-span writing: Lyle Spencer: Looming TV revenue invigorates baseball in Los Angeles, Anaheim - angels.com. "The Angels' quest for another bullpen hammer could lead them to Madson, who, like former closer Troy Percival, grew up less than an hour from Angel Stadium in Riverside County. Ernesto Frieri had a breakout season following his acquisition from the Padres, and Kevin Jepsen had a strong comeback season. Jordan Walden has closer experience and triple-digit heat." Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down, Lyle. My mind can't handle all those names thrown at me at once!
- Anyway, the real story is Madson and the Angels. The thing I have a hard time wrapping my mind around is why would Madson decline his $11M option with Cincinnati if he doesn't think he can make more by becoming a free agent? Angels in talks with pitcher Ryan Madson about joining bullpen - angels.com. "He declined his half of the $11 million mutual option for 2013, but mainly because it came with a $2.5 million buyout -- not because $11 million is particularly a starting point. Madson is expected to come cheaper than that, perhaps on an incentive-laden contract, and the Angels -- with far more payroll flexibility -- have no doubt looked into it." Sorry, but after reading the previous two posts, my brain's not functioning at tip-top level (which wasn't THAT tip-top to begin with). Does Madson think he can make enough that including his buy-out, he'll make more than $11M? More than the $8.5M he made last season? An amount more than the Angels should pay? If that's the case I say "pass".
It's all about pitching for Angels at Winter Meetings - angels.com. ""I don't want to get locked into the idea that there's one guy that pitches the ninth," Dipoto said. "It's a combination of guys that get the last nine outs." Hold on a minute, Jerry. Are you suggesting the Angels' relief pitchers need to be used according to match-ups rather than roles? Did you run this by the fat guy in the dugout?
- From what I can gather from this post, this Mike Trout character is a pretty good baseball player: 2012 Leadoff Hitters - Walk Like a Sabermetrician. "...there were two teams that got historically notable production out of their leadoff spots. On the plus side were the Angels; fueled by Mike Trout, they swept all of the quality categories..."
- Zack Greinke's Strange and Historical Game - Beyond the Box Score. "Greinke struck out 13 Mariners in just 5 innings that day, or 54% of all the batters he faced. This is a remarkable feat on it's own, but it only gets stranger. He additionally allowed just 2 walks and one HR, for a daily FIP of just 1.69. So, according to DIPS, Greinke had himself one hell of a fine performance that evening. But it wouldn't be a Greinke Gift, of course, if he didn't also allow 75% of his Balls in Play to sneak in as Hits. At no other point in the past decade has a starting pitcher gone at least 5 innings with a FIP under 2 given up so many hits per ball in play."
- So, he's not a very good catcher? Answers to Questions About Mike Napoli - FanGraphs Baseball. "What’s the deal with Mike Napoli’s pitch-framing effectiveness? That depends on how you feel about pitch-framing studies. But, Mike Fast found Napoli to be pretty strongly negative. Matthew Carruth found Napoli to be pretty strongly negative, after 2012. According to Carruth’s numbers, Napoli had his then-worst framing season in 2011, then he followed that up with an even worse 2012. We don’t know anything about pitch-framing aging curves, because we hardly even know anything about pitch framing, but Carruth found that, in 2012, Napoli was nearly two pitches below average per game."
- When that genie in a bottle shows up and offers you 3 wishes, be sure to have one of them make you a left-hander who can throw 90 mph: Several teams scouting left-hander - MLB Daily Dish. "Kazmir spent the 2012 season playing for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, where he posted a 5.34 earned-run average and 4.6 walks per nine in 14 starts."
- With their $6B+ television contract looming in the near-future, wouldn't it be nice for the current Dodger ownership to pony up that $1.2M hospital bill. San Francisco hospital seeks $1.2 million from Los Angeles Dodgers for Bryan Stow's care - ESPN Los Angeles. "San Francisco General Hospital is seeking the money from former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, according to reports. He is accused of allowing security around Dodger Stadium to falter, allowing the beating to happen." Heck, $1,200,050.00 is a just drop in the huge bucket and would go a long way in showing the LA market that the new guys in town have got the city's back. By the way, that extra fifty bucks is to pay for someone to kneecap Frank McCourt...you know, the cherry on top.