The pre-Great MVP Debate edition of Halolinks, plus a huge "good luck" to a good friend:
- Torii Hunter signs a 2-year deal with the Tigers for $26M, so now the Angels say Ta-ta to Torii. He will be missed: Torii Hunter's tenure with the Angels is over - angels.com. "He's impacted my whole career so far," Trout said. "Coming up, he kind of took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. He was always there for me, on and off the field. Any questions I would have, he would answer. He was the right guy to go to." Although he was a great teammate and had a very good career in Anaheim, letting him go was the right decision, especially at the cost Detroit will pay him: Torii Hunter Takes Age Defying Magic to Detroit - FanGraphs Baseball. "Hunter’s overall success in 2012 was mostly based on factors that aren’t as predictive as the core offensive metrics that seem to suggest his skills are atrophying, and if these trends continue, he might not be a good hitter for much longer." In other words, Tiger fans, don't expect to see the same Torii we saw in Anaheim. Here's another look at Hunter's trends: The case against Torii Hunter helping the Tigers - HardballTalk. "Everything except Hunter’s batting average on balls in play suggests he was on the decline, and no hitting statistic is more prone to random variation that BABIP. If Hunter had hit his usual .300-.310 on balls in play instead of a ridiculously high .389, he would have had his worst season since 1999."
- Apparently the Halo front office saw things the same in regards to Hunter's future performance: Torii Hunter agrees to two years, $26 million from Tigers - latimes.com. "The Angels owe $21 million in each of the next two seasons to Wells, whom they project as a reserve outfielder. Dipoto said the Angels would not necessarily have kept Hunter in their outfield had they been able to clear payroll space by trading Wells and part of his salary. "The situations are independent," Dipoto said." So, if it wasn't a money-thing, it must have been a need-thing...like, the Angels don't need to spend on a declining player since they already have one of those in Vernon Wells.
- If you're interested, here's how Hunter ended up in Detroit: The tale of Torii the Tiger - CBSSports.com. "Hunter's meeting with Ilitch already is being described as a virtuoso performance. Nobody, ever, has impressed the Tigers' owner more than Hunter and his wife did when they sat down, sources said. "This is my last stop," Hunter told Ilitch. "I'm planning on it being my last stop."
- Major League baseball will announce the winners of the MVP awards this afternoon, but before we get into the great debate that will no doubt result from their choice, regardless of who wins, we can read about the Cy Young debate: David Price just edges Justin Verlander for A.L. Cy Young Award - Baseball Nation. "Verlander was listed first or second on 26 ballots, and third on the other two. Coincidentally (or bizarrely), both of the ballots listing Verlander third were submitted by writers covering the Angels". I don't think there's anything wrong with the local guys voting for the local talent. As a few people have pointed out in the comment sections, the second-place votes for Weaver didn't cost Verlander the award. Plus, the case could be made that the local writers saw how dominating Weaver was more frequently, while the east coast guys may have missed his performances. And for the record, right or wrong, my vote in the SBN Pitcher of the Year award was Weaver, Verlander, and Price. Yeah, call me a homer.
- I wonder if Verlander had won, would we be reading about how Price was robbed? AL Cy Young Race: Price Good, Verlander Better - FanGraphs Baseball. "Quite simply, there’s just not much of a case for anyone besides Justin Verlander. This isn’t to take anything away from David Price, who had an excellent season, but unless you’re still evaluating a pitcher by wins and losses, there’s really nothing you can point to that puts Price ahead of Verlander."
- Weaver overlooked, again, for Cy Young - The Orange County Register. "For the past two years Weaver is 38-13. For the past three years he has finished fifth, second and third in the Cy balloting. This year he got no first-place votes. Ex-Angel Fernando Rodney, who was the AL's best closer while with Tampa Bay, got one. In fact Weaver was a faraway third with only two second-place votes, and one voter left him off the five-man ballot altogether." I don't have a major problem with Weaver finishing third, but to completely leave him off of your ballot? Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota didn't think Weaver was one of the top 5 pitcher in the A.L. last season: BBWAA.com: Official site of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America. "Ben Goessling St. Paul Pioneer Press MIN - Verlander Price Hernandez Sale Darvish". Yeah, this guy thought Yu Darvish was better than Weaver. I like that the votes are made public, and I like when writers explain their votes: Ken Rosenthal explains why he voted for David Price for Cy Young - FOX Sports. If Goessling has a legitimate reason for leaving Weaver off of his ballot, I'd like to hear it.
UPDATE: Here's a link to Ben Goessling's explanation of his CY Young vote. After reading it, I'm not as perplexed as to how he came to his conclusions as he does have some in-depth statistical knowledge to backup his opinion.
- Some other Angels news:Angels shuffle baseball-operations department - angels.com. "Hampton, who won 148 games and made two All-Star teams in a 16-year career eventually derailed by injuries, will be taking his first coaching position after retiring before the 2011 season." And: Angels sign seven players to Minor League deals - angels.com. "Right now," general manager Jerry Dipoto said, "our primary focus is on pitching and we're very comfortable with the position-player club that we have."
- Here's a very interesting post about baseball's revenue sharing plan: The Marlins and the MLB Revenue Sharing System - FanGraphs Baseball. "The Major League Baseball Players Association complained for years that the Marlins violated the league’s revenue-sharing plan by using the money received under the plan for everything but improving the product on the field, as is required. Between 2002 and 2010, the Marlins reportedly received close to $300 million in revenue sharing."
- Rob Neyer looks at some of the worst owners in MLB history: Is Jeffrey Loria the worst person ever, or just the worst baseball owner? - Baseball Nation
- Good-bye to a former Angels relief pitcher: Reliever Fuentes retires after 12-year career - Yahoo! Sports. "Fuentes, 37, told his hometown newspaper, the Merced Sun-Star, that the decision came down to spending more time with his family." And hello to hopefully a new one: 4 free agents from Japan seeking move to MLB - ESPN. "Pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa of the Hanshin Tigers was one of four professional baseball players in Japan who became unrestricted free agents Wednesday in hopes of moving to Major League Baseball."
- A history lesson: MLB History: Bad Bill and The Deacon Highlight Pre-Integration Ballot - Beyond the Box Score
- Baseball owners, Selig stay silent on topics from first day of meetings - CBSSports.com. "Not today, boys," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said as he strolled by a group of reporters. "If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not going to figure it out for you." Or, to translate: "If you haven't figured out I'm a weasel, let me show you first-hand."
- This was pretty interesting:PEDs and You: The Benefits of Cheating - Spoartspoartspoarts!!!. "I’ve been taking it for the past four months and I believe I’ve come to a good enough conclusion to accurately state that Performance Enhancing Drugs have an absolute and almost immediate benefit." The author used an over-the-counter supplement, imagine if he had used something a little harder to get that's a little more accessible to MLB players. (Hat tip to Hardball Talk).