This is the beginning of another week for me. The way I look at it, another week closer to the beginning of the baseball season, but also another week closer to the landmine-filled days of holiday cheer. It's like the holidays are the moat surrounding the island of baseball, something that has to be bridged in order to get to the Holy Grail, and something to be endured with sprinklings of news and events. When's the winter meetings? Ugh.
Here's a sprinkling of Halolinks:
- A tragic loss for his family...both his real family and baseball family: When drama of World Series intersects with drama of Oscar Taveras and real life, we are reminded it truly is just a game - FOX Sports, "Meanwhile, the game continued. Erin Andrews texted me from her position near the Giants’ dugout that outfielder Juan Perez was crying. With help from our researchers, we determined that Perez had been teammates with Taveras in the Dominican winter league in 2012 and ’13. Perez would enter the game in the sixth inning as a pinch runner and hit a two-run double in the eighth to increase the Giants’ lead to 4-0. How he did it, I’ll never know."
- The Angels made a couple minor moves:
Meanwhile, RH Ryan Brasier (had Tommy John surgery this year) & OF Tony Campana have been outrighted off the 40-man and transferred to AAA.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) October 27, 2014
- Someone is asking the right question: Is Joe Maddon a good in-game manager? - Beyond the Box Score, "Joe Maddon appears to be able to take all the pieces given to him and generate success. He joined the Rays in 2006 and had them in the World Series by 2008 -- not bad for a team whose previous high-water mark for wins had been 70. From 2008 until this year, he had a winning record every season. Granted, he was working for a franchise that had no lower than the eighth pick in the first round of the draft to select players like B.J. Upton, David Price and Evan Longoria, but talent needs to be coached into success." And then ESPN puts out their dumb take on managing: MLB -- It's time to back off on manager bashing - ESPN, "We all know the difference between right- and left-handed averages [for him]. He just did a great job of hitting the ball up the middle with the bases loaded, and it was just a great at-bat." That's the thing. Yost knew the percentages. He played the percentages. He went with a reliever who came through for him the previous game. Sandoval rose to the challenge while Finnegan did not. That's competition. That's sport. That's baseball. As Yost said, "It just didn't work tonight. It doesn't work every night, you know." He's right. The metrics are not absolute. The players are human -- not lines of code. Some nights a managerial move works. Some nights it doesn't."
- Hey look, Mike Napoli's not such a bad defender afterall: The 2014 American League Gold Glove Awards, Strictly by the Numbers - FanGraphs Baseball, "Last year, Napoli led all American League first basemen in combined UZR and DRS and wasn’t named a finalist. This year, Napoli led all American League first basemen in combined UZR and DRS and, again, wasn’t named a finalist. Two consecutive years of both metrics agreeing Napoli is the American League’s best defensive first baseman makes it hard to believe otherwise."
- According to the graphs provided in this post, Erick Aybar might want to rethink his switch hitting abilities: When switch hitting becomes a detriment - Beyond the Box Score, "Switch hitting isn't always a virtue, some players would benefit from concentrating on their better side."
- No, the Angels must get Pablo Sandoval! Red Sox must get Pablo Sandoval - MLB Daily Dish, "Sandoval, currently having a strong postseason for the Giants, will hit the free agent market for the first time in his career this offseason. Before the 2012 season, the Giants signed Sandoval through 2014. They tried once again to extend him before this season, but the third baseman declined the offer. The most recent extension offer was made during spring training, and Sandoval rejected the three-year, $40 million deal. He is expected to land a contract similar to teammate Hunter Pence's five-year, $90 million contract."
- But not Cespedes: Roc Nation ties have Red Sox looking to deal Yoenis Cespedes - NY Daily News, "According to sources, the Red Sox had planned to at least engage Cespedes, whose four-year, $36 million contract signed originally with the Oakland A’s expires after next season, on a possible extension. Initially, the Red Sox considered offering the 30-year-old Cespedes, who hit .260 with 22 homers and 100 RBI for the A’s and Boston this past season, a four- to five-year deal, and had had some preliminary discussions with his then-agent, Adam Katz. But then a couple of months ago, Cespedes fired Katz and hired Roc Nation, which — like it did with Robinson Cano — is expected to seek a much larger, long-term contract and make a big splash about it. Two other reasons the Red Sox are open to dealing Cespedes are his open disenchantment with Boston and his refusal to pay any heed to their coaches. "He marches to his own drum and the coaches all hate him," said a Red Sox insider."
- This is pretty fantastic: Meet section 334: Royals employees gifted a trip to World Series - The Kansas City Star, ""We want our boys to hear us," said Kathy Butler, 67, of Overland Park. When she said "our boys," she meant it, but not in the way moms and dad mean it. The faces you’re seeing in Section 334 belong to the Royals’ organization who, after Kansas City clinched the American League Championship Series, were given a gift by team owner and president David and Dan Glass. The gift: a free trip, including chartered plane and hotel, to all three World Series games in San Francisco for each member of the Royals’ front office staff, plus a guest. But in case the Series would continue Tuesday, eight or nine front office employees remained in Kansas City."
- It's almost that time again...the offseason review of baseball movies. Here's this year's first entry: Bombing in the Bronx: The Babe Ruth Story – The Hardball Times, "The biggest knee-slappers involve Babe’s famed rapport with children. When Babe smacks his legendary (supposedly 579 feet) long ball during a spring training game against the Giants on April 4, 1919, in Tampa, the script adds an invalid boy watching the proceedings while lying down in the back seat of a flivver. He’s so weak he can’t stand up, but after the Babe walks by and greets him with his standard "Hi’ya, keed," the boy gets up and (cue the hearts-and- flowers music) stands tall. Almost overcome with joy, his father exults "God bless that man! God bless him!"
- Yikes:World Series National Anthem Botched By That Asshole From Staind. "Perhaps MLB should ensure the person they are hiring to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" knows the words?" The best part of the video shows Tim Lincecum saying (I'm reading his lips here) "Whoa, that ink-stained gomer just jacked up the song, dude. Even I know that's messed up, and I'm high as fuck." Okay, maybe he didn't use those words, but that's what my coffee-fueled mind saw, and I'm going to go with it.