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 Post subject: Junior
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:34 pm 
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I'm not Ken Williams, but it is not immediately apparent to me how adding Ken Griffey Jr. will help the White Sox.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:27 pm 
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A remarkable, ill-fated career. He's aging rapidly and slow in the field, on bolted-together hamstrings. It's odd that the White Sox expect him to play centerfield.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:31 pm 
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At this point in his career, Griffey represents little more than superficial marquee value.

He's basically a DH who should be platooned so he hits predominantly against righthanders (in the last three years, he's had a .298 batting average, a .378 on-base percentage and a .554 slugging percentage against righthanders, against just a .241/.312/.458 mark vs. lefties).

He definitely can't play a league-average center field, by any of a half-dozen defensive metrics available, and looks like he'd be hard-pressed to be a credible corner outfielder.

In addition, you have to plan on him missing anywhere from 20 to 50 games a year with hamstring pulls and the like.

Because he can still mash righties, he can still have around 350-400 at-bats a year. But I don't quite see who should be bumped from the White Sox lineup to get him those at-bats.

I love him, and watched him play for 12 years in Seattle with pure fanboy geekdom. He's a first-ballot Hall Of Famer. But he's also a shell of his former self.

At his salary and with his limitations, he's basically a wash as compared to any of about a dozen minimum-wage sluggers trapped in Triple-A.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:30 am 
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In a story I read, it indicated that the Sox want to move their CF to first base and thus need a CF. Whether Griffey fits the bill, as discussed above, is the real issue.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:17 am 
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The White Sox have an excellent defensive center-fielder, Brian Anderson. His problem is that he doesn't hit all that well.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:35 am 
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Location: Baltimore
The trade surprised me. The announced move to CF stunned me.

I could understand this if he were healthier and likely to make a run on the 700 home run mark and especially Barry Bonds' record. That would bring fans to the park and boost revenue in a number of ways. It would keep the team in the headlines even while the more popular Cubs make a run for the playoffs and prepare to be sold.

But the White Sox too have a shot at the playoffs. I join those wondering how this trade makes them likelier to play in October. A playoff team should be strong up the middle on defense.

[The Angels and Yankees improved themselves through trades in July. Perhaps the Dodgers did, too. Maybe letting Manny Be Manny somewhere else will jolt the Red Sox in a good way.]

I like Griffey, despite allegations that lax training might have made him susceptible to the injuries he's suffered in his 30s. But it's current performance that counts, and I question whether he's going to bring an important veteran presence to the clubhouse -- he lacks playoff experience and I've never heard much about his being a leader.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:54 pm 
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Whatever the White Sox's outfield problems are now, they're nothing compared to the mess the Dodgers have created for themselves.

The short version: The Dodgers now have five outfielders — Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

Ramirez can hit — though he's clearly in offensive decline at age 36 — and is probably the worst defensive outfielder in all of baseball.

Pierre is a good fielder, but is offensively worthless. His nominally high batting average and speed does not make up for his inability to get on base at a league-average clip (what use is a leadoff hitter who gets on base at a .328 clip?) and his inability to advance baserunners. He's the biggest out-making machine in baseball. But he's in the second year of a five-year, $41 million contract, so he has to play by the way the veteran-obsessed Dodger braintrust reasons things.

Jones is another all-world fielder whose bat, for the second straight year, has disappeared to the extent that even the Dodgers are avoiding playing him. But he's in the first year of a two-year, $36 million deal, so the Dodgers will give him every opportunity to salvage himself. I can't imagine that he'll be kept on the bench, but I don't think L.A. is willing to eat his contract and admit signing him was a mistake.

That leaves two young, inexpensive guys who can actually hit AND play the field — Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. And it's those guys, particularly Ethier, who stand to lose a lot of playing time with Ramirez's acquisition.

Oh, and to get Ramirez, the Dodgers gave up the best third-base prospect in all of baseball — Adam LaRoche — while the team has a gaping black hole at the hot corner. (I think they still entertain fantasies that Nomar Garciaparra — old, gimpy, overpriced, less of a hitter with each year and no longer a capable defender — can still play there.) The recently acquired Casey Blake represents little more than a defensively porous stopgap. (Blake has mostly played the outfield the last several years.)

Ned Colletti just became the runaway frontrunner for Dumbest Executive In Baseball.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Quote:
The White Sox have an excellent defensive center-fielder, Brian Anderson. His problem is that he doesn't hit all that well.


It stuns me in this enlightened day and age that there are still major-league-baseball organizations that undervalue or even dismiss the value of good defense — particularly up-the-middle defense.

Example: In 2003, the Mariners set a record by using the same five starting pitchers — Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, Joel Piniero, Gil Meche and Ryan Franklin — the entire season. All are predominantly fly-ball pitchers. And all had great ERAs, thanks in large part to the fact that the M's had one of baseball's best defenders in Mike Cameron patrolling center field.

Come 2004, the M's started the season without Cameron, whom they cut loose because of their frustration with his high strikeout totals. In his stead, they played Randy Winn, who hit for a higher average with fewer strikeouts but had less range in center and probably the weakest throwing arm in baseball since the heyday of Omar Moreno. And Garcia, Moyer, Pineiro, Franklin and Meche had much worse seasons despite similar K/W numbers and other data.

It wasn't a coincidence. Dozens of the fly balls that Cameron turned into outs turned into singles, doubles and triples for batters, and extra bases for baserunners for Winn to chase down. (M's broadcaster Dave Niehaus once described Winn's routes to fly balls as "a child being chased by a bumblebee.") Winn was so bad in center that he was shifted to left, to minimize his weaknesses, for the 2005 season.

Look for the White Sox starting pitchers to suddenly "lose it."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:48 pm 
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Wabberjocky wrote:
Whatever the White Sox's outfield problems are now, they're nothing compared to the mess the Dodgers have created for themselves.

The short version: The Dodgers now have five outfielders — Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
....

That leaves two young, inexpensive guys who can actually hit AND play the field — Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. And it's those guys, particularly Ethier, who stand to lose a lot of playing time with Ramirez's acquisition. ...


Yes, it's a mess, and the only logical way to cut losses is to trade at least one of the five. But nobody will want anyone but Kemp or Ethier.

So, the Dodgers have weakened their current defense and, in every way imaginable, their future.

The richest teams make the biggest mistakes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:13 pm 
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Location: Albuquerque, N.M. USA
"Junior"
"I had nothing to fear, except maybe him, because he was kind of -- what's the word? -- unpredictable."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Location: way out west
Wabberjocky wrote:
Whatever the White Sox's outfield problems are now, they're nothing compared to the mess the Dodgers have created for themselves.

The short version: The Dodgers now have five outfielders — Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.


it's not that tough in the short term. bench jones and his .163 average. kemp stays in center full time. in right, platoon pierre (.372/.407/.419 vs. LHP) and ethier (.299/.355/.470 vs. RHP). manny starts in left, with jones as his late-inning pinch-runner and defensive replacement.

it doesn't fix the long-term problem, but it probably helps you reach the playoffs.

and yes, colletti is an idiot.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:00 pm 
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Wabberjocky wrote:
The recently acquired Casey Blake represents little more than a defensively porous stopgap. (Blake has mostly played the outfield the last several years.)


As a Cleveland Indians fan during Blake's tenure with the club, I believe the first sentence is probably true, but the second definitely is not.

Blake was the Indians' starting third baseman for his first two years with the club, 2003 and 2004. His fielding failed to impress, especially in '04. He was put in right field with moderate success the two seasons after that, but won back the third-base job at the beginning of 2007 and was at that position until his trade.

Blake won't win any Gold Gloves at third (or anywhere else), but neither is he an out-of-position right fielder. He won't be a total disaster for the Dodgers as an infielder, but I agree that as a soon-to-be 35-year-old, Blake is definitely a stopgap solution.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Location: Washington
I feel for you, Rio. How long a leash will Andy Marte get?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:57 am 
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Now that the once much-ballyhooed prospect is the Indians' third baseman by default, Marte will have until the end of the season to prove that he can hit his weight. He's out of options, so the team doesn't have much choice. It's let him play, or cut him loose and admit that giving up Coco Crisp for him was a terrible idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:44 pm 
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It's too bad, because Cleveland is good at snookering other teams out of prospects for very little in return. Or maybe that's just the Mariners — you guys got Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo, useful role players both, for players that are no longer with Seattle. Or in the major leagues, for that matter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:28 pm 
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Location: Washington
The Griffey Effect:

The Royals beat the White Sox today, 9-7.

Mark Buerhle, a fine pitcher who the Sox thought so much of that they gave him a monster contract extension last year rather than deal him at the trade deadline, was on the hill today for Chicago. Buehrle is a control/command lefty who gives up about 70 percent fly balls and line drives (data can be found at The HardballTimes.com). So he needs a strong defense behind him to succeed.

Buerhle gave up 14 hits today in 4 1/3 innings. Using mlb.com's tracking data, I saw that of the nine hits he yielded were to center field. And in glancing at some highlights on ESPN, I see that three hits were singles that Griffey pulled up on and short-hopped. Another was a deep drive to center over Griffey's head to drive in two runs; I felt that Griffey in his prime would have hauled it in. The triple off the bat of Esteban German drove in two runs.

But, of course, we know the storyline will be "Buerhle stunk." Mostly because he also gave up two home runs.


Last edited by Wabberjocky on Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:29 pm 
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The Griffey Effect, Part 2, via AP:

Quote:
Ken Griffey Jr. was 0-for-2 in his second game with Chicago and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth with what the White Sox described as heat-related cramping in his right leg. A Reds spokesman said he would be day-to-day.


Nice to see that Cincinnati officials are keeping conscientiously close tabs on Griffey. Presumably while snickering into their sleeves.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:28 am 
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Today's punchline in AP's Sox-Twins gamer:

Mauer drove in the first run with a double that eluded Ken Griffey Jr.'s reach in center field, though a younger version of the 10-time Gold Glove winner probably would've caught it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Location: Twin Cities
Griffey drove in all five runs that the White Sox scored in the first two games of the Twins series. Might say more about others than Griffey. But with the Quentin injury, Junior went from a part-timer to a full-timer.


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