Monday, January 3, 2011

Funniest Thing I've Read So Far In 2011

Eric Ortiz of NESN is excited about the 2011 season.  I'm talking real excited.  So excited, in fact, that he has completely gone so far off the deep of the pool of blatant, ignorant, illogical homerism that he might not even be savable with a life raft.  Put on some adult diapers, because you're going to need them from all the bladder-releasing laughter you'll be guffawing, and check out this beast of a literary blowjob that somehow comes off as journalism.  Or if you don't have time for all that illogical Red Sox love, I've taken the time to sift through this mess and just hit the highlowlights for you.  Let the FJM'ing begin! 

"The Red Sox have won 100 or more games three times in their 110-year existence. They will make it four in 2011."

They will?  Oh, OK.  Good to know.  So we can just skip the regular season and get right to the playoffs where they can all forget their bats and have Jonathan Papelbon blow another series for them then, can't we? 

"But this team has the potential to accomplish something even bigger than winning 100 games."

Becoming the first team to win more than 100 games with the most insufferable douchebags on its roster?

"Bookmakers like the Red Sox’ chances. Current odds put them at 9-2 to win the 2011 World Series. Only the Phillies, at 7-2, are bigger favorites, with the Yankees not far behind at 5-1 shots."

So the bookmakers don't really like their chances that much, since they gave another team better odds than Boston and have the Yankees slated only slightly behind the Red Sox despite the fact that they've only added Pedro Feliciano this offseason.  But hey, whatever helps prove your pointless point, Eric. 

"Championships, of course, aren’t won in January."

No, they aren't.  They're just talked about incessantly by half-assed writers who are so blinded by the supposed star power of their favorite team that they can't even be bothered to check stats to support what they're saying.

"Look at the starting lineup.

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro/Jed Lowrie, SS"

First of all, anybody that honestly thinks Jacoby Ellsbury should continue to lead off for the Red Sox is a moron.  So right off the bat, Ortiz has fucked himself on making this "invincible" lineup and shown that he has no basic understanding of what makes a good leadoff hitter.  But I'll let him go...

"Speed. Power. Plate discipline. This lineup has it all. Good luck finding a hole from 1 to 7."

I think I just did that, no?  But if you want to keep going, I can point out that J.D. Drew fucking sucks and bats 7th and Big Sloppi will be another year older and more than likely will regress back to something similar to what he was in 2009.  Not to mention that this lineup has lefties paired together everywhere you turn.  And they do play in the same division as CC Sabathia, David Price, Ricky Romero, and Brian Matusz.

"Saltalamacchia is a bit of a wild card... "

If by "wild card," you mean that he is complete bust of a catcher who has passed through 3 organizations over the last 4 seasons with a tripleslash of .248/.315/.386 combined with some of the worst defense this side of Jorge Posada, then yes, you would be correct. 

"... but the 25-year-old could be ready for a breakout season."

Yeah.  And I might get to fuck Eva Mendes this year.

"Besides a potent offensive attack, the Red Sox will boast airtight defense, perhaps the best of any team in baseball."

A pretty big task considering they finished 23rd in all of baseball in fielding percentage last year and committed the 8th most errors, but they have Carl Crawford, damnit!!  He cures all ills created by Jacoby Ellsbury's shitty angles to balls in the gap and J.D. Drew's general lack of effort.  Also consider the previously-mentioned Salty behind the plate and Scutaro at short and then disregard Ortiz's previous statement.

"Youth, experience and versatility will ride the pine like lions waiting to hunt."

I don't even know what this means.  First of all, lions don't hunt, lionesses do.  Second of all, no.  You know what?  I'm just going to let the stupidity of that statement stand on its own as Ortiz dives into the Boston rotation.

"Beckett will notch more than six victories."

He will?  I think his increasing age, decreasing velocity, and general lack of interest in conditioning that keeps leading to his injuries argues against that.  But then again, he would win 8 games and prove the point right.  8 wins from your former ace?  Yeah, that's what you're looking for if you're Terry Francona.

"Lackey should be better equipped to avoid the one-bad-inning syndrome."

Because nothing cures "one-bad-inning syndrome" like being another year older, another year fatter, and having diminishing stuff.  Well that and some Vitamin C.

"And Dice-K might be the best No. 5 starter ever."

Which is like being the best looking ugly chick ever.  It doesn't mean shit.  Especially when he was signed for over $103 million and expected to team with Beckett to form a top tandem.  Dice-Gay's failures to be league average were part of the reason the Sox promoted Lester and Buchholz earlier and went out and signed Lackey.

"When Red Sox starters have to hand the ball to the bullpen this season, Boston fans won’t have to have to cover their eyes and pray."

The people sitting next to them can do it for them!

"The weak link in 2010 could be one of the best relief corps in the business."

Tim Wakefield, RHP- Sucks.  Completely washed up.
Scott Atchison/Matt Albers, RHP-
Hideki Okajima, LHP-
Really sucks.  Couldn't get me out swinging lefty at this point.
Dan Wheeler, RHP-
Decent, but getting older.
Bobby Jenks, RHP-
Diminishing and stealing innings from a better pitcher.
Daniel Bard, RHP-
Best reliever in the 'pen possibly being reduced to the 7th-inning role.
Jonathan Papelbon, RHP-
Sucks.  Has seen all his numbers dip across the board over the last couple years.

So yeah, don't worry about covering your eyes, folks.  After some of the horrible outings that Beckett, Lackey, and Dice-Gay have, it might not even matter which of these slobs Tito decides to bring out of the 'pen!  YAY!!!! 

"Every day should feel like Christmas for Curt Young, the new Red Sox pitching coach."

If he spent Christmas in a broken home with abusive parents or a poorly-run orphanage.

"The former A’s pitching coach didn’t have anything close to the horses he has now, and Oakland’s staff posted a 3.56 ERA last season, the best in the American League and fourth-best in the majors."

Gee, maybe that was because they were actually GOOD PITCHERS!!!  Unless you, like Ortiz, are completely willing to ignore anything other than players' names and assume that name recognition and coaching are the 2 factors of determining success in baseball and not any actual talent.

"Imagine what he can do with a Grade A collection of arms."

Probably the exact same thing he did last season.  With a collection of Grade-A arms.

"The 2001 Mariners won 116 regular-season games to set the American League record for most wins in a single season and tie the 1906 Cubs for the major league record (though the North Siders accomplished the feat in 152 games). Both those teams failed to win the World Series."

Thus proving that it doesn't matter how many games you win during the regular season.  

"The Red Sox have no intention of suffering a similar fate."

Unlike all those other teams who come into each and every baseball season intending to lose.  Becawse the fahckin' Sawx have so much fahckin' hahht!!  They cannawt be stawpped!!

"The 2011 Red Sox possess all the pieces to have a season for the ages. If everything falls into place and the breaks go their way, they could do more than set records and become champions....."

Oh, I'm sorry.  You're finally going to get to the point that you so glaringly glossed over in the introduction to this disaster?

"They could unseat the 1927 Yankees as the greatest major league team of all time."

Of course!!!  The goal of any Red Sox player, coach, fan, commentator, and writer.  To do something better than the Yankees.  And here we have it, folks.  This piece of journalistic shit is just another attempt by somebody associated with the Red Sox to be better than the Yankees.  All the bitching, moaning, cursing, losing, steroid using, finally winning, and then winning again can't change the fact that the Red Sox are still the Yankees' little brother when it comes to sustained success and they are still treated as such by people in their OWN MEDIA.

It doesn't matter if the Red Sox win 10 games this year, 100 games this year, or 160 games this year.  It doesn't matter if they sweep the playoffs all the way or get swept in the divisional round by the Twins.  At the end of the day, their organization still won't hold a candle to the Yankee organization.  They won't have as many wins, as many championships, as many Hall of Famers, as much national and worldwide recognition, or as much prestige.  And that is what still eats at so many people in and around the Sox organization and that is precisely why something this idiotic was still written.

People can't just be happy that the Sox are favored this year and could win a title.  They HAVE to be better than the Yankees with this year's team or it won't be good enough.  The Yankees could give a fuck.  They just want to win to put another ring on their fingers and another pennant on the facade.

So good luck this year, Eric.  For your idiotic sake I hope the Red Sox DO win 119 games and the World Series this year.  Because I bet if that doesn't happen then you won't be satisfied.  And that is just sad.

By the way, Eva, if you're reading this, give me a call.  If Ortiz actually believes some of the shit he's writing is going to happen then maybe I do have a shot with you.

Available Options And How Much I Actually Want Them

While there hasn't been any signing activity since Pedro Feliciano was added to the 'pen, there still hasn't been a shortage of activity around the rumor mill involving players either on the Yankee radar or players discussed as possible options to fill holes.  Please note that this list is not done in any sense of order of which guys I want or which guys I think fit.  It's just a collection of the names I've seen thrown out there around the blogosphere.

* Jeff Keppinger- the Yanks had shown interest, far more interest than I had shown, but talks have reportedly fell apart recently.  The guy puts up numbers slightly better than Pena and Nunez and can play multiple infield positions, but to me he isn't that much better that he's worth giving up a prospect for.  If talks have broken down about acquiring J-Kep then I'm A-OK with that.

* Johnny Damon- another guy the Yanks were reportedly having talks with, but I don't see the point.  His defense isn't better than any of the Yankee starters or what they would get from Greg Golson, his arm isn't better than those of some limbless people on the planet, and Damon doesn't really fill the need of a bat who can mash lefty pitching.  His time in pinstripes came to and end for a reason.  No sense in bringing back a guy who doesn't fill holes and would be potentially stealing at-bats from Jorge and Jesus in the DH role.

* Scott Hairston- If Scott Hairston were a flavor choice at Cold Stone Creamery, I'd be going for the "Gotta Have It" on him.  He's everything the Yankees need: versatile outfielder who plays solid D, hits lefty pitching well, and has some pop in his bat.  He is a bit of an injury risk, but as a backup player, that isn't that important.  The dude can probably get a starting role somewhere, but if he wants a chance at a ring, something that worked out well for his brother, I would throw more money at him to be the 4th OF.

* Jerry Hairston- The Hairston who has already played for the Yankees also wouldn't be a bad addition to upgrade the utility IF role.  Like Keppinger, he hits better than Nunez or Pena and also has the versatility to play every IF position and some corner OF if needed.  Add in the fact that he's a free agent and wouldn't cost any prospects in a trade and I would be fully on board with bringing back JerHair.

* Rafael Soriano- Definitely the best reliever still available on the FA market and a guy that could fill the Kerry Wood 8th-inning role very nicely in 2011 if the Yanks are still skeptical about Joba and D-Rob finally stepping up.  He won't come cheap and the Yanks would give up a draft pick in the process, so it really comes down to how confident they are in what they have.  Personally, I would give D-Rob another shot at being the setup guy, and save the money and the draft pick that Soriano would cost.

* Joakim Soria- A name that was kicked around at the trade deadline in 2010, Soria has hit the rumor wire hard again recently after saying he would not block a trade to the Bronx.  Like Keppinger, he isn't as attractive to me as other options because he would have to come via trade and that trade would almost certainly involve at least 1 of the Yankees' Top 10 prospects.  On the positive side, he could slide in nicely as Mo's heir to the closer role.  If there's a way to get him without giving up the Killer B's or Jesus (highly unlikely), I would be all for a trade for Soria.  Otherwise, I say cut bait and go into battle with the 'pen as is. 

* Jeff Francis- A guy coming off a serious arm injury who has never exactly "WOW"'d anybody pitching in the National League?  No thanks, I'll pass.  I mean, why pay the extra money for a dude who will more than likely give you below-league average numbers from the 5th rotation spot when you can get the same for cheaper from your stockpile of Triple-A arms?

* Bartolo Colon- BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  You're kidding right?  Only if he's hired to be the new hot dog vendor in the upper deck.

* Jon Rauch- His peripherals don't translate well to Yankee Stadium (see: high fly ball rate) and he really isn;t much of an innings eater, which would help the Yankees more than another "1-inning or less" guy (Joba, D-Rob, Logan, Feliciano).  His big frame and badass neck tat would look pretty cool in the uniform, but when that's the best thing I can say about you, it doesn't exactly tickle my fancy.  I'll pass.

* Todd Coffey- He's a guy that RAB profiled a few days ago and his peripherals (decent K rate, low BB rate, good GB rate) are much better than those of Rauch.  He has a proven track record of success and would likely be a better option in the middle of the 'pen than some of the Yanks' untested Triple-A righty arms.  I would be concerned about his jump to the AL, but as a low-leverage righty guy, you could do worse.

* Yu Darvish- Not available until after the 2011 season, but he will most likely be the #1 pitcher available in the FA market.  He has absolutely demolished the Japanese leagues, is still young (younger than Phil Hughes), and his stuff that translates to the top of a Major League rotation.  On the other side, the Yanks are still living the nightmare of getting burned by Kei Igawa and Dice-Gay hasn't exactly lit the world on fire in Bahhhhhston.  It's likely going to cost between $100-120 mil to get Darvish between the posting fee and what will be a hefty contract, but with the Yanks possibly looking at more pitching holes at the back end of the rotation after this coming season, he makes as much sense as anybody else.

* Andy Pettitte- Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!!!  Come on, Andy.  You can buy your family a lot of cool shit with another $16 million.  I think your kids can live for another year without you if you get them that awesome new XBox Kinect thing.  And then throw in a new 3D TV and bang!  The fam is taken care of and you can come back and be the #3 starter to try and get one last ring.  What I'm trying to say is, I want Andy Pettitte on the 2011 Yankees more than any of these other dudes and it's not even fucking close.

Taking Stock Of The 2011 Yankee Roster


1) Russell Martin- C
2) Mark Teixeira- 1B
3) Robinson Cano- 2B
4) Alex Rodriguez- 3B
5) Derek Jeter- SS
6) Brett Gardner- LF
7) Curtis Granderson- CF
8) Nick Swisher- RF
9- Jorge Posada- DH


10) CC Sabathia- LHP
11) Phil Hughes- RHP
12) A.J. Burnett- RHP
13) Ivan Nova- RHP 


14) Eduardo Nunez- IF
15) Ramiro Pena- IF
16) Francisco Cervelli- C 


17) Mariano Rivera- RHP
18) Joba Chamberlain- RHP
19) Dave Robertson- RHP
20) Boone Logan- LHP
21) Pedro Feliciano- LHP
22) Sergio Mitre

23) ?
24) ??
25) ???

As you can see, the cupboard is still a little bare as we head into 2011 in Yankeeland.  There are 3 holes to be filled in the 25-man roster, one in the rotation, one on the bench, and the last either as another bench or another bullpen option.  Everyone has been assuming Sergio Mitre would be the 5th starter if the Yankees are unable to come up with somebody else, but let's be honest, Sergio Mitre is not going to be in the rotation by choice at any point this season so he gets bumped back to the bullpen where he belongs.

The most attractive option at filling the rotation spot is still Andy Pettitte, but with each passing day the indication is that he is going to choose retirement and stay home with his family rather than give it one last go.  There are a multitude of Triple-A options who can fill in, but none of whom can be considered "ready" to handle that role.  The trade and free agent market is also drying up quickly in terms of pitchers.

The bench is short outfielders and if the season started today we would most likely see Greg Golson and Kevin Russo there to fill out the roster, but once again the ideal situation would be to bring in some Major-League level guys who have the experience (and bat) to hold their own as bench players.  Also, don't forget about The Almighty, who will start the year lurking in 2011, waiting for his time to take over the catching duties from Martin.

So there ya go, people.  The same situation the Yankees were in in early December, mid-December, and late December has carried over to 2011.  You've got some work to do, Cash.  Let's put the fun Christmas gifts away, bottle up the rest of the leftover New Year's champagne, and add some bodies to this fucking roster.