January 31, 2010

Enough is enough...

I don’t know about you, but there are a few things I’m really tired of this off season. First and foremost, I’ve had enough of Johnny Damon watch 2010. Where will Damon go? Will he go back to the Yankees? Will he grow his beard out? Will he eat a ham sandwich today? Good grief. Damon is like an aging rock star that’s forced to tour on the County Fair circuit as far as I’m concerned. Then again, I’ve just added to all the Damon talk with this post. Forgive me.

I’m also very tired of reading how one by one; the pundits and so-called baseball experts are picking the Seattle Mariners to win the American League West. Really? It’s not even February and some of you can’t even wait until Spring Training? What’s the hurry? It’s like they’re falling over one another to make sure they can pick Seattle before someone else does.

Rob Neyer of ESPN has the Angels winning just 81 games, six less than the Mariners. (CORRECTION - Neyer is commenting on CAIRO projections here - and not making them himself at this point).

Neyer give us some brilliant analysis. He did some in-depth research to tell us that “Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu are a year older.” Apparently, the rest of the league didn’t age. Go figure. Thanks Rob. By the way, you’re a year older too and your game seems to be slipping some as well. I’m just saying.

He also went on to say “Kendry Morales was probably over his head some last year.” When projections you don’t pan out (and Morales blew away all his projections last year), you get statements like that one. After all, something must be wrong if the projections are off, right? Year after year the Angels win more games than they’re projected to. It’s enough to make some people throw a hissy fit. I’m sure some will always under-project the Angels record because sooner or later they’re bound to be right – even if it’s just once.

To Neyer’s credit he does say that there isn’t much difference between the A’s projected 87 wins and the Angels’ projected 81 wins. He says “there are at least six games in play.” Whatever.

Dayn Perry of Fox Sports has also picked the Mariners to win the west. I really don’t know why I bother reading Perry or even following him on Twitter; because he seems to know as much about baseball as my cat does. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something and thought to myself, does Perry do any kind of research what-so-ever?

I guess the Mariners are the new favorite flavor so far. So be it. I really shouldn’t get so worked up about projections. I mean we’re talking about projections. Projections? Where’s Allen Iverson when you need him. He’d be the perfect guy to tell us how ridiculous this all is. I mean we’re talking projections.

I’m also done with reading all the Mark McGwire bashing. I don’t think he should get into the Hall of Fame, but I can’t believe some people want to deprive him of continuing on with a life in baseball. Some of the demands being thrown out by people in glass houses are really nauseating.

Critiquing apologies has become a new art form. It’s as of he just finished an ice skating routine (imagine that) and some writer turned judge wants to knock him down a peg or two because of the way he blinks his eyes. The comments are almost as crazy as picturing McGwire on ice.

By the way, it’s almost time for another Johnny Damon update. What do you have for me? I’m just kidding. Well, sort of any way.

One thing I’m not tired of, but I’m still wondering about is whether or not anyone has noticed that the “Billy Beane is a genius” talk doesn’t seem to be as prevalent these days. Whatever happened to that movie with Brad Pitt playing the role of Beane? I’m betting it was beat out by the sequel to Snakes on a Plane or something like that.

I have to ask is anyone else waiting with baited breath for the updated PECOTA projections? Earlier in the week they had projected the Angels to finish last and the A’s to finish first. Hey, are you thinking what I’m thinking? This must have been some sort of ploy to get the movie “Money Ball” back on the front burner.

Anyway, Baseball Prospectus (BP) is still working on getting a clue. Oops, did I just write that? I meant to say, BP is ironing out some problems they had with their initial projections. I guess the laughter kind of got to them or something. I guess you can gather that I’m waiting for the PECOTA projections for the comic relief it can provide.

Breaking news… you’re probably not going to believe me, but Allen Iverson just called me to say he couldn’t believe I was still talking about practice… I mean projections…

One last thing about PECOTA. Word on the street was that Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes were going to investigate the projections and ask the folks at Baseball Prospectus if they actually charged people for the work they do? Then again, can there be any penalties for catering to the fantasy baseball world? I mean think about – they call it FANTASY baseball for a reason, right?

Enough about what I’m sick and tired of.

A couple things I’m looking forward to include hearing Rich Thompson say “cheers” as he signs autographs for fans at Spring Training. Something about Australian accents and baseball players is kind of cool.

I’m also looking forward to Reggie Willits, Terry Evans, Chris Pettit and Peter Bourjos getting after it as they compete to make the 25 man roster. Something about healthy competition gets me going.

I can’t wait to see Torii Hunter interacting with fans. No one is better at engaging fans than Hunter in my opinion. ESPN the Magazine voted Joe Mauer as the fan friendliest player in baseball. That’s high praise, but I can only stand by what I’ve seen first hand and Hunter loves baseball fans.

Tomorrow is February 1 and that means spring training is just around the corner. How sweet it is that pitchers and catchers report in less than three weeks!

BallHype: hype it up!