December 28 - Heart and Soul Update -
On July 30th of 2004, The Florida Marlins traded Brad Penny, Hee Seop Choi, and Bill Murphy to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Juan Encarnacion, Paul Lo Duca, and Guillermo Mota. The move was widely criticized in the baseball world. "Why would the contending Dodgers give up the heart and soul of their team?" critics asked, referring mostly to Lo Duca, but also to Mota.
See what the Heart and Soul of the Los Angeles Dodgers have been up to over the past three-and-a-half years.
December 22 - Pop it on your coffee table -
Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans tickles your senses and
stimulates your mind. Part book, part CD, part photo gallery, Voice of the Fans may not be exactly what you expect from a tribute to broadcasting legend Harry Caray. It doesn't disappoint, however. Read our review for details.
Get the book/CD combo from Sourcebooks, or the CD alone here at Baseball Evolution.
December 18 - Recognition of the Steroid Era -
Voting for both the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame is less than one month away. With the recently released Mitchell Report and all of the steroid speculation that has come before it, voters must ask themselves whether players who used performance enhancers are worth of induction. Guest contributor Gregory Pratt writes that baseball's steroid users, known or suspected, belong in baseball's Hall of Fame.
December 15 - Blockbuster Trades, Buster Signing -
This off-season was supposed to be about a bidding war for Alex Rodriguez and a blockbuster trade for Johan Santana. While those story lines have greatly disappointed, no one can argue that this has been a boring winter in baseball.
After the Tigers offered an unprecedented crop of prospects in order to secure young stars Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, the Diamondbacks matched and raised Detroit to aquire the affordable Dan Haren.
While we're seeing trades the likes of never before, it's same old, same old on the Free Agency scene, as the Giants signed a high-priced free agent who's on the wrong side of 30 to begin the post-Barry Bonds era.
December 13 - Asher - Mitchell Report Musings -
Newly acquired Astros infielder Miguel Tejada is in the news today, but it isn't because of the trade that brought him from Baltimore to Houston yesterday. Tejada, along with former Astros Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, finds his name squarely within the long-awaited Mitchell Report on the state of performance enhancers in baseball.
If any of the news revealed in the report sounds familiar to BaseballEvolution.com fans, it should, because several of the names listed in Mitchell's report also appear in Asher's satirical take on steroids in baseball, The Bagwell Conspiracy. Check them both out for yourself. If you have any comments about players you didn't expect to see, players who did expect to see that weren't there, or anything else at all, don't forget to visit the BaseballEvolution.com Fan Forum to tell us all about it.
Also, check out the Great Steroids Debate of 2004 as well as these other steroids related links at BaseballEvolution.com.
Here are some initial reactions:
"Juan Gonzalez - tell me something I don't know."
"Where's Bret Boone? Now you know he didn't talk to everyone."
"John Rocker! Really? Who saw that coming?"
"If you didn't mention Brady Anderson, you didn't do your job."
"Mike Stanton and Kent Mercker - I couldn't tell them apart before, and now I definitely won't be able to."
"Will Mark McGwire gain support in January Hall of Fame voting on the strength of his absence from this list?"
"Well, I guess now people will be calling on baseball to dispense with Roger Clemens records just like people do for Barry Bonds' records. Or is that off-base?"
December 12 - Keith - Tejada Finally Traded -
Like Manny Ramirez and Barry Larkin before him, Miguel Tejada was purportedly on the trading block year after year, but never went anywhere. Finally, the Orioles got Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Dennis Sarfate, Troy Patton, and Dennis Sarfate from the Houston Astros in exchange for Tejada.
This is likely a lose-lose situation for both clubs. While these are some of the best young players that Houston had to offer, none of them projects to be anything more than a role player at the major league level. From the Astros' perspective, they must pay $13 million for the next two seasons for a third baseman who managed only 38 extra base hits last year.
If this trade is any indication, neither the Orioles nor the Astros will benefit from their new front office regimes. But at least in trading with each other, these two guppies avoid getting devoured by a shark like Billy Beane or Josh Byrnes.
December 7 - Keith - Disasterous Second Halves -
What a sad time for Baseball Evolution. Three years into
the Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins Award and just two years into the Mark Redman
Award, both names suddenly seem inappropriate. Alex Gonzalez caught fire
when he returned from an injury late in the season, and Mark Redman was
surprisingly effective for the Colorado Rockies in a few September starts.
These are small sample sizes, but it's not like Dave Kingman ever went a two-week stretch
in which he walked more than he struck out. After the
All-Star Break, Alex Gonzalez and Mark Redman are supposed to play terribly, and
that just didn't happen.
Anyway, onto the awards, which for the moment shall retain
their classic names. For the
AGotM Award, we find but two standouts in a
disappointing American League crop, while the National League featured a
multitude of second-half chokers. The opposite holds true for the
Redman Award, where only two serious candidates appear in the National League,
but we find a plethora of fat second half earned run averages in the junior
December 4 - Asher - Willis and Cabrera to Detroit -
Two years ago, the Boston Red Sox sent a handful of prospects to the Florida Marlins in exchange for two of the cornerstones on the Marlins 2003 World Championship team, Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett, and Lowell and Beckett led the Red Sox to a World Series Championship of their own in 2007. The Detroit Tigers, hoping to duplicate this feat, pulled off the biggest trade of the off-season, and possibly several seasons, yesterday by sending another handful of prospects to the Marlins in exchange for the last two remaining stars from that 2003 team, Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. Willis and Cabrera will join forces with former Marlins teammate Ivan Rodriguez and try to lead the Tigers to the World Series for the second time in three years, while the Marlins continue to attempt to build a major league roster with minor league stars.
December 3 - Keith - Southworth Deemed Worthy; Williams Gets Dicked -
The re-vamped Veterans Committe elected two managers into Baseball's Hall of Fame and a third came one vote shy.
The Committe must have snuck a peek at the Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame and seen that Billy Southworth was an inexcuseable omission from Cooperstown's hallowed halls.
We're sorry to say that Dick Williams has been, well, dicked by us here at Baseball Evolution, as he will not even appear on our January ballot unless put up for re-election. But we'd like to think that this 16-man committe read Keith's lamentation of Williams falling off our ballot and chose to support him.
Whitey Herzog, who gained unanimous support as a first-ballot Baseball Evolution Hall of Famer, came one vote shy of joining Cooperstown's elite. Good luck next year, Whitey!
Oh, and some executives got elected, too.
November 28 - Keith - The Kerry Wood Era Carries On -
The Chicago Cubs re-signed Kerry Wood to a 1-year, $4.2 million deal that
could escalate up to $7.65 million as Wood approaches 55 games finished. Wood claims
that he could have gotten a multi-year deal with several other ballclubs.
It's always good to see a 10-year
one-teamer remain with the
franchise that drafted him, but it should be particularly nice for Cubs fans,
who have enjoyed an entirely different Cubs team whenever Wood has been healthy
November 26 - Asher - The Emil Brown Collection -
A few months ago, we stumbled upon Emil Brown's Baseball-Reference.com page. We here at baseballevolution.com were tickled Royal Blue at the sentiment of the eager-beaver Royals fan who wrote "Congrats to Emil Brown on his back to back 150 hit seasons!" That things had gone so poorly for the Royals that such an accomplishment merited mentioning, much less congratulations, struck us as amazing.
In fact, we briefly entertained the possibility that the poster was being sarcastic.
Anyway, we have decided to draw inspiration from the congratulations to Emil for his rather mundane accomplishment. We have created the
First Annual Emil Brown Collection of Dubious Accomplishment Accolades.
November 21 - Asher - 2007 Dave Kingman Award Winners -
Back in the 70's and 80's, if you wanted a player with a lot of home runs, but also a lot of strikeouts, as well as low AVG, OBP, R, and RBI marks, teams would just aquire Dave Kingman. But when Kong retired in 1986, we needed a new source of royal blood. Dale Murphy, Joe Carter, and Ruben Sierra each made runs as heirs to the Kingman, but as it turns out, the best new source of Kingmanesque players has been the Chicago White Sox organization, particularly in 2007.
All previous Kingman winners
November 21 - Keith - Can a Pitcher Win the MVP Award? -
Last year, the AL MVP race lacked a clear favorite. So instead of
critiquing a selection that was pretty much a toss-up, Keith
lamented the fact that
Carlos Guillen received barely as many as 10% of the votes that fellow poor
defensive shortstop Derek Jeter received.
He maintains that this was a valid point, and certainly more justified than the
popular outrage over Justin Morneau having won the award. Nevertheless, Keith
now laments not addressing the more pertinent issue: the player who finished 7th
in the MVP voting last year deserved the award as much as anyone else did.
That player was Johan Santana, the unanimous AL CY Young Award winner of 2006.
We bring this oversight up now because history has repeated itself. Jake
Peavy, the unanimous Cy Young Award winner this year, finished 7th in the 2007
NL MVP voting when he deserved the award as much as winner Jimmy Rollins did.
Compendium of MVP Seasons
November 10 - Asher - Rookie of the Year Bust Candidates? -
On the surface, it would appear that the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year class rivals the outstanding crop from last season. But a closer inspection reveals chinks in the armor worn by each of these prospects.
The 2007 baseball season marked the arrival of several exciting new players in the National League. It has been easy to heap praise upon these guys, but I would like to caution fans of these players that these players’ apparent success has masked some significant shortcomings, at least early on.
November 8 - Asher - A Plethora of MVPs -
Okay, we all know that Alex Rodriguez was the Most Valuable Players in all of baseball last year. But who came in second? Asher indicates that the man who has this distinction, which could appropriately be labelled "The Albert Pujols Award," also played in the junior circuit. See who takes home the AL SMVP.
Meanwhile, the NL MVP race is so tight that Guest contributor Great National League 2007 Season boasts that he can present us with one legitimate, bona fide Most Valuable Player candidate for every team in the elder league.
November 7 - Gold Glove Analysis -
The 2007 Gold Glove Awards were announced Tuesday. Overall, the voting was the best we have seen in many, many years. Keith breaks down the winners into three catrgories, while Asher reviews the selections position-by-position. Oddly enough, Keith and Asher agreed on most of the issues.
November 1 - Asher - Two New Clubs -
There are two rather meaningless statistical accomplishment Asher keeps up with because, for some reason, he latched onto them at some point and they fascinate him. One is the 100-plus club, in which a player gathers 100 more RBIs than homeruns, and the other is the Double Crown, in which a player leads his league in both homeruns and RBI.
There are two other statistical accomplishments that Asher has stumbled onto this season that he wanted to share. These are not nearly as rare, but just as fun!
November 1 - Asher - 2007 Brewers Season in Review -
Here is what you think about the 2007 Milwaukee Brewers – The Milwaukee Brewers are a team stocked with exciting young hitters at every position, but their pitching truly, inexplicably, fell apart this season. Ben Sheets will never make it through a whole season, Dave Bush is vastly overrated, Jeff Suppan is mediocre at best, and Chris Capuano was clearly overachieving in 2005 and 2006. The Milwaukee Brewers got out to a relatively large lead in the mediocre National League Central division, riding the backs of their exciting young hitting and winning despite their mediocre pitching.
They hit better than they catch
What you think is wrong.
November 1 - Asher - The Joe Torre Litmus Test -
Fill in the blank. Yes, Torre is a "Dodgers" manager right now. But in a couple of years, we will be able to know for sure whether Torre is a "good," "bad," "great," or "mediocre" manager based on what he does with his new team. Asher thinks he already knows the answer. Hint: Think Vinny Castilla.
November 1 - Asher - 2007 Seasonal March -
For the last few years, we have done an annual update on Albert Pujols and his march to the Hall of Fame. But Albert Pujols isn’t the only player marching. Check out these other guys, and see how their 2007 performances look in the context of various seasonal benchmarks.