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Finals are over at last and my
head is killing me. My last final was in STAT 200, the bain of my existence.
At a ski area in Vermont, the daytime high temperature is normally
distributed during January, with a mean of 22 degrees F and a standard
deviation of 10 degrees F. You are planning a trip to Vermont this January.
What is the probability that you will encounter daytime high of 15 degrees F of
So now I
have nothing left to do so I need to start seriously blogging again. My idea
now, since the rest of the baseball world is playing GM, is to put together a
championship caliber team. The rules? All players stats and salaries are based
on 2008 alone, and you can’t spend more than $100 million. Try it sometime, it’s
actually kind of fun.
I’ve spent a
few hours on this little project and I think I’ve come up with a team that
could legitimately compete in any division in baseball, if not dominate some of
them. So here goes.
Rick Ankiel L RF
Chase Utley L 2B
Pujols R 3B
Hafner L 1B
Hamilton L LF
Martin R C
Reed Johnson R CF
Bobby Crosby R SS
Spot (because pitchers are players too!)
Martin – C (Los Angeles Dodgers – $500,000)
Russell Martin is everything you
want in a catcher. He defends the plate, he has a good relationship with
starting pitchers and he swings a big stick too. On the plus side, he’s an
everyday catcher too, which is huge for a starting rotation to have that kind
of consistency. He may not win games all by himself, but he puts the rest of
the team in position to do just that.
Hafner – 1B (Cleveland Indians – $8.05million)
I feel bad for Travis Hafner
because he never got a chance to really come about. He is a big, strong power
hitter who can send a ball into orbit at will. Problem was, he only needed one
good season to make pitchers afraid. So they stopped pitching to him. With a
lineup as shaky as Cleveland’s, pitchers could get away with it too. Give him a
little protection in the lineup and the league will have to invest in a few
more baseballs each season.
Chase Utley –
2B (Philadelphia Phillies – $7.8 million)
Chase is a rock star. Some may
give him a bad rap because he likes to throw out a few too many f-bombs in
public, but that’s exactly why I love him. He shys away from nothing. On the
field, he’s every little league coach’s dream. He plays like it’s his last game
ever and he wants to go out with style. He plays a great second base and won’t
hesitate to dive for that line drive. At the plate, he’s clutch and can go yard
at the drop of a hat.
Pujols – 3B (St. Louis Cardinals – $13.9 million)
Some forget that Pujols
originally came up as a Third Baseman. I had trouble deciding between him and
Chipper Jones for this spot but eventually decided to go with Pujols because of
his upside. Chipper is on the latter end of his career, and while he’s capable
of putting on a hitting clinic on any given night, he has trouble staying on
the field. Pujols is all upside and I don’t need any justification here.
– SS (Oakland Athletics – $3.5 million)
Bobby Crosby’s not flashy, he’s
not in your face and he’s not going to hit many walk-off home runs. What he
will do is step on the field between third base and second base and play solid,
fundamental baseball. He gets on base, which is important to any lineup. He’s a
catalyst to any offense and a rock to any defense.
Hamilton – LF (Texas Rangers – $396,830)
Josh is more than just a great story; he’s a top-tier ball player
too. The homerun derby was no fluke; this kid hits the ball hard every time.
Someone who can hit the ball hard will get hits more often than not.
– CF (Chicago Cubs – $1.3 million)
Reed Johnson flies under the
radar for the most part but he’s a good old-fashioned ball player. He puts me
in mind of Lenny Dykstra from the 1993 Phillies NL Championship team. He’s not
the biggest or the strongest but he plays like he’s the biggest dog in the
pack. Don’t tell him he’s not the cleanup hitter because he knows how to get
the barrel of the bat on the ball every time he makes contact.
Rick Ankiel –
RF (St. Louis Cardinals – $900,000)
I’m becoming a really big fan of
Rick Ankiel, fast. He’s the most naturally gifted athlete in baseball. Who else
could come up through the system as a pitcher (a good pitcher), lose his stuff,
get sent back to the minors, change positions to the outfield and make it back
to the majors? No one. He’s a guy I want on my team and I’ll find a place for
IF Ryan Theriot – R
(Chicago Cubs – $428,000)
OF Fred Lewis – L (San Francisco Giants – $392,000)
OF Shane Victorino – S (Philadelphia Phillies – $480,000)
IF Josh Willingham – R (Florida Marlins – $405,000)
– LHP (Philadelphia Phillies – $500,000)
What can you
say about Cole Hamels that hasn’t already been said? He’s a stud. He stares
down opposing batters and throws ridiculous stuff at them. He proved his worth
in the playoffs where it really counts. Now if only I could get him to cut his
hair a little bit. Those wavy locks have got to go.
– RHP (Toronto BlueJays – $10 million)
a work horse. He will make 30 starts a season and pitch at least 6 innings each
outing. You can’t put a price on that. It shortens each game to three innings
long and makes the bullpen’s life easier. He works the count well with a good
fastball/changeup combination and pulls the string when you least expect it.
– LHP (Chicago White Sox – $14 million)
flies under the radar a bit on the south side of Chicago but his repertoire speaks
for itself. He’s a low-ball pitcher who induces a lot of ground balls and
pop-ups and virtually takes the bat away from lefties. Not only that, but he gets
better as the season goes along and pitches well in the post-season.
Jake Peavy – RHP (San Diego Padres – $6.5 million)
behind this pick is simple. Jake Peavy will step out on the mound on any given
day and absolutely hurl the ball at the plate. He’s a hurler; plain and simple.
Backe – RHP (Houston Astros – $800,000)
Brandon Backe because he has good stuff but he can also swing the bat. I like a
pitcher who will at least try to act like a batter and make an effort to get on
The greatest picture ever taken!
Closer – Brad Lidge – RHP (Philadelphia
Phillies – $6.35 million)
ago, Lidge would have been toward the bottom of my list for closers. In fact, I
would probably have said the same in April. But it’s hard to argue with
perfection, which is exactly what Brad “Lights Out” Lidge was this past season
from April all the way through to the last out of the World Series. What else
can you ask for?
J.C. Romero – LHP (Philadelphia Phillies – $3.25 million)
Ryan Madson – RHP (Philadelphia Phillies – $1.4 million)
Ryan Rowland-Smith – LHP (Seattle Mariners – $395,000)
Carlos Marmol – RHP (Chicago Cubs – $430,000)
David Aardsma – RHP (Boston Red Sox – $403,250)
Boone Logan – LHP (Chicago White Sox – $405,000)
Ambiorix Burgos – RHP (New York Mets – $415,000)
Team Salary: $ 82,900,020.00
The team’s salary is good enough
to put the team in 15th place in Major League Baseball just ahead of
the Milwaukee Brewers. The one glaring hole I can see in the lineup is the lack
of a little balance. I have two players accustomed to being the #3 batter
hitting in different spots (Chase Utley and Josh Hamilton). I picked them
because I thought they are the types of players who can adapt to a new spot in
the lineup and hit different types of pitchers.
The next step in my plan is to
put this team in action on MLB 2K8 and see how they turn out. Yes, it’s just a
video game, but I can’t play GM in real life (not yet, anyway), so I have to
play GM virtually.
(SIDE NOTE – Coming in January
will be a PS3 game called ‘MLB Front Office Manager.’ A game that’s right up my
ally and good for anyone else who has aspirations of running a MLB team. I’ll
have a synopsis once I get a chance to play.)
Would this team win? I think so.
There is a lot of talent in the lineup from top to bottom so if one player
struggles, someone else can fill the void. Yes, there are more Phillies than
any other team but consider the source. This is based on 2008. If this was
based on 2007, you probably would see a few more Red Sox. If this was based on
1998, you’d see a bunch more Yankees. There are about a dozen and a half more
players I can think of that I could put in there and not lose any sleep., so
please, don’t think I’m snubbing anyone who isn’t deserving.
Any disputes? Please comment. I’d
love to hear your opinions.
P.S. The answer is 24.2%, in case you were wondering. Don’t ask me how I got the answer, because I really don’t know.
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up on finals week here at good ol’ Penn State University; so needless to say my
schedule and workload as of late have been – in a word – NUTS!
apologize for my lack of blogging in the last couple weeks, but hopefully soon
I will have the time to catch up on a few things.
did, however, wake up to the irritating buzz of my cell phone with an automated
MLB.com update (cheap plug). It read, and I quote: “The NY Post is reporting that
CC Sabathia has agreed to a six-year deal with the Yankees.”
I sighed to myself is a British accent (I was still half asleep).
really wasn’t too surprised by the signing. It was quite apparent how much the
Yankees wanted him and were willing to do whatever it took to bring him to the
Bronx. Mission accomplished. I’m sure the blogosphere was flooded with happy
Yankee fans (especially you, Jane) just thrilled. And I’m happy for all of you,
I really am. I mean it. Seriously.
signing still upsets me, however. Not because I hate the Yankees (I do) but
because it’s bad for baseball in a sense. CC is a good pitcher, but free agency
in baseball is a phenomenon all in its own in that it builds up players and
expectations sometimes too high. We seem to often confuse the best pitcher in
the current market as being the best pitcher in baseball, which is not always
a great pitcher, no doubt about it. But before last year, he was barely a blip
on anyone’s radar outside of Cleveland. He was just a good pitcher for an okay
team. In my mind, the best pitchers in baseball are Roy Halladay, Brandon Webb,
and – given his 2008 postseason performance – Cole Hamels. You can make a good
case for Johan Santana and Tim Lindsecum right now, and maybe CC Sabathia, but
you also have to consider longevity rather than who’s the latest “Johhny Come
2007 hit and CC became the staff ace on a surprisingly good Indians team that
took out said Bronx Bombers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Recently,
the Milwaukee Brewers rode his left arm to the playoffs themselves. However, he
collapsed against the Red Sox and Phillies in the playoffs; a habit Yankees
fans will soon come to hate if he can’t turn it around.
I don’t like about a 7-year $161 million contract (with an opt-out option after
3 years) for CC Sabathia is that it will do nothing more than raise prices on
2009 free agents. You can argue that CC is worth that kind of money, and I
could easily be persuaded to believe you. But will next year’s top pitcher be
worth 7-years $180 million?
point is that the business of baseball, like most other sports, builds upon
itself and reacts to yesterday’s trends. The NFL is addressing the possibility
of a rookie-cap based off of the ridiculous trend that saw Matt Ryan sign a
contract worth more than 80% of the starting quarterbacks’ who have been in the
league for years. A precedent needs to be set in baseball before we’re teams
are in a bidding war over players like Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkolis.
players are worth that kind of money, most aren’t. And just because they are
the best on the market doesn’t mean they deserve that kind of money. You can’t
blame the players and you can’t necessarily blame the teams (although sometimes
the Yankees should be to blame).
can you blame?
not one to name names.