The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

A double-dose of Steve!

Steve Henson has written some summaries of the Tampa Bay Rays’ and Ft. Louis Fatinals’ offseasons. After he reads this article by me about his offseason, he sure will wish he hadn’t! Written his own, I mean. Shut up. That’s hurtful.

Protecting a ninth-inning lead is no time for an audition. And it’s not a variety hour. When seven different pitchers record multiple saves in a season, there’s a problem.

Well, maybe. I mean, if some of them are bad at it. Using different pitchers isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, Steve. In fact, it can even be a good thing, since the idiots on arb boards and the free agent classifiers look at the raw "saves" number when evaluating a relief pitcher. So using a bunch of dudes can make them cost less.

The lowest ERA by a Rays (or Devil Rays) closer in the 11-year history of the franchise was 2.86 by Danys Baez in 2005.

ERA is a really, really bad stat for evaluating a dude who throws maybe 70 innings in a year. It’s way too coarse for that. Baez’s other numbers aren’t exciting — 1.327 WHIP, 1.70 K/BB. I mean, I get your point: the Rays haven’t produced a lot of superstar closers, which I guess is somehow different from the number of superstars they’ve produced at other positions.

Roberto Hernandez notched 101 saves from 1998-2000, yet he also was shaky by turns at that point in his career.

Saves are stupid. "Shaky by turns" is a nonsense-phrase. You fuck right off.

Even in the magical 2008 season, the miraculously resurrected Troy Percival was no sure thing, walking 27 in 45 1/3 innings before manager Joe Maddon began giving the ball to Dan Wheeler, then to rookie David Price.

Troy Percival’s magical resurrection was lacking in two things: magic and resurrection. This is because Percival was stunningly mediocre, and because the reason Maddon eventually took the closer’s job away from him is because he had a season-ending injury, you crazyass. It had not a fucking thing to do with how many saves he had, and everything to do with how he couldn’t play baseball anymore because he was dead.

That history lesson makes the acquisition of Rafael Soriano from the Braves by GM Andrew Friedman both extraordinary and obvious.

Your homework for the day: imagine that you live in a world in which that sentence has any meaning. What would it mean? Would it be:

a) Trite
b) Stupid
c) Extraordinary
d) Obvious
e) Both C and D

Another year of J.P. Howell for a while, Grant Balfour on a given day and Randy Choate in a pinch wasn’t going to cut it in a division populated by Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon.

I’m getting the impression that Steve doesn’t really know what closers do. Does he think that, if the game is tied up after nine, the closers have to face off in a cage match to determine who wins? While that would be awesome, it’s not exactly the case; closers aren’t really affected by other closers very much. Better, probably, to name like some opposing batters they might have to face, yeah?

Oh, here’s a fun fact. In 2008, when the Rays went to the World Series, they featured that exact closer setup. And the division was still "populated" by those two gentlemen Steve names. Did anybody else spot the part where he explains why it worked then but won’t work this time?

It normally is not like the Rays to take on that kind of salary [$7.25M for Rafael Soriano].

You mean, based on their long history of being a championship organisation? Which began exactly one offseason ago? When they signed Pat Burrell for… hey, look, $7M/year? Maybe do some research next time, Steve. Or, like, be less drunk so you can remember the very last big move this exact organisation made.

Soriano notched 27 saves and struck out 102 in 75 2/3 innings. The only caveat is his history of injuries.

Also his proclivity for walking nine shitloads of dudes. That is a caveat. But look at all those saves!!!

The Rays only will be able to recapture their 2008 glory by playing better away from Tropicana Field.

"If the Rays expect to win more games, they need to win more games." Thanks, Dr. Baseball!

Back by popular demand, two Cardinals sluggers. And every effort will be made, presumably, to continue the employment of a third, although we are getting ahead of ourselves.

We are also writing a giant fucking turd of a sentence.

Locals are also happy with the hiring of Mark McGwire as hitting coach. The baseball community at large has rejected McGwire’s admission of and apology for steroid use because of his ridiculous assertion that the performance-enhancing drugs didn’t enhance his performance.

For reference, McGwire actually said the steroids didn’t enhance his performance in any way except by helping him recover more quickly. Which is… what they do. So, hey Steve, he wasn’t exactly wrong. Just FYI. And the baseball "community" consists mainly of morons who think saves are meaningful.

The large sum paid to Holliday meant little else could be upgraded. Brad Penny, injured and inconsistent in recent years, will replace the healthy, steady Joel Pineiro in the starting rotation.

Joel Pineiro is awful. At baseball, you know? His steadiness index is off the fucking charts, I’m sure, but at baseball he is not so good. The Angels gave him 2-and-16, which is completely fucking insane for Joel Pineiro. The Cardinals did well to let him go. Penny is very likely to be meaningfully better.

Third baseman Mark DeRosa, reserve outfielder Rick Ankiel and sage swingman John Smoltz will be replaced in-house.

Third baseman Mark DeRosa spent most of his time with the Fatinals battling a nagging injury, and finished with a whopping 83 OPS+. Reserve outfielder Rick Ankiel was at 76. And sage swingman — which is not a thing — John Smoltz posted a 96 ERA+. DeRosa has already signed with the Giants for 2-and-12, Ankiel signed for 1/$3.25 with the Royals, and Smoltz is about to sign with the Mets for something like $30M/year. So what’s the issue there? Matt Holliday > all these things combined.

For now, though, the Cardinals employ Pujols at the relative bargain rate of $16 million.

That’s assuming the club doesn’t subsidise his HGH at all.

You know. Allegedly.

They are again favored to win a division in which the Cubs are scuffling and the Reds, Brewers and Astros would need everything to fall in place to contend.

This is almost the exact same Cubs team that won like a thousand games in 2008, Steve. Not exactly "scuffling." And the Astros need things to fall into place, yeah — specifically, they need grand pianos or maybe safes to fall onto everybody else in the division. Then they could contend.

And Pirates? Steve says "fuck you." Nothing personal, you understand.

McGwire helps Julio Lugo rediscover that pull power he displayed in Tampa Bay once upon a time and it’ll have been a banner offseason.

Tarzan helps Steve edit column and it’ll have been a great column! Tarzan Steve friends.

February 9th, 2010 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

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