Cleaning up the Desktop
A rundown of some of the recent goings-on in baseball as soon as they calculate my VoRP.
Itâ€™s been over a month since I last filed a piece for Seamheads.Â To answer the question on the minds of all my loyal fansâ€”yes, the three of youâ€”I havenâ€™t posted on Seamheads.com, because I have been serving a self-imposed suspension.
The last time my words and ruminations appeared in this forum, I cheered the toughness and grit of my beloved Yankees.Â New York had just climbed back from a four-run deficit to steal Game One of the ALCS from the Texas Rangers.Â Running on pure emotion, I gushed about my Bronx Bombers.
A week later, the Rangers had decisively and unceremoniously dispatched of my Yankees.Â In a matter of days, New York had rolled over for Texas quicker than Big Pussy did on Tony Soprano.
In the end, I just couldnâ€™t shake the feeling that I had jinxed the Yanks.Â Only the supernatural could possibly explain how the Giants, whom the Yankees had outscored 859-697 in the regular season, tallied 29 runs in five games against a pitching staff that had held the mighty Bronx Bombers to but 18 over six games.
Forget the fact that the Yankees only had two viable starters and fielded a number of players who regularly receive mailings from the AARP.Â It was my fault.Â I jinxed them.
I have deeply disappointed my family, my friends, as well as Mike Lynch and the Seamheads organization.Â I can only hope that together we can move forward and put this incident behind us.Â I will not take any questions at this time, but I hear Jim Gray wants to do a closed press conference.
(Thatâ€™s what I was supposed to say, right Mike?)
Anyway, hereâ€™s a brief rundown of the stories that crossed my desk during my absence.
From the â€œCan we please not do that againâ€ Department
Cablevision blacked out Fox for the majority of the World Series.
For a variety of economic reasons that all boil down to greed and excess, neither Cablevision nor NewsCorpâ€”the corporate body of Fox 5â€”could agree to the terms of a new contract.Â As a result, instead of offering viable alternatives to people who already spend exorbitant amounts to access basic cable packages, News Corp pulled its programming.Â In order to watch any of the games, I had to streamâ€”in a totally legal wayâ€”the feeds from the local broadcasts in San Francisco.
For more than two weeks, people in the New York area were without Fox broadcasts.Â That means one of the biggest markets in America did not have access to Major League Baseballâ€™s championship.Â Is anybody shocked that the ratings for this yearâ€™s World Series were the worst ever?
All I know is that David Stern would not have allowed this to happen during the NBA Finals.Â Corpses may have wound up in freezers and garbage trucks a la Goodfellas and incriminating photos may have come to light, but I guarantee the entirety of the NBA Finals would have been on TV.
From the â€œNo, really?Â You think?â€ Department
Roy Halladay is the NL Cy Young award-winner.
Doc led the National League in wins (21), innings pitched (250.2), and complete games (9).Â He ranked second in strikeouts (219) and WHIP (1.04), and ended up third in ERA (2.44).Â By the way, he also became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the postseason in 54 years.Â The only question this easy to answer would be will Lindsay Lohan return to rehab?
From the â€œThe times they are a-changingâ€ Department
Felix Hernandez voted the AL Cy Young award-winner
Hernandez now has the dubious title of Cy Young winner with the least amount of wins. Â Ever.Â He led the AL in innings pitched (249.2) and ERA (2.27), finished second in strikeouts (232) and WHIP (1.06), and lost, or received a no decision in, an absurd number of games in which he allowed one run or less (7).Â That being said, he won 13 measly games and did not pitch in a high-pressure situation all year.
The fact that Hernandez won this award over David Price (19-6, 2.72) and CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18) is a clear victory for SABR-metricians everywhere.Â Think Revenge of the Nerds without the nudity or humor.
Call me old fashioned, but I believe that a pitcherâ€™s job is to put his team in the best position possible to win the game.Â During my playing days, if I left a game early and then watched from the dugout as the lead dissipated, I always felt responsible.Â In baseball, thereâ€™s a dying art of pitching to the scoreboard and essentially drafting on a teamâ€™s lead.
Andy Pettitte excels at this art. Â So did Pedro Martinez towards the end of his career.Â They may not have always blown the ball by their opponents, but they always made the three or four pitches that had to be made.
Sabathia and Price both proved their mettle in this regard throughout the season.Â When it comes to this question, we have no idea whether Hernandez is in fact a king or a joker.
From the â€œHelp me help youâ€ Department
Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have not yet agreed on his new contract
The Yankees already feel they are overshooting Jeterâ€™s market value with their offer of $21 million a year for three years.Â Jeter wants a guarantee that he can play for another four, five, or six years.Â Neither side looks willing to budge just yet.
However, what makes these contract negotiations such high drama is the symbiotic relationship between the 36-year-old shortstop and the only team heâ€™s ever played for.Â Just like Nucky and Jimmy in Boardwalk Empire, the two need each other.Â As a Yankee fan who grew up in the midst of the Jeter-Yankee dynasty, I just donâ€™t see, from a public relations standpoint, how Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners could let Jeter walk.Â More than Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, or Paul Oâ€™Neill, Jeterâ€™s been the face of the team for more than a decade.Â I shudder at the thought of him compiling hits in obscurity down in Tampa or in the royal blue of Kansas City.
At the same time, whoâ€™s going to pay that much for an aging shortstop with diminishing defensive range and a .270 batting average?
Furthermore, without the backdrop of the Empire State Building and the pinstripes on his back, would Derek Jeter really be DEREK JETER? Sure, if he toiled away in Milwaukee or Anaheim, the Gatorade and Nike endorsements would still be there.Â But, what about the Gillette ads with Roger Federer and Tiger Woods?Â The billboards overlooking Times Square?Â The mash-up Ford commercials paring him and Tommy Gavin while Alicia Keyes sings in the background?
Anywhere else, Derek Jeter becomes an aging Hall-of-Famer in the twilight of his career who evokes nostalgic murmurs of remember when.Â In New York, he remains the icon who steals the spotlight of every old-timersâ€™ day for the next thirty years.
Ultimately, Jeterâ€™s on pace to reach 3,000 hits next season.Â Picture the celebration that will ensue in the Bronx when he does it in pinstripes.
Now imagine it anywhere else.
Where would you sign?