Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Timmy's Back!

I have no problem with the Giants signing Tim Lincecum for two years and $35M. "It's an overpay" is the meme o' the day, and there's no doubt the contract comes with a risk. The man they call The Freak has generated negative WAR in the last two seasons, according to Baseball-Reference, and only 2.5 WAR if you go by FanGraphs. But the Giants are going with the "he sucked a lot less last year than the year before" logic here, and I'm OK with it. Timmy is a unique case. This is a guy who turned down a 5-year, $100M deal because he didn't want to make any long-term commitments! I liked what I saw last season, and I do believe that Lincecum is going to improve and continue to improve. He may never be the 7-WAR beast he was in those Cy Young seasons, but I think he will be at least a 3-WAR pitcher in each of the next two years. And what if he does rediscover the magic and rack up 5 or 6 WAR? He'd be a bargain then, wouldn't he? Timmy, like I said, is a special case. He's an unusual athlete and I think the Giants value Tim for being Tim and aren't falling into the trap of trying to replace him with some imaginary pitcher that doesn't exist. Take a look at the rest of the free agent list and tell me if you'd prefer Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, or Ubaldo Jimenez instead. Obviously a guy like Hiroki Kuroda would be highly prized, but he's 39 years old. (I think the Giants should take a chance on Josh Johnson.)

Welcome back, Tim!


p.s. What's a win cost these days? I'll bet it's creeping up toward $7M. Salaries are going up--guys cost more than they did and we are lucky the Giants have the resources to compete. I'll say it again: welcome back, Tim.

p.p.s. I'm looking forward to enjoying the World Series but if I have to hear again about "The Cardinal Way" and all that crap I'll turn the shit off. They've done a great job drafting talent, no argument there, but there is no "right way" to play the game, so please, no more. There are lots of ways to win, fer chrissakes. I think Boston has the edge, mostly because it is an AL year for home field. Otherwise, it's a tossup. I don't really care about the outcome, but my mom is from Boston and is a Sox fan from way back, so I'll probably lean that way. She's the one who taught me to love the game.

Glad to Say ... You Were Wrong, Jon!!!!!

Tim is back for 2 years - a good move, I say!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dodgers Lose, Moral Center of Universe Holds

The Cardinals will be in the World Series against either the Detroit Tigers or the Boston Red Sox.  The Cards have played the Tigs 3 times before, winning 2.  In 1934, Paul and Dizzy Dean of "the Gashouse Gang" won two games each defeating the Tigers 4 games to 3.  In 1968, the Tigers beat the Cardinals, 4 games to 3.  The Cardinals were the defending World Series champs, and 1967 MVP Bob Gibson started game 1.  I remember this game, because I was listening to a transistor radio in junior high as Gibby threw a complete game shutout, striking out 17, a World Series record that still stands.  In game 4, Bob Gibson threw another complete game, winning 10-1.  Then, to top that off, he pitched another complete game in game 7, overshadowed by Mickey Lolich's 3rd complete game for a 4-1 Tigers victory to take the series.  Two opposing pitchers throwing 3 complete games each!  Mickey Lolich started games 2, 5 and 7, won by the Tigers by scores of 8-1, 10-1 and 4-1 respectively.  1968 was also the year that Denny McLain of the Tigers won 31 games, only to lose to Bob Gibson in games 1 and 4.

In 2006, the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in World Series victories over the Tigers.  The Cardinals won in 5 games, with Adam Wainwright won 1 and saved 1 and Justin Verlander lost 2.

St. Louis has also faced Boston 3 times in the World Series, winning 2.  None of those match-ups were the St. Louis Browns against the Boston Braves.  In 1946, the Cardinals beat the Sox 4 games to 3, led by Harry "the Hat" Walker and Enos Slaughter.  In 1967, the Cardinals beat the Red Sox in 7 games.  Guess who pitched 3 complete games for the Cards?  Bob Gibson again threw in games 1, 4 and 7 and allowed a total of 3 runs.  Finally, though, the Red Sox won against St. Louis in their 2004 sweep of the Cardinals, effectively ending the "curse of the Bambino." 

Good thing, I was afraid I was not going to be able to stomach watching at all.