Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Morning Hot Links

*The Rookie of the Year Award is announced today. Let's take a look at the finalists:

Tampa's Brandon Lowe (pronounced LAO):
Lowe played in 82 games (327 PAs) in 2019 thanks largely to a second-half injury. He hit .270/.336/.514 playing primarily 2B, but also mixing in 1B, LF, RF. 36 of his 80 hits (17HR) were for extra-bases. He posted 2.6 fWAR, 2.9 bWAR.

Baltimore's John Means:
Baltimore lefty John Means appeared in 31 games (27 starts) for the Fightin Eliases & Sigs. In 155IP he allowed 138H/62ER with 121K:38BB for a 3.60 ERA / 1.14 WHIP. And this is for BALTIMORE. The Orioles were 12-15 in his starts (.444 win%) on a team that won 54 of 162 games (.333 win%). He was worth 3.0 fWAR, 4.5 bWAR.

Houston's Yordan Alvarez:
Our Dude Yordan appeared in 87 games (369 PAs) for the Silver Medalist Astros. He hit .313/.412/.655. 53 of his 98 hits (27HR) were for extra-bases. He was worth 3.8fWAR, 3.7 bWAR,  Yordan should win. Easily.

MLB.com has the case for every Rookie of the Year nominee:
Perhaps the only question when it comes to Alvarez and the Rookie of the Year Award is whether it will be unanimous.

*The GM Meetings - different from the Winter Meetings - begin this week in Arizona.

*NY Post's Ken Davidoff, on the Yankees needing another Cashman November Surprise:
Another similar transaction would help the Yankees close the gap with the Astros. Even better, though, would be a savvy November trade, followed by a large December/January expenditure on a free-agent arm.

*Bench Coach Joe Espada is reportedly the front-runner for the Giants' managerial job.

*SI: Any team that's actively trying to win games deserves to be celebrated.

*Get ready for a labor stoppage.

*When I was younger and cared about hockey, I liked Don Cherry. Now he can piss off into a long-overdue forced retirement.

*How Mark Zuckerberg became the most reviled man in tech.

*This time last year I wrote about Henry Gunther - the last American to die in World War 1.

*A Musical Selection:


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

On April 27 Josh Reddick was hitting .354/.407/.506. Over the next 119 games he hit .261/.302/.391, and that included two 5-hit games in September.

*If you want to know how Hot the Stove was yesterday, the biggest news of the day was the Braves signing Darren O'Day to a $2.25m deal with a $3.5m option for 2021. Darren O'Day threw 5.1IP in 2019.

*Check out McTaggart's Inbox, in which he drops a really odd note that the Gerrit Cole Sweepstakes could last through the summer, discusses the rotation, Reddick vs Tucker, and Jake Marisnick.

*FanGraphs agrees with pretty much everyone else that Gerrit Cole is a perfect fit for the Angels.

*Click this link to see Jose Altuve surprise a young fan who suffered burns after a gas explosion.

*Click this one to see how important Will Harris is to a Houston family.

*Don't miss Jake Kaplan's offseason primer on what to expect regarding free agents, arbitration guys, Rule 5 possibilities, etc.

*This is what the Astros have come to right now: getting pot shots lobbed at them by a newspaper from a city up 45 wondering when Nolan is coming back to the Rangers. Every column, article, snide tweet asking why anyone would believe the Astros' front office in light of how they handled the Taubman Incident is absolutely deserved. Can't wait to go through an offseason full of this.

*Right now the purpose of the Hot Links is to share interesting things I read, and songs I like.

*"Somebody died, there was a need, and I was in a position to help." How Jack Z went from Seattle GM to PNC Park's official scorer.

*San Francisco Chronicle: The Fisherman's Secret. Yes, it'll take you about an hour to read this. Yes, it's worth it.

*GQ: Is your employer stealing from you?

*Consequence of Sound: A new Robert Johnson biopic?

*A Musical Selection:


Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Morning Hot Links

I don't want to do this at the moment but here we are.

*The Astros won some Silver Slugger awards: Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Zack Greinke. Good for them. Leonard Fournette stumped for Bregs.

*Gianni from The Block thinks the Yankees should sign both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

*Southern California guy CC Sabathia has talked to Southern California guy Gerrit Cole about what it's like to play for the Yankees. Do the Astros eliminate the Yankees from the postseason in odd years only? I'm just curious.

*Anthony Castrovince's Bold Prediction is that Gerrit Cole signs with the White Sox.

*SI ranks the probable landing spots for Gerrit Cole, and Houston isn't in the Top 3.

*Forrest Whitley is MLB Pipeline's bet for the Astros' 2020 Rookie of the Year.

*Travis d'Arnaud, anybody?

*So, Reid Ryan will remain with the organization but not as Team President of Business Whatevers. Jim Crane's son, Jared (there's always a Jared) will...do something along those lines.

Jim Crane:
We felt at this time it was time for [Jared] to step in. I'm past retirement age, and he needs to learn the business if the family is going to retain the team...I'm not a spring chicken. I've been working hard for a long time, and in all of my stuff I'm building a succession plan. Baseball requires a plan in peace for each team, so we're doing that and planning for the family. It has nothing to do with Reid.

Reid Ryan:
Jim Crane has been a great owner for the city of Houston, and I thank him for the opportunity to lead the Houston Astros organization. Thank you to the many employees, fans, and partners that have supported this team during my tenure as president. Baseball is about bringing joy to people's lives and I take pride in knowing that we have made so many memories for our fans. While my role has changed, I will remain with the Astros and look forward to another great season in 2020.

Nolan Ryan, who had spent the last six seasons as an "executive advisor, told Fox 26 he will no longer serve in that role."

I know that, in the light of the recent guano-show that has become the Astros' front office, it's easy to blame the Cornell Douche. Crane said it had nothing to do with the Taubman Incident (now a major motion picture). Take that for what you will. But I don't think that changing Team Presidents happens in a matter of weeks. This had been in the works for a while, and Jim Crane sees the Astros as the family business, so of course his son is going to take over so that Crane can enjoy...golf, I think, maybe his wife, who's to say. Maybe that includes war profiteering but who am I to comment on such things? Honestly, I don't know what the reasoning is and anyone who says they do at this very moment is not telling the truth.

Jerome Solomon: Reid Ryan was good for the Astros.

Related! (Maybe,): Astros Farm Director Pete Putila is up for San Francisco's GM spot. Joe Espada could be his manager, says Mike Feinsand. MLB.com's Sarah Langs says Espada is the favorite to be the Giants' new manager.

*The Hardball Times: Juiced Balls don't explain 2019's home run explosion.

*A college athlete credibly accused of sexual assault was picked to coach the women's tennis team.

*Ay yo Nike f'd up.

*Texas Observer: When a rural hospital dies, the community around it starts to follow suit.

*A Musical Selection:


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the beginning of this blog. Thank you for reading. Now this is a compulsion and you're all to blame.

*Watch this video of the 2019 Astros' best moments. I'm going to link to it here, but I won't watch it until it's like 29 degrees with a 30mph north wind and sleeting. I'm not ready to watch baseball again just yet. I've watched maybe six minutes of television since last Wednesday night. This morning my wife came in to the living room (I wake up way earlier than her) and I was just sitting on the couch in the dark drinking a cup of coffee and she was all, "Are you okay?" And after about 20 seconds of silence I just responded, "I'll never understand how we lost this World Series." I'm not in a place to watch highlights right now. January? Maybe. Post-Baseball Seasonal Depression (PBSD) is real.

*Game 4 Hero Jose Urquidy was welcomed by Mexico's president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

*Hey this is a fun award: The Astros won the Wilson Defensive Team of the Year. This is better than Game 7, I guess.

But no. Whichever Astro wins an award in the next week or so deserves it. Their individual efforts added up to an amazing yet unfulfilled season, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be recognized for their outstanding effort. It's not a mistake that the Astros were heavy favorites in the World Series - they just didn't get it done. Their work over 162 games should not be minimized.

FanGraphs: Will Harris played well, didn't get rewarded. If you don't read this, just know that Howie Kendrick performed a literal miracle in the 7th Inning of Game 7.

*LMJ is back.

*SI's Matt Martell names one free agent every MLB team should sign. For Houston: Unsurprisingly it's Gerrit Cole. If not, it's Zack Wheeler.

*I'm sure there's nothing to read into here but not only did Oz Ocampo bounce for "different opportunities," but so did Manager of International Scouting Eve Rosenbaum.

*The Barves are going to go hard after Madison Bumgarner....right after Atlanta GM Alex Anthopoulos pisses off the MLBPA.

*The Athletic's Peter Gammons makes a compelling case for Dwight Evans in the Hall of Fame.

*Two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for Saudi Arabia.

*Reveal: Who owns Silicon Valley?

*Politico: The massacre that spawned the Alt-Right.

*A Musical Selection: