Friday, September 08, 2006

Around the League

There's not too much to say about the Yanks in the wake of an off-day. They're playing well, the Red Sox are not, and the division looks to be a lock at this point. So, let's take a look around the league.

Dmitri Young was released by the Tigers on Wednesday night. This would have been a controversial move if Dmitri was actually, you know, good. Paul Hagan of the Philadelphia Daily News disagrees:

Now, these are smart baseball guys who have won before. Still, you have to wonder. It's a curious move at best.

The Tigers' biggest problem is that they haven't been scoring enough runs. So instead of adding a hitter, they deleted one. Not just any hitter, either. Their designated hitter, a guy who hours earlier had started and batted third, the spot usually reserved for the most accomplished bat in the lineup.

First, the third spot is not reserved for the best bat in the lineup. But why look at his position, status, or spot in the order when you can call up some simple statistics: .250/.293/.405/.698. Those are not the numbers of a DH on any team not named the Royals. It's not a curious move at all; it's cutting bait on a player who wasn't at all working out. Also from Hagan:

Adding to the intrigue was the fact that both Dombrowski and Leyland insisted that the move was based strictly on Young's lack of performance.

This is coming from a Philly columnist. From Detroit News columnist Tom Gage (who is definitely closer to the situation than Hagan):

"To put it bluntly," said a source within the organization, "he was a growing cancer, someone who cared too much about himself, and not enough about the team.
"I thought this was going to happen. You could see it building. People will say all the right things, but the truth is he won't be missed by many of us."

A schmuck who can't hit? Yeah, that warrants a release any day.

Baltimore Sun columnist Rick Maese is a smart, smart, smart man:

You know the plan, right? It goes like this:

Peter Angelos sells the team.

Someone else buys it.

Wait-till-next-year doesn't mean a whole lot for the Orioles. (Don't we always know what next year brings? Fourth place in the American League East.)

With three weeks still remaining before the Orioles' ninth straight losing season is official, Angelos' time as a baseball owner has been a failure. He has become emblematic of the Orioles' bigger problem. There's a culture of losing that's so pervasive that it completely chokes any progress this franchise attempts to make.

As we say in the land of Deadspin, Stupid Angelos.

Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun gives me some ammo for my drubbing of J.P. Ricciardi:

The Blue Jays have drafted 248 players since June 2002.
We’re going to go with second baseman Aaron Hill, former No. 1 pick out of LSU in 2003, as the best homegrown prospect the organization has produced since then.

He then goes on to talk about newly recalled Adam Lind and Russ Adams as the next best homegrown players. Gee, I wonder if the Blue Jay's lack of talent evaluation could be part of the reason they're doing diddly squat in the AL East. Just a thought, you know, because Ricciardi's mentor, Billy Beane, could not have done what he did in Oakland without impeccable scouting and statistical interpretation.

Finally, Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle talks about the Astros failures this year and compares them to the relative success of the Florida Marlins. It seems he wants to blame GM Tim Purpura for the mess, but realizes that he's constrained by owner Drayton McClane and Jeff Bagwell's contract.