Thursday, January 05, 2006

Baseball Post: Circle Me Bert! ...and other offseason observations

3,701 career strikeouts. That's 5th all-time and that's Bert Blyleven's total for 22-seasons. It was 3rd all-time when he retired in 1993. Why isn't this guy in the Hall of Fame yet? There's more here on why he should be inducted. I'm inclined to agree.
I'm all for parity in the MLB as having 30 reasonably competitive teams is more interesting than having the Yankees make the playoffs like clockwork. However, there's an unintended consequence of the "luxury tax" that allows ownership to gut teams like the Florida Marlins. After their recent fire sale that sent some outstanding talent to other teams these guys have a projected starting lineup that should disqualify them from receiving compensation from teams like the Red Sox and Yankees. They have Pokey Reese slated to start at second base. He's an excellent defensive short stop and that's just about the full extent of his selling point. With Miguel Olivo working behind the plate they essentially have at least two offensive blanks in the lineup. Three rookies in the outfield? Another in the starting rotation? And then two more at the corners? The fan base in South Florida should be insulted. At this rate they should have Dontrelle Willis batting clean-up every fifth game.

Dontrelle Willis is a lot of fun to watch and it looks like he'll be the only thing going for this team. And even then he'll have to supply his own run support just to get the wins. The Marlins had this 2nd-in-the-Cy-Young-votes pitcher (he should have won it) for a bargain price last season and they reward him by surrounding him with inexperienced, cheap players? Look for Dontrelle to change uniforms soon as the Marlins to be dead last in the NL East with at least 90 losses. This wasn't such a bad team last year and there should be a penalty for such gross mismanagement.
The most interesting rumor I've heard has Jeff Weaver joining the Angels starting rotation. I watched his shutout complete game performance against the Rockies this past September. I don't know what kind of zombies are running the Dodgers to let this guy go but I'd love to see him pitch against American League hitters (again) and he seems like he'd be a great fit in the Angels' rotation.

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