Links for 13 Feb 09

It occurs to me that I haven’t provided a book update in a while. We’re getting real close. I’m doing some last-minute rewrites on one of the chapters, and this weekend Mrs. Ducksnorts and I will edit the whole beast. Then I just need to create the subject index and finalize the cover, so if everything goes according to plan, it should be off to the printer within the next 7 to 10 days.

Oh yeah, I received the foreword on Wednesday. I’m not quite ready to reveal the juicy details, but I promise it will not disappoint. For the third straight year, my #1 choice agreed to contribute and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

  • Speaking of books, The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009 is now shipping. My copy arrived on Thursday, and it’s a fantastic read — even the parts I didn’t write. ;-) So, you know, buy the thing because it rocks.
  • beat writer Corey Brock has resumed blogging. Go say hey.
  • Paul DePodesta is asking for suggestions on how to improve his blog.
  • Baseball Prospectus has posted its projected standings. BPro has the Padres at 74 wins. THT has them at 73 and I have them at 75, so we all appear to be drinking the same really bad Kool-Aid.
  • USA Today reports that Bud Selig “is considering reinstating Hank Aaron as baseball’s home run king in the record book.” I’m all for rewriting history and pretending that stuff never happened. I hope he doesn’t stop there, though. If Selig wants to divorce MLB from the steroids era that he oversaw, he should go ahead and expunge his own name from the record book as well. For as embarrassing as it may be to have Barry Bonds break Hank Aaron’s record under your watch, it’s got to be even worse to realize that you’re the guy who made it all possible. So let’s make everyone feel better by no longer acknowledging Selig’s tenure as commissioner. There, wasn’t that easy?
  • The Seamheads Historical League is going strong. My Padres are 24-24, tied with the Natspos (speaking of things that Selig made disappear) for first place in the Expansion Two division. Our offense is terrific — we’re leading the league with a .367 OBP, .449 SLG, and 280 runs scored. Mind you, this is against teams with Bonds, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, etc. Gary Sheffield (.393/.423/.618), Gene Tenace (.255/.422/.497), Tony Fernandez (.328/.429/.467), and Ryan Klesko (.301/.399/.497) have been beasts, and the rest of the lineup isn’t too far behind. Pitching has been a different story, with everyone not named Bruce Hurst (7-1, 3.13 ERA), Rich Gossage (1-0, 2.32 ERA), or Craig Lefferts (0-0, 2.66 ERA) pretty much stinking up the joint. Jake Peavy is 3-5 with a 6.07 ERA, thanks for asking. I’m thinking it might be time to summon Andy Ashby (5-4, 2.60 ERA) or Clay Kirby (5-3, 2.95 ERA) from Portland.

That’s all for now. Happy Friday!

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10 Responses »

  1. Wiping off Bonds is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard…


    Saturday morning is the end of winter…Pitchers and Catchers report…Thank goodness. Life begins again…

  2. OK, Selig is horrible and a joke. BUT, to say “this was all his fault” is not fair. Remember, the MLBPA used drug testing as a negotiating chip. Still sickens me. Fighting things that would protect its members. Now, a good commissioner overcomes it and drives through something that is comprehensive and works. But, he had many, many co-contributors to the fiasco that is/was the “steroid era”.

    BP’s top 100:

    Pads coming in at:
    69: Latos
    84: Kulbacki
    100: Portillo

    Why, again, do we suck at drafting so, so much? Given the brains, the results from the farm continues to lag. I don’t get it.

  3. My whole thoughts on the steroids thing is to just accept it as a period in baseball’s history and leave it alone. It is what it is. It’s basically been proven that it wasn’t just the hitters doing it. All throughout history you can point out inconsistencies in the way the game was being played from era to era. I’m talking about guys throwing spit balls or taking greenies to guys like Babe Ruth not having to play against a lot of potentially better players because black guys were not allowed on the same field as the whites. In my opinion you can discredit nearly every record in the books if you look at it a certain way. Does anyone really think that the pitchers as a whole in the days of Hank Aaron and Willie Mays were as talented or as the guys in the league today? Does anyone think that the hitters Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson faced everyday were in the same class of athlete that the guys today are? I don’t. Players today are full time year round athletes. They train incessantly, they study video tape for hours on end and they have scouting departments and training staffs that work countless hours to make today’s players the best athletes in history. That’s not to take away the greatness of past players in their own eras, but the game has undergone huge changes throughout the years and my point is to say that every era has inconsistencies and that should be understood and accepted as what it is just like the steroids guys. I think that holds true for other sports as well.

    I’m so sick of hearing about this whole thing. Just leave it alone and move on. Continue to test the players as much as you can but what’s done is done and it doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident so let the records stand and leave it up to each individual person to decide who the best players in history are because nobody is ever going to agree.

    The real bottom line here in my opinion is that baseball let this happen in a time where they really needed it and to now come down on these guys seems so false to me.

  4. well, Bud Selig as the Baseball Commish is the dumbest thing ever.

  5. Awesome news, Geoff! Congrats on getting another year of The DS Annual ready for press. With all you do (job, family, blog, numerous other writing projects, occasionally recreating [I hope]) it is a truly significant achievement! Keep up the good work.

  6. #2@jay: Not sure why you put quotes around “this was all his fault” as this is not a direct quote, rather the point is more like what Kevin said the other day about Moores being in charge of the Padres and deserving credit for the successes and blame for the failures. Selig is not entirely at fault, nonetheless he is the Commissioner and is the guy with “The Buck Stops Here” on his desk. He is ultimately responsible for the successes and the failures, at least on the ownership side, and while MLBPA certainly shares in the blame, it’s not as if Selig didn’t turn a blind eye to what was happening (as did we all, fans, writers and owners). So, no, it’s not all his fault, but for him to take such a sanctimonious position now is ridiculous.

  7. #2@jay: I agree that it would be wrong to lay blame for the entire steroids era on any one person… as Selig has considered doing to Bonds.

    #5@Pat: Thanks, Pat; much appreciated!

  8. The imp of the perverse in me is hoping for a foreword by Sandy A. (I have issues and I’m getting help.)

  9. #6@Pat: Well, what would you expect Selig to do? Take responsibility for any part of the steroids era? Geez . . .

    Selig’s entire tenure has been REactive, not PROactive, which is part of the problem. Instead of trying to nip things in the bud, he waits until things are ridiculously screwed up, and then he institutes something.

    All Star game ends in a tie?? come up with a crazy rule that the winner gets WS home field.

    85% of the players do steriods? Wait ’til the government calls you on the carpet to come up with a testing policy.

    Whatever, man. It is what it is. Not to say I don’t care, but I more enjoy the fact that these guys are squirming uncomfortably in front of the media and Congress more than anything else.

    I do know one thing, though:

    Tony the Gwynn — NOT on steroids

    So I hang my hat on that all the time.