Friday, November 12, 2004

Please, Folks, Stop It. Stop It Now. 

Enough with the news. I need a break from baseball. No sooner than one de-Backman-le ends does another brouhaha begin.

Let's get one thing straight -- Randy did not say he wants a trade. What Alan Nero, one of his agents, said to the Sporting News is as follows:

"Randy has very, very strong feelings about his community and home. In his heart, he'll always be a Diamondback. But I would think at this stage of his career his goals would supersede that. He wants to achieve milestones that very few pitchers in the history of the game have had a chance of achieving. I don't think he fits into a rebuilding situation with any club. My feeling is that it would be best for everyone to focus on what is important to Randy. And what was important to Randy seven months ago hasn't changed."

Now, I realize that it's a fine distinction between Nero saying what Randy wants and Randy saying it himself, but it's a distinction nonetheless. Beyond that, here's what I read into Nero's remarks:

1) Randy wants to reach 300 wins and (probably) pass Roger Clemens on the all-time strikeout leaders list.
2) He doesn't want to play for the Diamondbacks if they're going to be rebuilding.

So… if the Diamondbacks sign Richie Sexson and some other free agents and offer Randy a two-year contract extension, I would think that might be a good deal for Randy. Besides, are you willing to tell me without a doubt that over the next three-year period that the Diamondbacks (with Johnson) are going to be demonstrably worse than the Angels, White Sox, or even the Yankees (unless they simply decide to spend $250 million per year instead of $190 million)?

Lost in the Randy rumors is the news (midway down) that Al Pedrique decided to leave the D-Backs for some vaguely-defined front office role with the Astros. Hmmmm….

Thursday, November 11, 2004

If At First You Don't Succeed... 

... Troy, Troy again.

The Arizona Republic reports this morning that Ken Kendrick said that Angels free agent third baseman Troy Glaus represents a "possible viable alternative" should first baseman Richie Sexson sign elsewhere.  I guess the logic here is, a) he'd be cheaper ($5 M/year, or at least less guaranteed cash than Sexson's asking for), and... well, there is no b).  They're basically hoping to get Richie Sexson production for less-than-Richie-Sexson prices.  The other implications of seeking out Glaus are the probable retention of Shea Hillenbrand at 1st and the moving of Chad Tracy to the outfield, presumably right field (which would likely mean bye-bye to Danny Bautista).  With the exception of letting Bautista go, I can't imagine this possibility is being greeted with "Huzzah!"s across D-Back fandom.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Future... 

… is for the young and old.

Starting with the old, at the bottom of this article on Sandy Johnson's departure for the Mets front office, the increasingly bleak possibility of signing Sexson, is buried this nugget:

"[Randy] Johnson has one year left on his contract, which will pay him $16 million, but the club eventually plans to discuss with Johnson the possibility of either signing him to a contract extension or gauge his interest in being traded."

Why do I highlight this? Well, for one, it lends credence to the possibility I mentioned last month -- that we should begin to ask whether Randy needs a contract extension. (I'm not ashamed to toot my very small horn.) Secondly, and more importantly, it makes the issue of trading Randy Johnson more complex. It's unclear whether Randy has said specifically, "I'm not retiring after 2005," but it does seem like Randy could be looking in any trade for the same type of deal Curt Schilling got -- a trade and contract extension. So rather than Randy being willing to accept a trade to pitch for 3-6 months with a team willing to essentially rent his services at half a million a start, he may be looking for additional security -- 1, 2, or even 3 more years. I can't imagine he'd be willing to take much less than the current $16 million he currently receives. The number of teams willing to take on that kind of very high risk/very high reward scenario is much more limited than, say, a team like San Francisco looking to make a final push in late July.

And for the young, MLB is looking to revamp the Arizona Fall League, including opening it up to free agents.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Scattered Notes 

Randy Johnson gets second in Cy Young voting to Roger Clemens, though it isn't very close. Frankly, the fact that he got 2nd place (and 8 first place votes) shows that there's hope left for the mainstream media. I'm not saying that he had to get first, but at least there was some recognition that Johnson did tremendous work on a poor team last year.

Bob Melvin may bring Mariners 1B Coach Mike Aldrete with him to the D-Backs. The world yawns.

Finally, I don't have the link, but former manager Bob Brenly was hired as the Cubs' TV color announcer. BB could be out of the managing business for some time now...

Monday, November 08, 2004

For Our Colleagues at 6-4-2 and Pearly Gates 

Angels to stay in Tempe.

For, like, 20 years. What intrigued me was the placement of the article. Front page of the Republic. Admittedly, it was a slow news day, what with the NASCAR race at PIR getting the primary placement, but still, if we needed any more reminders that the East Valley - West Valley rivalry shows no sign of slowing down, this was it.

So, the West Valley has the Cardinals (soon), Coyotes (if they ever resolve this thing), and 2 NASCAR races. The East Valley has the bulk of spring training, IKEA (Wednesday), and after a miserable football weekend last weekend, a really good football weekend this past weekend. We'll call it a draw for now.