Tag Archive | "Brian Mccann"

Mo’ money, mo’ problems, Mo’…lina?

Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals announced on Thursday that they’d reached an agreement to extend the two-time World Series Champion, three-time All Star, and winner of four consecutive (and counting) National League Gold Glove awards.  Oh, and it’s the second-richest contract for a catcher (Mauer, MIN) in baseball history.  Or any history for that matter, I suppose.  Molina will be the backstop for St. Louis from 2013-2017, and the deal includes a mutual option for 2018, when Molina will turn 36, which could make the deal worth $88MM in total guaranteed money over 6 years.

But, was it a good signing?

Like most signings, we may not know the answer to that until 2016 or 2017.  I can tell you this much, though: the list of people who like this deal include John Mozeliak & Bill DeWitt.  Obviously, Yadi Molina likes it, and I imagine Brian McCann and Buster Posey were wearing pretty big smiles when they heard the news too.  For what it’s worth, you can add me to the list–I like this deal, and I like it a lot.  (Side note: I’m betting the days of Lincecum, Cain & Posey playing together in San Fransisco are numbered.)

Photo Courtesy: Erika Lynn

$15MM is a lot of money for a catcher, there’s no denying it.  The difficult thing about quantifying that, as Mozeliak pointed out, is that this is not an offense-driven dollar figure.  For all the talk about intangibles, leadership, and clubhouse presence that a guy like Yadi brings to the team, there’s no column on his baseball-reference page for those type of things.  Sure, you can count his pickoffs, or compare his caught stealing rate to other catchers his age, but there are no metrics for the way catchers handle a pitching staff, or in Yadi’s case, handing down knowledge collected through Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan, Chris Carpenter and others to young pitchers like Shelby Miller, and Carlos Martinez.

It’s difficult to compare apples like Johnny Bench to Oranges like Yadi Molina.  But know this: His compensation was not based on his offensive production.  Though it was a factor, his defense was the primary driving force behind the numbers in this contract, and anyone who ignores, overlooks, or tries to downplay that is making a mistake.

When you ask yourself what the Cardinals’ realisitic, legitimate alternative options were, had they not locked Yadi up long-term, you don’t find much to feel good about.  You can talk about Tony Cruz & Bryan Anderson all you want, but they’re both a far cry from bringing what Molina can to the table.  It was imperative that the Cardinals spend money for a catcher, and in my opinion, far better to spend what they did and get what they got, than the alternatives the organization faced.  To put so much on the shoulders of younger guys in the organization, or pay McCann or Ianetta free agency money primarily for offensive-production, when that’s clearly not a deficiency on this team, would’ve been mistakes in my mind.

Not to mention, whose shirsey are you going sell if you lose Pujols AND Molina to free agency within a year of each other?  There’s a lot of revenue generated there, folks, don’t kid yourselves.

The organization has not stashed the supposed “truckloads of money that they were going to pay Pujols”.  Berkman, Beltran and Molina will attest to that.  What’s more, I believe the Cardinals have been smart with these deals, and not gone long-term with guys that they shouldn’t have.  Remember, Beltran (and his new agent, Dan Lozano) originally sought a three-year deal.  Consider that now it’s only Holliday & Molina that are signed through 2017, and that Garcia just signed a deal last year.  Add to that the facts that Waino has two years to go, as does Carpenter, and that Lohse & Westbrook’s salary is coming off the books this year, and it puts the organization in pretty good shape, financially.  Also, they’re fresh off a World Series Championship, which is good for the bottom line to say the least, and that many of the other pieces to the puzzle are arbitration eligible, with a little ways to go before entering free agency, and the financial picture improves even further.

Jason Motte is scheduled to become a free agent in 2015, a year before Mitchell Boggs and David Freese, and those are the young guys who are closest to free agency.  Mo has said said, as recently as last season, that he’s not seen the farm system this healthy since he joined the organization…which was in 1995.  1995.  This Yadi deal is just one piece to a very good-looking puzzle for the long-term success of this Cardinals franchise, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

Posted in CardinalsComments (0)

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Names 2011 All-Stars

Outfielders Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers led their respective leagues in balloting for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game as conducted by members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and announced today.

Bautista, who has an American League-leading 1.133 OPS to go along with his 24 home runs, was named on 50 ballots, not including one ballot that placed him at third base. Bautista was joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees, who received 48 votes, and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, who tallied 23 votes.

There were few close races in the AL voting by the BBA. The tightest was at third base, where Yankee Alex Rodriguez outpolled Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers 30-16. All other races were decided by at least twenty votes save the nod for starting pitcher. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander won that 16-6 over Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels, but many bloggers did not designate a specific starter so fewer votes were cast in that category.

Other American League nods were to Tigers catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was selected at that position.

Over in the National League, Kemp’s stellar first half–he sits second in batting average, first in home runs, second in RBI and has 21 stolen bases to boot–earned him mention on 54 ballots. Accompanying him in the outfield was Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As in the junior circuit, the closest race in the NL was at the hot corner. Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco edged out Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres 21-14, with Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones receiving 10 votes.

The other races were not a contest, as Braves catcher Brian McCann, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks, and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes all won their slots by at least 25 votes.

Starting the contest for the NL was Roy Halladay, who easily outpolled his Philadelphia teammate Cole Hamels for the honor.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball. As a secondary goal, they vote on various awards throughout the year. In January, they recommended Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for the Baseball Hall of Fame and in March, they created a new award to honor the top internet writer and then named it after the first recipient, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski. You can find the BBA at their website or on Facebook. You can follow the Alliance at @baseballblogs on Twitter or via the hashtag #BBBA.

For reference, these are the ballots posted by members:
American League
22gigantes
500 Level Fan
85% Sports
90 Feet of Perfection
The Ball Caps Blog
Baseball Addict
Baseball Is My Boyfriend
Baseballism
The Bat Shatters
Blogging From The Bleachers
Blue Heaven
The Blue Jay Hunter
Boston Red Thoughts
Bronx Baseball Daily
Camden Crazies
Chicken Fried Baseball
Colorado Springs Fantasy Baseball Addict
Detroit Tigers Scorecard
Diamond Hoggers
Double G Sports
Dropped Strike Three
Dugger Sports
Dugout24
Fightin Phillies
The Flagrant Fan
The Full Count
Fungoes
Going Yard
I70 Baseball
John’s Big League Baseball Blog
Kings of Kauffman
Left Field
MLB Live Wire
Motor City Bengals
Nationals News Network
North Dakota Twins Fan
Off Base Percentage
Old English D
Old Time Family Baseball
The On Deck Circle
Orioles Hangout
Oysta Buns
Pitchers Hit Eighth
The Platoon Advantage
RetroSimba
Seed Spitters
Snow Woulda Had It
Splice Today
Tee Ball Baseball Blog
The Tribe Daily
Twins Trivia
What’s Brewin In Sports
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?
World Series 41, Rangers Fan 1
National League
22gigantes
500 Level Fan
85% Sports
90 Feet of Perfection
The Ball Caps Blog
Baseball Addict
Baseball Is My Boyfriend
Baseballism
The Bat Shatters
Blogging From The Bleachers
Blue Heaven
Boston Red Thoughts
Bronx Baseball Daily
C70 At The Bat
Camden Crazies
Chicken Fried Baseball
Colorado Springs Fantasy Baseball Addict
The Crazy Crabbers
Detroit Tigers Scorecard
Diamond Hoggers
Double G Sports
Dropped Strike Three
Dugger Sports
Dugout24
Feeling Dodger Blue
Fightin Phillies
The Flagrant Fan
The Full Count
Fungoes
Going Yard
I70 Baseball
John’s Big League Baseball Blog
Left Field
Marlin Maniac
Marlins Diehards
MLB Live Wire
Motor City Bengals
Nationals News Network
North Dakota Twins Fan
North Side Notch
Off Base Percentage
Old English D
Old Time Family Baseball
The On Deck Circle
Orioles Hangout
Oysta Buns
Pitchers Hit Eighth
The Platoon Advantage
RetroSimba
Seed Spitters
Snow Woulda Had It
Splice Today
Stan Musial’s Stance
Tee Ball Baseball Blog
The Tribe Daily
Twins Trivia
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog
What’s Brewin In Sports
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?
World Series 41, Rangers Fan 1

Our mailing address is:

Baseball Bloggers Alliance
1908 S. Tampa Ave
Russellville, Arkansas 72802
Copyright (C) 2011 Baseball Bloggers Alliance All rights reserved.

Posted in Cardinals, RoyalsComments (0)

Juan Encarnacion And Line Drives

Luis Salazar was struck in the head by a line drive Wednesday. It made me think of Juan Encarnacion.

The events are eerily similar, in addition to the Cardinals being involved in both. As you recall, Aaron Miles hit the foul ball that struck Encarnacion. Kyle Lohse was pitching when Braves catcher Brian McCann lined the ball into the Atlanta dugout. Both events happened near the first base dugout. Both men were standing within 50 feet of the batters box, Encarnacion in the on-deck circle and Salazar, well, in the dugout proper. Both took the ball off the face, around the eye.

Salazar’s injuries are not life threatening, thankfully. He was knocked out by the force of the blow and fell hard on the concrete floor of the dugout, further injuring his head. He regained consciousness late Wednesday and, while suffering from a pretty serious concussion, does not seem to have any brain damage from the event. He was also lucky from the perspective that the ball hit him closer to his nose, as opposed to flush on the eye.

Juan Encarnacion was not so lucky. Miles’ liner found his left eye, crushed the eye socket and caused severe trauma to the optic nerve. The injury ended his baseball career. It was initially reported he had been blinded in that eye, but to my knowledge those reports have not been substantiated. Encarnacion retired to his native Dominican Republic.

I-70 did a ‘Where are they now’ series last week, and in that spirit I looked on the internet for Juan Encarnacion news. According to his Wikipedia page he has become active in Dominican national politics. Other than that, the internet is quiet on his comings and goings since that awful day in 2008.

After Mike Coolbaugh was hit by a line drive while coaching first base, and subsequently died from a brain aneurysm, baseball mandated that base coaches wear batting helmets while on the field. Juan Encarnacion’s and Luis Salazar’s injuries would not have been prevented by the wearing of a helmet, although in Salazar’s case a helmet would have helped lessen the trauma he suffered by falling. It is difficult to say what the right answer is to prevent these kinds of injuries. So what should Major League Baseball do, if anything?

MLB could ban players from exposing themselves at the top rail of the dugout, requiring them to sit on the bench. The additional 6-10 feet of distance between the hitter and the player sitting on the bench does not provide enough added time to get out of the way. MLB should seriously consider encasing the entire dugout in netting so any ball hit in there is deflected, and install some sort of access door at the far end of the dugout for players entering and leaving the field. Given their reluctance to extend the net behind home plate further up the baselines (like over the dugout, for instance) to protect the paying customer I doubt that’s going to happen either.

For years, players have creeped closer and closer to the plate while on-deck in order to get a better sense of what the pitcher is throwing and adjust their timing. Enforcing the ‘stay in the on-deck circle’ rule would help, but much like the ‘off the top step’ rule in the preceeding paragraph would not add sufficient time for a player to react if a line drive was hit right at him. Besides, Encarnacion was in the on-deck circle when he was hit. Juan Encarnacion is the only player I’ve ever heard of or seen hit by a batted ball while standing in the on-deck circle, so baseball has apparently decided it was a one-time random event and moved on. The only real way to protect the on-deck hitter is to get rid of the on-deck circle entirely. I am not advocating for that with this post, but is there really any utility to having the next hitter stand out there waiting while an at-bat is in progress? He’d get a better look at the pitcher from watching the TV feed in the dugout.

Like the paying customers, baseball players and coaches stand on the field at their own risk. Injuries like those Luis Salazar and Juan Encarnacion suffered are rare, but devastating. We hope for a speedy recovery for the Atlanta Brave coach and minor league manager.

Posted in CardinalsComments (1)


Buy OOTP Baseball 14 PC & Mac