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Thursday, January 10, 2013


"Former" prospect suspended, "former" being the operative word.

"... is not in any way indicative of my character..."

Hmmm, fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice.....

Interestingly, and someone with more knowledge can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think if the Astros put Singleton on the 40-man roster, he would be subject to the major-league CBA, not the minor-league drug testing regime, and would not have to serve the suspension (and nor would he have been tested for marijuana, because MLB, probably rightly, doesn't care about weed).

Given that he's close to the majors, you wonder if that would be worth it.

Also, given that the Astros 40-man roster is completely devoid of any legitimate talent.

This explains why he ate 2 lbs. of chocolate chip cookies before every game.

awh: Singleton will rank higher than any Phillie prospect on most top 100's this year by at least 15-20 spots.

This should keep him out of the HOF.

We know about Singleton, Cosart and Santana, but haven't heard much about Zed. Except for that thing with Sarleena.

From previous....
On HoF starters:
The average HoF starter (minus Paige) has these career stats:
W:271 L:188 ERA:2.94 SO:2185 WIP:1.203

The low end looks like this:
W:210 L:158 ERA:3.64 SO:981 WIP:1.350
W:260 L:230 ERA:3.67 SO:1073 WIP:1.348
(those are two players who are in the HoF)

With this in mind..
Morris - almost, but no
Schilling - yes

Big deal, a kid smoked pot.

My nephew, allegedly not participating, was put on probation at his college for being in a group where pot was being smoked. I don't understand the draconian measures these days.

One thing I wish they would decriminalize at the federal level.

If a younger athlete is foolish enough to smoke pot/weed, that's their business.

I've never smoked the stuff and I'm a conservative on most things, but even I think the stuff should be de-criminalized.

I'm with you Edmundo. Trace it back to Nancy Reagan and take a look at our overflowing prison system. A joke and a mess.

I would bet the Astros care a lot more about the lack of judgment shown in getting caught than they do about the fact that the kid smokes pot.

Teams know that plenty of their players at the major-league level smoke pot, and don't seem to care very much.

If you get a DUI and put people's lives at risk, you don't get suspended, but if you smoke a joint, you do. Odd system.

Edmundo - Its money and big-time money where each inmate is big dollars for several groups. US has over 3% of its population currently either in prison, probation, or pending criminal trial.

No other country is close to the US in that regards and it is almost exclusively due to the War on Drug and federal sentencing laws in '86.

MG, yep. The ultimate Einsteinian insanity at work.

Marijuana? In this day and age?
Perhaps it will make him feel like a super player but it isn't going to make him more productive--maybe even less so.

Not to go all Spike Lee here but how is Singleton getting the book thrown at him and Lincecum didn't even miss a start I don't think.

The kid has alot of talent.. Hopefully he grows up a little bit so he can realize the opportunity he has.. Being good in the Astros system is a dream.. You don't have alot of talent to challenge you for a spot..

"My nephew, allegedly not participating, was put on probation at his college for being in a group where pot was being smoked."

That sentence alone tells me that Edmundo is either a criminal defense lawyer, or a criminal defense lawyer in training: the tactical use of "allegedly", the use of the passive voice with regard to the pot-smoking activities, and the insertion of the word "not" before "participating" (so as to carefully avoid admitting even the fact of the accusation). Excellent work.

By the way, I do agree with your overall point.

Hey jbird. Trace it back to Clinton, he built the jails and filled them with 3 and out drug users. Nancy was "just say no" (that didn't work either).

Quick note from last thread:

Frank Thomas was one of my favorite non-Phillies players. A true Hall of Famer. No doubt in my mind.

And he won't get in on the first ballot, which will be a shame.

Has anyone mentioned this yet? Salisbury reports Hamels had some off-season shoulder issues.

Mohairsam: I'm not the one who blamed Nancy, it was Michael Martinez.

Scotch: This was the 2nd time he tested positive.

Has Lincecum tested positive a 2nd time? Once? Just looks like a pothead?

Stupid. Why does anyone care if an adult smokes weed much less test for it and impair his livelihood over it?

I get the same question from guys in the building trades unions asking me 'why can't we get more guys on the rolls? we have lots of work." I always give the same answer - stop testing them for weed. Hell, you have half your guys are drunks and half of them are using coke because it leaves their system in 48 hours. But, the potheads are all working non-union. Meanwhile, when you get the full tox screen and physical for life insurance, weed is the one thing they don't test for. Couldn't sell much insurance if they did.

KAS: The Big Hurt was also my favorite non-Phillie. Every time I think about Frank Thomas going 7th in the 1989 draft after the Phillies took Jeff Jackson 4th, I get very angry. . . and then a little sad.

Lincecum got busted for possession during a traffic stop.

Even if pot was decriminalized, I'm pretty sure it would still be banned by MLB.

awh: ""Former" prospect suspended, "former" being the operative word."

No... "Phillies" is the operative word. Singleton was/is/will be a prospect, he's just no longer a Phillie.

Lincecum is covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That's the difference. Singleton would be if added to the 40 man roster.

jbird: His 1992 Topps baseball card remains one of my favorites.

To get back to the HOF voting for a minute, what I don't understand is the desire on the writers part to distance themselves from steroids by punishing *everybody*.

It would be one thing to not elect Clemens or Bonds. I disagree, but I get it. But Biggio? Schilling? Tim Raines? You would think the rejection of steroids would lead them to embrace other guys. But no--it's more like they just want to reject everyone.

I mean, Frank Thomas is a two-time MVP with no links to steroids and one of the best pure hitters of all-time, and I'll be shocked if he gets 50% next year.

It's like writers are just putting their hands over their ears and stomping their feet and saying "we don't wanna do it!!!" about HOF voting in general. After years of letting guys like Jim Rice in, they're suddenly tightening the standards a whole bunch on everyone because some players did steroids. It's just weird. I don't get it.

How ironic.. Singleton gets busted after being traded from a team with a coach named Dubee.

Sadly even if the Phils had drafted Thomas and he gave up they still wouldn't have contended in the 90s because the overall talent sucked on most of those teams.

Invested heavily in the '93 team only to have them break down/flame out and after that it was Schilling/Rolen and a bunch of mediocre/horrendous players.

mid-to-late 90s Phils weren't even that likeable either and is there was a poster child for that era it is Gregg Jefferies. One guy I thought who generally desired the booing/tough-time he got in Philly.

Not a fan-friendly guy and there were questions about how hard he trained to stay healthy & how willing he was to play through minor injuries.

Easy one of my top 10 most hated Phils' players ever although Eaton/Ashby are 1/2.

bap, good try but other than some goofy test in HS that said my interests were lawyering and math, I have no pretensions about lawyering. My "allegedly" codicil is about my doubts concerning my sister's wholehearted belief that her son wasn't participating. Discretion made me nod as though in agreement. Apparently he did not have active possession of weed when the group got busted.

To use some deduction skills I have learned here the last few days Singleton + Marijuana= He is taking PED's

Also the War on Drugs was started by Nixon, and the War on Marijuana was started by Harry Anslinger in the 1940's.

Couple dank nuggets from Matt Gelb's article:

- WBC rosters are announced next week. Aumont and Gillies expected to play for Canada, no other Phillies likely, as Panama did not qualify.

- Mike Adams gets $5M in 2013 and $7M in 2014. Option at $6M, vests with 65G in 2014, or $6.5M with 120G in both years with at least 60 in 2014. Vesting voids if ADams unable to pitch by Opening Day 2015 or ends 2014 on DL with pitching arm injury.

- Stutes seems to be progressing well. All players expected to be ready for ST on time.

"awh: Singleton will rank higher than any Phillie prospect on most top 100's this year by at least 15-20 spots."

jbird, and...?




awh: I read your post to say that Singleton was a "former" prospect as in not a prospect any longer. He's still a prospect, just not a Phillie.

Edmundo: Well, if you ever want to become a criminal defense lawyer, you've already got the writing part down pat.

I'm actually fairly incredulous that one could be busted for being part of a group where others were smoking pot. What was the police officer's theory? That he was aiding and abetting the smoking of marijuana?

Jack: I agree 100%. Since 2008, these marginal players have been elected:

Rich Gossage, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven. (Larkin, Alomar and Henderson were also elected, but rightfully so in my mind.)

So the standards are lowered in some ways but obviously deserving players who happened to play in a dirty era don't get support?

The Hall of Fame is shaming itself.

"- Mike Adams gets $5M in 2013 and $7M in 2014. Option at $6M, vests with 65G in 2014, or $6.5M with 120G in both years with at least 60 in 2014. Vesting voids if ADams unable to pitch by Opening Day 2015 or ends 2014 on DL with pitching arm injury."

Typical Amaro, caving on the third year.

Am I missing the boat on Biggio being a HOF? Is it just because he had 3,000 hits?

Not to continue the detour into politics / policy but, there was a bizarre story about vandalism of a former's grave a couple months back.

Anyway, I don't know much about Shaffer other than that, after he was out of office, Nixon made him the chairman of some National Committe on Marihuana, etc., and can be heard on the White House tapes telling Shaffer he'd better return a report backing the War on Drugs because, that was politically very popular. Shaffer didn't - he sent Nixon a report in 1972 recommending in chapter and verse that pot be de-criminalized. 40 years later and we're still wasting money and talent on prohibition.

I wonder if that was sarcasm from Iceman, but nonetheless...

The vesting option doesn't look like a bad deal for the Phillies at all. Adams has pitched at least 61 games in the past three years, and pitched well. He's just 33 (which isn't young, but isn't old). If he pitches well enough to vest the option, it will be a good 1-year deal at $6.5M.

"Big deal, a kid smoked pot.

My nephew, allegedly not participating, was put on probation at his college for being in a group where pot was being smoked. I don't understand the draconian measures these days."

Edmundo, I happen to agree with you. I was just making fun of Singleton's comments that it wasn't indicative of his "character". My point was that if you get caught once you can make that argument. If you're caught the second time it is indicative of your character. It's no different than getting caught cheating on a spouse the second time (and some people don't think that's wrong either).

Edmundo, I'll go a atep further in criticising the draconian measures today: There was a young man in our school district who was all set to graduate, exemplary grades, good kid, outside activities, etc. He got caught drinking alcohol the weekend before he was set to graduate - not in school, on the weekend, and nowhere near school property - and the school threatened to not let him graduate. IMHO that's total bullsh8t. What my kid does outside of school has nothing to do with the school and it's something the school ought not to stick their noses in either.

I could go on but I think you get it.

(P.S. It wasn't my kid but I know him.)

jbird, good catch. I should have written "former Phillies' prospect" which is what I meant. (i.e. It really doesn't affect the Phils.)

Pitchers sometimes use their shoulders to throw baseballs

Where's the news about Hamels' shoulder issues?

Good to see Stutes will be ready for the start of camp too. He's a guy that needs all of camp too.

Not that high on him but apparently since Amaro is done this offseason having another RHP reliever like Stutes helps the thin organizational depth this team has in the pen.

KAS, thanks for the heads up on the article about Hamels.

There was some good news in that article:

"Amaro continues to get reports on Halladay’s workouts in Clearwater. The righthander spent seven weeks on the DL with shoulder issues in 2012. He has made some mechanical adjustments to ease the burden on his shoulder.

“He’s doing real well,” Amaro said. Pitching coach Rich Dubee “saw him throw. He feels good. His mechanics look good. Everything is positive. He’s getting loose faster than in the past.”

Halladay will start throwing off a mound later this month and he, like Hamels, will be ready for Day 1 of spring training.

“We’ll know more when he’s on the mound and firing, but right now all indications are good,” Amaro said of Halladay.

Utley, whose sore knees prevented him from playing a game in the last two spring trainings, continues to take ground balls several times a week in California. Sheridan will evaluate his progress in person next week.

“Chase is strong and good,” Amaro said. “He should be 100 percent going into camp.”

Howard “has shown no deficiencies” in his Florida workouts, according to Amaro."

The headline on Salisbury's piece was quite alarming, but reading the story, I don't think people should start heading to the nearest bridge.

Iceman: From age 23-35, Biggio hit .292/.383/.437 while stealing almost 30 bases a year, scoring 100 runs, and playing gold glove defense at an up the middle position.

Basically, he did everything you could want from a baseball player except hit home runs (and he led the league in doubles a few times). He hit for average, got on base, ran the bases, played defense at an important position. His last couple seasons were bad, but it got him to 3000 hits. I would've considered him a Hall of Famer if he'd simply retired after 2005, his last above-average season, when he "only" had 2800 hits.

He's in the conversation for second-best modern 2B of all-time (behind Joe Morgan, of course).

** starts counting lifeboats **

Iceman - Yeah it sounds like a wait and see. Have to wait to see what Hamels actually does on the mound. If he isn't topping 90 and is reluctant to use his curveball at the start of camp, then it is time to get a bit concerned.

These reports before guys get to camp are almost meaningless unless they say a guy is restricted in his activity. Trainers/GMs always says a guy looks great, isn't having issues, etc.

Iceman, what's not to like about Biggio? Stellar peak, long career. Played tough positions (C, 2B, CF). Decent defensive 2B. Many time all-star. Although his player comps aren't that close (Yount at 836 is closest), 7 of the 10 are in the HOF, an 8th will be (Jeter) and 9th should be, IMO (Whittaker). Only Johnnie Damon isn't and he's HOVG or at least border-line HOVG.
Not a top tier HOFer but certainly belongs.

I noted this in the Salisbury article:

"Camp opens Feb. 12. Amaro said Jimmy Rollins is already hitting in Clearwater."

Since Jimmy is sometimes labeled lazy and unmotivated, I thought it of note that he is in Clearwater a month early. Maybe he's merely looking for an excuse to winter in Florida and only takes a few hacks a day. But still.

I'm not worried about Cole. Am still concerned about Doc, and will be until he's pitched in some games. I'm also underwhelmed by our OF, although I didn't have my sights on any of the FAs, either. I'm willing to see how this assortment of OFs plays out, and hope that Utley, Howard, Halladay and the BP will do well. I think that having our SPs strong and having a solid BP will go a lot further to helping the team than any one FA OF could have.

(I don't really believe that Jimmy is only looking for an excuse to winter in FL. I personally think he wants to win and is working towards that goal.)

Jack- well, my blink test (and I'm not saying it's objectively correct, just my personal standard) for a HOF- specifically a guy I barely saw play in his prime like Biggio- is to look over his career numbers and see if any specific seasons, or stretches of seasons, jump out to me as really, really special.

I definitely think the period you pointed out is quite impressive, and it's impressive he was so consistently very good over such a long amount of time. But I don't see any 'great' in his numbers, outside the 3,000 hits (which I don't think should be a free ticket).

I agree his position should be taken into account- plus, his career WAR is right where it needs to be- and if he got in eventually, I wouldn't have a problem with that. But his percentage for a first-year guy, based on what he did, seems pretty high to me.

Good catch/post GBrett.

GBrett, if Jimmy would only run out grounders.....

"Amaro said the issue was not serious enough that Hamels needed to be examined."

This is the guy who is as "scared as everyone else" about his corner outfield situation. But his new 144 million dollar pitcher has shoulder problems during the offseason and he's just going to wait and see what happens. No exam. How did that work with Utley last year?

This may be the single dumbest thing Amaro has ever said. Can we just fire him now? He's scared about his corner outfield situation. And he's not concerned enough about Hamels to have the doc look at him. Am I missing something or is this guy acting like a Nats fan?

Biggio is one of the best 2B's of all time. The Biggio debate is why a lot of 2nd basemen don't get into the Hall and a guy like Lou Whitaker fell off the ballot after a year. It's not the defensive position shortstop is, but it's not where the sluggers play either. 3b is also criminally underrepresented in the HOF.

MG speaking of RH RP, mlbtr has a post up about the guys still available:

Interesting points:

•Jon Rauch - Only the Brewers have been linked to Rauch this winter.

•Brandon Lyon - There’s been no reported interest in the Meister Sports Management client.

•Francisco Rodriguez - There’s been no reported interest in the free agent reliever this offseason.

OK, lack of interest in KO'Rod I understand, buy Rauch ans Lyon? They both had decent years in 2012.

What gives? Are their salary demands too high?

Iceman: Biggio's 50 SB/50 2B season has only been done by Tris Speaker. I also thought that combination of power and speed made him stick out as more than just a 'very good' player. The versatility from C/CF/2B at the MLB level is another one that jumps out to me.

Gotta love those HBP too.

I have a WAR question, does a players WAR rating change based on the position he played? Is WAR rated differently for CF than for 2B?

Also does anyone think that because Biggio played 3 different positions in his career that it will hurt his chances because you can't just compare him to other peers at 1 position?

awh: Phils have to grab one of those relievers. I simply can't imagine them passing on some of those guys if the market truly is that low on them.

reverend: Position is an absolute factor in WAR, its one of the biggest components that it uses to separate itself from other stats. Biggio's offensive production at 2B make his WAR much better than if he were a 1B or corner OF, etc.

All right all right. I'm declaring BL Bankruptcy on Biggio.

From ages 27-32 he did this:

304/.399/.476/.875, 135 OPS+- 115 Runs/Yr, 35 SB/Yr at a 79.4 success rate, 38 doubles/Yr, ~18 HR/Yr, less than 90 Ks a year

That's pretty great, and not just for a 2B. Given what he did the rest of his career, that's a great enough stretch that he's a HOF.

Well, Lyon wasn't very good in the three years before last season. So that might explain it.

Biggio also was ridiculously durable during a 20 year career at a positions that require a lot of stress on your body. From age 23-41 he had less than 500 PA only once, and under 600 only 4 times (once being his last year). That counts for something.

In 1994, one of those 4 years, he only played in 114 games and still had 44 2B/39 SB. If he's not hurt that year, he probably would have had two 50/50 seasons.

I've come around on the Biggio thing.

It's a shame that aksmith has gone from a decent poster to an incoherent poster.

Smitty, methinks you're overreacting just a bit.

BTW, this qoute from RAJ also needs to be dissected:

"“And I’m eager to see our young guys get an opportunity to steal some jobs...."

Sound to me like Mr. Ruf is going to get a shot.

Iceman: I'm guessing it was the strike in 1994, not injury, that led to Biggio playing only 114 games.

Iceman: '94 was strike year.

From that article it also noted that Howard is having no restrictions in his workouts. That's a positive sign. Hopefully it continues for the next month and into ST.

Craig Biggio leads among all right-handed hitters in doubles all-time. Let that sink in.

He also fell just 9 HRs short of 300 which would have put him in the 300 HR-300 SB club (just 7 other players) and the 300 HR-300 SB-3000 hit club (just some guy named Willie Mays).

And how about this list: 3000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases, 250 HR

Just one guy... Craig Biggio.

Jack/lore: ah, yeah. Missed that connection. In my defense, I was 9 at the time.

It's pretty clear aksmith didn't read anything in the article besides the headline, searched for Amaro's quote, and immediately made an erroneous judgment.

A little afternoon drinking never hurt anyone.

"A little afternoon drinking never hurt anyone."

But an afternoon blunt can cost you 31% of your annual salary.

WP, ouch!

That's a shame he got stopped by the strike, because Biggio was on pace for 63 doubles and 56 steals. Just ridiculous.

I'm not saying it is a prerequisite for being a HOFer, but when Biggio came to the plate, I never got an overwhelming sense of dread.

Jbird: Jeff Jackson was an incredible athlete who looked better in a uniform than Frank Thomas ever did.

Ah... the sense of dread when someone comes to the plate. Always a great measure. Why many think Cabrera was an MVP and Trout wasn't.

Perhaps if more pitchers would have had a sense of dread, he wouldn't have been so wildly successful.

I think we should let the citizens of Cooperstown, NY vote for the Hall of Fame.

I can promise you they would've avoided a ballot where worthy players didn't get inducted.

KAS - Well I'm a fan, not a voter. I would get scared when Derrek Lee came to the plate against the Phils because he turned into Willie Mays every PA.

Amaro told Charlie to hold Hamels to 75 pitcher per start next season. So the shoulder is nothing to worry about.

To be honest, I'm still scared sh8tless with John Lannan, and he's even on our team now.

I'm anxiously awaiting his random pickoff attempts at 2B when there's no one on base, just to keep Utley on his toes.

"To be honest, I'm still scared sh8tless with John Lannan, and he's even on our team now."

By that measure, Lannan should be on his way to Cooperstown in 2025.

Redburb - My eyesight isn't quite what it was, but was I really incoherent?

Restated - Rube seems to be panicked by the wrong things. In fact, he should never be panicked. But he said he was "scared" by his corner outfielder situation. A situation entirely created by him. And certainly something to be concerned about, but not scared. Managing from fear is a bad place to be.

And I'm surprised that the same guy is not concerned enough to at least get Cole Hamels examined when he has shoulder soreness. Again, no reason to panic. But there are a lot of things that can happen between the in-season MRI and now. Isn't it at least worth checking with a doctor for your 144 million dollar pitcher?

Was that clearer?

"I'm not saying it is a prerequisite for being a HOFer, but when Biggio came to the plate, I never got an overwhelming sense of dread."

Maybe you should:

It said he was scared of a double platoon.

I fail to see your panic over this.
"The pitcher, according to Amaro, “had some soreness” and contacted [head athletic trainer] Scott Sheridan."

Should he have gotten scoped? Is that what you are saying? Maybe they did contact a doctor and they aren't disclosing it because it's insignificant if the shoulder feels good after some rest.

RedBurb: aksmith has been known to dabble in some Bill Fristing.

Wow very cool box score.

Abreu brings Phils within 1 with a 2run 8th inning HR. Clutch double by Howard (Burrell can't score from 1st).

Victorino singles off Chad Qualls to give the Phils a 6-5 lead.

Billy Wagner surrenders the gw HR to Biggio.

Brad Lidge slams the door in the Bot 9.

Smitty, I'll say it again:

You are overreacting.

See Redburb's post above.

lorecore: GREAT post. That game was the nail in the coffin for the Phillies. It didn't officially eliminate us, but it was a huge psychological blow. A win there and the Phillies are just a half game out of the wild card chase. Instead, Biggio goes yard and we're looking ahead to 2006.

Cyclic, I hated Billy Wagner for that game.

I still remember what Harry said when I watched it ahppen on TV:

"Are you kidding me?"

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