Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Men Among Boys


I like the National League, I really do. Sure, watching pitchers hit is good for a laugh but I bear no ill will towards the Senior Circuit. The Giants are, by and large, deserving winners of the 2010 World Series Crown. At least I thought.

Blinded by the overt sexiness of the team and the cool NorCal locale, I blinded myself to the insanity (or is it inanity) of the National League West. Over a few days this offseason, teams in the National League West bolstered their playoff chances by signing Juan Uribe and Miguel Tejada. Uribe signed to a multi-year deal, if you can believe it.

Adding these players to your roster isn't evil, so to speak. But signing these creaky old out-machines to play shortstop every day is just about the craziest thing I've ever heard.

Both the Giants and Dodgers have playoff aspirations in 2011. To think they can field these two players at this crucial position makes me more than a little sick. Imagine! Imagine being able to think "I bet Juan Uribe is a good bet at short for next year at least, we can move him around the diamond at $7 mil a year beyond that. I guess." and not have it mean the death of your playoff chances.

Uribe and Tejada are formerly good players — even great, in Miggy's case — but expecting them to hold down such a key role during a push to the playoffs? No shot.

The Jays signed Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop at this time last year. Gonzalez is both younger and frankly better than Uribe and Tejada at this stage of their respective careers. The Gonzalez signing certainly wasn't made with a pennant in mind. That's the biggest difference - the Jays looked to a one year stopgap and potential flip piece. The Giants and Dodgers will likely hit these guys in the middle of the order1.

Please don't take this ill-advised screed as support of expanded playoffs. It isn't. It is just my quarterly frustration with the Jays lot in life. A lot, if seismic shifts in the power structure of the ownership group are to be believed, that doesn't stand to improve greatly in the immediate future.

1 - There is no basis of fact in that statement. It is for entertainment purposes only. They probably won't hit in the middle of the order. Probably.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roadside Pictures

6 comments:

  1. Outside of a few exceptions like the Phillies, it baffles me every time I look at an NL line-up. It's not just the pitchers hitting, there always seems the 6,7, and 8 hitters are awful, the #2 guy has speed but a .310 OBP, and a guy like Bengie Molina is hitting clean-up.

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  2. It's good for one's health to daydream every now and then...

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  3. Id bet money that the Jays Triple-A in Vegas could be competitive in the national league. Some of those teams are a joke. Hell the Pirates have become a punch-line, what is it, 14 losing seasons or something like that.

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  4. I'm pretty sure Uribe is playing 2B since Furcal is still with the Dodgers.

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  5. If Uribe plays second, his pretty terrible offense is exposed even further.

    His wRC+ of 100 ranks him just ahead of Chone Figgins and just behind Jeff Keppinger

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  6. Bobo the Discount ClownDecember 5, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Just to add... If the Dodgers don't sign an above average hitter this offseason, Uribe probably won't be hitting 7th or 8th.
    Also, since I was bored I gave some thoughts on what Nicholas said. The 51s will probably end up being as competitive as the major league club in FA market during the Ricciardi era. They may actually end up not in last place but almost certainly be below third place for any division.

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