Thursday, January 03, 2019

Troy Tulowitzki Pick Up Is A No-Brainer

Troy Tulowitzki is a name that appeared many times over the years in this blog. He has been coveted, mourned and buried for dead. He was once the best shortstop in the game. But he has averaged only 107 games a season in his twelve-year career. Now coming off another lost season, dumped by the Blue Jays, the New York Yankees have taken a no-brain decision to sign him for the league minimum. The Blue Jays, clearly licking their wounds and rebuilding, will pay the rest of his salary.

What is the worst that could happen from this deal? Nothing really. If he gets hurt again, Tulowitzki did not cost anything.

What is the best thing that could happen? The best that could happen is Troy Tulowitzki summoning a bit of his old glory giving the Yankees a fill-in for the injured Didi Gregorius (thus keeping Gleyber Torres at second where he will be when Gregorius returns anyway). He could be a real boost for the Yankees early in the season and it would be a nice story for the former #1 draft pick to rebound for a hurrah.

Consider that despite his injuries, has never given Tulowitzki a negative score for his fielding. gave him one negative season for a season he only played 42 games. So, even an older, slightly rickety shortstop like Troy Tulowitzki should give the Yankees some solid defense. If he hits, which he could still do as of 2016, that will be a bonus.

The looming problem will be what will happen if he plays well and Didi returns? Other than DH, Troy Tulowitzki has never played a position other than shortstop in the Major Leagues. Can he fill in at second? Can he fill in at third? Can he play first base? Those are all question marks. He does not fit the normal profile of a utility infielder (and he does not seem to want that either).

One possibility if things go well is that the Yankees can flip him in a trade for a needed piece once Didi returns.

Notice that these thoughts are trying not to mention Manny Machado nor Miguel Andujar. The continued hope here is that the latter will still be here when the season starts and the former will not. A strong comeback for Tulowitzki would be especially needed if the former does not come to Yankee Stadium.

It is truly a shame that Troy Tulowitzki could not totally play to his career potential. His story is not a rare one. Others like Tony Oliva, Rico Carty and even George Brett come to mind. Even if the Yankees had not taken this step, Tulowitzki would be worth rooting for after a career far too marred by injuries.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Things That Irritate Me in MLB's Off Season

We are fresh into the new year of 2019 and the Off Season (is that what this is called?) drags on with news items, signings and trades few and far between. Rumors (rumours for my Canadian pals) become the news when there is no news. The last two Off Seasons have been particularly draggy. With teams taking a much harder look at free agency and the cost benefits, potential deals seem to take forever to happen. And many (like last year) may not happen at all. This is not Aaron Boone's father's Off Season (or even Aaron Boone's when he was playing). This paragraph is just one of the irritants of the season. Here are several more...

1. Reporting.

  • is required reading this time of year. That is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that you know all the important happenings will be reported here with (usually) very good analysis to go along with it. What is irritating is that when things are slow, you get a bunch of non-stories about..well...rumors that never end up happening. The most irritating is when a signing or trade results in the same article being posted three times as more information is added about the deal. I guess it would be okay if the original article was appended and left where it was in order. But it is irritating that any update to the original article pushes it back to the top of the list. It makes me grouchy.
  • Jon Heyman is a respected baseball writer who has put in the time and walked the beat. There is no arguing his place among his peers. But it sure seems like he is in the agents' pockets. Have you ever noticed that he always has the sweaty details of each deal? How would he get that so quick? If he is deep inside the agents' pocket (read Scott Boras)--and I don't know if he really is--then couldn't he be used to put out false information to help those agents (unbeknownst to him of course)?
2. Every Twitter baseball fan knows more than the team does.
  • I remember last season as the Red Sox were on their way to winning five-thousand games, one of their fans was calling the team's manager every name in the book for his use of the bullpen. Excuse me. Can you at least wait until after they are no longer World Champions before you start questioning the guy?
  • Those same fans and bloggers (like me, I will admit) think we have all the answers about what our teams should do this time of year. Most Yankee fans and bloggers are begging the team to sign Manny Machado. I will wear black on the day that happens. It's not what I want at all. And then, no matter how it works out the brain trust making the decision will be criticized as being the worst in baseball. I will also wear black if Miguel Andujar gets traded. I will be just another idiot complaining.
3. The Hall Of Fame
  • The HOF has been a boil on my butt (lovely imagery there) ever since Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds got on the ballot. The former MLB players have already put two or three guys into the HOF that do not belong there (with Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner out when they should be in) and for another year, writers who vote (shame on you who turn in empty ballots) based on some morality plane. The HOF is NOT the HOF if the best players of their generation were left out.
  • I applaud writers who take the heat and publicize their ballot choices. That's brave. But if you disagree, the irritation builds because you cannot do anything about your disagreement. Tweeting the guy that he is a putz is not really pretty.
4. No baseball means the other sports get all the air time.
  • The NBA is the paragon of sports. It is the greatest thing since Red Auerbach smoked his cigars while coaching. Meh. It's been all downhill for me since the last time the Knicks won the title with those marvelous players like Frazier passing to Bradley, who hits Debusschere in the corner--SWISH!
  • Baseball will always be a better game than basketball.
  • The NFL is America's Game. Uhh...Not to me. They have a commissioner who thinks he is God and the game turns the players into Swiss cheese. It's okay to watch. But it is not baseball.
  • Soccer...seriously!?
5. Two more things...
  • There are still no games to watch and won't be for two more months. :::sigh:::
  • It is that time of the year when I start thinking about how I can afford MLB.TV for another season. It sucks being poor.
Oh! One amendment! The Off Season allows my Twitter follows too much time and they talk politics. That is probably the biggest irritant of them all...