I cannot believe that Barry Zito signed with the stupid Giants!! I know, I know, that it’s "all about the money" but come on! Barry, or shall I say Mr. Zito, you just signed with a team that has absolutely no "legal" offense. I mean did his agent forget to even take a slight glance at the Giants depth chart? I am not sure that Zito knows that his projected line-up behind him is (according to me): 1. Dave Roberts 2. Randy Winn 3. Ryan Klesko 4. Rich Aurilia (Lance Niekro) 5. Pedro Feliz 6. Benjie Molina 7. Ray Durham 8. Omar Vizquel 9. Pitcher (Pinch Hitter: Mike Sweeney).
And, oh yeah since only 2.2% of Zito’s 222 started games have resulted in complete games, the bullpen in San Francisco matters too. So, there is another reason that Zito picked the wrong team to sign with. So whats is the bullpen situation in San Francisco, you ask. Well, now Zito has the unlucky honor of having Armando Benitez (a.k.a. "Inconsistante!") in the back of the "pen." But, even if Armando can close 20 games or so who is going to finish out the 7th and 8th innings? Well, if I were the Giants my best set-up men would be Tim Worrell (120 career holds) and Vinnie Chulk (32 career holds).
So what would Zito’s life be like with the other teams that offered him deals?
1.Manager: Willie Randolph is the best there in the managing role. Having previous playing experience in the league, Randolph has an advantage over many other managers in the game today.
2.Offense: It is arguable that the New York Mets have the best offense in the National League and most likely the American League, as well. With the line-up that they have and the bench players that come through when needed, to give the big guns a day off, it is hard for any pitching coach to find a way to stop them.
Line-up (According to me):
2.Paul Lo Duca
7. Moises Alou
9.Pitcher (Pinch Hitter: John Franco)
3.Pitching: Sure Pedro maybe a little banged up and Tom Glavine’s social security number may be around 100, but if Zito was apart of this staff, the possibilites for the Mets would be endless. I mean with Billy (Wagpipes) Wagner, Aaron Heilman, and Duaner Sanchez leading the bullpen, Zito would have almost no concern about having his lead lost in the 7th, 8th, or 9th inning.
Pitching (according to me; with Zito):
Final Grade (w/Zito):A++
Final Grade (w/out Zito):A-
1.Manager: Dudley Mike Hargrove (a.k.a. The Human Rain Delay) has a 147-177 record in Seattle and a 1143-1140 career record (w/ the Baltimore Orioles, the Cleveland Indians, and the Seattle Mariners). It is safe to say that he can be put on a list of the worst managers in the Majors. Even with the team he is given, he should be able to do a little better than 30 games under five-hundred.
2.Offense: With Adrian Beltre’s huge drop off in the 2005 season, the Mariners payroll was seriously hurt with a player whose numbers in the 2004 season were more than MVP like(.334 average, 48 homeruns, and 121 runs batted in). Now, usually those numbers are worth paying a player 12.6 million dollars for the 2006 season, but after his horrifying performance in the 2005 season it would be a miracle (if he had signed a one-year contract) for Beltre to get 1/4th of the money he is getting per year in Seattle. With Beltre is in the middle of a having mid-life slump, the Mariners offensive leader just might be Ichiro Suzuki. The 6-time Gold Glove winner is a fantasy God for teams looking for a hitter with speed and average. But we aren’t talking about fantasy, are we? So what if Ichiro’s career average is .331, so what if his OBSP is .376, and so what if he has 1354 career hits. None of that matters if there is no one behind him to get him in.
Line-up (according to me):
(Pinch Hitter: Ben Broussard)
3.Pitching: Well, what can you say? Well, I can say that I feel bad that Felix Hernandez’s career is being wasted in Seatle. There rotation is poor. Washburn could hold up as a 3 or 4 starter, but not a number 2 starter. Jake Woods is some young talent that has not proven himself, yet. And, Cha Sueng Baek is more of a spot starter that should be in the minors for a couple more years. But, with Barry Zito in the picture this staff could easily put the team at least 10 to 15 games over five hundred.
Pitching (according to me; w/Zito):
Grade (w/out Zito):C
1.Manager: 2-time Manager of the Year, Buck Showalter, is one of the best managers in the league. His 319-329 record is not as good as it could be, but his team’s inconsistent pitching and slump prone offense really doesn’t help him out.
2.Offense: After losing Gary Matthews Jr. to free agency, a vital part of Texas’ offense is gone. A lead-off hitter. With Marlon Byrd in front of Kenny Lofton on the depth chart, the closest thing the rangers have to a lead-off hitter is Byrd. Although there line-up may have a hole in the beginning, the rest of the line-up is filled with guys who can produce quality numbers. But, in the end quality players won’t win a championship.
Line-up (according to me):
(Pinch Hitter:Nelson Cruz)
3.Pitching: The addition of Brandon McCarthy really changed my view of the Rangers, I think they are aiming for a younger team (from a pitching point of view). By now you think I’m an idiot, right? Well sure they have two really old vets in Vincente Padilla and Kevin Millwood. But, if you analyze the moves the Rangers in the last few years, they have been trying young pitchers almost the whole season. And, with having the injury prone Gagne in the closers role, games might slip away from the starters. But, with Zito this staff would have a fighting chance at a wild card.
Pitching (according to me w/Zito):
Grade (w/out Zito):B-
But, after all of this it comes down to Zitos’s love of money over Zito’s love for the game.
Zito’s final contract: 7 years $126 million
Jeff Bagwell’s Career Stats (16 seasons)
Runs Batted In:1,529*
Extra Base Hits:969*
*=Astros Team Leader
Bagwell is in the top 50 among all Major League players, past and present, in seven categories: HR, RBI, X-BH, BB, SLUG, OPS and OPB.
Bagwell was a four time all-star (1994, ’96, ’97, and ’99.
Cause for retirement: Injury. Injury plagued. Bagwell for the past 2 years of his career. Problems with his shoulder prevented Bagwell from being able to throw, effectively, from first base to homeplate.
Bagwell was my favorite player.
The Orioles have reported that they have offered a $20 million contract to Huff, and according to Huff’s represenative he has accepted the offer.
Last year with the Astros and the Devil Rays, Huff’s stats were:
Huff may or may not be missed in Houston. Dependng on your point-of-view.
Final Contract: 3 year $20 million
The Marlins are paying Boone $925,000 for one year on the roster, but he is able to bring up his paycheck up to $1.275 million if he can meet the stat requirements for the raise.
My comment: This deal is a little insurance policy just in case one of their starters gets hurt.
Boone’s 2006 stats in Cleveland:
Doug Waechter’s 2006 stats with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays:
My Comments:I think that the Devil Rays couldn’t get any worse, so this signing just adds to their minor league system.
Due to club policy other terms were not given out.
2006 stats with the Toronto Bluejays:
2006 stats with the San Fransisco Giants:
My Comments:After the loss of Juan Rivera, to injury, this pick-up was very smart for the LAAoA. This move will give them a temporary replacement for Rivera and could ultimately end up as a starter over Juan.