Simmons: who will wear the AL Crown?

DMZ · August 16, 2006 at 11:27 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Bill Simmons, who I know reads us at least occasionally which means he’s probably read some of the cracks on him, runs down the AL Teams by suckiness. The M’s are ahead of Tampa, Baltimore, and KC in their chances to win the World Series.

So what’s the scoop? I guess Putz is on steroids (nice). Big three reasons they suck:
– Felix
– Hargrove (with bonus Lowe/Soriano example!)
– Beltre and Sexson are killing them

The real gold in this column, though, comes later:

Second-strangest thing about the Tigers: Six years ago, they offered Juan Gonzalez a $150 million contract that would have destroyed them for the rest of the decade if he wasn’t dumb enough to turn it down. It’s almost like the entire franchise had a near-death experience. Anyway, they took advantage of that second life and now they’re headed for 100 wins. … Meanwhile, Juan Gone is playing in the Independent League along with my buddy JackO’s pal from home, and after JackO drove to Jersey to catch one of his friend’s games, they stopped at a Subway for dinner afterwards, and who walked in but Juan Gonzalez? That’s right, the two-time MVP Juan proceeded to sit down at a table and eat a Subway sandwich by himself. These are the things that happen when you turn down a $150 million contract. I feel like you need to know these things.

Thaaaaaaaaaaaat’s what I read Simmons for.


169 Responses to “Simmons: who will wear the AL Crown?”

  1. zzack on August 16th, 2006 4:27 pm

    120- Ok, I know Joel is going to be gone next year, but can someone please alleviate my fear that Gil Meche will still be on the club next year. When he was pitching well I was stoked because it meant some other team would overpay for him, but now I’m worried we’ll resign him because he sucks again and we’re cheap/stupid. I’d really like to see Felix, Washburn, Moyer, and two other guys that the AL West hasn’t been lighting up the past couple years in 2007.

  2. thehiddentrack on August 16th, 2006 4:28 pm

    He’s still pretty damn funny…I don’t know what you guys are expecting.

  3. thehiddentrack on August 16th, 2006 4:30 pm

    I think Meche is pretty much gone next year. I could see him staying if this expected collapse scares away teams enough that he comes back on a contract similar to his last.

    Other than that…I think you’ve seen the last of Meche, they should have tried him in the bullpen he’s just not meant to go 200 innings during a season, whether his head/arm/mechanics are to blame.

  4. Thingray on August 16th, 2006 4:33 pm

    I can’t see Petagine being called up. Wouldn’t that be essentially admitting the FO and manager were complete morons for how they handled the DH position?

    Plus, why not use a spot for a younger player with a possible future on the team?

    As for Simmons, I still think he’s pretty damn funny, just not as good as I remember him being before he went to LA, and had a baby.

  5. msb on August 16th, 2006 4:34 pm

    I don’t really think it means anything, it just made me laugh when Curto noticed. He says O’Flaherty up, and Dobbs going back down to Tacoma, as of now.

  6. marc w on August 16th, 2006 4:34 pm

    Where’d Petagine go? there’s no replacement listed in the box score… are you listening on the radio, 150?

  7. marc w on August 16th, 2006 4:36 pm

    Aha! Dobbs back down makes a lot of sense.
    O’Flaherty and Lowe – that’s one hell of a left-right punch.

  8. Thingray on August 16th, 2006 4:36 pm

    I doubt Dobbs will ever see a full year in the bigs, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that he might be sent down. He’s an organizational player at this point.

  9. Thingray on August 16th, 2006 4:37 pm

    Not to say he was ever anything more than that.

  10. marc w on August 16th, 2006 4:41 pm

    Incidentally, Mike Flannery isn’t ‘relieving’ anything at this point.

  11. Free Dan Rohn! on August 16th, 2006 4:47 pm

    With Dobbs gone, who will take over the coveted Lawton/Borchard/Petagine Memorial Bench Warmer position?

  12. marc w on August 16th, 2006 4:48 pm

    161 – Morse.

  13. Dave on August 16th, 2006 4:49 pm

    The roster machinations now have their own post.

  14. Dave in Palo Alto on August 16th, 2006 4:49 pm

    # 143 — Eric, I misunderstood your previous comment. Sorry. Of course you stand pat with a stiff against a 2 through 6 (except 12 vs 2 or 3).

    Unless you have godlike counting skills and know the cards at the bottom of the deck.

  15. dw on August 16th, 2006 4:53 pm

    Liriano’s injury concerns are real. There likely won’t be much lasting damage to his elbow/forearm from what happened over the last month or so, but the elbow problem was really a cascade injury from a shoulder problem. They claim that they can make everything better by strengthening the shoulder through therapy, but I’d be skeptical about such claims. Shoulders aren’t all that well understood, so I could see this easily cropping up again and Liriano winding up causing lasting damage to his elbow.

    As I understood it, Liriano’s current injury is him tearing scar tissue from his previous elbow injury. In that sense, it’s a “mild” injury — it’s not like he’s scheduled for TJS. I wouldn’t completely dismiss therapy, though. A mechanical fix is better, but therapy can at least delay the inevitable.

    Plus, Liriano’s got fairly violent mechanics and so far has needed to rely a lot on his slider.

    The violent mechanics are a big worry. He really does look like love child of Juan Marichal and J.R. Richard. OTOH, both those guys stayed healthy. The key here is to avoid the level of abuse that young pitchers on contending teams get put through and tightly ration his pitching the rest of the way. The real problem going forward is whether his labrum can handle it.

    Can the Twins resist the temptation? Can they modify his mechanics without losing his effectiveness? Who knows.

    Felix’s motion does stress the shoulder as well, but one plus is that Felix’s arm moves as a more stable assembly, compared to Liriano pulling his arm way back and practically flailing his arm recklessly towards the target.

    A number of people have commented that Felix will have a signficant injury in his future due to his mechanics, especially with the way he falls off the mound. And yes, it’s not anywhere near as big of a problem as Liriano will have, but his delivery is not perfect.

    In both Felix’ and Liriano’s cases, they need to learn how to pitch, how to throttle their stuff, how to use what they have rather than just throwing whatever they have. Both still have potential left, though the Felix potential is greater. Now, if they can just stay healthy….

  16. Dwight Schrute on August 16th, 2006 5:37 pm

    Thanks for the reply, Dave. Yeah, Nomo was a guy we talked about in comparison. It’s definitely not something that you’d really be able to quantify with data, but the guys I’ve talked to said it was really tough to pick the ball up during their first few at-bats against him, so I thought I’d throw that out there.
    -Dwight Schrute – Assistant (to the) Regional Manager

  17. Mat on August 16th, 2006 5:47 pm

    As I understood it, Liriano’s current injury is him tearing scar tissue from his previous elbow injury.

    His old injury was probably also the result of altered mechanics thanks to a sore shoulder. The Twins have claimed he has a “weak” shoulder, or something to that effect, but at any rate, I’d bet the problem starts with his shoulder, alters his mechanics, and shows up as a tear in his elbow.

    Anyway, it appears we basically agree here.

  18. mntr on August 16th, 2006 6:10 pm

    If you can stomach his sports analysis, Simmons is great.

    His best columns have almost nothing to do with analyzing sports. They’re diaries on the NBA All-Star game, the NBA/NFL drafts, trip to vegas, and weird stories about his nicknamed friends.

    Hopefully he realizes this.

  19. vj on August 17th, 2006 3:18 am

    I think the remark on Putz (“he’s 29 but nobody finds this fishy at all”) isn’t necessary a a steroid allegation. It may be meant as a statement of fact or even praise. It’s ambivalently phrased, though.

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