My Name’s LaRoche

Adam LaRoche signs 2 year deal with Washington Nationals

Finally. After months of back and forth, Laroche finally agreed to the Nationals two-year offer instead of the three year deal he really wanted. Laroche always wanted to stay in Washington and will start the year as the Nats first baseman, but this creates a overload of players. The Nats will now have to trade Michael Morse or be forced to lose significant value by putting him on the bench. This contract is extremely friendly for the Nats especially if Laroche produces like he did last year, but it does create other issues for roster construction.

Dealing With Your Natitude in the Offseason

Michael Morse Is Yelling At You To Deal With It

So you lived in a city without a competitive baseball team, when all of a sudden you’re swept off your feet by a rag-tag group of dreamers. A gloriously hot Washington summer followed, full of overpriced pizza, president races, and horrible walk-up music. Then came the playoffs and you thought you regained your faith in humanity when Teddy won. Then came what seemed to be the biggest moment in Washington baseball history. And in the 9th inning of game 5 it all seemed so perfect, how could all this go wrong? Well it did go wrong. And it was tragic, and depressing, and sad, and you felt it in your stomach for days. And now you have to deal with it.

Your natitude is probably un-ignited right now. It’s probably off in the corner of your bedroom gathering dust because you couldn’t bring yourself to look at a curly W for a while. Ignoring your natitude might be the best idea for right now, but if you plan on your natitude to keep you warm during the cold winter, you’re going to need to find other ways to get that shit ignited.

  • Find a fat guy named Teddy and challenge him to a race. 
  • When buying a 4 dollar beer, give the cashier 4 extra dollars to replicate a stadium environment.
  • Find Terrence at a Wizards game.
  • Get Tommy John surgery on your elbow just for funsies.
  • Shoot your gun out the window of your car 
  • Do your eyeliner like this.
  • Say RGIII all the time regardless of the context.

Peace. Love. Natitude. Baseball.

Swisher Signs With Indians: No One Cares

Here are a couple of facts.

  • Nick Swisher signed with the Indians yesterday for a total of 4 years 56 million dollars.
  • Nick Swisher is probably not worth that much money.
  • Nick Swisher has gonorrhea. (probably not true)
  • The Indians could have bought a lot of cool things instead of Nick Swisher.
  • Nick Swisher makes the Indians a better team.
  • The Cleveland Indians play in Cleveland.

By adding Swisher, the Indians solidify their outfield and their lineup. They might not be contenders for the AL crown, but the Indians aren’t necessarily laughable. They have a strong lineup anchored by Santana, Kipnis, Cabrera, and Swisher. If Stubbs finds himself and realizes that strikeouts are bad, the Indians could really make some noise in the AL central next year.

But does anyone really care?

Let’s face it, the Indians probably don’t have enough pitching depth to really contend with the Tigers for the division. They’ll probably get off to the same hot start they’ve had the last two seasons. They’ll probably hang around a little longer this year considering they have a better lineup. They’ll probably fade away because Cory Kluber is currently their fourth starter. Core Kluber sounds like the kid who sat by himself at lunch eating his own boogers, not a major league pitcher.

In the grand scheme of the 2013 Major League Baseball Season, Nick Swisher signing with the Indians is completely irrelevant. It will make the Indians a bit better, but no one will care. One must remember the last of the facts listed above. The Indians play in Cleveland. That alone should deem the Indians irrelevant for the foreseeable future. (Just kidding. I love you Cleveland.)

The Bourn Supremacy Part 2: The Comedy Central

The AL Central, (or as its better known, the Comedy Central) has been the worst division in baseball for a while now. Last year was only more evidence of how bad this division has become. The Comedy Central was the only 5 team division that had three teams with losing records. Speaking of losing, Michael Bourn is bad at that.

Sunday, December 16th, 6:12 PM: Michael Bourn remains a free agent. Bourn isn’t just a free agent, no sir, Michael Bourn is a man with out a path, without a plan. Let’s help him out and see which AL central teams he might want to become a part of.

Tigers

Why Not Bourn

  • If the Tigers were to sign Bourn, that would improve their team defense. Improving team defense is against Detroit’s organizational philosophy. Also Austin Jackson secretly just had a bad ass, 5.2 WAR season.

Why Bourn

  • There’s nothing Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski loves more than Yoloing.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn drives a Fiat. Michael Bourn would feel awkward driving his Fiat in Detroit.

Conclusion

  • While Bourn could really help Detroit’s “Defense” they already have enough outfielders to roam the absurdly large Comerica outfield.

White Sox

Why Not Bourn?

  • Alejandro De Aza is so mediocre in CF that he fits the White Sox Team perfectly. Cellular Field plays really small and Bourn’s speed in center wouldn’t be optimized in such an offensive environment. Also the Sox should probably focus on signing another reliable pitcher that can come when Chris Sale’s arm inevitably turns into mush.

 

Why Bourn?

  • Bourn would instantly pop into the lead off spot moving De Aza over to platoon with Viciedo in left. The White Sox aren’t going to win in the short run through trades and their farm system (see: throwup). Following in the footsteps of White Sox centerfield legends like Scott Podsednik and Aaron Rowand, Bourn could provide the Sox with the type of player they lacked during their abysmal last month of the season.

 

Bourn’s Perspective:

  • Michael Bourn loves veteran leadership. Michael Bourn could play CF in Chicago for a long time considering there’s nothing in the farm system (see: throwup) to threaten his playing-time.

 

Conclusion

  • This is actually a somewhat realistic possibility. There’s space in the outfield for him and the White Sox only avenue to improve is through free agency. Even though Bourn will most likely sign with an NL team, the White Sox are a realistic landing spot as far as AL teams are concerned.

Royals

Why Not Bourn

  • Signing Bourn would move Lorenzo Cain to right. Moving Lorenzo Cain to right would mean the Royals would have to move Jeff Francoeur to the bench. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Why Bourn

  • Contrary to Dayton Moore’s belief system, moving Jeff Francoeur to the bench might be a good idea.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn thinks Kansas City is actually in Kansas. Michael Bourn saw the Wizard of Oz. You’re not fooling Michael Bourn.

Conclusion

  • The Royals probably won’t make any more significant moves this offseason. After overpaying for Guthrie and bringing in James Shields, Dayton Moore will probably spend the months until April praying in his office.

Indians

Why Not Bourn?

  • This one’s obvious. The Indians already have Kenny Lofton.

Why Bourn?

  • Does anyone actually think that Drew Stubbs is going to be able to play productive baseball for an entire season? No? Thats what I thought.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Like most human beings Michael Bourn doesn’t want to live in Cleveland.

Conclusion

  • The Indians seem to think that Stubbs can hold down the fort in center… Too bad Kenny Lofton is gone. :(

Twins

Why Not Bourn?

  • As evidenced by their offseason moves, the Twins plan on playing no one in centerfield. Instead they will put a fielder 10 feet behind second base to play the brand new position of CENTERSTOP.

Why Bourn?

  • After trading away Ben Revere and Denard Span the Twins are one of few teams without a clear idea of who their opening day centerfielder will be. They have a plethora of high ceiling centerfielders in their system in Byron Buxton and Aaron Hicks, but neither of those guys are a sure thing and Buxton is at least 3 years away. 

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn doesn’t want to be the only black person in Minnesota. 

Conclusion

  • The Twins trust their in-house centerfield options enough to trade away two very good centerfielders. It probably doesn’t make sense to go sign Bourn. 

Trades, Rivalry, and Youk

At first glance, the thought of Kevin Youkilis in a New York Yankees jersey seems wrong. The pinstripes just wouldn’t look right on a man so entrenched in “Red Sox lore”. Along with Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis opened the door for cliché after cliché to be slapped on Red Sox teams. They were gritty, they were gamers, they hustled, and boy were they scrappy. But why exactly does Youk signing with the Yanks feel so wrong to Sox fans? What does this signing have to say about the concept of rivalry? What really makes a fan’s stomach turn when they see a cornerstone of their favorite team sell their soul?

The simple answer is that rivals never trade. Well at least almost never. Take a look at baseball’s three biggest rivalries: Cubs and Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants, Yankees and Red Sox. The statistics are astounding.

The Yankees and Red Sox last traded in 1997; a deal that sent Tony Armas to the Sox in return for Mike Stanley. Other than a small purchase of waivers in 1994 the next deal between the two teams was in 1986 (Don Baylor to the Red Sox). The sports two biggest rivals have only traded twice since 1986. I was negative 9 in 1986. Thats a long time.

The Cards and Cubs last traded in 2002, when the Cubs shipped longtime journeyman pitcher Jeff Fassaro to the Cards for some players to be named later. Before that Todd Zeile got sent to Chi-Town in 1995. And before that was in 1980 when the Cardinals traded for an well-bearded Bruce Sutter. The Cardinals and Cubs have traded thrice since 1980. CNN was founded in 1980. Thats a long time. 

Of all the “rivals” the Giants and Dodgers have the most stingy trade relationship. They last traded in 2007, but the deal was small and was a career bench player traded to LA for a PTBNL. The most recent time before that was 27 years ago Tuesday, as the Dodgers shippedCandy Maldanado to the Giants. Before that it was 1968 when Ron Hunt when from the Dodgers to San Fran. 1968 was before the moon landing. And before that was in 1956 when the Dodgers tried to trade Jackie Robinson to the Giants for porn star Dick Littlefield and $30,000. Just think about how insane that is. Three trades since Jackie Robinson was valued around $30,000. THATS A LONG TIME.

When these rivals don’t trade with each other, it decreases turnover between the teams and increases a sense of continuity amongst the fan base. The lack of interaction between rivals could be interpreted as a lack of communication and hostility or it could just be an unwillingness from the front office to disappoint/alienate the fan base. There must be some sort of influence from the fan base because if it was only about improving the quality of the team on the field, the Dodgers and Giants would have traded more than 4 times since Ike was living it up in the Oval Office. This resistance towards transaction with rivals feeds back into the history between the two clubs, thus reinvigorating the sense of rivalry.

So now that we’ve established that 1956 was a long time ago and that rivals must hold back trading with each other for some reason, lets see why this has anything to do with people feeling sad about Kevin Youkilis. Considering how rare turnover between rival rosters is through trades, it makes the signings like Youk that much more shocking for the fan base. In recent memory each of these three rivalries has had a iconic players swap from one team to the other. All three were All Stars and faces of their respective franchises. And no I’m not talking Jose Vizcaino, Juan Uribe, and Alfredo Aceves.

Three very different players at three different points in their careers. Damon was probably at his peak, Kent just behind it, while Edmonds was pretty much done. It was hard for Giants, Cardinals, and Red Sox fans to see the former faces of their franchise make the conscious and well-thought out decision to play for the rival. Thats what really tugs at the heartstrings; the idea that those players bought into the concept of rivalry only to turn their back on an entire fan base. Of course thats not what the players are thinking at all. They are either trying to make as much money as possible or are just trying to survive one more season in the bigs. And hell, I wouldn’t mind living a year with a few jeers and insults if I was getting payed 12 Million Dollars to do it.

Jake Mintz