Archive for July, 2013

→ Most Players involved in Biogenesis scandal ready to accept suspensions, but A-Rod fights on

This should be really interesting, especially with the rumors that A-Rod will get a lifetime ban if he does not settle with MLB and that Selig is ready to ban A-Rod from playing, even during his appeals process. It looks like a good chunk of A-Rod’s money is going to be headed to lawyers really soon.

Thoughts on the Red Sox’s Trade for Jake Peavy

The Red Sox seem to be getting pretty positive reviews for the Jake Peavy trade. As a starting point, Alex Speier gives some good preliminary analysis:

it’s worth taking a step back and noting what the Red Sox did not give up. They didn’t part with shortstop Xander Bogaerts (who now has a clear path to that position in Boston for the next few seasons). They did not give up center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. or left-hander Henry Owens or third baseman Garin Cecchini or Will Middlebrooks. They did not give up their top right-handed pitchers in Allen Webster or Brandon Workman or Matt Barnes or Rubby De La Rosa or Anthony Ranaudo.

In other words, the steepest cost to the Red Sox was Jose Iglesias, a player whose extraordinary run in May and June could well represent the zenith of his career. There is a real chance that he will never again make a big league impact over a 45-game stretch that matches what he did with his bat (hitting over .400 while taking walks and showing some extra-base pop) and his glove this year. Moveover, he may well rank behind all of the players on the aforementioned list in terms of prospect value to the Sox.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox now are considerably better positioned for both this season and next as a result of Peavy’s arrival. The 32-year-old represents a solid mid-rotation starter who, in 80 innings this year, was 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA along with an impressive strikeout rate (8.6 per nine innings) and a very modest walk rate (1.9 per nine). That performance follows an 11-12 campaign in which Peavy had a 3.37 ERA with 8.0 strikeouts and 2.0 walks per nine in 219 innings with Chicago.

David Schoenfield also seems to give it a thumbs up:

The Red Sox got to keep all their top prospects and surrendered only slick-fielding Jose Iglesias, who has a superficially good .330/.376/.406 batting line with the Red Sox in 215 at-bats. He’s not close to a .300 hitter, let alone a .330 hitter. A few weeks ago I looked at all his hits and they featured an unsustainable number of infield singles, five-hoppers that sneaked through and bloopers just over the heads of infielders. In July, he’s hitting .205 with one extra-base hit in 83 at-bats and he’s a career .244/.296/.292 hitter in Triple-A in nearly 1,000 plate appearances. But he can pick it at shortstop (or third base, where he’s been playing a lot for the Red Sox) and I suppose there’s a small chance that he could improve at the plate, a la Omar Vizquel.

So good job by Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to sell high on Iglesias, even if Peavy is more of a No. 3-4 starter than a 1 or 2.

Over at Fire Brand, Hunter Golden gives some excellent context for the trade:

To get Garza from the Cubs, the Rangers had to part with Mike Olt (a top 100 prospect). To get Sanchez from the Marlins, the Tigers had to deal Justin Turner (A top 25 Prospect when he was dealt). To get Greinke, the Angels had to part with their 2nd, 4th and 9th best prospects. The Red Sox didn’t even trade anyone in their top 35 and shipped what is (right now) an all glove, no hit SS somewhere else. Factor in the fact that the Red Sox will get Peavy for longer than two months and frankly, this is a bargain when put up against the backdrop of recent deals.

And, as you might expect, Fangraphs has the most comprehensive rundown of how the Red Sox made out in the trade. The quick summary is that “[t]he Red Sox got themselves a good starting pitcher for a year and two months without losing very much of consequence,” but the whole article is worth a read.1

Those are some of the best reactions I have found, but if you want more links about the trade, check out Over the Monster’s daily links for today.

  1. If you want even more information about the prospects involved in the trade, check out the prospect centric writeup from WEEI 

→ Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Tips for Writing Comics

I am posting this for two reasons:

  1. Because this is a list of really good tips for aspiring comic writers.

  2. Because Ultimate Comics, where she gave this talk, is my local shop and I want to give them a plug.

→ The Beer of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013

Speaking of this year’s Food and Wine Festival, here is a rundown of the really important part.

→ Full Menus for the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Some of these things look really, really good.

→ Expedition Everest Archive Construction Photos

Take a break from looking at the progress on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and look back at the construction of Expedition Everest.

→ Umpire blows call to give Rays a win over the Red Sox and first place in the AL East

It was an absolutely horrific call. More problematic, it is the second, major blown call that umpire Jerry Meals has had this year. Without a doubt, Meals should be removed from the umpiring rotation for MLB. He clearly is not skilled enough to be an umpire at that level.

See also Fenway West’s recap of the call and the game

→ This Weekend is North Carolina’s Last “Tax Free Weekend”

We have to give up this one weekend a year of tax-free shopping1, in exchange for getting significantly lower taxes all year round, including a lower sales tax. Sounds like a good deal to me.

  1. A weekend in which it is nearly impossible to get anywhere remotely close to a mall. 

→ SmugMug Unveils Massive Update

SmugMug has long been my preferred method for archiving my photography online. Unfortunately, it was really starting to feel out of date. With this update today, however, SmugMug is back in contention as the best photo sharing site available.

→ Tips for Navigating Downtown Disney During Disney Springs Construction

Jeff Kober provides a good tip over at Mouse Planet:

The area north and west of Cirque du Soleil is really the best location to park. There are usually more spaces available there than anywhere else. And since the marina exists close to House of Blues, you can walk from one end to the other, then return using the boat shuttle from the Marketplace marina near the Rainforest Cafe. No matter what time of day, this is probably your best choice when parking at Downtown Disney, and when wanting to walk the length of the experience. 

This will be my plan until construction is completed.1

  1. Unless the boats stop running, of course. 

Some updates on Reeder for iPad and Mac

Reeder developer Silvio Rizzi tweeted a couple of updates this morning:

  1. Reeder 2 for iPad will go into beta this week. He also says that he anticipates submitting the app to the App Store in August.

  2. Reeder for Mac still needs work, but he says there will be a public beta.

Personally, I am most looking forward to Reeder for Mac and Reeder for iPhone1

  1. Unfortunately, I have a feeling we won’t be a getting a new version of Reeder for iPhone before, at least, the end of October. 

→ A New Home for ‘Festival of the Lion King’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I wonder if this means we are going to get an Avatar-land announcement at D23.

→ Ortiz won’t be suspended

Good. Though Papi overreacted, his anger was justified.1

  1. On the other hand, the umpire that made those calls, Tim Timmons, should be suspended or fired. 

→ A Lip Reader Deciphers The Manager-Umpire Arguments Of 2013

This is awesome.1

  1. With umpiring so terrible in MLB this year, it was a great time to do this. 

→ Old Reader Shuts Its Doors

This seems like good evidence to support the “pay for services you use” theory.

→ More than ever, Middlebrooks wants to stay in Boston

“I want to stay with Boston,” [Middlebrooks] said on Saturday from the home dugout at McCoy. “I’ve been with them since I was 18. Everyone in this organization means a lot to me. I’d love to stay here and play my career here.

I really hope that the Sox do not trade Middlebrooks to pick up some 2-3 year pitcher. Though Will has had a rough year, I still think he can be a big contributor to future Red Sox teams.

→ Preview Images from from Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary


→ Clemson is the Favorite in the ACC

From Heather Dinich’s write-up of ACC media day:

For all of the talk about how the Clemson-Florida State game is going to determine this year’s championship game winner, the votes indicated the Tigers should head into it as the overwhelming favorite. Clemson received 95 votes as this year’s preseason favorite to win the ACC, while Florida State received just 15. You better believe the game will be much closer than that, but Clemson received 102 first-place votes in the Atlantic Division while FSU — the defending ACC champ — got 18. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd also received 105 of 120 votes for the ACC’s preseason player of the year. The Tigers are shouldering the same kind of expectations FSU was last year.

The Tigers have pressure on them. Hopefully, Dabo has them ready to handle it.

→ Jonah Keri reminds us that it is a Really Great Season for Baseball Fans

It’s easy to become disheartened if you’d like to see players operate on a level playing field, and if you’d like to root for players without fear of their reputations getting tainted down the road. It’s easy to get swept up in PED hysteria when it’s being shoved down our throats, when all the baseball stories we consume seem to lead with tales of more players implicated, more looming suspensions and pending appeals, more disputes that seem to tarnish the sport’s image. It’s easy if you ignore this:

You shake your head at Mike Trout. As a 20-year-old rookie last year, he triggered comparisons to Mickey Mantle, the kind of proclamations that would normally be regarded as ridiculous and overheated, but seemed just right in this case. Whenever anyone does anything that extreme in baseball, we wait for the inevitable regression to the mean, the blast of ice water that reminds us how greatness is fleeting, and that extraordinary performances are bound to fizzle out. Only Trout is not cooperating, not when his offensive numbers this year are a carbon copy of what he did last year (.326/.399/.564 in 2012, .321/.400/.559 in 2013). He has silenced the skeptics, adding more preposterous feats to his résumé all the time. It’s 12:21 a.m. on a Tuesday night, you’ve got to be up in six hours to get to work, the underachieving Angels are playing some lousy team … and you watch the game anyway, hoping to catch Trout doing something amazing, because your dad and your granddad told you stories about The Mick, and Mantle 2.0 is alive and well and there for your viewing pleasure.

I picked my favorite paragraph, but Keri also talks about Puig, McCutchen, and Cabera. Of course, my favorite story this baseball season is probably the first place Boston Red Sox.1

  1. Well, first place until they face David Price and the Rays again tonight. 

→ Disney Springs Construction Photo Report

Looking at Joe Hogarty’s ohoto report brings back so many memories. As I have said a bunch of times before, I spent so many great nights at the Comedy Warehouse, that I really sad to see it go. I hope Disney Springs can be at least as strong as the old Pleasure Island was.