Quick Hits: Darvish, Simon, Kenny Williams, Rays

Happy birthday to Brian Duensing (28), Kelly Johnson (29), Casey Kotchman (28), Daniel Nava (28), J.J. Putz (34), Don Wakamatsu (48) and Hall-of-Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who would've turned 77 years old today.

Onto some news from around the majors…

  • ESPN's Keith Law expects the Blue Jays to be "serious bidders" for Yu Darvish. (Twitter link)  The Japanese star says he wants to pitch in the Major Leagues in 2012, and at least nine teams besides Toronto are known to have interest.
  • Prosecutor Victor Mueses tells ESPNDeportes' Enrique Rojas that there are no plans to drop pending manslaughter charges against Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon.  It was reported over the weekend that Simon was expected to be released soon, but "nothing has happened to make us change our position," Mueses says.  Rojas also reports that Simon has agreed to pay $70K to the families of the victims of the New Year's Eve shooting in order to have the charges dropped, but Mueses says that such an agreement wouldn't impact his office's case.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams criticized baseball's financial structure yesterday and told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune today that he was even uncomfortable with his own team's $125MM payroll.  "We're out on a limb.  But that's our choice.  We made the choice in an effort to give our fans hope and give ourselves a chance to compete for a championship," Williams said.  "If things don't go our way, if we don't get the support, we'll lose money.  We're going to lose money but we've gone into this knowing how long can you do that, how much can you absorb?"
  • "The Rays’ bullpen figures to be a season-long work in progress," writes FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.  Tampa Bay lost almost its entire bullpen to free agency, and Andrew Friedman admitted the club was "kind of freaking out about it" in January.  Rosenthal says the Rays will look at relievers cut by teams at the end of Spring Training, and they will also continue to consider possible trades.  
  • When might some of the Indians' young stars reach the majors?  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer weighs in on when Tribe fans can see the likes of Lonnie Chisenhall at Progressive Field.

48 Responses to Quick Hits: Darvish, Simon, Kenny Williams, Rays Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Yes Kenny, if you lose support you lose money. So why they hell do you think shutting down the game and alienating fans again is a way to “fix” the financial structure of baseball.

    • jb226 4 years ago

      I remember a story from 15 years or so ago about why you would see a McDonalds on every street corner, so close to one another that they HAD to be cannibalizing each others’ sales.

      The story went that McDonalds would open up these stores next to all of the little independent hamburger and hot dog joints. They would stay there long enough to drive them out of business because they couldn’t compete with McDonalds’ prices, then McDonalds would pick the best locations and close the other stores down.

      In other words, sometimes you have to lose money now to make more money later. Would that be the case with a baseball strike/lockout and subsequent salary cap? I don’t know. Kenny seems to think it would. Or maybe he was just talking about what he felt was right for the game and not from his position as a GM. *shrugs*

      • Chrisn313 4 years ago

        I do agree that it’s impossible to get parity in the league, and pre season rankings will always feature the evil empires. However the Yankees and sox (and even phillies)do not live up to expectations every year, and I find it sadistically humorous each time one of those teams is beaten by a team who’s payroll is less than their own luxury tax expenses

  2. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    happy B-day SPARKY and RIP

  3. Steven St Croix 4 years ago

    KLaw blows!

  4. I’ve been following Yu Darvish for the past 3 years. I’m also from Toronto and an avid Blue Jays fan. Believe me when I say it’ll be a dream come true for me to see him in a Blue Jays uniform. :)

    • Andy Mc 4 years ago

      He would fit.

      • FriedCalamari 4 years ago

        Agreed. Darvish in a Jays’ uniform would be sickness

        • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          Let me get this straight… you all think adding a potential star pitcher would be a good thing. What a concept.

          That said, I think it’s funny how quickly people have forgotten how highly regarded Matsuzaka was when he was posted. I remember articles from virtually every sportswriter saying he was probably one of the top 10 pitchers in the world. Flash forward a few years, exact same hype around Darvish with people thinking he’ll be an instant ace in MLB.

          • FriedCalamari 4 years ago

            Yea, I think you got it^^

            I don’t think he’ll be an instant ace if he did come to the MLB. But this guy is known to have really good stuff and is still young enough to be considered a “prospect” but he’s absolutely dominated his league the past 4 years from ages 19-23. Imagine how much better he can get from some MLB coaching and some experience… but at the sametime you gotta becareful because when young pitchers tax their arms so much at those ages they tend to burn out a lot sooner.. but that’s the risk you gotta take for potential superstars. Right?

          • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

            Well you’re pretty much saying the exact same thing as they used to say about Matsuzaka. People tend to forget it’s a different game in Japan. Lighter baseballs, larger strike zones, less aggressive of a game, more time between starts, etc. I’m not saying he’s doomed to failure, what I am saying is the exact same things were said about Matsuzaka and most people seem to be forgetting that.

          • FriedCalamari 4 years ago

            I’m pointing out that Darvish is a better pitcher than Matsuzaka during the same ages. Even though Baseball can be a very complex game, one would then also expect Darvish to transition better than Daisuke did as well. I don’t think he will be an “instant Ace”, he could be but those are not my immediate expectations of him.

          • jwredsox 4 years ago

            I’ve honestly read scouting reports that projected Darvish as more of a 3-4 pitcher than ace in the states. I forget where but it was earlier in the year when there was a chance he could be posted. I think the hype machine has just been working overdrive.

          • FriedCalamari 4 years ago

            Dice is a number 5 pitcher so… my argument holds? haha, but anyways. I’m no pro Japanese player scout, my arguments are just based off of looking at their numbers from their same ages.

          • Get off his back, man. Let him be excited about Yu’s potential Toronto destination.

          • Chrisn313 4 years ago

            Yeah but he’s got this crazy pitch that changes direction midair. No one has ever seen anything like it, its totally unique! He has to be great in the MLB!

    • Is there a way to watch Japanese baseball online from the US? I’ve looked a few times and couldn’t find anything.

      • Commander_Nate 4 years ago

        Yes, go to npbtracker(dot)com and there is a link on there that says “NPB Live.” On that page there are links to a couple of different streaming sites that you can try. I managed to catch a few bits of last years Japan Series on my computer. Pat Newman and those guys do a really god job with that site.

  5. wintwins 4 years ago

    Brian Duensing- huge breakout year this year

    • Didn’t he already have his breakout year? 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA is great. However, I can’t say I agree with you. Duensing had an xFIP north of 4, and I can’t see him sustaining his great success. That’s not to say he can’t be a quality pitcher, I just think his “true talent” is lower than what he was.

      • wintwins 4 years ago

        Yeah but he wasnt a starter all year so this year will be the true test with a full year of starting. Second thing sabermetrics are stupid

        • jb226 4 years ago

          Well argued.

          • wintwins 4 years ago

            whats there to argue? I just said he will have a breakout season as a FULL TIME STARTER and this guy throws sabermetrics at me what am I supposed to say oh no his walk to hit earned run ratio or otherwise known as wHERR is 2.3 according to my brilliant sabermetrics

        • hrbomber1113 4 years ago

          ya because as we all know pitching in relief is much more difficult and could only hurt his numbers in the long run, right?

          • wintwins 4 years ago

            Pitching in the bullpen half a year and starting the other half is much different than starting all year

  6. I love with Darvish, the movement on his pitches is just ridiculous. Wouldn’t give him Dice-K money though, especially that posting fee. Hopefully MLB owners learned from that.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      Why? If you look around at pitchers salaries Dice-K is up there with multiple middle of the rotation pitchers. When he’s healthy, he has proved he is a very good starter. I don’t know why people are so quick to write him off. I have no problem with him and he has proven his worth even with the nagging injuries the last two years.

      • Wek 4 years ago

        At $10mil Matsuzaka (when healthy) is not a bad price, even for a 4-5th starter. But when you factor in the posting fee, $51mil, the bottom-line is that you paid about $17mil for a 4-5th starter. If you are fine with that then AJ Burnett’s contract show be fine with you as well.

  7. Everyone in the MLB should have to legally change their birthday to February 22.

  8. mwagner26 4 years ago

    If Tampa hadn’t let all of their players hit FA, they would have a more solid ‘pen. You can’t have your cake (all of the draft picks) and eat it too.

  9. grownice 4 years ago

    I wouldnt mind see Darvish as a Jay, but its going to cost a boat load when bidding against the yanks and sox etc

    • PJaysW 4 years ago

      Have faith in the Brendon Morrow ace potential and the rest will fall into place. There’s so much SP depth that they needn’t break the bank on Darvish.

  10. Chuck345 4 years ago

    Lot of birthday wishes here. So if a couple was thinking about raising a baseball player, sometime around June 23 would be a decent time for that activity.

  11. Ken…you’re really making yourself sound bad here. Even mentioning “shutting down” baseball, especially a year away from renegotiating the CBA, is foolish and thoughtless. While I agree with you on your financial risk and the craziness of signing someone to $30 annually, you need to watch your words my man. Everybody’s listening.

    • lolpods 4 years ago

      yeah, i’m a big fan of KW, but the shutting down thing is irresponsible. but he’s hyper opinionated, and you’ll notice how even he says he should shut up. ha.

      i think the point is that the sox have a 125m payroll that can compete with anyone this year. that fact that some teams operate at a disparity of 40m to others at almost 300m is the problem. KW is just not very good at saaying that diplomatically.

  12. eck78 4 years ago

    I won’t argue that, but I always dont get the attendance arguement. The last time I checked the fans dont win the games. Hell if that was the case, the Cubs might of won a WS. I do think downward attendance is not rstricted to just the Sox. What restricts the Sox is location. Its not the trendy place to be, but its a much better product.

  13. You guys find it funny that the only attention the orioles can get is for one of their relievers being charged with manslaughter?

  14. eck78 4 years ago

    I didnt know Kenny was the Marketing Director too?

  15. pretty sure that that is not KW’s job. That is why most organizations have a PR department.

  16. eck78 4 years ago

    You’ve made a statement that was incorrect. Name a time when Kenny hasn’t put a team in the Cell that shouldn’t compete. Thats the best he can do as a GM, work within the budget to provide the best pieces available to him to win games. He also has gone back to Reinsdorf several times to expand the budget. Now you please inform me how he’s supposed to fill the seats?

    Bottom line is Sox fans won’t support terrible play. When they struggle, see last April/May, they don’t draw. When they’re hot, the fans come.

  17. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    What about the Twins series last August? The Sox were still right there and half the upper deck was empty.
    They do sell out when the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox are in town. Kenny Williams says thanks to all you Cub, Yankee and Red Sox who buy the otherwise unsold seats at US Cellular.

  18. eck78 4 years ago

    You either trolling or have no idea what you’re talking about.

    They did not make the playoffs last year nor did they in 09, but you seem to be forgetting 2008 where they lost to the Devil Rays in round 1. 2005 they won the WS, 2006 they won 90 games, 2007 was a bad year, 2008 they made the playoffs, 09 they stunk but you tell me how many experts picked them to contend at ALL in 2010 and win 88 games.

    No eye for talent? HUH? I would say most people who agree he has hit on more deals than he has missed. We got taken on the Swisher deal both ways -As and Yanks. Do you remember who swung for Thorton? Jenks? Floyd? Danks? Quentin? Contresas in 05? How about the signing of Vizquel last year? If you want to talk misses, I’ll add Teahan and to this point Peavy.

    Most people would disagree with you on Guillen. His main fault is he’s a loud mouth who can’t control his kids. Does it get tiring? Personally i don’t mind it. He takes pressure off his team and I would guarantee if Guillen was let go by the Sox today, he’d have another big league job in a year.

  19. lolpods 4 years ago

    are you high??

    this guy’s high.

  20. Guest 4 years ago

    Clay Buchholz xFIP is over 4 as well. Whats your point?

  21. lolpods 4 years ago

    being a sox fan, i contend a lot of it has to do with pricing. 23 bucks for parking just pisses a lot of people off. also upper deck ticket holders are not allowed to access the lower deck/concourse, so a lot of people don’t bother with it.

  22. wintwins 4 years ago

    he doesnt have one. sabermetrics are STUPID

  23. wintwins 4 years ago

    Cains xFIP was over 4.5 these statistics tell us nothing

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