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The Tools of Ignorance: Saturday News

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As the market for left fielders begins to dry up around him, Johnny Damon must be muttering to himself.

Rick Ankiel signed with the Kansas City Royals (1yr/$3.5M).

The Mets made a great deal for a lousy player- trading a reliever no one wanted anyways for an outfielder buried on the bench.  Sure, Gary Matthews Jr. has been awful, but maybe the prospect of re-winning a starting spot will bring some new motivation, and the Mets are only paying $2M/2Y.  For a team that has used Gary Sheffield, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church in the oufield in the last 12 months, Sarge is an upgrade.

Over the last 3 seasons, Ankiel has averaged a wRC+ of 108, which a sharp drop off last season.

Matthews has averaged 90 wRC+.

Damon has averaged 123 wRC+.  If 90 is worth $1M (Matthews), and 108 is worth $3.5M, then 123 is worth a hair under $6M.  Could it get done this week?

Jayson Stark thinks there should be a reliever only award.  We recognize that pitching out of the pen, especially in the late innings of a big game is a different beast than pitching the first 7 or 8 innings.  We know that even the best reliever in history doesn't really stack up to the best starter, and we know that the writers don't really value relievers if there is anyone else to vote for (see Colon, Bartolo- 2005).

I like the idea.  I also think that it's time to put 2 decades of reality in writing and agree the Cy Young Award is for pitchers and the Most Valuable Player Award is for position players.

I've been going through the roster of Connie Mack's Giants for a little game I'm going to share with you in the next couple of days.  I was struck by how nearly everyone had a nickname.  This article from Bruce Markusen at Hardball Times is well-timed, as he runs down the greatest baseball nicknames ever.  The Iron Horse makes the list, but not Joltin' Joe, the Yankee Clipper, the Hit Man, the Babe, the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the Colassus of Clout, or the Big Bam.

Which brings me to my thought of the day: which Yankee is most in need of a nickname?  We have the Cap'n, GGBG, and Houdini Robertson.  My pick is Robbie Cano- with Melky gone, there's no more Los Chicos.  Robbie is the Ninja Assassin, Curtis Granderson will be Grand Central in a few weeks.

Maybe a nickname for Hughes or CC?  Suggestions?