So, I don't know that Pete even reads the blog anymore, and Tim is probably too busy, but maybe Jeremy or Nick will find this interesting. But anyway, I'm killing time while waiting for the board to sit in the sun so that I can scrape all the old wax off, so here goes.
(1) In light of the recent Yankee's signings - Burnett, Teixeira, and Sabathia for a combined ~0.45 BILLION DOLLARS - some of the "small market" team's owners have been complaining about the disparity and unfairness of the current system. While I'm obviously not a big NYY fan, I would firmly but politely tell those whiners to shove it. Recently Seattle wasted $13 million on four replacement-level-at-best players, where for that money they could have instead acquired a good player. Florida has been a big source of "woe is me" while they continue to sell good players at bad prices, waste draft picks, and pocket more revenue sharing than is pumped into their farm system.
(1a) As much as it pains me, John Henry's whining about how the Sox can't compete with the Yankees was pretty unfortunate, not to mention complete bullshit. Please, don't embarrass us.
(2) The worship of NY players, on the other hand, is certainly irksome, if for no other reason than it devalues the end-of-season awards. Michael Young's winning a Gold Glove was a complete joke, and Brian Cartwright over at Fangraphs has a great little breakdown of the difference between 'hands' and 'range' - and illustrates why Derek Jeter is perhaps the worst SS in the league. Yes Jeter may make a high percentage of outs on the balls that he fields, but since his range is so horrible, he lets an awful lot of balls get past him into the outfield:
The player with the highest rate of grounders kept in the infield is Adam Everett at 83.5%, while the worst is Ramon Vazquez at 76.5%. Jeter is next to last at 77.3%. No other shortstop today has such a wide divergence of the highly visible “hands” and the nearly invisible “range” as Jeter.
(3) With the NFL playoffs continuing last season's trend of being just as random as the NCAA's March Madness, I'm pretty excited that we are now less than a month from pitchers and catchers. I'm sad to see Varitek struggling to find a job, but I would have been more upset to see the Sox give him a rose-tinted-glasses contract.