Friday Filberts

November, 21, 2008
Today's links and commentary were routed through a series of tubes that originate under an old movie theater in DeKalb, Illinois

• Driveline Mechanics doesn't care much for the mechanics of the presumed No. 1 pick in next June's draft.

• Wednesday amongst the Wangdoodles, I referred passingly and obliquely to a recent Tom Boswell column; here's Jonah Keri actually adding some value (one of Jonah's many specialties).

• It's an odd thing … I thought I was keeping careful track of when the men in blue turned to instant replay. But our friends at Retrosheet really were keeping track, and it seems that I missed a couple. Maybe because there was a spate of four in four days.

• I'm sorry, Phillies fans. I know it's been a fantastic two-year run, but it's worth remembering that if the Phillies had won two fewer games in 2007 and four fewer in 2008, they'd have missed the playoffs completely in both seasons. Today, with the news that they might be without their best player for two months next season -- not to mention the looming hole in left field and the inevitable slide of Brad Lidge -- I find it impossible to see the 2009 Phillies as anything but a second-place team.

• On the heels of John Dewan's analysis of Gold Glover Nate McLouth, Dewan gives the same treatment to Gold Glover Michael Young. Apparently both articles are lifted from The Fielding Bible -- Volume II, which I predict will be this winter's must-have baseball book.

• You can't blame a guy for trying, and Aaron Heilman is trying to convince the Mets to give him another shot in the rotation. And if they won't, he wants to be traded

    "The object the entire time has never been to get out of New York," Heilman's agent Mark Rodgers told the Daily News. "The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he's ever had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the Mets as a starting pitcher."

Is there anything an agent won't say? In 317 innings as a reliever, Heilman's got a 3.52 ERA. In 134 innings as a starter, Heilman's 5-13 with a 5.93 ERA. Walks, strikeouts, home runs … Heilman's been worse as a starter in all of them. I'm not saying he can't pitch effectively as a starter. Maybe he can. I'm suggesting that his agent's statement, as quoted here, utterly lacks credibility.

• Pedro Martinez supposedly would prefer to re-up with the Mets. Howard Megdal thinks that's a bad idea, citing Pedro's frequent inability to pitch and his ineffectiveness (in 2008) when he did pitch. I'll throw another, related issue into the hopper … Pedro's a massive distraction. Even if he's able to start 18-20 games and give the Mets 120 league-average innings, is he really worth all the worrying? I doubt it.

• Nice primer from Paul DePodesta on figuring out the 40-man roster.

• In case you're not already Moosed out, Dugout Central's Bill Chuck offers even more fun facts about everyone's favorite retiring 20-game winner and future Hall of Famer.

• Speaking of which, Eric Seidman makes the case -- maybe not a Hall of Fame case, but a case none the less -- for Kevin Brown.

• I'm sure it's significant that Major League Baseball will not increase spending in 2009, but it's easy to get confused about this. As I read the piece, "Major League Baseball" means the parent organization with headquarters in Manhattan (and a VIP in Milwaukee). I don't believe that the teams themselves will (collectively) freeze their spending at 2008 levels. But in this climate I suppose anything's possible.


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