Thursday, December 22, 2005

Give Me Your Tired Arms, You're Poor

Do you remember that time in High School when you asked the popular girl to the Prom and she laughed in your face? You slinked off with embarrasment, then asked the pretty girl, and she said no, too? You've already rented your powder blue tux, so you just start asking random girls, and even they're turning you down, some preferring to go with the California dude?

Even if that doesn't ring true to you, send some sympathies Jim Bowden's way because it's like May 1972 all over again for him. Barry's article lays out the gruesome details.

While us ignorant fans believed it when the PA guy told us that we're the best fans in baseball, free agents and their agents disagree. Instead of being that shining beacon of franchisehood, we're KC on the Potomac. (Scratch that... even KC is signing guys!)

So not only can't we get the good guys, we can't even get the second and third tier schmucks like Tomko. Instead we're left pondering Ramon Ortiz, Ryan Franklin, Josh Fog(g), and Joe "Whiplash" Mays. I think I'd rather coax Jose Rijo out of retirement.

Ramon Ortiz was one of the bargain-basement players I looked at last month. Here's what I said about him.
Ortiz earned the moniker Little Pedro because of his nationality, and because of his varied repertoire. He had an excellent future ahead of him until he aged two or three years over one winter. Two out of his last three seasons have been mediocre, but his career ERA+ is still 96. Durability isn't a problem with him either, having pitched in 30+ games in four of the last five seasons -- the one year he didn't, he pitched mostly out of the pen. Ortiz is a flyball pitcher, who was completely mismatched for his home park. He gave up a ton of home runs. His stuff was still good enough to strikeout a fair number of batters, but that homer rate is hard to overlook. With RFK yielding roughly 50% fewer home runs than Cinci's park could he be a diamond in the rough? The numbers he put up last season should scare some people away. A cheap one-year deal isn't out of the question. If it's not a lot of money, say $1-$2 million, why not take a crack at him?

Ryan Franklin is interesting. He's a pretty extreme flyballer, but he strikes no one out. As a result, he relies even more on his defense than the average player. Notice how his exploded after Mike Cameron, who was the best defensive CFer in the game, left the team. He has no margin for error -- but then either do the Nats as a whole.

Josh Fogg has only had one losing season in his career (pretty impressive considering he's been a Pirate!). But that also tells you how useless W/L record is for evalutaing a pitcher, because he's never been that close to even being an average pitcher. (Take a look at his ERAs). Fogg is a lot like Franklin. (Just without the steroid thing!). He gives up flyballs, doesn't strike anyone out, and relies on his defense. I suspect a few teams will be really interested in him, so his price will be more than he's worth. Still, as a 4/5 at a bargain-price, I wouldn't mind.

Joe Mays is... well... not good. He's the Nicole Richie of baseball -- famous for merely being famous, despite not having any real talents or abilities. He had two good seasons eons ago, and a string of Bill-Walton-approved Horrrrible seasons since. Your Joe Mays Fun Fact O' The Day: The average right-handed batter (in 319 ABs) hit .319/ .404/ .555 against him. He turns average batters into MVPs!

Tony Armas is looking more and more attractive! Who knows... maybe after an offseason of rest, and time since his surgery, he'll be able to actually get a fastball past a hitter?

  • Barry also notes that Alex Escobar, who was non-tendered, has agreed to a minor league deal with the team.


    • I am all for Fogg because he gets into the spirit of local events. Take a look at this photo of him from the day after the Land of the Dead debut in Pittsburgh:

      By Blogger WFY, at 12/22/2005 4:38 PM  

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