I'm getting married on Saturday, so as you might expect, I've been kept from blogging on the baseball offseason lately. Especially since nothing of consequence has happpened yet.
I was very excited for the start of the Hot Stove League, officially kicking off with the start of free agency on November 20th. However, to date, pretty much nothing has happened. Where is all the action?
Maybe moving past the deadline to offer arbitration will enable the market to start to settle a bit. Who knows. But when the most impactful signings so far are Andruw Jones signing with the White Sox and/or Billy Wagner reportedly joining the Braves, you know it's a slow moving free agency period.
Given the slowness of the market, it's only a matter of time before Donald Fehr begins beating the drum of collusion amongst the owners. While you can't put anything past the owners, especially since collusion has happened before, I don't think that's what is happening here. I think there are just a lot of teams that are trying to be very fiscally conservative in a tough economy, and so the number of teams with money to spend is even lower than normal. Can you blame a team like Detroit or Tampa for not ponying up for a middling player?
- Bud Selig says he'll retire when his contract expires after the 2012 season. We'll see. We've heard similar pronouncements before, only to be disappointed when the Commish decides to continue on. New blood in the Commissioner's Office cannot come soon enough. No matter how much he tries to downplay it, Selig's tenure will be defined by the steroid mess he oversaw. His reputation will be further sullied if a new commissioner comes in and makes progressive, needed changes, such as expanding replay, doing something to close the gap between the haves and have nots, or creating actual trust between the labor and management sides.
- The Red Sox are toying with the idea of moving Dustin Pedroia to shortstop. I'm going to first guess that move and say that even if he can do it, it will diminish his abilities and wear him out too much. Pedroia is an MVP caliber player at second, may become David Eckstein at short. I don't think he's got enough arm to be really good on the other side of second base. Additionally, I don't believe in filling a hole on your club by creating another. The Sox usually do the right thing when it comes to their on-field decisions, so it will be interesting to see this one play itself out.
-Finally, this is why you can't use statistical measures to tell you what's going on in the game of baseball. This may pass the statistical test, but it fails the eye test miserably. If you watched Cole Hamels at all in 2008 and 2009, you know that this analysis has zero credibility.