Protecting the Shields -- The Nick Cafardo Thread

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QUOTE (Zedia @ Jan 3 2010, 02:43 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2751665
Too bad she used Nick's "Bill Chuck Files". She should have shredded those files.


Still, overall, that... wasn't bad? The confirmation from John Henry that they'll be over the luxury threshold was new to me.

Of course, just a regression to borderline competence is delightful compared to Cafardo's normal crap. I'm a little embarrassed at how happy I was to NOT see the "apropos of nothing" section in this week's Baseball Notes. Those 5 ridiculous sentences a week were like five little daggers, each killing a part of my soul.
 

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There was an editor's note in the print edition of the sports section today (yes, I get the Sunday Globe up here in Maine - and just started getting it actually. Coffee and the newspaper on a snowy day is still highly enjoyable) that said Amelie was going to be Sox beat and Cafardo was going to be national baseball, so I don't think he's giving up the baseball notes column. I suspect he was just on vacation.

Amalie did okay, but the interview with Youk was gratuitous and the baseball notes column isn't supposed to be quite so Sox-centric, in my opinion (not that Cafardo does well with that either). Further, there seemed to be a lot of padding in there, which made me feel like she didn't have quite enough content.

But to repeat a Kobayashi point, it's definitely interesting to hear Henry say they'd be over the tax threshold considering Cafardo's great lengths spent in explaining how the Sox would definitely stay under it. He's such a clod.
 

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QUOTE (SoundsofIglesias @ Jan 8 2010, 02:08 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2759708
Mike Easler & JP Ricciardi

...Nick Cafardo gets them in the same room :lol: :

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/reds...=all#readerComm

Yeah... and he quoted newly-hired SD front office guy Dave Roberts (last seen suckifying on NESN) and ex-Sox coach tippler John McLaren last weekend.

Combined with Easler and Ricciardi, this seems to fill his quotient of "unnamed front office executives" and "someone close to the game" types for the 2010. Looks like its been a productive offseason for Nick. Now if he just added Steve Phillips to his stable, his bench will be set and he should be ready to go.... :unsure:
 

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And, as predicted, Nicky is back, and back in his own stupefying fashion. The first third of the article talks about Ells moving from center to left, and worrying that he won't respond well to the change because left isn't as exciting a position. Seriously.

I find this whole line of thinking to be a little silly. But even if it is reasonable to suggest that left field is a less prestigious position than center throughout baseball as a whole, shouldn't one mention that things might be a little different in Boston? I mean, center's fine, but left -- with the monster looming, with the chain of great players from Williams to Yaz to Rice (& then Manny) -- left field for Boston has to be (for those who care about these things) one of the most prestigious positions in the sport, no?
 
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QUOTE (kobayashis bail bonds @ Jan 10 2010, 11:10 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2762916
And, as predicted, Nicky is back, and back in his own stupefying fashion. The first third of the article talks about Ells moving from center to left, and worrying that he won't respond well to the change because left isn't as exciting a position. Seriously.

I find this whole line of thinking to be a little silly. But even if it is reasonable to suggest that left field is a less prestigious position than center throughout baseball as a whole, shouldn't one mention that things might be a little different in Boston? I mean, center's fine, but left -- with the monster looming, with the chain of great players from Williams to Yaz to Rice (& then Manny) -- left field for Boston has to be (for those who care about these things) one of the most prestigious positions in the sport, no?


Agreed. It always gets talked about how CF at the old Yankee Stadium was sacred, but part of that is honoring something that is the Yankees. And of course the prestige of who has roamed CF for the Yankees. But, I always thought LF for the Red Sox franchise should get more national mention than it historically has.
 

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QUOTE (SoundsofIglesias @ Jan 10 2010, 07:55 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2765803
Agreed. It always gets talked about how CF at the old Yankee Stadium was sacred, but part of that is honoring something that is the Yankees. And of course the prestige of who has roamed CF for the Yankees. But, I always thought LF for the Red Sox franchise should get more national mention than it historically has.

Yes... if he continues to ascend as a ballplayer, Ellsbury can be extremely proud that he has followed in the Williams - Yaz - Rice - Greenwell - Manny - Bay legacy.

We can laugh a lot at Manny's defense, and Bay's brief interlude won't count for much 50 years from now, but if Ells develops in the Ricky Henderson mold, he can put his name up there with 3 HOFers and another very good ballplayer (Greenwell).

On the other hand, the D. DiMaggio-J. Piersall-G. Geiger-R. Smith-F. Lynn-R. Miller-T. Armas-E. Burks-flotsam/jetsam-D. Lewis-C. Everett-J. Damon-C. Crisp CF succession line has many good, some very good (Dom, Freddie, Damon) players, but no legends.

Ells should take this opportunity and run with it (pardon the pun).
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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And of course, there is the small matter that, theoretically, Cafardo could have just asked Ellsbury what he felt about it. Sure, he probably would have espoused platitudes, but even that says something. That a "reporter" would just idly speculate about a local athlete's state of mind without doing him the courtesy of actually asking the question just boggles my mind. It's a total sandbag, really. You can't even give him the opportunity to say, "I'm really excited to help the team no matter where I play?" It's really no wonder the Boston press gets a bad rep. At least show a little professional courtesy.
 
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QUOTE (MyDaughterLovesTomGordon @ Jan 10 2010, 08:52 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2765953
And of course, there is the small matter that, theoretically, Cafardo could have just asked Ellsbury what he felt about it. Sure, he probably would have espoused platitudes, but even that says something. That a "reporter" would just idly speculate about a local athlete's state of mind without doing him the courtesy of actually asking the question just boggles my mind. It's a total sandbag, really. You can't even give him the opportunity to say, "I'm really excited to help the team no matter where I play?" It's really no wonder the Boston press gets a bad rep. At least show a little professional courtesy.


You are right, Cafardo actually gets a quote from a guy that hasn't played CF for the Red Sox in over 4 years, because Johnny D is apparently one of Nick's fav guys (in some fairness, Johnny gives quotes to a lot of other guys)... but Cafardo can't pick up the phone and ask Ellsbury about the move. But hey, Cafardo has another Sheffield non-update. All is good.
 

Zedia

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Apropos of nothing

QUOTE
1. Reader Gene Fein points out that none of the top seven teams in “UZR’’ defensive ratings made the playoffs last year;


Of course, you could also say "only 1 of the bottom 11 teams in UZR made the playoffs." Or point out that 5 of those top teams contended for a spot all season, some of them only because of their defense.

But it is kind of an interesting little factoid, and I wish Nick would look a little deeper and try to explain to me what it means. Is "Team UZR" really a meaningful measure? Is there anything that could cause "bad" teams to have better UZR ratings? More chances? I really don't know.

EDIT - cleaning up
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Now that Miguel Tejada has signed with the Orioles, Nick's new cause celebre is Orlando Cabrera. Bank on him getting an "update on nine" mention next week.

He's every out-of-work player's agent. He also can't believe Jim Thome doesn't have a job. It's like Nick thinks every single free agent should be signed as soon as the window opens.
 

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QUOTE (MyDaughterLovesTomGordon @ Jan 24 2010, 09:32 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2784641
Now that Miguel Tejada has signed with the Orioles, Nick's new cause celebre is Orlando Cabrera. Bank on him getting an "update on nine" mention next week.

I dunno, I think the fact that OC doesn't have a job yet is noteworthy. I read that and raised my eyebrows a little bit when I read that. It's not as if he had a bad year in 2009.
 

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QUOTE (TheoShmeo @ Jan 25 2010, 07:46 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2785471
I dunno, I think the fact that OC doesn't have a job yet is noteworthy. I read that and raised my eyebrows a little bit when I read that. It's not as if he had a bad year in 2009.


Yes he did. He was pretty awful in 09, which is the 2nd year in a row he's been a slightly above unacceptable level shortstop.

His bat and glove have atrophied to the point where I would be more surprised if he did have a contract right now than not.
 

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QUOTE (URISoxFan @ Jan 25 2010, 10:24 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2785628
Yes he did. He was pretty awful in 09, which is the 2nd year in a row he's been a slightly above unacceptable level shortstop.

His bat and glove have atrophied to the point where I would be more surprised if he did have a contract right now than not.

His offensive numbers (.284 batting average, .705 OPS) aren't appreciably worse than they were in the several years prior to 2009. He also performed better at the plate in Minnesota in the midst of a race than he performed in Oakland, which was similar to what happened in Montreal and Boston in 2004. That said, his defensive metrics were indeed pretty bad, and much worse than I knew.

Stats

I admit it, though. I'm showing my pro-Cabrera bias when I say that I'm surprised about him being unsigned.

And, last, I think that OC's off field stuff, or rumors of same, could be playing a role in him being out of a job, too.
 

URI

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His off the field stuff didn't stop the Angels, White Sox, A's or Twins from getting him.

His offensive numbers have been poor for a long time (they weren't great in Boston)...and they are unacceptable now (the last two years). Also, I would submit that his numbers superficially improved from Oakland to Minnesota for context reasons (Metrodome better than Oakland to hit in...the turf would help OC's offensive game more than the grass etc.)

OC is probably asking for something that is prohibitively high given his production. If he comes down to $3-4 million for 2 years or something like that, he'll get some bites.
 

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QUOTE (URISoxFan @ Jan 25 2010, 11:14 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2785695
His off the field stuff didn't stop the Angels, White Sox, A's or Twins from getting him.

But it might have contributed to them not keeping him around.

I'm not saying that it's all off field. I am saying that I would not be surprised in the least if it played a role.
 

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I don't think Cabrera is the worst shortstop looking for a job right now, but he's 35, has a lifetime slug under .400, a lifetime OPS+ of 86, and has led the league in outs two years in a row (and was third in 2007). It's not hard for me to figure out why he doesn't have a job right now.
 

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QUOTE (Zedia @ Jan 18 2010, 01:10 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2775196
Apropos of nothing

Of course, you could also say "only 1 of the bottom 11 teams in UZR made the playoffs." Or point out that 5 of those top teams contended for a spot all season, some of them only because of their defense.

But it is kind of an interesting little factoid, and I wish Nick would look a little deeper and try to explain to me what it means. Is "Team UZR" really a meaningful measure? Is there anything that could cause "bad" teams to have better UZR ratings? More chances? I really don't know.
I'm with you all the way on the larger points in your post. As for the bold text, "deeper" might apply had Cafardo actually done any digging in the first place -- unless, of course, opening an email from "reader Gene Fein" and pulling the ol' copy/paste constitutes some modicum of excavation-based effort.

There really isn't a lazier sportswriter anywhere in America right now.
 

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Cafardo cracks me up. Today, his big theory is that players in the last year of their contracts do better because they want to gear up for a new contract. He spends about five paragraphs explaining his thoughts and then goes to John Henry and Theo Epstein for their opinions. Both shoot down the theory. Epstein says something to the effect of, "I haven't given this a lot of thought, but from the data that I've seen, this doesn't exist." Henry shot him an email basically saying the same thing, but had a more human spin on it. He said that he didn't think that any Red Sox would try harder one year than another.

Did this stop Cafardo from writing the piece? Hell no. He listed Sox players who are in the last year of their contracts that are going to have good year because they're going to try harder. Included in this list is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is the middle of a six-year deal (which Cafardo acknowledges) but he thinks that Matsuzaka will try because "he's embarrassed" about last year. Which sort of refutes his initial theory, that players don't care they're only motivated by future moneys.

Two questions:
1. If the quotes he got don't add anything to the piece, why run them?
2. If two people tell him that his idea is complete crap, why continue with the story?

I really don't get this dude.
 

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QUOTE
5. Do you sense that the Sox and Mike Lowell aren’t exactly bosom buddies these days?


A link to be avoided

Yes, shockingly, Nick, we get that sense.

And in light of the Teixeira dalliance and the Beltre signing, this isn't exactly hard to pick up. Still, there has been some slightly more optimistic talk about making it work from Tito and Theo over the last several weeks.

So is this Cafardo musing just a re-hash of the obvious point that Lowell and the Sox are not on great terms for all the obvious reasons? Or has Nicky actually spoken to one side or both of them and has some new information? If the latter is true, why not share it?
 

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QUOTE (John Marzano Olympic Hero @ Jan 31 2010, 01:48 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2793551
Today, his big theory is that players in the last year of their contracts do better because they want to gear up for a new contract.


I just read the article, and I don't see where Cafardo opines that players do better in the last year of their contract. He does say:

"For years, people have been trying to measure whether players in the final years of their contracts perform better. It’s not a matter of effort - we assume that players always give it their best - it’s just that sometimes players thrive on the pressure and others wilt."

and

"While players deny they approach it any differently in these “contract years,’’ you’ll sometimes see more of a dedication to offseason workouts and a better diet."

Each of those statements are correct, and the players he lists clearly have extra incentive to perform this year, but I don't believe that he says that they will.
 

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That Twitter account is shooting fish in a barrel. Entertaining, though.

Today's column was pretty brutal on a few fronts. I'm still at a loss as to what services Rick Peterson must be performing on Cafardo that elevate him to "genius" status. Wasn't he pretty much just hired because Macha and Willie Randolph are both already employed by the Brewers? How often do geniuses spend an entire year unemployed?

But maybe the apropos comment "Never thought Kevin Millar would sign before Johnny Damon" shows Nick's complete unwillingness to acknowledge the business of baseball better than any other.

Why in hell would it be a surprise that Kevin Millar signed a minor league deal with the Cubs before Johnny Damon found a team to commit to a starting spot, multiple years, and good money? I know Cafardo is familiar with Scott Boras, considering Nick's belief that Boras can single-handedly force teams to spend more money by angling with Major League Baseball, so what logic is he using whereby it is surprising that one team would take a zero-risk flyer on a ballplayer likely shocked that anyone would offer him a job more important than team bus driver before another would commit $20 million+ and a a full-time outfield slot to a 36-year-old outfielder with stats that everyone knows were inflated by the fraudulent new Yankee stadium?

Why is he continually baffled by things that make perfect sense to anyone else that follows baseball even a little bit?
 

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QUOTE (MyDaughterLovesTomGordon @ Feb 7 2010, 09:47 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2802510
I'm still at a loss as to what services Rick Peterson must be performing on Cafardo that elevate him to "genius" status. Wasn't he pretty much just hired because Macha and Willie Randolph are both already employed by the Brewers? How often do geniuses spend an entire year unemployed?


I think that it is safe to say that a LOT of people in baseball think very highly of Peterson. Yes, he has his detractors, but that is to be expected given that he is far more about biomechanics and data than an old-fashioned approach. It's actually somewhat interesting that a relatively old-school manager like Macha has him on board as his pitching coach.
 

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QUOTE (bd11 @ Feb 9 2010, 04:15 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2805925
The nitpicking on this thread is bizarre. Cafardo makes mistakes and appears lazy at times, but his column is a lot more readable than most.


He has the premier baseball column in one of the top five sports sections in the country. He's not just some blogger hack. He gets held to a higher standard because, theoretically, he's about the best we've got.

Do you think he's one of the best writers on baseball in America? The lead baseball writer for the Boston Globe doesn't deserve criticism for making errors that most fans wouldn't make and appearing lazy?

Our standards just get lower and lower around here, I guess.
 

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QUOTE (bd11 @ Feb 9 2010, 04:15 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2805925
The nitpicking on this thread is bizarre. Cafardo makes mistakes and appears lazy at times, but his column is a lot more readable than most.


Really? You must not read many baseball columns.
 

bd11

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QUOTE (JimD @ Feb 10 2010, 12:53 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2807203
Really? You must not read many baseball columns.


Who is so much better? The artist formerly known as Peter Gammons, aka Theo's byatch? Jon Boras Heyman? Tony Masserotti, the most overrated writer in local sports journalism history? Obviously there are better writers than Nick, and I referenced a couple of his flaws above, but I just don't understand why he out of all the potential targets is the one who gets killed here.
 

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QUOTE (bd11 @ Feb 10 2010, 02:07 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2807288
Who is so much better? The artist formerly known as Peter Gammons, aka Theo's byatch? Jon Boras Heyman? Tony Masserotti, the most overrated writer in local sports journalism history? Obviously there are better writers than Nick, and I referenced a couple of his flaws above, but I just don't understand why he out of all the potential targets is the one who gets killed here.


Couple of factors in the hate:

1. Cafardo inherited a 'sacred' column. The baseball notes page in the Globe (all the notes pages actually) have been carried by heavyweights, very talented writers/reporters. It's a tough standard for Cafardo to live up to, maybe even an unrealistic one.

2. He sucks. He's beyond lazy- I'm not even sure he gives a shit. He has only 3-4 sources that he uses for every bit of information, regardless of relevance. He may have stopped watching baseball 7-10 years ago, and also has little to no understanding of the changing focus on baseball metrics. He's really not a talented writer, nor does he work hard at improving. And he makes an embarrassing amount of typos and 'mistakes,' although I'm more inclined to place blame for that on an editor. Aside from all that he's awesome.

Now, I'm even willing to concede that all of point number 2 can be summarized as you did, by saying he "makes mistakes and appears lazy." (as if that's ok) To me, that brings back in point number 1- he's being a mistake-prone lazy bastard in one of the most high profile jobs in the industry. Stop being an asshole and just take the fucking buyout and let someone who cares take over. Until he does, I feel fully within my rights to publicly demean him until word spreads enough that he gets fired or retires in shame, even if neither of those scenarios are likely to happen.

Man, Fuck Nick Cafardo, and if you can't dig that, I don't know what to say.
 

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QUOTE (bd11 @ Feb 10 2010, 02:07 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2807288
Who is so much better? The artist formerly known as Peter Gammons, aka Theo's byatch? Jon Boras Heyman? Tony Masserotti, the most overrated writer in local sports journalism history? Obviously there are better writers than Nick, and I referenced a couple of his flaws above, but I just don't understand why he out of all the potential targets is the one who gets killed here.


His new colleague, Peter Abraham for starters (seriously, WTF is the Globe waiting for - give Pete Abe the notes column already). His predecessor at the helm of the notes column, Gordon Edes. Gammons is still better than Cafardo, and the Boars stuff isn’t bad enough to bring Heyman’s other work down to Nick’s level, IMO.

Off the top of my head, I would also list Ken Rosenthal, Tom Verducci, Jayson Stark and Tim Kurkjian as writers who I read regularly. I know there are others I’m overlooking.
 

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I like JimD's list, and would add one of the best sportswriters out there right now...Joe Posnanski.
 

gattman

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QUOTE (bd11 @ Feb 10 2010, 02:07 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2807288
Who is so much better? The artist formerly known as Peter Gammons, aka Theo's byatch? Jon Boras Heyman? Tony Masserotti, the most overrated writer in local sports journalism history? Obviously there are better writers than Nick, and I referenced a couple of his flaws above, but I just don't understand why he out of all the potential targets is the one who gets killed here.


Tom Boswell is a good place to start. As it turns out, actually giving a shit about your subject matter and having a modicum of professionalism matter.
 

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QUOTE (bd11 @ Feb 10 2010, 02:07 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2807288
Who is so much better?
Aside from those already mentioned?

Rob Bradford
Alex Speier
Tom Verducci
Buster Olney
Jerry Crasnick
John Feinstein
Sean McAdam
Steve Buckley
Keith Law
Scott Miller (CBS Sportsline)
Ray Ratto (SF Chronicle)
Ken Davidoff (Newsday)
Evan Grant (Dallas Morning News)

Each and every one of the above blows Cafardo out of the water in terms of passion, writing quality, depth of reporting, diversity of sources, factual accuracy, and attention to detail.

Look, I'm sure Nick Cafardo is a fine person and a nice guy. But that's irrelevant to the points at hand. As a beat writer, he's toast. He's been an also-ran ever since he left the Patriot Ledger to join the Morrissey Blvd folks.
 
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QUOTE (Swingandadrive @ Feb 15 2010, 12:19 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2812956
Isn't Evan Grant the guy that left Pedroia off his MVP ballot?

Yes, but he also completely owned up to it and admitted it was a mistake.
QUOTE
"I think the best way for me to sum it up is, in retrospect, obviously I was wrong," Grant said by phone. "My colleagues all, and people I respect an awful lot, thought Dustin deserved to be in the top 5. I had him on my ballot in some scenarios as high as No. 1 late into September. When I looked at the numbers that to me mattered most, OPS and batting average with runners in scoring position, he just didn't stack up with Youkilis at all. He was a laggard behind the others who had great years in the American League. Is it an error of omission that he's left off my ballot entirely? You could say that."
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/reds...grant_on_l.html

This sort of transparency and accountability is extremely refreshing and we don't see it nearly enough in that business.
 
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QUOTE (Corsi Combover @ Feb 15 2010, 12:23 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2812961
Yes, but he also completely owned up to it and admitted it was a mistake.
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/reds...grant_on_l.html

This sort of transparency and accountability is extremely refreshing and we don't see it nearly enough in that business.


That is nice and all but the guy says he was agonizing over who to put 10th on his ballot, either Dustin Pedroia or Carlos Pena yet voted for K-Rod (2nd) and Cliff Lee (7th). I find it unbelievable that he was agonizing whether or not to place Pedroia on his ballot, when 27 of the other 28 people who voted put him either 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th. It would have made more sense to me if he had said he accidentally left him off the ballot when he filled it out rather than saying I was going to put him 10th but I wanted to recognize a player from the Rays because they had 97 wins.
 

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It takes some effort to agonize, though, you have to care and try. That's enough to put him ahead of Cafardo, at least IMO.
 

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Especially lazy column this week. It's like there's only 40 people in all of MLB. The news concerns, first, the Yankees. Then, a little more Yankees with a break-out on Posada. Then, yes, it's Sheffield, who has the news that, supposedly, another club has contacted him, but he won't say which one (Sheffield may be a Hall of Famer, but how long has it been since he was an impact player?).

Moving to the updates on nine, Cafardo is firmly in his comfort zone, with Damon, JP, and a bunch of Yankees (really, we care about Tony Pena now?).

I think only Gagne and Lou Piniella can be said to be outside of Cafardo's standard circle of friends.

But people wonder why we call him lazy - this is a baseball column and here are the teams mentioned in a 2,000 word column:

Yankees
Red Sox
Twins (Thome lucky to land a contract with them - one sentence)
Dodgers (the McCourts' divorce, in apropos; Gagne)
Mets (they're a "mess," from apropos)
Orioles ("surprise team," from apropos)
Cubs (Piniella)
White Sox (Damon wanted to sign with them)
Giants (maybe they like Lowell)

It's the start of Spring Training! We're fired up! And yet all we get is a rehashing of the Yankees don't want to get old all at once meme, complete with the implication that they're going to struggle without Damon and Matsui.
 

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QUOTE (Buck Showalter @ Feb 21 2010, 10:15 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2822117
I was in Boston this morning and picked-up The Globe early this morning.

When I read Cafardo's blurp about the Orioles being a "surprise team" --- I immediately turned the page and thought about this thread.


I almost quit reading when he said McCourt could get change for a million on the proposed 900+ k alimony number put out there by Mrs. McCourt. I hung on to see the Orioles remark and then shut it down. Most respected scouts, analysts, etc have said the O's could be a surprise, but in 2011. I'm not sure if Cafardo was trying to have a "you heard it hear first" moment or he was just being lazy and putting what he has heard second hand out there, albeit, incorrectly.

Either way, he still sucks.
 

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No mention of this stylistic gem?
QUOTE
the Fear of Getting Old Part II, the Big Four: Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Pettitte.
 

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I just realized I must not have even read him this week just because none of that sounds familiar. And wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
 

Fratboy

Mr. MENsa
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Nov 29, 2003
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QUOTE (Buck Showalter @ Feb 21 2010, 10:15 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=2822117
I was in Boston this morning and picked-up The Globe early this morning.

When I read Cafardo's blurp about the Orioles being a "surprise team" --- I immediately turned the page and thought about this thread.

They're posed for a Ray-esque breakout in 2011. But don't be surprised if they win 78 games this year; Toronto's in tear-down mode.

I like busting on Cafardo as much as anyone, but he's not wrong here.

edit: all depends on how you define "surprise," I suppose. The "surprise" would be that they won't be a cellar-dwellar, and that Toronto's a better candidate to lose 95 games than they are.
 
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