07 August 2004

Rick James Dead... Bitch. And Other News.

I'm sorta burned out on the Red Sox right now. Forgive me. I'll now ramble for a bit...

Red Sox pick up Mike Myers! Yay! Seriously though, it's a decent move as a LOOGY. That being said, the 2004 Boston Red Sox are very much starting to concern me. Normally a nice bullpen move like this would pump me up. A 4-3 loss to the Tigers tonight, and I'm not even really that into it at this point. I'm still on the wagon- but it's tough to love this team.

When asked if he was glad to come to Boston, Myers responded, curiously, in a Scottish accent, and looked uncomfortable when Dan Shaughnessy started formulating a column calling Myer's act (and pitching) "tired"...developing...

Larry Walker is a St. Louis Cardinal, and was acquired for practically nothing. After clearing waivers, the Cardinals got Walker and relief from his horrendous contract for a trio of mid level prospects. Walker joins and augments what may be the best lineup in baseball. Right now it looks like it may be a Yankees- Cardinals World Series that could be something of a softball tournament- potent, frightening lineups and seriously questionable pitching.

So, the air is pretty thin in St. Louis too, right? (pause) Well, I mean, thinner than most is all I'm asking...Not thin at all?! Are you sure?...

So who's lineup is better? At the moment, if pressed, I'd say St. Louis over the Yankees. It's close though. Let's look at their respective "everyday" lineups. I'll remove the DH to be fair:

1. Kenny Lofton, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Gary Sheffield, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, LF
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. (DH)
8. John Olerud, 1B
9. Miguel Cairo, 2B

1. Tony Womack, 2B
2. Edgar Renteria, SS
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Jim Edmonds, CF
5. Scott Rolen, 3B
6. Reggie Sanders/ Larry Walker, RF
7. So Taguchi, LF
8. Mike Matheny, C
9. (P)

Let's first determine the clear winners- Albert Pujols (over Olerud/ Clark), Jim Edmonds (over Williams/ Lofton), and Tony Womack (over Cairo/ Wilson), this year, trump their Yankee counterparts while Jorge Posada (over Matheny), Gary Sheffield (over Reggie Sanders) and Hideki Matsui (over Taguchi/ Lankford) best their counterparts.

So the key battleground positions are 3B and SS. Here, to wit, a comparison at the hot corner, offensively:

SCOTT ROLEN- .333 .410 .617 1.027 26HR 97RBI 46BB 242B 3SB 76R
ALEX RODRIG- .283 .369 .534 .955 29HR 71RBI 54BB 152B 20SB 77R

Looks like Rolen is a landslide winner there, and two things jump out at me. First- 15 2Bs from A-Rod. Seems very, very low- but I guess that's what happens when many of your 2Bs turn into HRs. Still, Manny Ramirez has 28 HRs... and 31 2Bs. Also, though irrelevant to this discussion- Melvin fucking Mora not only has a higher BA (.342) and OBP (.429) than A-Rod... he's outSLG-ing him too! (.573/ .534) When did Melvin Mora become one of the better hitters in baseball? How has he had a better season than Alex Rodriguez?! Patience, my friends. He learned patience.

It's also worth noting that while not relevant to an offensive comparison- these two are your prohibitive favorites for their respective GGs- props to A-Rod for literally mastering his position- Eric Chavez is still better than both these guys, but he was hurt, so A-Rod gets it.
Advantage: ROLEN

Now, Renteria vs. Jeter. Ahh, this should be fun.

RENTE- .290 .335 .413 .748 8HR 48RBI 30BB 252B 12SB 64R
JETER- .277 .333 .437 .777 14HR 51RBI 24BB 252B 15SB 65R

I'd call this a wash, with a slight edge to Jeter as a result of his power. It is interesting to note how precipitously these two both dropped from last year (Jetes: .324 .393 .450 .844 / Renteria: .330 .394 .480 .874 ). Renteria is the far superior defensive player, a jab I enjoy sticking in though it doesn't mean anything for our discussion.
Advantage: JETER

So, we can see a best-of lineup culled from the two would be:
C- Jorge Posada, NYY
1B- Albert Pujols, StL
2B- Tony Womack, StL
3B- Scott Rolen, StL
SS- Derek Jeter, NYY
LF- Hideki Matsui, NYY
CF- Jim Edmonds, StL
RF- Gary Sheffield, NYY

That's right- four Yankees, four Cards. Since the Walker trade though, the Cards may have covered one of their only two weaknesses- not catcher, but left field (which Sanders will probably shift to in favor of Walker in right). The Yankees still have sizable issues at 2B (where, despite what any pleasantly surprised Yankee fan will tell you, Miguel Cairo's been their worst hitter by far), CF and now 1B since Giambi's illness. It's also worth noting that the Cardinals have THREE starters with an OBP +.400 (Rolen, Pujols, Edmonds) to the Yankees two (Posada and Sheffield- though Matsui is close).
Cards by a nose.

Super Freak Rick James is dead at 56, and if you're wondering, no, it doesn't make Dave Chapelle's skit any less funny. This was surprising because people seem to be accepting the prognosis of "natural causes" for a 56 year old- I don't think anything is "afoot," but it's still weird. Rick James was a genuinely talented artist- until he took the dumb cliche route and pissed away his talent in favor of drugs and legal troubles. "Party All the Time" will live always in our hearts, of course. Hammer thanks Rick as well, I'm sure. Sad stuff.

-Who are you?
-I'm the Enchanted Wizard of Rhythm.
-Why are you here?
-To tell you about the rhythms of the universe.

The White Stripes- "Seven Nation Army"
Wu Tang Clan- "Protect Ya Neck"
Van Halen- "Unchained"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- "Date with the Night"
Elliott Smith- "Son of Sam"
Sly and the Family Stone- "Dance to the Music"
Elton John- "I Want Love"
Queen- "Fat Bottomed Girls"
My Morning Jacket- "Mahgeeta"
Iggy Pop- "The Passenger"
Husker Du- "Books About UFOs"
Prince- "Darling Nikki"
The Ramones- "53rd & 3rd"
REM- "Pretty Persuasion"
The Beatles- "Tomorrow Never Knows"
Neil Young- "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"
Queens of the Stone Age- "Go With the Flow"
Soundgarden- "4th of July"
Interpol- "Obstacle 1"
Velvet Underground- "White Light/ White Heat"
Wilco- "Heavy Metal Drummer"
The Beatles- "A Day in the Life"
Beastie Boys- "So What'cha Want"
Beck- "Hotwax"
David Bowie- "Queen Bitch"
Death Cab for Cutie- "Expo '86"
Elliott Smith- "Cupid's Trick"
Led Zeppelin- "Bring it on Home"
Outkast- "Da Art of Storytelling (Part One)"

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