I still remember the day in late October when I woke up, padded out to the dining room for some Sugar Frosted Flakes, and saw my parents putting all of our belongings into cardboard boxes.
They had mentioned that we would be moving, but seeing our entire lives crated up and marked with tidy labels like "Living Room" and "Master Bedroom" finally brought home what that would entail. Gone would be our large bay window. Gone would be the tree I used to climb in the backyard. Gone would be all of my friends; my entire world.
On the verge of tears, I asked them why we had to move away from such an incredible house, where old memories lived and new ones were being made all the time. My father put his arm around me and told me that the house, while beautiful, had a bad foundation. There were cracks in it, and it was sinking into the earth. Within a few years, he said, the structure would deteriorate.
Maybe he didn't say exactly that, but that was the idea.
The 2005 Houston Astros remind me of that old house. Even while they were putting up great seasons and going deep into the playoffs - even winning the National League pennant that season - they were built on a bad foundation. The system that had produced Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman, Morgan Ensberg, Roy Oswalt, and Brad Lidge wasn't churning out prospects anymore. The rookies developed in-house who made the 2005 postseason (Willy Taveras, Chris Burke, Ezequiel Astacio) weren't at quite the same level. Houston's farm system was ranked 22nd among the 30 teams. The big league squad was being patched together with short-sighted trades and free agent signings.
A few bad drafts, combined with subpar development and other teams' increased productivity in Venezuela - an area where the Astros had once dominated - had left cracks in the foundation, even while the big league club was celebrating its greatest success on the field.
Before the 2005 season, Tim Purpura stepped in as the team's General Manager after a surprise resignation by his predecessor, Gerry Hunsicker. But Purpura wasn't able to immediately address the cracks in the foundation, because his attention was turned to the big league roster. Before his departure, Hunsicker had declined second baseman Jeff Kent's option, and the team had to wait until January before outfielder Carlos Beltran decided to turn down their contract offer.
After reading Joe Posnanski's article about each team's top prospects in 2006 and cringing at the idea that Jason Hirsh was listed as #1 for Houston (#52 overall), I was inspired to turn to Baseball America's Top 10 Houston Astros Prospects list, written prior to the 2006 season, to see how well these prospects turned out.
Like Posnanski's article, I'm more interested in looking at the prospects themselves, not at Baseball America's rankings system. BA does a great job of integrating the opinions of scouts, development personnel, general managers, and more, and is a great source to see the top consensus on prospects.
So here we go, the top ten Houston Astros prospects prior to the 2006 season:
1. Jason Hirsh, rhp
MLB Debut: August 12, 2006
Current Team: Out of baseball
At 6'8", 250 pounds, Hirsh was a presence on the mound. With a fastball in the low nineties and good breaking pitches, he had the potential to dominate minor league hitters. After being traded to the Colorado Rockies as part of the Jason Jennings deal, however, he suffered through a string of injuries - a broken right fibula and a sprained right ankle in 2007. Rotator cuff inflammation in 2008. Despite a decent showing in Colorado in 2007, he ended up throwing only 165.2 innings in the big leagues, spread over three seasons.
Hit or Miss: Miss
2. Troy Patton, lhp
MLB Debut: August 25, 2007
Current Team: Baltimore Orioles
At one time, Patton was considered a top-of-the-rotation prospect for Houston. After going to Baltimore as one of five players traded for Miguel Tejada, however, he got banged up with injuries - including labrum surgery in 2008 - and lost much of his velocity. The Orioles were patient with him, and their patience seems to be paying off, as he's been worth 1.4 wins over 85.2 innings in 2011 and 2012 out of the bullpen. Despite what seems like an extremely long developmental process, Patton is arbitration-eligible for the Orioles for just the first time in 2013, with Super 2 status, and recently turned 27.
Hit or Miss: It's still early, but it looks like he's finally a Hit as a middle reliever.
3. Fernando Nieve, rhp
MLB Debut: April 4, 2006
Current Team: Cleveland Indians
Nieve was one of the last players to make it to the big leagues from the Houston Astros' Venezuelan baseball academy - a list that includes Johan Santana, Bobby Abreu, Richard Hidalgo, Carlos Guillen, Freddy Garcia, and Melvin Mora. With a low-to-mid-nineties fastball and an aggressive cutter and slider, Nieve suffered control issues at the big league level and eventually had Tommy John surgery in 2007. His big league output has been maddening, becoming something of a Three True Outcomes guy. He's bounced around the minors between the Mets, Astros, and Dodgers the past few seasons, and was recently signed by the Indians as a non-roster invitee.
Hit or Miss: Miss
4. Jimmy Barthmaier, rhp
MLB Debut: June 27, 2008
Current Team: Out of baseball
They say there are no true pitching prospects, because one tweak and a player can vanish forever. It's been a trend among Astros pitching prospects on this list, and Barthmaier is no different. Barthmaier turned a successful A-ball season (SAL Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star, Baseball America Low Class A All-Star, two-time SAL pitcher of the week) into a reputation as a solid pitching prospect, but between injuries and control and command issues, he ran into issues at nearly every level. He's been limited to just over 10 major league innings, all for Pittsburgh in 2008, and bounced around in the low minors for the Nationals in 2012.
Hit or Miss: Miss
5. Eli Iorg, of
MLB Debut: Never
Current Team: Out of baseball
Another injury-plagued minor league career, plus two years of missionary work in Africa, stretched Iorg's timeline unreasonably. A gap hitter with a plus arm, his power numbers in the low minors looked impressive until you considered his age. When he finally reached Triple-A in 1999, he was overwhelmed in just 44 plate appearances, posting a 209/227/302 line, and never made it to the majors.
Hit or Miss: Miss
6. Hunter Pence, of
MLB Debut: April 28, 2007
Current Team: San Francisco Giants
Pence was coming off a 2005 season in which he'd been named the Astros Minor League Player of the Year, and Baseball America had named him the best batting prospect and the best power prospect in the South Atlantic League, which makes his #6 ranking a bit puzzling. The following season, 2006, he led all Astros minor leaguers in runs (107), home runs (31), RBI (106), and total bases (314), and was again named the Minor League Player of the Year. He provided value for the Astros from 2007 until his trade to Philadelphia in 2011, and won a World Series title in 2012 with San Francisco.
Hit or Miss: Hit
7. Felipe Paulino del Guidice (as Felipe Paulino was then known), rhp
MLB Debut: September 5, 2007
Current Team: Kansas City Royals
Paulino, another Venezuelan Academy graduate, had moved up into the #2 prospect position in 2008, before a pinched nerve caused him to miss the entire season. When Brian Moehler went down to injury in 2009, Paulino was called up to start against the Cincinnati Reds. Through six innings of work, he gave up just three hits and two walks, no runs, and struck out six in his no-decision. He wouldn't really hit his stride until 2010, when he learned to cut down on the long ball and was rewarded with a 3.44 FIP. He struggled in 2011 after being traded to the Rockies for Clint Barmes, but rebounded after Colorado sold him to Kansas City, experiencing a breakout with the Royals before Tommy John surgery sidelined him in July 2012.
Hit or Miss: Hit
8. Juan Gutierrez, rhp
MLB Debut: August 19, 2007
Current Team: Kansas City Royals
Also from the Venezuelan Academy, Gutierrez didn't really hit his stride until after he was traded to the Diamondbacks in 2007 as part of the package for Jose Valverde. That season, he showed an obscene deviation in HR/FB ratio, which helped him to a 3.00 FIP and consideration as Arizona's closer entering 2008. Constant shoulder trouble has plagued his career, and in 2011 he underwent Tommy John surgery. With a mid-nineties fastball and two plus breaking pitches, he remains an intriguing bullpen arm, but the book is decidedly still out on him.
Hit or Miss: Miss (for now)
9. Brian Bogusevic, lhp
MLB Debut: September 1, 2010
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
It bears mentioning that Bogusevic was still listed as a pitching prospect on this list. Drafted in the first round (24th overall) out of Tulane, he struggled in the minors before being converted to the outfield in 2008. His 182 big league plate appearances in 2011, with a 287/348/457 line, hinted at great things to come, but he struggled greatly in 2012, despite a few interesting peripherals. Granted free agency in November as a victim of the Astros' youth movement, I'm not convinced that we've heard the last of Brian Bogusevic. The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal in November.
Hit or Miss: Miss (for now)
10. Josh Flores, of
MLB Debut: None
Current Team: Out of baseball
Flores had just come off a 335/383/520 season in Greeneville when this list was published, and it's no wonder that scouts and development personnel were bullish on him. In 2006, he struggled in Lexington before exploding in Salem in 2007 (325/388/500 in 276 plate appearances), but with his promotion to Corpus Christi, the wheels came off the bus. Flores struggled at the Double-A level before undergoing knee surgery in 2009, and was never quite able to tap into his power after that. To put things in perspective, Lancaster has a well-deserved history of inflated power numbers. In 2010, Flores' ISO with the Jethawks was just .066, far down from the .175 he'd posted in Salem three years earlier.
Hit or Miss: Miss
Interestingly, Ben Zobrist did not make this list. Of all the prospects in the Astros system at the time, Zobrist was the one who has contributed most at the big league level. With good plate discipline, positional flexibility (but useful positional flexibility... which is to say he's good at many positions, unlike most utilitymen), and just enough pop in his bat, Zobrist has been worth almost 25 wins in over 3,000 plate appearances since going to the Devil Rays in 2006 as part of the trade that brought Aubrey Huff to Houston.
On December 9th, Wil Myers headlined a package of prospects traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis. Since that time many people have been speculating whether Myers will start the year in AAA, of if he'll start with the big league club. Steve Kinsella of Drays Bay, looked into this very question. The piece can be read here.
The question that Rays fans have been debating still has yet to be answered - Is Wil Myers going to be on the opening day roster? One general line of thought has been that unless he signs a long term extension like Evan Longoria or Matt Moore that the Rays will start him off in AAA. Then the next question is whether or not he stays for a short time to give the Rays the extra 1/2 year plus of service time or do they keep him in the minors long enough to mature past Super 2 status? The structure of a contract extension and the merits or drawbacks of sending him to the minors can and will be discussed in more detail between now and opening day.
As noted, the Rays love signing their young guys to cheap contracts. Evan Longoria's first contract was for 6 years-$17.5M with three options that would have paid an additional $30M+. In 2011 the Rays gave Matt Moore a 5 year-$14 million dollar contract that could make the contract be worth $40M+.
I imagine something like that would be ideal for a team like the Rays, and it also would make Wil Myers a very wealthy man. I don't think there are any questions about Myers being ready or not. Myers absolutely dominated the minors in 2012, so now it's just about waiting for the appropriate time to bring him up.
Question for the community:
1) Would you start Wil Myers in the majors right away?
2.) Would you extend Myers now? If so for how long/much? Do you extend Price or Myers given the Rays struggles with hitter development?
Just five short years ago, the Rockies' fielding was the talk of Major League Baseball. Most notably, the 2007 club set a record for team fielding percentage (.98925). Lest we sneeze at that because it's fielding percentage, the Rockies were 5th in the National League in Defensive Runs Saved, 3rd in the NL for RZR, and 2nd in the NL for Defensive Efficiency. Given this stellar defensive play, the Rockies had the 15th best UZR in all of baseball in 2007.
Wait, 15th? Only league average in the catchall "Ultimate Zone Rating?" How could that be? Well, this article in the 2008 Hardball Times Baseball Annual helps to explain the conundrum. The 2007 Rockies weren't spectacular at making plays out of their zone. In fact, they were middle of the pack. But the 2007 Rockies overcame their lack of team speed and range by making the plays on balls hit to them, as evidenced by their record fielding percentage (.989), as well as their Defensive Efficiency (.701) and league-best ErrR (19.8). What the Rockies lost in range, they more than made up for in clean play.
How things have changed. The 2012 Rockies were dead last in Defensive Runs Saved (-88), much worse than the 2nd-worst Astros (-70), who in turn were much worse than 3rd-worst Cleveland (-51). The 2012 Rockies also were last 2nd to last in UZR (-41.6). As Andrew Martin noted back in October, the defense cost the Rockies nine wins in 2012.
The reasons for the poor defensive play aren't hard to identify. As compared to the rest of the league, the Rockies have slipped from mediocre to well below average when it comes to range (e.g., 27th in OOZ in 2012). But the really troubling tumble has come from poor fielding on balls within the range of the fielder. The 2012 Rockies, for example, were last in the league in Defensive Efficiency (.657) and fielding percentage (.980), 2nd to last in RngR (-41.1), and 25th in ErrR (-5.0). Unlike their 2007 counterparts, the 2012 Rockies' fielders were dramatically worse in cleanly fielding balls hit to them in their vicinity.
The weak spots aren't hard to identify, either. Bill James' 2013 Handbook has a breakdown of Defensive Runs Saved by team and position. The trouble areas for the Rockies were third base (a league worst -32), shortstop (a league worst -24), right field (-11) and catcher (-11). At third base, neither Chris Nelson nor Jordan Pacheco scored well on balls hit outside their range, but they also scored poorly on balls hit within their range. At shortstop, Josh Rutledge pretty much gave what could be expected from him on plays outside of his zone, but still suffered with poor fielding within his range. In right field, Michael Cuddyer and Tyler Colvin not surprisingly had better fielding numbers than their infield counterparts (given the inherent bias of fielding metrics), but suffered from limited range. And as for catcher, poor Wilin Rosario's struggles are common knowledge, and overshadowed Ramon Hernandez's own subpar numbers.
What does this portend for next year? Some worries, but some reasons for hope, too. The team range isn't likely to improve at third base or right field, with Nelson and Pacheco penciled in to play third base and Cuddyer and Colvin playing in right field. But as the 2007 Rockies demonstrated, limited range can be overcome, or at least mitigated, by clean play.
Some help is on the way with a healthy Tulowitzki at shortstop and Rutledge sliding over to second. It may also improve, as Thomas Harding argued yesterday, with better pitching that will keep the defense alert. But much more importantly, playing sound defense on balls within the fielder's range should be, and likely will be, a point of emphasis for a new manager well remembered for his defensive play. At the very least, emphasizing clean defense is consistent with Dan O'Dowd's remarks last month that the team needs to better focus on the issues that are "controllable."
Defensive metrics are still a bit dubious, at least as applied to some players and context (one context, as Buster Olney noted yesterday, perhaps being Coors Field). For example, Michael Cuddyer had DRS and UZR scores last year better than both Dexter Fowler and Gold Glove winner Carlos Gonzalez. So the numbers don't tell the whole story, or an entirely accurate story, about the defense. But we do know that the 2012 Rockies were pretty bad when it comes to fielding in ways that don't depend on speed or range but, instead, on cleanly catching and accurately throwing the baseball. That can improve, and must improve, for the team to compete in 2013.
Buster Olney (ESPN Insider) - Top 10 Outfields in MLB: In yesterday's blog (subscription required), Olney ranked the 10 best outfields going into 2013. The Rockies didn't make the cut for two reasons. Defense, as noted above, was one of them. I'll let you guess the other.
Very little in Hot Stove action on New Year's Day, other than David Price reportedly avoiding arbitration with the Rays by signing a one-year deal believed to be around $10 million, and Brett Myers signing a one-year deal with Cleveland. In the rumor mill, Seattle apparently has had some discussion with Miami about acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, as reported by FOX Sports' Jon Morosi. However, a source described the deal to Morosi as "doubtful."
Jon Heyman tweeted yesterday that Brandon Webb will throw a bullpen session for "several interested teams" in Arizona later this month. No word on whether the Rockies are involved, but one report suggests the Twins will send an observer.
Finally, today's the 101st anniversary of Charles Hercules Ebbets' historic announcement that he would build a new brick-and-steel ballpark for his Brooklyn club. While he wouldn't be the first to build such a park, he was the first to do so in New York, and it represented major progress both for Brooklyn and the sport. The park opened in 1913, and the Dodgers would play at Ebbets Field for 44 years before relocating to Los Angeles after the 1957 season.
If the Marlins could actually put together a consistent product that made serious attempts to win for years to come, it all would have been worth it.
Of course, that's not what ended up happening. The Marlins went on a ridiculous spending spree in an attempt to drum up the necessary interest to initially fill the ballpark, but once things started to go south, they sold off every key piece ... again. Once again, Marlins fans were caught in the ruse.
Only this time, they had to foot the bill for an expensive new ballpark, put up with a manager that publicly supported the biggest villain of so many residents and watch a disappointing on-field product.
Indeed, this is a quite succinct summarization of what transpired in the 2012 season. Given the disappointing nature of the entire year, 2013 should be a welcome sight to see for Marlins fans. But the upcoming 2013 season will only serve as a reminder of the problems the team will be facing this year. The fire sale trade with the Toronto Blue Jays will lead to a number of scrubs and young minor league talents taking over positions with the Fish in 2013. Giancarlo Stanton is mad and trade rumors about him persist. The product the Marlins will boast in 2013 will be an ugly one in the wake of the actions of 2012.
Still, a new year should be a new beginning, and despite my cry to boycott the Miami Marlins, I am still a supporting fan at heart, if not in person and with money. With the calendar turning, I think it is best for me to spell out my new year's resolutions regarding the Miami Marlins and attempt to let the past rest in 2012's peace.
1. I resolve to watch every Giancarlo Stanton plate appearance with awe and wonder.
It feels almost inevitable. At some point within the next two calendar years, Giancarlo Stanton will be traded. It is likely he has made it clear that his future does not lie with this organization. Even if the Marlins wanted to, they will not be able to commit money to him long-term. Their actions in the offseason of 2012 have alienated Stanton and created a gap that is unlikely to be closed within the next season or two. Thus, the Marlins are likely to refuse to commit any amount of money, short- or long-term, to Stanton, particularly in the midst of an otherwise losing product.
So if that is the case, I resolve to cherish every plate appearance that us Marlins fans have left with Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton. We have precious little time left with him as a member of the Fish, and there is a decent chance he becomes one of the premier players in baseball in a few years' time. Just like with Miguel Cabrera, we should all appreciate his talent while he is still here, even if there is no hope that he will remain here for the rest of his career.
2. i resolve to stay updated with Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich.
These two players are the futures of the Miami Marlins organization. The Fish acquired a number of decent prospects in the trade with the Blue Jays, but Fernandez and Yelich remain the critical cogs of success for the next Miami Marlins era. Once Stanton departs via trade, the keys will be left to these two players to become the stars necessary to lead the new Marlins to contention. With the future in their hands, I want to be as updated on their progress as much as possible as they both start Double-A.
3. I resolve to forget 2012.
Part of moving on to this new year is to forget the past, and as such, I plan on letting go of 2012 and focusing on the present. The Miami Marlins are irreparably damaged, but their chances of competing again are certainly present. If the team can begin sewing the seeds of competitiveness with some positive results in 2013, we can all move on and try to forget the ugliness of 2012 and the disappointment that it brought. For the Marlins, I would like to use the turning of the calendar year to really turn a new leaf with the organization.
It does mean that I will forgive or forget what Jeffrey Loria and company did to harm the organization. Nor will I forget the important lessons in how not to run an organization and plan out its long-term future. But with the new year here, I think it is best to allow my fandom for the team to move forward, even as I consider the lessons of the past.
4. I resolve to be the most supportive Marlins fan I can be to the current cast.
Part of accomplishing the third resolution is to do this fourth one. The current crop of Marlins is young, and being a fan since 1997, I have seen many overly young Marlins teams in the past. This group may be a part of the Marlins' core for the next three or four years, so it is best if I give them my best support possible from my end. There is no reason Adeiny Hechavarria or Jacob Turner should be booed when the real target is the team's front office and ownership. For the players, I will have nothing but fan support, even in what appears to be a very difficult season to watch.
Michael Young’s 2012 season didn’t impress a whole lot of people. Baseball-Reference calculates his WAR at -2.4, the worst markRead the Rest...
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Happy Birthday David Cone!!! David Cone turns 50 years old today. Immensely talented, Cone was a dominant force over the course of his 17-season career. With a lifetime record of 194-126, along with 2,668 strikeouts, Cone was often the leader of … Continue reading →
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Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball shares his awesome work projecting minor leaguers using statistics (fanpost): Prospects Percentages of Making the Majors
I'm really not good at marketing or selling anything. I just know that what I have here is interesting and I want to share it. What I am sharing is the information from the 2006 season. As an example of what the data shows and a track record. I can do this for every season from 1990-2012. Take a look, I hope it interests you.
Steve Kinsella at DRaysBay looks at the Rays' decision on whether or not to have Wil Myers on the Opening Day roster: Wil He Or Won't He - The Rays And The Wil Myers Decision
A quiet Sunday evening in December was abruptly changed when the Rays finally did it. The anticipation of a big trade involving one of the Rays starting pitchers had finally become a reality when on a late Sunday evening on December 9th the Rays announced that they had traded James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals. In exchange the Rays received Baseball America's top prospect Wil Myers, pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, and 20 year old 3b prospect Patrick Leonard.
Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider looks at some of the biggest risks taken this offseason ($): Biggest risks of the offseason
To win a World Series you have to take some risks. And this offseason, plenty of contenders have been taking them. Here are the biggest risks I've seen this winter.
Mike Bates of Baseball Nation speaks about the irony of the ethical stand involving the Hall of Fame: Bagwell, Piazza, and the Hall: The irony of an ethical stand
Last year, I had an email exchange with Bob Brookover, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which we argued about his refusal to vote for Jeff Bagwell to make the Hall of Fame. In light of yesterday's voting deadline for BBWAA members and Bob's column on his Hall of Fame vote and his decision to only vote for Dale Murphy, I thought it was appropriate to present my half of that conversation. While it won't do any good in 2012, maybe this piece will help us get a jump on the 2013 balloting
The Book Blog points out the historical factor of a potential non-vote this year: BBWAA poised to make historical non-vote
Based on the unofficial Ballot Collecting Gizmo by the unmatched Repoz, five players are easily expected to clear the 50% support line for the Hall of Fame, and two more (Bonds, Clemens) are on the cusp. None of them are expected to get to 75%.
If you have anything you would like to submit for Sabersphere, please email me at SpencerSchneier22@gmail.com.
Today's BtB Retro comes from Tommy Bennett, in which he talks about the potential impact the economy may have had on player salaries: How the Economy Will Affect Salaries (10/30/09)
It is possible that the recession in the United States has already ended. Yesterday, the Commerce Department announced that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) had grown in the third quarter at an annual rate of 3.5%. It marked the first quarter of GDP growth in more than a year. What does this have to do with baseball?
The Kansas City police department, acting on a tip from concerned neighbors, raided a local home today and found countless numbers of utility baseball players. The home belongs to a Dayton Moore, age 45, who is employed in the front office of the Kansas City Royals. Officials describe a very chaotic scene.
Detective John Aikens was the first to go into the house, "I came in the front door and it was a mess. Right in the entryway were 10 - 15 utility players just milling around. When we went into the kitchen we found some in the cupboards, some more under the kitchen table, and even one just sitting on the table. Each time we entered a room another 15 would come scampering out. We found others under beds, in closets, and behind the couches. They were everywhere."
Neighbors were not surprised by what was found. "Dayton has always been a little odd," said next door neighbor Cindy Wilson. "Some neighborhoods have the crazy cat lady, but I guess we have the crazy utility player guy. We knew he liked to collect utility players. We didn't know he had quite so many, but I'm not surprised by this."
Kansas City psychologist Dave Leonard describes Moore's behavior as showing the classic symptoms of Low Value Hoarding Syndrome, or LVHS. "Some people would look at Moore's behavior and be puzzled by it. After all, why hoard something of so little value when you can easily get another one? But, LVHS sufferers don't see it that way. People like Dayton believe that this utility player might someday turn into something of value, kind of like that old painting in the grandma's attic that is actually an original Rembrandt. He also sees himself as a utility whisperer; that he is the one that can give meaning and dignity back to the lives of these utility players."
Moore appears to not have cared if the player was a utility infielder or a utility outfielder, just as long as they didn't hit for much power and didn't have an easily definable position. "That fits the mold," explains Leonard. "Typical LVHS people don't specialize. They are seeking for anything with that low value that they can reclaim. So it would make no difference to Dayton if the player was a utility infielder or outfielder. If it is somebody that is perceived to have a low value, he wants to be the one to step in and help."
While police officers on the scene say the house had a musty smell of urine and fecal material, all of the utility players appear to have been well-fed and cared for. Donald Leius, director of the Major League Players Association, a non-profit group dedicated to finding homes for players, is not surprised. "We could always count on Dayton to help. Finding a home for all our players can be difficult, but Dayton specialized in the hard cases, the ones nobody else wanted. Whenever we would get a little full here at our shelter, we would call Dayton in to take a look. He specifically asked for the ones with little to no power and the ones who nobody else had looked at. Don't be too hard on him. He's a good guy."
Neighbors aren't as quick to praise Moore. "Frankly, it's a little creepy." said Jean Patek, who lived across the street from Moore. "He would spend all night long sitting on the swing on his front porch with a bunch of utility players running around in his front yard. He would then stare at anybody who walked by, not saying anything. Where did he get them all? It just didn't seem right."
Neighbors decided to call the police after a recent uptick on Moore's activity. Patek continued "Just a little while ago it was Xavier Nady. Then right after that, on the same day, he comes home with both Endy Chavez and Miguel Tejada. And I know that I have seen Jarrod Dyson and Willy Taveras go in that house recently as well. I called the neighbors and we decided that something finally had to be done."
Peter McRae, who lives two houses down from Moore, was appointed by the neighbors as the spokesperson, and he thought he should approach Moore before calling police. "I went to the front door, and before I could even knock, I saw through the curtains, and it was a zoo in there. I knocked, and I know I saw Moore looking at me, but he just sat on the couch staring at me with those sunglasses on and didn't come to the door. All the while there were so many utility players running around causing mayhem. That's when we decided we had to call somebody."
For all the chaos police encountered, there was nothing the police could do. Detective Aikens continues, "It turns out that there is no city law against hoarding utility players. We didn't want to just leave them there, but our hands were tied. We have laws against hoarding all kinds of things, including cats, lizards, and dogs. We even have laws in Kansas City against hoarding power hitters, but there is nothing against hoarding utility players. As long as they are cared for, we have to let them stay."
Neighbors are not happy. "It's not right," says Patek. "My niece lives in Los Angeles, and she recently married Nick Punto. Just this last Christmas they came to visit me and would you believe that Dayton came over then? He never comes to my house, but when Punto was here Dayton came over and was acting all nice to Nick. I'm afraid its a matter of time before Nick joins the madhouse over there. It's too bad, Nick is such a nice, gritty young man."
It is unclear at this point what, if anything, will be done to stop Moore, but for now his collecting of utility players shows no sign of slowing down.
Happy Birthday Bill Madlock!!! Bill Madlock turns 62 years old today. One of the most underrated hitters of his era, Bill Madlock was a master at the plate!! A 4-time batting champion, ‘Mad Dog’ finished his 15-year career with a … Continue reading →
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