December 2004 Posts

the big unit

Tricky spammers…

I got an e-mail titled “the big unit” and seeing as I had been blogging about The Big Unit, Randy Johnson, I thought I would take a look. Maybe it was from someone who read my blog.

Wrong… they were talking about some other sort of unit, it seems.

Sox, Yankees Come Together on Trade for A-Rod Buddy Mientkiewicz?

With Kevin Millar’s proclaimation that he will not platoon with Mientkiewicz, could the Red Sox and Yankees come together on a trade for the 2001 Gold Glove award winner? Coincidentially, him and A-Rod go way back. Could A-Rod be lobbying at this very second? If he takes Pedro out to dinner (PUKE), surely he’s given his buddy a phone call, right?

From the article:

It is hard to defend Mientkiewicz after last year. His average dropped from .300 in 2003 to .238 last season and he did even worse as a Red Sox, hitting only .215. If the team if forced to chose between Millar and Mientkiewicz they will likely ship Doug off to a team that needs a defensive-minded first baseman.

Although his numbers were poor last year, I wouldn’t rule out a comeback in the Bronx. His poor numbers could make him easier to get. We know his D is very good, but it looks like he gets on base pretty well and he’s also a lefty bat that could take advantage of the short porch in right. With us trying to get rid of Giambi, we could maybe trade for him and sign Tino as insurance. I don’t see too many better options floating around (there were whispers about Helton a while back, but they have been silent for a long time and he makes megabucks, anyway). I don’t want to commit any big bucks to Carlos Delgado, anyway.

The question is can the Red Sox and Yankees reasonably come together to make a deal? Who knows. But, it’s an idea.

Kaz Ishii Added to Unit Deal?

The New York Daily News reports:

The Big Unit is coming to the Yankees.

After day-long negotiations at the highest level, the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Dodgers agreed in principle to the blockbuster trade that will put Randy Johnson in pinstripes, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The trade has Shawn Green, Brad Penny, Yhency Brazoban and prospect Brandon Weeden going from L.A. to Arizona; Javier Vazquez and two Yankee prospects (Dioner Navarro and Eric Duncan) going from the Bronx to the Dodgers; and the Big Unit along with L.A. lefthander Kaz Ishii coming to New York.

The initial framework of the deal did not have the Yankees getting Ishii, but the Dodgers appear determined to shed significant salary in the exchange.

Trade talks between the teams heated up over the summer, but no deal was reached before the July 31 trading deadline. Discussions picked up again earlier this winter, but the Yankees balked on Dec. 1 after Arizona asked for a package that included Vazquez, Tom Gordon, $19.5 million and a slew of prospects or, alternatively, one of 10 starting pitchers the Yanks would have to acquire from another team.

Also, DePodesta saves money on getting Konerko (due $8 million) to replace Green ($16 million) while the Yanks agreed to pay $2 million of Ishii’s $5 million salary.

I would be happy with the addition of Ishii. Why? Well, we have two lefties. With Ishii, it shakes out to Johnson, Mussina, Pavano, Ishii, Wright. Take a look at Ishii’s numbers. Now look at Eric Milton’s. I’ll give Ishii the shot. Especially considering his contract, which could prove to be a bargain if he can perform.

Happy Holidays

Just thought I would say Happy Holidays. :)

I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!

Pedro Takes Shots at Red Sox, Already a Pain to Piazza

Martinez blasts Schilling, Red Sox, ‘arrogant’ Epstein:


… Martinez criticized the negotiating tactics of Red Sox officials, saying he repeatedly got mixed signals from team president Larry Lucchino, owner John Henry and General Manager Theo Epstein, whom he called “arrogant.”

Pedro calling someone arrogant – that’s a good one! Pot, meet Kettle.

… He said he left the Red Sox after seven years partly because he didn’t want to be second in the starting rotation behind Schilling, who was acquired last offseason and helped lead the team to its first World Series championship in 86 years.

“I told [Henry], ‘You want to sign me, get it done. Please force them to get it done. I’m willing to stay here. Negotiate with them. I just don’t want to be under Schilling,” Martinez said.

He also said he deserved a better deal than Schilling.

“Schilling is 38, I’m only 33,” he said. “The fact that I had an off-year doesn’t mean that I can be below Schilling. Still, with an off-year, I’m way over Schilling as a pitcher and I’ve pitched pretty much like Schilling the last few years, if you’re going to talk about durability.”

The consummate team player, that Pedro. Humble, dignified… beloved by many Red Sox fans for essentially being a punk. How I love thee!

“I hope he is gone,” Martinez said of Varitek. “I hope ‘Tek is on my team.”

Asked whether that meant he wanted to get rid of current Mets catcher Mike Piazza, Martinez said, “I do want Piazza, too. Piazza is a good hitter. We can move him to first or somewhere. … I want ‘Tek. ‘Tek is a good player, a good catcher.”

Already starting to get on the nerves of your new teammates AND telling the front office how to do their job, eh? Oh yeah, that Piazza guy who’s been here for a while and is one of the best hitting catchers ever… oh yeah, that guy, well… we can move him to first or somewhere else, who cares as long as I have The Masked Man, ‘Tek? Oh, boy… good luck Mets! Poor Willie.

He said Red Sox manager Terry Francona played a small role in managing the team, taking his cues from the team’s front office.

“Francona is subject to what they decide,” Martinez said. “Francona had no say, like he didn’t have any say in managing the team. He was manipulated from upstairs.”

Asked for evidence to back that assertion, he said, “I was in the clubhouse, that’s how I know.”

Somewhere, George Steinbrenner is smiling.

EA Sports Signs Exclusive Deal with NFL

This is kind of big news. EA Sports has signed an exclusive deal with the NFL and Players Inc. (NFLPA) that give EA the exclusive rights to the NFL teams, stadiums and players in their video games.

So, ESPN comes in and says… well, EA, you’re the leader… we’re going to undercut you by creating a good game and making it available for $30 less than you sell your game for. EA’s response: Fine, funny guys, you won’t be able to make an NFL game next year! How do you like them apples?

EA showed them who was boss and I kind of admire that. This is a bold and wise move. I wish I owned EA stock right now, but it has been shooting up like crazy. I’m a big fan of Madden and a big EA fan, so it doesn’t really bother me from that perspective.

However, the downside is that there will only be one choice for NFL/NFLPA games. This is probably not a good thing and that is where the NFL/NFLPA may be making a mistake here, in selling this exclusive license. And there was an interesting point made by Michael Pachter, a video game industry analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles:

The analyst Pachter also pointed out that once EA’s five-year agreement ends, no other company is likely to bid to produce NFL-themed games because the intensive process of digitizing players’ likenesses costs too much money. Also, the next two years will see the introduction of the next-generation game systems, further increasing the costs. “I do not blame EA for doing this,” Pachter said. “They’re in the business to make money. I blame the NFL. …Five years from now, who’s out there bidding? Nobody. EA’s got them [the NFL] over a barrel.”

Via Aaron Junod via Joystiq.

Odd E-mails From Regarding Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’s Release Date

Supposedly sent this e-mail out to subscribed users:

You previously signed up to be notified when ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ (Book 6) became available. Unfortunately, we’ve learned from our supplier that this item will not be available from our suppliers in the foreseeable future. Someone may be selling this item through Auctions or zShops. We encourage you to search for it there if you’re still interested in purchasing this item.

We’re sorry not to have better news for you.

Then, a bit later:

Greetings from

We’re writing to correct a recent e-mail notification that we sent about “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6).”

In our e-mail, we stated that this title would not be immediately available from our suppliers, and that you may want to search for it elsewhere. While it’s true that “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
Prince” is not yet ready for eager readers, we do plan to notify you by e-mail when this book is available for pre-order on our web site.

We assure you that howlers have been sent to the muggles responsible for this action and we are investigating the possibility that You-Know-Who may have been involved.

We apologize for the incorrect notification that you received. Thank you for shopping at

Sounds like someone made a good sized mistake. :) Or was playing games.

Via and The Leaky Cauldron.

Unit deal not done yet…

Take a read…

RJ to the Yanks

My brother is reporting that ESPN is reporting that the Yankees, Dodgers and Diamondbacks have completed a 3 team swap that will bring Johnson to the Yankees.

Yankees get: Randy Johnson.
Diamondbacks get: Brad Penny, Yhenzy Brazoban and Shawn Green.
Dodgers get: Javier Vazquez, Eric Duncan and Dioner Navarro.

Kind of disappointing to be dealing Duncan and Navarro, but I like A-Rod and Posada, so I’m not that hurt.

Welcome to the team, Randy!

A preliminary look at the rotation:

Johnson, Mussina, Pavano (assuming its announced), Brown (?), Wright

I say we go sign Odalis Perez and make it two lefties!

Not a bad deal. Thank you for holding out for something that wasn’t COMPLETELY INSANE.

Edit: Added more details to the trades.

Won a Game Boy Advance SP – Platinum

Excellent! At the Mase i-Squad, I just won a Game Boy Advance SP – Platinum for my entry in the uploads contest. Basically, they were giving out two, one for each upload category. The two categories were buddy icons and banners. People create the graphics and uploaded. This was my (winning) entry: