It took much longer than expected for him to sign, but Dennys Reyesagreed to a two-year, $3 million contract with the Cardinals yesterday and the Twins will receive a nice supplemental first-round draft pick as compensation for losing him as a free agent. The Twins signed Reyes to a minor-league deal in February of 2006 and ended up getting 126.1 innings of a 2.14 ERA and a supplemental first-round pick for around $2.5 million.
And it wasn't a bad gig for Reyes either. He threw an average of just 9.7 pitches per appearance during three years with the Twins, which would qualify as not breaking a sweat most of the time if not for the fact that his nickname is "Big Sweat." He earned a cool $1,300 per pitch while holding left-handers to a .202 batting average and his 0.89 ERA in 2006 is the best in Twins history among pitchers with 50-plus innings.
I've become fairly addicted to WhatIfSports.com's Hardball Dynasty game and with "Gleeman World" currently midway into Season 10--my beloved Minnesota Fatboys have averaged a world-leading 102 wins per season with two World Series championships--we've decided to start up "Gleeman World 2." We're looking primarily for owners who have previous experience playing Hardball Dynasty, so if you're interested drop me an e-mail.
Most of the bat fights that I've been in have more or less gone this way too:
"Totally even, anyone could win. Athletic prowess, let's begin."
Having been assigned quite a few Texans games as part of my Rotoworld football-watching duties, I'm confident that Sage Rosenfels is a definite upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson. His tendency to force throws leads to far too many turnovers, but Rosenfels also has the ability to make plays downfield that the Vikings severely lacked with Jackson at the helm. Rosenfels is sort like a rich man's Gus Frerotte, which isn't as bad as it probably sounds.
During the past three years Rosenfels completed 65.6 percent of his 453 passes for an average of 7.5 yards per throw, both of which would have ranked in the top 10 among NFL starters last season. Over that same time period Jackson completed 58.4 percent of his 524 passes for an average of 6.6 yards per throw, which would have ranked 27th and 23rd respectively among NFL starters last season. I'm not saying Rosenfels is great, but he should be a solid starter and that's an improvement.
Several readers passed along the sad story of minor-league pitcher John Odom.
Joe Nathan pulled out of the World Baseball Classic last week because of shoulder soreness, but felt strong enough to throw batting practice yesterday and reported no problems afterward. He's slated to pitch Sunday against the Orioles, so hopefully the whole thing will turn out to be nothing more than a convenient excuse to skip the WBC.
Television's tendency to produce horrible, annoying shows about sports caused me to put off giving Eastbound & Down a try, but after finally watching the first three episodes back-to-back-to-back recently I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll be worth keeping on DVR. While the main character is a former pitcher, the show is no more about sports than, say, Seinfeld was about stand-up comedy. It also has a sort of Larry Sanders Show-like mix of sitcom and filth, which is always a good combination for HBO.
Plus, when a show creates a personal website for the fictional main character complete with his yearly pitching stats and includes strikeout-to-walk ratio ... well, it deserves a chance. Fan Graphs even broke down the numbers and calculated how many wins above replacement level Kenny Powers was during his career. Seriously. I'm skeptical about the show's ability to hold my interest long term, but so far it's been a pleasant surprise.
Earlier this week my MinnPost colleague David Brauerexamined whether the St. Paul Pioneer Press or Minneapolis Star Tribune is in worse shape, and basically concluded that the answer is "yes."
It looks like AG.com will eclipse five million visitors some time next week, but I've yet to come up with a good idea for how to celebrate. If you've got any suggestions (that don't involve me doing much work), let me know. I'm prepared to give away a free one-year AG.com subscription to the five millionth visitor.
Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the Kings of Leon performing a live version of "Use Somebody":
Get the 22nd edition of the New York Times bestselling Baseball Prospectus Annual. Edited by Aaron Gleeman, it features a foreword from Twins pitcher Glen Perkins, a Twins team chapter written by Gleeman and Parker Hageman, and 600 pages of analysis, projections, essays, rankings, and in-depth coverage of all 30 teams.