With memories of my father, who passed away on this day 14 years ago … this update is for you dad:
- Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has a rundown of the top starting pitchers to be had, including for each the teams interested, latest chatter, reasons they haven’t been signed yet, and chances of them being signed during the Meetings.
- George King of the Post offers a preview of the Yanks plans for the Winter Meetings.
- Over at the Times, Dan Rosenheck writes of the differing qualities of a save, and how K-Rod’s gaudy 62 save season was actually less impressive than Mariano Rivera’s:
A far better way to measure a reliever’s value is a statistic called Win Probability Added, which compares a team’s chances of winning a game before a pitcher takes the mound to the same figure once he departs. So the closer who protects the three-run lead in the ninth is credited with only 0.035 wins — the difference between the 96.5 percent likelihood of victory when he entered and the 100 percent when he left — while the setup man keeping a game tied in the eighth gets 0.113 wins, for increasing his team’s odds of victory from 36.5 percent to 47.8 percent.
Rodríguez’s 3.33 W.P.A. was only the fourth best among American League closers last year, trailing Mariano Rivera, Joakim Soria and Bobby Jenks. Many of his official saves were insignificant; on Aug. 12, he received one for recording a single out with a four-run lead and two runners on. And some of his blown saves were excruciating, like the walk, single and game-winning homer he surrendered to blow a two-run cushion on July 9.
- John Perrotto of BP.com offers a team-by-team preview for the Winter Meetings. The Yankee section is pretty much as we expect it.
- Pete Toms at the Biz of Baseball surveys the changing landscape of televised coverage of baseball, especially in light of the launching of the MLB Network on New Year’s Day. Here’s a reference to the thinking of teams like the Yanks that have their own RSN (Regional Sports Network):
Clubs also see themselves as better able to grow their brands locally when they control the local TV content. Sports consultant Marc Ganis said of the Yankees’ RSN, “YES has not only been a financial success, but also a critical success creating programming and implementing sponsorships that bring fans closer to their favorite team and players that likely never would have been done with a non-team-affiliated broadcaster,”
- Yahoo!Sports reports that ex-Yank Darrell Rasner officially signed his deal to pitch in Japan, for the Rakuten Eagles.
- Rookie RHP Alfredo Aceves turns 26 today. A big happy 40th birthday to Mike Mussina!
- On this day in 1966, Roger Maris is traded to the Cardinals for journeyman 3B Charlie Smith.
- On this day in 1988, the Yankees sign FA pitcher Andy Hawkins.
- On this day in 2001, FA pitcher Steve Karsay is signed to a 4-year contract.