This Cespedes Happend — 2/13/12

5-Tool GM Signs 5-Tool Cuban.

The Phillies do not have any secret plans to acquire a Cuban defector to take over for Shane Victorino in center field.  Not that they ever did (no one listens to my plans), but I had allowed myself to maintain a shred of hope until Yoenis Cespedes signed with another team.  The Marlins were favored to land Cespedes, but perhaps there is a little less money there than is being let on–especially considering the acquisitions of this winter.  The signing would have been a risk for any team, but at 36 million for 4 years–it’s not outrageous.  Well, it’s a bit extreme for someone who’s been playing in Cuba, but it’s a reasonable rate for a productive outfielder.  I haven’t heard anyone say the kid flat-out can’t play.  If Cespedes develops into something more, he’ll be a bargain or a monstrous bargaining chip for Billy Beane.

Oakland’s an interesting destination.  It makes me think the market for Cespedes was pretty tepid. Does Oakland seem like a destination on the top of anyone’s list?  But, there’s also Beane’s reinvigorated street-cred.  Thanks to the movie and all. It’s erased some really down years in Oakland and made everyone remember the salad days of three aces under team control in Oakland.  Of course, maybe Beane was freed up by his new contract extension which runs through 2019.  That’s some serious job security.  He took it for a spin with a roll of the dice.  We’ll see how often Cespedes can “get on base.”  Jonah Hill is apparently lukewarm on the signing–“He’s no Youk.”

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Speaking of the Phillies and Shane Victorino, there remains a constant push from Phillies fans wanting the club to lock up Hamels (and to a lesser extent Victorino) long-term.  It’s that paradox where the fans complain about the team getting older, but don’t want to let any of the established veterans go.  In Hamels’s case the feeling is Cole is going to win the Cy Young and the Yankees will then offer 9 years/225 million and Cole will be on the first train to the Bronx.  I suppose that could happen, but I don’t want any more rushed contracts.  The preemptive overpay is a strategy that will eventually backfire.  I wouldn’t get anywhere near Victorino with a contract right now.  Earn it, Shane.  Victorino’s skills are highlighted nicely in Philly.  He’s a great outfielder…compared to Raul Ibanez.  He’s fast…compared to Placido Polanco.   The market might bear out that Shane isn’t quite as valuable as we think.

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Randy Moss is coming back.  If he has his choice.  Run Randy Run was not exactly at the top of his game when he was last seen in the NFL.  He was torpedoing fantasy seasons and stinking it up for multiple franchises.  Can Randy still really go and get it?  Moss always reminded me of Allen Iverson a little bit.  He had some superlative skills that no other player could approach, but I’m not sure how much there is to fall back on once you’re no longer the fastest, or the best leaper.  I’m not going to put Moss in T.O.’s category, but the guy has caused some problems in his career as well.  After this layoff, he might be in for a rude awakening about who’s interested.  Maybe the Eagles will take a shot.  They’re due for a reclamation project.

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A woman named Missy Wedig has come up with a controversial new way to play fantasy baseball.  You select one player to be “your boyfriend,” and then are given points based on his success.  You can “dump” under-performing players and “move-on” to a new beau if you desire.  The game is available through CBS.   The program is taking heat for implying that woman would only be interested in baseball because the players are attractive and for promoting the ideal of having an athlete boyfriend.  It’s interesting that most of the complaining about the game (invented by a female baseball fan) is coming from men.  Are men protective of their fantasy domain?  As an inventor of a slightly unconventional fantasy league, I personally welcome all comers.  Maybe guys don’t want their girlfriends fawning over Evan Longoria any more than they already are?  This isn’t anything new.  The tight-pants phenomenon has been around for a long-time, though the glory days of the 80s are long gone.  Is it a big-deal that ladies have a little crush on a baseball player and they are having some fun with it?  I can see that if a bunch of guys did this for women’s tennis, it might seem a little creepy, but that’s guys.  Let’s not pretend double-standards don’t exist and aren’t necessary.

 ***

As expected, Adele totally dominated the Grammys.  There’s no real room to gloat about calling a 1 to 9 shot, though, especially when the death of Whitney Houston set a somber tone for the entire evening.  I did some searching for a proper Whitney tribute article, but after skimming a dozen or so, nothing was really jumping out at me.  Rolling Stone has extensive coverage, including an extensive feature interview they did with the R&B star back in the 90s.

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