Has Ruben Amaro learned nothing from the Brad Lidge Extension?

By Eric Han

On November 7th, 2007, Brad Lidge, a lights out closer for the Houston Astros, was traded (along with Eric Bruntlett) to the Philadelphia Phillies for a 3 player package consisting of speedy outfielder Michael Bourn, reliever Geoff Geary, and 3B prospect Mike Costanzo.

8 months later, after an extremely successful debut with the Phillies, Lidge signed a three-year, $36M (plus $12.5M option) extension with his new team. The deal, which (according to ESPN) was orchestrated by then-Assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr., wasn’t viewed as an overpay; other closers at the time like Joe Nathan and Francisco Cordero got similar money as free agents. Lidge also had a solid track record.
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Hey guys, Jose Valverde is average at best (Please stop thinking otherwise)

A disturbing thing has happened over the last few weeks.  The Detroit Tigers and their heir of mediocrity have been overachieving ad nausea, and suddenly they’re being mistaken for an elite baseball team.  But that’s not the disturbing thing I speak of.

No, my friends, that disturbing thing is the discourse surrounding Tigers closer Jose Valverde and his so-called “perfect season”.  Valverde is 42 for 42 in save opportunities and people are going bananas.  I even heard someone say he should get consideration for the AL MVP.

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The myth of Eric Thames’ fast-balls

A while back, I took to the blog to decry a myth that Corey Patterson was seeing more fastballs (or more strikes) while hitting in the two-spot in the Jays’ lineup.  It was found that there was virtually no difference.

You see, it’s a common myth in baseball that whoever is hitting in front of your best hitter (usually the number three hitter) will see more fastballs and strikes (i.e. controllable, hittable pitches).  Several studies have found that there is virtually no difference at all.

Then last night on the Twitter, someone speculated that Blue Jays new call-up and Canadian Baseball Moses Brett Lawrie should hit second in the lineup because he would see more hittable pitches and more fastballs.  When I calmly questioned the logic (and didn’t deny that he wouldn’t be the worst choice on the team for the two-spot), I was blasted from several angles.  The biggest argument against me was that Eric Thames was “tearing it up” whilst hitting in the number-two spot earlier this year; which was sort of true, although he hasn’t hit much worse in the six-hole in decidedly less games.

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Coverage at Getting Blanked

For further updates on the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline from me, head on over to Getting Blanked.

Trade Deadline Reactions — July 29th

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Trade Deadline Reactions — July 28th

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Trade Deadline Reactions — July 27th

Like most Jays’ fans, words cannot describe just how happy I am with the Colby Rasmus trade(s).  Enough words have been spent on the deal by my many, many, many contemporaries in the Blue Jays blogosphere, and there are more than a few professional opinions on the matter, so I shan’t bore you with mine.  Needless to say, this one is an unequivocal win for Alex Anthopoulos and his front office of ninjas.  It seems like every trade he makes, he doesn’t just come out on top, he leaves the entire industry dumb-founded.

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