Good morning HDWEB'ers, it's February 13th and baseball kicks ass. Here are today's awesomest baseball things to inspire, entertain, educate, and amuse.
If you have ideas or suggestions, send 'em my way at @justinbopp.
Never gonna give you up
Reflections on growing up as a Yankee fan with Derek Jeter - Pinstripe Alley -- Andrew was there for Jeter's 3000th hit:
Still, when my friend Tom contacted me late on July 7th after Jeter recorded hit number 2,999 and asked if I wanted to try to go to the Yankees game the next day, there was only one obvious answer. I was home for the summer in New Jersey just a couple weeks after returning from my semester abroad in Australia, but I was quite ready for another kind of adventure. We tried to go, bought StubHub tickets, and NJ Transited/Subwayed all the way to the stadium only to discover that it was rained out. Womp womp.
We went home, and Tom haggled with StubHub to get a credit for the tickets that he could apply to the very next day. So on July 9th, we did the whole dance to get back to the Stadium on a beautiful afternoon. Thankfully, Jeter rewarded us:
Never gonna let you go
Burnett Deal: Good News For People Who Love Bad News - The Good Phight -- Nobody, nobody, nobody likes this deal. Look:
...but if you're convinced that this year's club is hopelessly flawed, the effect of the extra expenditure--and the extra attention--is to intensify the spotlight, and the pressure, on Amaro.
If you've found grating his complaints about last year's bad injury luck ("who could have guessed that my 33 year-old plus sized first baseman coming off a major injury might hurt his leg?"), and have been waiting for the hints that ownership constrained him from spending this winter, you can exhale: any such statement now won't pass the laugh test.
Remembering A.J. Burnett's storied Pirates career - Marc argues that Burnett wasn't in Pittsburgh for very long, but it was a memorable run. Here's a t-shirt of A.J. Burnett wearing a t-shirt of A.J. Burnett for proof:
No winners in AJ Burnett signing - MLB Daily Dish -- Michael suggests that everyone loses in this deal, including Burnett (because he'll be playing on a non-contending team projected to win around 76 games). Color me skeptical. He was willing to play for the Pirates, after all, and then they offered him $8M to come back (after not making a qualifying offer). I'm obviously not one to say money trumps other concerns (see: my career), but I doubt Burnett feels like he's losing out here.
Phillies a poor fit for A.J. Burnett - Bucs Dugout -- Charlie makes the not-sour-grapes case that A.J. is a poor fit for the Phillies because he's had a ground ball rate over 56% and Philly has essentially terrible defense. I suspect we'll know well before July who the real winner is. My guess? Burnett. He gets one last run and gets a ton of cash in the deal to console him even if he has a terrible season.
These are interesting and possibly smart
The Fog of Rajai Davis - Bluebird Banter -- Nick points out that Rajai's skills at running the bases covered up a club deficiency. Now that he's gone, it's just one more thing the Jays need to worry about.
Suggestion Box: Triaging Analytics Projects for the Phillies - The Good Phight -- This is a great question: Your team gets an awesome new sabermetric/analytical team. Which three things should they focus on first? My team is the Royals, so I'll say 1) focusing on their place in the win-now spectrum (not signing dumb FAs when they're not going to win, AND signing FAs they need when they're about to win -- like RIGHT NOW), 2) not setting the FA market every single year; 3) recognizing that if ownership insists on embezzling the TV money, that every single dollar counts and shouldn't be wasted on players like Emilio Bonifacio if you're going to sacrifice them for Bruce Chen.
The Hall Of Interesting - Bleed Cubbie Blue -- This is neat too. Al and his readers talk about a hypothetical Hall of Interesting, which wouldn't necessarily include great players, just interesting ones. Bo Jackson would be a perfect fit.
- Our league of sites at SB Nation MLB has a mountain of content to read every single day, but if you're into stimulating your ears as much as your eyes, check out the tons of podcasts we're putting out: http://www.sbnation.com/podcasts (includes 'casts from the entire network).
- Recent podcasts include Amazin Avenue, Let's Go Tribe (ft. Jonah Keri), Over The Monster, Bucs Dugout, Crawfish Boxes (ft. Alyson Footer), and Bless You Boys.
Have suggestions or want to be featured in HDWEB? Send links to Justin at @justinbopp.