1) On the Tribe...
The Indians are creating a Mentor of the Year Award, to honor those who are "making a difference in other people's lives and working to make Northeast Ohio a better place through leadership efforts." The award will be given out at Tribe Fest in January. You can submit a nomination at here. If you need any of my personal information in order to fill out the form, just let me know.
2) On the MVP and value...
BBWAA award season is a time to debate what it means to be valuable. Many believe it's that word that causes all the fuss. Bill Ballou, the voter who listed Mike Trout 7th on his ballot, says, "If the award were Player of the Year, Trout would get my vote." Joe Posnanski thinks otherwise. He writes that no matter what the award is called, voters will find a way to justify voting for the same (type of) player.
"It comes down to this powerful feeling people have that one player should be able to do much more than one player can do."
Speaking of value (but not really its definition), FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan set out to better determine Yadier Molina's value, a task made more difficult because for all the advances in baseball statistics in recent years, catchers are still the hardest to compare to others. Sullivan thought he was working on a project that would help make a particular point, but it wound up saying a very different thing about Molina, and perhaps catching in general.
When I posted the MVP results Thursday night, my headline was "BBWAA gets AL MVP wrong again," because I think Mike Trout was pretty clearly the league's best player again, and I think the league's best player is what the MVP is supposed to be about. That said, I can't get myself too worked up about it. In part because Cabrera was very good (better than in 2012), and in part because it's just the same old stuff all over again, and people are too intrenched to really have their minds changed at this point. Grant Brisbee is apparently using the SB Nation site manager portal to read my mind, because he wrote a piece that almost perfectly captures my feelings.
3) On patience...
Joe Posnanski, never one to settle for one interesting piece, also wrote a good one about Joey Votto. Well, it's sort of about Votto, but it's largely about the walk, which continues to be misunderstood by many fans and writers, who become frustrated with players who take a base on balls instead of finding a way to get a runner in from third base. You could replace 'Joey Votto' with 'Carlos Santana' throughout the story, because it all applies to him as well.
4) On possible transactions...
Ricky Nolasco is drawing a lot of interest, with multiple teams (including perhaps the Twins) making him 4-year offers; Minnesota might also be pursuing Matt Garza (though it's hard to believe they'd actually land this offseason's most sought after free agent pitcher); the Orioles are interested in Carlos Beltran, but might have to trade Matt Wieters or JJ Hardy to make it happen; and the Yankees are looking to fill the void in the their bullpen created by Mariano Riveraretiring (you might not of heard about that, because MLB didn't make a very big deal of it).
5) On something you've likely never seen...
Bleed Cubbie Blue (with the aid of one of their readers) has unearthed footage of the last three innings of Reds' starter Jim Maloney's no-hitter against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. There's a good chance you've never heard of Maloney and aren't sure why such footage should matter. Well, for one thing, the game went 10 innings, and no pitcher since Maloney has completed an extra-inning no hitter; for another, it was all the way back in 1965, but despite being 48 years old, it's color footage.
Have you ever seen color footage of a game form that long ago? Even if you don't watch all three innings, you should take a look to see what broadcasts looked like from that era, when there were only four cameras in use. The commercial breaks are intact too, mostly with spots from Hamm's beer featuring a cartoon bear (you know, for kids). Maybe Don Draper came up them.
6) On Jack...
Last night a friend and I watched a fairly ridiculous documentary called 'Room 237', in which a number of conspiracy theorists give their take on what Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' was really about. My favorite take was that it was his coded confession that he helped fake the moon landing. It was sort of interesting to listen to people read a whole lot into all sorts of minute details form the movie ('want to know what that can of baking soda is all about?'), but mostly it just made me want to watch 'The Shining' again, one of my favorite movies featuring one of Hollywood's most-iconic stars.
Top Jack Nicholson movies:
6) Five Easy Pieces
3) A Few Good Men
2) The Shining
1) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest