Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:AJ Burnett
Posted on: January 24, 2009 7:48 pm
 

MLB needs to fix it's playoff format

I've been patiently waiting for the Toronto Blue Jays to make another run at the playoffs since 1994 when the Expos were robbed of their chance.

Year in and year out the Jays have been forced to compete in a division against the high spending New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.  Yet every year the Jays go into the season with high hopes and quickly finish somewhere around .500 baseball.

This offseason has been no different:  The Yankees have signed high profile players such as CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett (former Jay), and Mark Teixeira.  The Jays have made no moves since they're bleeding money, so in exchange they are hyping up 2009 as a year where "this time" we will be healthy.  Heard that argument for 3 years now and I doubt it will come to fruition.

What I have noticed however is that every year a lot of good teams are missing the playoffs and the playoff system in MLB is vastly irregular compared to other sports.

 

Hockey for example has 30 teams and 16 of them make the playoffs every year.  Rarely does the number 1 team actually win the championship.

Football has 32 teams and 12 of them make the playoffs every year.  Football is harder to use as a comparison since they only play 16 games so every game really does matter.

Basketball has 30 teams and 16 of them make the playoffs every year.  Sadly teams with below .500 make the playoffs in this league but that is more to do with East conference versus Western conference disparity.

And of course MLB has 30 teams and 8 of them make the playoffs.  Looking more closely there are almost as many teams not in the playoffs as there are in the playoffs with better records than at least one team in the playoffs.  Say that 3 times fast...

Let's take an analysis since 1995 since the playoffs format moved from 4 teams in the playoffs to 8 teams.

1995

Wildcard NL Colorado Rockies 77-67, NL West LA Dodgers 78-66

Teams screwed over by playoff system: California Angels 78-67

1996

NL Central St. Louis Cardinals 88-74, AL Wildcard Baltimore Orioles 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Montreal Expos 88-74

1997

Cleveland Indians AL Central 86-75, Houston Astros 84-76

Teams screwed over by playoff system: New York Mets 88-74, LA Dodgers 88-74, Anaheim Angels 84-78

1998

AL West Texas Rangers 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Toronto Blue Jays 88-74, NY Mets 88-74, San Francisco 89-74

1999

AL Wildcard Boston Red Sox 94-68, AL West Texas Rangers 95-67

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Cincinnati Reds 96-67

2000

AL East New York Yankees 87-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Cleveland 90-72

2001

NL East Atlanta Braves 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: San Francisco Giants 90-72, Chicago Cubs 88-74

2002

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Boston Red Sox 93-69, Seattle 93-69, LAD 92-70

2003

AL Central Minnesota Twins 90-72, NL Central Chicago Cubs 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Seattle Mariners 93-69

2004

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Oakland Athletics 91-71, San Francisco Giants 91-71

2005

NL East Atlanta Braves 90-72, San Diego Padres 82-80

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Cleveland Indians 93-69, Philadelphia Phillies 88-74, Oakland Athletics 88-74, Minnesota Twins 83-79

2006

NL Central St. Louis Cardinals 83-78, NL West LAD 88-74, NL Wildcrad San Diego Padres 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Toronto Blue Jays 87-75, Boston Red Sox 86-76, Chicago White Sox 90-72, LA Angels 89-73, Philadelphia Phillies 85-77

2007

NL Cental Chicago Cubs 85-77

Teams screwed over by playoff system:New York Mets 88-74, San Diego Padres 89-74, Seattle Mariners 88-74, Detroit Tigers 88-74

2008

AL Central Chicago White Sox 89-74, NL West LAD 84-78

Teams screwed over by playoff system: New York Yankees 89-73, Toronto Blue Jays 86-76, Minnesota Twins 88-75, New York Mets 89-73, Florida Marlins 84-77, Houston Astros 86-75, St. Louis Cardinals 86-76,

 

Baseball support has been eroding slowly over the years and I suggest now is the time for change.

MLB should go to a conference format allow 6 or 8 teams from the NL and AL respectively into the playoffs.  Not only will this allow more teams the opportunity to compete for the championship but most importantly it will allow smaller market teams fans to experience MLB playoffs.  The playoffs are an exciting experience for any fan and what better way to increase baseball support than to have more cities experience it every year.

In 1992 and 1993 you couldn't buy a seat at the Sky Dome; home of the Blue Jays.  Now they can't sell half of the tickets unless the Yankees or Red Sox's are in town.  Give the small market teams a chance to taste the playoffs and you will give the teams a chance to sell more tickets, and build a stronger fan base. After all no one likes a loser but everyone likes a winner.  In 2008 7 teams alone were a more wiinign team than a team that made the playoffs.

The Jays and many other small market teams (large as well) do have winning years and it is time to recognize them.

Posted on: January 2, 2009 4:24 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2009 5:49 pm
 

The Yankees overpaid for Burnett - CONTEST ENTRY

This is in honor of AJ Burnett's 32nd birthday tomorrow.  (Now register for AJ Burnett DL contest below)

A lot of discussion has gone on in the baseball world over the last few weeks since the Yankees cleaned up by signing what is considered to be the top 3 free agents on the market this winter. 

In traditional Yankee fashion the trumpets came out in New York declaring 2009 the year of the Yankees while of course the echoes of "Red Sox suck" have reemerged from a forgettable year in Yankee land.  Sad really that what is considered to be a forgettable year in New York (89 wins) has not been seen by some franchises in many years (Pirates, Royals), and would have made the playoffs in the American League Central (88 wins*) and National League West (84 wins).

None the less the year is a wash in New York because nothing but playoffs is acceptable in the unofficial capital of Baseball.  So of course as everyone expected the Yankees have made a splash this off-season acquiring Nick Swisher than the signing of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixiera.

CC Sabathia I get.  He's an elite left handed pitcher with Cy Young status and abilities all combined with solid dugout contributions.  Still overpaid...

Mark Teixeira I get.  Who doesn't want a great glove at 1B combined with a bunch of years of consistent power and average?  Plus frankly why let your biggest competitors get such a huge asset.  Still overpaid....

However overall I'm confused on how one of them was even considered as a top free agent.  Of course I'm referring to AJ Burnett.

Clearly stats have little or nothing to do with this signing.  In case you haven't looked at his line he has only 1 seasons with more that 12 wins.  To put it best I have to quote CBS, "Burnett has a knack of pitching well for a big contract, one he received from the Yankees this winter.  He has been plagued by injuries over the years and has made several trips to the disabled list with elbow and shoulder troubles, including Tommy John surgery, but he was fine last season and made a career-best 35 starts -- just in time to make $82.5 million."

Amazingly he has actually achieved over 30 games started twice in his 10 year career.  The way he whines like a little school girl when he gets a paper cut I figured 30 games started were unachievable for this "stud" pitcher.  I give him 4 games in a Yankee uniform before he gets "hurt" and spends some good time on the DL. (By hurt I envision psychologically from the fans abuse)

Regardless how does a an almost .500 career pitcher with so much injury history make so much money?  $16.5 million is a lot of money for the baggage ,and the risk associated to it.  It's even more amazing the Yankees were willing to lock him in for so long almost certainly ensuring they will pay him for 1+ years of disabled list time.

Curious how much the last few CY Young winners made in 2008?
(2008 NL) Tim Lincecum - anomaly since he's only in his second year but he made -$405,000
(2007 NL) Jake Peavy - made $6.5 million in 2008
(2006 NL) Bradon Webb - made $5.5 million in 2008
(2008 AL) Cliff Lee - made $4 million in 2008
(2007 AL) CC Sabathia - made $11 million in 2008
(2006 AL) Johan Santana - made $16.9 million in 2008 (just landed the big contract)
Also like to point out that Roy Halladay only made $10 million in 2008 and he was the backbone pillar of strength for the Jays - not AJ Burnett.

Regardless AJ's ERA was a unremarkable 4.07 (career 3.81) and conveniently the Jays provided him some good run support to allow him to win so many of his games at the end of the season.  If only they provided Roy Halladay the same run support he could have made a run at 25 + wins an a more serious contender for Cy Young in 2008.  Sad to watch Halladay pitch complete game gems for losses because the Blue Jays fail to hit for him.

Maybe if Burnett stays healthy for at least one year he could possibly make a run at 20 games again, but it will only be because the Yankees provide huge run support.  On that note I think Cashman had is right last year on trusting in Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes which cost him almost nothing in salaries.  Yes they got injured but so is AJ half of the time... 

Shame Yankee fans have no patience since it just cost them $82.5 million for a bag of balls, and a paper cut right between their index finger and the thumb.  Did someone say ticket prices are going up?


Enter your unique date below for when AJ Burnett will go on the DL in 2009 to win a prize.
Posted on: December 23, 2008 5:12 pm
 

Yanks, Teixeira agree on 8-year deal

So looks like the Yankees have cleaned up on Free Agency this year.

Not only did they get the number 1 and number 2 free agents in CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira they also overpaid for a bumped out arm in AJ Burnett.

So what now?  Well looks like the Yankees are going to pay even further into the luxury tax program.  They also need to figure out what they are going to do with the plethora of players they now have sitting around.

Taking a serious look at their roster I see so clear answers and some others quite fague:

The obvious

1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Robinson Cano (rumoured a lot to be traded this offseason)
SS - Derek Jeter
3B - Alex Rodriguez

The not so obvious

C - Jorge Posada - Bum arm may not enable him to return to the catching role.  Then what?  OF is crowded, DH is crowded, and 1B is full.
    - Jose Molina - more than likely to take over the catching role or at least the majority of the games

OF - Johnny Damon - I suspect won't move but could see platoon role
      - Xavier Nady - can't leave this bat out
      - Nick Swisher - I smell platoon role or trade coming.  You should probably try and trade him if you have him on your fantasy team          before the other suckers realize what just happened.
      - Melky Cabrera - Looks like Cabrera will have a lot of slivers on the bench or will need a trade
      - Hideki Matsui - How quickly he has been fogotten with his injuries.   Probably will be a platoon machine but then bench will and him will become very intimate.

It's one thing to sign a whole bunch of free agents and another thing to not actually need all of them...  hopefully Cashman has some plans to get some value back for all these over the hill overpayed players who will find a lot of time on the bench.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com