Tag:Adrian Gonzalez
Posted on: September 15, 2010 2:07 pm
 

And in 2011, interleague play will help the . . .

As it turns out, no one is making the 2010 playoffs because of interleague play.

Two of the three American League teams that did the best against the National League (the Red Sox and White Sox) won't make the playoffs at all, and the third (the Rangers) was the dominant team in the AL West, in-league and out-of-league.

The only NL team that truly excelled in interleague was the Mets, and they're not making the playoffs, either.

Still, there's no doubt that the interleague system is flawed, and that every year, some teams get easier interleague schedules (and thus, easier overall schedules) than other teams in the same division (or other teams fighting for the same wild-card spot).

So, now that baseball has released the 2011 schedule, it's worth taking an early look at how interleague play may be flawed next year:

First off, there don't seem to be as many disparities as there were in the 2010 schedule, which had the Red Sox playing four of their six interleague series against playoff teams from the previous year, while the Rays played none of their six. As it turned out, the Red Sox still outdid the Rays in interleague, 13-5 to 7-11.

Second, it appears that the 2011 schedule is somewhat truer to the original division vs. division concept. The rough matchups for 2011 have the AL East playing the NL Central, the AL Central playing the NL West and the AL West playing the NL East.

As always, those matchups don't hold up completely, both because of the desire to preserve geographical matchups (Yankees vs. Mets, Twins vs. Brewers, etc.) and because one league has 16 teams and the other has 14. So you still have out-of-the-blue series like Rockies at Yankees (while the Yankees play only three of the six NL Central teams). But there don't seem to be nearly as many of them.

So who comes off best and who comes off worst? It's subject to change, of course, because teams that make the playoffs this year may be bad next May and June, or vice versa, but here goes:

Toughest interleague schedule for an AL team: the Mariners, who play four of their six series against current NL playoff teams. They have their usual home-and-home with the Padres, and they're also one of the two AL West teams that will play both the Phillies and the Braves (the Rangers are the other).

Easiest interleague schedule for an AL team: the White Sox, who play none of their six series against current playoff teams (and only one, against the Rockies, against a team that even has a chance at making the playoffs this year).

Biggest disparity within an AL division: the East, where the Blue Jays (without a geographical rival) draw the top two teams in the NL East (Phillies and Braves) and the top two in the Central (Reds, Cardinals). Meanwhile, the Yankees and Rays avoid both the Phillies and Braves, and instead get rivalry series against the Mets and Marlins.

Toughest interleague schedule for an NL team: the Brewers, who will get three of the four AL playoff teams (Twins, Yankees, Rays), plus an extra series against the Twins.

Easiest interleague schedule for an NL team: the Nationals and Pirates, the only two teams who will avoid all four AL playoff teams. Not that it will help either team.

Biggest disparity within an NL division: the Central, where not only do the Brewers have four series against playoff teams while the Pirates have none, but at the top of the division the Reds get both the Yankees and Rays while the Cardinals get the Rays but miss the Yankees.

Unusual interleague series I'd most like to see: Padres at Red Sox, but only if the Padres haven't traded Adrian Gonzalez. Is he really that well suited to hitting at Fenway Park? Two others: Rangers at Braves, with Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and the others acquired in the Mark Teixeira trade finally get to Turner Field. Diamondbacks at Tigers, but only if Kirk Gibson hangs on as the Diamondbacks manager and then names Alan Trammell as his bench coach.

Interleague series I most want to avoid: Pirates at Indians. Have fun selling tickets for that one.
Posted on: March 1, 2010 5:16 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2010 11:18 pm
 

Padres' Gonzalez: 'I'm flattered'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Adrian Gonzalez is fine with Jake Peavy's campaign to get him to the White Sox.

He's just not going to take part in the campaign himself.

"I'm flattered that he would want me as a teammate," the Padres first baseman said. "But I don't have any control about it. If [the Padres] trade me, they'll let me know after it happens. I don't even want to hear that they're talking about it."

Peavy told CBSSports.com last week that he has already spoken to White Sox general manager Ken Williams about Gonzalez, and that he strongly endorsed the idea of trying to trade for him.

"I want Adrian to be my teammate over here," Peavy said.

Gonzalez watched Peavy go through all the trade rumors, before he was eventually dealt to Chicago last July 31. But unlike Peavy, Gonzalez doesn't have any no-trade rights, so he can't control where he goes.

The Padres aren't talking about trading Gonzalez right now, but some rival executives believe that they will be open to trading him as soon as they fall out of the National League West race this season.

Gonzalez repeated what he said when he reported to spring training last week, that he's fully committed to the Padres. His contract with San Diego runs through the end of the 2011 season.

"When I step into this clubhouse, I'm 100 percent Padres," he said. "When I leave this clubhouse, I'm 100 percent my wife and my family."

He also said today that he believes the new Padres ownership and management team is "moving in the right direction."

As for Peavy, Gonzalez said he has no doubt that his ex-teammate (and maybe future teammate?) will succeed in the American League.

"Obviously, he's going to do great wherever he goes," Gonzalez said. "He could pitch against the Yankees every time out and do good."

Posted on: July 31, 2009 6:30 pm
 

The deals that didn't get done

The Rangers were hot after a pitcher at the trading deadline -- but it wasn't Roy Halladay.

As the minutes ticked away before 4 p.m. EDT, the Rangers and Angels were both pushing hard in an attempt to acquire Heath Bell from the Padres, according to sources. It's not clear who the Rangers would have given up for Bell, but talks with the Angels centered on pitchers Jose Arredondo and Sean O'Sullivan and infielder Sean Rodriguez.

The Padres also discussed what would have been a monster deal with the Dodgers, one that would have sent both Bell and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles. In one form of that deal that was discussed, the Dodgers would have parted with James Loney, Russell Martin, James McDonald, Blake DeWitt and Ivan DeJesus Jr.

The Dodgers apparently backed away from that trade.

As for Halladay, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported that the right-hander told the Blue Jays that he wouldn't accept a possible trade to the Rangers, thus abruptly ending talks between the two teams. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told reporters that he was never close to making a Halladay deal.

The Red Sox talked about Halladay and Gonzalez, but in the end weren't willing to part with the prospects it would take to get a deal done. It wouldn't be shocking if the Padres and Red Sox revisit Gonzalez talks in the offseason.

Posted on: July 30, 2009 11:25 am
Edited on: July 30, 2009 11:27 am
 

Red Sox: Concerns about Varitek, rotation

As CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller reported last night , the Red Sox have been able to rekindle talks with the Padres on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

The Sox have long coveted Gonzalez, so it's not surprising that they would talk about him, and it wouldn't be surprising if they acquired him.

Too bad he's not a catcher or a starting pitcher.

People familiar with the Red Sox say the team has increasing concerns about Jason Varitek's ability to stay healthy, and also about the depth of their starting rotation. Varitek, sources say, has already had more than one cortisone shot this season. Varitek is hitting just .207 in July, and after hitting 10 home runs in April and May, he has just three in 39 games since.

Rotation depth was supposed to be a Boston strength, but John Smoltz has a 7.04 ERA and just one win in his six starts, Brad Penny has been inconsistent, and Daisuke Matsuzaka has spent more time talking than pitching.

The Sox have talked to the Indians about Victor Martinez, who could fill in for Varitek behind the plate. They've also talked to the Blue Jays about Roy Halladay. who would give them an imposing front of the rotation, with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.

 
 
 
 
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