Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I don't really know what to think about Robin Yount being hired as the bench coach for Ned Yost. My gut feeling is that this wasn't the best move the team could have made. I feel all coaches are essentially hired in order to be fired. And if you don't think so, ask yourself how you would feel if Yount were to be fired after a couple of years. It wouldn't sit well with me to see a Hall of Famer fired from the only team he ever played for professionally.

I just hope Nedley sure knows what he's doing by adding Yount to the staff. I hope Yount has something to offer the young players, as I don't really see his hiring as anything more than a publicity stunt. I do realize he was a coach in Arizona under Brenly before he was fired and all, but I'm hoping that the move was made to make the team better off as well as bring excitement to the club. I guess only time will tell.

New York Daily News
Brewers' GM has big idea

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Baseball's general managers began their annual meetings at the Hyatt Grand Champions resort yesterday, spending much of their time in discourse over waivers minutia and instant replay, in and around sowing the first seeds for player deals that could involve Manny Ramirez, Jeff Kent, Jim Thome and Mike Cameron, among others, down the road.

For the most part, it was much ado about nothing. But today, Brewers GM Doug Melvin plans to address his peers on an issue that strikes near and dear to the very integrity of the game: roster disparity in September. It is an issue that, incredibly, baseball has chosen to ignore, even though it directly affects pennant races.

It's something no one ever seemed to care much about, but maybe now they will, Melvin says, when they realize it may have cost one of them - specifically the Phillies' Ed Wade - his job this year.

"It's unbelievable that we're the only sport that doesn't have a set amount of players on the rosters in the most important month of the season," Melvin said. "How can we have let this go on all these years?"

Melvin said this issue really struck home for him one week in September when the Astros, who were fighting with the Phillies for the National League wild card, were playing back-to-back series with his Brewers and the Pirates.

"Houston had 33 or 34 players on their roster, while both my club and the Pirates were at 28," Melvin said. "The reason for this was because both our clubs at Triple-A were in the playoffs and because we were all but eliminated from the pennant race and the Pirates were totally eliminated, we both elected to help our Triple-A teams out by leaving our players down there until the playoffs were over.

"... These games in September especially are deciding clubs' seasons and, in some cases, people's careers. The Phillies lost the wild card by one game and Ed Wade got fired. Did he lose his job over Houston having a five-six player advantage over teams in a half dozen or so games? I'm hoping to get support for this rule by impressing the other GMs that this could cost you your job."

It is Melvin's contention that baseball must establish an even playing field for when the rosters can be expanded up to 40 after Sept. 1.

"I don't have a particular magic number," he said, "but for argument's sake, let's say 30. Each team must be required to have 30 active players on its roster for each game in September, just as it has 25 for the first five months. "There would be no limit to the number of players a team could call up within the 40-man roster, but only 30 could be active and all clubs must have 30 players."

As part of Melvin's proposal, the September call-ups would serve as sort of a "taxi squad" in which managers would be able to designate their five activated extra players before each game.

"They could change them from game to game as the situation dictated," Melvin said. "This would add a whole new element of strategy to the games in September if managers wanted to drop one of their extra pitchers in favor of, say, a pinch-runner type because the team they're playing is easy to run on. Or if they were facing a team with predominantly right-handed pitching and they chose to activate a couple of left-handed hitters."

There is not likely to be any opposition from the players union on this proposal since, as long as players are called up, they're drawing service time, even if they're not activated. In cases such as the Brewers and Pirates in September, if they choose not to disrupt their Triple-A teams in the playoffs, they'd just have to meet the 30-player per game quota by bringing up players from the lower minors.

"I can kind of understand why this was never an issue for so many years," Melvin said, "but it's more important now because of the wild card, which has provided for so many more teams being involved."

For baseball, this is a radical proposal.

"I know we've tended to be pretty set in our ways," Melvin said, laughing. "But it wouldn't be the first time I was able to get an age-old rule changed. For years, players put on waivers had to go through leagues instead of through all the teams in reverse order of the standings, like the draft. Then, in 2000, a situation arose in which San Diego put Desi Relaford on waivers. I was with Texas at the time, and we had finished last. I put in a claim for Relaford, but he wound up with the Mets, who had finished second. I said: 'This is not right. It's not what waivers were intended for.'"

His fellow GMs concurred and at their meetings that November, the rule was changed. Confronted with the image of Ed Wade on the unemployment line, Melvin hopes they will similarly agree something has to be done about September roster disparity.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have agreed to a 2 year contract for all time great run coster Neifi Perez.

2003   30  -20  .285  .348  .632  .279   3.05  .256   1   31    3  120  Giants      
2004   31  -23  .296  .336  .632  .299   3.42  .255   4   39    1  126  Giants/Cubs
2005   32  -27  .298  .383  .681  .332   3.49  .274   9   54    8  154  Cubs        
CAR       -329  .301  .380  .681  .289   3.86  .270  61  454   56 1262
LG AVG       0  .342  .433  .775  .500   5.23  .270 157  654   91
POS AVG   -127  .324  .385  .709  .409   4.33  .263  89  500  108

The only question for Perez is whether he gets enough playing time in 2006 to set the record for worst career RCAA or whether he has to wait until early 2007.

1    Ski Melillo                -355  
2    Tommy Thevenow             -351  
3    Neifi Perez                -329  
4    Bill Bergen                -312  
5    Tim Foli                   -309  
6    Larry Bowa                 -307  
7    Alfredo Griffin            -306  
T8   Don Kessinger              -305  
T8   Ozzie Guillen              -305  
10   Ed Brinkman                -300  

In 2005, Perez set the major league record for most consecutive years with -20 or worse RCAA--

1    Neifi Perez              1998-05    8  
2    Doug Flynn               1977-83    7  
T3   Bill Bergen              1901-06    6  
T3   George McBride           1911-16    6  
T3   Wally Gerber             1919-24    6  
T3   Rabbit Warstler          1932-37    6  
T3   Hal Lanier               1965-70    6  
T8   Tommy Corcoran           1902-06    5  
T8   Everett Scott            1920-24    5  
T8   Frank O'Rourke           1926-30    5  
T8   Rabbit Maranville        1929-33    5  
T8   Ski Melillo              1932-36    5  
T8   Ed Brinkman              1963-67    5  
T8   Alfredo Griffin          1980-84    5  
T8   Andres Thomas            1986-90    5