Friday, February 12, 2010
Friday Felix Fermin's
Felix "El Gato" Fermin played for the Pirates during their rebuilding years of of '87-'88. Those were some fairly non-descript years that bridged the cocaine Pirates of the mid-eighties to the team that would eventually win three straight division titles in '91-'93. Felix didn't play many games with the Pirates but did accumulate 903 games played in 10 seasons with the Bucs, Indians, Mariners, and Cubs. He was actually part of the trade that brought Omar Vizquel to the Indians in '94, although he did help the Mariners win their first division title in '95. Fermin was no Dick Groat; his career triple slash line was .259/.305/.303 in 3072 plate appearances. A guy like this just wouldn't be able to stick around for ten years anymore. I suspect he thanks his lucky stars that his career fell right before the dawn of the steroid era. But look at that mustache.
Pitt plays WVU tonight (ESPN/9 p.m.), not much else to say about this one. Jamie Dixon needs to come up with one hell of a game plan, because the Mountaineers are much more athletic than the Panthers. Pitt needs to control the boards (especially in their own end), Ashton Gibbs needs to shoot well, and Travon Woodall needs to not play.
The Pens play the Rangers at the Igloo tonight (FSNP, 7:30). As always, head to the Empty Netters blog to find any and all Pens news. Anonymous answered yesterday's trivia question correctly, but since I have no idea who Anonymous is (Ted Danson?), I can't give out the prize. Also Anonymous admitted he/she cheated, which is not cool.
On Bob Smizik's blog, he has an opinion piece written by a Shady Side resident that addresses the whole Nutting/Lemieux ownership thing. It's well written and brings up some important aspects of the LeBurkle ownership and the NHL, but again, I don't understand the unwarranted hate spewed at Nutting (actually, I understand it, but just don't agree with it).
Smizik also links to a really lame article about the Seattle Mariners and how they've gone from a 100-loss team to a division contender in less than two years. If Smizik had spent any effort at all, he could have found a much better and thorough summary of how the Mariners did this. To sum it up, they realized the deficiency in the market which was defense, and made some smart trades to capitalize on it. Plus they had guys on the roster already like Felix Hernandez and Ichiro. Could you imagine if previous management had not made the Erik Bedard trade?
Dale Berra's Stash has a good look at what it might take to lock Andrew McCutchen up with a long-term contract. If there is one player I think will age well, it's McCutchen. He's got the skill set and the body for it.
Here's a look at a new documentary about US Soccer fans. They're definitely a minority wherever they go, but they are passionate. One of the reasons I became such a fan of the national team (and not just a fan when the World Cup rolls around, but the kind of fan who gets up at 6 a.m. to watch the U-20 team play in China), is that it's the one sport in which the US is consistently the underdog.
Speaking of the US and the World Cup, Ives Garcelep has his latest look at who he thinks will be the 23 members to make the squad. We're still a long way off, and we have a few more games to get a look at some of these guys, but I really can't disagree with his list. As I've said, I have a soft spot for Kenny Cooper and think he would be a terrific addition off the bench, but he has to play his way onto the roster first.
I just found my favorite US Olympian.
Baseball Prospectus just came up with a new pitching metric named SIERA. If you're interested, here's Part I of the five part opening series (Warning: very confusing).