Picks of the Pen (11/1): Turkey Time Draws Near!

Ah November. The weather typically takes a sharp left turn toward winter, the trees don’t have any more leaves to lose and turkeys everywhere get very very nervous.

On the bright side, Hot Stove season goes into effect to keep us warm until spring has sprung once again.

Did I mention turkeys are getting nervous?


Back in 2007, the Royals signed a precocious slugging outfielder to an albatross of a contract.  Then, before spring training began, Jose Guillen was suspended for 15 games for HGH violations.  Now, after being traded to the Giants in August, it seems Jose didn’t learn his lesson.  Er, allegedly didn’t.  Allegedly.  Babes Love Baseball has more.

Speaking of the Giants, they’ve officially jumped to #2 on my list of favorite teams.  First, some backstory.  In 2001, I joined a fantasy football league in its second year and thought it’d be a funny joke to name my team the Journeymen and named Steve Perry honorary general manager.  Funny thing is I came to genuinely like the band Journey (I also like Air Supply.  Uh huh.)  So when I saw this clip from Game 2 of the World Series, I flipped out.  Apparently, Steve Perry is a San Francisco Giants fan.


My editor told me that in his son’s baseball league, if they lose to a team, than the unofficial rule is that they cheer for the team that beat them for the remainder of the tournament.  He said this as a reason I should be rooting for the Giants.  I am not.  So this resonated in particular with me after the completion of Game 3.

The Dbacks were already bricking together a coaching staff from someone’s collection of classic baseball cards, but now Kevin Towers is turning his bullseye toward Paul Konerko.  Dude doesn’t waste time.


A mere two years after the death of Buck O’Neil, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is facing dire financial straits. Joe Posnanski tells us who’s to blame , and more importantly, who could be the man to fix it.

On October 26th, our own Nathaniel Stoltz gave his thoughts on Kyle Drabek as a prospect and future as a fixture in the Toronto rotation. Less than two day’s later Jays Journal lead Mat Germain explained why he has an entirely different take on the matter.


Have you heard? Pedro Martinez may be eyeing another comeback. Scoop du Jour on Yahoo! has a bit of insight. Does Pedro text to Brett Favre? Too soon?

Leading into Game 1 of the World Series, some people may have thought that the Texas Rangers had it won. I mean, Cliff Lee was starting for crying out loud. It didn’t matter that two-time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum was the opposing pitcher. Well, we know what happened and Austin Waldron of Nolan Writin’ relives a not-so-great outing by Lee … and other Rangers who didn’t perform well.


RotoGraphs did an interesting comparison of FIP and xFIP for a group of 38 pitchers, to measure the metrics’ predictive power. It’s a really interesting read, especially for fantasy baseball players, I’m sure.

Swingin’ A’s looks at the coming issues of Oakland’s offseason, and looks back at some of GM Billy Beane’s past moves. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Beane learns from his mistakes and where the .500 A’s go from here.


Mark Cuban is already an over-rated NBA Owner, but he has always had an interest in owning an MLB team. While, his first desire was the Chicago Cubs, he recently tried to buy the Texas Rangers. As Phil Rogers points out for the Chicago Tribune, not only is it good thing for Nolan Ryan and the Rangers, but also for Baseball that Cuban did not buy the Rangers.

RayHawk Review takes a look at what the future with holds for the Tampa Bay Rays, and whether they will be getting tricked or treated this winter.


The Giants have played the misfit card all through the playoffs. And I guess it’s true. Juan Uribe, Cody Ross, Pat Burrell, Edgar Renteria were all picked up off the scrap heap despite success at one point or another. Now, they’re helping San Fran as it shoots for a World Series title. John Heyman has seen this story before. Do you remember the 1969 New York Mets?

Birds Watcher says John Wall’s highly anticipated debut in the Metro area is very similar to the excitement surrounding Matt Wieters. Wieters graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. He was the foundation for the Orioles bright future. And as that bright future never came, Wieters never shot to superstardom like Joe Mauer. But Birds Watcher says be patient becuase Wieters has shown flashes and he will live up to the hype. John Wall’s debut was shaky, but he seems destined for greatness too.


Barry Bonds wants back into the game of baseball … as a hitting coach. He’s one of my favorite players of all time (juiced or clean) and easily the best player I’ve ever watched on a baseball field. I’m all for giving him a chance.

Even the Minnesota Twins can be a victim of the “bad contract” bug, but Erin of Twinkie Talk shows that even the worst of the current contracts in the land of 10,000 lakes aren’t all that bad.

Tags: Barry Bonds Billy Beane Birds Watcher Buck O'Neil Chicago Tribune Cliff Lee Jays Journal Joe Posnanski John Heyman John Wall Jose Guillen Kevin Towers Kyle Drabek Mark Cuban Matt Wieters Nolan Writin' Paul Konerko Pedro Martinez Phil Rogers Rayhawk Review RotoGraphs Swingin' A's Twinkie Talk Venom Strikes

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