Some things to talk about while you watch one of the scariest basebrawl moments ever...
1) Ubaldo to the Orioles
One of the Compensation Five finally signed, as Ubaldo Jimenez inked a four-year, $50 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. It's also identical to the contract Matt Garza signed with the Brewers earlier this offseason.
My question to you is this: considering that Scott Feldman got votes as the worst free agent signing and considering that both Garza and Jimenez got just one more year and $20 million more than Feldman, do you think Houston made the right decision? Is Feldman's "safety" worth it? Or, did the Astros just dramatically overpay a guy who wasn't tied to compensation?
2) Visual cortex training
If there's a new way of doing things, you have to believe the Astros are in on it. I'd guess they know about this and are looking into the viability:
We applied this training program to the University of California Riverside (UCR) Baseball Team and assessed benefits using standard eye-charts and batting statistics. Trained players showed improved vision after training, had decreased strike-outs, and created more runs; and even accounting for maturational gains, these additional runs may have led to an additional four to five team wins. These results demonstrate real world transferable benefits of a vision-training program based on perceptual learning principles.
Oh, right. They're already working on different areas of re-training batting practice, as Drellich notes here:
The most common pitching machines, the kind you might find at a local batting cage, have long allowed for different pitches to be thrown: fastball, curveball, sinker. But every pitch type needs to be set. A batter takes maybe 10 consecutive fastballs before someone has to reset the machine for another pitch.
These advanced contraptions, made by a company called Sports Tutor Inc., have programmable sequences with 7 seconds between pitches. And they can reach 90 mph.
3) My daily text from Bo