Saturday, December 12, 2009

25 Man Roster Made up of Current Free Agents.

25 Man Roster Made up of Current Free Agents. has an interesting article posted right now about the Top 25 free agents still available. I didn't believe there was a strong enough market to make a decent team, but it seems like I was wrong. On the other hand, this team would be way overpriced. I went through and added in their 2009 salaries (some will make more, some will make less, but it's a good starting point), and found the team would be WAY overpriced (in my opinion) at $195,593,291. That places them squarely in between the two most expensive teams, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets... and I would expect the quality of their play to be somewhere in between the two.

Here's the list (with 2009 salaries added by me). The article will follow.

The Free-Agent 25-man Roster (Salary)
Starting Pitchers:
RHP John Lackey $10,000,000
RHP Joel Pineiro $7,500,000
RHP Ben Sheets $12,125,000
RHP Justin Duchscherer $3,900,000
LHP Aroldis Chapman $3,240,000 (avg. 2009 MLB salary)

Relief Pitchers:
RHP Jose Valverde $8,000,000
LHP Mike Gonzalez $3,450,000
RHP Fernando Rodney $2,700,000
RHP Octavio Dotel $6,000,000
LHP Darren Oliver $3,665,000

Bengie Molina $6,500,000
Rod Barajas $2,500,000

First Base:
Carlos Delgado $12,000,000

Second Base:
Orlando Hudson $3,364,877

Third Base:
Adrian Beltre $13,400,000

Migel Tejada $14,811,414

Matt Holliday $13,500,000
Jason Bay $7,800,000
Johnny Damon $13,000,000
Mike Cameron $10,000,000
Jermaine Dye $11,500,000

Mark DeRosa $5,500,000

Corner Infielders:
Nick Johnson $5,500,000
Troy Glaus $12,137,000

Middle Infielder:
Felipe Lopez $3,500,000

Team Salary
Average Salary

Impressive roster of free agents remains
With Meetings over, plenty of Hot Stove action to come
By John Schlegel /

12/12/09 12:00 AM EST

The shopping season that began in earnest in Indianapolis is far from over, and the inventory of free agents remains stocked to the rafters.

An ace and two slugging outfielders have dominated the spotlight so far this offseason, but they are only part of what could be a full roster of free agents who can contribute to clubs.

A few good men -- from right-hander Rich Harden getting a fresh start with the Rangers and veterans like catcher Pudge Rodriguez and starter Randy Wolf -- have landed on rosters for next season.

There remains a lot of talent to be had, and plenty of shoppers who didn't get very deep into their checklist at the Winter Meetings in Indy.

Of course, there are also some big names available on the trade market, starting with Toronto ace Roy Halladay and including slugging second baseman Dan Uggla and right-hander Derek Lowe. There also will be another haul of free agents come Saturday, when some talented players such as Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins are not expected to be tendered contracts by the deadline to do so.

Whatever this year's class of free agents might lack in chart-topping largesse compared to a year ago, the current group already makes up for in depth.

At the top tier, starter John Lackey and sluggers Matt Holliday and Jason Bay likely won't be ringing the same financial bells CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira did a year ago. But then the field of free agents covers a little more ground right now than it did a year ago.

Enough to fill a team from scratch? Perhaps. Could be fun.

OK, then, in the spirit of the shopping season, here's an empty, reusable shopping bag and a 25-man roster spree down the 2009-10 free agent aisle:

Starting pitchers (5): Lackey, Joel Pineiro, Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer and Aroldis Chapman.
Lackey's far and away the class of the group, and Pineiro is coming off a career year with the Cardinals. The rest of the group has potential issues, of course, as do other possible selections like Jon Garland, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Kelvim Escobar and Brett Myers. And Chapman, the 21-year-old Cuban defector? Why not?

Relief pitchers (5): Jose Valverde, Mike Gonzalez, Fernando Rodney, Octavio Dotel, Darren Oliver.
The Astros have moved on from Valverde, picking Brandon Lyon from the free-agent aisle and acquiring Matt Lindstrom via trade. Valverde stands out with two 40-save seasons preceding a 25-save campaign in '09. But the rest all could contribute.

Catchers (2): Bengie Molina, Rod Barajas.
With Pudge Rodriguez off the market with the Nationals now, the catcher most coveted on the market is (and was) Bengie Molina, who works a staff as well as anyone and hits well enough that he batted cleanup for the Giants (although that was a bit of a stretch). With Jason Kendall now snapped up, Barajas is a solid backup choice.

First baseman: Carlos Delgado.
If he's indeed healthy after hip surgery and he can return even to his 2008 form, Delgado could be big again in the middle of someone's lineup. He has 473 homers and 1,510 RBIs behind him, and probably a good number of each ahead of him if he's healthy.

Second baseman: Orlando Hudson.
What a difference a year makes, eh? Last year, he had to wait and wait for the call, but this year O-Dog is top dog among second basemen. His Gold Glove defense and all-around presence is something any team would covet.

Third baseman: Adrian Beltre
No, his last deal with the Mariners didn't exactly turn out the way everybody had hoped, but he did rally a bit after a horrendous start in Seattle. He'll be only 31 in April.

Shortstop: Miguel Tejada
Since Beltre's available, Tejada can stay at shortstop on this roster. Having regained some of his dominant form while with the Astros, Tejada is one of the more coveted bats on the market.

Outfielders (5): Holliday, Bay, Johnny Damon, Mike Cameron, Jermaine Dye.
Holliday and Bay will get big deals, because they're both big-deal guys -- a lot of pop from the right side. After that, Damon and Cameron can still fill a lineup spot for pretty much any team, and Dye remains a solid choice for right field and DH if needed. Gary Sheffield, Randy Winn and Rick Ankiel are other considerations. This configuration leaves out the World Series MVP, Hideki Matsui -- who does have some NL interest in him, despite more DH credentials.

Utility: Mark DeRosa
He'll literally play anywhere, any day. In fact, that might limit teams interested in him, simply because his value might not fit their need for a multi-position player. We'll take him, for sure.

Corner infielders: Nick Johnson, Troy Glaus
Would be nice to have a first baseman of Johnson's caliber around especially if Delgado's the starter, and Glaus can deliver some pop off this bench.

Middle infielder: Felipe Lopez.
Orlando Cabrera has made the rounds, and they've won pretty much everywhere he's gone. But Lopez gets an edge here because he brings experience to the table at both middle spots and he's younger.

OK. That's 25.

But, hey, that's just one way to fill the free-agent shopping bag.

Point is, there is still plenty of inventory for those shopping GMs.

John Schlegel is a national reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

For lack of better blog topic (also just because it works)... I am going to post 25 random things here...

1. I just installed Windows 7 Beta on my Eee PC 1000h, and as much as I dislike Microsoft, so far it is proving to be faster and more responsive than the original Linux OS (a Xandros flavor) that shipped with it and Easy Peasy (an Ubuntu 8.10 variant with netbook remix interface). Installing it and getting drivers was a headache that I didn't experience with the other OS's, but once installed it seems to be running quicker. Weird. I'm kinda sad.

2. I often feel inadequate as a musician. Despite this, it is my dream to one day do a tour similar to "Passion's One Day"... playing worship at locations throughout the US and giving seminars... all to culminate in one big worshipfest at some location where everyone comes to worship God together and love each other.

3. I'm a sucker for curly hair and accents.

4. In general, I will use an inferior open-source/free software product as opposed to a closed source product for philosophical reasons.

5. I was a fan of Switchfoot, Relient K, Kutless and OneRepublic long before they became big.

6. Even though I enjoy discovering obscure bands that don't sound like anyone else and have similar philosophies of distribution to me (anti-RIAA) sometimes I still enjoy the same pop crap that everyone else listens to. I just don't listen to it on the radio.

7. There are a few people who are solely responsible for introducing me to certain styles of music. I owe them more than I could ever repay.

8. I thrive on interaction with people. People, music and learning new things are three of the biggest motivators in my life. No wonder I enjoy playing new music with new people so much. Anybody have an opening in a band for me?

9. A friend recently pointed out to me that I have a Type-A personality. I'm afraid I'm still in denial. Is it really true?

10. My time at Life Pacific College was probably the best three years of my life.

11. I love to dance. Even though I really suck at it. A hidden camera in my apartment would surely ruin any hope I'd ever have of holding a public office.

12. I am less sure of what I believe after graduating with a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies than I did going into it. I do know that I believe.

13. I generally dislike random surveys. I am only doing this because a close friend of mine did and I wouldn't want to let her down. I am also rationalizing it by thinking this isn't a true survey because I get to make up my answers and there are no questions.

14. I really like my job. I wonder if I would like it for a career.

15. My job is not my calling.

16. I shudder every time I catch myself speaking in Christianese. If you are a true friend, please slap me next time I speak Christianese without prefacing it by saying, "Pardon my Christianese, but..."

17. I say "ummm" far to often when I am thinking and talking at the same time. Bad Brad.

18. I love how welcoming my new church is. It's a diverse group of personalities that works very well together. It already feels like home. I need to pray for it more.

19. I've gone for weeks without turning on the TV sometimes. Internet... not so much.

20. I love to make new friends. New connections. New people that God puts into my life to influence me and for me to influence. And I'm nerdy enough to wish that in heaven God has some sort of graph that shows how all of our timelines interweave and affect each other.

21. I have an addictive personality. If I like something, I quickly grow to be nearly obsessed with it. Which has lead to late night conversations, all night gaming sessions and generally the destruction of anything resembling a normal sleep schedule.

22. As much as I want to live a long, full life, I want to die doing something really crazy... taking some huge risk. When my life's flame goes out I want to burn out bright. (See "Secondhand Lions" for ideas.)

23. I want to play piano like Ben Folds and Andrew McMahon. I wish I could sing like Matt Hammit and Steve Perry. If I could play Mozart's "Turkish March" on guitar I would finally be satisfied with my guitar skill.

24. I am a nerd, and proud of it. I am also certain kinds of geek and regularly act like a dork. there is a difference. Ask me about it.

25. This was originally posted on my Facebook. Anybody who reads this blog (if anybody does) is welcome to comment with 25 random things about them. Or just post this on their blog and link me to it in the comments.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Brad's Top 10 Science Fiction Novels of All-Time

So there was a time in my life when I read little else but Science Fiction novels. Over the years I have re-read a few of them, and found most of them to be better than I remembered. Here is my list of my 10 favorite Science Fiction novels.

As an aside, I believe true science fiction, good science fiction, is not merely stories that substitute techno-babble for either a good story or use technology in place of "magic" to miraculously accomplish something, or else it would just be fantasy with lasers instead of wands and space ships instead dragons. Real science fiction examines people, humanity, relationships and involves in the telling of the story science and technology. It is first about people, then about science. It's not some excuse to just babble on about possible futuristic toys. A good Sci-Fi story tells you something, or even better... makes you think about the human race and about yourself.

Without further ado...

  1. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) - I read this book after college, and never knew why I waited so long. I did it in one sitting too, all through the night. Gripping story-line of a kid genius in training to be a general that deals with interesting questions of leadership.
  2. That Hideous Strength (C.S. Lewis) - I liked this book the best of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. In my opinion there there little in the way of science in this book, but it still fits that genre as well as any other. Medieval lore meets historical science fiction in this page turner.
  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) - A sci-fi comedy that is absolutely hilarious, especially if you enjoy British humor and the abuse of non sequiturs.
  4. Dune (Frank Herbert) - Classic of the genre that explores the messiah complex, family and kingdom level intrigue in a desert science fiction setting.
  5. The Last Question (Isaac Asimov) - Actually a short story, very thought provoking ending.
  6. The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton) - A wicked nasty virus from space breaks out in the US and scientists try to stop it. Likely formed the basis for more than a few sci-fi TV series plots. *cough*stargate*cough*
  7. Rendezvous With Rama (Arthur C. Clarke) - A interesting "adventure" style book revolving around mankind's curiosity and interest in an alien artifact, time capsule, spaceship traveling through our solar system.
  8. Prelude to Foundation (Isaac Asimov) - I liked this prequel better than the original Foundation mostly due to the style in which it was written. Foundation was broken into what could almost be called "mini-novels" while Prelude to Foundation read straight through with multiple plot twists and a catching ending.
  9. A Wrinkle In Time (Madeleine L'Engle) - A family's father goes missing and his intrepid children travel the universe in search of him. Not exactly a children's book, but often targeted at them due to the primary characters.
  10. The Positronic Man (Isaac Asimov) - Intriguing story about a robot who is nearly (?) human. Brings to mind questions of what really makes one human.
  11. 2001 A Space Odyssey (Arthur C Clarke) - Another book about human nature thinly disguised with technology and "the future".
Top 10 Science Fiction Novels Brad Wants To Read:
  1. 1984 - George Orwell
  2. Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein
  3. Neuromancer - William Gibson
  4. Speaker For The Dead - Orson Scott Card
  5. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K Dick
  6. Ringworld - Larry Niven
  7. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  8. Hyperion - Dan Simmons
  9. Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes
  10. More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
Did I miss your favorite? Am I lacking something good? Let me know!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Piracy - A Handy Guide

Note: I'm not making any comment on the morality of performing any of the above actions, just providing a reference guide for those whose definitions have become confused by those looking to deceive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Most Exciting Thing In Life

So I just filled out a "Connections Survey" for my alma mater, Life Pacific College, and it was interesting to notice the questions that it asked. Of course, it asked the standard stuff, Name, Years Attended and Graduated and contact info. And of course family info (I have no family of my own), so that was blank.

Then it wanted to know church info. The name, address, phone number of it. That's something that would be terribly relevant to someone in a "traditional ministry position", which is probably the occupation most people go to Bible College to acquire... but it may not matter nearly as much to someone who does something outside of church, either for their "day job" or ministry.

The survey next wants to know "Ministry Service or Career Path" since graduation. Now, I'm assuming this is information that will be going in the college's newsletter that goes out to alumni and supporters of the college to update everyone on what everyone else is doing. Is it in some way a measure of success for someone who can list off churches or ministries they've been a part of? When people receive this, do they compare what other people are doing to each other? Do they compare their own "Ministry Service or Career Path" with those of their peers? I mean, it's not like it's a competition... but it seems like human nature would turn it into one, no?

The most interesting question on it however, was the last one: Tell us the most exciting thing that’s going on in your life. Did your son just graduate from high school? Did your first grandchild just arrive? Are you in the middle of a building project at your church? To be honest, the most exciting thing in my life just happened a couple days ago, but due to confidentiality reasons I can't go into detail about it where all can read. But it has to do with my day job and it was pretty sweet.

Aside from that, I've moved out of my parent's house, I left my dad's church and found a new church (plant), I am living in an apartment on my own and I'm making a name for myself at work. Not in the "famous" making a name for myself way that phrase is usually meant (which is still somewhat true), but I'm making a name for myself in the way I conduct myself at work. The way I build relationships and the way I interact with people (customers, employees who work for me, my peers and those above me) stands out. They know I'm different than the person who had the job before me because of the way I talk, the decisions I make and how I treat people.

Of course it's a "secular" job, which means that there are politically correct things that one can and can't say and do. But I believe there is so much that words and actions can say and do without going into "politically incorrect" territory. There are dozens of people who I would love to have a conversation with when one of us no longer works for my company. But who knows if I will ever be the one to have that conversation? Maybe God is using me to (pardon my Christianese metaphors), "soften the earth", "plant the seed" or "water the plant" and someone else will "reap the harvest"?

I'm enjoying this stage of life and in truth the most exciting thing in my life right now is the relationships I am building and the lessons being learned (on both sides) from these relationships. Even with all this I can tell that this stage is still preparation, and the most exciting things are yet to come.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


From today's Quote of the Day...

"Invention is the mother of necessity."
-Thorstein Veblen

I disagree. In today's culture marketing is the mother of necessity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1 Sam 14

So a couple things stood out to me about this chapter. First of all... Jonathan did something I am very much not comfortable with: "god if this happens, then it means yes, but if this happens, it means no." it's not that I don't think that god can't speak to us when we set up a dichotomistic choice like that, but how does one know it's a fair thing to do? How do I know I'm not just stacking the deck in my favor if I so something like that? "god if the pastor looks right at me during the altar call and sings the third stanza of the star spangled banner, then I know you want me to respond. Otherwise, you don't." an extreme example, yes, but I think you get the point?

Is this something that we should be doing today as Christians? I mean, maybe it was different for Jonathan back then because he didn't have the holy spirit? (see also: casting lots to determine guilt) But speaking of the holy spirit... How do you even know if it is really god speaking to you, and not just your self? Or worse, an "unclean spirit". (pardon my christianese) yes, I know that we can learn what god's voice sounds like, or what he would say by being familiar with what he says in the bible. But when it comes down to it, we read the bible through the lens of our mind, and that can skew god's written word as much as his spoken (verbal or nonverbal) word.

I'm not saying we can't know what god is saying to us, because there have been a few times that I've really *known*... It's just all those other times that confuse me.

The next thing... Saul had to take roll of his men to learn that his son was missing. What kind of a father is that?! Dang. I hope I never have to do that. I'm betting that Jonathan was a young man at this time, because he led an army, but I doubt he was over 20. Probably 15 or 16 as an upper age limit. So it's not like Saul took his t ball son along with him to work (war) and lost him... But still, dad... Keep an eye on your kid! If you die, he's next in line man!

And then he made a stupid oath, based on a stupid rule that he made. Strange that he mentioned his son's name in it. After "losing" him was be trying to get, rid of him? Or did he feel like he was shown up and he wanted to get rid of him? Or was it just a proof that he was really serious? If it was, then why did he divide the groups into him and Jonathan, then the rest ofnthe people? Did he know? Surely he must have known Jonathan didn't hear the stupid command, he just took role and found him to be missing. The whole thing just seems fishy too me.

Lastly, he doesn't keep the oath that he made. Why? And why doesn't he get in trouble for it either? I mean, the people sin by eating meat without draining the blood, and then Jonathan is the one the dice point at because he broke a stupid rule that his dad made that he didn't know about! Surely the people sinned more than Jonathan. Surely Saul sinned worse than Jonathan because of the stupid rule he made that endangered the lives of his men. I mean come on, I don't think that skipping meals is a good recipe for success if you want to beat down a foe who is more BA than you. Yet it's Jonathan who the finger is pointed at instead of either of the other two groups.

And then! Then! Saul allows himself to be persuaded by the people not to kill Jonathan! Saul breaks his own stupid oath by not killing his kid who broke his own stupid rule unknowingly. Wow. Too much stupidity for me.

But on the other hand... What if god's hand was in this after all? What if god knew that David would need Jonathan, and it so he just worked out the best way to keep him alive? What lessons are there to be learned from this dysfunctional family and king?

God is with those who seek him. God has a plan that stupid people can't thwart? Maybe because he knew that the philistines were more screwed up than then the israelites, god decided to overlook their sins to kick some bad guy hiney? Idunno, I don't get why god does what he does a lot of the time. Why did he even give the Israelites what they wanted (a king) if he was just going to be a screwup anyway? Why does he entrust screwup Christians, like me, to do his will anyway?

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