Pitching in for a burned-out Joey this morning. I didn't get his request to cobble together some content until 5:15 a.m., so forgive the brevity. This is what has been on Mike's mind lately ...
While Rangers fans wait with bated breath to learn whether their rent-an-ace will return to front the rotation in 2011, their foe from the San Francisco Bay sits chilly knowing that their rotation is in the bag and it's the best in baseball.
As you know, it's a rotation that includes four homegrown kids followed by an former ace quality overpriced free agent whose performance in 2010 was, by far, the worst among the club's regular starters.
Tim Lincecum (26), Matt Cain (26), Jonathan Sanchez (27) and Madison Bumgarner (21) followed by Barry Zito, right?
Nope. Not the Giants (3.54 ERA). Their starters posted the third-best ERA in baseball.
It was their neighbors across the bay who were the best rotation in baseball by starters ERA (3.47). They were also the best rotation in baseball by DIPS 2.0.
Trevor Cahill (22), Gio Gonzalez (25), Dallas Braden (27) and Brett Anderson (22), followed by Ben Sheets.
Yes: The Athletics' rotation is younger, cheaper and statistically better than the Giants'. Watch out.
While you worry about who the Angels will moneywhip this winter in an attempt to close the gap on the Rangers, it's the Athletics -- following the Giants' blueprint -- who are truly poised to overtake your 2010 AL West champs.
Quick: Name a marquee free agent other than Ken Griffey, Jr. / Cincinnati who actually signed somewhere because of where he wanted to live.
Good luck. Mike Hampton doesn't count.
Enough of these stories about how Cliffly loves Texas and wants to live close to Benton. Might as well write a story about how his dog is telling him to sign with Texas. It would be more meaningful.