Annals of Japery and Sport

The Hot Stove Report: A Parody

By posted at 6:00 am on November 24, 2010 3

Now that the 2010 season has ended, it’s time to look at the off-season transactions that will shape next year’s division rivalries and pennant races.  Here, then, are a few of baseball’s most notable available free agents:

High-Priced Prizes

Carlos Tambien, RHP

With a 28-1 record and a 0.59 ERA in 2010, Tambien dominated baseball in a manner recalling Godzilla, King Kong, and other dominant, baseball-playing monsters.  His fastball, consistently clocking in at 107 mph, is complemented by a hard, baffling curveball and a curving, hard baffleball.  It is nearly unimaginable that as recently as 2006, Tambien was a junior congressman (R-ME) who had never heard of baseball, due to partial deafness in his left ear.

Probable Contract: 5 years, $150 million
Probable Suitors: New York, Boston

Jack Daughtry, 1B

Daughtry had another sensational season in 2010, batting .389 with 53 home runs and 188 RBI; he also single-handedly throttled the entire Seattle club during a bench-clearing brawl in May.  It seems unlikely that the slugger’s small-market team will be able to afford his rich new contract; when asked of the odds of keeping Daughtry, the late General Manager Roland Tuttle tearfully vaulted a railing.  In addition to his on-field exploits, Daughtry won “Lutheran Priest of The Year” in 2007 and 2009, and is a licensed obstetrician.

Probable Contract: 6 years, $185 million
Probable Suitors: Detroit, Anaheim

Second-Tier Stars

Henry Marshallton, C

Marshallton, known alternately as “The Deputy,” “The General,” and “The Deputy Attorney General,” is, at 36, not the player he once was—he admitted as much in August when he told Baseball Insider, “I’m not the player I once was”—but Marshallton is still a premier backstop.  In 2010, he allowed just two passed balls, hit four walk-off home runs, and batted .292 for the ninth straight year.  Wherever he lands, he will offer instant leadership: Cody Bummocks, his rookie teammate, recently told the Gazette that if Marshallton doesn’t return in 2011, “I’ll lose my moral compass.”

Probable Contract: 2 years, $23 million
Probable Suitors: Los Angeles, Texas

Francisco Francisco, CF

The fleet Francisco made a name for himself in 2010 with a string of acrobatic catches and second-inning heroics, causing many to deem the 25-year-old Ecuadorian the most exciting young player since “Dapper” Horse McCallister.  Though his season statistics—.278 average, 22 home runs, and a 4.43 HPZ—were unspectacular, Francisco’s upside seems high.  “FranFran will go far in this league,” batting coach Arthur Weems, requesting anonymity, recently told the Eagle.  “If he stays healthy, he has a chance to be this sport’s John Dos Passos.”

Probable Contract: 4 years, $39 million
Probable Suitors: San Francisco, St. Louis

Solid Additions

Luke Riley, 2B

The 33-year-old Riley, a hard-nosed throwback to the days of knee-high stirrups and flannel jock straps, is distinguished by an uncommon desire to win.  “I once shot a buck with an arrow I whittled from a birch tree; cleaned him right there in the woods,” he is fond of saying, apropos of nothing.  “Venison for weeks—burgers, stews, the whole shpiel.”  Riley plays with reckless abandon, often flinging himself into the stands between batters.  “You always want a Luke Riley on your team,” shortstop and double-play partner Jimmy Zimmer recently told the Herald.  “Although it doesn’t necessarily have to be the Luke Riley.”

Probable Contract: 3 years, $20 million
Probable Suitors: Colorado, Toronto

Hiraki Narakama, LHP

Narakama, nicknamed “Spider-Man” for his collection of rare cobwebs, has become a dependable bullpen option in the twilight of his career.  The days of his Japan-league stardom have long since passed—there will be nothing resembling the “Hiraki Hysteria” that caused a deadly stampede at the 2002 Winter Meetings—but the hurler’s 4.01 lifetime ERA and vast one-pitch arsenal still make Narakama the fourth-best Osakan lefty reliever in the business.  An added bonus: his translator, Daniel Hijami, can play either corner outfield position.

Probable Contract: 2 years, $10 million
Probable Suitors: Seattle, Milwaukee

Warm Bodies

Carlton Pfaff, SS

With nearly two errors per game and a .149 on-base percentage in 2010, the market for Pfaff will likely be weak.  But scouts point to a number of factors that may extend his woeful three-year career.  “Sometimes, a grounder will hit him in the shin or the eye, keeping the ball in the infield,” one reluctant Pfaff-watcher told the Journal.  “He has most of the important limbs.  And he does a good Cary Grant impression, which keeps his teammates loose after he hits into a triple play.”

Probable Contract: 1 year, League Minimum
Probable Suitors: Pittsburgh, Kansas City

Wesley Tudor, RHP

After 27 years of steady big-league service, 2010 may well have been the last for this crafty eephus-baller.  Tudor’s 22.74 ERA and .549 QAQ in 2010 were obvious signs of decline, but the 51-year-old remains undeterred.  “I’d love to latch on somewhere, give it one final go,” he recently mused to the Republican-Democrat.  “The game is so full of poetry, like a kind of poetic poem, that I can’t bear the thought of retiring.  The green of the grass, the pop of the mitt, the roar of the crowd… I love it all.  Plus, I can’t stand my family.”

Probable Contract: 1 year, League Minimum
Probable Suitors: Baltimore, Cleveland





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3 Responses to “The Hot Stove Report: A Parody”

  1. Scott
    at 1:36 pm on November 24, 2010

    Brilliant! It sounds like Wesley Tudor has another decade or two left in him. I’d certainly sign him. Thanks for the chuckle!

  2. Ted
    at 4:25 pm on November 24, 2010

    Mark my words, in years to come, we will have replaced Moneyball with Pfaffball.

    - Jeff Pfranklin, Treasurer, The Order of Reluctant Pfaff-watchers

  3. Craig
    at 2:43 pm on November 26, 2010

    Wesley Tudor is THE MAN!

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