ESPN’s Jayson Stark said Lee is the best trade-deadline starting-pitching acquisition in history. Stark made his evaluation based on Lee’s postseason performance.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Lee is the first starting pitcher since division play to win four games in one postseason after changing teams in midseason.
He’s also the first pitcher in 32 years to win two games in the World Series after switching teams the same year.
-With MLB apparently resistant to any expansion of instant replay for 2010 following several bad calls by umpires in the postseason, Mike Port is a man on the spot. Port is MLB’s vice president of umpiring.
“I think the umpiring is improving,” said Port at the GM meetings, “but technology is moving faster.”
Port said the scrutiny produced by the postseason and the technology used to review plays has created a sometimes impossible situation for umpires.
“Do you formulate a judgment on the play as it happens or on the fourth replay?” he asked.
Umpires, of course, can’t do that.
This past season the Z-system (Zone Evaluation) was placed in all 30 major league parks. It’s a computer system that grades an umpire’s work calling balls and strikes. It replaced the QuesTech system that was used only in about one-third of big-league ballparks and led to complaints by players who felt umpires may have felt pressure to call a tighter game when they knew a computer was looking over their shoulder.
When TV stations carrying the games use “tracking systems’ to review ball and strike calls, that data is provided by the Z-system.
“That’s just the raw information,” said Port, referring to what fans see on TV.
The plate umpire receives a computer disk of his performance within a day so he can review it.
“We’ve got the same system in 30 parks and the guys are right there in terms of accuracy,” said Port. “We’ve had umpires who have called perfect games this year.”
-Adam Katz, who represents Omar Vizquel, was working the lobby Wednesday. He talked briefly to Chris Antonetti, Indians assistant general manager. The Indians need an extra infielder, and with Jamey Carroll apparently out of the picture, Vizquel is an interesting option.
Vizquel, 42, hit .266 (47-for-177) with seven doubles, two triples, one homers and 14 RBI for the Rangers last year.
Infielder Jason Donald, one of the four players the Indians received from the Phillies for Lee last season, could open next season at Class AAA Columbus because he missed time with knee and back injuries.
Vizquel spent 11 years with the Indians and holds a special place in the heart of many of their fans.
-The Mariners felt center fielder Franklin Gutierrez should have won a Gold Glove this year. LA’s Torii Hunter, Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki and Baltimore’s Adam Jones won the Gold Gloves for AL outfielders.