Treat Shane Like Cole?

As I mentioned in my recent post on Cole Hamels, fans were all too eager to proffer theories on his poor performances in 2009:

There was something askew with him the whole season. He spent too much time in the off-season posing for magazines, appearing on television shows and lending his persona in advertisements. He got cocky; he wasn’t focused; he was immature; he lacked the mental strength to go through another 162-game grind after reaching the pinnacle of baseball. Right?

Of course, as we found out, Cole’s poor 2009 was mostly due to poor luck on batted balls in play (BABIP), but the reputation still remains. Some fans and media types were suggesting Cole should have been packaged in a trade that brought Roy Halladay to Philadelphia and kept Cliff Lee.

Another Phillie has been making the rounds this off-season with his newfound fame: Shane Victorino.

The Fightins has tracked him:

Clearly, baseball isn’t the only thing on Shane Victorino’s mind. He’s been married, been to J-Roll’s wedding, gone to UFC and NBA games, and attended the Grammy Awards. This has “ugly 2010 season” written all over it!

If Shane does have a bad 2010 season, will the fans and media concoct crackpot theories explaining his freefall? Will we admonish him for having a life outside of baseball?

Will he take creepy pictures with his wife?

Of course, Shane is more likely to stay in line with his previous achievements as he improved his walk rate and cut his strikeout rate in ’09 while maintaining a steady BABIP, ISO, and wOBA. None of his plate discipline splits indicate a cause for concern. But in the event he does go into a tailspin and the crackpot theories start a-swirlin’, I’ll be right here linking back to this post.

It’s the cardinal rule in baseball: performances are inversely correlated with off-the-field fun. As off-the-field fun rises, baseball performance decreases. I think I read that somewhere in The Book.

Nails Is Back

On the rebound after hitting rock bottom, former Met and Phillie favorite Lenny Dykstra is back in the investing game. Jane Wells at CNBC has it:

I’m not sure where he’s living, but Lenny Dykstra is back in the investing game. The baseball great who filed for bankruptcy last year and lost both of his homes now has a Web site called Nails Investments.

“Each week we provide our subscribers with Key Option plays designed to make $1000 or more,” the Web site says. For fees ranging from $89 a month (The Single) to $899 a year (The Homerun), you can have access to Dykstra’s forecasts. The Homerun also gives you access to a monthly live conference call—”Speak with and Ask Lenny Questions”—and an autographed baseball.
For $20, he should work on a wad of tobacco for a half hour and broadcast it via web cam. Clients would start lining up around the block. That’s the Nails we all grew to love.
However, before you whip out the wallet, realize that Lenny has been accused of fraud by his two brothers and his mother, as well as his former employees. ESPN’s Mike Fish reported that Nails is the subject of  “at least 24 legal actions”. All of them are outrageous and almost unbelievable until you realize that it’s Lenny Dykstra. Fish describes one of the stranger lawsuits:
He’s even been sued by a die-hard Mets fan who was the best man at his wedding 20-some years ago, though that New York investor claims there is no bad blood.
The post-baseball investor Nails is almost as compelling as the hustling outfielder of the mid-1980’s and ’90’s. It’s a slowly-developing train wreck.