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It Really Ties the Room Together
2008-07-26 18:59
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Em and I went to the ABC outlet in the South Bronx today to get a carpet.  Em has been wanting to get a new rug for more than a minute.  So off we went.  Should have been a twenty-minute ride but it turned into an hour plus Bruckner Avenue, Robert Moses-Thanks-For-Nothing Organized Konfusion nightmare--bumber to bumber traffic jams, wrong turns, lunatic drivers, getting cockamamie directions on the cell phone, and a rash left turn that almost lead to an accident, followed by shock, anguish, tears.  One thing was for sure.  We weren't leaving ABC without a carpet.

And we got one.  Really ties the room together (you know I've been beating that to death all day too, right?).  The ride home was trauma free even if the Red Sox scored two first inning runs against Andy Pettitte and we had to listen to John Sterling tell us about it.  We had made it through the rain, we got a smashing rug and the wife was laughing again.  As we sailed up the Major Deegan, Robinson Cano, molten hot, tied the game with a solo dinger in the fourth.

In the sixth, the Yanks turned a 3-2 lead into a 7-2 margin thanks in part to run scoring hits by Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez.  Later, in the eighth, Curtis Hanson walked Bobby Abreu with two out and Jose Molina on third.  By now the rug was in our apartment and the wife was floating around the place, beyond thrilled.  She was getting herself a club soda in the kitchen as Rodriguez came to bat. 

I told her that Rodriguez was likely to get hit.  "It's terrible that that needs to happen," she says.  I reminded her aboiut Joba throwing at Youkilis' head.  "You're right," she says, "you're right.  I still think it's stupid."  Sure enough, Rodriguez got plunked, right under his right tricep.  It was a stinger but he didn't riff and there was no further incident.  Then Giambi got the best kind of revenge with a five-pitch walk, bringing up Cano.  

I'm not one to feel overly confident in my team during a game, at least not often, but I just knew Cano was going to hit something hard, and most probably do something good.  Sure enough he did--lining a double, his third hit of the day, that clanked off the Green Monster.  The romp was on, the final: 10-3.  Andy Pettitte wasn't great, he struggled early, but he was decent long enough to get the win.  The bullpen threw four scoreless inning.  Xaiver Nady and Damasco Marte, the new Yankees, both played; Nady walked and scored a run in four times at bat, and Marte struck out David Ortiz with two men on and one out in the seventh inning in his one-and-done debut.

In all, this has to be one of the most satisfying Yankee wins of the year.  It's their eighth straight, gives them another series win, a beautiful thing with House Money Ponson going tomorrow night.  Tim McCarver had a comment during the game today about how you can't exactly measure confidence but it sure makes a difference when a team has it.  Sounds obvious, of course, but the Yankees are playing with confidence right now. 

That is nuthin but fun city for us.  Yipee

 

 

Comments
2008-07-26 20:02:57
1.   OldYanksFan
Girardi and especially Cashman deserve some serious kudos. Sure, you can find plenty of things they could have done better, but the bottom line is with all our injuries, this team has no right to be where they are.

We are now on pace to win 91. Many people thought we would win around 91 when our team was whole. A lot of heavy lifing has been done but our elders: Moose, Andy, Mo and Giambi. But the BP and Joba and Raz have really pulled us through. Cashman's kids. Low cost, no name players (aside from Joba).

And all this with zero contributions from IPK and Phil. There's a lot of season left, and we have plenty of time to fall, but this has been pretty exciting. The Mets can have Santana. I like what we got going on.

2008-07-26 20:04:04
2.   seattleyank
I actually wondered about that McCarver comment. How we can tell the Yanks are playing with confidence? Because they're winning? Do we just assume that teams that are winning consistently always have confidence? Or is there really a way to spot confidence, like being aggressive on the basepaths or something? I wonder.
2008-07-26 20:27:39
3.   weeping for brunnhilde
2 I don't know, but I do think you can tell by watching a team when they're confident and when they're tentative.

Remember a couple years back when Jason was just hopeless, totally overmatched by average fastballs and went up looking to walk? That was a player playing with no confidence.

2008-07-26 20:56:38
4.   seattleyank
I mostly agree with your example, but just for the sake of argument...

Jason's performance was terrible at the time. Now he's performing better, so we assume he's more confident. It is just a case of players don't have confidence when they're not performing and they do when they are. If so, then confidence is just a by-product of the results on the field. In which case, it's largely irrelevant. Or does being confident help a player sustain good results? Again, I'm just curious.

2008-07-26 21:22:50
5.   JL25and3
On the other hand, I don't think Melky's ever looked like he lacked confidence. Competence, yes, but not confidence. Ditto Cano for the first half of the season.
2008-07-26 21:34:17
6.   Mattpat11
1 I will also give Cashman kudos for getting rid of both Karstens and Ohlendorf. No good could have come from them staying in the organization.

No just don't bring in Washburn.

2008-07-26 21:43:56
7.   Just fair
Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride
You don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away
Just poppin' in to say Pettitte that made himself proud today. And that I can't wait to see Cano's first at-bat tomorrow night. I made a quiet confession to my wife last year that Cano is creeping into favorite player category. He defense is consistently mad slick and when he's right in the box. Whoooooeeeee,! A kid on a mission.
Sweep. Sure. Why not?
2008-07-26 22:19:56
8.   Chyll Will
0 Eight-hundred, five eight eight, two three-hundred, EMPIRE!!! (dunh!) >;)
2008-07-27 00:04:36
9.   Eirias
8 I'm not sure I can ever forgive you for getting that in my head now.
2008-07-27 00:07:42
10.   joejoejoe
I was hoping for some kind of Hansen/MMM-bop headline. I'll just have to live with sweet victory.
2008-07-27 04:50:24
11.   OldYanksFan
It's hard to separate news fromt the bullshit:
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/722113.html
---------------------------------------------
Should the Royals send pitcher Brian Bannister back to New York if offered outfielder Melky Cabrera or another run-production bat in return?

The Yankees still appear to prefer Washburn, an 11-year veteran who is 4-9 with a 4.75 ERA in 20 games, but the Mariners rejected an offer of Cabrera and pitcher Kei Igawa. Seattle is thought to want a prospect, possibly minor-league outfielder Brett Gardner, in addition to the Yankees' picking up the remaining $14 million-plus on Washburn's contract through next season.

The Yankees, like several teams, previously contacted the Royals regarding pitcher Zack Greinke. One major-league source said New York had offered Cabrera and second baseman Robinson Cano in exchange for Greinke and a position player thought to be outfielder Mark Teahen.
---------------------------------------------
I'm a big Cashman supporter, but anytime I see Robbie's name mentioned in a trade. for anyone but Pujols, I throw up in my mouth a little.

2008-07-27 05:15:21
12.   OldYanksFan
If El Dopo was REALLY included in a trade for Washburn, I guess that means the Yankees want him gone at all costs. The guy has simply played himself off this team. To me, we seem short of quality OFers. I like JD in LF, but to put JD in CF with 2 poor fielding corner OFs seems like a terrible idea.

A Bannister/Melky deal makes sense, as Bannister is young, cheap and having a bad year. He actually appeaers to be a better then average pitcher. It seems to me he is more valuable then Melky (career 87 OPS+) and I would think there would be another Yankee player/prospect in that deal.

It also seems like the Yanks have little intention of keeping Hughes or IPK up once they are healthy... or why go after a guy like Washburn... older, average, no upside.

And how could Seattle TURN DOWN Melky AND Iggy for what is really a salary dump? And why would the Yankees make this offer?

Is all this stuff just made up?

2008-07-27 05:44:38
13.   JL25and3
It really pains me to say this, but I don't see that they have any option but to play Melky. They can't afford to trade him.

The fact that Melky Cabrera is irreplaceable is appalling.

2008-07-27 06:01:28
14.   RIYank
10 Excellent.

13 Why can't you just play Damon in CF? Sure, he's a bad fielder, but I bet you could gain almost all of that back in extra hitting with Sexson DHing against lefties. If you just replace Melky straight up with Christian or Gardner, I bet you only lose maybe five runs over the rest of the year. Melky isn't irreplaceable.

2008-07-27 06:05:48
15.   murphy
13 the idea of melky's bat being irreplaceable is, indeed, appalling; but let us not forget what he brings to the table defensively. i am not big melky defender, but i know that this board has, for YEARS (i was here through the decline of bernie and signing of damon), been down on anyone who could not hold their own in CF. at the plate, he is a mess, but melky is a plus in terms of defense and there is NO ONE on our bench or the trade market that could replace that.

(murphy hopes someone finds a way to numerically justify his claims) ;)

2008-07-27 06:27:24
16.   horace-clarke-era
11 Sounds like such monumental nonsense it makes me blink, especially the Seattle component. I can JUST see now dealing Melky if somehow it is decided we can go back to a CF who can't throw at all, now that X-Factor's in left. That keeps Gardner as a 4th OF ... 14 can he play CF? Can Nady? Christian? I doubt it. This is a PENNANT race, guys.

I'm (still) with 15 ... it kind of depresses me that people continue to focus so much on the bat side of a player's role. I posted 2 nights ago in the 1-0 game how much PLEASURE it gives me to see the Yanks play good D and pitch well (and pitching well comes with good D and we all know it, or should). I would far rather chase bats for power positions, such as RF if we can't keep Abreu for one season, or 1st base if we decide Giambino's a wonderful fluke this year and that's all she'll write.

Melky will only get better in CF, surely everyone can agree that he's so young that the skills will increase there even if he is not baseball smart (Bernie wasn't either, remember?). Is it too easy to ignore how he's hitting very well sicne the break, too. Overshadowed by Robbie going insane, but ...

He gets more exposed at the plate when catcher is a black hole and it was added to when Gardner (ain't cutting it) was in left. If we have 7 bats doing pretty well, take the D at C and CF and count batting as a bonus. The team can win that way.

2008-07-27 06:27:49
17.   The Mick 536
Having a difficult time with the Nixon picture. It reminds me of him. I like the picture of him waving to the crowd after he resigned. What did he have to do with buying a carpet?

And is this Yahoo thing going to be a regular?

2008-07-27 06:41:45
18.   RIYank
17 What Yahoo thing?

So, as expected, radio in RSN today is all about Manny. They want him out. And they're sadly resigning themselves to the fact that he will not, cannot be traded this year. (He'd veto almost any trade and has that power, not because of his contract but by his 10-5 rights.)

On the other hand, Sean McAdam just pointed out some good news for Sox fans: tonight is the last time (this season) you have to suffer through Joe Morgan.

2008-07-27 06:53:41
19.   Sliced Bread
16 Yup. I'm a sucker for Melky's d, myself, and believe there's more life in his bat than the numbers suggest. I have no problem with Melk. I'll even take that a step further and state I love the kid out there.

17 when you come down off your bummer Tricky Dick flashback, you may notice how his outfit perfectly matches the wallpaper, and how his bowling ball is the same color as the chair in the corner. Richard really ties the room togehter, no? Remarkable symetry in that shot.

I was 8 when he resigned. I'll never forget watching it with my family. My mom's documenting the history on her tape recorder, and my dad is cracking us up adjusting the color on the set to make Dick look green, yellow, orange. You can hear me and my sister giggling in the background on the tape. Resignation: a game the whole family can play.

2008-07-27 06:55:12
20.   ms october
18 ads on the site - right now it is ebay and lasik eye surgery

16 i agree fully on your melky assessment hoss.

i am not sure what to make of bannister either. was last year's era + of 121 and 1.21 whip the outlier or is this year's era+ of 80 and 1.41 whip it - or is he something in between? he is a tough guy to get a handle on.

2008-07-27 07:00:05
21.   JL25and3
15 , 16 No, nobody ignores his defense. His defense is terrific, though I don't think he's an elite center fielder. I also don't think it's enough to offset his miserable offense.

No, hoss, I don't necessarily think he'll get much better as a center fielder. He's already good. And he's not Bernie Williams, never will be.

The problem with Melky's offense isn't that Molina was overexposed, it's that Melky was overexposed. Before this year, there were plenty of us who felt that his ceiling was as a fourth outfielder because of his offense. We were told, he's young, he'll develop. He's gotten worse, considerably worse.

I still think he's a nice little fourth outfielder, a good role player. I don't think he should be an everyday player. If he ever develops, I'll revisit that. But he's been out there every day for three years, and that shouldn't continue unless he starts getting better.

2008-07-27 07:01:15
22.   monkeypants
16 I'm not convinced Melky will only get better in CF. His hitting seems to have gotten worse over time.

That said, the team probably does not have an option to replace him this year, so they have to hope his hitting comes up to competence levels.

He's just keeping the position warm until A-Jax takes over in a year or two.

2008-07-27 07:01:30
23.   RIYank
20 Oh, the ads.

I have ad-blocker. Does that mean I'm costing Bronx Banter money? Or do the advertisers only count hits on the site?

Hey, Cool Standings now gives the Yankees a 45% chance of making the play-offs. Before the break it was around 16%. The Cool Standings methodology is pretty crude, but the increase does reflect the Bombers' meteoric recent performance.

2008-07-27 07:17:59
24.   ny2ca2dc
Maybe this has been mentioned before, I've been in and out so sorry if this is a repeat. I think one big bonus to the trade is the impact on the defense, especially in a short series. With Damon in LF (when he's healthy) you move Abreu to DH and put Nady in RF. You get Abreu's league worst D out of RF, and with Molina behind the plate you end up with a pretty durn good fielding team, also thanks to Jeter and Giambi pulling league-average defensive performances out of their hats.

Nice story Alex, and I love how you're a total ham and your wife seems to tolerate it. They think we're cute, yes?!

2008-07-27 07:29:48
25.   RIYank
How much would it cost to sign Pat Burrell next year?
2008-07-27 07:46:50
26.   JL25and3
25 Probably more than he's worth. He's having far and away his best year this year, and someone will pay him on that basis. He's a very good hitter, no question; but somebody's going to pay for a 150 OPS+ and get a 125.

He's also no kind of fielder. He's called "Pat the Bat" for a reason.

2008-07-27 08:01:16
27.   OldYanksFan
24 Agreed. Losing Melky and downgrading 2 defensive positions in one shot just seems like a terrible idea. It's not that Melky has that much value, but I still think we are seeing him at his worst, and at least we know what we have.

Also, hearing trade rumors for all these aneragish pitchers bothers me. Pontoons has been better then we could have expected, Rasner is a solid #5 (ERA 0.6 below avg), IPK ready to pitch here if the Yanks want it, Hughes 4 weeks away.

To get an impact starter is fine. But what is the upgrade between Washburn and Rasner? Are IPK and Hughes both MiLBers for the rest of this year?

And remember last night when JD cramped up and we thought it might be a hammy? The guys seems pretty fragile now and still there's talk about shipping him out? When the very best OFer we could get was Nady?

I don't get any of it. Nady/Marte was a fine/reasonable trade, but this stuff is baffling me.

And it ain't much, but now that Cano has decided to hit, since the ASB, Melky is: .333 .353 .394 .747.

2008-07-27 08:02:19
28.   OldYanksFan
27 that's AVERAGE-ISH pitchers...
2008-07-27 08:03:38
29.   OldYanksFan
29 that shipping MELKY out. I'm too upset to type or spell.
2008-07-27 08:18:05
30.   JL25and3
27 Yeah, I've been keeping close watch on Melky's stats. Hitting .333 is certainly better than hitting .233, but I think this is basically hollow and not likely to last.

He's not exactly stinging the ball. He's hit some more singles, some of which has looked like better luck to me. (Seriously. I'm not just denigrating him.) Yesterday's double was a weak fly ball anywhere else; it still counts, but it shouldn't be confused with hitting better. Aside from that he's had one double and one walk.

It's a step in the right direction, but I think it's a much smaller step than it looks at first glance.

2008-07-27 08:58:11
31.   OldYanksFan
30 Agreed. But Melkman doesn't have to be a great hitter, as much as NOT being a black hole and coming up with the occasional contribution. If he hits .270 the rest of the year, I can live with that. We need Cano and Jeter to keep hitting, and everyone else to hit decent with RISP.
2008-07-27 09:12:07
32.   cult of basebaal
there is 0 ... ZERO ... guarantee that melky's going to get better in CF ... just because you come up young doesn't mean you progress.

you want a cautionary example? check out rick manning (who's on melky's comp list)... he came up at the age of 20 and posted seasons of 101 and 116 OPS+ his first 2 years. then he reeled off 9 years of sub 90 seasons.

melky's OPS + by year since 2005 is 95, 89 and 76.

his defense has been good enough to take back about half of the worth that his bat has given away, but that puts him in the bottom quarter of AL CFs overall.

http://www.replacementlevel.com/index.php/RLYW/direct/al_cf_sorted_by_total_offensive_and_defensive_runs_above_average_july_10_20

i'm not really keen on trading him just to trade him for washburn or bannister, but he's looking more and more like a 4th OF and a placeholder in CF (at best) until jackson is ready (which is hopefully mid 2009).

2008-07-27 09:13:16
33.   cult of basebaal
32 oops, sorry about the long url ... here's the tiny:

http://tinyurl.com/6x4gxg

2008-07-27 09:19:03
34.   cult of basebaal
and i'll just add that in 2006, melky was a hitter that was just slightly less than average, his defense boosted him to a net positive.

last year, he slipped, but it was matter of having hot streaks and cold streaks. when he was cold he was ice, but he was a good hitter when he was on a hot streak, showing power and enough patience. it was not inconceivable to think that he might smooth out his production and trend towards the production he displayed when hot.

this year, we haven't even gotten that. apart from the 1st month, melky's showing very, very little power and has just fluctuated between being mediocre and being one of the worst hitting regulars in the AL. it's not a very comforting trendline.

2008-07-27 09:56:14
35.   horace-clarke-era
Cult ... I think you're mixing apples oranges defense and offense. You cite the ops stats in support of a 'zero guarantee' of better defense. I don't get it.

Nor do I get requests or desires for 'guarantee' I admit. Who offers guarantees in sport? You play likelihoods, going forward. A very good CF at 23 should, on LIKELIHOOD simply get better as they gain experience of fields, batters, and maturity. And someone in this thread said he's good but not great but based on the fielding stats that surfaced here 2 weeks ago they are dead-wrong ... he's annihilating a touted guy like Torii Hunter, and Ichiro was NOT good in CF ... who's a stellar AL CF better than Melky by much right now?

I honestly think people are missing the point. One needn't love him (though I'll allow Sliced to love him; I feel more like Murphy, appreciating what he brings) to see how a #8 or #9 seriously good D CF can work for a team otherwise solid at the plate.

I asked this awhile ago, would you rather have an aging Hunter at $18 million a year? He's had a vg 5 days, Torii, but ... what will that 18 mill look like in 2-3 years?

2008-07-27 10:37:56
36.   cult of basebaal
35 the only offensive player that shouldn't be measured by the sum of their contributions is the DH. i'll give you that melky's been excellent in CF this year, but as good as he has been in the field, his bat has been twice as bad at the plate.

therefore, he's an overall negative for the team. now, i'm not sure if the defensive downgrade to an nady,damon, abreu OF would be balanced by the resulting upgrade on offense. as someone suggested above, i think it might be a much better swap to put nady in RF and send abreu to DH, because abreu's been epically bad in the field this year.

if you want to believe that melky's gonna get better and better in CF and that his bat's gonna come around to be merely mediocre (and i'd take merely mediocre from melky after how bad may and june and most of july were) that's certainly your prerogative, but sometimes WYSIWYG. if gardner had hit, i'd have been in favor of using him instead of melky. as it is, unless the team wants to bite the bullet on the nady,damon,abreu OF, there's little to do except let melky play, at least until the offseason, when it might be possible to make a move (at the very least, we ought to know more about austin jackson's likely timetable for 2009)

2008-07-27 10:40:01
37.   JL25and3
35 I think the overall point was that, just because a player is young, doesn't mean he'll develop.

I wouldn't necessarily say that a 23-year-old should on likelihood get better, just that he might. He's good defensively now; why does that mean he'll get better? I'm not convinced that his defense is quite as super-elite as some think - but if it is, then how much better is he likely to get? When a guy is already near the best, the limit to his development is a lot closer.

His room for improvement defensively really isn't the issue, anyway. However good his defense gets, it won't really matter unless his offense improves. Yes, he's only 23 - but he's now had 1500 PA in the majors, and that should have counted for something. Not only has he failed to improve, he's gotten steadily worse. You don't have to have a superstar bat at the bottom of the order, but there's a limit to how bad it can be. The days of playing Dal Maxvill for his defense are long gone, and good riddance.

I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have Torii Hunter, but that's arguable. I'd certaily rather have Melky than Gary Matthews or Andruw Jones or Corey Patterson. He's definitely a better option than anyone who's worse. That doesn't mean he's good, or even acceptable.

2008-07-27 11:02:57
38.   monkeypants
35 36 37 Moreover, I question whether his defense will actually improve much. Yes he's good now, and he takes some funky routes to the ball, so maybe there is room for improvement there. Maybe he learns the league a little better and positions himself better.

However, he is not exactly a speedster now, and he's a bit, well, pear-shaped. As a somewhat bulky guy myself, I would not be surprised if Melky gets huskier as his body develops, and ends up losing a step or two along the way.

I agree that there is no real option to replace Melky this season: Gardner was simply not ready (if he hit at all, Melky would have been gone, I think); Johnny is not much of a CF any more, and his shoulder was obviously hurt worse than anyone admitted; Nady has played 40 or 50 games in CF, but his Range Factor at the position was absolutely brutal.

That said, Melky is right now a place holder for A-Jax or an FA. He has been given three years to develop--remarkable patience for a notoriously impatient organization like the Yankees-and he has not made the most of his time.

2008-07-27 11:15:32
39.   horace-clarke-era
Guys, guys, really ... praising our team's patience when he's 23? 1500 appearance at THAT age. That speaks to something GOOD, not bad. How many people hit a ton at 22? If we bailed on a kid that young and he grew we'd all be blasting the team. Remember people here wanted Cano dumped in June.

But I have NO problem treating Leche as warming the pasture till Jackson II arrives. Do hope everyone's a bit willing to accept that Austintacious may not be instantly glorious. And that he may not even be great.

I think it is simply obvious that D improves in the early-mid 20's with experience. And agree it doesn't HAVE to improve a lot as it is already top 10-20%.

But you all make valid, thoughtful comments, I'm not trying to make Melky into Dimaggio. I am arguing that for THIS team he's fine, he adds a fair bit with his D, and a LOT of teams in this sport (including ours, guys, over the years) have carried good glove weak hitters at positions where the D is significant ... SS, CF, C. I'm just a bit puzzled by the Melk-bashing ... I attribute it partly to expecting a 9-deep murderer's row of a batting order and a chronic undervaluing of defense.

2008-07-27 11:32:00
40.   monkeypants
40 "Guys, guys, really ... praising our team's patience when he's 23? 1500 appearance at THAT age. That speaks to something GOOD, not bad. How many people hit a ton at 22?"

Come on now, that's misleading. The problem is not that he is not 'hitting a ton' at age 22. It's that he is getting progressively worse each season.

So yes, I would say watching a position player fail to progress for three years--actually, to get worse for three years--IS a sign of patience.

Good heavens, for how long should a young player be given? We're not talking 50 or 60 ABs. It has been 1400 ABs. Over those three years his K rate has increased, his walk rate has declined, his BA has declined, his OBP has declined, his slugging ave has declined. HIS GDP rate has increased.

He is on pace for the same number of SBs (about 12), though his CS is on pace to decline slightly (from 5 to about 3).

By just about every measure possible measure his offense has steadily declined for three consecutive seasons. Heck, he's not even that good of a bunter.

2008-07-27 11:32:28
41.   monkeypants
40 was responding to 39 .
2008-07-27 11:37:07
42.   JL25and3
39 I never wanted Cano dumped, and I don't think many here actually did. Some people advocated a benching, or even a couple of weeks in AAA, but I don't remember people wanting to dump him.

1500 PA, at any age, isn't trivial. If he's too young to expect him to be adequate after three years, then they shouldn't keep him in the majors.

I'm not asking him to hit a ton, or to be part of a murderer's row. I'm asking that he be, at worst, a little below average, and that he show some improvement in some part of his game. At this point, merely being young isn't enough to make me think he'll develop much beyond this; he needs to show at least a little capacity for it as well.

I'm really not bashing him. I think he's a good kid, extremely likable, and a useful player - as a fourth outfielder. But at this point, I'm not really expecting much improvement - not until I see some.

2008-07-27 11:39:07
43.   JL25and3
39 PS - Melky isn't Cano, and he isn't Bernie. They're really not comparable.
2008-07-27 11:55:46
44.   monkeypants
43 The thing is, there ARE some similarities between Melky and a very young Bernie. Indeed, you could argue that Melky age 21-22 was more advanced than Bernie at the same age. But then watch what happens to their development from age 23. Even though Bernie took a step back at age 24, he was still a better player than Melky, and he only got better. Melky, on the other hand, is going in the wrong direction:

Bernie
Age AB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
22, 320, .238, .336, .350, .686, 91
23, 261, .280, .354, .406, .760, 113
24, 567, .268, .333, .400, .733, 100
25, 408, .289, .384, .453, .827, 119

Melky
Age AB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
21, 460, .280, .360, .391, .751, 95
22, 545, .273, .327, .391, .718, 89
23, 356, .250, .306, .351, .657, 76

2008-07-27 13:13:53
45.   OldYanksFan
I'm not sure if how good/bad Melky is, is the current issue. If we can get a better CFer, then fine, dump him. BUT we don't have a better CFer. JD in CF and Nady in LF downgrades 2 defensive positions for some extra offense. Better? Worse? If it's TTTC, why bother.

Melky is a good 4th OFer, as he is an excellent LIDR and can PR for Giambi and Molina. So if we can put together a measurably better OF without Melky, Melky becomes a 4th... and you can consider him a trade chip.

Also, we all know defensive stats have a lot of room for error. We can easily measure what Pujol's bat brings, but it's harder to qualify a good glove and a great arm. Runners who don't advance... runners who don't score... runner who get thrown out.

My issue is hearing rumors about trades NOW. With as banged up as we are, unable to trade for a better OFer then Nady, JD seemingly on the verge of another injury at any moment, ya gotta keep the Melk man.

He SHOULD get better, but he has gotten worse in two progressive years. And, it seems, he has also gotten dopier. He was never Einstein, but I don't remember thinking he was stupid his first year up. But he is young enough that he MIGHT still improve.

By the by, while this really means absolutely nothing, one of the few CFers that was LESS productive was Coco. So at least we know it's possible to carry a defense only CFer and still win a WS. The difference between Melky and a guy that (O & D) who is a bit better... that difference won't carry us to the PS.

And lastly, it is one thing to include Melky as a trade chip for someone we really need. But Washburn? That's one step above a DFA.

2008-07-27 13:39:54
46.   JL25and3
44 There are some statistical similarities, and they share a lack of baseball instincts. But there are some pretty significant differences that set them apart.

Bernie wasn't in the majors at age 20, but he was showing progress in the minors each year from then on. There was some sort of learning curve there.

Bernie was a much toolsier player, more that he could use to improve with. Most important, he had speed, which could help him grow both as a fielder and as a hitter. Melky's one great tool is his arm, which doesn't really help with much of anything else.

It was a little easier to project increases in walks and power with Bernie. He always got plenty of walks in the minors, so that gave some hope. He also had a body that he could grow into, so there was more power potential. Melky doesn't look like he will - or should - fill out much more.

So beyond those early ML statistics, there were plenty of reasons to think he would develop. Melky really just has age.

45 I completely agree. I don't think they can afford to trade him at all in the foreseeable future. And for Washburn? That's got to be made up, it's just too ridiculous.

2008-07-28 06:59:55
47.   The Mick 536
19 Missed the whole Lebowski thing. I was blinded by my anger.
2008-07-28 09:33:05
48.   FreddySez
Hey Alex.

Mary Jo and I spent some time shopping in that place. Man, is it huge. I think I saw the USS Nimitz tucked behind a stack of Persians upstairs.

And a pain to get to. On a rainy day, of course. And yeah, we came away with a carpet too. If you ever go back, recommend a stop at the Bruckner Bar, right under the Bronx end of the 3rd Ave. Bridge.

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