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Short Change?
2005-11-29 05:19
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

There are some Met fans who've loved to chide the Yankees as the best team money can buy over the years. Welp, that diss goes out the window now that Omar Minaya and the Mets are doing their best impression of the big, bad Bombers. (I'm actually excited for the Shea faithful and hope their team wins the NL East next year.) Meanwhile, the Yankees are reportedly interested in Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Myers for their bullpen, while the Phillies are hot after Flash Gordon. Johnny Damon is still (fortunately) a pipe dream to play center field in New York next year, and many inside the Yankee organization feel that Brian Giles will likely remain on the west coast (or land in Toronto perhaps).

So how about this for a development? Joe Torre told Reuters yesterday that the team has been thinking about the possibility of moving either Derk Jeter or Alex Rodriguez to center:

"We've thought about it," Torre told the international wire service. "We just haven't made a commitment to that. We haven't broached it with the shortstops."

..."That's happened before, hasn't it?" Torre told Reuters. "Bobby Murcer, Mickey Mantle. Hank Aaron came up as a second baseman. Robin Yount went to center field. It certainly is a consideration."

As Sam Borden notes in the Daily News:

Speculation about Jeter making a move to the outfield isn't new and, if one of the players were to move he'd be the more likely candidate. Even before A-Rod arrived in New York there had always been a small segment of the Yankee population proposing that the captain's ability to read the ball off the bat and his uncanny ability to go back and catch fly balls over his shoulder made him a natural candidate to finish his career as an outfielder.

Typically, however, that sentiment has been dismissed as totally far-fetched.

..."Jeter would do anything, and so would A-Rod for that matter, to help this ball club win," Torre told Reuters.

Count me as one of the small segment of Yankee fans who've believed that Jeter would make a decent center fielder. Yeah, Robin Yount was always the comp that came to mind too. But while I still believe that Jeter would be a better gamble in center than Rodriguez, Yount was 29 when he made the transition back in 1985, whereas Jeter turns 32 next May (Murcer, Mantle and Aaron were all far younger than that when they moved). Those couple of years could make a big difference in how effective Jeter could be. I would be surprised if the Yankees actually went ahead with such a radical experiment, still, it's interesting that Torre even mentioned it. What if Jeter moved to center, Rodriguez went back to short and the Bombers inked Nomar to play third?

Comments (92)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-11-29 05:56:05
1.   wsporter
Alex: I'm with you on all points. What about A-rod stays at 3rd and we sign Furcal? Oh boy this is Fantasy baseball.
2005-11-29 06:01:19
2.   Rockbox
Lets face it guys its over. The Mets got Delgado, and Wagner. Mariano is now yesterdays news. We need to hide in a cave for a while and lick our wounds. Jeter to center, we cant be that desperate could we. Furcal is all but a Cub already, so he wont be playing short.
2005-11-29 06:08:54
3.   wsporter
Rockbox: Would this cave have a ball field in it?
2005-11-29 06:08:58
4.   Alex Belth
I like Rodriguez at short better than Furcal, and I don't see moving Jeter to center as a desperate move at all. Maybe it is too late for it to be really effective, but Rodriguez is a better defensive short stop than Jeter has ever been--in spite of Jeter's two recent Gold Gloves. Again, I don't think the Yanks would actually do something so radical, but I'm intrigued that they are even considering it.
2005-11-29 06:10:49
5.   Alex Belth
Also, I don't see why the Yanks have to lick any wounds simply because the Mets have improved their team. What were the Yanks going to do with Delgado? Plus, Wagner wasn't going to be a set-up guy--just like Ryan wasn't, and just like Hoffman won't. Hey, the Mets deserve to be pumped about something--they haven't exactly had the same kind of success that the Yanks have had since both teams met in the Subway Serious.
2005-11-29 06:29:36
6.   wsporter
Alex: I'm just wondering if A-rod isn't getting a little heavy in the legs for short. Plus he's been doing a great job at third and I can't see that we have many good alternatives there. A-rod and Furcal at third and short sounds pretty good. Although Nomar at third wouldn't be hard to take either.
2005-11-29 06:52:54
7.   Alex Belth
wsporter: That's a valid point about Rodriguez. The trouble with this experiment is that it should have happened the moment Rodriguez came to New York for it to be really effective.
2005-11-29 06:54:13
8.   rsmith51
Wow, I didn't even think a possible move to OF for Jeter was on the Yankees' radar. It does allow Cashman and Co. to look for a CF or a SS or a 3B and get the one with the most value. I figured since Jeter won another GG, it wouldn't be a possibility.
2005-11-29 06:55:49
9.   rsmith51
The Yankees had a CF when ARod came on board. They needed a 3B. Jeter is not a good choice for 3B, IMHO.
2005-11-29 06:57:11
10.   Dimelo
How is Alex getting heavy on the leg? The ball gets to 3rd much quicker, you can't offer concrete proof that his legs are getting heavier.

I like the Furcal move to SS and Jeter to CF. That would be insane I think. Also, if ARod moves to SS then you can probably sign a one year 3rd baseman and make the team younger....with....drum roll please....Eric Duncan in 2007. I'm starting to like this move.

2005-11-29 06:58:26
11.   wsporter
Amen to that Alex. This is a day late and a dollar short, no pun ..., well you know.
2005-11-29 07:01:11
12.   murphy
while they are experimenting with him at new positions, keeping Eric Duncan at 3B suddenly seems like a better idea. he may not be ready this year, but he tore up the AFL. we all talk about whether or not we should be willing to include him in part of a deal for someone else, but if Jeter moves to CF and Arod back to SS, Duncan suddenly seems much for valuable to us right here at home.

has our trying him out at new positions been because he's defensively weak or because we assumed he was blocked at 3B by Arod?

moreover: with the recent success of the Cano "experiment" and Duncan's excellent AFL #'s, is Cashman already thinking what i am thinking?

that would rule. (and we could still sign Giles as our RF and DH Sheff)

2005-11-29 07:02:26
13.   murphy
oh, dimelo, my brother. i knew i loved you for a reason. :)
2005-11-29 07:04:47
14.   wsporter
Dimelo:

Its not a knock on A-rod, the guy is an all time great player. He's not 24 any longer and he's a huge man. Its going to happen if it hasn't already. There's a difference between third base quick and short stop range. No I can't offer concrete proof that it has or will happen. I can't offer concrete proof that the sun will come up tomorrow either but I'm fairly confident it will.

2005-11-29 07:08:42
15.   Dimelo
Murph, good thing we are thinking along the same lines.

My brother is in reactionary mode right now, 'the Yankees need to do something quick'. I keep telling him to calm down, I actually like the approach the Yankees are taking. They are addressing their problems as opposed to doing what they did last year -- getting players for the sake of getting players. Seeing David Wright do as well as he's doing in Queens, keeps me hopeful that Duncan will be the same for the Yanks. I don't know why I'm so excited about the Jeter/ARod at CF news, but this opens up a slew of possibilities for the Yanks.

2005-11-29 07:31:18
16.   Rob Gee
Did someone put acid in the NY Metro water supply? I think I'll need to act as a spiritquest guide to all you very confused day trippers. The hallucinations are causing delusions of grandeur.

Torre answered honestly one question - nothing is going to happen. 1) Jeter won't move or else he would have when A-Rod came over. Now Jetes got 2 GG. Why would he think it's a good idea, and again for his good "buddy" A-Rod to take his position? 2) A-Rod to CF is stupid on multiple levels mostly b/c he's finally settled in at 3B and his offensive numbers are almost back to where they should be. A-Rod in CF is not A-Rod. 3) You still need a good 3B and if we were serious about any of this, why not be in on the Beckett deal? Duncan can't play defense - he's not the the option there.

And, while we're all lost - please help me! In all the articles of the CF options, Crazy Uncle Milton keeps coming up but is readily dismissed. Is the organization that scared of MIL-ton BRAD-ley? Throwing aside all the other malcontents we've had through the years, is that clubhouse so fragile that it can't handle one cheap, young, and talented CF because of his character flaws? Worst case scenario: If you trade for him you get him on a 1 year contract @ ~3mil, so release him if he's too much to handle.

2005-11-29 07:31:27
17.   JohnnyC
The best thing right now about Eric Duncan's glovework (at any position)is that he's a slugger in the making. He was moved to 1st base because of his scores of errors at third not only because ARod blocks him. There was talk until this season's breakout seasons by guys like Tabata and de la Rossa of moving Duncan to RF. While he remains a high ceiling offensive prospect, Duncan's got a whole lot of work to be even a replacement level defensive player...at any position.
2005-11-29 07:36:16
18.   Alex Belth
So I just got a call from my on-the-spot crack reporting girlfriend who says she just caught Torre on the Tony Danza show. And Torre characterized the center field story as a writer taking what he wanted and running with it. He also said that Mariano Rivera could play center field. Anyhow, Emily said that Torre bascially said the story was B.S.

Ah, at least it gave us something to get excited about this morning.

2005-11-29 07:43:37
19.   wsporter
Alex: You guys were out in front of this a while back with a Joel Sherman interview. It wasn't a bad idea then and it isn't now. I wish they'd at least consider it. Maybe they will. Looks like they may be rediscovering the glories that are Juan Pierre. Oh boy.
2005-11-29 07:44:19
20.   Dimelo
I like that Torre is thinking of putting Mariano at CF. I can see him throwing that mean cutter to Posada from death valley. Man, the Yankees are really thinking outside the box. This is going to be great year. Have we thought about using Kevin Brown as our permanent DH?
2005-11-29 07:46:11
21.   Dimelo
Hate to kill the Jeter to CF story, but Dave has a good idea here too - as one year stop-gap at 3rd.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/012411.php

2005-11-29 07:51:05
22.   Alex Belth
Hard not to like Bill Mueller, isn't it?
2005-11-29 07:57:28
23.   Dimelo
BTW Alex, Tony Danza??? Man...I need to start working from home. I didn't know he had a show or that Torre is in dire need of publicity that he wouldn't at least go on Regis and Kelly. At least Kelly Ripa can get you wondering about….well…Kelly Ripa. Maybe Tony should at least get Alyssa Milano, it could be the Alyssa and Tony show. Alyssa can wear those nice outfits she wears on Maxim or FHM. Shit…I might become a telecommuter just for that.
2005-11-29 08:00:14
24.   standuptriple
With all this IF to CF talk, why has nobody mentioned Cano? He's young and has a little speed. They talked about it with Soriano.
I pretty much figured that this was a pseudo-story. Can you imagine Jete and A-Rod seeing this in the paper? I see them laughing their butts off and it being an ongoing inside joke in Spring Training. It is nice to see some ink on the Bombers with all the Met propoganda.
2005-11-29 08:13:54
25.   debris
Actually, moving Cano to CF makes tremendous sense. That would open up 2b for Mark Bellhorn.
2005-11-29 08:24:22
26.   wsporter
Didn't Bellhorn refuse a minor league assignment and opt for free agency back in October? Dude has some hard hands.
2005-11-29 08:31:16
27.   Marcus
I thought debris was joking. I hope debris was joking.
2005-11-29 08:32:27
28.   illinination
Debris: I hope you were joking about Bellhorn. There were good reasons why the Cubs and Red Sox let him walk.

What do you all think of Joey Gathright in CF? He's no gold glover, but he could be another Juan Pierre waiting to happen.

2005-11-29 08:40:29
29.   wsporter
I think Gaithright is another Bubba Crosby waiting to happen. Why buy an imitation when you can have the original?

Sorry to go off topic for a second. Goose Gossage is on the Hall of Fame ballot. I usually don't give a rats ass about this stuff but it would be nice to see that guy make it. He was as lights out as it got for about 10 years and man was he fun to watch. He and Bruce Sutter should have been in a while ago. This HOF anti reliever bias is getting stupid. Anybody care?

2005-11-29 08:41:06
30.   debris
Until Gathright figures out how to steal first, his value will be limited. Yes, he's only 25 in 2006 and he only has 255 ML at bats, but his .638 ops is might scary.
2005-11-29 08:41:25
31.   murphy
debris, did you forget to insert a "smiley" or did you mean "furcal" when you wrote " bellhorn"?
2005-11-29 08:52:12
32.   NetShrine
Does anyone think that Bill Mueller can hit a lick outside of Fenway?
2005-11-29 08:58:44
33.   joejoejoe
Alex Belth - As for Rivera throwing cutters to Posada from the warning track I'm wouldn't be suprised if he made Vlad Guerrero look like Johnny Damon in a throwing contest. One of my favorite things to do is sit in the RF bleachers at the Stadium and watch Rivera long toss on the field before the game. The ball zips right in front of your eyes and makes a sound like a quiet room fan. It's both fluid and violent at the same time. I wonder if Rivera is fast on his feet? How about Rivera in CF and then Torre pulls the double switch in the 9th and he trots in to pitch! Now THAT would be cool.

The Red Sox have Gammons. We have Danza. Advantage, Yankees.

2005-11-29 09:00:57
34.   illinination
Take a look at Gathright's minor league stats and you'll see he can show some patience and draw a walk. The guy rocketed through the minors and it's amazing that the Devil Rays didn't bring him up sooner with Baldelli on the shelf most of the year. If Gathright can't take away playing time from Bubba, who can?
2005-11-29 09:21:42
35.   Simone
Rob Gee, I totally agree about Bradley. All the comments in media about Cashman and Torre being against Bradley are ridiculous. I don't get why the Yankees just don't pick him up for 1 year and see how it goes. He is young, cheap and talented. Instead they are considered the more controversial move re: Jeter to center.

Steve Phillips doesn't often make sense, but he rightly pointed out on ESPN this morning: What happens if this experiment fails? A whole ton of people are convinced that Jeter would be a great centerfielder, but what if at the age of 32, his body cannot adjust to the outfield? What if he is unable to play a solid center? What then? Have him adjust to yet another position or trade him with the huge contract? BTW, I actually think this applies to Giles as well.

The Yankees need to find a real center fielder, preferably someone young and solid, healthy. If they are so dead set against Bradley then Cashman has to go find someone else as a stop gap until the next off season.

2005-11-29 09:27:07
36.   debris
Netshrine,

If you look at Mueller's numbers before coming to Boston and his numbers there, the only conclusion one can draw is that Fenway was very kind to him. Fenway has always been kind to lefthanded hitters, turning pop flies to left into doubles off the wall.

All,

Bradley's act will have him dashed out of the Bronx inside of 60 days.

2005-11-29 09:27:36
37.   wsporter
Illini: One man's junk is another man's treasure and the grass is always greener. I wonder how many bloggers from other teams are concocting schemes to get their hands on Bubba thinking he "might be available". If its down to a conversation about Gaithright I say play Bubba.
2005-11-29 09:40:17
38.   standuptriple
I seem to remember Gaithright being kept in the minors for his poor defense. The Lawton Experiment in RF was always an adventure and I prefer to not try something along those lines again.
2005-11-29 09:57:29
39.   KJC
You can have Embree and Bellhorn, but I would hate to see two of my favorite "underdog" Sox players -- Buel Mueller and Mike Myers -- in pinstripes!
2005-11-29 10:17:12
40.   Knuckles
I don't get all the anti-Milton talk. What do people honestly think he's gonna do- roll into town, punch out Torre, and grab Mrs. Posada's ass? Pull a glock out of his belt and shoot a heckler from CF? Demand to play SS and bat cleanup? The dude's 27 years old and talented, and unless he's completely devoid of brain cells, he's got it figured that if he behaves and plays well for the next 2 years, he's got a good shot at a nice payday. Look at how Jose Guillen straightened up when he went to a organization with a strong set of standards and a no BS manager. All this talk of Bradley being "run out of town" is knee-jerk wishful thinking from Sox fans who've been reading way too many columns about TO.
2005-11-29 10:23:34
41.   Rob Gee
MIL-ton BRAD-ley:

If he produces, the Yankees have a high tolerance for shenanigans. Instead of stating the obvious (he's a trouble maker, got a bad attitude, etc., etc., etc.)

Can anyone make an argument against that he:

a) Will not produce, offensively or defensively, or would do significantly worse than other available options?

b) Would ruin the clubhouse chemistry? Can you really see Torre, Jeter, Sheffield, A-Rod, Giambi, letting Crazy Uncle Milton get to them?

Anyone at all?

It's the writers that will make a story of every little indiscretion. But then we wouldn't have to read all season about how A-Rod isn't clutch and blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I'd trade a week MIL-ton of "spitting on Lupica" for a season of other trivial newscycle chatter.

2005-11-29 10:39:02
42.   wsporter
Rob: If the Greeks were right and character is fate, and I believe they were, Mr. Bradley has given us ample displays of his bad character. We know what the guy is. If he comes here he will implode, it is fate. He's tabloid road kill waiting to happen. He will be a disaster. He has talent and he will go nuts. But he won't do it here cause he ain't commin. He needs a nice quiet place where no one will notice him, like Fairbanks or Nome. Seems to me we've been down this road before.
2005-11-29 10:41:30
43.   Dimelo
If Milton spits on Lupica (aka gnome), then the Yankees should seriously consider signing him to 10 year 100 million dollar deal.

The Milton deal would scream of desperation. Given the intensity of Red Sox - Yankee games, do we really want that little twitch Milton has to get activated at Fenway? Do we really want Milton getting pissed and running into the Fenway stands and beating up some poor kid because his father told him to scream "Milton swallows Jeter's load"?

Wait a second...what am I talking about? Of course we want him to do all those things. Sign him now!!!! Imagine having this crazy nut and Farnsworth together ready to smack the shit out of Trawt and Curt. I don't know, this could definitely make the rivalry more interesting. The hell with it...sign his ass. It's not like he won't fit in with the other nuts you can find on the Grand Concourse, Fordham and Bellevue. Farnsworth and Milton could be our hired assassins. They'll be our own personal McMurphy (Milton) and Chief (Farnsworth) from "one flew over the cuckoo's nest".

I don't know, I see tremendous upside in Milton coming to the Bronx. What makes this even more attractive, I hear he can play some baseball too.

2005-11-29 10:43:52
44.   Simone
As far as I am concerned Bradley can't be any more difficult than Sheffield and even if he is so what? The Yankees aren't tied to him for life. If Milton did spit on Gollum (Lupica), well ... I can only hope that I will be able to feign outrage.
2005-11-29 10:48:31
45.   Marcus
"If Milton spits on Lupica (aka gnome), then the Yankees should seriously consider signing him to 10 year 100 million dollar deal."

LOL, Dimelo, you must have read my mind!

2005-11-29 10:51:48
46.   Shawn Clap
In Milton Bradley's injury-plagued career, he has managed to go 5 for 28 at The Stadium for a whopping .178

Although this is a small sample, the much larger fact is: HE CHOKED HIS PREGNANT WIFE!

We're not talking about some 16 year old kid. We're talking about a grown-ass man.

He is undeserving to wear the Yankee Pinstrips and I think that's all there is to it.

2005-11-29 10:52:43
47.   Simone
So what if the Yankees are desperate? Maybe desperation drives them to a make a deal that turns out to be good. Frankly, I would mind if Bradley accidentally on purpose wails away on some Red Sox fans. At least, they would get a real beat down before being a Boston judge claims they did nothing wrong.
2005-11-29 10:55:23
48.   JohnnyC
Well, we need something to take the back pages away from the Mets (champions-in-waiting for 2006). Maybe Farnsworth buzzing Delgado or Bradley taking Reyes out into leftfield on a DP attempt would revive the hatred. Or maybe we should sign Piazza as our DH/back-up catcher. Just kidding.
2005-11-29 10:56:25
49.   JohnnyC
Grown-ass man? Wasn't that a sitcom on UPN?
2005-11-29 10:57:07
50.   Simone
If spousal abuse, rape, drunk driving, and every crime in the book was a deterrent for signing or trading for good players, MLB, NFL, and NBA would be out of business in a year. It doesn't mean that a team should stock on an assortment of criminals, but it does mean that if they have enough talent, these players should be fair game.

The Yankees need Bradley for his defense primarily, I don't see how his offense can be judged on a small sample in the Stadium anyway.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-11-29 11:10:57
51.   Dimelo
Shawn, Didn't Robert Parrish kick his pregnant wife down the stairs when he played in Boston? They still loved him in Boston. I remember after they found him with a few blunts in his car, Boston fans were putting up signs: "Inhale to the Chief". Anyhow, kicking your wife or any woman should not be tolerated by a civilized society. It's hard to make any defense for Milton other than saying, if he helps us and behaves then let's go for it.

Look at Kevin Mitchell with the Mets in 86, Gooden said he ripped the head off his girlfriends cat and had his girlfriend and Gooden tied up ready to stab'em to death. That still didn't stop the San Francisco Giants from trading for him and seeing him win the MVP.

I guess I'm like Jimmy Johnson when he said he'd sign Charles Manson if he can run 4.3 40 yard dash. I understand that you want a player to represent the pinstripes with same class and dignity as Jeter, Williams, Mo, etc, etc. But to act as if the Yankees haven't had a slew of suspect cats that were worse or at the same level of Milton is crazy. I know Torre would never tolerate a player beating up anyone, let alone their wife but if anyone understands giving someone another chance is Torre. Christ....he dissed Sierra then took him back into his arms. If Phil Jackson can work it out with Kobe, why can't Milton work it out? Give Milton a chance. What's there to lose if he comes to the Bronx for one year?

2005-11-29 11:13:16
52.   wsporter
Simone: I think you're dead wrong. One of the serious PR problems that all professional sports leagues recognize today is criminal behavior among athletes and the general impression that athletes leave the public with, for example see the NBA dress code. I don't want rapists and murderers in Pinstripes, I want a collection of people that, at least at first glance, we can be proud of. I'm tired of making excuses for every horses' ass with crappy impulse control. To hell with these jerks, we don't need anyone that badly. I don't relish the thought of having to explain to my son why its okay to cheer for a guy who choked his pregnant wife. Again, we don't need anyone that badly.
2005-11-29 11:23:55
53.   Simone
Actually, I understand Torre's reluctance to take on Milton Bradley given that he witnessed his father's abuse of his mother growing up and has a foundation that tries to keep child safe from abusive homes. If Bradley ends up being the Yankees' choice for center, Joe will have to rise above it and put the team first. He will have to give Bradley his second or third chance.

As a Cowboy fan, I'm totally with Jimmy Johnson also. Society spoils athletes from high school and then magically expects them to become good citizens. Well, it doesn't work that way. A whole lot of these guys are not good citizens and there is no point pretending that they are or that it matters when it comes to signing them on.

2005-11-29 11:34:31
54.   debris
A couple of thoughts on Milton Bradley. First of all, he's not a great ballplayer, but a good one. His "head issues" have not only worn out his welcome everywhere he's been, but have also prevented him from developing into the player his tools suggest he should be. He's only had over 400 at bats once, only had an ops over .800 twice.

He's been run out of three major league towns and at least one minor league town. He played here in Burlington for the Vermont Expos a number of years back and because he was the most exciting player to hit town since Ken Griffey played for the Vermont Mariners in 1988, he was an immediate fan favorite. Then, suddenly, he was gone. While he'd been productive, the front office announced that he'd been returned to the Gulf League Expos for "disciplinary reasons." I figured he'd eventually grow up and become a fine big league player. That was nearly 10 years ago and it hasn't happened yet. Too bad. A lot of talent going down the toilet.

Oh, and off the subject, the Vermont Expos (The Lake Monsters in 2006) are the answer to the trivia question: Name the only team in minor league baseball named after a temporary exhibition in another city 40 years ago.

2005-11-29 11:35:32
55.   Dimelo
wsporter, why is explaining to your son why an athlete choked his pregnant wife any different than explaining to your son why some uncle, friend, or relative committed some act of violence against a woman? Let's be frank here. It's reality. This stuff happens all the time and we can't change the world. I had an uncle commit a similar despicable act and that didn't stop family members from giving him a 2nd chance and he got help per the family's request. Why is giving Milton a 2nd chance any different than the people we deal with at a more personal level?
2005-11-29 11:40:28
56.   ChuckM
The Kevin Mitchell stuff didn't come out until Mitchell was long gone from the league. Am I the only one here that realizes Bradley had a fairly serious knee/leg injury last year? There is no guarantee whatsoever he'll be able to play a decent CF and I don't think he was all that great to begin with at any OF position. If there were any reservations about Torii Hunter's D after his mangled leg, there certainly should be with Bradley...
2005-11-29 11:50:49
57.   debris
Montreal gave Milton more than one chance. Cleveland gave him another. LA gave him yet one more. And he will certainly get another, should he be healthy enough to play. The question is do you want your team to be the one giving it to him.

As a Red Sox fan who has experienced Wilfredo Cordero and Carl Everett, I'd rather Dave Roberts out there than Bradley.

2005-11-29 11:57:43
58.   Dimelo
Steve Howe, Luis Polonia, Strawberry, Steinbrenner as Yankees who have not been great citizens according to the law.
2005-11-29 12:06:52
59.   Alex Belth
I know that Rivera fancies his ability as a center fielder. So too, does Mike Mussina for that matter. Maybe a few years ago they would have been okay. Its always been a little joke between the media and Mariano...he says he wants to play one inning in CF before his career is over. Comes up every spring, a Yankee beat guy recently told me. Too bad they don't have a pine-tar game to finish (Ron Guidry played center in that one).
2005-11-29 12:22:24
60.   wsporter
Dimello:

He doesn't have any relatives or friends who have committed acts of violence against women, of which we are aware. If he did he certainly would not be asked to cheer for them. Baseball is escapism and entertainment, in some ways it is a microcosm and mirror of life, in some ways it is not. One of the ways we teach our children is by showing through our actions what is acceptable. Choosing to show a child that violence against women is not acceptable is I think an activity that is beyond reproach. If making that point should mean that that our team's centerfield fielding percentage drops by a couple of one hundredths of a point, well, I for one can live with it. To hell with the SOB.

I'm glad you gave your relative a second chance. That's what families should do. The Yankees however aren't my family, Mr. Bradley isn't my uncle. I owe him nothing but a clear eyed and honest appraisal. I think he has over the years shown us what and who he is through his actions. He may be a nice man when he's not going off, I don't care to find out on our dime.

2005-11-29 12:45:56
61.   Alex Belth
Here's a sympathetic article on Milton Bradley by Alan Schwarz (before the physcial abuse charges I believe):

http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/schwarz_alan/1574709.html

2005-11-29 12:55:22
62.   Rob Gee
dimelo,

Thanks for the LMFA (#43) moment.

My thoughts exactly (though I'm not keen on the Karsay-in-waiting Farnsworth).

Everybody now: Give MIL-ton a chance! Give MIL-ton a chance!

And for all you haters: He's 27!! True, two seasons of .800+ OPS - in three seasons of regular playing time! And his third season as a regular (2004) had .786 OPS in an extrmem pitcher's park (Dodger Stadium). I'll take that trend, especially since he was showing significant home/away split improvement last year before the injury.

Now said injury does raise concern, but MB's got two things going for him.

1) He's 27 - did I mention that?

2) His defensive stats in CF prior are significantly above league average for CF'ers.

Did I mention he'd be on a one-year contract and Bubba's still an option.

BTW: Carl Everett just won a world championship. Some guys do learn to play nice. Whether MB will remains to be seen...

Everybody now: Give MIL-ton a chance! Give MIL-ton a chance!

2005-11-29 13:11:17
63.   Rob Gee
Great find, Alex! I think I read that when it first came out - maybe that's why I think so strongly it would be a good move. The man needs a Dad and there's Torre himself. The man kisses his players, and routinely too - he loves them! Let Milton get some Daddy-love.

His list of misdeeds(?):
"Among other very bad deeds, Bradley sped away from a speeding ticket, was jailed for yelling at a police officer, was questioned about three domestic disputes at his house last summer (his new bride had a bloody lip one time), was suspended for throwing a bottle at the feet of fans, called a reporter an "Uncle Tom," engaged in a feud with teammate Jeff Kent (that one may be defensible) and spit gum at an umpire. And he's only 27, which only means plenty of time for many more blowups and meltdowns."

From: http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/ny-sphey094504928nov09,0,4145011.column?coll=ny-sports-columnists

The worst of it (hitting his new bride) resulted in no charges filed. To compare him to a rapist or murderer is wrong, unless you want a team of role models. Oh wait, we don't have that any ways.

Do you really want to moralize each and every player? Where to begin? For instance, does Jeter's manwhore lifestyle qualify as 'respect for women'? Oh, right, he's a "playboy bachelor". Serena Williams or Mia Hamm do the same thing and they're whores.

Wait, that sounds bitter. I wish I was Jete's Petes.

2005-11-29 13:14:53
64.   debris
Interesting stuff on Rotoworld:

1) Jays offering Giles 5 years/$55 million. Wow, what is JP smoking?

2) Bob Klapisch believes the Mets would send Milledge, Floyd, and Heilman up to Beantown if the Sox would pay some of Manny's freight. If true, this Sox fan would be all over it. They'd be a better team in '06 at $20 M less, despite this crazy market.

3) Farnsworth is likely to sign before week's end at some $20M for four years. Best bet, the Bronx. That's a million a year less than Karsay.

2005-11-29 13:16:24
65.   joejoejoe
Mussina might be able to eek out .240/.320/.320 in CF. He hit .273 in 11 AB in 1999. I say let Torre manage like it's Little League.

OT: Is my mind failing or did Guidry get used as a pinch runner on a regular basis in 1977?

2005-11-29 13:22:23
66.   Dimelo
Rob, I wish I was Jetes for one night. If you think Jetes doesn't have any respect for women right now because of his manwhore lifestyle, then let me take over for one night. Page 6 will dedicate an entire night to Jeter's (really mine) escapades.

If there's one famous person I'd like to be it would be Jeter unequivocally. I'm still waiting to see Jeter in a white bronco. He seems to have it all going for him. It's almost too perfect.

2005-11-29 13:34:16
67.   Simone
LOL! I get why a guy would want to have Jeter's life for a night.

Back to Bradley, the Yankees bring discipline which isn't for everyone and he seems like many of his anger problems deal with discipline issues. However, Torre is more tolerant than most and he has his players' backs for the most part. Also, in Jeter and even Sheffield, Bradley would have two African American males to help steady him. I think if the Yankees' sign him to a short term deal, Bradley would try hard to get himself together, but he has tried before and failed. I just feel that he is talented enough to warrant a 4th and 5th chance given the Yankees' need for filling the position.

2005-11-29 13:51:45
68.   wsporter
Just a happy-go-lucky mixed up kid I guess.

www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/1705006.html
www.nbc10.com/mlb/4918135/detail.html

I'll bet Loopy is sharpening his pencil already. Headline: "Yankees Trade For Choke Artist". His lead paragraph: " Yesterday the Yankees traded for alleged wife beater Milton Bradley. Today, if Joe Torre has any sense of honor, he will quit and take his domestic violence foundation home with him." He'd write that or something to that effect and he would be right to do so.

Boys yis is livin a pipe dream.

JoeJoeJoe thats what I recall as well. That man could play some ball.

2005-11-29 13:57:44
69.   ChuckM
Whoa-Sheff is the vet to help steady Bradley?! That's like saying Billy Martin was a calming influence in the Bronx Zoo locker room...
2005-11-29 14:16:24
70.   Rob Gee
It says "no charges were filed". Innocent until proven guilty. Where's the jailtime, wsporter? You're the one throwing around the rapist/murderer comparison - we're not dealing with that type of problem. The kid's got tissues no one can deny that. But you're living in the 1950's if you have to explain to your kid that a ballplayer is not a role model.

And, hey we're all adults here (maybe). I've been know to choke my wife a few times. Granted, she wasn't pregnant. But it was all in good fun and I think she quite enjoyed it. I mean she didn't say "Don't choke me!"

Even still, where's the outrage at NBC, the Knicks and then the Nets for letting that SOB Marv Albert call games. Or did y'all forget his biting propensity.

wsporter, did you explain to your kid, while watching said Knicks or Nets games, that biting is never good, not even when she wants it? Not even if it doesn't leave gaping wounds? Not even if accompanied by a "Yes!" Because, as a Dad, how would you feel if he made that mistake?

As for Shef, that (female genitalia) let a Sawx fan punch him and didn't do anything. Let them try that crap with Crazy Uncle MIL-ton!

2005-11-29 14:30:16
71.   wsporter
Actually Rob it was Simone with the rape murder stuff at #50 above. I can't believe you're still banging this drum man. I haven't seen one guy go this hard for another guy since I had to sit through a summer stock production of "The Boys In The Band". What happened, you picked out furniture you can't return? Jesus, take a cold shower.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

2005-11-29 14:43:10
72.   randym77
I wonder if Torre got panicked calls from Jeter and A-Rod after that story appeared? MSNBC had a poll attached to the story, and one of the options was, "Why is he telling the media before telling the players?"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10251280/

I doubt it will ever happen. And if it does, it will probably be A-Rod moving to center, not Jeter.

2005-11-29 15:02:25
73.   Rob Gee
Wsporter, and I'll keep at it, brother.

Very simply, the man's talented, young, and to be had cheaply - it's a no brainer - until you and everyone else without a justifiable argument play the 'character card'. Frankly, that one doesn't belong in sports because you're a hypocrite to use it. Fact is, this nonsense sells newspapers but it doesn't affect what happens on the ballfield. A good story to be sure, and watch if they do acquire MIL-ton, but one that shouldn't affect the business decision of getting a damn CF that can hit and play defense.

2005-11-29 15:20:28
74.   wsporter
Rob:

You must be part Bulldog. (thats a good thing) I guess I just don't think we'll see eye to eye on this one. I understand what your saying, I just can't agree. I guess well see. Maybe that does make me a hypocrite, though I'm not quite sure how. I'll tell you what, but for the crazy stuff I'd say your right. I suppose that doesn't mean much though. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky? Who knows? Have fun.

2005-11-29 15:39:58
75.   fgasparini
Milton Bradley was a pretty fine ballplayer before he got hurt. Maybe he still is, who knows? The Dodgers will let him go for a bag of baseballs at this point, the kind of scuffed, dirty baseballs that killed Ray Chapman. If he plays good and the cooler Yankee heads help him keep his temper, great. If he blows up and/or can't play, cut him loose. It's a cheap experiment.

As for his legal troubles, please, who cares as long as he can't hit and field.

2005-11-29 15:40:09
76.   fgasparini
Milton Bradley was a pretty fine ballplayer before he got hurt. Maybe he still is, who knows? The Dodgers will let him go for a bag of baseballs at this point, the kind of scuffed, dirty baseballs that killed Ray Chapman. If he plays good and the cooler Yankee heads help him keep his temper, great. If he blows up and/or can't play, cut him loose. It's a cheap experiment.

As for his legal troubles, please, who cares as long as he can't hit and field.

2005-11-29 15:41:35
77.   fgasparini
SORRY! browser trouble...

Obviously I meant CAN hit and field.

2005-11-29 15:50:46
78.   Rob Gee
wsporter,

You're only a hypocrite to the extent you use the 'character card'. As other posters have said athletes are just like us. To assume otherwise is to make an ASS out of U and ME. They're not role models and it shouldn't take MIL-ton for you to have a chat with your son (if he hasn't figured it out already).

You're a hypocrite because you continue to cheer for many players without really caring what kind of bastards they are. Simone's point from earlier is true - the leagues (to say nothing of the Hall of Fames) would be deprived of many a superstar if only saints were admitted. It's not our place to judge that nor should it matter.

MB's had a tough life - but that shouldn't matter either. He's going to help the team win more than he doesn't. That's what these arguments should be about, especially because we can measure and debate whether A-Rod or Jete is a better shortstop. Whether it was a mistake to hold onto Bernie wishing the year circa 1999 instead of realizing 2005.

The character of the players doesn't matter because we're in a very poor position to judge it and our view is often wrong. These arguments end up being alot of noise (hence the last 218 words) without substance. One could argue that A-Rod is not only the better player than Jeter but also the better man. We could hate Paul O'Neil because he has 16 illegitimate kids. Does it matter? Hell no (ok I made that last one up). The number of rings - that's what matters. The rest is to sell the ink.

2005-11-29 16:00:01
79.   randym77
I don't want Bradley because he misses too much work. It doesn't matter if it's because he's in jail, or suspended, or injured, or abducted by aliens. If he's not playing, he can't help the team.
2005-11-29 16:26:39
80.   wsporter
If objecting to violence against women and kids makes me a hypocrite, or a bad fan I'll sleep ok with that. As a businessman I worry more about the bottom line. As a fan I can afford to allow other considerations to cloud my judgment. People do terrible things to each other, always have always will. That doesn't mean we have to put up with it, endorse it or turn a blind eye to it. Look the guy is not Jack the Ripper, he can hit and play some D. He also seems to be a royal pain in the ass. Who needs the headache or the potential heartache? I think he's just a lousy fit here.
2005-11-29 16:50:23
81.   yankz
Five years, $55 MILLION for Giles? Wow...does anyone see the Yankees topping that? All of a sudden, I don't want them to. I definitely want him, but not for that long. Maybe they can sway him by more money for less years?
2005-11-29 16:56:16
82.   Rob Gee
See, the problem there is he "seems" to be an ass. You, nor I, are in a position to truly judge that. I lived in Pittsburgh and there were rumors that Giles is a bad teammate. But that just doesn't matter. Someone mentioned Carl Everett earlier as an example of bad apple, and he just won the World Series with his team. Shef was said to be a huge headache waiting to happen - you know what, it didn't. Yet. Again, doesn't matter and you're a hypocrite for saying it does while cheering as if it doesn't.

So there!

And if he is an giant glass - boot him. The benefit far outweighs that risk.

2005-11-29 17:04:34
83.   Nick from Washington Heights
to interrupt the great milton bradley debate of 2005: looks like we signed farnsworth and are close to signing mike myers. anyone have an opinion?
2005-11-29 17:19:44
84.   sabernar
Yeah, I heard something about us signing Mike Myers pretty soon. He pitched OK last year, but he pitched like crap in 2004. Which one will show up?

Anyone hear anything about us possibly signing Pratt as our backup C? I read something about it somewhere, but not sure what his source is. He seems like a capable backup with a decent enough bat (WAY better than Flaherty), but I'm not sure how his defense and pitcher handling is. Anyone know anything about him?

2005-11-29 17:49:18
85.   Alex Belth
Tank Pratt! The guy is a hard ass. Good in a rumble, I'd bet. I know he's really into this fantasy D&D kind of game. Shoot, I've forgotten the particulars but if I can find anything out about it I will. I always appreciated his ruggedness when he was on the Mets and he was a favorite of some Met fans that I know.
2005-11-29 18:00:29
86.   Simone
Is the Farnsworth signing for certain? It seems more like a rumor at this stage.
2005-11-29 18:06:21
87.   Hank
I'm late to the thread, so it's likely that few will read this, but here's a link to a piece I did on Milton Bradley when he came to my school last spring. He seemed like a great, great guy who went above and beyond to make my students feel special. Sure, he has his demons, but I'd be more than comfortable to have him wearing pinstripes. Anyway, here's the link:

http://tinyurl.com/8cncy

2005-11-29 18:25:18
88.   Nick from Washington Heights
Simone, fwiw, I found the Farnsworth rumor/real story? on a link posted on replacement level. here's the link:

http://nyynews.com/

probably have to call it a rumor still, but maybe this guy's cashman's best friend.

2005-11-29 18:49:50
89.   Simone
Nick, thanks. Guess we will know for sure tomorrow, soon anyway.

Hank, thanks for the link to the Milton Bradley Q&A. I actually came across your article a few months ago. I have no doubt that Bradley is very personably in the context in which you met him. However, from everything we know about his behavior on and off the field, he is clearly a troubled young man in need of a lot of help to get his life together. Like I said before, I don't know if he would succeed in a Yankee uniform, but given his talent and the Yankees' need, I think that they ought to give him a chance.

2005-11-29 18:58:29
90.   Rob Gee
Thanks Hank. Tis true that's just one day in the life, but he's an actual to goodness first-hand account of the man's character. It doesn't matter the least except to say it shouldn't matter when we go looking for CF'ers. My autistic fixation relates directly to that reasoning. Throw the 'character card' away and you've found yourself a legit CF (offensively and defensively) that is young and cheap.

And sorry, the reliver/back-up catcher dilemmas just don't get me hot and heavy like the Daddy-wanting, kid-loving, criminally insane Crazy Uncle MIL-ton.

Let's give MIL-ton a chance!

2005-11-29 20:55:35
91.   monkeypants
65. Joejoejoe:

"OT: Is my mind failing or did Guidry get used as a pinch runner on a regular basis in 1977?"

Yep--he appeared as a "batter" in 35+ games in '77 and '78, 0 ABs but a few runs scored. So it looks like these must have been PR appearances. For the stats:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/g/guidrro01.shtml

2005-11-30 05:26:28
92.   Dimelo
This BETTER not be true. Cano and Wang for Jim Edmonds.

http://www.deadspin.com/sports/baseball/fun-with-trade-rumors-139949.php

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