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Brick City
2005-12-13 05:02
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

As the Red Sox front office soap opera continues, all remains relatively quiet in the Bronx, where it is brick cold this morning. Oh, Brian Cashman, who maintains that he has no interest in dealing Carl Pavano, reportedly took in a meal with relief pitcher Julian Tavarez yesterday up in Washington Heights (insert snide remark here), but that's not exactly a banner headline. What did make the back page of the New York Post today is a rumor that the Yankees have made an offer to free agent Nomar Garciaparra to play first base in New York. George King writes that the Bombers are one of several teams that have inquired about Nomar. Nothing more specific is available at this time. Meanwhile, Newsday's Jon Heyman, who has a habit of writing about Scott Boras' clients, reports that if Johnny Damon considers a four-year deal, the Yankees will be in the mix.

There has been no official word yet about Bernie Williams' return next season, though I assume he'll be the team's fourth outfielder. In a recent chat over at Baseball Prospectus, Joe Sheehan opined:

As frustrating as it is to watch Williams play center field, I don't think the team currently listing Bubba Crosby as its #1 center fielder has much room to complain about the marginal HoFer with fourth-outfielder skills wanting to stick around.

Evaluate Bernie against fourth outfielders and you'll see that he can still help a team. If the money is right, he'd be a good fit for the Yankees next year, and for 20 or so other teams.

Phil Allard and Larry Mahnken see things differently.

Round the Web

Rich Lederer has been making the case for Bert Blyleven: Hall of Famer for some time now. He's both committed and convincing. This year, he's pulled out all the stops, hosting a Bert Blyleven Week over at The Baseball Analysts. Rich kicked it off yesterday while Rob Neyer guest stars today. Dayn Perry is up tomorrow. By the end of the week, you too will be persuaded--if you aren't already--that Blyleven belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Also, for a touching non-baseball story, please slide on over to Catfish Stew and dig the latest from our own Ken Arneson. A lyrical piece accompanied by some great images.

Comments (65)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-12-13 06:35:32
1.   Sliced Bread
Thanks for all the info, insights, and great writing, guys.

First time Toaster poster here, so I'll touch all the bases.

-Red Sox soap opera: Ben and Jed are running the Sox? The Vermont ice cream guys? So what's the new Beantown flavor of the month, Manny Mallowdrama? Rich, sticky, nutty.

-Cash Not Pawning Pavano: Yeah, right. Wang and Cano are "untouchable," Pavano is more "touchable" than Angelina Jolie. Any takers?

-Nomar to NY: OK, bring it, and somebody please help Giambi embrace his DH destiny.

-Bernie's Return: In an similar effort to become younger, cheaper, and more flexible, "60 Minutes" just hired a kid named Mike Wallace, who throws better than Bernie.

2005-12-13 06:36:56
2.   joejoejoe
The Yankees are basically asking Bernie Williams to be Roy White circa 1978. Is that a stretch? I know many are opposed to Bernie getting 350 PA but that has more to do with the other options on the roster than with Bernie. If the Yanks stand pat with Bernie he will end up playing 2/3 of the time. Blame Torre, not Bernie.

But what if Cashman picks up Jason Michaels and/or Nomar? Then you are looking at far less playing time. Both Paul Blair and Roy White were less than average OFs (by range) in the '77-78 Championship years. As a fan I won't just tolerate Bernie as the 4th OF/part-time DH, I'll embrace it. Objectively he is a good 4th OF. Subjectively he's a beloved lifelong Yankee that I love to see on a ball field. If I go to the Stadium in '06 and Bernie is in the lineup, I'll feel lucky, not cheated.

2005-12-13 07:07:25
3.   murphy
alex, thanks for the blyleven link. simply brilliant.

nomar @ first? this seems silly. why are we going to play a guy who is a questionable hitter and injury risk out of position to replace a guy who is only 50% as effective when not playing the field?

i like the idea of having a bernie and nomar as the utlimate bench guys. between the two of them, you have the advantage of using a guy who has started (and succeeded) at the major league level backing up almost every position on the field. sure, 1998 this isn't, but it feels safer than kevin reese and felix escalona.

2005-12-13 07:09:06
4.   Rob Gee
Sliced - busting out with the comedy this morning! Manny Mallowdrama - LOL. He'll be here every Tuesday and Thursday folks.

More sober topic, let's be realistic - if Damon is amenable to four years, the Yank's offer (what 60 mil?)would have to be obscene for him to take it over the Sawx. Face it, Boras will use us (as with Bernie in '98) to drive up the leverage to get what his client wants - a return to Fenway. If the Sawx are willing to got to 13/year at 4 or 5 plus an option, he stays.

The Nomar story smacks of something similar - telling the FA what he wants to hear to get him to sign on the dotted line. Noway Nomar is a regular 1B - more a regular DH/ utilityman - we all see this. But he wants a full-time regular job (who doesn't?) and that's what the Yanks will offer. But remember last year we went through the same thing with Giambi at 1B and got Tino. That set-up lasted one month. The numbers don't lie - G's value is much higher in the field than at DH. And Nomar's is probably the converse.

2005-12-13 07:12:37
5.   murphy
how is nomar's arm? could he play right so we could DH sheff?
2005-12-13 07:17:32
6.   ChuckM
I put as much stock in the rumors coming out of the Post and Newsday as I would the Weekly World News telling me that Doomsday is near. I did hear that the Sox are trying to move Clement for Jeremy Reed, I don't see why the Yanks can't jump in w/Pavano on that one.
2005-12-13 07:23:23
7.   sabernar
I read somewhere that the Yankees offered Nomar a contract, but that the Yankees denied it, or at least wouldn't confirm it. I'd LOVE to see Nomar as a Yankee - seeing him as a Red Sox always killed me (our years at Georgia Tech almost overlapped, but not quite). I'd love to see him at 1B, DH, resting Cano and Matsui so they can DH, as well as Jeter and ARod if they need a game here and there. One problem that we've had in the past few years is that our old team just gets tired by the playoffs. I think if we had a super-sub like Nomar who, at the very least, played semi-regular 1B & DH, and he was able to get 450-500 AB, then we'd be a MUCH better team overall. I know Nomar will have to swallow his pride a little bit, but he's already going to have to do that anyway.
2005-12-13 07:25:33
8.   jonm
I see Bernie as being in the role that Raines had with the Yankees. He was great in that role and I see no reason why Bernie couldn't be a similar type of player.
2005-12-13 07:54:54
9.   Sliced Bread
Rob Gee, I hope you're right about Damon.
Cashman's engaged in a dangerous game of chicken with Boston's two-headed GM thingy.
Nobody wants to sign Johnny for more than 3 years, yet everbody knows he'll get at least 4.
I fear the Yanks will make Damon a 4 offer he won't refuse. Yikes.
The last thing the Yanks need is a 60 million dollar bottle of Bernie-lite.
2005-12-13 08:46:34
10.   wsporter
Yo Sliced:

Beware of hidden agendas and Gee's bearing gifts, especially in the area of centerfield, you never know what kind of left coast discussion you could innocently wander into.

Damon can hit but those rainbows to the cut off from the gap smell like extra bases to me. I could be driven insane having to watch it happen game after game after lousy stinking game, well more insane anyway. Would 2 years as a centerfielder and 2 years as a DH work? I have a bad feeling we may find out.

2005-12-13 08:59:07
11.   murphy
i just hope the sawx call our bluff...
2005-12-13 09:18:27
12.   sabernar
FoxSports.com rumors have a link to an article about how the Yanks made an offer to Nomar to play 1B. I'll bet he'd also be the utility guy around the IF & OF in order to let Giambi play some 1B.

I hope we can get Michaels for the rumored Henn + another guy. That would be the best possible world. Save $15M/yr by not signing Damon, and get someone who can ACTUALLY PLAY CF!!!

2005-12-13 09:23:11
13.   Dimelo
Also, let's remember that Damon's weak arm led to the most bizzare play ever seen on a baseball field. Two years ago Damon his throw cut-off by Manny, another outfielder, then it went to the infield then to Varitek.

Get Jason Michaels....Let the Sux keep Damon.

2005-12-13 09:57:01
14.   debris
A few comments:

1. Bert Blyleven has long been number one on my list of the Best Ballplayers Not in the Hall of Fame. He's also a fabulous broadcaster.

2. Why would Seattle prefer a less-than-mediocre sore-armed $10 million Carl Pavano to a mediocre healthy $9 million Matt Clement?

3. If the Sox offer Johnny Damon $50 million for four years and the Yanks offer him $50 million and a dime, Boras will push him to the Yanks. I think he's worth that, barely, to the Sox for the three good years he probably has left and the fourth for career service. I don't think he's worth that to the Yanks. Damon was a good centerfielder prior to last year, he'd averaged a +5 RAA from 2000-2004. Last year, he was a -5. Certainly, the drop of a point or two had to do with age, but his decline last year was primarily due to his playing banged up much of the year, playing through a shoulder injury the second half of the season that would have shut many lesser players down. I expect that in 2006, he will be a plus centerfielder again. He still has decent speed, has tremendous judgement and a great first step. The arm, while a liability for sure, is no nearly as bad as it was last year with the shoulder injury.

2005-12-13 10:19:25
15.   sabernar
I agree with debris. I think Damon is worth the money for the Sox since the extra year/money is used as a "thank you" for the years of service. There is none of that if he signs with the Yankees - all the money they pay him is for his production, which will probably deteriorate too much after a couple years.
2005-12-13 10:26:02
16.   wsporter
Debris, why do you think he'd be worth that money to the Sox and not the Yanks? Is it purely a career service thing? I think the team that doesn't have him will be in something of a hole according to your analysis, which is kind of persuasive. He's a plus player available to both, only one will get him and the alternatives lag far behind.
2005-12-13 10:51:34
17.   joejoejoe
wsporter - If the Yanks/Sox get Damon for 4 years starting in '06 then the other will get Andruw Jones/Vernon Wells starting in '07. I'd rather muddle through '06 and have the long term advantage versus a chief rival.
2005-12-13 10:55:16
18.   debris
Wsporter,

Yes, I see it as a career service thing. I'd guess two more very good years, one decent year, and one Bernie 2005 year. Because of what he means to the Sox franchise, I can see justifying paying him for that last year.

On the other hand, a big portion of Damon's value will be the simple fact that the other team doesn't have him.

If you look at the history of Boras' work, I think you'll find that they always take the most money without regard to where they'd be a better fit or where they'd rather play.

In Damon's case, according to Baseballreference, he's already earned $45 M in baseball. Is it worth taking another $45 M rather than $50 M to play where you're happy, be it Boston, Houston or Pougkeepsie? Perhaps to Damon. Not to Boras. Really, what is Damon going to do with that last $5 M?

2005-12-13 10:56:58
19.   Rob Gee
wsporter,

I can comment on the CF situation without drinking a certain tonic. But since you brought up that "the alternatives lag far behind" here's another comparison just for you!

Average of last three years -

Player A:
.298 BA; .364 OBP; .440 SLG

Player B:
.293 BA; .378 OBP; .470 SLG

Same hitter's, but B's got more pop.

Same positions, so:

A: .989 FP, 2.55 RF, 43 Assists in 1037 games

B: .988 FP, 2.59 RF, 35 Assists in 453 games

Identical fielders, but B's got a much better arm.

Guesses?

A = Damon, 32yo, ~14mil/for 4 - 7 years
B = Milton, 28yo, 3mil/ for one arbitration year

That wsport is value! Now of course, you can bring up the "he's crazy" argument, and you're right, but as I've said before you're a hypocrite for doing so, esp. if you cheered for Sprewell while he was in town. Same story there and NYers loved him.

Now I have been investigating other possibilities and besides MIL-ton, you're right the rest do lag far behind. Sorry ChuckM, J. Reed is barely, and if that, an upgrade over Bubba. But anyone know the stories with Ryan Church in Wash in Chris Duffy in PIT? They seem like reasonable options (both have decent minor league numbers), with Michaels, as possibilities to either platoon with Bubba or win the job outright.

2005-12-13 10:57:21
20.   debris
joejoejoe,

Your argument is fine next year, but Yankee fans, like Sox fans, are impatient and want to win now. I'm guessing, as well, that Vernon Wells will wind up in Toronto for a long time to come.

2005-12-13 11:04:17
21.   Dimelo
Good piece on the Bernie Williams of '98 vs the Damon of '05.
http://www.all-baseball.com/archives/021295.html
2005-12-13 11:08:08
22.   Rob Gee
Debris -

Bernie had a better offer from Boston in 1998 (I think it was 91 mil? versus 87 from the Yanks). The agent's job is to get the options. The player chooses. If his comments before the season, and his hair, mean any anything, Damon stays in Beantown.

2005-12-13 11:16:23
23.   standuptriple
Please, please, please stay away from Damon! He is Bernie-lite and keep in mind there is almost always a drop off after the infamous "walk year". Anybody but Damon! (and his 4+ years)
2005-12-13 11:46:10
24.   debris
Rob Gee,

You're missing a few key numbers:

Player A - 2050 plate appearances
Player B - 1336 plate appearances

2005-12-13 12:00:44
25.   Rob Gee
Debris,

What's your point? MB's gets hurt? So what? Even if he plays 100 games (~ his 3 year average) and Bubba plays the other 62, it's still 3mil well spent. Of course, if he plays more (like the 140 in 2004), that's an added bonus.

Now you could also be making the point that 1336 is too small of a sample. If so, you should pick up any statistics textbook.

2005-12-13 12:03:00
26.   Sliced Bread
Yankee fans seem more afraid of getting Damon (and his longterm parking deal) than Red Sox fans are of losing him to the Yankees. If that's true, what does that tell us?

But who cares what we think? It's going to come down to a battle of wills and wallets between Steinbrenner and the shadowy Boston (two heads are better than none) braintrust.

Nobody should underestimate Steinbrenner's long-suffering addiction to expensive, flawed superstars like Damon.

If anybody knows how to exploit that addiction it's Steinbrenner's favorite dealer, Boras.

Ah, but nobody should underestimate Lucchino's petty hatred of Steinbrenner. He'll build a roof over old Fenway and re-name the place the Damon Dome if it will prevent Johnny from bolting Beantown for the Bronx.

Somebody will be suckered into giving Damon that fifth year, and I suspect it will be a two-headed sucker named Ben and Jed.

2005-12-13 12:06:13
27.   wsporter
Rob:

Didn't cheer for Spree, found no pleasure in that fraudulent little Knick run for Stern's roses. Yeah I'm one of those knuckle heads who still longs for the days of Clyde, Willis, Bradley, DeBusscher, Cazzy, Barnett etc. I miss Brad Park and Eddie Giacomin, Hadfield, Peter Stemkowski, Bobby Rousseau and all the rest. And I'm sure all those guys weren't saints. And I'm sure there is a facet of inconsistency in my views on Uncle Milty. Well we know what Desraeli said about inconsistency and small minds.

I'm sure you are right about Milty. He's an efficient option in CF. Probably the best out there. Lord help me, I just can't do it.

2005-12-13 12:17:49
28.   Rob Gee
wsport -

What did Desraeli say? As a small mind I feel I should know!

As for Crazy Uncle MIL-ton, I think all along that's all I've been trying to say: 1) He's efficient; 2) He's probably the best CF option out there. No wonder Billy Bean was on his trail - probably before the price got a bit too high, or the Dodgers pulled him back during the GM turnover, we'll find out soon enough. The character bit comes in and really is a red herring against him (ad hominem) but makes his value that much better. We can argue all day about what character means for a team, but character doesn't swing the bat or catch the ball - two things we need in CF. Now, if his contract was more expensive (more than one year) or we needed to deal more than Pavano/$$/ and maybe a prospect, I'd say it's not worth it. But at the reported price for his services (most recent: Todd Walker and D. Bautista), it's still a no brainer that the Yanks damn well should be in on.

2005-12-13 12:33:29
29.   vockins
I could care less about clubhouse chemistry. I don't know how to quantify clubhouse chemistry, but I believe there are as many championship caliber teams that hated each other as there are that loved each other. Maybe more.

That said, I believe the Yankees should avoid Milton Bradley. I think there is a very strong case to be made that Milton Bradley will not be swinging the bat or catching the ball if the Yankees sign him, because he will be in jail.

His relationships with members of the media are, at best, poor. New York is the last place in North America he should be playing baseball.

Milton Bradley could possibly play in Arizona or Kansas City. Here? Hell no.

2005-12-13 12:58:13
30.   Rob Gee
vockins -

You're entitled to your opinion but...that argument is so much worse than anything approaching the even more ridiculous clubhouse chemistry. The kids got issues, but he's been in jail (for three days) for disorderly conduct. Yet somehow he's going to be in jail the whole time? That's silly. And somehow he's not going to get along with the media? That argument is from one data point - he called a reported an Uncle Tom. Again, so what (see Randy Johnson)? Y'all are grasping at the littlest bits to argue against him.

Now, do I think he's a great person? Hell no. But do I think he'll get the CF job d-u-n? Hell yes and to more than justify any expense (players, money, and distraction).

Okay, I just about raped the horse. Luckily (for me and y'all) I'm heading to India for a month and the chances of internet are slim to none. When I return, I'll either be rejoicing at the Yanks good choices or damning how cheaply MIL-ton went. The truth will probably fall somewhere in the middle. Who knows, we could be debating Uncle Milton through July!?

2005-12-13 12:59:42
31.   unpopster
Signing Damon would be a mistake, period.

Not for 5 years!
Not for 4 years!
Not for 3 years!
Not even for 2 years!

Damon's arm sucks, his shoulders suck, and his pseudo-Jesus schtick sucks too. And Joe is right, I'd like a chance to bid on Andruw Jones or Vernon Wells in '07.

If this were the old Yankees and Steinbrenner was simply throwing $$$ at players, I'd maybe understand such a move. But, in an offseason where the Yankee FO is supposedly doing the prudent thing and carefully/strategically acuiring players with the long-term health of the team in mind, a Damon signing would be even harder to accept.

As for Nomar, the following little tidbit is now on Rotoworld: "The Blue Jays are out of the chase for free agent Nomar Garciaparra, GM J.P. Ricciardi confirmed.
"We're done with him," Ricciardi said. "He has more money on the table some place else." The Yankees, Indians, Dodgers, Orioles, Braves, Astros and Pirates are among the clubs known to have interest in Garciaparra.

Hmmm...I just can't see Nomar going to the Braves, Pirates, or Orioles. So, my guess is it'd be between the Yanks, Indians and 'Stros. If I were Nomar, I'd take the Cleveland offer and be the veteran on a playoff calibre team. But, as a Yankee fan, I'd really like to see him wearing pinstripes.

Lastly, Ausmus just signed with Houston...which gives the team that much a better shot a resigning Roger Clemens if he decides to come back.

2005-12-13 13:11:03
32.   Shaun P
I'm not interested in the personalities of baseball players, or judging them - I don't know them, and I probably never will.

As a baseball player, injury concerns aside, Milton Bradley would be a great pickup for the Yanks.

BUT - Ned Colletti and the Dodgers are not idiots. They won't non-tender Bradley, they'll trade him for something of value.

What, exactly, do the Yankees have of value to give the Dodgers for Bradley? Cashman clearly has a plan, and part of that is to hold on to the kids. What does that leave to trade, Pavano? Wright? Small? I don't see why the Dodgers would take any one, or combination, of those guys.

As for Nomah, he'd make a great bench player/utility guy/DH, but by no means should he play first base. Ever. Giambi doesn't hit when he DHs. Doesn't everyone know this by now?

2005-12-13 13:11:21
33.   Shawn Clap
Vockins' right.
Milton Bradley is Ron LeFlore in reverse!
2005-12-13 13:13:49
34.   Shaun P
BTW, unpopster is dead on about Damon. Consider him a leper, and don't go near him.

I don't think for a moment that Cashman would sign him. That said, the basebll press has to have something to speculate about when its a slow news cycle, no?

2005-12-13 13:16:55
35.   wsporter
Rob, He said Emerson was right when he wrote that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

The reason I don't think an Ad Hominem attack is a not a logical fallacy in this case is that Milty's character and actions do have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made, that is that Milty is not a good fit in the big town. Who knows though maybe you're right.

Have a good trip, don't take any wooden Rupees or kick any cows. In India anyway.

2005-12-13 13:29:54
36.   Dimelo
Hey Rob, while you're in India see if you can find a cricket player that can play CF for the Yankees? Everyone is outsourcing, why can't the Yanks?
2005-12-13 13:29:56
37.   Marcus
The part I don't get about the Nomar rumor is him playing first base. Has the front office not seen Giambi's 1B/DH splits? His 2005 OPS is 1.135 playing 1B and .771 when DHing. I can see having a defensive replacement waiting on the bench, but when the evidence is so clear, it seems like you can easily accept the loss of defense. Is he really that bad defensively? Although, I can see trying to reduce the wear and tear on Giambi, especially with his past knee troubles. But it doesn't seem like 1B should be a priority, especially a one or two-year deal to Nomar.
2005-12-13 13:44:24
38.   Shawn Clap
I don't think the Giambi splits are 100% conclusive. When Giambi's back or knee is acting up, where do they stick him? DH. Of course his DH numbers will be lower.
2005-12-13 13:45:39
39.   Andre
I think Nomar's good friend, Lou Merloni, just signed with the Indians. Will probably be a factor in his decision (I don't think he has many baseball friends).

I'm friends with a guy that's friends with Merloni (sounds pretty ridiculous when you actually type it out) and he has said on several occasions that the few times he's been out with Merloni and Nomar, Nomar was a miserable person that complained about everything. It's quite a different impression than I ever got of Nomar through the media, prior to his exile (exit) from Boston.

2005-12-13 13:59:20
40.   sabernar
Attention everyone! Milton Bradley was just traded to the A's. I found this article on foxsports.com, but it's only a one liner:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5164460

2005-12-13 14:12:35
41.   Simone
Bye Milton Bradley, we hardly knew thee. Demand to play center and make Beane, Macha and Kotsay's lives hell.
2005-12-13 14:19:58
42.   Marcus
For 2002, 2003, and 2005 (taking out 2004 because of all the tumor/steroid problems):

Total PA
At 1B: 1094
At DH: 815

3-year average OPS at 1B: 1.100
3-year average OPS at DH: 0.832

You can see Giambi's had about 43% of his plate appearances at DH and 57% at 1B. If he DH's only when he's banged up, he's banged up a lot, and that's a problem. But there's a clear pattern there.

I don't have the data for when he played in Oakland, but he played a lot more first base, so the DH sample is probably too small. Anecdotally, I've heard the pattern was the same there.

Just for reference, his 2004 was quite different:

OPS at 1B: 0.688
OPS at DH: 0.765

2005-12-13 14:20:08
43.   Rob Gee
Motha f'er! Yeah Beane's such an idiot. A cheap, talented, legit CF for prospects. Motha f'er indeed.
2005-12-13 14:49:56
44.   wsporter
Damn Rob almost got out before it happened. Sorry dude, on the bright side we'll probably trade Pavano and Hughes for him in July.

Has anyone looked at Giambi's defensive win share numbers at 1b. They are a-freking-bysmal. Someone needs to take that young man in tow, have a good long heart to heart with him and explain that he's a @#%&*! DH. Period. Buy him some Dr Ruth tapes or what ever it takes, help him get his head around it or out of it or whatever and move the F on. Love the kid, he's been through hell. He came back like a trooper. He's a DH.

There, now I feel better.

2005-12-13 15:00:21
45.   Dimelo
Oh well Milton Bradley, last week I wanted you with the Yanks but right now I think you are a clubhouse cancer. Uncle Milton, I know come July you'll make me really happy the Yanks didn't trade for you.
2005-12-13 15:02:48
46.   Dimelo
This really is insane, Giambi should be playing 1st for 7 - 8 innings:
Last year Giambi hit .319 with 24 homers and 65 RBIs with an on-base percentage of .471 and a slugging percentage of .664 as a first baseman compared to .209 with eight homers, 22 RBIs, a .404 on-base percentage and a .367 slugging percentage.
To be fair, he had 238 at-bats as a first baseman and 177 as a DH.
In the past three years, Giambi is a .274 hitter with 56 homers and 157 RBIs at first compared to a .217 hitter with 29 and 77 RBIs as the DH with 174 more at-bats as a first baseman.
2005-12-13 15:17:13
47.   Zavo
Sorry Rob, I know that trade must sting for you a little bit. Who will you trumpet now?
2005-12-13 15:19:32
48.   Alvaro Espinoza
Note to all - please learn to live with the following for 2006:

"Now batting for the Yankees... the center fielder... Bubba Crosby... numbuh 18..."

2005-12-13 15:30:16
49.   Marcus
That's right Dimelo! I mean, the guy is not a great first baseman, no doubt. But if there is an actual difference of ~.300 OPS points if he plays the field (which it seems there is), then who cares how bad he is at first base? I'm sure you can do an analysis of how bad he would have to be, given his batting numbers, but I'm at work, and I don't work for the Yankees (or anything baseball-related for that matter).
2005-12-13 16:17:26
50.   unpopster
does the milton-to-oakland trade now mean Kotsay is available? hmmmm...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-12-13 16:33:37
51.   Rich
I hope I'm wrong, but I think it's naive to think that Torre will use Bernie as a fourth OFer.

FWIW, Ken Rosenthal reports that Bradley will play a corner OF position.

I don't want Kotsay. He's not worth what Beane would ask for in return.

2005-12-13 17:23:08
52.   David
If the Yanks sign Garciaparra, ISTM they have several interesting options, other than putting Nomar at 1st base:

1. Nomar at SS, Derek in CF
2. Nomar at 3B, Derek in CF, ARod at SS
3. Nomar at 2B, trade Cano for a center fielder.

2005-12-13 17:27:39
53.   Marcus
I agree Rich. If Kotsay were a free agent right now, I'd say "sign him now, please!", but there's no way the Yankees would get a good deal from Beane.

Time and again Beane shows you why a stacked farm system is a good idea. The reason the Yankees can't really trade their good prospects is because it will leave them with no good prospects. One trade and the farm system is filled with mediocre Kevin Reese, Jorge DePaula types.

2005-12-13 17:39:14
54.   Schteeve
I typically hate when people are like "this site would be better if you'd do such and such." But I wish to god that you could quote another poster's comments if you felt compelled to respond to it. A "Reply" function if you will. This feature exists on other websites and it would be extraordinarily handy in these comment threads.
2005-12-13 17:53:55
55.   singledd
It is important to win and build our team. That is priority #1. But there are still other matters of importance. I simply can not live with the idea of Bernie playing on another team... or God forbid playing on a team we play against.

We carried Wo-is-me-mack for a year and we lived through it and still made the playoffs. Bernie offers a lot more then Womack did.

Bernie can NOT PLAY IN ANOTHER UNIFORM!
Have the Yankees been part of your life for over 15 years?
We can NOT LET Bernie PLAY IN ANOTHER UNIFORM!
It is that simple.

2005-12-13 17:55:09
56.   singledd
P.S. And I think that Cash and the Yankees know this.
2005-12-13 18:39:02
57.   Rich
Plus, the Yankees are on the precipice of having a stocked farm system. Hughes, Clippard, DeSalvo, Duncan, Cox, Cabrera, Garcia, Tabata, Marquez, Gardner, Battle...

Another year of development, and a good 2006 draft will put them where they need to be if they keep what they have.

2005-12-13 20:06:29
58.   brockdc
Rob,

Just when you had me about ready to drink the punch...

...sorry, man.

2005-12-13 20:14:20
59.   Zavo
I hope that Cashman doesn't get taken on a deal for Kotsay now. I think the defensive metrics on him last year were really really bad. Not sure if that is because he was injured or what.

I believe I have read numerous times that Cash and Beane are friends and I certainly hope Cash has the willpower to say no to his good friend on this one. (Unless Beane wants DePaula and Proctor for him)

2005-12-13 20:15:09
60.   brockdc
The Yanks should only acquire Garciaparra if the price is right - a BIG if. Spending 4-6 million on a "supersub" only makes sense if said sub is Chone Figgins, who can play 6 positions WELL, handle the bat, and play 150+ games.

It doesn't make sense to rearrange the Yankees' entire defensive alignment just to accommodate a guy who may or may not spend half the season on the DL. Plus, do we even know he can handle any positions other than short and, possibly, third? No. We don't.

2005-12-13 20:26:31
61.   brockdc
Sigledd,

I truly appreciate your loyalty. If I recall correctly, you were one of the few guys on this site who supported Giambi when he was at his nadir (while I was ranting for the Yanks to cut his ass). And I understand your passion for keeping Bernie around, but I just cannot will myself to condone it.

First off, the whole premise of preserving the "Ruben Sierra role" (Cashman term) is ludicrous from a winning baseball perspective. More to the point, having one-dimensional players (who no longer possess even that one dimension) inhibits a roster's versatility and, ultimately, its effectiveness.

And, let's be honest: We all know Torre's proclivities all too well. Given another dubious CF situation, you can go ahead and pencil Bernie in for another 500+ AB's.

2005-12-13 20:26:54
62.   Rich
No matter what Cashman has said, if the Yankees sign Nomar, and don't add a true CFer, I don't think it's out of the question that he would win the everyday CF job in ST.
2005-12-14 05:00:51
63.   singledd
brockdc-
I absolutely agree that we can get a better player then Bernie for a 25th guy. However, Bernie might post average type numbers.... which is enough for us, considering the rest of our line-up, and our lack of outfield talent.

Bernie has given us 15 years, and like all Yankee greats, he will be with us, and the next generation for many more years. Yankee baseball is a lot about history. I don't think this can be totally ignored for the sake of a replacement player who is good for 1 or 2 more wins a year then Bernie.

Look at our bench last year. And we still made the PS. I just believe that if Bernie is the worst guy on our team, that we can and will still win.

This is not just loyalty, or hostory, or Yankee tradition... it is about all 3. Bernie is a true Yankee and has earned the right to retire as one. Part of us having money has been about retaining players that we love, and keeping our team togther. There are many ways to win. I believe we can find one with Bernie still on the team.

I'd rather he retire. But if he IS going to play, and nobody is going to shoot him, then we need to keep him in pinstripes one more year.

Baseball may be 99% Business and only 1% game. But this is one of those 1% times.

2005-12-14 05:25:14
64.   tommyl
Milton Bradley has been traded to the As
2005-12-14 12:51:16
65.   brockdc
Singledd,

Good points. And I agree that, on an ethical level, we should handle Bernie with care. Perhaps if our bench were a little deeper, maybe then I'd feel comfortable about Bernie being re-acquired.

In other words, I'd be happy to have Bernie back as a 25th man; but wouldn't you agree that this is unrealistic, considering Joe's propensity for playing "his" guys?

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