Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Sheff riffs, Sheff and Cash talk, Sheff chills. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Am I the only one who interprets this as something more (to what degree, small or large as yet unknown) than the titled teapot tempest?
He'll be fine, and he'll produce as he always does.
By the way, I'd like to annouce the creation of my new Yankee blog here. It won't be as super fantabulous as Bronx Banter and probably won't be updated everyday like BB, but it's one of my pet projects this season. Take a look from time to time at:
See you around here and there.....
"Lord, I was born a ramblin' man. Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can. And when it's time for leavin', I hope you'll understand, that I was born a ramblin' man."
If he's healthy and stinging the ball he'll get his extension. If not maybe not.
On the other hand, tough to give up his bat, despite his lack of charm. He plays hurt. Always agressive. Runs hard. Swings hard. Can play third if you ask him.
And this guy quietly puts out stories day after day, even if they always have a pro-Yankees slant.
Love the last quote from Shef. The guy's a keeper - let the fire burn baby. I'm sick of the Yanks being big PUSSYcats. This team still hasn't found an identity. Hopefully when they do it's got an edge.
I suppose I can accept that.... we shall see what happens.
I think Cashman can handle this without having to pick up the option right now to please Sheff. But we all knew this would happen, and I'm sure everyone involved (including Torre and Sheff's teammates) realize where Sheff is coming from and aren't going to be distracted by it. I would be very surprised if Sheff dogged it on the field or did anything else to disrupt the actual performance of the team, so I'm not too worried.
John Dewan of STATS, Inc. has just published The Fielding Bible, reviewed yesterday by Gammons over at ESPN. According to Dewan, Sheffield, over the last three years, has been the worst defensive right fielder in the game.
In 2004, he was definitely playing hurt.
While I agree he is regressing, the question is simply how he compares now, to what else is available.
But of course, Cashman should not give anybody a new contract at this point. Everyone is wait and see. If Shef puts up similar numbers to last year, I would be happy to see another year.... maybe 2, if he will mostly DH. If the guy is looking for a 3 year contract, I think there will be few takers. At this poinyt, he should only need 2 years to get to 500 HRs, which probably puts him in the HOF.
Let's look at the stats that debris didn't use since Sheffield doesn't play right field for the Red Sox.
For starters, let's consider more of Sheffield's body of work as oppposed to just his last three years of performance.
Runs Created ESPN from 2000-5
Rank among RF in League give in parentheses
131 (4), 122 (6), 100 (7), 140 (1), 117 (3), 114 (1)
From baseball reference, runs created 2000-5:
141, 125, 100, 145, 119, 112
The Hardball times: 2004 , 2005 -- runs created includes clutch factor
123 (3), 131 (1)
Now the picture becomes less clear. If Sheffield had been an Yank in 2002, debris would have been on record saying that Sheffield is on his inevitable decline. And he would have been wrong. Instead Sheffield rebounded in a big way.
Since debris has cited his sources that predict Sheffield's demise (or at least unworthiness of $13 mil), I will cite a few of my own.
First let's see what could happen next year:
Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA predicts a 41% chance of Sheffield improving next year with his defense remaining the same. There's a 10% chance he will have a breakout year, 11% chance of some collapse and a 3% chance that serious attrition. BP says that this attrtioon also captures his risk of injury. So given that Sheffield playing time throughout his career, BP estimates that there is a minimal risk of lost playing time due to injury for Sheffield.
PECOTA even estimates his value in salary to be $13,975,000. So BP estimates that the Yanks may be saving money next year by only giving him $13 mil.
Also Mitch Litchman on Sheffield from the interview about his new book: "Sheff's defense is not good at all, but he can still hit the heck out of the ball. There really is no such thing as a "warning sign" as far as projecting a player to precipitously or suddenly decline in performance."
Mitch on Sheffield's defense: "Keep in mind that one year UZR's don't tell you a whole lot about a player's true defensive value (or his defensive projection). For that, you want multi-year UZR's. For example, Giambi has generally been quite minus in the past. A-Rod is usually much better than 2005 (historically he is a GG caliber SS), Damon has been better, and Sheff is usually not that bad. Posada is probably not as good as his 05 defensive numbers either."
So assuming that Sheffield has a better year, Cashman would be "nuts" to NOT give Sheffield an extension.
//Torre has been impressed with left-hander Al Leiter, who opted not to retire during the offseason and is in camp as a non-roster player.
"What I've seen so far, I like him," Torre said. "When you look at it, there's no room. But if somebody makes a case, you've got to figure something out. That's the way I look at it."//
The article also says that Pavano may start the season on the DL. And Sheff had some minor back spasms. Maybe you do have to put out/on the red light?
Manager Ozzie Guillen, a former teammate of Thomas', didn't want to get involved.
"I won't put my nose in something above me," Guillen said. "He never mentioned my name and if you don't mention my name, I try to stay away from every part of the conversation."
Hmmm, lets see, anyone there as good as Sheff, or even close? Nope, ok, pick up the option. No brainer...I mean, who would we take, Trot Nixon?? Don't make me laugh!!
We could, i suppose, trade for a RFer, but really, unless it is a steal, I just don't see it being worth it...
A complacent Sheff is bad. If anger and resentment is what fuels this man, I suggest Cashman wait until about mid-September to open a dialogue.. ;-)
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