Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Help
You Can't Win (Or Lose) 'Em All
2006-08-22 22:32
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

As expected, the Yankees and Mariners snapped their respective winning and losing streaks last night, the Yanks failing for the fifth time this season to win their sixth straight. To be fair, they played the M's hard despite having every reason to come out flat in the first game of their west coast swing after their marathon series in Boston.

Rookie Jeffrey Karstens pitched well considering the fact that he was making his major league debut, but exhibited an alarming fly ball tendency that staked the Mariners to a 2-0 lead in the first when Adrian Beltre followed a one-out walk to Chris Snelling with the first of his two home runs on the night. The Yanks got that back plus one in the top of the third when, with two outs, Johnny Damon doubled, Derek Jeter walked and Bobby Abreu took Mariner rookie Cha Seung Baek out to left center for his second Yankee home run, but Richie Sexson tied the score with bomb to the upper deck in left of Karstens in the bottom of the inning.

With the game tied 3-3 the Yankees appeared to take control. Karstens retired the next ten batters he faced and with a man on in the sixth, Alex Rodriguez crushed a 1-2 pitch from lefty reliever Eric O'Flaherty to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. Rodriguez's shot was a monster, arching straight into one of the upper deck exits in left just beyond where Sexson's shot landed.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Karstens surrendered a single to Jose Lopez, his first baserunner since Sexson's homer, then fell behind lefty Ben Broussard 2-0, the second ball being a wild pitch that sent Lopez to second base. With that, Joe Torre hooked the rookie, who threw 66 percent of 92 pitches for strikes, and brought in Mike Myers only to have Mike Hargrove counter with Broussard's former Cleveland platoon-mate, Eduardo Perez.

Stuck with a LOOGY against a lefty-killer, Torre had Myers issue two intentional balls to complete the walk, then pulled him for Jaret Wright, working out of the pen on this throw day. It was a managerial blunder by Torre, who should have realized that Hargrove would counter his move. Given his desire to rest his pen, Torre should have either stuck with Karstens or had the rookie issue the IBB and gone straight to Wright, thus avoiding wasting Myers.

Wright escaped the inning with one pitch to Yuniesky Betancourt, but ran into trouble in the seventh. With one out in the seventh, Ichiro Suzuki singled, Chris Snelling doubled, and Adrian Beltre worked a five-pitch walk from Wright. Richie Sexson then hit a grounder to short, but a hard slide form Adrian Beltre swept Nick Green's legs out from under him as he tried to make the pivot, preventing the double play. Suzuki scored on the play to pull the M's within one, and, having burned Myers, Joe Torre was forced to turn to Ron Villone to face lefty Raul Ibañez. The overworked Villone's first three pitches were out of the zone and, after a gimme 3-0 strike, Ibañez singled Snelling home to tie the game. Villone then fell behind Lopez 2-0, but got the Mariner second baseman to fly out to end the inning.

The Yankees looked to get one of those runs back in the top of the eight when Bernie Williams greeted Rafael Soriano by drawing a four-pitch walk, but Melky Cabrera failed to force Soriano to throw a strike, instead bunting a 1-0 pitch right back to the mound for a fielder's choice. After pinch-hitter Robinson Cano similarly flied out on a 2-0 count, Soriano, after finally throwing a pair of strikes to Johnny Damon, picked Cabrera off first to end the inning.

The Yankees had blown an even better opportunity in the previous inning when, with one out and the bases loaded, Jorge Posada swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded into an inning-ending double play. Again in the ninth, the Yankees had men on first and second for Alex Rodriguez, but eventual winner Julio Mateo struck out the Yankee third baseman on four pitches to end the inning. Adrian Beltre then lead off the bottom of the ninth by shooting a chest-high pitch from Ron Villone just over the right field wall to give the Mariners a 6-5 win.

Down in Anaheim, the Sox also lost a one-run game, so the Yankees 6.5 game lead holds. No harm, no foul, even if this was a game the Yankees should have won.

Comments (135)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-23 03:15:20
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
a tough loss, but nothing to get down about, considering.

the following is from a ny post srticle this morning:

"Several Yankees have begun sporting mustaches as a sign of unity akin to playoff beards in the NHL. Jason Giambi was the ringleader - which seems the proper term since this is part of a spirited attempt to win a ring - and teammates such as Johnny Damon, Ron Villone and Jaret Wright all were mysteriously beginning to look like 1970s porn actors, as well.

But it appears as though this hair club for men is much like Fight Club. So the first rule of growing a mustache for the Yankees is, you do not talk about growing a mustache for the Yankees. Answers about how Burt Reynolds suddenly became the patron saint of the clubhouse were evasive and short."

2006-08-23 05:04:34
2.   Sliced Bread
The Banter that never sleeps. I love it. Thanks for the overnight re-cap, Cliff. I was up at 5am today and couldn't stay up for the game. Well, I could have, but my wife reminded me that I have a job to maintain which sometimes conflicts with the Yankeees West Coast jaunts.

No harm, no foul is right. Proctor, Farnswacker, and Rivera got another night off, which will hopefully yield dividends in October.

I wonder if Joe's backfired bullpen maneuver will go on his ledger as a "Torre Loss" over at NoMaas.org. They credit him with 3 losses this season.

Tough one for Villone, but I remember watching Beltre on the Dodgers when I lived in L.A. He's got pop. "Bat In The Beltre" was the headline I often conjured. Solid player.

Re: the "alarming fly ball tendencey exhibited by Karstens" (nice line, Cliff): were they wacking him to the track? mostly harmless lazy pop ups?

Perhaps the worst thing about this loss is that the audacious Mariner's fan who accosted our fellow Banterer, Murph during his visit to Seattle last week was right that his M's would give the Yanks a hard time. Pfft.

2006-08-23 05:05:19
3.   rbj
1 LOL.
I can't complain about last night's loss. I'd already pencilled it in as an L. I missed everything after the second inning, how'd Karstens look (besides throwing three straight breaking balls to Beltre?)
2006-08-23 05:18:08
4.   Sliced Bread
I don't often compare myself to Derek Jeter very often because I don't share his track record with starlettes, or his collection of rings, and, oh yeah, I never played shortstop -- but I felt like him last night while my wife was convincing me that I had to sit-out last night's game. I made a good case for having to be there for the team in the heat of the pennant race and all, but she talked me into the much-needed rest. Thanks, "Mr. Torre."
2006-08-23 05:53:15
5.   mehmattski
Missed the game last night, as my computer at home is on the fritz. I see that NoMaas has already chalked this up as a "Torre loss," and I must agree. That's because "Torre loss" has basically come to mean "mismanaging the bullpen late and on the road." Why, exactly, was Ron Villone pitching to a right handed power hitter in a tie ballgame? Even if you subscribe to the belief that Rivera should be reserved for a "save situation" (idiocy, in my opinion), what was wrong with Dotel, Farnsworth, and EDSP? I haven't read the game thread but I imagine a lot of people were throwing things at their TVs in the bottom of the ninth last night...
2006-08-23 06:07:36
6.   Sliced Bread
5 Indeed, they just gave Joe his fourth loss.

Farnsworth closed the day before, Proctor went six innings in the Sox series, and Dotel has apparently not earned Joe's trust yet. Last night would have been a nice spot for Dotel to start earning Torre's trust, especially, as you point out, that Villone was facing a right handed power hitter.
If Beltre had taken Dotel deep the loss would have been easier to stomach because the Yanks would have been going with power against power.
Oh well, big picture "no harm, no foul."
We'll get 'em tonight/tomorrow morning EST.

2006-08-23 06:09:27
7.   Sliced Bread
5 Do you or anyone know where the expression "on the fritz" comes from? I'll look it up if I get a chance.
2006-08-23 06:12:23
8.   Sliced Bread
7 On the fritz:

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ont4.htm

2006-08-23 06:20:39
9.   Ron Burgundy
Nice to see another Torre loss on the board. I knew the idiot couldn't resist being an idiot.
2006-08-23 06:21:48
10.   Bama Yankee
4 Sliced Bread was a late scratch from last night's lineup, he was replaced by Burnt Toast...
2006-08-23 06:42:52
11.   wsporter
No harm no foul but it would be nice if we could shake off the ill effects of the Massacre part II and step on the Sawx necks a little before they come into town.

Given what transpired over the weekend and the state the pen was in I think Mr. Torre has to be given a pass on last night. If he won with what he budgeted in terms of manpower great. If not, I don't think he was prepared to open a vein over it; nor should we be.

I got in late and didn't really get a good look at Karstens on the Seattle MLB broadcast (if you want to call it a MLB broadcast). I gather from Cliff's comments and the fly ball tendency that he was pitching a little up in the zone. Very bad for a ground ball pitcher. How was his velocity? Did he throw his split? Was he sitting at the advertised 88 – 92 range on his 4 seam? Did he have a change? Are there any reactions or impressions worth noting from anyone who didn't have to sit through that unwatchable Seattle feed?

2006-08-23 06:44:10
12.   Ron Burgundy
11 He pitched Villone, which pretty much leaves no deffense for him. Again, he had a surprisingly non-idiotic series in Fenway, but what he did last night was just stupid.
2006-08-23 06:56:49
13.   pistolpete
Villone looked tired, but how many options did Torre have after that marathon weekend?

I had the Seattle broadcast on XM, switched over to the Angels broadcast in between pitches. Another IBB for Ortiz in the 9th - I love it.

2006-08-23 07:01:14
14.   Sliced Bread
12 Sorry but I have to throw a yellow flag at your "surprisingly non-idiotic" reference to Joe, Mr. Burgundy. Joe managed a great series in Boston. The only move I'd question, and it was a doozy, was Bernie in right late Sunday night. That Ortiz of all people would take 2 on him was an embarassment, and could have cost the Yanks the game.

As for last night, Joe knows the state of his players better than us, no? He doesn't hesitate to overuse relievers and turn to his go-to guys, so I imagine he utilized sound judgement in not using Proctor, Farns, and Mo in the 9th last night. That he didn't go to Dotel is the bummer for me, but Octavio hasn't earned his trust yet.

I imagine if Dotel had blown the game, Joe would have been blamed for that too.

2006-08-23 07:10:15
15.   Ron Burgundy
14 Honestly, with nobody else available, I couldn't knock Joe for using Dotel. If Farnsworth just can't pitch on back-to-back days, whatever, put Dotel in. But not Villone, he's shown every sign that he is gassed, from flat sliders to an 88 MPH fastball. And Joe's "managing" in the 6th inning killed me.

As for the non-idiotic thing, I meant exactly that, he didn't make himself look like an idiot. It was a good series other than when he put Bernie in the OF, I agree. But I just wish he didn't try and make sure we snapped Seattle's streak.

And why do WE have to snap Seattle's and Kansas City's streaks? Why couldn't some other teams have done that? And one more thing, why do Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, two of the biggest busts in Free Agent history, completely and unjustly own the Yankees? It makes no sense, one is hitting .230 and the other .260, and yet, they combine to murder us. Things like this annoy me to no end.

2006-08-23 07:11:03
16.   Ron Burgundy
13 Honest to God, if he went to Dotel, I couldn't complain, because everyone else was gassed.
2006-08-23 07:14:17
17.   singledd
2 things:
1) Had the Yanks been flat, or had they not had numerous opportunities, or had they never had the lead, I would agree that a loss was no biggie. However, considering the circumstances, and the fact that after ARod's HR we were sitting pretty, I think this was a bad loss. The fact that it didn't hurt us in the standings and Boston Massacre not withstanding, this was a hard loss, as it had all the markings of a win.

2) Yes, Torre made a mistake that cost us one Loggy matchup. But with Melky and Cano making bad blunders, ARod and Jorge failing with the sacs loaded, Melky being picked off, and others poor judgement plays, I don't know how this is a Torre loss. His 'negative' impact was far lesser then the players failures. Myers and Wright were housemoney attempts to save the PB. Yes, Torre made a mistake, but the team lost the game, not Torre's one bad move.

Torre is often not cited for being an excellent manager by the media, as we all know how easy it is to mange and win with a 200 mil ballclub. Yet this year, almost every series has had a announcer compliment Torre, call it his best year, or put him in for manager of the year.

Where is the love for Torre?

Torre works for George under the assumption that he will go to the PS and win the WS, with every move magnified by the NY media. You want this job?

Great ballplayers fail 70% of the time. Can a great manager 'make an error' without name calling and having a team loss pinned on him?

We all know Torre makes mistakes and is weak in PB management. But NOBODY could have done what he had done over the last 10 years. Last year and this year could have been crash-and-burn. Torre is the glue that holds this team together.

As far as I am concerned, this years Yankee's MVP is co-shared by Torre and Cashman.

2006-08-23 07:21:00
18.   Sliced Bread
15 Yeah, I don't understand why Farnswacker can't go consecutive days. He's one of the best constructed players in the game. Guy's a monster.

re: Villone, my guess is Joe was going with one of his hunches that Villone could grind it out, and get the job done in Seattle, where he has played before.

2006-08-23 07:23:06
19.   JL25and3
8 I got pretty much the same info at www.wordorigins.org:

"On the fritz is rather mysterious in origin, being first used in 1902. It gained impetus during WWI when it was used to refer to anything German or that didn't work right. But the wartime derogatory reference is obviously not the origin, given the date of first use."

But I have a problem with a language expert who says "impetus" to mean "momentum." That's something John Sterling would say.

2006-08-23 07:25:32
20.   Sliced Bread
17 Excellent points, but yes, I do want Joe's job, and his paycheck, too.

Seriously, I love Torre, and wouldn't want another manager.

2006-08-23 07:29:57
21.   Sliced Bread
19 Sterling would say "impetus" when he meant to say "I'm pompous."
2006-08-23 07:31:01
22.   pistolpete
Bottom line is we gave ourselves a nice little cushion this past weekend - how aggravated would we be this morning if the lead was 3.5 instead of 6.5?
2006-08-23 07:32:34
23.   Jim Dean
18 In the last interview, Russo asked Torre about Farns on consecutive days and the response seemed to indicate it was something they were going to look at or that it could be done any more. They must have decided that Farns isn't reliable on back-to-back days. I'm not sure what the stats are there, or how to find them, but based on what we've seen this year, they're probably meaningful.
2006-08-23 07:35:24
24.   pistolpete
23 Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he throws 101mph at least 9-10 times an inning when he does pitch. That's gotta take its toll.
2006-08-23 07:39:40
25.   singledd
Am I correct in assuming that Villone was a started for many years? I see he has pitched over 100 innings 5 times. He is on track for 92+ innings this year.
2006-08-23 07:49:50
26.   Bama Yankee
21 or it could be Sterling's homerun call for former Angles/Tigers OFer Gary Pettis: "Gary's IM-Pettis puts the Yankees in the lead!"
2006-08-23 07:51:08
27.   Ron Burgundy
25 Not sure if he was a starter. But he isn't one now, and the heavy usage of his arm has taken its toll. He's toast and needs a Proctorian 4-Days off stint.
2006-08-23 07:56:04
28.   kylepetterson
Maybe this is old news, but from foxsports.com:

New York did get some good injury news: Doctors cleared left fielder Hideki Matsui to hit off a tee for the first time since he broke his left wrist on May 11.

Torre said Matsui probably will be able to hit soft-tossed pitches into a screen "in a few days." Torre said "it's possible" Matsui could go on a rehabilitation assignment during the final week of the minor league regular season.

Triple-A Columbus' regular season ends Sept. 4. Class-A Tampa, often a favored rehabilitation place for the Yankees, end its season Sept. 3.

2006-08-23 07:57:10
29.   Sliced Bread
21 Cringetastic as that is, it's too good for Sterling.
2006-08-23 07:58:05
30.   Cliff Corcoran
25 Villone has started in the past, but a starting pitcher gets four days to recover from the abuse his arm takes in a game started.
2006-08-23 07:59:04
31.   vockins
"...the Yanks failing for the fifth time this season to win their sixth straight."

That's a kind of failure I'm willing to accept. If the Yanks fail to win their sixth straight eight more times this year, I'm totally cool with that.

2006-08-23 08:05:31
32.   JL25and3
This took me a while to write - I am ostensibly at work, afetr all - so I hope it hasn't been obviated by other posts in between.

I've said this before, I'll say it again. I've criticized Torre plenty over the years, and god kows he makes it easy enough to do. But the daily criticism of his in-game tactics - not so much here but at other sites - is often correct but misguided. It focuses on his small mistakes while completely obscuring his tremendous strengths.

This year, I think his strengths have made all the difference. Without Joe Torre, I don't think this team would be in first place. His most important contribution was that he never panicked. He lost two outfielders, he had no fifth starter, Johnson was looking bad, Mo and EDSP looked like his only reliable relievers, and then he lost his second baseman as well. Fans and media were starting to get a little overheated.

So what did Joe do? He made a plan and he stuck to it. He put together the best players he could scrounge up, sent them out and let them play. If something wasn't working, he gave it a few more chances; no one had to worry that he'd be benched for an oh-fer or two. And then if it still didn't work, he tweaked his plan, and then stuck to that.

And that's what Joe has been doing for 11 seasons, and that's why he's lasted.

When it came to in-game tactics, Billy Martin was a frickin' genius (and he'd be sure to let you know it). But can you imagine him managing this team? By mid-June he would have been twitching and snarling; then he'd start bad-mouthing his players, who would also be bad-mouthing him. He'd crack, and so would the team.

Joe can be incredibly frustrating, but I think he's also irreplaceable. Sure, he's had players to work with; Martin, Lemon, Martin, Howser, Michael, Lemon, Michael, King, Martin, Berra, Martin and Piniella. None of them was able to do what Joe has.

2006-08-23 08:07:32
33.   Sliced Bread
I didn't see Villone last night, but do you think the Beltre blast was the result of Villone being tired, or another example of why he should be used sparingly (and with fingers crossed) against right handed sluggers? I'd say it was the latter.
2006-08-23 08:09:07
34.   JL25and3
21 Exactly. His penchant for using SAT words incorrectly stopped being amusing a long time ago. One of my peeves is when he uses "equidistant" to mean "even with," as in "He caught that ball equidistant with the end of the tarp."
2006-08-23 08:10:48
35.   wsporter
20 I couldn't agree more. During the marathon that is the baseball season there is usually more at stake during any game than just that particular game. Managing a team, in part, means wisely allocating a scarce resource; that is the available 25 men on the roster. "Wisely" I think means managing so that maximum benefit can be derived from the roster over 162 games and hopefully beyond. As you say Slice "As for last night, Joe knows the state of his players better than us, no?"

Dotel's is just back from a long TJ rehab. How was he feeling last night, did anyone here ask him? How did his stuff look yesterday? Anyone here bother to get out to the bull pen and look? Based on anyone here's conversation with Villone yesterday was he feeling stronger than the other guys?

This day in day out micro-critiquing of Mr. Torre's decisions gets tiresome very fast on this level.

2006-08-23 08:15:19
36.   Sliced Bread
32 Another excellent post on Joe's behalf.

If Billy Martin was managing the '06 Yanks he would have charged the field at least twice this season to tackle A-Rod following an error. Seriously. He would have made ESPN's treatment of Rodriguez look like "Yankeeography."

However, Sheffield (whom I know you are not fond of) probably would have killed Martin by May 1st.

2006-08-23 08:26:28
37.   JL25and3
36 Good call. The famous Reggie-Billy shouting match in the dugout would have been nothing compared to those two going at it. And Billy probably would have taken the first poke at Sheffield.
2006-08-23 08:33:19
38.   jkay
Bernie's website was hacked.

http://www.deadspin.com/sports/baseball/hacking-bernie-196056.php

2006-08-23 08:33:50
39.   pistolpete
33 You want a reason that defies any statistics? I'd say he was due to get bombed - which probably was a result of fatigue...
2006-08-23 08:36:12
40.   jkay
38 Check out one of the comments on deadspin regarding Bernie's website:

"I think it was Alex Belth, protesting the fact that Torre for some crazy reason, continues to run Bernie out in the late innings as a defensive replacement."

2006-08-23 08:36:26
41.   Dimelo
What a difference a day makes around here? I can't believe the stuff I'm reading. Maybe it's my fault and I shouldn't read the comments when the Yanks lose.

Wouldn't it be great to see the Yanks go 162 - 0 in the regular season, 11 - 0 in the playoffs and us have nothing to ever complain about?

If I ruled the world......none of my teams would ever lose either.

You know who I blame this loss on? I blame it on the mother f'er who didn't make us perfect.

2006-08-23 08:38:30
42.   baileywalk
One thing about this wrapup:

Soriano got pulled after the Melky bunt and a lefty, Sherrill, came in to face Cano (it was Sherrill who picked off Melky while Damon was batting).

2006-08-23 08:43:01
43.   Dimelo
40 That's great.
2006-08-23 08:50:09
44.   Sliced Bread
41 Dimelo, do you really expect to find the same reaction from Yanks fans following a 5 game sweep of the Red Sox, and a 1 run loss to Seattle - in the heat of a pennant race?
I think some have been harsh on Joe, but nobody's suggesting the sky is falling.
It's all good.
2006-08-23 09:03:42
45.   Ron Burgundy
38 What the hell? They must really dislike jazz and guitars.
2006-08-23 09:09:54
46.   Dimelo
44 Not that, it's just that there's enough negative energy that I just don't understand where it comes from.

I guess I just don't get how people can question Joe on anything for last night. They just played 5 grueling games.

2006-08-23 09:17:53
47.   Sliced Bread
46 Yeah, it can be a tough room especially for Joe supporters, Bernie fans, and **Pavano believers but don't give up on the Bronx Banter comments after a loss. Keep bringing your positive energy.

**they don't really exist, do they?

2006-08-23 09:21:44
48.   JL25and3
47 I've tried to reserve judgment on Pavano.
2006-08-23 09:32:21
49.   Sliced Bread
re: this man they call Pavano.

I think I've written about this here before, but I was on a tour of the Stadium with my dad the warm December day Pavano was introduced in his new uniform.

Even amid the excitment of being there, and seeing him, you knew he was being overpaid, but you also knew the Sox and Tigers had been after him, and you knew how desperately the Yanks needed pitching. This was about 6 weeks after the 2004 ALCS.

I was at Game 7 ALCS, way upper deck behind home plate, and was very happy to be back at the Stadium under different circumstances, the Yanks on the road to recovery and all that.

To say Pavano has not lived up to the bright promise of that warm December day the week before Christmas is an understatement.

But maybe it's because I have pictures of me and my dad in the outfield that day, and pictures of the Stadium with Pavano's smiling face up on the Jumbotron, I'm still rooting for him.

What an incredible exclamation point on the season it would be if Pavano could help the team down the stretch.

2006-08-23 09:40:23
50.   Cliff Corcoran
40 I feel guilty that Alex is getting blamed for what I write.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-23 09:47:19
51.   wsporter
49 Slice, what a great post. I think it's that personal connection to our fathers and grandfathers and the all memories that go with that that makes being a fan, in our case Yankee fans, so special. Hell if Pavano makes you think of your dad and a great time you had with him that might be the best reason I could think to root for the guy.

Sure beats the hell out of expressing passion by being mean and nasty about doesn't it?

2006-08-23 09:49:50
52.   Cliff Corcoran
Since today's thread is about managerial missteps, you should all check out what the U.S.S. Mariner had to say about last night's game. Yes they won, but they did it despite Mike Hargrove:

http://ussmariner.com/2006/08/23/late-game-management/

2006-08-23 09:56:45
53.   Sliced Bread
51 Thanks, wsporter. I joke about Pavano all the time. I can be a lazy joke writer, and he's the easiest punchline in Yankeeland, certainly the easiest since Brown left town.
At this point, I'm not expecting any more from him than Brown gave us, but yeah, I'm rooting for him.
I imagine if I asked my dad if he thinks Pavano might help the Yanks he'd wave his hand in disgust, and tell me I'm nuts for asking.
I'm gonna ask him.
2006-08-23 10:05:32
54.   Sliced Bread
52 "A good LHB is a better bet against a good LHP than a bad RHB is."

Be that as it may, Snelling isn't exactly Jason Giambi, who you'd bring off the bench in a second in that situation -- and Villone is pretty effective against LHB.

I'd say the USS Mariner writer is nitpicking more than our resident Torre doubters, and should be satisfied with the win.

2006-08-23 10:14:34
55.   Sliced Bread
54 I would add that Bohn, who struck out (bolstering the USS Mariner's case), wasn't such a terrible call against Villone, who ain't exactly Johan Santana.
2006-08-23 10:15:54
56.   mehmattski
17, 32, 40, et al: I hope I did not come across as being critical of Joe Torre, man and manager. Nor was I in Chicken-Little mode based on a "microcritique." I was being critical of Torre's decision making, which I don't feel is a slight to the man who tremendously helped my favorite team get to the top of the world. At the same time, I'm not one of those fans who stands behind the "Four Rings" and does not pass judgment. I agree with what many people have written, that Torre is the perfect manager for this NY Yankees team, and that his guidance and people skills help the team focus not on the media's blathering but on the field (well, other than A-Rod...)

That said, a manager who is great is not perfect, and mistakes should not be written off as "hey, no one's perfect." Mistakes should be learned from, and I believe that a mistake was made last night in the ninth inning. No, I didn't watch the game, and no, I do not know who was available or not. But based on the patterns Torre has set up for this team, leaving in Villone in the ninth was a non-traditional move. I believe that you should put out the best pitcher possible in such a game-deciding situation. That pitcher is, unequivocably, Mariano Rivera. In the real world, that can't happen every night, so go to the next best guy. In my mind, Ron Villone in his second inning, versus a righty power hitter, is the fourth best option. I find that unacceptable, if the goal is to win today's game. If the goal is something else (resting as many people as possible, getting the game over as to not miss dinner reservations, etc), then perhaps I can be convinced.

I hope I've made my point more clearly than I did in 5. I wouldn't want anyone on the planet managing this team other than Joe Torre. But mistakes can be made, and lessons should be learned from those mistakes.

On a completly different note, to Ron Burgundy and others: did you notice that Adam Loewen shut down the red-hot Twins last night? Maybe that will serve as some post-hoc stress relief? Or maybe high ERA is not the best measure to determine whether a pitcher should be shelled by the Yanks...

2006-08-23 10:17:03
57.   JL25and3
55 I love that he shows up in th egame summary as "T Bohn."
2006-08-23 10:23:47
58.   Alex Belth
I think this is right on. From Joel Sherman's column today in the Post:

"Damon's value transcends the field. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are incredibly positive thinkers, but Damon trumps even them because he is more extroverted and has a way of improving fraternity just by being in a room. The Red Sox miscalculated not only in thinking Crisp would be a younger, less expensive version of Damon, but in not fully appreciating the one-man goodwill tour that Damon is. He was at the center of the scraggly Idiot culture that emboldened the Red Sox to play so loose in ending The Curse against a Yankee team that, by stark contrast, was so corporate and tight.

Now, these Yanks are still pretty corporate, far from Idiots and always an ill-timed Steinbrenner sputter away from all the pressures of old. But, for now, they are the team sprouting the extra hair, playing less tense, and there is Damon right in the middle of the good vibrations on and off the field."

2006-08-23 10:30:28
59.   Cliff Corcoran
The youthful enthusiasm of Cano and Melky don't hurt that vibe much either. Last night, the Terror Twins on WCBS were saying that Abreu has taken both players under his wing. Indeed, after Bobby's three-run homer, he and Robbie lingered in jovial conversation in the dugout.
2006-08-23 10:37:30
60.   Zack
There's an article by Sean mcAdam on ESPN.com about how Ortiz and Ramirez are already one of the best 3-4 hitting combos ever. http://tinyurl.com/g8yce

Now, I know the article is written by their Projo, Red Sox fan guy, and don't get me wrong, Papi-Ramirez really ARE one of the best 3-4 hitting combos ever, but first of all, how many GREAT 3-4 combos that actually lasted more than a a few seasons were there? And they are only in their 4th year together. The media is always so quick to declare althletes "the something of something." Ortiz is "the greatest clutch hitter EVER," Mo "the greatest reliever EVER," etc etc.

And yet again, it jsut proves the absolute idiotic nature of the Sox pleading poverty to try and trade Manny...

2006-08-23 10:40:33
61.   Dimelo
47 I'm no Pavano believer.....go off on him all you want.
2006-08-23 10:43:26
62.   Sliced Bread
58 After hearing Sox fans gushing about Damon all those years, I actually had serious doubts about him when the Yanks signed him.

For the Red Sox management to let him go after all he did for that team, surely Damon had to be flawed in some serious way that was not apparent to the fans who worshipped him.

Was he hurt? Was he a total a-hole in the clubhouse?

No. No. He turned out to be exactly what he appears to be. A happy go lucky guy who hustles, and exhibits the talent and intangibles you'd expect from a $13 million dollar ballplayer.

Turns out the real "Idiots" were Damon's penny-pinching ex bosses. F 'em.

59 The "Soxaholix" are riffing about the magical skills of Bobby Abreu today, and he "himself" weighs in on the comments board.

2006-08-23 10:47:57
63.   JL25and3
56 My post wasn't really aimed at you but at the Nomaas accounting of how many games Torre has "lost," as well as to daily posts at nyyfans.com. Those posts generally strike me as extremely myopic, reducing Joe's role to filling out a lineup card and bringing in relievers. I suppose it would make more sense for me to respond on those sites, but, well, I'm here. Besides, it's much easier to discuss these things with people who have at least graduated high school.

But I'm never going to give up the right to criticize Joe. He can be so damn frustrating...His bullpen usage. His blatant favoritism. His tendency to value baseball skill less than Fire In the Belly. Along with that, his apparent disdain for bench players - especially backup catchers - who can actually play a little. His extreme reluctance to play anyone at all who isn't a Veteran Presence, preferably someone who's Been There (remember, he only gave Wang, Cano and Melky chances out of complete desperation). Even his steadiness, which I praised so highly, looks at other times like a maddening rigidity.

And so on. So don't think I was trying to criticize you for seeing Joe's flaws; I thought yours was a point well taken.

2006-08-23 10:55:07
64.   pistolpete
62 Am I dense - those Soxaholix cartoons are just beyond me.

I guess I'm not supposed to get it.

2006-08-23 10:56:48
65.   Sliced Bread
Also on the Soxaholix comment board, a weary Sox fan laments his centafieldah's new label "Choke O Crisp."
Why didn't a Yankee fan think of that one?
2006-08-23 11:00:26
66.   pistolpete
I heard 'Choke O' a while back. Boston devours their own like no other sports city I've ever seen - much more so than even in NY.

Can you imagine if A-Rod went there?

2006-08-23 11:03:06
67.   Cliff Corcoran
64 I think Soxaholix is brilliant, even if it is just a rip on Get Your War On, it's a consistantly clever one that does justice to its inspiration.
2006-08-23 11:03:51
68.   Sliced Bread
64 I wouldn't say you're dense. Some of the Soxaholix material is heady stuff, and I imagine it sails ovah the heads of many a Sox fan, too.

The strip is pretty brutal toward the Sox actually, as it is written from a rabid fan's perspective.

Of course it's no place for thin-skinned Yanks fans.

2006-08-23 11:07:27
69.   pistolpete
67 I'm assuming that it takes a better understanding of the Sox fan's mentality - obviously one that I can't relate to.

From the viewpoint of a part-time cartoonist, however, I can't get past the same 2-3 talking heads comprising an entire strip. Makes me want to go read a few weeks worth of old "Bloom County" just to get that out of my system. ;-)

2006-08-23 11:10:45
70.   JL25and3
67 I'm with you, Cliff, I love Soxaholix.

69 Think of it this way - anything that makes you want to go back and read Bloom County can't be all bad.

2006-08-23 11:12:47
71.   Max
I avoid a lot of the baseball culture in the heart of enemy territory...all the self absorption, all the bandwagoning, all the Theo and Fenway and Papi worship, all the boston dirtdogging. But I love me some Soxaholix. Great stuff, especially when the Sox aren't winning.
2006-08-23 11:13:57
72.   Sliced Bread
69 I think the minimalism of the art works because the strip is all about the dialog.

I think I understand Red Sox fans better from reading it, which isn't to say I appreciate them more. Bitter bunch, but they can have a sense of humor about their plight, which is admirable.

2006-08-23 11:16:43
73.   Bama Yankee
Another post from over at Soxaholix:
"Some joker who has been wearing a Mets hat for the past two years was marching around my part of the office with a broom Monday afternoon. I said 'What's that broom for, to brush the dust off your Yankee hat. I haven't seen that on your head since October 2004.'"

Even the Mets-wagon fans are getting in on the act... sad days in Beantown, indeed.

2006-08-23 11:19:26
74.   pistolpete
70 I think we should take on a new project here at BB - I got the artistic stuff covered, any writers-in-traiing want to collaborate on a Yankees cartoon? :-D
2006-08-23 11:21:10
75.   Sliced Bread
74 If you can draw Bill The Cat, I'm in!

Ack!

2006-08-23 11:25:41
76.   pistolpete
74 That should have been 'training', btw. Hence my need for a writer.

Except Alex - he can't spell either. ;-)

2006-08-23 11:29:50
77.   pistolpete
72 I understand, but I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to that stuff. Seems like the lazy way out. 'The Joy of Tech' (Mac-oriented cartoon) also makes me cringe in that respect.
2006-08-23 11:35:29
78.   JL25and3
To shift gears, to a topic close to my heart: http://tinyurl.com/k56qq

All I can say is, it's about time someone else said it.

2006-08-23 11:41:23
79.   Sliced Bread
77 The Soxaholix clip-art is definitely the low-budget way out, and I guess that's part of the creator's vision:

have impassioned speeches, and even poetry flowing from the mouths of character's who wear frozen expressions.

What's funnier is that most of the dialog takes place in an office setting while the character's are supposed to be working, like I'm supposed to be as I'm typing this.

Instead, the characters are cursing their brains out, or waxing poetic about their team.

Who says "irony" is dead?

2006-08-23 11:41:47
80.   Schteeve
78 I'm a big A-Rod supporter but let's get a few things straight. Sheffield is in a contract year, Sheffield is considerably older than A-Rod, and Sheffield as recently as two years ago played the entire stretch drive with a shoulder muscle that was literally separating from the bone it was supposed to be attached to. He bucked up and got cortisone shot after cortisone shot. So please don't anyone try to tell me that Sheffield is getting an undeserved free pass when it comes to playing through pain.
2006-08-23 11:42:30
81.   Sliced Bread
79 and why do I continually type "character's" when I mean "characters?"
2006-08-23 11:43:55
82.   Schteeve
81 becuz yo cant speel good. LOL.
2006-08-23 11:50:49
83.   pistolpete
79 Hehe - Who gets to make that many personal calls at work? The internet is so much more stealth - if you've got one of those quiet keyboards, no one's the wiser!
2006-08-23 11:54:10
84.   Alvaro Espinoza
59 From your mouth to G-d's ears! If Cano can absorb even a sliver of Abreu's selectivity he could be lethal.

64 I'm with you. I "get" the strip but I just don't find it particularly amusing or interesting. Reminds me too much of Doonesbury which is the cartoonification (to create a word) of painful.

80 Good point.

2006-08-23 11:54:33
85.   JL25and3
80 Actually, I don't entirely disagree on the specific point. He doesn't have a muscle strain, he's got a wrist injury, and that can't be rushed. (I'm not sure I'd cut him slack because it's his walk year, though. He's got a contract to play to the end of the year, and if it were possible I'd espect him to.)

But what's true is that Sheffield has generally gotten a free ride since he's come to NY.

2006-08-23 11:55:19
86.   JL25and3
*expect. Apparently this spelling thing is contagious.
2006-08-23 11:56:55
87.   Max
80 Thank you Schteeve. The Verducci article is just more silly cheap shots at Sheffield, and is basically a waste of space.
2006-08-23 11:58:14
88.   pistolpete
85 I wouldn't call it a free ride, I just happen to think that Sheffield endears himself to the fans by not giving a f*ck.

He says, "this is who I am, like it or not - I don't care" - and IMO that's exactly what we all want A-Rod to be.

2006-08-23 11:58:52
89.   pistolpete
86 We really should be given the ability to edit our posts - at least for a limited time.
2006-08-23 12:00:17
90.   JL25and3
87 I take plenty of shots at Sheffield, and I think he's earned every one of them. And then some.
2006-08-23 12:06:46
91.   Bama Yankee
81, 82 & 86 I'll take the blame for all the spelling problems after my lame spell checker joke (I use that term loosely) yesterday. It's all on me.
2006-08-23 12:10:46
92.   mehmattski
You know, there is this wonderful check box for "preview comment before saving" that most of us just uncheck out of habit every time. Perhaps we should make a habit of leaving it checked, at least when its not during the game and timely "woo-hoo!"s are needed...
2006-08-23 12:11:02
93.   Sliced Bread
Sheff endeared himself to me hitting the f*ck out of the ball, and not being anything like the clubhouse poison he was made out to be.

He also played hurt through a season when he could barely lift his glove above his head.

I have no problem with Sheff, but Abreu's a more complete player.

Sheff for DH in '07, I say.

91 Don't take the blame for our butchering of the language, Bama, everybody knows it's A-Rod's fault.

2006-08-23 12:14:02
94.   Cliff Corcoran
79 Soxaholix, which debuted in March 2004:

http://www.soxaholix.com/tp/2004/03/30/index.html

Uses the same clip-art office worker phone conversation motif as David Reese's Get Your War On, which debuted in October 2001 (warning, bad language, not safe for right wingers):

http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war.html

Reese's strip was a revelation in the wake of September 11, 2001 as his characters voiced the overwhelming combination of fear and outrage many of us felt. They were raging against an immediate future that was suddenly more unknown than at any other point since the end of the Cold War. The frozen images worked as they contrasted with the fevered emotions the characters were expressing, but also portrayed how fear, uncertainty and a lack of control had paralyzed them.

Soxaholix's use of the same device in and of itself adds to the humor of the strip as it winks at how Sox fans treat baseball as something as critically important as the safety of our nation and the future of the free world.

Or at least that's how I see it.

Throw in some retro hipster style points for the use of corny clip art in both cases and the occassional literary reference by Soxaholix (usually footnoted for those who don't recognize the source) which further romanitizes the tragedy and comedy of being a Sox fan and stir.

2006-08-23 12:16:12
95.   vockins
66 I believe Philadelphia is the gold standard for devouring players of any sport.
2006-08-23 12:22:40
96.   Sliced Bread
94 Thanks for that. Wow, I was not hip to "Get Your War On." Remarkable that it debuted the month after 9/11. I was nowhere near being in a retro hipster state of mind at that time.

Not surprising that the curtain open/fade up on the Soxaholix was a shot at the "fucking Yankees." Heh.

2006-08-23 12:26:03
97.   Schteeve
I don't see how Sheff has gotten a free pass, because I can't think of anything Sheff has done that's been detrimental to the team since he arrived in New York. As far as I know, Sheff has stung the piss out of the ball consistently, pretty much been a good citiczen, pretty much said all the right things, and pretty much come through when it counted.

The reason that A-Rod is scrutinized and criticized more for striking out with the game on the line, is that A-Rod makes more money than anyone else in baseball. That's why he's held to a different standard than Sheff.

Now, I obviously don't agree that A-Rod should be lambasted for striking out in a big situation, he's not perfect and nobody should expect him to be. But that's the way it is. On one hand you get to cash the biggest check in baseball, on the other hand you get skewered in the press every time you aren't Superman. I'd take the money and laugh all the way to the World Series if I were A-Rod. Not everyone likes me, so what? That's the attitude people want to see from A-Rod, and unfortunately that's not how he's wired, so that intensifies the scrutiny and the skewering.

Kids tease each other to get a reaction, right? Writers and fans give Alex shit because they know that in some way he'll react. Whereas Sheff would flip them off and go about his business of trying to rip a line drive through Larry Bowa's mid section.

But this isn't a Sheff v. A-Rod debate in the end. It's an A-Rod v. everyone else debate. Sheff doesn't need a blank check because Sheff has been as well behaved in NYY as he has anywhere else in his career.

As long as A-Rod is the highest paid player in the game the press and the casual fan will look at him through an entirely different lens than they use to view any other player, no matter what. And that's the dumb sad truth.

2006-08-23 12:26:12
98.   Cliff Corcoran
95 No doubt. I mean, they hated on Abreu. How is that even possible? Yeah, he may be Sheff-like with the glove, but his arm, his legs, his bat and his eye more than make up for that. If he spends his prime anywhere else we're talking about his Hall of Fame chances. Heck, maybe if things go well enough for him in pinstripes we will be anyway.
2006-08-23 12:30:23
99.   pistolpete
79 "The frozen images worked as they contrasted with the fevered emotions the characters were expressing, but also portrayed how fear, uncertainty and a lack of control had paralyzed them."

Sounds like the artist explaining away the fact that he can't draw a lick. ;-)

Thanks for the link.

2006-08-23 12:35:03
100.   Sliced Bread
95 The Philly fans worship Rowand types who smash their face into fences, bust their ankles, and boo Santa Claus. Truly a tough town. But then they do that silly Eagles dance thing with the girlie waving of the wings, which would get you laughed out of Giants Stadium, or Gillette, or any venue where men who don't act like birds gather.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-08-23 12:36:31
101.   pistolpete
BTW, is there a link to the Soxaholix strip right after they won it all? Out of my own morbid curiosity, I'd like to read it.
2006-08-23 12:37:03
102.   JL25and3
97 I don't have the time or energy to argue the Sheff case in detail now; besides, you don't want me to get started. But no, I don't think he's been such a model citizen and I don't think he's always said the right thing, not by any means. He just doesn't seem to be called to account for what he says.
2006-08-23 12:38:53
103.   Chyll Will
60 Three words: Ruth-Gehrig-period
2006-08-23 12:40:17
104.   Sliced Bread
101 Check the Soxaholix archives. I don't know the exact date of that dark day in baseball history.

I imagine even in the team's finest hour the Soxaholix took shots at the Yanks.

2006-08-23 12:42:45
105.   Cliff Corcoran
103 Amen.

101 I prefer the strip from the verge of the victory:

http://www.soxaholix.com/tp/2004/10/27/index.html

But here's the one from right after:

http://www.soxaholix.com/tp/2004/10/28/index.html

Note the footnote in the latter strip.

2006-08-23 12:44:20
106.   Schteeve
102 Ok don't need to debate it, it's all friendly opinions around here anyway. But just for the record, I said, "pretty much" like fifteen times and I said "always" zero times.
2006-08-23 12:44:29
107.   Chyll Will
97, 102 A father tells his son, "Go do this for me." The son says, "Hell no!", but then goes out and does it anyway. The father tells his other son, "Go do this for me." The other son says, "Sure thing, Pop!", but doesn't do it.

Which son did what the father asked him to do?

2006-08-23 12:44:49
108.   vockins
98 I can't say I'm surprised Philly hated on Abreu when they hated on Mike Schmidt. Come on, Mike Schmidt! Whatsamattawityou?
2006-08-23 12:50:03
109.   Bama Yankee
107 Does the father boo the second son?
2006-08-23 12:51:08
110.   JL25and3
106 Fair point. But "pretty much" isn't always enough when he the exceptions are pretty egregious.

Nothing personal. The guy gets my bile up. I don't deny his talent for a second - he hits the hardest line drives I've ever seen. But I don't like the guy, I don't respect him, I've never wanted him on my team and I can't wait until he's gone.

2006-08-23 12:53:49
111.   pistolpete
110 So Mr. Heyman, how did you come to pick your screen name? ;-)
2006-08-23 12:54:36
112.   Chyll Will
109 Is the Space Pope reptillian?
2006-08-23 12:58:42
113.   Sliced Bread
105 The celebratory strip is great.

I was right, even in the team's finest hour they slapped at the Yanks.

Seriously, when the Yanks win a Series do you even think about the Red Sox for the following four months?

I understand Sox fans perceived the Yanks to be their oppressors, but someone should have reminded them in 2004 Boston made it to the Series a few times in those 86 years, and it wasn't the Yankees who stopped them from winning it all.

Funny stuff though.

2006-08-23 12:59:34
114.   Chyll Will
109 I imagine the father goes to the square and tells everyone in earshot why the second son needs to be traded...
2006-08-23 13:02:31
115.   rbj
112
Silvery.
2006-08-23 13:05:08
116.   pistolpete
113 My thoughts would be on Sox fans only because I live in CT and there's a nasty infestation of them here.

If they win it all this year, I might finally commit to getting that Yankees 'window cling' on my car. :-D

2006-08-23 13:15:09
117.   JL25and3
111 I'm worse than Heyman. I've got about 5 pages written, with research and quotes, on his career, especially Milwaukee and his time with the Yankees, up through the middle of last year. I think it needs an update.
2006-08-23 13:15:47
118.   JL25and3
Sheffield's career, that is. Heyman's career doesn't interest me much.
2006-08-23 13:38:01
119.   Alvaro Espinoza
113 Mets fans suffer from a similar syndrome. Stop me if you've heard this one before:

"Ok, you tell me right now that you wouldn't trade A-rod straight up for David Wright???" (you can also insert Jeter for Reyes).

I swear it's pervasive. Was out for a few drinks after work a while back and was introduced to a friend of a friend who also happened to be a Mets fan. It took him less than 5 minutes to drop that gem on me. That's when I have to point out a few things:

1 - Fine, let's play your game: "Conversely, would you like to trade Floyd for Cabrera or Valentin/Matsui/Anderson/Woodward for Cano?"
2 - What is it exactly about David Wright's 3 years with the Mets that makes him better than A-rod either offensively or defensively?
3- What is it about David Wright's stats from ages 21-23 when compared to A-rod's stats for the same ages that makes someone think he'll trounce all of A-rod's numbers by the time he's finished playing?
4 - Why are you not interested in comparing Wright to Miguel Cabrera, the superior 3B that plays in your own division?
5 - You're a little late to this game. We've already played the 'my guy is better than your guy' game w/ the Red Sox (Nomar - Jeter).
6 - And why is it that in 30 years of being a Yankee fan I have never EVER considered a Yankee's ability in relation to his Mets "counterpart". Example: Dave Winfield sure is talented but I have to wonder... just how does he measure up against Ellis Valentine?

Ugh, my head...

2006-08-23 13:42:48
120.   kylepetterson
Nick Green currently sits at 666 career at bats.
2006-08-23 13:45:27
121.   JL25and3
120 Nick "The Beast" Green.
2006-08-23 13:47:45
122.   kylepetterson
That's a good name for a guy hitting under .200
2006-08-23 13:52:34
123.   Cliff Corcoran
119

2) His age and the likelihood of his improving and Rodriguez's declining.
3) Nothing, but the point isn't what Rodriguez has done, but what he's likely to do over the next several years compared to Wright
4) For the same reason Yankee fans never played this game with Rodriguez when he was in Seattle and instead focused on Nomar who was both on a rival team and set the bar lower.
6) You never got into an argument about Keith Hernandez vs. Don Mattingly, particularly when it came to their defense?

120 If we were talking about Damian Jackson I'd say he should be blackballed from the majors in order to preserve that total.

2006-08-23 13:58:56
124.   Schteeve
Am I the only one on this board who is toying with the idea of growing a mustache for the stretch run?
2006-08-23 14:00:08
125.   mehmattski
124 Ha! I've already got one! Well, its a goatee, but there is a mustache part...
2006-08-23 14:01:29
126.   Schteeve
125 All of us regular BxBanter posters should grow staches, cookie dusters, if you will. My girlfriend gave me permission this morning. And yes, I'm whipped.
2006-08-23 14:04:50
127.   Cliff Corcoran
Sorry, even if I wasn't convinced that unity through grooming always ends in a postseason loss, I'm getting married in late September, so there will be no 'stache for me.
2006-08-23 14:08:08
128.   Zack
125 A goatee totally doesn't count. It 100% lacks the creepy-father aspect. I think if I started growing just a mustache, not only would my gf threaten me with the "its the 'stache or me" ultimatum, but I think my students might never let me live it down. On the other hand, all of that does make it somewhat even more tempting...
2006-08-23 14:09:28
129.   Zack
127 Come on Cliff, don't you think looking like a molester for your wedding is totally worth a championship?

Either way, as it is my first time catching that fact, congrats!

2006-08-23 14:10:20
130.   randym77
Anyone looking for a quarterback? Can also play some 3B.

The Cowboys cut Drew Henson today.

2006-08-23 14:16:50
131.   randym77
Newsweek had some nice things to say about Joe:

===
It is not a novel concept that in sports, as in life, that which does not kill you makes you stronger. I'm not suggesting that manager Joe Torre wasn't reeling a bit when his two slugging outfielders, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, went down with major injuries. But soon you could see a certain glee in Torre, a National Leaguer at heart, as he rejiggered the Yankee attack with steals, hit-and-run plays and other old reliables of offenses that don't revolve entirely around the home run. The aggressive approach on the bases seems to have yielded a more aggressive mindset generally. I have long been an admirer of Torre and, while Detroit's Jimmy Leyland, seems to have sewn up the manager of the year award, Torre would be equally worthy. This season may be his finest hour.
===

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14471572/site/newsweek/

2006-08-23 14:22:40
132.   Schteeve
128 Agreed, goatees don't cut it. It's Tom Selleck style porn 'staches or nothing.
2006-08-23 14:38:13
133.   Cliff Corcoran
Besides, that's all the Yankees will allow.
2006-08-23 14:48:14
134.   Alvaro Espinoza
123 Mex and Mattingly, no not really. I'm a big fan of the loaded gun theory here: If you put it to my head and tell me I have to take, say, Mex. That's fine. Mattingly? That's fine too. So if I'm cool with having either player, I'm not going to waste an ounce of breath arguing who's better.

Mets fans are making several points: (1) Wright is better now, (2) He will be better going forward given your explanation in #2 and (3) he will have the better career when it's all said and done. Therefore, I'd say it's completely fair to compare A-rod's #'s to Wright's through age 23 particularly if you're going to proclaim that Wright will be the better player. Long story short, the numbers (age 21-23 comparison) don't bare out any larger success for Wright. And thus, we have nothing more than a silly rivalry argument (in my mind). And for those that like predicting the future, I do recall some vehement Mets' fans touting the greatness of Rey Ordonez in relation to the 'over-rated' Derek Jeter.

2006-08-23 16:33:46
135.   singledd
Moose is now on the 15 day DL.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.