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Say it Ain't So
2006-10-09 06:34
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

"The great thing about baseball is that there's a crisis every day." Gabe Paul

That goes double for the Yankees, especially after another crushing playoff defeat. Before a long winter of more A Rod mishegoss, of trade talk and free agent signings, the first order of business in Yankeeland is the future of manager Joe Torre. The belief is that George Steinbrenner will can Torre and replace him with one of his longtime favorites, Lou Piniella. If that happens, Torre's run as Yankee manager, one of the more remarkable stories in the Steinbrenner Era, will finally come to an end. The Boss was in New York yesterday and issued a predictably terse statement.

According to an article by Joel Sherman and George King in the New York Post:

Steinbrenner was described by sources as trying to cool off yesterday from the Yankees' ouster on Saturday as a way to assure that his decision about Torre is not rash. However, in a brief conversation with reporters at his midtown hotel yesterday, Steinbrenner clearly had not morphed into a Torre ally.

Steinbrenner said, "We will see what happens" when queried about Torre's future. When asked about why he is waiting to make a decision, The Boss responded, "I am going to think it over." Steinbrenner said, "No, I don't have to" give Torre a vote of confidence.

The Yankees' owner will return to Tampa today where he is expected to meet with executives to discuss what to do with Torre.

Reggie Jackson told the New York Times:

"It seems like the great job he was doing all year, all that's forgotten," Jackson said in a telephone interview.

"I imagine you could blame a guy for making bad moves, but I don't know how you can blame a guy for the team going 20 innings in a row without scoring a run. I don't know how you get to be a bum when those things happen. Like him or not, agree with his decisions or not, that's what happened."

Torre has enjoyed a terrific run of success with the Yankees, still there have been some fans who are ready to see him go (though I imagine if Torre gets the boot, there will be a great cry from other fans which will only help cement Torre's legend). They are not alone. Some writers, like Mike Lupica, and Tim Machman, think it's time for him to go as well. Over at SI.com, John Heyman writes:

There is no evidence Torre will survive this time. Some folks within the organization say they can see Brian Cashman, his longtime ally, fighting to save him. But even if Cashman, who himself has surely noticed Torre's strategic failings this season, puts up a fight, it's a losing fight now and can't be based on anything beyond abject loyalty, nostalgia and a sense of debt.

Torre became a Hall-of-Fame manager here with a stunning four titles in five years. But he was always better with personalities than strategy. This year, he failed on both accounts. Club officials have noticed how Torre failed to get the best out of Rodriguez, and Torre's frustration showed on his lineup cards in the playoffs, insulting the superstar player Cashman acquired by batting him sixth, then even moving him to eighth. By Game 4, when Rodriguez was in the No. 8 hole, it actually seemed like more of a message than a strategy. In any case, it was a desperate act.

Bob Klapisch talks about how Torre has lost touch with his players. Gary Sheffield was puzzeled by Torre's decision to move Rodriguez to eighth in the batting order and bench Jason Giambi in what turned out to be the final game of the season, and could likely be the last game of Torre's Yankee career.

Comments (272)
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2006-10-09 07:30:33
1.   markp
"I imagine you could blame a guy for making bad moves, but I don't know how you can blame a guy for the team going 20 innings in a row without scoring a run. I don't know how you get to be a bum when those things happen..."

I wish people would give the rest of his tenure the same attention as his riding the team that Buck & Stick built to those rings. His abuse of Jeff Nelson, Steve Karsay, and Flash Gordon was right in line with the rest of his career.
Things like inserting Weaver into a tied extra inning post-season game, starting Zeile over Nick Johnson against righty pitchers, etc.
Most of all, the collapses against Boston and the Angels (twice) with his team should count at least as much as the wins with someone else's team.
With Torre, if they win it's because of him, but if they lose he's not responsible.

2006-10-09 07:34:26
2.   JL25and3
For the last couple of months I've been singing Torre's praises. I felt that he was one of the major reasons the Yankees were in the playoffs in the first place, and I still do.

But I think it's time for him to go. It's not that the Yankees haven't won a World Series, I'm not that short-sighted. It's that, for the last three years, they've completely collapsed in the playoffs, and I think he has to take some of the responsibility. His strengths show up over the course of a long season, but they're minimized in a short series; his weakness, which is in-game strategy, comes to the forefront.

I'll boil it down to this: with the Yankees down 4-0 early in an elimination game, he brings in Cory Lidle and leaves him in until the game is gone. That's unconscionable, and worthy of firing right there.

2006-10-09 07:34:53
3.   Zack
All great things come to an end at some point, and even in the best of times a perfect situation can only last so long. Joe was the right manager for this team 5 years ago, he wasn't the right manager for most other teams before that, and he isn't the right manager for this team now. If he stays, I would be perfectlly happy, although I would continue to ride him hard next season, not because I don't like him, but because he makes a lot of questionable decisions. If he goes, I only hope it is so that Cashman can stear this ship where he needs it to go, not so that the "Tampa" crowd can reassert control...
2006-10-09 07:38:02
4.   randym77
Wow. That Klapisch article is something.
2006-10-09 07:39:09
5.   Drake
Unless we can get some pitching for Torre, I don't see the point. You could've had the best manager in the game for games 3 and 4 and running a very old and tired Johnson and a crappy Wright out there isn't going to get you a win let alone two.

Time to invest a little in the future. Where is the youth?

2006-10-09 07:42:49
6.   Harley
Wang's now on the record as saying he was ready to pitch in game four. And it's not the first time Torre left his best pitcher on the bench (tho' in this case, a different city as well).
2006-10-09 07:49:22
7.   standuptriple
We've all heard the old saying, "Good pitching beats good hitting." It's true. We haven't had good pitching in quite a while and until we do I expect similar results. Pinning your season on Wright was a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe blaming Pavano will ease my pain.
Torre's inability to adapt, recognize or to pull himself away from his personal bias has cost the Yanks once again. I thought Joe was the right person for the job, and that still may be the case, but I can see King George's desire for change.
2006-10-09 07:50:59
8.   pistolpete
Oh boy - here we go. The Sheffield article just seems like the tip of the iceberg. There's going to be a lot of finger pointing, passing the buck, you name it.

This reeks of 1987, or sometime in and around. It doesn't look good for Joe.

2006-10-09 07:52:38
9.   randym77
Agree that starting pitching is the big problem. (Though I thought maybe, this year, we might have a chance, even with questionable pitching, because all the other teams had pitching issues, too.)

But I also think Torre is not a very creative manager when it comes to pitching. He left Wang in NY, apparently not considering that we might need our best pitcher in Detroit. He would never bring in a stopper like Farnsworth or Villone (when he was good) early, to get out of a jam, say. Torre would never consider putting Rasner on the roster and leaving Myers off, even though the one-hitter wonder was not pitching well.

I think JL25and3 nailed it:

"His strengths show up over the course of a long season, but they're minimized in a short series; his weakness, which is in-game strategy, comes to the forefront."

2006-10-09 07:56:54
10.   pistolpete
9 Maybe the solution isn't to get rid of Torre, but to get someone else on the bench who knows the "X's and O's" of the game, and this way you retain the diplomat that is Joe.
2006-10-09 08:05:00
11.   unpopster
Count me as one of those fans who thinks Torre is no longer the right manager for this team. However, I don't want to see him fired. Why? Because I want to keep Guidry, Mattingly. Bowa and Pena...and I want Arod gone.

If Torre is fired and replaced with Sweet Lou, then we can say goodbye to Donnie baseball and the rest of the coaches. And it'd also mean that Arod returns in '07.

Sheesh, would it be possible to maybe replace Torre with Bowa instead and keep the other coaches on board? I doubt it.

I want Mussina gone.
I want Arod gone -- NOW!
I want Pavano gone.
Ditto Wright, Lidle, and Shef.

I think Giambi should stay the starting 1B and sign a legit backup 1B with a bat (can we get Nomar for a 2 year deal?).

I think we should have a Matsui-Damon-Abreu outfield, with Melky as the roving 4th outfielder on a daily basis, thus allowing Matsui and Abreu the chance to DH on days that they sit.

I want to resign Dotel for an incentive-laden contract.

I want another year of Cano under Bowa's tutelage so that he can become a batting champion AND a gold glover.

I want a legit backup catcher for Posada.

I want Arod traded to the Dodgers, Angels or Cubs for a legit starter and a legit bullpen arm (and Aramis Ramirez if we trade w/Chi). If the Yanks decide to eat some of Arod's contract, then we should be able to get some guys that will be ready in '07.

I want to see Phillip Hughes get a real chance to win a rotation job out of Spring Training.

I want to see some young, live arms in our rotation/bullpen. I liked what I saw in Detroit by the likes of Verlander, Robertson, Bonderman, and Zumaya. We saw the same from Irvin Santana in '05. We saw the same from Beckett in '03. I want that.

2006-10-09 08:13:35
12.   choirboyzgirl
It won't be that easy to 'get rid' of A-Rod, if I'm him and I have just lived through 2006 there would be no way in the world I would okay a move to Cubs....if I have to suffer I might as well suffer where I'm at. There's going to have to be something in it for A-Rod for him to okay a trade.
2006-10-09 08:13:49
13.   jayd
"The Yankees have become addicted to the All-Star-at-every-position philosophy, and the bloating that's followed is found in more than just the payroll. The Yankees' egos are such that they no longer hustle their way to victories. Instead, they've been relying on nuclear superiority.

Most of the time, it worked. That lineup was indeed the best the American League has seen in decades, maybe ever. But there's still no substitute for hard work and old school enthusiasm. When the Yankees ran into a young team that refused to be intimidated, such as the Tigers, "They just curled up and died" said one major league executive."

4 You can't agree with any of this. This was the year of Don Mattingly small ball, was it not? And with the arrival of Abreu, I thought the Yanks were reinvigorated over the last month or so. The Damon quote must predate that.

Lack of Hard Work and Old School Enthusiasm? This is not the Red Sox we're analyzing here -- nobody laid down and quit. Gimme an effing break. How 'bout holding the Tigers to two runs and Posada's shot wins it or any of the other two games we let get away? That Klapisch article is a non starter. I don't put overpayment bloat on the list -- not with the arrival of Cano and Melky and holding on to the kid pitcher Hughes.

2006-10-09 08:15:06
14.   Stormer Sports
6

I hear ya. I've been saying that since 2004. I love Joe, but how you don't start your ace in an elimination game is beyond me.

Maybe he thought what most of the players seemed to think: winning was just "going to happen" and they would be back in NYC for a game 5. Either way, that type of managing has to be researched to figure out how it happened. I just think it's baseball 101. Elimination game = no tomorrow = best pitcher on the mound. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

2006-10-09 08:15:19
15.   pistolpete
11 How do you figure? Mattingly and Guidry both have strong ties to Piniella, and Bowa's the best 3rd base coach in the game. I think Lou's a smart enough man to realize what works and what doesn't.

I agree with most everything else you posted, except I think Hughes needs to wait until July, and Nomar is just plain rickety. And if Piniella does come on board, you really have to give A-Rod one more shot.

2006-10-09 08:18:13
16.   Shawn Clap
I think it has to be one or the other. Either they need to move A-Rod for some lights-out arm, or they need to hire a manager who can motivate him to perform to his potential when it counts.

That mid-summer, clandestine meeting with Pinella in the Yankee Stadium parking lot may now have long-lasting consequences. Sure, the evidence is anecdotal, but it may just convince The Boss to do what (he feels) needs to be done.

The TV talking heads all babble on about how every team would love to have A-Rod, but Cashman will NEVER get fair market value for him at this point. I can't see other GMs losing a Santana or a Halladay in a deal for A-Rod.

Hot Stove comes yearlier every year around here.

2006-10-09 08:19:53
17.   monkeypants
11 Yep. I agree with every word. Trade that A-Rod. He's a clubhouse cancer and a team can't win without chemistry. See, that '76-78 dynasty, they had chemistry. That's how you win. Also, A-Rod doesn't do the little things. That's why the team was right to dump Reggie after 1981--if Reggie bunted more and played better D, the team would have won in '81. Oh, and A-Rod doesn't hit in the clutch. Just like that slaggered Mr. May Winfield. Still one of the best moves in my book, Winfield for Claudell Washington. We should be so lucky to tradeworthless A-Rod for such talent.
2006-10-09 08:23:21
18.   standuptriple
How do you even approach the fragile-minded A-Rod about a possible trade? All I can predict is him falling deeper into his self-created hole.
I too want them to keep the rest of the coaching staff but I expect Sweet Lou to make some changes. If they improve the team I'm all for it, but it's hard to imagine those guys on the bench having very many glaring flaws.
2006-10-09 08:24:00
19.   Chyll Will
10 (Shhhh. I said that yesterday, but nobody cared...)
2006-10-09 08:24:55
20.   Schteeve
Klapish's piece is outrageous. Where was this news of all the dysfunction when it was happening Bob?

Fire is great if you can hit, if you can't hit, I don't care how firey or hungry you are. The Yankees problem is that their patience which is such an asset over the course of the season turns into a weakness in the postseason. As long as the opposing pitchers throw strikes and get ahead in the count the Yanks hitters are working from a position of weakness.

I'm not sure what value Moose provides for this team any more. Sheff, Johnson, Wright, all need to be shown the door. But most importantly someone needs to come up with an offensive Plan B, swing the bats and don't wait for walks that are never going to come!!!! Don't wait for the guy behind you to pick you up, because it isn't going to happen.

I can't fucking understand how for the last three post seasons' such a "lethal" lineup has been totally dominated by rather pedestrian pitchers. The people who get paid to understand that, need to start earning their fucking money.

2006-10-09 08:28:02
21.   Dimelo
I'm a die hard Yankee fan and I know that a move needs to be made and we need a scapegoat. I understand all that 100%. However, what I get pissed off at is this public lynching of Joe Torre.

Fire him already and let him be. He gave us more good memories than bad, you all talk about strategy and what not. I look around the web and every blog hates their respective manager, two weeks ago Cardinal fans were talking about firing Larussa. Now they love him again. We are so fickle. That's fine because a lot of that has to do with the technology we have at our disposal and the amount of information we all have access to, so it makes very easy for us to second guess anything.

I was at the 2nd game of the ALDS and I was disgusted with a lot of Yankee fans. I think we fail to appreciate a lot the joy we experience throughout the season. I'll be rooting hard for the Yanks, but a part of me wants them to miss the playoffs and lose 90 games next year. I'll be mad if that happens, but I think we need a season like that after so many years of doing well and in some of those years failing miserably.

Joe Torre, I wish you luck and I won't say a bad word about you. I know you tried and sometimes things didn't go the way we as fans wanted. Some things we have no control over. Good luck and I look forward to reading your tell all book about the last 6 years. I'm sure it'll give us a lot of good insight and, hopefully, put things in perspective for many of us. I wish you well.

2006-10-09 08:28:38
22.   Schteeve
Oh, and despite the fact that I think it would be the height of lunacy to get rid of A-Rod, he is a choke artist of the highest order, and I'm totally changing my tune on this, because I've stuck up for him for the last two years and all he's done is make me eat my words. I'm not blaming him for this debacle entirely it's obviously not his fault.

I will never ever believe that he's going to deliver a big necessary hit again. And I sure hope he lives to prove me wrong, but from here on out, I expect nothing really meaningful out of him.

2006-10-09 08:30:33
23.   vockins
17 great post
2006-10-09 08:31:48
24.   unpopster
17 y'know, I'm simply amazed by the numerous Arod apologists I see here at BB. People point to his MVP season in '05 and his 35 HRs and 121 RBis this year, but did you all watch almost every game like I did? Was it not painfully obvious that Arod was a walking mess both at the plate and in the field? SOMETIMES NUMBERS LIE!

Look, I am not a hater and I would love nothing more than to see Arod succeed to his career level here in NY...but, c'mon folks, it aint gonna happen. He is scared, plain and simple. He's a pure guess hitter that, when he guesses right, is a hitting monster. But when he guesses wrong, he simply fails. Unfortunately, he failed too often and at the wrong times.

I just want to ask all of you to think back and tell me how many times over the course of the saeson Arod came to the plate at a crucial moments and you all HAD FAITH THAT HE'D DELIVER? Please, be honest with yourselves.

But, in all honesty, I want him gone not because of the reasons I stated above, but because I am sick of the Arod soap opera already. It had exhausted me and I am very sure that it exhausted the team.

Sometimes an experiment fails...and when it does, it needs to be ackowledged and remedied. The Arod in Pinstripes Experiment is over.

Please Ca$hman, for the sake fo the team, for the sake of Arod, and for the sake of the fans that are weary of all this already, send him far away. Please!

2006-10-09 08:32:26
25.   randym77
13 I honestly don't know what to make of that article. The Damon quote is dated as "late August." Abreu arrived in early August, so if the article is accurate, the Damon quote was well after Abreu's arrival.

I can imagine that sharing a clubhouse with Randy Johnson isn't much fun.

2006-10-09 08:34:02
26.   pistolpete
20 >> Fire is great if you can hit, if you can't hit, I don't care how firey or hungry you are. >>

Problem is, we know these guys can hit - we've seen them do it in the past, and with other teams.

2006-10-09 08:38:40
27.   Aviezer
The key to baseball is pitching. With that said the blame for this series cannot be put totally on Torre. I agree that putting in Cory Lidle when you are down 4-0 in an elimination game isn't the smartest thoing to do but the bigger problem is that the guy I wanted coming in wasn't on the roster. Either Darrel Rasner or Jeff Karstens have better stuff than Jaret Wright, They also have better stuff than Cory Lidle. However niether was on the roster b/c Joe simply could not take them over his trusted vets. Does anyone doubt that Brian Bruney belonged on the roster? The same applies to Rasner/Karstens. All in all it is a short series and that doesn't always reflect the better team. That said however Joe is not a X and O's manager he is absolutely terrible at managing his bullpen. Especially dangerous is his penchant for getting relievers up in the bullpen and then not sending them in. Especially as next years bullpen is really going to be something special I would like a manager who knowa how to use his responsibly.
2006-10-09 08:39:31
28.   randym77
24 I'm inclined to agree. I used to think the idea of trading A-Rod was ludicrous. But I've changed my mind. I think it would be best for all concerned. He's never going to make it in New York. The well is poisoned for him here. He needs a fresh start, and I think he would take it if it was offered.

I don't know if he's a clubhouse cancer or not, but it's clear he's a distraction. It may not be his fault, but you're right, this whole soap opera is wearying beyond belief. Having Lou in charge isn't going to change that. It may be best to cut our losses, and trade him.

2006-10-09 08:42:16
29.   Schteeve
26 But they can't hit when it counts. None of them except for Jeter maybe. Giambi and Abreu and Damon and Sheff and Posada and Cano and A-Rod all go to sleep when the pressure is on.

It's some kind of passivity and buck passing. It's like, "well, I don't need to get a hit here, because Sheff's gonna do it." and the Sheff is like "well if I don't get a hit it's ok cause Cano will get a hit" or whatever, and then nobody gets any fucking hits because they are all sitting around watching called strikes.

It's the most aggravting and frustrating thing I've ever witnessed, to the point that I didn't even watch the game on Saturday, I just went out and played golf. At least I could try to do something about my awful golf game.

2006-10-09 08:44:59
30.   JL25and3
21 I was also at game 2, and I thought it was just an awful game. I can love the Yankees all year, year in and year out, and still be pissed when they put up such a lackluster show. I don't boo them, but I also don't yell, "That's OK, I love you anyway." When they suck, they suck.
2006-10-09 08:45:28
31.   ny2
If you look at it this team has only know losing as yanks except for Bernie, mo, po, and jeter ... they've never needed to be fired up but it looks like the rest of the team just doesn't have the same drive to turn it on a perform

25. Damon must have made that comment maybe after the Red Sox collapse remember they started to lose all their west coast games and I think Arod was in his major slump at that time

2006-10-09 08:45:34
32.   randym77
29 Disagree about Posada. He wasn't asleep this postseason. And he was the only one who looked pissed off at the way the game was going yesterday. He cares.

He's always been a bit streaky, so no, he doesn't always get hits. But he wasn't asleep.

2006-10-09 08:48:34
33.   Alvaro Espinoza
Detroit Free Press, Sunday, 10/8:

The A's were hoping for the Yankees

OAKLAND -- Speaking privately to reporters recently, members of the Oakland Athletics said they were hoping to play the New York Yankees in the second round of the playoffs.

No offense meant toward the Tigers. Just the opposite, in fact. The A's consider the Tigers the stronger team, and were hoping to have an easier time with the Bombers.

That, at least, is what columnist Monte Poole reported in Sunday's Oakland (Calif.) Tribune.

2006-10-09 08:50:06
34.   JL25and3
I'm not going to argue about whether ARod is "clutch" or not - though I think a change in amanager, and in clubhouse dynamics, might help that.

But here's a guy who hit .290/.392/.523 in his horrendous year. No one's convinced me how trading that guy will make this a better team.

And no, I don't think the stats lie all that much. It was a streaky performance, but those 35 HRs were still there.

2006-10-09 08:50:14
35.   Bob B
I'm another one who never thought I would want to see Joe Trre leave. And in losing to the Tigers I'm not sure that he wasn't in the same spot as Grady Little in 2003-damned if he did or damned if he didn't by bringing back Matsui and Sheffield when clearly the chemistry had been so hot without them. But maybe a shakeup would do some good if they bring in the right guy-and that's not Lou Pinella. It should be Joe Girardi. He intense and young. Lou is a cartoon character at this point with his exploding head routine having become a parody of itself.
As far as A-rod, I guess no one's going to take his salary so we;ll be stuck with him unless the Cubs want to trade a questionable Kerry Woods and Equally questionable Mark Prior for him. He's a head case apparantly but he's going to be our head case. Lou famously didn't get along with another Head cas-Paul O'neal-so another reason to at least interview Joe G.
2006-10-09 08:50:20
36.   pistolpete
29 I agree, it does seem like no one's feeling any urgency because there's always someone further down in the order who can potentially bail them out.

It's really a double-edged sword - I always remember reading that Torre preached to his players NOT to press, because there was someone else in the lineup that could do the job. Problem is, it seems like this team took that mentality to the opposite extreme.

Honestly, I can't tell the difference between someone like A-Rod pressing and trying to do everything as opposed to that 'passivity' you're describing. All I know is no one's hitting.

2006-10-09 08:58:09
37.   randym77
33 A lot of teams were hoping for the Yankees. Including Detroit and Minnesota. The general consensus seemed to be that we were most vulnerable in a short series, and it would be better to meet us sooner than later.
2006-10-09 09:00:03
38.   Stormer Sports
Anyone have any information on who gave Bonderman the "advice" on how to pitch the Yankees?
2006-10-09 09:01:37
39.   Flip Play
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290037843795
2006-10-09 09:01:42
40.   Count Zero
Lots of emotion -- I'm not going to fuel the fire. But...

(1) It's not about blaming it on Joe -- it's about change. Sometimes you need change, just for the sake of change. People get stuck in a rut, and in order to break them out, you have to shake things up. If Joe stays, things won't get shaken up -- he will continue to rely on his old vets, and continue to do all the ugly pitching staff things he does. He has been a terrific manager (!!!) -- but it's still time for a change.

(2) How can any of you seriously contemplate trading A-Rod to the Angels? Are you mad?!? Can you imagine what putting A-Rod behind Guerrero will do for that team? There's a move we would definitely live to regret...possibly several times. Trade him to a NL team, or not at all.

(3) No rational person would think Hughes can start the season in NY. He threw 146 innings last year in A and AA. You will break his arm even if he pitches great, because you will be calling on him for 220+ big league innings, and maybe another 30+ high pressure innings in the postseason. Best case scenario, you put him in AAA, go easy on him innings-wise, and call him up in July.

2006-10-09 09:02:59
41.   mehmattski
For a few days, I've been thinking about what to say about the Yankees' season, about their future, about learning from mistakes of the past. In the place of an extraordinary long post, I mostly agree with Steven Goldman in his latest Pinstriped Blog post. While imagining defined plans for each individual in the organization is a good idea, it only works if there is an overarching plan of action. Simply replacing one player with another via trade or free agency has largely proved unsuccessful as a long-term team building strategy.

The Yankees need to cut major league payroll. That means no Mussina, no Sheffield, no Wright. If Alex Rodriguez can be traded for four or five impact players/high prospects, then it should be done. The $16 million/year the Yankees owe him is not unmanegable. If another team could be convinced to take that payroll, the Yanks could even throw him an incentive to waive the no-trade clause, like the Phillies with Abreu. Yes, it would probably be getting 75 cents on the dollar. But changes need to be made, and A-Rod is, right now, the most valuable trade chip. Let's get those 75 cents before we're unable to even get 50 cents.

And so, as Goldman says, it's time to blow it up, and restart with a new strategy. Rather than spending tremendous resources on aging players and having not much of a backup plan, the Yankees need to spend money on top prospects, signing the ones that no one else can afford to sign. They also need to hire the best coaches money can buy, so that these players actually develop to help the team.

Let Hughes and Cox and Clippard and Rasner and Karstens start the 2007 as New York Yankees. There aren't many better options sitting out on the free agent market. I would be happy if we signed zero free agents other than some bench/middle bullpen players.

In the winter of 2001, the Yankees front office felt invincible, and have thrown money at every problem. It hasn't worked. It's time to cut payroll.

2006-10-09 09:07:36
42.   tommyl
35 I've not yet decided what I think about Torre yet. My emotions are too raw from that awful display on Saturday to make a rational decision, but the comment about Lou and ARod is way, way off base. Lou had him in Seattle and ARod is known to respect and like him. Its been said numerous times that Lou understands ARod and can get the best out of him. In contrast, O'Neill had a track record of hating Lou when they were both with Cincy.
2006-10-09 09:08:10
43.   choirboyzgirl
I'm in the minority here but I don't want A-Rod traded. He's had one 'bad' season and a really bad post season, but so did the rest of the team. He did some things I didn't necessarily approve of (too much talking to the media) but never did he do anything to get the type of treatment he got this year (other than sign a really big contract 6 YEARS AGO). He and Jeter aren't friends and that's okay it didn't seem to hurt the team too much during the regular season (as they made it to the post season all 3 years that Alex was there). I also didn't see proof that Alex is really a clubhouse cancer yeah he is more introverted and shy guys on the but not a person causing problems. But he seemed to get along with most people on the team. The only really bad then that I've heard about him in the clubhouse is that he tries too hard to do it all (ummm I wonder why). He had a decent summer (except for the errors) considering the environment he lived in. The summer long drama could have been stopped a long time ago (I'm sure you all know how I feel about that by now).

I also don't want to see Torre go (although I think Lou would be good for Alex). He (Torre) held this team together all season long when they were faced with adversity. What I think was the real down fall of the team this year, is that they didn't take the Tigers serious enough. They were convinced by the end of the season that a world series berth was theirs for sure and they under estimated their opponent. (Especially Rogers). They didn't walk into the series with the same passion they had when they went into that 5 game series with Boston. If they had, they would still be playing right now.

I agree with idea that there needs to be some changes but I think the following people should stay.

Cano
Jeter (lol that's a no brainer)
Posada
Abreu
Damon
Matsui
Cabrera
Arod (Sheff, Giambi and others got 5-6 years to prove themselves give Alex the same chance).

Mussina
Wang
Proctor
Rivera
Bruney
Karstens

I would be weary bringing Hughes into this environment and expect him to he the hero to save the team. There was no pressure on Verlander, just do what you can do even when he lost a few games in Sept. I can only imagine what the stadium crowd will do if he has a couple of bad outings. Much better to ease him in.

2006-10-09 09:09:16
44.   Shawn Clap
40 "Can you imagine what putting A-Rod behind Guerrero will do for that team?"

Yeah, the same thing it did for this team, an early post-season exit.

2006-10-09 09:10:26
45.   Harley
The best way to salvage the A-Rod situation is for Jeter to act like a captain, step up, and back his teammate. By freezing him -- Jeter never forgets a dis!! -- he's put himself before the club. When the fans were booing A-Rod, it's the captain's job to support a teammate who needs it. Jeter was nowhere in sight.

Unless this is just a ceremonial gig, of course. In which case, nevermind.

2006-10-09 09:11:37
46.   Stormer Sports
I wouldn't go hanging any hats on Brian Bruney just yet. Perspective boys, perspective.
2006-10-09 09:12:41
47.   unpopster
40 sure, it would be better to see Arod in the NL, but I would be fine trading him to Anaheim for Irvin Santana for the following reasons, a) it's not the AL East, we won't have to face the Guerrero-Arod combo 19 times, and b) given what we've seen of Arod, I am absolutely positively confident that hje would press that much more to prove something against the Yanks and therefore go 0 for 4 everytime we meet with 3 Ks.

As for the need for Hughes in '07, if we let him win the #4 or #5 spot, he won't be expected to throw 200+ innings. In the best case scenario, Hughes could surpise people a la Jared Weaver or, in the worst case scenario, have a losing reacord but gain much needed big league experience thus allowing him to really take control in '08.

2006-10-09 09:14:26
48.   Stormer Sports
45

Blaming Jeter for any of this smacks of the 1980's, Skip Bayliss, and the rest of the college journalism flunkies who call themselves "reporters." Give that a rest. It's ridiculous, short-sighted, and just plain wrong and mean-spirited.

Want backup? Don't create an insurgency in the first place and keep your big fat ass mouth shut.

2006-10-09 09:17:05
49.   vockins
24 If a third baseman is going to hit 35 HR, slug .532, with an OBP of .392, in his "worst season", keep him.

I will not debate that ARod has a fragile constitution. That is plain.

What I will debate is that Torre is a genius politician able to take the number of personalites in and around the clubhouse and construct a winning team. This is always an "intangible" that people point to when talking about Torre's greatness. I guess the evidence for his greatness is that he hasn't been fired by a notoriously fickle owner, that there aren't any fistfights in the clubhouse (maybe in the bullpen during a Red Sox series, but not in the clubhouse), and that he's careful with the media.

Surely no one is talking about Torre's incredible on the field management when describing his greatness, because there's plenty of evidence that he's not good at that.

What's different now, even moreso in 2006 than the last few years that the Yankees have failed in the playoffs, is that Torre isn't even good at handling the politics anymore. His cooperation/endorsement of the SI ARod article was incredibly stupid, not for the obvious effect it was going to have on ARod, but the effect it was going to have on the entire team. If Torre's so willing to throw a nine time All Star under the bus and allow another perennial underperformer like Jason Giambi to take shots at him in the largest distributed sports magazine in North America, how confident do you think Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, or anyone else on the squad are about their support from their manager? Not very, I think.

And if Joe Torre's not a savvy political manager, what kind of manager is he?

2006-10-09 09:17:54
50.   randym77
39 Oh, man. That's awful!

Okay, I admit I laughed, but still...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-09 09:18:42
51.   Chyll Will
19 See? Told ya... "
2006-10-09 09:19:24
52.   tocho
In my opinion its either Torre or A-Rod for the next couple of years. The Yanks have to choose how to shape their franchise over these two elements.

One analysis would be look for the rings, and that is very simple and direct. Torre.

Another analysis would be look for the talent and how to harness it. The conclusion there is A-Rod with another manager. He clearly is a high-maintenance guy that can give you great results if properly managed.

I like Torre, but I think he lost it this year the moment he changed the team that won him the division with the team with Matsui and sheffield. He sent a message right there to the team, all the battles that they went through this year together don't really matter to him, what matters is the size of your contract. He benched Melky and took some of the heart in this team. He took away the team from the players.

Just take a look at the celebration party when they won the AL East. Matsui and Sheff clearly were the outsiders with Cano and Melky leading the way. In the postseason for some reason, Torre panicked and went to his "veterans" to win it for him. He sucked any momentum out of the team.

As a fan, I disliked the moves and I thought they subtracted more than they added. As a player, I can only imagined how that felt (if in your job you're doing excellent/outstanding work in your office in substitution of someone more senior than you, everybody knows it and appreciates it and of course pull for you and pick you up more than duty calls, then all of a sudden the hot shot comes back and displaces you without a fight).

In my mind, that was the move that killed the team as a team. They again became a bunch of individuals pulling for themselves.

I can see Jeter's leadership through the example of playing hard every day, but I doubt his skills as a real leader of a team, standing beside ALL of his teammates, in rough spots and in good spots. I know he's not a cheerleader but he should act more like the captain.

2006-10-09 09:21:25
53.   standuptriple
It's not too late to hire Buck for one season. Then we're a lock for a ring in 2008.
2006-10-09 09:22:43
54.   JeterChrist
Can someone explain to me what they felt Joe did over the course of the season to get them to the playoffs. I mean, at one point around the all-star break, we were 3 or 4 games BACK. Then we acquired Abreu, and more than anything else, the Red Sox fell apart, especially after the 5 game sweep.

This was the same manager who basically refused to play Thompson over Crosby, ignored obvious platoon potential of Guiel/Williams. Nearly burned out 3 different relievers, possibly ruined a tremendous developmental year by Melky Cabrera, not only allowing, but participating in the shanking of A-Rod once he had gotten his confidence back, the list here goes on and on.

I think we're looking too fondly on the good old days when Joe could trot out 4 of the best starters in the game, and the 3 of the best relievers after that.

2006-10-09 09:23:04
55.   Knuckles
2006 Yankees Post Mortem, by Knuckles
Billy Beane has famously said that all he can do is get his team to the playoffs, and after that it's a crapshoot. Makes sense to some degree, but the past 6 years make you think about it a little more.

They have: 01 come up just short, 02 ran into a hot team at the wrong time, 03 burned out in the ALCS and fell victim to some shoddy managing, 04 collapsed spectacularly, 05 didn't have the pitching and underachieved, and 06 inexplicably got shut down (showing no desire at all).

What to make of it? What works and what doesn't?

This team was so enjoyable to watch all season long, until September, when it became apparent that putting together the greatest fantasy lineup on earth was going to be more important than dancing with the ones that brung ya. It's as if they'd rather lose with Sheff at first than win and have to tell Gary, "We're real sorry you got injured, but we managed to scrape by without you until we found a replacement." So he doesn't sign with them next year, big deal? So he goes to Boston next year? Big deal. I'd trade a Yankees 06 championship for the off chance that the Sox win next year in a heartbeat.

Torre's got to go. I feel he's gotten to the point where he avoids conflict rather than manages egos. It's time for a change. They need pitching, period.

I've been an A-rod supporter all year thru these debates on BB, but now (and I don't feel this is knee-jerk) I feel it's time for him to move on. I know chemistry is only as good as your record, but this team needs to get back to basics, back to business. I'd very very quietly shop him, and deal him to the team that can give us any 3 of: young starting pitcher, decent arm for the bullpen, adequate everyday 3B, positional prospect somewhere we're aging (1B, C, RF)

Great season on the whole...terrible aftertaste.

2006-10-09 09:25:20
56.   JL25and3
47 Ervin Santana is a nice start. What else? There's no way I'd make that deal straight up, and that goes for any pitcher I can think of. You don't trade a star player for a pitcher; and if you're planning to trade ARod as if he's not a star player, then you're losing out on the deal.
2006-10-09 09:28:34
57.   randym77
52 Torre didn't panic. Anyone who knows Torre knew he was going to do that, long before he did it. The man loves his veterans. Last year, he played the nearly immobile Ruben Sierra over Bubba Crosby, even though Sierra was batting barely over .100 while Bubba was batting over .300 that last month. This year, Myers was pitching batting practice, even to lefties, but he still made the roster over Rasner or Karstens. (And boy, did that cost us.)

I could see bringing Matsui back. He was hitting well, and he's decent in the OF. But Sheff...oy. He wasn't hitting, and you just knew the 1B thing was going to be a disaster. He should have been left off the roster.

2006-10-09 09:29:45
58.   Schteeve
52 I totally agree. When Sheff and Matsui came back and Melky got shown a seat on the bench I had this weird feeling that there was some weird baseball karma that was being screwed with.

It was the logical move. I just felt like it wasn't the right move to make.

2006-10-09 09:30:47
59.   JeterChrist
56 I'd see if I couldn't get LA and Anaheim into a bidding war, and you're right, it would have to start with Ervin Santana, even though his K/9 isn't stellar. Otherwise, I wouldn't trade him.
2006-10-09 09:31:11
60.   ny2
Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson hated each other and Munson never stood up for Reggie ... Reggie was able to get over it ... Blaming Jeter for not liking Arod and defending him does not necessarily mean he's a horrible leader or captain we don't know what happens in the clubhouse and if you hear present and ex players they love and respect him
2006-10-09 09:33:01
61.   Harley
Mean-spirited? Oh Stormer...

I'm looking for a way to solve a problem. Jeter is the heart and soul of this team. But we'd all do better to treat him realistically, rather than like the 14 year-old girls who think he's super cute. A-Rod can be -- and btw, has been -- an incredible resource for this ball club. Jeter has the ability to solve that problem. I don't think it's too much to ask the captain to step up in this regard.

Trading him? Not in order to create better chemistry, but for fair value in return. I don't see that happening.

2006-10-09 09:34:54
62.   ChuckM
I believe A-Rod has a no trade and he couldn't go to the Cubs anyway because Aramis Ramirez has an out in his contract this year, which he said he may exercise depending on who they bring in as a manager for next year.

And unless I missed somebody else posting it, the whole "Jeter is putting himself before the team by dissing A-Rod" thing was a Harper piece in the Daily News today...

2006-10-09 09:36:18
63.   Harley
As for Reggie and Thurman. That highly successful team had something less than stellar "chemistry." And Reggie never got over anything -- he was put into a position where he could succeed (George forced Billy to bat him in the four hole after watching him get jerked around all season), and knocked three balls out of the park in a World Series game.
2006-10-09 09:37:21
64.   Alvaro Espinoza
48 If A-rod can't perform b/c Jeter doesn't like him then that's unacceptable. I'm certain that just about every team has players out there who don't like each other - Kent didn't need Bonds approval to perform (though I'm sure the steroids helped).

The damning proof in this line of argument is that if it is correct (Jeter's support is the key to A-rod's peak performance), it's a condemnation of A-rod's ability to perform his job. Sure, Jeter's support would be nice, but a professional has to be able to perform regardless of how well he gets along w/ his co-workers.

56 Agreed. As for what to do w/ A-rod I'm just not sure. What are the chances of getting significant value back? And you've got to believe that he's going to have a better 2007, right? Could it really be worse than this year? I'm fatigued by his flakey personality but there's too much talent there to jettison a 2 time 31-year old MVP. At the same time he's no longer a feared hitter. I'm honestly stumped.

2006-10-09 09:37:24
65.   unpopster
56 no, I don't mean just for Ervin, but he would be a requirement...maybe even Scott Shields and Figgins? I'm not sure what the Angels have in the minors but if they need a bat behind Vlad that badly, maybe they'd part with another arm.

However, I think guys like Tejada and Manny will be on their radar as well.

49 Lost in your logic is that we're talking about the New York Yankees -- a team that has seen it's share of offensive superstars over the years.

If you're any team other than the Yanks, then having a 3B that hits 35 HRs, drives in 121 RBIs and puts butts in the seats is great. You're essentially talking about the 3B version of Derrek Lee for the Cubs.

But the Yanks don't NEED that. They NEED a player who will perform consistantly under the brights lights of NYC and, more importantly, bring a ring home.

Arod is not that man.

2006-10-09 09:39:10
66.   JL25and3
54 What he did was this: he never panicked, never lost his cool. When the injuries came he made a plan, he stuck to it, he gave it several chances - and if it didn't work he tweaked it slightly and then stuck with that.

That gave a youngsters and scrubs the chance to play without fearing that a bad game or two would get them sent down or released. And he did that despite the pressure from fans, media and front office, and he spared 24 of his players from that pressure. (I'm not happy with how he, or Jeter, handled the ARod affair.)

The Yankees were 3 or 4 games back in midsummer, but you talk as if that were a mediocre showing. It was remarkable that the ragged-ass team he was throwing out there was able to stay that close.

2006-10-09 09:42:47
67.   Harley
Alvaro..

Fair enuf. You're absolutely right to say that A-Rod's fragile psyche is his own problem. Tho', of course, it's the team's problem too.

I'm just trying to figure out a way to solve that. If a trade is the best solution? Then so be it. But I'm not taking anything off the table -- therapy! massage! Jeter! -- is necessary when trying to find one.

2006-10-09 09:43:50
68.   unpopster
64 "What are the chances of getting significant value back [for Arod]?"

WOW! It's not as if Arod had a significant injury in '06 or hit only 15 HRs with 75 RBIs...no one is saying that Arod's game has dropped off. All we're saying is that he is not the right fit in New York. But Arod is still one of the 5 best offensive players in the MLB. His value is still HUUUGE! Just not for the Yanks.

I think as long as Texas still pays their share of his contract and the Yanks eat some of their share, there will be a half dozen of suitors for Arod. In cities like Anaheim, LA, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, etc. he will shine outside of the big lights of the NY-Boston-Philly media dogs.

2006-10-09 09:48:03
69.   randym77
64 Yeah, I find it hard to blame Jeter. (And no, I'm not a 14-year-old girl.) A-Rod had trouble getting along with his teammates in Texas, too, so you gotta figure if there's a problem, it's with him, not with Jeter.

66 "That gave a youngsters and scrubs the chance to play without fearing that a bad game or two would get them sent down or released."

I'm not sure I can agree with that. Melky got that chance, but the others didn't. Torre was supposed to platoon Bernie and Bubba, and then Bernie and Guiel; instead, it was more or less all-Bernie, all the time. And I think the reason Andy Phillips became such a hacker was that he feared being DFA'd if he didn't hit.

2006-10-09 09:52:05
70.   Peter
All this talk about trading Arod is ridiculous. He had one "bad" year. He's a first ballot HOFer one year removed from an MVP season. And thanks to the Rangers picking up part of his salary, the Yanks have him (relatively speaking) cheap.

Ervin Santana? He's got only 2 years of experience and a 4.42 ERA. How is that fair value? Johan Santana is more like it, but you simply don't trade Arod. The Yankees will regret it.

2006-10-09 10:00:31
71.   pistolpete
69 Seems like Melky only got his shot because, like Cano, we had no other viable options. We couldn't throw money at the problem, and I suppose there weren't any more Tony Womacks or Aaron Guiels on the scrap heap to plug in.
2006-10-09 10:01:07
72.   JL25and3
69 If Phillips thought that, it's not Torre's fault. Torre put him out there, and put him out there, and put him out there. When he didn't hit, Torre kept playing him. I don't know what more a kid could ask.

I thought Bubba got plenty of chances as well - maybe not as many, because it's been clear for a long time that Bubba isn't much of a player. He'd proven himself already.

2006-10-09 10:01:40
73.   pistolpete
70 I often wonder that if you put A-Rod on the 98 team, would he still be a 'distraction' - or is it simply the general malaise of the current squad that LETS it become a distraction?
2006-10-09 10:02:54
74.   pistolpete
72 But Philips always had Giambi looming behind him - Melky was basically filling a position for a guy who might not have been back this season.
2006-10-09 10:05:08
75.   Jim Dean
Anyone else remember 1995? The Yanks lost a very disappointing division series, the manager was fired, while the one difference maker was left to 'develop' in the minors. In 1996 Cap'n Jeter made his appearance and the rest they say is history.

Cut to 2006. They lose a very disappointing division series, (the manager is fired), while the one difference maker was left to 'develop' in the minors. Will it be any surprise when Phil Huge takes the league by storm next year?

Anyone else see a Huge Wang led rotation regaining a certain magic next year? No matter who the manager is, I honestly don't feel bad. The future looks bright and when the Yanks start smelling the roses in their farm, all starts to look good again.

2006-10-09 10:06:23
76.   pistolpete
75 >> Anyone else see a Huge Wang >>

Hey, thanks for noticin'....

2006-10-09 10:11:04
77.   Alvaro Espinoza
68 You misread me a bit. My concern has nothing to do with A-rod's "stock dropping". It was based on the ability of a team to receive back "fair" value for a superstar w/ a superstar contract. Can't think of a good example right now, maybe Wayne Gretzky being traded by the Oilers. The point being that it's tough to get back fair value when trading a superstar. Therefore, it's likely best to hold onto him. Anyone else have examples?
2006-10-09 10:11:24
78.   vockins
64 I blame Jeter for nothing. I blame Torre for making the majority of the team doubt whether or not they have a place on it.
2006-10-09 10:12:08
79.   randym77
74 Yeah. I think Melky was lucky, too. He had a horrible June. Many here were demanding he be benched. And I think he might have been, if Joe had other options. Bubba was hitting better than Melky, both BA and SLG...but then he went down for a month with that hamstring injury. If that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be surprised if Joe put Bubba in and sent Melky back to Columbus.
2006-10-09 10:13:12
80.   David
69 I think you have hit the nail on the head. Actually, I think Torre's favortism toward Bernie has been harming the team for several years. Remember when Torre refused to use Kenny Lofton? Loften may have been a bad influence in the clubhouse, but he was a significantly better hitter and a better fielder than Bernie.

I suspect that Torre's love for Bernie may have been a factor in the Yanks' terrible decision not to sign Carlos Beltran.

And, as Randy pointed out, this year Bernie somewhat stood in the way of finding out how good the young players could be. If not for Matsui's and Sheffield's injuries, nobody would know that Melky is a competent major league outfielder. Maybe Kevin Thompson is equally good, but we never got a chance to find out.

2006-10-09 10:16:19
81.   Jim Dean
I don't think any other explanation for the 2006 Yanks fits other than: It's the pitching, stupid.

Shoot, it was the exact same rotation that lost in 2005. Is it really any wonder they lost? The GM did nothing to upgrade the rotation. Everything else got them a division title.

Moose hands that 3-1 lead to Mo and it's a different series.

Phil Huge also would have been a difference maker in comparison to Unit, Wright, and Lidle.

2006-10-09 10:21:30
82.   randym77
81 I think he tried to address the pitching. It just didn't work out. Who knew that Pavano would fall on his butt trying to field a bunt and be out for the entire season? And they didn't expect both Small and Chacon to implode. Perhaps they were over-optimistic about Dotel, though.

I don't think Hughes is ready for prime time. He bombed in the Futures game, remember?

2006-10-09 10:29:57
83.   Jim Dean
82 Randy - is there any doubt in 2007 that we'll be talking about Phil Huge as ROY contender or that he'll be starting a Game 4 in the post-season? The Futures games was what one or two innings?

The kid was unhittable for the last three months in AA. Those were wasted innings. My analogy is Jeter in 1995 - he would have made a difference to that team then even as everyone was saying he wasn't ready. What difference did the winter make? He was sure as heck ready when Tony went down.

2006-10-09 10:31:50
84.   Harley
Mike and the Mad Dog pretty entertaining. Nothing in recent memory has annoyed Mike more than Kenny Rogers. Yep. Me too. That was a hard game to watch.
2006-10-09 10:33:33
85.   The Mick 536
Michegas. Craziness.

Micheguner. Lunatic.

Michegainer. The team from Detroit that is headed for the Series.

2006-10-09 10:33:58
86.   pistolpete
84 No way in hell I listen to that show at all for the next 3 months.
2006-10-09 10:34:11
87.   Jim Dean
82 And Randy - counting on Pavano and Small and Chacon after 2005 was not upgrading the rotation in any way. They got outpitched in 2005. They got out pitched in 2006. Now, maybe there weren't solutions available for a decent price but any decent baseball person with an internet connection could have figured out that Pavano, Chacon, and Small were not going to help the team in October. If the goal was to win in October, the pitching at the beginning and end of the year wasn't going to do it, esp. since it didn't do it in 2005.
2006-10-09 10:35:29
88.   randym77
83 Yes, I think there's doubt. Cashman is still saying Hughes will be a September callup next year. Maybe they'll move that up some...but I wouldn't count on it. He seems pretty determined not to rush the kid.
2006-10-09 10:35:41
89.   yankaholic
In order of priority.. i think we fix our rotation and then our bullpen..

my 2 cents on Torre.. i firmly believe its long overdue..

he is a gerat personnel manager.. no doubt.. but i am sure many of u also were surprised he survived 04..

i think looking at the last 10 years.. he has a great record..

looking at the last 6.. he has been a Bobby Cox super-size..

i am a big ARod fan.. but.. Ervin Santana + Wood/Kendrick for Arod will tempt me too..

2006-10-09 10:37:19
90.   Start Spreading the News
This sort of makes sense:
Trade Jeter!

http://tinyurl.com/fu666

2006-10-09 10:39:09
91.   dzzrtRatt
The Yankees will turn themselves inside out over this playoff loss like they did after 1981, and, if they do, it will lead to a long, bleak period.

If Steinbrenner were a real leader, he'd leave Torre, A-Rod and Jeter right where they are and force them to make it work. Then he'd go out and try to sign or trade for starting pitchers under the age of 35 because that's why the Yankees flopped.

Billy Beane is quoted as saying "My ^^^^ don't work in the playoffs." Well, no one's does with any reliability. The playoffs are an extremely fun tournament, but the way it's set up now, the best team rarely wins. Torre's success from '96-'00 was part talent, part luck and part leadership. His consistent division wins from '96 - '06 is the better indicator of his skills.

I'm no Yankee fan, but this team proved itself to be the best or at worst second-best team in the majors over the regular season, and that should not be forgotten.

2006-10-09 10:39:18
92.   Harley
pistolpete..

I dunno. It's sorta like going to a wake with cranky friends. Let the healing process begin!

2006-10-09 10:39:24
93.   pistolpete
90 No, it doesn't.
2006-10-09 10:41:22
95.   KJC
"http://tinyurl.com/fu666"

I assumed that URL was a joke...

2006-10-09 10:42:24
96.   claybeez
If we do decide to deal A-Rod or Giambi I don't think we should limit ourselves to this much mentioned Shields/Ervin Santana/Figgins deal. We need to be creative and astute in our player assessments. As has been mentioned many times Figgins was less than brilliant this year. E. Santana is inconsistent, trading off solid starts which principally come at home for very mediocre ones. I don't believe he's considered a top-tier young talent and top-tier seems to be what many feel we are missing.

The Angels do have some other pieces in Nick Adenhart a talented young pitcher who had a great comeback season after surgery and a catcher from Australia names Mike Collins. Collins is more of a line drive hitter, but may develop power. Including younger players like these with solid to great upside should be a must.

We should also consider dealing with KC. They have 2 of the top hitting prospects in the game and a logjam at 3rd base. So, you say, we can't deal A-Rod or any of our star players to KC straight up for finanacial reasons among others. Well, why not try and broker a 3 team deal in which we get pitching from one team and then Teahen and Billy Butler or Huber from KC. KC has to find room for Minor League Player of the Year Alex Gordon. I'd gladly take Teahen off their hands. Butler is an elite hitting prospect, though supposedly not much of a fielder. And Huber is blocked at 1st, intentionally, after the pickup of Ryan Shealy.

Basically, all of this was written to say if we think out of the box we could get serious value for one of our elite players if that's the direction the FO decides to go. We get younger while stocking the farm system with top talent.

Lastly, why not pick up Sheff's option if we can work out a deal for him? Yeah, he's made threats about what would happen if traded. Oh, well. He'd just have to get over it.

2006-10-09 10:46:31
97.   Count Zero
71 You left out Terrence Long. :-D

74 I'm guessing the '98 team would have put him to great use.

And I still think you guys are insane even considering trading A-Rod to the one AL team that habitually owns us both in the regular season and postseason. Ervin Santana is not even close to being equal to A-Rod. As someone else pointed out, Johan Santana maybe...Ervin Santana, not in a million years. A righty, who in 2006 had a 5.95 road ERA, had a combined 4.68 after the break, gave up 13 HRs in 88.1 road innings -- this is what you think A-Rod is worth? Yeah...he's like at least a #4 starter right now, and who knows? He could turn into a #3 starter for the Yankees. LOL -- good thing you guys don't have Cashman's job.

I'll go on record right now as saying, if you trade A-Rod to the Angels, you will live to regret it many, many times. Jay Buhner will look like a brilliant move by comparison.

2006-10-09 10:46:55
98.   yankaholic
96 sheff wont compose that tune this yr.. if he desires that one LAST big deal..
2006-10-09 10:46:59
99.   Andre
It's all about the pressure -

Why do these guys choke in the post season? I think it's because they can't live up to the hype and expectations.

How do you motivate an all-star to play? You can't really give a motivational speech because these guys are supposed to be the best in the game. Can't play the underdog card, or the lack of respect card. What can you do? Each year they come in prohibitive favorites to win it all, and each year they fall to the underdog. In 98, although they were no longer the underdog, they still had the swagger of the underdog because the personnel was largely the same (with better pitching). In 2000, same thing, although they were starting to push the envelope. By 2001, they had started bringing in the hired guns and ramping up payroll and they lost the formula that started the run.

The guys that really made an impact this year were mostly younger, cheaper guys without any expectations. No one expected Melky, Cano or Wang to be better than the other all stars so they could just play and have fun (the exception being Abreu, although you could argue that he was trying to overcome the bad image he had been cast with in Philly). ARod, Sheff, Giambi, Damon, RJ, Mussina are supposed to win. If they do, they should, and if they don't, they're a bust. That's some serious pressure.

2006-10-09 10:47:28
100.   smingers
One of the many articles I've read today mentioned something about the White Sox, who have an elite 3B prospect, Fields, I think his name is, and a surplus of young, power arms.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-09 10:53:09
101.   yankaholic
100 imagine a lineup of Konerko-Thome-Dye-Arod

that cud be the really great lineup

2006-10-09 10:55:27
102.   Schteeve
84 I'm with the Mad Dog. If this had been the NLDS Rogers would have gotten one in the ear for all the barking he was doing on the mound.
2006-10-09 10:56:55
103.   Schteeve
81 It's not the pitching when your "Murder's Row" doesn't score ONE SINGLE RUN for TWENTY CONSECUTIVE INNINGS!!!!
2006-10-09 10:57:19
104.   unpopster
100 isn't Jermaine Dye a FA? If he doesn't re-sign with the ChiSox, then they'll be needing a power hitter in the 4 or 5 spot. Plus, the Chisox have been talking about trading either Freddie Garcia or Garland to make room for McCarthy to move into their rotation.

But, somehow I find it hard to belive that the Yanks and ChiSox would make a trade. Has Kenny Williams ever made a trade with the Yanks?

I still think Arod to the 'Stros might be the right move for both teams, though I have no idea who they have to give up? How bout Arod for Brad Lidge, Morgan Ensberg, and a stud minor leaguer?

2006-10-09 10:59:14
105.   bobtaco
Matsuzaka/Wang/Hughes/Elite 1-2 Starter for Arod. That is a strong rotation.

Get another 3rd baseman who doesn't necessarily hit 35 HRs but can hit line drives in the gaps consistently and has a good eye and plays good defense. Also one that isn't going to be a focus or distraction in the papers.

You will never get Arod's regular season production back, but I don't think you need it. Maybe there will be less lopsided blow outs, but maybe there will be more hits in close games in the clutch.

Kendrick looked really good to me this year. I would take him and Santana and Shields.

I don't think I would trade Arod for Willis unless he came with 2 more can't miss pitchers.

If you keep Arod and leave the team pretty much the way it is and only get one more top of the rotation starter (Zito - hopefully not, or Matsuzaka), and keep Arod I don't think the Yankees will do much better next year.

I think the worst possible scenario is Lou + Arod next year.

2006-10-09 10:59:25
106.   standuptriple
Let's not forget that Damon was the only source of "O" in game 2. That's not good. Actually I won't be listing all the things "not good" about that series because it would probably bog down the Toaster servers.
2006-10-09 11:00:36
107.   yankz
What the deuce has happened to the baseball world? Trade Jeter because he didn't treat Arod like a pansy? What next, trade Mo because he didn't start games to carry the pitching staff? Jeter is the one player we all know will never wear another uniform.
2006-10-09 11:01:17
108.   smingers
I do believe that Dye is FA. Not sure what the relationship between Kenny Williams and Cashman is like.
2006-10-09 11:03:15
109.   yankaholic
104 Arod for Brad Lidge, Morgan Ensberg, and a stud minor leaguer

-- wud b a very bad deal.. Lidge is melting under the Houston pressure.. and he no longer is the closer..

Ensburg is a shortstop right??

We had that Blockbuster.. Contreras Loaiza with Kenny Williams..

2006-10-09 11:03:16
110.   choirboyzgirl
I'm pretty sure that this article is a joke

http://tinyurl.com/fu666

That is the same author who wrote the "A-Rod Divison series speech" very funny read.

2006-10-09 11:04:51
111.   AbbyNormal821
Here's my editorial...if I'm repeating anything that's been discussed, my bad. This is just my personal feelings

1 - Don't know if this was mentioned with all the trade-A-Rod & bring Lou in talk, but I'm really wondering how, if they fire Torre, how it would affect the psyche of players like Jeter & Mo & Posada...this is the only manager they've ever known.

2 - The possible ousting of Torre is heartbreaking to me, because as a fan, I relate to him as the only manager I've know to help bring as much success to this team as he has. I think the villagers (media) going after the ogre in the forest (Torre) is unfair. (don't even get me started on Sheffield being a rat-bastard in USA Today)

3 - A-Rod...I'm torn. But clearly (and Mike & Mad Dog are discussing it right now on YES), it couldn't hurt to trade him. He's so, so, SO fucking talented, but obviously, his tenure in NY has been inconsistent at best (a modest '04, minus the ALCS glove slap on Arroyo, a phenominal '05 with MVP honors, and this years depressing, frustrating, head-game playing season).

4 - Jeter. Look, he's my favorite player because of the way he approaches the game, his instinct and physical prowess on the field. And even though I just said that perhaps A-Rod should be traded, at the same time I'm a little disappointed in the captain which is not easy to admit. Regardless of whatever personal issues you have with him, this guy was once a good friend of yours, you both came up in the ranks together, you both became super-successful. But more importantly - he is your teammate, and unless he runs over your momma with a Mack truck, you should drop the "Esquire article" grudge you have and BE HIS TEAMMATE. It has obviously created tension in the clubhouse. You have to be a captain both on the field AND in the clubhouse. You defend one (Giambi), you defend and support everyone!

5 - Lou Piniella. I dunno...I'm torn on this too. Would he be a positive force for the team or will his juvenile tirades and rants in the dugout drag everyone's attitude down with him? He didn't have much success if I remember correctly when he did manage the Yanks previously, what would change this time around? I like Lou, and so then again, and maybe giving this team a little bit of an ass-kicking could be just what they need, but then I go back to the heartbreak of not having Torre around.

6 - Pitching:
Moose - love ya, but you gotta go. I'd have a hell of a lot of respect for you that if you did stay, you'd take a salary cut though, you still got some arm on you.
Wright - gotta go, too much of a question mark and you ain't the pitcher you were in '97
Randy - you might last till the trade deadline next year...MIGHT
Lidle - thanks for filling in...buh-bye
Pavano...who? Oh yeah, didn't he pitch for us once or twice? OK Carl, going into your 3rd year...let's call this your '3 strikes you're out' year. I'll give you one more chance, but if you fuck up - you deserve to be strung up from the 59th Street bridge.
Proctor - you did more good than bad. I think you rest up this winter and come back and you could very well set yourself up for greatness next season.
Farnsy - go see a chiropractor and a therapist. See you next year.
Bruney - you're a tough beast, I'll keep you
Villone - mmm...not so much - see ya
Myers - take 'im or leave 'im.

I think an infusion of youth, combined with a watchful coach's eye and some positive reinformcement will prove fruitful for guys like Hughes, Karstens & Rasner (if the latter 2 are kept around).I think they
...oh yeah, and Wang is our #1 starter next year. Dude, you were amazing!

Like Bob Dylan says, the times they are a'changin'. I just hope it's for the good. I'm still a fan, I will always be a fan. I'm disappointed with the end of the Yanks' season, but I will go into next season with the same positive outlook as I did the beginning of this season.

Go Yanks in '07!!!

2006-10-09 11:04:54
112.   ny2
ensberg is 3b
2006-10-09 11:05:26
113.   choirboyzgirl
101- A-Rod and Guillen....that would be scary to live through (for all of baseball). LOL!!

But then again all the focus wouldn't be on Alex that's for sure.

2006-10-09 11:05:44
114.   yankaholic
107 the article was writen by Jim Caple.. he lines up behind Bill Simmons in the credible--impartial meter abt Yank news..

towards teh tail end of the article he literally ridicules how Jeter will still be good in other cities ( he wont.. we know)..

so print the article ... and trash it.. and clear ur cookies..

2006-10-09 11:07:05
115.   unpopster
109 Yes, Brad Lidge is not their closer and that is fine. We will have a guy named Mo closing out games next year. Lidge would move into the former-closer-as-setup-man role that Fransworth has and Godron had prior to him. Maybe if Lidge didn't have to close than he would shake off some of his issues and bolster of relief corp of Mariano-Lidge-Farnsworth-Proctor-Dotel-Myers.

Ensberg is the 'Stros 3B, but they also have Aubrey Huff at 3B. Enseberg would settle in as the Yankees 3B.

Add another tier 1 minor league arm and bat and we would have a nice trade for both teams.

2006-10-09 11:07:22
116.   Firebernie
The halcyon days in the Yankee clubhouse are over no matter who dies in the third act. If it's Torre, then the old guard, Jeter, Rivera et al who've already come out in support of the Manager, will have another grievance, not against Pinella, but against the player he's being brought in to coddle. If Torre survives and the Pinella candidacy dies, then A-Rod becomes even more of a pariah to the old guard --- the guy on whose behalf an unsuccessful plot against the king was hatched.
2006-10-09 11:08:24
117.   JL25and3
105 "Get another 3rd baseman who doesn't necessarily hit 35 HRs but can hit line drives in the gaps consistently and has a good eye and plays good defense." Whom did you have in mind? Guys who hit line drives in the gaps consistently don't grow on trees.

96 I really don't get the idea of signing Sheffield to trade him. You'd better have one hell of an ironclad deal worked out before you do that. As for "he'd just have to get over it," well, I think you underestimate him. The main thing is that, if I were another team, I'd think twice about trading for Sheffield if he didn't want it.

2006-10-09 11:10:43
118.   smingers
Does anyone know the rule on FA draft pick compensation? If we let Sheff leave, do we get picks from whichever team signs him?
2006-10-09 11:14:27
119.   yankaholic
115 my bad.. i thought he was SS..

dont u think even is a stud Minor leaguer is part of the deal... arent we getting less

with us more than likely not resigning Sheff.. we need to supplant the RBIs..

i will be inclined if that deal were for a starting pitcher (good one)..

arent the Dodgers supposed to be having a truck load of talent.. we shud ask them i think..

2006-10-09 11:14:57
120.   yankaholic
118 i read somewhere today.. since we are declining his option.. no picks for us
2006-10-09 11:16:24
121.   standuptriple
118 I thought I saw that provision taken out of the CBA or something like a date passed that it wasn't going to remain. It could be for 2007 though. But yeah, I'm interested in what they could get if/when Sheff leaves.
2006-10-09 11:19:37
122.   JL25and3
118 No, no one knows the rule now, because -as far as I know - there is no rule. I think the old Basic Agreement expires at the end of the season, and they haven't unveiled a new one (negotiations have been hush-hush). They may well agree to continue under the terms of the old agreement, but that hasn't been announced, either.

Under the old rules, the Yankees could get compensation only if they offered arbitration and Sheffield declined. That's always a risky move. Then compensations is based on the player's ranking in their arcane ranking system. Since it's based on a 2-year average and Sheffield missed so much time this year, I suspect that they wouldn't get anything.

2006-10-09 11:22:46
123.   smingers
That's too bad. We could use an infusion of high picks. A couple of a major league-ready college arms, even with a lower ceiling than the top HS school kids, could make an immediate difference.
2006-10-09 11:26:26
124.   JL25and3
120 That may well also be true. Declining his option is probably tantamount to releasing him, but with a payoff.
2006-10-09 11:27:48
125.   smingers
Here's what Buster Olney just had to say about Arod in his ESPN.com chat:

Anthony, CT: Whats the best the Yankees can get for A-Rod? Any Blockbusters?

SportsNation Buster Olney: (2:23 PM ET ) Anthony: They can get a whole lot, because of what his place on the market will be. This off-season, Alfonso Soriano might get $80 million, and Carlos Lee might get $75 million. There's going to be a ton of money spent on what is widely considered to be a mediocre free agent market. And now the Yankees might dangle a 31-year-old future Hall of Famer with Gold Glove caliber skills at shortstop -- and oh by the way, your obligation is only $64 million over four years (which is the Yankees' portion of his salary; the Rangers pay the rest). I'd bet anywhere from 8 to 10 teams would be involved in the talks, because in another situation, with another team, he may very well go back to being A-Rod, and he might break the all-time home run record in your uniform. I think he'd have tremendous value, and it would actually help the Yankees address pitching needs.

2006-10-09 11:29:20
126.   smingers
If Buster's right, I think we'd be crazy to not at least explore our trade options. Seems we all agree that pitching is the problem. Arod could be the solution to that problem.
2006-10-09 11:31:59
127.   Chyll Will
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts (w/apologies to those of such descent)...

I dunno what to think if all these teams start lining up with what appears to be their best cogs in order to get what appears to be our worst.

After all, we're talking about Baseball extremes in terms of environment where at each stop, A-Rod has failed to produce the desired result and has left nothing but frustration and dismay in his wake. I don't think A-Rod would have been such an issue in baseball had he stayed in Seattle, but the Yankees already tried that change-of-environment routine, why would it work anywhere else? You would think he was channelling Ty Cobb the way players and fans talk about him. "Gosh, he's got major head trauma, but I sure wouldn't mind having him in our lineup."

Meanwhile Seattle and Texas are both shaking their heads and muttering, "you get what you deserve." Let me throw this little novelty out there: perhaps for the good of the team, and the game in general, A-Rod should do a Sandy Koufax and retire at the height of his game.

That way, we can all preserve the memory of the would-be greatest player in all basbeball as a troubled, misunderstood underachiever in the playoffs, but a monster of regular season regale. And his greatest contribution to basbeball is that he wouldn't be shifted around, destroying franchises with his mere presence and building dynasties in his aftermath. He would honor the pastime by relieving all major league players of the angst that is associated with being his teammate.

And the masses would rejoice and love him for eternity.

2006-10-09 11:32:32
128.   yankaholic
If Torre is fired.. i would like us to consider Ron gardenhire too.. i donno the contract terms he has woth Minny.. i sure think he is a good manager
2006-10-09 11:37:02
129.   marc
with all nonsense being written here I guess we won game one with dumb luck and would have won by 20 more runs if Melke was in and Sheff and Torre weren't around. To me it's just a lot of hindsight bullshit. The notion we shouldn't have played Matsui or Sheff after thy returned and showed they could hit is absurd. Sheff also showed he can field 1st base and just needs some more experience. He frankly throws to second etc. better than Giambi. I'm going to go against the prevailing wisdom and predict Torre will be back for the final year on his contract. I've heard at least player say they hated playing for Pinella much more than even Bowa. Joe happens to still be right for this team at this time and then he can be kicked upstairs somewhere after next year. If A-Rod gets moved the Yankees will rue the day and be haunted by being clobbered in the playoffs by the Angels or whatever AL team he might end up with. Similarly that's why Torre likely won't be dumped this year before his contract runs out but I'm obviously out on a limb with that prediction. If Hughes goes next year and is good then we need one or two more pitchers in addition to Wang.

We had one great pitcher and one great pitching performance so we won one game. The other games we were oumatched by Detroit pitching. We had to win game 2 at home and we failed

2006-10-09 11:43:53
130.   vockins
128 Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I think.
2006-10-09 11:44:10
131.   caseybarker
119 Yeah, trade A-rod to the Dodgers. We'll win the world series. Plus, LA is where he's always wanted to be.
2006-10-09 11:45:42
132.   Schteeve
129 So what should the Yankees do then, stick with a team that made Kenny Motherf'n Rogers, and Jeremy Bonderman look like Cy Young and Walter Johnson???
2006-10-09 11:49:43
133.   JeterChrist
123 They could still get that sort of thing, but it would involve trading some players we have under short term contracts, and picking up some/most/all? of their salaries.

The following players come to mind. Sheffield, Mussina, Wright, Pavano, Johnson. Sure its a lot of salary to pick up, but, you're paying it anyway, and they're basically going to be taking up roster spots, with the exception of Mussina and Sheffield (whom you could just let go). All of that said, I have absolutely no clue what their no-trade status' is.

2006-10-09 11:49:53
134.   Bags
right or wrong, i think joe dodges this bullet.

here's why. yankee FO options are as follows:

a. fire joe; hire lou
b. fire joe; hire somebody other than lou
c. keep joe; trade a-rod
d. keep joe; keep a-rod

i can't see george hiring anyone other than lou. so B is out.

And can you imagine how you make jeter and mo feel if you hire lou (a-rod's guy)? i think A is out. i think the FO will put this together.

so you are down to C and D.

personally i think they'd be bonkers to trade a-rod. and that we'll live to regret it. we'll just never get fair market value.

but i think the answer is going to be c.

(i suppose there are other scnenarios whereby you fire joe AND trade a-rod, but all that just seems to extreme.)

2006-10-09 11:50:57
135.   caseybarker
Add another $25 million to the payroll.
2006-10-09 11:51:39
136.   JL25and3
It really doesn't matter how many teams are interested in ARod. It all depends on how many teams ARod is willing to be traded to. Someone asked before, why don't the Yankees look into dealing with Kansas City? Because ARod isn't going to KC, no way, no how. He's not going to Houston, either, and I doubt he'd go to the Cubs.

I doubt he'll agree to go anywhere. If he does, he'd have to do it so that it saved his image, not tarnished it further. If I were advising ARod, I'd tell him not to consider anything that wasn't to a major market, major headline team that's poised to win. Mets won't be interested, not with Reyes and Wright. To my way of thinking, that would leave Boston (which is a major market in baseball) and the two LA teams. (I still don't see the White Sox as a marquee team.) The Yankees won't deal with the Red Sox, so that leaves - at most - the two LA teams. All of a sudden the bidding war isn't quite so intense...

I still say they'd be crazy to trade him.

2006-10-09 11:54:03
137.   monkeypants
111 "3 - A-Rod...I'm torn. But clearly (and Mike & Mad Dog are discussing it right now on YES), it couldn't hurt to trade him. He's so, so, SO fucking talented, but obviously, his tenure in NY has been inconsistent at best (a modest '04, minus the ALCS glove slap on Arroyo, a phenominal '05 with MVP honors, and this years depressing, frustrating, head-game playing season)."

A-Rod's modest 2004: .286/.375/.512 (OPS+ 133)
A-Rod's depressing 2006: .290/.392/.523 (OPS+ 140)

His inconsistent three year tenure: arguable the best three seasons by a Yankee thirdbaseman EVER (look it up--if you find a better three from anyone, Nettles included, I'll retract the statement).

Congatulations BronxBanter, this thread and last have achieved an all time low in logic and rational analysis. This is no better than Jim Rome barking about players 'getting it' or John Kruk shouting bullshit about 'heart' or 'grinding it' or 'playing the game the right way.'

If you want to get mad at aplayer who didn't fit in NY, then bitch about Tony Womack, not a player with a combined .900+ OPS for three years. Oh wait, Womack had a 'clutch' hit against Mo', so he must have heart, moxy, play the game right, intangibles, and all that jazz.

Unbelievable.

2006-10-09 11:56:53
138.   JL25and3
133 Pavano and Johnson have no-trade clauses. So does Mussina, if you pick up his option. Sheffield and Wright both have options, but don't have no-trade clauses. I think it's bad business to pick up an option unless you want to keep the guy, because you may well be stuck with him.
2006-10-09 11:58:11
139.   JeterChrist
129 Not exactly. In game 2, we led 3-1. Without going back to each and every start of the Mussina era with the exception of the flip game, was their much doubt he was going to slowly give that lead back? Tactically managing a pitching staff is perhaps the worst characteristic Torre has, and this spot was EXACTLY the point where the series was lost. Even after the Tigers tied it at 3. Mussina should have been pulled. Thames had owned him all day, and he proved to be the winning run. Zumaya was waiting in the wings, game over. Then, he starts jerking the lineup around, sitting Sheffield vs a lefty, and Giambi vs. a righty, and moving A-Rod to 8th. You can point out how the lineup got mowed down in 3 and 4, or how the pitching failed us in game 4, but Joe managed another series to lose, basically punting on 4th and 1 in the other teams territory.
2006-10-09 11:58:51
140.   JL25and3
137 Thanks for putting it back into perspective. I can't believe I've even been sucked into the argument at all. You're right, ARod's "disappointing" performance still leaves him as the best Yankee third baseman ever. Even to think of trading him is nonsense.
2006-10-09 12:01:29
141.   JeterChrist
137 I agree with this, and I think he should only be traded if its the proverbial, "offer you can't refuse". I also think that it would be wise for the hitting coach, GM, and manager to pull videos on Alex's at-bats, and see for themselves whether the rumor that he can't catch up to a dialed up fastball up in the zone (the type of pitch you tend to see in playoff baseball, with better pitchers, and better advanced scouting) are true.
2006-10-09 12:02:20
142.   marc
132 Yes, they should stick with a team that lost to those pitchers. It's not like these were horrible pitchers. Roger's was recently pitching great and we know Bonderman can be one of the great pitchers if he's on. We only have one great pitcher right now and that's Wang. Moose is still good but not consistently great. We knew RJ was a crap shoot going into the series and Wright is usually more sucky than good. I still think that line-up was the greatest and all we need is to shore up our pitching. Why is it that the best teams in each league lose 60 games or more a year? It's just probability and a 3 game series makes it a complete crap shoot where great pitching is your only solid edge.
2006-10-09 12:07:53
143.   AbbyNormal821
137
"Congatulations BronxBanter, this thread and last have achieved an all time low in logic and rational analysis."

Monkey - I'm not an expert and what I posted, i never claimed to be was just my personal opinion. I'm not a baseball savant, or a stats genius by ANY stretch - a lot of this stuff is all a learning process for me because I want to learn about the game, stats and all. I don't know what the experts or anyone else here considers good or bad #'s, but perhaps what I should have said regarding A-Rod, in my opinion should have been more to do with A-Rod, the man, the teammate, the personality on the team rather than the #'s he put up. That's what I was trying to get across.

I don't know if what I quoted you saying was directed only at me, but I'm sorry if you feel my thoughts were naive and irrational.

2006-10-09 12:08:41
144.   marc
why don't they deal A-Rod to fund No NO Nanette
2006-10-09 12:09:47
145.   wsporter
137 Word MonkeyP. Word.
2006-10-09 12:10:24
146.   weeping for brunnhilde
140 Why is it nonsense? Doesn't it depend on what we could get in return?

It's like the MVP debate: is a player's value determined objectively, according to the stats, or is it determined according to his particular value in the context in which he's put?

His numbers are great, fine, but the real question is, do his numbers help the team to win more than something else does.

A good team has balance and the question, to me, is whether or not Rodriguez provides balance, harmonizes with the rest of the team or whether he brings you something that's spectacular though not essential.

What was the value of Dave Roberts to the Red Sox in 2004? Would they have been better off with a bench player with better numbers?

I absolutely do not want to pile on Arod or anything, but I do think that just pointing to the stats is a one-dimensional way of assessing his value in the team's efforts to win.

If I could trade him for pitching, for instance, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Why is that nonsense?

2006-10-09 12:11:16
147.   smingers
137 There's a big difference between saying Arod should be run out of town on a rail and saying that it's not crazy to investigate what kind of pitching he could bring in return, which is how myself and many other people on this thread are approaching it.

Saying that Arod remains one of the best players in baseball and has been tremendously productive as a Yankee AND saying the team needs pitching more than anything and Arod could be our best chip to acquire that pitching are not mutually exclusive.

You may not agree that the Yanks could get a sufficient return for Arod. And you might be right. Bags 134 and JL25and3 136 made this point quite reasonably. Take a lesson and ditch the Coulter/Hannity approach of making your point by shouting the loudest or insulting people who don't share your viewpoint. It's when you do that that you bring the Banter down to "an all time low."

2006-10-09 12:13:44
148.   LI yankee
I honestly think that what everyone is calling for is too extreme. I was confident in this team and it just didn't work out, and I think luck had more to do with it than anything. Rogers and Bonderman pitched the game of their lives, and for 2 games the Yanks couldn't do squat. The regular season was a success on all levels, even with the A-Rod hoopla. A-Rod should not be traded and Torre should not be fired. We just need pitching. If Moose was able to hold that lead, we'd be previewing the ALCS right now. I don't see why big changes need to be made when they won 97 games.
2006-10-09 12:13:55
149.   mehmattski
137 No one is indespensible. Not even Jeter. Would you listen if the Cardinals wanted him (Jeter, A-Rod, anyone) for Pujols? Miguel Cabrera? Johan Santana?

Yes, there are a lot of A-Rod Haters out there. I am not one of them, I appreciate what he's brought to this team. But to look at things from the perspective of winning in the long term, I think it's unfair to say that we're all a bunch of illogical fanboys or something for even considering it.

Look, we have this player that will put up some of the most ridiculous stat lines in the history of baseball. But we have a team that is not winning, and a lineup full of similar hitters. If you could take one of those hitters and spin him off for four, five, even six players who are younger, cheaper, and ready to make an impact, wouldn't you do it? I don't think many here wants the Yankees to make an Abreu-type salary dump. I agree that you cannot get equal value, except maybe Cabrera or Pujols. But there is much more to be gained from a trade such as this than tallied statistics. Payroll flexibility. Depth. Younger pitching. No more A-Rodfests on every sports network. If the right deal comes along, I'd do it. And I don't think that makes me illogical at all.

There are legitimate points going on here, but all you can muster is a stat line and sarcasm-- which is great and all, but it's no way to run a baseball team.

2006-10-09 12:14:06
150.   smingers
No one's saying trade Arod for a bunch of "gritty" (i.e. crappy) role players. But if he could be traded for a stud power pitcher or two, then it's not nonsense to consider. Yes, we'd be losing the most productive 3B in the history of the franchise. But if he could bring us the pitching that could help us win in October so we don't have to trot out Unit, Wright, Lidle, etc., it could be worth it.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-10-09 12:15:11
151.   marc
137 monkeypants, great to see some reality and perspective on this board rather than knee-jerk emotional nonsense. I hope the brass is able to cool off and not turn a few losses into a long term decline
2006-10-09 12:16:31
152.   yankaholic
142 there is a problem with this lineup.. once we fot sheff n matsui back.. we got away from the moving guys over.. stealing bases team that helped us sustain their losses..

i was imagining sheff on the bench and Matsui as DH with Melky at LF..

and given the number of AB's that Cano had this yr and the form he was in we shud have went with cano batting ahead of Matsui....

and for all the abuse EDSP took.. i would have imagined he was the first guy comeing out of the pen not Lidle.. replacing Wright.. in game 4.. Lidle was good.. but every run counted given our anemic At-Bats

for all the talk abt how Mattingly-Torre had a plan of small ball.. i saw no evidence of it.. and with this lineup its hard.. pitching is our numebr one problem.. but the kind of hitters we have is also a problem..

so i would assume we shud consider getting younger in the lineup and the rotation..

2006-10-09 12:17:13
153.   smingers
148 I think a lot of people, me being one, think that this version of the Yankees is a team built for regular season success. We can beat up on mediocre and bad pitching, but when we get to the postseason and face better quality arms, we're not going to put up 8 runs every game. So we need to fall back on the strength of our own staff, which just isn't good enough right now.

I sort of feel like we're the Indy Colts or Dallas Mavericks of baseball right now. Teams that can cruise through the regular season, but aren't constructed to win in the playoffs.

2006-10-09 12:19:15
154.   weeping for brunnhilde
And more about chemistry. I don't know how to measure it but I do know that people are human beings, not androids.

When we first signed Arod, my thought was "but what about Jeter?"

I thought that bringing in someone who Jeter had issues with was a bad idea because it would introduce tension where there didn't need to be tension.

Especially over position.

Jeter's reputation as a team player was immediately challenged because Jeter should have graciously ceded his position to the better player. But he didn't, so instead Arod had to cope with the pressure of learning a new position and living in Jeter's shadow and whatever.

How much does this effect performance?

I don't know.

But I do know that when I'm stressed in my profession I perform less well than when I feel safe and happy.

People are human beings and we need to account for that.

To take an extreme case for the sake of argument, let's say that Arod had a history of tormenting Jeter in private life. Being really sadistic, demoralizing him in public.

If that were the case, I don't think it would be hard for people to see how Arod's presence might effect the team's chemistry, how the stress of having to play next to his tormentor might effect Jeter.

Now of course this wasn't the case, but my point is that it strikes me as bizarre to pretend that interpersonal relationships have no bearing on on field performance.

2006-10-09 12:21:47
155.   JL25and3
Sure, I'd listen to offers for ARod, just as I'd listen to offers for Jeter or Rivera or Philip Hughes. Then I'd politely decline them. And I wouldn't solicit offers for any of them.
2006-10-09 12:24:25
156.   ny2
154. Jeter was never going to cede his position it was never discussed with him ... arod had to come as a 3b ... it's not fair to say jeter didn't give up his position if he wasn't even asked (whether they should have approached him about it or not aside)
2006-10-09 12:25:20
157.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and as to the role players, I would definitely consider trading Arod for role players if they were good role players.

There was a spot in these games where Posada should have bunted. When was it? The ninth inning of game 2, maybe?

But Posada can't bunt, so he didn't.

Yet in that spot, a sacrifice bunt was what was called for and could have tied up the game.

I fervently belive that if you can assemble what I'll call a "bird-in-the-hand" team with good pitching and defense, you'll win.

In other words, a team that can manufacture runs with great reliability. That should be the game plan.

And when Hideki led off with that double whenever it was, there's no excuse not to score him.

So if I were running the team, I'd find the guys who most reliably move the runners, put the bat on the ball, hit the other way and up the middle, and never strike out.

But that's just me.

2006-10-09 12:27:07
158.   JeterChrist
148 I think Joe needs to go precisely because that lead wasn't held. Moose had only pitched into 7th once since July 30th and the leadoff guy in a tie game was someone that to that point had been hitting rockets off him. This is the type of thing a manager is supposed to look for. Sadly, no one was surprised that he was left in, so its overlooked. Because of the rainout the night before, they had Proctor, Bruney, Farnsworth, and Rivera available. Once game 2 was gone, momentum had completely turned, and there was your series. He gave a hungry young team heading home life, and came back to bite them.
2006-10-09 12:31:32
159.   weeping for brunnhilde
156 No, no, I know that. I'm saying that merely bringing Arod in under those circumstances created an issue where there didn't need to be an issue.

I'm not faulting Jeter, but it is true that, once Arod came in, the magnanimous thing to do would have been to say, "Look, he's a better shortstop than I am so, for the good of the team, I'll try my hand at third."

The point being, bringing Arod in immediatly created a subtext that could have been avoided.

Now of course, it's a cost-benefit thing. Maybe Arod's presence was/is worth the subtext and even the explicit drama, but I think it's intellectually dishonest to pretend that it can't possibly be a factor in the team's performance.

People are human.

Sort of like for managers, a large part of their job is to know their players well enough to put them in positions to succeed.

Part of doing that is knowing their fears and anxieties as well as their strengths.

You can't just pretend that each ballplayer is nothing more than his stats.

This isn't microleague baseball.

(Anyone remember microleague baseball?)

:)

2006-10-09 12:31:33
160.   Eirias
I was devastated by the Yankees' loss, as everyone else here has been. It took a long weekend, with the occasional imbibing of C2H60, or ethylated water, took get over the combined losses of the Yankees and the Jets.

However, I have made peace with this, coming to the realization that it is time for the HOT STOVE!

2006-10-09 12:32:41
161.   Eirias
I was devastated by the Yankees' loss, as everyone else here has been. It took a long weekend, with the occasional imbibing of C2H60, or ethylated water, took get over the combined losses of the Yankees and the Jets.

However, I have made peace with this, coming to the realization that it is time for the HOT STOVE!

2006-10-09 12:33:13
162.   JL25and3
146 The problem is, stats are really the only way we have to judge. Dave Roberts's value wasn't in his intangibles, it was in his ability to steal a base, and that's measurable. Besides, that's just one data point, and you go crazy if you try to judge players on individual data points.

If the team is out of balance, I wouldn't want to address it by trading the guy who hits for average, hits for power, takes walks, runs, throws, and (most of the time) fields. He's the most balanced player the team has.

One problem they have with the position players is too little flexibility, too many corner outfield-1b-DH types. Let Sheffield and Bernie go, and look for some bench players who have some flexibility and can actually play the game a little. That's another area where I think you have to look at stats more, not less - I don't care if Miguel Cairo has a belly full of guts, I'd much rather have someone who's got a bat full of hits.

2006-10-09 12:35:29
163.   Eirias
160,161 A double-post, wonderful. Just what I needed to make my day a little worse.
2006-10-09 12:35:59
164.   ny2
Lohud
Peter reports:
Day 2 continues here at the Stadium

Miguel Cairo checked in and - surprise! -- defended Joe. Nobody else has shown up.

Here are the latest rumors:

* Joe will talk to the media at the Stadium tomorrow.

* Steinbrenner is on his way to Florida.

* A-Rod just happened to walk by Steinbrenner's hotel today and apparently was tracked down by the media staking out the Boss.

* Cory Lidle called WFAN and claimed he was misquoted about saying the team wasn't prepared for Detroit. I was there, used the quotes and have them on tape. So do nine other writers. Good luck with whatever team you're on next season, Cory.

* I just spoke to Piniella's agent, who again denied any contact with the Yankees. But Alan Nero is the same guy who engineered Art Howe to the Mets and Piniella to the Rays in a span of 24 hours in 2002. He may not have talked directly to the Yankees but every team has go-betweens.

* If Steinbrenner does decide to fire Torre, watch for him to time the announcement so that it overshadows a Mets game. That is one of his old tricks.

* At one point there were like 50 media people here including ESPN. Now only the beat writers are left. All the foofs have flown the coop.

Back later if something develops. At least "Studio 60" is on tonight.

2006-10-09 12:36:18
165.   smingers
161 Bring it on! Here's too another offseason of Cashman making the right calls, whether that means keeping/firing Joe, keeping/trading Arod, or keeping/whacking Big Unit.
2006-10-09 12:39:23
166.   marc
I guess this team had such horrible chemistry that they tied for best record in baseball. Oh, but I forgot that chemical reactions only become important in the post-season. Give me a break. We lost 3 friggen games because we got way outpictced in them. These 5 game series are too much luck and chance and the only equalizer is pitching which we didn't have. It's also true to a slightly lessor extent in a seven game series. We lost in 2001 because we were up against a sharp RJ and Schilling. We have one dependable pitcher and that's Wang.
2006-10-09 12:40:41
167.   ChuckM
Oh man, if you think Torre is bad at game management, Gardenhire makes him look like Casey Stengel. Just ask Aaron Gleeman...
2006-10-09 12:42:03
168.   weeping for brunnhilde
162 I take your point, but I disagree that stats are the only way we can judge a player's value.

If you watch enough games closely enough, you see the value of players by watching how they respond in all sorts of different situations.

You can see which players make adjustments mid-game or even mid at-bat, and which don't.

You can see which ones fall to pieces in pressure situations and which don't.

You can feel it.

You're right, Arod is a fairly balanced player, but for my money, he's far too easy to get out in a big spot if you know what you're doing. He's an amazing hitter, yes, of course, but if you watch him closely enough, you see that he's much closer to being a mistake hitter than his stats indicate.

And yes, because he's so talented, the ball doesn't literally have to be right down the middle to be a mistake--he'll also often hit it out to right field when it's up and away--but the point is, I think there are hitters out there better able to hit good pitching than he is.

I see them on other teams--they're the ones who take those low-and-away nasty, nasty pitches and still manage to dunk or even line them to the opposite field. These are the guys best suited to neutralizing good pitching.

Of course they still might lose, but when I watch them, I feel a lot more confidence with them up in big spots than a guy like Arod.

And I am not knocking Arod, I'm just telling you what I see as I watch him play.

2006-10-09 12:43:34
169.   weeping for brunnhilde
166 Pitching, of course, but also a different style of hitting. Slap hitters are much better to have up against superior pitching, in my opinion.
2006-10-09 12:43:35
170.   mehmattski
My friend and I devised a game that may be useful for anyone lucky enough to have off on this Columbus Day:

Watch ESPN (doesn't matter which one, but the regular type during ATH/PTI/SC or ESPNews would be best) with a friend and a drink (perhaps of the 'ethylated water' type). Then, one person gets to be A-Rod, and the other gets to be TO, and you drink whenever your player is mentioned. When it's over, John Clayton and Eric Karrabel might start to look a little too good.

I think I may have stumbled on a solution: Trade A-Rod.... for TO. There would be sportswriters literally bursting into flames.

2006-10-09 12:44:54
171.   smingers
I wonder if Alex has fundamentally changed his approach at the plate. People who know far more about hitting than I do have said he has become a guess hitter, which makes him far too easy to get out when he doesn't get the pitch he's looking for.
2006-10-09 12:46:18
172.   weeping for brunnhilde
171 I don't know what kind of hitter he used to be, but yes, this is what I see these days.

He's really easy to get out if you know what you're doing and execute well.

2006-10-09 12:49:03
173.   Eirias
170 A-Rod for TO? Brilliant idea! Just make you drink ethylated water, not the methylated variety. It may be sweeter, but it isn't so good for the eyes.
2006-10-09 12:51:08
174.   JL25and3
168 I've watched lots and lots and lots of games for many many years. In fact, I've watched enough so I've learned not to trust my judgements too much when they're based on "feel." I watch the Yankees every day, so I can tell you strengths and weaknesses of every player. (Jeter still doesn't have much range to his left.) But a lot of judgments may also be based on illusion.

Bottom line is, if it were so easy to get ARod out, a lot more pitchers would be doing it a lot more often. And those other players, the ones who can handle those pitches off the plate - well, first of all, if they're not Yankees, I don't see them enough, really, to know. And second of all, I'll take the guy who just plain hits a lot better. Maybe there's one at-bat where he fights off a pitch that ARod swings at and misses - but ARod's got those extra 15 home runs, and they sure as hell help the team win games.

2006-10-09 12:51:26
175.   caseybarker
165 so there are players out there who excel at hitting excellent pitching but can't hit mediocre pitching?
2006-10-09 12:51:37
176.   JeterChrist
171 i.e. Playoff Pitchers.

I wouldn't say slap hitters are more sucessful, but I would say that "mistake" hitters are much less successful in the postseason. Again, I have no idea how much of a statistical analysis has been done on this, but i'd be interested to find out how much of a correlation can be drawn between success against the top 15-25 starters and top 15-25 relievers in the league, and success in the postseason. (Even that can be skewed a little, Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, and Cory Lidle were all postseason pitchers this year).

2006-10-09 12:52:04
177.   Schteeve
166 Yes we got out pitched, By Verlander, Rogers and Bonderman. And we didn't just get outpitched by a little, it wasn't like our bullpen blew a one run lead or something, we couldn't score runs for 20 innings, and when you have the lineup we had, that's outrageous. If Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Santana in their prime shut us down for 20 innings that would be one thing. But Kenny Rogers? Bonderman? I can forgive Zumaya and Verlander because they throw a million miles an hour, but the other guys? To completely dominate our lineup? It doesn't make a bit of sense. And the thing is, that it's happened to us for 3 years straight. Huge long offensive droughts. Opposing pitchers are gameplanning us. Evaluating a huge collective weakness, which I believe is some kind of passivity. And pitching to it. And in response, we have no answer for it. No change of approach. Nothing. Our hitters, our Murderer's Row, stands their, bats on shoulders and goes down without any overt challenge to what is happening to them.

Again, this wasn't the first series that this has happened. It's been going on for 3 years.

I don't think chemistry has anything to do with it, I don't think trading A-Rod is the right thing to do, I don't think firing Joe will change anything. But I believe that we are getting scouted to DEATH. And I don't get the impression that anyone in the Yankee organization has realized this.

I could be totally wrong about this hypothesis and I fully admit that, but It's the only thing I can get to make sense in my head.

2006-10-09 12:57:40
178.   Schteeve
177 To correct myself, I do think that firing Joe will change something, it will make this team almost unbearable to follow, because I believe that Pinella is a psychopath.
2006-10-09 12:59:10
179.   weeping for brunnhilde
174 You may be right about stats v. subjective observation. It's a fair point. I'm not willing to concede it altogether, but I do take your point.

Sometimes you know who can hit based on watching how they hit yesterday, or based on whether they're injured, etc.

In 2002, when Torre put Justice in the lineup over Spencer, it was clear that Justice had no chance of getting a hit; he was lost. That would be an example of stats being completely irrelevant.

But yes, I do take your point.

No, generally the guys I'm talking about aren't on the Yankees. I see them when I flip around (say, to Mets games) and I watch them hit pitches that look to me downright unhittable, presumably because the Yanks tend not to have guys who can hit them.

Plus, I see people hit such pitches against the Yanks and I never fail to be impressed when it happens.

Anyway, maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree.

2006-10-09 13:00:58
180.   Yankee Fan In Boston
177
i read somewhere yesterday (the post?) that bonderman said he had received a phone call from someone (he wouldn't say who) telling him how to pitch the yankee lineup.

if true, that might explain the drastic drop off in production... they changed their game plan against the yanks.

...which is not to say that that lineup should have been shut down to that extent by any stretch of the imagination, but if they were expecting the tigers to pitch to them as they had for the entire season, perhaps they were a little befuddled when verlander shut them down... then they tried to over compensate, change their game...

i am basing al of this on one article that may or may not have any basis... but if it actually went down that way, i wonder who that source was...

2006-10-09 13:00:59
181.   weeping for brunnhilde
175 Did I say excell?

What's with the sarcasm?

2006-10-09 13:01:34
182.   JeterChrist
178 I think they need to make a change there, but I completely agree that Pinella is absolutely NOT the guy to bring in. Girardi I'd be okay with, Bowa I could see. I think we need someone who can tactically take advantage of other teams' weaknesses while limiting our own. The reason I mention those names, is that they've been here, and the core of the championships might not be quite so offended by them, but it also might be precisely the thing that would keep them from even wanting the job, out of respect to Joe.
2006-10-09 13:02:00
183.   Schteeve
179 I don't think it's that the Yankees guys can't hit those pitches, I think it's that they flat out refuse to swing at borderline pitches. Especially early in the count.
2006-10-09 13:03:55
184.   weeping for brunnhilde
183 Fair enough.

So then the question becomes, are their some scenarios in which it's best to make adjustments and try to put those pitches in play.

2006-10-09 13:04:06
185.   Schteeve
180 I've seen speculation that the "Deep Throat" was Schilling which would work with my hypothesis, since the first time I remember this happening was against the Sox.

Throw strikes early in the count, stay out of "hitters counts" and don't throw fastballs unless you absolutley know they are sitting on a breaking ball.

2006-10-09 13:05:32
186.   weeping for brunnhilde
183 But it's also true that I'm not just talking about borderline pitches, but ones with a lot of action on them. Nasty stuff breaking down that I'd never expect anyone to hit I've seen players hit.

I think it's more about cutting down on your swing and perhaps even, god forbid, choking up!

2006-10-09 13:06:36
187.   Yankee Fan In Boston
185
that was my theory as well, but i was afraid that my time in enemy territory was playing tricks with my noggin.
2006-10-09 13:08:10
188.   Schteeve
184 I think so. I felt good that Melky and Cano who are far more agressive early in counts than Giambi and A-Rod, would help keep pitchers honest. But I was obviously wrong about Cano, and Melky had limited opportunities. Also Soriano was also of that ilk, but he didn't make a difference in the post season either. So I don't really know what the answer is.

I just thought that Damon and Cano and Melky would really be good to balance the sluggers like Giambi A-Rod and Sheff, i thought it would prevent teams from following the blueprint that worked the past two years. But I guess not.

2006-10-09 13:10:49
189.   Harley
Goldman nails it again.

Here - http://www.yesnetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061009&content_id=1411027&oid=36019&vkey=6

Money quote:

In the final analysis, it's the manager's job to get the most out of his players. Not only did Torre fail to do that with Rodriguez (not that Rodriguez needed all that much help), but he actively undermined him. Rodriguez is one of the best players in baseball, and certainly among the most talented. The Yankees organization has devoted major resources to obtaining and paying him. It is not for any manager, even a future Hall of Famer like Torre, to lightly throw that player away. Now, though, possibly as a parting gesture, Torre has put the Yankees in a difficult position. He's alienated Rodriguez from the team, or at minimum from the manager. Both cannot return.

Hate Rodriguez as much as you like. Dealing him almost certainly pushes the Yankees further away from their next pennant. The whole situation reeks of hypocrisy. We're still waiting for the 2005 article on Derek Jeter, the one where various Yankees call him a fraud because he's batting .261, all singles, with runners in scoring position, and the same thing close and late. Further let he who is without sin cast the first World Series ring, because Rodriguez has been with the team only three years, but the Yankees haven't won a championship in six.

2006-10-09 13:11:34
190.   caseybarker
181 I wasn't being sarcastic. If player A hits excellent pitching better than player B, he will also hit mediocre pitching better, and thus he will have "better" stats or results over a long period of time.

If player A is better than player B, there will be some metric or "stat" to measure how much better.

2006-10-09 13:12:38
191.   ChuckM
How are people afraid of Pinella coming in because of his "psycopathic" tendencies but are OK with Bowa? Did anyone pay attention to him in Philly?!

And I think throwing strikes early in the count is the mantra for any successful pitcher...

2006-10-09 13:12:52
192.   JL25and3
179 I think that when you base your judgments on the occasional Met game on TV, or on the few games that you see any player who's not in the AL East, you run a big risk of letting a good at-bat or two influence an overall judgment.

I think that, no matter how experienced we are at watching baseball games, we shouldn't ever overestimate our judgments of ballplayers, especially of "intangibles." Most of what a player does - and particularly the way a player thinks about the game - is generally far beyond our comprehension.

Maybe "intangibles" do exist - though I still may question their value if they don't show up in the tangibles, sooner or later, one way or another. But in any case, I don't think many of us are able to judge them anywhere near as well as we may think. (And I"m including myself in there.)

2006-10-09 13:14:34
193.   Schteeve
191 Especially if you know the hitters you're throwing them to, will almost NEVER swing at them.
2006-10-09 13:15:04
194.   weeping for brunnhilde
188 That's an interesting perspective. I love Melky and what he brings and wanted to see him in the lineup and want to see him start next year, but I never thought about it from that perspective. In other words, from the perspective of how he might influence the other pitcher's game plan and how he might, in a very real way, complement the other guys.

Sori almost did, of course. He golfed that ball over the fence in Game 7, don't forget.

I've always been ambivalent about him. I hate his strike outs and it made me ill to watching him flail at sliders off the plate in 2002, but still, I liked his aggressiveness, both at bat and on the bases.

Anyway, I like what you're saying because I think too often we get caught up looking at the stats as self-containted units without thinking about the subtler points about how different styles of ball coalesce to form an integrated team.

The way you put it, it's like a more sophisticated notion of protection.

I like that thinking.

2006-10-09 13:16:56
195.   Schteeve
191 also, i don't think Bowa should manage this team either. They should hire Dusty.
2006-10-09 13:18:44
196.   nycfan
The whole idea that A-Rod can't hit good pitching doesn't have a whole lot of evidence behind it.

.250/.368/.625 off Johan Santana
.444/.460/1.133 off Colon
.377/.400/.604 off Clemens

Has hit all the White Sox pitchers really well

Meanwhile, he's sucked against guys like Ryan Franklin and Eric Milton

2006-10-09 13:19:14
197.   Schteeve
194 Thanks, I've been obsessing over this idea for three years, and I haven't figured it out, but I think the answers lie somewhere along that road.

And I was kidding about Dusty. Ftr.

2006-10-09 13:22:25
198.   Yankee Fan In Boston
has anyone mentioned the possibility of girardi being brought in?

if torre had to go, joe for joe would be okay with me.

2006-10-09 13:22:45
199.   weeping for brunnhilde
190 Forgive me, I was being defensive. I sense a lot of sarcasm and bitterness around here sometimes, so I was on guard.

My apologies.

Now, as to your point. I'm by no means an expert, but I can see that consistency might be at work in that scenario.

Arod, for instance. His talent is so extraordinary that he'll dominate against mediocre pitching. But against excellent pitching, he needs more than raw talent (i.e., a perfect swing that knocks balls out that other guys just can't), he needs intelligence and ability to adjust, etc.

Now, a guy with less talent whose game revolves around seizing whatever advantage he can is practiced at that, so the gap between mediocre pitchers and poor ones might be less than with a guy like Arod.

So what you have is a guy who has less talent, so he won't hit out so many mistakes as Arod, but perhaps will more consistently put the bat on the ball. He'll do this reasonably well against the mediocre and the excellent alike, so his performance won't suddenly tail off, or won't tail off so precipitously when he's facing dominant pitching.

I don't know if this is tenable; I'm trying it out as a theory that seems intuitive to me based on what I see out of the players as I watch them play.

If I'm totally wrong here, fine, but it'll take some convincing before I believe I am.

Sorry again to jump down your throat.

:)

2006-10-09 13:23:56
200.   weeping for brunnhilde
196 Fair enough. You may be right.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-10-09 13:26:17
201.   weeping for brunnhilde
196 One thing, though, maybe he used to hit those guys but can't anymore? Are those stats from this year, or lifetime?

Are those "good pitchers" exceptions?

I don't use stats mostly because I'm not expert enough to know how to use them wisely.

Plus, I find stats uninspiring, personally, as a fan.

Not trying to pick a fight, just letting you know where I'm coming from.

2006-10-09 13:36:01
202.   Simone
189 When Alex Rodriguez was in Seattle, he had problems with Griffey. When Rodriguez played in Texas, the younger players and Showalter had problems with him. He wanted to dominate the clubhouse and they didn't like that. Now Rodriguez is with the Yankees and he is having clubhouse issues that supposedly getting rid of Joe and Derek becoming a fraud by befriending like Rodriguez will solve. Yep, it is everybody else not Rodriguez. As this is cosmetic change will make the Yankee pitching suddenly improve. Again, wasn't firing Mel supposed to do exactly the same thing.
2006-10-09 13:37:03
203.   weeping for brunnhilde
192 Your point is well-taken. It's entirely possible that the instances I have in mind are freakish aberrations.

Then again, maybe they're not.

I don't know.

2006-10-09 13:39:49
204.   Schteeve
202 exactly. A-Rod made a stupid ill advised self serving comment in a magazine article several years ago, as a result we are told that Jeter may is chilly towards him. So what. Get over it. If Jeter isn't drilling baseball sized holes into the barrel of A-Rod's bat, I can't really understand what bearing Derek Jeter has on Alex's performance.
2006-10-09 13:42:32
205.   JL25and3
201 I mean this honestly as a suggestion, not as criticism...subjective judgment is all well and good, but it really helps to be familiar with the stats first. The stats tell you what's actually happening; then you can use your judgment to supplement them. You may not want stats to be your final judgment, but they're a pretty indispensable starting point.

I'm not talking about advanced "metrics," either. I'm not nearly as impressed with them as many are. But the basic stats - BA, OB%, SA, 2B, HR, SB/CS and so on - usually tell a pretty good story.

And - crazy as this sounds - when you get used to them, they have a certain beauty. Go to baseball-reference.com and look up Babe Ruth or Ted Williams or Rickey Henderson - or, for that matter, John Paciorek, one of the most beautiful stat lines I know.

2006-10-09 13:45:53
206.   weeping for brunnhilde
204 Again, people are human. Interpersonal relationships influence how we perform. Morale, I think, is a real thing and while it may be hard to say what will or will not effect it, I don't think therefore it should discount it as so much hocus-pocus.

Torre says about Jeter that he's not afraid to fail. I think that's a valuable insight.

Maybe Rodriguez is afraid to fail because he fears judgment or comparison to Jeter or whatever.

I really don't know what's going on, but I do believe that Jeter could effect Rodriguez' performance in subtler ways than sabotaging his bat.

Don't you think?

2006-10-09 13:47:04
207.   JL25and3
204 The question is whether Jeter's gotten over it.
2006-10-09 13:47:42
208.   choirboyzgirl
204- its not so much that A-Rod and Jeter don't get along (I suspect with 25 guys in a lockeroom, they aren't the only two that don't get a long). Its the 'captain'(the one with the most powerful voice on the team) who didn't stick up for his teammate. That's the issue, espeically when its having an affect on the team.
2006-10-09 13:48:08
209.   weeping for brunnhilde
205 Yes, I understand. When I was a kid I could tell you everyone's stats in the major leagues. I absolutely loved them.

I'm not sure, though, how indispensable they are.

For instance, if you watch players play for a week, really watch them, that'll give you a pretty good idea of what you can expect from them tomorrow, no?

2006-10-09 13:51:28
210.   weeping for brunnhilde
205 Plus, unless there are sophisticated stats I'm unaware of, stats can't tell you who can or can't hit the slider away or who can or can't hit soft stuff, who does or doesn't lose focus when, that kind of thing.

Really, I think the classic example was Torre's putting in Justice over Spencer in 2002. There was simply no excuse for that, other than that Justice was the veteran, which is to say, had accumulated a career of good stats.

2006-10-09 13:51:42
211.   vockins
189 Nobody has to be friends with Rodriguez, but a player should expect that their manager isn't going to cooperate with a hit piece on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Especially when that hit piece is filled with quotes from a guy whose performance has been even more up and down. I don't expect that anyone on the roster thought that they had the support of their manager after that article came out, unless they were on the last WS winning team. That's not many.

By cooperating with that article, Torre essentially admitted that he was unable to properly motivate ARod, so he decided to leave it to the press. I'd rather have a manager that can solve his own problems without resorting political backbiting in the media.

2006-10-09 13:52:40
212.   vockins
211 I meant 202 in that link.
2006-10-09 13:52:41
213.   Yankee Fan In Boston
206
i play in a baseball league every summer. it is kind of like little league for big boys... at least, that's what the wife calls it...

we have fun, but it is quite competetive.

there are a few guys who get bent out of shape whenever anybody makes an error. (this happens fairly regularly, as we are not professionals.) they yell, scream, throw insults around like candy at a memorial day parade... this is all directed at their teammates.

we lost 15 straight games.

...until one day, when those guys didn't show up.

we had a blast, kicked the snot out of the other team.

those guys are some of our best players, the most talented even, but we did better without the baggage they brought.

this is a small sample, i admit, and a far cry from MLB, but team chemistry does exist and is important.

something needs to change.

2006-10-09 13:53:41
214.   JL25and3
209 Not necessarily. Watching them closely will help flesh out the picture that the stats give, but a week doesn't override a career. If I watch Ichiro! for a week and he goes 7 for 35, I still expect him to be a .320 hitter next week.
2006-10-09 13:54:15
215.   yankz
Will all you people calling for Jeter to baby Arod please read Steve Lombardi's take? I'll even post it for you: http://tinyurl.com/ndfmm

How would you feel if, when you were struggling at whatever you do, someone you don't even like to reminded people that you're fragile and can't handle it? What makes you all think Arod WANTS Jeter to act? I'd be pissed if someone I don't like publicly asked people to go easy on me.

2006-10-09 13:55:49
216.   yankz
I do think going public via the SI article was a bad idea.
2006-10-09 13:57:12
217.   claybeez
117 I agree the deal would have to be ironclad. It would have to be signed by the other GM and on Cashman's desk awaiting his signature. As far underestimating Sheff...his only real option would be to retire or threaten to sit out ala Soriano. We saw how well that worked out for Alfonso. If he's under contract he must go where he is sent. If he gets upset, it's not really our problem anymore unless we see him in the playoffs.

136 I brought up KC. What I said was to involve them in a 3-way deal sending A-Rod somewhere else. KC has some of the top hitting talent in the minors in Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. They also have logjams at 3rd and 1st. If they weren't open to moving Gordon, Teahen could take over 3rd for us.

The Dodgers do indeed have talent to deal. There is the young 1st baseman Loney, the young pitchers Billingsley and Broxton, Adam LaRoche's younger brother Andy who's a top 3B prospect, Matt Kemp and on and on.

Maybe dealing A-Rod won't be the best option, but I do think making a solid deal for one of our veterans could be. The FA market is drying up as mid-market teams lock up their better young players. If we eat salary why can't we move Giambi? If a team blows us away why not strongly consider moving A-Rod? If we can work out an ironclad deal for Sheff why not pick up his option and send him off for some pitching? We have to use the resources we have. The never-ending pocketbook seems to be a resource we've exhausted.

2006-10-09 13:57:29
218.   Schteeve
Everyone re A-Rod and Jeter: I don't know why it matters if Jeter has gotten over it, Jeter seems to be playing up to potential for the most part.

I work with people I don't like, but at the end of the day, I am accountable to myself for my performance. I don't sit around and worry that if I blow the "Smithers Proposal" "Johnson in accounting" is going to look cooler by comparison. If I do a shitty job, I did a shitty job. So I focus on the things I can control. I think A-Rod should worry about his swing and his footwork and his throws to first. He can control that stuff. He can't control the other stuff so why worry about it?

He worries about it because he's an image jockey. I will continue to stand up for his talent, it's otherworldly, and I will never detract from his production. We might not have made the playoffs without him, but I've gotten tired of saying that he's not a choke artist. I think he is, I think he worries about a ton of shit that he has no control over and it screws with his on field approach. I think he thinks about outcomes, more than process, he can control the process not the outcomes. He's a basket case. I would be insanely pissed if the Yanks trade him, but I will never count on him in a "clutch" sitaution. I have no belief in his ability to deliver in those situations at all.

2006-10-09 14:01:13
219.   yankz
218 Money. What was it that Reggie said? Something about Captain only caring about what happens in area code DJ or something similar.
2006-10-09 14:02:13
220.   weeping for brunnhilde
213 Yes, absolutely. I've felt it myself, playing softball. When I'm unfamiliar with my teammates, or feel I have something to prove, I'm nervous and lack confidence and my performance suffers.

And I'm probably more sensitive than others, but I know how many demons I have to contend with when I'm playing and how my security or insecurity can be effected by things like my place in the batting order or how people react if I make an error or whatever. It introduces an element of stress and distraction in the game that impedes my maximal performance.

Presumably major leaguers have the same issues as anyone else: we all want to feel comfortable around people we're forced to spend time with, no? Especially when the stakes are so high and everyone's mutually dependent.

I don't know if there's chemistry or morale on this team or not; I do know that I think these things are real forces, though, and shouldn't be underestimated.

2006-10-09 14:03:34
221.   weeping for brunnhilde
214 I guess we'll have to disagree, then. I expected Justice to perform as poorly as he did in 2002 because he was so visibly lost. I'd have gone with Spencer in a heartbeat in that situation.
2006-10-09 14:11:56
222.   weeping for brunnhilde
Or how about this, as to inadequacies of stats.

Let's say there are two pitchers, each of whom average 10 k's a game.

Stats can't tell you which one overpowers the other team or which one keeps 'em off balance.

And yet, that's critical information to have if you want to know what to expect out of that pitcher as he faces this or that line up, and especially, as he ages.

I'd much rather have the pitcher who excells at fooling hitters than the one who excells at blowing them away.

But you have to watch them pitch to know the difference.

2006-10-09 14:44:55
223.   Zack
222 Or, you simply look at the stats and the one with the better and more consistant stats is the pitcher you would rather have. It doesn't matter if he gets them by "fooling" them or "blowing them away," 10Ks are 10Ks, but more importantly, how many runs score per game?

I can't comment on the whole conversation as I jsut checked into the conversation, but your point doesn't really work. You are looking at one stat, isolated, which only tells you so much. But if you ahve two pitchers who average 10ks, you should also look at their era, their whip, their k/bb, their hits/9 etc. Then, you can get a very good idea of how good the pitcher is, much better than if they are crafty, power, or whatever.

9 times out of 10, the pitcher with a whip of 1.5 vs. the pitcher with the whip of 1 is goign to give up a lot more hits...period.

Sure, you need to bolster stats with observation at times, but it should be in that order.

2006-10-09 14:55:56
224.   weeping for brunnhilde
223 I understand.

I certainly haven't developed an elaborate, iron-clad argument, so I'll have to defer for now. I still have a bad feeling about it, like something's missing, but that's all I can say for now.

Thanks for the response.

2006-10-09 14:58:36
225.   weeping for brunnhilde
223 Oh, that's what I was going to say. What I was thinking about in my example was that a power pitcher may not age as well as a trickster, and when you sign someone, you should have some idea of what they might do in the future. If a guy is successful because he's crafty, he may be more likely to maintain a high level of success as he ages than a power pitcher.

That's what I was thinking about.

2006-10-09 15:00:40
226.   weeping for brunnhilde
In other words, how someone succeeds is, I think, as important as the mere fact that he succeeds.

I suppose stats can tell you something of the former, like ground ball to fly ball ratio, I guess, but it can't tell you things like whether the guy can win with less than his best stuff, for instance, which I think is a very important criterion.

Does this make sense?

2006-10-09 15:12:44
227.   weeping for brunnhilde
223 I wonder about whether stats need to come before observation.

I mean, theoretically, if a manager spends a year watching his players day in and day out, without ever looking at their statistics, couldn't he attain a level of observational sophistication such that he'd basically have the stats in his head, as raw data?

In other words, he might be able to develop reliable intuitions about his players' performance that might end up correlating with the stats anyway, if you bothered to cross-check.

Stats are only systematized observations, right? And as such, just a kind of memory aid, right?

Is it not possible that intuition might actually capture nuances that (at least thus far) are not quantifiable?

It's a theoretical possibility, isn't it?

Or maybe it's not.

I don't know, I have no formal background in statistics, so maybe I just don't get it.

2006-10-09 15:15:12
228.   weeping for brunnhilde
For instance, if you know that a guy's just had a fight with his wife or has some personal issues or whatever, and you know from experience that he's not as effective when he's distracted.

There are no stats for variables like that, are there?

And yet those are variables worth considering, if you can identify them, are they not?

2006-10-09 16:04:30
229.   nick
222 your K eg is a great example of how stats and observation can work together: there's a huge study Bill James did about K rate and how it affected career length--he concluded that K/inning is a VERY accurate predictor of career length: the higher the better. But one who's watched the games can go on to notice something about his example: almost all the guys with very high K rates are power pitchers. Power pitchers age will, young junkballers mostly don't....(old crafty junkballers tend to be young guys who once upon a time could bring the gas)

Stats and observation can tell you that the 10/K a game guy is going to be a power pitcher, 95% of the time....

2006-10-09 16:14:45
230.   weeping for brunnhilde
229 Fascinating.

I would have expected the opposite re: durability.

Is this because power pitchers, by definition, have stronger, more durable bodies? I would have thought they'd be more likely to wear out faster, but there you have it.

Do you have any idea how to account for this?

2006-10-09 16:21:07
231.   Yankee Fan In Boston
230
if you can throw really hard to begin with, it is easier to make adjustments (adding a killer change to keep hitters off-balance, etc.) than it would be if you were lobbing junk in there when you were 24...

as you got older, the kids would be cranking your pitches out of the park right and left.
(at least that is my thinking.)

2006-10-09 16:21:45
232.   wsporter
227 Yes.

A long time ago in a former life I used to make a living with that stuff. Stats are necessary and most useful when we don't have an opportunity to do just that; observe. They also allow us a convenient short hand for describing and measuring what has been observed. Descriptive statistics (ie avg, obp. ops.) allow us to create short hand for what we've seen. Correlation and distribution allow us to describe how phenomena relate to each other. Statistical significance allows us to determine how strongly observations are related and to rule out luck as a cause for an observed event and so it goes.

Many people who don't have an opportunity to observe phenomena closely over time attempt to suggest that descriptive statistics are somehow superior to good sound honest observational technique. That is in fact not true. However the stats do eliminate bias and other dishonest observation problems when based upon good data. The bottom line is if you think you can believe your lying eyes they'll work just as well if you can watch and see everything over time. But who has time for that other than the manager of a professional baseball team?

2006-10-09 16:23:20
233.   yankz
229 Not good for Wang.
2006-10-09 16:23:58
234.   yankz
233 Although he is the exception to the rule thus far, and he does throw with power.
2006-10-09 16:46:26
235.   weeping for brunnhilde
232 Indeed, indeed. Who has the time?

:)

Thanks for a very illuminating comment.

If there's any truth in the lies, damned lies, and statistics cliche, maybe I'm better off believing my lying eyes--at least I can always pluck them out if they deceive me.

;)

2006-10-09 16:58:11
236.   RIYank
I can't believe I just read through a discussion between stat-o-philes and a stat-skeptic and it didn't degenerate into name-calling. Congratulations!
(A rational Wagnerian, will wonders never cease. Or is it a different Brunhilde?)
2006-10-09 17:14:45
237.   weeping for brunnhilde
236

A rational Wagnerian. Heh. I do have my moments. My rational and romantic sides are forever at war with one another, and though I'm partial to the latter, I try to give the former a fair hearing. :)

Seriously, thanks for the appreciation. I love digging deep and really trying to get to the bottom of things and personally have no interest in zero-sum arguments. I'm just curious to see how other people think and in turn, to learn more about how I think.

I like a good discussion.

2006-10-09 17:24:12
238.   Zack
Brunnhilde, I am very impressed with your exchange between 224 and 228 between yourself :) Much better than reading one very very long post!
2006-10-09 18:30:40
239.   nick
231 yeah, as I recall that's James' argument, more or less--
2006-10-09 19:09:11
240.   Stormer Sports
LOOK! Get over the SI article. Without Alex, there is no article. Without his agreeing to do it, there is no article.

There is no article. There is no controversy!

2 Weeks before the end of the season, he coughes up all that garbage, and someone else is responsible, someone else is to be blamed for responding?

Give it up please. He's not 5 years old. Maybe the absolute best thing that could happen to Alex Rodriguez, is no one bailing him out, no one kissing him. Maybe a little dose of what the other 300 million of us deal wih every day.

This pitty party and intimations of Jeter's culpability is, quite frankly, embarassing.

2006-10-09 19:26:32
241.   Shaun P
Someone in one of the earlier threads, I forget who, mentioned that what is needed is perspective. I agree.

Rome wasn't built in a day. You can't wave a magic wand and POOF - the Yanks are guaranteed to win the Serious.

Sometimes when something happens and we don't want it to have happened, we go searching for answers to why it happened. Human nature, IMHO - a coping mechanism? If we can just rationalize what happened, maybe we can fix it so it doesn't happen again!

But oftentimes, there is no answer to the question of why beyond "because it happened".

The Yanks lost. We all know the 'superior' team doesn't always win - 2000, anyone? That was not a good team. They won anyway.

I'm not convinced at all that firing Torre and/or trading A-Rod for all these great young arms/other 'pieces to the puzzle' will do a damn thing. Its only been two days! Two days hasn't been enough time for me to process my feelings and thoughts. I don't expect that the Yanks - more specifically, Cashmoney '06 - has had enough time to come up with a wise course of action either. And if we all know and agree on 1 thing, its that Cashmoney ain't no fool.

Someone else mentioned the Beatles and chemistry earlier. To quote one former Beatle - "Its gonna take patience and time, to do it right."

2006-10-09 19:29:37
242.   Harley
Oh, Puhleeze. Torre and Giambi did as much damage or more by opening their mouths. You don't air clubhouse business in public. Full stop. Giambi -- who should know something about getting support from teammates in trying times -- made a mistake, and made a tricky situation worse.

Look. When it comes to professional sports and the Yankees in particular? No one cares about what you deal with every day. Nor should they. That's viewing the team and what's best for it thru the Envy Lens, and while it's a popular pastime, I'd suggest it's an ineffective way to chart a team's propects or how to best maximize them.

The Yankees need to get the best value possible out of A-Rod. That includes trading him. But it also includes treating him a manner best designed to tap into that value. (This does not, however, include kissing.) That's not a pity party, it's just good common sense.

As for the embarrassing intimations of Jeter's culpability? As I heard and read it today, there's nothing indirect or hinted about it. Jeter's diva routine when it comes to A-Rod is the one significant failure of his captaincy. The world won't end if folks dare to point that out. The team would've been better off if he recognized that the 'C' is not an award, but a responsibility.

2006-10-09 19:33:07
243.   Stormer Sports
The Beatles, good chemisrty? Is anyone actually familiar with the Beatles?

On that note. I have a question for you guys. Well, more like I need reinforcement. The Stones are coming to Dodger Stadium. Leaving aside my buffoonery in moving to LA, is it worth it to pay what will surely be a fortune to see them one last time?

2006-10-09 19:34:28
244.   randym77
I get the feeling they didn't expect that SI article to turn out the way it did. Naive of them, perhaps.

And Joe Girardi interviewed with the Cubs today.

2006-10-09 19:37:06
245.   Harley
Stormer....

It's never the last time with the Stones. But the stadium isn't a bad place to see them play (I saw them the last time).

And if the Kings of Leon are still opening? Also worthwhile.

2006-10-09 19:47:47
246.   weeping for brunnhilde
243 Stormer? What do you mean, is anyone actually familiar with the Beatles?
2006-10-09 19:51:11
247.   Stormer Sports
242

Agree to disagree I guess. I respectfully offer this. I stand by my position that if Arod had any understanding of what was going on outside his own ego, he never would have agreed to do the article (He's like T.O., listening to his publicist, who is most oten more concerned with publicizing his or her own self, not the client), and Giambi never would have had to respond. How can anyone look past that? So, Arod can do whatever he wants, say whatever he wants, and when someone responds, we blame the responder? Decider? Ok, now I am making up words again.

WE have no evidence that anything good, bad or indifferent went on in the clubhouse between Jete, Arod and anyone else. The only evidence we have is from Seattle and Texas where Arod made clear that he needs to be the big fish in a little pond, and is unhappy otherwise.

The man has the opportunity and resources to sit in therapy 16 hours a day from now until Aril. He could do that and sit down with Joe and Stein and Cash and say look, this is what I think I have issues with, this is what we've figured out, this is how I and other professionals think we can fix this, in my interest, and the team's interest. When he takes the necessary steps to try and fix this himself first, then we can all see what has to happen next.

He is first and foremost an employee of the NY Yankees, and as such the onus is on him to try and figure this out first.

Jeter and Joe may not be without any blame here, but if it were a pie chart, Jeter and Joe would be not be the slice that Louie Anderson would grab first. We had no evidence Jeter did anything to hurt chemisrty prior to 2004, in fact, we have the opposite from former teammates. With Arod we have anecdotes of problems in both Texas and Seattle. Draw your own conclusions, or just go grab your wooby and give it to poor poor Alex.

Maybe Giambi, Joe, and others say what they say for a reason, because Alex is a narcicist. And Maybe Sheffield defends him, because he is the same freakin guy, only plus some confidence.

2006-10-09 19:53:08
248.   Stormer Sports
246

My reading of the history is that once all the fun, youth and drugs wore off, they couldn't stand each other, and broke up far far to soon. Then again, nothing seems to be able to break Aeorsmith up, maybe the Beatles did the right thing.

2006-10-09 20:00:12
249.   weeping for brunnhilde
248 They'd been together since they were teenagers! George was 14 when the Beatles started.

They broke up thirteen years later and not before producing miraculous music under all manner of ungodly pressure.

But what I meant by chemistry is that their music was greater than the sum of the band's parts. Their talent was extraordinary, but lots of bands had extraordinary talent and many were far more talented, from a pure musicianship perspective. Their talent lay in pure creativity and the love that bound them together.

Ever see "Let it Be?" It's extraordinary. You watch the band snipe at each other and vent all their animosity and make crappy music in rehearsal and yet, when push comes to shove, they get it together and make magical music on the roof. And then again on Abbey Road, they make some of the most beautiful music ever despite the fact that they're just plain sick of each other.

Sort of like what the Yanks did in 2000, limping into the playoffs on fumes and yet somehow managing to go all the way.

That to me, is chemistry.

2006-10-09 20:17:13
250.   Stormer Sports
249

I say this at my own peril, and for a little levity.

But maybe there is a reason the Beatles came up in this thread.

Remember following the Beatles break up how so many die hard and true "fans" blamed Yoko Ono? Many continue to this day to believe nothing but that and you cannot tell them otherwise. The truth is that they just grew up, they bacame different people with different interests, which eventually had to be pursued. It just was. It just happened.

This Arod debate strikes me as very similar. Those who belive he bears little blame, and that the team and Joe and Jete should have done something cannot be persuaded otherwise. Others, like me, believe it's just not that complicated, and maybe, just maybe, is Alex's fault, or in the alternative, it just is. Maybe it just is.

I have a couple ex-girlfrieds who I love dearly. I mean I love them to death. But we just couldn't be together in the way that we were. It just was. It just was.

Maybe this Arod fiasco just is, and should be ended in NY. Maybe, just maybe, it just is. It just is.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-10-09 20:24:29
251.   weeping for brunnhilde
250 Wow. I think that's a brilliant analogy.

I like it a lot.

The Beatles and the last crop of Yankees are indeed similar in that both achieved uncanny excellence, performed as a cohesive unit equalling more than the sum of their parts (Brosius as Ringo?), crashed pretty hard and basically created a legend that will outlive them.

When great things decline, you're probably right, it is human nature to find a scapegoat rather than to just--oh God, sorry, can't help myself, it just slipped out--let it be.

:)

2006-10-09 20:27:53
252.   Stormer Sports
In the alternative I propose that Bernie Williams is John, Mike Mussina is George, Johnny Damon is Paul, and Jorge Posada is Ringo.

Eh? Eh? Give it up!

Barry Zito would make the perfect John, but that will wait until next year.

2006-10-09 20:31:43
253.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and for the record, I'm on your side re: Yoko. They all grew up. John fell in love. Period. That's a beautiful thing and shame on anyone for resenting his happiness, after all he gave us.

As to Alex? I don't blame him, but I did think it was a bad idea signing him. But then, I tend towards suspicion of high-priced, interloping superstars. The only "impact" signings I've really welcomed these last years (off the top of my head) were Justice, Abreu and Mussina. Oh, and Hideki, of course. I wanted him.

I didn't want Giambi. I didn't want Sheffield. I didn't want Damon. I didn't want Johnson. I didn't want Clemens.

I just find it kind of boring to bring in established stars. It's kind of too easy. I like the mid-level guys, if they're needed. The blockbusters? Yawn. It's far more gratifying to try to win with Melky and Cano and Sori and Nick, in my opinion. But that's just a matter of taste, I suppose.

2006-10-09 20:32:26
254.   Stormer Sports
Let it Be, indeed, indeed. Maybe Broscius, hmm, that's pretty good. I was trying to fit the personalities with the current roster. Give the Republican propensity it was tough, but I can see myself singing Koom Bay Ah and Give Peace a Chance with Bernie, smoking a fatty and just not wanting to be serious with Damon, tricking a drunk Jorge and pushing him down a steep hill and laughing, and going to a good book club with Mike Mussina.

The Beatles, they aint.

2006-10-09 20:34:34
255.   weeping for brunnhilde
I think what I'm saying is it's more compelling to give guys a chance to overperform than it is to watch superstars perform as expected.

And it fucking sucks to watch superstars underperform--that's why I just can't stand watching this kind of team lose. I'd much rather lose with home-grown talent than hired guns.

2006-10-09 20:35:37
256.   Stormer Sports
253

Less Clemens, I agree! Here here! I missNick the Stick terribly. I wasn't all that sorry to see Sori go, but that was before Frank put his ass in its place.

2006-10-09 20:38:38
257.   Stormer Sports
How about that? I would give my left nut, your left nut, Paris Hilton's Herpes medication, Terell Owens' publicist's head, and a bag of beans for Frank Robinson. I know it won't happen and I hope Joe stays, but Frank is where it's at.
2006-10-09 20:39:22
258.   Knuckles
I guess, sadly, that Donnie Baseball is the Yankees' Pete Best...?
2006-10-09 20:43:22
259.   weeping for brunnhilde
258 ha hah aha.

Nice.

:)

2006-10-09 20:45:37
260.   bobtaco
250 I think I am coming to that conclusion too. That's why if Cash can get a top flight starter and prospect for Arod, you have to seriously consider it.

252 Jeter would be Paul. Mo would be John. Bernie would be George. Jorge would be Ringo. Think about it.

2006-10-09 20:55:31
261.   Stormer Sports
Alex, Joe, Jete. Listen up to the B Boys.

Two, one two three four
Ev'rybody's talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m.

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

C'mon
Ev'rybody's talking about Chokers,
Ball Pokers, Flat out Strokers and Owners who were Big Ship Builders and Brokers
A Scapegoat and A Bad Quote and a Bank Note and a Tampa Outvote,
And Take Note, Take Note.

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev'rybody's talking about
Revolution, Absolution, Persecution, Retribution,
Dissolution, Stay of Execution,
What's the Soulution?.

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talking about
Alex and Jete, Jorge Posada, Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield, Brian Cashman, Joe Torre, George Steinbrenner, Reggie Jackson, Bernie Williams,
Hare, Hare Krishna!

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

///

///

George,

Please Listen!

2006-10-09 20:58:47
262.   Stormer Sports
260

I just don't see Jeter smuggling a pound of weed acrossed the border in his shoes. But I'm open to the idea.

I can guy Mo as John, definitely.

Bernie could go either way.

But we can all agree on one thing I suppose, Jorge Posada is Ringo!

2006-10-09 21:00:42
263.   Stormer Sports
*buy Moose, that is.
2006-10-09 21:56:11
264.   bobtaco
262 The way I see it, Jeter is the Paul archetype, pretty boy all the girls swoon over. The front man. The Face of the group. Gets the press attention.

Mo is the John archetype because of the intensity and the otherworldly talent. The hard upbrining. The integrity and honesty. The workingman's hero.

Bernie I see as George because he is the quiet one. Takes the backseat but he is the glue. Also incredibly talented but in the background, doesn't get the credit.

Po as the Ringo archetype because he has the goofy look, but like the drummer sets the tempo. Not necessarily as strong as the other three but when combined with the others makes everyone better and plays above his natural abilities.

What do you think?

2006-10-09 21:58:50
265.   weeping for brunnhilde
264 Right the fuck on.

Well said.

2006-10-09 22:11:40
266.   Stormer Sports
264

What he said!

2006-10-09 22:14:04
267.   Yankee Fan In Boston
264
perfect.
2006-10-09 22:20:15
268.   bobtaco
265 266 In Jonathan Lethem's novel The Fortress of Solitude (great book if you haven't read it - Banterers would love it) he espouses the Beatles theory through one of his characters. In a nutshell, here is the Beatles archetype theory:

"'Everything naturally forms into a Beatles, people can't help it.'

'Say the types again.'

'Responsible-parent genius-parent genius-child clown-child.'

'Okay, do Star Wars.'

'Luke Paul, Han Solo John, Chewbacca George, the robots Ringo.'"

Come up with one, it's fun...

2006-10-09 22:21:11
269.   weeping for brunnhilde
264 Reading this again, I must say, hats off.

It's really an uncanny analogy.

2006-10-09 22:28:48
270.   rilkefan
Can't really see Paul smirking. Or flitting from supermodel to supermodel into his 30s. Or doing the diva-grudge thing.
2006-10-09 22:46:04
271.   Stormer Sports
After 264, I can't write anymore. Nothing I can pen on this subject will approch that analysis. G'night all!
2006-10-09 23:38:59
272.   weeping for brunnhilde
One last thing as to ways you can at least give yourself a shot against dominant pitching.

I'll forever have a deep respect for Luis Gonzales because right after his hit in Game 7, he was asked how he approached his at-bat.

You know what he said?

He said he choked up.

He said he hadn't choked up since little league or whenever but he thought it was the right thing to do because he thought above all, he mustn't srike out.

It's really that simple.

2006-10-10 04:01:14
273.   randym77
Sherman in the Post is reporting that Torre will survive. Which may mean A-Rod should pack his bags.

He says Torre is the least of the Yankees' worries...that it's the Boss' insistence on buying aging stars that's to blame.

===
The higher the payroll, the more intense the pressure on the group, the more disjointed and inflexible the roster, and - most important - the more likely you were buying veterans nearing dips in performance, health and motivation.
===

And he offers a warning for those who think Hughes is the answer:

===
It is easy to see, after succumbing to Verlander, Zumaya and Jeremy Bonderman, that the Yanks need more young, big-time arms, and Hughes might have the minors' biggest arm. Hughes and Chien-Ming Wang could front a rotation for years. But this version of the Yanks really needs that to happen quickly, for Hughes to be akin to probable AL Rookie of the Year Verlander and not like Bonderman, who has taken several years to develop fully. And, of course, five years ago, some teams thought Nick Neugebauer and Nate Cornejo were no-doubt pitching stars. If you are asking, "Who?" the answer is, "Exactly." There are no sure things.
===

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