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Hello, Goodbye
2006-10-10 05:25
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

According to George King in the New York Post, Joe Torre will not be fired as the skipper of the Bronx Bombers. Meanwhile, at the Daily News, Mike Lupica and Bill Madden continue to lead the charge in the campaign to see Joe go. From what I'm hearing the issue will be resolved one way or another by tomorrow (just in time to steal one more day of headlines from the Mets).

And just FYI, over at SI.com I've got a tribute to Buck O'Neil, who passed away a few days ago. We should all hope to lead lives that are half as full as the one Buck lived. He was simply a tremendous spirit. Baseball, nah, the world in general, needs more like him.

Comments (147)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-10 05:58:12
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
alex, that was a beautiful piece on mr. o'neil.
just a couple of weeks ago a friend and i were discussing how amazing it would be to be around buck o'neil for a day.
your article is as close as i'll ever come, but it seems as though he was every bit as warm and upbeat as he seemed in interviews.
it's truly a shame that he won't see the day when he is finally enshrined in the hall of fame.
thanks for another great read.
2006-10-10 06:18:55
2.   Count Zero
Any truth to the rumor that a press conference has been scheduled for 1 PM? That would be the Torre go / no-go right there...
2006-10-10 06:22:25
3.   DarrenF
Alex, fantastic article. Really puts today's Yankee/Torre/ARod drama in perspective.
2006-10-10 06:25:21
4.   unpopster
Is it safe to say that it is an "either Torre or Arod" situation brewing in the Bronx? So if George King is indeed correct, is it therefore a foregone conclusion that Arod will be dealt?
2006-10-10 06:41:23
5.   yanklifer
4 I think you are right, if the reports are correct, the brass has sided with Torre and A-Rod will have to be shopped. Thus far, I have been quite happy with what it seems we could get for him: Santana/figgins/pitching prospect, and if we eat enough salary maybe dtrain and prospects.
2006-10-10 06:47:19
6.   wsporter
I still can not believe what MLB and the Hall of Fame voters did to Buck O'Neil this year. Mr. O'Neil's reaction to what must have been a terrible disappointment was of a quality and nature that served only to further elevate his already lofty status as a man and a ball player in all our eyes. It also served to unintentionally shrink the status of the HOF in this regard. It is a tribute to the man that that unintended result would only have served to sadden him. I hope those voters can learn something from this. They had a chance to do the right thing and didn't cease the opportunity. I hope it leads to some close personal examination on their parts.

What a relief. I hope the Post Article is accurate. I'm sure they at least adhered to their single unrelated source criteria before they went to press with this. It's the right move or rather non move IMO.

2006-10-10 06:48:10
7.   Firebernie
Sheff's comments about A-Rod batting 8th didn't improve improve his chances of getting his option picked up.
2006-10-10 06:51:22
8.   Ramone
The Bob Klapisch article linked in the previous post sealed the deal for me on Torre. Damon tries to fire the team up and gets punished for it. Screw that. The problem is NOT A-Rod.

I was leaning towards only firing Torre with Pinella, but the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that we need new blood period.

If you don't dump Torre, it won't matter if the Yanks win 105 games next year, come playoff time, they will have the same pressure, the same or more tightness, and no reason to believe anything will be different.

Here is the difference between Torre and Leyland. Leyland took Kenny Rodgers, who had a history of melting down in pressure situations, particularly in the playoffs, started him in the critical game 3 situation, convinced him he could succeed, and won.

Torre took A-Rod,who had a history of melting down in pressure situations, particularly in the playoffs, humiliated him, moved him to 6th and then 8th in the lineup, quit on his most talented player, and lost.

Don't tell me it isn't the manager's fault.

2006-10-10 06:54:08
9.   Ramone
Look, I know A-Rod is a mental case. But so what? What happened to taking lemons and making lemonade?

Mike Tyson was a screwed up kid, and Cud D'Amato crafted him into the best boxer in the history of the game. When he died, so did Iron Mike's career. I refuse to believe that the best you can expect out of A-Rod in the playoffs is a #8 hitter.

2006-10-10 06:54:37
10.   Ramone
That's Cus, obviously.
2006-10-10 07:05:26
11.   Knuckles
Tyson (while one of my favorite atheletes ever, because he was such a dynamic/tragic figure) was never a real boxer. He fought on guts, toughness, and rage, and punched/brawled (not boxed) his way through a weak era for heavyweights.

You can only very rarely do that in baseball, and not with the lineup the Yanks have been running out onto the field the last couple years. You can't score 10 in the first inning and win by mercey rule (1st round KO), you have to be able to go the distance. Go to your jab when you can't land your hook. Have enough stamina and toughness in your shoulders to keep covering your head in the later rounds, even when your arms feel like 50 lb sandbags. You sure as hell can't train 6 months as a puncher and expect to be a boxer come fight night.

2006-10-10 07:19:38
12.   unpopster
I am now convinced that the road to another Yankee championship will be determined by young, live arms rather than offense (see the 2006 Tigers).

I don't care anymore whether Torre stays or not. I want Arod traded for young, power arms. If Cashman doesn't do this then 2007 is guranteed to be another postseason failure. Zito or Schmidt or not the answers.

Why? Because I am also convinced that the 2007 Tigers pitching will be just as good and the 2007 Twins one-two punch of Santana and Liariano is scary. The 2007 White Sox pitching will rebound in '07. If the Yanks face either of those three teams in 2007 it'll be an early exit once again.

How do you combat those two teams in a 3 game series? OUT PITCH THEM!

2006-10-10 07:23:03
13.   Tarheel
Why is everyone so high on Santana and Figgins?

Neither is a difference maker.

Figgins only plays well against the Yankees.

Santana is an average pitcher with a history of arm problems.

As for D-train..he looks like an arm injury waiting to happen.

2006-10-10 07:23:29
14.   mkanakos
I don't get this whole argument to see Joe go...

I listened to Steve Phillips on ESPN 1050 in NY yesterday and he provided some really great points. He basically said that after a crushing defeat like the ones the yanks just suffered, everyone screams for big, wholesale changes. Our manager showed this year that he could deal with the younger guys.

He went on to say that up until a week ago, the Yanks were the team to beat. They have a great lineup, a great closer and ok middle relief. If they work on the starting pitching, shore up the bullpen and possibly the bench and they should be in great shape. Which I agree.

He detailed how pitching is what killed them. His premise was that since the tigers jumped all over Mussina and Johnson, the yanks couldn't work counts like they usually do. They were under pressure to do something big at each at bat. It does make some sense. Even if the tigers pitchers threw a gem, if our pitchers responded and kept the game close, the Yanks could have tried to do some other things. I hate to say it, but we keep losing because pitching kills us in the playoffs.

Larry Bowa said yesterday that it is pretty sad if these guys need to be "motivated" for a 5 game playoff. Playoff baseball is why they play!!!!

If they make an example of a player (i.e. trade AROD or GIAMBI), I think that would do more than canning the manager. Although, I hope they don't trade AROD.

Just two weeks ago, Joe was the man because of how he worked the roster and dealt with all the injuries. I mean they did win 97 games. Sure, maybe joe does some odd roster things and maybe he sticks with the veterans, but come on now... they won 97 games. We averaged 5.7 runs a game; we have enough hitting. We need one or two more guys who can throw 7 innings consisently.

Why are you crucifying the manager when you built a team that is all offense and average pitching? Is "Sweet" lou going to do a better job of managing all these egos? Is "Sweet" lou going to make Lidle a better pitcher, or Johnsen or Wright? Our issue is not the manager.

We would have lost in the next round anyway if Johnson kept stinking it up. You can't give up 5 - 6 runs in the playoffs.

We all know that some of the vets will be gone next season(Bernie, Sheff, etc.), if we bring in some quality youthful pitching, retain the big bats and develop the young guns. We should be just fine.

The thing that works aginst Joe is that he only has a year left on his contract and is highly paid. If he comes back next season and they are successful, Joe probably won;t get an extension and at 6 mil / season I doubt Steinbreener gives him more $$$. So even though Joe should stay in my opinion, some things are definitely not in his favor.

Lou will come in and yell and get the players to respond, but yelling gets old fast. The vets will only listen for so long.

I figure Lou has about two years in him before his yelling act would get old. If we get rid of Joe and then hire Lou and avoid the pitching issue then in 2 yrs, we could right back where we started.

Get younger!!!

2006-10-10 07:23:42
15.   wsporter
Our experience in the mid to late eighties should have warned us about the wisdom of stacking the lineup and trying to get by with a sub-par staff. Our staff is light years better now than it was then but it lags behind the staffs we were going to face in the playoffs. The only staff we matched up with was the Twinkies and that was after Liriano was lost for the year. I am afraid that we were looking at the same nightmare if somehow we managed to get by Detroit. We just don't match up with the A's staff.

I liked Tyson a lot. In his prime he was pure energy and primitive malice rolled into a magnificent fighting machine. He was fun to watch. I'll never forget Dave Anderson's description of him during the pre fight with Marvis Frazier as looking across at Frazier as "a hungry Doberman would stare at a plate of raw meat". I felt badly for him and think he was an abused kid who was psychologically damaged if not physiologically by the time Cus got to him. However there is no way one can reasonably proclaim him the best boxer in the history of the game. He's not even the best heavyweight of the last 40 years.

2006-10-10 07:28:24
16.   mkanakos
If we're going to get a new manager - how 'bout Girardi??
2006-10-10 07:31:29
17.   JL25and3
5 That's a deal that people here at BB have made; the Angels haven't made that offer, and I have no idea if that's what the Yankees could get. And I agree with 13, I don't even like that deal much. A couple of perfectly nice players don't make up for a great one.
2006-10-10 07:32:33
18.   weeping for brunnhilde
I'm think the question isn't about having "enough" offense, but rather "what kind of offense do we have?"

I'm convinced we need a more reliable offense, which in my head is one more composed of "professional" hitters who know how to make adjustments and have an understanding of the situation they're batting in. And above all guys who will not strike out in big spots.

Giambi, Arod and Sheff need to go. Or maybe we can have one hacker like Giambi, but no more. We need more liners and fewer sluggers.

And obviously pitching, pitching, pitching.

2006-10-10 07:33:43
19.   Ramone
11: I disagree, I think Tyson's defense under Cus was AWESOME. He was a very skilled boxer, in addition to being incredibly powerful. True, afer Cus died, Tyson resorted to brawling which, for a time, remained successful for him. In any case, I think the analogy is the same. Great managers and coaches get the most out of their athletes and don't give up on them before the athletes do. A-Rod may look lost out there, but I never felt that he quit.

12: I agree that the road to victory will be paved, in part with young arms. I just disagree that dumping A-Rod in a fire sale is the way to get it.

I'd prefer to get rid of Matsui, while he still has value, dump Mussina if he doesn't renegotiate, dump Sheffield, and trade Guiel, Green, Phillips, and Farnsworth (I think Dotel will have a good year next year) for whatever you can get.

I'd even take a year or two in second or third place and buy up every young pitching prospect in the league.

2006-10-10 07:34:08
20.   JL25and3
16 I think Girardi might turn out to be a perfectly wonderful player, but I don't think he's the right one for this situation. If Torre gets fired, I'd like to see a manager who could shake up the clubhouse dynamic a little - mitigate the influence of the Torre's Warriors clique a little. Girardi is young, he's not very experienced, and he's the least likely to be able to assert his own authority over a bunch of guys he used to play with.
2006-10-10 07:38:39
21.   mikeplugh
Hey people. All over the Japanese news today, and the main topic of conversation among people I met everywhere was the news that Daisuke Matsuzaka will be allowed to pursue his MLB career via the posting system. It's major news, because it's the first full acknowledgment that this is going to happen in a matter of days. The posting itself will occur at the start of November in all likelihood.

The best part of all of this is the news pieces all lead by saying that the Yankees are the favorites and that 6 teams are interested. The repetition of "Yankees" is encouraging, and I'm 100% sure that the entire country (with the exception of a few Mariners fans) is rooting for the Yanks. Not that it's a lock, but that's where the will of the people lies.

Stay tuned.

2006-10-10 07:40:07
22.   rsmith51
I went to game 4 and don't think I will ever go to an away playoff game again. The fans were pretty brutal. One fan spent most of the game trying to goad my wife and me. At least the fans around us were pretty nice. That was the lowest turnout of Yankee fans to a game that I had ever been to.

One of the Tiger fans sitting next to us suggested that the Yanks could trade ARod to the Tigers for Guillen and a couple of pitching prospects. Of course, he also thinks that Soriano is better than ARod.

I think the most excited the Tiger fans got during the game(I left after the 8th) was when ARod had his error.

2006-10-10 07:40:34
23.   Harley
Is one more year of Joe (and another playoff failure?) worth losing the most productive third basemen in the history of the franchise? And again, as to value for value. Who exactly fills that spot next year?

Meanwhile, Jeter weighed in with Steinbrenner. He's to the Yankees as Magic was to the Lakers. That's mostly good. But not always.

2006-10-10 07:40:37
24.   JL25and3
19 I hope that the Yankees avoid one of their common pitfalls: overpaying for free agent middle relievers. I'd prefer to see them troll the waiver wires and the minor league free agent pool, inviting anyone with a decent arm to spring training. That's how teams like the Angels built deep bullpens, and it's cost-effective.

But please, no more Farnsworth/Karsay sort of signings. In the words of Rocket J. Squirrel, "But that trick never works."

2006-10-10 07:45:58
25.   wsporter
9 19 Tyson sliped punches by moving straight back (he bobbed and weaved as an offensive move purely). He fought out of a peek-a-boo stance yet would consistently drop his right hand to throw it. He wore down after 4 hard rounds and became an arm puncher. He did all this while Cus and Kevin Rooney were around. I liked him a lot but he was not the greatest boxer in the history of the game. IMO he wasn't close. I ment to reference 9 at 15 above. Thanks for working the young Tyson into this he was one of my favorites.
2006-10-10 07:47:30
26.   Ramone
One other thing. Just because firing Joe won't solve the Yankees starting pitching problems, doesn't mean that he should stay.

The Yankees pitching is a big problem. Without good arms, they still might have lost to the Tigers...but they should have put up a fight. That's on Torre.

There are two other factors that I blame Torre for. The inability of the Yanks to manufacture runs in the playoffs and their poor defense.

Torre made a mediocre defensive team worse by starting Sheff at first and replacing Melky with Matsui.

He also refuses to manufacture runs in the regular season then gets to the playoffs and the team has no small-ball skills. I feel that when Torre first arrived from the national league he was much more enthusiastic about playing small ball.

2006-10-10 07:48:59
27.   mehmattski
21 That's good news. You've convinced me over the last few months that Matsuzaka is what the Yankees need. I've even learned to spell his name without looking.

24 I've never liked the high priced middle releiver route either. I think the formula of using young arms to fill the bullpen while they're being groomed for starting roles may work for the Yanks. I wouldn't mind seeing Phil Hughes starting the season in the Yanks' pen, just like Liriano did for the Twins this season.

As for the hypothetical Angels deals?
Santana/Figgins/Wood? Meh.
Santana/Kendrick/Aybar? Now we're talking.

Wang (age: 27)
Matsuzaka (27)
Santana (23)
Johnson (103)
Rasner (25)

Not too shabby, huh? Perhaps plugging in Hughes in mid-season. I'd be cool with that.

2006-10-10 07:49:03
28.   dianagramr
FWIW ...

So, do the Yankees only beat up on weak pitching, and flop against good pitching?

Here are the qualifiers for the 2006 AL ERA title, with their OPS against the league, what the Yankees did against them during 2006, and the difference.

You'll note that, at least in the regular season, the Yanks hit the Tigers starters quite well.

PLAYER TEAM OPS NYY DIFF
Johan Santana Min .618 .819 .201
C.C. Sabathia Cle .657 .962 .305
Roy Halladay Tor .657 .706 .049
John Lackey LAA .671 .964 .293
Erik Bedard Bal .692 .499 -.193
Ervin Santana LAA .707 .633 -.074
Kelvim Escobar LAA .707 .808 .101
Jose Contreras CWS .710 .855 .145
Kenny Rogers Det .715 .808 .093
J Bonderman Det .717 .803 .086
Javier Vazquez CWS .727 1.016 .289
Dan Haren Oak .729 .660 -.069
Felix Hernandez Sea .729 1.092 .363
Kevin Millwood Tex .735 .696 -.039
J Verlander Det .741 1.090 .349
Jake Westbrook Cle .743 .526 -.217
Nate Robertson Det .744 .804 .060
Freddy Garcia CWS .753 .839 .086
Vicente Padilla Tex .757 .617 -.140
Barry Zito Oak .759 .854 .095
Curt Schilling Bos .761 .716 -.045
Ted Lilly Tor .764 .932 .168
Jarrod Washburn Sea .766 .779 .013
Josh Beckett Bos .767 1.009 .242
Gil Meche Sea .768 .554 -.214
Cliff Lee Cle .776 .879 .103
Jon Garland CWS .788 1.245 .457
Joe Blanton Oak .805 .435 -.370
Brad Radke Min .821 1.231 .410
Paul Byrd Cle .823 .858 .035
Kris Benson Bal .828 1.183 .355
Mark Redman KC .844 .250 -.594
Mark Buehrle CWS .849 1.197 .348
Rodrigo Lopez Bal .853 .804 -.049
Joel Pineiro Sea .872 .785 -.087
Carlos Silva Min .892 .980 .088

2006-10-10 07:50:03
29.   mkanakos
I like the idea of trading matsui while he has value. Interesting...

I like AROD and hope he is here. The upsaie offers too much and we'll get nothing back of equal value for him.

2006-10-10 07:50:26
30.   jonnystrongleg
Hold on. Since the Yanks lost the 2001 World Series. The 2002 Angels pitching staff won it all. Their pitchers were Lackey, Appier, Ortiz, and Washburn. The 2003 Marlins won it all. Their pitchers were Beckett, Redman, Penny, and Pavano (!). The 2004 Red Sox had some sick pithcing. The 2005 Whote Sox had such a great staff that the exact same guys went out and finished third this year.

Yes pitching is of ultimate importance. And the team that pitches best usually wins (actually - the flip side is true too the team that hits the best usually wins as well) But aside from the Red Sox of 2004, not one of those staffs looked like a World Series winning staff until they were holding up the trophy. It's impossible to predict which staff will get hot in the few games they will play in October. The Tigers staff? They sucked two weeks ago. We pasted the same guys in the regular season with shittier lineups. It's impossible to control hot streaks.

What's possible to control is getting to the playoffs. Then, once you are there, you need to get hot at the right time. On both sides of the ball. Arod is a guy who can get you to the playoffs. So is Torre.

"Improving" the staff with Santana from the Angels would do absolutely nothing for the 2007 Yanks except they probably cough up the American League East. If the Yanks trade Arod for nothing to improve their team in October the irony will be that they won't even be playing in October. Zito is proven American League Pitcher. Matsuzaka is more intriguing than any other pitcher in the world. Getting either or both does not include trading Arod.

2006-10-10 07:52:35
31.   Peter
13 I don't get the Ervin Santana lovefest either. Based on 2006 numbers, here's 2 AL pitchers:

Pitcher A: 4.28 ERA 1.23 WHIP 6.22 K/9 3.44 BB/9 .93 HR/9
Pitcher B: 4.38 ERA 1.52 WHIP 5.39 K/9 3.66 BB/9 .64 HR/9

Pitcher A is Santana and Pitcher B is our good friend Jaret Wright. Granted, Santana threw about 60 more innings than Wright so that's about 2 more innings per start, but is it really worth losing a player of Arod's caliber for this?

2006-10-10 07:53:11
32.   mikeplugh
27 Matsuzaka just turned 26 a few weeks ago.
2006-10-10 07:53:14
33.   RIYank
Torre will address the press, and the local (Rhode Island) guys are saying he will definitely announce that he is staying on as manager.
This seems obviously to be a good thing. First, I think the Yankees are better with Torre than without him, even though he's a mediocre field general. And let's not start with 'manufacturing' runs, Ramone, come on. Torre was supposed to manufacture eight runs in game three, or five more runs in game four?
Second, no matter what you think of Torre, it should be clear that the firing of Torre would signal the re-entry of Steinbrenner into operations. That would be very, very bad.

When the rumors of an A-Rod trade emerged a few weeks ago, I thought it could be a good idea, but a couple of BB posters convinced me that it would not, under any (realistic) circumstances. Even assuming NY could get a very good pitcher and a good player and a prospect, which I doubt, it's still true that several good players don't add up to a great one. Especially for a team, like the Yanks, who are already stocked with very good players at all positions.

2006-10-10 07:53:39
34.   wsporter
21 Mike thanks for keeping us up to date all year on this guy both here and at COH. If you could compare him to any major leaguer currently pitching who would that be? Do you have a feel for what it would take to sign him? I'd hate to turn that "mottainai" concept on it's ear by overpaying for an asset that is used to it's maximum value if that value is as a 3rd or 4th starter.
2006-10-10 07:56:46
35.   weeping for brunnhilde
33

"it's still true that several good players don't add up to a great one. "

Is this, in fact, true?

2006-10-10 07:57:41
36.   mehmattski
28 Nice work, I think that the Yanks' numbers against Bonderman and Robertson were what encouraged so many fans to count this as a sweep. But I have some reservations about sample size. What's the Yanks' total OPS against the top 10, top 20 pitchers in the league? Individually, the Yanks might occasionally murder a good pitcher, but if we're looking for an overall trend, the collective numbers would be better.

It would take a lot of work, but I think that the numbers would show that the Yanks are worse against better pitching. Which should not be surprising, because they are, you know, better pitchers. Your list also seems to suggest that the Yanks get shut down by the Mark Redmans and Gil Meches of the league, and if that were always true, then the Yanks would never have had the best record in baseball...

2006-10-10 07:58:00
37.   pistolpete
24 Agreed - I think our middle relief should consist entirely of what we already have, which is decent, and rotate in young arms from the farm.
2006-10-10 08:04:12
38.   Harley
Change starts at the top. Keeping Joe means more of the same. An entertaining ride to the playoffs. An early exit.

Feh.

2006-10-10 08:05:24
39.   dianagramr
36

Thanks ...

One of my rainy day/week projects is an analysis of the consistency of team offense (in terms of run production). Its great that the Yanks avg. 6 runs per game, but there is a tremendous amount of volatility in those #s (1 or 2 runs an awful lot of the time, with a bunch of 10+ games in there). Many other top teams don't avg. 6 runs per game, but their run production is much more consistent, and therefore, they do better in a short series.

2006-10-10 08:08:47
40.   mehmattski
32 D'oh! I should have checked. But then again, since Japan is in The Future...

31 Pitcher A is 23 years old. Pitcher B is 30 years old and makes $7 million more. That's a bit of a difference...

33 I disagree that a few good players don't equal a great player. Sure, your team will get worse at that specific position vacated by the great player. But all of the good players could be improvements over the people they replace. I'm not saying that Ervin Santana is the answer, but I disagree with all the posters who say that trading A-Rod is bad under all circumstances. If the Yankees can get back all of these:
1) A young starter who is a legit #3 now
2) A young, power hitting infielder
3) A high-level prospect starter, who would be ready by 2009.

You seriously wouldn't ever consider that trade?

2006-10-10 08:10:10
41.   RIYank
Dianagramr, awesome, thanks.
35 I think so.
For one thing, look at the history of trades involving a great player (still in his prime) for a bunch of players: in retrospect, in every case, the team trading away the great player got hosed.
And specifically for the Yankees, the thing is that we already have very good players at all positions (or do you disagree?). Giving up a HoF-er to get, say, Julio Lugo, what would be the point of that? Where would he play? Suppose you got three players, all as good as Julio Lugo. You bench Damon? You bench Cano? Platoon Jorge?
The team can't get better by adding very good players. It could get better by adding very good pitchers, but nobody's going to trade three very good pitchers for A-Rod.
2006-10-10 08:12:58
42.   RIYank
40 Mehmattski: get more specific.
Who is the young, power-hitting infielder?

I agree that good pitchers are valuable to the Yankees, even if they aren't All-Star material. But I want to know how good your infielder is, and who you're going to bench to play him.

2006-10-10 08:13:55
43.   mehmattski
39 I like that project idea! Get the database of regular season game scores from the Division Series era, and find:
A) The mean deviation in runs/game of all teams
B) The correlation between this "offensive consistency" and "offensive production."
B) The correlation between "offensive consistency" and post season success.

You could even limit the sample size to when playoff teams play other playoff teams (or teams with winning records) in the regular season.

Mike, over at "Mike's Baseball Rants" might be interested in this, and have more time to run the numbers.

I really love baseball statistics, in case you didn't notice. This idea has my mind whirling...

2006-10-10 08:17:13
44.   Harley
One last Torre gripe! All this drama is about ONE YEAR. That's it. So again, what's the cost/benefit here? What managers are available this year who won't be available the next?

Look. Nobody wants to hurt Joe's feelings. But sometimes it seems as tho' folks are more concerned with that -- and getting him a dignified exit, ie he retires next year -- than the health of the ballclub.

And I agree re the good/great player debate. We've already got good position players. There's no way an A-Rod deal will bring equal value -- and my fear is that folks (Torre, Cashman) will work very hard to convince themselves that Earvin Santana represents that value, if only to make Derek happy.

Wowzer. You think Wright was a bust?

2006-10-10 08:20:09
45.   mehmattski
42 I actually had Howie Kendrick in mind, although to expand to the other possible A-Rod trade hypotheses mentioned: Andre Ethier (Dodgers), Felix Pie (Cubs), Mark Teahen (Royals).

It's a good point that there aren't a lot of positions the Yanks can get better in, right now. Starting pitching does come to mind, and what the Yanks should be looking for is multiple young arms. Also, a glaring problem is what to do when Jorge's knees finally give way... and there's no help in the Yanks' system above low-A. There is risk involved in every trade, and if the short term decrease in production at third base is met with potential in many weak areas, I think there are always possibilities to consider. No player is indespensible.

2006-10-10 08:22:52
46.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i can't wait to see the gyroball!
(so long as the yankees aren't the ones trying to hit it.)
2006-10-10 08:23:46
47.   dianagramr
43

Yes ... the parameters you speak of are exactly what I am working on ...

I have the retrosheet data from 1973 to 2005 (I'm using the DH era, but perhaps I could add in the 1969-1972 era without too much difficulty).

Then you take the team's offense runs per game and divide by the standard deviation (because you can't score "negative runs", as most standard deviation analyses might suggest), then you figure that out for the team's defense, come up with the difference, and compare that to other playoff teams.

(you been reading my mind?) :-)

p.s. I'm a demographic analyst by day, crunching SPSS datasets for a living.

2006-10-10 08:27:18
48.   Stormer Sports
It's officil. Press Conference at 1:00 PM.
2006-10-10 08:28:53
49.   yankz
48 Is it televised? This new-age BB could TVU that sh1t...
2006-10-10 08:30:24
50.   Schteeve
Neither firing Joe or trading A-Rod is going to make this a championship team next year.

Getting rid of Sheff and Moose and releasing the Unit will all help. Getting better pitching will help too.

Damon wasn't punished for trying to fire up the team, he just didn't get the reaction he wanted. Read that stupid fucking Klapisch article carefully before you quote it.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-10 08:30:36
51.   Stormer Sports
Not sure. Maybe on ESPN Radio?
2006-10-10 08:31:17
52.   choirboyzgirl
Quick question...with all this trade A-Rod I have a couple questions:

1) How hard to you think it will be for the Yankees to trade Alex (meaning he agrees to it), what do you think they would have to offer him to leave? (Some how I don't think money would be the way to go like it was for Abreu).

2) Why no talk of trading Giabmi instead of Alex? A-Rod is a better fielder (even with 24 errors this year), younger, healthier I'd rather keep him and look for a younger, cheaper 1st baseman.

2006-10-10 08:31:32
53.   Stormer Sports
50

Thanks!

2006-10-10 08:32:10
54.   jkay
Torre has lost his touch. He used playoff games as spring training for Sheffield and Matsui. If they keep him, he is a lame duck manager. I doubt Steinbrenner gives him a contract extension. They are writing off '07 if they keep Joe.
2006-10-10 08:32:21
55.   Stormer Sports
52

UGH! There are 20 million reasons they can't trade Giambi.

2006-10-10 08:33:56
56.   wsporter
41 Yes, JL25and3 and SeanP had a great discussion a couple of weeks ago about that topic. They referenced a terrific article from a couple of years back that illustrated that teams that trade all-star performers for solid role players invariably don't receive equal value back.

I can't envision a package of players that we could acquire for A-Rod that would get it done for us. His trade value right now has got to be at an all time low even with he Texas money involved. That Angels deal that floated around just isn't going to get it done. I'd be thinking about how we could get Santana and Liriano for him and what else we may have to toss in to get it done. To hell with dumping him for someone else's crap. Short of that kind of deal what is out there that makes sense? Can San Francisco put together a package? Atlanta or the Cubs? Does anyone see us moving him to an AL club? No, I'm afraid we made this mess for ourselves and we'll have to hold our noses and see it through. They better spend their energies by figuring out how to fix this.

If they conclude that they need to strip down around A-Rod and Jeter and the kids to put a staff in place and collect some guys who won't wilt when the lights go on I'm willing to stick it through. Just get it done. What I don't want is "the Knicks in Pinstripes".

2006-10-10 08:34:48
57.   RIYank
45 Uh. You want to dump A-Rod and bench Cano??? Or how is Howie Kendrick going to play?

Kendrick seems like a nice player, but this is exactly what I meant: it doesn't make sense for the Yankees.
Now, maybe he's trade bait. Maybe there's a long-term plan that does make sense. But I'd like to see it.

I agree, by the way, that at some point the Yankees need a bridge between Posada and Jesus Montero.

2006-10-10 08:36:36
58.   Jimmy Clark
Steve Phillips made some good points on ESPN? Is that the same Steve Phillips who hired Art Howe instead of Willie Randolph? The same Steve Phillips who traded for fat injured Mo Vaughn after seeing him hit in a batting cage? The same Steve Phillips who said in October 2004 the Yankees lost because they didn't trade Jorge Posada for Randy Johnson (and picked up Jason Kendall) at the deadline, without explaining how Cashman could have made the deal when Arizona refused to talk to him the last two days of the deadline?
Klapisch is urging the Yankees to make a move now and not let poor $7 million Joe suffer waiting. I think they should wait a few days and then make a decision. Decisions made immediately after distressing events rarely turn out well.
2006-10-10 08:37:57
59.   RIYank
I'm sure the Torre announcement will be on ESPN radio.

That's it, wsporter; those were the postings I meant, that convinced me there's no realistic offer for A-Rod that could make sense for the Yankees.

2006-10-10 08:39:49
60.   Schteeve
I also don't think batting Alex 8th should be construed as an insult first of all, and second of all if it was taken that way, then they should trade A-Rod because he's clearly a prima donna idiot like Sheffield.

If Joe had let A-Rod bat 4th and A-rod handed in a 1 for 20 performance or whatever it was, all the jagoffs screaming for Joe's head, would be screaming about how Joe just sat there and did nothing to shake things up. Joe actually took a risk, it wasn't an insult, it was an attempt to get A-Rod to relax and have some good at bats. Which he is totally incapable of when the pressure is on apparently.

I think the smartest thing to do would be to keep Alex and Joe. Jettison the players I mentioned before. And if you want to trade someone for pitching, trade Matsui. We know that Melky is a competent replacement, and Matsui is the one guy some other teams might cough up some legit pitching talent for. We can't trade Sheff for pitching, or Moose, or Randy. But we know we have a viable replacement for Matsui. Melky isn't anywhere close to the hitter that Matsui is capable of being and I realize that, but we won with Melky while Mats was out, so he would seem to me to be the best guy to trade.

Alex's upside is way too high to trade him for anyone at this point.

2006-10-10 08:39:50
61.   Stormer Sports
58

Agreed. Next someone will be saying that Skip Bayliss made a good point. What has always amazed me is the level of talent it doesn't seem to take to fill GM jobs.

It's no wonder that good agents eat them for lunch.

2006-10-10 08:42:07
62.   Matt B
Alex, great piece on Buck O'Neil. Another friend of mine had a very similar story about meeting him - that he had a way to make you feel like what you were telling him was the most important thing in the world.
2006-10-10 08:42:47
63.   Stormer Sports
60

Agreed again.

This feeling that past performance entitles one to "ownership" of certain spots in the order is absurd. You play for the team, not for your ego or a spot in the order sheesh. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Sheff feels that way.

Which is a shame, becasue a player, Sheff has been pretty unselfish. His mouth on the other hand . . . .

2006-10-10 08:43:13
64.   vockins
45 Felix Pie? The .274/.333/.417 in AAA Felix Pie?
2006-10-10 08:43:23
65.   mkanakos
I know Steve Phillips had a bad history but he was talking with some sense on ESPN.
2006-10-10 08:46:28
66.   Stormer Sports
65

As far as Steve Phillips is concerned. I am throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

He is like Joe Theisman, if you don't like what he said, just wait a minute, he'll surely say the opposite sooner or later.

2006-10-10 08:48:08
67.   BklynBmr
63 From today's NY Post:

"I knew a lot of stuff was going to come out soon after we lost but I didn't expect the finger to be pointed at Joe," Gary Sheffield said. "I didn't think anybody would point the finger at Joe because he is a hero in New York."

Huh? Sheffield was the first and only player to my knowledge that threw Joe under the bus (see his quotes in Sunday's USA Today.) You wanna like the guy, but jeez...

2006-10-10 08:50:37
68.   dianagramr
Alex,

Great article. Thanks for the insight into the man.

2006-10-10 08:51:02
69.   Schteeve
63 Right on. I really liked Sheffield before he made those comments about A-Rods spot in the order and the fact that the Tigers were playing without confusion and the Yankees were all confused.
2006-10-10 08:52:56
70.   Schteeve
67 What's funny is that the entire USA Today piece Sheff is basically like, "Joe did a great job it's not his fault." But then he throws those two things in about A-Rod batting 8th and the Tigers feeding off the Yankees confusion.

Maybe Sheff is just trying to make people forget that he didn't do dick in the series.

2006-10-10 08:54:56
71.   jayd
well thank god we've resolved all that. Tell you the truth, I was resigned to letting Joe go but the minute the news came out he was being retained, I heaved a sigh of relief. Joe goes and this is no longer Derek's team and I couldn't imagine Lou coming in and Jeter not harboring some major resentment against arod. Nightmares of Joe signing with Boston and Jeter following him over...nightmares aren't supposed to make sense....

and you're all right about the trade scenarios -- they suck. arod needs a kiss on the forehead, he's a yankee because he's going to hit 800 homeruns and, like the mick, we will love him someday.

I am happy with all that. Can't trade matsui, because matsuzaka is coming to town and one helps you learn how to spell the other.

Sign sheff and trade him for someone like anabelle sanchez -- plenty of dumb gm's like theo around.

Keep moose and hope randy's back surgery makes him retire.

Go for zito. i'm always surprised by how young he is-- is it 28 did someone say?

2006-10-10 08:57:14
72.   Ramone
33 Look, I'm not saying that you need to manufacture eight runs. My point is that when you have an offense with unlimited potential but can't get started, Torre can't manufacture 1 run (or in game 4, 1 baserunner) when you need to get the ball rolling.

50 I used the term loosely. Damon was "punished" in that he got the cold shoulder from his team when he tried to inject some energy into the clubhouse. Shame on them. We saw the effects last week.

2006-10-10 08:57:17
73.   Schteeve
71 Why keep Moose? Really tell me why.
Why not trade Matsui?
A sign and trade of Sheff is never going to work, he's going to turn it into a train wreck, unless Cashman cuts a deal with R. Kelly or whoever it was that had the dirty pics of Sheff's wife.
2006-10-10 08:57:25
74.   RIYank
Sheffield isn't very bright, I think. That's the explanation. It didn't occur to him that he was throwing Torre under the bus
2006-10-10 08:58:51
75.   Stormer Sports
67

Bkyln,

He said he was a "hero" in NY. He didn't say he agreed with it.

2006-10-10 09:00:12
76.   Ramone
67 I think Sheff's point is that there is a difference between questioning a move and calling for someone's head. Sheff might not have liked what Joe did, but he didn't - to my knowledge - call for him to be fired.
2006-10-10 09:01:17
77.   RIYank
73 The thing about Matsui is that he's worth a higher salary playing for the Yankees. That makes him very difficult to trade. (The Yankees are well positioned to cash in on the extra revenue from Japanese tv; not many other teams could do that.)
In a way it's a shame. I like Matsui, but (a) we have a good replacement already, and (b) there are monsterous outfielders who could be available.

As for Moose: I can't see trading him. We have to add arms, not subtract them.

I'm sure you're right about a sign-and-trade with Sheff.

2006-10-10 09:01:52
78.   Stormer Sports
Tryong to make sense of a Sheffield statement is like trying to find truth in a Tony Snow press conference.
2006-10-10 09:03:06
79.   Stormer Sports
I'm not sure that Moose will want to come back. Unless he gets the full 19 million.
2006-10-10 09:04:59
80.   RIYank
78 ;-)
79 What's his alternative going to be?
2006-10-10 09:05:47
81.   Stormer Sports
Sign with someone else, no? Don't we have an option on him for next season?
2006-10-10 09:05:58
82.   Peter
73 You keep Moose because everyone agrees the Yankees need pitching and there's no such thing as having too much pitching depth. He was their second best starter this year. I say go after Zito and Matsuzaka, and see what happens with the young arms the Yanks already have. If Moose is your #4 guy, that's a pretty solid rotation.
2006-10-10 09:08:01
83.   Ramone
The way I see it it is pretty simple. A-Rod is a tempermental guy that needs special treatment to perform well. You can either deal with it or not. I see a lot of people who appear to object to that on principle. They just don't want to put in the effort...even if it would help the Yankees win.

That's fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Some people would rather have a team of players that they like than a winning team. I don't object to that either. Being a fan should be fun.

But I keep coming back to Kenny Rodgers. Here is a guy with talent. But in my opinion he has always been a jerk and a choker, if not an outright a-hole. I was happy when he left NY.

That said, Leyland and Detroit didn't give up on Rodgers because he was a jerk. And they didn't give up on him because of his playoff record. Leyland got the most out of Rodgers that he could and because of that the Tigers are playing and the Yankees aren't.

2006-10-10 09:10:52
84.   RIYank
81 But do you mean, he could get the full or near the $19 from some other team? I doubt it. Or do you mean he'd prefer to play elsewhere at the same money?
2006-10-10 09:13:33
85.   Schteeve
I am very sour on Moose right now, so maybe that's clouding my judgement, but you can apply the "you never have enough pitching" too often and you end up keeping guys like Tanyon Sturtze.
2006-10-10 09:14:49
86.   Schteeve
83 The Tigers didn't give up on Rogers because the Tigers weren't in a position to give up on anyone, for crying out loud.
2006-10-10 09:14:59
87.   wsporter
80I hear there's a decent Ponce de Leon team in Montoursville PA that will keep him close to home. ;-)
2006-10-10 09:15:31
88.   alterity
73 why keep moose?

how about:

games started: 32
ip: 197.1
h: 184
r: 88
hr: 22
bb: 35
k: 172
w: 15
l: 7
whip: 1.11
baa: .241
era: 3.51

oh, and the fact that in the first half of the season he was a frontrunner for cy young. how are those for reasons? of course, i have no illusions that those will be his numbers next year, but if you want to win, i'm for DFAing randy johnson. and don't tell me about the money. that's already spent and if he pitches, he will not help us win, regardless of the money. getting rid of him will help us win, even if it costs. which do you think is the better scenario?

2006-10-10 09:15:45
89.   standuptriple
One thing is certain, we will learn a lot about the players who are pending FA's and Cashman's abilities and authority this off season.
I'm fine with letting Sheff walk. I'm sure Theo will tell him how much he'll be loved in Boston. Can anybody else see Sheff cancering-up that already troubled clubhouse?
2006-10-10 09:18:21
90.   jonm
I would offer Mussina 2 years at $21 million take it or leave it. If he doesn't take it, they could put that money toward Matsuzaka. Otherwise, they have Pavano, Wright, Karstens, and Rasner competing for the last two starting spots with Hughes in the wings.

I'm not convinced that Santana would put up significantly better numbers than Rasner next year. If he's the best pitcher coming back in an ARod deal, then no ARod deal in my opinion. I would probably make this deal: ARod to Minnesota for Garza, Cuddyer, and Crain/Neshak.

2006-10-10 09:20:31
91.   BklynBmr
76 I don't consider questioning moves as throwing someone under the bus, it was his inference that Torre lacks the ability to light a fire under the team. That's a direct knock and gives fuel to everyone calling for Joe's head. But why should Sheff be expected to connect those dots?

78 LOL! It just struck me that's whats going on here...

2006-10-10 09:20:45
92.   pistolpete
79 Right now, if I was Cashman I'd have the "F*ck 'em" mentality if someone won't take less money to play here. There's plenty of younger guys who will.
2006-10-10 09:24:08
93.   Schteeve
88 I'm on record already advoacting the DFA of the Big Useless.
2006-10-10 09:25:50
94.   Schteeve
In the sense that, if it doesn't happen, I'm going to pour Zippo fluid all over myself and light a cigarette.
2006-10-10 09:26:10
95.   pistolpete
93 I'm really hoping for a Leiter-like departure for Johnson in spring training next season.

C'mon, Randy, do the honorable thing.

2006-10-10 09:27:01
96.   RIYank
89 I can't see Theo spending eight figures on Sheffield. Sheff turns 38 in a few weeks, and Theo doesn't spend more than his own salary on outfielders older than he is. ;-)
2006-10-10 09:28:38
97.   yankz
90 I wouldn't do that. Garza is still unproven enough to be a bust IMO.
2006-10-10 09:29:51
98.   JL25and3
Regarding all the various trade scenarios: remember, there aren't very many guys who can be traded. Matsui, like ARod, has a full no-trade clause. So do Giambi, Abreu, Pavano and Johnson.
2006-10-10 09:29:59
99.   Stormer Sports
93

We could always not eat the payroll and make him come out of the pen.

2006-10-10 09:30:46
100.   wsporter
88 Alterity, that's exactly right I think. The money on Unit is already spent. If you're willing to and have the resources to treat your sunk costs made in error as rectifiable then you're free to move on and correct the effect of the mistakes. Are the Yankees willing to do that on a guy they got 2 years too late? One could make the same argument on A-Rod except for two things: The deal with Texas worked out as nearly a financial wash and all that production that puts all those asses in all those seats. Stinking, lousy MVP award.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-10 09:31:14
101.   JL25and3
And regarding Sheffield's recent statements: I hate to say I told you so, but...
2006-10-10 09:31:21
102.   Stormer Sports
News:

Litiano won't have surgery. He is going to try rest. This all but assures he'll have the surgery late, and won't be a factor until the middle or late next year.

2006-10-10 09:31:44
103.   Harley
89 -- Not in the first year. First Year Sheff is always a thing of beauty -- and he'll beat the Green Monster to death.
2006-10-10 09:32:47
104.   JL25and3
100 I agree that Johnson's contract is a sunk cost. But why not look at it a different way: forget that he's making top-of-the-rotatin money, and you've got a perfectly decent 4-5 starter.
2006-10-10 09:33:52
105.   savejoetorre
losing joe would be a huge mistake...express your support for joe.....savejoetorre.com....
2006-10-10 09:33:54
106.   wsporter
99 I believe he showed us he could do that once. "The Big Setup", I like it. No there's a guy Mr. Torre can give 100 innings to out of the Pen.
2006-10-10 09:37:33
107.   dianagramr
99

Wait a minute ... you want to have a 40+ y.o. power pitcher with a very cranky back have to warm up on a moment's notice and come into a game? At least when he is starting he has sufficient enough time to warm up ...

2006-10-10 09:39:00
108.   wsporter
104 I'm fine with that. So long as they don't go through the charade of relying on him as a top of the rotation guy. I see him as a 5 right now and if he can't handle that let him pitch out of the pen. If he doesn't like that let him find the door.

He just seems to be way more trouble than he's worth. He's a diva without a voice; fat, old, ugly and mean. Well, old, ugly and mean anyway.

2006-10-10 09:39:49
109.   dianagramr
.. then again ... who is to say Randy doesn't just up and retire in the off-season? He may not want to put his body through all that grief next season (yes, even if they are paying him $16M)
2006-10-10 09:41:19
110.   jonm
97

Granted, it is a risk; it probably represents as much of a risk as Hughes' future. (Sickels had Garza beating out Hughes by a hair for his best pitching prospect of the year title).

My point is that I would like either an established successful starter in an ARod deal or a young pitcher with huge upside. I don't think that Santana fits in either of those categories.

Even established starters are risky; for evidence look at Vazquez and Jeff Weaver. I think that, if 2 out of these 3 (Vazquez, Weaver, and Contreras) had worked out, the Yankees would have won two more world championships. Those were good moves when they were made; the Yankees just had extremely bad luck.

2006-10-10 09:41:47
111.   dianagramr
anyone know what the yankees payroll tax % rate will be in 2007?

that's ANOTHER consideration for the honchos ... if that rate takes another boost ...

2006-10-10 09:43:34
112.   jayd
I know I was punning on the matsu i and the matsu zaka but the last thing you are going to do is dump one Japanese superstar and try to sign another -- doesn't work that way. Matsui is staying, period. He's an industry in himself.

The only question I have about Matsuzaka is Hideki Irabu. We know the Japanese turn out position players. Pitchers are another story. You say he's 20 something I say he's thrown enough pitches at this point to be going on 37. We're going to need some very very very smart scouting on this one or this could be the stinker of the century.

Ditto all the Moose stuff.

2006-10-10 09:46:15
113.   RIYank
104 Exactly right, JL25and3. It doesn't matter what the dollar cost sunk is; but it does matter that if you're planning on designating him, the alternative is in effect to have him for 'free'. And he looks like a really good deal under those circumstances, probably the best #5 starter in baseball.
2006-10-10 09:50:45
114.   wsporter
111 You are kidding right? :-)
2006-10-10 09:51:06
115.   JL25and3
111 No one knows what the luxury tax will be for next year. There's no Basic Agreement in effect yet.
2006-10-10 09:53:21
116.   RIYank
112 Shhhhh. If Mikepugh hears you, there's gonna be trouble.

Seriously, check out matsuzaka.blogspot.com esp. the "Pedro vs. Daisuke" entry. Mike has been explaining to us for a while that Hideke Irabu is the, uh, Kenny Rogers of Japan, while Matsuzaka is the Pedro of Japan.

2006-10-10 09:54:34
117.   dianagramr
114

Not really ... its one of the reasons (supposedly) they didn't go after Beltran 2 years ago.

Picking up Abreu's 2007/8 option (vs. what Sheffield would make) is small change compared to Beltran's 7yr./$125M contract impact on team payroll (vs. what they paid Damon) in the future.

2006-10-10 09:57:08
118.   Peter
112 And of course if the Yanks do get Matsuzaka, Matsui would be a huge factor in that first year adjustment period. Man, Matsui and Matsuzaka... they'll need a new stadium just to accomodate all the Japanese media.
2006-10-10 09:57:39
119.   Shaun P
99 106 107 Creaky back or not, its worth a shot. Why not see if Randy could do a couple innings at a time, two or three times a week? IIRC, there is some evidence to suggest that pitchers who go from starting to relieving add a few MPH to their fastball.

Stormer, that's the best idea I've heard yet.

111 I think we're stuck waiting until the new CBA is announced. Don't forget too that the Yanks get to deduct the cost of building the New Stadium from revenue sharing payments.

2006-10-10 10:02:27
120.   Shawn Clap
My initial reaction was: yeah Torre's gone. But after a few days to reflect, that's only reactionary and just plain dumb.

My only (hindsight) gripe with Torre was the post-season roster selection. Clearly, Phillips & Fasano had no business being in uniform.

The only scenario that brings Fasano into the game would have been in dire-straits,i.e. Jorge has been murdered. In that situation Wilson could serve as catcher (and back-up 1st base), leaving an extra spot for a pitcher, Rasner or whomever.

I doubt Rasner would have been as heavily scouted as Wright was. But anyway, Joe stays. Pinella may very well end up managing ARod next year, but it won't be in the Bronx.

2006-10-10 10:03:20
121.   wsporter
117 We can agree to disagree on that but I didn't buy that on Beltran when it happened and don't buy it now. I think it's simply that Boras pissed Big Stine off.

The kidding part however referred to there being no Tax right now.

2006-10-10 10:04:03
122.   Yankee Fan In Boston
news conference coverage has begun on espn.
2006-10-10 10:06:55
123.   vockins
This isn't news, but John Kruk is an idiot.
2006-10-10 10:08:51
124.   Peter
120 Wilson at C would've been Sheff at 1B magnified. I'm not sure when was the last time he caught, but he never caught any of the Yankee pitchers and to put an inexperienced catcher like that into a playoff game is asking for trouble.

That said, if the Yanks want to work with him over the offseason to be the backup catcher for 2007, I'm all for that.

2006-10-10 10:09:30
125.   JL25and3
Torre announces he's staying.
2006-10-10 10:12:01
126.   smingers
How stupid is Kruk? The Yanks have lost because of pitching, not because they have too many good hitters. How did having less ability become equated with "playing the game the right way"?
2006-10-10 10:13:35
127.   yankz
110 But Hughes won't cost us Alex Rodriguez.

You'd like a possible ace pitcher, and that's a fair argument. But personally, I'd want someone proven.

2006-10-10 10:13:40
128.   wsporter
ESPN just quoted YES as quoting Torre who said he would be back. Certainly makes things less expensive when you don't have to cultivate your own sources.
2006-10-10 10:13:43
129.   dianagramr
126

Who would have thunk that Dykstra would be smarter than Kruk?

2006-10-10 10:17:39
130.   Yankee Fan In Boston
126
kruk's hall of fame credentials should place him well above your slanderous cheap shots.
2006-10-10 10:19:31
131.   smingers
Count me among those who would not have been devastated to see Torre move on. But if his staying is evidence that Cashman still holds the reins in the front office, then I'm all for it.
2006-10-10 10:20:09
132.   standuptriple
Can we get a special font or color when Kruk or Phillips get quoted on the BB?
2006-10-10 10:24:45
133.   smingers
130 I don't know if you're serious or not, but anything Kruk may have done on the field has nothing to do with his lack of ability as a baseball analyst. I certainly wouldn't want him anywhere near a GM's office.

Now he's saying they should have sat Matsui for Melky because Melky was "hungry." And he said Jeter bunted in game 2 because the team was desperate to manufacture runs. That bunt was Jeter's first at bat after game 1, which the Yankees won.

2006-10-10 10:24:57
134.   Shaun P
Please pardon the long post.

Having thought about it for 3 days now, I would like to add my two cents about this "A-Rod for Ervin Santana etc." deal.

Here is what PECOTA projects for Santana's next 4 years (age in parenthesis):
3.4 WARP1 (24), 2.8 (25), 2.9 (26), 2.6 (27) = 11.7

And Chone Figgins:
3.6 WARP1 (29), 3.3 (30), 3.3 (31), 2.6 (32) = 12.8

That's a total of 24.5 WARP1.

Meanwhile, A-Rod over the next 4 years:
8.4 WARP1 (31), 7.6 (32), 7 (33), 5.4 (34) = 28.4

In other words, even at 34, A-Rod projects to be more valuable than Santana and Figgins combined. That's presuming anyone wants Chone Figgins and his career .285/.345/.393 playing 3B or CF or anywhere for the Yanks when he's 32. Or 29, for that matter.

In December 1984, the Oakland A's decided that they could fill lots of holes in their team by trading Rickey Henderson. The Yanks gave up OF Stan Javier, RP Jay Howell, SP Jose Rijo, RP Eric Plunk, and SP Tim Birtsas to get Rickey.

Javier did nothing for the A's - though in '90 the A's traded him for 2 months of Willie Randolph.

Howell closed for the A's in '85 at age 29, and was closer for half the season in '86 at age 30. He did OK, not great. The A's found some guy named Eck to replace him.

Rijo was OK for the A's in '85, sucked in '86 and '87 and was traded with Birtsas for Dave Parker that winter. Parker hit .257/.314/.406 in '88. Rijo pitched well for the Reds for a few years before having arm troubles.

Birtsas was pretty bad in '85, though he had a decent ERA. That describes his career, actually.

Eric Plunk I hope we all know.

Meanwhile, here were Rickey's numbers with the Yanks from '85 to '88:

.314/.419/.516, 99 BB, 80 SB, 24 HR (143 G)
.263/.358/.469, 89 BB, 87 SB, 28 HR (153 G)
.291/.423/.497, 80 BB, 41 SB, 17 HR (95 G)
.305/.394/.399, 82 BB, 93 SB, 6 HR (140 G)

Now, who would you rather have had? Rickey, or what the A's got?

2006-10-10 10:26:50
135.   Harley
Mike and the Mad Dog re Joe, and Joe has announced he's back. And so the Chone Figgins era begins.
2006-10-10 10:26:51
136.   wsporter
Thank God for baseball; how would Kruk earn a living if it didn't exist?
2006-10-10 10:29:29
137.   Yankee Fan In Boston
133
that was sarcasm.

however, when he says that melky was "hungry," you've got to trust him... this man knows "hungry."

...because of his well documented weight...

2006-10-10 10:29:32
138.   smingers
I think the team should be open to hearing offers for Arod, but E. Santana and Figgins ain't going to cut it.
2006-10-10 10:32:55
139.   RIYank
134 Shaun, I think you've actually *under*estimated A-Rod's extra value. Because Santana would have to be replacing someone, and that someone would, I suspect, have a positive WARP.
2006-10-10 10:33:22
140.   yankz
138 Amen.
2006-10-10 10:36:29
141.   Shaun P
139 Great point, RIYank. Hadn't thought of that.

138 It never hurts to listen, but I don't think there is a reasonable offer out there. Cashmoney is no fool, and it will take a lot to wow him into trading A-Rod. I don't see it happening.

I hate the NYC tabloids.

2006-10-10 10:38:34
142.   smingers
My thought is we would need to get something like Billy Beane got for Mulder and Hudson, only more so. Those trades brought the A's a lot of good young pitching in return, and Arod is more valuable than either Mulder or Hudson.
2006-10-10 10:56:00
143.   jonm
134

Great post. I've been making Henderson comparisons since this whole ARod trade talk started. I want no part of Figgins and Santana is no ace in the making. Kurkjian just mentioned Buehrle and Fields from the ChiSox. That's even worse.

The Yankees could get overwhelmed with an offer; no one should be considered untouchable. But, all things considered, keep ARod.

2006-10-10 11:02:28
144.   dianagramr
Hughes and A-Rod for Beltre and King Felix ...

hmmm ...

2006-10-10 11:05:40
145.   Shaun P
142 I understand what you're saying, but so far all Beane got for both Hudson and Mulder has been Haren, pending Daric Barton's development and if Dan Meyer has anything left in the tank, which I doubt. That brings up another good point - sometimes when you trade for a 'can't miss' young pitcher you miss.

For A-Rod, the Yanks ought to get two great pitchers, or a great pitcher and a great player. But I don't see any team out there with that available via trade.

2006-10-10 11:27:03
146.   Xeifrank
What people need to keep in mind is that the baseball playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot. The best team from the regular season (record wise), usually does not win the World Series. Over 162 games, the cream will generally rise to the top. In a short series, pretty much anything can happen. Afterall, the Kansas City Royals swept the Tigers three straight games the last weekend of the season with the AL Central still at stake. The games are played, one team moves on and one team goes home. Yes, there are reasons why the Yankees lost the series to the Tigers but if you played the series again starting tomorrow the Yankees would still have a decent chance of winning. You cannot tell the better team over a short series when the two teams are of playoff quality material. The Yankees are a great team. Great teams don't always win the World Series. It's not an easy thing to do, as there are three series' to win. Getting to the playoffs and staying healthy are really the only two things you can ask for. I wouldn't blow-up the team over losing to the Tigers in the first round. That doesn't mean there aren't possible improvements to make, but trading AROD for this years over-hyped pitcher (whoever that may be) isn't going to solve anything. E.Santana is good but not great, Zito is good but not great, Schmidt is on the "down-side" of his career and the Japanese pitcher has alot of innings on his arm. Good luck in your soap opera this offseason. :) vr, Xei
2006-10-10 12:48:10
147.   rbilotta
Xeifrank,

Unfortunately unless you read an informed website or blog, you find that almost all the other media does not think this way. They think in terms of a "deterministic" approach not a "statistical" one. When the Yankees lost it was definitely because they had too many players that did not rate on the "heart" meter, or "desire" or "clutch" or "matic" or whatever meter. Or another favorite quick explanation is that pitching wins championships which the Yankees lack. After all, look at how many World Series the Braves won. Saying that the Yankees are favorite and a better team, but that there is a probability that Yankees will lose doesn't cut it. Since they cannot explain...it is because of character flaws in certain individuals (Arod for example).

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