Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Side Project
2006-11-30 09:30
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

A quick housekeeping note. Some of you may have noticed that we've reordered the sections on the sidebar. Although you'll have to scroll down a bit further to find the pitching probables during the season, we think the new order is more intuitive. I'm currently in the process of streamlining and organizing some of the more unwieldy sections, so you'll likely notice further changes in the coming weeks. As always, the links on the sidebar are there for the benefit of our readers and we welcome feedback, either in comments or via email, regarding what is or isn't there, or how we can make the sidebar more user friendly.

2006-11-30 09:53:39
1.   mehmattski
I like the improvements so far... should we read anything into the "lineup" of Yankees blogs? COH batting 16th is a lot like A-Rod batting eighth, in my opinion.

One suggestion: Would it help to move the archives further down on the sidebar? I, like a lot of commenters, have Bronx Banter as my home page, and keeping other baseball-links within a couple page-downs would be favorable. Thanks for keeping the site user friendly!

2006-11-30 10:50:17
2.   Jim Dean
1 I second those sentiments. I wonder if the frequently visited day-to-day stuff (blogs, stats sites, player links) could be higher with more historical stuff (archives, past features) lower down.

I had the same question with the Yankee blogs.

Thanks for thinking about these things - infromative and well-designed - you could make quite a living as consultants.

2006-11-30 10:53:25
3.   C2Coke
Thanks for the hard work, Alex and Cliff. I really appreciate it, and surely am speaking for many others here.

I agree with Mehmattski in 1 about perhaps moving the baseball links a bit further up. I thought the archives and search section can both be moved down since we all know they exist but unlikely to use them everyday.

By the way, so now the Yankees and Red Sox each has a Hideki.

2006-11-30 11:04:32
4.   Ken Arneson
The Hot, Search and Archives sections are global sections, and if I changed them here, I'd have to change them on every Toaster blog. That's not something I'd want to fiddle with with now.

The other sections are up to Cliff and Alex to rearrange how they see fit.

2006-11-30 11:16:08
5.   Jim Dean
4 Thanks, Ken. You certainly deserve the mad props for a very clean and simple global template and for putting this gig together. Thanks for a great baseball site.

Any luck with a spellchecking or formatting toolbar for the submit text boxes? Seems like there's existing options out there that could fold into the preview page?

2006-11-30 11:25:33
6.   thelarmis
many thanks to cliff, alex and ken! the bb toaster rocks.

cliff - you should be an advance scout for the yanks! or, at least, GM-in-waiting. : )

2006-11-30 11:31:00
7.   unmoderated
#5 - if you use Firefox, there are plenty of extensions for formatting, and they are tweakable. also, if you have updated to Firefox 2, there's automatic spellcheck in textboxes.
2006-11-30 11:32:47
8.   Jim Dean
7 What's this Firefox you speak of?

I kid, I kid.

I did not know that. Thanks.

2006-11-30 11:33:53
9.   jakewoods
2006-11-30 11:38:31
10.   Cliff Corcoran
Having lacked any hard and fast criteria for the order of the Bronx Blogs previously, we've simply put them in order of seniority.
2006-11-30 11:39:14
11.   Jon Weisman
Did contraction hit MLB, or is "Around the League" missing a division?
2006-11-30 11:41:59
12.   Cliff Corcoran
2 Because the Players section is so long (roughly four times as long as the second longest section, not counting the Recently Departed section as well), we're going to continue to keep that at the bottom of the sidebar, as it would push everything else too far down were we to move it up. That said, we think having it last makes it easy to find when you need it.
2006-11-30 11:44:24
13.   Cliff Corcoran
11 Like I said, I'm still working on some of the sections. Besides, with Dodger Thoughts and Bad Altitude here at Toaster and McCovey Chronicles and Only Baseball Matters under "Lords of the Realm" we're really only missing links to blogs for the Padres and D-Backs.
2006-11-30 12:31:17
14.   standuptriple
3 That's the problem with so many quality NYY blogs out there. It's not fair to the "Other Toaster" pages, aka the Have-nots. I can't figure out if it's Steiny's fault, A-Rod's or Karim Garcia's. Maybe there needs to be a blogary-cap.
I, for one, welcome our new overlords.
2006-11-30 12:33:49
15.   Chyll Will
Cool, guys. I noticed the difference peripherally; it's as if you rearranged the shelves >;) I'm just curious as to what constitutes Suggested Reading for both of you. Alex has several new ones while Cliff has a couple. What criteria do you use to select the All-Star Banter Posts?
2006-11-30 12:36:29
16.   Chyll Will
3 Ours is bigger than theirs...
2006-11-30 12:57:49
17.   Peter
14 Or maybe some sort of luxury tax thing. Like Yankee bloggers will have to contribute a few paragraphs to Royals blogs each season.

Speaking of Karim Garcia, has anyone noticed the sponsor of his Baseball Reference page? I wonder anyone from around here did that.

2006-11-30 13:00:39
18.   Cliff Corcoran
15 That's personal choice by each of us. It's simply a selection of what we each feel is our best and/or most relevant recent work, both as a sort of "greatest hits" for newcomers as well easy access to those posts for regulars who might want to revisit them.
2006-11-30 13:00:43
19.   Chyll Will
sigh... I hate the late-day rush... If I didn't know any better, I'd have changed my name to "The Boogey Man" and ran through the toaster shouting "Choi!"

(as Ken and Jon hand me a note with legal letterhead while brandishing Tasers(tm))

But Of Course, That Would Be WRONG...

2006-11-30 13:07:21
20.   Chyll Will
18 Oh. I was hoping for something more melodramatic. Ok.

17 !! Ya think?? Or is this a case of "I don't wanna toot my own horn, but beep! beep! >;)

2006-11-30 13:21:36
21.   Peter
20 You were my prime suspect.
2006-11-30 13:31:52
22.   Shaun P
21 And yet no one is sponsoring Melky's page on I am shocked, but not enough to hand out the $25. Maybe after the holidays.

Cliff, just wondering - is there a reason for the big space between Alex's SI archive and his Variety archive, or am I the only one seeing that? (BTW - very nice article, Alex!) I applaud keeping the Yankee blogroll based on seniority of existence, it gives a nice sense of history.

2006-11-30 13:34:42
23.   Chyll Will
21 Moi? Au contraire... I'm more prime rib than prime suspect. I would suspect two others, though I would also suspect that they would string more wit into the summary. Nice catch, though...
2006-11-30 13:44:44
24.   rsmith51
Has anyone used "Baseball Think Factory" recently? Is there a problem with their link?
2006-11-30 13:47:32
25.   C2Coke
4 Ken, Thanks for the clarification and again for creating the Toaster. It is definitely one for the best site that's easy on the eyes and user friendly.
2006-11-30 13:51:41
26.   Bama Yankee
23 The two other suspects have got to be: Pedro Martinez and Karim's Bail Bondsman, right?
2006-11-30 13:59:53
27.   Cliff Corcoran
22 I think I have an extra tag in there, I'll have to fix that.
2006-11-30 14:02:05
28.   Chyll Will
26 He'Gone! >;)
2006-11-30 14:18:19
29.   rilkefan
Appreciate all the work you put in. So it's a bit petty to ask for more, but:

When there's a lot of activity here, I find myself paging up and down a great deal. On other blogs I just read an earlier comment then hit the "End" key to go to the last comment, but here the sidebar is much longer than any comment page ever gets so from the end I have to do some hunting with page up. A conceptually simple way to deal with that would be to omit the sidebar under comments.

If anyone knows a way to handle that issue from Firefox then never mind.

2006-11-30 14:28:25
30.   Shaun P
24 I read somewhere (Baseball Musings maybe?) that BTF was having some DNS issues. I thought they were fixed but I guess not.
2006-11-30 14:41:15
31.   yankee23
22 You've just gotta give it time. I just sponsored Taveras' today for $10 and it was $40 a couple weeks ago.
2006-11-30 14:42:33
32.   yankee23
29 You can just use page down a couple of times, it works well for me.
2006-11-30 14:46:49
33.   OldYanksFan
"In that light, Igawa is more appealing for the Yankees, even if he is no better than a No. 5 starter. The $26 million the Yankees bid to negotiate is not subject to luxury taxes. With no other teams competing, the Yankees are hopeful of signing Igawa to a four-year deal for $18 million, at most."

If so, here's the cost
$26 mil - Bid
$18 mil - Salary
$7.2 mil - Tax
$51.2 Total / 4 years = $12.8/yr actual cost

Ted Lilly, et al
$36/4 years - salary
$14.4 - tax
$50.4 Total / 4 years = $12.6/yr actual cost

So basically, Igawa costs us the same as a 9.2 mil/yr guy.

Is this worth it?
(Not to mention a few bucks lost on the interest on the $26 mil paid up front)
Is this guy better then Lily?

And who is this ARod guy? I can't find anything to read about him.

2006-11-30 17:30:34
34.   RIYank
33 What are you quoting there?

Along the same lines (and way off the main topic), Mike Plugh has a new analysis of Igawa. (Can I call him The Iguana? It goes so well with Godzilla.)

Here's Mike's prediction:

29 GS
209 IP
14-9 record (1 decision for every 9 IP)
4.20 ERA
194 hits
21 HR
53 BB
172 K
1.182 WHIP
3.25 K/BB
7.41 K/9

(That ERA seems high for those the WHIP and K/9, no?)

Mike suggests that we might be looking at an Andy Pettitte type career. Having absolutely no clue about how good The Iguana might be, myself, I'm loving reading Mike's optimism.

2006-11-30 18:34:48
35.   David
Plugh's prediction for Igawa is 14-9, .609 winning percentage, 4.20 ERA.

Jaret Wright last season was 11-7, .611 winning percentage, 4.49 ERA.

If Plugh is right, the Yanks will pay around $13 million per year for a pitcher only slightly better than Wright.

2006-11-30 18:36:44
36.   yankz
34 "(Can I call him The Iguana? It goes so well with Godzilla.)"

I thought that EXACT same thing today.

2006-11-30 18:49:17
37.   OldYanksFan
34 It's one of the NY newspapers. All have mentioned similar numbers. The math is mine. Is it wrong?

Lily has a career ERA of 4.6, and his peripherals aren't quite as good as those posted above, so Igawa might be better then the FA market. Might be.

But there are still issues of not knowing the batters, the language, the culture and many other factors. We know Lily can eat American food without getting sick.

I can't say the Igawa bid was a bad deal, but I can't see it as that good either. Plus if Igawa had problems with the HR ball in Japan, he could be in for a world of hurt here.

2006-11-30 18:59:39
38.   matt0620

Mike Plugh's Igawa prediction:
209 IP
1.182 WHIP

Jaret Wright 2006:
140.1 IP
1.52 WHIP

2006-11-30 19:14:29
39.   RIYank
37 No, the math is right. I was just wondering.
Yeah, the whole thing is a crap shoot as far as I'm concerned. I'm just pleased to see the one guy whose opinions on the topic are more than hot air (that's Mike) feeling optimistic.

And hey, three extra wins for three million bucks? Cashman will take that any day. Me too. I mean, I'll take three extra Yankee wins for three million of Cashman's bucks. Personally, I need the millions more than I need the wins.

2006-11-30 20:00:36
40.   Yu-Hsing Chen
People need to realize that the yankees got incrediablly lucky in Wright last year that

1. he actually made all his starts (albit almost all of them are mind boggling short)

2. he out performed his periphals by a good margin. with no real explaination other than luck. such as his insanely low HR/9 even when he routinely give up flyballs.

2006-11-30 22:44:55
41.   Zack
And don't forget that Iggy is a lefty...
2006-11-30 22:46:40
42.   BklynBmr
We should start getting into Matsuzaka's head before he even inks a deal and sign this guy:

A first baseman, no less...

2006-12-01 01:12:09
43.   mikeplugh
Hey people.

My calculations put him at a 1.182 WHIP, but I also caluclated a 3.13 ERA or something. The math isn't perfect. Generally the walks, strikeouts, home runs, and hits come out far more accurately than the ERA. I adjusted the ERA to match the kind of boost that Clay Davenport got on his calculations compared to mine with Matsuzaka. I think I had Daisuke at a 2.60 or 2.70 for his MLB conversion, which seemed far too low. Davenport had almost the same peripherals, but a 3.40 ERA.

I went around baseball looking for player comparisons for the kind of ratios, walks, strikeouts, hits, and so on and found Randy Johnson, Andy Pettitte, and C.C. Sabathia in a comfortable range. I don't think that Igawa will be Sabathia, and he isn't even remotely similar to Unit, but he pitches very similarly to Andy Pettitte. It struck me. They could be very similar in pinstripes.

When I checked AP's numbers with the Yankees, I found that he had pretty mediocre ratios and a not at all pretty K/BB. He is a Yankee Legend of the highest order in many minds, but he may have benefitted from the situation. If Igawa can use his leftyness and put up the same kind of numbers as Pettitte, there's no reason he can't win 14, 16, 19, or 21 games for the Bombers in any given year.

I'm not saying it will happen, but it looks like a better than 50% chance that it will pan out. If any of my numbers crunching, and optimism based on having seen him pitch for 3 years, pans out we stole him at the money we're paying.

One question....where did $13 million come from? I've been reading 4 years at 4-5 million per. By my fuzzy math, that comes out to $10.5-11.5 million a year.

2006-12-01 01:44:04
44.   mikeplugh

If you look at what Jaret Wright did over two seasons with the Yankees, you see about one season of work. He threw 204 innings over two seasons. Igawa will do that by himself next year alone, if he doesn't prove to be so bad that the Yankees option him to AAA. I'd say there's about a 1% chance of that happening.

Wright is a soon to be 31 year old right handed pitcher with a career ERA over 5.00 and a career mark of 91 for his ERA+. He is also one of the most injury prone player in baseball. That's why the Yankees wrote the buyout into his contract. If you combine his two season with the Yankees and divide them equally, you get the following per season numbers:

8-6 record
20 GS
102 IP
119 Hits Allowed
9 HR Allowed
44.5 BBs
59 Ks
56.5 ER
4.99 ERA
1.603 WHIP
10.5 Hits/9
3.93 BB/9
5.21 K/9
1.33 K/BB

Because of his injuries, you should expect that this is what you'll get out of him in any given season. If nothing else, Igawa's track record suggests that you'll do no worse on the numbers, and probably MUCH better, plus he'll do it over 30+ starts and 200+ innings....from the left side.

2006-12-01 03:33:15
45.   Shaun P
44 Great points, Mike. When you put it that way, its a wonder Ca$hmoney was able to get anything for Wright. He really was subpar.

I think taking a flyer on Zuleta is a worthwhile idea, not just because he has some success against DM. With 1B wide open, why not have a few people competing for the job? If he loses out to Guiel or Wilson or whoever, someone like Zuleta might take an assignment to the minors, knowing he might get back up.

2006-12-01 05:21:56
46.   jayd
All the things I've read on 1st basemen and not a one will be any better than Andy Phillips.

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