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Minky Dinky Dog
2007-01-04 05:32
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

While the Randy Johnson story plods alongs, the Bombers are reportedly close to signing a first baseman. According to Anthony McCarron in today's Daily News:

The Yankees and Doug Mientkiewicz are so close to completing a one-year contract that the first baseman was on his way to New York yesterday to take a physical, according to a source. The lefty-hitting former Met likely will play first against righties in a platoon with Josh Phelps or Andy Phillips as Jason Giambi serves as the full-time DH.

This news is certain not to be received well by those sabermetrically-inclined Yankee fans, but it appears as if Alex Rodriguez's high school teammate will be playing in the Bronx this year. Mienkiewicz is a glove man who does not hit much.

Comments (131)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-04 05:42:37
1.   Jim Dean
Three 1B's = good times for the mad lineup scrambler known as Mr. Tea. This move reeks of over-thinking.

I'm going to go throw up now.

2007-01-04 05:54:31
2.   mehmattski
Even if the cries of the statheads went unheard in the Yankees front office, the guy had serious back surgery in August, and this concerns no one?

Maybe the Yankees just figured that, with the trade of RJ, they needed to fill their "creaky back" quota.

It will be nice to have Tony Womack's bat back in the lineup. Along with Danny Tartabul's speed. And he'll get more playing time as the lefty-hitter in a platoon. Ugh.

2007-01-04 05:56:26
3.   Knuckles
Not enthused...
Drives me nuts when a player continues to trade on a reputation that's no longer valid (Minky= good defense).
I'd also hoped for the RJ deal to return 2 young starters- can this Vizcaino guy really push someone out of the pen? Seems awfully crowded back there, and if Cash is stockpiling in order to deal from strength, he'd get a better return on young SP, even if it means coughing up more of the Unit's salary.
2007-01-04 06:09:22
4.   unpopster
When the Yanks win the World Serious this year, who ever fields the final out better not toss it to Minky -- just run it to first your damn self!
2007-01-04 06:23:01
5.   Sliced Bread
Minky Dinky Dog is right, Alex.

Why would Cashman waste Bob Sheppard's breath on Mientkiewicz?

No kidding at all, I'd rather see Giambi or Mattingly or Bernie playing 1B for the Yanks in '07.

Doug Needs-a-breath-mintkayvitch? Woof.

2007-01-04 07:01:05
6.   pistolpete
Let's see what happens out of spring training people - after all, Tony Fernandez was our projected Opening Day SS in 1996... ;-)
2007-01-04 07:06:23
7.   wsporter
It's not much money relatively so I guess we can cut him loose if it doesn't work out but it takes up limited roster space. I was hoping for other things.

I think SG over at RLYW said it best "If Doug Mientkiewicz is the answer, then you're asking the wrong question."

2007-01-04 07:21:48
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
here's something to consider regarding mientkiewicz:

the filled roster spot might just push bernie into the retirement home.

thanks for the memories, bern. can't wait to see your plaque in the new stadium.

2007-01-04 07:24:48
9.   Sliced Bread
7 Exactly, wsporter. The nausea that comes with the possibility of Mientkiewicz in pinstripes isn't about the money, it's about the potential wasted roster space, and an unwelcomed reversal in the recent Yankees trend to jettison creaky, past-prime players.

Oh well. If the Yankees physical requires Dougie Not-So-Fresh to bend at the waist and touch his knees, perhaps he will fail, and return to Mt. Mediocrity.

2007-01-04 07:26:19
10.   Sliced Bread
8 Seriously, Bernie might be a better (and cheaper!) option than Stinkayvitch.
2007-01-04 07:26:38
11.   JL25and3
I'd rather have Bernie in the lineup than Mxyzptlk.
2007-01-04 07:30:00
12.   Yankee Fan In Boston
10 11 i'm not saying that it is a better option, just that it could result in an increase in guitar time for the guy.

time will tell how this works out.

2007-01-04 07:35:34
13.   rbj
Meh. There isn't a cheaper AAAA player than Minky? Maybe someone with a bit more of a glove who could be flipped midseason for another reliever?
2007-01-04 07:42:27
14.   vockins
I think Mink's glove is overrated, too. This blows.
2007-01-04 07:47:53
15.   standuptriple
Anything over minimum MLB salary is highway robbery and a waste of a roster spot. Please pass Ca$h. KC doesn't even think he's worth holding on to...
2007-01-04 07:55:54
16.   smingers
If Doug Minky is our regular 1B next year, RJ gets flipped for just one B-grade prospect and a run-of-the-mill reliever, and Nieves is our back up catcher, my estimation of Cashman's offseason drops precipitously (I'm already giving him a pass on getting outbid by the Sox for Dice-K then over-bidding on Igawa). I think Cashman has mostly done a good job, but these things give me pause.
2007-01-04 07:56:21
17.   jkay
The Stadium food vendor is cutting out trans fats in 2007. Fans can now safely double up the order of chicken fingers and fries.

http://tinyurl.com/w2ppw

Centerplate Plans to Eliminate Trans Fats in 2007

2007-01-04 08:04:26
18.   mikeplugh
I can't wait to hear the spin on this signing. Most people won't even know that his defense is at best league average because the major media outlets always stick to 5 year old stereotypes of guys. Torii Hunter is a gold glove outfielder, Doug Mientkiewicz flashes leather, David Eckstein is a 4 foot pile of grit and fancypants.

Vomit.

2007-01-04 08:09:02
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
loretta will sign with houston.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2719795

okay. now i am beginning to question ca$hman. if he could have signed loretta instead of doogie, i hope he would have spent there instead.

however, i will wait this out before i form an opinion... he IS ca$hman, and i will try to trust him...

2007-01-04 08:13:27
20.   wsporter
I really am at a loss to explain this one. I know the defensive metrics guys can twist some of the descriptive stats into showing he's a combination of Donny B, Hernandez and Eddie Kranepool but.... ehh.

I really had hoped Ca$hman had something in mind with Texas and this mounting supply of young arms. There is a guy down there whose name rhymes with Texeria that would look good over there. Oh well. Any chance we signed Alphabets as a backup?

2007-01-04 08:17:00
21.   Andre
Maybe Minky is worth more as emotional support for ARod than as a 1st basement. We've done fine with poor to middling 1st basemen so far. If this guy helps ARod's psyche then he's worth every penny in my book.
2007-01-04 08:35:59
22.   Shaun P
Couple what Andre says in 21 with the chance that Minky is used primarily as a LIDR/LH pinch hitter off the bench instead of the primary 1B starter vs RHP, and maybe its not so bad.

Why would Minky not be the primary 1B starter vs RHP? I looked up Minky's stats, and he's shown a slight reverse platoon split in his career. That is, he hits lefties (.269/.360/.420) a little better than he does righties (.271/.359/.400).

This may all be moot if Phillips (who's shown reverse platoon splits himself in his limited MLB at-bats) or Phelps, or both, crush the ball in Spring Training, and Minky doesn't.

I'm not a huge fan of signing Minky, but I'm still hopeful.

2007-01-04 08:51:32
23.   Schteeve
I'm sure hsi physical will reveal a belly full of, you know it, guts.
2007-01-04 08:52:21
24.   jakewoods
Why havent they traded Phillip Hughes for a 1b yet????

I think the Yanks will survive with a platoon at 1b.

2007-01-04 08:53:38
25.   jakewoods
18

Didnt Eckstein just win the World Series MVP???

But I guess hes still not loved by the stat geeks.

2007-01-04 08:54:23
26.   Yankee Fan In Boston
disclaimer: i post this in defense of mr. ca$hman, not doogie.

according to http://tinyurl.com/y8elpf , doog's range was two thousandths of a point better than league average last year. so he's average. that is better than giambi. who is far less than average.

he isn't the defensive wizard that he once was, but hopefully he can relax, knowing that all that will be expected of him is to field.

also, perhaps hitting in the yankee lineup will benefit his numbers more than the mighty KC juggernaut?

(these are glass-half-full suggestions, i know, but i have to think that ca$hman knows what he is doing. if not, the very foundation of my understanding of the universe shall crumble.)

2007-01-04 08:55:27
27.   RIYank
18 Mike, how tall is David Epstein, and how much does he weigh?
2007-01-04 08:56:42
28.   standuptriple
25 Eckstein will never be loved by stat geeks. A CF falling down was his major contribution (other than the grittiness).
2007-01-04 09:00:26
29.   Jim Dean
Lest we forget:

Giambi (AB AVG OBP SLG OPS)

Career:
1B: 4448 .311 .434 .577 1.011
DH: 1349 .246 .388 .483 .871

2006:
1B: 268 .289 .459 .592 1.051
DH: 306 .224 .373 .531 .904

What do they need Mhfc9udsvh for? The ten close and late games they'll play all year? Giambi should be playing 1B half-time, at least - he makes up for his defense with his bat. And I don't buy the - he gets hurt more argument. The guy ravages his body - of course he'll get hurt.

I'm going to throw up again.

2007-01-04 09:00:31
30.   Yankee Fan In Boston
28 he showed a lot of chutzpah in the on deck circle.
you need to mention that, too. seriously. you need to mention it and show footage of him pacing and whirling his bat around in the circle as often as possible.
not just if you are broadcasting a game, but in your own life in as many situations as possible as well.
2007-01-04 09:01:57
31.   RIYank
Here's an interesting take on the Zito signing, while we're waiting to see what actually happens with Doug and Randy.
http://tinyurl.com/y8h3l2
Here's the gist. Going by MORP projections, Zito's next seven years are worth an expected $100 million in present dollars, which is almost exactly what he got. But going by PECOTA projections, those years are worth $43 million in present value. The discrepency is mainly explained by the difference between ERA (which MORP uses) and peripheral statistics (which PECOTA uses, largely ignoring ERA). So if you think ERA is not very robust (even after it's adjusted for parks and stuff like that), you should expect PECOTA to be more accurate, in which case the Giants overpaid for Zito grotesquely.
2007-01-04 09:05:38
32.   Shaun P
29 There is the (IMHO large) possibility that Giambi plays half his games in the field, so that some combination of Matsui/Damon/Abreu can DH. Which, of course, gets Melky some ABs too.
2007-01-04 09:21:27
33.   standuptriple
31 Unless the NL West continues to suck. Then it might not be so bad. I wouldn't be surprised if Zito won 18+ this season. Plus, the Giants needed a Red Herring after the PR backlash of the Bonds signing. I'm not saying it's a good deal, but in the grand scheme of things it might have been their best remaining (albeit limited) option.
2007-01-04 09:25:43
34.   Jim Dean
32 That's what damn well should happen - exactly why there's no reason to sign Mhgjrsjfvhui. Let Phelps and Andy battle it out for RH 1B and das it. To waste a roster spot on a LIDR is just disgusting.

What's next - Cairo?

2007-01-04 09:31:41
35.   Shaun P
34 Well, Minky has played a little 2B before, and Andy can play 3B (with A-Rod sliding over to SS), so maybe Cairo is not needed. ;)
2007-01-04 09:40:45
36.   williamnyy23
Why is everyone up in arms over Doug Mientkiewicz? Right now, the Yankees do not have a 1B. Phelps and Phillips are, at best, platoon options, and there is no way Giambi should ever be counted on for more than spot duty at first (not only because he is ridiculously bad, but because doing so also leaves him more vulnerable to injury).

While Mientkiewicz is not an ideal option, there isn't much else available. What's more, by signing him to a one-year deal, the Yankees can pretty much dispose of him if he flops. In the meantime, they are getting a slightly below league average bat with a slightly above average glove. Signing Mientkiewicz is simply a stop-gap move and does not preclude more creative measures should they present themselves.

19 Finally, as for Loretta, both he and Mientkiewicz are pretty much the same exact offensive player. The difference between the two is Mientkiewicz is a lefty (and can platoon with Phelps/Phillips) and a much more experienced first baseman. As much as Mientkiewicz leaves something to be desired, Loretta would have been more of an ill fit as a first baseman.

2007-01-04 09:48:30
37.   Jim Dean
35 You know, for all this talk of Cashman being a genius, I'd say he's a pretty remedial learner. It took how many years to figure out that young pitching is important? Even then, Wang was a fluke - he wasn't in the plans.

Now, Cash is on a coke-fiendish "Get More pitching" kick, scratching his nose and offering overpriced 6'10" blowjobs to get more of his fix. Why?

Congrats Cash! You've learned something in ten years. How about a fucking bench worth having? How many years before you learn that's important?

Looking forward to the Spring controversy - who wins the 1B fucktard contest? Why, so Joe can play Cairo there?

2007-01-04 09:58:17
38.   Jim Dean
36 You gotta read the above posts.

1) Mfweuidvhhjk is average, at best, and coming off of back surgery. His best days are far behind him.

2) Giambi hits significantly better when he plays the field, and he's going to get hurt regardless of where he plays. The man has abused his body for years - there's no preventing injuries with him.

3) A platoon at 1B means a few things:

a) Three 1B's on your roster (wretch..)
b) Little playing time for Melky, their best defensive OF and a better bat than any of the platoon 1B's IMHO (hurl...)
c) What, you sit Giambi in interleague games and the Serious? (there's my lunch!)

2007-01-04 10:07:15
39.   Shaun P
37 Relax, dude. You might want to try some Jim Beam, Jim Dean. ;) Two things to keep in mind.

First, Ca$hmoney has only had total and complete control for 14+ months (since November '05). It is very hard to evaluate what happened from Feb. '98 'til Nov. '05 given that none of us knows who was responsible for what moves.

Second, the season hasn't started yet. Come opening day, the Yanks bench may include a decent backup catcher (not Nieves), a decent backup MI (not Cairo), Melky, and Phelps/Phillips. That is, all things considered, the Yanks' best bench in years.

2007-01-04 10:12:38
40.   williamnyy23
38

1) If you read my post, you'd see that I described Mientkiewicz as a slightly below league average bat with a slightly above average glove.

2) Giambi may hit better when he plays the field (although comparing his career stats is misleading because Giambi played mostly 1B in his best seasons), but he is brutal in the field. What's more, his 2006 splits have narrowed to the point that the Yankees would be better with Giambi as a full-time DH.

3) I don't think the Yankees need to worry about carrying three 1B. It's not like they have stronger bench players being edged out. While it would great if the Yankees could play Melky more (if he is even on the team), the current alignment just doesn't allow for it. Still, I'm sure he will get his fair share of ABs as the Yankees aging team could benefit from a few extra days offs. The W.S. and interleague also shouldn't be a factor as the Yankees can adjust their strategy for these short-term events.

2007-01-04 10:21:46
41.   Jeteupthemiddle
Regarding the bench, I also agree that it is the best bench they have had in years.

Obviously this is mostly because Melky is on it, but he is a good player on our bench, there is credit for that somewhere.

Also, I'm assuming Kevin Thompson will be the 5th outfielder. Mostly, his job will be to pinch run for Giambi and Posada late in close games. Awesome.

The other bench spots go to a back up catcher and a middle infielder.

The season didn't start yet.

Cashman has had a very good offseason so far, it seems pointless to complain about the bench when it has improved between last year and the season didn't start yet.

Phillips and Phelps are still in the mix.

2007-01-04 10:22:29
42.   Freddy Toliver
I wouldn't get too up in arms about it. Cash and Torre load up on grizzled old veterans every winter - remember that last year's opening day roster included 3 catchers since Nieves made the team, plus Phillips, Williams, Cairo, and Crosby. Of that bunch, only Phillips could be considered a youngish player. And those guys beat out guys like Mitch Jones, Feliz Escalona, Russ Johnson, Damian Rolls, Chris Prieto, Keith McDonald, and Andy Cannizaro.

Abreu, Damon, and Matsui play every game no matter what, so only one backup OF is needed and Melky fits the bill. That leaves 4 bench spots to fill - surely no third catcher is needed and I would guess they don't fill up with all three of Manichevitz, Phillips, and Phelps as 1B/DH/PH.

All three will be in a Spring competition for 1 (or possibly 2) spots, as Cairo will be with someone for the reserve INF spot. That leaves 1-2 spots for either a young player like one of the Kevins (Reese or Thompson) or a washed up old guy like Dougy Fresh.

Remember that we had signed a bunch of washed up 1B/Dh types last year too (Carlos Pena, Durazo). If Manichevitz can't play during the Spring, he'll be cut loose.

What I'd like to see is Melky in LF fulltime and Matsui or Abreu playing 1B. Neither are good outfielders any longer but both are good enough ballplayers to convert to 1B (at least as well as Sheff did for the playoffs).

2007-01-04 10:24:57
43.   vockins
MinkqTHX1138 is slightly below average hitter for a 1st baseman?

Maybe if the league is AA, I guess.

2007-01-04 10:34:17
44.   Jim Dean
39 It doesn't help - just delays the pain.

Cash "control" = Stinnett, Cairo, Long, Erickson, Ponson, Fasano = far from one of the best GM's.

40 I did.

1) Mofhvjxfhg is an average glove and a far, very far, below average bat for 1B's. And he just had back surgery.

2) Narrowed? That's normal variance - he hit better overall last year. The difference between 1B and DH was still .150 OPS - that makes up for his defense,and if anything the difference actually increased, see 29. What's more - his 2006 splits show the exact same pattern, see again 29.

3) Melky is the stronger bench player being edged out. He's the only saving grace on the bench right now. He'll hit better than the 1B platoon and field better than any of the OF's. And if they trade him they re-sign Bernie for another year, who's a platoon DH at this point.

As for the interleague and Serious, I'd rather not having Giambi relearning 1B for those 15 games a year - esp. not the last three or four - and esp. not for Mfhgghfk.

But hey, that's just me!

2007-01-04 10:40:06
45.   Jim Dean
41 Sorry, the current bench means:

1) A platoon 1B = No 5th OF.

2) Nieves or Chavez - who amazingly are a step down from John Kelly Fasano.

3) Cairo? - who's still Cairo

4) Melky = thank god. IMHO he should be playing everyday until he proves he shouldn't be.

2007-01-04 10:41:54
46.   rilkefan
SG at RLYW says:

"... With the caveat that ZR doesn't measure all aspects of a first baseman's job, the glove still appears to be sound.

Mientkiewicz's not good, but he's not awful. He'll probably be about average or slightly below."

http://yankeefan.blogspot.com/2007/01/ny-post-yanks-doug-reach-tentative-deal.html

2007-01-04 10:52:26
47.   Zavo
Giambi is not an option at 1B, the Yankees have said he is now a full-time DH. He is terrible there and it increases his risk of getting hurt. We all know he hits better there, but it isn't going to happen on any consistent basis so he better get used to DHing.

Yeah, Doug isn't that good, but I don't see the problem with a one-year signing here. Who is he blocking? Andy and Phelps (one of which he will most likely platoon with)? People are concerned about that? We are going to still score a ton of runs, and his defense is MUCH better than Giambi's. Who would we sign that was better (I would have prefered Wilson, but the Yanks apparently didn't). We have no minor leaguers ready to step in and play 1B.

People are also laughing about him being friends with Arod. That is no reason to sign him, but ARod could use some friends in that clubhouse with Shef gone, so it COULD have some unmeasurable value.

Also, the one-year deal means if he stinks or his back doesn't hold up, I don't think they will have a problem eating his salary and getting rid of him.

2007-01-04 10:52:53
48.   tommyl
45 Who would you have Cashman go after for the 1B job then? The only option that might be available is Sexson, and we'd have to give up someone for him most likely.

I agree with others on here. Minky might not even make the team out of spring training, its a cheap 1-year deal and he can be easily discarded. So long as this doesn't prevent more creative moves down the road I'm fine with it.

I'm much more concerned with the backup catcher situation. There's a huge dropoff if Jorge has to miss any significant time.

2007-01-04 11:13:11
49.   Jeteupthemiddle
I just like to think the offseason isn't over yet.

AAA is brimming with talent that we don't have space for.

Wouldn't it be shocking to anyone if a lesser starter (Karstens/White) was traded for a guy capable of being a bench player or a back up catcher.

I'm not sure we can judge the roster until it is complete. Right now, it is clearly not complete.

2007-01-04 11:18:25
50.   williamnyy23
44

1) Considering that current metrics place him just above average, and he has generally been an above average first baseman for most of his career, I think it is fair to label Mientkiewicz as a slightly above average glove.

As for his bat, I said he was a slightly below average hitter and made no qualification for his position.

2) Considering that it is probably likely that Giambi has played nearly every game when he was less than 100% as a DH, I think that element would necessarily deflate his numbers. Without seeing a more in depth analysis, I am not ready to accept as truth that being DH has a direct impact on Giambi's offense. Having said that, I think the following from Goldman's Blog says it best on Giambi's defense:

http://www.yesnetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061219&content_id=1416183&oid=36019&vkey=5

3) As mentioned, Melky should get his fair share of ABs. Of course, that isn't necessarily a good thing. After all, Melky's 2006 OPS+ of 100 is just a tad above Mientkiewicz' career total of 99 (which itself is miles ahead of Phillips 77 from last season).

The fact that Cashman has not overreacted and made a stupid trade for a Richie Sexson type is a good thing. I'd much rather live with Mientkiewicz than trade good prospects for a 1B at this point. Who knows, if 1B continues to be a black hole, Cashman can always pick up Adam Dunn on the cheap, just like he did with Abreu.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-04 11:23:02
51.   Jim Dean
48 Me, I'm happy with Phillips and Phelps fighting it out, Giambi playing 1b half-time like last year, and Melky playing half time. If that fails b/c of injury of ineffectiveness from the RH 1B you make a trade in June.

47 Mgfjkgjhgh blocks Melky by way of Giambi at DH. This isn't Melk-love. He's a better hitter than any of the 1B's and fields better than any of the OFs. Melky improves the team's chances of winning when he plays.

Giambi's bad defensively but he makes up for it by hitting better at 1B. And the notion that he just has to get used to DHing was what everyone said last year. It didn't happen. He's a 1B who gets hurt because he pumped PEDs into his system for years and still parties like he's 25.

2007-01-04 11:25:47
52.   Levy2020
Craig Wilson!
2007-01-04 11:27:21
53.   wsporter
It's January 4th and way to early to begin judging the roster in terms of it being a completed product. I think we can fairly discuss what we need but I fail to see how it's relevant or informative to dump on Ca$hman for something that hasn't been finished. If it's June 2007 and things look like this then dump away. Right now it seems silly.

If our biggest concerns are back up I.F. and catcher I feel pretty good about things.

2007-01-04 11:28:47
54.   Zavo
51 But the Yankees said Giambi isn't going to play 1B. Whether that is Cashman, Torre, Giambi himself or a combination of the above we don't know. The only things we do know are Giambi is a terrible defensive 1B and the Yankees have no plan playing him there anymore. They played Sheffield over him at 1B in the playoffs, that should be all we need to know.

If that is the reality, I don't see how having Doug M on a one year deal to platoon with Andy/Phelps is a terrible move for the team.

2007-01-04 11:36:53
55.   Jim Dean
50 He's average - he's just as likely to be a few points above than below. And for his bat, you have to consider his position - he's not playing anywhere else.

Giambi as a DH when he's hurt is a hypothesis we had last year. 2006 disproved that hypothesis. Torre put him in the DH slot to start the year, and took him in and out of the field based on matchups. The conclusion is clear: Giambi is a worse hitter when he DH's - a much worse hitter.

As for his defense I don't disagree with Goldman. But his offense makes up for it, and they can get way with his defense for half the season. Plus, if that means Melky's bat and glove get into the game, then you've improved your offense even further while also improving your defense. The point of the game is to score more runs than you allow.

If everyone's healthy and they go with with a platoon at 1B, Melky doesn't play. It's that simple. And why compare Melky's career OPS+ with Mgefjdkgfh when the former is clearly on the upsurge of his trajectory while the latter is clearly on the downslope. Further, Melky was far, very far, above average in the field. He should be playing long before Meieofhvdjk, and also before the RH 1B. If that means a step down in 1B defense, but an huge upsurge in 1B offense, then so be it.

2007-01-04 11:37:22
56.   Jeteupthemiddle
The Yankees have a lot of groundball pitchers on the team now.

It behooves them from a pitching stand point to keep Giambi as far away from the bag as possible.

It may outweigh his offensive production....which appeared to be nearly even in 2006.

2007-01-04 11:37:39
57.   tommyl
51 I never said Minky was the final say. I just see nothing wrong with signing him to a cheap 1-year deal, taking him to ST and then dumping him if it doesn't work.

52 You are right of course, but Torre seems to hate him. Signing him and having him never, ever play doesn't do us any good either.

2007-01-04 11:38:47
58.   jkay
Check out this video/commentary on the fine food choices available in Bronx Bodegas....

http://tinyurl.com/yyokhl

We're pleased to unveil our first Premiere video of 2007, "Bodega."

The first video in a new series about life in the Bronx, "Bodega" is a humorous yet searing commentary about the choices confronting people who live in "the poorest urban county in the country." Casimir Nozkowski and the creative team of Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam, who most recently collaborated on the video "Ghetto Big Mac", which was picked by the The Daily Reel as one of the Top 10 Online Videos of 2006, created the video. "Bodega" is live today at The Daily Reel.

2007-01-04 11:39:04
59.   Harley
25 Jake, please leap over to firejoemorgan as quickly as humanly possible to read up on the gritty Mr. Eckstein. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll, well, see him in a more accurate light.
2007-01-04 11:45:12
60.   Jim Dean
53 Sorry wsport. Folks said the same thing last year. Cairo played 45 games at 2B last year, 16 games at 1B, 14 games at SS, 8 games at 3rd, and even manged to work his way in tothe DH slot (2 games) and LF (1 game). Add all that up and that's 88 games (222 AB's) of Tony Womack (59 OPS+). Some things never change.

As for the catcher - Jorge tore a knee ligament last year. Luckily it was behind the knee. If it was in front of the knee he would have been lost for much longer. I'd rather they have some options back there that aren't worse than John Kelly Fasano.

2007-01-04 11:59:11
61.   Yankee Fan In Boston
holy crap, kei igawa is either hilarious or has no sense of humor at all.

either way, he just won some points with me.

http://tinyurl.com/yfwtep

2007-01-04 12:03:29
62.   Jim Dean
61 Nice.
2007-01-04 12:04:43
63.   tommyl
61 He rules. I'm starting to love him already, now lets just hope he can pitch too.
2007-01-04 12:09:29
64.   dianagramr
So Minky will become the ___th player to suit up for both the Mets and Yanks ...

(someone fill in the number ... I'm just curious)

2007-01-04 12:14:30
65.   Yankee Fan In Boston
63 yeah. i think that regardless of his performance, i will have a soft spot for this kid. i hope he was doing an ali g kind of schtick in reverse, but if he wasn't? ...well that's even funnier to me.

64 i bet that if you spell out whatever number that goes in that spot, the letters will be found in his last name. (50/50 chance anyway.)

2007-01-04 12:16:35
66.   thelarmis
64 M-witz (god, i hate his name. and "minky" is even worse. ugh all around), will become the 101st player to suit up for both yanks/muts.

http://tinyurl.com/y26egd

2007-01-04 12:17:30
67.   thelarmis
that Igawa interview rules! for some reason, i've had a good feeling about this guy the whole very time. i sure hope it shows on the hill...
2007-01-04 12:28:24
68.   OldYanksFan
Hey!!! I didn't know PeteAbe was this funny! From his blog:

Anonymous writes: Peter, you are really a (bad word) idiot. Trading Johnson makes no (bad word) sense. The Yankees will miss him.

Answer: I honestly had no idea my Mom read the blog. Or liked Randy so much.

2007-01-04 12:31:38
69.   Yankee Fan In Boston
66 d*O*ug mi*EN*ki*ED*v*HNU*w*OEN*i*DDR*c*E*z
2007-01-04 12:58:41
70.   domvjr
According to Sweeny Murti on the Fan, the Johnson deal is done. Yanks get 4 players for RJ. SS, Gonzalez, Vizcaino, and 2 minor league pitchers.
2007-01-04 13:02:13
71.   Yankee Fan In Boston
70 yup.

http://tinyurl.com/y7bkyc

2007-01-04 13:12:50
72.   pistolpete
71 Well which is it - the link only mentions Vizcaino and a pitching prospect...
2007-01-04 13:15:01
73.   Yankee Fan In Boston
72 an excellent question.
2007-01-04 13:17:47
74.   tommyl
Well if we get Owings he might also be our first base solution ;). Last year for AA he batted .355 with 18 HRs. That's not too shabby for a pitcher.
2007-01-04 13:20:28
75.   Zavo
I believe the minor leaguers are supposed to be Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson according to a post on another board (and that according to WFAN)
2007-01-04 13:20:38
76.   domvjr
the 2 minor league pitchers were, Russ Ohlendorf, and Stephen Jackson.
2007-01-04 13:21:21
77.   domvjr
75, you were a little to quick for me!
2007-01-04 13:22:17
78.   smingers
So no Owings?
2007-01-04 13:24:48
79.   pistolpete
"The Yankees, who have not commented on the potential deal, are willing to trade Johnson because they have a surplus of starting pitchers and would like to continue to restock their farm system with pitching prospects."

We do?

2007-01-04 13:27:57
80.   kylepetterson
79 We've got one too many Pavano's. Does that count?
2007-01-04 13:32:02
81.   tommyl
I'm hearing conflicting reports. Some have the Yankees sending some cash to the Dbacks, others have zero cash being sent over. Anyone know for sure?
2007-01-04 13:34:30
82.   Yankee Fan In Boston
81 if the yankees got 4 players, i would assume they are paying something.

...but with ca$hman, you never know.

2007-01-04 13:40:22
83.   tommyl
82 I wonder if they wanted more cash for Owings?

Anyone know anything about the other prospects in the deal?

2007-01-04 13:40:22
84.   tommyl
82 I wonder if they wanted more cash for Owings?

Anyone know anything about the other prospects in the deal?

2007-01-04 13:41:26
85.   Jim Dean
76 Wow, I just threw up for the third time today. So they saved $10 to 16 million. Great, congrats.

Is Vizcaino better than Bruney? or Britton? Because last I checked they didn't have room in the bullpen for a RHP.

And Ohlendorf - is he even better than Rasner or Karstens? If not, then what? He pitches another year in AA? At age 25?

The rest = scraps.

[wretch]

2007-01-04 13:41:31
86.   Jeteupthemiddle
Diamondbacks get:
Johnson

Yankees get:
Vizcaino--RP
Ohlendorf--SP
Jackson--SP
Gonzalez--SS

Not bad. Jackson is interesting to me.

No money has been mentioned.

2007-01-04 13:45:56
87.   Zavo
I hope adding Vizcaino means they try and trade Farnsworth or Proctor for a C or something else valuable.
2007-01-04 13:46:52
88.   tommyl
85 Sorry, Ohlendorf has a mid 90's power sinker. Last year in AA he had a 1.17 WHIP and gave up only 13 homers in 183 innings. He also only walked 29. That's pretty damn good to me.
2007-01-04 13:48:58
89.   Yankee Fan In Boston
88 don't hate, JD. ca$hman will find places for these arms. either in the yankee system, or in another.

it's all going to be fine.

2007-01-04 13:49:29
90.   Jeteupthemiddle
29 walks in something like 182 innings.

15 wild pitches though...which is just strange. lol.

2007-01-04 13:50:13
91.   tommyl
90 I'm guessing that's due to movement on his pitches and unfamiliar catchers. The kid is a strike machine.
2007-01-04 13:53:56
92.   kylepetterson
88 Mr. Abraham seems to think pretty highly of him. He also alludes to a possible Proctor trade.
2007-01-04 13:55:18
93.   tommyl
92 I actually liked him better than Owings, but what do I know. The SS prospect isn't awful either. Decent OBP and supposed to be the best defensive SS in the DBacks system. Not likely to amount to much, but who knows, maybe a future utility IF.
2007-01-04 13:57:10
94.   YankeeInMichigan
Farns: 72G, 66.0 IP, 8 HR, 28 BB, 75 K, 0.56 GO/AO, 1.36 WHIP, .376 SLG, .318 OBA, .243 AVG, 2.68 K/BB, 3.82 BB/9, 10.23 K/9, 8.45 H/9

Viz: 70G, 65.1 IP, 8 HR, 29 BB, 72 K, 1.19 GO/AO, 1.22 WHIP, .397 SLG, .311 OBA, .215 AVG, 2.48 K/BB, 3.99 BB/9, 9.92 K/9, 7.03 H/9

Remarkably similar, with Vizcaino holding the edge in preventing hits and inducing ground balls. League differences probably mean less for a reliever, since he probably faced very few pitchers.

2007-01-04 13:58:09
95.   tommyl
On Gonzalez:

For a minute there is looked like the best defensive shortstop in the Diamondbacks system might be getting buried. Stephen Drew is still the SS of the future (and before too long the present), but Gonzalez, and his incredible defense (he started last season with a 30+ game errorless streak at Lo-A South Bend), started hitting last season, and his continued development will be something to watch, as he could play every infield position, and do it with better defense than almost anyone else in the system.

Last year he hit: .290/.356/.392 at AA

2007-01-04 14:01:51
96.   Jim Dean
88 I'm going by John Sickles.

#18 Alberto Gonzalez, SS, C+ (good glove)

#19 Steven Jackson, RHP, C+ (excellent season in Double-A following mechanical rebuild)

#20 Ross Ohlendorf, RHP, C+ (sleeper who throws strikes)

- So the Yanks get the bottom of the prospect barrel and a reliever who may not make the bullpen out of camp, Or he bumps Bruney. And don't forget Vizcaino is due close to 2 million this year.

If that was the best they could do, they should have waited until April or May IMHO.

2007-01-04 14:06:22
97.   randym77
Well, at least A-Rod has a friend in the clubhouse now. Though I'd rather have given Craig Wilson another shot.

As for what's next...my guess is the Melky for Gonzo trade heats up again. Maybe with some Farnsy for Cain action after that.

Clemens...I dunno. He doesn't seem to be all that serious about baseball any more, and I can't see the Yanks going along with that.

2007-01-04 14:10:01
98.   Shaun P
From John Sickels's Minor League Ball:

#18 Alberto Gonzalez, SS, C+ (good glove)
#19 Steven Jackson, RHP, C+ (excellent season in Double-A following mechanical rebuild)
#20 Ross Ohlendorf, RHP, C+ (sleeper who throws strikes)

http://tinyurl.com/yhxu5v

Owings was rated at #6 ("B (solid all-around pitching prospect)") and Nippert at #9 ("B- (seems nervous in the majors)").

I see Vizcaino as insurance in case Briton needs a little more seasoning at AAA, or in case Bruney implodes (again). His numbers (when adjusting for the NL in '06) look very good.

2007-01-04 14:11:25
99.   Zavo
97 I think now that they got Vizcaino, Melky for Gonzalez would be less likely, no?
2007-01-04 14:11:32
100.   Shaun P
96 You beat me to it!

That's what happens when I take too much time to look up Vizcaino's translated numbers (and his splits versus lefties, very good last year FWIW).

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-04 14:13:48
101.   kylepetterson
I'm getting the feeling that John Sickels thinks that 3 of these guys are C+ players....
2007-01-04 14:13:50
102.   Jim Dean
100 Great minds...
2007-01-04 14:16:26
103.   randym77
99 How so?
2007-01-04 14:16:53
104.   Zavo
I enjoy Sickels writing and insight, but he is far from the end all, be all. He is the same guy who last year said, "Melky sucks, he can't hit."
2007-01-04 14:17:53
105.   unpopster
so that leaves us with a relief corp of:

Mo
Farnswacker
Proctor
Meyers
Bruney
Britton
Viscaino

Unless Torre goes with a 12-man staff, it means that Britton is now expendable. And since he probably won't be included in any future trades, suddenly the Wright trade doesn't look so good.

2007-01-04 14:18:45
106.   Shaun P
102 . . . ought to agree on something, as I think you and I have had different perspectives on everything the last couple of days.

Vizcaino is arb-eligible, and I think a free agent after '07. I bet the Yanks can get him to sign for $2M-3M (he signed for $1.775M last year to avoid arb).

2007-01-04 14:30:01
107.   Shaun P
104 Last winter, I too thought Melky couldn't hit. Whoops. I wouldn't hold it against Mr. Sickels.

105 Why wouldn't the Yanks go with a 12-man staff? I don't think it makes Britton expendable, I think it gives the Yanks good options. And good bullpen options, as any Red Sox fan will tell you, are a great thing to have.

Let me be overly critical for a moment. Britton is only 24 and has never seen any AAA time. Bruney pitched well in limited action last year for the Yanks . . . after imploding while with Arizona. And Scott Proctor could go back to being, well, Scott Proctor.

We all talk about these guys as if they are guaranteed gold. Their track records are good, they are young, they throw hard, and they throw strikes. The best way to build a bullpen seems to be to gather as many hard-throwing young arms as possible and see what sticks. And there's the rub - with the fluctuation in how almost all relievers perform from year to year, odds are at least one of those 3 won't do as well in '07 as he did in '06. In fact, one of them might implode altogether. Or get hurt.

So I think adding Vizcaino is a good idea.

And, if the Yanks want to try to turn Farnsworth, or Proctor (sell high!), into something else, there's plenty of room for Britton, Bruney, and Vizcaino.

2007-01-04 14:30:21
108.   randym77
Vizcaino is a RHP, and I think the Yanks will want a lefty. Either re-sign Villone, trade for Gonzo, or sign Schoeneweis.

I've heard some suggest that acquiring Vizcaino could make it possible for them to trade Proctor and Melky for Gonzo, but I can't see that happening. They seem to really like Proctor. Could they maybe trade Vizcaino instead of Proctor?

2007-01-04 14:36:21
109.   jakewoods
105

The Wright trade doesnt look good? Britton gives Torre options. He can now have arms in the minors ready to go in case he needs them. He gives options to Cashman in regards to deals.

Love what Cash is doing in stockpiling power arms.

He's traded a 4th starter, a 6th starter and a RF without a spot to play for high ceiling prospects and power arms.

2007-01-04 14:38:40
110.   Jim Dean
107 That's exactly the point - Relievers are fickle. Why base a major trade around one?

Otherwise, they get prospects at the bottom of their system?

Great, I'm glad they saved 16 million.

2007-01-04 14:54:02
111.   Jim Dean
I think the other bit that doesn't sit well with me: In one year's time, what are the chances this looks like a bad trade?

See, all Unit has to do is win another 17 - 20 games next year with an ERA in the 3's and it's a bad trade in my mind. I don't care who the Yanks get as a fifth starter - they're not topping that.

Sure, if the Yanks win the Serious with Clemens, then all is forgotten. If not, I think the Unit trade looks bad, esp since Vizcaino got rocked the last time he was in the AL and the prospects aren't even on the big club this time next year.

The moved a HOF they didn't have to, and for peanuts just to dump his salary.

2007-01-04 14:57:40
112.   Zack
111 They traded a 42 year old injured, declining jerk for 4 cheap chips that will make them a better team for the next decade. Its the kind of short-term, win now, what have you done for me lately thinking that got the Yanks where they are now. If Randy wins 17-20 games in the crappy NL West next year, good for him...
2007-01-04 15:04:35
113.   Jim Dean
112 You say tomatoe - I say tomato.

The inital trade was awful and should have never been made. But this was all about the cash. If they don't land Clemens then it was pointless.

He would have given them solid innings this year - the man at least always had professional pride.

They now have three givens in the rotation and two question marks. This trade made the team weaker with no obvious upgrade. Sorry - that's just my opinion. Sure they'll probably get the innings elsewhere. But to move him for that package? No thanks, and I accept I'm in the minority.

2007-01-04 15:07:02
114.   randym77
112 I agree. The NL is where old pitchers go in the twilight of their careers. RJ winning 20 games for the D-backs doesn't mean he'd do the same for us.

An old rumor is raising its head again today: that Ian Kennedy will be traded with Melky for Gonzalez. Supposedly, that's why the deal's on the backburner for now: as a 2006 draftee, Kennedy can't be traded until the end of January.

If it's true, I dunno. Kennedy is only a prospect, and a very green one, but he's a very highly-regarded prospect.

2007-01-04 15:09:10
115.   standuptriple
112 I've seen almost nothing but negativity from you. What has to happen to make you satisfied? Obviously Ca$h got what they thought was the best deal available for an aging former power thrower (note I did not say pitcher) who's coming off back surgery. I think the D-Backs are hoping for some nostaglia to put butts in the seats, a-la Rocket.
2007-01-04 15:11:06
116.   alasky
Jim you keep saying Vizcaino got rocked last time he was in the AL...his numbers weren't that bad in Chicago in 2005, iffy peripherals, good ERA, and before that he hasn't been in the AL for 6 seasons. He certainly wasn't rocked there. Also, he was in a hitter's park, which you should give him some credit for in both Arizona and Chicago...your facts may not be totally straight
2007-01-04 15:16:59
117.   Bama Yankee
111 Jim, a sausage magnate such as yourself should know that it is the end product that is important. We are getting to watch Cashman make the 2007 Yankees and (like sausage being made) it might not look pretty to you right now, but I trust that the final product will get the USDA stamp of approval and look nice sitting on that opening day breakfast table.
2007-01-04 15:22:39
118.   Zack
115 Did you mean that for me or Jim Dean? If me, I'm not sure why, I thought I was in favor of the trade? I meant the short term thinking part in reference to Jim...
2007-01-04 15:26:44
119.   kylepetterson
113 117 No offense, Jim, I know it's not original, I know that it's not all that clever, and I know it has to have been said a million times before, but those sausage jokes crack me up. crack. me. up. Honestly. It's predictable and irritating, but still funny. It's like Jeff Daniels tackling Mary Samsonite in the snow. You know it's coming, but, man, if it isn't hilarious. So no hard feelings if I laugh every time.
2007-01-04 15:26:52
120.   mehmattski
117 Holy extended metaphor, batman!

Seriously though, I agree... with so many arms potentially coming in the RJ trade that it isn't only the bullpen that will be crowded, it's also the AAA and AA rotations: Karstens, Rasner, Hughes, Clippard, Sanchez, White... I think there's another deal to be done before April 2. Or July 31. In fact, I'm gonna go ahead and start a rumor:

Carl Pavano, one of the non-Hughes guys listed above, and cash for Johan Santana or Carlos Zambrano. You heard it here first :-)

2007-01-04 15:28:36
121.   standuptriple
118 Sorry, meant 113.
2007-01-04 15:30:07
122.   Zack
dont forget that a few of those arms, Rasner, Karstens, Sanchez...could be ticketed for the bullpen too, a la Mariano and Mendoza...
2007-01-04 15:35:01
123.   OldYanksFan
Jeezus H Creest!
Another typical Yankee trade!
An over-the-hill, high priced, used up big name for youth with potential.
Jeezus H Creest!

wait.....
WE'RE dumping the old guy!
WE'RE getting the fresh blood!
Bless you Brian Cashman. We are on the path to righteousness!

2007-01-04 15:43:02
124.   OldYanksFan
I would also point out that if one of us proposed this trade in October, after the playoffs.. people here would have laughed and said with RJ's age, back (or lack thereof) and salary, we'ld be lucky to get a bag of balls for him.

Open your eyes guys.
Cashman has fleeced again!

2007-01-04 15:49:18
125.   randym77
124 I admit, I never imagined this. I figured we'd have to pay a lot more of RJ's salary, at least.

Though I wouldn't say Cashman fleeced anyone. They wanted RJ - that was what was surprising. And it was reportedly RJ who asked for the trade to begin with. Presumably, everyone thinks they came out ahead in this deal.

2007-01-04 15:55:41
126.   standuptriple
Randy gets to go home. AZ gets to play up their former glory while getting rid of players nobody in their fan base is attached to. Yanks dump $ and a bad attitude while getting younger/deeper. I think it's one of the few cases where everybody ends up happy (well except the rest of the D-Backs clubhouse that have to put up with a mediocre RJ).
2007-01-04 16:04:26
127.   mehmattski
Yeah I'd say it was more of a windbreaker than a fleece. Vizcaino offers a 1 K/9 upgrade over Scott Proctor, but not much else (other than depth). Jackson and Ohlendorf are both 24, both at AA, and both enter a Yankees minor league system overflowing with right handed starting pitchers. (Ohlendorf, though, went to Princeton and could give Mussina a crossword puzzle challenge or something). The lone position player, Alberto Gonzalez, appears to be a light-hitting (OPS .730) 23 year old shortstop, also at AA.

Overall, it's getting something in return, but not an Abreu-like steal. Like I said in 119, I believe this is not the complete puzzle, just the pieces. Or sausage parts, depending on your favorite analogy.

2007-01-04 16:22:50
128.   Jim Dean
Yes, yes sausage jokes through my whole life. It's okay - the ladies like my sausage.

All I know is:

Unit had a place on this team (whereas Shef and Wright didn't). None of the acquired pieces do. That's a net loss in my book. They don't make the 2007 Yankees better (I want to see Vizcaino be effective in the AL Beast).

As for the negativity, I've praised Cashman where appropriate. But as others have said, if they go into the 2007 with Raul Nieves and Cairo on the bench, and Melky and Ian gone for Gonzo and Bernie, then he still has a lot of work to do in my book.

2007-01-04 17:38:59
129.   DJSample
Back to the topic of the article... Doug M ;).

For what its worth, I was in the same gym where he does therapy. Take the comment with a huge boulder of salt because I'm certainly not trained to make medical assessments, but he seems to be moving well in his rehab. However, he was favoring the right shoulder the other day. Not sure if any of the therapy will help him hit more than 6 HR's.

2007-01-04 21:19:08
130.   Russell W
Um, call me stupid but I'd take Doug. For $1.5 million you get a very good defensive player, a friend of Damon, a former friend of A-Rod (A-Rod needs a friend with all the booing), a guy who totally hates Willie Randolf, and the guy who wouldn't give the Red Sox back their ball. I'd still give him $1.5 mil if he was 85 and coming out of retirement with a walker, all b/c he was another Sock that hated being a Sock.
2007-01-06 11:31:42
131.   MattinglyHOF
Minky did hit 10 HRs with the Mets when he was there before he got hurt and lost his job to Mike Jacobs.Right field porch might help also and the invariable fastballs he will get hitting in this lineup will too.

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