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Couple, few things
2007-01-22 09:29
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Peter Abraham has a good piece on Brian Cashman in The Journal News:

In the 14 months since he wrestled power away from George Steinbrenner's cabal of advisors in Florida, Cashman has reformatted the Yankees into an organization determined to develop star players rather than pay a premium for them. Along with significant roster changes, Cashman has made a series of personnel moves within the baseball operations department, firing several longtime scouts and coaches and reassigning others.

"In 2005, we had a 25-man roster of veterans and got out of the gate terribly. The Boss said it was up to me to fix it, and it made me a little mad because I hadn't participated fully in making some of those moves in the first place," Cashman said during an interview at Yankee Stadium. "My contract was up after the season, and I said, 'I'll fix it, but I'm going to do it my way or I'm out of here.' "

Meanwhile, there is a lengthy interview with Michael Morrissey over at Was Watching. Morrissey covers the Yankees for The New York Post, and he's written a book about the '06 Bombers: "The Pride and the Pressure: A Season Inside the New York Yankee Fishbowl." Check, check it out.

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-22 10:18:04
1.   OldYanksFan
Shotgun again.... I have no life,
Cashman was rated 11th of 30 as a GM?
I guess we need a few more years of "pure Cashman" to place a little higher.
2007-01-22 10:35:46
2.   yankee23
As though it's incredibly difficult to figure out which decisions have been Ca$h's the couple years before he took power, too.
Also, I just couldn't resist: 'What-wha-what-what-what's it all about?'
2007-01-22 10:36:26
3.   The Mick 536
Cash hasn't spent a lot of money recently. Not sure that his frugality should be complimented. Big gaps at First and backup Catcher. Outfield not as strong with Godzilla in left. He traded Chacon for Wilson and then let him go. Mientkie and Miggie don't take my breath away. And, who be my number 1 starter.

Looking forward, though, to Morrissey's book. Hope it isn't as A-Rod heavy as the interview.

2007-01-22 10:48:48
4.   BklynBmr
OT: Apologies in advance if this has been discussed, but it won't hurt to keep it on a front burner for anyone who may have missed it:

From NY Times (hat tip: nomaas.org)

---------------------------

Extra Innings Exclusively on DirecTV

Major League Baseball is close to announcing a deal that will place its Extra Innings package of out-of-market games exclusively on DirecTV, which will also become the only carrier of a long-planned 24-hour baseball channel.

http://tinyurl.com/2uyn9f

---------------------------

Today, nomaas.org posted updated contact info for MLB's Commissioner Offices:

http://www.nomaas.org/

For those with cable and Dish Network, this blows. Not a smart move by MLB. What do you do when you're trying to regain your sports status as the 'national pasttime'? Simple, you make your product way less accessible to the public. Way to go, Selig.

2007-01-22 11:00:01
5.   Sliced Bread
I was hoping the Abraham story would include the revelation that Cashman did not want to sign Doug Out, but did so under duress, or perhaps during a momentary lapse in muscular coordination.
Perplexing, ain't it?
2007-01-22 11:11:27
6.   Chyll Will
I'm beginning to get weary of the sniping at Cash for not getting a BAC or solid 1B. I don't know what situations he's confronted with when dealing with the other GMs, but it would seem that if ten other GMs deemed better than him, except for one couldn't consistently win their respective divisions, few of them with farm hands to spare are going to do Cash any favors by improving his team for peanuts.

It's not simple. First you have to find someone that's major-league ready (if not already major-league.) Then you have to know if that player is willing/able to play in the Yankee organization, and moreover play in a pressure-cooker like none-other. Seeing the treatment that free-agents who slump from the start have gotten the last several years, I don't blame a player for not calling Cash back or just saying no, I'll stay in Houston or San Diego thank you. Then you also have to know if the player fits the mode of the team that you're building (would you trade for A.J. Pyrzynski or Sandy Alomar, Jr. if they were made available?)

Sure, you can acquire a top-notch prospect and force him into the lineup because of injuries (a la Melky), but know that the minute he slumps or spits the bit, the fans and the press will be all over him like flies on pu-pu platter. There's a much bigger risk in putting a highly-touted prospect in the line of fire in New York than anywhere else, and that's why Wang and Cano were consided surprises. Why put that on them from the beginning?

There are few Jeters in the league than can step in and take that kind of pressure from the get-go and succeed beyond expectations. However we as fans and media have a strong habit of taking that for granted. Cash sucks because he didn't get a catcher, he sucks because he signed Scrabble to play first, he sucks because he loaded up on right-handers and went blind in the process. The season's long, the off-season feels longer. Give it a rest, we still have a couple more months to "straighten it out" and within those months, the components that we're missing can likely surface at the right time and price.

(And somewhere in the distance, Denis Leary says: Relax!!!)

2007-01-22 11:16:02
7.   Chyll Will
Hmm... I rant because I'm hungry. I'll be right back >;)
2007-01-22 11:24:24
8.   bartap74
LOL at "Scrabble." Great nickname. Hope it sticks.
2007-01-22 11:24:29
9.   yankz
When I first read the comments, I thought "Doug Out" was the best nickname for Miknazekcwz. But "Scrabble" quickly replaced it for me.
2007-01-22 11:36:24
10.   dianagramr
9

that would be an affront to tournament Scrabble players (such as myself)

4

see this thread

http://tinyurl.com/2vg97f

2007-01-22 11:38:38
11.   OldYanksFan
I'll say it again. If this team can't do what it takes to get the most from a TEAMmate, the guy who plays 3rd, and that guy who plays 3rd decides to leave NY, historically, it will be the worst loss since the Babe left Beantown.
2007-01-22 11:48:28
12.   Jim Dean
6 As the primary ranter from "Cashman sucks" (which I don't believe - just that who could do better - in some instances much better) I feel obliged to respond.

Sure, the season's long but over the last few seasons I've seen that the weaknesses at the beginning have a way of coming back to hurt in the end (i.e., playoffs), esp. with a manager that doesn't deal well with choices.

2005 - CF = Bernie to Womack to Reese to Bernie to Bubba to a certain dropped ball

2006 - 1B = Cairo to Andy to Guiel to Wilson to Shef to Shef at 1B in the post-season with 9 games under his MLB belt.

Who knows, will this season be:

1B? Again!?

Catcher? Based on their 35 yo starter? With TR Nieves as the backup and nothing on the farm!?

Something else? A major IF injury? With Cairo as the primary backup and nothing else on the farm?

This off-season started well. Then Cashman traded a valued commodity (a league average lefty SP) for the least valued prospects (RHRP). The Yanks had other needs, in the majors and on the farm, and none of the trades addressed them.

Now, I know I wouldn't complaining (as loudly) if Cairo/MCI/TR Nieves were the starters going into Spring AND they had AAA prospects at any of those positions. The scrubs hold the seats warm. Maybe you could argue that Sardinha/the Duncans/Jones could take over at 1B, but the UIF slot is even worse and the catching slot is far, far worse.

The standard retort is: Cashman's not done yet!

To that, all I can do is look at last year and say: He's done until May/June.

And then, they're still back to where they started - AGAIN - like 2005 and 2006. The Unit trade still kills because that was the one chance to truly address a need and they failed. Whether that comes back to haunt them remains to be seen.

2007-01-22 11:51:10
13.   joejoejoe
I thought Mientkiewicz's nickname was Eyechart?

As for Cashman and 1B - all the good ones are sewn up and the Yankees have a monster DH that allows them to get average (or less) production from 1B. It's not like Wil Clark in his prime is on the market. All the good 1B are sewn up. It's a junkbin of veterans in the '08 1B market as well. If that Cuban kid the Yanks signed pans out and Cashman isn't going to be #11 on the list of GMs, he'll be #1.

2007-01-22 12:08:28
14.   dianagramr
13

Within the tournament Scrabble community, THIS man is known as "Eyechart"

http://tinyurl.com/37vjyj

2007-01-22 12:09:28
15.   tommyl
12 Jim, your complaints about a BUC and 1B are somewhat valid, but what is all this about the UIF slot? If there was a prospect who could step in and replace Jeter/ARod/Cano well, what the hell is he doing on the farm? Its usually very tough to get a good UIF because most good players look for a starting job. There's also Gonzalez from the AZ trade, who's a decent OBP, plus fielding prospect. Perhaps he can step in.

I too would have liked to see Cash get a C prospect this offseason, but in terms of available backup catchers, they pretty much all suck.

1B isn't great, but which available free agents would you have gone for? Or what trade would you have liked to see?

2007-01-22 12:13:43
16.   tommyl
13 This argument is not quite true. What the Yankees have are tremendous offensive output from their middle three (Posada, Cano, Jeter), if you then had a league average 1B they have a big advantage. However, when you have a below league average 1B, this basically offsets some of that advantage (because other teams will have a light hitting 2B, but a monster at 1B) and draws them back to average. Its to the Yankees benefit to maximize every position they can, "affording" bad output is just a statement that they can get away with losing a few more games.

Steve Goldman over at Pinstriped Bible/Blog has some good arguments in his archives about these situations. Its good reading.

2007-01-22 12:17:14
17.   Peter
14 Someone needs to buy a vowel.
2007-01-22 12:21:03
18.   Shaun P
It seems the 'every day someone talks about trading A-Rod' plague we all expected has been replaced by the 'every day someone talks about first base and BUC'.

Sigh. (No offense, Chyll. I've brought it up on more than a few days myself.)

4 Joe Sheehan has an interesting piece up at BP about that today. He concludes that it might tick some people off but it makes MLB more money in the long run because EI is a 'niche product for extreme users'. I think he missed something important - all of us 'displaced' fans who buy EI to watch our favorite team from afar. I think its a travesty - and I'm a DirecTV subscriber!

2007-01-22 12:26:05
19.   Jim Dean
15 It's not about replacing Jeter, Cano, Or A-Rod - it's about replacing Cairo and his 60 OPS+. I can deal with that once every 10 games. For six weeks (Cano's injury) it causes trouble keeping food down. A UIF that hits in average range would be nice, even if he's in AAA until an injury presents itself or to have prevented the signing of Cairo in the first place. Further, free agents that could have been signed for a bit more cash were Loretta (who wore down with playing time - perfect for a UIF) and Chris Gomez (who's been quite nice in the role for the O's).

At 1B, the goal is someone with a few good days ahead of them. There were two prospects in ARI that could have been had. Maybe one in Detroit. And I'm sure others - RH 1B are very common with how many bats exist but who can't play defense. For instance, Toronto did well with the Overbye trade last year.

At C, they should have gone hard at Zaun with an exploding offer AND traded for one of Montero/Mathis/Clement. I have a very hard time believing none of those prospects could be had for Unit for close to straight-up.

2007-01-22 12:32:57
20.   dianagramr
4

I fired off an e-mail to DirecTV regarding their deal. I just received this response.

================================
Dear Diane,

Thank you for writing. I understand your frustration regarding our marketing decision
with the MLB. Please understand our last intension (sic) is to make these games unavailable to you. We are looking for new customers, but I understand you cannot have our service in your building. I am not at liberty to discuss any marketing plans for
DIRECTV, but I hope that you can find a way to enjoy your favorite programming.

Sincerely,

John U6003
DIRECTV Customer Service

====================

Bummer of a last name there John!

2007-01-22 12:37:36
21.   tommyl
19 I'll admit, fair points. I agree that while Cashman has improved a lot, he still seems to have a weakness in bench construction, many times it seems to be an afterthought. Of course, there could me many mitigating factors here, some FAs could have told him they had no interest in playing in NY, he might have tried to obtain some of those people in trades that were shot down, we just can't know.

Some of this also has to be the influence of Torre. He seems to love Cairo. I remain optimistic though, because Cashman has shown a willingness to make midseason moves and experiment. If Scrabble is as bad as we all expect, I suspect he won't be the starting 1B for long.

2007-01-22 12:40:54
22.   Jim Dean
18 Yes, yes, I get the point. It's tiresome for me too. And there's nothing more to be said on it.

Cashman's not making any more moves.

I'm afraid that's all there is to talk about. And other folks keep bringing it up 3.

Like I said 12, as the most vocal of that crowd, I feel the need to respond. I'll hopefully stop feeling that need soon.

The problem is that folks see this glaring contradiction (me very painfully):

How could a GM do so much right and so much wrong? The exact moves and where they get placed, I'll leave up to you, even as there are no ones no one is arguing about (Moose, Cairo).

Some answer with:

1) Wrong? What's wrong?; or

2) Well, he did the best he could do.; or

3) My god, he has a long way to go!

The rest is just discussing how he could have done better.

Why, you got any better ideas?

2007-01-22 12:42:02
23.   tommyl
20 Well, its a more wordy version of: Screw You! I think the people you should email are in the MLB offices. DirecTV is just doing what's in its best interess and isn't evil. Its MLB that is actively screwing over its fan base.

It amazes me how much MLB moves to eliminate the ability of out of town fans to see their teams play. It used to be the old complaints about the Fox deal, I recall while living in Philadelphia turning to Fox hoping to see the Yanks/Sox game and instead seeing Stargate SG-1 (go MacGyver go!). Now, its this greedy move with DirecTV. It really is shameful.

I wonder if any lawyers can enlighten us in terms of anti-trust laws?

2007-01-22 12:45:32
24.   Jim Dean
21 Even mid-season moves, or the lack thereof, have trouble fixing glaring needs (see 1B in 2006; and CF in 2005).

That is why they play the games. And I know I'm looking forward to it - even if a month of TR Nieves will cause me to slam my face repeatedly into a cement wall.

2007-01-22 12:49:08
25.   Chyll Will
18 None taken. That was my main point, in fact. And I can tell you from personal experience as an installer, DirecTV is a standard headache/ripoff. Moreover, it seems that since NewsCorp was practically forced to sell it, DTV has been sewing up exlusive rights left and right. Got to keep those revenue streams humming, I guess.

10 No offense meant, that was purely stream of conciousness. It's like what happened to Sparky when he didn't have his Snickers. Yet, if "Scrabble" sticks, I would consider it a happy accident >;)

12 Agree to disagree, JD. There's no telling if the kids we do have will work out, but something tells me that there's nothing available now worth draining your system for, or else he would have already made that move. Cash is not the only savvy GM in the game, yunnow. And I don't see many teams looking to make a trade they know is going to benefit a monster team more than themselves unless they're trying to dump salary. In their opinion, the Yanks will just have to:

A.) wait their turn.
B.) groom their own player (essentially, wait).
C.) go suck an egg.

2007-01-22 12:51:29
26.   Jim Dean
23 I think they're reaping the big bucks even as they consolidate their cashflow through MLB.com. It's actually a nice move from a business POV - make the most you can while forcing people to use your product (see iTunes). MLB.com is already a cashcow and they're consolidating even more interest this way.

I happen to like MLB.com but they still have a ways to go.

For those of you getting screwed there are ways to send the .com signal to your TV (I haven't done it so I don't know how well it works resolution wise. Anyone?). Plus you get the benefit of watching it anywhere you have a computer with you*

*blackout restrictions apply.

2007-01-22 12:57:42
27.   dianagramr
23

Already left voice mail over the weekend, as well as e-mail and blogged all over mlb.com.

26

Oh, I totally agree that from a strict $ move, its a tremendous deal. But it does NOTHING to diversify their revenue stream or fan base, and alienates the hard-core fans.

(but what else is new?) sigh

With regard to the com signal to the TV, if the com signal stinks, then the TV signal/reception would be worse, wouldn't it?

{not looking forward to sitting in front of my PC this season)

2007-01-22 12:57:52
28.   Jim Dean
25 Even an average kid will work out better TR Nieves with some upside too boot (Cairo too).

None of Montero/Mathis/Clement are that and I have a very hard time believing one couldn't have been had for 150-200 innings of league average Unit.

2007-01-22 13:00:59
29.   Jim Dean
27 The .com signal isn't bad - it just isn't great. The problem is one of bandwidth - lower means small resolution and unfortunately most of this country is still far behind in the technology.

I think if you send it to your TV (unless it's an huge one) then you still be able to see everything but it just won't be very clear - like WPIX in the old days.

2007-01-22 13:09:05
30.   SF Yanks
This Direct TV news really blows. The MLB feed sucks. That puts a huge damper on this upcoming '07 season.
2007-01-22 13:09:32
31.   williamnyy23
As usual, MLB is being criticized for doing something that the almighty NFL already does. By selling exclusive rights to MLB Extra Innings, MLB is not only going to generate enormous additional revenue for its teams, but also better position its MLB.TV product.

I have been a very happy DirectTV customer for years and suggest that those who are upset by the decision simply switch to DirectTV (that's what I did when Cablevision refused to carry YES). Watching out of town baseball games is not an entitlement...if one wants to enjoy the benefit, they need to make the required effort.

2007-01-22 13:09:54
32.   mehmattski
12 For the record, I agree that a failure to have a catching prospect older than 16 years old in the Yankees system is indeed a problem. They are indeed playing with fire and the situation only gets more desperate as time/potential for injury wear on.

Where I disagree with you is in thinking that the Randy Johnson trade is somehow an abysmal failure because of who Cashman didn't get. Sure we have some evidence that Cashman wanted other players that he was denied (and those weren't catchers either). But blasting a GM for not getting a player in a particular trade seems very odd to me; should Cashman be faulted for not getting Verlander in the Sheff deal? Or for not getting Chris Ray in the Wright deal? The second guessing is limitless with this approach. If, instead, a GM is limited to what deal was actually made, then criticism at least have a basis in things that actually occured.

I also don't see why it's such a huge deal that one position (1B) was not hugely improved this offseason. I don't think it was downgraded either, and there are a number of options that may improve production from 1B both on offense (AP) and defense (Douggie). Besides, I think we agree that the free agent pool at 1B was very weak, and overpaying for someone there would be a mistake. That leaves trade, and which player from the Diamondbacks would have absolutely given the Yankees an upgrade at 1B for 2007? Maybe Conor Jackson, but why would the D-Backs trade their top chip for a 43 year old pitcher?

As for Utility Infielder: name me three teams for whom a major infield injury would not result in a major downgrade.

I enjoy your comments, Jim, I just have been unable to see your logic on any of these issues.

2007-01-22 13:14:18
33.   tommyl
31 You fail to realize that many of us cannot just "switch." If you live in an apartment without southern exposure you are out of luck. Also, many people have combined TV/internet packages and switching would greatly add to their monthly cost.
2007-01-22 13:15:27
34.   tommyl
31 Also, my parents have DirecTV, and everytime I'm visiting if there's a storm, a very overcast day or a wind over 20mph they lose signal every 5 minutes and then one has to go outside and mess with the dish.
2007-01-22 13:16:25
35.   dianagramr
31

required effort?

Ummm ... I guess MLB wasn't satisfied with the $160 I gave them (via Time Warner Cable) last year?

I made a good-faith effort ... and now they've pulled the rug out from under me, and I can't enjoy the games I am willing to pay for (within the constraints of NOT being able to put a dish on my apt. building roof).

And yes ... I will state again that MLB certainly has the "right" to find the most lucrative package for their bottom line, but that it stomps on the fans that supported the EI package on cable.

2007-01-22 13:18:23
36.   Chyll Will
31 Getting solid 90s on your 119 all day, I see... did they try talking you into getting the air antennae?
2007-01-22 13:21:28
37.   tommyl
31 I am also less upset with the NFL because those games happen once a week, and very often they are carried by the networks anyways. So on average, 10 times a year for a Giants game will I have to go to a sports bar to watch it. In comparison, I watched some or all of roughly 90 Yankees games last year.

Note, I live in Manhattan now, so this doesn't directly affect me, but having once been an out of towner on the package (via Comcast) it does infuriate me.

2007-01-22 13:22:35
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
29 ...but without scooter. which would've made that more than worth it.

i don't mind mlb.tv. i like being able to see everybody's games, and i can watch them at work or during class. ...not exactly productive, but i'm not a surgeon or anything as important, so i can get away with that. it was my best option.

they don't seem to offer the YES network here for some reason.

(that might be your biggest adjustment if you do end up here, jim dean. but you'll survive.)

2007-01-22 13:22:46
39.   SF Yanks
Crappy MLB feed here I come. I think I'll just move to the moon, get some super duper binoculars and watch the games from there. Picture quality/view will probably be better.
2007-01-22 13:23:44
40.   Jim Dean
32

Like I've said (three times in this thread alone), I have a very hard time believing that Montero/Mathis/Clement couldn't be had for 150-200 league average innings of Unit. I could voice minor complaints with the other trades, but my problem with that one is they got something they didn't need (relative to other things), which is extremely unpredictable, and thus not very valuable. They could have done better, IMO.

1B - Meh. I wasn't too worked up about it until they got little value in return for Unit. Chad Tracy (plus one or two of those pitchers) would at least have been something they could use with some upside, however small. As I said, I'm sure there are others from West Coast teams - RH 1B prospects are around. Unit could have been turned into a decent one with potential.

UIF - Of course, everyone would be a major downgrade. But it's the difference of rolling down a steep hill (Loretta, Gomez) and falling off a cliff (Cairo). No problem if it's twenty games - much moreso if it's 60. The problem is: Injuries happen. Why not be better prepared?

2007-01-22 13:27:17
41.   mehmattski
38 I can get YES down here in Durham via TWC... and it shows everything except Yankees games. Because I want to spend an extra $2/mo to watch Yankeeography: Matt Nokes.
2007-01-22 13:28:56
42.   Shaun P
31 "Watching out of town baseball games is not an entitlement...if one wants to enjoy the benefit, they need to make the required effort."

What about the (literal) millions of people who can't get DirecTV because (a) they don't have a clear view of the southern sky or (b) the building/complex where they live does not allow it? The problem with making EI exclusive to DirecTV is that there are a huge number of people who can't get DirecTV even if they wanted to.

That's one of the reasons the "almighty" NFL is criticized heavily over its "only on DirecTV" package. I have been reading Gregg Easterbrook (aka "Tuesday Morning Quaterback") for at least 5 years now, and he's been complaining about it for at least that long. Because he too can't get DirecTV where he lives.

23 TMQ has been talking about how the NFL might get dragged before Congress because of the DirecTV thing - go to http://tinyurl.com/yk4tug and then go about halfway down the page.

I don't see why MLB couldn't get dragged into Congress over this one too. Congress could threaten to revoke MLB's precious anti-trust exemption (yet again).

2007-01-22 13:33:44
43.   williamnyy23
33 34 If you can't switch to DirectTV then you have the option of MLB.TV. Now, if you choose not to switch to either because it "will cost too much", then that's your choice.

Also, I have DirectTV and experience 1 or 2 weather outages each year. The longest I lost my signal for was about 45 minutes. It's not a huge problem.

35 You didn't give MLB anything. MLB had already negotiated a fixed deal with the company that distributed Extra Innings to cable systems. It was to that company and Time Warner that you gave your money. If you want to blame someone, send a letter to your cable operator and to the distributor asking why they were willing to charge you so much, yet not bid higher for the rights.

Finally, how exactly did you show good faith? You paid for a product that you wanted. If you still want it, and are willing to pay the required fees, it is available to you.

It's time for everone to stop whining about being "stomped on" and just make an adult decision.

2007-01-22 13:37:09
44.   williamnyy23
42 Unlike the NFL, MLB does offer the service over the internet. As for Congress, I find it highly unlikely that they will threaten either sport with real punitive legislation. As usual, the esteemed Reps are grandstanding and blowing hot air.
2007-01-22 13:40:37
45.   Freddy Toliver
Back to the team...I totally agree with Jim's comment about even an average kid is better than Nieves and Cairo, and that's what I've been hoping that Cash/Torre would do for years now. Every offseason I wonder at the retreads signings.

But I've seen a pattern that they're essentially breaking-in two kids a year (i.e. Proctor, Melky in 06, Cano & Wang in 05). Now these guys aren't Mariano, Jeter, Bernie, Jorge, Pettitte of the 90s yet, but they're building into solid MLB players.

At the outset of each year, they don't target a kid as the heir apparent in any given situation, but just let it develop to see who works out. I would rather that they enter Spring with open spots for 2 kids in the BP and 2 kids on the bench every year instead of retreads like Scrabble/Eyechart or Kelly Stinnett.

That being said, how can you argue for a signing of Loretta or Chris Gomez instead of Cairo? All three are the same player - equally below average. And Loretta has a starting deal, so why go to NY to be a backup? But worse is Chris Gomez...we're talking about CHRIS GOMEZ here! He's go no upside and, in fact, isn't a high quality SS/2B player anymore - he's been below average at SS for 4+ years and for the past two, over 50% of his games are at 1B.

Cairo's not there to step in for 6 weeks if Jeter goes down. They'll bring up a rookie (Almonte in 03) rather than put that veteran UIF in the lineup everyday (E.Wilson in 03).

I agree with the youngster thread, but really can't see advocating for guys of the caliber of Chris Gomez. Cairo ain't that bad - it was only 2 seasons ago when he was 102 OPS+ with 11 steals.

2007-01-22 13:42:24
46.   tommyl
43 The idea that MLB.TV is anywhere near the same quality as watching on a tv is laughable. I have a 15" laptop, and a 37" flatscreen tv. I'd rather be watching on my big tv, with clear resolution and the ability to occasionally change the channel, rather than have to sit at my computer desk and stare at my laptop for 4 hours. And please do not say I should then go out and buy a bigger computer monitor.
2007-01-22 13:43:39
47.   dianagramr
43

1) Yes, Time Warner could have set ANY price for their customers to purchase the EI package. I know I didn't pay MLB directly. But its a bit of semantics at the margins. :-)
2) The required fees would be for me to move ... (Ummm ... nope). IOW, its not the "cost" as much as the "external constraints".

Next I guess I'll be told to kvetch to my landlord, and to whomever built my building so that it didn't have a southward exposure ...

(sigh ...)

For the record, I had mlb.tv AND the Extra Innings package last year, and happily paid for both, and would have done so again ... even with their infernal Saturday afternoon blackout rules.

2007-01-22 13:47:38
48.   Shaun P
43 For your sake, I hope you are never in the situation where you can't get DirecTV and thus are left with MLB.TV as your only alternative. My guess is your opinion on these matters would change mightly quickly.

44 Unless, of course, an influential Senator like, say, Arlen Specter is himself affected. Read the tinyurl link I put in 42 to TMQ.

And if Congress could grandstand over PEDs, what is to stop them from grandstanding over this one, too?

2007-01-22 13:51:23
49.   Yankee Fan In Boston
46 there are some connectors available to run mlb.tv through your tv, but i'll bet the picture would be really irritating.
2007-01-22 13:55:05
50.   Jim Dean
45 Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Check the stats. Gomez has been quietly been putting up above averge numers as a UIF.

And Loretta did last year as well, before he wore down. He also signed to be a UIF - check the media reports.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-22 14:06:18
51.   Chyll Will
48 All he has to do is call DirecTV and try to schedule a service call... if the customer service at DirecTV doesn't kill you, the wait for the technician will.
2007-01-22 14:10:53
52.   Chyll Will
51 And that's not to place the onus of blame on the technician, mind you. If you knew what I knew, you'd never undertip those guys again.
2007-01-22 14:11:21
53.   YankeeInMichigan
12 What's wrong with May/June? If the early part of the season works out well for the starters and for a couple of the prospects, the Yankees can have great leverage in a mid-season trade.

Best case: Pavano has strong start. Moose or Pettitte gets minor injury in June. Hughes comes up and holds down the fort. Moose/Pettitte returns. Mariners are in striking distance in West. Yanks trade Pavano for Clement. Pavano injures his (insert body part here), and we all laugh.

2007-01-22 14:32:45
54.   Reader11722
Forget that junk book (Yankees sucked last year). I highly recommend the book "America Deceived" by E.A. Blayre III because it was pulled off Amazon. Reading it is like smoking crack, it feels good when you are doing it but you feel regret when you're done.
Last link (and sample chapters, before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0
2007-01-22 15:10:02
55.   Jim Dean
53 That seems like the best case. I imagine the worst case: Jorge tears a ligament (on the side of his knee this year) and is lost for three months. Plus MCI, Phillips, and Phelps stick up the joint for 6 weeks and Torre's back to starting Cairo at 1B.
I'm afraid it could go either way, and my mindset (which the GM obviously doesn't share) is to plan ahead.

54 Wow, I don't think I've ever seen an admission of crack use online before. It must be the cyberpeeps I roll with.

2007-01-22 15:12:19
56.   Bama Yankee
Say it ain't so, MLB.
Please tell me that you guys are joking about the Extra Innings thing. After years of only getting to watch a dozen or so Yankee games down here in Alabama, my cable company finally offered EI and I have been a faithful subscriber for the last three seasons. I even shelled out the bucks for MLB.TV to watch (or listen to, due to stupid FOX) the games not shown on EI. Now, I gotta switch to DirecTV if I want to watch my favorite team.

Brilliant move Selig. Let's see...the ratings are down for the baseball playoffs, so let's make it harder for fans to watch their favorite out-of-market teams and see if that helps build our brand and increase our ratings... Let me know how that one turns out Bud.

Also, today we learned that williamnyy23 either works for MLB or DirecTV
and
E.A. Blayre III's mother has joined the banter (seriously, Reader11722 are you ever going to post anything other than a link to that book?)

2007-01-22 15:36:59
57.   standuptriple
Well, I've come to the acceptance phase of not being able to watch the Yanks play but a handful of games. With the local teams bumping up the price of the Yanks tickets I might not be able to see as many in person either. When's it going to end Bud? You know, the constant $ grab? I saw a spoof on RedSox charging by the inning recently. Sadly I think it may be what we're headed towards. I guess I'll be using my XM a lot more often. Too bad the people calling the gaesm these days couldn't hold the jocks of the previous generation when it comes to painting a picture with words. My HD TV will be getting a lot more rest this season. And it sucks.
2007-01-22 15:37:07
58.   wsporter
Wowa cowboys, this new Direct TV deal doesn't affect streaming the games over the internet does it? That would be a very bad thing. A VERY bad thing.
2007-01-22 16:02:17
59.   Jim Dean
58 Have you tried hooking that feed into your TV?
2007-01-22 16:15:13
60.   bobtaco
Is the DirecTV deal official?

Does anyone have a link to the press release?

How do they expect everyone to switch over by April if they CAN get DirecTV.

The timing seems beyond crazy. Why not make it effective for 2008 and beyond, and give subscribers a reasonable amount of time to switch.

2007-01-22 16:29:10
61.   C2Coke
43 I only have one question: do you or does any of your family works for DirecTV?

60 Sigh...because they are MLB the empire.

2007-01-22 16:57:32
62.   Chyll Will
60 Timmermann already linked to this on the Griddle, but here's that article again.

http://tinyurl.com/25rvfx

Essentially, they've made the deal and pending legal details they'll announce it shortly. But maybe if Arlen Specter steps up his game quickly, they can delay the switch for a while. One thing that MLB is deathly afraid of is losing their anti-trust exemption.

2007-01-22 17:09:17
63.   Knuckles
Regarding EI, this is how it's going down...

2006- MLB gets $70m from InDemand...750,000 subscribers (10% of cable households)

2007-2013- MLB gets $100/m per year from DirecTV...10% of the 15m DTV subscribers would be 150,000, let's assume some people make the switch AND they really market hard to existing Sunday Ticket buyers, but that's probably a MAX of 100k, topping out at 250,000.

You're basically looking at a net loss of over 400,000 subscribers, theoretically your most die hard customers.

I know it's all a way to drive people to mlb.tv, but it seems to be an awfully huge FU to potentially half a million people.

What happens in 2014, when some rich hermit offers to pay MLB $125M per year for the package, then makes it available to no one? Does Bud and Co. take the money and run? I bet they would, without a second though.

2007-01-22 17:53:06
64.   dianagramr
Perhaps NOT so coincidentally, the following just showed up on the MLBlogosphere blog at mlb.com

http://tinyurl.com/2a3k58

(For those not aware, the MLBlogosphere blog is sort of the "hub" for blogging on mlb.com, and is maintained by one of the top editors at mlb.com)
============================

MLB.TV testimonials

For an article on the ever-expanding MLB.TV generation, I am interested in hearing here from anyone who was an MLB.TV subscriber last season and might be willing to be quoted in an upcoming MLB.com article. I know there are plenty here around the MLBlogosphere, and I am looking for testimonials on why it is so cool to see live MLB games this way. The more specific examples the better, including Mosaic experience (six games at once). Feel free to comment here or email me your thoughts. MLB.TV has set the bar in live Internet programming this decade and it's about to be even cooler with some twists.

=========================

I'm trying to tactfully respond to him, without being too snarky about WHY they want testimonials.

2007-01-22 18:52:00
65.   Chyll Will
64 Sheesh, good-luck. That whole thing reads like one of the most obvious set-up lines I've ever seen.

"...and it's about to be even cooler with some twists."

a.) knife in the back?
b.) in the wind?
c.) poor ol' Chubby Checker?
d.) a lil' lemon, a lil' lime?
e.) Hello, Sailor!
f.) Bud Selig is really Alfred Hitchcock?
g.) Scott Boras is really Mel Gibson?
h.) Jim Dean is really Rob Gee?
i.) Hip-Hop is really dead?

I could go on all night, but we get the point...

2007-01-22 18:58:52
66.   Chyll Will
63 "What happens in 2014, when some rich hermit offers to pay MLB $125M per year for the package, then makes it available to no one?"

But Knuckles, why in the world would George W. Bush wait that long?

2007-01-22 19:11:28
67.   dianagramr
Blogosphere editor responds to my posting of Richard Sandomir's NY Times article on the EI move to DirecTV:

"Too much ado, having seen your comment posting the article here and on other MLBlogs like Matthew Leach's. The article's author has no clue what MLB.TV's picture quality will be this season and is writing about history. the writer furthermore has no clue about upward trends of broadband penetration, sounding very old-school. People are in for some surprises, as .tv has led the way in sports leagues this decade and will push the envelope even further shortly.

==========================

Sigh .... and he entirely neglects the point that people LIKED watching games on cable, rather than their PC.

2007-01-22 19:35:09
68.   Chyll Will
Not to mention not every PC is broadband-capable. Hell, if they want to micromanage themselves into oblivion, it's no better for them and I could hardly care less at this point. G'night, D...
2007-01-22 19:36:26
69.   Jim Dean
68 If he's correct about the resolution, you can easily send the signal to your TV using inexpensive hardware. For instance, lost in hub of the iPhone, Apple also annouced an iTV product. I'm not sure if it is exactly what you need (talk to someone at your radioshack based on your current PC, stereo, and TV setup), but the point is that the TV/PC division is rapidly fading (see also the NetFlix new download service). He's right that mlb.com is really pushing that curve, especially since they're rolling in profits AND they're smart enough to know that they can distribute their own content without the pesky business of sharing profits with cable systems etc.

I doubt that it will be identical to watching a cable feed, but if they continue to innovate in that direction, it very well could be in three - five years. Between now and then will be like the transition between old TV antennas to cable to DVD quality. Instead of the old static when you had to adjust the antenna, now you just get blurry spots. The innovation lies in getting rid of those and making it look more and more realistic.

Once MLB proves the concept, and makes a bundle doing so, don't be surprised when they show the NFL and NBA how it's done and rake in further profits accordingly.

2007-01-23 10:05:55
70.   Freddy Toliver
50, I guess if you're the President of the Chris Gomez Fan Club (not just a member!), then it'll be hard to convince you he's not a good ballplayer, let alone a good UIF.

But I'll give it a shot, since it seems so ridiculous to me that someone would be advocating that Cash should have signed the guy.

2006: 6 games at SS, 15 at 2B, 5 at 3b, 27 at 1B. That's not a UIF, that's a backup 1st baseman. He was terrible at 1b and 2b defensively and his SS and 3B games were so low it's hard to say if he was even adequate. His offensive production was actually good as far as OPS+ goes, but are 2 HRs and 7 doubles that important?

2005: 18 g at 2b, 17 g at 3b, 10 g at SS, poor defense at all three spots again. 42 games at 1B out of 83 games in the field. That's closer to being a UIF, but the fact he played over 1/2 his games at 1B is a clue that he's not good at those other positions anymore (he once was a good SS in his early 20s).

Career: OPS+ has only been above 90 in 4 of 14 years, and is a career 82 at the age of 36 in 2007.

Cairo: OPS+ career is 76, not much worse than Gomez', but has 113 steals and an above league average Range Factor and F% at 2B, good F% at SS for his career.

Gomez signed for $850,000 (with no indication that he'd even WANT to play in NY), while Cairo signed for $750,000.

About Loretta, not only is he the same caliber of player as Cairo & Gomez, but according to media reports: "The agreed-to deal is for one year at $2.5 million, but could be worth as much as $3.5 million with incentives, said Loretta's agent, Bob Garber. While the Rangers offered more money, Houston was a better opportunity. Craig Biggio has long been entrenched as the starting second baseman for the Astros. But Garber said Loretta, who has also played first, third and shortstop during his career, will play "all over the infield" for Houston." Sounds more like a regular infielder than a UIF.

I'm not saying either Gomez or Loretta is a bad player and I'm not saying Cairo is good, just that why would Cashman bother? Maybe Cairo is a good guy in the clubhouse and is fine at the near veteran minimum salary (ala Luis Sojo of the 90s). He's also quite a few years younger than both of those other guys and has more speed.

2007-01-23 10:30:02
71.   Freddy Toliver
Okay, so I posted 70 before I read Cliff's excellent post on UIF. I think he's made a clear case for why we shouldn't even be discussing the merits of Miguel Cairo vs. Anybody.
2007-01-23 11:19:01
72.   williamnyy23
61 No, I do not work for either MLB or DirectTV. I just get very tired of listening to fans whine because they actually have to pay more (or suffer an inconvenience) to watch games, either in person or on TV. Watching out of town baseball isn't a birth right. If you want to enjoy that privilege, you either have to switch to DirectTV or get a high enough speed connection to make MLB.TV worthwhile.

63 Not only does exclusivity guarantee more money per year and drive additional revenue to MLB.TV, but it can also be beneficial by removing some of the glut in the market place. Currently, you can watch baseball pretty much any hour of any day. Is it any wonder why the game's network ratings are plummeting? By making supply more scarce, network demand could very well go up, leading to a better FOX payday down the road.

Also, as mentioned, most EI subscribers are probably diehards anyway. Therefore, it probably isn't very instrumental in developing new fans (new fans are likely created by an attachment to a local team anyway). The only people who are really losing out are die hard, out of town fans who can't afford either DirectTV or MLB.TV. Unfortunately, a business can't make its decisions with such a narrow segment of its customer base in mind.

2007-01-23 14:28:37
73.   dianagramr
72

My Grad School economics professor would disagree with all of that ...

If the objective is to generate interest in the product, then you SATURATE EVERY AVAILABLE OUTLET for showing your product .... you don't RESTRICT its AVAILABILITY.

Yes ... in this way you aren't getting a "premium" price from a vendor for the "exclusive" rights, but you ARE maximizing the potential that somehow ... someway ... your product CAN BE SEEN.

The more avenues you have into someone's home ... the better chance they'll stick around for and tune into the playoffs when the Series are only shown on one or two stations.

2007-01-24 08:00:47
74.   williamnyy23
73 Did you ask him/her? Oversupply is a very real business concern ...one with which any grad school economics should be familiar. If you want to generate interest in a product, you do not SATURATE the market (assuming you have used saturate to mean provide as much supply as possible, which technically would be incorrect). That is a recipe for very low prices and very high loses. I think you are confusing marketing with supply.

Also, keep in mind that MLB sells rights fees and doesn't (yet) earn direct revenue from game broadcasts (i.e., advertising). As a result, it doesn't matter how many people have access to your product…that is a concern for the rights purchasing distributor. If DirectTV is willing to pay more money than cable, even thought it has fewer customers, that's their problem. The only drawback would be if limiting distribution eventually caused baseball's fan base to decline, impacting future revenue potential. Assuming the EI typical consumer is already a die-hard fan, I don't see that as a likely possibility.

Currently, there is so much baseball on TV, that there is no incentive to watch national broadcasts. Why FOX even does a game of the week is beyond me. The DirectTV deal is a no-brainer for MLB. Not only does it receive a higher rights fee, but it also constrains supply, making other distribution avenues more lucrative as well.

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